League of Legends: Xerath Counters

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League of Legends: Xerath Counters

Xerath with his long range is an annoying mid laner to play against, but with one of these picks you'll shatter the Magus Ascendant

Playing mid lane is already hectic thanks to everyone constantly coming through your lane, but Xerath makes matters even worse. Playing against Xerath means you have to constantly be on the lookout for his high-damage, long-range spells. He’s incredibly difficult to predict and play against, but if you can close the gap and get to him, you might have good luck taking him out. In this article I’ll talk about how to counter Xerath in general, then take a look at the top 5 best Champions for countering Xerath!

How to Counter Xerath in Mid Lane

Playing against Xerath is a matter of learning when to stay away and when to dive on him. Xerath cares more about controlling waves and the lane in general than most Champions, so watch out. All of his abilities have massive range, but his Q-ability is especially dangerous. Even though you can see him charging it up, it’s still easy to get hit by. And when you do, you’ll end up taking a massive chunk of damage.

Above all else when playing against Xerath, make sure to remember his E-ability. It’s a mid-range stun ability, and if it hits you you’ll almost certainly end up dead or retreating. The good thing about playing against Xerath is that his abilities are very difficult to hit, so you can outplay him with good movement. If you can dodge his attacks, you won’t have any trouble dealing with Xerath during lane phase, especially if you don’t let him get ahead early.

But even if you destroy Xerath in lane, his ultimate assures he will remain relevant no matter what. It’s a very long-range ability which turns Xerath into a mortar, allowing him to fire magic damage shots anywhere he wants. During team fights, this can turn everything around in an instant. And it can also make a huge difference during objective plays like Baron or Dragons.

To put it simply, to counter Xerath you’ll need magic resist and melee damage. If you can get on top of Xerath and take him out, you’ll have much better luck than with anything else. Just don’t get stunned or poked to death and you should be okay.

5 Champions to Counter Xerath in Mid Lane, Ranked Good to Best

There are a lot of great choices for countering Xerath in mid lane. Despite his strength as a long-range mage, he’s also very easy to counter if you know you’re against him. The biggest danger with Xerath comes when he gets last picked into a favorable matchup, but otherwise he isn’t that hard to defeat in Champ Select. If you want to ensure a win against Xerath, here are 5 great choices!

#5 Akali

So, as I mentioned above, the best way to hard counter Xerath is to play an assassin Champion that can get on top of him and quickly kill him. If you play someone who needs to play at range, Xerath will almost always just bully you back out of lane (with a notable exception). So for this optimal style, Akali is a perfect choice. Akali is an AP assassin who can enter stealth thanks to her W-ability, which allows her to dodge Xerath’s skill shots easily while also preparing a high-damage combo.

In addition to her high-damage abilities, Akali is also a great pick when you need to dodge skill shots constantly. Akali has a great movement ability thanks to her E, which also ties into her combo. Then you can also use her ultimate to dodge a shot if you’re close to Xerath, but it can be risky since it could land you under a tower. Akali isn’t an easy Champion to play, but if you’re a better player than your enemy laner, you can almost always win with her.

Akali has suffered a bit lately as her win rate has dropped, but she’s still a really great pick for countering something like Xerath. I wouldn’t personally recommend blind picking Akali right now, but she’s great as a counter pick if you’re already good with her.

#4 Akshan

Akshan is the exception to what I said earlier about ranged Champions struggling to keep up with Xerath’s own range. Even though Akshan is a ranged Champion, he has abilities which make him feel more like an assassin than anything. In particular, his grapple ability is perfect for dodging skill shots and maintaining pressure in lane. He also has a great Q-ability, which allows him to damage an entire minion wave in one hit with really long range.

Even if you’re not playing against Xerath, Akshan is just a great mid laner right now. One of his biggest strengths comes through his W-ability, which has two functions. The main one is that it allows him to revive teammates by killing enemy Champions who have recently killed allies, but don’t forget about his camouflage. The camo doesn’t end as long as you remain near terrain or bushes, so it’s perfect for sneaking up on low-HP laners who might just be farming. Since Xerath is hopeless once you get close enough where he can’t use his abilities, this is a perfect opportunity for even a more ranged Champion like Akshan to get up close and do some serious damage.

#3 Talon

Talon is great because he does everything that Akali and Akshan can do, but he does them both a bit better in regards to countering Xerath. He has the same movement advantage (his E-ability allows him to jump over terrain, which is great for escaping Xerath’s combos), can do either melee or ranged damage, and has solid wave control. But the difference is that Talon is ultimately just easier to do consistent damage with. You don’t have to save up for a huge combo with Talon, as you can just use your abilities to poke from a distance if you want.

Against Xerath, you’ll want to react to how they play. Some Xerath players just sit back and farm, in which case Talon can push them back and go for assassin-like kills. But others might play more aggressively and call for jungle ganks to catch you out. In that case, Talon is able to escape thanks to his E, or fight back thanks to his burst-damage ultimate ability.

Talon is the perfect Champion to counter annoying spell casters if you also want the option to play safe and not go all in. For that reason, he’s one of the best for countering Xerath.

#2 Fizz

If Talon seems too safe to you, Fizz is the exact opposite. When you play Fizz, there’s no such thing as playing safe. Fizz’s E-ability allows you to become untargetable (invincible, effectively), which counters every single ability Xerath has. If you use Fizz’s E at the right time, there’s nothing that Xerath can ever hope to do. The trick is picking which of his abilities to dodge, but the right option is almost always his stun. However, you can also dodge his Q-ability very effectively with this, which is sometimes better because of how much damage it does.

Outside of dodging all of Xerath’s abilities, Fizz also has a really strong dash which allows him to close the distance between them incredibly fast. Most of the time, you’ll be able to pull off an effective dodge as well if you predict when the enemy Xerath will try to use his stun. And like I’ve already mentioned, once you’re on top of Xerath with a melee-based Champion, it’s all but over.

Fizz has always been one of the best Champions for countering spell casters like Xerath, Lux, Ahri, and others. If you get good at Fizz, you’ll almost certainly see yourself improve in more ways than one. He’s the kind of Champion that can easily hard carry a game, so you’ll have the chance to get all the pentakills you want if you master him.

#1 Irelia

Irelia is an absolute menace for spell casters and mages to fight, making her the best Champion to pick to counter Xerath in mid lane. What makes her so hard for mages to fight is her W-ability which gives her temporary damage resistance (which is great for half-blocking a spell) and the movement provided by her Q-ability. Irelia’s Q allows her to dash to an enemy, which includes lane minions. This allows Irelia to dodge spells at a moment’s notice just by quickly dashing, which only uses a small amount of mana (if any). Since the cooldown on this ability is so insanely low, there’s never a period of down time where a mage might be able to get a shot in.

Then, if that wasn’t enough, she also has a stun ability (her E) which can be almost impossible to dodge. If you use her E-ability right, you can land almost all of your stuns by just throwing the second knife right behind or on top of your opponent. Against Champions like Xerath with no real escape options other than Flash, Irelia is able to get on top of them, dodge all their abilities, and kill them in a matter of seconds. If you’re looking to beat a Xerath or other low-movement mage, Irelia is the perfect counter pick.

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