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Feed the beast within! - A comprehensive guide to Beastmaster [7.08]

February 1, 2018 by Sernyx
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Build 1
Build 2

Standard build

DotA2 Hero: Beastmaster


Purchase Order

Starting items

Core items

Extension items



Hero Skills

Wild Axes

1 3 5 7

Call of the Wild

2 4 8 9

Inner Beast

11 13 14 15

Primal Roar

6 12 18

Talents

10 16

Hero Talents

+2 Hawks
25
+40 Inner Beast Attack Speed
+500 Health
20
+100 Wild Axes Damage
+40 Boar Damage
15
+7 Armor
+30 Movement Speed
10
+25% XP Gain


Feed the beast within! - A comprehensive guide to Beastmaster [7.08]

Sernyx
February 1, 2018


Introduction

In this guide I will cover my long-time favourite hero - Beastmaster. Though as much as I like him, he is still largely ignored by a good load of Dota 2 players, despite gaining what I think to be the best changes he has received in many years. Of course, this is mostly due to his relatively high skill cap and not-so-flashy kit, which for many people marks the hero as "bad" (which is inherently wrong). And this guide is made to provide advanced explaining to not so obvious aspects of this amazing hero.

Pros / Cons

+ Incredible versatility and well-rounded skill set
+ Flexible itembuild
+ Lots of utility in auras, disables and supreme vision
+ Longest reliable stun in the game which also pierces Spell immunity
+ Insane snowballing and pushing potential
+ One of the strongest heroes at level 1 with great starting stats
+ A good anti-carry hero
+ Not everyone knows how to counterplay him (especially at lower brackets)

- Requires a lot of micro and macro skill
- A very team-focused hero who struggles if his team is completely incompetent
- Poor attribute gain
- Falls off significantly in late-game
- Can feed a large amount of gold and experience to enemy if played carelessly

Abilities

The 7.07 patch had finally brought all of Beastmaster's abilities to fully synergize with each other while also fixing some of their glaring weaknesses. Let's take a closer look.

[Q] Wild Axes



This ability is once again Beastmaster's true power in the early game. It has two main purposes.
First, it's a very effective poking tool. A 1500 range nuke is not something you expect from a melee fighter, and it allows you to catch careless opponents off guard when they suddenly start to lose 1/3 of their health bar with each Axes cast, or secure farm while remaining in relatively safe distance.
Second, it's your way to clear huge jungle stacks with almost no effort and health loss. Damage amp lasts longer than the spell's actual cooldown, so it's entirely possible to gain a ridiculous networth increase if you manage to clear an x5 ancient stack at level 7 in less than a minute.

The fun starts when we do the maths. The numbers include only the spell's own damage amp and don't take into account the other sourses of damage reduction/amplification such as armor.

If we are maxing Axes out, at level 7 we will have a 240 damage nuke. Not very impressive, but it turns out that the debuff is applied before the actual damage. So on hit one axe already benefits from 1 stack of it, and the other benefits from both.
It leads to level 4 Axes dealing 283.2 damage on the first cast if both axes hit. Repeated casts of the spell further amplify its own damage, making it grow exponentially and result in a lot of agony for your enemies.

So, if you consistently hit an enemy with two axes their damage becomes something like:
283.2 > 340.8 > 398.4 > 456 and so on.

Tips:
  • The main downside of the spell is the physical damage. Armor reduces it for quite a large amount so it doesn't do very much to heroes like Terrorblade, Ogre Magi, Naga Siren etc. They are generally tougher to take down as Beastmaster since nearly all his damage is physical.
  • Axes are a bit tricky with hitting. Despite the range, the speed is not super high, and combined with a weird travelling path the spell requires a certain amount of practice to land consistently.
  • The tree cutting aspect of Axes is also not to neglect. It helps you to prevent ganks removing the trees as a natural hiding spot, and makes life hell for tree-dependent heroes.

[W] Call of the Wild



The reason why the hero is called Beastmaster. This is your signature skill which dictates your general playstyle, but also requires sufficient micro skill to utilize fully.

Boar is your main ally throughout the game. Its tasks are usually stacking, poking enemies and ensuring noone ever escapes you if they have no mobility.
The slow from Boar's attacks is very annoying to play against and significantly hinders its target's capabilities, especially early on. At max level it can secure you a win in almost every 1v1 skirmish.

Hawk is your eyes in the sky. It's really useful for preventing ganks and scouting the map thanks to its flying vision and movement. In combination with your Axes it makes juking you in the trees almost an impossible task. Yes, it had lost the static invis, but very high movement speed and the fact that it doesn't die to 2 basic attacks from a support anymore is more than worth it.

And finally, a free neutral creep completes your little army (for now). It always possesses a useful aura and/or an active ability, increasing your general utility for a large amount. Also, big neutrals have quite large health pools, so they are very heplful tanking tower damage when you are pushing. Unfortunately, Icefrog is seemingly obsessed with various RNG elements in Dota, so you get your creep randomly from a 5 units pool listed below.

Alpha Wolf: has a bonus damage aura. Greatly increases your whole crew's DPS and helps greatly in solo kills and, especially, tower pushing.
Hellbear Smasher: has an AS aura which synergizes well with your own one, and Thunder Clap - AOE slow with decent damage and 12 second cooldown. add the boar and they will be literally walking backwards
Centaur Conqueror: or "6 second stun is completely OK oh wait you're dead". Chain-stun after your ultimate for an almost guaranteed kill, catch fleeing enemies if your ult is down (slow from Boar greatly hepls with that), or stun a huge crowd of murderous enemies chasing you and laugh at them as you escape.
Dark Troll Summoner: instead of an aura, has 2 active abilities. Ensnare is another way to further lock down your opponent, and like your ultimate, it also pierces Spell immunity. Raise Dead creates two skeletons with surprisingly high base damage and low BAT, which, combined with your pasiive, results in quite impressive DPS increase.
Satyr Tormenter: Satyr packs a regen aura which really helps you sustain, and Shockwave can offer a solid AOE nuke, and even occasional sick long-range snipes. The satisfaction is actually incredible, trust me.

Tips:
  • Play carefully and don't let your summons die for nothing. They can feed a lot of experience and gold to your enemies.
  • Boar has very low BAT, so it benefits greatly from your passive and other AS boosts.
  • When you use Call of the Wild, don't forget about the bird. I admit that I sometimes still forget about it too, and it just stays in place for a long time or is quickly killed in a teamfight. Don't throw it out.
  • Since hawk can no longet be invisible and has much more HP and movement speed, it's often better to move it to provide dynamic scouting.
  • Your neutrals also benefit from Wild Axes debuff. With a few stacks of it Satyr's or Hellbear's nukes can pack quite a punch.
  • Remember that this Raise Dead has a 25 second cooldown, while skeletons last 40 seconds, so you can have 4 of them at once. More so, skeletons actually don't die when your Troll creep expires, so make sure it doesn't come to waste.

[E] Inner Beast



Your passive is one of the best auras in the game. Simple, but very effective. It greatly increases your team's DPS, and allows you to literally melt towers.

It's not recommended to skill it in lane because it quickly pushes creeps under the enemy tower, leaving you without experience or vulnerable to ganks.

[R] Primal Roar



And finally, the ultimate. Primal Roar is one of the strongest disables in the game: a whooping 4 second stun at max level with a decent range, not very long cooldown and, most importantly, it doesn't give a **** about Spell immunity. Actually, lower level players often think of Beastmaster as a "walking ultimate".

The interesting thing about Roar is that it's actually an AoE ability. The knockback is still a 0.6 second stun that also pierces spell immunity. If the situation calls, you can, for example, cancel a few channeling spells at once with proper positioning - even if the enemies have their BKBs up.

Tips:
  • This ability is one of the most remarkable ways of stopping enemies with Black King Bar. It's amazing for shutting down BKB'd carries jumping into the teamfight, or cancelling big channeling spells like Black Hole. If you're expecting an engage, position yourselves a bit away from the others so that you won't get caught and manage to use your ult in time.
  • If possible, try hitting your target with Wild Axes before Primal Roar. This extra damage isn't very significant, but sometimes it can let you get a kill in the last moment which you couldn't do otherwise.
  • Unlike most other knockbacks, secondary targets pushed by Roar don't destroy trees on impact and go through them. Sometimes it can create a bad surprise for an enemy that gets pushed in the trees without any means to escape, and you can easily gain vision on them with the hawk.
  • Roar can be a truly game-changing ability. Choose your target wisely and use it on the most dangerous target. It can be better to hold it a bit if you know you will need it to counter-initiate soon.

Talents

Level 10



+25% XP gain

This talent is Beastmaster's bread and butter. What can possibly go wrong if a tempo hero who is an absolute monster in mid-game gains a mean to get incredibly far ahead in experience? Right - he will consistently be the highest level on th map and can easily reach 700+ average XPM without some really outstanding performance. Beastmaster heavily depends on levels, but with such an advantage he will be able to snowball out of control very quickly and end the game before your core heroes ever come online. Undeniably the best choice.


Level 15



+7 armor

One of Beastmaster's main weaknesses is that, despite his amazing starting stats, his tankiness later on is mediocre at best. This talent gives you a nice boost to your armor and bulks you up against physical damage dealers.

+40 Boar damage

If your boar lives long enough, this talent will effectively double its DPS, further increasing your pushing potential.


Level 20



+500 health

Solves all problems with survivability caused by your mediocre STR gain. You'll need this a lot as a frontline hero. Never a bad choice.

+100 Wild Axes damage

This talent has 2 purposes: if you're pushed back to your base and you need to clear big creepwaves, or if you're terribly ahead and just want to continue 3-shotting enemies with Axes. In this case it's more of a choice of taste, but I prefer the safer way through HP boost.


Level 25



+40 Inner Beast attack speed

Not very much to say here. This talent perfectly rounds Beastmaster's kit, turning himself and his whole team into unstoppable pushing machines. Well, who wouldn't be with basically a free Mjollnir?

+2 Hawks

Now I will rant a little bit. Yes, 3 hawks can provide incredible vision advantage in numerous chokepoints (i.e. Roshan and runes/ancient camps), BUT... This talent is and will remain garbage until Valve fixes the ******* hawks always being united in a single control group. What's the point in picking a talent (even if good) when the game simply doesn't let you utilize it? And anyway I don't see why would you forego such an insane AS steroid, unless maybe your team is 4 hard mages who can't do **** with right-clicks.

Items

One of the most important paragraphs. Beastmaster's itembuild is very flexible and can contain lots of different items. But here is one critically important remark.

STOP. BUILDING. HIM. A FREAKING. CARRY.
Seriously, why the hell so many people think that he can outclass any proper carry hero??? His stat gain is garbage, he sucks in lategame, and the only spell that seems more or less "carry-ish" is his aura which is not that impressive, considering he doesn't even have that +120 damage talent which everyone went for anymore.
So: no Battle Fury, no Mask of Madness, no ******** like Skull Basher or Mjollnir PEOPLE WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU GODDAMMIT



Anyway, here's a more detailed item discussion.

Starting items



Tango and Stout Shield are pretty much mandatory on any melee hero. If you go middle, buy a Quelling Blade. With it you have 90 creep damage al level 1. Enjoy your Treant-level farming. If you go offlane, I recommend buying more regen in form of Healing Salve and Enchanted Mango.

Core items



Soul Ring
This is The Little Booty. Rush this item as fast as possible and experience tranquility almost no mana issues unless you're playing against a few manaburn heroes.
A single Soul Ring cast allows you to use 2 Wild Axes or Axes + CotW for 10 mana. It also offers nice stats with a pleasant Strength and regen bonus - for a ridiculous cost of 770 gold. I see absolutely no reasons for you to ever skip it.

After building Soul Ring and Boots of Speed you need to decide what are you going to do in this game.

Scenario 1



If you're looking towards ganks and solo kills, buy Tranquil Boots. They will give you good mobility and sustain to begin roaming the map or farm the carefully prepared stacks on your way to The Big Booty...

...Which is Necronomicon.
Necrobook on Beastmaster is undeniably one of the best hero/item pairs in the entire game. It synergizes so well with his abilities that I sometimes think of it as a part of his actual kit. Necronomicon summons both have very low BAT and benefit from your passive a lot more than most other units. In the duration of Primal Roar they can dish out so much damage (especially with the Axes debuff) that Beastmaster can solo-kill almost every hero in the game if he gets Necronomicon fairly early. Necro warriors also pack a bunch of useful spells:

True Sight: basically a Gem of True Sight - without the risk of losing it. Throw in a hawk, and you get a whole mobile dewarding crew capable of doing so even if you're not present. Provides strong and constant suffering for enemy invis heroes getting consistently spotted and jumped on.
Last Will: God knows how many times I've gotten kills just from enemies carelessly throwing around their spells of greedily trying to kill the warrior for that sweet 200 gold (only to feed much more shortly after).
Mana Break: Necronomicon warrior has a BAT of 0.75 - the lowest value in the game after Visage's Familiars. With a few attack speed buffs which Beastmaster generously provides, its attack speed can reach ridiculous numbers. With 50 mana burnt per hit, it's entirely possible to leave a non-Intelligence hero completely out of mana during Primal Roar, and Intelligence heroes will generally not even survive the whole stun duration.

Purge: This. With Diffusal Blade's purge gone, each source of it is very valuable. This ability can allow you to catch enemies to get in range for your ultimate, don't let them escape after it, dispel nasty things like Ghost Scepter, Windrun etc., and many more.
Archer Aura: Not very much to say, just a nice little addition to your aura club.

Keep in mind, that such possibilities come at a price. A pair of Necro units can feed 400 gold and 400 XP. Try to save them from dying as much as possible and trade them only if needed. Also be aware of Chen or Enchantress who can steal your Necro units.

After getting Boots and both Booties, pick up a Blink Dagger. There's no point in praising Blink as the best item in the game since many people before me already did that. I'll just say it covers Beastmaster's most glaring weakness - lack of mobility.

Initiation, gap-closing, escape, chasing - all of this and more for only 2250 gold, available in the Main Shop! The special suggestion - buy our Blink DaggerTM in the Side Shop while being 4-man ganked and pull out the dopest escape of your life! Don't miss your chance!

These items are Corest of Cores. After them, start building Extension items (explained below), depending on what you need the most.

Scenario 2



If you have early pushing heroes in your line-up such as Lycan, Chen, Enchantress, Vengeful Spirit etc., go straight for Helm of the Dominator. It provides a great aura which synergizes well with your passive and ramps up your HP regen to easily compensate the lack of Tranquil Boots. But, most importantly, it allows you have a second jungle creep - even the one that you can't summon yourselves. Quick note: same neutral auras don't stack with each other. So there's no point in getting two Alpha Wolves (Satyrs and Hellbears at least have good spells and much more health).

Next, go for Drum of Endurance. It ridiculously skyrockets your pushing power considering how cheap and easy to buy it is. Use the active for towers/barracks or for killing tough enemies. After it build Necronomicon, and by the time you finish Necro3 you will likely be already busy ending the game. If not - continue buying the ordinary stuff.

Extension and situational items



Medallion of Courage: If you see that the enemy is mercilessly murdering your poor animal friends, have lots of AoE spells, and don't get ashamed of violating animal rights - screw Necronomicon, rush Medallion and Solar Crest. This can also ramp up your damage output and has a nice bonus in increased tankiness for you or your ally.

Vladmir's Offering: The most generic aura item. Amazing stats and bonuses for a little price and easy build-up. Would also be considered core, if it wasn't for the fact that multiple Vlads is not the greatest idea, and the chance that somebody else will buy it earlier is considerable.

Assault Cuirass: Another aura, this time even stronger and more defensive. Creates new horizons in melting towers. Again, don't build if your team already has one.

Boots of Travel: For a splitpusher such as Beastmaster, this is just a matter of time. Teleport onto the hawk = rats for days. (reports from salty enemies not included)

Black King Bar: By that time you will probably find yourself constantly interrupted and catching lots of unpleasant spells. In most cases, BKB solves that problem decently.

Heaven's Halberd: Very underrated item, which can be devastating if the enemy team relies on heavy right-clickers. Super cool stats combined with an anti-carry active (that is, once again, cannot be dispeled by Spell immunity) come in line with your kit and role quite well. Also very useful to pop an enemy's Linken's Sphere.

Refresher Orb: Two Primal Roars, two CotW packs (even two Necronomicons if you're especially savage) and two sets of item actives - Refresher is a rather straightforward item.

Force Staff: Extra mobility, save, initiation (push the Roared target into your team) and the cheapest way to break enemy Linken's. Consider if you need it.

Shadow Blade: I admit that I'm a bit biased towards Blink, but still - SB is viable only if there are ****loads of DoT abilities which cancel your blink, or you really need Silver Edge to break annoying passives. But then, you should probably just go Blink+SB as it by no means can stand as a Blink replacement.

Shiva's Guard: Another cool aura, but this time it's not ally-oriented, but enemy. It alao comes with a great chunk of armor and so much mana you will hardly even spend it all. Active gives you yet another slow which brings you even closer to the "walking backwards" effect.

Scythe of Vyse: If it's late-game and you literally have no clue what to buy - buy Hex. Having an additional hard disable is never bad, and if you're already a Disablemaster, so why not.

Abyssal Blade: Now I can predict somebody is already writing something like "you despise Basher but recommend Abyssal wtf". Basher as a core item is a gimmick because Beastmaster is an awful carry. But as a late-game luxury purchase, Abyssal Blade is a very cool item that improves your tankiness with the Vanguard element, and giver you ******* ANOTHER BKB-piercing disable.

Desolator: If you're really desperate to push that last rax/T4 tower/Ancient.

A couple of thoughts regarding Aghanim's Scepter. The upgrade itself is situationally decent, but there are so many utility items that suit you better, that there is often simply no place left for Aghs. It probably needs a buff or a rework so it can compete with other options, otherwise I wouldn't consider buying it. (though it becomes super good if given by allied Alchemist)

Allies / Enemies

First, let's look at the heroes who you shouldn't probably pick Beastmaster against.

Axe: This red dumbass. One of the three heroes in the game you have almost no chance of solo-killing. Stupid Counter Helix can proc a quasillion times while you and your pack try to kill him when he's stunned (because Dota is all about logic, y'know). As soon as he acquires Blink Dagger, you become his number 1 prey. If he against you, try to keep some distance from your summons so he won't catch you all with Berserker's Call. If you really want to kick his *** later - buy Silver Edge, or just ask somebody to pick Viper. This will make Axe much less confident.

Winter Wyvern: Arctic Burn makes your laning a torture, Splinter Blast allows her to damage your summons quite heavily from a safe distance, Cold Embrace renders you almost useless for its duration, and Winter's Curse can turn all your advantage against you. Probably the best BM counter in the game.

Timbersaw: The second contestant for that title. Almost unkillable because you ramp up his Reactive Armor very fast, and his numerous AOE nukes make quick work of killing all your summons. You can limit his capabilities to some extent by cutting all the trees around, but it won't help very much outside of laning phase.

Sniper: One of the most frustrating pieces of **** to play against. If he lanes against you - prepare for a very entertaining early game (not). Easy kill if you catch him out of position, but mostly he will give you hard time. Same goes, to some extent, to Clinkz.

Phantom Lancer: Beastmaster generally does bad against illusion heroes since he is mostly single-target oriented, and PL is among the most disgusting of them - elusive, high-armor hero who will rip away all your mana once he gets his Diffusal Blade.

Chaos Knight: I can say only one thing... I F&@KING DESPISE CHAOS KNIGHT. His damage is stupid, his illusions are ridiculously tanky and his stun is freaking broken, CK is, perhaps, the only melee carry to whom you can lose the offlane - he is fat AF, has sustain through crits, and if you come too close you'll most likely die in torture. He already comes online with only a freaking Armlet of Mordiggian which he can farm in like 7 minutes (even if he doesn't kill you). And, considering that it's an enemy CK, he is always- ALWAYS lucky as hell, costantly hitting you with those insane crits and 4-second stuns. You know, like those you have yourself as A ******* ULTIMATE.

Legion Commander: Overwhelming Odds hurts quite a lot with your big crew, her 1v1 potential is insane, and Press the Attack can purge off even Primal Roar's stun. Also beware other heroes with strong dispels - Abaddon and Oracle.

Beastmaster also struggles against enemies who pick up Linken's Sphere and Aeon Disk. Aeon Disk, while not very popular, is a perfect way to counter strong single-target pick-offs, and gives the enemy team time to react. And Linken's is your worst nightmare. Since Primal Roar is your key lockdown, you'll usually need to cast it immediately to catch opponents off guard. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to break enemy Linken's - Troll creep's net, Necro archer's dispel, Force Staff, Heaven's Halberd, Scythe of Vyse etc. A little note regarding Anti-Mage's Aghs upgrade - it will not only block, but reflect the first spell on you. There is currently only one way to break it without harming yourself (and even actually helping a bit) - Force Staff. It will do nothing bad to you, and even bring you closer to him to start attacking immediately after Primal Roar.


Beastmaster isn't really the hero who needs good allies - more like he himself is a valuable ally to many heroes. Such as:

Early pushing heroes. Lycan, Broodmother, Chen, Enchantress, Warlock, Nature's Prophet etc. They all combine well together and can melt down whole lanes without much effort.

Carry heroes with high damage, but low attack speed - Sven, Tiny, Chaos Knight. They will surely be glad to have your aura.

Heroes with hard-to-land abilities. Invoker and Ancient Apparition can easily help you gank enemies globally, and Mirana can make the enemy go drink some tea once they get stunned.

Special mention goes to Tinker. This combo is, while requiring good teamplay and coordination, very effective. You give Tinker significant positioning advantage by placing your hawk where he wants to be, making his ganks a real nightmare. Later on, you both can heavily disorganise the enemy team with non-stop split pushes. This also works with Lifestealer, as your hawk is one of the best Infest-bombs in the game.


And finally, heroes who generally suffer when playing against Beastmaster.

Monkey King: Oh how much fun I've had when he just came out. Boar can effectively kite him, preventing him from either getting Jingu Mastery stacks or using Tree Dance. Hawk can see him perched on top of a tree, and then Wild Axes come in use (though a smart MK player can dodge it with Primal Spring). And if you successfully cut him down, 8 seconds of stun is more than enough to finish him off. Add to that his regular use of BKB and you pretty much counter him in most aspects.

Treant Protector: One of the worst supports against BM. A melee hero with little to no mobility can't do very much in lane, and Nature's Guise is effectively useless because of Wild Axes. As is Treant's Aghanim's Scepter, once you build your Necro3. Plus Living Armor is easily destroyed with so many units.

Squishy heroes without reliable escapes. Crystal Maiden, Lina, Drow Ranger, Zeus, Venomancer and many else. Beastmaster can harass them with Wild Axes and easily pick them off as soon as he hits level 6. They also don't provide serious danger 1v1 and are your main food throughout the game.

Hard carries, that are very weak early-game and require a lot of farm to come online. First of all, Spectre. She is probably the weakest carry to have, and as soon as she is left relatively alone - start making her life miserable. Early pressure, strong ganks and early push which Spectre cannot defend at all - Beastmaster's asset is great against her. Another example is Luna. Though she is a more solid laner, she is very squishy, and her Eclipse is very ineffective against you. In addition, she is one of the most BKB-dependent heroes, so Primal Roar annoys her well enough. She farms much faster if you let her go, so continue pressing her off the game and capitalize on her weakness.

Enigma: It's very hard to pull out a good Black Hole against a decent Beastmaster. You are either forced to buy BKB+Linken's, or to focus BM first (which can rarely be the most effective tactic). This applies, to some extent, to other heroes with channeled ultimates ( Bane, Witch Doctor etc.), but they usually stand further back, so it's harder to Roar them.

Ranked Play

Before you start, spend a few minutes to bind your control groups if you haven't done it before. Assign a key to: 1) hero only, 2) summons only, 3) all units, 4) hawk. You will absolutely need this to properly control all your units.


Middle lane



Beastmaster is an unconvential mid hero who can throw his lane opponent off guard if they have no experience against him or underestimate his capabilities. Here are some popular matchups:

You will, in most cases, lose your lane to mobile ranged heroes who can easily kite and harass you - Storm Spirit, Queen of Pain, Puck, Death Prophet etc. I wouldn't recommend laning BM against them, but if you find yourself in such matchup, skip Quelling Blade and Faerie Fire (you won't be able to make use of them very much) and buy two Gauntlets of Strength. Rush Soul Ring, farm and harass with Axes and pray thay you'll have enough stacks on them to get a kill once you hit level 6, or better ask your support to gank.

Shadow Fiend: One of the most uncertain and exciting mid matchups. It entirely depends on the players' skill and support rotations.
Beastmaster has one of the strongest basic attacks in the game with 66 damage at level 1. SF, however, has one of the lowest with 38. And this creates a chance for you to secure every single creep in the lane, getting significantly ahead in XP and forcing him to only farm with Shadowrazes. More than that, SF is a glass cannon with rather low armor and no escape mechanism. He tries to stack Raze damage on you? Stack Axes damage on him! Your spell has far bigger range than his, and you will most likely have a Soul Ring at this point. 3 Axes cast - and he is either forced to stay under his tower and heal, or risk being killed with another Wild Axes and a few auto attacks. Don't let go of him and continiously make his life miserable and group up with your team to exploit his weakness.

Tinker: You will almost certainly lose the lane, but with frequent support rotations you can easily kill him over and over again. Later on, find him in the trees when he teleports to lane and blinks there to spam March, and enjoy your free meals.

Ember Spirit: Flame Guard is a rather annoying spell because you can't get rid of it at all (your only magic damage is your ultimate). Though, he is a melee hero with weak armor, so if you manfight him, he will likely get back and heal up. You also easily outfarm him since you have more damage and durability.

Dragon Knight: Boring and passive lane where you both just farm creeps, occasionally throwing nukes at each other. There are unlikely to be any kills in this lane, unless somebody picks up a rune or gets help. Though, DK doesn't like Axes very much if he's not maxing Dragon Blood.

Most other melee mids will be no problem for you (except if they too choose an unexpected mid hero from your counters pool, i.e. Phantom Lancer).

General strategy:
  • Regardless of your opponent, you should always have a ward in your lane. It will help you hit Axes from afar and prevent ganks, which you are vulnerable to because you don't have an escape ability.
  • When castng Wild Axes, try to both harass the enemy mid and lasthit creeps, or just secure a few lasthits at once.
  • At about XX:40 summon your boar and send it to your left ancient camp. Attack at XX:54 and lead them to the river as Radiant, or on the right side as Dire. You won't likely stack it more than 4 times, but it's more than enough to get a significant bunch of XP and gold.
  • When you get close to level 6, hit your opponent with Axes a couple of times and get a bit closer, so that when you get your ult, you can immediately use it and finish them quickly. Don't forget the boar so they won't be able to flee if they survive Primal Roar.
  • As soon as you max out Wild Axes, you can start clearing your stacks. If you fear that the enemy team can possibly gank you in that time, wait for level 8 to get the hawk and place it where you think they might come from. Axes have massive range so you can technically farm unharmed even without Tranquil Boots, but this is safer. Use Soul Ring and immediately cast axes to be able to cast them again just before the buff expires. Pray to RNGesus so there won't be Prowler Shamans. These are nasty binches who will require 2-3 casts more to finish the camp because of their stupid regen auras.
  • You can use the boar to pull enemy creeps. Meet the creep wave between T1 and T2 towers, aggro them and get up on the highground. As the first creeps reach the ramp, attack them again so they retain vision on your boar and follow it. Then simply pull the creeps where you want (ideally - between your own towers), and enjoy your easy farm. A very effective trick against strong mid heroes who will generally pressure you in lane.

Offlane



I've said it so much times and I still get mad about people failing to understand this simple principle even after like 3k+ hours spent in Dota.

You don't go to the offlane to farm. You're going there to disrupt the enemy carry's farm and STAY ALIVE.

Your job is to prevent your opponent's farm, not to outfarm them. And if you're so bold that you go and take lasthits so courageously, their support will make sure that his carry farms YOU instead. Don't be silly.

General strategy:
  • Going for the first bounty rune is not very beneficial for you as it doesn't give you experience, and that little gold boost is negligible. Blocking creeps is much more important.
  • If your support gave you a ward or if you bought it yourself, then place it in the nearby jungle route to see enemy supports' movements. Otherwise, use Wild Axes to clear the treeline. You'll lose the ability to juke and trade hits in the trees, but you will at least know where the enemy support is.
  • You still use Axes to last-hit and harass enemies, but in the offlane you need to me much more careful. Don't farm manually unless the creeps are pushed to your tower or you are 100% sure that the enemy support is out of the lane. Even if he is, it's still risky.
  • Stacking ancient camps is relevant only for Dire side. There you can stack easily with the boar, but as Radiant, ancients are too far away from you. Instead, use boar to harass and annoy the enemy carry. This constant slow and chip damage is not really strong, but becomes progressively frustrating over time. If the carry is a ranged hero who is too far away, zone out the support instead. Be careful with the boar as it's relatively fragile and gives a significant amount of experience if killed. If you see that you can't save it from the enemy - try to deny it.
  • Beastmaster can dish out surprising amounts of damage early on. It's entirely possible to get an easy kill on a careless support who stays in lane with 50% HP and dies from 2 Axes casts, and spamming them will often make your opponents retreat from farm or pressing you to heal up - possibly busying the courier with regen and delaying their teammates' items. Thus, you invoke create space.

For you, laning stage is generally over when you reach level 10 and get your "snowballing wild-card". After this, you should start rotating and participating in ganks and tower pushes. Seek lone enemies with your hawk, group up with your team, or even go split-pushing and single-handedly destroy a whole lane in 1 minute while your allies get the enemies' attention... Beastmaster is adept at ending games in 25-30 minutes as he can get really far ahead of the enemy team, and lots of auras and summons transform his team into terrifying pushing machines. At this point your main foe can actually be your own carry, who decides that he needs to FARM while his team is already trying to siege highground at 22 minutes. Yes, that will be quite a pain in the *** when you encounter it.

If you continiously fail to siege enemy base, don't try to do it over and over again. You'll feed so much gold and XP that they will eventually come back and punish you very hard for it. Either rat/splitpush, or go for a big teamfight with Aegis of the Immortal and some of that.

If the game goes late, pick up survivability and utility items - disables/auras. Your summons die easily and don't contribute very much to teamfights, so you'll often want to use them only to break towers. Scout with hawk, win teamfights, and try to end the game in one step.

Summary

So, I tried to cover everything you need to play Beastmaster competitively. Remember - he is a quite difficult hero, and you'll need to practice him before going into Ranked. Train your micro, positioning and strategic decisions, and I'm sure you'll have a great time playing this hero.

If I have missed something, or you want me to include additional aspects - feel free to leave your feedback in the comments.

Thanks for reading, and
CALM YOUR BEARD!

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