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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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