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6 Votes

Khoa's Axe Guide

July 4, 2014 by khoa1708
Comments: 3    |    Views: 11257    |   


DotA2 Hero: Axe

Hero Skills

Berserker's Call

2 4 8 9

Battle Hunger

10 12 13 14

Counter Helix

1 3 5 7

Culling Blade

6 11 16


15 17 18


Mogul Khan the Axe is a melee strength hero, infamous for creating chaos in battle and thriving off of it.

He is commonly played as an initiator with a large semi-carry presence that quickly transitions into a support role later in the game. His fighting style demands that he gets up close and very personal. He can taunt enemies into targeting him and counters those who try to strike him with a sweeping Counter Helix that slashes all enemies at melee range. By infusing an enemy's soul with his own hunger for war, Axe has a tendency to draw opponents so deep in the fight that they do not have a chance to escape. His ultimate, Culling Blade, bolsters that talent with an attack that unconditionally kills a unit with low health.

My Take on Axe

Before you continue to delve deeper into this guide please take a moment to read this.

As you may have already know there are many ways to play each hero in DOTA 2 so let me start out by saying, THIS IS HOW I PLAY AXE. If you read the small introduction above, Axe is an INITIATOR. What does this mean? It means if you play him, prepare to be the first one to jump into a fight and most likely the one to take A LOT of damage. Your job is to distract the opponents so your team can kill them without worries. If you are a passive player Axe might not be the right character for you since it takes a pretty aggressive style to be successful with him. This bring me to my main point if you want to play Axe. DON'T BE SCARED! If you see a good opportunity to initiate, don't hesitate to jump in there.

So what is my style and build on Axe? I build Axe to take a lot of damage and to pull the other team to me so my teammates can unleash hell on them while they are all busy trying to kill me. Pretty simple right? Oh btw... PLEASE DO NOT JUNGLE WITH AXE! I find jungling axe to be such a waste because he is such a strong laner.


Skill Explanation
Counter Helix: When attacked, Axe performs a helix counter attack, dealing damage to all nearby enemies.

DAMAGE: 100 / 135 / 170 / 205
COOLDOWN: 0.45/0.40/0.35/0.30

Ahhhh... this is your best friend... hope for it to happen... PRAY for it to come out! This move is how you will do most of your damage in lane, during team fights, pushing back the creeps, etc... Counter Helix is devastating at the beginning stages of the game when people are still laning and farming. Instead of using Battle Hunger to harass I spin my way to victory!
Berserker's Call: Axe taunts nearby enemy units, forcing them to attack him, while he gains bonus armor during the duration.

DAMAGE: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
DURATION: 2 / 2.4 / 2.8 / 3.2
MANA COST: 80/90/100/110
COOLDOWN: 16/14/12/10

Every time I yell out using this move it makes me feel like I'm invincible! It gives you +40 armor! +40! This is what you would use to provoke everyone to attack you in order to free up your teammates. Of course in reality Berserker's Call really doesn't make you invincible but man... it sure is fun to YOLO with it though...
Battle Hunger: 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.

DAMAGE: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30
DURATION: 10 / 12 / 14 / 16
MANA COST: 75/85/95/105
COOLDOWN: 20/15/10/5

I know this skill is good but for some reason I never use it as it's meant to be used and that is to harass people in lane... I tend to use Battle Hunger on people who runs away from me with a morsel of life left because it almost guarantees a kill due to the fact that this thing last 16 seconds when it's maxed out... that is a LONG time to be taking consistent damage over time.
Culling Blade: Axe spots a weakness and strikes, instantly killing an enemy unit with low health, or dealing moderate damage otherwise. When an enemy hero is killed with Culling Blade, its cooldown is reset, and Axe and nearby allied units gain bonus movement speed. Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.

KILL THRESHOLD: 250 / 350 / 450
DAMAGE: 150 / 250 / 300
MANA COST: 60/120/180
COOLDOWN: 75/65/55

I swear this is the BEST, FUNNEST, and most SATISFYING ultimate to use. It feels so so good to dunk someone and get a kill... the sound effect, the animation, the power... EVERYTHING about this move is just perfect! Nothing is better than to get multiple kills in a row by dunking people left and right. Want to have more fun? Get an Aghanim's Scepter and start dunking people even earlier!

Items Explanation


Item Explanation
Stout Shield: One man's wine barrel bottom is another man's shield. Passive: Damage Block - Gives a chance to block damage, depending on the type of hero you are.


While it doesn't seem like a lot, the damage blocked by this shield can either help you last longer in lane or save your life. It is also a necessary building block for a Vanguard later on.
Tango: Forage to survive on the battlefield. Use: Eat Tree - Consume a tree to restore HP over time. Comes with 3 charges.


For those annoying lanes where you keep getting poked by ranged heroes, it's always best to carry a set of these around. Sometimes I don't even use all of them and end up sharing a few with my teammates.
Ring of Protection: A glimmering ring that defends its bearer.

+ 2 Armor

+2 armor can go a long way early game and it's also a building block for your Tranquil Boots.


Item Explanation
Tranquil Boots: While they increase the longevity of the wearer, this boot is not particularly reliable. Passive: Break - Whenever you attack or get attacked you lose the HP regeneration and 30 Movement Speed for 13 seconds.

+ 90 Movement Speed
+ 4 Armor
+ 12 HP Regeneration

The faster you get this up the faster you don't have to rely on tangos anymore. The speed boost is a nice touch too if you haven't been hit in awhile.
Vanguard: A powerful shield that defends its wielder from even the most vicious of attacks. Passive: Damage Block - Gives a chance to block damage, depending on the type of hero you are.

+ 250 Health
+ 6 HP Regeneration

This is possibly my favorite item in all of DOTA 2 hahaha. Don't ask me why I like the Vanguard, I just do. I feel so much safer and secure with it in my inventory. I can fight creeps without having to worry about taking too much damage, I can last longer in battle, and the regen is nice too. This is a MUST HAVE on Axe. If you manage to get a Vanguard early you will be pretty tough to kill.
Blink Dagger: The fabled dagger used by the fastest assassin ever to walk the lands. Active: Blink - Teleport to a target point up to 1200 units away. If damage is taken from an enemy hero, Blink Dagger cannot be used for 3 seconds.


When you are an initiator, Blink Dagger is the ultimate item you will need to have. This allows you to jump into the other team at a "blink" of an eye to start the fight. You can also use it to catch up to people who are running away or use it to escape sticky situations yourself.
Blade Mail: A razor-sharp coat of mail, it is the choice of selfless martyrs in combat. Active: Damage Return - Returns any damage you take to the unit that dealt the damage. Lasts 4.5 seconds.

+ 22 Damage
+ 6 Armor
+ 10 Intelligence

What do you do when you jump into a group of enemies that will blow their load on you? You reflect that damage right back at them! Hence Blade Mail. Additionally anything that adds more to armor to Axe is always a plus.
Hood of Defiance: A furred, magic resistant headpiece that is feared by wizards. Multiple instances of spell resistance from items do not stack.

+ 8 HP Regeneration
+ 30% Spell Resistance

I find myself getting a Hood of Defiance more and more each time I play Axe. I figured since I take so much damage anyways, why not give myself more magic resistance so I have a higher chance to come out the fight alive. Also, if the situation calls for it, you can turn it into a Pipe of Insight later.

How To Play Axe

Laning Phase

Don't be afraid to get close and personal with the heroes who are laning against you. The purpose of my build is for you to take a couple of hits so Counter Helix will activate and deal damage to the heroes who are dumb enough to get close to you. Once you actually get someone low enough on health, just use Berserker's Call, keep them there, and get the kill. Of course that is the best case scenario and things don't always work out that way. You have to factor in other cases such as ranged heroes harassing you from far away. Berserker's Call can also be used as an escape mechanism. The +40 armor you received can buy you enough time to run to safety. If you are supporting a carry on your team then you can create a lot of space for he/she to farm by pushing back the opponents with counter helix. If you are the one farming then counter helix can kill creeps pretty quickly. Using Berserker's Call on creeps can be a great way to push the lanes if you are looking to take down towers.

Once again, you kinda have to be fearless when playing Axe. Get up in there and fight. You'll be surprised how good Counter Helix is early game. Sometimes, if you manage to get a Berserker's Call on multiple heroes you can either get the kill(s) or get their HP low enough for your teammate(s) to finish the job.

Team Fights

Your main job as Axe is to get as many enemy heroes as possible in your Berserker's Call at the beginning of the fight. Why? Because due to the nature of the skill they are FORCED to hit you with their regular attacks for the duration of the taunt. During this time, your team is free to do whatever they want. So, when do you initiate? Just look for opportunities where the other team is bunched up in a big group, get in the middle of it, then Berserker's Call. This is why Blink Dagger is such a crucial item on Axe.

DO NOT BE AFRAID TO INITIATE! Don't be scared to take damage or even die. Isn't it worth it if your death can lead to your team wiping out the opponent? With my build, I'm trying to maximize your chances of survival after initiating. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you initiating on the other team first before they get a chance to do anything. You don't want to go in after the other team already activated all their skills, threw out ultimates, used items, etc... The key is to call them when they are in a big group and before they have the chance to do anything. The element of surprise is your best friend here. What do you do after you use Berserker's Call? You quickly activate your Blade Mail and any other items you may have: Pipe of Insight, Shiva's Guard, etc... The purpose is for you to do as much damage as possible right away so your team who follows you in can have an easier time ending the fight.

Now... since Axe doesn't scale well late game some people usually let their carries get the kills. BUT.... I like Culling Blade too much hahaha. After I initiate, use all my items, and if I'm still alive I will look for chances to dunk people.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, Axe is a pretty simple hero to play. This doesn't mean he's boring... it's just that his role is very well defined. He initiates... that's it... that's what he's best at and that's how you should play him. As I stated at the start of this guide, I HATE PEOPLE WHO JUNGLE WITH AXE! IT IS SUCH A WASTE! Axe can be savior too a lot of time because you can use Berserker's Call to give time for your teammate(s) to get away. I don't know how many times I get in the way of the other team who is chasing my teammate(s) or beating them in a fight just to call them to me and give my team enough time to recover and rejoin the fight or give them enough time to run away. I actually survive most of the time too because that +40 armor plus what I build makes me quite tanky and annoying to kill.

Have courage when playing Axe. ALWAYS be ready to walk/blink into the middle of a fight. People shouldn't be able to run away from you either... not with Blink Dagger, Berserker's Call, Battle Hunger, and MOST DEFINITELY NOT WITH CULLING BLADE.

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