"The beasts obey me!"
~Table of Contents
II. Skill Handbook
III. Skill Build
IV. Item Build
VI. Additional Strategy
VII. Conclusion & Credits
1: Wild Axes
2: Call of the Wild
3: Call of the Wild
4: Wild Axes
5: Wild Axes
6: Primal Roar
7: Wild Axes
8: Call of the Wild
9: Call of the Wild
10: Inner Beast
11: Primal Roar
12: Inner Beast
13: Inner Beast
14: Inner Beast
16: Primal Roar
Wild Axes are taken first in case your partner has a stun, it might help to get that First Blood. It is maxed out first because it is so very useful. It deals a good amount of damage and it scales well (180/240/300/360dmg!) and this is crucial for your combo early game so you have to take advantage of it. Second comes Call of the Wild, it can help from the get go to scout runes and may possibly help you avoid getting killed by early Ganks. However, if a slow seems to be more useful to your team, feel free to max Call of the Wild first; later on, the Greater Quillbeast's slow is more useful than Wild Axes, and simply having a pig harassing with the slow all the time, will be annoying to your oponent(s). Primal Roar is your main killing/ganking tool. Inner Beast is now crucial for Rexxar's Cookie Cutter item; Necronomicon. Your Necronomicon Spawns already have a fast attack rate, with your passive their Feedback will be more effective.
Boots of Speed:
Boots are gotten for obvious reasons. Higher mobility and optional upgrade. Your footwear upgrade is based on personal preference. If you're having trouble farming early game, get Power Treads or Phase Boots because they're cheap, easy to upgrade and you can buy most of the ingredients on the side shops. Although, if your game is going really well and you have the money, don't hesitate and get Boots of Travel, they will make your life easier. You don't have to keep buying Scrolls of Town Portal, and you will move even faster.
Bottle is gotten for regeneration & rune raiding while roaming and ganking. Feel free to sell it in late game for more expensive upgrades.
Bracers give you early stats and lightly beef up your damage for ganking. Also potentially useful later on if you decide to upgrade them to Janngo of Endurance.
Ancient Janngo of Endurance:
Ancient Janggo of Endurance is a new perfect situational item for Rexxar's backpack. It upgrades an already useful Bracer into a beast item that will grant you with damage and extra movement speed for you and your minions. It's relatively cheap and builds up really fast. It also adds even more movement speed to your summons and four (4) MS&AS boost charges that may change the tide of a battle. If your wallet lets you, get this but only if no one else in your team has it already.
Gem of True Sight:
Because of Call of the Wild, Beast Master makes an excellent Gem carrier. Your Hawk gives vision to higher ground for your pig to attack, this makes for a good way to counter-ward.
Beast Master is by far, the best user of Necronomicon. It grants Strength and Intelligence, the two you need the most. The necro-spawns give you an extra push in the Movement Speed area and will give you a 35 second True Sight. For more information, take a look at my guide on Necronomicon. This however, doesn't mean that you should always get it. At least not as your core extension.
*When to buy: When the enemy team has at least one hero who can go invisible. get Necronomicon before any other extension item.
Kelen's Dagger of Escape:
Kelen's Dagger provides you the ability to initiate easier. Combined with your Hawk's vision, you can blink into unexpected areas by the enemy. You can surprise gank wandering enemies or blink in to disable an enemy initiator right before a teamfight.
*When to buy: If your team doesn't have a natural blink initiator (Magnus, Earthshaker, Tide, Centaur) then you're it. get Blink Dagger.
Aghanim's Scepter is a nice addition but does not fall into core because it's not as impacting as it is on Pudge or Night Stalker for example. Scepter does make you more ganky late game as it reduces your Ultimate's cooldown to a constant 45 and greatly improves range to 950 which lets you initiate from further back. You will find this especially useful in Late Game when you start becoming more fragile to late carries. Although, you will now have to travel more to reach your target, in theory, it's a double sided sword, but the cooldown reduction makes up for it.
*When to buy: If your game is favoring your team and you are not having trouble staying alive, get this. This all-arounder gives stats in all areas, boosts your life and mana and makes you more ganky.
Black King Bar:
Black King Bar gives a decent amount of health points and decently increases damage. It also makes it easier to stay alive after initiating, rendering you immune to most hard-coded spells.
*When to buy: If your enemies have a lot of disables, feel free to get BKB as needed. It may make the difference after using Primal Roar.
Assault Cuirass is your best bet after Necronomicon. It grants you and your minions armor and attack speed while penalizing your enemies. The negative armor aura will help bring out the efficiency of Wild Axes and the overall damage of your summons when engaging an enemy hero.
*When to buy: Get Cuirass if you're having trouble staying alive to DPS'ers and other carries
Hood of Defiance:
Hood of Defiance will greatly enhance your health regeneration and can save you from nasty combos.
*When to buy: Get Hood if you're having trouble staying alive to Nukers and Spell Damage. It is always more important to stay alive over beefing your damage output. If enemy team has more than 5 nukes, consider getting this early.
Vladmir's Offering is an option Mid to Late game. You're a natural Supportive Ganker, and rely on summons most of the time. This makes Vlad's a viable choice. Take note that The +5 armor aura and 16% leech can increase the overall defense of your creep waves by over 50%, this makes you a good pusher late game.
*When to buy: if your game is favoring your team and you are not having trouble staying alive, feel free to get Vlad's to enhance your pushing but only if no one else in your team has it already. It's armor, damage and leech auras combined greatly increase the overall defense of your creep waves.
Heart of Tarrasque:
Heart of Tarrasque is pretty simple. Best raw HP item in the game. You would probably stop getting items after this point, coupled with Assault Cuirass, it's the most you should get in the protection department. You can forget about going to fountain for regen.
*When to buy: Always. When you don't know what other items to get, always get a HoT, you can never go wrong with more HP.
Starting the Game
Your starting items may vary depending on type of game, opponents and how much money you start with (different game modes and what not). But your everyday purchase should be based on the guideline below. Note that because of Bottle early game, Rexxar shouldn't have to worry about buying clarities. But feel free to get them if you're facing nukers, you will want to harass them back with Wild Axes.
Laning & Skills
First skill as mentioned before, should be Wild Axes. It can be very useful at the very start of the game and may land you a very early First Blood if you have a good partner. As soon as you reach level 3, learn level 2 of Call of the Wild and cast it.
From here, until the end of the game, you should always have a pig with you. Lots of players cast Call of the Wild only when they're about to engage in combat, not only that but they will forget about the hawk and often times even the pig (after the fight).
Group yourself with your pig and send the hawk to the rune spot. Don't forget that Scout Hawk is not invisible and he is VERY fragile. Be careful when and where you cast Call of the Wild. Most of the time, smart, ranged players will kill your hawk instantly after casting if you cast it close enough. Remember that Runes spawn every 2 minutes. Have your hawk watching the rune spot.
If your enemies are melee, try to constantly attack them with your pig and with your own attack if possible. This might end up giving you a First Blood if your wave kills the enemy wave and the enemy hero is still slowed by your pig. If enemy is long-ranged or has an annoying nuke, use your Wild Axes but don't abuse your mana pool, you will need 270 Mana for your combo once you reach Level 6.
Reaching Level 6
From this point, go grab your Bottle if you don't already have it because you're switching to Ganking mode. This is where it gets fun. Have control of both rune positions (Hawk and Wards) and start organizing ganks with your team (this may very well be a gank in your own lane). Remember to always start with Primal Roar, followed by Wild Axes (270 Mana). Then animation-cancel your pig's attacks because it is extremely long and annoying.
Your item build at this point should consist of Bottle, Boots of Speed and a Bracer or two. Tend to always have a Scroll of Town Portal if possible and always fill your backpack with GG Branches. Start thinking about upgrading a Bracer into Janngo of Endurance. Keep ganking and staying in sync with your team. Note your weakness and start thinking on what extension item you need the most.
Most of the time you'll end up getting Necronomicon, now you have more than enough strength to pack a punch. There's something to understand about Necronomicon- It's purpose is to deplete your enemy's mana pool, thus preventing any means of escape or counter-attack. When ganking, always position your hawk around a reasonable way of escape for the enemy hero which could in effect be a way for their allies to counter-attack.
After some kills with Necronomicon, you will notice that farming to upgrade it (Levels 2 & 3) is easier and faster than you thought. Because at this phase of the game more heroes die and it's easier to kill towers, before you know it, you'll have enough to max Necronomicon. This in my opinion is a better choice as opposed to rushing Necronomicon at the start of the game.
Main Rexxar Combo
Blink in behind enemy and start with Primal Roar, and order yourself and the pig to attack the hero. At level 1, Primal Roar will give you 3 seconds to attack the hero, that's not as good as a level 3 Primal Roar but it's still plenty of time to get some hits down from you and the pig or any other allies. Use Wild Axes as soon as you get near them to start attacking. Use Wild Axes as often as possible, and remember to cancel your pig's animation when you're chasing with it.
Incorporating Necronomicon in your combo
1) Cast Call of the Wild (Unless you already have your pig with you)
Your core and have extension items, you're pretty much set until the game ends. At this point of the game, Primal Roar will be the best use of you for your team. Combined with Necronomicon it will wreck enemies. And by wrecking, I mean wrecking. In a 1-on-1 situation, the power of your combo once you have maxed Primal Roar and Necronomicon is in-par with that of Bane Elemental's. You will literally destroy any INT hero or severely cripple tanks and carries.
Late Game is when you'll most likely be team-fighting and pushing (I call this unwillingly farming for your extension items). By this time you should have optionally upgraded to Boots of Travel to enhance map control and ease of pushing. Janggo can be an awesome late game item when the smallest advantage in speed can give you the edge in fights. Start buying extension items such as Plate Mail or Point Booster based on the heroes you're facing and the role your team needs. Feel free to sell Bottle for other more expensive ingredients, your mana pool will be big enough so that you don't need any extra regen at this point. Until then pay attention to Runes as always, and be alert with minimap. Necrobook Level 3 will get rid of problems with invisible heroes in battles and/or ganks late game. Push by spamming Wild Axes in each incoming wave and teleport to defend or when planning a hero attack with allies.
Heroes and/or items that can change the allegiance of your summons are some of your worst enemies. Rexxar relies on the slow of his pig most of the game. Not only will these take it from you, but they'll turn it against you. These fuckers will also convert your Necrospawns, which is specifically bad when in the midst of battle, your Necro Warrior is converted, you don't realize it and you accidentally kill him either with Wild Axes or Primal Roar side damage.
Arcane Orb and Purge are another Nightmare for Rexxar's summons. Face Medusa and all she has to do is one click to get rid of your entire army.
Spell Block will ruin your initiation. Rexxar only has one single-targeted spell: Primal Roar. If you face someone wielding Linken's Sphere, make sure its Spell Block is on cooldown before you initiate. Radiance will instantly kill your Hawk if it's close enough.
Utilizing your Hawk & Runes
Especially early game, pay special attention to your scouting Hawk and rune positions. Always have a hawk near you or at a rune. Either roaming/patroling a forest near your location or scouting escape/help routes from your enemies. Try to position this so you can see the runes as well. Move your hawk as you move. Think of it as a free, movable Observer Ward.
Pay attention at the map at all times. Be able to use Boots of Travel/Scroll of Town Portal to teleport in case of emergencies. Respond to your allies' map pings and help calls. Rexxar is a hero that can wander all over the map most of the time, ganking one second then pushing in the next.
The Importance of your Pig
If you're in a lane and you have to come back to the fountain or you need to buy an item, never leave your pig inactive. While traveling to or from the fountain to the lane, use your pig as your hero. Last hitting and denying with your pig early game will earn you extra gold and deny enemy XP. Don't forget that a Greater Quilbeast's attack is much more powerful and faster than that of a mere Quilbeast. It can easily kill a ranged creep in seconds.
In team fights and in most cases, your enemies will focus fire on you and your teammates and not on your pig, it is not a big priority. This may turn out to give you a kill if enemy tries to run from tower and your pig slows it making it get hit more times. Another use of your pig is to run away from danger, a 35% slow on the enemy is more than enough to turn a chase into a successful escape, and all it takes is one attack from your pig.
The Power of Blink & Primal Roar
Always start your combo with Primal Roar (Blinking does not fall into part of your combo, it simply changes how and when you arrive to your initiation position). This skill offers very effective side effects that would be otherwise be useless. Primal Roar not only stuns the target but also slows all units around the path of the roar AND shoves them away, making room for you and your summons to get close and personal. If you use it as a finishing move you would be wasting the precious 4 second stun. The only situation where you might use Primal Roar when the enemy is does not have full health, is when you have two enemy heroes that don't have full health.
When you have a pig, a pair of Necrospawns, and you have two enemy heroes with average-low health in front of you, it's hard to resist not to go after them. In this case, cast Primal Roar on the thoughest guy, the side damage and slow will most likely be enough for you to get rid of the weaker enemy while the stun prevents the other one from escaping.
Anytime you use Primal Roar in the presence of two more more enemy heroes, use Blink Dagger to make sure that all of them are affected by the damage. Remember that its side damage affects all units in a circular 250 AoE right in front of Rexxar.
Using Wild Axes to Surprise
Use Wild Axes to your advantage. When ganking, or planning a kill, go behind the trees, use Wild Axes to chop through the trees and arrive unexpected. Surprise is a key element for Rexxar.
This concludes my quick and easy guide to Rexxar, the Beastmaster. This hero is perfect for users who like the element of surprise and are good with micro'ing (due to "Necrobook"). Rexxar is not damage-item dependant, at least not until Late Game if enemy has nasty tanks. Note that this guide has never been tested in professional matches but should work really well in public games and other more casual games. Or even againts AI.
Special thanks to gwho, Lycan, Corsair July, Green Yoshi, clickrush and Pwntlolz for helping with minor formatting tips, suggestions and general ideas in the guide.