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Xin Zhao Build Guide by iTwinlyrics

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.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author iTwinlyrics

All lanes of Xin Zhao!

iTwinlyrics Last updated on June 30, 2012
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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

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Xin's limits and lanes.

I have checked up many routes and points in jungle, and now have found a good way.

You should understand that you can kill very easily. The main thing not to get too aggressive, because that way the enemy will expect you to charge at them without any strategy. So always think before you attack.

There are many ways to play Xin - one of the strongest. Hope that this guide helps you guys alot!

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Pros / Cons

Knock up
Group slow
Natural heal (Lifesteal through passive)
Unstoppable when fed
Extremely fast
Lanes well with stunner

Picked on by ranged
A bit slow without items
Vulnerable to CC
No escape mechanism (except speed)

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Many champions have similar items to build, but Xin Zhao's item build in particular need to be necessary. You don't want to buy support items nor AP items. They are not meant for Xin Zhao.
So, what you really need for Xin Zhao, will be listed below.

Items to build


Many people start with a Dorans Blade since it gives you health, damage and a little bit of lifesteal. Meaning that its good for early sustain.

All boots have their own benefits. Now since we are playing Xin Zhao, we have to focus on damage and attack speed. Grabbing a dagger will give you 20% more attackspeed, meaning it will help you heal quicker with your passive. Also helpful with Three Talon Strike for early ganks.


If you think you need more attack speed before saving up for a BF sword, consider getting a zeal here. This will late build into your Phantom Dancer, and it also gives you some nice early movement speed boosts. However, I recommend continuing straight to the Black Cleaver.

The armor reduction is really helpful in increasing your damage, plus it has a B.F. Sword. Need I say more? This is a better choice with the recent patch than the Bloodthirster, because you are getting more early attack speed and you already have some natural healing occurring with your passive.


If you feel you have to return to your base too frequently to heal up, and that your passive just isn't enough, consider purchasing a Vampiric Scepter here. This will later build into your Bloodthirster, and also gives you some early lifesteal. I rarely feel that I need this item, but with the damage you will be dealing at this point, you'll be healed nicely from just the sceptre alone.

This is a great item for any physcial dps champion. However, in this build it is ESSENTIAL. I used to get this item immediately after boots, but its just not quite as effective without having some damage behind it. The biggest benefit to this item is the increased movement speed. You want the movement speed to match. Plus, it gives critical strike increases as well as attack speed! Therefore this item is a must buy for Xin Zhao.

This seems like a great fit for Xin when facing a physical team. It gives you very high armor, as well as health. Good so far, right? The passive means that when you are getting attacked, it can slow the enemy's movement speed and attack speed. This could help you run away, but it could also be a huge advantage in a 1 v 1 fight against another physical carry.

The active of this item makes my mouth water for a game on Twisted Treeline. It slows all movement and attack speed of nearby enemies by 35%. This, in combination with your audacious charge, can DESTROY a team. Charge into a group of enemies, and pop your ult. If your team is any good whatsoever, you should be able to pick everyone off as they try to run away and can't attack quickly at all.

By this time, you will have a ton of movement speed and all the tools in place to destroy your enemies. Now its time to start stacking the damage. Bloodthirster can wait until this late in the game because you have some natural lifesteal with your passive. With all your attack speed, that will heal you faster than you might know. Still, lifesteal is always a great thing and this item is essential to make you that nasty physical carrier that you will end up being.

The 250% critical strikes are nice, plus the pure damage will make you unstoppable. With all your items you can run everywhere with ease, chasing down the enemy and bending them to your will.

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Summoner Spells

What you can use as Summoner Spells:-
Group one - Exhaust + Flash
Group two - Exhaust + Ghost
Exhaust and flash combination :- Exhaust is key to this build. Your number one difficulty as Xin will be keeping your enemies from running. You already have a slow and a knock up, but exhaust is the icing on the cake. A lot of kills will come from chasing down enemies as they are running away. The speed you get from Phantom Dancer helps, but exhaust is what will make your enemy's escape impossible. Exhaust is also great for one on one fights with another powerful melee character. The reduced damage from the enemy can often times tip the scale in your favor. With the mastery points set as they are, you will also be reducing armor and magic resist for that extra little pow. Flash can get you to a spot fast and save you from huge ganks.

Exhaust + Ghost combination :- Exhaust is key to this build. Your number one difficulty as Xin will be keeping your enemies from running. You already have a slow and a knock up, but exhaust is the icing on the cake. A lot of kills will come from chasing down enemies as they are running away. The speed you get from Phantom Dancer helps, but exhaust is what will make your enemy's escape impossible. Exhaust is also great for one on one fights with another powerful melee character. The reduced damage from the enemy can often times tip the scale in your favor. With the mastery points set as they are, you will also be reducing armor and magic resist for that extra little pow. Ghost is another must-have. The vast majority of your kills early game will come from chasing enemies in your lane who you've already weakened. Late game, although you won't have a problem catching people because of your items, ghost let's you get to the other side of the map in a hurry, or chase down other people using ghost. Using this build, I have literally chased down slower enemies using ghost that have slowed me by exhausting me. That's the crazy speed we are talking about over here. Like I said, this build is all about getting to enemies quickly, slowing them down, and unleashing your damage.

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Skill Sequence

Skill Sequence

Xin Zhao's skills make him a huge asset to ganks. The ability to close distance and slow with Audacious Charge and then knock in the air with Three Talon Strike means your allies will have plenty of time to come in and clean up the scraps (if you haven't already finished the enemy off).

Your passive heals you every 3 hits. This is a HUGE advantage in early game. It means you can lane for long periods of time without wasting money on lifesteal. Even mid and late game you will be healing rather quickly with all the attack speed you will be getting. Keep in mind that if you want to keep laning but are scared of the enemy, jungling for a bit is a viable option to get your health back up.

This is the skill you will level up first, and it will be your bread and butter throughout the game. Not only do you get in 3 quick hits with bonus damage, but you knock up your opponent on the third hit. This allows your teammates to help you out, or slows down the enemy enough to get that kill shot in. Spam this skill as much as you can. It works great in combo with the active of Battle Cry, because your 3 hits will get in faster and the cooldown on TTS will be extremely short.

This skill is great in itself as a passive ability. It boosts your attack speed up to 35%. That's like two daggers for free! You'll want to level this skill early because attack speed benefits Xin like no other champion. Faster attack speed with Tireless Warrior means faster healing. It makes your Three Talon knockup hit sooner. It makes your cooldowns reduce more quickly with Battle Cry's active. Moral of the story? You want attack speed.

Battle Cry's active is also amazing. It doubles the bonus of the passive for 7 seconds. An extra 70% attack speed? Yes, please! Also, during those 7 seconds all cooldowns are reduced by 1 second. This is a HUGE benefit for three talon strike. Don't forget, this also reduces the cooldown of your ult, making it nearly spammable. Word of caution: your passive attack speed bonus goes away while this active is on cooldown. That shouldn't stop you from spamming this skill (extremely low mana cost) to farm and get your ult off of cooldown.

This is a great skill for initiating fights. It's a distance closer, but also slows all enemies around the target. Typically after using this skill, you want to immediately use your ultimate for maximum damage. One point in this skill early is useful for closing distance, but we're going to hold off on more points till late game. The increased slowing is really nice, but we already have many tools for slowing the enemy, as well as a high movement speed to chase the baddies down.

(NOTE - Grammar and spelling mistakes will be corrected later, so please dont end up commenting about it.)

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General Jungling

Jungling is actually one of the hardest, if not the hardest, jobs in game. Good junglers are often carrying games. Good junglers have to keep track of spawn timers. Junglers have to have the highest map awareness. Good junglers know when to gank where.
Bad junglers... can do those things too, but rarely they can do all at once.

So let's start with the more or less easy part:

Jungle Timers
Small creep camps (Wolves, Wraiths, Double Golems), spawn at 1:40 and respawn after 1 minute.
Buff creeps (Blue & Red), spawn at 1:55 and respawn after 5 minutes.
Dragon, spawns at 2:30 and respawns after 6 minutes.
Baron Nashor, spawns at 15:00 and respawns after 7 minutes.

Watch for these. You don't need to write down every respawn of your wraiths. But type down a simple "dragon 23:00" if you killed dragon at minute 17. If you know your enemy started at blue, his blue died at the ~2:10 mark - you know it will respawn around minute 7... so gor for it and try to steal it. Tracking these timers is crucial due to their strategic importance. Stealing your enemies blue all day long will totally rape their jungle Amumu or Karthus in mid, especially when you give your blue to your midlaner everytime.
Taking every dragon results in a boost of
1000g for your team per dragon kill.

Even Nashor povides you with
1500 teamgold and... this minor usefull buff ;D

Another important part:

Know your enemy
You see dat enemy Nocturne jungler? He will prolly start at blue buff or at wolves. How do I know? A Nocturne starting with Vampiric Scepter almost always starts at wolves. One with Cloth Armor + Pots almost every time at blue. But how do I know his starting items? Most supporters place their Clearvoyance right at the beginning to the enemy spawn point. This makes me able to see what my enemy buys and I can adapt to it. So you see that Nocturne starting at blue, why not go for his Wraiths and Double Golems? Simply steal a little bit of his jungle, go back to yours and go on with your route.
The information where your enemy starts is also important for your team. Enemy Xin Zhao starting at Double Golems on purple side? Call your bot lane to be carefull. Seeing a Shaco starting at Red Buff on purple side? Call your top lane to be prepared.
You have to make conclusions about the information you get of your enemy jungler. Seeing a Warwick means your team is prolly safe till minute 7, cuz Warwick ganks pre 6 suck. Seeing an Lee Sin? This guy is freakin unpredictable. He can start everywhere and gank whenever he pleases. Know your enemies, know their habits, prepare yourself and your team therefor.

And another part:

Know when to gank and when not to gank
Countless times I see my jungling mates come out of jungle with 50% hp to assist a lane with 10% hp. They try to kill this sneaky 100% health Udyr... and they fail... cuz, well, it's Udyr. You can't gank someone like Annie with half of your hp, she would just one shot you. So even if your laners ping for ganks like crazy, YOU, and only YOU, decide when to gank where. YOU decide if you can gank now and YOU decide if a target is gankable. Ignore those million pings if you know the position of wards, ignore 'em if you know you and maybe your mate could die, ignore them all if you simply feel something will go terribly wrong. BUT, that doesn't mean that you are the boss. If your mid lane pings for you to hold the lane, you need to get there asap. Even if your mid has to back each 2 minutes... you have to keep that lane, cuz he will die otherwise. If you can't gank due to this, it's not your fault.

And the prolly most important part:

Map awareness
You don't have to watch your Xin Zhao as he Auto Hits those wolves to death without any problems. Always watch your lanes as much as possible. Make the best out of every CV thrown by your supporter.

See their jungler pop up at bot? -> Take his upper jungle.
See their jungler top? -> best chance to do Dragon.
See your enemy pushs bot like crazy? -> Set up a gank there.
Your top lane pushed hard by your Warwick? -> Hide in the side brushes at top, let your Warwick fall back and do the gank time.

Read your enemies, inform your team and punish them for mistakes.

That's what makes a jungler. Maybe your supporter is called "babysitter", but you should be the babysitter of your whole team. A good jungler can easily lead his team to win, and a bad jungler can easily destroy a game by totally failling his job. Your job is jungling, so stay in your jungle. A jungler needs farm, too. Even though ganking 24/7 seems really cool, at some point you will have less and less success while ganking, effectively leaving you behind in level and farm. Clear your jungle, watch the map, use opportunities. Some junglers like Udyr can easily farm like any lane. Some are a little bit worse at farming, but there is no point to be at a 50 creepscore as Xin Zhao, while your Caitlyn in Bot has 220.

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Jungle Routes

Xin's jungle is very flexible, making him a very unpredictable jungler.

Xin doesn't have to start at blue.
Xin can start at Wolves.
Xin can start at Red.
Xin can start at Double Golems.

Adapt your routes to your team and to your enemies.

Route 1:

Starting Item: Vampiric Scepter
Start at wolves. Just Auto Hit them to death and Q as much as possible. Get your mates to hit the wolves a little (they should hit all of them once or twice and run out of exp range as theyre about to die, thats enough). Then, head to blue. Get a leash and some dmg again and just auto + Q it to death, Smite at ~450 HP to secure the buff. Skill W, kill wraiths then double golems. Skill E then and kill the red lizard with Smite at ~550 HP. Do the wraiths once more, get another point in E and gank.

Route 2:

Starting Item: Boots of Speed +
Put one point in Q and head to the wraiths. Auto Hit + Q them and get some help of your laners again. After wraiths head to the red lizard. Get a leash there, ask for some nice dmg and Smite at around 450 HP. Skill E and gank with lvl 2 as most lanes are still lvl 1 - this will most likely at least blow a Flash.
It's crucial to get some dmg of your laners here, because you would drop quite hard otherwise due to no bonus armor nor lifesteal.

Route 3:

Starting Item: Vampiric Scepter
Start at double Golems. Skill W first and kill them with Smite used for the large one. Go to wraiths, skill Q afterwards. Go on with wolves and then with the blue golem. Smite the blue golem at ~500 HP. Skill E at lvl 3, watch out for ganking opportunities. Kill wraiths and double golems again and afterwards the red lizard with Smite. Basically, you can stay in the jungle as long as you want since you won't die with Vampiric Scepter.

So... when to start where?
Route 1: This is the most standart route. You can gank at level 3 or 4 there with all of your abilities and double buffs at roughly ~3:40-4:00 in game time.
Route 2: This route is the most aggressive route. Pick this route if you have some sort of nice cc in your lanes as this could easily result in a very early kill.
Route 3: This route is counter productive for Xin as you want to gank as much as possible. But sometimes lanes as Janna/ Ezreal, Riven and LeBlanc are just ungankable without tons of cc. If that's the case, decied if farming in the jungle is more valuable.

Here's the route that I generally use in ranked and normal games.
Wolves > Blue (get a pull/leash from mid) > Wolves (if they respawn) > Wraiths > Double golems > Gank/Base > Finally get red and continue in your jungling and ganking.

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Thank you!

In conclusion, Xin Zhao is a very fun and powerful champion to play. I would recommend all players to try him at least once. I know this is a short guide but I will be adding more as my Xin Zhao experience increases, and the more feedback I get from the community. Criticism is always welcome, as long as its constructive. I really hope this has helped and that you enjoyed it.

I'd like to say thank you very much for viewing my guide and trying it out! Please rate it and comment! ;)

AND if you guys were wondering on which server I play on, well I play on EU West.
Feel free to add me, - iLockNLoadi and lxlOwNaGelxl -

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Please vote and discuss!

Title said it all.
Please vote the build, a +1 would really be appreciated :D
Also comment on where you find my build/guide a bit messed up or find any errors. Also, if possible, some pics of your score after using my build would be great!