He is commonly played as an initiator with a large semi-carry presence that quickly transitions into a support role later in the game. His fighting style demands that he gets up close and very personal. He can taunt enemies into targeting him and counters those who try to strike him with a sweeping Counter Helix that slashes all enemies at melee range. By infusing an enemy's soul with his own hunger for war, Axe has a tendency to draw opponents so deep in the fight that they do not have a chance to escape. His ultimate, Culling Blade, bolsters that talent with an attack that unconditionally kills a unit with low health.
- Axe is especially dangerous early game with high starting statistics and the speed from Battle Hunger contributing to his ability to push up to the enemy tower relatively safely, even for a semi-carry.
- Berserker's Call provides the full armor bonus at level one. It is the primary factor in his ability to survive physical damage without good statistics.
- Resist using Culling Blade when not roaming or teamfighting. While Axe is powerful early game, he levels stat-wise fairly badly, and it is best to drop kills to a carry past the point when a team acquires their ultimate if the speed boost for a killing blow is not immediately necessary.
- Items such as the Vanguard, Hood of Defiance and the Shiva's Guard are essential as they help reduce the damage being dealt to Axe while he tanks and initiates a battle without a Blink Dagger. With a Blink Dagger, this aspect can be ignored when initiating to an extent.
- During the early phase of the game, a Stout Shield is all Axe needs to survive the lane. If possible, instead of fighting along with allied creeps, Axe can try to go and clash with the enemy creeps by himself with Counter Helix allowing him to take down unstacked creeps by himself.
- A more advanced technique used by players is to max out Battle Hunger by Level 7. This enables Axe to constantly deal damage over time (dots) in the lane, dealing crippling damage and blocking any potential to push or counterpush. This meshes well with Axe's capability to tank and keep the enemy at bay while stopping them from last hitting or denying creeps, allowing Battle Hunger deal its full damage.
- If Axe is going against two weak melee heroes in a lane without sufficient burst damage (such as Phantom Assassin or Spirit Breaker, etc.), do not hesitate to stand between them and their creeps. It allows for complete lane dominance as they cannot last hit and it denies them of experience and gold as Counter Helix hurts a lot early game.
- You can type bind "P" "toggle dota_health_per_vertical_marker 250 350 450 625" into the console to easily find the instakill health thresholds for Axe's ultimate. Press 'P' in game to change the corresponding number of the health bars. This sets each bar of health to the value you set, which means when they are under 1 bar of health, you can successfully kill the hero. This can also be applied to other spells such as Dagon, Finger of Death, or Laguna Blade, but magic resistance should be factored in. For details on enabling the console, see Console.
- Axe is an excellent counter-pick to heroes with abilities that can greatly increase their attack speed (i.e. Ursa, Troll Warlord), as a combination of Berserker's Call and Blade Mail can be devastating to such heroes, especially if Counter Helix procs numerous times.
- Instead of using Berserker's Call to draw creep aggro in lane, it's usually better to right click enemy hero (which automatically pulls the creep aggro). It applies to any enemy heroes visible on map, thus you can pull aggro by standing in the middle of wave and right clicking visible enemy on the other side of the map.
- Soul Ring can provide all of the mana needed through the early and midgame. Use this in conjunction with a form of HP regeneration such as Tranquil Boots or a Vanguard.
- Because of Counter Helix, attacking the enemy's creep wave when it spawns is an effective strategy for Axe to quickly earn experience. This will keep the enemies in your lane suppressed by your creeps during the early game. However it is not recommended if the opponent has an easy way to farm your incoming creep wave.
- If snowballing or farm is exceptional, a Bloodstone can provide excellent tankability and more mana to spam axe's spells (especially when charges accumulate). It can be also built up from an early Soul Ring. However, do not purchase if there is a more natural carrier on your team, such as Storm Spirit.
- Axe's alternate/Fun name was "Mogul Kahnt Touch This", a reference to MC Hammer's famous song U Can't Touch This.
- Axe, Disruptor, and Warlock are all related as they come from the Oglodi tribe.
- Axe's phrase "Better red than dead!" is a reversed reference to the Cold War slogan starting "Better dead ..."
- Several of Axe's deny and Culling Blade killing blow responses are references to Willy Wonka's infamous rage scene in the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
- Axe's name, lore and "one-man army" image may have been inspired by Khan Noonien Singh in the Star Trek series, who was also described as a "one-man army" and killed uncooperative subordinates (along with used-to wearing a red shirt).
- Updated icon art.
- [Undocumented] Added additional animations for Axe when using Force Staff.
- [Undocumented] Added new Axe and Crystal Maiden responses.
- [Undocumented] Added a new teleport end animation for Axe.
- Fixed Culling Blade ending after death effects like Diabolic Edict and Epicenter.
- Added idle injured animations for Axe.
- Fixed Battle Hunger self buff sticking on Axe permanently if the spell was dodged by Puck's Phase Shift.
- [Undocumented] Added injured animations for Axe.
- [Undocumented] Added chase animations for Axe.
- Fixed Counter Helix doing the damage when the attack impacted rather than started.
- Fixed Berserker's Call to properly force affected invisible enemies to attack.
- Fixed the following ability interactions with Repel/Purge: Inner Vitality, Weave, Moonlight Shadow, Overload, Holy Persuasion, Warcry, Shadow Word, Focus Fire, Sukuchi, Berserker's Call, Chilling Touch.
- Fixed Battle Hunger against Roshan.
- Fixed Berserker's Call against Roshan.
- Added bloody footprints to Axe's Cull effect.
- Battle Hunger is no longer purgable.
- Culling Blade is no longer absorbable with Linkens' Sphere.
- Siege units don't trigger and don't take damage from Counter Helix.
- Fixed Cull to to work on magic immune units.
- Fixing Axe's counter helix to hit mechanical and use proficiency correctly.
- Puck: Fixed a bug with Phase Shift on autocast that could cause him/her/it to get stuck attacking Axe permanently.
- Axe - Berserker's Call now works on ethereal units.
- Changed how force attack targets work (Axe's Berserker's Call) so the force attack target persists even if the called unit cannot currently attack Axe.
- Fixed Counter Helix procing off of things it can't hurt
- Axe's counter helix will now hit magic immune targets.
- Temporarily disabled Axe, Necrolyte, and Sven.
- Temporarily disabled Axe, Necrolyte, and Sven.
- Axe's Berserker's Call now works properly with neutral creeps.
- Fixed Berserker's Call working on towers.
- Fixed Counter Helix triggering off of tower attacks
- Battle Hunger
- duration from 10/12/14/16 to 10
- damage from 15/20/25/30 to 16/24/32/40
- cast range from 900 to 750
- movement and slow from 10 to 12%
- mana cost from 75/85/95/105 to 75
- Counter Helix chance to activate increased from 17% to 20%
- Culling Blade no longer ignores Linken's Sphere
- Counter Helix now uses Pseudo Random chance.
- This reduces the chances that very lucky or unlucky streaks of procs occur.
- Base HP regen increased from 2 to 3.
- Berserker's Call
- Duration increased from 1.5/2/2.5/3 to 2.0/2.4/2.8/3.2.
- Cooldown rescaled from 10 to 16/14/12/10.
- Berserker's Call AoE increased from 275 to 300.
- Battle Hunger's
- Duration reduced from 10/13/16/19 to 10/12/14/16.
- Damage reduced from 15/21/27/33 to 15/20/25/30.
- Movement speed slow/bonus increased from 8% to 10%.
- Is now dispellable.
- Counter Helix
- Cooldown reduced from 0.55/0.5/0.45/0.4 to 0.45/0.4/0.35/0.3.
- Now hits siege units.
- Culling Blade's
- No longer goes on cooldown if it successfully kills a hero.
- Threshold reduced from 300/450/625 to 250/350/450 ( Aghanim's Scepter upgraded version is still 300/450/625).
- Speed bonus increased from 25% to 40% and AoE from 600 to 900.
- 40% speed bonus now applies to attack speed as well.
- Aghanim's Scepter allied buff duration increased from 6 to 10.
- Manacost reduced from 150/200/250 to 60/120/180.
- Counter Helix cooldown decreased from 0.65/0.6/0.55/0.5 to 0.55/0.5/0.45/0.4.
- Berserker's Call bonus armor increased from 30 to 40.
- Battle Hunger's slow decreased from 10% to 8%.
- Battle Hunger's movement bonus increased from 4% to 8% per affected enemy.
- Counter Helix's damage increased from 100/130/160/190 to 100/135/170/205.
- Aghanim's Scepter upgrade for Culling Blade's cooldown decreased from 10 to 6.
- Base Int from 14 to 18.
- Base HP regeneration from 1.25 to 2.
- Battle Hunger gives Axe a 4% bonus movement speed per target it affects.
- Berserker's Call's cooldown decreased from 14 to 10.
- Counter Helix's damage increased from 100/125/150/175 to 100/130/160/190.
- Counter Helix's proc cooldown decreased from 0.7/0.65/0.6/0.55 to 0.65/0.6/0.55/0.5 .
- If Culling Blade kills a unit, Axe unleashes a war cry, giving nearby allied units (600 AoE) a temporary movement bonus (25% for 6 seconds).
- Base HP regeneration from 1 to 1.25.
- Undid melee hero collision change from 6.72c
- Melee hero collision size now reduced from 24 to 12.
- Base HP regenration from .25 to 1.
- Rebalanced all Melee heroes between 100 and 128 range to be 128 range
- Axe previously had 125 range.
- Battle Hunger's cooldown reduced from 25/20/15/10 to 20/15/10/5.
- Berserker's Call bonus armor from 5/10/15/20 to a constant 30.
- Cooldown on Aghanim's Culling Blade reduced from 15 to 10 seconds.
- Battle Hunger slow increased to 10%.
- Battle Hunger now slows the target by 8% until it runs out or kills another unit.
- Aghanim's Scepter Added support for Axe. Cooldown decreased from 75/65/55 to 20.
- Battle Hunger duration reduced from 10/15/20/25 to 10/13/16/19 and increased damage to keep the same total damage output.
- Lowered Base Armor by 1 point (2.8->1.8).
- Counter Helix cooldown now scales from 0.6 seconds to 0.7/0.65/0.60/0.55.
- Increased Counter Helix chance by 2%.
- Lowered Axe's starting Agility and increased his starting Strength.
- Lowered manacost and cooldown on Battle Hunger
- Improved Berserker's Call AOE by 25
- Minor armor buff (usually 1) to most melee heroes
- Changed counterhelix damage type from magical to physical
- Tweaked axe's power distrubtion a bit:
- Berserker call from 100/150/200/250 to a constant 275 all levels with duration 1.5/2/2.5/3 seconds instead of 3.5
- Counter Helix from 175 to 100/125/150/175 dmg at a constant 15% chance
- Culling blade from 200/290, 300/400, 400/550 to 150/300, 250/450, 300/625
- Counterhelix does not trigger take wards attacks into account of chance.
Model and icons before November 21, 2013 Patch