Found currently on the test server along with upcoming heroes Gyrocopter and Phantom Assassin, Chaos Knight occupies that shonky space of half finished concepts, future bug fixes and those heroes left in the waiting room between almost-finished and about-to-be-released like he was born there. He’s volatile at the best of times, and he does some horrible, horrible things with illusions. Which, coincidentally, make him a lot of fun to play. So much fun that I’ve got some impressions I want to share.
Even though they’re pretty much Chaos Knight’s very reason for being, his illusions don’t actually show up until he hits level six and gets his ultimate. And even then, you only got a poxy single copy of yourself to throw at the enemy. I say poxy, but really they’re pretty terrifying, dealing 100% of Chaos Knight’s damage, each, as well as getting the crit bonus from Chaos Strike, and while they do take increased damage that’s enough to make him a fearsome opponent, especially when pushing lanes and towers.
The rest of his abilities are all about capitalising on the use of those illusions, especially Reality Rift, which teleports both you, your illusions and your target to a random point along the line between you and them. It almost feels like bullying, to plant someone among Chaos Knight and three copies of himself, but then Chaos Knights never did play fair.
The other two abilities, Chaos Bolt and Chaos Strike, are less inclined towards making his illusions better but just being useful utility. The bolt stuns and damages the target for a random amount of time, (up to 4 seconds at level 4), while Chaos Strike gives you an obscene amount of damage on a 10% crit chance, up to 3x your normal crit damage. This means that, in the midst of a teamfight, you can use your illusions to distract while you start raining down the damage.
With the proper application of items, you can double the amount of Illusions cast with your ulti, and even throw in some diversions while you’re at it. Grab a Refresher Orb to double cast Phantasm, and then pop Manta Style to create an additional pair of illusions and you’re rocking forward with a force nine strong. It means, if you place yourself right, you can take on an entire enemy team with nothing but one or two of your own backing you up. Any hero that can do that is not only going to be popular, but pretty terrifying to see stacked up against you.
The combo of Refresher Orb and Phantasm looks so powerful, in fact, that I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets aggressively ganked throughout the game, so that he can never build up enough cash to grab the Oblivion Staff and Perseverance. They’re both pricey items, and while they’re made up of smallers, if he’s getting focused hard it’s going to stop him from being effective. There’s also the problem that he needs quite a few pricey items like Amulet before he’s properly viable anyway, so Refresher Orb is always going to be a late game item.
And that’s what Chaos Knight is, too. He’s heavily focused on the late game, getting those illusions up and powerful without the enemy team having a chance to focus him down and stop him from steam rollering with all that damage. In that way he’s going to need to be carried forward, but with the stun and those crits, he’s at least going to be useful up until he gets, y’know, useful.