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Xin Zhao Build Guide by lolcakesmcgee

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author lolcakesmcgee

Tireless Jungler from China, Chin Chao

lolcakesmcgee Last updated on September 10, 2012
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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

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Just a very very quick guide on my way of playing Xin Zhao! I've had lots of success with him after the recent buffs and remake, and now Xin Zhao is not only viable in lower levels and ELOs, but is now a very versatile and viable jungler/solo top in higher level play. In this guide I will provide my build of Xin as a jungler, which doesn't stray too far from other builds at the start, but is a bit different once finished. Hope this isn't too shabby! (Early Work in Progress)

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DPS Xin/Bruiser Xin

IMO, building a glass cannon DPS Xin is a load of tosh. Yes, Xin Zhao is extremely deadly early game, and chucking a B.F. Sword early one would just pubstomp. But it simply isn't sustainable against a decent team/normal ranked game. I see all these players after mid game still Audacious Chargeing right into the enemy team and expecting a quadra kill. DPS Xin cannot survive long enough to kill anyone, because 1. he is melee, 2. he has no escape, 3. he is not tanky, 4, he cannot re-position himself like Talon, Katarina, Fizz, Akali or Vayne.
HE IS NOT AN ASSASSIN. Once you dive in, you are pretty much committed to the fight (maybe a lucky ult would save you). In short, if you're not playing idiots, do not build DPS xin. In my experience with my build, I am still able to deal TONS of damage without putting aside my defenses, remember your armor reduction, toss up, slows and knock backs and sheer damage are too important to be wasted!

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Pros / Cons

  • HUGE damage early and if played right, throughout the whole game
  • Great gap closer in Audacious Charge
  • Good Crowd Control through use of Crescent Sweep, allows focusing single targets
  • Amazing ganks, good sustain, decent jungle clear times
  • Asian and good looking with a sweet accent :)
  • Squishy base defense stats, often targeted
  • Needs blue buff early on
  • Doesn't like Armor at all
  • No real escape apart from Crescent Sweep or summoner spells
  • Hard to catch up if denied hard early game
  • People are racist :(

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Ability Breakdown



Xin Zhao's basic attacks, including those enhanced by Three Talon Strike and Audacious Charge, will reduce the target's armor by 15% for 3 seconds.

One heck of a passive. This is what makes the new Xin so good (and more consistent) throughout the game. 15% armor REDUCTION at level 1, with all the extra AD from masteries and runes means a holy load of hurt for your enemy. Because Challenge is percentage based armor penetration, it will of course be just as good, if not better, in the later stages of the game.
Also, utilizing this passive leaves a mark on your target. Note that it only affects a SINGLE TARGET. Knowing who to challenge is very important when preparing to use your ultimate Crescent Sweep, but we'll get to that shortly.
For old Xin players, don't worry about the lost HP heal and attack speed, the heal has been moved to Battle Cry as a passive, and the attack speed for Xin is still quite adequate.


Xin Zhao prepares to unleash a fearsome combo, causing his next 3 standard attacks to deal his attack damage + 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 (+1.2 per attack damage)to enemy targets, with the final attack knocking his opponent into the air.
Xin's burst damage. This will not only make your attacks deal a huge and quick amount of damage, but also pops the target into the air on the 3rd strike. If you are laning, a trick is to Q and attack any minions twice, Audacious Charge in and leave the third shot for the enemy for a quick toss up. Once again this works just as well in team fights, Q the nearest enemy twice and then dash in unexpectedly for the toss up while your teammates help ravage that champion to death in mid air.
Level this first as this is your needed damage.


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Skill Sequence

Take 2 points in W early for jungle sustain and attack speed, then max R>Q>W>E. Or you could balance the leveling of W and E after Q is maxed. Easy.

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Runes are pretty simple for Xin, I take 3 Quints in Armor Pen which is useful throughout the game, 9 Marks for AD (enough to be very very powerful early game), 9 Armor Seals and 9 Magic Resist Glyphs. This provides some defenses that help with jungling and your ganks, but does not sacrifice that early-late game damage.

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Taking 21.0.9 may seem a little strange for a bruiser, but because Xin is so strong early game, I think the utility runes really help with ganking (which you should be doing a lot) more so than the little bit of defenses you can beef up with 9 mastery points. Runic Affinity for extending buff durations, Swiftness for that extra bit of speed and Improved Recall is just very helpful in all situations (eg. b'ing in bushes in the jungle).

21 Offense masteries just because Xin can do so much more with that minion damage, armor penetration, life steal, and 6% extra damage to low health champions. Xin's defenses from items later on more than make up for sacrificing the defense tree.

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~~~~~~~~EARLY GAME~~~~~~~~


Standard for Jungle Xin. I prefer starting with Cloth Armor over Boots of Speed/ Vampiric Scepter, because Cloth Armor provides good defense for both enemy champs and jungle camps. 5x Health Potion is plenty enough to stay with a healthy amoumt of hp throughout your route and before ganking, unlike the vamp scepter. Because you have ghost as well as a gap closer, plus red buff, boots are not so much necessary, but you will need them the first trip back.

Then, finish your Wriggle's Lantern, buy your Heart of Gold for income as well as a little early survivability, aand then finish your boots into Mercury's Treads (too useful over any other boots). Next item, go for that Phage. AD, HP, and a little slow over your very high attack speed from Battle Cry, means that they will have VERY hard time not dying from you.

~~~~~~~~MID GAME~~~~~~~~


Hopefully you've been dominating the game with very few items, and now its seriously time to beef up and get some more items to kick ***. Take your Phage and finish it into a Trinity Force. Why TF? Yes it is very expensive but it is simply too good an item that few Xins ever build. You know the stats, think of all the AD, slow, Attack Speed, and Sheen burst would do for Xins damage output! Not to mention the Movement Speed, Health, Mana.... I won't drag on. It's amazing, just get it.

Now, even with just Wriggle's Lantern and Trinity Force you should be dealing a BIG load of damage. Buy a Giant's Belt for more defense. You have a choice here to build that into either Warmog's Armor or a Frozen Mallet (I wouldn't build both). Both give you very nice HP, but Frozen Mallet gives you that guaranteed slow on each hit. Don't worry about 'wasting' Trin Force's slow, because Trinity Force has a load of other stats good for you. If you are doing well, I would spend that extra bit of money onto a FM, but a Warmog's Armor is just as good and makes you very hard to kill.

Next is a Guardian Angel. This item is awesome. Nice armor and magic resist (Only item apart from Aegis of the Legion that gives both? Correct me if I'm wrong) and an IRRESISTIBLE passive. With this and all that HP you got, you are already bulky enough to survive most team fights, and people would avoid you a little more due to its passive.

~~~~~~~~LATE GAME~~~~~~~~

/ / /

By this time mostly you should have already won or lost. If not, more items to build! These items should be changed and built according to preference and situation. I tend to go for that Wit's End because of the nice MR and attack speed. If you are faced with more AP nukers or want damage over attack speed, then feel free to take Maw of Malmortius instead. If AP champs are troubling you get both! Replacing the Wriggle's Lantern with The Bloodthirster for the extra punch is a good idea too, or if you do not care for the lifesteal then take Madred's Bloodrazor instead (doesn't give up armor and plenty of damage). If they have lot's of armor, take a The Black Cleaver/ Last Whisper (up to you I ceebs the debate)

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Summoner Spells

Ghost because of it's short cooldown, and AWESOME help in early ganks (Ghost + Audacious Charge is too good for initiation). I take it over Flash, also because if you are running away, pumping an R and then ghosting away is much more effective and increases your chance of getting away more than a short Flash. But if you are not used to ghost, don't hesitate to take Flash. I would not take another spell over these two because Xin lacks escapes.

. Absolutely necessary on junglers. Anyone who doesn't use Smite while jungling is a silly goose. Xin does have nice sustain, but the importance of securing dragon and baron nashor as well as clearing the jungle quicker, stealing enemy buffs etc. is too heavy in comparison to other damage/utility spells like Ignite/ Exhaust.

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Anyway, hope this guide works for you! It's my first guide, so be easy! I will edit and add more later, make it pretty and everything, but please note currently this is just the crux of it. I just wrote this guide for fun and procrastination and really wanted to share my build. And Xin is Chinese! :)
Laters and happy LoLing.

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Props to Calibern's Xin Zhao guide - the reason why I first started using Trinity Force on Xin!

Thanks to jhoijhoi for the line dividers/separators as well as his very helpful 'making a guide' guide!