Xin Zhao does not cook, clean, or pay rent. He kills things with his spear. He is decent at ganks and excels at dealing damage very quickly. He is also a great jungler if you like to jungle but for right now this guide is focus on laning, which is my playstyle, and having those two awesome summoning spells together. Early game, he has great damage output and is durable. Late game, he will most likely be the one carrying the team with his destructive force and devastating battle cries. Does the other team have a fed Xin Zhao? You might not want to stand near the turret....the summoner platform is a safe spot.
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Pros / Cons
Nice passive heal
Decent group slow
Can close gaps
Great knock up
Unstoppable when fed
Amazing burst damage
Excellent attack speed
Life steal works well with it
Lane well with snare or stunner
Vulnerable to CC
No real escape mechanic besides speed and summoner spell
Harass by range early
Reduced stacks on bloodthirsters when dead
21 offense masteries for all the great things that every Xin Zhao wants, with 9 in defense for good durability. Summoner's Wrath is obviously only good if your actually using the spells in it so keep in mind when using Flash, Heal, etc. Feel free to switch around points to your liking. However, for this build i highly recommend what i have laid out for you.
Exhaust is a must have for Xin Zhao. Even though he does have a 1.5 sec slow, exhaust adds a longer and better slow, giving them decreased armor/MR with mastery, decreased damage, and most likely disabling their escape from death.
Ghost is extremely great for chasing and decent for escaping. Most of the time as Xin Zhao you will be chasing enemies early game for kills. Late game you'll have less of that problem but pop ghost, jump to them with your E slow and watching them try to run from you is always funny to see.
Other viable spells:
Flash is decent as well. Great for getting in range or getting out of range. Better for escaping then ghost. But lacks the amazing constant speed you get from ghost. This is the only summoner spell i would switch out for ghost.
Ignite has always been great for decreasing healing champions, such as soraka, mundo, vlad, etc. And its great for getting that last hit kill on a player. However, Exhaust lets me finish off the player anyways. The exhaust and ghost combo has always worked the best for me. Trading exhaust out for ignite for healing champions is definitely worth it though. Reducing healing for 5 seconds can be troublesome for those champions.
This amazing passive gives you GREAT early lane substain. Be prepared to stay in lane for a decent amount of time! Because this surely gives you the health to do so. Late game its still provides a decent heal to your health. Its extremely noticeable late game the more attack speed you have and it works well with blood thirsters. Two thumbs up!
Three Talon Strike
This is your main ability, what you'll level up first. Its what does that amazing damage and provides that great knock up. The more attack speed you have the quicker you'll do damage and knock up the enemy. In teamfights the knock up can play a nice important role, as well as knowing who and when to knock up the person. Saving the knock up to interrupt channeling ults can really help you and the team avoid unwanted damage.
The passive as well as when you activate it gives such a great attack speed boost. Always activate this spell right after you use Three Talon Strike as it will quicken your passive heal of Tireless Warrior as well as quicken the knock up of Three Talon Strike. But not only does it give you attack speed it also lowers all of your other ability cooldowns by 1 second, this includes your ult. So spamming this ability while it being such a low mana cost is a smart thing to do. As well as making sure to activate this AFTER Three Talon Strike so it lowers the cooldown of it by 1 second.
This is whats going to close that gap between you and that annoying range. It can be used to escape when used on a minion but is mainly used to close the gap between you and an enemy. The slow it provides is good, 1.5 seconds every 16-12 seconds. That slow, plus that jump, plus your movement speed, and your knock up is what makes Xin Zhao so awesome and fun.
This ult does extremely great damage to all around him, including tanks, because it does % on their current base health. Also it gives him more armor and MR for each enemy champion he hits 6 seconds. This can be very important on when its used. When you Audacious Charge, maybe you start to be focused on, popping this aswell as having your heal/lifesteal should keep you standing and keep you killing.
These boots give you decent attack speed for early game healing and damage. Attack speed is what makes Xin Zhao. Movement speed is something i feel you have to rush on Xin Zhao, as champions will most likely fear you and run from you after hitting level 3 having all three of your abilities. Mercury's Treads are decent as well and are the only boots i would trade out for them, because of Xin Zhao being relatively vulnerable to CC. Do what works for you the most. I personally like the extra attack speed early game and it always works for me.
The Black Cleaver
Just grabbing this right after boots is what changes the game as Xin Zhao. More attack speed, great damage, and very nice armor pen. The three things that Xin Zhao needs. Just obtaining this item early, you will notice a very nice increase in your damage output.
This is where things get interesting. The increase in movement speed will most likely get you that kill. The crit is amazing, it definitely will stand out late game with your Infinity edge. The attack speed is just so nice. Black cleaver attack speed, phantom dancer attack speed, boots if you choose to get them, and your Battle Cry will give you more then enough attack speed to get **** done. This is always plenty of attack speed for me, in which case i can start building a overwhelming amount of damage.
With this devastating item it will give you that damage you are looking for! As well as give you lifesteal which works extremely well with your insane attack speed and your healing passive. After getting this, feel free to get some minion kills as it will add to your destructive stacks.
This baby right here gives such great damage, its a item that can't be ignored! It gives great crit to go with your phantom dancer and the awesome passive that adds an additional 50% critical strike damage. By the time you have this, it might as well be gg.
Now if the game seriously continues after what you have so far, grabbing another Bloodthirster makes you that unstoppable force that you want to be. More damage, always a plus, more lifesteal, be prepared to be healed like no other, and the additonal stacks give you what your looking for late game.
Now if the game for some crazy *** reason has not ended by now, well there is something wrong lol but if it hasn't, selling your Berserker's Greaves for an additional phantom dancer is not a bad idea. Your enemies will die so fast there will be no reason to have that little extra movement speed.
This item is always great for any AD melee. The 100% chance to slow for 40% is extremely nice. It adds some damage and great amount of health which can be nice in teamfights if being focused. Course there are better defensive items but if you want some damage, with a nice slow, and some awesome health. Go for it.
This item is still amazing for Xin Zhao and everything that it has on it can go a long way for Xin Zhao. I recommend trading out a bloodthirster for this if you want it. But in my games i find the second bloodthirster to add what i need late game to end the game. I almost always grab the second bloodthirster rather then this, but its my personal preference and its what works extremely well for me.
One of my favorite defensive items and one of the most popular. It gives decent health, decent mana which is never bad to have since you can get mana hungry at times, MR which just adds that bit of protection from those AP nukers, and my favorite, the passive that blocks one negative spell every 45 seconds. I can't stress to you how much this actually helps Xin Zhao as his protection from CC is rather low. This can keep you from one stun, taunt, snare, and all those other abilities people use, every 45 seconds. It can determine life or death, kill or no kill.
Mercury's Treads Or Quicksilver Stash
Mercury's Treads as i said earlier is a great substitute for Berserker's Greaves. The tenacity really does help and the extra magic resist never hurts against those AP. Quicksilver Stash i personally think is great. Its overlooked by many, but till you actually use it against those CC, AP heavy teams, you'll realize how useful it really can become.
I personally don't get this item on Xin Zhao because i dont ever have too. But it gives nice armor and decent magic resist and has a somewhat useful passive with a 5 min cd. If you want it go for it.
This can be decent vs other AD melees you could be having troubles with. Lower their attack speed, great mana for when you go mana hungry spamming your abilities, a huge boost in armor, lower cd is always good but keep in mind the Battle Cry lowers your cds for you, so it makes CDR less useful on Xin Zhao. The reduce attack speed on enemy champions can give you that edge your looking for vs other AD melee.
Force of Nature
This is also one of the best AP defensive items for Xin Zhao. It gives a huge boost in MR, awesome health regen, combine that with some of your lifesteal and that awesome passive you have, and adds great movement speed making chasing and escaping a bit easier if your having problems with that.
Because of Xin Zhao passive i see him as a viable solo top when needed. Around level 4-6 you should buy a Sight Ward for your bush. I like to buy it after i purchase boots to ensure that i see any possible ganks on myself aswell as having decent speed in case there is a gank set up. If your jungler is good though, being solo top and him coming to gank is the best thing that could happen with you. Your slow, jump to target, and knock up really kills that player thats trying to avoid dying from being ganked. As i said if your jungler is good, with what resources you have as Xin Zhao, almost everytime he ganks, you guys will kill one. Range can be devastating to Xin Zhao, as your turret is being attack you try to defend it, and they can get some attacks on you without suffering any turret damage. Anytime you solo top i recommend you starting out with a Boots of Speed and three Health Potion to negate their annoying harass until your jungler can come top and set up a gank.
This is the way i prefer to play Xin Zhao and no way saying its the best way. Just sharing to everyone how i like to build him and how i have very successful games with him. Any tips or suggestions i would appreciated. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Vote if you like, doesn't bother me if you don't.