Monday, December 17, 2012

Hero Guide: Tinker

Tinker is a fragile burst damage hero and excellent pusher/counter-pusher. His skillset revolves heavily around mana regeneration and his Ultimate, Rearm.

Skill Progression

There are two main skill progressions for Tinker. One is a bursty nuker. The other focuses on pushing (which gets you a ton of farm). Note that these are the two purest forms of the builds, it's not necessarily uncommon to pick up a spell here or there depending on your lane or other conditions.

Build 1: March of the Machines (Most Common)

  1. Heat-Seeking Missile (1)
  2. March of the Machines (1)
  3. Heat-Seeking Missile (1/2) / March of the Machines (1/2)
  4. Heat-Seeking Missile (1/2) / March of the Machines (1/2)
  5. Heat-Seeking Missile (2/3) / March of the Machines (2/3)
  6. Heat-Seeking Missile (2/3) / March of the Machines (2/3) / Ult (1)
Basically, you'll be maxing out Heat-Seeking Missile for kill potential and March for pushing. Some players skip the ultimate till later on because it has a huge mana cost and takes too long to be very effective (i.e. you either won't be able to rearm in time, or you won't have the mana).

March is a huge asset for a lot of reasons:
  • Able to push the wave so you can grab the rune
  • Able to discourage players diving you for a kill
  • Farming ability
  • Huge damage output over time

 Build 2: Max Burst

  1. Heat-Seeking Missile (1) / Laser (1)
  2. Heat-Seeking Missile (1) / Laser (1)
  3. Heat-Seeking Missile (2) / Laser (2)
  4. Heat-Seeking Missile (2) / Laser (2)
  5. Heat-Seeking Missile (3) / Laser (3)
  6. Heat-Seeking Missile (3) / Laser (3) / Ult (1)
Going this route will give you a lot more kill potential early on. However, you will be lacking in creep clearing. It might be wise to pick up at least one level of March of the Machines just for creep clearing.

Item Progression


Starting items vary by player preference and match up. Two fairly standard builds are the Bottle Rush and maximizing last hitting potential. Bottle Rush gives you stats and some minor regen, but will allow you to get your bottle before 2 minutes.

Last Hitting will take longer to get your Bottle, but sometimes it's necessary because your opponent might have higher base damage. Some players get 2 Mantles of Intelligence, but that might also go to waste (all you can build it into is a Null Talismen / Dagon).
  • Bottle Rush
    • Tangos (90g)
    • 3 x Iron Branch (53g / each)
  • Last Hitting
    • Mantle of Intelligence (150g)
    • Tangos (90g)
    • 3 x Iron Branch (53g / each)

Early Core

  • Bottle --- Main source of early mana and helps with your gank potential. Tinker has excellent wave clearing with March of the Machines, so you should always be able to get the rune.
  • Boots of Travel --- This will be your next item after Bottle. Paired with your Ult, Rearm, you can freely move around the map for ganks, farming, and refilling your Bottle at the Fountain.


  • Soul Ring --- Another critical part of your survival. Tinker needs the immediate mana provided by Soul Ring. Rearm will also give you a second charge of it. When porting around, using Soul Ring once will usually give you the mana needed to Rearm. Then you can use it again if you need mana to Teleport.

Situational & Late Game

  • Magic Wand --- This item is great for a quick burst of mana and HP, but depending on your playstyle, may not be necessary. It's still a great early-midgame pickup before Tinker maxes out his item slots.
  • Blink Dagger --- Serves multiple purposes on Tinker. He can use it for chasing, ganking, or blinking into trees to safely Teleport back home.
  • Force Staff --- Mobility is key on Tinker, and Force Staff will work when Blink Dagger is disabled. Good for Utility/Support, chasing/ganking. However, it won't work as well if you want to move into the trees for a clean get-away.
  • Ethereal Blade --- If you're doing very well, Ethereal Blade can be a great pick up because Tinker deals massive amounts of Magic Damage (with certain item builds). Paired with Ethereal Blade, you can get rid of most heroes quickly and turn the tides of a battle.
  • Shiva's Guard --- Gives Tinker armor and mana, which are both important for a mana heavy, squishy hero. Shiva's provides a great aura and an excellent active, which Tinker can spam freely with assistance from his ultimate.
  • Dagon --- Depending on who you're facing, a Dagon + Ethereal Blade can be very potent (along with Heat-Seekers, and the rest of Tinker's spells). If you picked up an early Mantle, Dagon will give it a purpose. While Dagon can be great for quickly getting rid of a support or carry, it won't bring much else to the team, or your pushes.
  • Scythe of Vyse --- Provides a lot of great mana & regen to keep you out on the field longer, also great stats from Ultimate Orb. Being able to sheep an enemy brings a lot to team fights and ganks.
  • Manta Style --- While you don't get much out of having Illusions, Manta gives you a lot of great stats. More importantly, when you use it, debuffs are cleared.
  • Eul's Scepter --- Gives you a lot of extra mana regen to keep you out on the field longer and more involved in battles. Cyclone can be great if you or a teammate gets focused. If you're chasing, it gives you time to Rearm and finish off your target.
  • Black King Bar --- As a squishy hero, the extra Strength and the magic immunity help Tinker to survive long enough to cast his spells multiple times during a team fight.
  • Orchid --- sometimes the item is necessary against heroes like Storm Spirit or blinkers. The bonus damage helps, as does the mana regen.


  • Spell Notes
    • Laser
      • Deals pure damage (ignores armor)
      • Blinds target for 3 seconds (miss 100% of physical/auto attacks)
    • Heat-Seeking Missiles
      • Must have vision of the opponent in order to hit them
      • Massive 2500 range
      • Will not hit ethereal units (i.e. Ghost Scepter, Pugna's Decrepify, Ethereal Blade)
    • March of the Machines
      • Deals universal damage (i.e. reduced by magic resistance, but goes through magic immunity, deals 1.4x to ethereal units)
      • Can be used to farm Ancients
      • Generally want to angle the march for maximum impact (otherwise you might not hit the opponent hero)
  • Early Game
    • Use March of the Machines to push mid lane before rune spawn (8-15 seconds beforehand)
    • Gank if you get a good rune and the opponents are overextended, otherwise you're missing valueable farming time
    • Get your Bottle fast, then go immediately for Boots of Travel
    • On Radiant, you can easily stack the Ancients and farm them with March of the Machines
  • Mid-Late Game
    • Fights
      • Positioning is the key part for Tinker, you will die immediately if focused
      • Stay off to the side spamming nukes and items
      • If you can get a March in, go for it, but sometimes you'll have to put yourself too out there
    • Pushes
      • Use your Boots of Travel to put pressure on lanes
      • You are a Split Pusher with Boots + March
      • Remember to use Soul Ring before Rearm (get bonus mana)
      • You can use Blink Dagger to move into the trees and teleport out from there (safer)
    • Counter-Pushes
      • March of the Machines is incredibly hard to push against
      • Once Rearm is a high enough level, you can use it and March from multiple directions
  • Heroes to Watch Out For
    • Storm Spirit --- able to gank you quickly and keep you locked down. SS is great at killing split pushers like Tinker
    • Clinkz --- an invisible ganker that has Orchid as part of his core
    • Bounty Hunter --- basically same as Clinkz (minus the Orchid)
    • Pugna --- in team fights, you will kill yourself by casting with his Netherward in range
    • Riki --- Same as Clinkz and BH
    • Wisp --- Global ganker (though you can usually tell when you're going to get ganked)
    • Spectre --- Global ganker that has a dagger that allows her to pass through any terrain (no blinking into the trees for safety)

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