UPDATE: This thread was necroed by another forumer. Some of it may not apply anymore, since there are better new champions to jungle, etc. The neutral creep spawn times are different now, they spawn exactly at 1:40 now.
Thought I’d finally make a guide to XZ jungling. Adapt the build as you see fit, which is what I do every game anyways.
Reason to jungle Xin Zhao = GANKING. Do not pick Xin Zhao if you aren't used to ganking well.
With a knock-up, a flash slow, and a lizard slow, Xin Zhao is the best pre-6 jungle ganker since Shaco nerf hands down.
This does require team coordination, as in letting your team know you are going to gank, and letting enemy team push at level 4 to allow you to gank.
Ghost + Smite
Offensive tree: Crit%, Smite, CDR or AS
Utility tree: HP/Mana Regen, Ghost, XP gain, Mana Regen, Buff duration, Movement speed, CDR
CDR Glyphs (optional)
AS or Armor or HP Quints
Start of the Game
Step #1: Check if the enemy has clairvoyance.
Step #2: If one of your allies has clairvoyance, clair enemy spawnpoint. Check for wards bought.
Step #3: Check if the enemy has an enemy jungler.
Step #4: Check if enemy jungler has a flash/ghost/exhaust as second spell.
If no – decide if you want to gank enemy jungler/steal enemy blue.
Step #5: If no clairvoyance, check enemies items in lane. If they have boots, cloth armor, rejuvenation bead, and their items don’t add up to ~475 gold, the river brush or buff on that side of the map will be warded. Don't gank this side or wait till ward expires.
Take Cloth + 4 pots.
1. Start at 2 mini-golems. They spawn at ~1:34. Take W or E (if you want to gank enemy jungler after). DON’T USE A HEALTH POT.
If you took W, waste smite right away, kill first golem, and activate W spell when second golem is around 3/4 health.
If you took E, Smite from a distance, the golems will clump up, activate E to do aoe when they’re close together.
PROTIP: You should never rely on starting at Golem because
1. It has a delayed spawn, the smaller creep camps spawn early allowing you to get XP faster.
2. It is the site of most ganks, If you die to gank, you will fail as jungler because it's a uphill struggle from a death.
3. You want level 2 before golem because of the stats gained from levelling and one extra skill to make it easier to down the golem.
3. Recall. Golem has a delayed spawn (~1:55 seconds) you haven’t lost much time. The longer wait makes any gank at golem impatient and return to lane.
4. From spawnpoint, run to golem. Chug HP pot. Don’t activate W, the passive is much more useful than the active. Save smite till ~450-500 health.
|TIP: How to use W skill. Activate your W ONLY when you’re about to finish the creep camp, so it can go off cooldown when you finish the camp, and it comes back when you reach the next camp.|
6. Go to Lizard. Chug a HP pot. Smite is back off cooldown. Check MIAs, if none, waste it right away.
7. Chug last HP pot. Mini-golems should have respawned by now. You’re low health. Kill 1 golem, and level up. This will give you enough health to finish off the second golem.
Pick Q for ganking. Alert your teammates to let lanes push.
8. You're at 1-2 bars of health. You can only do 1 more creep camp. Go to wraithes. Smite the blue one, Use E --> W&Q. Recall. With my rune/mastery setup, you survive the jungle route.
9. After doing all these exact creep camps, you WILL have enough gold for Madreds Razor + 3 HP pots.
10. GANK as much as possible from here on out. Prioritize the lanes that are beating your teammates (i.e. your 1v2 lane). Shut them down, claim the extra gold bounty. Carry to victory.
TLDR: Mini golems --> Recall --> Golem Rune --> Wolves --> Lizard -->Mini-golems --> Wraithes --> Recall.
Spell Progression: W/E at level 1, E/W at level 2, Pick Q when you finally decide to gank (at level 3 or 4)
1. Cloth Armor + 4 HP pots
2. Razor + 3 HP pots or Razor + Ward
3. Wriggles Lantern or Razor + Vamp Sceptre (If you want to build Bloodrazor instead)
4. Boots (vs. enemy comp)
5. Build varies from here on out. Items to consider:
HoG --> Randuin’s Omen (CDR, Turns Xin into an initiator)
Stinger (CDR, AS)
Brutalizer/Youmuu’s (CDR, ArPen)
Black Cleaver (AD, AS, ArPen)
Bloodrazor (AS, %HP Damage)
If you build max cooldown reduction, considering your W lowers your cooldown by one second each autoattack, you can activate your ultimate TWICE per teamfight. Consider CDR important.
TIPS ON GANKING
You will want to gank bottom first.
If you get a successful gank (double kill or recall), push tower. Take tower. Once you take the bottom tower, this gives you map control to dragon and the enemy blue buff (if you're blue side).
You will want to pop ghost --> Dash --> While they're slowed, it lets you knock them up easier --> Activate Q/W simultaneously --> Knock-up --> Lizard slow --> Clean up.
Good luck. Hope it taught you some aspects on jungling properly.
Here's a response to one of the posts below. It explains some of the reasoning behind my jungle set up:
Well to be honest, I don't even take blue anymore half my games. If you look at Xin's abilities, they're all low mana cost. In actual fact, I don't even have a stable jungle route. Half the time I'm counterjungling, warding the enemy blue or stealing some of their creeps. If the enemy jungler is a weaker jungler, I am definitely invading. If they're Shaco,Warwick, Udyr or Fiddle, I'll probably stay away.
Ganks at blue golem don't even happen at low ELO, everyone just goes to their respective towers. I don't often like having teammates defend blue, because sometimes your team is just outpicked by the enemy team in terms of a level 1 fight, so if they do come, you'll lose because they have better level 1 champs with stuns or more exhausts/flashes/heals.
And recalling after smaller golems is viable, because if you buy cloth armor + ward + 2 pots, you can buy exactly 3 more pots after. These pots will last you enough to buy razor + boots.
And 21st point into offense is bad, it's a 5% increase on base damage, not overall damage. So not including your items, just your base skill damage. 21st point into defense for xin is not bad, but not necessary. 9/0/21 gives you faster smite, faster cooldowns, and longer buff durations.
I don't have any preset times for ganks, like gank at 4:50. Every game is different, with different lanes pushed or not, or different champs getting harassed to low health. I always gank after red though.
Overall, I havent complicated jungling, you just need to see that jungling is more complicated than just autoattacking neutral minions and having a preset route every game.