As if the 60 heroes weren’t already enough, there are currently 23 different alliances in Dota Underlords, each with between 1 and 3 stages of power which you can use to augment your autobattling army. But it’s not as simple as picking one or two alliances at the start of a match and collecting as many heroes of that type as possible; you have to be flexible and balanced in your approach. Our Dota Underlords alliances guide features in-depth explanations of each alliance currently in the game, along with a tier list of the best alliances to build around and use to turn your army into a match-winning force.
Dota Underlords alliances guide – the best alliances in Dota Underlords
You know how I said Dota Underlords has 23 different alliances? Yeah, that’s a fair amount to get through, I know. But we’ve done our best to break it up into easy-to-follow chunks. We’ll start with a basic explanation of what alliances are and how they work, before moving onto the tier list of best-performing alliances, and then tables of stats and information on all 23 alliances. Click any of the links below to skip ahead to a particular section.
- Dota Underlords alliances overview – how do alliances work?
- Alliance combinations
- Dota Underlords alliances tier list
- S-Tier: Knight, Mage, Troll
- A-Tier: Druid, Hunter, Scrappy, Scaled, Warrior
- B-Tier: Demon, Demon Hunter, Heartless, Human, Primordial, Warlock
- C-Tier: Assassin, Brawny, Dragon, Elusive, Savage
- D-Tier: Blood-Bound, Deadeye, Inventor, Shaman
- Dota Underlords strategy guide page links
Dota Underlords revolves around building up a force comprised of Dota heroes – and even though these heroes are simplified from their Dota 2 counterparts, there’s still an awful lot of complexity to them. Not only do they each contain various different stats such as Health, Armor, DPS, and so on, but they also feature different abilities and belong to different alliances.
Each hero belongs to 2 or 3 different alliances. If your board contains a certain number of heroes belonging to the same alliance, then you’ll receive a passive bonus depending on the alliance. For example, if you were to collect two Heartless heroes, then all your enemies would suffer -5 Armor.
Many alliances have multiple stages of power depending on how many heroes on your board belong to that alliance. For example, if you were to add two more Heartless heroes to your board, then the bonus would increase to -10 Armor; and 6 Heartless heroes brings it up to -20 Armor. It’s important to note that these alliance bonuses persist throughout a fight, regardless of whether the heroes providing those bonuses happen to be killed in combat.
When building an army, you need to pay attention to the balance of offence and defence. Some alliances, such as Hunter, are purely offensive in nature, and therefore should be paired up with alliances such as Warrior, which are purely defensive. The aim is generally to pick a central, scalable alliance to build your army around (examples include Assassin, Elusive, Hunter, Knight, Mage, Scrappy, and Warrior), and then try to balance out your offence/defence with other supplementary alliances you accrue as you build towards your central alliance.
Another thing to bear in mind is that many alliances can be substantially upgraded by acquiring certain Global Items relating to that alliance. For full details, check the tables below.
We’ll go into alliance combinations in far more detail in another guide. For now, bearing in mind what we’ve just discussed about central and supplementary alliances, let’s take a look at our tier list of current best-performing alliances.
Dota Underlords alliances tier list
Above you can view our personal rankings of all the alliances in Dota Underlords. We’ve taken into account not only the passive benefits themselves, but each alliance’s dependency upon Global Items, as well as their attainability, and the balance of heroes within each one. All these are things you’ll also have to learn to take into account when choosing your alliances on the fly during a match.
Below you’ll find full stats and details of every alliance, including heroes, bonuses, and relevant items.
|2 Knights: Knight units take -15% physical and magic damage and an additional -15% when standing 1 cell away from another Knight.|
|4 Knights: Knight units take -20% physical and magic damage and an additional -20% when standing 1 cell away from another Knight.|
|6 Knights: Knight units take -30% physical and magic damage and an additional -25% when standing 1 cell away from another Knight.|
|Age of Chivalry (Global Item):
Non-Knight units gain +10% damage reduction for each allied Knight unit 1 cell away.
Knights are an absolute force of nature on the battlefield at the moment in Dota Underlords. Not only does its maximum tanking power kick in with just 6 heroes (instead of, say, 9) but you’ve got a really fantastic roster of heroes in here, many of them very easy to obtain. You’ve got DPS in Luna, Batrider, and Dragon Knight; you’ve got healing in Omniknight and Abaddon; you’ve got an inherent Human alliance with DK and Omni… And that’s not even talking about the alliance buff itself, which makes your heroes extraordinarily hard to kill, even with some of the best offensive alliances out there.
|3 Mages: Enemies suffer -40% Magic Resistance.|
|6 Mages: Enemies suffer -100% Magic Resistance.|
|Final Flash (Global Item):
Mages reset their cooldown and get full mana when below 30% health.
This is an alliance that can often take the entire game to bring fully online, but once it does – and as long as you’ve accounted for its glass cannon nature by tanking it out with good heroes and supplementary alliances – Mage will allow you to tear through pretty much anything. None of the individual heroes are ones I’d rank highly in any other build, but together they have peerless burst-down potential, particularly with heroes like Lina, Razor, and Lich. Plus, if you get that Global Item, Final Flash, it can really turn the tables on a late-game losing match.
|2 Trolls: All Troll units gain +35 Attack Speed.|
|4 Trolls: All Troll units gain +65 Attack Speed and other Allies gain +30 Attack Speed.|
|Coordinated Assault (Global Item):
Troll units give +25 Attack Speed to allies 1 cell away.
The first level of the Troll alliance is very easy to get, and it provides you with a fairly solid early-game provided you’ve got a few more tricks up your sleeve. But a full Troll build is quite a sight. Your entire army, attacking with the speed of a near-death Bloodseeker? This is a hell of a DPS build that achieves everything it wants to achieve using just 4 heroes, leaving you with a lot of flexibility with your board to build up another strong alliance or two before you reach the final rounds.
|2 Druids: At the beginning of combat, the lowest star ally Druid is upgraded a level.|
|4 Druids: At the beginning of combat, the 2 lowest star ally Druids are upgraded a level each.|
|Completing the Cycle (Global Item):
When a Druid dies, it heals allies 1 cell away over time for 30% of its total health for 6 seconds.
I’m a big fan of Druids. Their alliance benefit is better for some than others (you’ll want to use it to get an early Level 3 Nature’s Prophet or Lone Druid ideally) but it’s such an easy alliance to slot into another build as it uses only 2 or 4 heroes – and of those 4 heroes, 2 have Elusive and the others have Savage, which means you’re basically getting 2 alliances for the price of one. Add to that the Global Item which provides some really astounding, game-saving healing at times to all your allies; and the fact that Lone Druid and Nature’s Prophet are just really great heroes in their own right; and you’ve got yourself a hell of a supplementary alliance.
|3 Hunters: All Hunters have a 20% chance of quickly performing 2 attacks.|
|6 Hunters: All Hunters have a 35% chance of quickly performing 2 attacks.|
|Hunter's Focus (Global Item):
Hunters deal 10% extra Attack Damage for each other Hunter attacking the same target.
Having 6 Hunters on your board means you’ll really have to bulk out your army with tankiness, healing, Armor, and everything else you’re missing – but the fact that all these heroes, each with at least solid and at most fantastic DPS, can have a 35% chance of attacking twice in the same time is a sight to behold. I’d bring Medusa and Tidehunter in as quickly as you can for the extra Scaled alliance and because they’re just really great heroes in their own right; and with Mirana and Windranger you can get started on a nice supplementary Elusive alliance too.
|3 Scrappy: A Random Ally is granted +9 Armor and +8 HP Regeneration. Armor and HP are doubled if you start the fight with fewer units than your opponent.|
|6 Scrappy: Allies gain +9 Armor and +8 HP Regeneration. Armor and HP are doubled if you start the fight with fewer units than your opponent.|
|Check the Bodies (Global Item):
Scrappy units have a 20% chance of producing 1 gold when they kill an enemy.
I personally don’t enjoy playing a Scrappy-focused game, but there’s no denying its power. You’re obviously guaranteed a top-tier Inventor alliance as well, which means 4 of your heroes are suddenly getting a generous +40 HP Regen; but aside from that you’ve got some really great heroes here (shoutout to Tinker, Techies, Bounty, and Alchemist in particular) if you can build up to 6 Scrappy heroes then suddenly got a level of tankiness you can only otherwise reach with a full Knight or Warrior build.
|2 Scaled: Allies gain +30% Magic Resistance.|
|4 Scaled: Allies gain +50% Magic Resistance.|
|Retaliate (Global Item):
Units attacking Scaled units take 80 damage/sec for 3 seconds. This timer resets each time the Scaled unit is attacked
Scaled is very situational, which is why many players don’t rank it higher when considering alliances; but given the prevalence of Mage builds in Dota Underlords at the moment, Scaled is slowly being pushed more and more into the fore due to its life-saving Magic Resistance bestowed upon all allies. Plus, all 4 of these heroes are truly amazing. I’ve already spoken about Medusa and Tidehunter as excellent picks for a Hunter build; but Slark is one of my favourite Assassins and can become truly unstoppable if he’s not burst down quickly, and Slardar hits like a goddamn truck.
|3 Warriors: All Warriors gain +10 Armor.|
|6 Warriors: All Warriors gain +15 Armor.|
|9 Warriors: All Warriors gain +25 Armor.|
|Unstoppable (Global Item):
Warriors survive for an extra 2 seconds after receiving a killing blow.
Warrior is a very popular (if slightly boring) alliance right now in Underlords, simply because there are so many heroes in this roster and the Armor gain makes it such a good alliance to combine with more offence-focused builds like Troll or Mage. The Unstoppable Global Item is a lovely thing to have, though it’s certainly not the most influential Global out there. Here the focus is more on the heroes themselves. With abilities like Tiny’s or Kunkka’s; with DPS like Troll Warlord’s or Slardar’s; with tankiness like Pudge’s or Doom’s; it’s really not a hard sell to go Warrior.
|1 Demon: All Demon units gain +50% Pure Damage. Active when you have only one type of Demon unit on the board.|
|Strange Bedfellows (Global Item):
Demon Hunters gain +30% Pure Damage for each unique allied Demon unit.
Demons do two things very well: they provide a great DPS boost in the first few rounds of a match; and they slot incredibly easily into other builds, requiring just 1 Demon to provide the damage buff. You’ve got a decent selection to choose from too, but really you’ll want to replace any early choices like Queen of Pain or Chaos Knight with a Doom (for CC/tankiness) or Terrorblade (for DPS). But if you happy to get Strange Bedfellows then you ought really to go all the way and gather as many demons as possible round your two (now immensely powerful) Demon Hunters.
|1 Demon Hunter: Invalidate your opponent's Demon Alliance bonus.|
|2 Demon Hunters: Invalidate your opponent's Demon Alliance bonus. All Demon units gain +50% Pure Damage.|
|Strange Bedfellows (Global Item):
Demon Hunters gain +30% Pure Damage for each unique allied Demon unit.
Okay, here’s the thing. I love Demon Hunters. I love that your choices are Anti-Mage and Terrorblade, both of whom are absolute forces of nature if you use them well. I love that it allows you to use multiple Demons and negates your opponent’s Demon alliance. Most of all, I love when I get a Level 2 Terrorblade and Level 2 Anti-Mage surrounded by 4-6 Demons, because more often than not I just have to sit back and enjoy the show at that point, and watch my opponents scramble around trying to find some sort of counter to my godlike damage.
|2 Heartless: All Enemies suffer -5 Armor.|
|4 Heartless: All Enemies suffer -10 Armor.|
|6 Heartless: All Enemies suffer -20 Armor.|
|Fall From Grace (Global Item):
Human units count as Heartless when counting alliances.
|Wicked Intent (Global Item):
Opponent's healing is reduced by 25% per unique Heartless unit you have
Heartless is a great supplementary alliance, rather than one I would consider basing an entire build around. At every turn it simply provides you with the ability to take down enemies more quickly. The only real issue I have with it is that if you want to turn it into more than an incidental nicety, then you really need to get that Fall From Grace Global or the Wicked Intent Global. But besides this, you can basically make all your enemies squishy while adding to your board some insanely powerful heroes like Necrophos, Lich, or (if you get Fall From Grace, Kunkka or Dragon Knight).
|2 Humans: All Human units gain a 20% chance to Silence target for 4 seconds when attacking.|
|4 Humans: All Human units gain a 44% chance to Silence target for 4 seconds when attacking.|
|6 Humans: All Human units gain a 66% chance to Silence target for 4 seconds when attacking.|
|Fall From Grace (Global Item):
Human units count as Heartless when counting alliances.
|Indomitable Will (Global Item):
Debuffs last 50% as long on Human units.
I like Human for its flexibility. Not only does it provide you with enough potential heroes that you can quite often gain 2 or even 4 Humans fairly incidentally; but if you want to take things in a completely different direction, you can procure the Fall From Grace Global which turns Human into Heartless. Yes, that means you lose the Human alliance. But it’s still a really useful strategy to employ at times. But regardless of that, you’ve still got some great CC with Human’s silencing powers, and you can build it into Knight, Mage, Warrior, or pretty much anything else you want.
|2 Primordials: When hit, Primordial units have a 30% chance to disarm melee attackers for 4 seconds.|
|4 Primordials: When hit, Allies have a 30% chance to disarm melee attackers for 4 seconds.|
|Font of Creation (Global Item):
Primordial units spawn Eidolons on death. Eidolons are weak ranged Primordial units that don’t spawn Eidolons.
I think a lot of players underestimate Primordials. It’s certainly not an alliance you would think could become a game-winning choice – it’s always thought of as much more incidental and supplementary, like Scaled or Human. But look at that hero roster. You’ve got some of the most powerful units in the game here. The ever-present Tiny; the tanky Mage Razor; the godlike Arc Warden; the game-winning Enigma. It’s eminently plausible that you can get 4 Primordials on the board at once – and suddenly, not only do you have some amazing heroes, but all your heroes have a 30% chance to disarm melee attackers for 4 seconds. Is that not crazy? Try it out sometime, you might be surprised.
|2 Warlocks: Whenever a Warlock casts a spell, they form a link with the Ally who has the lowest health for 3 seconds. When either linked hero deals damage, both units are healed 50% of the damage dealt.|
|4 Warlocks: Whenever a Warlock casts a spell, they form a link with the Ally who has the lowest health for 3 seconds. When either linked hero deals damage, both units are healed 100% of the damage dealt.|
|6 Warlocks: Whenever a Warlock casts a spell, they form a link with the Ally who has the lowest health for 3 seconds. When either linked hero deals damage, both units are healed 150% of the damage dealt.|
|Soul Sucking Syphon (Global Item):
Allied units 1 cell away from Warlocks heal for 25% of all damage caused by abilities and items.
Warlocks are certainly more highly regarded than they ever used to be thanks to recent updates. Again, it’s not an alliance I’d usually consider sacrificing so many board slots in order to build all the way; but 4 Warlocks can make an enormous difference now. It’s a subtler and more insidious form of tankiness than the Knights and Warriors, and it never gets old to see your opponent whittling down everyone’s health only for them all to rise back up to full in the space of about half a second. Plus, you’ve got some nice heroes here. Necrophos, Enigma, Witch Doctor and Alchemist sounds like one hell of a combo to me, regardless of alliances.
|3 Assassins: All Assassins gain a 10% chance to Critical Hit for 300% Damage.|
|6 Assassins: All Assassins gain a 20% chance to Critical Hit for 400% Damage.|
|9 Assassins: All Assassins gain a 30% chance to Critical Hit for 500% Damage.|
|Pocket Sand (Global Item): Assassins blind enemies 1 cell away from where they land for 2 seconds (50% miss chance and 50% less mana when attacked).|
The people who like Assassin seem to love Assassin. I don’t like Assassin. I know that it can become an unstoppable snowball of destruction, but in my mind so can most other alliances. Assassin requires so much effort to build up in my experience; it comes online very late; and your options are limited in supplementary allliances if you go that far with it. What makes Assassin truly amazing is the Pocket Sand Global, which adds the blinding debuff to their landings; but that makes this build an awful lot of work and very item-dependent. Not a great look. But regardless, out of all the alliances remaining on this list, do not underestimate the player who looks like they’re going Assassin-heavy.
|2 Brawny: All Brawny units have their maximum HP increased by 200.|
|4 Brawny: All Brawny units have their maximum HP increased by 500.|
|Forged In Battle (Global Item): Brawny units start the round with +50 Max Health for every unit they have killed.|
Brawny is a little meh. 200 Health is nice early on, but I never find it’s worth getting all 4 of these heroes just to get the top-tier Brawny bonus. I guess you could build it from a Warrior-heavy build with Axe and Juggernaut, but that’s two defence-focused alliances. Where’s your damage? It’s a nice incidental benefit to have two of your units buffed with an extra 200 HP. That’s all I can really say about this alliance.
|2 Dragons: All Dragon units unlock an additional draconic ability.|
|Dragon's Hoard (Global Item):
Dragon units gain 1% Attack Damage for every gold you own at the beginning of combat.
The Dragon alliance is frustrating. Dragon Knight is an incredible hero, but Puck and Viper are both extremely lacklustre. So essentially what you’re doing is sacrificing one of your board slots (where you could put something like a Medusa or a Kunkka) in order to make Dragon Knight realise his full potential. And yeah, sometimes that can be worth it, because DK really is that good. But like I said… Frustrating.
|3 Elusive: All Elusive units gain +20% Evasion.|
|6 Elusive: All Elusive units gain +45% Evasion.|
|9 Elusive: All Elusive units gain +75% Evasion.|
|Elusive Targets (Global Item):
Elusive units are invisible for the first 3 seconds of a fight.
Elusive is another nice supplementary alliance because it’s not too difficult to get 3 heroes with the Elusive tag – but 9? Or even 6? Don’t get me wrong, you’ve got some very nice heroes in here. But in my experience, the only time you should even consider a full Elusive build is if you get the Elusive Targets Global, and even then you’d better make sure it’s worth it. I once went up against a full invisible army. For 3 seconds they whaled on my Knight army, with little success. Then they reappeared and I decimated them. I just don’t see Elusive as a core alliance.
|2 Savages: Allies gain +10% Attack Damage.|
|4 Savages: Allies gain +25% Attack Damage.|
|6 Savages: Allies gain +45% Attack Damage.|
|Tooth and Claw (Global Item):
Savage units apply a stackable 10 damage/s bleed on attack.
Savage is right on the cusp of being a worthy core alliance to create a build around. My main criticism is that it requires a little too much to properly bring online, and you don’t quite get what you need out of it at the end. For an incidental supplementary, what’s not to like? Extra attack damage! Whoopee! But if you’re using six hero slots and one or two item slots to make it fully viable, I just think there are better options out there. That being said, there are some pretty powerful summon-heavy builds you can make by combining Savage with Druid.
|2 Blood-Bound: When a Blood-Bound unit dies, all other Blood-Bound units deal +100% Attack Damage for the rest of the battle.|
|Big-Time Contract (Support Item): Equipped unit is Blood-Bound in addition to its other types.|
There’s really not much you can do to make Blood-Bound viable, even as a supplementary alliance. Warlock is decent, and Ogre Magi is beefy enough to be useful on the front lines, but even if you put a Big-Time Contract on your best-DPS hero, I still think you could use that item slot for other things.
|2 Deadeye: All Deadeye units focus their attacks on the lowest-health enemy.|
I’m not a big fan of Sniper or Gyrocopter to be honest, I think there are much better options in both Tier 3 and Tier 5. And that obviously sours my opinion of the Deadeye alliance somewhat. Focusing your attacks on the lowest-health enemy can be useful in certain situations, particularly late-game when the opponent has brought in a low-level Enigma or Kunkka to help turn the tide. But it’s so niche and it comes online so late and it requires such bleh heroes that I never bother with it.
|2 Inventors: All Inventors gain +15 HP Regeneration.|
|4 Inventors: All Inventors gain +40 HP Regeneration.|
|Unstable Reactor (Global Item):
Allied Inventors explode on death dealing 20% of their Max Health to all enemies 1 cell away.
The brutal truth is that I don’t think of Inventor as an alliance in itself. It’s merely a perk of building up the Scrappy alliance. The Global Item is one of the naffest ways to use up an item slot, and I just don’t see the worth of picking multiple of these heroes if you’re not going to go all the way with Tier-2 Scrappy, no matter how lovely +40 HP Regen might be.
|3 Shamans: Enemies affected by Hexes, Silences or Stuns will generate -200% mana.|
|Shaman Pluck (Global Item):
Units attacking a Shaman have a 17% chance of being turned into a chicken.
I’ve barely ever seen a Shaman alliance in effect, and it’s easy to see why. You need all three available heroes (Shadow Shaman, Arc Warden, and Disruptor), and while none of them are bad – Arc Warden is positively fantastic provided he stays alive – they don’t exactly gel well. It’s a hard sell to go even to 3 Shamans when you’ve got 22 other (arguably better) alliances to build from. If you don’t have a solid direction and you pull Shaman Pluck out of the ether then maybe you could go for it, but most of the time I’d consider it a waste of time and resources.
And that’s pretty much all we have to offer on Dota Underlords alliances – at least for this guide. Check out all our other Dota Underlords guide pages just below for more focused and in-depth overviews on various different aspects of this addictive autobattler.
- Dota Underlords strategy guide – an overview of how to play Dota Underlords, with practical tips and strategies for winning matches
- Dota Underlords heroes – stats on every hero, and an insight into the best-performing heroes right now in Underlords
- Dota Underlords items – equip your heroes with the best gear using our in-depth items guide
- Dota Underlords gold – learn how to create a colossal economy with these gold-focused tips and tricks
- Dota Underlords Battle Pass – info on all upcoming features and updates to Dota Underlords, including the new Battle Pass