Xin Zhao Build Guide by Gutbucket
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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.
About this guide
This guide is a work in progress with the intent to teach people how to jungle properly and if necessary get yourself out of Elo hell. I have been struggling with this myself recently and found the easiest way to get out of Elo hell was to take matters in my own hands. After doing some thought I realized that the #1 game changing position of ranked play is the jungler. A good jungler will set the pace of the game as well as the advantage for your team with timely ganks and pressure on lanes and the added bonus of dragon and baron.
I hope that you will enjoy this guide, it is my first and I will probably need to make many edits. I would also like to thank Hargis2010 and Dufftime for their knowledge and guides as they were the cornerstone to my basic understanding of jungling.
Pros / Cons
+ Great burst and sustained damage.
+ AoE slow and a knock up for CC.
+ Able to gank constantly due to high health.
+ Quick jungle leaving with high health.
+ Low cooldowns on abilities with Battle Cry
+ Low mana cost on abilities.
- Without Ghost no real escape mechanism.
- Once lane phase is over you will be primary focus in team fights.
- No mastery in Runic Affinity = less red and blue buff time.
- Requires ability to lead team and prioritize targets/objectives.
Tireless Warrior: This is Xins Passive, For every third attack Xin gets off it will return a flat amount of health, this amount increases by 5 every 2 levels, the base amount is 30 so by level 18 you will return 75 every third hit.
- This is why attack speed is so great with Xin Zhao and it makes him a successful jungler.
Three Talon Strike: This is Xin Zhao's main form of CC. When activated this skill will give each of the three attacks extra damage and on the third hit knocks up the enemy champion.
Tips and Tricks
- Activate this ability before Audacious Charge for maximum CC.
- Leading with this ability will cause a quick burst of damage, be ready to chase.
- This ability is leveled last and is used for the knock up utility.
Battle Cry: This is a great skill as it passively increases Xin Zhao's DPS, when activated Battle Cry gives even more DPS while reducing the cool downs of Xin Zhao's other abilities while active.
Tips and Tricks
- Using this ability will allow you to quickly take down turrets late game.
- Cycle abilities with patience once this is active to take full advantage of the cooldown reduction and damage from your Sheen
- This ability is leveled second.
Audacious Charge: This skill acts as a great initiation and escape tool, but not only does it leap to the opponent, it also slows by a flat amount on hit in an area of effect. This is extremely useful for ganks and as mentioned before initiating and escaping.
Tips and Tricks
- This is Xin Zhao's bread and butter opener.
- Be aware of your circumstances. If you are close to the enemy and they are close to the tower it is better to open with Three Talon Strike first if you can and then follow up with Audacious Charge to keep them from escaping.
- This ability is leveled first. An explanation is below.
Crescent Sweep: This is a great ultimate, when activated it does a flat amount of damage plus 20% of the opponents current health. On top of huge damage for every enemy Champion hit it will give Xin Zhao a short boost of armor and magic resistance.
Tips and Tricks
- Use this ability early in a fight as it does damage based off the enemies current health. In other words if they have 1/4 health left it will do less damage then if you used it when they had 3/4 health.
- If you are not in danger of being in a team fight use this ability to quickly clear a minion wave and heal yourself.
- Obviously this is leveled every chance it is up.
Audacious Charge VS. Three Talon Strike
Borrowed this information from Hargis2010's Xin Zhao: Ranked Jungler Guide
The main reason people use Xin Zhao's "Q" is for the knock up, this can still be achieved with only one rank into this skill. The second reason is the increased burst damage, which is, at max level, 75 additional damage per auto attack for three attacks, totaling to 225 damage.
The main reason people use Xin Zhao's "E" is the slow; which the slow percentage is increased by 100% from ranks one through five(20-40%). The second use is initiation; which is self-explanatory.
Going back to burst damage Three Talon Strike = 225 additional damage (physical damage)
Audacious Charge = 230 additional damage (magic damage)
Granted Three Talon Strike may be able to deliver more damage with your attack damage+armor pen(over three attacks). The Audacious Charge damage is instant and the improved slow will actually let you get your full combo off plus additional auto attacks. The slow, cooldown, and damage are all improved by ranking Audacious Charge; only the damage increases by ranking Three Talon Strike.
Summoner's, Masteries and Runes
- This is a jungle guide, if you take any other summoner than Smite you should be laning.
- Ghost helps initiate your ganks and with escaping potential bad situations like overextending.
With the increase to experience from the neutral creeps in the jungle I feel that the utility tree is not necessary any longer. The biggest blow from not going into the utility tree now is the loss of Good Hands and Runic Affinity . The gains from not going into the utility tree are much greater though and will allow for a faster jungle, more health at the end of the jungle and higher defenses for early ganks.
- 6x Greater Mark of Attack Speed: 10% attack speed will help trigger Xin Zhao passive Challenge and keep your health up. Not only will this help keep you viable to gank early but it will help keep you from being susceptible to enemy ganks and counter jungles.
- 3x greater mark of desolation: Brings your Armor Penetration to 15 to make your jungle more efficient and your ganks hurt.
- 9x Greater Seal of Armor: Reduce incoming damage while jungling and help make Xin Zhao more tanky for mid/late game.
- 9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: I choose these over per level glyphs because I feel you need the extra MR for early ganks.
- 3x greater quintessence of desolation: Brings your Armor Penetration to 15 to make your jungle more efficient and your ganks hurt.
This is the real reason you came here isn't it? Admit it! While I hate posting "cookie cutter item builds" and think you should build items based on your enemy team there are a couple of things that are must haves to jungle successfully with Xin Zhao. There are many different ways you can build Xin Zhao but I feel he is utilized best as a tanky dps. That means you need health, armor, magic resist and enough damage to not be ignored.
: Start with a Vampiric Scepter, this will be all you need to start your jungle. Keep this until you can afford your Wriggle's Lantern.
: Complete dominance starts here. Not only does it give you a free ward but once you get this you should be around level 6 and able to solo dragon.
: I like to pick these up at the same time as my Wriggle's Lantern but depending on successful ganks or time you might have to come back for this. If you can't get this with your Wriggle's Lantern try and wait to get your Mercury's Treads whole.
: These boots are vital for Xin Zhao. Magic resist and the tenacity bonus will help make sure you are the unstoppable rape train of death you should be come mid/late game.
- : This will be all the damage and mana you will need for a while. Once you get this item you should be helping your AP carry out by giving them blue buff.
My general build after my core depends on the other team and what I build next but generally it looks something like this:
: Now that you have some Magic Resist and Damage you should work on your survivability. Giant's Belt gives you a lot of bang for your buck and will be built into your Warmog's Armor.
: More health to keep you in fights longer since you are now pretty much the focus in team fights. This is the next step to getting your Warmog's Armor.
: Once you get Warmog's Armor you are pretty much unstoppable. Focus on farming minions and killing champions to take full advantage of the bonus health.
: Now that you have health to compliment your damage you need a little speed. Get this and build it into Wit's End.
: This item is all around nice. Attack speed, magic resist and magic damage. All of a sudden your damage goes from "OUCH" to "OMG GET HIM AWAY FROM ME"! You truly become the unstoppable rape train of death at this point.
: More health and a chance to slow your enemies escape? Yes please!
: This item while expensive is such a nice compliment to Xin Zhao. Movement speed, attack speed, slow, damage all in one. It makes sure that the enemy can not ignore you.
: When you can't afford to get your next item completely get this. No other champ in the game benefits more from attack speed than Xin Zhao.
- Sight Ward: Even with your Wriggle's Lantern you should be buying 1-2 wards every time you shop. Vision on the map is the key to victory. You will be able to anticipate the enemies movements and see when someone is out of position to turn the advantage to your team.
Situational Items: A MUST!
As I said before, I hate cookie cutter item builds. You should always build to defend against the enemy team. If the enemy team is heavy AD build a Randuin's Omen early in the build, preferably after your Sheen. If they are heavy on AP build a Force of Nature after your Warmog's Armor. Always anticipate where the enemy will build and counter it.
Jungling - Updated for New Jungle
I have changed my route since the new jungle has come out. I feel this path for me is the best to optimize time and get ganks.
Put one point into Three Talon Strike.
1. Wraiths: Use Three Talon Strike on the blue wraith first. Let your auto attacks heal you for any damage on the little wraiths.
2. Elder Lizard Red Buff: Start with Three Talon Strike here on the big lizard. After the second use of Three Talon Strike you should be close to being able to Smite him and clean up the camp.
You should be level 2 now, level up Battle Cry
3. Double Golems: Kill the little golem first saving the large one for the heal buff at the end. You shouldn't have a shortage of health but if you do not have a full set of runes you might be a little low here.
4.Wraiths: Start with the blue wraith first again using Three Talon Strike to open and then Battle Cry once it goes on cooldown. You will be level 3 in the middle of this fight, level up Battle Cry again.
5. Wolves: Start with the big wolf but only use Three Talon Strike once here. The little wolves do little damage and this camp will heal you up for the next camp at Ancient Golem.
6. Ancient Golem Blue Buff: Your Smite will be coming off cooldown during this fight. At the start of the fight it should be around 13-15 seconds. Do the fight the same way you did the Elder Lizard fight.
You will be level 4 after this fight, level up Audacious Charge. You have blue buff, red buff, and almost full health, if you are lucky enough one of the lanes you are near is ready for a gank, go unleash hell! Remember to be aggressive and gank to get kills.
Your duty as a jungler:
+ Ward often
+ Gank/help solo lanes
+ Hold lanes while teammates heal/shop
+ Always keep your enemies guessing where you will pop out.
+ Maintain your level and farm and deny other team theirs.
+ Control Dragon/Baron and lead your team as a General
Simply put you are the anti-hero to the enemy team. You should be seen often and terrorizing them often. If your mid lane died to a gank and didn't have a ward up, put a ward up and apologize for not having one there. This is your team, earn their respect and they will follow you to victory. On a side note, if you are not jungling you should help your jungler by placing wards and protecting yourself at the same time.
I felt a little needed to be said about ganking. In general there are many ways to do it. You as the jungler should always be the one to initiate the gank. Many times the lane that you are ganking your teammate will be lower on health than you, do not put them in harms way and give the enemy a free kill!
A successful gank will have one or more of the following:
- An enemy kill
- An enemy used summoner spells to get away
- An enemy wasted their ultimate
- An enemy zoned headed back to base with low health
At early levels do not ever chase the enemy under their turret regardless of how tempting it is. Chances are you will get cc'd in some fashion and even if you do get the kill will die giving them a kill as well. Other times they may just be baiting you for their teammate out of your vision to come in and kill you or get a double kill off you and your teammate. The best thing to do is keep a presence close by if they didn't head back to heal make them pay for it. Denying the enemy champion farm is almost as good as getting a kill.
- Green dots are optimal placement for early game wards. Do not try and ward all at once it's a waste of gold and will set you behind.
- Red dots are optimal place to catch your enemy jungler doing their red buff.
- Pink dot is the optimal placement to see around Baron and potentially give you enough time to react to the enemy coming to steal Baron from you.
A good way for an easy kill if you know you have an inferior jungler on the other team is to ward the bush next to their red buff. When you see them engage wait for them to do some damage and then try and steal the buff and kill them at the same time.
Dragon/Baron: After the 30 minute mark I usually always place Vision Ward on these locations. You will always be able to tell when they ward in that area and take their ward out. Controlling these area's gives a serious advantage to your team.
In conclusion, Xin Zhao can be the instrument of death when played correctly. In the hands of a competent jungler his tool-set can be a huge asset to your team. I would recommend Xin Zhao to anyone that is learning how to jungle as he is easy to learn, has strong survivability and is not entirely item dependent like some other junglers. I hope you enjoyed my first guide. I will update it often and value your feedback. If there is something you did not like please comment below and let me know.