Xin Zhao Build Guide by Chochobob

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Chochobob

Xin Zhao: Limited Enemy Existence

Chochobob Last updated on June 26, 2012
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hey everyone! Chochobob again bringing you my Xin Zhao general guide! As you can probably tell from the other guides I've made, AD carry melee champions are my favorite to play. I am not a master of League of Legends, I do not play tournaments or anything like that, but hopefully this guide will help everyone to play better in general and improve your playing with Xin Zhao. While reading through the guide and testing it out, feel free to ask any questions by leaving a comment!

Xin Zhao is obviously not a new champion as he came out in 2010, but looking at different builds here on Mobafire, I saw that none really have the same style as mine. This is more of a glass-cannon build unless you MUST build more tanky because it just isn't working for you.

If there is anything that you have never heard of or don't exactly know what it does, just mouse over the tool tip!
Example: Xin Zhao

Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.

Thanks to Searz for parts of his format as well! You can find it here.

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons


+ Great Sustain from his passive
+ Has a dash for harassing or catching running enemies
+ Deals HUGE damage even early game
+ Hard to get away from
+ Has a knock up
+ Strong even without building tanky

- This is more of a glass-cannon build so not very tanky
- Takes practice to get good with
- Needs a lot of gold
- Nothing to escape CC with

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With Xin Zhao I go with the traditional 21-9-0 masteries set (as well as with other AD carry champions).

In the Offensive Tree:
  • Summoner's Wrath : This is a great mastery because when using Ghost, I get an extra 35% speed increase for faster champions like Master Yi, and when using Ignite, it gives us a bit more AD for ganking :D
  • Brute Force : An extra boost of damage is always good for an AD carry
  • Alacrity : Increases attack speed by 4% which is better than nothing, but we really want this for the next line of masteries
  • Deadliness : A great mastery to go along with our rune choices of AD per level
  • Lethality : Goes well with our mastery and rune choices so we don't need to worry about building crit as much while in game
  • Weapon Expertise : Armor pen. is important for every attack damage champion. Again, less need for it while in game
  • Havoc : Not necessary, but still a good increase in damage
  • Vamprisim: Great for early lifesteal. No need for Doran's Blade because with this and our passive, we have great sustain
  • Sunder : Again, another great mastery for any AD carry
  • Executioner : A must for any carry, AD/AP. A 6% increase of damage to enemies below 40% health

In the Defensive Tree:

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Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Attack Damage

Greater Glyph of Scaling Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Scaling Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration

To sum it all up, Xin Zhao can be an insane AD carry. We try to build as much AD into the scale so that he hits hard from level 1 to 18. Typically I get fed by level 5 or lower :)

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Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells

[Ghost]: Your Champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster for 10 seconds. This is a great spell in my opinion especially when someone is running away or when you are running away. It ignores unit collision meaning you can run through minion waves without glitching out trying to get around them. Also, you become faster for 10 seconds so if someone is running away, use this and then dive in!
[Ignite]: Ignites an enemy unit, dealing (50 + 20 × level) true damage over time to a single target and reduces the health regeneration and the healing effects received by 50%. This is a must in my opinion on any champion, besides maybe tanks and support. Basically, you deal "true damage" meaning direct damage to the target. This damage cannot be reduced by armor or magic resist. Also, it reduces health regeneration and healing effects they receive by 50%. So, if you come to face an enemy with high life steal or a type of heal, use this for some extra damage and to reduce how much they heal so hopefully towards the end of the fight you have more health than them.
[Exhaust]: Slows movement speed by 40% and reduces autoattack damage by 70% and ability/item damage by 35% for 2.5 seconds. This is another great spell because with Summoner's Wrath , armor pen. runes and masteries, and The Black Cleaver, the enemy will virtually have no armor left (almost like you are doing true damage). You can also use it like Ghost and escape from or catch enemies. Also, you can use this on an enemy building tanky/AD to shut them down in a team fight. Wins for you!

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Ability Explanations

Ability Explanations

  • Tireless Warrior: (Innate): Xin Zhao is healed for 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 for every 3 attacks that he lands. This is a key factor in making Xin Zhao extremely successful. This and the lifesteal we get from Vampirism allows us to remain in lane for a long time because of great sustain and win fights early on because you are more likely to have more health then the enemy!
  • Three Talon Strike (Q): (Active): Xin Zhao prepares to unleash a fearsome combo, causing his next 3 standard attacks to deal bonus damage with the final attack knocking his opponent into the air. This is without a douby my favorite skill, and the most important skill on Xin Zhao. It gives a huge attack damage bonus, and on the third hit it knocks enemies in the air allowing you to get another attack in.

    Tip- Avoid using this before a fight because it resets auto attacks. With this, use it AFTER the first hit.
  • Battle Cry (W): (Passive): Xin Zhao has passively increased attack speed.
    (Active): Xin Zhao unleashes a battle cry, doubling his passive attack speed for 5 seconds and causing his standard attacks during this time to reduce all of his other abilities' cooldowns by 1 second.
    The passive attack speed boost is very effective and removes the need for anything besides The Black Cleaver for an attack speed boost. The active is great because it increases that amount and reduces the cooldowns on your other abilities (Standard Attacks!).
  • Audacious Charge (E): (Active): Xin Zhao charges an enemy, dealing magic damage and slowing all enemies in the area for 1.5 seconds. This is Xin's dash ability which makes him difficult to get away from. Though, it is not as effective as LeBlanc's Distortion because it is a dive, but you can yourself into some bad situations at times. This ability is great in team fights because it has a slow that slows everyone around you, and does good damage to the target. The only problem is Xin Zhao is not AP, but AD. The damage for this is increased with ability power because it deals magic damage, not physical damage.
  • Crescent Sweep (R): (Active): Xin Zhao executes a fierce spear sweep on targets around him, dealing base damage + 15% of their current health in physical damage. His armor and magic resistance are boosted for 6 seconds by 25 plus a bonus per enemy champion hit. This is an extremely strong ulti. Xin Zhao deals damage to all targets around him. As you level this, the base damage goes up. Since it does more damage the more health they have, it is a good idea to use this early in the fight. It is almost like Deathfire Grasp where you use it before your other abilities. Also it increases your magic resistance and armor, like Singed's ulti. This is great because we didn't build tanky. This can also be used to hit invisible enemies such as Shaco if he tries to run away.

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Skill Sequence

Skill Sequence Order

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

> > >

This is the order of spells from most to least important. Crescent Sweep is most important, as are most ultis, because it has huge burst, armor/magic resist, and can take out an entire teams health instantly.

Then we get to Three Talon Strike. I find it more important than Audacious strike because at the end you get a knock up, and it does decent damage. However, audacious strike is your dash which also has huge damage output and armor doesn't counter this move. So, they are pretty much equal in important but I personally prefer Three Talon Strike first.

Battle Cry is extremely important, however it doesn't deal damage, but instead increases attack speed. I find it important however because after your first rotation, you can use this to lower the cooldown of your other spells. So, its not really NOT important, but the other spells put out the damage.

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Starting Items

Boots of Speed
Xin Zhao is not very mobile early game, so this is pretty important especially when getting ganked, running away, or chasing an enemy.

Health Potion
Though Xin Zhao has good sustain, I still get 3 pots because if you are against say, Garen top, you will lose the battle of sustain. We have sustain, but not a lot. I personally like to get this, but you don't have to.

Doran's Blade
To be honest, I almost always get one. However, if you are fighting someone in your lane that you know you can beat, I wouldn't get it just because you can get an early start on your boots, and we have decent health and sustain from our masteries.

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Core Items

I choose these items in every match I play because of a few reasons. One being, they fit my play style perfectly. Second, I feel Xin Zhao REQUIRES these items, as do other AD carries.

Berserker's Greaves
Since Xin Zhao's Battle Cry increases attack speed, I only get this and The Black Cleaver as my source of attack speed. This is a smart choice because now we can focus on building more AD.

The Black Cleaver
The Black Cleaver is an extremely underrated item. I feel this is a necessity for Xin Zhao as well as other AD carries because it gives us a boost of AD and attack speed. However, its passive make it different from other items. Physical attacks reduce the enemies armor! This is great because all of his attacks are physical except for audacious strike, and it also removes the need for a Last Whisper!

The Bloodthirster
The Bloodthirster is very important because it is our main source of lifesteal. This removes the need to build tanky because we can get Frozen Mallet, and then just hit back all the health we lost in a fight, if any ;) It also gives a good amount of AD. Its passive is important because we gain AD and lifesteal per kill we get. Being an AD carry, I would hope we get a lot of those!

Frozen Mallet
The Frozen Mallet makes us a great carry, because it gives us +700 health! This is great for our build because we rely a lot on lifesteal, and the more health we have, the more life we steal. Also, it gives a good amount of AD for a tank item. Thus, we are not so much a "glass-cannon" carry.

Infinity Edge
This is a great item for any AD carry because it gives a huge amount of AD, and crit! Its passive also increases crit damage by 50% so by the time we get to the Infinity Edge, we will have tons of AD, and we will be critting for huge amounts of damage.

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Other Viable Items

Though I don't prefer these items, I will take them in certain situations, especially struggling with staying alive.

Randuin's Omen
This is great when taking a ton of damage because it gives us armor, health regeneration, and an extra 350 health. Its passive is also important because it has CDR, and has the chance to slow enemies attack speed and movement speed. Its active is also great because now it effects everyone in the area for when in a team fight or getting ganked.

Banshee's Veil
I may grab one of these against a hard hitting AP such as LeBlanc or Lux. This is a good item because it blocks the next ability from the enemy, screwing up their whole rotation. It also gives magic resist, health, and mana.

I may grab this against an AD if they aren't hitting hard, but faster. This is good against assassin's or enemies like Teemo, Shaco, and Garen if they didn't over load on attack damage.

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Laning as Xin Zhao shouldn't be too hard because of our AD, sustain, armor, etc. However, some enemies can be difficult. It takes good judgement and experience to figure it out for your play style. I will have a list of champions and how to lane against them soon!

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Xin Zhao is a great jungler as he has great sustain. Also, he is a great ganker because he is extremely strong, so with the buffs he is even better. Before you jungle with Xin Zhao, I advise learning to jungle on a different character first, and learn the routes and good timing for ganks etc. I will also be posting more on this section in the near future!

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Teamfights are pretty easy for Xin Zhao. As AD carry, just open with your ulti, and choose a target with your team, take them down and move along to the next target. I will be putting in some video examples soon.

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Hopefully this guide helped you become better with Xin Zhao and the game in general! Please check back for the laning and jungling sections of this guide. Please leave some feedback and think twice before you downvote!