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Xin Zhao Build Guide by iMesmerize

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League of Legends Build Guide Author iMesmerize

Xin Zhao - Absolute Devastation.

iMesmerize Last updated on June 11, 2011
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Jungle Role
Ranked #2 in
Jungle Role
Win 51%
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 23

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 1

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Hello Everyone! I'm iMesmerize, and welcome to my humble guide for Xin Zhao, The Seneschal Of Demacia. Xin has always been one of my favorite champions to play ever since I starting playing LoL, and I consider him to be one of the most formidable Melee DPS champions in the game if played correctly. This guide will attempt to break down my personal play style and preferences when it comes to playing Xin, and hopefully assist some newer players in attempting to master him. Thank you for taking the time to read! :)

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Change Log

4/30/2011 - *Added more detail into the Summary/Closing Statements chapter.
*Added Wit's End as an alternative item choice. (Thanks, tinolas)!

6/11/2011 - *Updated purchase/item sequence.
*Replaced Evasion seals with Attack Speed seals.

NOTE: *I will work on explaining my new item choices as well as work on listing more viable item alternatives.*

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Pros / Cons

Able to close distances very effectively.
Outrageous damage when fed.
Great duelist. (1v1)
Good farmer.
Mana is hardly ever an issue.
Fantastic passive AS bonus w/ Battle Cry.

Very vulnerable to CC.
Tends to get focused down quite frequently.
No real escape mechanism.

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Masteries/ Summoner Spells

My masteries follow 21-9-0, taking standard offensive talents for maximum Armor Pen, and late game damage. In defense, I take 9 points, improving my Magic Resist and Armor while maximizing my Dodge potential.

I take Ghostand Flashas summoner spells, and the reason why is because I feel that this helps Xin's survivability immensely, seeing as he has no short range flash such as Ezreal, Kassadin, or Tristana. Flash can be a HUGE lifesaver, when you get ganked, and Ghost will allow to chase and flee more effectively.

Great Alternatives!
Exhaust is simply an amazing summoner spell to have on Xin. Why? Exhaust effectively keeps enemies within distance of all your attacks, as the biggest problem you'll be having with Xin is keeping your opponents within range of your wrath, and Exhaust is a very effective solution to that problem. Enemy trying to flee? Exhaust. Losing a 1v1? Exhaust. Trying to escape from another champion? Exhaust. Need to shut down the opposing teams' carry? Exhaust.
Cleanse is a great choice as well. CC Removal/Reduction? Yes, PLEASE! As a physical carry, CC is your worst enemy, and this spell can really save your *** in times of need.

Ignite is a great spell for finishing off people that have tiny scraps of health left. The healing reduction is great too. It especially shines when you're against a champion that has a large amount of health regen, great for finishing early game kills.

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My rune setup consists of Armor Penetration Marks, Dodge Seals, Magic Resist Per Level Glyphs, and Armor Penetration Quintessences.

Armor Penetration allows for maximum late game damage output.
Dodge Seals for survivability.
Magic Resist Per Level Glyphs to assist with late game survivability against those pesky Caster DPS champs that would be wanting to melt our spear wielding badass :)

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Skill Descriptions

Tireless Warrior:
"Xin Zhao is healed for 30 health points for every 3 attacks that he lands. This amount increases by 5 every 2 levels."

This ability is amazing for early game staying power. Extremely helpful when it comes to sustaining a lane, as it enables you to stay for long periods of time without having to lifesteal items. Combine this with a good amount of attack speed and you will regenerating health extremely fast during the early-mid game.
Three Talon Strike: "Xin Zhao prepares to unleash a fearsome combo, causing his next 3 standard attacks to deal his attack damage + 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 to enemy targets, with the final attack knocking his opponent into the air." Cost: 30 mana. Cooldown: 10 seconds

This ability is your main and most consistent form of damage. The knock up on the 3rd and final strike is extremely helpful, allowing you to get that much needed disable on your fleeing opponent to get that finishing blow in. It's also helpful in allowing teammates to catch up to your common enemy, increasing your chances of grabbing the kill. This skill and Battle Cry have great synergy with each other. Having battle cry active at the same time that Three Talon Strike is will lead to a faster knock-up, but you have to remember that the cooldown on TTS doesn't start the moment the skill is activated, it's after the knock-up (the 3rd attack). So might be worth holding off on activating Battle Cry to maximize the cooldown reduction effect, but at other times, you may need the knock-up as soon as possible to prevent an enemy from escaping. It all depends on the situation. Think about how they should be used in conjunction with one another.

Battle Cry: (Passive): "Xin Zhao passively increases his attack speed."

(Active): "Xin Zhao unleashes a battle cry, increasing his attack speed by passive amount again for 5 seconds, and causing his standard attacks during this time to reduce all of his other abilities' cooldowns by 1 second. Cooldown: 24 / 22 / 20 / 18 / 16 seconds. Attack Speed Bonus: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%"

This ability is absolutely amazing. When maxed it gives 40% passive attack speed. Double that with the active on and you get 80% bonus attack speed. Amazing? Yes, I thought so. But wait! it gets better. Not only does this ability double your passive AS bonus, it also reduces the cooldowns for all of your abilities for every auto-attack you land. This skill is absolutely key to maintaining constant burst with Xin. Activate this, Three Talon Strike, and your Ghostblade, and you'll be rolling people before they realize what hit them. This ability is great for maintaining the constant chain CC that Xin is known (and hated) for. If you're able to keep your enemies in range of your attacks while Battle Cry is active, it's nearly impossible for your adversary to escape your fury. Don't forget to use this to get your ultimate off of cooldown as well!

Audacious Charge:Xin Zhao charges at an enemy, dealing magic damage and slowing them and all other enemies in the area for 1.75 seconds. Cost: 70 mana. Range: 650. Cooldown: 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 seconds. Magic Damage: 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+0.4 per ability power) Slow: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%

This is your main ability for initiating fights. It acts as a distance closer, which is key to keeping enemies within range of your attacks thanks to it's slowing component. Whenever attempting to kill another enemy champion, always initiate with this skill first. This is the skill that makes Xin such a strong ganker/initiator. It's also very important to remember that Audacious Charge slows in an area AROUND THE TARGET. So say you're not within range of the champion you're looking to kill, but a minion that is fairly close to him/her, is. You can charge to that minion and still get the slow on your opponent and manage to finish them off if the minion is close enough.

Crescent Sweep: Xin Zhao executes a fierce spear sweep on targets around him, dealing base damage + 20% of their current health in physical damage. His armor and magic resistance are boosted for 6 seconds by 25 plus a bonus per enemy champion hit. Cost: 100 mana. Cooldown: 75 Seconds Base Damage: 125 / 225 / 325 Extra Armor & Magic Resistance: 7 / 10 / 13 per champion hit.

Ohhh man. Crescent Sweep. This is the ability that will seriously destroy anyone unfortunate enough to get caught by it. Not only does it hit for a large base amount, it also damages for a Percentage of your target's maximum health, meaning that the more health your target has, the more damage this ability will do. If a team fight breaks out, always try to catch as many champions as possible. This way, you will maximize your potential damage output and survivability, as the total amount of magic resist and armor received from this ability is dependent upon how many champions you hit.

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Core Items/Early, Mid, and Late-game.

Early Game:
Grab your Doran's blade and head either top or bottom lane, putting your first skill point into Three Talon Strike. Focus on last-hitting. Don't worry about trying to get kills. Play it safe, especially if you're up against ranged or caster DPS champions in lane. Use Three Talon Strike to get those last hits on minions, as it isn't very mana costly. Blue pill when you need and grab your Merc Treads and Brutalizer.

Mid Game:
By this point, you should have your Youmouu's Ghostblade constructed from your Brutalizer and almost have enough cash to purchase that coveted Banshee's Veil. Look around the map for ganks and assist teammates when needed. Be wary of the map so you don't get caught off guard yourself. Work towards building your Infinity Edge.

Late Game:
You should be an unstoppable beast by now if you're fed enough. By this time, you should already have completed your IE, Frozen Mallet, and be working your way towards Atma's with your approximately 3.1k HP pool. When you have the gold, sell your Doran's and grab that sexy impaler along with Elixirs of Fortitude and Agility to further enhance your overall DPS. As always, play it safe, and don't initiate team fights unless you absolutely have to.

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Item Explanations/Possible Alternatives.

As I have stated before, CC is any Melee DPS character's worst nightmare; and Xin Zhao is no exception. I consider these to be a must. However, if the other team happens to deal more physical damage instead, feel free to pick up a pair of Ninja Tabi instead. Berserker Greaves work too if you're feeling confident, or if the other team is extremely lacking in CC.
Attack Damage, Crit Chance, Armor Penetration, Cooldown Reduction, and an active that grants movement AND attack speed? Hell to the Yes! I feel that all of the bonuses that this item grants are simply to great to pass up. You can also use the active to make a getaway if you need to use it as such. Absolutely amazing in combination with Three Talon Strike & Battle Cry.
A key component of Xin's survival kit. This item gives you the much needed tankiness to last longer in the middle of a large teamfight. The ability to block one negative spell can really be a lifesaver. Really helps against those annoying casters as well.
THE item for any physical carry. Your crits will hit insanely hard with this item. You will also have decent crit chance with this and a Ghostblade as well. This can be switched for a Black Cleaver for the additional AS and armor shred, or a Bloodthirster for the lifesteal.
Great for survivability as this item gives a pretty large health boost. The movement speed reduction on your physical attacks are of great benefit as well. Also offers a small boost to our attack damage, which is nice. but the main attractions to this item are the movement speed reduction on our physical attacks and the health boost.
At level 18 with all of the items listed below, you should be sitting at approximately 3.1k health. This item will further compliment your offensive capabilities with a nice damage boost directly from your HP pool, while also providing a decent armor boost and an awesome crit chance increase! With our Infinity Edge, Youmuu's Ghostblade, And Atma's Impaler, we'll be sitting at a Critical Chance percentage of 58! Which isn't bad at all.

Once we have all of these items, we finish with Elixirs of Fortitude and Agility, further enhancing our DPS.

Ahh...Madred's Bloodrazor. The almighty tank-shredder. This is the item you go to if the other team is getting a bit too tanky for your liking. Enemy team starting to get a bit too tough to kill? Run them into the ground with this.
Amazing item for survivability. Offers a great bonus to your Armor and magic resist, and it's passive brings you back to life upon death, effectively allowing you to stay in the fight longer if it hasn't ended yet. Great item choice if you're looking for a bit more survivability/tankiness.
Is that opposing physical carry getting too strong? Wanna show him who's boss? Look no further than Thornmail. Awesome choice if the enemy team's damage is primarily physical, or if their one physical carry is getting too powerful.
Solid choice if you find that you're dying too easily. Great armor and health bonuses along with a small amount of CDR. The active can assist you in catching up to fleeing adversaries or slow ones that are out to kill you, also compliments Xin's skill set well.

Very viable item, as it gives a great amount of attack speed and magic resist. Great choice offensively and defensively against those annoying casters. Thanks goes to tinolas for the suggestion!

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Summary/Closing Statements

Always remember that when going in for a kill, your skill rotation should be Audacious Charge, (E)->Crescent Sweep (R)-> Three Talon Strike (Q)-> Battle Cry (W). Remember that your ult does a percentage of the target's maximum health, meaning that it does more damage if their health is high. Too many times I have seen Xin players charge in, use Three Talon Strike, and then Crescent Sweep. This is incorrect. ALWAYS use Crescent Sweep first after using Audacious Charge, this way, your are maximizing the damage done by your ult. Don't forget to also use the active on Battle Cry to make your ultimate refresh faster. In a teamfight, always try to hit as many enemies as possible with your ult to max out your damage and Armor/Magic Resist bonuses. After hitting them all, activate Battle Cry, Three Talon Strike and your Ghostblade and proceed to go to town on their team. Go for the highest priority targets first, and don't overextend, pull out of a fight if things get out of hand.

So to conclude:
Play safe.
Last hit creeps.
Stay aware of the map.
Don't initiate fights unless you absolutely have to.
Don't overextend.
Pay close attention to the enemy team and what they're building. Make the proper item decisions and prioritize accordingly.

Well, that just about concludes my guide for Xin! Thank you all very much for the taking the time to go through, and I hope that my little bit of input will make my fellow players come to love him as much as I do! :) Please rate and comment! Constructive criticism is also appreciated.