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Xin Zhao Build Guide by conquistad00r

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League of Legends Build Guide Author conquistad00r

Xin Zhao- The many forms of a steamroller

conquistad00r Last updated on February 18, 2012
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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: 8

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 1

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A quick Precursor

Build 1: Jungle Tank
Build 2: Glass Cannon (Jungle)
Build 3: Lanetank
Build 4: Lane Glass Cannon

Con: Weak before full combo achieved
Con: No escapibility

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Hello to all! This is my comprehensive guide towards playing one of my favorite characters, Xin Zhao. Please read my guide, try it out, and tell me what I could work on. I would also appreciate minimum "short remarks" which don't explain why you up/downvoted (although leniency will be given for upvoters). I put in a lot of effort in my playstyle of Xin Zhao so I would appreciate an honest review. Remember, I'm always up for improving this guide!

Anyways, I've been playing Xin Zhao for awhile. Originally, I didn't buy Xin Zhao until lvl 18 or so, due to the fact that people hated Xin Zhao for . When I did though, I found myself in the lust for battle. I loved the versatility, survivability, and lethality Xin Zhao had both in lane, Team Fights, and Jungling.

I hope that you will see the power of Xin Zhao firsthand rather than me putting up "victory" pictures. I made this guide because I've experimented with countless alternative builds that could work well with Xin Zhao. I've also seen plenty of bad ideas for Xin Zhao. While this is also a dumping ground for my builds and ideas, in a sense, it's also a way to help you the reader because I feel like I will give you an in depth feel on the mechanics of how Xin Zhao works.

Without further ado, here's my guide on the many forms of Xin Zhao, the ultimate steamroller.

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General Pros/Cons

  • High Damage Output
  • Strong entire game
  • Great Sustain
  • Deadly Combo
  • Seldom to no mana problems
  • Can be built many different ways
  • All skills are useful
  • Carries an entire team if played right

  • Absolutely no escape mechanism (except Flash
  • Needs combos, weak until can perform full combo (lvl 4)
  • Tends to get focused naturally
  • Timing skills have a slight learning curve
  • Very easily Susceptible to CC (stun, slow, snare, silence, etc.)


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Ability overview

Xin Zhao prepares to unleash a fearsome combo, causing his next 3 standard attacks to deal 15/30/45/60/75 (+) physical damage, with the final attack knocking his opponent into the air.
Cost-30 Mana

Three Talon Strike is undoubtedly the most important skill Xin Zhao will ever have. The importance comes not from the extra damage, but rather the knock up. This skill is essential for ganking, chasing, attacking, and anything Xin Zhao will do in the fields of justice. HE CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IT!
Any smart Xin Zhao player maxes out this skill at level 9.

Battle Cry -Passive: Increases Xin Zhao's attack speed by 20/25/30/35/40%.
Active: Xin Zhao unleashes a battle cry, doubling the passive bonus for 5 seconds, and causing his standard attacks to reduce all other ability cooldowns by 1 second.
Cost- 35 Mana

This skill works very well for my playstyle of Xin Zhao. When Jungling, Battle Cry allows Xin Zhao to clear the jungle efficiently while allowing a high level of sustainability in lane and in the jungle. When chasing, it reduces the cooldowns of Audacious Charge, Three Talon Strike, and Crescent Sweep. This allows a lot of chances to hit even harder and be ready for another teamfight.

Audacious Charge - Xin Zhao charges an enemy unit, dealing 70/110/150/190/230 (+0.4) magic damage to all nearby enemies and slowing them by 20/25/30/35/40% for 1.5 seconds.
Cost- 70 Mana

Audacious Charge is your Gap Closer. It allows you to almost instantaneously dash towards your target, damaging and slowing them. While it's not powerful on it's own, the gap allows you to finish your business.

Crescent Sweep -Xin Zhao unleashes a fierce spear sweep on targets around him, dealing 125/225/325 plus 15% of their current health in physical damage. For 6 seconds, his Magic Resistance and Armor are increased by 25 plus 7/10/13 for each champion hit.
Cost-100 Mana

Crescent Sweep Is quite the signature move. Xin Zhao Takes the liberty of shredding 15% of their targets remaining health. This skill, with the tank build, will allow Xin Zhao to easily initiate, Crescent Sweep, bag a few kills, and win the game.

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Using your abilities

Sure, you've learned what each ability is for and how to use them. But how about in depth?

The bread and butter, the peanut butter and jelly, the all encompassing skill by xin zhao. The boost of damage and slight boost in attack speed certainly allow this skill to be a verstatile strike. Usually when activated, enemies get intimidated and flee. Not only is this a psychologically scary ability, but it actually causes damage. The most important thing to note about Three Talon Strike is that it refreshes the attack speed. Once you strike someone, hitting q will hit the target with little delay! It is useful for dishing extra damage in both lane and jungling.
Three Talon strike is also resistant to Thornmail, meaning you can hit tanks like Rammus hard.

Audacious Charge is THE initiator for a teamfight. With a tanky Xin Zhao one can charge in without fearing the damage. Aside from initiating, the range of Audacious Charge allows Xin Zhao to TRAVEL THROUGH WALLS. This is particularly fun in a 3v3 fight, as it completely scares any champion who is alone. Also, Audacious Charge makes Xin Zhao a relatively strong ganker. With proper communication, the slow is your teammates need to bag a kill.

Battle cry is the most useful during the jungle process. I usually hit it once I finish my three talon strike

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In which order should I chose my skills?

There are two different methods of leveling up I would choose between.


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

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

The two are fundamentally different and play a key role in deciding how Xinzhao should be built. By prioritizing Audacious Charge, Xin Zhao gets a stronger slow and burst of damage earlier in the game. This will help when playing the role of tankzhao due to the lack of damage you have until Atma's Impaler. Additionally, junglers will have an easier time ganking and giving kills to their teammate from the slow.

Glass Cannon takes a different approach. As your damage dealing increases, so does your need to increase attack speed and lethality Lethality . Since War Cry passively increases your attack speed and allows you to regain BONUS hp from your passive, the sustain and and extra attack speed will serve the purpose of blending together squishy champions.

My Personal Suggestion: Try to decide what build you want to play xinzhao before the game starts based off of the team composition. Mixing these up doesn't work as well as it sounds.

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In Depth Build: Jungle Tankzhao

Jungle Tankzhao is by far the build which I am most comfortable with playing. Not only is it highly resistant to death, but it deals a great amount of damage late game. This came upon me one day.
I was playing super carry ad Xin Zhao. I had maximum attack speed (2.5 hits per second), around 250-300 base attack, and around a 65% critical hit chance. My team had pushed all the way to their nexus while they had done the same. We ended up losing the game. Why? Once I died, damage output on our team died out. They would literally pop a stun and jump on me, score an ace, then get baron. That's when I promised to myself:
Never Again.
I've developed a way to retain the lethality of Xin Zhao while not dying. This is my greatest secret of all, now being unveiled to you.

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Pros/Cons of TankZhao in Jungle

  • High Damage Output
  • Rediculous tankiness
  • Game changing mid-late game
  • Almost never has to recall
  • Wriggle's Lantern helps the whole team and your jungle
  • Doesn't always use 5 Health Potion in Jungle
  • Carries an entire team if played right
  • Can survive heavy cc and damage if built situationally
  • Stays on the same level as mid in jungle

  • Absolutely no escape mechanism (except Flash
  • Does not satisfy damage output early game
  • Tends to get focused naturally
  • Expensive build
  • Dependent on items
  • Hard to play if there are no successful early ganks
  • Still Very easily Susceptible to CC (stun, slow, snare, silence, etc.)

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Explanation of masteries

The masteries are very strange.
While fulfilling the role of a 3/4 tank, the role of Xin Zhao still remains as the Carry/Killer/Tankshredder.
As a result, I take a 21-8-1 mastery. I chose Butcher because of its ability to jungle faster, and Summoner's Resolve , Summoner's Insight because of the corresponding Summoner Spells. However, if you take a more aggressive Summoner spell such as Exhaust, take a point out of Butcher and put it in Summoner's Wrath . I personally don't see why that would be necessary, though.
The 8 points in defense are solely dedicated to the conversion towards a slightly tanky Xin Zhao. They help with the entire jungling process, allowing you to pop up to gank with more HP than many solo top laners would like.