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Xerath Build Guide by I am Lord and Master

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author I am Lord and Master

Indepth Xerath Guide - 'Cause range matters!

I am Lord and Master Last updated on April 26, 2013
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Ability Sequence

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
4
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 9


Guide Top

I) Welcome to the world of Xerath!

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Hello fellow community members!



This is I'm Lord and Master bringing you guys a brand new (S3 Patch) Xerath build to dominate mid lane on Summoner's Rift. Xerath is not unknown and nobody likes playing against him, still no one does it himself. I'm presenting a poke build that abuses the long range, short cooldowns and the magic penetration that Xerath offers. Since the percentage penetration now kicks in before the flat one, there are good results!

You are going to see a short introduction about Xerath and what he does, after that how I tend to equip him with some items, runes and masteries, then some gameplay stuff and finally we end with a matchup section.



What I promise: After reading this guide you should feel comfortable enough to play Xerath in the mid lane without any knowledge problems.



But remember it's a guide and you should not follow the advices given blindly. There is a perfect build for each game but it changes with the match up, the progression and the needs within the individual game.


You will learn the mechanics as well if you constantly play him and soon you can have much fun and success with Xerath



Enjoy the guide and good luck,



I'm Lord and Master


Guide Top

II) Pros / Cons

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Pros / Cons




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Pros





+ Strong mid game


+ Low cooldowns


+ Unmatched range


+ Inbuilt magic penetration


+ Hard crowd control


+ Poking & siege


+ Armor steroid


+ AOE damage


+ Synergies great itemwise


+ Great farming capabilities


+ Fun to play



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Ascended Form
Locus of Power Mage Chains


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Cons





- Damage drop late game


- Easily caught


- Mana hungry


- Mage Chains's range


- 4 Skillshots


- Blue buff dependent


- Requires teamwork


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Guide Top

III) Introducing the Ascendant


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Let's take a closer look at Xerath: What works best with him and uses his potential the most?


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Ability power because of our scalings. While Arcanopulse's ratio (0,6) isn't that great, it is extremely spammable. Mage Chains got a really good ratio (0,8) and Arcane Barrage an insane 1.8 scaling.



Cooldown reduction because our abilities need to be up asap. The more often we can perform our abilities, the more damage we can deal, cast more stuns and got our Arcane Barrage every single fight. Goes along with focus on ability power.



Magic penetration because our abilities and items deal 100% magical damage. Since magic resistance can reduce our damage very effective and our overall poke AP scaling is not that high, we should get magic penetration to keep our damage as high as possible. Along with locus of power we are able to deal true damage to everything below 122 magic resistance.



II


Crowd Control because we got four skillshots to land. By buying CC ( Rylai's Crystal Scepter) we increase our chance to hit them all and deal more damage. We also have almost no escape capabilities. The only thing that helps is kiting all day long.


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III


Health because Ascended Form makes it more effective. In contrast to other mages Xerath rather needs health than armor by e.g. Zhonya's Hourglass. Along with some magic resistance, it makes him tanky enough to stand his ground for a little time.




Guide Top

IV) Unique Skills

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Let's start right away with his basic abilities!




Ascended Form Locus of Power Mage Chains



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"Flesh and blood; so fragile."

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Ascended Form ssss

Ascended Form (Passive)


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A really strong passive that provides up to 100 armor for free. It is one of the main reasons that Xerath doesn't need Greater Seal of Armor, Zhonya's Hourglass or Guardian Angel to be tanky.

It is really useful for our poke build when they can dive. Little magic resistance and health can get you really tanky, so you can do some "short" range action.

It also works really well against assassins Talon or Kha'Zix that you might face mid sometimes.


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"Behold my poke!"

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Arcano


pulse (Q)

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Magic damage:


Mana:


Cooldown:


Range: 900

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75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+ 60% AP)


65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85


7 / 6,5 / 6 / 5,5 / 5


Range (W): 1300


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This is Xerath's main poke tool. In lane, it is mandatory to hit this as much as possible to outdamage your enemy. Xerath relies on his strong poke early.

On higher levels, with some AP and sustained mana, this makes a great farming and pushing tool as well.

It has a really low cooldown, don't spamm it too often in lane if you lack mana sustain, you will run out of mana with just this skill! However: If you got blue buff spamm this on the enemy as much as you can. Every hit counts and will maybe open a kill situation.

It's normal range is already high but with locus of power active it is phenomenal.

Always remember that it has a 0,75 sec. cast time but no travel time on the skillshot itself.


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"Range beyond measure."

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Locus of Power ssss
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Locus of


Power (W)

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Cooldown:


Magic Penetration:

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20 / 16 / 12 / 8 / 4


16 / 22 / 28 / 24 / 40


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Now this ability is what Xerath defines and makes this build viable: It will add 400(!) range to all your skills. Abuse the fog of war while this is active and no one can dodge your poke.

Caution: You will need 0,5 sec to anchor yourself or let go, be cautious when to use it! You cannot cast anything before this is finished, so do not try a "surprise" Arcanopulse. It takes ages to get the shot off and the enemy got loads of time to react.

Even though this has no costs at all, it has a very long cooldown in the early game when you haven't leveled it yet. Later, feel free to spamm this and keep your mobility high with the 35% movement speed buff afterwards.


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"These chains can hold you!"

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Mage Chains ssss

Mage


Chains (E)

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Magic damage:


Mana:


Cooldown:


Range: 600

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70 / 120 / 170 / 220 / 270 (+0.8 per AP)


70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90


12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8


Range (W): 1000

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First thing to mention is that it is his only and hard CC. Stops your enemies from running or chasing in all situations.

It also applies Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Liandry's Torment with full effect, so use it to kite and wait before triggering the mark!

Question now: Why isn't this the first thing to level and use? Answer: It's your most short ranged ability! Even with locus of power active it has barely more range than Arcanopulse. Also the stun duration does not increase, so it's most beneficial to put one point early and leave it then until higher levels. Be very careful when using this skill. It brings you in situations, a poker wouldn't like to be into!


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"Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!

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Arcane


Barrage (R)

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Magic damage:


Mana:


Cooldown:


Range: 900

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125 / 200 / 275 (+0.6 per AP)


150 / 180 / 210


80 / 70 / 60


Range (W): 1300


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This is what makes Xerath so bursty in the first place. The damage seems low but if add the charges together you gain a lot of base damage and a huge scaling.

It harmonies great with Arcanopulse due to the same range and the 12 seconds time you got in between. It also grants vision, so you can scout into the fog of war before firing a Arcanopulse.

The best part is that it's cooldown is really low and the damage AOE. With a bit of cooldown reduction it is up every fight, so don't be afraid to use it!

There are two downsides: Its mana costs are immense. So if you try to go for the kill, make sure you got the mana to do so! You also have a slight delay in between casts and each meteor.


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Guide Top

V) Skillshots

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Here are a few tips about skillshots listed. If you cannot hit them, you cannot deal damage with Xerath:


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Vision is the main reason for people to dodge. Since Xerath has a cast time on Arcanopulse but no travel time, this means you can land a 100% hit if you cast this out of the fog of war. Move into brushes, to the side or backwards in lane to break vision.

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Prediction is the second reason for people to dodge. Surprise them by pretending to farm, leave the lane, recall or anything else that is unusual. Also throw a mage chains on them, autoattack while they try to dodge your Arcanopulse and finally blow it when they turn to fight.

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Once you got this item, hitting spells is much easier. mage chains doubleCCs now since it procs the full slow and the stun afterwards. People who cannot move don't dodge, nuff said. Also use the CC of your teammates to hit more but also their skillshots. Predict where they are running and create a crossfire.

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Guide Top

VI) Skill Sequence

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Mage chains ss

<

sslocus of power ss

<

ss ss

<

ss


Arcane Barrage is maxed first for the increasing damage and decreasing cooldown.



I max Arcanopulse second because it increases the damage, decreases the cooldown and barely costs more (+5 mana).



Locus of Power is maxed third because the cooldown reduction is massive (4 secs. per level) and you gain additional magic penetration.



Finally Mage Chains as the last one because of the fact that the CC time stays the same and you cannot use it too often in lane.


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Guide Top

VII) Summoner Spells

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IMO it is really hard to tell what suits Xerath best. It's mainly about the playstyle:


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Since we are a character that relies on burst, this spell suits us best for a finishing lethal blow that counters sustain reliant characters as well. It is a very aggressive choice that supports our strong early game. But: After the laning phase, the range of the spell doesn't suite at all, unless you are running the second build.

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We have nothing but the weird option of activating locus of power to repel hard engages or ganks. This little spell allows us to counter other Flashes, surprise initiate a kill or escape really stick situations. It can be used aggressive and defensive at the same time.

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If you expect to be in a lane vs. CC reliant characters or await massive CC from their entire team, grab this spell. It removes some DOTs as well, like Ignite. It will keep your mobility high and enable you to kite around much better.

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While Ignite has it's uses, it's not great in terms of poke play. In teamfights this spell is worth tons of gold since Xerath is all about positioning. You can chase their carries forever or escape even the fastest enemies. It still acts like a escape spell, just like Flash but it works better in a wide, open area e.g. at nashor.

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This little spell gives what everybody would want: Global presence. It enables you to appear at every part of the map (if warded) and help your team out or grab some kills. But there is a downpoint: If there are no opportunities it is only useful to keep yourself itemized and supplied.

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Guide Top

VIII) Masteries

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One option only:




21 / 0 / 9: Standard AP carry masteries.
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Masteries
1/5
4/1
4/5
2/1
1/1
3/1
1/1
4/
1/
1/5
3/1
1/1
3/5
1/1

+ AD & AP after using Ignite


+ Cooldown reduction


+ Additional autoattack damage


+ AP per level


+ Overall increased damage


+ Percentage magic penetration


+ Ability power


+ Percentage AP increase


+ Increased damage again low health targets


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+ Lower cooldown for flash


+ Mana regeneration


+ Faster recall


+ CDR for summoners


+ Longer buff duration


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Guide Top

IX) Runes

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Runes - First choice

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Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
3
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Since our opposition will gain or stack magic resistance, we have to deal with that asap. Because percentage magic penetration is applied before flat magic penetration those work really well in combination with locus of power and even Void Staff. The more flat magic penetration you got, the more effective those will be, as they get their best effect at lower magic resistance levels.

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In order to trade and poke properly with the enemy, we need those runes. They provide us enough mana until we got Chalice of Harmony and synergy with Athene's Unholy Grail later. If you are really in for pre 6 aggression you may consider flat ones.



Some of the champions we will face mid lane deal huge burst magic damage. In this case I'd recommend Greater Seal of Scaling Health to tank their damage and survive. Mana regeneration isn't that needed because you probably should rush Chalice of Harmony anyways.

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At level 6 our burst is the highest. Those baddies outscale the flat ones right at that point and suit us very nicely, providing AP without items. Again if you are in for pre 6 aggression, use the flat ones.



Magic resistance comes in handy as well. You negate damage early on, leading to better trades and negate some burst damage. However, they don't scale too well and you might lack damage early on.

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Runes - Second choice

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Runes

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Glyph of Ability Power
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
9

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
3

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3
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Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration and Greater Glyph of Ability Power increase your damage very early on. Since you are scaling ok, this results in better harass and early kill situations. The problem with those is that they get outscaled really fast and you gain your greatest AP ratio only from level 6 on anyways.



Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction increases your overall damage really well, especially because cooldown reduction is harder to achieve by items than the rest. Still I prefer additional AP for a kill on 6. If you want to use them it's probably a good idea to use them for a late game build.



Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed are great because mobility is one of the most important stats in this game. The greatest AP doesn't help you if you cannot reach your target. Surprisingly Xerath often has to rush to a position or misses that little distance to get the kill with locus of power. Those will help you out.



And finally the Greater Quintessence of Ability Power. Grab those if you aren't running a full magic penetration build and want early damage.


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Guide Top

X) About magic penetration

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Penetration builds become more popular now. Why? Because % penetration kicks in first! This allows you to reduce armor / magic resistance much more efficient and lower to the point where it really matters. Now how affects that Xerath's build? He got a wonderful ability, locus of power that makes him synergy even better!


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0,87 x 9

ss ss

+

ss

2,01 x 3

ss ss

+

ss

15

ss ss

+

ss

15

ss ss

=

ss

44 flat pen

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8%

ss ss

x

ss

40%

ss locus of power ss

x

ss

35%

ss ss

=

ss

64 percentage pen

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This is what you can achieve on full build. Now how is that effective? Xerath's base damage is pretty high but as the game goes on his overall damage falls off very quickly due to a mix of magic resistance and more health. Magic penetration prevents the first reason to happen, leaving us with a percentage damage increase while Liandry's Torment's damage scales of maximum health.


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Garen with 300 MR: 75% less damagessssssss Garen in Xerath's eyes: 60% less damage



Garen with 250 MR: 71% less damagessssssss Garen in Xerath's eyes: 54% less damage



Garen with 200 MR: 66% less damagessssssss Garen in Xerath's eyes: 46% less damage



Garen with 150 MR: 60% less damagessssssss Garen in Xerath's eyes: 34% less damage



Garen with 122 MR: 55% less damagessssssss Garen in Xerath's eyes: 0% less damage


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What does this show? We deal true damage to everything below 122 magic resistance and 15% - 55% more damage, depending on their resistances. This does more damage than the additional AP you could buy instead, especially since Arcanopulse has a low and locus of power even no ratio.


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Guide Top

XI) Items

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Early game items

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Item Sequence











Health Potion
50

Stealth Ward
75

Boots of Speed
300

Doran's Ring
400
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Since Xerath is really mana hungry and gets hurt early in lane, you may buy Crystalline Flask + Health Potions + Sight Ward. This allows you to trade really well, poke much more and cover your aggression early.



Against skillshot dependent champions you should still go Boots of Speed + Health Potion's because the mobility is invaluable if you can dodge. This way you will need less potions anyways, gaining more gold early. Helps you out when getting ganked early as well.



If you feel that you are on the edge to loosing or are up against an burst champion buy 1-2 Doran's Rings. NEVER GET MORE! You will delay your build but that's worth it if you either win or not feed that LeBlanc. The better you last hit, the better they will solve your mana problems.



Haunting Guise and Chalice of Harmony are both good early game items as well. Haunting Guise should be bought if your early penetration is not enough to make your enemy hit the 0. It makes you a bit tankier as well but costs pretty much. Chalice of Harmony can prevent a lot of early burst damage and keep your mana up for constant poke but it has no offensive side besides that. Really useful if you don't get the blue buff. No gold wasted because we can build them into Liandry's Torment and Athene's Unholy Grail later.


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Core

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Item Sequence











Enchantment: Alacrity
450

Enchantment: Distortion
450

Rabadon's Deathcap
3800

Athene's Unholy Grail
2250

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
3200

Liandry's Torment
3200

Void Staff
2650
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Sorcerer's Shoes offer magic penetration early and cheap. Don't get other boots.



Enchantment: Alacrity suits Xerath best since locus of power increases by a percentage and he can only move delayed. Really helpful for chasing and kiting. However: If you run Teleport + Flash get Enchantment: Distortion instead for the epic cooldown reduction.



Rabadon's Deathcap offers the most AP in one item. Means we have to get it.



Athene's Unholy Grail will take care of our mana starve, reduce cooldowns and make us a bit tankier. Also builds out of Chalice of Harmony which can be really useful early. Don't get fooled though: You still need blue buff because more CDR = more mana blown!



Rylai's Crystal Scepter is mandatory because of the great CC it provides. Hitting someone with mage chains is a 100% stun now because it procs the full slow. Even if the rest of his spells procs the diminished effect, it is still AOE and we got low cooldowns to keep them CCed forever. Synergies great with Liandry's Torment and makes us more tanky as well!



Liandry's Torment kicks in late (because it scales with your opponents health) but very hard if combined with Rylai's Crystal Scepter and magic penetration. It will make you poke hurt really hard, adds magic penetration and makes you a bit more tanky. Haunting Guise is a really strong early item as well and can be transited later into this.



Void Staff deals with the higher values of magic resistance. If the enemy buys a lot get this after your Rabadon's Deathcap. Don't get it too early, it is a waste!


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Situational items

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Item Sequence











Zhonya's Hourglass
2900
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Athene's Unholy Grail may be substituted by Morellonomicon. You will loose mana regeneration and magic resistance but gain more cooldown reduction and AP for a lot gold less. But that's not the reason why it is here: It counters champions like Akali or Vladimir who rely on their healing effects. Burst them down, then apply the debuff to everything below 40% and watch them die.



While you should stand back in safety and poke them down, sometimes you cannot help getting caught by long dives with strong CC e.g. Paranoia. If that's the case, grab Zhonya's Hourglass. It provides loads of AP, gives a lot armor and can save your life really hard with the active. It counters champions with multitarget spells e.g. Requiem and Death Lotus.


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Guide Top

XII) C-C-Combo breaker!

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Farming

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ss

+

ss ss

/

ssmage chains
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If you would miss a minion kill due to bad timing use one of both to secure the gold. Don't overdo this, you will waste mana for no poke!

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ss ss

to 50%

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Save pushing, clears entire back wave. Clear the front the same way, once you got enough AP to clear the caster minions in one shot. Used if you want to push the lane before your opponent comes back to lane or keep him at his tower.

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Harassment

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Whenever you enemy tries to hit a minion, poke him! It's free harass since he will loose gold or health and most choose gold instead.

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ss

+

ss ss

/

ss mage chains ss

+

ss
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Don't cast your abilities alone! Always mix auto attacks in between to reach maximum harass.

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ss ss

to 50%

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Combine farming with poke! You may catch the enemy off guard if he expects you to farm minions . Always look for an opportunity to hit the enemy while you finish multiple minions.

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mage chains ss

+

ss ss

+

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Pretty dangerous combo because you could waste your CC and miss the Arcanopulse while you get close to the enemy. However, it deals decent damage and if you hit you get free damage on him. Perfect to use if there are a lot of low minions around.


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ss

+

ss locus of power ss

+

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Hide at the side of the lane, setup with locus of power and aim careful. He cannot dodge it, so don't include more than a half second to react!


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Killing

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locus of power ss

+

ss ss

+

ss mage chains

+

ss

+

ss ss
ss

+

ss

+

ss ss

+

ss ss

+

ss
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An entire damage combo requires you to be pretty close to the enemy. However, if you can perform it, it's an instant kill. Make sure to use Arcanopulse whenever it's up. There is no need to rush Arcane Barrage, you have 12 seconds before it wears off.


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Guide Top

XIII) Team Fights

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Let's talk about the most important stage of the game. Lane phase is over, you are farmed and want to do some action. But where to start?


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AD Carry

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>

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AP Carry

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>

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Offtanks

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>

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Support

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>

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Tank

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When to use what:

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  • Primary damage for their carries

  • Poke

  • Check brushes

s locus of power spaa
  • Need range to poke

  • More magic penetration needed

  • Only in safe areas usable!

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mage chains spa
  • CC for their carries

  • Kiting and damage

  • Nuke damage

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  • Secondary damage for carries

  • AOE damage for the entire team

  • Grants Vision

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Dragon

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First thing to do after leaving lane phase is Dragon. If your team is stronger or their jungler is not nearby, get a Vision Ward, clean the dragon pit and start it.

If the enemy team appears, move around and try to loose or give them Dragon aggro. Never fight with less members, wait for all of them.

If one of their carries looses position, engage on him. Make sure to drop out as soon as you take too much damage. Dragon is worth two kills, never more!

If both teams dance around Dragon, best choice is simply walking to the mid turret and take it down. If they stay they are in a terrible position afterwards and loose a tower. If they come you may have enough time to quickly take it while two of you hold them back.

If you are late and they do it ward the basin and try to snipe it with Arcanopulse.

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Turrets

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Always remember: The team that killed the most turrets will win the game! If you can choose between taking down turrets and kills, always decide to take the turret. Teamfights are only worth something if you gain an advantage afterwards. To get these opportunities, you have to get turrets down first.

Later you may even group as five and assassinate turrets while someone is tanking it.


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Baron Nashor

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Same as with Dragon but you need 2 sight wards extra to cover the opposite sides. If you can afford it buy an Oracle's Elixir to destroy the vision completely.

If your team gets caught NEVER FOCUS BARON! Just engage a normal team fight. Again Baron attacks whoever is nearest, so position correctly to give their team aggro and bait their jungler to solo it.

If their team is doing it and you cannot stop them, again push mid for a free inhibitor.


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Siege

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Xerath at his best: Spamm Arcanopulse into the crowd while you chill in the back. They will realize that they will loose the longer they stay and will engage on you. Now run for your life and kite around. As soon as they stop chasing, perform the kill combo on one of their carries or as much targets as possible.


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Guide Top

XIV) Ranked Play

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There's a few things to say about playing a ranked game:


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  • If you are in the champion selection screen look what role you take. Always check your runes and the summoner spells of your opponent before the game starts!


  • Remember to take risks only if you know where the enemy jungler is! Be even more wary if you don't have your Flash ready. Map attention is crucial to win your lane. Xerath's early poke is strong and the only reason to loose your lane is a counter pick (which you hopefully checked before) or an early gank that sets you behind. However: If he has shown himself or you got your sight ward up, be aggressive and win your lane!


  • Help your mates! If it is time to do dragon: Be there! Gank other lanes if possible. If the enemy uses your jungle to gank, ward bot river! It will keep you and them alive. Help your jungler if he has problems in his part of the jungle or while invading. Don't waste farm but always be present in the game. Your goal is to have more impact on the game than your opponent.


  • Stay positive! Seeing things negative and **** talk won't ever make you nor others play better. Just imagine you are playing with four, mindless super minions. Take the lead and distribute bread. But don't flame around. 99% of the league players can't handle criticism. At all.. So better stick with phrases around that or leave it completely.

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In short: Enable tryhard mode (checking runes and masteries, going to the toilet before even joining ranked que, not playing ranked when in ****ty mood or internet), be the nicest player on earth, play your best, do everything for your team. Now you should not have any problems playing ranked with Xerath!

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XV) Matchups

Under construction, continued next year :)


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XVI) Build's Stats and usage

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Poke

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Health:


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AP:


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Mana/5:

ss2754


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ss645


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ss46

spacespace

Armor:


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MR:


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CDR:

ss172


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ss70


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ss29%

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MS:


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MPen:


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ss[/color:

ss385 / 400


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ss44 / 40 %


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Main purpose: Assassinating carries, high damage to all targets, burst.
This build offers maximum magic penetration with tons of AP to nuke targets of all kinds. Still it is somewhat tanky. Use this if you have a strong front line. Wait for the right moment and nuke their damage or force them back. It provides also the strongest laning power, as we can grab a lot of small items early.

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XVII) Summary

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Congratulations! If you have read the guide till here you are on your best way to master Xerath and have a lot of fun and of course victories with this champion.



However, remember: Only with practice and time you will be victorious! No master has fallen from heaven yet and there probably will none. Take your time to match different enemies and try different builds. The more variation the better!



I hope you enjoyed the guide, I have put a lot of effort into this. The reason is that I want to help other people playing this awesome champion. So if you want to support this guide, please leave a +1 below to make sure it can help other just like it has helped you :) Also if you have questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them below!


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XVIII) Special thx to:

Jhoijhoi: For her guide making guide!



CodeStain: For his awesome skin idea!


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XIV) Changelog

31.12.2012 - Guide released!