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 Aces.
Heroes who define the meta by making their strategies top tier. Also, heroes who are good enough to include in various strong builds.
He is one of the most durable units in the game and he costs only 2 gold. This is very valuable in itself because most strategies need a good frontline. Equally importantly, 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 could be very impactful against compositions that like to turtle-up in the corner of the board.
CK and Knights, in general, got buffed significantly, which made him one of the most desirable units in the early game - to simplify, he's the strongest two-cost hero in DU. 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).
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 which makes her 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. The fact that she is 3-cost is also valuable, because she is easier to get to three stars on lvl 7 and 8.
Arguably the strongest early-mid game unit. A one-star Treant + any other two-star Druid (so that Treant is guaranteed to be a two-star) can win you the mid game. Treant is extremely tanky and his heal is extremely strong early on (falls off in the late game.) In an Elusive build he is your main tank and a high-priority unit to get to three stars (usually done by three-starring your other Druid, most commonly NP, while leaving Treant on two stars,).
DK is the centerpiece of the very dominant Dragons + (6) 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 to maximize his damage output.
You can check out more details in our Underlords Knights guide.
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. With an active Warlock bonus, when he casts his AoE Heal (Death Pulse) he essentially heals the linked unit(s) twice, which makes him the best sustain hero in the game and one of the most valuable two-star heroes you can get in a late-game comp.
Tidehunter: 4g, Scaled, Warrior
One of the best tanks and crowd-control heroes in the game. On one star his AoE is a bit small, but on two stars Ravage is absolutely gamebreaking. The fact that he's also Scaled is extremely valuable because any draft can make good use of the (2) Scaled bonus when facing late-game comps with magic damage. Tide is one of the main reasons Warrior comps are extremely dominant in the late game.
Doom has some of the best raw stats in the game. He is very tanky (high HP pool and armor from the Warrior bonus), but he also deals very high DPS thanks to his high attack damage and the Demon pure damage bonus. The cherry on top is his very valuable ultimate (Doom), which silences fully (including passives and Alliance bonuses) a random unit. Casting Doom on one of the enemy carries is truly game-breaking.
A great frontline unit because of his AoE silence. It is very powerful in any strategy. Disruptor is the Warlock Ace, and with the (4) Warlock Ace bonus he makes your whole army ridiculously hard to kill. The fact that he is also a Brawny is harder to utilize, but in case you run him in a Brawny draft the bonus HP will make him a bit better at tanking on the frontline.
(4) Troll strategies are a bit underwhelming in Dota Underlords (exactly because they need to find a 5-cost unit to work). That said, (2) Trolls are quite easy to include in a lot of strats in the late game (with Witch Doctor and Troll Warlord), and the fact that he is also a ranged damage-dealing Warrior makes him the perfect late-game unit for a Warriors draft. Troll + WD is one of the main reasons Good Stuff Warriors is the best late-game strat in Dota Underlords.
Techies deals pretty high nuke damage, but after the nerf his AoE got reduced. His biggest selling point, however, isn't his skill anymore - it's the Inventor Ace Bonus Chain Reaction. It's one of the main things that makes a Scrappy/Inventor draft very strong in the late game (especially with Mages, as the Inventor explosions deal magic damage). Chain Reaction is absolutely devastating against clumped-up melee drafts. That said, it's notably harder to utilize against spread-out ranged drafts. To fully utilize Chain Reaction, make sure to have high-HP three-star Inventors (Clock, Timber, Tinker).
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.
Axe was a unit you'd usually replace in the late game unless you are running a Brawny strat and he has plenty of kills. After his latest stats buff, however, he became one of the most cost-efficient tanks in the game. He has extremely high armor on three-stars and when combined with his high HP pool (especially with the Brawny buff) his EHP skyrockets. He's one of the central units in a Warrior/Hunter strategy but he also performs well-enough in other Warrior strats in Underlords. He's not S-Tier only because there are plenty other good Warriors you can use in a Warriors build and he's not that useful outside of one.
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.
Drow Ranger: 1g, Heartless, Hunter
One of the main heroes who make Hunter builds good. 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, which is easy to do with Pudge, Abba, or Necro.
Batrider is better individually than in Auto Chess (uses his Napalm a bit more often as it costs 20 mana). He is great in the early game, especially in longer fights (and when you're running Knights, most fights are long). He falls off late, but you still use both of his Alliances in the standard (6) Knights + (2) Trolls build.
A great Assassin to three-star and keep even in your late-game composition if you have good items for him (most importantly Helm of the Undying) especially with the Deadeye bonus with Sniper and/or Gyrocopter.
The only remaining Savage Warrior, which makes him good in Savage strategies. He's a great starting unit combined with Ench, who is also Savage. The CD reduction was a very significant buff for him, so if you plan to keep him on your late game draft it's a great idea to three-star him. More often than not, however, you would replace him for a more powerful Warrior in the late game (Kunkka, Doom, Tide, etc.).
Brawny is much more reliable after the latest rework of the Alliance bonus. This makes Brawny Warrior/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.
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 (helps him survive for a bit longer), but he could be used to unlock the strong passives of Dragon Knight and/or Viper.
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, which makes her an ideal hero in Mage/Assassin builds.
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.
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 magic 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. Great with Octarine Essense.
Luna is the most-important Knight damage-dealer aside from DK. If you’re going for a Knights build she is another unit you always 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 Elusives to hit the (3) Assassins and/or (3) Hunters synergies.
S-Tier in Elusive/Mage drafts and often tops the DPS chart thanks to his new Wrath of Nature skill. He's decent in non-Mage Elusive strats, but quite a lot weaker outside of Elusives. That said, you can still use him as a 2nd Druid (usually together with Treant) to help you win the early-mid game.
Key in (6) Hunter strats, but skippable in (3) Hunter strats. That said, Wind has the fasted attack in the game and with the Hunter buff proc chance (double attack) she is the best hero to put proc effects on (aside from Medusa). If you're running her, try to get her to three stars. 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. On three stars giving her Mask of Madness to prevent her from channeling her high-risk, slow nuke is usually a good idea.
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 your main damage-dealers. If you're not going for the Scaled bonus, you usually want another higher-impact Warrior. It's also possible to replace him with Medusa in the late game if he's only two stars.
SF 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) and the fact that he is a Demon, which means he clashes with Doom in Warriors and CK in Knights.
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. His passive also makes him quite good in Mage builds - it deals magic damage. In such strategies, he is often a three-star priority and a great frontline hero. Combining him with Tide to get the (2) Scaled bonus is also generally a good idea.
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.
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.
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 Scrappy/Inventor frontline. On three stars his value increases a lot because of the Battery Assault interval buff and the raw HP increase, which is valuable also offensively with the Inventor Explosions and especially with the Techies Inventor Ace bonus (Chain Reaction).
In Assassins, he is a great late-game 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).
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 and versatility. Moreover, he is a 3-cost unit, which is valuable if you plan to roll on lvl8 for upgrades (on lvl7 & 8 you have the highest chance to get 3-cost units).
Omni Knight: 3g, Human, Knight
His heal actually deals surprisingly high pure damage (in a small AoE). He's only useful in Knight drafts, but he's very good in them and getting him to three stars is usually a great idea. Octarine Essense is great on him when he's three stars. The Human Allinace is also very useful, especially when you have Fall from Grace.
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 the original DAC. That said, he is still a very powerful unit. The fact that he usually summons his Bear after some enemy heroes have used their ult 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 builds and pretty good in other builds that use Druids, but otherwise, you’ll find it harder to include him. Put him on the frontline unless the enemy team has the Human silence bonus.
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. 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 or Bracers are great on the hero – the two Ships pretty much perfectly overlap so that you stun the enemies for a very long time.
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 on two-stars. Since he's not a carry, getting him to three stars was impractical.
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 (Alch is an utility hero, not a carry).
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. Helm of the Undying is very useful on him in tough situations (and versus Assassins which are more likely to get to him).
He’s most commonly used in Primordial + Mage strats. He is an individually strong hero, however, (great with DPS items) which means he can be used in pretty much any late-game draft even without using his Alliances. (2) Shamans makes him a bit harder to kill if enemies get to him.
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 (squishy and lower damage output).
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 unit with some of the highest damage potential in the game because of his percentage-based AoE pure damage. A two-star Enigma is pretty great agianst tanky drafts - Warriors and Knights. His problem are his extremely gimicky Alliances.
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. I put these heroes in B-Tier simply because I believe they are not the main reason their strategies are performing well.
Ench is actually an S-Tier unit in the early game - a two-star Ench + a one-star Treant makes any early game comp much stronger. That said, you ALWAYS want to sell her in the mid-late game because the heal falls off sharply and her Alliances are absolutely terrible in the late game. You can theoretically keep her in a (6) Savage Build, but Savages are currently pretty weak and running a full Savage draft is a bad idea in the first place.
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 upgrade. His Primordial Alliance is a bit gimmicky, but still central in the dominant Primordial-Mage/Assassin builds.
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.
A good starting unit with good stats for the gold if you intend to go for a Scrappy or Assassin strategy. He's pretty strong in his intended strategies, but he's not used outside of those two. 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.
Veno is used in Savage builds often because he also allows you to get the (2) or (4) Warlocks synergy pretty easily. After the change (Gale instead of Wards) he is a bit less valuable and benefits from the Savage debuff a lot less. Because of this, unless you are running Savages (which is a bad idea right now), you always want to replace him with another Warlock.
Tanky unit with decent stats. He has two main uses - as a 6th Mage (often sold for a better Mage because his skill doesn't synergize with a Mage draft) or as a tank/damage dealer in a Blood-Bound strategy with Big Time Contract. Since Blood-Bound strategies rely entirely on getting BTC, they are unreliable and Ogre is quite underwhelming outside of them.
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. You keep multiple Warlocks as cannon fodder if you're running q Blood Bound Big Time Contract strat. In all other cases, you'd replace him with another Warlock ASAP.
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 (usually Necro). You want him as your second Troll in Knight strategies because of Batrider. In Warlock builds, 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.
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).
He's been buffed a lot so he is an alright Warrior in Brawny strategies. That said, he is used rarely because he competes for a unit slot with high-tier Warriors like Doom, Tide, Kunkka, etc. He is relatively squishy, so without the Brawny bonus HP (and some kills to his name), he dies too fast to deal considerable damage despite the fact he has quite decent DPS. If you have him, getting him to three stars is a good idea to mitigate his squishiness. He is magic immune while spinning, which makes him good in the late game as he effectively dodges the enemy control and magic nukes.
The loss of his Wolves hit him very hard because he is no longer such a powerhouse in the early game with the Savage buff. He deals high DPS on his own in Hunter drafts (easily an A-Tier unit in Hunter builds), but outside of them he is pretty underwhelming.
Mirana is still a little bit underwhelming for a 4g unit, especially when compared to units like Tide or Doom. 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). Her arrow is good versus creeps.
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 carry Assassins (PA and Slark).
Decent last unit in Inventor or Hunter builds. 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/Inventors, because he deals good AoE magic damage.
The heroes in this tier are not members of top-tier strategies and often they are not particularly useful outside of their intended strats.
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
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