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DOTA 2 Tinker Guide

DOTA 2 Tinker Guide by V4rzil

Early Game #1
With the skill build #1 you can nuke the sh*t out of everybody, especially in the first 15minutes. you can harass great, and go gank with your high burst damage.With this build you rely on getting good ganks off, so you can afford your Boots of travel as early as possible.

Early Game #2
With the skillbuild #2 you aim for good lane control, and early pushing & farming. If you get ganked sometimes, you can still farm the jungle very good, or either the ancients. With this build it is better to go for early rearm, and soul ring, so you can stack March of the Machines for jungle/ancient farming, Maybe ask a support or a jungler to stack the ancients. For example ask a prophet if he can give you shared control, and you can pull one truant away to stack ancients and farm them later. Or just go up on the highground and do it yourself (:

Mid Game
In the Mid Game you start to be a push-a-lot. with your boots of travel and rearm you can easily switch around lanes, farm them with march of the machines or farm the jungle if your teammate want to frame the lane. It is always awesome to have heroes like Prophet, Lone Druid or Lycan in your team, because you can easily teleport to their summons and get good ganks off/ push towers. What item you aim after BoTs and soulring next for is you choice. If your team has no or very little disables, a first item hex can work wonders for the team. If your team has enough disables, you can easily go positional items like Blink into Force Staff, so you can push easily, without having the fear getting ganked, and you can initiate ganks very well. You could even go full-on push and get a Shivas Guard, or you go fully aggressive and buy a Dagon. It always depends on the game situation, and it is up to you!

Late Game
A full inventory with a Tinker at minute 40 or 45 is nothing special. You can farm very well, and Tinker can perfectly use even "little" items like force staff to full extend because of rearm. When i play tinker my inventory looks most the time something like Boots of travel, Blink, Force Staff, Euls, Sheepstick and Shivas. You can go defensive and buy a linken's sphere, because the passive gets resetted through rearm. Or you can go full aggressive and after buying a blink, you get a dagon , and just blink in and burst everyone down.

The targeting of your items and spells can be pretty hard though. In a teamfight it is always kinda hard to focus the right one. So lets make a fictional experiment, and say the enemy team consists out of a farmed Faceless Void, an Omni Knight, an Enigma. All three targets very very important to focus during a teamfight, but how to knock them all out? Here is the answer: Laser on the hardcarry, in this case Void. The Three second blind can make someone like Void, Ursa or Antimage complete useless. Now send the one utility hero up in the air with Euls, and the other one you and your team wanna focus you sheep. So for example, you say, we can live with a black hole, or we split up, but we hate omni knight, because he can make void magic immune, you should send up enigma, and then sheep Omni Knight before he can get off any spells. If you say, hey, we have something that goes through magic immunity, and we have enough magic damage, so we don't give a f*ck about Omniknight, Euls him, and Sheep enigma. If you gank 2 people at once, try always to permasheep one of them, and Euls the other, so they can do nothing at all.

Table of Contents

1) General Stuff
2) Skills
3) Skillbuild
4) Itembuild
5) Different phases of the Game
6) Friends and Foes

1) General Stuff
Hero Introduction
Tinker is a ranged intelligence Carry, who has high burst damage through his Laser and Heat-seeking Missiles. He can quickly disintegrate Creepwaves and control Teamfights through his March of the Machines and thanks to his ultimate, Rearm he can Reset the cooldown of nearly every item or every spell. This all makes up to a hero with high burst damage, great pushing power, and good teamfight capability.

Boush the Tinker's diminutive race is known for its intelligence, its cunning, and its prickly relationship with magic. As a matter of pride, they survive by their wits, and use only those powers of nature that may be unlocked through rational methodologies. Even this forbearance has led to a great deal of trouble, as Boush can attest. Once a key investigator of natural law, Boush the Tinker led a vast intellectual investigation into the workings of nature, founding a subterranean laboratory in the rumored, mist-wreathed wastes of the Violet Plateau. While scorning mages for the dangers they visit upon the world, Boush and his Tinker associates haughtily wrenched open a portal to some realm beyond comprehension and ushered in some nightmares of their own. A black mist rose from the cavernous interior of the Violet Plateau, shrouding it in permanent darkness from which sounds of horror perpetually emanate. Boush escaped with only his wits and the contraptions he carried, the sole Tinker to survive the Violet Plateau Incident.

Affiliation: The Radiant
Attack Duration: 0.35+0.65
Damage: 49-55
Attack Range: 550
Base Attack Time: 1,7
Missile Speed: 900
Casting Animation: 0,53+0,5
Armor: 3,82
Movespeed: 305
Sight Range: 1800/800

+Good nuking power
+strong pusher/ anti pusher
+scales well into late-game
+One of the best split pushers in DotA2
+strong utility hero, if he gets the farm and the items
+decent base Movespeed

-no escape mechanism -> easy to gank
-very mana-dependent
-Very dependent on getting BoTs
-Very dependent on getting utility items like sheep, blink, Euls to make really something happen in teamfights and carry
-very squishy, not only in the early game, but even in teamfights easy to kill

Here an alternate hero introduction from DotaCinema:

2) Skills
Fires an intense energy beam, dealing damage and blinding the target for 3 seconds, causing it to miss all physical attacks.

Range: 550
Damage: 80/160/240/320
Blind Duration: 3(6 on creeps)
Cooldown: 14
Manacost: 95/120/145/170
Damage Type: Pure
Tinkers hardest nuke. Because it deals pure damage, it goes through magic resistance, say, it does the 320 Damage always, no matter how much magic resistance the enemy has. This spell can give you good lane control, because 3 second miss can cause your enemy to miss some lasthits/denies, and it does, as I said pure damage, so it is a good nuke. In the Late Game The Nuke damage isn't anymore the main part of the Laser, but the blind. Against heroes like Faceless Void, Ursa or Anti Mage the blind is very very good, because these heroes rely highly on attacking heroes.

Heat-Seeking Missile
Launches a pair of rockets at the nearest visible enemy heroes within 2500 range.

Range: 2500
Damage: 100/175/250/325
Number of targets: 2
Cooldown: 25
Manacost: 120/140/160/180
Damage Type: Magical
Tinkers long-range nuke. Very good harass spell, if the enemy team wants to push, and you just spam rockets to get them low. Very good for sniping kills, that you won't reach with other nukes, cause the enemy is too far away. REMEMBER: You need vision for the rockets.
Rockets can be dodged by blink(Queen of pain, Anti-Mage, Blink Dagger) and Invisibility(Sand King, Bounty Hunter, Weaver, etc)

March of the Machines
Enlists an army of robotic minions to destroy enemy units in an area around Tinker

Cast Range: 300
Robot Spawn Radius: 900
Robot Collision Radius: 50
Robot explosion Radius: 150
Duration: 6
Robot Explosion Damage: 16/24/32/40
Cooldown: 35
Manacost: 145/150/165/190
Damage Type: Universal
Tinkers main farm tool. It is also very good for protecting towers and giving cover fire during a push as the machines heart really hard.
The Damage Type is universal, that means, that it acts like Magic damage(gets reduced by magic resistance, interacts with Ethereal Blade) but doesn't get blocked by a BKB!
The Cast range is really short which can be very confusing as you sometimes click too far away and then run to it, etc.

CHANNELED - Resets the cooldown on most of Tinker's items and abilities.

Channeling Time: 3/2/1
Cooldown: 0
Manacost: 150/250/350
Tinker can refresh all items apart from: Black King Bar, Linken's Sphere, Hand of Midas, Arcane Boots, Necronomicon, Helm of the Dominator, Refresher Orb
If you use the spell but stop channeling it still uses the mana cost, but your abilities don't get refreshed.

3) Skillbuild

The Laser - Rocket build
2.Heat-Seeking Missile
4.Heat-Seeking Missile
6.Heat-Seeking Missile/ Rearm
8.Heat-Seeking Missile
9.Heat-Seeking Missile/ Rearm
10.March of the Machines
12.March of the Machines
13.March of the Machines
14.March of the Machines
17-25: Stats

This skillbuild is Tinker's Burst-damage nuke build. You build up his 2 main nukes, and you can do massive damage just with the both of them. The reason you skill laser on level 1, is that it gives you great lane control through the miss, and 80pure damage. Tinker has a pretty high mana pool, so harassing with spells is not that big problem. With this build you rely heavily on getting good ganks & kills off, because you don't have the massive farming spell March of the machines. It is your choice if you skill Rearm on level 6, or later, because sometimes you don't need it at level 6, because 1 combo is enough to get the gank done.

The Rocket- March build
2.March of the Machines
3.March of the Machines/ Heat-Seeking Missile
4.Heat-Seeking Missile/ March of the Machines
5.March of the Machines
7.March of the Machines
8.Heat-Seeking Missile
9.Heat-Seeking Missile
10.Heat-Seeking Missile

This build is for farming, pushing and defending against pushes. Through March of the Machines you can destroy Creepwaves very quickly, and you can stop enemy heroes from going on your tower, because it is kinda impossible to fight in a march, because of the high damage. If you don't get your farm early with this build, you still can go jungle, or stack the ancients. As soon as you get a soulring you can stack March of the Machines 3 or 4 times, and easily farm an ancient stack of 3/4/5 in the matter of a second. Again you skill laser at Level 1, because it helps you very much in the laning phase, and in teamfights it is very powerful against enemy carries, which hit their stride in the early game, like Lycanthrope or Ursa. With this build you can push very well early when you have your BoTs up, because March of the Machines is already maxed out.

NOTE: Especially at the later levels you should think about your mana pool and if you really have the mana pool to provide a lvl 2 or lvl 3 Rearm. If you go for mobility items like Blink Dagger and Force Staff first you probably won't have the manapool to provide a level 2 Rearm at Level 11 or a lvl 3 Rearm at level 16. Think about just skipping Rearm just 1 or 2 levels until you maybe get another item or some more stats, etc.

4) Itembuild
There are various ways how to build up items on a tinker. I am going to present you the ones I think are the best.

Start Items

Solo Mid


If you want to go for a bottle-rush this is the most common build. It gives you some stats to lasthit, and Hp-regen to survive on the lane. You can go with a clarity as well, but I don't think you'll need it, because Tinker has a high mana pool, so you won't really need the mana until your bottle arrives.


This is a very good build for lasthitting and staying on the lane. You don't go for the early bottle rush, and because of that you get some more Int for lasthit-damage, and mana-pool. The Healing Salve lets you obviously stay longer on the lane than just tangos do. I personally prefer the bottle-rush, because a early bottle can really make a difference, but it is up to you what Start items to get.

Sidelane/ Sololane

When you go sidelane, you don't need necessarily a bottle, and you can go for a soul-ring first. It lets you spam out your abilities, and you can buy the components at the sideshop. A soulring also is good for later in the game, because you basically get a mana-free Rearm Level 1, and it lets you save mana even at the later stages in the game. You can even go a solo-lane with tinker, because you can farm kind of safe from rage due to your March of the Machines.

Core Items

I think the Core Items are kind of obvious. The Soul Ring for, as pointed out earlier, saving mana, and get a mana-free Rearm Level 1. The Boots of travel are THE CORE ITEM on Tinker. Whenever I see a Tinker without Boots of Travel and for example Mana-Boots, i want to face palm.. With Rearm you can just be anywhere on the map, because you can teleport to every friendly unit, what doesn't only include Creeps, but for example Prophets Treants, Beastmasters Hawk/Boar, Broodmothers Spiderlings, or Lone Druids Bear as well. Because of this, Tinker is often played together with one of these heroes, because it makes him even more mobile, and lets him be fast at teamfights, without running from the lanes to wherever the fight is. And remember: the teleport is invisible when the creep ported to is invisible as well. This can make up for some very good initiation. The Magic Wand is on Tinker not necessary, but it is always a good item to have.

Luxury/Situational Items

So there is now a huge amount of items Tinker can use to its full extend. I will try and point out the most important, and most used items.

Blink Dagger

The Blink Dagger is very useful for positioning. The March of the Machines requires good positioning, and Tinker is a squishy hero, so a blink dagger can help him. It is often used directly after teleporting to a creep via shift-action to immediately blink into trees, where you are more safe from the lane and thus helping you escaping ganks, etc.

Force Staff

The Force Staff has nearly the same aspects as the blink does. It provides good positioning, even though it is not as accurate as a blink. It does destroy trees as well, so hiding in the trees with just a force staff won't help. It can get you out of position from a stun i.e., so you can Rearm and teleport/blink/force away. Blink Dagger and Force Staff together gets you huge mobility, and makes you very hard to catch.

Scythe of Vyse(Sheepstick)

"Permasheep Tinker". Very useful item to have, because you can literally Permasheep people with Rearm level 2 /3. You can even sheep multiple people at one time if you manage to micro this correctly. It also provides a very good extension to your Mana pool, and gives you some mana Regeneration. Always try and Sheep crucial heroes, who can really get you into some trouble. If you gank with the team, or try to get a pickoff before the fight starts, try and sheep the hero who makes the team the most problems. This can be the enemy carry if he is there, but a very good target as well is someone like an Enigma.

Eul's Scepter of Divinity

Very useful item do get on hero out of play. Because of your rearm you can take one hero literally out of play. It is very useful against annoying heroes like Ursa, Omniknight or Lone Druids bear. Some of you might remember on game when Na'Vi.Dendi played Tinker against a Lone Druid, and his bear couldn't do anything, because he just send him in the air the whole teamfight. The reason i pointed out Omniknight here, is that he can really ruin a teamfight. His Repel, and Guardian Angel can be a pain in the ass, if he gets it good off, and on the right heroes. His Repel can make you useless against one hero, because no one of your spells goes through magic immunity, and as long as you don't get a Abyssal Blade, you won't get any items that go through Magic immunity. I have chosen ursa here as well, because he often gets very tanky early, due to buying a Vanguard or an early heart, so you can not burst him down easily in Teamfights and he does to much damage -> Halfway point: Euls him up! I once played against an Omniknight + Ursa combo, and it was really tough to play against. But as soon as i got Euls and sheep, i always Euls one of them up, and sheeped the other one, to burst him quick down. This worked really well, and the combo kind of failed at that time.


So this is the burst item. With rearm you can pump out so freaking much burst damage in a few seconds, it is not even funny. A dagon is not a bad item as many people say sometimes. It is a good item against squishy heroes, and supports, and it is a very good item to buy if your team has a lead, and you want to expend that lead.

Ghost Scepter

Ghost Scepter can be a very potent item against tinker. The thing with the ghost scepter is, that it normally dispels when you teleport, but it does not dispel if you teleport with Boots of Travels. So if you get ganked by an auto attacker you can just hit ghost scepter and tp out. Just imaging heroes who don't have any stuns, but extreme burst through auto attack and/ or bashes(or basher). Examples would be: Ursa, Lifestealer, Anti-Mage, Void, Spiritbreaker(bash!), Huskar, Lycan, Drow, Riki, Lanaya(TA), etc.

Shivas Guard

One of the best pushing items for Tinker. You can destroy creepwaves even faster. It also is a good fighting item, because just the aura works wonders against enemy carries, let alone the burst and the slow coming with the burst.

Black King Bar(BKB)

Even though the cooldown of BKB is not reset by rearm, it is still a good item, because to get stunned while rearming can be really annoying, because Rearm does cost very high mana, and if used but stopped, the mana is still wasted, but the abilities aren't rearmed. To Rearm and use your items & abilities without getting interrupted can decide a teamfight. But BKB should not be a vey early choice, better buy it later in the game, when you have enough utility items to do enough with a BKB.

Linken's Sphere

Linken's Sphere is a nice item for tinker, as it is kind of easy to initiate on tinker and he is quite squishy.
NOTE The Linken's Spheres cooldown won't reset with rearm even though it shows it!!

Manta Style
A decent pushing item on Tinker. It is not that good, but still a nice item to get if you want to go full push. Not my favorite item on tinker, but it can be very useful(i.e. for pushing towers) REMIND: When you activate it again, the old illusions get destroyed.

5. Different phases of the game
Early Game
If you are mid you should focus on getting your early bottle boots and if you desire so Soul Ring. After that get your boots of travels as fast as possible as they are your most important core item. Even items like Soul Ring can delay them quite hard as it costs around 800 gold. If you are going sidelane and get supported remember to start with an early Soul Ring recipe. You won't need a bottle going sidelane anyways, so soul ring should be the item of your choice. If you get good farm and maybe on or the other kill/ some stacked ancients you should have your Boots of travel around the 10 minute mark. A good time is still if you get them until the 15min mark.
Always adjust your skillbuild to your enemy on the lane. For example there is no big sense in skilling laser/ rocket when you are mid against TA as she will block most the damage through her refraction. Even the laser won't be all that helpful as you expend at least 95 Mana(Laser lvl 1) just to make Templar Assassin miss for 3 seconds(unless she has no refraction up). So it would be smart to go for a march build against the TA in mid, as the march of the machines can easily chew threw the refraction charges of Templar Assassin.
On the other hand if you have a squishy hero like sf(who is also very lasthit dependent in the early game)or i.e. Zeus it would probably be better to go for the burst damage build, as you can easily dominate at least the early parts of the lane by blinding him with laser, etc. You should try to adjust your play style to the skillbuild you choose, as with march of the machines you are not an efficient ganker, but with rocket/ laser you can easily gank the sidelines and with the support of 1 / 2 heroes easily burst down most the enemy heroes. v

Mid Game
Lets just assume Mid Game starts when you got your boots of travels. The moment you got your boots of travels you should at least have 1 point in Rearm as they are useless otherwise, so remember to adjust your skillbuild to the the time you will probably get your BoTs. After you got them you should start teleporting around the map. Again here plays the skillbuild you go for a very dependent role.
If you go for the march build you rely on farming, pushing lanes and defending towers. Try not to steal the farm from you carry/carries, so if the lanes are getting farmed you should go to the jungle or farm ancients.
If you go for the burst build, you rely heavily on getting ganks and bursting down enemy heroes in clashes. You should always try to adjust the creep you are teleporting to to the station the lane is in, and try not to give away that you are porting there( Surprise! ) i.e. better teleport to your tower and go around so you can gank the enemy from the shadows.

Late Game
Depending on what your item choices have been, in the lategame a Tinker can be a very potent carry. Be it through the burst damage you get with a dagon, be it through initiation with blink and sheep or through amazing splitpush power which is making the one of Natures prophet. You can also just provide a really powerful cover fire through march of the machines as your enemy team probably doesn't want to go in there without a pipe(March goes through BKB!)It is not very had for a tinker to get farmed as you can farm all lanes in a short period of time. Adjust your item build always to the situation the game is in, and to the enemy heroes that you are facing.

6. Friends and Foes

Heroes who have the ability to summon creeps you can teleport to are very nice to couple with Tinker. Bestmaster's Hawk or the lycan wolves are very nice for that as you can teleport on them while they are invisible. With Lone Druid on your team you have basically a guaranteed teleport to your team. With Nature's Prophet on your team you have an incredible splitpush power and he can just place a treant to the side so you can safely teleport to it. The Combination of Warlock and Tinker can be very potent, with the Fatal Bonds, Upheaval and Chaotic Offering combined with Tinkers March of the Machines. Visage's Soul Assumption couples very nice with the burst damage Tinker can provide and with the familiars these two can be a very potent ganking team in the mid-game.

Everyone who can silence is basically a foe of Tinker. Not being able to Rearm limits his capability to have a impact in the fight. Doom is even worse as it doesn't only silence your Spells but also your items. Heroes with stuns or mini-stuns can be very annoying if you are rearming and get stunned in the middle of the rearm. It can be very crucial if you not only loose the 350mana(rearm lvl 3) but also the time you spend on rearming and the time you are stunned. This can easily interrupt a try to perma-hex a hero in a fight/ gank. Especially a Sniper can be very annoying in this regard as his headshot has a 40% chance to mini-bash. Also Gankers who have a high initiation range/ global range like wisp, Spirit Breaker or Storm can threaten a Tinker while split pushing.

So that is my guide. Hope you like it, criticism is not only allowed but desired (;

Special thanks to:
Icefrog for doing this awesome map
Valve for porting DotA into Dota2
Tobi Wan for getting me interested and involved in competitive Dota
The Joindota & Dota2pickup community for providing an awesome community and being so nice.
My friends Feardrop, SK4R, DrachenTakt and Penetr[ATOR] for helping me developing this guide
Griffin for helping me with the joinDOTA forums
You, the reader for taking the time to read my guide

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