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Xerath Build Guide by TheWengster


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League of Legends Build Guide Author TheWengster

[8.14] [EU MASTER] Xerath Midlane Guide by Wengster

TheWengster Last updated on July 19, 2018
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Cheat Sheet

Xerath Build

Sorcery
LoL Path: Sorcery
LoL Rune: Arcane Comet
Arcane Comet
LoL Rune: Manaflow Band
Manaflow Band
LoL Rune: Absolute Focus
Absolute Focus
LoL Rune: Scorch
Scorch

Domination
LoL Path: Domination
LoL Rune: Cheap Shot
Cheap Shot
LoL Rune: Ultimate Hunter
Ultimate Hunter
Bonus:

+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #32 in
Middle Lane
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R


Threats to Xerath with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
Karthus
1
Kayle
1
Lissandra
1
Lulu
1
Lux
1
Veigar
Guide Top

Introduction

Welcome future Xerath gods!
I'm Wengster a 22 years old streamer from Germany.
League has been a part of my life since early Season 1. I started playing competitive as a midlaner in Season 2 and have been playing in the German scene EPS (now called ESL Meisterschaft) with multiple teams.

My accounts are usually Diamond 1 or Master since S3, while peaking Challenger in multiple seasons. I started to main Xerath in season 4 and have played him a lot every season since then. In this season alone I have over 180 ranked games with Xerath alone while peaking at 300LP!




While I am streaming in German you can still ask me EVERYTHING you wanna know about Xerath and most other midlane and toplane Champions as I have played over 17.000 games of League and know nearly every matchup!

This is my first guide, so feel free to give me feedback in the comments!
I'll update this guide with every patch. I will probably make one for each of my other champions that I played over 300 games, if there is enough interest.

Here are the other guides i made so far:



You can leave a follow on twitch if you like what I do!


Guide Top

Pros and Cons


Guide Top

Runes

and

Arcane Comet is great for trading in lane and scales really well into lategame.
Using your Eye of Destruction and slowing will make for easy Arcane Comet hits, even against Champions with a lot of movementspeed.

Manaflow Band gives you a little mana sustain in lane and a decent amount of passive mana regen, as well as 250 maximum mana when it's fully stacked. This helps Xerath a lot since he is often spamming abilities to poke, while not having a guaranteed Crest of Insight !

Absolute Focus grants you bonus AP while you are above 70% of your life.
As of patch 8.13 games tend to be very short and are often decided before hitting higher levels.
The minor damage increase on your abilities from Absolute Focus can decide early game fights and snowball the game!

Every 20 seconds your next ability that hits an enemy Champion will proc Scorch, dealing a little extra damage after 1 second. Even if you only hit one ability the extra damage will be applied, making it a great addition to his poking kit.
Average gametimes are very short which makes this more appealing than Gathering Storm.


Cheap Shot is another early game rune, providing extra true damage when the enemy Champion you are hitting is slowed or stunned! Another great pickup in patch 8.14!

Ultimate Hunter gives Xerath additional snowball potential, reducing Rite of the Arcane's cooldown.
Even while providing tons of damage with your abilities in lategame, having your Rite of the Arcane on cooldown means loosing 2000-3000 damage in a teamfight!


Guide Top

Summoner Spells

  • Is by far the best summoner spell in the game. Always choose it!
  • Flash gives you scaling with the environment, which means that you can get over walls using Flash to escape or chase enemies.
  • You can even use Flash to get through championmade environment like Anivia's Crystallize or Trundle's Pillar of Ice.
  • Combining Flash with your Champions abilities might give you an extra advantage (i.e. Shocking Orb+ Flash).
  • Dodging Abilities with Flash last second gives you great outplay potential!



  • Should be your most used second Summoner Spell when playing Xerath.
  • Can be used on teammates if you target them. If you don't target a teammate Heal will automatically target a teammate with the lowest % current Health that is in range!
  • Heal can be used just for the 30% Movement Speed to dodge incoming Crowd Control like a Morgana's Dark Binding.
  • Fighting 2vs2 with both midlaners and junglers can be easier if you have Heal while your enemy doesn't. Both of you get the heal and the Movement Speed when your jungler is in range!



  • Barrier is your answer to aggressive enemy midlaners and those use Ignite. With a shorter cooldown than Heal and a shield that's bigger than what Heal heals, Barrier provides more safety against assassins like Zed or Fizz.
  • Barrier doesn't get reduced by 40% when affected by grievous wounds which gets applied by Ignite which helps as well, since most assassins (even Shaco who is jungling) pick Ignite.
  • Barrier's shield disappears after 2 seconds! Timing it right is crucial!






  • Only choose Teleport when you aren't actually laning against one Champion. Holding your Tower when facing Master Yi and Taric double jungle will be easier when you can go back and use Teleport to come back to lane.


Guide Top

Abilities

Mana Surge


Every 12 Seconds Xerath charges his next basic attack against an enemy to restore 30 - 195 (based on level) mana, doubled to 60 - 390 (based on level) mana against enemy Champions.

  • Don't try to hit enemy Champions while all of their abilities are available.
  • Try to use your Mana Surge everytime it's available to maximize your mana sustain in lane.




Arcanopulse Range:
Cooldown:
Mana cost:
750
9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5
80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120


First cast: Xerath starts charging his Arcanopulse increasing Arcanopulse range up to a maximum of 1400 while decreasing his Movement Speed by up to 50% over the next 1.5 seconds. While charging Xerath cannot attack or use his other abilities. After 3 seconds, Arcanopulse cancels and half the mana cost is refunded.

Second cast: After a short delay time, Xerath fires a beam of energy in a line that the deals 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+75% AP) magic damage to all enemies hit.

  • This is your main damage and poking spell in and after laning phase. Arcanopulse is also your main waveclear!
  • Arcanopulse has a maximum range of 1400, while Champions vision range is only 1200! Hitting enemies while you are not visible for them gives you even more poking opportunities.
  • You can Flash while charging your Arcanopulse to finish enemies that are further away!
    Be careful not to Flash too late or you'll cast Arcanopulse and flash without moving it!
  • You don't HAVE to shoot Arcanopulse if you are certain that you wouldn't hit something, so just wait the 3 seconds to get half of your manacost back and don't waste your mana!




Eye of Destruction Range:
Cooldown:
Mana cost:
1100
14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10
70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110


Xerath calls down a blast of arcane energy, which strikes after a 0.5 second delay dealing 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+60% AP) magic damage and slowing enemies in a target 200-radius area by 25% for 2.5 seconds. Enemies in the center take 90 / 135 / 180 / 225 / 270 (+91% AP) magic damage and are slowed by 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 % instead. The empowered slow decays to 25% over the duration.






Shocking Orb Range:
Cooldown:
Mana cost:
1050
18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10
60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80


Xerath fires an orb of energy forward in a line hitting the first enemy, dealing 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 / 200 (+45% AP) magic damage and stunning them for between 0.5 and 2 seconds. The stun duration is longer the further the Shocking Orb has travelled.



  • You can cast Flash before your Shocking Orb's throwing animation ends to surprise your enemies with a longer stun!
  • Shocking Orb allows you to catch enemies that are facechecking into brushes you are standing in. Sitting on your own Control Ward in a bush makes you a deadly trap!
  • In teamfights aim for key targets with Shocking Orb! Catching a squishy in a teamfight with a long range stun often carries the fight!
  • Stunning tanks to safe your carries or yourself is also fine!
  • Warding a lane and trying to catch enemy Champions with a max range Shocking Orb or hitting enemies through a wall can decide some of your games!




Rite of the Arcane Range:
Cooldown:
Mana cost:
3200 / 4400 / 5600
130 / 115 / 100
100


Xerath roots himself for up to 10 seconds. Xerath gains the ability to cast Rite of the Arcane up to 3 / 4 / 5 times but cannot cast his other abilities.

Rite of the Arcane can be cancelled early by moving or attacking and will automatically end once all shots have been fired or if 10 seconds pass. If Rite of the Arcane ends without using a single cast of Rite of the Arcane, the cooldown is reduced by 50%.

Arcane Barrage: Xerath calls down a blast of arcane energy which strikes after a short delay, dealing 200 / 240 / 280 (+43% AP) magic damage to enemies. Arcane Barrage has a 0.8 second cooldown between casts (unaffected by cooldown reduction).



  • You can support fights in the jungle with your Rite of the Arcane!
  • Be patient with your Arcane Barrage and take your time adjusting your aim while trying to kill enemies that are dodging!
  • If your team has a lot of Crowd Control wait till the enemy carries are unable to dodge, then burst them with Arcane Barrage!
  • Always be aware where you are standing to avoid getting caught and dying, while casting Rite of the Arcane!
  • Keep in mind that your Rite of the Arcane can be interrupted by every Crowd Control except slows!
  • In teamfights don't wait too long fireing all of your Arcane Barrage's shots, otherwise you might loose potential damage that you could have dealt with your other abilities!


Guide Top

General Tips



In Lane

Try to use your Arcanopulse and your Eye of Destruction on your enemy as soon as they go for a last hit to get free hits, without having to predict their movement.

Your Arcane Comet will most likely hit everytime, as long as your enemy has no Boots of Speed or a dash, which makes for even better trades!
If the enemy Champion has high Movement Speed use your Eye of Destruction first, slowing your target, to ensure an Arcane Comet hit!

At 6 try ganking bot or top with your jungler after pushing your midlane into the tower.
Most of the times standing in the river, while casting Rite of the Arcane to support the gank with extra damage, will be enough!



In Midgame

Farming on sidelanes as Xerath brings a bigger risk than most other midlaners. Your potential to 1vs1 most enemy Champions is really low until later stages of the game!

Xerath's ult range increases by 1200 every level, which makes hitting level 11 and 16 before going into teamfights even more valuable!

Xerath's strength lies in pushing towers together with your teammates. You can stay safe behind them, while also bringing the enemies health low enough to force them away from turrets or they'll die!
Make sure to work with your allies and don't be greedy by yourself!

Place your Warding Totem on your lanes to see enemies and poke them with Arcanopulse while staying out of their visionrange.



In Lategame

Basically same as in Midgame!
When you have your full itembuild or are close to it, hitting as many enemy Champions as possible in teamfights with your Rite of the Arcane can be a viable option too if you can't hit their carries for certain!



In General

When you are up against Champions that can catch you like Blitzcrank or Pyke always go for Banshee's Veil to avoid getting picked off.

Going Cleanse against Suppression like Malzahar's Nether Grasp won't help you at all! Buying an early Banshee's Veil or Quicksilver Sash minimizes your risk of getting killed!

If you feel like you are dying a lot in matchups that Xerath should win, opt into Resolve using Bone Plating and Chrysalis as your second runes to take a safer aproach.














Guide Top

Lane Matchups

Ahri
Threat Level: 4


Ahri has no real kill pressure without Spirit Rush. Play safe against her and try to poke her down with Arcanopulse and Eye of Destruction.

Don’t stand directly in your backline minions! It will not provide cover against her Orb of Deception which passes through minions.
Standing without minions between Ahri and yourself, can give her an opportunity to Charm you. The best positioning in lane is most of the times behind your minions while keeping a short distance to them.

Don’t try to autoattack her in lane while she has mana herself.

Ahri will most likely take Ignite, so take Barrier instead of Heal because grievous wounds reduces healing effects by 40%.

Only use Arcanopulse OR Eye of Destruction when poking her at full hp while her Orb of Deception healing passive is up to avoid wasting unnecessary mana! Wait for her to use it after the small poke, before unleashing your other abilities!

When behind go for early Mercury's Treads to avoid feeding her any further.
Buy Banshee's Veil to lessen her ability to pick you off in later stages of the game!


Akali
Threat Level: 10


Akali should be the worst matchup for Xerath. Take Barrier against her burst and Ignite.

In Lane Twin Disciplines will lessen the impact of your poke by occassionally healing Akali.

Avoid getting too close to Akali so she can't use her Mark of the Assassin, followed by a Twilight Shroud jumping onto you and trigger her Mark.

After hitting level 6 she can kill you every time you overextend even a little.

Get Banshee's Veil as your second item!
Even then keep your distance and stay with your team or she will just kill you!


Anivia
Threat Level: 3


Laning against Anivia is pretty safe. Just don't go for Mana Surge autoattacks on her while her Flash Frost is up, else she will punish you with Flash Frost which you can't really dodge and follow it by a Frostbite.

Don´t greed for her egg in the early game. Xerath lacks follow up after using all of his abilities once. His long cooldowns early don’t allow him to kill her while she is in Rebirth without the help of your jungler.

After your laning phase keep in mind that her Crystallize can trap you, making you an easy target without escapes except your Flash.
While your Shocking Orb will cancel her Glacial Storm if you hit her. Moving that close might kill you regardless!

Poking her is quite easy since Anivia has low Movement Speed . So keep your distance and fire away!


Annie
Threat Level: 3


Annie has high burst damage even in lane but can’t contest your poke at all. Take Barrier against her burst and Ignite

Don’t try to use your Mana Surge on her at all, since her Disintegrate and Incinerate have more range than your autoattacks with short cooldowns.

Try to kill her with your jungler and snowball the lane.

Buy Mercury's Treads early if you fell behind!
Build Banshee's Veil after Oblivion Orb to deny her Flash + Summon: Tibbers kill potential.

Abuse your range and show her the power of Xerath!


Aurelion Sol
Threat Level 8


Aurelion Sol has no kill pressure as long as you don't tank the minion waves and try to autoattack him. Play safe and try to poke him so he can’t roam without risk.

Xerath’s bad waveclear in early levels allows Aurelion Sol to control the map nearly uncontested, so make sure to ping a lot when he is leaving your lane!

Comet of Legend supports him to with the ability to fly over environment like walls.
Aurelion Sol can flank you while you are in Rite of the Arcane with Comet of Legend.

Keep him away and try to poke!


Azir
Threat Level: 3


Never try to Mana Surge him or he will deal a lot of damage to you in lane with his Arise! soldiers and his Conquering Sands. Azir has long autoattack animations when hitting with soldiers. Abuse those time windows and hit him with poke whenever he attacks!

Xerath has a lot of kill pressure after getting Luden's Echo. You can start playing aggressive now!
Abuse your range advantage but be aware of his shurima shuffle dash combo.

In lategame you can just use Rite of the Arcane to kill Azir in teamfights, when he tries to attack from their backline!


Brand
Threat Level: 2


While laning against Brand try to avoid standing to close to your own minions. He will clear them with Pillar of Flame and Conflagration and get free poke onto you.

Don't underestimate his burst in early game and don't try to hit him with Mana Surge!

Brand has no mobility and short range which allows you to try to kill him from a safe distance as soon as you get some items.


Cassiopeia
Threat Level: 3


When playing against Cassiopeia take Resolve as your second runes with Bone Plating and Chrysalis to reduce your risk of dying in lane.

Whenever she hits you with a Noxious Blast in lane, walk away from her in a straight line. If she follows you throw Shocking Orb onto her. Follow it by your Eye of Destruction and your Arcanopulse to outtrade her. If you miss, keep running to avoid taking more damage from Twin Fang.

Don’t go for risky positioning if your Shocking Orb is on cooldown. Cassiopeia can’t dodge your Rite of the Arcane early since she lacks the ability to buy Boots of Speed and has low base Movement Speed .
If you get ahead early abuse her missing mobility.

Starting in the midgame you should always stay far away and target her with Eye of Destruction if she comes closer, to slow her engage by a lot!


Corki
Threat Level: 3


Facing a Corki will be most likely a farm lane. Both of you try to scale while you do not have kill pressure.

Try to poke him and don't go for autoattack trades. If he runs Fleet Footwork he won't drop to low health before your first back.

There are only 2 things dangerous for you. Corki getting closer to his Trinity Force and his package that allows him to freely gank another lane while not loosing too much farm in lane.


Diana
Threat Level: 7


Take Barrier against her. Many Diana players are using Ignite.

When facing a Diana in lane try to force her to Pale Cascade with an autoattack and use its cooldown to poke her for free. You can use your Mana Surge targeting Diana in lane.
After hitting level 6 Diana suddenly gets a lot of kill pressure.

Keep your distance and get Banshee's Veil as your second item to avoid dying in the midgame.
Stun her using Shocking Orb when she is in her Lunar Rush and keep walking away if she hits her Crescent Strike to avoid giving her Lunar Rush resets and killing you.


Ekko
Threat Level: 7


Go for Mana Surge autoattacks on Ekko whenever his Timewinder is on cooldown for risk free mana.

When Ekko tries to all in use your Shocking Orb immediately after his Phase Dive connects with you or his blink will dodge it entirely.
Ekko will deal way more damage than you’ll do when he gets in melee range, so keep your distance!
Be wary of his Parallel Convergence placement since you can’t reposition yourself easily if you are in its center.

Sometimes waiting to use your Shocking Orb until Ekko has lower health, followed by instantly using Eye of Destruction and Arcanopulse, can surprise and burst him before he’s able to Chronobreak to safety!


Fizz
Threat Level: 10


Fizz is a really hard matchup. Take Barrier to counter his burst and possible Ignite pick.

He can dodge your Shocking Orb with his Playful / Trickster while being able to nearly oneshot you after hitting level 6.
Don’t push your lane without backup or he will jump onto you even without Chum the Waters.

Banshee's Veil to avoid getting caught buy his Chum the Waters in midgame is a must buy!
When Fizz Urchin Strikes into you immediately use Shocking Orb so he gets stunned midjump and you can get a little distance from him!


Galio
Threat Level: 4


This is a farm lane for Xerath. Take Cleanse to avoid dying to a charging Shield of Durand Flash that can instantly taunt you, setting up ganks for his team.

Galio’s Shield of Durand gives him a magic damage shield refreshing after 12 of not taking damage. This will greatly reduce your poke efficiency in lane.

Only go for Mana Surge on Galio when his Justice Punch is on cooldown! It has more range than your autoattacks!

Focus on clearing the waves and follow his map movements.

Most of the times ignoring him and aiming for key targets when he’s not too close to you is the best approach.


Heimerdinger
Threat Level: 5


Facing a Heimerdinger can be really annoying early on. Xerath can’t compete with Heimerdinger’s early game pushing power.
You will most likely sit under your turret until you get Luden's Echo. Then you can start killing his H-28G Evolution Turret.

Don’t forget that Heimerdinger gets Movement Speed near his H-28G Evolution Turrets and his ally turrets. His hitbox is also really small!
Hitting him with Rite of the Arcane can be really hard!

UPGRADE!!! combined with CH-2 Electron Storm Grenade can cancel Xerath Rite of the Arcane from longer range!

Xerath outscales Heimerdinger lategame. He can oneshot his H-28G Evolution Turret and destroy Heimerdinger with his long range poke.


Irelia
Threat Level: 8


In patch 8.14 Irelia is still a really strong champion overall.

Whenever she hits you or a non-Champion with an ability she gets an Ionian Fervor stack. With 4 stacks her autoattacks and Bladesurge will deal bonus magic damage and she gets attackspeed. Don't try to trade her when she's at full stacks.

Focus on poking her with Arcanopulse and Eye of Destruction while saving your Shocking Orb to disengage if she jumps on you.
Whenever one of your minions has low health cast your spells onto it since Irelia will try to kill it with Bladesurge.

Whenever Irelia casts Flawless Duet try to dodge it at all cost! If she hits you and Bladesurges after, you will most likely lose more than half of your health!

As soon as she reaches level 6 and gains access to Vanguard's Edge be even more careful.

Irelia gets a big powerspike when buying Trinity Force. Keep your distance and buy Zhonya's Hourglass as a second item.


Jayce
Threat Level: 5


In midgame Jayce can easily burst you and usually runs Ignite. Take Barrier as your second summoner spell.

Jayce has a slow autoattack animation which allows you to poke him whenever he goes for minion kills while being melee and ranged. Poke him while not going to close.

Jayce shouldn't be able to kill you before his first back. Don't stand to close to your minions since his To The Skies! deals area damage around the target he jumps to.

Don't try to go too close to him especially after his first item purchase. Hide behind minions so his Acceleration Gate Shock Blast doesn't poke you low enough to get in danger.

Buying an early Cloth Armor can lower his kill pressure early while Zhonya's Hourglass will keep you safe later on.


Karma
Threat Level: 3


Karma is a simple matchup like most other support champions in midlane. She doesn't really have kill pressure and you can farm safely against her.

Avoid standing in your caster minions in the first wave since most Karma players will use Mantra Inner Flame them to push so you don't get hit as well.

Avoid getting close to her whenever her Mantra is available so she doesn’t use Focused Resolve to root you and poke you with her Mantra Inner Flame combo.

If Karma uses Inspire and runs up to you there is a high chance that there is another enemy close by and she's looking for a root. Run towards your tower to be safe.

Mantra Inspire can help her team to run at you with a huge Movement Speed burst and catch you if you are in a bad position!


Karthus
Threat Level: 1


Facing Karthus as Xerath is one of the easiest matchups you can get!
With his low Movement Speed and no ability to dash or dodge he's an easy target for your spells!

Most of Karthus players farm with Lay Waste in lane. When casting it he stands still for a short duration. Wait for him to Lay Waste your minions when they are low health and cast your spells immediately to ensure that they connect.

Don't underestimate his damage with Lay Waste so don't try to go close range.

Karthus can't afford to build magic resistance in most of his games. Abuse your range advantage and him being squishy!

If Karthus channels Requiem while he is still alive and in range interrupt him with Shocking Orb.
If he's not in range but low health you can kill him with Rite of the Arcane and interrupt his channel of Requiem that way.


Kassadin
Threat Level: 10


Kassadin has a lot of mobility and can interrupt your channeling abilities like Arcanopulse and Rite of the Arcane while gaining a magic damage shield from Null Sphere which makes him a really hard matchup.

If Kassadin starts with The Dark Seal and a Refillable Potion poke him whenever he autoattacks minions. Use Arcanopulse and Eye of Destruction whenever he goes for last hits. Don't stand too close to Kassadin or his Null Sphere damage and magic damage shield will outtrade you. Your autoattacks still deal damage to him through the shield.

If Kassadin starts with Doran's Shield poke him the same way, but this time without focusing too much on autoattacking him.

You don't really have a way of killing Kassadin without your jungler once he reaches level 6 and gets access to his Riftwalk. He will try to jump onto you whenever he gets the chance so keep your distance!

In late game Riftwalk combined with his high damage output make him a super strong opponent for Xerath.


Katarina
Threat Level: 8



While Xerath struggles against high mobility champions, laning against a Katarina isn’t that hard. Take Barrier against her Ignite and burst.

Stay away from her daggers to avoid her using Shunpo to poke you. If you don’t let her poke you she has no kill pressure at all.

In early levels throwing your Shocking Orb at one of her daggers as soon as a minion is low health can be good. If Katarina uses Shunpo onto it to last hit the minion she’ll get stunned and you can poke her for free and even get free mana with Mana Surge if it’s available.

As soon as Katarina has Hextech Gunblade you have to be more careful. She can jump to minions Bouncing Blades you while using Preparation to get her Shunpo reset with her daggers and kill you with the Hextech Gunblade active together with Death Lotus.

Building Banshee's Veil while staying close to your teammates is the best approach.


Kayle
Threat Level: 1


Kayle has long range with low mobility and no way of hard engaging on Xerath. This is a really easy matchup.

There is basically only one mistake you can make. Don't try to fight her with autoattacks when her Righteous Fury is up.

Use your poke, Eye of Destructions slow and Shocking Orb to keep her at a distance and render her useless.


LeBlanc
Threat Level: 6


Take Barrier against LeBlanc's high burst potential and the possible use of Ignite.

LeBlanc trades in lane with Sigil of Malice followed by a Distortion to get the extra damage from her sigil. Her Distortion has 75 range more than your autoattacks. Don’t try to hit her with Mana Surge while her Distortion is available.

Whenever LeBlanc jumps towards you in a straight line with Distortion try aiming your Arcanopulse onto her Distortion's return pad position and through her current position to ensure that she gets hit even if she blinks backwards.

Hitting her with Shocking Orb is only easy if she hit her Ethereal Chains and waits close to you for it to root you.

Try to keep the minions on your side of the lane and not push too far forward or your chance of dying to a gank increases drastically. Distortion + Mimic + Ethereal Chains allow her to jump onto you from far away and root you!

Buy a Banshee's Veil to avoid getting caught easily in midgame.


Lissandra
Threat Level: 1


Lissandra has low Movement Speed and is an easy target for your poke. Her trading power with Ice Shard means nothing if you keep in mind that it has more range than your autoattacks.

Poke her in lane with Arcanopulse and Eye of Destruction.

If she ever goes aggressive or if you get ganked she'll use Glacial Path to follow it up with Ring of Frost to root you. Throw your Shocking Orb at Glacial Path's destination to stun her for free. If she decides not to blink you avoided her aggression as well.

Building Banshee's Veil to avoid getting caught by Glacial Path followed by Frozen Tomb in later stages of the game will lower her impact by a lot.


Lulu
Threat Level: 1


Lulu is a simple matchup like most other support champions in midlane. She doesn't really have kill pressure and you can farm safely against her.

If Lulu's Glitterlance and her Help, Pix! are on cooldown try to hit her to get more mana from Mana Surge. Avoid going for more than one autoattack since her Pix, Faerie Companion increases her damage with autoattacks or she will punish you!

Xerath has enough burst to kill lulu in one combo with Shocking Orb into Arcanopulse with Eye of Destruction as soon as he has his midgame items!

Don't use your Rite of the Arcane if she is close to you and her Whimsy is up. It interrupts your channel of Rite of the Arcane.


Lux
Threat Level: 1


Lux is basically a bad version of Xerath. Her poke has lower range and her waveclear is worse.
You can go for Cleanse if you are not comfortable that you can dodge her Light Binding.

In lane avoid standing inside of your minions. Lux will try to hit you with Lucent Singularity while clearing the wave.

When you are standing behind your minions Lux will try to hit you with a Light Binding as it hits the first 2 enemies hit. Keep that in mind and dodge Light Binding.

Don't let her autoattack you when Illumination is on you after hitting one of her spells. Just wait out its duration of 6 seconds.

Lux will be able to kill you in midgame if you get too close to her and don't dodge her Light Binding. Buying Banshee's Veil greatly reduces this risk.


Malzahar
Threat Level: 3


Neither Malzahar nor Xerath have kill pressure in this matchup. Focus on farming and poke him if he tries to put Malefic Visions onto.

Keep in mind that Cleanse doesn't remove Nether Grasp and Mercury's Treads's Tenacity doesn't lower its duration! Going Quicksilver Sash or Banshee's Veil are your only ways to avoid getting caught easily.

If Malzahar uses Nether Grasp on one of your teammates and his Void Shift spell shield is up, use an ability on him first and wait 0.25 seconds to throw a Shocking Orb to interrupt him.

Void Shift lingers for 0.25 seconds after taking damage reducing your damage by 90% and blocking your crowd control (minion damage doesn't interact with Void Shift).


Morgana
Threat Level: 2


Morgana lanes are always really passive. Take Cleanse to avoid dying to Dark Binding or a Flash + Soul Shackles to avoid getting caught in midgame.

Morgana waveclears with Tormented Soil while looking for free damage with Dark Binding. Dodge it while you farm.

Don't bother poking her until you have at least Lost Chapter. You would waste your mana while she sustains her health with Soul Siphon.

Xerath outscales Morgana by a lot. He deals way more damage and doesn't have to get close.

If you feel like you'll need it buy Banshee's Veil to negate all of Morgana's pick potential.


Twisted Fate
Threat Level: 3


Twisted Fate alone won't have any kill pressure until lategame. Take Cleanse to avoid getting killed easily if Twisted Fate decides to Flash Pick A Card you with a gold card.

Try to use your Mana Surge whenever his Pick A Card is on cooldown while poking him down early.

If Twisted Fate casts Destiny and tries to teleport interrupt him with Shocking Orb. If his teleport target is close to you cast Shocking Orb at his destination after a 1.5 seconds delay to immediately stun him.

As soon as you get Luden's Echo you are able to poke him down and kill him if he's not careful.

Banshee's Veil's spell shield denies Destiny's vision on you but also goes on cooldown. If he knows where you are it won't help you against him teleporting to you and stunning you with a gold Pick A Card.


Veigar
Threat Level: 1


Laning against a Veigar should be really one-sided for Xerath. Veigar has no mobility and no real way of stopping Xerath form poking him.

Veigar only has kill pressure with a jungler. His Event Horizon can catch you and make you an easy target. Take Cleanse against him!

Abuse your range. Keep in mind that he can Flash and use Event Horizon to stun you for free if you don't have your summoner spells available. Get Banshee's Veil to make it harder for him to catch you in midgame.


Vel'Koz
Threat Level: 2


Vel'Koz has a decent chance to kill you if you do not respect his early game damage. Xerath scales way better if he is even or ahead.

Xerath can't contest Vel'Koz pushing power with Void Rift in lane. Vel'Koz Tectonic Disruption has more range than your autoattacks so don't go for Mana Surge if Tectonic Disruption is not on cooldown.

Try to hit him with Eye of Destruction and Arcanopulse everytime they are available.

Don't underestimate his damage with Life Form Disintegration Ray. Avoid getting to close while he has still has it. It also has 1550 range which is more than your fully charged Arcanopulse (1400).

If you are not the target of Life Form Disintegration Ray you can use Rite of the Arcane to burst the immobile Vel'Koz while he's channeling Life Form Disintegration Ray.

Get Banshee's Veil as second item if you are even or behind and as your third if you are ahead.


Viktor
Threat Level: 4


Viktor doesn't have a strong early game and wants to scale.

Avoid trading with autoattacks since his Siphon Power empowers his autoattack with extra damage while providing a shield. Focus on dodging his Death Ray to avoid getting low health.

Only the first cast of Chaos Storm interrupts channeling abilities like Arcanopulse and Rite of the Arcane.
Don't try to fight him without the help of your teammates. His upgraded Siphon Power gives him a 30% Movement Speed boost for 2.5 seconds that allows him to dodge.

Starting in midgame you can freely poke him down without risk if you keep your distance.


Vladimir
Threat Level: 8


Xerath has a good early game against Vladimir but has no real counterplay if Vladimir gets ahead. Take Barrier against his burst potential starting at level 6 and Ignite.

In lane poke Vladimir as much as you can while avoiding getting too close to him when he gets his empowered Transfusion. If he doesn't hit you with it he will lack sustain to fight against your poke.

Get an early Null-Magic Mantle to counter his first powerspike. Build Banshee's Veil after Luden's Echo to avoid getting killed in his combo later in the game.

If you are ahead you can also go for Morellonomicon as second item. If you are even or behind pick it up as third item.


Yasuo
Threat Level: 8


Playing against Yasuo can prove to be very difficult if you don't know the matchup. Take Barrier against his burst and Ignite if he catches you with Last Breath.

The best approach is to let him push into your tower while farming safely. His Way of the Wanderer supports his laning with a regenerating shield that negates most of your poke in early game.

Don't get too close to your minions. Yasuo's Sweeping Blade allows him to dash through your minions and get melee really fast.

Wind Wall will only stop your Shocking Orb. Your other abilities are NOT projectiles.

If Yasuo is ahead you can opt for a Zhonya's Hourglass to stay safer.


Zed
Threat Level: 8


Zed is strong against Xerath like most assassins with high mobility. Take Barrier against his high burst and Ignite.

In lane stand behind your minions so Zed 's Razor Shuriken does reduced damage to you if it hits you. Don't go too close to him as long as Living Shadow is not on cooldown. Zed will try to hit you with Living Shadow + Shadow Slash and Razor Shuriken whenever it's available.

Buy an early Cloth Armor in your first back to reduce the impact of his first buy Serrated Dirk!

If you are behind rush Zhonya's Hourglass after Lost Chapter. If you are not behind build Zhonya's Hourglass after Luden's Echo

Stay close to your teammates and don't split or fight against Zed 1vs1 as you will lose it for certain.


Ziggs
Threat Level: 3


Ziggs and Xerath have a similar playstyle. They both exceed at poking while having a lot of waveclear.

In lane Ziggs can easily outdamage you if you trade with autoattacks. He can hit Bouncing Bomb and combine it with his Short Fuse autoattack resulting in a lot of burst.

He will most likely use Bouncing Bomb to farm if you don't try to harass him in lane. Stay away from your own minions so the area damage doesn't hit you as well.

Satchel Charge can interrupt your channeling of Arcanopulse and Rite of the Arcane.

Start going for more poke as soon as you hit your Luden's Echo powerspike. Try to kill him if he takes a lot of damage.


Zilean
Threat Level: 4


Zilean has no kill pressure as long as you dodge his Time Bombs.

Stay away from your minions. If Zilean hits a minion that is low health with 2 Time Bombs with Rewind they'll both explode at the same time which can surprise you with a lot of burst.

Focus on farming until you get Luden's Echo.

Apply pressure by pushing him in while poking him down.


Zoe
Threat Level: 10


Facing a Zoe is one of the worst scenarios you can get. Take Cleanse so you avoid dying as soon as the first Sleepy Trouble Bubble hits.

This matchup is all about staying alive. Don't try to poke her if it means going closer to her. Don't greed for lasthits and stay as safe as possible close to your tower.

Zoe can only loose her lane if she gets ganked by your jungler. Slow her with Shocking Orb if she gets ganked. If she uses Portal Jump aim at her entrance not at her exit when you are trying to hit her with spells to ensure that you hit her!

Roaming can kill you as well since her Sleepy Trouble Bubble allows her to catch you through walls.

Rush Mercury's Treads and go for Banshee's Veil after Luden's Echo.

Your lategame against Zoe isn't bad as you outscale her but her early and midgame power snowballs games really hard.


Guide Top

Additional Champion Matchups

Here are some of my additional notes regarding other Champions that aren't played in midlane!



Alistar
Threat Level: 2


If Alistar walks up to you and has his Unbreakable Will use your Eye of Destruction first, slowing him and forcing him to use it. Hitting him with your Shocking Orb afterwards will keep you safe!

Unbreakable Will only removes Crowd Control on cast and not for the whole duration!
Stunning Alistar with Shocking Orb while he is flying towards you allows you to deny his Headbutt Pulverize combo. You'll only get knocked away!


Bard
Threat Level: 2


You can still hit your abilities while your enemies are in Bard's Magical Journey. Try aiming Shocking Orb at Magical Journey exit when enemies are flying through to get easy hits!

If you don't have a spell shield from a Banshee's Veil, Bard's Tempered Fate can interrupt your Rite of the Arcane, so consider buying one.


Blitzcrank
Threat Level: 6


The only real way to stay safe against Blitzcrank's Flash + Rocket Grab is buying Banshee's Veil. Keep in mind that even then he can Flash + Static Field and Rocket Grab after to catch you.

Work with your team and keep your distance!


Braum
Threat Level: 2


Braum's Unbreakable will only block Shocking Orb. Your other spells are not projectiles!

The first damage that hits Braum after using Unbreakable gets negated. Even his teammates hit by the same ability take no damage! So be careful not to let low health targets escape while trying to finish them off with Rite of the Arcane!


Camille
Threat Level: 10


Your positioning against her while channeling Rite of the Arcane's is crucial! Camille usually tries to flank your backline, so keep in mind where she could be coming from and if you are safe!

If she gets ahead or if your team can't protect you, opt into buying a Zhonya's Hourglass!


Cho'gath
Thread Level: 6


Don't try to get to close to Cho'Gath! If he hits you with a Rupture while you are alone, he can most of the times kill you when following it up with Vorpal Spikes slow and Feral Scream's silence. He has enough damage to kill you when his Feast is not on cooldown!


Dr. Mundo
Threat Level: 10


Dr. Mundo is a champion that Xerath cannot deal with alone. Xerath doesn't have enough single target damage to get even close to killing Dr. Mundo in mid or lategame.

Stay safe behind your team or else Dr. Mundo can just run you down with the bonus Movement Speed from Sadism, the Crowd Control reduction from Burning Agony and the slow from Infected Cleaver.

Build a Morellonomicon to apply grievous wounds and reduce his Sadism's healing!


Draven
Threat Level: 1


When facing a Draven you can see where his Spinning Axe will fall after 2 seconds! Aiming at their destination can get you some easy hits because Draven should try to catch them!


Elise
Threat Level: 5


Be cautious of Elise ability to catch you with Flash + Cocoon in and after laning phase. Taking Cleanse will lower your chance of getting caught easily!

When you are trying to catch Elise while she is in Spider Form, don't forget her Rappel, which she can use to dodge your abilities! Her Spiderlings can also block your Shocking Orb.


Evelynn
Threat Level: 10


Dealing with Evelynn becomes super hard when she reaches level 6 and gets her stealth.
Use Cleanse to avoid dying against her Allure!

Getting Banshee's Veil as a second item pickup is a must! Evelynn will just oneshot you in midgame if she isn't behind! Also stay close to your towers if your teammates aren't with you.

Evelynn can dodge your abilities with Last Caress if you are the one chasing her!


Fiddlesticks
Threat Level: 7


If Fiddlesticks is jungling always pick Cleanse to avoid dying against his Flash + Terrify!

Keep in mind that his Dark Wind bounces of your allies and can silence you even when Fiddlesticks is far away. It can interrupt you while casting Rite of the Arcane which might lose you a lot of damage.

When he is using Crowstorm while you are not in range for your Shocking Orb to interrupt his Crowstorm cast, aim it at his destination and get some distance.


Fiora
Threat Level: 8


Playing against a Fiora can be similar to playing against a Camille. She splits from her team and pushes a sidelane. If she's trying to flank you, be aware of your positioning.

If Fiora can easily access your backline, opt into buying Zhonya's Hourglass.

Morellonomicon can be useful to reduce her healing effects while also providing a lot of damage against a relatively squishy Fiora.


Gangplank
Threat Level: 2


When chasing or running away from Gangplank, safe your Shocking Orb or your Eye of Destruction until after he uses Remove Scurvy!

Gangplanks Cannon Barrage can slow you and make you an easy target even if Gangplank is not close to you!


Jarvan IV
Threat Level: 9


Jarvan IV – When you are facing a Jarvan IV keep in mind that you are quite immobile with no way of escaping his long range engage with Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike into Cataclysm if your Flash is on cooldown.

When facing a Jarvan IV that is building AD while your team lacks the ability to protect you, always build Zhonya's Hourglass!

If Jarvan IV is your target in a teamfight, wait until after he uses his combo to ensure that he's an easier target!


Kalista
Threat Level: 4


Keep in mind that Kalista can increase the range of her Oathsworn ally's engage with Fate's Call! Sometimes just standing in the backline still can be too close!


Kayn
Threat Level: 7


Kayn can flank you through walls at any given time. Buying Zhonya's Hourglass is a must! He can dodge your Shocking Orb when using Umbral Trespass after hitting you!


Kha'Zix
Threat Level: 9


Don't facecheck the jungle unless you have backup! Kha'Zix can kill you when you are not careful!

Buy Zhonya's Hourglass if he's ahead!


Lee Sin
Threat Level: 3


If Lee Sin's Sonic Wave hits you, Shocking Orb him while he is midair to get a free stun. He'll still connect so don't stay around for too long!


Leona
Threat Level: 4


Build Banshee's Veil to avoid getting caught easily by Leona's Solar Flare in the midgame.


Malphite
Threat Level: 5


Malphite's engage relies on Unstoppable Force. Buying Banshee's Veil while keeping your distance is the best counter.

A lot of Malphite players tend to buy a lot of armor and no magic resistance, making them a squisher target for Xerath in the midgame.


Maokai
Threat Level: 3


Maokai's Twisted Advance can dodge your Shocking Orb. Stun him before he gets in range or after he finishes Twisted Advance!


Master Yi
Threat Level: 10


Xerath doesn't stand much of a chance against Master Yi making him a really easy target!
Buy Zhonya's Hourglass and stay with your teammates!


Nautilus
Threat Level: 5


Nautilus engages with either his Dredge Line or his Depth Charge. If you don't have Banshee's Veil he will have an easy time catching you, so buy it as second item!


Nocturne
Threat Level: 10


Nocturne has easy access to his enemies backline, making him a real thread for Xerath if he has no one with him.
While buying Zhonya's Hourglass might help you to stay alife, try to not get separated from your teammates or you'll die regardless!


Olaf
Threat Level: 6


Olaf's Ragnarok allows him to ignore Crowd Control when active. Keep a big distance!
As soon as he actives Ragnarok, he loses his bonus resistance and will take more damage from you!


Pantheon
Threat Level: 6


Pantheon has bad jungle clear, making him depended to succeed in early ganks! Don’t die to a level 2 gank!
While channeling Rite of the Arcane stay aware of him, possibly using Grand Skyfall onto you and catching you!


Pyke
Threat Level: 3


When Pyke is trying to catch someone with Ghostwater Dive don't channel your Arcanopulse which would slow you and make you an easier target for Bone Skewer.


Rammus
Threat Level: 3


Take Cleanse to lessen the chances of dying to Frenzying Taunt.

Be aware of the fact that Rammus can easily clear a huge distance with Powerball!
So don't wander into the jungle without vision!


Rek'sai
Threat Level: 3


Stay closer to the middle of your lane to make it harder for Rek'Sai to close the distance between you with her Tunnel! If you are close to a wall she can easily engage while coming from out of vision.


Rengar
Threat Level: 6


Against Rengar building Zhonya's Hourglass as a second item is the best approach! You don't have a lot of counterplay when he jumps on you with Thrill of the Hunt.


Sejuani
Threat Level: 4


Sejuani's ganks rely on Permafrost and Glacial Prison stuns to succeed. Going Cleanse will help you a lot against her in early. Buying Banshee's Veil in midgame negates a lot of her pick potential.


Shaco
Threat Level: 6


Shaco players often don't pick Flash and take Ignite. Take Barrier against it and against his burst!


Skarner
Threat Level: 4


Skarner can't catch you unless he has Predator available and your positioning is too aggressive. Getting Quicksilver Sash is most of the times not necessary.


Thresh
Threat Level: 3


Thresh will hook you with Death Sentence whenever he can.

Don't try to go for poke with Arcanopulse or your own slow will make you an easier target!

If you are getting caught a lot, buy a Banshee's Veil to stay safer!


Varus
Threat Level: 3


Varus pick potential with Chain of Corruption is the same as a Thresh's Death Sentence.

Getting Banshee's Veil against him can help you a lot.


Vi
Threat Level: 5


Against a fed Vi Zhonya's Hourglass can minimize her threat. Using it will cancel her Assault and Battery mid jump.

Shocking Orb will only stop her while channeling Vault Breaker, not while she is in her charge or while Assault and Battery.


Warwick
Threat Level: 4


Cleanse won't help you against Warwick's Infinite Duress.

Going for Banshee's Veil can help you when your team can’t protect you.

Interrupt Infinite Duress with a Shocking Orb when Warwick targets your allies!


Wukong
Threat Level: 6


Your abilities don't require you to see Wukong! Try to predict his movement when he goes invisible with Decoy.

Wukong most of the times builds a lot of AD and stays relatively squishy! Try to stay far away and burst him down after his engage!

If you are his target in teamfights opt for Zhonya's Hourglass and keep your distance as long as possible!


Xin Zhao
Threat Level: 3


Xin Zhao should be an easy target for you if you keep your distance.

His Crescent Guard blocks all incoming damage on him form Champions that are more than 450 units away. This means that you won't deal any damage to him when you are keeping your distance! Focus other enemies or wait out Crescent Guard's duration.


Zac
Threat Level: 10


Xerath is weak against Zac since he lacks the mobility to dodge an Elastic Slingshot.

Zac can engage onto you from really far away.

While Banshee's Veil can help you against some of his engages the only things that will really help you are your warding and staying in a defense position.

Your Shocking Orb will not interrupt his Elastic Slingshot!