Xerath Build Guide by raygtastic
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Xerath is an amazing champion with awesome potential. You have absurd rage, which means two things, a) you can poke from days away and b) you can keep your distance in team fights. Not to mention he has great lane dominance, with the ability to pretty much control how far you want to push your minions with your (q).
--If you have any questions or would like to see something in this guide feel free to msg me.--
In the ancient civilization of Shurima, the mage called Xerath practiced magic with undying passion. He believed that with enough magical power, he could gaze into the heart of Runeterra to know the secrets of history and the universe beyond. Such magic was beyond the limitations of a mortal body, but Xerath obsessively pursued a path to infinite power nonetheless. With every breakthrough he grew more and more powerful, yet not without consequence. Xerath's increasing arcane abilities wrought havoc on his physical form. Desperate, he undertook a dangerous ritual to transcend his dying body. The outcome would be immortality or self-destruction. Violent magic unleashed during the ritual caused devastation throughout Shurima, but when the dust settled, Xerath emerged as an ascended being of pure arcane energy.
Free of flesh and bone, Xerath held nearly infinite power at his command. However, in the wake of his chaotic ritual, the mages of Shurima feared his careless disregard for life would bring ruin to the kingdom. After a terrible struggle they subdued Xerath, but they could not destroy his ascended form. Instead they trapped him within an enchanted sarcophagus and sealed him in an underground tomb. Eons passed, civilizations rose and fell, and Xerath's imprisonment was lost to memory. For centuries, Xerath's vast power tore away at the sarcophagus and weakened its spell. Finally, he willed forth a burst of magic that shattered his prison, but its core remained, containing Xerath and his power within its broken pieces. Seeking to rid himself of this burden, he was drawn to the magic of Valoran's nexuses and found he could absorb their power. Yet the nexuses had gatekeepers: petty mages known as summoners. Xerath knew his key to true freedom from his prison lay in gaining their trust, and he offered his power to the League of Legends.
“I have no need for vengeance. Time has brought ruin to the mages of Shurima and I alone remain.” – Xerath, the Magus Ascendant
As far as runes go, it's up to you. I go Marks of Insight for some nice magic pen that really helps early on against those MR runed champions.
Next we grab Seal of Clarity, which provides the neaded sustain in early game. If you don't manage your mana well you will be oom in no time. This changes pretty fast once you have 2x Doran's Rings and the Fiendish Codex.
As for Glyphs you have two options. I go Glyph of Force which gives you a good 30 AP late game. However Glyph of Potency and Glyph of Warding work well too. It really depends if you want a strong early game, better survivability, or a stronger late game.
Lastly I pickup three Quintessence's of Potency for that strong early game.
As always it's really up to your play style. As you can see I use a fairly standard AP Mage build.
Levels 1-3 I like to grab Arcanopulse first, then Mage chains for some lane dominance, then Locus of Power third in case you start to get boxed out of your lane.
After the first three levels I like to max out Arcanopulse first as this is your main damaging ability. Next I like to get Mage Chains, for the shorter CD on your stun and the extra damage it gives. Lastly I max out Locus of Power.
Alternatly you could max out Locus of Power second instead of Mage Chains but you should always get Arcanopulse first. The only reason I'd max out Locus of Power second is if the enemy team is trying to gank me and shut me out of my lane. With Locus of Power you're still able to get your cs.
The first thing you should grab is the Doran's Ring. I like to get two Doran's rings for the extra AP, MPR5, and the extra health for those pesty junglers. After the Doran's you want to grab your Sorcerer's Shoes. After you have these 3 items, your build can change on who you are facing. If you need some CC get RCS first. Though I always reccomend you grab Deathcap as your second big item, just because it synergizes with your passive so well.
On a side note, If you're having trouble sustaining your life inlane, it might be prudent to pickup a hextech revolver for the 15% spell vamp. I wouldn't recommend building it into a WotA right off the bat though.
The Death fire Grasp is another viable choice, however I'd NEVER use it, some people seem to really like it with xerath. My problem with it, is its range. It's great if you're in the fray but I like to stay on the outskirts of the battle, dropping my Q's R's and E's with my W. You'd just use this instead of Morello's.
Reasoning Behind Item Choices
Doran's Ring - This is a great item off the bat, with the AP, Health and MP5. The reason I go 2x Doran's is to protect yourself from getting ganked in mid. The extra health has saved me on many occasions, especially coupled with your passive.
Boots - you all know why. better mobility to set up your stun and or Q.
Fiendish Codex - This item really lets you be the aggressor in lane. With the CDR and MP5 you can really start spamming your E and Q combo. CDR really helps with your Ult. Because you're pretty weak without it when you're alone, you want to have your ult up asap. This item lets you constantly push. You can E, R, Q, R, R, Q, in which case they will be either dead, or they will need to blue pill. With the CDR your ult will be up shortly after they come back to the lane.
Sorcerer's Shoes - Magic pen and increased movement speed. Yea get these.
Rabadon's Deathcap - Now it's time to start stacking AP. It's important for you to start getting AP up not only for the offensive purposes but for the defensive needs. with the HUGE 140 AP and the 30% increase in AP, you're going to be both tanky and deadly. the 30% will there on after increase your killing potential and surviveability as you grab your next items.
---At this point it's really what item you need the most---
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - if you're constantly getting focused and need some escape. The health from the belt and the slow make you pretty hard to kill added with your stun.
Morello's Evil Tome - if you're feeling confident and could use some increase in your DPS and ability up time.
Abyssal Scepter - if you're getting rocked by an AP carry or they're all stacking MR.
Hextech Revolver - Great to grab if you need some life sustainability in lane.
Will of the Ancients - a great item, but compared to the rest not as important to rush.
---Other situational items----
Void Staff - If their team is stacking MR and you really need the MP.
Mejai's Soulstealer - Just a ballsy choice. If you really feel like you're going to rofl their team, get this. However buying this pretty much paints a target on your back.
Rod of Ages - Has some great stats, life, AP, mana, and some sustain upon leveling. This item is really just ok. It make the already tanky you more tanky. there're just other items that you benefit more from. Though if you really need to be tanky for your team comp, then this is for you.
Moonflair Spellblade - not a bad choice, some decent AP and can really help out if the enemy team as a ton of CC. Silence can really shut you down. The 25 tenacity could really come in clutch.
Deathfire Grasp - Now I personally don't like this item, but it has its place. My core build allows for this to be transitioned into without any major changes. The active can be crazy good, but I often find myself saving it for dire situations which is bad, just means it doesn't fit my play style. It also synergizes well with Deathcap and your passive.
---Why not these Items---
Archangel's Staff - Low base AP. Also means you purchase Tear early on to start stacking mana, which means you're going to loose out on some offensive ability, your Q needs all the juice it can get. Not only that but you only really have trouble with mana right at the beginning of the game, any time after that you're golden. So all in all its kind of just a waste of space.
Haunting Guise - ew...
Nashor's Tooth - 50% AS, just why. Why would anyone buy this. But I saw an Xerath with this last game, so I thought I'd stomp this out. It's horrid for you. His reasoning behind getting it was so he could DPS down towers faster....
Zhonya's Hourglass - you already get a ton of armor from your passive. At times i get around the 200 marker, more than enough for a ranged poker. The use could be good if you're getting jumped on a lot but that's probably more your fault for being near the front of a fight. While it has some good utility you're just wasting stats.
Levels 1-5 - with your trusty Doran's right in tow head out to the middle lane. At this point in game concentrate on last hitting and harassing minion waves and enemy champions with your Q. At level 2 pick up Mage Chains and add that into your combo. E, Q. They will hate their lives. continue to grind the CS, however if the fates have been kind and you've acquired some kills, feel free to go back and get your boots + a second Doran's ring. at this stage in the game you want to be playing passively, just poke and farm poke and farm.
Level 6 - this is when everything starts to go your way. Now that you have your ult, you can start forcing your enemy to either back, or you'll kill him with your E, R, Q, R, R, W, Q combo. at lvl 6 this will probably put them at 10-25% health unless you're fed. You should also be close to getting your Fiendish Codex.
Levels 7+ - After level 6 your progression really starts to depend on how the game is progressing. you of course want to grab your sorcerer's shoes no matter what.
Team Fights - team fights are a ton of fun. I always try to cast my Mage Chains on the most aggressive champion(not a tank) or a champion that has some sort of channel that needs to be stopped. Once Mage Chains goes off start dropping your Ult. If you think your team will finish off the target you softened up, drop the rest of your ult charges where the enemy champs are most congregated. After your Killing combo is over, Just start spamming your E's and Q's on whoever needs killing. It's ALWAYS wise to stay as far back as possible.
NEVER BE AFRAID OF USING YOUR ULT, IT HAS A SHORT CD AND HAS GREAT UTILITY.
Pros / Cons
Short Cool downs
Can take a decent amount of abuse because of passive
Stun from days away
Great poke and lane control
Can at times be too immobile
Bursty DPS so drawn out fights can be rough.
tough to wine 1v1 without your ult
1) ALWAYS GET FLASH
2) as far as your second ability goes, I like teleport for its utility.
-Ghost works great, improves survivability
-Clarity is alright if you're not that great with managing your mana
-Exhaust is a great offensive and defensive spell
-Ignite has nice extra dmg but its kind of meh because of its short range, compared to your long range.
1v1 and Team Fights
---This section, filled with tips, will be a work in-progress---
-Once you're lvl 6 and want to go in for the kill, your skill sequence should look something like this: E for the stun, R to stun them, Q while they're stunned so you can't miss, R,R then Q or W, then Q if they're getting out of range for the kill.
-Another good situational strategy that really lends its self to Xerath, is his ability to attack well from behind walls as all his abilities go through walls. If a team fight goes down in a jungle you can sit behind a wall, what better tank, locus up and rain death upon them.
He is GREAT at farming. when you see a wave of CS coming, just drop your W then Q and they are either dead or within one hit from being dead late game.
Early game you can poke and clear minions at the same time with your q. I always try to hit both the creep and a Champion every time I use my Q early game. Your Q gives you the ability to keep the creep wherever you want, which is great if you need to go back, or are afraid of getting ganked.
Also it's great to note, that even if an enemy champion is trying to shut you out of your lane, you can still get creep with your W, Q combo.
All in all I really hope you enjoy this champion. He really takes some getting used to, but once you're used to him, he has great potential. How can you hate a champion that has a Lux Laser on a 2-3 sec CD? you can't...