Xayah is a cool bird-lady with a chill attitude. She likes to throw sharp feathers at things, and has been known to associate with other bird-people of the loud variety.
As an AD Carry, Xayah is a little slow to start, and requires some set up before she can deliver the maximum amount of pain to her enemies. However, what she gives up in immediate burst, she makes up for in both mobility and pressure. Let’s take a look at what she can do.
Passive - Clean Cuts
What does it do:
When Xayah uses any of her active abilities, she will gain a queue of feathers under her health bar. Her next three basic attacks will strike in a line, piercing all targets. At the end of the line, there will be a feather left on the ground.
This passive is what makes Xayah so unique, and almost all of her base abilities play off of it in one way or another. These feathers will be talked about more later, but needless to say, they are important to her kit.
Because feathers are so key, you always want to be casting with Xayah. Use abilities, gain charges of Clean Cuts, spend the chrarges, make feathers. This is the cycle that you should always be doing in order to maximize your damage.
Q - Double Daggers
What does it do:
Xayah fires a skill shot in a line that pierces all targets hit. This skill shot does high damage to the first target hit, and half damage to subsequent targets. At the end of the skill shot, two feathers are left behind.
Well hey, look at that, more feathers. This is not entirely dissimilar to the Clean Cuts auto-attacks (although Double Daggers does far more damage). This is a very straight forward ability and has some similarities to other AD Carry skill shots, i.e. Ezreal’s Mystic Shot.
The big difference here are the feathers that are left behind. and the ways that you can position them. Throw these at enemy champions and minions. Hurt stuff. That is all you need to know.
W - Deadly Plumage
What does it do:
Xayah empowers her auto-attacks for four seconds, causing them to deal additional damage and allowing her to attack faster. While Deadly Plumage is active, Xayah will gain additional movement speed whenever she auto-attacks an enemy champion. If Rakan is close to Xayah while she has Deadly Plumage, he will gain the same bonuses.
This is an auto-attack empower spell, plain and simple. Use this ability when you want to clear the wave or when you are going hard on an opponent. The additional movement speed here is the real kicker, as it will make Xayah very sticky.
Where this thing gets really crazy is when you Rakan into the mix. Rakan’s range is far, far shorter than Xayah, so it shouldn’t make that much of a difference. In some cases, sure. but given the right opportunity? You may find yourself having two bird people follow you, and beat you constantly while you are unable to escape. Could be a complete nightmare if the duo has the correct amount of communication.
E - Bladecaller
What does it do:
All feathers that are currently sitting on Summoner’s Rift fly to Xayah, piercing and damaging all foes that they pass through. If a single enemy is hit by three or more feathers, they will be rooted briefly.
Finally, the feathers pay off. This is Xayah’s main move, her big hit at any given time. As such, Xayah takes more set up than other AD Carries. She must scatter the feathers so that she has ammo to suck back to her. It is an important cycle that Xayahs must get in the habit of.
While this ability is certainly interesting for Xayah players, carefully waiting for the perfect moment to pull the feathers back, it presents a far more unique challenge to Xayah’s opponents. Laning or teamfighting against Xayah means watching your back at all times. Players must be aware of feather locations or they could get smoked at a moment’s notice.
R - Featherstorm
What does it do:
Xayah begins to fly, floating above Summoner’s Rift and becoming untargetable. After a moment, she will fling feather daggers in a arced line in front of her. This will deal damage to all enemies in the blast radius as well as leave behind a complete line of feathers. Xayah is able to move while she is in the air.
Let me tell ya, this ability looks cool. In terms of how it feels, think about Taliyah and her Q. While she is firing, she has this strange, floaty movement about her. Xayah is the same way while she is using Featherstorm. You can move her around to reposition where the ultimate will land.
The great thing about Featherstorm, aside from the obvious up front damage, is the amount of feathers it instantly creates. Careful positioning after landing will net Xayah a ton of extra damage as well as a few stuns. This ability really turns Xayah into a versatile champion who can quickly turn any area into her battleground if given the chance. It can easily be used to mitigate some of Xayah’s other set-up problems.
Special Recall - Lover’s Leap
When Xayah is in a game with Rakan, she gains an additional passive: Lover’s Leap.
Lovers leap will allow Xayah and Rakan to recall together. Meaning that one player can begin recalling and the other can join them, syncing up their recalls and effectively reducing the total recall time of the second player. Hypothetically speaking, Rakan could begin to recall while Xayah finishes farming the wave. She could then join him towards the tail end of his recall animation for her own swift trip back to the fountain.
Straight AD, attack speed, and cool down reduction are going to be big stats for Xayah. The faster you attack the quicker you can spread your feathers and the lower your cooldown the more feathers you have to throw. Critical strike is also great due to the scaling on Bladecaller.
Keeping all of that in mind, you want to start the game working toward an Infinity Edge and a Blade of the Ruined King. While you are at it, don’t forget to grab your Berserker’s Grieves.
After your staple items, keep piling on attack speed with a Rapid Firecannon. Here is where things will probably vary from game to game, but more than likely you are going to want to get a pen item. And if you are getting a pen item, you probably want to get Lord Dominik’s Regards. Wrap this build up with The Bloodthirster just for good measure.
Xayah has far more powerful possibilities when being paired with Rakan than Rakan has paired with Xayah. The additional W could be very strong on two members at once. It will be interesting, as always, to see how people fare on a new champion. However, with two being released at once, and being so closely tied together, my curiosity is through the roof. Will one be good and the other bad? Will they be OP together and garbage apart? Who knows?
Xayah herself is one of Riot’s more interesting AD Carries in years. The idea of leaving a piece of power, feathers in this case, on the battlefield and drawing them into you at will is certainly interesting and forces players to look at the lane and the game from a new point of view.
What matters most about Xayah is that she is just cool. Cool as all hell. Her abilities look cool, the fluidity of her movement looks cool, and her purple/red outfit looks cool. Everything Xayah does, she does with style, but without ever looking like she is trying too hard (which is also cool).
Now if only she would dump that weird guy she is always hanging out with...
Diana & Xayah ship. You heard it here first.