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2 Votes

Underlord : The Offlane Utility Tank

September 19, 2016 by RocketPowder
Comments: 0    |    Views: 16770    |   

Offlane Tank

DotA2 Hero: Underlord

Hero Skills


2 5 7 8

Pit of Malice

3 12 13 14

Atrophy Aura

1 4 9 10

Dark Rift

6 11 16


15 17 18


Underlord, the newest addition to the huge roster of heroes in DoTA 2, is a unique hero whose role revolves around staying alive in fights for as long as possible to dish out powerful AOE (area of effect) spells such as a DOT (damage over time) nuke, a magic immunity piercing root disable, a damage reduction aura and finally an ultimate which has the ability to relocate the entirety of your allied team to another location on the map. He dominates as a team fighter and has a good laning presence as well, primarily due to Atrophy Aura being a great de-buff against early game safe lane harass as almost all damage in the early game is inflicted through right clicks.

Disclaimer: This guide is an in-depth guide and tries to explain every fact and feature about the hero.

Strengths And Weakness


- High base strength at 28 points and high base damage at 65.
- Good strength and intelligence gain at 2.6 points per level.
- AOE Root disable.
- AOE Nuke which scales well into late game due to damage as percentage of max hp of enemies.
- Insanely powerful aura which wrecks physical damage agility carries.
- Versatile ultimate. Can be used to escape, ratting, split pushing and structure defense.
- Not heavily item dependent
- Above average movement speed at 305


- Poor starting agility at 12
- Poor agility gain leading to lacklustre late game armor.
- No hard disable such as stun or hex
- Nuke is a source of unreliable damage in a 1v1 situation
- Long-ish cast times on spells
- Requires good team coordination
- Mediocre starting armor

Roles and General Playstyles


Every hero's lane capabilities boil down to his/her stats and abilities. Underlord's role according to me, should be of the solo off-laner or a position 3 core in other words. He is naturally tanky with a good strength gain and high starting base strength (translating into a good amount of HP). Coupled with his Atrophy Aura, a Ring of Protection and a Stout Shield, he becomes a great level 1 hero who can not only withstand harass from the zoning support but also efficiently trade hits with them. This provides a good early game lane presence for him and ensures a steady and fast level gain.
There are guides which recommend him being played as a support, carry or mid lane hero. I don't think any of these roles is viable for him as there are other heroes who can fulfill these roles much better.

Team Fighting:

Apart from the strong laning stage, Underlord is a great team fighter. A timely cast Pit of Malice into Firestorm as an initiation or counter-initiation can easily disable and damage 2 or more enemy heroes and turn the tides of the fight into your favor. Both these abilities work wonders in cancelling enemy blink daggers too. He can reduce the right click damage of those scary agility carries and as a result increase the effective HP of his entire team just by being in the middle of the team fight. All this helps him reduce the effectiveness of his enemy team while simultaneously buffing up his team's survivability.

Split Push/Countering Split Push:

What makes Underlord a viable split push hero? The answer lies in his 3 abilities and their beautiful synergy. You can TP in with a Town Portal Scroll, quickly nuke a creep wave with Firestorm, get +5 damage for each creep you killed with Atrophy Aura, siege a tower and quickly relocate with Dark Rift.

The order of the above mention maneuver changes if you are trying to counter a split push. You can relocate to your allied structure with all your team mates and pressure the enemy with Firestorm, Atrophy Aura and Pit of Malice.


Firestorm is Underlord's first skill and nuke. According to the skill description, it is an AOE ground target ability which summons a shower of flames in the form of periodic waves in an area which deals damage. The damage is dealt in 2 ways: The first being the damage each wave deals and the second being a damage over time burn debuff which is based on the enemy's max hp.

The numbers for this skill are as follows:

Cool down: 12 Seconds (at all levels)
Cast Animation: 0.6+0.47
Cast Range: 750
Effect Radius: 400
Number of Waves: 6
Wave Interval: 1
Damage per Wave: 25/40/55/70
Max Health as Damage per Second: 0.75%/1.5%/2.25%/3%
Burn Duration: 2

The Mana cost per level is : 100 (level 1)/110 (level 2)/120 (level 3)/130 (level 4)

This skill is of immense utility for the off-lane role we have discussed above. It can clear large stacks of jungle camps, thus increasing your farm rate by a huge margin. It allows you to skip the Iron Talon and gain additional xp and gold from a stacked off-lane large camp close to the secret shop.

Also, it can be used as a zoning ability for tower defense.

Skill Synergy:

To inflict maximum damage though, it requires that the enemy stays in position for the complete duration of the skill. Hence the skill has a great synergy with skills like Chronosphere, Fiend's Grip, Duel, Reincarnation's slow, Kinetic Field, Upheaval, Dream Coil, Overgrowth and Black Hole. His own Pit of Malice also works well as a short duration disable, providing him with a little bit of inter skill synergy of his own.

Pit of Malice

Pit of Malice is Underlord's second skill and disable. According to the description, the skill is an AOE ground target disable which roots all enemies within its radius (225) for a short duration (2.5 Seconds at level 4) of time much like Treant Protector's ultimate Overgrowth while dealing 100 magic nuke damage to each enemy caught in it. It remains active for 7 seconds and applies the above stated damage and disable to any enemy who walks into its radius after cast. The effect is applied only once per enemy and is not repeated if the enemy moves in and out of the radius.

The numbers are as follows:

Cool down: 21 (level 1)/18 (level 2)/15 (level 3)/12 (level 4)
Cast Animation: 0.6+0.47
Cast Range: 750
Effect Radius: 275
Damage: 100
Disable Duration: 1/1.5/2/2.5
Pit Duration: 7

The Mana cost per level is : 100 (level 1)/115 (level 2)/130 (level 3)/145 (level 4)

This skill is pretty straightforward in it's use. You target it on the ground and any enemy within the radius of the pit will get rooted. Anyone who walks into it, will also get rooted.

The disabled enemy can still turn, cast spells, use items and attack.

It interrupts channeling spells of the target upon rooting, but affected units can channel spells during it. So it will cancel a Teleport while it is channeling, however any Teleport channeled after being rooted is NOT cancelled.

It disables the following spells: Blink ( Queen of Pain), Blink ( Anti-Mage), Teleportation, Charge of Darkness​, Phase Shift​, Tricks of the Trade and Blink Dagger.

It also affects invisible units and provides True Sight over them.

It also goes through spell immunity

Hence this ablity becomes a reliable, spell immunity piercing, AOE disable which can disable whole teams and help in picking off those pesky little heroes with escape abilities or blink daggers. It serves as a brilliant initiation for a chain stun setup. Also, it can be used as a zoning ability for tower defense.

Atrophy Aura

Atrophy Aura is Underlord's third ability and aura. It reduces the damage of enemy heroes (42% of base attack damage at level 4) and also provides Underlord with additional damage based on the death of an enemy unit (5 for Non Hero Death at all levels and 45 for Hero Death at level 4) in a 900 radius. The additional damage provided to Underlord is applicable for 60 seconds at max level.

The numbers for this skill are:

Radius: 900
Attack Damage Reduction: 18%/26%/34%/42%
Attack Damage per Hero Death: 30/35/40/45
Attack Damage per Non-Hero Death: 5
Attack Damage Bonus Duration: 30/40/50/60

This skill is pure evil. Not only it hampers the right-click of your enemies but also improves your over the course of a team fight or push.
Leveling up this skill at level 1 gives you so much lane survivability. With 1 point into Atrophy Aura, a Ring of Protection and a Stout Shield, an enemy who has a base damage of 50 will hit you only for 32 damage. This translates into so much efficiency for your hero and his lane sustain regen items like Tango and Healing Salve

This skill does NOT provide bonus damage from the death of illusions, Tempest Double or Meepo Clones.

This skill pierces magic immunity and it only decreases base attack damage which is given by the primary attribute of the affected units. Raw bonus damage is not decreased. Also, no matter how a unit dies, if it is in the radius of Atrophy Aura it will provide bonus damage to Underlord

This skill works extremely well against carries who build stats such as Drow Ranger, Medusa, Anti-Mage, Juggernaut, Slark, Morphling and so on.. The beauty of this skill is the fact that it scales so well into the late game. As the game progresses, the heroes gain more and more stats and hence the skill becomes more and more powerful.

Dark Rift

Underlord's ultimate ability, Dark Rift, can be used to TP in on an already pushed in wave and quickly take out enemy structures while they are afk farming, taking an uncontested Roshan or even applying pressure to one of your structures.
It can also be used to TP away safely with your whole team after taking a tower or barracks.
It becomes a highly useful ability when used in conjunction with strong lane pushers such as Naga Siren, Terrorblade, Alchemist, cleave based heroes such as Sven, Battle Fury carriers such as Juggernaut, Anti-Mage and so on. You can always stay by their side and quickly ensure their safety by mass teleporting back to a safe zone anywhere on the map.
Taken a bad fight? Don't worry. Press R and bam , all of your teammates are back in the fountain. you can quickly reset and re-engage or explore other options which will benefit your team.

Cool Down: 130 (level 1)/120 (level 2)/110 (level 3)
The numbers:
Cast Animation: 0.6+0.47
Cast Range: Global
Radius: 450
Teleport Delay: 5/4/3

The Mana cost per level is : 75 (level 1)/150 (level 2)/225 (level 3)

This ability can be cast on any allied unit which is not a hero (or illusion) or a ward. It can also target creep-heroes and can target them even while invulnerable.
When targeting the ground, it searches for the nearest valid target on the map and teleports towards it, so for better accuracy and reliability, always choose a specific target.

This skill can only teleport heroes (including illusions and clones) and creep-heroes. AS before, it teleport them even while invulnerable or hidden. This means you can teleport a complete Chen army + Naga Siren illusions to virtually anywhere on the map and be that scary big ball of death!

Lastly, the spell is not canceled by stuns. It can only be cancelled if:
a) Cancelled manually by Underlord,
b) Underlord dies while channeling the spell
c) The creep or structure you are teleporting to gets destroyed during the channeling time.


The following items are suggested by me:

Starting Items:

The Tango and Healing Salve provide enough lane sustain for the hero. The Ring of Protection is synergetic with Atrophy Aura and build into a Ring of Basilius. The Stout Shield offers cheap damage block and builds into a Vanguard and further into a Crimson Guard.

Early Game Items:

These items offer increased movespeed translating into escape and chase potential with Boots of Speed and Wind Lace, immensely good flat mana regen with Ring of Basilius and superb burst regen with Magic Wand as you will always be in the middle of team fights and more team fights means more enemy spells which means more charges for your wand.

Core Items:

These items are logical progressions of your early game items and focus on enabling your team. The Arcane Boots keep your team's mana topped up and the Vladimir's Offering provides a good source of life steal for carries who like to build Unique Attack Modifiers or have it as a skill (believe me, Anti-Mage will love you!) and also helps out your squishy supports and nukers with additional 4 armor and 3 HP regen.
The Crimson Guard gives you so much damage block and health regen and the active provides even more damage block, not only to you, but to your whole team ! Coupled with Atrophy Aura, you quickly see that the enemy team's rightclickers hit like a kitten. They deal no damage at all.
The Blink Dagger lets you make the big plays by performing multi hero Pit of Malices and ensuring a good initiation or counter initiation for your team.

Situational Items:

The logic behind a Blade Mail is that no doubt you can tank physical damage very well and counter physical damage dealers like anything, but as soon as you get focused with chain stuns and nukes, you can use your natural high HP to reflect tonnes of magic damage back to your enemies. Also you can use it while channeling Dark Rift so you don't get focused and die before relocating out.
Necronomicon helps you split push like crazy and solo kill supports with ease. A well placed Pit of Malice with Necronomicon warriors is certain death for any support.
Assault Cuirass is more survivability for you and your team and less for your enemy structures and enemies. It is also a great split push item as it will help melt structures faster. Works wonders against enemy physical damage line ups
Pipe of Insight increases your tankiness along with your team with spell damge resistance and the active provides your entire team with spell damage block. It is a must if your enemy has heavy magic damage oriented team.
Mekansm and Guardian Greaves should be built if no one on your team is building them. The burst heal, and hp regen and armor aura help a lot while pushing, fighting and slow high ground sieges.
Lotus Orb is highly situational and can be a life saver in certain situations (I am looking at you Doom). It also makes your carry a NO Target Zone as nuking him will inflict the same damage back at the enemy caster.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity provides mana regen, movespeed, a purge and a disable with a twist (get it ? ;) )

Keep this thing on you at all times. It will save you and your allies, turn impossible fights and make you win.

Works Well With


His Hawk is a great target point for Dark Rift and his minions will be transported along too. Two Necronomicons and Beast Master's Inner Beast Aura is equal to dead enemy buildings.

Her Spiders again work similarly as any other minions would. You kill them towers alright.

His wolves and Necronomicon. Same principle as above. Plus your Pit of Malice provides him with lockdown so he can quickly kill enemy heroes.

His birds are again great targets for Dark Rift and he can push towers fast too.

Damage and Armor Reduction Aura Based Heroes:

Vengeful Spirit's Vengeance Aura and Wave of Terror combined with Atrophy Aura make up for a deadly combo which weakens the team both in terms of damage dealing and damage taking.

Atrophy Aura and Natural Order. Echo Stomp and Pit of Malice. Do I say more ?

AOE Damage Heroes:

Pit of Malice works exceedingly well with Smoke Screen providing a good root disable and silence. This works as a great setup for Riki's Tricks of the Trade

Pit of Malice can be a great setup for Disruptor's Kinetic Field and Static Storm. Throw in your Firestorm and you get some nasty damage output.

Leshrac is all about AOE magic damage and he desperately needs a reliable AOE disable to chain his Split Earth with. Pit of Malice serves this purpose well and the nuke from Firestorm adds to the overall chaos factor.

Special Mention:

Atrophy Aura is a boon for Legion Commander's Duel. It negates quite a bit of enemy damage and makes it easier for her to gain Duel damage and snowball really hard.

Firestorm in general has a great synergy with skills like Chronosphere, Fiend's Grip, Duel, Reincarnation's slow, Upheaval, Dream Coil, Overgrowth and Black Hole.

Bad Versus

In general, heroes which can get out of Pit of Malice and counter his split push ability and escape mechanism work well against him.

Io's Relocate can easily help in catching up with your Dark Rift escape shenanigans. Also, if stuck in the Pit of Malice, Io can easily Tether away from the disable.

Her Song of the Siren easily catches Dark Rift during its cast time and right after teleportation, and gives Naga Siren's team plenty of time to counter-initiate on Underlord's team.

His global spells like Teleportation and Wrath of Nature can easily counter your split push strat if the Nature's Prophet is competent enough.

Haunt negates most split push attempts with Dark Rift, and deals damage to Underlord's entire team if Spectre has a Radiance.

Winter's Curse​ and Splinter Blast​ can devastate Underlord's team when they're grouped up for Dark Rift.

He has a great counter to Pit of Malice in his Timber Chain and he can wreck you with Whirling Death's strength stat loss and pure damage.

Force Staff pushes people out of Pit of Malice.

It applies Break and disables your Atrophy Aura, thus reducing your impact on the game incredibly.

Good Versus

Heroes Who Rely On Magic Immunity:

Pit of Malice will trap Lifestealer, even when using Rage.

Pit of Malice will trap Juggernaut even when using Blade Fury.

Heroes Who Rely On Stats OR Stat Items for Damage:

Atrophy Aura reduces Drow Ranger's damage significantly, as her damage relies on her base agility stat which is boosted by Marksmanship

Atrophy Aura reduces Sven's damage significantly, as it relies on his base strength stat. Being a natural Black King Bar carrier, Sven's dependence on Black King Bar makes him weak against Pit of Malice​, which ignores spell immunity.

Heroes Who Rely on Channeling Abilities:

Pit of Malice​ will stop Freezing Field instantly, even if Crystal Maiden uses Black King Bar or Glimmer Cape.

Pit of Malice is often wide enough to catch Tinker and interrupt his Rearm​ or Blink Dagger.

Pit of Malice will stop Death Ward, even if Witch Doctor uses Black King Bar or Glimmer Cape.

Pit of Malice will stop Black Hole, even if Enigma uses Black King Bar.

Pit of Malice will stop Sand King's ultimate Epicenter from going off.

Pit of Malice will stop Pugna's Life Drain while being channeled.

Pit of Malice will stop Pudge's Dismember while being channeled

Heroes Who Rely On Blink Abilities:

Pit of Malice disables blink for both the heroes, who heavily rely on blink for risky plays and to escape to safety.


Underlord should be played as a tanky utility hero who provides auras and utility for his team in the form of map movement, disables and debuffs. Any other style of play reduces his effectiveness to sub par levels which can easily lose you games.

Thanks for reading. Do leave a rating.

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