5 Effective Ways to Position Your Units in Dota Underlords

How to Position Units Dota Underlords Positioning Guide title

This Dota Underlords Positioning Guide will teach you general tips on how to properly position your units on the board.

One single cell can spell victory or loss for you. Read until the end to learn how to place your pieces on the board effectively.

Dota Underlords has a lot of complex mechanics that you can utilize to gain an advantage over your enemies—alliances, army composition and managing your economy.

Just like actual Chess, positioning and unit placement are a whole new layer of depth and strategy, a skill that should be in every Underlord’s arsenal.

How to Position Your Units Effectively

Here are five (5) general tips on how to position your units in the board:

  1. Tanks in front, damage-dealers in back
  2. Units should be active right away
  3. Maximize your Hero’s abilities
  4. Cast powerful spells ASAP
  5. Counter your opponent’s formations

Let’s discuss them one by one.

1. Tanks in front, damage-dealers in back

The most basic rule of positioning is to put your melee tanks in front to protect your DPS pieces at the back.

The goal of tanks is to absorb as much damage as possible while your long-ranged damage-dealers like Hunters or Mages take down enemy units from a safe distance.

Tanks positioning in front and squishy damage dealers in the back Dota Underlords

Tanks usually belong to Warrior Alliance like Axe and Tusk, or Knight Alliance like Dragon Knight. These Alliances have synergies that give your units bonus armor and damage reduction, improving their tanking capabilities. (Related: Alliance Synergy List)

BUT! Keep in mind that frontliners don’t necessarily have to be actual tank classes.

Sometimes, it would make more sense to deploy support or DPS units as your tanks if they have more base HP, armor, or defensive synergy bonuses than actual Warriors or Knights.

2-Star units for example have significantly higher health points than 1-Star units.

Don’t forget to equip them with Defensive items too for good measure. (Related: Underlords Items List)

2. Units should be “active” right away

Being “active” means that the unit is actually doing something and not just running around the board.

You want to position your pieces so that the moment the round starts, they will already start doing their task: tanking damage, dealing damage, casting spells, gaining mana—anything as long as it’s not walking around the map!

Dota Underlords hero units battle on the board

For example, you don’t want melee heroes on the back of the board as they will need to waste a few seconds walking towards the front before they attack or tank damage.

This brings us to the next positioning basic rule…

3. Maximize your heroes’ abilities

To maximize your heroes, they should cast their abilities at least once.

Heroes cast their skills as soon as they fill up 100% of their Mana bar. But How do heroes gain Mana? By taking and receiving damage.

Position your pieces in a way so that they gain mana and survive with enough HP to cast. A dead hero cannot cast his skills after all!

Secondly, consider the AoE coverage of your heroes’ abilities—how many cells does it hit, what shape does it cover, and how long is the range? The more units the skill hits, the better.

There’s probably no better way to learn this than through experience, so during battle phases, make sure to watch carefully and study how units and skills work!

We’ll have more advanced guides about individual hero skills in the future, so stay tuned!

4. Cast powerful spells ASAP

There are some units with important crowd control (CC) and area-of-effect (AoE) ults that can deal a significant impact. Some examples are:

  • Tidehunter
  • Kunkka
  • Enigma

The goal is to have their abilities casted as soon as possible. Once they do, their job is done.

Tidehunter and Kunkka in front to cast their abilities faster Dota Underlords

Place these units in the center so they’ll gain mana faster, but make sure to protect them so they’ll survive just enough to cast the skill.

To protect them, place tanks 1 cell beside the Ult-caster. This will allow them to gain mana quickly, but at the same time incoming damage will be divided between him and the tank(s).

Other spells that need to be casted right away are summon skills like Lone Druid’s bear and Lycan’s wolves. Most players put these heroes on the side in a line formation for the same reason as above—faster mana gain but enough survivability to cast.

5. Counter your opponent’s formations

During early to mid game, basic formations and the 4 positioning tips above are usually enough to withstand most enemies. It’s hard to base your strategy around a single enemy’s formation when you’ll be facing 7 different players at random.

However, as more players get eliminated in the late game, positioning becomes more crucial. During a 1v1 fight, formations can be the deciding factor between the winner and loser.

Study your opponent’s units and formations and adjust accordingly:

  • Enemy has powerful AoEs like Gyro? Split up your units
  • Facing lots of Assassins? Protect your DPS units in the back
  • Enemy has strong carry units? Focus fire and take down the carry ASAP



Try to keep these five unit positioning tips in mind when you play your next few games and you might just see a bump in your win rates.

Just like any skill, practice makes perfect! Keep your eyes on the board during battle and study how units and skills work.

Got any positioning tips you want to share? Comment them down below!

Coming up next: In our upcoming positioning articles, we’ll have more advanced guides on unit formations, hero skill positioning, and strategies for early, mid and late games.

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