Xin Zhao Build Guide by tinolas

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 tinolas

Bob's Xin Zhao

tinolas Last updated on September 18, 2011
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Team 1

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: 15

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 15

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Bob's Xin Zhao

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Guardsman Bob

This is almost exactly Guardsman Bob's way to play Xin Zhao. Guardsman Bob is well known for playing Xin Zhao. But who is he?

(I don't know anymore where I got this from, I think Bob's IRC; Credits to the creator vioitty)

He can be found streaming here

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Masteries are very flexible. It is all about personal preference. While Bob focuses on max damage output, I try to balance damage and utility.

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Greater Mark of Desolation Greater Mark of Desolation
Gives some nice extra damage. They make you deal nice amounts of damage in early to mid game.

Greater Seal of Resilience
Makes him stronger against physical damage. Since you will be easily able to get more Armor in midgame, I prefer flat Armor runes.
/ Greater Glyph of Warding/Shielding
Makes him stronger against casters. Since you already start out with 30 base MR I try to get a nice mix of flat and scaling MR.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Gives some nice extra damage. They make you deal nice amounts of damage in early to mid game.

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Summoner Spells

Flash has so many uses and remember you have no real escape move.

Ignite is very useful to kill people early-mid game and to counter healing effects.

Exhaust slows down your opponents either securing a kill or an escape.

Take Ghost instead of Flash, if you're not level 12 yet.

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  • Challenge will keep you longer in lane and helps your sustainability. There are better passives though.
  • Three Talon Strike is a great ability to knock up your opponents. Don't underestimate the knockup as the duration can't be reduced. You can activate Three Talon Strike, hit minions twice and knock your opponent up.
  • Battle Cry is pretty useful considering Three Talon Strike and Challenge. The cooldown reduction is just very powerful.
  • Audacious Charge is his strongest non-ultimate ability. It's used to kill and assist kills with his AoE. Maxing Audacious Charge first grants you a big advantage over other Xin Zhaos.
  • Crescent Sweep is his AoE ultimate. It increases your survivability depending on how many opponents you hit with it and deals a percentage of your opponents current health so you should to use it as soon as possible.

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Starting Items

Doran's Blade
Provides staying power and damage making it a very solid starting item. You will start with Doran's Blade almost every game.

Cloth Armor
Provides some nice defense against physical damage and builds into Wriggle's Lantern or Aegis of the Legion. Consider it if you will lane against a lot of physical damage.

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Core Items

Mercury's Treads
The CC reduction is a must on Xin Zhao. He is melee and weak to CC, that should be an obvious choice.

Trinity Force
The damage and utility of this item is superb. We want to improve our offensive capabilities and this is our item of choice. The earlier you get it the better.

Atma's Impaler
Provides some nice defense against physical damage and even more damage based on your HP. Take it if you face some physical damage.

Banshee's Veil
Counters casters and blocks CC/initiation spells. You should be right in the middle of the action. Take it almost every game.

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Optional Items

Sunfire Cape
Provides a magic damage AoE, a lot of HP and quite some armor. Consider to take it when you are facing a lot of physical damage.

Force of Nature
Provides the most MR of any one item in the game. If you're facing just too much MDPS you can possibly handle, take it after Banshee's Veil.

Randuin's Omen
Provides an amazing defense against physical damage. The best part is the active ability. It's made out of Heart of Gold.

Wriggle's Lantern
It provides lifesteal, armor and it helps you farm. Xin needs lifesteal and the passive and active combined are very useful to farm. Builds out of Cloth Armor.

Aegis of the Legion
Provides some nice defense against physical and magical damage + an awesome aura. Take it if you're behind early game. Builds out of Cloth Armor.

Wit's End
Increases MR, AS and your attacks will deal 42 bonus magic damage as well and increase your MR. Take it if you face a lot of magic damage.

The Black Cleaver
Gives 45 armor reduction with 3 stacks. Take it if you feel confident enough to and want to improve your raw damage output.

Youmuu's Ghostblade
A cheap item that gives very useful bonuses. Makes you hit hard early on as well as providing some nice CDR and a awesome active. It's made out of The Brutalizer.

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Laning Phase

Xin Zhao should lane either solo top or mid because he relies on the farm to be successful although he is able to jungle and duo bot lane as well.

Xin Zhao is a strong laner with his ability to quickly dash forward with Audacious Charge and to knock his opponents in the air right after with Three Talon Strike. This allows him to damage his opponents quite heavily.

Basic Rules

  1. Be aware of the map to stay alive
  2. Don't overextend, Recall if necessary
  3. Farm gold, Rush Trinity Force

The trick behind laning with Xin Zhao is to know that you start out weak, get stronger and stronger until around late-mid game when you start to slightly fall off again. I'm not trying to say that Xin Zhao can't carry games, he just needs to have an advantage to do so for example better farm, more kills/assists, better position ... When you get ganked, decide wether to fight or not. If you will able to make it out alive, you should. Don't waste nor save Flash for too long though. If you won't be able to escape, you should try to trade kills.

So let's get started, we are ready to win our lane. Now let's talk about troublesome, normal and hard matchups.

Troublesome matchups
Fortunately only Caitlyn is troublesome to lane against. We can't do too much against her because she can deny us from level 1. It's just a hard counter in the laning phase imo. Just try to get as much experience as possible and avoid as much of her harass as possible. Definetly go with Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion.

Normal Matchups
Normal matchups consist of Irelia, Jarvan IV, Jax, Cho'Gath... Try to focus on farming. You probably won't be able to kill them so try to get every last hit. If you play smartly, you will win your lane later on for example if you got better items or you made them lose experience...

Hard matchups
Hard matchups consist of Udyr, Warwick, Teemo... These are great lane champions who get better as time goes just like we do. Try to avoid their harass, farm and wait for them to make a mistake. Without them making a mistake, it's very hard to win these lanes.

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Xin Zhao should be played in team fights like every other melee dps. Try to avoid their focus and do not go in too early. It will be really hard to get out most of the times. Just make sure you won't get crushed straight away

Basic Rules

  1. Do not initiate teamfights
  2. Try to kill their carry
  3. Try to stay out of their focus for as long as possible
  4. Catch opponents who are in a bad position but don't get caught yourself

So you're sitting in the back and waiting for the team fight to happen. Now you have to be very careful and decide when's the best time to go in. If you're able to get their ranged carry, it is almost always worth to die for. Just don't die recklessly. Be thoughtful.
If you get initiated on, try to escape if you get the chance to. You are not able to take their focus. Use Flash as you see it fits.