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.
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.
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!
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.
In each tier, units are arranged according to their cost. This way 1-gold heroes shouldn’t directly clash with 5-gold Aces.
Arc Warden: 1g, Primordial, Summoner
The king of cheese strats is back for Season 1 with his trademark ability to flood the board with doubles given the right conditions. On his own he is relatively weak, but if you manage to give him a long fight and ideally some mana generation (Humans bonus + Refresher Orb is the dream) he can overtake the round (arguably the only 1g hero with the possibility to do so). He is the most important hero in a Summoner strategy.
Snapfire (with the Dragon bonus) is an extremely capable AoE damage dealer and a two-star Snapfire with Mortimer Kisses can carry you in the early-mid game. Unlike most tier-one heroes, she's well worth keeping in the late game. That said, without the Dragon bonus, she is relatively weak which means you don't usually run her outside of Dragon strats. The Brawny bonus is also great on her because with Mortimer Kisses she tends to get a lot of last-hits.
Refresher works very well with Mortimer Kisses.
Warriors are one of the most versatile opening, and Tiny is one of the most versatile Warriors. 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 (very good with Octarine), 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. With the removal of Kunkka, Tiny becomes a vital source of crowd control in Warrior and Primordial strats.
A great hero to get to two stars from early on and close to broken if you combine him with Stonehall Pike or Cloak. That said, if those conditions aren't met, he falls off very sharply, which means he's either S tier or B/C tier depending on the game and running him isn't without its risks.
Batrider 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 Knights + Trolls build. It's worth mentioning that running two two-star Batriders is a good idea as they can use each-other's Napalm stacks.
Good utility Assassin with his mix of decent damage (Vendetta) and potentially AoE stun (Carapace), but nothing game-breaking. What puts him in A-tier, however, is his versatility - he is often used outside of Assassin drafts to get the (2) Insects bonus - you can run him on the frontline to trigger Carapace faster and stun multiple heroes. You can later on replace him with Sand, or keep both for more stuns.
Drow has extremely good Alliances (Hunter, Heartless, and even Vigilant are very synergistic), so she is used in almost all Hunter drafts to get at least the (2) Heartless bonus. Moreover, her proximity aura is very useful in Hunters who have multiple ranged heroes. That said, her own stats are a bit underwhelming, which means she's rarely used outside of Hunter strats (unless you're going for the full (6) Heartless bonus).
Weaver doesn't provide amazing DPS or tankiness, but his Alliances make him very useful in Hunter drafts (an easy way to get (2) Insects). He is very hard to kill thanks to Shukuchi, which means that even though his DPS isn't amazing, he deals very decent damage over the duration of the round.
Razor + Morph means Mage builds can easily get the (2) Primordial bonus. Moreover, he deals decent AoE damage with the Mage bonus, so he is quite powerful in the early/mid game on the 1st or 2nd row.
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/Savage in the late game if he's still two-star.
Magnus: 1g, Savage, Druid
Mag is a great utility hero if you have strong melee carries (Lifestealer, Lycan, Legion Commander). He is also an easy hero to give you the (2) Druids bonus. That said, he doesn't have a great impact himself because of mediocre stats and Empower becomes more powerful in the late game. This means that relying on him in your early army composition might be a mistake.
Shadow Demon: 1g, Demon, Heartless
An easy way to get the (2) Heartless bonus in a lot of strategies. His ability is quite strong (a strong disable with a lot of damage), but he deals terrible attack damage so he gets it off very slowly - sometimes too late to make a big difference in the fight. Because of this, items like Void Stone are great on him and if you're desperate you can even run him on the frontline (he's not tanky, so make sure he doesn't take a lot of focus-fire).
She is a great way to get the Human synergy in Mage drafts and because of this - a must in full-Mage strats. That said, she is useless outside of them because of her weak stats and her underwhelming ability.
He could be useful in the early game when combined with Ogre or/and Bloodseeker, and he is the most easily available hero to get the Warlocks synergy. You can keep multiple Warlocks as cannon fodder on the frontline if you're running a Blood Bound Big Time Contract strat. In all other cases, however, you'd replace him with another Warlock (unless going for the full (6) Warlocks).
Veno is a good hero to give you (2) Scaled in a Summoner build (importnat becuase your summons are vulnerable to AoE magic nukes). Besides that, however, Veno doesn't shine - both his stants and his summons are weak, so he isn't really palyable outside of full Summoner builds.
Two-cost heroes are the backbone of your early-game and some of them are good enough to be central in some builds.
Legion Commander: 2g, Champion, Human
Legion is a strategy-defining hero and LC strategies are currently top-tier. In a few words you want to combine her with as many Alliances as possible (including at least one Demon for the bonus and usually two Brutes and two Druids) while upgrading her whenever you can. In the late game a three-star Legion with a strong item and a good amount of Duel kills has the potential to be the strongest carry in the game.
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 Underlords in the early-mid 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 for multiple Demons).
Storm: 2g, Spirit, Mage
Storm is the centerpiece of Spirit builds (you want to run two two-star Storms to trigger Delta Slam more often). He is also one of the main damage dealers in a Mages draft (quite often first place on DPS and a high three-star priority) because of the frequency with which he casts Ball Lightning.
Bristle actually benefits from the tier four to tier two downgrade a lot because you get him earlier and it's much more viable to get him to three stars. This makes him a great carry for the cost and one of the key heroes in Savage strategies. The Brawny Alliance is also in a good place - combined with the Brawny bonus and a survivability item, Bristle could become an extremely hard hero to stop kill in time.
Brawny is much more reliable after the latest rework of the Alliance bonus. This makes Brawny Hunter strategies quite good 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.
His Axes deal physical damage, so he also synergizes very well with Heartless.
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 or the full (6) Warriors bonus, you usually want to replace him.
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. His ability could be very impactful against compositions that like to turtle-up in the corner of the board.
Very good in Assassin drafts. Her Scream of Pain AoE nuke has a huge AoE 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. To mitigate her you can place her on the second row to prevent her from Blinking at teh start of the game. Deals very high DPS overall, which makes her an ideal hero in Mage/Assassin builds. Her biggest drawback is her squishiness and that she is not useful outside of Assassin drafts.
Luna: 2g, Vigilant, Knight
Luna is back as the damage-dealing staple in Knight drafts. The Vigilant Alliance isn't a big deal on her (she deals AoE damage, doesn't focus down targets easily), but her old Elusive Alliance wasn't game-breaking either, so she doesn't suffer a lot. On the contrary, her glaives are an amazing counter to Summoning strategies and her reintroduction in the game increases the usefulness of Mask of Madness.
Windranger: 2g, Vigilant, Hunter
Windranger doesn't suffer a lot from losing Elusive, and gains a bit from Vigilant because Hunters benefit from focusing down enemy heroes. She is still one of the ranged heroes with the best stats in the game (very good attack DPS), which is a good enough reason to try to get her to three stars in Hunter builds.
Tanky unit with decent stats. He has two main uses - as a 6th Mage (often sold for Lich in the super late game because his skill doesn't synergize with a Mage draft) or as a tank/damage dealer in a Blood-Bound/Brute strategy where he truly shines as a three-star upgrade.
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 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.
Dazzle: 2g, Troll, Healer
A decent way to get the (2) Trolls bonus when you want (3) Healers as well. You can also run him in (4) Troll strategies. His heal deals physical damage, so he synergizes slightly with Heartless. That said, he has bad stats and his ability isn't game-breaking, which makes Dazzle a bit underwhelming.
Earth Spirit: 3g, Warrior, Spirit
He is needed in Spirit drafts, but he is arguably the Weakest Warrior in the game. He is relatively tanky, but he deals very low damage and his ability is a bit underwhelming. In Spirits he serves as a frontline hero, but there is a risk that he dies before your Spirits can perform the Delta Slam, which means you need to positioni him smartly - offensively enough so that he takes damage and casts his spell fast, but defensively enough so that he doesn't die before Ember is able to cast his spell.
Nature's Prophet: 2g, Druid, Summoner
A good addition in Summoner strategies, but his impact is relatively low (bad stats and the Lesser Treat is one of the weaker summoned units). This means you shouldn't rely on him too much in the early game, but rather add him later on if you're trying to reach the full SUmmoner bonus.
The tier three heroes are often strategy-defining carries because they are the highest tier of heroes you can get to three stars (relatively) reliably.
TB is arguably the hardest carry in the game - both of his Alliance bonuses as well as his ultimate increase his DPS output. He is a must in Hunter and Demon strategies, but he could be used as a flex pick in other drafts.
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 early-mid game single-handedly. Treant is extremely tanky and his heal is extremely strong early on but falls off in the late game. It's easy to get him to three stars because of the Druid synergy, but if you don't intend running Druids or Brutes in your final lineup, it's entirely viable to sell him an replace him with something more late-game focused.
Lifestealer: 3g, Heartless, Brute
The main carry in both the Brute and Heartless lineups. He deals great damage and is hard to kill thanks to his Alliances and passive. He tends to get a lot of kills if you find an early upgrade, so the items that benefit from kill-count work great on him (Stonehall Pike and espacially Cloak).
SF deals a lot of damage both with his attacks 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).
Morph is one of the most important heroes ina Mages draft. 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 loose the enemy aggro and attack undisturbed for a long time, ideally using his Waveform multiple times in the fight. Great with Octarine Essense.
Viper is the usual 2nd Dragon in a Knights + Dragons Build as well as Assassin Builds 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.
Ember Spirit: 3g, Spirit, Assassin
Ember Spirit deals very high physical AoE damage, which makes him a very important hero in Assassin builds. In Spirit builds his main problem is that he charges up mana to cast his spell too slowly compared to the other Spirits, which means he often gets replaced by Void Spirit in the late game.
Enigma: 3g, Primordial, Void
Enigma is an interesting hero because of Midnight Pulse. The spell is one of the most powerful counters in the game to tanky lineups (Brawny, Warrior, Brute, Knights, etc.). At the same time, stats and Alliances of the hero aren't that great, which means if you aren't playing versus such lineups Enigma wouldn't provide that much value.
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. A decent unit to buy in order to get the (3) Healer bonus in other strategies - he's usually tanky enough without the Knights bonus.
He is a key unit in a Knights build 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 in other builds. 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.
Lycan is very well-rounded hero with great EHP and very good damage output. He is central in Savage/Summoner strats, but the fact that he's no longer a Hunter decreases a bit his DPS potential in the late game.
The Human Alliance is an added bonus and could help you get the (2) Human bonus very easily especially if you are running Legion Commander. Raw HP items work well on him because Shapeshift benefits from them.
After the increase in viability of (4) Troll strategies, Shadow Shaman became a useful addition in such drafts and helps you get the (4) Trolls bonus earlier, without having to wait for Troll Warlord. That said, Shadow Shaman is most powerful in Summoner strats where he is easily A-tier and helps you easily get the (2) Trolls bonus to buff your army of Summons.
Broodmother: 3g, Insect, Warlock
Brood has decent stats, a decent nuke with some utility, and quite good Alliances - easy to make use of both of them because the lowest level bonus of both Insect and Warlock requires just two heroes from each Alliance. That said, Brood provides nothing amazing and is usually out-classed by Sand King later-on in (2) Insect drafts, which means she's a common hero only in Warlock or full (4) Insect builds.
Jugg is good in Brawny drafts but struggles a bit outside of them. He is relatively squishy, so without the Brawny bonus HP, he dies too fast to deal enough 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.
Io has two major problems. First, the Primordial Alliance is quite useless because he is most synergistic in physical-damage strategies, and Primordials are mostly useful in Mages. Two, he usually casts his ultimate at the wrong time. If he casts too early, his partner carry hero loses the Tether bonus, which is Io's main contribution in the fight. If he casts it too late, he brings back one hero after the real fight is over and they get slaughtered by the remaining enemy heroes. That said, Io is absolutely viable as a second Druid if you are running a strat with a real three-star hard carry (Lifestealer, Legion Commander, etc.).
Strategy-defining heroes, but they are very hard to get to three stars unless you spend a lot of time on lvl10. This means 4-cost heroes are rarely solo hard-carries and are often strong semi-carries and utility heroes.
Necro jumped from C-tier to S-tier just from the addition of the Warlock synergy. He is once again an extremely convenient hero to get the (2) Heartless and (2) Warlocks bonus in a lot of different strategies. With the Warlock link and especially with the Healer bonus, Death Pulse heals your army significantly.
Tidehunter: 4g, Warrior, Scaled
One of the best AoE control heroes of the game, a great tank, with convenient tribes that allows you to get the (2) Scaled bonus in Warrior strategies together with Slardar. Ravage is good-enough to justify including Tide in your draft even when you're not fully utilizing his Alliance bonuses.
The AoE silence of Disruptor is very powerful in any strategy if you run at least (2) Warlocks. The fact that he is also a Brawny is great, because if you run him in a Brawny draft the bonus HP will make him great at tanking on the frontline, which in turn makes his AoE silence even better because it triggers almost instantly (and the AoE damage heals him, making him even harder to kill).
Lone Druid has the most powerful summoned unit in the game. He is key in Savage builds and the addition of the Summoner Alliance benefits him a great deal.
Put him on the frontline if you don't have the Savage bonus so that he casts the Bear sooner. Put him on the backline if you have the Savage bonus because he needs some time to accumulate bonus damage and to becomes a strong ranged damage dealer.
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 the Human bonus (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.
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 and breaks a random unit. Casting Doom on one of the enemy carries is truly game-breaking, the only downside being that it is quite unreliable.
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. He suffers from being moved to tier four (used to cost 3g) because this makes it much harder to three-star him, but he is definitely good enough on two stars (with a decent item) and worth running even outside of Assassin drafts.
A good damage-dealer in Knight drafts (especially with the Troll bonus) with relatively useful Alliances. His main drawback is his high cost, which means he comes late in the game and you rarely have him on more than two stars. He isn't too useful outside of Knights, but he might be currently underrated (a leftover from the time he was the Knight Ace and cost 5g).
Mirana: 4g, Vigilant, Hunter
A two-star Mirana is a great inclusion in any Hunter draft and an easy way to get the (2) Vigilant bonus. Yet, her ability isn't very high impact for the price you pay for her, which means she isn't really game-breaking and is hard to utilize outside of Hunters.
Templar Assassin: 4g, Vigilant, Assassin
Unlike most other ex. Elusive heroes, Templar suffers a bit from losing the Elusive bonus because she is exposed to danger and the evasion bonus made her more survivable. That said, she is still durable and a potent damage-dealer in Assassin drafts, and including a two-star Templar in full Assassin strategies is usually well worth it. She isn't useful outside of Assassins.
Obviously a good hero if you're running a Spirits draft. The more Spirits the easier Delta Slam triggers. That said, his impact isn't amazing outside of such strategies, which isn't great for a 4-cost hero - he's not flexible.
The Aces are the final touch on most strategy, and some of them are powerful enough to increase the tier of their respective Alliance.
Great crowd control ultimate, extremely good AoE damage thanks to Multishot and the Hunter bonus (especially when combined with proc items), and great Alliances - Medusa pretty much gives you everything you need and is the main reason (6) Hunter drafts are quite strong in the late game in the current meta.
Brawny is in a very good place in Season 1, so a super-strong tank that deals AoE damage is simply very powerful. He is decent even outside of Brawny strategies if you have frontline problems - a two-star Axe with 6k HP, 15 armor, and potentially a survivability item is extremely hard to kill and will deal a lot of damage to any melee heroes attacking him.
Troll is the Ace of Trolls and the strongest hero in Troll strategies. He is also the main damage dealer in (6) Warrior drafts. Mask of Madness is an extremely potent item on him because he doesn't have an active skill. That said, he purely a single target damage dealer, which means he's a bit less impactful than the strongest tier five heroes in Dota Underlords.
Faceless Void: 5g, Assassin, Void
Void is the Ace of Assassins and one of the heroes with the most powerful AoE disable in the game. Chronocube is synergistic with Assassins and ranged damage dealers like Hunters and Mages, which means he can act like a flex pick in such drafts. That said, his Alliances are relatively useful outside of Assassin builds, which is a downside.
The move from tier four to tier five in Season 1 is a nerf to DK because it makes the two-star upgrade (extremely important for him in Dragon builds) much harder to find. He is still an extremely strong damage-dealer, but he is much more unreliable.
Give him attack speed items to maximize his damage output.
You can check out more details in our Underlords Knights guide.
Powerful late game control is a valuable commodity, which helps Snad King become a good addition in a lot of Strategies. Moreover, the (2) Insects bonus is very easy to get and universally useful, which means it's quite easy to include Sand in a lot of different strategies with (2) Insects by replacing your weakest insect with Sand.
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.
you for reading! To get a full picture of the meta you can check out our Dota Underlords Builds Tier List and it will help you put the information about the individual heroes in perspective! You can also check loads of other Dota Underlords content in our Guides Library!