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Xerath Build Guide by angrepskongen

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League of Legends Build Guide Author angrepskongen

Xerath - before the rework. (outdated!)

angrepskongen Last updated on February 12, 2014
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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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 0


Utility: 9

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EDIT: I have tryd the new xerath, atm i really dont like it, might change my mind after a few more games, but i doubt i will update this guide anymore. All the content to this guide is pre-rework.

This a guide to botlane Xerath guide. I started playing AP killlanes when i was gold 5. I have now goten to diamond and Xerath is my most played champion with 365+ rankedgames. I have 3 pentas with him in ranked this season and my win ratio is around 60%
The reason i play him so much is because of his high skill cap, how well he snowballs, and how powerful you feel teamfights.

I also want to mention that what i call AP killlanes is APcarrys and supports botlane.

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Pros / Cons

  • strong in lane (after level 2)
  • Better midgame damage then ADC`s
  • High AoE damage
  • Works with almost every type of teamcomp

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Runes and Masteries


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
I use runes that focus on damage. Flat magic pen works well with Locus of power, armor is needed when playing against AD champions, and AP gives you more damage AND armor ( ASCENDED FORM)
Something that is nice with sending AP champs against AD is that seals are less good for magic damage, and good for armor. While Glyphs, what is good for AP, dosen't have to be used for magic resist.
I also want to mention that AP/level glyphs and magic penetration quints works well.

I use 21/0/9. You need the damage you get from 21 offensive points, and i prefer having Meditation and Summoner's Insight . I guess 21/6/3 could work, but in my opinion you need the 3 points in mana/5.

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Starting items

I start with Doran's Ring and 2x , as it gives both mana/5, ap and hp. For trinket i prefer the yellow warding trinket. Many supports dosent get as many wards at level 1 anymore, and its nice to be able to help them out.

Core Items

The core items for Xerath is Haunting Guise, Sorcerer's Shoes and a Needlessly Large Rod. I would recommend building them in this order, but sometimes it's good to get tier 2 boots before haunting guise.
These items give you both the magic penetration, and the ability power you need. needlessly large rod also build into your first big item, Zhonya's Hourglass or Rabadon's Deathcap. Normally it will be deatcap, but it depends on the teamcomp you play against. If you play against AD heavy comps, and/or against champions with ultis that is easy to dodge with (exsamples of that are Requiem, Death Mark and Chum the Waters) then that is the best option, if not I buy the zonyas later.

Against champions like leona, annie and other magicdamage based champions Chalice of Harmony is a good buy. I would normally buy it right before or right after my Needlessly Large Rod

What tinket you should get lategame depends on what champions you play against and how well the game is going. Against champions like Kha'Zix its a good idea to pick up Oracle's Lens or Greater Vision Totem. If that isnt the case then i normaly go for the Greater Stealth Totem.

My fullbuild, not icluding trinket, is almost always
Item Sequence

Rabadon's Deathcap

Athene's Unholy Grail

Zhonya's Hourglass

Void Staff

Liandry's Torment

Situational Items could be Guardian Angel, Banshee's Veil and Rylai's Crystal Scepter

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Team Composition (Synergies / Counters)

One of the best things with xerath is that he does well with any teamcomp, whitch is good in solo Q.
Your team picked Tryndamere, Shen or Twisted Fate? You have a splitpush comp. have really good waveclear, and does well in 4vs4 and 4vs5 fights.
Your team picked Orianna, Wukong or Amumu? Then you have a AoE comp. has 4 AoE spels with a total of 2.4 Ap scale, all you need is a bit if CC.
Your team picked Nidalee, Jayce or Lux? You now have a good poke comp. At level 13 and LOCUS OF POWER both has a 3 sec CD, and makes strong in pokecomps

This is also something that helps you when you play ranked 5. You can pick Xerath, your opponents will counter it as if its midlane, then you can counter their midlaner, and get a teamcomp that build around the camp you used mid. And it will always work well with the pick.

I think the champions synergies best with (teamcomp, not laning) is AoE champs like and , and poke champs like and . I play most duo Q, and AoE comps and poke comps are easier to execute in solo Q then splitpushing.

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Lane Phase / Early Game

Finaly ready for some gameplay!
Your general goal is to play aggressive in lane. Your first big power spike is level 6 and/or when you get Haunting Guise. I'm going to give you some gameplay to watch so you can see a decently executed laningphase. All clips are platinum solo Q, late season3.


Though in my opinion there is no really bad matchup for Xerath, there are some champs that are harder to play against then others. Sivir and Graves is probably the hardest ad carry's to play against in lane. Of the support Annie is the worst one to play against, Leona and Alistar would probably be 2nd and 3rd. Again, these matchups are harder, but not impossible.

But when you look at easy lanes for Xerath, there are a LOT of them. Champions that get countered by Xerath includes Varus, Ashe, Draven, Caitlyn and Miss Fortune of the AD carry's, and Sona, Nami, Lulu and Janna of the supports.

A important thing to remember is that you have a support, and the support you pick effects how strong or weak a champ is against your lane. Leona is not that good against Janna, while Taric and Lulu makes it easier to lane against Ezreal and Caitlyn. Blitzcrank is good against champions without jump, and Thresh is good against CC heavy lanes.

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Mid-late Game/ Team Fighting


Whenever you get a kill or two in lane, or your midlaner get a kill, you should look towards dragon. You have the strongest mid game, and you should try to use it to get objectives. If you and your support go mid and help your midlane push, you will in almost always be able to get the outerturret. Try to make as much impact on the map as possible, two dragon and bot and mid tower makes a big difference!

When teamfights starts, make sure to position in the back of your team. You want to stay out of range for CC abilitys and assassins. Having a wall between you and the fight is sometimes a good idea.

Don’t be afraid of initiating or picking of somebody before the fight starts. If you’re behind, the best way to pull of a comeback is catching somebody, and then initiate. Yes your ulti will be on cooldown, but fighting 4vs5 gives your team a huge advantage.

As you can see in this video, in both of the clips we were far behind, we played against teams with good lategame champs, and we would probably have lost both of those games if I had been afraid of using my ulti on a single target.

Though most carry's should focus whatever's in range, and just try to stay safe, I would recommend not doing so on Xerath. You have a kit that makes you able to do so, especially after you have voidstaf. But I normally try to make sure I can get my ulti combo of on 2/3 targets, preferably on atleast one of the main damagesorces on the other team.
Yes, this is the opposite of what I said in the previous paragraph, but there is a difference between using it before a teamfight, and during a teamfight. If the lux already had landed her combo, then I killed her, it would not have been worth it to use my combo for a single target against a team with 3 damage threats.

after teamfights

This is as important as teamfighting. If your team end up recaling afther a 5 for 0 fight, you`re doing somthing wrong. Unless you have a mid/top/jungler with high baron damage, I would recommend staying away from baron. You lack baron damage, and you should focus on getting towers and inhibitors. Bluebuff is also a nice objective after taking a turret if you cant keep pushing, or if you didnt win the fight as clear, and you think the other team can defend their turrets.

Late Game

Lategame teamfights is similar to midgame teamfights, but there is one big difference. You might end up as the only relevant damagesource. If so, you will need to pick your targets perfectly. If the other team has several damagethreats, then you can't use your ulti unless you see a good opportunity for getting several of them.
The clips are from the same two games as i used for the video above. Here we are still 10kish behind in gold.

When you get to lategame, if you play against assassins, make sure that your support protect you. Especially if you're not used to positioning yourself as xerath. It's not your supports fault if you die, but make sure he knows it's his main focus to keep you alive.

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Hope you found this guide interesting, and that you end up testing Xerath, GL to everyone that does that! However, play your first few games in normal, so you know what you`re doing before you play in ranked.

If you have any question then just post them in the comments, I would love some discussion there! Interested in your thoughts on playing with AP carry insted of AD carry botlane.

Edit: been playing a bit of xerath after the preseason change. Not much have changed, but the gude is updated and should be ok now. Happy to see that so many have seen, and upvoted the guide. If anyone wants to learn more about Xerath botlane, and get some help from me while doing so, feel free to add me on EUW and I will try to make time to help anyone interested.