If you stopped playing Underlords before the game left its beta testing stage, but are now getting ready to hop back on the hype wagon after the release of Season One, this is the article for you. We’ve written extensively about the changes that were made to the game with the new season here, but plenty of exciting things had taken place in the months preceding the release.
Although they did keep the game fresh, these changes might make you feel like a nostalgic stranger in a once very familiar land. Our advice: cast the gloom aside and embrace the shifting nature of the game. But be advised: even if you’re a former beta Big Boss, you can still get pwned in the new version of the game if you have no idea what you’re doing. Before you get yourself a shameful whopping, you might want to read our updated guidelines below.
Economy Is Still the Name of the Game
One of the most important strategies that differentiates experts from beginners in Underlords continues to be the building of a strong economy. In case you’ve forgotten what we mean, here’s a reminder of the essential steps to getting rich in this game:
- Your most important goal for the first 15 turns of a match is to bank 50 gold.
- Re-rolling before you’ve accumulated 50 gold is still a terrible idea. You should only do it if you’re about to get kicked out of the game, but if you lose all of your HP before turns 15-20, you’re doing something wrong to begin with.
- It’s essential to keep an eye out for thresholds at 10, 20, 30, and 40 gold. If you can, sell units or avoid buying new ones in order to ensure a steady income from interest.
- Winning is important, but a losing streak will give you just as much gold. If you can afford to lose the HP, deliberately throw a few rounds to keep the streak going. Remember that you can do this while minimizing the damage you take.
- Once you hit 50 gold, spend all the surplus money you get every turn, but don’t go under 50 gold. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as, for example, if you’re about to die in the next few turns. Generally speaking, however, you’ll want to take advantage of the +5 interest rate for as long as possible.
That being said, a few things have changed in terms of economy. For example, spending 5 gold on XP now gives you 5, rather than 4 XP points. On the other hand, the amount of XP you need to advance to levels 8, 9, and 10 has increased considerably, so you might see many games end before you have the chance to hit max level.
You also start the game with more gold than before, which means that you’ll be able to buy and place up to 3 heroes from the very first round. Keep this in mind and feel free to buy more units in order to open up more alliance possibilities for the upcoming rounds.
The “Best Available” Strategy
Now more than ever, alliances are fairly balanced and it is more than possible to win with any combination of heroes, so long as they form viable groups. There are a few odd exceptions here and there – yes, we’re looking at the Spirit alliance – but these should be fixed in the upcoming weeks.
As such, there is no one “best” comp to go for from the early rounds of a match and, in fact, it might cost you a hefty amount of HP if you try to force a formation in spite of the options given to you by the shop. Instead, the best strategy seems to be a compromise between choosing the best available units in the shop and pushing for a set of alliances that you know are both powerful and decent against the other lineups in the lobby.
At this point in time, hero changes implemented with Season One are still very fresh, which means that it can be confusing to pick the right units at the beginning of each match. Some characters – such as Bloodseeker and Bristleback – have already made a name for themselves as early-game powerhouses, but it’ll be some time before a tier list will be agreed upon by the entire community.
Alliances Are Constantly Changing
Just after the game was properly released, a rotation system was implemented so that a greater number of heroes could be introduced without negatively affecting players’ ability to get good units and form alliances. After all, if 100 heroes were all dropped into the pool at the same time, it would be incredibly difficult to get a 3-star anything, let alone max out a rare or epic character.
As a result of this, alliances are also constantly shifting, with some being removed and others being added with important patches. In Season One, for example, many of the former Scrappies were removed so it no longer made sense to keep this alliance. Summoner, Void, and Vigilant alliances took their place as heroes such as Enigma, Templar Assassin, and Nature’s Prophet were rotated back into the game.
As a returning beta player, this might seem slightly overwhelming. A lot of new heroes were introduced and some of the old favorites are no longer up for grabs, but this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the game. What makes Underlords great is the fact that, as a player, you must constantly adapt to changes, both during a match and at the level of the current meta. The new rotation scheme just adds more opportunities to test your team-crafting skills!
Oh – and did we mention that you can now pick an Underlord to join your team during the match? Check out this guide to find out more about these OP characters and the alliances that they best synergize with.
Now that you’re aware of the changes that have had a major impact on the game since the beta, you’re ready to jump straight into a match and work hard to recover your long-lost rank. See you out there!