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12 Votes

Bounty Hunter: Nuking Meta

February 24, 2015 by wffls1
Comments: 14    |    Views: 32215    |   


DotA2 Hero: Bounty Hunter

Hero Skills

Shuriken Toss

3 4 5 7


1 8 9 10

Shadow Walk

2 12 13 14


6 11 16


15 17 18

Nuking vs. Traditional BH

Gondar, the Bounty Hunter is a semi-carry, known for chasing enemies down with his Track. But he is also a nuker. Taking inspiration from the greatest nuker of all time, Nyx Assassin, I have crafted this build as a different way to play Bounty Hunter. As most nukers, Nuker Bounty Hunter focuses less on right clicking and more on using an array of abilities and items to quickly kill a lone hero. Instead of having to chase the enemy and hit them multiple times, risking other enemies coming to their teammate's assistance or the enemy reaching the safety of a tower, a nuking bounter hunter can kill an enemy and Shadow Walk away before they have time to react.

Pros/Cons of Nuker Bounty Hunter

-Can kill an enemy faster than traditional Bounty Hunter.
-Can farm easily with Jinada.
-Great offlaner.
-Fast movement speed.
-Looks, talks, acts like a boss.
- Track.

-Needs a lot more mana then traditional Bounty Hunter.
-So so squishy.
-Invisibility easily countered by detection items.

Skill Build/Explanation

Shuriken Toss: Your mini-stun and first nuke.

Deals adequate damage and provides a mini-stun, which breaks channeling spells and [[town portal scroll]s. It costs a lot of mana early on, but you want to maximize the damage it takes early on. Max this first.

Jinada: Your slow and second nuke.

Though it is technically a right-click, Jinada can be thought of as a nuke. A definite 225% critical strike every 6 seconds is very powerful. Get this first if possible but max second.

Shadow Walk: Your main escape and nuke initiation.

A noob team that has no detection can get completely rekt with invisibility abilities, but a decent team with Dust of Appearance and Sentry Wards can really screw you over. Be wary of your enemy's inventory and make sure you/your teammates notify if they have detection items. One level in Shadow Walk is usually enough for a while, but feel free to upgrade it earlier on if necessary.

Track: Your early game edge.

Track is great early game as it increases movement speed, allowing you to chase your enemies down. The extra gold is always appreciated, but the armor reduction and movement speed increase is not necessary late game, as you will be killing enemy heroes within seconds.

Game Phases/Core Item Explanation

Starting Items:

The usual regen should be bought at the start of the game, and an Iron Branch for stats. Because of Bounty Hunter's three early game items, you have a lot of options on what to spend the rest of your gold with. A Sage's Mask can be taken for more mana regen, allowing you to spam Shadow Walk more often, and will also build into Urn of Shadows or Medallion of Courage. A Circlet and Mantle of Intelligence can be bought for more stats and a closer Null Talisman. Buy Gauntlets of Strength to increase health pool and build them into Urn of Shadows. Get Slippers of Agility for better last-hitting power or Stout Shield for defense against right-clicking aggro, these will also build into a Poor Man's Shield.
*If another member on your team plans to buy Urn of Shadows, buy Medallion of Courage instead, but never buy both.

Early Game:

There is no real necessary order on buying the three early-game items, it depends on what you bought at the start. Poor Man's Shield defends against right clicking attacks, Urn of Shadows provides mana regen, health, and both a healing and harming tool, Null Talisman gives stats and will be built into a dagon. These items are costly, so if Boots of Speed are needed beforehand for chasing, feel free to get them. Sometimes you may find myself low on GPM or just in a hurry, so if you are not getting harassed it is okay to skip the Poor Man's Shield altogether.
There is also, of course, the Magic Wand. Personally, I rarely buy it as I feel the 500 gold cost outweighs the benefit in the long run. I won't stop you from building a Magic Wand, especially if you are laning against spamming heroes like Skywrath Mage, but I don't recommend it.

Mid Game:

After getting Phase Boots, aim for a dagon. Compared to a Desolator (the typical Bounty Hunter core item), the dagon will be a very quick item, especially since you already have Null Talisman. Before dagon, Bounty Hunter is played as a traditional chaser: Tracking the enemy and chasing them down with teammates/alone. But with dagon, a cat-and-mouse chasing game will be turned into the quick painless death of squishy enemies. Bounty Hunter can come out of Shadow Walk by striking the enemy with a Jinada, use dagon, Urn of Shadows, and finish them off with a Shuriken Toss. With every skill maxed and disregarding resistance, this combo deals a whopping 995+ damage, not even taking into account the critical strike from Jinada. As you guessed, using dagon and Shuriken Toss will use a lot of mana. An Orchid Malevolence will provide all the mana regen you will need, while also providing a silence and damage amplifier. Add an Ethereal Blade and no lone enemy can hope to survive. An Orchid Malevolence+ Shadow Walk+ Jinada- Ethereal Blade-dagon- Urn of Shadows- Shuriken Toss combo will have any hero begging for mercy. If the enemy has no detection, Bounty Hunter will even be able to quickly pick off enemies in a 5-man group and Shadow Walk away without the enemy being able to do a thing.
*Remember that Ethereal Blade makes enemies immune to physical attacks, so be sure to communicate with your team if the enemy somehow survives your attack and is ethereal.

Late Game:

At this point, your enemies will be dying left and right. Though not a necessary item, Boots of Travel will help in maneuvering about the map. Even without the Boots of Travel, Bounty Hunter won't really need to buy any more items for his own personal gain. This means that he can buy more utility items to help the team.

An Array of Situational Items

As stated before, the nature of a nuking Bounty Hunter gives a sixth item slot to buy a large amount of situational items:

Since Bounty Hunter is more of a semi-carry, he will taper off in the late game. Because of this, try to buy an item that can help the entire team. If you buy a dps item, try to buy one that can help the entire team as well. For example, Monkey King Bar may be nice and help hit evasion heroes, but all it takes is one Jinada hit to start the nuking combo. Instead, buy a Desolator with an armor reducing effect that all teammates can take advantage of, or Diffusal Blade with a mana burn and slow.

Drum of Endurance is a great team-oriented item. Any team should have at least one as it helps in chasing and escaping.

Vladmir's Offering: this item is great if many teammates are melee. It is great for a teamfight or when fighting Roshan.

Buy a Linken's Sphere if the enemy is somehow able to land a spell on you while you try to kill them. The regen is also helpful.

If enemies are able to frequently bring your health down, buy a Heart of Tarrasque. Turn invis and heal with no problems.

Veil of Discord makes both your and your teammate's magical damage more powerful.

Force Staff is a great support item that can both help your team and harm the enemy.

Shiva's Guard helps your team chase down any remaining enemies after a (successful) teamfight.

Assault Cuirass gives your team much desired armor and attack speed, while placing an armor debuff on enemies.

Pipe of Insight gives you and your team health regen and spellblock, useful in any situation.

Eul's Scepter of Divinity, Scythe of Vyse, and Rod of Atos have great actives and mana regen, though eul's is less reliable and makes the enemy invulnerable.

Bounty Hunter can even give supports a break and buy Observer Wards himself. His Shadow Walk especially helps warding without an inopportune meeting with the enemy.

Items to AVOID:

Battle Fury: Seriously, just don't do it. I will admit, a cleaved Jinada is pretty cool. But Bounty Hunter is not supposed to be in the center of battle, where a cleave is the most effective. Instead, he should be picking of lone heroes: a strategy that Battle Fury does not support.

Multiple Dagons. They share the same cooldown. I've tried.

Friends and Foes

Pick Bounty Hunter if...

Your team has a jungler or tri-lane. Someone will have to offlane, and Bounty Hunter is a perfect choice.

Your team has heroes with mana regen abilities. This will especially help early game as you spam Shuriken Toss and Shadow Walk.

Your team has heroes with global abilities that damage enemies. These heroes can make good use of Track.

The other team has squishy heroes. Perfect food for Bounty Hunter.

The other team has channeling heroes. A Shuriken Toss can stop it right quick.

The other team has invisible heroes. Track will get rid of their element of surprise.

DO NOT pick Bounty Hunter if...

The enemy has detection abilities. Shadow walk becomes obsolete.

The enemy has very tanky heroes. They can eventually be brought down with a full nuking combo, but they are a pain to kill early-mid game. Most tanky heroes buy a blademail, and if they activate it in time, you can inadvertently kill yourself.

Your team already has too many carries. Bounty Hunter may not need a lot of farm, but you are better off picking an actual support.

Doom. You will be rendered practically useless. Though a Doom can ruin any hero, a Bounty Hunter that focuses on using items will be especially hurt.

Razor. His unstable current will zap your *** to the Underscape before you even realize it.


Wait to level up

A good tactic to follow for any hero is to not level your first ability immediately. If the enemy isn't being aggressive, a level in Jinada will help give a few more last hits that can be the difference between victory and defeat. On the other hand, if the enemy is harassing/trying to get a quick first blood, Shadow Walk can save your life. If you don't already, familiarize yourself with leveling abilities by using keyboard shortcuts. A quick ability leveling with the freedom of using the mouse for something else can really make a difference.


If you don't already, learn how to shift-click. Shift-clicking queues an array of actions together, allowing a hero to perform these actions with no human reaction to delay the process. See a lone enemy? Shift click an attack command, all items/abilities in the correct order, a Shadow Walk and a movement away from the enemy. All of these actions will be performed as quickly as possible, possibly faster than any human continuously having to select each separate item/ability while already engaging the enemy. This takes a good amount of skill, however, as shift-clicking in the wrong order can ruin an attack.


Although less powerful than shift-clicking, quick-casting is a useful tool to take advantage of. It allows a hero to use an item/ability targeted at the location of the cursor. So instead of having to use a keyboard binding and then click, all you have to do is use a keyboard binding. This is a bit more useful with Blink Dagger, but can help when getting a quick dagon blast or Urn of Shadows release.


Bounty Hunter is a very versatile hero who can end up playing a more supportive role if necessary. People may laugh when they see a dagon and no Desolator on Bounty Hunter, but we know who will be laughing after Bounty Hunter nukes everyone in his path and nonchalantly Shadow Walks away.

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