Xin Zhao Build Guide by Sir Kayin Bj
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This Xin Zhao build guide is extremely informative. You'll find Xin Zhao has an extremely strong early game as he has very high damage coupled with good crowd control. He falls off a bit mid game due to not being very tanky unless you land a good ultimate. The recent buffs to Xin have really helped him and made him playable in competitive play.
-Last Edit: 19.02.2013
Pros / Cons
+Has a three CC skills.
+A lot of attack speed.
+Very strong early game ganks.
+Has a dash.
+Mobile and tanky.
-Runs out of mana quickly
-Falls off late game damage-wise
Quintessences and Marks:
Getting a mix of attack speed and armor penetration is the best for Xin Zhao. It increases your jungling speed by a fair amount and lets you get Three Talon Strikes out quickly and have them hit hard. Attack speed also lets your passive from battle cry heal you up more so you be more safely sustained in the jungle.
Armor decreases the damage you take in the jungle early game, allows for you to tower diver better and makes you overall more tanky.
I pick flat magic resistance runes because I want to be as strong as possible early game to try to snowball. It also helps with the ganking phase where I take less damage/harass from enemy lanes.
Machete + 5 potions is the best opening with Xin Zhao, you need it on almost every jungler now to get through the early levels.
Core Item Build
The core items for Xin Zhao aim to give him enough DPS to clear jungle while making him tankier at the same time and help your team.
You want to build up items that will make you tanky so you can tank and disrupt, or even tunnel their carries. Theese items will give you a good mix of hp, armor and magic resistance and with zephyr + furor you will be able to stick to your target. Randuins and Runic Bulwark both help your team a lot.
Xin Zhao challenges his target with his basic attacks and Audacious Charge, reducing its armor by 15% for 3 seconds.
Challenge allows for you and your AD damage dealing carries to focus down a single target extremely quickly. It also allows for isolating a target after tagging an enemy champion and using your ultimate ability.
Three Talon Strike
Xin Zhao's next 3 basic attacks deal 15/30/45/60/75 (+0.6) bonus physical damage and reduce his other abilities' cooldowns by 1 second. The final strike also knocks the target into the air.
Cost: 30 Mana
Cooldown: 9/8/7/6/5 Seconds
Briefly: Really good gang skill.
Xin Zhao charges and challenges an enemy. The charge deals 70/110/150/190/230 (+0.6*AP) magic damage to all nearby enemies and slows them by 25/30/35/40/45% for 2 seconds.
Cost: 60 Mana
Cooldown: 13/12/11/10/9 Seconds
This skill allows for you to gank really well as it acts as a gap closer and slow. In addition, you can use it to tunnel their carries effectively or just use it to peel for your carries. Along with initiating in team fights, you can use this skill to easily and more efficiently clear jungle camps because it has a small aoe damage and slow.
Xin Zhao unleashes a sweep around him that deals 125/225/325/30/20 (+1) plus 15% of target's current health in physical damage and knocks enemies back. Xin Zhao gains 15/20/25 Armor and Magic Resistance for 6 seconds for each champion hit.
Challenge: If a challenged target is hit by the sweep, it is unaffected by the knockback.
Cost: 100/40 Mana
Cooldown: 100/90/80 Seconds
Xin Zhao's ultimate is a very interesting skill with many uses. Firstly, you can use it as an extremely good peel for your carries working like a Janna ultimate however dealing a chunk of % HP damage. Secondly, you can use Audacious Charge on a carry follow up with Crescent Sweep to isolate the carry allowing your team to follow him/her down. Lastly, in combination with Flash or just coming in from behind, you can use it as a great initiate to knock the enemy into your team while having their team scattered. Thirdly, if you find yourself in a dangerous situation where escape is possible, you can utilize this ability to knock enemies backwards and run from danger. Lastly, when ganking, if counter-ganked, you can separate the enemy lane from the jungler and use this to focus down one target.
Flash is a very important tool in team fights as it will allow you to get extremely good positioning to use your ultimate. In addition in early level ganks you can use it land the crucial third hit with Three Talon Strike after the enemy Flashes.
THE REASON you take Flash versus Ghost is because most good players will FLASH the 3rd strike of third talon strike and you won't get the knock up. You need to preemptively predict the flash and flash with them to get the knockup on the third strike. This is why flash is better than ghost.
Smite is necessary to secure monster objectives such as Dragon and Baron and runic buff objectives such as Blue and Red. It also increases your jungling speed. A good thing to do when using Smite is to hover over the icon to see how much damage Smite will do and last hit the monster objectives once their HP falls below your current smite damage.
In the early game, you want to gank lanes whenever possible. As long as you have Q and E, you can gank, having Red Buff helps, but you don't need it. Lanes that have opportunities to gank are lanes that are pushed towards your side, have summoner spells on cooldown, and your laners have sufficient resources (HP, mana, cooldowns) to follow up on your gank. Lanes that need ganks are lanes that are behind either from the lane match up, or assistance or level one fights in the enemies favour. Whenever you do not see an opportunity to gank or have to put a lot of pressure on a certain lane, you should take the opportunity to farm your jungle or go to base and buy if you have money for a big buy (ie. getting Mandreds). You must remember how strong your ganks are, even if the enemy is just the slightest over extended, the huge amount of crowd control and displacement you have is enough to turn it into a kill and force summoners and a blue pill/potions. Look at Tactics section for how to gank efficiently. Counter jungling is a decent choice for Xin Zhao since he has decent crowd control and fighting ability(read the Tactics section for counter jungling info). In addition, if one of your laners require you to hold the lane while they back, do so as well. You also want to control both your blue and red buffs, as well as the enemies. Timing the respawn time or knowing the general respawn time of these buffs are crucial for doing so. Control of Dragon also becomes a big factor and whenever your team has a safe opportunity to do so, you should take it. Oracles is also a really good buy if he snowball with kills.
The mid game is quite similar to the early game. However at this point, you are farming less as your carries may be taking your farm, and you have to be in position to gank and contest Red and Blue buffs, Dragon, and Baron. The same things you do to control those, applies in the mid game, time the respawn of the neutral objectives and buy wards to make the job safer. The power of Oracles persist in the mid game. You are still able to gank very well due to your strong crowd control and high damage, but you do need the help of an ally if you expect to kill a full HP target unless they are really over extended. Xin Zhao is also really good at doing dragon since Three Talon Strike gives him a bit faster of an attack animation and attack reset, as well as having an attack speed buff from his Battle Cry.[/h2]
In the late game, you are a tank, you have to be up front in the fight soaking as much damage as possible, while being as disruptive as possible. However, this does not mean you should be so up front that you are taking free damage from the enemy team. Just stay slightly in front of your carries such that you are able to CC the targets you need to, and be able to dive the carries if the opportunity arise. Baron also becomes the focal point of the game, with most fights taking place around the area. Basically, group with your team and get control of Baron. I don't like Oracles on Xin Zhao late game since you aren't too tanky and you will be diving their carries a lot.
With Xin Zhao you have 2 options in a team fight. You can either tunnel their carries or peel from your carries. Xin Zhao's kit has 3 skills that allow for him to peel as well as dive extremely well. In addition Xin Zhao can also initiate a fight by gaining superior positioning with his ultimate, by either isolating a target, or spliting the enemy team towards your team and away from your team at the same time.