Build Guide by Aguman
Not Updated For Current Season
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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.
Xin Zhao is one of the best melee DPS carry in the game. He is capable of dealing high burst damage both early and late game but at the same time he is not frail unlike other DPS carries like Nocturne or Master yi. Xin Zhao is a flexible character, he can be an assassin (jungler), a carry or even a tank.
I've been playing Xin Zhao since i started LoL and i consider him my main. I do not claim to be the best Xin Zhao out there, this is just a guide i made to show how i feel Xin Zhao should be build and played. I mainly build Xin Zhao as a laning DPS carry as i feel that it maximizes his potential. I rarely build him as a tank because I personally like to see squishies die in 2 seconds.
Pros and Cons
High burst damage
Not frail at all
A knock up and a slow
Epic AoE nuke
Great laning durability
Almost unstoppable when fed
Focused down a lot in team fights
Almost useless when CCed
Somewhat Item dependent
No real escape mechanism (except for ghost)
Ghost and Ignite are my favorite choice of summoner spells.
Xin Zhao has no escape mechanism and at times he is too slow to even charge his escaping enemy, Ghost will completely solve this problem. You can even use this to rush into teamfights, save your team mates and tower dive people. With the Phantom dancer, Trinity, Ghostblade proc and Ghost, no one will be able to chase you down or run away from you.
I choose Ignite as my second spell simply because I love to get first blood and also to ensure my early game kills as early game is very important to Xin Zhao. I tend to rage when enemies walk out with 10 HP, ignite will complete crush their hope. Another way of using Ignite is to shuts down healers (it'll make them useless) or douchebags with super health regen like Mundo.
Other viable options:
Never swap Ghost out because you will regret it.
Exhuast is a my second choice after Ignite. I take Exhuast at times depending on my mood and situation(mostly when I'm tanking). It's true that this spell is better then Ignite because it is both offensive and Defensive. You can use it to escape, to chase,to shut down enemy carry in team fights or even in a 1v1 situation against a better dualist. Xin Zhao already has a slow and knock up so exhuast may not be needed. I still prefer Ignite as I personally work better with it but you can swap it out if you want.
Cleanse is generally a good spell. It allows you to escape and prevents you from being shut down in a team fight, which is most likely the situation because Xin Zhao has a power level of over 9000 and attracts alot of attention. Again I like to be offensive.
Teleport again is considerable. It is useful when getting around to gank or to save allies and turrets. I still feel that it is a waste of a spell on Xin Zhao, you should leave this for your supports and tanks.
Flash is good for tower diving and escaping, but Xin Zhao already has a gap closer and flash doesn't have as much use as ghost on Xin Zhao. I also hate how the cd on Flash is pretty damn long.
Smite is a must if you're jungling, but i rarely jungle with Xin Zhao because there are alot better junglers out there and i feel like it's a waste of a spell.
Other spells that i didn't mention are completely uselss on Xin Zhao so don't even bother considering it.
My masteries are kind of weird as I like to be offensive so I take 22/0/8 or even 22/6/2 ( I like the extra armor and MR) and it works completely fine with me.Ihis mastery is for laning Xin Zhao.
If you don't like my masteries then just follow the standard 21/0/9. This works with jungler as well except you put a point on Plentiful Bounty.
If you're tanking then take the standard 0/21/9.
Greater Mark Of DesolationGreater Seal Of Vitality
Greater Quintessence Of Desolation
Runes are most effective early game but still very useful late game.
The armor penetration Marks and Quints is a must for Xin Zhao. This makes him OP early game as you'll be close completely ignoring your enemies' armor and shreding them down like a boss. With the Masteries (Sunder) and Runes you will have 31 armor penetration at level 1. The armor penetration is also the only way to increase the damage of your Ulti.
I take the HP per level Seals because I like to tower dive people and that extra chunk of hp enables me to do so. This will also increase you survivability, especially during laning phase.
The extra boost of attack speed helps me farm better early game. More attack speed also means that faster proc on your Three talon Strike and Battle Cry and that will make your enemies cry faster.
Other runes to consider:
If you feel that the Blue Alacrity isn't giving enough AS then you can replace the HP yellow with more yellow AS Seals.
Some people likes to play defensive. If you're one of them i recommend you the blue MR and yellow Armor.
CDR means more ability spam, hence more damage. Take it if you like to spam.
Skills and Abilities
This may not be the best Passive, unlike WW it heals every 3 hit, but don't underestimate it. This is what makes you durable in the laning phase and gives you a great advantage while engaging a 1v1 combat. This also allow you to get your Bloodthirstier later in the game and instead build on other items. This passive also works on towers unlike lifesteal which is very nice.
This is your main source of damage output. Not only it gives an significant amount of damage boost but it also anals your opponent up into the air on the 3rd hit which prevents them from doing anything and your allows your partner to chase up and hit them more.You will want to max this out first.This ability can also be used to farm minions if you're having trouble farming, but i don't recommend it.
This ability has a passive and an active use. The passive grants you a chunk of attackspeed which helps you hit faster, aka faster procs on your Three Talon Strike and faster hits on the turrets etc.
The active of this ability is what makes Xin Zhao relentless. It doubles the passive attackspeed bonus and every hit will reduce the cooldown of other abilities for 5 seconds, making your Three Talon Strike and Audacious Charge spammble in team fights.
This skill has a multiple use; to chase, initiate and even escape. You will use this first when engaging to close the distance and to slow your enemy for 1.7 seconds, allowing your teamamtes to catch up or simply preventing them from running away. In team fights, i highly recommend you NOT to initiate unless you're a tank Xin Zhao. A carry xin zhao initiating is the worst thing you can do. you will be focused fire and shat on in less then 3 seconds. i recommend charging in 2nd or 3rd.
If you're running away from enemy team in a lane or in a jungle, you can charge the minions to dash further to escape.
R spell aka Ultimate:
This is your can opener. It deals a flat amount of damage along with 20% of their CURRENT HP and gives you extra armor and MR for 6 seconds (aka tank mode/ towerdive mode). This is why you use it straight away after charging in as it will maximize the damage. At level 6, your Ulti will take out about 1/3 of your opponents health and along with your combo and Ignite you will be ****ting all over their face.
This skill is also anti-tank as it deals a % of your health and only ignores the flat damage.
Minimum Core Build:
I'm personally a fan of Doran's item, it increases my laning durability and gives me damage aswell. I choose Blade over Shield because I like to play offensive, that eastra 10 damage really makes a difference and that 3% lifesteal with my passive is pretty nice.
The only times I get Shield is when I'm solo laning 2 because I need to stay in lane for a long time and I most likely won't be attacking or trying to get kills unless they are derps.
This is entirely up to the team you're against. I get zerker most of the time because it's cheap and the AS boost never hurts. If the team has high amount of CC then Mercury Treads is the way to go. Whats the point of having epic damage and attackspeed if you're not able to unload it on your enemies?
One of the best items on Xin Zhao. It gives damage, attackspeed and armor reduction which means with the 31 armor penetration at the start and the 45 armor reduction. You'll be ignoring 76 armor which is a **** load. I recommend buying a BF sword first if you're gonna build this time.
Another Core item for Xin Zhao. It has everything he needs, especially the CDR and Armor penetration which makes it 51 penetration plus 45 reduction with Black cleaver which totals of 96 armor gone. The active on this and your Battle cry will make your AS reach close to 2.4 and the movement speed allows you to escape and chase.
*start off with building the brutilizer"
To be honest abit expensive, but the movement speed really helps and the extra crit s nice. I get this mainly because of the movement speed and crit, if i wanted to stack pure AS i could just go for a Sword of Divine. This should only be your item apart from boots that does not increase damage. I see alot of Xin Zhao players rushing this time and i really don't know why. You hit fast and move fast but you don't hit hard enough as Xin Zhao's base damage is not as high as other DPS like Trynd or Master Yi. I also see players stacking more then 1 phantom dancer which is stupid, there is not enough burst damage.
*Build a Zeal first right after the Brutilizer*
Epic damage boost and lifesteal. You don't need this item early on because of your Doran's blade+ Passive and it doesn't give attack speed. Same rules apply; no point hitting hard if you don't hit fast enough. Stack your damage and lifesteal by minions, by this stage you can probably 2 hit every one of them.
*Buy a Vampire scepter first*
Last item, a must if you want to face**** people in 2 seconds. The proc will increase you damage output by miles. I manage to crit 1.1k with the proc, Three Talon Strike without Infinity Edge. It movement speed makes you run ****ing fast along with PD and boots. and the 25% slow is basically 100% with attackspeed close to 2. over all a great item to get as it gives you a little bit of everything but mainly on the damage proc and slow, a tad too expensive but worth it.
Buy 2 and a Sight Ward everytime you go back to shop untill level 14 or 15, the 2 hp pots are life savers even in mid game and more map control is win.
Alot of Xin Zhao player use this because of the slow and hp. The Item itself is great but I think it is too pricey for the stats it gives and the slow can easily be replaced with a Lizard Buff. A Good Xin Zhao will have probably shred down the enemies so fast they can barely scratch him, so the HP is not needed, plus Trinity already gives a chunk of HP. Over all not too bad of an item but i do not recommend it, this is more for beginner level Xin Zhao or just imature ones.
Karthus on the other team? Get a Banshee and he'll be crying in the corner. I personally dont like getting any defensive items for carry Xin Zhao because I go by the "good defensive is a good offensive", but at times there are just too many CC's and even your treads don't help. This is the only situation i would get a banshee. Don't hesitate when Ashe arrows you, just nomnomnom it and be a boss.
If you're picking up kills but at the same time being focused then i recommend this as your last item. It always turns people off when you see a Guardian Angel on them.Even if they focus you down your team will still be fighting and when you revive they'll be too busy to hit you again. This item lower's Xin Zhaos power level to just about 9000 so it wouldn't attract as much attention.
If the enemy team has both a WW and Malz and they're carrying then you will have to get this. This item will simply **** them up because they just wasted their Ulti on you and probably did 1/10 of the damage it was suppose to do. You can also consider getting this for a AP Mordes because they will bee dealing a **** load of damage with their Ulti.
Pretty damn good item. Offensive and Defensive; best against heavy nukers like Annie and Leblanc. Pretty cheap of for it's stats aswell.
I dont usually get any Armor items for Xin Zhao, the only time i do is when there is a better or more fed DPS thAn me, like Olaf and Trynd. I recommend a Thornmail for them.
Tank Xin Zhao
Balanced Core Build:
I choose Randiun over Thornmail unless there is heavy dps because the active is boss and the CDR is good.
Frozen Mallet for that chunk of hp and slow, makes you pretty tanky.
Standard Treads for the CC and MR
Force of Nature is by far the best MR item in the game. Makes Xin Zhao run faster and super hp regen along with Randiun's.
Simply Swap Bloodthirster out for a .
A cheap item and a must if you're jungling because of the proc and the free ward.
Early game Xin Zhao with runes and a Blade can already deal a high amount of damage. Get to your lane as fast as possible and hide on the brush. If enemy is squishy and facechecks then attack them and chase after them to try and get FB. Don't tower dive them because you will give them a First Blood and then the world ends. If enemy is careful and doesn't facecheck then just lane and farm up. You can start to be aggresive at level 2. If enemy is derp and walks in range of your charge there are not too many minons then notify your lane partner and charge in and use your Q spell strraight away. Most of the time they will start to run, but if they fight back then thats even better because they will have no chance to run. Once you anal them up in the air they will probaby be down to 2 or 3 bars, let your team mate whack them once or twice and then ignite on them. If the other enemy hits you or your team mate low and you realise you can't really run then just fight back. You might be able to take him down with you or atleast you partner will.
Once you kill them once or twice they usually will be smart enough to stand out of your range, you can then stand behind THEIR minions to deny EXP as they will be be too scared to walk close to you.
Don't over extend, only do so if they are super derps and you keep killing them. If you're planning to do this then ward the brush that leads to the jungle to avoid being ganked.
If you're soloing laning 2 then dont be too aggressive. Wait for them to over extend and attack the squishy near by your tower, only chase if you will definitely be getting the kill (if they're down to 2 bars and you have your ignite and ghost) because you won't have a partner to support you.
Only go back to shop if you died or have enough money for boots or a Black Cleaver, otherwise I like stay in lane to get my EXP and kill them more.
Once you hit Level 6, smart people will probably stay away from you because your ulti hits 1/3 of their HP and one combo will kill them.
If you're getting owned pretty hard and not farming up at all, i do not recommend you to build a black cleaver first. Get your boots Grab another Doran's Blade because it is cheap and gives you more survivability and damage at the same time.
When i'm pissed off and want to kill i usually take mid because they're all squishy ****s and i can kill them easily. I love laning against a Karthus the most because his skill shot is easily dodged and when i manage to get my charge on them i tend to face**** them with my combo.
Mid/ Late game
By the time you get to level 9 or 10, a tower or 2 should be gone. If you've destroyed the turret on your enemy lane then you can roam around to gank people and get even more fed. I still keep a pot or 2 because they are legit life savers and it's only 35 bucks so you cheap ****s out there have no excuse. By level 14 if you're doing your stuff right you should have the core build or more. You will already deal alot of damage with your core build and probably get even more fed.
This usually means that the other team still has a chance of winning/losing, or they are just too derp to surrender. This also means that you will either be near your full build or completed your full build. In late game 80% of the fights will be teamfights. Xin Zhaos role is to take out their carry or squishiest person. I usually let my teammates focus fire on the carry while I take down another squishy. That way 2 enemies will be down in no time and you'll most probably win the fight.
During teamfights, Xin Zhao should be the 2nd or preferably 3rd to run into battle. You will only ever be running in first if you're a tank Xin Zhao or you're just a Derp Zhao. Try and charge the center of the enemy group and unleash your ulti and along with your combo, you utli will take out 25% of everyone's (except for the tank) health, and your combo will probably finished someone off.Team fights are very messy so you must keep watching your health bar to see if you're being focused down. If you are being focused, then ghost out of the teamfight, get a support to heal or shield you and reengage if the fight is still going on.
If you're losing and trying to set up a gank, never let Xin Zhao be the bait. In my opinion, kiters are the best baits. If you're carrying and something goes wrong and you die then the chances of winning the fight is much much lower.
When being chased down by not more then 2 people and your abilities are on cd, keep running back untill\ your cd is off and you will catch them off guard.
Always do this:
If there is a healer on the other team, ignite her straight away and depending on the situation you can choose to take the carry out first or the healer first.
Ignore the tanks (especially with thornmail) and leave them for the last, unless they are not fed and easy to take down.
Use Three Talon strike to cancel someone's Ulti (kat, Nunu, Malz etc).You can save your teammates like this.
Activate your Ghostblade in team fights to run faster and hit faster.
If you're very low and being chased and there is not chance of escape, fight back. Xin Zhao can take someone down even on very low health or if you're lucky only chased by 1 person you might be able to kill them.
Best Lane Partners
Number 1 lane partner hands down. If you're laned with a good blitz that can pull of some grabs then you will dominate your lane. This combo is OP and should banned. Xin Zhao has a slow, a nuke and a knock up while blitz has a grab that stuns for a short time, another knock up and a nuke. Once the grab is up, just do your job and they will cry in the corner. I have a friend that uses Blitz and partners up with me, we rape our lanes 90% of the time.
Another good combo, his taunt allows me to do anything for the enemy for 3 seconds. By the time the taunt is finsh I probably analed them up into the air. Rammus is also a very good tank which means he can take the damage for me so I don't have to worry about being attacked.
Great AoE taunt, taunts both enemies so i definitely won't be hit while i do my damage. His ultimate gives me a shield aswell which allows me to dive people.
One of the best supports, high burst damage, a slow/speed boost,a small heal which allows me to stay in lane and a shield that allows me to be reckless. Not the most ideal partner but still pretty damn good.
Epic stun enough said. I can do anything i want for 2 seconds. Sion is pretty beefy with his shield.
One of my favorites.A great Demacian friend. Stats boost, a slow and a knock up, almost no escape. If jarvan Ulti's the enemy, i can easily charge into his terrain and kill everything that's inside, 100% kill.
Another Demacian. Great disables and a small shield. If enemy walks out with 2 bars, she can fire her laser and kill them, if she aims it right that is.
Xin Zhao is a very flexible character and can lane with almost anyone fine, but these are just the people that i feel are the best when laned with.
One of the few people that can beat you 1v1 when youre equally fed. The lower health he is the harder he hits, once he pops his ulti he can't die for 5 seconds. Very annoying character. The only way to counter him is with a Thornmail or beat him up before he gets to level 6.He can also slow you and chase after you with his spin.
Similar to Trynd, he hits faster as his health gets lower and does true damage. His ultimate prevents him from being disabled which means i can't knock him up. Again, just grab a thornmail if you guys are equally as fed.
Annoying as ****. his spell shield can make your ulti turn into nothing or stop himself from being knocked up. He Duskbringer gives him ridiculous damage boost and he can fear you which means you lose.
Her Tibbers at level 6 is the scariest thing in LoL. Due to her stun, she can unleash her combo faster then i can and by the time the stun is gone i will be left with almost no health.
Best partner but also worst enemy. His taunt disables you for 3 seconds. With a thornmail he is almost unkillable, you'll just end up killing yourself. His powerball also means that you cannot escape.
Any good tanks are annoying as ****, especially with a taunt. I'm not gonna explain why, if you wanna know why try soloing a fed tank.
So this is how I play Xin Zhao. It may not work perfectly for you but this is how I play him. He can fill in various roles like a tank but at the same time deal a load of damage.
I do not recommend a Jungling Xin Zhao because there are much better junglers out there and the only reason why a Xin Zhao would jungle is because of his great ganking ability. Even if you're not jungling, always grab lizard when possible because you wont have a constant slow until you grab your Trinity Force.
A good Xin Zhao will always have a possible KD (1 to 1 does not count) with few deaths and some assist.
Thank you for reading my guide and goodluck on being a good Xin Zhao, honestly it's not that hard (: I will continue to update my guide when possible.
Please Vote and comment, and feel free to ask me any questions. Good Luck to you all.