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Xin Zhao Build Guide by Aeadar

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Aeadar

The Glorious Return of Win Zhao

Aeadar Last updated on November 16, 2015
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Team 1

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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 18

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 12

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

Threats to Xin Zhao with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Master Yi He is at his weakest early, where you're your very powerful at and you have things to interrupt him even later on.
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Hi, I'm Aeadar and this is the GLORIOUS RETURN OF WIN ZHAO. With the return of Enchantment: Devourer back to viability, Xin Zhao is once again an excellent jungler with high snowball potential who fills the role of an AD fighter very well. With Enchantment: Devourer getting some great buffs with the changes to it, many on-hit auto attacker junglers have been given a significant power boost. While Xin Zhao still has the problems and weaknesses inherent in the style of his gameplay, I still consider him a great pick as jungle. And now, without wasting more of your time, here is the guide.

About this Guide

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Ok, now for a brief* explanation on Xin Zhao's kit.

(Passive) : Challenge

Xin Zhao's passive is extremely basic, enemy units hit by your auto attacks, or Audacious Charge have 15% of their armor removed. In the jungle, it is practically worthless, it'll take ~1-2 points of armor off the jungle monsters at most. Against enemy champions however, it is what makes it possible for you beat tankier or higher DPS champions in duels.

(Q) : Three Talon Strike

A powerful damage steroid that also happens to be an auto attack reset and lowers cooldown on all other abilities by three seconds. This is the skill you max first in most situations, both for more damage and lower cooldowns. Normally your other abilities would have long cooldowns with their base numbers, but this skill allows you to even have Crescent Sweep back up fairly quickly after a use.

(W) : Battle Cry

The ability that is key to your early game sustain, and gives a potent, long lasting attack speed buff. You get this at level 1 and rank it second. Due to the healing the ability gives being flat, it gets progressively weaker until more ranks are put in it. This ability is essential with Xin Zhao's synergy with the Enchantment: Devourer.

(E) : Audacious Charge

Xin Zhao's gap closer/initiation tool which also slows and applies your passive to the target. This ability pretty much holds all your ganking power, and you normally would max it last. The slow will help in letting you getting all three hits of your Three Talon Strike off on a enemy champion, where hopefully the allied laner has some more CC to lock them down, or more damage to murder them. The ability is also useful at preventing ranged champions from kiting you in which case you proceed to M2 them to death.

Ganker Xin Zhao

(Ultimate) : Crescent Sweep

Xin Zhao's ultimate, which deals damage to all enemies in a large AoE along with a percent of their current health, and additionally grants him defenses based on targets hit. Since it also happens to knock away non-challenged targets, it can also be used to initiate teamfights, splitting apart a clustered team. It's still pretty useful in a duel, with the base damage on it and also the fact it gives some free defensive stats. So don't save it for only teamfights or fights with multiple champions, your Three Talon Strike will have the ability back up in no time anyway.

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Runes & Masteries


The runes I use on jungle Xin Zhao are a basic AD set with a balanced mix of stats.


Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

The AD quintessences and scaling armor seals are purely my own personal preference. Replacing the scaling seals for flat armor and quints for attack speed would work just as well.


Now onto the masteries.

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Summoner Spells

With Xin Zhao being jungle in this build, that limits the choices of summoner spells to bring by quicte a bit. That effectively gives only one summoner spell that we can choose and Xin Zhao's weaknesses narrow down the choices even further.

_________________________ _______________ _________________________


These are pretty much a what all jungle Xin Zhao's will use as their summoner spells. Smite is absolutely required, since it allows you to purchase the Hunter's Machete and gives you the ability to get the Smite buffs from jungle monsters. The true damage is vital in the early game for jungle clearing, and later in the game for securing baron / dragon kills. Don't even think about jungling without it. The only summoner spell which could be swapped for something else is Flash, and that should be exchanged for something that also gives mobility and an escape, due to there being a lack of those in Xin Zhao's kit, such as Teleport or Ghost.

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Xin Zhao is actually extremely versatile in his fighter build, all you need in an average jungle brusier build is: A machete upgrade with Enchantment: Warrior, Upgraded Boots, two Defensive Items, one Offensive Item, and one "Free Slot"

Defensive Items

For Defensive Items you would normally buy: 1 armor item, then 1 MR item, and with the 'Free Slot', getting another armor or MR item depending on what type damage that you need to prioritize against. The exceptions come with teams running high AD/AP team compositions.


The stuff that reduces the AD damage you take, where normally you would start building toward one immediately after the core items, unless the enemy team has 3-4 AP champions.

Dead Man's Plate

The item that gives a huge amount of health and a considerable amount of armor. The item has a fantastic passive that is a enormous help in a chase. The discharge while on 100 stacks of momentum makes it very easy to punish enemies caught out of position with the massive slow. Dead Man's Plate is the usual 1st armor item purchase with only a few exceptions.

Randuin's Omen

An item with a good combination of armor and health. The passive and active effects are tremendously useful in duels and escaping/catching enemies. The passive that reduces crit damage is helpful against ADC's and other champions dependent on crits.

Sunfire Cape

The slightly cheaper alternative to Randuin's Omen/ Dead Man's Plate, it doesn't have the health or armor of either of the items, but it has a passive that helps clear camps. You should buy this item if you are behind and cannot afford to buy more expensive items and need cheap stats.

Frozen Heart

Item that gives a huge amount of armor, mana, and cooldown reduction, and is one of the possible second armor items that you could buy. Purchase it in the cases that there are a high number of enemy champions that are AD and rely on auto attacks. Don't buy one if someone else has already purchased it.


Extremely cheap purchase that gives 100 armor and a handy passive. Buy this when the AD on the enemy team is ruining your life, you can build it as your first or second armor item.

Guardian Angel

The standard use of the 'free slot' for a defensive item purchase, it gives terrible stats for its price, but has one of the best item passives in the game. Sell it while the passive is down for some other defensive item, don't forget to buy it again when the passive comes back up.

Magic Resist

Reduces AP damage taken, and is should only be bought as the first defensive item after core when the enemy team has AP in bucket loads.

Spirit Visage

Great combination of heath, magic resist and cooldown reduction, with another great item passive. Buy this most of the time as your first MR item, the item passive makes you an even bigger threat in duels with it increasing your healing.

Banshee's Veil

Gives a good amount of health and magic resist, and is a great second MR option when the enemy team has lots of AP damage, or annoying initiation CC / Poke. It's usually the item I buy when Guardian Angel is down.

Locket of the Iron Solari

A more situational item to purchase, giving a bit of health and magic resist. Buy it as a second MR item when the enemy team has a large amount of AoE AP damage, due to its great passive and active effects. Don't buy it when someone else on your team already has.

Wit's End

An item that gives a large amount of attack speed and decent MR, with a interesting passive that steals the MR of your auto attack target. Buy this when you need the MR and your team is lacking in AP damage, the combination of this item and Enchantment: Devourer will add up into a lot of on-hit AP damage.

Offensive Items

Usually you'd get only one of these in the form of Blade of the Ruined King, but there will be cases where you don't need more tankyness and can afford to replace a third defensive item with an offensive one. Always build at least one lifesteal item, due to Battle Cry's healing falling off later in the game.

Blade of the the Ruined King

The standard damage item that I always get, it gives AD, lifesteal and attack speed. In the levels when the healing from Battle Cry falls off, I get Bilgewater Cutlass to supplement it and have additional CC during ganks. The upgrade's passive synergies with the attack speed Xin Zhao gets and the active helps in chasing slippery champions. The unique passive has great synergy with the sated devourer, with the %HP damage just melting tanks and other HP stacking champions.

Ravenous Hyrda

Has an amazing AoE Cleave passive with a considerable amount of lifesteal and some AD. Buy this in the cases where you want the AA reset with the active and don't really need the %HP damage from Blade of the Ruined King. Getting an early Tiamat when behind is great for recovery farming due to the item improving on Xin Zhao's poor clear speed. With the sated devourer, the Cleave passive will apply twice, doing a lot of splash damage to enemies within the range.

The Black Cleaver

Item that gives a large amount of health with some AD and 20% CDR on top, the passive shreds armor up to 30% of the target's and gives a very nice Rage passive. Get it when you really want to shave of 45% of that pesky Rammus' armor with Challenge and this item's passive. Getting a Last Whisper just brings it into ridiculousness with 80% mitigated armor. Or just get it when your team needs the damage and armor shred.

Youmuu's Ghostblade

A item that has AD, CDR, and crit chance which costs 1000G less than Trinity Force, the active is fantastic at improving your DPS and for chasing. Buy it when you need damage, but don't have the gold for Trinity Force.

Trinity Force

Gives a ridiculous amount of stats, all of which Xin Zhao can use effectively. The Spellblade and Rage boost your chasing and damage considerably. Buy it when you have the gold and only with an advantage, as this would normally stall your build.

Sterak's Gage

An item that gives a considerable amount of health with a passive that increases base attack damage. The item also has another passive that gives a huge shield based on maximum health when taking a proportional amount of damage. Get this item when dealing with a large amount of burst damage. The shield will nullify a large portion of damage and will also further increase your base attack damage. Since the item increases base attack damage, it has a interaction with the Spellblade passive due to the item increasing base attack damage.

Titanic Hydra

A Tiamat variant that gives a large amount of health, has a similar cleave passive to Ravenous Hydra, and second amazing passive that increases the damage of auto attacks based on maximum health. The item is best used in a full tank build with the way that the item scales. The on-hit component also synergies with the sated devourer and the active component of the item functions as an auto attack reset.


The elixir items, there are four of them, each available to purchase after level 8. Of all the various effects, Xin Zhao can use all of them somewhat effectively. Buy them when you have completed your build or want a cheap increase in a certain stat.

Elixir of Wrath

Basic AD boost with 10% lifesteal / spellvamp only on AD damage. Also gets a duration increase if you get a kill or assist. Gives you more damage and better dueling, nothing really special.

Elixir of Ruin

This elixir gives a good amount of health and helps minion waves move faster and deal more damage. The damage amplification on tower is ridiculous with Xin Zhao already great tower destroying ability.

Elixir of Iron

Another source of tenacity that comes with slow resistance, the second effect helps allies catch up to you when moving in teamfights.

Elixir of Sorcery

Gives some AP and mana regen, and true damage on hit. It'll improve the healing of Battle Cry and the damage on Audacious Charge, the true damage is most effective on towers with Xin Zhao's insane attack speed.

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Early Game (Farming and Ganking)

Game Start

Starting the game, buy a Hunter's Machete and 2 Health Potions and the Warding Totem.

Early game should be a breeze, unless the enemy decides to invade. The beginning jungle path will change depending on three factors either, you have a leash and are at full health (A), or are not at full health and/or have no leash (B).

So, it should go like this.

(A) : Krugs / Gromp -> Red / Blue -> Blue / Red -> Gank / Farm / Skirmish.

(B) : Krugs / Gromp -> Red / Blue -> Scuttle -> Blue / Red -> Gank / Farm / Skirmish.

At level 3, Xin Zhao is extremely powerful compared to most other champions, and you can probably out-duel most enemy junglers. If you find the enemy jungler, don't be afraid to try and get a kill on them.

If you have successfully gotten a kill / assist on an enemy champion and/or farmed until you have ~800G, recall and buy a machete upgrade and Boots of Speed. If you don't and had to recall early, just buy the machete upgrade.

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Xin Zhao has many weaknesses, such as his mediocre ganking ability and his "meh" clear speed. However, he has something that well makes up for those weaknesses, his insane 1v1 is one of the best, if not the best early game.

Against most enemy junglers, he can easily beat them in a 1v1 scenario, making him excellent at in invading the enemy jungle.

After getting both buffs and being at a decent amount of HP without any lanes to gank, you should probably invade. Try to guess where the enemy jungler should be and invade that section of the jungle.

If you find him, fight him and you'll probably kill him, causing a massive setback to the enemy jungle. Make sure the fight doesn't go long enough so that the enemy laners will come and help whoever you are fighting.

Counter-jungling when the enemy jungle isn't there, or is dead further grants you an advantage over them, making them lose valuable gold and XP.

If you will primarily invade during the early-mid game, then you should obviously get Skirmisher's Sabre.


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Mid Game

Objective Control

So now at this point you should have the machete upgrade and have continued farming / ganking. When you have enough gold, recall and purchase Enchantment: Devourer. Then continue farming / ganking and remember to try to get dragon when there is a opportunity to do so and to contest the opposing jungler's attempts to.

After getting your core items, start building some defensive items according to the damage type that is the majority on the enemy team. With some tankiness you can afford to be more aggressive and start hunting roaming enemy champions or invading the enemy jungle. After finishing 2 defensive items, upgrade the Bilgewater Cutlass into a Blade of the Ruined King.

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Late Game (Teamfights)

Win Zhao

By now you should be almost completed with your build, and a have become huge threat in a 1v1 situation, while also becoming a terror to the squishies of the enemy team. Your job now is to contest / take the baron or dragon, to pick off any enemy champions who happen to be apart from their team, and to initiate teamfights with Crescent Sweep when you have the opportunity to do so.

In teamfights, you act as a pseudo-assassin, quickly killing the squishy of your choice, then moving onto the rest of the back-line. The defenses that you build and the bonuses from Crescent Sweep will make it very hard for the enemy DPS to burst you down before taking down at least one of them.

A Note of Warning

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Hall Of Fame

These are players who decided to try out my build, and sent in their results.

If you are proud of the results you get from my build and decide to send them to me, I will happily add them in.

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And so the guide ends, and hopefully you understand my idea behind jungle Xin Zhao and that this guide helps you in the games which you decide to pick him in that particular role, I'm not an expert on Xin Zhao and still testing some things out, so please say what you think about the guide and leave anything which you think might may improve it.

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11/27/14:(S4) Guide Created

12/6/14:(S4) Added Summoner Spells section; minor edits and champion matchups.

12/10/14:(S4) Added patch 4.21 revisions

12/19/14: (S4) Added Hall of Fame section

7/11/15: (S5) Guide Re-Publish; Patch 5.13 revisions

7/21/15: (S5) Added Invading Section

9/5/15: (S5) Juggernaut itemization changes