Hunters have been through some ups and downs. Early in Dota Underlords history, Hunters were the undisputed best build, fueled by an overpowered Drow Ranger and a 4-cost Medusa. These days, they tend to hang out on the fringes of the meta, but after several rounds of buffs, they are starting to contest the best builds. Hunter builds are very flexible, often built around a core of 3 Hunters and 3 Warriors, but with plenty of variations beyond that.
- Beastmaster is the best unit to get ★★ early game
- Use Heartless and Savage Alliances early game
- Establish a 3 Warriors, 3 Hunters core at level 6
- Prioritize Scaled bonus if there are multiple Mage players
- Attack Damage items are best for fast attacking Hunters
- Late game can go for 6 Hunters, or branch off into Warlocks
The Hunters here are typically the best Hunters you can play. You do not need all four if you are only playing the 3 Hunter Alliance, but some combination of these will form your core through most of the game. Drow Ranger is individually quite weak, but her Precision Aura and Heartless Alliance are invaluable to a Hunter composition. Lycan, Beastmaster, and Sniper are the highest damage dealing Hunters for most of the game.
Pudge and Tidehunter are two of the most commonly used Warriors that are paired with Hunters. The Hunters themselves are relatively vulnerable, so Warriors, with their high Armor and CC effects, are critical to protect them as they pump out damage. Pudge pairs with Drow Ranger for the Heartless Alliance, and Tidehunter provides a big AOE stun, along with half of the Scaled Alliance, a critical defense against Magic damage.
These are the remaining three Hunters, which you will need at least two of them to get to the 6 Hunter Alliance. Windranger and Mirana are slightly weaker in terms of damage output and offer worse Alliances than those listed above, but they are still very relevant in the early and midgame. You often look to replace one of them with Medusa by the late game, although, as an Ace unit, Medusa is hard to find reliably.
As mentioned before, the Scaled Alliance is one of the best tools against opposing Magic damage, especially Mage compositions. With the rising popularity of Mages, getting a second Scaled alongside Tidehunter is often advised.
To round out the Warrior frontline, Doom and Kunkka are the highest impact options. Doom can lock down a single target and is very good against Brawny in particular, as his spell disables their bonus health. Kunkka is a bit better for AOE control, although his damage output is fairly low. Juggernaut and Axe are really only useful for getting the Brawny bonus, and only if you have a high kill Beastmaster.
If you do not go for the full 6 Hunter Alliance, you will often have some room for other high impact units. Warlocks can pair nicely, as Necrophos’ Heartless Alliance and Alchemist’s Chemical Spray will amplify the physical damage from your Hunters. Disruptor is another option, if you value the AOE silence, as well as the Brawny buff to help out your Beastmaster.
In the early game, Hunters want to be near the back to force the opponents to move towards them, and also off the side, to help them focus fire single targets. You will typically pair Hunters with either individual Warriors or Druids for a tanky frontline.
At level 6, you can ideally have 3 Warriors and 3 Hunters. The Warrior choice depends on which Hunters you have, a Brawny is a good pairing with Beastmaster, and Tusk is strong with Lycan for the Savage Alliance. The lowest health Warrior, in this case the 1-star Juggernaut, can be placed behind the frontline to ensure he does not take the brunt of their attacks. Heartless is also a high priority early on, between Drow Ranger, and either Pudge or Abaddon.
At level 7, you will typically add more 2-star Hunters, or perhaps an Alchemist for his armor shred. When you have Sniper, he will typically be placed in the corner to take advantage of his long range. Placing Drow Ranger adjacent to him lets him benefit from her Attack Speed Aura. She is placed slightly closer to the middle to give the Aura to more of the frontline as well.
If you have Fall From Grace, this is a particularly efficient build at level 8. It covers the basic 3 Hunter/3 Warrior Core, but also gets up to 4 Heartless, 2 Warlocks, 2 Scaled, and even 2 Scrappy! The extra Armor reduction from Alchemist’s Acid Spray ensures that even with only a few Hunters, you will be doing lots of damage!
This late game formation uses 6 Hunters and 3 Warriors. Medusa allows us to drop Slardar, and pick up a better Warrior like Doom, while still maintaining the Scaled buff which is very important in the late game if multiple opponents have Magic damage compositions like Mages. Medusa is placed near the frontline, so that her stun radius reaches furthest back into the enemy side.
Without 6 Hunters, you have much more flexibility to incorporate Warlocks, and even the Deadeye Ace, Gyrocopter, to make your Sniper even more deadly! Notice that Gyrocopter is placed in the corner, with Sniper closer to the center. This plays around an opposing Pudge, who will hook the less valuable Gyrocopter rather than Sniper. This formation is very weak to Assassins though.