Axe is commonly played as an initiator, as his potent disables can disrupt the enemy's formation and give his team openings in fights. Axe's fighting style demands that he gets up close and very personal, as he can taunt enemies into attacking him with Berserker's Call, preventing them from engaging his teammates and granting him a huge amount of bonus armor. Once he has the enemy's attention, he can counter those who strike him with a sweeping Counter Helix that slashes all enemies at melee range with pure damage. He also has a slow and damage-over-time nuke in Battle Hunger, which can harass the enemy or force them to join in battle, while also slowing their movement speed and boosting his own. Finally, he has the ability to unconditionally remove weakened enemies from the battlefield if they are under a certain threshold with Culling Blade, while simultaneously boosting his allies' speed. A bloodthirsty and indomitable warrior, Axe's presence on the battlefield is felt by friend and foe alike, dominating the attention of the enemy wherever he goes.
- Affected units are taunted, so they ignore all given commands and are forced to attack Axe for its duration. They are not muted or silenced, thus active attack modifiers still apply.
- Units attempt to follow and attack Axe regardless of distance, vision, obstacles, or status.
- Affected units are still subject to disables and do not gain free pathing.
- If Axe turns invisible during the taunt, affected enemies start attacking the next closest enemy to them.
- If no enemies are nearby, affected units stand still. While standing still, they can be given one order which they then execute. This order cannot be manually canceled.
- This can be any order, including casting of an ability or item, or a move or attack order.
- After that order, the unit cannot do anything and stands still until the taunt expires. However, if Axe turns visible again, affected units start attacking him again.
- The taunt has the same priority as
, but lower priority than .
- Same priority means that affected units attack the first taunt source, and switch to the other source once the first one expires.
- Taunts generally have a higher priority than Fear, however, Fear prevents the unit from attacking while taunted.
- Affects invisible units and units in the Fog of War. Does not affect towers, wards, invulnerable or hidden units.
- Re-casting on a unit under the taunt effect of Berserker's Call refreshes the duration.
- When Axe dies, the taunt ends immediately.
- Does not affect lane creeps from the very first creep wave that spawns, until they meet the opposing creeps in the lane.
- Axe is granted 12% movement speed for every affected enemy hero. This effect stacks.
- Every affected non-hero unit grants half the speed value. Treats creep-heroes as creeps.
- Casting Battle Hunger multiple times on the same target does not stack, but refreshes the duration instead.
- Using , , or also removes the debuff.
- Killing illusions does not remove the debuff.
- The affected unit itself has to make the kill to remove the debuff. Summons or illusions owned by the same player do not remove it when they make a kill.
- Deals damage based on the level upon cast of the ability. Leveling up Battle Hunger does not update the damage of already placed debuffs.
- However, choosing the damage upgrading talent immediately upgrades all of Axe's currently active Battle Hunger debuffs.
- Deals damage in 1 second intervals, starting 1 second after the debuff is placed, resulting in 12 instances.
- Can deal up to 192/288/384/480 ( 1632/1728/1824/1920) damage (before reductions) when lasting its full duration.
- When upgraded, directly reduces any damage debuffed enemies deal. This includes damage from spells.
- Aghanim's Scepter turns Battle Hunger into a ground-targeted spell, so no primary target is required.
- Choosing the damage upgrading talent immediately upgrades all of Axe's currently active Battle Hunger debuffs.
- Can only proc when an enemy unit lands an attack on Axe, regardless of distance. This means it cannot proc on missed attacks.
- Secondary attacks from , , and cannot trigger Counter Helix.
- Can proc on the secondary attacks from other instant attacks.
- Despite the visual effects, the damage is applied instantly within the radius.
- Counter Helix uses pseudo-random distribution.
- Counter Helix does not use a regular cooldown. It is neither displayed on the ability icon when proccing, nor is it affected by cooldown manipulating effects.
- When the talent is chosen, the proc chance and cooldown are shared between the procs upon getting attacked and upon attacking.
- When the target's health is above the threshold, it only applies its regular damage (magical) and plays a different sound.
- Even when the target dies to the regular damage (possible with damage amplifications), the other effects of Culling Blade are not applied.
- When the target's health is below the threshold, it does the following:
- The target's health is checked upon reaching the cast point, so if it gained health during that time so it exceeds the health threshold, the cull fails.
- Culling Blade is able to kill targets affected by , , and but not .
|Attacking Procs||20||+25 Health Regen|
|+30 Movement Speed||15||+3 Mana Regen|
|+40 Attack Speed||10||+8 Strength|
- Reduced cooldown from 0.45/0.4/0.35/0.3 to 0.3 on each level.
- Reduced proc chance from 20% on each level to 17%/18%/19%/20%.
- Increased movement speed from 295 to 305.
- Increased base attack damage from 24-28 to 27-31.
- Increased base armor from -2 to -1.
- now grants half the movement speed when cast on non-hero units, instead of always granting the full value.
- No longer causes to apply on enemies within a 700 radius upon successfully culling an enemy.
- Now turns into a ground-targeting ability with a 400 radius.
- Aghanim's Scepter still makes Battle hunger apply 30% damage reduction on enemies.
- gives Axe much more survivability in lane with the bonus attributes and allows him to be much more tanky earlier than usual.
- 's is a great item, needed for every hero to regenerate health and allow the ability to trade in lane.
- is going to be needed no matter which starting build you decide, as Axe is very good with trading until very low health and retreating, giving you a very big edge on heroes who don't buy one.
- 's is a great source of slow regeneration and is needed no matter what build you are going for.
- is excellent starting damage to use for last hitting creep and will make your jungling faster, now that it's only 150 gold and there's no side shop, it's perfectly reasonable to start with it.
- builds into a which you will want at some point in the early stages of the game, as Axe likes to be in the thick of things.
OTHERS TO CONSIDERboosts survivability which Axe lacks for the majority of the game outside of Beserkers Call. Against physical damage this item is very good but can no longer be purchased at the side shop, also goes into Buckler, a very common starting item.
- should be considered as a small item as it allows Axe to gain some magic resistance and additional health. It's especially useful when you are ahead and doing well, as it buffs your strength.
- is the best boosts choice as it allows Axe to run faster, mxied with Battle Hunger makes it very hard to escape or catch up to him.
- provide Axe with movement speed and passive health regeneration outside of combat. It is one of two options for Axe early for increasing his mobility for early initiations, and providing a source of HP regen to allow him to remain on the field instead of returning to base.
- allows Axe to gain burst health and mana while in the middle of fights, where he excels at most.
- is the most important item for Axe as it allows him to initiate and counter-initiate for his team. Axe is definitely one of the most scary heroes in the game with this item.
- provides many strong benefits for Axe. The stats are amazing and the active gives a real punishment for any hard hitting hero caught within your Berserkers Call. All in all, just very good synergy for Axe and an item you will want the majority of games.
- is necessary for allowing Axe to be present at teamfights and ganks. His powers as an initiator can set up fights decisively for his team.
- is very good for evading enemies and getting to the targets you want to blink to without being detected. Alternatively, it could be used for escaping if a gank or a teamfight does go wrong.
- can be a necessary purchase if he is facing a very disable-heavy lineup. Because he jumps right into the middle of the enemy to initiate, he is a prime target for focusing down with magic nukes and stuns, so having spell immunity can allow him to do more in fights and get more uses of Berserker's Call of.
- gives Axe many strong benefits and is a powerful utility item to carry. The increased intelligence gives Axe a larger mana pool, while the passive health regeneration helps to keep Axe's health topped up. The active is excellent as Axe does not have a good way to disengage from fights very well. As well, using the active on himself after a successful Blink-Call can allow Axe to quickly kite enemies away, forcing them to follow him during the taunt.
Most games you will want one of these:
- , upgraded from Vanguard, is a strong utility item that provides Axe with even more survivability against physical damage. The extra armor and attributes on top of the existing damage block and bonus HP can make him extremely tanky, and he can augment it even more and protect his allies with the active.
- allows Axe to initiate without fear of hard magical damage and allows him to march on the front lines and support his team against said magical damage.
- gives Axe even more survivability against physical damage by giving him increased damage block, more HP and HP regen. This item excels against physical damage dealers and allows unlimited jungling, but Axe should not be played primarily as a jungler.
- is a good ganking item early game that gives Axe many benefits. The extra strength increases Axe's HP and base damage, and the passive mana regen helps with his mana problems. This should usually be gotten by a teammate however.
- is a strong initiator item that allows Axe to punish enemies for targeting him with disables. The item provides armor and more regeneration, making him more tanky and allowing him to replenish his mana over time. The active, used during an initiation, can punish enemies who target Axe with single-target disables and nukes, disabling and nuking them in turn to cause more chaos for Axe's team to capitalize on.
- greatly increases Axe's health and provides base damage, giving him much more power as an initiator, since he can continue disabling the enemy during fights so long as he is alive. As well, if he manages to survive fights and escape, he can quickly regenerate his HP and jump straight back into battle.
- drastically boosts Axe's intelligence and armor, giving him yet more survivability against physical damage while also eliminating his mana problems. The attack speed slow aura can greatly hinder the enemy from making physical attacks during fights, while the active can be used as a damage nuke and a slow to hinder their mobility.
- gives Axe additional battlefield and global mobility. The global teleport allows Axe to show up to fights to initiate for his team more easily, while the increased movement speed allows him to be more mobile on the battlefield, chasing enemies down and inflicting them with Battle Hunger to slow them.
- is a strong teamfight item that greatly increases Axe's armor and attack speed. The armor provides yet more resistance against physical damage, and the attack speed allows Axe to become much more threatening with his right-clicks. The allied armor and attack speed aura is a strong edge in teamfights.
- is a strong survivability and utility item that can help Axe if the enemy's physical damage output is more than he can handle. The additional strength and evasion give him more health and survivability against physical attacks, respectively, and the active disarm allows Axe to completely stop an enemy from attacking.
- is a strong purchase on Axe given his role as a close-range initiator. The item gives him greatly increased attack speed, making his physical attacks much more dangerous, and allows him to bounce Chain Lightning procs during fights to deal magical damage all around to the enemy. The Static Charge active can also be placed on Axe himself right before initiation, further punishing the enemy for attacking him during Berserker's Call.
|Roles:||Initiator Durable Disabler Jungler|
|Playstyle:||One by one the soldiers of the Red Mist fell, some in battle, others to Moghul Khan's ambitions, until the self-declared general found himself a commander without troops. No matter, Axe thought. For a one-man army is the best army of all. Leaping into battle, Moghul Khan compels nearby foes to attack him with a taunting Berserker's Call. Absorbing blows from every direction, Axe reacts by swinging his axe full circle in a Counter Helix, easily dispatching the swarm he had gathered. But alas, not all stay long enough to meet their end. The few limping away from Moghul Khan feel an inexplicable Battle Hunger, a hunger that is never sated before Axe sends them to an early grave with Culling Blade.|
- Axe's alternate/fun name was "Mogul Kahnt Touch This", a reference to MC Hammer's famous song U Can't Touch This.
- Axe, , and are all related as they come from the Oglodi tribe.
- Axe's phrase ▶️ "Better red than dead!" is a reversed reference to an American Cold War slogan stating "Better dead than Red".
- Several of Axe's deny and Culling Blade killing blow responses (such as ▶️ "You get nothing. Good day, sir!") 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).
- Axe was the mascot of Dota 2, featuring only himself in several Dota 2 pages and game arts. This was removed in November 2013 for unknown reasons.
- In The Lab, a VR game by Valve, there are some Bendies who wield Axe's war axe, along with other Dota 2 weapons like a Stout Shield, Huskar's spear and Legion Commander's sword.
Model and icons before November 21, 2013 Patch