Xin Zhao Gameplay Update - To the Arena!

“_Here’s a [Xin Zhao update], and [the reasons] behind it!_” - Not Xin Zhao Hey, folks! I’m Xenogenic, the designer that’s been working on the update for our favorite spear wielding duelist: Xin Zhao. Before he hits PBE tomorrow, we wanted to explain our goals for this update and give you an idea of what changes you will see. **Goals for the Update** First and foremost, we recognized that a lot of players enjoy playing Xin Zhao, so it was important for us to identify and preserve the mechanics that his current players love. To that end, we’ve largely left his Q and E abilities alone. We felt it was important to satisfy our other design goals without hurting what makes Xin Zhao feel like Xin Zhao. The primary improvements we wanted to make to Xin’s kit from there included: _Give Xin Zhao players more meaningful and interesting decisions _ Other than understanding when to engage as a melee, there weren’t a lot of decisions to be made. Having more opportunities to make the right decisions (and therefore, more opportunities to win because of making the right decisions) ultimately makes champions more fun to play. This is because those moments give more chances for what we’d refer to as “skill expression” - demonstrating one’s skill or mastery of a champion or the game as a whole. We felt Xin Zhao was lacking in opportunities for skill expression, so adding these decision making opportunities was one way to improve that. _Give Xin Zhao a unique identity within League of Legends_ Xin Zhao’s fantasy of being a master spear fighter and duelist wasn’t conveyed very well in his mechanics, so he didn’t feel like a champion that stood out enough in our roster. We decided to address this by giving him a new ability that provides a spear attack with considerable range, as well as modifying his ultimate to help him create the fantasy of engaging in a 1v1 duel, even during teamfights. _Make Xin Zhao flexible_ This means giving XZ the ability to contribute both early and late game. Also we want him to have tools that he can use when playing from behind. _Give Xin Zhao a more meaningful place in teamfights_ His success when diving the backline is mostly dependent on his relative stats, and if the opponent has the proper CC tools to peel him. Thus, we aimed to give Xin Zhao players more choices than just diving on the backline and better tools to create his own successes. As games evolve, so can their preferred targets and approaches to team fights so they can continue being a strong contributor to their team. **Summary of changes** New Passive - Determination * The passive portion of Battlecry (every third hit deals bonus damage and heals Xin) was transferred to the overall passive for his kit. New W - “Wind Becomes Lightning” * This is a 2 part flowing attack with his spear that includes a sweeping slash in front of Xin, followed by a long-range thrust. * Slash - deals damage in a cone in front of Xin. * Thrust - deals higher damage at long range and slows targets hit for 1.5 seconds. E modified * The attack speed steroid that Battlecry provided is now rewarded after dashing to targets with E (Audacious Charge) R modified- now called “Crescent Guard” * Xin Zhao’s ultimate is still an instant cast sweeping circle that knocks enemies back and deals damage. The knockback still excludes the last target he dashed to or attacked. * NEW: For 3 seconds after casting Crescent Guard, Xin Zhao creates a zone around himself and will block damage dealt to him from champions outside of his guard area. The duration of this stance is extended slightly every time Xin Zhao attacks an enemy champion. The overall goal of this change was to allow Xin Zhao to knock enemies back (besides his primary target) and become immune to damage from anyone outside of the circle attacking him so he can have his 1v1 with his primary target - at least until enemies walk back into the circle to attack him. And lastly, it’s worth noting that he’s received a number of new animations, sound effects, visual effects, and even icons. The overall scope of this update wasn’t the same as a full-blown VGU like Warwick, for example, but we did take this opportunity to improve the quality of a lot of his visuals and sounds. Thanks for taking the time to catch up on the upcoming Xin Zhao changes. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about the update and look forward to your feedback! “_To triumph!”_ - Xin Zhao
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