I still remember my first Paladins game, where I was playing Vik and this guy with a flaming sword wrecked me hard. So, Zhin was one of the first champs that I bought and I've played with him for over 150 hours. In this guide, I just wanted to share my thoughts if he is still a viable pick after the nerf to his billow.
1. Main weapon: Deals 1500 dmg over 2 seconds (short range). I feel his damage output is pretty good and I've had many games where I have dealt more damage with Zhin than my damage team mate. His shots are easy to aim and Yomi spam is love (Discussed later).
2. Counter: His strongest ability. Zhin can counter most of the ultimates in the game including Skye's bomb, Terminus ult, Bomb king's king bomb, Seris ult, Lian's kneel, Atlas' banish and so on. The recent counter buff where counter range was increased made this ability even more strong. He can win most 1v1s if counter is used wisely (like if u can counter Cassie's impulse combo or Lian's presence).
3. Whirl: Whirl is an ability which gives Zhin mobility and it's often a great kill finisher ability. Being area damage, it's very effective against a grouped up team. After the nerf, whirl is his solo movement ability to escape after getting a kill.
4. Billow: Zhin turns into smoke and takes no damage. 1.5 second duration seems to harsh and billow can no longer be used as an ability to escape. It's good to avoid Crowd contol abilities like Imani's frost bomb, Furia's beam etc. It cleanses caut so great to get healed (Though Seris can't heal Zhin in billow).
5. Spite: His ultimate ability. Spite is not one of the most influential or powerful ultimates in the game but is great if used correctly. Never use spite against a champion if his/her teammates are around. I would suggest not to use spite as soon as it's up. It's best if used in the following scenarios:
5.1 A tank like Fernando or Khan has his shield up. Spite on them will force them to drop the shield and be a stationary target for your teammates to hit.
5.2 If u find the opposite healer alone, hit once with your left click and spite on them. This helps against healers like seris who can escape easily.
5.3 For vertical mobility - On maps like Serpant beach, spite is a great tool to reach high ground.
5.4 Escape - If whirl and billow both are down, shout(YAAA!) and escape.
5.5 Top Play - There's no logic here. As soon as I get a double, I look to spite and get a triple.
1. Yomi: With this talent, heavy hits have no range limit and passes through enemies. With this nerf, Yomi becomes even more important to have as overextending and not having billow to retreat makes poking more viable. Just stand back and poke the damage and healer and dive deep when you are sure to get a kill. Yomi works wonders when the opposite team is camping together as it passes through enemies and can hit 2-3 enemies easily. Of the 150 hours I've played Zhin, atleast 145 hrs I've played with Yomi!
2. Guillotine: Spite now deals 25% damage of the opponent's health and Zhin becomes dmg immune during spite. This talent is good only in certain scenarios - If the map is small (like Brightmarsh) and there are 2 or 3 beefy tanks in the opposite team. After caut 2, rack up morale boost to make full use of this talent.
3. Smolder: I've never liked smolder from the very beginning, but there are players who prefer smolder over the other 2 talents. With the nerf, smolder becomes even more weak. U can heal for a fix amount of health (about 1000) in the 1.5 seconds. Compared to the benefits the other talents bring in - 1000 healing seems a bit weak.
To summarise, Zhin was a strong pick and is still a strong pick. With this nerf, you just have to be a bit more careful when diving into the enemy backline as there is no 3-4 seconds billow to retreat if things don't go well. He is still really strong in the flank class and can really melt the opposite team when having a good game. Zhin's still got it!
This is my main loadout I use after the nerf. 40% increased whirl distance really helps to cover ground or escape.
If I want to retreat, I check if my whirl is up. If on a cooldown, I use billow - which lowers whirl cooldown by 3 seconds and then whirl away! Fan the flames, heartless and hideout help in this.
You can never go wrong with an additional 100 health with the help of infamy.
Your heavy hit passes through enemies, deals 150 more damage, and has no range limit.
Increase the distance of Whirl by 40%
Fan the Flames
Kills reduce the cooldown of Billow by 60%
Kills grant 30% Movement Speed for 4s.
Billow reduces the cooldown of Whirl by 3s.
Increase your maximum health by 100.