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|Tinker is a very mobile nuking hero with powerful pushing and disabling potential depending on how he is built. He should be played around his ultimate, as it allows him to cast his spells and use his abilities multiple times in a single engagement.|
|Generic Tinker 1|
|Generic Tinker 2|
|+0.3s Heat Seeking Missile Ministun||25||+100 Laser Damage|
|+8 March of the Machines Damage||20||+100 Damage|
|10% Spell Lifesteal||15||+40 Movement Speed|
|+75 Cast Range||10||+6% Spell Amplification|
Tips & Tactics
- When pushing out lanes, care must be taken to avoid being jumped on by the enemy. Tinker is a very frail hero who, despite his mobility, can be easily killed if caught and disabled.
- As well, while Tinker can find farm quite easily by pushing out multiple lanes, doing so can deprive your own teammates of farm, particularly your carries. Combined with the above, this can lead to dangerous situations where your team is unable to do anything without you, and can lead to a loss in the long run as the enemy is able to kill your under-farmed teammates easily if they manage to kill you once. As such, it is recommended not to push out lanes too aggressively or take farm away from your carries if possible.
- In general, Tinker is best played in the mid lane, as his skill set allows him to take on most other mids reliably and the farm and early levels allow him to become active much more quickly. He can nuke down and harass the opposing mid and push his lane at will with his abilities, allowing for good rune control.
- Laser is a strong Pure damage nuke that inflicts blind on its target. It is a powerful harassing tool against the enemy mid as the blind allows Tinker to last-hit a creep that the enemy is attempting to deny, or vice versa.
- Never underestimate Laser's ability to change the course of an engagement. Using it against an enemy hero prevents them from trading hits due to the miss, and used against the proper target in a teamfight it can force them to retreat or activate a Black King Bar at an inopportune time to remove the blind.
- Laser can also be used as a supplementary nuke when pushing a lane. The blindness lasts for 6 seconds on creeps, so it can be used on a siege creep both to remove its attack output and weaken it for March of the Machines.
- It can be a nice last hit ability while in the lane, especially against siege creeps due to the pure damage.
- Heat-Seeking Missile has an extremely long range. With Rearm, you can continuously spam missiles as to harass enemy heroes and wear them down in preparation of a fight.
- Due to its long range, Heat-Seeking Missile is also a good finishing spell for killing fleeing enemies who are low on health. If an enemy has escaped an engagement but is still within vision range, launching a missile can be all that is needed to finish them off.
- Remember that vision over the target is required in order for Heat-Seeking Missiles to acquire lock. This means that not only are Observer Wards important in spotting out targets, but that the spell also has great synergy with heroes with vision abilities such as Corrosive Haze, Thirst and Track, which can reveal targets when ward vision is unavailable.
- When ganking a target with your burst damage spells and items, it is best to lead off with Heat-Seeking Missile. The travel time can be used to apply a powerful alpha strike to a target by firing the missiles first, and then blinking within range to use your other nukes just as the missiles reach their target.
- Combined with Aghanim's Scepter, Heat-Seeking Missiles can lock on to four nearby targets at a time. This can allow Tinker to bombard the entire enemy team with large amounts of magical damage, especially when combined with Rearm, softening them up for teammates.
- March of the Machines is a powerful farming, pushing and counter-pushing spell, as enemies cannot avoid the damage if they wish to attack anything in the affected area. You can overlap several instances of the spell with Rearm, easily nuking down creeps and creating hazard zones that inflict large amounts of damage to enemies who attempt to traverse them.
- Keep in mind that the drones march in whatever direction Tinker casts the spell in. This can make a major difference when mowing down creep waves, as the drones destroy themselves upon hitting a target. This means that lane creeps can effectively shield each other, leaving certain ones alive for longer (like the ranged creep, which deals the most damage) and preventing others from taking any damage. The most optimal way to March down a wave of lane creeps is in a diagonal angle from behind, so that the drones can hit all of the creeps in the wave, and attack the ranged creeps first.
- In general, only two casts of level 4 March of the Machines is necessary for killing a creep wave, provided that they are cast in the proper direction. Remember that the drones take time to deal their damage, so do not get too trigger-happy and waste mana on a third cast if you do not see them doing a lot of immediate damage.
- As well, remember that the drones start their March from one end of the area and take time to reach the other end, so casting the spell in one direction causes the drones to spawn from the opposite direction first. This can be important in fights as it can allow you to start applying damage to the enemy team a few seconds earlier, which can make a huge difference.
- March of the Machine's wide area allows Tinker to use it to farm down multiple jungle camps at once, both in Radiant and Dire jungles. As well, his global mobility allows him to farm the enemy's jungle if needed, reserving his team's jungle for his team's carries.
- It is important to keep in mind that creep movement makes a difference in what direction March of the Machines should be cast in. Casting March in a direction perpendicular to the movement direction of creeps, whether they are lane creeps or neutrals, causes the most number of drones possible to hit them as they travel.
- Rearm is Tinker's signature ability, allowing him to cast spells and use item abilities profligately as long as he has the mana to do so. Combined with Boots of Travel, it allows Tinker to become one of the most active heroes in the game, globally repositioning himself to push lanes, gank enemies and take map objectives.
- Because Rearm increases drastically in mana cost as it is leveled up, only one level in the ability should be taken until at least one large mana item can be purchased to buff up the size of his mana pool. The reduced channel time only matters once you have enough powerful items that you can take advantage of in teamfights.
- You can stack commands by holding Shift (also called Shift-queuing) to prevent unintentional Rearm interruptions. Tinker performs queued commands immediately after finishing Rearm.
- One of the most important factors in playing Tinker well is efficiently managing his mana pool. As Rearm removes cooldown limitations on his spells and most item abilities, you must carefully decide which spells to cast in a teamfight or when pushing, as well as how to most efficiently cast these spells depending on the situation. Using an unnecessary spell reduces Tinker's ability to cast additional spells in the same engagement, forcing an earlier return back to base and reducing his efficiency.
- Always keep enough mana handy to escape and teleport back to base, as Tinker is a very squishy and vulnerable hero when caught out in the open.
- When replenishing your mana in your fountain, remember that it heals as a percentage of your maximum HP and mana, and adds a flat amount on top. Therefore, it is possible to reduce down time in the fountain by moving your core items to your stash in order to reduce the size of your mana pool, thus increasing the effectiveness of the flat regen. Combined with a Bottle, this can drastically reduce your turnaround time, allowing you to get back into the action faster.
- Tango combined with a Healing Salve give Tinker enough HP regen to survive harassment in-lane.
- Clarity is useful for replenishing Tinker's mana so that he can always have the mana to push out a lane with March of the Machines or have enough nuke power to attempt a kill.
- Mantle of Intelligence gives Tinker more base damage as well as a bigger starting mana pool. It is useful for helping with Tinker's last-hitting and casting in-lane.
- Iron Branches are cheap and give simple stats to help with the early game. Branches can later be built into a Magic Wand if needed.
- Boots of Speed are basic mobility requirements for any hero. Getting them early on Tinker allows him to more easily position himself for casting his spells.
- Bracer gives Tinker more stats, particularly strength to give him more HP and thus survivability.
- Bottle is essential for a mid Tinker, as it provides HP and mana regen critical for allowing him to stay in-lane to farm. Bottle remains vital on Tinker throughout the game, as it extends his mana pool when teleporting forward to cast spells and speeds up healing in fountain, so consider dropping it in the Stash instead of selling it later.
- Boots of Travel provide global mobility and map presence in the form of teleportation to any friendly building or creep. Combined with Rearm, Tinker can reposition himself globally at will to swiftly push lanes, join teamfights, and then return to the fountain to replenish his mana.
- Soul Ring greatly extends Tinker's mana pool when teleporting around the map to cast spells, as he can dip into his HP pool to extend his active operation time. As he can reset its cooldown at will with Rearm, using Soul Ring once per cycle can give him vastly more mana to use. As well, he can offset the HP cost via the use of Bottle, keeping him at full HP even with regular use.
- Blink Dagger drastically improves Tinker's mobility, and gives him great survivability when pushing lanes with March of the Machines. As it can be shift-queued after teleporting to the front lines, Tinker can instantly blink into the treeline to safely cast his spells without giving the enemy an opportunity to spot him.
- Scythe of Vyse greatly improves the size of Tinker's mana pool, and gives him powerful mana regen, increasing the number of spells he can cast on deployments before returning to base. The Hex is extremely powerful as combined with Rearm it allows Tinker to permanently hard-disable an enemy for as long as he has the mana to do so.
- Shiva's Guard gives Tinker much needed intelligence to continue use of Rearm, and gives him a magic nuke to assist in pushing. The extra armor and passive attack speed slow also give him resistance against physical damage if he shows up to teamfights, and the active nuke can be refreshed and cast multiple times.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a good cheap mana item that gives Tinker good mana regen and a useful disable. Used properly, the Cyclone can be used to set up disables on enemies offensively, or buy Tinker time if he's caught while pushing a creep wave.
- Force Staff extends the size of Tinker's mana pool and gives him a re-positioning tool should he or his team run into trouble. In ganks, it is also a cheap tool to use to break a target's Linken's Sphere so that further disables can be easily targeted.
- Dagon is a very powerful burst damage nuke on Tinker that additionally increases the size of his mana pool as it is upgraded. Combined with Laser and Heat-Seeking Missile, it can instantly blow up lone targets, especially once combined with Rearm to increase the damage output by multiples.
- Manta Style is useful for giving Tinker stats across the board, increasing his survivability, but its main use is in using the active to dispel debuffs from yourself and giving the enemy multiple targets to pick from. Under the right circumstances, Tinker can cause enough confusion in order to give himself enough time to escape.
- Black King Bar prevents Tinker from being locked down in teamfights, particularly since Rearm is a channeled spell that can be interrupted. While it cannot be refreshed by Rearm, it can give Tinker the survivability he needs to cast his spells uninterrupted in a fight.
- Aghanim's Scepter gives Tinker a vast amount of teamfight contribution, as he can use Laser to blind and deal Pure damage to multiple enemy heroes per cast, forcing them to dispel the debuff if they want to deal any physical damage, and bombarding them with long-range artillery using Heat-Seeking Missile.
- Boots of Travel 2 is a useful upgrade to Boots of Travel for engaging in fights at inopportune locations. The ability to teleport to allied heroes rather than just creeps allows Tinker to bring instant reinforcements to any unfolding fight, particularly if they take place where there are no friendly creeps to jump to.
- Glimmer Cape can be a strong survivability item, both for Tinker and his team. As he can constantly have the effect up with Rearm, Tinker becomes much harder to catch since the enemy must bring detection, and their magic nukes become far less potent for focusing him down. In fights, Tinker can use the active on multiple allies simultaneously, allowing him to either save them en masse or give them increased initiation ability.
- Lotus Orb is an extremely strong defensive item, both for pushing and for teamfighting. Echo Shell can prevent enemies from easily disabling Tinker, as using targeted disables or nukes reflects them back, disabling or nuking the enemy in turn and forcing them to reconsider the engagement. As well, since Echo Shell can be refreshed with Rearm, it can be placed on multiple allies at once, giving your team a strong edge in fights.
- Null Talisman is a better item to build than Bracer, as it provides Tinker with more damage, which helps with last-hitting. As such, it is advised to start with a Null Talisman when playing mid, as the extra damage can make a huge difference against certain lane opponents. As well, it builds into a Dagon, which is far more useful on Tinker than a Drum of Endurance.
- Observer Wards are very important to purchase on Tinker due to his mobility. As he can jump immediately to the front lines with Boots of Travel, he is uniquely qualified for placing aggressive wards that his team can capitalize on. Forward wards can give him advance warning on incoming ganks, as well as provide vision for painting targets with Heat-Seeking Missile.
- Orchid Malevolence is a powerful intelligence item to build on Tinker, as it gives many of the same bonuses as a Scythe of Vyse. It can serve as a complementary disable to Hex as Tinker can permanently silence a target in a teamfight when combined with Rearm, allowing him to use Soul Burn on an important spell caster while reserving Hex for their carry.
- Rod of Atos gives Tinker intelligence and some more HP, increasing his survivability. While its root is a much softer disable than a Hex, its long cast range should never be underestimated, and can be useful as a complementary disable.
- Veil of Discord is a powerful utility item to purchase on Tinker. While it only provides mediocre stats and the armor is not always useful on Tinker, the active ability can increase creeps' vulnerability to March of the Machines, allowing him to push more efficiently. As well, used in a teamfight it can drastically improve the effectiveness of Heat-Seeking Missiles and March of the Machines, to say nothing of Dagon or any magic nukes your teammates have. Combined with Rearm, you can ensure that the enemy is permanently inflicted with reduced magic resistance.
- Bloodstone Can no longer be upgraded from Soul Ring. Bloodstone drastically improves Tinker's HP and mana pool, allowing him to cast many more spells on rotations. As well, the active can be reset by Rearm, ensuring that you are always able to deny yourself whenever caught by the enemy. The reduction in respawn time is also very powerful, as Tinker can return to being active on the map faster, preventing the enemy from capitalizing on his death to take map objectives.
- Ghost Scepter builds into Ethereal Blade and makes him invulnerable to physical damage. It can be refreshed ad nauseam to keep him safe from auto-attacks but the stats do not help Tinker much.
- Ethereal Blade does not give Tinker very beneficial stats, however it is useful for augmenting Tinker's already impressive burst magic damage against enemies, especially if he has built numerous intelligence items, and can be used on himself or teammates to grant immunity against physical damage. In a pinch, it can also be used on one of the enemy's carries to prevent them from attacking if Laser was already used on another target.
- Heaven's Halberd is situational pick-up if you are being threatened by heroes relying on basic attacks such as Ursa and Huskar, allowing you to disable their auto-attack for 6–9 seconds per cast between the Halberd's Disarm and your Laser. As well, it can be useful to get if the enemy has built a Monkey King Bar to negate the miss chance of Laser. It tends to be redundant when compared to Scythe of Vyse which serves a similar disarming function.