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Chen asks; how does the floor taste?

Heroes Jason “Renofox” Renau

McIntyre showcases the new Chen rework for us and boy is it a doozy. Here’s what’s exciting.

The PTR is live and some notable changes are coming for Chen.  You can read the full patch notes here.  Chen has more damage, more tankiness, and he can still take down fortifications better that some Specialists by soaking tower shots while drinking.  Can this new Chen really make it to the live game?

Level 1

At tier one we are offered a handful of different directions to take Chen.  What’s amazing is how well each choice lets us cater to the needs of the situation.

Grounding Brew

Need Zagara, Jaina, or other bursty hero protection? Grounding Brew now offers 30% reduction from ability damage up from 25%.

Accumulating Flame

Need wave-clear on Shrines, or Braxis Holdout? Accumulating Flame lets you quest for more and longer burn damage, rewarding you with resistant per hero hit in the end.

Freshest Ingredients

Just like Regen Master, only now set as a quest that gives you fortified brew shields that are RETAINED INDEFINITELY upon drinking!

Elusive Brawler

Activate to avoid all enemy Basic Attacks for 2 seconds.  Sorry Tychus, sorry Tracer, there’s a new Chen in town!

Level 4

Deadly Strike

Deadly strike now has the cost removed and 100% more damage IF your shield is up.  Uh, this is double what it was.  Chen can now crit someone in the face, drink as if they’re not there, then crit them again on the way out.  This also means kicks at no cost, Brewmaster Balance at level 7 gets huge value, leaving you right at 50 brew after your combo! The best of both worlds, speed and regen.

Keg Toss

Extra damage on Kegs with a quest that gives range and an additional charge when completed.  The only downside is the far thrown keg has a slight delay.

Ring of Fire

Burning rage or Immolation for Chen.  Good for clearing camps or waves.  It’s important to note that this lets you damage while you’re drinking (shielding).

Level 7

Brewmaster’s Balance

20% movement speed when at 50 brew and below, 29 health per second at 50 brew and above.  Chen’s most beloved talent for walking at mount speed out of danger, or healing up fast.  With Deadly Strike making your kicks cost zero, you can have perfect balance easily because at full brew doing your keg fire combo puts you at exactly 50 brew!  Cheers to that!

Bolder Flavor

Your drinking habit now immediately puts up a big shield of 697 and persists an extra second longer, for those situations when you need so soak bursts of overwhelming damage.

Refreshing Elixir

Essentially a special Amplified healing for Chen going from 30% down to 20% extra healing, but also pumping up extra healing to 60% from healers if you’re drinking brew.  No more blowing up Chen while Medic is trying to heal him, assuming the enemy doesn’t stun you.

Level 10

Storm, Earth, Fire

The little panda spirits now have talents!  Your Q, W and E now have abilities while you are panda spirits, letting you chase, increase your attack speed, or slow enemies.  This adds a ton of utility to Storm, Earth, Fire.

Level 13

Pressure point

Pressure point got an upgrade.  How?  By being available three levels sooner!  One of my favorites.  Previously you slowed for 90% but now you slow for either 60% or 100% if the enemy is soaked in brew.  Hmm, I wonder how often I’ll soak them in brew…

A Touch of Honey

You used to want to pick Touch of Honey in anticipation of Pressure Point. Now you can choose if you need slows via barrel toss or kick. Great flexibility. 

Withering Flames

Reduce Heroes ability power for three seconds by 25%?  So a tiny spell shield that will protect my whole team, not just me. Wait, what? Is this legal?

Level 16

Flying Leap

Flying Leap increases your kick range by 20% for those pesky Hammer or Medic situations, as well as crazy escape range. Oh the places we’ll fly and see.

Another Round

Another Round reduces the cooldowns of your abilities by three seconds after using Keg Smash.  Also, and I don’t know if this is a bug, but your keg smash becomes HUGE.  Like, you can smash the entire enemy team. Maybe it’s time to try this with Touch of Honey. With withering Flames at 13 this would make it so you can juggle six seconds of 25% reduced ability power resistance for your team. Something to play with for sure.

Level 20

Untapped Potential

This gives your barrel movement speed and reduces damage taken so you can go crazy under tower fire. Nice.

Elemental Conduit

This gives each of your panda spirits 100% more health, AND even more abilities! Storm grants you unstoppable, Earth’s leap cooldown is reduced by three seconds, and Fire grants attack speed as long as he is alive.

Purifying Brew

Purifying Brew acts like a relentless of sorts, reducing the next stun against you by 75% and resetting your Fortifying Brew cooldown, letting you get back to doing Chen things without a hitch. This can trigger every 10 seconds. Think of this as great insurance from E.T.C.’s Power Slide, or Muradin’s Stormbolt.

Stormstout Secret Recipe

Stormstout Secret Recipe heals you by 1.5% every time your basic abilities hit an enemy hero.  I mean, really, we can’t have our Morales dive all the way into enemy tower fire with us, right?

Wrapping up

If you watched McIntyre’s match you might have paused and spotted the score screen. Chen gets top Siege, Top Damage Soak, Top Lane Clear, and he’s tied for hero damage AND kills. 


I’d be hard pressed to give you a build to follow. At every stage of the game, you have meaningful choices, making Chen possibly the most flexible hero in the game.  I love the new Chen and if you like challenging heroes, you will too.  It’s changes like these that showcase how much the Heroes team has learned along the way to making a great, great video game.

 

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Jason “Renofox” Renau
"In games, we are shown who we are. Through eSports, we explore who we can become." Heroes of the Storm advocate, wellness coach, and armchair sociologist. You can follow me on twitter @renothefox.

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