DotA 2 Tinker
Image via First Blood.

DotA 2 Tinker Guide

May 13, 2020
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Image via First Blood.

How to Build Tinker Effectively

This DotA 2 Tinker guide is useful for those of you who want to get a complete picture of the potential of Tinker. Here you will find useful gameplay tips, build, how to allocate your farm, timings, and the main strategies. You`ll learn which mistakes you should avoid mastering the hero well. 

Starting Build

Mantle of Intelligence, Iron Branch, Faerie Fire – saves you gold and offers a little bit of damage. It helps quite a bit in last hit. This build is based on the fact that you will get the first items faster and will be able to farm forests.

Two Iron Branches – you may rely on a cheap option if it will be challenging with last hits. That is, on the lane, where your damage does not play any role. This is usually a lane versus Meepo or Broodmother.

Magic Stick, Salve, Branch, Faerie Fire – this is an option with sticks against Zeus. This build gives you heal to recover after his first harass. Never upgrade Stick, it is almost always a waste of money on Tinker.

Order of Early Items

1) Bottle, Boots of Speed, Soul Ring, Boots of Travel –The most basic and frequent option. Bottle provides you mana, health, and boots save you time for stacking in the wood.

2) Soul Ring, Boots of Speed, Bottle, Boots of Travel – If you are pressured to control the runes, just take Bottle closer to level 6.

3) Boots of Speed, Bottle, Soul Ring, Boots of Travel – you can start with Boots of Speed, so that you can go to stack as early as possible. Usually suitable for situations where you do not rely on runes, but also do not want to start with Soul ring. 

4) Boots of Travel, Bottle, Soul Ring – just a rush for Boots of Travels. Suitable if your team stacking you and you can farm it quickly with Clarity. However, even with quick Travels you will not be able to snowball and farm gradually. 

The main timing for such a set of items is 9:00-10:30.

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Main Items

Shiva’s Guard is a key item in the build. It gives a lot of intelligence and armor, a useful aura, aoe slowdown, and damage. With double Shiva, you will output 400 damage to the area, which is equivalent to 1 level of Dagon. But the main advantage of this item is vision (i.e. the ability to see through obstacles around when using Shiva). Due to the vision and slowdown, 95% of the heroes simply will not have a chance to escape/hide in the woods TP out. This item also speeds up your farm. 

Shiva is your first main item, or after Scythe of Vyse.

The main timings of Shiva as for the first item is 20 – 25 minutes. 

Scythe of Vyse – the best item capable of effectively and, in theory, permanently disabling a key hero. A kind of endless disable, limited only by your mana. This item is required in 90% of the games you play Tinker. Usually, this should be your second item, when you already have a good mana pool and level 3 Rearm.

There are situations when the enemy team decides to focus you. Does your carry on full free farm and already have 2 big slots by the 20th minute, while you barely survive through a fight? In such cases, Scythe can be purchased as the first item to assist your carry as much as possible. After the Scythe, aim for survival items to maximize your control.

Bloodstone/Kaya and Sange – the two best items to increase the mana pool. The difference is that BS will give you a little more mana and survival, while KaS will slightly boost damage. The latter goes well with a talent for mana pool. Here, the choice largely depends on the personal preferences of the player. You don’t have to take both items at all, but if you want to be just a strong Tinker, it’s recommended that you take at least one of these items.

Ethereal/Dagon – at least one of these items greatly increases your damage on one target. Buy these if you want to snowball, or get the last slot to compensate for the lack of damage.

In a build with Shiva, Ethereal gives a little more damage than Dagon. At the same time, Eblade is cheaper than the Dagon and can save you a lot.

Nevertheless, we should not forget that the Dagon has easier components and it gives the first fruits early, therefore it is better suited for snowball as an early item. At the same time, it is cast instantly and does not bug your carry with physical damage. The choice is yours.

Aghanim’s Scepter – since Aghanim can be absorbed, you should buy it in any case. The only question is whether it will be an early slot, or you will take it after the full build. The first option is when you play against the illusionists. It is especially good against Naga, Meepo, Phantom Lancer. 

Final Build Options

1) Dagon + Kaya + Max Dagon + Scythe of Vyse / Ethereal Blade + Kaya and Sange + Black King Bar – the feature of this build is a quick purchase of cheap and powerful items to get a lot of damage as quickly as possible. After that, there is a smooth transition to stronger items. If necessary, you can buy Aghanim`s scepter after Dagon + Kaya and skip Black King Bar (or take this item as the 7th slot).

2) Aether Lens / Kaya and sange / Bloodstone + Aghanims Scepter + Scythe of Vyse + Dagon – A fairly simple and effective build for team fights. High mana pool, AoE damage, and control.

3) Aether Lens / Kaya + Scythe of Vyse + Shivas guard + Dagon + Kaya and Sange – A slightly different version of the previous build; provides faster control and damage with small mana pool and farm. This is a team build against heroes requiring an urgent disable.

Final Word

Hopefully, reading this guide has given you a general idea of ​​how to master Tinker. Do not forget that you can always deviate from recommendations and improvise to find your play style. We just try to point you in the right direction. Good luck in mastering this hero!

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Eugene Torubalko
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Eugene has a major in Germanic languages and literature. Being an avid gamer and esports enthusiast, he found himself writing and covering the competitive Dota 2 and Hearthstone scenes. He is always ready to deliver reviews, game predictions, tournament analysis, and anything else related to the world of esports.
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