Build Guide by Scorpionite
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Xin Zhao Build
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.
Ok, so, being as this will be my first guide feel free to critique me as you will, and let me know how I do.
About Xin Zhao:
Xin Zhao - The Seneschal of Demacia.
*Whenever Jarvan III, the king of Demacia, delivers one of his rallying speeches from the glinting marble balcony atop the Royal Palace, Xin Zhao is at his side. Coined the Seneschal of Demacia, Xin Zhao is the personal steward of the Lightshield Dynasty. His enigmatic, silent vigil has led to an abundance of conjecture concerning his ''secret life'' and origins. Whether it's ''Zaun double-agent'' tendered at the dinner table or ''indebted rune mage'' mused in the editorials of the ''Demacian Constant'', Xin Zhao betrays no hints to sate the curiosity of the masses... for good reason.
Prior to the formation of the League, Noxus was renowned for a spectacle called The Fleshing. It was a gladiatorial event with a cruel twist: as a fighter won matches, his number of opponents (generally prisoners of war) fought simultaneously would increase. This meant eventual death for every contender, but with unparalleled glory. Xin Zhao, known then as Viscero, was slated to face 300 soldiers, nearly six times the previous record. This was clearly meant to be his final match. Jarvan II, hearing of this unprescedented feat, infiltrated the arena to offer him an alternative: serve Demacia and punish those who ultimately sentence him to death in exchange for his freedom. Xin Zhao accepted, astonished that a king would risk his own life on his behalf. Under the cover of a prearranged Demacian assault on Noxus, Jarvan liberated Xin Zhao and his 300 opponents. During their retreat, Xin Zhao took a poisoned dart meant for Jarvan. This act of loyalty, from a man who vowed no allegiance, earned Xin Zhao a spot at his side until the day the king died. Now in the service of his son, Jarvan III, Xin Zhao is stepping into a new ring - the Fields of Justice - to fight for his adopted country and to honor the legacy of the man who gave purpose to his life.
''Death is inevitable, one can only avoid defeat.''
- Demacian Manual of Arms
Playing as Xin Zhao:
*Xin Zhao is a great initiator to combat. Lead the front to start a fight and use your ultimate to
do the most damage possible.
*Xin Zhao is an excellent ambusher. Use your Audacious Charge to reach an opponent and
Three Talon Strike to damage them and knock them into the air.
Playing Against Xin Zhao:
*Xin Zhao relies on hitting enemies at close range to become stronger in fights. Try slowing
his movement and staying away.
Xin Zhao is a very strong combat initiator and can bring almost all opponents to their knees, but doing so is tricky.
The reason being is if you go one way with Xin Zhao to destroy melee combatants, you may lack the mobility needed to get to a ranged foe or when facing a heavy CC team. With this in mind always build him depending on how you want to play him. Also just because you build one way with Xin doesn't mean you won't be successful verse the alternative, it just means you'll have to play a bit differently. I see so many guides trying to make Xin Zhao an off tank, but I respectively disagree with those builds, I feel they are watering him down. So, without furhter ado, let me show you one of my builds I recently used going 12/2/4 for the game (and won).
To start the game off I picked up a Dorans Blade; I know that a lot of people are against Doran items because they don't build into anything else, but it gives extra HP, Life Steal, and Damage, what isn't to like about that? Plus, I find that it really helps getting first blood and helps Xins already very nice passive to life steal. Next I go for Berserker Greaves, the reason being is that it gives me 25% more attack speed (which helps me get kills faster). Now, I can be mobile(get places faster and ambush better), I usually am hitting hard and fast at this point, and it's time to start looking at the other team. I notice that the entire team is using mana, so I start to build towards making that a weakness to them (by contemplating on what I'll buy). I quickly start ambushing the enemy team, getting gold built up to buy my 3rd item Malady to stack against their Warwick, and 4th item Madreds to quickly take down their tank(Gragas). My last and final item being Wits End (to take care of their mana and render them majorly useless). Notice a pattern yet? I was building up attack speed so I could better use the proc of Wits End. With as fast as I was attacking, wits end just murdered their mana making them very easy to kill 1 vs 1, and being quite useful in team fights.
Tired of me bragging on Xin Zhao yet? Good, you should be at this point as you probably hate fighting against him already. I encourage every Xin Player to find what Xin build works best for them, and to change that build according to the team that you are facing. Guides are fine for beginners, but you should really try to find your own sweet spot to start playing to your maximum potential.
Masteries and Rune Page:
For Xin Zhao I really feel that the offensive spec line with utility is the way to go with him. It just fits my play style, and isn't the only way you can go, but I do feel it is the best suited. Leveling up faster, and dealing more damage at a faster rate than my opponents to me is essential, and so I build my profile around that. I spec 21/0/9, and go with mainly Attack Speed, Armor Penetration, and Critical Chance runes. I usually start a game with around 20% attack speed, 9 Armor Penetration, and 7-8% Critical Strike Chance. This allows Xin Zhao to be quite successful in the early laning phase. I find with those bonuses I can keep my opponents from being too aggressive, especially if I can get first blood.
The summoner skills that I have chosen are Ignite and Exhaust. I feel that these are a very good duo to have on Xin Zhao and provide great utility. I take Exhaust over ghost because more times than not it benefits me more, especially during chases. I can only remember countless times where an enemy would have escaped if I didn't have it at my disposal. It also can help teammates get kills which is always a plus. I don't feel that any of the other summoner spells give a big enough boost to really utilize Xin besides maybe Flash.
The skilling order I chose was because of my rune page. I benefit a lot from extra attack speed and so right off at the start I get the "W" skill "Battle Cry". It passively increases my attack speed, and doubles that bonus when I activate it. Hitting faster than the enemy at level 1 I feel is important, I've had enemies engage me and and my lanemate and be completely suprised by it, causing them and their teammate to die (you can also do the same thing with Warwicks "W" skill). This majorly demoralizes the other team or causes them to react aggressively which usually results in them dieing repeatedly. This isn't always the case, but more times than not I've found that is what happens.
Battle Cry - Xin Zhao passively increases his attack speed and can activate this ability to further increase attack speed and lower his ability cooldowns with each attack.
Passive: Increases Xin Zhao's attack speed by 15/20/25/30/35%.
Active: Xin Zhao unleashes a battle cry, increasing his attack speed by double the passive amount for 7 seconds, and causing his standard attacks to reduce all other ability cooldowns by 1 second.
Activating this ability removes the passive bonus until this ability refreshes.
Cost 35/35/35/35/35 Mana, Range 20
Next I take Three Talon Strike the "Q" ability. Activate it and hit the enemy 3 times to send them flying up into the air while causing bonus damage each hit. That is why it is the second skill that gets maxed, and why Audacious charge gets only 1 point until the higher levels. Since my build really focuses on speed getting all the extra damage is a real bonus. On hit effects really work nicely with it, and enemies have little time to react to the burst damage. The only characters I really have trouble with are ones that can stun me, slow me with effects, or manage to out damage me in some ungodly way.
Three Talon Strike - Xin Zhao's next 3 standard attacks deal increased damage, with the third attack knocking an opponent into the air.
Xin Zhao prepares to unleash a fearsome combo, causing his next 3 standard attacks to deal 15/30/45/60/75 (+) physical damage, with the final attack knocking his opponent into the air.
Cost 30/30/30/30/30 Mana, Range 375
The only other major ability that you have in my opinion is your ultimate (R) ability. There have been quite a few situations where I've had the entire enemy team around me, and had the opportunity to really capitalize with my ultimate (because I had my teammates with me). With that said, I don't recommend being purposely surrounded without your teammates(you will die), so, please don't run into the middle of the entire opposing team and try to take them all out with your "R" ability it just won't happen(unless they are all afk).
Crescent Sweep - Xin Zhao fiercely sweeps his spear around him, dealing damage to nearby enemies based on their current health.
Xin Zhao unleashes a fierce spear sweep on targets around him, dealing 125/250/375 + 20/20/20% of their current health in physical damage. His magic resistance and armor are increased by 30/40/50 for the next 8 seconds.
Cost 100/100/100 Mana, Range 20
His last ability that I take besides the one point that I put into at level 3 is Audacious Charge. Just can't catch up to that pesky Teemo or Twitch? That's not a problem anymore, just Audaciously Charge them to jump on their heads like Mario does to the koopas and slow them down (if not kill them entirely within 5 seconds). This can be really fun to use, and at the same time quite situational. I've had times where I've used it and it was awesome, and other times where I found myself alone and surrounded by 3 other enemies, not fun times. Basically it deals damage, slows, and allows you catch up to the enemy, and why it's important to take one point in the beginning, but not more important than the other three skills.
Audacious Charge - Xin Zhao charges an enemy, dealing damage and slowing it and all other enemies in the area.
Xin Zhao charges an enemy unit, dealing 70/110/150/190/230 (+0.4) magic damage to all nearby enemies and slowing them by 20/25/30/35/40% for 1.7 seconds.
Cost70/70/70/70/70 Mana, Range 650
So the Pros of Xin Zhao:
Excellent Melee Carry
DPS can be down right sick (in a good way)
Prone to CC
Doesn't have god mode :(
Gets concentrated down a lot
Doesn't have any escaping ability (So I advise you to run really fast if need be.)
There is no set in stone Rune Page, Masteries Page, or Item/Skilling sequence you have to use to be godly. You just have to pick your equipment according to the other team, and this is really just to help those new to Xin to get started. Remember to always be cautious if you don't know your lanemate, and especially so in the early phases of laning. You need to exercise good judgment on your ability (beginner to expert) and rely on being a good teammate to carry your team to victory. Just remember, it is a game, and it can take time to get a character down path. If you do not get it at first don't get upset, just try again. If Xin isn't to your playstyle, there are plenty of other great champs for you to try. I wish you good luck with Xin, and hope that this guide helped out!