Bounty Hunter is a sneaky agility hero that focuses on draining the enemy’s resources while increasing his own. Jinada is a great harassment tool in the lane, allowing you to steal the enemy’s gold. If things get dicey, you can always escape by using Shadow Walk, and there is Track ability that lines your pockets with every single kill.
In this Bounty Hunter Dota guide, I will go through the hero’s abilities, weaknesses, strengths, and how to utilize his skills in the best way possible.
Key Info Up Front
Bounty Hunter is a quick melee agility hero that makes money by ganking and killing enemies. While the hero doesn’t offer much in teamfights, he is great for ambushing opponents.
- Health: 600 Damage: 51 – 59 Movement speed: 320 Strength: 20 + 2.5
- Mana: 339 Armor: 7 Attack speed: 0.71 attacks per second Agility: 21 + 2.6
- Intelligence: 22 + 1.9
- Spells and abilities: Shuriken Toss, Jinada, Shadow Walk, Track
- Special abilities: N/A
- Strengths: Amazing for ganking, can snowball from kills like no other hero, can be very annoying constantly testing enemy’s nerves
- Weaknesses: Doesn’t offer much in teamfights, can be easily nuked
Like many other scouting heroes, Bounty Hunter is usually in the vanguard, preparing the field for his allies. Shadow Walk is a great ambushing tool that allows you to stay invisible until attacking. Upon attack, you will slow down the opponent and apply the current level of Jinada, doing extra damage and stealing the enemy’s gold.
However, the thing that separates Bounty Hunter is his ultimate, Track. This debuff makes Bounty Hunter’s target susceptible to attacks. The hero will do critical damage to the target with each attack and will have increased movement speed while in the vicinity. What’s most important is that the hero will get extra gold upon killing a marked enemy.
Shuriken TossShuriken Toss is the hero’s only nuke and his main spell in teamfights. Although it does low damage (80/120/160/200), the spell is more effective against tracked enemies. Targets affected by this debuff will take 1.4x/1.7x/2x more damage from Shuriken Toss based on the level of Track. The spell also provides a minor stun.
Shuriken Toss is quite underwhelming as a single-target spell. However, if you cast Track on several enemies, the shuriken will bounce off each one of them. This makes the hero just a bit better in teamfights (although it takes time to mark all these opponents).
In theory, Shuriken Toss can do a total of 2,000 magic damage to the enemy team at level 4, with level 3 Track applied on all enemies. The spell is especially potent if you buy Aghanim’s Scepter as it will add the appropriate level of Jinada to the ability. In other words, it allows you to do extra physical damage to a target and steal their gold.
Jinada is a mana-less ability that applies to auto-attacks. You can toggle it on and off or cast it yourself.
Jinada is available every 12/9/6/3 seconds, depending on the ability’s level. It adds damage to Bounty Hunter’s auto-attacks while simultaneously stealing the enemy’s gold. Although most people take this ability to steal gold from enemies in the lane, it can also be great for harassing and last-hitting due to its massive damage.
While the steal is relatively small, going from 12 to 20, 28, 36 gold per level of Jinada, you can boost it with talents. Furthermore, the ability will be applied to Shuriken Toss if you decide to buy Aghanim’s Scepter. So, if you Track at least three enemies, you can get 100 per Shuriken Toss cast.
Shadow Walk is a spell that turns Bounty Hunter invisible for the duration. Upon attacking from invisibility, the hero will be slowed for 4 seconds.
Adding points to Shadow Walk early on isn’t that good. Most players will get just one point and then go for either Jinada or Shuriken Toss. With every next point, you increase the duration of the spell and slightly improve fade time, but that’s about that.
One neat feature of Shadow Walk is that you can cast Track from invisibility without breaking it. You can improve the spell with Aghanim’s Shard, though. With this item, attacking from invisibility will stun an enemy for 1 second while also reducing spell cooldown and damage that Bounty Hunter takes during Shadow Walk.
Track is an incredible spell that works as a buff and debuff. Enemies will be revealed for its duration, even if they go invisible. Furthermore, Bounty Hunter will see how much gold they carry. You can cast Track every 4 seconds, which would allow you to mark several opponents at once.
Bounty Hunter will get bonus movement speed when close to a marked target. He will also do critical strikes against it. If the enemy dies, both the hero and his allies will gain bonus gold for the kill (130/225/320 for Bounty Hunter, 40/80/120 gold for allies). This is why it is much better to play the hero in an active role.
However, what makes the spell really potent is that it increases the damage of Shuriken Toss and allows it to bounce off several enemies. Without this feature, the hero would be one of the worst characters in the game.
Bounty Hunter’s spells synergize well with each other. A great thing about the hero is that he will force enemies to buy Sentry Wards keeping the poor supports even poorer. Even then, the fact he can Track from invisibility means that you will never fully counter him.
Perhaps the best way to counter him is to get Lotus Orb. By removing or bouncing off Track, the hero won’t be that much of a problem come mid-game.
It is very important for Bounty Hunter to leave his mark as soon as possible. Given that the hero doesn’t have a great team presence, he needs to steal enemies’ gold, kill couriers, and gank from invisibility.
Bounty Hunter can be played as either core or support, but he is never a carry. Although his abilities sound great on paper, that they can do a lot of damage to single targets, he is simply too squishy and unreliable. Furthermore, you can easily counter-carry Bounty Hunter with a Gem of True Sight.
Based on my personal experience, he is much better as an offlane core. By getting enough farm and levels in the lane, Bounty Hunter can quickly get Aghanim’s Scepter allowing him to snowball.
Furthermore, Jinada gold steal on several opponents can be quite annoying. If you run him as mid, he might not be as efficient as some other heroes. Similarly, support Bounty Hunter might not have enough impact.
Most people maximize Jinada from the get-go. While gold steal is not that big on early levels, the ability has a very negative impact on the enemy’s psyche as no one wants to get drained from their hard-earned gold. Core Bounty Hunters sometimes completely skip Shadow Walk until later levels and prioritize Shuriken Toss as the second spell.
As soon as you get to level 6, you need to start ganking. The problem with support Bounty Hunters is that they get Track way too late, thus reducing the speed at which they acquire items. So, as soon as the teams start grouping up, the hero will become unimportant.
You should try to split the enemies at all costs. As long as they don’t group up and continue farming solo, you prolong the efficiency of the hero. A good way to do this is by ganking enemy carries with the support(s). Given that cores like to go woods and farm, you can easily set up several kills early on.
Every time you get a kill, you prevent the enemies from grouping up. As mentioned, no matter which role you’re playing, you should prioritize Aghanim’s Scepter.
The added damage and gold steal make this hero just a tad bit better in teamfights. Furthermore, it becomes harder to use Jinada in 5v5 situations, so this item allows you to get gold from enemies without putting yourself in harm’s way.
Besides boosting your own farm, Track also helps allies. Ideally, the game should have as many kills as possible. Even if you’re trading kills equally, Bounty Hunter’s team will always come on top.
Despite numerous talents that would improve his farm (+50 Jinada gold steal at level 20 and +250 Track gold at 25), the hero will still drop off at one point.
Nowadays, a lot of players make items such as Octarine Core. Alternatively, they might go with damage. However, the optimal way to build Bounty Hunter is by getting items that would boost allies or stifle enemies. Scythe of Vyse is a great example. You might also consider something like Assault Cuirass.
One of the options you have in the late game is to get Dagon and/or Ethereal Blade. Bounty Hunter is a rare hero who can get Dagon 5 without affecting the farm of other cores. And if you previously made Octarine Core, Dagon can be a solid pick-up.
Itemization (Core Items)
As mentioned, Aghanim’s Scepter is the best item on the hero, hands down. It allows him to scale without having to rely on farm. It also makes Bounty Hunter much more annoying. While the added Jinada damage will not be enough to prevent sieging, it will slow down the enemy team.
Mekansm and Guardian Greaves
Mekansm has always been a staple pick-up for the hero. It is the basic support item that helps your entire team and especially shines during pushing. Due to high mana usage, Bounty Hunter will need Arcane Boots from the very start. Later on, you can combine these two into Guardian Greeves.
Pipe of Insight
Pipe does a similar thing as Mekansm. Depending on the patch, one of these two items will be more or less popular. Of course, you can buy both of them.
Pipe of Insight is especially great if you’re going against teams with heavy magic damage output. It is especially good on Bounty Hunter as this hero has a low health pool and benefits from anything that gives him defense.
This is another item that makes a lot of sense when used by the hero. Given that you’ll start the game with Arcane Boots, you can use Energy Booster from the item as the starting point for Lotus Orb.
Besides the fact that Bounty Hunter will now be able to protect allies, he will gain a lot of regeneration and armor from it. Among others, the item can be used to purge Tracks that enemies bounced on you with their own Lotus Orb.
Scythe of Vyse
Scythe of Vyse is the ultimate late game item on this hero. Although you won’t see it in every game, this purchase can add so much utility to the hero.
One of the Bounty Hunter’s biggest issues is that he doesn’t have a disable. This is a major problem whether you play him as a support or as a core. With Scythe of Vyse, you have a hex that would allow your team to target enemy cores.
Itemization (Optional items)
Octarine Core has become a very popular item on Bounty Hunter as of late. It is somewhere between core and optional items in this current iteration of Dota 2. It provides lots of stats to the hero.
What is even more important, it increases the range of his spells, making all the difference for Shuriken Toss and Track. Last but not least, it will reduce the cooldowns by 25%. If you already have Aghanim’s Scepter, this would effectively increase the gold steal from every Shuriken Toss.
Crimson Guard is another support item you can buy on the hero. It provides a damage block against physical attacks on surrounding allies. Unlike Mekansm and Pipe of Insight, this item is a bit more situational.
If you wish to go the physical damage route, Desolator is the best item for the hero. Given that you already get critical hits from Track, you won’t need Daedalus. Getting fast Desolator can open up the game for you. If you had a good laning phase, you could get it in 10 minutes, making Bounty Hunter that much deadlier come mid-game.
Black King Bar
Nowadays, the Bounty Hunter gameplay revolves around throwing shuriken from a safe distance. Because of that, you will benefit more from having Aether Lens than Black King Bar.
However, there are some situations where you might need the item. For example, Black King Bar is crucial for physical Bounty Hunters or in situations where there are many AOE spells on the enemy team.
Dagon is often seen as a troll item. The problem is that the Dagon quickly becomes useless. Sometimes, you will get it too late to be effective. Nevertheless, there are a few cases where it works really well. Given the Bounty Hunter’s quick item progression, you can get it faster than some other Dagon carriers would.
Level 10 (+40 Jinada Damage OR +2 Seconds Shadow Walk Slow Duration)
Additional Jinada damage provides several benefits. As long as you’re playing a core Bounty Hunter, this talent will have a major impact on your overall damage output. You will get it during mid-game, adding to your ganking power during this part of the match.
Keep in mind that the ability scales with Track, so the damage will be much greater than 40 (especially when you get several points in Track). Furthermore, when you get Aghanim’s Scepter, it will apply to every Shuriken Toss throughout the enemy team. Shadow Walk slow is better for chasing, but it is nowhere as potent as increased Jinada damage.
Level 15 (Half-Track Bonus Movement Speed to Allies OR +50 Shuriken Toss Damage)
Back in the day, Track provided bonus movement speed to allies. Through patches, this feature was removed. You can get it once again via talents, and it would provide a nice boon for the whole team.
Still, Shuriken Toss damage is a much more popular choice. It works in a similar way as Jinada talent by increasing your overall damage output and, thus, team presence.
Level 20 (+50 Jinada Gold Steal OR Trackc Gives 600 Ground Vision)
Both of these talents have their merits. According to the official data, the overall pick rate for these two is 50/50. In other words, players can’t decide which talent is better, which is rarely the case. Jinada talent can exponentially increase your farm rate. Still, we cannot neglect the enormous vision that Track gives you.
Like Track movement speed buff, the feature was removed back in the day because it was too strong. By casting the spell on just one hero, you will have complete information about the enemy’s movements.
Level 25 (+250 Track Gold OR 2 Shuriken Toss Charges)
By the time you reach level 25, 250 Track kill gold will be somewhat negligible. While still an amazing talent, it cannot compare to having two Shuriken Toss charges.
If you previously buffed Jinada/Shuriken Toss and you have Aghanim’s Scepter, casting two shurikens at once will deal massive damage to all tracked enemies. Furthermore, as you will also get gold from two-time Jinada bouncing, it would render Track talent somewhat useless.
Question: What is the Best Position for Bounty Hunter?
Answer: Bounty Hunter can be played in every position except for a carry. In most cases, he played as a support or offlane core. Sometimes, you will see him as a mid-core.
Question: Is Bounty Hunter a Good Support?
Answer: This hero is somewhat underwhelming as a support. Given that he is a melee character, he cannot harass enemies that much, and the lack of disable or nuke doesn’t help in lane, either. Come mid-game, he will contribute through Track kills and scouting, but that’s about that.
Question: How Do You Use a Bounty Hunter?
Answer: Bounty Hunter is mainly utilized as a scouting hero. He can turn invisible with Shadow Walk serving as a vanguard prior to team engagements. Bounty Hunter is also a great ganker, providing extra gold to himself and teammates upon killing the target.
Bounty Hunter Dota Guide: Last Considerations
Although the hero might look easy, you need to be very careful with his positioning. Bounty Hunter should stay far from the battle, casting spells from a safe distance. He is very squishy, and enemy heroes can’t wait to nuke you.
Bounty Hunter is one of the most satisfying heroes to play when you have an advantage. He can get a lot of items in a short amount of time, making you feel overpowered for a brief duration.
However, when he starts falling off, he falls off violently. In just 5 to 10 minutes, you can go from the star of the match to a completely irrelevant character.