Fast Fiend with Death Knight Build

This build is the build for all new UD players. It is the safest and most easy to execute of all UD strategies. While your very early game will be weak, you quickly ramp up with fiends allowing you a strong mid game presence. It has many weaknesses though and is not recommended to be played in many match ups when you are at a higher level. It is most often seen in UD vs ORC at higher levels and rarely in other match ups. This build works very well at lower mmrs.

Difficulty of build: Very good for new players.

Pros

  • Fast creeping in early game when you have 3+ fiends.
  • Less pressure against harassment in early game.
  • Especially good vs FS HH which is currently in meta if you get a DR second.
  • Allows you access to good tier 2 and tier 3 timing attacks.

Cons

  • Later access to Tier 2 and 3.
  • If you are prevented from getting level 3 it becomes hard to save fiends with coil over time.
  • No map control early as you get your early fiends.
  • Since you have no map control and few units you generally cannot prevent or slow an enemies from an early expo and must rely upon a timing attack later on or be outmassed.
  • Hard to stop certain cheeses due to lack of scouting and few units.

Race Match Ups

  • vs UD: Not a good opening vs UD. This opening is weak vs early aggression from lich and/or CL ghoul early pushes. Is ok against other fiend openings but you will get your orb later than UDs who go fast dk and fiend openings.
  • vs. HU: Generally weak since humans can expand on many maps quickly allowing you no time to slow it.
  • vs. Elf: Very weak. DH and KOTG as opening heroes cause this build many problems.
  • vs Orc: Good. Best vs FS/HH. Ok vs BM/Grunt.

The below graphic indicates the basic build order up until early tier 3 with additional discussion below on execution. The video goes more in depth on how to execute the strategy.

Mid and late game transitions:

vs UD: Generally not go this strategy vs UD. If they early expo consider a timing attack with Dark ranger second and skeles. If they go fast DK later fiends, you have a stronger mid game up until tier 3 hits and they get their orb before you. Do not fight them once they get their orb until you have your own. Dark ranger is the usual third hero vs other UDs with this build.

vs. NE: Do not do this build vs Night elf generally.

vs. Orc: If you are facing FS headhunters then as soon as tier 2 hits buy a dark ranger. Be aggressive. Use black arrow and turn his HH into skeletons to fight for you. If you do not pressure you generally are very weak in the late game in comparison to the orc. Get lich third vs this. If BM/grunt opener then get lich second with frost armor as first skill for sustainability. At tier 3 either get orb and pitlord or dark ranger. Get banshees for curse against the orc army, and always make sure the BM is cursed.

vs. Human: Suboptimal build vs Human. However, if you survive until the late game and it is a 1 base human consider getting abominations with disease cloud and get lich second, dr third. You may need a destroyer or 2 if they have casters/water elementals. If the human has knights, get banshees to curse them and also later possess them. If they go gryphons or their heroes are high level, get banshees for curse and specifically anti magic shield.