Juergen Klopp's free-flowing youngsters are easy on the eye and on the league table, and their ability to overwhelm the best defences has got them to the Champions League final, where they face domestic rivals Bayern Munich.
But they are as much a product of Klopp's system, which demands an intensity unrivalled in European football and insists on the so-called flair players to quite literally put in the hard yards.
Defensive forwards - attack-minded players whose role is equally to close down opposition defenders - have been in vogue since Pep Guardiola famously demanded his players be "beautiful with the ball but horrible without it", with "horrible" meaning industrious and mobile as opposed to downright vindictive.
Dortmund work along these principles but with a typically Germanic efficiency as the likes of Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski chase as much as they play, while wingers Jakub Blaszczykowski and Marco Reus are equally adept at tracking back to cover bombarding full-backs Lukasz Piszczek and Marcel Schmelzer as they are flying down the flanks.
The statistics from Opta bear this theory out. UEFA kindly listed the number of metres each player has run in this season's Champions League, and five of the aforementioned six Dortmund players are in the top 10:
In addition, Dortmund's industry sees them dominate in the challenge - in this season's Champions League these so-called silky attackers have won more headers per game than anyone else, and are second in the overall lists for tackles and physical duels.
And what is the net result of this graft and vigour? A higher percentage of passes in the final third of the pitch than anyone other than Benfica and Real Madrid. And that is some feat for a side whose prime playmaker is the deep-lying Ilkay Gundogan.
Hurrah for that good old-fashioned teutonic work ethic!
Reda Maher / Opta / UEFA