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Xin Zhao Build Guide by lol_eji

Jungle [UPDATED 11.19] Grandmaster Xin Zhao Guide

Jungle [UPDATED 11.19] Grandmaster Xin Zhao Guide

Updated on September 28, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author lol_eji Build Guide By lol_eji 154 9 291,331 Views 22 Comments
154 9 291,331 Views 22 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author lol_eji Xin Zhao Build Guide By lol_eji Updated on September 28, 2021
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Runes: Best Runes

Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Sudden Impact
Ravenous Hunter

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


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite


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

Champion Build Guide

[UPDATED 11.19] Grandmaster Xin Zhao Guide

By lol_eji
Hi, i'm eji from the Japanese server (or ije on NA server). This is my first guide so any feedback is much appreciated. I have been playing League on the JP server since season 6, ending S6 Gold, S7 Dia, S8 Challenger, S9 Challenger, S10 Grandmaster and recently I hit S11 Grandmaster on NA. CURRENTLY ON EUW.

Hope this guide helps, upvote would be much appreciated ^_^

MAIN: (decayed)
TWITTER: @lol_eji
Pros / Cons
+ Strong Early Game
+ Strong Ganks
+ Strong 1v1 Potential
+ (POST REWORK) Relatively decent scaling despite strong early-mid game
+ Easy to Play

- Weak vs Stronger Frontliners (Jax, Camille, Aatrox)
- Useless when you fall behind early game
- Late game is reliant on hitting W

Since Xin has is a champion that requires the player to have an extremely aggressive playstyle, capitalizing on his strong early game is imperative. Take advantage of his strong early dueling, skirmishing and teamfighting. Contest all objectives with the following order of priority: (Baron when it spawns) → Towers → Tower Plating → Rift Herald/Dragon (depending on if its ocean/cloud/infernal/mountain). Aim to close out games early by snowballing hard.
FLASH: Self explanatory. Always take this for extra mobility and play making.

SMITE: Obvious choice when jungling.
Recommended Rune Page

CONQUEROR: You proc this keystone incredibly quickly with your abilities. It makes your early-mid game dueling power pretty much unmatched if played well. Great for skirmishes, teamfights and even splitpushing.

TRIUMPH: Triumph can prevent giving the enemy large shutdowns, and comes in clutch in both 1v1's and teamfights. By far the superior choice when compared to the other two options.

LEGEND: TENACITY: The extra CC reduction helps ensure that you engage on frontliners or tanks without having to worry about getting stunlocked. Also very useful when you dive enemy ADC/mid in a teamfight and they have a PEEL support, since they will be burning lots of CC on you.

LAST STAND: Synergises very well with the build - very often you'll get very low in teamfights and end up proccing Immortal Shieldbow, which makes you survive long enough to pump out lots of DPS while being at a low HP, allowing you to maximise the value on this rune.

SUDDEN IMPACT: Enhances your early game skirmish and engage with the bonus in lethality. Cheap shot is a viable option too, however I prefer Sudden Impact as it lasts slightly longer.

Ravenous Hunter: The bonus lifesteal on Xin is huge, even with the nerfs, it allows you to go from 20% to 60%+ in 1-2 seconds with Shieldbow and passive.
PASSIVE: Determination: On every third auto, Xin will deal bonus damage and heal. This keeps him healthy in the jungle, and is useful in extended fights. Keep in mind that this passive applies to his W (Wind Becomes Lightning) as well.

Q: Three Talon Strike: In the next 5 seconds, Xin's next 3 autos deal bonus physical damage and reduce his cooldowns by 1 second each. His third attack knocks up the enemy champion. This is the bread and butter of Xin, when clearing camps, ensure to use this after you use your E and W for increased efficiency. If you want to surprise your enemy, stack 2 Q's on minions/tower then E onto an enemy champion to get an instant knockup.

W: Wind Becomes Lightning Two part skill shot, one hitting near Xin and one hitting in a line. Slows enemies by 50%. This can be used with E to get a longer range dash, which helps you engage on backline from far away. If you are already on top of them, it is better to use this after the Q knock-up, to ensure that it lands.

E: Audacious Charge Dashes to the enemy and slows them. This is your only form of gap closing, so use it when engaging or save it for when the enemy champion uses their escape (flash/abilities).

R: Crescent Guard Sweeping skillshot around Xin, deals 15% of the targets current health, so use it before the rest of your combo for maximum damage. Makes Xin invulnerable to enemy champions that are 450 units away from him for 5 seconds.

R is leveled whenever possible (like most champions). W is maxed first as it deals the most damage early game. Q next since it does the most damage. E last.
First Back
650g+: Long Sword + Boots of Speed + Control Ward + Oracle Lens
700g+: 2x Long Sword + Control Ward + Oracle Lens
1000g+: 2x Long Sword + Boots of Speed + Control Ward + Oracle Lens
1300g+: Noonquiver + Control Ward + Oracle Lens
1650g+ Noonquiver + Boots of Speed + Control Ward + Oracle Lens

Core Build
Rush Immortal Shieldbow, then build either Mercs (vs CC and AP) or Steelcaps (vs Auto-heavy champions and AD). I'd say I go Mercs 80% of the time, and Steelcaps 20% of the time. Mercs is almost always better.

Second Item Choices
Collector (90% of the time, strongest item for Xin when ahead) Always build the Serrated Dirk component first.

Lord Dominik's Regards (10% of the time), this patch still has many tank JG's in the meta, so if support and top laner also pick tanky champions, this is by far the best option for your second item.

Following Items
Follow up Collector and pick up either Lord Dominik's Regards or Essence Reaver next, depending on whether they have a tank or not. Afterwards, build the other item that you didn't choose. Completing this build by around 25-28 minutes will make you an absolute monster in the mid-late game, you should be able to easily pull off 1v2's and 1v3's if you play it correctly. ADC's and Midlaners will die in 3-4 autos with the rest of your combo. Tanks will melt if you decide to engage teamfights with this build. By far the strongest option in solo queue.

Aim to build stopwatch at a crucial point in the game, as it will help you in game deciding fights.

Situational (Final Items)
At this point, the game should already be over, i've only gotten into 3 games where i've had to go full build. Some options are BOTRK, IE, Ravenous Hydra, Spirit Visage, Randuins, GA, etc. Depends on the game.

Preferred Optimal Full Build
Shieldbow → Mercs → Collector → Essence Reaver → Dominik's → Bloodthirster

Why not AP?
As of patch 11.8, AP is objectively weaker than AD, don't bother running it if you are tryharding.
Jungle Path
I only ever go 4 early game paths, which depend on the matchup.

1) (over 60% of games do this) Red → Blue → Gromp → Wolves → Raptors → Scuttle → Gank / Golems / Other Crab. The ideal situation for this route is you kill mid/top after crab, finish of Golems and back with 1300 for noonquiver.

2) (<10% of games, only vs midlaners with no escape and CC setup from your mid) Red → Mid Gank → Blue → Gromp → Wolves → Crab → Gank/Reset. This is rarely ever effective in higher ranks, however if you see enemy mid play to the wrong side of the lane and you have strong setup from your mid, it is definitely worth doing.

3) (<10% of games, only vs weak early game junglers that you need to punish) Against Rammus, Amumu or Karthus if you know they started blue, go Red → Invade Gromp → Gank → Invade Red → Crab → Blue → Gromp → Wolves. Very effective versus certain champions like the aforementioned, since they get very low clearing gromp (<~40% HP) meaning that as long as you don't miss the smite on the gromp, you will very likely kill them or at least burn a flash. Make sure to let your bot know and ask them to get prio, to prevent any disasters

4) (around 20% of games do this) Red → Blue → Gromp → Gank Top → Wolves → Crab. Pretty effective if your toplaner sets up the wave in a good position and has good setup (IE: Camille, Sett, etc) Only use this path if that opportunity is there, otherwise it is just a waste of time.
Combos and Mechanics
Level 2 Combo
E → AA → Q → AA → AA → AA (Knockup) → More AA's
Bread and butter combo for Xin, master this before anything else as every other combo incorporates this. It cancels the animation of the auto attack with the Q-empowered auto attack to allow for higher dps.

Standard Combo
E → AA → Q → W → AA → AA (Knockup) → More AA's.
This combo procs conquerer quickly and ramps your damage up very fast. Make sure to Q to animation cancel your AA and W to animation cancel your Q for maximum DPS. This will be the pre6 combo that you will be using 60-70% of the time.

W Engage Combo Variation
W → E → AA → Q → AA → AA (Knockup) → More AA's.
This combo procs takes advantage of your W's long range, and allows you to setup creative ganks through raptors or bushes that would otherwise not be possible. Make sure to press E quickly after your W lands to get the long dash, and use Q to animation cancel your AA and W to animation cancel your Q for maximum DPS as mentioned before. You will use this combo around 30-40% of the time

Alternate Standard (Gank) Combo
E → AA → Q → AA → AA (Knockup) → W → More AA's
If your Q auto's are guaranteed (maybe they don't have flash?) use this combo, to guarantee that your W hits. Pre 6 combo.

All In Combo
E → R → W → AA → Q → AA → AA (Knockup) → More AA's
Use this combo whenever you want to 100-0 someone. It is by far the highest damage combo as it maximizes your ult damage. Ensure to animation cancel auto with Q and animation cancel R with E (you can ult while dashing to them) and animation cancel R with W.

Discount Insec Combo
E → Flash → R
Ensure that your flash before your E hit's the enemy champion, otherwise this won't work. Quite difficult to do and rarely useful, but probably the flashiest thing you can do on this champion.

Surprise/Engage Combo
Q (minion) → AA (minion) → Flash → W → E → AA (Knockup) → R → More AA's
This is to engage fights through a lane in a way that will surprise your enemy. Will be your bread and butter in the midgame.

Bush Combo
Flash → R → E → AA → Q → W → AA → AA (Knockup) → More AA's
Done from the bush, gives no time for the enemy to react and also has the highest burst of any of the other combos.
Early Game
In the early game (~ Levels 1-9, ~0-13 mins) you want to play very aggressive. Contest crabs when your lanes have priority, look for invades on enemy buffs and cheese level 2 ganks when possible. This is where you really shine as a champion, your dueling is unmatched early (unless vs a counter matchup like pantheon/jax). When ganking or skirmishing, ensure to use the standard/gank & combos to get maximum damage on the enemy champions. Also, when a gank is successful, push the lane with your laner (but don't **** up his freeze) and try to take the first and second plate off the towers. These plates give you a bunch of extra gold and aren't too hard to destroy, so don't forget to take them. Don't greed for any more than 3 plates though, it's really inefficient as the towers get tankier as each plate drops. Ensure to use your sweeper and pink wards to get rid of wards, it will make your gank success rate a lot higher. Don't spend too much time farming jungle camps, and only look to clear the rubberbanded camps (camps you killed before will gain levels, when you kill these camps again you will get higher amounts of xp) or counterjungle. If you didn't clear golems in your first clear, I don't recommend ever clearing them until the game transitions to the midgame.

TLDR: Try to accelerate your gold and xp as much as possible, aim to be around 12cs and 1 level up on the enemy jungler. GANK, PRESSURE, INVADE, DENY. Ideal item timestamps for the early game would be:

10:00 for Shieldbow
11:30 for Mercs or Steelcaps
13:00 for Serrated Dirk
17:00 for Collector
Mid Game
If you played the early game right, you should be a monster in the mid-game (~Levels 9-16, ~13-27 mins). Look for objectives, you have a decent solo dragon and herald, so look to take these objectives at around 15-16 minutes. You should have Essence Reaver finished by around 17 mins, so look to start making picks and take down towers with your team. Group and fight for baron, make sure to establish vision control around those areas. In team fights, you are looking either to go onto their tank (if they have a longer ranged ADC like Caitlyn or Jhin), or to dive their backline and knock the rest of their team back. This is where the surprise and bush combos are most useful, they will help you set up many plays. Use your flash as aggressively as possible. The game should end in the later stages of the mid game or the beginnings of the late game.

TLDR: Aggressively use Flash, use the surprise and bush combos to make plays. Take objectives, group with your team, don't split or powerfarm your camps, make something happen. Also, BUY STOPWATCH. Ideal item timestamps for the mid game would be:

22:00 for Essence Reaver
26:30 for Lord Dominik's Regards
Late Game
In the late game, you are actually pretty strong - look to one shot enemy ADC with combos, or jump onto the tank and melt them quickly. Group with your team and try to frontline as much as possible with your ultimate blocking damage. Timing your ultimate will be the biggest factor here, as you'll be surprisingly tanky. Don't bother with animation cancelling your Q anymore (but make sure you keep animation cancelling your ult and W, since at this point the knockup is more valuable than the slight increase in DPS. Focus on the timing of your abilities.
Thanks for reading my guide! I'll look to update it patch by patch, though this depends on the traction that this guide gets.

League of Legends Build Guide Author lol_eji
lol_eji Xin Zhao Guide
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[UPDATED 11.19] Grandmaster Xin Zhao Guide

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