Bounty Hunter is a hero that either sees a lot of play or very little play depending upon the current meta. In the previous patch (6.83) he was hardly ever played as he was seen as a weak pick. This is true because Bounty Hunter’s strength lies in his ability to snowball. Patch 6.83 had a lot of features to prevent snowballing and to make combacks happen more frequently. This meant Bounty Hunter would give his team a small lead, then teamfights would start breakng out and suddenly Bounty Hunter would find himself dying repeatedly to Sniper or Axe (who can pull him out of stealth with a well-timed taunt. Patch 6.84 is a different beast entirely. Early game is now a lot more important and snowballing is rewarded a lot more. Bounty Hunter will surely rise to be a strong pick and this guide is going to remind people what he does.

When to pick bounty hunter

  • When you have a team that can capitalize on your ganks. Stuns and crowd control help a lot.
  • When the enemy team have lots of squishy targets.
  • When you need an off-laner to go up against a defensive tri-lane.
  • If the enemy team has a jungler (you can make his/her life hell).

Bounty Hunter’s Skills

This will not repeat the description of the skills as they can easily be found elsewhere. Such as at the Dota 2 Wiki. Instead let’s look at important things regarding each move and how to use them effectively.

Shuriken Toss

If you max this skill first then at level 7 you are one of the most terrifying gankers in the game. If you reach level 7 before the enemy supports then you can make their lives an absolute misery. Do not forget that you can use it to stop teleports as it also has a mini-stun.

Make sure you have lots of tracks up before starting a teamfight, this ensures your Shuriken will deal damage to multiple targets.

Jinada

Bounty Hunter’s only move that scales with items. Essentially a melee crit that also slows the target. The slow does not increase with levels so you should max Shuriken first.

Shadow Walk

This is obviously your main method of getting around the map unseen. It can also be used to power up your melee attack, time it between auto-attacks and the extra damage is often enough to net a kill that would have otherwise escaped. This is risky as you cannot use Shadow Walk to escape after.

Track

Bounty Hunter’s signature skill. Use it on everyone you can to give your team a huge vision advantage. After level 6 then every kill you get should be Tracked in order to take advantage of the bonus gold.

In the latest patch you can also use this to see the enemy carries gold, this can be nice as you can see when they will finish their next item. Mainly though you will be looking to see who has buyback.

Why play Bounty Hunter off-lane?

Bounty Hunter can be very difficult to deal with when played in the off-lane. While he cannot stop most heroes from farming (unless he gets an xp lead) he can leech experience very easily with his stealth. He forces enemy supports to buy sentries and stealth detection which sets them back and delays them from buying boots. He can also walk into the jungle from off-lane and harass the enemy jungler or go down to mid-lane to gank there.

Whenever Bounty Hunter is missing then the enemy team is forced into playing passively. Off-lane is perfectly suited for him as he can stay in stealth and keep the enemy team guessing as to his whereabouts.

Bounty Hunter tips

You are not a hard carry

Although Bounty Hunter buys items that allow him to carry the only thing that scales is the Jinada crit. This means that any other carry with equivalent items is likely to beat him lategame. You should not be farming and trying to transition into a carry but instead play as a ganker and get your items through kills/track gold. Your aim should be to be ahead of the enemy heroes item progression, in this way you can carry. Do not farm creeps the whole game, leave that to your carry or heroes who need it more.

Use track as often as possible

This should be obvious but it is worth saying again. Track helps your team snowball harder so should always be used. It also reveals stealth and with the new patch reveals how much gold they are carrying. This lets you more accurately predict when another item will arrive on the enemy carry and let you plan your pushes before it arrives or avoid fighting altogether until you have an equivalent item.

Always communicate

Ping when you are ganking, tell your team on voice-chat that you are coming. Don’t just walk into the lane and expect your team to notice you as sometimes they will not be paying attention and you will miss out on an easy kill.

Do not stay off-lane if you are getting nothing

If you are getting no experience off-lane this can be a good thing. It means the enemy is investing heavily into stopping you and therefore your team is probably having a much easier time. Go mid and try to gank there. Roam a little bit and return to the tower when the creeps are pushed to it. Even a level 2 Bounty Hunter can provide the extra damage needed for your midlaner to get a kill.

Prioritize your targets

Just because the enemy supports are squishy does not mean you should always focus them. When a teamfight starts then look at the options you have and choose accordingly. Maybe your carry needs a bit more burst to help him take down the enemy carry. In this case you should look to help him out instead of going for the easy targets at the back.

Buy some wards

Bounty Hunter does not scale as well as a lot of other heroes so, like support heroes, he can afford to buy wards dust and help his team out. As he roams a lot then he can place the wards down efficiently and is less likely to be caught out as he has stealth.

Always check items

Whenever you see an enemy on the map then check to see if they are holding Dust, Sentries (remember Sentries now stack with wards) or a Gem. Gem targets should be a priority for you to kill, taking the Gem from the enemy team represents a gold swing of 1800.

Bounty Hunter item choices

Bounty Hunter can build a lot of items and you should look at both teams before deciding what to build.

Boots and a Poor Man’s Shield are very common off-lane pick-ups that are chosen to increase his survivability and give him more mobility to gank. From there you can go into an Urn of Shadows (if your team is grouping and pushing a lot) or a Medallion of Courage (if you are ganking a lot or if your team is going to take an early Roshan. Both of these choices are good and have an easy build path allowing even off-laners to pick them up in a timely manner. Some people like to build drums for early stats which can work well, but drums do not provide the same impact to the game as the two aforementioned items.. After this item then you can choose to go for a more expensive item.

If you are being focused or if teamfights are regular occurrences then a BKB is a no-brainer that will keep you alive much longer. If you are snowballing hard then an early Desolator can wreak havoc. If the enemy team has a lot of split-pushers and solo targets then Orchid is amazing and it will also solve all of your mana problems.

Comment below

This guide to Bounty Hunter is a work in progress and it will change a lot as we learn more about the latest patch. Bounty Hunter will hopefully see a lot more action this patch and I can’t wait to see him played to his full potential.