How Units Gain Mana and Cast Spells in Dota Underlords

How Units Gain Mana and Cast Spells Fast

Ever wonder how your units gain Mana in Dota Underlords? And why do some heroes cast spells faster than others?

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about how units gain Mana and cast abilities:

  • How units gain Mana
  • When do units cast spells (a.k.a. skills/abilities/ultimates)
  • How skill cooldown works
  • How to calculate Mana gained when taking/dealing damage
  • Tips on how to let units cast spells faster

With this knowledge, you’ll know how to strategically position units with powerful abilities, so they gain Mana fast and cast skills right away.

Let’s dive right in.

How do units gain Mana in Underlords?

There are five ways that units can gain Mana in Underlords:

  1. Dealing damage
  2. Receiving damage
  3. Items like Arcane Boots, Refresher Orb, Final Flash
  4. Crystal Maiden’s passive
  5. Dragon Alliance synergy (Dragon units only)

Most of the time, your units’ source of Mana regen is from dealing and taking damage.

The more damage it deals or receives, the more Mana it will gain.

The units current mana indicated by a blue bar below the green HP

A unit’s current mana is indicated by a blue bar below the HP.

When do units cast their skills?

Units start with zero mana and off cooldown in each round.

Units will cast their abilities right away once the following happens:

  • The unit has full mana
  • The unit’s cooldown timer is off
  • The unit is not Silenced

All Heroes have a maximum of 100 Mana except for the following heroes:

  • Slardar — 75 Mana
  • Nature’s Prophet — 50 Mana
  • Axe — 50 Mana
  • Batrider — 20 Mana

Also, Silenced (or muted) heroes cannot cast their skills. Passive skills are not affected.

How does skill cooldown work?

After units cast their ability for the first time, the cooldown timer will start. It’s that 3rd white colored bar below the blue mana bar.

Cooldown timers indicated by white bar below blue Mana bar

Mana is consumed when casting skills and goes back to zero. Some skills like Anti Mage’s passive, Mana Break can eat up your mana too.

Once the cooldown timer fills up to 100%, the unit will cast their skill again as long as they have full mana.

Items that can speed up/refresh cooldown

The following items can help reduce your unit’s ability cooldown:

  • Octarine Core – Reduces the ability cooldown by 50%
  • Final Flash – Mages reset their cooldown and get full mana when below 30% health
  • Refresher Orb – Refresh all cooldowns and restore 50 mana after casting an ability

Now, let’s talk about how mana gained from dealing or receiving damage is calculated.

Disclaimer: This information is based from Auto Chess’s formulas and it might be different for Dota Underlords.

Do not use this as an exact formula, but as an estimate only to have an idea of how it’s calculated.

How much Mana is gained when units take damage?

When a hero unit receives damage, it gains Mana.

The amount of Mana gained is calculated by the following steps:

  1. X = equal to damage received / 5, capped at a maximum of 50
  2. Mana Gain = random number between X/2 and X

Here’s a sample calculation if the unit receives 100 damage:

  • X = 100 / 5
  • X = 20
  • Mana Gain = Random number between X/2 and X
  • Mana Gain = Random number between 10 and 20

This is further increased if the unit has bonus effects that increases mana gained from attacks received.

For example, Brooch of the Martyr increases final Mana gain by 50%.

How much Mana is gained when units deal damage?

When a unit deals damage, it also gains Mana.

Here’s the formula on how much Mana is gained by a unit by dealing damage:

  1. Mana Gain = damage dealt / 2.5
  2. If attacker is a Shaman/Warlock/Mage, Mana gained is capped at a maximum of 20
  3. If not, Mana gained is capped at a maximum of 10

Here’s a sample calculation on how much Mana a non-magic alliance unit gains if he deals 100 damage:

  • Mana Gain = 100 / 2.5
  • Mana Gain = 40, capped at 10
  • Mana Gain = 10

And here’s how much Mana a magic-based (Shaman, Warlock, Mage alliance) unit gains if he deals 100 damage:

  • Mana Gain = 100 / 2.5
  • Mana Gain = 40, capped at 20
  • Mana Gain = 20

As you can see, due to the higher maximum cap, Shamans, Warlocks, Mages receive double the mana compared to non-magic Alliances.

How to Cast Spells Faster

Now that you know how Mana is gained and calculated, it’s time to apply it to improve your gameplay.

In Underlords, one deciding factor for the round’s winner could be whoever can cast important hero skills first.

Dota Underlords screenshot of Kunkka casting Ghost Ship to enemies

Here are some tips to speed up your units’ casting times and to increase the chances of triggering their abilities before they die.

1. Place them on the front

There are some Heroes with powerful crowd control AoE skills that you want to go off as soon as possible.

Some examples are:

  • Medusa’s Stone Gaze
  • Tidehunter’s Ravage
  • Kunkka’s Ghost Ship

Place these units towards the center of the board so they can attack/receive more damage and gain mana faster.

(Related Guide: How to Position Your Units in Underlords)

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

But, make sure to protect them too so they’ll survive just enough to cast their abilities. Pair them with tanks so incoming damage is spread between multiple units.

Speaking of which…

2. Increase their survivability

More survivability means they can tank a lot of damage to generate mana quickly.

Buff your key units with more HP, armor, damage reduction, or upgrade them to 2-3 Stars. (Related: How to Upgrade & Level Up Heroes) Upgraded units have significantly increased health.

Having more durability also means the unit can survive long enough to cast their spells—they might even live long enough to cast a second time!

3. Increase their DPS (Damage per Second)

Another obvious tip is to increase the unit’s damage per second or DPS = the combination of how fast the unit attacks (attack speed) and how high the damage it deals (attack damage).

The more attacks a unit lands and the higher damage it deals, the faster it can gain mana.

However, remember that there is a cap on the damage dealt. So, more attack speed is probably better than more attack damage in terms of gaining mana. (We have yet to test this though.)

4. Use Items that increase mana regeneration or reduce cooldown

The following support items will help you speed up your mana generation:

  • Brooch of the Martyr — Gain 50% Mana gained from receiving damage
  • Brooch of the Aggressor — 100% Mana gained from attacks Any hero
  • Arcane Boots — When equipped hero has greater than 50% mana, restore 25 mana to all allies 1 cell away

List of support items in Dota Underlords 1

These items are great to reduce cooldown, giving your units more chances of casting skills multiple times:

  • Octarine Essence — Reduces the ability cooldown by 50%
  • Refresher Orb — Refresh all cooldowns and restore 50 mana after casting an ability
  • Final Flash (Global) — Mages reset their cooldown and get full mana when below 30% health

5. Have a Crystal Maiden on the board

Crystal Maiden is every spell-caster’s best friend!

Her passive ability Arcane Aura gives 8/14/20 Mana to all allied units every 2 seconds.

6. Try to avoid getting Silenced

Watch out for heroes, items and abilities that can Silence your units. Here are some examples:

  • Human’s Alliance synergy gives them a chance to silence their targets
  • Bloodthorn item can silence a target for 5s when it has more than 75% mana
  • Mask of Madness increases gives a unit +10% Lifesteal and +40 Attack Speed at the cost of being Silenced the whole time
  • Disruptor’s skill can silence units in an area for 3/4/5 seconds

Take note though that Silence does not affect passive abilities.


That’s all you need to know about the mechanics of Mana in Dota Underlords.

Hopefully this knowledge will help you make better decisions on unit placement or choosing items.

Did you learn a thing or two from this article? Do you have more tips or information to share that we missed? Drop a comment below!

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