Xerath Build Guide by CasterMaster

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author CasterMaster

Introducing Xerath to Competitive Gameplay ~ CasterMaster

CasterMaster Last updated on April 4, 2012
675,834 168
Build 1 (Cheat Sheet)

Champion Build: Xerath

Health 3035.46
Health Regen 14.54
Mana 1060
Mana Regen 24.8
Armor 167.8
Magic Resist 115
Dodge 0
Tenacity 0
Movement Speed 410
Gold Bonus 0
Attack Damage 106
Attack Speed 0.776
Crit Chance 0%S
Crit Damage 0%
Ability Power 692.39
Life Steal 0%
Spell Vamp 0
Armor Penetration 0
Magic Penetration 22.83
Cooldown Reduction 0%


Recommended Runes



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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
4/
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 9

Guide Top

Introduction

PLEASE READ THIS! MY NEW XERATH GUIDE IS MUCH (I GUESS) BETTER. READ THAT ONE INSTEAD! THANK YOU!!!!





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Greetings, fellow summoners. Welcome to my first ever official guide on Mobafire. Please feel free to criticize and tell me if there are any improvements to it. I will be basing this guide on the champion: Xerath. He is frequently and often a very underused champion, but despite being uncommon, he is still a very great solo mid caster that can sure be devastating when done right. I will show you not just how to play Xerath, but how to lane, position, build, and master him. Whether you are a complete beginner or an intermediate player or even a veteran Xerath player just finding some guides, stop here, because you have found one. Now sit back, relax, and let my opinions flow into your mind.



You should listen to this song while reading my guide =D
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(Credits to afrosmaximus for this video, song by Two Steps from Hell, song called "Heart of Courage")


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LOG

December, 23, 2012 / The Guide has its first official release on Mobafire
December, 24, 2012 / Toned down the overall color of the guide
spaaaaaaaaaaaaace/ LOG was added to the guide
spaaaaaaaaaaaaace/ Rod of Ages was added to "Situational Items"
spaaaaaaaaaaaaace/ Moved "Skill Combination" with the "Skill Sequence" section
December, 25, 2012 / Christmas giving was brought to this guide!
spaaaaaaaaaaaaace/ Added the "Hall of Fame" Section
spaaaaaaaaaaaaace/ ProtatoMonster video added, "Xerath Champion Spotlight" becomes "Xerath Videos"
spaaaaaaaaaaaaace/ The "Laning and Team Fights" section has been added to the guide
spaaaaaaaaaaaaace/ The "So Why Xerath?" section has been added to the guide
December, 26, 2012 / Added Old3r's games to Hall of Fame
January, 2, 2012 / Added the "Mana Control" section to guide
January, 15, 2012 / Updated the "Hall of Fame" section
January, 30, 2012 / Added the "List of My Guides" section
February, 12, 2012 / Added "Broken down options" For items
spaaaaaaaaaaaaace/ Improved Visuals
February, 28, 2012 / Fixed the "Hall of Fame" section


Guide Top

So Why Xerath?

Xerath is among any other caster right? So why play him? I have Brand and Anivia up in my arsenal of champions, so is it necessary to play Xerath? Here are some of the reasons you would want to play Xerath.

  • You need a solo mid champion: Ok, there are tons of those, what else?
  • You want a champion that can play it safe and coordinates extremely well with any other champion: Seriously, how many champs do you know that can coordinate with almost any other champion?
  • You want a champion that is strong in almost any team composition: Well, Xerath is quite powerful, and although he is EXTREMELY team reliant to be powerful, the better the team composition, the stronger Xerath is
  • You want a champion who has very long range: Xerath is probably the caster with the highest BASE range (with locus of power). Lux also has very high range, but not nearly as far as Xerath gets. His range gets to about the size of the screen, which is quite intimidating.
  • YOU WANT A REALLY COOL-LOOKING CHAMPION: I swear, this guy is a mix of Malzahar and Nocturne. They are already cool, combine them and you get Xerath. WHOA THIS GUY IS FRICKEN AMAZING! His animations are amazing, last hitting with him isn't hard at all. If you ask me, he's the ghost rider of shurima.

And that's why you would want to play Xerath.


Guide Top

Pros / Cons and Description

Let's talk about the goods and the bads of Xerath.


  • Extreme range; allows you to bombard enemies from a safe distance while your tanks stop your opponents from getting to you.
  • Fairly high damage output; you can easily destroy your opposing carries at safe distances.
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  • Single target stun; 1.5 seconds is enough to kill them, they will be scared out of their life if they got hit by mage chains
  • Strong throughout the game; Powerful early game allows harassment, fairly short cool-down on ultimate ( Arcane Barrage ) and passive allows dps champions and junglers to deal less damage on you the more damage you deal.

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ascended formlocus of powermage chains

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  • Skills require tons of aim; if you can hit them with Mage Chains but you are unable to stun them, it wouldn't matter. We can solve this problem easily with Rylai's Crystal Scepter to help aim your skills; no guarantees however
  • Can be relatively squishy; passive does not help in mid (unless against an AD champion) as Xerath also has no escape mechanism (we can use Flash if necessary)
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  • Can be relatively squishy; passive does not help in mid (unless against an AD champion) as Xerath also has no escape mechanism (we can use Flash if necessary)
  • Needs items to be affective; Xerath changes completely as your build continue to change, so depending on how you build him will affect the game greatly. CHOOSE WISELY!

Xerath is like among a lot of casters, but he is unique in the way that his range is absolutely AMAZING. If you have a decent amount of walls/tanks on your team (ex. Cho'Gath and Taric in the SAME team), you can stay in the back and launch your skills freely as the opposing team can't even reach you. For Xerath, there are two main keys: POSITIONING and ACCURACY . If you have both of these and a decent team against decent opponents, you'll have no problem.


Guide Top

Xerath Videos


Just Phreak's champion spotlight. It's fun to watch him pwn noobs, not so great for educational purposes however.

Here's the Top 5 Players Week 41, it has 2 Xerath games in it, so I'm sure you'll be quite happy to see it.


Guide Top

Before Game: Runes

Before the game starts, we want to have a good solid rune page for Xerath. Here are a couple of choices when it comes to runes.

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MARKS

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Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

I take magic penetration marks because nothing else is better when it comes to casters. Pretty straight forward, and marks don't give as great of stats as any other viable runes.

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SEALS

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Runes

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
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Greater Seal of Health Regeneration
9

These runes are probably the best choices for Xerath.

Greater Seal of Vitality: Helps increase your survivability throughout the game.
Greater Seal of Replenishment: Increases mana regen for more farming and harassment.
Greater Seal of Vigor: Helps you survive in lane against tough, harassing enemies.

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GLYPHS

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Runes

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Glyph of Ability Power
9

Here is where I get a partial amount of the AP. I chose two main priorities here.

Greater Glyph of Ability Power: Flat AP for early game extra damage. If possible, use the other one as it's much stronger.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: AP per level. You will continually get stronger as you level. These runes will already surpass flat ap glyphs at level 6, so take these as a priority.

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QUINTS

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Runes

Greater Quintessence of Health
3

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
3

I came up with a bit more variety here, though I usually tend to stick with the flat AP as it's very strong and gives me the early damage (helpful when jungler ganks if they do).

Greater Quintessence of Health: For early game health and survival against lane opponent and ganks. Loses it's usefulness as you progress later into the game.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: I find these runes magnificent, as it gives a huge bonus towards your level 1 AP and can really be intimidating to your opponenets.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: More movespeed, beneficial throughout the game, but you sacrifice damage for speed. Nontheless, still a viable choice.

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This is what I run on Xerath. Anything similar can also work. You could also be very creative and think about other types of combinations. You have an advantage if you have more then 4 rune pages, so try different runes and see their usefulness. This rune page is essentially for my casters.


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Before Game: Summoner Spells


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Flash
Your get-out-of-jail card. One of my favorite summoner spells of all time, I would take this on almost ANY champion except for some special circumstances. Anyways, Flash can be used to escape the clutches of enemies and to avoid death, to set yourself up at a safe (if not safer) location away from enemies and start skill spamming, or to chase enemies (hmm).I mean I probably don't need to go over this skill anyways. You should know how to use it, and if you don't, read the above. It's mostly common sense. Just don't throw yourself into a team fight with this skill. It's like a last resort move.

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Ignite
This spell isn't all that useful in the late game when you start using your maximum range capacity, You shouldn't be anywhere close to the opponent enough to use this skill, but it does have its significance. I get it to deal additional damage to opponents when they DO get close enough to you (you won't be able to stay away from your enemies forever you know) whilst gaining that extra +5 AP and AD (not a whole lot, but better then +1 from Mental Force right?) In the end, it's just a matter of opinion. I take this on pretty much all casters, and Xerath is no exception.

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Teleport
If you aren't taking Ignite and you love traveling across locations, you could also take this skill. It's very good for ganking the side lanes or finishing up enemies from a disastrous team fight. Getting this skill also encourages buying sight wards / Vision Wards. An excellent skill itself and also good against heavy-harass champions like LeBlanc.

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Cleanse
It's Quicksilver Sash as an item, but this spell also reduces the effects of the next incoming CC by a portion. If the enemy has tons of CC that prevents you from using your skills, you could take this skill (or just buy Quicksilver Sash). It's especially important on Xerath because you may get hit by a hard CC and just need to set-up in a better position.

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Exhaust
This skill is just devastating. It can really completely disable a single target. Since that's your role and your job, you just want to finish your enemy off. It's an alright spell though I don't think you should be the one to take it (not to mention you probably won't be in range to use it either). It's good for beginners who want to aim their skill shots.

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Ghost
If you hate Flash because you either don't like it or you've had enough with Wall Flashing, then you could also take this spell over Flash. Personally, Flash DOES take a higher skill level to perfect, but sometimes you just want to move really fast. Of course, always an option, and I'm not limiting you or anything =P.


Guide Top

Before Game: Masteries

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space TIER 1 ~ I decided to put 1 point to Summoner's Wrath as I am taking Ignite for my masteries. Upon using Ignite I will gain +5 ap, which is better then 4 points to Mental Force altogether. I put 3 points to Mental Force to advance to the next tier.
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TIER 2 ~ I take Sorcery for cool-down reduction and to advance to the next tier.
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TIER 3 ~ After tier 2 I take Arcane Knowledge and Havoc . I take them for slightly increased damage to enemies and to advance the tier.
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TIER 4 ~ I take Blast for even more damage output per LEVEL. Then I continue to climb onwards.
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TIER 5 and 6 ~ Now I take Archmage . Why? To pretend that Rabadon's Deathcap still gives 35% bonus AP. I finish with Executioner for massive increased damage to lower health targets as a finisher.

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TIER 1 ~ With Summoner's Insight I decrease the cool-down on Flash which makes escaping ganks and setting up good positioning easier. I chose not to take Expanded Mind as I don't really need the extra mana. I'd rather be NOT dead for a few seconds and come back. If you don't have enough mana you could always ask for blue buff or buy some mana potions. You can't buy anything to shorten death timer (just personal opinion. If you REALLY want the extra mana, then by all means take it, just don't die as much or at all). Then I take Improved Recall for those tough situations where you need to recall ASAP . It's more useful then anything else. If you want you could also skip Improved Recall and take Runic Affinity . I would do this ONLY IF I know my jungler will give me blue buff after the second spawn or so. Like I wouldn't take it if my jungler was Fiddlesticks or maybe Nunu (those that require mana to jungle).
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TIER 2 ~ I finish at this tier with Swiftness , adding bonus movespeed for overall gameplay. If you took Expanded Mind for tier 1, then instead of movespeed, you can go for Meditation for the mana regen. You get the spam more skills in lane and be more happy.
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Before Game: Skills Summary

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ascended form Ascended Form: Xerath feeds on arcane power, making him increasingly resilient to physical harm. He converts 15% of his Ability Power into Armor. This passive allows you to gain a slight advantage against those high-damaging dpsers. It DOES have it's usefulness, though you should usually be out of range for them to be able to hit you. Pretend it's like your last stand. ascended form

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Arcanopulse: Fires a long-range beam of energy, dealing magic damage to all targets hit.
Fires a long-range beam of energy, dealing 75/115/155/195/235 (+0.6) magic damage to all targets hit. This is where your main source of damage comes from. It's on an acceptable cooldown and after a brief delay, shoots a dam LAZER at a straight line. Good for farming minions and dealing powerful damage.

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Tips and Tricks:
It's easier to land Arcanopulse on an enemy when they're moving toward or away from you, rather than side to side. If you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter, landing these skills will be MUCH easier.
Don't stun with Arcanopulse if they're extremely close up to you. It's better to stun with Arcane Barrage as it's easier to hit opponents with circular moves when they're close up rather then long-lines.

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Locus of Power Locus of Power: Xerath immobilizes himself near a source of magical power, increasing the range of all spells and granting him bonus % Magic Penetration. When the effect ends, Xerath's Movement Speed is increased for 2 seconds.
Xerath immobilizes himself near a source of magical power, increasing the range of all his spells and granting him 10/15/20/25/30% Magic Penetration. Lasts 8 seconds or until toggled off.When the effect ends, Xerath's Movement Speed is increased by 35% for 2 seconds.
This is basically what makes you a mortar. If you have ever played Starcraft 2, you would know this is equivalent to Siege Mode, but that's not the point. THIS SKILL IS BOTH EXTREMELY POWERFUL AND DEADLY AT THE SAME TIME. When you use Locus of Power make sure that you are at a safe location and there aren't any nearby melee champions ready to destroy you.
locus of power

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Tips and Tricks:
While casting Locus of Power you can begin lining up your next spell. No need to wait for the animation to end, just press W and start up your combos.
While you are in Locus of Power, take notice of not only your range, but your surroundings. Who knows, maybe that Tryndamere will come from behind and strike you down. Don't stay in the form for too long, you can always reposition yourself as the cool-down on it matches Arcanopulse at rank 5.

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Mage Chains Mage Chains: Deals magic damage to an enemy and marks them with Unstable Magic. The next spell Xerath strikes this enemy with stuns them for 2 seconds.
Deals 70/120/170/220/270 (+0.7) magic damage to an enemy and marks them with Unstable Magic. Unstable Magic: The next spell Xerath strikes this enemy with stuns them for 1.5 seconds.
Hit anyone with this skill and whatever spell you hit them with next will stun them. Simple as that, but choosing which to stun your opponents DOES matter. If they are close range, stun with Arcane Barrage. If the are mid ~ far range, you can stun with either Arcanopulse Or Arcane Barrage depending on whatever you're more comfortable with.
mage chains

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Tips and Tricks:
If you rush Rylai's Crystal Scepter, then Mage Chains will get a 2 in 1 feature. Throw this at someone and they will be slowed for 35% for 1.5 seconds, giving you enough time to analyze movement and aim Arcanopulse for a very high chance of stunning them.
You may even want to save this spell to interrupt other champion's dangerous skills such as Katarina's Death Lotus or Nunu's Absolute Zero. CHOOSE WHO, WHEN, AND WHY!

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Arcane Barrage:
Calls down a blast of arcane energy, dealing magic damage to all enemies in an area. May be cast up to three times before going on cooldown.
Calls down a blast of arcane energy, dealing 125/200/275 (+0.6) magic damage to all enemies in an area. May be cast up to three times within 12 seconds before going on cooldown. At low levels, one of these Arcane Barrage's will deal less then Arcanopulse, so it'll be better to stun them with this skill instead. Later on in the game, you'll probably already have Rylai's Crystal Scepter, so this skill can slow a group of enemies. If you have a Leona, Amumu, or anyone with powerful AoE crowd control, they'll be your best friend to lead your skills.

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Tips and Tricks:
If you can, try saving at least one of your Arcane Barrage's for the finishing kill. You can spread out your skills as well for continuous slowing combined with Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Making sure all your skills hit is a very big deal on Xerath. It's best to hit all your skills rather then to just throw them all out randomly. Stick to a single target and you should be fine.


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Mana Control

Are you constantly running out of mana? Do you always spam your skills in lane trying to harass your lane opponent? Then read this section. It'll help you maintain a good balance between harassing and controlling your mana. It's so sad that people have no idea what mana controlling is, especially when I'm in a different lane, I go and look back at mid lane only to find Malzahar level 3 and out of mana (note he also had Doran's Ring, so it doesn't take a genius to find out that he constantly spammed all his skills). Now is the time I feel I need to reveal the secret of controlling your mana. There are 2 easy steps you need to follow in order to be successful in this chapter:

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Analyze
So exactly what is it you need to analyze? Simply you only need to keep in mind of 3 things: The cost of your skill you are using (in this case, Arcanopulse), your mana regeneration, and your maximum mana. You also want to take note on how much percentage of mana you lose when you cast a spell and how many seconds it takes to regain all of it back. This will make you extremely affective in lane and you know how much mana you'll lose upon using combinations of skills.

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Limit
Ever had a jungler gank for you and suddenly you realized you don't have enough mana to use your full combo? That is why this is EXTREMELY important. You want to set a boundary between when you can use skills and when to stop. This can be done by setting a limit to yourself. The limit is your choice, but I usually stick to having my mana above 60~70%. This way, I will be ready for when my jungler ganks or be able to prepare myself when the enemy jungler ganks me. I will know that I have enough mana to unleash a full killing combo, or enough mana to simply stun the enemy ganker / enemy champion if my jungler is ganking.


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In Game: Skill Sequence and Skill Combinations

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

I choose to max Locus of Power over Mage Chains just because I get to use it more often. I can quickly get in Locus of Power, quickly get out of it, and get back in if I need to. This is my opinion, but if you prefer to max Mage Chains first, then go ahead and do so. I would ONLY max Mage Chains over Locus of Power on these conditions:
  • The opposing team have a lot of close-mid range champions or with a lot of mobility (ex. Ahri and Talon and Vayne)
  • I'm up against an AP champion in mid lane with a lot of skill shots
  • I may not need to be in Locus of Power more then I need to be

The reasoning for this is, because a lot of AP champions have skill shots, and if you activate Locus of Power, it just means you become and easy target. Of course, you shouldn't be close to anyone when you activate Locus of Power, but flash-skills may catch you off guard, so be wary. If you feel like you won't be in Locus of Power very often, then max Mage Chains instead. I just max Locus of Power to get that cool-down lower so I can get in and out of it. Maxing Mage Chains first will deal more damage and reduce cool-downs. Again, it's just the matter of opinion and lane opponent. CHOOSE WISELY!

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Here are some possible skill combinations you can use on Xerath.

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For Maximum Damage:
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Locus of Power--> Arcanopulse--> Mage Chains--> Arcane Barrage--> Arcanopulse--> Arcane Barrage--> Arcane Barrage--> Arcanopulse

You don't need to be in Locus of Power at all for maximum damage. If you didn't have a chance to use it because it was on cool-down or you weren't in a good position, then you can use it before they get out of range (assuming they are running away).


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In Game: Items

Xerath is among the mage category when it comes to items. Anything you build on such as Annie. Brand, and Morgana would also be good for Xerath. I'm just going to explain every item I get and my reason for it.

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The standard mage set for high levels. Boots of Speed to dodge enemy skill shots and Health Potion's to give me more lane survivability.
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I usually don't start Doran's Ring anymore UNLESS they are champions with low harass, I have a strong jungler with strong ganks, I need to constantly spam skills and my damage output isn't high enough. Always an option for you if you want to use it.

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Another option for early game start. You can build this into an early Mejai's Soulstealer IF you are doing well or build faster into Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

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If you grabbed Boots of Speed as your first item, if you returned to base, you can pick up 2 Doran's Ring. I get it for the mana regen, extra health, and of course, the damage output.
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Another possible option, you could get this after or if you want, Blasting Wand.
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This will probably be one of your big buys. It's especially good against those early game nukers like LeBlanc or Annie. Just some examples.

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This is probably your MOST IMPORTANT ITEM. Rush this item and your life will be SO MUCH easier. Extra AP for damage output, and health to survive burst champions, + the slow that will make mage chains OP.
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It's the Infinity Edge for mages. I probably don't need to explain this item anyways, it's just SO GOOD RIGHT? . If you rushed this item, everyone (except magic resistant rushing tanks) will be killed easily, but then so will you. You have a lot of range for anyone to get to you anyways, so this is another option.
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I normally don't rush this item, but it's actually very powerful. I'd get this item against champions such as Katarina or Kassadin. Usually, the melee AP champions. What this item will do is tell the opponents that, "Hey, I have AP AND Magic Resis, and if you come close to me, you will lose 20 magic res. Worth it?". It's a strong option, both defensively and offensively.
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This is probably one of the best defensive item made for casters. It gives you +100 AP (dam that's second to Rabadon's Deathcap, imagine having both mid game), some armor for those AD champs (your passive will benefit a lot as well), and let's not forget the SUPER POWERFUL ACTIVE. This item is extremely powerful, and I would get this item in most of my games.
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Near the late game, when people start getting magic resistance against you, this is the item that you'll get. Giving you +40% magical penetration (which will become +50% magic penetration with Arcane Knowledge , and don't forget your marks and your Sorcerer's Shoes. A powerful item in the right hands.
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MY COMPLETE BUILD
Item Sequence











Rylai's Crystal Scepter
2900

Rabadon's Deathcap
3300

Zhonya's Hourglass
3260

Abyssal Scepter
2560

Void Staff
2295

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Banshee's Veil
If the opponents have a lot of CC and magic damage, you can get this item. It'll give you some extra mana, health, magic resistance, and that beast shield to block the next negative spell. This item will replace Abyssal Scepter in my build.

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Deathfire Grasp
The only time I ever get this item is if most of the opposing team gets Banshee's Veil. You can read more about this in the "Learning to Counter" section. This item just deals a lot of damage (the active), and you can use this (or another skill that is weaker) active to get rid of the Banshee's Veil active. The cool-down reduction, AP, and mana regen aren't that bad either, but Morello's Evil Tome will technically beat Deathfire Grasp in everything but the active.

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Guardian Angel
I only get this item if I'm, perhaps, the number one champion on the hit-list. It gives a good amount of both armor AND magic resistance, plus the angel that brings you to life once again. If you feel threatened or have thanatophobia (the fear of death), then you can buy this item. Hopefully, you won't need to as your team should be protecting you (had countless times when they ditched me to chase tanks -.-). With that put, you can also buy this item IF YOUR TEAM IS COMPLETELY INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE.

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Mejai's Soulstealer
If you can get around 3 kills before 10 minutes, your lane opponent is constantly dieing because you're too strong or your jungler is amazing, then you can get this item. It's possible to just snowball your way to victory (this won't work in high-level games. It just puts an X over your head meaning everyone will want you dead, thus losing your stacks). Just putting it out there, you can get it if you feel like you will do well through the rest of the game, or the game will be quite short and you can just finish it at ease.

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Quicksilver Sash
It's Cleanse as an item, enough said. Get this if you're constantly getting hit by powerful crowd controls (ex. if the opposing team have a Morgana and/or Amumu just trying to hit you with their CC). If it's not a lot of CC, you can just get Banshee's Veil, but just another option.

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Morello's Evil Tome
This item is a lot like Deathfire Grasp, except that all the stats it gives are much better, but it wouldn't give the active. This item is technically better on Xerath then Deathfire Grasp (I only get Deathfire Grasp over Morello's Evil Tome if more then half of their team gets Banshee's Veil), and 20% cool-down reduction is quite powerful. I'd sell this late game when I can go god mode for a different item, depending on the situation.

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Will of the Ancients
If you have more then half of your team that uses AP and nobody else gets this item, then it's open for you to take it. Carry it around you and spread it's aura to your allies. They'll be happy.

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Rod of Agess
I feel this item needs special mention. I used to use Rod of Ages on EVERY caster champion. The fact is, it wasn't actually made for that purpose. When I found out rushing rylai's crystal sceptper was much more effective (hell even Rabadon's Deathcap rushing is better), it just goes to show that it wasn't meant for a champion like Xerath. He already has enough mana, and if you don't, you could always buy mana potions or ask for blue buff. Ask yourself why this item is on the recommended list for Cho'Gath and Singed? The intention was that it was bought more for the AP tanks, not for casters. Although I can't stop you, if you TRULY love spamming skills and staying in your lane forever because of Catalyst the Protector, then you can take this item. DON'T SAY THAT I TOLD YOU.


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Damage(AP): , , , , , , , , ,

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Cool-down Reduction: , ,

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Health: , ,

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Armor: ,

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Magic Resistance: , , , ,

There are also some other options that COULD] be useful but I find not strong. Notice how little armor works well on Xerath but remember that his passive is always there for you. If you want to suggest an item to be on here then leave your suggestions in the comment section (or be hardcore and PM me =P)


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Sample Builds

You can add god-mode to any of these builds. They're all completely finished. If you get elixirs, get them in this order (from best to worst):

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That last elixir just makes you go god-mode and become fully bathed with white light. It's cool, do it for the lulz. Do note that these are SAMPLE builds. You can combine anything together depending on the enemy team and how well your own team is doing.

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MY FINISHED BUILD
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Item Sequence











Rylai's Crystal Scepter
2900

Rabadon's Deathcap
3300

Zhonya's Hourglass
3260

Abyssal Scepter
2560

Void Staff
2295

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MORE-COOL-DOWN-REDUCTION BUILD
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Item Sequence











Rylai's Crystal Scepter
2900

Rabadon's Deathcap
3300

Zhonya's Hourglass
3260

Void Staff
2295



Elixir of Brilliance
250

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GLASS CANNONING LIKE A BOSS
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Item Sequence











Rabadon's Deathcap
3300

Archangel's Staff
2700

Archangel's Staff
2700

Archangel's Staff
2700

Archangel's Staff
2700
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Seriously don't do the above, that's just suicide. I'd probably only ever do this if I had 3 tanks on my team with maximum CC (ex. this build with an Amumu, Alistar, and Leona). I'd still probably not do it anyways. It's for low-level gaming and (more or less) for the lulz :3.

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MORE SURVIVABILITY BUILD
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Item Sequence











Rylai's Crystal Scepter
2900

Rabadon's Deathcap
3300

Banshee's Veil
2750

Zhonya's Hourglass
3260

Guardian Angel
2750

More resistance here. If your team is dealing enough damage, you could go for a more tankier solution here. Remember these are just some examples of builds you can use. All possibly good items are in the broken down item choice section.


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Laning and Team Fights

Early Game:
Focus on last-hitting with your auto attacks. You don't want to OVERSPAM your skills. Use Arcanopulse to both farm creep AND harass, not for just one. Make the most of your mana. Keep your mana above 60%, in case your jungler decides to gank. If they do and you run out of mana, that wouldn't be good would it? Instead, having your mana above 60% will ensure you have enough mana for when your jungler gives a gank. Try not to overextend too much, you yourself might get ganked as well. It's mainly simple rules, don't die, and try not to get harassed or zoned out of position. You should also stay behind your minions because unlike Brand, your skills can't be blocked by creeps. Staying behind them means that you won't be able to get harassed while you can farm up and fire Arcanopulse's at will.

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Mid Game:
Around level 6~11 (or when you go B), you should buy 1 or 2 Sight Wards so that you can monitor the top and bottom brush. This will give your team a lot more clear views of the location, and also you will know when their jungler will gank you. Otherwise, you can follow the same steps as the early game. If you notice your opponent playing safely, you can attempt to harass them and deal a large amount of damage. You want them to be scared of you, not think you're some harmless underused champion >.>

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Late Game:
So you want to try to outfarm your lane opponent, check how many more kills/CS you have then them. If you are behind, then they're out-laning you, and you want your jungler to gank for you. Request a gank and hopefully you will get a kill or assist. Remember that Arcane Barrage isn't on an extremely long cool down, so DON'T HESITATE TO USE IT . Late game is all about warding, you want to control Baron and Dragon, and you want to have a good lane sustain. If your turret has already been destroyed, be wary for ganks from other lanes, so read chat and see if they are M.I.A. You should also be watching the map, constantly aware of who can be seen on the field of justice. "Oh, I noticed that their entire team isn't on the minimap, I think they could be at dragon!" This is an example of what you should be doing (hopefully the jungler and the support are getting wards, but you should be as well!)

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There are a few things that you should be doing in a team fight.
  • You should be taking out their carries: All of your skills have powerful AoE, so try hitting multiple champions, but of course, focus on the main carries. Maybe hit all of them if they're really clumped up together. It'll make easy work for you.
  • You should either be protected by your tanks or be in the far back away from the center of attention: The center of attention is obviously where the team fight is taking place. If you can hide in a bush and launch your skills from there, it may also be very beneficial as they'll have a hard time getting to you, and once they do, you can easily juke them or run to your team. They'll be doing what they're supposed to (hopefully).
  • Hopefully, you shouldn't be dieing: Keep a close eye on your position, and constantly analyze their team to see who is missing. For example if Talon was missing from the team fight, he may have went around just to kill you. You are an easy target once they can get to you, so if possible, DON'T LET THEM GET TO YOU.


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Important Duties

Some key things you should keep in mind while playing Xerath. Here are some of them:

  • POSITIONING: You need to have a very good positioning in order to be successful. You should be out of enemy range but you should be in range to hit them. If you have strong CCers on your team, they will be your best friend. Stick behind them, and watch out for flanks. You don't want them going around just to get to you.
  • CARRY: Although you have massive range, you are still a carry, and people will attempt to destroy you. Your team should help protect you, and if they don't, then you probably have a bad team. You are a carry, and the support should be helping you out as well. They do their roles, you do yours.
  • ACCURACY:By the time you get Rylai's Crystal Scepter, you shouldn't be missing unless they flash or use an escape skill (ex. Arcane Shift or Riftwalk). However, you want to make sure you're hitting the carries with your spells. Make sure you know who you are aiming for before you cast your spells.


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Conclusion and Summary

I would like to say although this guide took me roughly a week to finish, it's finally done and you guys are here to enjoy it! I just want to say that Xerath is just like any other caster, but with probably one of the highest base range with Locus of Power. Although he lacks mobility, rather unstable, and damage may not be as high as you wanted, he has extreme poking power, fairly short cool-down on his ultimate, his skills cannot be blocked by minions or champions, and is a fun caster to play from time to time. I hope this guide will encourage you to play him more often (or buy him if you don't have him) as he's one of my favorite AP carries. Remember: PLAY RIGHT, AND DO IT RIGHT. Good luck summoners, and see you in the field of justice!

Special thanks to:
jhoijhoi, for your great "Making a Guide" Guide that helped me get this thing completed =D
Moonedge, for support and encouragement
Searzocom, for support and inviting me to join the Mobafire community
Otherwise, this whole build was written by me, myself and I =)


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Hall of Fame

Send me some of your awesome Xerath games and they'll appear here!

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My Games

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Old3r's Games(note he isn't even level 30 yet =O)

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Tag_Dog's Games

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TheBlackFire7's Games

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Xipher's Games

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