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Xin Zhao Build Guide by EZYoDa

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League of Legends Build Guide Author EZYoDa

YoDaTV's Challenger Xin Zhao guide *3.10 update!*

EZYoDa Last updated on August 6, 2013
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Jungle Role
Ranked #22 in
Jungle Role
Win 51%
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Xin Zhao is one of the best junglers in the game today. Not only does he provide two forms of CC for ganks, he also has strong single target damage as well as a gamebreaking ult. I like to consider him a bruiser-tank. Usually champions with two forms of CC and gamebreaking ults are considered tanks and are restricted in the damage department, but not Xin Zhao - this overall strength is what puts Xin Zhao over the top of other junglers. His passive armor pen along with attack speed/bonus damage from abilities give him enough damage to win most 1v1 duels, even while building all tank items. SPACE

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  1. No aim required
  2. Two forms of cc
  3. Strong ult
  4. Has damage even when building tanky
  5. Great ganks


  1. Ult can be ineffective if used poorly
  2. Only escape requires target ( Audacious Charge)
  3. Knockup requires some time
  4. Riot is staring at him with their nerfstick in hand

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... Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

really wants attack speed so he can proc his Three Talon Strike that much faster. Movespeed is also necessary to stick on opponents while proc'ing it. The other runes are just standard for all melee junglers. If you want you can swap out the blues for scaling magic resist but I like flat MR because of our strong early game and dive potential.

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9/21/0 is standard for most tanky junglers. You get masteries to complement your items since they are mostly multipliers, especially at the later stages. We 9 offense over 9 utility since the armor pen will help keep us relevant going into the late-game and we don't need any of the utility skills that badly (in particular, a lot of early utility points reduce cd, and Xin Zhao doesn't need flash that badly.

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Starting Items:

Machete/5 is the standard jungle start. I would never do anything different.

Core Items:

Spirit of the Ancient Golem is the most OP item for tanky junglers this patch due to its gold efficiency. The CDR is particularly nice on Xin Zhao because half our damage/utility comes from using Audacious Charge over and over.

Boots of Mobility is key on Xin. Closing the gap for that first is extremely important to your initiation, and you need the mobos for that.

Locket of the Iron Solari is another great item for Xin Zhao. The CDR is really important as a lot of your damage comes from spells.

Crystalline Flask is another reasonable choice. If you're going to be battling enemy jungler a lot (have to gauge based on game) then this item can help you a lot. I also consider it when my mid needs blue as Xin Zhao does have some minor mana problems.

After Core::

Blade of the Ruined King is just an OP item at the moment, and it looks like Riot is done nerfing it for now. Don't get it before you're tanky, but it's pretty much by far the best damage item available to bruisers so grab it after your core.

Frozen Mallet is a good late game item for Xin Zhao as fights will get long as the game goes longer. This gives you more HP to live through initial burst, and gives good CC for sustained fights.

Warmog's Armor isn't quite overpowered anymore, and you should really only buy it as your 3rd or 4th big HP item. That said, warmogs does do a good job of putting you completely over the top after you're already tanky due to the % hp regen.

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Summoner Spells

is a necessity for all junglers. Helps you kill buffs, secure objectives, etc etc.

is good for landing great , as well as following gank targets. Nothing is more damning than -> they flash -> you flash and with red buff.

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Skill Sequence

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

You want to take at level one because it's decent for clearing buffs, but the main reason is that if you decide to invade or a level 2 fight breaks out, it makes a world of difference between having + compared to + . After that it's pretty simple, max first for the CDR then for more CDR.

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Early Game

One of the things that makes Xin Zhao so great is his flexibility. He can do jungle battles with almost all champs, and his ganking is top notch as well. So you can adjust your game based on the enemy. If they are playing a strong dueler, for example Vi, Nocturne, Lee Sin, Shyvana then you are going to look for gank chances. However, if they are a weak duelist such as Amumu, Maokai, Sejuani then you are going to look to meet them in the jungle. These two styles are played completely differently, so here's the breakdown.

Style 1: GANK
Essentially, you are trying to avoid their jungler, or only engage if he is at a disadvantage (ex: your lane is closer). Look for pushed lanes, ask for ward positions, and try to sneak past enemy vision. Be sure to check enemy items as you can usually tell if they bought a ward or not at lvl 1 with some simple math. If you can get around enemy vision, it should almost always be a kill. Using your spells properly is important, however, so be sure to check out the techniques section.

Style 2: DUEL
Also known as "Scrap," you basically just want to find the enemy jungler in their jungle and do battle with them. If you're going to be running this, try and get your team to ward enemy wraiths, as it will give you a good idea where their jungler is. Basically any time you get any information on their location, you should know where they are going next. Try to meet them far away from a lane - ideally fighting a creep camp or facechecking your brush. If you chose the right opponent and the right timing, you should be able to come out ahead and at worst force them to heal, at best get kills/refresh buffs. If you force the enemy jungler to heal you should immediately go pressure the nearest lane, and take the closest creep camp to make it worth it. Be careful of picking bad fights however, as if you pick the wrong fight you could end up feeding double buffs to an enemy laner and no one wants that.

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Mid Game

You should have a pretty good handle of how tanky you are or how far ahead your team is going into the mid game. As Xin Zhao your gank potential isn't as strong as some other junglers, but your pressure is one of the best. Try to force objectives as much as possible over trying to get ganks as those are not your strong poing in mid-game, and if enemies get caught away from towers they should be dead to your double CC. If you are behind, there's not much you can do other than farm for late game. Good thing Xin Zhao is one of the best early game gankers in the game..

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Late Game

Going into the late game, you're almost always going to be the initiator for your team since is one of the best gap-closers in the game. Since you don't have to aim anything, the only thing on your mind should be the timing of the engage.

If your team is stronger, you can just engage any time the enemy team isn't at tower as long as everyone's there.

If it's about even, try to wait for a mistake - someone misses a spell, AD too far out, etc.

If you're behind, you pretty much only want to engage in 4v5 situations.
Look to wait for their engage then use for disengage.

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Special Techniques

One of Xin Zhao's best features is "No Aim Required." That means what it says - you point and click, and your stuff will go off no matter what. That said, the only important thing to know is the timing of your spells.

1) Following flash with Audacious Charge
Ideally, in a gank you should try to lead with Three Talon Strike. Most opponents will try to Flash away, and then you just follow with audacious charge for an easy kill. Don't lead with it in ganks if you don't have to. Obviously that means you have to sneak behind them, but try your best!

2) One-talon strike
You can catch a lot of opponents off-guard with this technique. You charge you Three Talon Strike on minions for two hits, and then Audacious Charge and get the third hit for a fast knockup. Most applicable when you're holding lane for someone and they just returned.

3) Wall-charge
This one is more awareness than a special technique. Always keep in mind that your Audacious Charge can go over walls. Mostly this will be stopped by lack of vision, but if you carry a ward on you, you can use it to reveal monsters over the wall and dash to them.

4) Attack-walking
This applies to Xin Zhao more than almost any other champion. Most people get in the habit of just mashing their buttons because Xin Zhao has the capability to do that, but you should really be moving in between each attack. This can mean the difference between a two-talon escape and a three-talon strike kill.

5) Proper use of Crescent Sweep
There are two ways to use Crescent Sweep. First, to help start a fight by scattering the enemy. This one is pretty standard, you just use it right after your first dash. The second use is the hardest one - using Crescent Sweep to hit an enemy back into your team. You have to wait for them to walk near another enemy unit, Audacious Charge to that unit, then Flash and Crescent Sweep while they are behind you. Obviously this is really hard to pull off and you probably won't even do it once in a whole game, but when it happens you look like a god.

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Conclusion / About the Author

I hope you all have enjoyed my Xin guide! Xin is one of the best junglers in the game right now, and takes a lot of practice to learn. I hope this guide will help you in your endeavors! Here's an embed of my stream!