Kunkka/Guide

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Gameplay[edit]

Playstyle
Kunkka minimap icon.png Kunkka is a strategic fighter that relies on his carefully placed abilities to disrupt enemy formations. His abilities complement one another, and need to be used in conjunction to be effective. Torrent deals moderate damage, as well as applying a stun and slow. With his Tidebringer, Kunkka can deal a good amount of damage to a large area in front of him. X Marks the Spot is a useful spell for scouting out areas or bringing an enemy back. Ghostship is incredibly good for teamfights, although there is a long delay that makes it hard to land. Playing Kunkka requires good timing, tactical thinking, and an understanding of enemy movement. If insufficiently farmed, however, Kunkka will barely do any damage, and must rely on landing his abilities if he is to remain useful to his team.
Pros Cons
  • Large, disruptive AoE abilities with massive damage.
  • Wide reach and crowd physical damage with Tidebringer.
  • X Marks the Spot is a unique single target control ability.
  • A hated target in teamfights and may be focused at first.
  • Requires good timing to land ability combos.
  • Ability damage falls off in the late game.

Carry[edit]

When played as a carry, Kunkka depends primarily on Tidebringer to spread high amounts of damage over a large area. To compliment his extended cleave area, Kunkka wants items that will amplify the damage of his right clicks. Items such as Armlet of Mordiggian (Inactive) icon.png Armlet of Mordiggian or Daedalus icon.png Daedalus make Kunkka a force to be reckoned with. Ideally Kunkka wants to hit his primary target with the cleave of Tidebringer rather than directly, as his cleave deals additional physical damage. With Kunkka’s built in wave clear, he can quickly farm lane and jungle with ease, allowing him to gain an edge early on. This, in combination with his Ghostship can allow Kunkka to both deal loads of damage and absorb it, becoming a mid-to-late game powerhouse.

Support[edit]

Kunkka is sometimes played as a support or utility hero. In this role, he uses X Marks the Spot to catch fleeing enemies, and Ghostship as a form of initiation. With this build, Kunkka can focus on increasing the size of his mana pool and using his spells to lock down enemies and dealing large amounts of magical damage over wide swathes of area. It is also possible to transition into a semi-carry if the game goes on long enough.

Ability Builds[edit]

Carry Kunkka
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Tidebringer icon.pngTorrent icon.pngTidebringer icon.pngX Marks the Spot icon.pngTidebringer icon.pngGhostship icon.pngTidebringer icon.pngX Marks the Spot icon.pngX Marks the Spot icon.pngTalent icon.pngX Marks the Spot icon.pngGhostship icon.pngTorrent icon.pngTorrent icon.pngTalent icon.pngTorrent icon.pngUnknown icon.pngGhostship icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png
Support Kunkka
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Torrent icon.pngX Marks the Spot icon.pngX Marks the Spot icon.pngTorrent icon.pngX Marks the Spot icon.pngGhostship icon.pngX Marks the Spot icon.pngTorrent icon.pngTorrent icon.pngTalent icon.pngTidebringer icon.pngGhostship icon.pngTidebringer icon.pngTidebringer icon.pngTalent icon.pngTidebringer icon.pngUnknown icon.pngGhostship icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png

Talents[edit]

Hero Talents
+60% Tidebringer Cleave25 Ghostship Fleet
+20 Strength attribute symbol.png Strength20+100 Torrent AoE
+120 Torrent Damage15+10 Health Regen
+6 Armor10+40 Damage
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]

  • Kunkka's abilities work best when the enemy team is clumped together. Time your ability usage accordingly.
  • In general, carry Kunkka can be placed either mid or in the safe lane.
    • As a mid, Kunkka should focus on getting early levels and harassing down the enemy's mid with Tidebringer, then using his spells to get early kills and farm his core items.

Abilities[edit]

Torrent[edit]

  • Torrent allows Kunkka to target an area where, after a delay, any enemies in the area will be stunned, and then damaged and slowed.
  • Due to its delay, Torrent can be very hard to land and is very mana-costly on a hero with a small mana pool. Good prediction or a leading stun is required to land it properly.
  • Torrent has a very long range for an area stun, and can be used to predict and pick off fleeing enemies.
  • Kunkka makes a very visible hand gesture when casting Torrent, which opponents can easily see and use to gauge the timing in which Torrent was cast so that they can dodge it. When casting Torrent on an enemy without a leading disable, try to either cancel your animation in order to fool the enemy if they can see you, or cast it from the fog of war by taking advantage of its extremely long cast range.
  • Unlike most other spells in the game, Torrent does not require Kunkka to face in the direction that he casts the spell, preventing enemies from easily predicting the location in which the waterspout will appear. This also allows Kunkka to get the spell off a bit faster, as he will not have to turn to face the target area first. Try to be tricky with where you cast Torrent if Kunkka is visible to the enemy, and remember not to target it outside the spell's cast range, otherwise Kunkka will have to turn and walk within range to cast, allowing the enemy to easily see what direction Torrent is being cast in.
  • Torrent can be more easily landed if X Marks the Spot is used first. By inflicting X on the enemy, and then casting Torrent on that spot, you can force the enemy to return right before Torrent completes. However, mind the cast range of X Marks the Spot, as it is very low at early levels, and be sure that your timing is perfect otherwise the enemy may arrive after the torrent or have time to evade it after returning.
  • Combined with Tidebringer, Torrent can be used to lock down a foe long enough for you to maneuver into a position favorable to hit them or their teammates with cleave damage.

Tidebringer[edit]

  • Tidebringer is a castable attack modifier that allows Kunkka to deal cleave damage in a wide area in front of him, giving him a damage bonus with each strike.
  • Because Tidebringer can only proc once every few seconds, build raw damage instead of attack speed. Getting a good Tidebringer cleave off can potentially kill enemy heroes in a single attack if Kunkka has enough damage.
  • Using Tidebringer frequently in-lane is a good way to harass a lane opponent safely from range, but it will also push the creep wave and can reduce Kunkka's ability to farm safely.
  • Conversely though, it is also a good lane pusher when playing mid, as it can force the enemy mid to retreat to their tower when the runes spawn, allowing Kunkka and his team to more easily control the rune spots.
  • Tidebringer does not work against wards and buildings, and that leaving it on autocast can cause it to proc before it is needed. Try to manually cast Tidebringer whenever possible, so as not to waste its attack power and so that it is readily available should a cleave opportunity arise.
  • When using Tidebringer, it is best to attack a nearby creep to inflict cleave on all enemies behind it, taking advantage of its high cleave damage.
  • Tidebringer's cleave can deal damage over a large area. Angled properly, it is possible to hit enemies through the fog of war, and even through invisibility, making it a powerful ability for killing fleeing enemy heroes who are low on health. It is best to use a nearby enemy creep, or even one from a neutral camp, in order to splash the damage in the direction of your choosing.

X Marks the Spot[edit]

  • X Marks the Spot is a flexible spell that can be cast on enemies and allies alike to return them to their point of origin after a delay.
  • X Marks the Spot counters enemy heroes with great mobility, since the ability forcibly drags them back after they move away and their abilities are on cooldown.
  • Used on enemies, X can be used to prevent escapes and lock down foes for your spells and those of your allies. Used on allies, it gives them a safe method of return if they are disabled while initiating. However, remember that Return still requires Kunkka to execute his cast animation, so the target will return to the X 0.4 seconds after Kunkka is commanded to.
  • When being chased, X Marks the Spot can be used to return the chasing enemy to an early and more distant location.
  • X's principal utility is in locking down a target so that they can be hit by Torrent and Ghostship, both of which are otherwise hard to land. The same applies to teammates with similarly hard to land spells such as Light Strike Array, Split Earth, and so on. Good timing is required to do so, however, as returning the target before the spell hits gives them time to evade, while returning them after will result in a clean miss.
  • X Marks the Spot has a very short cast range at level 1, making it hard to land on an enemy during a gank. However, it lasts for the full 4 seconds at all levels so managing to cast the spell will give your team a large amount of time to set up for the return.
  • There is no maximum limit on X's return range, so it can bring its target back to the origin even after teleporting across the map. As such, it can be used on a foe who is attempting to teleport back to their base, or on an ally to get back to base to grab items from the stash or refill a Bottle and then return. Kunkka has to cast X on himself before he starts teleporting to make use of this trick.
  • X Marks the Spot lasts twice as long on allies. This gives it very powerful utility since an ally can have up to 8 seconds to scout, initiate, tower dive, or otherwise harass the enemy and be pulled back to safety.
  • Beware, X Marks the Spot cannot pull back invulnerable allied units. This means that certain abilities are able to interrupt an allied X, so be sure that you know what the enemy's capabilities are, as you can return a teammate early before they are inflicted with invulnerability, or hold back the return until after.
  • Conversely though, allies who are spell immune will still be pulled back. Therefore, if trouble is encountered, they can apply spell immunity to themselves in order to prevent themselves from being disabled, and still have a way with which they can return.
  • One useful way to gauge the timing of X Marks the Spot is to use the triplets from the spell's sound effect. Each ascending triplet marks one second of the spell's duration, so knowing the timing of any disables waiting at the return spot can allow Kunkka to pull enemies back in a timely manner. Again, remember that the target is returned on a 0.4 second delay due to Kunkka's cast animation, so be mindful of that as well.

Ghostship[edit]

  • Ghostship is a wide-area magic nuke that deals significant damage in its impact area and buffs allies that it passes through on the way.
  • Like Torrent, Ghostship can benefit from being set up with X Marks the Spot in order to lock down a foe prior to casting. Because X Marks the Spot's maximum cast range at level 4 exactly matches the impact distance of Ghostship, the two spells work extremely well together. Also remember to walk back and cast the spell if the target is marked at a closer distance.
  • Ghostship's cooldown is pretty short compared to other ultimate ability. After Kunkka kills a hero with all his abilities, his ultimate will be ready in less than a minute.
  • While its cooldown is quite short, Ghostship is very mana-costly, especially on a hero with a small mana pool like Kunkka. Additionally, its long delay means that landing the spell requires a large amount of crowd control or the element of surprise.
  • Ghostship will always appear a specific distance behind Kunkka and end a specific distance in front of Kunkka, taking a specific amount of time to do so. The distance at which the boat appears and hits can be seen by hovering over the ability and noting the radius circle. You can also just cast it from outside Kunkka's range as to make him move into range and ensure that the Ghostship will land to where you targeted it.
  • Although it is not obvious, the Rum buff is a very powerful ability that should never be discounted. Any allies with the Rum buff will take half damage from all enemy damage sources for its duration, and can never be killed by the remainder once the buff wears off. This allows allies to absorb up to twice the normal amount of damage and still survive, making it extremely powerful on tanky heroes that are already very damage-resistant.
    • The Rum buff lasts only 10 seconds. If your team can't finish the fight in 10 seconds and the enemy teams has DoT abilities such as Doom or Poison Nova, consider retreating after or even before the Rum buff dissipates.

Items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Clarity icon.png Clarity is very useful on Kunkka as his spells are all very mana-costly. Being able to use Torrent more than once without running completely out of mana greatly increases his ability to lock down foes and score early kills.
  • Tango icon.png Tango fulfills basic regen requirements in all lanes but mid. Having flexible regen allows Kunkka to remain in lane without being harassed out.
  • Faerie Fire icon.png Faerie Fire is a useful consumable to purchase as a mid Kunkka. The damage bonus gives him last-hitting power and allows him to splash more damage on his lane opponent with Tidebringer, and consuming it can give him some last-second burst HP regen that can save him during enemy gank attempts.

Early game:

  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed are important on all heroes, but can be quite important on Kunkka for getting in position to cast X Marks the Spot on foes at early levels.
  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick is useful on all heroes. On Kunkka, it can help alleviate his mana issues by giving him some burst mana regen for casting his spells.
  • Bottle (Full) icon.png Bottle is effectively mandatory if Kunkka is to be played mid. A Bottle is extremely useful for replenishing Kunkka's small mana pool, and can be easily replenished using X and a teleport to base.

Mid game:

  • Phase Boots icon.png Phase Boots give him bonus attack damage with which he can last-hit more easily, as well as increasing the effectiveness of Tidebringer.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand is powerful for all the same reasons as Magic Stick, granting burst health and mana restoration to allow Kunkka to cast any of his spells.
  • Drum of Endurance icon.png Drum of Endurance gives Kunkka attributes and bonus movement speed.
  • Armlet of Mordiggian (Inactive) icon.png Armlet of Mordiggian toggles on to grant huge attack damage and strength for Kunkka to hit hard with Tidebringer, then off promptly to minimize health drain. Furthermore, Ghostship's damage reduction and damage delay buy more time for armlet toggling as enemies cannot kill Kunkka quickly enough.

Late game:

  • Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade allows him to inflict additional damage to the entire enemy team when combined with Tidebringer. As well, it can be used for mobility or escape as demanded.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger, combined with X Marks the Spot, greatly extends Kunkka's reach when attacking with Tidebringer, and is useful no matter what role he plays. He can X himself and then blink forward, casting any spells or attacking with Tidebringer, and then returning to safety. Used by itself, Kunkka can instantly position himself in the best location from which to cleave the enemy, or jump within range to cast X on a foe during an initiation.
  • Daedalus icon.png Daedalus is an extremely powerful damage item in the hands of Kunkka, who can additionally benefit from building more than one to increase the proc chance. If his damage is high enough and he procs a crit alongside Tidebringer, Kunkka can potentially slay multiple enemy heroes with a single slash of his sword.

Situational items:

  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows gives Kunkka a measure of mana regen and some more HP and base damage, enhancing his power as a roamer-disabler. The item's active can be used to heal yourself or teammates, or add more damage in a gank.
  • Battle Fury icon.png Battle Fury increases the cleave percentage of Tidebringer, while also adding a cleave that can be used while Tidebringer is on cooldown. It also gives Kunkka good health and mana regeneration, allowing him to remain out in the field for longer without returning to base.
  • Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar is useful both for increasing Kunkka's survivability and damage output, especially in situations where the enemy is trying to lock Kunkka down to prevent him from casting his spells.
  • Heaven's Halberd icon.png Heaven's Halberd provides some strength, status resistance, and evasion, and allows you to disarm the enemy carry in a teamfight. It is useful for giving Kunkka some damage alongside survivability against physical damage.
  • Assault Cuirass icon.png Assault Cuirass reduces enemy armor, allowing you and your allies to deal more damage, while giving an armor and attack speed boost at the same time. While it lacks synergy with your spells and abilities, the aura it provides should never be underestimated.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque provides a lot of extra health and regeneration, and helps Kunkka recover from fights almost immediately. It's especially useful if you're always being focused in teamfights. As well, the additional base damage can help you inflict damage with Tidebringer as it can be augmented by percentage-based damage buffs from certain allies.
  • Silver Edge icon.png Silver Edge adds more strength to Kunkka, giving more attack damage and a potential slow to proc on an attack. The Break component of Silver Edge can make killing certain enemy heroes easier, such as Phantom Assassin, Spectre or Bristleback.
  • Boots of Travel 1 icon.png Boots of Travel frees up an item slot for Kunkka, giving him room to build another major item if needed, and allows him to use X for temporary returns to base. The ability to globally re-position is also very powerful, and the enhanced movement speed gives him better positioning, chasing, and escaping ability.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter improves Kunkka's attributes across the board and greatly improves the utility of Ghostship. Because the boat will spawn directly on Kunkka and drag any nearby enemies, it can immediately place the Rum buff on Kunkka and create distance between him and any nearby opponents. Most importantly, halving the impact delay allows Kunkka to use the spell more effectively and greatly improves the odds of landing a successful boat.
  • Divine Rapier icon.png Divine Rapier is highly situational and very risky, but extremely powerful in Kunkka's hands. Combined with Tidebringer and a Daedalus, Kunkka can deal tremendous amounts of cleave damage and potentially wipe the entire enemy team under the right circumstances.