Tidehunter/Guide

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Gameplay[edit]

Playstyle
Tidehunter minimap icon.png Tidehunter is a durable hero who brings disables and debuffs to the field. He focuses on debilitating the enemy and shrugging off their attempts to disable and kill him, as he is capable of absorbing a tremendous amount of punishment should the enemy attempt to focus him down to prevent him from inhibiting them in teamfights.
Pros Cons
  • Amazing team fight ultimate.
  • High survivability.
  • Flexible item choices.
  • Low damage output without items.
  • Needs mana in the early game.
  • Kraken Shell does not dispel everything.

Generic/Offlane Tidehunter[edit]

The skill build on an offlane Tidehunter mostly depends on how much harass you're taking and can deal back, and how soon can you/must you leave the lane for the jungle. So if you're against two or three ranged heroes, you might value Kraken Shell over Anchor Smash, since it's unlikely you'll get close enough to your enemies to hit them. Once you have two points in Kraken Shell, you can safely farm the jungle, but it'll be way quicker if you already have two or three points in Anchor Smash.

If you're against melee opponents, harass and trade hits with them after you've reduced their damage with Anchor Smash. Be careful that not all opponents rely on right clicks to make a move on you (a good Blade Fury or Ion Shell will bring you down), and be wary of debuffs you can't dispel with Kraken Shell ( Fury Swipes comes to mind).

If you're winning your lane, you probably don't require an extra level in Kraken Shell and you can take an earlier point in Gush to try for a kill (don't forget Gush increases Anchor Smash's damage). If it's going especially well, you might even want extra levels in Gush before maxing out Kraken Shell, but that's not the usual scenario.

Overall, your thought process for your skill build should go like this:

  • Do I have enough points in Kraken Shell to survive what I'm up against (either heroes or jungle creeps)?
    • If no, take another point in Kraken Shell.
    • If yes, take Anchor Smash.
  • Now that I have enough points in Kraken Shell to survive with ease, can I get a kill with Gush?
    • If an allied support is coming to help you, and/or you have Ravage ready, the answer could be yes.
    • If you have little chances to kill anybody, and you've already maxed Anchor Smash, you might as well ignore Gush and keep leveling Kraken Shell.

Ability Builds[edit]

Generic/Offlane Tidehunter
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Anchor Smash icon.pngKraken Shell icon.pngAnchor Smash icon.pngKraken Shell icon.pngAnchor Smash icon.pngRavage icon.pngAnchor Smash icon.pngGush icon.pngKraken Shell icon.pngTalent icon.pngKraken Shell icon.pngRavage icon.pngGush icon.pngGush icon.pngTalent icon.pngGush icon.pngUnknown icon.pngRavage icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png
Harassed/Jungling Tidehunter
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Kraken Shell icon.pngAnchor Smash icon.pngKraken Shell icon.pngAnchor Smash icon.pngAnchor Smash icon.pngRavage icon.pngAnchor Smash icon.pngKraken Shell icon.pngKraken Shell icon.pngTalent icon.pngGush icon.pngRavage icon.pngGush icon.pngGush icon.pngTalent icon.pngGush icon.pngUnknown icon.pngRavage icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png

Talents[edit]

Hero Talents
+250 Damage2525% Cooldown Reduction
-5 Gush Armor20+30 Kraken Shell Damage Block
+25% Anchor Smash Damage Reduction15+40% XP Gain
+100 Gush Damage10+20 Movement Speed
Notes:
  • This attack damage talent is added as raw attack damage, so it does not benefit illusions, and is not affected by most percentage-based damage increasing or reducing effects.

Tips & Tactics[edit]

General[edit]

  • Because of his innate toughness and strong array of debuffs, Tidehunter generally benefits from building mobility items that aid him in initiating with his ultimate (particularly a Blink Dagger), as well as items that improve his ability to cast his spells. Tidehunter's poor intelligence means that he must increase the size of his mana pool if he is to sustain his ability to cast his disables and debuffs.
  • Tidehunter can be played as an initiator or a tank, or some combination in between.
    • Due to the immense disable potential of Ravage, getting a Blink Dagger allows Tidehunter to initiate fights by stunning the entire team for a long duration. After getting off a successful Ravage, he can follow up with Anchor Smash while the enemy is still disabled, reducing their ability to attack effectively, and then Gush to slow any stragglers, preventing them from escaping.
    • While he possesses strong initiating power with Ravage, Tidehunter can also discourage enemies from engaging by standing at the front lines and debilitating their ability to fight. Should the enemy choose to engage him, he can greatly reduce their base damage with Anchor Smash while also shrugging off their attacks and debuffs with Kraken Shell, and threaten them with a Ravage should they all jump on him.
  • Tidehunter's flexibility allows him to be played either as a safe-lane support or solo offlaner. His skill and item build differs drastically depending on which path is taken.
    • Played as a support, Tidehunter should focus on purchasing support items and harassing the enemy offlaner. Generally he gets his Blink Dagger much later, if at all, due to not being given farm or experience priority. Anchor Smash can discourage the enemy from approaching lest they take damage and have their last-hitting power greatly reduced, and Gush can slow them for chain-disables and kills.
    • Played as an offlaner, Tidehunter should focus on surviving while also harassing the enemy's carry and supports. Kraken Shell allows Tidehunter to ignore the enemy's harass damage, while he can use Anchor Smash to harass the enemy down and prevent their carry from getting easy last-hits. Off-lane Tidehunter benefits greatly if the enemy's carry (and optionally supports as well) is also melee, as they must approach the creep wave to last-hit, making casting Anchor Smash much easier.

Abilities[edit]

Gush[edit]

  • Gush is a single-target magical nuke that slows its target and reduces their armor on top of the damage.
  • Gush is a powerful early-game disable, as it slows the target's movement speed . During ganks, this can often be enough to slow an enemy enough to catch them with additional disables. As such, no matter what lane Tidehunter is placed in, at least one early point in Gush is highly recommended.
  • Gush also reduces the target's armor, increasing their vulnerability to not only attacks but Anchor Smash as well, since it deals physical damage. Keep this in mind when casting Gush, as it can be used not only as a disable but as an armor debuff to help your carries deal more right-click damage.
  • When upgraded with Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, Gush becomes an area-targeted ability that allows it to affect multiple enemies in an area rather than just a single enemy, as well as drastically reducing its cooldown.
    • The area-of-effect upgrade makes Gush powerful for killing creep waves and neutral camps, particularly as the armor reduction softens them up for a follow-up Anchor Smash. This can allow Tidehunter to farm more easily on his down-time, and push lanes by himself.
    • With its wide area and long travel length, Gush can be used to slow enemies at a distance, allowing Tidehunter and his team to chase them down more easily. It also prevents enemies from evading the spell by juking through trees, as simply casting Gush in their general direction should most often hit them and inflict them with the slow and armor debuff. Used judiciously, it can even be used to put enemy Blink Daggers on cooldown from range prior to initiations.
    • An upgraded Gush can be a powerful spell to cast following a successful Ravage. Inflicting multiple enemies with the slow and armor debuff can greatly soften them up for teammates, and the greatly reduced cooldown allows Tidehunter to continuously use it to slow them down as they try to escape after a Ravage.
    • Be mindful that purchasing Aghanim's Scepter prevents enemies from blocking it with Linken's Sphere. While this also prevents the ability from being used to deliberately break Linken's Sphere ahead of a stronger single-target disable, Tidehunter can instead use it to land the slow on the enemy, increasing the window with which teammates have to land further disables.

Kraken Shell[edit]

  • Kraken Shell provides Tidehunter with damage block, as well as removing most debuffs from him once he takes a certain amount of damage.
  • Do not buy items that give damage block, like Stout Shield icon.png Stout Shield, as they do not stack with Kraken Shell.
  • Kraken Shell is a powerful form of damage block as it has a 100% proc chance. In the off-lane, it is recommended to get at least two early levels in the ability.
  • After taking enough player damage, Kraken Shell applies a strong dispel on Tidehunter. This includes not only many powerful debuffs, but stuns as well, drastically increasing Tidehunter's survivability. As such, even in the late game Kraken Shell is a very powerful ability as it prevents Tidehunter from being chain-disabled or permanently silenced, ensuring that he is always ready to cast his spells when needed.
    • Be mindful that not every debuff can be dispelled. We think most commonly of Doom or Rupture.
    • You're especially vulnerable to spells that affect a zone for some time, like Smoke Screen or Static Storm.
  • Kraken Shell's damage threshold decreases as it is leveled up. For this reason, building HP items on Tidehunter greatly increases its usefulness, as Tidehunter can reach the threshold multiple times the more HP he has.

Anchor Smash[edit]

  • Anchor Smash's instant attack deals physical damage and inflicts enemies with an attack damage debuff.
  • Anchor Smash is a great way to clear creeps and farm for Tidehunter. Due to its low mana cost, it can be used to harass enemies, especially melee heroes.
  • Anchor Smash's cooldown decreases as it is leveled, and matches the debuff duration at level 2 or higher. Used properly, Tidehunter can keep at least one enemy's attack damage permanently crippled so long as he remains within range of them.
  • Do not underestimate the attack damage reduction from Anchor Smash. If you use it on heros with powerful attacks, their damage output gets severely reduced.
  • With enough levels in Anchor Smash and Kraken Shell, Tidehunter can farm ancient creeps fairly reliably, especially if they have been stacked by you or your teammates a few times. Anchor Smash deals physical area-of-effect damage that hits all the creeps simultaneously while also reducing their attack damage, and the damage block from Kraken Shell further reduces any damage that they are able to do, often to zero. This can be useful for giving Tidehunter levels and farm for items at any point in the game, whether it is to help him recover from a bad laning phase or to supplement his gold and experience gain.

Ravage[edit]

  • Ravage is an area nuke that damages and stuns all enemies in an extremely wide radius.
  • Ravage is your most powerful teamfight ability, as its wide effect radius and long stun duration can completely stop the entire enemy team in their tracks. Use it to initiate or counter-initiate teamfights, but beware its extremely long cooldown, and do not be afraid to hold onto it if you do not think it can drastically benefit your team, even if it means your death.
  • Remember that while Ravage travels quickly, it does take a brief time to extend to its maximum range. Very alert opponents might be able to blink away or activate spell immunity before they are stunned, so be sure to blink in closer to those heroes to reduce their window of escape.
  • Should the enemy team have a Rubick minimap icon.png Rubick, it is critically important to cast another one of your spells (generally Anchor Smash) after Ravage, as an ability so devastating could easily be the deciding factor in a teamfight should Rubick steal it.

Items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango gives health sustain to relieve enemy harassment.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve restores health to Tidehunter.
  • Enchanted Mango icon.png Enchanted Mango regenerates health passively; the burst mana restore also help with spell cast.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch gives cheap attributes, increasing health and damage.

Early game:

  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick is useful for giving Tidehunter a measure of burst regen in emergency situations. A full-charge Magic Stick can give enough mana to cast one more spell in the early game.
  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed are critical for purchasing on Tidehunter whether in the safe- or off-lane. In the off-lane, more movement speed may be required to evade gank attempts, and in the safe-lane it may be needed to quickly position yourself to cast Gush during a gank.

Mid game:

  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand gives Tidehunter more stats, as well as increased charge capacity. Given his small mana pool, a Magic Wand serves all the same purposes as a Magic Stick and can be useful to keep at all times.
  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots increases the size of Tidehunter's small mana pool, allowing him to cast his spells much more easily, and gives him the ability to replenish teammates' mana as well, an important duty for a support hero.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger is possibly Tidehunter's most important core item, as it allows him to easily position himself to cast Ravage in a teamfight. It also allows him to chase enemies and cast Gush more easily, and can be used as an escape tool as well.
  • Drum of Endurance icon.png Drum of Endurance gives Tidehunter attributes, improving his mana pool, and movement speed for mobility. The active increases movement and attack speed of allies during engagements.

Late game:

  • Refresher Orb icon.png Refresher Orb can extend Ravage's duration by casting it twice, making it easier for allies to turn the tides of a teamfight. Make sure you have enough mana to pull it off, though.
  • Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard gives Tidehunter a much larger mana pool, allowing him to cast spells much more frequently, and the armor and aura give him even more survivability against physical damage. Its active ability can be used after a successful Ravage, slowing the enemy's movement speed after the long stun duration.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter greatly improves the potency of Gush, allowing Tidehunter to inflict multiple enemies with the nuke and debuff at high frequency. It also increases his HP and mana, making him tankier and improving his ability to utilize Gush more frequently.
  • Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves is an expensive purchase, but greatly increases Tidehunter's survivability and gives him much more teamfight contribution. The active allows Tidehunter to dispel debuffs off of himself if the enemy simply place low-damage disables on him to avoid proccing Kraken Shell, and the HP and mana restore are tremendous boons for pushes and teamfights. As well, the aura can provide tremendous amounts of armor and HP regen to teammates who are low.

Situational items:

  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff is a useful mobility item to purchase that also serves as utility for your team. The extra intelligence helps with giving Tidehunter a bigger mana pool, and the active ability can be used to better position yourself or allies for casting spells. While not as powerful as Blink Dagger, it is easier to build should you be having trouble farming.
  • Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight is a powerful tank and aura item, as it greatly reduces the amount of damage Tidehunter takes from magic nukes, thus greatly increasing the power of Kraken Shell. Its active ability also shields teammates from magic damage.
  • Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape is a flexible initiation and utility item, as the invisibility and magic resistance can be used either to allow Tidehunter to initiate with Ravage without the need for Blink Dagger, or can save a teammate who is caught out of position and is being focused down by enemies.
  • Mekansm icon.png Mekansm is a useful utility item that can be purchased as a tank Tidehunter, and builds into Guardian Greaves. On top of giving him armor and more stats, the heal can greatly benefit your team as you are not likely to die before using it. On top of your general durability and ability to interrupt the enemy team's initiation with Ravage, you can further discourage the enemy from engaging you as you can simply heal yourself and your team at any point of the fight. However, mind its expensive mana cost, and be sure to increase the size of your mana pool first if you intend on building this.
  • Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core reduces cooldown of your abilities, putting enemies under more frequent threat of Ravage.
  • Lotus Orb icon.png Lotus Orb gives Tidehunter a myriad of useful bonuses and a strong active ability. The armor and HP regen makes Tidehunter even tankier, while the mana regen keeps his mana pool topped up so that he can more readily cast his spells when needed. The active can dispel debuffs, either from Tidehunter or an ally, and the Echo Shell punishes enemies to use targeted spells, especially frail casters with small HP pools.
  • Vladmir's Offering icon.png Vladmir's Offering provides useful aura, like lifesteal and mana regeneration, to teammates; the bonus damage aura scales decently to later stage of the game.
  • Helm of the Dominator icon.png Helm of the Dominator grants attack speed and health regeneration to allies. It also allows Tidehunter to control a neutral creep, having access to more useful abilities and auras.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque is an expensive luxury item to farm, but can allow Tidehunter to stand in the middle of teamfights and absorb large amounts of damage, particularly due to Kraken Shell.
  • Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance is a highly situational aura item that can be useful for tanking and chasing. Its burn damage and induced miss chance can force the enemy to engage you in teamfights, using their spells on you instead of teammates, and it can be a useful chasing tool as it allows Tidehunter to damage enemies without stopping to cast spells, as well as prevent any Blink Daggers from coming off cooldown.