, 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. 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., his bread-and-butter ability, shoots a short-delay beam at the area, zapping anyone hit for significant damage. , 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, 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.
- Playing As
- It's easier to land on an enemy when they're moving toward or away from you, rather than side to side.
- will make landing easier as the target will be slowed.
- If you stun an enemy with , follow up with a guaranteed center hit on .
- Playing Against
- range can be intimidating, but most champions who close distance with him can trade favorably.
- takes a long time to engage . Watch for his spellcast animation and start dodging.
- will make it much harder for to land on you.
- Ability Usage
- As an artillery mage,
has amazing range and damage, allowing him to harass or farm from a safe distance.
- is best used for harassing and farming. This ability can also be used to snipe targets.
- is also great for farming and harassing, plus the movement slow makes targets easier to hit.
- 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 mana costs are high. This is noticeable in the early game.
- Do not overcharge your 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:
- Use the stun from to land an easy bullseye with and a quick . This will deal the maximum damage, but it is hard to hit without setup. In lane, only do this combo if your enemy overextends and you're able to hit 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.
- Use the slow from to help you land . If possible, also try to shoot in between the two abilities, because it makes impossible to dodge. This is the easiest combo to use, because is a lot easier to hit than . 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 and . In teamfights this combo deals some good damage if they are pretty far away and hitting long-range isn't possible.
- A third and probably the most used way to harass is simply firing at the enemy without setup. If you're good enough with , then it is advised to fire it whenever you don't have or available. In lane, use this at level 1, but after unlocking , it is better to only use after firing to spare mana, which is scarce early game. In teamfights you'll probably be able to keep spamming instead of always waiting for or .
- A good point to keep in mind with all combos is that the setup you used to hit is also very useful if you decide to use for the killing blow.
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.
- is prone to depleting his mana pool quickly, and his passive requires him to get close to recover mana.
- In teamfights, AoE damage and is very effective against tightly grouped enemies. deals severe
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 and from mid lane.
- immunity to displacement effects can be used defensively against or .
- 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.
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 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 , 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 crowd control. Then, the only way to hit is to predict to where they are about to walk. Some hints on this are:
is almost impossible without
- 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 and use 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 , 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:
- is generally a poor choice since is rarely close enough to use it.
- is best used for defense, as already has long range. Also, you can use it during charging to kill fleeing enemies if you are too slow to keep up.
- allows for better lane-control and opens some gank-options.
- can help you survive against assassins, one of major weaknesses.
- can also help you against assassins plus it has a movement speed boost, though the healing can be countered by Grievous Wounds.
- is generally a poor choice, since you have no escape to capitalize on it.
- 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 and . It also slows down targets so you can more reliably hit with all your attacks.
- Mastery Usage
- Item Usage
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
or , which gives you AP, mana, and cooldown reduction in good amounts. If combined, you will reach the 40% CDR cap.
- is the more defensive option, giving you MR, and more mana regeneration, allowing you to stay away more often.
- 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 .
- should be bought right after hitting the CDR cap. It provides a large boost in damage.
- will help you against target's that stack magic resistance, and combine nicely with , and/or .
- 2 core items are
- Building will give you ability power, armor, and a powerful active that can help you survive if the enemy team has gap closing abilities.
- can slow people down, making it easier to land more attacks.
- While is usually a risky purchase, it is less so on 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.
- deals magic damage, thus magic resistance is the obvious counter, especially to help disrupt his combo as well.
- While all of
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
, , , , and .
- In particular, is a strong counter to because he is extremely mobile and can use his / to dodge all of spells, including . With lack of mobility, he will simply be unable to dodge if is close enough. However, laning against a as can actually be difficult due to weak early game and vulnerability to poke.
- Speed ( ) may be a better stat than magic resist ( ) against .
- As such, he is vulnerable to high mobility characters, such as
is very powerful and can poke your team down quickly. Every team must be able to deal with , as it is extremely difficult to deal with 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 due to his lack of mobility and because his is a skillshot and can only hit a single target. Thus it is advised to run tanks with powerful engage tools such as and/or powerful assassins that can quickly close the gap to , such as and . Running one of the two or even both can make it difficult for to do his job and shall make him a non-threat for your team.
- is most powerful late game, especially with full items. Try to stop and starve him early.
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 can be a threat to other lanes, notify your team if he leaves your lane.
- Most of AoE, try to stay spread out in team fights. attacks are
- Avoid getting hit by his , as the stun gives him ample opportunity to land his combo.
- Observing can help you to dodge his . When you see slow down, it's time to start dodging left or right, perpendicular to the imaginary line between you and . This gives you an extra warning besides the lit track before it's about to hit.
makes immobile, and makes him immune to displacements. However, hard CC like stuns and silences interrupt and put it on cooldown, so saving these for when he casts his ultimate is worth it.
- When AoE ability. uses , 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 is an