Dota 2 Hero Guide – Bounty Hunter

Gondar, the Bounty Hunter, is a sneaky agility hero who excels at hunting down single targets.

His signature ability Shadow Walk allows him to turn invisible for a significant amount of time, giving him the freedom to walk around in the lane without fear of retaliation. Shadow Walk also protects him from the prying eyes of Observer Wards, making Bounty Hunter an excellent forward scout.

Image via Valve

Sneaking up on unsuspecting heroes, he strikes out of invisibility with Jinada—a passive ability that deals a critical strike to whomever he attacks. Injured by his dagger, targets hit by Jinada are slowed as well, making escape a more difficult task. He can then use his ultimate ability Track, which gives him and his team constant vision of the target no matter where it is on the map. Nearby allied heroes also get a significant movement speed bonus, allowing them to chase the mark down more effectively. Should the target still be alive, Bounty Hunter can finish them off with Shuriken Toss, which deals a hefty amount of magic damage as well as a small stun.

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His most infamous mechanic, however, is the bonus gold given when a tracked hero dies. A fixed amount of gold is given to Bounty Hunter’s teammates (if they participate in the kill), with an even larger sum given to Bounty Hunter himself. With enough Track kills, a team with Bounty Hunter in its lineup can snowball out of control, and coast to a comfortable net worth lead faster than through normal farming.

But of course, as with any hero that has invisibility as its main gimmick, Bounty Hunter has several weaknesses that can be exploited quite easily. Sentry Wards and Gem of True Sight provide teams with an early warning system against his Shadow Walk antics, and if Bounty Hunter isn’t aware he can get isolated and killed quickly. His natural fragility and lack of escape mechanism doesn’t help either, and in most cases Bounty Hunter is as good as dead if he gets caught out.

As a result, map awareness and game sense is critical to playing the hero correctly. Bounty Hunter can easily become dead weight on your team’s composition if played poorly, which will put you and your teammates at a serious disadvantage once the game goes late. But even with his shortcomings, Bounty Hunter can be a worthy addition to certain drafts.

Bounty Hunter Skill Build

Bounty Hunter’s skill progression hardly changes from game to game, due to the clear cut scaling of his abilities and their implications on the flow of the early game. Your first skill point should go into Shadow Walk, as doing so gives you the ability to scout ahead in hopes of seeing how the enemy team might decide to arrange their lanes. Also, you can provide vision of one of the initial bounty runes on the opposite side of the map, which could be valuable if your team is looking to steal one of them.

Your second skill point should go to Jinada, as it goes hand in hand with Shadow Walk when it comes to harassing enemy heroes. Jinada takes a pretty decent chunk out of the target’s health even at Level 1, so it’s well worth getting for the annoyance factor. It’s even better when you combine it with Orb of Venom, which deals damage over time and stacks its own passive slow with Jinada’s.

From there until Level 6, though, you will want to max out Shuriken Toss. The damage that it provides in the early game is just too good to pass up, and is an important component of Bounty Hunter’s ganking prowess. Don’t be afraid to use it to cancel Town Portal Scrolls; that’s what the ministun is there for.

Track should be taken at every available opportunity. The scaling of its bonus gold is really good, and can turn games around or allow your team to get way ahead of your opponents. Track is also one of the few abilities in the game that provides True Sight on a single target, which makes it a good way to counter other heroes with invisibility mechanics.

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Our recommended skill build, therefore, is as follows:

  • Shadow Walk
  • Jinada
  • Shuriken Toss
  • Shuriken Toss
  • Shuriken Toss
  • Track
  • Shuriken Toss
  • Shadow Walk
  • Shadow Walk
  • Level 10 Talent: +25% XP Gain
  • Shadow Walk
  • Track
  • Jinada
  • Jinada
  • Level 15 Talent: +350 Health
  • Jinada
  • Track
  • Level 20 Talent: +75 Shuriken Toss Damage
  • Level 25 Talent: +300 Track Gold

Bounty Hunter Item Build

Let’s get one thing out of the way here first: Bounty Hunter is a support hero, not a carry. Newbies will understandably look at his kit and design and assume that he is meant to be played as a core, but this couldn’t be further from the truth as Bounty Hunter does not have a natural farm accelerant outside of Track. He also doesn’t scale well as a traditional right-click carry, because the growth of his attack speed is utterly atrocious.

Thus, it is a much better idea to simply build support items on him. In order to make him more effective at chasing heroes down and finishing them off for Track gold, things like Urn of Shadows, Orb of Venom (as mentioned in the skill build section), and Force Staff work well as core items. Later on, the Urn can be upgraded to a Spirit Vessel, which works great against heroes that rely on health regeneration to survive in teamfights.

Getting team-wide protection is also a good idea. While Pipe of Insight is typically reserved for tanky heroes like Axe and Centaur Warrunner, it is actually a decent pickup on Bounty Hunter as a support. Linken’s Sphere is another viable choice against heroes with high-impact single target spells, and so is Lotus Orb.

Other support items to consider include Eul’s Scepter of Divinity (as Bounty Hunter does not have any long disables to speak of), Aeon Disk (makes Bounty Hunter difficult to kill and waste enemy cooldowns in the process), Heaven’s Halberd (neutralizes carry heroes for a short period), and Scythe of Vyse (instant hard disable).

Bounty Hunter Counter

Bounty Hunter’s lack of an escape mechanism and reliance on Shadow Walk make him easy prey for teams with the detection to see him coming in for gank attempts. Place Sentry Wards in the lane in order to keep him at bay, then consider buying a Gem of True Sight once the mid game rolls around.

His low health pool also makes him very susceptible to getting blown up by potent nukes, such as Lina’s Laguna Blade or Outworld Devourer’s Sanity’s Eclipse. Zeus serves double duty in that sense, as his Lightning Bolt ability both detects and damages Bounty Hunter severely. Slardar is another hero that does well against him, thanks to Corrosive Haze’s built-in True Sight and the power of Slithereen Crush.

Generally speaking, drafting tanky heroes against Bounty Hunter works well, because he prefers going after soft and squishy targets in order to get Track gold. Consider picking durable heroes in the fight against Bounty Hunter; you might find that he drops really quickly against heroes that he can’t deal much damage to.

Bounty Hunter Combo

Bounty Hunter’s combo in teamfights and ganks is very simple. First, use Shadow Walk to conceal yourself, thus avoiding detection by any Observer Wards and enemy creeps in the area. Use the invisibility to sneak up to a prime target, then initiate by attacking them to trigger Jinada. This is your teammates’ cue to follow up with their own abilities, while you apply Track to the target in order to get vision and movement speed.

Finish the target off with Shuriken Toss, or by running them down with the bonus movement speed from Track. Collect your bonus gold, and move on to the next target. Remember that Track has a very low cooldown for an ultimate ability (four seconds!), so use it as much as you can.

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* FirstBlood® is NOT AFFILIATED, AUTHORIZED, LICENSED OR ENDORSED by Dota™, Dota 2™, Steam™, Dota 2™, the Dota logo® and Steam™ are trademarks of Valve Corporation.

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