Riot posted the Xin Zhao Spotlight early this go round, giving you time to think about whether or not you’ll be picking him up at the Season One launch this Tuesday. The video gives some much needed clarification on his skillset, though I don’t think it does a good job displaying Xin Zhao’s specific skillset.
Did anyone else feel like this was more of a tutorial on the basics than a display of the potential behind Xin Zhao. That first kill on Guinsoo looked like a damn bot (I’m guessing Guinsoo was typing?) and most of the teamfights played out such that I didn’t see Xin Zhao doing a whole lot – it was mostly his fed teammates dishing out the damage and pulling down triple kills. It’s kinda tough to get a good look at any champion when you have a power combo like Alistar/Annie for teamfights. The one helpful tip was the Malzahar kill top for which Phreak used Audacious Charge. That’s about all I learned. Use it like Kat/Akali to get close to people but with a bonus AOE slow.
Shortly after Xin Zhao was announced at PC Gamer, Leaguecraft had a list of his abilities up that sounded fairly official. In my experience, those lists are usually right, but for Xin Zhao things are a little different than we first thought.
Three Talon Strike: Xin Zhao’s next 3 standard attacks deal increased damage, with the third attack knocking an opponent into the air.
Battle Cry: Xin Zhao passively increases his attack speed and can activate this ability to further increase attack speed and lower his ability cooldowns with each attack.
Audacious Charge: Xin Zhao charges an enemy, dealing damage and slowing it and all other enemies in the area. Audacious Charge increases Xin’Zhao’s armor temporarily and lowers the cooldowns of all of his abilities.
Crescent Sweep (Ultimate): Xin Zhao fiercely sweeps his spear around him, dealing damage to nearby enemies based on their current health.
Tireless Warrior (Passive): Xin Zhao is healed for every 3 attacks that he lands. This amount increases every 2 levels.
As spazticmonk mentioned on the original post, the charge would probably have had too long a cooldown as his ultimate. It looks like that will just be his E skill, giving him the mobility Riot wanted. You’ll also notice that the “reverse skillshot” is gone from Crescent Sweep, though I wonder what “based on current health” means – more damage if they’re healthy or more damage if they’re hurt? As I mentioned before, Xin Zhao seems like he has the ability set that makes a successful melee champion. I’m looking forward to trying him out with the launch of Season One.