Hi and welcome to my Xin Zhao build. Xin is probably my favorite champion and also my most experienced. I have played many ranked games with him either as a solo lane or a jungler and have had great success both ways. I think that Xin is best suited for the jungle because 2 reasons. First off his ganking potential is through the roof, allowing him to easily turn into more of a carry while still being a tanky-DPS if he gets fed, and the second reason is it makes for a better team comp when you can have an AP carry and an AD carry each take a solo lane, have your tank and support take bot together, and finish off team composition with the off-tank taking the jungle.
Also, i don't know how to add pictures or fancy colors so this guide may look a bit bland, but its quality will still be the same i hope. ><
Pros / Cons
Decently fast jungler
Crazy burst damage
Can CC several times in 1 burst
Once u dive in CC can ruin you
Heavy nuking AP champs are your bane
No real escape
Marks: ARP gives the most DPS statistics show
Seals: Armor for jungling is a no-brainer
Glyphs: Attack speed to help out a bit for faster jungling
Quints: Same as marks
I always go 21/0/9 for a few reasons. Getting the 9 in utility is a must for jungling for the increased buff duration, but i go a full 21 in offense because i find it to make jungling faster. You do even more burst early game when ganking with the extra ARP, attack damage, and overall damage % increase. Putting anything in the defensive tree i find to be not as effective unless you decide to go a full 21 in there, but masteries play a big part of your early game, and being a bit tankier i find to be not as helpful to Xin as others.
Smite and Ghost is pretty much what you need to be an effective jungler with Xin. Smite is a gimme but ghost because he already has a distance closer with his E, having that extra move speed to chase and run away seems to help me more often than anything else. Still, flash is an amazing spell on anyone, so if you feel inclined to take it over ghost i don't blame you, but i always prefer ghost.
Xin's skill sequence doesn't always have to be the same every game, although i usually do it the same, it can differ depending on how the game is going. Always start with your W as its the best for jungling. Get Q after than because you can get 2 rounds of your Q with an active from W again making jungling a breeze. After that i rush my E to rank3 to make my ganks as effective as possible for the same reason as a laning xin would chose. Your E at rank 3 will do very nice damage(its magic damage too so armor items is ineffective against it), it is your distance closer so you will always be using it to lead off your combo, and the slow it provides is stronger for allowing you to get your Q to get its pop-up effect in. After getting his ultimate at 6, i tend to grab 2 more points in Q to get its bonus attack damage equal to a B.F. sword which is devastating early-mid game. Total order is as follows:
Items is the biggest difference between a Xin who isn't bad, and a Xin who is really good. Being a full DPS Xin means that if the other team is smart, they will blow you up the second u pop your head in to a fight. Sure you lay waste to enemies one after the other if they all ignore you for some reason, or if the other team has no CC, but assuming its a ranked game where both team comps are good, you will never be able to do that. Going full tank Xin is decent because you can still have decent burst damage, but Xin is just too good at dealing damage to be wasted as a main-tank. If you have no one else that tanking on your team i guess its fine, but in that case you have a failed team comp which should not have been so in the first place. The correct mix of DPS items and tanky items will make you a much more effective Xin on a MUCH more consistent basis.
The starting items on him are the standard cloth and 5 health pots, rushing madreds, then boots, then wriggles. After that i highly suggest you finish your boots for some much needed MR, move speed, and CC reduction. After grab a phage and your core build is finished. Between a phage, wriggles, and merc treads you have survivability with a bit of everything. Life-steal, armor, MR, CC reduction, and health. The damage from wriggles and phage together is almost as much as a B.F. sword and together with a rank 3 Q will be basically doubled for 3 hits, and another 3 hits with an active from W to get Q to come around again in a fight. The free ward allows you to keep dragon warded for free for the rest of the game, and any other wards you buy will be for allowing map control for your team.
After your core build its entirely up to how the games going to decide what to get. If your AD carry is doing well, get frozen mallet next. If not grab an early zeal to help out with the DPS. Once you get to the point of team fights happening regularly, decide if its okay for you to finish off your zeal to a PD, or rush a GA because your getting focused. Typically i replace wriggles with a BT way late game if i can, but again if you are becoming the carry, get it earlier. The only reason to get either randuins or banshees is if an enemy or enemies with super AP burst like a Veigar or Brand, or some crazy Ad like Yi, or Trynd is teraing you up. Other wise i find the health from FM and mitigation from GA is good enough. The 5th and 6th items are really just up to you. Most of my games if i reach 5-6 items will look like this: Wriggles, Merc treads, Frozen mallet, Guardian angel, Phantom dancer, Blood thirster.
Jungling with Xin is flexible, you can either start out with the small golems, or grab the golem buff to start. For earlier ganks however i would highly suggest you start at blue buff. As long as someone properly leashes it for you and hits it a few times it makes your path a breeze. You cane get blue, small wolves, wraiths, and lizard buff and still have 2 health pots left along with about 70% health. Going small golems first means that if you decide to gank before recalling the first time, you will be doing so without red buff, which isn't awful, but much less effective as one flash or ghost will get away from you almost for sure.
If you went blue buff first, then you should have double buffs with 2 health pots left and well over half health still for ganking. this allows your to basically gank several times and still clear some small jungle camps assuming ganking went decent and you didnt take massive damage. I personally like to gank nonstop until my red wears off or i get really low on health and run out of pots. I clear small jungle camps on my way from lane to lane, and i have two goals in mind when ganking, and that's to force my enemies to blow long cd's to get away making them easily ganked if i decide to come back and weaker in their respective lanes, as well as going for kills of course. If the positioning is correct, and you execute with your lane mate well, you can do both at the same time.
Some tricks i like to do when ganking is faking out my opponent into using spells like flash and ghost even tho i would use nothing to really provoke it. For example, lets say you go for a gank on the enemy Ashe in mid lane, you come out of the bush knowing that she isn't in position for a kill, but shes close enough to close in on, pop out and activate your Q to scare her into using flash or ghost if not both, even tho i have no intention to charge her because i know she can get away. Doing this not only makes them blow those spells for nothing, but you take no damage in causing that and you didn't waste time sitting in the bush for 10 secs waiting for her to push that tiny bit too far. When ganking top and bottom lanes is when ghost REALLY helps with assuring kills. If you see someone in one of these lanes with only one escape from either flash or ghost if done right you can make them use that spell and STILL get the kill. They have to be pushed a bit past half way in the lane, and once they are even for a second, you pop ghost and come flying out of the bush with an active Q ready, this will prompt them to most likely run into the side brush and get ready to flash or ghost away when you go in it, the sec they do it your speed will be good enough to still be in range to charge in with E and start your Q combo to pop-up. With the help of your teammate(s) from that lane and the patience to use your E AFTER they use their getaway spell, with almost always ensure a kill.
In conclusion Xin is so good at ganking that doing so constantly will only help you and your team that much more. Also once level 3, you can clear out small camps pretty fast, so if you see the enemy jungler nowhere near you, run into their jungle and try to steal some creeps, because its likely that if they know where you are, they probably just did the same.
At this point in the game you should have 2 goals in mind, if possible try and BD any towers since you can so effectively with 1 active from W, and in team fights to destroy the enmy carries. Never be the first to initiate, let your tank do that, you should go in right after him and, using ghost if its up, ignore everyone except that 1 squishy that looks the most dangerous like an Ashe or Corki. The reason why i don't include AP champs like Annie and Malzahar is that unless you have a banshees veil and you have them completely alone, they will nuke you down too fast before you can get your full round of spells off. Also something i like to do is go in and ulti as many people as i can and THEN go for your target, not only did you just nuke their whole team but you just got MR and armor to help with zerging their carry. Other than a few select champs such as Trynd, Olaf, Yi, and Jax, there really isn't anybody you can't 1v1 as Xin. As long as you and your team are smart about how and where you engage the enemy at, you should be able to do your job effectively and remember, even if you die, your not the true carry on your team, so as long as you put some serious hurt on your enemies, maybe got a kill or chased someone off for good, you did your job.
Well i hope you enjoyed reading my guide and i hope it helps. Feel free to comment on anything you did or did not like and vote fairly after you have tried this build out. Thank you and have fun. :)