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Xayah Build Guide by Xayaphelia

ADC So I Tried Duskblade

ADC So I Tried Duskblade

Updated on May 14, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Xayaphelia Build Guide By Xayaphelia 8,145 Views 0 Comments
8,145 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Xayaphelia Xayah Build Guide By Xayaphelia Updated on May 14, 2021
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Runes: My Rune Page

1 2
Presence of Mind
Legend: Bloodline
Coup de Grace

Taste of Blood
Ravenous Hunter

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


Standard Summoners
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Heal


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

So I Tried Duskblade

By Xayaphelia
Why Listen to Hardstuck Gold?
Hello and thank you for looking over my guide

I have been playing League of Legends since season 3 and do love this game very much. I first found Xayah when I came back from a year long break due to life circumstance. She was just recently released and the enemy had a Xayah player and I was absolutely captivated. I was completely blown out of the game by this player.

Now I almost exclusively play Xayah and am currently ranked 43rd highest mastery on the champion in the world, 4th in NA, with over 1.7 million mastery points on the champion. I have ended mid Gold every year and have actually made it into Platinum but cannot seem to stay there. I might not be very good at League of Legends but I do understand Xayah very well. Despite the fact that she has been a 47% winrate, bottom-tier champion for years now, I have consistently managed to stay well above the average win rate on her every year. I play about 10+ games per day and do not dodge bad comps or matchups so I do deflate my LP a lot. My bad days hurt very bad and my good days are amazing.

TL;DR: I might be a hardstuck and bad ADC player but I am one of the most competent Xayah players in the world, even if only with experience on the character.

Fun fact: An enemy Jhin player told me that his overlay app told him I was listed as a "Jhin Killer" despite how bad the matchup is for Xayah. That made me pretty proud and I am glad he told me.
Origin of Build
I spend a lot of time on OP.GG looking over builds, winrates, matchups, runes etc to try to gather as much information on the meta as possible. I especially do this with Xayah. Ever since patch 11.7 or so I saw something that confused and baffled me: the highest win rate build was Duskblade, Phantom Dancer, Navori Quickblades. I spent a lot of time trying to think about why it would even be a thing, what is the point, how could this build even be good? I finally started playing it in 11.10 and it has changed how I look at Xayah in the current season, even though on average the build dropped in popularity and win rate by now.

In season 8, after the crit nerfs, I invented a build where I would rush Umbral Glaive before Essence Reaver. The overall damage would be lower than the meta build but you would spike very hard a lot sooner into the game as well as cap out on CDR at 2 items into the game. It was a situational build but it would roll comps that had a lot of assassins strictly because of the CDR. Since the item update, I have not found anything that would fill this niche until now.

After trying out the item for a few weeks I learned something special:

Duskblade Xayah is a straight-up evolution of Glaive Xayah
Galeforce OP?
So now let's talk about the massive elephant in the room, Duskblade.

Everybody knows that Xayah scales the best with crit. It multiplies her E damage and gives a huge steroid to your auto attacks. Xayah is immobile and would LOVE a second flash on a 90S cooldown. Galeforce is clearly the best mythic for her, right?


While yes, Galeforce is very good for Xayah, it has some major flaws that are built into the current item system that can be crippling in some games. I feel as if the Duskblade build answers a lot of these problems and provides some utility that Galeforce does not match.
Direct Comparison of Builds
Let's start with my fundamental outlook on what items are supposed to do for an ADC that influenced my development and experimentation with builds for Xayah.

What Items Should do:
- Create counterplay to what the enemy wants to do
- Provide as much Damage as possible in the span of time you expect to fight
- Provide the bare minimum of survivability without sacrificing damage
- Synergize with your champion and enable them to perform their best
- Provide as much value as possible with the least investment into resources

What Items Shouldn't do:
- Be valued simply for their gold efficiency in raw stats
- Be too heavily defensive
- Be built to counter a single player
- Be too expensive to realistically build every game.

When I went over my match history several years ago I noted something interesting that still applies today: Nearly every game every player had an average of 2 items.


But the standard core Xayah build IS 2 items. So most games are either already ended or decided before you even have your core items on Xayah? You can't even build armor penetration or healing reduction until the game is basically over? That does not seem to be a sustainable or consistent way to play the game in my opinion.

Also, if you fall behind while going with the meta build, it legitimately feels as if you are doing zero damage. Imagine losing the game and you haven't even completed your core items? It can and does happen. Take it from me, these games feel miserable.

Let's take a look at the cost of the build and what you get on the meta build:

Berserker's Greaves: 1100 Gold
- 35% AS
- 45 MS
Galeforce: 3400 Gold
- 60 AD
- 20% AS
- 20% Crit
- +3% MS per Legendary Item
- 90sec Bonus flash that does a decent amount of damage
Essence Reaver: 2800 Gold
- 45 AD
- 20 CDR
- 20% Crit
- Infinite Mana and around 150 damage extra on your auto attacks after abilities

That is quite a lot right? Pretty good right? In my opinion it is not good enough. Look at the cost and what the build gives you to answer major threats to your team:

- 7300 Gold
- Burst into Squishy teams / Low HP targets
- Mobility every 90 seconds

Some games end before you even get 6500 Gold, let alone 7300. How are you supposed to deal a decent amount of damage and keep your E up in fights with this? You can't really. If you press your E or R in a fight, it is a major decision that can swing fights vastly depending on how you use it. Also, it is tempting for us boosted low elo garbage ADC's to use the Galeforce Active to dash INTO the enemy team to finish off a kill when it is not the appropriate call to make. It also can build bad positioning habits as you get used to using the dash to escape bad fights. It can lead to bad discipline when the item is on cooldown, causing more throws than you'd think. When used well, yes I agree, the active is fantastic, but I think the Duskblade provides a lot more to Xayah in a much more flexible manner that gives you more tools to carry your team more consistently.

So we will do the same thing that we did with the standard core build:

Berserker's Greaves: 1100 Gold
- 35% AS
- 45 MS
Duskblade: 3200 Gold
- 60 AD
- 20 CDR
- 18 Lethality (roughly +5% increased AD damage)
- A 120 Damage auto attack proc on a low cooldown that resets with kills/assists
- Invisibility when you reset the cooldown for 1.5 seconds

- 4300 Gold
- Small amount of armor penetration
- Invisibility
- Burst against squishy targets

"Well that seems like a pretty weak defense of this. You really need to try harder. Seems bad."


- Full core and ready to build situationally at 4300 Gold, the halfway point for your average game.
- The same CDR as the previous build at one item, AND you get even more CDR as you complete more items. This translates into more opportunities to look for your E and puts your W and R on a shorter cooldown. Those 3 abilities are vital to being able to survive and defeat the enemy for Xayah. Having these up more often ASAP is mandatory in my opinion. If your abilities are on cooldown and unable to come back before the fight is decided, Xayah is low range and low damage. You might as well have played any other ADC in these situations.
- The Duskblade proc doesn't seem to provide much on paper damage-wise. You don't build it for that though, it is essentially just a bonus thrown on top of the item for Xayah.
- The REAL magic happens on the resets: remember all 5 of those guys jumping on to kill you? Well now you are Vayne with a longer stealth. You can reposition inside of the stealth while retaining your desired spacing. I have won many fights off of this alone. Getting a reset changes the whole way you can play the champion. If you cannot find a reset your E and Q are on about a 4 second cooldown so you can just perma kite until you find an opportunity to go in.

With Galeforce you have to dash to use the safety of its active. This can mess up your spacing and make you lose valuable damage uptime. The active also cannot be combo'd with your ultimate, while not that important is something that should be considered. Also, if you fall behind on the Galeforce build you are essentially irrelevant damage-wise and may get completely locked out of some games. Duskblade solves both of these problems.
- Duskblade allows you to evade and reposition while maintaining your desired spacing at all times. Disappearing mid-teamfight can make the difference between getting focused down and the enemy team being unable to track you at all.
- The lethality, while not much, does mitigate the armor that enemies receive from a level advantage as well as providing roughly a 5% damage increase onto your abilities. In a Q aa E combo with one item it is actually enough to make the difference in overall damage with the combo as a crit is not something you can rely on at 20% crit chance.

This is before you even consider that you can full build a Mortal Reminder or LDR as early as your second item! That is something that feels horrible to do on the meta build as you would have to sacrifice having any CDR for about 20 minutes of a game! That would be fine if you were on another champ, but Xayah is VERY CDR reliant. You can't really just "nope" out of it or else you become very vulnerable with high cooldowns and you lose a lot of dps if your E is on a longer cooldown. Go into practice tool and try hitting a dummy with and without Navori Quickblades in your build. The amount of overall dps reducing your cooldowns does is actually insane. Now add in the consideration of the utility of a 1 second root on a low cooldown on top of that knowledge.

As you can see, from my playtesting I have found a lot of pro's and con's for both builds but I am very heavily in favor of the Duskblade build.

It provides so much to enable you a lot sooner into the game.
So now you know some of the reasons why I like this build. Now to answer the next question: "How are you supposed to play it? You seem like some crazy lunatic to me. Your auto attacks will do like no damage."

Well, this comes from a difference in playstyle that I have developed over thousands of games on Xayah. I don't really think of Xayah as an ADC. She is a very unique champion, the same way Jhin is. If you think of her like a traditional auto attack reliant champion you will miss so many opportunities to pop the f**k off! A lot of her buttons are useable as green lights to try to do something. You also need to constantly be aware of how you position your feathers around the people you are fighting. Some fights the person you want to kill isn't even the person you are currently attacking. You should spend as much time as possible checking your E cooldown in fights and look for the best value use of it. Also, reacting with your ult is a lot more difficult that people realize. It starts as a 3 minute CD for crying out loud! You NEED to evaluate whether or not what you use it for is worth it as you might not be able to take as active of a role in your next fight without it.

So in short, I think of Xayah as more of an AD caster that just so happens to auto attack instead of an auto attack champion that just so happens to have abilities. From the people I have talked to, some disagree with me on this and that is okay. There is a major difference in our playstyles and my philosophy of how the champion is played might not translate well into their playstyle.

I focus a lot more on getting as much CDR as cheaply as possible while maintaining the most damage possible. Duskblade seems to do that best. Unlike my old build with Umbral Glaive though, I get all the benefits of that older build while only having to invest in one CDR item. The out play and snowball potential for this build is actually insane and I hope I managed to convince you that, at the very least, it is NOT a troll build. A lot of time has gone into thinking this one over and I believe it is actually superior in many ways to the meta build.
"Why did you even make this guide?"

Well to be honest I got sick of people spam pinging my build and calling me a troll even if I was the only person doing okay. Tilted players question me about it. If I fall behind, it's not that me or my support miss played, it is the build. I do not tilt very easily but this does get very frustrating. I put a lot of thought into the decision to purchase any item and to have it all flushed down the drain because it isn't the meta or because I have 1.7 million mastery and still in Gold on a more-than-once-a-day basis just feelsbadman. I take every game seriously and every decision I make in-game seriously. I never give up any game, and even if the champion select or early game looks awful, I still want to try to learn to win those games and be better.

Also, there is literally no other information online about this build at all! It is so frustrating to see such a strange build being used and successful with absolutely no context to what it does, why they built it at all, and why is it out-performing the meta build so many patches in a row?

So here it is, I found a build on OP.GG and I tried it out and like it a lot better than the meta Xayah build. It might not be for everyone, but I can't stop playing it. This is my first guide so let me know what you think!
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