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Xin Zhao Build Guide by Hodgeybeatz

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Hodgeybeatz

Xin Zhao - Here, have a spear!

Hodgeybeatz Last updated on June 29, 2013
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hi everybody, welcome to my third guide on MOBAFIRE! This guide will be focusing on Xin Zhao who is currently my favorite jungler. The build I use focuses more on being a asset to your team rather than a pubstomp damage build.
Xin Zhao is a tanky engager who fits in a lot of different team compositions. He has a easy jungle clear with strong ganks. He has the power to snowball himself and lanes really well. Late game, Xin is fantastic at engaging and isolating people in teamfights. I hope you learn a thing or two from reading my guide and remember, have fun playing Xin :D

About me: I've been playing LoL for almost 2 years now and I am still loving it. I recently just started playing a bunch of ranked and Xin Zhao has really helped me get out of Bronze ELO and close to Gold. (was in Bronze 3, now in silver 1, still progressing)

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons


+ Extremely strong early ganks.
+ Snowballs really hard.
+ Strong engager.
+ Has great early game burst (E,W,Q,Q,Q).
+ Has a displacement ult to separate/isolate certain enemies.
+ Very resilient come late game.
+ Relatively easy to play.


- Lacks late game damage.
- Needs to have a solid early game.
- Ultimate can be used incorrectly. (accidentally saving someone, ulting high threat engager into your team, etc)
- Recently got nerfed.

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Standard mastery page for a tank jungler. You can always opt for 21/9/0 masteries if you're feeling really confident but I don't recommend it.

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: My favorite Quints for Xin. They allow you to get around the jungle faster, chasing, escaping, and ganking. You can swap these out for flat AD quints or armor pen. if you're looking for a more damage.

Greater Mark of Attack Speed: Helps clear jungle camps much faster and allows you to proc Three Talon Strike even faster.

Greater Seal of Armor: Helps you take less damage from jungle creeps and overall any AD champion. A must have.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Helps you out later on in the game when AP casters ( Veigar, Brand, Lux) get really strong. If you're afraid of getting bursted down early, you can take flat AP glyphs.

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Summoner Spells

--- ---

Smite: A must have since you're jungling. Helps clear buffs WAY easier/faster and gives you the much needed baron/dragon control.

Flash: One of the most versatile summoner spells in the game. Flash allows you to chase, escape, kill, and engage.

Ghost: I feel Flash is superior over Ghost personally but it is still a great spell. You can stick to a target like glue because you simply outrun them and you can escape most situations fairly easy.

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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


You're going to want to max Audacious Charge first because of the cooldown reduction, damage increase, and slow % increase. Start to max Three Talon Strike next mainly for the great single target damage it provides and max Battle Cry last. Always take your ulti at levels 6,11,16.

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Ability Explanation


Challenge (Passive): I actually overlooked this passive when I first started playing Xin. But after awhile I soon realized that it is actually really strong. Three Talon Strike, Audacious Charge, and your auto's will reduce whoever you're attacking armor by 15%. This is really strong when ganking and is also what makes Xin Zhao a great duelist. In teamfights try to focus one of the carries to reduce their armor, allowing your team to do way more damage. (If they're AD ofcourse)

Three Talon Strike (Q): One of Xin Zhao's strongest abilities. This ability will decimate most champions early game allowing you to duel most people. The knock-up is also extremely useful when ganking or dueling someone. You also do some nice single target damage to jungle camps too. Another great thing about this skill is that it reduces all your other cooldowns by one second each time it proc's. Late game, you'll have enough CDR combined with the passive of this skill to constantly have all your abilities up extremely fast.

Tips and Tricks

Battle Cry (W): This ability is what makes Xin such a great jungler. The attack speed is great for clearing buffs and the passive is what will keep you sustained without chugging Health Potions. This ability also is really powerful when dueling somebody too.

Tips and Tricks

Audacious Charge (E): Xin's bread and butter skill. Audacious Charge is a AoE slow and damaging ability which is super effective when ganking and clearing waves. It is also extremely hard to escape the wrath of Xin because of the short cooldown.

I <3 this skill

Crescent Sweep (R): Xin's ultimate. There is many different uses for this ultimate and this skill can often make or break a Xin player. Crescent Sweep can be used offensively or defensively and is great for engaging. Read the tips/tricks to learn more.

Tips and Tricks

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Item Build

---My favorite boots on Xin because they allow you to bypass wards and roam. Moving around your jungle and the enemies jungle is also really helpful. These boots are great when combined with Spirit of the Ancient Golem.

---Tankiness+CDR+sustain+increased monster damage+tenacity...what more could you want? This item is really strong early game because you get a big HP increase and the CDR. (Xin likes CDR) The monster damage increase is also really nice when going for dragon/baron. The tenacity you gain also lets you get boots like Ninja Tabi or Boots of Mobility instead of Mercury's Treads which is nice.

---One of the best items for Xin Zhao. It provides everything he needs at a low price. I will usually rush this after Spirit of the Ancient Golem unless my team absolutely NEEDS the Aegis of the Legion aura. Definitely a core item on Xin.

---Another great cost effective item on Xin. It provides good stats for yourself and the aura for your team is fantastic. I will usually get Aegis after Locket of the Iron Solari unless absolutely needed. You also should upgrade Aegis of the Legion into Runic Bulwark to provide even better stats for yourself and your team. Remember to tell your support you're picking one up at the start of the game though!

---My favorite armor item for Xin Zhao because it not only gives you armor and HP, but also a burn passive that helps for clearing waves, jungle camps, and damaging enemies. You want to get Sunfire Cape before the passive falls off so I aim for buying before late game, usually around mid game.

---Probably the best damage item for Xin Zhao. BOTRK helps for chasing targets and overall just staying alive. The attack speed you gain combined with the 15% lifesteal aswell as your passive on Battle Cry will regen you ridiculous amounts of HP. You also counter the current meta of everyone stacking HP.

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Situational Items

As for damage items Last Whisper and Youmuu's Ghostblade seem to be my favorite choices. Get LW if the enemy team is stacking armor and pick up Youmuu's only if you wish to one shot the carry.
Now onto the defensive items. If you're facing 3+ AP's you may want to consider Maw of Malmortius or Spirit Visage. If you're afraid of getting one shotted by someone like LeBlanc, get Maw. If not, go Spirit Visage.
Health is also strong on Xin Zhao when it comes to defensive stats. If you're looking for more HP either pick up Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet. Warmog's will make you more tanky then Mallet will but Mallet provides some AD aswell as utility. Frozen Mallet is also nice for peeling and chasing but keep in mind Mallet costs 470 gold more then Warmog's does.
Looking for more armor? Then pick up one of these 4 items. I am not a big fan of Guardian Angel on Xin Zhao because I feel the stats are lackluster at best. The passive is the only reason GA would be worth buying. (if you're getting focused hard) Frozen Heart provides huge armor, mana, CDR, and a great passive that r*pes auto attackers. While the mana you get is a throwaway stat, the CDR will cap you off at 40%. Get FH only if you absolutely need the passive.
To be honest I have never boughten Iceborn Gauntlet on Xin Zhao, I am sorta just theory crafting this. But Gauntlet would be really nice if you needed peel for you carries against heavy divers. The Sheen proc would also improve your damage output. Just like Frozen Heart you don't really need the mana but the CDR would help you. Randuin's Omen is another great item for Xin. You get a good amount of armor and a big HP pool. The main selling point is the passive/active. The passive would help against any melee champion, specifically auto attackers, and the active provides great peel and utility.

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Jungling with Xin

Clearing the jungle with Xin Zhao is a cake walk due to your sustain and single-target damage. Start off at blue and politely ask to get a smiteless leash. After blue, head straight for red buff and Smite it when it is low enough. At this point in the game you're already level 3 with double buffs. If you're on blue side look at specifically mid/bot lane and if you're red side look at top/mid lane. If there isn't any ganking opportunities go do wraiths and wolves.

1. Get smiteless Blue.
2. Do red buff and smite it.
3. If a gank attempt is possible, go for it.
4. Finish off Wraiths.
5. Do wolves.
6. Gank a lane. (yeah I know, there isn't a 6 in the picture, I forgot.)

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What you should be doing early/mid/late game and how to teamfight

Early Game!

Xin Zhao is really strong early game. He has great nuke potential and has great ganking potential. You alone can half health whoever you're ganking and if your teammate follows up, it should be a kill or cause them the Flash. You want to gank often but make sure to keep up in farm. As for counter jungling, I don't do it often unless I am facing a really passive jungler who cant duel very well. Pretty much the extent of my counter jungling is just taking their wraiths.

Mid Game!

When mid game comes around, you're going to be pretty tanky. You also have great skirmish/fighting potential. You should be contesting dragon at all times and try to snag it in if you can. Don't be afraid to push down towers either. I like to help either my mid or bot laner to take their towers. (Remember kids, objectives win games) Make sure to keep farming your jungle so you don' fall behind in CS. Try to participate in skirmishes if possible.

Late Game!

Xin Zhao lacks damage come late game, you're mainly just a tanky disrupting S.O.B. At this point in time lane phase is 100% over. You want to push out lanes and constantly go for objectives with your team. (Towers, Dragon, Baron) Stick with your team as much as possible, don't go AFK farming top lane. Try to catch anyone out of position, like that Teemo split pushing top lane. (Make sure it isn't a bait though.)

How to Teamfight!

Teamfighting with Xin Zhao is easy. What you want to do is attempt to engage using the methods we talked about earlier and basically just stick to the enemy AD/AP carry like glue. Most of the time I'll constantly be using Audacious Charge + Three Talon Strike on the carry. Your cooldowns should be low enough to spam both these skills over and over again. Make sure not to isolate yourself too hard.

Sometimes you can't just dive the carries and sometimes you'll get engaged on. In that case try to peel for your carries. Slow and knock-up anyone trying to get to them ( Irelia, Udyr, Singed) and you can even ult them away if 100% needed.

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Here are some videos I found that shows some gameplay to give you a better understanding of Xin.

DiamondProx - (challenger 1 bracket)

SaintVicious - (diamond 1 bracket)

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Why go tank Xin Zhao and not DPS?


Xin Zhao is just too squishy if he builds full DPS. It is better to build tanky because you're all around more reliable.


How do I know I've done my job in a teamfight?


Just like Saint Vicious said in the video above, if you've gotten off 2 full rotations of your skill set, you're golden. If you've managed to disrupt a few people, peel a tad bit for your carries, and caused people to focus you, you've done your job.

(Write a question in the comment section and I'll add your name and your question to this chapter.)

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Change Log

6/26/13 - Published the Guide!