Tidehunter is one of the first heroes I started playing when I got into the beta, and by far my most played hero in the game, for a good reason, he's AWESOME.
Dragon Knight may be able to turn into a Dragon, Lifestealer may be able to infest neutral creeps or friendly heroes, Storm Spirit may be able to fly around the map, but only Leviathan drags a fish around the battlefield waiting for a perfect moment to change the Tide of games!!!
You might wonder what role does Tidehunter fill? Well, he's a support/initiator, his ultimate being one of the best AOE stuns in the game, there's a reason why it's called Ravage, it's because it can ravage a teamfight.
This is my first guide anywhere, so I hope that it will be useful for you to improving your games, and most importantly having fun. Don't hesitate to tell me how to improve this guide.
An excellent ability that doesn't just slow the enemy target down, but also reduces their armor, so that you and your enemies will do more physical damage to the target with auto-attacks.
This is what you will mostly be using to initiate before you can afford your Blink Dagger.Try and not spam it unless you have Arcane boots since you don't have that much mana. Always max this ability first.
USAGE: Try to approach the enemy from behind, Gush them, and then try to move in a way that blocks them, so that your carry or whatnot could hit more.
2. Kraken Shell
This is the ability that makes Tidehunter a rather tanky hero. The way it works is if you take 600 damage, all negative buffs ie. slows and stuns will be removed. It's usually a good idea to take 1 level of this early on to increase your survivability, but max it last, as your other abilities are quite a bit better.
3. Ancor Smash
Another excellent ability that reduces base attack damage by a whopping 40%, (base damage is the damage you get from buying items that increase your base stats, ie. Agility items for Faceless Void or leveling up) so it is important to note that it won't reduce any damage a hero receives from items, such as Daedalus.
Another important thing to note about this ability is that it deals PHYSICAL damage, meaning it will go together quite well with Gush which reduces target armor.
USAGE: Try and use this ability in range of enemy carries as much as possible, as the 40% base damage reduction is quite a lot, and the 225 physical damage you can lash out every 4 seconds is not to be underestimated.
This is the ability that will make enemy teams go: "Don't fight *****es, Tide still has his ultimate." It has a whopping range of 1025 with a 2.25 second stun at level 3, which means that you can basically stun every enemy hero on your screen if you're in the middle of them.
USAGE: Early on in the game you can use it more sparingly as team fights don't happen that often and generally don't involve all heroes, meaning at level 6 or such feel free to use it to kill 1 or 2 enemy heroes. Later on in the game, when teamfights are very crucial, only save it for teamfights as it has a very long cooldown.
Tango & Salve are your basic regeneration items for most heroes, so always be sure to get them, for almost all heroes, Tidehunter or not.
Courier & Observer ward are extremely important items. So when you spawn, be sure to be a nice guy and ask who is buying a courier or wards. If someone is buying a courier, you buy the observer wards, if someone is buying observer wards you buy courier, if everyone's a greedy douchebag, just go ahead and buy a courier, as it will be more important for your team to get items to team, especially for your middle hero.
Clarities are an excellent starting/early game item for supports such as Tidehunter or Earthshaker who run out of mana very quickly, till they have Arcane Boots. So 2 of them will enable you to use your Gush at least a few times, increasing the chance for your lane to get a few kills, or at least make it so that the enemy heroes in your lane have a harder time getting EXP and gold.
Iron branches are just all around awesome items, they may give you just +1 all stats, but do not underestimate that, that's 19 extra health and 14 extra mana for just 53 gold, and it builds into a Magic Wand, which is a very good item on almost every hero.
Boots of Speed are the first item you should get when you manage to make 500 gold, which won't be that easy for someone who shouldn't really be last hitting, at all in a lane. I should add that NEVER EVER EVER BUY BOOTS OF SPEED AS YOUR FIRST ITEM, EVER, if you buy them as your first item, you won't have any money for your basic regeneration meaning you will have a harder time laning.
Observer wards should always be bought by someone, and since in most games people don't play support, you should try and buy them, they will help your team by A LOT, so be the nicest of all the people in the world, and buy your team some observer wards.
Magic wand is a really good item on almost every hero, if you don't know how it works, it stores charges whenever an enemy hero casts a spell in vicinity, and heals as well stores mana based on those charges. As you might realize, it's a really good item if you're low on health, and being chased down by someone, all you have to do is pop your magic wand and your chances of living are so much better.
Blink Dagger is what will enable you to change the fate of teamfights, it could be argued that with the massive range of your ultimate, it's not as necessary on Tidehunter as it is on Earthshaker, but enemy heroes won't just let you walk up to them for you to ult, and it's always good to take enemies by surprise, so it's an excellent item on Tidehunter, really all initators
Arcane boots should be bought when your team doesn't have any of them, Tidehunter is a rather mana hungry hero, so the increased mana pool as well as active which restores mana will help Tide by quite a bit, not to mention your team, there should be a few Arcane Boots at least in every game, because everyone needs mana, mana is like love, except mana doesn't have an awesome song about it written by the Temptations, such haters.
Power Treads are the boots you should buy if your team already has a few Arcane boots, be sure to keep them on Strength so that you get the extra health from it.
Once you have your Blink Dagger and Arcane Boots/Power Treads, you pretty much have all the items you need. Nonetheless, if you guys are raping, or the game is dragging on, feel free to buy some items that will benefit you and in extension your team greatly.
Refresher Orb is an excellent item, I mean, if there's anything that's better than one badass ultimate that rapes in teamfights, it's 2 badass ultimates that rapes in teamfights. It should be noted that Refresher Orb can create mana problems, nonetheless it's an excellent item for Tide to have.
Heart of Tarrasque is another good/ item on Tidehunter, that makes you even tankier than you already are, it increases your health by quite a bit, not to mention it gives you crazy regen, it's not the best item on Tide, since it doesn't really help your team, at least not as much as some other items, but nonetheless a good item.
Assault Cuirass is commonly bought on carries, but it's not a terrible item on Tidehunter by any stretch of the imagination. It gives you quite a bit armor, which is good because Tidehunter doesn't have the best armor, and an aura that increases attack speed and armor of nearby allies, which I'm sure your allies will appreciate, unless they're douchebags who don't like auras.
Pipe of Insight is probably the better item in terms of what will help your team, especially if you're fighting against an enemy team who has heroes such as Earthshaker/ Shadowfiend/ Death Prophet/ Lich. 30% spell block will make you quite tanky, and 400 damage spell block is not to be underestimated, your team could eat Lich's ult and plain not give a **** about it, it's that good of an item.
Vladimir's Offering like Assault Cuirass is commonly bought on carries, but that's a mistake as far as I'm concerned, you don't want to give up an item slot for an item that gives you as little as Vladimir's offering if you're a hard carry. It's a much better item for a support, such as Tidehunter who has item slots to spare, and hard carries such as Anti-mage/Faceless Void will make just as much use of the lifesteal as they would if they bought it themselves.
Shiva's Guard is arguably better on an Intelligence hero, nonetheless it's good on Tidehunter, it makes him tankier thanks to the armor, and it gives you a damaging AOE slow that has a relatively low cooldown.
Scythe of Vyse is good on almost all heroes except for hard carries, I mean why wouldn't a 3.5 second disable be good? In a teamfight after ulting, you could just use it on an enemy hardcarry or someone who has a lot of disables and have 1 less worry for 3.5 seconds.
ALWAYS HAVE THIS
Town Portal Scroll is such a good item, I know that you're a support, and that you're not the richest hero on the block, but nonetheless try to have 1 ready for use whenever you walk the fields of battle.
If you're being chased by enemy heroes, just try and find a good spot to be out of sight and double click it to teleport back to base to save your life.
If there's 3 or so enemy heroes near a tower trying to push it, with your teammates nearby being scared of being picked off, TP in and use your ultimate, hopefully your teammates are competent enough and be able to clean up the enemies.
I should say that never ever TP to a tower alone with no teammates around, there's no point in throwing your life away, and giving enemy players free EXP and gold.
Dust of Appearance/ Sentry wards/ Gem of True Sight ARE A MUST if the enemy team has invisible heroes such as Rikimaru, Bounty Hunter, Broodmother, Invoker or even if someone has bought an item such as Shadowblade. Early on in the game, don't bother buying the Gem of True Sight, Dust of Appearance and Sentry Wards will suffice, you don't just want to buy a 700 gold item, then die and let the enemy team either take it and use it against you, or destroy it. An important thing is to note, whenever someone dies whose carrying a Gem of True Sight, whether it be an enemy or friendly hero, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PICK IT UP, OR DESTROY IT IF ENEMY TEAM BOUGHT ONE TO COUNTER AN INVISIBLE HERO YOUR TEAM MIGHT HAVE.
Also, don't forget to deward with Gem of True Sight or Sentry wards, the more wards you have and the less the enemy team has the better.
1. An excellent slow that also reduces armor.
2. Relatively survivable thanks to Kraken Shell
3. A 4 second spammable ability that reduces base attack damage by 40%
4. An incredibly large AOE ultimate stun that can win teamfights
5. HE DRAGS AROUND A FISH, what more do you want?
1. Doesn't have any escape abilities
2. Will be focused down so you couldn't use your ultimate
3. Hard to get off a good ultimate without Blink Dagger
4. Ultimate has one of the longest cooldowns in the game
5. Runs out of mana really quickly without Arcane Boots
When you first spawn, buy your starting items, don't forget to buy either courier or observer wards, and level up your Gush.
As Tidehunter, you either want to go Bottom lane if you're Radiant, or Top lane if you're Dire. Just head to the Rune spot so that the enemy team wouldn't get it, be sure to stay on the high ground so that you would have better vision, and try not to be ganked, since sometimes when the enemy team tries to ward the pull camp, so they might run into you and kill you, so watch out for that.
Once the rune has spawned, if it's there ask if someone needs it, if not, then take it yourself and leave. If the rune isn't there, be sure to tell your teammates that the rune is in the other spot.
Now, just head to the lane, and just sit by taking in all that juicy EXP until the 30 second point. If you don't know what's so important about the 30 second mark, it's when Neutral creeps first spawn, so once they have spawned, head to the Radiant or Dire pull camp and check if they're there or not, if they are not there, buy Sentry wards and deward it. (Picture incoming)
Now, don't pull it immediately, wait for the 51-52 second mark, hit one of the creeps, and run away from them, if you don't know what this does, it stacks the camp, meaning that the camp size will double in size. You might ask why do this, it's so that when you pull the neutral camp into your creep wave, the neutral creeps will completely kill of your creep wave. Now you might ask why pull the neutral creeps into your creep wave? And my reply to that is, STOP ASKING SO MANY QUESTIONS, KIND OF ANNOYING ;)
But actually, it's important to pull so that the enemy creep wave will push up and that your carry or whoever is laning bottom with you can farm more safely near the tower, not to mention the bottom hero will get solo EXP for the most part.
To pull the neutral camp into your creep wave, just hit it either around 15-17 or 45-47 mark.
I should note that when you're in a lane, you shouldn't be hitting any of the creeps, cause it will **** up last hits for whoever is in the lane with you, but be sure to get as many last hits as possible when stacking and pulling, having the gold won't hurt you.
Just continue stacking and pulling over and over, you will be lower level than the hero you're in lane with, but hopefully it's someone who really benefits from extra levels/gold such as a hard carry.
Every once in a while, don't hesitate to be a bit aggressive and use Gush on the enemy, if you're trying for a kill, approach them from behind, if just harassing it doesn't matter.
Once you have money, be sure to buy your Boots of Speed, and then either upgrade the courier or buy Observer wards, and don't forget to place them, wards are good, really good.
At this point in the game, teams will be focused on ganking and trying to shut down your carry, and possibly taking towers. So it's really important to start carrying Town Portal scrolls, so that you could TP to tower and help your team protect it, or if a teammate is getting chased.
You should and try gank with some of your teammates as well, your gush is a very good ability as I mentioned beforehand. If no one on your team has an Urn of Shadows, then you should consider getting it, it's by no means a bad item on Tidehunter.
One of the important things to keep in mind is that you shouldn't just run around mindlessly looking for a kill, if you're walking in between lanes, don't forget to try and kill a Neutral creep camp for some gold and EXP, not the larger ones, as you'll have a harder time killing them, or creeps in an enemy creep wave if there's no friendly heroes around who needs the gold more.
And as always, if no one is buying Observer wards, then be a nice chap and buy some and place them so that the enemy team would have a harder time ganking, and your team an easier time ganking. Preferably place it near the Roshan, because at this point, enemy team could go try and kill Roshan. Hopefully there's someone else buying Observer wards, because at this point, you should either have Aracne Boots/Power Treads, or be really close to a Blink Dagger.
This is the point where the enemy team will be really scared of you, because teamfights will decide the game, and it sucks for them, because they don't have your awesome ultimate.
If Gods of Dota have blessed you with a good game, then you have your Blink Dagger, which enables you to be the sole reason why your team wins teamfights.
If you're not sure how to initiate, just blink in, use your ultimate, gush someone (preferably enemy hard carry) and be sure to anchor smash, it sounds really simple and all, and it should be, unless they have a really fed hard carry.
As in all phases of the game, do not forget to keep Roshan warded, because at this point, after winning a teamfight, enemy team will either push a tower or try and take a Roshan, which your team should do when winning a team fight.
And also, you should and try ward the enemy jungle, the more map control you have, the easier it is for your team to farm, which means item advantage, which means teamfights will be all that much easier for your team.
I'm not sure if you know this, but this is a game of towers, you win a teamfight take a tower with your team, ALWAYS. Won teamfights with no towers taken isn't very good. Try and take down all Tier 1 and Tier 2 towers with your team before trying to take down Tier 3 tower and barracks, because if you do win a teamfight, it enables your team to not just take one lane's barracks, but multiple lane's barracks, not to mention the 1000 gold for your team for each tower isn't bad.
Important note, DO NOT FORGET TO DENY YOUR FRIENDLY TOWERS WHEN THEY'RE DOWN TO 10% HEALTH.
Note that barracks have Backdoor Protection, which means that if your creep wave isn't pushed up, they will regen like crazy, so try and keep the creep waves pulled up.
Hopefully you win, if you don't then you don't, sometimes you just lose :(
I already mentioned it in the "How to play as him" chapter which lane you should go, but I thought it would be a good idea to express it more clearly here.
Tidehunter should go either bottom or top lane, with the lane that has the pullspot being preferable, for really any support. Tidehunter isn't a good mid, there are a thousand better mid heroes, but if your team doesn't have a mid hero, or no one really wants to go mid, it's definitely doable. Also, Tidehunter isn't a good solo either top or bottm.
He can be trilaned though, for example a bottom lane for Radiant that has Tidehunter, Crystal Maiden and Faceless Void is a pretty good lane, and it will enable your Faceless Void to pretty much free farm.
And as I mentioned before hand, DO NOT HIT CREEPS WHEN SUPPORTING WHEN NEARBY A FRIENDLY HARD CARRY, PLEASE!
Thought about creating a Friends & Foes chapter, but I thought knowing who to be scared of is more important. I will say that Tidehunter is good in lane with someone like a Sniper or a Drow Ranger, why? Because your gush will reduce the armor of enemy heroes by quite a bit enabling them to hit harder with auto attacks, the same goes for Vengeful Spirit with her Wave of Terror which enables Sniper & Drow Ranger to hit harder.
Now, to people you should be scared of, and what abilities of theirs.
Drow Ranger & Death Prophet have an AOE silence which lasts a few seconds, so watch out for that.
Rikimaru has a cloud that doesn't just silence if you're inside it, but also slow you, so watch out for that.
Silencer has a Global Silence that silences all enemies, as well as a Passive that silences enemy heroes whenever one of them casts a spell.
Doom Bringer's ultimate is a 13 second ultimate that also damages, which makes you pretty much useless in a fight, and it goes through magic immunity, so don't get Doomed.
Hexes are another thing you should watch out for, Lion and Shadow Shaman have a few second long Hex that can mess you up, not to mention there's a little item called "Scythe of Vyse" that disables enemy hero for 3.5 seconds.
Tidehunter is a relatively easy support/initator hero to play, and pretty fun, he's certainly one of the best teamfight heroes in the game. Just try and play to the best of your ability, and don't hesitate to ask questions, regardless of how stupid they may be, sure, you're going to get flamed, but it's infinitely better to get flamed and learn something than it is to appear smart and stay ignorant over a matter that might help you win games.
Will publish this guide, as this is my first guide, simply to get the feedback and know what to change, it's very half ***ed as it stands, don't forget to comment and say what I did wrong, I'm sure I did many things wrong.
I should note (God, I've said "I should note too much in this guide" :D) that English isn't my first language, so if you find any grammatical errors, be sure to let me know.