Xerath Build Guide by Reaperwolf
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
The Arcane Sniper - APC Mid
+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive
Threats to Xerath with this build
|Annie||You will destroy her. You out-range and out damage her, no issue here.|
|Anivia||Squishy as hell only her passive will mildly inconvenience you.|
|Bard||Weak, you will destroy him. Watch out for ganks though.|
|Karthus||Other than his ult you should encounter no problems.|
|Twisted Fate||Pathetic when opposed to your might, relish in destroying him.|
Hello fellow League of Legends players. I have been playing League since about the middle of S6 and in that time I quickly came to love and destroy all those that opposed me, playing Xerath. He has such potential as an APC and it is a real shame that we do not see him more often in all types of play. However this also gives you a real advantage! As he is not often seen he basically never gets banned, only really in draft when he's on rotation, which means that you can get the drop on pretty much any Midlaner with this pick. With his range and damage he conquers Mid lane against almost any other Mid lane champion, provided that you play him right. In this guide I will help you get out of ELO hell and up into Silver and beyond. While this cannot fix the rest of your teammates, it will ensure that you hold Mid lane with an iron resolve. With that said, lets get started!
Firstly lets start with this easiest thing, Summoner Spells. Quite simply Flash and Barrier are the best for a Mid lane Xerath as they cover his greatest weaknesses quite well. This is that up until late game his has a reasonably high cooldown on his abilities and all game his is squishy as all manners of hell. To counter act this Barrier is great for when enemies get to close or there is a shot you just can't avoid, for example if you get caught in a Yasuo ult or snared and ulted by Lux. It massively decreases the amount of damage you take and can keep you in the game much longer. Flash because, well Flash! Perfect for getting just a bit closer if your enemy is just out of your range (unlikely but it happens) or again disengaging cause you're squishy. Both of these are great last resorts if you miss your stun or don't have it off cooldown yet. However if you despise Barrier with all your heart, Ghost is acceptable but will do you no good if you're stuck in place. However I must emphasise now, YOU MUST NOT GET CLOSE. Your biggest strength is your range, so getting into close quarters is just a stupid move, take advantage of your strengths.
Now this item list is tailor made for pure DAMAGE, more specifically magic damage. This doesn't have a lot of fancy passives, and doesn't make you much faster than your base speed, however it more than makes up for it in the massive amounts of damage you can dish out, especially late game with the full set. No lie, you will more or less popping all the enemy squishies if you can land your shots.
Morellonomicon should be the first thing you complete. Not only for the large amount of AP it gives you but also the CDR (cooldown reduction). This'll transform you from the Arcane Sniper to the Arcane Spell Slinger Sniper. Bit of a long winded name but it gets the point across!
Tear of the Goddess and then Archangels Staff, turning into Seraphs Embrace is a must have. With it you can ensure that you never run out of mana and keep on dishing out the pain for as long as possible. You should be building Tear as close to the start of the game as possible, alongside Morellonomicon to ensure early stacking.
Liandry's Torment is a perfect item to get next as it complements the first two nicely while bringing its own power to the mix. More health allows you to stay in battle longer, more AP allows for more damage, the burning effect allows for killing those annoying people that get away with a fraction of their health intact and the Magic pen makes for less resistance on the part of the enemy.
Rabadon's Deathcap allows for a ton more AP, that's all there is to it.
Luden's Echo makes for a great addition to your AP, while giving you a tad more movement speed and the handy tool of doing damage to people, even if you miss your intended target.
And finally Void Staff is a great item to cap off your AP set of annihilation. It gives a lovely bit of AP, and an even better addition of more magic pen, which combined with your Liandry's makes out to ruin the day of those that tried to build Magic Resist!
So new Runes are here and this build is my first one to update so lets just jump into it.
To start off with you will start with the Sorcery Tree's Arcane Comet. This is ideal for you, as a ranged champion with a decent amount of CC, as it increases your damage output and allows for you to set up more shots as they attempt to dodge it (if they do try). Plus your slows and stun will almost always guarantee a hit.
Next you need to take is Ultimate Hat, as it's CDR for your ult will allow increased use without worrying so much about wasting it. Your ult, while difficult to hit, does a great deal of damage and has a lot of play making abilities, so its good to have it as often as you can.
Now its time for Absolute Focus, and its reason should be pretty self-explanatory, but I'll help anyway. As an Artillery Mage, you should not be taking damage, you are as far from the action as possible and as such the likelihood of you falling bellow 70% health is quite low, and as a result you will have almost permanent damage boost whenever you fight.
To cap of the Sorcery Tree you should take Gathering Storm. This ever increasing damage will make the longer you can stay in game the higher your chances of victory.
Finally you should build your Secondary path into the Domination tree's Cheap Shot and Eyeball Collection. The former will allow you to chain up your combos for even more damage, while the latter will take advantage of your ability to kill, giving you permanent stacks, basically a free Mejai's with no risk.
This is quite simple, your Q (Archanopulse) is the most powerful spell you have (not counting ult), with the lowest cooldown. You should max this out as quickly as possible to completely destroy your opponent. Your W (Eye of Destruction) should be next to max out with the same vigor. With it you can deal large amounts of damage but also slow your opponent so you can hit them with another ability. Your E (Shocking Orb) is the last one you should max. You only really want it because of the stunning effect which you get from level 3, when you should first put a point in it. Your Ult (Rite of the Arcane) should be invested in whenever you get the chance, it does a lot of damage and each level up gives you another shot.
The important thing to remember with Xerath is that basically all your abilities are skill shots, so it takes a bit of time to master him.
With the Q make sure to judge where they will be as there is a little delay when firing, if you line them up with the centre of the shot they shouldn't have enough time to dodge it.
With your W there is again a delay as it comes down from the sky, but as long as you centre it on the enemy they shouldn't have time to dodge. Q and W are the first ones you level because they can't be stopped by things like Yasuo's Wind Wall, as the Q is a laser and the W isn't a projectile. Take advantage of the slowness the the W gives to hit them with your Q, this allows for better use of your mana and will reduce the amount of misses you have.
Your E goes one step further, stunning your opponent. If you land it immediately fire both of your other abilities for a ton of damage. However the E is slow moving and can be intercepted by minions, so it is generally best to combo W, E, Q. This will ensure you hit your stun as it is much easier to slow your opponent then it is to stun them and while slowed they will be much easier to hit. The Q just caps it off with a great deal of damage. As for your Ult, this is one of the greatest strengths and weaknesses of Xerath at the same time. The barrages are very hard to land. When you activate your R the enemy will start to move to avoid the barrages, so you really have to live 3 steps ahead when you fire, anticipating where they will be when the barrage lands. Other than that just stand in a place where you're sure you won't get jumped when firing, as you get rooted on use, and try to pick off those that are low health or just plain squishy.
This is a weakness early game, but after farming is really easy for you. In mid and late game don't be afraid to blast enemy minions with your Q and W, taking advantage of their walking in a straight line and bunching into groups when encountering and obstacle. In early game just try to get the last it, maybe taking out a few when firing your Q at the enemy, the whole two birds with one stone idea.
Finally, it is vital that you understand two things. First, that Xerath stays at the back. A Xerath, despite having very good base armour and magic resist for a squishy champ is strongest when he doesn't have to worry about getting hit, instead focusing on hitting, and his range allows this. In team fights, he can win it for you, as long as something else is pulling agro. Next, and the best for any Xerath player, is that a fed Xerath is one of the most frightening things in the game. If you have a jungler that is willing to camp and get you kills, himself getting assists, you can easily get fed, which will allow your team to dominate the group fight stage when it comes. Other than that the only thing to remember is that Xerath is not a roamer. He is best in lane under a turret or behind people drawing agro and you should only enter the jungle if you absolutely have to. Stay in your lane till group fights and just conquer all that come to face you. If your enemy midlaner leaves and roams somewhere, remember to ping missing and take advantage of the situation and destroy the turrets.
So that's Xerath Mid. If you take away anything this is what it should be:
He is a ranged champ so keep your distance
He is skill shot based so try to be 3 steps ahead of your opponent
He is best in lane, so don't leave lane unless you absolutely have to.
With that said I hope you enjoy playing Xerath as much as I have and go out there and kick some butt on Summoners Rift!