TFT patch 10.8 preview: Xerath will make Dark Star Sorcerer a scary combo

Riot Games
Riot Games /

TFT patch 10.8 arrives this week and with it comes a new Legendary champion, Xerath. Here’s what you need to know about the new unit.

Arriving this week, Teamfight Tactics patch 10.8 is set to introduce the first new champion for Set 3, TFT: Galaxies. Xerath is a Legendary (5-cost) Dark Star Sorcerer who will wreak havoc upon enemy teams with his Abyssal Bombardment.

Xerath is a fragile but powerful champion with low HP (750/1350/2430) and Armor (20), but really good attack speed (0.9). His 30/80 Mana means he’ll need five auto attacks or a Tear of the Goddess to cast his ability, Abyssal Bombardment. Here’s how it works:

"Xerath transfroms, summoning meteors to strike random foes in place of his normal attacks for 6/8/45 seconds. Meteors deal 300/400/2500 magic damage upon impact and if they kill their target, all adjacent enemies take 175 magic damage and are stunned for 1.5 seconds."

As explained by Riot Games’ lead designer Stephen “Mortdog” Mortimer, only the initial target is random. After the first target is hit, the meteors try to “spread out,” hitting other individual team members and not the same champion over and over.

As a Dark Star Sorcerer, Xerath will obviously excel in Dark Star or Sorcerer team comps. He’ll give both comps a strong late game Legendary option and he looks like he’ll cause some problems for enemies. Mortdog also mentioned that he won a game with Xerath using Chrono, meaning he’s strong enough to carry even without his trait synergy. Now that is scary.

Sorcerer isn’t really considered one of the “overpowered” compositions right now, but it’s quite likely that Xerath’s arrival could change that. Having Xerath and Lux within your core Dark Star comp will now give you an automatic Sorcerer bonus of +20% Spell Damage. With Dark Star’s Heart (Spatula plus Sparring Gloves), you can really get creative with how you pair other Sorcerers, like Vel’koz or Syndra.

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Unfortunately, Vel’Koz will get a slight nerf with a reduction in the Spell Duration from 2.5 seconds to 2 seconds. The reason for this nerf is because of a fix to his AI which will result in him casting “more efficiently on smaller groups of enemies.” Mortdog said it actually feels like more of a buff.

I imagine your typical spell caster items will be good on Xerath; Rabadon’s Deathcap, Jeweled Gauntlet, Seraph’s Embrace and Morellonomicon. However, because his attack speed determines how many meteors he can fire, an item like Guinsoo’s Rageblade might not be a bad choice. I also suspect Guardian Angel might also be a viable defensive option to deal with Infiltrators.

In addition to making Dark Star and Sorcerer comps stronger, the arrival of Xerath also serves as an indirect nerf to Cybernetic, which is currently considered the best comp in the game. Xerath being a Legendary unit now means there’s less chance for Cybernetic players to roll Ekko, who is pivotal to getting the six-set trait bonus.

TFT patch 10.8 is due out on Wednesday, April 15. What do you think of Xerath?