Lok'tar ogar - Victory or death
fremdlaender's Guide to Chen, the Holy Knight
Welcome to my Chen guide. I notcied this forum contains no guide for this awesome hero so I decided to write one myself. Most of the members of this forum complain about the complexity of Chen and the so called 'micro' you require to play him effectively. They seem to forget, Icefrog is not making this map excusively for the 'competitive scene' of DotA and that you don't have to compete with players like Kuroky, Misery or Puppey and it is not needed to play him 'perfectly'.
The problem with Chen is, people don't dare to try him and miss a great hero concept due to their decision.
I don't want to lie, most of the time you need more concentration and faster fingers to play Chen on the level you would do with a 'normal' hero but it's not as bad as people make it sound.
That's why I first thought of the name 'not as hard as people use to say' for this guide but the current title just sounds more epic.
Just see this guide as an inspiration to try something new or to improve your skills.
But enough of that now, let's start with the real guide.
Table of Contents:
Just click on the text to jump to the section.
1. Pros and Cons
2. Hero Details
2.1. Skill Explanation
3.1. Creep Stats
4. Skill Build
5. Item Build
6. Hero Synergy
7. Strategy Section
7.1. Picking Chen
7.2. Choosing the jungle
7.8. Team Battles
7.9. Map awareness
1. Pros and Cons
[+] High capability of disabling the enemy
[+] Good pushing
[+] Global heal
[+] Damage enhancing ability
[+] Jungle hero
[+] Item independant
[-] Needs concentration
[-] Loses most of his power lategame
[-] Not as mobile as other heroes (Creeps can't teleport via Scrolls)
[-] Luck dependant to a certain extent
2. Hero Details:
Strength - 20 + [1.5]
Agility - 15 + [2.1]
Intelligence - 21 + [2.8]
|Damage:||43 - 53|
(You can also look it up at the Hero Information but I rewrote it with comments, for completeness.)
Test of Faith
Hand of God
I will only give information about the creep camps and the creeps themselfes.
If you want to know more about Neutrals and Spawning read this article from the Mechanics section of Playdota.com.
Lets start with the basics, the creep camps in the jungle. I won't list the ancient camps, because we are interested in persuading, not farming. If you forgot it, we can't control ancients.
Map explanation and list of creeps spawning in each camp:
1. Creeps we want to persuade:
There are 3 Camps every Chen loves to see. Namely the Furlbolg camp, the Centaur camp and the strong Troll camp. Those units are the best you can get because they offer disables.
The Furlbolg offers the best damage you can get and a 25% slow within a 300 AoE. Almost sure firstblood if you can get the stomp off nex to a stunner assisting you.
The Centaur is a great creep the entire game. 2 seconds of AoE stun is just devasting and the attackspeed aura helps your allies.
The Troll helps in initiating a gank, because he can ensnare a unit from 550 range which gives your Centaur/ Furlbolg/ ally time to get close and unleash their spells. He also supports pushing by summoning two additional units.
Just to have mentioned it, Furlbolgs are better early game because their Stomp deals more damage than the Centaur stomp and the slow is almost as good as the stun early on.
|Centaur Khan||1100||200||49-55 (Chaos)||4 (Heavy)||320||1.65||War Stomp, Endurance Aura|
|Polar Furbolg Ursa Warrior||1100||300||49-55 (Chaos)||4 (Heavy)||320||1.35||Thunder Clap|
|Dark Troll Warlord||1100||550||49-54 (Piercing)||1 (Heavy)||320||1.35||Raise Dead, Ensnare|
|War Stomp||Centaur||100||20 sec||N/A||250||2 sec||Stuns for 2 sec, 25 damage|
|Endurance Aura||Centaur||N/A||N/A||N/A||900||N/A||15% attack speed bonus|
|Thunder Clap||Furlbolg||100||12 sec||N/A||300||3 sec||25% movement and attack speed slow|
|Raise Dead||Troll||50||25 sec||600||N/A||40 sec||Summons 2 Skeletons, 150 HP, 24-25 damage|
|Ensnare||Troll||150||20 sec||550||N/A||1.5 sec||Immobilizes the enemy|
2. Creeps we should persuade:
There are two big camps left which contain the other two good creeps available. Take one of them, if you can't get one of the other strong creeps. First, there is the big Satyr camp with the Satyr Hellcaler. He has a 100 damage shockwave and a HP reg aura.
The Enraged Wildekin can summon a Tornado which will damage and slow nearby enemies and provides a +3 armor aura. It's btw the 'tankiest' creep you can get due to his high armor and armor aura. The Tornado can be used to clear creep waves or stacked creep camps or to keep enemies from initiating with their Blink Dagger due to its high AoE (600) and controllability.
The Satyr offers nothing really exciting and the Tornado is a bit hard to control, but because of their high damage, HP and their spells they are some of the best creeps you can get.
|Satyr Hellcaler||1100||300||49-55 (Chaos)||0 (Heavy)||290||1.35||Shockwave, Unholy Aura|
|Enraged Wildekin||950||400||50-56 (Chaos)||4 (Heavy)||320||1.35||Tornado, Toughness Aura|
|Shockwave||Satyr||100||8 sec||700||200||N/A||100 damage to units in a line|
|Unholy Aura||Satyr||N/A||N/A||N/A||1000||N/A||3 HP regen for allied units|
|Tornado||Wildekin||200||120 sec||500||N/A||40 sec||Summons a Tornado which damages for 45 per sec (150 AoE) - 15 per sec (600 AoE), slows for 15%|
|Toughness Aura||Wildekin||N/A||N/A||N/A||700||N/A||3 armor for allied units|
3. Creeps we could persuade:
There are the good, the bad... and the guys who have no BAM.
Support is a important part of Chen and sometimes you should give up offensive potential in exchange for supporting your allies. And sometimes, the creeps just don't spawn like you want so you have to take one of those.
The Alpha Wolf can be a lategame creep who increases the damage potential of your carry. It is also the fastest creep available with 350 MS.
The Ogre Magi increases the effective health of allies with his Frost Armor which is slightly worse than Lich's (8 bonus armor instead of 9/ 12 at level 3/ 4).
The Satyr Soulstealer can burn the targets mana and can shut down the early game of some heroes like Tiny or Panda.
And please, don't dare to persuade the other creeps left. Those I listed recently are already almost a reason to laugh at you.
|Alpha Wolf||600||N/A||30-33 (Normal)||3 (Heavy)||350||1.35||Command Aura, Critical Strike|
|Ogre Magi||600||400||24-27 (Normal)||0 (Heavy)||270||1.35||Frost Armor|
|Satyr Soulstealer||600||400||24-27 (Normal)||1 (Heavy)||270||1.35||Manaburn|
|Command Aura||Wolf||N/A||N/A||N/A||500||N/A||30% damage bonus|
|Critical Strike||Wolf||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||20% chance, 2x damage multiplier|
|Frost Armor||Ogre||40||5 sec||800||N/A||45 sec||8 bonus armor, slows for 30% MS, 20% AS|
|Manaburn||Satyr||50||18 sec||600||N/A||N/A||100 Mana burned|
4. Skill Build:
Level 2 - Penitence
Level 3 - Penitence
Level 4 - Holy Persuasion
Level 5 - Holy Persuasion
Level 6 - Hand of God
Level 7 - Holy Persuasion
Level 8 - Penitence
Level 9 - Penitence
Level 10 - Test of Faith
Level 11 - Hand of God
Level 12 - Test of Faith
Level 13 - Test of Faith
Level 14 - Test of Faith
Level 15 - Attribute Bonus
Level 16 - Hand of God
Level 17+ - Attribute Bonus
We take Holy Persuasion at level 1 to start jungling immediately and we max it first. The number of creeps you can persuade stays at 1 with level 1 and level 2 Holy Persuasion, so leveling it up again at level 3 is pretty useless.
Instead, take it at level 4 and 5.
Max out Penitence after Holy Persuasion. As your early game is build upon ganking it is more helpful than Test of Faith.
The damage of Test of Faith should not be underestimated and even though it's not as good as Chen's other skills it's clearly better than Stats.
Get Hand of God whenever you can. There should be no reason why you skip this ability.
After level 16 it's your decision but i would suggest you take Stats rather than nothing. Haha, funny shit.
Because the teleportation effect was moved from Test of Faith to Holy Persuasion, it is no longer an option. Penitence's slow and damage amplification is just too good to pass.
Level 1 - Holy Persuasion
Level 2 - Test of Faith
Level 3 - Test of Faith
Level 4 - Holy Persuasion
Level 5 - Holy Persuasion
Level 6 - Hand of God
Level 7 - Holy Persuasion
Level 8 - Test of Faith
Level 9 - Test of Faith
Level 10 - Penitence
Level 11 - Hand of God
Level 12 - Penitence
Level 13 - Penitence
Level 14 - Penitence
Level 15 - Attribute Bonus
Level 16 - Hand of God
Level 17+ - Attribute Bonus
Alternative build. You sacrifice your slow for some random nuking power. You can find this build mostly in high level league games, where the Chen player has not to worry about initiating because all the other players pick heroes with stuns/ slows/ etc.
Actually, I don't recommend this build. This is a guide, therefore it is mainly for new players and those should stick with the skill build above. Penitence makes it much easier to get your creeps into melee range.
Test of Faith is also highly mana intensive (175 Mana at all levels), make sure you carry Clearity Potions with you if you follow this build.
5. Item Build:
A chicken is absolutely necessary. Maybe a bunch of Wards to prevent being ganked (more information about defensive warding later). Add a combination of Branches, Tangos, Gauntlets and the first part of your Ring of Basilius and there we go.
Get Boots asap. Finish your RoB. Get more Wards, Dust and upgrade the Courier if needed. You don't need more to be effective.
Ring of Basilius helps your creeps tanking the jungle creeps, and gives slight manaregen. (Also for your creeps! They normally don't regenerate mana.)
Boots are a no brainer.
6.65 Addition: With the new Urne of Shadows Bracers are now useless for Chen. The new Item offers everything we need: HP, a bit Manareg and it profits from your ganking. Feel free to get one but make sure your teammates don't get it, too, because only one charge is gained per kill.
Extended Core Items:
The money you don't need to buy wards can be used to build a Mekansm or Arcane Boots.
Mekansm grants you an additional healing ability and helps your allies and creeps surviving. Chen is a natural Meka carrier.
Arcane Boots are now actually my boots of choice. They solve all your mana problems, so you can spam ToF everytime its off cooldown and also they replenish mana to your allies and to your creeps, what means, you don't have to send them back or even replace them once in a while. Also, they offer good movementspeed.
The order in which you buy those two items is, however, to be decided in each sitiation.
What is core for other heroes is a luxury for Chen. Aghanim's Scepter is a really, really good item for him offering stats, especially a HP boost and the ultimate upgrade.
It drastically reduces the cooldown of Hand of God, making it a spell that can be used almost every gank or teamfight, sometimes even twice.
If you completed your Aghanim's and still got money, there could be three reasons for it, and both are not what you are aiming for.
1. You are farming instead of supporting your team.
2. You are not buying any Wards, Dust or TP Scrolls.
3. The game could be over for a long time but you are to lazy to end it.
Therefore, when you get your Aghanim's, it's really the sign to end that game, as your performance struggles the longer the game drags on.
In some games, you might even consider getting Blaidmail. While Chen does not really need the armor, because of his good Agi gain and Basilius, it is not bad, nor is the Intelligence or the Damage.
Blademail's active effect is just great, even if the enemy kills you, you can deal a good amount of damage to them, enhancing Chen's lategame presence. This might seem a bit strange, as a big part of your presence in a fight would be popping Blaidmail and die, but if it make your team win, why not?
Pipe is the item of choice, if you face a team full of spellcasters and noone else wants to/ is able to buy it. In this case, Pipe is clearly a better choice than Aghanims and maybe even Arcane Boots, as its effect greatly increases the tankability of your team against those big teamfight ultimates, such as Chain Frost, Epicenter or Echo Slam.
Vladimirs can be a good addition if you want to support your carries. It offers bonus damage, armor, mana regeneration and lifesteal. However, pubbers love this item, don't bother buying it there.
Janggo is a great item. It's rather cheap, offers good stats and a movementspeed/ attackspeed aura. Its use effect will boost your teams MS/AS even more. If noone of your team is getting it, this is a great item to look for after Mekansm.
Ghost Scepter should be obvious, if that Ursa, Bara or Naix on the enemy team always pick up on you, buy a Ghoststaff. The stats are nice and the effect prevents you from being attacked. But be careful, it makes you recieve 40% extra damage from spells.
That's something I read repetitively in this Forums. 'HotD and Necro3 to maximize your blablabla.' or 'A good Chen should be able to control all those Creeps perfectly.' No thanks. It's hard enough to control your hero and your persuaded creeps to help your team, you shouldn't be concerned about overextending yourself. Also, Mekansm, Arcane Boots and Aghanim's are way better than those two items.
For a further explanation why I reject Necronomicon, read The Necronomicon issue and The Necronomicon issue 2. But beware: Wall of text.
Force staff is good in theory to help your Centaur/ Furlbolg landing its Stomp but it adds no survivability like Meka and Aghs. And if you get it after those items it will be to late to be effective.
One of the latest additions, Medallion of Courage can be a good addition for your team, but it's not an item you should buy. You are vulnerable enough, leave this item to other heroes like Venge, Dazzle or Tide or something.
6. Hero Synergy:
Ok... I won't list every DotA hero here, because everyone loves disables and heals in their team and everyone hates them if the enemy got such spells.
In general, Chen works well with every stunner, slower and heroes who need a solo lane to gain fast expirience.
I will list only certain, important heroes for Chen.
Slardar... great shit. He can initiate a gank with his Sprint/ Stun combo and your creep can hit the second stun/ slow. His ultimate increases the bonus damage of Penitence even more (Reminder: Penitence's bonus damage is physical!) and he's a natural Armlet carrier, that means he will kiss your ass for heals. He's one of your best allies.
The Vengeful Spirit is a good ally for almost the same reason like Slardar. Good opening Stun, Armor reduction... But Venge is most of the time used as a ganker rather than a carry like Slardar. She does not have to farm and can leave her lane freely. You can roam the map as a couple and kill everything in your way. Very romantic.
Dirge profits greatly from your heals because he is one of the few natural tanks in DotA. His damage enhancing and slowing aura stacks with Penitence and not to forget: more creeps, more soul rippin', bro!
Your creeps are no heroes. Witch Doctor's Paralyzing Cask will jump between you and your creeps even if you are alone. They get stunned for 5 seconds (!) each jump and you will get stunned repetitively, too. Enough time for the Troll to get off his Maledict and Death Ward (which will target you automatically). That is resulting in death, most of the time. Sad but true.
The only hero that counters every other hero. Doombringer just eats you alive. His ultimate will prevent you from using spells or even items, that means no healing for you, my friend. Your creeps are just a little snack, thanks to Devour. His nuke is powerful early game (500 damage if you are unlucky) and combined with Doom's damage you will go down quickly. Doom on you, Doom.
Personally, I love to play Rexxar. His maphack hawk warns him if you plan a gank and will find you in the jungle, his pig will prevent you from escaping, his axes will cut you in pieces and his ultimate provides a single target stun for you and makes your creeps crawl. I can't think of a better counter. Well, perhaps if he gets Hand of Midas...
Furion is annoying, at best. Anytime, you want to gank a sidelane or push a tower, this guy can pop off next to you, prevent your creeps from attacking and lock you in place via Sprout, uses his Treants or his Ultimate to counterpush and pokes you in the eye with his staff. Not to mention, he is really a popular hero at the moment, therefore you will see him a lot.
7. Strategy Section:
It starts right here. Basically, it is never a bad idea to pick Chen because his strong early game can't even be fucked up by his 'counters'. But there are situations where you should start thinking of whether it is smart to pick Chen or not. Remember, if you play Chen there will be another solo lane. If your team consists of four melee heroes who can't solo a lane properly there is not much space for a jungle hero. But if your team is picking like that they are retarded anyway and you can't do much about it.
The second possible situation would be if the enemy team has a bunch of heroes who can easily get rid of your creeps. Clinkz, Naix, Doom and Enchantress (and partially Enigma, but he can't convert strong creeps) can kill or even control your assistants with just one click. You also should look out for heroes who are likely to get Hand of Midas or Helm of the Dominator.
Choosing the jungle:
Next issue. You can jungle and gank from either the Sentinel or from the Scourge jungle regardless of which afflication you are. Your own jungle offers good ganking possibities in one lane (your long lane) and is very safe of ganks if you ward properly. The enemy jungle offers good ganking on two lanes (short and mid lane) but is harder to defend.
Keep in mind that you are way stronger early on than most of the other jungling heroes who use summons like Enigma, Lycan or Furion. You can take over their jungle and prevent them from farming/ leveling.
The other factor, that has to be considered, is the hero lineup of the respective lanes. Is your long lane an offensive one with hero(es) like Mirana/ ES/ Sandking/ etc or a defensive lane with carry and babysitter?
Which lane will need more support? Can your solo handle the enemies lineup?
In general, it's always better to take the jungle near the more offensive lane so you can get more gold and expirience and the most improtant: gank the shit out of the enemy heroes.
Of course you can change the jungle later, but the early levels are the most important.
Finally, this is an easy, short one. Go into the jungle, Persuade a creep and hit the other ones. If the creep is still alive, go to another camp and start pummeling them. If the creep dies, persuade another one. Repeat.
Although I should mention that Chen is not a jungler like Syllabear, Troll or Naix who goes there to make fast gold. Chen's priority should be ganking. That means, if you have the choice between killing the small camp or ganking a sidelane, always choose the sidelane.
I just don't want to talk about this obvious one, but I have to.
One word: Controlgroups. Ctrl + [Number] and there you go. The best way how to do it you have to find on yourself.
Another way of controlling your creeps efficiently is the Subgroup Control Key.
Credits for this go to Eumellein.
Holding down the Ctrl key while issuing an order only gives the order to the highlighted subgroup. This feature is very handy for using concentrated firepower and moving Heroes into and out of battle without breaking your selection. This key must be enabled in the options menu: Options --> Gameplay --> Subgroup Order modifier key.
In easier words: Press the Ctrl button and give a command (for example attacking a unit). Only the highlighted subgroup (for example your hero) will follow your command. In order to use this feature, you have to activate it in the Gameplay menu.
By god, you could write a whole guide about this section. Lucky us, there are already two of them (Heldarion's and Eumellein's) about warding. Read them if you want in-depth information about it.
I highly recommend you read the section about blocking the spawning of creeps.
I prepared a map with my recommended warding spots. They cover the spots where the enemies will run through if they want to gank you and the rune spots.
Of course there are more possible warding spots which you can use but you should read that in one of the two guides above.
Concerning counter-warding... If there is a camp in your jungle without creep spawns, buy some Sentry Wards, place them near the camp and destroy the ward the enemy team placed. Easy as that.
In this point, Chen is not that much different from other heroes. Waiting for the right situation, run up to your enemy and use the right abilities at the right time. The difference is, your abilities are spread over many units.
I really can't give you a straight instruction how to gank because it depends on your allies, your creeps and the enemies. I will instead try to give you a bunch of general 'rules' who to kill and enemy sucsessfully.
You should always try to engage your enemy when he does not expect it and to trap him between you and your allies. The best targets for your ganks are of course low HP heroes without escaping skills like Blink or Invisibility.
Start with Penitence and attack. If your creep got a disable, try to get it close to the enemy (unless it's a Troll) and time the stun/ slow/ snare with your allies' disables. Try to chain as much stuns and slows as possible and keep on attacking with all your units.
Don't be afraid of tower diving, a dying creep is not the end of the world. A dead enemy hero is more important than your creeps, you can be as greedy as you want. Chen himself should at best always stay in the background and just throw his spells and attacks at the target.
I don't know what to say more... there are a lot of little tricks which will improve your ganking but at the beginning you should be focusing on the basics. You will get better with more practice and watching replays helps, too.
Finally, I made some screenshots which show a good gank, although it's not that hard to kill a Sniper as Chen.
Very easy example and nothing special, but watch it if you are new to Chen.
You just made a successful gank resulting in a double kill? Don't be afraid of sending your creeps forward to attack the tower. Your creeps can tank the tower for some time if all treants/ ghuls are gone. The Wildekin is a great pusher due to his high armor, armor aura and AoE damage thanks to the Tornado. The Troll Warlord can summon 2 additional units which can tank the towers damage.
Using your Mekansm can help, too.
That's the point of the game where it is getting hard. Controlling up to 4 units in a fight of 10 heroes is really difficult. The most important points:
- Stay alive!
- Try to hit as many units as possible with the spells of your creeps.
- Use Penitence and other single-target spells like the Troll's Ensnare on the main target/ the most dangerous enemy.
- Always stay near your teammates to heal them with Mekansm if necessary.
- Use Hand of God as early as possible if you have Aghanim's. If not, use it anytime you want but make sure all allies are still alive.
- Hope the best.
Remember, you don't need to play like a member of a pro team. Just give your best, support your allies and annoy your enemies. Keep a cool head, try to analyze the situation and make your decisions who to stun, when to heal and who to pummel.
Again, I just can say, you will get the better the more you practice.
Probably the most important point for every hero, especially for those who have global skills like Chen.
Watch the minimap in every free second you have! If you warded properly it will provide every information you need to gank and to not be ganked. It will tell you when to use Hand of God and when you should TP to a tower to defend it. Relly, watch the minimap.
1. ESL Major Series DotA Season V - MYM vs UCP
MYM|PusHer (Scourge Jungle)
Recent replay of MYM. PusHer plays a great Chen in the Scourge jungle.
2. Dota League SIG game (Mode: -ar)
Download (@ dota-league.com)
D_arE (Me) (Sentinel Jungle)
As promised, a replay from myself.
Well, it's an -ar game what means that the teams are not as balanced as they could be. Besides the Lion who did not want to share his chicken it was a pretty straight game where our Viper dominated the game. I had a bit bad luck with the creep camps midgame, where most of them consited of Wildekins but I were lucky to survive Tiny's combo two times with about 20 HP.
What is left to say about this replay? Maybe that you can see very well why I prefere Penitence over Test of Faith. Some of the kills would not have been possible if I had taken ToF first.
3. Dota Pride Tournament - Fear vs. Dendi
[ B]Fear!SGATE (Bot)
DTS|ArtStyle- (Sent Jungle)
I just waited for my guide to get restored so I can add this replay.
Dendi setting up a gank/ push strat with his picks and he perfectly executes it. Recommended watch for every Jakiro fan, btw.
Yes, ArtStyle gets ToF first, and yes, he gets Necronomicon at the end but that's not the important part of this replay.
Awesome performance by ArtStyle ganking the bottom lane with the help of Venge and Mirana.
As long as you enjoy playing Chen, do so. You don't have to be a good player. The second important thing is, follow my advice and practise. Keep cool in stressful situations. Always keeping track of what is happening is the key to play Chen.
I hope you learned something and you can make use of it.
Thank you for reading.
IceFrog, for making DotA
Blizzard Entertainment, for making WC3
all guide writers, for enduring this procedure to provide knowledge for the community
Zejety for the Dota Chibi Wallpaper where I stole the picture at the beginning of my guide/ my avatar from
Eumellein for improvement suggestions
Everyone who helped me with the anchors. I'm serious.