Dota Underlords Basic to Advanced Guide, Robust Synergies, Economy, Global Items and more

Story Highlights
  • Economy
  • Dota Underlords Interest
  • Chess Board Movement
  • Synergies, Global Items, and Item Combination

Dota Underlords has been released in Open Beta for quite a while now. Even if we had the chance to make a guide a lot earlier during its closed alpha, we wanted to wait and delve deeper into experimenting, eventually discovering the most durable build, etc. Sadly, there isn’t a build that could be classified as Strongest, as in the late game you’ll most probably notice how the fights take place, as of how could they be different on two different boards.

Do not get the picture wrong! Synergies are more valuable in any case, and if you as an Underlord decide to pick a slew of them over none, you should most likely overcome your opponent in the late game. Nevertheless, another reason why the Global Cards matter, but not in the early game.

Well, this Dota Underlords guide will hopefully teach you not just some basic mechanics, but also provide you with a good set of explanation regarding builds, global cards, item combinations, economy and more. We will try to divide this guide into multiple steps, so you could understand the reasoning behind every combination and serve as a Cheat Sheet.


Keep a sharp look at your saving and never go below 37-39 gold, ever. Why 37-39? It varies depending on your next round’s income. If you have 50 gold, as soon as the round starts, you can reroll or contribute towards level up. Assuming you have a winning streak and active income of 10-13 gold after each fight, then subtract the income value from your current saving. That is how you’ll know how much you need to roll for and not lose the 5g interest income.

The favorable line is 50 gold, but if you need to satisfy the struggle and if your elimination depends on the next couple of rounds do not hesitate and reroll to 30. Make sure you do this only during the Fight duration.


Valve has forbidden the ability to reroll and purchase heroes throughout the duration of the round, but the basic mechanic about the interest income is still at the same position. Yes, it may shuffle the intensity of gathering the best lineup easier. However, the interest income mechanic still kicks in at the start of the round.

Check the Dota Underlord Interest guide below for more details. If you have the upper hand and you’re above 50 gold, always contribute at least 5-10 gold to your experience. Leveling up is as important as gathering a strong comp of heroes, so do not keep your economy just for rerolling.

Simple as that, keeping hold to a healthy economy a winning factor, and even if for a brief moment you’re army is being defeated, do not focus rerolling, because it may lead to your capitulation. Thus, a loss is inevitable at this point.

Dota Underlords Interest

Why keeping hold of 50 gold at the minimum? Simply because of the Interest mechanic granting you an active income after each round. If you manage to win a round while also having a gold above 50, it will allow you 5 interest income, which is 5 gold. This applies for each stack of 10 gold in your possession. Going below 10 gold before a round starts would be the worse scenario, granting you no income at the end of the round.

Therefore the simple Interest math can be found below:

  • 10-19 Gold = 1g Interest Income
  • 20-29 Gold = 2g Interest Income
  • 30-39 Gold = 3g Interest Income
  • 40-49 Gold = 4g Interest Income
  • 50+ Gold = 5g Interest Income

There is a simple way to cheese the Interest gain. The interest calculation kicks off before the start of the fight. Buying units during the fight won’t hurt your Interest. Therefore, it is vital to begin the round with 50+ gold, and it doesn’t matter if you go below 50 during the round. That’s how you can gain extra Interest income and still have the opportunity to reroll while ~50 gold. If you keep a strong notice of your possible income, you will be able to gain at least 10+ gold each round, given the possibility of different item income as well.

Step #1 – Chess Board Movement

Have you noticed the diagonal lines that look like carved on the chess board? Yes, they do not serve as a decoration but are somewhat intentionally included. They emphasize the hero movement if put onto that particular square. This is very important for assassins, as they will be among the first ones to reach their (your) designated destination. To do this effectively, you will need to study the opponents positioning and react appropriately.


Assassins, which role is to invade the enemy backline and deal with the casters that have a slightly lower HP than the Tanks, could be easily navigated by inserting them onto these squares. They primarily travel towards the end of the diagonal line. The Assassin units placed on the left side of the board will go to the enemy hero found on the most right hand and vice-versa unless your opponent also has assassins. Then, there may be a huge twist and result in a colossal mispositioning. For a clarified explanation, take a look at the image below:

Understanding the game is probably easy when you have put a remarkable effort into it. Therefore we would instruct you to position your army according to the incised lines, especially if you’re commanding an army of assassins. They will deal with the enemy of your choice.

Step #2 – Synergies, Global Items, and Item Combination

Global Cards serve as a massive buff in both the early game and mid game, and if adequately transitioned, they will eventually carry their impact towards the late game. Not every player may rely on them merely because of mixed luck. Thus, not every player out of 8 will get the useful Global Items as an offer after each Loot Round.

Despite the Global Items, there are also defensive, offensive, and support items that will grant every hero some bonus and if properly attached, get the maximum benefit of it. For example, most of the players do not like having Anti-Mage on their board. But what if you combine it with a Blink Dagger? He will be able to capitalize and blink to the enemy backline, which most likely has casters. With his mana burn ability, they won’t be able to cast their spells and combined with assassins, and it usually ends with a complete meltdown.

Therefore, these items should be adequately equipped to fit each character’s intentions, abilities, pros, and cons.

Synergies are probably the most beneficial part of the game. Being able to swap through different player’s chess boards, you can acknowledge what types of synergies and global buffs they go for. A very critical piece of info upon which the player himself can put a response to. With that being said, picking the synergies that counter the opponent’s ones are going to put you to a mild spot.

Alliances Global Items Combo
Assassin Pocket Sand (God Tier for the Assassins build, very useful if combined with 6 assassins.)
Blood-Bound /
Brawny Forged in Battle (A buff to the Brawny units, not good in the late game.)
Demon Strange Bedfellows (Works with Demon Hunters Read more about it below.)
Demon Hunter Strange Bedfellows (Useful only if having at least Level 2 Demon Hunter Units, Terrorbalde, and Anti Mage Combined, with a number of Demons across the map)
Dragon Dragon’s Hoard (Rarely encountered but surprisingly good around a strong economy, could easily break other’s economy as well)
Druid Completing the Cycle (Has great synergy with Druids, and could transform to the most powerful late game build, 4 Druids combined with Savages)
Elusive Elusive Targets (A decent choice that could have a mixed impact on each fight, enemies may focus the viewable targets but not necessarily reach them)
Heartless Wicker Intent (A great combo with Heartless Units)

Fall from Grace (6 Pieces of Heartless units together with Human is easy to gather, possibly the strongest Global Item in the game.)

Indomitable Will (Not recommended at all.)

Human Fall From Grace (Arguably the strongest card if combined with the right alliances. Getting 6 Heartless units with physical damage won’t lose you a match unless put against 6 mages with lucky encounters)
Hunter Hunter’s Focus (Was good pre-patch, still decent if combined with 6 Hunters rather than 3.)
Inventor Unstable Reactor (Currently not the greatest, only beneficial when planned on using a full Inventors build)
Knight Age of Chivalry (A decent amount of damage reduction for your whole squad even if accordingly combined with other units.)
Mage Final Flash (Very strong choice if using Mages with strong abilities, especially if 6 of them. Strongly advised having at least 3 human mages and 1 Human Tank ( on the board.)
Primordial Font of Creation (Beneficial only if there’s at least a level 2 Arc Warden on the board. Also strong if combined with Summoning Stone.)
Savage Tooth and Claw (Having 6 Savage Units with this item will not only apply stackable 10 damage bleed on the attack, but will also increase the Attack power of the whole lineup. One of the best builds together with the Fall From Grace heartless build.)
Scaled Retaliate (Good if combined with Slardar** and Tidehunter** in the Front Lines)
Scrappy Check The Bodies (A gold benefit could do you good but in extremely rare situations, not a part of the current meta, weak choice.)
Shaman Shaman Pluck (Very beneficial if having Primordial/Shamans on the table. This may result in permanent disarm for the opposite team, and we have won matches around it so we can say it’s very eligible.)
Troll Coordinated Assault (Good when there’s a complete troll build with a Troll Warrior as a mandatory part of it)
Warlock Soul Sucking Syphon (Useful if having only 1 Warlock placed in the middle so that every other unit benefits from the buff, and greatly combined with Strange Bedfellows + Shadow Fiend)
Warrior Unstoppable (If played around Warriors, this card is the most beneficial as it will grant the warriors to survive for an extra 2 seconds and punch 1-2 extra attacks.)

All of the above are Tier 1-3 Global Items, as Tier 4 and 5 are unassociated with the Alliances. But, in the table below, we have compiled a list of the best fitting late-game items on some of the strongest units.

Now, let’s talk more about the items that are best used on certain heroes due to their stats and abilities. We’ll kick off with Tier 3 items, and move onwards.

Items (Tier 3)  Hero Priority – Highest to Lowest
Eye of Skadi Strongly advised to have it on Medusa. If equipped on Medusa, moving her closer to the enemy lineup will make her reach more enemies and slow them all. Otherwise, you can use it on any good damage dealer.
Hood of Defiance Usually, its place is best on a tank brawling in the Front.
Mekansm An excellent item that replenishes allies’ health, three cells away. Therefore, equipping this item on a mid-range health pool hero that can trigger the Mekansm before dying is the best way to go.
Sacred Relic Terror Blade, Medusa, Troll Warrior, Slark, Bloodseeker, Phantom Assassin, or anything else that naturally performs godly in the DPS meter.
Skull Basher Even if in Dota 2 Skull Basher works on Melee heroes only, in Dota Underlords can be combined with ranged heroes as well. But, we strongly advise you to use it on Slark. Once he gets the essence shift stacks, he hits like a turbo maniac. If he is the surviving unit on your team, he will most likely win the round.
Vanguard Same as the Blade mail, it is best used on tanks. Even if the Blade Mail suits Axe very well due to his taunt, Vanguard wouldn’t be a bad choice either, on any tank that seemingly needs a bit of extra HP.

Below you can find a list of the Tier 4 items, as this compile will continue and end with Tier 5.

Items (Tier 4) Hero Priority – Highest to Lowest
Battle Fury Slark or Phantom Assassin, Bloodseeker, Lycan, Beastmaster, Juggernaut,
Black King Bar (Any heavy caster or best damage dealer on the DPS meter that struggles against opponent’s abilities.)
Daedalus (Terrorblade, Troll Warlord, Medusa, Slark, Bloodseeker)
Maelstrom Any above 1000 HP Level 2 high attack speed unit that is doing good in the DPS meter
Moonshard Strongly advised to be used on Terrorblade. Otherwise, Medusa, Troll, Slark, Bloodseeker, anyone would do the job.
Radiance Usually found in a strong front row that could survive but still deal a good amount of burn damage with the Radiance. Assassins that are being isolated from the fight could also be a great choice.
Refresher Orb Kunka, Tidehunter, Keeper of the Light, Doom, and very strong on Arc Warden** when combined with Crystal Maiden.
Friends and Family (Global Item) All units are 1 gold cheaper.
Vicious Intent (Global Item) Very useful if your lineup is consecutively winning. That will increase your damage after each round won.

Now, let’s take a look at all of the Tier 5 Items.

Items (Tier 5) Hero Priority – Highest to Lowest
Assault Cuirass On any surviving, if possible until the very end.
Bloodthorn Strong on each DPS unit, if possible on a level 3.
Desperate Measures (Desperate Measures) Do not hesitate to pick this Global Item as it is quite strong.
Divine Rapier Could cause a huge backlash if you lose a match and drop it to another player. Pick it only if confident of winning each consecutive round. (Out of personal experience, lost a match because of Divine Rapier loss)
Expanded Roster (Global Item) Very useful if lacking one synergy so that you could fulfill the missing spot.
Heart of Tarrasque Strong survivability item that should be equipped on an impactful DPS dealer or Tank.
Recruiter Not recommended in any case, useful to complete your build and keep a strong economy. Since it is extreme late game, it is not that important.
Shiva’s Guard Could be used on anyone closer to the enemy lineup. Since the emit works on 3 cells away, front liner or assassin that invades the right direction of enemies.

Keep in mind that this guide is still in the works. We are currently working on Synergies and their Counters. We will update it once we have everything settled and confirmed.

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Angel Kicevski

I am ANGE1K. I started playing video games a long time ago. In a blink of an eye, I became a hardcore gamer. A couple of years later, I traversed to the professional Counter-Strike 1.6 scene. After the competitive ERA, I managed to find the gaming industry amusing and started working on FGR. 8 years after founding FGR, my mission remains the same. That is to discover secrets within the gaming industry, create guides for all the games I play, and provide you with some important news. Oh, yeah, I post tons of patch notes too. At the time, I play everything that seems reasonable to play, make content about it and help gamers to the best of my abilities. P.S. Last time I counted how many hours I've spent in video games turned out to be 13+ years. And that was a long time ago too. Almost 24/7 in front of PC. If you need anything, feel free to contact me on X!

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