Xerath Build Guide by fffreaks
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.
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.
I archived my old guide and re-post this new one with TONS of remakes.
NOTEI haven't entered that much amount of Ranked games so I am not writing this for experienced player to broaden their already so un-ousmart-able brains, but to everybody (including Ranked players) to gain an indicated amount (maybe huge, maybe just a tad bit) of advices and information about Xerath.
NOTE NUMBER 2Like any other guide writers, I will feel extremely grateful if you show me your care to this guide. 'Care' doesn't mean upvotes at all, just your comments of how good/bad/hybird this guide is. Thank you.
The very, very, very first look.
I always do things from the very top. And, the very top of a champion is Riot's looks at it. So, let's have a quick view of our hero
From the above information, you can see that Xerath is a RANGED MAGE with extremely low Health and pitiful attacks. So the goal of Xerath is to damage people severely with his SPELLS, not his ATTACKS.
MY COMMENTS ON XERATH
Well, the above parts was RIOT'S comment on . And though they were basis, they weren't adequate. So I'm adding mine. Talking about , I would always list these things:
- Strong burst
- Immense range
- Extremely weak when close-up-ed/ ambushed.
Yep, so those are what you need when you read this guide: understand what is Xerath
Xerath's Pros and Cons
+ Good early, mid and late game due to his long range
+ Painful harassment right at level 1
+ Doesn't require Recalling that much
+ Shines in teamfights greatly when fed
+ Eliminate carries before they know what just happened
+ Short cooldown on all of his skills, giving a nice balanced amount of burst and sustained damage kit.
- Gets down to really low health if you cant balance your aggressiveness
- Pushes lanes a lot if you don't know what you are doing
- Dies when gap-closed
- Not that strong if he is not fed
- Very vulnerable to assassins
- Keen enemies can outsmart you if they know how to dodge skillshots and you don't know how to land them correctly
The Arcane Blaster's Kit
ascended formAscended Form
Transfers 15% of your Ability Power into Armor
Comparing this to the friendly Galio's Runic Skin, you might say OMGWTF what? 15%? Isn't it just non-sense? Galio has a 50% ratio lo. But here's the answer: If this passive is anyhow buffed by more than a 5% increment, it is grossly OP. In an average game, where doesn't kill that much and can have happy farming, he has about 300 Ability power, which is converted into 45 Armor. A neat Chain Vest? Why not?
Tik, tik, boom. Fires a long-ranged beam of cute purple things after a short channel (very short, yet noticeable)
Okay, so basically this is what people call 's BREAD and BUTTER skill. It has a natural long range of 900, with simply outranges MOST OF THIS WORLD'S NUKE. And the really exciting about this is that it hit ALL TARGETS in its HUGE RANGE. This key point makes it super easy for Xerath to harass while last-hitting, even easier than the so-called lane beasts like Ezreal or Lux, blah blah blah.
locus of powerLocus of Power
After a short (not brief) channel, Xerath's movement is blocked. However, his spells have massively increased Range as well as % Magic Penetration. After deactivating this or when it runs out of time, the Cooldown starts and Xerath gains bonus Movement Speed
Without this skill, Xerath is not anyhow called an Artillery. Although it blocks you in one spot, the range increment is supremely important. Though the % Magic Penetration isn't nice, at all (if people want to counter Xerath alone, they would just buy solid HP), the range and movement speed is critically needed. This helps you lots and lots in lanes, but mostly in teamfights.
mage chainsMage Chains
Fires a bunch of mystical white things to the target. The thingy takes a while to fly to the target though. After it has reached the target, it deals damage and summons Purple Bubbles above the target's head. If Xerath deals damage to that target with his spells, the Bubbles explode, stunning the target in its cunning beauty.
This is Xerath's only CC, yet a REALLY strong one. However, hitting smart opponents with your spells can sometimes be really tricky, which leads to a waste bunch of mana and beautiful bubbles. And since we're maxing it last, it will not deal that much damage unless you are fed or well-leveled.
After a short delay, Xerath calls down an extremely pure blast of White Spikes, dealing damage to enemies in a small area. Due to the fact that Xerath is extremely greedy, he tries to cast it two more times after finally stops.
This is what makes you a beast in teamfights. Though each blast separated is considered 'weak', 'waste', combining all 3 blasts make this one of the gay-est nuke in teamfights. Consequently, dodging even 1 of these harshly decreases your chance to kill, or even stun the target(s)
SKILL BUILD JUSTIFICATION
The main reason why this small extra part is created - many people's question of considering maxing mage chains first or locus of power first.
The reason why I choose to max locus of power other than mage chains is because of the Cooldown of locus of power and the Stun duration of mage chains. During the very first levels, Xerath's goal is to have happy farming while torturing the enemy's mid champion. As a result, harassing with Arcanopulse is over enough.
The only reason why mage chains is taken at level 2 is for situational ganks or escapes. With locus of power, your poking potential is incredible, just incredible. While maxing mage chains first, you will burst down both your enemies' Health and your Mana faster, resulting in an open lane, really interesting for open ganks from that Shyvana or Amumu.
Furthermore, since the Stun from mage chains and also the Cooldown doesn't get improved, I take locus of power over mage chains
Other things around your Kit
All of Xerath's spells have some mechanical things to talk about:
Arcanopulse has a brief delay as well as a warning sign for enemies about its path. You have to pay attention to this, or else you will be predictable, leading to a waste of Mana. The "sign" - the hitbox of this skill is somewhat smaller than it actually is, so you can also damage the enemies if they has gotten out of the "sign" a little bit. Lastly, this skill has a hidden travel time, so it doesn't damage anything instantly. Yes, that means a cocky experienced Healer can save their *** from a Purple Death.
locus of powerLocus of Power has a delay before Xerath is rooted. Why is this delay created? Riot doesn't want an OP Caster to have such a neat escape mechanism. Press W, press W, run like the wind. Yes, this does mean you cannot escape that neatly just by using the Speed Buff. However, this delay time also brings some magic:
While Xerath is busying rooting himself, you can set all the other spells ready. This synergizes extremely well with a Dead Combo of Xerath, or a quick Stun by using locus of powermage chains. Because when the enemies see you start rooting, they run. However, they only run FURTHER than mage chains's 1000 range AFTER you has rooten. And you has set a mage chains on them before, Xerath will STILL cast it even when they have gotten out of range. And usually, they won't make the 1300 range of Arcanopulse, so the bubbles usually will explode.
mage chainsMage Chains as I said in the upper part, this skill usually hits and gets detonated when Xerath uses locus of power. The only thing I can tell you about this is that unlike LeBlanc's sigil of silence Mimic Distortion combo, you don't have to wait for mage chains to hit the target and then launch Arcanopulse, because the speed of these White Things are pretty damn fast, and Arcanopulse damage comes in quickly also, you will never see the case where you mage chains and Arcanopulse right after that but the enemy still have Purple Bubbles on them.
Arcane Barrage okay, this is extremely important: Arcane Barrage ALWAYS share the same range with Arcanopulse, which means if you have succeeded in STUNNING somebody with mage chains or even locus of powermage chains, you CAN unleash these blasts to kill them. However, the blasts have a CASTING ANIMATION. So the thing I am trying to tell you here is that no matter how fast you press your buttons, the third blast isn't guaranteed. The Stun duration will wear off and the enemies can Flash Eye Of The Storm Feint Zhonya's Hourglass Black Shield while running happily away from you, and you are helpless because you are too far from them.
First of all, combo-ing your spells cost a lot of mana, so you have to think it neatly before you do so.
Laning Phase is a really simple chrono-ball. You should never do anything but using to harass. Also remember to turn on locus of power for a guaranteed snipe. Again, mage chains isn't needed here. However, when your Jungler or their Jungler comes to gank you, you need that Stun for a kill or an escape, don't regret using it.
Lane-Changing Ganks when your allies request help or your lane is over-pushed, you can choose to travel to other lanes and have a neat surprised gank. In these ganks, if you have the surprise advantage i.e. BRUSHES, use locus of powermage chains to take them down. You can also activate mage chains with if you find it easier.
Teamfights are a combination of those twos. You have to use locus of repeatedly when the two teams are wandering in front of each other to whittle them down first, like how Gragas's Barrel Roll or Lux's Lucent Singularity does it. When the fight explodes, unleash your full combo of locus ofmage chains
Summoner's Spells' Justification
TELEPORT are my choices.
These are quite self-explanatory to me. Flash gives you a glitch of escape over walls, which will save your life. Teleport, especially into brush wards of the side lanes gives INCREDIBLE ganking results. In late games, it helps you a lot with your mobility.
VIABLE, THOUGH I DON'T RECOMMEND
aids you a lot with your damage yes, but it's RANGE is what makes you a sucker with this. Even in early game, you will not have time to deactivate locus of power, run to them, set Ignite, run back.
is quite redundant when you have the Speed Buff from locus of power as well as your Flash. Further more, a combination of Ghost and Flash can be quite sometimes troublesome on Xerath when there's a bunch of minions at your bottom turret and you are helpless about it.
you are not that hungry in mana. Morello's Evil Tome, Doran's Ring, Meditation , Expanded Mind gives you enough Mana Regeneration for this.
The other Spells won't be needed on Xerath in any case. However, I really am considering and need your help with deciding about
because a 78 Ability Power increment equals to a Needlessly Large Rod at late game, which is quite neat to me. Please leave your reviews of this in your comments if you have time. Thank you.
I go for the really typical new 21-0-9 Masteries, heavily focusing on Offense, while taking neat Utilities.
Mental Force : 4 Ability Power right at the start of the game. Why shouldn't we?
Sorcery : 4% Cooldown Reduction. This is good for most magi.
Arcane Knowledge : *sadface* this got a 5% decrement. Harsh. However, it still works for us.
Havoc : judging from the icon of this Mastery, people claim that this affects only Physical Damage (muscle dumbasses cannot cast spells duh). But well, this does affect your spells too. And though the increment is hardly noticeable, we need it for these two babies:
Blast : more Ability Power. Clap clap.
Archmage : the increment alongside with the rush-ed rabaddon's deathcap makes this a must.
Executioner : the last yet needed damage increment for that last hit kill. Since you are killing the enemies from an extremely long range, they can be killed or escape with 1 health left.
The item path I take is pretty easy to understand: Flat Ability Power and some Defenses. There are variations of the items, which I will mention in the Gameplay part down there, because those items are situational.
Doran's Ring this item gives Xerath most of the things he need, giving him immense harassment at early game. However, buying this means you have to take good care of your Health bar, since you will not buy any Health Potions. With the Mana Regeneration, you should be able to stay in the lane long enough for some following items:
Boots of Speed is required on any champions, and so is Xerath. However, you can still delay this item for this if you can handle the lane that well.
Blasting Wand will be your first Ability Power item. Self explanatory.
Health Potions should be bought usually when you are pre-10, because they help a lot in sustaining
Fiendish Codex is your next stop after your Blasting Wand. The reason I take this after Blasting Wand is because of the very high recipe price. And Xerath doesn't need that much Cooldown Reduction early game.
Morello's Evil Tome will wipe out your Blasting Wand and Fiendish Codex. This gives you a large amount of Ability Power, Mana Regeneration and Cooldown Reduction. Too sweet to be skipped.
After this state of the game, you can burst down pretty hard. However, this is critical to notice:
Needlessly Large Rod SAVING YOUR MONEY for this leaves you VERY, VERY, VERY vulnerable during this time. The other casters who buy a Blasting Wand first will penetrate you. So this is the state where Xerath is extremely weak. Because with 1500 gold you have nothing. But with 1600 gold you have everything. So, make a careful consideration and decide to buy this first or another Blasting Wand first.
Rabadon's Deathcap self-explanatory. A must for all casters. The reason why I don't rush this first is partly mention above:
- Rushing this = vulnerable from 0-1600 gold
- Not enough Mana Regeneration
After getting your Rabadon's Deathcap, you have grown a lot stronger. The following items are typical Ability Power items that will help you. From now on, there is no such thing called "core" anymore, you can freely choose.
|Cooldown Reduction, capping it alongside the Morello's Evil Tome. Since I usually have to pass my Blue Buff to other mana hungry casters i.e. Cassiopeia or Anivia, I take this.||SPACE||SPACE|
Warwick's Infinite Duress or Malzahar's Nether Grasp.
Those two items require clicking their Active ability to save your ***. You have to always remember it as well as bind the item with a key (I use A and S). Forgetting the actives and you just wasted your cash on a non-sense occasion.
|SPACE||Ability Power item after your Morello's Evil Tome and Rabadon's Deathcap. Though the slow is unnoticeable with your Arcanopulse and Arcane Barrage, it does help you a lot if you landed mage chains and want a neat Bubble Break. It also grants you flat Health, which is never bad. Magic Resistance heavy, or if you simply like this, Void Staff is never a bad choice. However, you should announce to all your team that you are going to build towards this, because a team with an Abyssal Scepter and a Void Staff usually don't work out that well.||SPACE||Morello's Evil Tome with this. However, getting this makes you quite spamming-reliant, which can lead to dangerous cases sometimes. If you get this, I strongly recommend you to take Ionian Boots of Lucidity instead of Sorcerer's Shoes|
|Xerath has NO escape mechanism except Flash, you should simply stay AWAY from these items.||SPACE||SPACE||
- You mad because dumb players ignored you.
- Good players mad because they have to switch targets to protect you
Yes, I know. You are an Ability Power Carry. But that doesn't mean you don't do any wardings. You have to ward in order to prevent ganks. Guides of warding are full out there, so basically you can visit any of those for more information. My advice is to always have 150 gold left for two sight wards whenever you Recall. Plant them in the near-Dragon and near-Baron brushes. Though planting there isn't as effective as planting in the mid brushes, it helps you AND your teammates detect the ganks much earlier.
How we rock the game early in the morning.
So, you have just locked in Xerath. The loadscreen is running. Don't take a bath or grab some ramen. Do these steps first:
- Guess who is going mid with you?
- Do they have a jungler?
- Do they have any Clairvoyance?
- Do they have any assassins?
This is urgent: if they DO have a Clairvoyance, DO NOT DO ANYTHING until the eyeball at your base disappeared. Letting the enemy team know even your STARTING ITEMS will devastate you.
Okay, you now have to guess who is taking mid with you. Look at there Summoner's Spells to decide which items you should buy. i.e:
- The only one who can mid in their team is Corki, he took Ghost Flash. This is a superb chance for your immense harass. You should start with a Doran's Ring or Meki Pendant. Your goal when go with AD Carries: Harass, make them cry with low CS, laugh with your high CS
- They have a cocky assassin, and that one can mid i.e. Ahri or Akali. In this case, you should ask your bruiser i.e. Irelia or Urgot or something more tanky than you like Vladimir to hold that Dead Lane. You will not survive whatever the items you buy. Your goal when go with assassins at mid: Change the lane or quit the game
- They send their bruiser to mid. This guy is slow and sloppy, with some dead harassment. For example it might be very gay like Irelia, Rumble and so on. Be aggressive enough to stop their CS while improving yours. Your goal with slow and sloppy bruisers at mid: Outfarm them. Usually, you cannot harass them that much, but with your Arcanopulse always ready, you can nearly always outfarm them.
- The most formal and usual case: they send their caster to mid. You have to do some more judging. Is there caster more of farm reliant i.e. Veigar or more of skillshot harassing i.e. Cassiopeia Anivia Brand. If it's the first case then start with a Doran's Ring. If it's the second one then start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. You won't have time to spare all your mana with them.
After choosing your Start item, head to your desired lane. If you are taking Mid:
- Never ever ever ever come out of your lane too early, except when Caitlyn is taking mid. In that case, head straight to her turret in order to prevent her from Yordle Snap Trap all of your paths.
- Balance the lane's minion wave. If the enemy is deliberatingly using skills or auto attacks to push the lanes, you have to unleash your Arcanopulse to balance it. Farming under the turret isn't that peaceful for Xerath.
- Don't miss any creep scores. Make your opponents miss it. When a minion's health bar is low, send a Q right in front of that minion. If they took the last hit, they lost a chunk of health. If not, they lost a CS.
- Stay after the minions if they have any 1-skill-shot champions i.e. Ezreal Nidalee Caitlyn
- Let your lane get pushed if the enemy team has a Jungler (yes this IS opposite from what I said in the upper part). Just don't let the minion waves reach your turret. Do not overextend unless your supporter is smart enough for some sight ward or Clairvoyance to protect you from ganks.
- If you are the one who have to recall , you either will have to unleash all your spells to push the lane as high as possible OR ask for your jungler's help with holding the lane.
- If the enemy is recall -ing, you can choose to go and help the other lanes or ask your jungler/solo the Blue buff.
If you aint taking Mid:
- Do not enter the brushes too early. You might risk your life.
- If your lane partner is not as item-dependent as you, kindly ask him to lend you CS while you farm and harass.
- If your lane partner IS VERY ITEM-DEPENDENT. i.e. Master Yi Gangplank so on, you have to stop most of your CS and start harassing the enemy. If this situation gets longer and longer, and buy yourself a philosopher's stone or Chalice of Harmony to make up for your Mana spamming.
Let's rock it till the Mid-day.
It is very hard to tell you how it can be at mid game. You can see it for yourself that no mid game is like the other ones. So I can only give you some tips:
- Buy 2 sight wards and protect yourself as I said above. This allows your Karma or Janna to plant wards at more aggressive and sensitive positions i.e. Relic buffs, jungle paths.
- Control the Blue buff. If your Supporter is doing well, you will be able to have Blue buffs nearly 24/7
- Balance your farming and ganking. Farming too much can lead to devastate results (if your team isn't ganking).
- Never ever ever ever gap-close anyone at the start. You are supremely weak in this state. Always stay at the back and snipe them.
- NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER CHASE a fleeing enemy after your full combo of locus of powermage chains. A second of chasing in this state is a second of death. Your Arcane Barrage has a relatively short cooldown, so there's no need to regret.
- If someone from other lanes suddenly comes to gank you, don't blame your teammates for not reporting. Creating arguments between team members is the worst thing a LoL-er can do, especially when you are playing a team-dependent champion like Xerath. Always talk soft and try to stop other arguments.
- Always call for your Supporter's Clairvoyance and sight ward to check their Assassin's location. You will never know when you get ambushed right after your Quadrakill.
Keep on Pushing till the game ends.
Okay, so late game has come. The game is ending. Teamfights are the goal of winning. Here's a list of things to do:
-Witter down their team with your locus of power
-Stay back, keep in position every second.
-Ask for your team's cover.
-Check their Assassin's location.
-Stun the squishiest one that you can. Or stun a channeling ultimate. ( Absolute Zero and Death Lotus immediately comes to mind)
-Throw all your 3 Arcane Barrage blasts into their AD and AP carries (support also if you can). Ignore the tanks/tankier ones.
-Spam the rest of what you've got.
If you are getting focused. Or you know that someone from their team is trying to focus you, save your mage chains Arcane Barrage for them. Remember: after unleashing all your spells, wittering their carries to 15% Health, you can die.
Some other important things:
- Make good use of your Teleport. It gives you extra strength in defending your turret or split pushing in some rare cases.
- At this time of the game, the Supporter cannot hold all the wardings responsibility. You have to encourage, threaten or whatever, all your teammates to buy several sight wards and Vision Wards each, no exception.
- Always Tab every 5 seconds to watch the enemies' Death Timer. Command all your team to fall back if you know they're going to respawn. Being greedy is really bad. 70% of the we-are-winning-but-we-lost-suddenly is due to an Ace at the enemies' base where you all focus the turrets and the enemies are focusing you.
- DON'T FORGET YOUR Elixir of Brilliance. THEY GREATLY HELP DUH.
- Say GGWP
Let's hang out together, Pound.
Since Xerath is really strong in teamfights, most of the initiators are his best friends. But these are the very best ones:
The Clockwork Lady
Her Command: Shockwave crumbles all of the enemies into a bunch of messy things. After that, three massive white things fall from their heads. What can be greater? Oh! I know! An extra Command: Dissonance to SLOW them so that they CANNOT run from your blasts!
The Monolith's Shard
His Unstoppable Force will make landing all your 3 Arcane Barrage much, much easier. Furthermore, his Seismic Shard can buy you enough time to prevent that last Mimic or Chum the Waters
Pretty much the same as Malphite. His Pulverize will aid your ultimate. However, be careful. He might accidentally Headbutt a hungry Tryndamere into you.
The Dark Child
Annie makes the other team sad for sticking. Her Summon: Tibbers alongside with Pyromania and your Arcane Barrage is a miserable thing for even the tankiest line-ups.
The Sentinel's Sorrow
Apart from the cool fact that his Idol of Durand holds the enemy team together, he can also save your *** with his Resolute Smite and Bulwark. The Taunt is long enough for you to choose your targets.
Stay away from me, Freaks.
Isolating himself from afar in teamfights makes Xerath extra vulnerable to sneaky *****es:
The Fist of Shadow
Her burst is Magic based so basically your ascended form won't help that much here. Her Shadow Dance tears through your team, bringing you right next to her. In many occasions, your Supporter's Oracle's Elixir will be too far from you, so you get kited to death with her Twilight Shroud. If the enemy team has Akali, you should consider buying yourself an Oracle's Elixir, Banshee's Veil and try to stay a little closer with your team.
The 9-Tails Fox
Pretty much the same as Akali, but you don't have to worry about her that much since if she uses all her 3 Spirit Rush to get to you, she is a wide open target. Plus, her Charm is easy to dodge and she is very fragile also.
The sad fact that you will die mostly to LeBlanc in teamfights usually is true. Her burst is too darn strong and hard to be evaded. Furthermore, unlike Akali or Ahri, LeBlanc can die happily after bringing you down with her, so she's a time bomb. If you are skilled, activating your Zhonya's Hourglass right after she has casted her Mimic-ed version of sigil of silence will nullify her damage. Then you can take her out easily.
Though she is considered trash, she still stands a perfect assassin to gank you. However, due to the fact that she is EXTREMELY fragile, you can take her out with your full combo before she kills you. The same statement is for Twitch and Shaco
The Fallen Angel
If she didn't have her Black Shield, I won't list her here. Experienced Morgana will shield her carry, rendering them un-CC-able. Which leads to a fail combo of Xerath and an ace usually.
It only takes a SPARK of my magic to kill you.
Free kills for Xerath are mostly unwary squishy targets that have to come close enough to deal damage.
The Wuju Master
The only hard point that most people have while killing him is that they miss their skills when he Alpha Strike. So wait until he has used it, then unleash your combo in his face.
The Sheriff of Pitlover
Still a squishy target. However, she can 90 Caliber Net away from you. If she isn't away from your Arcanopulse range, kill her. But if she is, you can choose to switch to other targets or move some steps forward to finish her off.
The Serpent's Embrace
Usually, Cassiopeias play aggressively in teamfights, landing her Petrifying Gaze to your whole team. Take this to your advantage. Whenever she overextends, unleash your combo to finish her off. This statement is true to some other magi like Brand or Ryze
The Heart of the Tempest
His Slicing Maelstrom will never hit you. Wait until he gets cocky with his Lightning Rush to lend him a mage chains and several Arcane Barrage. The same case applies to Fiddlesticks and Karthus, unless he is sent to Crowstorm you only.
It is extremely vital that you smart cast all of Xerath's spell. Because the faster your Arcanopulse and Arcane Barrage are launched, the higher chance you have of killing your target(s). Holding Shift while pressing another key will not make it fast enough. Practice Smart Cast on Xerath bears a really great difference.
Another thing that most people don't notice is that controlling Xerath's RANGE is a sucker thing. If you can master it, you have mastered Xerath. If you play Xerath on a PC say, having 1024 x 768 resolution, then you play him on a PC that has a different resolution, the way your monitor expresses his range will confuse your brains. Thus, decreasing your effectiveness. It is advisable that you play Xerath with a fixed resolution.
I really don't know how to thank these people for helping me complete my very first guide:
JhoiJhoi - you guided me through my whole guide with your excellent guide-guide
Plentakill - I was in love with your Till the World Ends parody featuring Leona."Keep on pushing till the game ends"
And, all of you :) all the wonderful players who have given me great comments of my guide.