Xin Zhao Build Guide by xxIAMLEGENDxx

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League of Legends Build Guide Author xxIAMLEGENDxx

The Seneschal Ranked Jungle Guide Newly Re-edited (Season 3)

xxIAMLEGENDxx Last updated on January 3, 2013
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Team 1

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: 0


Utility: 9

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Introduction to The Seneschal Guide

Good day to you all and this would be my 5th reworked and improved guide for Xin Zhao, The Seneschal of Demacia.

Moving on to the guide, I reworked and improved this a lot better, as before I didn't have any BBCoding because I was new to mobafire and I've made it more visually appealing now. The guide i will be showing you right now would be the most success I have with when I play Xin Zhao.This guide contains 5 different builds. Please bare in mind that all of us don't have the same opinions on builds and this is just what I really think goes the best for me.

Anyways moving on to the guide, this was one of my earlier guides and so I am bringing it to you now better than ever! I've played over 100 games with Xin Zhao , including Normal games, ranked games, bot games and custom games. I'll occasionally be updating this guide. It'll be great if you can leave constructive feedback. Also, I have a ranked stats video below which will show my Season 2/3 Ranked Stats as well as some of my other normal games with Xin Zhao.

Take note: This is a 5 v 5 Guide.

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A Short Overview Of Xin Zhao

The Seneschal Of Demacia

Assassin, Melee, Fighter

Xin Zhao is a jungler and top laner, which works efficiently when dominating the early game and doing successful ganks. Xin Zhao is really well known for his gap-closer Audacious Charge + Three Talon Strike combo, a simple but very effective combo which can be used at anytime. This is also the main combo used for ganking and what's good about it is it's a lock in ability, not a skill shot. Xin Zhao has great clearing time in the jungle as well as decent sustain because he heals for every 3 hits. The way to play Xin Zhao is mixing damage with tankiness. You can also go full AD, but you'll get focused in fights and you won't last long very long unless of course you're really fed. Overall, a very good champ and personally my favorite jungler.

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Why play Xin Zhao?

Xin Zhao is great as a laner and a jungler. The difference between these 2 roles are different especially because during laning phase, Xin Zhao actually has pretty strong sustain and he is a very strong 1 v 1 champion. However, I prefer him played as a jungle. The reason why is because he's got no problems in the jungle. Sustain is fairly good,clear speed is pretty fast and ganks are effective. Not only that, Audacious Charge is easy to land. It's no skill shot. However, for me the number one most important thing for a jungler is CC and Xin Zhao has 2. Junglers with no CC are really not preferable because it makes ganking a little bit harder. Any CC, regardless of what it is will definitely give your whole team a boost.
> Xin Zhao is a strong bruiser.
> Ganks are very effective and easy
> Audacious Charge + Three Talon Strike is very simple to do.
> Can chase people down
> Has a knock back/up, a slow and gap closer.
> Can sustain pretty well in the jungle and in laning phase.
> Really strong early game
> Great for beginners, easy to play yet dominant.

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Xin Zhao's Story/Lore

"Death is inevitable, one can only avoid defeat."
- Demacian Manual of Arms

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 unprecedented 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.

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League Of Cleavers

We all know that The Black Cleaver is one of the most overpowered items now ever since riot introduced this item's new passive. Before it was nerfed, here are the champions who benefited greatly from The Black Cleaver. Check out these champions win rate increase in Season 3!

-Who Benefited from Black Cleaver the most-

Win rate prior to Season 3: 50.3% / Win rate after Season 3: 53.1%
Riven was definitely a champ that benefited well from The Black Cleaver especially because of how well she scales off AD. With 2 The Black Cleaver 's brings Riven's cooldowns to half, and adding Ionian Boots of Lucidity adds even more CD which makes her spam her abilities even more. Definitely good with Riven.

Win rate prior to Season 3: 47.1% / Win rate week after Season 3: 51.7%
We all know that Pantheon is one of those champs that works really well with The Brutalizer. Despite having only 2 physical damage abilities, his win rate rose by 4%. This shows how effective it is for him as Pantheon can be played the "AD Caster Mid" with a low cooldown on Spear Shot.

Win rate prior to Season 3: 48.4% / Win rate after Season 3: 51.6%
Kha'Zix greatly benefited from The Black Cleaver based on statistics alone. The item greatly improved Kha'Zix 's ability to burst down people even faster, adding Last Whisper. This also makes his gank even stronger, as he the gap-closer. Taste Their Fear can drop to a merely 2 sec cooldown which is ridiculously low.

Win rate prior to Season 3: 44.9% / Win rate after Season 3: 49.2%
Zed's win rate was in the mid 40s until the new The Black Cleaver and it his win rate vastly increased by 5%. What makes Zed good with this item is the cooldown reduction from this item, as well the as armor pen itself. He has a strong evasiveness, and this item greatly increases his DPS.

Win rate prior to Season 3: 49.4% / Win rate after Season 3: 58.2%
Talon 's win rate destroys all of the above, improving to a high 58% and 9% increase in win rate. The item was purchased 160% times when people played Talon on average. Talon is well known to counter mid mages, and this just adds to an even more devastating laning phase. Adding Last Whisper with Talon makes him so strong.

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Greater Quintessence of Life Steal

Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal(3) Provides 6% Life Steal You'll need 3 of these, very great runes, this basically just adds to your jungle attack speed and sustain. Just think of it as a 6% life steal bonus with a 28% attack speed from your runes at level 1. This gives you so much sustain and this just adds to your W's passive which gives health back.

Greater Mark of Attack Speed (9) Provides 15.3% Attack Speed You need 9 of these, before you go crazy and ask why there is so much attack speed runes, it's because it's so much easier to clear out the jungle and that means leveling up a lot faster. Just trust me.

Greater Seal of Armor (9) Provides 12.7 Armor You really want to have these runes on with Lee Sin because first of all, these help you in taking less damage from the jungle camps. These again grant you really good armor especially helpful for early game situations. 12.7 may also not seem much, but it's still armor and it's great for particularly any AD related type of champion or ability.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist (9) Provides 12 MR. Again these are good, because if the top laner isn't AD, then you have these alongside to help you. But if your jungle, these basically help for AP carries or AP tanks like Singed and Malphite. Take note that you aim them the last, never aim tanks. Having this gives you a mix of Attack Speed, MR , Life Steal and Armor which gives overall a great overall combat stats boost.

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As a jungler, Xin Zhao works best with 21-0-9 masteries. The reason why you would want this is because of the Armor penetration, Attack Speed , Increased damage to targets with low health, and slight AD. This really makes sense as Xin Zhao is an AD Bruiser. Second thing here on me taking 9 in utility is because of Runic Affinity . This is really good as it keeps your buffs for 20% longer. This is beneficial for you in anyway possible as you can continue to jungle without worrying about lacking mana and of course the red buff, the main buff you work best with especially when it comes to ganking.

However, you can also go 9-21-0 or 21-9-0. Personally I like to take this when you are a top-laner. They're pretty straight forward again, except with the 21 in defense it gives you quite a big amount of HP because of Juggernaut , Veteran's Scars and Durability . Not only that, but it also gives you defensive stats that reduces duration of slows, slight amount of MR and armor.

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Skill Sequencing/Combo

Note: These are Xin Zhao's Abilities, Simply drag your mouse to the photos below for the description of each ability

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

E > W > Q (Basic Combo)
E > W > Q > R (Dash + Increase Attack Speed + Knock Up + Finish with ulti)
R > W > Q > E (Come from behind + Knockback + Increase Attack Speed + Knock up + Gap Closer)
R > E > W > Q (Knock back + Insta- dash after knock back + Knock up + Increase Attack Speed)

Level 1: Always start with Three Talon Strike or Battle Cry
Level 2: Get one of the above, depending on which you unlocked first.
Level 3: Always get audacious , whatever you didn't get at level 1 and 2.

Here are my thoughts on the reason on unlocking each ability first:

Always start with Three Talon Strike or Battle Cry and ask for a leash. Start wolves always and then straight to the blue golem camp. Xin Zhao has no escape so beware of counter junglers, you're only hope is Flash which you must always have.

Next, once you've finished doing golems and wolves ( I always start blue ) you immediately go straight to wraiths camp. Try to get a gank after Red buff, because this with this you have unlocked all your abilities as well as the red buff's true damage and slow. This will help you exceptionally and increases ganking potential.

E should be maxed lost because personally, Xin Zhao can really chain his combo easily with Audacious Charge + Three Talon Strike especially if your laners have CC and if you have red buff. Even though W does nothing else but give you health back every 3 hits and increases attack speed, this is really well out for jungling. However, take another point into Audacious Charge around level 8-9 mark and then I will max it last. Again, ganking is even better if your laners have CC.

Overall, it's best if you max your Q first and then followed by your W. Just take note you alternate some of these at times because they have their own uses. Three Talon Strike deals increased damage for 3 hits ( no doubt to max first) , Battle Cry for more sustain in jungle and Audacious Charge for better ganks and gap-closing.

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Useful Starting Items

Hunter's Machete + 5x Health Potions are standard opening items for Xin Zhao jungle. This is probably the starting and opening item for most or if not all junglers. The reason why this is good is because it helps you deal more damage to the jungle camps, which means of course a faster clearing time.

This is possibly one of Xin Zhao 's best items especially early on this item is very dominant, and it's built from Hunter's Machete. This really blends well with Xin and is beneficial to him in every way because it grants life steal, AD , armor and a passive that has a chance to deal bonus damage to monsters.

I really think Phage is going to be really useful for Xin Zhao because it just grants him a higher chance of a successful gank mainly because of that sweet unique passive. Not only that though, it gives you really good early game combat stats of AD , health and of course that unique passive. Deadly with red buff.

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Beneficial and Optional Items / Spells

Xin Zhao has a lot of other optional items. It's best to look at the situation that you are in. You maybe against many different opponents, ranging from tanks to bruisers to AP casters. Below here are some viable items for Xin Zhao but also looking in depth to the situations. Take note that not all the photos I use below are necessarily the ones I use in my build. I place the top 3-5 items with description below, these are the items that are the most beneficial. The others are just optional.

Take note: The 5 items below each chapter are not going to be your final build either, along with the boots of your choice. These are just examples of beneficial and optional items for Xin Zhao.


Very easily said to be the most used Summoner Spell. Flash is without a doubt a very useful spell, probably the best for almost any champ. It helps you escape, chase and chain some combos. You can also use this, to hit your knock back whenever you gank. If you do a successful flash, you successfully knocked the target back.
Smite is the number one spell that any jungler should take. This simply helps you overall on your clearing time on the jungle camps, and most especially an additional 10 gold from using this. What's also great about this item is to secure Dragons, Barons as well as easy as stealing the enemy's buffs when you have the vision on them.
Exhaust is a very underrated spell, it really comes in handy at times but a jungler with Exhaust is really great. This enhances ganking potential and makes it easier for you and your teammates to catch up and follow up for an easy kill. This is also good, especially when catching an enemy off guard and he can't do anything to escape.
We all know this is the most broken spell in the game and the most used as well. It deals true damage over 5 seconds and reduces healing effects. You can still take this with Xin Zhao , but I still think Flash and Exhaust is going to be way more handy than this. Especially because Xin has barely an escape tool.


These boots give you 25 MR and a unique passive that reduces the duration of CC which is great for AP heavy teams and teams that have a lot of CC. These are the best to go with if you're in this situation. Also, you should consider getting this especially if you're having trouble against an AP caster or AP carry.

These boots personally don't give you any combat stats aside from movement speed alone. These are what we call "Speed Racer" boots because these give a ridiculous amount of movement speed. They're helpful for escaping and also chasing. This item is viable for Xin Zhao , just to get closer to the opponent faster.

These boots give you 25 armor and a unique passive that reduces incoming basic attacks from champions. These are great especially for AD heavy teams and bruisers. These are the best to go with if you're in this situation. You'll find this useful especially if the enemy team has a lot of AD bruisers/AD dealing abilities.
This can be a substitute for any other boots if you're going to be more of a pure bruiser type. I personally like to stay with mercury treads though because it's the best boots in the game especially because of that tenacity. However, you can go Zephyr + Berserker's Greaves combo but again if you're more of Pure Bruiser.


This item was slightly changed in Season 3. These item now gives you 500 health and 70 armor. It used to give you 350 HP, 75 armor and 25 health regen per 5. What I really love about this item is the unique passive: Cold Steel and it's unique active. This mainly helps reduce the amount of attack and movement speed and also helps you when you're trying to escape or chase.

This item was slightly nerfed, as it used to give you a larger amount of armor and MR. However, it's unique passive was changed to 30% of your max health and mana. What I love about this item is simple baits just for like Darius' and Garen 's ulti. They always tend to to use it whenever you're on low and Guardian Angel is the best way to bait those.

This item really gives the 2nd most amount of armor in the whole game. It grants you a great 90 armor and 20% CD, and a unique aura of reducing the attack speed of nearby enemies by 20%. You need to be in range in order to activate this aura. Overall gives massive combat stats and the armor which you need for heavy AD teams.

This is very critical especially if there is about 4-5 AD on the other team. It gives a unique passive of returning back 30% of the damage in magic damage from basic attacks. Now take note, this is also especially helpful when you notice about 2-3 of the enemies bruisers or ADC are really fed. You'll really need these just to minimize the damage they deal.


This item is extremely helpful for AP heavy teams. It gives a huge amount of MR, and adding to that a free cleanse + a movement speed bonus for 1 second. Team comps like Nautilus Jungle , Zyra support, Anivia mid really help you against these kinds of situations. They all heavy CC that can shut you down before doing anything.

This is very critical especially if there is about 4-5 AP on the other team. It gives a unique passive of absorbing a shield that absorbs 400 magic damage for a duration. You can use this as a substitute for mercurical scimitar , if you know there isn't too much CC on the other team, just plain AP in general.

The reason why this item is so good is because of the aura it gives. Really beneficial for your team and of course yourself. This item here gives a huge amount of 60 MR, the largest you can get in the game now and also adding 400 health and 30 armor. I know you wouldn't need the armor, but the 60 MR is really what matters here.

This item is not a bad item for [[xin zhao] at all especially because it gives you increasing MR every basic attack as well as attack speed and bonus magic damage for your basic attacks. This is really good for long team fights or 1 v 1 , especially because your MR increases in the fight as you hit basic attacks.


This is actually not a bad item at all, because it gives you a big amount of attack speed, CDR, AD and also a tenacity unique passive exactly the same as Mercury's Treads. Now take note, if you have this item, you wouldn't want Mercury's Treads along with you because it's almost just a waste of an item. (Same unique passive)
This is again one of the main substitutes for Xin. This item is useful especially against a pretty tanky team. This item is the new Madred's Bloodrazor of course only with no attack speed and armor, but you do get that unique passive similar to Bilgewater Cutlass. Again a good item for Xin Zhao , take it against high health targets.
This is again a very viable item that can be a substitute for either The Black Cleaver or The Bloodthirster . What's great about this item it you have 10% life steal, and of course that unique passive of cleave, which makes your basic attacks deal 60% of your AD as AOE damage. Pretty sweet, and don't forget to activate this item's unique passive!
This item is viable for Xin Zhao . This is really good because it deals true damage over 3 seconds depending on your level. Adding this with the red buff is an extremely strong combination, adding up to at least 100 true damage at level 18. Don't forget this item's health regen and butcher passive as well.

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In the Jungle/ Understanding Items

The most important aspect here is understand the jungle and the items itself. We all know Xin Zhao is a jungler and a viable top-laner. However, I like him better in the jungle. This guide consists of a more of a jungle guide only, so I am here to show you important things you should know inside the jungle.


So the main reason of jungling is to really kind of balance the way the game runs. Instead of having everyone lane, they created the Jungle. The main crucial point of Jungling is ganking. A jungler's job is to gank lanes. This is very important to the whole team as sometimes the Jungler can determine the outcome of the game. How? If the jungler constantly babysits bottom and keeps ganking there, there are more likely chances of killing ( 3 v 2 ) as well as getting the ADC fed. Jungling can also be tricky due to counter jungling or invasion. These are smart tactics.


Jungling can also be tricky due to counter jungling or invasion. These are smart tactics, just to slow down the jungler's clearing speed as well as preventing them the XP, Gold and buff they need. Without these, they're going to have a hard time especially without buffs. Also, devastatingly when a single neutral monster is left in that camp, the respawn timer doesn't reset. So if you've got your Blue Golem stolen away from you, the opposing jungler left one baby lizard and you come back later to see it. That means you're going to have to kill this until the respawn timer of 5:00 minutes starts. If you leave it as it is, you'll never see your Blue Golem again.


Baron Nashor

Baron Nashor is the strongest and toughest neutral monster to kill in 5 v 5. It has a base damage of 460. However, he also has abilities which deal an enormous amount of damage. However when slain, grants the baron buff or Exalted with Baron Nashor. It provides 900XP and 300G to the whole team.

Ancient Golem + 2 Young Lizards

The Ancient Golem is one of the toughest jungle camps you will encounter in the jungle. It has a base health of 1500. This monster gives you primarily the blue buff or the crest of the ancient golem. This buff grants 20% Cooldown reduction and a high increase in mana regen. When slain, provides 72 Gold and 231 XP. These jungle camps have a 5:00 respawn timer.When counter jungling, leave a lizard.

Elder Lizard + 2 Young Lizards

The Elder Lizard is again one of the toughest jungle camps, it's quite similar to the ancient golem in terms of toughness but this lizard deals true damage over time. This gives you the Red Buff or The Blessing of the Lizard Elder when slain. This monster has a base health of 1500 health, provides 72 Gold and 210 XP when slain. These jungle camps have a 5:00 respawn timer. When counter jungling leave a lizard.

Giant Wolf + 2 Wolves

The Giant Wolf has a base health of 900. It attacks slightly faster than the Golems and the Lizards and also has a possible critical chance. When slain, this provides 25G and 128 XP. These jungle camps have a 1:00 respawn timer. When counter jungling, leave a wolf.

Wraith + 3 Lesser Wraiths

The Wraith has a base health of 750. It's one of the easier camps to clear out. When slain, provides 35G and 120XP. These jungle camps have a 0:50 respawn timer. When counter jungling, leave 1-2 wraiths.

Big Golem + Golem

The Big Golem is somewhat similar to the ancient golem, it deals heavy damage but attacks fairly slowly. When slain, provides 30G and 117XP. These jungle camps have a 1:00 respawn timer. When counter jungling, leave the small golem.


Dragon is a strong neutral monster that cannot be solo'd especially very early on. You must work as a team to slain the dragon. In doing so, provides 400 exp and 190G to all the people in the team. This has a 6:00 respawn timer.

Sight ward

This is the item you should always start off with, adding 5 Health Potions alongside you. The reason why you want this is because it helps you clear the jungles way more faster and this also builds into your Wriggle's Lantern. This item is probably the starter for most or if not all the junglers now due to the Season 3 Changes. There is no more Regrowth Pendant or Boots of Speed starting items.

So this is pretty straight forward for almost every single champ. You want to take that extra bonus movement speed because again it helps you in a lot of ways. First of all, during laning phase hels you escape ganks a lot easier. Adding to this is when the opponent initiates on you. Sometimes it's easy to tell he wants to fight you, but if you're not fast enough to let's say run away, you'll receive heavy damage.

Again, the best along to go with Hunter's Machete in the staring items. These mainly help you regenerate 150 of your health for each pot. The main point of this item is to give you more sustain in the jungle , so as you don't have to keep on recalling. Especially on the changes for Season 3 , it's always beneficial to have them alongside with you. This way you can continue jungling without having to always worry about your health.

This is personally one of the best early items for Xin Zhao without a doubt. This is basically helpful to clear out the jungle so much faster, have sustain and life steal and 30 armor. These grant Xin overall combat stats that are beneficial for him and he gets a free Sight ward which can be used according to what pleases you. Of course, these are great for high traffic places in the map.

Sight ward This is primarily one of the most important early game items. It is underrated as not much people buy wards because they think they are useless. For a cheap 75G, you get to choose an important traffic area or location on the map. What I like to ward is my opponent's jungle, because this gives a good idea of where they are at times. Adding to this, guard your jungle as well , probably your red buff because this is your primary buff.

Possibly also one of the best early game items early on, gives great amount of health which makes you look tanky as well as a good amount of AD, because it's very early on the game. Adding to this is it's slow unique passive. This is really great especially for your ganks because of that slow. Adding the unique slow passive, Audacious Charge with the red buff makes it even deadlier which means a higher success in ganks.

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I would like to thank all of you for thanking a browse through this guide. I really hope you can leave some positive/constructive feedback. So this was my 5th guide on mobafire, and I've completely changed most of the guide to make it better and visually more appealing!

The builds above are based on what I have the most success with and I've gone through the things that can help you out in game through my experience in playing Xin Zhao.

Please do not rely on looking at masteries, runes and the builds alone to rate this guide. There's more to it than just looking at those and I promise you that. Play some games first. If you're not really having a good time, just keep practicing especially if you're new to this guy. Otherwise, it might be because he may not be your preferred play style.

Here below is my "proof" video. This is me doing a live commentary and showing some of my best scores as well as my ranked stats for Season 2 and 3. I thought this would be a better idea instead of uploading scores of my photos one by one, and you guys can hear my ****py voice =(. Although I am well-aware the voice sounds a tad low, it's my first time using camtasia :D. More to come though. Please watch it on youtube, it's most likely to have a higher and better quality there. The timer is here below if you wanted to see my main champ's stats for Season 2 and Season 3. I figured some of you would only want to see my main champ stats so here you go.

Here's the timer:

Season 2 - 56/67 (45.5%)
Xin Zhao- 5:04
Jax- 3:31
Jarvan IV- 4:48
Jayce- 6:21
Darius- 5:45
Lee Sin- 7:41

Season 3 - Currently 33/46 (41.8%)
Xin Zhao - 10:09
Lee Sin- 12:31
Jax- 10:18
Xin Zhao - 10:09
Jarvan IV- Lacking Games Currently
Jayce- 10:50
Darius - 12:37

You can find their work here: