I'm not a "pro" in any way, shape, or form, but I can say that I feel 100% certain of the way to build and play this hero, and I see it being done incorrectly so many times. I'm going to make this short and sweet. This is not intended for the newest of new players so I therefore will not explain the most basic concepts such as jungling or creep pulling.
1. Whirling Blade
3. Whirling Blade
8. Whirling Blade
9. Whirling Blade
Explanation of skill build:
Most people choose to optimize whirling blade before Taunt. In team games with good coordination, this is absolutely incorrect. Not even counting other teammates who may be in the lane, assuming you spin on average once every second, at level 7 with rank 4 taunt and rank 2 whirling blade you will spin 3 times for 3x125 = 375 damage. Assuming you had rank 4 whirling blade and rank 2 taunt you would spin twice for 2x175=350 damage. You actually gain damage in all but the most extreme cases where you spin every time the cooldown is refreshed. Now also account for the fact that the extra second allows 1 or 2 other laning heroes to deal extra damage, as well as an extra second where the opposing hero can not retaliate.
Terrify is garbage against anyone but the newest players. It will be removed within 5 seconds. Late game, the damage is nearly out regened. Stats are very important for your mana pool so you can blink>taunt>ult with ease.
1. Iron buckler (whatever the new one is called)
2. 6x Runes of the blight
Axe should be bottom lane legion or top lane hellbourne. You should be jungling and creep pulling when possible, and coming out of the woods to gank. Also, a lot of people seem to like the whole "go behind the tower and tank creeps." This has never worked against a well played ranged hero. You will be sent back to base within a minute. It can, however, be viable against a double melee lane (aka pubs) if you do it properly.
Helm of the victim (NOT black legion)
Finish Shaman's Headdress
Notice how I neglect to build helm of the black legion. Personal preference. I feel the regen with Shaman's headdress and helm of the black legion to be superfluous. Most of this is self explanatory. The legion helm will make jungling a breeze with the armor and regeneration it provides. The portal key is for ganking and initiation. The null is there to support your combo, and the post haste boots are to help you push.
This point is where most of the guides differ. Some argue behemoth heart, others blademail. To be honest you can't go wrong, though I do disagree with the blademail. So much damage is mitigated by axe that hardly any gets returned... it's counter productive.
What do I do? It definiately depends on the team. If you still find yourself getting nuked hard from the casters during your taunt, you might want a shrunken head. In most cases, I get a Frostfield Plate (Shva's Guard)
It provides much needed armor to increase your effective hit points, mana so you can repeatedly blink> taunt> activate plate, and the snare is amazing following a taunt or for escaping. It might seem silly to get a +25intel item on a strength hero, but just try it, you won't be dissapointed.
Hope this helps, and as always, I'm open for criticism.
Your item build seems really flawed to me.
No Helm of the Black Legion means a lot less damage mitigation and therefore less time being able to spend in the jungle.
Marchers, eh? Why no Enhanced Marchers? More movement speed and being able to walk through creeps and Taunt is awesome. Also provides you with an escape mechanism (again, running through creeps while the opponent probably can't).
Headdress is only needed against nuke heavy opponents.
I used to go for Frostfield Plate as well but Sacrificial Stone also grants a lot HP and MP (as you mentioned, mana *is* important with Legionnaire and not silly at all) and because you'll be getting quite a lot of hero kills due to your ultimate, it will also grant a lot of hp/mp regeneration.
I'm always using the following item build:
1. Helm of the Black Legion
2. Enhanced Marchers
3. Portal Key
4. Behemoth's Heart/Sacrifial Stone (depending on the enemies)
5. Sacrificial Stone/Behemoth's Heart (depending on the enemies)
I'm not saying mine is the only way to go. I'm just saying I rarely, if ever, lose a game with that setup.
What do you say?
Last edited by Uman; 07-21-2009 at 12:32 PM.
Not getting helm of the black legion means you are skipping out on 3 great early game items that combine into a great early to mid game item that requires minimal farming. Helm of the victim is only useful as your second major item, and only if the other team is caster heavy. But really, why are you even using Legionnaire against a cast heavy team?
If you are worried about mana, get 1 null talisman. helm of black legion > 2 bracers in terms of tanking. You should never use taunt on creeps, so you should have enough mana against heroes.
Last edited by rhodric; 07-21-2009 at 12:53 PM.
You're right, mana is sometimes an issue but not enough to skip Vanguard (why in the world would I ever want to do that?) or spend mana on Bracers.
No enhanced marchers because legionnaire is a phenomenal pusher, and need post haste to do his job effectively and turn into a late game threat. You can make a case for the 7 armor, but I feel the teleportation is so much more important.
As far as helm of the black legion, remember that you already have an iron buckler, so you go from 40% chance for 30 damage to 65% for 40 damage. Against a melee heavy lineup it should be considered instead of the headdress, but as I said, those situations are few and far between. Additionally, building to a helm of the black legion usually means getting a lifetube instead of a helm of the victim. The armor granted by the victim helm is incredibly important for early game purposes.
People seem to be locked into the mindset of "axe tanks creeps and therefore NEEDS helm of the black legion" which is inherently false.
Helm of the black legion is never useless, it neglates so much creep dmg when you taunt a wave and hero with it, and also alot of tower dmg.
when u have that item u will with much more ease farm up for the late game items by tanking waves and woods alone.
Weebles ur skill build and item choices are good for aranged team matches but i rather go for whirlblade and my own item choices for pub games.
I actually agree with his preference for Iron Buckler -> Shaman's instead of Black Legion.
Axe excels at damage over time, attrition, and loses out if he can be melted instantly - so it's vital to maximize his effective HP against casters.
Black Legion is a great item, and can be important vs. certain types of ults (Defiler's Spirits for example) and on less coordinated teams where you are likely to need more survival gear when initiating.
Last edited by Tenet; 07-21-2009 at 02:06 PM.
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I know Axe doesn't have a ton of mana early game but Terrify is like the most amazing dot in the game, you gotta get it early game; especially if theres a melee in your lane, one with no nukes especially. The dot does like 750 damage or something absurd, it's like a free kill everytime i use it in my lane.
When you put it on someone they HAVE to hit a creep or they'll end up dead or have to go back to base. When people have ti on them it makes them crazy and makes them do stupid things to try to get a last hit to get the dot off of them. Don't let them get a last hit, don't even let them get near the creeps and they'll either die slowly to the dot or theyll suicide trying to get a last hit and you kill them with ur ult or whirling blade/auto attacks.
Now why would you want a Hood on Axe in every game...
If you have a Portal Key you pretty much don't need a Hood (unless the other team has 3 heavy nukers like zeus etc.).
Just choose your fights wisely, blink -> taunt into combat (preventing them from casting in the first place that way) and finish your foe with execute.
Taunt is actually a great cc and prevents casters from casting in case some still didn't figure that out and with Vanguard you won't even take damage if casters attack you while taunted.
Which brings me to another point, why the hell would you skip 3 great early/midgame items (stout, ring, vita booster) and combine them to an even better item.
Like mentioned if you use taunt wisely and play clever overall you will get far more physical than magical damage and while jungling with Vanguard you pretty much don't need to reg. ever.
Enhanced Marchers are superior in almost every aspect.
They have armor, they have damage, they have roughly the same speed, you can run through freaking creeps (<- this in particular makes taunting much MUCH easier) and Boots of Travel cost almost twice as much.
You need mobility early on otherwise Axe can't gank properly and farming 2700 for boots is a pain in the ass in that stage of the game.
With Enhanced Marchers and Portal Key there is no escaping.
Enhanced Marchers -> chasing and taunting escaping heroes in close range.
Portal Key -> chasing and taunting escaping heroes further away.
If you're worried about lane control and the loss of teleportation get freaking town portals...
And Bracers are a waste of money, don't waste your taunts on creeps or heroes you can't kill and your mana should be fine.
If you need to taunt creeps, exploit game mechanics to do that (right click an enemy hero somewhere on the map and press Stop directly after that -> grats, you've just taunted the whole creep pack)
Last edited by Ryoma; 07-21-2009 at 04:57 PM.
Seriously, terrify is not garbage. Obviously don't get it if you're in a lane against zeus or defiler or some nuker/ranged hero that will easily get last hits. But if you're in a lane against Bloodseeker or something it's freaking amazing.
1) Your blink taunt combo will not always get casters into ult range
2) You said you don't need headdress when you have portal key... the two have no relation at all, I don't see how you can make this statement.
3) Your post seems to imply that there is no such thing as a 5v5 team fight. Axe is an initiator, and in a huge team fight, you will mitigate so much more damage with a headress than with a helm of the black legion.
4) You often have to initiate more than once in a single push, at which point the extra mana is absolutely necessary.
Your enhanced marchers vs. post haste is your only valid point, which I already mentioned is personal preference.
Sure, there are times when the DoT could come in handy, it is, however, way too situational and you're better off just skilling stats most of the times.
Plus Axe has a nice strong attack that make him better than most heroes at denying and last hitting.
Last edited by Khaaz; 07-21-2009 at 05:28 PM.