Brewmaster Rysu's Balanced Brewmaster (SoloQ) by BrewmasterRysu

Brewmaster Rysu's Balanced Brewmaster (SoloQ)

By: BrewmasterRysu
Last Updated: Nov 13, 2018
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Build 1 of 2

Chen

Build: Balanced Brewmaster (Solo Q)

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Threats to Chen with this build

Threat
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Threat Hero Notes
1
Nova Nova can't compete with your health pool and your shields. Keep your health up so she doesn't burst you down and drink up any damage you see coming.
1
Li Li Li Li isn't much against her Uncle. She can escape you fairly easily and possibly bait you. Don't let this happen. You're better than that.
2
  No Threat
3
Gazlowe Don't play into Gazlowe's plan. Burst him down, and stay out of his bomb and turrets.
3
Zeratul Zeratul can't lay enough damage down to kill you. Treat him like Nova.
4
Azmodan Azmodan's hand beam will eat your shields fairly quickly, but with our level 7 talent, we can stay ahead of it. Use your kit to beat him down and soak up his retaliation.
4
Auriel If Auriel lands her stun (by knocking you into something) i can disrupt your Fortifying Brew -- be sure to prevent this by maintaining a good position during the fights.
4
Cassia
4
Falstad
4
Li-Ming Taking [[Bolder Flavor]] gives us the ability to counter nearly all of Li Ming's damage power.
4
Murky Respect Murky and he will not threaten you. Underestimate Murky and you will die.
4
Probius Stay out of Probius' rifts and you will not suffer.
5
Jaina Jaina's Blizzard can cause some problems and if she traps you with her ultimate, it can be difficult. Play defensively and she will go down easily.
5
Stitches
5
Arthas
5
Genji
5
Tracer
5
Zarya
5
Leoric
5
Tyrael
5
Sylvanas
5
Sonya
5
Sgt. Hammer
5
Greymane
5
Rehgar
6
Valla
6
Tassadar
6
Lt. Morales
7
Johanna Fighting Johanna as Chen is a wet noodle contest, but she will usually win out if she's any good. She can interrupt your drinking and blind you, reducing your effectiveness. Bait her with your pokes and get a good kick in when she's used up her trait.
7
Anub'arak Anub'arak's spines can stun you out of your [[Fortifying Brew]]. He can also tunnel and counter your [[Wandering Keg]] and [[Flying Kick]] placement. Trade blows and don't over extend and you will win.
7
Muradin Mind his stun.
7
Abathur
7
Chromie
7
D.Va
7
Zagara
7
Medivh Medivh can impact your combos with his shields and make peeling and bruising difficult with his gates.
8
Diablo Diablo will throw you around if you let him. Save your [[Flying Kick]] for his bruising and always keep something near you to leap to, such as walls or minions.
8
Stukov
8
Rexxar Watch Misha's leap while you're drinking. She'll be able too set up with other team mates to neutralize you.
8
Malthael
9
Alarak Alarak can be a big pain to Chen. His silence can interrupt your shields and he can deny your escape with his push. Rotate away from him and modify your level 7 talent.
9
Dehaka A good Dehaka player can counter you with his burrow and throw you off balance with his pull. Be weary of him in team fights, as he will pull you into the group for a quick take down. Bait him and let your ranged Assassins end him.
9
Tychus Tychus can cause you a headache if he's good. Keep him off of you by sticking to your healer.
10
Brightwing Brightwing can do a lot to counter you. Polymorph will make short work of your Fortifying Brew and his sustains can make whittling his health down difficult.
10
The Butcher Butcher is almost the antithesis of Chen. Many of his abilities negate yours, and he can punish you for trying to tank him very quickly. A good butcher will make short work of a Chen. Rotate away and take the CC talent at level 7 to accommodate.
10
Artanis Artanis' position swap can cause some major problems for you if your Flying Kick is on cool down. Save your flying kick for that and poke him. 1v1 you won't win unless he's bad, so group on on him or rotate until you've gotten Wandering Keg.
10
Nazeebo
10
Kharazim
10
Lunara

Chen

Build: Balanced Brewmaster (Anti-CC)

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Welcome Top

UPDATED 11/13/18

This guide is meant to assist the reader in many areas of the game all at once. It is my personal belief that, in playing Chen, an aspiring Heroes of the Storm player can become a better player all around. In true monk fashion, mastering Chen may indeed require you to master yourself. This guide will help you in 3 major areas:
  • Gain an introductory level of understanding on the phases of a given game.
  • Gain an introductory level of understanding on how to play a Bruiser in Heroes.
  • Gain an advanced level of understanding on how to become an expert with Chen.

This guide may seem longer than some, shorter than others, but I promise by the time you're done, all that you'll have left is practice. Additionally, I encourage you to reach out to me for questions or for additional assistance. My public contact information is listed in the 'About the Author' section at the end of the guide.

Playing as Chen Top


First, let's go over what it really means to play as Chen.

In this section we'll discuss a few topics:
  1. What it means to play a Bruiser.
  2. The basic idea of Chen's unique play style.
  3. How to grow as a Chen player.



Playing a Bruiser Tank
So even though there are really only 3 major "roles" in the game, we already know that there are a variety of sub-roles that aren't always spelled out for you. If you hang out around Heroes media enough, you'll hear words like "Sustain" and "Push" and, of course "Bruiser."

Simply put, a Bruiser is any class that can sustain itself either through healing or through damage mitigation, doesn't need to go back to hearth out a lot, and can deal a significant amount of damage. Other bruisers include Artanis, Alarak, Varian, and Leoric, to name a few. It's important to understand that Chen is the original Bruiser tank and you have to play and spec him with this in mind. For our SoloQ guide, this is exactly what we're doing.
Chen's Unique Playstyle
Chen is a sustaining bruiser warrior that can dot, slow, and leap in with strong attack. He is considered to be able to absorb a great amount of punishment, especially with a healer. Chen can solo mercs early and solo lane from the beginning of the game.

Chen suffers from stuns more than any other part of the game, so you will find yourself at a disadvantage if you are chain stunned or if your shield is consistently interrupted.

If you find yourself in these situations, I highly recommend you rotate out. You should also consider the Anti-CC build instead, which only changes the level 7 talent to compensate for CCs. This will not help you completely, but should take the edge off of a heavy CC opposition.
Growing as a Chen Player
Chen's major play style strategy is to poke with Keg Smash, Ignite with Breath of Fire, and then fade until the enemy hero is outside of the range of a threat. At level 4, we're taking Deadly Strike for increased Flying Kick damage, which enables this play style to really pay off when we land a Flying Kick. It's very important to plan these kicks, as they can immediately over extend you and lead to a death.

Taking the level 7 Talent Bolder Flavor really allows Chen to stand out as an absorb tank, especially while he solos. This lets him poke, leap in to deal massive damage, and then immediately absorb the retaliation, causing the enemy to choose between continuing to attack Chen's shields while his next poke becomes ready, or attempting to flee.

They will usually attempt to flee or fall back. Another Keg Smash and a Breath of Fire slows them and dots them, and now the choice is yours on whether you want to pursue with another Flying Kick or let them lick their wounds.
This decision is the heart of Chen's gameplay.

Flying Kick is also intrinsic in body blocking, which is a corner stone of what makes Chen so helpful. On maps like Infernal Shrines, Warhead Junction, or Cursed Hollow, we'll see marked advantages when Chen lands opposite a retreating enemy, pinning them between his growing Fortifying Brew and his team.

Wandering Keg at level 10 is often a controversial choice. I like this because it gives Chen a confirmed escape method if you make a mistake, enables successful peel when combined with Flying Kick and packs itself neatly into the play style I've outlined here. We don't buff this at level 20 with Untapped Potential, instead choosing Stormstout Secret Recipe, because this is a niche tool and doesn't lend itself towards the overall goal of making Chen both an asset to the team and a powerful sustained combatant.


Playing Chen is all about knowing when to go in and when not to. I firmly believe that playing Chen will not only make you a better Chen player, but also a better Heroes player.
TL;DR: Master Flying Kick and you will master Chen.

The Laning Phase Top

The Laning Phase
I define the Laning Phase as the phase where players are generally supposed to be soaking experience, poking and evaluating their enemies, and preparing to engage the first map mechanic. I consider it to be ended at around level 7, or at around the time you'd get 3 Tributes for the Raven Lord. Which ever comes first.

Maybe an odd way to measure unit time, but you know what I'm talking about. Let's talk about talent choices in the laning phase as we lead into the Mid-Game.

Level 1 Talent - Accumulating Flame
At level 1, we're taking Accumulating Flame.

A lot of guides will have you take Freshest Ingredients for late game health regeneration and you might be wondering why I'm deviating from this.

The reason we're taking this early is for two main reasons:
  1. Taking Freshest Ingredients incentivizes lane pushing and minion killing (to gather those globes). While Chen is certainly capable of this, it isn't his main goal in a fight. Extrapolate this gameplay out and you'll find yourself not in the right place at the right time, away from your team, getting picked off. Since this is the SoloQ guide, you're alone until proven otherwise.
  2. Taking Accumulating Flame, by contrast, incentivizes players staying with their team mates, engaging enemy Heroes, and doing the good Brewmaster's work. This is where Chen shines, so set yourself up for success and get an additional mid-game perk out of it.

This ability is designed to provide you with some extra Breath of Fire damage early on, and some excellent sustain mid-to-late game. Since you're going to be out in the field more often than you're not, you need advantages like this to get yourself out of rough situations when your team falls back unexpectedly (and they will).
Level 4 Talent - Deadly Strike
Deadly Strike is our second major talent, which will immediately put the 'bruise' in 'bruiser'. It saves our generated Brew for defense and makes both our Breath of Fire and Keg Smash available without having to drink to gain energy back.

Translation: We can be more offensive and drink less, or when we need the shield. This ability's synergy with future talents may not be readily apparent but its ancillary impact cannot be over stated.

With Deadly Strike and Accumulating Flame, we are now equipped to deal out a decent amount of front-line punishment, in the early game just as we transition out of the laning phase and into the team fight phase.

Be warned: This is the time when you will be most vulnerable as Chen. Your health hasn't stacked too high yet, you likely haven't completed your Accumulating Flame quest yet, so you'll be leaning heavily on Fortifying Brew and those shields. This is your time to shine with Chen's mobility. Use your free Flying Kick to leap out of danger at nearby (behind you) minions and do not over-extend!
Level 7 Talent - Bolder Flavor or Purifying Brew
Bolder Flavor is our default level 7 choice, but Purifying Brew can get us out of sticky situations if we've got a CC heavy team. I'm talking about your dazes, stuns, silences, slows, and other impairing abilities, especially those that will interrupt your Fortifying Brew.

It is critical that you make this decision count.

Thankfully, due to some of the recent changes to Chen and this particular talent, it is less punishing than it was, because it now also reduces ability damage. If you take this talent by accident, you will still do alright, but you won't be able to combo as well as you would if you had Bolder Flavor.

The reason we take Bolder Flavor is because it enables us to react quickly in clutch situations. Even if you Tap your "D" key before using a free Flying Kick, you'll be protected for the leading seconds, further enhancing your survivability. The value of this is only enhanced when we take our level 10 talent.

Heroic Talent - Wandering Keg Top

Wandering Keg by itself is somewhat inferior to Storm, Earth, Fire since it has no direct defensive benefit. But where it shines is when you combine it with Deadly Strike+ Flying Kick, Accumulating Flame+ Breath of Fire, and Bolder Flavor+ Fortifying Brew.

The combo here translates into a power play that looks something like this:

1. Fortifying Brew to gain your larger shield (thanks to Bolder Flavor) -- preferably more if you can.
2. Flying Kick to a range, healer, over-extender, or even the enemy team's tank (for free, thanks to Deadly Strike -- the pressure is on since the damage of your Flying Kick is enhanced.
3. Depending on the situation, either Wandering Keg and peel your target from the enemy team's group back toward your team, or if you think you can pull it off, follow your Flying Kick with a Keg Smash+ Breath of Fire combo, likely hitting multiple heroes and adding to your Accumulating Flame quest.
4. Fortifying Brew again to replenish your shield and soak the enemy team's response.
5. Flying Kick to either stop the peel'd target's escape via a body block, or press your attack thanks to the increased damage and free cast.

Follow these general rules in your team fights, lean on your healers if you've got 'em, and you will be an All-Star in the early mid-game. The natural weakness of this combo is slows and CCs, so this is why it's absolutely critical to decide which level 7 talent to take. When in doubt, take Purifying Brew (and be prepared to channel more than you normally would need to).

The Mid-Game Phase Top

The Mid-Game Phase
I define the mid-game phase as the time when the direct of each character is more-or-less defined, when everyone has their heroics, and when some amount of progress in the game's primary objective -- that is, destroying the enemy's core -- has been made.

This is the meat of the game. This is where your team fights happen and matter. This is when you can make-or-break your success by making good tactical decisions, by setting good priorities, and by adjusting to the enemy team. In short, this is what we play for.
Level 13 Talent - Withering Flames
Now that we've got our combo, time to sweeten the pot and prepare for the enemy team's mid-to-late talent choices. That's where your Withering Flames talent comes into play. While that combo I mentioned above is a good one, the team will undoubtedly try to focus you -- it's all they can do unless they stun or run -- so you need some backup.

You should strive to have completed your Accumulating Flame quest by now and, if you have, you'll see a bonus in damage reduction with Withering Flames without having to change any of your combo. Get your Keg Smash and Breath of Fire combos off, and you're rewarded with increased armor and reduced hero ability damage.

Combine this with your already powerful shield buff from Bolder Flavor and, if you're lucky, a decent healer, and you'll easily keep up with the game's rising damage output.

It's important to note that the ability damage reduction of Purifying Brew does stack with the ability damage reduction of Withering Flames, but this overall reduction didn't perform as well in tests as Bolder Flavor did, even if you exclude the utility that Bolder Flavor provides.

The Late Game Phase Top

The Late Game Phase
I define the Late Game phase as the phase where you've made significant progress, players have only a few powerful talents left to choose from, and the inertia or momentum of the game has revealed itself. This is the space that most people will be arguing or nay-saying if they're losing or getting lazy, being bolder, or ignoring map mechanics if they're far enough in the lead.

It is thought that the underdog can't come out during this phase, more often than not. I say that's bologna! Your team has a Chen, and you've read this guide, so you've always got a chance.

Most people think that these are the times when you should make epic team fight plays or other clutch moves to get out of the downward rut you're in. I say it's time to rally the team, take a step back, look at the map, and see what can be done.

Statistically speaking, late game is also the most likely phase that a team will get a boss camp. While this isn't a guide on how to win in the late game, I will say that mercenaries are a great way to come back. If you can get your team to cooperate (difficult, since you're SoloQ'ing), you can pull ahead.

Let's look at some talent choices that will give you a helping hand.
Level 16 Talent - Your Call
Unlike most of the other talents, where they play off of each other, your level 16 talent needs to be chosen based on how the game is going, what you're seeing out as you entered the late game, and what you need.

This will test your ability to correctly interpret the flow of the game, the capability of the enemy team, and the cooperation of your own team.

That said, let's go over the abilities and describe their best use case.

Flying Leap - If things are going well, your team isn't struggling to stay alive in team fights, and your peeling strategies are paying off, Flying Leap will only add to your success. While it isn't a significant increase, the 15% range ensures you'll get those combos on a more cautious enemy team, as well as enables stronger escape at a time when structures, walls, and minions are less prevalent than they were in the previous two phases. Take this if your enemies are playing cautious and you're comfortable with getting in there.

Another Round - This is another 'fair weather' talent. If things are going well, this will get those combos off more successfully and really enable those clutch power plays. Additionally, in situations where the enemy team is doing the 'ball of death' (clumped up), you'll find that this provides some assistance with getting those Keg Smash and Breath of Fire combos onto those enemies. Odds are, however, that this won't save you if you're already behind and will moderately help with evenly matched team fights. Take this talent if you need a little bit of an edge against clumped enemies.

Enough to Share - By default, I take this talent. Here's why. In a situation where the enemy team is doing well, this will give your team a little sustain to backdoor-merc, to shield up when waiting for a chance to peel, or in countless other situations where the team is trying to come together to pull off a win. In situations where you're doing well, this helps keep your momentum going reliably, by lending a bit of your sustain to your allies, reducing the amount of healing that the team needs and enabling greater overall push power.

The choice is yours, but I recommend Enough to Share by default.
Level 20 Talent - Stormstout Secret Recipe
Stormstout Secret Recipe is a natural choice for your level 20 talent. In situations where you're struggling, this will get you some healing, especially if you've been more-or-less alone for a large amount of the game, or if you don't have a healer. This ability's synergy with Another Round and Enough to Share makes those appealing choices at level 16.

We take this talent over Untapped Potential because the instances of Chen getting damaged down during his peel is minimal thanks to our other talent choices. That being said, if you find that your peeling is getting mitigated and that it is a primary strategy your team is relying on, you can take Untapped Potential so long as you know for sure that your team has your back.

About the Author Top

My name is Brewmaster Rysu. I am the Guild Master of the 'Drunken Fisherman' Alliance guild on Emerald Dream in World of Warcraft, avid Blizzard gamer, and Monk-Gamer. I've been playing Heroes since Alpha, with a focus on bruisers and specialists. Chen is my favorite character of all time and one I have by far the most experience with.

I can be reached at the following:

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