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Undying - Ripping Off the Offlane with Slaps to the Face by E1 Mariachi [7.02]

February 11, 2017 by E1Mar1ach1
Comments: 54    |    Views: 268533    |   


Build 1
Build 2

Drop the Tombo and go Stompo (Tombstone > Decay Max)

DotA2 Hero: Undying


Purchase Order

Starting Items

Early Game Options

Boots Options

Mid Game Core Alternatives

Situational Items

Late Game and Luxury Options



Hero Skills

Decay

1 8 9 11

Soul Rip

4 13 14 16

Tombstone

2 3 5 7

Flesh Golem

6 12 18

Talents

10 15

Hero Talents

-2s Decay Cooldown
25
+15 Armor
+50 Tombstone Zombie Damage
20
+30 Movement Speed
+35% XP Gain
15
+300 Health
-30s Respawn Time
10
+90 Gold/Min

Lore

THE LORE OF DIRGE THE UNDYING
How long has it been since he lost his name? The torn ruin of his mind no longer knows.

Dimly he recalls armor and banners and grim-faced kin riding at his side. He remembers a battle: pain and fear as pale hands ripped him from his saddle. He remembers terror as they threw him into the yawning pit of the Dead God alongside his brothers, to hear the Dirge and be consumed into nothingness. In the darkness below, time left them. Thought left them. Sanity left them. Hunger, however, did not. They turned on each other with split fingernails and shattered teeth. Then it came: distant at first, a fragile note at the edge of perception, joined by another, then another, inescapable and unending. The chorus grew into a living wall of sound pulsing in his mind until no other thought survived. With the Dirge consuming him, he opened his arms to the Dead God and welcomed his obliteration. Yet destruction was not what he'd been chosen for. The Dead God demanded war. In the belly of the great nothing, he was granted a new purpose: to spread the Dirge across the land, to rally the sleepless dead against the living. He was to become the Undying, the herald of the Dead God, to rise and fall and rise again whenever his body failed him. To trudge on through death unending, that the Dirge might never end.
(c) www.gettothekeyboard.de

Introduction

Greetings fellow DotA 2 Community,

welcome to my guide to Undying, which is my second guide to be published. Unlike my first guide to Dazzle I try to prevent this guide from becoming a wall of text, but it will be in-depth in the end.

The main guide will deal with the Offlane Undying. It is based on the newest update: The New Journey Update version 7.02 .

I felt an urge to write this guide, because in my opinion Undying is a vastly underestimated hero and -- most of all -- he is ONE INSANE HELL OF FUN to play especially in early to mid game, when put on a strong offlane. I consider Undying to be viable only on the Offlane, since he has a pressuring, aggressive playstyle to him, which is able to RIP OFF most given Offlanes with the help of another hero matching the TOMBO-WOMBO OVERAGRESSION playstyle of Undying. Since he received mayor buffs in some recent updates (6.81, 6.82, 6.83) he became even more interesting and viable even more.

In my personal opinion Undying himself is not a very versatile hero, when it comes to roles, which may be one reason for his mediocre popularity. He is most likely to be a mix of Initiator, Tank and Teamfighter.

On the other side the skill and item build depend on the situation to a huge amount. By picking up specific items and changing the skill sequence you have to adapt to the match and decide, what is useful and what is not.

Please note the Disclaimer:
The item and skill build I provide in this guide are not meant to be static. This is the reason why I only list item OPTIONS and give skill build OPTIONS.

Changelog

This guide was released at August 29th in 2014. Future Changes and Changelogs will be added.

Changelog:

August the 30th 2014:
  • Added a Aggressive Trilane Section to the Combos and Counters Chapter according to the feedback of strider. The section will be extended.
  • Some minor spelling corrections.

August the 31st 2014
  • Added Omniknight (and Dazzle) to the Counters section as suggested by Woubit.
  • Added further aggressive trilane sample lanes.

September the 1st 2014
  • Added some ingame footage to the Tombstone section, further to come when gathered.

September the 21st 2014
  • Added Axe to the combo section as suggested by BrecMadak

September the 24th 2014 6.82 Balancing Update included
  • Updated Tombstone AoE (buff)
  • Updated Flesh Golem Slow: now scaling 5/10/15% --> (lategame buff)
  • Updated Flesh Golem Scepter Damage Amplification: +5% on all levels (buff)

October the 20th 2014

October the 21st 2014
  • Added Crimson Guard to the situational items section.
  • Added some ingame screenshots for vizualisation and cosmetic purposes.

December the 16th 2014

December the 17th 2014

December the 18th 2014
  • Minor corrections and design adjustments.

March the 23rd 2015
  • Revisited and checked for update impact. Up to date.

March the 29th 2015
  • Minor changes to formatting to lift readability.

March the 31st 2015
  • Added Dark Seer to the combo section as suggested by Lurdekan.

April the 14th 2015
  • Added a shortened version of the build with explanations as a Dota 2 ingame guide. If you are interested, look it up or subscribe to it.

April the 15th 2015
  • Added Crystal Maiden to the support laning partner section as suggested by ChiChi.

April the 28th 2015

May the 1nd 2015

May the 7th 2015
  • Added Glimmer Cape to the situational items.
  • Added the "Competetive Pick Analysis" chapter (1 match so far).

May the 10th 2015
  • Included 6.84b Balancing Update Changes (nerfs) to Tombstone zombies, Soul Rip and Flesh Golem.
  • Minor layout changes to the stats chapter and Flesh Golem data sheet ( Aghanim's Scepter).
  • Separated the Base Stats and General Playstyle chapter into two chapter and added some further information esp. on attribute growth.

May the 11th 2015
  • Added Bracer to the eraly item suggestions.
  • Rearranged the situational item section and removed Rod of Atos and Veil of Discord to keep it short enough to be readable.
  • Added Enigma to the combo section and added Solar Crest to the situational item suggestions as suggested by soul hunter.
  • Added a third Clarity to the starting items to match the dold left by the new Stout Shield item cost.

May the 12th 2015
  • Added Medusa and Luna to the counter section as suggested by Sunabonzu .
  • Changes to the skill section layout.

August the 10th 2015:
  • Revisited and checked for changes. Up to date.

August the 11th 2015:

September the 25th 2015

September the 26th 2015

  • Reworked different chapters dealing with the role issue, boots choice and late game relevance of Undying and adjusted the Tombstone chapter according to the latest durability change.

December the 20th 2015

  • Adapted to the 6.86 Balance of Power Update with its (minor) changes to Tombstone.

March the 5th 2016

  • Readded Glimmer Cape to situational items.
  • Added Datdota item stats overview.


April the 25th 2016

  • Included the 6.87 Gameplay Patch with its slight buff to Tombstone hit calculation. New and reworked items evaluated.


June the 14th 2016

  • Included the 6.88 Gameplay Patch with buffs to the int gai and Decay's range and duration.


February the 11th 2017

  • Reworked the guide to adapt it to the 7.02 New Journey Patch including talents and minor changes to skills.

The Role Discussion

Since humanity can remember there is a discussion going on about which role Undying suits in a proper team. The discussion itself this pretty useless, since it does not change the skillset or the way Undying can be played, it just confuses people leading to misconception of Dirge.

My answer to the role question is rather abstract than explicit. Undying is a unique kind of hero that does not fit in any specific role the game developers have given us. If you have got to name it, I would say Undying is a mixture of Support, Initiator and Tank, but overall a great Teamfighter and Spacecreator, excellig in fights with his skillset and dominating the early game stages as his spells and most of all the Tombstone have a huge impact.

Undying fits the 3rd or 4th position most likely. I tend to play him supportive in these positions and I feel like this is the way suiting him the best. But that totally depends on the team composition. Your team's heroes have to be able to end the game in the mid game, otherwise you will have to deal with Undying's decreasing importance in the late game.

You role somewhat reflects in your boots choice. If you play more support focused, you usually aim to end the game faster and get Arcane Boots to dish out as much spell impact as you can. If your team tends to be lategame-strong, you should consider getting Power Treads to increase your otherwise aweful farming abilities and buff up your late game fighting capabilities.

BUT PLEASE NOTE:
There are ways of playing Undying as a SEMI-CARRY or TANK LIKE hero. This guide is limited to a SUPPORTIVE TEAMFIGHT ROLE. The item suggestions accord only to this specific role.

Base Stats and Growth

source: dotabuff
  • One big thing to notice about Undying's base stats and attribute growth are that he has a the highest intelligence growth with 2.8 / lvl with Bristleback (also 2.8/lvl). So this leads to a considerably big base mana pool as you gain levels.

  • The other side to this is Undying]'s] poor strength growth of only 2.1 / lvl, what makes him the fourth lowest strength gainer of the strength hero pool. This leads to relatively low base HP and damage increase, but [[Undying is able to compensate this by stealing strength with Decay.

  • The agility growth is the lowest of all strength heroes, so don't expect much to come this way. You need to build armor by yourself, if needed. As you do not rely on autoattacks, the poor attack speed is not so big of a matter.

  • Undying's base movement speed of 310 is pretty nice for the laning stage giving you an advantage over most heroes giving you the chance to chase them down and play aggressive from lvl 1 on.

General Playstyle

There are several things you have to keep in mind, if you pick Undying:


  • First and foremost you have to commit to a aggressive playstyle on the offlane. If you underperform and cannot transform your early game advantage in lane dominance and kills, you give away Undying's great capability to set huge pressure on the enemy safe lane and get early core items up.

  • As you pick Undying you have to focus on teamplay. Early on Undying is able to almost solo dominate lanes, but after a short time span you will find yourself unable to accomplish much in a solo manner. Dirge excels in teamfights, because all his abilities have the biggest impact in teamfights and escpecially with some serious follow up damage.

  • If you go and build selfish stuff with Undying, you may have luck, but chances are big, a lot of potential goes to waste. Undying is the born support AoE item carrier, because of his strong and necessary teamfight presence. If you use your skillset and your items to increase your team's fighting potential as a whole, you will have way more impact than playing a solo nuker or late game tank.

  • Undying's skillset allow him to go into lane very aggressively from level 2 or 3 on. As you are not scaling well as a autoattacker, because of your horrific agility gain, you have to become more defensive and start playing more strategically in means of teamfighting and positioning. In the late game you impact will be way lower and you are easy prey for late game carries.

  • Undying has the great ability to create a lot of space for anybody who need it, especiall your carry. He can create immense pressure with Tombstone and also counter enemy attempts on ganking and taking early towers pretty well. In the early to mid game phase you have to be active and create space, because you can. Afk farming a Bloodstone with Dirge is nice, but you give away the great opportunity to scare the **** out of the enemy team preventing them from farming efficiently.

The Skillset of Undying

Here I will be explaining the effect of the single skills of Undying and the proper usage of them in the game in the order of skilling.
(c) vimescarrot @ deviantart.com

D.K.

1. Data


Type:

Targets:


Target Point
Enemy Units
Undying saps the life from enemy Heroes in an area, dealing damage and stealing Strength for the duration.

Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

70


90


110


130

Cooldown

10


8


6


4

Range

650


650


650


650

AoE

300


300


300


300

Strength Stolen

4 (10)


4 (10)


4 (10)


4 (10)

Duration

45


45


45


45

Damage Amount

40


80


120


160


2. Description



The damage amount dealt by Decay is magical damage. Adittionally to dealing magic damage it temporarily reduces the strengt of the enemy heroes hit by Decay by 4 on all levels and adds them to Undying's strengt (steal) for the duration of the spell. The strenght loss is applied before the magic damage is dealt to the enemy hero.

If you consider the strength loss as damage, with every hit you deal additional 76 damage, that is not reduced by magic resistance.

Decay's strength steal stacks and only makes sense this way. This does not allow to lower the strength of an enemy hero under 1. Since creeps do not have a attributes, only the magic damage will be dealt.

Notice that leveling up Decay increases its potential on a huge scale: On level 1 Decay can be stacked almost only twice. With the increased duration (30) and the decreased cooldown (4) at level 4, you can get up to seven Decaystacks on multiple enemy heroes. resulting in an absolute strength loss of 28!

Here one average example:
Assume you max Decay at level 10 as I suggest with this guide and let's say the enemy safe lane Faceless Void did not get rekt totally by you and got level 11 now. At level 11 the Void has a base strength of 40.6 + 8 from Power Treads = 48.6 = 923 HP. If you get 6 stacks of Decay up on him his strengt is reduced to 24,6 = 467 HP. This is the strength of maxing Decay second at level 10.


3. Usage



  • General use:

    Decay is a combination of debuff and nuke. The core effect if this skill is not the magic damage, but the strengt steal. By stacking strentgh steal on the enemy heroes you can turn them into little clowns with the hp pool of a squirrel. By lowering the strength the total hp pool of the enemy heroes is shrinking. This results in harass and -- if the opportunity arises -- the lethal punches being more effective. Additionally Undying himself gets more tanky due to the stolen strength, allowing him to go more aggressively on the enemy heroes in the duration of Decay.

  • Laning:

    In the laning phase you usually want to use Decay on all enemy heroes in the lane to maximize the effect of it. By stacking 2 or more Decays on the enemies you prepare them for some slap to the face bullying by the ugly guy and his friends. When the Decay debuff and the harass has reached a critical amount, you turn into muscle monster mode and drop the Tombstone, what can and definitly should result in death -- preferably not yours.

  • Mid to late game:

    In the late game as Decay becomes really spammable, it is the way to gain a lot of strengt HP making you tankier and your auto attacks harder. For every target hit by a single Decay your HP increases by 76. If you are comfortable with Decay you are easily able to have 10 Decay buffs up while fighting, which results in temporarily gaining 760 HP.

    NOTE:

    This is the reason pure tank items like Heart of Tarrasque are simply not worth the gold as you should be beefy enough by getting some Decays up.

TOMBERINO STONERINO

1. Data


Type:

Targets:


Target Point
Enemy Units
Summons a tombstone at the target point. Zombies will frequently spawn next to every enemy unit in the area around the Tombstone, and attack them. Zombies have the Deathlust ability, which causes their attacks to slow the target, and if the target reaches below a certain amount of health, increases the attack and movement speed of the zombie.


Level

1


2


3


4


Mana

120


130


140


150


Cooldown

60


60


60


60


Range

600


600


600


600


AoE

600


800


1000


1200


Hero Hits Needed for Destruction

3


4


5


7



Duration

15


20


25


30

Spawn Interval

3


3


3


3

Deathlust Threshold

100 or 20 %


200 or 25 %


300 or 30 %


400 or 35 %


2. Description



The Tombstone is a magic immune unit with a level depending amount of hits needed to be destroyed. The only exception to the magic immunity is, that it can be restored by Soul Rip (1/2/3/4 hits). Remember that is gives away a 125/150/175/200 Gold reward for bringing it down, so do not feed TOMBOS to the enemy.

The TOMBO causes little zombie units to spawn at every visible enemy unit in the Tombstone AoE every 3 seconds, who will chase and attack the enemy with damage of 35 for the duration of the Tombstone being active. If not killed, there will spawn multiple zombies at the affected targets.

CARE: NERF (6.85):
Since 6.85 the Tombstone now needs a specific amount of hits (3/4/5/7 hit points) to be destroyed, while creeps and illusions need double the amount of hits. This renders Tombstone far more vulerable in early game, but also more durable in late game, when heroes already have high physical damage output. Anyway in my opinion this is a major nerf to Undying depriving him of his lane dominating role with Tombstone. Now you will have to be way more careful with when to go aggressive and where to drop the Tombstone, because 3 or 4 hits at level 1/2 are pretty much nothing. Another reason to max it out as soon as possible!
  • Zombie Killing Mechanics (6.84 and 6.84b changes):

    Instead of the zombies having HP of 30, they now require 1 hero or tower attack or 2 creep hits to be killed. This does not allow Bristleback or Axe to clear zombies with Quill Spray or Counter Helix[/i]

The Tombstone zombies itself have two passive abilities:
  • The zombies have the passive Deathlust ability providing two things:

    • First they apply a slow to enemy units on attack, which stacks with other movement speed slows e.g. from Flesh Golem's aura.

    • Additionaly the movement and attack speed of the zombies increase as the target drops below the level depending hp threshold causing to add even more slow stacks.

  • The zombies are magic immune. This means: No Dragon Slave farming zombie units, enemies have to physically kill them with auto attacks or auto attack modification.

3. Usage



The Tombstone is the signature spell of Undying. It is a AoE teamfight skill, that excels in early to mid game, when the enemies have still relative little overall HP pools and tend to not posses BKBs. The TOMBO gets really strong with leveling up as it increases the spawn AoE, the duration, its durability and the Deathlust threshold significantly.

There are multiple and mixed kinds of uses for Tombstone:


  • Early game:

    You will most likely use the TOMBO aggressively from early game on as it is already strong at level 1, but almost ensuring kills at level 2, if used right. The TOMBO should be dropped, when you see the possibility to chase down and kill the multiple Decayed units, which are slowed and chased by the zombie units allow Undying to dish out some heavy autoattacks. In the eraly game one or two Decay stacks on the enemy heroes can be enough to go aggressive and attempt to kill them depending on your lane partners.

  • Mid to late game:

    Later on the Tombstone should be saved for mid to full scale teamfights, when as it massively changes the fighting conditions to your favor, allowing to turn a won teamfight into a teamwipe. You are most likely to place it on the sidelines of the area, where the fight is about to break out. As the game proceeds the placement has to become more defensive as late game carries can bring it down in no time.

  • Defensive use:

    There are defensive uses for the TOMBO too: You can use it to defend towers or counter enemy gank attempts. In this case you drop the Tombstone defensively at a point the enemy team is not likely to try to kill it, which may be in range of the pressured tower or behind your allies lines in order to get the full effect out of it and slow down the enemy aggression a lot.
Here you can see me (Fire Walk With Me) use a defensive Tombstone to delay the Dark Seer Ion Shell push. Since the creeps will stop at every 3 second zombie spawn and these are magic immune, he will stop trying to push the mid T1.


  • Placement:

    Since the Tombstone can be killed by physical damage (auto attacks including tower attacks) it should be placed somewhere save in any case. You have to make a decision where the TOMBO has to be placed to get the most effect out of it while simultaniously being hard to kill for the enemy. Proper tombo placement is a huge deal and should be practiced in order to get the most out of Undying's huge teamfight potential.

    The mind trick with the TOMBO is the same with Phoenix's ult Supernova: In order to end the AoE effect, the enemies have to kill the source. But if they decide to do so, they have to focus the Tombstone, while in this time Undying and his allies can hit on them. In pubs usually the Tombstone causes the enemies to panic as they notice the effect setting in and Undying coming straight at them. So one big deal with Tombstone is, that it forces the enemy heroes to make the decision, wheter to try to bring the TOMBO down or not to do so.

But NOTICE:

When the TOMBERINO hits the ground in early to mid game, IT IS GO TIME! This is the time for Undying to shine, to slap, to triple kill the safelaning enemies ****ting their pants. If you dive, there is only one direction you can go: STRAIGHT AT DEM CLOWNS in order to make them sweat and bleed. This... is... Undying !!!
This is a situation normal heroes do not want to be in: I am surrounded by Omniknight, Crystal Maiden and Pudge, who came to stop me from destruction the Offlane and just killed my lane partner Rubick. But since I got Tombstone and Flesh Golem and Soul Ring off cooldown, I decide to TURN THIS **** around and make this place A BLOODY SLAUGHTERHOUSE. I drop a Tombstone behind me, pop Flesh Golem as I get out of Dismember and hit some Decays. The failure that the enemies make, is not attacking the zombies or the Tombo, so many zombies can stack. In the end noone will come out of this mess alive, BUT ME.

Soul R.I.P.

1. Data


Type:

Targets:


Active
Ally or Enemy Units
Redirects the flow of energy through a target friendly or enemy unit, healing or damaging it depending on how many units are near it. Each counted unit takes damage.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

100


110


120


130

Cooldown

25


20


15


10

Range

650


650


650


650

AoE (Unit Count)

975


975


975


975

Heal / Damage per Unit

18


22


26


30

Max Units

10


12


14


16


2. Description



Basically Soul Rip is a heal or nuke depending on the targeted unit being ally or enemy, though Tombstone zombies cannot be targeted anymore to avoid miscasting.

  • Counting and Scaling

    The amount of damage / heal applied is based on the count of units around Undying in an huge AoE of 1300. The base value and the maximal unit multiplier are both level dependent. The amount of heal / damage per unit scales as 18/22/26/30. This included heroes, creeps and Tombstone zombies etc. The maximum of units count scale like 10/12/14/16, what results in a mximal (raw) nuke/heal of 180 / 264 / 364 / 480.

  • Nuke Effect

    The damage amount dealt by Soul Rip, if used on an enemy unit, is magical damage. It also is now dealt in one instance (6.84), so it does not count as multiple instances against Refraction or Living Armor.


3. Usage



Soul Rip reaches its max heal / damage amount, when Undying is surrounded by many units. As it includes zombie units from Tombstone Soul Rip excels in fights, where the TOMBO is already active. If you need the heal / nuke and there is no Tombstone around, you can maximize its effect by casting , when a creepwave is in the AoE.

  • Heal:

    Soul Rip should be used defensively by healing critical allied targets dropping low, most likely your own carry as he is fighting the enemy team. Also it can help to restore the Tombstone itself, if the enemies decide to bring it down. Of course using Soul Rip at yourself to prevent dying is suggested.

  • Nuke:

    If you use Soul Rip aggressively on enemy heroes fleeing from Tombstone, there is a great chance of killing them or at least bringing them below the threshold to trigger the zombie unit speed buff.

Fleisch Golem

1. Data



Type:
Targets:


Active
Self
Undying transforms into a horrifying flesh golem that possesses a Plague Aura. This aura slows all enemy units within 750 range and amplifies the damage they take; the closer to Undying, the more damage. When a plagued unit dies, Undying is healed equal to a percentage of the unit's maximum health.

Level


1


2


3

Mana


100


100


100

Cooldown


75


75


75

AoE


750


750


750

Duration


30


30


30

Min - Max Damage Amp

1 - 20%


1 - 25%


1 - 30%

Heal on Hero Death

6 %


6 %


6 %

Heal on Unit Death

2 %


2 %


2 %

Movement Slow

1-20 %


1-20 %


1-20 %


2. Description



Flesh Golem is a AoE debuff of enemy units ("Plague Aura") close to Undying with an healing mechanism for Undying himself.

It applies a movement speed slow at enemies in the AoE that scales from 1% to 20% (6.84b nerf) depending on the distance to Undying. This stacks with the slow from the attacks of the Tombstone zombies. This is great mechansim to keep control over multiple enemy heroes, which are effected by the next debuff:

Also Flesh Golem's aura amplifies any damage taken by enemies in the AoE, while this damage amplification effect gets stronger as the units are closer to Undying scaling from 1% at the max distance to 20/25/30%.

The max damage amplification and max movement speed slow is reached in an AoE of < 200 around Undying himself.

Note: The damage amplification works for all damage sources! This is a big deal, because not only the physical dps from your carry's auto attacks is increased, but also any other magical nukes.

Note also: Since 6.81 the Plague aura goes through magic immunity! This is great too, because you are more relevant in the lategame, when many heroes already got BKBs up.

If any enemy unit under the Plague effect of Flesh Golem dies, Undying is healed by a set amount, while the heal is stronger for hero death than for creep deaths.

Please note, that Flesh Golem affect magic immune targets too!

3. Usage



Flesh Golem and its damage amplification excel in greater scale teamfights, where alot of damage is dealt. Since this skill works as it does, it is important for Undying to get close to the enemies, to maximize the Plague effect. This is the reason, why Undying has to build tanky somehow.

The overall AoE movement slow is a great debuff in teamfight as it works great in conjunction with the damage amp. It gives Undying huge teamfight control. The inbuild healing mechanism allows Undying to keep going as the fight continues and units keep dying.

You usually want to use Flesh Golem in combination with Tombstone in any greater fights, but especially in full scale teamfights. As the cooldown at 75 seconds is not too long, feel free to use Flesh Golem at smaller chases and fights, when you don't expect a bigger engagement to happen soon.


Here I provide you a MSPaint visualization of the Plague Aura Damage Amplification. The Invoker at the left border of the circle is right at the edge of the AoE so you can image how big the impact will be ingame. Notice that this screenshot is zoomed out and not 1:1 ingame view.

Skill Sequences Justification

source: dotabuff


First of all: I admit, that there sure are other viable builds. The skill build I provide are not the holy grail, sadly.

I added a shortened version of the build as an ingame client guide for DotA 2, if anyone is interested, go look it up.

Level 1 and Level 2



For me there is no option to skilling Decay on level 1 and Tombstone on level 2. This is your bread & butter to be effective in lane. You want to make use of Decay from the beginning since it has the most impact on level 1. Having a Tombstone or a Soul Rip nuke / heal up at level 1 is completely pointless. You need the Tombstone on level 2 to be ready to adapt to the situation. If the enemy takes harass and does not care about the Decay debuff, it may be go time at level 2 already, especially when laning against a solo safelaner. On the other hand you have to be able to use Tombstone to counter aggression on you asap by just dropping it as it adds slow and some minor damage, which may cause the enemy to back off. After this there are more ways to go and things become sitational. You have to adapt to the overall situation and specific changes in the lane.


Build #1: Tombstone > Decay > Soul Rip



This build focuses on dominating the early game with Tombstone in conjunction with the Decay debuff, while bringing down and finishing early game heroes with physical dps. In the early game the auto attack disadvante of Dirge (low agi gain) is small. This is why you can easily slap people in the face under the effect of Decay and Tombstone. Later on as Dirge does not scale into late game very well you can make great use of Soul Rip, but early on you are just fine with on level in it and auto attacks for the rest.

I have very good experiences with this skill sequence and I will share my reasoning for the mayor skill decisions with you.

1. Tombstome max first



I think the Tombstone is not only the signature spell of the Undying, but also on of the greatest non-ult abilities in the game. As all the duration, hitpoints, AoE and Deathlust threshold increase (as discussed in the Tombstone chapter) it is really worth leveling it up asap, because all your kill attemps and ganks evolve around your Tombstone. Without is there would be no early game dominance, which is what you aim for. In my opinion there is no alternative to maxing Tombstone first.

At level 1 your Tombstone is quite nice, but has low impact and does not ensure kills all the way. Mostly he small AoE of 400 and the Deathlust threshold of 100 / 20% are just not enough to get things going. While Decay and Soul Rip are still "working" on level 1, the Tombstone needs to get more effective to keep the pressure on the enemy safelaners high enough before they get some real core items up and turn things around.

Note: With the huge early game buff by 6.83 skilling Soul Rip at level 3 or even earlier, if needed, has become totally viable. Maxing it over Tombstone is still not necessary.

2. Ult at 6, 11, 16



I do not like excessive ultimate skipping anyway, but skipping Flesh Golem on Undying in particular is a waste of huge potential. Flesh Golem synergizes with all of you other spells by adding a damage amplification, a further slow and a healing mechanism. In my opinion, with skipping Flesh Golem to 10 or 11 a lot of Undying's potential goes to waste. Remember: Undying excells and is able to build dominance in the early game. At level 10 your imapact already begins to drop.

If you go solo offlane -- what I do not recommend anyway -- I get the point of skipping the ult since there is no other damage dealer to make use of the damage amp and another level of Soul Rip heal might be useful. But if you go dual or tri offlane, Flesh Golem boosts the potential to collecitvely just go at them and rip them off too much to ignore this one!

3. Decay max second at 10



I think to max Decay secondly after the TOMBO at level 10 is the way to go, if you go on a dual or tri offlane and play aggressively for the following reasons:

First of all the decrasing cooldown and the increasing duration together allow heavy stacking.

Also stacking Decay is a way to make Dirge "tanky", while Soul Rip only heals or nukes, but does not play with the overall HP pools. Making the enemy squishy and Undying tankier is much more threatening for the enemy than the fear of being nuked. Also your laning partner's harass and nukes become more dangerous for the enemy heroes as their HP is shrinking. It has a big psychological effect on the enemy too, when he notices that he just became a easy victim.

I admit, a leveled up Soul Rip is a heavy nuke. Do not get me wrong. I love the spell. But early to mid game, things tend to be small scale, while Soul Rip excells in big scale fights, where more zombies spawn, that are more likely to occur later on.

Also since it has now (6.84b) a huge mana cost starting at 100 at level 1, I consider Soul Rip more of a spell for mid to late game, when Undying has enough intelligence from levels and items, so that he is more free to cast it.


Build #2: Tombstone > Soul Rip > Decay



The Soul Rip over Decay build is popular and sure viable since Soul Rip is a very strong heal or nuke and very versatile in usage. I personally prefer Build #1, but there are situations you may want to get your Soul Rip strong early on.

This may be, when you solo offlane. This is because stacking Decay and having Tombstone is not dangerous, if there is no serious follow up damage from any teammates. In this case the strong Soul Rip damage can get a target with only two Decay debuffs, low enough to trigger Deathlust or kill it. On the other hand it provides a equally strong heal, which is very usefull, if the enemy offlane tries to go aggression on you from time to time. In this case I usually do not buy a additional Urn of Shadow and try to build a Vanguard or Mekansm asap for survivability reasons.

In this case a Soul Ring becomes more interesting, because the mana gain of 150 allows you to cast one Soul Rip of any level. If the Soul Rip is at level 2 it can provide a max heal of 250 (10 units), which is a 100 HP basically for free. Also Soul Ring allows Undying to cast a lethal Soul Rip nuke, if the mana pool is too low and your HP pool is high enough to not get into danger by using it.

Talent Tree Progression

1. Options



Level

10


15


20


25

Alternative 1

+90 Gold/Min


+300 Health


+25 Movement Speed


-2 Sec Decay Cooldown

Alternative 2

-30 Sec Respawn Time


+35% XP Gain


+50 [Tombstone]] Zombie Damage


+15 Armor


2. Justification



  • Level 10

    Here are the what I like to call "tactical options" influecing your game progression directly. Respawn time or gold per minute. The choice depends on how the game is progessing so far. Are there a big lot of fighting coming at you and you are likely to die quite some time, but you want to end as soon as possible, because you will lose in late game? Get the respawn time reuction in order to be able to put out more aggression. If it is going late and mid game is goinge to be more passive, you are better or getting the 90 gold per minute to fund some late game and luxury items. This option is a little bit slower than Hand of Midas gold wise (190 per 100 seconds, if used when off cd), but you get a free Mekansm after 25 minutes.

  • Level 15

    Here you can pick between tankiness in form of health or 30% bonus XP. The thoughts are the same as above? You need to boost your fighting ability right now? Get the HP bonus. Buter the over all better option, if you are not ending soon, is the additional XP. This is the other side of the Hand of Midas-option at level 10 and will set you up earlier for the level 25 late game action.

  • Level 20

    Level 20 offers movement speed or a buff to the Tombstone zombie damage output. The latter option is never wrong, so this should be your go to choice. This boosts the zombie damage from 30-36 to 80-86(!), which is more than double the damage. I would only get the movement speed, if the enemy team is quite fast and you cannot keep up when you used your Flesh Golem wasting its effect.

  • Level 25

    You are offered either 15 armor or a cooldown reduction for Decay by 2 seconds (from 6 to 4 at level 4). The armor is quite a needed boost, if you face heavy physical dps from the enemy team and do not already have a **** load of armor. The +14 armor are pretty much a Shiva's Guard armor wise (15). Since the effective tankiness gain decreases with the amount of positive armor stacked, this option is less valuable the more armor you already have. If you have Assault Cuirass or Shiva's Guard already, the armor talent is not really viable. Pick the 14 armor only if you need it desperatly. Otherwise the 2 seconds Decay cooldown recution is quite a big buff also boosting your tankiness, if you survive long enough to make proper use of it. This is a solid choice in my opinion and my go to choice at level 25.

Item Build and Justification

(c) VALVE

Datdota Item Stats for 6.86

(c) Datdota.com

Starting Items





The Stout Shield is pretty common, though some people start with Ring of Protection instead. The damage block of Stout Shield gives Undying alot of survivability early, when going aggressive and tanking in through creepwaves. It can be turned into Vanguard later on, if needed. I never start without a stout shield as without it aggression is no fun at all.




The Healing Salve is needed anyway and since Undying is melee and tends to aggressions, you cannot skip the pot in any case unless the 5th position support denies to get Animal Courier and Observer Wards.




Same for the Tango. You simply need the regen to keep your HP high for when it's go time, otherwise you cannot play as aggressive as you want.





I think getting one Clarity and one Enchanted Mango are a good mix of consumable for mana regeneration since Undying is pretty mana hungry in lane. With the gold cost reduction of Enchanted Mango to 125 with 6.85 it now has become really more cost-efficient and really worth adding to your starting items to be able to drop a emergency Tombstone, if needed.

Early Game Options



There are some early game items Undying can profit of. Here I will only mentions these, that I tend to get depending on the lane situation I am up to. There are more viable early items for Dirge as Medallion of Courage and Bracer, but I get those only on very rare occasions as I find the following items more handy for the reasons mentioned.




Ring of Basilius is often picked up for a good reason. It passively provides a little mana regeneration and some armor while being cheap and providing armor aura to non hero units too, when toggled, what you want to do when going in with Tombstone. The item is a great pick up.




The Soul Ring is a viable pick, because it makes the Decay spammable and can give you the mana you need to drop a Tombstone, if you mana is too low otherwise. The hp loss is not such a big deal as it is on other heroes since Undying gains HP by using the mana for Decay and increasing his overall HP pool.

It becomes even more useful, when leveling up Soul Rip early as it can provide more heal than HP loss, when Soul Rip is used in the right situations. Getting the mana for a final Soul Rip nuke, can change the outcome of a showdown sometimes too.

If I go Soul Ring early, I feel more comfortable going for Power Treads or Phase Boots instead of Arcane Boots, since you will not that bad mana issues early on. Also, when going Soul Ringe I recommend rushing it instead of going Ring of Basilius in addition.




The Urn of Shadows is also a viable pick. Some people go for Tranquil Boots for lane sustain reasons. I like to deal with the sustainability by getting the Urn, which can heal you up after chased down some enemies. Also nice are the bonus strength and the little mana regeneration from Sage's Mask. When maxing Soul Rip I usually skip Urn and go Soul Ring




The Magic Wand can be picked up optionally, if you feel like it or already got some Iron Branches. A Magic Stick is a must, when going against heavy spammers.




The Orb of Venom is a great pick up and a very cost efficient item anyway. It adds additional slow to your autoattacks, which combines well with the Deathlust of the Tombstone zombies and your ultimates AoE debuff. You can pick it up pretty easily at the sideshop on the offlane and drop it as free item slots become less.

Boots Options



The whole boots topic is always a big deal and ultimately a question of playstyle and taste and depends on your other items. I will make some suggestions and tell you how I handle Undying, but I will not suggest only one boots as the only way to go since this is simply not true. All of the mentioned boots have are viable and in the end you have to decide for yourself.




My favorite boots on Undying are Arcane Boots simply because he has mana issues early on. Rushing Arcanes is great since this is the only way to be all time ready to cast and go, you have to be able to kind of spam Decay and then drop a TOMBO and keep Decaying all the way. An alternative is Soul Ring like mentioned above. Arcane Boots are more early to mid game orientated and this is where you want to have enough mana to build up an advantage and keep the pressure high.

Always remember that you should check the mana dependance of your other team members. If they are mana hungry and you team does not have other mana sources, consider getting Arcane Boots in order to help out your teammates too.




Going for Power Treads is the second viable choice. If you dont have mana issues, because there is another Arcane Boots carrier in you lane or you have a Crystal Maiden on the team (<3) you can get these instead to. The attack speed kind of makes your auto attack more relevant and increases your otherwise aweful farming capabilities a little bit. The nice thing is the attribute switching according to the situation (farming/fighting/casting). I tend to get Power Treads, if we get forced to go into the late game, because Undying as a raw support underperforms in the later stages of the game.




Some people go for Phase Boots, because they allow Undying to chase more efficiently under the effect of Tombstone. If I do not go for Arcane Boots is usually get Power Treads. I feel like Undying doesn't really need a movespeed / phase buff, because Flesh Golem and Tombstone already provide slow effect and regularly allow you to catch up to non-escpape enemies.


Mid Game Core Alternatives



I usually try to get one of these two items as the mid game sets in for survivability reasons. Just one or two early items, that helped you in lane, will not work through the whole mid game. If anyone gets a Mekansm already, I switch to Vanguard, but overall the Mek is the more valuable pick up for teamfights and ganks, because it is a team supportive item at almost the same cost.




Undying is a great Mekansm carrier since he is kind of survivable and present in the middle of teamfights. If noboy gets a Mek you should always consider getting this as the first "Core" item. The stats, the hp regen and the armor come in very handy for Undying and the item itself is not too expensive after all. By getting it you help your team alot and achieve some tankiness for midgame.

Another reason to go Mekansm is, that Undying can purchase it earlier than the most other supports, because he is usually involved in a lot of kills in the early game. Getting Mek up as the mid game proceeds is great, because its effect is bigger the earlier you get it.




Vanguard is a nice pick up if you face alot of physical dps early on and people actually try to fight you back, when going at them. You can pick up a casual Ring of Health at the sideshop, which gives you enough sustain to stay in lane after engagements. You can also recycle your early Stout Shield this way. I do not recommend going for Vanguard anymore, if you go for Mekansm.


Situational Items





If you go against a lot of casters or one strong caster, Pipe of Insight can offer you spell resistance and big HP regerenation. The active is great to initiate and prevent getting nuked right away, when you drop the TOMBO and transform into the Flesh Golem.




The new 6.84 item Solar Crest actually seems to be a very viable pick on Undying, when your and/or the enemy lineup is heavily centered around physical damage. It passively grants (if not activated) +10 armor and 30% evasion and which renders Undying able to engage into physical threats more safely, when trying to make use of the Flesh Golem and Tombstone.

Its active is actually a big deal as it can be used aggressively on enemies or defensively on allies, but you lose your passive stats for the time Solar Crest is active. You can use this when engaging to lower an enemy's armor by 10 and put 30% miss chance at him, which pretty significantly lowers his attack damage output and physical damage resistance. This also stack with Flesh Golem's damage amplification rendering even high armor targets relatively squishy. Also it can be used passively on an ally who got engaged on to buff him with armor and evasion and maybe allow him to retreat alive.

Hint: You can also use this on a creep with tower focus to make him tank more tower hits and push a little bit harder.




Vladmir's Offering is a handy way to convert your Ring of Basilius, if you got one for laning. But this is very situational and I would only suggest getting this, if your team constists of multiple melee attackers, that do not go for lifesteal anyway. The bonus armor and bonus damage auras boost your teamfight in addition to your Tombstone and Flesh Golem effects even more.




Many guides set Blade Mail as core, but I find it more situational. If you have uncontrolled AoE damage dealers like Tinker or critters like Phantom Assassin, that you are struggeling with, going Blade Mail can be a situational counter pick.




Early Bracers into Drum of Endurance is a good pick. Though is provides some nice stats for tankiness and is a very cost efficient item overall, I do not set this as core, because I prefer getting a Mekanms or a Pipe of Insight or both, which give you some defense too. The swiftness aura and the active are great especially in conjunction with Tombstome and Flesh Golem initiation. Get this mid game, when Mekansm and if needed Pipe of Insight are both bought by someone else.




6.82 invented the Crimson Guard, which is build out of a Vanguard combining with the Buckler and a Recipe. This item delivers pretty nice stats that are very useful for Dirge as it makes him very tanky considering this would be the first big pick up on Undying. The active Guard can be very solid in certain situations.

I usually decide for Vanguard into Crimson Guard, when I find my team benefits from the active in the particular match. The Guard active block 50 physical damage from each incoming attack, so this is basically the Pipe versus dps. If you face a enemy team, that relies much on many sources of physical dps (maybe 3 relevant autoattackers or more) Crimson Guard is a good choice. It allows your team to reduce alot of incoming physical dps, especially when going aggressive under the effect of Tombstone.




Lotus Orb is actually a very interesting item consisting of a Perseverance, a Platemail and a 900 recipe, that I find useful for Undying depending on the situation. The armor, HP and mana regenreation are all very welcome to Undying and render him a little bit more sustainable through fights. The big upside of this is the active and targetable Echo Shell that grants you or an ally a shield that recasts any hero targeted spells back at the enemy.

If the enemy team has a variety of targeted spells (mainly disables and nukes like Fiend's Grip or Laguna Blade) you can get this in order make the enemy rethink casting at either you or your team's tank, initiator or carry. This can be a great mechanic to allow Undying to get into the middle of teamfights, where he is most useful and can provide the Tombstone effects and Flesh Golem aura. For now I think this a great alternative for Crimson Guard or Blade Mail, if you mainly face magical, hero targeted disables that otherwise can prevent proper engaging.




Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a utility item that has some benefits for Undying. Eul's grant both intelligence / mana pool enhancement and mana regeneration, which allows you to spam a little bit more freely. The movement speed bonus allows Undying to position himself faster in ganks and teamfights. The Cycloone active can brought to defensive use by dodging high impact spells or be used offensively allow to catch up or isolate single enemy heroes.

I recommend getting Eul's as an tool, if you consider yourself tanky enough for the damage and damage types the enemy team has at the stage of the game you are in. Picking Eul's Scepter of Divinity can be useful when the enemy team lacks damage at earlier stages or is based on stuns and disables you want to dodge.




I readded Glimmer Cape, because it quite seems legit on Undying and still is a pretty strong item. It's befenitial to Dirge who has to play alot around right positioning and tanking in teamfights. This can come in really handy going aggressive into vague situations or for glimmering allies, that get focused. Another upside of Glimmer Cape is its pretty low cost, allowing Undying to pruchase it early an benefit from it in the early game stages, in which he excells in.


Late Game Options



Since Undying is able to get some kills in early and midgame and when laning with a support can get quite a little bit of lasthits, he can most likely pick up one or two late game items, if the game unfortunately lasts this long. As the 3rd or 4th position with quite some farm I think it is Undying's duty to get the an expensive utility item, that suits the situation the most. The other supports usually will not get enough farm to get one of the following until is gets really late and your carries will be concentrating on dps, so picking up useful teamfight and aura items instead of more selfish ones is a good way to go. This may not be the only way for Dirge, but I only made good experience with increasing you team's teamfight potential.




Guardian Greaves are a viable extension. If you did decide to go Arcane Boots plus Mekansm as core anyway, you can put these to greater use in the late game by upgrading these to Guardian Greaves. This will grant you another item slot and the Guardian Aura. The Guardian Aura provides passively 4 armor and 4 HP regeneration to nearby allies. The interesting part is the aura boosting its to value +15/+15 when an ally drops below 20% health. This is a big deal, when teamfighting or ganking around Undying and grants a lot sustainability to your allies, when you go for early aggression and engagements and also for mid to late game objective pushes.




Shiva's Guard is the late game item that bring the biggest synergy to your skill set. The intelligence and armor provided are solution to the mana and survivability issued of Undying. The active is simply great! If you go into fights with Tombstone and Flesh Golem, the 40 % 4 second move slow of Arctic Blast makes escaping almost impossible. The attack speed debuff aura for the enemies is a big deal in late game too.




Assault Cuirass can be a viable pick up, if you want go semi-carry somehow. The armor debuff even enhances the damage amplification of Flesh Golem, while it provides great auras for your team. The attack speed makes Undying a real damage dealer.




Sythe of Vyse is a great pick, if you really need a disable to win a teamfight. The stats and mana are great, but you will get this more for the active utility. If your team needs it and you can get it, try building it.




Since 6.85 Aghanim's Secpter upgrades Decay instead of Flesh Golem how this will work out and scale has to be field tested first. I always considered the Flesh Golem aura upgrade really strong, but it was kind of hard to notice due to lack of visual effect.

The Decay upgrade stealing 10 strength per Decay instance seems great too. This result in an HP pool decrease of 190 with each Decay debuff instance and if applied to an strenght hero also a damage reduction of 10. If stacked multiple time or on multiple enemies this is a really big deal rendering the enemy way more fragile. On paper I consider the 6.85 Aghanim's Scepter a really viable late game pick up.




Heavens Halberd is a viable pick. Not because it is kind of aggressive, but because its Disarm active can shut down enemy heavy dps dealers, when they get close to your team in order to give your team a chance to kill him.




Like on most heroes who get six slotted in the late game, Boots of Travel are viable on Undying. They even allow him to split push a little bit with the Tombstone, if really needed.

Why not ... ?



The Why not? chapter is primarily there to explain my decision why I do not suggest the following items, though many players and guides handle them as core. I know this is going to be the chapter, the guide will be downvoted for, but I do not want to troll, I honestly find these items just not viable enough in general to set them as suggested.


Why not?


Many players set Bloodstone as late game core. On the first glance it seems a strong pick up. Do not get me wrong here: Nothing about Bloodstone is wasted on Dirge. HP and mana and regeneration of both are great. But that is it. You will have alot of HP regen anyway from Mekansm, Pipe of Insight or Vanguard. Even your mana issues are solved if you go for Shiva's Guard or Scythe of Vyse instead. You will be able to regenerate and spam enough to have a big teamfight impact. You can be way more useful to your teammates by buy building other aura or active based stuff I mentioned than spamming three more Dacays. I think that is, what Undying should and has to do to be relevant in late game.

Here some math:
If you get level 20 and late game sets in you will have 77 Intelligence (2.5 gain per level), resulting in a base mana pool of 1001. Assume you have Arcane Boos and Mekansm and grab yourself a Shiva's Guard as is strongly suggest, this extends your overall manapool of 1706!

In a average teamfight you can cast with your static mana pool alone not taking into account any regeneration :

Flesh Golem

Tombstone

8 times Decay

3 times Soul Rip


100

150

1040

410


In addition to that you can restore you mana pool with your (and maybe someone else's) Arcane Boots and have a base mana regen of around 4 per second.


Why not?


Stop feeding the trolls!


Why not?


Many people consider the Heart of Tarraque -- like the Bloodsonte -- (core) luxury / late game item. I consider it not viable. The only thing it provides is strength and HP. If you know about the effective hit point (EHP) concept, you know that you have to go for armor in order to maximize you EHP against physical dps, if you already have a considerable high hp pool. Since Undying has a big strength and hp gain, which is assisted further by Decay I consider armor items in general a better choice. Besides that items like Shiva's Guard or Assault Cuirass provide great teamfight boosting auras / avtives.

Let me give you one example:
Heart offer you pure 40 strength and 300 HP (1060 HP in total). You can achieve this amount of additional HP by getting ~ 12 Decay stacks up (= 4 three people hits). BUT: For free!. Adding additionaly strenght and getting the passive regen from HoT for 5500 gold just won't give you the edge. So just get a Shiva's Guard or a Scythe of Vyse up and support your team.

Overall is feel like Heart of Tarrasque and Bloodstone are very selfish and not of such great use compare to maybe a Timbersaw. I consider them to be some kind of "pubstom" item. They are more viable, when playing Dirge as a TANK / CARRY, which I do not like and do not suggest.

Combos and Counters

(c) Shifty44 @ deviantart.com

Good Support Laning Partners for Undying





In fact by now I consider Phoenix the best hero to combine with Undying. Going a dual offlane almost ensures you the lane to be won, if the enemy does not provide proper escape mechanisms. I found it useful to start the aggression at level 3, so you already have level 2 Tombstone and Phoenix has 2 level in Fire Spirits. Firstly you need to prepare the go with a decay on the target of choice. Then you can drop the Tombo and apply Phoenix's Fire Spirits for the slow and go chase and further Decay the targets, while Phoenix can dive with Icarus Dive, if needed.

When Supernova is up at level 6 you are capable of destroying whole teamfight. If you manage to position Tombstone and Supernova right simulatiously, the pressure on the enemy team gets immense. With some follow up dps or great positioning you should be able to take most engagements when the ult is up.

Special Note for Aghanim's Scepter on Phoenix: The scepter upgrade of Supernova, which was added in 6.82 allows Phoenix to take a ally into his ult and release them with full HP and Mana and all non-ult abilites off CD, if the Supernova does not get broken down. This allows Undying to go full aggressive and drop a secondary Tombstone after reviving.

In this scene you can see the skills of Undying and Phoenix combined: After reviving out of Supernova I drop the Tombstone and pop Flesh Golem while Phoenix Icarus Dives over the enemy team and applies further slow with Fire Spirits. This is a situatino the enemy team is extremely slowed and weak due to the Damage Amp. A perfect situation for Sniper to sit back and just let the Headshots pour on dem #Sadboys





Venomancer deserves a special notion since in my opinion dual offlaning with him synergizes so good, you can call the Venomancer Undying Offlane a Rape Lane. The Venomous Gale and Poison Sting effect make it impossible for enemies to flee out of the AoE of Tombstone. The poison tick damage additional secures people to drop low in order to trigger Deathlust.

When you and Venomancer reach level six, teamfights are going to be out of control since Poison Nova ensures the heroes dropping low enough to trigger Deathlust and be chased down.




Crystal Maiden is another great lane support for Dirge. She provides everything needed in oder to gain an advantage at the offlane by dominating the lane. While Frostbite allows you to easily stack up Decays and get into range for an engagement, Crystal Nova provides a big AoE nuke / slow synergizing very well with the Tombstone effect. What makes Crystal Maiden superior to other disable support like Lion or Shadow Shaman is her Arcane Aura solving most of your mana problems you would suffer especially in the laning phase. Freezing Field under the effects of Tombstone and Flesh Golem causes a big AoE havoc, if positioned well.




Axe is really a great lane partner, because his skills synergize very well with Undying's and often result in stomping the lane. While Berserker's Call allows easy Decays, the debuff makes Counter Helix hit even harder. The Tombstone really connect very well and allows Axe to finish the rest with Culling Blade, it the TOMBO didnt do the deal already. This is a very potent high aggresive offlane.




Like Veno Batrider is insanely strong with Undying offlane. Stacking Sticky Napalm on the enemies and then activating Tombstone and later on Flesh Golem end up in a insane slow, the enemies cannot recover from. If Batrider Fireflys after them and Undying goes berzerk things are pretty much done.









These heroes represent the big AoE casters and nukers, that fit nicely into the mechanics of Tombstone. Especialle Heartstopper and Illuminate are really nasty, when it comes to bringing the enemies down to critical HP. AoE nukes like Arc Lightning and Death Pulse or Diabolic Edict and Pulse Nova allows nuking the feeling and slowed heroes easily.




Dark Seer's utility abilties are very strong over all, but can excell in oombination with Undying's spells. Vacuum can set up for multiple target Decays and pull back into Tombstone range. Ion Shell greant Undying even more aggressive fight presence using the Flesh Golem damage amplifictaion further. Surge can be used to initiate with Tombstone + Flesh Golem or can be an escape for Undying once the aggression is over. Over all great synergies between these two bad boys.

Good Carry Laning Partners for Undying










In general any carry with a gap closer ability like Phantom Strike or Time Walk are great because they can instantly switch to attacking, when the time is right and someone it out of position. Big stuns like Wraithfire Blast and Chaos Bolt are also great as a initation for a chasedown.





Ranged heroes especially with additional slow orbs like Frost Arrows and Poison Attack profit alot from the Tombstone slow and the Decay debuff. This usually leads to easy kills from safe distance, without having to risk a towerdive while Undying does the tanking for them.


Aggressive Trilanes with Undying



Aggressive trilaning should alway be worth a thought, when having Undying on your side, because this will put immense pressure on the enemy safelane. This makes running a dual safelane almost impossible for the enemy team. The aggressive trilane most likely includes Undying himself, a farming carry and 5th position support.

There are some situations and set ups running a aggo tri might be more useful than running a casual safe lane:
  • When the enemy runs a Jungler and they have to go dual safe. In this case you use your number advante to contest the farm of the enemy carry. But care: There might be ganks from the woods from maybe Enchantress, which can turn kill attempts around, so be cautious and provide vision.
  • When the enemy has a very weak laning or very farm depending safe lane carry (e.g. Spectre, Anti Mage. Here you want to use the weakness of the enemy carry to outzone him and contest his farm.
  • When you want to prevent a lot of roaming since the aggressive trilane is going to force enemy supports to stay in the lane in order to babysit their carry.

The moste important thing, when aggressive trilaning against a trinlane is always to be aware of what spells might get cast as you try to initiate or are out of position. As there are three enemies, there are more stuns and disables that can counter your aggression. But laning versus three also means, there can be triple target Decays with huge impact on the lane's balance.

Overall the aggressive trilane works out pretty well with a lot of heroes. Anyway you usually want to pair up with some stuns and disables and aswell some heavy basedamage dealers. Therefor you tend to pick up a Midgame Carry and a Stunner/Nuker plus Undying. The possible aggressive trilane combinations are not limited to the following examples, but they should clarifiy the way how to set this lane up:







Juggernaut, Vengeful Spirit is a classic offlane combo, though Juggernaut works well in conjunction with any stunner. Pairing them up with Undying works great for some reasons. The Magic Missile is the basic set up for the engagement, when some or all enemy heroes are Decay debuffed and have taken some harassment. You want to drop the Tombstone instantly after this in order to prevent the enemy from fleeing with the zombie slow. This allows Blade Fury to come to effect. If this does not already slay one or more opponents, it is most likely to be able to finish them off under the effect of Tombstone or a last Decay or Soul Rip.







Visage and Viper both syngergize very well with Undying's playstyle. Visage's Grave Chill and Poison Attack from Viper make escaping from the Tombstone AoE impossible like Viper Strike later on. The Soul Assumption is a great nuke to finish off targets as they try to get away from the aggression.








I found the Shadow Demon Slark combo to be very effective. Shadow Demon in general is a great Offlaner since he can easily set up enemies for non-targeted abilities with Disruption. This works great with most spells, but with Slark's Pounce early aggression is a sure thing. Since the Pounce disable holds the enemy in place for another Decay and a aggressive Tombstone placement going gets pretty easy. Shadow Poison is a great spell add further damage in a huge AoE. When Demonic Purge comes online, kills are preordered.







Chaos Knight is a great mid game carry with a lot of early game disables and hard auto attack. Setting up with Chaos Bolt's heavy stun and Reality Rifting enemies back into the Tombstone AoE works pretty well in conjunction with Frostbite's disable. The AoE Crystal Nova hurts the enemy lane a lot and adds additional slow. Arcane Aura is huge in general, but the bonus mana regenerations is even more benefitial to mana hungry heroes like Undying and Chaos Knight


Other good synergetic heroes with Undying





Enigma bring huge synergies to Undying skill set, though he most likely will not be laning partner for him, because he is most efficient in the woods. Since Enigma with Black Hole and Midnight Pulse is about AoE lockdown and magic damage he hugely profits from Tombstone and Flesh Golem's damage amplification. As you are able to hold enemies in place with Black Hole you can build up Tombstone zombies and ensure it does not get focused down early. Also the magical damage from Enigma's spell and all other damage dealt to the Black Holed enemies is hugely amplified by Flesh Golem as it allows Undying to get really close and maximize the aura's effect. Finishing off fleeing single targets with Malefice and Soul Rip is also a nice bonus to this set up.


Heroes kind of countering Undying



There are not many heroes hard counterin Undying, but there are some that are not so threatened by his aggressions since they have ways to avoid gettimg chased down.





With the 6.84 Gameplay Changes these heroes counter ability has been decreased significantly: All these physical damage abilities Counter Helix, Quill Spray, Slithereen Crush and Anchor Smash cannot clear Tombstone zombies anymore, since they require to be auto attacked once instead of having a certain amount of HP. So basically these are no "auto counter picks" to Undying anymore.

But like before the Tombstone zombies' attacks count as attack instances and thus will trigger Bristleback- Quill Spray and [[Counter Helix], so care when sticking to and chasing these guys in their abilities' range!





These both ranged carries have the ability to clear Tombstone zombies pretty comfortably with their multiple target autoattack modifications Split Shot and Moon Glaives. But this still forces them to turn into the zombies direction, which might be a slight opening. Also Medusa's Stone Gaze freeze effect applies to the zombies as it works physically.





Omniknight is a really mean opponent for Undying in lane and throughout the later game phases. This is because of his skills can mess up your efforts. Purification can push a low hp hero above the Deathlust threshold and make further aggression pointless. Also Repel saves allies from being targeted by Decay and Soul Rip as these are magic abilties. Guardian Angel can mess up a whole teamfight set up in a larger scale, possibly turning the teamfight to the enemy's favor.

Like Omni Dazzle can save his allies from Undying's aggessions. Especially Shadow Wave's AoE bounce heal combined with its nuke is mean, when you are already going and maybe diving towers. Also Shallow Grave can prevent death and allow the enemy target to TP out of danger. Also Weave counter acts the Flesh Golem Plague damage amplification, when used on allies since it will buff their armor.




Doom YOU!!!.






In general blink heores like Anti Mage and Queen of Pain are no counters to Undying. They avoid the impact of Dirge's spells by just blinking away, what is pretty efficient since Tombstone and Flesh Golem are AoE and slow based abilities.

Competetive Pick Analysis

(c) dotabuff

As you can see from the dotbuff statistics above Undying has hugely gained popularity in the patch of 6.84 which buffed him (esp. Tombstone). In In 6.86 he is still a top tier pick since he has not received any major nerfs. I hope that Undying stays relevant and I feel like the current meta is benefiting him and his playstyle while all in all Undying himself seems pretty balanced to me.

Undying by EHOME.LaNm vs. Old Boys (iLeague Season 3 - China Qualifiers)



MATCH-ID: 1452092482

Draft in this order:

EHOME:












Old Boys:







  • This is a really interesting match, because as you can see from the draft order, Undying is now a tier 1 / phase 1 pick as he gets firstpicked by EHOME, who seem to see a big potential in this hero.

  • EHOME set LaNm's Undying on a pretty aggressive dual offlane with Spirit Breaker against a Old Boys' defensive trilane, leaving mid to Queen of Pain and safe for Lifestealer plus Rubick. This is a great offlane setup, allowing Undying to be active early game and getting solo XP as Spirit Breaker charges off the lane for ganks. This way Undying can unleash his teamfighting power once the laning is over, which LaNm does pretty imrpessingly.

  • EHOME.LaNm build Undying almost like I suggest you to do:

    1 - Decay
    2 - Tombstone
    3 - Soul Rip
    4 - Tombstone
    5 - Tombstone
    6 - Flesh Golem
    7 - Tombstone
    8 - Decay
    9 - Decay
    10 - Soul Rip
    11 - Flesh Golem
    12 - Decay
    13 - Soul Rip
    14 - Soul Rip

    As you can see EHOME.LaNm maxed the (buffed) Tombstone as I strongly recommend with my first standard build, because this is not only Undying's signature spell, but also his most strong and impactful ability early game. After that he maxes out the Decay, picking up two levels of Soul Rip, which he maxes at last. Of course the big teamfight ability Flesh Golem is picked at 6 and 11.

  • EHOME.LaNm's item build looks like:

    This is a great example for building Undying. As he starts on the offlane he buys the obligatory Stout Shield and picks up early Boots of Speed and a Magic Stick (later into Magic Wand) plus a Bracer for the early tankiness and sustain. After that he goes standard Arcane Boots and then opts for Glimmer Cape. You have to notice that at this point Glimmer Cape had no mana cost and was consideres OP, but I guess the updated Glimmer Cape is still a great option for heroes that tend to stay close to enemy lines and go aggressive man fighting pretty early. After this core LaNm goes for the Mekansm which he later upgrades (with Arcane Boots + Recipe) into the new Guardian Greaves. These are very, very good on Undying as they provide huge AoE HP and mana burst regen for teamfighting and also give the passive Guardian Aura (HP regen + armor), that boosts allies even stronger once they drop below 20% HP. I consider this a great way to build Undying in order to finish the game in the mid game phase by picking early aggressive and teamfight supporting items.

  • Spoiler: Click to view

Commentated Gamplay

I will provide one Purge solo offlane Undying gameplay video for you guys. Though I consider Undying to be more valuable on a dual offlane, he actually uses the skill build I suggested only switching level 1 and 2, resulting in the following skill sequence:


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16

Tombstone
Decay
Tombstone
Soul Rip
Tombstone
Flesh Golem
Tombstone
Decay
Decay
Decay
Flesh Golem
Soul Rip
Soul Rip
Soul Rip
Stats
Flesh Golem

Purge starts with Boots of Speed since he randomed and goes for eraly Stout Shield, Arcane Boots and pick up a Orb of Venom at the side shop, which synergizes well with the other slows. After that he gets a Magic Wand and a Vitality Booster into a Rod of Atos as this item also maximizes the slow and kill potential off Undying. As a defensive item he goes for Pipe of Insight which is a great pickup with its active and passive magic resistance and HP regeneration. He pick up a late Mekansm too since noone else bought it and also boost the team survivability in mid to late game fights, while providing useful stats.


Another useful commentated gamplay video is this one by DannyGaminGnC. Danny plays a aggressive offlane Undying with Wraith Kind and Windranger versus Viper and Silencer.

He goes for the Soul Ring build, providing a lot of spammability on the Decay. he also gets a early Stout Shield and Magic Wand. Then he builds his Pipe of Insight and goes for the more late game orientated Power Treads since his mana issues are solved by the Soul Ring. He picks up a casual Vitality Booster, but does not need to finish any furhter item out of it.

The skillbuild is a little different here:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15


Decay
Tombstone
Decay
Tombstone
Decay
Flesh Golem
Decay
Tombstone
Tombstone
Soul Rip
Flesh Golem
Soul Rip
Soul Rip
Soul Rip
Stats


He maxes Decay and then Tomb Stone, which may be caused by laning with Windranger and Wraith King which can deal alot of dps and got a lock disables with Wraithfire Blast and Shackleshot. In this sitation you may want to focus und max Decay debuff to get easy kills. Also the Soul Ring purchase leads to maxing Decay since you will be able to spam it more often.

Shoutout, Feedback and Thanks!

In the end of this guide, I want to drop a shoutout to two of my comrades-in-arms on the sacred battlefield called DotA:

Shoutout to Pokemongo and indota2.de|Pr0, may the publics be stomped furthermore -_-.

I am honestly and really happy about constructive criticism about it on all levels. Please let me know about incorrect facts, wrong spelling and misconceptions, because I want to get this guide at a enjoyable and useful level.

Finally --- I want to thank the DotA community as a whole, especially tutorial makers, guide authors, lets players, casters and positive minded players. Without a community with such passion for the game of DotA, I would be called a fuc***g noob today for a reason.

Thanks for reading, especially for reading the full guide and for giving feedback,

E1 Mariachi

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