Despite having an average strength gain, Axe is regarded as one of the most effective tankers in DOTA. The best thing about this hero is that he can also act as an initiator with his first skill at play. Axe tanking ability also relies on his first skill which grants him absurd amount of armor in a short period of time. He is also famous due to his third skill which allows him to counter enemy blows. The more enemy attacking the more devastating Axe’s counter is. Running away from Axe with measly life points left is impossible because of his ultimate skill which finishes off an enemy instantly. Axe is very easy to use and is a common pick by DOTA beginners. Nevertheless, if you want to fully capitalize from his tanking and intitiating prowess, here are some guidelines on how to let loose the destructive might of Mogul Khan the Axe.
Aside from giving Axe more than enough bonus armor to render enemy physical attacks useless, this skill forces enemy units in a certain area to attack him. You can benefit most from Axe’s third skill after casting this one. Enemy heroes caught with this skill can’t cast any spell so it is also a great tool against intelligence type heroes who highly depend on skills for attack or defense. The only problem is that you need to get near for this skill to be effective. You’ll need a Kelen’s Dagger to increase Axe’s mobility and make it easier for you to catch enemies off guard with this skill. Force Staff and Lothar’s Edge are good choices as well.
Axe is highly effective during the early parts of the game because of this skill. Aside from having a very low cooldown time, this skill can easily kill intelligence or agility type heroes particularly if they don’t have any item on their inventory to improve health point’s regeneration. Keep in mind that the DPS of this skill will diminish once the target kills any creep or a hero. Don’t allow him to do so. Try to chase him and keep him at bay. If he choose to risk it all and gets near to hit any creep, cast your first skill and he is good as dead. Those who underestimate this skill ended up being bullied by Axe so be sure to maximize its power to gain lane dominance and eventually make it easier for your team to win the entire game.
This skill made Axe a great tanker. In fact, most experienced Axe players choose to advance and face enemy creeps single handedly. This may sound ridiculous but it’s a brilliant idea. With items that can help you ward of creep hits like Stout Shield, Poor Man’s Shield, or Vanguard, you can eliminate a wave of creeps in a matter of seconds without losing so much health points. If enemy heroes decide to face you, simply spam your second skill until they drop dead. The battle is away from your creeps making it almost impossible for them to negate the effect of your second skill. If they make a wrong turn by moving so close to you, grab them with your first skill and they’ll experience how lethal Axe’s skill set can be. Upgrading this skill to the fullest should be a priority.
Axe can finish off enemies with ease through this skill. It can even penetrate to heroes protected by skills such as Lord of Avernus’s Borrowed Time and OmniKnight’s Repel. Aside from eliminating a target having a certain amount of health points in an instant, this skill also grants added movement speed to Axe and his nearby allies after being casted. You’ll have a better chance to chase other enemy heroes or escape their counter-attack with such kind of effect. However, be sure to observe the target’s health points carefully before casting since this skill delivers puny damage if used improperly.
Axe excels during the early parts of the game so be sure to maximize from this advantage. Your main role is to harass enemy heroes and stop them from gaining experience and gold. With a Stout Shield on your inventory, you can advance and face enemy creeps solely. Farm until you have enough gold to form a Vanguard. Your creeps will do the pushing for you. Aside from grabbing all the experience and gold this technique is also a good way to render enemy heroes in your lane useless. You can limit their level since there won’t be any creep on your side to give them experience. All Axes’ skills are equally important. However, if you are confronting mostly ranged enemy heroes, it’s wise to only focus on his second and third skill since your first skill won’t be very effective without a Kelen’s Dagger or other items that can close the gap between you and enemy heroes in an instant.
Before you decide to join and initiate ambushes, make sure you have any item that can help cast your first skill with much precision as mentioned earlier. Axe is a great chaser given he boasts DPS damage with his second skill. Simply wait for the right moment and unleash your ultimate skill once your second skill ate most of the target’s life points away. Improving your armor is also a brilliant idea. Aim for an Assault Cuirass or Shiva’s Guard. I highly suggest the later as it has a passive effect which can slow enemies in a certain area. Such item also weakens enemy attack rate making it perfect against agility type heroes and other who greatly rely on physical damage.
Axe’s initiating and tanking abilities will shine during this part of the game. If you managed to purchase luxurious items like Heart of Tarasque and Assault Cuirass, the late game won’t be so much of a problem. During team clashes, blink towards the enemy team and cast your first skill to stop them from casting any spell and focus their attacks on you. If well executed, your team will gain the upper hand in the battle. Buying a Blade Mail is also a great idea as you can activate it before casting Axe’s first skill. They can’t stop but attack you so Blade Mail’s effect will be fully utilized. Just initiate the battle for the team. You may not survive in most cases, yet you’ve done your part so leave the rest to your team’s carry. With Axe’s superior tanking and initiating abilities, your team can rally towards victory with ease.
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