- 's damage is calculated by percentage of maximum health, meaning that it will hurt Axe more than most normal attacks, negating some of his tankiness.
- Doom can pick up several different abilities from neutral creeps using , some of which can be annoying to Axe.
- makes Axe less disruptive. With , Counter Helix is also disabled.
- neutralizes initiation attempts with Berserker's Call, and its long area of effect discourages follow-up from Axe's teammates.
- serves as a large obstacle to stop Axe from chasing down fleeing stragglers to kill with Culling Blade.
- 's lifesteal makes it nearly impossible for Axe to initiate and bring Lifestealer's health low enough for Culling Blade, even with many procs of Counter Helix.
- 's damage is calculated as a percentage of health, turning Axe's high health against him. This allow Lifestealer to hit Axe much harder than most other heroes.
- Frequent healing from and makes it difficult for Axe to finish off targets with Culling Blade.
- taunted, thus lowering the chance to proc Counter Helix. 's instant cast time allows Necrophos to turn ethereal before being initiated on by Berserker's Call. This prevents him from attacking Axe while
- Axe's high health is relatively ineffective against 's percentage-based health degeneration.
- negates Axe's tankiness, and can kill him quickly after initiation.
- Outworld Devourer's pure and magical damage is particularly effective against Axe.
- is an excellent way to defend against an initiating Axe.
- Axe has mana troubles, and Outworld Devourer's abilities can press this by stealing intelligence, therefore depleting his mana pool and mana regeneration.
- deals high damage to Axe, due to his low intelligence.
- allows Phoenix to heal any allies caught in Berserker's Call, while burning away Axe's high HP at the same time.
- Axe's slow attack speed makes it difficult for him to destroy on his own.
- can be used on allies to prevent them from attacking Axe and triggering Counter Helix during Berserker's Call. He can also cast it on Axe to prevent anyone from attacking him.
- can be used to heal himself or allies caught in Berserker's Call, preventing them from dropping low enough for Axe to kill them with Culling Blade.
- reduces the damage from and Counter Helix to a minimum, forcing Axe to play around Ursa's ultimate ability.
- and tear through Axe's low armor, even if he has relatively high health.
- 's stacking strength reduction makes Axe much less dominant in lane.
- 's zombies take no damage from Counter Helix, and will continuously put Axe's on cooldown until dealt with.
- Venomancer's slows and magical damage-over-time work well against Axe's complete lack of mobility.
- is especially useful for slowing down Axe, and revealing him before he initiates, as well as putting his on cooldown if Venomancer has vision over Axe.
- and slows Axe significantly, and puts his on cooldown, preventing him from initiating.
- break Counter Helix. The silence from the Level 25 talent also prevents Axe from initiating. can
- Heroes who can slow and kite Axe will severely inhibit his presence in fights: Force Staff and Blink Dagger so it may be difficult to keep controlled. , , , , , , , . However, Axe usually builds mobility items such as
- wastes the duration of Berserker's Call when used on Axe.
- can help dodge a Berserker's Call, or push an ally out of its radius.
- breaks Counter Helix.
- depletes Axe's already low mana pool.
- keeps allies' health above Culling Blade's threshold, and can be used at the last moment to bait Axe into an overly long initiation.
- 's AoE damage is a good way to stop Axe from initiating with .
- can be used on an Axe to prevent any allied unit from attacking him.
- Berserker's Call is one of the most reliable ways to lock down Anti-Mage, preventing him from ing away.
- Anti-Mage's high attack speed, along with illusions from , triggers Counter Helix continuously.
- Axe's low mana pool and high health pool makes deal very little damage to Axe.
- Berserker's Call can catch Broodmother in her web, as well as groups of spiderlings. This is particularly effective when Broodmother attempts to push towers with her spiderlings.
- Counter Helix destroys spiderlings very quickly, and earns Axe a good deal of gold.
- Berserker's Call and Counter Helix makes short work of Chaos Knight's s.
- Culling Blade ignores the protection from , and will kill any target whose health is low enough. This makes Axe one of the hardest counters to Dazzle, and he neutralizes one of Dazzle's most important abilities.
- Huskar is often played at low health to maximize the bonuses from , and also because his abilities cost health to use. This makes him especially vulnerable to Culling Blade.
- gives Huskar no protection against the pure damage of Culling Blade. Its attack speed bonus also means that Counter Helix will proc more often.
- Axe's tankiness and base health regeneration makes it hard for Huskar to take him down with s.
- Berserker's Call has wider cast radius and a faster cast time than . This allows Axe to use Berserker's Call first, trapping Legion Commander in a fight with him. then reflects her massive damage mid and late game and kills her quickly. The bonus armor from Berserker's Call also allows Axe to tank her bonus damage.
- Berserker's Call and Counter Helix will still hit targets inside of a defensive .
- Counter Helix clears treants in no time.
- Nature's Prophet's low damage is unlikely to hurt Axe until the very late game.
- Nature's Prophet's low mobility makes him very easy for Axe to chase down or initiate on, especially when affected by Battle Hunger.
- 's extra attack speed causes Phantom Assassin to proc Counter Helix more often. Using it on Axe also makes Phantom Assassin an easy target for a counter-initiation with Berserker's Call and .
- Most of Axe's abilities pierce , allowing him to lock down Phantom Assassin at any time.
- Berserker's Call greatly reduces Phantom Assassin's ability to crit hard against Axe, and may cause her to kill herself when used with .
- Berserker's Call catches Phantom Lancer when he is hidden among his illusions.
- Counter Helix quickly destroys Phantom Lancer's illusion army. The more illusions there are, the more often Counter Helix is triggered.
- Phantom Lancer's low early game health makes him an easy target for Culling Blade.
- Berseker's Call catches Slark in , wasting its duration and preventing him from escaping to regenerate.
- Unlike most disables, cannot dispel Berserker's Call, and the output damage would be returned by .
- Terrorblade's low base health and lack of mobility make him an easy target for Axe to initiate on, and kill.
- Counter Helix will trigger from, and destroy many of Terrorblade illusions.
- Troll Warlord's high attack speed means Counter Helix will proc extremely frequently even without creeps near him. This, combined with a means Axe can easily solo kill Troll Warlord even in later stages of the game.
- Culling Blade ignores the protection from .
- Berserker's Call is one of the best ways to lock down Weaver before he has a chance to use . It can also catch Weaver in .
- Melee heroes who rely on summons, illusions or clones will trigger Counter Helix more often, thus taking more damage: , , ,
- Melee heroes who rely on fast attack speed will also trigger Counter Helix frequently: , , ,
- Heroes with low health and high attack damage can easily kill themselves against the Berserker's Call and combo.
- Heroes with gap closing abilities will be easy targets for Berserker's Call: , , ,
- is nearly useless against Axe, as his abilities go through spell immunity.
- 's illusions will trigger Counter Helix more often.
Works well with...
- sets up enemies for Berserker's Call.
- helps Axe deal more damage when enemies are taunted and attacking him.
- helps Axe chase down enemies during the early game for a Berserker's Call.
- Dazzle helps Axe survive the initiation by providing armor, heals and using to save him or delay his death.
- Axe's initiation will give Enigma enough time and room to set up and , dealing massive damage to his enemies and disabling them for a very long duration. This also works against spell immune enemies, as the mentioned abilities all pierce spell immunity.
- Berserker's Call sets up an easy and combo for Disruptor, locking down mobile heroes like or .
- puts all affected enemies onto a single point, giving Axe the perfect opportunity to use Berserker's Call.
- Berserker's Call allows Phoenix to easily land all of it's abilities, particularly Sun Ray and Supernova.
- Berserker's Call gives Sand King the time to channel and land .
- Berserker's Call prevents enemies from moving out of 's small radius, forcing them to take full damage.
- Tiny can Axe into a group of enemies for instant initiation. This is especially useful before Axe has a .
- Venomancer's numerous slows and damage over time can turn multiple enemy heroes into vulnerable targets for Culling Blade.
- Berserker's Call makes it much easier to target 's small AoE, and usually ensures at least one kill with .
- reveals enemies so Axe can get creep aggro, helping proc Counter Helix to clear waves.
- 's Static Charge has higher chance to proc on Axe after Berserker's Call.