DrDragun's Xin Zhao Mini Guide

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DrDragun

Senior Member

11-22-2010

Hey bros and bras, I wanted to give a hopefully fast and readable guide on Xin Zhao as I have been enjoying playing him lately and I feel like some modern play styles are not covered by existing guides that I have found. Xin is my personal best champion with about 70% win rate in mid to upper-mid elo 1300-1400, but I also closely observe all the high elo livestreams as well. Now on to the guide.

This guide is a WORK IN PROGRESS

A - How do you pronounce his name.

Start with "Shin Zow". You will be pretty close until someone who speaks Mandarin can show you the correct inflection of the syllables.

B - What does this champion do?

This is my opinion on Xin's strengths and weaknesses. A+ is good, F is fail.

DPS Build
Tanking: C-
DPS: A-
AoE: B
Disable: B+
Jungle: C+
Laning: B+
Ganking presence: A
Teamfight presence: B+
Difficulty: B

Tank Build
Tanking: B
DPS: B-
AoE: B
Disable: B+
Jungle: C-
Laning: B+
Ganking presence: B+
Teamfight presence: A
Difficulty: B

C - Overall strategy

This section begins with when to pick Xin. Xin is a very independent hero who can both deal and take good amounts of damage. Usually he is used as an anti-carry DPS and ganker. In this sense he is sort of the DPS coordinator of your team. He is VERY FLASHY with his big charge and his yelling. This will let you allies know who to FF in a teamfight and will cause the enemies to panic.

He can serve as a tank if your team has many disables and no main tank. For example a team with Sona or Morgana and another AoE disable can sometimes function without a pure tank and in this case Xin can serve as a semi-tank. This is not really a common scenario but it happens sometimes. This can also happen if your team has 2-3 melee pounders like Garen or Mundo which also aren't pure tanks. If you want some ganking power in your tank slot, Rammus is probably almost as good as Xin. However if you need some real DPS in your tank slot, particularly against other tanks, then Xin can build all tank items and Bloodrazor and be a very high DPS tank due to his native attack speed.

With all these things in consideration, you can also pick Xin as a jungler. He clears the jungle slowly but he is a top-tier ganker with red buff and very easy to use. His ganking is strong but he is very slow to solo dragon. Overall he is a bit stronger in lane instead of jungling.

D - Runes, Masteries, Summoner Spells

There are many options here but I will simply list my favorites. Better options might (and probably do) exist.

Marks - Attackspeed or Armor Penetraion. I use ArPen. ArPen will make your AoE hurt more, attackspeed will slightly help your jungle and single target DPS more
Seals - Armor or Dodge. I use Armor
Glyphs - Flat Cooldown
Quints - Flat Health or Exp. I use Health

Masteries
21/0/9 - My favorite. The 9 utility is for boosted experience, with 1 point in jungle buffs or gold trickle.
15/3/12 - Jungle specific build. Take attack speed, armor pierce, minion damage, and flat damage in offense. Take armor in defense. Take boosted exp and buff duration in utility.
0/21/9 - Even when I'm tanking I almost never use this build. I would definitely take boosted exp in utility.

Summoner Spells
Typically Ghost/Ignite or Ghost/Smite for jungling. Ghost with the spear charge is basically inescapable.

E - Item Builds

Offensive Laning Build

  • Doran's Blade, hp pot
  • Boots (Usually Mercs, occaisonally Tabi, or for a very offensive game Swiftness)
  • Sword of the Divine
  • Brutalizer
  • Survival item (Frozen Mallet, Randuins or Banshees)
  • Ghostblade, luxuries

It took me a long time to discover Sword of the Divine. HotshotGG uses it as his cookie cutter. You will truly notice the difference between 60% IAS on this versus the 40% on Last Whisper or Starks. The 30 armor pen is superior to Ghostblade for boosting his ultimate damage. Plus it's flat armor pen, which stacks with Brutalizer and Ghostblade. Now for jungling you would start with cloth + 5 pots and then work toward this build.

Offtank Build
  • Cloth armor, 5 hp pots
  • Boots 1
  • Heart of Gold
  • Boots 2 (Usually Mercs, occaisonally Tabi)
  • IF enemy team is magic based, get Ruby Crystal and Negatron Cloak (ruby will later become phage), or possibly alternate Spirit Visage
  • IF enemy team is physical based, finish Randuins
  • IF your team needs damage, then you can begin working towards Last Whisper (low budget game) OR Madred's Bloodrazor (high budget game) as a single DPS item
  • Finish Randuins, Frozen Mallet, 1 damage item, Negatron Cloak

Tank builds can be pretty ADD and mine is for sure. Xin's ult gives MR and Armor so the best way to get ehp is with simple hp. Heart of Gold is a start, but you will want another quick Ruby Crystal also (this will be your phage later). If you get 1100 gold while roaming, just grab the belt for your Mallet later. Brutalizer and Sword of the Divine get better and better with other damage items, however this build can only afford 1 damage item. The choices are Last Whisper (low budget) which gives armor penetration to your ultimate sweep, and some much needed attack speed. Alternately Madreds Bloodrazor (high budget) will do a lot of damage with Xin due to his attack speed. Then finish your tanking items depending on the enemy team.


F - Playing Technique

To be continued


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GhostDieM

Senior Member

11-22-2010

Nice, I just bought Xin today and I was looking for an up to date guide. Though your build lists kind of confuse me. In you offensive build for example you go for Brutalizer and then list Ghostblade last, does this mean you build a Brutalizer AND a Ghostblade or just upgrade it? Also I'm curious as to the Ruby + Negatron because just a negatron seems fine to me? You could even build an SV instead?


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DrDragun

Senior Member

11-22-2010

Spirit Visage sounds very good in theory, especially in a comeback or low budget game. My tank builds are usually ADD because I am grabbing hitpoints and magic resist start items without finishing any big items first. If I have the money I just get Mercs and Negatron and move on to other things usually, but Spirit Visage sounds very good with teh CDR. Normally the Negatron just stays a negatron and the ruby becomes a phage/mallet.


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GhostDieM

Senior Member

11-22-2010

Ok thx, I'll try it out. Heard good things about SoD but never really used it myself. I can deff see it working here because of Xin's high AS, probably going to play some games as Xin later tonight


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Grovel

Senior Member

11-22-2010

Any streams of this guy you can cite? I'm so lost when I try to play Xin.

In solo Queues he's hard to lane with because I always get stuck with someone else who has no lane presence and come out of the laning phase with very little farm. After that I always fall behind because he's pretty bad at farming.

If my team is behind there's no way I can help them comeback. To me Xin feels like Shaco, gank and get kills or become irrelevant fast.


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DrDragun

Senior Member

11-22-2010

Yeah a guy put a lot of the streams on youtube. Go to youtube and search "HotshotGG Xin" for starters. There are like 10+ complete games.

Use your Q to last hit. It only costs 30 mana and it gives some nice damage boost. If the enemy side is pressuring you too much, you can even use charge/E to last hit if you can keep your mana up.

I agree with your thoughts that Xin gets really bad if he's underleveled. On the other hand he is noticeably unbeatable if he's overleveled (more so than the average champ). That's why I always take exp boost masteries.


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GhostDieM

Senior Member

11-22-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grovel View Post
Any streams of this guy you can cite? I'm so lost when I try to play Xin.

In solo Queues he's hard to lane with because I always get stuck with someone else who has no lane presence and come out of the laning phase with very little farm. After that I always fall behind because he's pretty bad at farming.

If my team is behind there's no way I can help them comeback. To me Xin feels like Shaco, gank and get kills or become irrelevant fast.
I'd also like to watch that guy's stream to see what I can learn. On the issue of laning, maybe you could try jungling instead? This way you won't have a bad laning phase and can gank and roll face straight out of the jungle