Our Dota 2 Auto Chess tier list for May 2019 lists all the races, classes and combinations from strongest to weakest based on community feedback.
Dota 2's Auto Chess custom mode is a remarkable success story. First off, it's not even an official Valve mode, but a community mod. Secondly, it's absolutely taken off without any backing, whether that be marketing, promotion or otherwise. It's drawn in tonnes of strategy-minded players who've either lapsed from CCGs like Hearthstone or those seeking a break from the traditional MOBA experience found in, well, Dota 2 itself.
Valve obviously doesn't mind, though. As long as players are enjoying Dota in any capacity, it's fine with Auto Chess' scucess. It also helps that Auto Chess is a fantastic remix of Dota's universe, borrowing its heroes and abilities, and adapting them into a game defined by strategic micro-battles against both players and AI alike.
Not to mention there's incredible depth to the game too. There are many races to choose from, multiple players per match, creep waves to take on, item upgrades to find, an economy to manage and much more. It's home to a plethora of chess pieces (based on Dota's heroes) and classes, each with their own traits, stat bonuses and potential combinations.
For many, the prospect of playing Dota Auto Chess can be a daunting experience. It's a steep learning curve as there's nothing really like it out there, and tool-tips aren't exactly in abundance, meaning that you've largely got to figure things out for yourself. Basically, it's a bit of a nightmare to get your head around what you're doing right or wrong if you're coming in fresh.
One of the keys to success in Dota Auto Chess is knowing what units are stronger than others - just like Dota 2 or any other hero based game for that matter. To give you a better idea of what's considered hot or not right now, we've put together a tier list which ranks all of the units in the game.
Just a quick note before we dive in...
This tier list isn’t definitive by any means and is only meant to give new players a better idea of what races or classes may be considered better than others.
When it comes down to it, the RNG nature of Auto Chess means it’s important to be flexible and switch strategies on the fly. This means some races or class combinations which aren’t considered top tier can still be extremely strong in the right situation.
For a complete overview of Auto Chess, make sure you check out our Auto Chess guide.
UPDATE: Dazzle and Io!
Recently Drodo introduced a couple of new pieces, the Troll Priest Dazzle and Elf/Wisp Io.
Dazzle's the first Priest in the Troll lineup and brings a brand new unique bonus. His ability is "Shallow Grave" which grants an allied chess piece invulnerability for a total of four seconds. He can cast this ability on multiple units if he's been upgraded too. Of course, the units he chooses are largely random, but it can come in clutch in the late game.
Dazzle's Shallow Grave is an extremely strong ability as it can grant important units immunity at just the right time, allowing them to get off one last ability, land that last hit, or even heal back up a little. With this in mind, we'd consider Dazzle a top tier pick.
Io's the next addition, and they're a little different.
First off, Io's a Legendary unit without a class. They're actually a "Wild Card" unit which means that there's a small chance for Io to appear at any courier level. What's more, they could appear infinitely too as they don't factor into the Auto Chess pool.
On top of all this, their main ability is one of the most powerful in the game. Io effectively acts as a vessel for quick upgrades. Pair them with two of the same unit and Io will act as the third, allowing for an upgrade without needing that third, same unit.
We've slapped them into the "Strong, but not top tier" category as they've got one downside, cost. You always have to weigh up purchasing Io over a strong unit who is playable immediately. Purchase Io early and you've got yourself an easy upgrade path later down the line, but how long do you have to wait until it happens? There's a risk they could be sitting on the bench for a very, very long time.
Dota 2 Auto Chess Tier List
As the meta's constantly evolving in Dota Auto Chess, expect this tier list to change drastically over the coming weeks but we'll do our utmost to keep on top of things. If you notice any meta shifts, don't hesistate to let us know in the comments section below and we may just feature it in the article itself.
Our main resource for May's tier list comes courtesy of mattjestic gaming over on YouTube. He's achieved Queen rank on three separate accounts and has been previously ranked 12th in the world, so he definitely knows what he's on about. Above all though, he's carving out quite a name for himself in the world of Auto Chess video guides and is producing a regular stream of insightful, helpful content. It's definitely worth subscribing to his channel if you're interested in learning more about the game and growing as a player.
Here's mattjestic gaming's video which offers a tier list based on unit cost. He provides reasoning and analysis behind each of his decisions and we'd highly recommend giving it a watch!
Latest Tier List
Below we've separated all the chess pieces into categories based on the meta right now. As more pieces are introduced, and as the meta evolves, we'll do our best to keep this up to date.
What’s considered strong right now?
We've listed all of the units which are top choices at the moment, thanks to their versatility and overall strength. You'll definitely want these pieces in your roster.
- Anti Mage (Elf/DemonHunter
- Alchemist (Goblin/Warlock)
- Beastmaster (Orc/Hunter)
- Bounty Hunter (Goblin/Assassin)
- Clockwerk (Goblin/Mech)
- Dazzle (Troll/Priest)
- Doom (Demon/Warrior)
- Disruptor (Orc/Shaman)
- Drow Ranger (Undead/Hunter)
- Kunkka (Human/Warrior)
- Lone Druid (Beast/Druid)
- Lycan (Human/Beast/Warrior)
- Medusa (Naga/Hunter)
- Necrophos (Undead/Warlock)
- Queen of Pain (Demon/Assassin)
- Razor (Element/Mage)
- Shadow Fiend (Demon/Warlock)
- Templar Assassin (Elf/Assassin)
- Terrorblade (Demon/Hunter)
- Tidehunter (Naga/Hunter)
- Timbersaw (Goblin/Mech)
- Treant Protector (Elf/Druid)
- Troll Warlord (Troll/Warrior)
- Witch Doctor (Troll/Warlock)
Strong, but not top tier
These units are all worth picking up if you're working towards a specific composition or if you've got some gold to burn in the late game.
- Abaddon (Undead/Knight)
- Crystal Maiden (Human/Mage)
- Dragon Knight (Human/Dragon/Knight)
- Enchantress (Beast/Druid)
- Enigma (Element/Warlock)
- Gyrocopter (Dwarf/Mech)
- Io (Elf/WildCard)
- Juggernaut (Orc/Warrior)
- Keeper of the Light (Human/Mage)
- Lich (Undead/Mage)
- Luna (Elf/Knight)
- Mars (God/Warrior)
- Ogre Magi (Ogre/Mage)
- Omni Knight (Human/Knight)
- Phantom Assassin (Elf/Assassin)
- Sand King (Beast/Assassin)
- Shadow Shaman (Troll/Shaman)
- Slark (Naga/Assassin)
- SlarDar (Naga/Warrior)
- Sniper (Dwarf/Hunter)
- Techies (Goblin/Mech)
- Tiny (Elemental/Warrior)
- Tusk (Beast/Warrior)
- Venomancer (Beast/Warlock)
- Zeus (God/Mage)
- Wind Ranger (Elf/Hunter)
- Viper (Dragon/Assassin)
We'd recommend watching this video by Kripparian if you're new to Auto Chess as it provides a great explanation of how it all works.
Essential Auto Chess Coverage
- Auto Chess Guide - How to get started with the game mode
- Auto Chess Tier List - A work in progress evaluation of the strongest units
- Auto Chess Starting Strategies - Tried and tested opening gambits
- Auto Chess Upgrades - Upgrading and combining chess pieces over time
- Auto Chess Levelling - How levelling and XP works in Dota Auto Chess
- Auto Chess Free Candy - How to earn Candy and what you can spend it on
- Auto Chess Gold - How to make more gold and spend it efficiently
- Auto Chess Item List - All the in-game items, with stats and combinations
- Auto Chess Ranks - How the ranking system works in Dota Auto Chess
- Auto Chess Download / Install - Setting up for Auto Chess
Average to weak
By no means are these categories terrible, but if you've got alternative options then you might want to think about looking to those instead. As always though, they can be great in very specific situations.
- Axe (Orc/Warrior)
- Bat Rider (Troll/Knight)
- Chaos Knight (Demon/Knight)
- Death Prophet (Undead/Warlock)
- Furion (Elf/Druid)
- Lina (Human/Mage)
- Mirana (Elf/Hunter)
- Morphling (Elemental/Assassin)
- Puck (Elf/Dragon/Mage)
- Riki (Satyr/Assassin)
- Tinker (Goblin/Mech)