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12 Votes

Underlord - FIREWALKER opens the Dark Rift

September 14, 2016 by FireWalkerAWE
Comments: 8    |    Views: 12893    |   

Utility Offlaner

DotA2 Hero: Underlord

Hero Skills


3 9 10 12

Pit of Malice

1 7 13 14

Atrophy Aura

2 4 5 8

Dark Rift

6 11 16


15 17 18

Opening the Rift

FIREWALKER reporting in for my first day on the guide writing job. I probably have no idea what I'm doing, so any constructive criticism will be appreciated. Now lets get down to business...

You know that new guy on the scene, the one everybody's talking about? Well we're all here to get to know him better!

Vrogos the Underlord

Underlord, formerly known as Pitlord or Abyssal Underlord is the final hero from the Dota 1 roster to be added to Dota 2. He is a strength hero, in my opinion best played in the offlane position. He also works as a roaming support and as a position one carry on some occasions. The lore of this fearsome creature of the Abyss reads as follows...

Neither myth nor song exist to tell of their coming.

Deep below the surface of the world lay unknown wonders and horrors. Down and down again, well beneath the slithering magma fields and simmering roots of dormant volcanoes stands the obsidian city of Aziyog, its incomparable stonework spanning an endless cavern. Within honeycomb walls mortared with the bones of countless slaves lies the domain of the Abyssal Horde, and their brutal underlord Vrogros.

Armed by the monstrous forgemasters of his kind and well-practiced in the arts of the Dark Rift, Vrogros is able to conjure forth flame and crippling malice through the twist between worlds. He seeks always to expand his holdings, destroying or enslaving all he encounters. Yet the lands offered by the subterranean realm are few, and so his sights have turned upward. By his command the first waves of abyssal invaders have already marched through the rift, a few doomed legions meant merely to test the might of nations above. Now, as his full force readies itself for unending conquest, Vrogros himself steps into a sunlit world to announce his coming reign. Those who face the Underlord will bow and pay tribute, or be crushed where they stand.

Pros and Cons


  • A big HP-pool, even early game
  • Good teamfight abilities
  • Decent right-click damage
  • Not too item dependent
  • Able to fulfill multiple roles
  • Decent strength and intelligence growth of 2.6 each

  • A limited mana pool early game
  • Basic attack doesn't scale as well as proper carries'
  • Needs some items to transition well
  • Relatively low agility growth of 1.3 points per level

Ability Descriptions


Firestorm is Underlord's first ability. It deals magical damage to enemies in an AoE for a set amount (25/40/55/70) each second they spend in the affected area. The effect is applied immediately and then after each second for five seconds. Afterwards a burn-effect lingers for 2 seconds, dealing a percentage (0.75%/1.5%/2.25%/3%) of the enemies' maximum HP as damage. This causes the ability to scale decently into the late game. The burn effect can be dispelled. It has a cooldown of 12 seconds and a reasonably high mana cost of 100/110/120/130.

The flames of conquest blaze forth from the darkest depths of the abyss.

Pit of Malice

Pit of Malice is Underlord's second ability. It applies an effect across an AoE lasting 7 seconds. Any enemies entering the AoE during that time will be rooted for 1/1.5/2/2.5 seconds and take 100 magical damage. The root pierces Spell Immunity, but can be Purged. It disables abilities such as Blink, Teleportation and even Riki's notorious Tricks of the Trade. It has a relatively long cooldown of 21/18/15/12 seconds and a mana cost of 100/115/130/145. True sight is granted of any invisible units caught in Pit of Malice, and the ability stops channels.

Twisting into the seams of reality itself, Vrogros' manifest hatred paralyzes those who defy his will

Atrophy Aura

Atrophy Aura is Underlord's third ability. It is a passive, and has an aura effect. It reduces nearby enemies' base attack damage by18%/26%/34%/42%. If an enemy under this effect dies Underlord is granted bonus damage. 5 damage per dying creep and 30/35/40/45 per hero. The bonus damage lasts for 30/40/50/60 seconds.

To merely stand in the presence of the Underlord is to feel the conviction of battle sapped from one's soul.

Dark Rift

Dark Rift is Underlord's fourth and ultimate ability. Using it teleports Underlord and nearby allied heroes to the targeted allied creep/building after a short delay (5/4/3 seconds). Using the ability again will cancel the teleportation. If the target unit dies during this period the spell is cancelled and put on cooldown. It has a cooldown of 130/120/110 seconds and a mana cost of 75/150/225 .

They come without warning, leaving fire and blood where kingdoms once flourished.

Skill Build Justification

Firestorm helps you dominate your lane. Just be careful as the mana cost is pretty high if you don't have enough regen. This ability helps you flash farm, but as it scales very well it doesn't have to be maxed early.

Pit of Malice is an essential ability when solo laning. The utility it provides by stopping enemies in their tracks is wonderful for escaping ganks. It also boosts your kill potential a lot while ganking. Therefore this ability works well when it is leveled early.

Atrophy Aura usually gets a few early points. The damage reduction helps you stay alive, and is especially useful when solo offlaning. The bonus damage helps with farming and its realy worth it when you start ganking, especially after level 6.

Dark Rift provides a lot of utility in the form of escapes and surprise initiations. It can be used to join a teamfight at any time or to save an ally. It scales decently and therefore its leveled at every opportunity.

Item Build Justification

Starting Items

I would recommend starting with a Stout Shield to soak up some harass.

A couple of Iron Branches will give some stats.

Tangoes will do for HP regen.

For mana a Clarity could work, but I prefer to get an Enchanted Mango for the clutch regen, bonus HP regen and the fact that it can't be canceled.


All types of boots could work for Underlord.

Power Treads provides a lot of utility by switching attributes.

Phase Boots will work well with a more aggressive approach with the movement speed boost and extra damage.

Tranquil Boots provides bonus armor and HP regen and helps you tank up.

I prefer Arcane Boots. The extra mana helps a lot with spamming your spells to farm and in teamfights. Arcane Boots are also one of the items building into...

Guardian Greaves

Good old GG-Boots. One of my favorite items on any utility core. The bonus armor and stats help you tank up a lot. Greaves also helps with mana, and the HP regen and aura works wonders in teamfights. Flash farming with your Q, you should be able to complete this item quite early for maximum impact.

Midgame Items

Before we get to the fancy stuff, lets look at some items to help your team win mid game teamfights...

Vladmir's Offering is a nice aura, especially for a team of right-clickers. Get it if you feel like it.

Vanguard is one of the best mid game tank items. Upgrading it into Crimson Guard will buff up your whole team against any physical damage.

Blade Mail works wonders against any glass cannons. Underlord is a natural tank, so put that HP-pool to good use!

Blink Dagger makes for good initiation with Pit of Malice. Shadow Blade is another item that could do the job.

Solar Crest buffs you up with some armor and evasion. Remember to use its active on higher priority cores on your team.

Pipe of Insight is very useful to protect your team against strong nukers.

Drum of Endurance gives some useful stats and a great pushing and teamfight aura. Just remember to use its active.

Hand of Midas is a useful item to boost your farm speed, especially if you're expecting the game to go very late.

The Support Build

Playing position 4, with less farm, your going to have to make all your gold count.

Arcane Boots would still be my boots of choice, although you probably won't be able to upgrade them to Guardian Greaves.

Force Staff is a wonderful mobility item with many uses. Usually supports would get it to help save their carries too.

Eul's Scepter of Divinity provides extra movement speed, a Purge and a chasing-mechanism.

Aether Lens helps landing the perfect Pit of Malice-initiation.

Damage Items

Although Underlord usually fits into an utility role, he can deal significant DPS with the right items.

Echo Sabre makes sure you get the most use out of Atrophy Aura.

Armlet of Mordiggian helps you tank up a lot with the bonus armor and strength, especially if you are able to Armlet Toggle. It also increases your DPS significantly.

Bloodthorn and Dagon are wonderful ganking items and, combined with Underlord's skillset, dishes out a lot of burst damage. Bloodthorn's Silence and True Strike can also help a lot.

Assault Cuirass increases your attack speed and decreases enemies' armor, boosting your damage. The armor and attack speed aura it gives to your own team are also nothing to sneeze at.

Radiance, though having a difficult build up, provides a lot of teamfight damage with the burn. It also causes enemy right-clickers to miss their attacks. Only buy Radiance if you can afford to be greedy.

Tanking Up Through The Late Game

Playing true to the tank role gives Underlord a few item choices.

Heart of Tarrasque gives a ton of HP and regen.

Assault Cuirass's armor boost makes the item worth even without going for a DPS build.

Shiva's Guard gives a lot of armor and the slowing active can be put to good use.

Black King Bar can be useful against all sorts of disables and nukes.

Scythe of Vyse provides some nice stats and good utility with its disable.

Linken's Sphere and Lotus Orb works wonders against strong single target spells.

Heaven's Halberd provides some strength, evasion and an active rendering enemy right-clickers useless.

Early-, Mid- and Late Game

Early Game

Playing offlane with Underlord is simple. Go to your lane, and try not to die. Easy! Well it sounds easy at least.
Laning against multiple opponents on your own can be a bit of a problem. Luckily Underlord's skillset gives him a lot of survivability and lane-presence, so you should be fine. Soak up some experience and take a last hit or two when it is safe to do so.


Hopefully you got enough out of lane to be an unstoppable tank at this stage, with a couple of items in your inventory. If not, head to the jungle to farm up the last pieces needed, teleporting in with a Town Portal Scroll or Dark Rift to help your team in fights. Just remember to leave enough space for your hard carry to farm. If possible, get a support to stack some camps for you to flash farm with Firestorm.

Late Game

Underlord falls off a little at this stage, but with the right items you can still make an impact, soaking up damage and allowing the hard carries to play their part.

Friends, Foes and Food


Underlord works well in many different line-ups.

Pit of Malice helps some heroes set up their own abilities, such as Mirana's Sacred Arrow or Disruptor's Static Storm

Any hero with summons, such as Beastmaster, able to scout out enemies works great with Dark Rift. A special shout out to Lycan and his invisible wolves.

Dark Rift doesn't interrupt channeling spells of allies if you teleport them. Combining it with channeled ultimates such as Shadow Fiend's Requiem of Souls or Sand King's Epicenter can create powerful initiations. Starting the channel at the correct time ensures that it goes off as soon as your team Dark Rifts next to the enemy.


Underlord doesn't have many hard counters, but there are some heroes that work well against him.

Heroes with good creep clear such as Timbersaw that can easily cancel Dark Rift.

Heroes that have escape mechanisms other than Blink from Pit of Malice, such as Ember Spirit's Fire Remnant, Slark's Pounce and Timbersaw's Timber Chain. Force Staff can also move units trapped in Pit of Malice.

Heroes that can counter initiate onto your team after you Dark Rift in, such as Sand King with his Epicenter and Tidehunter's Ravage.

Heroes like Disruptor and Kunkka can reverse a Dark Rift teleport with abilities like X Marks the Spot.

Abilities forcing allies out of Dark Rift's range, such as Nether Swap also prevents you from saving your team by teleporting out. Force Staff is also worth mentioning, pushing your teammates out of range.

Strong anti-tank heroes doesn't worry about Underlord's large HP-pool. These heroes include Ursa, Lifestealer and Huskar with his Life Break

Pit of Malice's root can be purged off. Items that purge include Diffusal Blade, Manta Style and Eul's Scepter of Divinity.


Underlord works especially well against the following heroes.

Heroes such as Queen of Pain who relies on Blinks to escape gets locked down by Pit of Malice.

Pit of Malice prevents Puck from using Phase Shift.

Heroes with high base damage loses the most damage from Atrophy Aura as the aura only reduces base damage. Such heroes include Morphling and Drow Ranger.

Heroes relying on Spell Immunity such as Sven, Lifestealer and Juggernaut can easily get kited because Pit of Malice's root pierces Spell Immunity.

Pit of Malice interrupts channeling spells such as Freezing Field and Town Portal Scrolls.

Underlord counters Riki extremely well. If Riki gets caught in Pit of Malice he is revealed and can't use Tricks of the Trade. He can still use Blink Strike though.

Nature's Prophet, split pushing on his own, makes an easy target for Dark Rift ganks. Pit of Malice renders his usual escape mechanisms Blink Dagger, Shadow Blade and Teleportation useless.

Pit of Malice is able to root Animal Couriers and even Flying Couriers.

And the Rift closes...

All in all, Vrogos the Underlord is a versatile and tanky hero, suitable to the offlane role and providing a lot of utility and teamfight potential to his team. He doesn't have a lot of hard counters, and would therefore fit into most games.

Just remember that all items and builds are situational. You are in the match and you must decide what would work best in that specific situation.

That wasn't so bad for a first time. Now that I'm initiated amongst the ranks of guide-writers here on Dotafire, I hope to write many more guides and to update this one with future Dota 2 patches.

Feel free to leave a comment with any suggestions or questions that might arise, or find me on my steam profile, also named FIREWALKER.

Good Luck and Have Fun!!

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