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Xin Zhao Build Guide by carlru

Jungle [S11] Xin Zhao - Son of Three Nations

Jungle [S11] Xin Zhao - Son of Three Nations

Updated on October 21, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author carlru Build Guide By carlru 61 9 121,423 Views 6 Comments
61 9 121,423 Views 6 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author carlru Xin Zhao Build Guide By carlru Updated on October 21, 2021
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Runes: Damage

1 2 3
Hail of Blades
Sudden Impact
Zombie Ward
Relentless Hunter

Legend: Alacrity

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Challenging Smite

Challenging Smite

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


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Jungle Role
Ranked #33 in
Jungle Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats
Jungle Role Ranked #33 in
Jungle Role
Win 51%
More Xin Zhao Runes


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None
How to pronounce Xin Zhao?
Phonetically: Shin Jao
Why play Xin Zhao?
Xin Zhao is one of the easiest Junglers in the game and because newer players generally tend towards early-game champions, Xin Zhao is the perfect Champion to learn the Jungle-Role.
Xin Zhao doesn't have many Counters and many of his Counters don't have a high winrate against him, making him an excellent Blind Pick.
Xin Zhao enjoys a decent playrate even in high Elo, despite his simple Kit.
Additionally, Xin Zhao can build almost anything from Assassin to Tank.
Conclusively, Xin Zhao's Gank-heavy playstyle is what defines a good Jungler for many people.
Rune Choices
The most obvious choice for a Keystone would be Hail of Blades since it perfectly ties into his kit with Three Talon Strike, making it possible to always hit both parts of Wind Becomes Lightning. This is a time-tested Keystone that always synergizes extremely well with Xin Zhao's kit. Aside from a good general Keystone for Xin Zhao, this Rune Choice also provides a selection of complementary Runes that work well with him.

Phase Rush can be used since Xin Zhao already deals a lot of damage and rather than increasing this damage beyond useful/efficient values with Hail of Blades Phase Rush's excellent mobility to disengage or reposition is very useful. Additionally Phase Rush helps in chasing opponents that would've otherwise gotten away.
As stated, Xin Zhao loses a lot of combat power by foregoing Hail of Blades and this may cause players to lose normally favorable fights. Therefore, players with Phase Rush need to know about Xin Zhao's Limits and have good mechanics to better utilize the MS-Boost to play around threats as well as to take advantage of the OP-Stat that is Movement Speed.

Conqueror is a strong Keystone for most Auto-Attack-Champions and scales better than Hail of Blades and Phase Rush.
Admittedly, proccing this Keystone with Xin Zhao's Abilities is easy and other people have found a lot of success with this Keystone.
However, this Keystone has weaknesses compared to the other choices:
  • it doesn't synergize nearly as much with Xin Zhao's kit as Hail of Blades (instant knock-up with guaranteed Wind Becomes Lightning-Hit) or Phase Rush (MS for disengage, repositioning or chase) do,
  • players sacrifice a lot of ganking pressure, because of the aforementioned lacking synergy of Xin Zhao with Conqueror, and
  • Xin Zhao's bursty kit doesn't allow the player to utilize a fully-stacked Conqueror-Rune to its full potential.

Because Xin Zhao has his Audacious Charge, he can utilize Sudden Impact. Some may find that Xin Zhao can also utilize Cheap Shot, however Sudden Impact deals more damage than Cheap Shot because Xin Zhao can use that extra Lethality multiple times per proc, also: Lethality is especially potent in the early-game. (Tip: Blast Cones procs this Rune)
Deciding between Eyeball Collection and Zombie Ward is a question of preference as well as the level of play. Lower-ranking players will naturally not ward as much as higher-ranking players, making it harder to stack this Rune. Therefore, Eyeball Collection may be a more consistent Rune. However, I believe Zombie Ward builds good habits, increasing the focus on your Oracle Lens-Usage. Therefore, I encourage readers of this Guide to always equip Zombie Ward. High-Elo-Players will naturally gravitate to this Rune since they can't rely on getting kills to be effective and because Zombie Ward provides extra vision, something incredibly valuable.

I recommend Relentless Hunter because Out-of-Combat MS plays incredibly well into Xin Zhao's gank-heavy playstyle since he needs to be able to get to a skirmish/lane in time for him to actually utilize his strong fighting power.
Try picking up Mobility Boots in one of your games to better see the advantage of OOC MS, it's a lot of fun.
Another good Hunter-Rune-Option people often choose is Ravenous Hunter since the extra sustain provides a lot of value in every fight and skirmish.
Relentless Hunter eclipses Ravenous Hunter's value in most Rune Pages, except for a Conqueror Rune Page.
Out of Manaflow Band, Nullifying Orb and Nimbus Cloak, Nimbus Cloak is the only really useful Rune. The MS-Boost is neat and can sometimes help chase down escapees.
Although Celerity might seem like the better option to take advantage of the MS from Phase Rush more Transcendence solves Xin Zhao's dependence on the availability of Wind Becomes Lightning, Audacious Charge as well as Crescent Guard to function within hectic teamfights.
It also synergizes with the On-Hit Cooldown Reduction of Three Talon Strike.
Confident players can choose to go with Absolute Focus for the extra damage.
Xin Zhao doesn't scale very well and is no poking laner, so Scorch and Gathering Storm are unsuited. Waterwalking is more potent than many people think and helps a lot during Scuttle-Fights.
12% missing health heal on takedown can be the deciding factor behind surviving after a towerdive, not dying to burn damage, and thriving within a teamfight.
Both Determination and Three Talon Strike benefit from more Attack Speed, therefore this is an easy choice.
Conqueror relies on Xin Zhao surviving in fights for as long as possible. Therefore Legend: Tenacity is generally a better choice for Conqueror, since CC and the following skillshots can't shut you down as easily.
Last Stand leans into the endurance-fronline playstyle that Conqueror encourages. If you're running Conqueror Last Stand is the best choice, not only because it provides more damage at maximum, but also because it is applicable more often.
This Rune-Type ( Last Stand, Coup de Grace & Cut Down) won't appear in the secondary Runes of other Rune Pages of Xin Zhao since Triumph and Legend: Alacrity/ Legend: Tenacity are better choices.
Magical Footwear is a source of free and consistent gold.
Cosmic Insight provides 13% CDR to Smite & Flash. This means one extra Flash in a 40-minute game, faster Smite-Quest-Completion, and more security when taking objectives because Smite is up more often.
The Item Haste has a minor impact.
Playstyle - Going with the Flow
"Those who stand on tiptoes do not stand firmly. Those who rush ahead don't get very far. Those who try to outshine others dim their own light." - Lao Tzu

Lee Sin, Elise and Xin Zhao Players, especially in low Elo, often feel the need to force detrimental Ganks, disadvantageous Drake-Takes or unfavourable Skirmishes, simply because they think that they're playing on borrowed time, soon to be outmatched by everyone else.
As important as it is for Early-Game Champions to extend their Lead and end the Game as fast as possible. It is more important to not throw away your early advantage by pressuring yourself to have as much impact as possible, that impact will come on its own.
  • Know your Jungler's Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Don't start Drake without knowing where the enemy Jungler is
  • Don't start Drake without Teammates nearby
  • Don't Gank if you feel that it won't have impact
  • A CS advantage is still a CS advantage, even if you're playing an early-game jungler

How to take Advantage of Early-Game-Strength

  • Always contest Scuttle and try to get Double-Scuttle if possible
  • Invade & Countergank
  • Take Herald whenever possible
  • Know that even if a Gank doesn't result in a Takedown, damage to enemy Laners is very advantageous for your Laners
1. Place a ward near the other Buff of where you're starting and start to Recall at approximately 0:50 to buy Oracle Lens and to make it to your buff in time.

2.-5.: Clear Camps while looking at lane-states.

6. Always be there when Scuttle spawns at 3:15 if you can contest. Scuttle is more important than a normal camp.

Note: When starting top-side, use the opposite path.

1. Place a Ward in the river bush of the sidelane you want to gank to see if the enemies ward that bush.

2. Ganking opportunities often don't present themselves immediately after you do Red Brambleback so you can do Krugs to hover near your lane while also not wasting your valuable time sitting in a bush. Krugs should be skipped or cancelled if an opportunity presents itself.

3. Gank. (Slow from Red Buff is essential)
Patch 11.10:
As the Meta shifts from Powerfarming- to ganking-Junglers because of the recent Jungle-Changes, Xin Zhao will fit right in.
Additionally, Xin Zhao counters a lot of other Meta-Junglers.

Patch 11.13:
HEALTH 200 ⇒ 400
removed: DASH Halting - Slash no longer lets the user dash 300 units
new: SLASHER AND PRANCER - Halting Slash can now be cast while moving
SLOW 40%, decaying over 2 seconds ⇒ 90%, decaying to 40% over 3 seconds
COOLDOWN 20 seconds ⇒ 15 seconds

These changes seem like a nerf for most Stridebreaker-Users because of the removed Dash, however I think this can become very strong on Xin Zhao.

Let's recap: Xin Zhao has gained popularity, particularly in Esports, because like i predicted in my paragraph on Patch 11.10, the Jungle changes were in his favor.
Right now, the most popular build is Conqueror-Goredrinker-Essence Reaver-Sterak's Gage.
--> Xin Zhao is in a very good spot, but Conqueror makes it harder to hit Q3 than HoB

I believe that with Stridebreaker Xin Zhao's Ganks can become infinitely more lethal and Xin Zhao wouldn't need to have Hail of Blades to guarantee a W1 & W2-hit.

Imagine this, you're gap-closing with E and instantly activate Stridebreaker when the enemy is in range. The enemy is now slowed by 90%, NINETY PERCENT, and even after a couple seconds it is still 40%. This gives Xin Zhao enough time to hit Q3 and also allows Laners to easily follow-up. And even if the enemy Laner survives all that or your ally Laner is as slow as a turtle the following W will slow the enemy again (50% for 1,5s). --> A 90% Slow, Knock-Up and 50% Slow in one intuitive Combo.

This is great even in teamfights: Xin Zhao can E into a blob of enemies, activate Stridebreaker, use Ult and BOOM. The whole enemy team is spread out and can't move while Xin Zhao has the leisure to kill the enemy he initially targeted with his E and his teammates can clean up.

Purchasing Stridebreaker will eliminate the need for Hail of Blades and add another piece of CC to his arsenal.

Admittedly, I haven't played it yet, but I see huge potential.

Today I played a couple of Games with Conqueror-Inspiration and Stridebreaker-Lucidity-Sterak's-Essence Reaver-Chempunk Chainsword & Guardian Angel components.
Stridebreaker-Conqueror is indeed quite effective, not to the extent I have imagined, but it's merits are undoubted. Also, because Stridebreaker deals 100% AD on activation it can help with Clears and deal that tiny bit extra damage needed for a takedown.
Also, it's mythic passive can fill that void left by the absence of Relentless Hunter in the Rune-Page.
Most importantly, I had a ton of fun because the Playstyle with Conqueror-Stridebreaker is non-restrictive and fluid.

Update 2:
It seems like new Stridebreaker is OP because it is very strong on champions with dashes and doesn't have any counterplay. A clip of Shaco with Stridebreaker brought my mind an inch closer to the treshold of total collapse. Stridebreaker will be nerfed soon.
League of Legends Build Guide Author carlru
carlru Xin Zhao Guide
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[S11] Xin Zhao - Son of Three Nations

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