[8.20.1]A dance with me ends in blood

by Serpant

(Last updated on October 17, 2018)

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Summoner Spells

Hide Notes
  • Flash
  • Heal

Standard summoner spells for most ADCs. Flash is necessary because Xayah has no mobility(besides her ult). Heal is also nice to have, and you can use it to save your support and teammates too. With both heal and ult up, Xayah can do some nice baits to get the enemies to waste cooldowns or overextend.


  • precision
  • Lethal Tempo
  • Triumph
  • Legend: Alacrity
  • Coup de Grace
  • sorcery
  • Absolute Focus
  • Gathering Storm
Bonus :

+9% Attack speed and +10 ability power or +6 attack damage, adaptive

See Runes(below) for more information


Starting Items

  • Doran's Blade
  • Doran's Shield
  • Health Potion

Go doran's blade against easy or even lanes. Go doran's shield against hard lanes.


  • Stormrazor
  • Berserker's Greaves
  • Rapid Firecannon
  • Infinity Edge

These four items are pretty core, and you will probably be building them every game. The only one that might be replaceable is rapid firecannon. If your team is already losing pretty hard and getting pushed in, then you can replace rfc with runaan's hurricane for better waveclear to stall the game.

Last Items/Situation

  • Runaan's Hurricane
  • Phantom Dancer
  • The Bloodthirster
  • Mercurial Scimitar
  • Lord Dominik's Regards
  • Mortal Reminder
  • Guardian Angel
  • Maw of Malmortius

See Items(below) for more information.

Ability Sequence

  • Clean Cuts

    Clean Cuts(Passive)

  • Double Daggers
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Deadly Plumage
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Bladecaller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Featherstorm
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Double Daggers
    Deadly Plumage
    Deadly Plumage
    Deadly Plumage
    Deadly Plumage
    Deadly Plumage
    Double Daggers
    Double Daggers
    Double Daggers
    Double Daggers

Max r>e>w>q.
If you are laning with a Rakan, w start will do more combined damage, however, it will be harder to land a level 2 root.
If you are having a hard laning phase, then you can put an extra point in q level 4 for more poke/easier time last hitting with q.

Vs. Champions

  • Ezreal
  • Tristana
  • Twitch
  • Draven
  • Braum
  • Caitlyn
  • Jhin
  • Kai'Sa
  • Lucian
  • Miss Fortune
  • Sivir
  • Difficulty
  • Champion
  • Notes

You can kill him in lane. It might be hard to land a root because of his e, but if you can he is probably dead.


You outdamage her in lane. It might be hard to land a root because of her jump, but you can kill her in lane.


You should destroy him in lane. He doesn't really have any escapes, so it is relatively easy to land your root. However, if you do not punish his poor laning phase, he will outscale you really hard.


A really popular and busted champion. You should beat her in the laning phase, but depending on the support matchup, she can still go even or come out on top in trades. If you don't shut her down in lane, she just scales harder than you do.


Has a better early game than you, but if you can dodge his q poke, then it won't be too difficult of a lane. His auto range is also really short. However, it can be hard to land your e when he can dodge with his e. Even if you don't win lane, you will outscale him.

MissFortuneMiss Fortune

Annoying to lane against, but if you can avoid her q bounce damage, then it won't be that bad.


Annoying to lane against because of her nonstop shove. It's also really hard to land your root because of her spellshield. However, as long as you dodge her q, you should not be dying to her in lane.


He just outdamages you so hard in the early game. You can try to Q where his axes fall, but don't bother trying to root him because then you will be in his auto range and he will destroy you.


Really annoying to fight against because he can block your feathers. Also, if you get stunned you're probably dead.


She outranges you and can poke you down. You probably won't be able to land a root without some help. However, your teamfighting is much better than her's.


Outdamages you in the laning phase. Farm up and make sure not do get rooted. You will outscale him.


The rune page I usually run is Precision primary with Lethal Tempo, Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, Coup de Grace and Sorcery secondary with Absolute Focus and Gathering Storm. However, there are many other viable runes for Xayah that mostly come down to personal preference.

Primary Path - Precision

Lethal Tempo Lethal Tempo - Lethal Tempo is my personal favorite on Xayah. It makes getting three feathers out faster, which means a faster root. And it means more autos during that root duration, which means more damage. The other keystones are both decent on Xayah. Fleet Footwork makes laning phase easier with some life steal and Press the Attack does more damage. However, I still prefer Lethal Tempo because it makes your instant root combo easier to land.

Triumph Triumph - I really like triumph because it can really save your life in some close teamfights/skirmishes.  The other viable option in this row is Overheal if you really like life steal and have a support with a healing ability.

Legend: Alacrity Legend: Alacrity - Extra attack speed is very nice on Xayah because it means faster and more feathers. If you really like life steal then you could go Legend: Bloodline.

Coup de Grace Coup de Grace - Very nice for finishing low health enemies. The other option would be Cut Down if you are facing a lot of tanks.

Secondary Path - Sorcery

Sorcery is currently the best secondary tree for Xayah and most ADCs, and there are actually a few really good options here.

Absolute Focus Absolute Focus - Very nice bit of extra damage if you are above 70% of your maximum health.

Gathering Storm Gathering Storm - Very good on Xayah since she's a scaling ADC.

Other options:

Celerity Celerity - After the celerity nerfs, it's not a must take rune anymore, but it still gives a decent amount of movement speed. You can take this over Absolute Focus if you prefer the extra movement speed.


Clean Cuts Passive: Clean Cuts - After casting an ability, Xayah's next 3 basic attacks additionally penetrate through all enemies along a 900 range line, dealing 100% damage to her main target and 30%/40%/50% pass-through damage to other enemies. At the end of their path, a Feather will be left in the ground for 6 seconds. Xayah can store up to 5 empowered attacks for 8 seconds, refreshed with further ability use or upon attacking buildings.

Xayah's feathers make up a large part of her kit, so you have to be always aware of where you are putting your feathers. Xayah's feathers are a great zoning tool and you can use them for some poke while farming since they penetrate through all enemies. Also, the enhanced autos will do 100% damage to whoever you're autoing, even if there is someone else in front.

Double Daggers Q: Double Daggers - Xayah throws two feather-blades in quick succession, dealing physical damage, and leaving two Feathers on the ground. Targets hit after the first take 50% damage.

Q will be your main poke ability and the fasted way to get feathers out(not including your ultimate). In lane, Q will be your main trading,zoning, and farming ability.

Deadly Plumage W: Deadly Plumage - Xayah creates a storm of blades for 4 seconds that grant her attack speed and cause her basic attacks to strike an additional time for 20% damage. If Deadly Plumage strikes an enemy champion, Xayah gains 30% movement speed for 1.5 seconds. If Rakan is nearby he will also gain the effects of Deadly Plumage.

Deadly Plumage gives Xayah a nice attack steroid which really helps in teamfights and tower taking. Usually it's not worth using in short trades, but it can animation cancel your q cast for a faster root(more info in Combos). If you you're laning with a Rakan, you two can shred towers really fast with Deadly Plumage. The extra movement speed also makes it easier to chase or kite enemies.

Bladecaller E: Bladecaller - Xayah calls back Feathers back to her, dealing physical damage to enemies they pass through, increased by 0%-50%(based on critical chance). Enemies take 100%-10%(based on feathers hit) damage from Feather, and the total damage is halved against minions. Enemies hit by at least 3 Feathers are rooted for 1 second.

This is what really makes Xayah Xayah. This is your main "burst" damage and the root can really turn around teamfights or duels. Do not use E just for kill securing, use it immediately after you get 3 feathers aligned for the root. It doesn't really matter who gets the kill as long was your team wins the fight with as few deaths as possible. The only reason you would hold your E is if the enemy has an ability to nullify it, like Fizz's Playful or Siver's Spell Shield. In that case wait for your team to bait that ability out before using E. If you can still root other members of the team, then use E to root those members and force cooldowns from anyone who can nullify your E. If the enemy is just on the edge of your feather, they will still take damage from your E.

Featherstorm R: Featherstorm -  Xayah leaps into the air becoming untargetable for 1.5 seconds, during which is still able to move, then rains down daggers which deal physical damage and leave behind a line of 5 Feathers.

Honestly one of the best abilities for an ADC. You can use your ult to dodge so many skills that would otherwise kill you. See video for examples. Most of the time, you will want to save your ult for defensive uses. However, if the enemy team is all grouped together, then you can use your ult→E combo for a huge root that will probably win the teamfight. However, I would only use my ult offensively if I am basically guaranteed a 4-5 man root and confident that I won't die after the root wears off.


Level 2 combo:

Double Daggers(two feathers)Clean Cutsenhanced auto(1 feather)→Bladecaller(root)

Basic level 2 combo. You probably want to add a few autos after your root. You can still use this later if you don't have Deadly Plumage up, or you're low on mana. This will also be your main wave-clearing combo, just add some more autos before Bladecaller. More effective when the minions are still walking in a line because your q and enhanced auto will basically hit all of them.

Safe Farming/Finishing combo:

Double Daggers(two feathers)→Bladecaller(no root)
Use this combo mostly for farming from far away and finishing really low health enemies that are out of auto range. Not much use in a teamfight because you really want 3 feathers for a root.

Fast root combo #1:
Double Daggers(two feathers)→Deadly Plumage(animation cancel q cast)→Clean Cutsenhanced auto(1 feather)→Bladecaller(root)

You can use your W to animation cancel your Q, so your next enhanced auto basically comes out at the same time as your q. This lets you quickly get 3 feathers out for your root. However, you need to be in auto range for this to work. This also drains your mana really quickly, especially during the laning phase, so make sure to watch your mana.

Fast root combo #2:

Deadly PlumageClean Cutsenhanced auto(1 feather)→Double Daggers(2 feathers)→Bladecaller(before q lands, still roots)
If you cast Bladecaller while the two feathers from Double Daggers are still flying out, the two feathers from Double Daggers will come back immediately when they reach their max range. This let's you get another really fast and unexpected root. This also synergizes really well with Rapid Firecannon for extended auto range.

"messy" fight combo:

Double Daggers(2 feathers)→Clean Cutsenhanced autos(1-3 feathers)→Bladecaller(use whenever you can root someone)→Deadly PlumageClean Cutsmore enhanced autos
In many fights, you will not be able to get one of your clean root combos off because the enemy champions keep moving around. In that case just keep autoing to get more feathers out and whenever you see a chance to root someone, then use
Bladecaller. You can use Deadly Plumage either before or after the root, it doesn't really matter, but if you're going to use it before Bladecaller, then make sure to get at least one enhanced auto out from Double Daggers to maximize feather efficiency.

Simple ult root combo:

Featherstorm(5 feathers)→Bladecaller(root)

Try to save your ult for defensive uses, but you can use it offensively if you are guaranteed a 4-5 man root and you are confident that you won't die once the root wears off.

More feathers ult root combo:

Double Daggers(2 feathers)→Featherstorm(animation cancel q cast, 5 feathers)→Bladecaller(root)

Basically the same as the simple ult root combo, you just add a q in there for 2 extra feathers.

Flash root combo:

Bladecaller(when 3 or more feathers out)→Flash(root)

If you have 3 or more feathers out, put they're not aligned properly to root the enemy, then you can e flash and the feathers will return to wherever you flashed to, and root the enemy.

Most of these combos just end in a root, but obviously in a real teamfight you want to keep autoing the rooted enemies, or run away if you're losing the fight. If you didn't use Deadly Plumage in the root combo, then use it after the root for more AS.


Starting Items:

Doran's Blade Doran's Blade - start Doran's Blade against easy or even lanes. Doran's Blade will provide more damage than Doran's Shield with the +8 AD. The extra health and life steal also help make laning phase survivable.

Doran's Shield Doran's Shield - start Doran's Shield against hard lanes. Doran's Shield will provide more survivability than Doran's Blade in lane.

Health Potion Health Potion - starting either Doran's Blade or Doran's Shield will leave you enough gold to get 1 health pot. Try not to use it too in the laning phase, and keep track of when the enemy ADC and support uses theirs'.

First Back:

if back with <1300 gold - get one or two Long Sword for your stormrazor. I also like getting an early Boots of Speed to make dodging skillshots easier. If you are really getting poked in lane then you could also grab another Health Potion.

if back with 1300 gold - the ideal amount to back with because it lets you get B. F. Sword, which gives an entire +40 AD.
if back with 1600 gold - I'd usually get B. F. Sword and Boots of Speed because I like the early extra movement speed. You could also get a Long Sword instead of Boots of Speed for more AD.

Core Items:

Stormrazor Stormrazor - rush as first item. Stormrazor is a really strong first item since it gives a nice bit of AD and AS, and guarantees a crit on your first auto. It really makes your inital burst hurt a lot more.

Berserker's Greaves Berserker's Greaves - I usually finish my boots after completing stormrazor. Berserker's Greaves is the best boot upgrade for Xayah because that extra 35% AS is really good on Xayah. You could go for Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads for more defensive options, but only in extreme cases and even then sometimes Berserker's would still be the better option. Xayah just fells so much clunkier to play without Berserker's Greaves or a completed zeal item.

Rapid Firecannon Rapid Firecannon - my favorite zeal item on Xayah. Build right after upgrading boots. It extends your auto range, which makes your fast root combos easier to land.

Infinity Edge Infinity Edge - almost necessary in any crit build. Will make your crits hurt more, especially against tanks. You want to build this after finishing your first zeal item, but if you have to stop to pick up something like a Vampiric Scepter or Quicksilver Sash then I would do that either after I finish the Zeal for RFC or between RFC and IE.

Last Items/Situational:

At this point of the game, assuming you already have your core items, Xayah is already really strong. What you build from here will mostly depend on what you/your team needs.

More damage - Runaan's Hurricane or Phantom Dancer. If you do not have any problems surviving fights and just want more damage, then you should go for another zeal item, which would give you 100% crit.
Runaan's Hurricane Runaan's Hurricane - gives more waveclear and multiple target damage, however, the bolts will not shoot out feathers.
Phantom Dancer Phantom Dancer - better for straight up 1v1 duels.

Defensive options - The Bloodthirster, Mercurial Scimitar, or Guardian Angel.

Guardian Angel Guardian Angel - usually my go to defensive item. Revive can be super clutch and Stopwatch is also really helpful. Gives a nice bit of armor too.

The Bloodthirster Bloodthirster - gives a lot of extra AD and life steal. Go The Bloodthirster over Guardian Angel if you want more damage and you're not against 1-shot burst.

Mercurial Scimitar Mercuiral Scimitar - usually only get because of Quicksilver Sash. Upgrade is still nice with decent life steal and magic resist. Do not get if you do not need the Quicksilver Sash.

Maw of Malmortius Maw of Malmortius - get if you keep getting bursted by an AP threat.

Armor Penetration - Lord Dominik's Regards or Mortal Reminder.

Lord Dominik's Regards Lord Dominik's Regards - get if you need armor penetration to get through tanks.

Mortal Reminder Mortal Reminder - get if the enemy team has a lot of healing or life steal.

Early Game

Xayah's early game is probably her weakest phase, but she can still have a lot of kill pressure depending on your support and the enemy ADC and support. Usually you will want to start q for more poke, then e for root. If you're laning with a Rakan, then you can go w first for more lvl 1 damage and then e second, but it will take longer to get 3 feathers out for a level 2 root. Either way, after you hit lvl 3 and have access to all your skills, Xayah can have a lot of kill pressure.

There are two main ways you can play the laning phase, and that mostly depends on your support. If your support has hard CC, like Morgana's Dark Binding or Pyke's Bone Skewer, then you can play a kill heavy lane. Whenever your support hits their CC, quickly follow up with fast root combo #1. That will chunk like 80% of the enemy's health or straight up kill them if you already have some early AD. If you want to play this style, then it is important to save your cooldowns for that fast root combo, so just try to farm using autos. You also have to watch your mana because constantly using the full combo will drain your mana really fast. I would advise against playing this style if you're going against an ADC that heavily outdamages you early, like a Draven. Also, if you are playing with a support that has displacement CC, like Pyke's Bone Skewer, then make sure you use your combo after your support displaces the enemy, or else he/she might accidentally displace them out of your root. This style is a lot easier to play if you're duoing with someone who can reliably hit their CC. Personally I like displacement supports like Pyke, Thresh, or Blitzcrank because they can pull the enemy into my auto range, so it's easier and safer to land my fast root combo. If you're laning with a Morgana or a Rakan, then you usually need to walk up to land your root combo, which puts you in more danger, but as long as you're careful, it should still be an easy lane.

The other way you can play lane is by mostly poking and zoning. If you have a support that cannot set up kills, or cannot land any skills, or the enemy bot lane outdamages you, then this is probably the better style. Use your q to poke the enemy, and then as you farm, position yourself so your enhanced autos will poke the enemies. This will create a zone of feathers and if the enemy walks in front of 2 of your feathers, then you have a chance of hitting a  Deadly PlumageClean CutsBladecaller to root them. This root is a lot harder to land than if your support helped set it up because it relies on the enemy messing up. And often times, even if they do walk in front of 2 feathers, you are often not in auto range for the root. The other way you could do this is use Deadly Plumage to get feathers out and then if the enemy walks in front of a feather, use Double DaggersBladecaller to root them. However, usually the enemy is not stupid enough to just walk infront of your feathers and it is a lot harder to poke with Deadly Plumage than Double Daggers, so often times you're just going to be wasting mana and cooldowns waiting for the enemy to walk over your feathers. So unless the enemy bot lane has some horrid positioning, I would just use Double Daggers poke and wait for mid game.

If the enemy bot lane heavily outdamages you, then it is probably better to just farm up and wait for mid game. You can still use Double Daggers to poke, but I won't go for any roots because often that just leaves you vulnerable to taking damage. And often times, if you're going into a hard lane, you're going to need your q just to farm safely.

Mid Game

Hopefully you have some items completed now. You should stick with your team so you don't get picked off, and they're going to need you for teamfights, sieging towers, and securing objectives. Xayah scales really well with items, so make sure you're still farming well to get those items. Unlike most ADCs, Xayah can position somewhat aggressively forward if you have both Featherstorm and Flash up. If either are on cooldown, then I would position a lot more cautiously.

When sieging towers, you can use your Double Daggers for some poke and if anyone steps too far forward, you can Clean Cutsenhanced auto→Bladecaller(assuming that you've still positioned safely so the enemy can't engage on you). If left alone, Xayah can take towers pretty quickly with Deadly Plumage, especially if Rakan is there too. However, if you are trying to take a turret by yourself, make sure you know where the rest of the enemy team is.

In teamfights, know what you need to ult. If the enemy has an assassin or a burst mage, then save ult for their burst. Make sure you are using your Bladecaller to root, not to KS. If you can hit their carries, then focus on their carries, but if you can't then just hit whatever is closest. Your enhanced feathers will penetrate through the frontlines anyways.

Late Game

At this stage you should be close to full build and will be extremely strong. The most important thing is DO NOT DIE. Death timers are really long, and without you, your team's teamfight and waveclear will be seriously hurt. For the most part, you will want to continue what you were doing in the mid game. It's just going to be slightly more dangerous because you're probably missing towers. Keep vision around the objective pits. Late game is Xayah's strongest phase, so whatever you do, DO NOT DIE. If you're winning, then try to push to finish the game, or bait them into a bad fight. If you're losing, then stall for as long as you can and wait for them to make a mistake.

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