- Quick Guide
- Author / Skins
- Item Build
- Rune, Masteries, and Summoner Spells
- Strategy and Tactics
Strategy and Tactics
- Ancient Golem
- Wight Camp
- Lizard Elder
- Gank Top
If you are starting Purple side, you should take Ancient Golem and farm your way through Wight and Wolves into Elder Lizard, and then gank either mid or top really fast if possible. If you are starting Blue side, start Elder Lizard into Wolves, Wraiths and Ancient Golem, and follow the same gank pattern. Xin Zhao's early ganks are explosive, so make sure you take that chance to snowball games early. Don't bother farming the jungle too much, as Xin Zhao excels at ganking, not at farming the jungle.
- Lizard Elder
- Ancient Golem
- Gank Top
Another viable option is ganking at level 2 with only Red Buff. Xin Zhao has one of the strongest level 2 in the whole game, and ganking with just Three-Talon Strike and Audacious Charge may result in an early kill.
While Red buff helps your ganks, it's not crucial to have it when ganking. Blue buff helps you clear the jungle faster, as you can spam your abilities, but you will probably want to give it to your mid laner.
Be creative when ganking with Xin Zhao. If a lane is pushed towards your side, and enemy has no summoner spells and your laners have enough Health, Mana and their abilities off Cooldown, it's probably a good opportunity to gank. Try to keep track of enemy wards, when they come back from base. If you missed the enemy's inventory, ask your laner if the lane is warded or not before ganking, so you don't lose time going to a warded lane.
Due to his strong early game, Xin Zhao may be able to turn a lane to your team's favor, even if your teammates are behind. Remember, however, that not every gank can result into a kill, getting summoner spells or long cooldown ultimates from an enemy may be a successful enough gank. However, remember that Xin Zhao is a very punishing jungler. One slight overextension from an enemy and you can probably get a kill from a lane. He is also very good in 2v2 and 3v3 situations, especially if you have your ultimate available. Splitting up enemies with Crescent Strike will disrupt their strategy and, the more enemies you hit, the tankier you become. If you play it smart, you can predict where the enemy jungler will be so you can prepare a counter gank.
You may also camp lanes that are ahead to make your teammates snowball, but don't forget that Xin Zhao falls off lategame damage-wise. In case you stacked up some early kills, you may go for a more aggressive build and perhaps get a Brutalizer.
If there are no good opportunities to gank, go farm the jungle or go base to buy a big item like Spirit of the Ancient Golem, or upgraded boots. You can also hold lanes for your teammates when you find no good openings for a gank, or even counter jungle (read below).
The mid game is quite similar to the early game. However at this point, you are farming less as your carries may be taking your farm, and you have to be in position to gank and contest Red and Blue buffs, Dragon, and Baron. The same things you do to control those, applies in the mid game, time the respawn of the neutral objectives and buy wards to make the job safer. You are still able to gank very well due to your strong crowd control and still decent damage, but you do need the help of an ally if you expect to kill a full HP target unless they are really over extended.
Xin Zhao isn't the best jungler for quick Drakes, due to his average dps when you're maxing Audacious Charge, but you can tank it for your team if they have enough dps, and that may allow you to sneak an early Drake.
In the late game, you are a tank, you have to be up front in the fight soaking as much damage as possible, while being as disruptive as possible. However, this does not mean you should be so up front that you are taking free damage from the enemy team. Just stay slightly in front of your carries such that you are able to CC the targets you need to, peeling for them or being able to dive the carries if the opportunity arises. Baron also becomes the focal point of the game, with most fights taking place around the area.
Xin Zhao is also a decent champion in poke compositions due to him being able to disengage with his ultimate, but he's also susceptible to poke from the opposing team.
With Xin Zhao you have 2 options in a team fight. You can either tunnel their carries or peel from your carries. Xin Zhao's kit has 3 skills that allow for him to peel as well as dive extremely well. In addition Xin Zhao can also initiate a fight by gaining superior positioning with his ultimate, by either isolating a target, or spliting the enemy team towards your team and away from your team at the same time. You won't be able to one-shot an enemy carry as Xin Zhao, but diving the enemy team will allow you to get tankier through your ultimate, while providing extra disruption.
Xin is a great duelist early game, although he's weaker than some champions such as Udyr and Shyvana in a 1v1 situation. You can still play it smart and avoid confrontations by warding the enemy buffs and stealing them while they gank a lane. Be aware at all times that Xin Zhao has no escaping abilities in his kit. Make sure you have Flash or that you are really ahead, or have backup from your team when counter jungling. Make sure the juice is worth the squeeze, as flashing for a Blue Wraith may not be worth it.
Tips and Tricks
How To Jungle Efficiently
Start camps by using W then attack, then use Q to get an auto attack reset and just keep attacking the creep and repeat this. If you have mana to spare, you can use E before W to jungle a bit faster. No special tips/tricks for jungling with Xin Zhao, really straight forward.
How To Gank Efficiently
Ganking Without Crescent Sweep
When ganking without your ultimate you want to initiate immediately with Audacious Charge followed by activating Battle Cry. Follow up with auto attacking then using Three Talon Strike for an auto attack reset then constantly pummel the enemy to get the knock up. If you need to use Summoner Spells to get the third hit in and they are low enough for you and your ally to kill, do it.
However, if you are able to come in from a really good angle behind them, begin with using Three Talon Strike and Battle Cry and save your Audacious Charge for until after they Flash or get out of melee range.
Ganking With Crescent Sweep
Once you have your ultimate, you want to get behind then and use Crescent Sweep to knock the target(s) into your team making it more difficult for them to get away then walking up and hit them with Q and W activated. Follow up with Audacious Charge when they get out of range and use Q, W, E whenever it is up. If you are unable to walk in from behind them, you can use Flash or use Audacious Charge on a minion to get a good position and try to hit them with the AoE of Audacious Charge while you are at it. Make sure the minion you jump to is close to the enemy, as the damage and slow from Audacious Charge are relevant, considering it's the ability you're maxing.
Synergies and Counters
Xin Zhao works well with champions that have crowd control so he can combo his Three Talon Strike without them getting anyway. Examples of such are Ryze, Renekton etc. In addition, since Xin Zhao is not really tanky unless fed or gets a really good ultimate off, having another tank in your team is really good, either in top or bottom, or even tanky mids like Swain.
Counterpicks - Jungle
These champions are stronger than Xin Zhao in a 1v1 and 2v2 situations, and they may steal his whole jungle easily. If you can't pull good ganks off, your whole jungle will probably be gone before you return to it.
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