Dota Underlords builds are wondrously complex and finnicky beasts. 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 you also have to factor in the new Ace Tier heroes and effects with versions #245 and later.
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 heading into October, from Knights and Dragons to Savage Trolls, and many more.
Dota Underlords builds - 7 best builds [October]
Before we get stuck into our exploration of our 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
- 1) Dota Underlords builds - Savage Troll build
- 2) Dota Underlords builds - Knight Dragon build
- 3) Dota Underlords builds - Troll Warrior build
- 4) Dota Underlords builds - Mage Knight Warlock build
- 5) Dota Underlords builds - Scrappy Hunter build
- 6) Dota Underlords builds - Brawny Warrior build
- 7) Dota Underlords builds - Elusive Assassin Hunter build
- Dota Underlords strategy guide page links
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 some 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 - Savage Troll build
With the recent reworking of the Savage alliance (for full details check out our Dota Underlords alliances guide!), the pairing of four Savages with four Trolls seems like a match made in heaven for physical damage output. You certainly don't want to go beyond this into the full 6 Savage/4 Troll territory, because that leaves you with no room for customisation or supplementary alliances, and it just isn't good enough to be worth it. But 4/4 is perfect.
Our Savages of choice, it pains me to say, doesn't include Sand King. Despite his fantastic ability, we're opting for the two Druids to give us heightened early game potential, plus Tusk and Lycan, who are the two heroes most likely to benefit from our physical DPS-heavy alliances. Our four trolls are of course locked in already, which means we only have two slots to spare. And if you can find a better pairing than Necrophos and Pudge (completing Heartless for extra DPS and both Warlock and Warrior for heightened tankiness so you can keep on hitting), then I'd love to hear about it down in the comments section!
Dota Underlords builds - Knight Dragon build
Knights seem to be forever dominant in Dota Underlords, no matter how much Valve changes around the game. Aside from the spectacular defensive potential of the Tier 3 Knight alliance bonus (essentially doubling the effective health of 6 out of 10 of your heroes), each hero among the Knights is really great in their own right.
Here we've gone for the classic pairing of Viper with the six Knights, in order to unlock a supplementary Dragon alliance and allow our tanky Dragon Knight to reach his full potential on the front lines. You could go for Puck instead (useful when combining Knights and Mages), but Viper is simply a stronger hero overall, with some decent negation of enemy attack speed to boot.
For our remaining three heroes, we basically want to supplement our build with Tier 1 Trolls and Warlocks. We already have a Troll in Batrider, so Troll Warlord would be a great (albeit expensive late-game) choice; or you could elect to pick up Witch Doctor alongside Necrophos (netting us Tier 1 Heartless) and Disruptor, ending up with a Tier 1 Warlock that is in reality quite a bit more powerful than Tier 1 thanks to our 3 Warlocks and Disruptor's Ace effect. Plus, Disruptor is just a fantastic hero to have in any build thanks to his Static Storm.
Dota Underlords builds - Troll Warrior build
Trolls are another force that has always emerged from every meta-quaking patch more or less still at the top of the alliance rankings. And now that Troll Warlord's ridiculous new Ace Tier effect for Trolls gives your entire army the chance to mini-bash with every attack, you bet your sweet hairy Underlords that we're gonna include a Troll build in this guide.
Troll and Warrior is a fantastic pairing. Warriors are already a highly physical bunch with great tanking potential; and the Trolls' attack speed helps not only lift up their damage potential, but also lift up their magical game by increasing the rate at which they all gain mana. Axe and Juggernaut give us a good strong early-game with their Brawny alliance, while Slardar and Tidehunter (both great and useful heroes in their own rights) protect us from magical attack with a Tier 1 Scaled. For your final Warrior I'd probably pick up Doom for the extra DPS, but you could also just stick with Tiny, who you can use and start to upgrade much earlier on.
For your final hero, you can either round off a Tier 1 Knight with Luna or (if you picked Tiny rather than Doom) Chaos Knight, or you can pick up one of the Ace Tier heroes - Disruptor (Warlocks) or Enigma (Shamans). My personal ranking would be Luna, then Disruptor, then Chaos Knight, then Enigma. But it depends entirely on your current situation. This tenth slot actually gives you quite a bit of flexibility, which only further justifies this build as one of the strongest in the current Dota Underlords meta.
Dota Underlords builds - Mage Knight Warlock build
Rounding off the holy trinity of alliances that seem immune to Valve's patch notes and nerfs, Mages are of course still an absolute powerhouse alliance at any level of play - and even more so now that Lich has ascended to become the Ace of Mages and seen fit to bestow mana regeneration upon all his Magely underlings.
The trick with Mage builds has always been to balance out that magical damage potential with some defensive tankiness and physical presence. So what we've done is take Ogre Magi and Puck instead of Razor (Ogre Magi for the physical frontline presence, and Puck so that we can bring in Dragon Knight for a Dragon alliance and further tankiness). And now that we've got Dragon Knight, we can easily supplement our build with a Tier 1 Knight alliance using either Luna or Chaos Knight (probably better to have more melee heroes this time round).
With two slots left, Warlocks is looking like a good way to go here. Disruptor is a bit of a long shot seeing as you're already looking at one Ace Tier hero with Lich, and Mages on the whole aren't exactly cheap. So instead I tend to pick two out of Alchemist, Necrophos, Witch Doctor, and Warlock - personally I think Necro and Alchemist are an amazing pairing; the former with the sustain, the latter with the amazing armour reduction and frontline tankiness.
Dota Underlords builds - Scrappy Hunter build
Scrappy is one of my favourite alliances to run, primarily because a couple of heroes in particular are just so goddamn powerful if you level them up. Those two are Tinker and Clockwerk. Believe me, at 3-star these heroes will clean up shop.
Again, the really good Dota Underlords builds are all about balance. So what we've done is balance out the tanking potential of Scrappy with the DPS of Tier 1 Hunters (now easier than ever to combine thanks to Sniper's recent inclusion among the Scrappy ranks). Drow Ranger and Necrophos work great to round off both Tier 1 Heartless and Tier 1 Warlock, and Beastmaster is a great pick for our final Hunter because, well, he's just a really strong hero - particularly when you give him the Scrappy alliance benefit.
For your final hero, you have some more flexibility. I'm a fan of helping Beastmaster realise his true potential with another Brawny hero (Axe for early-game and Disruptor for late-game sounds great to me); but perhaps a more interesting option is to pick up Gyrocopter when he becomes available. This gives you another Inventor to play around with (and don't forget you've got Techies and the possibility of a Chain Reaction), and also combines with Sniper to give them both Deadeye and True Strike - a great counter to Elusive builds.
Dota Underlords builds - Brawny Warrior build
Brawny may not be the dominating force it was at the beginning of August, but you can still make them work wonders for you under the right circumstances. This build gives you an incredibly tanky array of primarily melee heroes - the kind that, if your enemies have not prepared for them, will absolutely stomp other armies into the ground.
The heroes you should focus on bringing up to 3-star if possible are Axe and Beastmaster. With the kills they gain along the way and both Tier-2 Brawny and Tier-2 Warrior (+20 Armour!!) working with them, it's going to be very difficult for anything on the opposing team to topple them. For your sixth Warrior you've again got the choice between Tiny (early-game) and Doom (late-game).
This build rounds out everything really nicely with just 9 heroes, which means for your tenth slot you can go crazy. Nothing you pick will really add anything more in terms of alliances, so it's all about the heroes and abilities themselves. Just a handful of options that I've found success with are Crystal Maiden (that mana regeneration is seriously useful in any build), Drow Ranger (ditto with the attack speed), or, if you're looking for some extra DPS to help make the most of your tankiness, buy an Arc Warden and equip them with a strong damage or attack speed item.
Dota Underlords builds - Elusive Assassin Hunter build
Ahh, look at that. 10 heroes in a core build. So neat and tidy. Of course, it's both blessing and curse in that the other builds in this list afford more flexibility, but you can still change things around here if you decide you'd rather go full hunters instead of hunters/assassins, or vice versa, and so on.
I've never been a huge fan of Elusive builds, but with the recent update removing all the 9-hero alliance tiers, Elusive has become a lot easier to build around. The benefits of going both Assassin and Hunter are twofold; first, you get a larger mix of ranged and melee damage, which is never a bad thing; and second, you can very easily work in a Tier 1 Scaled with Slark and Medusa, which helps counteract the main weakness of Elusive builds: abilities and magical damage.
we've also got Nature's Prophet and the ever-amazing Treant Protector giving the entire build a boost with a Tier 1 Druid alliance; and our pickup of Luna and Abaddon not only finishes off our Elusive alliance with two very strong tanky heroes, but also gives us Tier 1 Knight and Tier 1 Heartless for our trouble. Don't be dissuaded from this build by its mishmash of Tier 1 alliances; this build is a very tough one to beat if things come together for you.
And that's pretty much all we have to offer on Dota Underlords builds in the current meta - 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.
- 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 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