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XIN ZHAO BUILD GUIDE: Be a Man! (Get your Gold Elo Now) by mc2147

by mc2147 (last updated over a year ago)

1,839,058 Views 71 Comments
9
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration(+11.52 armor penetration)
9
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist( +12.06 magic resist)
3
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage( +6.75 attack damage)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
9
21
0
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
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mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Challenge
QThree Talon Strike
WBattle Cry
EAudacious Charge
RCrescent Sweep
View Skill Order Details

Runes

Masteries

mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Challenge
QThree Talon Strike
WBattle Cry
EAudacious Charge
RCrescent Sweep

Champion Matchups

Introduction

UPDATE:
So... Season 3, huh.

Well, it certainly looks like a much brighter future for my solo top Xin. I kinda stopped playing him near the end of Season 2 and picked up Jax (credit to FYA Umashi and Paintball's Guide) because I was just sick of being early ganked again and again and again, losing lanes that the other guy didn't deserve to win and losing games even if I managed to comeback. But Season 3 brings a harsher jungle and less early camping (yay!) which I hope will allow me to dominate my lane once again.

This combined with the new Brutalizer-Black Cleaver and other offensive items that I can picture Xin wielding with a destructive fury means that I will start playing him again.

You guys have given me lots of feedback and praise (some guys even added me and showed me their Xin games, which was great to see), and I thank you for that. It's encouraging to know that my work has helped you become a better player.

I know I haven't updated this guide in a while, and it may be some time until I update it again (I need some S3 experience first!), but rest assured, it will come.

Be a man; we shall get our Gold Elos once again.


Hi everyone, my summoner name is mc2147 and this is my guide on my favourite champion in league, Xin Zhao. No other champion has his combination of a tanky dps/bruiser and an assassin (not even Irelia - Xin bursts harder than her). I play him top lane and was able to dominate hard with him even before the recent buffs, when he was 'underpowered'. The recent buffs have given him scaling on his Q, reduced the Q cooldown, added scaling on his ultimate, a knockback, reduced cooldowns on his E and W, and of course, a single target 15% constant armor reduction. These buffs are good all around for his early game, his late game, his dueling, his teamfighting and have made him a very powerful pick without any hard counters.
Because of Xin's strong early game burst, I play him solo top to deny the enemy and get farmed/fed so I can dominate teamfights. I feel jungling is not as powerful as you do not get as much gold and exp, and your success is based heavily on luck and teammates (pulling off ganks). Solo top Xin is one of the best ways to carry yourself out of elo hell.

Xin is more than viable now

Remember, this guide is for solo top Xin. Jungle Xin is certainly viable but I feel that solo top has the most influence over a game and that Xin is more powerful in the top lane than in jungle, as in a solo lane he can press his burst damage and get farmed.

This section used to be titled Xin is still Viable? and explained how even in his nerfed state, a competent player would be able to win lane and win game. Since his buff, he has become not just a viable pick, but one of the best top laners in the game. However, one of Xin's old weaknesses still exists in his current state - a lack of pre-6 escape. His new ult knockback has saved me in more ganks than I care to count, but before level 6, you are still weak to early ganks. However, in the light of recent changes, this is a rather insignificant detail as the damage buffs more than make up for it (you can now go boots 3 x pots and trade evenly with champs that go cloth 5 x pots, much like Darius). Even when ganked and killed, I found myself coming back to win the lane with some careful play due to Xin's absurd damage.

Xin in Ranked

In my experience with ranked games, I find tanky dps have the highest influence and greatest ability to carry a game. They are useful throughout all stages of the game, the best 1v1s, and have the greatest influence in teamfights (with the exception of a 6-item AD carry with proper support and protection).

Xin excels in all these areas. When farmed, Youmuus-Atmogs Xin kills a carry in 3 seconds. He can tank a massive amount of damage. I have often literally jumped 1v5 into an enemy team and killed their carry before they could even bring me to 10% HP (a last resort when I am caught/isolated from team).

My Ranked Xin Matches

Season 1
[http://i.imgur.com/iqZxR.png]
Season 2:
[http://i.imgur.com/0MNTW.png]
[http://i.imgur.com/uPAQN.png]

Runes and Masteries

These are all pretty obvious - armor and MR are the best choices for a bruiser for seals and glyphs
Arm pen marks work especially well on characters like Xin who receive additional physical damage from their abilities, and 3 AD Quints because AD Quints are more cost effective than Armor Pen Quints.

Masteries - 21/9/0
With the recent changes to Xin, he can start boots 3/4 pots and still compete on equal footing with bruisers who go cloth 5 pots. This removes the need for extra movespeed in the defensive tree.

Summoner Spells



Explanation:
Lately I've been experimenting with ghost, and I feel that it is a better spell for Xin simply because ghost allows you to escape ganks easier when you are farther pushed. Also, ghost allows you to get to chase farther, get more kills and prevent carries from kiting you, which is crucial in the late game. Ghost vs flash is mostly a matter of preference as they both have their strong points, but I have been using ghost lately simply because the continuous movespeed boost helps in escaping ganks, etc.

Ignite is a great summoner. It is strongest early game, when it beats exhaust by far. Oftentimes as Xin you find your enemy escape with only a sliver of health. Ignite prevents that. Carrying ignite makes your enemy laner underestimate your burst and leads to kills you otherwise would not have gotten. If you carry exhaust, the enemy can flash away to escape. If you carry ignite and use it at the right time, even if the enemy flashes away they still die.

Exhaust is also a viable option, but I prefer ignite. Exhaust is a more defensive choice and you will miss kills you would have gotten with ignite.

Skills

Passive: Tireless Warrior
Xin Zhao challenges his target with his basic attacks and Audacious Charge, reducing its armor by 15% for 3 seconds. Only one target can be challenged at a given time.

Explanation:

This is a pretty damn good passive. 15% armor reduction means a significant increase in damage. The fact that it is percentage means that it only scales through late game. Combined with Ghostblade and Rune/Mastery armor pen, an opponent with 100 Armor now has 40 effective armor:
Correct Order of Calculation is:
  • 1. Flat armor reduction
  • 2. Percentage armor reduction
  • 3. Flat armor penetration
  • 4. Percentage armor penetration
100 Armor
- 15 (Challenge) (Percentage Armor Reduction)
85 Armor
- 41 Armor (Ghostblade, Runes, Masteries) (Flat Armor Pen)
44 Armor
- 4 Armor (Weapon Expertise) (Percentage Armor Pen)
40 Armor
Q: Three Talon Strike
Xin Zhao's next 3 attacks deal bonus damage and reduce his other abilities' cooldowns by 1 second each. The final strike also knocks the target into the air.
Physical Damage: 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 (+1.2 per attack damage)
Cooldown: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 seconds
Cost 30mana


Explanation:

This spell received a MAJOR BUFF, with the cooldown halved and a + 0.2 AD scaling added on. If there was any doubt before as to which skill to max, there is none now. This is to be leveled first as it is your main source of damage and provides what is theoretically hard cc every 5 seconds at max rank. Getting Q at level 1 makes it so that no one can duel you head on (in melee range of course). When using Q to harass melees, first perform a normal auto attack before pressing Q to reset AA timer.
One huge change is that it is now usable on towers, much like Garen's Q. If you want to take down a tower fast, have sufficient mana and are not expecting to have to fight soon, pop WQ every time it is up to kill the building like a madman. This change is a lot more awesome than you might expect, as it now makes Xin a tower killing beast.

[http://i.imgur.com/aE4Njh.jpg]
Typical Level 1 Q damage (all 3 hits)
[http://i.imgur.com/OAllCh.jpg]


W: Battle Cry
(Passive): Xin Zhao heals himself on every third basic attack.
Active: Xin Zhao unleashes a battle cry, increasing his attack speed by double the passive amount for 5 seconds, and causing his standard attacks to reduce all other ability cooldowns by 1 second.
Health Restored: 26 / 32 / 38 / 44 / 50 (+0.7 per ability power)
Bonus Attack Speed: 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 %
Cooldown: 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 seconds
Cost 35 mana


Explanation:

This skill lost its cooldown reduction on other skills and that was transitioned to your Q, which now can only reduce 3 seconds. You can still easily chain CC however, since the cooldowns on your E and Q are much lower.
The new version now provides very strong sustain (17 hp per hit at max rank, this is stronger than Irelia's W passive) and is still an amazing AS buff. 80%!!? Generally, max this second unless you are absolutely sure you have won your lane and in no way can lose it, since the sustain allows you to keep up with Yorick, Irelia, and champs that get wriggles. Now that the skill has been changed, for max damage, use W at the same time as Q so that the W cooldown gets refreshed and you get TTS off faster.

[http://i.imgur.com/92Jdlh.jpg]



E: Audacious Charge
Xin Zhao charges and challenges an enemy. The charge deals magic damage to all nearby enemies and slows them for 2 seconds.
Magic Damage: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.6 per ability power)
Cooldown: 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 seconds
Slow: 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 %
Cost 70 mana
Range 600


Explanation:

A great gap closer and slow. One important thing to remember is your E range outranges or matches the range of every autoattack in the game except for a level 18 Tristana, Caitlyn, and Annie. Ashe autoattacks you alone? Charge her immediately - she is in range. This skill means you don't have to take ranged harass when laning vs champs like Vlad, Kennen, etc. The cooldown decrease means it will be on a 6 second cooldown if you land TTS after using Dash. 6 seconds is rather short for a gap closer and will allow you to stick to focus targets. This skill means that once you have established lane dominance, no ranged champion should be able to farm against you at all (unless they are huddling tower).
One thing to note is that the slow can 'splash' nearby enemies within a radius of 225. You can take advantage of this in lane if your opponent is skirting just outside the 650 range but hanging near his ranged minions. Simply charge to a nearby minion, apply the slow, and continue with your combo. Basically the effective range can be 825 if you use it right.
[http://i.imgur.com/DWteTh.jpg]
[http://i.imgur.com/6YCfdh.jpg]



R: Crescent Sweep
Xin Zhao unleashes a sweep around him that deals physical damage to all nearby enemies equal to a base amount plus 15% their current health and knocks them back. Xin Zhao gains bonus armor and magic resistance for 6 seconds for each champion hit.
If a challenged target is hit by the sweep, it is unaffected by the knockback.
Cooldown: 100 / 90 / 80 seconds
Cost: 100 mana
Radius: 375
Base Damage: 125 / 225 / 325 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage)
Bonus Armor and Magic Resist: 15 / 20 / 25 per champion hit


Explanation:

Now this skill, this skill received an ingenious rework. First of all, single target damage is increased with the 15 % armor reduction that you should apply and the AD scaling that has been added. More importantly though, this skill now knocks back any nearby champion EXCEPT for the one you have attacked or charged. This is a great change that allows you to assassinate your focus target in teamfights as you will be knocking back everyone else, preventing tanks from stunning you, supports from healing, etc. This buys you precious time to burst down the target.
What is not stated is that the all knockbacks are also a mini-stuns. Just like Alistar's headbutt, when you knock back someone with this skill, they are stunned for a split second even after they have been pushed away. Amazing skill that gives Xin high burst and AOE CC.
[http://i.imgur.com/bC9MBh.jpg]
Demonstration of Xin's Full Combo Damage (E+R+3xTTS to a full HP Sivir Bot)
^^ And this was pre-buff
[http://i.imgur.com/0Rddxh.jpg]

General Skill Order

Explained above but TLDR:
R>Q>W>E

Item Builds

Start with
cloth-armor or boots-of-speed

is no longer necessary in most cases. Only get against top lanes that can rival you in trades (Riven). Generally I prefer as it allows you to land your full combo easier and escape ganks. If you are new at Xin or aren't very good, you may still want to go , as they do help your sustain and dueling early game.

Early Items:
if you don't have them (upgrade to if you're having a tough time early vs a physical laner and started with
1-2 and
sight-ward

Most of the time you will get one on the first trip back and then have enough money for on the second. The provide very cost efficient early power and are good early buys when you go back without a lot of gold. I would recommend getting one every game, and judge how your lane is going before deciding whether to get a second or transition into .

Why and
skyrockets your damage early game. It is an extremely cost effective item, with damage, cooldown reduction, and most importantly, armor pen rolled into 1337 g. The 15 Armor Pen affects all your skills except for E and you will notice a drastic damage increase after purchasing this item. This is the single most important item for Xin early game and if you get this fast enough, you will become impossible to duel and be able to literally dive squishies from full to zero.

has long been known as a core item on Xin, and with good reason. Xin is one of the few champions that deals damage mainly through auto attacking, deals bonus physical damage with his spells, plays as an assassin, and synergizes with Attack Speed (Get your TTS off faster, heal more with W, and reduce Cooldowns Faster). is the perfect item with Armor Pen to scale all your physical spells in addition to your passive, crit chance to allow for massive burst on TTS, and an active that grants immense movespeed and AS to make you more powerful as a duelist, chaser and assassin. A Xin with can win a duel against a Xin with any other item.

Build-up to Youmuu's:
Depending on how the game is going, sometimes I like to hold on to rather than complete since the gp5 from will generate more income the longer you hold on to it. Generally I do this if I feel I want more tankiness than damage at the immediate moment or that my lane has already been won (at this point, it should be). If I do this, then I will build or upgrade if I feel I need mobility before completing

Early-Mid game Items:
mercurys-treadsoryoumuus-ghostblade(Maybe)


I get this item after Youmuu's and maybe a giant's belt so that I can increase my mid game damage while I build up to Atmogs. The stats are great (a 585 g upgrade grants you 15 damage, 6 MR, and a 250 damage shield) and it can be upgraded to late game.

<--
This is pretty much unnecessary now. Your W provides all the sustain you will need, but if you are still new with with Xin and find yourself struggling against sustainers, you can get this as it complements your mid game damage. Just keep in mind this is no longer a must, even against Yorick. If you get this item, skip and start on

Late game core Items:
warmogs-armoratmas-impaler
These two items make you a powerhouse and allow Xin to scale into late game amazingly well. If you get Atmogs early enough, you will find that in teamfights you are nearly unkillable while outputting a tremendous amount of burst and damage, making it easy to assassinate your target. With Atmogs, you will be able destroy bruisers and carries alike. The drawback to this is that as after you build and are working on you will feel your damage slightly falling off. After though, your damage will skyrocket with the increased damage and crit.
The reasoning behind Atmogs is that these two items give you a massive amount of health, armor, and damage. Typically, AP carries, even if they are fed do not have enough sustained DPS to burst through a champion with simply because cooldowns limit their damage output and their burst does not rise high enough to take out 3K HP. It is late-game AD carries that pose the largest threat to high HP champions, and offers a good amount of armor to deal with that threat. Basically, Atmogs is the most cost-effective way to make you tanky against both types of damage and increase your damage output substantially.
Note: Atmas was nerfed (approximately minus 10 to 15 damage), but it is still a strong item that synergizes greatly with Youmuu's and skyrockets your DPS

instead of Atmas?
This is definitely an effective anti-mage item for Xin. If you feel the main source of damage from the enemy team by the time you build this item will be magic damage, go for it. It has easy build recipes and the shield makes people underestimate your survivability. When you get this though, beware of the enemy AD carry's farm. Often, AD carries appear unassuming for 3/4 of the game but once they break a certain amount of farm relative to the other players, they start hitting with the force of a cement truck. Since Maw is a heavy investment (3300 g), you do not want to buy the entire item only to find yourself without substantial armor against a Vayne that is critting for 600. For this reason, I almost always get first.

Late, late, late game items when you're super rich:
infinity-edge
A great item that will increase your damage even more. Works great with the crit from Atmas and Youmuu's. If you find you are surviving fine and the enemy armor isn't too high, this is the item to have.
last-whisperthe-black-cleaver
Last Whisper is better than Black Cleaver in 90% of cases since Last Whisper will also affect Xin's Ultimate. However, there are some cases in which the enemy has enough armor to justify buying additional armor penetration but not enough to make Last Whisper more effective than The Black Cleaver. This is if the enemy team all have 50-70 armor. If even 2 enemy champions have high amounts of armor, Last Whisper is better since you will likely be hitting a bruiser/tank while waiting for a focus target to join the fight. You would get one of these two items after Infinity Edge to enhance your damage.
madreds-bloodrazor
This is for those odd cases when your focus target has a very high health pool. For example, if the enemy Morgana is super fed and doing the most damage and she has MBR may be a good investment.
guardian-angel
I cannot ignore how awesome this item is late game anymore. Make this your new primary defensive item after Atmogs. Late game, damaging champions reach a point where, in teamfights, if you are cc-locked, they will be able to kill you before you can use your full combo. You will still tank pretty hard but this prevents you from performing one of your crucial roles in the teamfight. not only acts as a deterrent for people focusing you, but allows you to go in with full confidence, knowing that even if they take you down, you can come back up to finish your combo and (usually) get the kill.
thornmail
This is for when the enemy AD carry has 6-items and is extremely strong. If you are getting cut down in 5-8 auto attacks by an enemy player, thornmail is the item to get. Thornmail combined with Atmogs will allow you to easily 1v1 the AD glass cannons such as Master Yi and Tryndamere.
force-of-nature
This is my primary magic resist item. I feel it is better than banshee's Veil on Xin because it grants movespeed and makes it easier to kill your focus target. The shield on BV can be easily popped and isn't up often, making it unreliable. The health regen from FoN is also invaluable as you can back out of a fight and rejoin with ease.
randuins-omen
This item is for situations when the enemy AD is so fed and has so much support that Atmogs/Thornmail doesn't cut it. I would only get this if you are unable to kill this supremely fed AD carry in fights (For example, if the entire enemy team is peeling you and no one else on your team can kill him). Getting this item will make it so that you have some way of reducing the enemy AD's damage even if you can't kill him.

Typical Late Game Build
This is your typical game in which neither the enemy AD nor AP carry are extremely fed.
or (I've come to prefer over )

PLEASE DO NOT BUILD

Every credible guide on this website warns Xin players away from these horrid items. Yet I see many Xin Zhaos sporting these 3 death traps anyway.
> In every single way.
has armor pen to scale your Q and R damage, an active that grants more movespeed and AS than and it is cheaper by almost 300 g.

Theoretically a good item on Xin after finishing your core, but it is not. Xin is a melee tanky dps who has to be in the middle of all 5 players of the enemy team to do his job. He will do a lot of damage, he will tank, but he will also die. Often. If you get this item, you probably won't hit max stacks at any point during the game, making it utterly worthless.

Sure, AS is a good stat on Xin, but it is not worth giving up the tenacity from
you will need this tenacity to survive as a melee dps in teamfights and do your job.

For obvious reasons, do NOT build squishy-glass-cannon-Master-Yi style

Xin's Combos and Mana Costs

Damage Trade Combos
Lane:
Level 1:
  • AA-Q
Auto attack first not only so you can reset the animation, but so you can apply 15% armor reduction for TTS.
Pre-6:
  • E-AA-Q-W if they continue fighting
W costs 35 mana but can be wasted if the enemy disengages. For this reason, I delay activating W until I am sure he is going to keep fighting. I use E first so I can reduce the cooldown with Q in case the fight drags on.
Post-6:
  • AA-R-E-Q-W-Activate Youmuu's if you have it
It is important to auto attack first before ulting so that 1. You will apply the 15 % Armor Pen. 2. You will not knock them away and let them escape.
Approaching a target that will not get close to you:
(Wary lane opponent or enemy AD Carry / AP)
In range of your charge:
  • E-R-WQ-Activate Youmuu's
Staying out of range of charge:
  • Activate Youmuu's-E-R-WQ

Mana Costs
If you want to play Xin well, it is important to memorize his Mana Costs. Knowing your mana costs will allow you to judge whether or not you should harass, and when you should go in for the kill.
  • Xin's Full Combo costs 230 Mana
  • Xin's ERQ Combo costs 190 Mana
  • Xin's EQ Combo costs 90 Mana
If you are planning to go for a kill in lane, judge your opponents HP and your mana costs

For example, if the opponent is still high HP and you need your ERQ combo to finish him, dont waste too much mana on EQ harass and keep 170+ in reserve.

Xin has relatively low mana costs, so unless you spam your skills on minions too much (you can afford to use TTS to secure some last hits), you should be fine in that aspect.

How to Lane as Xin

Xin's laning strength lies in his W sustaining, his extremely low mana costs, and his massive, often unexpected burst combo from ERQ. Basically, abuse this by using EQ or ERQ on your lane opponent as often as possible.

There are factors you have to watch out for however, such as:
  • minion aggro: if your opponent's creep wave is massive and yours is nonexistent, it may not be the best time to engage
  • jungler ganks: is your opponent playing aggressive all of a sudden even though you have the advantage? You may want to watch the fog of war.
  • specific champions: certain champions will require certain methods of engagement. You would not lane against an ashe the same way you would lane against a pantheon. They will be discussed in Laning Matchups.

Level 1:

[http://i.imgur.com/qo7M2h.jpg]
As you can see, Xin has good base stats which can be further enhanced with my suggested runes and masteries. 65 AD, 616 HP, 21 Armor Pen and 55 base armor with Cloth 5 makes you a very strong early duelist, so don't be afraid to fight.
The above is true, but my rune and mastery setup has changed since then. Let this just be a demonstration of Xin's early stats.

If your opponent is melee, start with Q. Try to get in some Q harass at level 1 with your AA-Q. If they do not retreat, knock them up and back off. You will have dealt a significant amount of damage.

If your opponent is ranged, start with E and judge the strength of your AA vs his. If it is a vladimir with 48 AD, charge him and beat on him until he retreats. If it is an Ashe with 100% starting crit and 70 AD with runes and doran's blade, play it safe.

Level 2 Advantage:

To gain a definite lane advantage, it is often a good idea to push hard at level 1 (if you feel you are safe from jungle ganks) and get level 2 before your opponent. Xin's level 2 is monstrous compared to level 1 and your EQ combo will devastate an enemy level 1. I have gotten first blood countless times by doing this.

Level 2-5:

You have your EQ combo. Use it as often as possible, last hit between harassing.
AA-Q-E for melee
E-AA-Q for ranged

If they fight back after EQ, make a decision. You can use W to increase your DPS. If they fight you with W on, you will most likely win. However, you must remember that your main damage combo is on cooldown and if the opponent is a high damage champ who has not yet used his combo, consider retreating.

Level 6+:
You can easily take off 60-70% of a bruiser's health bar with a simple ERQ combo.
Same principles as before, except use R in between E and Q.

Your opponent will underestimate your burst, especially with ignite, so don't forget that.

Summary of How to Deal with Different Lane Opponents
Ranged Opponent with weak Auto-Attacks (Mages, Supports? (Not Kayle))
  • Start E first and at level 1, charge and AA them till they retreat
  • Harass whenever you can past level 1 with E-Q or E-R-Q
Ranged Opponent with strong Auto-Attacks (Carries)
  • Start E first, but stay near ranged minions, do not engage level 1
  • Dart in for last hits and wait until level 2 before using E-Q
  • Enemy may push very hard and gain significant minion advantage. In this case, be patient, be careful, let him push to your tower and last hit at tower while taking minimal harass.
  • Once the lane is even, start engaging with E-Q or E-R-Q
  • If his Auto-Attacks are stronger than yours or he has some kind of AA buff (Kayle), disengage after the knockup and run back to your minions. As long as you do this quickly enough and don't give him too many free hits, you will win
Melee Opponent with strong Ranged Harass (Gangplank, Pantheon, Yorick)
  • Start Q first and observe
  • If he peppers you with ranged harass and hangs back, stay near your ranged minions and dart in for last hits, avoid harass whenever possible
  • If he comes into melee range to farm, immediately go balls out AA-Q (consider engagement factors of course)
  • Once you get level 2, use your E-Q to counter harass (his range is no longer an advantage over you)
Melee Opponent without strong Ranged Harass (Most Bruisers)
  • Start Q first, use AA-Q combo when they get close
  • After level 2, use AA-Q-E combo to maximize the chance of getting all 3 TTS

After Your Combo
After using your ERQ combo, you can do one of two things. You can retreat, satisfied at the damage done, or activate W and continue Auto-Attacking. Whether you do the former or latter depends on your lane opponent.
  • If your opponent has a strong autoattack buff (Udyr, Irelia) or if your opponent has not yet used his spells (Riven who has been kiting you), retreat to avoid taking damage.
  • If your opponent blew his combo along with yours and your Auto-Attacks are stronger than his, continue attacking.
The safest option is always to retreat after your ERQ/EQ combo.
the # 1 mistake most beginners make to lose lane is continuing to Auto Attack even though their opponent has a stronger retaliation.

Tower Diving:

Xin Zhao is probably the BEST tower diver in the entire game. Mastering the art of killing enemy players in the zone where they are supposed to feel safe is key to a good Xin player. I almost always find that I press my enemy laner so hard, that he is forced up against the tower for the majority of the time. Without towerdiving, you will miss out on a lot of kills.

When towerdiving, the combo is always E-R-WQ-ignite, as you are aiming to deal as much damage as possible in a short amount of time.

Always keep in mind the amount of damage you can burst. Xin can easily dive most champions once they are 600 HP or below with his full combo (assuming Xin is full hp). 350 HP if he is missing his ult. With an early brutalizer, Xin can dive certain champions from full HP to 0.
[own3d]http://www.own3d.tv/video/511748/Movie[/own3d]
An important trick to towerdiving is baiting the opponent to waste their CC on you. I have used this countless times to towerdive and 4/5 times, they fall for it. You never want to towerdive when the opponent has hard CC that will shut down your damage (stun/blind).
To bait them to waste it, push the creep wave up to his tower and start beating on the laser-firing guardian. In his panic, the opponent will burn his CC and damage skills in order to stop you from taking his turret. He has just made himself vulnerable and opened up an opportunity for you to dive him.

Tower Baiting and Harassing
Tower Baiting and Harassing requires extensive knowledge of turret range.
Sometimes, you'll find your opponent hugging his tower, with just enough health to survive a tower dive. When this happens, a technique you can use is to wait until he comes just slightly out of tower range to farm, then jump on him with your ERQ combo. He will retreat to his tower and you will have to disengage the moment he enters tower range. This is what I call tower harassing. It breaks the notion that as long as your opponent is near his tower and high hp, he is safe. If you see him skirt out of tower range, don't be afraid to jump on him, even though you know he will retreat.

Tower Baiting occurs when you perform the above tactic, but your opponent turns around in hopes that you will dive and that he can score a tower kill. This happens in most cases and usually, in his greed for a kill or free damage, he will forget his tower range and end up overchasing, moving out of his tower's protection and allowing you to continue your combo on him.

Below is a great example of Tower Harassing into Tower Baiting:
Note how I back off after he enters tower range, how he chases me to get some free damage, forgetting about tower range, and how this all leads to an easy tower dive on an 1800 + hp target
[own3d]http://www.own3d.tv/mc2147/video/730465[/own3d]


Warding:

Warding is so, so, so important on Xin. Since you will be playing aggressive a lot, you are vulnerable to jungle ganks and every time you back, you must buy a ward. My preferred warding locations are either the bottom of the bush coming up the river to top lane, or lower down to the right on the corner of the path leading into the tribrush. These spots can watch both paths leading to top. Placing a ward in the bush lets you know if the jungler decides to camp your lane but placing the ward on the corner of the path provides earlier warning. Your choice. Just ward.

Below are the two ideal ward locations

Red allows you to see if the jungler decides to bush-camp but blue allows for earlier warning and better coverage of the sidepath. These are my preferred locations because they each allow me to cover both entrances with one ward.
[http://i.imgur.com/Wd4V3.png]

Laning Matchups

Note: with the new buffs, almost all of the matchups have changed. Most of them are a lot easier.


Gangplank is a strong level 1 champion if he has an offensive setup. Parley and his passive give him great dueling and chasing power and allow him to first blood a lot of champions. That said, you are an even STRONGER level 1 champion with your Q. The only issue is if Gangplank hangs back all day and harasses you with his Parley. If that is the case, play safe at level 1 and dart in for last hits. If he comes into melee range to farm, feel free to use AA-Q. Once level 2 arrives, simply jump him with E-AA-Q whenever you can and your burst will quickly overwhelm him.


Garen is all about his early burst. However, with Xin's new buffs, I suspect his early game may have even surpassed Garen's now. Even so, take advantage of the fact that Garen must stick to you for 3 seconds to apply his damage. At level 1, your 3 hits of Q outdamage his 1 hit of Q, so activate your Q before he silences you and knock him up. Once Garen gets his EQ combo, when he Es you, back up towards your minions, forcing him to take aggro before retaliating with your EQ combo. With minions backing you up, you will win. Your damage will scale better than his, so past the first few levels (maybe even in the first few levels now), you will win. Garen's harass also pushes pretty hard, opening him up to jungle ganks.


Rumble is not a very hard lane. Start with E, he will start with flamespitter. If he burns flamespitter, charge him and AA while it is on CD (If you start Q, most likely he will flame you and move away when you move in, E is better because your base AA beats his base AA 100%). Play smart and do not EQ him when his shield is up. After your EQ combo, retreat and dodge his harpoons. If you use hit-and-run EQ combos, you will come ahead.


Irelia is an easy lane if you engage right. Her W damage will beat your EQ combo in a continous fight, so, like Rumble, retreat after your EQ. When you engage, she will stun you with her E and proceed to use W and Q to fight back, but as long as you finish the fight with her knocked up, you will easily win damage trades. Irelia's combo has much higher mana costs than Xin's. EQ-retreat <-- do this continously and she will soon run out of mana. Free harass --> kill. You don't have to worry about her outsustaining you if you max W second. Your burst with combined with the passive healing will make it so that she finds it impossible to consistently keep her health higher than yours.


Shyvana is another champion that has very strong level 1-2 damage with burnout. She can often do more damage than you expect, so manage your potions so that you remain full or near full health during these early levels. When she engages on you, just pop your E-AA-Q combo on her and retreat to avoid her burnout damage. You will come ahead if you do this.


The only reason Wukong is on this list is so that you know how to deal with his clone. His damage does not match yours. When you EQ Wukong, watch for a sudden stop in movement. If you see that, move towards his path of retreat so you can continue the combo when he destealths. For this reason, don't activate W after EQ.


Pantheon's passive and Q harass can be quite annoying to Xin. Like GP, his level 1 is quite strong with Q. For this reason start Q, as if you start E and just charge him, a good pantheon will outdamage you with his Q. Play and stay back at level 1 near your ranged minions, darting in for creeps. If Pantheon harasses you, your ranged minions will attack him, providing you with at least some form of counter harass. Unless he plans on burning his mana away by last hitting with Q, he will move into melee range to farm at level 1. This is your chance. Auto attack him first to break his shield and then use TTS and you should trade well. Once you get your charge, this lane becomes much easier. Just remember to use the E-AA-Q combo so you break his shield before applying TTS. At level 6 if you have both played evenly, you will find the damage gap between you and him lengthen considerably. Should be an easy lane as long as you handle early levels well.


Tryndamere is a win for Xin, but you have to play the lane carefully. At level 1, you can Q harass but back off immediately after. Do not go in straight for EQ, but get into melee range first and use Q before using E to catch up when he spins away. This is very important to get the full 3 TTS strikes, otherwise you will lose in damage output. Back off immediately after your EQ combo and don't fight him when you are affected by his W. Try to engage him before he completes his fury bar and you should be able to take the advantage/kill by level 4.

and means that your burst and damage will by far surpass his. Once you get , you can easily burst his health to 30% in one combo and outdamage his sustain.

Once he hits 6, try your best to force him to burn Endless Rage. Chase if you can kill, otherwise, just wait until he comes back to lane and it should be an easy kill without his ult. When tower diving Tryndamere, once he burns his ult, block off his path of escape by retreating towards the BACK of his tower. Once you are out of tower range, wait for his ult to time out before walking back to him and EQ as he stands there helplessly.


Exception: is the best starting item against her

Riven is a tough lane, though it is very winnable. Your EQ combo outdamages hers, but she can be annoying and kite you with her shield. For this reason, don't E-AA-Q, but rather use the melee combo: AA-Q-E to catch up when she dashes away.

It is important to begin AA-Q-E the moment she engages on you. Otherwise, if you wait too long, she can stun and kite away, getting free damage and not allowing you to trade. If you trade evenly, combo for combo, you will win this lane.

I recommend against Riven as she is one of the few champs that can both output a tremendous amount of melee damage and at the same time avoid taking damage from you. If she goes and you don't, you will lose this lane against a good Riven. The biggest thing to watch for is when you both hit level 6.

Because she has no mana, she can use her ult the moment she hits 6. Make sure that when you hit 6, you have at least 200 mana for your combo. If this means you have to stop harassing at 5, do that. If you don't have your full combo and she has her's at level 6, you will lose trades. Try not to fight when her ultimate is on.


Fiora's problem is her W (the block). Unfortunately, it does block TTS, so try to use an Auto-Attack to break it before using Q. Her dash damage is negligible, but her E will do some pretty decent damage. However, your Q outdamages her E, so do not be afraid to trade. Watch out for her ultimate as it does more damage than you would expect. Her ultimate outdamages yours, but with less burst. When towerdiving Fiora, it is a good idea to bait her ultimate and W first if possible. You can do this by hitting the tower and then moving as if to attack her. She will use her W to block.


Yorick is damned annoying but can be an easy win if you play it right. Do not engage at level 1 as he can kite you with his slow and come ahead. Level 2 onwards, you want to use your E-AA-Q combo every time he harasses you as your EQ does more damage than his harass. If you don't do this, he will outsustain and outharass you early. It is important to retreat after your knockup, as he has a stronger retaliation. If you do your EQ combos correctly, the lane can go two ways. If Yorick starts typical cloth 5 pots, he will run out of mana before you and your harass will deal more damage than he can sustain. It will be a kill around level 5 for you.

If he starts meki pendant and has mad mana regen however, he may or may not force you to back at around level 6. Before this happens, you want to push as hard as possible and back to base. If you continue laning he will eventually kill you. Buy or if you can afford it, and return to lane. In Xin's buffed state, if you return to lane at level 6 with even health and mana as Yorick, you can easily dominate him and outburst his sustain with your ERQ(W) combo. Just remember to counter harass and watch for his ult reviving himself.

What a lot of Yoricks will do once they're 6 is use their ult and attempt to force an all-out engage when you jump him. Fight him. Don't retreat or he will sustain while his clone is active and come out ahead. Pop ERQ and W when he fights back and remember to use ignite to shut down his healing. More often than not, Yorick will end up retreating and you can gain health back from attacking minions. If you're losing in these sustained duels, rush ASAP and pop the active the moment you know for sure he will fight back. This will let you win by a landslide or force him to retreat, letting you gain lane dominance.


If you know an enemy nidalee is going top, chances are it's an AD Nidalee. You can start boots 3 since the buffs as it is now more beneficial for you to get your full combo off than just to sustain. Start E and like all ranged AD champs, don't engage level 1 or she will kite you. Dart in for cs, and the moment you hit level 2, start counterharassing with E-Q, obviously taking into account factors like minion aggro and junglers. The boots will also help you dodge her spears, which is crucial for winning this lane.

Hide near your ranged minions when you're not harassing so that she takes damage when she attacks you. To make sure you get your full combo off, after charging Nidalee,move toward her escape path between each hit of Three Talon Strike to get as many hits as possible. Retreat after each EQ combo and you will force her to burn a lot of mana on her heals. Depending on the Nidalee and how safe she plays chances are you will be able to get an early kill or zone her. Even if she plays very well, you shouldn't lose this lane although you may not get a kill. As always, an early brutalizer will surely lead to a won lane.


This lane is manageable, if not easy if you play it right. If teemo just blinds you whenever he can, EQ him when blind wears off as it will be on CD and you will win. Hoewver, if he saves blind for when you jump him and harasses you constantly, it get tougher, but is still winnable.

Simply E to him, activate Q, and begin to auto attack him while paying close attention to Xin. The moment you are blinded (look for the tell-tale cloud and 'Blinded' tooltip), stop auto attacking to conserver your 3 Q hits, and use the move command to stay close to Teemo (follow him if he runs away). Once the blind wears off, use your TTS to wreck him. If you do this consistently, you will win by far.

For this purpose, start boots 3 pots. Alternatively, if you can play safe and survive until level 6, you will win the lane just by the burst damage on your ultimate. Just pay attention to where he places shrooms and avoid moving into bushes when possible.


Kayle is a tricky, but not difficult laners that can catch a lot of players off guard. Start with your E and boots 3. The first thing you have to be aware of is that her level 1 is deceptively strong with her E steroid. Do not engage at level 1 unless she uses a spell other than E (the flaming sword, righteous fury). If she uses her E to farm or harass you, back off and wait until it is over (lasts 10 seconds, cooldown 16 seconds, downtime 6 seconds) before you counter harass. Once level 2 comes, you can begin initiating harass.

What is crucially important is that you retreat immediately after your E+Q, leaving her knocked up in the air as you cannot fight her with auto-attacks vs righteous fury. She will use her slow and E to try to chase you down, so back back back up past your ranged minions until she stops chasing. If there's a bush nearby, use it; go inside and she will stop chasing at the threat of your TTS. When your E is on cooldown you will have to dart in for last hits if her righteous fury is up. For this lane, I recommend maxing E second so that you will be able to threaten and harass as often as possible. Your EQ burst will devastate her, but if you linger around too long afterwards, her E will devastate you. So long as you play this safely, carefully and back off after the knockup, you will come ahead. As usual, incorporate your R into your opening harass.

When she uses her ult, unless you have a significant health advantage, disengage and wait until it is over. If you are in no danger of dying (she is using ult as a defensive measure), simply stay next to her and follow her until her ult is over before continuing your combo. Alternatively, if your TTS is nearing the knockup, apply the knockup when she ults so she can't escape.


The trick to facing Udyr is not to be intimidated by his harass. If you let him harass you without counterharassing, you will surely lose. Realize that after he uses his tiger harass, it is on cooldown for 6 seconds, and this is your window to retaliate. Don't fight him in a sustained duel if you can help it, as even with your W, his ministun and turtle/tiger spam will overcome you. I would start boots 3 against him to get your combo off easier, since a good majority of his damage is magical anyway.

At level 1, he will tiger you. The moment he does so, use your AA-Q combo. If you can get just 2 hits of TTS, you come ahead in this trade. Past level 1, he has his turtle stance and will try to regen his health and mana. Don't let him do this. Use your AA-Q-E combo as often as it is up but remember to retreat afterwards. If he is giving you a tough time, get before . As long as you don't sustain engage him, and only fight when your Q is up, you should be able to overpower him early game.

Past level 6, aim to get as fast as possible as you will need it to trade effectively. Avoid , as if he gets it too, it becomes a sustain war, one that you will lose. Instead, take advantage of your ultimate and outburst his sustain. Use AA-R-Q-E whenever you can and retreat afterwards.
If you really can't get away, force him to chase you to your minions before fighting so he takes aggro. If you do well early game and get a fast , the lane is yours. Just remember to be aggressive, counter harass, but do not sustain-fight. When I faced Udyr before Xin buffs and before Udyr nerfs, I was able to beat him early game, and lane at a slight disadvantage after he got . Now that he has been nerfed and Xin has been buffed, I suspect Xin should be able to easily beat him.


Jax is a matchup where you have to beat him early. If you can gain the early advantage and get a fast brutalizer, the lane is yours. This isn't easy however, because of his counterstrike (E). Again, start Q at level 1 and try to get in some harass.

Once level 3 rolls around, however, Jax will likely have his dodge and be able to negate your harass. The trick is to do this: E + Q, and the moment Jax pops counterstrike, stop attacking and retreat as he dodges your TTS as well. Counterstrike is a significant mana investment and has an 18 second CD. This means after you retreat from the stun, you have a window of time to use your EQ again, as his only defense against you is on cooldown. If he stays back during the entire time his E is on CD, he will miss out a lot of farm and you will come out ahead. Simply put, press your early advantage and force him to use his dodge whenever you can, dealing damage to him when it is on cooldown.

During later levels, the same rule applies: disengage once he pops his counter strike and use your ERQ combo as often as possible, taking advantage of the fact that you have a burst ultimate while he does not. Unless you have a significant advantage, retreat after the knock-up, avoiding a long sustained duel and you should win. Again, if he is able to force duels consistently and wins them, rush to increase your dueling capability.


Level 1 against Darius is probably the most frustrating part. He will use his Q to harass you, attacking you with the outer edge of the axe and staying just out of range for you to attack him back. Therefore, play safe by darting in for last hits until you learn your E at level 2. At this point, begin to counter harass with your typical E + Q, and you should be able to outdamage him. Retreat after the knockup to disallow him from applying hemorrhage stacks. This is a lane where I almost always get 2 .

If you haven't killed him by then, level 6 becomes a little trickier. You don't want to flat out fight to the death because of his finishing ultimate unless you have a significant advantage. The safest way to fight is to wait for him to hook you. When he does so, ult immediately before you attack him, knocking him away and counteracting his only way of re-engaging. Follow up with your standard EWQ, and retreat after knocking him up. This ensures that there is no way he can get a full stacked ultimate on you while you get your full combo off on him, as you negate his hook with your own ultimate, allowing you to escape after your EWQ.

If he doesn't initiate with hook and is harassing you with Q, do not allow him to chunk your health and attempt to bait him to waste his Q. Engage on him with your ERQ while your hp percentages are still even, as this is not a champion you want to fight when he has a health advantage. Use a modified combo to prevent him from getting a 5 stack ultimate: E + R + 2 x Q, then retreat. When he pulls you in, use your 3rd hit of Q to knock him up, allowing you to run away without retaliation. If you do this successfully, the lane is yours.

Videos

So over the past week, I have tried many times to capture a video of a good Xin game
I managed to record four, but a bug in LoLreplay, corrupted files, crappy screen capture programs, and the amount of memory Fraps requires means that I only have a mediocre full game and a couple of scenes from a good game at hand.

I will upload the full game when I clear out some space, but for now here are some scenes from a Xin vs Fiora lane matchup. I will keep trying to get a full, good game on this guide.

Clip 1 Xin vs Fiora Early Levels
In this clip you can see how I managed to gain dominance in the lane through repeated harass. Note the level 1 engagement, when I use an AA to trigger parry before using TTS.

Clip 2 Xin vs Fiora Level 6-7
Between this clip and the last, their jungle Udyr ganked twice. I managed to score a kill on Fiora but I died twice to Udyr ganks, putting me a little behind. This clip showcases Xin's high, unexpected burst damage and dueling power. Note how I wait for her to burn parry before jumping her.

Full Game 1: Xin Zhao vs Cho Gath
This is a video of a decent game that I played against a Cho top. The opponents weren't the best and the skill level is not very high, but this is the only LoLreplay I have that works right now. It's not a perfect game, but it shows how Xin Zhao can pressure and kill Tanky Sustain champions top.
[own3d]http://www.own3d.tv/video/510359/Xin_Zhao_vs_Cho_Gath_Game[/own3d]

Early Game

Try to get your support to throw you a ward early as you don't buy one to start. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't, but an early ward allows you to play much more aggressive and pretty much eliminate the possibility of dying to ganks. Cover your jungler, invade if you must but try to get to lane by 2:00 to avoid missing creeps. If Xin starts Q, his level 1 is monstrous, so don't be afraid to level 1 fight.

Laning is pretty much covered in the above sections. Last hit. Remember that if you are pushed to tower, two shots from the tower and one AA/TTS will secure the creep. Learn to manipulate your AAs and TTS so that you can get every creep at tower. Harass literally whenever you can (for most cases). You should be harassing more than a mid laner. However, remember that your E has splash damage and harassing will cause you to push, so watch for jungle ganks.

If you harass wisely, you will usually get a kill or force your opponent to B within 5 minutes. If this happens, push to his tower and B to deny xp, buy what you can, and press the advantage. If for some reason you are unable to kill your enemy laner or he outmatches you, just play safe and farm. Xin is not at a disadvantage if it becomes a farmfest. A farmed Xin will still destroy the enemy team. Denying/killing your opponent isn't an obligation, it is only encouraged since it is so easy for Xin to do so.

Mid Game

By now turrets have died and teams are starting to converge and fight. Your job as Xin is simple. Identify the highest priority target (compare damage to squishiness - Annie will take priority over Lee Sin) and make sure to jump them every single fight.

With Ghostblade active and ignite, Xin can kill anything with his combo if he is left alone. This isn't to say you can't jump someone else if they get caught - no need to tunnel-vision. If you have wriggles, use the ward in key locations, such as chokepoints and objectives such as dragon and baron. During midgame, Xin should not be the initiator. You are not tanky enough yet. Either wait for someone to get caught or let a tankier team member initiate.

Ideal Locations for Wards


[http://i.imgur.com/clCaP.png]

It isn't your job to ward, but if you have Wriggles Lantern, it is basically a free ward that is always up. (The death timer of the ward is the same as the cooldown) You can use the cooldown indicator on Wriggle's to tell you when you should refresh the ward. Even if you don't have wriggles and the laning phase is over, it is always helpful to buy and place a ward if you have space. Here are some common locations I will ward past the laning phase.

Late Game

This is 30+ minutes into the game. By now you should have Warmogs and at least part of if not the entire Atmas Impaler. If you do not have atma's, make it your priority to farm it up. You are much, much stronger with it. Remember to keep warding key locations. At this point, it may be necessary to tunnel-vision certain enemy champs, such as that 600 AP Brand or the 6-Item Graves.

You should still not be initiating because if you are CCd it becomes harder to assassinate the target, but you can if your team lacks a tankier member. Remember that if you are stunned and kited by your focus target, use W to hit something and refresh CDs, an extra EQ combo could make the difference between winning and losing a fight (and the game). If you have played well and your team is proficient, you will be incredibly strong as a duelist and a teamfighter and you should 5-shot the enemy carry.

Team Fights

Your primary role in a teamfight, as stated previously, is to assassinate the focus target. Youmuu's-Atmogs Xin does this by being tanky enough to survive the onslaught of the enemy and still dish out damage. If you find you are being kited and stunned and you are unable to finish the enemy, Atmogs Xin can still tank a great amount of damage, giving your team time to wipe out the enemy. If the entire enemy team is focusing you, you are doing the job right as you are generating enough of a threat to draw their fire. That's why you got warmogs.
When to Assassinate
A common mistake that I still often make is that I will try too hard to assassinate the focus target. A lot of times you will find the enemy focus target is too scared to join the fight. They will skirt outside the range of your charge and try to bait you to chase past their team to kill them. If you do chase them, you are isolating and distancing yourself from your team while placing yourself in the middle of their team. Unless your team has a significant advantage, you will likely lose the fight as you will be cut down by their entire team while your team is too far away to help you.

To prevent this, stay at the front lines of the fight but do not actively chase the focus target until he is close enough for you to land a charge on him. If the focus target is too scared to join because of you and does not come into range, that is fine, he is not contributing to the fight. Activate W and attack the nearest bruiser/tank but do not use Yoummus-ERQ until the focus target is in range. Basically, don't go for the focus target until he is within 650-750 range of the front line (the general 'boundary' between your team and theirs), or you will end up overchasing and isolating yourself.

Alternatively, if it is midgame and the focus target is not that much of a threat and bruisers are not that tanky yet, you can always focus whoever you can reach.

Flanking
I'm sure you've all experienced those teamfights where your team is fighting the enemy team head-on when half-way through the fight, when everyone is low, the enemy yi/akali/olaf/irelia... comes from behind and decimates your squishy carries and proceeds to mop up your team. This is a technique known as flanking, in which the flanker approaches from an unexpected angle and has a clear shot on the enemy team's priority targets, thus creating a huge advantage in a team fight. A lot of times, flanking is done accidentally, with a champion simply arriving late to a teamfight and approaching from an advantageous angle.

Flankers are usually strong duelist/assassin types and if they flank correctly, they can completely turn the tides of a teamfight by instantly bursting down the unprotected AD/AP carry. Xin is one of these champions. If you play Xin and can actively look for and take advantage of flanking opportunities, your effectiveness will increase ten-fold as a teamfight with a flanking Xin will almost certainly mean victory for his team as Xin will be able to decimate the enemy threats with their tanks out of position.

Keep this in mind as you play and always observe the enemy positions and position yourself accordingly. As a rule of thumb, when the two teams are squaring off, try to stay out of sight and to the side of where you think the engagement will happen. This will provide the most flanking opportunities.
This is what I mean:
[http://i.imgur.com/BWzoO.png]
However, there are some instances where flanking will actually be a disadvantage. This is if you are the only tanky member of your team and if you are not in the front line, the enemy team will obliterate your team before you can do anything.
If you are your team's tank, don't flank.

Damage Applicability

Xin is unique among bruisers in that his single target damage is very easily applied.
For example:
  • Wukong does not have much teamfight presence or damage without his R.
  • Irelia, when her W and R are on CD, does not have much damage.
  • Olaf and Garen have high amounts of damage but no 650 range gap closer and instant slow to apply it, they must walk up to their targets, risking getting CC'd and bursted down in the process.
  • Riven has high amounts of burst damage, but her dash is only 325 range, whereas most focus targets will stay at least 600 range away from an assassin. She has to either burn flash or use one or two hits of her Q, which is her main source of damage to close distance. For this reason, she is less reliable as flash may not always be up and if she uses two hits of Q to close distance, now she only has one Q, a stun, and her ult to burst down the carry.

Xin has his E and his R that deal high immediate burst and can easily follow up with 3 TTS, recharging his Dash cooldown at the same time (reduced to 6 seconds). Once his ERQ is on cooldown, he pops his W for an 80% AS buff before his Dash and TTS comes up again. Unlike many champions, Xin has no 'downtime' in which he does no damage. This combined with his potential to do damage while remaining tanky is what I believe makes him the best assassin in the game.

Fun Stuff

For maximum enjoyment, play Xin Zhao while listening to this:

Not recommended if you're playing Ranked. Music distracts you and blocks out important game sounds.

Final Comments

I believe Xin is one of the best champion to consistently win games with. He almost always wins his lane with his burst combo, and can win the game by denying the opponent and farming and killing to an extent that he will literally become unstoppable in teamfights.

Xin is a champion that, when played well, can 'fix' your teammates mistakes. That Cassiopeia that your mid fed 5/1? Unless she built a Thornmail instead of Rod of Ages, you will tear her apart in fights. Same with the Ashe that has a 20 minute Infinity Edge (though late game she might be a bit of a problem). When playing Xin, don't worry and think 'the game is lost' just because your other lanes feed. Instead, realize that you can completely negate the enemy advantage by removing them in teamfights. It is for this reason that Xin's influence on a game can be so powerful, and the same reason he is my favourite champ to date.

I'm extremely glad that he got buffed as he is now an even more viable pick. I hope everyone can learn this great champ and that I will see more competent Xins on the fields of justice.

That is all, Thanks for reading :)

-Thanks for the approval, guide moderators!

Comments

December 21, 2012 - 02:31 AM #11

@Xcution, he has a note at the beginning saying he's going to test out the new season 3 and it will take time to update the guide, this is why we learn to read -.-

December 20, 2012 - 09:59 PM #12

S3 GUIDE? FORCE OF NATURE? ...yeah who cares that its not anymore implemented in the game...just still buy it

December 15, 2012 - 11:00 AM #13

FYI in S3 percentage armor pen. procs before flat and you should update ur item builds also but nice guide.

December 10, 2012 - 10:12 AM #14

Nice guide, could you please make your masteries updated to season 3 as well as your items build? Fro instance you state that getting LW is better than getting BC, but now with the S3 changes you can get both and benefit greatly.

Thanks.

December 6, 2012 - 09:56 AM #15

the masteries havent been done

December 1, 2012 - 06:34 AM #16

Great guide :) used it since day one of my playing and every ranked game i play with xin i only win

November 8, 2012 - 06:19 PM #17

Tyvm this is a very nice guide .i ve learned a lots from it

October 21, 2012 - 02:04 PM #18

Nice guide, what do you think about triforce ?

August 30, 2012 - 06:28 PM #19

ha I appreciate it and.... done

August 30, 2012 - 05:29 AM #20

great guide! i find myself doing well in about 80% of my games thanks to the guide. can u add more lane matchup advice? like against darius, jax, etc? would be greatly appreciated :)

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