Alliance Items Rework Suggestions & Poll

If there is something the Dota Underlords community can currently agree on, it’s that Global Items, those connected with Alliance bonuses, in particular, are very problematic.

They have a few bad things going for them:

  • Very powerful: having the correct Global Items for your build makes it much stronger. The top 1-3 places in the lobby will often be decided by who got their Alliance items and who didn’t.
  • Very RNG based: either you go for a strat and hope that you will get the correct Alliance item, or you get the item and try to force a strat. Both choices are not optimal and require dumb luck.
  • No real choice: strong enough to always pick up if they are intended for the strategy you are going for, and absolutely useless if they are not. This is not bad just because the choice is obvious when it concerns Alliance items alone. The Alliance global items that don’t fit your strat create a “dead slot” in the loot round, which reduces the viable item options every time they pop up and makes picking item an obvious decision rather than a strategic one weighing benefits and drawbacks.

Below you will find a couple of example solutions. In addition, I’ve made a poll (linked below) in which you can vote for your favorite one. I hope that his information will be useful to the Underlords dev team!

1. Separate the Items Shop in Two

The simplest solution that would require the least rebalancing would be to split the Loot Rounds item-picking phase (the items shop) into two.

A shop for Normal items and a shop for Globals.

This could be implemented in two different ways.

  1. Dedicated Global Rounds: Specific loot rounds could be reserved only for Global items (15, 25, 35, etc.). All other loot rounds will give only normal/equipable items.
  2. Two items picked per loot round: The shop always rolls 2 normal and 2 global items (or 3/3), and you can pick one of each type.

The benefit of these solutions is that they are easy to implement. They mitigate the current Alliance item problems, but they don’t solve them completely. The choices in the Global loot rounds would still be a bit obvious, and not getting your Alliance items due to bad RNG would still be crippling (albeit less likely).

2. Rework Alliance Globals to be more Versatile

We can remove all Global Items that buff exclusive Alliances and replace them with more versatile globals.

Summoning Stone Icon

For example, Summoning Stone is not as problematic because the units that benefit from it are from at least three different Alliances, which means it’s an alright item for a couple of different strategies. Moreover, the strength of the item is not game-breaking, and you would rarely win or lose a game simply because you got or didn’t get Summoning Stone. This is a philosophy that all Global items could stick to.


Fall from Grace is another interesting example because it is, in fact, an Alliance item (that works only for Heartless and Humans), but it is versatile enough to include in different strategies. It makes the game interesting from a deck-building perspective and doesn’t suffer from the same problems as the Alliance items that straight-up buff a specific Alliance. There is a trade-off: you can get the Heartless bonus easily, but you lose the possibility to get the Human silence, which is also quite strong in the late game. This is another global item philosophy that could also be transferred to some of the Alliance globals.

For example, we can remake various Alliance items to these item design philosophies:

(Disclaimer: the examples below are thought experiments, I don’t claim they are balanced well enough to be included in the game as they are.)


Unstoppable: “The first three units on your team that are about to die instead stay alive for 2 more seconds.”

Final Flash

Final Flash:  “When a hero gets to 30% HP, it automatically recasts a weaker, Flash version of their ultimate. The Flash version inherits 30% of the damage and 30% of the disable duration”


Unstable Reactor: “Your three-star units explode on death, dealing 20% of their total health as damage in a small AoE”.


3. Rework all Globals and make them Equipable

A more extreme option of the above suggestion would be to remove Global Items altogether and replace them with normal items that you need to equip on heroes. For example:

Summoning Stone Icon

Summoning Stone could get its stats buffed and be an equipable item that you get for your Lone Druid, Lycan, etc.


Unstoppable could keep the equipped hero alive for 5 seconds instead of 2 (and give it a chance to recover health in the meantime, e.g. from the Warlocks bonus).


Fall from Grace simple makes the unit also count as Heartless in addition to it's current Alliances.

Some AoE effects could be preserved in the form of auras. E.g. the Hunters global (Hunter’s Focus) could become an item that gives a proximity aura which increases the damage of all affected units if they are attacking the same target.

The benefit of this is that you can always pick and choose which heroes are more optimal for carrying your items. Moreover, by making them equipable, you are by design removing the strict Alliance association.

The drawback is that we lose global items as a concept, which imposes some design limitation on the items and might mean we lose all the good things from globals as well. The Fall from Grace change illustrates this the best – the way the item works now is more interesting from a deck-building perspective than this proposed equipable version.

4. Integrate Alliance Perks into the Alliance Bonuses.

So, the Alliance global items disappear from the items pool – you are left with the normal equipable items as well as the non-alliance globals like Summoning Stone, etc.

Then, the Alliance percs get rebalanced and integrated into the current Alliance bonuses. For example, Inventors’ Unstable Reactor becomes a scaling feature of the Inventors bonus, while Final Flash – an exclusive feature of the (6) Mages bonus:

inventor bonus 1 big

(2) Inventors: All Inventors gain +15 HP Regeneration. Allied Inventors explode on death, dealing 10% of their Max Health to all enemies 1 cell away.


(4) Inventors: All Inventors gain +40 HP Regeneration. Allied Inventors explode on death, dealing 20% of their Max Health to all enemies 1 cell away.


 (3) Mages: Enemies suffer -40% Magic Resistance.


(6) Mages: Enemies suffer -75% (nerfed from 100%) Magic Resistance. Mages reset their cooldown and get full mana when below 30% health.

This solution could make chasing the higher level of Alliance bonuses more attractive and interesting because the bonus will change rather than simply give a stat buff. The problem is that it would be a pain to rebalance all percs keeping in mind you are guaranteed to get them if you reach a certain Alliance bonus level. E.g. do you make Forged in Battle available only for (4) Brownies? If so, it has to have its number buffed significantly.


You can vote for your favorite solution here:

Dota Underlords Alliance Items Rework Poll

Hopefully, this information would help the devs get a better understanding of the issue and give them inspiration for possible solutions!

Personally, I prefer the last option (to Integrate Alliance Percs into the Alliance Bonuses) in combination with creating at least several new versatile Global Items to compensate for the lost items in the pool.

Thanks for reading! If you like our content you can check out some of our other Dota Underlords guides and articles in our blog and Library.