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Dota 2 hero guide: How to play Bounty Hunter as a soft support/offlaner

The biggest gold-sink in Dota 2. (Image via Valve)
The biggest gold-sink in Dota 2. (Image via Valve)

Striking from the shadows with massive physical damage, Gondar the Bounty Hunter excels as a ganking playmaker in Dota 2.

True to his name, all four of his spells enable him to tail, damage, slow and disable a target as his allies go in for the kill. Like many heroes in Dota 2, Bounty Hunter can be played in a position 1 carry role in certain cases. But his kit is clearly designed to be utilized as a roamer.


When is Bounty a good position 4 pick in Dota 2 7.29d?

The arsenal of old-school Dota 2 supports tend to feature some sort of hard disable. Bounty, though, relies on repeated chip damage which also steals gold from his target.

Unless counterpicked, Bounty Hunter is a solid position 4 pick in most games. He is particularly good against backline spellcasters in Dota 2, as they tend to have low HP and armor. Thanks to the massive burst of physical damage he can dish out, they become his wary prey.

Bounty can also track a target through invisibility, instantly countering all Dota 2 heroes who depend on their invisibility spells or items to engage or disengage; Weaver, Riki, or Nyx, for example.

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Item Build

Bounty Hunter is an extremely flexible hero in terms of items. The Dota 2 7.29d popular boot of choice for almost any position 4 is Tranquil boots. But as the statistics show, most opt for Arcane Boots on Bounty, since he has issues with sustaining his mana.

Guardian Greaves almost qualifies as an essential core item, unless there is an allied Underlord. Since Dota 2 7.29, Bounty Hunter’s reworked Shard upgrade to E (Shadow Walk) has also become a core item. The rest of the item build is situational. If the game goes very well and Bounty rakes up a lot of kills, he should rush Spirit Vessel to get the best mileage out of it. Here are some other item suggestions depending on the enemy draft.

  • Solar Crest
  • Vladimir’s Offering
  • Lotus Orb
  • Pipe of Insight
  • Heaven’s Halberd
  • Drum of Endurance
  • Meteor Hammer
  • Eul’s Scepter
  • Orchid Malevolence

From his Track kills, Bounty might also end up with enough riches to buy more expensive items like Assault Cuirass, Shiva’s Guard, or Scythe of Vyse.

Early Game

Recommended starting item choices for Bounty would be brown boots, a set of tangos, along with W (Jinada) as his first ability. As the laning phase starts, Bounty can make use of his 365 movement speed (thanks to boots) to strike and kite the enemy. The easy way to do this is to cut a juke path through the trees to proc Jinada on a target and then kite out until it comes off cooldown again.

In most lanes, the unfortunate target for this will be the enemy support. Over time, the gold steal from even the early levels of jinada really adds up. Bounty's gold steal can bleed almost any Dota 2 support dry as they have to keep purchasing sentries to secure their pull camps and track an invisible Bounty.

A support Bounty should prioritize maxing Q (Shuriken Toss) and W to maximize kill threat. His Q does 150 damage at lvl 1. At that stage of the game, very few Dota 2 nuke do as much. If the mid lane has some kill potential, Bounty can also opt for 1 point in E (Shadow Walk) at lvl 3. Before the 6-minute power rune spawns, Bounty can walk to mid and scout the rune for his midlaner. Hopefully, it might even lead to an early kill on the enemy midlaner.

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Mid to Late Game

Bounty’s true midgame rotation shenanigans start right after he gets to his level 6. Bounty Hunter is a scouter first, so his task in any game boils down to constantly tracking people to gain information on their position. An ideal Bounty support spends the midgame trying to secure vision and setting up ganks for his team. If the opponent has a greedy carry pick, Bounty should punish that with smoke ganks to delay their next item purchase.

Bounty’s forte is picking off key targets before a teamfight to force a 4v5. With the extra gold from Jinada and Track kills, Bounty can often transition into a core position. Generally, Bounty’s approach to a teamfight is sneaking into the backline and taking out the support.

Dota 2 roles are flexible, so if the player acquires enough gold, they can adapt to whatever role the game demands. Thanks to the Shard upgrade introduced with Dota 2 7.29, Bounty gains a 35% base reduction of all damage while he is in Shadow Walk. This helps Bounty approach the fight as a frontline tank. With just Greaves, AC, and Pipe, Bounty can easily tank up.

Here's an interesting Dota 2 tidbit to wrap up: The shard upgrade for Bounty adds a 1 second stun to any attack he deals while in Shadow Walk. Bounty can proc this effect, instantly go back into Shadow Walk and strike again for another second of stun, for a cumulative disable of 2 seconds.

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Edited by Gautham Balaji
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