Start a brawl and one-punch knockout even the most sturdy of rivals of the winter warrior with our Dota 2 Tusk Guide
Looking to start a fight and prove your mettle? No one is as eager as Ymir, equipped with his mastery of ice magic and his trusty metal gauntlet. With one punch that launches every foe sky-high, Tusk has not taken a bet to fight in and conquer the greatest battle, all for a round of drinks.
Tusk is a melee Strength Hero with a brawny 626 Health but a poor Mana pool of only 291. Although his attack damage is decent at 52, he shines in his robust 4.8 base armor and 315 movement speed.
Tusk (Ymir) is a potent initiator adept at isolating an enemy, locking them and nuking them down with high spells and physical damage. His contribution to ganks and teamfights is priceless, with his aggressive playstyle well suited in a decisive player’s hands. His abilities are well-synergized with his teammates, although straightforward, can be used to make game-changing creative plays.
Let’s look at the powers of the mist that infuses LoA and makes him such an inspiring ally in every battle.
- Ice Shards – Ymir launches shards of ice forward up to 1400 range dealing up to 300 damage with all enemies it touches. When the projectile reaches the target location, it explodes, creating a barrier lasting up to 7 seconds. This ability can be upgraded by Aghanim’s Shard.
- Aghanim’s Shard Upgrade – Increases the shard count from 7 to 11, increasing the depth of the barrier. All enemies trapped inside the wall also take damage of up to 60 per second and get their movement speed slowed by up to 40%.
- Snowball – Tusk rolls into a massive snowball able to bring in allies in a 350 radius for boosted damage. The Snowball can charge for up to 3 seconds and then chases the target enemy for 3 more with up to 650 movement speed. The Snowball does up to 260 base damage (380 with level 15 talent) and up to 115 more for every Hero carried along. The target and his nearby 200 radius are damaged and stunned for up to 1.2 seconds.
- Tag Team – Ymir lets his friends join the fun, temporarily creating a passive aura that slows enemy attack speed by up to 50 in a 350 radius for 5 seconds. All enemies attacked by him or his allied Heroes in this aura also take bonus physical damage of up to 95 (120 with level 10 talent) and reduce their movement speed by 75% for 0.5 seconds.
- Walrus PUNCH! – Tusk channels his strength into a mighty punch, launching his target into the sky. The punch deals critical damage of up to 400% (475% with level 20 talent), stunning the target for 1 second (1.5 with level 10 talent). The target’s movement speed is also slowed by 40% for up to 4 seconds. Upgrading this ability with Aghanim’s Scepter grants Ymir a new skill.
- Walrus Kick (Aghanim’s Scepter Upgrade) – With a mighty kick, Ymir sends the nearest enemy unit to a target duration of up to 1400 distance. All Heroes within a 250 radius of the landing area are damaged for 350. The target is damaged for 350, stunned for 1 second and slowed by 40% for 4 seconds.
- Level 10 – +0.5s Walrus Punch Stun Duration or +25 Tag Team Damage
- Level 15 – +120 Snowball Damage or +325 Health
- Level 20 – +75% Walrus Punch Crit or -6s Ice Shards Cooldown
- Level 25 – -8s Snowball Cooldown or 12% Chance Walrus Punch
Dota 2 Tusk Guide – Tips
Tusk is a powerful brawler who excels in closing the distance and getting close to deal devastating damage to trapped enemies. With his Ice Shard, he can isolate an enemy preventing their escape, as he uses Snowball to roll in with his allies to overwhelm the foe. With Tag Team, Ymir and his teammates can quickly demolish the disoriented target with slow and damage. And when they are on the verge of death, he can send them flying into outer space with a mighty Walrus PUNCH!
Ymir is usually played as a Roamer or Ganker support capable of laning with an aggressive core to dominate their lane. If his core can burst enemies, he can Snowball into a well-placed Ice Shard to finish them off. When played as a 4-position support, he can easily roam to set up ganks for other lanes. His abilities are also good at farming creepwavers with his abilities, making him able to quickly farm up needed items that boost his initiation and ganking capabilities.
Although farming is not crucial for Tusk, picking up a few items to keep his Mana and Health Pool intact when roaming. Even though not necessarily a core, he can benefit from items that boost his attributes and damage due to his Walrus PUNCH! Ability. He is also a suitable carrier of utility items (such as break, disarm and disables) as he can close the distance between him and his target.
Dota 2 Tusk – Pros and Cons
Here are some of Tusk’s strengths and weaknesses that you must keep in mind so you never bite off more than you can chew.
- Can be played in multiple roles
- Has powerful disables and trapping abilities
- High single-target Nuking ability
- High movement speed and mobility
- Specializes in initiating and ganking
- Low damage individual damage without damage items
- Not tanky
- Can put the whole team in danger with risky Snowballs
- Needs Mana to be useful
How to play Tusk
Pick any brawl confidently, trapping and knocking out your foes by learning the basics of this winter brawler by checking out our short basics guide.
Head into your lane with a Tango and Healing Salve for basic HP regen and Clarity and Enchanted Mango for Mana regen. You can also pick up Iron Branches for some cheap attributes.
As a roamer/ganker, you should carry a Smoke of Deceit and Orb of Venom to catch your enemies off-guard and slow them as they try to flee. You can also pick up a Magic Stick if facing a spell-spamming enemy lineup.
In the earlier phase of the game, try to focus on getting some farm and XP by pulling in the safe lane, and stacking camps between your ganks for your cores. Keep your enemies on their toes by showing yourself as little as possible on the map. Try to save up a Boots of Speed to help your ganking timings.
If you are successfully rotating and getting kills, pick up an Urn of Shadows for healing yourself or damaging foes over time and for over-time mana regen. Upgrading your Magic Wand to Magic Stick is also a good idea, as it will give your burst heal to make riskier plays.
You are expected to control this phase of the game, making plays and helping your team in teamfights, helping them initiate or disjoint in critical situations. As for utility, you can buy a Solar Crest or Shadow Blade for better battle impact. These items will help you with single-target initiations.
If you are killed a lot, you can pick up a Blade Mail or Force Staff, which can help escape or return damage if focused. You are also a suitable carrier of Drums of Endurance, as you benefit significantly from the attributes and the aura.
You are one of the few Heroes that can transition into a semi-carry late-game and instantly nuke down squishy supports in the backline with initiation items like Blink Dagger or Silver Edge. The break from Silver Edge is perfect for Heroes with strong passives, like Bristleback. You are also a suitable carrier of utility items like Heaven’s Halberd and Lotus Orb.
If you have Gold to spare, you can pick up an Aghanim’s Scepter for your Walrus Kick or get items like aura items like Assault Cuirass or Shiva’s Guard. You can also go for high-damage items like Desolator and Daedelus. The longer the game drags on, the higher damage your Walrus PUNCH! will do.
Dota 2 Tusk Counters
Here are some Heroes whom Ymir fears to challenge as they never fail to defeat him, no matter the game’s time.
- Disruptor – His Glimpse ability can return Tusk to where he started during his Snowball. Furthermore, when using Snowball, Ymir can end up with his team dying in a Kinetic Field and Static Storm combo.
- Earthshaker – His Fissure, Aftershock and Echo Slam are potent counters to any Snowball stacked initiations from Tusk. With a Blink Dagger, he can quickly become a real nuisance for Ymir.
- Anti-Mage – His Blink allows him to escape Snowball and Ice Shard initiations easily. Furthermore, his Counterspell can reflect both Walrus PUNCH! and Snowball. Finally, Mana Break is effective against Tusk and his low Mana pool.
- Earth Spirit– He is can easily escape with Rolling Boulder before the Snowball impacts. His Boulder Smash is also very effective for stunning stacked enemies coming out of Snowball. Finally, Geomagnetic Grip can stop Ymir from using Snowball to escape.
We regularly upload guides for your favorite Heroes, so watch for more to come.