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Build Guide by xyNZ

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League of Legends Build Guide Author xyNZ

Xin Zhao: Damacian Carnage

xyNZ Last updated on April 14, 2011
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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: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 8

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

Utility: 1

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Xin Zhao: Damacian Carnage

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

Welcome to my first build starring The Seneschal Of Damacia.

I often play Xin Zhao as a full AD Carry, however sometimes my team lacks survivability and sometimes even lacks a tank. If so I use this build to play Xin Zhao as High-Damage-Offtank. In this build I will try to give you a version of Xin Zhao as an offtank, while still doing proper damage. This build is aimed on maxing survivability and damage. You will be initiating teamfights, and try to focus their carry after your initiate. You will become a hard-to-kill AD carry, also capable of taking a beating like a Tank should normally do. This guid is aimed on Xin Zhao taking a lane! At the end of my build I will refer to a proper mid-lane AD Carry Xin Zhao of a fellow LoL-player who I play with.


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Pros & Cons

Amazing DMG
Very good Offtank
Can initiate like a boss
Turrets drop fast
Awsome crowd control
Very low cooldowns
Knock Up

Vulnerable to CC
Lacks escape mechanism
Quite slow early game
Somewhat team dependant

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Runes & Masteries

I prefer to use the runes I've selected above, but there are some other possible runes you can take.

Greater Mark of Alacrity

Bonus attack speed is a viable option. However, I strongly recommend you stick to the armor penetration marks. You will miss the damage early game. I also chose to begin with a Dagger, which already gives me more attack speed from start.

Greater Mark of Clarity

If you have trouble with mana, this might be the rune for you. Personally, I've never encountered annoying mana issues on Xin Zhao. If you do somehow have mana issues you are probably spamming unnecesarry, if you can avoid mana issues the armor runes are a better option.

Greater Glyph of Shielding

Helps with building the offtank you are trying to become. Not a bad choice, Xin Zhao is already equipped with CD because of Battle Cry. I like the extra cd on glyphs, but thats personal. You cant go wrong with the extra magic resist, which will also help you against early game harrassment.

Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

Will make your early game easier, not a bad choice because you will have an easy time at your line. However I chose to have a bit more dmg early game, so I like to stick with the armore penetration quintessences.

For Masteries I chose 21/8/1, taking improved ghost and exhaust. Because most of my item build is defensive I chose to get offensive in masteries. This allows you to play as a normal AD carry (dps) Xin Zhao early game, doing much dmg. When the game progresses you start building more defensive items, whilst still not falling behind on dmg.

I didnt feel much for taking defensive masteries. If you are worried about early game, it is probably wise to take health Quintessences instead of Armor penetration Quintessences. This will help you early game. Apart from that you also have a dagger which will help you with your passive lifesteal to keep you going in your lane.

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Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells are somewhat personal, I will discuss which summoner spells work best on Xin Zhao.


Exhaust - Reduces a target's Attack Damage by 70%, Ability/Item damage by 35% and slows its Movement Speed by 40% for 3 seconds.

This spell is awsome on Xin Zhao, it works really well to close the gap when you are chasing somebody down and your Audacious StrikeAudacious Strike isnt enough. It works both offensively as defensively. On offense you can close the gap and reduce the damage of your opponent. But if you see a teammate in trouble you can use this spell and possibly your abilities to slow/hunt the opponent down.

Ghost - Your Champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster for 10 seconds.

Also a great spell for Xin Zhao. This spell also works both defensively as offensively. You can use this spell to close great gaps, if you are chasing a low-hp opponent. But this will also save you if something goes wrong. If a teamfight goes wrong and you need to make a clean escape this is a great spell. It also helps you across the map if a teamfight or a gank started without you, and you need to catch up to assist your team.

Ignite - Targets a single champion dealing 50 + (lvl x 20) true damage over 5 seconds. Also reduces the targets healing and regeneration by 50%.

This spell is a great last-hit spell. If you have a low life enemy this is the spell that will get you the kill. Imo this spell is great if you are looking for a first blood. However this spell doesnt provide a defensive side. It only works offensively. It cant assist teammates as good as Exhaust can.


Flash - Teleports your Champion to target nearby location under your mouse cursor.

Some people dont go without this spell. It's not bad but Imo Ghost will serve you better. You cant really close a gap with this spell, because it only gets you over a small amount of terrain. But it's a very good spell to escape, hopping walls to escape from ganks or to get out of range of stuns can be a life-saver sometimes.

Heal - Restores 140 + (lvl x 20) Health to your Champion and and 50% of that to nearby allies. All targets healed will have a 50% reduction in heal amount from other summoner heal spells for 20 secs.

Im not a big fan of this spell, it only seems to work in early game gameplay. Late game the damage of your opponents will also be so big that the effect Heall gives you will just be too small to matter. It does provide some safety for teamm8's, as you can heal up your team. It's possible, but I think other spells will be more wise to take.

Cleanse - Removes all control debuffs, silences and blinds from your champion and reduces the duration of subsequent stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, sleeps, and immobilizes by 65% for the next 3 seconds.

This spell is grate if you are dealing with heavy CC teams. It will save your life when you get stunned. But if you feel you can handle a stun, or you dont need it there are better options to chose from. If you didnt take cleanse but you need something to block the stun, you can choose to take Banshee's Veil as your last slot item.

Teleport - After 4 seconds, teleports your champion to target friendly minion or turret. 3 minute cooldown if cancelled.

This is a great spell if you are solo laning. You can also assist your allies across the map, hopping over to fights when you are needed. Recommended if you need to solo lane, not a bad choice.


Revive - Dont take this spell, the CD is too long for you to benefit from it.
Rally - Not worth your while, does anyone even take this spell?
Clairvoyance - Leave this to your support.
Smite - You are not a jungle Xin Zhao with this guide.
Fortify - You are an AD carry offtank, leave this to the tanks.
Clarity - You shouldnt have mana issues, if you do have problems take the mana regen glyphs.

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Please not that this is a GUIDE. Items are never for 100% perfect in every game. You change your items to the setup of the enemy team.


Note: This build is based on a somewhat balanced ad/ap/tank team. If the team has a total lack of magic damage, Hexdrinker will be replaced with a different item, purchased after Atma's Impaler!

Mercury's Treads

If you want to counter your enemies CC, you can choose these boots. It also provides you with a small amount of magic resist, which is nice because you are functioning as the hard-to-kill offtank.

Berserker's Greaves

If you feel you can go without the anti-CC boots, or you are already planning on taking a Banshee's Veil anyway, this will be your boots of choice. Especially early game this will benefit your laning. Needless to say it also works well with your passive, because you strike faster, so you heal faster.

Ninja Tabi

If your enemy has alot of AD damage, and hardly any magic damage (or CC) you might want to chose these shoes. They also give you a bit of dodge, however because you will go with offensive masteries (not improved dodge) you will probably not notice this effect to much.

Boots of Swiftness

If you feel like your lacking speed you can take these boots, however I've never felt like using them.

Sunfire Cape

Sunfire Cape is a great item, it provides Xin Zhao with (small aoe) magic damage per second, and also gives him more health which is also converted back to more attack dmg because of Atma's Impaler. It also gives extra armor to cope with AD carry champs.

The Bloodthirster

The Bloodthirster is a great item do more damage, and to stay in teamfights longer. If you seem to be able to take a beating properly, you might want to chose for more damage instead of more survivability. This decision is based on the teamsetup and skill of your enemies. It will provide you with much AD and lifesteal, which will make it easy to stay on the map for a long time, healing back up on minions after fights.

Infinity Edge

Infinity Edge is very expensive item. But also a viable choice to increase your late game damage output. Its THE AD-carry item, if your doing good for you team, it might be worthwhile to take it.

Trinity Force

Trinity force works well on Xin Zhao. It gives you a bit of everything. The extra damage of the Sheen is nice. And if you took Warmog's Armor over Frozen Mallet this is also a chance to still get the passive from Phage. It also gives you some more health and mana, which is never bad. However, this item is very expensive, so choose wisely!

Guardian Angel

Revives you upon death, gives armor and magic resist. Do I need to say more? you are gonna be even more annoying, reviving upon death ready to do some damage again. Who doesnt love this passive. This is never a bad choice. Please do note this is a very defensive items, above mentioned suggestions for the last slot all contribute to some more damage, this one doesnt!

Banshee's Veil

Banshee's Veil is a great item when you are dealing with alot of CC. You can chose to take this item in your last slot, or to take it instead of a Hexdrinker.

Warmog's Armor

If you feel like you dont need the passive slow of the Frozen Mallet, or you feel like you dont have enough health, you can choose this item instead. It will provide you with a lot of health, and because of Atma's Impaler it will also give you some bonus attack damage. It also gives a ****load of health regen, which combined with your passive gives you alot of durability. This way you do not have to recall much, as you can heal on minions with your passive + health regen.

Force of Nature

If you are dealing with a heavy magic damage team you can take this item instead of your Hexdrinker. It will provide you with alot of magic resist and also gives you a lot of health regen. Together with your passive lifesteal this will also benefit your durability.

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Skill Sequence

Xin Zhao uses his skills depending on the situation:


In this situation you have the chance to save your ult as a finishing blow. The enemy will not be able to escape your slow followed up with your knock up.

Or: (if ult is on CD, or you dont need it)


In this situation your enemy can escape, and you wanna get as much damage possible as fast as possible. Most effective play here is to cast your ult first doing much damage. Odds are that your opponent might get out of your slow before you can knock them up with Three Talon Strike, use Ghost or Exhaust to close the gap if you see you can finish him off because he's low hp, or if you have chosen Ignite you can use this to get the last hp off your opponent.

if not dead but in range (here also - possibly Exhaust to close the gap!):

What do I mean? You are in a brush and the opponent is heading right into your melee range, or something similair to that.

note: you will probably hit 2 of the 3 strikes you need for your knock up. You can get into range for the knock up with your Audacious Charge.


This order might surprise you, so I will explain it. First get 1 or (even better) 2 charges on your Three Talon Strike by hitting minions, immediatly after use Audacious Charge to jump on your opponent, causing your first attack to knock him up in the air. In the process make sure to activate Battle Cry, this will allow you to get 1 or possibly 2 more hits after the knock-up.


This is just a normal order, early game however you will probably see they escape before your knock up, dont worry you have done quite some damage even without that third strike!


Make sure to land in the middle of the group, it DOESNT MATTER who you focus with your Audacious Charge, if their tank is standing in the middle of the group charge in on him, so you make sure you hit your Crescent Sweep to the entire group. After the charge focus a nearby squishy target (preferably a carry) with your Three Talon Strike.

The long skill rotates are mostly used in late game, because by then your cooldowns are very low. Early in the game cooldowns might not be fast enough to complete such a rotate.

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Early game
In this phase of the game you are basicly AD carry Xin Zhao. You do not have defensive items yet, and your first item should be The Black Cleaver because you just need that one offensive item to bring the pain late game. So your job in this phase should be last hitting minions to farm a nice ammount of gold to buy your items. Even though you aren't as durable as you will become, you don't die very fast. Ranged AD Carries are always more squishy. If you see an opponent overextend make sure they feel the pain of Xin Zhao. Harrass if people overextend, but focus mainly on last hitting. Does your lane has a bunch of noobs who don't seem to know that they are doing? Get some kills! Kill are always great, it gives you gold and a turret and xp advantage. The overextending rule also works for YOU! YOU shouldn't be the one overextending. If you see you can easily handle your opponents don't be afraid to take action. But PLEASE dont act like rambo rushing in stupidly. You will die, they will get an advantage and you will miss out on gold and xp. So play agressive when you have the opportunity, if not your main bussiness should be last hitting and farming as much as possible.

Mid Game
You should have your The Black Cleaver and your boots of choice already, and are probably building towards your Frozen Mallet or Warmog's Armor. In the first phase of mid game you should be killing people. With your Black Cleaver you do much damage, and if you coordinate with your teammates (possibly gank, or ask for a gank) you should be able to get some kills. As the mid game progresses you will finish building your defensive item, giving you a load of health, making you already harder to kill. You can afford to play agressive, but always be wary of stuns. CC is often your worst enemy! Farming is still important, if you get the chance try to get as much minion waves as possible, while always being there to assist in teamfights or ganks if you are needed.

Late Game
Your item build should be getting quite far, you should be as far as Atma's Impaler and decide which item should be your last slot. By now you are difficult to kill, AP characters will hate you for having your Hexdrinker, whenever they try to last hit you with a spell. Please note that everyone, including your enemies will by now have quite some proper damage. Don't forget your an offtank, if you have a tank who can initiate better than you do (for example Malphite or Amumu knocking up/stunning the entire team) let them lead the way. If you are the best choice to take up this role move in with your initiating combo of teamfights, and deal the first blow to their hp. If you have a ****ty team that doesnt follow you (eventhough you decided to get in together) you will die. Remember you are an Offtank. If your team lacks support after your initiate and 5 people focus you, you will drop fast. As said before, noobteams will be a con for your job as initiator in a teamfight. Have you won your teamfight? Congratulations, you have won yourself several turrets/inhibitors and possibly the match.

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- Early game focus on last hitting, farming gold is important!
- Dont act like a full tank, you cant take a 3v1 situation if your teammates are still running towards the fight.
- Warding can make getting ganked easier in your lane.
- If you are planning an ambush press TAB to see if they have a flash/ghost, Its always important to know what your opponent can do to escape after you charge in!
- Chose summoner spells wisely, Teleport can be important if you are asked to solo lane.
- Look at the teamsetup of your opponents, items should be decided on by looking at the setup of the opponent.

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If your looking for a mid-lane Xin Zhao:
(c) by VAIReetaws

If your looking for a typical (DPS) AD Carry Xin Zhao:
(c) by HIACliff