Xin Zhao Build Guide by DarkSenshi

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League of Legends Build Guide Author DarkSenshi

Fearless Xin Zhao, Dominating Solo Top

DarkSenshi Last updated on August 24, 2012
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello everyone, my IGN is DarkSenshi, and I'm just a regular player in League of Legends.
I've only been playing this game for a few months, but I'm quickly learning how to succeed in games. My favorite role to play is Bruiser, so I usually go Solo Top. I also like Assassins...
Anyways, so Xin Zhao was I think one of my first champions I bought. For some reason I liked how his abilities worked and how he could be a great initiator especially with his ultimate, and also stick onto a target with his CC and damage. I played him before his rework where he got buffed significantly, but I still did pretty well even though he was considered sub-par at the time. But yeah, I still play him quite a lot and have tried him in ranked, and done relatively well. Xin is now an all-around great champion, his early and mid game are quite strong and he falls off not too much late game. He is a good duelist, has sustain, and is great at ganking. I also got his Winged Hussar skin...which in my opinion is one of the coolest skins out there. So yea I'm just gonna give my input on how to play Xin Zhao.

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Pros/ Cons

- Great Early to Mid game damage
- Good Ganker
- Has some nice CC
- Can Solo Top like a boss
- Can be tanky
- Can Jungle decently
- Winged Hussar Skin is maybe the sexiest skin ever ;)

- Can be kited
- Falls of a bit late game
- Pretty bad when not fed

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Alright so I generally go with the 'Standard' AD Runes for Xin, which is 9 Desolation (Armor Pen.) Marks, 9 Resilience (Flat Armor)Seals, 9 Shielding (Scaling MR) Glyphs, and 3 Quints. of Strength (AD). All of this fits nicely for Xin, it gives you some nice Armor Pen. which is needed for when the enemies start stacking armor or just to inflict more damage by ignoring some of their base armor. The 9 armor seals obviously help with durability early game because you'll generally be facing a melee solo top like yourself. And the Glyphs are for later when you face their AP carries or anyone else doing Magic Dmg. The Quints. are self-explanatory, some nice AD for early game damage and last hitting.
This being said, you could easily replace the Armor Pen. Marks with Attack Speed, which helps with damage output and getting the knockup from Three Talon Strike.
Armor I guess you could replace with HP but I think Armor helps more overall.
Glyphs you could go with flat MR if you think you'll be facing an AP or if you think they'll help more. I actually go with a mix sometimes.

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Really just your standard 21-9-0 Masteries for maximum damage output and some durability. If you want to be more of an offtank go with 9-21-0.

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Here's where it gets fun, Xin Zhao is someone who benefits greatly from not only AD but Attack Speed, his W goes well with some extra attack speed, as well as his Q. He's basically an auto-attacking monster. His early game Atk. Speed actually suffered from his rework, so I personally like to get Berserker's Greaves Early.
Overall, keep in mind that Xin is an initiator so needs to be durable. If you're not having a good game I always recommend to build more durability rather than Damage.
I usually start off with Boots and 3 Health Pots, you can start with Dorans Blade if you want to really go for the first kill, which is actually quite do-able with Xin. I feel though that most of the time it makes for a safer laning phase to go with Pots.
You can go with my item build but like always, play situationally...
Damage Items:
Black Cleaver - One of the best dmg. items for Xin, gives him damage, attack speed, and armor reduction which is quite easy to get to three stacks with Xin.
Bloodthirster - If you are doing well and/or are definitely getting Phantom Dancer, get this. Gives a lot of AD, especially when you get those stacks up, and some nice lifesteal.
Maw - This is generally good for when their AP's are getting somewhat fed, if you still want to play offensively this is great as it gives good AD as well as nice Magic Resist and the passive will save your life many times.
Infinity Edge - If you have enough money, you can definitely get this. Huge initial AD boost and extra crit. chance and damage.
Phantom Dancer - Such a nice item for Xin, if you have the money you want this. Lots of attack speed and some crit.chance and movespeed. Yes.
Tanky Items:
Frozen Mallet - I get this item almost every game with Xin, the slow is amazing to let you stick to targets, and it gives you quite a lot of healh, and some extra AD. Solid HP item.
Warmogs - This can easily replace Frozen Mallet, I am a bit of a more aggressive player so I like Mallet but Warmogs gives the most HP and some regen as well. When it's farmed it'll give you a ton of health.
Atma's Impaler - Pairs so well with Warmogs or Mallet, gives you a chunk of armor you'll almost always need, some crit. chance, and of course the extra 40 or so AD you'll get as a bonus.
Frozen Heart- This is one of the best durability items in the game...if nobody else has this and/or you're supposed to be the tank, get this. Lots of Armor and some mana, and the passive is great for if their AD carries get fed.
Thornmail - Just pure defense for if their AD carries are doing too well. Returns some of the damage back to them.
Force of Nature - Lots of MR for dem AP carries. Also some movement speed.
Guardian Angel - Some mixed Armor and MR, great overall item, if you want just one item for when the enemy team is all relatively balanced in kills, get this. Passive is pretty great, depending on the situation.
Randuin's Omen - Awesome item...Yep gives Armor and HP, as well at that passive that slows, can really help teamfights.

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Skill Sequence

I like to start with the E, as it makes for nice harass, but you can start with Q too. Just basically get all 3 first, then max out your Q, as it is your main damage source. Then you should max your W for the extra AS steroid and sustain, or max E if they're ranged and you need that extra slow and lower cooldown.
Make sure when you harass to do Three Talon Strike and do the knockup if you can, and then retreat. You can use W before it for faster speed. E into them first if you need to.
Your ult is now pretty incredible. It lets you separate your target while knocking back and damaging anyone else there. Early on you can just use it to finish someone off, but later you can intiate like a boss, charge in and ult to cause mayhem...however be careful not to knock someone out of position for a kill haha. But yes ult and then stick to a squishy or low health target and just W - Q, and keep auto-attacking.
You can also use your ult defensively, if you're getting ganked or something, just stay in range and ult, knocking them both back and giving you a lot of space.
If someone else is helping you gank or can already CC someone, start with your three talon strike, and then E when they run away. Always do this if you can, but of course if you need to close the distance then E first and then Q, and add Battle Cry when you can.

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Summoner Spells

Aight so for Summoner Spells a lot of is up to someone's playstyle. These are the ones I recommend.
Flash: obviously a very versatile and popular spell. Gives you that instant gap clearer for escaping which Xin needs, as well as an instant Gap Closer for ganks and what not.
Exhaust: The other spell I almost always use. For Xin, it's probably the best overall as he does a lot of autoattack damage as well as some burst, and it just helps you keep up with them and get your knockup in. Ignite is better maybe a bit early game but later Exhaust is better. It can also help you escape by exhausting your enemy.
Ghost: Good spell too for chasing and is alright for escaping.
Ignite: Good for early game kills and for health regen champs. I like this more on bursty champs.
Teleport: If you're solo top and want to get back to your tower fast, get this.

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Overall, Xin is a really fun, relatively easy to learn, and solid champion. Some may say he's OP since his rework...but honestly he's not. He takes skill to play well, and can be countered by CC and range and what not. and even if he is...quite strong now maybe we need that after his time being UP. Well, we'll see what Riot chooses to do. Thanks so much for reading my first guide...I hope you liked it. I know that it doesn't look very nice but I hope it was readable. Hopefully I can get more experienced myself and make more. Please tell me how it went when you tried this guide. Feedback is appreciated!