I see the question ?what?s the best starting comp? get asked a lot, and the answer is there is no ?best? comp as you must adapt and take whatever the games give you. That being said, here are some basic comps and how to transition them into mid/late game.I?m not the best player, currently hovering around Rook 3-5, but I do have a decent understanding of the game.
Before I get started, it?s important to recognize the pieces that are really strong regardless of synergy, and usually worth picking up. There are times where you already completed a synergy but still have an extra spot on the board available and adding these pieces would boost your power significantly. I would say the top tier early/mid game units that are incredibly good and really easy to synergize are Beastmaster, Necrophos, Doom, and most importantly, Lone Druid. An early lone druid can easily solo 2+ units, and getting it to level 2 is really easy due to being a druid. Antimage is also one of the best pieces to just throw on the board if you have an extra spot, as it?s demonhunter passive is useful by itself, but more importantly it can shutdown strong early game ultimates with it?s mana drain. Shadow Fiend is still one of the highest DPS units as long as you have a decent frontline.
1) Goblins/Mechs: This is an incredibly strong early game strategy, even after numerous nerfs. It relies on the power of the 3 goblin passive, as well as the HP regen to all your mechs. The core of this composition is Timbersaw/Clockwork/Bounty Hunter, with Tinker being played if you don?t get Timber/Clock. If you get lucky and timber gets the 3 goblin buff, it?s really hard to lose rounds early, allowing you to build a winstreak and get that economy going. However, Goblin Mechs fall off pretty hard as you get later into the game, unless you manage to get your hands on Techies and Gyrocopter, which are both legendary units so you would need incredibly good RNG. However, the combination of Timber/Clock can act as a powerful frontline for a good portion of the game, allowing you to transition into other strategies. I often find myself using the mech frontline with shadow fiend and mages, or elfs/hunters. If you can get your hands on a drow ranger with necrophos mid game you will be incredibly strong.
2) Warriors/Orcs: This composition allows you to get a bunch of super tanky units, due to the bonus HP from orcs as well as the warrior armor passive. There are a bunch of units that have the warrior class, and they are strong even as the game gets late. In the early rounds you would ideally want to grab Axe and Juggernaut, getting those to 2* as soon as possible. For the 3rd warrior, there are a ton of options, as it?s easy to obtain Tiny/Slardar/Tusk. Always pick up beastmaster if offered as that will be one of your highest DPS units early on. As the game goes on you want to aim for 6 warriors, or a combination of 3 warriors with beasts, mages, or elves. The top tier warriors you can pickup are Kunkka and Doom, with troll warlord being extremely strong as well. Kunkka/Lycan/Lone Druid is incredibly strong midgame, as you get human + beast bonus, and due to the extra units that spawn from Lycan and LD you deal a ton of damage to whoever faces you.
3) Elves/Undead/Hunter: A really strong comp right now due to the amount of elf class units in the game. This comp is extremely flexible as there are so many units to choose from. That being said, you want to get the undead bonus asap, usually through Drow Ranger/Necrophos, with Abbadon being used if you can?t find a necro. Early on you can use Anti-Mage, Furion, and Treant Protector as a frontline, as the elf evasion ensures allows gives them survivability. Again, pick up beastmaster if you find him as his hunter class goes well with a bunch of units viable in this comp as well as just being a strong unit in general. Ideally you would pick up a Templar Assassin as soon as possible, as that is one of the absolute best units in the elf class. As the game goes on you have a ton of options, as there are so many good units that are in the hunter class (Medusa, Tide, Sniper, etc).
4) Trolls: The troll comp involves getting 4 trolls asap for the attack speed bonus (which is huge). This means you have to look for a Bat Rider, Shadow Shaman, Witch Doctor, and most importantly a Troll Warlord as these 4 units are the core of your comp. A lot of players like to go a combination of Troll/Knight, as Bat Rider is already a knight and you can pick up CK/Abaddon/Luna/DK for the knight shield. If you pick up Abaddon Necrophos or Death Prophet complements is great for the undead bonus, and adding in a warlock like SF would give you the lifesteal bonus, which is huge for the troll comp as your damage is primarily auto attack based. Mid to Late game you definitely want a disruptor, as it pairs with Shadow Shaman for the insta-hex at the start of the round (you get lucky and hex the right target you automatically win that round). As you get to the really late game, you might want to start replacing some of your non-troll units (like knights) with strong 5* units, like Medusa/Tide/Enigma.
5) Mages: Mages are not something you should aim to start out with, as their units are expensive and don?t really do much until they are at least 2*. At the start of the game aim for a strong frontline with any other comp, and if you happen to get a razor early on you can consider transitioning into mages. The goal of a mage comp is to have at least 3 mages on the board for the massive MR reduction, and which units you choose are flexible with the exception of razor (who is essential). Early on you might be using Ogre Magi as your 3rd mage, but you should swap him out asap for a stronger unit. Shadow fiend also does great in a mage comp, as it?s ability is amplified with the MR reduction as well (and also just being a high dps unit in general).
6) Dragons: Another comp you should not aim to start out with, because it?s 100% reliant on getting a 2* dragon knight, something that is completely RNG based. Instead, start out with another strong early comp and if you happen to get a couple of DKs, consider transitioning into dragons. The goal of this comp is to have DK/Puck/Viper, so your DK transforms at the start of the round, doing massive DPS.
Obviously these are not all the compositions you can play, as there are countless numbers of ways you can play this game. A lot of the synergies in the game only requiring 2 units, such as Naga, Beast, etc are easy to synergize to the 1st tier, so they can be put into a bunch of comps. However, it usually isn?t worth going for a 4 beast bonus or a 4 naga bonus early on, as you are giving up stronger synergies to reach this 2nd tier.