- Great DPS output.
- The ability to focus-fire important heroes on the enemy frontline.
- Quite versatile – a wide range of viable Alliance combos.
Hunters are currently one of the strongest strategies in Dota Underlords. They are very versatile, and they are not as item-dependent as some other top Alliances, which makes them very consistent.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to learn how to play Hunter lineups – in the current meta, they are some of the most consistent for climbing easily to the high ranks.
(3) Hunter Heroes: All Hunters have a 25% chance of quickly performing 2 attacks.
(6) Hunter Heroes: All Hunters have a 40% chance of quickly performing 2 attacks.
As is the case with every strat, with Hunters your first concern is the frontline. You generally have a few possible options: Warriors, Druids/Elusive, and Knights being the most popular:
Warriors: You get three Warriors, one of which Pudge. This allows you to include Draw Ranger and get the (2) Heartless bonus as well. As you proceed toward the mid game, you get two more Hunters. Using Beastmaster and Axe is the best option in the early game because if you get kills on them you will be able to go for a Brawny frontline. Warriors is the most consistent and flexible opening for a Hunters strat.
Druids: You start with two Druids (Ench + Prophet) and slowly you build up to three Hunters. You aim to replace Enchantress with Treant once he shows up. Once you also find Wind Ranger, this will give you the (3) Elusive evasion bonus, making your Elusive Druids a more durable frontline (a 5-unit early-mid game draft).
Knights: A Knights opening functions similar to a Warrior opening but the two key units are Abaddon and Drow for the Heartless bonus. Since Knights are a bit more expensive, they would usually require you to replace some temporary starting units (e.g. Tiny) with the Tier 3 Knights in the early-mid game. The mid-game core of your draft is (4) Knights + (3) Hunters + (2) Heartless, achievable with 7 heroes. This is arguably the weakest Hunters strategy (out of the popular ones) right now because it requires a heavier commitment into the frontline (more gold and hero slots) and makes it harder to get (6) Hunters.
this example, you can see a good early-mid game draft with (3) Hunters, (3)
Elusive, (2) Savage. It utilizes the Summoning Stone global item very efficiently thanks to Lycan + Prophet + Venomancer. Out of this opening you can go for a (6) Hunters, but you can also go for a more flexible draft with (3) Hunters - Warlocks, Savage, etc.
In the late game, you have various viable lineups to go for, which is a benefit because you can adjust based on the shop rolls you’re getting:
This is a relatively standard late game draft that you can build out of a (3) Warrior (3) Hunter opening without Brawny. Of course, some of the individual pieces are swappable (Tide/Doom are replaceable with Kunkka, etc.).
A benefit of this lineup is that you have very
good crowd control with Tide, Doom, Medusa, possibly Kunkka.
Having (4) Warlocks gives you a great deal of sustain and makes your frontline extremely tanky despite the fact that you lack a traditional defensive frontline synergy (Warriors, Elusive, Knights).
Which Warlocks are best to include is situational, but Disruptor is the mandatory one. He has the most powerful late-game ability out of all Warlocks, which is extremely useful in a draft that otherwise lacks a lot of control. Alch is there to act as a meat-shield in the frontline and to provide additional armor reduction for your high physical damage.
The drawback of this lineup is that it consists of multiple high-tier expensive units. This means you usually need to have another frontline (usually Warriors) and replace it with the Warlocks in the late game rather than to try to force this strat from the get go.
A variation of the Brawny/Warrior + Hunter opening. Usually you want Pudge as a 3rd Warrior for the Heartless bonus with Drow. In this variation, however, you replace Pudge with Necro, giving you the (2) Warlock bonus, retaining the (2) Heartless. To retain the (3) Warriors, you include Tide (ideally two-stars) for the much-needed AoE disable. Having Tide also allows you to get the (2) Scaled bonus if you manage to roll into Medusa. You don't need to push to lvl10 to include her - you usually want to replace your weakest Hunter.
Above: a relatively standard Brawny-Hunter draft played by Snofe in the WePlay Underlords open tournament.
is a very powerful super-late-game draft of (6) Hunters + (4) Warlocks. The Warlocks
heal forms a very hard to overcome frontline, while the (6) Hunters deal very
high damage, buffed further by the (2) Heartless armor reduction in combination
with the Alchemist ultimate armor reduction.
Hunters draft out of a Hunters + Druids opening (of course, on lvl8 the chance
that you’ll have Medusa is slim, so you can replace her with Sniper).
The benefit of this strat is that it matures on lvl8, which is very useful in a fast-paced meta.
Your upgrade priorities are Lycan and Treant (which will also give you a three-star Lone with the (2) Druids bonus).
It also gives you two free hero slots: if you’re doing well and can afford to go to lvl10, you can include (2) Warlocks. Usually, you would want this to be two out of these three units:
This is another possible extension of the Hunters + Druids opening. The drawback is that you only have (3) Hunters, unlike our other late-game examples. The benefit is that the (4) Druids + (2) Warlocks give you a lot of sustain. The (4) Savage bonus combined with (2) Heartless to a degree compensates for the lack of (6) Hunters and gives considerable damage output.
That said, if you lack the global items that benefit Druids/Savage (mainly Summoning Stone), it’s definitely a possibility to cut two of the Druids (either the two Elusive or the two Savage) and replace them with two Warlocks – usually Shadow Fiend/Alch and Disruptor. The sustain and control coming from these two is much less item-dependent.
This is the late game variation playing all four Druids. In this example, we have the Fall from Grace global item and we don’t need Necro to get the (2) Heartless bonus. This makes it beneficial to run Shadow Fiend instead because of his higher damage output and instant heal with (2) Warlocks.
We have three-star Ench, and we are two Prophets away from a three-star Prophet, which would also make both Lone and Treant three stars thanks to the (4) Druids bonus. The high HP pool of the three-star Druids and their summons, who are also Druids (and get buffed further by Summoning Stone), make the Complete the Cycle heal extremely strong.
Drow has a good proximity aura giving your other ranged units a DPS boost (because of this reason you want to keep her next to your other ranged damage dealers, usually in the middle of your army). Also, she has the Heartless Alliance, which makes it easy to get the (2) or even (4) Heartless bonus for a further DPS boost. Give her Mask of Madness if you have it – she has only passive skills. It’s cheap to upgrade her to three stars – try to do it if you have the bench space.
Beast is a frontline unit, but also a damage-dealer. Try to put him on the edge of the board so that he doesn’t tank most of the enemy damage – you want him to survive for longer to be able deal damage for longer. Moreover, by positioning him at the side he is more likely to throw his Axes diagonally and hit most of the enemy army. Beast is absolutely imba if you get him early on with the Brawny Alliance bonus. He gets kills regularly, which allows him to accumulate a huge HP pool and carry you in the late game.Prioritize getting him to three stars to increase his DPS.
One of two Elusive Hunters, making it easy to combine the two Alliances 6-3 or 3-6. She has good physical DPS for the cost combined with a relatively powerful AoE nuke. If you’re not going for the Elusive bonus, however, you could skip her for the higher-tier Hunters.
The newcomer in the Hunters lineup. Once he transforms, he becomes an amazing damage dealer. He has a crit in his Wolf form, which works great with the Hunters double attack. Because of this, you want him to transform with enough HP left to deal damage for a while. This means that, like Beast, it’s a good idea to put him on the edge of the frontline or even to move him back if he’s too squishy. He is a Savage and a Human, which makes it easy to get the Savage bonus or the (2) Humans silence. The Human Alliance is great in Hunter lineups when you have Fall from Grace.
Sniper has an amazing range, which means he usually stays in the backlines. He deals good attack DPS: he has very high damage but not that high attack speed, so he benefits a lot from staying next to Draw and from attack speed items. He also has a powerful single-target nuke, although the casting animation is very long and sometimes he wastes a lot of time switching targets before he casts it, which makes him a good Madness hero after two stars. It’s not a bad idea to combine him with Gyrocopter to activate the Deadeye synergy, which makes the two of them focus down low-HP enemies very efficiently.
Mirana received a couple of considerable buffs, which made her a playable unit. She is not amazing, but she has very decent stats, which is usually good enough for a Hunters lineup. Her ultimate is still not amazing (she Leaps out of the range of your proximity auras (which reduces her DPS and she often hits non-important units with the Arrow). That said, her ability is great versus the creep waves and sometimes she wastes the time of Assassins that focus her by leaping away.
The strongest physical AoE damage dealer in the game. It’s important to know that modifiers from items work on her split shot. This means that putting a Daedalus or Maelstrom on her is much more efficient than on most other heroes and at two stars she can easily become your main damage dealer. As if her damage is not enough: she also has a crowd control component in her ultimate – Stone Gaze. (She is also great for getting the (2) Scaled synergy versus Mages.) Obviously, the drawback is that she is a rare Ace hero. Having Tide + Slardar on the board makes it easier to find her (she is the Scaled Ace), so Tide is a high priority frontline hero for a Hunters start. You can always keep one Slardar on the bench to put on the board when you're rolling even if you don't intend to use Slardar in your final lineup.
Hunters are actually not that item-reliant as some other strategies (e.g. Savage), which makes them a very consistent strat to go for relatively often. Their Alliance item is good, but they can do fine without it.
Fall from Grace: very valuable in a Hunters + Warriors or Hunters + Knights because it makes it very easy to get (4) Heartless. Lycan is a Human, Drow is a Heartless, so you need only two more Humans/Heartless: Pudge/Abba/Kunkka/Omni/Necro/etc.
Blight Stone: it gives more value in a Hunters lineup than in
most. The armor reduction makes a huge difference when multiple Hunters are
focus-firing the same unit.
Madness: an alright item for Drow Ranger. In Auto Chess, it was a common strategy to put it on Sniper to increase his DPS while preventing him from losing time by recasting Assassinate. In Underlords, however, the damage of Assassinate is really high, so it’s usually not worth it to put it on him.
Maelstrom: the double attacks from the Hunters Alliance bonus means more chances to proc the lightning. Extremely good on Medusa.
Battle Fury: great on Lycan or Beast because of the double attacks. Try to get the unit who is carrying the BF to three stars.
Radiance: great on Pudge in a Hunters Warriors lineup, Treant in Elusive Hunters, Beast/Axe/Jugg in Brawny Hunters.
Mekansm: the AoE heal is very valuable versus lineups with AoE damage – your units are squishy. You usually want to put it on one one of the units in the center (e.g. Drow).
Pipe: the same logic applies to Pipe, but it’s even
better at countering AoE magic damage.
Target Buddy is imba with Hunters. It allows you to commit to (6) Hunters sooner rather than later without worrying too much about your frontline because it gives you a "free" frontline hero. Even if you don't intend to do that, you have a vulnerable backline full of squishy damage dealers, so putting it next to your backline to protect against Assassins (and other units once your frontline falls) is also invaluable.
Barricade is not as universally good as Target Buddy, but it is still extremely good on Hunters. You have long-range squishy damage dealers. Putting your high-level Sniper + Drow in the corner and Barricade in front of them will make it much harder for the enemy damage-dealers to reach them.
Thanks for reading! I hope you found this guide useful and enjoyable. If you did, you can check out our other Underlords content in our Library! To get a good grasp of the current meta, you can check out our Underlords Strategies Tier List with information about all the most popular strats in the game!
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