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77 Votes

Loveless' Guide to Leviathan

May 29, 2012 by LuvLes
Comments: 45    |    Views: 307387    |   

Loveless' Tide Hunter

DotA2 Hero: Tidehunter

Hero Skills


1 3 5 7

Kraken Shell

9 13 14 15

Anchor Smash

2 4 8 10


6 11 16




Hello, I am Loveless and this is my guide on Tidehunter. Any and all of my guides are built around my personal opinion of the Hero and how they should not only be built, but played. It is built off what I have done myself, which is a mixture of my own ideas and what I have seen others do, to make it the best I will be able to put forward in game with that Hero.

I will be going over the Hero Skills, Recommended Items, my Likes/Fears and Play Style for each phase of the game. Again, these are all of my personal opinions and you can take them with a grain of salt. Start with the build and use it until you get used to the hero before you start to build differently for every match.

Hero Skills

Gush makes Tidehunter a good Roamer towards the later stages of the game, but for the early stages of the game, it is a great way to start a lane fight and win if you have a good ranged hero with you. It will also make every Ganker that comes to your lane successful, kind of like a good luck charm. Gush really is an all rounder skill: it has a slow with a good duration, an armor reduction debuff, great range and good damage. Unless you are ******ed, you should have come to the same conclusion and are putting points into this as often as possible.

Originally I believe the anti-harass of Kraken Shell was really nice, letting Tidehunter to farm early game without being bothered and virtually immune to enemies who might want to gank you before you ultimate. My opinion has since changed, I can now see after playing more games prioritizing Anchor Smash. The first part of Kraken Shell shaves off a small amount of damage from any source. The second is every time that you take 600 damage, Kraken Shell remove any debuff/disable that is on you.

Originally, Anchor Smash had a chance to cause area of effect damage in addition to your normal attack, which was better in my opinion, but caused most people to build him as a carry and while it worked in pubs, against a good team it was pretty much a joke. This skill works really well in conjunction with Gush and is fantastic for enemies that utilize Illusions, Mask of Madness or in the chance they have a carry that is wiping us after I use Ravage. Alternatively, it is good late game when your ultimate is down and you need to gank, Blink Dagger onto their primary source of damage and use Anchor Smash to drop his damage down a bit. It only affects base damage, so that does not include the damage that he receives through items or effects.

The real power of Tidehunter comes from his ultimate Ravage, with a ridiculously huge area of effect, great damage and a good stun duration. It scales really well per level, so you will be leveling it whenever you get the chance. Since the mana requirement also increases and Tidehunter isn't exactly the best with Intelligence you can put points into Stats instead of Anchor Smash to make sure you have the mana for both Ravage and Blink Dagger whenever both are off cool down.

Item Recommendations

Power Treads is to get plenty of attacks in after casting Gush or Ravage, really just in general during team fights. The additional health and health regeneration from strength also goes well with Kraken Shell. For this reason I make sure that I always get a few Bracer as well. With just the 22 Strength and the static strength gain that Tidehunter gets, nobody should ever have more health than you. You can alternatively get Arcane Boots dependent on your team. Such as if two heroes have Arcane Boots as their core already and plan on getting it, there isn't really a point in you getting it since they will keep your mana nice and high.

Blink Dagger is a consistently good item with Tidehunter, it allows you to get a perfect Ravage off every time it is up and great chasing capability. This item is absolutely neccessary and if you find yourself able to get this item before Power Treads or Bracer, do it. You can force an early teamfight with your allies pushing a lane, Ravage and easily get one or two towers really early into the game. Still a great item, just not neccesary or needs to be focused on. Get it if you are winning by a long shot or already have a few luxury items already.

Observer Ward are part of who Tidehunter is, he needs them more than most heroes in the game to reach his full potential. As one of the few initiators who can risk constantly spamming Observer Ward and still have enough gold to stay useful throughout the game, this makes him a really great pick as the initiator for any team.

If you ever find yourself looking at a luxury item because the match is really long, look no further than Assault Cuirass! People who try to build Tidehunter with damage or to get more defense, always go for Battlefury, Sange and Yasha or Vanguard, but the best item to fill both offense and defense, even support for Tidehunter, is Assault Cuirass. You are always in the middle of a fight to make use of it's debuff and the attack speed works extremely well with Gush and Ravage.

Urn of Shadow is going to be the last item that I make a personal reccomendation on for Tidehunter. The reason being that the rest are pure Luxury or Situational items that you can sort through on your own through experience and what you might need when it comes down to it. Anyways, Urn of Shadows is great to place on Tidehunter more so than another team member because you always in the middle of the fight, the additional strength works well with Kraken Shell and the mana regeneration helps you keep spamming Gush and Blink Dagger. As I play, I realize how this item isn't that great on Tidehunter and just do not get it.

Magic Wand is pretty much great on every hero and Tidehunter is no exception.

Get a ****ing Pipe of Insight for the love of god, sorry I left this out, but Tidehunter is one of best Pipe carriers in the game due to his lack of dependence on items/experience.

About Leviathan

Most players I have run across that play Tidehunter try to build him as a Carry or build a Vanguard immediately. I still to this day do not understand why, he has a high Strength gain and with the 22 Strength you get from getting two Bracer and a Power Treads, you will have more health than anyone who would build resistances. Instead, focus all that extra gold into Observer Ward and Blink Dagger. Tidehunter doesn't need much gold for a high priced item late game and that is why he is my favorite initiator in the game, he doesn't need much to do his job and can fill the role of buying Observer Ward for the entire length of the game.

Loveless' Play Style

Early Game

Early game your focus should be harassing. You want to keep the pressure on the opposing team members in your lane, if they give a window for you and your ally to take advantage of, go for it. The reason that I cannot express how important lane control is with Tidehunter is because of how much damage a simply Gush and Anchor Smash can do in combination. While it can be taxing on his mana, this is what a Magic Wand is for and if you decide to heavily roam, a Bottle can be of use for Tidehunter if you want to get it. Preference are just that: Each person's individual preference.

If anyone has a problem with this, you might want to have thought about that before. While it is possible to do well without getting the early farm, you will slow down a good 5 to 10 minutes without it. Pull whenever possible, get the last hits and repeat this constantly. If your lane partner has a good disable or a blink, go for a kill whenever they are ready and open the fight with Gush. It will most likely have more range and the armor reduction works really well as an opening attack. The combination from being able to take harassment and open up for a really easy kill or fast gank, makes Levithan a really good lane partner for heroes like Andromeda, Drow Ranger, Dazzle or Razor.

Hopefully a member of your team bought the courier at the start, so now you can buy Observer Ward as soon as possible and let, whoever is your Middle or a Ganker/Roamer works good too, place them as they check the runes or roam the map. If nobody wants to do this, when you go to pull place a ward then. Hopefully someone gets the hint that you are buying them, the least they can do is place them.

Your Goals Early Game:
  • Stacking Creeps and Pulling on Double Stacks
  • Start Lane Fights
  • Buy Wards

Things to Avoid Early Game:
  • Farming >.>

Middle Game

Whenever I think of Tidehunter landing a perfect ultimate after having baited a fight by pushing a lane really hard and knowing where they are from well placed Observer Wards, then saying hello with Blink Dagger and/or Ravage, then your team following it up with a complete rape of the opposition... I cannot help but recall this comic and the song, Blood and Thunder, performed by Mastodon:
Back to the topic at hand, during middle game your entire role is to force team fights by pushing lanes which gives you farm as well to keep purchasing Observer Ward, followed by the teamfight actually happening when enemies come to stop you and you all know when through the map control that you yourself are establishing. The only thing that you expect from your teammates is to be there when you use Ravage and get free kills. Who on Earth wouldn't want that? While you are roaming around, make sure to utilize the active effect of Power Treads and regenerate some mana on the Intelligence setting, the same goes for anytime you need just a little more mana.

Your Goals Middle Game:
  • Finishing Core
  • Baiting Team Fights
  • Buy/Place Wards
  • Roaming/Farming safely while Ravage is down

Things to Avoid Middle Game:
  • Having Ignorant Teammates
  • Having Ravage and your enemy team up at the same time

Late Game

You want to constantly avoid being killed by your enemies because if you have not used Ravage yet, they will want to kill you before that happens. That is what Kraken Shell is good for as they shouldn't be able to just disable you down and kill you easily, they will have to work towards it. If you can salvage this situation by using Ravage and reversing a good initiation or gank by your opponents, by all means, do so. Just make sure that you do not waste it.

In the later courses of the game, you cannot afford to leave any survivors. Before you perform Ravage make sure that a greater majority of both teams are there for the best effect. If you do not, that could cost you the entire game. Just one bad ultimate. However, one good ultimate, can win you the game right then, right there. Playing Tidehunter brings this kind of gamble into the match, but if played correctly and left unchecked, you can be one hell of a problem for the opposing team.

Your Goals Late Game:
  • Avoid Death
  • Buy/Place Wards
  • Avoid Death
  • Buy/Place Counter Wards
  • Farming safely while Ravage is down
  • Avoid Death

Things to Avoid Late Game:
  • Death
  • Having Ravage and your enemy team up at the same time
  • Death


Well, that sums it all up for Tidehunter. For now and forever, please leave any comments about the Guide with what was good and what was bad, it will improve this and any future Guides made by myself or even others.

If you have any guides you would like me to make, please feel free to PM me or post in this guide's comment section to discuss it with fellow DOTAFIRE members.

With much love and hate,

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