Complete Guide to Tidehunter

Dec 27, 2018

In our most recent article discussing the insanity of 7.20 we discussed the importance of the initiation hero. In that article we talked about how Timbersaw would be a great hero to get up close and personal with the current meta melee heroes. That advice has not changed, however, Timbersaw can be kited and even countered easily. Think a Silver Edge Slark. So now we bring you back to ol’faithful offlaner: Tidehunter.


Tidehunter’s role in the offlane is to not die. He is also supposed to make the lane difficult for the safelane carry to farm. In the current meta this is aided by a second hero helping Tidehunter out in his lane. No longer must he free solo against the Dawn Wall that is Juggernaut Witch Doctor combo. Luckily for Tide, it is fairly simple and he can accomplish this task with the aid of two of his main abilities.



This is Tidehunter’s secondary harassment tool and really should only be used to try and get a kill. This is due to the fact that its Mana cost is so high and its cooldown is so long. I would suggest skilling this at level 5 or 7. Skill it late though unless you are comboing well with a hero in your lane for slows and armor debuffs, such as a handy dandy Dazzle.

Kraken Shell

This is Tidehunter’s secondary tanking ability. Note: do not buy a Stout Shield as this ability and Stout’s passive do not stack. However, do skill this second as it stacks exceptionally well with your main tanking/harassment ability: Anchor Smash.

Anchor Smash

This is your main ability and has been revamped to be slightly ridiculous. Anchor smash used to be an area of effect magical damage based skill. Now it is a physical damage skill based on Tidehunter’s base attack, plus a bonus, similar to Kunkka’s Tidebringer… Starting to catch on?

Anchor Smash can now dish out immense amount of damage, especially if Tidehunter decides to build damage items. No longer is Tidehunter relegated to initiate, ultimate, be useless, repeat.

Along with Anchor Smash’s revamp of damage it applies a massive damage reduction to the enemy hero when it. It also costs next to no mana and at level 1 can be used every 7 seconds, while it’s debuff lasts 6 seconds. This skill sounds too good to be true, and probably will be nerfed in the future, but for now make use of Tidehunter’s amazingness.


Tidehunter’s ultimate has not changed. Same old massive aoe damaging stun. Use it sparingly as its cooldown is great, much like Tide himself.

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Deciding on what to take for Tidehunter’s skill tree really depends on what type of Tide you want to be. If you want to get to the fights and help your team the most, go for the movement speed, the Anchor smash Reduction, Gush Armor, and Damage. If you want to be the Carry Tidehunter, go for Gush Damage, XP Gain, Gush Armor, and 250 Damage.


Tidehunter is fairly item dependant, as he needs a few key items, but after he gets these first few key items he can really get whatever he wants. You are going to want to start off by getting Mana Boots and a Vladmir’s Offering. These are going to allow you to harass and lane away, healing up easily through constant use of Anchor Smash which you can spam easily with your Mana Boots. You can easily almost fully heal up on one or two casts of Anchor Smash with your Vlad’s up and running.

After these first two items head to safety and farm up that Blink Dagger. PLEASE DO THIS. Farm it up real good. Don’t do anything else, just get your Blink. Don’t listen to anyone else, just get your Blink. You want to be able to Blink in, ravage, anchor smash, hit someone with your gush, anchor smash again, and then chase those not dead.

After this, the world is your oyster. I have seen people get a Desolator, as Anchor Smash would apply an armour debuff, which, on top of your Gush armour debuff, can be rather devastating. However only get a Desolator if there is no natural carrier on your team as two instances of this item do not stack. I have also seen a Deadalus on Tide, dishing out massive crits in his Anchor Smash area of effect. Radiance is also always fun, as is a Heart of Tarrasque.


The change to Anchor smash has really made Tidehunter a more snowballing hero. Whereas he used to flatline mid game, Tidehunter can continue to progress and dish out immense amount of damage. Just remember to get that Blink dagger so that he can initiate into the fight. I have seen Tidehunter players refuse to get a Blink dagger, and while yes they are dealing lots of damage, they are not helping out the team. And as we all know, Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork.

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