Although this article is perfectly suited for new players, if you are entirely new to the game and genre you should first check out our Dota Underlords Guide for beginners.
will start with a disclaimer: hero tier lists are a very flawed concept in all
Auto-Battler games, Dota Underlords included, simply because units work off of
each other thanks to the Alliances.
That said, a list of all heroes with some tips is a very useful thing for new players, so it doesn’t hurt to order the list in some kind of subjective but useful criteria that would help new players get a general intuitive feeling of what is good and why.
This article goes hand in hand with our Dota Underlords Strategies Tier List that will hopefully help new players develop a full picture of the meta – what is currently good and why.
So, don’t take the hero tiers too seriously. Take a look at them to get a general idea, but be sure that you can easily move half of the heroes around and you’d have a point. The top and bottom units are there for a reason, but pretty much everything else is very debatable.
The true value of the article is in the actual tips about every single hero, so – dive into the details if you’re a new player!
In each tier, units are arranged according to their cost. This way 1-gold heroes shouldn’t directly clash with 5-gold legendaries.
Heroes who define the meta by making their strategies top tier. Also, heroes who are good enough to include in multiple top-tier drafts. Currently, in S-Tier you'll see the key heroes for Brawny + Hunter/Warrior, Demon Hunters, Knights, Tiny for a Warriors of Primordial-Mage opening and Tinker as a main carry of all Scrappy drafts.
Warriors are the most versatile opening, and Tiny is one of the most versatile Warriors thanks to his Primordial alliance. Primordials are currently great with Mages and Assassins, but you can also play him successfully without other Primordials in a Warriors strat. His skill is great – against clumped-up formations he works like a 1g Kunkka. His spell is nowhere as strong, but he can cast it a couple of times in a fight, which could win you the battle. He is also pretty tanky and easy to get to three-stars if you want to keep him in your final army composition.
Brawny is much more reliable after the latest rework of the Alliance bonus. This makes Brawny Warrior or Hunter strategies top-tier right now. Beastmaster is the most important unit in Brawny strategies because he is the hero that gathers kills the easiest in the early game. If you see him early on, you should take him every time. If you get kills on him you can go Brawny. If not - simply sell and replace him.
Put him on the frontline but further towards the edge of the board – this will help you maximize his Whirling Axes damage because he will throw them diagonally and hit most enemies.
CK and Knights, in general, got buffed significantly, which made him one of the most desirable units in the early game. He can carry you early on with even just one additional Knight, and if you decide to commit to a Knights strategy you usually want to prioritize getting him to three stars – he has pretty good stats especially with the added pure damage. If you’re not committing to Knights, you usually want to sell him in the mid game for something else that fits your strat (unless you’re going Demons).
TB, like all “super carries”, suffers from the fact that you cannot put multiple items on him compared to Auto Chess. That said, he is still one of the most powerful damage-dealers in the game and the strategy-defining hero in Demon Hunter/Demon strategies. Since the rework of Demon Hunters, him + Anti Mage could be used as a splash damage-dealing Alliance in a lot of strategies, which increases his value a great deal. Moreover, he is a 3-cost unit, which is very valuable in a meta where the standard game-plan is to reroll on lvl8 for upgrades (on lvl8 you have the highest chance to get 3-cost units).
Since the crit buff, PA became one of the top-tier Assassins. She is used only in Assassin and Elusive drafts, but there she is a top three-star priority because of her damage output and one of the strongest carries in the game. Mask of Madness is the best item on her, but she works great with most high-tier DPS items. Like Terrorblade, she is a high-DPS 3-cost carry that fits the three-star lvl8 meta.
Since Lycan became a Hunter, he also became one of the most desirable units in some of the most popular strategies right now - Hunters and Savages. With Hunters, he deals extremely high DPS - the double attack works on his wolves as well. In Savages, he is a great way to apply multiple stacks of Tooth and Neil (the two Wolves can are Savage units as well and apply bleed stacks). A great damage-dealer either way and a top three-star priority.
The main damage dealer in a Scrappy draft and your highest priority to get to three-stars because of the ridiculously low CD of the Rockets. Put him on the frontline to guarantee that he gains enough mana. The Scrappy bonus will make him tanky enough, and the Rocket spam will make him a great damage dealer. The Mages synergy increases his DPS significantly, while Warlocks can help him survive for longer by linking with him while he spams rockets.
DK is the centerpiece of the very dominant Dragons + Knights strategy, which makes him a meta-defining hero for a few patches already. He is also very good as a frontline hero in Mage drafts and can be thrown as a splash unit in other drafts in case you have another Dragon.
Give him attack speed items and auras to maximize his damage output.
You can check out more details in our in-depth Knights guide.
A great frontline unit because of his AoE silence. It is very powerful in any strategy. He has three Alliances, which is unusual but useful: Brawny for survivability on the frontline (currently a popular Alliance anyway), Warlock for the extremely strong (2) or (4) Warlock sustain bonus (a possible splash in any strat), and the least useful but still noteworthy (it's hard to build) - Shaman, for additional control.
which are very important for their intended strategies, yet don’t feel broken.
Some of these units are fixed to their strats, others are a bit more versatile.
Batrider feels a bit better individually than in Auto Chess (uses his Napalm a bit more often as it costs 20 mana). He is good in the early game but not an amazing unit later on. Yet, right now he is the starting part of one of the strongest strategies in Underlrods - Knights + Trolls.
Veno is used in Savage drafts often because he also allows you to get the (2) or (4) Warlocks synergy pretty easily. His wards are also Savage, which means that they apply the bleed. His wards are not magic immune as in Auto Chess, but huge AoE damage is a bit off-meta right now, which makes summons much more valuable. Being 1g also makes it quite possible to get him to three-stars.
Drow Ranger: 1g, Heartless, Hunter
The main hero who makes Hunters a good strat. Her proximity aura is ridiculous with ranged heroes who can easily stick next to her during the whole fight. It increases their DPS a lot. Moreover, her Alliances are also great – it allows Hunters to get the (2) Heartless armor reduction by adding just one additional Heartless unit.
He is one of the tankiest units in the game and he costs only 2 gold. This is very valuable in itself because most strategies need a good frontline. It also makes him a great carrier of items like Radiance and Blade Mail. More importantly, however, he is Heartless, which makes the armor reduction bonus easy to get out of a Warrior opening (something you couldn’t do in Auto Chess). His ability is a bit underwhelming unless he manages to grab the enemy Drow/Medusa/Keeper, in which case it’s absolutely great.
Morph is key in Primordial drafts (both in Mages and Assassins). The reason is that in Assassins his attack damage gets buffed, while in Mages – his AoE nuke damage. If you have him on two or three-stars (ideally with a tankiness item), you can use him as a frontline hero. He will charge and cast his Waveform pretty fast, which will let him lose the enemy aggro and attack undisturbed for a long time, ideally using his Waveform multiple times in the fight.
He deals very decent AoE damage with the Mages synergy and ideally an Octarine Essense for some CD reduction. The passive he unlocks with the Dragon synergy (Phase Shift) isn't game-breaking, but he could be used to unlock the strong passives of Dragon Knight and/or Viper - this is his main role outside of Mage drafts.
One of the best Assassins in the game. Her Scream of Pain AoE nuke has a huge AoE (bigger than in Auto Chess) and very decent damage. That said, she will rarely utilize her whole AoE because she has a long range and often blinks a few tiles away from her target. Still deals very high DPS overall.
The best Scrappy/Inventor unit in the early-mid game. Good tank, but also deals high DPS because of his AoE nuke with low CD. He can cast it multiple times if he survives for long enough. He’s usually a top priority for three stars if you’re going for Scrappy heroes. Having two 2-star Timbers is usually pretty good in the mid game. Of course, it’s also possible to get him as one of your two scrappy units in the early game and sell him off later when you transition into something else.
Luna is the most-important Knight damage-dealer aside from DK. If you’re going for Knights she is another unit you usually want to three-star. You also want to give her a heavy DPS item – she deals AoE damage, so additional damage skyrockets her DPS. She is also possible to include as the sixth unit in an Elusive draft, but usually, you want other units to hit the Assassins and/or Hunters synergies.
Arguably the best Warlock in the game. He deals a lot of damage both with his attacks (if he is the only Demon in the draft) and with his AoE nuke. More importantly, the Warlock synergy allows him to instantly heal himself and another unit to max HP once he casts his nuke, which is extremely powerful. The fact that you need only two units to take advantage of this makes him relatively flexible. His main drawback is his extreme squishiness (he could easily die before casting his ultimate if your positioning isn't good enough).
She is absolutely crucial in (3) or (6) Mage strategies. Her aura is what allows your Mages (especially a low-damage hitter like Keeper) to generate mana as fast as possible and cast their nukes. It also allows your frontline control units (Tide, Kunkka) to cast their spells before the frontline control units of your opponents. The fact that she is a Human is also useful in the late game – the Human synergy might allow her to silence an enemy crowd-control frontliner. She could be used outside Mage comps as well if you have spellcasters that need to get their spells of fast.
Viper is the usual 2nd Dragon in a Knights + Dragons strategy because the secondary skill that the Dragons Alliance unlocks is pretty powerful. He gains a decent DOT and a significant amount of magic resistance. This also makes him one of the more valuable Assassins, especially if you are using him in a (4) Primordial + (3) Mage + (3) Assassin draft, where he is a three-star priority. The magic resistance debuff coming from Mages makes him a great frontline unit (it increases the DPS of the Corrisive Skin DOT).
He is a key unit in a Knights draft because he makes it possible to get the (2) Heartless armor reduction very easily and he is the tankiest Knight with the help of his shield. You can also use him to get the (4) or even (6) Heartless bonus with Fall from Grace. He is a top three-star candidate in a Knights draft - he becomes almost unkillable and he is able to cast his shield a few times in a fight.
Great range and high DPS especially next to Drow. He is key in (6) Hunter strats and you usually don’t want to skip him in (3) Hunters as well. Deadeye doesn’t come into play until the late game, but combining him with Gyro to make his targeting smarter is actually pretty decent and could allow him to pick-off damaged enemy heroes much faster and decrease their impact. If you have him on three stars, it's usually a great idea to give him Mask of Madness - it will prevent him from casting his slow ultimate, which will effectively increase his DPS because of his great auto-attack.
A great tank for your (4) Scrappy frontline. On three stars his value increases a lot because of the Battery Assault interval buff and the raw HP increase. Not versatile in any way.
In Assassins, he is a great carry and damage dealer. If he doesn’t get focused for a long time (you don’t have a lot of control over that, sadly) his attack speed will become ridiculous and he might 1v3 the enemy team by the end of the fight. Mask of Madness makes a huge difference on him, as well as a high star-level (ideally three stars by the late game).
Arguably one of the two best Warriors together with Kunkka. He has great stats and his ultimate is great against drafts who rely on the ult/passive of a high-level unit. E.g. he can reliably cast his silence on the enemy two-star Legendary or three-star Slark if Doom is on the frontline because he’ll get mana pretty fast. You want him in most Warrior and Demon strategies.
Necrophos: 4g, Heartless, Warlock
In Underlords you need just two units to get the first part of both the Heartless and Warlock buffs, which means they are very common in a lot of strategies. This makes Necro one of the most versatile heroes in the game. Besides his Alliances, however, he’s nothing too impressive. Unlike in Auto Chess, spell damage here doesn’t give mana, so he can’t cast Death Pulse on cooldown as easily. Still provides very good sustain. Usually you want to keep him on two stars.
In Auto Chess, he is an S-tier unit for sure, but here you cannot easily get him to three stars without using other druids in your draft to include him in random strats, which decreases his value compared to Auto Chess. That said, he is still a very powerful unit. The fact that he usually summons his Bear after most enemy heroes have used their ults means that the Bear (which is very strong on its own) can sometimes clean up and win you the round 1v2 or even 1v3. He is key in Savage strategies and pretty good in Elusive and Warrior drafts that use Savage/Druids, but otherwise, you’ll find it harder to include him. Put him on the frontline unless the enemy team has the Human synergy.
Kunkka: 4g, Human, Warrior
Warriors are the most versatile and pretty much best opening strat in the game, and Kunkka is one of the best Warriors. You need him in your draft if you have Warriors or Humans (usually with Mages). He has good stats and the Ghost Ship is amazing – it has great AoE and stuns for a decent duration.
Try to put him on the frontline to ensure he casts his ship sooner rather than later. Refresher is great on the hero – the two Ships pretty much perfectly overlap so that you stun the enemies for a very long time.
Tidehunter: 4g, Scaled, Warrior
After the nerf a 1-star Tide is underwhelming (very small AoE), but on two stars he is still one of the best frontline heroes in the game, so don't underestimate him. His Warrior Alliance makes it easy for Warrior strategies to get (2) or even (4) Scaled.
He is key in (6) Savage or (6) Assassin drafts. He has a very powerful AoE disable and debuff which stuns and displaces enemies, slows them, and deals damage. Moving him to tier four (4 gold) was a buff to him because he needed the extra stats to be a viable frontline hero.
Decent tank and a good way to get the (2) or (4) Warlock synergy in physical damage drafts (his armor reduction is useful if your units deal physical damage). He is also key in Scrappy drafts. Getting him to two stars is usually enough. Your 3-cost units are easier to upgrade to three-stars and the upgrade provides a larger increase in power.
Keeper of the Light: 4g, Human, Mage
He has terrible stats, and he needs hours to charge his spell. But when he does, he simply wins the battle. The damage of Illuminate is absolutely ridiculous with the Mages magic resistance bonus, and with the help of Crystal Maiden (for mana) and some CC units on the frontline (to buy time), it’s pretty sure he’ll manage to cast his spell in time.
Put him in the absolutely safest place where you can find for him (he needs to survive before he casts at all costs), and ideally diagonally from your enemy, so that he has the best chance to hit all enemy heroes with his blast.
Medusa: 5g, Scaled, Hunter
Her crowd control ultimate is very strong, just as it was in the original Auto Chess. However, in Underlords she gained a passive multi-shot, which makes her the best physical AoE damage dealer in the game. She works great next to Drow and with items like Daedalus, Maelstrom, and Skadi, she is outright broken (she applies effects to four targets from a long range). To top all of this off – she is Scaled, which is the most valuable Alliance against Mages. Her drawback- she is a legendary hero and it's hard to get her to two stars, and on one star she is significantly weaker.
Techies deals pretty high nuke damage, but after the nerf his AoE got reduced. Right now he is not very popular because the top-tier Scrappy strategies only go for the (4) Scrappy bonus. If you find him, you can still replace your weakest Scrappy with him.
Usually, you want to use him as a frontliner, and if you have him it’s pretty important to try to get him to two stars because otherwise, he’s not too tanky without the Scrappy armor buff. Blink Dagger is amazing on him because it allows him to position the bomb on top of the enemy team.
A hero you need in the (6) Mage draft (also good in (3) Mages) to reach the final potential of the strategy. Chain Frost works great with the magic resistance bonus, and a two-star Lich with Refresher is an extramely powerful damage dealer. The Heartless Alliance is good, but it’s not that useful in Mage strats where the majority of the damage is magical and doesn’t benefit from the armor reduction. If you’re running (6) Mages and you’re struggling to find enough units to form a frontline, Lich is a good hero to put on the outside especially with two-stars: he’s decently tanky and getting off his ultimate faster helps. Mages are all about nuking their opponents as fast as possible.
The strongest Troll and the main damage dealer in Troll and Warrior strategies. That said, (4) Troll strategies are a bit underwhelming in Dota Underlords (exactly because they need to find a 5-cost unit to work), so you usually see him in (6) Warrior drafts. He suffers from the fact that you can only put one item on him compared to Auto Chess, but he has much better stats and is a beast with items like Madness/Daedalus/etc.
heroes are not strategy-defining and sometimes could be substituted by other
units, but they still work well in their respective strats.
The meta right now is quite well balanced, so you can make solid arguments for most of these units being A-tier for their specific strategies (e.g. Axe is the opening unit for the dominant Brawny + Warrior/Hunter strat). I put these heroes in B-Tier simply because I believe they are not the main reason their strategies are performing well.
Tanky frontliner with OK crowd control. Good starting unit in a Warrior opening because it allows him to start gathering kills for the Brawny bonus. That said, unless you are going for a (4) Brawny frontline (which is decent right now) or you need him to reach (6) Warriors, you would usually sell Axe off for a better late-game Warrior like Kunkka or Doom. Unlike Beastmaster, Axe rarely gets kills (low damage), which means he rarely gets to an extremely high HP treshold even in Brawny strats. (If you manage to three-star him early on, he can gather kills in the early-mid game and be much stronger, but this is obviously something you cannot count on.)
He is a strategy-defining hero in Auto Chess, but here he suffers a bit. His AoE is lower, which also decreases his potential DPS. He is cheaper, however, which makes him much easier to get to three stars. His Primordial Alliance is a bit gimmicky, but still central in the dominant Primordial-Mage drafts.
An S-tier starting unit in Auto Chess thanks to the dominance of the (6) Elves strategy, in Dota Underlords Anti-Mage is a bit less popular. He is still a very strong early-game unit thanks to the mana burn, but he falls-off a bit in the late game. Nonetheless, he is key in Elusive and Demon Hunter strategies. In the latter, you want to three-star him and ideally put a survivability item on him to allow him to burn mana and deal damage for longer.
The only remaining Savage Warrior, which makes him good in Savage strategies. Otherwise, you usually would replace him for a more powerful Warrior sooner rather than later (Kunkka, Doom, Tide, etc.).
Ench is one of two Savage Druids, which makes her a very common pick in Savage strats or e.g. Elusive strats which use all (4) Druids. Outside of these, however, she isn’t particularly useful because individually she is underwhelming in the mid and late game.
A good starting unit with good stats for the gold if you intend to go for a Scrappy or Assassin strategy. Not used outside of those two, and replaceable in both. Getting him to three stars is relatively easy, but it's arguable if it's worth it. Other Assassins and Scrappy heroes are much better on three stars.
An interesting new Assassin who loses HP over time while increasing his attack speed and healing himself from kills. This makes him good in Assassin strategies with both DPS (e.g. Daedalus) or survivability items (e.g. Black King Bar). He also benefits from the Warlocks lifesteal a lot because it allows him to compensate for the lost health without relying entirely on hero last-hits.
All of this in mind, he is rarely useful outside of Assassin strategies in the late game.
In the early game, however, you can keep a two-star Bloodseeker in your draft simply because he's strong on his own and later sell him when you need the slot for another synergistic unit.
The “good” utility Troll, his stun is pretty decent. His Warlock tribe is also good because you need to combine him with just one other Warlock for the (2) Warlocks lifesteal bonus. You want him as your second Troll in Knight strategies because of Batrider. In Warlock drafts, however, he is mid-tier - his stun doesn't deal a lot of damage, which means that compared to heroes like Disruptor or Shadow Fiend, his Warlocks link is a bit underwhelming.
Key in (6) Hunter strats, but skippable in (3) Hunter strats. That said, Wind is Elusive, which is very useful if you are going for some kind of Elusive/Hunters combination. Her AoE nuke is actually pretty strong. The drawback is that the AoE is pretty narrow, but the damage is high. Put her in a corner to ensure she fires her Powershot diagonally across the enemy army.
Arguably you can put him in B-tier as he is an alright Warrior and is needed for the (4) Brawny synergy. That said, he is worse than in Auto Chess – his Bladefury AoE got reduced (only adjacent units take damage), which is a huge hit to his damage output. He is a decent early-game Warrior together with Axe, but unless you’re going for the (4) Brawny heroes you usually want to replace him with more useful Warriors.
The hero has very decent stats, but the main reason he is useful is that he makes the Scaled bonus easy to get. If you plan to run him in your final Warrior lineup it's a good idea to get him to three stars because of his good stats - he becomes one of you main damage-dealers. If you're not going for the Scaled bonus, you usually want another higher-impact Warrior.
She is an OK Mage, but she is not mandatory. Her problem is that she does single target damage, which doesn’t synergize incredibly well with the AoE nuke playstyle of the Mage strategy. Nonetheless, both her Alliances are pretty useful and if you’re going for (6) Mages you usually want her in the draft to get the Humans synergy. She works well in the mid-game with the CD reduction item, because she could snipe a few enemy units. A great hero versus creep rounds (until they start getting magic resistance).
The main tank in an Elusive draft. He is easy to get to three stars because of the Druid synergy and he has a very good HP pool, which synergizes great with the evasion bonus. His ability is also great if he manages to cast it while on decent HP because the heal will help him survive for even longer.
Omni is a great unit in Knight strats in Underlords (his heal deals very high AoE damage). Getting him to three stars increases the damage of his heal significantly and makes it very unlikely that he dies without casting it.
Unless you are trying to get (6) Humans (which is very unconventional, usually (4) Humans are good-enough), he is not used outside of Knight strategies.
Mirana is still a little bit underwhelming for a 4g unit, especially when compared to units like Lycan, who is cheaper but far-more impactful. Her Alliances save her to a degree – she is useful in both (6) Hunter and (6) Elusive strategies (and along with Windranger allows for the combination of the two Alliances 3-6 or 6-3).
Damage items work great on her because she has in-built survivability. You usually want to utilize both of her Alliances to make her into a powerful carry. Refraction means she can easily tank a couple of enemy nukes if she casts it in time (great versus Mages). She is much more vulnerable to strategies that deal damage fast in small instances because they remove her refraction faster (Hunters, Trolls, etc.). She is in B tier simply because she is harder to upgrade to three stars and gets out-shined by other Assassins (PA and Slark).
He is key in Primordial drafts if you’re aiming to get the (4) Primordials bonus. Unlike Auto Chess, where you need Enigma to get it, here you can do it with Tiny, Morph, Razor, and Arc. This means he’s mostly useful in Primordial + Mage or Assassin strats. He is an individually strong hero (great with active or DPS items), but his Alliances are a bit gimmicky (Shamans are hard to utilize).
Decent last unit in Hunter Strategies. Combined with Sniper they both get the Deadeye passive which helps them snipe low-HP targets. That said, Deadeye is not game-breaking and often you might need to give him up for more important synergistic pieces. He could also work alright in Mage drafts, especially (3) Mages, because he deals good AoE magic damage.
The unit with some of the highest damage potential in the game because of his percentage-based AoE damage. His problem is that he is a Shaman, which makes him very hard to include in a lineup without breaking your synergies. That said, if you have an open slot, a two-star Enigma is still a very powerful unit.
The heroes in this tier are not members of top-tier strategies and often they are not particularly useful outside of their intended strats.
Tanky unit with decent stats. His Blood-Bound passive could be useful in the early game combined with (multiple) Warlocks and possible even Ogres. Later on, however, this becomes a very gimmicky strat, which means you only keep him if you need him for the (6) Mages, and even then he is the least desirable option.
The disclaimer here is that Blood-Bound isn't unplayable - it could be used to win game with it's intended item. That said, the strat is very unreliable and the Blood-Bound units simply aren't useful outside of it.
He could be useful in the early game when combined with Ogre, and he is the most easily available hero to get the Warlocks synergy, but unless you are playing some kind of creative (6) Warlocks or a Bloodbound draft, you are certain to sell him for a more useful Warlock later on.
Shadow Shaman: 1g,
He is in a terrible place because he is the weakest Troll - he has terrible stats and you only need him if you're going for all four Trolls, which is rare. His second Alliance (Shaman) doesn't help as it's very gimmicky.
Quite good in Elusive drafts – you would usually run both him and Treant to get two easy three-star Elusive heroes. He could also be used in (3) Elusive frontlines, but these are rarer. Although his Alliances are alright, as a hero he is pretty underwhelming - his summons are weak (they lost the Druids global item), and so are his stats - neither a great tank, nor a great damage dealer.
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