Dota Underlords Builds: Scrappy, Inventor
Date: 11/2019

When we created our Dota Underlords Strategies Tier List a months ago, Scrappy was voted to be the single weakest strategy (and Alliance) in the game by the community. Since then, however, two things happened:

  • Scrappy got reworked heavily which made it a less gimmicky and more reliable composition.
  • People started figuring the strategy out, and right now you could argue it's on par with most other good defensive Underlords Alliances.


(2) Scrappy Heroes: A random Scrappy unit is granted +9 Armor and +8 HP regeneration. Armor and regen are doubled whenever you have fewer units alive than your opponent does.


(4) Scrappy Heroes: All scrappy units are granted +9 Armor and +8 HP regeneration. Armor and regen are doubled whenever you have fewer units alive than your opponent does.


(6) Scrappy Heroes: All allies are granted +9 Armor and +8 HP regeneration. Armor and regen are doubled whenever you have fewer units alive than your opponent does.

Before the rework (and in Dota Auto Chess), a Scrappy strategy revolved dominating the early game with (3) Scrappy, a weak mid game, and a late game spike IF you manage to find Techies.

Since the rework, however, you can use Scrappy as a much less-gimmicky strategy. The main reason is that you are not as strong in the early game (only one 1g Scrappy), but you are much stronger in the mid game thanks to the (4) Scrappy Alliance bonus that makes all your Scrappy units extremely durable.

Scrappy Pros

  • Very survivable
  • High levels of sustain, especially with Warlocks
  • Very synergistic with Mages or Assassins for good damage output

Scrappy Cons

  • Not as strong in the early game as before
  • Reliant on getting multiple three-star upgrades

Making Scrappy Work:

Principles of a Scrappy Strategy:

There are a few important things to keep in mind in order to have success with a Scrappy strategy:

  1. In the early game, you should get to (4) Scrappy as fast as possible - this gives you a good-enough frontline for the mid game. Getting to (6) Scrappy is possible, but it is not a must and you can comfortably play a (4) Scrappy draft with other synergies (usually Mages and/or Warlocks).
  2. Your heroes (especially Clock and Tinker) receive a considerable upgrade on three stars. With a Scrappy strat, getting three-star upgrades is usually a higher priority than getting to lvl10 (or even 9 in some games).
  3. The secondary synergies you want to aim for are Assassins, Warlocks, Mages, possibly Hunters. The reason is that Warlocks are easy to get (you already have Alchemist in your lineup) and make you even harder to kill, while Mages buffs your DPS the most - many Scrappy units deal considerable magic damage (the Inventor explosions are also magic). Assassins, on the other hand, work great with the (6) Scrappy survivability buff.

Best Scrappy Builds:

Scrappy is not the most flexible Alliance in the game. There are generally speaking a few viable build options (ordered from the strongest to the weakest).

  1. Scrappy + Assassins, usually using the full (6) Scrappy bonus and a three-star Slark, ideally with MoM.
  2. Scrappy + Mages, using the fact that the Inventor explosions deal very high magic damage, especially with Techies, the inventor Mage.
  3. Scrappy + Warlocks, abusing the very high survivability of the lineup to out-last most opponents.
  4. Scrappy + Hunters, using Scrappies as a tanky frontline and Hunters as a damage-dealing backline.

Scrappy + Assassins:

The build has two keys to success:

  • The full (6) Scrappy bonus
  • A three-star Slark with a good item (MoM, Moonshard)
The other heroes are interchangeable. For example, Shadow Fiend + Alchemist give good sustain and might save your Slark if he's on low HP, but losing the SF in favor of a high-star level Phantom Assassin is certainly a more than viable option.

Scrappy + Inventor + Mages:

The build uses Scrappies as a durable frontline and Mages as a damage-dealing backline, but the main reason it works is the synergy between Mages and Inventors. Ther Inventor explosions (especially with the Chain Reaction from the Techies Ace bonus) deal extremely high magic damage, and it gets amplified by the Mage bonus resistance reduction.

It's worth noting that your most important three-star upgrade is Tinker because on three-stars he has an extremely short cooldown on his Rockets and as a result - a very high magic damage output.

The option above is certainly viable, but ideally, with Inventors + Mages, you aim to get to lvl10. The reason is that this way you can include the full (6) Mage and (4) Inventor bonuses:

It's important to keep in mind that the Inventor explosions happen in melee range. This means the build is much better versus clumped-up melee drafts (Knights, Warriors) compared to spread-out ranged drafts (Primordial/Mages, Hunters).

In the example build above it's entirely possible to replace a two-star Timber or Clock with a Gyrocopter. You will lose the (4) Scrappy bonus, but Gyro deals additional AoE damage with his ultimate, which makes it worth it most of the time.

Scrappy + Warlocks:

The idea with (6) Scrappy (4) Warlocks is the same as in Warlock/Warriors. The durable Scrappy synergy combined with the insane sustain from (4) Warlocks makes the draft almost impossible to kill. The benefit of Scrappy/Warlocks is that you can get the full bonus on lvl9, unlike the Warlock/Warriors who need lvl10.

The problem with these sorts of drafts is that they don't have a clear source of damage. In this case, the two highest DPS heroes are usually Tinker and Shadow Fiend and they are your highest upgrade priority. Getting to lvl10 could be beneficial (you can include either Troll Warlord for the (2) Trolls bonus, or Gyrocopter for the (2) Deadeye if your Sniper is on three stars). That said, it's not mandatory and you can invest in three-star upgrades instead.

Scrappy + Hunters:

Scrappy/Hunters is the least popular but still viable option. It's possible to go for a (6) Hunter (4) Scrappy draft, but the (6) Scrappy option above is also viable. The main carry in this draft is Sniper. Getting him to three Stars and combining him with Gyro for the (2) Deadeye bonus is a great idea. The defensive nature of the (6) Scrappy draft also benefits the Terrorblade - he becomes much harder to kill and has more time to auto-attack and deal damage.

Scrappy Hero Tips:

Bounty Hunter: 1g, Scrappy, Assassin            

Good DPS from his attack and single-target nuke. Makes it possible to get (2) Scrappy from early on and to go for (3) Assassins in the mid game, usually in combination with Queen of Pain. He is your least-important unit in a Scrappy+Mage draft, so you want to keep him on two stars and later on replace him with Alchemist. He's a lot more important in Scrappy Assassins and getting him to three stars is not game-breaking, but it's a great idea.

Timbersaw: 2g, Scrappy, Inventor

A good tank that deals very decent AoE DPS thanks to his ultimate. He is the third best Scrappy to try to get to three-stars, and he is the easiest of the bunch because of his two-gold cost.

Tinker: 3g, Scrappy, Inventor

The nuke damage from the rockets is great, but he gains mana from attacks very slowly. This makes him great with (3) Mages and Crystal Maiden to help him with his mana problem. Keep him on the front row so that he gains mana from taking damage unless you have Void Stone, in which case he can stay further back to keep him alive for longer. If you manage to get him to three-stars, the CD of rockets becomes 0.5 seconds, which means only his mana gain restricts him from spamming the spell. If you keep him on the frontline and manage to keep him alive, he will easily be your highest damage dealer.

Clockwerk: 3g, Scrappy, Inventor

Clock received some stat buffs, so he is a very good tank. If you manage to get him to three-stars, his Battery Assault shots will trigger two times faster (0.35s damage tick rate). This will increase his DPS a lot and the mini stuns from the spell will become a very decent disable against the units near Clock.


Sniper: 3g, Scrappy, Hunter, Deadeye
His main purpose is to give you quick access to (6) Scrappy. If you keep him in the late game, make sure to utilize the Deadeye bonus with Gyrocopter. In (6) Scrappy drafts either Sniper or Bounty get replaced by Techies once found.

Alchemist: 4g, Scrappy, Warlock

A very good tank, but he is most valuable for his Warlock Alliance. It allows you to easily get the (2) or even (4) Warlocks bonus usually in combination with Shadow Fiend, Necro, and ideally - Disruptor.

Techies: 5g, Scrappy, Inventor

The unit with the most devastating AoE nuke in the game. He works great with Blink Dagger because it allows him to place the bomb on top of the squishy enemy backline heroes. In a Scrappy strat he will be quite tanky, which means that on two-stars you can also give him Refresher and place him on the frontline quite comfortably. He is the Inventors ACE and gives hte Chain Reaction perc which is extremely powerful with other high-HP Inventors. Always try to run (4) Inventors with Techies.


Slark: 3g, Scaled, Assassin
If SF is the cornerstone of Scrappy/Mage/Warlock, Slark is the cornerstone of Scrappy/Assassin. He is one of the hardest carries in the game on three stars. His biggest weakness is that he is squishy and sometimes he gets killed before he steals enough attack speed. The (6) Scrappy bonus solves this problem to a large degree by making him much tankier and giving him some HP regen. He could be replaced by PA, but in a Scrappy draft Slark is better, especially bearing in mind his Scaled Alliance could also be useful with Tide.

Scrappy Underlord Tips:


Anessix is by far the better Underlord in a (6) Scrappy strategy. Scrappy lineups are very durable and rounds are usually long, so her AoE heal provides a lot of value. Emphasize on her healing and Pure Pain talents - (6) Scrappy drafts don't deal high damage, so the Pure Pain damage could be useful, epsecially when it's combined with the Pure Pain heal talent.


Hobgen is a worse option than Anessix with most Scrappy builds, but he can be extremely good in Scrappy Mages. He deals a large amount of magic damage thanks to Explosivo! and Friendly Fire and benefits a great deal from the (3) or (6) Mage bonus.

Items Tips & Info:


Pipe: Scrappy units get HP regen and armor, which means they are relatively vulnerable to magic damage. Pipe helps in this regard.

Blink Dagger Underlords

Blink Dagger: a devastating item on Techies - makes him much more impactful, especially when he is on one star. Until you get Techies, you can use it on Clock, Timber, or even Tinker. All three units benefit from getting to the enemy backline and activating their spells sooner.


Refresher: extremely powerful on Disruptor or Techies. The highest impact item in a Scrappy lineup, which deals damage with spells.


Mask of Madness: the most important item in a Scrappy/Assassin strategy. Makes your Slark much, much stronger.

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Kyril "MrNiceGuy" Kotashev

Esports and gaming enthusiast since forever and founder of Dotahaven.