12 days ago
5
Patch 2.4
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Free Agent - Southeast Asia

I still remember my first Paladins game (Not the bot matches -_- ), 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 almost 200 hours. In this guide, I just wanted to share the things I have learnt - from the basics to advanced.

Let's start with the basics - his abilities and talents.

Abilities

1. Main weapon: Deals 1500 dmg over 2 seconds (short range). 2 initial swings deal 400 damage each and the third swing is a heavy swing - which deals 700 damage. 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 due to the wide projectile (and Paladins hitboxes xD).

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 counter was buffed a few patches back (Counter range was increased) which has 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. 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, takes no damage and cleanses all effects. 1.5 second duration seems to harsh after the recent nerf 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.

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 xD.

Talents

I feel all of Zhin's 3 talents are viable and allow him to alter his play-style. I'll elaborate on these:

1. Yomi: Probably the most used talent and my personal favourite. With this talent, heavy hits deal 150 more damage (850), have no range limit and passes through enemies. This talent allows for a poke-heavy playstyle. You can stay around your team and spam the heavy hits on the enemy from far away. This is what I do - I stand near a cover, hit the wall 2 times (for the two regular shots) and aim the third shot (Yomi hit) at the healer/dmg as per the situation. This style is very safe, avoids having to overextend and you take minimum damage. Just stand back and poke the damage and healer (or the tank as per situation) and dive deep when you are sure to get a kill. The shots passing through enemies helps you farm more damage and even finish someone who is being body-blocked. You have to get used to the projectile speed and guide your shot according to the enemies' movement.

Note: With this talent, the heavy hits are considered Area Damage (Mitigated by blast shield)

2. Guillotine: Spite now deals 25% damage of the opponent's health and Zhin becomes damage immune during spite. This talent provides the team with an execution ultimate (Like Drogoz's dragon punch). Thus, this talent is good on mid-fight heavy maps like Ice Mines. Also, this talent is good against triple tank compositions. Zhin's playstyle becomes more of a tank-melter with this talent. Rack up morale boost and keep shooting and ulting the tanks.

3. Smolder: This talent allows Zhin to heal during billow (About 1000 health). This is the talent to pick if you really want to go aggressive and be a nuisance in the enemy backline. With the right loadout cards, you can keep getting billow reset after getting a kill. This gives Zhin sustain and thus survive in the backline. The mentioned playstyle becomes very hard against a well coordinated team. If you want to stay back and play safe, Yomi is better. If you want to dive and distract the backline, smolder is better.

Yomi/Guillotine Builds
Build Section
Notes

Yomi and Guillotine usually require similar builds and thus I'll be grouping them together. Smolder requires a different build, which I'll elaborate seperately.

Yomi & Guillotine General Builds

Main Build
Yomi

Yomi

Weapon

Your heavy hit with Inferno Blade pierces enemies, deals 150 additional damage, and has an extended range.

Level 1

Hideout

Hideout

Billow

Reduce the Cooldown of Whirl by 5s after using Billow.

Level 5

Blade Dance

Blade Dance

Whirl

Increase the travel distance of Whirl by 30%.

Level 3

Fan the Flames

Fan the Flames

Billow

Reduce the Cooldown of Billow by 40% after getting a Killing Blow.

Level 2

Infamy

Infamy

Armor

Increase your maximum Health by 100.

Level 2

Footwork

Footwork

Counter

Increase your Movement Speed by 30% for 3s after activating Counter.

Level 3

Notes

This build is my most commonly used build.

1) Hideout - This card reduces the cooldown of whirl by 5 seconds after using billow. The reason I have this card at 5 is that you can double whirl to cover large distances. To double-whirl, Use whirl and immediately billow. As billow ends, whirl will be up again and you can cover a lot of gound. If this card is at 4, there is 1 second delay before using the second whirl.

2) Blade Dance - This card increases the whirl distance. I find 3 to be the sweet spot - allowing it to be used for duels as well as escape. Very high levels of blade dance will make it difficult during duels but great for retreating or aggressing.

3) Fan the flames - Billow is a 15 second cooldown. Before the billow nerf, this was staple at 4 in all Zhin builds. Now, I feel 2 points are sufficient.

4) Infamy - One can never go wrong with some additional base health

5) Footwork - 30% movement speed during counter helps to retreat or reach for cover during combat. Whirling immediately after counter helps cover larger distance due to this card. Same is the case with billow.

Tanky build
Yomi

Yomi

Weapon

Your heavy hit with Inferno Blade pierces enemies, deals 150 additional damage, and has an extended range.

Level 1

Infamy

Infamy

Armor

Increase your maximum Health by 250.

Level 5

Blade Dance

Blade Dance

Whirl

Increase the travel distance of Whirl by 30%.

Level 3

Master Stance

Master Stance

Counter

Reduce the Cooldown of Whirl by 3s after successfully hitting an enemy with Counter.

Level 3

Hideout

Hideout

Billow

Reduce the Cooldown of Whirl by 3s after using Billow.

Level 3

Viciousness

Viciousness

Counter

Generate 2 Ammo after successfully Countering an attack.

Level 1

Notes

This is a tanky build which requires you to counter and billow to reset whirl.

Counter-focussed Build
Yomi

Yomi

Weapon

Your heavy hit with Inferno Blade pierces enemies, deals 150 additional damage, and has an extended range.

Level 1

Master Stance

Master Stance

Counter

Reduce the Cooldown of Whirl by 5s after successfully hitting an enemy with Counter.

Level 5

Wildfire

Wildfire

Whirl

Reduce the Cooldown of Whirl by 1.5s for each enemy it hits.

Level 3

Footwork

Footwork

Counter

Increase your Movement Speed by 40% for 3s after activating Counter.

Level 4

Infamy

Infamy

Armor

Increase your maximum Health by 100.

Level 2

Viciousness

Viciousness

Counter

Generate 2 Ammo after successfully Countering an attack.

Level 1

Notes

This build is completely focussed on counter and feels very satifying when done right. The playstyle is simple - Whirl into an enemy during a duel. This will reduce the cooldown of whirl by 1.5 seconds. Then immediately put up your counter. If the enemy hits that, you get a complete whirl reset (1.5 + 5 = 6.5 seconds. Whirl has 7 second cd). Whirl again into the same enemy and finish him/her off.

Whirl-reset build
Yomi

Yomi

Weapon

Your heavy hit with Inferno Blade pierces enemies, deals 150 additional damage, and has an extended range.

Level 1

Wildfire

Wildfire

Whirl

Reduce the Cooldown of Whirl by 2.5s for each enemy it hits.

Level 5

Hideout

Hideout

Billow

Reduce the Cooldown of Whirl by 5s after using Billow.

Level 5

Blade Dance

Blade Dance

Whirl

Increase the travel distance of Whirl by 30%.

Level 3

Kindling

Kindling

Whirl

Generate 1 Ammo after activating Whirl.

Level 1

Infamy

Infamy

Armor

Increase your maximum Health by 50.

Level 1

Notes

This is the most fun build but very hard to execute. The playstyle is focused around spamming whirl. The thing to note is that Ying illusions, barik turrets and Luna are taken into count in the wildfire card. Shields are not counted. Thus, if you are able to hit any 3 deployables or enemies, whirl cooldown gets completely reset and you whirl again into them.

If they spread out and you no longer have a reset, use billow and hideout 5 will provide you with a confirmed final whirl to escape and retreat safely.

Smolder Build
Build Section
Notes

This is the one build I use for smolder.

Smolder Build
Smolder

Smolder

Billow

Heal for 33% of your maximum Health per second while using Billow.

Level 1

Fan the Flames

Fan the Flames

Billow

Reduce the Cooldown of Billow by 100% after getting a Killing Blow.

Level 5

Blade Dance

Blade Dance

Whirl

Increase the travel distance of Whirl by 30%.

Level 3

Hideout

Hideout

Billow

Reduce the Cooldown of Whirl by 5s after using Billow.

Level 5

Infamy

Infamy

Armor

Increase your maximum Health by 50.

Level 1

Embers

Embers

Billow

Generate 1 Ammo after activating Billow.

Level 1

Notes

The build ensures that you will have a confirmed billow after getting a kill. Use billow to heal yourself and then whirl will be up (due to hideout 5). Use that whirl to go deeper into the backline or retreat to your team.

Matchup
Champion Section
Strong against
AndroxusTalusMojiLianTyraViktorVivianFernandoKhan
Notes

Androxus - Zhin's shots are easier to hit, whirl passes through reversal and countering Andro's reversal does not give him dash reset. (A pro andro can still wreck zhin hard, but that is true against all champions xD)

Talus/Tyra/Viktor/Vivian - All high firing rate champions are good to duel with Zhin. The high firing rate makes it very hard for them to not hit on the counter. Whirling through them also throws off the aim and they waste their ammo.

Moji - Billow cleanses the stacked magic marks

Lian - Zhin can billow or counter her ultimate (Kneel)

Fernando - Spite on him whenever he is low and has his shield up

Khan - Again spite will help to drop the shield, you can counter commander's grab

Weak Against
TorvaldBomb KingCassieStrixSha Lin
Notes

Torvald - Nullify is a nightmare

Bomb King - He can detonate sticky bombs behind you when you have counter up

Cassie - She can easily time the counter/billow duration and land shot + blast shot (1200 burst) combo. Avoid duels with Cassie

Shalin - Again, he can wait for counter/billow to end and then shoot.

Strix - Strix OP

Advanced Tips
Build Section
Notes

These are a few tips which help me a lot and hope these would help you too :)

1) Try to start a duel with the heavy hit. Hit 2 shots at a wall and then you have a 1.5-2 second window to land the third shot before this resets. Use that 2 second window to engage and start the duel with the heavy hit.

2) Basic animation cancel - You can whirl immediately after the heavy hit to cancel the animation. Similarly counter immediately after heavy hit to cancel the animation. Animation cancel is there for the regular shots also, but it is less noticable compared to the heavy hit.

3) Avoid using counter at low health. Use counter early in the duel and don't keep it till the end. There is a small lockup time after counter ends. If you are low, you will certainly die due to that lockup time.

4) Don't just stand in front of the enemy during a duel. Use whirl to throw their aim off. This is what I do - 2 regular hits + immediate whirl through the enemy and then land the third hit. This combo takes almost 2000 health against the target.

5) Don't hesitate to use billow during a duel. Billow can cleanse caut (Useful if you have a jenos pocket) and it can remove all the moji magic marks. Use billow to reduce the cooldown of whirl(if you have that build) and use that also into the duel.

6) If you're playing Yomi, try to angle the shot such that it does not run into a wall immediately after hitting the target. Often it passes through another enemy by chance.

7) Use billow to avoid incoming CC. For example - Raum ult, furia beam, Seris ult etc

8) Some interesting interactions against Raum - If he is in juggernaught you will take the 600 dmg even if you have counter up. Even spiting on him during his run will lead you to take 600 damage. His ult can be countered.

I'll add if I remember anymore xD

Thanks a lot for the read :)

KillingHobbyist