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Dota 2 item and build guide - Tidehunter

Updated on August 25, 2014

"Welcome to the abyssal pain."

If you are new to Dota 2, be sure to check out my guide for beginners here..

"The Tidehunter known as Leviathan was once the champion of the Sunken Isles, but his motives are as mysterious"

Tidehunter is a melee strength hero who is known for his huge team fight capabilities. Leviathan is a support that can deal a lot of damage through his spells, and because he is a strength hero, he can also be quite durable.

One of the best initiators in the game
Can be boring early game
Good slow mechanism
Always focused down
Easy to play
First ban - first pick in CM
Rather tanky
Positioning ain't that easy to learn
Almost always useful
[Q] Gush
[W] Kraken Shell
[E] Anchor Smash
[R] Ravage
Really good slow (4s)
Gets rid of stuns/slows/debuffs every 600HP lost
Great for farming
Large AOE stun around you
Has armor reduction
Good later in the game when you get focused
Low cooldown and mana cost
Probably one of the best (and easiest) initiating spells in the game
Armor reduction good combo with anchor smash
The damage block isn't great.
Good for reducing a carry's attack damage


  • Kraken shell:
    • Does not prevent magical damage
    • Only damage from player owned sources is counted towards buff removal.
    • Damage counter for buff removal resets when you don't take player based damage for 6 seconds.
  • Ravage:
    • Hit units will fly for 0.52 seconds before the real stun is applied.
    • Full damage and stun are dealt to invisible units.
    • Ravage waves move outwards at a speed of 775.

Skill builds


Build 1 - This build is typical build people go for. If you're going to be ganking a lot, and not farming, use this build.


Build 2 - If you're priority is to farm your core items, use this build.

Skill build explanation

For build 1, you want the extra armor reduction from Gush (W) which is very useful for ganking.
For build 2, the extra damage and spam-ability of Anchor smash (E) allows you to farm a lot faster.

Why not Kraken Shell (W) before level 10?

  • Kraken Shell (W) before level 10 is very situational and is only useful early if you are in offlane or getting harassed a lot. This is because the debuff remover only works when you lose 600HP, so it will only work once at levels 10 and below.
  • Another reason is because people seem to think Kraken Shell will give you a "free Ravage (R)", when in reality, it only allows you to pull off a wasted ravage if positioned incorrectly.
  • Kraken Shell (W) is only useful later on when you get focused on with stuns/disables and need to pull off a ravage before you die, AND when you have enough HP for it to proc.
  • You are a support, which means want the nuke damage from Gush (Q) and Anchor Smash (E) early on, not damage block. If you want the damage block, a stout shield is much better and only costs 250g.


Core items are quite straight forward with tide:

  • Arcane boots: Increase mana pool, replenish-able mana great for ganking/roaming
  • Blink dagger: your core item for initiating with a Ravage.


  • Drums of Endurance: Some extra HP, Mana, movement speed. All the good stuff
  • Refresher orb: If the games goes long enough, get this to pull off two Ravages (R).
  • Scyth of Vyse: If your team needs more disables.
  • Hearts of Tarrasque: More health, more Kraken shell (W) procs. If your team lacks tanks get this.

Early game:

  • Do what you normally do as a support, such as stacking and pulling, harassing enemies, zoning enemies out of exp, etc.
  • Tide's Gush (Q) is very strong and slows, so he can over power squishy heroes very easily. if your lane partner also has a lot of damage or has stuns/slows/disables, try to score some easy kills.
  • Don't be afraid to be aggressive as tide, you have a slow and a nuke that reduces enemy armor and attack damage. Use it to your advantage.
  • Always carry a TP scroll in case your other lanes need help.
  • If you're carry is safe in lane, roam around with your smoke and TP scoll to help gank other lanes.

Mid game:

  • You should have your arcane boots at around this stage. If not, don't worry. Items are not high priority for tide, his Ravage (R) is. So make you are at ALL team fights.
  • Know when to use your Ravage (R). Don't be afraid to use it on just 1 enemy if its their carry.
  • If there's not much action going on (a quiet and passive game), it means there won't be many team fights, so just use your ravage whenever you can. If however there are a lot of team fights going on, try to save your ravage for more enemies to hit.
  • If you have had some successful ganks and team fights, you will have enough money for a blink dagger by the end of mid game.
  • If however you're doing poorly, and you don't think you can get your blink dagger anytime soon; opt for cheaper survivability items, such as a Drums of Endurance or a Mekansm.

Late game:

  • You should be in EVERY team fight. Your team needs you!
  • If ganking, always be leading the way and the one in front
  • In teamfights, make sure you are always the first one to go in (blink in and then Ravage (R))
  • If defending, try to hide behind trees so the enemy won't see your initiating coming.
  • ALWAYS PING OR TYPE SOMETHING BEFORE YOU GO IN so that your team knows when to follow up!
  • Don't waste your Ravages (R) at this point, always aim to hit at least 4 enemies every time you use it. Your ravages are very important in late game.
  • If your enemies have magic immunity (such as a Black king bar) try to surprise them and Ravage (R) before they can use it.

  • Due to its low Mana cost, Anchor smash (E) can be used to harass enemies, especially melee heroes.
  • Do not underestimate the 40% damage reduction from Anchor Smash (E). If you use it on a hero with a powerful auto-attack, such as Ursa, their damage output will be severely reduced. With 100% uptime from level 2 onwards, you can keep one or more enemies' attack damage crippled indefinitely provided you keep using this skill.
  • Remember that while Ravage (R) 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 magic 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, it is critically important to cast another one of your spells (generally Anchor smash (E)) after casting Ravage (R), as a skill so devastating could easily be the deciding factor in a teamfight should Rubick steal it.

DotaCinema's guide to Tidehunter

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