Tiny is currently one of the most picked heroes in the pro scene. So here’s a quick guide on how to play and counter this overpowered carry hero.
Since The International 10 era, we have seen Tiny tremendously in the meta. There was a period where he fell off relevance in pro picks and even pubs, but the mighty rock has returned. In Patch 7.31, Tiny's presence is ever so powerful.
Since the new patch was released, the pro scene had a change of meta. According to Spectral Stats, this hero is the 2nd most popular hero in DPC in terms of contest rate, just behind Death Prophet. Throughout Tour 2 so far, Tiny is the most picked hero with 125 picks. It also has a good win rate of 52%. Due to its overpowered nature, the hero has been banned a total of 122 times.
Why is Tiny Patch 7.31 so strong?
This rocky hero has always been in the meta pool since a couple of months ago but this time around, he rose to become even stronger.
Patch 7.31 included a lot of tweaks to Tiny and at first, it was hard to decipher whether this hero would be this powerful or not. However, one significant change confirmed its relevance.
Aghanim's Shard can now be bought 5 minutes earlier at only 15 minutes.
Tiny's Shard gives unlimited Tree Grab.
And if you look at Tree Grab, this ability gives an insane load of buffs.
This ability provides a permanent bonus base damage (20), bonus building damage (100%), a great attack range (350), and most importantly, splash damage (100%). By getting a Shard at 15 minutes, you basically earn a free Battle Fury which can ramp up your farm faster than other carries.
Tiny is a Strength hero so this guy is naturally tanky. His ultimate provides him tons of Armor as well. He has a great set of abilities that provide:
- Burst Damage
- A way to distort enemy's positioning
- A way to farm
- Tankiness and Status Resistance
- Fast tower push
Other than that, due to his versatile spells, Tiny has the option to be active or passive. If your team is dominating, you can join them early on and snowball the game. If your team is struggling, stay passive and flash farm your items to hit your timings.
There are a few weaknesses of Tiny that can be exploited. This hero isn't mobile and he doesn't have a reliable escape ability. So Tiny can easily be kited to death.
Since he naturally has a large HP pool, any abilities that damages you based on your health can be really painful to deal with. These abilities are like Death Prophet's Spirit Siphon and Necrophos' Heartstopper Aura.
How to play Carry Tiny in Patch 7.31
The way meta has unfolded to shape Tiny's new playstyle is quite simple. His set of items were similar to before but with the change of Aghanim's Shard timing, you now have to prioritize buying it when it's available. But different players do have different approaches before getting his main items.
From one of ana's matches with Tiny, his starting items are a set of Tangoes, a Quelling Blade, two Gauntlets of Strength, and two Iron Branches.
These items would be upgraded to Bracers and a Magic Wand. Proceed to build Power Treads and an Echo Sabre. Power Treads is good for early attack speed and damage. Echo Sabre is most always compulsary as this item fits well with Tiny's abilities.
Tiny has a small mana pool and has a painfully, slow attack speed in the beginning. Alongside other helpful stats, Echo Sabre can help in those two perspectives, boosting mana regen and allowing him the double attack perk. This item is also great because it can be disassembled into a Black King Bar, in case the game becomes tough.
Usually, your Echo Sabre is finished around the 12-13 minutes mark. So from then on, save enough money to immediately by Shard by 15 minutes. After that you build Shadow Blade and depending on the situation, you can opt to complete the Silver Edge or get a Black King Bar.
Shadow Blade is the item to go for as Tiny as it makes it easier for him to join fights or pick off enemies. It also provides a way to escape and a boost of damage.
In the case of ana's match, his enemy lineup didn't have pesky stuns and they were leading the game, so he skipped the BKB. He then proceed to buy a Satanic.
Some games require you to build Blink Dagger if there are slippery heroes to rid off. By late game, you can also go for Assault Cuirass and Moon Shard.
How to counter Tiny
Let's say you are the one facing this overpowered hero on the other side. What should you pick or what should you build to penetrate this hero's massive strengths?
Which heroes counter Tiny in Patch 7.31?
Death Prophet is a popular counter to this hero, and that is also reflected in the number of bans this hero had in DPC. So far, Death Prophet is the most contested hero with 99 picks and 203 bans.
What makes her so strong is the Spirit Siphon which deals HP-based-damage on to Tiny. It has charges and a decent cooldown so the spell can be spammed to Tiny.DP is also naturally speedy and can chase Tiny to maximize her Spirit Siphon damage.
Necrophos has the Heartstopper Aura which deals a damage over time aura around his allies. This aura deals damage based on a percentage of enemy's health. The Reaper's Scythe is also a great counter to Tiny as it deals damage based on how much HP the target is missing.
Generally, any heroes that can shred through his high HP is a great counter. You can also opt for a Viper and a Venomancer to melt the tanky rock. One of Tiny's perk is his high armor, so picking up heroes like Slardar is good to counter Tiny.
Which items counter Tiny in Patch 7.31?
For items, you can get the usual ones that shred through tanky heroes. A Spirit Vessel is always good to stop him from regenerating HP. An Eye of Skadi and a Diffusal Blade can be very useful. Armor reducing items like Shiva's Guard can easily melt his HP. For squishy heroes that don't want to be burst by Tiny, you can go for Magic Resistance items like Raindrop, Glimmer Cape, or Hood of Defiance.