This is my first guide and I'm still working on it, so please bear with me. I have a video to go along with it located here:
If you'd like me to add anything feel free to let me know.
I'll try and make the intro quick so we can get to the good stuff. Gondar the Bounty Hunter (BH from now on) is a great ganker and is most useful early to mid game. If a game goes late enough, his impact can wear down as the enemy team probably will have various items to reveal his invisibility and his low overall HP makes him an easy first target.
For best effectiveness, play smart and be aggressive early. BH doesn't have that many hit points and has a relatively low mana pool, so you have to use your mana skills wisely. BH is a carry but not a hard carry, so expect to be outclassed by certain other heroes late game. Your main job early game is to ensure enemy hard carries don't get fat.
Aside from the basics, I'll also go over a few interesting things about his abilities and the proper skill rotation for taking down enemies quick.
I'm generally unconventional with my builds, especially my start items. I almost always go with Ring of Regeneration over Tango and Healing Salve, and with BH is no different. Here are my reasons: BH will use RoR in building Vladmir's Offering, RoR will heal you more long term since it isn't a consumable, and RoR will begin healing you the moment you take damage. For example, 3 Tango will give you 345 health total and a Healing Salve will heal 400. So on the high end that's 200 seconds of healing with RoR or almost 3.5 minutes. So instead of waiting for your health to drop enough to need a potion or tango, you can start healing the moment you take damage with RoR. Again this is just my preference.
I also start with Quelling Blade for the obvious farming reasons. BH has a huge swing before he actually hits with his auto attack, so it can be hard to last hit with all the craziness of first few minutes. Not to mention Quelling Blade does stack with Jinada, giving a big advantage to the early lane farm. You can use it to take Roshan down quicker.
Phase Boots are easily the next item you need to get. The speed boost should be used right after the speed debuff from Jinada falls off. The damage is also great for BH. With Jinada eventually being a 6 second cooldown you definitely want higher damage over the attack speed from Power Treads.
There is a rotation you should use for these skills when attacking a hero, but more on that in the next section.
Shuriken Toss has good damage but costs BH a large portion of his mana pool. It does mini-stun, so it will interrupt channeled spells and Scroll of Teleportation. Every time you level it up it costs more mana, so use it only for kill shots or spell interruptions and not for harrassing. If you notice my build, once I get 2 points into it I don't put the last two points until levels 13 and 14. I don't think the damage increase and increased mana cost are worth shorting your other abilities which are used far more often.
Jinada is a guaranteed crit with a slowing debuff, whats not to love? The damage percent increases with every level while also reducing the cooldown. The slowing effect is always the same. Jinada will NEVER go off on friendly units or heroes. So keep that in mind when trying to deny. If you buy a crit item like Daedalus keep in mind they will never go off on the same attack.
Shadow Walk is your stealth skill which gives you bonus physical damage if you break stealth with an auto attack. THIS BONUS DAMAGE IS SEPARATE FROM YOUR AUTO ATTACK!!! For example, if you have level 1 Jinada with a base damage of 100 you will crit for 150. If Shadow Walk is level 1 and you attack, you will hit for 150 and separately for 30. The Shadow Walk damage does not stack with your attack power! Any action taken or item used will break your stealth from Shadow Walk. You can avoid phyiscal damage and targeted spells if you fade (go fully invisible) before the attack lands. You cannot avoid cleave damage, aura damage, or aoe spell damage by activating Shadow Walk.
Track is your ult and is extremely useful. Track will reveal the targeted heroes location regardless of fog-of-war or stealth effects. It also gives bonus gold to you and your allies when a Tracked target dies. It also gives you and your allies bonus speed around the Tracked unit. This ability is great for chasing down heroes, annoying other heroes with stealth items/skills, and keeping enemies from gathering/hiding for team ganks/fights.
Start with Shadow Walk since it is great for escaping and you never know when the enemy is going to overload a lane early. Or if your team wants to overload a lane you could be there and the enemy would never know. Even if the enemy team starts the game with Sentries, they probably won't plant them until they know for a fact they are laning against someone with a stealth skill. Either way, this is a great skill to get first.
Jinada next. Great for getting that early farm and you can harass heroes, especially when you combine this with Shadow Walk. When harassing, wait until the cooldown for Shadow Walk is almost ready (especially level 1 Shadow Walk) so you can hit the hero and go invis again. I also prefer getting this before Shuriken Toss because of the slow effect. For those crazy games where you can get a kill in the first two minutes, you probably won't be doing the damage all by yourself and Jinada lets your friends catch up to help out.
2 points into Shuriken Toss next. Why only two? The 3rd point only gives you a 50 damage increase, and the 4th point costs 155 mana. At level 7, the earliest you can max out Shuriken Toss, Shuriken Toss is about half of your mana pool.
Another point in Shadow Walk. Now you can stay invisible without being exposed between cooldowns.
Track at level 6 then max Jinada. A single Shuriken Toss may do more damage if you max it out first, but Maxing Jinada gives you better chasing power, more consistent/reliable damage, and why pass up having a guaranteed crit/slow effect every six seconds?
I prefer maxing out Shadow Walk next over Shuriken Toss, but this is based solely on BH having a low mana pool. Shadow Walk gives you higher bonus damage to start, which potentially negates needing Shuriken Toss (very situational) since you will use Shadow Walk much more. The mana difference between level 2 and level 4 Shuriken Toss is almost the cost of Shadow Walk and may mean the difference between you being able to escape a fight using Shadow Walk and not escaping at all. The high mana cost may mean you won't be able to cast Shuriken Toss at all.
There are a couple of different ways to play the lane game depending on who you are laning with, who you are laning against, and the overall strategy you are going for.
If your strategy is to harass, there is a very easy way to do this. Start off with Ring of Basillius and make your first three skills Shadow Walk -> Jinada -> Shadow Walk. This works well if you have another carry in your lane that needs farm more than you or if you want to keep the enemy heroes away from the action so they get less gold and XP. Just pop Shadow Walk wait for the cooldown to be almost finished, hit them with Jinada, then go back to stealth. By waiting for Shadow Walk to be almost cooled down before attacking, can avoid being out of stealth for too long and it's easier on your mana pool. This is especially easy if you are laning with Dark Seer and he casts Ion Shell on you. With Ion Shell on you just have to be stealth and stand next to the enemy heroes. Just be careful as any half smart player will buy Sentry Wards to combat this tactic.
Vs. 2 range/nuke heroes
If you are solo or with another melee hero this is a very hard combo to lane against. Chances are they are going to go heavy on the harass, so what do you do? One option is to Harass them back (see above) or stay stealth and get last hits on creeps before going back to stealth. BH only has 473 HP to start with and can be easily killed if caught off guard. You will definitely need some healing items here unless you want to stay in stealth and let them dominate the lane.
There is a proper way to maximize your damage without any specific items if you know how to rotate your skills properly. Assuming you are starting in stealth:
Jinada --> Track --> 1 auto attack --> Shuriken Toss (you may want to wait on using Shuriken Toss if there is a channeled spell you want to interrupt at some point during a fight)
Opening with Jinada means the enemy hero isn't going anywhere very fast and your auto attack start cooling down. Track immediately after for the obvious bonuses. Track is also instant cast and your auto attack should be ready as soon as the cast is done. Same goes with Shuriken Toss, it is also instant cast and your auto attack will be ready after. If you chain Track and Shuriken Toss back to back, you miss out on an auto attack and you may lose some distance between you and the target. Activate Phase Boots when Jinada has 3 seconds left on cooldown. This gives you the speed boost while they don't have the Jinada debuff on them and thus more time you spend auto attacking instead of chasing. By the time the Phase Boots speed buff falls off you Jinada will be back up and the enemy will be slowed again.
I see most people get right next to their target while invisible and start with Track then Jinada/auto attack immediately followed by activating Phase Boots and this is very inefficient and can put you further away from your enemy. The same is true if you were to open up with [[Medallion of Courage], it is better to get the Shadow Walk damage bonus than it is to cast your Medallion to break stealth. You could break stealth with Medallion, go stealth again and get full damage, but then you are left with Shadow Walk on full cooldown and your target potentially further away from you.
You can also look at the armor value table below. Assuming level 4 Shadow Walk, will the armor reduction bonus from Medallion of Courage with your current attack power give you more than 120 damage? Most times it won't.
If you can get a Track off before a fight starts then that's great, but if you don't want your presence known, wait until after your opening attack to Track. Proper rotation can mean the difference between a quick kill, a short chase, a long chase, and getting no kill.
If you are in a scenario where you are chasing an enemy, cast Track first, activate Phase Boots, then go invis with Shadow Walk. Remember that activating Phase Boots while stealth will break your stealth.
Armor value table:
(Note that armor values go up by 1 for every 7 agility, but the percentage of reduction goes up every 3 or 4 agility)
Armor Value Reduction Percent
Not listed is the damage bonus for negative armor. Yes, you can deal tons of bonus damage if you can get negative armor on a target. Desolator is in my base build, and early game that can be a very big increase by itself.
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