Xin Zhao Build Guide by Eggoman
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Standard Xin Zhao
Xin Zhao Build
+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive
Jungle Item Options
full Build if Behind
Most Fun High Damage Build
Threats to Xin Zhao with this build
|Kindred||Don't chase and get kited and this is an easy kill.|
|Ezreal||Similar to kindred but kiting is more dangerous because of his ability to kill you from behind a wall.|
|Ivern||Invade him and kill him. It doesn't matter that you didn't gank when your 10/0/0 just killing the Ivern in his own jungle. At low elo most of the time Ivern players won't be that good or used to getting invaded to death.|
Hi, I am Eggoman (0Eggoman0) and this is my Xin Zhao guide. This is my first guide so any feedback is much appreciated. I have been playing on the NA server since mid season 7 and I ended the last season silver 3. Although I am a low ranked player (about bottom 47% of players)I feel I can still provide you with a lot of useful tips. If this guide helped you or you just wanna make my day please give it a +. Hope you enjoy :)
Pros / Cons
Easy to play
Allows for aggresive play style
Jungle matchup dependant
Play style as Xin Zhao
throughout this guild I explain how you should play Xin Zhao but I do not really get into the general approach to the game. As Xin Zhao you want to play very aggressive. You want to duel whenever you can and bully the enemy team.
Before Game starts (Runes and picks/Bans)
Press the Attack
It is really close between Lethal Tempo and Press the Attack. I use Press the Attack because of its late-game benefits. It benefits your allies when they attack that enemy.
This is very useful as it can save you from ignite and allows you to go back to clearing after getting a kill. with Xin's passive and burst damage this rune can also let him take on a second enemy as even at 15% health he is still a danger.
Attack speed is good for procing Determination and your Three Talon Strike.
Coup de Grace
Similar to Press the Attack this helps after you are done your combo and the enemy has a small amount of health.
I used to use cheap shot but since I take Duskblade of Draktharr and focus more on scaling into late game with Press the Attack the chances of you procing Cheap Shot twice per enemy is less likely.
after the Zombie Ward nerfs I feel like it is finally time to switch over to Eyeball Collection
Picks and Bans
Blind picking Xin Zhao without knowing your enemy can be risky. If you feel like you can deal with either Kha'Zix or Jax then you should be fine to just ban the other one and pick Xin. But seeing the enemy pick a Warwick could still ruin your game. If I know what jungle matchup I'm up against I normally feel safe picking Xin Zhao because enemy laners do not make a huge difference to his success. Xin Zhao 's jungle counters are the main reason I don't one trick him.
Start of Game (Jungle Path and invade)
As soon as the game starts buy Hunter's Machete and Refillable Potion . You're going to want a leash from your bot lane and your path goes as follows:
Path: Red brambleback , murk wolf , blue sentinel then you will invade. you are invading the other team's red brambleback and as you get there they will probably be turning the corner to crimson raptor first try and kill them using your combo only use flash if the kill will be for first blood or they have flashed and you can get them. Usually, they will be caught off guard and you will kill them. If not they will get away with very little health. Next check mid lane and top lane. If the laners are still visible in lane take red brambleback , make sure to keep checking as you kill it. If a laner is missing immediately ask for assistance from your top and mid laners and either hide in a bush or run back to your jungle.
Path: blue sentinel , murk wolf , red brambleback invade. The invade is very similar to Blue Team invade except you invade the blue sentinel and as you come around the back side you want to ward the bush. This will give you sight on the jungler so you can jump on him. He will not see the ward unless he is in the bush. if he does he will try and run back to his base straight into you.
Early Game- late laning Phase
Now you're faced with your first decision, Items. Evaluate how the game is going so far. You will most likely base this off the invade. If you died to the jungler and you have gotten hammered all around maybe go for the behind build, one note about the behind build is that you will never do well with it but it will stop you from feeding. Unless your doing really bad build your core items before you decide. If all is going according to plan go with Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior into Trinity Force then evaluate how you're doing.
Mid Game Skirmishes
This phase is where Xin Zhao really shines. By about 15 minutes is when this would start and you want your Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior and Trinity Force by about 20 minutes. You can play this Phase two different ways as Xin Zhao either split push and kill anyone who attacks you or run around the map killing people. With the second option it is important to remember to take towers or dragons after getting kills in order to actually win the game. If you can win the game before 30 min your doing well.
Late Game team fights.
This is the time when you have to really group up with your team and take objectives ( turret and baron nashor or drakes). It is important to buy items that fit the situation and not just buy MR against a team without a mage. Xin Zhao is okay in team fights but he is best in skirmishes. With Xin Zhao, if your team engages you want to dive one of the enemy teams carries using your team fight combo to prevent damage from ranged enemies and zone away the tanks. If the other team engages you want to protect your carry using Crescent Sweep followed by your duelling combo to eliminate the threat, then help take out the rest of the enemy team.
This is really up to personal preference but the high damage from a fulling levelled Wind Becomes Lightning is just to good for me to pass up. You can also upgrade Three Talon Strike if you really want to.
I use Hunter's Machete because Hunter's Talisman is only really useful if you have a lot of aoe damage which Xin Zhao does not. The Refillable Potion makes sure you invade at full health which is very important.
Ideally, you want Skirmisher's Sabre and Boots of Speed by your first back. If you have enough gold buy a Long Sword or Control Ward. I take Skirmisher's Sabre for the duelling power.
I take Ninja Tabi every game unless the enemy team is filled with CC. If that happens, I take Mercury's Treads. I don't take them against Mages because their real value is in the tenacity, not MR
If I am ahead, I always build Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior for the damage. If I'm a little behind, I build Enchantment: Bloodrazor for the attack speed. Sometimes I pair that with Stalker's Blade but that lacks a lot of damage and your assassination potential drops to almost zero as it focuses on killing over time and not letting the enemy run.
Most Important Decision
The Black Cleaver or Trinity Force, this is always a big decision for Xin Zhao and it is decided by your play style. If you like to go super aggressive and dive the carries every fight (like me) take Trinity Force. If you will play more passive and protect your ADC or APC from enemies take The Black Cleaver. Currently, in Preseason eight with carry junglers at the forefront I feel the first option is more viable but if that isn't your playstyle don't force it.
I like Adaptive Helm for it's CDR Health and MR. It gives a decent amount of MR but doesn't put you far behind in other stats. The second option is Maw of Malmortius it is my favourite because it is like adaptive except it gives AD instead of Health. The Passive shield and AD boost are great if you are quite squishy but I don't recommend this item if you're behind. Spirit Visage is a lot like Adaptive helm but is only really worth it if you have a healing support like Soraka, that said if you do it gives you an extra 100 Health for the same price.
The First item is Thornmail I like to get it when the enemy ADC is the person I dive in team fights. The passive it has is most useful if you have built armour, so I suggest taking this last of second last after a Dead Man's Plate. DO NOT build both Thornmail and Randuin's Omen as the passives do not stack. Second is Randuin's Omen which I like for the slow. If this is your only tank item because you're ahead it does the job and lets you stick to targets. Dead Man's Plate is a fairly basic item the passive is okay but I feel it will struggle in the CC heavy meta Preseason eight has presented. It costs the same as Randuin's Omenand gives better base stats. If your team isn't grouped much this item is really good for split pushing.
Xin Zhao is a relatively easy champion to play but if you don't use the proper combos he can be very useless.
When duelling an enemy you want to be the one to engage. Use Audacious Charge to engage and well you are still in the air click Three Talon Strike. Auto-attack three times to proc Three Talon Strike and Determination then while the enemy is Knocked-up hit an easy Wind Becomes Lightning.
When Ganking you always want to try and flank the enemy as you have very little MS. Don't use Audacious Charge until the enemy uses their movement ability. This will most of the time secure you the kill.
Team Fighting Combo:
This Combo you have to feel out. The Purpose of Crescent Sweep is to knock enemies back and to prevent ranged damage. Wait until the enemy team targets you to use it.
7.23: Time of making this guide
7.24: Xin Zhao got nerfed hard. His base health went from 600 to 570. That is minor nerf though; the big deal was the Wind Becomes Lightning nerf. The vertical strike got nerfed from +85% of AD to +75% AD in damage. When you have no items, this is not that big of a deal, but this hurts his damage a lot once you have 2-3 items. I still think you should level Wind Becomes Lightning as by the time you have items you will have Three Talon Strike levelled too. I haven't tried playing this yet, but it seems like Xin Zhao will be more reliant on Three Talon Strike than before as Wind Becomes Lightning is not OP anymore. Sad to see him get nerfed. I was legitimately mad today when my friend told me about it.
Patch Notes: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-724-notes
8.4: so I haven't updated the guide to reflect it but I feel Xin Zhao has become much weaker since 7.24 hit. The meta has shifted away from his dive nature leaving him in a tough spot. I find if I build Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior and Trinity Force like I used to I get blown up. I would recommend trying The Black Cleaver to see if it works better now (I haven't tried it myself yet).
Patch Notes: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-84-notes
8.5: Press the Attack and domination as a secondary tree both got buffed which is good for this build. Enchantment: Cinderhulk and Warmog's Armor both got nerfed which means many of the stronger tank junglers may be slightly weaker. Xin Zhao is good against squishy champions so this will benefit him.
Patch Notes: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-85-notes
8.6: Haven't played it yet but I will try out the new precision rune and see if it is any good on Xin.
EDIT: Now that it has been out for a while my conclusion is that it does not work on jungle Xin. By the time you start dealing true damage you're dead, or they are. In my opinion, it doesn't seem that good on any junglers because we do not spend enough time in combat. The only jungler it might be good on, in my opinion, is Jax because of his Counter Strike.
Patch Notes: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-86-notes
8.7: Nothing really changes with Xin Zhao in this patch. I still believe after the Ninja Tabi nerfs the boot choices remain the same. Zombie ward got nerfed so I am switching over to Eyeball Collection. Played my first game on the patch and even though we ended up losing the game, I started off 7/1/1. Xin feels super strong right now so even if you were not having much luck with him a month ago (like me) I suggest you pick him up now.
Patch Notes: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-87-notes
8.8: In 8.8 there were no direct changes to Xin Zhao but a few changes do matter to him. Although Lethal Tempo got buffed I still think Press the Attack is the better option because Xin Zhao can use the extra damage more than the attack speed and Press the Attack has great synergy with Determination and Three Talon Strike. One quality of life change for Xin Zhao is being able to buy Oracle Lens level 1 instead of level 9. This makes his early ganks much stronger because he can sweep for wards.
Patch Notes: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-88-notes
8.9: Nothing changes for Xin Zhao this patch but the nerfs to Warwick mean he doesn't need to be a priority ban anymore. At the moment I am banning Jax as he is quite strong in the jungle as well as top lane.
Patch Notes: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-89-notes
8.10: The big change for this guide this patch is the jungle XP changes. It completely changes your jungle pathing and I am going to do some testing to see what is the best pathing now. I think it will be something along the lines of buff wolves buff then wait in the river bush for the enemy jungle to kill them when they come for [rift scuttler]. The Phase Rush buffs are really big so I think I will start taking that instead. the speed is really nice on Xin Zhao after you have used your main combo in order to chase the enemy down. There is a lot of stuff I need to update in the guide but I'm kind of busy right now so the update probably won't happen until the weekend.
Patch Notes: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-810-notes#patch-items
8.11: I have had a concussion this last week so I have not even played on patch 8.10 but this weekend I am going to be testing a lot of stuff out. I think Hail of Blades will be good on Xin Zhao and I also want to test stormrazer but I don't think it'll be very good. I think the Xin nerfs will be annoying but I think he will still be strong because Xin's main competition for the top spot in the jungle right now is Graves and I think the Graves nerfs are more impactful then the Xin Zhao nerfs. I will fully update the guide once I have fully tested everything which will probably be by Monday.
League of legends Wiki for the summoners rift image used in my jungle routes
jhoijhoi's guide to making a guide for teaching me the small amount of BBcode I know.