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Core Items:

Next Items:

  • Don't choose solo mid if possible
  • Use Blade Mail after Berserker's Call
  • Don't be afraid to take damage
  • Backdoor if possible
  • Start destroying towers when you have a Vanguard
  • Your main role is to initiate
  • If you need gold, farming is a good option
  • Always use Berserker's Call when you have the chance
  • Check your enemies HP size always for a successful Culling Blade


Axe is arguably the one of the most hard-to-kill heroes in the game. Not because of any escape mechanism but because he is GOD DAMN BEEFY. He’s primarily picked to take tons of damage in team fights and initiate as well. So what will I give you in this guide? Well, this is like a compilation of the Axe guides in the community and you will learn:
  • Axe's different skill builds.
  • Axe's Item Build.
  • Strategies on how to play Axe.
  • Backdooring.
  • Team role and your functions in team fights.
  • Good allies and bad enemies of Axe.

For more info visit Axe's hero page


[+] Has a good disable
[+] Great tanker
[+] High starting HP
[+] Very hard to kill
[+] Great farmer in early game
[+] High base strength
[+] High agility gain (for a strength hero)
[+] Not gay

[-] Slow attack speed
[-] Slow movement speed
[-] Small mana pool
[-] Needs proper positioning
[-] Needs items to initiate and tank well



Forces any enemy unit to attack while buffing your armor by 30. This basically disables any enemy (including magic imuned) unit from doing anything but attack you. IF your new to DotA you will probably ask yourself WTF will you want to be attacked by everybody. Well this is because the plus 30 armor and your naturally high HP gives you the ability to take all the damage plus you have your bread and butter skill Counter Helix which we will discuss later.


In the Normal Build, you should maximize Counter Helix and Berserker's Call but also I suggest you to learn Battle Hunger at lvl 4 because of its movement speed decrease which is useful when chasing and helping allies in ganks. Heres a video of Axe showing the effectiveness of Counter Helix plus Berserker's Call duirng the early stages of the game. The player's item build is not recommended.

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Well you have many choices in building up your skills. It’s up to your strategy or game style. Go feel free to choose the skill build that suits you but first let me discuss them:


Starting Items:

choose one of them which suites you more. If you don't need them then don't buy'em (but you'll surely need one of them trust me) then:

you'll need this item in every situation.

After the items above get a combination of the ff:

  • Expecting a lot of skills spammed at your face?
  • Don't go and rush magic wand, you better buy it if you need some space in your inventory.
  • Having a hard time farming?
  • Build a Ring of Basilius later
  • If you don't wan't to push yet you can turn Basilius heroes only by clicking it, just an additional info.
  • You can also use this to build Tranquil Boots.

  • You can get the components at the side shop
  • This is for the DPS build
  • Brace yourself! later... don't buy a bracer as a starting item you can get more benefits by buying ither items
  • Have some extra gold with you worth 53g or more?
  • you can also stack 3 of thes in you inventory and make a wand later for more stats and survivablity.
  • It ensures a good game so it's worth it
So the conclusion is: there are many items that can fit you just remember you always need some heals and a stout sheild. The next can be any item that will suit your situation. Example: you want to do the DPS build then you have to get the soulring recipe, If you want to have stats get some ironwood branches.

Core Items

Next Items:

Vanguard is the best defensive item in the early game because of it's cheap price. No Axe player will initiate very well without Blink (Kellen's) Dagger thats why it is a must for Axe. The Hood of Defiance finishes your core however if you want to go more offensive, get Blade Mail instead of the Hood. Blink and Blade Mail are great synergies with Berserker's Call. You just have to Blink, activate Berserker's Call and Blade Mail then after that you will end up with one dead unlucky victim. Blade Mail is also good for escapes when you and your enemy are both in low health. They'll think twice of hitting you with Blade Mail activated. Here's a pic of Axe's item and skill combo:


  • I guarantee you, this items won't waste your item slot and money
  • Heart is the best luxury item in most cases and I recommend you to buy it first but there are some cases that Assault Cuirass and Shiva's are more useful like when you need more armor or if there is a lifestealer.
  • Assault Cuirass is good if you need more pushing power and it gives you a huge amount of armor
  • Shiva's Guard is wonderful if you need more mana and it also gives a good aura against hard carries and a useful active skill.
  • If someone in your team has a cuirass already you should know that the aura doesn't stack! Don't follow those gg assholes who have two items with the same aura... (this is a lesson for the entire game)

Does the game continues?
  • For more strength
  • It's also a wise choice to save gold incase buyback is needed.


  • Hate that sticky napalm and quillspray hitting you every 2 seconds?
  • Don't worry you'll benefit more with this stick!

  • So! You wanna play the carry?
  • Don't underestimate the ability to use you Ult every 6 seconds. Who cares if the all the heroes are tanky at late game? You can still benefit from the movespeed buff by killing a creep with your ult.

  • Always bring this while jungling DUH!
  • It's tree chop skill is used to save time by chopping trees behind a neutral camp

  • Use if you are faced with mana burners
  • This is a must if you're using the DPS build

Let's take a good look at which boots you should get:

Tranquil Boots is a good choice for Axe since it gives you +80 movespeed, +3 HP regen and +3 armor and an active skill that can heal you for 170 HP in 10 second for only 1025. Pretty OP isn't it? Well the downside is that this boots' effect becomes just like the normal boots(+55 movespeed, no other effects) when you get attacked by an enemy hero pretty much like the Blink Dagger. The good thing is that you can disassemble it and you can use the parts to make other items like Hood of the Defiance, Ring of Basilius and Boots of travel.

Arcan boots, well, their the best choice if you chose to spam Battle Hunger with its active skill and +250 mana. LIke tranquil boots it can be disassembled and turned into a Boots of Travel

This is a good choice if you roam and gank alot with it's bonus movespeed. However this cant be disassembled and you'll have to sell it if you want a Boots of Travel or stick with it in the entire game.

Gives you bonus attackspeed (not really needed) and +8 to the selected attribute giving you more flexibility. This is the least choice for Axe and like Phase Boots, it cant be dissasembled.

Last and definitely not the least, Boost of Travel. Gives shitloads of movespeed and you never have to bother buying TP scolls because it has a Teleport skill which allows you to maximize your time specially lategame. Best boots of choice for almost all heroes for me.


  • You dont have nor need the attack speed for the passive maim

  • This is a nice item but it will take time for you to build this
  • During the late game you will have enough mana to do all of your
  • Like I said, one Vanguard is better than two Poor Man's Shield but two
    Poor Man's Shield are better than two vanguards
  • Two vanguards are are useless because not all the block damage does
    not stack.

  • These items fooled me, if your practicing Axe remember lifesteal and any other orb is not needed.
  • This item is really not needed because you already have an AoE skill and this item will only give you shitty damage that is not a big need of axe, mana and health regeneration the only benefit that is good for you and cleave which you don't need because creeps are already dead with your Counter Helix


Game Stages:
Early Game – Don't go mid if possible, you don't really need that much experience and its better to give that lane to a hero who is very lvl dependent like or . Farm for your Vanguard then a Dagger. The early game is the perfect time for you to keep the enemies having a hard time so laning can help your team more IF you can harrass your enemy. In this pic Lion HP went down because of my sexy Counter Helix and is forced to go back:

Two good choices if you have good lane control is to backdoor until the first tower is destroyed or farm when you have a ring of health to finish your core quickly.

Middle Game – All you need to do is to be good at positioning so you can initiate well and have balls to take as much damage as you can. Don't hesitate to use Culling Blade on a low HP enemy hero since it gives you and your team a huge movespeed buff which is vety much needed. Also if you want to push gain exp and gold faster I recommend you to backdoor but of course you should have map awareness.

Late Game - All you need to do is to assist your team in clashes by initiating and ult a low HP enemy hero to give your team the movespeed buff. When the enemy team has mega creeps you are probably the bedt hero who can defend your teams base because of your Counter Helix and high HP. Just repeat what you do push, defend, initiate. This is the part of the game when your boots of travel becomes handy since you do alot of things for your team you really need this boots

Lane Control

Stay in the front line. Axe has to constantly try to stay near the enemy, in early game his Counter Helix is a pain in the ass to most other heroes. Try staying where your opponent is within your Counter Helix’s range; do not be afraid of low attack damage enemies trying to hit you thus you have the potential to withstand many hits from the enemy like in this picture where Lion is harassing me but only gives a few damage:

Stay in lane as long as possible, this is where Tango comes in. (Remember Axe’s main owning period is during early/mid game.) The best way to harass the opponent is to stay in between the ranged creeps and the melee creeps of the opposite team when you get your Vanguard. This will prevent melee heroes from getting their last hits and deny, with you blocking their way. Backdooring opponent’s creeps is also a great way to push. Axe is capable of tanking a single wave of creeps early in the game, this will let the opponent be unable to stay in the lane long enough to farm.[/nqb]

When it comes to jungling Axe is one of most feared by nuetral creeps even if unlike Troll, Lifestealer, Enigma or Lycanthrope, can last long farming without lifesteal or ohter controlled units due to tankiness and can kill creeps fast with Counter Helix good creep camps for Axe are the ones with many members. Neutral creeps that may deal good damage to you in the early game are the two Fulborgs, the two Golems, the two Centaurs, the Dark Troll Warlord with two forest trolls and the Ancients. I advise you to avoid these neutral camps early game. Now when jungling always bring your Quelling Blade and TP for escape like in situations like this:

Know more about neutral creeps here and here.
Know a trick about jungling here.


During ganking, if you already have a Kelen’s Dagger you can initiate ganks for your team by positioning well for aBerserker’s Call. Your teammates will have the luxury of the time to attack the enemies while they are affected by Berserker’s Call. Finish the enemy who is in low HP swiftly with Culling Blade so your team will benefit from the movespeed buff. Since your opponent will focus fire on you, there is a chance of death, but this is better than them attacking your team's hard carry. What's important is that you performed a good initiation, you've tanked well and your team wins the clash. So what if you died in a clash if that caused three enemy hero deaths? That is what tanks do- take damage.

Backdoor Guide
This picture shows the best backdoor locations for the sentinels and the scourge:

(the red arrow is the place you will o to escape)(pretty obvious isn't it?)
Well, the best time to backdoor is when we have someone laning and if possible another ally farming so you will know when an ambush from the woods will happen.

When not to backdoor:
  • Enemy team has someone with heavy disables
  • Enemy has a hero with a skill that is hard to target on a single unit like 's arrow,'s ult and 's diabolic eddict.
  • The enemy team is owning you
  • The team carry has invisibility/blink
  • If the enemy team is not threatened with your pressence
  • You dont have map awareness
Early Game Backdooring(after the first wave of creeps as early as that)-Well you might think it's a bit stupid but it does work in a few situations specially when laning with enemies like (guys who can do nothing but kill creeps in early game). Don't do it with strong early game heroes like:. they can focus their skills on you.



here's a list of some other heroes that can be be a good partner in raping weaklings.

  • Your fellow initiators
  • It's best if you will perform the initiation but they can help you if you fail

:medp otm:
  • Your Berserker's Call makes your enemies auto attack you - perfect for heroes who need to aim their skills accurately

  • He's the perfect guy to help you in backdooring and tanking
  • Purification doesn't just give you HP but is a pure damage nuke aswell - great for healing and harrasing
  • Repel give you the chance to GTFO of tight situations

  • One of the game's best babysitters
  • Allows to farm/backdoor longer with Shadow Wave
  • Allows you to deal more dps with his Poison Touch
  • Shallow Grave allows you to survive and
    escape of course
  • Ulti allows you to hit harder or take less damage (also counter helix deals physical damage which means, less armor of enemies - more damage)

  • Battle Hunger + Ion Shell = fuck dps
  • Vacuum+Surge + Berserker's Call = good for initiation or chasing
  • Death Coil can heal you...DUH!
  • Aphotic Shield absorbs damage allowing you
    to tank more effectively

  • You just gotta love it's active skill
  • Give's you another skill that grants you to deal damage while taking damage, like Counter Helix
  • NOTE: this item is for your ally not for you.


Some guys who you hate.

  • Your Berserker's Call should disable the disablers before they disable you. Anyways, like all heroes, you hate being disabled
  • Heroes that drain mana
  • Really hard if you go for a Hunger DPS build

  • They do not pose a threat during the early game but they will screw you late game

  • Remember a tank needs armor

  • Gay orb effect specially early game

  • He deals so much fucking damage that even you can't tank it.

  • With his skill Feast, he can deal damage based on the percentage of HP which means more HP = more Damage he makes

Replays made possible by Sarberas

Attachment 30996

Attachment 30997


people I would like to thank:
Acechiling (this guy deserves most of my thanks)
Sarberas (replay provider)
and all the others who suggested.

Mogul Khan the Axe
Author: t0pd0g_22
Map Vers.: 6.74

dota axe guide

Mogul Khan 101

Date Posted: 09/28/10
Last Comment:24/04/2012
Total Votes: 57
Current Rating: 5.87
Views: 269524

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