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Xin Zhao Build Guide by Space Marine 4000

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Space Marine 4000

A.P. Xin Zhao: I'll make a fan out of you

Space Marine 4000 Last updated on August 22, 2013
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Jungle Role
Ranked #2 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
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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: 9


Utility: 0

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to my guide to playing Xin Zhao as an A.P. / Attack Speed carry!

But wait Skoob, building A.P. on Xin Zhao would be stupid! Everyone knows he's supposed to be A.D!

Partially correct. A.D. Xin is a great and populer build, but there is a much more fun and, to some extent, effective way of playing him. His Audacious Charge and Battle Cry both scale off of A.P, meaning if you build A.P. you are going to heal yourself for a lot every 3 attacks, and your charge is going to hurt like mad.

Why does this mean that A.P. Xin Zhao is viable you ask?

Well, first off, building A.P. means you can abuse the wording in the description of Battle Cry. It reads " Xin Zhao passively heals himself every third attack."

This is big because Xin Zhao will be healed every three attacks against ANYTHING, not just against champions, minions, or monsters. This means you can (mid-late-game) solo turrets and even baron. Master Yi has got nothing on this. Shen may be able to teleport, but can he take a turret down in 15 seconds without a minion wave?.

But Skoob, if you only build for heals, your gonna be **** in teamfights!


Your Audacious Charge scales off of A.P. as well, so your spears are gonna hurt like crazy. Also, this build is not just flat A.P. It also contains some lovely attack speed. This combined with the new and improved Malady R.I.P. Nashor's Tooth combined with Spellsword means that if you can get some attack speed, your autoattacks are gonna do 15% of your ability power on hit. This will hurt. A lot.

Now go, my friend. Read the rest of my guide, listen to this song, and maybe spear a ***** or two.[/b][/color]
Thanks SivHD for making awesome videos! I'm a huge (oscillating) fan.

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons


+ - Mad heals every three
attaattacks with Battle Cry
+ - Can solo turrets
+ - Can mid, top, or jungle
+ - Very high sustainability
+ - Good burst with
atta Audacious Charge
+ - Can make an even trade
attathen heal to full

- - Needs to be attacking to
attareceive health
- - Needs gold early game
attato be effective later
- - Squishy
- - Relies a lot on items

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- Increases attack speed which means you are attacking more which means you are healing more which makes for an easier sustaining and last hitting experience. With the removal of malady you will be attacking slower than you used to, so this makes attack speed runes and masteries necessary


- Because a large chunk of your damage is coming from Audacious Charge, I prefer to take this over Havoc . Havoc could work, and really which one you choose is up to personal preferance. I personally also find it to synchronize well with the cool-down shred(?) on your Three Talon Strike


- More A.P. means more heals and more damage on Audacious Charge. 'Nuff said.

Arcane Knowledge

- As A.P. Xin, most of your damage is coming either from Nashor's Tooth or Audacious Charge, both of which do magic damage, so magic penetration is going to make sure that they both hit hard.

Mental Force

- See reasoning for Blast


- Spellsword provides an additional on hit A.P. Magic damage source, and stacks with your Nashor's Tooth Meaning your autoattacks will be hitting that much harder, and every little bit of damage you can dish out helps.


- See reasoning for Blast


- This is very helpful, as you will often times get a target below 50% with your initial burst. This ability means that your ensuing flurry of autos will hurt more and you can finish them off next time your Audacious Charge comes up.


- While Zhonya's Hourglass and Abyssal Mask will grant you armor and MR, you will be lacking on tankiness in the way of health, so this mastery will help deal with this late game.

Hardiness / Resistance

- These two are interchangeable and should be changed depending on your lane match up and the general composition of the enemy team. Both give you the defense you need to make laning that little bit easier.

Veteran's Scars

- More starting health. Like Hardiness and Resistance , this will make laning much easier and makes you able to take more punishment.

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Seal of Armor
With the removal of Malady, your build will be lacking some attack speed. And as I've said, attack speed equals survivability and damage. And this is a good thing.

Combined with your marks, your attack speed runes will be equal to a free Zephyr's worth of attack speed. Even early on, you will be able to dish out the pain and heal faster than you can kill Teemo. Unless you fed the bastard.

While some might think this only is helpful when you are against an A.D. mid laner, I disagree. Pretty much any decent ranged midlaner will notice you are melee and take advantage of it. A few autos here, a few there, it starts to add up. Forcing you to attack minions more and push your lane. These mitigate some of that, so you can stay back instead of pushing unintentionally.

In the current state of the game, building magic resist usually forces you to opt into full on tank items that don't really have their place on Xin Zhao, except for Abyssal Mask which I happen to pick up a lot, or Spirit Visage Which can cause a lull in your DPS if built early. These help deal with the flat armor pen of Sorcerer's Shoes or Haunting Guise that most A.P. champions tend to build, so can be very beneficial.

Other Viable Runes

This can help if you feel like you just aren't hitting hard enough with your E, and need to bypass that smelly bulwark that the enemy has built.

My good friend Floron (who wrote a great jungle Wukong guide(/promotions)) is one of those people that likes to spam abilities all day, sometimes unnecessarily. At some points he has blue buff and Chalice of Harmony, but for some reason still needs Mana Potions to avoid going oom (out of mana for those of you not acquainted with the lingo). If you are one of those people, then these are the choice for you.

If you are facing a LeBlanc that has massive early burst, and you just can't heal from it, or any other early game burst mage, then these can help your laning phase out.

Also AP marks and glyphs. Instead of attack speed, some people might want to take flat AP runes. Of course I'm pretty much the only person I've met that plays this, so I could be completely wrong. These help your early game heals in poke heavy lanes, as well as your Audacious Charge.

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Abilities and Summoner Spells

Instead of telling you which summoner spells that's "optimal" or "necessary", I'm going to go over every summoner spell and tell you it's practical (or funny) application on A.P. Xin Zhao. I'm not going to try to convince people who like ghost to take flash, instead I'm going to go over the uses of it on Win Nhao.

Well, this should be pretty easy to explain saying as 90% of LoL players run it on every champion they play. Flash lets you teleport a short distance in a given direction, and can be used to escape over walls, trees, that Malphite with 400 armor, etc. A lot of people like this spell because it can be used to jump terrain something that the next mobility spell cannot.

Ghost, or the sonic button, increases your speed for a relatively long period of time. The advantage that it has over Flash is that it is persistent, and better in extended chases. Choose this when you want to be cleaning up in a fight and chasing down low members of the opposing team, or want to be able to escape down the lane as opposed to in the jungle, where Flash users will be able to hop the terrain.

Ignite is helpful for both finishing off an opponent, or preventing any healing to help a target. I.e. Dr. Mundo with his ult, or Volibear with his passive. Just pop this on any target you are going to engage below 1/3 health, and you should get the kill. Note: taking this against Lux may cause excessive swearing and hair pulling out, due to her ***** shield that shields her twice. Try not to make any 1 for 1 exchanges where you rely on Ignite to seal the deal.

Exhaust Slows an enemy champion and cripples its attack speed. If you want to take a summoner spell that is going to boost your team in teamfights, or generally give the middlefinger to AD carries, then this is the right choice for you. Can combo with Ignite to create what me and my friends refer to as the, "first blood summoner spells," as if you can catch someone remotely out, the slow and DoT will help you ensure that you get first blood.

Barrier is good when you need to play it safe or are against a burst mage. Throwing this on when you are being chunked can mitigate a lot of the potential damage of the enemy champion, giving you time to punish them while their cooldowns are active. Can be used with heal to barrier bomb (pop both on an enemy turret diving you and gain half of your health back) or with ignite to S3 "silsol" (used in roughly the same way barrier bombing is).

Cleanse is useful when you know you are going up against a team that is cc heavy or contains Leona. This one can be tricky to use, so if you don't have the reflexes to cleanse a stun the instant it hits you, this might not be the best option. Can be used against AoE comps that rely on stunning your team to unleash massive damage. You can just cleanse that Curse of the Sad Mummy and knock up Miss Fortune, cancelling her Bullet Time.

Heal is like a lesser barrier that sticks with you. It also has AoE which is nice. It got nerfed before season 3 so isn't what it used to be. Great fun for barrier bombing or for those who always mistime their Barrier, as it wont fade like barrier will, meaning it won't be wasted.

Teleport is split push incarnate, and as A.P. Xin can split push like crazy, it can be very useful. Also it is useful for following a Twisted Fate around the map. To split push, simply walk up to a turret and start smacking it. Continue to do this until you either win, have someone sent to stop you, or see a teamfight breaks out. If a teamfight breaks out then Teleport in to save the day in the nick of time.

Clairvoyance is a spell that can prove to be helpful mid and late game, when intelligence on dragon and baron is key, but the area is pinked preventing wards from being placed. Can be used in high traffic jungle spots to track the jungler, letting your team know whether they can turret dive or not. Interesting use and not used much, which is kind of a shame.

Smite is the spell that every jungler needs, and although I'm not going to cover it in this guide, A.P. Xin Zhao can, in fact, jungle quite well. I haven't tested it too intensively but I have played it enough to know that it works.

Clarity is a useful spell for people who are getting used to the game and as such, blow through mana extremely quickly. Some more experienced players also have some problems in this aspect, and this spell helps to take care of it if your jungler isn't giving you any blue buffs. Use as soon as you get below half mana and intend to stay in lane, as waiting more to use it just means you are delaying the cooldown.

Revive is the ultimate spell for ****ing around. Upon reviving it gives you a massive speed boost that can be combined with homeguards, shurelia's, mercurial scimitar, yomumu's, and teleport for the ultimate speedgasm. On Hecarim I've personally hit 3000 speed with those items I mentioned as well as two zephyrs. Also, if you have good ward coverage, if you die you can then revive and then teleport behind your unsuspecting opponent and, with your speed boost, run the low enemy champions down. I refer to the combination of Teleport and Revive as spec ops and run it in amusing lanes with friends (such as A.D. Thresh and bruiser Blitzcrank).


(Passive) Challenge -Xin Zhao challenges his target with his basic attacks and Audacious Charge, reducing its armor by 15% for 3 seconds. This ability doesn't seem like a big deal since the bulk of your damage is A.P., it is extremely helpful for your team. By challenging a bruiser, you can drop their armor for your ADC's. It is also activated by your (e) so keep that in mind when diving in.

(q) Three Talon Strike - Xin Zhao's next 3 basic attacks deal 15/30/45/60/75 (+1.25) bonus physical damage and reduce his other abilities' cooldowns by 1 second. The final strike also knocks the target into the air. Another ability that seemingly does nothing useful for you, but is very helpful. It's one of your two forms of hard cc, along with Crescent Sweep. It also decreases the cooldown of all your other abilities, letting you use your Audacious Charge more, which is awesome. Tips: Even though you aren't building A.D., this can put out good damage vs casters so jumping on your opponent with Audacious Charge and getting all three hits off is a good way to trade. Another way use this is setting up jungler ganks. Activate this then attack minions twice, before charging the opposing mid and using the last hit to knock them up, letting your jungler come in easily. In teamfights this should optimally be used to knock up the enemy ADC, but general disruption can also be good.

(w)Battle Cry Passive: Xin Zhao heals himself for 26/32/38/44/50 (+0.7) every third basic attack. Active: Xin Zhao unleashes a battle cry, increasing his attack speed by 40/50/60/70/80% for 5 seconds. This right here is what makes this Xin Zhao guide work. Every three attacks you are going to be healing yourself for monster amounts. At the end of my sample build, you have roughly 510 A.P. (MobaFire doesn't add in the Rabadon's Deathcap passive). 70% of that is going to roughly be 357. This means what every three attacks you are going to be healing yourself for 407 health every three attacks at rank 18, even more if you replace the Spirit Visage in the sample with something else. And with the active, you are going to be attacking nearly 3 times your original attack speed, which I believe ends up around 2.1, pretty near the cap. Tips: The passive is the most important part of this ability, and what makes Xin Zhao such a monster in the mid lane. After engaging an enemy or trading, you can heal up to full by autoattacking the minions, essentially nullifying any damage done to you in the trade. The times you should use the active are when you are split pushing, attacking a turret, trading or engaging, or are in a teamfight. When using it, try to activate it before you use your Three Talon Strike as it will lower the cooldown on it. Unless you are really low, don't really use this to last hit, as it is a waste of mana and a cooldown timer.

(e) Audacious Charge Xin Zhao charges and challenges an enemy. The charge deals 70/110/150/190/230 (+0.6) magic damage to all nearby enemies and slows them by 25/30/35/40/45% for 2 seconds. This is going to be the bulk of any burst damage you hope of doing. It also is targeted, meaning there's no possibility of it missing like a skillshot. For this reason, I like to max it first. Using the stats from above, this ability would do 306 + 230 damage in a small AoE circle. It's cooldown is reasonably small, but can be further reduced with your Three Talon Strike, which should be saved for after you use this in teamfights, like with the active of Battle Cry. Tips: As I said, this is your main source of burst damage, and a large percentage of the damage you will be doing in lane. It's also very effective at clearing out waves. Just do 2 autoattacks worth of damage or so, then use Audacious Charge to finish them off. Of course the number of autoattacks will be different due to time, your items, and your level, so try to eyeball the number for both ranged and melee minions. As with your Battle Cry active, use it before you engage an enemy with Three Talon Strike to have it up 3 seconds sooner. You can also use it on the minions when the enemy is within the AoE, so you don't have to fully engage.

(r)Crescent Sweep Xin Zhao unleashes a sweep around him that deals 125/225/325 (+1.0) plus 15% of target's current health in physical damage and knocks enemies back. Xin Zhao gains 15/20/25 Armor and Magic Resistance for 6 seconds for each champion hit. Challenge: If a challenged target is hit by the sweep, it is unaffected by the knockback. This ability is very useful on A.P. Xin Zhao, as it can help you escape and peel with its knockback. This is part of the reason this build is effective in teamfights. Diving on the enemy carry then using this can give you some quality time with your priority target. It also does percent of health damage, which means it does more damage when you use it when initiating. The more people you land it on , the more defenses you gain, so try to hit as many people as you can. Tips: I personally use this ability mostly as an escape, or in teamfights to single out a priority target/ to displace enemy champions. When using this, keep in mind that it won't knock back the champion or minion that is currently targeted. Challenging the ADC then ulting can help you to focus them, as any bruisers or such in the back line will have been punted. The bonus defenses can make you surprisingly hard to kill combined with your Battle Cry.

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Starting Items

Description: A standard starting item for a lot of AP champions. It gives you a decent chunk of A.P., health, and mana regen (of sorts). This will let you survive early burst, heal more in the laning phase, and gives you 75 gold left over for mana potions. I take this most times, unless I'm against an A.D. assassin, like Zed

Health, health regen, and a passive that can prevent early autoattack harass. You only get one potion in addition to this, but you gain passive health regen, and quite a lot as well. A cost efficient item that's useful vs. A.D. champions or when you are getting zoned away from the minions, thus unable to heal.

Early Game

These boots are a pretty obvious choice on A.P. Xin Zhao, as the bonus attack speed will keep you alive, as well as make you hit more with nashor's tooth, where Sorcerer's Shoes will just make your Audacious Charge hurt more. Sorc shoes are still viable, I just find Berserker's Greaves to be the better option.

Completing this item, along with Zhonya's Hourglass, is a key milestone in this build. When you have both, you are able to solo turrets without a friendly minion wave. It also gives you the on hit effect, which provides you with a lot of damage when combined with A.P. and attack speed. I tend to build Stinger first.

Around the time you purchase this item, you are probably out of the laning phase, and you will be exposed to the enemy ADC. With this, some of the physical damage from any skirmishes will be reduced, letting you stay alive and continue to deal damage and heal.


Rabbadon's creates a spike in A.P., and thus a spike in damage and healz. On an A.P. champion, the 30% extra A.P. is a must-have, so building this quickly after hourglass can be very helpful.

The armor and ability power granted by this item combined with the attack speed of Nashor's Tooth is what gets you to the point when you can solo turrets. And if you are taking too much damage from the turret, you can activate it to reset the turret damage.

Offensive Items

Death fire grasp is helpful when you are bursting down a single target, and it also gives you a large chunk of A.P. Activate this before jumping on a target to increase the damage you do in your subsequent burst rape.

The ultimate split pushing item. Makes you slap towers faster, and increases your heals the longer you keep attacking. It also gives you some A.D., which helps you farm a little bit easier. Get this item if you want to be split pushing towers all day.

This item will increase your overall damage and make your turret crushing even faster. The scaling bonus damage can help you dish out a lot of hurt after an ability, and if you space out your abilities, you can activate it multiple times in one combo. Often considered core on A.P. Xin Zhao, this item is all around a great choice.

Increases your magic resist, which helps with assassinating mages, and also reduces the magic resist of nearby enemies, helping you and your team do more damage in teamfights. I like this item a lot since you are often diving into the enemy team, and can affect more people with the aura.

Defensive Items

Spirit Visage is an amazing item on A.P. Xin Zhao thanks to its passive and cooldown reduction. It increases your health and magic resist as well, which is helpful if you want to dive mages. Get this item when you are getting focused by A.P. damage in teamfights, it will help you live longer.

This item is a lot like Lich Bane, but instead of raw damage, it gives you the ability to stick to your target as well as armor.

Health, A.P., and a passive that let's you stick to targets. This will make all of your abilities slow the target, which can be helpful when trying to chase someone down. The health helps you live longer and the A.P. is A.P. All around decent item, good when you need a large block of health.

This item will pretty much ensure that you will live long enough in a teamfight to deal the damage that's required of you. Between the defenses and the passive, the enemy is going to have a hard time killing you and making sure you stay dead.

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Closing Words

While A.P. Xin Zhao does work, and is effective at its job. It's not going to work 100% of the time. And what I wrote in this guide is by no means the optimal or only way to play this champion with this build. In the end, whatever works best for you is probably the best option for you. Thanks for reading,


Credits for the idea to our great leader SivHD