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"A lifetime as a slave has prepared me for eternity as your master." - Xerath Xerath

Xerath Xerath is an Ascended Magus of ancient Shurima, a being of arcane energy writhing in the broken shards of a Mana Surge.png magical sarcophagus. For millennia, he was trapped beneath the desert sands, but the rise of Shurima freed him from his ancient prison. Driven insane with power, he now seeks to take what he believes is rightfully his and replace the upstart civilizations of the world with one fashioned in his image.

Lore

The boy who would eventually be called Xerath was born a nameless slave in Shurima thousands of years ago. He was the son of captured scholars, with only the prospect of endless servitude ahead. His mother taught him letters and numbers, while his father told him tales from history in the hopes that such skills might allow him a better life. The boy vowed he would not end up bent-backed and whipped like every other slave.

When the boy’s father was crippled during the excavations for the foundations of a monument to the Emperor’s favorite horse, he was left to die at the site of the accident. Fearing her son would suffer a similar fate, the boy’s mother begged an esteemed tomb architect to take him on as an apprentice. Though at first reluctant, the architect was impressed with the boy’s eye for detail and innate understanding of mathematics and language, and accepted. The boy never saw his mother again.

He was a swift learner and his master dispatched him on errands to the Great Library of Nasus Nasus to retrieve specific texts and plans on an almost daily basis. On one trip, the boy met Azir Azir, the least-favored son of the emperor. Azir was struggling to read a difficult passage in an ancient text, and, despite knowing that to talk to royalty was to invite death, the boy paused to help the young prince with its complex grammar. In that moment, a tentative friendship was established, and over the coming months that friendship only grew stronger.

Though slaves were forbidden names, Azir gave one to the boy. He named him Xerath, which means ‘one who shares,’ though that name was only ever spoken between the two boys. Azir saw to it that Xerath was appointed to his household’s slaves, and made him his personal attendant. Their shared love of knowledge saw them devour texts from the library and become as close as brothers. Xerath was Azir’s constant companion, learning all he could from this new proximity to culture, power and knowledge, finally daring to dream that Azir might one day free him.

On the annual tour of the emperor’s dominion, assassins struck the royal caravan as it spent the night at a well-known oasis. Xerath saved Azir from an assassin’s blade, but Azir’s brothers were all slain, leaving the young prince a heartbeat away from Shurima’s throne. As a slave, Xerath could expect no reward for his deed, but Azir promised that one day they would be as brothers.

In the wake of the assassination attempt, Shurima endured years of horror and fear of the emperor’s retribution. Xerath knew enough of history and the workings of the Shuriman court to understand that Azir’s life hung by the slenderest of threads. That he was heir to the throne meant nothing, for the emperor hated Azir for living while his more beloved sons had died. Of more immediate danger, the emperor’s wife was still young enough to bear other children, and thus far she had borne many healthy sons. The odds were good that she would produce another male heir for her husband, and as soon as she did, Azir’s life was forfeit.

Though Azir was a scholar at heart, Xerath persuaded him that to survive, he must also learn to fight. This Azir did, and in return the young heir elevated Xerath, insisting he continue his education. Both youths excelled, and Xerath proved to be an exceptionally gifted pupil, one who took to the pursuit of knowledge with gusto. Xerath became Azir’s confidant and right hand man, a position unheard of for a mere slave. This position gave him great - and some said, undue - influence over the young prince, who came to rely on Xerath’s judgement more each day.

Xerath bent his every effort into seeking out knowledge wherever he could find it, no matter the cost, no matter its source. He unlocked long-sealed libraries, delved into forgotten vaults and consulted with mystics entombed deep beneath the sands; all to further his knowledge and ambition, both of which grew with unchecked rapidity. Whenever the whispers around court that spoke of his delving into unsavory places grew too loud to ignore, he would find cunning means to silence them. That Azir never mentioned these whispers was, to Xerath, tacit approval of how he was keeping his emperor safe.

Years passed, and Xerath took ever darker steps to keep the emperor’s wife from carrying a child to term, using his nascent magical abilities to corrupt every infant in the womb. Without rivals to the throne, Azir would be safe. When rumors of a curse arose, Xerath ensured they were never spoken again, and oft-times those who had voiced such suspicions vanished without trace. By now, Xerath’s desire to escape his roots as a slave had become a burning ambition to achieve power of his own, though he justified every murderous act by telling himself he was doing it to keep his friend alive.

Despite Xerath’s best efforts to thwart the queen’s midwives, a new prince of Shurima was brought into the world, but on the night of his birth, Xerath used his growing magical powers to summon the elemental spirits of the deep desert and craft a terrible storm. Xerath brought bolt after bolt of lightning down upon the queen’s chambers, reducing it to burning rubble and killing the queen and her newborn son. The emperor rushed to his queen’s chambers, only to be confronted by Xerath, his hands ablaze with arcane power. The emperor’s guards attacked, but Xerath burned them and the emperor to cindered skeletons. Xerath ensured that the mages of a conquered territory were blamed for these deaths, and Azir’s first act upon taking the throne was to lead a brutal campaign of retribution against its people.

Azir was crowned emperor of Shurima with Xerath at his side, the boy who had once been a nameless slave. Xerath had long dreamed of this moment, and expected Azir to end slavery in Shurima before finally naming him brother. Azir did none of these things, continuing to expand his empire’s borders and deflecting Xerath’s overtures regarding the end of slavery. To Xerath, this was further proof of Shurima’s moral bankruptcy, and he raged at Azir’s breaking of his promise. Azir’s face was thunderous as he reminded Xerath that he was a slave and should remember his place. Something once noble died in Xerath that day, but he bowed in supplication, outwardly accepting Azir’s decision. As Azir continued his campaigns of conquest, Xerath remained at his side, but his every action was carefully designed to increase his influence over a realm he now planned to take for himself. To steal an empire was no small thing, and Xerath knew he needed more power.

The famous legend of Renekton’s Ascension revealed that a mortal did not have to be chosen by the Sun Priests, that anyone could rise up. So Xerath plotted to steal the power of Ascension. No slave could ever stand upon the sun disc, so Xerath fed the Emperor’s vanity, inflating his ego and filling his head with impossible visions of a world-spanning empire. But such a dream would only be possible if Azir could Ascend as the greatest heroes of Shurima had before. In time Xerath’s perseverance paid off, and Azir announced he would undertake the Ascension ritual, that he had earned the right to stand alongside Nasus and Renekton as an Ascended being. The Sun Priests protested, but such was Azir’s hubris that he ordered them to comply on pain of torture and death.

The Day of Ascension arrived and Azir marched toward the Dais of Ascension with Xerath at his side. Nasus and Renekton were absent from the day’s events, for Xerath had arranged a distraction for them by weakening the seal on a magical sarcophagus containing Brand a beast of living fire. When that creature finally broke its bindings, Renekton and Nasus were the only warriors capable of defeating it. Thus Xerath had stripped Azir of the only two beings who might save him from what was to come.

Azir stood beneath the sun disc and in the final moment before the priests began the ritual, events took a turn Xerath had not anticipated. The emperor turned to Xerath and told him that he was now a free man. He and all Shurima’s slaves were now released from their bonds of servitude. He embraced Xerath before naming him his eternal brother. Xerath was stunned. He had been given everything he desired, but the success of his plans hinged upon Azir’s death and nothing was going to dissuade him from acting. Too many pieces were in motion and Xerath had already sacrificed too much to turn back now – no matter how much that part of him wanted to. The emperor’s words pierced the bitterness enclosing Xerath’s heart, but came decades too late. Unaware of his peril, Azir turned as the priests began the ritual and brought down the awesome power of the sun.

With a roar of anger and grief combined, Xerath blasted Azir from his place on the dais, watching through tears as his former friend burned to ash. Xerath took Azir’s place and the light of the sun filled him, reshaping his flesh into that of an Ascended being. But the power of the ritual was not his to take, and the consequences of his betrayal of Azir were devastating. The unbound power of the sun all but destroyed Shurima, sundering its temples and bringing ruination upon the city. Azir’s people were consumed in a terrifying conflagration as the desert rose up to claim the city. The sun disc fell and an empire built by generations of emperors was undone in a single day.

Even as the city burned, Xerath held the sun priests in the grip of his magic, preventing them from ending the ritual. The energies filling him were immense, alloying with his dark sorcery to create a being of incredible power. As he drew ever more of the sun’s power into his body, his mortal flesh was consumed and remade as a glowing vortex of arcane power.

With Xerath’s treachery revealed, Renekton Renekton and Nasus Nasus rushed to the epicenter of the magical storm destroying the city. They bore with them the magical sarcophagus that had imprisoned the spirit of eternal fire. The Ascended brothers fought their way to the Dais of Ascension just as Xerath fell from the deadly radiance engulfing the city. Before the newly-Ascended Magus could react, they hurled his crackling body within the sarcophagus and sealed it once more with blessed chains and powerful sigils of binding.

But it was not enough. Xerath’s power had been great as a mortal, and that power - combined with the gift of Ascension - made him all but invincible. He shattered the sarcophagus, though its shards and chains remained bound to him. Renekton and Nasus hurled themselves at Xerath, but such was his newfound strength that he fought them both to a standstill. The battle raged throughout the collapsing city, destroying what had not already sunk beneath the sands. The brothers were able to drag Xerath toward the Tomb of Emperors, the greatest mausoleum of Shurima, a vault whose locks and wards were impossible to break and which answered only to the blood of emperors. Renekton wrestled Xerath within and called upon Nasus to seal the vault behind them. Nasus did so with heavy heart, knowing it was the only way to prevent Xerath’s escape. Renekton and Xerath fell into eternal darkness, and there they remained, locked in an endless battle as the once-great civilization of Shurima collapsed.

Uncounted centuries passed and, in time, even Renekton’s mighty strength waned, leaving him vulnerable to Xerath’s influence. With poisoned lies and illusions, Xerath twisted Renekton’s mind, filling him with misplaced bitterness toward Nasus, the faithless brother who had - in Xerath’s fictive narrative - abandoned him so long ago.

When the Tomb of Emperors was finally discovered beneath the desert and broken open by Sivir and Cassiopeia, both Xerath and Renekton were freed in an explosion of sand and rubble. Sensing his brother still lived, Renekton charged from the ruins, his distorted mind leaving him little better than a savage beast. After an age lost to legend, Shurima was reborn, and as it rose majestically from the desert, Xerath felt another soul return to life beneath the sand, one he had thought long dead. Azir was also newly resurrected as one of the Ascended, and Xerath knew there could be no peace for either of them while the other yet lived.

Xerath sought the heart of the desert to regain his strength and understand how the world had changed in the millennia since his imprisonment. His stolen power grew with every passing moment, and he beheld a world ripe for conquest, a world brimming with mortals ready to worship at the feet of a new and terrible god.

Yet for all his newfound power, however far he has come from that nameless slave boy, a part of Xerath knows he is still in chains.

Unbound

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 Azir master's helm revealed no human expression, and knowing that the lovingly etched metal could not respond in kind, Xerath smiled up at the Azir 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 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 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 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.

His hated master had just freed him—he had freed them all. No Shuriman would ever wear chains again. Azir Azir's last act as a human was to unfetter his people.

The foundation-shuddering roar of the assembled masses drowned out any response Xerath could have had. Azir 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 Shurima&#039;s Legacy.png 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.

In ancient Shurima, young emperor Azir was persuaded by Xerath Xerath, his magus, to attempt the fabled Ascension ritual – despite ancient warnings to do so only in times of direst threat.

Azir's hubris proved disastrous. As the Shurima&#039;s Legacy 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 Nasus and Renekton 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 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 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. 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.

The Tomb door opens. Renekton Renekton emerges, the brother I loved and locked away, twisted beyond insanity, followed by Xerath Xerath, an architect of his torment. My failure is complete.

Sivir drags herself away, life blood flooding from her wound and then succumbs to darkness..."

The Sands have shifted

Shurima is resurrected, and Runeterra's future is forever altered. Xerath Xerath and Renekton Renekton have been unleashed from the Tomb of the Emperors. Nasus Nasus, haunted by his brother's heroic sacrifice, is relentlessly pursued by Renekton in his mad thirst for vengeance. Bristling with power and resentment, Xerath plots to reforge Valoran in the fires of revolution. The serpent's curse is the terrible price of Cassiopeia Cassiopeia's ambition, but it also promises a power she never imagined. Azir Azir, Ascended ruler of a fallen civilization, envisions a new Shuriman empire, while his descendant Sivir Sivir, ever the mercenary, looks to turn the situation to her advantage. Shurima is a land of mystery... but some mysteries refuse to remain buried.[1]


Quotes

Champion selection
  • Xerath Select
    "I will be free."
Attacking
  • Xerath.attack01
    "Simple fools."
  • Xerath.attack02
    "Behold my power."
  • Xerath.attack03
    "Primitive magic shall not best me."
  • Xerath.attack04
    "Magic? I'll show you real magic."
  • Xerath.attack05
    "Flesh and blood; so fragile."
  • Xerath.attack06
    "Sacrifices must be made."
  • Xerath.attack07
    "I will unmake you."
  • Xerath.attack08
    "Your demise beckons."
Movement
  • Xerath.move01
    "I will show you true power."
  • Xerath.move02
    "None will control me."
  • Xerath.move03
    "These chains cannot hold me."
  • Xerath.move04
    "I am eternal."
  • Xerath.move05
    "I will be their undoing."
  • Xerath.move06
    "The secrets of magic are mine alone."
  • Xerath.move07
    "I follow the path to power."
  • Xerath.move08
    "The affairs of mortals are beneath me."
  • Xerath.move09
    "The world may crumble, but I shall remain."
  • Xerath.move10
    "Emotions are only distractions."
  • Xerath.move11
    "Bound, but not broken."
  • Xerath.move12
    "I see the forces that hold the universe together."
  • Xerath.move13
    "I am the will of man unbound by flesh."
  • Xerath.move14
    "I stand at the brink of infinity."
  • Xerath.move15
    "You cannot fathom what I am."
Taunt
  • Xerath.taunt01
    "It will take only a spark of my magic to end you."
  • Xerath.taunt02
    "You may stare, but your mind may collapse."
Taunting an enemy Azir Azir
  • Xerath.tauntAzir01
    "Azir, at long last, we will see what power you truly possess."
  • Xerath.tauntAzir02
    "You are emperor of a wasteland, Azir."
  • Xerath.tauntAzir03
    "Azir, the boy destined to chase the sun."
  • Xerath.tauntAzir04
    "This time, Azir, I will need no surprise to topple you."
Taunting an enemy Nasus Nasus
  • Xerath.tauntNasus01
    "Nasus, the loyal pup, ever nipping at my heels."
  • Xerath.tauntNasus02
    "Nasus... thank you for your brother."
Taunting an enemy Syndra Syndra
  • Xerath.tauntSyndra
    "You chase power, Syndra. I am power!"
Taunting an enemy Thresh Thresh
  • Xerath.tauntThresh
    "Those chains cannot hold me either, jailer."
Joke
  • Xerath.joke01
    "Power, immortality, omniscience... but no leg room?!"
  • Xerath.joke02
    "Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt! Lightning bolt!"
Laugh
  • Xerath.laugh01
    Xerath laughs.
  • Xerath.laugh02
    Xerath laughs.
  • Xerath.laugh03
    Xerath laughs.
  • Xerath.laugh04
    Xerath laughs.

Upon beginning a game of Ascension
  • Xerath.ascensionStart01
    "You shall bear witness to the only true ascended this day."
  • Xerath.ascensionStart02
    "Mine is the only pure ascension."
  • Xerath.ascensionStart03
    "Today, I will be free!"
Upon becoming ascended
  • Xerath.ascensionSelf01
    "Ah! The energy courses through me!"
  • Xerath.ascensionSelf02
    "Finally, I will show you what an ascended can do!"
  • Xerath.ascensionSelf03
    "The ascension belongs to me!"
  • Xerath.ascensionSelf04
    "The world forgot me. Now, they will remember!"
When a nearby ally becomes ascended
  • Xerath.ascension01
    "We have the power! Now, strangle them with it!"
  • Xerath.ascension02
    "It is our turn to punish the arrogant!"
When a nearby Renekton Renekton becomes ascended
  • Xerath.ascensionRenekton01
    "It is our time, crocodile, make them suffer."
  • Xerath.ascensionRenekton02
    "Renekton, show them your hatred!"
Killing an enemy while ascended
  • Xerath.unknown04
    "No-one will wrest ascension from me!"
  • Xerath.unknown05
    "I was meant for ascension! See how I wield it!"
Upon winning a game of Ascension
  • Xerath.unknown06
    "Behold! My power is unmatched!"
  • Xerath.unknown07
    "I will allow nothing to stand in my way!"
Uncategorized
  • Xerath.unknown01
    "Impostor!"
  • Xerath.unknown02
    "Ascension never looked so good!"
  • Xerath.unknown03
    "What a glorious being of pure energy!"

Co-op vs. AI Responses

Match start

  • "Observe power in its purest form!"

Player team victory

  • "Your power is... formidable..."

Player team defeat

  • "GG!"

Ancient Ascendant Xerath Quotes

These responses are exclusive to the non-playable Xerath Xerath that resides in the Ascension Featured Gameplay Mode.

  • XerathAncientAscendant.revive01
    "True ascension is granted only to the worthy."
  • XerathAncientAscendant.revive02
    "Who believes they have the strength to ascend?"
  • XerathAncientAscendant.revive03
    "I am power incarnate! Who dares oppose me?"
  • XerathAncientAscendant.revive04
    "Ascension is not granted, it is taken!"
  • XerathAncientAscendant.revive05
    "Only ten of you? How disappointing."
  • XerathAncientAscendant.revive06
    "My will is law!"
  • XerathAncientAscendant.revive07
    "I will not be subverted!"
  • XerathAncientAscendant.revive08
    "You stand in the presence of a perfect being."
  • XerathAncientAscendant.revive09
    "I will never concede the power I have taken!"
  • XerathAncientAscendant.revive10
    "You seek ascension. You will find failure."
When ten champions dance nearby
  • Xerath.dance01
    "I've waited a millennium for this!"
  • Xerath.dance02
    "Trapped for centuries, but I've still got it!"
  • Xerath.dance03
    "It's electric!" (raps)
  • Xerath.dance04
    "With ascension... comes killer moves!"
  • Xerath.dance05
    "Nobody puts Xerath in a sarcophagus! Nobody!"

Development

Xerath Xerath was designed by Volty.

  • 1st Classic Xerath splash art
  • 1st Runeborn Xerath splash art
  • 1st Battlecast Xerath splash art
  • Xerath concept art 1 (by Riot Artist Michael Maurino)
  • Xerath concept art 2 (by Riot Artist Michael Maurino)
  • Xerath concept art 3 (by Riot Artist Michael Maurino)
  • Battlecast Xerath concept art (by Riot Artist Larry Ray)
  • Guardian of the Sands Xerath concept art (by Riot Artist Charles Liu)
  • Guardian of the Sands Xerath model 1 (by Riot Artist Cody Bunt)
  • Guardian of the Sands Xerath model 2 (by Riot Artist Cody Bunt)

PC gamer

Xerath's image and release date were leaked from the November 2011 issue of PC Gamer.

Magus PCG

The Magus Ascendant in 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 Peek

Xerath Teaser

Xerath Comic

By Average Gatsby [2]

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

By Morello

Greetings Summoners!

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.

Previous Lore

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

Candidate: Xerath
Date: 4 October, 21 CLE

OBSERVATION

Aside from the vaguely human shape within the shattered remnants of his sarcophagus, there is very little indication that the being called Xerath was ever a man. His presence is cold and unfeeling, with nothing to be read upon the iron mask one might call his face.

He does not pause to observe the hallway around him. Xerath approaches the massive doors to the Reflection Chamber and, with a sweep of his arm, they open before him.

REFLECTION

The doors had only just closed behind Xerath when a sandstorm obscured his vision. Violent, stinging wind surrounded him, and he realized in horror that it began to eat away at his very form. The shattered pieces of his sarcophagus withered into wisps of sand. Worse still, Xerath felt himself grow weak. As his prison disappeared into the storm, the arcane energy that made up his form faded with it, replaced by flesh and bone.

The sands of time had turned against him. He was human again.

Around him, the storm took shape in the darkness. He recognized the sandstone walls and the statues that rose from the floor to the ceiling. These regal figures clasped scepters to their chests, and their eyes, plated in gold, gazed eternally down upon those below them. He was in the Temple of the Falcon, where all the mages of Shurima practiced their craft.

The peers of Xerath's youth sparred beneath their Magi ancestors. They threw fire and ice and twisted magic into the shapes of blades, honing the arcane into weaponry. Such was the charge of mages: the greatest masters of magic would stand victorious over Shurima's conquered foes.

Xerath watched silently at the temple's wall, entranced by the light from their spells. Nothing whetted his thirst for understanding as the pure arcane. Its dull glow called to him, and in its depths he knew there lay a thousand secrets.

"Why do you not join them, Xerath?"

The voice broke his focus. Tabia, one of his fellow mages, stood beside him. Her sudden appearance and the look of her smile made him stumble with his words for a moment. "Ah... well... we have our differences."

"You are a mage of Shurima," Tabia said. She moved closer to him. "We have the same path. What differences do you mean?"

"The way they bend their magic," he replied, turning his gaze back to the other mages.

"They make weapons of it, but they don't understand. The more you force your control over it, the more you lose your true connection to the arcane."

"Magic is chaotic. You know the lessons. Without a mage's guiding hand, we can only hope to control what the arcane does and does not destroy."

"Yes, but if it's pure power we want..." Xerath cupped his hand. In the curl of his slender fingers, a blue-violet flame sparked into existence. He knew he could shape it as he wished, but he simply let it burn.

On its own, with only the slightest prodding, the flame grew. Soon it burned fiercely in his hand, its raw power coursing through him and warming his very core.

"All it needs is a vessel," he said.

He turned his gaze up from the flame to see Tabia looking at him, not his magic. She smiled again, and her beauty drew his mind away from the arcane. Between them, the flame grew stronger...

...and then reality blurred around him.

The temple darkened and Tabia's face faded from his view. For a moment he remembered the summoners' trick and the Institute of War, but pain drew him back into another memory.

Sheer, limitless power set him aflame from the inside out. Deep within, at his very core, he felt a searing agony where the fire burned too hot, threatening to burn its way to the surface, to consume and destroy him.

The arcane needed a vessel... but his frail human form could only hold so much.

Xerath grimaced. "I will not allow this mortal body to stop me." He held out his hand. Arcane fire sprung from his fingertips, crackling with power as it formed runes that hung briefly in the air.

The burning, blinding-white magic quickly grew to a tumultuous wind around him. An ancestral statue shattered, its pieces crashing to the ground and shaking the foundation of the temple. It took all of his strength and will to hold the spell. Even then it swelled and flared, threatening to break free.

But a voice rose above the chaos. "Xerath! Stop!"

Tabia.

Xerath's hold over the ritual wavered as he turned towards her voice. She stood at the foot of a Magi ancestor, her dark hair a stark frame to her pale, beautiful face.

"You mustn't do this," she shouted, her eyes burning fearlessly. "It will consume you. It is killing you already, and you would only let it do its work faster!"

"Tabia," Xerath pleaded, his voice hoarse and trembling. "Please, you don't understand..."

The spiraling arcane twisted and pulsed like a storm above them. Xerath felt it slip further from his grasp.

"You do not need this," she said, and there was pleading in her voice, too. "Stop it now, and you can heal. You can have life again. I can help you," she paused. "Come home."

Xerath's will faltered. Perhaps she was right. He imagined himself at home, away from the Magi and the arcane forever, and all the pain it had caused him. The way it had eaten at him from within, all gone. Perhaps...

Tabia mouthed something, but Xerath could not hear her. The statue above her shuddered and began to collapse.

"Tabia! NO!"

At the sound of Tabia's scream, the rest of the statues and the Temple walls began to crumble with the force of Xerath's spell. He'd lost control. At its center, he covered his face with his hands, shouting her name in agony. His brief vision of home and escape from the arcane had been lost as soon as he'd found the strength to reach for it.

It was too late to stop the spell. It would consume him, too, and he trembled in terror at the prospect. All of his efforts for naught... everything he'd worked for, lost.

Unless he finished the ritual.

He hesitated. Part of him wished to accept death, but a greater part still remembered what he'd set out to do—to become something greater. To transcend the mortal body that held other mages back.

He had nothing left but this. Though his whole body ached with weakness, Xerath steeled himself.

I will become eternal... or I will die.

He raised his arms and the writhing mass of magic above him again gained some semblance of form, but still it expanded, destroying the remaining Magi statues and the temple's walls. Xerath pulled the spell inward with all the strength he could muster, blocking out what he could see of the temple collapsing around him.

For a moment, in the chaos of the arcane, he could see a reflection of himself: a pale, emaciated man, aged well beyond his years.

As the spell engulfed him, Xerath's eyes were full of fear.

In an instant, the chaos subsided. Xerath was back in the Reflection Chamber, and a hooded summoner stood before him.

"All that power," said the summoner, "And now you are a prisoner."

"An inconvenience," Xerath replied, his voice echoing through the chamber.

"Yet not what you envisioned when you took control of that spell. Do you have regret, Magus?"

"I do not."

The summoner scowled. "You sacrificed yourself, your people, and the woman you loved... all for power. Power you can no longer reach."

"As I said," Xerath continued. "An inconvenience. I will be free."

"Why do you want to join the League, Xerath?"

At this, Xerath paused. "The burden of my prison was brought about because the mages of Shurima could not comprehend what it was I pursued. I will not allow my goals to be misunderstood again. Consider my work with your League, summoner, a show of good faith."

The summoner regarded him quietly for a moment before giving a curt nod. "As you say. How does it feel, exposing your mind?"

Xerath turned away. "I am no longer the naïve student you have exposed," he said, "My previous existence means nothing."

Previous Abilities

These abilities were part of Xerath's original kit, in use from his release in V1.0.0.126 until his rework in V4.2.

Ascended Form
Ascended Form

Xerath feeds on arcane power, becoming increasingly resilient to physical harm; granting him 15% of his ability power as bonus armor.

Ability Details
Ascended Form is a self-buff ability.


Arcanopulse
RANGE: 900 (1300 during Locus of Power.png Locus of Power)
COST: 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 mana
COOLDOWN: 7 / 6.5 / 6 / 5.5 / 5
Arcanopulse

Active: After gathering energy for 0.5 seconds, Xerath fires an arcane beam that deals magic damage to all enemies in a line.

  • Magic Damage: 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+ 60% AP)
Ability Details
Arcanopulse is an linear area of effect.

Additional Information:

  • Cast times cannot be interrupted by crowd control effects. During the cast time, Xerath will ignore crowd control effects but still suffers from them if the duration persists.
  • If Xerath is displaced by a knockback or pull effect during the cast time, the beam will fire from the original point of casting.
  • If Xerath dies during the cast time, Arcanopulse will not fire but is still placed on cooldown.


Locus of Power
COOLDOWN: 20 / 16 / 12 / 8 / 4
Locus of Power

Active: Xerath immobilizes himself at his location, granting his spells 400-range and gaining bonus magic penetration.

  • Bonus Magic Penetration: 16 / 22 / 28 / 34 / 40%

This lasts up to 8 seconds but can be canceled early by reactivating the ability. When the effect ends, Xerath gains 35% increased movement speed for 2 seconds.

Ability Details
Locus of Power is self-targeted ability that roots Xerath and grants a buff.

Additional Information:

  • Both activation and reactivation have a 0.5 second delay that cannot be cancelled.
  • Activation triggers Tear of the Goddess item.png Tear and Spellblade effects but reactivation does not.
  • Knock back and knock up effects are not prevented.
  • Xerath can use Dark Passage.png Dark Passage while rooted.
  • The ability's cooldown begins when the effect ends and the speed buff starts.


Mage Chains
RANGE: 600 (1000 during Locus of Power.png Locus of Power)
COST: 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 mana
COOLDOWN: 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8
Mage Chains

Active: Xerath deals magic damage to an enemy and marks them with Mage Chains Unstable Magic for 3 seconds. Unstable Magic will trigger if a marked enemy is hit by one of Xerath's spells, stunning them for 1.5 seconds.

  • Magic Damage: 70 / 120 / 170 / 220 / 270 (+ 80% AP)
Ability Details
Mage Chains is a single target ability that debuffs the target.

Additional Information:

  • Unstable Magic can be triggered even if all damage is mitigated (such as by shields).
  • Unstable Magic cannot be triggered by item actives or summoner spells.


Arcane Barrage
RANGE: 900 (1300 during Locus of Power.png Locus of Power)
COST: 150 / 180 / 210 mana
COOLDOWN: 80 / 70 / 60
Arcane Barrage

Active: Xerath calls down a blast of arcane energy, which strikes after a 0.5 second delay dealing magic damage to enemies within a 200-radius. Arcane Barrage can be recasted up to two more times in the next 12 seconds.

  • Magic Damage Per Blast: 125 / 200 / 275 (+ 60% AP)
  • Max Single Target Damage: 375 / 600 / 825 (+ 180% AP)
Ability Details
Arcane Barrage is a ground-targeted area of effect barrage ability.

Additional Information:

  • Arcane Barrage uses a barrage system so that it can be cast multiple time within a given period at no additional cost.
  • There is an ~0.2 second casting time that must be completed in order for the beam to deal damage.
    • Cast times cannot be interrupted by crowd control effects, and will only be interrupted by Xerath's death. If Xerath dies during the 0.2 seconds, the beam will fizzle after the 0.5 seconds (and will not deal damage).
    • During the cast time, Xerath will ignore crowd control effects but still suffers from them if the duration persists.
    • If Xerath is displaced by a knockabout or pull effect during the cast time, Arcane Barrage fill still go off at the target location even if he is no longer in range.
  • The outline of the area of effect will appear the moment Xerath begins casting, and deals damage after the 0.5 delay. After the 0.2 second casting time, there is no way to stop the blast.
  • There is a 0.9 second internal cooldown between casts (0.4 seconds after the previous cast has dealt damage).
  • A cosmetic buff indicates how many casts are left.
  • The sight radius is estimated to be 300.
  • Xerath laughs with each cast, louder with successive casts.
    • Can be heard up to 1800 units away, unless Xerath is in the fog of war.


Patch History

V6.9:

  • Arcanopulse.png Arcanopulse
    • Width reduced to 145 from 150.
    • Warning indicator now better matches the damage zone.
  • Shocking Orb.png Shocking Orb
    • Stun icon Stun duration changed to 0.5-2 seconds from 0.75-1.75.
  • Rite of the Arcane.png Rite of the Arcane
    • Number of barrages increased to 3 / 4 / 5 from 3 at all ranks.
    • Base damage changed to 200 / 230 / 260 from 190 / 245 / 300.
      • Total damage increased to 600 / 920 / 1300 (+ 129 / 172 / 215% AP) from 570 / 735 / 900 (+ 129% AP).
    • Range increased to 3520 / 4840 / 6160 from 3200 / 4400 / 5600
    • Impact radius increased to 200 from 190.
    • Delay between shots increased to 0.8 seconds from 0.6.
    • New Effect: Camera now zooms out a bit when casting this spell.
    • Updated particles.

V6.7:

  • Rite of the Arcane.png Rite of the Arcane
    • Bug Fix: The cast range indicator for Rite of the Arcane has been shrunk to match the ability’s actual range.
    • Bug Fix: Rite of the Arcane no longer fails to deal damage to Baron Nashor Baron Nashor at extreme ranges.

V5.22:

  • Stats
    • Base mana increased to 366.96 from 316.96.
    • Mana growth reduced to 44 from 47.

V5.8:

  • Rite of the Arcane.png Rite of the Arcane
    • Fixed a bug where Xerath could accidentally fire his first Arcane Barrage on top of himself if he pressed R too fast.

V5.4:

  • Shocking Orb.png Shocking Orb
    • Maximum stun duration reduced from 2.25 seconds to 1.75 seconds.

V5.1:

  • Shocking Orb.png Shocking Orb
    • Tooltip updated to reflect the actual maximum stun duration of 2.25 seconds from incorrectly listing 2 seconds.

V4.17:

  • General
    • Texture updates to Classic, Battlecast, and Runeborn Xerath.

V4.16:

  • General
    • New lore.
    • Additional quotes, including special quotes for Ascension.

V4.15:

V4.14:

  • Rite of the Arcane.png Rite of the Arcane
    • The 0.6 second cooldown between casts no longer benefits from cooldown reduction.

V4.5:

  • Base armor increased to 16 from 12.

V4.2: Reworked

  • Additional quotes, including special taunts for Syndra Syndra and Thresh Thresh.
  • Stats
    • Base mana reduced to to 238 from 250.
    • Mana per level increased to 47 from 45.
    • Base mana regeneration reduced to 6 from 7.
    • Mana regeneration per 5 per level increased to 0.65 from 0.6.
    • Attack range reduced to 525 from 550.
    • Attack animation slightly shortened.
  • Mana Surge.png Mana Surge (Innate)
    • Every 12 seconds, Xerath's next basic attack will restore 30 - 195 mana. The amount of mana restored is doubled if the attack target is a champion
  • Arcanopulse.png Arcanopulse (Q)
    • First Cast: Xerath starts charging, gradually increasing Arcanopulse's range from 700 to 1400 while slowing down movement speed by up to 50% over the next 1.5 seconds seconds. After 3 seconds, Arcanopulse cancels and half the mana cost is refunded.
    • Second Cast: After a brief cast time, Xerath fires a beam of energy in a line the deals magic damage to all enemies hit.
    • Damage increased to 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+ 75% AP) from 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 (+ 60% AP).
    • Cooldown adjusted to 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 from 7 / 6.5 / 6 / 5.5 / 5.
    • Mana cost increased to 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 from 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85.
  • Eye of Destruction.png Eye of Destruction (W)
    • Active: Calls down a ground-targeted blast of energy, dealing 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+ 60% AP) magic damage to all enemies caught within the blast and slowing them by 10%. Enemies caught in the middle of the blast instead take 90 / 135 / 180 / 225 / 270 (+ 90% AP) magic damage and are slowed by 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80% instead.
    • Cooldown: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds
    • Mana cost: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110
    • Range: 1000
  • Shocking Orb.png Shocking Orb (E)
    • Active: Xerath fires a orb of energy forward in a line that detonates on striking an enemy, dealing magic damage and stunning them for between 0.75 and 2 seconds. The stun duration is longer the further the Shocking Orb has travelled.
    • Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 seconds
    • Mana cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80
    • Range: 1000
  • Rite of the Arcane.png Rite of the Arcane (Ultimate)
    • Active: Xerath roots himself in place and gains three shots of Arcane Barrage, a very long range magic artillery that does 190 / 245 / 300 (+43% AP) magic damage to all enemies hit. Xerath can cancel this effect early. Half of the cooldown is refunded if no shots of Arcane Barrage were used.
    • Cooldown: 130 / 115 / 100 seconds
    • Mana cost: 100 at all ranks
    • Range: 3200 / 4400 / 5600

V1.0.0.152:

  • Stats
    • Base movement speed increased to 340 from 315.

V1.0.0.147b:

V1.0.0.143:

  • Arcane Barrage.png Arcane Barrage
    • Reduced the delay between casting the spell and the impact to 0.5 seconds from 0.875.
    • The visual indicator for the ultimate will appear at the start of the cast bar instead of at the end.

V1.0.0.142:

  • Locus of Power.png Locus of Power
    • Magic penetration bonus increased to 16 / 22 / 28 / 34 / 40% from 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30%.
  • Mage Chains.png Mage Chains
    • Missile speed increased to 2100 from 1700.
    • Ability power ratio increased to (+ 80% AP) from (+ 70% AP).

V1.0.0.134:

  • Arcane Barrage.png Arcane Barrage
    • Allied ultimate HUD indicator will now remain green until all 3 spell casts are used.

V1.0.0.132:

  • Fixed a bug where Mage Chains.png Mage Chains could sometimes stun the target for 2 seconds instead of 1.5.

V1.0.0.126: Added.

  • Ascended Form.png Ascended Form (Innate)
    • Xerath feeds on arcane power, making him increasingly resilient to physical harm. He converts a percentage of his ability power into armor.
  • Arcanopulse.png Arcanopulse (Q)
    • Fires a long-range beam of energy, dealing magic damage to all targets hit.
  • Locus of Power.png Locus of Power (W)
    • Xerath anchors himself to a source of magical power, increasing the range of all spells and granting him bonus % magic penetration. Although he is immobilized while Locus of Power is active, his movement speed increases upon disabling the ability.
  • Mage Chains.png Mage Chains (E)
    • Deals magic damage to an enemy and marks them with Unstable Magic. The next spell Xerath strikes this enemy with stuns them.
  • Arcane Barrage.png Arcane Barrage (Ultimate)
    • Calls down a blast of arcane energy, dealing magic damage to all enemies in an area. May be cast up to three times before going on cooldown.

References

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