Chen, the Holy Knight
This guide is not targeted at newer players and is focused more on strategy.
Chen has often been the target of changes in new maps, not only because of direct changes to the hero itself but the neutral creeps and terrain as well. Before the 6 series, Chen's gameplay does not revolve around creeps. After which, he underwent a remake where he has new skills, most notably Holy Persuasion. In 6.50, Chen received indirect buffs because he was too weak. They are so huge that Chen rose from a nobody to a top pick or a common ban instantly in competitive plays.
He is definitely not an easy hero to play and excel in and I believe you agree too. But contrary to what most people think, micromanagement is not that difficult. As micro is a skill like all others, you will improve as you play more Chen games.
In order to play Chen at his peak level, you need to at least:
- to know when to gank.
- to be able to control your creeps well in team battles.
- to keep an eye, literally on the minimap every non-engaging moment for your global heal
1 - Holy Persuasion
2~3 - Penitence
4~5 - Holy Persuasion
6 - Hand of God
7 - Holy Persuasion
8~9 - Penitence
10 - Test of Faith
11 - Hand of God
12~14 - Test of Faith
15 - Attribute Bonus
16 - Hand of God
An early level of Test of Faith can replace Penitence for teleportation purposes.
Holy Persuasion is maxed asap. No surprise here, since it is his best skill early game.
Penitence is maxed earlier than Test of Faith. It allows more room for mistakes because it is much easier to stun the slowed enemy with creeps and its mana cost is too high (175 mana). The damage caused is higher with Penitence is usually more than Test of Faith, even if it deals exact damage.
The next likely controversial skill build should be maxing Test of Faith. What is the main reason of having a level 1 Test of Faith? More survivability from stats (114hp). And what's the difference between level 1 and level 4 Test of Faith? Damage and 3 seconds lesser teleportation time. Even though it is less useful than his 2 other skills, it's damage must not be underestimated. On average it deals 300 precise damage, with Penitence it deals an average 384 precise damage. That's slightly more powerful than a lvl 1 500(375) dmg Finger of Death; So do you prefer +114hp or Finger of Death? Not to mention its teleportation time improves from 6 to 3 seconds.
Chicken: Since you are jungling and have low risks of getting killed, it is very unlikely for Chen to return to base early game so a chicken is a must.
Bracer: To make up for his weak early game HP.
Ring of Basilius: A must have item for Chen, it gives him everything he needs and benefits from it more than any other hero. It allows mana regeneration for creeps, which have none. By having mana regeneration in creeps, you need not send them back to fountain to restore their mana. Extra armor is always welcomed when tower diving and neutral creep tanking.
Mekansm: Allows constant neutral creeping when you have your desired creeps. Without Mekansm you have a harder time in spreading the damage across your army. With Mekansm, Hand of God will be your secondary heal instead. In addition, your persuaded creeps can tower dive more effectively.
Necronomicon: Necrobook is a good choice to get after your core items but it is usually inferior to Guinsoo. Because if you didn't do well when you bought the book, you will be a bottleneck late game. The time where you should get Necrobook over Guinsoo is when you are in a situation where your enemies are Skeleton King / 2 or more Hand of Midas users / NA, SA, BH, BeastM, Weaver, etc / having ward wars.
It is a very good choice when your team is considering to end the game early. In these situations your allies (e.g. Pugna) will usually buy Mekansm so you can skip it and rush Necrobook 3. Otherwise, don't get it.
Guinsoo's Scythe: No doubt the best item for Chen late game. A 3 seconds disable + Penitence on a carry is no joke. An early void stone + Mek can guarantee a permanent hunt and creating constant pressure for enemies in neutral forests. Mana regeneration for Chen is important, it is necessary to have a constant large pool of mana to prepare for engages in forests/lanes and have a reliable global heal to help your ally across the map. His spells tax heavily on his mana pool mid game, usually exhausting almost all of it in engages.
Vladmir's Offering (Optional): This item is not meant for Chen and his creeps, partially maybe, but its not the main reason. It is used to help support your carry late game by granting them lifesteal ability. Since in late game, he does not need much items after Guinsoo, Vladmir's aura can help the carry on his survivability. Also, it is cheap and a natural upgrade to Ring of Basilius so why not?
Helmet of Dominator (Optional): I recommend to buy this only if your enemies have Hand of Midas. The extra creeps help but delaying Necrobook/Guinsoo by 2k is not advisable. It also pays off quite late because its cooldown is 6 minutes.
Wards: Chen benefits more from the extra sight than your allies as it serves as a tool to see the kind of creeps that spawned in the warded area. He is usually the most powerful hero in mid game if you got the right creeps. In order to make use of that strength, you gank unwary heroes, alone or with allies before you become less useful later. Be careful that improper placing of wards can hinder the spawns of neutral creeps.
The main purpose of Sentry Wards is to destroy enemy wards preventing spawns and observer wards that allows them to know your army is marching towards them. It is usually used in early game.
Description of Spells
These creeps are most essential to playing Chen effectively, without any of them you have no intimidation power.
Note: Persuaded creeps have no collision size, so don't bother trapping.
Dark Troll Warlord (Ensnare, Raise Dead)
It is the most important creep of your army but get only 1 of these.
Its main purpose is to initiate the attack by Ensnaring your victim so that your Centaur/Ursa can annihilate anything that stands in your way. Persuading 2 or more Trolls help little compared to Centaur/Ursa because piercing damage type does reduced damage to heroes and its disable is inferior to Ursa's or Centaur's when your victim is stuck. Another useful thing about them is that they can summon Skeletons to tank the neutrals and speed up your jungling process.
Centaur Khan (Hoof Stomp, Endurance Aura)
You must have at least 1 of these in your army.
The mascots of Chen's army. They are the only persuadable creeps to have a stun. There is no reason not to have them.
Polar Furbolg Ursa Warrior (Thunder Clap)
Ursa is better than Centaur early game in most cases.
Ursa is underestimated and usually thought to be less useful than Centaur. But this is often not the case. Compared to Hoof Stomp, Thunder Clap has a slightly bigger AoE, 150 damage and slows for 3 seconds. 150 damage is a nice amount early game. It has a higher mana pool than Centaur so you can use it 1 more time. If you do not have Troll as initiator, Ursa is a viable alternative.
These creeps are less important than the above. They are usually used for specific purposes.
Satyr Hellcaller (Shockwave, Unholy Aura)
Spamming of Shockwave on stacked (2 or more) neutral creeps and provide early regeneration aura.
Enraged Wildkin (Tornado)
Destroying stacked creeps with Tornado.
Tornado's AoE is 600 and the effect lasts for some time after the enemy is out of Tornado range. In other words, once you cast it near your opponent, you can stop microing it.
Alpha Wolf (Command Aura, Critical Strike)
Only useful in late game or when you have Helm of Dominator.
During late game, stick one of them to your carry hero. Remember to Perusade it instead of Dominate for the extra HP.
Satyr Soulstealer (Mana Burn)
It is a very useful creep for babysitting a carry with some laning capabilities (SF, Drow). It is recommended to persuade them when your persuasion level is 3 or above.
If your nearby ally is having a hellish time breathing in his lane, don't hesitate to persuade it early and send it to mana burn the initiating hero (e.g. SkeleK, SandK, ES, NA) or nukers.
Kobold Taskmaster (Speed Aura)
Only get it when you have Helm of Dominator.
Coupled up with disabling creep you can build up a powerful chasing force. Remember to Perusade it instead of Dominate for the extra HP.
Satyr Trickster (Purge)
Only get it when you have a hard time finding disabling creep, or hunting Broodmother in a nearby lane.
You should be cautious of this when warding. Rectangle areas are areas where there must not be any units (most) when the clock hits xx:00 or there will be no spawns. If you are pulling creeps be sure to pull them outside the area before the clock reached the spawn time.
Pink - Weak camps (Gnolls, Troll Priests, Kobolds, Ghosts)
Brown - Medium camps (Alpha Wolves, Golems, Centaurs, Ogres, Manaburn Satyrs)
Yellow - Strong camps (Ursas, Trolls, Aura Satyrs, Centaurs)
This is common sense but always persuade high level creeps as your first creep except Satyr Hellcaller. Ursa and Centaur can help you to get first blood. Troll Warlord can summon skeletons and speed up your leveling process like madman. Satyr does nothing.
- Press F1 and it highlights Chen.
- Double click on a stationary unit to select all units of the same type.
- Highlight unit(s), press Ctrl+[1 to 9] to set a control group.
- Highlight unit(s), press Shift+[1 to 9] to add unit(s) to a control group.
- Select a control group, Shift+[Left Click] unit's icon to deselect a unit from control group, but does not remove them from group.
- Use Tab to select unit types.
- Get Chen behind of his creeps and get in position.
- Highlight Chen, cast Penitence, shift cast Test of Faith, shift attack.
- Micro creeps. Make sure you don't cast multiple disable spells at same time.
- Turn on creep display in the minimap with Alt+R.
- If a neutral camp cannot spawn because of wards, there will not be a green dot appearing when the clock hits the minute mark.
- Watch out for engages in the minimap so you can use your heal in time.
- Be sure to toggle your formation to "scattered" instead of "packed". This way your creeps will not move at a slower speed.
- There is no direct counter to Midas but it is not an effective counter for the holder either because he needs to waste some time to find and reach you and Transmute your creeps.
- To mitigate the adversity of Midas, gank the holder once he appears on the minimap for some time, about 15 seconds. It is even possible to gank him alone because they are usually weak (carrier or spent money on Midas instead of focusing on survival). Chances are that he has already used Transmute on creeps; Midas cooldown is 100 seconds.
- Get Necronomicon.
- Get Helmet of Dominator.
- Focus on clearing high level creep camps.
In a competitive game, assuming you are jungling at home ground, buy a set of sentry wards at the start of game. Plant 1 or 2 sentry wards at these 2 areas if you suspect they bought observers/sentries.
The 2 areas: The gank path and creep pulling spot. Yellow areas are places where wards are usually placed. For the second area, be sure to scruntinise the area if you are positive the area is warded because there are a few hard-to-find wardable places besides the yellow spot.
During mid game, spy your enemies' neutral area with observers. It is more dangerous to jungle mid game as compared earlier. It is also this time when your persuaded creeps start to die more often so some spies would be helpful to get back your desired creeps.
For more warding information refer to here.
Lesser Used Tactics and Strategies
In this section, I will discuss really simple tactics and strategies that are really seldom seen but really useful.
Pullable Creep Camps near Inner Tower
When to do it: When it is a Centaur camp for Sentinel, Ghost/Kobold camp for Scourge.
Because they have around 350 movespeed when most other neutral creeps have 320 movespeed. When you pull them, they run fast enough to engage your lane creeps instead of running back to their camps.
When to do it: When you have stacked a few weak neutrals creeps (non golems).
Stack the weak creeps together (Ghosts, Gnolls, Kobolds, Troll priests) and Tornado them.
When to do it: When you have Dark Troll Warlord.
I am quite surprised they are seldom summoned. Skeletons can be your meat shields and provide solid damage early game. They can help speed up your jungling process and dying skeletons can scout for runes.
Ursa Thunder Clap
When to do it: Jungling.
Besides summoning Skeletons, Ursa can also clear creeps at a fast rate by using Thunder Claps regularly. They do 150 damage and can be used up to 3 times.
When to do it: Engages with Centaur/Ursa.
While it may not be much use, you can cancel the animation if you think you will miss the stomp. Against Puck's Phase Shift this can be a good move.
When to do it: When ambushing Midas users.
It may prove to be a difficult task to pull it off even without lag but you can really piss off the holder. Before you ambush him, place a high level creep before your army, then go engage. He will probably Midas the closest creep so...Test of Faith before the gold thing flies to the your creep.
When to do it: When you are getting useless, in other words late game.
Stick the wolf to your carry hero by right clicking the hero, then abandon it. The aura is +30% damage and in late game it's nothing to be laughed at. When you persuade the wolf it has 900 hp so it won't die too fast.
When to do it: Mid/Late game
Persuade a creep and put it near Roshan. Wards can't spy on Roshan so get a creep to get the job done for you.
Ancient Camp Pull
When to do it: When you are dead / MidLate game.
Probably first used by EHOME's longdd Dragon Knight, and the tactic was wide spreaded quickly. The concept is exactly the same as any other creep stacking tactics. Get a persuaded creep to attack the creep camp every xx:52~53 and stack them up. After about 5 stacked creep camps, call your carry hero or someone with lifesteal to kill them.
When to do it: At the start of game.
When to do it: When your enemy is using BoT on his creep near you.
I saw this from this thread but I'm not too sure if it works. When you see your enemy Teleporting to a creep, Persuade and Test of Faith it. The enemy will end up teleporting to your fountain.
Everyone is not perfect, there will defintely be some mistakes here and there. But these are some common mistakes even in top level plays. Of course, I'm guilty too.
Never ever forget the presence of the Earthshaker, even when he's dead. He can buy back and surprise you. If you and your team are not observant, his ultimate can screw the entire team up. Being perceived a weak, fragile and sissy HP hero, Chen will be taken out first with the almighty Echo Slam. Once you are dead, there are no heals no penitence no centaurs no cheese to help your team.
I have no clue why people would want to deny their persuaded creep after killing a creep camp unless they found an obviously better replacement and not wanting to hurt it. It hinders your progress. I cannot think of any advantages of it, maybe it helps you feel better when you backstab your ally? I don't know. But I find this mistake present in almost every Chen replay.
Another error - not organising your creeps before and during engages.
You should always have your creeps in front of you before engages. Otherwise it will be a pain in the ass to disable your prey. If it's too far, even Penitence's slow won't help.
Throughout your games as Chen, there will be a few times where your prey is a blink type hero like Puck, PotM, QoP, AM. So obviously you should micro a lone stunner to guard the escape route. But it's hard to execute fast unless you practise. So here's the cheat sheet, to me and some people at least.
Let's say I have Chen, Troll, Centaur, Centaur in group 1 (Ctrl+1). There's a QoP farming and screaming away in a lane and I want her dead. I decide to have a Centaur to stun her so I press Shift+[Left Click] on the Centaur icon. Micro your army to scare the enemy and then click on the lone centaur and order it to move to the escape route. Then...go figure.
If Balanar is the Night Stalker then Chen is the Holy Stalker. Once night falls, if your enemies don't have wards or stick together they are crushed. Night is always a friend to gankers like Chen. Once the timer turns night, move your army across the river to the other side of neutral creeps area. Be careful not to be seen. Most likely the enemies farming at the other side won't have a clue that doom is looming. Even better, there might be some heroes neutraling and thus low on HP. The surprise factor that enemies still think you are at the original neutral creeps area will net you gold, money and increase your ego. Do it stealthily and you will yield unexpected results.
Perhaps the most fatal mistake. Chen users are too absorbed into microing their creeps that they don't take note of their hero's HP, especially sudden attacks from heroes breaking their invisibility.
For example you are Scourge, hiding in Sentinel neutral camps planning to ambush Sentinel's Zeus at middle river. You will be hit by the tower's attacks when you rush to Zeus. It is likely that he will throw everything at you before dying and pulls you red HP. This situation probably wouldn't happen if you cancel your hero's attack animation and moving Chen away from tower, when Zeus is trapped by the stuns.
This has inspired me to play and train Chen, the performance is the best I've seen so far. If you think my guide is good, thank this replay. Highly recommended.
This is the second replay. It's a public game I played very recently but it should give you a rough idea how Chen should act early game babysitting PA. I got disconnected at end of replay. But there's 2 small mistakes I did, try to spot them
Hurhur no summary here.
- Group 1: Chen+All Creeps
- Group 2: All Creeps
- Group 3: ManaBurn Satyr, Selected lone disabling creep
- Group 4: Chicken
Edited by killing you softly, 14 October 2008 - 08:27 PM.