Twelve labors of HerculAxe

Sep 14 2020 16 min read

A scroll equal to Homer's texts

While Dota 2 teams are taking a break from online leagues, creating new lineups, and rereading Valve's statement, we asked ourselves: what if Hercules had existed in Dota 2? Which hero would be most suitable for the ancient Greek's alter ego, and what might the famous labors look like, being put into a small square map with the river and Roshpit?

You can read the background-introduction here.

Despite the variety of characters and the already implemented prototypes of ancient Greek and Roman gods, only one tanned figure is suitable for the role of the massive winner of the mythical fauna (and a sort of cleaning manager) — the frantic Axe.

Hercules and Mogul Khan are similar in their bursting power, stylish beard, and loud bass. Rereading the lore of Dota 2, you can imagine that Axe and Hercules would need to meet with an anger management specialist. Mogul Khan is also familiar with the lethal state of combat madness. Although the red giant hacked not only blood relatives, but also fighting brothers in the heat of battle, Axe, like his Olympic comrade, is forced to bear severe punishment. 

The name of the Greek god avatar on the Dota 2 battlefield would be majestic and sonorous — HerculAxe.

First: Slay the Nemean Lion

Hercules beat the Nemean Lion

Hercules's first job was the battle with the Nemean lion. The beast terrified the area with its aggressive character and lousy diet, reflecting arrows and swords with thick skin, and had an emergency exit in its lair as a tactical delight.

Zeus's son tested the lion for a long time and tirelessly tormented the quivers and equipment until he understood the boss's mechanic. Then he filled up a secret hole in the beast's cave and strangled the Nemean lion with his bare hands. Then Hercules took off the valuable lion's skin and put it on his shoulders, covering his back with the reliable protection of its natural defenses.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

Who else in Dota terrifies the neighborhood and is immune to most attacks? Roshan. And even though it has only one way out of the cave, the Aegis' guardian can offer the winner protection no worse than the skin of the Nemean lion.

For HerculAxe to successfully start his exploits, he will need an artifact with vampirism (for example, Vladmir's Offering), a talent for attack speed, and Assault Cuirass. You can also add Heart of Tarrasque based on your taste.

To comply with the status of permanent, canon, and signature artifact, we will introduce an alternative, but at the same time, obvious incarnation for the skin of the Nemean lion — Black King Bar. Moreover, it is worth collecting such a trinket for HerculAxe, who has just single-handedly killed Roshan?

Second: Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra

HerculAxe and the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra

The Nemean lion had a sister - the Lernaean hydra. The harm from her was no less than from the deceased brother, and only the appearance differed - the serpentine hydra had nine hypnotically vile heads - and the location - the reptile lived in swamps overgrown with reeds. Eurystheus couldn't pass by such a tempting option to kill an unwanted nephew, and Hercules immediately "received a contract" for all nine heads of the monster.

True, as soon as the hero got to the unpunished viper and began to chop neck by neck, the hydra showed Hercules miracles of regeneration, and new ones immediately appeared in the place of the severed heads. Nevertheless, the monster didn't expect such impudence from the guest and was forced to hide in the local reeds. Then Hercules set fire on the swamp, and the hunted hydra began to burn freshly chopped stumps. The tactics succeed, but the last head of the beast turned out to be immortal. The hero crushed it with a piece of rock and then dipped his arrows into the monster's poisonous blood, adding them to the reliable protection of the Nemean lion skin and getting the lethality of his weapon. Game designers in ancient Greece were fabulous; there is nothing to say.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

There are many associatively suitable heroes for the role of a poisonous monster in the game's bestiary. Still, only Phantom Lancer reflects the true meaning of the ancient Greek reptile mechanics.

To catch a cunning opponent, HerculAxe needs Blink Dagger and Blade Mail. The best way to burn mustache heads is with Heaven's Halberd and Nullifier. Calling Blade in the right timing is perfect instead of a rock for the last head.

Third: Capture the Ceryneian Hind

HerculAxe captures the Ceryneian Hind

The third "task" of Hercules was the hunt for the Ceryneian Hind, movable property of Athena, the goddess of the hunt. The slender and therefore proud animal had to be carefully tracked down and brought unharmed to the palace of Eurystheus in Mycenae. This meant that options with arrows, traps, or poisons fell off. "It's not a problem," said Hercules, and chased nimble prey along the route Greece - Hyperborea for a year. In the end, the Hind fizzled out, and the hero caught her in a web.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

The game's vastness has its own swift Hind/doe, which you cannot keep up with [if it seemed to you that someone had just whispered "Enchantress" in your ear, it was our editor]. To track down and lasso the goat, HerculAxe will need the trendy Boots of Travel, and the BKB hide, Blink Dagger, Blade Mail, and Clumsy Net in a zip-up bag at the waist. Whether or not to kill the prey is up to you, but recall that there is no Athena in Dota 2.

Fourth: Erymanthian Boar

Erymanthian Boar

The experience gained during the races with the Ceryneian Hind came in handy for Hercules when Eurystheus demanded to restrain another monster - the Erymanthian boar. The hero couldn't afford to lose another year in marathon hardships, so he immediately drove the mythical hog to the summit of Mount Lampe. The overweight boar got stuck in the melted snow, after which the unlucky hog had only to watch Hercules twist him and, putting on gigantic shoulders, cheerfully transport the prey to Mycenae.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

Before going to hunt down the boar, HerculAxe has to acquire the Helm of Dominator. Are you asking where to get a decent boar on the Dota 2 map? The enemy Beastmaster knows the answer to this question. Just make sure that he also doesn't assemble an identical build. Otherwise, the animal will get tired of changing the hooves - and he has four of them!

Fifth: Augean stables

Clean Augean stables in Dota 2

There were also cleaning victories in the Hercules' asset. Once, with the help of water elements and his ingenuity, the hero cleaned the barnyard of King Augeas. The ruler loved his numerous herds, but he didn't follow the timely cleaning. Soon the livelihoods of cattle gave the kingdom a severe fragrant problem.

Despite it, Augeas didn't hesitate to put forward conditions, such as that all cleaning work should be completed in one day. But what are these whims for the real hero of Olympus? Hercules built dams, redirected the flow of two rivers at once, and washed away the dung heaps, after which he straightened the walls of the stables and returned the washed infrastructure to its original appearance.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

HerculAxe is so strong that it can easily break through any wall, even the fourth. Our hero must either catch the enemy in foul play or stop defeatist sentiments (or even outright sabotage) in the ranks of allies to accomplish the sixth labor. Don't worry - it isn't a shameful complaint. We're talking about a masculine report. Neither on Olympus nor in Dota 2, there is a place for weak-willed feeders, ward buyers, and scriptloggers. Socrates wrote about this.

As soon as the scroll with the notification of the punishment of one of the unworthy falls into the HerculAxe's hands, the labor is considered completed.

Sixth: Stymphalian birds

Stymphalian birds

The next labor for Hercules was getting rid of the Stymphalian birds. The birds were not so simple - their beaks, wings, and claws were made of copper, and their feathers were completely like deadly arrows. Hercules failed to kill the circling flocks of monstrous birds, so he resorted to his tactical ingenuity (and the help of the goddess Athena) once again.

The hero tracked down the troublemakers' central nesting place, covered himself with an impenetrable hide, and began to make noise with a copper rattle forged by Hephaestus. Such a neighborhood was not to the proud birds' taste, and they made a massive migration in the air, where the poisoned arrows got them. Indeed, it's better to have portable speakers with 50cent playing under the window than a bearded athlete wrapped in a skin and with a rattle at the ready.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

While the copper-feather look fits Bristleback very well, Skywrath Mage brings real death from heaven. The Stimphalian prototype from Dota 2 is dashingly scattered around in flocks of ghostly rooks and then covered with a shower of magic, resentment, and helplessness. The next clip of dazzling partridges' flight speed is a separate test for everyone who has a critical state of health points, and there are no drops or a saving portal scroll in their inventory.

This is where our Black King Bar "skin" comes in handy. We activate the artifact, throw Battle Hunger on the winged oppressor, and hug him with the Berserkers Call. Skywrath Mage, having emptied the nest, doesn't hesitate to use the chat wheel and messages like "EZ" to the general chat - a rattle in action.

If Skywrath Mage experienced troubles with the Internet connection by a strange coincidence, HerculAxe would only have to report on another completed feat. Good day, see ya, as they say.

Seventh: Cretan Bull

HerculAxe catches the Cretan Bull

Chasing animals occupies a unique niche in Hercules' labors' list: this time, Eurystheus ordered to catch a special bull on Crete's island. A stately horned bull came out of the foam of the sea at the behest of Poseidon - such a gift was made by the lord of Oceania to the local king Minos so that he would sacrifice the animal.

But Minos liked the bull and decided to keep it for himself. He ordered to slaughter the usual ox from the herd. The fraud didn't work, and Poseidon sent rabies on the bull. Hercules caught the bull, swam the sea on it, and brought it to Mycenae. There was little practical sense because the malicious Eurystheus immediately released the animal, and he fled to Attica itself.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

We hasten to remind you: having got to the bottom of the wording, deadlines, commas, and other fine print and additional agreements unworthy of the king, the evil uncle did not count Hercules two whole tasks. The hero had to perform two extra-quests to finish the sum of accomplishments up to the initially announced ten. We follow the source.

The next labor HerculAxe was able to perform only in patches from 6.84 to 7.23 BC. The hero could be absorbed by the allied Lifestealer, who then got into Barathrum. The Infest Bomb of initiator, space dealer, and hard carry - all three thick, armored, and fatally deadly.

If you want to see the taming of a ghostly bull with your own eyes, you're in luck. Ancient treatises were reanimated, deciphered, and modeled by scientists from the DotaWTF Institute.

Eighth: Mares of Diomedes

Mares of Diomedes in Dota 2

And here is another story of the relationship between kings and animals: once there was a ruler in Thrace, Diomedes, who entertained himself by raising man-eating horses. As you understand, sooner or later, Eurystheus had to point his finger at the Thracian map and say: I want them! Hercules went on a campaign, took the horses away, and even managed to move a specific herd on his fast trireme. Then the mobilized forces of Diomedes arrived, and a fight ensued. While the hero was crushing the enemy, the horses on the ship tore Abder, the son of Hermes.

In mourning, Hercules returned to his uncle. The feeble Eurystheus stayed true to himself and once again scoffed at his nephew and his trophy: a terrible herd was released, where wild animals quickly reminded the man-eating horses of their place in the food chain.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

We keep our word: here is the second almost impossible feat. Cannibal horses, no matter how obvious the analogy may seem, have been in Dota 2 since its inception. Think for yourself, what could be even more cannibalistic than expensive sets of cosmetic items, all those hooks, companions, and wards in the form of the head of James Belushi?

Do you want a new colorful set for your favorite hero? Buy Battle Pass levels! A poplar branch gnawed by a dog fell out from the Treasure cache? It's ok, just two more salaries (fourteen scholarships, half a kidney) and you can get to the new Treasure and win something worthy (maybe).

To break this vicious circle and deceive the deceiver (to tear to pieces those who wanted to tear you apart, we remain within the borders of ancient labor), HerculAxe only needs to choose one of the outfits in his collection (the most modest enough) and add it to the workshop. The set's stylish grandeur will immediately fall into the developers' field of vision, and our heroic outfit will be spinning in the next Treasure on the screen in the "very rare" section.

Ninth: Belt of Hippolyta

HerculAxe wins the Belt of Hippolyta

Eurystheus was about to give up, but at the next brainstorm on making up new tasks for Hercules, his daughter came to help. Admete - that was her name - wanted an outlandish belt presented to the Amazons' queen, Hippolyta, by Ares himself. No sooner said than done, Hercules went to Themyscira.

At a personal audience, Hippolyta agreed to donate the necessary wardrobe item to Hercules. The voluntary transfer of the artifact almost took place, but then Hera intervened: the goddess who turned into one of the warriors brought turmoil into the ranks of the Amazons and screamed that the Mycenaean hero wanted to abduct their queen by force. As you already understood, in ancient Greece, decisions were made very quickly. According to the precepts of feminism, a fight immediately ensued. Hercules fought with opponents on equal terms, promptly defeated the sultry Amazons, and took the belt, ran away.

Admete refused to wear the belt, and it was released ... Well, you know.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

We return to functional tests. From the river's mouth to the Roshpit, everyone knows that HerculAxe feels excellent in the forest, winding minced meat from neutral creatures. Therefore, he doesn't like it when someone appears on his property, especially if someone knocks out a valuable artifact.

Our hero needs a Blink Dagger, patience, an impudent intruder (it would be quite canonical to wait for Windranger or Legion Commander), and a prepared caustic phrase for the general chat.

We track down the victim, wait for a neutral object's appearance, greet the puzzled Amazonian with the Blink Dagger, pick up the loot, check-in the chat, drink a cocktail of enemy tears, and listen to the labors counter click.

Tenth: Cattle of Geryon

Dota 2 Guild

Hercules has already managed to bring an armful of nightmarish horses and a mad bull to Mycenae (and clean the equally creepy stables). "Now you are ready for a whole herd," Eurystheus decided and ordered his nephew to deliver Geryon's herd to the court.

The hero who lived on the island of Erifia, according to ancient Greek standards - the end of the earth, had three bodies fused in a belt, six legs, and the same number of arms. It didn't save him from the Hercules' weapon. The hero took the herd and traveled a path that would have made Odysseus himself shiver. Along the way, the hero gave life to several peoples, founded a couple of cities, rolled a pack of mountains, and dug many canals. Well, what did you want? A feat is about cows.

Did Eurystheus disband the long-suffering flock? Everyone will answer this question independently.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

To complete the ninth feat (and dance sirtaki on the fourth wall), HerculAxe only needs to found his guild and collect a hundred or two followers there. No wonder they are called the flock in another mythological work? And what is the flock if not the herd?

Taking care of the capricious stormtroopers of the rating can be even more difficult than collecting lazy artiodactyls wandering around the picturesque mountains of Attica. And to bring the level of the guild to 25 is already a real feat.

*[Geryon's Herd] HerculAxe has added [Olympus] the Thunderer to the friend list.*

Eleventh: Golden Apples of the Hesperides

HerculAxe takes Golden Apples of the Hesperides

Eurystheus was on the verge of despair and decided to hit his nephew's weakest point - his stepmother's offended pride, the goddess Hera. The ruler ordered the hero to get three golden apples that grew on a tree produced by the great Gaia on the wedding day of Zeus and Hera.

Zeus Dota 2 Lore — the Ancient Greek God

Hercules went to the Hesperides guarding the apple tree, the titan Atlas daughters, who held the firmament. On the way, the hero met Antaeus, Gaia's son, who made every traveler fight with himself. Hercules figured out the secret of the giant - the cunning man replenished his strength, falling to the mother earth - and lifted the fighter by the neck into the air. Gasping from the rudeness of the guest, Antaeus let Hercules pass.

The hero arrived at Atlas and, while the titan went for the magic apples, kept the entire firmament on his shoulders. Intoxicated by the taste of freedom, Atlas, a good guy in general, made up a trick. The titan suggested that the hero independently carry the valuable package to Mycenae, extending his unintentional vacation. Zeus's son realized what was going on and agreed, but on the condition: Atlas would hold the firmament while Hercules made a pillow for himself so that the edges of the burden would not cut so hard into the shoulders.

Titan propped up the sky with his gigantic back, Hercules confessed to the trick, the apples arrived in Mycenae, Eurystheus returned them to Hercules, Hercules gave them to Athena, Athena returned them to the Hesperides. Just don't ask.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

Well, you've successfully made your way to real high-quality content. Congratulations! There are two genuinely challenging feats ahead that are as difficult to accomplish as they are fun.

So, to begin with, HerculAxe needs to peacefully take the mid lane (this is what the midlaners do - they hold the whole world and this particular game on their shoulders single-handedly).

After the hero will have a battle with the tumbling Antaeus Earth Spirit. You can tear off the local titan from the ground with the help of Eul's Scepter, and any silencer of your choice will help to stop the offensive attempts of the enemy to retreat (if Earth Spirit has assembled a Manta Style or Black King Bar, Nullifier will come handy).

Now it's the turn for neutral items - if the enemy manages to find and plant a Mango Tree, HerculAxe needs to win back a pack of juicy fruits, just three pieces. If there is no tree, a neutral Pupil's gift will do.

You can feel the effect of magic apples on yourself with the help of Tom of Knowledge concentrate.

Twelfth: Cerberus

HerculAxe brings Cerberus

Eurystheus almost gave up; the last ace in his pocket was the task of bringing the three-headed dog Cerberus from the underworld. Hercules descended into the kingdom of death, swam across the Styx (for which Hades punished Charon), twisted a terrible monster, and led Cerberus to Mycenae.

The reigning uncle of the hero was ready for such a turn of events, he asked to return the dog to the owners, and Heracles was released from service.

How to implement it in Dota 2?

The most spectacular in the entire dozen will be the final labor of HerculAxe. He will need a team to do this: Iphicle - Nature's Prophet and Iolaus - Dazzle. The arsenal: the cooldown reduction abilities Octarine Core, neutral Spell Prism, or Quickening Charm, and a bottle with an Arcane rune. Equally useful will be the talent chosen at level 25 to increase the range of Berserker's Call.

We will habitually assign the role of Cerberus to the local good old stone-headed Roshan.

The labor mechanics are genuinely worthy of ancient Greek poems, sculptures, oratorios, and a tweet from Duran.

Before descending into the small-sized kingdom of Hades, Dazzle must bless the squad with his Bad Juju. This can be done right on the Styx River. For this, it can be painted in a particular, solemn way.

Then HerculAxe twists the tail of Cerberus-Roshan, using Berserker's Call to bring the monster out of the cave. To prevent the mythical companion from returning to its place, Nature's Prophet lovingly closes the worried Roshan in the canopy of trees.

The procedure is repeated until Roshan is at the base in the spray of a surprising fountain. Thus, the final feat - the crown of the entire fascinating journey - receives the long-awaited status "completed," and HerculAxe is released from his service!

While Roshan is traveling home with a loud stomp to write a post on Instagram about the fact that sometimes it is useful to leave the comfort zone, we hoist the winner's laurel wreath on our head and get ready to receive congratulations.

* * *

That's it. The journey through the sunny slopes and refreshing bays of Ancient Greece has come to an end. The spirit and unique atmosphere of favorite stories remain as persistent and heady today as they were at the time of creation.

Read everything about OMEGA League

And even though most of the well-known artistic accents were "deciphered" by scientists-mythologists, and not by ancient authors, we are plunging with pleasure into the twists and turns of old Greek subjects time after time.

Today we got another meaning of the classic myth of Hercules. The heroic deeds of Zeus's mighty son and the beloved of the public are reflected even in the session esports discipline thousands of years later. And therein lies the majestically subtle beauty of a real work of art.


It is not for nothing that Plato wrote: This day belongs to HerculAXE!


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