- Very survivable
- High levels of sustain, especially with Warlocks
- Very synergistic with Mages or Assassins for good damage output
When we created our Dota Underlords Strategies Tier List a few months ago, Scrappy was voted to be the single weakest strategy (and Alliance) in the game by the community (it has been updated since then).
Since then, however, two things happened:
(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) 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) 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.
There are a few important things to keep in mind in order to have success with a Scrappy strategy:
The Scrappy opening is quite obvious - you want to get the (2) Scrappy buff ASAP, which means getting Bounty Hunter and Timbersaw.
The next cheapest Scrappy units cost 3 gold, so you can't rely on getting to (4) Scrappy bonus early enough.
This means you need to consider which other units you will include in your lineup. Keep in mind that most of these units will be sold away in the mid game to replace with the scrappy units.
Razor is a great option because if you're going for (3) Mages later on, you don't need to replace him and can prioritize leveling him up instead. This also makes Tiny or Morphling decent, because they will give you the (2) Primordial bonus for some additional tankiness in the early game:
Another alternative is to use the fact that Bounty Hunter is an Assassin and to go for (3) Assassins early on. These would usually be Bloodseeker, Bounty, and Queen of Pain, with Timber working as a frontline tank. You could either sell off the other two Assassins to transition into a Scrappy/Warlock/Mage build, or you can commit to Scrappy Assassins.
As mentioned, the core strategy is Scrappy, Mages, and Warlocks.
Shadow Fiend is the best 2nd Warlock to go for because he has great AoE magic damage (and benefits from the (3) Mage bonus) and because you don't have any other Demons, so he deals considerable auto-attack DPS.
The core of the strat is getting (6) Scrappy ASAP in order to make your (3) Assassins more survivable. Slark is your main carry, and getting him to three stars is your highest priority.
If you intend to keep Bloodseeker in your final lineup (with Sniper for Deadeye, possible to replace with Gyro later on) try to get him to three stars as well.
Tidehunter and Disruptor are your ideal units if you manage to get to lvl9 and 10. Tide gives you some magic resistance and control, while Disruptor activates the Waclock alliance with Alch and upgrades it (he's the Warlock Ace).
Techies is also great - if you find him make sure you have (4) Inventors. You usually want to replace Sniper with him, especially if you don't have three-star Bloodseeker.
How you get from the early game comp to this point depends on the game, but usually, the process is the following:
In this example, we include two 2* copies of Tinker. We are trying to get to three Mages, but don't have the hero slots (and possibly upgrades), so we are only running Maiden as a 7th unit to help our other heroes (most importantly the two Tinkers) to get their rockets off faster. It's also possible to replace her with another two-star Scrappy (Timber or Clock) temporarily.
Once you hit lvl8 and the core lineup is ready, you have a key decision to make:
If you are not doing great and you don't have a lot of HP to work with, you need to increase your power-level ASAP. Stay on lvl8 and roll the shop to finalize your three-star upgrades. Getting a three-star Tinker will make you a lot stronger, and it should get you into top 4 quite comfortably. If you manage to find multiple three-star upgrades, winning the game is also definitely a possibility.
If you are lucky, you might get Techies. If you are staying on lvl8, you can either just replace your weakest Scrappy unit for Techies, or break up the Mage synergy to get the (6) Scrappies online.
If you are doing well, however, you have the luxury to play for the late game and get to lvl9 or even possibly lvl10. The benefit of this is that it increases your chances of finding Techies and other powerful Aces (e.g. you can replace your weakest Mage with Lich). The drawback is that you will have less gold for rerolls, which makes it more difficult to get multiple units to three stars, so you will most probably end up with just one three-star upgrade (ideally Tinker in Mages/Warlocks or Slark in Assassins).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sniper: 3g, Scrappy, Hunter, Deadeye
His main purpose is to give you quick access to (6) Scrappy. If you are running Scrappy Assassins, activating the Deadeye bonus also buffs your Bloodseeker significantly. In (6) Scrappy drafts either Sniper or Bounty get replaced by Techies once found. Scrappy Hunters are possible, but not a top-tier Scrappy build right now.
Shadow Fiend: 3g, Demon, Warlock
Not a Scrappy, but deserves an honorable mention because he is a must in a Scrappy/Warlock/Mage strategy. He is a Warlock, which gives you the (2) Warlocks bonus with Alch, and he deals heavy AoE magic damage, which makes him great in combination with the (3) Mages synergy.
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.
Pipe: Scrappy units get HP regen and armor, which means they are relatively vulnerable to magic damage. Pipe helps in this regard.
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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