Note: I plan to keep working on this guide for a while so I would greatly appreciate criticism and advice on how to improve it.
Hello and welcome to my first guide; today you will be learning to play Tiny, hopefully.
Tiny was my first, and still is, my favorite hero. So most of what I've learned about him was from watching people play as well as trial and error.
Tiny is a Ganking hero with ridiculous burst damage and tankability. He starts off incredibly powerful but his strength dwindles as the game progresses.
Tiny's "job" is to put his teammates in the best position he possibly can. This means adapting to what your teammates need throughout the game. Because Tiny's role changes throughout the game, this guide will be divided into sections discussing each of those roles.
Avalanche is an AoE spell that you place on the ground which damages and stuns but isn't super great all on its own.
Toss is Tiny's signature move. It can be used to proc massive damage in conjunction with Avalanche and it can be used as an initiation tool.
First, Toss is what allows Tiny to deal massive burst damage. If Toss is executed immediately after Avalanche the target will take the damage from Avalanche twice as well as bonus damage depending on Tiny's ult.
Toss can also be used somewhat like a blink dagger/force staff for your teammates or enemies. You can use it to throw your teammates at a fleeing enemy not only for damage but so they can catch up to, and kill said enemy. You can also use it in a similar way to throw enemies towards your teammates.
Also, you can use it to rescue your teammates from certain death by tossing them onto highground, towards a tower, away from a tower, or just plain away from enemies.
However, be careful with your use of Toss because you can just as easily murder your teammates with it as save them.
Craggy Exterior is a simple spell and the least important of all of Tiny's skills, however it doesn't mean it isn't good. Every time Tiny is attacked he has a chance to stun his attacker. Which can work out quite well when he is tanking damage late game.
Tiny's ultimate, Grow!, is an odd skill. Each time he levels it he gains movement speed, loses attack speed, gains base attack damage, and increases the amount of bonus damage Toss does.
Scepter is unique on Tiny in the way it affects his ultimate which is to say it kind of doesn't.
It will increase the bonus Toss damage by an extra 15%, but more importantly it will give Tiny:
Increased attack range.
A 50% Cleave. (Better than Battle Fury)
75% Bonus Damage to Buildings.
This is what makes Tiny such a great team player in the late game because he can push towers and creep waves in addition to tanking, ganking, and initiating.
First, Tiny isn't a support hero and he needs his gold early to get off to a good start so only purchase courier's, wards, etc. if everyone else on your team refuses to do so. However, (unless you're pro) these items aren't absolute necessities. You can always wait 5-6 minutes and buy a courier.
The goal with Tiny's starting items is to give you a large enough mana pool to combo your Avalanche and Toss at level 2. The magic number is 240. Tiny's mana pool is low early so you can't spam Avalanche, but later in the game 240 is practically nothing.
Tiny's success as a Ganker is dependant on him getting levels; the faster you can get to level 8 the better. So, obviously, Tiny benefits greatly from soloing. Tiny can completely dominate his lane against just about every melee hero and because of his tankability he can stand up to most ranged heroes too. Thus allowing him almost guaranteed farm.
However, you won't always be allowed to solo. Again, your role is to do what's best for the team and if there are better heroes suited for the mid lane you'd do best to let them have it.
Either way, the goal is to reach level 8 as fast as possible so avoid having to go back to the fountain, dying, and roaming. Try to only go after kills if you're certain you can kill them.
When it comes to your early game items you just about always want bottle, boots of speed, and a wand. This will cost you 1450 gold. You will almost always have these 3 items by level 8. Of these three items, a bottle is most important. Even if you never get a kill with a rune, if the least you do is bottle runes for more regen you keep the runes out of the hands of your foes which inevitably save your teammates life. If you find yourself needing even more mana, or you already have teammates monopolizing bottle charges a Soul Ring can work out quite well. This coupled with an urn will not only allow you to counter the hp loss from soul ring but heal your teammates aswell. As your teams main ganker you should have plenty of urn charges if you choose to purchase this item.
Finally you're level 8. At this point you want to abandon your lane, offer it to your failure of a carry, or your under-leveled roaming support heroes while you're gone. You'll hopefully never have to return to it.
Ganking with Tiny can be tricky, however the ultimate goal is to Avalanche and then toss your target. If you can combo Toss immediately after Avalanche your victim will take the damage from toss twice. At level 8, one combo can deal 1080 damage (900 + 20% bonus from sucessfull toss) before armor , items, etc. (This number goes up by 15% each time you skill your ultimate [1215, 1350, 1485] and again if you purchase Agh Scepter ) This will kill many heroes at full health on its own in the early-mid game.
Now, while this seems like an easy enough task believe me it isn't. Tiny's movement speed is one of the lowest in the game (but, lucky for you it gets better as you skill your ult.) The only heroes who are slower are Crystal Maiden and Invoker. ( Techies isn't out yet ) Also, Toss is stupidly difficult to execute correctly because 90% of the time something else is closer to you than the player you want to throw. This is the main reason why positioning is so important until you get your lovely blink dagger.
It's also important to remember, that Tiny is relatively item independent and therefor doesn't need his gold if he can get his items so let your teammates steal your kills if you can afford it.
Depending on the heroes you're up against you will notice your Ganks becoming less and less effective as the game goes on because heroes are getting better items and more stats. Gank as long as you can do it effectively but sooner or later you're going to have to move onto your next role.
The heroes that give Tiny the hardest time are mainly those who have the most have enough HP so shrug off your combos. Namely: Pudge, Axe, Tidehunter, and Brewmaster.
However, the ultimate bane of Tiny's existence is Silencer. Last Word completely walls your combo so you'll have to take different action against this hero.
As the game enters the late stages Tiny finds himself less and less useful as a Ganker and is forced to play a more support/pseudo-intiator and even pusher role with the purchase of Ahganim's Scepter.
Tiny supports his team through the purchase of items, which shouldn't be a problem if your ganks were successful in the earlier stages of the game.
A drum is a useful item on any team because of it's aura but it is also useful to pick it up earlier because added movement speed, and +9 in each stat will help your ganks. It's just a good item all around.
Tiny also supports his team by carrying Arcane boots. This helps him execute ganks and keep his team mates in mana. If your teammates are near you get in the habit of casting arcane boots each time it is off cool down.
If the opposing team has invis heroes Tiny is one of the best heroes to purchase, and hold a Gem of Truesight as well as Dust or Sentry Wards.
Another item that can be useful on Tiny is a force staff providing extra initiation and escape mechanisms for you, your teammates, and your foes.
Following with the support item theme, if your teammates have all of the above items covered and you still have tons of gold to spare Tiny can always carry things like a Mech, Pipe, Assault Cuirass, or Vlads as these items are always useful for your team. However, Tiny isn't the best carrier of these items so get other ones if possible.
Finally, Aghanim's Scepter is so useful on Tiny it is practically a Core item. 50% Cleave + 75% bonus damage to structures allows Tiny to push lanes and towers much more effectively. Yet another service you can provide for your team.
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