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Xerath Build Guide by Penita13

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Penita13

Death, Too Unreal - S7 In-Depth Xerath Guide (Mid & Sup)

Penita13 Last updated on June 24, 2016
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Team 1

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
Morgana Morgana mid is damn near never picked, and for a good reason. There are a lot of counters to her, including everybody who has good poke (like Xerath). You can poke her down easily and ult her. She doesn't have a movement speed buff, so dodging will be very difficult for her. Buy boots early to be able to dodge her 'q' and avoid standing in her pool and you're fine. In teamfights all you have to do is avoid getting caught out and she won't be able to do anything to you. You do have to be constantly aware of a bait by her black shield ('e') and a Zhonya's Hourglass (which she most probably will build).
Urgot Urgot is an annoying laning-opponent. However, the sight of his character is more threatening than his kit. He is a 1-trick champion who relies on hitting his 'e'. If he misses, you can walk up and zone him. If he hits you, stun him and walk away. I advice you to buy boots early for easier dodginh. In teamfights he doesn't have anything onto you. He will hit a brick wall of tanks and has to come close to deal damage. Be wary of his ultimate though, as it gives Urgot a lot of resistances and can get you into an awkward position. If you position yourself properly in teamfights, he's no threat.

Hello summoner. My name is Penita13 or (in-game) Atra Silentium and I welcome you to my very first guide on Mobafire. This is going to be an in-depth guide on Xerath, the Magus Ascendant. It will cover everything you want to know about this champion and things of which you didn't even know you wanted to know them yet.

Xerath was the very first mid-laner I ever tried. I didn't understand much of him and quickly went onwards to try and find another champion I could understand. Quickly afterwards, when I started to learn how the game works, he gained a special place in my heart and I still play him a lot nowadays.

Even though Xerath is barely ever played anymore, I still feel like he is a very strong pick and think he is extremele underrated. However, Xerath wil only work out if your team has a lot of peel (e.g. Janna or Alistar) and a good frontline (e.g. Alistar, Malphite, Poppy, etc). Only when your team is able to keep you safe on the back-line, should you pick Xerath. But without further ado, let's get straight into the guide.

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Table Of Contents


+Safe to play
+3 AOE-spells
+Powerful poke
+Good mana-sustain
+Awesome dance-spam
Xerath has a huge range, which makes him a very safe champion. At the start you can bully the enemy out of his lane and in a teamfight you can sit behind your teammates dealing massive damage. He can win a fight before it has even started by targeting the enemy carries and taking them to (below) half-health. His passive, Mana Surge, makes sure he doesn't run out of mana and combine that with AOE abilities, and you've got yourself an incredibly powerful poke- and waveclear champion.


+Low mobility
+Prone to burst
+No reliable hard CC
+Abilities hard to land
Even though Xerath has a lot of damage, he has to give in on mobility. He has no gap-closers and is reliant on escaping using his flash when ganked. This low mobility makes him prone towards burst, as he can't dodge them. Next to that, he can't stop them as the only form of hard CC he has, is a skillshot stun. This, and the fact that his abilities are predictable, makes it relatively hard to land your spells. If you want to survive, you've got to act instead of react and predict the enemies' movements.

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Every 12 seconds, Xerath's next basic attack will restore 30 / 33 / 36 / 42 / 48 / 54 / 63 / 72 / 81 / 90 / 102 / 114 / 126 / 138 / 150 / 165 / 180 / 195 mana.

The amount of mana restored is doubled if the attack target is a champion.

COOLDOWN 12 seconds
RANGE 525 (Auto-Attack)

This passive is fantastic in the laning phase. When used properly, you'll never run out of mana in lane, allowing you to keep poking and shoving enemies in without having to go back. However, With great power comes great responsibility, as walking up too far for your proc can very well mean your death.

This is a passive, so you're not allowed to put any points into this ability.

  • Auto-Attacking an enemy with your passive up, will proc it and grant you with double the mana you would have gotten otherwise.
  • In teamfights, you shouldn't try and auto-attack enemies, except for when their tank is in your face. You shouldn't even be close enough to, as you're supposed to be way back.

Fires a long-range beam of energy, dealing magic damage to all targets hit.

First cast:Xerath charges Arcanopulse, gradually decreasing his Movement Speed by 50% over the next 1.5 seconds, while increasing the spell's range.
Second cast:Xerath fires Arcanopulse, dealing 80/120/160/200/240 (+75% Ability Power) magic damage to all enemies in a line. While charging Arcanopulse, Xerath cannot attack or cast other spells. If Xerath does not fire the spell, half the Mana cost is refunded.

COOLDOWN 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 seconds
COST 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 mana

This is your main ability. It gives you the absurd amount of range and poke you are known for. Hitting it can be quite difficult, as the enemy can see your casting animation, but once you get used to it, you can shred your opponet's healthbar with ease.

This ability has the second maxing-priority, directly after your ultimate Rite of the Arcane, as it allows you to deal the most damage.

  • Try casting it when you are out of sight. This way the enemy can't see your casting-animation, which makes this ability easier to hit.
  • Try smartcasting this ablilty. It eases the aiming and allows for smoother poking while last-hitting.
  • Using the ability, but not casting it a second time, refunds some mana. This is useful for scaring off the enemy to deny him cs, while not wasting all your mana.
  • You are able to flash after you have cast this ability once, which can close the gap between you and your target just enough for you to be able to hit him.
  • This ability has a minimum range. So, when being chased, casting this ability two times shortly after one another slows you down minimally, but still alows you to dish out the damage.

Calls down a barrage of arcane energy, slowing and dealing magic damage to all enemies in an area. Targets in the middle receive additional damage and a stronger slow.

Xerath calls down a blast of arcane energy after a 0.5 second delay, dealing 60/90/120/150/180 (+60% Ability Power) magic damage to all enemies within the target area, slowing them by 10% in a target 200-radius area for 2.5 seconds. Enemies in the center of the blast take 90 / 135 / 180 / 225 / 270 (+91% Ability Power) magic damage and are slowed by 60/65/70/75/80%. This slow decays rapidly.

COOLDOWN 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds
COST 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana
RANGE 1100

This is an amazing spell. It is a circle which deals more damage the closer you get to the middle. Next to that, it gives a nice slow and has a huge range. Good for finishing off low-hp creeps and scaring off enemies.

This ability has the third maxing-priority, directly after Arcanopulse, as it has the highest scaling. However, if you feel like you are going to need your Shocking Orb very often, maxing it instead of your Eye of Destruction is a good idea.

  • Use this ability to set yourself up. It's easier for you to hit a target with your stun when they are slowed by this ability.
  • This ability works better when smartcasted. It allows for quicker reaction times and more precise placement.
  • This ability gives vision when used. So if you want to know if that LeBlanc is camping in a brush, just use your 'w' on it to find out without dying.

Deals magic damage to an enemy and stuns them.

Xerath fires an orb of raw magic. The first enemy hit takes 80/110/140/170/200 (+45% Ability Power) magic damage and is stunned for between 0.5 and 2 seconds. The stun duration increases based on traveled distance.

COOLDOWN 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 seconds
COST 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 mana
RANGE 1050

This is the one spell which can save you from potentially bad situations. It is a skillshot though, so landing it could be difficult. Smartcasting here is a choice of preference, but personally I use it smartcasted for quicker reaction.

This ability has the fourth and last maxing-priority, as all your other abilities give you more scaling and thus late game damage. However, if you feel like you are going to need your Shocking Orb very often, maxing it instead of your Eye of Destruction is a good idea.

  • Make sure you are using this ability at the right time. You don't have any other hard CC or gap closer (except for your flash), so use it wisely.
  • You can use this ability to set yourself up and make hitting your other abilities way easier.
  • Combining your Shocking Orb with your Rite of the Arcane, can make sure you land the first two Arcabe Barrages, without the enemy being able to do anything about it.

Xerath immobilizes himself and gains three shots of a long-range attack.

Xerath ascends to his true form, becoming rooted in place and gaining 3 / 4 / 5 Arcane Barrages. This magic artillery deals 200 / 230 / 260 (+43% Ability Power) magic damage to all enemies hit (maximum 600 / 690 / 780 (+129% Ability Power) single target damage. The root ends after 10 seconds, when all shots have been fired or when manually deactivated by issuing a move command. If Xerath does not fire off a single Arcane Barrage, half of the cooldown of Rite of the Arcane is refunded.

COOLDOWN 130 / 115 / 100 seconds
COST 100 mana
RANGE 3520 / 4840 / 6160

This is your ultimate, the ability that gives you kills without even having to be close to them. Using it on a low target secures the kill for your team (Or steals it, but that doesn't matter cause you're the mid-laner :3). Next to using it on players, it can also be used to steal objectives and buffs.

This ability has your first maxing-priority, as it gives you the most damage and a large power spike. As soon as you're allowed to level-up your ult (levels 6, 11 and 16), you should do so.

  • You should definitely smartcast this ability. You can get a surprise attack and have a higher chance at hitting your first shot.
  • A shot gives a bit of vision, so if you barely miss someone, you'll know and get another shot.
  • Using your Farsight Alteration befor sniping someone in the fog of war, will give you vision of your enemy, massively increasing the chances of you hitting your ult.
  • Always walk away a bit before using this ability to a place where you are safe. If your ultimate gets disrupted by any form of cc, it will go on full cooldown. So make sure nobody can disrupt you!
  • Your ult doesn't have a casting time, so it can be used immediately after you've stunned someone with your 'e'.





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Runes Mid


Greater Seal of Health

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
  • I pick 9x Greater Seal of Health. These can be swapped out for any other form of defensive rune, mostly depending on the enemy. I do advise you to include some defence in your runes, as you don't want to get stomped before you even reach the 20-minute mark.
  • 9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. They allow you to deal more damage throughout all stages of the game. There's no other option here. Some like running greater mark of hybrid penetration and like to AA in lane a lot, but you spend more time casting spells, so I'm not a huge fan of those.
  • The scaling AP glyphs give you more AP in the late game, which allows you to hit harder than with regular AP glyphs. You can switch them up and put some regular AP combined with scaling if you are going for an earlier finish, however you should alsways have some of both in your build, not either or.
  • I put flat AP quints in my build. The same goes here as with the scaling AP glyphs. You can swap them out for scaling AP if you expect a long game, however, this is the most balanced and provides you a lot of damage throughout all stages of the game.

Runes Support


Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
  • The 9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration make sure you deal more damage in the early game, massively boosting your pressence (and thus pressure) in lane. Alternatives aren't advised.
  • The Greater Seal of Armor are very useful for when the enemy ADC wants to harass you with his auto-attacks. They will hit you less hard, making you more durable throughout the entire game. You can swap them some out for either health or magic resist seals (depending on the enemy team). However, these are in my opinion the best.
  • I go for some late-game damage with the Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power. Even though you want to have pressure early game, you don't want to lose it later on. These can be swapped out for mana-regen if you really, really can't control your mana well, but this is traded for some much needed late-game AP.
  • 9x Greater Quintessence of Ability Power for the AP throughout the game. Gives you a nice damage boost, which might just be enough to secure (..."secure"...) a kill for your team.

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I'll be going through the mastery tree, explaining and analysing every point I take. Honestly, it isn't very different from other guides, but if you're curious as to why you should or shouldn't take a point somewhere, here you go.
I have chosen for 12/18/0 masteries. The reason I don't take any points in the Resolve tree, is because those masteries are mainly defensive, which is not how we want to build our beloved sniper.


Ferocity Tree

I take 5 points in Sorcery , which shouldn't be a surprise. The other possible mastery, Fury , gives you attack speed, which is not something we benefit a lot of.

The choices I made in this tier are somewhat debatable. I chose for a point in Double Edged Sword , which corresponds with the idea of you being a glass-cannon. However, sometimes taking Feast can mean the difference between you getting out of the laning-phase unscaved or not. I am, personally, very confident in my laning. If you're not, or you're going to need all the health you can get, take Feast instead.

I take 5 points in the Natural Talent mastery. Even though choosing Vampirism and going full-spellvamp Xerath is a very funny thing to do (honestly, if you have no idea what to play, try it out somtime. It's actually a blast), the late-game Ability Power is worth much more to us, hence my choice.

This mastery-point is probably the most preference-based of my guide. Both Bounty Hunter and Oppressor are very good masteries on Xerath. I can't tell you which one is "the best", as it is completely based off of your play-style. If you are very comfortable at roaming and are, no matter how hard you try, always shoving, Bounty Hunter is the go-to mastery for you. However, if you're a very strong laner and are good at landing skill-shots (in specific your Shocking Orb), Oppressor is the mastery for you. it gives you more laning-pressure, but cuts your roaming potential. It will take a few games for you to make up your mind as to what fits your playstyle best. After having played many games, i came to the conclusion that Oppressor fits best with me.

Cunning Tree

I take 5 points in Wanderer , but if you're new to Xerath and are not quite used to his auto-attack animation yet, or are simply not that good at farming with AP-champions, choosing Savagery is a good idea. It gives you that tiny bit of extra damage to minions and monsters, which can make farming a lot easier. However, if you feel comfortable at farming with Xerath, like me, Wanderer is the better option. Simply put, if you can farm without Butcher , take Wanderer .

Secret Stash has always been a mastery which I adored. Especially since mana can be a problem in teamfights for Xerath, the instant 10 mana can make a difference. The increased duration helps with getting out of laning-phase as well. Runic Affinity can be good, but not as beneficial as you would like it to be, and Assassin is, as one would expect, for assassins, which you are not even in the slightest.

Merciless makes sure you deal extra damage when enemies are low, which is very useful in combination with your ultimate ( Rite of the Arcane), as it gives you the ability to finish an enemy off more effectively. When you are experiencing some mana-issues, taking Meditation can help, though I do not recommend it.

This is not as much a matter of which mastery is the strongest, but rather which mastery isn't the weakest. Bandit is a mastery purely designed for supports, so Dangerous Game is the obvious choice here.

Even though you do benefit from cooldown reduction, taking Intelligence over Precision is not advantageous. If you want to dish out as much damage as possible, choosing for the CDR will only result in you being out of mana sooner, while the magic penetration provides you with a more reliable and constant increase in damage. Thus my choice to take 5 points in Precision .

Thunderlord's Decree has been considered 'OP' for a very long time. And to be honest, it still is very strong, though not on all champions anymore. You, as a long range mage, can proc this mastery very easily and make the most out of it. As for the alternatives, Windspeaker's Blessing is useless as you have neither a shield, nor a heal, and you don't benefit from the movement speed Stormraider's Surge provides you with.

Even though the support role is entirely different, the masteries are almost the same. This is the case, because Xerath doesn't benefit from many masteries, so there are limited choices and alternatives to go with. The only mastery which should be swapped when you go support is Bandit . You always want this mastery as a support, NO MATTER WHAT. Supports are generally quite poor and the money this mastery gives you is very welcome.

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Flash: Flash is an uncontested pick. When you get ganked and are in a bad situation, a good flash can save your life and prevent your enemy from snowballing. Or, when the enemy is low and is about to get away, a good flash can secure the kill. It has a long cooldown though, so use it wisely.


Heal: Heal can be replaced by other Summoner spells and is based on personal preference and match-up. Heal both heals (ofcourse) and gives you a small burst of movement speed. This is very useful if you are low and the enemy engages to either turn the fight around or escape. Try to avoid using it when the enemy has ignited you, as it will negate a portion of the heal, which is a waste.

Exhaust: Exhaust is a good alternative for heal and is very useful against AD mid-laners such as Yasuo and Zed. You can negate a big portion of their damage, slow their movement speed and attack speed, and thus outrun them. This can save you from a lot of potentially bad situations.

Cleanse: You should pick this summoner spell if the enemy team has a lot of hard CC. For example a Shen support, a Nasus top and a Morgana mid. If you are bad against an Annie, you can pick Cleanse as well, but usually you won't be in range for her, so it's not truely necessary.

Ghost: I personally don't like ghost. It doesn't offer anything other than movement speed, which isn't something useful if you are getting ganked. However, I can't see why it's bad on Xerath, so that's why I added it to the list. Ghost should only be picked mid if your opponent(s) have little to no CC. Otherwise it's useless.

Barrier Barrier can be useful, but it isn't on top of my list. You can protect yourself from burst by negating a portion of the damage. However, it doesn't bring anything but a shield, unlike Heal, and is only useful in the laning phase as, during teamfights, you are way back. It can be useful versus bursty champions such as LeBlanc and Fizz, but those are in my opinion the only ones.

Teleport Teleport gets you close to enemies, which is not what we particularly want. However, it can make for some nice (counter)ganks. Next to this it can give you a quick ride back to lane. I personally don't quite like teleport on Xerath, but when coordinating well with your team or when facing a heavy-poke opponent, Teleport can be a very viable pick.

Don't pick...

Ignite: You aren't going to be in range to ignite someone. You poke them down and ult to finish them off. You should never be getting close to your enemy, so don't pick this on Xerath.

Smite: Very simple. You aren't a jungler and you don't benefit from Enchantment: Runeglaive, so I see no reason why you would even consider picking this.

Table Of Contents

Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes


Luden's Echo

Rabadon's Deathcap

Zhonya's Hourglass

Void Staff

Mid Lane

Sorcerer's shoes: These are the standard tier 2 boots for any AP mid-laner. They provide you with extra movementspeed and on top of that some magic penetration, allowing you to deal more damage to your enemies.

Morellonomicon: You benefit greatly from every aspect that this item has to offer. You get a fair amount of AP, which pumps up your damage; you get +100% manaregen, allowing you to constantly spam your abilities, and regenning enough to keep doing so; The grievous wounds this item brings allows you to kill your enemies easier with your ult, as their heals heal for less. This all makes this a fantastic item.

Luden's echo: This is an amazing Item on Xerath. It gives you a lot of AP and a passive which works similar to a Statikk Shiv. Increases your poking threat by a lot. However, in some games you need other items quickly, such as a Zhonya's vs a Zed for example. In that case, you should swap it out for this item, because Luden's Echo is much less effective if you're not ahead.

Rabadon's Deathcap: This ia a standard item on AP mid-laners. It gives a lot of AP and a passive which adds a percentage of your current AP on top of that. When you get this item, your damage skyrockets and you become very dangerous.

Zhonya's Hourglass: This is, again, an amazing item on Xerath. It gives you a lot of AP and an active which makes you untargetable for 2.5 seconds. This is extremely useful to evade some of the burst that the enemy focuses on you and can dodge multiple CC-abilities. Extremely useful to prevent yourself from being caught out and dying.

Void Staff: This is a true lategame item. It gives you some extra AP, which is nice, but it's mostly popular for its magic penetration. This allows you to burn through your enemies' magic resist and keep doing a lot of damage, even when they are building tanky stats.

Situational Items

Liandry's Torment: This item isn't part of my standard build. However, it's still a good item which, in some cases, can be very useful. Take this item instead of Zhonya's Hourglass or Void Staff (depending on what you need the most) when the enemies are scaling health instead of magic resist. It burns through them and allows you to poke them very effectively.

Athene's Unholy Grail: Athene's unholy grail was still picked from time to time for the high mana-regeneration and the magic-resist. After patch 6.9 however, the magic resist and unique passive were cut quite heavily. This lead to a new discussion: Athene's Unholy Grail vs Abyssal Mask. I will be going more in-depth in this discussion down below. This item is still, just like before, good for surviving your lane when you're going to have a difficult time. It just weakens your power more.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter After the AP-item changes, this Item has become quite popular. The different aspects that this item brings are all really useful. Even though you don't benefit as much as you could from this item (due to the fact that 3/4 of your spells are AOE), you still get a decent slow with which you can peel yourself and your allies. You can pick this as an alternative if the enemy team has a lot of mixed damage or when your team doesn't provide you with as much defence.

Abyssal Scepter This is an item which is great versus bursty/poke champions. It slows your scaling by a lot, but can prevent the enemy LeBlanc from snowballing out of control. It gives you some magic-resist and passively shreds that of your enemies when you're close to them. It also gives you some AP, though it doesn't stand out that much. I don't recommend picking this up if you don't feel like there's an absolute need to. Only get this if you're not feeling safe versus your enemy.

Banshee's Veil This ia a really situational pick. You should only ever pick this item when you are against a high cc champion, for example Blitzcrank, Thresh or Alistar. These are all high-CC champions who can land their combo and throw you into the enemy team. What they have in common is that all of their combo's rely on 1 spell, so with the passive that Banshee's gives, you can save yourself from getting initiated upon.


Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes - Alacrity

Frost Queen's Claim

Ruby Sightstone

Hextech GLP-800

Mikael's Crucible

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Sorcerer's Shoes: These are the best upgraded boots option for Xerath in any lane. They allow him to deal more damage by bypassing a small portion of the enemy's magic resistance. I personally wouldn't take anything else, but if you want you can try out some alternatives.

Frost Queen's Claim: You should always get this item, no matter the circumstances. It gives you some much needed gold for simply harassing and provides you with an active, giving you some peel which is something your kit lacks a lot of. So this item should always be build.

Ruby Sightstone: It doesn't really matter at what moment in the game you upgrade your Sightstone. The ugraded version gives you 250 extra health over sightstone, so you can get a small bonus for 800g. You should get Sightstone really early though, as it prevents ganks and gives you control over the bushes in lane, which you want to hide in.

Hextech GLP-800: This item is amazing. It provides you with a lot of AP, some mana and health and an active with which you can peel quite effectively. It can also catch people out, which means it can be picked all-round. The only drawback to this item is that it doesn't have mana-regen, but if you're able to utilise your passive, even as a support, you don't quite need it. Definitely a go-to item on Xerath.

Mikael's Crucible: This is the first of the last 2 items, which you should swap out based on the enemy team. I will be going through the others later on, but for now I'll stick to 2 of the items with which you can never go wrong. Mikael's Crucible cleanses all cc off of a teammate, while also healing them. It keeps your adc in the fight for so much longer, while also providing some nice stats for you in the form of magic resist and CDR.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter: This is the 2nd of the replaceable items. Rylai's allows you to be more tanky, but next to that it gives you the ability to kite with your spells. It slows them with every ability cast. Even though you don't get the maximum efficiency off of this item, it is still very strong on you and definitely worth picking up.



+60 Ability Power
+10% Cooldown Reduction
60 Magic Resist

UNIQUE Aura: Reduces the Magic Resist of nearby enemies by 10 - 25 (at levels 1 - 18). Range = 700.

COST: 2750g

+40 Ability Power
+20% Cooldown Reduction
+25 Magic Resist
+75% Base Mana Regen

UNIQUE Passive: 20% of pre-mitigation damage you deal to champions is gained as Blood Charges, up to a cap of 100-250 (at levels 1-18). Healing or shielding an ally consumes your current Blood Charges to heal that ally.
Passive - Harmony: Grants 100% base mana/health regeneration based on which percentage is relatively lower than the other.

COST: 2700g

After patch 6.9, Athene's stats were nerfer quite hard, but the item became a lot cheaper as well. Even though Morellonomicon was superior for most mid-laners, some still picked Athene's for the survivability and mana.
However, because these stats decreased, there's a new alternative: Building Abyssal Mask. Let's go in details.

Between the 2 there's a cost-difference of 500 in favour of Athene's. Abyssal however, provides you with 20 more AP and 35 more magic resistance. That's basically an Amplifying Tome and a Negatron Cloak combined, which would suggest Abyssal has the edge. However, this item has, contrary to Abyssal, mana regeneration. This is equal to about 3 Faerie Charms, aka 425 gold. This does not take Athene's passive 'Harmony' into a count, but because this is an item you want early-on, the 100% base mana-regeneration won't make much of a difference.

But we're Xerath and we have Mana Surge, so mana isn't out biggest problem. If you want magic-resistance to be able to deal with your laner, building magic-resist is better than not doing so for the sake of your mana.
So to negate this problem, I advise you to build Morellonomicon and Abyssal Mask alongside eachother. When you back, get a Lost Chapter. The earlier you pick it up, the more you'll benefit from it. Afterwards, start building on your abyssal. If you need the Magic resistance asap, get a Negatron Cloak. If you're going for it preamptively, you should buy a Blasting Wand to keep the pressure up.

Picking this order over getting Athene's Unholy Grail will mean you have a stronger laning-phase AND more damage late-game. So the choice is hereby made, Abyssal Mask wins.

+70 Ability Power
+45 Armor
+10% Cooldown Reduction

UNIQUE Active - Stasis: Champion becomes invulnerable and untargetable for 2.5 seconds, but is unable to move, attack, cast spells, or use items during this time (120 second cooldown).

COST: 3200g
+100 Ability Power
+400 Health

UNIQUE Passive: Damaging spells and abilities apply a Movement Speed reduction to enemies based on the spell type:

Single Target: 40% reduction for 1.5 seconds.
Area of Effect: 40% reduction for 1 second.
Damage over Time or Multi-hit: 20% reduction for 1 seconds.
Summoned Minions: 20% reduction for 1 seconds.
Abilities with < 3 second cooldown: 20% reduction for 1 second.

(If a spell fits in more than one category, it uses the weakest slow value.)

COST: 3200g

Since the AP-item changes, Rylai's Crystal Scepter has become more and more popular due to it's massive slows and high amount of AP. I have taken some time to test whether the reworked item is any good for Xerath and here's my conclusion.

When you look at the stats, Rylai's Crystal Scepter can be a very viable item to incorporate in our build at the expense of Zhonya's Hourglass: They both give some defensive ststs and provide you with quite a lot of AP. However, you are not able to make full use of the slow Rylai's provides, as 3/4 of your spells are AOE. Next to that, you can't spam your spells, making it unable for you to "perma-slow" your enemy. This means Zhonya's Hourglass is theoretically more beneficial to you, as you use every stat and effect it provides. However, in some cases, Rylai's Crystal Scepter can be very useful. Against a LeBlanc for example. The armor from Zhonya's doesn't help against her and she'll probably burst you down before you have time to use your active. Rylai's gives you health, which is useful against any champion, and makes sure your team can catch up to her. This item is useful as well when the enemies are prone to kiting, as the slows help you peel for yourself.

Basically, both items are very good and it's the enemy team that decides what item you should pick. At least I can assure you that you can't go wrong with either one of them.

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In the first part of this chapter, I'm going to talk about what you should do in a regular game. There are some exceptions however. For those I refer you to my "Threats" section at the start of the guide.

Early game: You want to start your lane by just simply farming. Try to get all of your abilities and poke your enemy from time to time with a 'q' and a with passive powered auto-attack. When you are winning trades and are out-farming your enemy, try to deny him cs. You should avoud pushing your enemy in, unless you can roam with a high chance of succes. If not, just keep poking and farming. Buy a pink ward and put it somewhere in a side-brush when you do shove your enemy in. This way you will know where the jungler is, and with your long range, you are very good at defending it.
Your main goal for the early-game is not losing your lane. If you win or tie, both in CS and kills, you can basically outscale anyone. This doesn't mean you shouldn't be playing aggressive. You have a lot of bullying-power with which you can potentialy deny your enemy a lot of resources. Make sure you don't force anything you don't 100% know you can win.

Mid-game: As soon as towers are starting to fall, the laning phase has ended. When you are ahead, try to take your enemy's turret if you haven't done so yet. Start roaming and try to get kills in other lanes. If you are able to get a kill in your own lane, you ofcourse don't have to roam all the time, but try to create as much pressure as possible.
If you are behind, keep farming. try to help other lanes and try to prevent yourself from dying. Don't go through unwarded territory (unless you have back-uo), as you can easily get picked off. Try to play for the late-game and stall as much as possible.

Late Game: This is where you shine. You have about 3 or 4 completed items and are dealing massive amounts of damage. Try to group and utilise your fantastic ability to siege. Gaining a gold-lead through destroyed towers is a very good strategy. Poke the enemies as much as possible and try to get them low. If you are afraid of one enemy in particular, focus him and when he reaches about 1/2 health, ult him to scare him off. Afterwards engage with your team and win. If you're not, simply focus on their carries, throw out as much spells as possible and kite with your 'e'. When the teamfight turns in your favour, use your ult to finish enemies off. Be cautious about when to throw your stun. It is your only tool of defence and has a fairly long cooldown. If you waste it and someone engages onto you, you are done for.


The second part of this chapter will be focused on the 'support' role. Even though you are the support, you will still be able to have a huge impact and spoonfeed kills to your partner in crime in the bot-lane. I'm going through the 3 stages of the game again, but now from the Point Of View when you are a support, so that you know what to do in any situation.

Early game: In the early game you have to be really careful. You are still fairly weak at this point, so make sure you don't get caught. Getting bush-control as soon as possible is key to winning. Both the river and the lane-bushes are very important, which is why you should get a Sightstone very quickly. This item allows you to see the enemy jungler coming, which prevents enemy ganks and makes it possible for your team to make a play elsewhere. Next to that, it is much easier for you to hit your spells when the enemy can't see you casting them. That's why I take a Sweeping Lens as my starting trinket. Try to poke your enemies and AA (Auto-Attack) them as much as possible. Do make sure that you have enough mana for your stun, as it is the only peel-tool you have.
Getting you and your ally out of lane unscaved is your main goal. Try to deny your enemies as much as possible, but don't get caught off by a Rocket Grab or a Death Sentence, because you are really squishy.

Mid-game: As soon as you get your first 1 or 2 items and across the map turrets start to fall, the laning-phase has ended. This means you have to be extra careful about enemies coming to gank you, making warding even more important. Next to that, this is the stage in which you decide in which way you want to keep playing support. Either you start to roam to try and get your other lanes snowballing, or you stick with your ADC and aim for the late-game. My preference lies with the second option, but I have found both options viable. You should make a choice taking the enemy team, your own team and, of course, your personal preference into a count. You still want to stay back and try to poke the enemies a bit. The main difference with mid-lane gameplay is the fact that you don't deal as much damage with your spells, so you are going to want to use them more as a zoning-tool.

Late game: This is where you are at your strongest. Basically, you have an extra mid-laner on your team, which is able to peel and deal damage at the same time. Make sure you use all the actives of your items in a teamfight, as they can truely turn a fight around. However, you should never forget that you aren't a carry. This means that defending your ADC is and remains your primary goal. If you are going to have to sacrifice yourself for your ADC, you should do so. Never forget that throughout any stage of the game.
Keep up the warding and try to have a Vision Ward placed at any time. You can set-up your team for an engage by the slowing that Rylai's gives you and your Shocking Orb. If you played the game correctly up till this point, you should have no problem ending it off.

I know this was a lot of text, and mabe was a bit difficult to follow. If you have any questions regarding the playstyle of both roles, feel free to let me know!

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Frequently Asked


Q: With which ADCs doeas Xerath support synergise? // Xerath support revolves around reaching late-game and becoming a second mid-laner who can peel for his ADC at the same time. For this reason, Xerath works well with any ADC that can get Xerath through the laning-phase. All ADCs that heve a lot of lane-presence and can finish a poked enemy off synergise. Examples are Lucian and Miss Fortune, but also lane bullies like Jinx, Draven and Caitlyn.

Q: When should I roam as Xerath mid instead of ulting? // What it comes down to, is that you should roam whenever you have the chance to (the lane is pushed into the enemy and the target lane isn't) and when your ult won't secure a kill. There's a difference in result between ulting from your lane and busting a flash or spending a minute to walk over there and pick up a (double) kill. However, do remember that you're not a master ganker and that you should only gank if the enemies are low enough to be killed with ease. If this is not the case, either ulting or simply go on farming will be more beneficial.

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I will be summarising the changes to Xerath and the items he uses in the 3 most recent patches (if there are any) and put them into a table. When I have reached a 4th patch, the oldest one will be removed.


Influence on Xerath

P 6.12 Rod of Ages: Combine Cost 650 g -> 750 g
Total Cost 2600 g -> 2700 g
Percent Mana To Health Conversion 0.25 -> 0.2

Hextech GLP-800: Percent Mana To Health Conversion 0.25 -> 0.2

Double Edged Sword : (REMOVED) A MAstery Divided No longer has split effectiveness for ranged or melee champions (now 3% damage increase / 1.5% increased damage taken for everyone)

Natural Talent : (NEW) Attack Damage At Level 1 .4 per rank (+2 at rank 5)
(NEW) Ability Power At Level 1 .6 per rank (+3 at rank 5)
Attack Damage Per Level 0.11 per rank -> 0.09 per rank (+.45 at rank 5)
Ability Power Per Level 0.16 per rank -> 0.13 per rank (+.65 at rank 5)
Total Amount At Level 18 +10 AD and +15 AP (unchanged)

/Remake launched this patch

P 6.11 None

P 6.10 Barrier: Cooldown 210 seconds -> 180 seconds

Ghost: Cooldown 210 seconds -> 180 seconds
Movement Speed Bonus 27% at all levels -> 28 - 45% (At levels 1 - 18)

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July the 25th, 2015 - Start of guide.

August the 2nd, 2015 - Corrected some grammar and spelling mistakes;
- Added Zhonya's VS Rylai's discussion section;
- Added Support build path (Gameplay explanation coming soon);
- Added Sona to match-up section.

August the 10th, 2015 - Changed title appropriately;
- Corrected some spelling mistakes. (I can't type for ****);
- Added Patch 5.15 to the "Patch Influences" section;
- Added support to the "Gameplay" section;
- Updated a mistake in the "masteries" section.

August the 30th, 2015 - Added Patch 5.16 to the "Patch Influences" section;
- Upgraded Support part on the Masteries and Runes sections. (Items coming soon)

February the 24th, 2016 - Edited and republished for the new season;
- Updated the "Patch influences" section;
- Updated the "Threats" section;
- Updated the "Items" sections;
- Updated the "Summoner Spells" section;
- Updated the "Mastery" sections;
- Updated the "Abilities" section.

February the 28th, 2016 - Added banner to the guide;
- Changed guide name to 'Death, Too Unreal';
- Added Patch 6.4 to 'Patch Influences.

April the 7th, 2016 - Added Aurelion Sol to the 'champion matchups' section;
- Added new patches to the 'patch influences' chapter;
- Updated the threat level of certain champions. Special thanks to BlueMoon1 to notifying me on this.

April the 29th, 2016 - Updated the 'threats' section at the start of the guide;
- Introduced the Support role in the 'threats' section;
- Added new patch to the 'Patch Influences' chapter;
- Updated itemisation;
- Smoothened lay-out and (textual) structure;
- Introduced FAQ.

May the 5th, 2016 - Updated the itemisation according to recent changes;
- Added patch 6.9 to the 'Patch Influences' section;
- Updated information on abilities, items, etc according to newest patch;
- Worked on Images and Artwork (coming soon).

May the 22nd, 2016 - Added custom artwork and Table Of Contents and updated lay-out;
- Updated overall content according to Sethbling's notes. Special thanks to him;
- Added 'Patch 6.10' to the patch-influences;
- Added Taliyah to the 'champion match-ups';
- Updated 'Item-Discussions section (part 2)' according to recent changes.

June the 24th, 2016 - Updated some coding issues considering the artwork;
- Updated the patch-notes for Patch 6.11 and 6.12
- Added a link to my coaching service in the 'Word Of Thanks'.

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Well, that concludes my Xerath guide. I hope that you have learned some things and are considering picking him up as a champion. If you still have any questions regarding my guide or Xerath himself, feel free to leave a comment. Or, if you want me to review your Xerath-game (or for any other champion for that matter), go here for my completely free review and coaching service.
Thank you for reading and digging through all that information. If you liked the guide and want to support me, please leave a +1 or comment. I want to keep improving my guide, so if you have any criticism, tips or annotations, please tell me and I shall do my best to improve.

Good luck and a lot of fun with Xerath,

- Penita13