Jungle GuidesHigh Elo Xin Zhao Jungle Path – The Best Jungle Routes for...

High Elo Xin Zhao Jungle Path – The Best Jungle Routes for Xin Zhao in Season 12

Win rate: 49.76% Pick Rate: 5% Ban Rate: 11.2% 

Although he doesn’t have an as high pick rate as some other junglers, Xin Zhao is still one of the most powerful and easy-to-master champions, considered by many as an A-Tier pick in 11.23.

As some of you may know, some changes in the Jungle meta have significantly rotated the clearing paths of my junglers due to the XP changes in some camps. 

Due to these changes, and the meta shifting to a full Jungle clear, Xin Zhao becomes even more powerful, thanks to his fast and efficient clear. Owing to this fast clear and easy gank set-up, Xin is an excellent champion for the early stage of the game, which can pretty much determine the rest of the game.

An additional fact to the Jungle meta is the Scuttler nerf, announced in Patch 11.23, alongside the other pre-season changes. In short, its XP gain was reduced by 80%, making it almost invalid in all Jungle clear paths. With only 20% of its XP worth, it doesn’t pay off the time that junglers lose to slay it. If it remains unchanged for the pre-season and Season 12, the only reason to include Scuttler in your path would be if you are massively ahead or just for some extra vision.

In this extensive guide, we will go over the best Jungle paths for Xin Zhao in 11.23. There will likely be some slight changes from the previous patches, so we hope you enjoy our article and learn something new.

Let’s begin, shall we? 

The Best Runes for Xin Zhao in Season 12

So far, there are two main Rune Pages that work great with Xin Zhao so we will get through both of them.

For Small Skirmishes:

There are two options here, which differ only in the Keystone. In the first one, you go with Lethal Tempo. This tree is oriented more to skirmishes and being able to slay the enemy as fast as possible. Xin Zhao is considered by many as one of the greatest champions to take advantage of Lethal Tempo fully. Xin’s abilities work very efficiently with Triumph and Legend: Alacrity, making him a high attack speed killing machine.

While this rune three is also considered to work well for small skirmishes, it is more oriented towards extended fights, where you can take advantage of the Conqueror effect. Besides the Keystone, there are no other changes to the runes. It is good to mention that Conqueror works hugely well with Triumph and Last Stand.

For More Gank Opportunites:

This Rune Tree is more oriented towards creating easy Gank Setups and quickly making it from one side of the map to the other – especially good with the new Dragon buffs and Objective Bounties. Do not let this tree foul you! It is also very good if you are ahead and want to invade. All the bonus Movement Speed makes the enemy Jungler an easy prey.

Although we mentioned two different Rune Trees, the build is pretty much the same for both.

The Best Xin Zhao Build in Season 12

Start: Emberknife, Refillable Potion

Early: Ironspike Whip, Control Ward

Mythic: Goredrinker

Core: Sterak’s Gage, Plated Steelcaps or Berserker’s Greaves

Extension: Death’s Dance, Guardian Angel, Wit’s End, Thornmail, Spirit Visage, Black Clear, Blade of The Ruined King

Skill Leveling 

For both Xin Zhao’s Rune Trees, the leveling order is as follows:

W > E > Q 

Your W is your most important skill. Its opportunity to hit multiple targets helps clear camps as fast as possible. It also deals a lot of damage and the slowing effect is excellent for ganks. Paired with Xin’s other abilities, your ganks will never be unsuccessful. 

The Best Jungle Paths for Xin Zhao

Okay, let’s get to the main reason why you have clicked on this guide in the first place – the best Xin Zhao Jungle pathing. Like most other junglers, Xin has two primary paths to take on each side of the map.

You are probably asking yourself many questions, such as: What side do I start? Which camp should go first? Should I do full clear or not? And so on.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple one-sided answer to these questions. However, there are some factors, which might help you determine what to do, such as:

  • Can your laners possibly help you with invasion or stop a counter-invasion?
  • Do you clear camps faster than the enemy Jungler?
  • Do you have an idea where did the enemy Jungler start?

If you can figure out the answers to these three questions, your early game is usually won in 80% of the games. Of course, there are other factors as well, but these are the basic ones, so let’s focus on them for now.

With all that said, let’s get to the Jungle paths.

1. Blue Side, Red Clear

In our opinion, this is the most time-efficient Jungle pathing for Xin Zhao when you are playing blue side. Starting with your red, you can benefit from the leash of your bot lane, saving your smite for the second camp. As we have already mentioned, you need to start with your W – Wind Becomes Lightning

After killing the Red Buff, you will reach level 2 and will be able to unlock the E ability – Audacious Charge. By doing that, you will have two AoE damaging abilities, which will result in even faster Jungle camp clearing. That way, you can clear your Raptors really quick. It is good to Smite the Raptor camp to heal your HP bar fully. 

After clearing the Raptors, path towards your Blue Buff side of the map. First, clear the Wolves camp, which will give you the needed time to reset your Smite cooldown. 

After Wolves, go directly to your Blue Buff. You would most likely want to Smite it to save some time and be able to clear the Gromp after the Blue Buff. After that, you will have enough XP to reach level 3, being able to unlock the Q ability – Three Talon Strike

With his three primary abilities unlocked, Xin Zhao, theoretically, can duel almost any other champions that could try to contest the Scuttler. 

Due to the Scuttler XP gain changes, you might or might not decide to slay it. If you see good gank opportunities after clearing Gromp camp, go straight for them. 

If you have done everything correctly, you should be in the river after the Gromp clear at around 3:10. 

Camps order: Red Buff -> Raptors (Smite) -> Wolves -> Blue Buff (Smite) -> Gromp -> Scuttler

Ward tips: The main spot you can use your ward is the top side pixel brush, just below the Scuttler spawn. It is an excellent place to ward since it is the most common way your enemy jungler could invade you. How to do it and lose time? Go there around 00:50. Start recalling and just before you get to the base, use your ward. This way, you can extend the ward’s life and still be able to arrive at your Red Buff on time. 

2. Blue Side, Blue Clear

If you decide to start with your Blue Buff, the pathing is pretty much the same but mirrored. You have no idea what that means? Let us explain.

The ability leveling stays the same. First, unlock your W – Wind Becomes Lightning and start with your Blue Buff. Please do not use your smite there since you will be able to kill it without it. Save your Smite for the Gromp to benefit from both Smite’s healing passive and Gromp’s healing passive.  

Remember, after slaying the Blue Buff, you will reach level 2, when you are able to unlock your E ability – Audacious Charge. 

After Smiting the Gromp Camp, go to your Wolves and slay them.

After Wolves, go directly to Raptors, which will give you enough XP to reach level 3, unlocking your Q ability – Three Talon Strike. Being level 3, you can slay the Red Buff in no time. It is a good idea to use your second Smite on the Red Buff, saving even more time and reaching the river faster. 

As the Blue Side Red Buff clear path, here you have two options as well. You can either kill the Scuttler or try to gank directly if you see such an opportunity on either Mid lane or Bot lane.

This Jungle pathing is very suitable for Junglers who are more oriented towards ganks as it provides longer Red Buff duration, which can be really beneficial in ganks.

Camps order: Blue Buff -> Gromp (Smite) -> Wolves -> Raptors -> Red Buff (Smite) -> Scuttler

Ward tips: There are two main spots where you can ward to prevent enemy invasion for this jungle pathing. The first spot is the pixel brush in the bot side river – just below the bot side mid brush. The second spot is the Botlane Tri-Brush.

3. Red Side, Blue Clear

This is the most common pathing for when you are playing Red Side. Like the two Blue Side clear pathings, here, you would also want to save your Smite for the Gromp camp to benefit from both their healing passives. 

After killing the Gromp, go for the Wolves, finishing with a full clear on your Blue Buff side. After Wolves, go towards your Raptors. Do not use your Smite on them since you would be able to kill them fast enough due to your AoE abilities. 

After clearing Raptors, the Red Buff will be your next “enemy”. Smiting the Red Buff will save you the needed time and heal you if you have lost a lot of health on your Raptors.

With both Raptors and Red Buff cleared, you can look out for potential gank opportunities on either top or mid-side. 

Remember that this pathing is really good for gank set-ups since the Red Buff effect will last longer. 

If you do not see such an opportunity, proceed to clear the Top Side Scuttler. 

Camps order: Blue Buff -> Gromp (Smite) -> Wolves -> Raptors -> Red Buff (Smite) -> Scuttler

Ward tips: The main spot you can use your ward is the top side pixel brush, just below the Scuttler spawn. It is an excellent place to ward since it is the most common way your enemy jungler could invade you. How to do it and lose time? Go there around 00:50. Start recalling and just before you get to the base, use your ward. This way, you can extend the ward’s life and still be able to arrive at your Red Buff on time. 

4. Red Side, Red Clear

While this might seem like an unusual Jungle pathing, it might be very effective if your Bot Lane has more DPS power than the enemy one. Going through this path, you would be able to do an early Bot gank, which, ideally, can result in a double kill. 

First, start with your Red Buff. Do not use your Smite here, even if your Top Laner does not give you a leash. You will have enough damage to kill it on your own. 

After clearing the Red Buff, go to your Raptors, where you would want to Smite to return the health you have lost on the Red Buff. 

You do not need a full Top Side clear, so after Raptors path towards your Wolves. Clear Wolves and then clear Blue Buff, where you will use your other Smite charge.

After Smiting Blue, clear Gromp and path towards Bot Side of the River. As we have said in the beginning, you can go straight forward for a Bot Gank if you have the opportunity for a successful one. If not, clear Scuttler and recall afterward. 

Camps order: Red Buff -> Raptors (Smite) -> Wolves -> Blue Buff (Smite) -> Gromp -> Scuttler

Ward tips: For this jungle pathing, there are two main spots where you can ward to prevent enemy invasion. The first spot is the pixel brush in the bot side river – just below the bot side mid brush. The second spot is the Botlane Tri-Brush.

Conclusion

While Xin Zhao may not have received any buffs in this recent patch, he still remains one of the easiest champs to play in the Jungle. He has a lot of AoE abilities, which allow him to clear camps extremely fast, compared to other champions. 

Xin Zhao is a powerful champion. Despite his simple kit, it is a strong pick in both lower and higher divisions. Keep in mind that Xin is one of the best champions for 1v1, so do not be afraid to face the enemy Jungler somewhere during your Jungle Pathing. If you have at least level 3, there is almost no way you could lose the trade.

These guides take time and effort to make, so leave feedback to help us improve them. Keep a keen eye on our website for more League of Legends-related content such as guides, lists, and articles. 

Tony Fallon
Tony Fallon
I started playing League of Legends in Season 2, and I've been playing it ever since then! My highest rank was Grandmaster (Season 10), and last Season I've managed to get to Master. I've decided to create this blog to help other fellow League players with tips on how to get better at different aspects of the game! My mission is to help you improve in League of Legends, and I truly believe that I can do that since I have high knowledge of the game.

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