Dota 2 is an ever-expanding game with various complicated and interesting mechanics. With each new patch, something new is released and we thank Valve and Icefrog for the chance to see this great game. In addition to the tweaks in the map, items added in or removed, and a few heroes getting balanced here and there, there’s the niggling hope that a new hero will be added into the hero pool. That came true back in TI 6 when Underlord was introduced. In this Dota 2 Underlord guide, we aim to help players know the basics, pros, and cons of this tanky hero.
Inside This Article
Vrogos, the Underlord, is a hero introduced back on Dota 1 as a Pusher/Semi-Carry hero. He used to be called Azgalor, the Pit Lord, but when he was introduced in Dota 2, he became Vrogos, the Underlord. He’s a Melee hero with strength as primary attribute and a lot of skills that last incredibly long. His Firestorm and Pit of Malice can be combined pretty well with each other while Atrophy Aura can sap enemy attack damage.
With Underlord, you’ll always be able to be at the team fights due to Dark Rift teleports. He can save allies, do potential ganks against enemies, and in general be an absolute nuisance. And when Atrophy Aura gets to its max capacity, it’s like having a 4th Carry on the team as well for a few minutes.
All in all, Underlord can be a pretty devastating hero when used correctly. And with great team composition, he can be immensely useful in setting up ganks, team fights, and in general, being a tanky boy to hit.
There are no myths, songs, or legends that tell what lies beneath the surface of the world.
Deep under the world’s surface, lie many wondrous things. However, the underground also hides several horrors unimaginable. Deep, deep, beneath the roiling waves of magma and the volcanoes hiding their sheer power, lies Aziyog, the Obsidian City. A sprawling city of endless stonework and caves hewn and mortared from the bones of countless slaves. It’s here where the Abyssal Horde rests for their newest conquests, with Vrogos the Underlord at their helm.
With armaments forged from the depths of Hell, he leads his horde to greater conquests. Through shadow, flame, and mind-breaking malice he destroys his foes. With dark rifts he strikes at countless worlds, expanding his dominions and enslaving his quarries.
Eventually, the subterranean lands below the worlds began to thin and lack any new conquests. Thus, Vrogos sets his eyes on the worlds above. With probing attacks, he ascertains the nations aboveground of their power. And then, once the initial scouting runs are done, he prepares his legions for mighty and unending conquest. None shall bar him from what is rightfully his. Vrogos will have the sunlit worlds above, or they can burn with shadow and flame.
These are the skills that Underlord in Dota 2 has available to him. Do note that some of these skills can be improved or unlocked with Aghanim’s Scepter/Shard, which we’ll indicate below.
Underlord’s burning flames blaze forth from the deepest depths to start his conquest of worlds.
Underlord sends out waves of searing flame that damages enemies in a target area. Those damaged will also get burned for additional damage over time. Six waves of Firestorm fall from the sky towards Underlord’s enemies around a 425 unit radius, 500 with the level 10 Talent.
With Aghanim’s Shard, this allows Firestorm to be self-targetted. When this is done, Underlord will cast Firestorm on himself, with the ability’s radius following where Underlord goes. In addition, the wave count of Firestorm is increased by 3 additional waves for a maximum of 9 firestorm waves.
- Firestorm damage is applied instantly, which is weird since the flames take a few seconds before landing.
- Firestorm first applies damage before debuffing enemies with continuous burn damage.
- Firestorm’s burn debuff cannot be applied to Roshan. He is, however, damaged by the waves of fire crashing from above him.
- Firestorm’s burn debuff is applied in 1-second intervals on enemies the moment that Firestorm is cast. Do note that the debuff doesn’t stack, but instead refreshes the duration of the debuff.
- Firestorm deals 25/40/55/70 damage per wave for a maximum of 150/240/330/420 damage for 6 waves. With Aghanim’s Shard, this is increased to 225/360/495/630 damage for 9 waves.
- In addition to this, the burn debuff deals 8%/16%/24%/32% of maximum HP as damage when every single Firestorm wave hits enemies. With Talents, this is increased to 16%/24%/32%/40%. With Aghanim’s Shard and Talents this is increased to 22%/33%/44%/55%.
Underlord twists reality’s seams to manifest his unending hatred, paralyzing those that dare defy him, his conquests, and his will.
Underlord casts a spell and creates a pit filled with his hatred for those that oppose him. Any enemy unit that enters the pit is immediately rooted for a time. Units within the pit will be affected by the root effect every 3.6 seconds after the root expires.
- The pit lasts for 12 seconds with a 400-unit radius while the root debuff lasts for 1.2/1.4/1.6/1.8 seconds. With Talents, this is increased to 1.85/2.05/2.25/2.45 seconds and a 475-unit radius.
- Pit of Malice’s visual and audio effects are visible and audible to allies only during its cast time.
- Enemies that are invisible and are inside Fog of War are also affected. Any target inside the Pit of Malice can be seen by Underlord and his team due to True Sight.
- Enemies inside the Pit of Malice can be rooted a maximum of 4 times if they stay inside it for the full duration. This means that they will be rooted for a total of 4.8/5.6/6.4/7.2 seconds, 7.4/8.2/9/9.8 with Talents.
To stand against the Underlord means to stand against his very presence. However, doing so saps one’s conviction and ability to fight from their very soul.
Enemies that are near Underlord in a certain radius will lose a portion of their base damage. When they die while affected by this, Underlord gains a portion of that as a temporary damage buff.
- The aura expands from a 900 unit radius from Underlord. The aura gives a debuff that reduces unit and hero base damage. When they get away from Underlord, the debuff lingers for .5 seconds before It’s gone.
- The ability only reduces a unit’s base damage as well as the additional damage given by a Hero’s primary attribute. Bonus damage from items, or more specifically, raw bonus damage is unaffected.
- Atrophy Aura doesn’t affect invulnerable or invisible units.
- Atrophy Aura reduces 5%/15%/25%/35% of a unit’s base attack damage. This increases to 20%/30%/40%/50% with the Level 20 Talent.
- When a Hero dies, it gives Underlord 30/35/40/45 additional damage bonus that stacks. When a non-hero unit dies, they give Underlord an additional 2/4/6/8 damage bonus that also stacks. The attack damage bonus lasts for 30/45/60/75 seconds.
- Items that give the Break debuff like Silver Edge can disable Atrophy Aura and prevent Underlord from getting new stacks. However, stacks that already exist before Break was applied will still give Underlord bonus damage.
- Underlord doesn’t gain a damage bonus from killing or destroying couriers, wards, buildings, Undying’s zombies, or the Tempest Double.
- Creep-Heroes are treated as Creeps with Atrophy Aura.
- Underlord’s Level 25 talent allows him to share the damage buff with nearby allied heroes. This includes illusions, clones, and creep heroes. Affected allies gain 15/17.5/20/22.5 bonus damage per dead hero and 1/2/3/4 bonus damage per dead non-hero units.
The reach of the Abyss has always been limited in scope. However, Aghanim’s power allows Underlord to reach countless other worlds, increasing Vrogos’ thirst for conquest.
Underlord opens up two portals that allies can teleport with. One is created near Underlord’s current location. The other is created 4000 units away from Underlord. Allies can channel for 2 seconds on one portal to teleport to the other portal.
- Requires Underlord to gain Aghanim’s Scepter/Blessing.
- Portals last for 20 seconds.
- Units can use the portals even when leashed and rooted.
- The portals cannot be attacked and are spell immune.
- Portals cannot be placed near the team’s fountain or on Roshan’s pit.
- Destroys all trees in a 300-unit radius when spawned.
Underlord’s legions attack without prior warning, leaving naught but ashes and despair where flourishing life once stood.
Underlord opens a rift of darkness at a targeted friendly building or unit. After a few seconds, any allied heroes near Underlord, as well as Underlord will be teleported to the unit/building’s location.
- Double tapping the skill automatically targets the allied fountain.
- Dark Rift can be cast on any allied unit except wards, clones, illusions, and other heroes.
- The visual effects of Underlord’s Dark Rift are visible to everyone, including enemies.
- Dark Rift is canceled if Underlord or the teleport target dies.
These are the talents that Underlord can get on specific levels in Dota 2:
|+100 Firestorm Radius||Level 10||+5 Armor|
|Firestorm 4 Second cooldown reduction||Level 15||Pit of Malice AOE increase by 75 units|
|Firestorm burn damage 1% increase||Level 20||Atrophy Aura attack damage reduction increase by 15%|
|Pit of Malice root duration +.65 second increase||Level 25||Atrophy Aura allied hero bonus + 50%|
Here, we’ll discuss how to build Dota 2’s Underlord. We’ll start from the start of the game up to the late game. We’ll also touch on what items Underlord can get in certain situations.
When the game starts, it’s usually a good idea for Underlord to get items that give him additional HP and MP regen.
- Tango – A great way for Underlord to get some HP Regen on the early game with the sacrifice of a tree.
- Clarity – Can be used by Underlord to gain some much-needed MP to do his spells early on.
- Enchanted Mango – Gives Underlord passive HP Regen when it’s in his inventory. When used, it gives him 100 additional MP to use his abilities.
- Iron Branch – Gives Underlord some additional stats while also allowing him to build up to Magic Wand. It’s also an item that he can use to get additional HP regen from Tangos.
In the early game, it’s a good idea to prioritize Underlord’s low MP and movement speed. His survivability is pretty high due to his high HP and tankiness, but having ways to recover some HP can be pretty clutch.
- Wind Lace – Gives Underlord additional movement speed. It also gives him the option of building towards either Drums of Endurance, Solar Crest, or Tranquil Boots. These three items can be pretty clutch for Underlord, especially Drums of Endurance.
- Boots of Speed – Pretty much mandatory for all heroes in Dota 2 due to the item increasing everyone’s movement speed. It’s also good because it builds up towards multiple items like Phase Boots or Guardian’s Greaves. The latter is very good with Underlord, which we’ll talk about later.
- Magic Stick – Another near-mandatory item for heroes as it gives them additional HP and MP in a tough situation.
- Soul Ring – Allows Underlord to sustain pretty effectively with its passive HP regen and strength bonus. It’s also good because its active ability allows Underlord to get some MP for ability usage.
When it’s time for the mid-game, Underlord needs to roam around and fight the enemy team. Thus, getting items that increase his ability to team fight and sustain is a must.
- Magic Wand – Better Magic Stick. In addition, Underlord can build it towards Holy Locket if he so wishes.
- Mekansm – Keeps Underlord’s team alive with its active ability giving them HP and additional armor. One of the items to build Guardian’s Greaves, one of Underlord’s best items.
- Urn of Shadows – Gives Underlord additional attributes, Mana regen, and a heal every time he and his teammates kill enemy heroes.
- Arcane Boots – Allows Underlord to keep spamming his abilities constantly due to its active ability giving him and his allies mana. One of the items to build Guardian’s Greaves, one of Underlord’s best items.
- Blade Mail – Acts as a deterrent as it gives Underlord the ability to reflect some damage towards enemies that attack him.
When the late game comes in Dota 2, Underlord needs to keep his team’s survivability up and running. Thus, getting items that can help in keeping himself and his team alive is a must.
- Shiva’s Guard – Gives Underlord additional Mana, Intelligence, and armor. In addition, its active ability slows down enemies around him. This allows him and his team to close in for the kill.
- Guardian’s Greaves – Gives additional survivability to Underlord and his team with its ability to heal and give mana every 40 seconds.
- Pipe of Insight – Gives Underlord’s team HP regen and Magic resistance as a passive aura. It can also block 400 magic damage for the whole team when used.
- Assault Cuirass – Gives Underlord additional armor while reducing the armor of all enemies around Underlord. Combined with Atrophy Aura, it can limit the capabilities of the enemy team to kill Underlord and his team.
- Holy Locket – Gives Underlord additional stats, and the ability to perform a save by giving his teammates HP and MP in a pinch.
These are the items that Underlord should get in certain scenarios only. That, or if he has a lot of gold in the bank that he can make use of while still allowing him to buy back.
- Radiance – An item that Underlord gets when he and his team is far ahead in the game. It gives him extra evasion, damage, and the Burn ability, which damages enemies around Underlord every second while reducing their accuracy.
- Blink Dagger – This item gives Underlord the ability to initiate fights well using Pit of Malice. This, however, is a very situational item to get because it delays Underlord’s other core items like Guardian’s Greaves.
- Crimson Guard – Crimson Guard’s active ability can reduce enemy damage to his team. Combined with Atrophy Aura and Pipe of Insight and Underlord can lockdown both physical and magical damage from his team.
- Lotus Orb – Can deflect enemy nuke abilities like Lina’s Laguna Blade back towards them. It’s incredibly useful on Underlord as it can prevent stuns from getting to him and stop him from using Dark Rift. He can also use this on carry heroes so that they can survive a nuke or a stun.
- Linken’s Sphere – Helps ensure that Underlord and his team won’t be affected by disables and other negative enemy spells.
- Rod of Atos – Allows Underlord to root enemies inside his Firestorm. Combined with Pit of Malice, he can pretty much root them inside Firestorm for the whole duration while setting up for his team. Especially useful when dealing with slippery heroes like Tinker or Ember Spirit.
As stated, Vrogos the Underlord is pretty useful in engaging and getting away from team fights. He’s also great when it comes to crowd control, damage reduction, and just being a tanky hero to deal with. With enough stacks, his Atrophy Aura can be a real problem for the enemy team while Pit of Malice keeps them in place. His Firestorm gives additional damage, while Dark Rift and Fiend’s Gate can be used to get in and out of battle.
Underlord can be used as either an Offlane or Support hero, though he can be a hybrid between the two roles as well. He can take charge of the battlefield and just be an annoyance with Pit of Malice and Firestorm. These two skills are his go-to when it comes to creating various hazards for enemies to deal with during team fights.
In addition to this, Atrophy Aura is a great damage mitigation ability that actively reduces the damage of enemy heroes. With items like Guardian’s Greaves and Shiva’s Guard, he can be an incredibly tanky damage sponge to chew through by physical damage heroes.
However, he constantly suffers from low Mana, which can be a problem as he’s sometimes needed for a quick escape. If he uses a lot of Pits of Malice or Firestorms during the fight and it goes south, his team might not be able to get away. Still, he’s a very good hero to pick due to how durable he is. Add to that his ability to be anywhere on the map alongside his team and his crowd control abilities.
These are the matchups that Dota 2’s Underlord has an advantage against. This doesn’t mean that they can’t fight against Underlord; it’s just that they’ll have a very difficult time doing so.
Templar Assassin’s Refraction charges can be easily removed with Underlord’s Firestorm. In addition, Firestorm can still hit Templar Assassin even when she’s melded, making it very difficult for her. She also has a very difficult time maneuvering around Underlord’s Pit of Malice, especially with her short attack range.
Underlord can destroy Drow Ranger’s attack damage using Atrophy Aura, especially since she gets more attack damage due to the agility buff that Marksmanship gives her.
Underlord can easily clear up Phantom Lancer’s illusions thanks to Firestorm. In addition, Pit of Malice and Atrophy Aura can wreak havoc with Phantom Lancer. This is because both abilities can root and reduce his and his illusion’s damage respectively.
Legion Commander will have a very difficult time getting Duel buffs due to Underlord’s Atrophy Aura and Pit of Malice. The first reduces her base damage, making it hard to kill people, while Pit of Malice roots her.
Meepo’s clones suffer the same fate as Phantom Lancer’s illusions. They can be rooted, have their damage reduced, and their HP whittled down by Pit of Malice, Atrophy Aura, and Firestorm respectively.
Dark Seer is a melee intelligence hero with a lot of abilities that need him to be in the melee range. Because of this, Underlord’s abilities are especially hard to play against when Dark Seer is involved.
These are the heroes that can counter Dota 2’s Underlord. This doesn’t mean that Underlord can’t fight against them, it’s just that he’ll have a very difficult time doing so.
Luna’s Lunar Blessing can negate the attack damage reduction that Underworld’s Atrophy Aura can give in the early game. This allows Luna’s team to have an easier time in the early stages. In addition, Eclipse can be used even when Luna is rooted in Underlord’s Pit of Malice. What makes it worse is if she has Aghanim’s Scepter, as she can target an area with Eclipse to screw Underworld’s team over.
Kunkka has good physical damage with the use of Tidebringer. Meanwhile, X Marks the Spot can isolate an ally that’s about to go on a trip with Dark Rift or Fiend’s Gate.
Disruptor can do the same thing as Kunkka’s X Mark’s the Spot with the use of the Glimpse Ability. In addition, Disruptor can easily shut down Underlord when he uses Static Storm and Kinetic Field. This locks down Underlord and his team, especially if they’re grouped up for Dark Rift.
Razor’s Static Link can significantly reduce Underlord’s damage while buffing his own. Even when Underlord’s in the middle of Atrophy Aura, Razor can still shred Underlord’s damage until he deals love taps for damage numbers.
In addition to this, Eye of the Storm can shred Underlord’s armor, making it easy for Razor to whittle him down and kill him.
Winter Wyvern can do something similar as Disruptor with her Splinter Blast and Winter’s Curse abilities. If Underlord’s team is bunching up to do Dark Rift, she can do Winter’s Curse to punish them. She can also use Splinter Blast on them to spread out the damage between everyone. If done correctly on a fleeing team, she can straight up destroy low HP heroes that want to flee using Underlord’s Dark Rift.
Ursa’s enrage can dispel the root that Pit of Malice gives. In addition, Fury Swipes can make short work of Underlord as it’s not affected by Atrophy Aura.
Rubick can easily use Spell Steal to take Firestorm, Pit of Malice, or Dark Rift and turn it against Underlord. Pit of Malice is especially useful as it gives Rubick’s team a root to keep enemy heroes and units still.
Outworld Destroyer’s Arcane Orb can shred Underlord’s HP due to its Pure Damage modifier. In addition, Sanity’s Eclipse can turn Underlord’s HP to nil, especially since Underlord has low MP compared to Outworld Destroyer.