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Strategy Guide for Gondar the Bounty Hunter

by semihalfwit (as of v6.59)

http://planetdota.blogspot.com

Concept

Gondar is designed to be a solo ganker. This means he's made to run around the map killing
heroes, and hopefully won't need someone else to make him effective. Gondar relies on a blend
of stealth, speed, and firepower to accomplish his goals. Interestingly, he already has every trick
he needs to do his job, he only needs raw power. To be effective, Gondar must accomplish two
things: he must be able to overpower the target, and he must be able to seal the kill on the target.

Overview

Stats

Strength – 17 + 1.8
Agility – 21 + 3
Intelligence – 16 + 1.4

Range – Melee
Movespeed – 315

Skills

Shuriken Toss

The Bounty Hunter throws a shuriken at a target unit, dealing damage.

Level 1 – 100 damage, 90 mana cost


Level 2 – 200 damage, 115 mana cost
Level 3 – 250 damage, 135 mana cost
Level 4 – 325 damage, 155 mana cost

Has a 10 second cooldown and a ministun. Your source of ranged, magical, burst damage, a very
important and potent skill. It is also commonly your finishing move.

Wind walk

Turns invisible for a period of time. Deals bonus backstab damage. Transition time decreases per
level.

Level 1 - 30 backstab damage, lasts 15 seconds.


Level 2 - 60 backstab damage, lasts 20 seconds.
Level 3 - 90 backstab damage, lasts 25 seconds.
Level 4 - 120 backstab damage, lasts 30 seconds.

Cost 50 mana and has a 15 second cooldown. Useful for ganking, escaping, and many tricks. The
bonus damage is physical.

Jinada

Gives a % chance to evade attacks and 15% chance to deal extra damage.

Level 1 - 5% dodge, 1.25 critical multiplier.


Level 2 - 10% dodge, 1.5 critical multiplier.
Level 3 - 15% dodge, 1.75 critical multiplier.
Level 4 - 20% dodge, 2 critical multiplier.

Passive. Very straightforward skill, but quite useful at beating up enemy heroes.
Track

Tracks an enemy hero for 30 seconds or until it dies. You gain 20% movement speed increase. If
you kill a hero, you pawn its head for extra money.

Level 1 - Any hero kill is worth 50 bonus gold, reduces target's armor by 1. 10 second cooldown.
Level 2 - Any hero kill is worth 100 extra gold, reduces target's armor by 2. 7 second cooldown.
Level 3 - Any hero kill is worth 150 extra gold, reduces target's armor by 4. 5 second cooldown.

Costs 100 mana. The bonus gold is passive, and the MS bonus doesn't end if the target dies. Can
only be cast on enemy heroes. This skill is your trademark, and its what lets you chase enemy
heroes, as well as countering invis. It can also be used to gather information if circumstance
permits.

Skill Build

1. WW
2. Shuriken
3. Shuriken
4. Stats
5. Shuriken
6. Stats
7. Shuriken
8. Track
9. Stats
10. Stats
11. Track
12. Jinada
13. Jinada
14. Jinada
15. Jinada
16. Track
17. - 22. Stats
23. - 25. WW

This skill build was picked because it gives what you need when you need, and then buffs you up
as fast as possible otherwise. Windwalk is gotten at level 1 just in case its needed early.
Shuriken's power is the only thing that gives you a lane presence, and is necessary for killing
later, it's maxed first. Stats are gotten to help buff Gondar up (Duh), and he will need them to
offset his normally low hp. With the right items, Stats also help him reach 510 mana around the
exact time he needs it, which is the critical point for two Shurikens, two WWs, and one Track. I
delay getting Track to level 8 because it usually isn't needed before then, but it can be gotten at
level 6. Jinada is maxed when you and others start becoming more physically powerful and as a
result, it becomes more powerful. I find this skill build gives you everything you need as you
need it.

Item Build

Core Build

The core build is basically what I recommend you to be going for from the start of the game. I'm
not particular about the item order, but I recommend you get boots and the wraith bands first, the
speed and stats are very useful. This build was chosen for its strong mix of hp and damage
output, while being extremely efficient, and no part is very expensive. These items work to make
you very tough for ganking mid-game, and bottle helps with staying out ganking, runes, and
stuff. I labeled this the core build because it fulfills all your needs in an efficient manner.

---->

The next recommended items are yasha into SnY (no not both). SnY continues to develop your
damage output and hp. It will also increase your physical damage ability while chasing as
shuriken fades off. Getting yasha first is the aggressive choice and I recommend it, the MS
makes a huge difference in your chasing. After you make Sange, I also recommend turning the
Str Treads into Agi Treads. You have enough hp for a bit. Feel free to sell bottle as it nears
completion, its effects really start tapering off by this time.

Later Options
MKB gives a bunch of damage. What a surprise! Its nice in that it doesn't clash with anything
very much, and you need raw damage over IAS after SnY, so its a good damage choice. If you
make this right after the SnY, I recommend turning the treads back to Str after you get the demon
edge or so.

HoT gives a bunch of hp. Also a surprise! For all people natter about lifesteal, heart has always
and hopefully always will be the best source of unrelenting hordes of hp.

An all around useful item. Useful against petty disables, but less so against big time things like
black hole.

You can get some other stuff, but usually they are less effective than the above. The main things
to be wary of is auras. Auras reveal your presence to the enemy, which is generally a bad thing.

Strategy!

No, I will not hold your hand and walk you to the creep line. Strategy is about your overall game
plan and your road map to victory. Without a strategy behind you, your actions become more
random and disorganized, and your effectiveness as a player decreases. Thats why its important
to have a good strategy, not some...walkthrough that expects the game to be as predictable as an
RPG.

As a hero, Gondar is a solo ganker with aspects of stealth and speed. Because of this, you want to
turn him into an omnipresent and dangerous force. Be everywhere there is battle, but little seen
when there isn't. If there isn't a battle going on, and they are farming, go after their carry and
make one. This means not only being around for your allies, but also rarely being seen creeping
or such. By doing this, you strike fear into your enemies and limit their options. If your enemy
can see you, they know where you are and that you aren't trying to gank them. The other side of
this is being effective at what you do. I'll help you as much as I can there, but being the
omnipresent gnat is worse than being seen farming a bunch. Ultimately, you always want to be
the guy that gets to say “Surprise! You're gonna die!” Doing so is easier than you might think,
and we'll discuss that later. The more successful you are at this, the bigger the difference should
become in power between your team and the enemies. If all goes perfectly, by late-game your
team will just be able to stomp through the enemy lines and achieve victory.

Gameplay

So now you know the overall plan, this area is more specific to particular parts of the game. Its
not situationally in-depth, because every situation is different. I can only give you general things
to do and let you apply them.

Laning

The first stage of the game, and not your strong suit. When laning, Gondar is a reactive force, or
an opportunist, however you want to think of it. In other words, you wait for enemy mistakes or
your allies to make opportunities before you can take aggressive action. When you can't take
action, you're generally best off staying back and playing it safe. When you can take action, try
to make the most of it by dumping damage on the enemy. You may not get a second chance.
Because you typically can't do much on your own, you're generally best off with a strong laning
ally.

Ganking

Some might call this mid-game. For Gondar, that means ganking. You generally can start
ganking the moment shuriken is maxed, or even earlier. In truth, the quicker you can get out of
that horrible experience called laning and be effective at ganking, the better. Really early on,
you'll probably need an ally, but the enemy will also probably be in their lane as well. Just go
there and kill them if at all possible. Be sure to tell your allies that you're coming to gank and to
be ready. Later, people will start dispersing, and battles will become more sporadic. Whenever
theres a fight, go towards it. Combat can take longer than people think, and you can often get
there to help before its over. Try to avoid being seen as you go to join the fight. If its across the
map, TP somewhere near. So long as you don't walk into a meat grinder, you should be able to do
something. If theres not a fight, find the enemy and try to kill one. Remember to hunt their carry
above all others. Its extremely important to be very aggressive about your ganking. If you sit
back and wait for an enemy to appear on your side of the river alone, you won't get very far.
When you're out ganking, it's also important to often move around in WW if you have the mana,
especially if the enemy has heroes such as nerubian weaver or lots of wards. You can also use
this to make sure WW is almost cooled down when beginning a gank, so you can use it again
immediately. Being detected going towards a gank can easily ruin it.

Team Fights
Also ugly for you. If you won most of the mid-game fights and abused their carry, hopefully
your team will pull through. I could say stuff like “get behind them and kill the vulnerable
casters” but that is unrealistic. After someone initiates it, either run if your team just got their
boat sunk, or run in and try to do as much damage as possible. I'll leave the finer judgments up to
you, just don't try to initiate it.

Tactics

Fun time. Tactics are the real-time combat tricks of the trade. They're how you go about
succeeding at your strategy, and Gondar has perhaps the greatest arsenal of them of any hero in
Dota. These are what most commonly make people consider other players good players. You
want to try to make use of them to be instinct. I've listed them as individual tactics rather than
paragraph form to let you adapt them to each situation.

Skills

These are fairly basic moves and maneuvers about how to optimize using your active skills in
combat.

- Shuriken

A very straightforward skill, just watch your mana.

Finishing Move – If the enemy is nearly dead but needs a few more hits before toss can end it,
save toss for the last action. There are two situations where this applies, and both with their own
reasons. If an enemy stays and fights, using it may convince them to run, and that may make
some heroes get away. If they are running, using toss slows your chasing and will only prolong
the chase if used before hand. It also means you don't have to end the fight at melee range. The
exception to this is if you need the mini stun to win the fight.

Canceling – Shuriken has a ministun that can be used to cancel any channeling spell or
animation. You can even use it to slow down an enemies normal attack. Always try to do so.
Also, after you cast shuriken, attack the enemy again to cancel its remaining animation and to be
sure Gondar continues to go after him (assuming a straight fight or chase situation).

Sniping – Shuriken is very long ranged. You can use it to harass targets without getting to close
to the action. This is most commonly used when you're only low hp and others are fighting, and
you have mana left. You can still contribute to the fight by staying at a distance and nuking.

- Windwalk

A very complex and awesome skill. Can become a crux if overly relied upon.

WW Timer – At level 1, WW's cooldown is the same as its length, meaning that you can use it to
judge when your WW will end at any moment. This means you know when to run for cover.
Believe it or not, this can save your life.

Dodging – WW can be used to dodge stuff. No, don't try it on that storm bolt at 200 range.
However, at 50 mana, its often useful to dodge things such tower's attacks. Takes a bit of
experience to do.

Slipping Past – WW has 0 collision size and lets you slip right through creeps and other things,
stopping you from getting creep blocked. The other side of this is that if theres no true sight
around, you can avoid being hurt by them as well. Very useful in close chases, where you can use
it to gain ground on an enemy, or stop him from turning and fighting at the creep line.

Stalking – A complicated maneuver that involves you using WW and going near an enemy you
see but doesn't see you. Stalking is used on targets that you currently cannot kill because of other
units near it (creeps, heroes, please don't try this on towers). Basically, you follow its movements
until it leaves these units and then you murder it. Use your WW Timer to know when to go up a
cliff or behind a tree and reWW if necessary. Stalking is especially useful if they go to go neutral
creep.

Duration Stalling – WW can be used to take yourself out of the fight for a period of time. This
can be used to wait out a (preferably short) duration spell that could otherwise break you. Things
like Viper Strike and Purge that destroy your combat ability are the best spells to do this against.
If you can predict the enemies moves, you can also dodge stun time from moves like Lina's LSA.
Beware that if this is a slow the enemy may just run away during the time, and you need to be
able to catch-up or you've lost your mark.

- Track
Four completely different mediocre abilities. Hilariously strong when used properly.

Spying – Pretty simple. Slap Track on an enemy within a group or such and walk away. It'll let
you know if they do anything fishy or stupid, and if they see it they may stand around doing
nothing until it wears off.

On the Run - Don't use Track until its bonuses come into play. Using it when engaging the
enemy in close combat takes away from time you could be using to beat them with a sword. It
may be best to use once victory is certain, as you lose time chasing if you wait to long. The
exception, of course, is WWers, blinkers, and other such rubbish. And no, no one cares about the
negative armor. Really.

Lane Hopping - Slap Track on someone in your lane, WW, and go to a different lane. They'll be
suddenly worried about themselves and with your movespeed, you should be able to get to
another lane quickly enough to gank em. Takes quite a bit of mana though, and probably a useful
ally in the lane you're ganking.

Running Away – It gives MS. That helps you run away. You might be surprised how many
people miss that.

Tricks and Comboes

These are more complex and often more situational moves that combine your skills to maximum
effect.

Combat Initiation – Whenever you pop out of WW to attack someone, always start with the
normal attack. Nothing wrong with 30 bonus damage. If the enemy is slow, you might make one
more attack. Regardless, once they turn to attack you, use shuriken immediately. Doing this
ensures that not only will you scare them with the sudden damage and appearance, but you also
will almost inevitable cancel something. Many players will respond with an escape move or
nuke, and you will stop that action, ensuring a very good, easy shuriken.

Pincering – Basically, always try to limit your opponents escape options. If hes creeping, come at
him from behind when the creeps are fighting so he has to run around you or through the creeps.
Always make through you the fastest escape option, so that it becomes a riskier one for them.

Retreat and Return – So, you're losing a fight, but its close. If theres time, when shuriken next
rolls around, toss it, use track, then WW out of there. Stalk them as of above while shuriken
coolsdown. If you have bottle, you can hide behind a tree and use it. Once its finished, go back
and after the target again. You'll add loads of damage to your fight.

Alternate Path – Building on retreating and returning, if your enemy runs but for some reason
(another enemy hero is close, a tower is there) you don't want to chase him. Slap track on him
and back off. Cut through the woods and start healing with your bottle. You're faster than him
and you can see him, meaning you can always catch him and you can see when the obstacle has
been passed. Don't be afraid to wait for an ally if he camps by the obstacle.

Dividing the Enemy – So theres two enemy heroes, and their sticking together. In order to divide
them, you can try a few different tactics. First, if one has low hp, you can nuke him and retreat, a
few times if necessary. If he has to go to heal, but the other doesn't, they'll probably split up. You
can also try to bait one of them, throwing a shuriken from afar and seeing if only one of them
will chase you. If they won't do this, you can attack them and quickly retreat, faking a failure,
and making them feel slightly safe enough to seperate. Finally, you can just stalk them until they
do it for their own reasons.

Presence of the Unseen – Basically, letting the enemy know you're there, but being invis. This
inevitably makes them falter in any activity, since they know you know where they are and that
your allies could be coming. This lets you tie up several heroes at once, even if your allies on the
other side of the map. Its important that the enemy doesn't know that last, though.

(You can also fake this, let them know you're there, track them, and then run away at full hp and
go creep some neutrals. Track is important for this as it is an obnoxious reminder that you know
where they are)

Terrain

Knowing the terrain is very important. Knowing how to abuse it is also important.

Escape Route – When ganking, you always want an escape route. Ganking near an uphill cliff is
great for this purpose, especially since you have Track, rendering cliffs useless against you. Trees
and forestry lend similar benefits. If you gank someone where you have nowhere to escape to,
the gank may be turned around on you by another enemy hero appearing.

Ring around the Rosie – Trees are great for dancing about in combat. There are a lot of paths in
dota which you can use to give your enemies fog that you don't have because of Track. Doing so
can result in splitting up your enemies as they try to cut you off, or bottlenecking them. You can
use them to buy time for shuriken or WW to cooldown too. Remember that track is very helpful
for this.

Disappearing – With WW, you can vanish at any moment. But its all the better if they don't know
you are invisible. Go into fog and WW. You can use this to retreat and return, or you can use this
to turn around and stalk them. This also helps establish your pattern of being stealthy and
obnoxious.
Effective Aggressive Play and Ganking

This section is the one real dota playing part I'm adding, rather than just about Gondar, as this is
the most essential part of playing Gondar. Its a big wall of text, so feel free to skip it if you think
you know how to be aggressive and gank effectively.

Aggressive play is all about taking risky situations and making them work in your favor. To play
aggressively properly, you need to be able to make instant decisions and adapt them as you play.
Game experience is priceless in regards to this. When you look at an upcoming gank, think about
how much time it will take, how many shurikens, and how this compares to your mana and the
enemies location. If you believe you have a strong chance of succeeding, try to do the gank. If
you believe you have a small chance of succeeding, but a strong chance of surviving it, do it
anyway. Not attempting to attack the enemy is a complete failure. Even failing to kill will send
them and you back to the fountain. The only time not to is when you are completely
overwhelmed by a fed hero or if death is highly likely.
Remember when playing aggressive to do everything you can to increase your chances. Dodge
the enemy to cooldown shuriken and use bottle, juke around a tree to get a free extra attack when
you surprise him. The hardest part of aggressive play is often surviving it when things go wrong.
It is essential to be able to do this. If a situation turns hairy, you must make an immediate call to
try to succeed or to get out. If you must get out, spam bottle, juke, ww, tp, anything. NEVER
simply click walking away. Being able to play aggressively with Gondar will allow you to net
kills and succeed where other, more conservative players would fail. You must be able to make
quick judgment calls.

Ganking is another way of saying to hunt down and kill enemy heroes. It is what Gondar does,
and he needs to make an art of doing it, as he is not an otherwise versatile hero. Ganking is all
about timing, situation, and firepower. To time a gank properly, you need to be aware of where
things are, especially enemy creeps and heroes. You want to do it preferably on a target who is
engaged in something else, especially neutral creeping, so as to distract them and to help your
gank. Time your ganks when your skills are ready and to give you plenty of time to kill the
enemy when the enemy is at a weakpoint. Situation is probably the most important part of
ganking. If the enemy has low hp, then its great for you. If allies are close, its also good for you.
Don't gank enemies that have friends close by, and don't gank people who are half a screen from
their tower unless you're certain you can tower dive and win. Firepower is pretty simple, though
its the area Gondar lacks in setting up most. Shuriken is your best source for a long time.
Remember to be aggressive and to always set up your ganks before you initiate them.

Countering your Counters

Every player needs to know what to do if a really bad thing happens. They're still really bad, but
its important to try to do some damage control.
Nasty Lanes

You know the type. Every time you try to get near the creep line you die or almost die, and your
ally is no better off. You're probably best off spamming WW whenever they go after you. Theres
not much you can do by yourself, but at least get your levels.

Sentry Wards

Bah humbug! Wards are very dangerous to you. Most often, they'll place them whenever a fight
starts where they can beat you, or immediately after you WW. They won't stick them down
immediately in one conveniently avoidable spot as so many wish was true. The other possibility
is they ward up the whole mid. To deal with them, you must change your mindset. Go around
them to gank from behind, and use Track to escape nasty situations. Remember that WW can still
be used to give you 0 collision, so use if for that too.

Observer Ward en masse

Lots of observers are naturally bad for gankers. The best counter is to whore WW as much as
possible. Don't let up, even if you lose a shuriken during the fight. You cannot allow your
enemies to monitor your movements. Otherwise, try to avoid them. Buying a gem is a very
extreme measure, but it might be worth it. Better if you can convince your supporting ally to do
so though. If they replace them consistently, kill them when they go to replace them. It might
make them stop.

Mass Stuns

You know, when absolutely every enemy has a stun. Probably not a coincidence. Its really
annoying, and very bad for both your ganking and your health. Sadly, the only really good
solutions is to work with your team more, so there are more targets to stun. Also, you may want
to begin battles with track in this case, in order to chase them after they stun and run, if they do.

Replay

None yet, sorry. I'm quite self-conscious, so I want the perfect replay before I post anything.

Closing Comments

Remember what Gondar is. Always gank, always surprise the enemy, always hunt their carry. Be
bold, and never be afraid to get your hands dirty. Keep a close eye on the map and plan how your
ganks are going to go down. And most all, try to make the enemies say “Oh, Shit!” when they
see you. If you gank a veno and the first thing he does is drop his ult and run, then you've
probably done a good job. Good...murdering?
Feel free to use any part of this guide for anything, I honestly don't care if you don't mention my
name when you do. Just don't take credit for it yourself.
This has been the third guide I started writing, first I actually finished. I'm not
expecting anyone to be gentle with criticisms though. Just know that if you're close
minded about your opinions, I can be the same about mine.

I've tried to avoid stating the obvious here, without failing to catering to those who
can use every drop of information. There no points in stating wraith bands give you
agility. I also tried to leave several decisions to the players, to let you kinda fit your
own mold to the hero. If you think bottle is all the regen you need early game, then
by all means, have fun with it. I've left several parts of general dota play out of this
guide as well. I could tell you to last hit in a lane, but you probably already know
that its good for your play if you read these forums. I've tried to be short with words
in general, as I dislike overly lengthy guides, but theres just so much information to
get across. Theres a few criticisms of what I find to be bad guide writing practices in
here. (Please don't tell me stunners are helpful to have around. Thats like saying
creeps are worth gold when they die. Tell me that slows are the best combo with
bladefury because they allow me to ensure the damage goes through, and the best
of them all is, say, CM)

Whys and Why Nots

Why not this and that. I purposely left this out of the guide because it's worthless
information to players looking for a quick guide of how to play the hero. However,
its here that the real argument for effectiveness of item and skill builds comes into
play.

Why ... so many wraiths? Wraith bands, when massed, are the best source of
damage output you'll get. Especially when combined with early stats, your early
game damage and hp take off very quickly for the early game ganking. Small
numbers of wraith bands have much less noticeable effects than large numbers, but
large numbers clog your inventory from other items. I settled on three because I
find it the maximum number I can get away with.

Why ... SnY? SnY gives you a lot of stuff, yeah, but as an item it is designed to help
people chase. For a while, Gondar does not need help chasing because shuriken is
so great when chasing. However, shuriken will become less and less effective as
time goes on. It is important for Gondar to be able to chase primarily on physical
damage. With SnY, your MS goes near 500 and you're extremely rapid attack speed
makes maims actually fairly common. Its damage boost is decent as well, made
moreso by the fact that its hp boost allows you to change treads to agi treads. It's
even made in small packages for rambo Gondar style play.

Why not ... maxing WW? There are many, many fans of maxing WW. They prefer to
combo it with shuriken to try and have serious burst damage. First, I don't believe
that will win fights with raw burst damage either way. They are not tinker's nukes,
450 unreduced damage is not enough to work with by yourself, and I want to be
strong enough to solo gank. Secondly, I believe stats are more powerful, especially
as the game progresses, and burst damage, especially physical burst damage,
becomes less powerful. Third, even if they weren't, the mana it gives is invaluable
early game. You need that mana. Finally, I don't want to be any more reliant on WW
than I have to be. It can become a huge crux skill for mediocre Gondar players.

Why not ... get Desolater? Desolater and treads gives Gondar great damage, and it
and his ult make each other more useful. First, I believe Gondar needs chasing help
as the game progresses. As shuriken weakens, 20% MS stops being able to cut it.
Desolater, again, relies on having someone there to help you beat the enemy down
in that regard. Secondly, its harder to build up to. After the first hammer things start
rolling, but by that time I would have a yasha. And theres absolutely no comparison
between those two.

Why not ... get Jinada early? Jinada is a good passive for making you more powerful.
Compared to stats, it would be preference, except for one thing. Mana. Evey point of
stats gives 26 mana, so thats a good 100 extra mana from 4 points of early stats.
Easily, easily another shuriken or windwalk. Mana is what really makes stats the
way to play.

Why not ... get Battlefury? Battlefury is an item that strength comes from its cost
efficiency. For Gondar, a perserverance is not a good item, and the damage is not
worth the cost. Cleave is nigh useless, merely a small increase in neutral farming.
Simply put, battlefury's bonuses are simply not what Gondar is looking for.

If you throw out more possibilities, I'll probably place them in this post as why not.

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