Build Guide by Bouwman
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.
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's Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02jO_YHkTMQ
Xin Zhao is one of the best burst champions in the game hosting an array of abilities allowing him to destroy entire hoards of enemy champions in a snap of the finger. Well maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but getting triple, quadra and sometimes penta kills with him isn't rare. Wihtout further ado... here are his pros and cons:
+ Good initiator and amazing ganker
+ Slow and knock up makes his burst damage that much more effective
+ Can jungle with decent ability
+ Can survive long in the farming/laning phase with his passive and his decent health amount considering his burstiness
+ Great chaser
+ Can carry HARDDDD :)
- Targeted first after initiating a team fight 99% of the time and crowd controlled hard which wrecks him...
- No escape mechanisms (Audacious Charge can be used on enemy minions... but it's not always the case) therefore getting targeted and focused first puts a lot of hope that you're team can support you
I take Exhaust and Ghost as my summoner spells. Exhaust can really help me get First Blood when combined with my Audacious Charge's slow... All around it is a great spell to utilize when ganking and bursting, and so that is why have no regret in taking it over any other spell. Ghost basically gives me that ability to get out of ****ty situations fast, because Xin doesn't have any nautral escape mechanisms.... and it also of course helps me chase people with better effectiveness.
I take the 21-9-0 mastery tree, taking all the crit masteries in my offensive tree since I will be critting alot mid and late game. And the 9 in my defensive tree is devoted into dodge stats which is always a good thing.
I level my Audacious Charge first, which is contrary to a lot of Xin Zhao's out there. Although Three Talon Strike will give you that additional attack damage and that Knock Up, it is not a great initiator... since when the enemy champion hears your battle cry and your spear sparkle, they will most likely run. With Audacious Charge, I can initiate the 2 on 2 fight in laning phase, with my Charge, and additionally slow them to give me and my lane partner more hits on them. Pull my exhaust after the slow ends, and you got a potential kill. But it somewhat depends on how strong your lane partner is in the laning phase... cause a Sona or Soraka will not get you that kill. I then level my Three Talon Strike and then Battle Cry to get my full combo ASAP. But remember pulling your full combo (E/Q/W) costs a lot of mana and easily makes you mana hungry early on. I then level my Three Talon Strike and Battle Cry again to essentially give me more DPS, while I level my Ultimate whenever I can. I also level my Audacious Charge more after getting my Ulti, since the extra damage is always nice when initiating.
I take Attack Speed Marks and Quints, Dodge Seals and Cooldown Reduction per Level Glyphs. The Attack Speed runes are obvious in maxing my burst damage. The Dodge Seals help me trigger my Nimbleness mastery more, and the Cooldown Reduction per Level Glyphs are essentially useful mid and late game when trying to endure in harass/team fights.
I take Doran's Blade and a Health Pot as my starting items. Doran's Blade will not only give me +3 additional life steal and +100 Health in letting me stay out in my lane longer, but that valued +8 Attack Damage which will help me get first blood. I will try to base when I have enough gold for my Zerker's Greaves which will help my burst damage more, and as well get me fast minion kills. The Black Cleaver will end my Early Game giving me +55 Attack Damage, +30% Attack Speed, and Armor Penetration allowing me to reduce ones armor by 15 for 5 seconds (max is 3 stacks.. so 45 Armor Penetration from my Three Talon Strike). The Black Cleaver basically gives you superior DPS mid game allowing you to slay ANY Champion that gets too greedy.
Tip: If you are zoning out the opposition, consider harassing the enemy champions a bit more then usual so much as so to nearly slay them, yet do not die as you want to revert back to the minion waves and trigger your passive to regenerate your health to rev up for another harass.
I buy a Phantom Dancer to gift me +55% Attack Speed, +30% Crit Strike Chance and +15% Movement Speed to further maximize my burst damage. With my items along with the passive of my Battle Cry I will have roughly 1.8 Attack Speed and 165 Attack Damage, making my auto attacks hit hard. So in theory, I can devestate a unit with 825 damage within a matter of 3 seconds with just my auto attacks. After my Phantom Dancer, I'll buy a Soul Shroud to help my team! The +520 Health is good in helping me surive longer, while the aura is essential. It gives nearby champions 12 mana regeneration per 5 seconds and 15% reduced Cooldowns. The mana regeneration can help me push longer, while the cooldown reduction combined with my runes can make a slight difference in my cooldowns late game. I will explain more about the reason behind the aura later on.
Tip: You can slay nearly every champion 1 on 1 with The Black Cleaver and Phantom Dancer.
End game I will temporarily sell my Zerker's Greaves to buy an Infinity Edge to dominate! My DPS is so amazingly large now that I can become unstoppable if not focused by the other team of course. The +75 damage is great, and the +20% Crit Chance extends my Crit Chance to 52%! So logically I will be critting every 2 attacks, with 260% Crit Damage! And to finish the build and if the game is one of those marathons, I'll get The Bloodthirster. +60 more Attack Damage and +25% Lifesteal just makes me unstoppable killing each champion in their base.
Tip: You are unstoppable unless focused after you've got your Infinity Edge... :/
In terms of Early Game, you can really stick it out in your lane long with your passive and Doran's Blade. If you are zoning the opposition, your lane mate might get mad because you are constantly auto attacking minions to trigger your passive. While if you are zoned out by the opposition, you can't trigger your passive that often, so try to find a way to gank them. Take advantage of foolish moves, and punish them with your full combo and then some! When you got your Zerker's and that Dagger for your Black Cleaver, you can clear minion waves a whole lot faster, and times might come where you can get some attacks on their turret. Be sure to activate your Battle Cry when attacking it, as you'll need all the attacks you can buy before the turret clears your minion wave or an enemy champion arrives. Once you got your Black Cleaver, you are golden for Mid Game.
After you've got your Phantom Dancer mid game, you'll be critting more. Minion waves will obviously die a whole lot faster, and your auto attacks really hurt enemy champions. The 15% movement speed also helps you get out of bad situations as well which is good knowing Xin Zhao's escape mechanisms.
Now, here's where I will explain this build to you... There's a reason why he's called the Seneschal of Demacia and guards the royal family. From his own words, "My king commands," try and substitute king with the squishy champion on your team who makes a difference in team fights. Whether it's Akali, Anivia, Annie, Ashe, Caitlyn, Evelynn, Ezreal, Fiddlesticks, Heimerdinger, Kayle, Kog'maw, Leblanc, Lux, Malzahar, Miss Fortune, Morgana, Nidalle, Pantheon, Ryze, Shaco, Sivir, Sona, Soraka, Twisted Fate, Twitch, Veigar, or Zilean... it is your DUTY to protect them! Like all squishies, theres a reason they're squishy and that's because they're so effective in team fights (be that DPS or Support) and so they're going to want stay in the back of a team fight and strike moments after the tanks have made contact. If the other team is smart they will focus the squishy on your team, and this is where you come in! The tank will dive in and attack your squishy, and following him will be the enemy burst/carry champion. Whether it's Akali, Irelia, Jax, Master Yi, Olaf, Pantheon, Poppy, Tryndamere or the enemy Xin Zhao, it's your job to slay them as fast as possible before they slay your squishy! Save your squishy, kill there squishy/carry is what you're striving for! If there squishy is too afraid to dive in to attack your carry, then slay that mediocore champion whose attacking your squishy, and hope your teammates can save your squishy from there squishy somehow.
Now that you understand the strategy behind this build, the aura of Soul Shroud will definitely help your squishy... especially if they're a caster who wants cooldown reduction, (Lux, Ryze and Veigar to name a few) as they want to unleash their combos as much as possible in a team fight. Lux will get her lazer off faster, Ryze will combo more, and Veigar will nuke more. The mana regeneration will also help them push as well.
End game... if you got your Infinity Edge up, you'll be kicking some serious ***. Crit, auto attack, crit, auto attack, crit, auto attack, crit. The Bloodthirster will seal the deal in terms of penta killing them. :)
In conclusion, you are your Squishies Seneschal. You see Akali shadow dash in at your Ryze, it's your duty to relieve Ryze of the Akali scum and slay her as fast as possible with your combo. E and slow, Q and knock up, W and cooldown reduction on your E and Q, and you should be making a difference.
PS: I do realize that Xin Zhao is an amazing initiator, yet I find he's focused, crowd controlled and slain far too easily when initiating... So I hope you understand why I've gone completely opposite of initiating, and that is protecting. Protect your squishies, and then finish off there team due to your amazing chasing skills.