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Dota Underlords builds [Juggernaut Update] - 7 best builds for Mage, Knights, Brawny, and more

Here's a good one: a Knight, a Mage, and a Dragon walk onto a board...

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Dota Underlords builds are things of wonderful complexity. Combining your knowledge not just of heroes and abilities and items and alliances, but also the pacing of a match and your relative needs on different rounds can all get pretty mind-boggling pretty quickly – especially now that the August Update for Dota Underlords has shaken up the meta with its medley of groundbreaking changes to alliances and items.

So we thought it’d be a good idea to revisit our Dota Underlords builds guide to see what still works and what no longer does. Below we’ve put together seven of the very best builds in the current Juggernaut Update meta, from Brawny Warriors to Scrappy Mages to souped up Demon Hunters and more.

Dota Underlords builds – 7 best builds [Juggernaut Update]

Before we get stuck into our exploration of our seven chosen Dota Underlords builds, we’ll briefly go over some things to bear in mind when creating and adapting builds on the fly during a match. But if you’re a busy Underlord and wish to skip ahead to a particular one of our best builds, feel free to use the links below.

Creating the best builds in Dota Underlords

So much goes on in a single Dota Underlords fight that it’s hard to arrive at any real conclusion with questions such as “what is the best build?”, or “who is the strongest hero?”. Much of it depends on circumstance, your opponent’s build, your Global and Equipped items, and a hundred other variables. But nevertheless, it is possible to single out a handful of combinations and synergies which do tend to win matches more consistently than the rest.

The important thing to bear in mind here is the below builds are snapshots of an absolutely ideal late-game board. But there’s more to builds than this end-game moment; you’ve got to take into account how long it takes for certain alliances to be “brought online”, whether there are certain rounds where you’ll be lacking in tankiness, or damage, or crowd control abilities, and so on. And these are things you’ll have to take into account when deciding upon your own builds during a match.

It’s pretty much impossible to decide upon a build at the beginning of a match, only picking up the exact heroes you want to take to late-game. To survive that long, you’ll need to keep your options relatively open in case luck doesn’t favour you. So don’t stick rigidly to the following builds – it’s okay pick heroes that will see you through the current stage of the match, and replace them later.

Now, all that being said, let’s look at seven of the best Dota Underlords builds we’ve found so far. And do note: these builds (and the heroes in them) are in no particular order.

Dota Underlords builds – Brawny Warrior build

  • Heroes: Axe, Beastmaster, Disruptor, Juggernaut, Doom, Tiny, Slardar, Tidehunter, Troll Warlord, Witch Doctor
  • Alliances: Brawny (x4), Warrior (x6), Scaled (x2), Troll (x2), Warlock (x2), Demon (x1)

Brawny has always been an easy alliance to work into a Warrior-heavy build, but until the August Update it was nothing terribly significant. But with the new Brawny rework, as long as you can get Axe, Juggernaut, and preferably Beastmaster early on so they can start racking up kills from the opening rounds, then they can turn an already tanky build into an “oh god what do I do they’re all invincible help me” build.

Slardar and Tidehunter are here to give us that added protection against Mages and magic damage (and Slardar is one of the main sources of DPS in the Warriors roster anyway), but we’ve also included both Troll Warlord and Witch Doctor, together finishing off Tier 2 Warrior and Tier 1 Warlock (for added sustain), along with Tier 1 Troll (to boost the entire team’s DPS). The idea is that over the course of the game our primary source of damage output is Slardar, then Doom, then Troll Warlord; this gives us something of a steady progression in damage potential that offsets the naturally tanky and defensive focus of these kinds of builds.

Dota Underlords builds – Knights & Trolls build

  • Heroes: Chaos Knight, Abaddon, Dragon Knight, Omniknight, Troll Warlord, Shadow Shaman, Necrophos, Luna, Batrider, Witch Doctor
  • Alliances: Knight (x6), Troll (x4), Heartless (x2), Human (x2), Warlock (x2), Demon (x1)
  • Core Items: Fall From Grace

Knights have always been strong, but now they’re (comparatively) stronger than ever. Not because they’ve changed in any way, but because they still benefit hugely from an item – Fall From Grace – whereas the abolition of Alliance Global items puts almost every other alliance in a worse-off position.

Trolls and Knights have always been a perfect match. Not only do they share a unit (Batrider), but they are at the top of their game in terms of offence and defence (respectively). Knights aren’t just tanky: some of them can swing their swords/hammers/axes really hard. And the attack speed provided by the Troll alliance makes them a real physical force to be reckoned with, particularly when Fall From Grace is giving your enemy some serious negative Armor. And Necrophos rounds off the union splendidly, providing tonnes of sustain with his Death Pulse, and finishing off both Heartless Tier 1 (Tier 2 if you have Fall From Grace) and Warlock Tier 1.

Dota Underlords builds – Mage & Knights build

  • Heroes: Abaddon, Chaos Knight, Dragon Knight, Omniknight, Ogre Magi, Keeper of the Light, Lina, Crystal Maiden, Lich, Puck
  • Alliances: Mage (x6), Knight (x4), Human (x4), Heartless (x2), Dragon (x2), Demon (x1)
  • Core Items: Fall From Grace

I mean, come on. Of course there has to be a full Mage build here somewhere. Mages are so powerful that Valve needed another alliance to directly counter them (Scaled), and they’re still one of the strongest alliances out there. Combined with our ever-tanky quartet of Knights (the melee kind, to offset the ranged nature of our chosen Mages), we’ve got a great front line behind which our heroes can safely charge up and unleash their spectacularly devastating magical potential.

Normally I wouldn’t pick up Ogre Magi over Razor to finish off Tier 2 Mage, but in this instance I think the build benefits from that extra tankiness. And another thing worth considering is that both Mages and Knights are chock-a-block full of Humans. So if you can get your hands on that wonderful Fall From Grace item, then suddenly you’re dealing physical damage almost as impressively as you’re dealing magical damage.

Note: swap out KotL and Ogre Magi for Luna and Batrider for more Knight-heavy build with a generous side-helping of Tier 1 Mage.

Dota Underlords builds – Elusive Demon Hunter build

  • Heroes: Terrorblade, Anti-Mage, Treant Protector, Nature’s Prophet, Phantom Assassin, Puck, Mirana, Templar Assassin, Luna, Windranger
  • Alliances: Elusive (x9), Demon Hunter (x2), Druid (x2), Demon (x1)

I’ll admit, it took a second look at the most recent Dota Underlords patch notes before I realised that the recent Elusive change wasn’t pointless after all. In fact, it almost seems as though the sole purpose of the change was to catapult the Elusive Demon Hunter build to the highest echelons of the meta.

This, of course, is combined with the recent changes to Demon Hunter, which gives you a lot of extra damage potential purely by including both Anti-Mage and Terrorblade in the same build. The upshot is that you’ve now got an incredibly difficult to hit army of heroes spearheaded by a souped up Terrorblade that now enjoys 75% evasion himself. Hand him a Daedalus or a Blink Dagger and watch the enemy team melt away into nothing.

Note: A Pipe of Insight will help immensely against Mage builds and magical damage, which is the enemy’s best chance of dealing with an evasion-heavy build like this.

Dota Underlords builds – Scrappy build

  • Heroes: Bounty Hunter, Clockwerk, Dragon Knight, Timbersaw, Alchemist, Lich, Tinker, Crystal Maiden, Techies, Puck
  • Alliances: Scrappy (x6), Inventor (x4), Mage (x3), Human (x2), Dragon (x2)

Scrappy can get terrifying if you do it right. Not only is the Armor and HP regen the alliance provides a complete game-changer at any point of a match, but Tinker and Clockwerk are astonishingly powerful individual heroes, particularly when you manage to bring one or both of them up to level 3.

Mages are a great choice for upping the damage potential of a Scrappy army. For one thing, Mages are in sore need of the kind of tankiness that Tier 3 Scrappy will provide them. For another, there is some surprisingly strong magical damage potential in your roster of Scrappy heroes (Tinker and Techies in particular) which benefits greatly from Mage Tier 1. And for yet another, Mages are amazing. Well, not Puck. But Puck allows our tenth hero, the wonderful Dragon Knight, to realise his full potential. Trust me, a Scrappy Dragon Knight is one of the scariest figureheads for an army that you can come across in Dota Underlords.

Note: with the Juggernaut Update, Sniper has also transitioned into a Scrappy hero, which means if you needed to bring Scrappy online sooner you could use Sniper to do it rather than Techies. You’d lose the Inventor bonus, but that’s not nearly as big a deal as it would’ve been back when Inventor gave you tonnes of HP regeneration.

Dota Underlords builds – Assassin & Scrappy build

  • Heroes: Templar Assassin, Timbersaw, Clockwerk, Alchemist, Bounty Hunter, Slark, Phantom Assassin, Venomancer, Sand King, Queen of Pain
  • Alliances: Assassin (x6), Scrappy (x4), Inventor (x2), Warlock (x2), Savage (x2), Demon (x1)

I’m not a fan of committing to the 9s. Assassins, Warriors, Elusives, anyone. Nine heroes is too much of a commitment in most cases. The only reason I allowed it for Elusive is because it fits so perfectly with Demon Hunters. With Assassins, I greatly prefer to leave it at six heroes, giving us four more slots to reinforce that glass cannon with steel.

As for the steel: well, Scrappy will do nicely. Bounty Hunter bridges the gap between the two alliances, and even a frontline composed of just three good Scrappy heroes can take some time to deal with. Meanwhile, your assassins will be jumping around everywhere tearing apart your opponent’s backline, while our tenth hero, Venomancer (whose presence provides us with Tier 1 of both Savage and Warlock) hides behind our Scrappy heroes spewing out bleed-inducing Plague Wards to help clean up what remains. There are plenty of ways to round off an Assassin comp, of course, but I’ve had plenty of good times with this “Asscrappy” build (good name for it, I know).

Dota Underlords builds – Hunter & Warrior build

  • Heroes: Axe, Pudge, Tidehunter, Beastmaster, Lycan, Venomancer, Windranger, Drow Ranger, Medusa, Mirana
  • Alliances: Hunter (x6), Warrior (x3), Scaled (x2), Heartless (x2), Savage (x2), Brawny (x2)

In my experience, Hunters aren’t really worth it if you stop at Tier 1. It’s an alliance that really needs 6 heroes, not just because it unlocks the Tier 2 benefit but also the simple fact that you have more heroes firing twice every so often. Predictably, we’ve left Sniper behind in this build (who cares about Dead-Eye, amirite?), and Lycan’s recent switch over to Hunter allows us to feel no remorse in bringing in Venomancer once again to provide us with that extra damage over time.

Three more slots, and we’re in desperate need of some extra front line tankiness with this build. Warriors is the obvious direction to head from here. Axe is an easy sell, because he finishes off Tier 1 Brawny with Beastmaster; Pudge gives us a tonne of tankiness while simultaneously reducing your enemy’s Armor using his kinship with Drow Ranger; and finally, Tidehunter protects us from magical attack with Scaled, and helps us gain control of the fight with his Ravage group stun ability. Et voila – we’ve achieved a very balanced and deadly composition of physical and magical defence, DPS, bleeding, and a variety of damaging and CC abilities.

And that’s pretty much all we have to offer on Dota Underlords builds – at least until I think up some better ones. 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.

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