Hey guys, Gasai here. I've been playing games of the MOBA/DotA genre for the majority of the past four years, first in HoN and most recently in DotA2. In Heroes of Newerth I was an 1850-1900 MMR hard support player with 57-60 percent win in public matchmaking. More recently I've been a member of the teams CoN2 and Team Jacob as their offlane solo player while maintaining a 55+ percent win rate in the "very high" matchmaking bracket. While I previously write HoN guides, this is my first attempt at covering a DotA2 hero so bare with me as I try to explain the in's and out's of Gondar the Bounty Hunter and how I think he should be played. Anyways, hope you guys enjoy the guide, if you like it be sure to vote it up, check out my other guides (which should be coming out soon) and also check out the site for DotA and SC2 news.
[Q] Shuriken Toss:
Bounty Hunter's true nuke, Shuriken Toss is a unique nuke in how it scales. The first two levels of the ability are extremely cost efficient doing 100/200 damage for 90/115 mana respectively but levels three and four scale dramatically less than the first two, dealing 250/325 damage for 135/155 mana. The ability also mini-stuns its target, adding some necessary utilty to an otherwise standard skill.
A crit on cooldown that also slows and reduces enemy attack speed when triggered. It makes last hitting much easier in lane, especially in a 2/3 v 1 where every last hit is precious. Being a percent based skill it's what allows BH to scale best into the late game while also providing a strong slow that is useful in ganks/mid-game.
[E] Shadow Walk:
Gondar's invis that has gives him unit-walking and a bit of bonus damage. Early on the fade time is annoying and the 15 second duration can limit your mana pool if you're constantly spammming it. I think it's Gondar's best ability during the early game, but we'll get to that in a moment.
This is the money skill. It gives your team a sizable gold boost while also providing vision of the target and increasing allied movespeed in a 900 unit radius. Track is the thing that makes Gondar a great hero and forces the team to avoid trading kills early on. In a early game teamfight one or two track kills can give your team a 1k gold swing that really adds up over time. Track also makes it difficult for opponents to chase fleeing allies unless they have a stun or slow. Great ability but one that requires you to be active in order to get the most out of it.
Q: Why don't you max your nuke early game?
A: The mana increase is too much considering how little damage it provides while also squandering much of BH's early game mana pool. In other words you can choose to:
A) Increase the damage of your nuke by 125 while increasing mana cost by 40
B) Increase your crit damage by 50% while reducing the CD of your crit by 4 seconds
C) Increase the length of your invis from 15 to 25 seconds, increase the bonus damage you receive by 60, reduce your fade time while invis by .5 seconds and get overlapping shadow walk hits (120 damage for 50 mana isn't inherently as good as 125/40, but shadow walk provides the other benefits that I listed. Furthermore shadow walk damage works with Jinada's crit, Shuri toss doesn't).
Q: Why do you max Shadow Walk before Jinada?
A: The easiest answer is that I prefer the flat damage provided Shadow Walk to the pecentage based damage of Jinada. I think that getting two shadow walk hits in a quick burst is better than having a slightly higher percentage crit. Furthermore, the reduction in fade allows you to disjoint more abilities which is a very useful bonus. While in a drawn out fight getting more jinada crits does more dps while offering a useful slow, Shadow Walk offers more pure burst in a situation where you want a quick kill or gank.
There are many ways to build Bounty Hunter (some people prefer to max shuri early, others like Jinada before Shadow Walk) but this is the build that I've had the most success with and it suits my playstyle more than the other builds.
The beginning items are pretty standard, depending on the matchup you might want to get a clarity instead of a branch, but this is what I typically go. The three branches build into a magic wand while you can easily turn the shield into a poor man's shield at the side shop.
Ring of Basilius into Tranquil Boots can be a very suitable item build if you want to avoid going bottle and have a 1v1 situation. When you buy Tranquil Boots just break up your ring and keep the Sage's mask for an early Medallion of Courage or a Vladmir's Offering.
Medallion is a great item on BH, it provides mana regen while giving him even more armor reduction (1/3/5 provided by track with the 6 from Medallion is pretty nifty). Getting the medallion on BH even allows for some early Rosh kills if the opportunity arises.
You can opt for Vlad's instead of Drum of Endurance if you have a melee heavy team or are going for an early push strat (or if somebody on your team already bought drums) but I find the extra stats provided by drums to be great and relatively cost effective.
Generally speaking I prefer to build my BH tanky, which shows in my item choices. The offensive items can be purchased if you're forced to play BH as a hard carry, but he is best served as semi-carry who is able to constantly track the enemy and pick off squishy supports. Orchid Malevolence is probably my favorite "damage" item on BH since it ensures that he won't have any mana problems during the game while also being deadly against enemies who rely on blinks, not to mention that the damage increase is a great anti-carry tool.
When playing in the offlane against a dual or trilane there are a few things that you need to keep in mind and look out for. First off, any type of reveal is the enemy, if the enemy has Sentry Ward's try to remember when and where they placed the ward so you can avoid the affected area. If the enemy has dust you're going to have retreat whenever you think they might be opening up on you. Keep in mind that both of these items have downsides, wards only reveal a certain area so if you're able to avoid the area of sight you should be fine while dust probably won't be popped if you're hiding invis the entire time (that is, you're constantly hidden and refreshing Shadow Walk as to avoid being present in the lane at all). Bounty Hunter is great in the off-lane because he can easily recover from a hard early game as soon he hits six. There have been plenty of times where I've left lane with 1-2 creep kills but still managed to get over 400-500 gpm at the end of the game. The key is to gank aggressively and often.
With a little communication BH can menace the jungle, mid lane and your team's short lane as soon as he dings six. With Jinada he provides a strong slow, while a Shadow Walk + Shuri combo deals considerable damage early game. Keep track up on as many enemies as possible and watch the gold roll in for both yourself and your allies.
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