Xerath Build Guide by Exhale
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Not Updated For Current Season
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From Wayyyy Down Town
Hello, thanks for checking out my guide. It is my first guide on Mobafire and i will be editing it often as i am still learning / tweaking / having fun with this champ. Xerath is very fun to play with and has an awesome skillset to toy with, but most importantly he looks freakin cool. Please keep all of your comments constructive, leave reasons for the things you post and i would love to hear other players input. This build has been very succesful for me in standard games, i will be adding a dominion guide after some more tweaking as well. Thanks for the read and i hope it helps!
My Xerath build will be focusing purely on his damage dealing ability, he can be a very long range nuker and we are going to maximize that by going very high AP and going for very fast cooldown reductions (CDR).
Very Good Range
Very high damage output
Very fun to play
Great Solo lane / farmer
Great Stun / splash damage abilities
Hard to finish early
Susceptible to ganks
Team Dependant (hard to play well with randoms in a pub game)
Mana Starved early game
I believe the explanation for my runes is very simple
Greater Mark of Potency to maximize early game damage where it is hardest for Xerath to finish kills.
Greater Seal of Potency (same as above)
Greater Glyph of Focus to reduce cooldowns and help you spam those abilities for that extra finishing power early on!
Greater Quintessence of Potency More AP baby!!
I dont feel this needs much explanation either. My mastery setup is just to get the best bang for you buck in terms of CDR, AP and Mana / Mana regen. Feel free to edit out the summoner spell masteries if you dont prefer the same spells that i use.
This is the fun part. i have not seen any Xerath's use anything near the build that i use and i blow them out of the water by level 10 because of my cooldowns. They try to trade Archanopulse blasts with you, but they dont expect yours to be off of C/D so fast and the extra shots really count in the long run. The cooldown also helps you control the lane 100% as no champ can repeatedly eat arcanopulse to the face every 2 seconds, not to mention how easy it makes farming an entire lane of minions.
Start of with Dorans ring for the AP boost, from there you need a little movement speed so we go for boots of speed.
Now is when we start building towards our CDR. this will leave you slightly vulnerable (especially vs another erath that goes heavy AP early) You will now get the Fiendish Codex to give you some CDR and a minor amount of AP.
After the Codex go for your Ionian Boots of Lucidity which gives you your +2 movement and CDR, then finish your Morello's Evil Tome. This will top off your CDR early game and give you an AP boost.
Once you reach this point you should be able to pump out some kills based off of the sheer amount of spells you can cast. Ganking is a breeze with his range and nobody will want to solo lane against you. You can alter your build after this point but i STRONGLY recommend this opening in almost every situation.
I would suggest going all AP after this (remember Xerath's passive converts AP to Armor so you are also making yourself more tanky while buffing your damage!)
I chose Rabandons first because i can get the kills early enough to rush it and it really maximizes your damage while some opponents are still transitioning into their late game items. After this i go for Rhylias for the health and AP boosts, and i finish off with Void staff (because if your playing good people WILL get Magic Resist to counter you so you need the magic penetration) but if you feel you dont need the magic pen go for Rod of Ages as this helps his mana situation and his tankiness.
The skill sequence goes in order of damage dealing priority because thats what we are, a long range assassin.
Priority #1 is Archanopulse. Get this, use this, love this. This skill is a very fun skillshot for experienced players and it can also help you farm like a god.
Priority #2 is Mage Chains. This skill does a decent amount of damage but most importantly sets up your stun to allow you to get those huge combos in. I choose to max this out second behind archanopulse because i maximize damage output and i use them together as much as possible.
Priority #3 Locus of Power. put 1 point into this skill at level 3 and blast your lane opponent safely from across the screen. The Cooldown we use for this build will help you not need extra points into this skill, as faster cooldown is the biggest aspect of adding points into this skill. It is an important skill, but it will be very effective late game, early game we want to control the lane and make our opponent die or heal.
And as put skills into your Ulti at levels 6-11-16 to get it to maximum potential. Xeraths ulti is very very deadly combined with locus of power because you can sump on a lane from bushes or behind walls without putting yourself in danger. Remember his ulti has 3 charges!
Early game i like to use the Q E Q combo. This will damage your opponent, then set the mark for the stun, and then the second Q will stun him allowing you to auto attack him a few times and get him a little below half health (depending on the champ). Your biggest combo however involves all your skills. You should be able to spam this combo every 35 seconds to any opponent within range. You can control the map by always making opponents heal, by mid game they will all run from you.
Start off by using Q(archanopulse) to do some initial damage. Now we want to use our W(locus of power) to give us that amazing range and then hit E(mage chains) to setup the stun. Once marked use your Ulti to hit the target and successfully stun them. Once stunned hit them with your ulti twice more and then use Q(archopulse) to get the kill. This can all be done from your "siege" Position using locus of power. This does take practice as Xerath isnt an easy champ to use, but it is very very deadly.
I Highly recommend Exhaust to keep your opponents in range to get the finish, this is not removable in my opinion.
For your second slot i would recommend Ghost or Flash. I prefer ghost because it give you escape / chase capabilities and board mobility.
Clarity is a viable option for mana early game, but as the game goes on i feel the others are more valuable.
Ignite is a possibility, opponents do get away with less than 1 bar often enough.
I would not recommend any other spells.
Tips / Tricks
Most tips and tricks with Xerath revolve around the use of his stun. This skill can get you assists / kills and it can save your life!!
When fleeing an opponent press E and wait for him to come just in range, hit him with your E then your Q to stun him in place as you run away. This works great against Melee champs like Trynd and Master Yi.
People think your squishy, use it in your favor. You actually have great armor for such a high damage output mage. Allow people to chase you into bushes to setup the team kill, or deep into a lane where you can stun them and finish them away from their towers. They get hungry for kills so make them pay!
Gank Gank Gank!! Once you have control of your lane you opponent will be healing ALOT if your doing your job. Even with health pots they burn through them so fast that they want to stop wasting their money. When your opponent heals act like your going back to item, go into the bushes in another lane and use your range with Locus of Power to snipe and stun enemies. Xeraths Stun will make your teammates love you!
ALWAYS SOLO MID!! i have yet to come across a bad matchup for Xerath. Admittedly lots of champs make you play differently in your lane but nobody completely shuts him down, his range is to effective. Use it, If you cant hit your opponent use you Q to farm!!
Dont waste your mana!! you will find yourself not having enough mana to finish kills early game if you just spam your Q in lane. Use it wisely. Use your auto attack to last hit minions and Q your opponent anytime he steps in to get a last hit himself. You can control the pace of the lane at all times. If your opponent is pushing its because you want him to, get him far away from his tower and stun him then go in for the kill.
Please Please Please read and try this guide before commenting. I strongly believe Xeraths strengths are in reduced cooldown, especially with the items listed because they still give you needed stat boosts. I will be editing this guide, as i previously stated it is my first so please go easy on me. I do believe in this build and have tested it many times. I hope you enjoy this new Champion, Xerath can work wonders in the right hands.