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Xerath Build Guide by STeeDofDooM

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League of Legends Build Guide Author STeeDofDooM

[S4] Calling All Ascended [REWORK]

STeeDofDooM Last updated on January 24, 2015
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Welcome!

I am STeeDofDooM, aka "Gadsden", and welcome to my Xerath guide! Maybe you're here to learn Xerath from scratch; or, maybe you're here to refine your pro skills. Either way, I offer my insight on how to achieve victory as the Magus Ascended!

Take a seat, open your mind, and soak up the knowledge-bomb I'm dropping... "Stay awhile, and listen."


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Recent Patch Updates

Pertinent Item Changes

Totems
  • Riot Post: "A lot of players were relying on the early Warding Totem to protect standard invade paths, which ended up preventing meaningful aggression. We like that invading can be a team strategy, so we're hoping this helps out. Plus, lowering the swap cooldown for trinkets should allow for more flexibility."
  • START Cooldown (for ALL Trinkets) changed to 120 seconds (up from 90 seconds)
  • SWAP Cooldown (for ALL Trinkets) changed to 120 seconds (down from 180 seconds)

Rabadon's Deathcap
  • Tooltip now displays the amount of Ability Power gained from its UNIQUE Passive.



Map Changes

Summoner's Rift
  • Outer turrets no longer gain bonus armor and magic resist for the first eight minutes of the game.
  • Top and middle lane outer turrets now have 20 damage reduction from champion basic attacks.



Spell Changes

Teleport
  • Cancelling a Teleport in progress reduces the Cooldown of Teleport to 200 seconds (up from 150 seconds)




As of Patch 4.2 Xerath REWORK!

  • Xerath has undergone a full revamp of his abilities. Please go to the ABILITIES section for details.
  • Base Mana is now 238(+47 per level), changed from 250(+45 per level) originally.
  • Base Mana Regen is now 6 per 5 seconds(+.065 per level), changed from 7 per 5 seconds(+.06 per level) originally.
  • Attack Range is now 525, reduced from 550 originally.


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Why play Xerath?

Pros / Cons


Pros


+ Strong Poke - Arcanopulse
+ Wave Clear - Eye of Destruction
+ Ranged Stun! - Shocking Orb
+ Lane Sustain - Mana Surge
+ LONG RANGE SNIPER - Rite of the Arcane
Cons


- Squishy without the OLD passive
- No Escape, Very Slow
- Abilities Charge-Time Arcanopulse & Eye of Destruction
- Difficult to Master*


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Abilities

Ability Explanation


  • Mana Surge: Restores Mana on Xerath's next basic attack, which is doubled if you hit an enemy champion. Allows you to stay in lane longer and harass more! Very useful when coupled with Flat or Scaling Mana Regen Runes.
  • Arcanopulse (Q): Xerath's primary damaging ability due to its VERY long range, and relatively low cooldown. The first activation of the ability charges its range from a base distance out to its furthest possible distance. A second activation of the ability will fire it in the direction of the cursor, after a brief delay. During that delay, enemies can see the telegraph displaying where your Arcanopulse is going to fire, and may be able to dodge it. Try to estimate where your enemies are going, and lead them with the shot.
  • Eye of Destruction (W): I usually level this up evenly with Arcanopulse as it does Great damage and has a nice slow to help your Jungler with ganking your lane. The first activation of the ability allows you to click an AOE circle on the ground where you want the blast to hit. Once you click the area, there is a moderate delay until impact. Keep in mind this ability has greater damage and slow debuff at the center of the impact ring. Since it has a moderate casting delay, lead your enemies to insure you get bulls-eye hits.
  • Shocking Orb (E): I like to get this ability at Level 3 to help counter a gank if the enemy Jungler rushes your lane. It is a "First-Hit" skillshot, which can trigger on a minion if they are in the way. The skillshot also travels slowly, so keep that in mind if you're leading an enemy champion traveling at an angle. Also, this ability stuns for a longer duration the longer it travels, so try and land at max range if possible.
  • Rite of the Arcane (R): Long range sniper! This ability scales in range tremendously. When activated, you become rooted in place and have three charges to cast. Your cursor becomes an AOE reticle, and when you reactivate the ability one of the charges shoots where you cursor is located. The missile travels Very fast, so you don't have to lead very much. Also, at impact the missile reveals a small portion of the area if covered, allowing you to reveal an enemy fleeing in order to land a second or third charge. If you activate this ability and don't find you're able to hit your opponent, don't fire any charges and HALF of the cooldown will be refunded. This ability is great when you go out of your opponents view and activate, allowing you to snipe while hidden...muhahaha!..


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Laning

Harass


Xerath excells in 1v1 exchanges. His Arcanopulse is VERY effective at harassing.

The two main damaging abilities in Xerath's kit, Arcanopulse and Eye of Destruction, take time to cast, making them a bit difficult to land.

Roam


Roaming is where Xerath can really help his team, and Jungler in particular. Rite of the Arcane has enough range for you to get into a nearby bush on ether Top or Bottom Lane, and land three hits on your opponents. If you're dominating your lane, and see that Top or Bot are hurting, go help!!!


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Teamfights

Positioning


This is where you'll win or lose a teamfight. Proper positioning is key to not only laying the smack-down, but surviving the post smack-down. Here's a rule of thumb:
  • If the enemy can flash to you, you're too close!
  • Arcanopulse+ Eye of Destruction can be cast from a safe distance, stay away!
  • Save Shocking Orb in case you get focused. If an enemy dives you, stun them with Shocking Orb, move to a safe distance, and continue casting. If an enemy dives and STUNS you, cast Cleanse+ Shocking Orb to clear the CC and follow up with a stun, then proceed to a safe distance and continue casting.


Laying the Smack-Down


Due to overwhelming AOE, Xerath does very well in teamfights. With decent cooldowns, you'll be able to Arcanopulse+ Eye of Destruction enough to stay active in a teamfight. If the enemy is grouped, both of these abilities are maximized in their effectiveness. If you find a stray ADC or APC, and the threat of YOU being focused is minimal, feel free to snag one of them with Shocking Orb. Just make sure never to "dive" the enemy team yourself, because you'll get pwned...immediately. (refer to Proper Positioning above)


When do I ULT???


This can be tricky, as Rite of the Arcane has a long cooldown, and you'll want to use it at the best possible time. Here are a few things to consider:
  • Is the enemy team grouped up? If so, it may be advantageous to get three charges off of Rite of the Arcane and hit everyone possible.
  • Is the enemy team spread out, and zoning well? If so, you should save your Ultimate, because the chance of missing/wasting your charges is too high.
  • If you chose to save the Ultimate during the teamfight, now's the time to pick off the stragglers...Find the fleeing wounded champions, and EXECUTE! >:] (this is BY FAR the most rewarding method)
  • IMPORTANT! Don't forget that you become rooted when you activate Rite of the Arcane. Because of it's massive range, try to retreat a safe distance before activating, and always make sure your back is clear!


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Summoner Spells

Flash: I go with this spell on most of my champions, as it is a powerful escape/execute ability. Whether it's avoiding a gank, hopping a wall, or going in for that last hit kill, this spell is a must-have.

Cleanse: Xerath has no innate escape abilities, so this helps clear off any CC or debuffs; I take this almost every match.

Barrier: Another good defensive tool to make up for the lack of escape. Take this if your opponent has very long range finishers like Ziggs or Lux.

  • Ignite is not as necessary because you have three charges of Rite of the Arcane, making it an ideal finisher. However, you can go with this as an alternative.
  • Teleport can be useful to get back into lane quickly, or to defend towers quickly. Not recommended unless enemy CC is not an issue (rare).


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BUILD: Summoner's Rift


Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Glyph of Ability Power
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3
  • Magic Penetration gives Xerath an early game harass boost; standard pick.
  • Flat Mana Regen works well in conjunction with Mana Surge, allowing Xerath to harass constantly. These can be substituted for Scaling Mana Regen, however the effects won't be seen until after level 6.
  • Flat Ability Power Quints give Xerath a great early game damage boost, and are superior to scaling Ability Power Quints; standard pick.

Masteries
1/5
4/1
1/1
1/1
3/5
1/1
1/5
3/5
3/1
1/
3/
1/
2/5
3/1
1/1
1/5

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Leveling Arcanopulse and Eye of Destruction evenly gives Xerath very high damage output when they're used in combination. Remember to lead enemies so that Eye of Destruction hits in the center of the impact zone to maximize damage.
  • One point in Shocking Orb early is sufficient, as the stun duration does not scale.

Item Sequence











Rabadon's Deathcap
3800

Athene's Unholy Grail
2250

Zhonya's Hourglass
2900

Void Staff
2650

Liandry's Torment
3200

Greater Vision Totem
250

Standard Items

Other Viable Items

  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter Gives Xerath's abilites a slowing effect, however it's on the lower end since all of his abilities are AOE.
  • Morellonomicon Can help counter champions like Dr. Mundo or anyone with high Lifesteal.
  • Rod of Ages Can help lane sustain throughout the game, and provides a bit of tankiness with the added health.

Not Recommended Items

  • Mejai's Soulstealer Not guaranteed to get the stacks up; inconsistent.
  • Lich Bane The price you pay for the passive doesn't come into play, because you should rarely be within auto-attack range.
  • Will of the Ancients Lowest Ability Power, and spell vamp will rarely be used due to long range.
  • Seraph's Embrace Takes a LONG time to charge on Xerath, and you shouldn't have Mana issues with his passive and Athene's Unholy Grail.
  • Deathfire Grasp Great Ability Power, however the price you pay for the active doesn't come into play, because you should rarely be within activation range.


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BUILD: Twisted Treeline


Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3
  • Magic Penetration gives Xerath an early game harass boost; standard pick.
  • Flat Armor and Magic Resist provide some early game tankiness, as the chance of a close encounter fight is much higher on this map. Alternative picks are Mana Regeneration or Ability Power Runes, however I find that the early survivability is hard to pass up.
  • Flat Ability Power Quints give Xerath a great early game damage boost, and are superior to scaling Ability Power Quints; standard pick.

Masteries
1/5
4/1
1/1
3/5
1/5
3/5
3/1
3/
1/
1/
2/5
2/1
1/5
3/1
1/5
  • This setup is purely offensive with added resource regeneration and survivability.
  • Points in Enchanted Armor and Arcane Blade give Xerath a bit more survivability and presence in close encounters, as these are more prominent on this map.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Leveling Arcanopulse and Eye of Destruction evenly gives Xerath very high damage output when they're used in combination. Remember to lead enemies so that Eye of Destruction hits in the center of the impact zone to maximize damage.
  • One point in Shocking Orb early is sufficient, as the stun duration does not scale.

Item Sequence











Wooglet's Witchcap
3500

Athene's Unholy Grail
2250

Void Staff
2650

Liandry's Torment
3200

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
3200

Standard Items

Other Viable Items

Not Recommended Items

  • Mejai's Soulstealer Not guaranteed to get the stacks up; inconsistent.
  • Lich Bane The price you pay for the passive doesn't come into play, because you should rarely be within auto-attack range.
  • Will of the Ancients Lowest Ability Power, and spell vamp will rarely be used due to long range.
  • Seraph's Embrace Takes a LONG time to charge on Xerath, and you shouldn't have Mana issues with his passive and Athene's Unholy Grail.
  • Blackfire Torch Great Good Power, however the price you pay for the active doesn't come into play, because you should rarely be within activation range.


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Guide Update Log

26 March 2014

  • Updated "Recent Patch Updates" section to reflect pertinent changes as of Patch 4.4.


25 February 2014

  • Today is my BIRTHDAY!


19 February 2014

  • "Teamfight" section added.
  • "Not Recommended" Items added to Cheat Sheets. (with explanations in the "BUILD" sections)
  • Added Hextech Sweeper to "Other Viable Items" on the Twisted Treeline Build.

15 February 2014

  • Guide created!

Thank you for taking the time to read my guide! I hope the information helps some players out there, and raises the popularity of this incredible champion!

Please feel free to comment with any tips/advice; all is welcome!