Dota 2 Tidehunter Guide – Builds, Abilities, Items and Strategy

Tidehunter is a massive titan from the depths of the oceans. Although he is easy to play, many teams fear him because he has one of the most powerful ultimates in the entire game. His legendary Ravage is so big that it will fill the entire screen with enemy raping spikes.

He is an item independent, team fight oriented hero that can also gank with his Gush and Anchor Smash while being able soak a huge amount of physical damage because of his Kraken Shell. He carries a huge fish; he hates Kunkka, and he is always hungry for those lesser creatures you call enemies!

Pros and Cons

  • + Great Initiator
  • + Very tanky due to Kraken shell and high Strength
  • + Item independent
  • + Easy for newer players
  • + Big teamfight presence
  • – Melee
  • – Low Mana Pool

Browse through the guide – Abilities, Skill Builds, Recommended Items and Strategy. For more help on Dota 2, read our Huskar, Venomancer and Sven Guide.

Dota 2 – Tidehunter Abilities

Summons a gush of water to damage an enemy unit, reducing their movement speed and armor.

  • Duration: 4 seconds
  • Movement Speed Slow: 40%
  • Armor Reduction: 2/3/4/5
  • Damage: 110/160/210/260
  • Cooldown: 12
  • Mana: 120

Your main ganking tool, use it at the start so that your allies’s attacks deal more damage to benefit from the armor reduction.

Kraken Shell
Creates a thick armor shell that reduces physical damage and removes negative buffs when damage received reaches 600.

  • Damage Reduction: 7/14/21/28

The strong shell that makes him very hard to bring down without using skills.

Anchor Smash
Tidehunter swings his mighty anchor to damage nearby enemies and reduce their base attack damage.

  • Radius: 400
  • Duration: 6
  • Damage Reduction: 40%
  • Damage: 75/125/175/225
  • Cooldown: 7/6/5/4
  • Manacost: 30/40/50/60

This skill is awesome to clear creep waves, as well as reducing enemy damage.

Slams the ground, causing tentacles to erupt in all directions, damaging and stunning all nearby enemy units.

  • Radius: 825/925/1025
  • Stun Duration: 2.02/2.32/2.77
  • Damage: 250/350/450
  • Cooldown: 150
  • Manacost: 150/225/325

Your team raping skill. Make sure to use it in the beginning for important kills (such as the most dangerous hero on the other team), and later always save it for big team fights.

Dota 2 – Tidehunter Skill Build

There is no fixed skill build for Tidehunter. All of his skills are great with only a single skill point, and all of them get significantly better with more points in them. General rule of thumb is to get one point of each by level 6 because of the following:

  • Gush’s slow is always 40% no matter what. More points won’t increase the damage by much, only the armor reduction.
  • Kraken Shell’s debuff threshold is 600 at all levels. Having a single point in it will always ensure that you won’t be disabled to death without having the chance to use your ultimate.
  • Anchor Smash’s enemy damage reduction always stays at 40%. Meaning that just one point will reduce damage for enemies that come near you.

After getting a point in all 3 skills you need to ask yourself some questions as to which skill to max afterwards, or if you need to divide the points equally.

  • Is the game becoming a gankfest and you and your enemies constantly ganking around the map? If this is true you prefer to max Gush.
  • Are you soloing a lane or getting constant harass and are you are afraid to die or you are underleveled? Max Kraken Shell in this case to boost your survivability
  • Does the enemy lineup consist of a lot of melee heroes? Are you against heroes that rely on summons to push towers like Brood and Nature’s Prophet? Max Anchor Smash first.

Ravage is obviously taken whenever possible, at levels 6, 11 and 16.

Tidehunter Recommended items

Starting: Courier, Gauntlet, 2xIron Branch, Salve, Tango
Core: Flying Courier, Observer Wards, TPscroll, Magic Wand and Arcane Boots

These are the basic items that Tidehunter needs in the early stages of the game. Ward to keep map control and to help you decide when and where to gank. Although Tide can buy Sentries to counter ward, you will need the help of a ranged hero to do so.

Always carry a teleport scroll to help your allies when they get ganked. Sometimes they will give you free kills. Magic Wand and Arcane Boots are just what Tide needs to solve his mana problems.

Strong Extensions: Drum of Endurance and Pipe of Insight

These items will further boost your survivability, as well as being a huge asset to your team.

Initiation Items: Force Staff, Blink Dagger
These items will help you with your positioning. Force is great for escaping purposes and to help your allies escape. Blink Dagger will allow you to land ulti right in the middle of the enemy team.

Luxuries: Refresher Orb, Shiva’s Guard, Scythe of Vyse, Assault Cuirass

Tide shouldn’t be farming but these items are welcomed to have in any team. If you do go for Refresher, remember to ulti and use your Arcane Boots, then refresh and get the second mana boost from Arcane.

Tidehunter Strategy Tips

Tide can go to any lane, but the best lane for him in a team is usually to support a ranged carry hero, while stacking creeps in the jungle and doing occasional pulls. You can roam around the map with level 1 Gush to look for kills as well.

Always Gush first when ganking, so that enemies take more damage from attacks because of the armor reduction.

If you are getting close to level 6, try to stay in lane and get the most experience possible. Hitting level 6 is a priority, but if you feel that you can get a kill in another place, do so.

Manage your mana so that you are able to use your Ravage at any time. Call your team to push a teamfight whenever your ulti is up and if you feel that your team is behind, dissuade them from fighting if your ultimate is on cooldown.

Try to catch as many heroes as possible with your Ravage, and use it when you have your allies positioned to deal damage and to kill your enemies.

If possible, follow the enemy carry to keep his damage output low with your Anchor Smash.

Remember that your Kraken Shell doesn’t stack with damage block items, such as Stout and Vanguard. So don’t bother wasting gold in them.

You are most likely the tankiest hero in your team so in team movements make sure you are the one in front leading the assault.