Build Guide by Asray

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Asray

Xin Zhao - Competitive Ranked Guide

Asray Last updated on April 6, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 11

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 18

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 1

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Hey everyone, it's me again^^
Well, here is my second guide. But as my Morde guide was just a fun build (effective, but only fun^^), this one is about my main Xin Zhao. So, enjoy and I hope it can help you if you are new on Xin or if you want some new tips. Have fun :)

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Xin Zhao, The Seneschal of Demacia

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

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Patch Log

V: 1-0-0-114
- Base turret attack speed increased to +30% from 20%
- Turret base armor and magic resist increased by 10
- Turrets no longer gain up to 25% attack speed and 25 armor and magic resist for having a nearby defending champion
- Turret to champion damage increased by 5%

A little buff to turrets. Be more careful if you want to dive now, the turret will hit you quite harder.

V: 1-0-0-113
*Banshee's Veil refresh time increased to 45 seconds from 30 seconds.
*Doran's Blade
- Fixed a bug where Doran's Blade was providing an unintended effect
- Damage increased to 10 from 9

A hard nerf to Banshee's Veil, its passive is now 50% weaker! This is pretty hard. I don't know what Riot hate about this item, but this was a bit too much for it imo. It is still viable and a good counter against CC, but remind the high CD.
Doran's Blade was buffed abit. It is just one AD, but ... I don't know, it is just one AD. It is not really noteworthy, I just wanted to add it because some people like the Blade on Xin. Personally, I like the Shield more, but it's ok. Take what you like the most.

Something noteworthy: This patch was an overall nerf to tanky DPS, but not for Xin. In relation to other offtanks you are a bit better now^^

V: 1-0-0-112
*Ghost duration decreased to 10 from 14

A noticable nerf on Ghost. It is not that important, but in some situations, the 4 seconds are really important. Though, it needs just better timing to be used.

V: 1-0-0-111
There are no real changes for this build.

V: 1-0-0-110
*Quintessences of Fortitude reduced in effectiveness by about 20%
*All Champions with mana had their base mana regeneration increased by 2.5 mana per 5 seconds and mana regeneration per 5 seconds per level increased by 0.2

This is something like a "nerf-buff" but it is not sooo important. Your Essence of Fortitude is sligthly weaker now and this will weaken your early a bit, but the increased manareg is helpful since you won't get in any mana troubles, at no time.

V. 1-0-0-109

* Three Talon Strike cooldown changed to 10 from 12/11/10/9/8
* Crescent Sweep base damage reduced to 125/225/325 from 125/250/375

A slightly early game buff and a little lategame nerf. Because of your Battle Cry the increased CD on the higher levels don't matter and the little damage nerf of his ultimate is not so important. The damage is still high enough^^

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Pros and Cons


+ Strong early game
+ Good pusher
+ Can jungle
+ deals alot of damage without buying many items for it
+ fun to play
+ almost unbeatable 1v1


- squishy without items
- slow compared to other melees
- easy to counter with CC
- no escape

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Skill Summary

Tireless Warrior

Xin Zhao restores 30 health for every 3 attacks that he lands. This amount increases by 5 every 2 levels.

Scales with:

- attack speed
- life steal (indirect, it supports the passive)

A very useful passive while laning. Thanks to this passive you won't get in life troube unless you don'T get harassed like hell. When the game is going on, it is not so important any more but your enemies will rage if you got out of a deadly situation with only 30 hp, thanks to Tireless Warrior.

Three Talon Strike

Xin Zhao prepares to unleash a fearsome combo, causing his next 3 standard attacks to deal 15/30/45/60/75 (+1 per physical attack damage) physical damage, with the final attack knocking his opponent into the air.

Scales with:

- attack speed
- armor penetration
- attack damage

Your bread and butter ability and, the ulti left beside, your main damage source. Because of its low mana cost you can spam it early on to deal high amounts of damage. But: If it is not necessary, don't lasthit with it. It will only burn your mana. The low CD and the low mana cost let players think they can spam like nothing else and then, they don't have the mana to finish an enemy off. It feels not good, I swear^^
If you buy Trinity Force (it is completely viable, see the item discussion), this skill will deal insane burst damage. With a Black Cleaver, you can add all stacks in only 1-2 seconds. This will boost your output alot, too.

Battle Cry

Passive: Increases Xin Zhao's attack speed by 15/20/25/30/35%.

Active: Xin Zhao unleashes a battle cry, increasing his attack speed by double the passive amount for 7 seconds, and causing his standard attacks to reduce all other ability cooldowns by 1 second.

Activating this ability removes the passive bonus until this ability refreshes.

Scales with:

- attack speed

He, a nice ability and a perfect sinergy with your TTS. If you activate this, Youmuu's Ghostblade and TTS, you will hit as fast as a raging Chihuahua and deal damage like a rhino. It will also lower your CDs massively if avtivated, so you can spam your TTS and ulti as you want if you can set the CD back with Battle Cry.
Otherwise, play wisely with your mana, don't burn it! It is very, very important for Xin to finish his combo more than once without recalling.

Audacious Charge

Xin Zhao charges an enemy unit, dealing 70/110/150/190/230 (+0.4 per ability power) magic damage to all nearby enemies and slowing them by 20/25/30/35/40% for 1.7 seconds.

Scales with:

- Ability power

The damage is decent, but that's not so important at this skill. You want to have the slow and, primary, the close-up! It is an essential part of yor combo, never forget this. The slow is an AoE slow, so you can cast the charge on nearby enemies to your target if you want to slow it and to close up. I put the first point in it because TTS needs to hit three times if you want to help your ally, Charge only need to hit once. Because I, personally, only want the close-up early on, don't put a second point in it normally. If the enemy is stacking armor early on, you may put a second point in it to attack him magical and not physical (maybe a third one but I don't recommend this).

Crescent Sweep

Xin Zhao unleashes a fierce spear sweep on targets around him, dealing 125/225/325 + 20% of their current health in physical damage. His magic resistance and armor are increased by 30/40/50 for the next 8 seconds.

Scales with:

- Armor penetration

WOOOAAAAH! BAHM, you got such a big red thing at your health! Oh, it's damage.
This ultimate is so extremely useful. It deals tons of damage with a single hit, on a big range for a melee, on all sorrounding enemies. The CD is not so high and can be lowered by Battle Cry. Try to hit at least three enemy champs with it, in best case hit them all. Hit them while their hp is full, it is not a last hit ulti like Garen's ulti is, it is a first hit ulti. The best is: You don't need AD to make it effective. It only scales up with armor penetration!

Conclusing, there are two mainly scalings: AS and armorpen. This two attributes are very important for Xin and this guide builds on them.
There are so many tricks with his skills, I will show them to you in the next chapter. Let's move on ...

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Tips and Tricks for your abilities

... with the tricks to Xin's skills. They are really good and if used correctly, you will be just destroy every squishy in just a few little seconds.

- Use the first two hits on minions and only the third on the enemy champ to just knock him up
- It deals very potent damage just because of its bonus damage. Because of this, you don't need AD this much.
- It sets the autohit back, so hit>TTS>hit is a very fast and devastating combo. Activate it instantly after your first hit damaged your target.

- Still searching for tricks. Just activate it while fighting to increase your *** massively.

- Slows nearby enemies, too. Use it on creeps near to yor target to slow it, too.
- Great for iniating (you shouldn't be doing this, either. Let the tank do this).
- Close up to ranged in half a second and stomp them.

- Use it as your first skill in a fight to deal the most possible damage and to have the most from the increased defense.
- Use it to just increase your defense. In some situation, you are lowlife and you need the def to survive (for example you are too low to survive Karthus' ulti savely, activate your R and the extra defense may safe you)
- The insane damage dealt by it can fear enemies so they run away -> teamfight won, you can push.
- It breaks tanks, but do not waste it for them! You should use it in a teamfight when you hit at least 3 enemies with it to deal maximum damage. You only have this ability once in a teamfight, use it wisely!
- Use it in every fight! Because of your BC, your CDs are pretty low and you can use it whenever you want. Just think about the point above.

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Runes and Masteries


Why do I use the runes I am using?
Marks: Armorpen is the attribute from which Xin benefits the most. A must have for most AD champs.

Seals: I take armor seals because they are very viable on Xin. You are tanky, why not being more tanky? You can also take dodge seals, but I like armor more. They give you a garanted damage reduction and safe your life surely while dodge seals 1. don't work against phyisical spells, armor seals do and 2. dodge is a chance. It happens that it don't work when you need it the most and then you are dead. Tragody.

+ Great against early ranged AD harassment
+ Good against the minions damage (never underestimate them, they can be devastating for you early game^^)
+ togehter with your Cloth Armor, you are somehow tanky
+ cheap

- Per level armor seals will work better mid and late game
- It is not that much damage reduction

Glyphs: For glyphs, I take mres per level. You can also take the flat ones, it is your choice what you like more or what you have. The thing is that per level mres glyphs work better at level 6 (or so, I dunno the right level atm^^) and if played wisely, you can avoid most of the spells since they are often skill shots.

+ Good against early ranged AP harassment
+ Also help you mid and late game
+ cheap

- flat ones save you better early game

Quints: For quints I take two in armor penetration and one in flat life. You can change this constellation as you want, I just made the best experiences with this one. With my build and runes, you will start with about 600-700 life, 60 AD and 28 armor penetration. I think this is good, so I like it this way^^

+ Life is essential early game
+ gives you a good amount of armorpen
+ gives you "the tip of the ice mountain" in being tanky
+ mediocre price

- No cons availabe


You can see my masteries above, I won't say them again. They are not build out of stone, change them if you want or if you are in need to do so (for exemple if you use other summoner spells).
But maybe you want a little explanation:
First of all why I don't take any 21-mastery. I don't want to waste points in the utility tree just for shortened CD's on my summoner spells, that's clear, I think.
Your damage is high enough without the 21-mastery in the offense tree, it is not necessary.
And last, the 21-mastery in defense. I would like to have it, BUT I also want the extra armorpen and improved ghost.
After all, I have 18 points left. I put 16 of them into defense because I want the additional life, especially early game. The two points left are not so much (they are just two points, what do you think?^^), so I put them in the defense tree. I don't need anything out of the other trees that I can get with two points and surviveability is never wrong.

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Summoner Spells

My personal favorites:
- Exhaust
Especially the slow is good for you. You (and your ally) can close up to an enemy very easy if you exhaust him. Plus, it reduces the damage of autohits and spells very hard.

- Ghost
You are not that fast but you want to chase and to escape. With ghost, you can do both very good. You are an anti carry and with this spell you can run through the enemies front line and take out their casters and carries. Must have on Xin imo, never put it away!

Skills, I would recommend, too:
- Ignite
It is a good option for exhaust, if you don't like it or if your team needs it. You can grant some early kills with it, but you can with exhaust, too. It is just that exhaust is better for your team than ignite imo.
Personally, I like exhaust more, but ignite is completely viable, too.

- Cleanse
A Xin standing aroung is a bad Xin, he deals no damage. Take this spell if you want to be prepared for this. If the enemy has massive CC, you SHOULD take this.

- Flash
It is a good spell on almost every champ and Xin is one of them. If you want to be more mobile, take this instead of exhaust.

- Smite
You can jungle and smite is just a must for every jungler (yes, also for Ww. Jungling is about speed, not about being "incognito"). If you want o jungle, go with it.

Naaa, something in the mid:
- Heal
If you are new on Xin, you can take it. You are a poor front piggy and you don't want to die, so use it if you need it.

- Fortify
Just a great spell and it will assist you good. Usualy, it is taken by a full tank or a supporter, but on Xin, it is also viable. But I like some other spells more.

Not recommend:
- Clarity
You won't get into mana troubles.

- Teleport
I don't like it. You can't just come from somewhere and gank with it. Therefore, you need ghost and flash/exhaust/ignite. Teleport is not that bad, but you need other spells more.

- Clairvoyance
It is a spell for supporters only. Are you a supporter? If you say yes, I come and beat you.

- If you want your allies to quit while the champion selection but I would prefer Soraka with smite and revive for this ;D

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Item Sequence

I want to say some words to my item sequence, read it carefully! It is important!


You can change it if you want. Normally, I take the B. F. Sword much later and build in defense earlier because I get focussed hard. Because you will need to change something in it, I give you an exemple what I am thinking about while playing him:

Start with ...

- Cloth Armor or Null-Magic Mantle, depends on the enemies main damage and what you face on your lane. If you don't know what you will face, take the Cloth Armor.
- You want some damage now, but the boots+1 are very important. Do I need more pots? I take boots+1 and 1-2 longswords and some additional pots, about two or three, maybe the Brutalizer if I have the money.
- I rush the Ghostblade at this moment. This is the only point in my build where I don't really adapt.
- Which boots do I take? Mercury's in most cases for the CC-reduction and the magic res, in the case of somehow hard AD I take Ninja Tabis.
- Do I get kills and don't need the farm this much anymore? Buy Aegis. If I need to farm, I get the Lantern now.
- Which enemy deals the most damage to you? Banshee's Veil against CC, Force of Nature against magic damage without this much CC or Randuin's against physical damage. In most cases, I just buy the initial defensive item ( Negatron Cloak or Chain Vest) and build them into the items said above later.
- What deals the most damage to me afterwards? I take some protective items for it. If there is no damage left (it happens), you can take a B. F. Sword.
- I finish my items.

Don't forget to buy wards and pots if you need them. Especially the wards are very important because map control is very important.

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Early Game

Going on a 2v2 lane:
You started the game with a Cloth Armor and five red pots. Until level 6, you should focus on last hitting and if it is possible, harass the enemies. If you can get a kill, take it! Never mind, if someone flames you because of KSing, you need the kills.

Going on a 1v2 lane:
Start of with a Cloth Armor and 5 red pots. This will give you the maximum surviveability imo. As on a 2v2 lane, you will focus on lasthitting until level 6. If you did well, you can grab at least one kill then, maybe a double kill.

Going on a 1v1 lane (top):
Start with a Cloth Armor and 5 red pots. You can play more agressive in this case. Still lasthit the creeps (just lasthit, don't autohit them all the time!) and harass the enemy champ with your combo (AC > BC > TTS > autohits) to either kill him or to make him recall. Be careful if you push into the enemy half of the map. Their jungler may pop out and kill you. You should let your enemy push and kill him then.

Going on a 1v1 lane (mid):
It is almost the same as the 1v1 lane (top). But, there are some nice features: You are, not like the conventionell mid chars, not squishy, but your damage is still very potent. Lasthit and be careful of getting ganked, always take an eye on the minimap! Harass the enemy with your combo (see 1v1 (top)).

Most important points early game on all lanes:
- Lasthitting creeps
- Not dieing!
- Grab every kill you can
- Try to get a 1v1 lane. People may mock you for it, but you are very very strong on it!
- Grab the red buff, you will need it in 9/10 games

On all lanes, you can grab a kill at lvl 6. Jump onto an enemy, unleash your combo and after one or two autohits there should be at least one kill for you.

I don't make a chapter for mid and late because I don't want to make two chapters for just a few sentences. You have to adapt to your enemies and play oriented at this. Just think of your job as anticarry.

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Important Videos


Map Awareness

If you want me to add some more videos, just write a comment^^

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Good and bad Champs

Of course, there are some preferences to be your lane partner or your enemy. I will list just a few of them. If you want to see some high elo Xin Zhao gameplay, look for Guardsman Bobs livestream.

My favorites with me:

She doesn't need farm as well if played as supporter and the shield's AD is godlike for you. The whirlwind is nice, too. Extra knock-up, yay.

Xin and Panth are just a devastating combo.
-> -> ->

Follow this combo and every squishy will fall, first blood is almost save with this. Over all, it is a very strong early game combo.

It is almost the same as with Pantheon. Jax has a very potent damage output early game if he cna bring it out. Combined with a well played Xin, it is very strong.
-> -> ->

I like him with every melee AD, so with Xin, too. Double knock-up and a pull will give you many kills early game.
-> ->

Very good damage early game and a good finisher. Due to her Hiten Style, she deals the same damage as you. Combined with nearly the same close-up (the same range) and a stun/slow, you will get most enemies, at least at level 6.
-> -> -> ->

She doesn't need farm like Janna and can heal you, like refreshing your mana. It helps you alot while farming and you can play mor agressive. But don't push in this case! You want to farm as long as possible.

My favorites against me:

Ranged Carries
They are just some free kills. You jump on them and kill them. With a competive lane partner, they will die almost instantly. Just be careful if you face Ashe. She can slow and stun you what will make it harder to kill her. On the other hand, Miss Fortune and Sivir are easy kills. They don't have this kind of escape and are squishy like hell. One combo and they are gone.


One of the easiest to kill champs before reaching level 6. If you lane against him, you should always kill him before level 6, if you can two times or more. He is squishy and after his Spinning Slash, he is easy feed due to the CD on his escape.

Bad to lane against

He is a really hard thing. He isn't squishy, he cna heal out your damage easily and will deal high damage by himself. It is possible, like against every other champ, but it is hard, though.

He is one of the no. 1 counter picks against you. He will almost always deal higher damage then you and can harass you from the distance. It is not nice, trust me.

If you bring him down to ~20% life and if he has a Vampiric Scepter, you can't kill him anymore due to his lifesteal. This is so annoying I think.

The problem with Lux is her very high range. She can zone you out very easy and harass you constantly.

It is almost the same as with Lux, the high range is annoying. But there is one more problem: If you don't kill her in one combo, she will heal your damage away with her Tormented Soil. It is not so hard as against te others I listed above, but as I said: Kill her in only ONE combo, otherwise she will heal herself to full life.

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A little Forestaste

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- Add item discussion

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Some words at the end

Hey, I hope you enjoyed my guide and it will help you. It is still not finished, but the most important things are done and I think, it will help you if you need it.

If you find failures or want me to add something, just write a comment and I will read it.

So go out to the Fields of Justice and just "put all questions to rest!"