The Regional Qualifiers for The International concluded a while ago and there’s been a lot of information to analyze since.
Across six regions and 294 games, Bounty Hunter is one of the 10 heroes who had zero appearances. What is it about this hero that the pros are avoiding him?
Bounty Hunter is a subpar support, and could do with a revamp
There are many support archetypes in Dota 2. Some supports focus on having a strong laning stage to propel their cores, some provide team fight power later in the game, some have strong disables, while others are great at buffing and healing allies.
Bounty Hunter does none of those things, which is why he’s in need of a revamp.
When Bounty is in-game, you’ll inevitably experience a below-average laning stage. He is a melee hero with low starting HP, and does mediocre damage.
Though he does start with decent armor and movement speed, it’s not enough to justify picking him as a laner, for he’s unable to trade with popular supports like Ancient Apparition, Phoenix, or Winter Wyvern.
Besides a weak laning stage, Bounty Hunter has no team fight contributions, nor does the hero come with any form of disable or sustain. Shuriken Toss is a strong nuke, but that’s about all the hero has going for him.
Then again, perhaps the hero isn’t meant to be a support. Could Bounty actually a strong core hero instead?
Other Dota 2 carries are a lot more reliable than him
When played as a carry, Bounty Hunter’s weaknesses are glaring. The hero has no farming skills, nor can he clear stacks. Bounty relies entirely on a good laning stage followed by track kills.
Since Dota 2 is unpredictable, with the possibility that the enemy team can draft Viper and Venomancer in the lane, it’s hard to guarantee a good laning stage for these heroes have the potential to completely shut down Bounty Hunter.
Even if he has equal farm to other carries, Bounty Hunter is still considered behind, for he doesn’t have the impact in team fights you’d get from Luna, Terrorblade, and Medusa.
Besides that, another reason why revamping Bounty is important is because he doesn’t work as an offlaner either. Offlane heroes are either very tanky front liners like Bristleback, Timbersaw, and Dragon Knight, or strong initiators such as Tidehunter, Mars, and Magnus.
The current Dota 2 meta punishes greed
The pace of Dota 2 has sped up significantly in recent patches, and Bounty Hunter is still playing catch up. As such, the competitive scene tend to prioritize support heroes who can make a big impact without any items.
Bounty Hunter’s entire schtick is his ability to accelerate his team’s farm. Unfortunately, Bounty Hunter himself can do nothing to achieve that goal. He’s a glaring contrast to Mirana, a popular position 4 support who can do much more with minimal farm.
At present, heroes that simply generate gold are out of the Dota 2 meta. Alchemist was picked seven times in the regional qualifiers, and has only three wins. Hand of Midas has also disappeared from everyone’s shopping list.
As such, Bounty Hunter clearly needs a few buffs and possibly a major revamp. The hero’s niche is interesting, but outdated. A melee support with no stuns or ability to lane, and relies on snowballing, is practically unplayable.
We’re hoping see meta changes or updates to the hero soon to bring a revamped Bounty Hunter back to the forefront of Dota 2.