Build Guide by BraveLittleToaster
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Xin Zhao Build
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.
Welcome to my first guide ever. Even though it's my first, I think it's safe to say that Xin Zhao is my favorite carry (yes I said carry) to play. Xin Zhao can be played tanky or carry, I just prefer the carry style.
Typical to some physical carries, I like to go for the Armor Pen marks and quints, AS seals for more health regen (due to Xin Zhao's passive) and face melting, and CD reduction glyphs so your Q (Three Talon Strike) and E (Audacious Charge) abilities come up faster, especially under the W (Battle Cry) effect. And who could say no to more ultimate up time?
Also typical of physical carries, I go 21 points in offensive, avoiding the AP masteries, then get the tier 1 armor and magic resist masteries in defense. You could argue that the remaining four points could be invested in the defense tree for more survival or utility for more lasting power. I place the rest in the offensive tree because of the increased CD reduction and better creep farming. In my opinion, the defense tree doesn't have enough benefit to invest the points in. Same with utility (unless you like to use ghost instead of flash; if that's the case, you can go for 1 in imp. ghost and 3 in Perseverance.
Along with the obvious upgrade your ultimate ASAP, I like to max my Three Talon Strike first. But I get the first rank of Q, W, and E before I start to max it. After you get the first 3, it is time to surprise some over extending enemies in your lane. If I can't level Q, I level W for more AS. I max E last.
R over Q over W over E
I usually get Flash and Exhaust for my spells. Flash has many uses: it can be used to get away from a bad situation (flash over walls, into brush, or just away from enemies), catch running enemies who are low (do not use it unless you know you can get them), or surprise enemies who are on the other side of a wall (though if you can see them and they are close enough, I would use Xin Zhao's charge instead).
Exhaust is a great ganking tool and a life saver. It also has good synergy with flash. Use exhaust to snare low enemies for an easy kill. If they have flash, save your charge for when they use it to run when exhaust falls off the target. Exhaust can save your life too because any enemy who is affected by it hits for almost nothing and slows them down.
Start out with a dagger and a health potion. These two items can keep you in the lane for a long time combined with Xin Zhao's passive (as long as you're careful and aren't harassed too much).
First trip back, you should get zerkers and at up to 3 health potions.
As soon as you can, get a B.F. Sword. After you get it, you are ready to melt some faces and gank.
Save up for a Zeal and get a Phantom Dancer afterward. Up to level 9, you should always have at least 2 health pots. At ten, you should be fast enough to keep yourself healthy as long as you keep hitting something.
To finish up your core items, time to put that B.F. Sword to use and save up for an Infinity Edge. Most games you should be able to get this far as long as you play smart.
To make yourself even more hated among the other team, you need some life steal. Buy a vamp scepter and save for a Bloodthirster.
If you feel like you die too easily before u get the Bloodthirster or if you are doing fine and already have the Bloodthirster, you can get one of three things: you are having problems with stuns like Lux's or Taric's stuns, get a Banshee's Veil. If they have a champ that has suppressions (ie. Malzahar or Warwick) get a Quicksilver Sash to remove their annoying gamebreaking ultimates. If you are doing just fine and don't need either, get a Spirit Visage to increase the amount and health you get back and make yourself more resilient to those damn AP users.
The final item is a adjustment to your enemy team's composition. If they have a HP tank, a Madred's Bloodrazor will help with all that HP (DO NOT get for Galio, the 4% in magic damage won't help with him). If it is an armor tank like Ramus or Shen, get a Last whisper. You will do so much more damage against them with it. If none of those fits the situation, I usually get another Bloodthirster (200 AD and 50% life steal? yes'um). But the last item could really be anything. Even another defensive item.
Xin Zhao is a great carry as long as you know how to use him. He is a mana user and if you spam his abilities you will go OOM. Use them only if you can get some damage out of it.
If you are in a position to gank, keep in mind you (should) have Flash to catch them if they flash or Exhaust if they run. Hit your W, E to close the gap (or flash, but be careful in its use) and Q to melt their face and knock them up.
Only gank if you have the same number of teammates in the lane as there are enemies. Make sure your team know you are ganking.
While laning, always stay with the minions so that they will attack enemies who attack you. If you are by yourself in the lane, DO NOT go past the river unless all of the other enemies are accounted for on the map. Stay behind your minions and wait for a teammate to come help you, or wait for an opportunity to kill someone if they overextend and/or being targeted by a turret.
And lastly during a team fight, let your tank initiate the fight. This Xin Zhao build is not for initiating. When the tank starts, charge onto someone in the middle of the fight and use Crescent Sweep. Only use the ultimate if you can hit two or more enemies. You can also use it to help gank or live with the extra armor and magic resist it gives.
Thanks for reading
I hope it works out for you like it does for me. Please try it before you rate and comment.