Dota Underlords patch notes tend to be pretty game-changing - as it should be, for a game still in early-access. But boy, does it make my life as a guides writer busy! Now they've gone and added two entirely new mechanics (Ace-Tier Heroes and Contraption items) amid a plethora of other balance changes and features.
So it's time once again to sit down and have a read through what's changed in our Dota Underlords patch notes analysis, exploring how each change may (or may not) shift the meta in a new direction.
Dota Underlords patch notes analysis - Ace Tier Heroes and Contraptions Update [#245]
Even though the latest Dota Underlords patch notes aren't the longest we've seen by any stretch, there's still a lot of importance to cover. We'll give you the chance to read the patch notes in full just below, followed by a rundown of the most significant changes to the game with this patch.
- Full Dota Underlords patch notes [#245]
- Dota Underlords patch notes analysis - buffs, nerfs, changes
- Ace Tier heroes added!
- Four new "Contraption" items!
- No more 9-hero alliances!
- Bloodseeker and Disruptor alliances changed!
- Lord of White Spire rank now uses Elo
Before we get started talking about how the latest Dota Underlords patch notes change the game and how we're all going to play it, you should take a look at the full patch notes below if you haven't already. Just follow this link to view the latest Dota Underlords patch notes.
Valve have been taking it slow recently with the Juggernaut Update and other minor changes, giving time for the meta to settle somewhat. And now they've thrown a giant Roshan-sized stone into the pool with the reworking of Tier 5 heroes into Ace Tier, and the addition of four new Contraption items. Let's go through everything step by step.
The first of the eponymous highlights of this major Dota Underlords update is the reworking of Tier-5 heroes (the top tier) into the new "Ace Tier". Each Ace Tier hero represents a different alliance, and bestows a unique effect related to that alliance while in play.
For example, Gyrocopter is now the Ace Tier hero for Deadeye, which means when Gyro is in play, all Deadeye units are granted True Strike (their attacks cannot miss). Meanwhile, Troll Warlord seems to have gained the best deal out of everyone as the Ace of Trolls, which means if Troll Warlord is on your board then your entire army gains a chance to mini-stun their target on each attack - provided you actually have a Troll Alliance active.
These Ace Tier effects are pretty significant, from what I've seen so far. Not all alliances are covered: only Warlocks, Shamans, Deadeyes, Mages, Scaled, Inventors, and Trolls enjoy the new augmentations. For full details be sure to check out our newly updated Dota Underlords alliances guide.
The other big new feature is the inclusion of a new type of item: Contraptions! These items are unique in that they can be placed on the board just like a hero, and they can interact with other heroes too. Seriously, they have health and everything.
There are just four types of Contraptions available for now, and each of them appears just like a normal item as a possible reward after Loot Rounds fighting neutral creeps. So far I've seen the Target Buddy and Tombstone both used to fantastic effect for drawing fire away from your most valuable heroes at pivotal moments; but I'm also very interested in the possibilities of using Barricades to force chokepoints or to lock one of your powerful ranged ability-dependent heroes (like Enigma or KotL) in a corner so they are safe from enemy Assassins.
For full details on each of the new items, look no further than our Dota Underlords items guide.
Another big change with this patch is that any alliance that previously required 9 heroes for its top tier effect has been reworked. Now let's be clear: this is an excellent change. From the start I've never been a fan of 9-hero alliance tiers, because they take away the fun and brilliance of mixing and matching different alliances and heroes in unusual combinations. When you have to devote 9 of your 10 hero slots to a single alliance, flexibility goes out of the window.
But now, the alliances in question (Assassin, Elusive, and Warrior) have all been brought down to two tiers (3/6) - and what's more, almost all the Tier 1 and Tier 2 effects have been buffed, to boot. So each of those alliances is now stronger, and more flexible. Happy days! Though I don't think Warrior really needed a buff...
The other changes I'd like to quickly highlight relate to Bloodseeker and Disruptor, both of whom have had some changes in the alliance department. Disruptor was actually given a significant buff in order to bring him up to Ace Tier, where he now is happy to bestow a powerful Ace Tier bonus upon all his Warlock buddies. But while Warlocks around the globe rejoice, Shamans weep, for Disruptor is no longer among their ranks.
Bloodseeker's fate is more hopeful: he's kept his Human and Assassin alliances, but out of the blue he's been given a third allegiance: Deadeye. Valve have been focusing a little bit on improving the viability of Deadeye recently, what with Sniper now being Scrappy and all: and now we've got the double-whammy of Bloodseeker joining and Gyrocopter bestowing True Strike upon all Deadeye heroes in play. It's still not enough to make them a true contender in the meta, but hopefully this isn't the end of Deadeye's story.
That's just about everything we have to offer for now on the latest Dota Underlords patch notes - but do check out our other guides if you're after more focused tips and strategies on other 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 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 Battle Pass - we talk about the current Battle Pass and all the new heroes and features coming with Dota Underlords Season 1