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S5 Xin Zhao Jungle carry you to Plat

Last updated on December 4, 2014
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Jungle Role
Ranked #2 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
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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: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Xin Zhao with this build

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Threat Champion Notes
Evelynn Never seen in the new jungle due to poor sustain but her W can remove your slow so make sure you just QW her until she w then follow with E.

Hello everyone, I am a Plat 3 Jungle main in OCE region, Gold 5 in S3 and peaked at Plat 2 in S4. My name is TMD78 Like A G6. This is the first time I write a guide on internet so please give feedback and opinions for discussion. I will keep it short and concise for now, will add extra information once I become better at writing guides. I apologise for spelling issues/grammar issues as English is not my first language.

I've started league in S3 and Xin was my first Jungler that I main. Although he was not played much in S4 due to lack of escape/mobility and making plays (except the FF patch) Xin definitely is a good choice for beginner junglers and in Silver/gold elo.

Why choose Xin?
Xin is one of the strongest duelist 1v1 in the jungle along with Lee/J4/Vi/Khazix (Yes all of them are more mobile thus picked over Xin in ranks)
Having said that his lvl 3 burst is greater than all of them thus ganking to kill become easier in combined with a cc laner.

Xin can be played in various styles. 21/9, 9/21 diff masteries, item choices, skill order. This guide is the conclusion of mine after researching when I was learning Xin and my own experiences.

I usually build him as an early burst jungler that builds tank afterwards.

Jungle route.
Blue side - Smite golem, do beaks, smite red then gank or go farm frog, then gank/wolf/blue, or just do all 6 camps then gank. Usually you do not need blue buff for gank so if you want to snowball hard, farm the 3 camps and gank then recall or back to jungle. This however rsik your blue being taken by enemy jungler and mid laners getting blue later.

The jungle item is basically FF in S4. Rush it so you can start stacking!
Mobi boots are bought early so you can chase down/gank faster.
TRI was bought in S2 which has come back again for the following reasons. 1 the phage provides Dmg, HP and movement speed on hit helping you to stick to your target. 2. Sheen provides you with more sustain on W also the on hit effect combined with E/Q. 3. The zeal provides attack speed and crit helping you to clear monster and AA also add a bit of movement speed so you can walk/chase faster.

Those 3 items are core for me, ofcourse if you do not end up doing much early game or team is doing bad, going to tanky item after mobi is also okay but just delays Xins powerspike with TF thus becoming less bursty. (I usually buy Sheen then Phage then zeal)

If enemy team are more AP based, getting Banshee/Visage/Locket won't go wrong

If enemy team are all AD based then going omen/sunfire/warmog/frozen heart would be good.

If you can not get the gold for TF, ghostblade is a viable replacement at a cheaper cost, with avrice blade you can get it even faster however I just feel that it's not as a luxury as TF.

Thornmail/Cleaver/Bork/Hydra/GA/frozen mallet are situational items which I will run through 1 by 1.

Thornmail is good agasint enemy AD AAer such as ADC, Yi, Jax etc but not as good against AD castor like Riven, Khazix.

Cleave is good for increase damage and peel however I find 15% armor pent from passive is enough and Cleaver is too expensive to form.

Bork usually bought if enemy have a lot of beefy champs ( Nasus top, Swain mid, Naut jug, Leo support etc) that have high armor/HP. It can also be bought for helping you to stick to adc if you decide to E into them forcing them to escape/flash which you can follow with Bork.

Frozen mallet, usually if you have difficulty in sticking to people such as hecarim/udyr

Hydra, bought if you are super fed and carrying hard, enemies all fragiles. It helps sustain in jungle and clear and burst.

Ghostblade, gives everything Xin needs but I don't find it a luxury and also the speed buff is temporary

GA, get it if you need to stay alive in team fight but is struggling to do so or if you are carrying hard and do not want to be focused. GA is never a bad choice.

Warmog can be core/situational.
The buff on 4.20 make it cheaper and stronger however the effectiveness depends on what items you bought too. (e.g Visage on top of warmog along with a thromail)

Some people argue maxing Q over E because it does more damage, however if you can not stick to them, how do you do more damage? Most of the time your 3rd Q would not hit.. Therefore it's wiser to invest into E so that your 3rd Q knock up can be successful easier. Everything else is self explanatory.

Start with w/q and get q/w in level 2 to max clear speed in jungle.
Max e so your ganks are more likely to be successful.
Take R whenever you can.
So max R > E > Q > W

take 2nd point in W at level 8 if you feel you need more sustain in jungle (Jungle monsters become stronger but your sustain does not unless you level W)

Farming monsters --> E into them turn W on follow by Q then use the abilities again when CD is up. If you have smite, E into monster press Q W then smite so you restore Mana/Hp = better sustain.

Ganking - 2 types of ganks are going to be discussed here.
1st type- You gank to provide lane advantage not necessarily killing enemy laner.
Usually this is done on mobile enemy laners that have escape + flash when you gank with your combo. Therefore by forcing them to burn off their escape/flash, your laner will be happier in lane.

2nd type - Gank to kill
This is usually done to champions either lacking CC, no escape abilities, no escape summoners.
Basically you can just into them Q W and keep AA hopefully they will die.

General Ganking, with the jungle changes, Laners are unlikely to ward as early as in S4 ( usually around 4min marks since that is the average time junglers finish their double buffs)
With Xin however, you do not require to recall before doing 2nd buff thus you can 1. gank a lane without blue at around 3min or finish double buff around 3:30/3:45 then gank. Early ganks you can just walk up and combo however your success rate increase if you come from behind.
A normal Xin would just e into enemy and Q W, a good/experienced Xin would walk up from behind so it's close enough to AA and turn q w on to proc knock up, when enemy use escape ability or flash you use e to follow up.
If you have ulti, ganking becomes less tedious.
A normal Xin would e into enemy r straight away so it does max % hp dmg + gaining bonus armor/MR and then combo with Q W.
A good/experienced Xin would still walk up from behind use R so enemy is knock closer to your laner then either QW and e when they run or E into them QW. Sometimes you can even flash then r (similar to leesin insec kick), but requires practices or else enemy would laugh..

When you smite, here's the priority.
Golem (give stun when AA) > Frog ( poison clear faster) > Wraiths/Beaks (give pink) > Wolf (Give vision)
If buffs are up, smite Red to get HP, smite blue if you are giving it to Mid laner

Xin is an AA jungler thus taking attack speed is beneficial. 4 points for cdr combined with runes can help you use your skills more often. ( Clear faster in jungle and can permanent slow in ganks)
Reason not taking Wardlord is because you do not build much damage nor you're a carry. Your damage output relies on your skills and AA to proc both sheen/Devour/bork

For 21st point, you can take Havoc or Dangerous game depending on play style. Usually you die in team fight because you are the meat so you want to take Dangerous game so you can tank for longer. Taking Havoc if you feel you want more damage.

In S5 jungle, attack speed is everything. 1 crit is for faster clear and 1% does make a difference! Yellow armor flat is essential to tank the monsters. Glyphs you can either go 9x scale MR or 6x cdr flat + 3x scale MR/flat MR. Quint has a lot of options, Flat Ad, Lifesteal, Movement speed depending on personal preference. ( Ad ofcourse clear the fastest)