Hello, I am Loveless and this is my guide on Bounty Hunter. Any and all of my guides are built around my personal opinion of the Hero and how they should not only be built, but played. It is built off what I have done myself, which is a mixture of my own ideas and what I have seen others do, to make it the best I will be able to put forward in game with that Hero.
I will be going over the hero in general, my recommended items, and overall play style for each phase of the game. Again, these are all of my personal opinions and you can take them with a grain of salt. Start with the build and use it until you get used to the hero before you start to build differently for every match.
Bounty Hunter is a very squishy hero but has a lot of damage and a fantastic ganker. Although he suffers from having a bad early game and unlike other gankers who can handle middle then gank the side lanes, this ruins a playstyle he was made for. If you are confident about surviving against your opponent that will be heading middle, go ahead and pick him. However typically this will never happen, so you will be laning and never go middle. Take your *** to the side lane with an ally that can farm freely once you leave at around level five or six without any trouble and proceed in roaming the map.
The only real problem is Bounty Hunter is how extremely situational he is. You should not pick him if the opposing team has no heroes with invisibility, a lot of silence or pure nuke heroes like Lion or Lina, they will absolutely tear him apart. The reason I say not to pick him against heroes with silence is because without the ability to pop back into Wind Walk or the ability to freely cast Shuriken Toss/ Track, you will have a tough time. And Track, while it is good against any team, is a fantastic counter against a team with an invisibility hero and if they buy a Gem of Sight to counter you, picking it up when they die and using it against their own stealth hero can benefit high rewards.
The largest downside to Bounty Hunter is that he simply does not scale well into late game, at least not in my opinion, compared to the other semi-carries in the game. While he does have a critical hit ability that is very reliable, it has a 6 second cool down, making it not able to scale well against heroes who can land critical strikes as often as they can attack, even if it is only a chance. Then aside from that, he has no abilities that scale and is easily shut down by any form of true sight. Against a team of decent players, you will get shut down hard mid game with Dust of Revelation and late game by Gem of True Sight. Without the ability to Wind Walk freely, Bounty Hunter loses all of his potential throughout the entire game.
Shuriken Toss has a high, fast animation nuke with mini-stun to destroy channeled abilities like Shadow Fiend's ultimate or Warlock's aoe slow. However it has a high mana cost and Bounty Hunter isn't exactly bathing in a pool of mana, so you will have to use it very sparingly. Most Bounty Hunter players typically follow a pretty simple rule: Only use it as a finishing blow. I know, this is something you rarely hear, but think about it. It is a better decision to auto attack your enemy down, using the slow from Jinada and the bonus movement speed from Track to their fullest, then using Shuriken Toss once they get low enough to one-shot.
Jinada is how he scales into late game when he has two nuke oriented abilities, it gives him a high critical hit damage every dozen to half-dozen seconds with a good slow that is fantastic for ganking. Since the slow doesn't increase per level and the critical hit damage isn't that high, you won't be prioritizing this ability since the critical strike damage cannot be utilized until later into the game.
Wind Walk is what opens up the world of ganking to Bounty Hunter so that he can land his slow from Jinada, utilize the speed bonus from Track and be able to use Shuriken Toss once they get low. With a short 15 second cool down and up to a 30 second duration with a bonus 120 damage out of the gate, he can open up the fight with around 300 damage from a combination of the critical strike from Jianada and his attack damage for only 50 mana at level 7.
Last of Bounty Hunter's abilities is Track, which debuffs a target giving them lower armor, buffing Bounty Hunter's allies nearby the target 20% bonus movement speed and granting true sight of the target for 30 seconds. When the target is killed, it gives Bounty Hunter and any heroes nearby the target bonus gold. The bonus gold gained from Track is also added as reliable gold, which for those of you not familiar with the term, it is not lost when you die. Against invisibility focused heroes, Track can shut them down pretty hard and on top of that, makes ganking/chasing with Bounty Hunter relatively simple.
Early game you want to be focusing towards getting your Magic Wand, Bottle, Phase Boots and Poor Man's Shield ready to go out into the world once you hit level 5 or so. The great thing about Bounty Hunter is that he doesn't need to hurry up and rush expensive items to be good, he just needs to be able to keep his pools filled and roam around the map freely. Hopefully a member of your team isn't an ******* and buys Observer Wards, if not, do not feel bad about buying them yourself. You will need them if you really want to be a successful ganker.
As a hero focused around ganking and on top of that, has mana issues, what items do you turn to? For Bounty Hunter, you are looking at Magic Wand, Bottle and Urn of Shadows. If another hero on your team would rather get Urn of Shadows for whatever reason, you can get Medallion of Courage instead which works great with the negative armor from Track as well. It really is an either/or with these, as you can spend the resources elsewhere, since you are mainly getting these for the mana regeneration, then Urn of Shadows for the heal/damage and Medallion of Courage for the armor and negative armor, which greatly increases your damage.
The reason I leave the choice of Power Treads or Phase Boots up to you as a situational item, is purely preference and how the game is going. I personally prefer Phase Boots as the bonus move speed from track and since Jinada has a cool down, the variable stats/attack speed of Power Treads is pale in comparison to the speed/damage of Phase Boots. Though a carry oriented Bounty Hunter will find Power Treads much more preferable in the end in comparison to how I play (which is badly).
After establishing your basic items, you will be looking towards an extended core/situational item. I like to build a Monkey King Bar for the additional 88 damage and possible mini-bash offering a 0.1 second stun/100 damage. If someone on the opposing team gets/has dodge, even better. I am sure this is the reason so many others build it as well and if you didn't know, the extra 100 damage stacks with critical strikes, like that Jinada skill that one hero has, I think his name is Bounty Hunter.
After that, you are really playing it by ear. This means that is entirely dependent on the situation. If they have a lot of nukes or disables, get a Black King Bar. If you are needing extra carry power, Sange and Yasha and Assault Cuirass can help you out there. If you are looking to just deal more nuke damage and overall do better at focusing down a target as quickly as possible, Desolator does this best for Bounty Hunter. Great thing about Bounty Hunter is that Track helps a lot with getting that extra gold to get you there.
Vladmir's Offering is a great item that boosts Bounty Hunter's mana and keeps him using the damage from Wind Walk and Shuriken Toss, with the occasional Track when he can afford the casting time. I find that it is best to get this after your core and at least one situation item, more focused towards end-game. It is easy to build and it's parts are low cost, so focus on buying higher cost ingredients of his situation items while you have a good flow of money from roaming, then get Vladmir's Offering once you start slowing down and need the auras.
With the additional of the Abyssal Blade, you have a new item to put on Bounty Hunter later in the game. With the ability to greatly increase your damage output with the absurd additional 100 damage and after you pump out some damage, stun them and wail down. You should be able to at least double your overall damage, though the price is absurdly high, the item is a lot more than worth it.
Well, that sums it all up for Bounty Hunter. For now and forever, please leave any comments about the Guide with what was good and what was bad, it will improve this and any future Guides made by myself or even others.
If you have any guides you would like me to make, please feel free to PM me or post in this guide's comment section to discuss it with fellow DOTAFire members.
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