I used to never play Xin as a jungler, frankly because I didn't know how. I have tested many routes and items to jungle with, and now this is the only way I play him. I would have to say that I excel at melee dps over all other types of champs, and Xin is one of the strongest. Hope this guide helps..
Xin Zhao Champion Spotlight
Some changes have happened since this but the basic abilities are the same. Xin's ultimate has been nerfed to 15% instead of 20%, the battle cry passive isn't lost while on cooldown, and his basic attack damage has been increased.
15 armor pen -Armor penetration runes aid in Xin's early game damage and also add to the other flat armor pen I have in my build. 10% attack speed -Attack speed runes allow Xin's passive Challenge to proc more often and also increase his overall damage output. 13 armor - Armor runes offer succor to Xin's jungle by reducing the incoming damage. 4.5 flat magic resist and 16 magic resist at 18 - This allows for more sustainability by a making you a little more resilient to pesky casters poking you.
With them "buffing" the jungle exp you don't need as much increased exp gain, but you still need some. They failed to make it camps exp the same as with the previous 4% gain. With this said I went 15-1-14 picking up improved ghost and smite along with the increased jungle buff duration and a small exp boost.
If you prefer burst over sustainability max "Q" before "W".
The main reason people use Xin's "Q" is for the knock up; this can still be achieved with only one rank into this skill. The second reason is the increased burst damage; which is, at max level, 75 additional damage per auto attack for three attacks, totaling to 225 damage.
The main reason people use Xin's "E" is the slow; which the slow percentage is increased by 100% from ranks one through five(20-40%). The second use is initiation; which is self-explanatory.
Granted TTS may be able to deliver more damage with your attack damage+armor pen(over three attacks). The AC damage is instant and the improved slow will actually let you get your full combo off plus addional auto attacks. The slow, cooldown, and damage are all improved by ranking AC; only the damage increases by ranking TTS.
Pros / Cons
-Great damage(despite the last patch)
-His passive Challenge grant sustainability in both lane and jungle.
-% damage ultimate
-Ultimate also makes him more tanky
-Gap closer with Audacious Charge
-Decent base health pool and movement speed.
-Low cooldowns, with Battle Cry
-Low mana costs
-No real way of escaping
-No efficient way to farm other then last hitting with auto attacks, ult can be used, but you really shouldn't waste your ult on creeps.
-Focused often, public enemy #1
Vampiric Scepter - Lots of junglers start off with cloth armor and 5 health pots, granted that is the safer way to jungle, my way is much more cost efficient.(no Health Potions)
Wriggle's Lantern - By far the best item in the game for a jungler. Free ward every 3 minutes, 20% chance to deal loads of extra damage to creeps, and 18% lifesteal. This item allows for an earlier safer dragon kill.
Mercury's Treads - Imo the best boots in the game, cc is every champions worst nightmare, reduce it with these; not to mention the magic resist, it may not be much but it does help against those annoying casters that just poke you over and over.
Phage - Later built into a Trinity Force, an early phage will help tremendously with your ganking endeavors, especially if red buff isn't readily available.
The Black Cleaver- Many Xin builds call for this item and why not its a great item for moderately armored opponents. Since I am using flat armor penetration for this build the Black Cleaver feels right at home. A little armor shredding, attack speed, and attack damage never hurt anyone(except the other team).
Trinity Force - Gives you basically a little bit of every utility/offensive stat in the game. Also comes with some pretty unique passives. 12% movement speed(better mobility around the map and during fights). The slow from the Phage component. And the ever so powerful Sheen, this adds the amazing passive of increasing your next abilities damage on spell cast.
The last item can really be whatever you want. Infinity Edge- This is not an item to be overlooked. It gives amazing damage(80) and the only item in the game to increase critical strike damage. This is the icing on the cake.
Every game is different and any good player knows you have to be flexible with your build. These optional items will help you choose appropriate substitutes for the build above; to counter certain champions/build of the other team.
Sunfire Cape- This is a good item and the only reason it is not in my build above is because the active on Randuin's Omen is simply amazing. But if you are one that often forgets to use said active the sunfire cape is for you.
Frozen Heart- Another great defensive item, I would suggest this if the other team has 2 or more attack speed type champions. Grants the user 99 armor, the second highest amount achievable with one item. The only downside to this items is the persistent aura may give away potential ganks.
Madred's Bloodrazor- By far one of the best dps items in the game, if you are facing off against high health opponents then you should incorporate this item into your build.
Youmuu's Ghostblade - This not only offers cdr, armor pen, and attack damage. It offers an awe inspiring active the grants the caster 20% movement speed and 50% attack speed for 4 seconds, additional time may be awarded if the caster continues to attack for the duration, up to 8 seconds.
Banshee's Veil- One of the most widely used defensive items in the league. As it should be, it grants mana, health, magic resist, and a nice little passive that blocks 1 negative spell every 45 seconds. Even after the nerfs, it is still the most bought magic resist item in the game.
Zeke's Herald- Great team asset item. Also if you feel like you need lifesteal as Xin Zhao this would be the item to best benefit from my current build. Attack speed, lifesteal, and an armor debuff. But like Frozen Heart, Zeke's Herald can give away ganks with its aura, therefore the optional category.
Wit's End- A decent overall item that includes magic resist, attack speed, and and 42 damage on hit effect.(Imo the old wit's end was better)
Hexdrinker- Another good item that offers magic resist and damage, this item also includes a pretty nice passive that would block lethal magic damage. Nice for those pesky casters.
Xin Zhao is a tanky dps carry, his job is to dart into the fight right after the opposition has blown their crowd control effects i.e. Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy. At this specific point during the fight is where Xin Zhao excels because he can pretty much attack freely, and that's a scary thing. Use Audacious Charge to dive into the fray, after completing this simple task activate your ultimate, Crescent Sweep, this will automatically drop every enemy team members health by 15%, that can easily turn the tides. Once your ultimate has been used, proceed to aim for the squishies i.e. ranged dps/casters, followed by the melee dps and finally the tanks. The high priority cases( first to die) shouldn't be a problem 4-6 attacks tops w/o your other teammates attacking them(which happens more than it should). And with the low health high damage people out of the way the opposing melee dps should be rather easy to focus down.
1- Double Golems
"A slow attacking monster that deals large amounts of damage and has a large amount of health".
Right after your first attack on one of the golems use Three Talon Strike, this will reset your auto attack thus dealing more damage faster. Use Smite directly after. (return here after killing the ancient golem before attempting the lizard elder)
"A fragile monster that takes less damage from physical attacks and steals life each time it strikes". The Wraith lifesteal is fairly low, but it makes it harder to kill in the early to midgame.
Start with the large wraith frist. Auto attack then TTS and as soon as TTS goes on cooldown activate Battle Cry, then finish off the other wraiths with auto atacks and TTS.
"A fast monster with an increased chance to critically strike its target". It can be found in groups of 2 with a giant wolf.
Same as with the wraiths(target the large one first then finish off the others).
4- Ancient Golem(blue buff)
"A tough monster that attacks with slow but punishing blows. Slaying this foe greatly increases mana regeneration and reduces cooldowns."
Auto attack then TTS and as soon as TTS goes on cooldown activate Battle Cry. Use TTS whenever its off cooldown. When the Ancient Golem is down to roughly 500 health maybe a little lower use Smite to finish it off then just aa the lesser creeps.
After you finished golem gank if there is an opportunity. If not continue your jungle. Return to the double golems and kill them, do not use Smite.
5- Elder Lizard(red buff)
"A melee monster with large amounts of health. Killing this foe grants a slowing attack that deals damage over time."
Kill the Elder Lizard the same way you killed the Ancient Golem. Once you have red buff gank, only jungle more if you need to regain some lost health, other than that dont stop ganking until red is gone.
"A powerful and dangerous monster who can blow fire on its enemies causing damage over time and slowing attack speed. Slaying this foe grants global gold to your team".
Once you have your Wriggle's Lantern you can solo dragon(just because you can doesn't mean you should). Dragon should be a joint effort by bottom lane and yourself. Mid often comes to help by actually damaging dragon or standing as a sentry.
7- Baron Nashor
"This is a very powerful hostile monster, approach with caution! Killing this monster will yield great monetary and magical rewards to the team
Like dragon, Baron Nashor should be a joint effort of at least 4 members of your team. And only attempt Baron if you're sure the other team will not stop/interfere with your endeavors.
Green Dots- Good ward spots
Pretty self-explanatory, these ward spots will grant you vision to most of the map.
1-2-3-4-1-5-2-3- then even though you can solo, you should pretty much always kill dragon with your team, unless there is no present threat- and always use your team to kill baron also, because even though you could possibly kill baron on your own the power of your team will get it done much faster and safer.
This is a short video on my masteries, runes, and a walk through of your first run through the jungle.( I apologize for the music fraps picked it up in the background and I didn't edit it out lol)
The most important part of jungling is to gank, so much to the point that your opponents are afraid to come from behind their tower. Ganking not only legitimizes the existence/need of a jungler, but is a great way for your team to out level your enemies and often have the edge of surprise.
While ganking communicate with your team(focus the squishies with the least amount of escape options). Also if your initial gank has failed don't be discouraged, leave then come back around for a second try.
This is a short video displaying a few ganks from my last game.
As you saw I attempt to gank as soon as level 3, this works most of the time as long as your Ghost is off cooldown. If no ganking opportunities present themselves return to your jungle. After blue return to the double golems, then pick up red buff. Assess you ganking opportunities, now go gank.
Your Job as a Jungler
+ Ward often
+ Gank often
+ Hold lanes if they're in danger
+ Counter-jungle(not needed but helps a lot)
+ Strike fear into your enemies
+ Maintain your level
Players in general
+ All of the above
+ Help your jungler when he/she attempts to gank
A little proof
Some screenshots of recent games, more to come.
In conclusion, Xin Zhao is a very fun and powerful champion to play. I would recommend all players to try him at least once. I know this is a short guide but I will be adding more as my Xin Zhao experience increases, and the more feedback I get from the community. Criticism is always welcome, as long as its constructive. I really hope this has helped and that you enjoyed it.
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