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7 Votes

Some Idiot's Guide to Underlord

January 3, 2017 by Safecyn
Comments: 2    |    Views: 24726    |   

Build 1
Build 2

Off-Brand Pitlord (Offlane 3)

DotA2 Hero: Underlord

Hero Skills


3 4 5 7

Pit of Malice

2 13 14

Atrophy Aura

1 8 9 11

Dark Rift

6 12 18


10 15

Hero Talents

+50% Atrophy Allied Hero Bonus
+0.65s Pit of Malice​ Root
+15% Atrophy Aura Damage Reduction
+1% Firestorm Burn Damage
-3s Firestorm Cooldown
+75 Pit of Malice AoE
+5 Armor
+100 Firestorm Radius

Some Idiot's Guide to Underlord

January 3, 2017


Hello one and everyone! Safecyn here, bringin' y'all a guide to...

Did you just say 'bringin' y'all'?

Y''eah, w''hy?

... Ok look, this is for a contest, yeah? I just thought you might not want to come off as unintelligent, is all.

I... have you been paying attention to the names of these guides? Like... at all?

Hell no. I don't dare to look, there's probably cringe-tastic puns galore up there.

Y'know, yeah, that's perfectly fair, knowing me. Can't fault you.

Yeah... anyways, this was a guide?

Oh, right! Underlord! This hero... I'm not going to lie, I love this hero to death. He reminds me of this odd mixture of Jakiro, Io, and a little bit of Abaddon mixed in, except with skills that scale slightly better than all of those heroes. One of his key strengths is his ability to push out waves easily and take stacks without the use of items, meaning that even if run as a support, he can accumulate a sizable net worth! And as we all know, mo items = mo wins. So yeah, definitely give him a try.

And do remember, this guide is just suggestions based on my own experiences and understanding of the game, and shouldn't be followed to the letter. Being able to adapt to your specific game is what separates the pros from us rank amateurs. Feedback is appreciated, as long as it's constructive!



  • Good Strength gain + Atrophy Aura = Insane tankiness.
  • Good Starting Armor
  • Great AOE Disable that pierces magic immunity
  • Good base damage and good attack animation
  • Solid INT gain lets him cast spells often.
  • Firestorm does percentage based damage, therefore scaling into late game.
  • Good movement speed
  • Excellent pushing and flash farming abilities
  • Little, minor thing, known as FIVE MAN BOOTS OF TRAVEL AT LEVEL 6. Not a big deal.
  • Poor turn rate
  • Low agility gain (and thus, low armor gain)
  • Level 3 ultimate is actually worse than level 2.
  • Long cast animations
  • Enemies can attack, cast spells, and use items in Pit of Malice
  • Level dependent
  • Ultimate can be used disastrously.



The first thing to really note about this skill is that the damage at level one... kind of really sucks?

What are you talking about? 25*6=150, and with 8 ticks of burn damage at 0.75% of max health, you're dealing an additional six percent of the target's health per cast! OP as all heck.

Yeah but... you have to stand still for all six waves in order for that to happen. I know in your skill level it's incredibly common for people to go AFK in the middle of the laning phase, but for the rest of us... you're realistically only hitting with one or two waves of this thing per cast, unless you're paired with a Shadow Shaman or something.

Oh... of course. Of course.

Anyways, point the first: don't use this spell too often at early levels. Wait until level 2 or 3 of this skill to start actively using it to harass the enemy, as the damage does scale quite nicely even with just a few points.

It is my recommendation that you always max this skill first. It is your main nuke, your pushing mechanism, and your flash-farming mechanism, and these three things are important no matter if you're playing core or support Underlord. With decent mana sustain you can spam this ability constantly and pressure the safe lane tower heavily. If the enemy rotates to stop you, great, you're making space for the team, and if they don't, congratulations on your easy ten minute tower gold! Use it wisely.

There's not much else to explain about the skill, to be honest. The maximum damage it can deal is 150/240/330/420 + 6%/12%/18%/24% of max health, but that is, again, assuming the enemy stands still for six seconds. The percentage based damage will tick for two seconds after contact with one wave of firestorm, so you can get kills on low target enemies even if they Force Staff out. In theory. In reality, they're either low enough when you cast to die to the wave or you're just softening them up for your core to kill them. It's also worth nothing that despite the animation of the spell, enemies will take damage right after your cast point goes off so... in theory you could kill someone before the fire touches them? They have to be super low though.

Pit of Malice

So just in case you're too lazy to mouse over and read all the fine print, here's what this ability does do:
  • Roots Units
  • Affects and reveals invisible units
  • Cancels channeling spells on root
  • Goes through magic immunity
  • Deals 100 magical damage at all levels
  • Disables spells like Blink and Phase Shift

Sounds simple enough, right, I mean basically it's an AOE root that pierces BKB that can root an enemy that walks into it for up to 2.5 seconds at max level, and that essentially zones an area of the map for seven seconds. Right? We all know what roots do, right?

Hehe... no, it's ok, I understand if you don't. OSFrog is kind of to blame for this one, to be honest, because the two most recognizable abilities that are 'roots' instead of 'stuns' are Crystal Maiden's Frostbite and Treant's Overgrowth, so you would be WELL within your rights to assume that roots disable auto-attacks, and you'd be wrong.

Here's what Pit of Malice DOES NOT stop enemies from doing:
  • Attacking
  • Casting spells
  • Using items
  • Attacking
  • Channeling abilities WHILE rooted.
  • Turning

I go up to a rooted Sven to Jinada him one time. ONE. TIME.

And you'll never do it again, I'm sure.

But yeah, the main things to take away from this skill is that it'll stop movement, channeling, AND it goes through BKB, meaning it won't fall off. This is particularly good for wrangling in heroes like Lifestealer and Juggernaut who tend to pop their respective magic immunity skills and get away Scot free from ganks.

This is also a great anti-melee tool in general. In the past, I've been denied getting the last juicy right-click on an enemy core by a smart Underlord that cast Pit around a tping ally, stopping me from reaching them.

A value point in this in early levels is all you need to get the 100 damage, which never increases. Typically I skill this at level 2, but have skilled it at level 1 to get an easy double kill when contesting the rune at minute zero. Adapting to your specific game will always be my mantra, so put some thought into your skill points.

Atrophy Aura


This skill is basically the whole reason Underlord can and should be played in the offlane. Even just a single value point reduces the damage the enemy does by 18%, making it harder for them to last hit and making it super easy for you to shrug off harass, especially if you pick up an early Stout Shield. The damage you gain when creeps die also makes your last hitting and harass that much easier.

Right, all pretty straightforward. Anything else?

Um... not really, even. It IS a pretty straightforward skill. The few things I will mention are that leveling this increases the damage reduction and the damage you gain by killing heroes, but the damage you get from creeps dying is ALWAYS 5. It's also worth clarifying that this skill only reduces BASE damage, so it's best against illusion-based carries that build a lot of stats: that Wraith King with his twenty minute Divine Rapier is still hitting for the full +330 damage.


Dark Rift


So there's a lot of particulars to this spell, but they're pretty much covered by the mouse-over text, so I won't focus on them too much. Basically, this is Boots of Travel for your entire team, as long as they're close to you. You can cancel it by pressing the button again, and double-tapping the button will send you back to base.

I used to have more here, but 7.00 actually removed the problem with maxing this skill. Now you should, ASAP! GO FORTH.

Item Progression

Aww yeah, here we go here we go.

Yaaaay. Horaaaay.

Easy there, don't get too excited now. It's just a bunch of words and pictures.

You could say that about pretty much anything.

... huh. You're right.

Early Game

This is a pretty standard starting item build, to be honest, and the goal should be clear here: get that Magic Wand up and running ASAP, while surviving in the offlane thanks to the combination of damage block from stout and damage reduction from Atrophy Aura.

The only thing you may want to consider is swapping out a Ring of Protection for the Stout Shield: getting the Stout from the side shop ASAP after that. This frees up your courier for the rest of the team, as otherwise your build should have you ferrying that Ring of Prot to you at some point.

You risk getting zoned from level 1 easier if you do that, is the thing, so it's a tough call. Anyways, after this, it's time to decide on your sustain items. Soul Ring + Tranquil Boots is a classic combination if you're playing a lower position Underlord, and will give you plenty of sustain to cast spells throughout the game. My personal preference, however, as someone who prefer a 3 position Underlord, is:

Raindrops? You're telling them to buy RAINDROPS? You're not a professional, don't try acting like one.

Oh, I'm sorry, I just thought that spell damage block on a hero whose early game kit is really only countered by nukes was a good idea. But I suppose the enemy team is going to be an Ursa, Legion Commander, Phantom Assassin anyways, so never mind.

... Slice.

Raindrops IS the only situational item in that list, I'd say, because there are those games where there are no nukes you really need to worry about, and the mana regen just from Basilius and Arcanes is more than enough to keep you in the clear. But what I really like about this buildup is its flexibility.

The three component items, Ring of Basilius, Buckler, and Headdress can be combined in multiple ways to make items that are good on Underlord, giving you the option of tailoring your build to your specific game. The three mid-game items I'm thinking of are, of course...

Mid-Game Auras

One of these should be your first item in... I'd say 90% of games? And you can, of course, build more than one in this list, so here's the pros and cons of each. I'm also listing them in order of build priority, so keep that in mind as well.

Vladmir's Offering: Even if you're playing support Underlord, this is a solid first item to keep your team in fighting shape, as well as provide you all the sustain you'll need. Lifesteal, HP regen, mana regen, bonus damage, for a hero that likes to five-man as much as Underlord, this item is super, super good.

Crimson Guard synergizes well with Atrophy Aura because of how they interact: first Atrophy Aura reduces the damage going out from the enemy, then Crimson Guard blocks a flat amount of damage from that, THEN the additional armor from the active blocks more damage on top of that. If the enemy team really IS mostly right clicking heroes like Legion and PA, this will shut them down hard and let your team steadily steamroll over them.

Mekansm is lower priority not because it's bad on the hero, but because ideally you want a different Mek carrier on your team. If you're the four position and that four position is more like a five or six, though, this is definitely worth a look. Underlord DOES have a decent mana pool to sustain it with, especially with Arcane Boots, and an early Mek is great if your team is death-bally.

Mid-Game Mobility

In some games, you won't need a mobility item. If your team is good about staying together and secure some early momentum, you can just wade into the middle of teamfights and force the issue with your enormous, inescapable Devil girth. These items are all worth consideration in most games though, and here's when to get each:

Blink Dagger is a good item on any hero, and Underlord is no exception. The horrendous cast point on Pit of Malice means that, while it helps, it's not going to guarantee any disables on heroes that you're chasing, but it serves a really cool defensive purpose; if you stand back in fights and activate Dark Rift, you can blink forward onto your teammates to save them at the last second. Or mistime it and go back to base alone! But try not to do that.

Force Staff is a great all around item that can be used to help chase, but will primarily be used defensively to get your teammates out of sticky situations. The HP regen and extra INT it provides are great, though, and the fact that you could technically upgrade it to Hurricane Pike for some extra stats isn't bad either.

You can also be super cute and put down a Pit of Malice, then force staff the ENEMY into it for the root. This isn't reliable at all, of course, but is sick to pull off.

Eul's Scepter of Divinity is best when paired with one of the above items, but offers a good bit of utility even on its own. More move speed and a good chunk of mana regen are great, and you can use Cyclone to guarantee a Pit of Malice on an enemy once they hit the ground, so that's cool. It doesn't quite synergize with Firestorm though, since they'll be immune to the damage during the cyclone.


Blade Mail is really good against heavy right clickers like Ursa and Phantom Assassin, nukers with obvious cast animations like Lion and Lina, and Tinker, since you can just stand in March of the Machines and murder his face. This is primarily a pick-up against those physical damage heroes, though: since it returns damage before reductions, it means that Sven will be taking his own damage back at him while you only take 42% of it thanks to Atrophy Aura.

Pipe of Insight is a must against heavy nuking teams, especially those with a Zeus or a Venomancer: the magic resistance and HP regen aura is invaluable in its own right, to say nothing of the ability to give 400 spell block to your entire team AND your entire creep wave. Basically required if you want to push high ground against Keeper of the Light.

Guardian Greaves is a natural extension to your build if you've already gotten Arcane Boots and Mekansm. The Guardian Aura is insanely good, and the ability to purge debuffs from yourself can be crucial for getting rid of a slow to catch up to your teammates, or clearing a silence so you can not be completely useless in fights.

Assault Cuirass gives Underlord a lot of what he wants: additional armor to block damage, as well as the ability to siege towers and hit enemies harder. The main boon here is the attack speed, though, one of Underlord's bigger weak points is his low agility gain, so while he gets a bunch of damage from Atrophy Aura he doesn't... do a lot with it. Typically, this isn't too big an issue, but if you're required to step up and right click a bit for your team, this is what you get.

Shiva's Guard is the opposite side of the coin to AC in my opinion: you still get tha same armor buff, but you're very much a spellcaster now: additional intelligence for spell damage amp and just more spells in general, as well as an additional nuke and slow that isn't to be underestimated. The Aura is the real winner though: being able to slow the enemy teams attacks can make or break teamfights.

Radiance is not an item you'll get very often, I'd imagine, but it IS a useful aura to have. If you've already got a good tank item or two and you're surviving in fights a lot, getting that radiance burn on top of everything else can be incredible, and the miss chance that the aura provides is nothing to sneeze at either.

Necronomicon gives good stats and opens up good split-push potential: if your team isn't suited for five manning and taking teamfights, then this could be your ticket to a win. Push a lane, get a response from the enemy team, Dark Rift to the other lane and unleash the Necronomicon minions on the tower. Rinse and Repeat until you've chipped their towers down to nothing.

Octarine Core is just... fun. Reducing the cooldown on Dark Rift is pretty valuable, and Pit of Malice and Firestorm get something like a 90% uptime with this item which is crazy. The spellsteal won't help you too much, though, even though Firestorm is percentage based damage, since by the time you get Octarine, the enemy team should have plenty of ways of getting around your nukes. If they have any sort of brain, that is.

Allies and Enemies

I can't imagine a giant ugly demon lord like this would have many friends.

That is just awful and you should feel awful.


Underlord loves a lane partner, and lane partners that can go offlane with him and hold people in place for Firestorm are his favorite. Ancient Apparition may not be the best at this, but Ice Vortex and its spell resistance reduction make up for that. As for CM, she provides a good amount of CC, but the mana regen from Arcane Aura is the real reason she makes the cut.

Any hero that likes to group up early and push is a great additional to the Abyssal family. Vengeful Spirit and Beastmaster deserve special mention do to how they contribute to #AuraGaming, and Abaddon... is just this great hero that everyone should play? Curse of Avernus lets you better turn your Atrophy Aura damage into a downed tower, as well, thanks to the attack speed buff you'll get from attacking his target.

Any hero that naturally goes for a Mekansm pairs pretty damn well with Underlord: with a Mek on one hero, and a Vlad's or Crimson on another, your team is in incredibly good fighting shape. Go forth and spill the blood of the innocent, and add it to the fires of hell! Ia! Ia! Yog-Sothoth!

Um... you ok over there, Gozer?

Silence. The black goat with a thousand young is displeased with your impudence. Be grateful that your insignificance outweighs your offense.

... weh.


Nuking is the primary way of dealing with Underlord in the early and mid stages of the game: stack all the damage reduction and armor you want, but magic will slice through you like anything else. There's nothing worse than getting nuked down in the middle of using Dark Rift, getting it canceled and dooming your team to their fates.

Death Prophet and Skywrath get special mentions because of their ability to silence you, and will be featured in the next section as well. The REAL terror here, though, is Lich believe it or not. Chain Frost completely exploits Dark Rift, not only because your team will be clustering around you to get away, but also because... it's not disjointable. So it'll follow you all back to fountain. Good luck with your delta split.

Underlord is a decently spell reliant hero, and so the ability to remove his abilities from a fight can be incredibly crippling. Sure, you'll still have Atrophy Aura, but even that'll just make you a very tanky creep.

Outworld Devourer

Also in the vein of this, Underlord would really prefer not to deal with mana burn. Much like a Wraith King, if he gets caught out and doesn't have enough mana for his ultimate, he has no other escape to speak of.

Did you have to make it so big?

Yeah. Force Staff is by far one of the biggest counters to Underlord. Not only does it allow the enemy team to get away from his AOE abilities, but they can also be super sneaky and force staff one of your teammates away from you, making you abandon them! Their cries of anquish will haunt you forever, I'm sure.


And there we have it! IT IS DONE!

Thank God. If you win this contest, you own me the fifty bucks for having to put up with all of this.

Nah, I don't think you've earned it quite yet so... wanna hear a joke?

... Fine. Hit me.

What does Underlord call going to the bathroom?


Taking a PIT STOP. Thank you, thank you, I'll be hear all week.

Nice one, DAD.

And as always, thanks all of you for reading this guide. I'm open to suggestions and constructive criticism, so feel free to call me out on what I messed up! Safecyn, signing out.

Ah... did I come in the wrong portal? Sorry, I'll see myself out. Sorry.

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