Chen Build Guide “I bring Pandamonium!”
Welcome to our guide for Chen, a Bruiser in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.
1. Chen's Overview
Chen is a sturdy melee Bruiser whose Fortifying Brew enables him to constantly shield himself. This and the fact that he has access to a variety of viable talents make him a formidable frontliner that is usually played in the solo lane. Knowing how to position yourself and when to use your abilities is particularly important when playing as Chen, since he is very susceptible to crowd control effects.
2. Chen's Strengths and Weaknesses
3. Chen's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Aggressive BuildTalent calculator »
The Aggressive Build focuses on Chen becoming a dangerous damage dealer that wreaks havoc in the enemy team's backline. It is important to notice that we recommend playing Chen in a solo lane, since that is where he can put his great duelling skills to best use. At Level 1, Eye of the Tiger is the only option to help amplify Chen's damage output. At Level 4, there are two options to choose from. Accumulating Flame increases Chen's AoE damage and, consequently, his waveclear potential as well. To help Chen in lane against another strong duelist or if you value single target damage more, Deadly Strike is the way to go. At Level 7, we like both Elusive Brawler and Brewmaster's Balance but tend to prefer the former, as it comes with a relatively short cooldown and also provides Chen with additional mobility and strong evasion.
At Level 10, Storm, Earth, Fire is our standard choice to maximize Chen's damage, however, Wandering Keg remains a valid option, especially if the enemy team features several Assassins that can be isolated and pushed into your team's ranks. During Level 13 and 16 Chen can decide to go for additional burst damage by picking Ring of Fire and Combo Strikes. Alternatively, he can opt for more mobility and utility by focussing on Pressure Point and Flying Leap. At Level 20, Elemental Conduit is a must-have if you went Storm, Earth, Fire at Level 10. Otherwise, we recommend Purifying Brew to help fight Chen's weakness against Stuns and Silences.
Defensive BuildTalent calculator »
The Defensive Build prioritizes Chen's survivability on the battlefield over raw damage output. However, even with a more defensive build, Chen can still be a thorn in the enemy team's side. At Level 1, we usually recommend Freshest Ingredients, as it boosts Chen's tankiness over time and also synergizes well—after completion—with Fortifying Brew-dependent talents, such as Deadly Strike at Level 4. Still, Eye of the Tiger is so solid as a talent, that it can also be picked. At Level 4, Accumulating Flame can be a viable option, especially if additional waveclear is required. At Level 7, the enemy team's main damage source needs to be analyzed. If they focus on Basic Attacks, Elusive Brawler is great. If they have a mix of Basic Attacks and Spell (Burst) Damage, Gift of the Ox is a worthwhile investment.
At Level 10, Wandering Keg is our standard choice to maximize Chen's survivability and pick potential, however, Storm, Earth, Fire remains a valid option, especially if your team requires additional damage during team fights or if the enemy team is too tanky/mobile for Wandering Keg to get any value from. At Level 13, Enough to Share offers increased self-protection while also shielding nearby allies—a great talent for a more defensive playstyle. For the late game, Celerity's cooldown reduction at Level 16 possesses wonderful synergy with Gift of the Ox at Level 7. At Level 20, Purifying Brew can be a strong choice against heavy crowd control on the enemy team's side, while Elemental Conduit, if Storm, Earth, Fire was taken at Level 10, can add some potentially needed extra damage. However, we usually think that Energizing Brew works best with this build, as it will add outstanding amounts of extra tankiness and damage to Chen's kit.
4. Chen's Synergies and Counters
It is hard to find Heroes that truly synergize well with Chen, since his kit focuses so much on himself, rather than enabling others. Still, there are crowd control heavy Heroes like Jaina or Kel'Thuzad who benefit from all the distraction a well played Chen can cause. Furthermore, thanks to Chen's reliable Movement Speed slow effects, Heroes like Greymane can chase down fleeing opponents very easily.
Chen's greatest weakness is any form of crowd control that interrupts his Fortifying Brew. As such, Stun-heavy Warriors like Muradin or Johanna prove to be quite the challenge. A different kind of threat are Heroes like Varian, who gain access to shield destroying talents, such as Shattering Throw, which greatly reduce Fortifying Brew's protection.
5. Chen's Maps
Chen is an extremely potent Solo Laner, which means he can hold his own very well in a one-versus-one situation. Consequently, he becomes a valuable asset on maps like Battlefield of Eternity or Braxis Holdout. Due to his kit and unique playstyle, he does not really have a weak map with the only exception being Warhead Junction. There, other Tanks and/or Bruisers like Dehaka or E.T.C. should usually be considered first.
6. Chen's Tips and Tricks
- Flying Kick can be used on enemy Structures as well, which makes it a great ability to leap over Walls, Forts, or Towers.
- Remember that Keg Smash can also be used defensively to slow down engaging enemies.
- When Storm, Earth, Fire expires, Chen returns to pre-cast health value. If all three Spirits die, so does Chen.
- Fortifying Brew can be used to minimize the damage-over-time taken from Stagger.
7. Chen's Role in the Current Meta
Chen is a volatile Bruiser, usually played in the solo lane, where he can hold his own against almost any other Hero in the game. His abilities each come with both great advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, his ability to shield himself every 7 seconds using Fortifying Brew makes Chen incredibly hard to take down, however, it also forces him to remain frozen in place while drinking.
Finally, Chen's Heroic Ability Storm, Earth, Fire provides him with a lot of extra survivability and mobility, yet it can be interrupted quite easily if used too recklessly.
All in all, after gaining some experience on Chen's mechanics, we think the Hero can have tremendous impact in team fights, while being one of the strongest and safest solo laners available.
- 17 Jun. 2019 (talents page): Completely overhauled and updated Chen's talents and builds in accordance with the recent Hero Rework.
- 17 Jun. 2019 (abilities page): Updated Chen's abilities in accordance with the latest Hero Rework.
- 07 Jun. 2019 (talents page): Updated Chen's talents and builds.
- 22 Sep. 2017 (talents page): Updated Chen's talents in accordance to the latest balance update.
- 30 Aug. 2017 (this page): Updated Chen and moved guide to new format.
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