Axe, The Mogul Khan - DotA Hero Strategy Guide

Axe serves as a powerful tank in team plays and provides aid to teammates by diverting the enemy's attention(giving time for teammates to escape). Axe can do solo pushes without help of creeps and can initiate team ganks. It aids as a counter against DPS heroes especially melee heroes with a decent attack speed. When well farmed, Axe is almost ridiculously hard to kill in 1v1 circumstances, even if ganged sometimes.

Hero Stats

Strength: 25 + 2.5
Agility: 20 + 2.2
Intelligence: 14 + 1.6

Health: 625
Mana: 182

Damage: 49 - 53
Armour: 2.8 (14% Damage Reduction)

Range: 125 (Melee)
Movement Speed: 290

HP Regeneration: 1.00 HP/sec
MP Regeneration: 0.57 MP/sec
Attack Speed: 1.42 (+20% IAS)

Pros and Cons


-High starting HP
-Decent armour gain
-Great tanker
-Very hard to kill
-Good creep clearer
-Great in early game


-Slow movement speed
-Not good jungler(less creeps in jungle, therefore less spins)
-Terrible late game hero(unless well farmed)
-Low mana pool
-Not significant HP gain for a Str hero
-Not reliable killing mechanism(Helix do not always occur)

Skill Info

Berserker's Call

Mogul Kahn focuses all of his enemies' hatred on him, causing them to attack him at all costs.
300 AoE.

Level 1 - 1.5 seconds, 5 bonus armor.
Level 2 - 2 seconds, 10 bonus armor.
Level 3 - 2.5 seconds, 15 bonus armor.
Level 4 - 3 seconds, 20 bonus armor.

Cooldown: 14 seconds.

Level 1: 80 mana, 14 sec cooldown.
Level 2: 90 mana, 14 sec cooldown.
Level 3: 100 mana, 14 sec cooldown.
Level 4: 110 mana, 14 sec cooldown.

A very effective skill to divert enemy's attention and prevents enemies from escaping. When used well, it can save your allies when in a pinch. Just make sure you practise until u get the timing and AoE of this skill right, as this skill has a little delay on activation and you wont want to waste your mana calling nothing. The armour bonus turns Axe instantly into a moving tower. This skill works perfectly with Counter Helix to increase chances of triggering Helix damage. Here are some screenshots showing the AoE of Berserker's Call.

Battle Hunger

Afflicts a target with a terrible killing hunger. The target will take damage per second until it kills a unit.

Level 1 - 15 damage/second, lasts 10 seconds.
Level 2 - 15 damage/second, lasts 15 seconds.
Level 3 - 20 damage/second, lasts 20 seconds.
Level 4 - 25 damage/second, lasts 25 seconds.

Cooldown: 25/20/15/10 seconds.

Level 1: 75 mana, 25 sec cooldown.
Level 2: 85 mana, 20 sec cooldown.
Level 3: 95 mana, 15 sec cooldown.
Level 4: 105 mana, 10 sec cooldown.

This skill is a skill that gives axe a little more harassing power. It can be used to harass enemies as well as to confirm a kill. Since Axe mogul is a melee hero it is not an efficient chaser. This skill allows you a better chance in taking out a red health enemy out of melee range that is preparing to escape.

Counter Helix

Mogul Kahn counters some blows made to him dealing damage to all nearby enemy units.

Level 1 - 17% chance to counter with 100 damage.
Level 2 - 17% chance to counter with 125 damage.
Level 3 - 17% chance to counter with 150 damage.
Level 4 - 17% chance to counter with 175 damage.

This skill is just what makes Axe, Axe. More hits, more spins that is what this skill is all about. (Bare in mind that the 17% is the probability ratio of the Counter Helix occuring and not a definite percentage of occurance, remember not to over rely on the chance of Counter Helix from happening, as it may happen none in 10 hits or 5 times in all 5 hits. Imagine a dice, rolling the die 6 times does it mean that the die will at least give the number 6 at least once?..The answer is NO..Same goes for Counter Helix.)

Culling Blade

Purges the weak from Mogul Kahn's sight. Deals moderate damage, but will kill a target that is low on life.

Level 1 - Deals 150 damage, will kill if target is below 300.
Level 2 - Deals 250 damage, will kill if target is below 450.
Level 3 - Deals 300 damage, will kill if target is below 625.

Cooldown: 75/65/55 seconds.

Level 1: 120 mana, 75 sec cooldown.
Level 2: 160 mana, 65 sec cooldown.
Level 3: 200 mana, 55 sec cooldown.

This skill confirms your kill. First you call your enemies, then you deal Counter Helix damage on the opponent then when the enemy reaches the stated health then do Culling Blade, congrats you got your kill. Well this enables an instant kill when the opponent has a health less than 300/450/625 HP. More importantly what makes this skill so good is that its damage is not reduced by armour and other sort of damage reduction.

Skill Build

Well there are two builds for Axe. Battle Hunger build and Berserker's Call build.

Battle Hunger Build(Many people use this build)

1. Counter Helix
2. Battle Hunger
3. Counter Helix
4. Battle Hunger
5. Counter Helix
6. Culling Blade
7. Counter Helix
8. Battle Hunger
9. Battle Hunger
10. Berserker's Call
11. Culling Blade
12. Berserker's Call
13. Berserker's Call
14. Berserker's Call
15. Stats
16. Culling Blade
17-25. Stats

Well this build is for harassing, but i do not suggest this build, although many people go for this build. Firstly, it does not give Axe a strong killing ability and by maxing out Battle Hunger over Berserker's call is not really a good idea. Most importantly, Axe does not have the mana pool to support spamming of Battle Hunger. (e.g. a level 6 Axe using this build only have enough mana to support at most 3 consecutive casts of Battle Hunger and you will be out of mana). I do not like this build, and i would suggest the build below, the Berserker's Call build.

Berserker's Call Build

1. Counter Helix
2. Berserker's Call
3. Counter Helix
4. Berserker's Call
5. Counter Helix
6. Culling Blade
7. Counter Helix
8. Berserker's Call
9. Berserker's Call
10. Battle Hunger
11. Culling Blade
12. Battle Hunger
13. Battle Hunger
14. Battle Hunger
15. Stats
16. Culling Blade
17-25. Stats

Well this build is my favourite build. Firstly, it is less mana costly and it give Axe more tanking power and ability to kill heroes early in the game. If you have trouble trying to survive in the game you can pump Stats instead or Battle Hunger to have a higher HP and mana.

Why Counter Helix first?
As i said earlier on, Counter Helix is what makes Axe, Axe and moreover its is Axe's main and best skill. It also allows Axe to be a much more efficient killer.

Item Builds

Axe is a hero that requires armour as well as HP. Vanguard thus gives a great damage reduction and I can say that it is just made for Axe.

Starting Items:

x1 x4

Final Items:

Core items:

1. Ancient Tango of Essifation (90)
2. Stout Shield (300)
3. Boots of Speed (500)
4. Ring of Health (875)
5. Vitality Booster (1,100) >>>Vanguard
6. Bottle (650)
7. Kelen's Dagger (2,150)
8. Vitality Booster (1,100)
9. Messerschmidt's Reaver (3,200)
10. Heart of Tarrasque Recipe Scroll(1,200) >>>Heart of Tarrasque
11. Boots of Travel recipe scroll (2,200)

Gold Spent: 13,300+

Luxury items:

1. Vitality Booster (1,100)
2. Messerschmidt's Reaver (3,200)
3. Heart of Tarrasque Recipe Scroll(1,200) >>>Heart of Tarrasque
4. Sacred Relic (3,800)
5. Radiance Recipe Scroll (1,525) >>>Radiance
6. Claymore (1,400)
7. Blade of Alacrity (1,000)
8. Blade of Alacrity (1,000)
9. Lothar's Edge Recipe Scroll (650) >>>Lothar's Edge

It is also optional to spam Heart of Tarrasques, instead of having Radiance

Total Gold Spent: 20,700+ (Note*: inclusive of Core Items other than Kelen's Dagger, which I will explain later)

Item Build Explanation:

Ancient Tango of Essifation

-Increase survivability early in game
-Allows Axe to stay in lane longer, since Axe is a rather early game hero, it is important that Axe can stay in lane as long as possible


-Important for Axe to stay in lane as long as possible to prevent being under level.
-With bottle it does not only allow u to stay in lane longer, but it also heals mana which is very important, giving Axe’s low mana pool.


-Since Axe needs its enemies to attack him in order to activate counter helix, therefore we need to ensure that Axe takes the least damage possible for survivability. Vanguard gives good damage reduction, thus Axe will receive less damage and deal more damage at the same time.
-Vanguard also gives a good HP regeneration, buying two Vanguards is almost as effective as buying a Heart of Tarrasque, yet Vanguard is much cheaper and easier to farm in early game.
-If you have no trouble at all surviving with one Vanguard, its ok to save the money for Kelen's Dagger or rush for Heart of Tarrasque. Otherwise, Axe is the only hero that can get a double Vanguard.

Heart of Tarrasque

-Great item that Axe must get, althought hard to farm, but once Axe buy a this, Axe becomes really hard to kill.
-This item gives great regen and HP, making Axe a far better tanker and works well in pushes.
-The HP regeneration boost enables Axe to stay in lane longer without having to return to base to heal.
-It is optional to farm for 2 Vanguards instead of 1 if farming for a Heart of Tarrasque is far too difficult, but farming for a Heart is far better, as 2 Vanguards stack diminishingly and is not very effective compared to getting a Heart of Tarrasque.


-This item provides Axe with more killing power with the damaging aura, with Axe Berserker’s Call it will allow Axe to deal about 200 more damage overall. But note, this item is too expensive and usually the match doesn't drag up till this point, furthermore this item's damage increase is not really benefitial, but this item works well in chase as well as great in pushes.

Why Boots of Travel instead of Power Treads?
-Axe does not need attack speed. Firstly, Axe has a rather slow movement speed to begin with, this will make Axe a terrible chaser. Moreover, Axe do not depend on his attack to kill his opponents, but rather he uses his Counter Helix to slowly reduce the enemy’s HP and finally finishes the enemy of with Culling Blade.
-Power Treads require 1850 gold and Boots of Travel requires 2,700 gold, this is why most people go for Power Treads over Boots of Travel, but the additional gold spent will give u addition about 10 movement speed instead of the bonus attack speed which is not needed, it also allows Axe to travel from one side of the map to the other in an instant.
-Well since the upgrade of power treads giving an additional boost of 10 str, it can be an optional choice since it is easier to farm for it and probably the Kelen’s Dagger will give you a great chasing mechanism already if used wisely.

Blink Dagger VS Lothar’s Edge
-Blink Dagger is much cheaper than Lothar and thus far easier to farm for it.
-Usually in a good game, when people see Axe, they will try and keep a distance from him to avoid receiving damage from Counter Helix as well as avoid being called.
-Blink Dagger will give an element of surprise to the opponent when u blink in the middle of him and the creeps and do Berserker’s Call they do not have much time to react or run.
-Well as I said earlier, Berserker’s Call have a slight delay upon cast, thus is takes a little skill to use Kelen’s Dagger with Berserker’s Call well.
-If you cannot seem to use Kelen’s Dagger well, there is another more expensive alternative, which is the Lothar’s Edge. Well this item will increase your movement speed when invisible and allows you to chase opponents more efficiently.
-The invisibility will allow Axe to position himself for a gank or a surprise attack to use Berserker’s Call on the enemy. More or less, Lothar’s Edge is more noob proof than Kelen’s Dagger.

Other Items:

Assault Cuirass

I don’t suggest going for this item due to its cost, but it gives Axe an additional armour boost making Axe almost impossible to kill and allow Axe to be a more efficient pusher in late game. The 5 armour reduction aura is really a great buff for your Counter Helix. (Note*: Counter Helix is reduced by armour in case you didn’t know, as it does physical damage)

Hood of Defiance

Buy this item only when you are having trouble against opponent nukers, or else this item is more or less unnecessary, but with this item and the two Vanguards you have, you HP regenerate would be “imba” and you would be almost impossible to kill. Main point is Heart over Hood unless trouble with nukers.

Manta Style

This item can be an alternative for Axe, it gives HP regeneration, as well as a great mana regen. Axe having a low mana pool can make use of this item's mana regeneration to prevent insufficient mana to use Spells. This item also Negates spells, providing Axe a better survival mechanism against nukers. Buy this item if opponent has strong nukes, otherwise dont bother getting this item, Perseverance is good enough.

Sange and Yasha

This items gives Axe a little of everything that Axe needs, movement speed, Strength and maim. But the little boost on Axe is not worth the 5,300 gold so this item is a NO, unless you just have too much gold and do not know how to spend it.

Items Not to Get:

Battle Fury

Not a bad item, gives cleaving for better pushing, gives decent HP and mana regeneration considering Axe’s low mana pool. But no..he doesn't need the damage, as he doest rely on his normal attack to kill enemies. Stop at perseverance if you really need the mana regeneration, otherwise no.


Why not lifesteal for Axe? No. Lifesteal is just not effective on Axe, Axe does not deal a lot of damage with its melee attack, and furthermore Axe does not have a high IAS attack speed. Meaning to say, he uses his Counter Helix to kill, rather than attack his foes to death. More importantly, lifesteal does not take effect when dealing Counter Helix damage.

Cranium Basher

Stun is good isn’t it? Axe is a melee hero right? Axe IS a melee hero; this item seriously is not for Axe. Once opponent is bashed, no one is left to attack Axe and this means no Counter Helix. Moreover Axe does not have a high IAS and attack speed meaning the chances of bashing the opponent is slim. So why waste that 3k gold just to buy this item?

Armlets of Mordiggian

This item is horrible on Axe, the HP reduction per second cause Axe to be more fragile, as he needs the opponent to attack him in order to kill. The attack speed increase for Axe is just not really important, thus this item is not recommended.


Lane Control

Stay in the front line. Axe is not hero to play defensive and hide from the enemy. Bear in mind that if you hug tower with Axe, you are playing Axe all wrong. Axe has to constantly try to stay near the enemy, as in early game his Counter Helix is very painful to most other heroes. Try staying where your opponent is within your Helix’s range; do not be afraid of him trying to attack you, as you have the potential to withstand many hits from the enemy. Stay in lane as long as possible, this is where Tango comes in. (Remember Axe’s main owning period is during early game.) The best way to harass the opponent is to stay in between the ranged creeps and the melee creeps of the opposite team. This will prevent melee heroes from getting their last hits and deny, with you blocking their way. Blocking opponent’s creeps is also a great way to push. Axe is capable of tanking a single wave of creeps early in the game, this will let the opponent be unable to stay in the lane long enough to farm, with your creeps attacking the opponent without the enemy’s creeps protecting him.


During ganking, if you already have a Kelen’s Dagger or Lothar’s Edge then good for you. Axe can initial ganks for his team, as his blinks into the enemies, taking them of surprise and Berserker’s Call them, your teammates will have the luxury of the time to attack the enemies while they are affected by Berserker’s Call. Finish the enemy who is about to escape swiftly with Culling Blade.


When an ally is being attacked, Axe can do Berserker’s Call and divert the attention of the opponent will your teammate makes his or her escape. Against a strong enemy, your team just has to reduce the opponent’s HP to below 300/425/600 for you to use your ulti and finish the job. Axe can kill the opponent rather swiftly before they escape and works well in team kills and assist too.

Pushing and Defending

Well I guess not much explanation is needed here. Basically, just tank the enemy’s creeps keeping your own creeps unharmed, as Axe is one of the best creep tankers. This will allow you to push further with your creeps having full HP for the next wave. A way to do this is by standing in between ur opponent's first tower and second tower, this will allow Axe to block the next wave or creeps, without his own creeps being harmed.

This can also give his creeps a chance to down the first tower quickly while Axe keeps his enemy creeps busy. This will help his team to advance forward faster and effectively aid in pushes. Here are some screenshots below, showing examples of Axe blocking and tanking enemy creeps for pushes.


Okay well, I know many people say Axe is a good Jungler, but yes he is a good jungler, but not a quick one. He wont die to neutral creeps and his regen is good, no problem killing neutral spawns, but note that Counter Helix do not always occur. An example will be the Centaur neutral creeps, imagine the two centaurs, both having a slow attack speed and attacking Axe, while the probability of Axe's Counter Helix occuring is 17% (Axe is not really dependant on its Base damage), by calculation, it is estimated that Axe needs to be hit about 5-7 times in order for Counter Helix to take effect, but this is just a probability and not a definite calculation. Therefore he is a good in jungling but not efficient enough to farm in the jungle for a large period of the game. (Always bare in mind that Counter Helix's 17% is a probability ratio and not a definite occurance percentage, do not rely too much on it or it may backfire.)

Good Allies

Stunners and Slows

These heroes can stun or slow, allowing Axe to move to them and use Berserker’s Call to engage.


These high damage DPS heroes can reduce a whole lot of the opponent’s HP during the period of the enemy being affected by Berserker’s call. Example, Axe calls the opponent while juggernaut uses Blade Fury can do some heavy damage.


Heroes like these deal heavy damaging nukes on the opponent and reduces their life dearly, allowing Axe to do Culling Blade to finish the kill.

Bad Enemies

High Damage DPS

They have high damage attacks, which means they do not need many hits just to kill Axe, therefore Counter Helix do not always occur.

Stunners and Slows

They see Axe they stun or slow him and run, Axe being a slow hero and no chasing mechanisms cant kill them, unless Axe already has Kelen’s Dagger or Lothar’s Edge.


Stun, Hex, Stun, Hex, well when Hexed Axe cannot do Counter Helix, has no armour and stun and run allows these heroes to escape efficiently. These are heroes to beware of, not only is it difficult for Axe to kill them, but also they can easily kill you.

Powerful Lifesteals

Well these heroes just steal your HP making your damage totally not painful against them. Example, N’aix steals HP according to opponent’s HP. Axe having a high HP, N’aix will steal more HP when he attacks Axe. Example when N’aix attacks Axe with 2,000 HP for the first time, N’aix will heal around 140 HP which is a large number.

Ursa Warrior

Beware of this guy here. Ursa with Overpower and Enrage on is a killer, Ursa can easily get rid of Axe, with his Damage boost due to its Enrage ability and his stacking orb effect fury swipes. He also can stop you from running away with his Earthshock's 55% slow. Remember, only engage this guy when you have teammates around or you know that he is unable to cast Enrage and Overpower.(Cooldown or No mana)

18 Comments yet..:

Anonymous said...

Woah Nice ~ i love it

zeustozz said...

hahaha..not so ply x first me go solo nc with two stout schield and tango

Anonymous said...

lothar + radiance buy if the enemy is range like traxex, quin of pain, windruner, mirana, lich, etc. dont forget to add mana and mana regen item like bacilius + bracer in early game (of course 1 vanguard).

Anonymous said...

i like this .. : (without dagger or lothar)
1st 9tango + 1 stout shield
2nd 2vanguard, ring basilius, and boot travel
3rd adds sange yasha and radiance
4th replace basilius with battlefury or heartarasqu (optional)
last.. use one vanguard. replace with other item u like...

Anonymous said...

this is my hero!
no way for ur all....

Anonymous said...

nice one.. :)

Anonymous said...

yah true but if there is a nuker .. maybe you should buy a bkb

Anonymous said...

I once saw an Axe with travel, vanguard, heart and shiva
lvl 23, 12-1-9

Anonymous said...

2 vanguards sucks, cause dmg block from vanguard doesnt stuck. After one vanguard u could buy vitality booster and go for HOT later.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

i like this strategy

Anonymous said...

Power treads
Assault Cuirass
Battle Fury

Anonymous said...

nice build up.. i like it.. i'll try it

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

6 tangos
1tp go backdoor b4 3rd tower....

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I do not agree with item build and about fighting VS Ursa:
My buid with axe is:
- urn of shadows
- ring of health
- phase boots
- Vanguard
- Dagger
- Cuirass

With blade mail you can own Ursa, Mortred and all melee with high DPS.
Active BM and just after call and finish with ulti.
That's just imba!

Anonymous said...

if you want your axe to be more tank lets try this item build:
1. Vanguard
2. kelens or lothar
3. Boots of travel
4. Blade mail
5. Assault Cuirass
6. Heart of tarasque

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