Dota Underlords Guide
Hey all and welcome to my Dota Underlords Guide, in this you will find some basic tips as well as some more advanced techniques for improving your game. Should you have any questions you can find me in Steam or you can do so in the comments section of this page.
-Listen to your Boss
How do I combine units?
Initially, this was a little more confusing as there were no prompts. Now, the game will tell you how many of the same hero you have and glow "Blue" when you can combine. Essentially, 3 of the same Hero will combine it to a level 2 (2 Stars). 3 Combinations of level 2 star heroes will create a level 3 hero. The stars will now be gold.
Check out this picture which will most likely help visualize it. Notice how I have both a Jug and a Beast Master on the board that is two stars. I also have a two star in my roster. Additionally, I have 2 1 star's. I need to wait for my 3rd Hero to then combine both 2 stars into a 3 star as it takes 3 1 stars to make 1 2 star and I will then have 3 two stars. It sound's more confusing than it is, here is another way to look at it:
I* + I* + I* = One II*
II* + II* + II* = One III*
Unit Gold Costs
At the beginning you will most likely see heroes that cost both 1 gold and 2 gold. The higher the gold the more "valuable" the hero. If you were to compare a level 3 Windrunner/Windranger) to a level 3 Drow. I imagine the Windrunner/ Windranger would be significantly better. This is because the gold cost of a Windranger is 3 gold where as Drow is 1 gold. If you were to combine Windranger to the max level it would cost you 27 gold. However, Drow would only cost you 9 gold. So all though someone may have 3 star heroes early on does not mean you cannot catch up depending on your own heroes/ units.
Not all units are created equal. Just because you have a level 3 Windranger, that does not necessarily make it more valuable than a single 1 star (No combination) Tidehunter or Sandking. Why you ask? Well all heroes have an ability, some are passive where as others are active. Drow has a passive ability that increases her allies attack speed in the cells around her.
If your familiar with Dota, Tidehunter in Underlords, has taken his ultimate ability "Ravage" This causes both damage as well as allowing you to stun all enemy heroes within a given area.
Kunkka has his Ghostship, his ultimate from Dota. Similarly this causes damage and a stun.
It may be worth breaking up "Like Heroes" to be replaced with a Hero that has an ability that causes a stun. Or perhaps you need a silence and you choose Doom (though his cast is usually random and is on a single target).
Items can make or break your army and/ or build a strategy. At this moment there are only 5 "Heartless" Hero types. However it requires 6 for the full effect. However, Valve had added a Global Ability "Item" that allows "Humans" to take form of "Heartless". In other words, you could add Drow to a "Warrior" army and have it be paired with a Lycan due to him being able to take his human form. You can read about all of the Dota 2 Items when you go into the Season Info tab either in the "settings" while in game, or at the main Menu at the "Beta Season tab".
If you believe that your opponents may use ranged heroes or nukers, it may behoove you to pick up a blink dagger. A blink dagger on an Axe can allow you to either eliminate or buy time. This is because the hero with the blink dagger will blink to the farthest opponent in game, much like the "Assassin" class.
I once got lucky and was able to select 3 blink daggers. I added them too my "Warrior" class, Axe, Slardar and Pudge, and was able to effectively win the game by eliminating the "Hunters" and "Mages" that typically are in back.
Changing items around your heroes can be the difference between a win and a loss. A mask of madness for example can be great on a hero like Drow or Antimage who has a passive. The passive is always "Active" and cannot be turned off (unless they add an item that does so). In other words a mask of madness (Commonly known as a MOM in Dota) will increase your heroes effectiveness as the silence does not impact their passive. MOM only silences active powers.
I chose a MOM a couple games ago only because the other items I was given were totally garbage for my team. The MOM seemed like the best choice. Well I end up putting this on my Crystal Maiden (CM), anyone that has played Dota for years would know *Dont do this*. However, since this is Dota Underlords CM only has her Arcane Aura which is a Passive. In other words, despite CM being a mage, the MOM made her a more effective hero in Underlords because the silence does not impact her aura ability. Probably not your first choice of hero for a MOM and as I said it looks super weird if you’ve played Dota for ever. But hey you do what you need to do to win; Make CM a MOM today!
At first I noticed little how positioning would impact the game. However, as I continue to play, I notice that position can be the difference between a loss and a win, much like items. If you know that the enemy team has a bunch of "Assassins", it may behoove you to put some "Warriors" or "Brawny" units in the back. Or maybe that Tidehunter. However it is important to know that when your units take damage, they increase their mana pool faster. If you want to have your nukers dish out as much damage as they can early on it may be beneficial by placing them in an area where you know you will be attacked.
Pudge is a great hero and is super annoying when he is on the enemy team. He fills two roles "Warrior" as well as "Heartless" is extremely tanky (High Hitpoints), and has a hook which causes damage. Pudge hooks the furthest unit. This can be devastating for a Drow who can attack several cells away. A well placed Pudge can take care of those heavy damage dealers. Likewise I try to position a unit that I would like Pudge to hook like a Doom or Tidehunter if at all possible.
This is a good example of how I have positioned my heroes to eliminate being attacked from the back in order to protect my Mages.
Alright when I refer to "Warriors", "Heartless", "Brawny", "Hunters", "Mages", "Humans" these are just a few type of the alliances/ classes of heroes within the game. Essentially, it behooves you to make combinations of alliances that strengthen your army that best achieves your overall goal. Each Alliance has a unique amplifier/ passive ability that is added when 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 heroes are collected.
At first I was kind of confused by this because I would have two Drow's, but, it would not count as having 2 units as "Heartless". This is because you need to have 2 *DIFFERENT* heroes that are "Heartless", this could be a Drow and a Pudge, a Pudge and a Necro, Drow and Neco, or Drow with a Human assuming you have the global item. Additionally, a single 2 star "Heartless" (or any other alliance) would not count as 2 units. It is just 1 unit that is 2 stars.
This is very important when choosing "Druids" as it requires 2 different Druid heroes to get the lowest level -bumped- up to the next star; Enchantress/ Tree, Tree/ Lone Druid, Natures Prophet/ Tree Etc. Two Tree's will just give you two tree's and you will not get the alliance bonus as a result.
First and foremost, I too am still just learning, if some of this doesn't work, there could be a multitude of reasons as to why. You will quickly learn that one strategy that has worked in the past does not work in a different game. Why? Because while you are changing, so are your opponents, positions, items, RNG etc.
Basic Strategy: A good learning/ Basic strategy is to choose a Druid like Enchantress at the beginning and then pair that with another Druid when available. Most likely, you will see a Tusk before you see another Druid. If you had both a Tusk and a Enchantress you would then give your heroes the passive of 10% attack. From what I've seen Druid army's typically do really well at the beginning of the match. This is because 1 Enchantress, 1 Tusk, and 1 Natures Prophet, can give you a 10% amplifier, a combination -bump- upgrade to either your Natures Prophet or/ Enchantress and your Nature's Prophet can summon tree minions that match his hero level and also acts as a buffer for the enemy units attacking your heroes. It's great to watch them kill your minion while you kill their hero.
As you progress in the game so will your strategies, don't be afraid to try new things, sure you may lose at times and may lose badly, but you will get better and so will your knowledge of how things work and how to defeat your opponents.
RNG: I've seen in the Steam Discussions people talking about how the game is pure luck as it is "RNG". For those non-gamblers out there this typically means "Random Number Generator". In other words, each roll will be random the second you click the button.
So the question is what does RNG have to do with strategy? Just because there is some aspect that is random, does not mean you cannot build your strategy around RNG or use RNG to increase your odds.
How do I increase my odds of getting hero combinations? This is my strategy which seems to work fairly well.
At the begining of the game, you will notice that there are few heroes that are available to choose from. As the rounds progress you will see more and more heroes and alliances to choose from. If your strategy is to build 3 star heroes as quickly as possible how can you increase your odds of doing so?
3 Star Hero Combinations: My strategy is by not using my gold to purchase more "levels"/ heroes on the board. If you're able to stay at a lower level your odds of having the "Weakest" heroes (Starting heroes) increases.This is because the more you level up the less likely you are to see them. If you can combine them early and stay "Small" you increase your odds of seeing them. You will be using your gold on combinations and re-rolls.
Alliance Collection: If your goal is to collect 9 "Warriors" or 9 "Assassins" you need to have all 9 heroes in that alliance as well as enough gold to buy hero levels. This means you will have less combinations because you have less gold. But, this too is a strategy. This is because when you collect all 9 the benefits from the global passive is usually worth it. Assassins I believe had a 30 or 40% chance to do critical damage at 400% This is huge! But, remember because your gold is going to levels and buying all 9 hero types you will be less likely able to combine your heroes to 3 stars. But again, it all comes down to your strategy.
I can back up my theory regarding leveling to 3 stars with the global item which is "Heroes in shop are one class higher" In other words, if you get that item you may be seeing level 5 Enigma/ Techies/ Lich etc. When everyone else is seeing Kunkka, Templar Assassin, Mirana etc. Although this sounds great, if your strategy is to level up your Drow to 3 stars this is counter intuitive because your seeing more heroes than just your Drow. If you want to see more Drow you need to stay small and combine it early on or what ever hero you choose.
RNG appears to be a lot less RNG like when you understand how it works. Yea, there is a thing as "Getting Lucky" but, you can truly increase your odds of winning if you know how to operate all the levers. I think there is just a lack of understanding of the game that is building players frustrations as it would appear that some people are just "Lucky" when you may not be understanding how they are increasing their odds.
Global Items: If your are lucky enough to get a global passive such as Brawny Heroes gain +50 HP for every kill they get or Warriors have 4 seconds after dying to attack it may behoove you to build your strategy around that. I usually like to make a plan and stick to the plan. However I try to remain flexible enough to change if needed.
One of my strategies is to buy heroes I think I may use or would change my strategy even if I'm not currently using them. If they are not combined you can sell those unused heroes back at the full gold price. If you watch me play I may be collecting Assassins but be building a Warrior strategy. As long as you can sell them at full price why not have the availability.
Although RNG is a thing, you can still increase your odds of getting the best combinations and building around availability.
Always be watching your enemies, especially if an enemy "Repels your attack". Although you may have won your round, so did your enemy. This can spell bad news for you if you are the last two remaining and there is nothing you can to defeat them.
Saving Gold: Saving gold allows you to accrue interest on the amount you have saved. So if you are waiting to make your move and are doing well with the current unit pool you have it may behoove you to collect the extra gold to dominate your opponents later. You will accrue 1 gold for every 10 gold you have in savings. The max interest you can collect in 5. Meaning it does not benefit you to hold more than 50 gold.
Currently, I am an Enforcer lll, the better players tend to save their gold so that their interest pays for their rerolls and hero purchases. Make your money work for you, Take a lesson from the rich and let your interest cover the cost.
Re-Rolling: What I do if I am specifically looking for a Hero to combine is to wait until the match starts. Assuming you don't feel as if you need a combination at that time of course.
So let's assume you have 50 gold. You want to wait till the match starts so you collect 5 interest. You can Re-Roll during the match and still collect interest bringing your gold down to say 40 gold.
How does this benefit you? You can collect the maximum amount of interest while still looking for heroes at your current player level. If you know you will hit level 6 next turn it may behoove you to look for your hero at level 5. Re-roll after your interest is accumulated (Right after the match starts it will be locked in).
It's not uncommon for me to collect 3 stars during the middle of a match.
Mages: Mages could be considered the ultimate pub stomper. Once you collect 6 Mages you will essentially increase your magic damage by 100%. When paired with Final Flash a Global Item that acts as a refresher for mages who fall below 30% health your damage output can be 200% of your current burst damage. Here are some links back to steam that shows the real potential of just one Mage doing work. My Razor had done 5,000 Damage that round. The only reason the other heroes didn't do more was because the enemy had already been eliminated.
If you get the Global Item that acts as Heartless to Humans, your Mages will also reduce your opponents armor by the very least -5.
I had started my game with a Warlock, Ogre and Tiny. This is because I know that Ogre and Warlock become "Bloodbound" and Tiny works well with Razor which gives "Primordial" (A chance to disarm your Melee attackers for 4 seconds).
Here is what a good start may look like for a mage build:
Assuming you have been playing like I had taught you in this guide, your end result may look something like this:
*UPDATE* Dev's (Developers) have stated the following:
"re: Update Turns out Keeper of the Light's horse is more powerful than we anticipated. We're moving the Balance Update release to Tomorrow. Will update you all then."
In other words, the part that is italicized may no longer be relevant after today 06/25/2019.
Corner camping a Keeper of the Light "KOTL" is devastating. KOTL alone will win you the game.
There is a lot of talk about how to defend against a corner camping KOTL or Mages in general. I attempted to build Knights with Scaled units to reduce the Mages attack Damage by their 100% increase. However, Despite having the perfect Knight and Scaled unit team I still lost. Ironically, the only match I had won was when I put a KOTL in my team as a laugh before having bought a Medusa. It really does exemplify the point that Mages can win just about every match. Like wise make sure to look at how well he is doing in comparison to everyone else:
Knights and Trolls: As many of you are well aware this is the new Pub-Stomper. All you really need to do is make 6 Knights with 4 Trolls. Or 4 Knights 4 Trolls a Necro and a Pudge. It's an easy cookie cutter that will dominate the lower ranks.
How do you beat them? Many of you are all asking and becoming frustrated. It is the new corner camping Kotl which you now seldom see.
Well first you need to understand that Knights protect a good portion of damage. Mages don't work well against them because they are able to easily protect vs nukes. So essentially you need high damage hitters/ DPS (Damage Per Second).
Warlocks are great, specifically because you can tag team Shadow Fiend, Alchemist, Witch Doctor (WD) and Necro/ Warlock, Venomancer.
What I like to do is use the Shadow Fiend with the WD and Veno. Veno will give you a Savage slot. You can then pair that with a Sand King. A great all around hero because he can easily stun the team while you continue to do damage. Same goes for WD. If you pair an Enchantress with a Lone Druid you are now at 4x savage, I believe it's 25% damage increase on your already heavy hitting SF.
Now the best thing you could get is a Terror Blade. The reason being is he will usually get the Demon Bonus if he is the only one on the team.
Or if your going a Demon route which also works, pair Anti Mage with Terror Blade and add Demons into your mix. Again Shadow Fiend works well. Pudge and Drow will give negative armor, though minimal, remember we need to do massive damage fast. Pudge as I've alluded to earlier is great all around, his hook can get the hunters or mages out of the corners.
That was a great build there at the end. I was able to eliminate the Knight build who had 100 points left when I began facing him.
I can't give you a cookie cutter build for this unfortunately, but, when you face them, think damage fast.
Do assassins work?
I haven't tried a full 9 assassin build, but, I feel like they wouldn't do well. Although they do damage they are too squishy and lack the HP to go against Knights. Further more 1 set of stuns and your toast. At least Warlocks give themselves healing which is also great when you consider what % of damage your dishing out.
Matchmaking/ Player Levels.
I have no idea if they released a more indepth ranking system. At first I was pretty confused by it, but, I'm seeing more and more variation which helps in the understanding of the ranks.
Essentially, there are 8 main ranks, 5 levels per rank. Upstart 1 - 5, Grifter 1 - 5, Outlaw 1-5 etc. Now, it tells you when you rank up as well as when you rank down. I once played a game, got second, and went down in rank. I thought "What the crap". Well my theory is that the Algorithms take into consideration Damage Given, Hero Combinations, and Gold Collected as well as if you win or lose. I have been promoted on a 6th place loss, and lost rank on a second place loss. I believe this to be because on the 6th place loss it was a fierce competition and everyone did extremely well. I increased my damage output as well as gold collection. I won ___ amount of rounds. However on my Second Place Loss I was "Carried" and got lucky to some extent by even getting that far. Although wins are important, doing well is even more important.
Combining Units without space
I just learned this today:
Should you be out of space on your roster, however you are able to buy/ combine a hero and it will not let you purchase into it you can do this.
Before the round starts, Add your hero to your "Player Board". It doesn't matter if you say have 9 of 8 available as you will be taking the unit off once its combine where you will now have space in your roster. Once your hero is on your player board purchase the new unit which will combine on the board. Simply take it off and enjoy your new space without needing to sell a different hero.
*Update* If you have bought more units than you have in your Hero roster and you have them on the map at the start of the game a random unit will randomly vanish. I'm not sure if I got gold as if the unit was "Sold". Essentially, I was gambling with rerolls hoping I could get my 3rd Lycan. My extra Tidehunter went Bye-bye. So if your too slow to balance your roster, it will cost you.
Although never confirmed there is a recognizable hero pool. There is a set number of heroes per game. So if everyone chooses Tiny at the start you’ll have a worse chance of 3*** Tiny at the end. If no one else chooses Tiny ill teach you how to increase your probability. The odds can be displayed if you hold your cursor over your player level. Don’t click or you’ll spend gold to level up. You can’t see it on your mobile version at this time And would need to be on the PC.
How to increase probability:
There are very specific heroes at the start of the game that you are most likely to choose from.
These heroes will always be 1 Gold.
One Gold heroes that start the game are Drow, Bat Rider, BH, Tinker, Ogre, Warlock, BS, Axe, Tiny, Enchant, Clockwork, Tusk, AM and Rhasta.
These are the only heroes in the game that are 1 Gold (Unless I missed some).
You will also most likely see Two Gold units:
Natures Prophet, Tree, Slardar, Jug, Morphling, Timber, WD, CM, QOP, CK, BM, Luna.
As you continue to level up (Most players level up to level 5 and 6 as fast as they can) you will see more 2 Gold Units. At level 1, you will not see a 2 Gold unit, you couldn't afford it.
At level 2, you might see one two gold unit. But most likely you will see 1 gold units.
At level 3 you will see more 2 gold units.
At level 4 you will most likely see 2 and 3 gold units.
3 Gold units will be Rzr, SF, Lina, Omni, WR, Sniper, Slark, etc.
At level 5 you may see 4 gold units, Doom, Medusa, Kunka, Mirana, Tide. etc.
Okay so lets think about this for a second. At the beginning, the only thing that you have to choose from is level 1 gold units. circa 14 Heroes total.
Each Roll you are given what 5 possible hero options? So although you have a 1 in 15 chance of getting 1 hero, theoretically you should at least see 1 gold unit hero on your 3rd roll.
However, as you level up you see more hero's.
By the time you hit level 5 you are already looking at 30+ different heroes you may be seeing at once. In other words, you may need to re-roll 6 times to come across 1 gold unit hero.
Always Learning/ Always Adding.
As we all know, the game is only accessible to Dota 2 Battle Pass owners, (Support the International), it is currently in Beta, meaning this is a work in progress from Valve and is always changing and being updated. What works now may not work in the future. I will post more things as I learn, however, if you have something you want to interject, you can do so in the comment section.
Updated 07/20/2019: Currently, as many of you are aware they are creating patches that mess with the balance. As of today, they released a patch that switched everything up. However, I will note that the current game winning Meta is 2 primary builds.
Primodial units with Mages is pretty solid. Make sure you get Epidion's global if you can. Why you ask? Well once you get all of the alliance which is easy come player level 5 as you will have Razor who is now a Tier 1, Tiny Tier 1, Morphling T2, and Arc T3. This will give all your allies a 40% chance to disarm the opponent's melee for 4 seconds (this is huge) especially since it works on summons. 10% on ranged. This alone can win a game and is currently broke imo.
Next, this one will beat all the creep waves from what I've seen to include tomato and potato, the Dino's and the Birds.
6x Savages - I always mix with a Shadow Fiend when possible.
Venomancer is godly and is also broken af.
Top 2 players same build:
The primodial strength can be seen when you look at the fact that my 2* Pudge could not kill the 1 enemy Epidion causing me to "Draw" which takes away your gold winning/ losing bonus.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Nicoli Clause