Solo Full Build (Damage)
Notes Lategame you can sell the Obsidian Shard or Demonic Grip for another item like Mantle of Discord if you are taking too much burst damage, and don't benefit from the Obsidian/Demonic combo for shredding tanks if the mage/carry/jungler is a problem.
Arkkyl Build (Team Dignitas Pro ADC player)
Notes Last item may have been Obsidian or Divine instead, I couldn't see the completed item.
Shoes of the Magi
Spear of Desolation
Taco/thebestotter Build (Masters Ranked player)
Book of Thoth
Shoes of the Magi
Book of the Dead
Chronos's Skill Order
Overview: This build is catered to a somewhat Ability-focused Chronos that typically has both high ability and auto-attack damage, using the fourth section on his Wheel of Time. I would heavily prioritise the fourth section (over the third) to deal incredible damage with his Auto Attacks (which has higher damage potential than using the third section). Chronos excels lategame via his high auto attack damage from Accelerate, whether it’s for structures, objectives or enemy players.
Early Laning: As Chronos doesn't have the best early game, play a bit passively at the start, avoid tanking the minion wave and use his Time Rift to poke the enemy Mid if you have already cleared the minion wave, unless you go a low sustain start (in which case be conservative with your mana). The second section of Wheel of Time helps to reduce his massive mana consumption in the early stages of the game until you have an item like Book of Thoth or Soul Reaver or Warlock's Staff online to help with any mana problems. Use the first section for health sustain when you have finished clearing a wave and need to regenerate lost health.
Starting Item: Mage's Blessing is generally the best starter for efficient wave clear in the early game, and allows for good poke damage, but with the three potion start you will need to be conservative with your mana and avoid taking poke in lane, as otherwise you may have to back which will allow the enemy mid to take the middle xp camps and possibly invade red buff.
Hunter's Blessing can also be an acceptable starter due to Chronos’ slightly higher auto damage early game than other mages, allowing him to harass (using basic attacks) mages' with unsafe early clear, though this is a starter better utilised in the carry role.
Cooldown: You can get Chronos' Pendant lategame on Chronos himself as a lone cooldown reduction item, or pair it with Spear of Desolation. However, you don't necessarily need 40% cdr if you can one-shot people.
Attack Speed & Penetration: Hastened Ring can be acceptable as your only Attack Speed item in Mid role if you prefer Obsidian Shard to Demonic Grip. If you do pick up the ring, I would only recommend getting it earliest at third item or later to use it to its full potential where Chronos' secondary function as an ADC becomes strong after having a high power item/ high power in his build.
Protections & Survivability: You could pick Celestial Legion Helm if you face a Physical Jungler that you feel poses a big threat and/or a Physical Mid laner with a good early (e.g Ullr), however since the item's nerf I believe there are better options. For instance, I would get Winged Blade instead for some health for survivability or to counter Nemesis when she uses Divine Judgement. Magi's Cloak is also a good pickup against heavy CC team compositions or Assassins/Junglers with global ultimates (e.g. Thor), though Mantle of Discord can fulfill this role suitably as well.
Overview: This Build is catered to an Auto Attack - focused Chronos , using the fourth section on his Wheel of Time. Try and avoid being pressured early game, go with a Guardian with good clear such as Ymir , Khepri , Ganesha , Sylvanus , or go with a Support Warrior such as Odin for a safer early game (otherwise you will have to play quite passively if you are out cleared in lane).
Early Laning: Avoid getting your team's Damage and Void Buff stolen , and if outclearing your opponent in lane, consider stealing their Buffs if you are not too low on health and mana and if you seem to be safe from ganking, otherwise farm safely in lane. Get Shoes of the Magi first and then Warlock's Staff soon if you wish to buy it as the stacking requirement makes your early game weak, then buy perhaps Bancroft's Talon for sustain or Demonic Grip for consistent auto attack damage.
If facing the prospect of being against intense waveclear and pressure in duo lane, then Mage's Blessing can be bought to clear fast and farm passively during the laning phase (Void, Damage , sometimes back XP camp). If behind, farm safely making sure to Ward nearby jungle routes and try to split push when it is safe, but don't look for fights if you are underleveled.
Starting Item: Mage's Blessing is a decent choice here as you will be using your abilities to clear the wave in the duo lane with some mana leftover to either take your own teams buff camps or steal the enemies.
Alternatively, Chronos can make good use of Hunter's Blessing as it will make his auto attacks in the early levels (1 to 5) hit just as hard as some hunters, though with this starter your waveclear will be slight worse with abilities.
Attack Speed, Penetration and Alternatives: Demonic Grip is typically core on Chronos in the Carry role as Obsidian Shard lost its structure percentage penetration. Hastened Ring is a possible (but not required) necessity in this role so you can chase enemies incredibly fast with hard hitting auto attacks when your Accelerate is active with its passive movement speed, and is a valid option.
Typhon's Fangis a good lifesteal choice if you pair it with Bancroft's Talon, be mindful though of the fact that the lifesteal from this combination can be countered hard by anti-heal.
Getting Spear of Desolation will also improve your poke and structure damage due to its combination of cooldown, power and penetration at a price that isn't too offsetting (Though you can replace this with something like a Divine Ruin for antiheal – which is typically the case in a lot of games, Telkhines Ring for auto attack damage etc...).
Overview: This build is focused on surviving the hard pressure in the solo lane against primarily Warriors or some Guardians, a few Assassins and a few Mages. When playing Solo against Warriors, avoid getting in close proximity to them in the early stages of the game and make sure you clear the wave from a distance.
Early Laning: Although not an amazing start , getting Warlock's Staff soon is important for health as Chronos has a low health pool and stacking it is rather long, although it will help counter Warriors later on, especially ability focused ones. If you have plenty of leftover mana , Time Rift can be used to poke the enemy Solo laner in between minion waves. The stun from Stop Time is also incredibly useful in interrupting some Warriors primary clear , e.g. Nike and Rend, giving you a good lane advantage.
Additionally, avoid getting your Mana Buff stolen as it can be terrible for Chronos' Mana even with Mage's Blessing due to the solo lane having more encounters between minion waves. And finally , buy Wards after your first trip back to the Fountain, as Unexpected Ganks from the enemy Jungler can be excruciating to deal with, especially if your first relic when playing Solo is Teleport Glyph instead of Aegis Amulet or Purification Beads.
Alternatively, Mage's Blessing allows for efficient, fast wave clear in the early game to avoid taking too long to clear the wave (which may open an opportunity for the enemy Solo laner to either bully you in lane or steal your mana buff) and allows for decent poke damage as well.
Anti-CC: Purification Beads should be your essential first relic against a Mid / Jungle / Solo / Carry with a devastating CC ultimate ( Chang'e, Hun Batz, Fenrir, Loki, Chaac, Amaterasu, Xing Tian, Neith, Medusa, etc.) as it can allow you to quickly use your ultimate when you would have otherwise been affected by Crowd Control - Rewind, besides being a source of renewed Health, Mana, and ability cooldowns, is very effective for getting you out of sticky situations and possibly relocating you out of danger.
Blink Rune isn't too bad either as an alternative to Aegis Amulet as it provides opportunities for initiation or escape.
Key Core Item: As stated earlier, Demonic Grip seems to be a more CORE choice on Chronos this season (in any role) since Obsidian Shard had its structure damage removed. Any of you Chronos players out there that aren't too keen on Basic Attacks, well it's time you improve those.
Early Game Safety: Remember to avoid getting too aggressive early game, unless you've got some help in Lane (Duo lane, or with Jungler in Mid/Solo). As a late-game hyper carry, your early game is pretty weak and you're especially vulnerable before you've got your ultimate.
Late-Game Movement Item Replacement: If you are in the late game / have leftover gold, and if you already have two Magical Rings (e.g. Hastened Ring + Demonic Grip, then you can consider selling Shoes of the Magi for another item, possibly a third Magical Ring ( e.g. Telkhines Ring ). This item combination works best for the ADC role, however for most of the game Shoes of the Magi is core.
Item Inefficiencies: Whichever role you are playing Chronos in, make sure you do not build both Hastened Ring and Polynomicon in the same build, especially in an ADC build. They do not function that well together as they both require high Power from other items in the build to work to their maximum potential. Polynomicon uses high Power to make the damage from its passive stronger (More Power = Better Scaling), and Hastened Ring needs some form of high Power in the build to make up for the loss of damage you sacrifice to utilize its passive effect (the item offers only 50 power and 25% attack speed). I generally would restrict Polynomicon to burst mage or triple lifesteal builds, but would not get it in most ADC builds. The only way getting both Polynomicon and Hastened Ring in the same build and being decent would be in a very long game that grants Chronos a high amount of magical power from his passive Time Lord, which can make up for power loss from getting the two items, as the passive grants 125 magical power after 50 minutes.
General Tips: With the extremely low CD, spam Time Rift for damage poke on enemy gods when the wave is not around. Remember to Ward around the Jungle areas to your Lane after your first trip back to the fountain. If you've been burst to very low health and relics are on cooldown but your ultimate is not, then use your Stop Time on the enemy to stun them before you use Rewind so you are not killed during the windup.
It is also possible to play Chronos Jungle, but it is a very niche and risky role for him to play especially against assassins such as Mercury , Ne Zha and Serqet , which may make it a very unenjoyable role for him, although another Magical Carry, Freya , is viable in this role if not behind.
Thank you for reading this and I hope you find it useful. Builds from a Diamond Chronos (Wish he still had Basic Attack penalty removal on his 2.)
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