This Warriors and Warlock build is often referred to as a “good stuff” build because it focuses mainly on strong individual units rather than high levels of specific Alliances. It often focuses on 4-cost units, because they strike the right balance of being more powerful than regular units, while being more accessible than 5-cost ones.
The strategy builds around Warriors and Warlocks, simply because there are 3 Warriors and 2 Warlocks among the 4-cost units — just enough to unlock the lowest tier bonus of those Alliances. The rest of the build is filled out with various units, who are often strong on their own, and complete minor Alliances in support of this core.
This build is very strong in the current meta, since the odds of getting 4-cost units recently increased. This makes it easier to upgrade, and less detrimental if someone else is going for your strategy as well. Given the flexibility of this build, each game you play with it can turn out very differently. This guide will help you navigate all these options and considerations for the 4-cost Good Stuff build.
Early game uses Savages and Warriors, like Venomancer, Pudge, and Slardar
Druids like Enchantress and Treant Protector can bridge the gap to late game
Summoning Stone is great even with no summons as you eventually want Arc Warden
Level up quickly to get access to the 4-cost units
Complete your build with 3 Warriors, 2 Warlocks, plus other units depending on the game
Level to 9 or 10 when possible for Enigma and Disruptor
These units will make up the core of your final build, although you may not play all five every game. There are three Warriors here — Doom, Kunkka, and Tidehunter — but one of them will often be swapped out for Slardar or Pudge to complete the Scaled or Heartless Alliances respectively, while still maintaining the 3-Warrior Alliance. It is worth noting that all 3 of these Warriors get substantially stronger at 2-star, especially Tidehunter whose ability radius increases. While they are playable at 1-star, try to stick to lower cost units that you have at 2-star until you upgrade these ones.
The Warlocks are simply the strongest Warlocks in the game, outside of Disruptor the Ace of Warlocks. They provide constant healing from the Warlock Alliance and Necrophos’ ability, while also dealing pretty strong damage from their casts as well. Both of these should almost always be played.
Slardar, Slark, Medusa are the options to complete the Scaled Alliance along with Tidehunter. This is not always necessary if there are not too many Mages running around, but Tidehunter is so good that you always play him, meaning one of these is a natural addition. Slardar and Slark are great in the early game, but fall off later unless you get them to 3-star, and even then, they need some good items. Medusa is a very strong late game unit, but unreliable due to the low chance to find her. It is rarely worth using all 4, as it does not increase resistance by much, and the Ace of Scaled effect is fairly weak.
Pudge is the go to choice for completing the Heartless Alliance along with Necrophos, which, unlike the Scale Alliance, is strong against every opponent, every round. He is also a Warrior, which allows you to get the 3 Warrior bonus online a bit earlier. Overall a solid unit at all stages of the game, and especially strong at 3-star with a Blade Mail.
These Savages pair great with Summoning Stone, and can give you a lot of power early on. The Bleed effect is relatively more impactful early game rather than late game, since it is a flat damage amount and does not scale with HP or levels. This means that you will often start the build with Enchantress, Venomancer, and others and then transition away from them by rounds 20-25. Lycan and Lone Druid are also very strong early and mid game, but start to fall off as well unless you have multiple Summoning Stones or get them to 3-star.
This Primordial pair is a very strong combination in the current meta. Even without Summoning Stone, Arc Warden is very strong with other items, and provides strong damage output behind the resilient core of Warriors and Warlocks. Enigma is particularly powerful with Tidehunter and Kunkka, whose stun abilities will burn opposing Mana with the Ace of Shamans ability. Even if you do not find both for the Alliances, playing either of these two on their own is still very strong. Pick them highly!
These two are other Warlock options. Disruptor is very strong, since the Ace of Warlocks effects will dramatically increase your healing, making him a good choice even at 1-star. Shadow Fiend on the other hand is a less used option. He is strong early game, but is weaker than Doom, who competes for the single Demon slot. But if you do not find many Dooms, or can get Shadow Fiend to 3-star, he can be a good addition to the team. It is often not worth it to go for 4-Warlocks though, since that means you will play Shadow Fiend, Venomancer, or Witch Doctor, who just aren’t that great late game unless they are 3-star.
He was nerfed in the latest patch, reducing his attack speed. This makes him much weaker than before, and honestly not a great addition to the team. He can work though, if you have a Mask of Madness for him, or get him to 2-star with any Attack Speed item or Troll Alliance. The Ace of Trolls effect gains a bit of value if you already have Enigma, but that requires Witch Doctor as well, so it is not a very common occurrence.
Here is a typical early game start that would pull you towards this type of build. Three Warriors are particularly effective early on, since their +10 armor buff is very impactful. The Savage Alliance between Tusk and Venomancer also does a lot of damage in the very early rounds.
If you manage to pick up a Summoning Stone, you can prioritize units like Lycan (highlighted here) as well as Nature’s Prophet. Both of these units make powerful summoned units who because real threats with a Summoning Stone. By lining up in the back, we better protect Enchantress and Nature’s Prophet, and prevent opponents from flanking and killing them before getting through our Warriors.
In the midgame, pick up the 4-cost units that you find, and they can be playable at 1-star, if the Alliances make sense. Here we have a 1-star Lone Druid, who is effectively a 2-star, due to the Druid Alliance with Enchantress. Doom is also reasonably strong at 1-star, although he is placed off to the right, and offset from the front, because he is less durable than the other frontliners. This positioning ensures that he does not take much damage initially.
Later in the game, when you have most of your core assembled, a formation like this can ensure that your big CC effects from Kunkka and Tidehunter are cast as soon as possible. They are front and center, taking most of the opponent’s attacks, gaining lots of mana quickly. Doom and Slardar are offset which protects them from damage as most of their value is in their constant attack damage output. Arc Warden is placed near the back to keep him safe as he pumps out damage from range.
If you get Tombstone, one of the best items for the build, it is often correct to place it in the first or second row. Here is is placed in the second row, because we do not want it to take initial hits from the opponents, rather we want Tidehunter, Disruptor and Lone Druid to cast quickly. Most of our units are then stacked inside, with Slardar and Doom, once again, offset. If we are afraid of opposing Assassins or Blink Daggers, placing Pudge behind Arc Warden as shown here can help to pick them up and save our more valuable backline damage dealers.