Make sure to stock up on some Poro-snax as we vote, discuss and recap all the things that happened this year in League.
|Champion||Background||Strategy||Skins & Trivia|
Powerful beyond reckoning, the ascended being known as Xerath was once a mortal of flesh and blood. He is now something vastly different - a being of writhing arcane energy. Having emerged from millennia-spanning imprisonment, he is now ready to unleash his power upon Runeterra, and utterly destroy any who oppose him.
This was the moment.
The singular moment that had cost him so much, that had taken a lifetime of planning. A corrupt empire and its strutting princeling would be struck down under the blankly idiotic sun symbol they both so trusted. The key to immortality, jealously guarded and miserly offered, would be his alone, stolen in front of the entire world. A singular moment of perfect vengeance that would finally free the slave known as Xerath.
Though his master's helm revealed no human expression, and knowing that the lovingly etched metal could not respond in kind, Xerath smiled up at the soulless hawk's face just the same, his joy genuine. A life spent in servitude, first for a mad emperor and now a vain one, endless manipulations for and against the throne, a near-damning quest for barely remembered knowledge that almost consumed him—all of it led to this grotesque masquerade of Ascension.
The very word when spoken aloud was an assault: We will Ascend, while you are chained to the broken stone as the sands of time swallow you all. No. Not anymore, and never again. The chosen golden lords will not be taken into the sun’s embrace and made gods. A slave will do this; a simple slave, a boy who once had the misfortune to save a noble child from the sands.
And for this sin, Xerath had been punished with a horrible, maddening promise: Freedom. Unobtainable. Forbidden. Should the thought even dart through a slave’s mind, it would be punished by death, as the Ascended could gaze past flesh and bone, deep into one’s very soul, to see its dim traitorous glow. And yet, there it was, spoken by the young princeling he dragged from the embrace of the mercurial mother-desert. Azir, the Golden Sun, vowed that he would free his savior and new friend.
A promise unkept to this day. The words of a grateful child, innocently oblivious to the impact they would have. How could Azir upend thousands of years of rule? How could he fight tradition, his father, his destiny?
In the end, the young emperor would lose it all by not honoring his word.
And so, Xerath was elevated and educated, eventually becoming Azir's trusted right hand—but never a free man. The soured promise ate into what he was, and what he could have been. Denied a small, simple thing, the right to live his life, Xerath decided to take everything, all of the things denied to him, all of the things he deserved: the empire, Ascension, and the absolute purest form of freedom possible.
With each step taken toward the offensively grandiose Dais of Ascension, positioned respectfully behind his emperor and flanked by the inept sentinels who supposedly protected Shurima, Xerath felt an unknown lightness he was genuinely shocked by. Was this joy? Does vengeance bring joy? The impact was almost physical.
At that very moment, the overwrought suit of golden armor that was his tormentor abruptly halted. And turned. And walked toward Xerath.
Could he know? How could he possibly know? This spoiled, self-obsessed boy? This righteous, falsely benevolent emperor whose hands were just as bloody as Xerath's own? Even if he did, there was no staying the killing blow that was already in motion.
Xerath had planned for every contingency. He had bribed, killed, out-maneuvered, and plotted for decades—he even tricked the monstrous brothers Nasus and Renekton into staying away from the event—but he had not planned for this...
The Emperor of Shurima, the Golden Sun, Beloved of Mother Desert, soon to be Ascended, took off his helmet, revealed his proud brow and smiling eyes, and turned to his oldest and most trusted friend. He spoke about the love of brothers, the love of friends, of hard fights won and others lost, of family, of future, and finally... of freedom.
At these words, the guards flanked Xerath, moving in, weapons drawn.
So the princeling did know. Had Xerath's plans had been undone?
But the fools in armor were saluting. There was no menace to them, they were honoring him. They were congratulating him.
On his freedom.
The foundation-shuddering roar of the assembled masses drowned out any response Xerath could have had. Azir donned his helmet and strode out onto the Dais, his attendants preparing him for the godhood that would never come.
Xerath stood in the shadow of the monolithic Sun Disk, knowing that an empire-destroying doom was but seconds away.
Too late, friend. Too late, brother. Far too late for us all.
- Fall of the Empire
- The following was posted as a series of images on the League of Legends' official Facebook page.
Azir's hubris proved disastrous. As the Sun Disc focused the dawn rays into a transformative beam, Xerath betrayed Azir, shoving his emperor aside and stealing its power for himself.
In an instant, Azir was obliterated – and Xerath remade as a spectral being of pure, malevolent energy – as the city around them was swallowed whole by the desert.
Nasus and Renekton, Ascended heroes of Shuriman legend, sensed in an instant that something had gone terribly wrong and rushed to the Sun Disc. They hurled Xerath into a chained sarcophagus – but the magus shattered it into shards.
Renekton dragged Xerath into the Tomb of the Emperors and shouted to Nasus to seal the door. With a heavy heart, Nasus entombed his brother with a madman in the buried ruins for all eternity. Or so he believed…
- Descent Into The Tomb
- Narrated by Nasus.
"The tragic fall of Shurima was nothing comparing to the tragedy of its rise from the grave.
In a market at the edge of a desert. A stranger appears. Cassiopeia, a noblewoman from Noxus looking to hire a guide to take her to the fabled lost city. But not just any guide, she hires a owner of a legendary blade, the mercenary called Sivir. Sivir gathers her band of sell-swords and set out in to the desert to find the very bones of Shurima.
Five days beneath the broiling sun a scout spots towers juddering upwards and a stairway leading underground. They climb down, into the darkness.
Ancient treasures gleam in the torch-light, even Sivir is astonished of the grandeur of the ruins. Her men head deeper in only to stumble into traps and be eviscerated. Sivir is stunned with horror, but Cassiopeia does not flinch. She sees only the statue of a huge serpent silently guarding the door to the tomb of the Emperors and smiles.
The ancient weapon is a key. Cassiopeia betrays Sivir. She picks up Sivir's blade, puts it into the lock. The guardians curse is triggered. The stone serpent comes alive. It pins Cassiopeia in its jaws - the venom sears her flesh like acid.
Sivir drags herself away, life blood flooding from her wound and then succumbs to darkness..."
- Rise Of The Ascended
- Narrated by Nasus.
"As Sivir lies betrayed and bleeding, something incredible occurs. For though she does not know it, Sivir is the last in the bloodline of Azir, Shurima’s lost emperor. And as her blood soaks into the ancient sands, a deep magic sparks to life. Resurrection!
First Azir's mind, then his body. Snatched back from oblivion to be reborn. Then he sees Sivir, wonders at her face, he sees himself in this daughter of Shurima. In that moment, he has no thought of empires or rituals. He only knows: she needs his help.
He must take her to the Oasis of the Dawn - the Mother of Life. He smells the waters - smells of life. He prays he is in time. He does not dream that he, Shurima’s greatest emperor, can at long last earn his Ascension and bring back his broken city. He dares not dream that if he can save her... Azir can save them all."
- Champion selection
- "I will be free."
- "Simple fools."
- "Behold my power."
- "Primitive magic shall not best me."
- "Magic? I'll show you real magic."
- "Flesh and blood; so fragile."
- "Sacrifices must be made."
- "I will unmake you."
- "Your demise beckons."
- "I will show you true power."
- "None will control me."
- "These chains cannot hold me."
- "I am eternal."
- "I will be their undoing."
- "The secrets of magic are mine alone."
- "I follow the path to power."
- "The affairs of mortals are beneath me."
- "The world may crumble, but I shall remain."
- "Emotions are only distractions."
- "Bound, but not broken."
- "I see the forces that hold the universe together."
- "I am the will of man unbound by flesh."
- "I stand at the brink of infinity."
- "You cannot fathom what I am."
- "It will take only a spark of my magic to end you."
- "You may stare, but your mind may collapse."
- Taunting an enemy Azir
- "Azir, at long last, we will see what power you truly possess."
- "You are emperor of a wasteland, Azir."
- "Azir, the boy destined to chase the sun."
- "This time, Azir, I will need no surprise to topple you."
- Taunting an enemy Nasus
- "Nasus, the loyal pup, ever nipping at my heels."
- "Nasus... thank you for your brother."
- Taunting an enemy Syndra
- "You chase power, Syndra. I am power!"
- Taunting an enemy Thresh
- "Those chains cannot hold me either, jailer."
- "Power, immortality, omniscience... but no leg room?!"
- "Power laning, power farming, power ganking, power kills! So many kills, four hundred kills!"
- "Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!"
- Xerath laughs.
- Xerath laughs.
- Xerath laughs.
- Xerath laughs.
- Upon beginning a game of Ascension
- "You shall bear witness to the only true ascended this day."
- "Mine is the only pure ascension."
- "Today, I will be free!"
- Upon becoming ascended
- "Ah! The energy courses through me!"
- "Finally, I will show you what an ascended can do!"
- "The ascension belongs to me!"
- "The world forgot me. Now, they will remember!"
- When a nearby ally becomes ascended
- "We have the power! Now, strangle them with it!"
- "It is our turn to punish the arrogant!"
- When a nearby Renekton becomes ascended
- "It is our time, crocodile, make them suffer."
- "Renekton, show them your hatred!"
- Killing an enemy while ascended
- "No-one will wrest ascension from me!"
- "I was meant for ascension! See how I wield it!"
- Upon winning a game of Ascension
- "Behold! My power is unmatched!"
- "I will allow nothing to stand in my way!"
- "Ascension never looked so good!"
- "What a glorious being of pure energy!"
Co-op vs. AI Responses
- "Observe power in its purest form!"
Player team victory
Player team defeat
- "Your power is... formidable..."
Ancient Ascendant Xerath Quotes
These responses are exclusive to the non-playable Xerath that resides in the Ascension Featured Gameplay Mode.
- "True ascension is granted only to the worthy."
- "Who believes they have the strength to ascend?"
- "I am power incarnate! Who dares oppose me?"
- "Ascension is not granted, it is taken!"
- "Only ten of you? How disappointing."
- "My will is law!"
- "I will not be subverted!"
- "You stand in the presence of a perfect being."
- "I will never concede the power I have taken!"
- "You seek ascension. You will find failure."
- When ten champions dance nearby
- "I've waited a millennium for this!"
- "Trapped for centuries, but I've still got it!"
- "It's electric!" (raps)
- "With ascension... comes killer moves!"
- "Nobody puts Xerath in a sarcophagus! Nobody!"
- Xerath was designed by Volty.
Xerath's image and release date were leaked from the November 2011 issue of PC Gamer."This caster champ, a being of pure energy, perfectly captures the feeling of uncontrollable power. He charges up energy with each spellcast, temporarily increasing the damage and cost of subsequent spells. Playing him will be a tricky balancing act between knowing when to open the floodgates and pour out your damage, and when you're better off taking the slow-and-steady route."
Champion Sneak PeekAnnouncement made in the Sneak Peek by Average Gatsby:
At Riot Games a big part of our corporate culture is breaking down barriers through innovation. And, while we're on the subject, this seems like as good a time as any to introduce our latest champion. Meet Xerath, the Magus Ascendant. Previously one of the most powerful mages in Valoran, Xerath's learned the hard way just what sort of trouble accepting constraints – in this case a gigantic, enchanted sarcophagus – can get you into.
Of course, even a chained Magus Ascendant is somebody you want to avoid underestimating.
Xerath Mechanics Preview
Announcement made in the Mechanics Preview by Morello:
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. 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, his bread-and-butter ability, shoots a short-delay beam at the area, zapping anyone hit for significant damage. 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 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.
Scorched Earth Xerath
Announcement made by NeeksNaman:
If you've been waiting for that new Xerath skin that really gets you all hot and bothered, your long wait is over. Scorched Earth Xerath is exploding onto the Fields of Justice for all you budding pyrotechnicians, fireworks enthusiasts and anybody else who thinks the process of combustion is really, really cool. Featuring an appropriately incendiary complement of new spell effects befitting his fiery new look, this is one take on the Magus Ascendant you won't want to miss.
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