Mogul Khan, otherwise known as ​Axe, is one of the more iconic heroes of Dota 2. Aptly named as he wields a huge axe into battle, he has been around since the early days of Dota: Allstars


The red orc is most commonly found in the offlane or in the jungle. He preys on large groups of enemies with his AoE taunt and low cooldown slow. When you play Axe, you will be the first hero into the fight, soaking most of the damage so your team can dish out the damage.


If you can get him out of laning phase and supplement his low mana pool, then Axe can bring the initiation your team needs.

​​Axe's first ability is Berserker's Call, an AoE taunt which forces enemy heroes in a 300 radius to attack him. While the taunt is active he also gains a significant amount of armor, making him tougher to kill while soaking the damage of taunted enemies. 


This is Axe's primary engage and peel for his team should the need arise for it. But be careful when using this as an engage, because should the ability miss or not taunt all of the needed targets, Axe will not survive long.

Axe's second ability is Battle Hunger, a single target slow that also grants Axe movement speed based on how many enemies are affected by Battle Hunger. Along with the slow, the target is also affected by damage over time that does not end until it kills a target or the duration ends. 


This is a fantastic way to catch out overextended enemies and chase them down, delivering a free kill to your team. However, if the enemy is able to kill a creep, destroy a ward, or even deny a creep, the effect is negated and the enemy is free to run away. So be sure to use this ability when you know you can chase down the enemy before they can kill anything else.

Axe's next ability is a passive ability called Counter Helix. When hit, Axe has a 20% chance to strike back at all nearby enemies with a swing of his axe. This ability does pure damage, which means it cannot be reduced by magic resist, ignores armor, and ignores damage block. 


This ability goes hand in hand with Berserker's Call since the more enemies that are hitting Axe, the more likely Counter Helix is to proc. Also, since it does AoE damage, it will hit all of the taunted enemies instead of just one. This is a good way to add more damage to Axe while allowing him to take some damage.

Axe's final ability is Culling Blade. This is Axe's flashiest ability, instantly killing any target at low health or dealing solid damage to those that are not. This ability is obviously best used on low health targets, since when Culling Blade kills a target it instantly resets the cooldown and gives nearby allies a speed buff. Use Culling Blade wisely, since if it does not kill, you will be waiting a long time until you get that kill pressure back.


A Stout Shield and a Ring of Protection for the early laning phase will give Axe a good amount of staying power to let him farm. Tranquil boots are a safe option for Axe, as they allow him to have passive health regeneration out of combat and also grants some armor. A Soul Ring is also useful for Axe as it gives him a way to supplement his low mana pool even more. 


Since Axe does not have a way to jump onto an enemy team from out of sight, getting a Blink Dagger gives him that extra mobility needed to find the perfect engage. Aghanim's Scepter also upgrades some of Axe's abilities, causing his Battle Hunger to also give the affected target a -30% damage output and killing someone with Culling Blade causes Battle Hunger to be applied to all enemies within range. Vanguard and Blade Mail also make Axe very effective in the late game.


Axe is all the initiation your team needs, so when you find yourself on a team with him, picking follow up damage is a good idea. He counters most DPS carries, but is vulnerable to nukers and disablers. Someone like Dazzle can help Axe survive an initiation with additional armor and healing. Axe also sets up Disruptor well, allowing him to easily land Kinetic Field and Static Storm. Watch out for ranged nukers however, as Axe will be blown up before he has a chance to jump on them.


When Axe starts to swing his blade, the enemy team will be left powerless as he cleaves his way to victory. So go forth aspiring berserkers, and let Axe bring you to victory.


Photo courtesy of dotageeks.com