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'snexuses 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'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."
Announcement 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.
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.
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.
Arcanopulse: Fires a long-range beam of energy, dealing magic damage to all targets hit.
Locus of PowerLocus of Power: 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 ChainsMage Chains: Deals magic damage to an enemy and marks them with Unstable Magic. The next spell Xerath strikes this enemy with stuns them.
Arcane BarrageArcane Barrage: 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.
Ascended FormAscended Form (Innate): Xerath feeds on arcane power, making him increasingly resilient to physical harm. He converts a percentage of his Ability Power into Armor.