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The main goal of this guide is to teach people how to play Tinker once he obtains Boots of Travel.

Dota 2 Guide can be found HERE

Lots of people are confused: I am not Virot2 Remember to Rate the Guide!

Why play Tinker?
Read this guide and learn how to play Tinker from a veteran who is renowned for his Tinker play.

What makes this hero unique and powerful is his Rearm ultimate ability, which gives almost all items and all your abilities NO COOL DOWN!

Teleport anywhere on the map as long as there is a friendly allied creep there!
Kill late game carries with full stacked items 1v1 with no fear!
Be annoying as !#@$ to your enemies by pushing all lanes!
Strong at all stages of the game!
Be the envy of all your friends!

Generic Skill Build:
Lvl 1-8: Max Missile/Laser
Lvl 9: Rearm
Lvl 10-13: March of the Machines
Lvl 14: Rearm
Lvl 15: Stats
Lvl 16: Rearm

My Generic Item Order:
Buy any items at the start of the game that will help you control and win your lane, but try to rush a bottle as soon as possible. This means saving as much gold early to get the bottle asap.

1. Bottle.
2. Regular Boots.
3. Boots of Travel.
4. Soul Ring.
5. Blink Dagger/Force Staff. (Choose one)
6. Scythe of Vyse.
7. Manta Style.
8. Linken's Sphere. (Store Bottle in stash for this item)
9. Shiva's Guard. (Sell Soul Ring for this item)

Get (blank) Item By (#) Minutes:
Boots of Travels: 10-15 minutes
Must have items before getting Guinsoo: Boots of Travel, Bottle, Soul Ring, Blink Dagger or Force Staff
Guinsoo: 20-30 minutes
Manta Style: 30-35 minutes
Linken's Sphere: 35-40 minutes

General Tinker Tips:
  • After getting your Boots of Travels, ask someone to come and take over your solo mid lane and go gank the other lanes. Try your best to not idle in fountain, idle in lane, or walk around doing nothing after getting this core item. Try to always be farming (since you can get to any farming camp you please) or harassing or ganking. To harass: spam 2 sets of missiles -- Missile, Rearm, Missile, and then port home to get ready to gank or harass another lane. Once the outermost towers are down, you can start farming more intensively, while doing ganks or harassment when it is opportune.
  • Importance of Vision: Buy observer wards if they are not being bought. Analyzing the minimap determines where Tinker can farm and what heroes are best to gank. I like to make sure that at least half of the opposing team is accounted for elsewhere on the map before I port anywhere. You can seriously suffocate the other team into submission with your harassment if you do this correctly. Do yourself a favor and buy Observer Wards; don't be cheap.
  • Use Heat Seeking Missile BEFORE casting Laser on a hero. This will allow both spells to hit at the same time, which will limit the time window for heroes with wind walk or blink to dodge the Missile damage.
  • Analyze your team's strengths and weaknesses. If your team is lacking disables, get Scythe as your first item after Force Staff/Blink Dagger. Just make sure your team can kill stuff that Tinker disables. If your team is lacking damage in terms of burst damage or any relevant RIGHT-CLICK damage early/mid game, then I would suggest Tinker getting a Dagon. After upgrading Dagon, get a Scythe of Vyse. It will be under your discretion after getting a Dagon lvl 1 whether you should invest gold into upgrading the Dagon or investing immediately into a Scythe.
  • Know that overlapping March of the Machines will do A LOT of damage to whatever is running through it (about 400 damage per casting of March of the Machines). So stand still and fight an enemy hero that dares to fight you in March of the Machines.
  • Get a Blink Dagger or Force Staff after Boots of Travel and Soul Ring to improve your killing and escape potential. Get a Blink Dagger when you are against heroes such as Nyx Assassin, Clinkz, Bounty Hunter, Night Stalker, Pudge, or other heroes with an ambush ability. The logic behind a Blink Dagger is when you go to farm a lane, you will use Blink Dagger into an unreachable place (woods or a cliff) so you can cast spells more safely. In an ideal world, I would rather get a Force Staff because it opens the doors to so many positional manipulations.
  • Maxing March of the Machines by lvl 7 is a viable build for Tinker, but be sure you stack creep camps during the laning stages to maximize the benefits and be sure to get Rearm at lvl 6.
  • Use March of the Machines with your back facing the target and at a 45 degree angle for maximum damage. There is also a certain way which you should run and lead the enemy creeps/heroes through the March. The picture below is a rough depiction of what I mean. If this is still confusing, watch a couple of my replays.

  • Always buy a Soul Ring and a Bottle. Rearm refreshes Soul Ring. Spamming bottle will immensely cut down the net time you spend in fountain during a game. I don't even sell my bottle and instead keep it in my stash for faster healing in the super late game.
  • Know the mana cost of all your spells. Laser: 170 mana. Missile: 180 mana. March: 190 mana. Remember that Laser and Missile (both at lvl 4) together costs 350 mana. This will help you push the limits of Tinker and allow for good decision making during the game.
  • Keep in mind that Boots of Travel has a 3 second channeling time, Scythe of Vyse has a 3 second duration, and Laser has a 3 second miss effect. If you Hex the hero that is a threat to you (preferably the one that has an ability that can stop channeling) and immediately port, you will be able to escape safely. If you need to escape from a hero that is hitting you to death, use Laser and port.
  • Predict creep waves so Tinker can cast March of the Machines before the creep wave comes into view. This will limit the amount of time Tinker is visible and will also allow for quicker farming. Detailed map of creep walking times below:

  • To defend your base against a push, you should do 1-2 Marches before the enemy comes into vision in addition to using your Manta images. This will damage heroes and clear creep waves as they walk into it. Their push is now stopped, so they either have to wait for the next wave, retreat, or push the base without creeps (which doesn't work thanks to Tower Regeneration).
  • Be sure to constantly farm the side lanes if it's safe and leave the middle lane for your team mates to take care of. This will cause a split push effect on the enemy base and will make it difficult for the enemy heroes to gank you. Frustrating for them, but fun for you.
  • Ignore sloppy team battles where it doesn't look like your team has a good chance of winning or if they have poor positioning. This might sound like horrible advice, but Tinker is more valuable pressuring the enemy base and forcing them to defend.
  • Use Laser first to disable a hero's Linken's Sphere (damage and % miss from the Laser will be blocked).
  • When using Rearm, always queue a SHIFT-CLICK MOVE so Tinker moves immediately after Rearm is done channeling. How to do this: While Rearming, simply hold SHIFT then right click on the ground with your mouse to indicate where you want Tinker to go after the channeling of Rearm then let go of SHIFT.
  • Get an item hotkey program and get used to using it. It should be an extension of your body so when you want an item to go off, it should go off without delay. (I use Pie.Cr3w's Inventory Helper A+ which can be found here: [ inventory+ ])
  • Against heroes that get Linken's Sphere to counter your Guinsoo, simply Laser them first to disable their Linken's. Laser's damage will work but the Miss Effect is what will trigger the Linken's Sphere. Also if you Shiva's them, the slow effect from Shiva's will also remove Linken's. After Linken's is triggered, proceed to kill with Hex-Nuke cycles.
Ideal Item/Skill Sequences:
Farming Sequences:
  • No farming items: TP in, March, Soul Ring, Bottle, Rearm, March, Laser a creep if possible, and TP out.
  • Manta Style: TP in, March, Manta, Soul Ring, Rearm, March, and TP out.
  • Manta Style + Shiva's Guard: TP in, March, Manta, Shiva's, Soul Ring, Rearm, Shiva's, and TP out. Notice I skipped the 2nd March.
  • Turbo Pushing (Virot2's original strategy): Do the farming sequences above and immediately move on to the next creep wave. You will lose some experience doing this since you are leaving the creep wave before the creeps die, but in exchange, Tinker's pushing power will be increased and you will get more gold per minute.
  • You can cast Shiva's while TPing.
Ganking Sequences:
  • If the enemy hero has around 650-750 hitpoints, Tinker will not be able to kill with just one Missile/Laser combo. So this is what you do, you TP into lane unnoticed if possible and spam one Missile then Rearm. The reasoning behind this is that the enemy is only taking 1 hit from a Missile and they probably aren't low enough to panic and run. They're still around 550 or so. By the time you're done with spamming one Missile and Rearm-ing, you should still have enough mana for a Missile/Laser combo. Simply run up to them with your fast movement speed and nuke them. They should die. It's like a 1-2 punch and they didn't even see the 2nd punch coming. BAM!
  • Ganking a hero with only Guinsoo: (A Tinker with Boots of Travel, lvl 3 Rearm, and a Guinsoo can take out most heroes. TP in, Guinsoo, Missile, Laser, Soul Ring, Bottle, Rearm, Guinsoo, Missile, Laser, and repeat if necessary. This should create a perma-hex effect (an effect where you continuously disable them). If you can't perma-hex them efficiently, you should strongly consider mastering this before you play Tinker. If you're quick, you can fit a March in somewhere before you Soul Ring and Rearm.
    Video: Hex/Nuke Gank Combo (I'm the 1st highlight)
  • Ganking with Guinsoo + Manta: TP in, Guinsoo, Missile, Laser, Manta, select the Tinker images to attack the hero, hit F1 to select Tinker, Soul Ring, Rearm, Guinsoo, Missile, Laser, and repeat but skip using Manta the second time around. This is a complicated sequence of actions, so I encourage anyone who tries this to practice. Using Manta will give you less time to perma-hex the enemy hero.
  • Ganking with Guinsoo + Shiva's: TP in, Guinsoo, Missile, Laser, Shiva's, Soul Ring, Rearm, Repeat. Shiva's should be one of the last things you cast before you Rearm so the slow will help you in Guinsoo-ing the hero again.
    Video: Hex/Nuke/Shiva's Gank Combo (vs a 2,400 HP Necrolyte)
Item Usage Tips:
Items that you should not get EVER:
  • Bloodstone: After repeated testing, the added mana, regen, and charges are not better than being able to Rearm a Soul Ring. Simply do not get.
  • Eye of Skadi: Skadi does give Tinker stats and hp/mana, but that's not what Tinker is looking for in an item. Tinker wants items that he can refresh and reuse. The frost effect is not effective since Tinker's time will mostly be spent moving around, casting spells, and Rearming.
  • Orchid of Malevolence: Not a horrible item, but I would not have this item in place of a Guinsoo/Manta/Shivas. Guinsoo already gives you a silence. Buying an item just for 25% damage amplification is simply not worth the cost.
  • Hand of Midas: Doesn't refresh.
  • Necronomicon: Doesn't refresh. Better items available. Want pushing power? Get Manta Style. Against invisible heroes? Get a gem.
Ghost Scepter (GS)/Ethereal Blade (EB):
  • SpiritBreaker (SB): GS will stop SB's charge from stunning you, but won't protect Tinker from the stun from Nether Strike. If you notice that you are being charged, turn on Ghost Scepter and immediately TP.
  • Naga Siren: When Naga nets you, simply activate Ghost Scepter to get out of her net.
  • Stealth Assassin (SA): When SA clouds you and ganks you, you're silenced but you can still use items under cloud. Use Ghost Scepter, Guinsoo him if you got it, Rearm, use Ghost Scepter again, and immediately TP.
  • Using GS and triggering Boots of Travel right after will enable you to TP while keeping the ethereal effect.
  • When upgrading GS to EB, remember that you can target yourself with EB if there is no target or if the enemy hero is BKB'd.
  • When an enemy hero is EB'd, Missile will not do any damage to the enemy hero. Laser/March will still do damage.
  • Ganking: To gank with Dagon, there is a specific sequence in which you should do your burst damage spells. The order is Missile. Dagon. Laser. This all should take a total of 1 second to cast. Dagon also has a long cast range. Keep this in mind if you're chasing down heroes.
  • Farming: When you're farming lanes, use Laser and Dagon to ensure 2 guranteed last hits of farm.
  • Time Benchmark: Dagon lvl 1 by around 18 minutes and Dagon lvl 5 around 26-30 minutes.
Black King Bar (BKB):
  • This is an item that I never get, but I do see the uses of it. I have learned from years and years of practice to play without, but by buying BKB on Tinker, it will offer you different positioning in a team fight. If you are -CM drafting and your team is oriented around team fights and wants to utilize Tinker, BKB is the ideal item to get.
Manta Style:
  • Use images as bait: As a team is pushing your base, split with Manta and send out 1 image and try to make it as realistic as possible. Hopefully you waste some of their spells and if you're lucky, some ultimates.
  • Escaping a near death scenario: If Tinker is low HP, use Manta and move an image away from the trio of Tinkers to make the enemy believe that the one running away is the real one. If you are lucky and they decide to chase it (they usually do), immediately TP. It's quite hilarious when this works. Quite brilliant actually.
  • Use the Manta images to attack the tower in the lane that you are pushing. The images deal little damage, but towers don't regenerate HP and they will fall eventually from this chipping. This is the main reason why I buy Manta after Guinsoo. Tinker isn't a carry that does well in team fights late game. Buying Manta offers Tinker a win condition in the form of pushing lanes and towers. Tinker's unique ability to push lanes makes him a pushing carry.
  • Canceling enemy spells: Using Manta will get rid of various negative effects that are cast on Tinker. Examples: poison, most slows, silences, Treant's Ultimate, Naga's or Meepo's net, and others. When in doubt, use Manta.
  • Canceling stuns: Manta can be used as a Linken's Sphere block if you time it correctly. You can cancel things from Storm Bolts to even Earthshaker's Ultimate if you split at the right time. Basically works like a Blink cancel.
  • Focus Attack: Be sure to highlight use all your images to attack the enemy, then hit F1 to select your hero and resume casting spells.
  • Scouting: Unsure whether you should push a lane into no vision territory? Use the 2 images to check if it's safe.
  • Against a Techies: Buy a Gem. Your images will also get the True Sight ability from the Gem. Use your images to attack and destroy mines or use the images to run over mines.
Blink Dagger:
  • I usually don't get this item in my core Tinker build. I usually get Dagger when I significantly outlevel the opposing team in the first 15 minutes. Item sequence: Travels, Soul Ring, Bottle, Dagger, then Wards to provide vision in the enemy team's neutrals to prevent anyone from farming neutrals. By doing this, Tinker with some help from the rest of your team should be able to roam the map and prevent the other team from farming.
  • Buying Blink Dagger provides a different presence in the game and if you feel like heavy ganking is your style of play, by all means, buy a Dagger.
  • Appropriate use of charges: Use a bottle charge RIGHT before you rearm. A bottle charge takes 3 secs to complete so while you're Rearm-ing, the bottle charge is taking its time to complete. Use a charge while walking to the wave that you're about to farm. Use the bottle constantly when you're in fountain to regen faster.
Force Staff:
  • I've been getting this a lot recently (4/2012-Present) right after I have Boots of Travel, Soul Ring, Bottle. Before you Rearm, be sure to Force Staff yourself in the direction that you want to travel. Also, practice doing this nuke sequence: Missile, Force Staff, then aim Laser on the enemy hero. Takes a fair amount of coordination. Also pay attention to enemy heroes or allied heroes and how you can change their positioning in fights.
Magic Stick/Wand:
  • Great item, but I'd rather save the 200 gold that would have been spent on this item towards rushing Boots of Travel.
Specific Hero Tips:
  • Enigma Solo: March build.
  • Broodmother Solo: March build.
  • Bloodseeker Solo: Establish lane dominance by lvl 3. Aggro with early Laser followed by 1-2 normal attacks. Stand between the creeps and Bloodseeker. Punish Bloodseeker with 2-3 normal attacks for every creep he tries to last hit. This will offset the life gained from his early levels of Bloodbath. One of Tinker's worst solo matchups. If Bloodseeker gets a Poor Man's Shield, it's going to suck for you.
  • Bane Elemental Solo: Aggressively play your lane before Bane reaches lvl 3. Win the lane by lvl 3. If you let him passively gain levels. He'll own you at lvl 5 and definitely at lvl 6.
  • Doombringer Solo: Same as Bane Elemental. Lvl Death lvl 2 hurts a lot when you're level 5. Be careful.
  • Invoker Solo: If the Invoker has a Quas/Wex build, you probably won't be able to out nuke the amount of regeneration he has, so just do the Laser/March build and focus on purely farming. If you feel like you can set up a good face off scenario where you can force him to tank a March and Laser, do it. If the Invoker does an Exort/Wex build, do Laser/Missile and out aggro him.
  • Shadow Fiend Solo: You should win this lane 99% of the time. Aggro early and prevent him from comfortably last hitting. Try to establish a scenario where you hit level 3 before SF does. Then use Level 2 Laser to establish firm lane dominance. A level 2 Laser takes away about 40% of SF's HP.
  • Meepo Solo: If Meepo is getting early levels in a solo lane or a good Meepo is playing in the game, you should strongly consider going Dagon. This also depends on your team's capabilities, but nothing counters a Meepo better than early burst damage. A good Meepo rapes Tinker, unless you get Dagon in a timely fashion. Getting Guinsoo first will not help Tinker against a Meepo.
  • Shadow Demon Solo: You will probably not win this lane against a good SD, but I would go March build.
  • Templar Assassin Solo: Due to TA's Refraction skill, Laser and Missile won't be as effective. By going March build, TA will have to risk a lot if he does decide to rush you. March will get rid of the Refraction charges quick leaving TA open to a Laser and allowing Tinker a safe 3 second face off and the advantage.

Buffs/Nerfs to Tinker over the years:
Updated for 6.74c:
  • BUFF: Guinsoo parts were changed to make it cheaper (remember the days when Guinsoo = Old Euls+Oblivion Staff)
  • BUFF: Boots of Travel movement speed bonus is now 100 (used to be 90 then reduced to 85 then back to 90)
  • BUFF: Boots of Travel Recipe is now 2000 gold (used to be 2200 gold)
  • BUFF: Manta Style got buffed in terms of stat gain (remember the days when Manta Style used to give mana burn and the parts required were Diffusal Blade+Vitality Booster were some good days for Tinker. You could do a double nuke cycle with just a Diffusal Blade. Missle->Laser->Purge->Rearm lvl 2->Repeat
  • BUFF: Laser changed from a 25% aoe miss effect to a 2 second miss on one hero and buffed recently in 6.73 to a 3 second miss. Laser wasn't always Pure damage, but now it is.
  • BUFF: Missile lvl 1 and 2 now hit two targets instead of one (6.72)
  • BUFF: Tinker's base movement speed increased to 305
  • BUFF: March of the Machines buffed in 6.74 to last 1 second longer from 5 seconds to a total of 6 seconds.
  • NERF: The mana cost of Missile increased from 150 to 180. The mana cost for both Missile and Laser used to be 320 now it's 350.
  • NERF: Removed BKB from list of items Tinker is able to Rearm.

Special Thanks to Virot2 for writing the epic guide that inspired me to play Tinker.
Link: Original Virot2 Tinker Guide

Replays can be found by viewing my profile -> statistics -> find all threads posted by user. Then click on my replay threads. Most of the replays are 1.24d. Get a version switcher to view them. A great example of Tinker carrying the game and coming back against DPS heroes and massive high HP tanks: PDIH WinkieDuck Tinker: 90 Min Epicness (6.72b, 1.26a)

Boush the Tinker
Author: WinkieDuck
Map Vers.: 6.10-6.77c

Tinker: WinkieDuck Style

7 Years of Tinker Experience

Date Posted: 11/19/10
Last Comment:02/08/2014
Total Votes: 242
Current Rating: 8.96
Views: 239388

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