Help Support Our Growing Community

DOTAFire is a community that lives to help every Dota 2 player take their game to the next level by having open access to all our tools and resources. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting us in your ad blocker!

Want to support DOTAFire with an ad-free experience? You can support us ad-free for less than $1 a month!

Go Ad-Free
Smitefire logo

Join the leading DOTA 2 community.
Create and share Hero Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


14 Votes

NOOBCAKE's Guide to Troll Warlord

February 2, 2013 by Prome
Comments: 12    |    Views: 78472    |   


DotA2 Hero: Troll Warlord

Hero Skills

Berserker's Rage

1 9 12 14

Whirling Axes (Ranged)

2 3 5 7

Whirling Axes (Melee)

2 3 5 7


4 8 10 13

Battle Trance

6 11 16


15 17 18


Welcome to the NOOBCAKE Guide for Ja'rakal, the Troll Warlord! In my view he is a carry unlike any other - one that not only can switch between MELEE and RANGED, but also can kill with relative ease all game.
When used correctly, his skills make him invaluable to the team, often saving yourself or a friend and then punishing them for even trying to gank.

HOWEVER! Troll Warlord can be extremely fragile - not so much as Drow Ranger or Sniper, but heavy nukers or disablers will make it a sad day indeed to be a troll. Positioning matters here - and knowledge of spell cooldowns, as you must be ready to jump in and decimate the enemy team as soon as they are off guard.

Without further ado, let's get this show on the road!

About Troll

It's an easy thing to offend a troll. A prickly and contentious race, trolls thrive on argument and strife, missing no excuse to raise their voices in dispute. Males grow to maturity in subterranean chambers beneath their matriarch's domicile, feeding and amusing themselves while contributing nothing. Often they stay for years beyond the age of maturity, while the matriarch provides them with sustenance. When young trolls are finally pushed from their sub-chamber, they gather with others of their kind, forming roving gangs of malcontents who complain loudly about all manner of vexation.

As much as trolls love to argue, imagine how rare it is for a troll to be driven from his own kind for being too difficult to get along with. Such was Jah'rakal's fate, a monger troll from deep in the Hoven. So deluded was he, so bitter and abrasive, that even other trolls found his company intolerable. After one particularly vitriolic outburst in which he claimed the lion's share of loot from their latest raid, his cohorts finally snapped. They turned on him, beat him with clubs, and drove him from the encampment. Enraged at his banishment, he returned the next day, armed with steel, and slew them all, one by one. He then swore a blood oath: he would ever after be a fighting force unto himself. Now he roams the world as the Troll Warlord, bitter and angry, the Imperial high commander of an army of one.


Great pusher and ganker
Good agility gain
Low mana costs and cooldowns

HP Problems
Dismal Intelligence gain
People will hate you

When to pick

When NOT to pick


Berserker's Rage

Ability: Toggle | Affects: Self
Allows the Warlord to use his throwing axes as melee weapons, gaining bonus damage, attack speed, movement speed, hitpoints, armor, and a chance to bash targets on attack. Berserker's Rage also changes the functionality of Whirling Axes.

Bonus damage: 15
Bonus HP: 100
Bonus armor: 3
Bonus movement speed: 20/20/20/30
Base attack time: 1.55
Bash chance: 10%
Bash duration: 0.8/1.2/1.6/2
Bash damage: 20/30/40/50

Whirling Axes

Has two forms, due to Berserker's Rage : Ranged and Melee.
  • Ranged
    Ability: Target Point | Affects: Enemies | Damage: Magical
    Troll hurls a fistful of five axes in a cone shape over 900 range, slowing and damaging enemy units.
    Range: 900
    Damage: 75
    Movement speed slow: 30%
    Slow duration: 3/3.75/4.5/5.25
    Radius of each axe: 100
  • Melee
    Ability: No Target | Affects: Enemies | Damage: Magical
    Troll unleashes a set of magical axes which whirl around him in a circle. Nearby enemies take damage and have a chance to miss on their attacks.
    Radius: 450
    Damage: 125/175/225/275
    Miss chance: 60%
    Duration: 4/5/6/7


Ability: Passive | Affects: Enemy Units and Structures
With each continuous blow on the same target, Troll gains increased attack speed. If Troll changes targets, the stacks drop to zero.
Max stacks: 2/3/4/5
Attack speed per stack: 20

Battle Trance

Ability: No Target | Affects: All Allied Heroes
Troll's presence on the battlefield increases the attack speed of himself and all allied heroes.
Radius: Global
Duration: 10
Bonus attack speed: 60/120/180

Skill Discussion and Build

Berserker's Rage is taken level one due to it being COMPLETELY FREAKIN AWESOME.
Not ONLY are you no longer limited by the things ranged heroes are (animation time, missile travelling time), but you ALSO get given BONUS DAMAGE. Not to mention +100 HP, +3 Armor, +20/30 Movespeed, and the LONGEST BASH IN THE GAME. The 10% is a bit ****, but when you attack like... well, a Troll Warlord, it tends not to matter.

Next up, Whirling Axes. It is essentially two skills, because it DOES NOT SHARE A COOLDOWN (love you icefrog).
In ranged form, it's a minimal damage nuke (only 75) but it applies a 30% slow for 3-5.25 seconds. Five axes spread in a 900 unit range cone with 100 radius each, which means at maximum range you're hitting about half air. Amazing chasing skill. If it hits, it allows you to catch up and follow with:
Melee form, a relatively high damage nuke at 450 unit radius around Troll. This places a 60% miss chance debuff which lasts from 4 to 7 seconds.
After doing this much damage, now you're just hoping for a bash to proc. If not, try to do more damage safely in ranged form.


Since both forms of Whirling Axes are Area of Effect skills, you can almost always do damage to all heroes in lane. With your teammates (who should have stuns) it will be an easy double (TRIPLE!) kill for you.

Whirling Axes is maxed first as it is your primary ganking and escape tool. How do you escape with a nuke? Answer: 30% slow and 60% miss, for 150 mp. Comparable to Time Walk for Faceless Void. This also applies to saving friendlies!

By the way, sound OP yet?

Fervor is a massive attack speed bonus. It also works on all structures, so if you leave troll alone expect your towers to be naught but dust soon enough. At level 4 it boosts attack speed by a whopping 100.
I've chosen to skill Fervor and Berserker's Rage equally, but some choose one over the other and I would say it is situational AND depends on how you play Troll Warlord.
Skilling the Rage would give you more movespeed and higher bash time, whereas skilling Fervor would give you more attack speed stacks. Your call.

But wait, it gets worse...

Battle Trance is an instant ability that gives you and ALL other friendly heroes up to 180 attack speed.
One. Eight. Zero.
It lasts ten seconds and the cooldown is twenty.
"wait, that means there's only 10 seconds where you're not attacking at bonus attack speed"
However, it is highly inadvisable as Troll has jack **** mana and even worse mana regen, so unless you're building support Troll with tonnes of intel items I doubt you'll be spamming this. (but it gives me an idea...)

Items Discussion and Build


tangoes, stout and quelling. WHY?
Stout Shield is a MUST for any melee carry - or ANYONE who intends on getting farm with little harass.
Quelling Blade, because more last hitting power. Troll Warlord's starting damage isn't bad, but it can always be better. Feel free to skip this for more regen items, or stat items.

Core and Extension

Power Treads, and Helm. Why not MoM + Aquila + Phase?
Mask of Madness is rejected because you take more damage, for the sake of attack speed. Attack speeds have a cap. Troll does not need more attack speed. He needs as much tankability as he can. Rejected under both conditions.
Ring of Aquila is alright, it's an item that gives armor, stats and mana regen. The stats are nice, so is the regen, but you have 3 bonus armor from Rage. Also, it costs 985 gold. Make a support buy it, and wait 12 seconds for an Ogre Club or finish your Power Treads.
Phase Boots - ah. I will say either are acceptable - but keep in mind that treads will give you str, agi or int. Tread switching comes into play here, as well as the fact that you gain an extra 100 hp from Rage - make the use of both, and maybe you survive with 20 hp when you would have died. The bonus damage and active from Phase is veeerrryy nice and tempting though - so it is up to YOU. More ganking ability, or more survivability?

Why buy a BKB when I can farm a Linken's?
Nothin stopping you. It is also VERY SITUATIONAL. If the enemy has a LOT of aoe stun, take bkb. If the enemy has single target abilities, take Linken's.

Luxury and Situational

All of those items I believe deserve a spot, as they serve more than one particular role - especially Orchid Malevolence. Not a usual item, sure - but if you are fighting an annoying Queen of Pain or Anti-Mage, then you can shut them the hell up and deal 25% more damage to them. Just to rub it in.
  • Shadow Blade I included in Situational because I personally don't like the item. It's 3000 gold, sure it gives bonus damage and an escape ability, but it's countered by Dust of Appearance- 180 gold. Sentry Wards- 200 gold. Gem of True Sight- 700 gold.
  • Obviously Monkey King Bar when facing Butterfly, and Heart of Tarrasque when you're suffering for hp.
  • Desolator is a tricky one. It will not stack with normal lifesteal, so you would have to get Vladmir's Offering alongside it. It is a very nice "Unique Attack Modifier" though, negative armour is nice against most heroes.
  • Eye of Skadi stacks with both range and melee attacks despite the ingame description. Very nice item to have as it gives nice stats as well as a slow affect, so possible substitute for after Crystalys if you want to secure kills more. I would say it's still situational or luxury, as it does cost a lot of gold and I would personally only get it if my team was lacking in disables or slows, and you want to be more tanky - as the mini bash on Monkey King Bar as well as the extra damage is better.

Not Mentioned/Rejected

Most of these are very possible builds, but there are LIMITED SLOTS. You would also need to change builds entirely to accommodate some of these.
  • Bloodstone - Regen, yes, HP, yes, but only fulfils that purpose - no extra damage. Possible to build, but not a fan.
  • Manta Style - Costs a buttload of mana to cast, which you don't have. May be good in combination, but would then only be a luxury not a core - again, possible.
  • Hood of Defiance / Pipe of Insight - support item. MOAR DAMAGE NAO. maybe just a cloak for early/mid game, but I run out of slots very quickly, so not recommended.
  • Maelstrom / Mjollnir - you already hit maximum attack speed, no need for more. It is also a UAM, but only takes over when chain lightning occurs - so can stack with other UAMs such as Helm.
  • Sange and Yasha nice movement speed boost, and maim to go along with it. Costs 4100 gold so a tad on the expensive side. It does NOT give any extra damage, and I like my damage items, so in this category.

With all the above items, they are mainly rejected because they are either not suitable for troll or they just don't give the damage output that troll needs. Helm of the Dominator, Black King Bar, Crystalys into Daedalus should be the core. After that it should USUALLY be Butterfly, or Monkey King Bar. Things like Sange and Yasha are more effective if you get them early/mid game, but Troll Warlord has better items to be buying at that stage.

Alternate Builds with the above


Early Game, Laning Phase

Troll should be in a dual lane, although he could do well solo safe lane. NEVER OFFLANE! He can be a decent mid, but it requires a different build - swap the Quelling Blade for some GG branches, and consider getting a Bottle - it'll help a lot when you gank. Even if you don't choose to get a bottle, ALWAYS have rune control. Push the (odd number) minute creep wave, so the (odd number) minute 30 wave will fight on the enemy high ground and you can go for the runes at (even number) minutes.

Assuming you are dual lane with a support, when you hit level 3, it's GAMING TIME. Kill them over and over again. Initiate with Ranged Axes, nuke with Melee Axes, finish with ranged form. That'll net you a healthy stash of gold to have fun with. Get your Power Treads.

Mid Game

When you hit level 7, you will want to jungle like a boss. Hopefully you have stacks to make sweet Troll love to, and ancients too.
If you bought Helm of the Dominator, you can take Roshan here - take control of a Alpha Wolf or a Ogre Magi (not the hero) and swipe away. Ulti if needed.

A good timing for items, you should have Power Treads and Helm of the Dominator by 15 minutes at the latest, and Black King Bar by 20-25 minutes. If you got some kills, got decent farm, don't be surprised if you end up with all three by the 17 minute mark.

In addition, you will want to either gank or farm. If going for more ganking role, then push with your team too. Your ulti will chew through towers like nothing, and with a 20 second cooldown (HAHHAHAHAH) you can teamfight immediately.

When Teamfighting, always keep in mind that YOU ARE SQUISHY! Always let a teammate initiate, unless you are confident that you will not be focused - as in the enemy have used all of their disables. Then you can proceed with eating everything.

Should be building Crystalys and Satanic or Daedalus at this point - which first? depends on the game. If you are suffering for HP, get Satanic. It has a very nice active - 175% lifesteal for 3.5 seconds. Daedalus is fun, though - 270% crits 25% of the time. Once you have these, start on Butterfly or another luxury that you deem necessary - obviously get Monkey King Bar first if someone has Butterfly on the enemy team.

Late Game

Time for you to shine.
6 item Troll Warlord.
Usual late game strategies apply: don't stay alone, farm safely, take roshan, split push, and win the game.

Your BKB might be low at this point, so keep in mind that you can buy a new one or just buy a Linken's Sphere.

Have fun!


  • Vengeful Spirit
    Stun, Bonus Damage, and a Swap. <3

  • Bounty Hunter
    Track. Nuff said

  • Dazzle
    Healz and GRAVE!

  • Warlock
    Healz over time = Tank everything! (...not really)
    AOE Stun!

  • Huskar
    yummy noms for Troll. Willingly sacrifices his own HP, and then you give him a 60% miss chance and bash the daylights out of him. :D


  • Tiny
    I wrote a haiku to express my feelings for tiny.
    *japanese flute or something plays*
    craggy exterior,
    ava-toss combo dealing;
    troll gets very hurt.

  • Phantom Lancer
    Troll Warlord only gets his attack speed bonus for one hero. Lots of illusions = changing targets = Troll useless.
    Also, PL builds diffusal - so your already ****ty mana pool just got even ****ter.

  • Lina Lion Zeus
    nuker disablers, Troll Warlord dies to combo.

  • Dark Seer
    Ion shell + Troll Illusion = pain for you and your team.

  • Faceless Void
    Chronosphere. ****ed.


Thanks to IceFrog and Valve, along with the good half of the Dota Community. Some images have been sourced from the wiki page, some from trawling google. Thanks to you guys too for reading!


  • v.1.0 -WOOT!
  • v.1.0.1 - added Not Recommended/Rejected items, and Alternate Builds.
  • v.1.0.2 - Heroes: added Huskar and Void
    Items: added Sange and Yasha, more discussion
    Gameplay: added more to game sections
  • v1.0.3 - added Eye of Skadi

Quick Comment (13) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

Similar Guides
Featured Heroes

Quick Comment (13) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

DOTAFire is the place to find the perfect build guide to take your game to the next level. Learn how to play a new hero, or fine tune your favorite DotA hero’s build and strategy.

Copyright © 2019 DOTAFire | All Rights Reserved