Brawnies started off on the wrong foot in Dota Underlords, but their performance has changed entirely over recent patches. At present, the Brawny alliance buff no longer gives heroes a set amount of HP, but rather +30/+60 HP per kill, which is infinitely better. Provided that you play them right, these heroes can become some of the best tanks in the game.
The only thing that Brawnies lack is damage. But guess what? That’s actually not a problem, because there are other alliances you can include to burst through enemy teams. Hunters is just one example – perhaps the best. And the combination works phenomenally well.
When you play with Brawnies, though, your economy is slightly different than with other alliances. Apart from Disruptor, these units cost 1 or 2 gold, which means that they are easier to upgrade if your level is low. As such, if you decide to commit to Brawnies after finding an early Beast Master and 2-star Axe/Juggernaut, you should stay well away from the EXP button; at least until much later in the game. Once your Axe, Jugg, and BM are upgraded to 3-stars, you can consider expanding your squad and leveling up.
Before we discuss each hero and their strengths, though, one more word of warning. Brawnies + Hunters is one of the most powerful comps in the game (at the time of writing), but Brawnies are no good if they cannot farm kills. Even if you got your BM on turns 2-5, if you can’t get any kills on him by turns 10-15, you’d best ditch this build for something else.
That being said, let’s take a look at how you can best build a team with Brawnies and Hunters.
The Strength of the 4-Brawny Build
When you’re playing with Brawnies, remember that any kill is legit – even creeps. Finding a BM on turns 1-2 is extraordinary because you can give him a head start on his kill count by letting him kill most creeps during loot rounds. Always buy the BM this early, unless you have a much better alternative going on. Consider doing the same for Juggernaut or Axe. If you can find the rest of the components for the draft during the next 5 turns, you can commit to Brawnies with confidence. Otherwise, you can always sell your Brawnies later.
The “tankiest” hero of the bunch, Axe is also ironically the weakest. His damage is not very high, which means he is unlikely to gather many kills throughout the match. Still, he does make a good frontliner, has some CC potential, and works great with Blade Mail at 3-stars.
The second Warrior in the Brawny bunch, Jugg used to be just “ok” because his ultimate actually did less damage than his auto-attacks. After the latest patch, though, he can now auto-attack while whirling for his ultimate, which has drastically improved his DPS. At 3-stars, he still works great with Mask of Madness.
The centerpiece of any Brawny build, Beast Master has very high DPS at 3-stars, which means he also gets a lot of kills. During a good Brawny game, his ever-growing HP pool makes him extremely difficult to kill, while any big damage item can push his damage-dealing potential even further. Definitely one of your first priorities in terms of upgrades.
The only 4-cost unit in the alliance, Disruptor can be a pain to find because you’ll spend most of the game at a low level. When you do find him, though, he almost doubles the HP gain of other Brawnies by completing the alliance. At 2-stars, he’s also pretty tanky and his CC can be phenomenal in some situations.
3-Hunters + Warlocks + Warriors + Heartless
If you ask us, this is the best way to go about a comp that focuses around Brawnies. The super tanky Axe and Jugg get even more defense from the 3-Warriors buff, Beast Master’s DPS increases as a result of the Hunter alliance, while the Heartless bonus can boost your overall damage by anywhere from 10% to 20%. The healing from Warlocks is a nice bonus; not that you needed even more sustain!
By far one of the best Hunters in Dota Underlords at present. After BM, he should be your first priority for upgrades because he becomes simply unstoppable at 3-stars. Give him a big damage item or something like Maelstrom/Basher/Daedalus/Battle Fury and enjoy the show.
Almost as good as Lycan, Sniper is our third favorite Hunter and the third on our list of 3-star priorities. For maximum DPS, put him in a corner and protect him as much as possible with your other units. If you have Mask of Madness, he is an excellent carrier once you get him to 2-stars.
Necro is a great hero individually, but we want him in this draft for his alliances more than anything else. He can help you complete both the 2-Heartless alliance and the 2-Warlocks alliance when coupled with Pudge and Disruptor. He also offers your team a little extra sustainability for those clutch end-game fights.
There’s no better Warrior to complete a super-tanky line-up than a 3-stars Pudge. He might not be the best Warrior out there (think Kunkka, Tidehunter, or Doom), but his Heartless alliance makes him super useful in this particular draft.
(Optional) Drow Ranger
This Heartless Hunter used to be an essential component of any Hunter draft – like Crystal Maiden still is for Mages. However, she is not as amazing as she used to be just because she now has to compete against much more powerful hunters such as BM, Lycan, and Sniper. Even so, you can still include Drow in this draft, especially if you can’t find Pudge or Lycan/Sniper early on. In addition, if you get your hands on Fall from Grace during loot rounds, she can help you put together a 4-Heartless alliance with Pudge, Necro, and Lycan. That might just be yummy enough to ditch Sniper or get an extra level.a
We wholeheartedly stand by this build (in the current meta). It’s so good, one might even call it nasty. What’s more, we just love watching comps that have 2-3 more heroes than we do crash into our Brawnies and get melted by our backline Hunters. Sublime. The next time you play Dota Underlords on BlueStacks, make sure to try it yourself because this is a draft that each auto-chess player should have the pleasure to build at least once.