How we would have changed Dota 2’s Underlord

Pit Lord’s arrival in Valve’s sequel is faithful to his original incarnation, but what if he wasn’t?
The Underlord character was revealed at Dota2's TI6 All-Star event
Underlord’s TI6 All-Star reveal © Valve
By Chris Higgins

The roster of Dota 1 has finally been completed in Valve's sequel, six years on from its professional gaming debut. At Dota 2's The International in Seattle, the last hero of the original menagerie, Underlord, made a big entrance to the All Star match. Given his lengthy absence from play, we were expecting him to return with a bag of new tricks, but he's surprisingly faithful to his original incarnation as the Pit Lord.

This week, he's ready to whisk you and your entire team to the other side of every pub match as everyone gets to grips with the abyssal horror. Let's first take a look at what he's capable of in the infographic below.

Pit Lord promises to add yet more variety to Dota 2's meta, both in pubs and in future top flight tournaments, but what if Icefrog made a mistake staying true to his old abilities? Could he have been made even better? How could we improve on the grandmaster of balance's divine will? Well, here's a few things we'd gift old Vrogos on his return.

Dark Ryft, it’s Lyft but for demons

While his most important defining ability has made it into Dota 2 almost untouched, we think perhaps it's not as gamebreaking in the modern day as it was before upgraded Boots of Travel existed. Being able to essentially airdrop your entire team, as long as they stay near you, onto any allied unit or structure is a pretty great boon when you may be up against some split-pushing rats. But what if you are the rats?

Imagine your team desperately trying to push out two lanes while your opponents are coming high ground. What if Dark Rift grabbed every allied hero on the map and took them to a specific point? Obviously this being true of the standard ult would be a bit broken, but maybe an Aghanim's upgrade for the future? Omniknight's global Guardian Angel mixed with KOTL's recall, what could possibly go wrong?

© NoobFromUA

A Trophy Aura

There are a few heroes in the game that gain advantage from heroes dying nearby. Pudge earns his Flesh Heap stacks, Silencer seems to get smarter for some reason (probably brain eating), and Legion Commander gets extra damage after winning every sparring match in Duel. The difference with Underlord is that the bonus damage he earns from Atrophy Aura is only temporary.

This seems fair, given the damage he earns every time a hero dies nearby is a massive 45 at the highest level (four times Legion's bonus from being the best at swords) and the aura also negatively affects enemies. But what if instead of having a huge bonus for only a minute or so, he earned a small bonus permanently, like his infiniscaling peers?

Creep deaths would still only temporarily affect him, giving him some way to hulk up for a big fight by clearing a wave or two, because that seems like a really interesting dynamic for a hero.

Pit of Balance

Right, the previous suggestions are almost certainly the most overpowered ideas that prove none of us can take over from the blessed Icefrog, but here's where the madness ends. Specifically, the madness of Pit of Malice.

Broken down to its base components, the Pit is a 550-diameter Treant Protector ult for 0.5 seconds less disable than the first level. It's not a stun, so you can still attack and cast spells, but no movement abilities can go through the root, and it cancels channelled spells.

More than that, it cancels channelled spells through magic immunity. Every 12 seconds. Black Hole, Death Ward, Epicenter wind up, Freezing Field, Fiend's Grip; none of them are safe behind a BKB anymore. Many root statuses go through BKB, but they all have some level of trade-off, either being a long-cooldown ultimate (Treant), or pseudo-random chance (Lone Druid’s bear). Perhaps this is the one thing we'd nerf about the big lad, as piercing spell immunity with an already great AoE disable is a little over-the-top.

What about you, do you have any ideas for what you'd like to see Underlord do? Have a play with the demonic portal-keeper and let us know how he should be buffed or nerfed.

Infographic courtesy of For more eSports coverage, follow @RedBulleSports on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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