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Play Xayah and Rakan like Rekkles and Hylissang!

It’s Valentine’s day, and love is on the Rift. So who better to play to celebrate today than everyone’s favourite couple, Xayah and Rakan! We’ve made this guide to prepare you on how to play the Vastayan lovers for this special occasion, with the help of Fnatic’s bot lane duo, Rekkles and Hylissang.

Xayah and Rakan are different champions when played together than without each other, and are extremely strong when picked together, having immense kill potential throughout the entire laning phase, which makes it easy to snowball and convert your lead in lane into a win.

Xayah and Rakan is easier to pull off together with a friend of yours or in a team environment rather than Solo Queue, but still doable as the combo is relatively straight forward—along with a great deal of fun

Martin "Rekkles" Larsson

RUNES & SUMMONER SPELLS

XAYAH

Xayah Runes

Primary: Precision

Fleet Footwork: This keystone gives Xayah a lot of sustain and increases the effectiveness of her kiting, help which she greatly appreciates due to her tiny auto-attack range.

Overheal/Triumph: Here you can take either Overheal or Triumph, both are viable choices. Overheal works best with healing and shielding supports, while Triumph works best if you’re confident in your ability to secure kills.

Legend: Alacrity: A great choice to increase your DPS and the speed at which you put out feathers.

Coup de Grace: The best option for ADCs since it affects all enemies regardless of how tanky they are and how much HP you have.
 

Secondary: Sorcery

Celerity: This gives around half the movement speed Boots of Speed does, which is pretty nice for a rune. It also has synergy with Zeal items and will give you just a tiny bit more AD, which can potentially be the difference between life and death.

Gathering Storm: All ADCs benefit greatly from extra AD, and  Gathering Storm starts off weak but really ramps up as the game goes on, and it shouldn't be underestimated how much of an impact a single point of AD can make in an ADCs kit, making it really effective even in solo queue where games generally don’t go very late.

I think Spellbook is the best keystone on Rakan, it requires a bit more creativity and flexibility with how you use your Summoner Spells. The other option you can use is Guardian, against assassins it's usually the better option.

Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov

RAKAN: INSPIRATION PAGE

Rakan Runes

Primary: Inspiration

Unsealed Spellbook: This is generally the best keystone for Rakan, but it requires a bit more creativity and flexibility with how you use your summoner spells. You can switch to Teleport for cross map plays or to get to lane faster and get the opportunity to freeze the wave when the enemy bot lane needs to base, and in the later stages you’ll usually either want to go Cleanse against high CC, Ghost for better engage, or Exhaust to reduce the effectiveness of assassins.

Perfect Timing: This helps you either more effectively set up dives or even escape dives, and can just generally turn the tide of a fight by allowing more time for your cooldowns to come up, or for your teammates to finish off an enemy before you die.

Biscuit Delivery: This grants you some welcome extra sustain in case you fall low, and a bigger mana pool so you have more spell casts at your disposal throughout the course of the game.

Cosmic Insight: Like most supports, Rakan is completely reliant on his spells to be useful so some additional CDR is most welcome. It also reduces his summoner spell cooldowns, which is great for his Flash engages.
 

Secondary: Resolve

Revitalize: Since Rakan has a shield that he can cast twice, this rune is a great option on him to increase the strength of his shielding. It also synergises with Redemption and Locket once you’ve built those.

Conditioning: This increases your tankiness by a respectable amount after the 10 minute mark, helping Rakan when he has to be in the front line and will inevitably receive focus.

RAKAN: RESOLVE PAGE

Rakan Runes

Primary: Resolve

Guardian: This keystone is the only alternative to Unsealed Spellbook, and is usually the better option against assassins to keep you and your ADC safe.

Demolish: This rune helps you take down towers faster, which is useful on Rakan since otherwise your contribution to taking towers is negligible.

Conditioning: This increases your tankiness by a respectable amount after the 10 minute mark, helping Rakan when he has to be in the front line and will inevitably receive focus.

Revitalize: Since Rakan has a shield that he can cast twice, this rune is a great option on him to increase the strength of his shielding. It also synergises with Redemption and Locket once you’ve built those.

Secondary: Inspiration

Perfect Timing: This helps you either more effectively set up dives or even escape dives, and can just generally turn the tide of a fight by allowing more time for your cooldowns to come up, or for your teammates to finish off an enemy before you die.

Biscuit Delivery: This grants you some welcome extra sustain in case you fall low, and a bigger mana pool so you have more spell casts at your disposal throughout the course of the game.

SUMMONER SPELLS

XAYAH

Flash: Absolutely core on all ADCs since it’s the best defensive and offensive summoner in one. It can help you reposition or dodge skillshots in fights, or it can help you chase down a fleeing enemy.

Heal: The best secondary summoner spell for all ADCs for a while now, Heal is strong because it affects you and one ally while you play in a duo lane, meaning it can save either you or your support when you get low in early fights.

RAKAN

Flash: Again absolutely core on all supports, but even more so on Rakan because of his synergy with Flash and his natural engage tools, massively extending the range which he can engage from.

Ignite: Rakan and Xayah have incredible kill potential in lane, so Ignite is by far the best secondary summoner for Rakan so you can deny half the enemy bot lane’s Heal value and add some more damage to your combo.

When you use Spellbook on Rakan, usually you go Teleport for cross map plays and getting back to the lane faster and having the opportunity to freeze the wave when enemy bot lane needs to base, but in the later on stages you usually go cleanse (vs champions like Ryze and Sejuani) or Ghost for better engage.

Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov


XAYAH'S SKILLS

Xayah's Skills

Passive: Clean Cuts

After casting an ability, Xayah's next 3 auto-attacks will strike all enemies in a path and deal 50% damage to all secondary targets. At the end of their trajectory the feathers will remain on the ground, ready to be pulled in by Bladecaller. The feathers themselves are hard to aim in lane and don’t do much damage when they do hit, but the fact that the feathers do so much damage and bring so much utility with Bladecaller is the most important thing about this passive. The damage from the individual feathers also can add up to quite a lot if you can consistently hit them.

Additionally, Xayah has an additional passive when paired with Rakan called Lover’s Leap, which allows either of them to join in on the other’s Recall to get to base faster.

Q: Double Daggers

Q (Double Daggers) also works well for pushing your lane early on

Martin "Rekkles" Larsson

This spell is decent harass, but nothing special, especially since you don’t max it so it’ll fall off with levels. Its main use is getting 2 feathers behind your enemy so after one auto-attack you can cast Bladecaller and get an instant snare. Or if you're aiming for DPS, to get a total of 5 feathers behind your enemies including Clean Cuts.

On release you could auto-attack during her Q animation, but in patch 7.12 it was removed. However, in patch 7.13 they made her Q auto-attack lock duration scale with attack speed, so once you have enough attack speed you'll be able to auto-attack during your Q. This is useful for making Double Daggers basically throw out 3 feathers for an instant snare, and so that casting  Double Daggers doesn't reduce your DPS too much late-game.

W: Deadly Plumage

This spell is actually a really strong auto-attack steroid, and Xayah's DPS is massive while it's active. The extra AS also helps Xayah get out feathers faster to burst people down with Bladecaller more swiftly, making Xayah very deadly in duels while Deadly Plumage is active.

If Rakan is nearby he will also gain Deadly Plumage’s effects, a big part of what makes the duo so deadly in lane since it massively increases their DPS compared to playing Xayah with any other support.

When it comes to laning, Xayah's W (Deadly Plumage) is extremely important and you’re likely to lose bot if you trade without it and likely to win bot if you trade with it.

Martin "Rekkles" Larsson

E: Bladecaller

This spell does both massive damage depending on how many feathers you have on the battlefield, as well as brings a lot of utility in the form of spammable snares. With 30% CDR all your spells will have low cooldowns to constantly generate feathers, and Bladecaller will be on a low enough cooldown to use it every time you have enough feathers out.

Depending on the situation you can either activate this immediately after getting 3 feathers for an instant snare, or you can take your time to get as many feathers out as possible before casting Bladecaller either when you want the damage, or when the enemy starts to retreat and you want to stop them in their tracks.

R: Featherstorm

Between this ult and Bladecaller,  Xayah is a nightmare for divers and assassins to deal with. The uses of this spell range from becoming untargetable while you're getting dived, dodging skillshots, dealing damage, and quickly getting enough feathers for a snare.

If you're wanting to snare someone with the feathers generated by Featherstorm, you have to be sure that you're really close to the enemy you're trying to snare, since a max range  Featherstorm followed by  Bladecaller will only hit them with 1-2 feathers, compared to the 3 needed to snare someone.

Skill Order

SKILL ORDER

Usually Xayah would want to start with Double Daggers, but when paired with Rakan it’s optimal to level Deadly Plumage at level 1, since Rakan landing Grand Entrance on a squishy target at level 1 can literally kill them when combined with Ignite and Deadly Plumage’s massive DPS. At level 2 you’ll want to take Double Daggers since Bladecaller isn’t very useful without it, and at level 3 you’ll then take Bladecaller.

The first spell you’ll be maxing is Bladecaller since it’s Xayah’s highest impact spell in skirmishes, and she needs the lower cooldown on it. Second you’ll be maxing Deadly Plumage for the increased DPS, and third you’ll max Double Dagger since it’s a bit of a one point wonder.

RAKAN'S SKILLS

Rakan's Skills

Passive: Fey Feathers

Rakan periodically generates a shield, which has a long cooldown early-game but gets shorter as the game progress. Additionally, the shield’s cooldown is reduced by 1 second each time Rakan damages an enemy champion with an auto-attack or ability.

Additionally, Rakan has an additional passive when paired with Xayah called Lover’s Leap, which allows either of them to join in on the other’s Recall to get to base faster.

One of the most broken things is the synchronized recalls. For example you could be doing drake with Xayah and your jungler while Rakan channels his recall - then Xayah joins in the last second.

Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov

Q: Gleaming Quill

This is Rakan’s main poke tool in lane, allowing him to have some pressure without having to entirely all-in. It also doubles as a heal, healing Rakan and up to one other ally. This spell is pretty good in lane, but falls off pretty hard later on since the damage is negligible and the heal is on such a high cooldown.

W: Grand Entrance

This quick and easy engage is one of the best of any supports, and relatively easy to land, especially once you have your ult. You can also use it to escape and jump over walls, it’s not limited to being used purely aggressively.

E: Battle Dance

As a single-use shield this is pretty mediocre, but its base value is actually pretty high if you shield the same target twice. However, the shield doesn’t stack so it requires your target to be taking enough damage between casts.

That being said this spell is extremely good mainly because of its mobility, especially when you pair Rakan with Xayah and its range is doubled. It’s often smart to sit behind Xayah where enemies will quickly forget about you, then when they get close to Xayah Battle Dance onto her and engage with Grand Entrance.

One of the strengths of the Xayah-Rakan duo is when Xayah positions forward and Rakan is "hiding" behind her, the enemy can get engaged on without expecting it because Rakan can be at her side in an instant with Battle Dance

Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov

R: The Quickness

This ult synergises amazingly with Grand Entrance, since any enemy you pass through while dashing in Grand Entrance will be charmed and unable to dodge the knockup. Additionally, the dash is so fast that the entire combo is pretty hard to react to. Throw Flash into the mix to engage with and you can have some really long range engages, especially if you throw in Battle Dance too!

Rakan Skills

SKILL ORDER

At level 1 you’ll want to take Grand Entrance for the early all-in power with Xayah. At level 2 you’ll take Battle Dance for the increased mobility and ability to disengage if you miss Grand Entrance or get unexpectedly ganked. At level 3 you should level Gleaming Quill for the extra damage and heal.

There’s a few different options for what you can max on Rakan, but Hylissang recommends putting 3 early points in Gleaming Quill then maxing Battle Dance. It’s best to max Battle Dance since it’s the spell that gets its CD reduced the most by putting points in it, but it isn’t the greatest spell to max in lane, whereas Gleaming Quill is good to put points into in lane since it increases your damage both in all-ins and poke, and additionally doesn’t have its mana cost increased with levels which is also pretty nice. So by putting 3 early points into Gleaming Quill you can have a better laning phase while still having Battle Dance maxed out in a timely manner, by level 10.

RAKAN'S COMBOS

Battle Dance (E) -> The Quickness (R) -> Flash -> Grand Entrance (W)

This is Rakan’s engage combo at max range, if you need to engage from shorter range you just skip whichever spells you don’t need. You use The Quickness before Grand Entrance because when you hit your target during Grand Entrance’s dash they’ll be charmed and unable to dodge or Flash out of Grand Entrance, and since the dash is so fast it makes the combo almost impossible to react to.

An example of Hylissang using the Battle Dance (E) -> The Quickness (R) -> Flash -> Grand Entrance (W) combo during Week 1 of the 2018 EU LCS Spring Split against Splyce


XAYAH'S COMBOS

Deadly Plumage (W) -> Auto-attack -> Double Daggers (Q) -> Bladecaller (E)

This is your combo for getting a snare off as quickly as possible. You can cast Bladecaller before your Double Dagger has even landed and it’ll still cause the daggers to get pulled back to you and snare the target once all 3 feathers have hit even though they all hit at different times. This also works with Clean Cuts’ feathers.

This combo works well in succession to Rakan’s Grand Entrance engage, to keep the target locked down further once the knockup ends.

An example of the Deadly Plumage (W) -> Auto-attack -> Double Daggers (Q) -> Bladecaller (E) combo


Featherstorm (R) -> Flash

You can Flash during Featherstorm before you’ve landed. It accomplishes the same thing as Flash -> Featherstorm but it leaves the target a lot less time to react to the Flash, making it more effective. You can also of course add Bladecaller to the end of the combo if you want to snare the target rather than just use Featherstorm for damage.

An example of Rekkles using the Featherstorm (R) -> Flash combo during the 2017 EU LCS Summer Split 3rd place match against H2K


Bladecaller (E) -> Flash

Again this is a combo where Flashing first has the same effect, but it leaves slightly less time for the target to react so it’s more effective. Use this combo whenever you want to Flash to redirect the direction the feathers will fly in to land a snare or just a lot of damage onto the target.

An example of the Bladecaller (E) -> Flash combo


Double Daggers (Q) -> Double Daggers (Q) -> Bladecaller (E)

The idea behind this combo is that once you have Double Dagger on a low enough cooldown (Rekkles advises that you need 30% CDR with at least 2 points in Double Dagger), you can use Double Dagger once to get 2 feathers out behind your enemies, and then as soon as it comes off cooldown use it again for a total of 4 feathers, and use Bladecaller to snare an enemy, who will be taken by surprise since it’s extremely unusual for a Xayah to get a snare off without using auto-attacks or Featherstorm.

It’s not the easiest combo to land since it requires the enemies to stand right in front of your feathers when they have no reason to, but when it does work it’ll take your enemies by complete surprise and can cost them their life if your team is in position to capitalize on the snare duration.

An example of the Double Daggers (Q) -> Double Daggers (Q) -> Bladecaller (E) combo


ITEM BUILDS

Xayah Items

XAYAH

The ADC meta right now is to just start Doran’s Blade or Doran’s Shield. After that, Xayah wants a standard Essence Reaver core ADC build, which means building Essence Reaver, followed by Statikk Shiv or Rapid Firecannon (Rekkles recommends the former) into Infinity Edge, with Berserker’s Greaves or Ninja Tabi somewhere in between when you find a good time to buy them.

Runaan’s Hurricane and Phantom Dancer works fine as well, but Statikk Shiv and Rapid Firecannon is much better suited for Xayah

Martin "Rekkles" Larsson

After that you’ll move onto situational purchases: If you don’t yet need Last Whisper or Quicksilver Sash, Rekkles prefers to build a second Zeal upgrade (Firecannon if you’ve built Shiv or vice versa), since Bladecaller scales amazingly with crit chance and makes her one of the few champions in the game who actually wants to fully cap it.

Afterwards (or before if necessary), you’ll want to build a Last Whisper upgrade (Lord Dominik’s Regards vs tanks, Mortal Reminder vs healing) if the enemies have armor, a Quicksilver Sash into Mercurial Scimitar if you need to get rid of troublesome CC, a Bloodthirster if you just want general survivability and damage, or a Guardian Angel if you want a cheap powerspike in survivability, most useful against assassins.

Rakan Items

RAKAN

Rakan will want to start Spellthief’s for the increased damage, healing and shielding. After that, Hylissang recommends to build Ardent Censer, Ionian Boots of Lucidity, Redemption and Locket of the Iron Solari as Rakan’s core items, since they’re the items that best help your team as a shielding support.. You can also optionally rush Righteous Glory instead of Ardent Censer if you want the increased engage potential as well as some tank stats to back you up, and then continue with the rest of the build as normal.

As your last item, if you didn’t build Righteous Glory, your options are Knight’s Vow for additional ADC protection, Mikael’s Crucible to protect your carries from CC, and even a Quicksilver Sash if you don’t have Unsealed Spellbook to take Cleanse or you’d rather use Ghost.

LANING PHASE

Xayah and Rakan have by far the strongest level 1 of any bot lane duo, and you should look to abuse this. Rakan will take Grand Entrance and Xayah will take Deadly Plumage; if Rakan manages to land Grand Entrance onto the ADC or a squishy support, he should immediately Ignite them to cut down potential Heal restoration, and Xayah and Rakan will chase them down with the Deadly Plumage movement speed, hitting the target all along the way.

Xayah and Rakan is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, duos in League of Legends

Martin "Rekkles" Larsson

Doing this should almost always lead to a kill if you can chase them down and match their Flash, and the only way to avoid it by the enemy bot lane besides dodging the Grand Entrance is to just keep their distance and avoid getting into Rakan’s range so they can’t be engaged on, since no bot lane can match Xayah-Rakan’s level 1.

As both bot lanes level up Xayah-Rakan’s kill potential only increases, but the enemy bot lane gains access to their own spells too and might find it easier to either fight back or just disengage depending on what their bot lane is, so you won’t necessarily just keep rolling them over like you can at level 1; but that being said Xayah-Rakan is one of the strongest bot lanes at all levels so chances are you can still destroy the enemy duo in any all-in provided Rakan can land his Grand Entrance.

As mentioned before, a trick for catching the enemy bot lane off guard with Rakan’s engages is for him to stand far behind Xayah so the enemy bot lane can’t see him/assumes he’s not a threat, then when they get too close to Xayah he uses a long range Battle Dance onto Xayah and Grand Entrance to engage, which will oftentimes catch enemies by surprise.

Rakan is squishy and if you don’t play him well you might end up in a bad spot.

Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov

After level 6 nothing changes except Xayah-Rakan get another offensive tool to fight and pick up kills with, and Xayah gains the option of using her ult as an escape/defensively to dodge damage if necessary.

Xayah-Rakan is a duo which has no weaknesses in lane, the only thing you need to be weary of is that it’s important to play around Xayah’s Deadly Plumage, since it’s the key to Xayah-Rakan’s immense damage. When it’s down you’ll want to play defensively, and you can go aggressive when it’s up.

TEAM FIGHTING

Rakan’s role in teamfights is to serve as engage, followup engage, or counterengage, using The Quickness and Grand Entrance to cause disruption among the enemy team and using Battle Dance to return to safety whenever necessary. Beyond that he should focus on peeling for Xayah and protecting her with Battle Dance and Gleaming Quill, as well as using Grand Entrance to catch enemies out whenever possible. It’s also crucial that you remember to use all your item actives at the proper timings, since a support’s power is greatly concentrated into the item actives they buy.

Xayah’s role in teamfights is the same as any other ADC’s; put out as much damage as possible while staying alive. The golden rule for team fighting as an ADC is to just hit whoever’s closest to you. This is the key to keeping good positioning, since hitting priority targets just puts you at risk of getting focused by other enemies that are nearer to you, so you’ll want to focus on taking down the nearest enemies first.

Sometimes you’ll want to ignore this rule, when you know it’s safe or the best course of action, but determining when it’s appropriate to do so entirely depends on the situation and you’ll have to learn to make those calls yourself.

Use Deadly Plumage for DPS, Double Dagger for getting more feathers out onto the battlefield, Bladecaller for burst and CC, and your ult as either a tool for finishing off out of range enemies or keeping you safe from enemy divers.

CONCLUSION

Rekkles

In conclusion, Xayah-Rakan is a combo with little to no weaknesses who work best when picked together. We hope this guide will clear any doubts you have about how to play these two lovebirds, and that you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Hylissang

We would like to give a huge thank you to Fnatic’s Rekkles and Hylissang for taking time out of their busy schedule to help us understand the Xayah-Rakan duo better, allowing us to write the best guide we possibly can. Make sure to check out their Xayah-Rakan LCS games if you want to see the duo in action.

REKKLES, HYLISSANG AND THE REST OF FNATIC TAKE ON FC SCHALKE 04 IN THE FINAL GAME OF THE DAY ON FRIDAY FEBRUARY 16TH. TUNE IN ON WATCH.LOLESPORTS.COM WHEN EU LCS BEGINS AT 18:00 CET.