The Dota Underlords heroes roster is sublimely complex and difficult to wrap your head around even if Valve weren’t shaking everything up with massive content updates every week or two. With each hero sporting different alliances, abilities, and basic stats across three different levels, there’s an awful lot to bear in mind when forming your army – not least of which the new Ace Tier heroes which bestow all-new benefits to specific alliances.
Updated for September, our Dota Underlords heroes guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from our handy Dota Underlords cheat sheet which contains essential info for newcomers on every single hero in the game to our descriptions and explanations of some of the strongest heroes in the current meta.
Dota Underlords heroes [September]
With 60 Dota Underlords heroes to learn inside out if you want a chance at defeating your foes, there’s a fair amount to cover with this guide – or there would be, if we hadn’t found a way to condense it all down into one handy sheet. Click any of the links below to skip ahead to a particular section.
- Dota Underlords heroes overview – stats, abilities, Alliances
- Dota Underlords cheat sheet for heroes (2560×1440) – August Update!
- Dota Underlords best heroes
- Dota Underlords strategy guide page links
Dota Underlords heroes overview – stats, abilities, Alliances
Heroes are what Dota Underlords is all about. An entire match revolves around the buying, selling, upgrading, and positioning of heroes across your board so that you can weather the worst your seven opponents have to offer with their own army of heroes.
You can have as many heroes on your board as your current Player Level; and you also have an eight-slot “hotbar” where heroes can be kept in reserve between rounds. Each hero has 10 basic stats, as well as 2-3 Alliances and 1-2 abilities.
We’ve gone over the basic stats below, so you know exactly what each one does and what to look for when choosing your heroes:
- Health – How much damage your hero can take before dying. Scales with Hero Level.
- Mana – Once mana is full, your hero will cast their active ability.
- DPS – Average damage per second that this hero deals to its target enemy. Scales with Hero Level.
- Damage – Damage that this hero deals to its target enemy with each hit. Scales with Hero Level.
- Attack Rate – How quickly this hero can attack. Higher is faster.
- Move Speed – How quickly this hero moves across the board to engage new targets.
- Attack Range – How many tiles away this hero can attack enemies from. Melee = 1.
- Magic Resist – Magical damage inflicted upon this hero is reduced based on this value.
- Armor – Physical damage inflicted upon this hero is reduced based on this value.
- Health Regen – How quickly your hero passively regenerates their Health.
All of these stats are unique for each hero, and you can view them all from the main menu of the game by clicking on the book tab at the top of the screen, and clicking on “Heroes” on the left-hand side. You can also view this screen during matches by going into the shop, and clicking the book icon there.
Notice that next to some stats I’ve put “Scales with Hero Level”. This is because you can upgrade heroes from Level 1 to Level 2 or Level 3 to greatly increase their Health and Damage (and, with some heroes, other stats as well). Do this by combining three of the same hero (and the same level). So three Level 1 Axes will automatically transform into a Level 2 Axe, and three Level 2 Axes will turn into a Level 3 Axe.
To build up a game-winning army in Dota Underlords, you need to think about many different things besides your heroes’ basic stats:
- Abilities – each hero usually has an ability (occasionally more than one). Abilities can be passive (always in effect) or active (they’ll be used whenever the hero reaches maximum mana by dealing/receiving damage). A well-timed, well-placed ability can change the tide of an entire match.
- Hero Level – in Dota Underlords, you can combine three Level 1 heroes into one Level 2 hero, and three Level 2 heroes into one Level 3 hero. Each Level up doubles the health and damage of that hero (thereabouts), so it’s essential to keep pace with your opponents in terms of Hero Levels.
- Player Level – your own personal Player Level dictates the number of heroes you can have on the board. Level 1 means 1 hero, Level 2 means 2 heroes, and so on. You level up by earning (or buying) XP.
- Alliances – Each hero belongs to 2 or 3 different Alliances, and if you get enough heroes of the same Alliance on the board at once, then you’ll unlock strong passive benefits. For example, having 3 Warrior units means all your Warriors will gain +10 Armor. For full details on this, check out our Dota Underlords alliances guide.
- Positioning – you can place heroes on any of the 32 tiles on your half of the board, while your enemy will spawn on the other side. It’s very important to position your heroes correctly; put tanky melee heroes on the front lines, keep squishy spellcasters or heroes that need time to charge their abilities near the back, and so on.
- Items – There is a wide variety of equippable items that you can earn from defeating neutral creeps, which you can then apply to a certain hero. The same item could be wildly successful or wildly ineffective depending on which hero you give it to, so be sure to take into account everything else about the hero before you give it an item. For more detailed information on items, look no further than our Dota Underlords items guide.
Updated for Ace Tier Heroes and Contraptions Update (#245)
Because it’s so hard for newcomers to wrap their heads around the immense number of variables surrounding each of the Dota Underlords heroes, we thought we’d have a go at putting together the kind of resource we wish we’d had when first starting out. As a result, the below Dota Underlords cheat sheet of best heroes came into being – which we’ve now brought up to date after the significant Ace Tier Heroes Update.
This cheat sheet is designed to be viewed in full-screen on a second monitor – or you could print it out if you like and keep it beside you for reference while you play. We’ve outlined essential information on each hero with relation to the current meta, alongside some useful info on the left-hand side such as Player Level XP values, and who we consider to be the best heroes in Dota Underlords per Alliance.
It’s important to bear in mind that you have to take all this with a pinch of salt, because Dota Underlords is a game all about context, and synergies. You have to think not just about how powerful individual heroes can be, but how they will fit into your current build, and whether they are the kind of hero that’ll stay useful until the end of a match or if you’ll need to replace them with a higher-tier alternative as time goes on.
But despite this, as you can see, we think rather highly of a handful of Dota Underlords heroes in particular in the current meta:
- Juggernaut has been on a slow climb up the ladder of power for weeks now, and currently he’s never been stronger. His push up to Tier 3 is deserved: Brawny and Warrior are both terrific tanky alliances, and Juggernaut’s inherent attack speed and DPS, combined with his clever AI which allows him to dodge magical burst attacks by using his Blade Fury just in time, makes for a deadly combination – provided you take good care of him.
- Tinker was a solid pickup before as a Tier 1, but now that he’s Tier 3 his potential for ending matches from the back of the board has become pretty bonkers. A decent statline helps keep him alive long enough to decimate the enemy team with his missiles. Probably the only Tier 3+ hero I’d go out of my way to upgrade to Level 3.
- Luna is the real hurdle for anyone facing a good Knights build like the one featured in our Dota Underlords builds guide. With her bouncing Glaive attacks, you can nearly always find her at the top of the DPS tab; and if you get her up to Level 3 and give her a Daedalus or other DPS item, then your enemies are in trouble.
- Troll Warlord was always an exceptional DPS hero, but the addition of his unique Troll Ace Tier ability, which gives your entire team a 5%-10% chance to mini-bash with every attack, this hero has catapulted even further ahead of everyone else in terms of just how important a role he plays in the already top-tier Troll alliance.
- Sand King is another hero with a wonderful CC stun ability in Burrowstrike. While not as flashy as something like Tidehunter’s Ravage, it is actually more reliable thanks to its instant use and 2-second stun. His recent buff up to Tier 4 also means his base stats have never been stronger.
- Tiny is possibly our favourite Tier-1 hero. Decent stats, eminently upgradeable, and a tremendously good team stun ability whose equal you won’t find until Tier 4.
- Necrophos is by far our favourite Warlock in Dota Underlords. With his decent Health pool he can be surprisingly hard to kill, and his Death Pulse is lowkey one of the best abilities in the game for its sustain. Works beautifully as the final hero in a Knights and Trolls build (see our builds guide linked above for further details).
But again, that doesn’t mean you should pick these heroes whenever they come up. Think about whether they fit with your Alliances, whether they occupy a niche already filled by one or two other heroes, and so on. Experiment with different heroes and Alliances in your matches and your skill will increase all the more rapidly.
And that’s pretty much all we have to offer on Dota Underlords heroes – 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 builds – a focused look at 6 of the best builds in Dota Underlords and how you can adapt them to fit your needs
- Dota Underlords alliances – in-depth explanations and tips on all Alliances in Dota 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 patch notes – explore the current state of the meta with our Dota Underlords patch notes analysis
- Dota Underlords Battle Pass – we talk about the current Battle Pass and all the new heroes and features coming with Dota Underlords Season 1