Let's talk about Xerath

  • Let's start with a few facts:
    • Xerath has a 50% win rate across all elos.
    • Xerath only has a 51% win rate in very high elo matches.
    • Xerath's total burst has a 1134 dmg + 3.4 AP Ratio + 40% spell pen - the highest baseline burst in the game.
    • Xerath has a very cool theme and concept

    Despite this:
    • Xerath is the 2nd least played Mage across all regions.

    The data indicates Xerath is actually balanced in terms of total impact on the game. His best case burst is massive. Yet he's not played a lot.

    Why do you feel this is? What do you feel would make Xerath feel better?



    Curious about the player response to our survey? Read this post:

  • Alright, I feel pretty convinced after reading this thread that we can dramatically improve the quality of life on Xerath without losing what makes Xerath awesome.

    Here's what I perceive to be the great values of Xerath:
    • Long-range Caster
    • Transformational spell that improves his other abilities
    • A combination of multiple types of skillshots that work together.
    • Vulnerable at close range
    • Cool theme and character

    Remember, on a champion, your weaknesses are also your strengths. AD carries get to dish out the deeps because they need to be protected by your team. I perceive Xerath as fitting into that category of character. Vulnerable, yet powerful if unharassed.

    Similarly, I believe that it is OK for Xerath to be a niche pick. However, right now he's perceived as outclassed by similar champions. So what I propose is we take a direction that dramatically increases the unique aspects of Xerath.

    What pieces do you feel can be left behind most easily without eroding the core identity of Xerath?
  • Alright, I think at this point, it's pretty clear we need to put some effort into Xerath. I'll be joining the live design team for a little while and putting my time into figuring out the best path to take Xerath down.

    The initial kit I'm going to try will be something like this:

    Q) Still the line nuke
    W) Now a 2-charge ammo version of his ultimate [damage adjusted to compensate]
    E) Something that results in CC
    R) Siege Mode, but with a longer cooldown and better range.

    I'm still concerned that there isn't quite enough to do while planted down in the ground. What do you think? What is enough to keep you busy but not just pop into siege mode to land a Q or W and abort?
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    Originally Posted by Frickin Adorable View Post
    Making his R the siege mode is a TERRIBLE IDEA btw. That move will basically butcher the Xerath some people know and love.
    Like this would take away his long range poke in lane, and that's the whole point of Xerath. For his long range poke. And by making his long range his ult and giving it a stupid long cooldown is decimating is poking ability.

    Also come on, I NEVER use Locus of Power then stay in it for the full duration. I almost always in lane go W -> Q -> W, for the quick poke. I only stay in the form when I land my stun and I cast my ult.
    What if he just had enough baseline poke in lane to be effective?
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    Originally Posted by AusMeta View Post
    if possible PLEASE make him have badass sound effects and animations that make him BE the badass he was described in the lore. Aesthetics can help some players(me included) stick with xerath. one example of how to make him badass is zeus from dota 2. Zeus's skill animations and sound effects make it look and sound powerful and scary to the opponents while unfortunately xeraths ulti fdoes not have seem to have an impact.

    i know this is probably a selfish post with my own opinions but i guess its just my 2 cents

    P.S i just think he's lacking a dominating feel
    How do you feel about the current purple lightning on Xerath?
  • A very important distinction I want to make is this:
    • Win rates are a direct indicator of power
    • Power is a side-effect of numeric balance and experience
    • Play rates are a direct indicator of perception
    • Perception is driven by a combination of experience, self-identification and social influence

    Xerath's numbers indicate that his raw power is good, but the play rates and this feedback indicate that the experience, self-identification and social view of Xerath is poor.

    This is a perfect example of a design problem that genuinely exists, but cannot be inferred from % win rates. You guys have had some great ideas I want to call out specifically, but it's important that we recognize that this underlying issue is real.
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    Originally Posted by kimmygraphy View Post
    Hi, I translated these posts onto the Korean forums and people there were very enthusiastic about participating in this discussion, so here are their ideas, translated into English. More discussions will come soon as it is very late in Korean times right now.

    1) In the lore, it says that Xerath has become a mana itself. It doesn't make sense that the mana material itself cannot cast its spells because it ran out of mana. Since he doesn't have a real body, how about making him have 0 HP and make him use his mana as his resource and health bar? However, he would die if his mana reaches 0. Basically he is like Mundo but reversed. I think this would be cool because it would give him lots of itemization options (Seraphs and blue would give him "health" and "health regen")

    2) What about this? Use Xelnath's initial ideas, but I expanded further on the lackluster E. Make his E a combination of CCs when used with other abilities. For example, his E alone would be a silence, EQ would be a stun, EW would be a slow. And make his E available for multiple times when he siege modes. Of course, the duration needs to be balanced out.

    3) How about changing his passive to something along the lines of reducing his skill's cooldown proportional to the number of times he hit the skillshots?

    4) How about making his W increase in radius when he siege modes? (We're talking about the kit that Xelnath originally suggested)

    edit: I accidneltaly a word
    Thank you for doing this. I can't read Korea and I appreciate you translating this.
  • I appreciate the passion and interest you guys have about Xerath.

    I do want you guys to know that I love Xerath. I've played over 100 games on Xerath, love him and took 2nd place in the Riot team tournament we host periodically. It's because I care that I really do want to see a cohesive, engaging and potent Xerath exist in a healthy state for the game.

    I think it's okay if he occupies a clear niche - such as "ultimate poke comp mage" or "long range harasser" or "mage sniper" (though Lux fills that one pretty well).
    <table cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" border="0" width="100%"> <tr> <td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset; padding:10px;"> I feel like the problem lies with his spell and character effects. On the S.E.X skin, his skills feel and sound powerful as all hell, but on his classic skin his skills don't feel very powerful. This is what I imagine his Q SHOULD feel like when you use it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oblGAyfielA </td></tr></table>
    This is a really good point.
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    Originally Posted by KiyoSpirit View Post
    Gonna post this here in case you don't see my other thread:


    You've concluded that his overall kit is fine. The only issue seems to be the fact that he is unpopular. Xerath takes a good deal of positioning to use effectively and has no good escape.

    Why is this a problem that warrants reworking the champion? If I were a Xerath player, I wouldn't like this at all.

    Does that mean people that play champions like Veigar and Syndra also have to fear a rework simply because the champions aren't popular?
    On the contrary. I've identified that his power level is effective. I actually think that his kit has some strong point and some weak points and really want to make sure whatever happens preserves the stuff that makes Xerath awesome. e.g. Xerath Q is a great skill. Whatever happens to Xerath Q should keep the nature of a line-nuke that instantly hurts everyone in the beam.
  • I've read every post in this thread. Taking a break for a bit.

    There's a ton of good ideas in here. How would you guys feel about this passive?

    Every time you hit a champion with a spell, you get 5% spell pen and 5% increased mana costs. Caps at X stacks lasts Y sec.