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Xin Zhao Build Guide by BlasiuS

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League of Legends Build Guide Author BlasiuS

If you ain't Xinnin', you ain't Winnin' [5.21]

BlasiuS Last updated on October 29, 2015
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Xin Zhao with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Evelynn Super fragile and has huge problems with the season 5 jungle. You can invade and kill her at will. Take Skirmisher's and invade her jungle as often as you can.
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Hi, Platinum jungler here, and I love playing dive champs. And Xin Zhao can dive with the best of them.

Auto-attack junglers were relatively not that great in season 4. Wriggle's Lantern, while great for auto-attackers, punished strong early-game gankers like Xin Zhao by forcing him to choose between ganking and farming.

In season 5, there are new jungle item upgrades, and enchantments. In particular, the Skirmisher's Sabre synergizes very well with auto-attackers like Xin Zhao. In addition, the Skirmisher's Sabre - Devourer enchantment functions similar to the old feral flare, without requiring extensive farming in order to get it.

These new changes improve Xin Zhao's jungling abilities, and now he's much better as a jungler! HUZZAH!

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Previous Patches

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Summoner Spells

Always take flash on Xin Zhao. It is by far the best summoner spell for him. It's playmaking ability exceeds any other summoner. It gives Xin an escape where he otherwise has none. It will let you get kills and finish off ganks that you wouldn't normally be able to. It is the best mobility summoner spell for Xin Zhao, period.

This shouldn't even need to be said, but for the sake of completeness I have included it here.


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Offense - 21

Most of these are self-explanatory. Xin has high early-game damage, and so 21 points in offense increases his gank potential and helps him clear the jungle faster. Xin is an AD-based auto-attack champ, so all AD masteries will help his damage:

In addition, all %-damage increase masteries will help Xin's damage as well:

Lastly, the armor penetration from Devastating Strikes increases the damage of all of Xin's abilities and auto-attacks.

These are all essential masteries for increasing Xin Zhao's damage. This leaves 3 points to play with. I put the remaining points as follows:
  • Sorcery - Once late-game is reached, CDR becomes important for Xin Zhao, so that he can repeatedly cast Audacious Charge as often as possible.
  • Butcher - This gives 30-40 extra damage per camp, and so gives a good return for only 1 point.
  • Dangerous Game - The last point I put in here, to give Xin a slightly better chance of surviving a dive should he get a kill

No Frenzy, since Xin generally won't build enough crit to make it worthwhile. No Warlord , because Xin's main damage items give him on-hit damage, not additional AD. Feast is only useful for early-game laning, junglers do not kill enough units to make this mastery worthwhile.

Defense - 9

Almost every non-tank jungler gets more from putting 9 points in Defense compared to putting them anywhere else, with the possible exception of Kayle who benefits greatly from putting all 30 points in offense.

Essential Defense masteries:
  • Swiftness - good for slows, if the enemy team does not have slows put these 2 points in Recovery and Block .
  • Tough Skin - the new season 5 jungle hurts, and so this mastery will save you a lot of damage on your first few clears.
  • Veteran Scars / Juggernaut - huge benefit per point, nothing else comes close. Juggernaut gives 60-90+ health by late-game.

The last point goes in either Block , Recovery , or Bladed Armor . I put it in block, but it's really a matter of preference.

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction


9x flat Attack Damage. Attack Speed runes are not recommended, because Xin already gets +40% attack speed starting at level 1 from Battle Cry. +14% attack speed from marks seems helpful, but going from +40% to +54% just isn't as useful.


Thanks to Xin's insane sustain in the jungle, you can easily go for scaling health seals. These are superior to flat health seals starting at level 7. Most junglers take armor to reduce monster damage, but Xin doesn't need them thanks to the sustain from his Battle Cry


Not much magic damage in the jungle, so scaling magic resist glyphs are the best choice here. The 3 scaling CDR glyphs give 5% CDR at level 18. This combines with the points in Sorcery to help you cap your CDR in the late-game, where it matters the most.


Flat AD quints help Xin Zhao the most offensively in both the jungle and against champions.

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General Itemization

Xin Zhao has the kit of an assassin. He can dash to a target and slow them with Audacious Charge, then pummel them with auto-attacks using Challenge, Three Talon Strike, and Battle Cry. If anyone tries to interfere, he can use Crescent Sweep to knock them away and get tanky enough to finish off his target. However, all of Xin's damage comes at melee or near-melee range. Because of this, the only way Xin Zhao can live through a teamfight long enough to contribute to it is to build tanky. That means he mainly needs a large amount of Armor, Magic Resist, and Max Health. The more he has, the longer he can survive. Unlike many assassins, Xin Zhao has no way to escape once he enters a fight.

Because of all of this, Xin must build at least some tank items in order to be effective!

However, Xin can deal a large amount of damage through auto-attacks, and so anything that will help his auto-attacks is a good buy offensively.


With the advent of the new Enchantment - Devourer, on-hit effects are 50% better starting round mid-game (whenever you get 30 stacks on devourer).

Blade of the Ruined King was already a great item on Xin; I had previously placed The Brutalizer/ Youmuu's Ghostblade slightly higher due to it being cheaper.

No more. The %-health proccing 50% more gives Xin insane damage and health regen. It's now a must-have. The power spike with Enchantment - Devourer and Blade of the Ruined King cannot be ignored.

Always get this every game on Xin. You may want to just get Bilgewater Cutlass early on for sustain, and then wait until you have Sated Devourer before you finish the BotRK.

Xin is a dive champ jungler, so Skirmisher's Sabre is the best jungler item for him. He has plenty of cc with Audacious Charge and Three Talon Strike, is not particularly good at counter-jungling, and has no sustain problems in the jungle, so the other jungle items are inferior.

As an auto-attack-based jungler, The Devourer enchantment is the best on Xin Zhao. Warrior also has great stats for Xin, but the Devourer enchantment scales far better into late game. The Warrior enchantment is better on AD Casters like Pantheon. Devourer is better for aa-based junglers like Xin.


Armor Options

Randuin's Omen offers a large of chunk of both health and armor, and the passive and active help immensely with diving a carry. If you can charge in, use Randuin's Omen, and then use Crescent Sweep, you can easily swing a teamfight in your team's favor. The passive makes it stronger to dive the enemy AD Carry.

Frozen Heart should be bought if you want to spam Audacious Charge as much as possible, and if the enemy team has multiple auto-attackers.

Magic Resist Options

Locket of the Iron Solari is a great support item. It offers health, magic resist, and cooldown reduction, all good stats for Xin Zhao. The active and passive are both also very useful for teamfights.

Spirit Visage is similar to Locket in that it gives health, magic resist, and cooldown reduction. The passive is also good considering the heal from Battle Cry.

Generally Locket of the Iron Solari is the better choice on Xin due to the group benefits it provides.

Boot Options

Great option if you get ahead early and want to keep ganking lanes. Partly depends on if you get an early lead, and also depends on how gankable your lanes are.

If you are dealing with a CC-heavy team, or if they have some particularly nasty cc like Puncturing Taunt or Terrify, you will probably need to get these boots.

If you notice the enemy AD Carry getting fed before you are ready to upgrade your boots, or if the enemy team has multiple auto-attack champs, or even if the enemy team is mostly AD, then get Ninja Tabi.

Situational Items

For the late-game AD Carry, especially a strong-scaling one like Vayne or Tristana. If you want to dive the AD Carry after 30 minutes, you will need this item or you'll just get blown up that much faster.

Dead Man's Plate is a great alternative to Randuin's Omen, if you want more damage, or if you don't feel you need the crit damage reduction from the Omen. Build up to 100 stacks, then Audacious Charge the enemy for guaranteed +100 damage and an additional slow.


Since The Black Cleaver rework it is a bit closer which of these is better for Xin Zhao. I believe in most cases, Youmuu's Ghostblade is superior, however depending on enemy team comp you will sometimes want to get The Black Cleaver.

Overall I like Youmuu's Ghostblade better for damage, and The Black Cleaver better for utility. If there's multiple bruisers on the enemy team, I think The Black Cleaver will offer more teamfight damage, and will help Xin survive a bit longer. But for diving carries, Youmuu's Ghostblade offers better damage.

However, let's be clear here: both of these are inferior to Blade of the Ruined King, and so this option should only even be considered if you have both Skirmisher's Sabre - Devourer and Blade of the Ruined King completed.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Battle Cry first for the sustain and DPS for the first camp. It's very useful with the Gift of the Heavy Hands passive that you get from Krug.

The first camp gives you level 2, which should be Three Talon Strike, so that you can quickly clear both buffs as efficiently as possible.

At level 3, take Audacious Charge so that you can gank a lane.

After that, max Audacious Charge as soon as possible. The reason you max Audacious Charge is because it reduces the cooldown and increases the slow each level. This helps ganks tremendously, as by level 9 it slows by 45%. Also with some CDR and landing all 3 hits from Three Talon Strike, your Audacious Charge cooldown gets reduced to 5 seconds.

Three Talon Strike is maxed second to increase your mid-game damage.

Battle Cry is maxed 3rd. It works great as a one-point wonder due to providing both on-hit heal and an on-demand attack-speed boost. Just one point is all you need to be able to clear the jungle with high-health.

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Jungle Route Opening

The best start for Xin Zhao is Krug, for a few reasons:

  1. The smite buff for Krug is the Gift of Heavy Hands, which stuns targets on every 5th attack, and also on the 1st attack to a new target. This buff synergizes very well with Battle Cry, which Xin Zhao takes 1st. This makes the Krug camp easy with just your AD Carry + Support providing a leash
  2. The Brambleback is easier at level 2 with the Heavy Hands buff than at level 1 with no buff. So you clear the Brambleback with higher health.
  3. Starting Krug means that you don't need your mid-laner to help leash, and the Krug camp is closer to the side lane than the red buff, so the leasher(s) can more easily get to lane and not miss any minion experience (which is crucial for laners).

Always smite Krug as soon as it appears! This gives you the Heavy Hands buff immediately, and also starts the cooldown on your Smite sooner, so that it will be ready for when you clear your 2nd buff.

After clearing red, you have some options:
  1. Quick level 2 gank. If a lane is pushed up, they almost always will not have put down their ward/trinket yet. Free kill since Xin Zhao's level 2 all-in is one of the strongest in the game, and on top of that you have red buff.
  2. If there is no gank opportunity, you can just continue jungling. You can go either to blue buff or do raptors.

You can do 3 camps and back for your fast T2 jungle item, or you can look for gank opportunites. For most low-sustain junglers, they will go back after their 3rd camp. And if they don't, they will be at very low health so if you are against of these junglers, you can gank at level 3 without fear of counter-ganks.

Also if you want to farm the whole jungle before backing, you can do that as well, although I don't recommend this as you will miss out on extra gold from your T2 jungle item.

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#1 rule of ganking with Xin Zhao - always try to walk up to the enemy and hit them first. That way, if they try to escape using an ability or Flash, you can Audacious Charge to them and finish them off. Only open a gank with Audacious Charge if you absolutely must get to your target as soon as possible, or if there is no way that you will be able to reach your target without using it.

Once you reach your target, use Three Talon Strike and Battle Cry for maximum DPS. If you are level 6+, use Crescent Sweep just after Audacious Charge for maximum burst damage. Depending on the champ and situation, you may need to Flash in order to get the kill. If you can get a kill by using Flash, do it.

After level 6, if you are able to get behind an opponent, open with Crescent Sweep, as it will knock the opponent back towards your tower, allowing you to more easily get the kill.

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Jungle Tips

  • Whenever possible, save your smite for the Razorback camp, since you can use its buff to clear wards
  • If you are about to fight, try and smite Gromp for the Gift of the Toadstool buff
  • If you don't have blue buff, try and conserve your Audacious Charge since it is the most mana-expensive of your abilities.
  • If you bought Skirmisher's Sabre, make sure to buy 1-2 wards every time you go back to base, so that you can ward the enemy jungle. Warding the enemy jungle lets you see when they are trying to take a camp so you can invade them and get a kill.

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Gameplay Tips


Xin Zhao can be played one of two ways in teamfights:
  1. Assassin - when a carry gets too close, Audacious Charge -> Crescent Sweep to initiate, isolate the target, and knock everyone else back. If you can hit 3+ champs, this is a great initiate. This is quite hard to do in the higher levels as for the most part carries will not wander within 600 range of Xin Zhao, so really only tanks will be within range. Still, you can counter-initiate if everyone jumps on someone, and if you flank the side of the enemy team you can Audacious Charge to the AD/AP Carry pretty easily
  2. Bodyguard - if you are behind and/or have built mostly tanky, Xin Zhao has enough cc that he can prevent someone from diving one of your carries. Stay near your strongest carry, if someone dives, knock them away with Crescent Sweep. If they keep trying to dive, Audacious Charge to slow them down, and Three Talon Strike to knock them up. Between these 3 abilities, you should be able to keep someone off of your carry.

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This section is for answering questions. Feel free to ask in the comments!