Bloodrazor Midrange Builds
Xin Zhao Build
Full Build Standard Combo
Hypercarry Healing/Sustain Build
Anti Tank Build
Threats to Xin Zhao with this build
A quick introduction of myself.
After a lot of games and experimenting i must say that this is the most optimal and gold effcicient build you can actually get for Xin,those particular items help you to snowball the early game and carry in the late game.I am a Xin Zhao main and it actually took me hundreds if not thousands of hours to perfect the build, test it, and be able to also perfect every jungle path and strategy with Xin Zhao in order to have reached the Top 25 Xin Zhao in all servers.(After the patch 6.9 with the removal of devourer i am heartbroken). The builds will be updated when needed and retested with each new patch. Even though i will try to expand this "Guide" do not expect any fancy BBcoding and such, i am here you help you learn the champion not to show you my "Amazing" (awfull) coding skills.
Xin Zhao as a champion is quite immobile, even though he has a skill in order to engage [E] and potentialy one to disengage [R] (in most cases just to save his team and not himself), he has no spells in order to escape, because of such nature, Xin Zhao even though he is considered a "low skill" champion by many, in reality he needs a great deal of decision making and most of all positioning and timing of the engage. In a lot of games you win see Xin Zhaos to have multiple deaths as a result of bad decision making and engaging the enemy team at wrong instances or wrong order. If you want to properly play Xin Zhao in high elo and carry your way through at low elo then you need to be mindfull of the nature of the champion and not be misled by his simplistic nature. Ps. In most cases if you get cought or engage the enemy with your team or alone then DO NOT try to run, as a Xin Zhao you will never escape, you best and only chance is try to out-sustain them and kill them all or hold them until your team arrives, so just stay and fight like a man until your last dying breath.
General Game Strategies
When you play as Xin Zhao at some points in the game you are faced with certain game changing decisions, some of them being the following:
1) Start of the game, "Should i counterjungle?", the answer in most cases is NO, that is because even though Xin has a good jungle clear he is still clearing relativly slowly, if you want to harass the enemy jungler your best choice is to predict his ganks and try and countergank him, in that case if everything goes smoothly your team will almost certainly get 1-2 kills and you will walk out unscathed.
2) 7-9 minutes of the game, "Should i take solo Dragon ?", that is dependant first on how fast the enemy jungler is with his camps, if he is very fast like Shyvana i would not recommend it as you will probably fall behind in levels and gold, instead you should just ward the dragon so you can stop her from taking it. Secondly, does your team need any help with ganks? if your team is in a bad spot and your lanes are pushed try to help them instead of taking dragon, if you relief some of their stress and put them on the lead then they themself will help you take a dragon together in more safety. Third and not so vital is if the dragon is worth taking at that stage of the game, is it an Inferal Drake? that is in most cases a very big deal and can help a lot in the future, is it an Earth Drake? it can certainly be of use for faster jungle farm and in turn ganks and also maybe to attemp and get Herald later, is it an Ocean Drake? this dragon could help your support and topper regen some health overtime while they are pushed in the lane undertower or if they wait for their fallen opponent to return to their lane while they avoid going B and they gain some extra EXP and Gold, is it a Cloud Drake? it might help a tad for people to go back to their lanes faster but in most cases the benefits don't show until late game or 2nd and 3rd Cloud Drake.
3) 10 minutes in the game, "Should i take Herald?", the answer is a strong YES, first you must try and make a successful gank on Top or Mid and then ask your midder your help you take Herald, in 95% ofthe cases its better if you take the Herald as it give you a lot of Burst that you need and also that 1v3 fighting potential by reducing the damage you take by 5% when no allied champions are nearby.
4) 20 minuted in the game, "Should i attempt a 20 minute Baron with my teamates?", now this is a tricky one, even though i have done it countless times and it works in most of them i would not entierly suggest it, first of all in order for it to be done you need to be sure that the enemy team has now spotted you and on top of that you really want only 3 people of your team to come (including you) as the other 2 push in order to not raise suspicion, you need to be swift, have at least 1 tank with you and be mindfull that if you fail and the Baron gets stolen or you all 3 die to enemies then you will be in a very tough spot, because of a failed call like that i have lost games and in turn if the call suceeds i have won games.
5) 30 minutes in the game, "Should i split as Xin Zhao?", that is also entirely dependant on how the game has played you but in most games at that point of the game i either help team set fights or i just farm in my jungle and some pushed lanes as i don't want to get ganked by the enemy team or give them a chance to engage my team while i am away.
6) 35+ minutes in the game, "Should i get Elder Dragon?", that objective should and will never go uncontested, you need to carefully place wards and play back and forth with the enemy team until you can snatch the chance after a teamfight to take him and in some cases even Baron too.
Champion Skills and Advice
Three Talon Strike (Q): A very high burst ability that also lowers your other skills cooldowns and knocks up the enemy, overall a great skill and with a 40% CDR build you can use it every 3 seconds and consantly lower the CD of your other skills. Beware that this skill only scales with your Basic Attack Damage and not with the Bonus AD, that is one of the reason why Steraks is present in most of the builds here.
Battle Cry (W): Probably the most vital skill for Xin Zhao as it gives more Health, Critical Damage and Attack Speed. Its no wonder that whenever it gets buffed or nerfed the champion builds and pickrate are greatly influenced, this spell is the reason farming in jungle is easy, and that xin zhao in some cases can even 1v4 people, in combination with Q (Three Talon Strike) and a 40% CDR Build this skill can reach a cooldown of 4.2 seconds and a duration of 5 seconds, which makes it permanently active when in combat during the late game.
Audacious Charge (E): This skill in the past was maxed first instead of 3rd but after the changes its advised to be maxed last. A lot people had the misconception that this skill was maxed first because of the "Burst" it gave to Xin Zhao during the engage but that is not true, the reason this skill in the past was maxed first is because the higher its level was the cooldown dropped, enabling Xin to catch his enemies in an easier fashion, after the changes the cooldown became "12 second at all levels" so its not worth maxing anymore.
Crescent Sweep (R): This particular skill has a variety of uses in comparison to how simplistic it is, it can be used rarely as a final blow, some other times as a tool to save your team from an enemy engage, stun the enemy during a gank and knock him towards your team in order to guarantee a kill, knowck a Rengar/Jax/Renekton/Lee Sin/Shyvana etc. that attempts you kill you or someone of your team, and lastly the most famous use of them all, to flank the enemy team and engage their carry or midder while using your ulti to knock everyone back while you burst their squishy down in seconds while they pray to somehow save him and not die to your team.
Cooldowns and Mana Needs
Generally Xin Zhao has relativly low cooldowns on all his spells and with the help of his "Q" Three Talon Strike they get reduced even more, in a normal build its not something to be to wary of but just keep in mind the cooldown of your ulti and mostly your "E" Audacious Charge as it is your main gap-closer. In a 40% CDR Build however as those listed above you should keep in mind that if played and kept in track properly the combo of low 40% CDR, the skill's low CD and the "Q" Three Talon Strike can almost guarantee you 4.2 seconds CD which means a permament "W" Battle Cry activation when you keep on fighting, and a 4.2 seconds cooldown on your your "E" Audacious Charge in order to keep closing in on targets to take them down and reset your cooldowns.
Xin Zhao has very low mana needs with his most expensive skill being his Ultimate Crescent Sweep with 100 mana and then his "E" Audacious Charge with 60 mana, generally his is not hurting on mana at all except sometimes on late game with a 40% CDR Build where you spam all your spells over and over as mentioned, in which case having a blue buff on you is advised.
In most of my builds you will see that i prefer Trinity Force over Blade of the Ruined King, the reason is that even though Trinity Force costs only 333 gold more it gives a great deal of bonus stats and passives, those being 250 Health, 250 Mana, 20% Cooldown, 5% Movement Speed and a great deal of burst from the Sheen Passive as well as some nice Movement Speed on hit by Phage Passive, on the other hand Blade of the Ruined King provides only 10% Lifesteal and even though its active is very good, its passive after the nerfs and its current cost brings it far behind Trinity Force.
Sterak's Gage is another item that is present in most of my builds as it gives raw Health and one of the most powerfull passives/shields in the game while also keeping the cost of the item very low with only 2600 Gold.
Stalker's Blade - Bloodrazor is the obvious choice for me as the Bloodrazor's passive provides a very good DPS and the Attack Speed it provides is a very vital stat for Xin Zhao, in addition, Stalker's Blade helps Xin Zhao to get closer to enemy targets in situations when you don't want to waste your Audacious Charge (E) or you simply don't want to waste it.
Skirmisher's Sabre if you look i don't reccomend this item overall in any of my builds, that is mainly because Xin Zhao lack in survivability, sustain or 1v1 DPS, the only thing he lacks mainly is slows and CC and thus i choose Stalker's Blade. There are some rare cases in which Skirmisher's Sabre can actually be extraordinary, that is when you are faced against junglers that have the advantage of 1v1 and counter Xin Zhao, for example Jax or Nocturne, in those cases buying a Skirmisher's Sabre is advised.
The boots that i pick in most cases are Mercury's Treads as they provide me with a good amount of Tenacity ,which is a stat very important for Xin Zhao, a stunned Xin Zhao is a dead Xin Zhao, in some rare cases when the enemy team is full AD with not much CC i might switch Mercury's Treads with Ninja Tabi, but thats as far as it goes in the boot section.
In most sustain builds you will actually notice that i reccomend Hextech Gunblade, the reason is that this specific item not only makes Xin Zhao heal for 15% of the damage dealt but also helps his Battle Cry (W) to scale with both AP and AD for more healing. On top of that it provides a good active that can be combined with Stalker's Blade in order to catch fleeing enemies.
Runes and Masteries
There is not much to talk about this chapter, generally Xin Zhao is a champion very dependant on Attack Speed while he also needs a little of damage and some defence, for this exact reason the runes are as they are, with the exeption of thay 1% Critical Chance i put just in case i am lucky enough to proc it every now and then.
I generally prefer to use Fervor of Battle as it has great DPS potential that goes well with the mentality of Xin Zhao which of course is "When you enter the battle you will not leave unless you are dead or all the enemies are either dead or fleeing!", all the other masteries are self-explanatory on why they were chosen, and if they are not ,then just choose them.