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12 Votes

Ravaging your ennemies - A violent guide to Tidehunter (1.2)

November 23, 2012 by Verdey
Comments: 6    |    Views: 70014    |   

Build 1
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Straight-Forward Initiator

DotA2 Hero: Tidehunter

Hero Skills


1 4 5 7

Kraken Shell

2 9 13 14

Anchor Smash

3 8 10 12


6 11 16


15 17 18

Ravaging your ennemies - A violent guide to Tidehunter (1.2)

November 23, 2012


Your team doesn't let you carry ? You're sick and tired of the 0 CC pub metas ? You want to be a support but you don't want to be a ward ***** ?
I give you the perfect role : Initiator.

Initiator is one of the most important roles in a comp, even in pubs, and picking a hard Ini is always a good choice. You can easily turn the tides (no pun intented) of a teamfight, or even a game. If you are in a premade, or a clan, it's even better.

This guide is about Tidehunter, probably one of the best initiators in the game. He is easy to play, has a pretty straight-forward gameplay, and is really useful during all the lenght of the game.

Before you start throwing rocks at me, I'll let you know english is not my native language, but I'll do my best.

Pros / Cons

- One of the best initiators in the game
- Good slow mechanism
- Easy to play
- Rather tanky
- Almost always useful

- Extremely boring early game
- Always focused down
- First ban - first pick in CM
- Positioning ain't that easy to learn

When to pick Tidehunter ?

- When your team lacks hard CC
- When the ennemy team has an Initiator
- When your carry lacks mobility (Naix, Jugger)
- When you can synergize well with another team member (Enigma, Dark Seer)
- When your roaming will be aenough to secure kills

When NOT to pick Tidehunter

- When the ennemy team will prevent you from having the core at 30mn
- When your team needs a harder support the most
- When the ennemy teams has ****load of magic resist
- When the ennemy team has a mobility that exceds your CC


A nuke with a slow mechanism that has an average cooldown and is almost instant. It is thus a very good chasing tool, but is mainly used for his debuff, who removes 4 points of armor to the target. In teamfights, it should be usef on the ennemy carry or the most dangerous hero. Kill stealing with it is tempting, but try to let your carry grab the kill, and finish your ennemies with it only to secure the kills.

A passive that shines early game and allows you not to spend your money on a stout shield. The effect will allow you to try dangerous moves against opponents with hard debuffs such as Shadow Demon or Slardar. The problem with this spell is that even if it's usefullness is certain, both Gush and Anchor Smash are more effective early in the game if you behave aggressively, wich you will always do. This is way you usually take an early point before maxing it out later.

Not only a good last-hitting tool, this low-AOE nuke will be used to reduce the ennemy carry's damage by a whopping 40%. Keep in mind it only reduces base damage tough. Used in combination with your Gush, you can easily put dangerous heroes in difficulty, granting your carry exclusive access to all their orifices. Don't forget that it is spammable, thus usable 2-3 or even 4 times during a teamfight.

Here we are. The big deal. A massive AOE stuns that will disable everyone on the ennemy team for almost 3 seconds. Don't forget the good nuke damage as well. Keep the travel time in mind, and don't hesitate to practice to see its effects, as there is no way to evaluate it but to test hundreds of time. If you didn't know, the tentacles travels from the center of the AOE to the exterior of the circle, thus allowing the farthest of the ennemies to blink / force / run out of the Ravage beofre it hits them.
I will detail how to use this properly in the 'Initiating' section.

Game presence and general behavior


As a support and an initiator, you should, of course, always carry a Town Portal Scroll to allow you maximum mobility. This way, all the lanes will be able to benefit from your help at all times.

Someone is getting pushed ? You are the one that needs to TP.
Someone is getting ganked ? You are the one that needs to TP.
The wards expired ? You are the one that needs to TP.

It's not glorious to hear, but you are the butler of the team. It also means that you are the most important member. Don't be shy, buddy, it's true. You think warding and helping the lanes is not important ? Think again. You think your puny slow and your average CC can't defend a tower ? Think again. You will need to gank if your mid doesn't. In certain cases, you will also need to roam if nobody else does. Don't underestimate the importance of roaming and ganking. Bringing your team the early game on a silver plate is one of the best gift you could do to them.


As a support, you shouldn't hesitate to sacrifice yourself in order to save your carry. It doesn't mean running into the ennemy like a brainless meatsack. It means that you are the shield that protects your carry from getting ******** by 5 angry russians. And you will have to act accordingly. For instance, you will be the one getting hit first. You will be the one that go a different way when your team is backing so you can bait the chasers. You will be the one placing the aggressive wards.
Your positionning will almost always be the most dangerous, not only to protect your team, but also because you are fearsome. If your Cristal Maiden is the one leading the march, the ennemy team will rape her in no time. But If you do, those puny ants will be afraid of you Ravaging their ***es and won't be this aggressive. In most cases, actually, they will even fall back.

Map awareness

Talking about warding, I had you reminded enough of how this job is important. For real. Wards are refunded in 4 creeps. It's nothing. You shouldn't run out of money, because warding will grant your team kills, and those kills will grant you money, that will allow you to buy more wards. Always keep an eye on the timer. Sentries are important as well. Giving your mid rune control is a huge advantage. Rune control leads to ganking, ganking leads to a strong early, and all this for 150 gold.

You, your money and your stuff

Farming isn't easy as Tidehunter, and it is why you should always get assist on kills, so you can get your core items by 20 minutes or earlier. 25 minutes is already too late. If possible, you will want to have your boot and your initiating tool finished when the second ennemy tower falls.


This is the big deal. Here we go.

When to initiate ?

It always come a time when both of the teams are looking at each other, jauging their respective power and waiting for someone to make the error to stand lone or try to go in berzerk.

Don't do that error, but most of all, be sure that nobody does it by believing you're going to engage when you are not. You need three massive informations before you initiate :
    Does everybody have their cooldowns ?
    Does everybody know i'm going to initiate ?
    Am I sure we can win the teamfight ?

The first two are easy to check, but the third if by far the most difficult and the most important. You can consider you won a teamfight when your carry got more kills than the ennemy one. Of course, the best solution is always not to lose a single team mate. Determining who will be the winner of a teamfight isn't just the addition of the nukes and the farm of both team and seeing wich one is the biggest. Theer are so much many factors ! But doing this calculus is essential before you engage.

Your whole team is 15 while the ennemy carry is 19 and the ennemy initiator is 16 ? Initiating at this point of the game would be dangerous. Your team is outcarried and the ennemy initiator has his level 3 ultimate while you don't. Don't be too cocky and go back farming.

Coordination is vital. Use your VoIP is possible. Count to three before you do a move, ping the map like hell, but be sure that everybody will follow your initiation, or you will much likely die. Check if you can get out of the ennemy team's cluster before you blink in and Ravage like a brainless meatsack.

How to initiate ?

Most of the time, blinking in and using your ultimate is the best solution, but they are so many ways that I will have to do a little list.

Blink Initiation
The one you will do the much. Usually making the first move when both of the teams are looking meanly at each other, no one daring to make the first move. You will be the one to dare. I told you you were important. Be sure to check the 3 requirements before you go in dry. But you will also have to be sudden and violent. Initiating is an art.

Force Initiation
More complicated to use than the blink dagger, the force staff is just as violent. Be advised : Initiating with the force staff doesnt always mean pushing yourself into the ennemy team : sometimes pushing an ennemy into your team is also a great choice. Since you lack flexibilty, think about initiating from cliffs.

Initiating FTF
Blinking or forcing From The Fog into the ennemy team. The best way to initiate : using the effect of surprise. Can be tricky to use, but is always the best.

Invisibility to Ini (ItI)
Initiating from invisibility is ****ing boss. It is just as good as initiating from the fog. Since you usually won't go for a Lothar's, make a good use of the Invisibility Runes.

Initiating underTower
You shouldn't go under tower like you're Dragon Knight, but you can dive quite easily since you are rather tanky. Make sure nobody in the ennemy team is going to TP after you dive, or you might be in trouble. Don't dive before level 6 unless you are sure to secure a kill.

Initiating from the high ground
As good as initiating from the fog, as it is often the same thing. Use the lack of ennemy sight to your advantage. They won't know what hit them beofre it's too late.

Initiating after you got initiated. Not really an initiation, but in fact trying to turn the tide of the teamfight to your advantage. Do it after the BKBs are thrown, after every ennemy has used their bursts, and when they are vulnerable. For instance, if a Tiny] just blinked into your team, it might be an error to Ravage before he throw his combo. Think fast and clear, because an ennemy without CD is a weak ennemy. After a [[Black Hole, an Enigma is often defenseless, so is a Raigor after his combo. Choose your second to strike. Don't offer your *** to the ennemy team by trying to be an hero. You will end up feeding and losing your precious's ult CD. Counter initiate after checking the 3 requirements.

Drop-dead Initiation
You got caught out of position (Wich is shameful for an initiator) and you're getting raped. Your team is coming and you will much likely die before they are here. Ulting to try to save your *** isn't always the good choice. Get a good timing. Your ult is enough to reset the Blink Dagger's cooldown, so save yourself if you can, but don't be selfish. You're more useful dead with your ultimate than dead and with Ravage on cooldown. Only ult when you know it will benefit your team.

It's everything for now with the initiation. I will expand this section as much as I can.

Explaining the builds

SF Initiator
The bread and butter, one and only way to build the Initiatot Tidehunter. I'm not gonna explain what's self explanatory. Have fun. Finish the core by 20 minutes if you want to reach max effectiveness.

Hard Support
Initiating without a tool is hard, but if you pick this build, it is more likely that your team has another engage mechanism. Don't use it otherwise ! It is designed to grant your team extra survavibility and a slightly different teamfight pattern. being Hard Support often means you won't always initiate. Less manly, but just as rewarding for your team

Tanky Initiator
Only to use if you are good with a Force Staff. This build will grant you extra survivability. It is to be used if the ennemy team tends to focus you, thus giving more freedom to your carries. As you know now, Initiating with a force staff is different from initiating with a blink, so be careful.

The cuirass is to be used for you, but mainly for the aura. Heart is the best survavibility item on any Strentgh Hero, and it's just boss on Tide.

A build I use in pubs so I can have fun while I'm stomping because my carry is ballin or the ennemy team is doing ****. IT IS NOT VIABLE. It's just extremely fun to use. Lothar / Phase to positionate, Armlet to survive the teamfight and lure everyone.

Final words

I will update this every three days. Chekc for updates. I will add version numbers in title.

Buy smoke.
Gank *****es.
Get gold.

Shoutout to Orzeker being a puny noob.

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