Chromie the keeper of time
A HOTS Guide By Hacky
Who am I?
My name is Hacky, I play Ranged DPS for the Dark Sided ANZ Heroes team. I really enjoy playing Chromie as it is very satisfying deleting people offscreen. Everything written here is based off of my experiences and is my opinion. This is my first ever guide so please give me feedback!
Why Chromie?I think Chromie is a really strong hero in the right hands and is a niche pick at the moment that counters some of the current meta picks (Auriel for example) She excels on some maps and in/against certain comps she is devastating.
(Trait) - Timewalker: Each tier is a huge power spike to Chromie, which makes Timewalker extremely useful. This trait can really snowball an even game because you will get your talents before the enemy team and can definitely capitalize on that.
(Q) - Sand Blast: Your bread and butter ability, such a short cooldown, you’ll be just constantly spamming this ability throughout the game. It’s damage is quite high for such a short cooldown and it rewards you if you can hit those skillshots.
(W) - Dragon’s Breath: If you reliably hit these you can just take over games. This ability is what makes Chromie so scary to squishy heroes. If you know your initiator is in position/looking for something, save it for follow up, otherwise just use it off CD to try and chunk the enemies.
(E) - Time Trap: Really frustrating to play against this ability, always be watching where you place these and position around them against dive comps/heroes. These can really save you/setup for a one shot combo on that overextended diver.
I’ll go through each talent individually and explain why I pick each one in the standard build and scenarios where I take possible alternatives.
Tier 1 - Timewalkers Pursuit: The ability to reveal an area has so many uses, you can use it to scout boss/mercs, check a bush, catch their rotation etc. and that’s not even all the talent brings, it also has a small mana regen boost which is nice and once you complete the quest(15 globes isn’t hard at all) the 5% ability power really adds up and synergises with your later talents.
Both other talents on this tier can be good if you want to go a Q build go Compounding Aether or W focused build go Deep Breathing but they just get outclassed by this talent and the build I use doesn’t tunnel on either Q or W.
Tier 2 - Bronze Talons: My favourite talent in the game! It’s funny I used to think this talent was garbage and thought Q build was the only build, boy was I wrong. Bronze Talons makes Chromie 10x more useful to the team. It gives her PVE damage, more PVP damage & burst and just more consistent damage in general(it also helps if you suck at skillshots like me) You can actually 1v1 pretty much any hero with this talent granted you position well. A small thing people seem to miss about this talent is the 35% attack range increase, which is huge. It makes it so you aren’t putting yourself in danger most of the time to weave in those AA’s and you can just proc bronze talons from a safe distance constantly on other ranged dps.
Piercing Sands if you are going a Q focused build and Enveloping Assault for W focused. I don’t even consider the other talents in this tier as Bronze Talons is personally what makes Chromie viable to me as otherwise I would do no damage.
Tier 3 - Dragon's Eye: Land a W - Q - AA with this talent and you will take 75%+ of a squishy heroes health and/or chunk a tank. Chromies W damage is already scary and this talent just makes it even more worrisome for the enemy team squishies. Not too much to say on this one, it's just a big damage boost for her and helps her excel at what she does best, delete people from a distance.
Mobius Loop gives Chromie more poke potential with the lowered cooldown but it also reduces the damage of it by 25%. The W’s won’t be as impactful and the follow up 1 shot combo by Chromie isn’t possible with this talent. I personally don’t like this talent at all.
Chrono Sickness is an underrated talent and I would recommend picking it against flankers/heavy dive, it especially synergises well with the Tier 7 Talent Andorhal Anomaly. I personally prefer Dragons Eye in a standard game but I have picked this talent occasionally.
Tier 4 - Slowing Sands: One of the most obnoxious talents to play against in the game, you can feel the enemies helplessness if they get stuck in it. This talent has so many uses, be it zoning off an area, peeling for yourself, aggressively placing it in a fight or placing it in a choke to force the enemy team to make a decision. This ultimate wins fights, it may not look flashy like Mosh but if the right person on the enemy team gets caught in this ult or multiple members do they are just way to easy to kill.
Temporal Loop is a great talent and I used to pick it all the time but every team has some way to negate the burst, and in high level games you aren’t going to get an easy pick with it. You can hold onto it and use it later in a fight but if you’re doing that Sands would’ve already had more impact. I think Temporal is a good heroic ability I just personally believe that Slowing Sands outshines it. When to pick it would be when the enemy team has no cleanse support (Lucio, Auriel) It is worth it to trade this heroic for theirs.
Tier 5 - Reaching Through Time: Chromie is already a safe hero and this talent doesn’t only help her play more safe but it also helps her become more of a threat to the enemy team, they are no longer as safe hiding way at the back and this talent helps Chromie follow up from a more secure distance. It also gives Chromie the ability to snipe the enemy backline from safety.
Bye Bye! Is a bait talent! I would not recommend picking this one ever. It will save you a bunch of times sure but it’s also achieving the goal the enemy team wanted, getting you out of the fight and honestly if you are getting caught so much as Chromie that you feel you need to pick this talent you need to work on your positioning.
Time Out on the other hand is actually a great talent and I see myself picking it all the time. They have a zeratul? This combined with your level 1 talent just ruins his day, he will never ever kill you. They have leoric who entombed you? No problem just Time Out. This talent is an up to 7 second Ice Block, It really helps her weakness against dive heavy comps.
Tier 6 - Shifting Sands: As Chromie you are just going to be spamming Q’s poking and trying to snipe/chunk heroes. You’re bound to hit a few of them and this talent really rewards you for doing that. Hit a few Q’s before a teamfight breaks out and all of a sudden you have 40% Ability Power, combine that with your Timewalkers Pursuit(which should be complete by now) and Dragon’s Eye you can literally 1 shot people.
Quantum Overdrive is another solid option on this tier, 20% Ability Power for 10 seconds is quite strong, but it makes your poke weaker as you aren’t getting constant ability power from your Q’s. I take this when the enemy team has a bunch of squishy backlines so I can try pop them. I prefer Shifting Sands though against a more melee/tank heavy team.
Fast Forward, really not a fan of this talent. Your Q CD is already really short at 2.5 seconds and as a tier 6 talent this one really doesn’t make Chromie as strong as the previous two talents, which give her much more burst and poke. Wouldn’t recommend it as the other 2 just outshine it.
Tier 7 - Pocket of Time: This upgrade makes slowing sands even more deadly, the 20% slow increase is huge, they go from heavily slowed to practically rooted on the spot. The removal of mana cost is also nice as while Slowing Sands is not very mana taxing it is nice to not worry about Mana and you can keep it up for much longer times.
Loophole is by far Chromie’s worst tier 7 talent. It gets very little value. Loop is used to make a pick on an enemy, looping more than one person does nothing as you can’t burst them both. It’s just an awkward gimmicky talent and I wouldn’t recommend picking it.
Past and Future Me has been nerfed quite a bit lately, but it is still not too bad and if you are going a full Q build or Temporal Loop(and you don’t need Andorhal Anomaly) it will still give you a lot of value.
Andorhal Anomaly is a great talent for Chromie, if you are getting flanked/dove a lot it can really save you. It’s great to pick on larger maps where you won’t get as much value out of slowing sands and where there are a lot more flank options.
Maps Chromie excels on maps where you want a strong 4 man, where she can just poke constantly without worrying about getting flanked/ganked. She can really snowball a game if you get a winning 4 man and a few early picks/objectives. This is why small maps such as tomb are best for her and why large maps with plenty of open space are bad for her.
Tomb of The Spider Queen: While her waveclear isn’t the best you just zone the enemy team out of the 4 man with aggressive plays and win that, then with a turn in and slowing sands you can really snowball the game. Another map where it's hard to gank you too.
Braxis Holdout: Win the 4 man with Chromie, lots of globes to stack your quest and very easy to poke the enemy out and snowball as it’s a 2 lane map. No wave clear though if you do lose the objective, however it is hard for the enemy team/zerg to push through the Slowing Sands.
Dragon Shire: Win the 4 man rotation bot/mid - hard to gank as not many flanks. Objective not punishing if you do lose it.
Towers of Doom: Tight corridors and an objective you have to channel makes it easy for Chromie to poke, it’s a bit more open than the previous maps but you can poke everywhere very safely still.
Sky Temple: Can poke on shrines and it’s not too open.. Boss pit is a death sentence for the enemy team as it’s so narrow and easy pickings.
Cursed Hollow: Similar to towers, can poke the objective and a relatively safe map for, some flank opportunities for the enemy team though.
Battlefield of Eternity: Easy to poke while defending or attacking, hard to miss skillshots here as it’s a small map, only issue is no real immortal DPS from her and easily dove on this map. Very comp reliant here.
Infernal Shrines: Safe to poke during shrine phase, can’t do too much to take the objective or help much if you lose the objective.
Garden of Terror: Too large, constant rotations and plenty of bushes to gank Chromie from.
Haunted Mines: Very hard to reliably poke people on this map, she can’t go into the mines safely as she can get flanked so easily in there and she doesn’t do much damage to the Golem.
Warhead Junction: While she can poke the nukes, the rotation is too open and easily ganked, map is too big and once you lose your forts it's not safe at all for her to walk about.
Blackheart's Bay: Easily ganked and doesn’t help with the objective at all, this map is all about wave clear and jungling and Chromie can’t really help with that
Hanamura: Whether it be defending or pushing the payload Chromie is constantly exposed on this map and is an easy target, also can’t do the camps so can’t help the team there either.
When to pick Chromie
Chromie is best to pick slightly later in the draft, preferably when they don’t have too much dive. She is great against the Valla, Auriel, Tass combo which is very popular at the moment and she is great to pick whenever on her best maps as long as you are confident in your play and Chromie fits the team comp. You typically don’t want Chromie as your sole ranged DPS(but it can work) and you don’t want double mage, Chromie pairs really well with Greymane as his kit compliments hers so well, he has physical damage so the enemy team can’t just stack spell armour/spell shields, he can dive kills she has poked down and can poke alongside Chromie with Cocktail. Both of his ults are viable, be it Go For The Throat to finish off the kills or the Cursed Bullet to help set up a 1 shot combo from Chromie.
In this section I will list some heroes which are thought to be the most popular counters to Chromie. Pick Chromie early on in a draft and you’ll most likely see a few of these pop up. I’ll explain why they are good against her and how to play around them. Can add more upon request.
Zeratul: Very strong hero at the moment with multiple gap closers/escapes and crazy burst. It’s hard for Chromie to poke Zeratul and he has 1 shot potential on her at almost all stages of the game. However she does actually do well against him and I never groan when I have to vs a Zeratul. Timewalkers Pursuit at level 1 allows Chromie to constantly scout and reveal Zeratul during the game which can lead to picks on him/deny his ganks on her or her team. At Tier 5 his kill potential on her diminishes greatly with the Time Out talent. 7 second stasis that can be cancelled at any point is crazy. If he jumps on you just Time Trap and wait for your team to come to your aid. If your team gets VP’d and you’re isolated you can just Time Trap and wait out the VP, he can’t really do much against Chromie and jumping on her when she has this talent is always risky as it leaves him exposed. Play near your healer/tank at all times against Zeratul and you’ll very rarely have an issue
Illidan: Hard to deal with Illidan as Chromie and you always have to be near teammates, i’d recommend taking Chrono Sickness and Andorhal Anomaly here to deal with him if he does dive you as he is very sticky and hard to hit with your skillshots
Tracer: Tracer as a counter to Chromie is heavily overrated. Just always stay near your healer in this matchup and you’ll never die. It may be hard to hit Tracer with poke but every ability you do hit chunks her a lot more than other heroes as she has such a tiny health pool. Also with Bronze talons you can just walk up and AA her with the proc constantly for easy damage. As long as your healer is nearby to ensure you don’t get deleted by pulse bomb you are good to go. It’s also fun baiting a tracer onto a time trap and 1 shotting her out of it!
Genji: This is a tough matchup for Chromie. Genji is hard to hit with skillshots and with spell armour at tier 3 and deflect he is really hard to kill by yourself even if you do hit him. Whether it be X-Strike or Dragonblade his dive threat on you is constant and you will always need to be near your healer or some CC to lock him down if he does dive.
Anub: Surprisingly Anub isn’t that hard of a tank to deal with as Chromie. He doesn’t hard counter her as he would a Li Ming. All of her abilities will either ignore his beatles or hit both them and Anub so they get little value vs Chromie. He will kill Chromie though if he can dive her so play very far back outside of his E range and don’t be afraid to throw your damage on him, he still dies surprisingly fast with your combo and Bronze Talons combined.
Stitches: Stitches is annoying to deal with as Chromie, his hook range is about the same as your Q so you will have to be constantly watching your positioning as you Q(Stay behind minions/teammates) He can also bodyblock your poke and is just really annoying to deal with. You can still burst him if his spell shield gets popped by poke and he get’s cc locked. Another tough decision is taking Time Out or Reaching Through Time. I would recommend Time Out because if you do get hooked you have that crutch to fall back on to save you while your team bails you out. However Reaching Through Time can still work if you’re feeling greedy - keep in mind if he takes fishing hook at Tier 6 he has the same range as you with Reaching Through Time and could easily catch you off guard lategame. 1 hook can win the game so you will always have to be mindful of his hook cooldown and your positioning.
Falstad: This hero is a bit of an underrated counter to Chromie, while she has 1 shot potential on him he’s never really grouped up with his team so she can’t just safely poke him or try to snipe him. He’s always a threat to her, whether it be flanking from the side or gusting her into his team. With some gathering storm stacks and BOOMerang he can easily delete the Chromie if he catches her out alone. Always be mindful of where Falstad can fly to and try to stay near your healer. Position slightly further back so a gust play can be negated if he tries one.
Medivh: This hero is more of a nuisance to Chromie than a counter. He definitely weakens Chromie’s impact on the game but she can still do well vs him. His W negates her 1 shot combo and the portals can save his team from a well positioned Slowing Sands. Also once he completes Masters Touch he can just keep trying to whittle the Chromie down. Always stay near someone with CC on your team and don’t get caught out rotating alone vs Medivh. Don’t waste your combo on one person because chances are they will get shielded. Bronze talons helps vs Medivh because even if he does shield your damage you can still proc it on him after for some guaranteed damage.
Azmodan: A great pick against Chromie mostly on Dragon Shire, he just sits mid and pushes, forcing Chromie’s team to be constantly pushing/killing his summons. He can tank Chromie’s combos fine and out pokes Chromie in the mid to late game. He can half hit her late game with one dunk and is really frustrating to play against. You have to hope to snowball the early game otherwise he just becomes a monster and you feel so fragile.
To finish this guide i’d like to give a few shoutouts to Dark Sided and all our sponsors. Shoutout to my team for putting up with me and a big thank you to Steve and Morton for helping me get this looking professional!