There have been quite a few threads recently about how Xerath's ultimate feels lacking in power. Even though the base damage and AP ratio have
been bumped up slightly, the ultimate just doesn't feel powerful. This is mainly due to the current lack luster animation and the isolation
mechanic on his ult. While I understand that the intention was to give Xerath's opponent a counterplay mechanic, it seems that what happens
in a large majority of situations is that the enemy is saved by a minion wave that just happened to be in the way and not through any good counter
play by the enemy (such as a second enemy champion moving near to save the target champion).
I think Xerath's ult would be much more satisfying if it was reworked to use a sweet spot mechanic like on Xerath's W. Make the overall damage
radius slightly larger than it is now (something like 1.5-2x) and the sweet spot slightly smaller. Get rid of the isolation mechanic in favor of
a larger base damage and AP ratio upon hitting the ultimate's sweet spot. Since the sweet spot is relatively small, counterplay will be due to the
fact that it's hard to hit in the first place and enemies that juke even slightly should be able to dodge the bonus damage. To prevent Xerath from
punishing the enemy for juking, a delay time between shots could be added. Finally, the particle on Xerath's ultimate just needs to feel more
substantial. Thinking of Xerath filling the role of "magical artillery", a satisfying particle would be one that explodes on the sweet spot and
radiates out to the edge of the lesser damage radius. This gives visual feedback that the initial impact on the sweet spot is doing more damage.
Let me know what you guys think!
EDIT: As someone pointed out, there is no longer an isolation mechanic on Xerath's ultimate. However, I still think the above suggestions would serve to make Xerath's ultimate feel more satisfying to the user and the target.