Xayah, the Rebel

By Daryl Zammit
on Apr 28, 2017

Xayah! It’s about damn time! We had been waiting for a new champion to be released ever since last December (Camille). Even though in recent years Riot have definitely slowed down their champion release rate (especially when compared to something like Season 2), the wait for this new champion was far too long.

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Except, there was a hidden reason behind the long wait; for the first time in League’s history, Riot have released two champions simultaneously, with shared stories and gameplay interactions! A marksman and a support, these two characters were literally made for each other! In this segment, I’ll be taking a look at the female marksman Xayah.  Head over to Rakan’s page to check out details on the new support and his interactions with Xayah.

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Passive - Clean Cuts

Every time Xayah uses an ability, she stores 3 empowered attacks. Auto attacks while in possession of empowered charges deal full damage (and on-hit effects) to the main target,  and reduced damage to all enemies within the attack’s path, up to a certain distance. Xayah can store up to 5 empowered attacks. Empowered attacks leave Feathers on the ground (these will later interact with Xayah’s E ability).

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This ability is way more useful than you might think at first glance, as you will quickly learn whilst actually playing Xayah, or facing her. Her Feathers are a core element to her kit, and the more she can dish out, the higher her total damage output; not to mention that she has some good poking potential if she makes use of her passive correctly.

Shared Passive - Lover’s Leap

Xayah and Rakan can embrace each other and recall together. What this means is that should one walk up to the other while they’re recalling, they can instantly join in the recall, even if there’s only as little as 1 second left.

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I don’t know about you, but this is kind of broken in my opinion. Honestly not much else to say.

Q - Double Daggers

Xayah throws two daggers (very creative naming Riot) that deal damage to any enemies they pass through. Enemies hit after the first target are dealt 50% damage. Two Feathers are left at the end of the ability’s path.

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Quite the basic ability, and yet extremely useful as a start to any fight in order to get those Feathers pumping out and positioned just where you’d like them to be.

W - Deadly Plumage

Xayah creates a storm of blades around her for a few seconds that grants her increased attack speed and allows her attacks to strike an enemy twice, dealing reduced damage on the second strike. If Xayah strikes an enemy champion while this ability is active, she gains a burst of movement speed for a short time.

Shared Version

If Rakan is nearby when Xayah activates the ability, he will also gain its effects.

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Not only is this ability really good on it’s own, it’s interaction with her passive makes it extremely powerful. Add to that the fact that Rakan can join in on the fun, and you end up with a very deadly ability.

E - Bladecaller

Xayah calls back all Feathers that had been placed on the ground, dealing damage to anyone they pass through (total damage increased by crit chance). Hitting an enemy with at least 3 Feathers roots them for a short amount of time. Each Feather deals less damage than the one before it. At the time of writing, the damage dealt decays by 10%, meaning that if the first Feather deals 100% damage, the second will deal 90%, and so on. Minions take reduced damage from this ability.

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This. Is. Her. Core. Ability.

This ability is what makes Xayah so deadly, and what sets her apart from any other marksman or character in general. Her placement of Feathers, as well as her timing in recalling them, can turn the tide on any encounter. Never stand between Xayah and her deployed Feathers, or you’re asking to be killed.

Ultimate - Featherstorm

Xayah leaps into the air, becoming un targetable, and raining down a flurry of daggers, leaving behind a line of five Feathers. Xayah can still move around while in the air.

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I’m not going to lie, when I first saw this ability in the champion reveal, I was very underwhelmed by it all. I honestly saw it as merely an upgraded version of her Q ability, with some more damage potential and a cute little “evasion” tactic thrown in.

How wrong I was. What I failed to realise was how strong such an ability would be on a marksman, someone who is usually a priority target in teamfights. Not only that, but the 5 Feathers left on the ground allow for some sweet sweet table-turning plays.

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Xayah promises to breathe new life into the marksman role, bringing a slew of new tricks and tactics to help her plan ahead and stay ahead of her enemies. As a character, she is all about careful planning and accurately timed execution; not everyone’s cup of tea, but very welcome addition to the usual marksman trope.

The combined effects of both Rakan’s and Xayah’s abilities, while not game-breaking (not entirely anyway, I’m still puzzled as to why they decided to include that recall), offer strengths that are powerful enough to help turn any encounter in their favour. For the best experience, these two should definitely be picked together.

What do you guys think? Have you had a chance to try Rakan and/or Xayah out yet? Who do you prefer? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next time when we discuss some changes that are coming to League very very soon!

Until then, cya!!!

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