Chen, the drunken panda tank, has been a BlizzPro favorite by many of our staff members. I think his strengths draw from the fact that Wandering Keg counters channel spells, which makes him a great counter pick in draft style play. He also can get the craziest health regeneration out of any hero in the game! If you would like to see the basics head on over to the Chen hero page here
Chen’s trait is Fortifying Brew. Chen does not have use a mana pool, instead he uses his trait to gain brew. With Fortifying Brew Chen gains 40 brew and a temporary shield. The brew caps at 100 and the shield caps at 120, though the shield scales higher with levels. The shield will persist for two seconds after you stop using Fortifying Brew. This trait is what makes Chen unique. Managing your brew levels and getting the most out of your shields will set you apart from other Chen players. I find it best to start drinking after you have blown some skills and find yourself the focus. The shield will allow you to sustain through some of the initial damage you take. Chen’s Q is Flying Kick and this skill is useful as a leaping engage tool on the enemy squishies. When Chen uses Flying Kick he kicks through the target and does damage. This skill has some good range and, like the rest of Chen’s basic abilities, a low 5 second cooldown. Chen’s W is a small area of effect skill named Keg Smash. Keg Smash soaks anyone hit by it with brew, slowing them by 25% for 2.5 seconds, and does a small amount of damage. Keg Smash also sets up Chen’s E, Breath of Fire. Breath of Fire deals damage in a cone and does the same amount of damage over time to enemies soaked in brew. This set up allows Chen to dive into groups with Flying Kick, then Keg Smash for a slow and brew soak, and finish it off with and AOE/DOT Breath of Fire. Make sure that you are mix in some of Chen’s fierce auto attacks too! Chen’s choices in Heroic Abilities are Wandering Keg and Storm, Earth, Fire. With Wandering Keg Chen hops into a barrel deals damage and knocks enemies back. This will last 5 seconds or until the barrel is killed. Storm, Earth, Fire causes Chen to split into 3 separate elemental spirits for 15 seconds that have 50% of his health. Chen has 2 unique dive attacks during this heroic and can be ordered to split up or triple attack a single target.
Regeneration Master – This skill will make Chen the tank you expect him to be late game. With some good globe farm, which should come easy because of Keg Smash into Breath of Fire, you will see his regeneration get out of control late game. This is the only real talent choice at this level but, if you worried about your ability to farm globes you can take Consuming Flame.
Amplified Healing – This talent has insane synergy with this build even if you’re without a dedicated healer. I take this skill 99% of the time because it allows you to stay in fights longer than most heroes. In rare cases you can take Swift Reflexes for trading with Auto Attack heroes or Deadly Strike for a damage increase but I don’t recommend either.
Brewmaster’s Balance – What an amazing talent! Take this talent all the time because all the other choices pale in comparison. If you remain at or above 50 brew Chen gets a massive increase to his health regeneration. This, of course, means great synergy with the builds first two talent choices. When you’re in a situation were Chen needs to escape or chase, drop below 50 brew and get that big time movement increase. I can’t say enough great things about this talent.
Wandering Keg – This heroic is my choice due to its insane ability to change the positions of the enemy team. A good use of this heroic and the enemy healer may find himself in the middle of your entire team. Chen then often still has time to turn around and push someone like the enemy tank away. This skill also interrupts channeled abilities that the enemy teams may be relying on for burst damage or CC. Wandering Keg is also a great skill for pushing that pesky Sgt. Hammer into killing range for your team. If you have trouble using the keg or find that your team is not in need of its peeling and interrupting abilities, Storm, Earth, Fire is a very deadly heroic choice due to its massive damage potential.
Relentless – This talent is always a strong choice against Crowd Control effects which you often see on most teams. It can save your panda bacon so take it without too much thought. If for some reason the enemy team has no CC I would say a Touch of Honey is the go to talent here. Enough to Share looks good but due to the small radius your team often doesn’t get the benefit.
Pressure Point – Chen has all the sustain he needs at this point so a strong damage option is needed here. This is an amazing tool that will let Chen to get in on the enemy ranged heroes. The slow allows you to get in those great auto attacks and sets him up for a follow up slow with Keg Smash. Follow that up with a Breath of Fire and a couple auto attacks. Guess what?!?! Enough time has probably passed for you to start the whole combo over again, if they are still alive that is. Since all of this is possible off of this one talent I wouldn’t consider any other choice.
Bolt of the Storm – This talent is just good and that’s why so many people take it. With Chen it allows you to set up great Wandering Kegs, escape a bad engage, and chase down a target who used their Bolt of the Storm to get away. Take this all of the time unless you chose Storm, Earth, Fire. If you chose the damage heroic ability then take the buff he gets with Elemental Conduit.
Your early game will center around soaking experience and clearing waves for the globes. Chen has to be careful early because his later talent picks are what make him a great tank. Help out with objectives the best you can early without dying. If someone calls out a close by mercenary camp show up to help and stay for the free globes. When the game starts to transition into the middle portion it’s often a good idea to stay with the team. Force good team fights by initiation when your team has the level advantage. Once you get to level 16 you can use your Flying Kick to pick off targets that are alone and out of position. Make sure to manage Chen’s brew numbers to get the most out of Brewmaster’s Balance and things will turn out great for Chen in team fights.
Chen is a strong tank that counters a lot of popular hero picks in this meta. He is great at disrupting channeled skills, ruining positioning of enemy healers, and making squishy targets tremble as he appears in their back lines. With all these skills the Drunk Tank build makes Chen a panda to fear. I hope you enjoyed reading and look forward to more guides from me in the future.