Raptor's Guide to Chen (Rexxar Patch) by Raptorspank

Raptor's Guide to Chen (Rexxar Patch)

By: Raptorspank
Last Updated: Sep 9, 2015
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Build 1 of 3


Build: Balanced Tank

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


Build: Tank (against heavy Burst damage)

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


Build: The we-just-want-to-snowball Tank

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

Introduction Top

Well this is my second guide I've done up and its already my favorite. The big motivation for this guide was just how undervalued this hero is in the current meta. I recently played with a team in Hero League who said as soon as the game started, "gg we win the other team picked Chen and he's garbage." That Chen destroyed us... with ease. So I'm making this guide because Chen is one of my favorite warrior picks and performs incredibly when handled by someone who understands the kit.


-Extremely High Defense (one of, if not THE, best)
-Almost unbeatable in a 1v1
-Can take Objectives without difficulty

-Very Difficult
-Relatively poor peel potential
-Low damage output

I hope you like what I have here and it helps you to carry your team with the brewmaster. So let's get to it.

Abilities Top

Trait: Fortifying Brew
The bread and butter of Chen and one of the best indicators of whether someone is a good or bad Chen player. When you press 'D' Chen will begin chugging his brew which serves two purposes. First it refills Chen's brew bar which is his mana bar. It does not generate on its own so if you don't chug you will run out of brew very quickly and be unable to use any abilities. But you can chug anywhere and the cooldown is extremely low. (so long as you don't break it or it doesn't get cc'd then you can immediately follow up the first chug with another one) The second purpose is that it builds a shield on Chen, one that increases exponentially with the time spent chugging. In other words, the last second of chugging will give more in shields than the first second does.

Flying Kick ( Q )
This is Chen's initiate and can sometimes be used as an escape. Chen leaps to his target and kicks them, dealing damage. It's hard to escape with it since it can only be used on enemies but a clever Chen can use his enemy's minion wave to escape with good positioning. One key tip to note is that when you kick a target you will land on the opposite side of them from where you are kicking from. Why this is important is that if you kick a tower, you will end up on the other side. So if the gate is still standing you will be trapped until your next kick. So use on structures with care.

Keg Smash ( W )
This is your only form of peel outside your ultimate, and its also an effective tool for damage and ganking. You hit a small area with your keg and anyone affected is coating in brew and slowed. This combos with your E in that it does extra damage against targets affected by brew. You want to use your keg smash for 3 main purposes, the number one priority is to slow any assassins who make it to your back line so that they can't stick to your damage dealers. Other than that you want to kick and then slow targets to pick off enemies or use the keg smash to set up for increased damage on your E for taking objectives.

Breath of Fire ( E )
Breath of fire is your primary damage dealer. Sure kick does decent damage but your breath will be the one securing kills. Note as I previously said it deals more damage to targets affected by keg smash. So you'll want to keg smash before breathing on them. This applies a damage over time on the targets which can often be the difference between them making it out at 5% health and your team getting a sick kill.

Wandering Keg ( R )
This is my go-to-heroic for the great crowd control it carries. Wandering keg really helps to make up for Chen's otherwise very lackluster peel. The problem is that it is relatively hard to control and sluggish, which can make it hard to effectively cc enemies or push them in an intended direction. That said you can pin people into walls where they are unable to react (stunned) or move which is great for killing off targets quickly and even if you can't pin the target, every keg impact stuns them slightly, so you can put out good stuns without pinning.

Storm, Earth, Fire ( R )
This ultimate should be avoided at all cost if you are not 100% confident at playing Chen. This is not for the faint-hearted and personally isn't worth it to me anyways. It splits Chen into three different Chen's with unique abilities and so long as a single one stays alive you won't have to respawn and the other team won't get a kill. Personally I find their kit lackluster and it doesn't offer the same thing that Wandering Keg does, i.e. making up for the lack of crowd control in his kit normally. However you can use this heroic very effectively to pin people into spots by using all three to body block someone into a spot. Not to mention it greatly increases his survivability. Still, I prefer wandering keg.

Talents Top

The goal of this build is to serve as your teams central tank, so it focuses on boosting your brews shields and other forms of innate tankiness. In addition it includes certain picks to better peel for your team or lock down enemy targets. A quick precursor, my talent choices will be in orange text, other good / decent talent choices will be in green and bad talents will be in purple text.

Level 1

My Choice : Full Keg
Full keg really boosts Chen's ability to peel and lockdown targets. The extra 1.5 seconds to the slow really makes a difference. In pretty much every circumstance I'll take this talent unless my team is just really good for crowd control, with lots of stuns and roots that make your slow more-or-less irrelevant.

Other Choices

Regeneration Master
Regeneration Master is a great talent if you want long-term sustainability. Maps like Tomb of the Spider Queen tend to trend later (upwards of 25-30 minutes) so this can be a good pick on maps like that because you will really get a lot out of it by the end of the game. On short maps like Haunted Mines you should pass on this one tho. Just generally a good pick if you plan on a long game and want to be tankier.

Consuming Flame
Not a great talent in most circumstances, there are still a few times when this talent can be picked up. If you're team is lacking for damage the extra two seconds can help a bit, though its still a concern if the enemy team is highly mobile or can burst you down so you want to be sure that you can get away with the greedier start.

Bottomless Mug
Do not take this. The only reason you could possibly pick this up is if you are having a hard time deciding when to chug and when not to, then this talent will help by giving you a larger brew pool. But the fact is you will spend a massive time chugging and with your low ability cost you can often chug for half a second when chasing and get the brew you need to fire off that kick and secure a kill. So you will get virtually nothing out of this talent when you've become even a decent Chen player let alone a great one. Its better to just forget this talent and force yourself to learn proper chug timings.

Level 4

Amplified Healing
So long as your team has a healer this is the best pick. It means their heals on you will be more effective making it easier to heal you and more possible to divert some healing over to the other team members who may need it. Will make you extremely tanking so long as your support player knows his stuff.

Other Choices

Swift Reflexes
Essentially plays like block. Its a great pick up if you don't trust your healer (say they are Kharazim and went damage for their trait) or if your team doesn't have a healer at all. A great talent, it can make you very tanky so you definitely won't miss out with this talent.

Deadly Strike
I love this pick up when you can get away with it. If tankiness isn't a concern or your team's damage is low this talent will do work. It makes your kick hit for a sizable burst and makes securing kills far easier. Also great if you are having trouble needing to chug during a chase, as this talent will let you take that half a second to chug and although it will only give you enough brew to kick that will be enough.

Deep Breath
This talent actually isn't necessarily bad, its just that no matter what your team needs most the other talents will fit better. This is a decent pick up if you need more damage and you're having a hard time landing breath of fire on multiple targets but the increase to your kick will still help the damage output more. So unless you are really in love with this talent and can consistently make use of the increased arc you should leave this talent behind.

Level 7

My Choice : Combat Stance
This pick really gets to the heart of how Chen works for your team. Two seconds doesn't sound like much but you'll really feel it later. It lets Chen easily chug to build shields to full then get his entire rotation off (except his ultimate) without his shields falling off. This lets him shield through all the damage he takes while still being able to participate in the fight and really do work.

Brewmaster's Balance
I'm not a huge fan of this talent since arguably the best element of it is the speed boost and I'm rarely below 50%. If you are having trouble catching people due to being out of brew than this talent will do great for you. But the above 50% brew heal isn't that high and it actually makes you a bit more brew dependent without the 2 seconds extension to your shields. Still good if you get a lot of work out of the movement speed.

Ring of Fire
Not a huge fan of this but if Chen's damage output is really becoming a problem or if you got a map like Haunted Mines or Infernal Shrines where camp clear is important then this talent can really help your team out. It's essentially burning rage and the damage boost can be pretty good, especially if your team is snowballing the enemy team pretty hard.

Keg Toss
The reason this talent is purple is due to the fact that I think it pushes you into a really bad way to play Chen. It changes your initiate from kicking in to smashing with the keg first and hoping you can hit them with breath before the effect wears off. The only reason I might pick this up would be if my back line keeps getting separated from me and I need the extra range to help peel for them.

Level 10

My Choice : Wandering Keg
I love this heroic so much particularly for the reason that it makes Chen better at one of his weakest categories, which is crowd control. It's a heroic so the cooldown is long but having that extra element of lock down and peel for the major five-on-five fights can really turn games around. I can't give up this talent for anything in all honesty. It's just to good of a complement to his kit.

Other Choice

Storm, Earth, Fire
I don't pick this up but again, if you want more damage and you can triple body block reliably then this heroic can be pretty good. Especially if you tend to get killed in the team fights a lot since it forces the enemy team to kill all three to get you which provides a lot of breathing room for your team to kill them.

Level 13

My Choice : Enough to Share
I spend a large amount of time chugging, either when tanking an objective or after diving into the enemy team and dumping my kit or many other circumstances. This talent helps to make that even better, by offering shields to my allies as well. This serves in a sense as another form of peel for your teammates by giving them a little more breathing room on their health bars.

Other Choices

A great pick up if the enemy team keeps ccing you out of your chug. It won't help you get your chug back off cooldown but it will let you respond faster with slows and damage so it can yield dividends. A great pick if you face a crowd control heavy team even if they aren't interrupting your chug.

A Touch of Honey
If you aren't having problems tanking then this talent is for you. The 15% difference in slow is huge and you'll definitely get use out of it. It'll make your peels better and your kill lock downs. Its a great pick up whenever you can get away with it, I just prefer the tankier talents because comebacks in Heroes can be fairly easy and I don't want to end up stuck in a position where my team isn't tanky enough and its too late to fix it.

Brew Strike
If you haven't taken keg toss then do not take this under any circumstance. And if you DID take keg toss... still don't take this because the other three talents are still better. The problem here is I'm initiating by kicking into the target THEN applying brew. So in other words the kick always precedes the brew and I will literally get nothing out of this talent. And the cooldown reduction isn't even that good.

Level 16

My Choice : Bolder Flavor
This talent is ridiculously good. The boost to your shields is simply insane. You can tank a core or keep with ease by just standing and chugging and it'll let you chug through most burst damage in the game so long as your chug isn't interrupted. This is Chen's best talent overall, in most circumstances.

Other Choices

Pressure Point
If survivability is a non-factor than this talent is a great pick up. In other words if you are getting off the full chug almost every time and the shields it gives are enough, then you want this talent instead. Its a short duration but a 90% slow means that target is basically rooted for a second, making an easy kill for your team.

Combination Attack
Chen isn't a great basic attacker. This talent isn't awful, its just another talent where the other three are far better. This is only worth it if your team is so far ahead and you spend a significant amount of time 1v1ing or 1v2ing.

Really not worth it unless you are having an extremely difficult time chasing. It grants you mana (brew) faster but you give up the crazy boost of bolder flavor and the pressure point will actually help with chasing better due to the 90% slow.

Level 20

Chen's level 20 is one of the best in the game, as all of this talents are great pick ups in the right circumstances.

My Choice : Hardened Shield
This talent is fantastic on most warriors and Chen is no exception. I list this one as my pick because it is the best talent to pick when you are not sure what you want and a pretty great universal pick up. If you are getting bursted a lot and your chugs keep getting interrupted then this will easily cure that problem.

Untapped Potential
This talent is a great pick up as well. It extends the time you can spend dishing out massive crowd control and additionally every impact boosts your movement speed which makes it far easier to keep targets locked down without getting away. Very good pick up if you don't necessarily need more tankiness and if you're team requires more crowd control.

Bolt of the Storm
Not great if you went Storm, Earth, Fire but it setups for some great combos with keg. Very difficult to pull off so I wouldn't pick this up until you're confident with Chen's kit. The idea here is you can bolt in behind the enemy team and then immediately pop keg and force the entire enemy team or several key targets towards your team for some quick and easy kills.

Elemental Conduit
This talent is an excellent pick up if you went with the panda pals ultimate. Many people don't get how it works but it basically applies an extra bit of damage or effect when you use abilities. Contrary to popular belief it is not random. If you use flying kick it will summon the ranged spirit, doing extra range damage. If you use fire breath it will summon the fire minion to do extra melee damage. If you use keg smash (this is the one you want to be using) it will summon the earth spirit which will apply an additional slow to the target. It's important to note that only one spirit is active at a time and they do not override each other. So if you flying kick in and then immediately keg smash you will get the extra ranged damage but you will not get the extra slow. Typically if you pick up this ability you want to flying kick into the target and then wait for the ranged spirit to disappear before keg smashing. Then you can follow up smash immediately with fire breath because the fire spirit isn't a serious concern to lose.

Chugging, When to chug and when not to chug Top

This is one of those things you really need to play a lot of Chen and get a feel for it. Chugs in the right moment can be game changing and so can chugging at the wrong time.

When NOT to chug:
When you're at full brew and not fighting! Because why waste time if you don't need the shields for anything?
When you're low on brew in the middle of the fight but don't need to use abilities yet. If you have enough brew to get off an ability or two but the bar is about half full you really don't need to chug unless you need the shields. Otherwise you should be fighting or peeling.
When you have enough brew for an ability and an enemy is running away, its time to chase not get wasted you silly panda.

When are the best times to chug?
Basically anytime you need to tank a fight or right before starting a fight. If you're tanking a boss or other objective you can just sit and chug and therefore prevent your health bar from even being touched by the target. This lets Chen get boss extremely early, even if only your support or a different team mate helps you since you shouldn't take any damage. You just need to chug until the boss starts to channel the stun then walk out, kick back in after it ends and start chugging all over again.

Another great time to chug is when you are anticipating a fight. Are you about to flying kick out of the bush into the enemy team? Well chug up some shields first to help ward over their counter-initiate.

In addition chugging in the middle of the team fight is instrumental to Chen surviving and if you have enough to share then it will also help your teammates survive. If they ignore you and go onto the rest of your team just remember to cancel that chug and start peeling.

Important to note, in a team fight you aren't chaining chugs. You might not even be finishing the chug. You just want to chug enough that you are confident the shields can absorb most damage in the next 3 seconds and then you're dumping your kit, either into peeling for your team or locking down the key enemies that you want to kill. That's a flying kick to the target you want to kill / peel, then keg smash and fire breath. Then you either keep attacking if you need more damage or start chugging if the enemy team is piling on you.

1v1ing Top

You can 1v1 anyone in the game. Pretty much period. An enemy with high crowd control and damage can do well against you since they can both interrupt your chug but also dump a bunch of damage on you but otherwise you can literally win any 1v1 fight. It may take forever but you will win and win with ease.

Basically if you get into a 1v1 you just chug the max duration then kick the target, keg smash and fire breath then immediately start chugging again. It may take a long time, but unless they run you WILL kill them. Plain and simple.

This is particularly hilarious when facing a Zeratul or Illidan. They are so use to winning any 1v1 that they'll often jump you when you are by yourself and then you can laugh with glee as they run away with low health and you're still sitting at full. Seriously, it is so hilarious.

A serious threat that you should definitely not try to 1v1 is Leoric. In the early game, Leoric's drain hope combined with skeletal swing will out trade you by a mile. Since you are still low level your brew shields will be insufficient to ward off damage and he will quickly wear you down. The goal against Leoric is to simply sit back and soak without fighting too much until you can get to level 10 or so when your shield should be enough to tank through most of it.

What Maps Chen excels on Top

Sky Temple

Chen is the single best warrior on Sky Temple. There is no exception, not a single warrior can match him. Anub'arak is close but has to dump his heroic to do it. Chen can literally tank the temple by himself at almost any point in the game without taking much if any damage. You basically just stand on the point and chain chugs. When the big minion goes to use its knock-back you flying kick him, keg smash + breath and start chugging again. Keep in mind that kick places you on the far side of the guardian and thus outside of the knock-back. As long as you don't get knocked back you won't take damage.

The big advantage of this isn't even that you can take temples solo, its that you can tank them without taking damage. This means you can confidently start capping even if the enemy team is nearby as you'll know that the temple can't weaken you for the team fight. If you're team is ahead and doing well then you can start soloing temples while the rest of your team groups up and takes the other.

Garden of Terror

This map is also very strong for Chen because of the dual bosses. Often you get into the position where you have to stay near the boss to prevent the enemy team from taking it but you can't actually take it yourself because the enemy team will wipe you shortly after starting it.

Chen fixes this by being able to tank the boss without taking damage, letting you start up on the neutral terrors even when the enemy team is grouped nearby since the terror won't weaken you for the inevitable fight. He really helps to swing those nights into your favor.

Prefer a video / audio format? Top

Check out this highlight I made on my stream in try mode detailing this build and why I pick what I pick. Also includes an example of the bolt + ult combo: Just click here!

In Closing Top

I hope you enjoyed this guide and come to learn just how strong Chen is currently. He's not an easy warrior to master but he can really give you an edge in your games, particularly on his strong maps. No other warrior offers as much on Sky Temple as Chen does.

Feel free to leave a comment or message me on here or in-game at Raptorspank#1847.

If you enjoyed my guide then feel free to check out my other guides on tanking:

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