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Leviathan the Tidehunter
Written by Piejonk

Greatest of the sea giants, Leviathan was sealed away in the aftermath of the war between the Old Gods and the Titans in ancient times. Now released by the Lich King to aid in his crusade against the Sentinel, he cleaves through waves of enemies with his mighty anchor, breaking enemy sieges before they even begin. As terrible a foe on land as he is in water, those who stand before the Tidehunter are swept away in a sea of spikes, eviscerated as he closes in to pulverize those left to receive his wrath.

Welcome to my guide on Leviathan. I noticed that there are not very many guides dedicated to this hero on so I decided to write this guide. This guide is also not meant for competitive use as I do not play competitive dota, however some if its concepts might apply to competitive play and strategies.

Table of Contents

I. The Alt-Tab Mini Guide
II. Hero Statistics
III. Hero Introduction
IV. Skills
V. Skill Builds
VI. Item Build
VII. Gameplay and Strategies
VIII. Friends and Foes
IX. Conclusion
XI. Replays
XII. Credits and Changelog

Or you can try 'Ctrl+F' and search the thing that you are looking for.

The Alt-Tab Mini Guide

Regular Skill Build

Stats Skill Build

Early Game

Mid Game

Core Item Build

Optional Core

Luxury Items


1) Initiate team fights.
2) Help your team with wards.
3) Gank often using Gush.
4) Conserve mana.
5) Be coordinated with your team.

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Hero Statistics

Level 1 Statistics:

STR: 22+3.0
AGI: 15+1.5
INT: 16+1.7
HP: 568
MP: 208

Level 25 Statistics:

STR: 94+20
AGI: 51+20
INT: 56+20
HP: 2316
MP: 988

Advanced Statistics:

Affiliation: Neutral
Attack Animation: 0.6 / 0.56
Damage: 47 - 53
Casting Animation: 0.3 / 0.51
Armor: 3.1
Base Attack Time: 1.7
Movespeed: 310
Missile Speed: Instant
Attack Range: 100 (melee)
Sight Range: 1800 / 800

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Hero Introduction

Tidehunter is known for his excellent all-around skills. He can initiate with Ravage, tank with Kraken Shell and even DPS with his Anchor Smash. He has excellent strength growth, however he becomes weaker later game. He is an easy hero to use, but a rewarding one to master.

When to pick:
  • Your team needs a solid initiator
  • Your team needs a solid DPSer
  • Your team is using a turtle strategy
When to not pick:
  • Your team already has an initiator
  • Your team does not need another tank

[+] Can initiate
[+] Great tank
[+] Has potentially good DPS
[+] Has an ability that automatically removes debuffs
[+] Easy to use
[+] Item independent


[-] Weak late game
[-] Ravage's stun isn't very long
[-] Huge size, making him a 'bigger' target
[-] Rather low mana pool

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More detailed information on Leviathan's skills can be found here.

_______.Summons a spirit of the tides to damage an enemy unit. Reduces the movement speed by 40% and armor of the enemy unit. Lasts 4 seconds.

 ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects
112012 sec700N/A4 sec110 damage, 40% slow, reduces armor by 2
212012 sec700N/A4 sec160 damage, 40% slow, reduces armor by 3
312012 sec700N/A4 sec210 damage, 40% slow, reduces armor by 4
412012 sec700N/A4 sec260 damage, 40% slow, reduces armor by 5

Skill Notes:

Damage type: Magical

Skill Usage: This skill is our basic nuke, slow and killing ability. Even though the damage isn't amazing, a 4 second disable and the armor reduction is. This is also your primary ganking skill, and it will help you net kills.

Kraken Shell
_______.Creates a thick armor shell around Leviathan that protects him against attacks. Additionally, this ability removes negative buffs when he has taken significant damage.

 ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects
1N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AReduces damage received by 7 and removes negative buffs every time 600 damage is taken.
2N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AReduces damage received by 14 and removes negative buffs every time 600 damage is taken.
3N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AReduces damage received by 21 and removes negative buffs every time 600 damage is taken.
4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AReduces damage received by 28 and removes negative buffs every time 600 damage is taken.

Skill Notes:

Does not prevent damage from towers or magical damage
Only damage from player owned sources is counted towards buff removal.
Damage counter for buff removal resets when you don't take player based damage for 6 seconds.

Skill Usage: This skill is great, and it's what makes Tide such a powerful tank. It works like Bristleback's Bristleback ability however: You can be recieve damage from all directions and it will still proc, and instead of releasing a Quill Spray it removes a debuff. For example if you have been Shadow Worded, and then you take 600 damage, the Shadow Word debuff will be removed.

Anchor Smash
_______.Leviathan swings his mighty anchor with a vengeance. Gives a 20% chance to deal bonus damage to nearby enemies.

 ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects
1N/AN/AN/A325N/ADeals 75 damage
2N/AN/AN/A325N/ADeals 115 damage
3N/AN/AN/A325N/ADeals 155 damage
4N/AN/AN/A325N/ADeals 200 damage

Skill Notes:

Damage type: Magical

Skill Usage: This skill almost works like a free Battlefury, but instead it's percentage-based. So once you get a higher attack speed, this skill comes into play and gives Tide quite significant DPS and farming ability.

_______.Slams the ground, causing waves of spikes to ring the hero in all directions. Deals damage and stuns.

 ManaCooldownC. RangeAoEDurationEffects
1150150 secN/A8501.5 secDeals 250 damage and stuns for 1.5 seconds
2225150 secN/A9501.8 secDeals 350 damage and stuns for 1.8 seconds
3325150 secN/A10502.25 secDeals 450 damage and stuns for 2.25 seconds

Skill Notes:

Damage type: magical
Full damage and stun are dealt to invisible units.

Skill Usage: This is the skill that you use to initiate team battles. The stun may seem minimal, however the range and the damage of this skill are quite significant and make up for the small stun duration. This skills buys your team the time to get in position and setup those harder to land disables. However the cooldown is quite long, so leave it for team battles or key ganks.
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Skill Builds

Regular Skill Build

1. Gush
2. Kraken Shell
3. Gush
4. Kraken Shell
5. Gush
6. Ravage
7. Gush
8. Kraken Shell
9. Kraken Shell
10. Stats
11. Ravage
12. Anchor Smash
13. Anchor Smash
14. Anchor Smash
15. Anchor Smash
16. Ravage
17. Stats
18. Stats
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22. Stats
23. Stats
24. Stats
25. Stats

Reasoning: Gush is our main nuke, so it is important to take early. Kraken Shell helps with our survivability early on so we take it to avoid going back to the fountain. However it is possible to take one level of stats early on. Take Anchor Smash levels 12-14 when your DPS will actually start to come into play. Take your ultimate whenever possible of course. Finish with stats.

Stats Skill Build

1. Gush
2. Stats
3. Gush
4. Stats
5. Gush
6. Ravage
7. Gush
8. Kraken Shell
9. Kraken Shell
10. Stats
11. Ravage
12. Anchor Smash
13. Anchor Smash
14. Anchor Smash
15. Anchor Smash
16. Ravage
17. Kraken Shell
18. Kraken Shell
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22. Stats
23. Stats
24. Stats
25. Stats

Reasoning: Gush is our main nuke, so it is important to take early. Stats are nice to have early, and they improve our poor mana pool. After maxing Gush take 2 levels of Kraken Shell. Take Anchor Smash after that when your DPS will actually start to come into play. Take your ultimate whenever possible of course. Finish with another 2 levels of Kraken Shell and the rest of stats.

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Item Build

Core Build

Early Game

Grab a gauntlet, circlet, 3 branches, one set of tangoes, possibly a healing salve if you think that you will need one and get observer wards(not necessary for pubs). One of the great things about Tide is that he doesn't need many items to contribute to the game, so it is a good idea to buy wards with him. Turn the gauntlet into a bracer and the branches into a magic wand. This should be enough to get you through the laning phase.

Mid Game

During the mid game you should be able to rack up enough money to buy boots and finish you basic laning build. After that you can start working on your next two core items: Treads and Dagger. We get treads because it gives us some survivability and IAS which helps with Anchor Smash. Dagger is obvious, it helps us initiate and setup that perfect Ravage.

Core Item Build

This is what your core build should look like each game. Of course this can and probably will be different because you will choose from a number of optional items.

Optional Core

As I have said before, since Tide's core is very cheap it is possible for you to get a courier for your team. However just remember that if you do, then always upgrade it into a flying one.

Dying a lot because of nukes? This item is for you. Those all out nukers will find it much harder to kill you know. If your team wants you to upgrade to pipe, than do so.

Phase boots is good for chasing, but the downside is that it doesn't help with Anchor Smash like treads do. If you are ganking a lot for some reason that it is reasonable to get this item.

Bottle is good for added survivability and ganking. Get this item if you will be ganking a lot or you find yourself going back to base way too often.

When you activate this after initiating, the sign which says 'Please kill me' turns into 'Attack me and die', and enemies will think twice about targeting you.

Luxury Items

Shivas is a good choice for Tide because it increases his AOE burst damage and gives him some extra armor, which adds to his overall survivability.

Assault Cuirass adds some massive survivability and IAS. Even though it is quite expensive, it helps our DPS and survivability a LOT.

Heart is an obvious choice for any tank especially for Tide. It gives us some much needed survivability and imrpoves our tankiness by a lot.

Radiance is good for improving our DPS, but really the main purpose is it's AOE DoT.

Refresher is very mana-intensive for Tide, however a double ultimate is game-breaking. Make sure that if you get this, you have enough mana to pull off a double ultimate.

If you are having a really great game, then it is possible to get an extra disable. It also solves our mana problems, so this is a good item for Tide to have.

Rejected Items

Pure DPS items are completely not needed on Tide and are a waste. They might work in pubs, but whenever you finish initiating you receive a big sign over your head saying 'Please kill me'. So most of the time if you go for DPS items, you will lack in survivability and you will die rather quickly in team fights.

There is no need for Tide to have invisibility. It may seem cool for ganks and escaping, but that's why we have dagger, which is much cheaper.

This item may increase Tide's overall DPS potential, but most of the time it just kills him too quickly.
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Gameplay and Strategies

Using Gush

Using Gush properly is rather simple most of the time, however sometimes you must know which hero to Gush and when to Gush a hero. There are a couple of 'rules' that you should always keep in mind about Gush:

1) Whenever ganking, almost always Gush first. Then your allies can follow up and proceed to take out the enemy.
2) In team battles, Gush the weakest hero after ravaging; most of the time this is their disabler or carry hero.
3) Know when to use Gush. Since Tide has a rather low mana pool, dont just use Gush on someone or spam it randomly and expect something to happen. If you are going in for a gank always ask your teammate whether he is ready or not.

By following these 'rules' your overall skill with Tide will improve; it is important to know how to use Gush well.

Initiating Team Fights

Since this is the most important role that Tide plays, this is the section where I will go into the deepest. A Tide that doesn't know how to initiate properly is a very bad Tide. Here are some 'rules' to think about whenever getting ready to initiate:

1) Make sure your team is ready and fully behind you on this. You don't want to go in and then have your team back off, leaving you to die.
2) If you are blinking into the enemies (which you probably will), then always blink into the very middle of them. The reason is that you want to catch all of them in your ultimate, by initiating at the edge of the enemies, you will probably only catch a few.

Also know the AOE of Ravage. This is important because you want your positioning to be good so that when you Ravage you catch the most enemies possible.

Here is the AOE of Ravage:

This is the max AOE of Ravage. It ends at the edge of the spikes, and as you can see it is quite large. If Tide in the pic was in the middle of the enemies he would surely catch all of them.

Take a look at some examples of where Tide's Ravage was successful and well placed.

Without Blink Dagger:

Example #1:

Here Tide will walk into the enemies until he has enough range to catch all of them.

Success, he catches them and Ursa easily kills Warlock, and after that Lina falls to a Gush and Tide's allies.

Example #2:

Here a fight is already taking place between Tide with Razor and Lion with Spectre. Just as Spectre Haunts and swaps into the fight, Tide uses Ravage.

Then Crixalis arrives, and Razor and him easily take out Lion and Spectre.

Example #3:

Again a big battle is going on and Tide is a bit late. However is is never too late, and he joins in the fun by Ravaging.

And he stuns the whole team. Note how Tide didn't stun prematurely, rather he went to the middle of the enemies and then used his ultimate. His allies proceed to take out the Scourge in a matter of seconds following his stun.

With Blink Dagger:

Example #1:

The Sentinel is pushin the final top tower. A large team battle is about to take place, and Puck and Tide come out of nowhere, and wreak havoc on the enemy team.

Tide Blinks in right in the middle of the enemies, Ravages and disables all of them, allowing his team to easily win the battle.

Example #2:

Here again the Sentinel is pushing a tower, this time in top lane. At the left edge of the picture Panda and Tide are seen, and they are ready to go into the enemy.

Tide waits until Panda goes in, stomps and splits before he goes in.

Notice how Tide went right into the center of the trio of Zues, Rhasta and Medusa.

He uses his ultimate perfectly, and Zues and Rhasta die terribly quickly to the three mighty pandas.

Farming with Anchor Smash

There is nothing awfully special about farming with Tide, but it is important to know the AOE of Anchor Smash. It is important that when you are attacking creeps, that you are catching all of them in each 'Smash'.

Here is the AOE of Anchor Smash:

This is the AOE of Anchor Smash. If I was behind the enemy creep line I would also hit the necromancer. So when farming, try to go into the middle of enemy creeps so that you hit all of them.


If you are using this guide for pub games, then you can pretty much ignore this section. However it might be a good idea to learn how to place wards in pubs. If you play competitive dota then it is important to know how to place wards. Because Tide's core item build is so cheap, it is a good idea to buy wards for your team. So that's why it is a very good idea to learn how to use wards.

Here is Eumellein's excellent Wardposition guide: The Warding Basics
That guide will teach you about ward placement, counter-warding and much more.

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Friends and Foes


AOE Disablers

AOE disablers love each other a lot. They especially love Tidehunter, because with his easy to use ultimate, he can set-up harder to use ultimates. Besides, a long AOE chain disable is game breaking.

AOE Nukers

Tidehunter helps these heroes a lot because after he initiates, they are free to roam and unleash hell on their enemies without too much trouble.


Mana Burners

Because of Tide's rather low mana pool, these guys are annoying because they can burn your mana away rather quickly, and you are left with nothing but your basic attack.

Wards and Global Skills

These items/heroes can easily give your position away, when you are waiting to pull off that perfect Ravage.

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Tidehunter is a great all-around hero. He can fit into pretty much any line-up. However is best role is initiating. He is very item independent so you should focus on team fights and ganking rather than farming. I hope that his guide has helped a lot with your Leviathan play.

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1. Why is Tide picked so often in competitive play?

Because of his all-around usefulness to the team. His cheap buils allows him to buy wards for his team while still doing his job. Besides he is an easy hero to use, compared to Earthshaker for example.

2. Does Tidehunter as a disabler work well?

Tidehunter is an ok disabler and he can work well as in a support role with the correct items. However you will probably spend most of the game initiating, ganking and warding and the game would probably be over by the time you get the correct items to fill in as a disabler/support role. If your team wants you to, and if you have a lot of money it is a good idea to get the items needed for this role (Shivas, Refresher, Hex etc.).

3. Why not take Anchor Smash early?

The reason is because taking DPS-oriented skills early is bad. Besides Kraken Shell is a much better passive early on to have, as early on melee heroes are defensive and focus on last hitting.

4. Can Tide jungle well?

The answer is yes he can. However he should not be jungling as he is much better in a lane or as a roamer. If you are going to jungle with Tide then you would want to buy an early Stout Shield and take some early levels of Anchor Smash so that killing neutrals would be much easier.

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Replay #1 PokerIdol vs. Pe

Date: 05/12/2009 16:09
Patch version: 1.24
Map: DotA Allstars 6.64
Game mode: Normal mode
Game length: 45:49
Winner: Sentinel



Tide did very well in this game. He wards a lot for his team, and manages to farm up a dagger near the end of the game. A good showing of how Tide should be played.

Replay #2 FD vs. DTS

Date: 07/12/2009 16:45
Patch version: 1.24
Map: DotA Allstars 6.64
Game mode: Normal mode
Game length: 29:46
Winner: Sentinel



Here is a pretty good showing of Tide. He rushes dagger, and helps his team a lot throughout the game.

If you have a good competitive replay of Tidehunter, then please PM me.

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Credits and Changelog

Credits go to(in no specific order): wutwat, n!ght, pipser, Dunmer15, iKrivetko, Eumellein
And credits to you for reading this guide. Thank You!


  • 05/12/2009 - Uploaded guide
  • 06/12/2009 - Minor fixes
  • 07/12/2009 - Finished!
  • 07/12/2009 - Replays added
  • 08/12/2009 - Published!

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Leviathan the Tidehunter
Author: Piejonk
Map Vers.: 6.69c

Leviathan, the Tidehunter

Learn the ways of the depths

Date Posted: 12/05/09
Last Comment:20/10/2014
Total Votes: 105
Current Rating: 8.03
Views: 493023

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