Dota Underlords Knights Builds Guide
Artist: ㅎㅎㅎ
Date: 11/2019

After they were considered one of the weakest strategies in Underlords, Knights went through a major buff and through a period of dominating the meta. Right now Knights are far from imba, but they are certainly a consistent Alliance. Because of this, it's a great idea to have a few Knights strats in your arsenal if you want to rank up:

Knights and Dragons Strategy Summary:

The goal of the Knights strategy is pretty simple – you get more Knights in order to create an extremely tanky frontline. The Knights bonus gives damage reduction that works against both physical and magical damage, which in most cases makes it superior to the survivability bonuses of Alliances like Warriors and Elusives (which help only against attacks) or Scaled (which helps only against magic damage).

The trick, however, is that you need your Knights to stand next to each other to get the whole buff:


(2) Knight Heroes: Knight units take 15% less physical and magic damage and an additional 15% when standing 1 cell away from another Knight.


(4) Knight Heroes: Knight units take 20% less physical and magic damage and an additional 20% when standing 1 cell away from another Knight.


(6) Knight Heroes: Knight units take 25% less physical and magic damage and an additional 25% when standing 1 cell away from another Knight.

Dragons, unlike Knights, are a secondary (splash) Alliance. They have a very interesting mechanic in which once you get (2) Dragons, each Dragon hero unlocks new skills. This means they could be used creatively in different comps. In Knights, they are used to turn Dragon Knight in your main source of damage. (In this guide we’ll explore a few additional uses of Dragons).


  • The tankiest synergy in the game: the Knights damage reduction applies to both physical and magical damage, unlike all other survivability synergies which provide tankiness against only one damage type.
  • Straightforward and reliable: an easy to learn strat for newer players that gives consistently good results.
  • Dragons are flexible and could be included in various strategies for a different reason. E.g. DK is the main Damage Dealer in Knights + Dragons, but he could be a tank in Humans + Mages.


  • Low damage output and little space to include damage synergies if you’re going for all (6) Knights (which is standard).
  • Knights are inflexible: you usually want all 6 Knights (from a pool of 6) or 4 specific ones, with the optimal secondary units also being pretty clear-cut. This is a problem if multiple players are contesting Knights in a lobby.
  • Expensive units: hard to get upgrades without a good economy. Knights are not a "comeback" strat.

Knights Hero Tips:

Batrider: 1g, Troll, Knight

The cheapest and weakest Knight, Batrider has two things going for him. First, he is a very decent damage dealer in the very early game thanks to Napalm (he falls off later on unless you get the Trolls buff and a high star level on him). Two, he makes the (2) Troll bonus easy to get, which helps with the DPS of your lineup.

Luna: 2g, Elusive, Knight

The Elusive Alliance is relatively useless in a Knights strat because you don’t need additional defensive synergies – you need damage. That said, Luna is actually one of the best damage dealers in a Knights draft. Since in Underlords you cannot put more than one item on a hero, Luna will be one of your main damage dealers in both Dragons + Knights and Trolls + Knights strategies. This also means she has high upgrade priority (Chaos Knight and Luna are the most cost-efficient pieces to take to three stars) and a good item (preferrably Mask of Madness) on her makes a big difference.


Chaos Knight: 2g, Demon, Knight
Your early and mid-game carry. CK is both tanky and a very decent damage dealer. Put him in the frontline but in a place where he won't take a lot of damage right away, which would give him more time to auto-attack and deal damage with the Demon Alliance bonus. Later on, he falls off slightly, but getting him to three stars is a great way to keep him relevant.


Omni Knight: 3g, Human, Knight
A good tank with a heal that can deal decent AoE damage. Together with Abaddon, Omni is the backbone of your frontline. One has a shield that deals AoE damage, the other – a heal that does the same. The Human Alliance is useful especially bearing in mind Dragon Knight is also a Human, so it’s pretty easy to hit at least the (2) Humans bonus. If possible, getting Omni to three-stars will increase the AoE damage of his heal significantly.

Abaddon: 3g, Heartless, Knight

Your main tank, and since his shield got buffed, he deals decent AoE damage. His most important quality is that he is Heartless. This makes it easy to get at least the (2) Heartless bonus. The armor reduction is extremely helpful in a Knights strategy, which usually lacks damage. If you are staying on 7/8 units and are rolling for upgrades, getting Abaddon to three-stars is a great idea. He becomes nearly unkillable and could cast his shield multiple times in a fight.


Dragon Knight: 4g, Human, Knight
Your main damage-dealer in a Dragons-Knights strategy thanks to the ranged Dragon form. He deals AoE damage on two-stars and slows on three stars, so he is a very high upgrade priority, although getting him to lvl3 is pretty unrelistic. Usually you want to keep him on two stars and focus on other upgrades, but bear in mind it's also possible to include two two-star DK's in your lineup if you have the free space. 

DK’s main problem is his low attack speed. To increase his DPS most efficiently you usually want attack speed items on him, although damage items like Daedalus are also not bad, of course.

Outside of a Knights draft, he could be a decent tank – he has high HP and in-built 10HP regen, and his nuke applies a damage reduction debuff, which helps your frontline survive for longer. He is Human, so he can help you get the Human synergy.


Sven: 5g, Human, Scaled, Knight
Sven is one of the most unique Aces in the game because he totally changes the philosophy of his Alliance. Once he casts God's Strength, he turns the damage reduction of all Knights into bonus damage. This has a clear downside - the lineup becomes much squishier. Because of this, it's not always a clear choice if you want to take him or not - he could theoretically make your lineup worse. A good way to play around this is to use good positioning. You can put him on the backline to make sure he doesn't activate God Strength right away. This way you will have the survivability buff when the enemy heroes are casting their initial wave of nukes and crowd control, and the damage buff after most enemy abilities are on cooldown.

Puck: 2g, Elusive, Dragon, Mage

Puck gains Phase Shift from the Dragons synergy, which makes him slightly harder to kill (especially with high-damage nukes). It’s not particularly useful in a Knights lineup, but it could be good if you can activate it in an Elusive/Mages lineup.

Viper: 3g, Dragon, Scaled

Viper gains Corrosive Skin from the Dragons Alliance bonus, which gives him considerable magic resistance and a damage over time debuff that applies to all heroes attacking him. Because of this, he is the more useful of the two secondary Dragons in a Knights strategy.

Knight Item Tips:


Mask of Madness: "Hero is silenced. 20% Lifesteal. +60 Attack Speed."
Madness is a very high-impact item if you are going for a three-star Luna, as she has no active skills. This means there are no drawbacks from giving her MoM. DK is another good candidate, since he can transform into a Dragon even with the silence (he looses Dragon's Breath, though).


Mekansm: "When equipped hero has less than 50% health, heal allies up to 3 cells away for 250 health. (once per battle)"
We said multiple times that Knights need more damage, not more survivability. While this is true in principle, when we're talking about items it's all about efficiency. Since Knights have a damage reduction shield and they tend to take damage evenly (they are clumped up), Mek actually provides amazing value - it is likely to heal multiple allies for the full amount. Even if you don't have amazing damage, Mek can help you out-last your oponent and win in this way.


Octarine Essence: "Reduces ability cooldown by 50%"
If you manage to get Omni or Abaddon to three-stars, this item will have a huge impact on them by allowing them to cast their spells multiple times in a fight.

Moonshard:  “+80 Attack Speed”

The main problem of Dragon Knight is his slow attack speed, so Moonshard is the item that can increase his DPS the most.

Radiance: “Burns enemies up to 2 cells away for 60 damage per second”

Your strategy lacks damage, but it is extremely tanky. This means each fight usually lasts long. Consequently, your Radiance carrier has a lot of time to burn down enemy heroes. Put the item on your tankiest frontline Knight (usually Omni or Abaddon, possibly Chaos Knight). Typically, your Radiance carrier will be your second highest DPS hero after your main carry (DK, Troll Warlord, etc.).

Making Knights Work:

Early Game:

In the very early game Batrider is actually a good damage dealer, especially on two stars. It’s important to know that two copies of Bat both apply the Napalm debuff and benefit from it, which means very early on you can easily keep him on the board twice (ideally on your backline).

Aside from Bat, Chaos Knight is your most important early-game unit. He is tanky and deals very high damage thanks to the Demon synergy pure damage. Don’t forget that you can also keep two copies of CK on the board without removing the Demon bonus damage – two of the same Demons count as one when Alliances are calculated.

Abaddon is also an important hero because:

  1. He’s tanky and deals decent AoE damage with the shield.
  2. He gives you easy access to the (2) Heartless synergy. Getting to (2) Heartless bonus from early on is a good idea because Knights lack damage, and the armor reduction helps out in this regard.

You usually want to hit (4) Knights ASAP because it’s a big jump in survivability.

Mid & Late Game:

In the mid game, you want to hit a mature draft by lvl7 or 8. (6) Knights and another one or two synergistic units are standard, but you can also e.g. go for (4) Knights + secondary synergies.

Don’t focus on upgrades in the mid game, your synergies should be able to carry you. Focus on economy as much as possible. Knights are expensive, so you need to have a good economy to be able to afford upgrades in the late game. Rolling from early on and having a lot of gold sitting on your bench is simply not an option if you want to place highly in the late game. Once you reach 50 gold, however, you usually want to start rolling for upgrades. You want to go to lvl9 eventually, but first you usually want to find your key three-star upgrades on Luna, possibly CK, Omni, Aba.

The late game plan is pretty simple. Get to lvl9 to complete your final lineup and complete the final upgrades you're missing.


In terms of positioning, you don’t have a lot of choices. Your Knights need to be next to each other, so you usually want to keep all your melee Knights on the first row and the ranged knights (Luna, Bat, DK if you have Dragons) immediately behind them on the 2nd roll. Non-Knight units need to be protected behind your Knights frontline.

Try to position your lineup directly in front of your opponents. This will make it least likely that your Knights will break formation. The worst scenario is to have your Knights walk from one side of the map to the other diagonally.

In the late game, you might want to split your lineup to avoid powerful AoE spells. That said, you still want to keep at least two Knights next to each-other to retain the buff.

Best Knight Builds:

Knights + Healers:

This is the newest variation of one of the oldest and most consistent strategies in Dota Underlords (since Dota Auto Chess). The build used to run two Warlocks, but since the Big Update, this changed to (3) Healers.

The build's main strength is its amazing survivability - both tankiness and sustain. Because of this, however, it's extremely important to upgrade your main damage-dealers or you'll simply lack enough damage. Luna on three stars with a good item is absolutely crucial.

This variation is definitely an upgrade-value build. You usually want to spend a good chunk of time on lvl7 and 8 searching fro three-star upgrades. After you find a couple, you push for lvl9 to complete the lineup (the two Dragons) and find your two-star DK.

Knights + Trolls:

The Bug Update introduced the 5th Troll in the game (Dazzle), making it much easier to find the full (4) Trolls bonus. This makes the Trolls + Dragons combination much more consistent than before.

Unlike the build above, this build needs levels more than upgrades. The reason is that you wnat to find a Troll Warlord sooner rather than later and ideally to upgrade him to two-stars. The only three-star you're looking for in the early-game is Luna, all the extra gold should go into experience.

Pushing for lvl10 is also possible because it will allow you to complete one additional Alliance - either (3) Healers/(2) Heartless with Necro, or (2) Dragons with Viper.

Last but not least, if you spend a lot of time on lvl9/10 you have a good chance of finding a two-star Sven. Even though Sven has a bad reputation for an Ace hero, replacing a weaker two-star Knight (e.g. CK) with a two-star Sven is almost always worth it. If you are afraid that your army will become too squishy, place Sven at the backlines to make sure he doesn't activate his ultimate too-early on when your opponents are using their crowd control.

Other Dragons Build:

Humans + Dragons + Mages
Units: Dragon Knight, Omni Knight, Crystal Maiden, Keeper of the Light, Lina, Kunkka, Puck, Razor, Lich
Synergies: (6) Humans, (6) Mages, (2) Knights, (2) Dragons

The above lineup is a variation of a more standard (4) Humans (6) Mages draft, but it utilizes the two Human Knights to get the full (6) Humans bonus. With the changes to Dragons, it’s a good added benefit to combine Puck and DK in this draft. Remember that DK has an AoE nuke now (Breathe Fire), which benefits a lot from the magic resistance reduction coming from the (6) Mages. Puck also becomes slightly more survivable.

The drawback of this lineup is the weak frontline, but the super-high nuke damage and guaranteed silences compensate.

Knight Underlord Tips


Knights are very tanky, so they benefit from the sustain coming from Anessix a great deal (especially in the Knight/Healer variation). Knights are also a bit vulnerable to AoE damage, so the fact that the heal of Anessix is AoE is also extremely useful. Put her in a safe place to make sure she survives and heals your army for as long as possible.


Hobgen is objectively the worse Underlord with Knights, but that doesn't make him useless. If you're running an unconventional Knights/Mages draft you can increase his magic damage output a great deal and transform him into one of the main damage-dealers in the lineup. In a more traditional Knights build, you usually want to emphasize on his utility talents (silences, buffs, etc.).

Thanks for reading! If you found this Dota Underlords guide enjoyable, you can check out our other content about the game in our Library! To get a good grasp of the current meta, you can check out our Underlords Hero Tier List with tips and information about all heroes in the game!

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Kyril "MrNiceGuy" Kotashev

Esports and gaming enthusiast since forever and founder of Dotahaven.