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7 Votes

ReTro.Death`Note Axe guide 06/08/2014

August 6, 2014 by LighT 1.618
Comments: 27    |    Views: 35595    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3

Versatile Tank Main build

DotA2 Hero: Axe

Hero Skills

Berserker's Call

8 12 13 14

Battle Hunger

2 3 5 7

Counter Helix

1 4 9 10

Culling Blade

6 11 16


15 17 18


Hello everyone. My handle is ReTro`DeMuSLiM and I am from Dubai.I come from a RTS background "Starcraft II, Master Terran". This guide will be about how to use Axe to his full potential and get proper skill/item order to maximize his strength and hence his tanking. i will be mentioning tips through out the guide. my guide will be in depth and am not that good with the fancy image and effect stuff. I hope you benefit and enjoy the guide.

Some players say " there is no tanks only initiator". That is wrong imo, because you need a hero that soak up the damage/ enemy spells during the team fight. Axe is a strength, jungler, ganker and can be a pushing machine due to his helix ability.

what the hell is this item build? where is item x y z? bare with me i will explain it all in ITEM BUILD SECTION.

Here is an example match i am playing axe and we played the match and the enemy team had the advantage " so no execuse :)":

Feel free to discuss and correct me

Skill Build Explaination

1st skill maxed Battle Hunger "lvl 7":
battle hunger deals about 625 damage over item stops most healing items such as Bottle, Tranquil Boots, Healing Salve and Urn of Shadows except
Magic Stick/ Magic Wand.

You dont use it randomly on any hero. you need to have a reason such as: he has low health and he is going back to base" make sure he doesnt deny or LH a creep" i always clear their creep wave then battle hunger their hero. Initiators, heroes with blink dagger " Tidehunter Enigma Magnus etc" those heroes cant use the blink dagger to initiate at all as long as you spam it if you see them trying to initiate.

Also, you use it if you are being chased " gives +8% speed and -8% slow for the enemy battle hungered hero". Further more, I dont see people use this. you can use battle hunger on heroes like Phantom Lancer Naga Siren and heroes who have illusion and manta style, to differentiate which is the real one and not the illusion.

2nd skill maxed Counter Helix "lvl l0":

this is self explanatory, its a passive and gives you over 200 damage on each helix "17% chance", it will not be smart not to max it early on, when you hit level 10 " maxed helix" you can farm ancients easily "yes you can only few heroes can do it" with axe you dont need any tricks only your regular items.

3rd skilled Maxed Berserker's Call "lvl 14":

it gives you 3s taunt, that is great. not even centaur have that taunt duration.

Maxing Ultimate Culling Blade "lvl 16":

its what makes this hero even stronger, his ultimate is a killer. the ability can threshold at 300 > 450 > 625 damage. If you can get enemy heroes to those thresholds then the kill is your and it gives you 25% movement speed and to the Allie heroes around you in a 600 radius. which benefits the team during fights.

*Tip: go to console and write "dota_range_display 275" without the quotes of course. that helps you to use berserker's call properly and effectively and not miss it.

Item Build Explaination

Tranquil Boots:

thats the best boot you can get on axe, i have tried Power Treads. they simply dont work so well with axe.Tranquil boots help you sustain the damage / and heal with its active and chase hero better "+75 speed". you can use Arcane Boots or Phase Boots depending on the situation. If am not going to buy Tranquil Boots its going to be Arcane Boots for sure.

Pipe of Insight:

increases the magical resistance by 30%
and Pipe active ability "barrier" gives you and your team 300 magical spell block for a certain time. works very well in team fights.
WTF why no Vanguard? here is why and proof that Pipe of Insight is better than Vanguard on Axe. compare the win rate between Vanguard and Pipe of Insight

Shiva's Guard:

well this item is great, works very well with battle hunger. Also amazing in team fights. slows attack speed/ movement speed by -40%. Also, does 200 damage.

WTF why no blademail? same thing look at the win rate and compare Blade Mail vs Shiva's Guard. not even close.

*** with those 3 items you basically covered 1) magical resistance 2) physical resistance. Plus some added bonus. extra speed / chasing abilities / increased intelligence/ active healing/ health regen. ***

Heaven's Halberd:

I am surprised how this item is underused. it has everything a tank wants, + 20 str + 25 dmg +25% evasion. Also, this works wonders with berserker's call + disarm. you basically have " perferablly" their carry just standing he cant run for 3 secs and he cant attack for 4 secs. Evenmore, if you have low health or your team mate is being attacked you can use it to save him from being killed. very important and needed vs the other team Carrys.

Heart of Tarrasque:

A hero that is suppose to tank which doesnt have a Heart of Tarrasue... i wouldnt call him a tank in late game. this item is absolutely is a must late game to able to sustain late game their carry DPS. at this point you can change your boots to travel boots " if you want/need to"

One of those 2 items "your preference"

Option #1 Blink Dagger:

Great initiation/mobility item on Axe, works fairly well with berserker's call / counter helix. and this is the time where you activate Barrier Pipe of Insight disarm Heaven's Halberd Artic blast Shiva's Guard. can be used to run away if you are being chased.

Option #2 Force Staff:

Another alternative mobility. I personally prefer this item over Blink Dagger because it can be used during fight, help your self/ team mate to initiate or run away. or even use it on enemy heroes and manipulate the fight in your favor.

Situational Items

Soul Ring or Eul's Scepter of Divinity:

I usually buy one of these item if the whole team has no mana regen aura or no one has arcane boots and no KOTL in the team. Eul's Scepter of Divinity is the best mana item on Axe becuase it is relatively cheap to bloodstone, bloodstone is really expensive "5k gold" and it takes 20 mins to farm even if you get lucky with kills you will get it the earliest by 18 mins. Helps you chase / run away "+30 movement speed" and use Cyclone to your advantage.


I would get this item if am going mid or if i am going to be hyper active ganking top / mid / bottom and control the runes.


this item is really good on Axe. you spam your abilities and make you one hell of an annoying hero and you will be twice as effective but it is expensive it takes 20 mins or so to build this item. once you get it then you will get the other items easily cause you can farm 2x as much due to spamming ability / more
kills etc. If your team is losing its gonna be hard to get Bloodstone.. you will get a lot of **** talk " look at this noob Axe". Therefore, stop building it and get the standard items Hood of Defiance ...etc.

Boots of Travel:

disassemble your Tranquil Boots and turn them into Boots of Travel. helpful in late game situations where you have to push lanes fast then teleport back.and be ready for the team fight. saves you a slot instead of buying tp scrolls.


i will lean more towards Bottle or Eul's Scepter of Divinity rather than Soul Ring.

Rejected & Not Needed Items

Blade Mail:

Oh boy, everytime i dont get this item i get those narrow minded players who say " where is your Blade Mail / Vanguard / Blink Dagger". in fact, blade mail is one of the worst items on axe for the following reason.

Lets look at the item's active, return is an ability which returns DAMAGE of the enemy hero applies on you therefore when you use call you get 40 armor buff.

The damage on you is low consequently the return damage will be low as well. dont get me wrong it is a good item if there are lots nukers such as lina death prophet kotl but for it to be a core.

no i dont think so. people might say the +22 damage / +5 armor is so good. to be honest no it is not if i want armor i will buy Platemail > Shiva's Guard "+14 armor".

if i want damage i will buy Crystalys "Cost: 2,150 Passive: Critical Strike, +30 Damage". blade mail is a waste of gold imo.

Aghanim's Scepter:

Well, this item works well only if you have bloodstone. and both are extremely expensive. unless you have another hero who will tank instead of you. you ult every 6 secs sure and kill 2 heroes when both of them have around 600 health but but each ult cost you 200 mana which makes it hard to ult every 6 secs and its an over kill and you can get other items with better stats for less gold.


It is really weird when players get this item. i rather get Stout Shield or Poor Man's Shield than get a Vanguard. its stats are really bad.I can write huge paragraph and percentages of chance to block and how much it blocks but its not worth it.

so let me explain something most people dont know and dont realise, stout shield have 60% chance to block and the block is 20 damage vs melee and 10 vs ranged and if you get vangaurd,

it will be 70% chance block and the block will be 40 vs melee and 20 vs ranged. so, you basically paying around 1100 gold just to get the 10% chance to block and 20/10 damage block. it is so not worth the gold. that is why it is better to save the ring of health and get a HoD into Pipe of insight.

Also, if you get vangaurd and not Hood of Defiance your magic resistance will be so low compared to your physical resistance and vs nukers you will have a hard time surviving. if you are getting Vanguard for the hp regen then you better off with Hood of Defiance cause it gets you more hp regen.

Role during the stages of the game

Early Game:

If you are going to jungle start with Stout Shield and Ring of Health "i prefer these starting items because i can rush to Tranquil Boots and start ganking earlier".

If you are going to lane then get Stout Shield and Ring of Protection and 2x Tango

you can jungle or lane it is up to you but i prefer to jungle for a number of reasons. First, there will be 2 heroes soloing which means they will get twice the experience and extra gold and they will be ahead. Secondly, junglers are always unexpected when they gank.

why? because they are always not seen and missing all the time so when the junglers gank its more effective "wtf moment for them XD" unless they have wards but also you can always use Smoke of Deceit.

Another good reason, its good to let team's carries get the gold and experience cause counter helix isnt controllable and you could take farm untentionally.

once you hit lvl 7 "max battle hunger" you should start ganking more either mid or lane closer to you and ult when they get reach 300 health or below

Mid Game:

this is usually the pushing towers time so you should be pushing towers with the team and stop jungling. with Tranquil Boots and Hood of Defiance you can easily tank damage and you should be working on your Shiva's Guard.

Late Game:

You should always have your Pipe of Insight, Heaven's Halberd and Shiva's Guard ready to use on each team fight. using Disarm on the highest dps " right cliker" hero on the enemy team. you shouldnt engage in a team fight if you have your pipe on cooldown. 300 magical damage block does matter. It could save you and possibly your team from dying so fast. You must be turing your reaver into heart of tarrasque.

*important tip related to mana: as a tank, mana will be always an issue but if you learn how to manage your mana it will be smooth. just dont spam them like you are an intelligence hero . count how many times you can use your ability with the current mana pool. For example u have 250 mana and u have all 3 abilities skilled and you are going to a team fight. if you use hunger then its a mistake. you will need to save your mana for berserker's call then probally ult one of the low hp heroes. On the other hand if you have 600 mana, you should always keep about 250 saved for berserker's call + ult.

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