Top 3 Basic Unit Formations for Dota Underlords

Positioning Guide Unit Formations in Dota Underlords 1

This guide will teach you three basic formations you can use to position your units, as well as tips on when to use or avoid them.

Positioning in Dota Underlords is an essential skill every player must master.

If you already know the basics on how to position your units and are looking for general formation strategies, this guide is for you!

Three Basic Positioning Formations

Here are the three commonly-used formations for positioning your units in Underlords:

  1. Line Formation
  2. Box Formation
  3. Vertical Formation

Let’s discuss them in detail.

1. Line Formation

This is one of the most common formations where you place your units in 1-2 horizontal lines.

Warriors and melees positioned in a Line formation Dota Underlords

Obviously you’ll want the beefy tanks on the front to soak up all the damage and protect the backline. Squishy DPS units like Mages and Hunters will stay in the second or third lines.

This formation is great if you have lots of melee tanks, like Warriors. Being in the frontline allows your melee units to be in combat right away as they are already in (or close to) melee range, depending on the enemy’s formation.

💡 Tips for Line Formation

  • Tankier units or units whose abilities you want to trigger ASAP should be in the middle. These heroes take the most damage on average and gain mana quickly. Examples: Axe, Tide, Kunkka
  • Put high-DPS heroes with lesser HP/defense on the sides (e.g. Lycan, Lone Druid, Doom)

✅ When to use Line Formation

  • First few rounds in early game since you can’t counter specific enemy lineups and formations yet
  • When using a melee-heavy comp (e.g. Warriors/Knights)

❌ When to avoid Line Formation

  • Late game when facing many Assassin-based enemies
  • If you have lots of squishy ranged heroes
  • Round 15 because the wolf creeps jump to the back

2. Box Formation

In this formation, put all units next to each other in a 3×3 box shaped formation.

Typically, you’ll also want to put the “box” on a corner of the board.

Warriors tanks and Hunter DPS units positioned in a Box formation Dota Underlords

The Box formation is a great counter against Assassins. Since your units hug the back and side walls of the board, they are protected from getting backstabbed by Assassins who try to jump to the backlines at the start of the round.

💡 Tips for Box Formation

  • As usual, the defensive tank units should be on the outer layer of the box, while the squishy ones stay inside.
  • The same rules in line formation apply: the more durable the unit, the nearer to the center he should be on the board.
  • Units with “straight line” spells such as Windranger, Puck or Keeper of the Light should be on the corner-most cell. This lets them aim their skill in a slant direction, hitting as many targets as possible.

✅ When to use Box Formation

  • Against Assassin-heavy lineups
  • If you have units with AoE skills like Drow’s Precision Aura or Necrophos’s Death Pulse heal
  • Use with the Knights alliance synergy effect
  • Great for Mage comps as well

❌ When to avoid Box Formation

  • Enemy units with strong AoE spells such as Gyro, Enigma or Kunkka can wreck Box formations.
  • If that’s the case, try splitting your formation into two, one for each side/corner of the board.

3. Vertical Formation

The Vertical formation is great for letting units focus fire on a single target. This formation is most effective with Hunter builds, thanks to their long-range and high damage output.

Hunters and tanks positioned in a vertical formation Dota Underlords

The goal of the Vertical formation is for your Hunters/DPS to burst and take down targets quickly, one by one.

This is much better than if your units spread their damage evenly to several enemy units. The sooner an enemy unit dies, the better, because it prevents them from casting their skills or doing further damage.

To use the Vertical formation, position your ranged units in a straight vertical column, ideally sticking to the side of a wall or corner. This allows them to attack the same unit nearest to the front of the line.

💡 Tips for Vertical Formation

  • Units with “straight line” spells such as Windranger and Keeper of the Light should be on the corner-most cell. This lets them aim their skill in a slant direction, hitting as many targets as possible.
  • Protect your DPS with tanks on the frontline and on the corner. Again, tankier units = nearer to the middle

✅ When to use Vertical Formation

  • When using Hunters/Ranged-DPS type of comps
  • When you want to take down enemy units quickly one by one

❌ When to avoid Vertical Formation

  • If the enemy positions their units near the backline and corners, your units will try to walk forwards, breaking their box positions


Use these formation strategies along with our basic positioning guide and 10 tips to win more games in Dota Underlords and you’ll be on your way to becoming the next Lord of White Spire.

Which formations do you like to use and how do you counter them? Drop a comment down below!


Credits: Screenshots from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *