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Xin Zhao - Let's get down to business.

Last updated on July 25, 2010
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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: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 0

Xin Zhao - The Seneschal of Demacia.

I would consider Xin Zhao (sin jow) to be a team carry, who can tank well, while also having great damage output. He is great at initiating fights providing you have some support, heals, shields etc. His passive: Tireless Warrior, allows him to lane for long periods of time without needing lifesteal, though always consider it, I'll talk about that more later. This brief guide is my play style for Xin, what I do with him, and some tips for when you play him.

Amazing DPS
Great initiator for an off-tank dps
Survivability in lanes
Can Jungle
Decent slow/knockup

No "real" escape
Likely to be targeted first ^_^
Vulnerable to CC
Likely to be nerfed soon (so play him all you can now)

Summoner Spells

1.Improved Exhaust: Catch up to champs, deal more damage due to the armour debuff, can be used as an escape tool as well.

2.Flash: By far my favourite summoner spell, great for escaping and to chase down fleeing champs. If you want to reach your target faster, flash followed by Audacious Charge (AC) works wonders.

These are the current runes I use for him, I have yet to try more rune options, though Armour Penetration and Crit Damage would certainly work well, (any ideas on what glyphs I could use would be great).

Core Item Build

The reason my main boots are Ninja Tabi's and the first attack speed item I get is Phantom Dancer is because you get a good load of dodge together with your runes - around 38%. You also get move speed to catch up/escape from people, and who doesn't like more crits?! I Personally think a Phantom Dancer is enough Attack Speed and would swap a last whisper for something else, unless they are heavy in the tank department.


Madreds Bloodrazor is a great item, though I'm not a big fan of it myself, the items you need to build it are not as useful as others you could be buying (unless you plan to jungle with razors), and I don't like the price tag of 3800. Starks Fervor is a great item to get, especially if your team is heavy on physical dps, if you don't see anyone else getting one, don't be shy to swap Phantom Dancer out for Starks. Bloodthirster... great item if you really need lifesteal, but if anyone on your team has a Starks I would continue with the core build and not bother with a Bloodthirster as well.
I myself will probably not use Beserker's Greaves for him as you don't need early game attack speed due to your Battle Cry (BC). Mercury treads is a great choice if the opposition are heavy in CC and casters.

Of course you can spec a bit more tanky with this champion, by getting items such as:

Early Game

Grab a Health Crystal, stick a point in Three Talon Strike (TTS) and lane top or bottom, you can lane with a lot of champions well, so its really not an issue who you go with. (I lane with Shen/garen and they are fine for a melee lane.) If you have a good partner there is a great chance you can grab First Blood with him/her. I usually aim for first blood at level 3 when I have a point in all 3 skills, with another disabler and exhaust it is very easy to achieve a kill, make sure to flash out of a turret in time to cancel its hit, if you dived for the kill. Head back if you have very low hp, or have over 1.3k gold to grab a Phage and some boots. Head back to your lane and finish those noobs up again, ask if mid needs any help, if not push that turret down!
My skill rank order tends to max BC whenever possible, followed by TTS then AC and of course you're ultimate when you can.

Mid Game
You should have a Zeal and be almost ready to recall and change it for a Phantom Dancer.
...Gank time! I said myself you are a great initiator if the tank is not around, begin to push mid if you manage to get your lanes tower down, this will bring pressure to mid and will attract more people. If you cannot push mid then go gank anyone who is still laning. Recall when you have 1.8 or are low to grab a BF sword and out you come again.

Here is how I go about killing people>>>> Auto Attack. Repeat even without the ultimate available if they didn't die.
Get your Black Cleaver.

Late Game
By now you have a Frozen Mallet and are getting your Last Whisper. I very rarely get any further than this, as the game comes to an end with the opposition surrendering.
Don't be afraid to initiate (as long as u have support) as Crescent Sweep is great when they are all clumped together and are on high health, Prioritise: the casters > dps > tanks. Turret Diving isn't a big problem for you at this point but always remember to play safe, and don't be "Too" greedy.

"Here's a tip, with a spear behind it!"
If no one on your team desperately needs the mana buff, go grab it, mana becomes an issue if you spam your skills too often.
Solo Dragon, easy XP, easy gold
You are a good backdoorer, make sure you have flash up if things get heavy.

GL & HF.
Thanks to Pudso for editing the guide.