Xin Zhao Build Guide

Man Mode Reworked: Top Lane

Uploader Kusanagi
Updated 4 years ago
  • 9
    Greater Mark of Armor Penetration (+1.28 armor penetration)
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Armor (+1 armor)
  • 4
    Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist (+0.16 magic resist per level (+3 at champion level 18))
  • 5
    Greater Glyph of Magic Resist (+1.34 magic resist)
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage (+2.25 attack damage)
Skill Order
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10
11 11 11 11
12 12 12 12
13 13 13 13
14 14 14 14
15 15 15 15
16 16 16 16
17 17 17 17
18 18 18 18

[title]This guide will be deleted when Season 3 starts. I do not play Xin Zhao enough anymore to maintain an updated guide on him. If he still lacks a good guide well into Season 3, I'll consider looking into him.[/title] I will try to keep this personal introduction short. I am a Platinum, mid-18XX Elo player, though still some not-high-Elo player no one cares about, but I have played Xin Zhao extensively in PBE prior to the patch with his rework and thus have lots of experience and testing with him. I hope that this guide will be judged by its content and not solely by who happens to be its creator. Xin Zhao is an auto-attack based, tanky DPS champion who excels at dueling and at diving enemy carries to kill them extremely quickly while still being pretty tanky. His kit is loaded with sustain, frequent knock-up CC, a gap closer, a temporary defensive steroid, and an AoE knock-back. He can effectively play offensively diving carries or defensively CCing and knocking back targets for your carries. He's not really a pick with unique contributions for your team, but the combination of high burst and good DPS tied with a gap closer and tankiness make Xin Zhao a reckoning force. Xin Zhao can probably jungle, but I suck at it, so this guide is about top lane instead and top lane only. [highlight]Pros:[/highlight] +Combination of enough burst to kill carries and strong DPS to continue afterwards +Sufficient burst of tankiness to survive most crazy dives +High sustain in both lane and team fights +Gap closer on lowish cooldown +AoE knock back +Armor reduction to help teammates focus targets +An absolute monster when fed [highlight]Cons:[/highlight] -Falls off super late game because of lack of specialties (doesn't survive well enough nor deal enough damage) -Vulnerable to CC because of his temporary survivability and need to attack for sustain -Very vulnerable to minions in lane -Usually balls deep, all-in for fights -Can be kited when your team cannot initiate

[title]Versus Physical Damage[/title] [imgext=] [title]Versus Magic Damage[/title] [imgext=] [highlight]Marks: Armor Penetration[/highlight] ArPen works REALLY well on Xin Zhao. Because of how his new passive works, he is one of the few champions that can apply a percentage penetration before a flat penetration. His passive changes the enemy's armor value with a percent reduction, and then his innate ArPen works on that new value. Usually flat penetration is applied before percent penetration, making the two stack badly, but this isn't the case with Xin. This however does not mean that The Black Cleaver works the same way, as it is a debuff and is applied with the passive, thus in the order of flat -> percentage, but it's still a strong item anyway. ArPen also scales his ultimate the best, which has very high base damage because it's based on the opponent's HP rather than the AD scaling, which is relatively normal. [highlight]Seals: Flat Armor or Scaling HP[/highlight] Armor is necessary against physical damage lanes. It's one of the most efficient as a primary rune and one of the most effective in the early game. Against magic damage lanes, take HP/Level so your Seals see more benefit late game. [highlight]Glyphs: Scaling Magic Resist or Flat Magic Resist[/highlight] Scaling MR against lanes that have absolutely no magic damage, and flat MR otherwise, even against mixed damage type dealers; don't be afraid to go flat MR over scaling because Xin has good natural defenses against magic damage late game with his ultimate and high HP. MR is the best defensive option, and there really aren't any good offensive options in Glyphs for Xin Zhao. There's CDR, but it's better to play it safe with MR. [highlight]Quintessences: Flat AD[/highlight] Flat AD makes CSing easier and buffs up your early game a bit, which helps level 2 fights. It helps a lot when killing minions under your turret and when you're having very few chances to hit minions for last hits in a losing lane. ArPen can also be taken instead if you want to go all-out damage, especially after the first recall, but I like a balance of both ArPen and AD runes to start with.

[title][img=skills/xinzhao/p.png] Passive: Challenge[/title] [number]Xin Zhao challenges his target with his basic attacks and Audacious Charge, reducing their Armor by 15% for 3 seconds. Only one target can be challenged at a time.[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Challenge is the main reason why I consider flat armor penetration so much (explained more in the Runes section). Challenge also works on minions and neutral monsters. E auto-applies Challenge to whichever enemy is targeted by it, no matter when or whom you have applied Challenge to before. [highlight]The first hit to apply Challenge is not affected by the debuff because the debuff is applied after damage[/highlight] (similar to how you have to attack twice before you feel the effects of The Black Cleaver), but since E applies Challenge you don't usually need to worry about that. [title][img=skills/xinzhao/q.png] Q: Three Talon Strike[/title] [number]Xin Zhao prepares to unleash a fearsome combo, causing his next 3 standard attacks to deal 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 (+1.2 per Attack Damage) physical damage to enemy targets, with the final attack knocking his opponent into the air. Each attack reduces all of his other abilities' cooldowns by 1 second. Cooldown 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 seconds Cost 30 mana[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This attack does fearsome burst because of the new AD ratio. Use the 3 hits in lane to "harass" enemies that get close to you, especially when they're aiming to kill minions. Don't be afraid to use it, as its mana cost is almost negligible. The cooldown on it is pretty short when maxed, so its unreduceable/uncleanseable CC can be exploited often when you max it first in lane. Since this ability reduces the cooldowns on other abilities on hit, try to use all your abilities particularly your W before you start hitting with Q. Here are some notes about it: [.][highlight]Activating Q resets your auto-attack animation[/highlight], so use a regular auto-attack and press Q right after to get maximum damage. [.][highlight]All parts of this ability work on towers[/highlight], both the extra damage and the cooldown reduction on other abilities. [.]Your auto-attacks with Q activated seem like they are faster than normal because of the shorter animation, but the gaps between attacks is the same (though it's still faster because of shorter animation). [.]The bonus AD scaling component is no longer affected by criticals. Sad day :(. [.]The cooldown for the ability starts once you finish the last attack or once the buff it provides expires, which lasts I'm estimating about 5 seconds. The buff timer is refreshed after every hit excluding the last one. [.][highlight]The extra damage is good for killing caster minions under tower[/highlight] since usually it takes slightly more than a single hit to kill one after it has been hit by the tower. [title][img=skills/xinzhao/w.png] W: Battle Cry[/title] [number]Passive: Xin Zhao is healed for 26 / 32 / 38 / 44 / 50 (+0.7 per Ability Power) for every 3 attacks that he lands. Active: Xin Zhao unleashes a battle cry, increasing his attack speed by 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80% for 5 seconds. Cooldown 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 seconds Cost 40 mana[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Xin Zhao's sustain was moved to this ability's passive, and now only the active increases his attack speed. The passive makes Xin Zhao one of the best sustainers in the game, and simply level 1 in this ability almost ties with level 3 of Irelia's Hiten Style sustain. The 3 hits for sustain do not have to be in a row; it is simply every 3rd hit you do heals you. The AP ratio it has is actually very generous, and stray AP can really increase your sustain by quite a bit. [highlight]The heal also works when you're attacking towers, similar to Irelia's on-hit sustain.[/highlight] If you're using this ability, try to use it before you start hitting with your Q so that you can fully take advantage of the cooldown reduction on Q. [title][img=skills/xinzhao/e.png] E: Audacious Charge[/title] [number]Xin Zhao charges an enemy unit, Challenging them and dealing 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+0.6 per ability power) magic damage to all nearby enemies and slowing them by 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45% for 2 seconds. Cooldown 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 seconds Cost 70 mana Range 600[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This is Xin Zhao's gap closer. It does respectable damage early game, and it has pretty nice damage on squishy targets if maxed second. But be aware that the damage is magic damage and doesn't scale with his armor penetration. Its damage and its slow are both AoE. [highlight]It always applies the Challenge passive to the unit that is targeted[/highlight], no matter when or whom you have applied Challenge to before. You'll usually use this on the target you want to focus, but there are also times when you may want to use it on a unit next to your actual target so you can use your ultimate to displace the unchallenged target. [highlight]Even in lane, try to use E onto your target before you hit them so you can apply Challenge with E.[/highlight] E uses magic damage, so it doesn't get affected from missing out on Challenge at all. But even that auto-attack you can use before Q to apply Challenge could have used that 15% armor reduction, so stick to using E first. [title][img=skills/xinzhao/r.png] R: Crescent Sweep[/title] [number]Xin Zhao unleashes a fierce spear sweep on targets around him, knocking back all unchallenged targets and dealing 125 / 225 / 325 + 15% of their current health (+1 per Attack Damage) in physical damage. His magic resistance and armor are increased by 15 / 20 / 25 for each champion hit for the next 6 seconds. Cooldown 100 / 90 / 80 seconds Cost 100 mana Range 187.5 (375 diameter) [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This ultimate is really important to use properly in a full 5v5 team fight. Without it, you'll get bursted down really easily; the survivability it provides is just really good. Try to hit as many targets as possible in order to increase the resistances. But that is only one facet of the ability, even if it's one of the most important to the success of Xin's kit. The knock-back is powerful, especially with its ability to isolate one target. [highlight]It knocks away all units in a perfect circle around with Xin Zhao in the center of it[/highlight], not simply the units in front of him. In terms of power, it is almost the same as Janna's ultimate (Xin's is smaller though), which is commonly regarded as one of the strongest and hardest to use ultimates in the game, and that doesn't include the part where you can isolate an enemy. It has several uses: [.][highlight]Knock your enemies into your tower[/highlight] to either force a fight that they cannot fight back or to receive tower hits if they're staying with barely any minions left alive. You'll need to move behind the enemy after charging to them. Try to also factor that your ultimate can damage minions to kill them. [.][highlight]Escape ability[/highlight] by using E on another target (minion most likely) to move your Challenge or simply do not hit your enemies at all, and then ulting to knock away enemies. Also works good against jungle ganks. [.][highlight]Ganking for your allies[/highlight] by coming from behind or charging to a minion behind the enemy and knocking them towards your tower to prevent the enemy's escape. [.][highlight]Initiation[/highlight] by charging to an enemy carry and knocking back the rest of the enemy team while your team CCs and bursts the enemy carry. Or charge to a unit behind your intended target (so the target is in-between your team and the unit being charged to) and use the knock-back to hit the target into your team. Or simply come from behind the enemy team and knock them all back (or everyone except the carry) into your team, which is a bit riskier. [.][highlight]Disruption[/highlight] similar to Gragas' ultimate. You can simply charge into the middle of the enemy team and scatter them, though the results of this could be both positive and negative. [.][highlight]Battle reset[/highlight], the same as how Janna's ultimate is used if your team is in a bad situation or a losing fight, use it to push the enemy team away to allow your team to escape the fight. Something important to note about the ultimate is that it deals damage depending on the opponent's current health, not total health, so it could be best to use this ASAP in your combo if you want damage, thus making the combo ER, auto-attack reset -> Q. However, Guardsman Bob was known to use his ultimate after he knocked up his enemies possibly to prevent them from escaping, so EQR. Either works.

[imgext=] [title]Standard Lane:[/title] [title][img=skills/xinzhao/r.png] > [img=skills/xinzhao/q.png] > [img=skills/xinzhao/w.png] > [img=skills/xinzhao/e.png][/title] [number]Q[/number] is maxed first because it gives the biggest damage increase at low mana cost that is good for trading. Having a lower cooldown also allows for multiple knock-ups in a duel, and more Qs means smaller cooldowns on all other abilities. E gives just as much damage per level up, but Q uses physical damage, which scales with Xin's passive and the armor penetration of the build and thus does more damage. Plus spamming E in lane would quickly run you out of mana, while you can literally use Q every time it's off cooldown and not run out of mana. [number]W[/number] is maxed second to give more sustain while still in the laning phase and to give more sustained damage over time in small scale fights or duels, which are more prevalent in the earlier stages of the game. [imgext=] [title]Squishy Enemy Lane:[/title] [title][img=skills/xinzhao/r.png] > [img=skills/xinzhao/q.png] > [img=skills/xinzhao/e.png] > [img=skills/xinzhao/w.png][/title] Maxing [number]E[/number] second is good against squishy lane opponents. The burst, slow, and lower cooldown all help against the tools that carries usually have to counteract their low survivability. [title]Skills Up To Level 3:[/title] How you skill in the first 3 levels can really set the pace for the lane. Xin Zhao's abilities have very varied uses to them, and having more power in quickly maxing one ability or having more utility in having all your abilities can be decisions you'll face that, when done correctly, can give you a slight advantage. [imgext=] [highlight]Standard[/highlight] Standard build is mostly for when your opponent is just as strong as you or stronger. You don't want to fight under his minions, so you don't rush level 2 aggression. [number]Q [/number]is taken first to allow highest damage pokes when your opponent gets in range when trying to kill minions. [number]W[/number] second gives good sustain for effective trading. [number]E[/number] is taken at level 3, but simply because the 1st point in E gives more total damage than the 2nd point in Q; don't use E to engage fights in the enemy zone, but rather use it for extra burst damage in situations when you'd normally only use Q anyway. [imgext=] [highlight]Forcing Level 2 Fights[/highlight] A cool top lane strategy that has surfaced from some high Elo players has been getting level 2 ASAP and forcing aggression with the level advantage. Level 2 in a solo lane is obtained with 7 minions' worth of experience, or a wave + 1 minion. With this strategy, instead of just last hitting, you kill the first wave of minions quickly with auto-attack spam, reach level 2 before the enemy because he has less minions killed, and dive him with the level advantage. There are fine details to this strategy that you have to take care of. [.][highlight]First, the enemy jungler must not be able to early gank.[/highlight] This is an extremely aggressive playstyle, which makes you open to ganks. Your lane will also be pushed until you almost reach level 4 (once the minions reach the enemy tower and are pushed back), so you will be open to ganks until then. Going against a Blue buff -> full jungle clear jungler is a good time to use this build, as by the time they can gank you, your lane will already be pushing back. [.][highlight]Second, you MUST be aware of enemy minions.[/highlight] If possible, fight away from the minions, like maybe closer to the melee minions or closer to the bushes so you can get out of vision and disengage minion aggro. But don't be too afraid, or the opponent will level up while you wait for the too perfect opportunity. Remember, you hold the advantage in this situation, so a few minions won't hurt and their damage may be inevitable. [.][highlight]Third, you will be vulnerable to enemy harass at that level 1 phase when you're hitting minions.[/highlight] Take care to not stupidly attack the minions, and to be aware of when the opponent wants to attack you while you're wasting hits on the minions. But also, try to attack the caster minions in the back if the opponent lets you. They do the most damage, so it's nice to have them cleared for when you do dive. This build can also be done if your jungler is level 2 ganking your lane after killing one buff (e.g. Alistar with blue, Lee Sin with red, etc.). Don't push so hard that your minions move forward though; just push hard enough to get level 2 by the time your jungler comes to lane. [imgext=] [highlight]Versus Ranged Harass[/highlight] Xin Zhao cannot do anything to ranged units at level 1, no matter what ability he gets first. You are destined to just be pushed around by ranged units at level 1 and have to bear it. Thus, getting [number]W[/number] first allows you to have some sustain for those hits. Stay passive until level 3 with all of your abilities, as diving with [number]E[/number] usually isn't worth it without [number]Q[/number]; however, if the enemy is humping your minions to harass you, jump and fight them anyway because your minion advantage will destroy him. Don't forget to take advantage of the bushes to avoid getting hit. Just going ballsy and level 2 diving on them with the Level 2 Fight skill build is also an option against a lot of ranged carries if you don't care about sustain.

[title]Starting Items: [img=items/boots-of-speed.png][img=items/health-potion4.png] OR [img=items/dorans-shield.png] OR [img=items/cloth-armor.png][img=items/health-potion5.png][/title] If you want to go [number]Boots of Speed[/number], try to wait close to the store so that your natural gold gain will get you enough for the 4th potion. You should be able to reach lane before any minions die. [number]Doran's Shield[/number] works for Xin Zhao because along with his W sustain, he is incredibly hard to force out of lane over time. It's extremely gold efficient, so it makes a good item for passive laning until you can go recall later for more items. But Doran's is incredibly focused on sustain over time, so a bad trade with high burst champions like Riven or a jungle gank can leave you crippled for a while. [number]Cloth Armor[/number] allows the survivability immediately so you can reenter the fray, so it's good when you want to play aggressive and force trades. [img=items/boots-of-speed.png][img=items/health-potion4.png] [highlight]Boots of Speed[/highlight] [.]If you want to play aggressively [.]If the enemy jungler has a good chance of ganking you before your first recall [.]If your enemy has skill shots [img=items/dorans-shield.png] [highlight]Doran's Shield[/highlight] [.]If your enemy is physical damage [.]If you won't play aggressive at all or until later in the laning phase (around after first recall) [img=items/cloth-armor.png][img=items/health-potion5.png] [highlight]Cloth Armor[/highlight] [.]If your enemy is physical damage and plays aggressively early [.]If your enemy is extremely strong or has high harass damage early on that is hard to regen out of (e.g. Riven) [.]If you want to play aggressively [title]Core Items: [img=items/ninja-tabi.png] OR [img=items/mercurys-treads.png], [img=items/dorans-blade.png][img=items/the-brutalizer.png][img=items/phage.png][img=items/youmuus-ghostblade.png][/title] [title]Difficult Lanes: [img=items/wriggles-lantern.png] OR [img=items/wits-end.png] Before Phage[/title] Get the boots that counter your lane. If you're going Merc Treads and the enemy laner and jungler don't have much CC, you can just hold on to the Null-Magic Mantle and upgrade later because the upgrade won't give you any extra MR. A [number]Doran's Blade[/number] is nice because these items are really strong, allowing you to keep up in power against your enemy laner if you guys are neck-and-neck, but getting too many will put your main build behind. You can skip it if you want. [number]The Brutalizer[/number] is great because it is ArPen, which has advantages explained in the Runes section. Get this item ASAP for a large damage boost. Cooldown reduction works well with how Xin's Q reduces cooldowns, though it's only something nice to have; offensive and defensive stats are more important. [number]Phage[/number] is just a really good item. It is efficient and has good items to build it into. The slow forces enemies to fight Xin Zhao, which is usually a good thing for you, especially against squishies in team fights. However, forcing fights won't be a good thing if you can't even win the fights, so if you're having difficulty in lane, get a [number]Wriggle's Lantern[/number] against physical damage enemies or [number]Wit's End[/number] for magic damage enemies. I don't think these items are the best for Xin's mid and late game so they aren't core, but they're very good in the laning phase. [number]Youmuu's Ghostblade[/number] is just a really good item for Xin Zhao that you might as well get while you have The Brutalizer. It makes him impossible to duel against in lane and gives him mobility to stick in team fights and attack speed for damage and survivability (with his W heal). But what about Avarice Blade? This build does not have the GP5 early because you will need as much power as possible to win your lane, and building a GP5 will just put you behind. [title]Big Item: [img=items/trinity-force.png] (DPS) OR [img=items/frozen-mallet.png] (Tank)[/title] [number]Trinity Force[/number] is a good item for Xin Zhao, even if he seems more DPS-based. All of the stats benefit him, as even AP allows him to sustain better and gives him slight burst on his E. The burst damage from TF is great for taking out carries, and Xin's cooldowns aren't too long so he can use the procs well too. I'd get it if there is another at least off-tank champion on your team, which would usually be your jungler. It's especially good if you're ahead because you'll naturally be tanky with levels. [number]Frozen Mallet[/number] is good because it gives a large amount of HP, which is great for Xin Zhao but unfortunate because few items give large amounts of HP. Warmog's has a bad build path and takes too long to reach full power, so I don't like it. It's good to be tankier if the rest of your team is squishy. And if the rest of your team is squishy, they'll probably be good at dealing damage, so you can let them do that while you use the FM slow to protect them. It's a good item to stay useful if you're behind. [title]Situational Items[/title] [title]Offensive: [img=items/the-black-cleaver.png][img=items/the-bloodthirster.png][img=items/last-whisper.png][img=items/atmas-impaler.png][img=items/maw-of-malmortius.png][img=items/zekes-herald.png][/title] [title]Defensive: [img=items/randuins-omen.png][img=items/banshees-veil.png][img=items/guardian-angel.png][/title] You usually want to itemize your resistances to counter either the major damage type of the enemy team (if they're maybe all physical damage champions or something) or itemize them according to the most fed or threatening champions/carries on the enemy team. [number]Atma's Impaler[/number] and [number]Randuin's Omen[/number] are usually your go-to armor items, with Atma's being if you want more damage and Randuin's if you want more survivability. [number]Maw of Malmortius[/number] and [number]Banshee's Veil[/number] are their MR counterparts respectively. However, if your team is sufficiently tanky or if you're just incredibly fed and unkillable, then you can go pure damage items like [number]The Black Cleaver[/number] or [number]The Bloodthirster[/number]. The Black Cleaver allows you to tear apart squishies and is truly pure damage. The Bloodthirster doesn't give close to the amount of damage, but it does give really good lifesteal, so if fights tend to drag to allow you to attack a lot, then it can give a lot to your survivability. Last Whisper isn't really needed because your main targets, enemy carries/squishies, won't really be stacking armor unless your team is all physical damage or something. Atma's is still good if you have over say 2,500 HP or something, especially for Xin Zhao since he can take advantage of the critical rate. Randuin's is good even without the GP5 taken early because it gives a decent amount of HP and a slow when getting hit. Since you'll be in the enemy carry's face, they'll probably be hitting you, so it's easy to proc the Randuin's on them, and the active can hit most of the team. I feel that Frozen Heart wastes too much on mana and has excess amounts of armor, while Xin needs HP, so I prefer Randuin's. Banshee's is good because it also gives HP and stops an entire spell, which is good for when you're going to be diving the enemy carry instead of taking stray poke. For the more situational items, I'll list out the situations where you should consider them. [img=items/the-black-cleaver.png] [highlight]The Black Cleaver[/highlight] [.]If you have little threat of dying in team fights (maybe enemy carries suck or are weak) [.]If you want tons of damage and to carry a game to an early end [.]If you're fed [.]If your team has a lot of physical damage to take advantage of the armor reduction [img=items/the-bloodthirster.png] [highlight]The Bloodthirster[/highlight] [.]If the enemy is tanky (you need more damage; they don't have enough damage to pass lifesteal) [.]If you're fed [.]If you have little threat of dying in team fights [img=items/guardian-angel.png] [highlight]Guardian Angel[/highlight] [.]If you're fed and/or solely carrying your team [.]If the enemy team has instagib ultimates with high burst or chain CC or simply champions that depend on their ults (Kennen, Xerath, Malzahar, etc.) [.]If the game is reaching really late games where the next team fight can decide the game (GAs are OP for winning team battles but suck after the revive is used) [img=items/zekes-herald.png] [highlight]Zeke's Herald[/highlight] [.]If your AD carry is safe (i.e. not super close ranged like Vayne or something) [.]If your AD carry is not useless and is actually a good and smart player [.]If your jungler is also auto-attack based (to have 3 total auto-attackers including yourself) [.]If you aren't carrying the game (Zeke's is bad efficiency for the user, but great overall for team) [img=items/elixir-of-fortitude.png][img=items/elixir-of-agility.png] [highlight]Elixirs[/highlight] Elixirs are really good for bursts of stats that really help win team fights. But each individual team fight may not be game-deciding, and the use of Elixirs may win you the team fight but put you behind in gold for later in the game. So you want to save Elixirs for team fights that will be decisive, which are usually when big objectives are about to be challenged (inhibitors, Baron) or when respawn timers are long enough to allow won team fights to result in killed inhibitors, Nexus towers, or even the Nexus itself.

[title]Pre-Game[/title] Determine the enemy champion you're laning against, the enemy jungler, and which side you're on (Blue or Purple). Try to know which situations your enemy laner's strengths lie and play around them, and know their weak situations so you can take advantage of them. [highlight]Decide whether to take Ignite or Exhaust[/highlight] (elaborated in the Summoner Spells section). Knowing the enemy jungler and which side he has will let you approximate the time he will gank you, so when that time comes try to play passively until you get wards. Look at your enemy's summoner spells. If he has Exhaust, don't tower dive him, and if he has Ignite, be careful of early game burst that can kill you. [number]Look at your enemy's items when you get into lane.[/number] If they don't have boots, notify your jungler and try to ask for a gank from him. If they have health regen (Regrowth Pendant, Doran's Shield), just play passively until level 3 or 4 when your burst is best, and then start playing very aggressively because they won't have potions. If you are aggressive before then, you'll just waste your HP while they heal up over time, protected by minions. [title]Laning[/title] Information below is just general top lane tips for laning against an equal. If you want to employ passive laning or extremely aggressive laning, [highlight]check the Skill Order section to learn about Forcing Level 2 Fights.[/highlight] Top lane is one of the most difficult lanes to play, and it's easy to get pushed around. Try to avoid getting easily harassed for no reason. Focus on minion kills (CS: creep score) because they're ALWAYS important. A 10 CS difference means a losing lane and can be the difference between someone having an item and the other not having it. 20 CS is about a kill's worth of gold difference. [highlight]Trading, Farming, and Advantageous Zones[/highlight] You have to pick and choose which minions to take. Don't try to take that enemy caster minion way in the back if the enemy Darius is waiting right in front of it to rip your face off. You have to balance getting minion kills and not receiving damage. Receiving a quick hit for a CS is fine. [number] Know that when you pass behind the melee minion battle line, you'll be vulnerable to caster minion damage[/number], and attacking the enemy champion in that situation will most likely lead to you receiving much more damage in a trade, so you usually can't fight in that situation. If the enemy is not nearby his minions because perhaps he's out of position or maybe he's going for one of your own minions, then you are free to slip in and take CS. Fights at the melee minion line are 50-50; it can turn out either way, but Xin Zhao is strong in close range, so you can usually win depending on the champion. But also know that all these situations apply the enemy laner too. [number]If they go too deep to get that caster minion, dive in and punish him for it.[/number] Xin Zhao is good at this especially because of the range of control he has with his [number]E[/number]. You can easily transition from killing an enemy minion to charging and attacking the enemy who's in your minions for that CS. Xin Zhao can use his [number]Q[/number] to get good, quick damage on the enemy while disengaging during the knock-up; your [number]E[/number] also can be used for damage or to keep the enemy close to your minions. You need to be constantly moving to be able to be close to your minions to attack when he goes for CS and to be able to get the farm when last hits appear. If there aren't many minions, you can just fight anyway if you're stronger than the enemy. Oh, and beware of cannon minions. They do a lot of damage early game. Maybe play passive until they die. So to summarize: [.][highlight][number]Don't receive too much damage for CS[/number][/highlight] [.][highlight][number]Don't fight behind the enemy melee minions when he has caster minions unless you're just that much stronger than him[/number][/highlight] [.][highlight][number]You can kill minions ASAP to reach level 2 quickly to force a lv 2 versus lv 1 fight (detailed in Skill Order section)[/number][/highlight] [.][highlight][number]Use your Q and sometimes E to get harass/poke damage[/number][/highlight] [.][highlight][number]Punish the enemy laner for being in your minion area; if he fights back, he fights both you and your minions, receiving a lot of damage[/number][/highlight] [.][highlight][number]Use your E to jump on your enemy the moment he's in an unfavorable area with your caster minions in range[/number][/highlight] [highlight]Minion Control[/highlight] Controlling the flow of the minion wave is a higher level technique that can tip scales and win games. Note the things that push lanes: drawing enemy minion aggro (thus being aggressive) (the minions won't be hitting yours and will die faster), auto-attacking minions, last hitting the minions at higher HP values, or having your minions focus a single enemy minion (usually out of your control) will push your lane. Most methods of getting the lane pushed towards you are under the control of the enemy, so be careful with pushing. [number]But there are two advantages of pushing. One is that you'll have a larger minion wave, so the enemy cannot fight you without losing fights. The other is that once you reach the enemy tower, he will lose CS to it and you can have more gold.[/number] And if you get the minion wave to last long enough under tower for the upcoming wave to reach it too, your lane will be pushed towards you, allowing an easy jungle gank. Usually ganks don't come early, so people push early on so the line comes towards them to make the enemy vulnerable instead. If the enemy is pushing the lane towards you, try to kill enough minions to equal out the minion count on both sides. The lane being closer to your tower can be a good thing for allied jungle ganks, but if he pushes to under your tower, then you'll lose minions to the tower and lose CS. Or worse, the upcoming enemy wave will make it to the tower and your lane will start mass pushing towards his tower, allowing for an easy enemy gank. [number]Always try to kill minions under your tower ASAP while getting the CS.[/number] [highlight]Warding[/highlight] [number]You always want to at least have 1 ward up at all times after your first recall.[/number] Top lane is one of the most vulnerable lanes to ganks. If you're playing normally without the lane pushed to either side, ward the river bush if you're Blue team and ward the tribush if you're Purple team. If you're pushing your lane to the opponent's turret, ward the tribush if you're Blue team and ward the exit from blue buff to the river if you're Purple team (it's close to the Baron pit). Those are very general warding areas. There are also bush ganks... but you can't do much about those. If the enemy jungler shows his competency to do them, start warding the bushes when your lane is pushed to your tower. [highlight]Ganks[/highlight] Xin Zhao is good at setting up ganks. There are two ways you can do it: simply [number]E[/number] onto the enemy and knock him up with [number]Q[/number] as your jungler comes in, or [number]E[/number] to a minion behind the enemy and use your ultimate to move him backwards and away from your tower. If your jungler has CC, the latter could be better. If an enemy is ganking you, then know that one of your best tools of survival is your ultimate knock-back. But also know that knocking the enemy back towards the place you're running towards doesn't do anything, unless you're going to push him to tower and try to kill him, but that's a different story. You have to wait until the enemies are either right behind you or to your side before you ult, and make sure none of the target you want to knock-back are Challenged, so refrain from auto-attacking.

[title]Favorable Match-Ups: [img=champ/galio.png][img=champ/gangplank.png][img=champ/nidalee.png][img=champ/vladimir.png][/title] [title]Unfavorable Match-Ups: [img=champ/darius.png][img=champ/leesin.png][img=champ/malphite.png][img=champ/udyr.png][/title] [title]"Good" Match-Ups[/title] [img=champ/galio.png] [highlight]Galio[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] [number]OR[/number] [imgsmall=items/dorans-shield.png] Galio can't really do much to Xin besides push. His sustain isn't too strong, and his abilities don't have the mana costs or sustained damages necessary to force Xin out of lane. If he focuses on harassing, then he will run out of mana while your [number]W[/number] sustain keeps you healthy. Play aggressively, but be careful of minions early on, which can usually get into Galio's favor because of his tendency to push, and jungle ganks later on, which can be particularly deadly with Galio's CCs. If he builds armor, then he won't be able to farm or do much, while you will still do decent damage to him with your armor penetration. If he builds mana, then you can burst him down. Know that your [number]Q[/number] can cancel his ultimate even if you're CCed since it knocks him up when you're forced to attack him, so if you know he will ultimate, use [number]Q[/number]. [number]Level 2 fights work against Galio. He can't do much to stop it, and his sustain is so situational that he will have a difficult time recovering from it.[/number] [highlight][img=champ/gangplank.png] Gangplank[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] [number]OR [/number][imgsmall=items/dorans-shield.png] Gangplank was known for his harass damage when he was popular, though his mana costs have held him back from recent popular play. With his recent buff, he may reemerge, but Xin can do well against Gangplank. But because of his innate gold advantages from usually stacking gold/10 items, Parrrley gold passive, and his global ultimate, you'll need to play aggressively to get an advantage. His harass damage can be handled by Xin better than others because of your sustain, and his mana costs on harass remain the same so he will go out of mana if he harasses too much. He shouldn't be able to trade with you in a close range fight at all, so force him to Parrrley minions for CS or face your [number]Q[/number]. Force engagements on him with your [number]E[/number], but try to disengage quickly after your auto-attack -> [number]Q[/number]; his passive damage (and passive AD boost) combined with forced minion damage because of its slow can make sustained fights go into his favor early game. Note that once you get into a fight with Gangplank, it could be difficult to get out of them because of that slow and his passive movement speed. But later if he gets gold/10 items and you have actual fighting items, he shouldn't have any chance to fight you at all. [number]Level 2 fights should be amazing against Gangplank. He usually only has harass damage, at this point, so he can't do much damage back to you.[/number] [highlight][img=champ/nidalee.png] Nidalee[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] [number]OR [/number][imgsmall=items/dorans-shield.png] Pre-level 6 Nidalee has no close range presence whatsoever outside of minions, so forcing fights can easily go into your favor. All she has is her auto-attack harass over time and healing sustain. Stay back and only come close to get minion kills to avoid her harass damage as much as possible. Control the minions well and engage fights as often as you can when there's no risk of jungle ganks. If you find yourself having mana problems from using your [number]E[/number] often, then maybe get a few mana potions. Post-level 6 she becomes much scarier because of her burst, but if you can survive that then you can destroy her with your sustained damage and better chasing, so just keep yourself high on HP. And at level 6 she can start disengaging fights with her Pounce, so either wait for her to use Pounce to dive onto you or use a few [number]Q[/number] hits on minions to let your knock-up come a lot earlier to prevent her from escaping so easily. [number]Level 2 fights work amazingly well on Nidalee. You can actually kill her quite easily, especially for the ones that don't get armor Seals for some reason. She may get her HP back up easily afterwards, but it'll take a lot out of her mana and will force her to play passively early.[/number] [highlight][img=champ/vladimir.png] Vladimir[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] [number]OR [/number][imgsmall=items/dorans-shield.png] Vladimir is a complete favorable match-up for Xin Zhao. He usually does well because of his harass over time slowly wearing down enemies, but Xin Zhao has his sustain. And then you can force engages onto him to get rid of his range advantage. He's really squishy, and sometimes Vlads don't even run armor Seals, making it possible to burst him very easily. He will trollpool your charges, but that has a 26 second cooldown at skill level 1, so he can only do it every other charge at most. Once he uses it, just charge him again or zone him out of CS. Don't tower dive him while he has it up though, so it may be best to not push your lane to his tower. He will want a gank, so be careful about those. [number]Vladimir will get shit on by the level 2 fight. He won't have his pool at this stage, and he may even die outright if he doesn't have armor Seals.[/number] [title]Unfavorable Match-Ups[/title] [highlight][img=champ/darius.png] Darius[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/cloth-armor.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion5.png] Darius can out-damage you completely and force fights to take advantage of that. Between his auto-attack reset, his Q harass from out of range, and his passive, his damage is immense. The only match-ups that beat Darius are the ones that don't fight him up close (minus Jax and Irelia later in the laning phase). Just hope for jungle ganks because he has no escapes. But there are two saving graces for Xin outside of jungle ganks (but when I say saving grace, I mean things you can revolve around to not get completely owned). First, you can disengage fights he forces by using your [number]Q[/number] knock-up. Second, you have sustain and he has no natural form of it, though he may just prevent you from sustaining with his Q harass and by attacking you whenever you go for CS. [number]The level 2 fight can cripple Darius because of his lack of sustain, so try to use it if you can. His level 1 isn't too strong.[/number] [highlight][img=champ/leesin.png] Lee Sin[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/cloth-armor.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion5.png] Lee Sin makes everyone sad. He can deny minion kills and force aggression with his Safeguard, destroy your DPS with his Cripple, Safeguard shield, and Iron Will armor, sustain himself decently, and burst you with his Q and his ultimate. You won't be able to fight him in neither burst trades nor extended battles, and ganks will be difficult because he can Safeguard away. You can avoid his Q by always staying close to your minions and trying to keep them between you and him; avoiding Q will reduce his damage by a lot. Try to last until the later laning phase. Get as many minion kills as you can, and disengage with [number]Q[/number]. Try to bait him to use his Safeguard aggressively so you can get a jungle gank while he can't use it to run. In the later laning phase, you may have a chance. Your DPS is significantly higher than before, and his burst is lower without his DPS increasing by as much. You may need [number]Wriggle's Lantern[/number]. [number]Lee Sin can be vulnerable to a level 2 fight. His damage may be pretty strong if he starts Q and he may escape if he starts W (E isn't a problem), so try to let him waste his abilities first. But if he doesn't, fight anyway; he will do more damage than others, but you'll still out-trade him.[/number] [highlight][img=champ/malphite.png] Malphite[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/dorans-shield.png] Malphite is annoying. His passive shield makes burst engagements less effective and is better for harass-over-time like from Kennen and Vladimir. His slow+speed-up and attack speed slow can stop your aggression too at any stage of the game. The combo does cost a lot of mana though, so if you are aggressive as much as possible it is possible to whittle him down. But another problem is that minions can beat you down if you're not careful, and a Philosopher's Stone for him can prevent a lot of mana problems. If he plays like an idiot and spams his Q on you for harass, then he's going to be out of mana no matter what. He will usually stack armor to ridiculous amounts too, so much so that even your passive isn't going to save you. It's possible to live in this lane with your sustain, but it's more likely that you'll die instead of him. And then he usually does better in team fights because of his utility, initiation, and direct counter to you with his attack speed reduction. And then enemy jungle ganks will be ruthless because he has high CC and decent burst to follow-up or initiate them. [number]The level 2 fight is decent against Malphite. His passive shield won't let you kill him, though it can set up for a kill later.[/number] [highlight][img=champ/udyr.png] Udyr[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] [number]OR [/number][imgsmall=items/cloth-armor.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion5.png] Udyr pretty much beats you on all fronts. He has better burst damage than you with his Tiger Stance, better sustained fights with enhanced attack speed and a shield on low cooldown, CC and movement speed from Bear Stance to force engagements, and good sustain with Turtle Stance. Udyr is pretty much known for being the strongest close range top laner in the laning phase. But he scales quite terribly, so if you can survive in lane, then you could still do okay. But really, there're pretty much no options besides farming and hoping your jungler is a beast. Last hit minions, get gold/10 items, maybe max [number]W[/number] first, whatever you need to not go too far behind in lane. [title]Some Other Match-Ups[/title] [img=champ/akali.png] [highlight]Akali[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] Akali has a lot of burst damage if she procs her Q, and she has infinite ranged harass over time because of her energy. However, her DPS after that upfront Q damage is REALLY low, and her ranged harass is weak enough that it's possible to sustain through it. If you manage to get all your [number]Q[/number] hits off with an [number]E[/number] and initial auto-attack, you should have no problem out-damaging her. But the problem is her stealth Shroud, as that can stop your combo and DPS and leave you vulnerable until another burst. Simply try to bait out the Shroud by approaching her (not charging), maybe with [number]Q[/number] on to be convincing; don't worry about wasting [number]Q[/number], as it's low cooldown and low mana cost. Play passively until it wears off. Once her Shroud is down and on cooldown, you can charge her and most of the time you will out-damage her unless she has a ton of minions. She's also vulnerable if she uses her Q on a minion. Until those points, do not let her get Q procs onto you while you're killing minions; Q proc damage is not worth any single minion kill. [number]Level 2 fights can work great against Akali because she won't have her Shroud yet. But you'll receive a lot of damage back from her Q, though you should still out-damage her.[/number] [highlight][img=champ/chogath.png] Cho'Gath[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] Cho'Gath was considered a favorable lane for Xin, but with his QoL buffs, I feel he may be not a for-sure counter. His abilities are really good at peeling Xin Zhao and controlling him for jungle ganks and minion damage while staying healthy with tankiness and sustain, but there is still the mana problem he has. He is really vulnerable early on with low damage and tankiness, so you can use the phase pre-level 7 to just charge at him as much as possible to battle. He can disengage with his Rupture knock-up, but that costs a lot of mana, so it'll eventually whittle him down, and if you can dodge it that's even better. Eventually he will stack armor, but that won't be as effective against your passive's percent armor reduction and armor penetration. Don't let him easily go to minions to farm because that will sustain him through his own passive. You'll really need to worry about jungle ganks since Cho'Gath's CCs can vulnerability make good bait material. Be careful for his burst with Feast if you're low on HP. [number]The level 2 fight works against Cho'Gath.[/number] [img=champ/garen.png] [highlight]Garen[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/cloth-armor.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion5.png] Play passively early, stack armor like [number]Wriggle's Lantern[/number] to mitigate his burst, and you'll beat him later in the laning phase from higher DPS and sustain while his cooldowns are on. But yes, early game you cannot beat him; Judgment is just really damn strong, and it doesn't attract minion aggro. If he's hitting you with it, don't make the mistake of running while he just chases you for free damage; if you can't get away from him, just hit him back so you can at least trade damage and sustain, but you shouldn't be able to out-damage a good Garen because of his Courage resistance buffs. You may need wards in your lane bushes if he's zoning you out from CS. After he bursts you, if you won't die from auto-attacks or something, then you have a few seconds to freely CS, sustain up, or hit him back because he's cooldown-based and mostly useless without his abilities. If you give him a kill, you may not be able to reclaim the lane. [number]Level 2 fights may not be a good idea against Garen, especially if he starts with Judgment. You'll need to stay healthy early game to not get bursted down, and his passive can heal him from the damage anyway.[/number] [img=champ/jarvaniv.png] [highlight]Jarvan IV[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/cloth-armor.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion5.png] This bastard has a ton of armor. He has surprisingly high burst early game too, so just play passively and try not to let him get his passive hit onto you. If he does, then you'll have to use [number]Q[/number] to at least trade. But don't play aggressively early on, since along with minions you won't be able to fight him, and then he will use his flag+lance dash to keep fighting. But trading when he initiates fights won't be too bad. His two biggest weaknesses are high mana costs and no sustain, so just want to stall and force him to use mana to be aggressive. Later on, his burst won't chunk too much of your HP, and his sustained damage will be lower than yours, so you can force fights at this point. But note that his burst is pretty high once he gets his ultimate, and he can assist his jungle ganks with his ultimate and dashes. [number]Level 2 fights can be successful on Jarvan, but you'll need to be extra careful of minions.[/number] [img=champ/jayce.png] [highlight]Jayce[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] This guy is really annoying. He can harass you in lane with ranged auto-attacks, so just keep your distance and only go in for minion kills. Keep minions in-between you and him, even when he's far away, so he doesn't Q you. You can't force fights with your [number]E[/number] because he will just knock you away. Instead, you have to play passively and wait for him to come to you to fight, and once he tries to knock you away, you re-engage the fight with [number]E[/number]. You can also wait for when you changes into Cannon form, as his form change will be on cooldown so he won't be able to knock you back from Hammer form if you jump on him. Your bursts are somewhat similar, but the sustained battles are where Xin Zhao really gets a big advantage on Jayce. And passive play while waiting for Jayce is in your favor because you can sustain and he can't. [number]Level 2 fights can work very well on Jayce, but if he starts with his knock-back, then it may be ineffective.[/number] [highlight][img=champ/kennen.png] Kennen[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] [number]OR [/number][imgsmall=items/dorans-shield.png] Kennen isn't exactly a favorable match-up, but it's a match-up that Xin does better than most others. You will be harassed a lot with auto-attacks, but your sustain should help you last. Have minions in-between you and him to avoid his Thundering Shurikens, and don't get near him when he has his auto-attack proc; for the latter, just wait for him to use it on a minion. You can almost always win an upfront fight against Kennen in close range, but something annoying about him is that his Lightning Rush can disengage your [number]EQ[/number] combo. So you have two options to address this: either wait for him to waste his Lightning Rush (be careful for the bait or unusual aggression because of jungle ganks) or use your first few [number]Q[/number] hits on minions to dive and get the knock-up on Kennen before he escapes. While he's in the air from knock-ups, try to get as much free hits in as possible before he runs. Don't fight him when you have Marks of the Storm on you, or he will just stun you and get free harass or just kill you outright while you're stunned. If he runs in and ultimates, you want to use your ultimate too to get the MR boost to mitigate his damage. It shouldn't be able to kill you unless you're low. If you're doing badly in lane and getting a lot of damage, try getting potions to sustain to prevent getting within burst-to-death range. [number]The level 2 fight works well against Kennen because he won't have his escape at level 1. If you get the burst off, he will usually be low enough to be vulnerable to being killed for a while.[/number] [img=champ/pantheon.png] [highlight]Pantheon[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/cloth-armor.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion5.png] [number]OR [/number][imgsmall=items/dorans-shield.png] A good Pantheon is annoying (yeah, a lot of champions are annoying). His passive blocks your [number]Q[/number] hits, so if he's smart, he will use his Aegis of Zeonia (gap closer stun) to re-activate his passive and effectively cancel 2/3 of your [number]Q[/number]s damage. But you can poke him with an auto-attack when he goes to CS to get rid of his passive, and then dive him then. But if he's smart, your [number]Q[/number] damage will pretty much be non-existent, so you can't force fights early game or it'll just be your auto-attacks versus his + ability damage + minions. But outside of that, all he has is his harass damage, which can be mitigated if you stack armor early and use your sustain to make him feel his high mana costs. He has no close range DPS to compare to Xin Zhao, so just force fights later on when minions matter less. [number]Level 2 fights are okay against Pantheon, but his passive is annoying and probably won't let you kill him.[/number] [highlight][img=champ/riven.png] Riven[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/cloth-armor.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion5.png] Riven is a match-up you do decently against, but you don't want to play aggressively. She can disengage your charge with a stun and dash away, leaving you sitting around without your gap closer. Well, you can go aggressive if she wants CS, as she will either not want to run or she will just miss the CS outright while you fight. Early on, you have to be careful about her burst; later on your DPS in an extended fight can be better than hers because of your Battle Cry, but early on she can eat you alive. If she goes aggressive onto you, she won't have a lot of her escape abilities to disengage, so you can chase her and get some of your own damage in or even force her into an extended fight if it's later in the laning phase. Also note that until she builds lifesteal, she has no sustain. She does have a shield to give her pseudo-sustain (similar to how Janna's shield functions bottom lane), but if you attack through that shield, you'll fare better, so that's also why extended engagements are better for Xin. To get mitigate her upfront burst, you'll need to stack armor. [number]Ninja Tabi[/number], [number]Wriggle's Lantern[/number], and maybe even an early Chain Vest are your friends in this match-up. If she ultimates, use your own ultimate in response for the armor boost to mitigate her increased damage. But note that her ult is on a lower cooldown, so you may need to play carefully while hers is up and yours isn't. [number]The level 2 fight can have mixed results against Riven. Be sure to disengage well, or her Q can be pretty painful. You should still win the trade, but she has more damage than others in the level 2 vs level 1 fight and that should be noted.[/number] [img=champ/singed.png] [highlight]Singed[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] Don't initiate onto Singed with [number]E[/number] or he will just fling you away and make you chase him for damage. Wait for him to toss you first, and then [number]E[/number] to him. Early game he's weak, so try to [number]Q[/number] him when he goes for minion kills, but don't follow too far or you'll get a lot of poison damage. Xin should be able to do decently against Singed because his sustain will help deal with the poison damage. Once he gets his ultimate, he will be much more trickier to fight. Try to avoid fighting him if it's on; just wait for it to go on cooldown before you do anything. Xin Zhao should still be able to fight him if it's on, but really Singed's potential with his ultimate on is just too unpredictable. [number]Level 2 fights should work excellently on Singed, but if he starts with Fling first, he could be able to disengage and force you really far into his minions.[/number] [img=champ/teemo.png] [number]Teemo[/number] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] Teemo is irritating, but Xin Zhao has effective tools to beat Teemo easily. If he's stupid, he will waste blind to harass you, and after the blind wears off, [number]E[/number] onto him and wreck him. But if he's smart, he will hold onto it and just poke you with poison damage. If you dash onto him when his blind is up, he will blind you to stop your [number]Q[/number]s. However, you can just follow alongside him or run towards his escape route until blind wears off, and it should be easy because your slow from [number]E[/number] lasts 2 seconds while his blind lasts 1.5 seconds. Make sure you move in-between your auto-attacks, or his Move Quick will run away before you finish your knock-up. Since you'll be waiting in the enemy area for longer than usual while blind, it's important that you're extra careful of minions. It's also important to maintain a movement speed advantage the same as or over his, so upgrade your boots ASAP. If he's faster than you, then just try to use the first few hits of [number]Q[/number] on minions to knock him in the air sooner. And past level 6, be careful of him baiting you to charge when he's standing on a mushroom. [number]If Teemo doesn't start with his blind, then level 2 fights will destroy him, but if he does, then they will be completely ineffective.[/number] [highlight][img=champ/yorick.png] Yorick[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion4.png] [number]OR [/number][imgsmall=items/dorans-shield.png] Yorick is a pain with his harass, but it should be more manageable for Xin Zhao than others because of his high sustain. Just keep yourself healthy. A big thing you need to know is that if a ghost is chasing you, you can go into the bushes to get the ghost to run to a different target. Just keep doing that and keeping yourself sustained and Yorick can run out of mana early game. If he's out of mana or running low on it, you can start fighting him because his sustain will be low. But if he starts a Meki Pendant, he will have high amounts of mana even early, but on the positive side he can be bursted down if you play aggressive correctly. You'll need to be more aware of enemy minions because every damage counts in this lane. If you can get a kill onto him, you should be able to zone him out because you'll be much stronger. And the best times to dive him are after he uses his ghosts, so he can't burst you, CC to disengage, or have a bunch of ghosts just chucking you at the same time. Later in the laning phase he will probably have a Tear of the Goddess, giving him practically infinite mana, so you'll need to itemize to sustain through his harass over time; [number]Wriggle's Lantern[/number] is a good choice in this lane. [number]The level 2 fight works decently against Yorick. On one hand, you may be able to kill him outright if he starts with a Meki Pendant, but if you fail to kill him, he can just sustain all the damage back up with his ghosts and potions, while you'll have a good amount of damage from minions.[/number]

With top lane, you want to try to take your tower as soon as you're stronger than the enemy top laner. This allows you to roam, gank middle, take middle turret, take enemy buffs and jungle, and/or take Dragon. The enemy top lane will either have two choices: free farm but not really have much of an advantage while you take towers 2v1 or 3v2, or follow you and fight against you, but still be weaker anyway. Be sure to ward before invading enemy jungle though. You want to return to top only to push the lane back and the return to controlling the map ASAP. [highlight]At this phase of the game, you want to push your lane and then go control the map. Take buffs, kill enemies through ganks and good wards and ambushes, and take push other lanes to take towers when you outnumber the enemy. Go back to your lane to prevent the minions from reaching your tower and making you lose out on free gold.[/highlight] It doesn't matter if other people don't want you in their lane; winning the game is pushing down towers and forcing the team fight stage of the game if you're ahead. Use your advantage while you have it. If Dragon is alive or about to spawn, then try to head bottom as soon as possible after pushing. That way you can either get an easy Dragon in a 5v4 if their top lane stays top, or you can have an equal 5v5 yet have your top lane pushing to the enemy tower, threatening them to lose minions. Make sure that their top lane doesn't go bottom for Dragon while you're trying to push it out, though. Xin Zhao is really strong at this phase of the game, so you can play aggressively and kill everything if you haven't been behind. It's usually possible to instantly burst kill an enemy carry, so always look for opportunities to reach them.

Xin Zhao starts to fall off at this point of the game. In team fights, if your AD carry is stronger than the enemy's, then just play defensively and CC or AoE knock-back targets threatening your carry. If their AD carry is stronger, then you'll have to try to dive and kill him, which can be difficult at this stage without getting chunked. This phase of the game is all about towers, Baron, and inhibitors. [highlight]Know that inhibitors > Baron > towers[/highlight], but if you ace the enemy team but can't kill the towers fast enough to reach the inhibitor before they respawn, then simply killing Baron instead of going for towers can be a good idea. If you can't kill towers or Baron, then just counter-jungle the enemy and look for buffs. Sometimes you can even fit in killing the closest enemy tower, depending on how many minions you have and how close they are to the enemy tower. Don't get caught by the enemy team, as one bad team fight at this stage can lose the game. Ward around intersections and entry points so you're always aware of where the enemy team is. Try to get your support or really tanky champion to get Oracle's Elixir to clear enemy wards and make them scared. Try to keep your lanes pushed so you can kill towers easily upon winning team fights and so you don't get backdoored. But don't leave Baron or your allies in a 4v5 while you push. If anything, let an ally with Teleport do that for you.

There are two ways to play Xin Zhao in team fights: defensively and offensively. Chances are no one will play him defensively. But I'll explain it anyway. Playing defensively revolves around protecting your carry. Use your [number]Q[/number] to stop enemies and your [number]R[/number] like a Janna ultimate to save your carry. Use [number]E[/number] to slow enemies or to switch to an offensive if the enemy front line overextends and leaves their carries alone. There's not really much else to defense. For playing offensively, you play more like a melee carry. You could just dive in whenever and tank everything, but that's usually really bad. But if no one else on your team is tanky, that may be required. But you're only tanky when your [number]R[/number] buff is on. It's better to circle around and wait for openings to dive the enemy carries, even when the fight already starts. Just be patient. If you can reach an enemy carry, just [number]ERWQQQ[/number] to burst them, using your ultimate immediately for the mitigation stats ASAP. [highlight]Note the ways that Xin Zhao can initiate or isolate targets with his ultimate.[/highlight] Refer to the Skills section for more detail. [highlight]Don't forget to use your [imgsmall=items/youmuus-ghostblade.png]Ghostblade![/highlight] The Ghostblade can even be used as a movement speed buff to reach the enemy carries faster before diving.

I hope you guys learned something and enjoyed my guide! As Xin Zhao gets more exposure in Live, I hope to be able to fully complete the Lane Match-Ups list for him in the future. However for now, it's too early to do so. Please leave questions or comments below on what I've done right, what I've done wrong, and what I could improve on. I'll try to reply to them promptly.

[.][number]9/27/2012[/number] - Xin Zhao's Q damage isn't affected by criticals anymore. Sad day :(. Maybe I should move the build away from criticals in that case... am considering it. Also changed my Elo, as I've been playing Ranked recently to get Platinum. Added a small tidbit to the Jayce lane in the Lane Match-Ups section. [.][number]9/5/2012[/number] - No changes, sorry. I just forgot to put The Black Cleaver's image somewhere when I added it previously. After a LAN tournament this weekend, if I'm not too busy with GW2/homework/etc., I'll define TBC's place and situations in build. [.][number]8/27/2012[/number] - Added The Black Cleaver to the Item Build. Removed Last Whisper from the Item Build. [.][number]8/20/2012[/number] - Removed Cho'Gath from Favorable Match-Ups in the Lane Match-Ups section. [.][number]8/9/2012[/number] - Changed Audacious Charge's damage values according to the Xin Zhao nerfs. Forgot to do that sooner, sorry guys :x. [.][number]7/30/2012[/number] - Added Last Whisper to Situational Items in the Item Builds section. Added a bit of explanation to determine whether to use tanky damage items or full-out damage items. [.][number]7/27/2012[/number] - Guide Approved thanks to D1eoX! Yay. Added small tidbits to the Mid Game and Late Game sections, and added Ghost, Teleport, and Cleanse to the Summoner Spells section. Added the Akali lane to the Lane Match-Ups section. [.][number]7/26/2012[/number] - Edited information about the Teemo lane in the Lane Match-Ups section. Added maxing E second as a viable skill build in the Skill Order section. Fixed incorrect values in the Skill Order section (Battle Cry +10% attack speed per level instead of 5%). [.][number]7/25/2012[/number] - Made several changes to the Lane Match-Ups section, including switching around favorable/unfavorable match-ups, adding more champions, and adding recommended starting items. [.][number]7/22/2012[/number] - Added the Lane Match-Ups section. [.][number]7/21/2012[/number] - Rephrased the personal bits of the Introduction section and the Elixirs part of the Item Builds section. [.][number]7/19/2012[/number] - Guide created just in time for the new patch! Submitted for Approval.

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