Welcome to my first guide on DOTAFire; I'm ShirosakiX representing the team ECLipTiC [ECL] on the North American server and my main hero is Axe. I almost always prefer Axe in the jungle than to Axe in a lane, but he can be a powerful solo laner if you already have a jungler. Aside from that, please enjoy this guide.
"As a grunt in the Army of Red Mist, Mogul Khan set his sights on the rank of Red Mist General. In battle after battle he proved his worth through gory deed. His rise through the ranks was helped by the fact that he never hesitated to decapitate a superior. Through the seven year Campaign of the Thousand Tarns, he distinguished himself in glorious carnage, his star of fame shining ever brighter, while the number of comrades in arms steadily dwindled. On the night of ultimate victory, Axe declared himself the new Red Mist General, and took on the ultimate title of 'Axe.' But his troops now numbered zero. Of course, many had died in battle, but a significant number had also fallen to Axe's blade. Needless to say, most soldiers now shun his leadership. But this matters not a whit to Axe, who knows that a one-man army is by far the best."
Axe taunts nearby enemy units, forcing them to attack him, while he gains bonus armor during the duration.
Bonus Armor: 40
Mana Cost: 80/90/100/110
This is Axe's prime disable. A three second AoE taunt can provide quite nasty crowd control in skirmishes and team fights alike; the only downside to this skill is that the range is very low, so make sure you are in range before wasting a powerful taunt.
Enrages an enemy unit, causing it to be slowed and take damage over time until it kills another unit or the duration ends. Axe gains movement speed for each unit affected with Battle Hunger.
Movement Slow: 8%
Bonus Movement Speed: 8%
Damage Per Second: 15/21/27/33
Mana Cost: 75/85/95/105
This is quite the forgettable skill in the jungle, and even in lane it isn't that good in my humble opinion. It provides a decent DoT, but in ganks it's not very effective since it drains your mana, and in lane it can easily be cancelled because the targeted enemy can just last hit/deny a creep.
When attacked, Axe performs a helix counter attack, dealing damage to all nearby enemies.
Chance to Helix: 17%
This is Axe's bread and butter skill. It provides such an easy way to clear the camps and to deal damage that it necessitates maxing this first. Early game it can be used to clear camps, mid game it is used for camps and ganks, and late game it is extremely powerful in team fights.
Culling Blade * - Aghanim's Scepter
Axe spots weakness and strikes, dealing moderate damage but instantly killing an enemy unit with low health. When an enemy unit is killed in this way, Axe and nearby allied units gain bonus movement speed.
Kill Threshold: 300/450/625
Bonus Movement Speed: 25%
Movement Speed Radius: 600
Movement Speed Duration: 6
Cooldown: 75/65/55 (6*)
Mana Cost: 120/160/200
Axe's ultimate brings out such a powerful tool to dispose those squishy carries that is should be used whenever one of them reaches low hit points. Because of the high mana cost, this skill should be used sparingly early through mid game, but feel free to spam it as much you want in large teamfights. With the six second cooldown that Aghanim's Scepter brings, this skill can get quite deadly the more that Axe gets farmed.
Now why would you want to play Axe?
He provides powerful crowd control mid-to-late game by way of Berserker's Call
He can tank extremely well through Blade Mail and Black King Bar as well as through his innate tankiness
He has the possibility to deal massive amounts of damage through his Counter Helix and Culling Blade
Lack of mobility requires the purchase of Blink Dagger
He doesn't have the strongest early game
Battle Hunger is pretty much completely useless in the jungle
Animal Courier and Drum of Endurance are completely situational. Courier should only be purchased if your team doesn't have one by the time you get all your early game items, and Drum should only be purchased if you really gotta go fast.
This section is pretty self-explanatory. You should start with the weak camps early on, but because of Axe's armour increase on his Q you can take on the harder camps at around the same time that a Lifestealer can. You should begin ganking at around level 5, but can go at around level 3 if an ally requires it. Once you get Tranquil Boots, you can take on any camp, except for the Ancients.
Lina Crystal Maiden Sand King Pudge Earthshaker
Anyone with a strong crowd control skill can be Axe's bestfriend for when he's attempting to gank early game. As long as you have good team coordination between you and your disabler, you should be able to secure a kill relatively early into the game.
Tide Hunter Sven Nature's Prophet
Anything that can cut you off from a team fight can greatly hinder Axe before he have Black King Bar.
In summary, Axe is a powerful pick if you don't have a powerful tank on your team. If you want to run around acting all stompy, then you should definitely try out Axe. Just remember, why would you want a puny DoT when you can have a giant spinning axe.
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