Many years after DotA 2 was first launched, we’re finally at the point where all the heroes from the original Warcraft 3 mod has been ported.
Vrogros “The Underlord”, originally Azgalor, “The Pit Lord”, was released on August 23, making him DotA 2’s 112th and final original hero.
Below, we’ll be talking about the new hero’s abilities, as well as his ideal item builds and hero synergies.
“Underlord calls down waves of fire that damage enemy units in the target area and continues to burn them for additional damage over time.”
Playing as Vrogros, firestorm is going to be your main AoE damage spell. It’s not channeling, which is good, and lasts for a full 7. Aside from the initial impact damage, the ability also places a Damage over Time debuff on enemy units that lasts for 2 seconds. Buildings are immune from this ability.
Pit of Malice
“A deadly pit is conjured at the target location. Any unit that enters is unable to move for some time and takes damage. Each enemy can only be affected once per cast.”
Another AoE spell that synergizes well Firestorm as it stops enemy movement and prevents them from escaping via Blink Daggers, Teleportation, Blink, Phase Shift, and so on. Also, invisible units are revealed throughout the spell’s duration and the ability also stops any channeling spells. However, rooted enemies can still auto attack, cast spells, and use cancelled channeling spells once the ability ends.
“Nearby enemy units are weakened, losing a portion of their base damage. If it dies while under this effect, Underlord gains bonus damage.”
This ability is by no means OP. The 900 range aura all but makes sure of that. If that’s not enough, it also only removes a percentage of the enemies’ base damage. This means what’s only affected are the base attack damage and the damage given by their primary attribute. Raw bonus damage from items such as Skull Basher, and so on, remains unaffected.
Furthermore, the bonus damage received is only from wards, buildings, creeps and heroes. It does not include clones and illusions. It also only lasts for 25-70 seconds and damage increments are not refreshed at each increment.
“Opens a dark rift at the targeted friendly unit’s position. After a short delay, Underlord and all nearby friendly heroes are teleported to that unit’s location. Dark Rift can be cancelled at any time during the cast. If it is cancelled in this way or the target unit dies before the spell becomes active, Dark Rift goes into cooldown.”
This ability allows you to teleport allies, as well as clones and even invulnerable units. Illusions, as well as hidden units (from Astral Imprisonment or Disruption), however, are not affected. You can also use this ability to teleport onto any allied unit on the map, except for wards. There’s a downside to this ability, though. The cooldown is 2 minutes, which is quite long. Also, the ability goes on cool down if you cancel forcefully or if it gets cancelled or if the unit you’re teleporting to dies or gets killed. There’s no doubt that this is a game changing ultimate, and we’ll likely see it utilized a lot in the upcoming competitions and majors.
Crystal Maiden pairs well with The Underlord because her Arcane Aura allows Vrogros to spam his abilities more often. The same goes for Witch Doctor, as his Voodoo Restoration is sure to come in handy with Vrogros’ builds likely to feature a soul ring early in the game. Any other hero that can provide mana synergizes with Vrogros as well. Vrogros also fits quite nicely in most aggressive push-type strategies. He can also help heroes such as Nature’s Prophet, Beastmaster and Broodmother. Vrogros’ abilities allow him to clear creep waves for faster pushing, and at the same time, provide them with a reliable escape mechanism.
Underlord will have a hard time dealing with tanky carries that can easily regenerate the damage from his AoE spells, such as Dragon Knight and Ursa. Also, his lack of any instant escape mechanism or defensive spell makes him a vulnerable target for heroes with burst damage, such as Queen of Pain, Lion, Nyx Assassin.
Underlord’s role in the future may change, depending on how he’s utilized in competitive play. So far, however, his best roles are as an offlaner or as a support for the safe lane carry.
Regardless of your role, you’ll always want to max out Firestorm first and alternate getting it with Pit of Malice. Of course, you’ll want to get Dark Rift whenever possible. Also, since you’re not a carry hero, nor a tank, you’ll want to put off getting Atrophy Aura until you hit level 10. Remember, your main role in team fights is to disrupt and damage enemies via Pit of Malice and Firestorm. Feel free to get Pit of Malice at level 1 instead of Firestorm if your team is looking to secure first blood early in the game.
Of course, what you build is completely up to you. It should also depend on your style of play and team composition. However, consider adding the items found in the list below as they synergize well with The Underlord’s abilities.
Tango, Branches, Salves
Ideally, you’ll want to start off with 2 branches, and a tango. Spend the rest of your gold on either an observer ward or courier.
Magic stick / Magic wand
This item will come in handy against heroes who tend to spam their abilities, such as Phantom Assassin, Batrider, and so on. Buy/build this after you’ve bought wards or a courier.
Buy this so you can use your firestorm more often to farm creep waves and harass enemy heroes.
Boots of Speed / Arcane Boots / Boots of Travel
Avoid getting Power Treads as you won’t benefit from the extra attack speed it grants. Get yourself a normal Boots of Speed and upgrade it to an Arcane Boots if you’re having mana issues. If not, you can upgrade it to a Boots of Travel later on for increased split pushing and ganking ability.
Hood of Defiance / Mekansm
When against a heavy magic damage team, offer to be the one to build a Pipe of Insight (upgradable from Hood of Defiance). But, if your team doesn’t have a mek carrier, prioritize Mekansm. Either of the two should somehow negate Soul Ring’s health/mana trade-off and allow you to support your team better in clashes.
Who doesn’t get themselves a Blink Dagger these days? In Vrogros’ case, Blink Dagger isn’t just an initiation tool. You can also use it to save teammates by using Dark Rift and blinking onto your teammate.
More of a situational item, best get this if you plan on going Boots of Travel and have good pushers to stack Necro units within your team, such as Nature’s Propher and Beastmaster.
Other luxury and optional items: Of course, being mainly a support hero in competitive games, you won’t be getting much money or time to build more expensive items. If you do get the chance, build a Scythe of Vyse or a Shiva’s Guard. Also, optional items such as Eul’s Scepter of Divinity and Force Staff may be quite useful too, depending on the situation.
WHAT NOT TO GET:
While Rod of Atos is a great item that can help you set up your spells, Force Staff or Eul’s Scepter are better choices. Don’t even think about getting an Armley of Morddigian too, unless it’s a pub game and you plan on being a carry. Also, Shadow Blade is just too expensive for Vrogros. If you want to initiate more often for your team, it’d be better to build a Force Staff (added range and mobility) and then buy a Blink Dagger.
Well, that’s the end of our guide. Hopefully, this has been a huge help to you, our readers, who plan on or are currently experimenting with the new hero. Don’t worry, we will update the guide accordingly in the few months, especially once Underlord is balanced out and after we see more of the hero in the competitive scene.
Written by Ray Ian Ampoloquio