Stop crying about the Xin nerf


I’m usually not this aggressive when it comes to post patch impressions, but the Xin Zhao threads on the forums are downright dumb. Xin was long overdue for a nerf. Sorry folks (sorry specifically Aaron – I promise this isn’t targeted at you <3), but he needed it, and frankly I don't think it's all that bad. There's only one concession I'll make to all the Xin players out there - the nerf messed up his feel. The Battle Cry nerf is awkward. The skill now feels almost like a DPS loss if you use it too early, but I don't think it has totally broken him. Xin's problem prior to the nerf was that he had too many inherent abilities, much like Nocturne. I used to roll with a flat out armor pen rune page on Xin, which is utterly ridiculous for how durable he was. He has a limited duration damage buff on Q, a DPS steroid on W (both active and passive), a nuke/slow, and a massive AoE nuke that also includes a damage resistance buff. The funniest part about all the crying right now is that he still has all of those things, just one of them isn’t crazy OP (Battle Cry).

Battle Cry was an absolutely ridiculous skill. A huge attack speed buff that also reduced cooldowns? Oh, it was also usable often enough that his ult would be up any time he wanted it. Unfortunately, the change makes it feel extremely awkward, which is probably why so many people are crying. On the whole, though, I think the nerf is a good thing. I’ve played a couple games with him since the nerf and the only real change I noticed is that I have to think more. It’s no longer Charge, Ult, 3 Talon, Battle Cry, at least not one after another. I still Charge first, but try to use 3 Talon as close to Battle Cry as possible so I can get another knockup. Sure, he’s not in the middle of the fight wrecking face quite like he used to, but he’s still strong, especially if you change up your build.

This is another problem with a lot of the complaints. They seem to be focused on the fact that Xin can’t play like he used to. Simple solution: adapt. No, you can’t just build damage anymore. No you can’t just roll your face on your keys anymore. You have to think, and that’s exactly how it should be with the durable melee DPS characters.


Xin Zhao ability list

I’m going to keep this short and sweet in honor of the holiday weekend. As spazticmonk pointed out in the Xin Zhao preview post, his full ability list is up over at Leaguecraft. Here’s what they’re saying:

Tireless Warrior (Passive):
Xen’Zhao is healed for 30-70 hit points for every 3 attacks that he lands. This amount increases by 5 every 2 levels.

Battle Cry:
Xen’Zhao passively increases his attack speed and can activate this ability to further increase attack speed and lower his ability cooldowns with each attack.

Three Talon Strike:
Xen’Zhao’s next 3 standard attacks deal increased damage, with the third attack knocking an opponent into the air. Deals double damage to minions.

Crescent Sweep:
Xen’Zhao rapidly spins his halberd around him, nullifying incoming missile attacks targetted on him and dealing damage to all enemy units near him.

Audacious Charge (Ultimate):
Xen’Zhao charges an enemy, dealing damage and slowing it and all other enemies in the area. Audacious Charge increases Xen’Zhao’s armor temporarily and lowers the cooldowns of all of his abilities.

From the sound of things his playstyle will be pretty close to Akali with a little more focus on survivability. More on this later. Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.


And the next hero IS…another melee champ [Xin Zhao]

Is that a cattle prod?

Riot’s announced the newest hero by way of a Dev Diary at PC Gamer and it looks like we’re getting yet another melee character. Despite that little setback, Xin Zhao sounds pretty interesting and has the thing that, in my mind, sets good melee apart from the bad: a way to close the gap.

The actual information about Xin Zhao is pretty limited. He’s a martial-arts-inspired spear wielding fighter with some kind of initiation power and a slow. Zileas put it this way:

We came up with this design build because we wanted to capture the spirit of the free-moving fighters you might see in martial arts films. Xin can move freely about the battlefield, drawing power from attacking his enemies, so he can act as an initiator and maybe even as a tank, while still able to deal lots of damage very quickly. One problem we struggled with was how to make Xin Zhao able to initiate but not be a full tank. We tried a number of iterations on this, trying out different defensive components to his Audacious Charge and ultimate. In the end, I think we came up with a really strong build that our players are really going to enjoy.

As for his abilities, this is all we know so far:
Three Talon Strike: (cornerstone ability) A series of attacks that culminate in a powerful move that inflicts considerable damage to his opponent.
Unnamed ability: Increases his attack speed and causes all of his attacks to cool down his other abilities much faster than they normally would.
Audacious Charge: Quickly charge an opponent and slow them down.

Not the best descriptions in the world, but it is nice to see that he’ll be able to jump into a fight from a distance, a key component to keeping melee from going the way of Olaf. With a gap closer and a slow, he pretty much fits my criteria for a solid melee champion. He also has built-in attack speed increase, which gives some item flexibility for damage or survivability.

Perhaps the biggest news of the article is that Xin Zhao will launch with Season One. A lot of people are speculating that S1 is close, but I think it could be as late as the second half of July, if only because I don’t want to get my hopes up. From the sound of this article, Xin Zhao is pretty much done, but then why not list his other two abilities? Then there’s the holiday weekend to consider, though development schedules often ignore that kind of time off and offer comp time after major features launch. It really could go either way. I’ll err on the side of caution and cast my vote for the week of the 18th. Prove me wrong, Riot. Prove me wrong.


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