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Xin Zhao Build Guide by Acidior

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Acidior

Jungle Xin: Ultimate Tanky DPS

Acidior Last updated on July 13, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 14

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 10

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Hello mobafire, this is my first guide on here, in fact, it's about the first thing I've done on here. So this might not be the fanciest guide you've ever seen. But this is my take on Xin Zhao in the jungle as a viable tanky dps/off tank. I think this role suits Xin much better than what you see in most games: the glass cannon pure dps Xin.

My reasoning is this: a perfect team comp in 5s consists of a ranged AD carry, an AP nuker, a support type, a tank, and the ever vague "jungler". Many people think of top tier junglers such as Nunu, Trundle, Warwick, Olaf, who all usually fulfill the role of tanky/offtank as well as jungler/ganker. So why is Xin constantly a laner who goes full dps, rushing the black cleaver when his skills, and stats lend themselves to a badass offtank or tanky dps who can dish out enough damage to not be ignored.

My belief is that Xin Zhao can be a devastating jungler with ganking power early game and transitioning into a offtank role in mid/late game while dishing out solid damage the entire game.

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Let's look at my rune selection shall we? You can see a rather standard Xin/Jungle set up with:
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Greater Seal of Armor

The only eyebrow raiser might be the Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. I like them for the increased tankiness with minimal tank items needed. The glyphs + masteries + mercs is gonna give you a decent amount of MR without trying too hard. This applies to armor as well, the goal is to achieve through runes, masteries, and your first two items a good amount of tank status so you can gun for that Trinity Force with no looking back. The only glyph I could see replacing these with any use are Greater Glyph of Attack Speed

But Acidior, WHAT ABOUT CDR?!?!??! Well calm down, because the fact of the matter is Xin Zhao is an AA based champ with short(ish) CDs on his most used spells and...a built in cooldown reducer. Not to mention as you are the jungler (assuming you're not in super high elo where you might opt to give golem buff to a teammate who could use it better) you're going to have blue buff for (hopefully) a good amount of time in the early game, which is gonna stock your mana which will allow you to spam said CDR spell Battle Cry. So CDR shouldn't really be a problem.

However these runes, are just a matter of playstyle, I highly suggest the full AS marks, but if you prefer ArP that's not a terrible choice either. I just find that this combination of runes along with masteries gives me a solid AS boost while still maintaining a good amount of ArP in the early levels.

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Here's where I get a lil wacky. The 14/6/10 setup isn't the most standard. While 10 in utility shouldn't turn any heads, as a jungler you need that buff duration extension along with the increased experience, and since I run Ghost, that makes sense as well.

Defensive Tree: I take 6 points in here for the increased 6 armor and 6 MR which as I said above, is going to get you pretty tanky with minimal itemization. If your a fan of the defensive tree you could put extra points into Evasion and Nimbleness (especially if you're running dodge seals).

Offensive Tree: I go into this tree for, you guessed it, supplemental AS and ArP to compliment my rune set. I've made it pretty clear I think how I feel about CDR on Xin so Sorcery is useless to me. I've also put points into + dmg to minions and flat +AD because that's just gonna increase our dmg output...

As with runes this is just the way I build Xin, it IS what I suggest to jungling Xin's but it's all up to you.

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Summoner Spells

Pretty straightforward.

for the jungle. Take it. Don't be dumb.

for the mobility. As a jungler there could be times when you need to jet to one place or the other, also if you're taking up the role as offtank, you're going to want to be in every teamfight you can.

Alternatives are up to you. If you want to be on the offensive you could take

is obviously always a solid option, I just prefer the mobility on Xin. Say you hit lvl 6 right as that foolish squishy in mid pushes to your tower. You're gonna wanna be there STAT. S'all I'm saying...

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Alright, here's the meat of this thing. (That IS what she said)

Because I'm new to this it won't be the most fancy looking link filled, screenshot laden, pretty thing but I've got a few things to say.

The Core

- This item is fantastic for Xin and any AD junglers in general. This should be your first item you complete, it will lead to sustainable jungling, full HP ganking, armor, and dmg output. Everything you need.

- This is the 2nd item you're gonna want. Gives you a speed boost and another raise in your MR, adding to the offtank you are. It will be important to grab your lvl 1 boots before you finnish Wriggles but AFTER you get Madreds...Then once you get Wriggles, feel free to upgrade to Mercs.

- AH HA! The ultimate power. Ok not really, but it's a great item, especially on Xin taking a tanky dps role. Now, how you build it depends on the situation. If you've gotten a couple successful ganks/assists and you feel confident you can grab Zeal first for the speed boost and damage output. However if you're needing some survivability grab Phage first. DON'T get Sheen until LAST, always. Sheen is helpful for Xin but the other two items have everything you want.

The Options

Now is when it gets exciting. Once you have procured those first 3 items, you are gonna be a quick, tanky, dpsing monster from the jungle. Where you go from there is completely dependent on your team comp and their team comp. If you have a solid tank on your team feel free to go for more offensive items. If your team is struggling then it might be a decent idea to pick up an Aegis, it actually works really well on Xin and can give a TON to your team in tricky fights.

Offensive Items

- A great addition to your ArP, gonna make you hit pretty hard, and turn's into Youmuu's Ghostblade which can make you scary fast and damaging.

- Classic Xin item, really helps tear through tanks, a very powerful addition to your arsenal.

- This is a huge AD item that I know a lot of people like on melee damage dealers, it's not my favorite item but I wouldn't say it won't do well on Xin...if you can keep it stacked.

Defensive/Balanced Items

- If no one on your team is getting this, and you guys need a boost during teamfights, this can do wonders for your team's success. Also gives YOU damn near main tank stats.

- If you're feeling the pain early on (pre Trinity Force) then you can take that Phage I told you to get and make it into this bad boy, giving you SOLID CC and a good chunk of health to boot. A solid option.

- Now this could be an item you add after getting a few offensive items to make you the offtank king, always worth it.

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Creeping / Jungling

Starting Off

Once the game begins you can pick up Cloth Armor and anywhere from 3-5 Health Potion then make your way to either Blue Buff, or Mini Golems. One of the great things about Xin Zhao in the jungle is that he's very flexible on the route he can take, due to not needing blue buff to sustain his mana as he jungles. So depending on their jungler you can go where you please. If a strong counter jungler like Nunu is opposite you, it might be a good idea to secure your blue buff.

Blue Buff Route

Grab your items (probably need 5 pots if you're starting here) and head to golem. It also might be a good idea to put your first point in Three Talon Strike for that extra damage boost. MAKE SURE YOU GET A LEASH FOR GOLEM! For clarification a leash is when a teammate (usually mid) attacks golem from behind the trees to grab his aggro so you can get a few free shots off without being attacked. Also ask your teammates to scout the river so you don't get ganked right off the bat, cause that'd suck...Anyway as soon as he hits you pop that pot and make sure to Q immediately after an AA for a solid double quick attack. Make sure to Smite golem at around 420 HP for the guaranteed last hit. Then move on!

You know how it goes:
Wolves - Focus big one
Wraiths - Focus big one
Mini golems - Focus both of em...

At this point you can grab lizard and proceed to whichever lane needs a gank and happily oblige them. Also if you're not confident in your ability to bring down lizard you can clean up the camps that should have respawned by now and then head back to base to pick up a Madred's Razors. Once you're fully healed with Madreds at the ready you can destroy your jungle with ease and gank/hold lanes as you wish.

Mini Golems Route

This route is a bit easier so if you're not level 30 or have the proper runes this route might suit you better. Start with putting a point in Battle Cry for the extra AS boost as it can really help proc your passive. Also on this route you might not need as many health potions, 3 is probably the minimum tho...

Mini golems
Blue Golem
Mini golems/wraiths/wolves (respawns)

Once you've got about 700 gold hit up the ol base and grab your Madreds and proceed to devastate Lizard buff and gank to your hearts content. Just make sure to pick up wards everytime you base.

Which brings me to my next point...

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Ok guys, as a jungler I don't care what Elo you're at. YOU ARE THE WARD MASTER! You must give map vision to your teammates, and while they may pick up a ward or two (as they should) you can't rely on them to place wards. That's one thing I love about Wriggle's, a free ward....forever...always. Make sure to keep that item on CD and that ward up. Now, I suggest keeping a Vision Ward on Dragon for the first 12 levels or so, whenever it goes down, make sure to pop one back up. And then transfer to Baron once it becomes a viable option. The reason is that these are the two most warded spots in the game (usually) and if you keep your eye on em you can knock out the enemies wards easily reducing their vision of Dragon and Baron, GREAT SUCCESS!

If you're worried about counter jungling be sure to ward your own buffs. Also your mid player would love you LONG time if you threw the occasional ward in the bushes next to them on either side.

Be sure to keep a steady stream of them coming everytime you B, your team could win the game because of it!

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Whelp, that's my guide. Hope ya'll learned something about jungling with Xin, or jungling in general...I know it's not too fancy and I'm sure you pro's could let me know how to make it nicer, so I'd appreciate any suggestions and feedback!