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Guide to Leviathan the Tidehunter

By Bengal_Tigger

Version 6.61b

A brand new guide to the biggest, fattest, sexiest hero...that isn't Pudge.

1. Description
2. Overview of Abilities
3. Skill build
4. Item build
5. Strategy
6. Replays and stuff

1. Description

He's a big freakin' sea monster.

Strength: 22 + 3.0
Agility: 15 + 1.5
Intelligence: 16 + 1.7

310 movespeed
Melee attack range

1. Very durable
2. Pretty good base movement speed
3. Ravage wins team fights
4. Gush is a very good nuke, helps ganking
5. Doesn't take damage from creeps
6. Good farmer
1. Melee range
2. Weak lane presence apart from Gush early
3. Likely to draw a lot of fire (this can be a good thing though)

I'm honestly hard-pressed to find downsides of Leviathan. He's a strong, league-viable hero - not one of the top 10, but almost never a bad pick regardless of the level of competition.

2. Abilities

Gush [G]

Summons a spirit of the tides to damage an enemy unit. Reduces the enemy's movement speed by 40%, as well as its armor. Lasts 4 seconds. Mana cost 120 at all levels.

Level 1 - 110 damage, 2 armor reduction.
Level 2 - 160 damage, 3 armor reduction.
Level 3 - 210 damage, 4 armor reduction.
Level 4 - 260 damage, 5 armor reduction.


- Magical damage type
- Bread-and-butter nuke for Levi
- Mana cost of 120: not too expensive for him

Kraken Shell [R]

Creates a thick armor shell around Leviathan that protects him against attacks. Additionally, this ability occasionally removes negative buffs.

Level 1 - Blocks 7 damage, removes negative buffs every 11 seconds.
Level 2 - Blocks 14 damage, removes negative buffs every 10 seconds.
Level 3 - Blocks 21 damage, removes negative buffs every 9 seconds.
Level 4 - Blocks 28 damage, removes negative buffs every 8 seconds.


- Does not prevent damage from towers or magical damage
- Does not stack well with Vanguard
- Removes Doom!

Anchor Smash [C]

Leviathan swings his mighty anchor with a vengeance. Gives a 20% chance to deal bonus damage to nearby enemies. Area of effect is 200 for full damage, and 325 for half damage.

Level 1 - 75 damage
Level 2 - 115 damage
Level 3 - 155 damage
Level 4 - 200 damage


- Magical damage type

Ravage [V]

Slams the ground, causing waves of spikes to ring the hero in all directions. Deals damage and stuns. Mana cost of 150/225/325, cooldown of 150.

Level 1 - 250 damage, 1.5 second stun, 850 area.
Level 2 - 350 damage, 1.8 second stun, 950 area.
Level 3 - 450 damage, 2.25 second stun, 1050 area.


- Magical damage type
- Hits invisible units
- Kicks lots of ass

3. Skill Build

1. Gush
2. Kraken Shell
3. Gush
4. Anchor Smash/Kraken Shell
5. Gush
6. Ravage
7. Gush
8. Kraken Shell
9. Kraken Shell
10. Kraken Shell/Anchor Smash
11. Ravage
12. Anchor Smash
13. Anchor Smash
14. Anchor Smash
15. Stats
16. Ravage
17. Stats
18. Stats
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22. Stats
23. Stats
24. Stats
25. Stats
I think the build order is pretty clear and intuitive.

Gush is your nuke, so it's maxed first.

Kraken is next, because you're a tank, and being able to significantly reduce damage taken from creeps is important not only in ganks but if you get any opportunities to farm neutrals or need to tank a creep wave. Also, the removal of buffs is fantastic.

You could make an argument to get just the one point in Kraken for miscellaneous buff removal, and then max Anchor Smash, but you just aren't going to be getting that aggressive with your attack early, and Kraken is better for doing neutrals.

Note that I do get one point in Anchor Smash at level 4, though. This is partly for intimidation factor, but more because the 75 bonus damage is a big deal if it procs during a gank. You'll get a few hits off during a Gush / Ravage, and it does help. It's not enough to warrant maxing Smash early, but it helps more than a second point in Kraken in my opinion. If you have a tough lane, though, and think the damage reduction will be more beneficial, go with straight Kraken.

4. Item Build

Basic start

Ancient Tango of Essifation x2
Gauntlet of Strength x2
Ironwood Branch x2

This is a solid start for almost any strength hero. Tangos give you the ability to stay in lane long enough to get your Bottle (hopefully). Gauntlets and Branches help you last hit, and the Gauntlets will be used for Bracers later.

League start is often 2 branch + Observer Wards + 1 Salve + 1 Tango + 2 Clarity, but I'd only do that if you're playing with a set team and intend to roam early ganking + warding. See strategy for more on this.

Core Items

Boots of Speed
Bracer x2
Empty Bottle / Magic Wand

Pretty straightforward, really. Bottle / Wand is your choice. Either, or both. If your team already has several Rune Whores using Bottle, skip it. Wand is a pretty good choice which I see in league play a lot. Technically you don't need either, but I recommend at least one for a gank-heavy Leviathan.

League Build

Kelen's Dagger
Observer Wards
Phase Boots / Treads

For league play, you will be working on supporting your team. The most important team ability you have is Ravage, which can turn the tide (no pun intended) of literally an entire fight and thus the whole game. To get the best Ravage possible, a Blink Dagger is purchased. It also helps catch up to fleeing heroes in a gank to Gush them.

With spare gold, a Phase Boots isn't a terrible choice - although with Dagger it may be unnecessary, in which case just grab a Strength Treads. Assuming you even have gold for this; Leviathan is fine with ordinary boots so do not feel pressure to upgrade them. But DO feel free to help your team purchase Wards or Dust or whatever is needed. Your main build is complete with just the Bracers + Dagger, so do as much ward bitching as is necessary.

Semi-Carry Build (Casual)

Heart of Tarrasque
Assault Cuirass

Leviathan can be a carry-tank, although this is never seen in league play. In a pub or TDA, however, this build is highly effective. You build 2 Bracers as usual, then Strength Treads, then Heart, then Cuirass, in that order. You have a ton of hit points and armor, and a lot of attack speed to proc Anchor Smash. The armor reduction aura on Cuirass stacks with Gush, too. Absolute powerhouse build if you can farm it, which is often feasible in a pub, as my own replays demonstrate.

5. Strategy


Find a lane early and try to get last hits. Zzz. Good lanes are like Levi + CM, Levi + Leshrac, basically lanes where you are paired with a (ranged) nuker; you can be aggressive and try to get kills with nuke chains. Otherwise, sit back and try to farm a bit until 6 or 7.

In league play, Levi often doesn't lane, and just runs around ganking and warding things FROM LEVEL 1. You can try this style if you prefer.

Gank a lot

In any case, Gush is a strong nuke early, and once you get your Gush + Ravage combo at level 6, you should try for a kill every time Ravage is off cooldown, regardless of whether it's a competitive game or a casual one. Gank early and often.

Unless you plan to be tank-carrying the game, you don't need to focus much on farming, although after you max Kraken Shell it's very easy to do a few neutral camps in between ganks, so feel free to do this to help you farm a bit extra for Dagger or what have you. Mainly you should be taking advantage of Leviathan's ganking potential while his nukes remain strong, and only farm if lanes are pushing your tower later on (Kraken + Anchor Smash makes this a breeze, and you may wind up with extra cash for a Cuirass or something, although I have yet to see this happen in league play).

Late game

Late game your job is simple. In ganks or hit-and-run scenarios, use Blink and Gush to help your team kill enemies. In team fights, Blink in and get off the best possible Ravage you can. Try to hit multiple enemy heroes, particularly the dangerous ones, at a moment when your team is ready to pound on them. Basically, this is as soon as the team clash develops. You want your Ravage to give your team the edge in the fight, so the other team will have to play defensively and flee, and be unable to mount a serious offensive in the fight. For this reason, Ravage as early as you can, assuming it will be effective at that moment.

You may die because of this. Levi draws a lot of fire - but that's a good thing! Once you've gotten off your Ravage and Gushed something, the best thing you can do for your team is take advantage of your high hit points and Kraken Shell to absorb as much damage for your teammates. If the enemy team wastes a lot of firepower to bring you down, so be it - your teammates should be able to win the fight.

Technical knowledge?

There isn't a lot of technical knowledge required to play a good Leviathan, aside from the essentials of map awareness, knowing where to place wards, etc. His abilities are easy to land, especially with a Blink Dagger, and the rest of his job is just being a big target for enemies. For this reason, this guide is fairly brief, but should give you an idea of your role in games as well as the builds that will let you perform your role.

Always remember that your carry hero is the most important player on your team, and that isn't you unless it's a pub game or your team is experimenting with a tank-carry Leviathan style for whatever reason. You should be prepared to lay down your life for your team!

Also remember that the other team's carry hero is a very important target and should be ganked as often as you can manage.

6. Replays

I have a few replays of my own, demonstrating how to crush a public game. Most games I can build Treads, Heart, Cuirass AND Butterfly; it's pretty ridiculous. Unfortunately, most of the league games in which Leviathan is used...well, that team loses. This can be attributed to a weak mix of heroes (for example, in one replay I'll provide, there's a CM + Warlock + Leviathan on one team - all ward bitches with limited utility outside of 5v5 fights or ganks / laning, making the team very vulnerable to hit-and-run tactics by stronger late-game heroes) or, in some cases, simply to being outmatched. Leviathan isn't THE BEST pick, but he's a strong choice, so don't be discouraged.

Here are two (pub) replays of my own, and two ADC09 Indonesia Qualifier Final matches between Iryu and [R]Digi. Leviathan is played by TeDaN of Iryu. The first game, notice how he winds up with a record of something like 0-10, but it doesn't matter because his Krobelus and Chaos Knight are very strong, and even Zeus has Guinsoo - and they win. That's taking one for the team. The second game his record is better but his team really suffers from having Warlock + CM + Levi late-game. Spoiler: They push the Sentinel base to try to end the game, it fails and they are picked off one by one, and the counter-push defeats them. (Leviathan wasn't used in game 3 of this series; I won't tell you who wins.) Notice how Ravage hits a lot of shit. And he uses Blink Dagger pretty well in game 2, I think. (I don't use Blink Dagger in my pub games because pubs suck.)

[[Replays aren't added yet. I need to look through my own replays for the better Leviathan games, and I'm hoping I'll find some competitive ones a bit more satisfying than the TeDaN games, but so far I haven't.]]

Obviously, this guide is a work in progress, although as I said before, there isn't that much required in a good Leviathan guide. Please let me know if you have feedback! This isn't like my Pudge guide, which is clearly beyond godlike; I'm very open to suggestions for this guide although I think I have the basics down pretty well. If you all agree, I'll submit for publishing soon! Also definitely let me know if you run across any good Leviathan replays! (Or competitive Pudge replays, for that matter.)




August 2, 2009 - Preliminary guide finished and posted as a draft on PlayDotA.


Leviathan the Tidehunter
Author: Bengal_Tigger
Map Vers.: 6,61b

Bengal_TIgger's Leviathan Guide


Date Posted: 08/01/09
Last Comment:25/12/2010
Total Votes: 0
Current Rating: 0.00
Views: 16926

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