In order to be good at Dota Underlords, you need to have a catalog of viable builds in your mind. The more builds you understand well, the better you'll be able to adjust to what the shop is giving to you. Combined with a good understanding of the meta, this will give you a big advantage over other players.
On this page, you'll find a list of all our in-depth Dota Underlords Alliance guides. Each one contains example builds as well as explanations on how to make them work.
Before we get to the builds, however, here is the current Alliance Tier List taken out of our full Dota Underlords Strategy Tier List. The icons are clickable and reveal more info.
Warlocks are still great even after the nerf. The absurd sustain they give is a great addition to every single strategy that can accommodate them in the lineup. They are a secondary synergy, so you would rarely play a pure Warlocks strategy, but you will play something + Warlocks very often. (2) Warlocks are fine, but (4) Warlocks + the Disruptor Ace Bonus is the S-Tier comp. (6) Warlocks are harder to work because there is little space for other synergies.
Warriors are in a great place right now:
Mages are in a great place right now because the Primordial-Mage opening is very strong, but also fairly flexible. The Primordial/Mage/Assassin strategy is still great and allows you to hit a power spike on lvl8 - you can stop leveling and invest in upgrades. If the game is going well, however, it's entirely possible to go to lvl10, use the full (6) Mage synerfy, and even combine them with Shamans for an extremely powerful late-game draft.
Assassins are much better than before because almost all of their units got a buff in the previous big patch. Slark and PA are great three-star carries, while Sand King is a much better frontliner than he used to be.
(6) Assassins is a solid draft, but nothing amazing (A/B Tier). The Assassins alliance is S-tier right now for a different reason: (3) Assassins are an important part of multiple great builds:
Knights don't reign the meta as much as they used to, but they are still one of the best defensive synergies in the game. Running (4) or (6) Knights combined with secondary synergies is still one of the most consistent strategies in the game, especially when they aren't as contested as before. The reason they are not S-tier is that a Knights draft is less flexible than a Warriors draft which makes it harder to run multiple high-tier 4 and 5 cost units in the late game on lvl10.
For more details, you can check out our in-depth Underlords Knights Guide.
Hunters are once again on a significant upswing since Lycan joined their ranks - it's quite viable to get (6) Hunters, and they are the best offensive Alliance at single-target damage (they fucus down the enemy frontline extremely quickly). (3) Hunter lineups are also viable and open up space for additional synergies (Warlocks, Brawny, Warriors, Ace bonuses, etc.).
For more details you can check out our Dota Underlords Hunters guide.
Scrappy got a heavy rework and from a very luck-based and gimmicky strategy, they become a very consistent defensive Alliance. They are great when combined with Warlocks and Mages or Assassins. Moreover, all variations of the Scrappy strategy mature at lvl8 and have very valuable three-star upgrades, which makes it possible to do well with a Scrappy strat even when you don't have the luxury to get to lvl10.
You can find out more info in our Dota Underlords Scrappy, Inventor, Mage Guide.
Savage are a momentum-based build after the rework. You are guaranteed to get the bleed debuff, which makes them very strong in the early-mid game. They start to fall off in the late game, but at this point, you can start transitioning into other main strategies. A (4) Savage (3) Warriors opening is one of the strongest in the early-mid game, can allow you to get to lvl10 easily and transition to stronger Alliances like Warlocks/Trolls with Ace units, usually by selling your two weaker Savage heroes.
You can get more details in our In-Depth Savages Guide.
Heartless is another super versatile and useful secondary/splash synergy. Without the Fall from Grace global item, Heartless is just a decent bonus you are trying to get from two units. If you have Fall from Grace, however, Heartless becomes S-tier because it becomes very easy to get the (4) Heartless bonus without really committing to a Heartless strat, and it makes it possible to go even for (6) Heartless in the super late game. Heartless with Fall from Grace is an important part of the best Knights and Hunters/Warrior drafts.
Dragons are also very versatile. You get a lot of value for the two hero slots that you need to invest. Dragon Knights + Viper or Puck is a great addition to most Knights or Mages drafts. Viper + Puck, on the other hand, is central to the Assassin + Mages strategy which utilizes the magic resistance debuff and Viper's Corrosive Skin passive.
For more details, you can check out our in-depth Underlords Dragons Guide.
Scaled are a very strange Alliance because they have a very straightforward use. They are S-tier against Mage strats. They are, however, low-impact if your opponents don't have a lot of magic damage. That said, (2) Scaled is crucial and easy to get in (6) Warrior strategies. Moreover, with the Ace bonus (4) Scaled give you a decent damage boost.
Primordials are a bit gimmicky - the Eidolons could be strong in the early and mid game especially with the (4) Primordials bonus and ideally Summoning Stone. They start to fall-off in the late game, however. The reason they are in A-tier is that they are a crucial part of the top-tier Mage builds right now.
Shamans are a secondary synergy that became S-Tier after the introduction of Aces primarily in a Human/Mage draft. They got significantly nerfed, however. They are still playable in the late game especially bearing in mind you only need two heroes, but they are not broken anymore. You can check out our Dota Underlords Shaman's Guide.
Elusive strategies fell-off a bit because they lost the (9) Elusive bonus, which was their biggest late-game strength. (6) Elusive are stronger than they were, but they are a bit awkward to combine with other Alliances for a late-game strat. (6) Elusive + (3) Assassins + (2) Scaled seems to be the best variation right now - put more emphasis on upgrades instead of getting to lvl10.
(4) Trolls are much harder to get than before because Troll Warlord is a 5-cost Ace. The bonus is powerful but unreliable, and it feels very awkward to carry the 3 other Trolls in the early and mid game when you know you wouldn't have a chance to get Warlord until the very late game.
That said, (2) Trolls are quite decent as they now buff slightly the Attack Speed of your whole lineup. The Ace bonus is not amazing, but it's alright an makes Troll + WD a very common addition in the top-tier Warriors + Warlocks strat.
To sum up - (4) Trolls are C-Tier, (2) Trolls are A-Tier, which puts Trolls in B-Tier as an a verage.
Humans: the bonus is great in the late game, and they are a mandatory part in most Warrior and Mage strategies. That said, their bonus is not that impactful in the early and mid game, and you rarely build a strat around Humans specifically, which is why we decided to put them in B-tier. Humans have a good synergy with Shamans.
Brawny is in a great place since the rework of the Alliance bonus. They give you the opportunity to start gathering kills from the beginning of the game and snowball heavily with an unkillable frontline of (4) Brawny heroes with insane HP. They are the backbone of one of the best strategies in the game right now - (4) Brawny + Hunters and/or Warriors.
If you don't get Beast Master and Axe upgraded early on your chances to gather the needed kills and snowball will decrease, however, which makes Brawny a bit unreliable. Nonetheless, you can easily sell them and transition into another draft or just play a normal Hunters/Warriors strat.
Demon Hunters provide a lot of damage for a two-hero synergy, which makes them a decent offensive splash Alliances in the game right now. They can be used with Knights, Warriors, Elusive, or even a full-on Demons draft. All of the above builds, however, don't usually run Demon Hunters (besides Demons), which makes them a bit off-meta.
Blood Bound is a legit meme build right now thanks to the Blood Bound equipable item that helps you make your main damage dealer also a Blood Bound unit. It's most definitely possible to get a top place in the lobby with such a strategy, but unlike other high-tier builds it actually requires you to get an item: not getting it makes the Alliance entirely useless while getting it multiple times makes the strat multiple times stronger. It's worth keeping and upgrading Ogre early on to see if you can get the item (Ogre is a decent early-game unit anyway). If you don't - sell him. If you do - buy some one-star Warlocks and put Contract on your main carry.
You don't care about the Deadeye synergy outside of a Hunters strategy - it's simply not that impactful, and it's not game-breaking even with the Ace bonus. That said, the Deadeye units are actually decent, so you're not actively trying to avoid them.
Druids suffer a lot from losing the Alliance item without gaining a new buff/mechanic. (2) Druids are an important part of Savage and Elusive drafts, but it's almost never viable to go for (4) Druids and if you're running (4) Savage you often decide to skip the two Druids. NP is still arguably the worst hero in the game, and Enchantress (outside of the very early game) is not great either.
Keeping the strength of the Alliances in the current meta in mind, here is the list of our in-depth Dota Underlords builds guides:
An in-depth Dota Underlords guide about Mage builds - one of the most fun strategies in the game.
An in-depth Dota Underlords guide about Assassin builds - one of the most fun strategies in the game.
An in-depth Dota Underlords guide about the Dragons and Knights Alliances.
An in-depth Dota Underlords guide about the best Warrior builds - one of the most fun diverse strategies in the game.
An in-depth Dota Underlords guide about Hunters.
An in-depth Dota Underlords guide about the two major Scrappy strategies - one based on economy, the other on upgrades.
An in-depth Dota Underlords guide about Elusive builds - one of the most underrated strategies in the game.
An in-depth Dota Underlords guide about Savages.
An in-depth Dota Underlords guide about the Warlock Alliance builds.
An in-depth Dota Underlords guide about Heartless builds with Fall from Grace - some of the most creative strategies in the game.
I hope you found the reources above useful! Make sure to check out all of our Dota Underlords content in our Underlords Library!