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Xin Zhao Build Guide by dawgyerf

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League of Legends Build Guide Author dawgyerf

Pro Xin Zhao (post mid-july rework)

dawgyerf Last updated on July 20, 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: 28

Honor Guard

Defense: 2

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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I've been playing Xin Zhao for a long time. Fun. Easy to learn, I guess. But devastating. A very very solid champion.

My preferred method of play for this guide is SOLO TOP, with a teammate jungling. This always ensures that you have enough farm to have a great build, and enough EXP to be your team's second carry, or at least anti-carry.

Xin Zhao is an AMAZING anti-carry. Carries like teemo, and most other burst AP assassin carries are no match for Xin Zhao.

The most important part about this guide is firstly the rune selection, then the items and masteries to complement them. Try them out. Below is simply a few thoughts, tips, and tricks, for intermediate (or beginner) Xin Zhao players. Everything below is what a pro Xin Zhao player should (already) know.

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Skill Sequence/Fights/Team Fights

The most, most important thing about the skill sequence is really obtaining Q at level 1, then E at level 2, so that you have amazing early game skirmish potential. Not that you would want to.

I only listed the skill sequence above up to level 9 because:
1) I'm not really good at keeping track of when I can level up skills
2) It really doesn't matter after that point. You can't go wrong with leveling any ability you desire after that. Why?

At the beginning, you want to obtain Q then E so that (if your team chooses an early gank) you can use E to sprint to your enemy and slow, then Q to deal ****loads of damage and CC them at the end, so you'd get 4 or 5 hits if they don't flash away. You also have your ghost to chase.
Of course, if the enemy is close to you to begin with, use Q first then use E to chase.

The pattern repeats similarly throughout the whole game, except W is also thrown in there, right after all three Q's --Three Talon Strikes (TTS)-- have hit. This is so TTS cooldowns faster.

Three Talon Strike (Q)
Now that Xin Zhao has been reworked, don't hesitate to use TTS whenever to help cooldown your other abilities. I found that TTS even cooldowns other abilities when you are using it on towers. This is very helpful because you can cooldown your W faster to gain attack speed and quickly take down towers.

Battle Cry - (W)
Now that Xin zhao has been reworked, you also want to use your W on minions to restore health if you are injured. MIND THE LAST HITS THOUGH! Don't just auto attack.

Thanks to the rework it makes even more sense to constantly be alternating between Q and W. Thanks to your mana regen seals you should always have enough mana. If not, switch your glyphs also to mana regen glyphs. Or take golem if no one else wants it.

Ultimate - Crescent Sweep - (R)
When you get your ULTY (R), you either use it at the very beginning of your attack on a champion, or if you are 1v1 and you know you can win without it, save it at the end in case more enemies jump on you.

Your ulty is a VERY effective weapon for tower diving and escaping ganks. The increased armor and MR saves your life. If you need to run back to your tower but they are gaining on you an within attack range, use it first. Use it if towers are going to attack you while you are tower diving.

As I learned this morning playing Xin Zhao without realizing there was a rework, the new ULTY is also VERY GOOD at helping you escape ganks because you can fling opponents back with it. I did this on accident without knowing how it happened and it saved my butt.

Ultimate and Teamfights
Before the new patch rework out, I would STRONGLY discourage anyone from following Riot's champion spotlight suggestion and being the first one into a 5v5 teamfight using your Crescent Sweep (R). Even though you deal more initial damage, you get heavily focused and all your attack damage/speed items become useless. Always let your tank go in first.

However, with the new rework I think it's okay to be that "audacious" xin zhao and charge right in, TARGETING THEIR SQUISHY CARRIES FIRST. ALWAYS. They deal the most damage. your job is to take them down or severely weaken them. ALWAYS. THATS YOUR JOB. Plus it's fun. Unless, of course, a lone enemy tank wanders into the midst of your team... but then they would be noob.

However, since you are the assassin. It is ALWAYS still wise to hang back a little bit first and let your tanks and bruisers take the brunt of CCs and focus before you charge in and penta-kill them all. Your team may be a bit sour for all the KS, but happy that they aced the other team and you get a win.

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Farming Techniques

1. Last hit. If you need to, use your Q to ensure every last hit (like on cannon minions)
2. you walk up to a clump of three minions and hit each of them once or twice, but dont kill them, then use your E to finish them off at the same time. It's just fun.
3. You know how sometimes a whole hoard of enemy minions will stack up against your towers top or bottom lane? Walk in the middle of them, then use your CRESCENT SWEEP. OH YEAH. Don't be afraid to use that to farm then. It's like, BOOM Instant 25gp x 20+ minionis = 300+ gold in the blink of an eye. Saves time and you can go help out your team elsewhere, or push the lane faster. Don't be afraid to use W or Youmuus to quickly finish up farming a lane so you can go elsewhere.

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Oh, Almost forgot, Items.
I forgot to add Youmuus somewhere between brutalizer and thirst. I usually get Youmuus first, but for some reason it hasn't been working well lately.

For the last item you can choose between phantom, zekes, randuins, or wits end. Or Banshees, of course. Depends on you and their team comp.
Phantom and Zekes is all purpose, if the enemy team is really mixed
randuins to counter high AD teams
Wits End or Banshees to counter high AP

Honestly, when I play I don't really pay attention to which items I buy first. I know, I'm horrible. But basically I just listed out all the items that are feasible for xin zhao.

Last Whisper is OK. I just never use it.

EDIT: Acquire Bloodthirster before Infinity to have more early and mid game presence.

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Rune Explanation

If you're wondering, Why the MR Glyps? it's so you can be a lethal anti-carry, especially against AP carries. With mercs treads, you can finish off a squishy AP carry with minimal damage in less than two seconds.

As for having no armor whatsoever, that's where your high ATTACK DAMAGE, ATTACK SPEED (from the marks and quints), and LIFE STEAL come in. Your biggest defense against other AD champions is to attack, and keep attacking. Plus--yep--it's fun.