Guide to playing as Tidehunter


Newbie Gamer
Aug 5, 2018
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The Tidehunter known as Leviathan was once the champion of the Sunken Isles, but his motives are as mysterious as those of his people. We all know the importance of the Drylanders' shipping lanes, how empires may rise and fall according to who controls the open water.

Far less is known of the submarine lanes, and how the warring tribes of the Meranthic Diaspora have carved out habitations through endless undersea skirmishes. In the fragile treaties between the Mer and Men, we can glimpse the extent of the drowned empires, but their politics appear complex and opaque.

It would seem that Leviathan tired of such petty strife, and set off on his own, loyal only to his abyssal god, Maelrawn the Tentacular. He stalks the shallows now in search of men or meranths who stray into his path, and with a particular loathing for Admiral Kunkka, who has long been his nemesis for reasons lost in the deepest trenches of the sea.

Tidehunter is a melee, Strength-based support hero, who is great at initiating and ganking. I personally love this hero for a few reasons: Early and mid-game he has an amazing resistance to attacks with the help of his passive Kraken Shell ability, which reduces physical damage and removes negative buffs when damage received reaches a critical threshold, meaning that enemies will have a hard time killing you.

In addition, he can slow down enemies with Gush, ensuring that they can’t escape, or that Tidehunter himself can, if being pursued. As well as that, his Anchor Smash reduces the damage enemies’ deal to you and everyone else, for a 6 second period! Let’s not forget Tide’s ultimate, a swarm of tentacles that arise from the earth, damaging and stunning all surrounding enemies!

Here are some Pros and Cons of the hero:

  • Good farming ability
  • Good debuffs
  • A high gain in Strength
  • One of the best Ultimate’s in the game
  • A good support option in any case
  • Early game you are extremely mana dependent and therefore need to level up and get your items quickly if you want to be effective mid game.
  • Everyone will target you because you’re a pain in the ass.
Anyway, here’s a well-structured list of Tidehunter’s abilities and what they do:

Gush – Your main nuke. Target your enemy and slow them with this skill, as well as reduce their armor and deal some damage.

You should use gush in situations such as:
  1. Your teammate(s) are ganking your lane – use it to slow your enemy and help your allies deal some extra damage. It will be a secured kill.
  2. When there is a hero with low HP – Gush has a good range, and can be used to finish off fleeing enemies.
  3. To save yourself or your teammate by slowing a pursuing enemy.

Range: 700
Debuff Duration: 4
Armor Reduction: 2/3/4/5
Movement Speed Slow: 40%
Damage: 110/160/210/260
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Mana cost: 120

Kraken Shell – Add some extra armour to yourself so make it even harder for enemies to kill you. (Passive) Not as effective late game, but amazing in early to mid game. By the mid-late game, creeps wont deal any damage to you at all.

Damage Reduction: 10/20/30/40
Damage Threshold: 600/550/500/450

Anchor Smash - Swing your mighty anchor to damage nearby enemies and reduce their base attack damage.Great in clashes, you can hit several heroes in the radius around you and almost half their attack damage! The low mana cost makes it spammable.

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

Ravage - Slams the ground, causing tentacles to erupt in all directions, damaging and stunning all nearby enemy units. One of my favourite ulti’s in the game. This ability is amazing for initiating.

Your ultimate alone will take out at least 1/3rd of all the nearby enemy heroes’ health, as well as stun them for a period of time which would allow your team to pick them off one by one and surround them.

Radius: 1025
Stun Duration: 2.02/2.32/2.77
Damage: 200/325/450
Cooldown: 150 seconds
Mana cost: 150/225/325


Due to Tidehunter’s mana problems early game, I go for magic wand as soon as I can. My starting items are 1 set of tangos (I play aggressively to harass whilst my carry can farm). In pub games, I end up having to buy wards AND the courier so I don’t have any other gold left, but generally, you would like to go for 3 branches and 1 magic stick. As soon as you get enough gold Magic Wand is a good item to get.

Early game, boots are a must buy to catch up with enemies and to run back to your tower if in danger. Get some more tangos if you are getting hit a lot in your lane. I generally try to then go for my energy booster to complete my arcane boots. This is a very expensive item to get early game, but if you get it early, not only will you have sufficient mana whilst laning and ganking early, but all your surrounding team mates would benefit too.

If you would rather slowly build up and be strong all the way through early gamem then I would suggest buying a Bracer (+6 strength, +3 Agility, +3 Intelligence, +3 Damage)

An alternative would be Urn of Shadows. I’m not a huge fan of this item but it suits well for Tide. +50% Mana Regen, +6 Strength. The downside, and what turns me off, is that it Gains 1 charge every time an enemy hero dies within a 1400 radius. Unless you’re killing left, right and centre it won’t benefit you in terms of its healing abilities.

Keep buying wards and upgrade courier.

Mid game you have a variety of items to choose from, depending on what your allies have bought. I tend to go for Assault Cuirass due to the increase in attack speed (Tide is pretty damn slow) and also the area effect which grants allied heroes extra armour.

Mechansm is the other item I tend to get, just to ensure my survivability and that of my teammates.

If you’ve bought Mechansm and Arcane Boots, chances are that someone else will buy Pipe of Insight Drums of Endurance and/or Shiva’s Guard.

A popular item for Tide tends to be Blnk Dagger. I don’t get it very often but it is a very good item to use in conjunction with your ulti, as well as catching enemies, and escaping from them.

Late game, the ideal item in terms of being totally badass is Refresher. It adds a good mana regen and allows you to reset all of your cooldowns, meaning that you can cast your ulti twice. All you need, is to make sure that you have enough mana to be able to do it.

Aside from that, the items I mentioned above would be a good addition. Heart of Tarrasque is handy for its extra health and strength if you want to get kills

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