Team Guide by Palthios
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
Example Build vs Strong AP/AOE
Example Build vs 1 AP
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.
I decided to change them because so many people didn't like the 9 offense. The main thing I wanted to promote with this guide wasn't 9 offense. I really want to encourage people to try Utility. If I have to change the masteries a bit for that to happen, then so be it. I also found something that works much better then the previous 9 defense build I suggested so its a win win situation.
*Added an in-depth utility explanation video to the mastery section
Making a guide for Xin was always in the back of my mind. Hes the first champion I ever played, so no matter what, hes always going to have a special place in my heart. But as time went on and he continued to get slapped into oblivion by the nerf stick, I was beginning to think it would never happen. He was a **** champion for a long time. He had no utility and was only ever useful as a glasscannon champion. Glasscannon melee hasn't been viable since the dark ages of this game.
That all changed when he was remade. He now had utility in the form of armor shred, as well as a CC ult. And he was now more reliant on CDR then ATS to get the most out of his kit. Finally, my first love had a place in this game once again. My faith the in the champion was renewed, but in the midst of S2, the jungle was still ruled by tanks that could function well with low income as aura bots. It wasn't until the rise of the S3 DPS junglers that The Age of Man Mode had begun.
For the first time in 2 years, Xin is my main once again. It was only right that I make a guide for him. But then it dawned on me... Why not make a duo guide with J4? Hes my secondary pick and hes basically the same champion. There are some differences. J4 has skillshots and Xin doesn't. Xin has build in sustain and J4 has a shield. Xin has more raw damage but J4 buffs his team's ATS. J4's ult confines an enemy and Xin's ult spreads the enemy out.
But they have so much more in common. They both have armor shread, a gap closer, a slow, a knock up, a CC ult, they're both Demacian, and they're both close to the current and former kings of Demacia lol. But to top it off, I build them both the same exact way. There is absolutely no point in me making separate guides, because I would just be repeating myself. After coming to that realization, I knew then that I had to complete the trinity and a make a duo guide. Trinity you ask? I now have guides for the 3 manliest men of Demacia :)
Runes & Masteries
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
- Greater Mark of Armor Penetration: The benefit of armor pen is obvious. You need these to help you kill and contend with armor, but they will help you jungle a little faster as well.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Armor is always good for a melee champ, but you're going to need it for jungling as well. Flat armor is needed because attack damage is an immediate threat from jungle creeps.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Magic res is the only thing that wont be helping you jungle, but you need it regardless. Magic res per level is the better way to go on these, since you wont be dealing with AP damage too much early game.
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: I started using these on all my junglers for increased map mobility. These in combination with masteries give you great MS without even having boots.
Mastery Gold Efficiency
If you're looking for something mathematical to show that this would be beneficial, this is all I can offer.
Of course the usefulness of any stat varies from champion to champion, but in order for a spreadsheet like this to work, you need to apply a flat value to everything. Just the same as Riot did with the item shop. Infinity Edge isn't worth more or less gold for Garen then it is for Ashe. Same logic applies here.
Hopefully Ive supplied enough details to show what the utility tree offers for a jungler and now you have something to show gold values along with it. When you're in a role where you get shafted gold wise, it only makes sense to get the most value out of your masteries.
I have to thank one of my youtube viewers Undergroundfrog for sharing this with me. Here is a link to the original reddit post and the calculations spreadsheet. All of the above was based on VVinrar's Item Efficiency Spreadsheet.
Not everything is spot on calculated as some of these stats dont even exist in the item shop. But its interesting nonetheless.
Three Talon Strike
Tips and Tricks
- Proper Usage: You almost always want to activate this last because it reduces the cooldowns of all your other spells. The only exception is when you don't need to use Audacious Charge right away to reach the enemy.
||: So why max this second? Its a massive boost to your DPS. It also increases the rate at which Three Talon Strike hits. That means faster knock ups and the 3 second CDR will be proced faster as well. With a little CDR you can keep this almost constantly active after its maxed out. Thats why I prioritize this over Audacious Charge.|
Tips and Tricks
- Proper Usage: Not matter what, don't activate this till you're in melee range. Generally you want to use this ability after Audacious Charge because that ability will get you in melee range. You would then activate Three Talon Strike to reduce the cooldowns of your previous spells.
||: Another great ganking tool. The gap closer is great on its own, but the fact that you get a slow as well is ****ing fantastic. I don't underestimate the importance of this skill in any way shape or form. I simply max it last as its more of a utility skill then anything else and both Three Talon Strike and Battle Cry contribute to lower cooldowns of this skill.|
Tips and Tricks
- Proper Usage: Generally you need to lead with this ability but dont be too anxious. Depending on the angle of your gank and the position of the enemy its sometimes possible to just walk up to them. That allows you to save this ability for when they use Flash.
Tips and Tricks
- Proper Usage: Generally you want to dive a carry with Audacious Charge and then ult to separate your target from his teammates. But make sure you keep an eye out for situations where you can use Audacious Charge to get behind a carry. This would allow you to ult and then send that carry flying into your team for an easy kill.
||: This and Demacian Standard are basically 2 halves of the same ability. Theres not much to say about this ability on its own, but it does provide great utility in the form of armor shred. Whereas Xin can only reduce one targets armor at a time, J4 can shred an entire team if they're close enough to each other.|
Tips and Tricks
- Tip: A lane J4 can use this to poke quite effectively, but as a jungler this ability relies completely on Demacian Standard. There will be times when you can use this to finish off an escaping enemy, but for the most part, you only want to use this in combination with Demacian Standard for the gap closer and knock up.
||: Gives you a shield to negate some damage. The shield isn't very powerful but the AOE slow is quite effective. As if having a gap closer, knock up and CC ult wasn't enough.|
Tips and Tricks
- Tip: Pretty simple. You just want to use this after you hit an enemy with your knock up to make it harder for them to escape. Same as in teamfights. Reducing the enemies mobility gives your team an advantage when it comes to positioning.
Tips and Tricks
- Proper Usage: Generally you always want to lead a fight with this ability in combination with Dragon Strike and follow up with your ult. Its also important to realize when you can use that combo to escape. Sometimes you can lead with your ult and use your combo to get out if you're low health. J4 has extreme mobility which allows him to get in and out of fights. That's something that most tanks don't benefit from. Its also what makes J4 so damn fun to play.
||: Like Xin, this ability defines your place in a team comp. Because J4 excels at confining a team, hes better off with an AOE comp or at least a heavy AOE mage and a top laner that can get into his ult.|
Tips and Tricks
- Proper Usage: This ability has so many uses. You can use it to confine the enemy team which allows for easy AOE damage. You can use it to trap an enemy and then combo out of it for an easy escape. Or you can use it to trap an enemy and help a teammate escape. This makes J4 good at both ganking and counter ganking. Definitely one of the coolest abilities in the game.
- Smite: This isnt negotiable. All junglers need Smite to secure and possibly steal objectives. Meaning: Blue buff, red buff, dragon, baron. Jungling isn't the right role for you if you cant understand the importance of Smite.
- Flash: Both Xin and J4 have plenty of CC and thats why I choose this over Exhaust. This will give you increased mobility and make it easier for you to steal objectives like Dragon or Baron should the need arise.
- Exhaust: This isn't a bad option at all. Exhausting a carry in a teamfight instantly increases your team's survivability. I simply prefer Flash on these champions.
- Standard start for a jungler. But with this build you'll have the mobility of an S2 jungler that would have started with boots/3.
- Spirit of the Elder Lizard: I've really grown to love this item. Its the best option for a jungler that needs to bring out some carry potential for his team. The massive AD boost is great for both of these champions and is really needed on Xin after the resent nerf to his base damages. This item also boosts you up to 20% CDR in combination with Masteries. Thats all the stats you need to be set offensively for early and mid game. But you also get the true damage passive on top of that. Obviously, these champions don't proc the passive as well as Hecarim but they make good enough use of it for the gold to be worth it.
- Mercury's Treads: These are my boot of choice in most games. You need the MR and you need the tenacity. Only get Ninja Tabi is the enemy is completely AD.
Other Core Items
- Randuin's Omen: This is your best starting option if AP isnt much of a problem. You get massive health, armor, slows and an ATS debuff to help keep the enemy ADC in check.
- Frozen Heart: If you're up against a completely AD team, I like to combo this with Randuin. You obviously get massive armor from this combo, but you will also slow the enemies ATS by a massive 40%. You also get more mana and a massive CDR boost which is great for both of these champions.
- Runic Bulwark: If you're up against a heavy AP/AOE comp you need to rush this item. Your team is really going to need the magic resist this item offers. Otherwise, I build this after Randuin.
- Atma's Impaler: A good secondary armor option. Buy this if you need to get stronger offensively and defensively with one item.
- Blade of the Ruined King: Both champions have the ATS and armor shred to increase the effectiveness of Ruined King's passive. Get this if the enemy is stacking health.
- Frozen Mallet: I only recommend buying this after Randuin's Omen so you don't get ****ed by Blade of the Ruined King. Its great if you're up against a mobility team.
- Locket of the Iron Solari: This is good secondary armor option if the enemy is AD caster heavy.
- Maw of Malmortius: Same concept as Atma's. Buy this if you need to get stronger offensively and defensively with one item.
- Ravenous Hydra: Again, Both champions have the ATS and armor shred to increase the effectiveness of this items passive. I would recommend this over Ruined King if the enemy isn't stacking health.
- Spirit Visage: This is a better pick on Xin because he has build in sustain and J4 doesn't. But if you have a lifesteal item its still a good pick on J4. Massive MR and CDR.
- The Black Cleaver: This is best combo-ed with Ravenous Hydra because the AOE of that item procs Black Cleaver. Its still good on its own for all the stats.
- Youmuu's Ghostblade: Not a bad option for ether champion. More armor pen, CDR, ATS and MS.
- zeke's herald: This can be a tremendous boost to your team if you have an AD heavy comp.
Smiteless Blue Start
Ask politely for a Smiteless blue at the start of the game. If your team helps, that allows you to go strait for red buff and gives you the option of an early gank.
Smiteless Red Start
If you're up against a counter jungler, I like to start at red so they don't have the option of stealing. There's also some junglers that will start blue and rush to your red to kill you while you're trying to get the buff. Good examples of red starts would be against Shyvana, Lee Sin, Shaco and Nocturne.
Smiteless Blue/Enemy Red
If you can get a Smiteless blue, you have the option of invading the enemy red. Most junglers always go the standard blue start. This gives you time to invade the jungle and sit in the bush next to enemy red buff. As the enemy is killing their red you can try to out Smite the buff and steal it. If you're successful and the enemy is still high health I would just leave after. But if the enemy is near or below half health you can try to fight for first blood.
If too much time has gone by and the enemy hasn't show up, they might be going for a level 2 gank. If the enemy jungler shows up on the map and is far away from you, just steal the buff and get out. If they haven't come to claim the buff and they haven't shown up on the map, chances are that your buff is getting stolen. So just steal his and get out.
This is a really risky move so I don't suggest this if you're new to jungling. A lot can go wrong here. If you get spotted by an early ward, the enemy can swarm you and you might give up first blood. Or you could simply end up losing the fight against the enemy jungler. I would only go this route against junglers that never invade like Amumu or Hecarim.
||Bot lane: This is your main priority. Shutting down this lane affects the entire enemy team. How? Because getting a double kill in this lane leads to getting a free Dragon in many cases.
Mid lane: Generally, theres only one champion per team that will deal a significant amount of AP damage. So obviously, shutting that champion down will give your team a major advantage. This lane is next on the list, but its also the hardest lane to gank because of its small size.
Top lane: This is the furthest lane from Dragon, which is a very important early game objective. You cant expect to be babysat in this lane unless its not possible for the jungler to gank the other lanes. There are some exceptions. If there's a strong carry like Jax top its ok to give that lane special attention. That's one of the last champions that you want to get out of control.
||Tip: ALWAYS ping the enemy you're about to gank. This will alert your teammate that a gank is about to happen. If you don't do this, you run the risk of your teammate not knowing that you're coming to help and they wont react properly. Even players with good map awareness can make the mistake of not seeing their jungler coming for a gank.|
||Tip: If an enemy is over extended, you can forget about lane priorities for a second and gank that player. As a jungler its important to take advantage of stupidity. And its definitely not wise for most champions to push far from the safety of their turret. Its a free kill in many cases.|
Regular jungle camps aren't worth any risk now that the respawn times are so short.
||Red buff is going to end up in your hands for the first 2 or 3 spawns depending on how long the laning phase lasts. It will help your ganks considerably. But after the laning phase you want this in the hands of your ADC.|
||Blue buff is a different story. You want to take the first one, but you should be giving the rest to your mage in most cases. There are some cases where I do take Blue. If someone like Vlad or Kennen is mid, I'll take blue buff because they don't use mana. Its going to be more beneficial to me. I'll also take it if I have a bad mid. There's no point in giving a buff to someone that's already died twice by the time 2nd blue buff spawns. That's a good sign that your mid is just gonna die again and give away the buff while hes at it. Always ask if your mid needs second blue. Sometimes they will be nice and let you have it.|
Controlling dragon goes a long way to winning a game and the first can be the most important. Early game gold advantages set the tone for the rest of the game. If you can get dragon without the other team knowing, you'll have a major advantage. Why? Because they wont know the respawn time. Lets say you get dragon at 10:47, type "dragon 16:47" into team chat. This way your whole team knows when to get into position for the dragon respawn. Repeat this process and get in the habit of doing it. Do the same thing for Baron.
When to Dragon
|Getting dragon is huge for your team, but going for it at the wrong time can be devastating. You can end up getting dragon stolen and giving kills to the enemy team at the same time.
You never want to go for it when the entire enemy team is alive. If they have ward control over dragon it can go very badly for you. The only safe way to go for it in that case, is to buy an Oracle's Elixir and scout for wards. Another option would be to place a Vision Ward near dragon. Vision Wards will reveal other wards in the area. If you don't find any, its safe to assume that you can take dragon. But there could be other wards nearby that can still alert the enemy to your position.
The best time to go for Dragon is after at least 2 enemies die. If your bot lane scores a double kill this is the perfect opportunity, if they're in good health. Ping dragon immediately if it can be done. If you have a support to heal, getting dragon will be no problem if you're equipped for it. The enemy jungler wont be able to stop you, because he would be walking into a 3v1. You just need to keep him out of Smite range. It would be a good idea to have your mid lane come as well for the extra support if possible.
Focus is the most important aspect of team fighting and it should be discussed with your team every game. One mistake people make is calling out one enemy champ as the focus. You cant always focus the same champ due to different circumstances, so you need to prioritize.
Here are some factors that should be considered when choosing a focus:
- Ability to escape
Obviously you dont want to focus the tank. At all. If the enemy tank gets hit by anything other then aoe attacks, your not playing correctly. Dont put any effort into killing a tank until all other champs are dead.
Someone you dont want to put too much effort into killing first would be someone like Shaco. Someone like Garen is a good match for him because you can just silence him and take away his ability to escape. But otherwise your going to end up doing massive damage to him just to spend valuable time chasing. If you can do enough damage to take him out of the fight, thats enough. Focus someone else afterward.
A perfect focus would be someone like Annie. She has massive damage, aoe stuns, short cooldowns, and shes squishy. She cannot be allowed to live long or you will lose fights every time. Annie is a game changer in the right hands.
But like I said, you cant always focus the same person every time so here is an example of prioritizing an enemy team, by taking the above factors into consideration:
Simply prioritizing your targets goes a long way to winning a game.
||Tip: Dragon is still an important objective at this point, so you need to be aware of any opportunity to get it. That's your job as a jungler. Getting Dragon is a team effort 95% of the time, but its pretty easy for you to get it by yourself at this point as long as your team has ward control. If you have vision on at least 4 out 5 enemies and they arent near dragon you can probably solo it before you would be in any trouble.
In most cases you'll end up killing dragon after a successful team fight, because that's the safest time to do it.
||Tip: Don't forget to make use of wards. Map control is one of the most important aspects of this game.|
Here's a map of some proper ward locations:
Blue/Green = Aggressive wards for blue team
Green = Neutral ward locations
Purple/Green = Aggressive wards for purple team
Baron can be a game changer, but its important to realize that it doesn't ensure a win. Ive seen many players get really cocky with Baron buff and make stupid mistakes. Baron buff is an advantage that you want to have. Its going to make you more powerful, but its not going to make you invincible. Getting cocky is just going to lead to you wasting your buff.
When to Baron
Mid game Barons are possible, but highly unlikely. 75% of the time, the first Baron kill will come after everyone has hit lvl 18. Its really hard to get Baron otherwise, because you need to be geared up to get it quickly. Getting Baron unnoticed is near impossible in lvl 30 games. Players understand the importance of it and will keep wards over there. Even without ward coverage its pretty easy for an experienced player to anticipate a Baron attempt.
The best time to Baron is right after a team fight. If you get at least 3 kills and the other two retreated to base, that's your chance to get Baron. But you have to do it quickly. 2 members of the enemy team cant win a 2v5, but its entirely possible for them to steal Baron from you at the last second. Especially if one of them is the jungler. Sometimes killing the enemy jungler is all it takes to force a baron attempt.
If youre looking for an easy to play jungler to ease you into the role, it doenst get any better then Xin. Hes a champion that lacks any standout weaknesses and is powerful at every stage of the game. Hes also one of the few champions that standout at every elo as a dominate pick. After youve mastered Xin I would highly recommend moving on to J4. Basically the same champion but requires more skill to play effectively.
My Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Palthios
This channel contains all of my current video guides and will be the home of my future guides as well. You might find some music that suits you in my favorites as well :)
My Pandora Stations: http://www.pandora.com/#!/stations/play/696416964612193687
I have an indie and an electronic station if you're interested.
*Whenever Jarvan III, the king of Demacia, delivers one of his rallying speeches from the glinting marble balcony atop the Royal Palace, Xin Zhao is at his side. Coined the Seneschal of Demacia, Xin Zhao is the personal steward of the Lightshield Dynasty. His enigmatic, silent vigil has led to an abundance of conjecture concerning his ''secret life'' and origins. Whether it's ''Zaun double-agent'' tendered at the dinner table or ''indebted rune mage'' mused in the editorials of the ''Demacian Constant'', Xin Zhao betrays no hints to sate the curiosity of the masses... for good reason.
Prior to the formation of the League, Noxus was renowned for a spectacle called The Fleshing. It was a gladiatorial event with a cruel twist: as a fighter won matches, his number of opponents (generally prisoners of war) fought simultaneously would increase. This meant eventual death for every contender, but with unparalleled glory. Xin Zhao, known then as Viscero, was slated to face 300 soldiers, nearly six times the previous record. This was clearly meant to be his final match. Jarvan II, hearing of this unprescedented feat, infiltrated the arena to offer him an alternative: serve Demacia and punish those who ultimately sentence him to death in exchange for his freedom. Xin Zhao accepted, astonished that a king would risk his own life on his behalf. Under the cover of a prearranged Demacian assault on Noxus, Jarvan liberated Xin Zhao and his 300 opponents. During their retreat, Xin Zhao took a poisoned dart meant for Jarvan. This act of loyalty, from a man who vowed no allegiance, earned Xin Zhao a spot at his side until the day the king died. Now in the service of his son, Jarvan III, Xin Zhao is stepping into a new ring - the Fields of Justice - to fight for his adopted country and to honor the legacy of the man who gave purpose to his life.
''Death is inevitable, one can only avoid defeat.''
- Demacian Manual of Arms
As the royal family of Demacia for centuries, members of the Lightshield line have spent their lives waging war against any who opposed Demacian ethics. It is said that every Lightshield is born with anti-Noxian sentiment in his blood. Jarvan IV IV is no exception, even though he is the first Lightshield born to the age of the League of Legends. As his forefathers had before him, he led Demacian troops into bloody engagements with Noxian forces, and on many occasions he has bled alongside wounded allies and fallen comrades. In his most crushing defeat, he was outmaneuvered and captured by a Noxian battalion under the command of Jericho Swain. This mistake nearly cost him his life at the hands of Urgot, but he was rescued by the Dauntless Vanguard, an elite Demacian strike force led by Jarvan's childhood companion, Garen.
Those close to him believed that his capture changed him. Xin Zhao was quoted as saying: ''His eyes never seemed to look at you, only through you to something he could not look away from.'' One day, without warning, Jarvan IV IV handpicked a squad of Demacian soldiers and left Demacia, vowing to find ''atonement''. He began by tracking and hunting the most dangerous beasts and bandits he could find in northern Valoran, but he soon tired of such prey. Seeking something that only he understood, he ventured south of the Great Barrier. He wasn't heard from again for nearly two years. After many had assumed the worst, he returned to glorious fanfare on the streets of Demacia. His Demacian plates were adorned with the bones and scales of creatures unknown. His eyes bore the wisdom of someone twice his age. Of the twelve soldiers who had departed with him, only two returned. In a tone as cold and steady as steel, he swore to bring the enemies of Demacia to their knees.
''There is only one truth, and you will find it at the point of my lance.''
- the ''last words'' of Jarvan IV IV at his failed execution