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From the Abyss: An Overlook of Our Underlord

August 23, 2016 by UnrulySupportGuy
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Build 1
Build 2
Build 3
Build 4

Pos 3 Offlane

DotA2 Hero: Underlord

Purchase Order

Starting Out

Early Game

Core Items

Trove of Fun Stuff

Hero Skills


3 5 8 10

Pit of Malice

2 4 7 9

Atrophy Aura

1 12 13 14

Dark Rift

6 11 16


15 17 18

New Bristleback Model

MTG: Grixis (Red, Black, Blue)
Status: Thicc
Height: Pretty tall

Likes: Cockneys, Lich , Helloween, Reaper, Rick and Morty, Kunkka , Hugs, Sange , Surprises

Dislikes: His own mother, Skywrath Mage , Isolation, The Cure, Manta Style , Going fast, Desolator , Bicycles

So the voice acting for both Bristlebeezy and Underlord is painfully similar. But without further complaints about small details, Underlord is a very interesting hero so far, and I'm glad I actually jumped up and decided to do some testing and hopped on the guide right away. But since he's brand new there are some details that need to be worked out in order to make him the very best like no one ever was, but that's for next patch.
This patch we're going to be focusing on the diversity of the hero and what he has to offer to the table to everyone else. Turns out in playing him that he has a lot of solo potential as well as teamfight potential, though Valve seemed to focus on the latter rather than the former. Also it turns out they don't even know their own hero as they list him as a "support" but then give him a list of items that have nothing to do with support, such as Battle Fury , Necronomicon , Assault Curi*** , and Moon Shard . So what exactly is he? Well, from what I've been messing with, he's in the same kind of group as Centaur Warrunner and a Doom .
This guide, however, focuses on all aspects, and offers not one build, but FOUR builds that you can try in the comfort of your own home whilst learning this new hero that nobody is going to let you play unless you first pick, which then you'll be countered by everything here in this guide.

A Look at Stats: Strengths and Weaknesses

Underlord has a stat gain that's basically a poor man's Doom , which fits right in with the offlane, so let's just look at how well this hero does in the very beginning of the game:

Base Damage
Ya boi starts off with base damage comparable to Faceless Void and could actually out-click that SOB with two Iron Branch and a Gauntlets of Strength for a whopping total base damage of 70. Not to mention if you level your Atrophy Aura first, which you should always do unless there's some kill potential at a rune, you're knocking off %18 of the other dude's damage. Pretty nice in my opinion. This also gives you plenty of last-hit potential, so don't go messing it up. Even while harassing my lane I was able to finish out with 35 CS by the 9 minute mark in the offlane. Far from perfect, but does the job nicely.

Stat Gain
For a STR hero, his INT gain is great and his AGI gain is decent. It might not be as well-rounded as Silencer or Broodmother , but those heroes are kind of garbage right now anyway. But with his AGI only comes armor once every 5 or 6 levels about, but there's twice that gain in HP and Mana almost, so don't let it discourage you

Base Armor
Underlord starts out with a very sleek 5 armor, which is probably in the highest percentage of heroes in the game right now, behind Ogre Magi and Terrorblade both with a whopping 8 armor. This makes tower dives a little easier with a few more hits being able to be taken before you need to retreat. This also gives you an advantage in right clicks because you're already taking away base damage from them to begin with. Due to stat gains, however, be wary that certain hero matchups will make this base armor useless as the games go on, particularly Razor , Vengeful Spirit , and Weaver , who all can chew though that number easily.

Catch potential
Level 3 Pit of Malice stuns all enemies for 2 seconds, which works out pretty well until you remember it has no slow and does only 100 damage before resistance. That's pretty pitiful, no pun intended. Not to mention after it catches it won't do so again. You have no slows, so by yourself you are limited to what you can chase. If you're laning with a core especially and you're playing some sort of 4 position, you definitely just want to focus on pushing your opponent out of lane. This weakness also carries into the late game, whether looking for a pick-off or trying to escape. Maybe they'll work and Aghanim's Scepter upgrade that adds a slow to it.

Ultimate Cooldown
This ult has a ridiculously long cooldown at level 1 for very many good reasons if you're a pro player. If you aren't, well, still carry TPs. On the good side of it, there's nothing that cancels your ult on your end of the portal, not even a Disruption or a Eul's Scepter of Divinity . On the bad side, if that creep you're walking between rifts to get to goes down, it's over and on cooldown. So especially early on make sure your rift target is a catapult or Tower. Those won't go down in the early game, save to a Devour or a Hand of Midas . What's even going for the receiving end is if the creep itself is disrupted it still will allow your portal to go through as long as it doesn't die.

Spell Impact
As I've already touched on, This guy does not have a lot of magic output in the late game. It's great that his Firestorm does percentage-based damage, but we're looking at 3% at max level. Doom has a Toggle that does more than that on each hit, and Zeus has a passive that does 3.6x as much percentage based damage. His Q doesn't pierce through BKB and nor does his W, but even that can be ignored if a carry just uses their Manta Style and walks away scot free if they didn't feel like wasting a BKB charge. Just to make things seem better, especially if you're trying to make this BBM a spell caster, you need an Aether Lens and a Veil of Discord , but you may as well just play Elder Titan or Engima . On the plus side, though, the Firestorm is really good against illusions.

Build 1: The Serious Build

There hasn't been a test game where I haven't farmed, but this is just natural. Any hero with a model that has four legs, a giant underbelly, and an axe of some sort just has the God-given right to farm the offlane. Needless to say, it's pretty easy to farm the offlane. The build first given is the more of the mediator between all the builds and probably the more widely accepted one of the entire Dota 2 community. But then again, deviate from anything and there's more salt about it than in the entirety of our oceans.

High Points of the Build:
-High team sustainability
-Good tanking ability
-Global Support Hotline
-Gank-friendly, both giving and recieving
-Late game high ground pushing power

Low Points of the Build
-Mana dependent early game
-Lower damage output
-Mana heavy
-No solo potential
-Focuses on sustain rather than catch

This build is friendly to all our tank players out there, people who are familiar with Bristleback as a position 4, the ever-famous double-condom Centaur Warrunner , or the same build of Enigma , the only key difference is there's less pressure to get an early Blink Dagger with this hero than the others. Of course, you may want to opt to get it earlier rather than later just because mobility is something that is kind of required in the game at this point.

What's great about Urn of Shadows is that it negates Blink recovery. If Sven is doing his damndest to get away from your Sniper or Razor , then throwing this on him will prevent him from getting out of vision. Plus with the constant scrapping that Underlord should be initiating, it's pretty easy to rack these up. Not to mention that it allows your teammates and yourself to recover a lot of health.

Personally what I found is that which of the items you finish first depends on your situation. Lots of magic damage? Finish your Pipe of Insight . Physical damage-heavy strat? Build that Crimson Guard . Early push for your teammates and sustain? Get a Mekansm and Drum of Endurance . It's all very straight-forward in its approach to the game. Of course, like I mentioned in the red areas, Is that if you're running the position 3 Auralord, Arcane Boots are going to be an absolute necessity. Quite a few pushes failed simply because I didn't have the mana.

Don't forget that the skill build is for your teammates as well, but one value point in it does a lot in itself. It completely negates Vladamir's Offering bonus damage for the enemy and it allows for easy last hits. In the later game it does plenty of heavy lifting. It has yet to be discovered if Aether Lens increases passive output or not.

In the later part of the game, your hero will have well over 2k health all on his own without special strength-boosting items, but I always found that Sange and Yasha makes a great pickup for him, if just for the well-roundedness of the item. But if we're talking about serious late-game items, you're going to want Shiva's Guard for the catch potential and the vision. Not to mention this covers any armor problems you had in the past and makes a great replacement for Blade Mail . Assault Cuirass is also great for pushing in general as well as adding more negative effects to the enemy stats.

On a curious note, don't forget that you can ult your entire team out of Roshan's Pit and can be push top once he's dead, even if an Axe uses Beserker's Call on your entire team. Everyone will disappear and their team will be very confused. So if this **** happens to you and you're against the Auralord, make sure you have TPs. Otherwise say goodbye to your racks.

This also works on Black Hole if you've gotten the spell off since it isn't channeled. Have fun.

Build 2: The Carry Build

The Observer Ward is missing from items you must build for yourself because today you're not just any offlaner. You're the offlaner that will RULE THE WORLD. In all seriousness, though, you'll be giving your farm more priority than ganking, unless your team already has someone on the ropes, in which case...just let them get the kill. Your stun is only going to last 1.5 seconds at lvl 5 anyway. Jumping to a kill that may not be guaranteed is a waste of farm time. If you absolutely must gank, gank to push and grab a tower, not just for the kill itself.

High points of this build:
-High damage output
-Jungle enabled
-High tankability
-Destroys passives
-Good catch rate
-Good pushing power

Low points of this build:
-Good early game required
-Plays very slowly from behind
-Supports with slows necessary early on
-Requires mobility
-Team sustain suffers from build

Are you salty fish ready for another build to complain to a bunch of closeminded people on reddit or twitch about? In all honesty, he's not even that bad with this. I managed to score a few triple kills on cleanup crew with this monster. What's good about the different items in Extra Crispy and Core is that some of them can be replaced. For instance, if you only built the Silver Edge for the PA passive, you can replace it with Monkey King Bar , which gives you more dependable damage against people with evasion in their items. If you needed more attack speed and to clear out illusions, replace it with Mjolnir . You can only shadow walk so many times before someone puts a sentry down and you get picked off by their team and you're left with no buyback, so late game pick offs from invisibility have a lot less success.

Overall, you can bully your lane pretty easily with this guy, and with an early Drum of Endurance pickup you can push the tower as well as have some solid stats. The one thing that isn't good about Atrophy Aura is unlike the Wraith King aura, it's not a toggle. You'll always be pushing up the creep wave on default that their creeps aren't doing as much damage as yours. The earliest tower I was able to knock down was 4:32 with creep cutting. As such a sturdy guy you can afford to do this.

The SnY offer so many good stats for the guy I can't praise this item enough. It gives 2 armor, 32 damage, 32 attack speed, 16% movement speed, and a chance to maim and slow the enemy. Underlord suffers from bad catch potential but this allows for some alleviation of that problem. That and a Blink Dagger . Other items aren't all that big on catch, like Assault Cuirass or Desolator , but it allows for large chunks of damage, especially with the Silver Edge , which cuts even more damage percentage from the hero who might try to turn and fight you. Take that, Antimage and Legion Commander .

Once you're Extra Crispy, it all depends on what you need more of: Survival, APS, or Damage. If you're fighting against a Phantom Lancer or a Chaos Knight , the Mjolnir is going to be your best bet. If you're against an Antimage who deals a lot of damage and will Mana Void you for your health, you probably want a Black King Bar and an Abyssal Blade . If you're against five hundred heroes with evasion, you're going to want the Monkey King Bar . If you got to go in first into fights and be the last one to leave as well, pick up a Heart of Tarrasque . You'll soon realize that when building items on a carry, especially one like Underlord who has been left open, that item builds become more and more situational than rigid. Unless you're Sniper , but I mean the machine gun preacher build is pretty hard to top.

Build 3: How to Jungle Without Losing Weight

This is the only build I haven't tested, but considering the impact of Atrophy Aura on creeps, it's pretty solid. Of course, I wouldn't expect it works as well as ancient farmign as Tidehunter .

High points of the build:
-Uncontested farm
-Higher levels overall on team
-Item timing
-Higher push potential

Low points of the build
-Less lane impact
-Low team sustain
-Low spell damage
-Relies on pushing for game impact
-Weakens teamfights

Who knows how this works in a ranked game, but for your pubs it's pretty straightforward. Rush an item you think is best for the team, just like any jungler does. For Enigma it's either Blink Dagger or Mekansm , for Beastmaster and Axe and Legion Commander it's usually Blink as well. In fact, most junglers these days are just rushing blink, save for Tidehunter , who usually rushes that Mek, and Ursa , who's big on the Vladamir's Offering . Rush the Necronomicon or the Vlad's and go in on the early push while also slowly transitioning into Auralord. Perhaps you may even find yourself rushing the Mek in doing an Enigma-like build.

In general, you're going to suffer with only the Iron Claw and a -18% of damage on the neutral creeps, so your best bet is to jungle the two medium camps on either side of the map, reach level 2, then hope that there was enough gold to buy your Stout Shield , which by level 3, negates a lot of the damage taken by neutrals at -26% . Pushing should come fairly easy, as you'll be using your ult to relocate to an empty lane along with allies instead of using it to rain hellfire down on your enemies on your side of the map. That's more suited for the first build, which is way more team oriented. The ult off cooldown is actually kind of OP. If you lose one of your cores you can relocate everyone running away to base instead of risking a pick off or push a lane on the opposite side of the map since most your enemy TP scrolls will be on cooldown.

With a finished Lvl 3 Necro, a Vlad's, a Crimson Guard , and some of your AC, you're well on your way to becoming the rat master that may even rival that of the old Lycan before the jungle nerfs a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. But it actually works almost better because every creep that dies along the way gives you bonus damage, which is 30 on average per wave in the later game. It's not as good as Howl , which gives everyone a bonus 20 to summoned units and +50 for you personally, but out of two waves, that's 60 extra you're doing for yourself, not to mention if you just came out of a teamfight, you'll be doing something close to 100 extra bonus damage, if not more. On average after two hero kills and two creep waves, I was getting 135. Coupled with the APS boost from the necro minions, AC, and possibly Drum of Endurance , that tower is pretty dead.

Unfortunately focusing on pushing makes your Underlord a very squishy STR hero. I'd only recommend this build if you already have a core who would offlane solo, like Timbersaw and Bristleback . Also if there's a lot of teamfight on the enemy team and not a lot on yours, but they lack pushing power, this might be an easier way out than trying to build for your team if they lack pushing power and teamfight. There's no use trying to have one big teamfight ultimate if you can't focus down one enemy hero that holds their team together and reliably kill him.

Build 4: For No Reason

This is slowly getting worse and worse.

This is, with the exception of the Phase Boots , how I first built Underlord for the following reasons:

1. Why the hell can't I catch this guy.
2. How come I have a bonus 70 damage but I can't kill this guy.
3. Why is this Sniper faster than me when I have more movement speed over him.
4. I really hate this squishy support fighting against me

This build only really has one purpose: To blow something up and not let it escape. Dagon lvl 1 is actually pretty easy to farm, as it's only a 2.7k gold item, even though the build up is a little lame, but thankfully I just told everyone how easy it is to jungle this hero at higher levels. Also on a more serious note, Veil of Discord is actually a pretty decent item for the guy, because it offers armor, mana, and allows for the increased damage output from his spells as well as other's. That way Zeus can farm a higher item and Earthshaker can focus on becoming Lebron James.

In the "not let it escape" area, you have your Phase Boots, which give you bonus damage and catch potential and Echo Sabre , which slows down an enemy for a split second and also their attack speed. It's enough to time to set up another Pit of Malice and Dagon him to death. If you really wanted to be top notch garbage, add Rod of Atos to your list of slows, though if you only want to go half-******, pick up the SnY, which has a much longer slow effect.

Why build Eye of Skadi ? Why not, you mean. Stats, a slow through BKB, more damage, more armor, more attack speed, it's the perfect 5k+ gold item for someone with absolutely no chase potential. But wait, Batman, look at this, there's an Ethereal Blade that can chunk someone for their health, in which after you trap them, you can Dagon them for even more damage with the Veil! You might as well build shotgun Mirana , but hey, this is fun, too. Plus you're a lot less squishy as Underbelly Lord than the POTM.

If you're serious about fighting illusion heroes, go for that Mjolnir Battle Fury build, because why not make that Chaos Knight regret not giving you that contract on being a knight for the abyss. But of course, get ready to be pretty squishy if you go that route, but it is a lot of damage going out either way.

The Conclusion

Most new heroes that come out, I usually end up not playing for a good while until there's some sort of meta to them, the only exception being Winter Wyvern . I'm going to try and break that and make the meta myself, which is why there's a lot of different directions in this guide in which you and I can take Underlord . However there's always limitations.

Underlord by himself may have a lot of damage output, but so can an Ursa or a Wraith King . If any of those heroes get kited around while they're spell immune, it quickly wears off and they become useless. What matters is how Underlord plays around his team and what he has to offer. So far on the plate, in wrapping the entire discussion up, is good stat gain and base stats, a slow, AOE damage, and an AOE teleport which can only be interrupted by the creep or building dying. This brings an entirely new way of playing to the table, such as things I've mentioned before like Rosh Pit fights, pushing tactics, or even starting fights you weren't going to finish in order to waste enemy resources. And just like most offlane cores like Axe and Doom , item timings will become very important as the hero is explored and the meta is formed, especially when people have decided where he fits in on a lineup, whether as damage or sustain.

As a STR hero who carries auras, it's also very important that you focus the Underlord in the fights, or try to pick him off, because this cripples everything the enemy has that keeps them alive, like spell and physical block and even recovery, depending on how core or support he goes. As a carry, he'll be much harder to focus down depending on the build, but this will also leave the enemy team vulnerable if he is a main damage dealer, not to mention that like most STR heroes, he is vulnerable early to mid game to armor reduction. I mean, if the hero was perfect, it wouldn't be fair to the others, am I right?

Overall, I plan on playing more of him, and my shistack team is probably once again going to mispredict the meta. But hey, you aren't improving if you aren't proving people wrong along the way, right?

Thanks for reading this guide, and feel free to keep spamming Elder Titan along with this guy.

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