Build Guide by GePHILtafish
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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.
Hello, and welcome to my guide on your favorite Chinese killer! I'm going to talk about plenty of things to make your gameplay as Xin Zhao way better.
As for masteries, I like to go with the traditional 21-0-9. This gives you nice damage, and a couple of other nice luxuries. You can also go with 9-21-0 for a more tanky game, but keeping some offense, or you can go for 0-21-9 for a seriously tanky game.
I don't have much to say about runes, since I don't buy them often.
I do recommend you invest in buying some health quints, they do wonders early game. Health Quints + Doran's Shield = very fun early game.
Armor pen is always a good choice, gives you a little extra damage.
Cooldown reduction is always good
Dodge runes are great
these are nice runes to have, and can be used on many champs, not just Xin Zhao
Xin Zhao is a pretty good farmer throughout the game.
Early game, use your Three Talon Strike to get last hits, and harass in between farming.
Mid game, go ahead and spam skills to farm if you feel no teamfight is coming up.
Late game, REALLY spam those skills. Your ult is on a pretty low cooldown, so feel free to use it to clear mobs.
Jungle often, whenever possible. You should be getting red buff often as well, and if you're doing well, you should also be ganking. A ganking Xin Zhao with red buff and a good team can almost always get you a kill.
Xin Zhao is a naturally good character, and is not too item dependent. As long as he has a nice level advantage, he could do tons of damage throughout the game.
I've played games where the enemy Xin Zhao did tons of damage to us with just boots and a Frozen Mallet.
Start out with a Doran's shield. Gives you a nice tanky start, while still allowing you to dish out some cool damage.
On your way back, go ahead and pick up a madred's razor if you can, but at least build into it.
Next up, get your boots for the movement, and then get your mercury treads. This allows you to be a little more tanky, and allow you to recover from a lame disable more quickly.
After the mercury treads, finish up your Madred's Bloodrazor. This will give you nice attack speed, armor, and tank killing potential. If there are tanks in your game, this will pay off great late game. You do not always need this. If they don't have any tanks, and a mostly squishy, AP team, you won't need this to roflstomp them.
After your Madred's Bloodrazor, build your frozen mallet. This not only makes you more tanky, but allows you to chase enemies down, or even slow one so your team can catch up.
Build a Stark's Fervor next, for the lifesteal and attackspeed, which is great
Build a Youmuu's Ghostblade after your Stark's Fervor to get more damage out, and even more chasing ability. The extra armor pen really helps out.
After those, your build can vary. I prefer to get a Phantom Dancer for the attack speed and crits. The movement speed helps too.
You can also replace your Stark's Fervor for a Bloodthirster if your team doesn't need the Stark's Fervor.
Other good choices for items include a Banshee's Veil, for the tankyness if you need it, or a Last Whisper for the armor pen and damage. You can also get a Black Cleaver for the armor pen, attack speed, and damage.
Some players like to get a Sword of the Divine, and then a Youmuu's ghostblade for the armor pen actives. I personally have not tried this out, and do not know how well it works for Xin Zhao. From what i've seen, it's hit or miss. Either you do great, or you do terrible.
The Trinity Force. I don't understand why you would get this item on Xin Zhao. Everything it gives benefits him, but other items outdo it. The sheen effect, and the 25% slow on it isn't that worth it either. 150% isn't worth it compared to other item effects, like a Madred's Bloodrazor or a Frozen Mallet. The health and mana are good, but you're better off with the health from the Frozen Mallet, and the mana you have. The crits are always good, but not necessary in this build, just a luxury. The attack speed and attack damage are also outshone by other items. Madred's Bloodrazor and Frozen Mallet give you damage, attack speed, and other great stats. The AP on the Trinity Force is pointless, unless you like to deal a little extra damage on your Audacious Charge and Crescent Sweep. Remember though, you don't use Audacious Charge to do damage, (unless the enemy is close enough to death that it would kill them) it is used to cover distance, which I talk about later.
Survivability is important! I decided to add items like a Banshee's Veil or Guardian Angel to my build. A Banshee's Veil is never a bad item to get, unless their team has no AP or CC, which is highly unlikely. A Guardian Angel gives you nice armor and the neat effect of bringing you back to life. This is a great item, but it doesn't work all the time. If they win a teamfight and you're coming back to life, that just means you get to die a second time. Since Xin Zhao has no real escape, unless you use your summoner spells.
But as I said, survivability is very important. I've played games where I got completely shut down as soon as the teamfight began, but once I got more survivability, it really kept me alive. Also remember, if you see the enemy using all their skills and ults to kill one person on your team, this is your que to go in with your team. After wasting all their skills and ults, they'll be handicapped for a short while.
Start off with Three Talon Strike at level 1. Other people start with Audacious Charge at level 1, but why? To charge into your own death at level 1? I rather not. People might say it helps you get a kill if you wait in the bush, but really? If you want an early first blood, lane with somebody with a stun. Then you can get your whole Three Talon Strike off, do some nasty damage, and throw them in the air for a fun time.
Max out Three Talon Strike as soon as you can. Use it often! You can use it to farm sometimes. It has a low mana cost, making it very nice to last hit with. You can use it to harass the enemy. You can use it to disable an enemy. You can use it to KILL an enemy.
Get Audacious Charge at level 2. Never use your Audacious Charge to go a short distance, or to initiate when it is not needed. It doesn't do TONS of damage, so you don't need to have it in your combo. Use it when somebody is running away, or if you're ganking. Most importantly, use it to COVER DISTANCE. You should always be using it at it's farthest range. If you're being chased, you can even use it to juke your enemies.
Max out Battle Cry, the passive attack speed helps out.
When you get your ult, use it to initiate! Do not use it to KS, that could cost you a kill, or even a teamfight.
I prefer to use Ghost and Flash.
Both of those spells allow you to chase, escape, juke, and avoid ganks.
You can also use exhaust to do the above.
In a teamfight situation, your ultimate should always be your initiate! Do not save it to ks, that is greedy of you, and will possibly cost you a game. You are in the team to deal damage, not tank. The tanky aspect of this build is a bonus, and is for survivability.
Overall, this build will give you some serious damage, and even some survivability. I hope you guys look into this guide and get yourselves a pentakill as our favorite Chinese killer. This guide is not 100% complete, so I will come back and fancy it up. Feel free to express yourselves in the comments, and I'll take them into account.