Help Support Our Growing Community

DOTAFire is a community that lives to help every Dota 2 player take their game to the next level by having open access to all our tools and resources. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting us in your ad blocker!

Want to support DOTAFire with an ad-free experience? You can support us ad-free for less than $1 a month!

Go Ad-Free
Smitefire logo

Join the leading DOTA 2 community.
Create and share Hero Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


88 Votes

[Divine] How to play Tusk

May 15, 2020 by Hades4u
Comments: 43    |    Views: 600994    |   

Utility Support

DotA2 Hero: Tusk

Hero Skills

Bitter Chill (Innate)

Ice Shards

2 4 5 7


1 13 14 16

Tag Team

3 8 9 11

Walrus Punch

6 12 18


10 15

Hero Talents

-8s Snowball Cooldown
12% Chance Walrus Punch
+75% Walrus Punch Crit
-6s Ice Shards Cooldown
+120 Snowball Damage
+325 Health
+0.5s Walrus Punch Stun Duration
+25 Tag Team Damage


It had been a brawl to remember. There stood Ymir, the Tusk, the Terror from the Barrier, the Snowball from Cobalt, the only fighter to have bested the Bristled Bruiser in a fair fight, and now the last man standing in Wolfsden Tavern. What started as a simple bar bet of supremacy ended with four regulars, a blacksmith, and six of the Frost Brigade's best soldiers writhing against the shards and splinters of almost every bottle, mug, and chair in the building. The Tusk boasted and toasted his victory as he emptied his brew.

No sooner had the defeated regained consciousness than the cries for double-or-nothing rang out. The Tusk was pleased at the prospect, but none could think of a bet bigger than the one he just conquered. Horrified at the damage to his tavern and desperate to avoid another brawl, the barkeep had an idea. As skilled as he was, Ymir had never taken part in a real battle, never tested himself against the indiscriminate death and chaos of war. He proposed a wager to the fighter: seek out the biggest battle he could find, survive, and win it for whichever side he chose. The stakes? The next round of drinks.


Tusk is a very fun and quite challenging hero to play, being able to disable and disrupt his enemies using his frosty themed abilities. However, his abilities can also be dangerous to his team if used wrongly, so make sure to be careful and learn from every misplay!

Pros & Cons


  • Good ganker and initiator
  • Good base armor
  • Can be strong at any stage of the game if played properly
  • Can be very useful and provide utility even with low farm
  • Very versatile since he can both play defensive and offensive thanks to his abilities

  • Mana dependent
  • Not the greatest damage output, especially in the mid-late game
  • Requires practice to be played properly and to understand his mechanics

You should pick Tusk when you need roaming potential and also if your carry can handle himself while you're away. It's always best to pick him when the enemy team lacks silences and counter initiators.

Skill and Item build

Skill Build


I prefer to max Ice Shards and Tag Team first because this way I have the ability to block escape pathways and increase my own and my team's damage output.

Make sure to take advantage of Tag Team's bonus damage (especially in the early game) and call your teammates to help and deal extra damage when it's active. The more, the merrier (and more damage!). :D

Let's not forget about Walrus Punch, make sure to level it up every time you have the chance!

As for the talents, at level 10 the best option is the +8 health regen. This will increase your sustain and will allow you to be active around the map more without the need to retreat to base. The 0.4s stun duration increase for Walrus Punch is nice, but it doesn't seem to be worth picking over the health regeneration bonus.

At level 15 we have the choice between +325 bonus health and +120 Snowball damage. Since your main objective is not to deal damage, I believe getting the bonus health here is much better since you'll die a lot less and you'll be able to be more effective in fights.

At level 20 we have to pick between -6 Ice Shards cooldown speed and +80% Walrus Punch! crit. Even though the extra critical damage is tempting, you won't aim to do damage with your ultimate but only to disable the enemies. The cooldown decrease for Ice Shards will allow you to cast the ability more often, increasing your impact during team fights!

And finally, at level 25 we have the choice between 12% chance Walrus Punch! per hit and -6 seconds Snowball cooldown. I know, it sounds awesome to have a 12% chance per hit to cast Walrus Punch! on your target, but since you're going to support and help your team, you won't really have that much right click damage for this talent to be that great. Even if the disable would be good, you won't get close every time to get enough hits in for this talent to proc. I believe the cooldown reduction for Snowball is better here since it can be used more frequently when chasing enemies and even saving time for teammates to escape or counter-initiate.

Item Build

Let's start with the starting items, of course:

Orb of Venom
A wonderful item in the early game for quite a lot of heroes. Provides a very useful and efficient movement speed slow and a small amount of damage per second. This is great both for chasing and for harassing, make sure to always pick it up!

Observer Ward
The item that can win games, the Observer Ward. Always pick it up at the beginning of the match and place it in a spot that can help your lane or your mid player. Usually I place it where it can scout one of the runes while also providing vision for my carry and mid player, it's important for them to be safe. Don't forget that wards can also be used offensively, if your teammates are safe enough and you're confident you can get something done, feel free to plant them in the enemy territory. Also, try to find spots that aren't too obvious, it's important not to get your wards removed. Besides losing vision, your enemy is also earning gold for the ward kill.

Sentry Ward
This item is essential against invisible enemy heroes and also for removing the enemy Observer Wards. Vision is crucial and it can decide the outcome of the match, so make sure to always have Sentry Wards on you if needed. I like to pick up one early in case I see where the enemies have placed their starting wards; they're a must against heroes like Riki in the early game.

Should be enough to provide you with early regeneration, make sure to give 2 tangos to the mid player if he needs them.

Since you're going to use your abilities actively while helping your team, you're going to need some mana regeneration to avoid going back to base after using all your mana. Feel free to pick up an Enchanted Mango from time to time till you have enough gold for Arcane Boots.

That's basically everything that you need to know about the starting items, let's see what we got for the core items:

Magic Wand
A wonderful item to always keep you up and running. Provides you with some extra stats and can save you in a lot of situations if you have enough charges. It's a great item against spell spammers such as Bristleback, Batrider, Phantom Assassin and so on, it's proven to be a real clutch item in fights for me very often.

Arcane Boots
Not much to say here, grants movement speed and a great boost in your mana pool. Good source of quick mana for you and your teammates.

Solar Crest
A versatile item that can be used both defensively and offensively while also increasing your durability. It can be used on enemies to decrease their armor and make them easier to get hit by auto attacks, or you can use it on your allies to increase their armor and grant them evasion. Great item in combination with strong physical damage dealing allies and for melting the armor of the enemies.

Blink Dagger
Mobility is always welcomed! Make sure to pick this up to make initiation and retreat easier to execute. You can swap this item for a Force Staff if you're dealing against heroes like Clockwerk or Spectre, for instance.

Moving on to the situational items, only pick these ones up in the correct match ups and situations:

Drum of Endurance
Some extra stats and mana regen, but the most important benefits are the Swiftness Aura and the Endurance active. They'll increase the mobility of your team and also the pushing speed.

Blade Mail
I like to pick up a Blade Mail against heroes that deal heavy burst damage or against heroes that can't avoid it. For example, it's great against Tinker, since you can reflect the damage of the March of the Machines, and it's great in the same time against heroes like Phantom Assassin, who often crits and deals a lot of burst damage, all that damage reflected could make the difference in a fight.

Urn of Shadows
Some extra stats, armor and mana regeneration. Great item to get if you're getting kills, the Soul Release charges are very effective whenever you need some emergency healing or extra damage against fleeing enemies.

Rod of Atos
Some extra stats and disable can never go wrong, offers a lot of intelligence and strength which increase your health and mana pools.

Pipe of Insight
Makes yourself strong against magic damage while also shielding your team from the harm of magic damage dealers. Pick it up whenever the enemy team is strongly relying on magic damage.

Glimmer Cape
Not very costly, this item can be of great value since it enables you to save yourself or your teammates while also forcing the enemies to spend gold on true sight items.

Force Staff
Buy this instead of Blink Dagger if you think it's better. Usually it's more efficient against heroes like Clockwerk and heroes that can easily disable your Blink Dagger. It can also be used to save your teammates or to get your enemies out of position.

Vladmir's Offering
Need more pushing power? Then this item is a great option, since it increases the damage of your teammates while also providing them with life steal. It's more beneficial to melee heroes, keep that in mind before buying!

And now the luxury items that are usually tough to get even in the late game:

Shiva's Guard
More armor, more mana, an attack speed slow aura and an area active that deals damage and slows even more. What could be better?

Lotus Orb
Since you're most probably already going to have Blade Mail, this could be a viable option if you're against heroes that have targeted spells. Remember that you can cast it on yourself but also on your allied heroes.

Crimson Guard
Makes you way more durable and resistant to physical damage while also shielding your teammates from it, great item against heavy right clickers!

Assault Cuirass
Usually the team's cores are getting this item, but in case they aren't and if you can afford it, it's always a great addition to the team. It provides extra armor and attack speed while reducing the armor of the enemies, wonderful!

Aghanim's Scepter
The infamous Aghanim's Scepter! I don't think it's really that great on Tusk, but it could work with some heroes like Bloodseeker. Too expensive to be really worth it, feel free to pick it up if you like it though!

Laning Stage

Laning Stage

Winning the lanes is always important and some times it can even decide the outcome of the match. In my opinion, Tusk is the strongest in the early game since he can roam efficiently and set up kills for his team. Usually what you want to do is make sure that your carry is safe to farm and that he's not being pressured. With some carries you're able to get hero kills by yourselves, but with heroes like Anti-Mage for instance, you're going to need the help of the other support in order to get kills.

Let's say that the carry is safe and doing fine, in this situation you should not waste time on his lane. You can try roaming and getting kills on the the other lanes, usually on the mid lane. Take advantage of vision and items such as Smoke of Deceit, they're useful and can some times be the difference factor. If the enemy team has heroes that are farming the forest, you can try to harass them by yourself but it's safer to call your other support to help you do it. Junglers can get a lot of gold if left uncontested, but usually their lanes are weaker due to one support farming the forest, so try to contest on that by roaming actively around the map.

If roaming doesn't go too well and the carry is doing fine, you can simply prepare some stacks in the forest for your carry to farm later, and provide vision on the map by warding and dewarding, so your team can safely farm, move around the map and even fight.

Always communicate with your team, whenever you're planning to roam to a lane, make sure your ally is ready to respond. If you don't have enough gold to buy supplies for your team, ask the other support kindly if he can help with that for now.

You're going to spend most of your gold on support items in most matches, but that's not a problem at all. You don't need to get kills constantly in order to have enough gold, it's enough to not die and stay alive. Not dying means not losing gold upon death and also not giving gold to the enemies, that's a great aspect that you have to keep in mind.

Ganking and Roaming

Ganking and Roaming

As mentioned before, Tusk is great at roaming and ganking and he should do it actively but also smartly, that means doing it safely and when it's right. Always use Smoke of Deceit if it's on stock to set up ganks, this way the enemies won't spot you on the map when you're trying to set up a gank against them.

Besides taking advantage of Smoke of Deceit, it's great to remove the enemy wards and have wards of your own, because this way you'll know what the enemies are doing and where they are. This is great for instance when you're taking a lane such as mid, and you can see where the enemy supports are at that moment. Knowing that the enemy suppors are busy or they don't have a Teleport Scroll ready to help is more than enough to assume that it's safe to gank the mid lane. You always have to check the map to see what heroes are showing themselves, this way you can think if you're getting baited or if simply the enemy heroes are ready to react and counter your gank.

Never be too greedy, if you can allow your cores to get the kills, let them do so. If you get the kills yourself, that's really good as well since you can invest the gold into utility or support items to further aid your team.

Going more into detail in how to roam, check every lane and try to find the vulnerabilities and spot the mistakes of the enemies. For example, on the mid lane, whenever there's nobody available to help the enemy mid player, you can spot when he's out of position and gank him by yourself or together with a support, since you can do that best and efficient using your Snowball.

Usually you initiate a gank by using your Snowball and dragging your teammates if needed, but remember that you don't have to always do that, if you're close enough or the surroundings are in your favor, you can also use Ice Shards to block the escaping paths of the fleeing enemy hero. Always think smart of the best option that you have in order to use your skills efficiently! Some times saving a skill or some mana or even using some skills in a different order can make a big difference!

Team Fights

Team Fights

Since your skills allow it, usually you're going to be the one that initiates fights or the one that counter-initiates by saving teammates who got caught by using Snowball to shield them for a moment. Shielding allies with your Snowball saves a lot of time and can create an opening to counter-initiate if your team is ready and the situation is in your favor.

Always use your ultimate to disable the enemy hero that's the highest threat. You can use your Snowball to go in, disable the target using your ultimate and finally block his escape path using Ice Shards.

In team fights and ganks always remember to use your Tag Team to increase the damage output of you and your teammates. Keep it mind that it also slows the movement speed of enemies affected, making it even tougher for them to fight.

Also, never use your Snowball to initiate if you don't have vision, you might Snowball yourself and maybe your teammates into a lonely enemy hero that has his whole team behind him ready to counter-initiate! Do it confidently if you have vision of the other enemy heroes, that way you know for sure it's the right decision.

Thanks for reading!

Thank you for reading my guide!

Thanks everyone for reading and please let me know what you think! It's the first guide I've written and I'm going to keep it constantly updated for every new patch.

Special thanks to Mowen for helping me with formatting! :D

Quick Comment (45) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

Similar Guides
Featured Heroes

Quick Comment (45) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

DOTAFire is the place to find the perfect build guide to take your game to the next level. Learn how to play a new hero, or fine tune your favorite DotA hero’s build and strategy.

Copyright © 2019 DOTAFire | All Rights Reserved