by Lewis Burnell on Sep 20, 2017
Chromie is a ranged, artillery based mage that deals massive damage from afar. In a similar vein to Li Ming, she is very much about positioning and utilizing her extra range over other Heroes. Unlike Li Ming however, she brings some utility and a powerful Trait that allows her to access her talents two levels early.
She has two heroic abilities that are flexible, with both bringing nuisance and zoning potential. I will add that Chromie is surprisingly powerful due to her ability to protect specific points with her Time Trap, but to also deal surprise attacks thanks to Dragon's Breath.
On objective heavy Battlegrounds, Chromie excels at poking players down and if she does land her shots with accuracy, can blow players up incredibly quickly. A well played Chromie is tough to deal with if she constantly stays at maximum range.
Updated: 20 September 2017
Huge burst damage potential thanks to Dragon's Breath followed by Sand Blast
Vulnerable to spike Heroes such as Nova or Zeratul
Dragon's Breath is amazing for surprising the enemy team
She has no mobility so relies entirely on positioning
Time Trap is fantastic at protecting a specific location or buying time
Sand Blast has a cast time so requires good aiming ability
Her Trait allows her to spike in power two levels before everyone else
She is mana hungry early game
Excels on objective based Battlegrounds
Has poor wave clear due to relying solely on Dragon's Breath
Time Walker (Trait) - Providing Chromie with every talent 2 levels earlier than her teammates, Timewalker is pretty incredible. Considering at level 8 you'll be able to drop your heroic ability or at 18 use your Storm Talent, it's brilliant. Best of all, you don't have to do anything to make use of it.
Sand Blast (Q) - Sand Blast is a long range artillary shot that allows Chromie to fire a sand projectile at her foes. It will pass through all minions until it hits an enemy Hero, meaning it cannot be used for wave clear. It deals huge damage but because of that, has a slight delay just before casting. Taking this into account can be difficult, especially against a moving target. As such, it's best to use Sand Blast outside of an enemies vision so they won't expect the attack. It's also important to note that Sand Blast is a multi-quest ability, with each strike against enemy Heroes increasing its damage by 5. Not only this, but hitting a total of 60 Heroes allows Chromie to leave an Echo behind, which also casts Sand Blast when she does. It's imperative you land Sand Blast as quickly as possible, to ensure you stack the 60 hits. Once you have, obtaining the Echo allows Chromie to deal huge damage when double casting Sand Blast.
Dragon's Breath (W) - A unique ability that deals massive impact damage, but with no location marker. The fact enemies can't see where the Dragon's Breath will land makes it incredibly strong, not just for sneaking up on enemies or for ganking from afar but because it allows Chromie to remain unpredictable. As always, try to use this on the priority targets and be sure to follow up immediately with a Sand Blast after using Dragon's Breath. With practice you can land both instantly.
Time Trap (E) - Chromie's only means of defence, Time Trap allows her to place a sand timer at a location that will stealth and cause stasis to anyone who touches it after 2 seconds. It's primarily used for escaping, defending your lane (to prevent you being ganked) or to make a nuisance of yourself when the enemy team are trying to attack an objective. Placing the Time Trap in locations players are mostly likely to run into it can allow you and your team to burst them down once they come out of stasis.
Slowing Sands (R) - The "quieter" of her two heroic abilities, Slowing Sands is an AOE slow that lasts as long as Chromie has mana. After 3 seconds it will slow by 70% - a huge amount and one enemies can't dispell. Used on or before an objective it can allow Chromie to not only trap enemies (placing a Time Trap on the other side of the Slowing Sands works well) but to also allow her team to deal damage to those in it.
Temporal Loop (R) - After 3 seconds Temporal Loop will teleport the affected enemy back to where they were when it was originally cast. It effectively turns back time for one player. As you might expect, this is particularly useful for two scenarios: preventing escape or ensuring survival. If an enemy player is escaping, casting Temporal Loop on them will bring them back into a fight. Alternatively, if an enemy is trying to kill you, casting Temporal Loop on them will magic them back to where they were - creating a large gap between you and them. There's also some clever tricks you can play with Temporal Loop as if you can remember where an enemy was when first cast, you can line up a Sand Blast and Dragon's Breath for the moment they reappear, just be sure to cast both abilities when the clock is past the half-way mark.
Deep Breathing is a must have talent if you can manage your mana. By hitting 25 enemies with Dragon's Breath not only will you increase its damage by 200 but you'll also increase your sight radius by 100%. This plays into later talents and allows Chromie to not only hit hard, but improve her ability to fire from afar.
Increasing Chromie's basic attack range by 35%, Bronze Talons is a must. Not only does it allow her to poke much more often but also provides further spike damage. After using Sand Blast your next basic attack will deal 250% extra damage.
If you're after nothing but burst, Dragon's Eye is a reasonable alternative. Although the radius of Dragon's Breath is small, it's fairly easy to land it on someone while they're dead in the center because they cannot see the incoming impact. Increasing Dragon's Breath's damage by 25% when someone is caught in the center is a huge boost, with Dragon's Eye bringing its damage to well over 1200.
On Objective heavy maps that require interaction (such as Towers of Doom) Slowing Sands can be extremely useful. Placed in a choke-point leading to the objective, or very near to it, can ensure your team has an advantage. It also means anyone caught in it is easily hit by Chromie's attacks, and that's never a bad thing.
Variable: Chromie has only one means of defence and that's a static object that needs to be armed. Temporal Loop can not only ensure her survivability against any Hero it's cast on (it'll move them away from her once they've ran in her direction) but can also be used aggressively to prevent enemy players escaping. Best of all, with practice it can allow Chromie to set up perfect spikes - just aim your shots where the enemy first started.
With few means of defence if Time Trap isn't available, Time Out allows Chromie to put herself in stasis for 7 seconds. This can buy you a huge amount of time for your team to come to your rescue. Best of all, it allows Chromie to prevent damage to herself, or actions against her (such as a throw or pull).
Shifting Sands allows Chromie to significantly increase her ability damage every time she lands Sand Blast. With her damage increasing by a maximum of 40%, the boost can be refreshed repeatedly. Obviously you need to remain accurate, but that's fairly easy for experience Chromie players.
Variable: Increasing Chromie's ability power by 25% for 10 seconds, Quantum Overdrive allows her to deal amazing burst damage - especially if you have Timewalker's Pursuit maxed (bringing the total to 30%). Just be sure to land your shots when it's active.
Allowing Chromie to pierce enemy Heroes with Sandblast, Piercing Sands is incredible if your Echoe is completed. Being able to slice through multiple Heroes, with double-Sand Blast's can cause havoc very quickly.
These Hero Threat Levels (1 being lowest threat and 10 being highest threat) are to help you determine which enemy Heroes can give you a headache. For the Heroes listed here, take extra care as they're particularly dangerous for Chromie.
Genji: His mobility, poke and Heroic abilities can cause you real problems very quickly.
Greymane: He has the burst potential to kill you near instantly if he switches to Worgen form, while having his Ultimate ability ready.
Illidan: Evade, self healing, mobility, damage - he's a headache you just can't get rid of.
Lunara: Her mobility, nuisance poison and vision make life difficult for Chromie. She can also easily avoid your skill shots if she keeps moving.
Tracer: Her speed, Recall, Blink and Ultimate can be very, very difficult to handle. You'll struggle to land your skill shots and you've no way of defending yourself.
Thrall: His root, ranged poke and self healing are very difficult to deal with. Even with your range, if he has taken Sundering and flanks you, you'll die quickly.
The Butcher: Onslaught and Lamb to the Slaughter can destroy you near instantly. A Time Trap buys you a very narrow window of opportunity.
7/10Valeera: Her ability to cloak, stun and burst make life pretty miserable for Chromie. 9/10 Nova: Her burst from stealth, combined with Pinning Shot can make Chromie very difficult to play 9/10 Zeratul: Similarly to Valeera and Nova, Zeratul's burst from stealth can kill Chromie near instantly. 9/10
This list of tips and tricks are just a handful of things we think will help your Chromie play. We'll continue to add to the list as required and if you have any tips you'd like to share, let us know in the comments below and we'll place them here.
1. Chromie has ridiculously long range - make use of this in teams fights and to siege against enemy structures.
2. Your cooldown on Sand Blast is very low. Be sure to constantly release them in a team fight.
3. Sand Blast can only affect enemy Heroes - you can't use it for wave clear.
4. Due to the casting delay on Sand Blast, it's possible to quickly cast Dragon's Breath, followed by Sand Blast, for a huge single location burst of damage.
5. Your Time Trap's should always be placed in locations most walked. It's primarily a defensive tool so be sure to use it in lane or on Objectives.
6. Dragon's Breath doesn't have an impact warning. This makes life very difficult for the enemy team and their healer as they won't know where you've fired it before it's too late.
7. Temporal Loop should be used against high priority targets that are likely to try and escape you and your team (healers/mages). Be sure to use it on them just as they're running so they're brought back to your team.
8. If you're being dived on by a melee assassin, use Temporal Loop and keep running. It'll create huge space for you.
9. Against a melee heavy composition (or assassin heavy) Time Out can be invaluable. Use it when they dive you to buy you space.
10. Always try to destroy the enemy teams Fountains with your skills. You can poke most of them by attacking from the sides of the keep.
11. Try to always fire your skills from maximum range and from cover (bushes/vents) - the element of surprise is key for Chromie.