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Xin Zhao Build Guide by JayInTheBox

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League of Legends Build Guide Author JayInTheBox

Xin Zhao - Tanky DPS

JayInTheBox Last updated on November 28, 2011
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Jungle Role
Ranked #2 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
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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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Sup League of Legends players! If you are looking for a Tank-y DPS that is not hard to play and easy to learn, you have found Xin Zhao, the Seneschal of Demacia! Now that you've spent that 3150 IP on him, it's time to learn how to play him. Now, difficulty rating is at 20-30 for Xin Zhao so he is relatively easy to learn and play, and this means that you will either do one of the following with Xin:

Carry your team.

Become a support Tank-y DPS that charges in the fight and keeps the assassins off the AD/AP Carries.

By the way, for those about to enter a game, I've made a quick guide on how to play Xin Zhao and his build, etc. Click on that chapter but the rest is very in-depth so take some time, grab a coffee or tea and read, you might find it helpful.

This build guide will help you in to being successful in these types. This is my first guide so please be as constructive as possible but at the same time, please don't troll, that's just lame.

Considering the new patches, Xin stays about the same, although with the new mastery trees, he may do more / less damage than before.

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Skill Information + Sequence

Tireless Warrior -> Xin Zhao's passive is ultimately one of the best lane sustain mechanisms in game. In fact, your Three talon strike can actually benefit from it as well because each of his hits count towards his passive. The healing amount is not a lifesteal effect so don't be scared to hit Battle Cry and hit towers, you will get life every 3 hits.

Healing ability: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70

Three Talon Strike (Q) -> This skill is one over powered skill. Not only does this skill give a knock up, if learned at level 1, this skill does about (15*3) + (56*3) = 183 attack damage at level 1. Plus, these three hits are counted as spell casts and not affected by spells such as Teemo's Blinding Dart. So why don't I level this until 4? Good Question with an easy answer, unless you're in a lane without any slows, minions, and you have a slow, the enemy will just run at the moment your spear starts glowing, so you pretty much wasted it, you need a distance closer such as Audacious Charge to close the gap and slow them at the same time. As an added bonus, it only gives about 15 extra attack damage per level, which can be bought with items but the slow on is invaluable in to securing kills either for you or your team.

Mana Cost : 30 Mana
Bonus Damage: 15/30/45/60/75
Cool Down : 10 seconds

Battle Cry (W) -> This skill is probably the most useful skill, other than because first of all, it's free attack speed. Why you should level this on a higher priority than your Three Talon Strike. The cool down of this ability lowers every time you level it, so it, again, is invaluable to your farming, pushing and such because of its very low mana cost. Likewise, it also helps your passive because you can hit minions and towers 3 times much faster, but that's a no-brainer. I forgot to mention but once activated, it doubles the attack speed bonus. Did I also mention, whenever you activate it, each time Xin auto attacks, he takes one second off cooldown on ALL his abilities?

Mana Cost : 35 Mana
Passive Attack Speed Bonus : 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40%
Cool Down : 24 / 22 / 20 / 18 / 16

Audacious Charge -> This overpowered skill makes enemies scared so bad that they tower hug for the remainder of the laning phase. While having a high mana cost, Audacious Charge is actually one of the most over powered skills in this game, due to it being an instant distance closer and you can use it through abilities such Jarvan IV's Cataclysm; when the wall is up and there is a minion outside the wall but in your range of your charge, you may use it to escape. Also keep in mind, that if you do over extend chasing the enemies and the enemy minions are still behind you, you can charge to them for a quick escape. Audacious charge is an amazing skill because first off: it deals MAGIC damage instead of physical so the enemy's armor will have no difference on his attack. Second of all, you can use it to poke; since you don't have to directly hit the person to use it, you can hit something or someone near it in order to cause an effect.

Mana Cost : 70
Cool Down : 16 / 15 / 14 /13 / 12
Magic Damage : 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230
Slow : 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40%

Crescent Sweep -> Oh no! You're level 5 with half health and their about to kill you! Suddenly, a minion dies around you and now you're level 6. Instantly your intuition tells you to level your ultimate ability and with about 170 mana. E + R, congratulations, you just juked a person. Xin Zhao's ultimate is underestimated by low leveled players and people who refuse to read the skill thoroughly (sometimes this is the case for me because I don't have the time, which is what guides are for). It does some base nuke damage plus 15% of their current health in damage. So basically, if you're at level 6 and you followed this build, you just dealt about 150 + 125 + 15% of their current health... that's about half of someone's health, enough to kill greedy enemies. This ultimate also gives you bonus magic resistance and armor, so in team fights, it is essential you use it. Another side note is that the more champions you hit, the more bonus armor and damage you get. This makes Xin Zhao even tankier in team fights than he already he is and it has a relatively low cool down thanks to Battle Cry.

Mana Cost : 100 Mana
Cool Down : 75 Seconds
Radius : 375
Armor & Magic Resistance Boost : 25
Extra Resistances : 5 / 8 / 11

Skill Combo

Basic Combo

- > - >

Harassment Combo 1

- > Auto attack x 1

Harassment Combo 2

COUNT TWO HITS - > - > *should knock up because of third hit from -> Auto Attack

Initiation Combo (Team Fights)

-> -> ->

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Runes, Masteries, Summoner Spells

For runes, use the listed.

I found that using the following works very well with Xin Zhao

Greater Mark of Desolation Greater Marks of Desolation (Flat Armor Penetration) X 9

Greater Seals of Resilience (Flat Armor Seals) X 9


Greater Seal of Defense Greater Seals of Defense (Armor per Level Seals) X 9


Greater Glyphs of Warding (Flat Magic Resist Glyphs) X9

Greater Glyphs of Shielding (Magic Resist Per Level Glyphs) X9


Greater Quintessence of Desolation Armor Pen Quints X 3


Movement Quints X 3


A combination of the two, which ever fits YOUR playing style.

Summoner Spells

Exhaust - > One of the greatest team skills in the game, it is an absolute anti ad carry type spell and works great if you're stuck in a 1v1 situation. Plus, if you followed this guide toe to toe, you'd notice that you have a point in exhaust.

Flash - > Your only escape mechanism / free distance closer (aka Flash through walls, close distance on flash'd enemies). Xin has no escape mechanism except maybe his Audacious Charge but even that's situational, so flash is VITAL unless you play passively. Then maybe this next Summoner Spell will help much better.

Ghost - > Great skill as soon as you get tanky OR you play very passively in lane but enough to harass and be able to chase down quickly. If you do plan on taking ghost instead of flash, the take one point off the dodge mastery and put it into ghost, it'll help you and it only cost 0.5% dodge.

Ignite - > This is a great skill to secure kills and if you're not used to using exhaust as much as ignite, then take this instead and put your 1 offensive mastery in something else like Arch-mage's Savvy instead of the exhaust point.

Clairvoyance - > Great support skill, but not too great on a tanky xin zhao. Pass. No offence to supports of course :)

Clarity - > You don't need this as much you would heal, you can deal with mana issues by grabbing the blue golem buff. Pass.

Heal - > This is a unique skill, you can use this with synergy with ignite. How is this possible? You can easily tower dive a champion and secure a kill, plus survive a turret hit. However, this takes a bit of mastery and if you are not the type to tower dive, it will become useless. Also, you sacrifice your escape mechanism.

Rally - > Pass.

Revive - > Pass.

Smite - > Only for Jungle, Pass.

Teleport - > Use able in some situations such as: a solo top. Great way to either A) Back door or B) to defend your base. Use it wisely; only take it if your team can compensate for the lack of exhaust.

Cleanse - > Again, same reasons as above but it can be vital to a CC heavy team, of course, you won't know that unless it's ranked so in blind, just take exhaust.

Promote - > Same reason as above.

Surge - > Now this skill, is something I have mixed feelings for. While it seems interesting enough, Xin doesn't benefit from the extra ability power but he does from the extra attack speed. I'd still encourage people to go exhaust just because of the 1v1 potential, the late game advantage, and the slow but you could try this if you really want to. Give it a shot!

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Now for the fun part, building items is essential to league and for Xin Zhao, items mainly tell what type he is going; whether it is an assassin, pure ad dps, or a Tanky Dps, like this build, the items will help boost whatever role any champion fits.

First Item Choices

Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions.

Or if you are in a lane with a healer:

Doran's Blade is perfectly fine

Core Item Build

No matter what, to fit this build, you MUST have both of these items at around 20 minutes in the game, for the total cost is only about 4030 + 1200 which is 5230 Gold.

Core Build (2 Items)

Now from here on, you need a life-steal item, from which you can pick yourself.

Life-Steal Item

So pretty much your core build up until now should look like this:

+ + OR

Now time to build tanky, this is what your next 3 items should like depending on the situation

AD Heavy Team
+ +

AP Heavy Team
+ +

Balanced Team
Follow item build at top.

Getting fed? Need more damage?

Consider any of these items, they are listed in priority:
or or

Any of these above items should be purchased in a situation where it will not go into late game, or if you feel that you need more damage output, switch the Warmog's for one of these items and you should be fine, but do NOT switch your Banshee's Veil, as it blocks one spell and gives a little bit of mana, health, and magic resistance. You could do without having 4k+ hp because you'd still have around 2.9k hp without it, which is enough because you do enough damage and lifesteal to keep yourself alive, and that banshee's veil is definitely going to screw up an ap carry's combo, just don't get poked and lose it.

Getting pushed? Consider any of these situational items

Hexdrinker is one of the most under rated items in the entire game. If their AP carry is getting fed and you need to stay alive a little bit longer after their burst to help you and your team take that person down, this item gives 300 extra magic shield when your health falls critically low. Consider for some bonus attack damage and magic resistance

[b]Wriggle's Lantern[/b] is one of the most over powered, extremely cost-effective items in the entire game. If you need some life-steal and armor fast but you don't have enough for a bloodthirster / armor item, this item will DEFINITELY help your early-mid game and even maybe late game. Having to buy wards for 75 g each time is annoying but wriggle's comes with one, plus it has that bonus 500 minion damage, which a lot of people look over. This item can be built into your core and it costs less than a BF Sword so give it a try, especially if you're near dragon spawn because of the early dragon captures, remember that dragon spawns every 6 minutes so a good tip is to type in the next dragon spawn as soon as you kill yours, e.g you kill dragon at 21:23 and then the next dragon spawn is 21:23 + 6:00, which is 27:23. type that in and keep an eye on the clock (right hand corner)

Berserker's Greaves are ENTIRELY situational, this item is in the Riot Recommended List but, Mercury's Treads is just too invaluable compared to this item. Still, they may have a low crowd control team (such as Vayne, Tristana, Tristana, etc.) If they don't have heavy cc like Alistar or Blitzcrank, then the choice is obvious. (You chose this item in a Alistar & Blitz team? ... really?)

These items should help increase resistances and you're still doing tons of damage thanks to the Tri-Force proc and your Atma's Impaler.

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Pros & Cons

Great Lane Sustain
High Durability
Moderate damage output late game, high damage output early-mid game
Higher than normal movement speed
Great initiation provided that you don't get focused and your team follows directly after
Great ganks

Picked on by ranged
Easily a victim of harassment in lane
Falls down heavily if faced against heavy cc opponents

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Quick Guide

For those of you that don't have time and are in a game, this section is for you.

Skill Order:

> > > > >


> > >




21 - 9 - 0

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And we are finished! That was my first ever guide to anything in a game. I put some effort into it and it's not the best guide, obviously there are better guides but if you're looking for a Tank-y DPS Xin Zhao Guide, why don't you give this a try? You never know, if it may work or not! Also, even if you lose your lane, and you start feeding or somewhat, the game's not over! If you can at least get your core down and if your team composition works, look at the situation and start going for the most fed champion if you can. This means, fill your assassin role! If you couldn't get your core in and you have to try and help your team instead, charge right for the one that does the most damage and become a martyr, so that your team doesn't take enough damage and you pull 1-2 champions out of the team fight to focus you down, this means a lot because let's say its a 5v5 mass team fight mid, then you flash and charge their carry and 2 champions are now focusing you BUT your team is fighting the others, making it a 3v5 at best. Just build tank-y enough so that you can keep them distracted for that ace. After all, 5 for 1 is the best deal a feeding Xin can do for his team.

Here's a tip and a Spear Behind it

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