Deep below the ground underneath, countless amount of unknown horrors roam free in the Abyssal Horde—the world ruled by Vrogros the Underlord. His reign of terror goes beyond his containment, causing mayhem onto the surface.
Underlord is a strength hero who was unveiled during The International 6 and released on August 23, 10 days after the Grand Finals. How has Underlord performed since his debut?
According to Dotabuff, Underlord’s win rate is above 50% and has hovered around 53% to 55% since his arrival. This number has been staying quite consistent, even after the 6.88e patch.
Underlord’s pick and win rates vary by MMR. In the past month, according to Dotabuff, Underlord was picked only 4.2% of the time at 2k and below. The number increases to 5.1% in the 3k to 4k range, and jumps again to 8.7% for the 5k+ bracket. In ranked games at 5k MMR and above, Underlord actually has the second-highest win rate with 56%. He is second only to Omniknight, whose pick percentage for the past month was around 20%.
In general, the longer the match, the lower his winrate is compared to All Heroes, defined by the Dotabuff metrics. Level 12 Underlords show up in 3.9% of games and have a 56.2% win rate, just slightly above the All Heroes win rate of 55%. Level 25 Underlords show up in only 0.15% of games and have a 62% win rate, compared to the All Heroes 70.9% measurement. In comparison, Spectre (a hero designed for the late game) has a 75% win rate in the 0.9% of matches where she reaches level 25.
Underlord is typically put into the offlane, and his skills are quite efficient during laning phase. The typical ability build skills Atrophy Aura first for maximum harass damage. This aura removes a percentage of base damage granted by the enemy hero’s primary attribute, making it difficult for enemies to last hit. This debuff is especially effective in the early game—before enemy heroes start to build damage-dealing items. Atrophy Aura also grants temporary bonus damage to Underlord when a nearby enemy dies under its effect, making this hero more powerful as teamfights continue.
After the initial point in Atrophy Aura, most players choose to focus on Firestorm and Pit of Malice. Firestorm, his AoE damage skill, is the next skill to level and the first to max out. Pit of Malice is a crowd-control ability that should be skilled third and maxed second. Underlord’s Q and W can help clear out creep waves and harass his lane opponents for a relatively low mana cost and cooldown.
His ultimate, Dark Rift, teleports himself and nearby teammates across the map to any friendly unit or building. It can be used offensively or defensively. His abilities give him great utility in team fights, offering outstanding area-of-effect skills that damage and roots, while his base stats mean Underlord is quite beefy.
While Underlord is great at bringing down enemy heroes, he is not as strong at killing buildings. He requires teammates who can take down towers (and preferably quickly, to capitalize on Underlord’s advantage during the early stages of the game).
The most common item pickups for Underlord, in order, are Guardian Greaves, Blade Mail, Arcane Boots, Crimson Guard, and Blink Dagger, according to Dotabuff. Greaves and Crimson Guard synergize well with his aura, making Underlord an incredible tank who can soak damage while providing support for his team. A Blink Dagger, especially combined with a Blade Mail, allows him to initiate by affecting enemies with Atrophy Aura while tanking the damage hurled at him. Blinking then immediately throwing out Pit of Malice lets him trap the enemy for 2.5 seconds when the skill is at max level.
Underlord can also serve as a Gem of True Sight carrier. He’s often in the middle of fights, providing vision for his team. Then, his durability and escape mechanism mean he has a good chance of surviving fights or, at least, saving the Gem.
Ultimately, Underlord proves to be a hero worth picking up. His strong laning phase, incredible team fighting utility, and flexible ultimate make him an effective pick. On top of that, his abilities and popular items allow him to be an amazing tank. Vrogros has had a strong debut in the months since his release, but each new patch is sure to bring new uses—or weaknesses—to this otherworldly strength hero.