Build Guide by TheLargeOne
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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.
Xin Zhao: Our Favorite and Only Asian
Before starting, this is HEAVILY influenced by Xylor's guide to Xin Zhao as well as Dirty Goolash and Booshido's
I used all three of their builds and started tinkering with all their builds to see which gives the best results. This is not really a traditional guide, but it's mostly theories and results.
So let's get started:
Purpose of the build:
It's really simple. Initiate. Kill. Survive.
Xin Zhao, if some of you haven't figured out, is a one of the best "melee" (I use that term lightly with Xin Zhao)/tanky DPS/ Initiators. Personally, a bamf who runs in, softens or kills multiple people to give his team an advantage in the following team fight.
Because of this role, he must have a number of things.
I can't stress how important it is to get AT LEAST a Frozen Mallet or a The Bloodthirster
2. Damage Output.
Xin Zhao must be able to soften or kill at least one champion in a fight (excluding tanks. But there are a few exceptions.) This is why rushing Frozen Mallet is not as great compared to getting a B.F.Sword and a Giant's Belt
I know he is not the "Sentinel of Demacia," but he's pretty darn close.
Xin Zhao is a buff dude with devastating damage and solid health and survivability.
Simply put (my fellow Dynasty Warrior and Romance of Three Kingdom fans,) he is Zhao Yun.
Now the Pro's and Con's of Xin Zhao
1. High Damage Output from Early to Endgame
2. A bit more beefy compared to other high damage output characters.
Ex: Pantheon, Gangplank and Tryndamere
3. Super High Damage AOE Ultimate. He can tear an entire team apart.
4. Fast movement and Fast Attack Speed.
5. He's Asian. (lulz :3)
1. Susceptible to ranged attacks or "kiters" like Ashe or Miss Fortune
2. No effective crowd control and is also susceptible to them.
3. Might have problems when focused. He IS beefy, but he's not a tank. (At least, not in this build.)
Jungle, Solo, Mid, or Dual Laner?
One of the coolest traits of Xin Zhao is that he is flexible.
He can be the team's jungler (pretty popular)
the Top Solo (when a jungler is present), a great duo laner (kills guaranteed) and even the middle (if need be.)
As a Jungler, Xin Zhao exercises his high gankability.
His Triple Talon strike, followed by Battle Cry's attack speed and Red Dragon Buff's slow, can get an easy first blood or kill.
As a Solo Top, Xin Zhao must turret hug (like all most other characters.)
After a certain point, (usually when he hits level 6) he can team with his jungler to get the double kill for him or his jungler. That or eat the enemy solo top laner.
Xin Zhao can also solo mid. It works almost like Solo Top Xin, however, requires a bit more skill considering that the middle is often a ranged character. As stated before, Xin Zhao is susceptible to kiters like Ashe, Miss Fortune, or Tristiana.
At the same time, he is often bulky enough to out-muscle all three of them.
He usually gets the kills from middle before level 6. Xin Zhao doesn't need his ultimate to really kill the squishy mid, and his base damage is high enough to score the kill.
So Mid Xin, is an open possibility.
As a Duo Laner, Xin Zhao 'puts the bam in bamboo.' (From LuanLegacy)
It's best he works with a heavy cc character or "snare" characters like Swain, Amumu or, Maokai. At times, he can even work with Nunu & Willump.