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You will never find the bottom

October 28, 2016 by Wulfstan
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Build 1
Build 2
Build 3

Offlaning

DotA2 Hero: Underlord


Purchase Order

Starting

Core

Core Extension

Alternatives

Aditional goodies



Hero Skills

Firestorm

3 4 5 7

Pit of Malice

2 6 8 9

Atrophy Aura

1 12 13 14

Dark Rift

10 11

Talents

16 17 18

The Lord Arrives.



Ah, finally! The Underlord arrives, and what an introduction he had at TI6. Made me all jittery hearing his responses for the first time, perfectly fitting his character.


Are you people not happy? I certainly am, finally the roster is complete! All the DotA heroes have been officially ported to DOTA 2, and now we also have a new hero announced, the Monkey King.


This guide's focus is Underlord's possition #3 and #4, the two possitions I think suit him most in a game of dota at the current state he is. (adding that bit because he's been reworked a LOT, as in, a Visage LOT) - back when Dark Rift was still a portal you could walk through, or when he had Expulsion as a skill.


I would like to explain each of his skills, what they do, how they work in particular and in combination with other certain heroes, his game progression, and giving a small background on the hero and his stats. Let's start with the begining.

The Lord's Domain. (Introduction)


Underlord is a #3 offlaner or a #4 support that has a lot of impact on the game he is in thanks to Dark Rift, his ultimate ability. He is amazing at pushing creep waves with Firestorm and Pit of Malice, and especially pushing after wining a teamfight, with the bonus damage from Atrophy Aura.


I view him being most useful as a utility hero, carrying a lot of auras makes it easy since he is not item dependant at all, instead he needs quick levels.

The Lord's Breakdown. (Pros and Cons)

PROS
  • Great starting HP, starting armour
  • Great attack animation, can contest creeps early on
  • Amazing map presence after level 6
  • Can backdoor with the entire team via Dark Rift
  • Dota's school bus driver
CONS
  • High cast point animations on both of his spammable skills
  • While being good, Atrophy Aura is an odd one out
  • Dark Rift requires great game sense to be properly used
  • Somewhat in love with Queen of Pain?
  • As we can see, Underlord's starting stats are great, geared towards being similar to those of Doom, except the base armour, the starting INT and the somewhat better AGI growth. This situates him perfectly in a single against everyone scenario in the early game, and makes him well suited for an offlaning position.


  • His above average damage and decent attack point allows him to contest the offlane very well, trading with supports. Furthermore, Atrophy Aura boosts all these capabilites, passively reducing enemies' damage while increasing his for every enemy that died recently.


  • A slightly above average movement speed allows the Lord to move around the map freely, and get in range for casting his two most used skills: Firestorm and Pit of Malice. Something not on the table here, he has a high unit collision, helping him block the creepwave more effectively in the begining of the game (or whenever needed)

Skill Build explanation


Why do we level our skills in that exact way? Well, I'll tell you in this section.

Firestorm being your bread and butter skill, you would want it maxed out first in almost every situation as an offlaner. You can use it to zone out people from the creepwave, contest pulls, and push the wave. As a #4 support, you don't really want this skill that much, Pit of Malice has a much higher value in that possition.

A very strong skill used in tandem with Pit of Malice.


Pit of Malice is your crowd control. It is considered by many to be a weak crowd control, but the only way to get out of it is a Force Staff or Hurricane Pike, once you are caught. As a support, this skill should have a much higher priority than Firestorm, because by increasing it's level, you decrease both the cooldown and increase it's duration. It remains on the ground as well, so it is an excellent zoning tool for people that haven't been affected by it yet.


Atrophy Aura can be considered both your steroid (albeit weak, because it requires stuff to die around you) and your debuff against stat relying heroes (it decreases base damage only, not raw). The skill itself has a great AoE of 900, easily being able to apply it to everyone around in a teamfight. The damage boost is incredibile in helping Underlord to push after wining a teamfight, effectively giving him a Divine Rapier for 60 seconds, assuming he got a full teamwipe under his aura. It seems to fit well his character, kill things to be more effective.


Dark Rift is your ultimate ability and probably rivaling the spot for the best ability in the game at this point in time. It allows you to teleport yourself and any of your allies in the said AoE centered around you across the map to a targeted friendly unit or structure. Extremly efficient against pushing line-ups or in the pushing line-up itself. The teleport can be canceled once you start it either by killing the unit or strucutre you are teleporting to, or by canceling it yourself during the cast time via Cancel Dark Rift.

Firestorm

Type:
Targets:


Active
Enemy Units
Calls down waves of fire that damage enemy units in the target area, and continues to burn them for additional damage over time.


Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

100


110


120


130

Cooldown

12


12


12


12

Range

750


750


750


750

AoE

400


400


400


400

Duration

6 seconds/2 seconds burning damage

6 seconds/2 seconds burning damage

6 seconds/2 seconds burning damage

6 seconds/2 seconds burning damage
Effect

25 damage/wave, 0.75% burn damage

40 damage/wave, 1.5% burn damage

55 damage/wave, 2.25% burn damage

70 damage/wave, 3% burn damage

Notes:
  • The visual and audio effects at the targeted area during the cast time are visible and audible to allies only.
  • Creates waves in 1 second intervals, starting immediately upon cast, resulting in 6 waves.
  • Despite the visual effects, the damage of the waves is applied instantly, and not upon landing.
  • The burn debuff does not stack per interval. Each interval refreshes its duration, resulting in 8 possible burn damage intervals.
  • The burn damage deals damage in 1 second intervals, starting 1 second after the debuff is applied, resulting in 2 instances.
  • When hit by all waves, the burn damage deals a total of 8 instances of damage.
  • Can deal up to 150/240/330/420 + 6%/12%/18%/24% of max health as damage (before reductions) when all waves hit and the debuff is not dispelled.


I cannot stress enough how effective this skill is at wave clearing combined with the rest of your kit, turning you into a pushing monster. It deals a total of 420 damage and 24% life to anyone that gets hit by the full duration. However, while it may be hard to keep players in that small AoE for it to take full effect, it shouldn't be a problem doing it for lane creeps.

The skill is not mechanically intensive at all, there's not much to tell about it. Point and click. One thing though, it has a very high delay as well as Pit of Malice. It shouldn't be a problem, because players cannot see the visuals of the skill before it actually starts raining fire, however, they can still see the skill casting animation (similar to Torrent or Sun Strike).

Pit of Malice

Type:
Targets:


Active
Enemy Units
A deadly pit is conjured at the target location; any unit that enters is unable to move for some time and takes damage. Each enemy unit can only be affected once.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

100


115


130


145

Cooldown

21


18


15


12

Range

750


750


750


750

AoE

275


275


275


275

Duration

1 second duration


1.5 seconds duration


2 seconds duration


2.5 seconds duration

Effect

100 damage, 1 second of root


100 damage, 1.5 seconds of root


100 damage, 2 seconds of root


100 damage, 2.5 seconds of root


Notes:

The more interesting skill in Underlord's kit, Pit of Malice is a decent crowd control ability, that creates an area on the ground. As soon as people step into it, or are catched out by them, they are rooted for a certain amount of time, unable to move or to blink out of the skill ( Phase Shift is also unusable during that time). Force Staff or Hurricane Pike is the only way you can move out of the while rooted, or it being dispelled by skills like Press the Attack, Aphotic Shield, Lotus Orb.

The measly 100 damage should be considered the icing on the cake, given the fact that you have a mini treant ultimate every 12 seconds.

Atrophy Aura

Type:
Targets:


Passive
Self/Enemy Units
Nearby enemy units are weakened, losing a portion of their base damage. If a unit dies while under this effect, Underlord gains bonus damage.


Level

1


2


3


4

Mana

N/A


N/A


N/A


N/A

Cooldown

N/A


N/A


N/A


N/A

Range

N/A


N/A


N/A


N/A

AoE

900


900


900


900

Duration

30 seconds/each damage stack

40 seconds/each damage stack

50 seconds/each damage stack

60 seconds/each damage stack
Effect

Attack damage reduced by -10%, added damage per hero death: 30

Attack damage reduced by -20%, added damage per hero death: 40

Attack damage reduced by -30%, added damage per hero death: 50

Attack damage reduced by -40%, added damage per hero death: 60

Notes:
  • Only decreases base attack damage and that given by the primary attribute of the affected units. Raw bonus damage is not decreased.
  • The aura's debuff lingers for 0.5 seconds.
  • It does not matter how an enemy dies, Underlord always gets the damage as long as it was affected by the debuff.
  • Each damage increment per dying unit lasts for the set duration. Gaining more damage does not refresh the duration of the previous increments.
  • A status buff icon appears whenever Underlord gains damage from the aura. The buff shows how much damage the aura grants.
    Underlord's weapon also glows stronger with green particle effects the more damage stacks he has.
  • Does not gain attack damage from dying illusions, couriers, buildings, wards, Tempest Double and Tombstone zombies.
  • When there are multiple Meepo‚Äčes within range, only one of them grants Underlord damage when they die.
  • Affects invulnerable units, but not hidden units.
  • Treats creep-heroes as creeps.


Atrophy Aura, the odd one out. This skill has such a weak synergy with this hero, but it's okay, because the skill itself is really good. A 900 AoE aura that reduces the base damage of enemy heroes is pretty good in my book. But wait! You also gain damage for each enemy that dies under the effect of the aura. Incredibly effective when trying to push after teamfights, trade blows in lane after killing a couple creeps, or protecting you from being harassed, even at lower levels, making a pretty good tandem with Stout Shield.

The visual indicator on this aura is pretty unique, Underlord's weapon starting to gain particle effects the more enemies died under the effect of the aura.

Dark Rift

Type:
Targets:


Target Point/Unit
Allied Units/Structures
Opens a dark rift at the targeted friendly unit's position. After a short delay, Underlord and all nearby friendly heroes are teleported to that unit's location. Dark Rift can be cancelled at anytime during the cast. If it is cancelled in this way or the target unit dies before the spell becomes active, Dark Rift goes into cooldown.


Level

1


2


3

Mana

75


150


225

Cooldown

130


120


110

Range

Global


Global


Global

AoE

450


450


450

Duration

5 seconds

4 seconds

3 seconds
Effect

Teleports all allied units in the Area of Effect after a 5 second delay.

Teleports all allied units in the Area of Effect after a 4 second delay.

Teleports all allied units in the Area of Effect after a 3 second delay.

Notes:
  • Upon cast, Dark Rift is replaced by Cancel Dark Rift for its duration.
  • Double-clicking the ability automatically targets the team's fountain.
  • Can be cast on any allied unit which is not a hero (or illusion) or a ward. Can target creep-heroes. Can target them even while invulnerable.
  • Can target and teleport to invulnerable units. Cannot target hidden units, but the teleport still happens if the target turns hidden after being targeted.
  • When targeting the ground, it searches for the nearest valid target on the map and teleports towards it.
  • The visual effects around Underlord and on the teleport target are visible to everyone.
  • The targeted unit's priority is lowered, meaning it is attacked as the last auto attack target by other units.
  • Disjoints projectiles upon teleporting for everyone who gets teleported.
  • Can only teleport heroes (including illusions and clones) and creep-heroes. Can teleport them even while invulnerable or hidden.
  • When Underlord or the teleport target dies during the delay, the spell is canceled. The spell is not canceled when the targeted creep changes ownership.


Dark Rift - contender for the best skill in the game in my opinion, an incredible mobility skill that allows you to relocate your entire team on the map, as long as they are in the AoE centered around you. Use it to escape, push, counter push, scare off people, initiate with certain heroes as well. With a decent cooldown, decent manacost and global range, you should be able to be very active around the map.

The reasoning for not getting the skill as early as level 6 is the following - if you don't use it, it's pointless to have it, and level one version is not that good. So, the suggestion is to treat it the same way as Wall of Replica skill it at 10 and 11, so you automatically have the level 2 version, which would stick for up until level 25, because you can do some pretty interesting shenanigans with it, like saving teammates.

Item Build explanation



Starting Items





Cost: 550 gold

The starting items for Underlord are quite straight forward. Stout Shield works amazingly with Atrophy Aura at level one, the Iron Branches provide us with hefty stats, and +1 armor to boot (because of his starting AGI, it gets rounded up), the Healing Salve and Tango being there for regeneration. Alternatively, you can buy only 2 Iron Branches and 1 Faerie Fire, because you only require 2 Iron Branches to build into Buckler and Headdress, which will eventually build into Mekansm.

The Observer Ward can be bought by yourself or pooled from one of the supports, and it usually serves as blocking the pool camp, or gaining vision over the supports in certain situations (sometimes both at the same time).

Core



Cost: 5850 gold

The core items for Underlord should include these three. Since we determined Underlord is a decent aura carrier, Mekansm is great on him. Being a tanky hero by default makes him a great Mek carrier, and later Guardian Greaves.

Arcane Boots are great for making his skills extremly spammable, since both of his main skills are only on a 12 second cooldown. Makes pushing extremly easy.

And now, Blink Dagger. I think this is by far Underlord's best item. Synchronising up the Blink Dagger cooldown with Firestorm and Pit of Malice (all 3 being at a 12 second cooldown) make Underlord an insane hero at initiating, pushing lanes and/or scouting. His skills having a very low cast range, we can safely assume that this is the best tool to get close enough to land that perfect Pit of Malice, and make good use of his extra punching power via Atrophy Aura.

Core extension



Cost: 18575 gold

Guardian Greaves should be the next thing gotten. Upgrading into this snazzy footwear has multiple perks:
  • A nice aura boosting your team's stats that gets better when someone is low on life
  • Slot efficiency
  • Having both actives of the items cramed into a single one
  • A hard dispel to use on yourself in times of need

Next up, thanks to Underlord's weak AGI gain, we require some extra armour as well. We need to pick the best synergetic item works with the entire hero, and that is why Assault Cuirass trumps Shiva's Guard on Underlord. The extra attack speed, and - armour helps him put the hurt on enemies and buildings alike with the help of Atrophy Aura.

Are you extremly poor? Do you like to initiate headfirst with Blink Dagger but enemies still hit back because they're rooted and not stunned? Well, do it while using Blade Mail! Having some extra damage, armour and INT comes quite in handy, since we want all these stats on Underlord. Plus, it comes with only half the pricetag Assault Cuirass has.

Does your team lack disables late game? Do you still enjoy going double hex from time to time? Well, Scythe of Vyse is the item for you! Comes with great stats, mana regeneration so you can spam your skills at will, and the hex active, great in tandem with a Blink Dagger.

Subjects and Usurpers


Underlord works well with a lot of heroes, but these are a couple that work best with him, and alternatively, some that completly obelirates what he stands for.

Loyal subjects





I will start with the best allies for him. There's two varieties here: Heroes that can allow him to use Dark Rift much more easily, via Summon Wolves and Call of the Wild (Hawk).

The second part is heroes that have channeling/cast time abilities that can be timed with Dark Rift to better use certain skills. Epicenter and Requiem of Souls are easily two of the best skills used for this.

Plebians





While the rest of the supporting crew for Underlord doesn't do anything specific (except one), they are pretty great aditions to have, synergising with his skill set. There's plently more that go well, such as Vengeful Spirit, Faceless Void or Legion Commander.

Special shoutout going out to Shadow Shaman, who's wards can now be much more easily deployed via Dark Rift.

Usurpers





Pretty much anyone who has a major disruptive skill to kill off any potential of Dark Rift initiation. Since Dark Rift requires allies to be extremly close, this sets up perfectly for each of these ultimate abilities.

Cantankerous



Banish skills might force you to be hard to possition yourself with Dark Rift for the entire team. Paralyzing Cask has the same effect, making it even harder for you to Dark Rift efficiently.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Underlord is beneficial out of multiple reasons:

  • A good hero in general to use in the offlane or support position
  • A hero that has a unique ultimate skill that can be used differently, for variable reasons
  • A strong teamplayer and team oriented hero
  • The entire dota allstars roster being ported, Valve being able to work on completly new additions to the franchise
  • Incredible pushing power via Firestorm and Atrophy Aura
  • Very strong map presence via Dark Rift, able to use it for multiple purposes
  • Pit of Malice filling in his niche for a disable

Of course, many things are variable and subjective in a game of dota, so whatever this guide has, may not be applied in every single game that contains Underlord.

Thanks!

I would like to express my thanks to Janitsu, for creating all the headers and the banner for the guide. And I would also like to thank you, for taking the time to read the guide.

How about you grab that Abyssal Blade and go burn a couple worlds down, eh?

Changelog

28/10/2016

-reuploaded corrupted pictures
-changed Atrophy Aura values according to recent nerf

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