Previous Lore

"Death is inevitable, one can only avoid defeat." - Demacian Manual of Arms

Whenever Jarvan III, the king of Demacia, delivers one of his rallying speeches from the glinting marble balcony atop the royal palace, Xin Zhao Xin Zhao is at his side. Coined the Seneschal of Demacia, Xin Zhao is the personal steward of the Jarvan IV Lightshield dynasty. His enigmatic, silent vigil has led to an abundance of conjecture concerning his 'secret life' and origins. Whether it's 'Zaun double-agent' tendered at the dinner table or 'indebted rune mage' mused in the editorials of the 'Demacian Constant', Xin Zhao betrays no hints to sate the curiosity of the masses... for good reason.

Prior to the formation of the League, Noxus was renowned for a spectacle called the Fleshing. It was a gladiatorial event with a cruel twist: as a fighter won matches, his number of opponents (generally prisoners of war) fought simultaneously would increase. This meant eventual death for every contender, but with unparalleled glory. Xin Zhao, known then as Xin ZhaoSquare.png Viscero [S|L], was slated to face 300 soldiers, nearly six times the previous record. This was clearly meant to be his final match.

Jarvan II, hearing of this unprecedented feat, infiltrated the arena to offer him an alternative: serve Demacia and punish those who ultimately sentenced him to death in exchange for his freedom. Xin Zhao accepted, astonished that a king would risk his own life on his behalf. Under the cover of a prearranged Demacian assault on Noxus, Jarvan liberated Xin Zhao and his 300 opponents. During their retreat, Xin Zhao took a poisoned dart meant for Jarvan. This act of loyalty, from a man who vowed no allegiance, earned Xin Zhao a spot at his side until the day the king died.

Now in the service of his son, Jarvan III, Xin Zhao is stepping into a new ring - the Fields of Justice - to fight for his adopted country and to honor the legacy of the man who gave purpose to his life.


Candidate
Date
  • 13 July, 20 CLE
Observation

Xin Zhao's presence, although patently reserved, seems to resound throughout the Great Hall as he enters. An expression of stoic determination drapes across his face, as oft-worn as his polished Demacian plates. His signature topknot billows behind him, white streaks glinting with every flicker of the lamps. In one hand, he carries a bladed battering ram passed off as a Three Talon Strike.png spear. He feigns difficulty bearing its weight, a ploy to mislead those with sharp eyes but brash wits.

His gaze never drifts from the ornate doors of the Reflecting Chamber, but he has analyzed every nuance of the Hall, from the spiked epaulets adorning the Statue of Thurmit to the slinking stress fracture snaking through the northern wall. He stalks to the doors with a stride that would be unhampered waist-deep in tar, and pauses to examine the inscription etched above.

The truest opponent lies within.

With a touch, the looming marble doors part obligingly. Beyond them, a pervasive blackness spills forth, sprawling at his feet as the doors widen. This murk - the harnessed essence of darkness - absorbs light, cascading negative shadows around the rim of the entryway. Unimpressed by the conjuration, Xin Zhao steps into the blanketing ink.

Reflection

The absence of light didn't bother Xin Zhao much; he'd been blinded in fights before. He touched his forehead, fingers tracing a scar left by the edge of a Demacian shield, remembering the sensation of blood pooling in his eyes. The wound was a parting souvenir from a man the Noxian papers had called the Bone Grinder.

Funny name, really. They should have called him the Squeaker.

A gap in the Squeaker's teeth caused him to whistle whenever he exhaled, an effect which became quite ridiculous when he panted. Xin Zhao had dispatched the Squeaker handily back then, although cockiness blinded him to the obvious shield strike. He could still hear the Squeaker's fateful battle cry - tinged with that absurd whistle - amidst the roar of thousands of bloodthirsty onlookers, attendants of the Fleshing. The familiar acrid stench of the arena still stung his nose, the perfume of bile dripping from slain opponents who lay scattered in all directions. He could still see the Squeaker's eyes, lit with rage through slits in his tarnished helm, as he feinted with his chipped broadsword, shield poised to strike.

Wait, he could see him.

It was a disorienting sensation, watching an image of the mind's eye manifesting in reality. Xin Zhao had barely enough time to duck, the tower shield raking the length of his mane. Instinctively, he dove away, falling unceremoniously on his haunches but narrowly evading a spinning slash as the Squeaker whirled about. His right hand tightened, seeking the reassurance of his spear, but his fingers grasped only palm. How had he been disarmed? The crowd above was chanting for carnage. Xin Zhao glanced up, noticing faces he'd seen before in another life. Capitalizing on his opponent's confusion, the Squeaker lunged, a fatal sword thrust obscured behind his battered shield. Sitting in the sand, Xin Zhao was caught unprepared, too late to dodge, too late to think.

The Squeaker's blade slid into the flesh between Xin Zhao's eyes, its tip pressing against his skull. Gazing dully forward, his eyes focused on the base of the enemy blade, where he found his left hand clenched, a crimson trickle dripping down his wrist. He almost chuckled. While his mind reeled, desperately trying to cope with the recent series of events, his body, ever-vigilant, never failed him.

In a single motion, Xin Zhao was on his feet, his right hand snapping the blade with a decisive strike. He detected a squeak of surprise as he moved. His left hand - still gripping the severed blade - shot forward, finding its mark in the eye of the Squeaker's helm. A thick, wet sound echoed in return, followed by a deafening cheer from the crowd.

To Xin Zhao's horror, the Squeaker did not topple over as expected. Instead, he sat down calmly. Xin Zhao recoiled into a defensive stance, but the Squeaker only yanked the shard from his eye and shucked the helm. Xin Zhao fell to his knees, at once recognizing the blood-drenched face of his mentor, King Jarvan II of Demacia. Jarvan smiled, pleased with Xin Zhao's distress.

"Why do you want to join the League, Xin Zhao?" The whistle was gone.

Xin Zhao's voice cracked, "What trickery is this?"

"Answer the question."

"I represent Demacia... and her... true king." Some part of Xin Zhao was aware that this was a cruel mirage, but the weight in his heart prevailed over reason.

"To defeat your archenemy, Noxus?"

"To serve the best interests of Demacia."

A pause. "How does it feel, exposing your mind?" The mutilated eye twitched, apparently attempting to study Xin Zhao's response.

Horrible beyond comparison. "Not what I expected."

"Horrible beyond comparison? Really?" Jarvan gestured at the carcasses all around them. "And you have so much in your life to which you could compare."

"I've had enough of this. Have I passed your test?" Xin Zhao was tired of the game, tired of being vulnerable.

"We've finished with you Xin Zhao, but you'll soon find that the true test has not yet begun."

The arena and the grinning, one-eyed face of Jarvan dissolved in a puff of black smoke. Xin Zhao found himself standing in a claustrophobic antechamber, facing a long corridor which he knew led to the League. Behind him, the ornate marble doors swung open softly, offering retreat.

He wanted to crumple. He wanted to turn and leave, never to set eyes on this place again. Instead, he heard the voice of Jarvan in his head. This time he knew it wasn't an illusion.

"This world is in need of men with the courage to bear weight which otherwise would crush us all. You're a Demacian at heart, Xin Zhao. Have confidence in your strength, and your knees will never buckle."

Xin Zhao rose to his fullest height and marched into the League of Legends.


Previous Splash Art



Patch History

V7.8
V7.3
V6.12
  • General
    • Base health increased to 600 from 591.16.
    • Health growth increased to 92 from 87.
  • Battle Cry.png Battle Cry
    • Bug Fix: Healing accounting for basic attacks dodged by Counter Strike.png Counter Strike.
V6.4
  • Battle Cry.png Battle Cry
    • Healing AP ratio reduced to 40% AP from 70% AP.
    • Bonus attack speed reduced to 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60% from 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80%.
V6.3
  • Battle Cry.png Battle Cry
    • New Effect: Healing has a 20% bonus AD ratio.
    • New Effect: Every third basic attack is guaranteed to critically strike for 125 / 137.5 / 150 / 162.5 / 175% AD (does not interact with Sated Devourer item.png Sated Devourer's Phantom Hit, always deals the same damage)
  • Audacious Charge.png Audacious Charge
    • Cooldown changed to 12 seconds at all ranks from 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10.
V5.24
  • Three Talon Strike.png Three Talon Strike
    • Bug Fix: Enhanced attacks having reduced attack speed.
    • Bug Fix: Duration not being refreshed with each enhanced attack.
V5.14
  • Battle Cry.png Battle Cry
    • AP ratio increased to 70% AP from 50% AP.
V5.13
  • Battle Cry.png Battle Cry
    • AP ratio reduced to 50% AP from 70% AP.
V5.9
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • New Effect: Displaced targets are stunned for 0.75 seconds.
V5.5
  • Battle Cry.png Battle Cry
    • Base healing increased to 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 from 26 / 32 / 38 / 44 / 50.
  • Audacious Charge.png Audacious Charge
    • Base damage increased to 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 from 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210.
V4.21
  • General
    • Texture update to Classic, Commando, Imperial, Viscero, and Winged Hussar.
V4.5
  • Stats
    • Base armor increased to 20 from 16.
V4.2
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • Tooltip updated to display maximum damage to monsters (600)
V3.03
  • Audacious Charge.png Audacious Charge
    • Base damage reduced to 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 from 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230.
    • Cooldown increased to 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds from 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9.
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • Base damage reduced to 75 / 175 / 275 from 125 / 225 / 325.
    • Cooldown increased to 120 / 110 / 100 seconds from 100 / 90 / 80.
V1.0.0.152
  • Stats
    • Base movement speed increased to 345 from 320.
V1.0.0.151
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • Bug Fix: Error when applying Spell Vamp and spell effects.
V1.0.0.148
V1.0.0.144
  • Stats
    • Base attack damage reduced to 55.3 from 59.
    • Attack damage per level increased to 3.3 from 3.
  • Audacious Charge.png Audacious Charge
    • Base damage reduced to 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 from 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250.
V1.0.0.143
  • Gameplay Update
  • Stats
    • Base attack speed increased to 0.672 from 0.658.
    • Attack speed per level increased to 2.7% from 2.5%.
  • Challenge.png Challenge
    • Removed: Every third basic attack healing Xin Zhao.
    • New Effect: Enemies hit by Xin Zhao's basic attacks and Audacious Charge.png Audacious Charge have their armor reduced by 15% for 3 seconds (refreshes with every hit) Only one enemy can be affected by Challenge at any given time.
  • Three Talon Strike.png Three Talon Strike
    • New Effect: Enhanced attacks reduce Xin Zhao's other ability cooldowns by 1 second each.
    • AD ratio increased to 120% AD from 100% AD.
    • Cooldown reduced to 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 seconds from 10 at all ranks.
  • Battle Cry.png Battle Cry
    • Removed: Basic attacks reducing Xin Zhao's other ability cooldowns upon activation and for the duration.
    • Removed: Passively granting bonus attack speed.
    • New Effect: Every third basic attack heals Xin Zhao for 26 / 32 / 38 / 44 / 50 (+ 70% AP)
    • Cooldown reduced to 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 seconds from 24 / 22 / 20 / 18 / 16.
    • Mana cost increased to 40 from 35.
  • Audacious Charge.png Audacious Charge
    • New Effect: Applies Challenge.png Challenge to target enemy.
    • Damage increased to 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+ 60% AP) from 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+ 40% AP)
    • Slow increased to 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45% from 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%.
    • Slow duration increased to 2 seconds from 1.5.
    • Range reduced to 600 from 650.
    • Cooldown reduced to 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 seconds from 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12.
    • Undocumented: Mana cost reduced to 60 from 70.
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • New Effect: Displaces all non-Challenge.png Challenged targets upon activation.
    • New Effect: Has a 100% bonus AD ratio.
    • Cooldown increased to 100 / 90 / 80 seconds from 75 at all ranks.
    • Removed: 25 base bonus resistances.
    • Bonus resistances per champion hit increased to 15 / 20 / 25 from 7 / 10 / 13.
    • New particle effect.
V1.0.0.140
V1.0.0.131
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • Bonus resistances per champion hit increased to 7 / 10 / 13 from 5 / 8 / 11.
V1.0.0.125
  • Challenge.png Challenge
    • Bug Fix: Tooltip display error when updating values with level up.
V1.0.0.124
V1.0.0.120
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • Health ratio reduced to 15% of target's current health from 20%.
    • Bonus resistances per champion hit reduced to 5 / 8 / 11 from 7 / 10 / 13.
V1.0.0.116
  • Stats
    • Base attack damage increased to 56 from 49.
    • Attack damage per level reduced to 3.1 from 3.3.
  • Three Talon Strike.png Three Talon Strike
    • Bug Fix: Being able to cast while still active.
  • Battle Cry.png Battle Cry
    • Passive bonus attack speed increased to 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% from 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35%.
    • Removed: Xin Zhao losing the passive bonus attack speed during cooldown.
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • Base bonus resistances reduced to 25 at all ranks from 30 / 40 / 50.
    • New Effect: Grants 7 / 10 / 13 bonus resistances for each enemy champion hit.
V1.0.0.115
  • Battle Cry.png Battle Cry
    • Active duration reduced to 5 seconds from 7.
  • Audacious Charge.png Audacious Charge
    • Cooldown changed to 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 seconds from 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10.
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • Bonus resistances duration reduced to 6 seconds from 8.
V1.0.0.109
  • Three Talon Strike.png Three Talon Strike
    • Cooldown changed to 10 seconds at all ranks from 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8.
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • Base damage reduced to 125 / 225 / 325 from 125 / 250 / 375.
V1.0.0.106
  • Audacious Charge.png Audacious Charge
    • Removed: Affecting targets if Xin Zhao is interrupted while dashing.
V1.0.0.105
  • General
    • Bug Fix: Xin Zhao being considered a ranged champion for items with specific effects (Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet)
V1.0.0.100
V1.0.0.97
  • Stats
    • Base attack speed reduced to 0.658 from 0.679.
    • Attack speed per level reduced to 2.6% from 2.8%.
  • Audacious Charge.png Audacious Charge
    • Slow reduced to 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% from 40% at all ranks.
    • Slow duration reduced to 1.7 seconds from 2.
    • Damage radius reduced to 225 from 350.
    • Bug Fix: Dash speed seemingly being reduced if Xin Zhao is issued many movement commands at once.
  • Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep
    • Base damage reduced to 125 / 250 / 375 from 150 / 275 / 400.
    • Health ratio reduced to 20% of target's current health from 25%.
V1.0.0.96
  • Added

References