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New Xin Zhao guide: how to play, what to build and what’s different

One of League’s oldest and most obnoxious junglers just got a serious upgrade

Xin Zhao has been a thorn in League of Legend’s side for a very long time. He is a boring champion that forced Riot to be very conservative when creating attack speed oriented items, lest he get out of hand again. After years of Feral Flare and other bad items that have made Xin disgustingly overpowered, Riot has finally stepped in to fix him up.

With Patch 7.19 comes the all new Xin Zhao. While some of his abilities are the same, he has gotten new features tagged onto most of them as well as a brand new ability called Wind Becomes Lightning.

Here are all of Xin’s changes and how you should build him.

Base Stats

Xin’s attack speed has been reduced from .676 to .645. However, his attack speed scaling has increased from 2.6 percent to 3.5 percent.

Attack speed is Xin’s big stat and is what makes him such a terror. Reducing his early game AS should make him much less annoying to deal with in the early game, especially if he decides to counter jungle you. That being said, his late game should be much better now, as he scales far better than he used to.

Passive - Determination

Every third attack from Xin deals bonus AD, starting at 20 percent and scaling up to 80 percent by level 16. Additionally, every third attack Xin hits heals him.

This passive should be familiar to Xin players, but things have been moved around a bit from some of his other skills. This enforces the rule of three for Xin, meaning that if you engage a fight you have to stick to your target in auto-attack patterns of threes. If you can only get two attacks, you will miss out on a significant amount of damage.

Q - Three Talon Strike (max third)

The late game damage has been significantly reduced, going from 75 at skill level five to only 35. However, Three Talon Strike now has a 0.4 bonus AD scaling versus 0.2.

This is one of the simplest changes to Xin’s kit, but with the buffed bonus on his passive as well as the healing this should help Xin be less obnoxious in the early game while being less ... completely useless past 35 minutes.

(NEW) W - Wind Becomes Lightning (max first)

This ability is completely new for Xin Zhao. When you press W on Xin, he slashes in a crescent shape in front of him, dealing damage. A moment later, Xin stabs his spear forward in a line, dealing even more damage than before and slowing all targets hit. The speed of this ability is increased by bonus attack speed.

Wind Becomes Lightning is a very cool ability, similar to Sejuani’s new Q. Xin’s biggest problem pre-rework was that he has no interesting abilities, leaning instead on boring ass Attack Speed modifiers and auto attacks. An ability like this grants Xin the opportunity to bring more to his team than he did before and allows him to be useful even if he can’t burst in one basic attack cycle.

E - Audacious Charge (max second)

Xin’s dash has received some nice changes for Xin players and enemies. The cost has been reduced by 10 mana which is, hey, 10 mana. The damage has been decreased by a lot in the end game, going from 230 at skill level five to 150. The slow has also been reduced to 0.5 seconds. To make up for all of this, however, Xin now grants a massive attack speed boost (up to 60 percent at skill level five) for five seconds.

Audacious Charge should now be a much better engage and a much worse execute. Being able to jump into combat and poke people really fast is great and even better now that the massive damage is no longer there. Turning this spell from damage to utility provides Xin a chance to be a real champion, instead of just an annoying one.

R - Crescent Guard (max when available)

When Xin spins around around in a circle, he knocks away all targets near him except for the one he has most recently attacked. While Xin no longer gets tanky when he does this, he gains invulnerability to all damage outside of the arena he has created (lasts 3 seconds). Champions can re-enter the arena to deal damage to Xin. The arena’s duration is increased whenever Xin attacks enemies.

This is the most duelist ability in the history duelist champions having duelist abilities. Xin can essentially charge a champion, attack them and then force a duel in the middle of a teamfight. As usual, Crescent Guard will not be a great one on one ability, but it will be perfect for getting that solo kill on Varus that you always wanted.

The Build

Starter Items

  • Hunter’s Machete
  • Potions

Boots

  • Ninja Tabi

Build

  • Challenging Smite Bloodrazor
  • Blade of the Ruined King
  • Dead Man’s Plate
  • Thornmail
  • Spirit Visage

Situational Items

  • Randuin’s Omen (If you need extra armor or are having trouble sticking on enemies.)
  • Black Cleaver (If you are really popping off in the early game or need help sticking to enemies.)