18.12.2023, 09:06
29.05.2024, 01:59

Tinker in Dota 2: a guide to the character and how to play him

Tinker is a controversial player in the Dota 2 community, often engendering mixed feelings. In the right hands, this character can swing battles singlehandedly. To play against Tinker is often an uneasy experience; a majority of players label him one of the most despised characters in Dota 2.

Who is Tinker in Dota 2?

Tinker is a hero in Dota, who has 'Intelligence' as his primary attribute. Thanks to his abilities, Tinker can deal vast amounts of magical damage to his opponents.

What sets Tinker apart is his ultimate ability 'Rearm,' which resets the cooldown of abilities and most of the hero's items.

Tinker Dota 2

Tinker's effectiveness in battle largely depends on the user's ability to control the hero.

It's crucial to press buttons quickly, follow the sequence of abilities and artifact usage, possess map awareness, and take the correct position in the battle.

Character statistics

At the first level, Tinker boasts a robust 538 HP and a massive 435 MP reservoir, the greatest starting mana pool in all of Dota 2.

On the flip side, his health stat leans towards the lower median of the roster. With a "right click" damage of 52-58 units, gamers widely agree that the character's attack animation is not the most user-friendly due to the slow projectile speed.

Attribute Initial Value Growth per Level
Strength 19 2.3
Agility 17 1.4
Intelligence 30 3.3

With these stats in hand, one can't underestimate the role of strategic gameplay and ambient awareness while manipulating this high-potential hero. Next up, we will be delving deep into Tinker's exclusive abilities and how they can be capitalized upon to turn the tides of the battlefield.

Character's skills


  • Laser: Deals pure damage to a target enemy and causes temporary blindness, resulting in a 100% miss rate for physical attacks. The effect also applies to creeps. Upgrading this ability increases damage and blindness duration. An Aghanim's Scepter upgrade transforms the Laser into a "Shrinking Beam," which has the same damage and blindness effect but also reduces the enemy's model size and overall health by 10%. Additionally, it bounces to the furthest hero within a 700 radius, affecting multiple enemies.

  • Heat-Seeking Missile: Launches two missiles that automatically target the two closest enemies within 2000 units, dealing magic damage. If no targets are in range, the ability still consumes mana and goes on cooldown.

  • Defence Matrix: Creates a protective barrier around an ally (including Tinker himself), allied creeps, or illusions, absorbing a certain amount of damage and providing increased resistance to effects. The barrier lasts for 15 seconds or until it absorbs its maximum damage capacity. The protection and damage absorption increase with each level.

Keen Conveyance: Allows Tinker to teleport to any allied structure, creep, or hero without the need for teleport scrolls. The level of this ability determines the range of teleportation targets, starting with structures and expanding to include creeps and then heroes.

Rearm: Resets the cooldowns of Tinker's abilities and most of his items. Leveling up Rearm reduces its casting time. It doesn't affect items that would provide an unfair advantage if their cooldowns were reset.

Ultimate Abilities

Tinker's unique aspect is his dual-ultimate skill set, where levelling up one ultimate automatically upgrades the other without consuming an extra skill point.


At levels 10, 15, 20, and 25, Tinker can choose from two available talents, enhancing his abilities or providing new utility:

  • Level 10: Reduce spell cost and mana burn by 8% or increase the Laser cast range by 50.
  • Level 15: Add a Heat-Seeking Missile or increase the Defense Matrix barrier's damage absorption by 125.
  • Level 20: Reduce Keen Conveyance cast time by 0.5 seconds or reduce ability cooldowns by 25%.
  • Level 25: Make Heat-Seeking Missile stun enemies for an additional 0.2 seconds or increase Laser damage by 80.

These abilities and talents allow players to adapt Tinker to various playstyles and strategies, emphasizing utility, damage, or support roles within a team.

The Pros and Cons of Playing Tinker


Tinker is a tough beast to tackle for opponents, one of the select few characters with the potential to single-handedly secure a win. His extensive magical damage capacity has the potential to decimate any rival stepping into his path.

The ability "Rearm", is without a shred of doubt, Tinker's flagship advantage. A crucial gameplay mechanic unique to Tinker is the recharging of the "Blink Dagger", allowing the hero to swiftly alter his location on the map, making it difficult for enemies to keep up with.

While for other characters, the "Blink Dagger" recharges in 15 seconds, Tinker with "Rearm" can reuse the item in mere 1.1 seconds.

Complementing "Rearm" with "Keen Conveyance" facilitates swift map traversal. Fly off to the fountain, refresh health and mana, and BANG! Tinker's back in action in no time!


However, with great power comes significant challenges, too. Tinker's potential is tamed by his weaknesses preventing full deployment of his abilities in the game.

He's hugely reliant on lining. The removal of the "March of Machines" ability hampers his farming efficiency in the early game. Monster kills can bench Tinker for about 15-20 mins.

Early levels in the game expose Tinker's vulnerability. Players usually max out "Defense Matrix" lastly. At the first level, "Rearm" takes over 3 seconds, which is ample time for enemies to bring down Tinker.

Remember folks, in inexperienced hands, Tinker is nothing but dead weight! The perfect sequence of a button press, item use, Shift key management and situational awareness in battle form the playbook for any successful Tinker player. Spotlights on the enemy and keep your game tight and Tinker sharp!

Leveling up Tinker in Dota 2

Most players follow a standard build guide for Tinker in Dota 2.

The Laser ability is given priority, being leveled up first, at the third, fifth, and seventh hero levels.

The second most important skill is the Heat-Seeking Missile. The hero's ultimate ability is typically upgraded at the sixth, twelfth, and eighteenth levels, injecting a substantial power spike into the gameplay.

Tinker's skill build in Dota 2

When it comes to talent selection, there's no definitive go-to. It's advised by experienced players to opt for talent choices based on the evolving dynamics in every match.

Dotabuff statistics reveal a negative win rate for the left side talents. Interestingly, they are still popular picks among players, reflecting intriguing strategic choices.

Tinker's talents in Dota 2

Which lane should Tinker play in Dota 2?

Tinker's primary role falls into the mid-laner category. Statistics showcase that a substantial 90% of the matches feature Tinker operating as the second position within the team. This hero's growth is experience-dependent, rendering other lanes ineffective for Tinker to quickly attain the sixth level.

Pro eSports athletes often select this character for its intricate laneline.

Tinker Dota 2

Opposing champions

  • Pugna: Pugna's "Nether Ward" poses a considerable threat to Tinker. This ward zaps spell-casting enemies with damage proportional to the mana cost of each spell they cast. Given Tinker's reliance on repeatedly casting spells, especially in quick succession with his "Rearm" ability, the Nether Ward can quickly deplete his health. Additionally, the ward's presence can disrupt Tinker's use of "Blink Dagger," a crucial item for his mobility and survival, as taking damage from the ward prevents the Blink Dagger from being activated.

  • Nyx Assassin: Nyx Assassin is particularly effective against Tinker because of his "Spiked Carapace" ability, which reflects damage and stuns the source of the damage for a short duration. This ability can effectively negate Tinker's burst damage and disrupt his combo by stunning him, especially when Tinker uses area-of-effect (AoE) spells like "Heat-Seeking Missile." Moreover, Nyx's ability to become invisible and his mobility allows him to close in on Tinker and disrupt his "Blink Dagger" with well-timed attacks or abilities.

  • Anti-Mage: Anti-Mage is a formidable foe for Tinker due to several factors. His "Counterspell" greatly reduces the magical damage Tinker can deal to him and can reflect certain spells back at Tinker or other enemies. This ability makes it risky for Tinker to target Anti-Mage directly with spells. Furthermore, Anti-Mage's "Blink" allows him to quickly close the gap to Tinker, making it difficult for Tinker to maintain distance or escape. Once in range, Anti-Mage can use his "Mana Void" to exploit Tinker's typically high mana usage, potentially dealing massive damage based on the amount of missing mana.

The dynamics between these heroes and Tinker underline the importance of strategic hero selection and itemization in Dota 2. Understanding counter-picks and adapting gameplay and strategies accordingly can significantly influence the outcome of a match.

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How to play Tinker in Dota 2

Taking the reins as Tinker in Dota 2 demands precise mastery of micro-control from the player and keen awareness of mini-map activities. In the early stages of the game, Tinker securely holds his lane, steadily amassing the essential items that form an integral part of his arsenal.

The moment he acquires the 'Blink Dagger', magic happens! With teleportation in his playbook, he dashes to aid his teammates for lethal enemy takedowns. However, this wasn't always the case. With the removal of the 'March of Machines' ability from Dota 2, Tinker's success became heavily reliant on level and item pacing.

The statistics echo the cold, hard truth - the higher Tinker's level, the brighter the victory banner his team can hoist post-clash! At the onset of the game, Tinker's key focus is on farming. Still, in the initial frail stage, he avoids direct skirmishes with rivals, adeptly sidestepping potential confrontations. Below is a graphical representation of Tinker in action in Dota 2. As you can see, his skill set and role significantly influence the ebb and flow of the match.


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