If you’ve already played a game of Underlords, you must be familiar with items, considering the game gives you 3 of them at the very beginning of each game. But under such a simple premise lies a very complex aspect of the game that must be mastered if you wish to become a Lord of the White Spire. While it’s impossible to learn all the intricacies and math behind item choices, we will get more familiar with them and the general rules surrounding them.
Before trying to understand items, we first must understand how and when do we get them. You get to choose one item every Neutral Round, which are always rounds 1, 2, 3, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and finally 50. Neutral Rounds are always the same, so you can prepare specific army placement for them. If you defeat the neutral camp, you get to pick the item of your choice between the three offered, however if you fail to do so, the game decides for you.
Like heroes, items also come in tiers from 1 to 5, and the odds of getting offered a tier of item change as rounds go on, below you will see a cheat sheet letting you know what are the odds of getting a certain tier of item after every Neutral Round. Keep in mind that unlike heroes, lower rarity items become permanently unavailable after a certain point!
Equippable vs Passive
Items come in two types, equippables, items that you put on one of your hero, making them benefit from its effect or apply its ability. Each hero can only equip one item, and if they die, that item is effectively inactive for the rest of the round. However equippable items can synergise with certain heroes in a way that allows to multiply their potential, like Troll Warlord becoming a force to be reckoned with after receiving a Mask of Madness, giving him lifesteal to combine with his native attack speed buff, or Tidehunter with a Refresher Orb, being able to unleash two powerful Ravages, often removing all odds of winning that fight from your opponent.
On the other hand, passive items don’t need to be equipped on anybody, so their effect lingers through the entire fight. They usually are related to a specific alliance, giving direction to your team building, but some of them are more generalist, like A Higher Class of Criminal, allowing you to roll the Shop as if you were one level higher, giving you access to high end heroes earlier than your opponents. Passive items can go from dead weight to being exceptional depending on your team building, be wise when picking them, you wouldn’t want to be one item down compared to your opponents.