Xin Zhao Build Guide by freestyle118
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.
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.
Thanks to Searz for the awesome guide format! You can find it here.
I've been playing Xin ever since I have bought him at level 12. Over the games I have played I learned that he is a very versatile and quick character that can move around the map, giving you the ability to roam well. In this guide I will go over how this roaming can impact your gameplay and how you can successfully build your strength up ingame and win.
The main key to playing well with Xin is moving around. You can not stay in the same lane the whole game, you will miss out on several opportunities that could potentially change the game. This will also mean that you have to be constantly aware of your surroundings. Use the brush to your advantage, the walls, and the entire zones.
This build is a little different that the others because you will be taking most of the damage in your lane and also putting out the most damage while your friend/ally will stand back behind you and help out. It is best advised to do this with a ranged DPS in your lane but it is also possible with a tank + melee.
Xin Zhao has several unique abilities that really make him different from other champions and a lot of these abilities are amazing counters to most champions out there.
Throughout the game, this passive will give you the opportunity to replenish your health and especially early game, this passive will allow you to stay in lane longer. The longer you farm the better. Since this ability procs on every 3rd hit, it fits well with last hitting. Just distribute your hits and watch your surrounding, this way you can slowly regain enough health so you aren't in danger in your lane.
Three Talon Strike]
This ability is a very good CC, as it will knock up the target on the third hit. Use this ability to your advantage, remember that 3rd hit CCs so if you just need the 3rd hit, use 2 on minions + and you have the enemy CCd, to buy enough time for your allies to take them down or to get away. This can be a very offensive ability but also a very defensive ability, determined by how you use it.
This ability is probably the best of Xins abilities. This will be your only gap closer (other than or ) that will allow you to easily reach your enemy or to get out of your enemies reach. Offensively, this ability will allow you to charge your enemy through walls, through forest, etc. This is very useful because you can flank the enemy and catch them off-guard. Use your together with this ability to burst down the enemy.
This is a very good ability in teamfights. Together with you can easily get in the middle of the enemy clump and unleash this massive damage dealing ability and easily reduce the enemy to scraps. Great opener and great burst damage in 1v1 scenario.
Main Rune Set-up
Simple Sequence for abilities.
should be maxed out last. This ability doesn't scale as
much through the levels and therefore it is strategically better to take maxed out first, then and lastly this. This is your CC but since it doesn't scale well, it is good at level 1 for until late game.
maxed out as soon as possible will allow for high damage dealing ability since it scales well and is maxed at about 200 magic damage. This will be your standard opener.
should be maxed at level 17, will provide your attack speed, good to get 1 level before level 6 and that should sustain you until you get a few speed items later on.
should be maxed at the standard 6,11,16. This is your teamfight opener together with .
Classic DPS tree, the 10% ArP + The 10% Crit bonus as well as the 1.5% dmg increase from Havoc.
Made so tankier earlier on in the game with the added MR and Armor from the Defensive tree + the health regen.
Build items of Choice
Other viable options for items
Works well with Ranged AD + AP champs
Better to work in pair rather than Solo since CC + Gapclosing abilities
Farming is important more lategame but it is good to lasthit + keep the minion
wave in the middle and not to overextend yourself.
When you are laning it is important that you must pay attention to your surroundings. Use the brush to your advantage and use the walls and obstacles on the map. Remember that Xin is a very mobile champion and does well with planned ganks with his built in CCs + Gap closers.
Coordinating a gank can easily lead to clear advantages over the enemies since through the proper use of Teleport with Wards, etc (Shaco Boxes) you can catch your opponents out of position.
Use your allies as your clear ability. Communicate frequently, observe the playstyle of your opponent and then make your move. If you are laning it is important that you sometimes work your way up and gank mid. Since Mid will be your AP Carry, it is important that they get as much as gold as possible. Your main purpose will be to coordinate the team and roam frequently, picking off those who are out of position.
This is where your role will be very important.
In teamfights it is important that you open with your most damage dealing ability.
With this combo, you will be able to do a short burst of damage to the enemy and take about
20-30% of their health down in the mean time. By initiating the fight, this allows your team to follow and pick off those who are offguard and are not aware of what is happening. Xins ultimate is a very unique and useful one, make sure you use it in teamfights.
In a 2v2 scenario it is important to coordinate with your ally who you are going to focus and who you will CC. CC may include, knock up with or to throw an on them. Always pick the champion with least mobility yet whichever one is also the most squishy.
For example. Vayne + Katarina VS Xin Zhao and Ezrael.
In this scenario you would open on Katarina, CC Vayne and focus Kata and then Vayne. Why?
Vayne has a lot of mobility and evasive abilities and therefore could easily get away should you focus her. Katarina on the otherhand only has one and it requires a allied target to blink away (could be enemy too). Therefore if you watch the minion wave and initiate with the enemy minion wave far away, Katarina can't get away and you have yourself 2 easy kills.
There is a lot of concentration involved regarding watching the minion waves and who to CC but over the time it becomes easier and you can make decisions fast. The faster you can process information in a shorter amount of time, the better you will do in your games.
If you are solo laning or just on your own for the moment, play defensive but don't turtle. Turtling will only result in the enemy slowly breaking you down and eventually they will tower dive you so it is not advised. What you should do in such a situation is keep the minion wave where it is, last hit the enemy minions and make sure you are ahead of it. If you get behind and they start coming to your turret, this gives your enemy the opportunity to dive you.
Same as above, play defensive and keep the minions back. Make sure you don't go out of position or the enemy will catch you offguard. Keep together and just wait for an opportunity to initiate and retreat. Hit and Run tactic works very well here, harassing the enemy and breaking them down. The main idea here is to look for the flaw in the enemy set-up and to take advantage of it. Be patient, it won't come instantly, sometimes you have to wait for what you want but when the opportunity is clear, take it and capitalize on it.
Most of the time just look at the situation and use common sense. If you are outnumbered, 5 to 2, then it would be wise to back out. Never ever go alone in late game. This is where most teams crumble as the enemy will just pick you off one by one. Working together as a team you combine your forces and are able to do more damage. Don't think you can solo 5 enemies unless you have over 1000 AD, (never going to happen unless you have some support). I have never ever seen it done, 1 Xin vs 5 enemies and I congratulate whoever has done it but for the most part, work as a team.
As Xin Zhao your role will be to move around and to take down those enemies who are vulnarable. Capitalize on the mistakes of your enemies and you will for sure benefit from them. Be aware of the environment you are in, what champions you are facing, use your surroundings too, be aware of any ganks and capitalize on the effectiveness of wards. They might be underrated but they prevent ganks and can create ganks to when used effectively with
Your role as initiator in team fights and damage dealer will allow you to control your team. Do it more effectively and you will succeed faster. Catch your enemies offguard!
To conclude, here are some quotes from one of my favorite generals + author of "The Art of War"
Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate. - SUN TZU
He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious - SUN TZU
12/24/2011 - edited Glyphs description (MR)
12/24/2011 - Changed Glyphs to MR
12/24/2011 - Made minor change to items (Wriggle Lantern's Name)