Champions for Newbies: Xin Zhao, the Seneschal of Demacia (Fighter)

Though sometimes played and built like an Assassin, Xin Zhao (sometimes affectionately called Win Zhao) is an pretty easy fighter to pick up. Though not from Demacia (no one actually knows where he comes from), Xin Zhao has pledged his loyalty to serve the ruling dynasty, the Lightshields. Any opponent that dares to stand against him will be poked very hard in face with his pointy spear.



“Fine me an immovable object and I’ll put this question to rest!”

Once a gladiator for the Noxian event, The Fleshing (a cruel event where each victory won meant more and more opponents in the next match), Xin Zhao was saved by Jarvan IV’s grandfather, Jarvan II. Grateful, Xin Zhao has served him and his descendants ever since.

It also makes you wonder how old this guy is, because the current ruler right now is Jarvan III and Jarvan IV is like…in his late twenties or early thirties.

Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV is also Lu Bu

Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV is also Lu Bu

Xin Zhao’s raw power and low cooldowns in game makes him a great Fighter, and one not to be underestimated.


Challenge Passive – Challenge

Xin Zhao’s auto attacks and Audacious Charge shred a target’s armor by 15% for 3 seconds. Only one target can be Challenged at a time.

Three_Talon_Strike Q – Three Talon Strike (30 Mana; 9 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 5 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Xin Zhao’s next three auto attacks deal bonus physical damage and also lowers the cooldown of his other basic abilities by 1 second each. The third attack will knock the target in the air for 1 second.

Scaling (bonus physical damage): 15/30/45/60/75 (+20% AD)

Scaling (total bonus damage): 45/90/135/180/225 (+60% AD)

Battle_Cry W – Battle Cry (40 Mana; 16 seconds cooldown at Level 1; 12 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Passive – Xin Zhao will heal himself on every third auto attack.

Active – Xin Zhao gains increased attack speed for 5 seconds.

Scaling (heal): 30/35/40/45/50 (+50% AP)

Scaling (attack speed): 40/50/60/70/80%

Audacious_Charge E – Audacious Charge (60 Mana; 14 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 10 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Xin Zhao charges at an enemy, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies and slowing them for 2 seconds. This will trigger Challenge on the targeted enemy.

Scaling (magic damage): 70/110/150/190/230 (+60% AP)

Scaling (slow): 25/30/35/40/45%

Crescent_Sweep R – Crescent Sweep (100 Mana; 120 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 100 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Xin Zhao sweeps his spear around him, knocking all non-Challenged enemies back and stunning them for 0.75 seconds. The sweep also deals physical damage equal to a base amount plus 15% of their current health. Xin Zhao will also gain bonus armor and magic resistance per Champion hit by the sweep, lasting for 6 seconds.

Scaling (physical damage): 75/175/275 (+100% bonus AD)(+15% of enemies’ current health)

Scaling (bonus armor and magic resist per Champion hit): 15/20/25

Building Xin Zhao (as a Fighter)

You can actually build Xin Zhao as either a glass cannon Assassin or as a Tank (pretty much like Garen). But the build I’m going to recommend here is one for Fighter Xin Zhao.

Laning Phase

There’s actually three ways you can start with.

1. Doran's_Blade_itemHealth_Potion_item Warding_Totem_item

If you want to go straight up AD with some lifesteal (this stacks with his W passive).

2. Doran's_Shield_itemHealth_Potion_item Warding_Totem_item

This one if you want to be a little more tankiness in lane.

3. Long_Sword_itemHealth_Potion_itemHealth_Potion_itemHealth_Potion_itemWarding_Totem_item

Long Sword doesn’t give as much AD as Doran’s Blade, but you have more survivability with the 3 Health Potions and Long Sword builds into a number of items you’ll need.

A Sample Xin Zhao Build

Fighters are known to both hurt and be tanky, so this build is to cater to that. Xin Zhao is a good duelist, and some added tankiness will make sure that he lasts long in fights.

Blade_of_the_Ruined_King_item Trinity_Force_item Randuin's_Omen_item Spirit_Visage_item The_Black_Cleaver_item

As for boots, you can either go for:

1. Mercury’s Treads


This gives you +25 magic resist and increased movement speed (+45) as well as a Unique Passive that decreases the duration of Crowd Control effects by 35%

This is especially effective if the enemy team has a lot of magic damage and disables.


2. Ninja Tabi


This gives you +25 armor and increased movement speed (+45) as well as a Unique Passive that blocks 10% damage from auto attacks.

This is effective if the enemy team has a lot of AD.

Now, moving on to the build. We’ve already discussed Black Cleaver, Spirit Visage, and Randuin’s Omen in the previous articles, so let’s talk about the 2 other items.

The first is Blade of the Ruined King:


Also known as Botrk or Bork, Blade of the Ruined King gives you:

  1. +25% attack damage
  2. +40% attack speed
  3. +10% lifesteal
  4. Unique Passive: auto attacks deal 8% of the target’s current health in bonus on-hit physical damage.
  5. Unique Active: deals physical damage equal to 10% of the target Champion’s maximum health. heals for the same amount, and steals 25% of their movement speed for 3 seconds. (This has a 90 second cooldown)

This item synergizes well with all of Xin Zhao’s abilities. More attack speed = more heals = more pain. And the Unique Active makes sure that your target doesn’t get away.

The second item is Trinity Force (also known as Triforce):


Trivia: you can type “tons of damage” in the search bar in the shop to search for this item. This is a reference to Rioter Phreak’s catchphrase (and not to mention that Triforce is his favorite item).

And tons of damage it does give:

  1. +30 attack damage
  2. +30% attack speed
  3. +30 ability power
  4. +10% critical strike chance
  5. +8% movement speed
  6. +250 health
  7. +200 mana
  8. Unique Passive: Auto attacks grant 20 movement speed for 2 seconds. Killing a minion, neutral monster, or Champion grant 60 movement speed for 2 seconds. Movement speed bonus is halved for ranged Champions.
  9. Unique Passive: After using an ability, your next basic attack deals 200% of your base AD as bonus physical damage.

Tons of damage.

Other Items You May Want:

You can actually get other tank items to adapt to what kind of composition the enemy team has. You could could even opt for a Guardian Angel as your last defensive item.


Feel free to experiment on the enchantment that you want.

How to Play Xin Zhao

His ability rotation is actually pretty simple.

The moment you press E to go in on an enemy…press all your ability buttons. I’m not even kidding. The secret to playing Xin Zhao is to press all the buttons. The most difficult thing to time is actually his ultimate. But if your target is already Challenged, no worry about them getting knocked-back.


  1. He’s sticky. With E, his Q knock-up, and his items, it’s hard to shake him off.
  2. Fast pusher. Your heal also procs on turrets. You can apply the W attack speed buff and use the Q for the bonus damage – turrets will not stand a chance against you.
  3. The heal ensures that you will be very difficult to kill.
  4. You can use your ultimate to either push people away from you when you’re running away, or you could use it to scatter an enemy team. You can also use it as an initiate – go in on the enemy team and hit R to push some of them towards your team.


  1. If the enemy piles their CC on you, you can’t do anything.
  2. If the enemy buys anything to reduce to your attack speed, you won’t be as effective in a fight.
  3. The above holds true if they build armor as well. Thornmail will make you cry.
  4. No reliable escapes. You go into an enemy team, you stay in.

And that’s it for our beloved Seneschal of Demacia! Always remember – go in and press all the buttons. Rinse and repeat. Good luck on the Rift!

Seriously, how old is this guy?

Seriously, how old is this guy?




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