- Durable frontline – HP and bonus armor.
- Good utility and control.
- Very flexible – plenty of viable Warrior heroes.
Warriors are without a doubt one of the best strategies in Dota Underlords in the current meta: they are strong in all stages of the game, reliable, and very flexible.
Because of this, it’s a great idea to learn how to play Warriors. Moreover, even if the meta shifts, the fact that the Warrior opening is one of the most flexible in the game means that you would always be able to utilize the knowledge you have about Warriors.
(3) Warrior Heroes: All Warriors gain +7 Armor.
(6) Warrior Heroes: All Warriors gain +20 Armor.
Warriors are one of the most versatile Alliances because of two reasons:
The general idea with Warriors is to build a durable frontline with the help of the good HP of the Warrior heroes in combination with the bonus armor and decent utility they have (great AoE control, etc.). How the lineup deals damage depends mostly on the secondary synergies you get.
Warrior openings are very versatile because there are a good number of cheap Warriors. The idea is to get to the (3) Warriors bonus ASAP to build a durable frontline. Where you go from there depends on your opening, but of course, selling your starting units and transitioning into something else is entirely possible.
Tiny: good utility in the early game. The Primordial secondary synergy is very useful if you intend to go into Mages thanks to Morph and Razor, but simply keeping Tiny in a Warrior lineup is also a good option - his AoE disable is valuable throughout the game.
Tusk: Warriors + Savages + Druids are pretty much the best early-game composition in the game and Tusk is the key unit that enables it. This opening allows you to keep a winning streak for long, but it doesn't scale that well into the late game so you'll usually have to slowly transition into something else. Slardar and Pudge are the common Warriors that work great from this start because you might end up not selling them in the late game to make use of their secondary synergies (Scaled with Tide, and Heartless with Necro).
Pudge: even though not an "opening" Warrior, he's extremely valuable to keep if you're going for Warriors + Hunters. He allows you to get the (2) Heartless bonus very fast together with Drow.
Slardar: you usually want to keep this hero in almost every Warrior opening simply because he gives you the (2) Scaled bonus later on when you get Tidehunter. Moreover, if you manage to three-star him, he becomes a decent semi-carry thanks to his good stats and DPS-oriented ultimate.
Warriors are extremely diverse. In general, it’s possible to combine them with any of the damage-dealing Alliances (Hunters, Mages, Savages, even Assassins) to create a decent build.
Generally speaking, because of their good early-mid game strength and because of their valuable high-tier heroes, Warrior builds are level-value builds. You prefer to go for lvl9-10 rather than to stay on a lower level and roll for upgrades). This allows you to get your high-tier utility Warriors to two-stars faster, and it helps you find powerful Ace heroes sooner rather than later.
(3) Warriors + (3) Hunters is pretty much one of the best mixes of early-game strength, versatility, and late game potential in Dota Underlords. You can go for the full Hunter OR full Warrior bonus, but it's also possible to stay on (3) Hunters and Warlocks and chase after other synergies (Heartless, Warlocks, etc.).
Above you're seeing the standard late-game build out of a Warrior/Hunter opening that focuses on the full (6) Warrior synergy. It was one of our best-performing builds in our late-game strength test (as seen in our Best Underlords Builds Tier List).
In this variation, two-stars on Medusa and Troll are a big power-spike since they are your main damage-dealers, which means that pushing for lvl9 or 10 earlier rather than later is a good idea. If you get to lvl10 you usually want to get a second Troll for the (2) Trolls attack speed + the mini-stun bonus. Going for (4) Scaled is also possible if you're facing Mages.
At the same time, three-stars on Tiny, Slardar, Wind, etc., are also great. This means that if you don't have the luxury to push for lvl10 you can certainly do well by rolling for these upgrades earlier. That said, lvl9 is still crucial because on lvl8 the chance of finding Medusa + Troll is significantly lower.
Warriors Warlocks share a different build philosophy - you don't have great sources of damage, but the insane tankiness of Warriors + the insane sustain from (4) Warlocks are extremely hard to beat for most builds in the game.
This is a pretty standard late-game variation.
The build is extremely tanky and survivable – high HP units, high armor from the Warriors bonus, good magic resistance from (2) Scaled, and extremely high sustain from the (4) Warlocks + the Disruptor Ace effect. Moreover, even though the DPS output isn’t amazing, it’s pretty good with (2) Heartless and (2) Trolls with Troll Warlord and Shadow Fiend as damage-dealers.
Before you get to this point, you can stay on (3) Warriors and use temporarily Savage (Tusk + Veno) and even Druids to give you a good mid-game and find you the required gold to push for lvl10.
It's worth mentioning that even though (6) Warriors (4) Warlocks is good, it's definitely viable to stay on (3) Warriors, (4) Warlocks, and other great late-game heroes (e.g. Tiny and Pudge are gone in favor of heroes like Arc Warden, Gyro, Medusa, Slark, etc.).
Going for (4) Trolls is a very natural way to fix one of the biggest problems in a Warrior lineup - the lack of good DPS. The reason for this is that the Troll Ace (Troll Warlord) is also a Warrior.
Since the build relies on finding an Ace hero, you want to push to lvl9 ASAP. That said, the addition of a 5th Troll makes it possible to get the full (4) Troll bonus even before finding Troll Warlord. Batrider will be your temporary backline damage-dealer in the early-mid game.
The variation above is a great option if you don't intend to go for the full (6) Warriors synergy and instead want to get multiple secondary Alliance bonuses. The sustain and control buy the trolls a lot of time to deal damage.
It is entirely possible, however, to go for the full (6) Warrior (4) Troll build if you chose to do so.
In both cases, Slardar is your three-star priority because he has great stats and with the Troll bonus deals very decent damage. His armor reduction also synergizes with the Troll backline.
The idea of combining Warriors and Healers is the same as combining Warriors and Warlocks - (6) Warriors are very tanky and benefit a lot from sustain.
The benefit of this option is that it doesn't require lvl10 and allows for a lot of secondary synergies, which makes the build well-rounded. Getting a Troll Warlord is still quite crucial since he's your main source of damage, so pushing for lvl9 sooner rather than later is still quite importnat.
Tusk: 1g, Savage, Warrior
As mentioned, Tusk is a pivotal starting unit for the very strong Savage + Warrior opening. He has good stats and deals decent DPS, but like most cheap Warriors he gets out-shined by his more-expensive counterparts and usually gets sold in the late game. If you are committing to a (6) Savage draft, you might want to three-star him, but even then he’s not a the biggest priority.
Tiny: 1g, Primordial, Warrior
Tiny has a great ultimate for a 1-cost unit. He has an AoE disable that even deals decent AoE damage. This makes him one of the best starting units in the game, especially when you utilize his Primordial Alliance bonus, which is also pretty strong in the early game. His high utility also means that it’s more viable to keep him in the late game compared to the other cheap Warriors and even to try to three-star him. That said, with the current trend of chasing lvl10 instead of three-star upgrades with Warriors, this also happens rarely.
Pudge: 2g, Heartless, Warrior
Pudge is the most cost-efficient tank in the game as he has a huge HP pool for and he’s quite cheap. That said, he compensates by dealing pretty bad damage. His utility is also not the most reliable - great against corner comps like Hunters and Mages, not that useful versus other tanky comps. A three-star Pudge, however, is not a bad choice in some situations simply because he serves as a huge meat-shield. This is most often used in (3) Warrior strats with a more vulnerable backline, like Hunters. If you intend to three-star him, he works amazingly well with Blade Mail. His huge tankiness, however, isn’t that useful when your whole draft is very tanky (as in all (6) Warrior comps). His other main selling point is his Heartless Alliance – he makes it very easy to get the (2) Heartless bonus with heroes like Drow or Necrophos.
Slardar: 2g, Scaled, Warrior
Slardar is the first of two Scaled Warriors (the other one being Tide), which makes it very easy to get the (2) Scaled bonus in a Warriors build. This is a big benefit because the Warrior Alliance bonus armor protects only against physical damage. Scaled increases the survivability of your whole army against magic damage by a considerable margin (Warriors already have good HP), which is very valuable in the late game. His stats are also good and his low CD ultimate is a nice added bonus, so getting him to three stars is a great idea if you have the option to do so.
Juggernaut: 3g, Brawny, Warrior
Jugg used to be one of the worst heroes in the game, but he went through a lot of buffs and is currently quite decent. He is a good unit to include in a Brawny lineup and his ultimate makes him great against Mages (he is spell-immune while spinning). That said, outside of Brawny lineups, there is rarely a place for him in the draft because of the better 4 and 5-cost Warriors and more cost-efficient lower-tier Warriors.
Kunkka: 4g, Human, Warrior
Kunkka used to be one of the best heroes in the game, but after a few nerfs to his ultimate he got bumped down a tier. That said, he is still very tanky with a great AoE stun, so you shouldn't underestimate him. The combination of Ravage, Ghost Ship, and possibly the Tiny throws makes it almost impossible for a clumped-up comp to do well against (6) Warriors.
Tide: 4g, Scaled, Warrior
A good tank with a great AoE disable. That said, the disable is much, much weaker on lvl1 compared to lvl2 and 3 because of the smaller AoE, so getting him to two-stars makes a big difference. He is the second Scaled Warrior, making it easy to get the (2) Scaled bonus, as explained above for Slardar. Usually, you want him to be the first hero that enemies hit in order to trigger his stun as fast as possible. He is tanky, so it’s unlikely that enemies will kill him before he casts (unless he’s silenced). Bracers of Desperation and Refresher work wonders on him.
Troll Warlord: 5g, Troll Ace, Warrior
Troll Warlord is the main damage dealer in the Warriors lineup and the Troll Ace. He makes it easy to get the (2) Trolls bonus in a Warriors lineup with the help of Witch Doctor/Dazzle, which in turn synergizes with the Warrior/Warlock or Warrior/Healer. Getting a two-star Troll makes a big difference in terms of DPS, which is also a major reason why Warrior lineups prefer to play on lvl10 rather than e.g. lvl8. The Ace bonus is nothing amazing (5% chance per Troll Alliance level to mini-stun for 0.25 seconds) but is still quite useful because it applies to the whole lineup and could interrupt long cast-time ultimates.
Anessix, in almost all cases, is the ideal Underlord to run with Warriors. The reason is quite simple - she provides amazing sustain for the whole lineup. Combined with the Tankiness of Warriors and possibly even sustain from other Alliances like Healers and Warlocks, she makes Warriors almost unkillable. In terms of talents, you usually want to invest in all possible sustain talents + the decent damage (and possibly sustain) from Pure Pain to help out with the DPS of your lineup a bit. Your lineup mostly consists of melee heroes, so you usually want Golem over Enthrall (although Entrhall is certainly possible e.g. for Warrior/Troll or Warrior/Hunter variations).
Hobgen is objectively a bit weaker with Warriors comapred to Anessix, but this doesn't make him useless. Super-Charged is definitely useful, and Hobgen himself could become a very decent backline damage-dealer. Usually you want to go for his fire and Super-Charged centered talents.
For general tips about which items to pick you can check out our detailed Dota Underlords Items Tier List.
Globes of Haste: Warrior lineups lack damage, so Gloves is quite valuable even in the late game on a unit like e.g. Slardar.
Tranquil Boots: as mentioned above, the regen is useful because Warriors are tanky and stay alive for long. The movement speed is not amazing, but it could be useful in a Warrior lineup where almost all heroes are melee and need to move to reach their targets.
Chainmail: not as great as in some other lineups whose frontline is desperate for armor, but still good enough to pick most of the time when offered. You can put it on non-Warrior frontline heroes like Alchemist later on to help them survive for longer or simply on a Warrior that you want to make even more survivable.
Blade Mail: more useful compared to most other strategies, especially on a high-HP Brawny Warrior. A good counter to Assassins and hard-hitting carries like Terrorblade.
Hood of Defiance: not S-Tier, but provides a lot of EHP in a Warrior lineup because the units already have good armor and HP. The regen is also decent because Warriors are tanky and stay alive for relatively long.
Blink Dagger: good on Warriors with good utility spells that want to cast their ability faster (Kunkka, Tiny, etc.). Also helps you reach the enemy backline versus comps like Hunters or Mages, which could be situationally useful.
Bracers of Desperation: extremely good on units with strong utility spells – Tide, Kunkka, or even Tiny.
Healing Ward: currently an underwhelming item, but conceptually it should work with Warriors because they survive for longer and buy time for the Ward to give value (pick if buffed).
Mekansm: decent in a Warrior lineup especially with Warlocks because it makes your heroes even harder to kill. Useful versus strong AoE lineups – mostly Mages.
Octarine Essence: there are a few Warriors with a low-enough cooldown to realistically benefit from it, but it’s most valuable on Tiny/Slardar or secondary Alliance heroes like Bristle.
Mask of Madness: great on Troll Warlord. If you don’t have him, you can also use the item on a three-star Slardar or Tusk as they have good DPS while their ultimates are not that impactful. The lifesteal is quite useful on a Warrior. Putting it on Slark, of course, is the best option if you’re going for (4) Scaled + Warriors.
Battle Fury: best on a three-star Tusk and Slardar.
Black King Bar: Helps him survive the initial volley of spells against Mage lineups and beat them down afterward.
Refresher: extremely good on the utility Warriors: Tidehunter followed by Kunkka.
Pipe of Insight: a very powerful late-game item versus Mages. That said, Warrior lineups are usually positioned spread-apart from one another, so it’s not that easy to get the maximum utility out of the item. Still good enough to pick it every time of you’re facing Mages.
Moon Shard: the best boost in DPS for the slow-hitting Warriors. Most valuable on Troll Warlord followed by a three-star Slardar.
Assault Cuirass: the attack speed and armor reduction are a big boost to DPS to your whole lineup.
Heart of Tarrasque: will make one of your Warriors extremely tanky, but this is best when the carrier also deals damage, making it yet another item best used on three-star damage-dealers like Slardar or Tusk.
Radiance: a not-that-good Tier Five item, but Warrior + Healer/Warlock lineups tend to live for very long, so it can provide great value on a very tanky unit like e.g. a three-star Pudge.
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