Xin Zhao Build Guide by steveobroil

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author steveobroil

Ambush from the Jungle

steveobroil Last updated on September 23, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 16

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 3

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 11

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Xin Zhao is a very powerful and very under rated jungler. He has the potential to gank at very early levels before many other junglers already having two solid CC abilities by level 2, although i opt for Battle Cry at level 2 to assist in faster jungling. He is a fast jungler and can easily 1v1 most other junglers in my experience. Having also alot of tankiness he can fool alot of people when he ganks, often in situations where a gank goes wrong and the other jungler or team mate shows up Xin can make a 2v1 a 2v2 or 2v3 a piece of cake with his amazing CC and damage output.

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Summoner Spells

Smite is necessary in the jungle, don't be fooled by those who say it isn't and that they can jungle nearly as fast without it and having the extra summoner spell for ignite/exhaust is better, IT IS NOT. Noone likes to have their baron/dragon stolen because the jungler didn't take smite, and the jungler doesn't like having the red/blue buff stolen because it had low health and the enemy jungler simply walked in and smited it.

Ghost is great, I opt for it as it is i believe the best jungle summoner spell other than smite, it allows the impatient junglers to get from one place to another very quickly making their jungle times very fast. It is also a great escape tool for when that enemy jungler comes in and slows/cc's you especially, Nunu, Trundle and Olaf with their slows. I often use it on my first gank as you can rush very fast out of the brush and E them before they know it and they're slowed and knocked up giving your team first blood and often time to escape with some time left on ghost before the other jungler shows up.

Other Viable Summoner:

Flash can replace Ghost, as it can be a game breaker to flash onto their carry and knockup or flash over a wall to safety. It can also be used to get closer for your dash.

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I opt for a popular AD Jungle Masteries setup of 16/3/11, it is less popular to 16/0/14 which is also viable i just prefer the extra armor early on. This allows Xin Zhao insane damage output early game scaling somewhat into late game while also giving him the most important aspects of the utility tree, the extra exp which is necessary for jungling, increased buff duration making it possible for more ganks and less down time farming the jungle.

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The typical route of Vampiric Scepter is to start off at Double Golems and work your way to blue buff skipping Red Buff til last. You want to Activate your Q the moment you do your first auto attack as this often allows an instant attack giving you some extra damage. You want to smite the golem you're attack as soon as you knock it into the air, it should be dead by the time it lands assuming you follow the rest of my guides masteries and rune page setup.

You want to then head to Wraiths you should have a point in your W skill by this time, again you want to first auto attack and activate your Q second, I opt to spam my W spell to get my knock up spell off asap on the wraiths as the quicker the purple one dies the better.
Leaving your knockup on full hp wraiths is often a good idea as the three attacks generally kill a full hp red wraith, whereas if you don't do it at full hp it takes 4+ attacks.

Once you reach blue buff you should have your Q+W+E spells, you want to activate your Q spell first but charge in with your E before doing any damage, this should maximize burst damage and knockup blue very fast. Always save your smite to kill the blue to prevent enemy junglers stealing your buffs.

After blue buff you should still be alive, but barely, you should now recall to base and buy you should arrive at double golems and Red Buff almost exactly the same time as if you didn't back, plus the bonus is you now have boots and are ready to gank with a full duration of Red Buff.

Doing Red Buff you want to follow the same guidelines as doing Blue Buff, always spamming W when Q and E are on cooldown to refresh them. Don't use smite on double golems if you happen to have it early at this point, but if you followed correctly you should arrive at red buff with 5 or so seconds left on the cooldown after blue buff and double golems.

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Early Game

Early game you want to gank as much as possible, as soon as you get your red and blue buff you want to head into a solo lane and gank, preferably picking a solo lane that has a carry in it rather than one where a team opts for a tank. It is important as Xin to take out their carry as early as possible as you scale well late game and want to dominate mid game when you aren't as strong, having a level advantage and gold advantage on the enemy carry REALLY pays off as Xin.

You also want to ward their jungle and river as much as possible, picking up some gold per 10 items is always handy as buying wards can add up and having wriggles also gives you a re-usable ward.

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Mid Game

Mid Game you want to opt for a dragon, if you notice the enemy jungler nowhere near dragon it's not always the best idea to gank him or a lane if everyone is playing passively but to rush that dragon. It can put the other team off when they find out dragon is already gone and they have no idea when it happened. It gives your team alot of gold and experience and if like stated the enemy team doesn't find out til after they are often intimidated by you. Always keep in mind the enemy team may have it warded and don't get caught on low health and give away a free kill and dragon, always watch the map.

In the situation where you know they have it warded, baiting fights at dragon is very beneficial and recommended as Xin, assuming they don't have heavy CC and a taunt you will 9 times out of 10 come out on top once you focus the carry at this point. Assuming your team focuses them too.

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Late Game

Late Game is where you begin to shine again, you had your fame early game and maybe got taxed a bit mid game, but you will have your spotlight back!

Late game you want to make sure you are still warding, the whole game you want to ward, with your Trinity force and boots by now you should have sufficient mobility to get around the map to ward without being away from the team and farming too much.
You also want to make sure you are assisting team mates with buffs too, as you shouldn't really need them at this point and caitlyn with red is more important than you and you shouldn't need blue at all at this point either.

Xin is very tanky and this surprises alot of people so don't be afraid at this point to dive towers for a fight as your team often comes out on top, you shouldn't drop too fast on a single turret if you're diving 1 or 2 enemy players, it is not however recommended to initiate a team fight in this manner.

Xin late game is sort of like the knight in shining armor, he has the ability to save team mates for 2 to 3 enemy players, with his slow and knockup he can drag enemies away while your team mate runs and keeping your W active in doing this can often give you enough time to catch other enemy players pursuing your team mates.

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Ganking lanes

As soon as you get your red buff you should easily be level 4. This is when you want to start ganking.

You want to start off by heading Mid Lane after getting your red buff as it is the closest. It is sometimes a good idea to activate ghostand dash in as they are often off guard not expecting you to be so quick and before they know it they're up in the air.

Ganking bottom can be very beneficial, as alot of the time it will be ad + support once you kill one the other is almost a sure death too or they will retreat. This also allows an easy dragon, killing two birds with one stone.

It is often just as good to make them use their summoner spells as it is to get the kill as often once they use their summoner spells they play very carefully, often making it possible for your team mate to get them in a position where they can be denied exp and last hits easily.

If you have been spotted and they are all sitting at tower playing passive, it is a good idea to request a team mate to bait them out a bit by slightly over extending (Note: Not a good idea without first knowing the location of enemy jungler and team mates). If an enemy is around or below 50% Health by they reach the tower and you have your ghost or E spell ready, it is possible as Xin to dive them and kill them with time to get out before dying. This is a good way to intimidate them early on and let them know you mean business. (Note: it is not a good idea to dive if the enemy player has a good form of CC and their summoner spells are up)

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Tip: Activate your Q before your E to get the knockup off before the slow is over.

Tip: Using your ulti on single targets can be a good idea if the other team is playing passive and aren't going to flock to every fight they see, as the damage output is huge and can turn a fight quickly.

More will be added to this guide over time.