Have you been enjoying watching Ammar wreck teams with his signature Timbersaw? Want to try it yourself? If so, we put together a guide for Dota’s most prolific tree destroyer!

Timbersaw is perhaps one of the most fun heroes to play in Dota 2. He’s a versatile offlaner that can soak damage and tank, but can also itemize to do massive damage. Though not one of the main offlaners of this current patch, specialists like Ammar “ATF” Al-Assaf have shown the power that Timber can have in the right hands. In this guide, I’m going to show you some tips, tricks, and item builds to help you be as annoying as possible in your games. Will you help Rizrack in his war against the trees?

Timber’s Abilities

An image of Whirling Death Whirling Death: This ability is Timber’s bread and butter, especially at lower levels. In most instances, this is likely the ability your going to be picking up at level one. The ability does pure damage in an AoE around you. The catch is that it increases the damage depending on how many trees you cut down with the AoE. It’s good for securing last hits and all harassment in lane. The ability also reduces the primary attirbute of the heroes it hits, making them easier to kill for your teammates. As is evident, try to use it when your around Dota’s forestry so you can really pile on the damage.

An image of Timber Chain Timber Chain: This is Timber’s main escape and mobility tool. When you cast this ability a Timber chain flies out in the direction you are clicking and attempts to connect with the nearest tree. Once it hits the tree, Timbersaw is pulled towards the tree, destroying it, and dealing damage to anything he passes through. The damage from Timber is also not a joke as it’s more consistent in number than Whirling death is, but the mana cost is higher, and the cooldown is longer. Makes use of this ability to chase down felling opponents as well as to gap close. It’s also incredibly useful for getting around the map quickly and can help quicken your farming patterns.

an image of reactive armor Reactive Armor: This ability is the reason that Timbersaw is a tank hero. Reactive armor gives you increasing health regen and armor the more you take damage. This is especially useful against physical damage in the early game, and makes you virtually impossible to kill in lane without help. This might be an ability you might consider taking a point in first, if you think you are going to have a lot of harassment in lane.

Image of Chakram Chakram: This is Timber’s ultimate. It throws out a large sawblade at a targeted area that deals pure damage on impact and sustained damage in that area over time and applies a slow based on the percentage of enemy health missing. The blade also deals damage when it retracts. In team fights, this ability can deal massive damage to a larger amount of people. Since the cooldown is so low as well, you can actually use it to farm and clear waves. This is Timbersaw’s most consistent damage dealing ability. Be wary, you can auto-attack while this ability is activated.

Timbersaw’s Talent Tree

Image via Valve

Level 10: At this point, you’re usually going to want to take the mana regen talent. Unless you’re really struggling with getting burst down, the extra 200 health isn’t going to do much for you. Timber can run into mana issues because he relies on his skills to deal damage.

Level 15: Picking your level 15 talent depends on the role you are fufilling for your team. The 8% spell amplification can be good if your team needs more damage. Sometimes if your playing a position two Timbersaw, you’re focusing on a more damage oriented build. This would then be your choice. On the other hand if your team is squishier, and they need a front liner, the extra reactive armor stacks are incredible for tanking up. This allows you to take the punishment for your team while they deal damage.

Talent Tree
+1125 Timber Chain Range
25
+10% Whirling Death Attribute Reduction
+4$ Chakram Slow
20
+16 Strength
+6 Reactive Armor Stacks and Duration
15
+8% Spell Amplification
+1.5 Mana Regen
10
+200 Health

Level 20: I would almost always recommend taking the 16 strength talent at level 20. Since Timbersaw is a strength hero, it’s basically a net benefit across the board with the health and regen you get. While a 4% slow can be nice, your likely going to be itemizing for disables anyway. Take the slow talent only if it seems your team is really struggling with lock down and even then I might favor the strength talent.

Level 25: Both of these talents have excellent merits. The attribute reduction on your Whirling Death gives and even better chance of killing them with your allies. On the other hand, The range on the Timber Chain is ridiculous. It allows you to escape very easily and also makes your chase down that much more effective. Personally I would go for the Timber Chain talent almost always. However having the extra attribute reduction can sometimes be the difference between you getting a kill or not so it depends on the situation.

Early Game Items

Image of Arcane Boots Arcane Boots: Arguably Timber’s biggest problem in the early game is that he has mana issues. Becasue Timber relies on his spells to deal damage and in many cases last hit, you’re going to be spamming them a lot. Mana boots are one of the better ways to offset your mana problems in the early game. In addition, they can be dissembled to use the Mana Booster as a component for bigger items later on. They can also be upgraded into Guardian Greaves should your team not have a Mechanism builder and need more sustain.

Image of Soul Ring Soul Ring: This item gives you so much bang for your buck on Timber. Because Timbersaw gains regen and armor as he takes damage, Soul Ring gives you so much value. Along with helping your mana issues, Soul Ring helps you activate your Reactive Armor faster, increasing your regen and armor. I would almost always get this item, except if you’re having a really rough lane and need every last bit of health.

Image of Hood of Defiance Hood of Defiance: Though Timber has a lot of solutions for physical damage, he does have some issues with magical damage. That’s where Hood comes in. It provides a shield for magic damage and also provides the same buff to your teammates. You can also upgrade it later into a buff for teammates with Pipe of Insight, or go for offense with Eternal Shroud. All around great item if you’re dealing with a high magic damage enemy team.

Mid Game Items

Image of Kaya and Sange Kaya and Sange: Everybody loves status resistance. Timbersaw is no exception. The status resistance from Sange as well as the strength boost that it gives you is super important and useful. What really makes this item pop is that it also gives you spell damage, which is amazing on Timber. Combine with a little extra mana regen it makes for a great upgrade to Timbersaw’s arsenal. A must buy for every game.

Image of Eul's Scepter Eul’s Scepter: Although I probably sound like a broken record, Timbersaw has mana problems. Eul’s gives you a good amount of mana regen and intelligence. Timber also lakes a hard disable. Eul’s gives you that if your team is lacking it as well as a good purge for yourself should you have any nasty debuffs on you.

Image of Shiva's Guard Shiva’s Guard: Shiva’s Guard helps Timber to tank up. The amount of armor it gives helps you take more damage while staying in the fight for your teammates. Timber also benefits from the AoE slow because of his high mobility. This allows him to get in and slow enemies more effectively because he can chase them down.

Late Game Items

Image of Lotus Orb Lotus Orb: This is almost always a good item to get on Timber. Timber usually doesn’t like to buy BKB so Lotus is a great defensive item to get. Because you’re going to be soaking up a lot of damage, having an item reflect is great to stand your ground and provide defense for yourself and your team.

Image of Wind Waker Wind Waker: You’re probably only going to get this if the game goes super late. It’s really expensive but since you already have Eul’s, you might as well get it if you have the cash. It provides you a little bonus to your own mobility and is just an all around better Eul’s. I would recommend getting other items before it however.

Situational Items

Image of Scythe of Vyse Scythe of Vyse: If your team is lacking disable, this is a great late game item to go for. You get a boost to your own intelligence and it allows for some extra lockdown on the enemy team.

Image of Aghanim's Shard Aghanim’s Shard: Timber’s shard gives you an AoE flamethrower that slows and deals damage over time. It also affects buildings for less damage. This can help your team push and help you eke out some for damage in team fights. If you have money to spend it’s usually good to get it but I would recommend perhaps getting it from Roshan instead if you are able.

Image of Aghanim's Scepter Aghanim’s Scepter: Timber’s Agh’s gives you a second Chakram. Basically just a pure upgrade to Timbersaw’s Damage output. Not a bad item to go for if you need more damage but similar to the shard, it might just be better to get the blessing from Roshan.

Image of Bloodstone Bloodstone: Belaboring the point again, Timber has mana issues. Bloodstone gives you massive mana regen as well as provides you with spell power. Especially good if you’re looking to go for a higher damage build.

Image of Heart of Terrasque Heart of Terrasque: Pure tank item. Buy if you really don’t want to die. Build on Timber’s already massive health regen.

Timbersaw Strategy

Image via Valve

Timber is designed to be an annoying hero. Although he doesn’t have all of the tower damage capabilities that the Helm of the Overlord offlaners have, he functions in a similar way. When you play Timber your job should be to try to force reactions. Usually you want to stay in the offlane and just push out waves. At some point, the enemy team is going to have to deal with you. This will usually result in them expending a lot of resources to try to kill you, or massively waster your time. This helps make space for your team as well as allows you to get farm and gain map control.

In the laning stage, there’s not really a whole lot that can kill you. You can play it safe and just farm, or if you have a kill lane, you can get super aggressive and go for kills. This is good if you have a stunning support like a Grimstroke.

Another good tip is just to be as annoying as possible. If the enemy team is trying to push a tower, a lot of the time you can just stand in front of it and there’s not much they can do. Your role is to create space for your team while trying not to die. You can also itemize to scale better into the late game if necessary but it’s your early to mid game movement and space creating that will make or break your game.

Timber’s Counters

Timber struggles against heroes that can deal damage to you that bypass your armor. A lot of the time these are heroes that can deal percentage based damage to you. Timber also has no counter to pure damage.

Bane is one such hero. His Nightmare is good for stopping your mobility in it’s tracks and Fiend’s Grip deals pure damage. Phoenix also does percentage based damage with Sunray which has the ability to whittle you down over time. Spirit Vessel builders, like Venomancer, also tend to have a better time against Timbersaw. Veno especially can overwhelm you with slows that disrupt your high mobility.


Timber is a hard hero to master and the more you play him, the more you will understand his limits and his strengths. Now get out there and cut down some trees! And for more Dota articles and guides, follow us at esports.gg!

Christian Decker -

Christian Decker

Christian is a student from Schenectady, New York, studying at Albany Law School. He is an avid gamer, writer, podcaster, and content creator who is passionate about Dota 2 and music!