The Stone Giant - Masaaki14's Guide on Tiny
January 9, 2017
Hi guys, this is masaaki14. Short introduction, i have been a member here for almost a year now, and have been feedbacking guides and participating in many forum discussions, and now have decided to finally make a guide.
Took you long enough
HEY IT"S NOT LIKE I HAVE LOADS OF FREE TIME!!
Ok maybe i do, but i really felt like making a guide was too much work, and i really hate doing work. Like really i'm just about the most lazy person you can find here.
That being said, even the laziest person like me has felt the need to make a guide after seeing so many new members(and old) make so many new guides over the last year, so here you go, here is my first guide on Tiny
On to the guide
So, Tiny. What can i say?
He is a wonderful hero with many strengths. A hard carry that can be very active in the midgame, he can quickly burst down a squishy hero in the midgame, and push towers like crazy in the lategame. To easily sum everything up, i'll just create a pros/cons table.
- Huge burst magical damage
- AOE Stun
- High physical damage
- Gains good movement speed
- Free blink for initiators
- One of the best pushers throughout the game, especially after Aghanim's Scepter
- High physical damage requires farm to be effective
- Level dependent
- Mana-starved for early stages
- Easily ganked, no escape mechanism
- **** armour
is a great snowballer just from the fact that he has an insane burst ability in the midgame. His combo at level 9 is a whooping 1086 magical damage, 814 after reductions. Tiny
in the lategame also deals an insane amount of damage. Its just that the damage is now physical, not magical. He deals damage almost on the same level as a sven in the lategame. As if that is not enough, he is one of the fastest lategame pushers in the game. He alone pushes as fast as a necrobook Lycan
with the right items.
Do take note, however, that he is very squishy early on, because he has terrible armour. He starts with 0 armour, and his agi growth is one of the worst in game. That, coupled with the fact that he wants to build an initiation tool and Aghanim's Scepter
before even thinking about armour, makes him a very squishy.
Also, his combo has a significant cd, and in the midgame Tiny
is very limited without his combo. That also means that heroes who can survive the combo(those with high hp, Centaur Warrunner
) can easily turn tiny's gank around.
Ok, so lets take a look at Tiny's skills.
This is a decent AOE stun, and the first of Tiny's 2 skills for his combo. Avalanche deals 4 instances of damage over 1 sec, dealing 1/4 of the total damage in each instance. The first tick of damage occurs 0.25sec after the cast, and ends 1.25sec after the cast. What this means, is that If you catch a enemy unit for the full duration of the stun, it is potentially a 2sec stun.
More importantly, any unit that is tossed and lands while the stun is still ongoing, Avalanche deals the full damage of all 4 instances again, doubling the damage from Avalanche.
The second skill of Tiny's combo, this spell offers a lot of utility along with a good chunk of damage. At lvl 16 with aghs, Toss deals 648 magic damage before reductions, and has a cd of 9sec. A lvl 1 Finger of Death on a 9sec cd and costs 120 mana, that is Toss at lvl 16 with aghs.
HOWEVER, here is the most important part of the spell. read the spell again, and take note of this.
"Grabs the nearest unit in a 275 radius around Tiny, ally or enemy, and launches it at the target unit or rune to deal damage where they land."
You can toss any unit, friend or foe, and throw them to any target, friend or foe. This can be used in so many ways, Tossing your team's Axe or Centaur Warrunner into the enemy team to initiate with a stun, tossing enemy heroes into the middle of your team, tossing an annoying chaser away to the farthest unit in your sight., the possibilities are endless. It takes experience and good map awareness to make the best use of toss, but most of all, it takes the knowledge to know that you can actually do this. I spent 2 weeks playing tiny and going for the combo every single time without thinking, until a friend told me to toss him into the enemy when we played together. Even now i see some people keep doing the combo, and the target gets away with 10hp. The tiny could have tossed him back to his ally, and stunned, and the target would have died, but he just used the combo without thinking, which resulted in the enemy getting away. Also, countless times have i gotten first blood by lvl 1 toss under my tower and an ally stunning.
One tip i have for toss is to keep looking around you and try to think about what is the best way to use, either tossing your ally to initiate or to toss the enemy into your team or under your tower. Try to estimate your damage and use whichever method uses the least amount of resources to do the most damage.
Most of the time, this skill is maxed last, but make no mistake. It is not by any means a bad skill. Craggy Exterior effectively reduces melee right clicks by more than 25%, Because they get stunned every 4 hits, and because they are stunned, they cannot right click for the duration of the stun. This is on top of 5 armour at max level, which admittedly, isn't a lot, but on tiny, who has barely any armour to start with, any sort of armour is welcome.
Now, Tiny's ulti is one of the strongest ultis in the game for a right clicker. adding up to 150 base damage, and increasing the damage of Toss and some extra movespeed. The drawback is obvious, having reduced attack speed on top of a low base attack time and dismal agi growth, Tiny suffers from a very slow attack speed.
This is when items come in, and items like Assault Cuirass and Moon Shard are really good on tiny for that reason.
7.00 Talent Tree
Just a short segment describing my thought about Tiny's Talent Tree.
At level 10, I feel that both talents can work, but I tend towards the intelligence mainly because at level 10, his problems is mainly the limited mana pool he has. If you are having problems with getting bursted down too fast, +6 strength is also decent.
At level 15, again, both talents can work out. +45 damage is no small amount, and can definitely contribute to your damage potential. +15 movespeed, is slightly less obvious, but tiny does have some problem with kiting, and usually doesn't build much mobility outside blink/shadow blade, so the movespeed might help against enemies with high mobility. Personally i like the +45 damage more, simply because he scales better in my opinion.
At level 20, I fel that the 25 attack speed is vastly superior than the +14 mana regen. Simply put, the mana regen is overkill, i tried it once and the moment i got that talent, my mana bar was always full for the rest of the game. It is unneccessary and tiny should have enough mana when it comes to the later stages of the game. +25 attack speed on the other hand, might seem small but scales extremely well with tiny, since tiny lacks attack speed above most other things.
At level 25, I would get the 20% cd almost all the time. It increases the disable time of tiny, which is more important than burst damage in most cases. In the lategame you usually use your spells to disable the enemy and hit them a bunch rather than use the avalanche toss combo, since it's more damage. That being said, +200 avalanche is no small amount, especially considering that it gets doubled with the avalanche toss combo. There might be 1 out of 5 games where you might want the burst potential over more disable.
Time for Combo
I have been mentioning tiny's combo quite a lot, so some of you might be asking, what is that combo that can deal 1140 magic damage at max level?
Here is the description of the skill Toss
If a unit is hit by Avalanche then Tossed, it can be hit a second time by Avalanche if it lands in the area of effect before Avalanche ends.
There you have it, the combo is as simple as Avalanche
. For those asking if the opposite is possible, Toss
IS also possible. However, the time interval where you need to cast both spells is considerably shorter.
Yes, math. Don't worry, you don't have to do any, i will just tell you, if you follow my skill build, how much damage tiny combo does at each upgrade.
The formula, for those who want to experiment, goes as follows:
x 2) + ( Toss
x bonus from Grow
Lvl 2 -> 275
Lvl 3 -> 435
Lvl 4 -> 510
Lvl 5 -> 670
Lvl 6 -> 722.5
Lvl 7 -> 823.75
Lvl 8 -> 925
Lvl 9 -> 1005
Lvl 11 -> 1050
+ Aghanim's Scepter
Lvl 16 -> 1095
+ Aghanim's Scepter
And, there's that. If you actually bother to do the math, you will notice that you do more damage by maxing Avalanche
first at level 7, or even level 6. However, the overall damage at level 8 if you follow my build is the maximum possible. I have tried almost every combination of skill builds and came to this conclusion. If any veterans think something is wrong, do feel free to correct me.
There are 2 starting item sets that i generally use for Tiny, for different situations i expect in lane
One set of tango for regen, iron branch and circlet to build into Magic Wand
and a ring of protection to build into Ring of Basilius
, as well as to provide some armor.
I use this set if i expect to face an enemy that will be spamming spell harass in lane, like a Bristleback
or a Skywrath Mage
. RoB gives decent mana regen for the early game and is an item i generally like to have on heroes that need mana in the early game.
I use this set if i don't want to build a wand, and i expect to have a lot of right click harass. I prefer to keep using the RoB because it is cheap mana sustain, and i usually keep the ring until around 20min when i am getting my 4th item slot. The stout shield helps to block more right click damage, and helps a lot to keep you in lane vs right click harass(support harass). Iron branch for cheap stats.
Like i said, I like having an early Ring of Basilius
, because it provides Tiny
with a little armor, and some mana regen, which usually lasts me until 20min.
Even more regen, i consider this a core item if i go mid. Even if i am not mid, i still go for bottle often, especially if i can convince my midlaner to let me get one rune while he gets the other.
Having a Quelling Blade
in your inventory basically allows you to farm creeps up to 40% faster, allowing you more time to roam and look for ganks, and also to kill creepwaves faster, especially after you get your aghs.
Burst heal is never a bad thing, and there are 2 situations i get this item.
1. I am facing a spell spammer like Bristleback
2. I am not getting a Bottle
If i am not getting a bottle, the magic wand is essential to allow you to have some reserve mana in case you need it, since you don't have the sustain from a Bottle
My choice of boots for tiny, it provides Tiny
with what he needs. Tread toggling, when done well can allow tiny to have quite a bit of extra mana to work with. The attack speed is more than welcome for a hero as attack speed starved as tiny.
Also, another reason i like Power Treads
is because i am not a huge fan of Drum of Endurance
. Since i don't get it often, i get treads and toggle them to make up for the lack of stats form a drum.
The number 1 most important item for a tiny, this item MUST be bought in every game, no matter in what situation.
It grants Tiny
a Cleave, letting him farm creepwaves and jungle camps earlier. It increases his attack range(trifle, but useful nonetheless), and increases toss damage a little more. Most importantly, it lets Tiny
deal more damage vs buildings, and it grants Tiny
a Cleave, letting him farm creepwaves and jungle camps earlier. This effect is what makes tiny a monster in the lategame, as a monstrous pusher
Leave a 6 slotted medusa in your base for a minute, your tier 3 tower is gone. Leave a 6 slotted tiny in your base for a minute, 2 lanes of rax are gone, good luck.
His pushing potential is on the level of a Necronomicon Lycan
, except he also has cleave to quickly decimate creepwaves. As if this isn't powerful enough, he also has really good teamfight potential, with Avalanche
as a good AOE stun, and Toss
, your level 1 Finger of Death
on a 9 sec cd which provides utility as well.
Initiation as a tiny is very important, because even though he has increased ms from his ulti, he still needs a positioning tool to execute his combo, and he is also easily kited with slows. That being said, here are 2 choices for initiation.
Most games, i opt for Blink Dagger
, because it offers far superior positioning and escape compared to a Shadow Blade
. A SB can be countered by having sentries and dust, and personally i dislike leaving anything to the competency of the enemy.
HOWEVER, there are games where i go for the Shadow Blade
, but in those game i tend to rush Silver Edge
to disable enemy passives. For the likes of Bristleback
, Phantom Assassin
, and Spectre
, having a Silver Edge
is a big advantage because their passives are very strong. Even though i said the enemy can counter the invisibility with wards and dust, in pubs supports rarely know how to properly ward against invisibility. Also, the little bit of attack speed that a Shadow Blade
is very welcome on Tiny
This is a very good item on tiny, because it, again, offers a lot that a tiny needs. Tiny has terrible armour and attack speed, and AC gives a generous amount of both. As a bonus, it reduces the armour of surrounding units, meaning his right clicks hurt more, and it also works on buildings.
Again, Tiny needs attack speed. This item gives pure attack speed, and in terms of damage, this item allows tiny to deal more dps than an Assault Cuirass
. AC just offers more utility, which is why i rank AC as more important. Always consume to get an extra item slot when you are full slotted.
Allows you to move more freely across the map, and lets you be close to your team in virtually any teamfight while farming or pushing, and also allows you to immediately tp to any lane after winning a teamfight to push.
Easily the most broken item in the game, this item is usually put as a core item in many carries inventory, for good reason. In some games, this item is a must to prevent enemies form chain-stunning or kiting you to death. If you find yourself dying to mass nukes, bkb is also a must.
already deals massive damage with the items i listed down as "core". Add a Daedalus
on top of that, and he becomes a beast in teamfights, like a Sven
This item is quite solid, providing a little bit of attack speed, some movement speed and some solid stats all around. The active is useful when the enemy starts buying debuff items or if they enemy has debuffs that reduce your effectiveness.
There are many debuffs that can be dispelled by Manta Style
, if you are not sure, give it a try and 80% of the time, it should be dispelled. For a more detailed list of abilities that can and cannot be dispelled, check out Liquipedia
This item also allows you to disjoint certain targetted abilities. Again, check out Liquipedia
for a full list of disjointable projectiles.
I am going to split this section into two, the early game situational, and late game situational.
Early Game situational
Like i mentioned before, i am not a huge fan of drums on Tiny
, because i feel it is a little wasted. The reason people buy drums is to have some stats, and the little bit of sttack speed and movespeed. I don't like that because i feel Power Treads
is enough stats and attack speed, and you are going to get blink for mobility and aghs for more stats. personally, i never get this item if i am somewhat successful during my laning stage, and the enemy is not going for the hardcore 20min end pushing strat.
However, there are games where you will be falling behind in your laning stage, and that is when i go for drums as a catchup item that lets you fight. It provides decent stats and its aura is pretty good in teamfights. Don't forget to use the charges.
Midas lets you farm levels faster more than anything else, and is always a good item to have if you can get it by 7min on a hard carry. The attack speed, which for other carries is a little redundant, but for tiny is really good.
However, it does take up an item slot, which for tiny is rather significant, so do take note and plan your item slots accordingly.
This is an item i absolutely suggest that you demand your team to get if you want one, because tiny really needs as many item slots as he can have. The effect of urn is useful, especially for a ganker like tiny who wrecks havoc all across the map. However, Tiny
cannot afford to waste item slots on too many small items. Only get this item if no one on your team is willing to get one, and you feel like you will be ganking a lot and have enough mana sustain to not go back in between ganks.
This is a cheap item that i use in game where i have to catch up and i want to be mainly pushing. It provides really good attack speed, some movespeed and lifesteal, but at the expense of your survivability.
Do not buy this item to take part in teamfights, especially if you are behind, as you will just get blown up.
Late Game Situational
I don't think this needs any explanation. You need to deal with evasion, you buy mkb.
This provides a little bit of survivability, attack speed, armour, movement speed and basically, a little bit of everything that tiny needs. Usually i get this item as a transition item into Manta Style
and Silver Edge
, but i am not rushing either item.
This might seem out of hand, as Tiny
is a str hero and butterfly is usually bought on agi carries. But, if you think about what tiny actually needs, you will notice that this is actually an amazing item on tiny. The only thing Tiny
doesn't get from butterfly is 30 base damage from the agi, which he doesn't need because of Grow
. He will enjoy the 60 attack speed(30 from agi), the miss chance, and the flutter active. Get this if the enemy has a lot of right click damage.
The least bought of the situational items in my games, i only buy this item when i feel i have enough damage and as long as i live for a little longer in teamfights, i can destroy the enemy easily. Usually i just keep adding damage items until the enemy just dies if they get caught, and i have BoTs to return to base for regen. Can be useful depending on situation, especially if the enemy has a lot of damage nukes that go through bkb like lina and qop, and you just need to tank up.
Over here i will be placing a short gameplay section, mostly to give tips on how to play Tiny at each part of the game. However, do take note that most of what you need to do is situational, and i cannot give you a specific rundown of how to play tiny, like i would a Naga Siren, for example.
Ok, so the game started and you wanted to picked tiny to kick some ***. Get your starting items and head to the safelane. Try to get a lane partner with a stun, or a slow so that you can get kills early. During the early game, your aim is to get last hits and get your boots and RoB, and an optional bottle. Keep a lookout on your enemies and try to find chances to kill them, and keep in mind how much damage you can do with a combo at each stage of the game.
You can go mid, but i wouldn't recommend it because most other dominant midlaners will easily destroy tiny. If you are facing something like a pudge in mid, which is not uncommon in pubs, then go ahead and take mid.
Once you get your early game items, start working to a Blink Dagger
. This will allow you to get pickoffs easily and you can start roaming once you get it. Tiny's playstyle is centred around snowballing until you get aghs, because without Aghanim's Scepter
, tiny doesn't have a good method of waveclear. He can use his combo to clear creepwaves, but the mana cost for it is very high.
Try to keep yourself out of vision when you roam, and estimate how much damage you deal to always get a kill, or or you might find yourself being killed instead. If you don't think you can kill the target, look around you, and remeber you can toss units to the target, or even throw the enemy into your team.
In the midgame you mostly want to kill enemy heroes with the Avalanche
combo, which deals 1050 damage at level 11 without aghs. However, take note that the combo has a rather long cooldown, since you need both spells to perform it, and Avalanche
has a cooldown of 17 seconds.
When you are pushing, remember this. Toss
does 33% of its damage to buildings. early on when your right clicks doesn't do much to buildings, use toss to push. You can also use toss as a risk-free method to poke towers.
Once you get your core items, your damage should be coming primarily from right clicks rather than your combo. When you reach this stage, try not to use your combo to start any fight. Use Avalanche
, get maybe 2-3 right clicks in, then use Toss
, and right click again. You can enable auto-attack after using spells in the settings menu to make this easier.
Tiny should be ably to overpower most other hard carries, except for the super top tier hard carries like Spectre
, and heroes who specialise in 1v1 like Troll Warlord
. However, do take note that Tiny
is rather weak to kiters because all his damage kit is close range, and apart from his initiation tool he has no way of closing gaps.
In teamfights, try not to be the one who initiates. Wait for the fight to start, and blink in to take out the weak supports, or key targets.
Also, if you find yourself to be unable to take teamfights decisively, tiny is fantastic at pushing, you can try to split push and go for alliance style and rat your way to victory. A Tiny
in his prime can push as fast as an entire team at times.
Tiny is a very strong hero that can be a really big threat when played well. He maintains a constant pressure on the map, and provides really nice utility with his Toss. When farmed, He deals a ****ton of damage, and pushes lanes at an almost demonic speed. If you haven't already tried him, i do suggest to give Tiny a try. you might find an awesome hero to add to your arsenal.
Thank you for reading this guide to the end, do give feedback so i can improve on future guides. I might add a friend and foe section in the future, but this will be where the guide ends for now.
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