Hello and welcome to my Xin Zhao guide. In this guide I will try to explain how I play Xin Zhao as well as runes, masteries and item build that I'm using with him.
This build is focused on both AD and AS parts of DPS. If you play smart and patient I guarantee you that you will carry your team to victory... So without further ado, lets get cracking :)
For masteries I go 21 points in offense and 9 in Defense, but if you find some other combination to work better with this build feel free to change.
Flash, is basicly a spell that I use on 90% of champions I play with, so it's the same deal with Xin Zhao. It will allow you to escape/chase/flash in someones face/flash for a KS etc with ease. Decent substitute for Flash is Ghost, so I honestly recomand that one of summoner's spells be eather Flash or Ghost
Second spell is totaly up to you, thou I find Ignite and/or Clense to be second best option.
----HOW to Play----
Start with Boots and 2 Healing pots. You can spend the rest of the money on pots but there's no need. The first skill I choose is Battle Cry, unless I go with a premade and we are aiming for a Firstblood in wich case Three Talon Strike is a must. If you can find a Shaco, and he is willing to take a Decieve as first skill, you will (without doubt) get FB. Open on marked target with Three Talon Strike. As soon as your target is knocked up in the air, Shaco should decive behind it for crit and bonus backstab dmg. Then Put ignite and exaust (asuming that shaco has exaust) and keep auto attacking till the opponent is dead. You can even Flash towards him for that Killing blow. Most of a time Shaco will get FB, but hey, that's ok :)
As u progress throu laning phase, play samrt and defensively. My advice is to lvlup your skills in following order: R(ulti)<Q<E<W . Your goal is to stay in lane and farm till u get at least 975 gold. Then port back and buy Pickaxe. You should be aiming for Mordred's Bloodrazor, trying to get Pickaxe as first item then Recuve bow then the rest. This item is awsome, it gievs you all you need for your first item, and bonus to shred tanks and high HP champs with ease.
In between finishing Bloodrazor you can try to finish your Berzerk Greaves. I go with them 90% of a time. The only other ones that I might be interested in are Mercury Threads, but that is only if enemy team has 4 or 5 CCers.
At this point team fights or ganks are more and more viable to happen. Xin has a great dmg output. Charge to your enemy with your E skil than quickly use Q and if there are more than one opponent near your target use your ulti. Than you can use W so you get a little AS boost and CD on your skills (as well as your ulti). Using Battle Cry is also very smart when you pushing turrets. Bonus AS is great for bringing them down faster.
Your goal (as far as items is concerned) in Mid game is to get Zeal and Last Wisper and should start working towards Stark's Fervor. If you think that you have enough DPS without Last WIsper's armor penetration, then switch those two items build prio.
As with all other melee champs in late game - do NOT go alone. Even if you can easily take 1on1 almost any class by now, don't do it unless if its realy nessesary. Try to keep up with some teammates and to push/gank in team. If you have to be initiator of a team fight then be so. But take notice that you wont probably survive that fight. But hey, as long as you take down one of them and help bursting dmg on few others it's ok. If you are the initiator, mark the most squishiest target and charge on him, doing basicly the same rotation as already explained above.
Your goal in late game is to turn zeal into Phantom Dancer, and work on your sixth item. I suggest something between Guardian Angel, Infinity Edge, Bloodthirster or even Black Cleaver. Thou depending on your opponents team you might wanna consider some other items that will boost your survavibility or damage output vs them.
Screenshot that shows that you can actualy reach 20+ kills per game:
Core item build
* You will probably get Attack Speed caped with this build at around lvl 16 - 18, depending on items you managed to collect. Now I know some might think that is a bad thing, why so much AS items and no AD. The idea behind a build is to max 3 other skills before battle cry, and to attack so fast with starks and your passive that you can basicly 1v1 any hero in a game or sometimes even take more than one hero alone.
* Three Talon Strike is a great skill to interupt those annoying AoE ulties such as Katarinas' or Nunus' etc. You can even try to practice to swing 2 times on one oponent and 3rd strike to hit those you wish to knoch up in the air. It will take a little practice, but playskill like those will distinguish you from the rest of Xin Zhao players :)
* Don't go tanking build on him. Like never! "But why not? Phreak played one in his spotlight??" Well you realy don;t want another Olaf in a team, and if Phreak plays something the way he see it feet, doesn't mean that that is the best way to go. I'm not saying that he is bad player...quite the opposite, but for me, Xin Zhao has insane dmg potentional and would be a shame to waste it on some weak hitting dps with 4k hit points. Leave a tanking to Shen, Alsiter, and those guys who can actualy use their skills to absorb damage.
* Don't jungle. This is just a personal preferance, but I hate junglers in my team. Yeah they will lvl as fast as middle lane guy. Yes your 1v2 teammate will outlvl those two in bot/top lane. But eventualy junglers need to keep jungling to get lvl/gold and will miss alot of teamfights 2v2, 3v3, ganks etc. It is maybe just my bad expirience with junglers, but when it comes to mid game, they are just nowhere to be found in team fights, and they are often ganked balls to the walls, by oposing (smart ) team.
* You are great CC. You can slow pipl, throw them into the air. Don't be afraid to use that to feed your teammate carries. Dead enemy player is good no matter if you got kill or assist.
* Don't go with stack items. Even thou Sword of the Ocult and Leviathan are very good items, I wouldn't sugest it. You will rush into the fights, you will die, but you will also kill and kill-assist alot. Playing mid and late game a little more defensively (becouse you are worried for your stacks), will significantly lower your dps and killing potential.
That's it for now. Try it, learn it, love it. It will net you some great games I promise you that. My first game with this build was 15/6/11. My best score with this champion (and this build) is 35/10/16. That game lasted for 72 minutes and was a blast!
Hope this guide helped you a little and see you... INTO THE ARENA!