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Xin Zhao Build Guide by HAMMERSLAYER


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League of Legends Build Guide Author HAMMERSLAYER

7.18 Gold Efficient Best Xin Zhao Builds and Guide (Update I

HAMMERSLAYER Last updated on September 21, 2017
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Team 1



Ability Sequence

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Ability Key Q
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Ability Key W
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Ability Key E
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Ability Key R

Masteries

18 Ferocity

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12 Cunning

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Threats to Xin Zhao with this build

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Threat Champion Notes
1
Kindred After the Kindred stack changes she is incredibly easy to predict and it should be a very easy win as you mostly know exactly where she will be.
1
Kha'Zix A very active jungler that will hit level 3 fast and then try to gank the most availiable and gankable lane, be mindfull of his advances on the map towards your team and if you see him just harash him as you have the upper hand on 1v1s.
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Amumu A very easy going pick, his pathing is pretty straightforward and so are his ganks, this to countergank him and outfarm him in the early and mid game while trying to kill his carries when he engages your team in late game.
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Sejuani A tank jungler with a moderetly slow clear, she will try to gank lanes every now and then or just babysit one of them, she can be easily 1v1ed with Xin and doesn't pose much of a threat.
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Fiddlesticks A very passive jungler until level 6 that hits a powerspike afterwards, once he gets ulti he will search and target all lanes for potential kills that will allow him to snowball in midgame.
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A quick introduction of myself.

After a lot of games and experimenting i must say that this is the most optimal and gold efficient build you can actually get for Xin,those particular items help you to snowball the early game and carry in the late game.I am a Xin Zhao main and it actually took me hundreds if not thousands of hours to perfect the build, test it, and be able to also perfect every jungle path and strategy with Xin Zhao in order to have reached the Top 8 Xin Zhao in all servers/#1 EUNE and Diamond 3 peak. The builds will be updated when needed and some will be retested with each new patch. Even though i will try to expand this "Guide" do not expect any fancy BBcoding and such, I am here you help you learn the champion not to show you my "Amazing" (awfull) coding skills so expect walls of text and notes, occasionally I will post untested builds for future patches that I create from reading future patch notes but I will mention it by putting the number of the said patch in front of their name. If you have any Questions feel free to comment and i will answer them..


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Champion Gameplay

Xin Zhao as a champion is quite immobile, even though he has a skill in order to engage [E] and potentialy one to disengage [R] (in most cases just to save his team and not himself), he has no spells in order to escape, because of such nature, Xin Zhao even though he is considered a "low skill" champion by many, in reality he needs a great deal of decision making and most of all positioning and timing of the engage. In a lot of games you win see Xin Zhaos to have multiple deaths as a result of bad decision making and engaging the enemy team at wrong instances or wrong order. If you want to properly play Xin Zhao in high elo and carry your way through at low elo then you need to be mindfull of the nature of the champion and not be misled by his simplistic nature. Ps. In most cases if you get cought or engage the enemy with your team or alone then DO NOT try to run, as a Xin Zhao you will never escape, you best and only chance is try to out-sustain them and kill them all or hold them until your team arrives, so just stay and fight like a man until your last dying breath. As a Xin Zhao in the jungle you need to farm as much as possible while also ganking when ever you see a good chance, don't try to just harass people with ganks but rather try to have a good timing and go for the sure kill, afterwards just go back to farming until the next opportunity arises, with Xin Zhao you need to have as many items as possible in a short period of time as he truly shines in the mid and late game.


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General Game Strategies

When you play as Xin Zhao at some points in the game you are faced with certain game changing decisions, some of them being the following:

1) Start of the game, "Should i counterjungle?", the answer in most cases is NO, that is because even though Xin has a good jungle clear he is still clearing relativly slowly, if you want to harass the enemy jungler your best choice is to predict his ganks and try and countergank him, in that case if everything goes smoothly your team will almost certainly get 1-2 kills and you will walk out unscathed.

2) 7-9 minutes of the game, "Should i take solo Dragon ?", that is dependant first on how fast the enemy jungler is with his camps, if he is very fast like Shyvana i would not recommend it as you will probably fall behind in levels and gold, instead you should just ward the dragon so you can stop her from taking it. Secondly, does your team need any help with ganks? if your team is in a bad spot and your lanes are pushed try to help them instead of taking dragon, if you relief some of their stress and put them on the lead then they themself will help you take a dragon together in more safety. Third and not so vital is if the dragon is worth taking at that stage of the game, is it an Inferal Drake? that is in most cases a very big deal and can help a lot in the future, is it an Earth Drake? it can certainly be of use for faster jungle farm and in turn ganks and also maybe to attemp and get Herald later, is it an Ocean Drake? this dragon could help your support and topper regen some health overtime while they are pushed in the lane undertower or if they wait for their fallen opponent to return to their lane while they avoid going B and they gain some extra EXP and Gold, is it a Cloud Drake? it might help a tad for people to go back to their lanes faster but in most cases the benefits don't show until late game or 2nd and 3rd Cloud Drake.

3) 10 minutes in the game, "Should i take Herald?", after the 2017 mid-season changes the answer is a definitive YES, first you must try and make a successful gank on Top or Mid and then ask your Midder and/or Topper to help you take Herald (after the waves are pushed so your laners don't lose farm in the meanwhile), whoever takes the Herald can fast recall to base if needed so preferably the one with the lowest Health/Mana and then after choosing the lane you want to push you can run it down that lane with Herald's help and sieging potential, be aware that the lane that is going to get pushed will lose some farm and most likely will be more prone to ganks,so in the end you must either provide help or ward for that laner or that laner must start roaming the rest of the map while you also press the advantage you already have with the extra push and not let the enemy laners have much time to respond or farm so you can further snowball the game.

4) 20 minuted in the game, "Should i attempt a 20 minute Baron with my teamates?", now this is a tricky one, even though i have done it countless times and it works in a lot of them i would not entierly suggest it, first of all in order for it to work you need to be sure that the enemy team has not spotted you and on top of that you really want only 3 people of your team to come (including you) as the other 2 push in order to not raise suspicion, you need to be swift, have at least 1 tank with you and be mindfull that if you fail and the Baron gets stolen or you all 3 die to enemies then you will be in a very tough spot, because of a failed call like that i have lost games and in turn if the call suceeds i have won games so be very mindfull when you make such a call.

5) 30 minutes in the game, "Should i split as Xin Zhao?", that is also entirely dependant on how the game has played you but in most games at that point of the game i either help team set fights or i just farm in my jungle and some pushed lanes as i don't want to get ganked by the enemy team or give them a chance to engage my team while i am away, try to skirmish for gold and push as much as you can without it being too risky or without vision.

6) 35+ minutes in the game, "Should i get Elder Dragon?", that objective should and will never go uncontested, you need to carefully place wards and play back and forth with the enemy team until you can snatch the chance after a teamfight to take him and in some cases even Baron too.


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Champion Skills and Advice

Challenge is the reason Xin Zhao has a big advantage in DPS over other duelists in the game, while this skill is relatively weak during the early game it scales extremly well during mid and lategame when people purchase armor, making Xin Zhao to easily be able to cut through tanks like a butter and killing them in a very short time. Challenge in combination with the mastery Battering Blows and the often used item Stalker's Blade - Bloodrazor, Blade of the Ruined King and The Black Cleaver just make Xin Zhao's ability to melt just about anyone outstanding.

Three Talon Strike (Q): A very high burst ability that also lowers your other skills cooldowns and knocks up the enemy, overall a great skill and with a 40% CDR build you can use it every 3 seconds and consantly lower the CD of your other skills. Beware that this skill only scales with your Basic Attack Damage and not with the Bonus AD, that is one of the reason why Steraks is present in most of the builds here.

Battle Cry (W): Probably the most vital skill for Xin Zhao as it gives more Health, Critical Damage and Attack Speed. Its no wonder that whenever it gets buffed or nerfed the champion builds and pickrate are greatly influenced, this spell is the reason farming in jungle is easy, and that xin zhao in some cases can even 1v4 people, in combination with Q (Three Talon Strike) and a 40% CDR Build this skill can reach a cooldown of 4.2 seconds and a duration of 5 seconds, which makes it permanently active when in combat during the late game.

Audacious Charge (E): This skill in the past was maxed first instead of 3rd but after the changes its advised to be maxed last. A lot people had the misconception that this skill was maxed first because of the "Burst" it gave to Xin Zhao during the engage but that is not true, the reason this skill in the past was maxed first is because the higher its level was the cooldown dropped, enabling Xin to catch his enemies in an easier fashion, after the changes the cooldown became "12 second at all levels" so its not worth maxing anymore.

Crescent Sweep (R): This particular skill has a variety of uses in comparison to how simplistic it is, it can be used rarely as a final blow, some other times as a tool to save your team from an enemy engage, stun the enemy during a gank and knock him towards your team in order to guarantee a kill, knock a Rengar/Jax/Renekton/Lee Sin/Shyvana etc. that attempts you kill you or someone of your team, and lastly the most famous use of them all, to flank the enemy team and engage their carry or midder while using your ulti to knock everyone back while you burst their squishy down in seconds while they pray to somehow save him and not die to your team. This skill can be very crucial on whether you will survive a teamfight or not, in specific builds which are more damage oriented and you might have "Health" but you lack some "Resists" the Crescent Sweep can be a lifesaver, with the right positioning and engage if you can jump into a carry with Audacious Charge and manage to Crescent Sweep 3 or more enemies you can guarantee 75+ Armor and Magic Resist (25 Per Enemy Hit) ,for the next 6 seconds, which can prove miraculous, those extra resist might be more than 1500+ Effective Health overall as you have to consider that you will be self-healing with Battle Cry for the rest of the fight.


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Cooldowns and Mana Needs

Cooldowns:
Generally Xin Zhao has relativly low cooldowns on all his spells and with the help of his "Q" Three Talon Strike they get reduced even more, in a normal build its not something to be to wary of but just keep in mind the cooldown of your ulti and mostly your "E" Audacious Charge as it is your main gap-closer. In a 40% CDR Build however as those listed above you should keep in mind that if played and kept in track properly the combo of low 40% CDR, the skill's low CD and the "Q" Three Talon Strike can almost guarantee you 4.2 seconds CD which means a permament "W" Battle Cry activation when you keep on fighting, and a 4.2 seconds cooldown on your your "E" Audacious Charge in order to keep closing in on targets to take them down and reset your cooldowns.

Mana Needs:
Xin Zhao has very low mana needs with his most expensive skill being his Ultimate Crescent Sweep with 100 mana and then his "E" Audacious Charge with 60 mana, generally his is not hurting on mana at all except sometimes on late game with a 40% CDR Build where you spam all your spells over and over as mentioned, in which case having a blue buff on you is advised.


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Itemization

In most of my builds you will see that i prefer Blade of the Ruined King over Trinity Force, the reason is that Blade of the Ruined King even thought it provides for overall less stats and passives its Unique passive is extraordinary and especially after its buffs and raising the minimum damage cap to 15 instead of 10, after a lot of tests between Trinity Force and Blade of the Ruined King i have seen that when the target is full health the Blade of the Ruined King does almost 40% more damage than Trinity Force and they only even out when the target is 15% health or less, thats without even taking into account the utility of its active and the Lifesteal it provides for a fairly lower price.

Spirit Visage Is another item that is use almost always as it benefits Xin Zhao greatly by providing not only Health + Magic Resist and 10% CDR for a very low price but also 25% (30% with patch 7.9) buff to all heals, making is an outstanding combo with Blade of the Ruined King and Guinsoo's Rageblade or Death's Dance (which again will see a lot of play with patch 7.9 as it receives a fair bit of buffs).

Stalker's Blade - Bloodrazor is the obvious choice for me as the Bloodrazor's passive provides a very good DPS and the Attack Speed it provides is a very vital stat for Xin Zhao, in addition, Stalker's Blade helps Xin Zhao to get closer to enemy targets in situations when you don't want to waste your Audacious Charge (E).

If you look i don't reccomend Skirmisher's Sabre, in almost any of my builds, the reasoning behing this, is mainly because Xin Zhao doesn't lack in survivability, or 1v1 DPS, so the Damage Reduction and DoT effect of Skirmisher's Sabre is not a major advantage to him. The only thing he lacks is slows and CC in order to keep a shot distance and stick to his target and thus Stalker's Blade is needed for its Slow and Movement Speed buff, that way you targets won't be able to escape and will be totally mauled as the combination of Stalker's Blade + Audacious Charge + Three Talon Strike to reduce the Audacious Charge Cooldown in order to be used a secome time is extremly good, making Xin Zhao able to stick on people and keep damaging them while healing himself, making not only catching AD and AP carries easy but also making 1v2/1v3/1v4/1v5 circumstances viable for a slow champion like Xin Zhao, its not always about boosting a champions' strong points, in roder to succeed in playing champions you also need to cover up their weak points so the opponents can't abuse them, in Xin Zhao's case the abuse is Kiting, but if it can't be done then they get stomped in seconds, and thats why Stalker's Blade plays such an important role along with Blade of the Ruined King. There are some rare cases in which Skirmisher's Sabre can actually be extraordinary, that is when you are faced against junglers that have the advantage of 1v1 and counter Xin Zhao, for example Jax or Nocturne, in those cases buying a Skirmisher's Sabre is advised.

The boots that i was picking in most cases were Mercury's Treads as they provided me with a good amount of Tenacity ,which is a stat very important for Xin Zhao (normaly), as a stunned Xin Zhao is a dead Xin Zhao (most of the time), BUT because if they can't damage you, you can't die anyway i choose Ninja Tabi as they have currently too much value to pass up, you get 30 Armor and 10% less damage from all basic attacks plus the Movespeed (obviously) for only 1100 gold so unless they get nerfed or Mages and AP Champions take the spotlight i would suggest buying Ninja Tabi in 90% of the games. So Ninja Tabi in combination with Spirit Visage is in most cases everything you need to completly brush off any attacks from AD and AP champions, they are the 2 more hated deffensive items in the game ATM (justifiably I must say) and with the healing and DPS of Xin Zhao you will make people rage to oblivion while they hit their keyboards crying on how "OP" your champion is (Yes it has happened in a lot of cases with a lot of people raging and calling me an abuser with a noob "Right-Click Only" champ [even in D3+], but i ain't even mad, it feels great).

Also a very popular item that appearsis a lot of my builds is The Black Cleaver for the reason thats its value and pricetag are out of this world, even after the 7.9 nerfs its still an outstanding item, not only do you get Damage,Health, 20% freaking CDR and Penetration but you can also easily stick to your targets with it with the Movespeed that it provides, which is very important as i mentioned before thats Xin's main disadvantage is that he can't stick to his targets and thats why such items are very important. The Black Cleaver is an expensive item that works greatly on Xin Zhao but only during late game, during earlygame, you don't need the Health provided much as you are ganking every now and then but mostly making a lead on farm, because it has relatively low damage your clear will be slower, the 20% CDR is indeed fantastic but again mainly for the late game, early in the game your skills have moderate Cooldowns anyway and you don't spam them often so its not something you care much about anyway, the On-Hit Movementspeed gain effect again its not so usefull early because you just run around the map and the only things you hit are jungle mobs that you are farming, in ganks that movespeed won't be a tremendous bonus in the start as people die relativly easily anyway so they have no ability to try and escape, the reason you need that buff is for late game fights to stick on your targets, and lastly the (%)[Percent] Armor Penetration it provides early in the game is borderline useless because none
actually has high enough Armor for it to benefit from. (%)[Percent] Armor Penetration is a totally different thing from Lethality and for it to be good/usefull the enemy has to have a moderate or high amount of Armor, making (%)[Percent] Armor Penetration extremly weak early in the game and in the starting stages of the midgame, for the same exact reason Xin Zhao's passive Challenge scales better into mid and late game.

Guinsoo's Rageblade is an optional item which provides a lot of stats and value for a hefty price but when utilized right it can provide you with those crazy 1v3 and 1v4 fights in which Xin Zhao shines, it can provide with a lot of Sustain and Damage but if needed it can alweays be replaces by various other items, some being Hextech Gunblade for more healing, Titanic Hydra for more sustain and damage-on-hit, Death's Dance for a considerable amount of extra burst and sustain + a lot of healing, Dead Man's Plate / Randuin's Omen for extra armor and health if needed, or even Mercurial Scimitar for when the enemy team has a crazy amount of CC or similar effects which you want to avoid in order to not get popped or stunlocked in a fight or before a fight.

Here is a usefull Chart i found that helps me to balance out most of the builds i create:


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Runes and Masteries

There is not much to talk about this chapter, generally Xin Zhao is a champion very dependant on Attack Speed while he also needs a little of damage and some defence, for this exact reason the runes are as they are, with the exeption of thay 1% Critical Chance i put just in case i am lucky enough to proc it every now and then.

I generally prefer to use Fervor of Battle as it has great DPS potential that goes well with the mentality of Xin Zhao which of course is "When you enter the battle you will not leave unless you are dead or all the enemies are either dead or fleeing!", all the other masteries are self-explanatory on why they were chosen, and if they are not ,then just choose them. On that note if you go a more aggressive early/midrange build and playstyle its always adviced to go for a 18-12-0 Mastery set, while when you have a more Tanky or Sustain/Healing oriented lategame build you can always choose to go an 18-0-12 Mastery set for the Utility of Runic Armor .

In runes you will see that i use 1 1% Critical Chance rune, that is because league of legends uses a pseudo critical system which adds to the Critical Chance overall value if you have not hit a Crit for a big amount of Hits, this means that if you have at least 1% Critical, that 1% as long as you don't Crit will slowly grow and then as some point it will inevitably Crit, the same way evern though there is a hard cap in Critical at 100% the true chance of you doing a Critical at 100% Chance is still 99.9999999999.....% which is essentially 100% but 1 in a million/billion/trillion/quadrillion hits might indeed not be a Critical even though you have 100% chance, because of this system being in existance it profits you more to have 1% in Critical instead of 0.95 Damage. The Critical System in League differs though from the 3-hit Critical Timer of Xin's Battle Cry (W) so the timer won't reset every 3rd Hit (that causes the standard critical strike) and that's why Xin benefits from the 1% Critical Chance in Runes without it being ineffective.

In most of my Rune pages you will see that i use some weird Armor/MR combos in runes with combination of Health per Level Seals, thats because Health per Level Seals have extreme value for Xin as he gains extra resists anyway through his Ultimate so he needs all the Extra health he can get in order to utilize them, which i use those "Weird" rune combos in order to balance out my resistances in all stages of the game so i can have an Armor to MR ratio of 1:1 through all Phases of the game (Early/Mid/Lategame). Balanced resistances is one of the things one should aim for for maximum gold efficiency, especially with a champion whose Ultimate Crescent Sweep provides you with equal parts of Armor and Magic Resist on use. The other thing that enables for something as this is that Xin Zhao doesn't need extra Armor in the start to help him with his clear as he manages it quite easily without even using any of his pots, so you can sacrifice some early armor for some MR runes per level for balancing out.