Xerath Build Guide by Liebesnest
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The King of AP Carrys
Final Build Example
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.
Introduction (GUIDE IN CONSTRUCTION)
Hi, my name is Alexander, I reached no long ago Diamond 5. The reason why I started building this guide is because I was stucked in Platinum serveral months, I tried playing my best in every possible role but because I'm not the best player in the world I was not able to carry my teammates.
Then I started playing Xerath and I found it pretty fun to play and powerful, after not many games I started to play ranked games with him and had a great success, and now I want that people that was stucked like me learn the couple of easy tips I learned to carry with this superb mage.
I do not attempt to make a Bible Guide (veeeeery long), I just want to mention the most important tips to make this champion viable with its runes and masteries.
Xerath is an extremely powerful long range mage champion, and his only weakness is the close encounters. Still, I don't see why to give a couple points in the Defense Mastery Tree, since if you play him correctly you won't be in danger.
Marks: 9 x Magic Penetration
Seals: 9 x Flat Mana Regen or 9 x Flat Armor (if laning against dangerous AD champions)
Glyphs: 9 x Flat Ability Power or 9 x Flat/Scaling magic resist (I truly prefer super poke)
Quints: 3 x Flat Ability Power.
There's not too much to say, Marks are obvious as an AP Carry, Seals and Glyphs are up to your confidence and Quints will give you lots of early damage. I don't see why taking Magic Penetration in Quints since I try to make the most damage early on, and Magic Penetration works better later on.
Why flat mana regen runes?
With Xerath all that I look for is to poke down my enemy, unsustain him, force him to go B and make him miss farm, and then watch where can I gank or harrass to give advantage. You can do this only with your Q (it's max range is 1400, that's twice the tristana's attack range at lvl 18). It's risky if you're playing against AD midders or/and gap closer/CC junglers (Jarvan, Nautilus, you know).
There's only 2 things you have to do to make this runes effective:
1- Stay far away.
2- Harrass with max range Q.
Flash is a must, you can use it to make plays, dodge skillshots, escape, and else.
Ignite, heal or barrier?
Ignite: This is great for taking the advantage early game, since you can make a kill very soon in laning phase. If you landed your Qs and unsustained your enemy, all you need to do is land just 1 stun to make the kill (E, followed by a quick W+Q+Ignite). But, later on, ignite won't keep you alive in teamfights, and your most damage potential comes from STAYING ALIVE LANDING SKILLSHOTS. Heal and barrier will help you with that main propose, but won't assure you an early kill.
Heal or Barrier?: Heal became very useful since not much ago. It has pros and cons. The pros are that it heals and gives movement speed to you AND your targeted/nearest allied champion. This means that in those typical 2vs2 fights in midlane (with junglers) you'll be able to save/bait/escape your enemys with this spell. BUT, individually, Barrier scales better and you'll be able to absorb more damage if used correctly.
Also, the healing is halved if you're under the effect of Grievous Wounds (Healing effects reduced to 50%). A smart enemy will know this and start the engage with an early ignite to reduce your healing.
There's also, a particular case with Zed. Zed's ultimate will hurt more and more per point of damage dealt to his target while marked. This means that even if you get healed, that won't affect the damage that his ultimate does, and this is why I play with Barrier against Zed (and exceptions), because Barrier will BLOCK the damage taken, therefore his ultimate will make less damage and should be activated right after he reappers from his untargetable form while ultying.
Pros / Cons
-Up to a 2 seconds individual stun.
-Powerful AoE slow if well splaced.
-Semi global ultimate.
-Great AP scaling ratios.
-No ability escape.
-Hard to land ultimate.
-Must be fed to make the difference.
Playing for the Victory!
FIRST OF ALL.You CAN NOT win EVERY-SINGLE-GAME.
This is because League of Legends is a 5vs5 game, so being 10 players in the game, and you being able to control only 1 of them, all that you can do is to analyze the game at the same time it's happening, and then watch your replays.
As the game goes on, you should pay attention on recognizing the players that are able to carry (every role can carry, but each of them is dependant from another one, some of them more than other ones).
Also, you should see every time you can what items is everybody building, so you can build according to what your team needs.
Sometimes you'll have a very good winning streak, even from 0 points to promo. And then, you'll lose 2, 3, 10 in a row, with your promo. Cheer up, if you reached promo, eventually you'll win it, it's all about playing smart without raging. AFKs and trolls are in every division, even diamonds get bored of the game and start trolling, there's nothing you can do to avoid them, but they won't we ALWAYS in your team, some times you will be facing them.
What to do in a losing streak:
1- CALM DOWN if you're nervous.
2- Stop playing and take a break.
4- Watch your replays and look at your early game trades, map awareness, enemy ganks that you coulded avoid if you have been paying attention to the game, places you could have ganked, and some others, but early game is extremely important.
5- Learn from your mistakes, remember them and you'll be able to play without significant deaths. To carry hard, you must play perfectly, and not to die is a must.
Now, let me show you why I'm just going full early AP and mana regen.
Flat mana regen glyphs = 3.69 mana per 5 seconds.
Meditation (utility, 3 points) = 3 mana per 5 seconds.
Doran ring= 3 mana per 5 seconds.
Doran ring with Feast (offense mastery) = 5 mana and 1 health per kill.
Xerath has 6 mana per 5 seconds at lvl 1, plus 10 from this mentioned runes and masteries. This means you'll be regenerating 3.2 mana per second at LEVEL 1, having 50 Ability Power.
Also, thanks to your passive, minions will give you 30 mana per basic attack (12 seconds of cooldown), and DOUBLE hitting enemy champions.
Synthesizing, you have a lot of mana regen, a lot of ability power, and your Q will make 118 damage at level 1, and you can use it very frequently thanks to your mana regen. When you reach level 3, add another point to your Q, your damage will be around 165. (If you hit 2 Qs your enemy will get scared already and will start to drink his potions). Each Q will deal about 25% of your enemys health, and all he can do is try to dodge it, beacause if he trys to catch you while casting (because you get 50% slowed), he should be an easy target.
As Xerath, you will be able to poke, protect, burst, slow and stun champions, and else. Use this capabilities as you think is the best for the team.
If your ADC is a strong fed player, and he'll be focused, you should peel him. Still you can multitarget with your Q to enemies that stayed away.
If your team lacks of initiation that won't be a problem to you, since you're Xerath, you'll always "fighting" (poking) from far far away.
If the enemy carries are fed, you can play as a semi-assassin. If fed enough you can shut down with a combo champs that don't stack HP, and even if your target doesn't die, he won't be able to fight.