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5 Votes

Seymore Bot's guide to Global Domination by Timbersaw

August 7, 2013 by Seymore Bot
Comments: 10    |    Views: 26155    |   

Main Build

DotA2 Hero: Timbersaw

Hero Skills

Whirling Death

7 9 10 12

Timber Chain

2 3 5 8

Reactive Armor

1 4 13 14


6 11 16


15 17 18

Seymore Bot's guide to Global Domination by Timbersaw

Seymore Bot
August 7, 2013


Hey guys. This is my first guide, so don't hate me if I don't follow standard protocol (though I'll try my best).

For your reference, I will try to make this guide accessible to those who need to skim it before a match starts, and so I color-coded a few key parts (particularly in the beginning). Green indicates a philosophy or an idea to keep in mind when picking Timbersaw. Red indicates something that you should DO when playing as him. Blue is reserved for items, while pink indicates skills.

Timbersaw is, in my opinion, one of the most fun, mobile heroes in the game. He has one of the best spam-able nukes early game, can sustain in lane with his passive, and has a low-cooldown escape/chase to allow for him to solo-offlane, not only getting a good jump in XP, but quite possibly first blood by level 6.

Although I will not offer anything particularly revolutionary in this guide, I am often surprised that Boots of Travel and Hood of Defiance aren't listed as a core item for Timbersaw in other builds.

I will also provide a thorough analysis of some of the more luxury items and when and how to use them effectively. Shiva's Guard is almost core in my opinion, unless the other team lacks right-clickers.


Before the game starts

It is imperative that you get a solo lane with Timbersaw. If there is no one on your team to jungle, or your team does not have a viable (or will not) trilane, then ask for mid, or pick another hero. Otherwise, take the off-lane and take it solo.

Ideally, there will be a support who can buy wards and give them to you, but this in my experience is rare unless you are playing with friends. In the likely experience that no one will buy wards for you, buy them yourself. XP is paramount, and you will want to immediately ward their pull camp (before the match starts) so that they cannot deny you any creep waves. Furthermore, getting first blood will likely involve picking on their underleveled safe-lane support, and warding that camp will make sure they can't use that as their primary source of gold/XP. Believe me, 150 gold is EASILY worth a few creep waves of XP for you, and a level or two of XP for their support (not to mention, it will keep their support in lane, which will split XP between the support and their carry). Of course, it is possible that they never intended to stack and pull the camp, but you should always operate under the assumption that your opponents are good players. This way, it's win/win: they're bad and you win by skill, or they're good and you win by smart play.

Early game

Once the game starts and their camp is warded, put a level in Reactive Armor. If they catch you while warding the camp and give chase, put that level into Timberchain to act as an escape.

Once you have a level in Reactive Armor, you can immediately begin to trade harass if their carry is melee, or take harass (while getting last hits) if they are ranged. The reason I don't like Timberchain at level 1 is because you shouldn't be aggressive until you hit level 6, and at level 1, Timberchain's range is so short that it's hardly a reliable escape. Reactive Armor's benefit is immediate and useful, so I like to grab that first.

Another useful tip is to use their creep to regenerate your life. By right clicking on one of their heroes while you are near the enemy creep, you can draw enough aggro to get the full 8 stacks of Reactive Armor relatively quickly. Once you do, back off, and enjoy a pretty impressive rate of regen considering it's early game.

Level 1-5

I do NOT like to get any points in Whirling Death, because I'm saving my mana for Chakram. Timbersaw has a pretty noticeable mana problem early game (until he gets Mana boots and Perseverance), and you will want to be able to spam Chakram as much as possible once you hit 6. For this reason, you want to play pretty passively for the first 5 levels, making sure to get as many last hits as you can (if they have ranged heroes), or deny as many last hits for the enemy through harassment if their carry is melee. Either way, XP is way more important than last hits, so just make sure not to feed first blood.

Level 6-10

This is when the fun begins. Once you hit 6, your two lane opponents are ideally around level 4, if not 5. You should immediately start picking on the squishier of the two with your Chakram. Until you get a few levels into Whirling Death, just spam Chakram and immediately have it return. With a level or two in Whirling Death, however, you can go for first blood by keeping Chakram over your target (to slow them down), setting up a well aligned Timberchain-Whirling Death combo. The three of these together can easily hit for 500-700 damage at level 7, which is insane.

Level 11-15

By level 11, you should have Arcane Boots and on your way to Perseverance. With both of these in hand, you should be more liberal in your use of Chakram and Whirling Death. If the enemies are still in lane, use the two of these to harass. If they are not, clear waves with Chakram followed by Whirling Death and start pressuring their tower.

Level 16+

You should be close to, if not already, getting the ingredients for Bloodstone (minus Energy Booster). Once you do, disassemble your Arcane Boots to build Bloodstone. With what is now a nearly infinite mana pool, you want to start clearing entire waves with a level 3 Chakram and level 4 Whirling Death. Depending on the time of the match, this will either clear the entire wave, or leave them one hit away from death (either way, you get a very fast 4+ last hits per wave and can immediately repeat this for the next wave).

In no time, you will have the gold to upgrade your Boots of Speed to Boots of Travel. From hereon out, your role is to keep every lane pushed out as far as possible, putting pressure on each tower. Ideally, T1's are gone by now, but if not, pressure the other lanes while your team takes out the last T1. Your tankiness combined with your Timberchain will allow you to escape most gank attempts, while your Chakram and Whirling Death will allow you to clear waves at about the speed it takes you to move through the lane. Once Boots of Travel are off cooldown, and the wave is pushed up far enough, teleport to the next unpushed lane, and push it.

Important Note

This is a general guide, but not an absolute one. There are good arguments as to how this might hurt your team, specifically in that it denies entire creep waves for heroes on your team that would otherwise benefit from it. The upside is that by pushing the lanes out, the enemy team is deprived of a lot of map vision, as well as the ability to safely farm their jungle. If your team has a hard carry, and the jungle is not enough for them to farm to their heart's content, leave the safe lane for them to farm, and push the other two lanes. While Timbersaw is certainly no carry, he DOES benefit from farm in that he can be nearly unkillable with the right items, while maintaining a dominant team fight presence. Also, don't be afraid to quickly farm the enemy jungle during your pushing phase. You have one of the best escapes in the game (ESPECIALLY in the jungle) and can clear most jungle camps in a matter of seconds with your three nukes (Chakram, Whirling Death, and Timberchain).

Tips and Tricks

Draw Creep Aggro to trigger Reactive Armor

While in lane, and before predictable team fights, it is highly advisable to draw creep aggro to trigger the max stacks of your Reactive Armor so that you can enjoy its full benefits. To do so, simply stand within range of creep, and right click an enemy hero. This will cause the creep to focus on you, and once you hit your max stacks, simply walk away and enjoy the added regen, along with the increased armor.

BONUS TIP: You can right click on ANY enemy hero, including those who are on the complete opposite side of the map. This is especially useful before team fights, when you may not be in immediate vision range of an enemy hero.

You can cast spells/active abilities immediately after Timberchain but before it oonnects to a tree

For example, you can use the chain, immediately use a TP, and then use some of the travel time to pass the channel time as you will TP away from your destination.

Also, you can cast Chakram immediately after Timberchain for a sick nuke combo in a single line -

Seriously, how do you watch something like that and not fall in love with this hero? You can do that exact combo every 6 seconds.


Stout Shield: Pretty self-explanatory. You will be intentionally taking creep aggro to trigger your passive, and it would be self-destructive if the incoming damage was greater than the regen it provides. Taking a stout shield maximizes this efficiency. Definitely a must-buy.

GG Branches: Optional, but very cost-effective stat boosts. If you suspect that you will take more spell harass than normal, get another set of tangoes instead, as you will eventually sell the branches anyway. On a separate note, you are more than free to get a Magic Wand if you are looking to be more aggressive early game, but in my experience, it just delays your Arcane Boots, which is more important since the health regen aspect of the wand is somewhat redundant.

Tangoes: Seemingly useless, considering your passive, but your passive really doesn't begin to shine until level 2, and this allows you to sustain better until then. Also, there isn't much else you need early game besides the stout shield.

Observer Wards: Ideally, someone will buy these for you, but if not, GET THEM. XP is essential to your plan, and you can't afford to have the enemy team potentially deny every other wave of creep through pulling. While Timbersaw IS a good hero at contesting pull camps, you would much rather stay in lane. 150 gc is nothing compared to the benefits of forcing both enemy heroes to share XP in lane; not to mention the XP you get without the danger of contesting a pull camp alone.

Arcane Boots and Perseverance: Self-explanatory. Timbersaw suffers from mana problems early game, and these two items relieve that pressure. Many guides suggest getting Ring of Health first to make Perseverance, but I always get the Void Stone first, since your health regen is NOT an issue, using the trick above to aggro creep. Perseverance will eventually be built into Bloodstone, along with the Energy Booster you get from disassembling your Arcane boots, which you will build into Boots of Travel.

Bloodstone: I hesitate to even describe this item, as it is considered core in every single Timbersaw guide out there. It gives you a nearly unlimited mana pool, it supplements your health regen so that a few seconds outside of battle can refill most your life, and with enough charges (along with boots of travel), you can return to a team fight almost immediately upon death. Do not even think about getting something else before Bloodstone. And please, do not ever get Vanguard on Timbersaw. Part of me dies every time I see someone build one on him.

Boots of Travel: Not only does this item synergize well with Bloodstone (faster respawn time means that you can often make it back in time for teamfights so long as you have Boots of Travel), but it allows you split push as well as the best of them (PL, NP, etc). You can clear waves faster than PL with a more reliable escape (dopplewalk is countered by dust/gem, whereas timberchain is countered by very little), and you are almost as mobile as NP, though you can clear a wave much faster. Their advantage lies in taking down towers.

Hood of Defiance: Possibly optional, but the only way to really take Timbersaw down is through magic, so why wouldn't you take an item which effectively gives you 30% more HP, while complementing your already high health regen? A lot of guides suggest getting Pipe, but I really think this is the item to get, and only if and when you have the extra gold for Pipe should you get that. Nothing wrong with Pipe, but the crucial benefits are in the Hood of Defiance component.

Heart of Torrasque: Pretty self-explanatory. You go from annoying tank, to "I-don't-even-know-if-we-should-focus-him-because-he-just-timberchains-out-and-comes-back-in-10-seconds-with-full-hp"-annoying. You also get a huge boost in HP to allow you to survive burst damage, which is really one of the few ways to kill Timbersaw.

Luxury/Situational Items

Okay, so you've figured out how to survive just about anything, and push out the enemy lanes. Now, how do you take that survivability and contribute to team fights? Don't worry, my friend. I got you.

Shiva's Guard: I build it in just about all of my matches, but I list it as situational because it isn't necessary if the enemy team doesn't have any threatening right clickers. But in most matches, their carry (or carries) rely on right clicking, which is hugely affected by Shiva's Guard. It is also a relatively low cooldown AoE slow that you can cast while in the middle of Timberchain, allowing you to position it very effectively. Also, very effective against PL, and a must-buy in my opinion when the enemy team has him. It slows down all of his illusions, it "reveals" the real PL if you watch how much damage each PL/illusion takes, and it allows your team to chase him after dopple walk.

Linken's Sphere: Definitely situational. It gives you even more health/mana regen, but it's the passive which you want. Certain heroes counter Timbersaw quite well (Doom with his ult, and KOTL with his mana-leak, for example), and Linken's Sphere gives you that extra layer of security. Also, if you have been identified as the main threat, and their team is well coordinated, they might try to chain stun while they nuke you down. Linken's alerts you when you have been targetted by a spell, and allows you to react appropriately. Sometimes, you will just want to Timberchain out and wait for the 15 seconds, though usually, just cancelling out that one potential stun was enough to allow you to escape after the next targetted stun. At the point where they use three stuns to keep you in place, you have done your role simply by forcing the enemy to blow that many spells just to contain you.

Radiance: I personally don't build Radiance very much since the extra damage is somewhat wasted (considering you don't auto attack), but the damage aura can leave your enemies in an awkward position. Either they ignore you until last and take the full damage of its aura, or they focus you first, giving the rest of your team A LOT of time to get their spells/attacks in.

Shadowblade: VERY situational. Only build it if no one else on your team relies on invisibility (that way, they can either ignore you, or you force them to start buying sentrieds/dust/gem). Also, only build it when either your team seriously lacks an iniatitor (this way, you can set up a perfect Chakram+Timberchain+Whirling Death combo, or get out of trouble after initiating), or if your team is not doing anything productive, and the enemy team is constantly hunting you down during your split push. This provides one extra layer of escape in case they try to cut you off.

Rod of Atos: I've only built this a couple of times on Timbersaw, but it allows you to lockdown a single enemy if one of them has snowballed out of control. Simply cast the target slow, take advantage of their lack of mobility to throw a Chakram over them, and then watch them become practically locked in place, while your team can easily focus the enemy for a good 4 seconds + however long it takes for them to leave the Ccolor=#ff0080]Chakram area[/color]. It also lets you set up an easy Timberchain+Whirling Death combo, to boot.

Ethereal Blade: I've never built this during a close game, but it definitely provided me with a lot of kills in the game that my team was already dominating. The slow effect works a lot like Rod of Atos, it keeps them from attacking (especially good if they are a right clicker, and your team eithe relies mostly on magical nukes, or you are saving a teammate), and it keeps you from being right clicked while you escape (and since you don't right click yourself, you don't suffer any negative consequences). Only do this if the enemy team's primary source of damage is right clicking. Even though you have Hood of Defiance, the 40% bonus magic damage to you is something you don't want to take lightly. And the nuke damage it provides is a great way to *coughcough* steal kills *cough cough.*

Force Staff: I rarely build this, but if they keep getting you before/during your Timberchain escapes, this provides you with one extra layer of escape. It also allows you to give that stupid teammate a push who followed you while you split push, forgetting that you can escape easily at first sign of danger, while they can't.

Blademail: Considered core in many builds, and I actually build this quite often, but I consider Core to be something you build EVERY game, whereas there are definitely games that I just ignore this altogether. Blademail is one of those items that you feel like a genius when you use it well, but very often you end a game without ever having really used it to its full effect. Sure, it causes the enemy team to think twice about nuking you, but in my experience, they are already ill advised to focus you early in the fight since it will take way too many spells of theirs to kill just you. The best way to deal with a Timbersaw is to kill the rest of your team fast, so they can clean you up at the end. Blademail doesn't really do anything to allay this. It also pisses me off to no end when I either use it prematurely, or die without having used it at all. Both occur more often with me (personally) than using it at the correct time.

Gem: Timbersaw is a GREAT counter to invis-reliant heroes such as Sniper, Riki, PL and Weaver. They are all right-click dependant, meaning they will boost your armor and regen by attacking you, and they are all squishy, which is something Timbersaw excels at cleaning up. He is also a fantastic chaser, allowing you to catch up with them as they run away at higher speeds (either due to shukuchi or shadow blade or dopplewalk).

Aegis of the Immortal: Although not an item that you can just buy at your own whim, Timbersaw is a great candidate to take it. I tend to see games where the carry takes the Aegis and then proceeds to stil play like a carry (try not to die), only to be the last one killed in a team fight, only to be immediately killed again, or he is killed early in the team fight because he is squishy, and simply dies again as he is predictably going ot respawn at a specific location. Timbersaw, however, can be a huge nuisance to the enemy team as he draws focus, and then even if and when they expect him to respawn, he can immmediately Timberchain away. While some claim that this is a glitch, many otherwise stuns do NOT work against Timbersaw after he has already cast his Timberchain. And even if they do, the worst that can happen is you travel 1400 range away before getting stunned.

But please, if you do get the Aegis, use it wisely. This means being WAY more aggressive in teamfights, and really force the enemy team to have to focus you.


I'm assuming that you know what the spells do at this point. If not, just know that each and every one of them combine to make what is so beautiful about Timbersaw.

His Q (Whirling Death) is his primary nuke, which hits anyone within (slightly more than) auto-attack range of Timbersaw.

His W (Timberchain) is one of the most awesome escapes/chase spells in the game, and by level 4 the range is insane.

His E (Reactive Armor; a passive) is one of the best passives in the early-game, though it falls off later on. Though personally, I would rather have a spell like this be over-powered early game and fall off later, than vice versa. The former means you should always be relevant in a match, whereas if it was the other way around, then there would be many matches where you fall behind early and just can't catch up. With smart play, you should never be behind in levels, and your farm should be decent as well because of your lane sustainability. Not many heroes have a passive which allows them to say this.

And his R (Chakram). Chakram's cast animation leaves some to be desired, but if you can get used to it and use it well, it is one of THE best early game nukes, considering both its mana cost and cool down. Later game, it is used more often to clear waves, cut trees (to escape/initiate) or slow down enemies, but it never becomes irrelevant.

And all of his spells have insanely low cooldowns. This is what makes Timbersaw so exciting to play. No longer do you feel like a unit who's sole responsbility is to position yourself well in fights only to use the correct spells at the correct time, until they are all on cooldown and all you can do is try to stay alive until the next spell is off cooldown. With Timbersaw, you are Timberchaining around, throwing out your Chakram to zone enemies and slow them down, while using your Q to hurt and sap their primary attribute (VERY underrated on Strength heroes, as mentioned in another section), and overally being a huge pain in the *** as you are very difficult to kill. While Timbersaw certtainly falls off in long games compared to hard carries, he is ALWAYS relevant.


Honestly, there really is no wrong way to built Timbersaw. As long as you level up something, he will be able to utilize that spell well in the early game (while you are still leveling up your 4 spells). But typically, I will hold off on leveling anything up as I ward their pull camp. If I see an enemy, and am worried about a stun, I will throw a level in Timberchain to give me a little more escapability (and avoid feeding first blood). If I successfull ward their pull camp without trouble, I will put the first level in Reactive Armor. This is simply because Timberchain is pretty bad at level 1 with such low range (so you wont be using it offensively, and it is not reliable defensively), while Reactive Armor provides a clear and obvious benefit that is relevant right out of the gate.

With one level in Reactive Armor, take Timberchain at level 2. I would hesitate to use it at level 2, but at level 3 when you can get 2 levels into it, it becomes much more relevant. If you are experiencing more harass than you feel comfortable with, get Reactive Armor at level 3 instead, but otherwise, get the second level at level 4. I highly advise against Whirling Death before level 6 as you will want to save your mana for Chakram at level 6. The only exception in my mind is if you got stuck in a dual lane and you will want to look for first blood/be aggressive. Also, if you are struggling with last hits, Whirling Death can provide a way to secure last hits, but I really wouldn't recommend wasting mana on it unless you are sure to get at least 2 last hits out of it, and hopefully hit an enemy as well.

After level 6, you really should level up the rest of the skills according to the flow of the game. Reactive Armor is slowly becoming less relevant, so don't hurry it unless you really find yourself low on hp. But between Whirling Death/Timberchain, think in terms of whether you want to be offensive/defensive. If your lane opponents are two supports who are 2-3 levels below you, put that sh*t in Whirling Death and make them regret such a stupid lane combo. If they have an aggressive lane who knows what they are doing, then consider the safer build by maxing Timberchain (which can also be used offensively, but not with the same degree of nuke damage).

Pros / Cons


+ Incredible early game lane sustain
+ Great early game nukes
+ One of the most mobile heroes throughout the game
+ Low cooldown spells, remains relevant throughout entire team fight
+ Very underrated split pusher
+ Great escape/chaser
+ Very tanky late game
+ Can solo off-lane (as well as mid) against most matchups
+ Very, very fun to play (in my opinion)


- None
- Just kidding.
- Late game nuke capability falls off quite hard
- Very mana dependant early game
- Completely dependant on ability to cast spells, so silence is a big counter to Timbersaw (Doom is probably the biggest bane to Timbersaw, as one spell can can practically render him irrelevant for an entire fight).
- Not effective as a lane partner, unless the two synergize well and can secure early kills. Really needs a level advantage to shine.
- Pretty bad attack animation, makes last hitting early on something you need to get used to.
- Bad agility gain, means you will never be a strong right clicker, and because your abilities don't damage towers, your pushing ability is limited to clearing creep waves (opposed to towers).

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