Xin Zhao Build Guide by Elthizar
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hey guys! My name is Elthizar, and I am a summoner on EU West. Among my favourite things to do in the League is to try out unorthodox and often stupid builds, to see if a champion could viably play where they would not be expected to. This Xin Zhao build I came up in early June, and after some vigorous play-testing, considered this build ready for some serious scrutiny in the eyes of my fellow summoners.
Pros / Cons
- Playing aggressively as soon as you hit level 2 can often reward you with an empty lane or first blood.
- This build is very good against heavy-AP champions, so you will often be able to tank a lot of your lane opponent's burst early-game.
- The damage this build deals is nothing short of crazy. I have been able to kill the enemy carry in an E-Q combo, cutting the other team's burst down by a substantial amount.
- This build is, for the most part, a heavy glass cannon build. If you get focussed in a team fight, you will die.
- If you are against someone with a lot of CC, then it is likely you will not be able to deal your full combo.
- You are often very susceptible to early ganks, before you have a chance to buy your
The mastery choices are standard for a melee champion. Heavy contributions into the defence tree allow you to tank a lot more damage than your lane opponent, while nine points of offence allow for a strong early and mid game.
Your biggest considerations should be in Resistance , Honor Guard , and Juggernaut , as these will seriously reduce the damage you will be taking in lane, and allow a good amount of sustain, which will stack very well with the passive heal from Battle Cry.
In Offence, be sure to take Alacrity and Weapon Expertise . These will buff your damage through the roof, along with Brute Force . I like to take Summoner's Wrath as the Ignite bonus is very strong, and will also buff Ghost, should you take it.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
The rune page will allow for a good amount of damage from your Greater Mark of Attack Damage and Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage, attack speed from Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed, and sustain through the early and mid game with Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, where you are not quite as powerful as you can be. Flat Armour and Magic Res allow you to take less damage, while attack speed and AD mean you are dealing lots of damage in lane.
You could consider replacing the armour for more magic resist, but I feel that armour is better, especially if you are going to be ganked in the early stages of the game.
greater mark of desolation could also be great, as it will stack with your Challenge, but I find that if you took armour pen reds, then you would really need to buy a Doran's Blade first for more damage.
I find that Xin has little requirement for more AD in the early game, as runes and masteries grant him a very nice 80+ AD at level 1. Since I play him mid, a Null-Magic Mantle is very useful, allowing you to buy your Mercury's Treads really early, and also setting you up for a very aggressive early game. Wit's End helps solidify your hold on the lane, having over 100 MR without really trying.
I then pick up a Vampiric Scepter and finish a Wriggle's Lantern, before building Youmuu's Ghostblade for some more AD and armour pen, along with the attack speed and movement from the active. The Black Cleaver allows for yet more damage and armour pen, and The Bloodthirster grants some more sustain from lifesteal.
Finishing with a Frozen Mallet will grant you more health and prevent most enemies from escaping your stupendous damage component.
Other Potential Items
You can go without Youmuu's Ghostblade if you're bad at remembering actives, and pick up more damage in the form of a Phantom Dancer or Infinity Edge, magic resistance with Quicksilver Sash or Spirit Visage or armour with Atma's Impaler or Madred's Bloodrazor. Also, if you are getting focussed a lot, combine Atma's with a Warmog's Armor, and you become a high-DPS bruiser, like most champions solo top.
However, I find that the above build is the strongest for the role you are playing, which is ridiculous damage.
I find that maxing Three Talon Strike first allows for easy pick-ups on kills, as it does a considerable amount of damage even at lower levels.
Maxing out Battle Cry next will allow you to sustain very strongly, while going for Audacious Charge next will maximise your damage, and also make kills even easier to pick up, thanks to the slow component. Personally, I prefer to max Audacious Charge first for increased damage.
A must-have for this build, as it is usually what will pick up the kill in the early game, while you fall back feeling exultant as the "First Blood!" declares your victory. It is just so good in all combat situations, be it damage to take down your lane opponent, or the Grevious Wound to half your target's healing. Just amazingly good for this build.
There are arguments for Flash or Ghost on this build, but I prefer to take Flash, as it will allow you to get away from an incoming jungler far safer than Ghost. Also, it is better when chasing, as it will allow you to avoid most CC's your target throws your way. Ghost, when combined with Youmuu's Ghostblade, will allow you to run really fast, escaping ganks or getting you into range for Audacious Charge, but you are susceptible to CC effects while you do this.
Can be a viable choice, but I have found that it does not give a big enough bonus for it to be viable, along with the fact that your target can just use Flash to escape you.
Non-Viable Summoner Spells
In my opinion, the only champion on which this is viable is Dr. Mundo. The fact is you should not, if you are playing Xin Zhao right, be dying anyway.
Not required because you should be picking up your team's blue buff off your jungler at 7 minutes or after.
Granted, it provides you with a big, high-damage tank minion that gives you gold if it kills something, but the issue is it will end up pushing the lane, which is most definitely not what you are wanting to do.
It should be your support's responsibility to take this, and if you are paranoid of being ganked, then just pick up a couple of Sight Ward, which will not cause any major dent in your gold, and keep you wised up on any ganks that may be heading your way.
When farming throughout the game, you should be using Audacious Charge for AoE damage, and Battle Cry to get your cooldowns back faster. When possible, pick up blue buff, as it will allow you to use your abilities even more often, and make even more of a badass. If you have excess mana, then it is not a bad idea to use Three Talon Strike in your rotation, as it has a slightly increased attack speed, allowing you to decimate any minion wave in a matter of seconds.
Unless in dire situations, do NOT use Crescent Sweep to farm. It is a very valuable part of your damage component and sustain, so only use it in fights, where it is necessary.
In summary, Xin Zhao is surprisingly strong in mid, with heavy damage and sustain. This means that aggressive play will often be rewarded, and that you can take fairly heavy damage before giving up the ghost.
Remember to pick up blue when possible and gank lanes as much as you can. You will carve through them like a very sharp thing cutting through a very squishy thing :P
Xin stands ready, do you too?
Cos this game will soon be through.
Go forth, kill and maim,
in mid lane,
You will cause pain,
to those so vain,
Who need to train,
To beat this Xin, in mid lane.
(Personal Apologies, was really bored at the time... :P)
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