Xin Zhao Build Guide by kkiskk

League of Legends Build Guide Author kkiskk

Season 6 [6.17] Top lane Xin Zhao

kkiskk Last updated on January 24, 2017
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R


Natural Talent
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 18


Cunning: 12

Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

Threats to Xin Zhao with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Cho'Gath Dodge his Q and bully him.
Dr. Mundo Don't get chopped often. Get Executioner's Calling after dirk to win trades. Bully him in lane.
Maokai Bully this ugly tree with your AAs. Dodge his Q and E.
Aatrox You have higher damage and high sustain than him. Bully him in lane but be careful not to get slowed by his E.
Sion Dodge his full charged Q and you're fine. You can easily heal his E / W poke damage from minions. All-in him if he has no mana.
Rengar Place a ward in the bush so he can't kite you. Unless you go full tank, you'll outdamage him in early and mid game. If he can't build his item faster than you, he has no damage to you. Watch out for he's 4 ferocity W that remove CC when you duel him, use ignite before he use his charged W. Get a pink ward(RIP) post-6 so he can't escape / jumps on your unaware teammates.
Mordekaiser He has no escape so let him push the wave and all-in him. Be sure not to fight him in your minion wave as his shield will be charged super fast by dealing damage to multiple enemies. Try to avoid his E poke . Kill the minion he use his W on ASAP.
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This guide will be updated constantly.

ATTENTION : The champion threat part describes ONLY laning phrase.

The Youmuu change sucks which they removed the attack speed. The active's atk speed is really good and my build needs it, but it just gone so I have to find another way out. Therefore I managed to change the Runes and get some attack speed.

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About the s7 preseason

The changes they made does not benefit Xin Zhao with this youmuu based build. They made more assassin items and made the old assassin more focused on BURST damage (old assassin items used to be letting you have high AD only). There are 2 reasons that this build on Xin is WEAK now.

First,before this S7 preseason patch, many of the champions can get one or two high AD items, which usually the assassins will get, like youmuu and duskblade, but now Riots made those items not viable on high dps champion by removing some features that benefits both assassins and dps carries. In this case, youmuu's active no longer gives atk speed. Now getting only one or two assassin items are less rewarding than before so they might consider not to get one now.

Second, Riots added new features on the assassin items now and make it more rewarding to go full assassin build, like the out of combat movement speed and unique passive benefits assassin more.

Therefore this build weaker than before and also may not be able to fight the reworked assassins as good as before since they stack Lethality and can deal descent damage on tanks.

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What attitude you should have when using Xin Zhou

Remember where Xin Zhou came from before he join Demacia. Xin Zhou was once a gladiator. What's special about being a gladiator? A good gladiator always survive and win the fight.
You don't give up even you have a bad early game, you always stay calm and focus. Being 0/5/0 is no big deal but how do you come back from the feeder's abyss is more important. Xin is a flexible champion that can build anything on him, if you've had a hard time that losing early game and feeds the enemy, don't be tilted and remember that you are not 1 vs 5. Be responsible to your teammates and yourself, don't give up.

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If you're playing ranked games, feel free to adjust some of the masteries like
Fresh Blood -> Feast
Tough Skin -> Siegemaster
when you feel like you'll be poked a lot and opponent will push minion waves hard.

The Cunning tree is not very useful for Xin now but if you insist to put 12 point in it, I'll recommend you to get :
Secret Stash
Greenfather's Gift

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Masteries (keystones)

As a Xin Zhou, you do both burst and continuous damage since you have your Q and W. Your Q allows you to burst down squishy champions in 3 to 4 AA and your W passive allows you to survive tough fights.

In the 9 mastery keystones, there are actually 6 that is suitable for Xin. They are Warlord's Bloodlust, Fervor of Battle, Stormraider's Surge, Thunderlord's Decree, Grasp of Undying and Courage of the Colossus.

First, Warlord's Bloodlust is suitable for all AA based champions including Xin Zhao, it allows you to heal by AAing things. If you decided to build full damage and get only HP type tankiness items, you will be surprised by its bug-like lifesteal amount.

Second, Stormraider's Surge is the best keystone for long skill cd assassins which don't need the extra damage from keystones and like to perform hit and run style assassinations. Xin fits in that situation too. Before you build atk spd items, you are not doing very well in fights that being outnumbered by enemies, you can't really survive the fight using your W passive since you have no atk spd. Your kit can perfectly match with this keystone(theoretically), you E into enemies -> burst down carries -> walk away (R gives you tankiness and keystone gives you move spd.)

Third, Thunderlord's Decree is currently the best keystone to use that gives you extra burst damage so I don't need to talk about its advantage. If you get this as Xin's keystone, you will be very strong in early game, you just do your combo and type " Top dies " in the chat. However, you might have a hard mid-game if you're not snowballing well in early game as you need to build tanky in mid-game so you don't get burst down quickly, you may face a situation like "enemy get away with 10 hp" and "you are outnumbered and then killed by enemies". Taking thunderlord's on Xin is knida risky as it sacrifice your mid-game damage. P.S. Thunderlord's Decree is useless on Xin Zhou in late game.

Fourth, Grasp of Undying. If you're building tanky throughout the game, this keystone is what you needed most. It gives you sustain in lane / fights and a nice amount of damage. You might need to get trinity after first tanky item as you have no damage when you go full tank. That's what it does and I have nothing more to add on about this keystone.

Fifth, Courage of the Colossus. You know what, this keystone is broken on many champions, Xin is one of them. With this keystone, you can simply E onto the enemy team's face to burst down carries and then walk out.

Last, everyone knows what Fervor of Battle does and it's pretty obvious that it's the best keystone in late game for AA champions(after Warlord's nerf). How good does Fervor of Battle work on Xin Zhou? It gives you stacked physical damage. It's extremely good late game and it does not scale very bad in early and mid game.

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Build explanation (needs update)

There are two core items in my build, other items are changeable to due with complex situation. I don't recommend summoners who are new to Xin Zhao to follow my build as it may result in feeding.

Youmuu's ghostblade and Spirit visage are the two core items of my build.

First, Youmuu's active is really good for Xin to deal with all kinds of situation as it gives you extra move speed to chase down enemies / escape / dodge skillshots, extra attack speed to push and win fights, it also gives you 20 armor pen and nice amount of AD.
Second, Spirit visage is nearly a must build on Xin as it increase your W's healing and nice amount of MR and HP which helps you survive team fights.


*** You won't have enough damage if you don't build this item ( at least get two long sowrd if you're behind )***
This item's passive is super good for split pushing as Xin have no wave clear skills to psuh minion waves. It also gives you an active and extra AD to burst down enemy faster. The two hydra are good on Xin, titanic hydra can reset Xin AA, Ravenous hydra give you lifesteal and a lot of AD. If you want titanic hydra, you can consider get it as your 4th final item (youmuu + boots + tankiness + titanic) but if you want ravenous hydra, upgrade it as last or second last item because you need mid/late game tankiness rather pure damage.

Randuin's omen vs Deadman's plate

For Xin Zhao, I think randuin's better since you don't really need the move speed from plate as you have youmuu's, other than that, randuin's give you an active to slow down enemy which can be a combo with your E and the -10% crit damage + -15% AS are good when you are focused by enemy ADC.

Last item

There are many options as Xin is a all-rounded hero that can build anything on him so it really depends on what scenarios you're facing. For example, get Mercurial Scimitar if you're being CC hard and your team will lose without you (like when ONLY YOU can take down enemy carries), get Thornmail when enemy AA a lot, get Maw of Malmortius if enemy APC one shot you, get Sunfire Cape if you are the only tank in your team etc.
I normally get Trinity Force as last item since it gives you HP / movement speed / attack speed / cool down reduction / spell blade (burst) as Xin is a all-rounded hero, all these stats trinity grant can benefit Xin very well BUT it lacks AD so building it in first three items will greatly reduce the early burst damage of Xin, i therefore usually get it last.
If you look carefully, you'll find my build lack attack speed for Xin, this is because I want to focus on increasing Xin's early burst damage to help snowballing and one small reminder, you can get Stinger first before completing the whole Tri-force.

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Basic combo of Xin POKE is

Q x 2 (on minions) -> E on enemy's face -> AA (third Q knock up) -> AA one more -> back off

All-in combo is

E -> Q (before you land E on enemy) -> W -> R (after third Q knock up)


E -> W -> AA -> Q (reset AA) -> R (after third Q knock up)


R -> E -> W -> AA -> Q (reset AA)

When you have the full build :

Youmuu's -> Q -> E (engage) -> W -> AA x 2 -> reset AA with titanic hydra -> randuin's

Due to the increase in movement speed that youmuu gives you, you don't need to use your E to engage, save your E for other good purpose, use your R to shove carries towards your team and E to him/her/them so that you are able to stay with your teammates.

If you don't have titanic hydra, just skip the AA reset step. Ravenous hydra's active is not AA, it'll slow down the time you hit your enemy with your third Q so use it later (at the time that the enemy is in the air).

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Team Fights

What do you do in team fights?

You should :
+ CC important enemy with your third Q
+ Tank multiple heroes CC
+ Shove back incoming assassins / tanks with your R
+ Burst down alone carries

You should NOT :
- Dash into 5 enemies alone (unless it's a coordinated attack)
- Shove enemy assassins / tanks to your carries
- Focus enemy tanks

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Early csing is pretty important for Xin. You want to get dirk as soon as possible so try to last hit minions with your Q in the first two level because you brought armor penetration runes which means you don't have many extra AD.
A good Xin wants to all-in enemy early to get first blood but sometimes it'll fail as the enemy may flash out before you can react and after that you are vulnerable to ganks (they'll cry for ganks) so warding is important to keep you from dying to ganks.
Be careful that enemy jungler may come top at about 2.20 (gank after first monster) or 3.10(gank after first monster and buff) as some jungler wants to help top lane to gain early advantage.

What can you do when opponents freeze the lane and you are not able to last hit minions.
+ Take golems / gromp / rift scuttler
+ Help your team to ward enemy jungle
+ Gank mid lane

- Stand there and do nothing
- Recall multiple times

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How to deal with a Rammus counter pick

This match-up don't usually happens but if it did, you are in a lot of trouble.
There are 3 things you should be aware of in this game.

First, your laning with this spike ball, you'll stomp him before he has thornmail but you won't be laughing long since thornmail is super cheap and he'll build it first, be a smart guy which back off when he has his W on and use AA to poke him(double edged blade). All-in him if you have more hp than him(at least >25%). Try to get as ahead as you can but don't die often since he should build full tank / full AP, either one will destroy your late game. How to fight this spike ball when his thornmail is up? There are also 3 things to you need to take care of in dealing with him. 1: Armor penetration 2: Magic Resistance 3: Lifesteal. You must build MR right after youmuu's if you want to stay in the lane. About the 3 above things, I suggest you to get Lord Dominik's Regards and replace trinity force with Blade of the Ruined King. In this way, you'll have a balance between the Armor pen. / MR / lifesteal and that ensure if you play wisely you'll win 1v1 with him.

Second, the skill level of your teammates, if they're doing well / carrying then you can just try not to die to rammus and hug the tower to wait someone comes to save you. If their lane goes even, then you should try to beat rammus in order to help your teammates and win the game. If they're feeding / afk / trolling, you should keep calm and focus on your lane, watch out for ganks very carefully (you can still carry the game if you're fed), catch every chance to snowball (push the wave -> counter jungle / gank mid) but always think twice before you act since you are the last hope of your team.

Third, what you should do in team fights, this part is different from the team fights chapter, since you have youmuu's, you'll be very mobile, you need to find chances to burst down carries that can delete you from the map, you take down ADC if you have few or no armor / take down jungler if he/she is super fed but not a tank to you (if they have few armor or they can delete your teammates so fast) / take down extremely fed midlaner before they even do damage. Use your teammates as baits so that you can get to the most threatening carry and delete him/her. When you face some annoying team composition (like orianna mid and ezreal ad), try not to get in with your E and save it to dodge CCs or kill secure. Use your R right before you are focused by enemies. If you are not confident enough, disengage after shutting down their carries and wait for another chance to go all-in but you should be aware that are you able to get away.