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Dota Underlords items & contraptions [October] - best items for early-game and late-game

How about those new Contraptions, eh?

The Dota Underlords items roster is no stranger to upheaval - not since the August Update, which removed every alliance item from the game and added three entirely new items into the fold. But now, they've only gone and added a whole new type of item in these new-fangled Contraptions, which can be placed onto the board to affect the outcomes of fights in various ways.

Our Dota Underlords items guide will walk you through every single item in the game, from newcomers such as Tombstone and Healing Ward to old favourites such as Pipe of Insight and Mekansm.

Dota Underlords items guide (October)

Dota Underlords items & contraptions [October] - best items list

An understanding of the items in Dota Underlords is essential for determining the outcome of a match. Victory might require something as simple as a well-placed Mask of Madness, or a late-game Refresher Orb. This Dota Underlords items guide looks to furnish you with a working knowledge of all the items currently in Dota Underlords as of October, followed by a few points on what we consider to be some of the best items in the game at this time.

Dota Underlords items - equippable items list

Dota Underlords items list - Equippable Items

Equippable items in Dota Underlords are divided into three types: Offensive, Defensive, and Support. But all of them work in the same way: once you've gained an equippable item, you must drag it from the items tab onto a viable hero on your board.

Each hero can only carry one Equippable item (and by the way, you can swap out items during combat, but it won't actually take effect until the next round). Let's take a look at every single equippable item currently in Dota Underlords. I've marked entirely new items in bold.

Note: both the below tables are split into different "pages" for each item tier. To navigate from tier to tier, click the Previous/Next buttons at the bottom of each table.

Blight StoneTarget gets -3 Armor.Tier 1Offensive
Brooch of the Martyr+50% Mana gained from receiving damage. +50% debuff resistance.Tier 1Support
Chainmail+7 Armor.Tier 1Defensive
Claymore+30 Attack Damage.Tier 1Offensive
Gloves of Haste+25 Attack SpeedTier 1Offensive
Hood of Defiance+50% Magic Resistance. +10 Health Regen.Tier 1Defensive
Tranquil Boots+100% Move Speed. +25 Health Regen. Tier 1Support
Vitality Booster+500 Health.Tier 1Defensive
Arcane BootsWhen equipped hero has greater than 50% mana, restore 25 mana to all allies 2 cells away. (Once per battle).Tier 2Support
Big-Time Contract+500 Health. Equipped unit is Bloodbound in addition to its other types.Tier 2Support
Blade MailReflects 30% of damage taken back to the attacker.Tier 2Defensive
Blink DaggerAt the start of battle, teleport behind enemy lines to the enemy farthest away from equipped hero.Tier 2Support
Brooch of the Aggressor+100% Mana gained from attacks.Tier 2Support
Celebratory Murder GongEvery time the equipped hero gets a kill they generate 20 Hype for your Underlord.Tier 2Support
Force StaffWhen the equipped hero takes damage from a melee attack, push the attacker up to 6 cells away. (10s cooldown)Tier 2Support
Helm of the Undying+5 Armor. Equipped hero survives for an extra 4 seconds after receiving a killing blow.Tier 2Defensive
Assassin's VeilEquipped hero always attacks the enemy Underlord if able. Equipped hero's attacks against the enemy Underlord remove 10 Hype (3s cooldown).Tier 3Offensive
Bracers of DesperationEquipped hero resets their cooldown and gets full mana when below 30% health. Attack target's magic resistance is reduced by 30%.Tier 3Support
Maelstrom25% chance on attack to cast chain lightning for 100 damage to 4 targets.Tier 3Offensive
Mask of MadnessHero is silenced. +20% Lifesteal, +60 Attack Speed.Tier 3Offensive
MekansmWhen equipped hero has less than 50% health, heal allies up to 3 cells away for 500 Health. (Once per battle)Tier 3Support
Octarine EssenceReduces ability cooldown by 30%.Tier 3Support
Poaching KnifeEquipped hero has a 30% chance of producing 1 gold when they kill an enemy. Attacks against units with less than 20% health crit for 200%.Tier 3Offensive
Sacred Relic+60 Attack Damage.Tier 3Offensive
Skull Basher+25 Attack Damage. 25% chance to stun targets for 1.5 seconds.Tier 3Offensive
Vanguard+500 Health. 50% chance to block 70 damage when attacked.Tier 3Defensive
Battle FuryMELEE ONLY. +70 Damage. Melee attacks cleave 35% damage to nearby units.Tier 4Offensive
Black King BarEquipped hero becomes Magic Immune for 7 seconds once the first enemy has 100% mana. (Once per battle)Tier 4Defensive
Daedalus+70 Attack Damage. 30% chance to Critical Hit for 200% damage.Tier 4Offensive
DagonDeal 800 damage to a random enemy unit that has 50% or less Health. (Once per battle)Tier 4Offensive
Eye of Skadi+800 Health. Slows enemies' move speed by -35 and attack speed by -45 on attack.Tier 4Offensive
Moon Shard+80 Attack Speed.Tier 4Offensive
Pipe of Insight+50% Magic Resistance. Once the first enemy has 100% mana, apply a shield that blocks 400 magic damage to allies up to 1 cell away. (Once per battle)Tier 4Defensive
Refresher OrbRefresh all cooldowns and restore 50 mana to equipped hero. Additionally reduce remaining cooldown time by 50% and restore 25 mana to allies 1 cell away. (once per battle)Tier 4Support
Scythe of VyseWhen the equipped hero takes damage, transform the offending unit into a pig for 4s (15s cooldown).Tier 4Support
Assault CuirassEquipped hero and adjacent allies have +15 Attack Speed and +10 Armor. Adjacent enemies have -15% Attack Speed and -10 Armor.Tier 5Defensive
Bloodthorn+70 Attack Damage. When an enemy hero has more than 75% mana, silence them for 5 seconds. Attacks against the silenced hero can't miss and crit for 140%. (10 second cooldown)Tier 5Offensive
Divine Rapier+330 Attack Damage. If Divine Rapier is in combat and you lose a round to another player, they get the Divine Rapier.Tier 5Offensive
Heart of Tarrasque+2000 Health. Regenerate 2% of Max Health every 1 second.Tier 5Defensive
RadianceBurns enemies up to 2 cells away for 60 damage per second.Tier 5Offensive
Shiva's Guard+10 Armor. Emits a freezing wave that deals 250 damage to enemies within 3 cells and slows their movement and attack speed for 4 seconds. (Once per battle)Tier 5Defensive

Dota Underlords items - global items list

Dota Underlords items list - Global Items

Global items in Dota Underlords are differentiated from Equippable items by their square (instead of circular) icon. Rather than equipping them onto a specific hero, they stay in your items tab and constantly bestow a passive buff onto certain (or all) members of your army.

As of the August Update, the number of Global items in Dota Underlords was substantially reduced as Valve removed all alliance items from the game and combined many of their effects in with the alliances themselves (for full details be sure to check out our Dota Underlords patch notes analysis guide). Of the remaining 10 Global items, only Fall From Grace is alliance-specific.

Below you'll find detailed information on every single Global item in Dota Underlords.

Embarrassment of RichesNeutral rounds offer one additional item choice.Tier 1
Aegis of the ImmortalWhen you would otherwise take fatal damage, take no damage and destroy Aegis.Tier 2
SmugglerQuality of items from neutral rounds are offered from 1 wave higher.Tier 2
Dawning of RistulHealing for both crews is reduced by 50%.Tier 3
Friends and Family DiscountAll units are 1 gold cheaper.Tier 4
A Higher Class of CriminalUnits in shop offered as if you were 1 level higher.Tier 5
Desperate MeasuresYour units gain +0.2% Attack Damage and +0.2% Mana gain on damage taken/received for each point of damage your Underlord has taken.Tier 5
Expanded Roster+1 Unit cap.Tier 5

Dota Underlords items - contraptions list

Dota Underlords Contraptions list

As of the Ace Tier Heroes and Contraptions Update (which you can read all about in full with our Dota Underlords patch notes guide), there is an entirely new brand of item in the game: Contraptions. These items can be placed onto the board just like a hero, and they can interact with other units. You can position them between fights just like a hero, and they affect the outcome of fights just like a hero.

But they're not heroes. They don't move, they don't have levels, they don't affect your unit count, and they don't contribute to enemy Underlord damage. But they can still be very useful when incorporated strategically into your army.

Below you'll find detailed information on each of the Dota Underlords Contraptions added so far.

BarricadeTwo placeable barriers to block enemies and ranged attacks. Immune to spells.Tier 2
Target BuddyTaunts enemies and draws fire. Can equip items. Can't heal.Tier 3
Healing WardHeals friendly units within 1 cell for 40hp/s.Tier 3
TombstoneAlly and enemy heroes spawn zombies when they die within 1 cell of the Tombstone.Tier 4

Dota Underlords best items

Dota Underlords best items

When talking about the best anything in something as complex as Dota Underlords, you're going to run into problems because of how contextual and layered the game is at every turn. An amazing item can become relatively useless if used at the wrong time, on the wrong player, or in the wrong build. Likewise, there are certain fringe scenarios where items that don't often see the light of day can become incredibly influential. But despite this granularity, there are a few items that have emerged at the very top of the list.

Dota Underlords best items

  • The Tier 1 items came off very well in recent Dota Underlords updates. Armor is hugely important, particularly in the early game, so Chainmail will always be my first choice. Tranquil Boots and Vitality Booster are also both very welcome items for tanking out your initial units.
  • Mask of Madness is a great mid-game choice for boosting DPS, and the silence doesn't apply to passives which makes it great for heroes such as Anti-Mage, Drow Ranger, or Luna.
  • Skull Basher may lack the raw power of something like a Sacred Relic, but if you equip it onto your fastest-attacking hero (Bloodseeker, Slark, Juggernaut, Alchemist, Troll Warlord) then suddenly you can start stun-locking key enemies like nobody's business.
  • Vanguard is like a much-upgraded Vitality Booster that gives your hero an extra 70 armor for 50% of the times it's attacked. For a Tier 3 item, it's pretty amazing.
  • I'm of the strong opinion that Pipe of Insight is the best, clutchiest of clutch items in Dota Underlords. That magic damage shield is an absolute game-changer in the late-game if you're being burst down too quickly by Mage builds and damaging abilities. Just make sure you hit as many units as possible with the shield.
  • The new Dawning of Ristul item is extremely powerful in the right builds. If you're going for a Warrior/Hunter build or a Demon/Demon Hunter build or something similar, then you're unlikely to have much healing of your own, which makes this a perfect build to throw in a Dawning of Ristul to possibly severely hamper your enemy.
  • Refresher Orb is huge, but only if it's placed on the right hero in the right position. This is for the really game-changing abilities - so you're looking at Tidehunter, Techies, Lich, Kunkka, and so on. And now, it provides extra mana and cooldown reduction to adjacent allies as well, so it seems Valve really want it to be a no-brainer whenever you're offered a Reresher Orb.
  • Radiance and Assault Cuirass are the best Tier 5 items in my opinion. Radiance delivers godlike damage to almost the entire enemy team (don't believe me? Check the DPS tab after a fight), and Assault Cuirass is better than most Alliance perks at keeping your team alive and turning the tide of a fight. Equip either item onto a particularly tanky frontline hero, and make sure they're surrounded by both friendly and enemy units.

As for the remaining Global items in Dota Underlords:

  • Fall from Grace can be enormously strong depending on your build. If you're going full Mage, for example, this item is often enough to give all enemies a full Tier 3 Heartless armor debuff, making them squishy both from a physical and a magical damage standpoint.
  • Friends and Family Discount is a fantastic money-saving item for the late-game when you've more or less finished your build and it's time to start rolling down for upgrades or for that final hero to complete your board. Don't underestimate this item, it's often the best choice heading into the late-game.
  • Summoning Stone is all but essential for summons-heavy Savage/Druid builds. With heroes such as Venomancer, Lycan, Nature's Prophet, and Lone Druid all pumping out extra units, having a Summoning Stone to buff them all in one fell swoop can be the difference between defeat and victory.

And as for Contraptions:

  • Barricades can be very useful both for forcing chokepoints at the front of your army, and for blocking off a high-value ranged target such as KotL in a back corner so that they have time to gain mana and unleash their ability.
  • Target Buddy is a very powerful Contraption, acting as a sort of Axe-lite with its tankiness and Taunt ability. It won't last long, but it can make all the difference, particularly in the mid-game.
  • Healing Ward drops off in usefulness as time goes on but it's always a welcome addition to any board. It's hard to gauge how useful a Healing Ward actually is moment-to-moment, but I've had times where I would've lost a fight if not for a Healing Ward.
  • Tombstone provides a steady stream of new units when positioned near the bulk of the fighting, and can be used to great effect in augmenting a Summons-heavy build.

But as I say, it's all contextual. Procure the best items for your current build, and consider how possible it might be to transition your build if you come across a particularly decent Global item. The best Dota Underlords players are those who use everything at their disposal to be as flexible as possible.

Dota Underlords items - guide links

And that's pretty much all we have to offer on Dota Underlords items - 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.

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Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.