Let me summarize every other Chen guide out there so you don't waste your time. Every single guide i see involves getting chen mana boots -> mek -> aghanim's scepter. Some guide even dares to recommend ring of Basilius early game. That is an extremely risky build for chen, and let me tell you why.
Chen has 1.5 str growth, and by mid game, he still has below 1000 HP. If you focus on mana boots and mek, you'll stay this squishy until the 20 minute mark (even later if your farming and ganking sucks). By this time, any ganker can take you out with a single combo. In team fight, you'll be lucky to cast your mek and ult before you die. Any team worth their salt will focus on you first because of the extremely low health pool you have, and your team will end up enjoying your heals too early in battle as you attempt to save yourself in vain.
Get Holy Persuasion at level 1, then your priorities should be: Hand of God > Test of Faith > Penitence > Stats/HolyPersuasion
DO NOT max out Holy Persuasion first:
Most people will max out Holy Persuasion first to have a lot of creeps to gank in early game. But, unless you are extremely skilled with microing, 2 more creeps are usually not more effective than Test of Faith + Penitence. Not to mention Holy Persuasion scales very bad with respect to how many creeps you get. You need to be level 5 to have 2 creeps. By this time, you can instead have 1 creep and a level 3 Test of Faith, and i cannot imagine the 1 extra creep being more effective than a level 3 nuke in any situation.
Buy a cour for your team and make sure someone buy wards for your team. If not, don't buy cour and opt for wards. Then get 2 tangos and as many clarities as you can. Life in the jungle is quite peaceful for chen, and clarity regen can often go uninterrupted.
Do not opt for Ring of Basilius because:
1. The mana regen is too low compared to clarities which are much cheaper. In order to regen 100 mana (which 1 clarity gives), it takes Ring of Basilius 153 seconds. It takes 12 minutes for the Ring of Basilius to regen the mana that 5 clarities give.
2. The mana usage of Chen's skills is too high. 0.65/sec changes nothing.
3. Chen has high int gain. He can outgrow 0.65 mana regen easily.
Mana Boots vs power treads
Mana boots gives 135 mana (with 25 mana cost) every 45 seconds. That's 2.44 mana per second. It's a very good bargain but you must take this into consideration: Power Treads set to int will give you a bigger mana pool to cast spells and when set to str will make you less squishy. Keep in mind that Chen has a very good int gain and a very bad str gain. Arguably, 8 str is what Chen needs, not 2.44 mana per sec.
Why mek is bad:
Mek does NOT synchronize with Hand of God. Mek requires you to be in the middle of the fight to heal, and Hand of God is global. Mek is just as effective on Chen as any other hero, and idk why it is gotten on Chen so much more often than other heroes. Also, you don't want to be in the middle of the teamfight because you're very squishy. Rush Aghanim instead, and you can cast Hand of God 4x more often.
Rush Aghanim Scepter:
As explained before, it allows you to cast Hand of God 4x more often. It also gives you all-around stats and HP/Mana which you really need. An early Aghanim Scepter will make your team much more durable and reduce trips to fountain.
Eye of Skadi gives you all around stats and an attack slow which is a good support effect for your team. Other damage-dealing items should be taken into consideration. During late game, you can forget about dragging your creeps around the map. Not to mention you shouldn't hog jungle farm for your carries at this point. Therefore, you will only have Test of Faith to deal damage in teamfights. Any damage dealing item will solve this problem.
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