The Ultimate Dota Tusk Guide: Skills, Builds, and Playstyle

Jun 18, 2024 | 0 comments

Tusk, also known as Ymir, is one of the most versatile and exciting heroes in Dota 2. With his array of ice-based abilities, Tusk can control the battlefield, initiate fights, and provide crucial support to his team. This guide will cover everything you need to know to master Tusk, from his abilities and skill build to item choices and gameplay strategies. Learn how to dominate with this character in our Dota Tusk guide. Discover strategies and builds to maximize your impact in the game.

Understanding Tusk’s Abilities

Ice Shards

Ice Shards is Tusk’s primary ability for controlling the battlefield. When activated, Tusk launches a projectile of ice shards that travels in a straight line, damaging all enemies it hits. Upon reaching the target location, the shards form a barrier, trapping enemies and blocking their escape. This ability is perfect for isolating key targets or setting up kills.

  • Damage: 70/140/210/280
  • Shard Duration: 4/5/6/7 seconds
  • Mana Cost: 100
  • Cooldown: 23/20/17/14 seconds


Snowball allows Tusk to roll towards a target, pulling in any nearby allied heroes and dealing damage upon impact. This ability is unique as it can be used both offensively and defensively. You can use Snowball to initiate fights by stunning multiple enemies or save allies by rolling them to safety.

  • Base Damage: 80/120/160/200
  • Damage per Ally: 25/50/75/100
  • Stun Duration: 0.5/0.8/1.0/1.3 seconds
  • Mana Cost: 75
  • Cooldown: 21/20/19/18 seconds

Tag Team

Tag Team boosts the physical damage dealt by Tusk and nearby allies while slowing enemy movement. This ability is particularly effective during early skirmishes and team fights, increasing the team’s overall damage output significantly.

  • Bonus Damage: 25/50/75/100
  • Slow Duration: 0.75 seconds
  • Mana Cost: 75
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

Walrus Punch

Walrus Punch is Tusk’s signature ability, delivering a powerful uppercut that sends the target flying and deals critical damage. This ability is ideal for finishing off enemies or disrupting key enemy heroes.

  • Critical Damage: 350%/375%/400%
  • Slow Duration: 2/3/4 seconds
  • Mana Cost: 50/75/100
  • Cooldown: 20/16/12 seconds

Skill Build

Maximizing Tusk’s abilities in the right order is crucial for his effectiveness in the game. Here’s a recommended skill build:

  1. Ice Shards: Levels 1, 3, 5, 7
  2. Snowball: Levels 2, 4, 8, 9
  3. Tag Team: Levels 10, 12, 13, 14
  4. Walrus Punch: Levels 6, 11, 16

This build focuses on maxing out Ice Shards first for its damage and control, followed by Snowball for its utility in fights. Tag Team is leveled later as it scales well into the mid-game, while Walrus Punch is upgraded whenever possible to maximize its impact.

Item Build

Early Game

In the early game, focus on items that enhance your mobility and survivability:

  • Magic Wand: Provides essential stats and burst healing.
  • Boots of Speed: Increases your movement speed, allowing for better positioning and ganks.
  • Orb of Venom: Adds a slow and extra damage for early skirmishes.
  • Bottle: Useful for sustaining your mana and health during early ganks.

Mid Game

During the mid game, aim to enhance Tusk’s initiation and survivability:

  • Phase Boots: Improves movement speed and attack damage.
  • Blink Dagger: Essential for initiating fights and positioning yourself for Snowball and Ice Shards.
  • Drum of Endurance: Adds attributes and an active ability to boost your team’s mobility and attack speed.

Late Game

In the late game, prioritize items that enhance your ability to initiate and disrupt enemies:

  • Black King Bar: Grants spell immunity, allowing you to initiate without getting disabled.
  • Aghanim’s Scepter: Upgrades Walrus Punch to Walrus Kick, providing another powerful displacement tool.
  • Shiva’s Guard: Adds armor and an area-of-effect slow, improving your team fight presence.
  • Assault Cuirass: Boosts your armor and attack speed while reducing enemies’ armor.

Gameplay Strategies

Early Game

In the early game, focus on roaming and setting up kills for your team. Use Ice Shards to block enemy escape routes and Snowball to initiate ganks. Always carry a TP scroll to respond to fights across the map.

Mid Game

As the game progresses, your role shifts towards initiating team fights and controlling the battlefield. Use Blink Dagger to surprise enemies and start fights with Snowball. Coordinate with your team to maximize the effectiveness of Tag Team during engagements.

Late Game

In the late game, your primary responsibility is to disrupt the enemy’s key heroes. Use Walrus Punch to disable crucial targets and Walrus Kick (if you have Aghanim’s Scepter) to reposition enemies. Focus on providing vision and initiating fights that favor your team.

Tips for Playing Tusk

  • Vision is Key: Always maintain vision on the enemy, especially before initiating with Snowball or Blink Dagger.
  • Save Allies: Use Snowball not just offensively but also to save allies from dangerous situations.
  • Map Awareness: Stay aware of the map and use TP scrolls to join fights or push lanes when necessary.
  • Adapt Item Builds: Adjust your item build based on the game situation. For example, consider Force Staff or Lotus Orb if you’re facing heavy disables.

Versatility and Excitement of Tusk

Tusk’s versatility stems from his ability to adapt to different situations and team compositions. He excels in multiple roles, including support, offlane, and even mid, depending on the needs of the team. This adaptability makes Tusk a popular pick in both casual and professional games.

Mastering Tusk’s Playstyle

To maximize Tusk’s potential, it’s essential to understand his playstyle and how to use his abilities in synergy with his team. Early in the game, focus on using Ice Shards and Snowball to secure kills and assist allies. Positioning is crucial, as Tusk needs to be close enough to initiate with Snowball but also ready to retreat if the situation turns dire.

As the game progresses, Tusk’s role as an initiator and disabler becomes more pronounced. Use Blink Dagger to enhance your initiation capabilities, allowing you to catch enemies off-guard and set up team fights. Always be aware of the enemy’s positioning and look for opportunities to isolate key targets with Ice Shards and follow up with Walrus Punch.

Countering Tusk

Tusk can be countered by heroes and items that disrupt his initiation and disable him. Heroes like Disruptor, Earthshaker, and Anti-Mage can make it difficult for Tusk to execute his combos effectively. Items like Force Staff and Lotus Orb can help allies escape from Tusk’s initiation.

Mastering Tusk requires practice and an understanding of his strengths and weaknesses. With this guide, you should be well-equipped to lead your team to victory and become a formidable presence on the battlefield.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Guides

Latest Gaming News