Oct 102012
 
Xerath, the Magus Ascendant
Xerath, the Magus Ascendant

Xerath, the Magus Ascendant is a being made of pure energy and trapped by the core of the sarcophagus that once bound him. Therefore, Xerath alternates between versions of himself that change the energy’s form and the aspect of his cage. When magical prowess needs to be restraint with style there’s no better option than to get a barrage of advice with his skins’ review.

Runeborn Xerath
Runeborn Xerath Splash Art Runeborn Xerath Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Xerath made of green energy, encaged by magical engraved stones and tied by tendrils.
Model: New model for Xerath and green energy for his body.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and death.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Decorated ruins lay around Xerath in what could’ve possibly been a monument where rituals where performed. It could’ve potentially been a ruined monastery or temple; truth is it’s not very clear. At the presumed centre of power Xerath shines with all his magical energy. The stones and tendrils that make up his sarcophagus look alright: the former are decorated and the latter whimsically tied around him. However, his body of energy looks too solid for something insubstantial. Overall, the splash art does its job but just that.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Runeborn Xerath gives an earthbound aspect to the Magus Ascendant that while pleasant feels unelaborated. To start with, Xerath’s body is just energy so visual changes are centred on the core of the sarcophagus caging him. The remnants of the sarcophagus are few and far between, making for a small model. Therefore, the changes are relevant but not very significant: the style of the classic sarcophagus remains at large but made of stone instead of metal and with tendrils tying it all together. At least the bright energy body catches the eye, so as to give visual identity to the skin, and the fitting green particles round the visuals well. Regardless, the patches don’t cover all the rough edges as his passive, Mana Surge, as well as his death still retain blue effects. To be fair, Runeborn Xerath is a nice looking skin but it’s also an unexciting adaptation.

Battlecast Xerath
Battlecast Xerath Splash Art Battlecast Xerath Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Xerath as an energy based robot.
Model: New model for Xerath and red energy for his body.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and death.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Within some sort of factory Xerath is being given the final production touches before being released. To be fair, it could either be a laboratory or a mad scientist’s shed. Because a quarter of the background is just black and what little is shown is centred around and also covered by Xerath. At least, Xerath portrayal is good: his being burns with intensity and his encaging sarcophagus is well delineated and coloured. On the whole, this piece feels like half a splash art; as such, what is shown isn’t bad but there’s ample room for much more.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Theoretically, the battlecast line of robots originated with Xerath so it’s reasonable to think that an energy-based robot is the concept behind Battlecast Xerath. Regardless, the skin looks as if a body of energy was wearing advanced armour instead of being an artificial being. While the concept isn’t well laid the general aspect is attractive: a body of red energy with a stylish array of plates confining it. The addition of red particles furthers the red energy scheme and solidifies the theme; despite the presence of blue particles in his passive, Mana surge, and death. All things considered, the look is attractive and while the execution isn’t flawless it’s a great product for a low price.

Scorched Earth Xerath
Scorched Earth Xerath Splash Art Scorched Earth Xerath Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Xerath as being of fire and lava and trapped by a suit of armour.
Model: New model and flames for Xerath.
Particles: New fire particles for his abilities, auto-attack and death.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New burning sounds for his abilities.
Splash Art: A volcano roars as the towers of a nearby structure burn under the suffocating cloud of cinder it emanates. But, what is that structure? No way to tell because it’s almost falling from the piece. Xerath seems tied to the ground as lava and fire drip from his body. But, where is Xerath? No way to tell due to lack of any significant background behind him. It’s obvious that the piece is lacking even though Xerath looks quite good: the metal looks sturdy to contain his flaming self and the armour is nicely depicted. However, flames appear liquid while lava looks muted and the lack of any radiation makes the armour dark instead of being a spectacle of lights and reflections. In conclusion, a splash art that does its job but that has the potential to be much more than it accomplishes.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Scorched Earth Xerath is an astonishing skin that re-interprets Xerath as a being of magical energy: if Classic Xerath is the arcane mage then Scorched Earth Xerath is the pyromancer. The armour-sarcophagus has an intriguing design that seems to mix a warrior’s armour with a furnace. The body of flames is well recreated as well as the effect of his abilities. Truth be told, the flames should emanate light and illuminate nearby surfaces but that is probably beyond the possibilities of the rendering engine; as of now.
Sadly, the particles added as part of the rework lack the vivacity of the original ones: they feel like a re-colour and Rite of the Arcane can be disappointing. Still, the skin does a lot with the technology it has available and while nothing is perfect, like the blue particles on Mana Surge, this skin is definitely fantastic. It’s unfortunate that the skin doesn’t offer enough features for its price because what it offers is appealing. The increase in price surely doesn’t seem justified.
In conclusion, if you’d like a skin that gives an alternate experience while keeping the core of the champion intact, then give Scorched Earth Xerath a try, but be ready for a hefty price.

Guardian of the Sands Xerath
Guardian of the Sands Xerath Splash Art Guardian of the Sands Xerath Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Xerath as an armoured, animated Egyptian statue.
Model: New model for Xerath and yellow energy for his body.
Particles: New particles for his abilities, auto-attack and death.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities, auto-attack and recall.
Splash Art: Sooner or later a shared splash art would’ve ended biting more than it could chew and this seems to be the problem this time. The background is practically just sand. There could be a sand storm but not even the outline of a desert is visible.
The trio of Guardians all fail to be adequately displayed. Skarner’s head and body are clear but with his pincers so far away and his aspect so alien it’s difficult to indentify an armoured scorpion. Besides, his front legs, which hold the pincers, don’t appear to be attached to the front of the body as they should. Add to that that his tail and left pincer are very blurry and his right one looks like a creature’s maw and is hard to put Skarner together.
Rammus, for the most part, is clearly depicted. However, the design from the chosen perspective doesn’t make it an easy job to distinguish his classic lines. On top of that, half of his body is almost omitted: blurred by the sand or plainly out of sight. Thus one can get only a partial idea of a strange creature after searching for a while for a head.
Finally, Xerath is depicted in a sketch: buried in sand and as part of the background only a general idea of his aspect is noticeable. His energy body looks like plastic and his armour like dull wood. Truth be told, it’s a disappointing portrayal of a champion. As it that wasn’t enough, his body seems somewhat deformed in the chosen position and that makes him look wider and with longer limbs than he’s supposed to have.
In the end, this is a piece that simply can’t cope with the extent of its ambition. It aims at depicting three champions in all their glory but it only partially does that. A portion of the depictions of the champions in the foreground is attractive, due the colours and style, but they appear strange. The background stands as mere filler and the champion relegated there ends up like a draft.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: In spite of how interesting Guardian of the Sands Xerath appears at a glance there’s a definite air of familiarity. Without much exaggeration, Guardian of the Sands looks like a more fantastic version of Scorched Earth. To start with, the new energy body seems just re-coloured but the new armour-sarcophagus has an elaborate and interesting design. In fact, it’s armour fit for royalty and that may intend to tie in with his Shurima lore. The sand particles should, in theory, further such reference but the actual sand can be easily missed as it mostly surrounds the magical energy at the core of what he does. Such energy flows and explodes quite similar to flames. Even the sounds don’t always come across as able to change the feel of the magic. Therefore, there’s a struggle between magical energy and sand where sometimes one triumphs over the other but always remaining at odds with each other; never mixing together. The final addition is a recall that is surprisingly insipid: he merely raises his arms and floats a bit higher while strange sounds can be heard.
All this elements result in a skin that adds little over Scorched Earth and struggles to define a clear identity for itself. It’s an acceptable skin and the hints of Shurima sand are appealing however they never are clearly stated. For fans of Xerath, Guardian of the Sands is an option but most are better off with Scorched Earth.

Conclusion

Xerath’s skins revolve around changing the source of energy that makes his body and encasing him into something different each time. Given that, some interesting things can still be done in the realm of skins. The recommended purchase is, without doubt, Scorched Earth Xerath: it re-imagines him as an armoured being of flames resulting in a completely novel version of the Magus Ascendant.

An alternative at the same price is Guardian of the Sands Xerath. It’s an interesting skin in concept but with an execution that fails at defining a new identity for the Magus. Its similarities to Scorched Earth are difficult to ignore and so the skin looks like more of the same with just a pinch of extra flavour. Unless you are a dedicated Xerath fan, it’s a skin that doesn’t add much.

A cheaper alternative is Battlecast Xerath: the skin lacks consistency in terms of the energy used for his body and abilities yet it manages to provide an appealing technological look for Xerath. Finally, Runeborn Xerath is a skin that has potential with its particular style, but in the end isn’t distinct or attractive enough for its price. After all, Battlecast does something similar and at almost half the expense.

  49 Responses to “League of Legends: Xerath Skins’ Review”

  1. Can you do a Viktor skins review? I love Viktor and I want to know what you think of his skins.

  2. How much will the price increases on this skin and others affect the review score? Will a 5 turn into a 4?

    • Probably, as you’ll be paying almost legendary price for a skin that may not be almost legendary. We’ll re-analyse all skins that are affected but the price increase is a relevant deterrent.

  3. Now with the recent Xerath rework, are you going to re-do his skins? The rework included particle changes!

  4. Can i ask What is the best skin for xerath RuneBorn or BatleCast.? For his rework ? …….

    • We recommend Battlecast as it provides an interesting robotic concept with good red-based visuals at a low price. Runeborn has its distinct earthly nature but doesn’t do more than Battlecast and costs almost twice as much. Unless you are a great fan of the green, stone and tendril theme of Runeborn then Battlecast will be a satisfying choice.

  5. I must mention that Runeborn Xerath’s correct price is 750 RP, and here it says it is 975, so I believe some editing is needed.

  6. Shouldn’t the screenshots of his skins be updated? Runeborn and Battlecast got a texture change and Scorched Earth has his pre-rework abilities shown. It is quite inaccurate and confusing for newer players.

    • Ideally it would the best option but we don’t find it very necessary. That’s because the texture update didn’t make any significant changes to the model’s looks; which are mostly particle effects also. Besides, the gameplay update reuses most of the particles from his original abilities. For instance, Scorched Earth’s image shows his old ultimate which became his ‘w’, Eye of Destruction. If we find it necessary we’ll change the images but for now they seem adequate; even if not ideal.

  7. Sorry if I am being too picky here, but it just feels strange how you mentioned Classic Xerath being the lightning elemental in the Conclusion of the Scorched Earth skin. This was accurate before the rework but with it they changed Xerath to be a true arcane being and removed all lightning aspects.

    Also, Riot is putting up Scorched Earth Xerath on sale again tomorrow, this time in a regular sale which will last plenty of time. Last time was on one of the flash sales and I could skip it because I only saw it in the last moment and quickly decided I don’t need it, but now it will continue to tempt me for several days. If I hadn’t bought Battlecast mainly just to have a skin for him I wouldn’t have doubts about buying Scorced Earth now. I am just not sure if it is worth to get this one too. I love Xerath and all his skins, though I am not that good at playing him.

    • It’s a valid concern that we’ve amended. He did appear like a lightning mage but now it’s all magical energy. In that regard, Scorched Earth Xerath manages to be rather attractive though, as with most gameplay changes, the particles haven’t changed for the better. The flames look like re-coloured, classic energy and don’t stand out as much as they used to.

      Scorched Earth is still a great option for fans of Xerath but an expensive one. If you don’t play him much then Battlecast should suffice. If you like him he can be rather fun even though he can be challenging. The point is whether you would play him enough to justify an expensive skin, better on sale, but still more than the usual price.

  8. If Runeborn had the same price as Battlecast, would you rate them both 5 stars?

    • Maybe, the concept of Battlecast works better than Runeborn because the latter is somewhat similar to her classic one; just a bit more rustic. We’ll have to think about it but as things are now Runeborn is technically on par with Battlecast but expensive and, arguably, less interesting.

  9. Guardian of sand xerath please

    • Once it’s released we’ll review the skin.

      • What are your thoughts about it so far? I am so sad that it is so much better and up to date compared to Scorched Earth. I already have Scorched Earth and Battlecast but certainly don’t play enough Xerath and am not even good with him to own yet another one, but is is very tempting.

        • Agreed, in a way it seems like Guardian of the Sands is trying to be an update of Scorched Earth; which is a strange choice. So far it looks quite nice but the identity of the skin should be well defined and independent of Scorched Earth.

          Maybe we are seeing too much fire and not enough sands.

  10. I, personally, loved the news’ paragraph about the desert’s skins:

    “The scarab opens its wings and soars into the sky. The scorpion buries itself during the day but reappears as a predator in the night. The arcane mage recognized the wisdom in the sands and learns its secrets with dedication. There’s power hidden in the desert and to protect it the Guardians of the Sands are always watching.”

    It felt like a poem, specially the first two verses. Great job, Zero.

    • Thanks for the kind words, we’ll keep working hard to make the best reviews but also quality text for releases and sales.

      Now that we read it again, not bad.

  11. Oh yea zero do think battlecast xerath is a good skin, and can i smask a question? Do you have any idea what the deadeye is just wanted to know what you know what you know?

    • Yes, Battlecast Xerath is a good skin; among Xerath’s best. It’s modest in comparison with the most elaborate but it offers a lot for a reasonable price.

      We don’t know exactly what Deadeye is about. However, it’s most probably promoting a future event that may also include a new set of skins. There’s little information but considering that only a few champions are being included it could very well be something about new skins. It often is, it’s Riot’s main business after all.

  12. Hola zero, Osmic here what do you think is better guardian or scorched? Just your thought?

    • We see Scorched Earth as more effective but Guardian of the Sands is more recent and so offers a few more features; like a new recall. We think that Scorched Earth has a clearer message that is well transmitted. Guardian of the Sands doesn’t have clear sand visuals and feels like it has too much in common with Scorched Earth.

      If you own Scorched Earth then Guardian of the Sands adds little. Only dedicated Xerath fans should consider it as there’s noticeable overlap between both skins.

      If you own neither of them then it’s a matter of personal taste. Both are good skins but Scorched Earth is more satisfying with its fire abitlities. Guardian of the Sands has a competition between sand and magical energy that is never resolved. Regardless, they are both appealing.

  13. Ty so much got scorched earth its awesome

  14. I still cant believe that RIOT place BattleCast xerath at only 520 price! Its insane. I think it is much better than all the other battlecast skins, and yet its 3-4 times cheaper than the others! I love all of xeraths skins, and I was wondering if you liked them too. I really like your skin reviews, and I hope you do more and more in the future.

    • Glad that you like the reviews. We’ll certainly keep doing more and better reviews; that’s the intention at least.

      Battlecast Xerath is, technically, a simple skin; thus the price probably. It modifies the few polygons that make up Xerath’s sarcophagus and then changes the colours of the particles to red; sans the passive oversight. Battlecast Xerath is a good example of how to do a lot with little. Other Battlecast skins are more elaborate in terms of changes but they don’t always amount to a satisfying presentation of the theme.

  15. Hey zero, Osmic here.
    Wasn’t runeborne xerath a 975rp skin?
    Hey zero is the japanese server online yet and cause i.was wondering how to create an account. I know it sounds kind of obvious to ask but its on japanese and im in japan. Haven’t played for 4 months though. I know its out of the stuff you supposed to tell us about but we all appreciate all the work you’ve done.
    One more question what is (URI) just wondering.

    • Indeed it used to be a 975 RP skin but its price was reduced, some time ago, to 750 RP. It suits it better though Battlecast is still the best of the two release skins.

      Weith regards to the Japan server we suppose that you create an account just as you do on the other servers. The design of the site seems identical to NA except that it’s in japanese. Here is the page for signing up and it seems straighforward enough. You can use Google Translate to guide you in the page but you probably have to sign up in the page in japanese as the transaltion often collides with the functions of a page.

      An URI, as far as we can gather, can refer to a Uniform Resource Identifier. In few words, it’s an identifier for any asset that can be used over a network. An example of an URI is an URL (Uniform Resource Locator), which is nothing more than a URI that also specifies its main access mechanism and location on the network in question. The Wikipedia page for URI has a good overview of the term. We recommend you check the external resources or other pages that specifically deal with the topic because sometimes the Wikipedia has errors. In case of tests, exams or work it can be a deal breaker yet it works well as an introduction.

  16. Thanks for the information.
    (^o^)b

  17. I already own xerath’s runeborn and scorched earth skins, got them as gifts. But I REALLY like the color purple, do you think guardian of the sands would be worth it at this point? Thanks.

    • There isn’t really much purple in Guardian of the Sands Xerath. The particles are all golden with a slight tint of sand. The real problem is the similarities between Guardian of the Sands and Scorched Earth. There is a bit of desert style in the skin but both skins have much in common. Considering the high price, we don’t think the skin adds enough.

      If you didn’t own Scorched Earth then the question is which one you like the most. As it stands, we’d recommend to check a few videos to make sure about what Guardian of the Sands offers. Besides, perhaps cheaper options like Battlecast could end up being a better option as it clearly stands apart from the other skins.

  18. Hola Zero. osmic here Just wpndering will there be a new.skin for xerath he hasnt got any for a while now.

    • We don’t know. In theory, Riot has stated that they want to get to champions who, like Xerath, haven’t received skins in quite some time. Whether they can actually do it and if the long wait is worth it is something that only they know. Sorry we can’t be of more help.

  19. Hello Zero! I’m still having trouble deciding which to buy, Scorched Earth or Guardian of The Sands. I have bought Battlecast since it’s the skin you recommend, but since I’m a Xerath main, I think I deserve more than a skin. I think, personally that Scorched Earth doesn’t have a recall animation but his fire particles are very well made, while Guardian of The Sands have so-so sand particles and a moderate recall animation. I’m still having troubles after I made this analyzation. Here’s my question then. Would you rather get Scorched Earth Xerath for a discount of 675 RP or 975 RP OR get Guardian of The Sands Xerath for a full price?

    • We prefer not to buy anything full price. If we were to buy any skin at 1350 RP we would try to get it on sale, ideally for 50% off. The problem is that as you buy skins the expense piles up considerably. In that circumstance you mention it would be Scorched Earth Xerath for half price.

      Scorched Earth is a good skin but doesn’t belong at 975 RP; if we recall correctly it originally was a 975 RP skin. Guardian of the Sands tries but isn’t able to have more interesting particles than Scorched Earth and the recall isn’t such a wonder; even if it were abilities are used more often.

      All added together, Scorched Earth is probably a better purchase and definitely at half price. However, it also depends on what you like. Perhaps the recall is more relevant to you or the difference in particle quality isn’t as relevant as we see it.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.