Riot working on Xin Zhao upgrade that highlights ‘unique ranged gameplay’ and opens up AP off-builds

The jungler certainly needs some love.

Image via Riot Games

It seems Demacian spear-wielder Xin Zhao is due for a makeover.

League of Legends gameplay design director Mark “Scruffy” Yetter outlined tentative changes to the underwhelming jungler today, explaining that game designer Tim “TheTruexy” has a “nice little upgrade” for Xin Zhao. While there’s no set release date yet, the changes look to highlight Xin’s ranged gameplay and open up more off-builds.

For the jungler’s Determination passive, Riot is looking to shift more of the healing to an AP build. The updated ability would give Xin less base heal but raise the AP percentage by 15, to a total of 55 percent. The changes also nerf the bonus physical damage from Q in the early stages, going from 20/28/36/44/52 to 15/24/33/42/51.

The majority of the update appears to focus on Wind Becomes Lightning (W). Fans can expect hitbox adjustments, a mana cost increase, extra bonus damage based on critical strike chance, increased range, decreased cooldown at higher ranks, and further support for an AP build. And, most importantly, the updated W will Challenge targets and provide vision for three seconds. Challenged monsters or champions get a portion of their armor reduced for three seconds.

This will tie in with a new Audacious Charge (E) perk, which increases its range on Challenged targets to 1,100. And the last bit of AP love Xin gets is to his ultimate, which will get an AP ratio of 110 percent. It’s duration will be increased from three to five seconds, too.

It’s clear that Xin has been struggling in the current meta, sporting a 47.6-percent win rate in Platinum ranks and above this patch, according to Champion.gg. While the AP build will certainly veer him in a new direction, Riot appears to be leaning toward burst damage and quick heals. This may also open up potential hybrid builds that aren’t seen too often on the Rift.

These Xin changes appear to still be in the early stages of development. Scruffy says the devs are “still looking for feedback.”


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