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Team Build: Savage Summoner

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Introduction

In today’s Dota Underlords strategy guide we discuss a new build geared towards taking advantage of the meta and furthering the options that the Underlords Reddit, Steam, and the community at large have when trying to ‘play more strategically’ and win without forcing themselves into a box. 

When confronted with beefy compositions such as ‘Warriors, Brawny, and Knights’ there is little you can do but try to win the war of attrition. Going for ‘burst damage’ builds can be hit or miss when faced with the incredible ability of the aforementioned compositions to absorb damage and keep going. In order to compete, we need a build that can bypass the armor of warriors, swarm and wear down knights, all while playing the long game as well as Brawny does.

Using the ‘Savage’ bleed mechanic we can deliver significant damage to Warriors due to the fact that bleed bypasses armor. As far as Knights go, we can use the natural synergy between Druids and Warlocks to bring in two very powerful summoners who can swarm the field effectively keeping the knights too busy to deal real damage. And finally, by including a potential variant that includes early Brawny Warriors we can forge a powerful frontline that is hard to kill. 

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: 

  • Consistent damage output due to bleed
  • Uncontested core heroes
  • Flexible support options

Weaknesses:

  • Dependent on Summoning Stone to work at peak potential
  • Restricted to the 6 Savage heroes

Economy Tips

This build is highly dependent on three-star early game units but since they’re generally minimally contested you can focus your economy towards re-rolls. While this build’s early game isn’t much different than many others in that you should lose early to maximize rerolls its late game is fairly unique. Since so many of the core units are low rarity units found early we need to become more powerful more so through the number of stars our units have rather than the number of heroes we have on the field. If we enter end game and we aren’t leading the game in terms of 3-star units then this build could struggle so don’t lose sight of the true ‘win condition’ of this build and turn those 1 cost heroes into 3-star heroes as quickly as possible. 

In fact, you should rarely force a level unless you have a two-star unit who completes a new stage of the Savage alliance. Otherwise, once you’re living off max interest, continuing to reroll so you can maximize your chance of seeing those key low-level units is more important.  

Early Game

During this phase of the game lose for free rerolls and streak bonuses while saving up. You need to grab as many of the key units during this phase as possible so don’t level and focus entirely on gaining duplicates. 

In general, Brawny can be highly contested, but if you get Juggernaut and Axe during the initial neutral rounds you can rack up kills quickly making them a really solid frontline pair in the event you don’t find Fall From Grace. There is always the chance that you are unable to get them early enough to make this work in the long run, In which case you should shift over to a Kunkka or Pudge warrior frontline for the Heartless and Human alliance synergies. Regardless of the variant, Tusk should always be the 3rd Warrior to enable 6 Savage when entering into the end game. 

Heroes to build towards

Axe  Enchantress Tusk Venomancer Juggernaut Pudge

Mid Game

Once you enter the mid-game and have online your fourth Savage and third Warrior you should be able to snap out of the intentional losing streak and be ahead of most players in terms of progress towards three-star units while behind on the number of units on the board. The moment you hit 50 gold, reroll and make room for duplicates. Managing your bench will be key here so make sure you use the field between rounds effectively and never risk a unit you’re not ok losing. 

Savage Core

Enchantress Tusk Venomancer Lycan Lone Druid Sand King

Traditional Variant

Pudge Alchemist Kunkka

We use Pudge and Kunkka for their tankyness and to enable the Warrior bonus, Alchemist helps with an area of effect and Warlock synergy.

Brawny Variant

Axe Juggernaut Disruptor

Disruptor is the preferred unit due to benefitting from Brawny, enabling Warlock, and having a strong area of effect.

Late Game

Since this build relies heavily on early game units to satisfy it’s Alliance synergies, it stands to reason that it needs to compensate by having those units at three-stars and by now you should be near the top of the leaderboards in terms of the number of three-star heroes. If you’re not but have decent HP it’s no time to panic, feel free to dip into the 40 gold range if needed but always try to save back up to 50 before the neutral rounds.

Savage Core

Enchantress Tusk Venomancer Lycan Lone Druid Sand King

Lycan is the preferred high cost unit to three-star due to being extremely durable and powerful in Wolf form.

Traditional Variant

Alchemist Kunkka Tidehunter

Replace Pudge with Tidehunter only after two-starring the latter, as one star Tidehunter is very weak.

Brawny Variant

Axe Juggernaut Disruptor

Aim for three-starred Disruptor due to the overall lower cost of the Brawny variant.

Key Items

Summoning Stone Fall From Grace

The two items that will make or break this build are Summoning Stone and Fall From Grace. The earliest you can see these as a reward is after completing round 2. However, your odds of actually seeing them won’t reach its peak until round 10, where your odds to see either as one of the three options will be  40%. Since this build is so dependent on potential drops from rounds 3, 10, 15, and 20, Embarrassment of Riches can actually be a valuable pick in rounds 1 and 2. If after round 10 you have not seen either of the above as an option you need to decide whether to start planning for a transition away from Savage into full-on Brawny or to double down and intentionally lose round 15 to receive the previous rounds odds.

Refresher Orb

In the later rounds, Refresher Orb on your summoners, especially Lone Druid, can help you swarm the field with additional Savage units who can spread the bleed even more.

Daedalus

Also as a Tier 4 item, Daedalus on Lycan can be huge as critical strikes ignore dodge chance, meaning he’s more likely to apply his bleed against the popular Elusive builds too.

Counters

This build is highly dependent on the frontline’s protection so when up against Assassins who can jump behind and into your backline positioning in a corner is key. You can even put your Axe there to taunt the enemy assassins and protect your summoners. If you did not go with the Brawny variant you can rely on Pudge to yank dangerous Assassins away but make sure he’s in an optimal position to gain full mana and use his ability quickly. 

Mages are another strong counter here as their area of effect spells will generally bypass the frontline and quickly defeat your summons, for this I like the Human variant of the build for the silence. A Lycan with blink dagger and your Sandking can wreak havoc on enemy mages and keep them stunned or silenced long enough for your key units to summon. 

Board Positioning

Traditional Build

Savage Summoner

We put our dispensable units with strong spells that we want to go off quickly in front, and the two melee units that we want to live on the side. Kunkka serves as an Assassin/Blink bait and can be put in the frontline if nobody is running any.

Brawny Build

Brawny Variant

Using the same reasoning as above, our goal is to protect the Warlock units because as long as one of the two is alive, Juggernaut can heal again and again.

Both of the preceding pictures are clickable and will bring you to these compositions in our Team Builder!

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