Hi guys, and this is my guide to support Tusk
This is my first guide and any feedback, be it negative or positive, is greatly appreciated.
Tusk is normally played as a mid hero in pubs, as he is an excellent ganker so the level advantage is very good for him. Also with some items his ultimate, Walrus Punch can become devastating and take out a massive chunk of his opponents health.
But Tusk can also be played as a support. His ability to punish an enemy out of position with Ice Shards and give group magic immunity with Snowball for a brief time, make him a great asset to a team even with few items.
He is also a fun hero to play. I mean, he can turn into a snowball and make enemies fly!
-able to get up close and personal with an enemy hero
-above average movement speed
-quite tanky for a support
-can make his team magic immune for a brief period of time
-a massive hit which goes through evasion
-Small mana pool
-You can Snowball your team to their doom
-high skill level needed to make it work
This skill sends a line of ice for 1500 units. It will damage all units it passes through and will erupt into shards of ice around the first enemy hero it hits, creating a semi circle of ice around him.
This is a great skill for ganking as it forces enemies to go further away from where they need to go to escape. If there are enough allied units around you may be able to body block them in the shards and this means they will be trapped there for a whole 5 seconds, which most likely will get you the kill.
This skill works great in conjunction with close up nuke skills, or delayed skills, as there movement will be easily predicted. Examples of these are Hoof Stomp, Rocket Barrage, Earthshock, Kinetic Field etc...
It also works great with heroes that have slows as the enemy will take even longer to get out of the shards and take more damage, e.g. Poison Sting, Frost Arrows, Grave Chill etc...
In some places in the jungle and in the river, using this skill can completely block the pathway, making your enemy completely trapped, or has to run back past you the opposite way to where they want to go.
There are counters to this skill however. Heroes that have skills to cross impassable terrain, such as Leap, Pounce, Skewer.
Heroes with very fast movement speed make it difficult to land the ice shards, such as Weaver and Windranger.
This skill does hit invisible heroes, so if the shards appear without an appparent hero around, you can assume there is one invisible there.
This skill grabs nearby allied heroes and Tusk himself and turns them into a snowball which travels towards an enemy unit. It stuns all enemies on the way to it's target and does a larger stun to the target. Everyone in the snowball is completely magic immune for the duration!!! The snowball travels at 150% of Tusk's movement speed and only lasts for two seconds meaning it may not reach it's intended target.
This is Tusk's signature skill and the use of it can really show others if you are a good Tusk player or not.
In the early game this skill is mainly used for getting up close and personal with the enemy, further showing Tusk's synergy with allied heroes that like to get up close and personal. This skill works perfectly with his Ice Shards. My favourite combo is that you use Ice Shards on an enemy and then instantly Snowball. This means that if the Ice Shards hits the enemy they will have no chance to run away from your snowball of doom and you will get the damage and stun. The enemy will then have to run past you to get round the Ice Shards, which gives you a lot of time to attack and hopefully get the kill.
This skill has great versatility though and can be used in many ways. You can use it to dodge an incoming projectile, or even to save an ally from it if you're close enough to them. Delayed stuns can be easily stopped by Tusk as long as you seem them coming. Examples of stuns that can be easily prevented are Unstable Concoction, Storm Hammer.
It can also be used as an escape mechanism of a sort. You can snowball to any enemy creep as well as heroes. His snowball will go through impassable terrain so you can use it to go up cliffs and escape your enemies as long as there is some enemy to target around.
There are counters to this skill. Any hero that has fast movement speed could be able to outrun your Snowball, that is why it is a good idea to throw out your Ice Shards first to make this much harder. Skills such as Shukuchi and Windrun can make it very tricky to land any of your skills on them.
In a teamfight using this skill at the right time can make or break teamfights. Most Tusk guides will tell you to go YOLO mode into the enemy team with Snowball for an unstoppable initiation. This can work great...as long as the enemy has no aoe disables or nukes. Going into a teamfight with Snowball puts a big sign on your head saying "we are going to be here in 2 seconds with no magic immunity". And in teamfights, people will be using ultimates, and loads of those are high damage/stun aoe skills. I mean, just think if the enemy have an Enigma, or a Queen of Pain, or a Skywrath Mage, or an Axe. Or maybe an aoe silence like Drow or Death Prophet. This tactic can work, but requires you to be able to burst down an the enemy you initated on very quickly, and then it's a 5v4 thing.
Your snowball can give team magic immunity, that's too valuable in a teamfight to use on initiation, and the cd is too big for it to be used twice. This is especially true in the later game as the enemy will have bkb's and you won't even stun them with your snowball.
Your job in a teamfight is to use snowball to save your most important hero from the biggest amount of damage possible, now this will be dependant on what enemies you have and how fast your reactions are. You can dodge skill such as Ravage, Call Down, Sonic Wave, even a Reverse Polarity if you're feeling like a pro!
When you're in your snowball you are immune to magic damage, but there is a skill that can still drag you out your Snowball. Meat Hook can still grab Tusk or any of his allies in the snowball, and if Tusk gets hooked out, the snowball will stop.
This skill creates a flying unit that Tusk can control and cause an attack and movement slow in a 600 aoe. Not taken early in the game due to it being another spell you'd need to cast with your small mana pool, and that the other spells are generally better early game as they actually do damage.
In a teamfight you want to use this spell the second the fight has begun and the carries have started attacking, this will make it less likely to be destroyed quickly than walking in with it. Due to the change in how the sigil only takes 0.25 damage from non-hero units, this will force an enemy hero to focus this if they want it down quickly, wasting time they want to spend hitting you.
Tusk's ultimate, a physical hi that does 3x or 4x damage depending if they're below 50% health or not. Even though he won't get items to buff this significantly it can still do a lot of damage.
This skill is great for quickly bursting down a target. Use Ice Shards and Snowball and a few auto attacks to bring them below 50% hp, then hit them with the Walrus Punch and watch them fly whilst a massive chunk of their hp goes away! And if they're still alive, they're slowed so just hit them a bit more!
This skill goes through evasion, so works through Blur, Windrun, and any Butterfly holder. It is great for doing high damage to those hereos that get a bkb for survivability, as they normally can't tank much damage, such as Luna, Phantom Assassin, Gyrocopter.
This skill does take a short amount of time to get ready, so if going for a very quick kill, you may want to activate Walrus Punch before snowballing in.
You're a support so unless you have a very kind hard support on your team you are going to need to help out buying the courier, or Observer Wards if no-one has got them.
Some basic regen and stats too. These are pretty standard starting items, getting 2 Clarity's will help you not having to run back to base every time you use your spells to try and get a kill.
First few minutes
Magic Stick is the best item in the game, instant health and mana when activated and charges up when they use spells, great for Tusk to begin to solve mana issues. Upgrading into a Magic Wand will give you some more space in your inventory for other items.
You're an ice guy with no slows till mid-late game! An Orb of Venom is a great item as it is very cheap and a 12% slow on eevery hit you do is pretty good for 235 gold, giving you time to do that last hit that will finish off your enemy, or just keeping them in range of an ally to kill them.
Boots dilemma and boosting your mana pool
I've put these two groups together as you can either upgrade boots or get an item to solve your mana issues first, it really depends what you need in each game.
Phase Boots or Arcane Boots - to do a combo of Ice Shards nd Snowball it costs you 195 mana, so this is the amount of mana you will need to be useful, once you are level 6 you will need 245 mana so you can Walrus Punch too. This is a massive hit on your mana pool and you are going to need to get items to sort this out. Arcane Boots are recommended for most games, although Phase Boots are a possibility if you have other Arcane Boots holders in your team or a Crystal Maiden or Keeper of the Light.
Medallion of Courage - This is a great item on Tusk as it gives him much needed mana regen and can reduce the armour of his victim, making his Walrus Punch hurt even more.
Urn of Shadows - A good item if you have been involved in a lot of kills. It gives you more survivability with some nice mana regen, and the active heal is very nice to keep Tusk healthy enough to continue killing.
Drum of Endurance - a more expensive item, but I still think it can work on Tusk. It gives you more survivability, and a 171 larger maximum mana pool.
Don't get all 3 as your mana issues arena't that bad, choose 1 or 2 of these, seeing in the game if your greatest issue is not a big enough pool or not quick enough regen or not doing enough damage to kill them etc...
Every support needs some kind of mobility to avoid getting picked off too easily, most of them also help you mana pool too.
Force Staff - a great addition to you. It gives you the chance to snowball in on a gank on their hard carry, and then have a way to bail out if they turn around and start smashing your face in. You're tanky, but you're not getting much to help increase that so you need to be able to bail out sometimes.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity - gives Tusk more movement speed, which is never a bad thing. The active is also very nice to prevent someone such as a Leshrac, being near the guy you're snowballing, and landing a perfect stun on you the second you come out of the snowball.
Ghost Scepter - gives some nice stats, and stops you being burst down by big physical dealers, another way to call a time out after you've snowballed in, forcing the enemy to wait the duration, or change targets.
Blink Dagger - I think this is a highly situational mobility item, it doesn't provide any stats and you can't use it for 3 seconds after you take damage, but if you're not having mana issues and you want pinpoint precision mobility, give it a go.
60 minutes or kill steal pro
These are very expensive items that you can get in the late game. If you get this 30 minutes in you are a terrible support! :p
Necronomicon - great if your team lacks pushing ability or you need some true sight vision. Also the Strength and Intelligence is great for Tusk.
Scythe of Vyse - Will solve any mana issues completely, gives some nice overall stats. The hex is wonderful on the enemy carry, turning them into a lovely pig, which then your team can murder.
Shiva's Guard - Gives some nice intelligence and some armour. The active is great as well as you you are going to be somewhere near the middle of a fight most the time. Also, you're an ice guy, so it was made for you!
Vladmir's Offering - this is an item which you should think about getting for your team in most games. It gives increased damage and lifesteal, great for a carry that doesn't normally get lifesteal but can still benefit greatly from it, such as Slardar, Axe, Centaur Warrunner .
You're a melee support, this normally means that your time in a lane is going to suck, especially if it's something like a 2v2 lane. Although you won't be able to help too much, just try and get the ocassional deny or pull the jungle, and see if they will contest it.
Once you're around level 2 or 3, you don't have to stay in your lane. You've got the two skills you require to get kills, and although they won't do much damage, you just need an ally to provide that for you. You should consider roaming mid and getting a kill there if possible, or going to the other side lane and using surprise to get a kill there. Make sure the carry you've left in the lane alone is going to be ok though, don't leave a Spectre to try and farm on his own!
If you have good synergy with the other lane partner, you can probably get a kill by level two, which will help you and your partner immensely.
The most important thing as a support is to carry a Town Portal Scroll, the ability to be in another lane in 3 seconds is invaluable, using this can also save time from having to walk around for kills. For example, your mid hero is Outworld Devourer, he uses Astral Imprisonment on his enemy and you instantly tp in, then throw out your combo and get the kill.
Once you hit level 6 getting kills in this way will be much easier as you will have a big nuke and slow, but don't just wait till you're level 6 as they will have their ultimates too and it could go badly.
This is the point in the game where the use of your skillset should change. Your Ice Shards should just scratch them now, so it is more important to think about placement and trying to block their pathway than just throwing it out straight away.
Your Snowball can be turned around and counter initiated on if not careful so you must be cautious, although if overly cautious you won't help the team much when refusing to go in on anything.
When teamfights begin to break out your most useful ability is the Frozen Sigil, giving a massive slow, in movement and attack, so try and ensure it does not get focused, moved it away from anyone trying to attack it.
Be ready to use Snowball to dodge a big damage spell, get this right and you've done well.
Focusing a support and forcing them to run from a fight early may be more beneficial than trying to focus the enemy carry, so pick your target carefully.
Friends are heroes that can utilize being up close to an enemy by dealing out big damage. Or heroes that can keep the enemy slowed and can make walking around the ice shards take a very long time.
and many others...
Note that a lot of heroes that work well with him are melee too, so you have to run a dual melee and hope it works or run a trilane , with a ranged support.
Hereos that can counter Tusk are those that are evasive and can escape his combo, or can silence him or burn mana.
Tusk is a very versatile hero that can make or break teamfights with his Snowball.
If you play this hero, you are going to do terrible things and ruin peoples game sometimes, I remember when i used ice shards and when the shards came out the ground it knocked my ally Skeleton King up onto a cliff by the rune spot, not good.
But with enough practise, this can work and be extremely effective against certain lineups.
Thankyou for reading, as i said this is my first guide and any feedback is appreciated.
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