Hello and welcome to my guide for Tuskarr. He is an extremly versatile and highly functional ganker and initiator. He is a melee based hero and can change the pace of team fights as a whole just by himself alone. I will do my best to teach the most effective and maneuverable strategies possible to succeed with Tuskarr and start Walrus Punching to oblivion.
High Mobility stun (can go over ledges, through terrain)
Wonderful control and slow with Ice shards
Fairly easy to use
Visually satisfying ultimate
Needs levels for optimum efficiency
Focused in team fights quickly
Abilities can backfire
Can be countered by stuns easily
WHEN TO PICK
Enemy team chooses squishy heroes.
You need an initiator
A strong ganker is needed
Enemy team lacks stuns
WHEN NOT TO PICK
Enemy team is strength or tank heavy
Enemy team has lots of stuns or slows
Initation role on team is filled
Dangerous AOE heroes are on the other team. (Enigma, Kunkka, Sven, Meepo)
This is one of Tusk's most lethal and controlling abilities.
Clicking on a target with Ice Shards will shoot a wave at ice at the target, DAMAGING any enemies it passes through, and forming an ice wall in FRONT OF the target once it reaches an enemy hero OR has been out for 5 seconds.
Tusk is an initiator, and this is the very reason why. When used, Tusk will turn into a giant snowball that is immune to all forms of damage/control. The snowball will pick up ANY allied heroes that are in front of Tusk when he uses this ability. Because of this, you can ROLL your teammates in the snowball to your target with you. This makes for extremely deadly combos such as;
Tiny/Tusk, Centaur/Tusk, Huskar/Tusk, etc..
The most important factor of Tusk's snowball is that it is effected by movement speed.
NEVER use Snowball when you are slowed or your movement is reduced.
It is most optimal with: Haste rune, Phase Boots, or abilities such as Centaur's Stampede.
Frozen Sigil is an extremely useful skill that is very often overlooked in Pub games thus far. When used, it spawns an icy sigil that flies above the battlefield with 227 HP. Any heroes/units caught in the radius of the Frozen Sigil have their movement and attack speed reduced. This can change the tide of team fights, especially versus agility carries or melee stacked teams.
Use this to control your enemies and aid your team in the fight even more.
BEWARE: When killed, Frozen Sigil awards 125 gold.
Walrus Punch is one of the most entertaining and visually rewarding abilities in DOTA.
When used, this ability makes Tusk's next attack a critical strike for 3x his current damage. IF the target is below 50%, Walrus Punch will do 4x Tusk's current damage, which is almost a guaranteed one shot on most heroes.
This ability can be very similar to Axe's culling blade in that regard.
SKILL TIP: Try to have Walrus Punch turned on before heading into a fight with Snowball. When used, there is a 1 second delay before he is able to attack, which can be devastating to Tusk when surrounded by multiple enemies.
The Key Items for the most effective and devastating Tuskarr are as follows; Phase Boots, Black King Bar, and Shadow Blade. I will explain each below!
Phase Boots are Tusk's first and most primary item. The raw damage buff is nice for early ganking and last hits while in lane, and the speed boost when used is essential for a reason very unique to Tusk.
As stated before, Snowball is effected by the current speed of Tusk. Because of this, using Phase Boots BEFORE using Snowball to initiate a fight is crucial because the Snowball moves faster and will not have to travel as far to get Tusk to his target. #1 Priority!
Shadow Blade is another item that can go hand in hand with Phase Boots. This item allows for Tusk to engage with Snowball/Ice Shards without an enemy being aware of his current position. The damage bonus and attack speed are a nice incentive, and if an engagement goes south quickly this allows Tusk to have the ability to escape and not face a death or loss of gold/farm.
This item can also make for some insanely powerful Walrus Punches, or a sneak attack Walrus Punch to finish off that pesky carry running back to base from the last fight.
Black King Bar
While not an absolute necessity, Black King Bar is quite a useful item to have on Tusk. Being an initiator and typically the first target of the enemy in a team fight, this allows Tusk to be used to his full effectiveness by avoiding stuns and massive amounts of damage from the other team.
The best way to utilize Black King Bar is to use it as soon as snowball ends, because that allows for a full 10 seconds of immunity before things get ugly.
Magic wand is a great choice early game for Tusk. It enhances his ganking abilities early on, and can be the difference between finishing an enemy off, or getting just enough mana to use a spell to take them down. Another possibility is that it can be used when escaping from a difficult situation where you would not survive had you not been carrying it.
Very efficient for it's minor cost.
Battle Fury is a very indie choice for Tusk, but one that I steadfastly recommend. It offers a lot of potential in team fights. For example, if you find yourself in a team fight with 5 melee heroes around you, Battle Fury is going to allow you to cleave down those around you and continue to spread Tusk's already semi - formidable AOE damage to targets around him.
As an added bonus, this also enhances your farm with Tusk.
A nice chunk of lifesteal, more beneficial for your team than for Tusk himself, but always a good option if no one else has one and if lifestealing will help other carries on your team.
Desolator is a wonderful choice for Tusk's single target nuking damage. The armor reduction allows for his critical strike with Walrus Punch to be even stronger than before, and also allows for destructive damage to the health pools of the enemy team.
As for most heroes, everyone loves the mobility from Blink Dagger, this is no exception for Tusk, but is not extremely important thanks to Snowball.
Pipe of Insight
Tusk can be a good carrier of Pipe if you are fighting a high Magical Damage team. A good pickup as the group is typically close to Tusk in team battles.
More crit on Tusk, sounds like a fun time for those pub stomp games.
Armlet of Mordiggian
A tossup choice, it can be either a great choice or on the other hand extremely taxing and dangerous versus high burst teams.
With proper toggling and timing, Armlet is a great damage/attack booster for Tusk, with or without lifestealing.
Being focused a lot by the other team and dying? Grab a Blade Mail to deter the enemy from opening on you so hard, as well as returning as much of that burst damage as possible to help your team score the kills to win the fight.
Absolutely great item to be carried. Allows for increased ganking and rune storing (haste is best). The health and mana restoration is a wonderful addition to have on hand, if used right it can allow for much more utility in team fights.
Urn of Shadows
A typical choice for any ganker, good for health regen or finishing off the enemy.
An EXTREMELY situational choice that should only be used if a melee carry gets completely outfed and gives your team quite a lot of problems. (Skeleton King,Phantom Assassin etc.)
As a whole, Tusk is a really unique and powerful hero, whom in the rights hands is a monster versus teams who are not prepared to deal with his versatile and deadly abilities, and is a lot of fun to boot. It is likely that over time Tusk will make his breakthrough as a pro scene hero, and be seen in some top tier games and team builds.
Thank you for reading my guide, any and all feedback or ideas are more than welcome!
Good luck on your quest as Tusk, WALRUS PUNCH all the things!
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