Tiny becomes a staple in the Dota 2 meta across all DPC regions
This is captain of the Tiny Airlines speaking, welcome onboard the latest meta in DPC (2021-22) as of Tour 3. We see a surge in Tiny pickers as a viable option for both carries and semi-support roles. In fact, Tiny boasts an impressive 61% win rate and an average 42% pick rate across every regional DPC.
Tiny has never really been out of meta, but this season has seen him picked at an increased rate due to the short game spans, and teams wanting to not draw out games. In fact, the average game time across all DPC is 34.5 minutes just shy of most burst boomers getting out scaled.
Pubs are picking up Tiny as a spam-worthy hero to win matchmaking rank (MMR), so here’s a deep dive into Tiny’s impressive kit.
Good ol’ Toss and Avalanche Combo
Tiny’s skill combo of Avalanche into Toss is a powerful nuke to eliminate a single important enemy hero. When an enemy target is tossed, the combo deals maximum potential damage of 900 damage when both skills are level 4. Furthermore, the cost of getting a Blink Dagger to initiate on an unsuspecting opponent is relatively affordable at only 2250 gold.
In most games, Tiny is typically the mid-laner, who can have all the resources to quickly purchase Blink Dagger. Additionally, Tiny’s Tree Grab ability also provides decent damage for easy last hits, making Tiny a reliable carry. Another key differentiator of Tiny’s skill set is that he’s durable by default, thanks to his Strength attribute and ultimate, Grow. This sets Tiny apart from other high-damage carries, such as Skywrath Mage, which can be a glass cannon.
As the recent Dota 2 meta favors fast-paced mid-games, where a team needs to find success at taking objectives, towers, and outposts, and hunting down late-game enemy carries. Tiny is an all-rounder in various crucial factors for a reliable carry.
How to be good at Tiny?
The many benefits of Tiny’s skillset do come with crippling disadvantages to balance things out. For one, Tiny’s ultimate reduces his attack speed by as much as 40% but can be effectively resolved by picking up Echo Sabre or Hyperstone.
Echo Sabre lets Tiny hit twice, which adds to the overwhelming damage he’s already doing from his combo. Whereas Hyperstone at the same cost provides attack speed only, but also a foundation for other late-game items. For instance, Tiny players can build Hyperstone into Moon Shard or Assault Cuirass as luxury items.
While these seem like good item pick-ups for Tiny, most matches do not reach that extent since Tiny players want to end the game before the late game. Instead, we can tap into Tiny’s Tree Grab skill by picking Aghanim’s Shard, which lets Tiny hold onto a tree for its damage bonus and AOE damage infinitely.
Other essential items
As tempting as it is to just stack as many damage items on Tiny, he’s vulnerable to stuns and the Ethereal Blade effect. Hence, Tiny requires BKB as soon as he completes his affordable items, such as Echo Sabre and Blink Dagger.
Adapting to Tiny’s unique playstyle
Getting the enemy target to toss at the right position is easier said than done. And could be much worse against a careful enemy, who has cleverly positioned himself among other units. In late-game territory, many carry players also pick up Manta Style, which they use to dodge a Tiny’s Blink Dagger initiation.
A fool-proof method of performing the Toss is to target Toss on the hero icon, located at the top section of your interface. This can be even simpler for players, who are familiar with alt-queuing the combo; Blink Dagger, use Avalanche, target Toss on the enemy hero icon, and auto-attack.
Youtuber Pohka seems to be a Tiny flight academy trainee with some solid advice:
Win MMR with Tiny today
Tiny’s popularity hasn’t picked up yet in pubs, so you should spam Tiny while it lasts. As carry players, reserve the last pick for it, otherwise support Tiny as the first pick is great too.
Be wary of the match timing because Tiny’s effectiveness drops drastically when he isn’t raking up kills in the midgame. As the mid-player, you are responsible for ensuring you aren’t playing the game passively by farming, but sneakily catching other lanes’ for kills.
To farm efficiently, ask your supports to stack the jungle camps since Tiny’s cheap combo does quick work of any creeps.
Get Blink Dagger, stop being smol
Tiny is one of the few heroes who can make wonders with only Blink Dagger, provided they already have high levels in Avalanche and Toss. Hence, the right timing to smoke is immediately after getting your Blink Dagger. Even after a successful ambush, keep up with that momentum by destroying the tier-1 tower nearby.
What many inexperienced Tiny players got wrong is overcommitting to tier-2 tower. It forces a reaction from the opponents, which could either go south or turn out well. If it does go south, and Tiny gets killed, it would set back Tiny’s effectiveness by being unavailable.
Alongside Tiny, Puck and Dawnbreaker have been top nominees for most picked heroes too. Dawnbreaker particularly provides powerful teamfight spells, which sustain Tiny’s presence in a chaotic fight. Whereas Puck offers additional initiation, nukes, and silence, which can help prevent Tiny from getting stunned.
As DPC Tour 3 draws nearer to the end, we might just see more Tiny Airlines action at Arlington Major 2022. Until then, use Tiny to raise your medal and MMR before Icefrog decides for yet another nerf.