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Xin Zhao Build Guide by lukyo

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League of Legends Build Guide Author lukyo

Xin Zhao! Coming to a jungle near you!

lukyo Last updated on June 15, 2013
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Jungle Role
Ranked #2 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
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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: 9


Utility: 0

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Hello, my name is 0luga (summoner, why would I reveal my real name) and I really love Xin zhao. I started playing him quite recently and he is my new favourite champion. He is very bursty and has great initiate. He is playable top lane, but I always jungle, regardless of champion. This is my first guide here on mobafire, so don't expect me to put in flashy animations, I will do my best and hope you enjoy reading this guide.

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  • great initiate
  • 1v1 monster
  • great ganks
  • two forms of hard CC
  • destroys enemy positioning
  • very powerful the entire game

  • useless after used his abilities in a teamfight
  • not the fastest jungler
  • ok ganks, not exactly Nocturne are you?
  • No natural escape ability

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Summoner spells

You are a jungler, there is no reason for you not to take this as a summoner spell. Use it to jungle faster and steal buffs, as you should be counter-jungling.

Your second option may vary and should be a method of escape, as you have no skill for that.

is my personal favourite, i always have it on every champion. I take this over ghost as you will have a slightly higher movement speed with Trinity Force and if you are skilled enough, you will be able to juke enemies out with it.

is sometimes viable when you happen to rely on more running than juking, the reason i don't like this is that it won't save you when the enemy catches you off-guard and you find yourself with pile of speed debuffs. The cooldown is high and is not very good for spamming. Some people prefer it over Flash and if you do, that's ok, whatever you are better at and will use more should be your final choice.

If you want to ditch the escape mechanisms of Flash and Ghost, you will find yourself a sitting duck. Occasionally i see someone with Smite+ Ignite, but they will get killed very fast by a smarter player. If we weren't heading for the jungle, there would be better options to this and i would go deeper into the spell choice.

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
These are standard runes for a non-tanky ad champion. The only choice here is really switching the marks to greater mark of armor penetration. Then you realize that you have a passive and a core item that shreds armor, and the you keep the Greater Mark of Attack Damage. The real choice is the glyphs, some people choose to swap the glyphs for scaling ones and cooldown glyphs. This is perfectly ok and are both good choices on Xin Zhao.

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The masteries are standard for any ad jungler meaning 9 point in defense for the Veteran's Scars and the rest into the AD side of offensive masteries. You do not want to get critical strike masteries as we are not building any crit-chance items. If you want to build a tankier Xin Zhao, you can have a 9/21/ build. Tanky Xin Zhao is perfectly viable and you will get several hp items regardless of the goal of your build.

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Skill Summary

This is a very useful passive and what makes Xin Zhao a very good counter-jungler, and a 1v1 nightmare. This marks an opponent and decreases their armor.

This is your q skill. It increases your damage for three attacks, and knocs the target up on the last one. It also reduces your cooldowns my 1 second every strike. Remember to use it after you activate your Battle Cry in order to use the cooldown to the fullest.

Battle cry is Xin Zhao's other insane assassin skill. It is also the reason why he can avoid building more AS than needed. It allows you to quickly use up your Three Talon Strike and The Black Cleaver, and will win you most 1v1 encounters.

A nice addition to Xin zhao's repertoire, it dashes to an enemy and marks them. It doesn't do too much damage and can't be used too efficiently in the jungle, save this for ganks. Remember, it also slows everything is the target area, use this to your advantage in teamfights.

This is your ultimate ability, it does a silly amount of damage if it hits multiple targets due to its %hp damage scaling. It also avoids knockback on the challenged target. If used correctly, it will destroy the enemies positions and isolationg their adc carry, making him an easy target.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
The leveling order is always r>q>w>e
or > > >
The reason for this skill sequence is simple. You level your ult whenever you can. Then you Three Talon Strike is the main damage, cc, and cooldown for your other spells. Battle Cry is your third priority, it offers jungle sustain and a huge burst of attack speed for quickly knocking up the target with Three Talon Strike and putting stacks of The Black Cleaver on the enemy. The last skill you max out is your Audacious Charge. You need it at level four for better ganks, as the range on it is nice, and it automatically marks your opponent. As it scales with AP, you dont need it after you have one point in it.

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Core items

As a jungler, Wriggle's Lantern is the obvious first buy.

As Xin Zhao, you benefit from on hit items and armor penetration. You will notice that The Black Cleaver is present in all the builds, it makes your damage output skyrocket early game, and simply shreds your opponents armor like swiss cheese when combined with your passive.

This question always arises, which boots do i get on xin zhao, the answer will vary according to your role is a team, if you are going for an assassin build get Berserker's Greaves. The nice touch of tenacity will come from the Zephyr. If you are opting out for a tanky build get either Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads. You have no reason to get any other boots.

This item was added in season 3, it is one of the most cost efficient items, I rarely ever buy this on Xin, but if you get first blood, and start snowballing, than this item will rush your advantage. Otherwise, I would stay at the safe lantern pick, now that it is being buffed in the upcoming patch.

Thi spirit item is very good when you opt for the tankeir/support jungler build, and allows for easier itemization later on if you need tenacity.

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Secondary items

I will go into detail with every item that is viable on Xin Zhao

This is a very nice addition to all the builds, it provides some tankyness, but also a reliable slow which allows you to chase down enemy champions in the jungle.
when its paired with a Randuin's Omen, ad carries no longer focus you and try to run when poossible.

This proved to be a surpridingly good item on Xin Zhao. If you get it early on, it makes you a huge threat, and also allows you to further increase your jungle speed

Xin Zhao does not benefit from crits and you should never get IE in Xin.

This item is a nice addition if you need some more hp and armor, this benefits you both in the jungle and out, if fits in to most builds as well.

Warmog's armor is a good item if you feel that you are lacking hp, and might be the only tanky item you need to keep you alive in most cases.

This was a very interesting addition to the build, and turned out to be great. It gives you a nice amount of magic resist and a lot of attack speed, something Xin Zhao always seems to be lacking. This would be a great item already, but it also gives an on-hit effect, maximizing your damage output during the Three Talon Strike. The other passive seems to fall off entirely, and tends to work in only some situations, only get vs. an ap heavy team.

At first, it seemed like an ok item for Xin overall, but proved to be super powerful in practice. It gives you a great chunk of armor, and offers light CC is a radius. The best part is that is stacks with Frozen Mallet to increase your effectiveness as a tanky assassin.

This brings together a quantity of effects which benefit Xin Zhao greatly. It offers a periodical slow, which is nice, but it also gives a great burst of damage with the spellblade proc. AN overall great item on Xin Zhao and should only be passed it a few rare cases.

My god! This item brings absolutely everything Xin Zhao needs. It gives armor, health a passive ad-carry repellent and an amazing active which can turn an teamfight in your favour. I usually pick this item up fourth or fifth, but it is present on me in most games.

I'm not a huge fan of this item. This is due to the fact that the crit chance is wasted on Xin Zhao and has a much better alternative. You should rarely buy this item on Xin Zhao.

Now this is an item i gone go on forever about. Absolutely necessary on a non-tanky build. It offers some AD, a silly amount of AS, tenacity, priceless CDR and crazy movement speed. This item will allow you to win any fight. The possibilities of this item are endless.

The Maw is an ok item at best of xin zhao, you are not supposed to be fighting at lower hp, and this simply does not offer too many things that Xin Zhao really benefits from. It can sometimes be a nice item in top lane Xin Zhao, but overall, there are very few cases where this is viable.

Xin zhao does not benefit too much from lifesteal, and BotRK and wriggle's lantern should be enough. If you feel like you are not getting enough damage, them maybe you can buy a bloodthirster.

My opinion of this item changed, must-buy vs. a double AP comp, but keep in mind that two players at most should buy this. (the support, and either you or the tanky-solo top)

This item is dependent on the team composition. It sees a lot of use in pro matches, but only works in super-coordinated teams, i would pick this item up if you are playing with friends and you know when it will be most needed. Not for solo queue.

GA is a very solid pick for you as you will find yourself being balls-deep in teamfights, and this allows you to survive until the very end and do clean up. With Xin, its balls deep, or no balls at all. So, its a good pick if you find yourself dying after you have done the initial engagement.

Last whisper it a very good item on most, if not all ad carries, range or melee. The only thing with Xin Zhao is that your passive gives enough armor reduction, and along with a Black Cleaver, nothing else would be necessary. Purely offensive items like last whisper are not too good on Xin Zhao, and last whisper goes on over-kill with the armor penetration you have.

Xin Zhao ends up having a lot of AD, and burstyness, this compliments its very well, but hydra only offers offensive traits. The only time when its a good buy is when the opposing team has little to no cc, and if you are fed enough to skip survivability for a while.

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Jungle route

Due to the fact that Vampiric Scepter is not a possible first item, Xin zhao will now have to start at blue. Your jungle route should be as follows: Wolves-Blue-wraiths-golems-red. Lather, rinse, repeat. Your ganks prior to level 4 at mediocre and you really shouldn't be ganking without your charge. After 6, you really become a threat and should gank all lanes very often

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Xin Zhao is a very good counter jungler due to his 1v1 terror. Although this may be true, always make sure to know when to counter jungle. If bot lane is getting ganked while you are near top, counter-jungle their top jungle. If you have the misfortune of getting caught, and all you abilities are on cooldown, then run. As Xin zhao, you will probably not be counter-jungled as you can easily kill the enemy

Here is a list of champions who to counter-jungle, and who to avoid
Make this mummy fear you, destroy his jungle, starve him, do everything possible, he wont be able to do anything about it.

No! Just no!, never counter-jungle the troll, he will block your exit, buff himself and you will die.

You can counter-jungler her is you are cautious, and she will counter-jungle you too, no one wins

This is more of a death sentence really, never counter-jungle him, he will eat you

He benefits from jungling at lower hp, so he is somewhat susceptible to counter-jungling, but if he get to 6, stay away!

He can really shut you down if you dont know how to play against him, but yuo can counter-ungle him with a few precautions

He is fairly resilient to counter-jungling and might counter-jungle you, you should try to avoid him, but don't be too afraid to enage on him.


Never counter-jungle this clown, you will spend more time feared than actually in his jungle.

You should counter-jungle him, hes not a threat in a 1v1 and but you should still be cautious.

He will turn your time in his jungle into a nightmare (get it, nightmare!), so try to avoid counter-jungling him.

Lee Sin is a high sustain, tanky, bruiser, assassin, jungler, nightmare, duelist. Don't even try to counter jungle Lee Sin, he will absolutely crush will his slow and catch up to you if you flash away.

Cho is quite reliable on blue buff, and poses no threat early game, counter-jungle him at your leisure, and keep in mind that it hurts him a lot more than other junglers.

Sejuani got some new perks in the latest patch, but her jungle is still absurdly slow and blue-reliant early on. She will decide teamfights around mid-game and a terror late game, so keep her as far behind as possible. Counter-jungling Sejuani poses very little to no threat.

He is new, give me time to test him.
I will add more junglers with time

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How to gank properly

This will be a short chapter on how to use your skills when ganking.

If the enemy is pushing. Charge to a minion, then pop your ultimate to knock the enemy back towards you teammate and turret.
If you wish to tower-dive. pop your w, then q, then charge to you opponent and kill them. This is very easy when your top lane is someone like Malphite or Renekton.
If they are equally pushed. same as turret diving.

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Late Game

Late game you will want to have gotten a few kills and have at least 4 or 5 core items. You will be initiating the team fight in two ways.

1. Charge to the AD carry and pop randuin's, then crescent sweep. This sill isolate and cripple the ad carry and ruin the positioning of your opponents.
2.If the AD carry is standing in front for no reason, then charge to the enemy tank or someone unimportant, then pop your ultimate. This will knock the ad carry into your team, allowing for easy focus.

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Closing statement

Thank you for reading my guide, i hope your games as "Win Nao" are successful. I will update my guide when possible and feed back is always welcome. I am open to suggestions and if you downvote, tell me why.

Good luck in the fields of justice!