Dota 2 Bounty Hunter Guide – Builds, Items and Strategy

Bounty Hunter is a melee stealth based, agility hero who fills a unique role. He’s hard to classify, because his main objective is to assassinate enemy heroes.

However, unlike most assassins, he has some semi-carry potential. He does so, through an excess amount of gold he gains from his ultimate, Track, and his critical strike ability, Jinada. Interestingly enough, Bounty Hunter has some support elements in the form of his ultimate.

Which gives bonus gold to allies that kill, or assist in killing an enemy hero. If you enjoy covertly stalking enemy heroes and making critical hits at critical moments, then Bounty Hunter is for you.

Bounty Hunter – Abilities

Bounty Hunter’s first skill is Shuriken Toss. It has some strange properties that make a seemingly bland ability, unique.

If you take a look at its damage per rank, you’ll find that it isn’t a consistent gain. Upgrading from rank 1, to rank 2, is a full +100 damage at the cost of an additional 25 mana.

Rank 3, however, only adds 50 more damage for 20 more mana. This makes it a poor investment to put more than 2 points into Shuriken Toss early game. Shuriken Toss also has a mini-stun, making it a viable counter to channeled abilities.

  • Targets: Enemy units and heroes
  • Damage: 100/200/250/325
  • Mana: 90/115/135/155
  • Cooldown: 10
  • Range: 650

Bounty Hunter’s second abilitiy is his passive ciritical strike, Jinada. What makes this critical strike different from most, is that it’s not a random occurrence.

Jinada is a next hit, guaranteed critical strike, that has a cooldown attached to it. This skill is what I call a one point wonder. For one point, you get a massive 1.5x critical multiplier, with a 25% movement and attack speed slow (that lasts 3 seconds) attached to it.

Putting points into this skill doesn’t increase the duration or strength of the slow. Jinada’s critical multiplier only goes up  .25x per level, which isn’t that great early game. Though, it is fairly meaningful once you’re packing a few hundred attack damage.

  • Targets: Enemy units and heroes
  • Damage: 1.5x/1.75x/2x/2.25x critical multiplier
  • Effect: 25% movement and attack speed slow
  • Duration: 3 seconds.
  • Cooldown: 12/10/8/6
  • Range: Melee

Bounty Hunter’s third ability, Shadow Walk, is his core ability. This skill allows him to become invisible, inviting a myriad of strategies, along with it. It also deals bonus attack damage if you break stealth, by attacking. At first look, this skill may seem a bit underwhelming to level.

Shadow Walk only gains 30 additional damage per rank, and 5 seconds more of stealth time. However, when you combine that with the static mana cost, Shadow Walk starts to fulfill a crucial weakness of Bounty Hunter’s, mana efficiency.

Rank 4 of Shadow Walk allows you to stealth for twice the duration of rank 1, for the same mana cost. This is essential, because that’s an extra 50 mana you can invest in your other abilities.

Or it’s 50 free mana you can put towards casting Shadow Walk immediately after breaking it, to double your burst damage. It is important to note that, Shadow Walk is one of the more vulnerable invisibility spells in the game. There’s no speed increase attached to it, and without it, Bounty Hunter has no means of escape or control.

The result is, Bounty Hunter is extraordinarily weak to stealth counters like Dust of Appearance, or Slardar’s Amplify Damage. Ironically, Bounty Hunter himself is a fantastic counter to stealth based heroes, because his ultimate, Track, reveals invisible targets that it has marked.

  • Damage: 30/60/90/120
  • Duration: 15/20/25/30 seconds
  • Fade Time: 1/.75/.5/.25 seconds
  • Cooldown: 15
  • Mana: 50

Track is Bounty Hunter’s ultimate ability. Track is a ridiculously diverse utility skill that has a huge impact on the game, if used properly. It can only be casted on enemy heroes, giving you vision of them, even if they go invisible.

Track reduces their armor, and puts an aura around them that makes you, and your allies, move faster. If the target dies, you gain gold, irregardless of where you are, or what you did.

If any allies attacked assisted in getting the kill, and are within 925 range of the Tracked target when it dies, then they get gold as well.

  • Targets: Enemy Heroes
  • Effect: -1/-3/-5 armor gives true vision of target
  • Gold on Kill: 150/200/250
  • Gold on Kill for Allies: 50/100/150
  • Aura: 20% movement speed to allies
  • Area of Effect: 900/1050/1200 (aura) 925 (bonus gold)
  • Duration: 30 seconds
  • Cooldown: 10/7/5
  • Mana: 70/60/50

Bounty Hunter Skill Build

Bounty Hunter has a fairly static build. You’ll always want to have two points into Shuriken Toss  by level four, and then begin to max Shadow Walk.

If you’re in an short lane with non threatening opponents, you can take Jinada at level one to help with last hitting. If you’re laning with someone who wants to go for early kills, you can postpone  Jinada till level four.

  1. Shadow Walk
  2. Jinada
  3. Shuriken Toss
  4. Shuriken Toss
  5. Shadow Walk
  6. Track
  7. Shadow Walk
  8. Shadow Walk (maxed)
  9. Shuriken Toss
  10. Shuriken Toss (maxed)
  11. Track
  12. Jinada
  13. Jinada
  14. Jinada
  15. Stats
  16. Track

Bounty Hunter Items

In terms of itemization, Bounty Hunter doesn’t have too much room for deviation. Mostly it occurs in the individuals personal preference, but it’s all trying to accomplish the same thing. My favorite build goes as such:

Start: Ring of Regen, 3x Iron Branch, 1x Tango

Early: Soul Ring, Phase Boots, Magic Wand (Depending on if I’m fighting heroes that spam spells)

Core: Desolator

Situational: Monkey King Bar, Black King Bar, Vladimir’s Offering.

I prefer this build for a few reasons. For one, it’s incredibly steam lined and inexpensive. Even if you have a tough lane, all you need to farm up, is 450 gold to turn that Ring of Regen into a Soul Ring.

Which enables you to gank non stop for the rest of the game. The great thing about Jinada, is that it allows you to easily get in last hits, without having to spend any gold on Quelling Blade.

The reason I’m so attached to Soul Ring, is because Bounty Hunter is an abysmal mana pool. He starts with 19  intelligence and gains an additional 1.4 per level. Since he needs to constantly be using Shadow Walk, he needs some light mana regen, and burst regen for when he needs to use Shuriken and Track.

There’s simply no item that compares to what Soul Ring offers, especially at the price range. Bounty Hunter should be preying on weakened opponents, or pairing up with team mates, so health isn’t as much of a concern as mana is.

Health is also easier to obtain than mana in general, especially with the additional health regen of Soul Ring. Desolator is an obvious pick up, that has a perfect synergy with Bounty Hunter’s kit.

With Track, it’s very easy to obtain enough gold, to purchase a Desolator during the mid game, which is where it shines. Desolator’s -armor debuff stacks with Track, further increasing his massive physical burst damage, through Jinada and Shadow Walk.

Once you get this item, you should be able to kill support heroes, even if they’re at full hp, in a single combo. Assuming, of course, you’ve done your job and have preyed on them for most of the game.

After Desolator, you have to analyze the situation in order to find out which item you should get, next. Most of the time, I find myself getting a Black King Bar, so that I have more team fight presence. Being able kill things, while being immune to most disables, and magic damage, is often times much more useful than more +damage items.

In the rare event that you find yourself in need of more +damage, then Monkey King Bar is really the only other viable option. Bounty Hunter just needs raw +damage, and Monkey King Bar provides a lot of it, efficiently and enables you to counter evasion based heroes, or items.

The proc is also a welcome addition to his burst damage. Occasionally, you’ll need to purchase Vladimir’s Offering to help support your melee hard-carry. Or, if you just need more sustainability, seeing as how it’s your only option for lifesteal.

An alternative build would look something like this:

Start: Stout Shield, 3x Iron Branch, 2x Tango

Early: Phase Boots, Medallion of Courage, Magic Wand (no longer optional)

Core: Desolator

Situational: Monkey King Bar, Black King Bar, Vladimir’s Offering.

This is a great build, that emphasizes early physical burst damage, via Medallion of Courage’s active -armor. This is more of a stomp build, because it requires you to be doing very well in order to obtain all these items quickly enough, in order to make them cost efficient.

I also dislike how long it takes to come online with this build. I feel as if Bounty Hunter should be ganking as soon as possible, as opposed to farming creep kills.

Magic Wand no longer becomes optional, as you need its burst mana regen that you no longer have from Soul Ring. Medallion of Courage takes care of the soft mana regen, but it also costs 1075 gold.

So, basically, you spend 1584 gold (-159 from starting branches) to accomplish what Soul Ring does in 800 gold (-350 from starting Ring of Regen). Though, you do get -6 armor reduction with Medallion of Courage, which is a hard stat to quantify, since it’s so rare. Ultimately, it’s up to you, and your play style.

Bounty Hunter – Strategy

In regards to laning, he’s a very flexible hero. You can place him anywhere, though, he’s certainly not an optimal mid hero. He can even solo the long lane, but again, he isn’t optimal for it.

Mostly, he’s going to be dual laning. If there’s no melee hard-carry, then he does best at the short lane. In the lane, he plays fairly passively, because he has no means to quickly get into melee range. Nor does he have the mana efficiency to harass with Shuriken Toss.

However, he still fairs better in comparison to most melee carries. So he can be paired with an aggressive partner, and reap results. Where Bounty Hunter really starts to shine, is post level six. You should always be looking for vulnerable opponents to kill.

Communicating with your team mates, is absolutely essential to playing this hero. Often times, you simply wont have the damage to solo kill enemy players. So it becomes your job to enable ganks to happen, by providing vision through scouting while invisible.

Once you’ve spotted someone you think your team can kill, ping them, and let your team know whats up. Because of Track’s bonus move speed aura, it’s incredibly easy for your team mates to catch up, and initiate on your target.

You can also sling shot you, and your team from hero, to hero in this manner. Let’s say there’s a low  health hero just out of your track range, but an ally of his is just within range of Track. You can Track him, and use that bonus move speed, to catch up to the low health hero.

Be sure not to over extend when doing this, so make sure most of their team is dead. Otherwise this maneuver is too risky to pull off.

Your burst combo will normally go something like this, Shadow Walk, auto attack, Track, Shuriken, Shadow Walk, attack. Always make sure that you can cast Shadow Walk immediately after breaking it. That way, you can either burst someone down before they can react, or, if things go badly, you can escape.

In the early game, you should never use Shuriken, unless you’re sure it’ll get your team a kill. It’s simply too devastating to your mana pool to be used liberally. Against normal magic armor, Shuriken does 75, 150, 188, 244 damage, based on his respective rank.

Bounty Hunter is the epitome of the design philosophy, easy to play, hard to master. He’s got a lot of crutches that help newer players learn the basics of DotA.

In the form of easy last hitting, invisibility, high burst damage and scaling. Yet he has a lot of  depth in his ultimate along with knowing when and who to gank.