I Tink, Therefore I Am: A Guide to Solo Mid Tinker
October 26, 2012
Introduction: Conditions could hardly be more ideal!
It's a great idea to want to play Tinker. He is an intelligence ganker and pusher whose ultimate, if used correctly, could be absolutely overpowered in the face of the enemy.
- His early game is a great advantage, having Laser and Heat Seeking Missile maxed out quickly makes for unstoppable ganks.
I've created a list of important pros and cons which must be considered if you would like to play Tinker.
Some great strengths of Tinker are:
- His synergy with Boots of Travel and Rearm allow him to dart to a lane, farm with March of the Machines, and TP back to the fountain within a matter of seconds.
- If given good farm for his top tier items, he turns into a powerhouse of pushing late game.
However, you should reconsider Tinker if:
- You find yourself lacking in map awareness.
- You can't last hit well.
- You can't take the responsibility of a solo mid hero.
- You aren't good at ganking.
- You have a less than adequate knowledge of every active item in the store.
That said, it is imperative to have the skills to farm a pair of BoT within 15 minutes of the game starting, and it is a great asset to the team if you are experienced enough to have a grasp on map awareness and items.
Skills: You can keep your magic, I have laser beams!
Laser: This skill is a very important skill throughout the game, but much more important early game when it deals enough damage to kill a hero when paired with Heat Seeking Missile and a few auto-attacks. It should be maxed first along with Heat Seeking Missile to maximize its usefulness. Remember: The blinding effect of Laser is extremely effective against right-clickers.
Heat Seeking Missile: This skill is most useful early game, when heroes are squishier and susceptible to ganks. It should be used in conjunction with Laser, or if you have sight on a hero who's running away (Heat Seeking Missile has a very large range).
March of the Machines: As I mentioned before, this skill is best used for pushing lanes in conjunction with Boots of Travel. Simply TP to a lane, cast March of the Machines on the enemy creepwave, Rearm, cast it again, TP home, and repeat. You will have piles of gold and your enemies's towers in no time.
Rearm: This skill is what makes Tinker, Tinker. It effectively takes most every item and skill of yours off of cooldown (Except for a select few, which are Black King Bar, Arcane Boots, Helm of the Dominator, Hand of Midas, Refresher Orb, Linken's Sphere and Necronomicon). Used correctly, it will tear your foes to pieces and have them crawling on the ground like a pig, begging to be blinded with a Laser.
Items: There goes my grant money.
Starting items for Tinker are a Healing Salve, a Tango set, two Clarity vials, and three Iron Branches. This leaves roughly 100 gold to put towards a bottle as soon as possible.
When in lane, get a Bottle and Soul Ring as soon as possible. I cannot stress this enough. The faster you get your Bottle and Soul Ring, the faster you get your Boots of Travel. Use your Bottle to get runes and gank often (I know it sounds selfish, but try to get someone else to get a courier and ward the runes if they aren't warded yet, you need the money early game). Use your Soul Ring and Bottle to harass the enemy with your Rockets once you have Rearm up.
You should have your Boots of Travel before the laning stage ends. Having them at the earliest time possible is imperative.
You will want to get a Force Staff and BKB next, becuase you have very limited survivability as an Intelligence hero.
Because of your great farming power with March of the Machines, you should have a pile of gold every time you cycle to and from lanes. You should spend the next chunk on a Scythe of Vyse. This is possibly the most important item on Tinker, especially when his Rearm reaches its top level. It will allow you to, with a sufficient mana pool, disable an enemy hero permanently. The mana and intelligence benefits are amazing on Tinker as well.
In terms of luxury items, if you have enough gold, pick up any one of the items I put on the Extensions line above. For more damage and stomping potential, get a Dagon and Blink Dagger (a special mention also goes to Veil of Discord which will help amplify your magic damage). They will allow you to roll into the lategame with enough presence to 1v1 some enemies with ease. The Blink also serves as a good escape.
In terms of pushing, a Shiva's Guard and a Manta Style are a staple among Tinkers. They will allow you, along with March of the Machines, to decimate creepwaves and towers faster than the enemy can realize they're being pushed.
For more perma-disables, Eul's Scepter of Divinity and Orchid Malevolence are great in teamfights, and correct usage nearly always ends in a won teamfight.
Lastly, Bloodstone will give some much needed HP and mana points, as well as unmatched mana regen.
Tips: Put down your spellbook and pick up a textbook!
Here are some useful tips I picked up while playing Tinker:
- When using your TP + March of the Machines combo, it's beneficial to send your robots in one direction, Rearm, and send them in the other. The robots die when they hit creeps, so this will guarantee that every creep is hit.
- When you're at fountain restocking on mana, spam your Bottle. Your mana will regenerate faster.
- Always use your Soul Ring, before Rearming. It shaves off most of the mana cost with little consequence.
- The correct combo while ganking is Laser, then Heat Seeking Missile. The range of Heat Seeking Missile is large enough to reach a target who is too far to be hit with your Laser.
- Try to get a rune every 2 minutes. If you don't have rune wards, make sure at least one is put up.
- If you'd like, you may get one point in March of the Machines at level 9 instead of Rearm. While it does little damage, people will still avoid it as if it was at its full level. Similar to Invoker's "Paper Meteor" strategy, this is the "Paper Robot" strategy.
- Tinker's mid game is not as useful in comparison to his early and late game. You should spend this time getting your expensive items and pushing.
Remember, you don't need to follow this guide line by line. The best way to learn a hero is to play him, and if you find a strategy that suits you better, feel free to use it too. This is merely a guide to get you started.
Good luck, and know that they want you for more than just your hazard suit.