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Gameplay

By Ryan 'Morello' Scott [1]

Greetings Summoners!

XerathSquare Xerath, the Magus Ascendant, is our newest mage-type character in League of Legends. His playstyle offers a new way to perform the mage-carry role; long range barrages and sieging.

The cornerstone of this is in his ability Locus of Power Locus of Power. This makes Xerath immobile, but gives his spells massively increased range and defense penetration. This really allows him to set up and barrage an area before becoming mobile again to perform a more standard mage role.

Using this range gameplay, Xerath has wide-area spells he can use to really saturate an area with major damage. Arcanopulse Arcanopulse, his bread-and-butter ability, shoots a short-delay beam at the area, zapping anyone hit for significant damage. Arcane Barrage Arcane Barrage, his ultimate, allows him to launch up to three massive explosions at a long range, both doing area denial and good team damage. To protect himself, Mage Chains Mage Chains is a reliable single-target spell that will allow Xerath to stun an enemy if he hits him with a subsequent spell.

Xerath is something we liken to a Howitzer or artillery piece. He should really appeal to people who enjoy very long ranges and like aiming skillshots and leading targets. We're excited to offer a new mage paradigm to League of Legends, and will be continuing to add new ways to play existing roles into the game.

Champion Spotlight

Xerath Champion Spotlight06:43

Xerath Champion Spotlight

Recommended Items

Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran's Ring item Health Potion item2 Warding Totem item
Early Boots of Speed item Fiendish Codex item Needlessly Large Rod item
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Morellonomicon item Luden's Echo item
Standard Rabadon's Deathcap item Zhonya's Hourglass item Void Staff item
Situational Rod of Ages item Archangel's Staff item Liandry's Torment item
Consumables Health Potion item Control Ward item Elixir of Sorcery item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Ring item Refillable Potion item
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Wooglet's Witchcap item Haunting Guise item
Offensive Morellonomicon item Void Staff item Luden's Echo item
Defensive Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Liandry's Torment item Hextech GLP-800 item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Sorcery item
Howling Abyss
Starting Orb of Winter item Boots of Speed item Health Potion item3
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Morellonomicon item Luden's Echo item
Offensive Liandry's Torment item Void Staff item Rabadon's Deathcap item
Defensive Zhonya's Hourglass item Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Banshee's Veil item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Sorcery item Corrupting Potion item

Tips

Playing As XerathSquare Xerath
Playing Against XerathSquare Xerath
  • XerathSquare Xerath's range can be intimidating, but most champions who close distance with him can trade favorably.
  • XerathSquare Xerath takes a long time to engage Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane. Watch for his spellcast animation and start dodging.
  • Banshee's Veil item Banshee's Veil will make it much harder for XerathSquare Xerath to land Shocking Orb Shocking Orb on you.

Tricks

Ability Usage
  • As an artillery mage, XerathSquare Xerath has amazing range and damage, allowing him to harass or farm from a safe distance.
    • Arcanopulse Arcanopulse is best used for harassing and farming. This ability can also be used to snipe targets.
    • Eye of Destruction Eye of Destruction is also great for farming and harassing, plus the movement slow makes targets easier to hit.
    • Shocking Orb Shocking Orb can help keep you safe from ganks as you can stun anyone who comes close. Note that the stun last longer the farther it travels.
  • One of his weaknesses is his constant need to attack a minion or champion with an auto-attack to regain mana, as XerathSquare Xerath's mana costs are high. This is noticeable in the early game.
  • Do not overcharge your Arcanopulse Arcanopulse unnecessarily. Charging does not increase the damage, only the range. There's no need to fully charge it if you don't need the extra range.
  • Some effective skill combos include:
    1. Use the stun from Shocking Orb Shocking Orb to land an easy bullseye with Eye of Destruction Eye of Destruction and a quick Arcanopulse Arcanopulse. This will deal the maximum damage, but it is hard to hit Shocking Orb Shocking Orb without setup. In lane, only do this combo if your enemy overextends and you're able to hit Shocking Orb Shocking Orb because of that. Otherwise, it is advised to use the combo below. In teamfights this combo is massive, so try using it whenever you can.
    2. Use the slow from Eye of Destruction Eye of Destruction to help you land Arcanopulse Arcanopulse. If possible, also try to shoot Shocking Orb Shocking Orb in between the two abilities, because it makes Arcanopulse Arcanopulse impossible to dodge. This is the easiest combo to use, because Eye of Destruction Eye of Destruction is a lot easier to hit than Shocking Orb Shocking Orb. However, it deals less damage than the combo above. In lane this combo is the best to use, as it guarantees some free damage if you are used to hitting Eye of Destruction Eye of Destruction and Arcanopulse Arcanopulse. In teamfights this combo deals some good damage if they are pretty far away and hitting Shocking Orb Shocking Orb long-range isn't possible.
    3. A third and probably the most used way to harass is simply firing Arcanopulse Arcanopulse at the enemy without setup. If you're good enough with Arcanopulse Arcanopulse, then it is advised to fire it whenever you don't have Eye of Destruction Eye of Destruction or Shocking Orb Shocking Orb available. In lane, use this at level 1, but after unlocking Eye of Destruction Eye of Destruction, it is better to only use Arcanopulse Arcanopulse after firing Eye of Destruction Eye of Destruction to spare mana, which is scarce early game. In teamfights you'll probably be able to keep spamming Arcanopulse Arcanopulse instead of always waiting for Eye of Destruction Eye of Destruction or Shocking Orb Shocking Orb.
    • A good point to keep in mind with all combos is that the setup you used to hit Arcanopulse Arcanopulse is also very useful if you decide to use Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane for the killing blow.
  • XerathSquare Xerath is one of the most powerful mages thanks to his range and damage output, but has major weaknesses:
    • His abilities are all skillshots, therefore can be dodged just by simply moving out of the way. Against nimble or smarter opponents, it becomes necessary for players to read and predict their movements to ensure the abilities hit.
    • He possesses poor mobility, and most of his abilities temporarily worsen his already poor mobility.
    • XerathSquare Xerath is prone to depleting his mana pool quickly, and his passive requires him to get close to recover mana.
  • In teamfights, XerathSquare Xerath deals severe Death Lotus AoE damage and is very effective against tightly grouped enemies.
  • Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane has amazing range and deals massive damage, however its delay between shots make it easy for unhindered enemies to dodge. Thus it is best used in conjunction with an ally.
    • It is also great for stealing objectives. He can reach both Dragon Dragon and Baron Nashor Baron Nashor from mid lane.
    • Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane's immunity to displacement effects can be used defensively against Rocket Grab Rocket Grab or Explosive Cask Explosive Cask.
    • This skill can also be used to snipe targets from a safe distance, especially fleeing champions. Take note that both teams can see the ring that indicates the  ability's maximum range.
    • Hitting Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane is pretty tricky to hit often, due to issues with vision or being against an opponent that is able to dodge all the shots. Here are some great ways to deal with this:
      • Using Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane after your target gets CC'd will help you hitting the shots, because the opponent has less possibility of dodging it.
      • If the target flees into the fog of war while you are channeling Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane, you must get vision somehow if you want to hit the shots. Predicting their position while they are hidden may guarantee a successful hit.
      • Hitting opponents who know how to dodge Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane is almost impossible without crowd control. Then, the only way to hit Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane is to predict to where they are about to walk. Some hints on this are:
        • Take your time. You have 10 seconds to fire 3 shots while your enemies need to get out of your ult fast. If you use your time to your benefit by figuring out their movement pattern, there is a larger chance that your shots will hit them.
        • If you know where the enemy is about to move, use that against them by shooting on the spots they will be moving in some seconds.
        • Sometimes, it is better to let them use Recall recall and use Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane after that. They might be looking away from their own place or seeing things in the shop.
      • Later in the game with at least rank 2 on Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane, XerathSquare Xerath can cast the first shot quicker than the range indicator animation. Use this to quickly kill the careless enemies far away.
  • Xerath has several options for summoner spells:
    1. Ignite Ignite is generally a poor choice since XerathSquare Xerath is rarely close enough to use it.
    2. Flash Flash is best used for defense, as XerathSquare Xerath already has long range. Also, you can use it during charging Arcanopulse Arcanopulse to kill fleeing enemies if you are too slow to keep up.
    3. Teleport Teleport allows for better lane-control and opens some gank-options.
    4. Barrier Barrier can help you survive against assassins, one of XerathSquare Xerath's major weaknesses.
    5. Heal Heal can also help you against assassins plus it has a movement speed boost, though the healing can be countered by Grievous Wounds.
    6. Cleanse Cleanse is generally a poor choice, since you have no escape to capitalize on it.
    7. Exhaust Exhaust has a short range, but protects you from some of your counters who have to rely on getting close in order to kill you, namely FizzSquare Fizz and AhriSquare Ahri. It also slows down targets so you can more reliably hit with all your attacks.
Mastery Usage
Item Usage
  • XerathSquare Xerath's range can allow him to build full offensive with cooldown reduction, ability power, magic penetration, and some mana regeneration to power it.
    • 2 core items are Athene's Unholy Grail item Athene's Unholy Grail or Morellonomicon item Morellonomicon, which gives you AP, mana, and cooldown reduction in good amounts. If combined, you will reach the 40% CDR cap.
      • Athene's Unholy Grail item Athene's Unholy Grail is the more defensive option, giving you MR, and more mana regeneration, allowing you to stay away more often.
      • Morellonomicon item Morellonomicon is the more offensive option, giving you more AP, and being cheaper, but you will need to move closer more often, to gain mana from Mana Surge Mana Surge.
    • Rabadon's Deathcap item Rabadon's Deathcap should be bought right after hitting the CDR cap. It provides a large boost in damage.
    • Void Staff item Void Staff will help you against target's that stack magic resistance, and combine nicely with Haunting Guise item Haunting Guise, and/or Sorcerer's Shoes item Sorcerer's Shoes.
  • Building Zhonya's Hourglass item Zhonya's Hourglass will give you ability power, armor, and a powerful active that can help you survive if the enemy team has gap closing abilities.
  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Rylai's Crystal Scepter can slow people down, making it easier to land more attacks.
  • While Mejai's Soulstealer item Mejai's Soulstealer is usually a risky purchase, it is less so on XerathSquare Xerath due to his very long range. As long as he maintains himself far and protected, and avoid dying, getting stacks will be very easy, thanks to his abilities having long range. It is a viable purchase if you are snowballing. Be sure to avoid dying too much, else this item is a waste of slot.
Countering
  • XerathSquare Xerath deals magic damage, thus magic resistance is the obvious counter, especially Banshee's Veil item Banshee's Veil to help disrupt his combo as well.
  • While all of XerathSquare Xerath's spells have a very long range, they are also all delayed and/or skill shots and can be dodged.
    • As such, he is vulnerable to high mobility characters, such as EzrealSquare Ezreal, DianaSquare Diana, KassadinSquare Kassadin, AhriSquare Ahri, and FizzSquare Fizz.
      • In particular, FizzSquare Fizz is a strong counter to XerathSquare Xerath because he is extremely mobile and can use his Playful Playful/Trickster Trickster to dodge all of XerathSquare Xerath's spells, including Shocking Orb Shocking Orb. With XerathSquare Xerath's lack of mobility, he will simply be unable to dodge Chum the Waters Chum the Waters if FizzSquare Fizz is close enough. However, laning against a XerathSquare Xerath as FizzSquare Fizz can actually be difficult due to FizzSquare Fizz's weak early game and vulnerability to XerathSquare Xerath's poke.
    • Speed (Boots of Swiftness item Boots of Swiftness) may be a better stat than magic resist (Mercury's Treads item Mercury's Treads) against XerathSquare Xerath.
  • XerathSquare Xerath is very powerful and can poke your team down quickly. Every team must be able to deal with XerathSquare Xerath, as it is extremely difficult to deal with XerathSquare Xerath if your team does not have any way to engage on him late game, due to him having one of the longest ranges in the game combined with his insane poke damage.
    • That said, hard engage is a high weakness for XerathSquare Xerath due to his lack of mobility and because his Shocking Orb Shocking Orb is a skillshot and can only hit a single target. Thus it is advised to run tanks with powerful engage tools such as MalphiteSquare Malphite's Unstoppable Force Unstoppable Force and/or powerful assassins that can quickly close the gap to XerathSquare Xerath, such as RengarSquare Rengar and Kha'ZixSquare Kha'Zix. Running one of the two or even both can make it difficult for XerathSquare Xerath to do his job and shall make him a non-threat for your team.
  • XerathSquare Xerath is most powerful late game, especially with full items. Try to stop and starve him early.
  • XerathSquare Xerath's mana can be depleted quickly and he needs to come in short range for his passive to work.
    • Try and make him waste his attacks, and then counter when he is out of mana.
  • With his long range XerathSquare Xerath can be a threat to other lanes, notify your team if he leaves your lane.
  • Most of XerathSquare Xerath's attacks are Death Lotus AoE, try to stay spread out in team fights.
  • Avoid getting hit by his Shocking Orb Shocking Orb, as the stun gives him ample opportunity to land his combo.
  • Observing XerathSquare Xerath can help you to dodge his Arcanopulse Arcanopulse. When you see XerathSquare Xerath slow down, it's time to start dodging left or right, perpendicular to the imaginary line between you and XerathSquare Xerath. This gives you an extra warning besides the lit track before it's about to hit.
  • Casting Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane makes XerathSquare Xerath immobile, and makes him immune to displacements. However, hard CC like stuns and silences interrupt Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane and put it on cooldown, so saving these for when he casts his ultimate is worth it.
    • When XerathSquare Xerath uses Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane, a large circle quickly expands from it. This circle is visible by everyone, and it indicates his maximum cast range. Use this to your advantage, and keep in mind that Rite of the Arcane Rite of the Arcane is an Death Lotus AoE ability.


References

References