Xerath Build Guide by Arr Eer
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E, the path to Power
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Why max E first?
I max mage chains rather than Arcanopulse first for these reasons:
-it has higher base damage and higher Ap scaling than Q.
-guaranteed a hit, unlike Q, it will be easier to take down more mobile champions.
-lower cooldown for more stuns.
Utilizing E: Pre-6
More points on mage chains during this stage is the most important difference between this guide and most other Xerath guides.
As most people would think, Xerath is vulnerable to assassin type mids, whether it is Kassadin or Zed. This is not necessarily true, especially pre-6 when they are without their ults. This makes them easy targets for mage chains harass. The strategy here is to use locus of power, mage chains to harass, and Q and Ignite to finish.
-Just because mage chains was landed, you are not forced set it off.
-Almost everyone will back off after seeing locus of power. In that case, you are free to farm. It is also likely they will underestimate your range and linger around the border, in position for a possible mage chains. If they are just out of range, (my favorite scenario) you take them by surprise by toggling off locus of power and use mage chains while your speed is increased, which is why early tier 2 shoes are important like Sorcerer's Shoes.
-If they see you set up W and try to attack you, the range is still enough to land a hit of mage chains and then run away, or fight if the situation calls for it.
During early game, i prefer not to be at too far of a distance. The main thing is to mage chains and be sure to auto attack. They will try to dodge your Q but the damage is already done even if you miss. While they are tagged with mage chains you are in control of their movements. They will try to run or kite not knowing when u will set off the stun while you auto attack them.
Usefulness of E: After 6/midgame
Kassadin may be slightly more difficult once he hits 6,but Zed is in no better position, due to Xerath's passive, ascended form, giving him bonus armor.
mage chains with W has a longer range than both Kassadin and Zed's ult.
Here is the usefulness. Even if Kassadin frontally comes at you with Riftwalk followed by Null Sphere, mage chains is an equal, if not more than enough of a trade. The mark from mage chains will last long enough after the silence for a chance to set off a stun.
A trade with a same level Q and Q will most likely turn out in these outcomes:
-If Kassadin Riftwalk slightly off to the side and avoided your Q then you lose the exchange.
-There is the possibility that Kassadin will have walked out of range of your mage chains before you recovered from the silence.
Late game and team fights
There is no denying Q is the most important in a team fight, which is why Q is maxed after mage chains just in time for the real team fights during late game.
Deeper explanation for maxing E + Xerath play style and combo
Maxing E first will give an advantage in damage exchange and dueling.
First, it is important to know the basic combo for Xerath:
W > E > R > Q > R > R
Notice that mage chains is the first damage skill to be used, followed by ult, and finally by Q. Even though it is only about a second delay, the usefulness and availability of Q is being hindered in this way. This is more so important before 6, when it is harder to aim and set off stun without ult. While you take your time to aim Q, mage chains could be refreshing in the meantime.
By mid-late game, skills should look about the same as most guides, unless your max order was W second. In most cases, i would max W last because maxing it second severely reduces damage output, even more so than maxing Q followed by mage chains. I can see that a build centering around Q and W is probably meant for farming, but my goal for this guide is to kill the lane.
The max potential of Q cannot be obtained unless you can make use of its cooldown every time with at least 2 consecutive hits. For example, if you can lengthen the combo by performing
W > Q > E > R > R > R > Q
Of course once it is late game, lvl 18, it comes down to the skill of the player.
Runes and mastery
Adjust runes and mastery as desired.
In fact, you could even try movement speed quintessences.
Adjust items and buy-order as needed, though i do recommend the first item to be tier 2 shoes.
You may want to get an extra doran's ring if you do not have enough gold to complete tier 2 shoes on the first back and or death.
Late game items are completely up to preferences and situations.
This is it for now until i think of new info to add. Comment flaws or questions. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO