Xin Zhao Build Guide by Ephimedius

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Ephimedius

Xin Zhao: The Nuclear Bomb

Ephimedius Last updated on April 6, 2013
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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: 0


Utility: 9

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I am going to give you a short guide on Xin Zhao. Please remember that all of these are the choices that work for me and if it doesn't work for you, too bad you're not aggressive enough and note that this guide is for people with very aggressive play style such as: Bull chargers, Tower Divers, Berserkers and any or all of these combined. You must have little or no regard for your life to play like this and i wont promise you that you will not die much. In short: Not for sissies.

"Remember that all builds are subject to situational changes." - PsiGuard

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Xin Zhao

Xin Zhao is an extremely versatile champion. He can build as assassin, bruiser, ad carry(yes, believe me). I usually play him as adc and hard ganker.

  • Extreme burst damage
  • Great Ganker
  • Initiator
  • Very strong all game long if played right
  • One of the best duelists in game
  • Tower eater
  • No escape mechanism
  • Vulnarable to nukes
  • Small mana problems

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Ignite - Damage and reduced healing, obviously. Usually used as a finish-off move.(My choice)
Ghost - Your escape mechanism, gap closer and counter to Flash. (My choice)
Flash - Mainly to counter flash on the escaping opponents.
Exhaust - To slow down your opponents, reduce their armor by 10 and slow their attack speed. It is a huge advantage but not my choice.

Use combination of any of these skills.

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Skill explanation and Rotation

Three Talon Strike - Xin Zhao prepares to unleash a fearsome combo, causing his next 3 standard attacks to deal his attack damage + 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 (+1.2 per attack damage)to enemy targets, with the final attack knocking his opponent into the air. Each strike while active reduces the cooldown of his other skills by one second.
Your bread and butter skill. You will level this at levels 1,4,5,7,9. Additionally this skill works against towers meaning your attacks will deal the extra damage to towers. Coupled with Battle cry you can burn through towers.

Battle cry - Passive: Xin Zhao passively heals himself every third basic attack by 25 / 31 / 37 / 43 / 50 (+70% of ability power).

Active: Xin Zhao unleashes a battle cry, granting him 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 % attack speed for 5 seconds.
Provides some sustenance and extreme attack speed boost.

Audacious Charge - Xin Zhao charges and challenges an enemy. The charge deals 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to all nearby enemies and slows them for 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45% for 2 seconds.
Gap closer and slow enemy.

Crescent Sweep - Xin Zhao unleashes a sweep around him that dealing 125 / 225 / 325 (+ 1.0 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to all nearby enemies equal to a base amount plus 15% their current health and knocks them back. Xin Zhao gains 15 / 20 / 25 bonus armor and magic resistance for 6 seconds for each champion hit.

If a challenged target is hit by the sweep, it is unaffected by the knockback.
You don't want to use this to push away enemies, but rather to damage your challenged opponent.

First 3 levels(Rotation A):
Get Three talon strike first and Audacious Charge second because you want to dive and 2 hit your opponent then run away which will easily drain half their hp and keep harassing them. You will have the element of surprise on your side when you suddenly jump at them and since your 1st strike will be almost immediate after your jump you only need to hit again once.

Since your cooldowns are low you can keep repeating this on a large amount of HP or ranged opponents. When you do this try to make it look like you're going for the 3rd strike this will make them use their flash and secure a kill for you on the next rotation which will be probably around level 3 and you have Battle Cry. If you can manage to hit your opponents 3 times and knock them up then go for the 4th attack.

The reason you get Battle Cry at level 3 is because it provides 40% attack speed increase which is huge and make your combo more devastating. At level 3 you want to use + right before you jump and not too soon or the enemy will get an idea of what you're trying to do. Alternatively, you can jump and then press the + buttons immediately after you hit once because resets your attack timer. You will need some practice before you can pull this off seamlessly. Use Ghost to chase opponents and if necessary use Ignite to finish them off. It will be very easy to chase since they have their flash on cool down.

For levels 4 and 5 you keep the same rotation just with an increased damage on Three talon strike.

Level 6(Main Rotation):
Here your rotation changes and takes into account your ult. As you can read on the ult it does 15% of current damage + some fixed damage meaning it's best used when your opponent has full hp. So the rotation changes into this: + to self buff, in and just before you hit your opponent or after hitting once use your (ult) then hit twice which will knock him up into the air and give you time to land another normal strike and then if alive(they usually aren't) chase. This is the main rotation you will use throughout the game after level 6 and if your ult isn't available revert to Rotation A.

From level 6 until 13
You will need to level Battle Cry instead of Audacious Charge because it increases the attack speed boost by 10% each level which weighs heavily against the static increase on Audacious Charge.

I call these skill sequences "rotations" because Xin's cooldowns are very low and they give you a feeling of rotating and getting ready rather than cooling down and waiting for it. It gives you a feeling that you can just keep fighting as long as your spells are up and you have the mana for it.

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Strengthening champions

There are usually 2 choices before a player when playing with a champion with promising potential. These are reducing weakness and specializing in one strong point. Personally i go with great lean toward specialization.
The masteries, runes and summoner spells i have chosen mostly serve this purpose.

Spells and Masteries

Ghost will help with your lack of escape mechanism and
give you more chasing power.

Ignite - Mainly used to finish off wounded or fleeing opponents and to reduce healing capabilities.

Summoner's Wrath(mastery) increases Ghost's movement speed bonus to 35%, gives Exhaust +10 armor penetration and Ignite +5 AP/AD when on cool down which is useful in early game.Very useful

Mastermind(mastery) reduces summoner spell cooldowns by 10%. This gives you an edge when fighting against people who have same masteries or flash. While flash's cooldown is 300 seconds, with Mastermind and Summoner's Insight(mastery) it will be 255 seconds at best. Ghost on the other hand has 210 seconds of base cooldown and with Mastermind will be reduced to 189 seconds. Your Ghost will have finished cooling down before your opponent's Flash so you can chase him down twice before his flash loads.

Meditation(mastery) help a lot to cope with mana problems.

Improved Recall(mastery) - Nice and fast.

Artificer(mastery) - Reduces cooldowns of Blade of the Ruined King and Youmuu's Ghostblade.


The Black Cleaver will give you some HP to hold out longer while reducing enemy armor.
Youmuu's Ghostblade coupled with Ghost will give you movement speed so fast that you can reach up to and chase enemies within seconds.
Blade of the Ruined King will give you a slow spell and speed boost while also creating a huge health swing. Use the main rotation and in between your 3 strikes use this item's active ability for an awesome increase in burst OR you can use either Ghost or Youmuu's Ghostblade to chase down and then use Blade of the Ruined King's active ability to slow the enemy down so you can catch up to them as it has a very nice range of 550.
Berserker's Greaves can be replaced by either Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Mercury's Treads depending on the situation.
Last Whisper is very useful for shredding armor of tanks as it provides large amount of % penetration which is a doom for high amount of armor.
Trinity Force - Damage, HP and Mana boost, a chance to slow, 1st attack is boosted after using a skill and
Enchantment: Homeguard - It's very important to have this enchantment on your boots by mid game. It provides an instant replenishment of your health and mana and provides giant amount of move speed boost which runs out at your Level 3 turrets.
Enchantment: Distortion - Sets your ghost to 142 seconds. Choose between this and Homeguard.

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In this match they surrendered at 20 minutes.

Spoiler: Click to view

In this match i went mid against Syndra.
Spoiler: Click to view

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This guide is still in editing phase and is not final. I will be adding more insightful information into this guide over time.