Riot Games finally shared their vision for the Xin Zhao rework—and it’s looking pretty good.
The Senechal of Demacia is getting new tools to work with, all while preserving his identity as a melee AD carry.
But will this be enough to make him viable in pro play?
Xin Zhao’s passive no longer reduces armor, instead granting bonus damage, and heals him on every third auto attack. Just like before, Xin Zhao will want to stick to his target and land as many auto attacks as possible to make use of his passive.
Q: Three Talon Strike
This skill works the same way as before, but its base damage was reduced and it now scales with bonus attack damage instead of total attack damage.
W: Wind Becomes Lightning
Finally, we’re getting to the reworked abilities!
Xin Zhao’s W no longer gives him attack speed and healing. Instead, it’s an active ability that makes Xin Zhao quickly slash all enemies in front of him and thrust his spear forward at an increased range, slowing all targets hit. This will bring some much-needed AoE damage to the table, while also giving Xin Zhao soft CC to catch up to his foes.
E: Audacious Charge
Much like Xin Zhao’s Q, Audacious Charge is the same as it was pre-rework, although with less base damage and a decreased slow duration. To make up for the nerf, using the ability now grants Xin Zhao bonus attack speed for 5 seconds.
R: Crescent Sweep
This ability will make or break the new Xin Zhao.
Once activated, the spearmaster sweeps his weapon in an arc, knocking back, damaging, and briefly stunning all nearby enemies (except the last one he attacked.) Afterward, Xin Zhao is surrounded by a marked area that makes him immune to any damage that comes outside of it.
This ultimate is absolutely massive in improving Xin’s survivability while making him more of a factor in teamfights. If you want to do damage to him, you’ll have to get up close and personal—and that’s exactly where Xin Zhao wants you.
To The Arena!
Whenever the concept of a melee AD carry comes into the picture, it’s always met with the question of durability. The truth is it’s far too easy to focus down squishy melee champions that are building damage. So far, only Yasuo has been able to pull off this playstyle thanks to his shields, dashes, and wind walls.
Enter Xin Zhao.
With the new ultimate, Xin Zhao should have plenty of protection to stick to his target. Not only that, but his kit is loaded with powerful CC that can turn him into a disruptive force in teamfights. But while this sounds fine and dandy, we can’t help thinking that Xin Zhao’s playstyle is far too dependent on auto attacking. This might not be an issue in Solo Queue, but in a more structured environment, the Senechal of Demacia will be easy to kite into oblivion.
Granted, this won’t stop some pros from trying him out, but unless his numbers are off the charts, we very much doubt that the new Xin will become anything other than a niche counter pick.
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