Riot confirms Xin Zhao rework in bid to “upgrade”struggling LoL jungler

Isaac McIntyre
League of Legends jungler Xin Zhao is getting a special Riot rework in Season 11.

Riot Games have unveiled plans to rework “struggling” duelist Xin Zhao ⁠— new buffs and changes to his passive and all four of his abilities should give him a “meaningful” upgrade, the devs said, as the LoL jungler continues to search for a place in the emerging Season 11 meta.

Xin Zhao has been “struggling” in the new League of Legends season, with his power and player satisfaction falling short, gameplay director Mark Yetter revealed.

The jungler’s win rate ⁠— 50.03% off the back of a small 1.23% play rate ⁠— isn’t low in the grand scheme of things, but Riot has pulled the trigger on a rework. The new overhaul will target his passive (Determination), as well as his Q (Three Talon Strike), his W (Wind Becomes Lightning), and his E (Audacious Charge).

His ultimate, “Crescent Guard,” will also have its numbers tweaked.

The objective, Yetter said on Twitter, is to build focus around his “Wind Becomes Lightning” ability, and its second activation. This should give “meaningful gameplay outputs” for those who pick the Seneschal of Demacia in Season 11.

Riot confirms Xin Zhao rework in bid to “upgrade”struggling LoL jungler.
Riot Games
Riot are looking to add 2% to Xin Zhao’s win rate with the new Season 11 rework.

The biggest change comes as part of his new “W2” combo, which Yetter claimed was “the best part” of the planned rework. The “Wind Becomes Lightning” update now sees Xin Zhao “challenge” champs and monsters and provides vision for three seconds. This, paired with the extended cast range on his “E,” should help his clear.

Riot is also eyeing a 2% buff for Xin Zhao in the jungle role.

These changes should “highlight the unique ranged gameplay” that Xin Zhao has been known for since being released all the way back in patch v1.0.0.96 in late 2010.

Finally, Riot are looking to inject ability power into the AD-focused LoL jungler’s kit. His passive, W, and close-quarters “R” ⁠— Crescent Guard ⁠— have been tweaked to include AP stats. His ult has lost its bonus duration as a result.

Riot Games
Xin Zhao previously had a major LoL update all the way back in 2017.

Mark Yetter has yet to confirm when we’ll see the new-look Seneschal of Demacia out on Summoner’s Rift. According to the League gameplay director, the dev team are “still looking for feedback” before locking in the rework changes.

Expect Riot to run a comb over the changes for at least a month, through feedback and PBE server testing. We can likely expect a LoL patch 11.8 release.

Here’s all the details on the Xin Zhao rework:

Xin Zhao rework

Determination (Passive)

  • Heal amount: 10-112 (+10% attack damage) (+40% ability power) ⇒ 7-92 (+10% attack damage) (+55% ability power).

Three Talon Strike (Q)

  • Bonus physical damage: 20-52 ⇒ 15-51.

Wind Becomes Lightning (W)

  • Various quality of life/hitbox clarity adjustments.
  • Thrust damage increases by up to 33% based on Critical Strike Change.
  • W no longer applies Lifesteal at 33% effectiveness.
  • W cast time now a static 0.5s instead of scaling with attack speed.
  • Mana cost 45 ⇒ 60.
  • “W2” range 900 ⇒ 1000.
  • “W2” damage 40-180 (+80% total attack damage) ⇒ 30-170 (+75% total attack damage) (+50% ability power).
  • Cooldown 12-8s ⇒ 12-6s.
  • “W2” now Challenges Champions/Monsters, and provides vision of target for 3s.

Audacious Charge (E)

  • Cast range is increased to 1100 on Challenged targets.
  • Cooldown 12s ⇒ 11s.
  • Dash speed 3000 ⇒ 2500.

Crescent Guard (R)

  • New ability power ratio 0% ⇒ 110%.
  • Duration 3s ⇒ 5s.
  • No longer extended by basic attacks and spells.