Blood-Bounds are either fantastic or terrible and that’s their biggest problem. Although you can win games with this alliance in your comp (God knows, Reddit is full of posts that testify to this), the results are often so unreliable that most players prefer to avoid it, especially while trying to rank up. It’s what you would call a meme team – it can work beautifully or it can fail miserably, but its one consistent quality is that it’s always super fun.
Who doesn’t enjoy the sight of an absolutely gigantic Terrorblade growing bigger and bigger and striking fear into the heart of the enemy? It’s just so satisfying to watch…
…until a bunch of Hunters destroy Terrorblade before he gets the chance to throw a punch. Or Terrorblade gets stun-locked throughout the round while his allies die and weep in vain. Or Doom decides to silence him. Or… well, you get the idea. A lot of things can go wrong. Hilariously wrong, though.
The Blood-Bound Sacrificial Lambs
There are two Blood-Bound units in Dota Underlords – Ogre Magi and Warlock. Unfortunately, these are also two of the weakest units in the game, so your first question might be – why on earth would you ever include them in your comp?
The answer is that they are there to die. As quickly as possible. Sad, we know, but it’s the price you have to pay for your carries with Big-Time Contract to go berserk during a fight. For each Blood-Bound unit that dies, all other Blood-Bound units gain 125% more damage. That’s a lot! Do we even care anymore that heroes have to die over and over for this buff to work? Nah…
This Blood-Bound Mage is pretty terrible outside of the present draft. You might use him to push an early 3-Mages alliance, but even after his most recent buff in the latest patch, you’ll still likely get rid of him as soon as a better alternative (or any alternative, really) shows up in the shop. Unfortunately, his only purpose is to die and enable other units. For this reason, you might consider not upgrading him to 2-stars even when this is possible.
Unlike Ogre Magi, Warlock can be slightly more useful, especially during the early game. Don’t be fooled, though – he’s still terrible. It’s just that if you have to choose who to sacrifice first between Warlock and Ogre Magi, the latter is usually the correct answer. You can also easily upgrade Warlock to 3-stars in order to ensure that he is at least marginally useful in the mid- and late-game.
Going for Blood-Bounds is not something that should be forced. Only do it if your shop is flooded with Warlocks and Ogre Magis during the first 5 rounds of a match and quickly transition into something else if you are unable to get any Big-Time Contracts by turn 15.
If you do catch the scent of a potentially good Blood-Bound game, start it off with one or two 1-star Ogre Magi and several Warlocks (a combination of 1- and 2-stars). The idea is to get your Ogre Magi(s) killed very early on so as to give your Warlocks enough time to grow and deal decent damage. You can also throw in a Venomancer or, preferably, a Witch Doctor for the early 2-Warlocks alliance.
It’s paramount for the Blood-Bound alliance that the right units die first (and quickly). The only way to ensure this happens is through your positioning. You can place your units in a vertical line in the order you want them to die or, later in the game, in an upside-down V shape.
The idea is for Ogre Magi(s) to go out first. During the first 10 rounds of the game, you’ll need several sacrifices for your Warlocks to become powerful enough to win battles. Later on, though, provided that you have at least one Big-Time Contract and a powerful 3-star carry, you shouldn’t need more than one-two Blood-Bound deaths to gain enough strength. But speaking of Big-Time Contracts, who should equip them?
Great Carriers for Big-Time Contracts
It’s very unfortunate (and funny, of course), when you’re building a Blood-Bound team, but cannot find a Big-Time Contract by turn 15. There is simply no way that Ogre Magi(s) and Warlocks can win you the late-game, no matter how many you kill per round. But there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting this crucial item.
For one, if you get “Embarrassment of Riches” on turns 1, 2, 3, or 10, you should pick it up, even if you have to give up some other, better item. This will increase your chances of getting the Contract on subsequent turns. Furthermore, on turn 20, you can make sure that your team loses to creeps. This pushes back the tier of your loot by 1, which means the Contract is once again a possible drop.
Once you get 1 to 3 Contracts, it’s time to figure out who to put them on. Some good end-game options include:
Coupled with Anti-Mage and some sturdy tanks or CCs, Terrorblade can clean up entire enemy teams. If you use him as a Contract carrier, though, you won’t be able to give him any survivability or damage items. You have to make up for this shortcoming by making sure he is well-protected and by letting enough Blood-Bounds die early in the round.
Although he is slightly weaker than Terrorblade, SF is a Warlock and can be used to form a 4-Warlocks alliance. In addition, he has great burst potential thanks to his ultimate and his auto-attacks can 2-shot units when he is enraged. Like TB, he has to be well-enough protected in order to work.
If you can find and upgrade Medusa to 2-stars, she makes a fantastic carrier for Big-Time Contract. Her auto-attacks hit more than one target, which means that the Blood-Bound damage buff increases her overall DPS considerably. As a 5-cost unit, she can be difficult to find, though. Furthermore, unlike with TB or SF, you might need to kill up to 4 other Blood-Bounds for her to hit enemies hard enough.
If you have the opportunity to go for 4 Primordials, giving a Big Time Contract to a 2-stars Arc Warden can be a good idea. This hero loves damage items due to his fast attack speed and there really isn’t any bigger damage enhancer than the Contract. Mix it up with another 2 Shamans for insane CC and you have a sure-fire recipe for success.
The stars have to align just right for a Blood-Bound comp to make it to the first place in a match. When it does happen that all the pieces fall into place, though, the fireworks are gorgeous… from your perspective, at least. Your opponents will weep with frustration as their health pool diminishes while they can do little to nothing to affect the outcome of a fight. Nasty.