Overview

Chen is one of my favourite Heroes and in the right hands, is incredibly powerful. With practice he can be a formidable Warrior and I'd argue he's equal to Illidan in terms of survivability and mobility. His shielding, allowing him to withstand so much punishment, mean he not only deals damage over a long period, but can successfully body block the opposition. Chen is particularly strong if played alongside another Warrior, especially if it's an offensive partner such as Sonya/Tyrael/Leoric, because he can act as a damage sponge and shield provider, whilst they provide continued pressure. Just be conscious of the fact that he's easily interrupted, ensuring if he's drafted early, he can be hard-countered.

Guide Updated: 1 July 2019

Pros

Cons

Amazing survivability

You'll need to drink. A lot.

Great lane sustain thanks to his Brew mechanic

Drinking prevents movement so pursuing foes is sometimes difficult  

High mobility for a Warrior 

Burst healers work better with him than those offering heals over time

Reasonable minion clear thanks to his Keg Smash and Breath of Fire

Takes skill to play well

Trait

Fortifying Brew (Trait) - Chen's Trait is a large part of what makes him such a unique Hero. Being able to use your abilities, drink from your keg to gain a large shield, then use your abilities again gives Chen a fantastic laning phase. If you’re able to channel uninterrupted, it also means you can soak up a lot of damage in a team fight. The shield returned is enormous as long as he isn't interrupted and if he isn't, he can sustain himself for a long time against multiple targets.

Abilities

Flying Kick (Q) - You’ll be using Flying Kick to either catch someone out, or initiate a team fight. What's particularly strong about Flying Kick however is the fact that it places Chen on the opposite side of the enemy you hit, allowing to to body block them easily. Chen relies massively on Flying Kick and for his team to follow in once he's by the enemy. Effective use of the ability is key to locking down high value targets, or retreating when needed.

Keg Smash (W) - Keg Smash is a short ranged AoE ability that deals a small amount of damage. The most important part is the slow, which can be quite beneficial, and the fact that it soaks everything hit with Brew. Combined with Breath of Fire, this can quickly clear minion waves, or put down some meaningful damage on multiple enemies in a team fight. It's best used after immediately after Flying Kick for maximum pressure. It's also important to note that Keg Smash is replaced with Breath of Fire after use (see below)

Breath of Fire (W) - This ability becomes available after using Keg Smash. On its own, Breath of Fire doesn’t deal a lot of damage. However, any enemies soaked in Brew from Keg Smash will take the damage again, over 3 seconds. This can help clear minion waves, or apply a DoT effect on several enemies during a team fight. Due to all of Chen’s abilities having the same cooldown, you’ll be looking to Flying Kick in, Keg Smash on your opponents, then immediately Breath of Fire them to get the most damage possible. Try to always maintain this ability on the enemy. 

Stagger (E) - A powerful ability which allows Chen to mitigate incoming damage, Stagger is an important mechanic for his survivability. It effectively breaks down his damage received, similar to Monk's in World of Warcraft, so that it's stretched over time, rather than immediately. This makes healing him far easier. As an example, instead of received 500 damage instantly, he receives 375 damage over 5 seconds; 75 damage per second. This is far easier for him and his team to mitigate, and when combined with self-healing Talents, ensures he can withstand significant damage. 

Wandering Keg (R) - Until level 10, Chen’s only form of crowd control is the slow from Keg Smash. That’s not necessarily ideal for a Warrior, but he can to make up for that once Wandering Keg is unlocked. It’s useful for isolating a priority target, zoning out the other team’s back line during a team fight, or to even interrupt/steal merc camps (or bosses, if your timing is excellent.) You can use this to your advantage on any map with a boss. Be aware however that you can still take damage as a Wandering Keg and against a coordinated team, this can see you killed very quickly. 

Storm, Earth, Fire (R) - If you’re willing to sacrifice the crowd control, Chen’s other Heroic (Storm, Earth, Fire) could be appealing to you. You’ll want to use this right before a team fight starts, or when the enemy has used their stuns, so that it isn’t interrupted. Once it’s in effect, you’ll essentially have 3 mini-Chens. This can be useful, as the other team can either ignore you and constantly take damage, or take out your 3 spirits. Storm, Earth, Fire also provides you with a good amount of survivability and mobility. What I will say about this Ultimate is that it's value is is primarily for providing Chen with mobility outside of his Flying Kick - it's amazing for escaping. Just be aware that if all three of your spirits die, so will you. 

Talents

Level 1: Eye of the Tiger

Eye of the Tiger lets Chen deal 50% more damage to Brew soaked enemies, and allows him to heal for 50% of the damage dealt. It's fairly significant (at around 70 health per hit) and provides significant sustain, to mitigate incoming damage. It also allows him to pressure that little bit more. 

Level 4: Accumulating Flame

The damage option, Accumulating Flame allows Chen's Breath of Fire to last 25% longer, while allowing his basic attacks to extend its duration by almost a second. For maintaining pressure on a target, it's fantastic.

Level 7: Gift of the Ox

The sustain option, Gift of the Ox increases the duration of Stagger by 0.5 seconds but also sees the damage reduced to 60% (rather than 75%). Amazing for even greater survivability.

Level 10: Storm, Earth, Fire

Storm, Earth, Fire is the go-to Heoric if you're under heavy amounts of crowd control, simply because it provides so much utility, damage and survivability. You can use it to escape, engage and still deal some damage in the process. Unlike Wandering Keg it doesn't bring crowd control, but does make Chen incredibly difficult to kill. 

Level 13: A Touch of Honey

Building on Eye of the Tiger, A Touch of Honey increases your Keg Smash slow by 10% and also elongates its duration. For getting in those extra basics, it's fab. 

Level 16: Combo Strikes

Combo Strikes is yet another Talent for basic attacks, and allows Chen to deal 75% bonus damage every third attack (which also pairs into Eye of the Tiger). If you also have Fortifying Brew, you gain 50% increased attack speed. Amazing. 

Level 20: Elemental Conduit

One of several you can choose at this tier, all of them available to Chen are good. Elemental Conduit simply sexes up your Heroic, empowering your abilities and granting 100% increased health.

Variable: Against a CC heavy composition, take Purifying Brew (it grants Unstoppable for 1.5 seconds)

Variable 2: If you can achieve it, grab Energizing Brew for a massive spike to your health and attack speed, if you fill to full. 


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Last Updated: Jul 01, 2019

About The Author

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Lewis is currently playing Dota Underlords, Battlerite and Destiny 2, having covered a variety of genres for many years.

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