I. Table of Contents
3. Stats and Skills
4. Skill and Item Build
– Skill list
– Short item list
– Long item list
5. Strategy Guide
– Earlygame- until Boots of Travel
– Midgame- until Manta Style
– Lategame- after Manta Style
6. Important Tactics
– Aiming March of the Machines
– Manta/March Turbo-Pushing (VERY IMPORTANT)
– Cyclone/Purge Use
– Lategame Combat vs. a Single Hero
– Lategame Combat vs. a Gang of Multiple Heroes
– Combat in Team Battles
– Clock Tricks
– Unpleasant Heroes Earlygame
– Trouble Farming for Boots of Travel
– Aggressive Pusher Opponents
9. Final Note
10. Replay Section
When most people think of Tinker, they think of an annoying and boring nuker that is strong early game but quickly gets weak once heroes advance beyond level 8. I am here to tell you that this conception is completely and utterly false. Tinker is weak when played as a nuker. He gets damage roughly equivalent to Lion or Lina, but unlike the other nukers does not get more powerful nukes at later levels and does not have a stun. I will describe a Tinker strategy that will make Tinker the an insanely strong combat hero and one of the best pushers in the game. Use this strategy, and you will have a tool for every occasion, an answer to every threat. You will be strong early, middle and lategame. If you like being prepared for anything, you cannot choose a better hero than Tinker.
Before I begin, I will state clearly that this strategy has only been tested in public games. I have never played a TDA game (I play on Lordaeron) or a clan match. Chances are, this guide will not help you win any CAL matches, though if you’re playing in those, you probably don’t need a guide anyways. What this guide will do is give you an extremely entertaining strategy that will allow you to dominate just about any public game (I cannot speak for TDA or IH games). This strategy has been thoroughly tested, and I maintain a win ratio of around 95% when I use it in public games, which is vastly higher than that of any other strategy I have tried.
Enjoy your stay, and good luck!
For earlygame, we will max the skills Missile and March, with one level of Rearm. After building a Eul’s to defend ourselves, we will build to Boots of Travel and Manta Style. With these items, we suddenly become an insanely fast pusher, the fastest in the game besides KotL (this is NOT exaggeration, as you will see). We will use the BoT to jump at all times to push the lane with the weakest defense or strongest attack. As money rolls in, we will build uber-items: Guinsoo’s, Linken’s, Radiance, and Skadi. Lategame, we will be so strong that we can beat in combat any single hero, most pairs of heroes, and even some groups of three heroes. The enemy defense cannot last forever against an incredibly powerful foe who can teleport at will to defend or attack.
3. Stats and Skills
Name: Boush the Tinker
Description: Boush has been educated in the most advanced goblin technology. These mechanical systems allow him to damage his enemies from a distance, while keeping himself relatively safe. He can also upgrade his systems to allow his weapons to fire quickly. A true demonstration of the power of knowledge.
Strength: 17 + 2.0/lvl
Agility: 13 + 1.2/lvl
Intelligence: 27 + 2.2/lvl
Damage: 22-28 + INT (Initial Damage: 49-55)
Armor: 2 + AGI*0.14 (Initial Armor: 4)
Initial HP: 473
Initial MP: 351
Speed: 305 (“Fast”; becomes “Very Fast” with Boots of Speed”)
Comment: Tinker has below average stat growth. He gains a total of 5.4 stat points per level, by contrast to an average of 6.2 among most other heroes. In particular, Tinker’s intelligence growth of 2.2/level is the lowest of all intelligence heroes except Ogre (the lowest, at 1.9/level). Tinker does, however, have very high starting intelligence, which combined with his very reasonable range and his generous movespeed allow him to last hit and carry himself well in the earlygame.
Information about skills that is not part of the official description will be in blue. If you have already read the tool-tip, please read the blue parts for additional information.
Fires an intense beam of light at a target, dealing damage and blinding all in the area for 18(9) seconds. Deals precise damage. 14 second cooldown at all levels.
Level 1 – 80 damage, 10% miss. 95 mana.
Level 2 – 160 damage, 15% miss. 110 mana.
Level 3 – 240 damage, 20% miss. 125 mana.
Level 4 – 320 damage, 25% miss. 140 mana.
Comment: As of 6.35, Laser finally deals exactly the stated damage (in older versions it did 75% damage to heroes and other odd things to other units). This makes Laser the strongest single-target non-ultimate nuke in the game! This makes Laser very, very powerful, and we will be using it to establish lane control in the earlygame and set up constant ganks in the midgame. Compared to Heat Seeking Missile, it does much more damage to a single target for a lower mana cost and cooldown. Laser never becomes useless due to its AoE miss effect, which will protect you and your allies in large battles at any point in the game.
Heat Seeking Missile
The Tinker fires a rocket at the nearest visible enemy hero. Range of 2500. 25 second cooldown at all levels.
Level 1 – 100 damage. 120 mana.
Level 2 – 175 damage. 140 mana.
Level 3 – 250 damage, 2 targets. 160 mana.
Level 4 – 325 damage, 2 targets. 180 mana.
March of the Machines
Calls in hordes of robotic goblins to destroy your enemies. 35 second cooldown at all levels.
Level 1 – 16 damage/goblin. 145 mana.
Level 2 – 24 damage/goblin. 160 mana.
Level 3 – 32 damage/goblin. 175 mana.
Level 4 – 40 damage/goblin. 190 mana.
Comment: This is a tricky ability which is primarily used for farming, though it can make a big difference in hero combat too. To learn how to use it most effectively, see the sub-section “Aiming March of the Machines” below. One annoying fact: Creep waves spawn every 30 seconds. March has a cooldown of 35 seconds. That means that March cools down just too slowly to use every wave without also Rearming.
Instantly refills the Tinker’s weapons. No cooldown.
Level 1 – 3 seconds to rearm. 150 mana.
Level 2 – 2 seconds to rearm. 250 mana.
Level 3 – 1 seconds to rearm. 350 mana.
Comment: The one thing that makes Tinker stand out from the crowd. Rearm will channel for the stated period of time, then refresh the cooldowns of Boush’s three other abilities as well as those of any items in his inventory EXCEPT Hand of Midas, Necronomicon, Helm of the Dominator, and Refresher Orb. A quick warning: since Rearm has no cooldown, if you click the ability more than once you will begin to cast it more than once, wasting mana and delaying the rearm, so only click it once!
4. Skill and Item Build
Lvl 1-8: Laser x4, Missile x4
Lvl 9: Rearm
Lvl 10-13: March x4
Lvl 14-16: Attribute Bonus x3
Lvl 17-18: Rearm
Lvl 19-25: Attribute Bonus x7
Explanation: Laser is too good to pass up. It’s damage is unreduced by anything, making it the most powerful single target nuke available, and it has fairly low cooldown and a reasonable mana cost. This means we will be using it liberally in the earlygame to take control of our lane and make sure we don’t have to worry too much about our enemies. Laser alone makes Tinker one of the strongest earlygame heroes.
We also take Missile earlygame to augment our nuking abilities. Although generally we will be casting Laser instead of Missile, the threat of a Missile at any time means that enemies have effectively 244 fewer hit points (the damage dealt by level 4 Missile after reduction). Furthermore, a double nuke makes us much more effective as a ganker.
Although it won’t be needed until midgame, March is crucial to the strategy. We must have March in order to push, farm, and fight in large battles, and once we get Boots of Travel we will be able to replenish mana fast enough to use March often.
A note on level 2 and 3 Rearm. Leveling Rearm drastically increases the mana cost, and you may not have enough mana to use the higher levels effectively when you are first able to take them. For this reason, I generally take levels 2 and 3 of Rearm at levels 17 and 18, though you can of course adjust this as you wish to fit the current game or your playstyle.
I give two item lists, the first of which tells you all you really need to know. The second list is a long laundry list of all the little parts and side items you need along the way. I suggest reading the short list, as it is all you really need, though the second is provided for those who love detail (and for some reason it is expected from guides). Feel free to mess around with the less important parts (i.e., Sapphire Water, Chicken, Null, etc.) to suit your own playstyle.
a. The short list:
1. Null Talisman OR Bracer (510)
2. Boots of Travel (2700)
***3. Manta Style (5500)***
4. Guinsoo’s Scythe of Vyse (5175 more)
5. Linken’s Sphere (5535)
6. Radiance (5325)
7. Eye of Skadi (6795, with selling Null Talisman/Bracer)
The key items:
b. The long list:
1. Animal Courier (225)
2. Ancient Tango of Essification (and more as needed)
3. Circlet of Nobility (185)
4. Gauntlets of Ogre Strength OR Mantle of Intelligence (150)
5. Robe of the Magi (450)
6. Boots of Speed (500)
7. Observer Wards (and more as needed)
8. Boots of Travel Recipe (2200) -> Boots of Travel
9. Blade of Alacrity (1000)
10. Diffusal Blade Recipe (1550) -> Diffusal Blade
11. Vitality Booster (1100)
***12. Manta Style Recipe -> Manta Style***
13. Robe of the Magi (450)
14. Robe of the Magi (450)
15. Null Talisman/Bracer Recipe (175) -> Null Talisman/Bracer
16. Staff of Wizardry (1000)
17. Void Stone (900)
18. Eul’s Scepter of Divinity Recipe (450) -> Eul’s Scepter of Divinity
19. Sobi Mask (325)
20. Quarterstaff (1150) -> Oblivion Staff
21. Guinsoo’s Scythe of Vyse Recipe (450) -> Guinsoo’s Scythe of Vyse
22. Ultimate Orb (2300)
23. Void Stone (900)
24. Ring of Health (875) -> Perseverence
25. Linken’s Sphere Recipe (1460) -> Linken’s Sphere
26. Sacred Relic (3800)
27. Radiance Recipe (1525) -> Radiance
28. Ultimate Orb (2300)
29. Ultimate Orb (2300)
30. Point Booster (1200)
31. Eye of Skadi Recipe (1250) -> Eye of Skadi
Explanation: The later items, Guinsoo’s, Linken’s, Radiance, and Skadi, are just luxuries. All we really need is Boots of Travel and Manta Style. This build tries to get Boots of Travel relatively early because when combined with Rearm, it grants Tinker incredible mobility, significant farming potential, and the ability to return to the fountain to regain mana quickly whenever needed. The next item is Manta, the build’s key item. After Manta, our power level jumps, and we have enough money for the uber-items. I think no one will argue with Guinsoo’s, and Linken’s is great for the spell shield, which is refreshed with Rearm. Besides, stat gains and regen both greatly benefit our strategy. Afterwards, I prefer Radiance to improve pushing even more and Skadi for the biggest stat boosts possible, but you can substitute here whatever you like. A note on Skadi- we will not get the benefits of frost attack because feedback from Manta overrides. Nonetheless, with practically unlimited funds we cannot find another item that provides greater benefit.
5. Strategy Guide
I will separate the gameplay chapters into Strategy and Tactics. This section covers strategy, the general, long-term goals and descriptions of what you should be trying to do at each step. Tactics are the individual techniques you will use when confronted with various situations.
Earlygame- until Boots of Travel:
The average player believes that Tinker is strong earlygame but becomes weak later on. Though nothing could be more false than the second part of the statement, the average player is right in thinking that Tinker is strong earlygame. Our main spell at this point is Laser, which is very strong. Once you hit level 3, Laser is strong enough to do serious damage, but you should still use it somewhat sparingly unless laned against a low hp hero. At level 5, it will generally be worth using Laser every time the cooldown ends. Our goal is to outfarm and outlevel our opponents, which we achieve by harassing and hopefully forcing retreats with Laser. Good chicken use helps in this regard by allowing us to never leave the lane. Note that once Missile hits two targets, it does do more damage per mana point if against two heroes; if laned against two low hp heroes, you may consider spamming level 3 and 4 Missile instead of Laser, although in most circumstances the higher focused damage of Laser will be more helpful. At this stage, we do not expect kills without allied help- our goal is to build up advantage over our opponents while working towards Boots of Travel. You may be able to get a sneaky kill by hiding behind trees, then ambushing and casting Laser and Missile on a clueless enemy hero, but don’t count on it. On the other hand, if we have an allied nuker in the lane, consider being very aggressive to get kills- Tinker with another nuker can kill many heroes from full health!
After getting some basic items and Boots of Speed, it’s time for perhaps the most difficult part of the build: saving 2200 gold to buy the Boots of Travel recipe. At this point, I strongly recommend buying a set of Observer Wards. I cannot stress enough how helpful Observer Wards are. Apart from the standard significant benefits of avoiding ganks (one gank avoided is worth about two or three sets of Observer Wards), Observer Wards help Tinker in particular because the extended vision range allows Tinker to hit far away opponents with Missile. Generally, it is difficult to take advantage of the full 2500 range on Missile, and Observer Wards can help you to achieve that. Simply place two wards near your lane to cover possible ganks. On the side lanes, this means one ward in the river (preferably by the rune, to help your team) and one ward in the forest. In the center lane, one ward at each rune spot should work.
Middlegame- until Manta Style:
You got Boots of Travel. Breathe a big sigh of relief. Even if the rest of the game goes badly for you, Boots of Travel alone means you will always be able to be helpful to your team no matter what happens.
There is one thing that defines us at this stage- Boots of Travel + Rearm. This combo has countless uses, the most important of which are described here.
The most basic use is to teleport to the fountain to regain mana, then use Rearm and teleport back to your lane. Mana is now a non-issue, so you can unload your arsenal on unlucky opponents and creeps. Use March every wave, Missile every time the cooldown ends. Often, you can drive away an enemy hero by repeatedly using Missile/Laser/Rearm. Though your mana will be depleted, you can quickly teleport to the fountain, Rearm, and teleport back, while the enemy hero must make the long walk back to their own fountain.
Our goals at this stage are to gank weak enemies and to farm in safety, in that order. Watch for weak or low hp heroes in any lane, then teleport to that lane where you can’t be seen, come up from behind trees, and nuke them to death. Always see if your allies in the lane can help when you perform these ganks, nukers being the most useful. Many times, you will be able to kill one enemy hero repeatedly by teleporting to his lane and ganking each time he respawns, which is even better if that hero is a carry hero. Intelligent opponents will soon see through this strategy, but that is perfectly okay. Scared opponents will push less and give your allies less trouble, which helps you get into the lategame where you can shine.
If no enemy hero makes a good target, try teleporting to a lane with no enemy hero and simply farming. Once you get level 3 or 4 March, you can use that if you want, but in general last hitting should be enough to gather lots of cash. If there is no enemy hero around to stop you, last hitting is as effective or more so than using level 4 March, unless your goal is to push.
Always watch the minimap! You need to watch for two things: missing heroes and towers/lanes that need help. If enemy heroes attempt a push, you can probably fight it off by teleporting over, then repeatedly March/Rearming. Overlapping marches will decimate even the largest push. Beware of ganks as well- there is nobody opponents like to gang more than a solo farmer. For this reason, try not to stay in one lane for too long and keep an eye on the minimap. If you can’t find two of the enemy heroes, it may be a good idea to go farm somewhere else for a while.
Keep a lookout for heroes with low life. Often when a hero is in red, you can teleport in and Missile to kill. Even if they see the teleport coming, they will often not be able to escape in time, as 2500 range is VERY long (about two screens). Be sure to help out allies when you can by teleporting near friends who are in combat or fleeing.
In summary, our goal at this stage is to always be in the right place at the right time with careful Boots of Travel use. Farm safely and defend whenever necessary.
Lategame- after Manta Style:
The moment you get Manta Style, your power level makes a huge jump. We will now push any lane we see incredibly quickly while continuing to use the techniques described in the previous section. Teleport to whichever lane the enemy creeps are most advanced in and start pushing really hard there, using the Manta/March Turbo-Push described in the tactics section below. By being able to quickly push any lane we choose, we become an extremely dangerous pusher. In addition, Manta allows us to deal high damage to towers- since each image deals 40% of the base damage, Manta provides us with almost an 80% boost in damage output.
By Turbo-Pushing, you can simultaneously throw the enemy team onto the defensive and generate huge amounts of cash. Once you aquire Guinsoo’s, you will be able to own most heroes and survive most ganks. With Linken’s Sphere, spells slip off you like water (Rearm refreshes the spell shield). No hero can beat you 1v1, and few can beat you 2v1. This means that to stop one of your pushes, the enemy team must commit multiple heroes to running across the map to meet the teleporting Tinker. By anticipating this strategy, you can teleport to the opposite side of the map as they approach you, thus removing the would-be gankers from the game while you continue to farm and push. This puts tremendous pressure on the enemy team, and your allies will likely be able to make progress.
You now have two strategic choices to end the game. You can either continue teleporting between the side lanes, Turbo-Pushing the map, or you can travel with your allies for one big push. The advantage of going alone is that, since no single hero should be able to stop you, the enemy team must commit at least two heroes to facing you, which gives your allies numerical advantage elsewhere. On the other hand, traveling in a group makes that group extremely powerful, especially if you repeatedly Rearm, March, and Hex. In any case, the game will likely soon be over as you complete your item build.
6. Key Tactics
These tricks are the key to doing well with Tinker. Learn them well:
Aiming March of the Machines:
This ability is based on Stampede from ladder, but does not involve channelling. You click a target area, and a swarm of machines starts running from behind the Tinker in the direction of the target area. The little Goblins stop and explode when they hit an enemy, doing some AOE damage.
The naive method of aiming is to just select March and click in the middle of the enemy cluster, but this is not the most effective method. Since the machines will come from behind the Tinker, they will take a while to reach the enemies in front of him. In addition, the ranged creep will be shielded by the melee creeps in front of it and take no damage.
Instead, one might try aiming backwards, so the machines come from behind the enemy creep wave. This has the advantage of the machines hitting the target sooner and giving enemy heroes no time to get out of the way. However, one pitfall is that a stream of goblins may hit the ranged creep, shielding the melee creeps and wasting all that nice AOE on a single unit.