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Xerath Build Guide by Azzapp

[Patch 8.12] Azzapp's Guide To Xerath [MID]

[Patch 8.12] Azzapp's Guide To Xerath [MID]

Updated on June 26, 2018
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Azzapp Build Guide By Azzapp 51 3 82,330 Views 5 Comments
51 3 82,330 Views 5 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Azzapp Xerath Build Guide By Azzapp Updated on June 26, 2018
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Hey guys, I'm Azzapp, ex professional mid laner, shotcaller and coach. Currently I'm a streamer/entertainer and content creator. I have been D1-Challenger player since season 3. This is one of my first attempts in making a written guide. I have over 1 million mastery on Vel'Koz and within the League community I'm known as one of the best Vel'Koz / Xerath players in the world.

I hope you guys enjoy reading this guide and improve your Xerath gameplay.

If you have any questions, suggestions or just generally enjoy Xerath, feel free to follow me on Twitter. Subscribe to me on Youtube. Join my Discord server. Follow me on Twitch.

Sorcery and Inspiration

Arcane Comet is the best keystone for Xerath. It's perfect balance between Electrocute and Summon Aery while still enabling you to take Sorcery which has way better synergy with Xerath.

Manaflow Band is extremely good on Xerath due to his reliance on constant poke to maintain pressure. The only alternative is Nullifying Orb against AP assassins.

Celerity: I like to take Celerity because every Xerath ability is directly tied to his positioning. Combining Celerity with Magical Footwear will give you incredible maneuverability making you untouched in teamfights while making your skillshots a lot easier.

Scorch has perfect synergy with Arcane Comet and enables you to dominate your lane even harder. It gives you more power early game compared to Gathering Storm which is very unreliable in Solo Q.

Magical Footwear: Xerath has relatively high base movement speed so delaying boots isn't that punishing. Magical Footwear alone has great gold value and that extra 10 movement speed suits Xerath playstyle quite well.

Minion Dematerializer is really good rune to pick up on Xerath. It helps you control waves early game without running out of mana. It also has great value in mid-late game because unless you are fed Xerath will not be able to kill caster minions with Arcanopulse alone.

Heal is the optimal summoner spell for Xerath in most cases. It gives great value in 1v1 and 2v2 duels around mid lane due to it's supportive nature. Bonus movement speed can often save you from taking extra damage. Closest alternative for heal is Barrier. It is taken when opponents are likely to take Ignite. It is good substitution due to it's shorter cooldown and potential to block more damage. The third option is Exhaust which can be used in assassin match up-s when you want to go agressive and go for the win in lane.

Flash is definitely a must when playing Xerath due to his lack of gap closing and movement enhancing abilites.

Skill order is a fairly simple one for Xerath. Riot doesn't give us too many options here to test out. For Xerath maxing Arcanopulse is a must. Arcanopulse is his core ability and maxing it lowers it's cooldown, significantly increasing Xerath damage output. Because stun duration on Shocking Orb remains the same through all levels, second ability to max is Eye of Destruction. And obviously last spell to max out is the Shocking Orb.

Mana Surge is extremely important mechanic in your kit when playing lane phase as Xerath. To reach the maximum efficiency with Xerath during the lane phase you need to know how to keep your mana spending in check. You don't want to be out of mana because then you lose all of your lane pressure, but you also don't want to have full mana with your Mana Surge up. You have to perfectly balance your mana used and mana replenished. Example: When playing melee match up's in mid lane, you can afford to use your abilities a bit more than usual because it is a lot easier to get the most of Mana Surge and double your mana recovered. Mana Surge is the reason why Xerath can stay in lane without recalling for extremely long periods of time, hence get a better recall than the opponent.

Arcanopulse is the most unique ability for Xerath. It is what separates good and great Xerath players. Arcanopulse requires you to not only be precise with your skillshots, but with your positioning and timing as well. In order to truly master Xerath you need to have incredible positioning when using Arcanopulse because of it's channeling slow which makes you vulnerable. There is also a timing part of this ability which you have to master. While casting Arcanopulse your range will gradually increase. To have maximum efficiency you need to hold onto it for the exact time necessary. You don't want to undershoot and miss nor overshoot and waste precious time.

Eye of Destruction is a hard hitting ability. It can be mainly used in 2 ways, as a starter ability or a follow up ability. During the lane phase you will mostly be using it as a combo started due to it's slow. Opponents will very often hide behind minion to avoid getting hit by Shocking Orb. We use Eye of Destruction to set up an easy Arcanopulse. It doesn't really matter if we hit enemies dead on, because 25% slow is enough to guarantee an Arcanopulse hit, although it certainly helps. Second way to use it is as a follow up to Shocking Orb. Hitting stunned targets with Eye of Destruction will deal incredible burst. You generally want to hit them as the stun duration is almost over to maximize your crowd control chain.

Shocking Orb is the only form of hard CC Xerath has. Landing Shocking Orb enables you to dish out your full combo but missing it can be devastating for your mana pool and pressure in lane. It is best used when opponent movements are predicable, like going a minion kill, preferably cannon or shooting it from fog of war setting up your combo. If used correctly it is an incredible siege and picking tool. Shocking Orb is also your most effective disengage ability and it is very crucial not to waste it against assassins because it will render you vulnerable for the next 10-13 seconds.

Rite of the Arcane is by far the most powerful Xerath ability and it definitely packs a punch, although it doesn't reach it's full potential until rank 2-3. Rite of the Arcane is the longest range ability for Xerathand it is considered semi global. It is best used to help other lanes because you don't even need to complete a full roam, but early game it has much shorter range so it's okay to use it in a 1v1. In late game this ability is best used a as picking tool. Landing one Arcanopulse will set up squishy enemies for a lethal.

Doran's Ring is the perfect starting item for Xerath. It provides you with all the stats you need during your laning phase.

Dark Seal is a great item to get on your first buy. It will slow your build a little bit but it's value will skyrocket throughout the game. Since Xerath is relatively safe champion and has to keep good positioning at all times it will be easy to get stacks. At 10 stacks Dark Seal value is ~1000 gold which gives it 300% efficiency.

Lost Chapter is the core for Xerath no matter your playstyle. Getting Lost Chapter with Dark Seal on your first buy will set you up for any game. After that you can choose to upgrade it to either Archangel's Staff or Luden's Tempest or you can just delay it and build for more pressing matters like Zhonya's Hourglass or Banshee's Veil.

Luden's Tempest is the optimal item to rush as Xerath. It has insane synergy with Sorcery tree and later on Rite of the Arcane. In the late game just hitting a minion near an opponent will dish out substantial amount of poke.

Archangel's Staff is a safer counterpart to the Luden's Tempest. It has a bit slower powerspike, since Xerath doesn't spam abilites that much, so I don't recommend it in solo Q unless it is absolutely necessary.

Sorcerer's Shoes are obviously the best boots in terms of the burst potential. Xerath usually wants to target squishy and high value enemies. Since they usually have low MR Sorcerer's Shoes combined with Oblivion Orb will rip and tear trough them.

Morellonomicon is a great second item. It will give you the best possible damage output against squishy opponents. It works best in situations where opponents don't have too much magic resistance and/or they have a lot of healing/sustaining abilities.

Liandry's Anguish is a good second item to buy in terms of raw damage output if opponents have many tanky champions and you are less likely to reach the backline, but generally Morellonomicon is a better option.

Twin Shadows is an extremely cheap third item but it gives everything Xerath needs. This item is a blessing against immobile targets and it makes your snowballing that much easier. It also helps you control the map providing pick potential and better control of sieges, dragon and baron fights.

Rabadon's Deathcap is obviously the best item in terms of raw AP and damage output, but it's very hard to build. It consists of 3 parts that are over 1000 gold and sometimes building it can take too much time without any powerspikes. You have to choose carefully when you want to get it, and if you do pick a good time, obliteration is assured.

Void Staff: is a great item if opponents start building plenty of magic resistance. Combined with your Sorcerer's Shoes and Oblivion Orb/ Morellonomicon it will make you shred through their defenses. You will almost be doing true damage.

Zhonya's Hourglass is in most cases built as a reaction to opponents. The stats it offers aren't that good for Xerath, but the stasis effect can very often be the difference between living or dying.

Banshee's Veil is yet another situational item. It gives a little bit better stats than Zhonya's Hourglass and the magic shield will allow you to position more agressively and it might save you while channeling Rite of the Arcane.

Mejai's Soulstealer is a very underrated item and my favorite. It uses the similar logic to Dark Seal. It's value becomes insane at 15+ stacks. I particularly like this item because when you buy it you instantly have to play better, it forces you to make less mistakes and die less in general.

In most cases at level 1 you will want to take Arcanopulse. It is more reliable for farming early game, less mana consumption and you might get some poke damage.

Early game as Xerath you're pretty safe and you will most likely not get ganked before 3 minutes so you want to make as much as pressure as you can. You are at your best when you are pressuring enemy and holding him on the ropes. Making the wave slightly push is really good if you can pull it off without wasting too much mana. That is where Mana Surge and Minion Dematerializer kick in and help you.

Xerath is a champion that scales very well with levels, so you have to try and take advantage of spikes for level 2,3 and 6 during the laning phase. If you are controlling the waves and having slightly more pressure than the opponent, that means when you get close to a level up you can get it way sooner than the enemy.

Level 2 spike will rarely kill since you only have Arcanopulse and Eye of Destruction available to you, but if you land a full slow from Eye of Destruction it just might be enough to give you a good lead in lane or even force a Heal or Barrier.

Level 3 spike works in a similar way except you have access to your only hard cc ability making you more of a threat and better at setting up a gank. At this point it is possible to make enemy use Flash defensively.

Up until this point Xerath was a relatively weak champion, even if you landed poke it wouldn't have been that impactful. From level 3 and on you gain more and more control. You start dealing serious amounts of damage without compromising your mana pool.

Level 6 powerspike is definitely responsible for good majority of my solo kills in lane. When you have Rite of the Arcane enabled to you, your damage output is increased significantly. In an optimal scenario you will be pressuring your lane at level 5 and about 60-80% of experience. At that point you want to go very aggressive trying to land your Eye of Destruction and Arcanopulse on minions and the opponent at the same time. This will clear the way for your Shocking Orb and set up the enemy for lethal.

At this point you will have 3 points in Arcanopulse combined with Minion Dematerializer which will enable you to out-pressure even the stronger pushers in the game. Use that lane priority to get deeper wards on enemy raptors or river. Many junglers tend to be careless in solo Q and they feel overly safe in their jungle. Using your vision and knowledge you may be able to get a long range kill on some unsuspecting junglers. If you are unable to force your lead in lane and get a kill, try using your map vision to devise a nice roam. Xerath roams tend to work great on side lanes due to semi global nature of your ultimate. In many cases you are able to get a kill or an assist from the edge of the river which will cost you hardly any cs.

Xerath is a high range, high damage, control mage. He is not a mechanically demanding champion but he does require you to have a lot of game knowledge. Most of Xerath plays are created in your head in advance rather than reactionary. Based on a particular game and what you have observed, you need to imagine what you are going to do in certain scenarios. Playing Xerath is very similar to playing chess. It's all about mind games and predicting what are your opponents options and most likely moves.

You are very vulnerable immobile mage, so in order to survive and make the most damage possible you will have to be playing the "counting game". That means paying attention and counting every single dash, flash, jump, etc..

Many of you players think that in order to be a good Xerath player you have to be good at hitting skillshots, but it goes way beyond that.
In order to truly master Xerath, there are couple of keys.
First and most important you need to work on your game knowledge.
Second, you need to work on your positioning, which directly ties into your game knowledge.
Third, you need to work on your skillshots, which directly ties into your positioning.

For beginners and even experienced players good rule to go by is just to NOT die. That is a bit harder than you think because you will very often overreach and try to deal more damage than it is possible in certain scenarios. First try to analyze the threats. Who on the opponent team can kill you and how. You need to know how close you can get without compromising your life. You generally want to avoid hitting the enemy frontline because you have insane potential of deleting enemy carries.
If you are doing an extremely good job in a specific game you will hardly ever have teamfights. In an optimal scenario you would be dancing right outside of the enemy team's engage range and dishing out poke.

Xerath is insanely good at sieging turrets. If you maintain good position and you land decent amount of your poke, the opponents will be rendered useless under their turret. If they make a forced engage with low HP they will lose, if they back off they will lose the turret. Playing good poke/pick style will win many teamfights before they even start.

This is it for one of my first attempts in a written guide. I really hope I have managed to transfer at least some useful information to you guys. I would really appreciate any feedback regarding this guide since I plan to make more and keep this one updated.

If you really enjoy talking Xerath and/or have further question I would be happy to answer any of you either on my Youtube or live on my Twitch stream.

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