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Xayah Build Guide by SaltedCrisp

Bottom I Can Never Resist An Invitation To Climb || [10.21]

By SaltedCrisp | Updated on October 20, 2020
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TheLadyMyra (4) | September 19, 2020 4:18pm
Xayah is currently on the free rotation, so I'm kind of interested in trying her out. Having an in-depth guide like this really helps a non-ADC main out! Not to mention that this was just really fun to read. I appreciated the bits of humour sprinkled throughout. :)
SaltedCrisp (3) | September 19, 2020 7:37pm
Thank you so much for taking the time to read! I really appreciate that you enjoy the guide's humor. I hope you enjoy playing her during this free rotation!
ecl1p3e | September 4, 2020 10:40pm
Really nice guide, I can't believe I finally found another Xayah player than maxes W>Q. Most other players max Q first and I've never understood why. What would you do if you ended up with an inting support?
SaltedCrisp (3) | September 5, 2020 7:08am
Thank you so much for reading! Regarding the inting support, ask them kindly to play safe. Otherwise, nothing much you can do other than minimize the advantage your enemy gets from your support's mistakes. If you notice this being a constant problem, might want to check in on your own gameplay. Stay safe, and have fun!
Vapora Dark (607) | December 19, 2019 11:00am
- Essence Reaver should be built before Infinity Edge, I know you say she needs to rush IE but ER is her first item in 92% of Master+ games. That doesn't mean it's correct but going against the grain isn't going to be rewarded come judging period in the guide contest, and additionally if it's ever coming to your opinion vs the opinion of 90% of pros, 90% of pros is the safer bet. I too like IE first item but guide writing has no room for bias unless you're only intent on teaching your way of playing Xayah as opposed to the way of playing Xayah.

- Bork shouldn't even be a situational item, it's awful on Xayah. Even against super high HP targets, it's awful. Your AD scalings are so high and you'll have full or near full crit by the time you'd consider it which amplifies the benefit of AD even more, making it never a superior option to Bloodthirster. If a tank has high HP with no armor they're just going to melt to you anyway, and if they have high armor you'd generally want a full crit build with Dominik's anyway, not Dominik's + Bork. Feel free to try and test it in the practice tool (I think PBE lets you modify dummy HP/armor values now even if live doesn't) if you feel I'm wrong which I certainly might be as I have no math to back it up, but without doing the math it just sounds awful.

- I wouldn't switch between Boots in every example full build since it overrepresents how often you'd actually build Tabi and Merc Treads, stick to Berserker's in every example and just explain in the guide that occasionally you'll want to swap them out for one of those.

- I wouldn't use any more than 1 example full build on Xayah anyway, I think it's useful on champions who have multiple build paths such as Kai'Sa who has the choice between AD or AP, on a champion like Xayah where the only decisions you have to make are between individual items it just overcomplicates things for readers to see multiple example full builds and think which is good for when when they should be thinking that about the individual items not the builds as a whole.

- I disagree with all 3 of these cons. Deadly Plumage makes her far more mobile than a truly immobile champion like Ashe for example, I would just list this weakness as "no dashes or blinks" since while generally dashes are the best form of mobility, situationally her mobility can be far better than someone like Vayne's, such as when kiting a Poppy for starters. I also don't think it's accurate to say she "relies" on empowered autos since a lot of her strength comes from AoE feather damage which is all about her E, more accurate would be "far lower single-target damage when Deadly Plumage is on cooldown". I also don't think she has any issue chasing down enemies between Deadly Plumage and it being very easy to snare fleeing enemies.

- Also what do you mean by "pushing", do you mean tower damage? I would find a better word to specify that if so, pushing tends to be synonymous with waveclear and I was confused when you said she relies on Deadly Plumage for that since she doesn't need it for waveclear. Even just saying "tower pushing" would make it a lot more clear. Also, I would call it good rather than amazing. Jinx's is amazing, Tristana's is great. Xayah in comparison is decent, better than the average AD but pales in comparison to the other 2 and has a super lengthy CD to boot, making it a risky choice to commit it on a tower.

- In the abilities chapter you should do a lot more than just paste the ability tooltips, talk about what the spells do, what they mean for Xayah, how they're typically used, neat tricks that may not be obvious to someone unfamiliar with their kit (e.g. Q-auto for fast snares).

- In runes you should mention viable alternatives to the specific ones you've chosen even while specifying when the rune you've chosen is altogether the best option even if only by a little. For Triumph, Presence of Mind is only marginally weaker and ensures you always have enough mana to keep fighting or shoving out after winning a fight, Overheal is the superior scaling option you might want to consider in more passive lanes or if it better fits your playstyle if you prefer to farm up, but is a much riskier choice since it doesn't do anything for you throughout most of the game. Cut Down is also situationally great, whether to use it or not has nothing to do with HP pools so long as you're not someone who builds HP or Yuumi, it's just that vs tanky comps you end up doing significantly more damage to their frontline lategame if you notice their comp and take Cut Down in response, almost double the damage Coup de Grace would do but permanently rather than just when they get low. Those comps aren't very common these days but they exist.

- Wit's End is a super underrated item on a lot of ADCs but Xayah is not one of them. Her high synergy with AD thanks to her feathers makes Maw the greatest MR item on her, and you'd never want to build both.

- Lifesteal items are situational items, they don't need a separate category unless you're going the full length and categorizing every item by the stats they give.

- I'm not sure what it is you're trying to say here, buy Boots of Speed and hold onto them until after Infinity Edge before upgrading to Berserker's Greaves? How does that relate to feathers taking a while to set up? I would mention that Dagger is a nice cheap item you can buy when you can't afford anything bigger, same for Boots of Speed if you're not taking Magical Footwear, but it doesn't have to do with feathers it's just a general thing across the ADC role.

- Additionally I would mention it can be good to build Berserker's Greaves before Infinity Edge especially if you already have a Pickaxe since it's going to be the biggest powerspike you can get at the stage of the game short of finishing your Infinity Edge, it's a super gold efficient attack speed item giving as much gold as 3 Daggers as well as 45 movement speed for only 200 more gold than 3 Daggers. This movement speed helps you dodge skillshots and maneuver more easily around fights, and the attack speed is especially good once you have a significant amount of AD, hence it being especially good when you have a B. F. Sword as opposed to when you have a Pickaxe or no AD at all: but many pros still build it even when they have nothing but a Doran's Blade because they value its combination of movement speed and attack speed that much. In fact it's the best item to shove manalessly with and to pressure towers with.

- When building Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads, you don't have to "make up" for the attack speed lost by not building Berserker's Greaves. You just lose 35% attack speed, which sucks, but gain the benefit of whichever Boots you built which presumably was important enough in that particular situation that it makes up for the loss of attack speed.

- Also I would mention how rare it is to need them, especially Mercury's Treads which is 5x less popular than Ninja Tabi which is 50x less popular than Berserker's Greaves, as there's always Mercurial Scimitar and Mikael's Crucible for any particular CC you're struggling with. It takes a lot of functionally unavoidable CC on the enemy team to the point where no single active can help you deal with it to make you have to consider Mercury's Treads.

- Rapid Firecannon has little to do with Xayah's already low range and more to do with the particular benefit she gets from being able to land that one extra auto. Most ADC's love being able to do this hence why it's the most commonly built Zeal upgrade, but for Xayah specifically it's great because if you get in range for a Deadly Plumage auto thanks to Firecannon it'll boost your movement speed and help you get in range for your lower range autos. Additionally it allows you to do the Deadly Plumage -> AA -> Double Daggers -> Bladecaller snare combo from greater range. This makes it higher synergy on Xayah than on typical ADCs who still like it even with no particular synergy, and makes having to skip it in situations where you might need something like Phantom Dancer more an even bigger shame on Xayah than it is on other ADCs (but doesn't change Phantom Dancer being essential if you really need it).

- Speaking of which, you need to mention when to build Phantom Dancer and also Statikk Shiv since you have that in the cheat sheet. If they're just situational alternatives to Firecannon since they fill the same niche/item slot then you don't have to include a separate entry for them and they can just share an entry with Firecannon where you mention them as alternatives you might want to occasionally use, but if they're items which can co-exist in the same build as Firecannon (which they are and you agree since you have them in the same example build in the cheat sheet) then you'd do best to add new entries for them.

- In general I would do a better job of mentioning when to build what. For example when going for 100% crit builds generally people have every crit item completed at 5 items before moving onto a non-crit item but sometimes you might want GA at 75% crit or even 50% crit if necessary; but you'd never build it as a 2nd item when you only have 25% crit. Lifesteal items like BT or Scimitar also basically fill the same niche/item slot as GA so you'd build them at the same time, though with Scimitar you'd mention QSS can basically be built at any point after 2 items or even after your 1st item if you really need it, and likewise Hexdrinker follows the same idea as QSS while Maw follows the same idea as Scimitar.

- Make sure to also talk about any other unmentioned items from your cheat sheet, such as Stormrazor, Wit's End if you want to keep it, and any other items you end up adding.

- You don't talk about skill order, there is some room for variation with Xayah so it's a chapter/subsection worth including. Q start all-around best start, W start optimal with Rakan or any other support/matchup where you might want to all-in level 1 (you can hold onto your skill point and wait and see if it ends up happening, and if it doesn't level up Q instead). E second if you started Q, Q second if you started E, W second if you started Q but have a Rakan and just didn't want to all-in level 1 for some reason but might want to all-in level 2. And obviously just talk about why you max what you do, which is EWQ.

- In regards to summoner spells, make it clear that Barrier is only an option when your support has Heal, which is a tactic sometimes done with enchanter supports as they build increased healing through items/runes. This is mostly done with hypercarries like Twitch/ Kog'Maw who need help staying alive rather than safe and strong laners like Xayah, but if you're in a lane where you might not benefit much from Ignite or if your support is just insisting on taking Heal anyway (actually quite common if they're Yuumi for example) then taking Barrier would be better while you leave Heal for your support. Additionally Cleanse deserves a mention vs high CC bot lanes like Ashe- Leona (if you have an enchanter support it would be great to tell them to take Heal instead of you, while supports like Thresh can keep Ignite for kill pressure), and Teleport is also good against high range poke lanes when you don't have the engage to deal with them since they'll be trying to poke you out of lane and Teleport can help you mitigate the damage by getting to back between waves and recover mana/HP without missing CS.

- In the gameplay chapter you have a lot more room to talk about Xayah's gameplay, currently you talk in vague ideas of "play aggressive with Rakan", "ward", "take advantage of feather placements", etc. What entails playing Xayah aggressively? How do you poke? How good is your poke? How good is your all-in? Should you all-in? How do you all-in? The hallmark of a great guide is answering these questions before the reader has time to ask them. Leave nothing to the imagination. Talk about poking with Q, trying to snipe small feather hits from your passive onto the opponents while last-hitting/pushing, trying not to spread out your feathers if you can avoid it in order to maximize the damage and chance of getting a snare if your opponent missteps, initiating fights by landing a snare with Q-AA-E and running them down with W, comboing W-AA-Q-E with your support's CC; everything you can think of. Bonus points for having footage of as much of what you're talking about as possible, and also including footage of things like a pro player's laning phase on Xayah to give them a concrete visual example of how her gameplay should play out, footage of how a pro player teamfights, etc. Or you can include footage of your own games if you prefer that, but the better the player in your footage the higher quality it will be and the more the player knows they can trust it. It also comes across as putting some next level effort into your guide if you're studying multiple pro player games in search of relevant material for your guide readers to learn from, which doesn't hurt.

- In addition, you should also talk about rotations/lane swapping in laning phase, as in what to do after you get your first tower (which can vary with Elo since any lane swaps need to be done in accordance with your team mates so high level macro doesn't always work in low level games), when to swap with top and when to swap with mid (if you're swapping at all), what to do if you can't swap because solo laners at your Elo typically don't want to swap lanes, etc.

- In addition to the above tips for including more information in your gameplay chapters, search through some of the other guides on the site, whether for Xayah or for entirely different champions, for examples of the type of information that you could potentially include in your guide that you currently aren't. By which I don't mean plagiarism, but for example, someone has a teamfighting chapter and you don't? Maybe that's a good idea! Someone has a matchups chapter? Maybe that's worth a shot! Someone's adding to their teamfighting chapter with examples of a teamfight where they break down everything they did right and potential areas where they could have played better? Sounds cool! Just go round looking through guides you consider really good, and pay attention to what it is that makes a great guide great, and whether it's the kind of content that your guide could benefit from including too.

This last bullet point especially is the greatest thing I think you should focus on. Currently your guide is solid even with the criticism I have, but even if you fix it all it'll still be nothing more than solid; nothing particularly wrong with it but nothing making it special either, just one of probably hundreds of solid guides on the site.

I personally credit most of my improvement as a guide writer to learning from what other better authors were doing right and using them as inspiration for areas where my guide could be improved. It's very easy to get writer's block and struggle to come up with any ideas to improve your guide, everyone gets it. Looking around and seeing what it is your peers are doing right can be a great way to get past it if you're currently out of ideas.

Even to this day I have my old archived pre-rework Talon guide bookmarked in case I'm ever writing a guide and get stuck so I can remember examples of what I did right in the past, and I've seen multiple format/section ideas I came up with in that guide also re-used by other authors in their own guides even for entirely different champions, and likewise when I think back to some of the guides of my favourite author back when I joined MOBAFire I can still clearly see his influence in my own guides even though he hasn't been writing guides since season 3. Had I never read his guides my own style of writing would look much different today and probably for the worse, since I found a lot of value in how his guide style differed from other guides and heavily based my idea of what a good guide looks like based on his guides.

You might find some value in a lot of the feedback I've given you today and it might help you improve a lot of your guide, but ultimately there's room to make this guide 10x better than it currently is and I've only given you the tools to make it maybe 10% better. If you really want to improve this guide as best you can, it'll take a lot of internal reflection on how you can do better, and learning from some of the authors whose work you admire is the best way to stimulate that growth as a writer when you're stuck, so you can decide what they're doing right that your own work is lacking in, and also what you feel they're doing wrong or suboptimally and you can improve on for your own guide (or might just want to skip altogether).

The sky is the limit and all it takes to get there is as much effort as you're able to give and an open mind.

I hope you've found this helpful! Good luck on improving your guide, and good luck in the guide contest. ^_^
SaltedCrisp (3) | December 19, 2019 9:09pm
Thanks for the feedback! I'll process and work on it the next time I do a check-up on my guide!
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Xayah Guide
I Can Never Resist An Invitation To Climb || [10.21]
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