Xin Zhao Build Guide by Eggoman
"The Guy Who Hides in the Bushes" Jungle Xin ZhaoBy Eggoman | Updated on December 7, 2018
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Choose Champion Build:
Standard Xin Zhao
Other Rune Options
+9% Attack Speed
Threats & Synergies
His sustain in jungle and lifesteal in duels means you really can't fight him. Because of his bloodhunt you have to make sure your always under a tower recalling when low health. don't fight him and chill out until he burns ult after that you can fight him. before level 6 though you don't have enough burst to kill him so don't try.
If you try to invade him he will probably kill you and his ganks are quite strong so your team will have trouble with him. Your fights with him will be really close so try to avoid fighting him because you can get ahead of him more easily ganking and farming.
Her ganks are really fast so make sure your laners are never pushed in to far. Her means you can't countergank so try and counterjungle instead. If you find her in the jungle try to duel her as long as her laners can't help.
Easy matchup early game as he gets low when clearing. Don't let the game drag on though because he may come back.
Don't chase and get kited and this is an easy kill.
Similar to kindred but kiting is more dangerous because of his ability to kill you from behind a wall.
Fairly easy matchup but her farm heavy nature means you won't get that far ahead by killing her.
You can't 1v1 him when he's full health but he gets low when clearing so try to invade lvl 3 as the early game section says. After that though he is to dangerous to fight so just wait for him to fall off late game. He is played a decent amount so I tend to ban him.
He can be a problem because of his tankyness. If you try to run he can catch you in seconds and you can't burst him so his laners will have time to rotate and kill you.
Very annoying to kill. You can waste all your abilities on his clone and end up dead or with no flash. Watch out for invades and ask your top laner to ward your topside buff.
You will have trouble fighting him as you will never get to make the first move. If you see he used his ult be ready to counter with yours as soon as he jumps to knock him back.
I actually find this match up quite hard as his fling disrupts your combos and with his ult he does a lot of damage early. You don't have the ability to kite him which he is prone to so just try and avoid combat with him. If you flash away from him try and aim it over a wall because his speed will catch you if you don't.
You can full combo him then he ults and suddenly all the damage you dealt is healed, pretty annoying.
wait until he places his knock up then use your E to dodge it and initiate onto him.
Really a mixed bag. try to use your R to knock him back when he attempts to flag and drag. Not sure if this knocks him out of Cataclysm range but it would be great if it does.
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.
Avoid fighting him if you can. If he invades you (He will) back off of the camp and stay in a bush and watch. If he uses all his abilities just E onto him and kill him fast. He falls off late game so don't take many risks and outlast him.
Jax is a hard one as he can duel you very easily early game and split push late game. I would suggest you try to farm more and get heavy vision to help your laners as you can't bully him in his own jungle.
I haven't played against her in the jungle much but the level three invade works well against her because she has very little mobility. She is almost a non-factor early game so try to make plays and get your own laners ahead. She scales well so if her team goes even she can end up winning the game for them as an additional carry. Still not that dangerous though, similar to Ezreal but with better scaling and worse kiting.
For some odd reason, I always seem to lose against Tryndamere jungle. His ultimate counters you very well and he has a lot of chase potential. I have really found no answer to playing against him so I would recommend punishing him early then avoiding fights post level 6.
+9% Attack Speed
+9% Attack Speed
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.
As soon as the game starts buy Hunter's Machete and Refillable Potion . When pathing you have two different options both of which are good. if you want to look for a fight with the enemy jungler early or want to gank for your top laner I recommend starting Red brambleback then moving your way up the map to the topside rift scuttler . The alternative option on the blue side if you want to gank bot is to go from red brambleback to krugs to bot side rift scuttler after that you can gank bot.
As soon as the game starts buy Hunter's Machete and Refillable Potion . When pathing you have two different options both of which are good. if you want to gank bot lane I recommend starting Red brambleback then moving your way down the map to rift scuttler . The alternative option on the red side if you want to look for a fight with the enemy jungler early or want to gank for your top laner I recommend starting red brambleback to krugs to top side rift scuttler after that you can gank top or mid.
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.
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.
7.24: 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.
8.23 I am finally updating the guide once again. The meta does not really affect Xin Zhao because he isn't the best with Dark Harvest. Because it is so broken I would recommend picking a different champion who can use it.
8.24: nothing new for Xin Zhao