Sweeping in with a disruptive avalanche and tossing his target into oblivion, Tiny is among Dota 2’s oldest heroes.
The iconic, ever-growing rock has featured prominently in Dota 2’s promo content. This may not necessarily reflect his presence in the actual Dota 2 games. Tiny is not a common pick at any medal level. Despite that, the hero has a very high pick/ban rate in the Dota 2 pro circuit.
Why pick Tiny mid in Dota 2 7.29d?
The role Tiny is seen in most is that of a position 4 roamer. The crux of this is a good AoE stun in Avalanche (Q), but more importantly, the utility of Toss (W) as a way to put targets out of position. The roaming Tiny is also a frequent sight in the DPC. But in Dota 2 7.29d, Tiny can also be a viable mid-pick against Agility cores with a low HP pool.
As a mid-laner, Tiny has an obvious attack range disadvantage. He is also hard countered by heroes who have innate spell immunity methods to bail them out (Juggernaut and Life Stealer for example). But his pros as a mid more than make up for it. Namely, the fact that he scales superbly with levels. A level 8 Tiny 10 minutes into the game has nuke potential which is higher than most other nuke-heavy heroes.
Generally speaking, there are two different ways a mid Tiny can itemize.
Tiny has the highest damage dealing 2-spell combo in Dota 2. Here are the stats (minus mitigation from magic resistance):
Both lvl 4 Avalanche (Q) and Toss (W) do 300 magic damage each at max lvl. But if Toss is cast while the target has the Avalanche debuff, the Avalanche damage gets multiplied by 2.5.
Avalanche deals damage in 4 separate ticks. Unless Toss is cast absolutely instantaneously after the Avalanche, the first tick will not receive the multiplier. Even then, the combo is enough to finish off squishy targets.
Since mid Tiny will gain levels fast, he can get lvl 4 in both easily. Tiny can go for a straight Q-W max build at lvl 8, but 3 points into Avlanche, 3 into toss, 1 in Tree Grab and 1 in Grow will work just as well.
Tiny’s item choices should also be all about amping up the magic damage. Blink is essential for closing the gap to make the combo. The other core item for an extra magic amp is Ethereal Blade. The Agility bonus from it also helps immensely. Black King Bar may be required depending on the enemy lineup, since Tiny is more often than not in the heart of the battle.
Here are some other item suggestions:
- Arcane Blink
- Scythe of Vyse
- Kaya and Yasha
- Shiva’s Guard
- Eul’s Scepter / Wind Waker
- Aghanim’s Shard (since Dota 2 patch 7.28, shard gives Tiny his old passive ‘Craggy Exteriors’)
- Octarine Core
It might look like a maverick build, but physical damage Tiny can work wonders under the right conditions. The conditions being:
- the opponent has no gap closer to catch Tiny off,
- and preferably that Tiny has an ally Alchemist.
The Alchemist will give Tiny Aghanim’s Blessing, primarily so that Tiny himself does not have to buy Aghanim’s Scepter.
Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade gives Tiny a new ability called ‘Tree Volley’ since Dota 2 patch 7.22g. It basically functions as a barrage of Tiny right clicks with 120% damage in an AoE upto 1200 range away from him. Tiny has high base attack damage thanks to Grow (R), so all he needs to amp it up is Critical Chance. This is where the Crystalis (Daedalus later on) comes in handy. Blink Dagger, as usual, is essential. These items are also potential purchases:
- Swift/Overwhelming Blink
- Echo Sabre
- Assault Cuirass
- Sange and Yasha
- Octarine Core
Needless to say, Dota 2 builds are not set in stone. They are simply schematics that point you in the right direction. A hybrid build with elements from both is very viable with an Ethereal Blade.