+ Great strength and base damage growth
+ Good burst damage
+ AOE Stun
+ Gains considerable movement speed
+ Fantastic damage potential
+ Great Aghanim's Scepter upgrade
- Rubbish armour
- Terrible base agility and growth
- Item dependent
- Toss can be unpredictable
- Mana issues
Avalanche is your stun, and first nuke. While the stun time is only 1 second at all levels, it does have a reasonably large Area Of Effect (AOE) so can potentially hit multiple enemies if used right.
The first point to note is that Avalanche does DOUBLE DAMAGE if used on an enemy who is under the effect of Toss.
At early levels Avalanche does more damage than Toss, but this drops off as the game progresses and you level up your other skills. For this reason, we tend to max it second.
As usual for a stun, we want our first point in it to potentially setup/avoid first blood. Be aware that it has quite a long cooldown, so make sure you save it for important moments if a big engagement looks likely.
Toss is your signature ability, and has multiple uses - although the most obvious one is to inflict damage! With everything maxed out, you can potentially inflict 540 damage to a single target, plus up to 600 from Avalanche - this can be easily enough to take out squishy heroes and let you snowball. If you both throw and target enemy units, you'll do damage to both.
Toss has lots of other extra uses too:
- It breaks channelling, so can stop heroes getting away with Town Portal Scrolls or using abilities like Life Drain.
- You can help save on Blink Daggers by throwing your initiator into the enemy team, for example a Tidehunter with Ravage ready. Be sure they WANT to be thrown :)
- You can throw away unwanted enemies, for example if Huskar Life Breaks a nearby ally and you want to help them get away.
- Toss does splash damage to towers (33%), so while you can't target them directly, you can target an enemy next to one.
Be aware that Toss can also go very badly wrong - IT RANDOMLY SELECTS A NEARBY UNIT to throw. If you have several nearby, there is no guarantee Tiny will pick the one you want. You might end throwing your badly wounded Witch Doctor at them instead of your ready to rumble Night Stalker. This can make you extremely unpopular with your team, and turn a good situation into a bad one.
Be careful, and try to quickly weigh up the possibilities before throwing - ideally you should only have 1 unit nearby so you know exactly what you'll be throwing. This is especially important if you want to help out your initiator. Unless you're on comms with your team/part of a stack, I'd advice asking directly before the first time you do this - make sure they're happy and ready to go.
While a useful passive, this skill doesn't really set the world on fire and should almost always be maxed last. It's especially useful against melee right click attacks, less so against ranged heroes unless you can get close to them.
It gives you a bit of much needed armour, but the most useful part is the chance of a reasonably long stun against attackers. The damage is pretty negliable, but every little helps, right?
There's not really a lot more to say about this skill, you should be actively trying to close with your enemies anyway.
The skill that makes Tiny what he is! As well as making you look increasingly big and scary, it changes some of your basic stats:
+ Increased base damage
+ Increased movement speed
+ Toss damage
- Reduced attack speed
This is almost all good, but be aware of how much it impacts your already rubbish attack speed. However, we almost always want to level Grow! at every opportunity, even at level 6 it offers a bigger boost to Avalanche and Toss than individual points in either.
Grow! effects how we build Tiny quite strongly, but we'll cover that later in the guide.
There isn't really a lot of debate around Tiny's optimum levelling choices - you max both Toss and Avalanche ASAP, with points taken in Grow at every chance you get. Craggy Exterior gets left until last.
There is some debate about whether to max Toss or Avalanche first - Toss is more usual as it has a shorter cooldown and has more reliable damage, with the longer range being useful. However, Avalanche can potentially do more damage if you time the combo precisely.
Very, very occasionally you may want 1 early point in Craggy Exterior, mainly for the bonus armour if you're really struggling in lane. This is a really bad sign for a hero like Tiny who needs to get off to a good start, but it may be the only option you have.
Remember that you need 240 mana to do your Avalanche/ Toss combo, and especially early on you won't be able to do both until approximately 19 intelligence (level 4 without stats items).
Tiny at mid is a snowballing ganker who can get early kills thanks to fast levels in Avalanche and Toss. This gives him enough burst damage to quickly take out squishy enemies and create space for his team. He's generally a #2 or #3 in this role.
He'll almost always go with a Bottle and Arcane Boots in this role to ensure he has enough mana/regeneration to keep using his skills. Blink Dagger is also core so he can initiate and quickly get into position to Toss enemies. Generally he'll tank up as the game progresses.
Generally played as a safe lane carry to try to ensure farm (#1), he can potentially go offlane with a suitable support, but this is rarely seen in competitive play. Ideally you can pickup some kills to boost your early game, but carry Tiny is mainly trying to rush Aghanim's Scepter to get the cleave effect, and boost his farming/pushing speed.
Carry Tiny really needs extra attack speed items to boost his damage potential, but then can do sick amounts of it thanks to his massive base damage. His Aghanim's Scepter upgrade also allows him to do massive damage to buildings, so he's quite flexible depending on if you want to gank or push or farm.
Your starting items may well vary from game to game depending on your role and matchups. Generally a mid Tiny will try to Bottle rush, but occasionally may feel he needs to start with a Stout Shield or Ring of Protection to minimise harassment.
Tiny's extremely low starting armour (basically zero) makes you vulnerable here despite your starting strength. Stout Shield provides more protection early on (average 12 per hit) compared to the Ring of Protection (10% reduction, approx 5 per hit early on), but can't be built into anything more useful as the game progresses.
Ah lovely Io, he's pretty much your ideal partner - boosting your regen and attack speed, while adding burst damage and global mobility <3.
Your best friend, especially as a carry. His Empower is lethal with your high base damage, while Reverse Polarity into Avalanche, Toss and huge tree based cleaves is incredibly effective.
A good ranged lane support with a stun/nuke is a great compliment to Tiny, making up for his poor lane presence and offering kill possibilities. VS is especially good thanks to the effect of Vengeance Aura on your base damage.
More attack speed from Alacrity, Bloodlust and Inner Beast can considerably increase your damage output regardless of role.
These guys just love a good Toss (*s*******), it gives them a great way of initiating if they haven't been able to afford a Blink Dagger yet. Lets face it, nobody wants to be the victim of a high speed aerial teabagging from several tons of cantankerous leviathon or enraged lizard-fish.
This is quite a tricky section to write as your primary damage output will primarily be magic if playing mid, and physical if playing carry.
These matchups depend a lot on game stages and relative farm - you can certainly squish them pretty hard in the right circumstances, but have to be very careful of Sunder and Reaper's Scythe.
More anti-tanks, and both these guys are harder to squish. As a mid you're going to struggle against these guys unless you have the right counter-measures. Huskar is also a particularly unpleasant laning opponent, but can be beaten fairly easily late game by carry Tiny.
While you'll be capable of squishing all of these puny heroes at some point in the game, they're all pretty unpleasant for you to lane against directly.
Many people misunderstand Tiny's main two roles, especially his ability to carry in the late game. He's quite a situational pick, with a really big focus on who he'll be laning with and against. Against the right heroes and with the right partner he's extremely dangerous and just loves chewing on squishy heroes. Against strong harassment he suffers from a lack of speed and armour early on.
He has excellent base damage but a slow attack animation from the start, but with a bit of practice you should be able to outhit other players pretty easily, even without extra equipment. Wherever you end laning him, he needs to be the primary farmer or he'll end up largely useless - support Tiny remains very theoretical.
Tiny offers a lot of flexibility within these roles however - he has options to farm, gank and push, and does them all pretty effectively, allowing him to influence the course of the game as you like. He scales extremely well considering he's not a hard carry, and can give many of those heroes a serious scare in the late game. His ability to push down buildings quickly is also invaluable then.
Whatever else happens, even when Dark Seer and his slow-*** karate are laughing at your lack of agility, just remember, you have a tree to hit people with - and that can only ever be a good thing :)
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