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Xerath Build Guide by IceCreamCat

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League of Legends Build Guide Author IceCreamCat

Ascension is Nigh! - A Guide to AP Xerath

IceCreamCat Last updated on February 25, 2016
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Middle Lane
Ranked #5 in
Middle Lane
Win 53%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 18

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

Threats to Xerath with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Azir You have more range than him. Avoid his sand soldiers in lane and you should be fine.
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An Intro to the Guide & What's to Come

Hello fellow Ascended! I am a level 30 summoner named GhostDragon4475 on the North America server. I main with Xerath as he is my favorite champion due to his passive and the amount of damage he can deal. Yes I like ice cream and yes I like cats. I choose Xerath because of his insane Damage output and his overpowered ultimate, Rite of the Arcane (more on that later). With the new patch I will spend some time trying to sort things out a bit due to the fact that this guide was created right before season 6. Check out the patch notes here. And now, for the moment you have all been waiting for... Ladies and Gentlemen! Ascension is Nigh! I present to you... my first Xerath guide! I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful to you :)

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Pros and Cons


+ Ult covers whole map (except for ally and enemy bases)
+ OP Damage Output
+ Passive is a Sustain
+ Farms Easy

"You may stare, but your mind may collapse."


+ Runs out of mana quickly
+ Slow
+ All abilities are skillshots
+ Crowd Control effects cancel Q

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Xerath's Abilities

Mana Surge: Xerath has some of the best AoE damage in the game. His main disadvantage is that he is extremely mana hungry which is quite noticable in game. Mana surge gives Xerath a set amount of mana every 12 seconds upon his basic attack. It only works when he attacks minions, monsters, or enemy champions. It DOES NOT WORK when you attack a turret or inhibitor!

Arcanopulse: FIRST CAST: Xerath channels for up to 3 seconds, increasing Arcanopulse's range over 1.5 seconds. Xerath can move while channeling, but he gradually slows himself for the duration by up to 50%.
SECOND CAST: After a brief delay, Xerath fires a beam of energy in a line that deals magic damage to all enemies hit.
At the end of the channel, Arcanopulse cancels and refunds half of its mana cost.
Tips and Tricks
  • This is your main damage output. Use it wisely because it costs the most mana.
  • Cast this after Eye of Destruction or Shocking Orb to increase your chances of landing the ability.
  • Once you get to level 2 use this after your W to increase your chances of landing this ability.
  • If an enemy is on low health you might be able to snipe and kill them while they are "safe" under their turret! Note that after level 6 you can (and should) ult for the kill.

Eye of Destruction: ACTIVE: Xerath calls down a blast of arcane energy upon the target area which strikes after a 0.5 second delay, dealing magic damage to all enemies within and slowing them by 10% for 2.5 seconds.
Enemies hit directly take 50% increased damage and are Slow icon slowed by a greater amount, decaying down to 10% over the duration.
Tips and Tricks
  • Mid to late game cast this after Arcanopulse when you are farming. Cast it on top of the caster minions because you should kill them all if you landed Arcanopulse on them.
  • Cast Shocking Orb before this to land this right on an enemy's head.
  • At level 2 cast this before your Q to increase your chances landing it.
  • If your jungler wants to gank use this ability or your E to decrease your target's mobility.

Shocking Orb: ACTIVE: Xerath fires an orb of energy in the target direction, dealing magic damage to the first enemy hit and stunning them.
Tips and Tricks
  • Cast this before Eye of Destruction to get a point-blank shot in the center.
  • If there is an obstruction move because this does not go through enemy minions, monsters, or champions.
  • This is Xerath's only form of CC that isn't really CC because it can only target one enemy.
  • At level 3 cast this before your W to get a direct shot in the center of your W.

Rite of the Arcane: ACTIVE: Xerath anchors himself to his current location for up to 10 seconds, becoming immune to displacement and gaining the ability to cast an Arcane Barrage up to three times, but losing the ability to cast his other abilities.
Rite of the Arcane: ARCANE BARRAGE - ACTIVE: Xerath calls down a blast of arcane energy to the target area which strikes after a 0.6-second delay, dealing magic damage to all enemies within.
Rite of the Arcane can be cancelled early by moving or attacking and automatically ends once Arcane Barrage has been cast 3 times. If Rite of the Arcane ends without using a single cast of Arcane Barrage, half the cooldown is refunded. Rite of the Arcane is canceled and put on full cooldown if Xerath is affected by non-Airborne icon displacement crowd control that prevents or interrupts the casting of abilities.

Xerath has an insane amount of range on his ult. If you want you can be evil and snipe fleeing enemies from across the map. Nice try coward/s!

Tips and Tricks
  • To fire an arcane barrage press the R key again.
  • At max level this ability covers all of mid lane and the whole jungle if Xerath is in the exact center of the map.
  • Use this to pick off fleeing enemies on low health. They'll never know what hit them!
  • The "Wombo Combo": Stun your target with your E so that you can hit a bulls-eye with your W. Imminently after casting your W cast your Q. If you don't cast these abilities a split-second after you use your E the stun will wear off and you will be less likely to hit them because they can move or flash out of the way. The last part of the combo is to ult your target for the kill.

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Essential Runes


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Summoner Spells

Standard Summoner Spells:

Flash: I always bring a flash along whenever I am playing any game that I want to win in League of Legends. Taking flash as a mage is EXTREMELY important. Most mages I play (Vel'koz and Xerath) are fairly slow compared to other champions which makes them vulnerble to ganks. Flash enables me to get out of a gank or some other problem (like almost being killed by a super minion).

Heal: I almost always bring along a heal. Heal enables me to... well... heal (gasp) when I'm on low health.

Other Viable Options:

Exhaust: Exhaust is a good choice because it can help you land your abilities on an enemy champion. It is also great for getting out of ganks because of its slow. I would still prefer heal over this summoner spell.

Never Use These:

Teleport: Please don't use this. It is a waste of a summoner's spell. Mid is the shortest lane therefore it is the easiest to travel across therefore you don't NEED teleport! If you're having trouble have your jungler hold lane until you get back.

Ignite: You are rarely close enough to your target to use this. Xerath's range is way more than this summoner spell's range so I would rarely choose this spell.

Clairvoyance: Why waste a summoner spell on this when you can just quickly place a ward instead? If you simplify this sentence it will look like this: I think Clairvoyance is pointless.

Ghost: Why take this when you can flash instead?

Clarity: Honestly since Xerath's passive is a mana sustain you really don't NEED this early game. It is also kind of useless mid to late game because you should have enough sustain from your items that you won't be using this summoner spell.

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Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes


Luden's Echo

Rabadon's Deathcap

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Void Staff

The CDR and mana regen that this item gives is great. I believe that this is the item that you should always build to first.

Luden's Echo is another essential item. It gives a speed boost as well as 20 more AP than Morellonomicon. Due to its passive, its speed boost, and its extra AP, this would also be a viable option to build first. If it were my choice I would go with Morellonomicon because of its CDR.

The magic penetration on this item makes it an essential item for any mage. It is great on Xerath because of the +45 movement speed as Xerath is quite slow compared to other champions.

Just get this because of the 35% magic pen. It has 80 base AP as well as a 35% boost to your current magic pen. I would choose this over Rabadon's due to the fact the the more magic pen you have the more damage you will do.

I think Void Staff is a better choice because of the 35% magic pen. On the other hand, Rabadon's has an overpowered AP boost so it really comes down to if you want more AP or magic pen.

I would get Rylai's because of the 400 HP boost but Zhonya's active is very good. It all comes down to personal preference.

I would build this instead Zhonya's because of the HP boost and the slow. Like I said earlier, it all comes down to personal preference.

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Warding is a very important part of the game. It lets you see what is going on around your lane, it helps you keep an eye on the enemy jungler, and it also lets you see incoming ganks that you otherwise wouldn't notice if you didn't ward. Below is an image of good places to ward.

X= places to ward

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Team Fights

Team fights

In a team fight you will typically want to be positioned behind the rest of your team. Your range gets rid of the need for you to be on the front lines. As an added bonus you will be able to ult behind your team so it is less likely that you will be attacked while you are ulting. Notice how I am in a key position to avoid being hit by the enemy's attacks. In this image my team (except for the other two split pushing) is in front of me soaking up all of the damage while I take advantage of Xerath's range by staying behind the front lines.

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Arcanopulse (Q): Use Arcanopulse (Q) when you are farming. It has a fairly large range that can hit a whole wave of minions. Mid game target the caster minions by following up with your W. If you land it correctly you should kill all three at once and get the CS from them.

Eye of Destruction (W): Use Eye of Destruction (W) early and mid game on the caster minions after your Q. Early game only do it if the casters are on low health. Mid game do it right after you land your Q.

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What Do You Think?

I loved making this guide and I like how it looks and flows. But more importantly, I want to know what YOU think of it. Please leave a comment below. I would love some feedback on how I could improve and what you liked or disliked about this guide. Please up vote this guide if you liked it. I would appreciate if you told me why you up voted or down voted it (especially if you down voted it). I hope you learned something about Xerath from this guide. Tell me about how you did in game using this build or what you think should be changed in this guide. I would appreciate the feedback :)

You can find Xerath mid lane counters here if you want to know more about good and bad champions to play against.

One last thing: You can send me a PM with your summoner name and am image of your match results if you would like them posted. Once I get a few I will create a new section for them :D

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I would like to give my thanks to johijohi for supplying me with the code to create and beautify this guide. Without it I probably wouldn't have even tried to make this :)

Image credit for this guide goes to:

{eventually I will just add in my own images for some of these so that I can edit the images to my taste }
>I use Imgur to upload my own personal images

Audio credit goes to:

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Patch Notes for Guide (will be deleted monthly)

[2-9-16]Happy Chinese New Year!
[2-9-16] December Patch Notes Deleted (yes I know I haven't been working on this guide recently)
[2-25-16] Changed image for Team Fights section
[2-25-16] Raised Heimerdinger's threat level
[2-25-16] Moved Clarity and Ghost spells to "never use" category in Summoner Spells section