Xin Zhao Build Guide by AFKwithyoursister
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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.
Hello and welcome comrades
To another guide by AFKwithyoursister. This guide is going to be focused on jungling with Xin Zhao (or as I like to call him, Win Nhao). I would recommend reading the entirety of the guide so you can get a good idea of what you need to be doing. Obviously, for most of the guide, it is assumed that you have at least basic knowledge of the game. If you're new, go read a new player's guide. There's a few on this site. Also, this guide is mostly based on pubstomping in normals. I don't play ranked, so I have no idea how viable it is in the ranked playlist. Keep this in mind when reading the guide.
Responsibilities of a Jungler
1. Have map awareness. You know that handy thing in the bottom right corner of your screen? that's the minimap. Be sure to use it. Also, call MIAs if you spot them and they aren't already called.
2. Ward up. This goes hand in hand with the previous point. Wards help with map awareness and also for your jungle safety. Because of this fact, don't expect other people to ward for you.
3. Gank often Just because you are a jungler doesn't mean you endlessly cycle through your jungle and provide almost no help to your team. Remember, one of your teammates is 2v1, and if you aren't doing anything, that's a disadvantage rather than an advantage. Look for lanes that are pushed close to your towers. This is called overextending. Be sure to punish them for it.
GANKING AS Xin Zhao
You pop Ghost and charge in. Literally. Audacious Charge to the nearest target and use Crescent Sweep if you are level 6. Then use Three Talon Strike and Battle Cry. (Note: Battle Cry first to reduce the time spent delivering the TTS.) Chase them down for the kill.
4. Assist your lanes
Is one of your lanes getting their *** handed to them? Are they constantly having to go back to base? YOU can help. Even if you can't gank you should always cover lanes when people have to go back or if they are having a hard time in the lane. This should be common sense.
Runes Runes Runes. The questions I see about these. These are the runes that I recommend on this jungle path (the superior path).
You might be wondering: "Are ALL of these runes necessary?! After all, they are quite expensive and I'd rather spend my IP on new champions."
The answer is NO, these runes are not all necessary. What is necessary then?
Whatever quintessences you already have should do fine as long as they are effective for AD champions. (So AD, AS, ArP, HP) Those will all help. The Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist are the standard blues that I recommend on all champions. They are not necessary to your jungle and do nothing for the speed. They are mostly for help late game. CDR blues will work as well, but it's your call.
Skills and Sequence
Here I'll give a brief description of each of Xin's skills and give a more detailed analysis of the sequence.
This is a great passive for jungling. Every 3rd hit, you'll restore 30-70 health (this depends on your level) This helps a lot with your jungle sustainability, keeping you alive in the jungle. Also, a handy tip to know is this passive works on towers/inhibitors. This allows you to backdoor turrets by facetanking it pretty easily. All in all, a good passive.
This is what I like to call my 'bread and butter' skill. My go-to ability. Although if you're fighting as Xin and your abilities are not on cooldown, you're probably doing it wrong. This skill gives massively increased damage and a knockup on the third hit after the ability has been activated. Extra damage AND CC? GIVE IT TO ME! It should also be noted that you do not have to hit the same target 3 times to knock it up. You can hit one person twice and then hit someone else and knock them up. This should be obvious.
An attack speed steroid. Passively increases attack speed and when activated doubles the passive effect as well as reducing cooldowns by one second for each hit. This synergizes so well with your other abilities as they have rather lengthy cooldowns and the bonus attack speed helps you get your Three Talon Strike knock up faster. However, I choose to max this last as the scaling makes it not as important to rank up as your other skills. Also, people like to stack attack speed items along with this passive. I don't quite agree with building Xin that way and I choose to go for more 'Heavy-Hitting' items such as The Bloodthirster and The Black Cleaver. (more about this in items section)
Great damage and a major slow. Also, used as a very effective gap closer. It's always a handy tool to have at your disposal. The only real drawback of this skills is the hefty mana cost. It's not too much, but you don't have a very large mana pool. Try not to spam this one.
Your ultimate, and in my opinion it's rather lackluster. I wouldn't consider it bad, in fact, far from it. It's usefulness just seems to be rather limited. You're going to want to use this when a tank initiates a teamfight (something you shouldn't be doing). You run in, pop it, and then annihilate everything. It does a decent amount of damage, but the real beauty of this skill shows when you hit all of the enemies with it. Assuming you hit all five, you will gain 65 extra armor and magic resistance. This makes you much harder to kill in teamfights and it isn't too hard to hit a good number of enemy champions with this.
R>Q>E>W. Simple as that.
A lot of jungle guides will recommend maxing Battle Cry first to aid in your jungle, however I don't like this. The thought process behind this skill sequence is to be able to gank at level 4. Obviously, the one early point in Battle Cry is necessary to get a fast and effective jungle clear. After that, it's a toss up whether to max Three Talon Strike or Audacious Charge. I myself prefer Three Talon Strike because it costs less and does more damage. It's really up to you how you wish to spec.
All items are situational, you're going to have to adapt to what the enemy team brings.
Stacking armor to counter you? Grab Last Whisper.
Are they AP heavy? Grab Hexdrinker or Wit's End.
Are you getting focused? Guardian Angel.
This is important information to know when building champions. You're going to need to know what items do and how they counter certain champions or strategies.
Wriggle's Lantern AND BOOTS OF YOUR CHOICE ARE THE ONLY CONCRETE ITEMS. EVERYTHING ELSE CAN BE CHANGED.
Keep in mind that this is only my 'recommended build' and not necessarily what you should run every game.
Now on to our items.
You're going to be starting with a Vampiric Scepter. This combined with your passive will give you great sustainability in the jungle. You won't drop much below half health and that's a good place to be in when you're jungling.
Later, you will build this Vampiric Scepter into a Wriggle's Lantern. This item is great. It gives you great stats, it's cheap, gives extra damage vs creeps. What's not to love? About the time you are completing your Wriggle's Lantern, you should have Boots of Speed and be working to Boots of Mobility. A lot of players may wonder why I choose the Boots of Mobility over, say, Mercury's Treads or Berserker's Greaves. Personally, I say that Berserker's Greaves are a big piece of **** and I most certainly do not like them. Mercury's Treads are viable, but I love the extra mobility. Being able to get from one side of the map to another is very important. It helps a lot with ganks and chasing. If you feel they have a lot of cc, feel free to take Mercury's Treads
Next, you're going to get a Youmuu's Ghostblade This is a handy item to have on any melee DPS champion. It gives great stats - including cooldown reduction which compliments your abilities rather well since they are all a bit long on the cooldown. Also, NEVER forget to use the active on this item. It's an absolutely killer active and you will decimate anyone who comes near you and easily catch those who don't. Next up is The Bloodthirster. Some players might think that this isn't needed because you already have lifesteal from your Wriggle's Lantern. I am a firm believer in high lifesteal. The more, the better. I have been in countless situations where I have emerged victorious from a 1v1 simply because I out lifestealed my opponent. The effect diminishes in teamfights, but the attack damage is useful regardless. Try to keep it fully stacked and you'll be well off.
After this, you can pretty much do whatever you want. You can go the recommended route which is The Black Cleaver and Guardian Angel. You can go the bulky route which is Frozen Mallet and Atma's Impaler. Also, the mega DPS route - featuring the Phantom Dancer and Infinity Edge combo. It really is up to you at this point to decide what is best for the game you're playing. You have to adapt to the enemy in order to succeed.
Other 'viable' items:
Frozen Mallet + Atma's Impaler: Many people prefer the Atmog's combination, but I really don't see the point on Xin. The utility coming from the slow on the Mallet outweighs the benefits or warmogs for me. Obviously, Warmog's Armor can be used as well.
Madred's Bloodrazor: You will be having massive attack speed, especially with Battle Cry. This item is great for champs with high attack speed. I, however, usually don't get this because it has a very high cost and I prefer building my Razors into a Wriggle's rather than a Bloodrazor. It's really a matter of personal preference. If you really like this item, go ahead.
Trinity Force This item boost almost every stat. You really can't go wrong with it. I usually prefer to take more offensive items, but if you like this item, feel free to take it.
What is Jungling and how do I do it?
Jungling is when you wander around and slay neutral buff camps.
- Your team will have 2 champions in a solo lane, giving a massive xp increase and level advantage to your team.
- You are constantly MIA, the enemy has no idea where you are.
- As Xin Zhao, you will have good ganking potential with a knockup and a slow.
- A level advantage over the duo lane.
Basically, Double golems -> Wraiths -> Wolves -> Blue -> B -> Golems -> Red -> Gank
You can put variations on this route, however. Something I like to do is head to the enemy wraiths right after blue. I get wraiths and then gank mid. This is situational of course because you will only be on about half health. If your mid has harassed them enough (to about half) you should be able to get the kill. However, this method is only viable if the enemy team does not have a jungler. If they do, their jungler will have taken wraiths already. You can use your own creativity, that's what's fun about jungling. You can go wherever you want and kill whoever you want to. You're going to have to pay a lot of attention to your minimap as well. Map awareness is very important as a jungler, you're going to want to see which lanes need help. Also, it's mostly your responsibility to place wards. Make sure you do this. In most games, one by baron and one by dragon should be sufficient.
Guarding your jungle is important. Luckily with this path, you can adapt to counter jungling and perhaps do some yourself. Don't be afraid to take some of the enemy's creeps, but don't overstay your welcome. Ward your buffs if you afraid of them getting taken. Ward the enemy buffs if you want to do some stealing yourself.