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Xin Zhao Build Guide by ApplesWin

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ApplesWin

Xin Zhao - Solo Queue Jungle Stomp

ApplesWin Last updated on December 16, 2011
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Team 1

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

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Welcome to my Xin Zhao guide! Xin Zhao is a tanky dps that is pretty underrated by League of Legends Community. This is due partly to his numerous nerfs, and his non-existant versatility. However, while being pretty nonviable for anything other than jungle, Xin is a character that can dictate the flow of the early game through his insane ganks and presence in the laning phase. He's also pretty fun to play, at least in my opinion.

All right! Let's get started.

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  • Very Strong Early-Mid Game
  • Among Best Ganks
    (On par with if not surpassing Lee Sin, Nocturne, Etc.)
  • Flash-Proof
    (No more darn Ashes getting away with dumb summoner. ^^)
  • Decent Steroids
    (You will never go under 90% HP on your first run. Also pretty much blue buff independent after the first one.)
  • Being behind makes you near useless.
  • Somewhat squishy.
    (This is solved with Frozen Mallet + Crescent Sweep + Resists)
  • Doesn't focus on late game scaling.
    (80% AS bonus and 75 damage for 3 attacks? Big Whoop.)
  • Not the best pusher nor the fastest jungle.
    (No AOE save Audacious Charge and Crescent Sweep)
  • No escape.
    (This is covered by flash, but he has no inbuilt escape, which can make you die a lot.)

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Lethality

Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Do more damage to things.
SPACE Greater Quintessence of Health
SPACELive longer, have stronger early game.

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Running 21/9/0 solo top masteries will push your early game advantage. You want to abuse Xin Zhao's excellent early game to snowball into late game. IMO, the benefits in the Utility tree are simply not as good as the Defense tree.

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Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

This passive is extremely nice for early game jungling. It allows you to have Warwicklike sustain and is generally a pretty bad-*** passive. While it doesn't do much late game, it's still very nice for sustaining yourself in order to stay on the field.

Three Talon Strike is incredibly strong when put on paper. Extra damage. Knock-up. What could be better? However, this skill relies on auto-attacking, which we all know is incredibly annoying to do. However, hitting that knockup will result in a successful gank and a happy laner. Also, the extra damage is nice, so you max this second. Start with it to jungle.

This skill, while not terrible, isn't really a priority to max out. The main thing you want from this skill is the passive, and you only need one point for that. Putting points in it reduces its CD, but you will only be able to use it once per fight anyway. The AS is nice, but nothing compared to the utility of the other 3 skills. Get it at lvl 2 for the CDR per hit.

Ahhh, Audacious Charge. This skill is a big part in making Xin Zhao a scary **********er. In addition to the obvious (Dashing to the enemy), the skill also slows, and does a mini nuke. Maxing this out first will give you pretty surprising burst early game, with Three Talon Strike.

This ability has undergone so many nerfs it's ridiculous. However, it is still the same in essence. Crescent Sweep Does pretty sweet AOE damage, percent damage, and you get free resists, with its amount dependent on how many champions you hit. You definitely want to initiate with this skill, as it scales off of current HP. Alternatively, you can also use this skill to insta-clear huge minion waves, as it's low CD is compounded by Battle Cry.

> > >

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Summoner Spells

Great for any champion. Instantly blinking near your position will allow you to escape and/or make important plays.

This is essential for jungling. You CANNOT substitute this out for another summoner. This lets you secure objectives and speeds up jungle greatly.

While you CAN take this, I really don't recommend it. Flash is just so much better for juking and escaping that I simply can't value Ghost over Flash. However, the choice is yours.

Unfortunately, because Xin Zhao has no escapes, he cannot take other goodies like Exhaust, Cleanse, Heal, and other fun stuff.

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All right, time for the fun stuff.

Build 1 is when you're rocking the house, Build 2 is when your team needs a tanky initate.

  • : This item (stacking with Challenge) grants you the ability to clear the jungle at full health the entire way.

  • :Movespeed is important, and you should upgrade this depending on their team.

    Lots of CC? Get Mercury's Treads SPACE Lots of auto-attackers? Get Ninja Tabi SPACE Facerolling? Get Berserker's Greaves

    : This is the all in one item you HAVE to get while jungling. Armor, Lifesteal, AD, and a free ward. The lifesteal will come in handy later when you have Zeke's Harbinger.

    : If you feel like you are not beefy enough to survive fights, get an early Phage to live another day.

    : This is the replacement of Phage if you're going tanky initate Xin Zhao.

    : This item is simply beastly for Xin Zhao. While some might run Youmuu's Ghostblade on him. The Black Cleaver makes up for his lack of a consistant AD steroid ( Three Talon Strike only affects 3 attacks!) while giving enough AS and more AR reduction to keep him competitive.

    :After The Black Cleaver, I tend to get this item. It gives more AS for Xin Zhao to proc all of his skills, and bolsters his lifesteal to the point that he can 1v1 many champs in the game.

    : If AP carries are killing you at this point, you might want to invest in a Wit's End. Hell, you can even take this over Zeke's Harbinger and be totally fine. However, I really like the lifesteal Zeke's Harbinger gives you. If you don't mind the loss of armor reduction and lifesteal, pick up Wit's End for some anti-mage action.

    : At this point, your enemies can probably burst you in about 3 seconds. In this case, it's time to build beefy! Frozen Mallet will give you a decent health pool to dive squishies, as well as not letting them get away with it's great passive. No more missing with Three Talon Strike ever again! However, if things are going rough, feel free to switch this out with Warmog's Armor.

    : Good old Atma's Impaler. This item is infamous for giving massive AD per cost, more armor, and crit chance for funsies. Buy this item after a large HP item, and you won't be disappointed.

    : Sometimes, burst casters just keep rocking you.This is where banshee's veil comes in. It gives you sweet HP, Mana, and MR to keep you going. Switch this out with Atma's Impaler or Frozen Mallet if you're really having trouble with those pesky APs.

    : If your game isn't going too well and your team is dying too fast. You may have to man up and build harder tank. Replace Frozen Mallet with Randuin's Omen and buy a Banshee's Veil as opposed to a Atma's Impaler in order to win.

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Other Viable Items

:Many people build this on Xin Zhao. All in all, it comes down to personal preference, although I like The Black Cleaver better.

: If you don't think Frozen Mallet Gives you enough health, get this. However, you'll lose the slow.

: If you want some tankiness and a nice passive, this is your thing.

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Killing Gank

> > > .

Crescent Sweep is optional here.

Walk up to the enemy with Three Talon Strike.

This is the optimal way to actually try to kill somebody. Ideally, you want to save your Audacious Charge in order to catch them after Flash.

"Blowing summoners" Gank

> >

The point of this combo is to, well, blow summoner spells. It also does so the fastest so you can get back to farming your jungle.

1v1 Combo

> > >

This combo minimizes the delay for the knock-up while doing maximum damage with Crescent Sweep. You generally want to save Audacious Charge for when they run away from your godliness.

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Playing the Champion

Jungle Route

Wolves > Blue > Wraiths > Wolves > Red > Double Golems > Gank

Here's a video:


Early Game:

This is arguably Xin Zhao's strongest phase. Gank often, and gank hard. As Xin Zhao doesn't really need blue, take the first one, then give subsequent ones to your AP carry for a massive advantage in mid lane. If you get kills in this phase, you're set for the game. Do what is normal for good junglers. Reference Xenasis's guide for what to do.

Mid Game:

Xin Zhao is still pretty decent at this time. If your items are on schedule, you should be able to burst down the squishies with no problems. If there is a problem, start farming hard.

Late Game:

*Sigh* your days as a facerolling epic ganking monster are over. While Xin Zhao doesn't totally fail in the late game (if he's fed/farmed) there ARE better tanky dpses than him in the late game. Just do what you can, and focus their squishies. However, if you keep dying trying to dive the carries without killing them, you're better off helping your teammates kill the tank that stands in your way.

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Depending on whether or not I remember, more may come.

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In the end, Xin Zhao is that guy who is SO ANNOYING in laning phase that he just wins the game by snowballing to a victory. However, he is not as extreme as this as say, Shaco. He can still farm and still become strong with his skill set, although he cannot scale as well as many other tanky dps. Abuse his early game, and have fun!

Listen to this video while playing to inspire yourself.
Put it on repeat for maximum ownage.