Dota Underlords: How to Build a Strong Economy
Economy is one of the essential aspects of playing Dota Underlords on BlueStacks and winning. We won’t go as far as calling it the most important element of the game, but we will say that if you don’t have a strong economy, your chances of winning are close to nil. In other words, knowing how to save up gold, when to use it, and when to level is a basic prerequisite to ranking high in a match.
If you’re a beginner, your first impulse will be to use gold whenever it’s available – but you’ll learn quickly that this is the fastest route to the 8th place. Otherwise, even if you already have some experience with the game, you might still find it difficult to achieve a balance between spending and saving. At times, you’ll bring up the match spreadsheet and despair as you realize that everyone else is 20 to 50 gold ahead of you in terms of net worth.
Thankfully, you can fix (many of) these situations by following just a few simple guidelines and tricks. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know in order to build a strong economy in every match.
Gold Gain in Dota Underlords
In this version of auto-chess by Valve, you earn gold as follows:
- +5 gold at the end of each round; the only exception are the first 4 rounds, when you earn +1, +2, +3, and +4 gold, respectively.
- +1 gold when you successfully defend your board against another player.
- +1 gold for a win streak of 3 and 4; this increases to +2 after 5 wins, +3 after 7 wins, and +4 when you complete the win streak, at 8 consecutive wins. Unlike in other versions of auto chess, the win streak resets not only when you lose a round, but also when you reach 8 wins.
- +1 gold for losing 3 times in a row; this increases to +2 for more than 5 loses and only resets if you win a round.
- +1 to +5 gold as interest, depending on how much you have in the bank. For each 10 gold you have in the bank at the end of a round, you earn +1 gold at the start of the next round; interest cannot be more than +5 gold, though, so regardless of whether you save 50 or 70 gold, you get the same amount.
The two most important things to consider when building your economy are win/loss streaks and interest. If you’re on a win streak, for example, you might consider spending additional gold on early levels in order to maintain your advantage over others and complete the streak.
On the other hand, loss streaking is a viable strategy as well, especially if you manage not to lose too much HP per round. When you loss streak, you can keep strong units off your board for several rounds in order to maintain the streak. This was made even more attractive in the latest patch thanks to the Free Re-Roll you get for each loss.
Your First Economy Goal: 50 Gold
Win and loss streaks can be chaotic and difficult to control, which is not the case with interest. That’s why interest is the most important thing you have to keep in mind when building your economy in Dota Underlords. In every match, one of your first goals should always be to bank 50 gold in order to maximize your interest income per round. If you don’t do this, it’s nearly impossible to achieve an economy that is powerful enough to help you find the units and upgrades you need to survive the late-game.
So how do you get to 50, then? The goal might seem intimidating at first, but it really isn’t that hard to accomplish. The first rule is to (almost) never spend gold on re-rolls before you bank 50 gold. Feel free to use your free re-roll when you lose a round, but don’t give in to the itch to roll further than that. Otherwise, your shopping spree will cost you dearly in the long run, when you’ll begin to lag behind other players and will no longer be able match their buying potential.
The second rule is to always pay attention to your end-of-turn gold. Hitting those interest points at 10, 20, 30, and 40 gold is absolutely paramount if you’re trying to get ahead of other players in savings. If you’re sitting on 9 gold with a 1-cost unit on your bench, you should seriously consider selling it for interest. Sometimes, your extra unit will be a hero you know you might need later on to complete your comp. Even so, unless you’re absolutely certain it will break your game not to have that hero (or that upgrade), you should sell it to hit the interest point. You can always find it again later in the shop.
Finally, the third rule has to do with the moment when you make your purchases in the shop. Interest gold is calculated based on the gold you have saved right up to the moment when the battle starts. If you have 30 gold in the bank before the other player’s units appear on your board, then you will get +3 gold from interest regardless of what you do with the money in the meantime.
Say that you see a unit that you want in the shop – a second Phantom Assassin, for example. Let’s also assume that you have exactly 30 gold in the bank, so buying the PA would take your savings down to 27, where you would lose +1 interest gold next turn. The right thing to do here is to wait for the battle to start and then buy the PA before the shop switches to a new selection. This way, you get the interest and your unit.
The only time when you should consider buying something during preparation is when the new hero results in a big upgrade for your comp, which you need to save a considerable amount of HP during the next round. As with everything else in Dota Underlords, saving and spending gold is a balancing act. You get better at it the more you practice.
The Big Decision: EXP vs. Re-Rolling
Once you hit 50 gold (which, by all means, should happen before round 15 or so), you have another important decision to make. While you almost never want to roll under 50 until later in the match, you do have to decide how to spend the surplus you earn each round. Basically, you can use it to buy EXP and gradually level up or you can re-roll through the shop to look for better units and upgrades.
It’s difficult to provide a set of rules for this choice, but when we say it’s a “big” one, we mean that it can win or lose you the game. Consider it carefully! A few things that might help your thought process include:
What kind of comp are you going for?
If your synergies include a majority of 1- or 2- cost heroes (such as with Brawnies (link to “Dota Underlords: Brawnies + Hunters = Love”), for example), then staying at a lower level can actually help you find more useful pieces in the shop. If, on the other hand, you’re going for something like Knights (link to “Dota Underlords: How to Win with Knights”) or Elusives (link to “Dota Underlords: How to Make Elusives Work”), you know you have to hit level 8-9 (even 10, sometimes) before your team can truly shine.
What upgrades do you have so far?
Playing Dota Underlords is a lot about being familiar with the “peak” points of each comp. For the mid-game, most teams peak with 1 or 2 important upgrades – such as a 2- or 3- star PA (link to “Dota Underlords: How to Build a Killer Assassin Squad”) or a 2- or 3-star Slark. Having one of these often means you have more time on your hands to spend gold for EXP, rather than re-rolling.
How do you compare with other teams?
A 2-star PA means nothing if you’re getting destroyed by most other teams of the lobby. If you see that your overall strength is very low compared to that of other players, you might have no other choice but to re-roll and look for more upgrades.
Where is your HP pool at?
If, by turn 15, your HP is still above 80, you shouldn’t sweat too much when you lose a few rounds. Conversely, if your HP is below 50 at this point in the game, you have to re-roll and find upgrades in order to lose less per battle. Otherwise, you put yourself in the 1-shot range where, even if you’re just about to reach your peak strength, one misfortunate RNG event can kick you back to the lobby.
There are a lot of variables to consider when dealing with economy in Dota Underlords, which is part of the reason why this game is so much fun. It’s also the reason why it becomes frustrating for some players, but before you blame RNG for all your troubles, consider this: more gold means more re-rolls and buying power. In short, a strong economy is your best guard against RNG and that’s what makes it so necessary in any match.