- Shadow Fiend (SF)
- Lone Druid (LD)
- Templar Assassin (TA)
- Tidehunter (Tide)
- Terrorblade (TB)
- Beastmaster (BM)
- Gyrocopter (Gyro)
- Dragon Knight (DK)
- Troll Warlord
- Medusa (Dusa)
- Chaos Knight (CK)
- Pain Queen (QoP, since she?s called Queen of Pain in Dota 2)
- Antimage (AM)
- Windranger (WR)
- Witch Doctor (WD)
- Clockwerk (CW)
- Bounty Hunter (BH)
- Keeper of the Light (KOTL)
- Nature?s Prophet (NP)
- Shadow Shaman (SS)
- Ogre Magi
- Phantom Assassin (PA)
- Crystal Maiden (CM)
- Drow Ranger
- Sand King (SK)
Hero Review?by rogerclee
Shadow Fiend?($3): The DPS king, most compositions can just throw SF in and call it a day. Any tanky core can benefit from putting an SF in back to dish out damage, and given that the strongest openers are all relatively tanky, SF is both very strong and very flexible in the mid to late game.
Lone Druid?($4): The strongest standalone unit in the game and best tank, lone druid is a vital part of transitioning off your early game tanks towards your endgame. The fact that it?s so easy to 2* is just icing on the cake, and getting a 2* LD is usually your signal to start building your endgame, since it?s such a strong tank/stabilizer. Underestimate LD at your own peril?it?s really that good. Side note, highrolling LD early in a full-druid composition is usually a free win.
Razor?($3): I think razor at 1* is a bit overrated, as its tribals are on the weak side and it just doesn?t do enough, but a 2* razor is a very strong DPS nuke that benefits almost any mid-late army. I usually buy razor when offered just to see if I get lucky and can collect 3. If you?re going for mage, you?re going to want 2x 2* razor eventually.
Alchemist?($4): Useful as an endgame warlock (3-of SF/necrophos/alchemist/enigma) and occasionally as a goblin, alchemist is just a very solid unit as long as you?re getting some tribal value out of it. Its AOE is more useful the later the game becomes.
Templar Assassin?($4): TA is an absolute monster and the backbone of any assassin team, though it?s strong on its own as well. Its ability to stay alive makes it a great item hog. I often try to get a 2* TA even if it seems to make no sense since it?s useful against certain compositions and is a solid unit to mix in if you?ve got nothing better going on.
Tidehunter?($5): Tidehunter has the best CC ability in the game, and in the very lategame, that makes him the best unit in the game. Combine with another naga for magic resist if necessary, or just sit him in your frontline and watch him stun over half your opponent?s army. You should basically never pass up tidehunter if it?s offered, it?s that strong.
Terrorblade?($3): No other unit has as large a difference between its 1* and 2* forms, as a 1* terrorblade is almost always useless (it just dies either before it transforms or shortly afterwards) and a 2* terrorblade is usually a DPS carry worth building around. TB is a bait most of the time, but in the right composition (tanky without enough DPS) it can be amazing. Some people think TB is only good as part of the AM/demon package ? this is more of a specialized discussion beyond the scope of this post, but I?ll just say that TB/AM/demon is a little overrated in my view (but is definitely quite strong), and TB can be strong without AM.
Enigma?($5): Really strong damage/heal AOE ability, it?s just the strongest warlock by far. Solid choice even with no synergy, and if you get it earlyish you should strongly consider making room for the warlock synergy even if you weren?t planning on it.
Timbersaw?($2): Great unit with goblin and mech tribals to boot, timbersaw/clockwerk/tinker is the strongest early game strategy. Timbersaw?s usefulness, unlike the other two, is reasonable even in the mid to late game.
Kunkka?($4): Kunkka is one of those units that almost every army wants to just throw in. It has great stats and tribals, but more importantly, has the ability to crowd control, which is the key to winning late game engagements. On a comparative basis, kunkka is not as strong in the midgame since crowd control is less important than raw stats, but you need a very good reason not to buy kunkka when it?s offered.
Beastmaster?($2): The best $2 unit on a stats/damage basis and an absolute early game monster, though its lack of useful tribals means you?re probably going to sell him sometime in the mid to late game. It?s worth noting that Timbersaw and Beastmaster are far better than every other $2 unit, and should be highly prioritized in the early game.
Doom?($4): A vital part of any warrior team, doom is an excellent standalone unit as well. It?s both overstatted and has an extremely powerful ability, making it one of the best frontliners in the game. Doom?s ability is so strong that you should not feel like you need to choose between doom and a different demon, just run both if it seems reasonable.
Gyrocopter/Techies?($5): I?m going to write about both of these together since they are similar, though techies completes the 6-goblin synergy while gyro does not. They both provide wide AOE damage, but techies less consistently so, making it slightly the worse of the two. They?re both frontline units if they don?t get dived on consistently (if they do just put them in your second line). Try to position them around where your opponent is concentrated, especially techies. They are usually both great as a final piece if you have a flex spot in your army.
Dragon Knight ($4): DK is another absolute monster. It has strong build-around potential with puck/viper, but is also a great unit with just a knight-based frontline since the knight synergy rates to keep DK alive for awhile, easily long enough to transform.
Disruptor?($4): One of the strongest frontliners, disruptor is a natural fit with 4troll lineups since you also get the shaman tag. Your goal with disruptor is to get it to 2*, sit it in the very front of your army, and watch it silence half your opponent?s team. A great and underrated unit IMO.
Troll Warlord?($4): The most important piece in a warrior lineup, troll warlord is an absolutely incredible DPS that has excellent tribals on top of it, and is the main reason 4troll + warrior is so strong, but even the 2 troll synergy is often worth it with warlord. Even without any particular synergy, troll warlord is the destroyer of creeps and is amazing in any army with enough frontliners. Throw all +attack items on troll, stick him in the backline, and watch him melt your opponents.
Medusa?($4): Reasonable unit that combines well with tidehunter in the endgame if you need magic resistance, but that?s about it. Its CC ability is much weaker than other alternatives, so I find medusa quite weak unless you can get her as a 2*.
Chaos Knight?($2): Strong early game since it?s likely to be your only demon at the time, but usually sold off in the midgame in favor of a more powerful demon like SF or doom.
Queen of Pain?($2): QoP is not strong enough to be run in most teams, especially since there are better demons to run, but can be decent in a TB/AM demon strat and is somewhat of an average assassin, so is often used in 3 or 6 assassin teams. Not much to say, it jumps and then kills things pretty quickly, which is what you want in an assassin.
Antimage?($1): It combines well in a demon strat with TB, though that?s a very weak early game strategy so I don?t recommend ?going? for it until it?s clearly viable. Weak in almost every opening since it has no good early game synergies, I don?t recommend opening AM unless it seems easy to 2*. Its spot on the tier list is deserved but misleading since it is only strong with TB and demons.
Venomancer?($3): A unit that?s more useful for its tribals (beast/warlock) than its actual abilities, venomancer can punish opponents for losing by summoning 1 or 2 units that do decent damage.. Definitely underwhelming if you?re not taking advantage of its tribals, but it?s okay.
Abbadon?($3): It?s a tank, it has knight and undead synergy, and you should probably get rid of it in the mid/late game unless you have 4 knights or want the undead bonus since its ability is pretty weak.
Enchantress?($1): Its heal ability is very strong early game, especially with the goblin/mech synergy, and it?s a pretty easy 2* to obtain. However, don?t overrate this unit in the mid to late game, even a 3* enchantress is pretty weak, as it has poor stats and a heal ability that does not scale well as the game progresses.
Luna?($2): When I think of an average unit, I think of luna. Early game luna?s passive ability is questionable since it procs your opponents? mana regen without really damaging them. Reasonably useful elf and knight synergies, luna is a good early target for +dmg items, especially since luna will usually be sold off in the midgame.
Lich?($5): It?s undead, it?s mage, and it has a useful damage/slow ability. Personally I don?t find lich that unbelievably strong but it?s an important part of any mage army, and the undead synergy is worth getting if it?s not too costly.
Puck?($2): Puck is an extremely weak unit itself, but it is part of the dreaded DK/Viper/Puck dragon tribal. It?s okay in a mage composition, and I?ve never really seen it be used much for elf synergy. I?d say about 85% of the time puck?s main purpose is to enable the dragon combo.
Windranger?($3): I haven?t had much success getting this unit to work. It?s a pure DPS, but doesn?t have the same punch as other options, making it too situational for my taste, though it?s quite reasonable as part of an upgraded druid team.
Witch Doctor?($2): Fairly weak unit, but late game it?s a reasonable option for the 3-warlock synergy and of course is part of the strong 4-troll synergy. No reason to run this unit without its synergies.
Clockwerk?($1): Goblin/mech is the strongest early game composition, clockwerk has decent stats, enough said.
Treant Protector?($2): Really strong tank, but unless you can get the full druid tribal, treant (as well as enchantress/furion) is just not that good. I find its high placement on the tier list a little misleading for this reason.
Juggernaut?($2): Strong early game with useful tribals, personally I like jugg more than the tier list suggests. Scales reasonably into the late game and generally isn?t too difficult to 3*.
Slark?($3): Don?t judge slark based on its 1* form (which is pretty useless), a 2* slark is a core assassin that loves regen/leech items due to its ability. A 3* slark loaded with items is really something. Naga synergy is easy to accomplish with slark on your team, since you can just throw a tide in the endgame.
Bounty Hunter?($1): Simply the best DPS/HP with a goblin tag to boot. BH + 2 goblin/mechs can carry pretty much any early game. It?s good to dump your early items on BH since he?s likely to be sold at some point in the midgame, and his ability is both magic and has a short CD.
Omniknight?($3): Really strong early game, but as I?ve mentioned elsewhere, healing does not scale well into the endgame, making omniknight?s late game utility questionable. A 2* omni is a strong tank as part of a 2 or 4 knight lineup in the midgame, but I will usually sell it late.
Viper?($3): Like puck, this unit basically exists mostly to enable the DK/Viper/Puck dragon combo. Outside of this use viper is pretty underwhelming as an assassin.
Necrophos?($4): Another late game warlock, but its ability is underwhelming to me. Probably not worth it as a standalone unit, but a necrophos is a solid choice for the late game warlock tribal of SF + alchemist/necrophos/enigma.
Morphling?($2): Bad elemental tribal, weak ability, weak stats/damage. I think morphling is pretty overrated despite being rated so lowly. Not quite tiny tier, but I don?t see it being useful in general unless you?re desperate for a 6th assassin.
Lycan?($3): Lycan has very strong tribals and a great early to midgame ability. Like other units that summon more units, lycan punishes your opponent hard for losing by dealing extra damage via summons. Lycan is part of a group of units whose 2* version is much stronger than its 1* version, since a 2* lycan is basically guaranteed to get its ability off, and a lycan that can transform is strong in any midgame army.
Slardar?($2): Huge damage, and its ability is both more useful than you might think and has a very short CD. Good target for mana regen items. Very welcome in any early game warrior composition, and its naga tribal can be useful.
Tusk?($1): Solid part of a warrior composition, has beast synergy, and walrus punch is very strong early game, though drops off in usefulness as the game progresses.
Keeper of the Light?($4): Compared to the other 4 cost units I just wrote about, lightkeeper is pretty garbage. Its 1* version is quite weak, and even its 2* version can be a bit inconsistent, but if you?re going for the mage tribal you?re going to go lightkeeper, which usually is quite easy to level up due to its unpopularity. Usually place him in a corner for maximum AOE and protection.
Tinker?($1): Worse than clockwerk, but it?s a goblin+mech. Generally a frontline unit since you want it to take damage and get its ability off and then die rather than hang in back doing weak damage.
Nature?s Prophet (Furion)?($2): The value of furion is pretty binary ? it?s either broken with all 4 druids, or nearly useless on its own. Decent early game tank, but its usefulness drops off a lot even in the midgame unless it?s 3*. Furion is useless in the late game.
Shadow Shaman?($1): Super weak early game unit, but combines well late game with disruptor, especially in a 4-troll strat.
Ogre Magi?($1): Not a very popular opener, but an early 2* ogre magi can carry your early game pretty hard. It?s currently held back due to the relative weakness/volatility of mage compositions and the fact that ?ogre? isn?t a real tribal.
Sniper?($3): Like windranger, I just haven?t been able to get this to work, and it has poor tribals. Single-target DPS looks good in the midgame but loses a lot of value in the endgame, making sniper a bad unit.
Phantom Assassin?($3): Boring unit, its power level is a little underwhelming but nothing offensive. Usually part of an assassin team, as TA and PA are both elves and most assassins are underwhelming standalone units.
Lina?($3): IMO the biggest bottleneck holding mages back is their weak midgame units, and lina is very guilty of that. A very easy 2* since nobody ever buys lina, but its ability is single-target damage, which as mentioned above is simply not that good in the late game.
Batrider?($1): It?s a vital part of the super-strong troll synergy, but is a relatively weak early game unit with poor damage/stats. Knight tag is surprisingly useful early on with CK/luna/omni/abbadon. Like tinker, generally a frontline unit since you just want it to get its ability off then die.
Tiny?($1): The worst unit in the game ? bad stats and an ability that is sometimes actually a negative. Still, a 2* tiny is decent in an early warrior comp. Just get rid of it when you can.
Axe?($1): Fairly strong early game unit, but its ability and orc synergy are simply not useful in the mid to late game. It?s fine with some easy synergies in the early game (jugg and BM mostly), but it?s usually right to get rid of axe when the time seems right.
Crystal Maiden?($2): CM is weak until the endgame when you have a lot of spellcasters and want to win the crowd control ?race? by getting your tides/kunkkas/etc off before theirs. You?re going to lose a lot of fights trying to make CM work in your midgame mage composition ? it is purely an end game support unit, and even then is not strong.
Drow Ranger?($1): As far as DPS units go, drow is scratching the bottom of the barrel. However, it can be useful even in the late game with abbadon, lich, or necrophos for the much underrated undead synergy. Very easy to 2* or even 3* due to its unpopularity.
Sand King?($3): It?s the worst assassin, but sometimes you need 6 assassins. There is no reason to buy this unit unless you?re going for that.