How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Murk
Guys, if you couldn’t guess by the title, Murky was on sale last week, and as one of the most polarizing heroes currently in Heroes of The Storm, I foresee quite a number of people picking him up for under 5 dollars. With this spike in people who own Murky, we all need to prepare for his presence in our games and the pain that comes with play against, or with a Murky Player. For those of you thinking about picking up Murky, I’ll go over my preferred build for Murky. We’ll also discuss how best to compliment a Murky on your team, and how to counter an enemy Murky. For this guide, keep in mind that Murky is not a character I would suggest for new players, as he is very difficult to play efficiently.
First off, let’s discuss Murky, and what his place within the game is. Murky is a no-mana melee specialist, with an extremely unique trait, which allows him to have near-constant game presence (More on that later.) His health pool is the lowest of all heroes currently in the game, but left alone he is a monster of a lane pusher. Couple this with his raw power in teamfights, and you have an extremely potent hero when played by someone who knows what they’re doing. The other side of that coin is his extremely steep learning curve and sky-high skill cap, which, in the hands of an inexperienced player can spell disaster for his allies, and make you feel as though you are constantly a man down for teamfighting.
Before we get into my preferred build, consider Murky’s kit. His Trait is an active ability on the D key, called Spawn Egg. When you use this ability you place an egg on the ground that gives you vision, and allows you to respawn from that spot in 5 seconds upon dying. If the enemy team kills your egg you’re revealed for 15 seconds, and during that time will have a full death timer. Given how fragile Murky is, and the constant presence he has on the battlefield, he only counts as .25 of a Hero Kill for the enemy team.
Now for his abilities.
Q: Slime – 4 Second Cooldown. Deal 62.2 (+6.2 per level) damage and applies Sline on nearby enemies for 8 seconds, slowing them by 20%. Deals 155.5 (+15.5 per level) to enemies who are already slimed.
W: Pufferfish – 15 second cooldown. Spit out a Pufferfish at the target point. After 3 seconds, the fish will blow up for 170 (+36 per level) damage. Enemies can attack the fish to prevent it from exploding.
E: Safety Bubble – 14 second cooldown. Becomes Invulnerable for 2 seconds. While active, you cannot attack or use abilities.
R1: March of the Murlocs – 100 second cooldown. Command a legion of Murlocs to march in a target direction, each one leaping onto the first enemy Hero or Structure they find. Each Murlock deals 67.5 (+7.5 per level) damage and slows its target by 15% for 5 seconds. Does half damage to Structures.
R2: Octo-Grab – 50 Second Cooldown. Summon an octopus to stun target enemy Hero for 3.0625 seconds while you hit them for 1 damage a second.
At first glance, Murky’s kit looks equal parts boring and confusing. However when used to its fullest potential it can be devastating against players, mercenaries and structures alike. Murky is an interesting Hero, in that he doesn’t those massive power spikes at certain levels like many heroes do, instead, each of his talents builds upon his kit and he only becomes more of a nuisance as the game goes on. Speaking of talents, let’s take a look at that build, shall we?
Level 1: Bubble Breeze – Gain 20% movement speed while in Safety Bubble. At early points in the game you’re going to be playing very defensively to avoid getting 1-2 shot by enemy heroes, for this, Bubble Breeze is a much more controlled defensive talent than Block is. Later in the game it works as a great chasing enable to get those final hits on your enemies. That being said, Block is definitely viable against a lot of slow Auto Attackers such as Leoric or Nova, so pick accordingly.
Level 4: Living The Dream – Passively grants 5% Ability Power. Every 5 seconds murky is alive he gains 1% more Ability Power, to a maximum of 15% extra. These stacks are lost on death. A huge buff to damage, and it also motivates you to play alive and play more carefully. Since the envenom nerf, I don’t think there is really an alternative at this talent tier at all. When you are at max stacks you can tear through an opponent’s health pool like tissue paper.
Level 7: Slime Advantage – Your Basic Attacks deal 100% bonus damage to Slimed Targets. There was a time when I first started playing Murky that I would take compressed air for the additional range on Pufferfish, however most of the time you’re using Pufferfish on players they will be crowd controlled in some way, so the extra range is much less important than you would think. However, your Basic Attack damage is not extraordinarily high, so effectively doubling it will help with your ganking potential.
Level 10: Octograb – As adorable as March of The Murlocs is, it just doesn’t stand up to Octograb, 99% of the time. Now, when we look at Octograb it seems very underwhelming. 1 damage per second? You’re not taking Octograb for the damage until later on (See level 20 talents). Until then you will essentially be using it as a tool to keep people still while your other abilities and your teammates do the work.
Level 13: Wrath of Cod – Increases Pufferfish’s damage by 35% against slimed targets. Aside from having one of the best names for a talent in the entire game, this is an incredible talent. Once again, most of the time you’re using pufferfish the enemy is crowd controlled in some way, and this will likely involve slime to slow them. The damage increase here is deceptively high by level 13,
and will catch a lot of enemies by surprise.
Level 16: Slimy Pufferfish – The Pufferfish casts slime at its location upon landing. It’s almost insane how synergistic this talent is with the level 13 choice. Used appropriately it will guarantee the additional damage from Pufferfish, and makes that ability one of the most potent teamfight abilities in the game.
Level 20: …And a Shark Too! – Increases the damage of Octo-Grab by 10000%. Pretty straightforward, significantly buffs Octograb’s damage, probably ensuring kills on octograbbed targets provided you are using your other abilities appropriately. The best part of this talent, however, is that Murky now pulls out a GIANT SHARK to hit the target with. Absolutely incredible!
I find that while playing Murky I do not tend to off pick talents very often, unless I have a very specific team comp, typically if I have a friendly Abathur, let’s take a look at that build.
Build #2 – Organism Abathur is With Me
Level 1: I’ll still be picking between Bubble Breeze and Block, depending on the enemy team comp, just like in the previous build.
Level 4: Living The Dream is probably Murky’s best talent, so you would be very wise to take advantage of its DPS increase
Level 7: Slime Advantage – Provided Abathur picked the Increased Auto Attack speed talent, you’ll still want to pick Slime Advantage. If Abathur is going for more of a damage build for spikes, then Hindering Slime is a valid pick as well, to keep people in range longer.
Level 10: Octo-Grab! Holding an enemy still for Abathur is a great play, especially if he’s gone hat-damage build rather than buff build.
Level 13: Bubble Machine – Safety Bubble Coodlown reduced by 5 seconds. Being able to rotate Abathur Shields with your own will allow you to reach maximum survivability and harassment levels.
Level 16: Rejuvenating Bubble – Safety Bubble restores 50% of your Health. Long ago, early in Murky’s lifetime in Heroes of The Storm, this talent restores all of your health in one go, and it was the go-to talent at this tier. Post nerf it is really more of a reaction pick if you have an Abathur, which will allow the two of you to lane together with no real need for support. Granted, late game you should be with your team more often than not, but the synergy here is still extremely powerful.
Level 20: …And A Shark Too! Is obviously still a really powerful talent, but with an Abathur on your team, Rewind is also extremely potent, being able to slow an enemy into oblivion, or double bubble is a very powerful tool when paired with Abathur’s hat.
General Tips for Playing Murky – I MURK, I DIE, I MURK AGAIN! SLIMY AND GREEN I AM AWAITED IN VALHALLA!
- Know when it is OK to die. I’m of the opinion, any trait that requires you to die to take advantage of is bad until proven otherwise (See Diablo). Murky’s trait however has been proven otherwise, you can strategically die to better position yourself, take the following example; Is there a teamfight busting out near your egg? If you’re on the other side of the map dueling their out of position 5th member, let yourself die. You’ll get to the teamfight more quickly, and people LOVE killing Murky, so it shouldn’t be too hard to bait your opponent into killing you.
- Be aggressive with your egg placement. Your egg getting killed is not the end of the world. Sure it sucks, but the benefit of having your egg tucked away in the middle of the map will give you amazing presence in hectic teamfights. Additionally, if an enemy sees you spawn, it’s time to move your egg. Moving the egg around consistently will keep your enemy guessing, and could occupy one or more hero late game.
- Understand that by mid-late game you can probably duel almost anyone on the enemy team and win. Murky does a truly disgusting amount of damage by level 13-16 that it becomes very hard for someone to 1v1 you and walk away if you are utilizing your pufferfish/slime combo.
- Past level 13 when you take Wrath of Cod get good at throwing the fish slightly ahead of where the enemy is moving, this will slow them enough that they will probably not escape. Bonus points if you yell “COD” in a William Shatner Voice whenever casting Pufferfish.
General Tips for Playing With Murky – What would you suggest to pair with the fish?
- Any hero that can give attack speed, shields, or other straight up buffs pairs great with Murky. One of my favorite combos is the Murky/Abathur Combo. Murky with a tophat and attack speed buff becomes a nigh unstoppable engine of hate and destruction in the late game. This will probably remain the same once Lt. Morales is live with her stimdrone as well.
- Try and avoid getting in his way. As a big character your instinct is going to be to try and body block to protect Murky, but he needs to be up in the enemy’s face. Let him get in there with his slime and his fish, he can get away with the bubble, I promise.
- Focus the Octograb Target. Murky is fairly vulnerable for the 3 seconds of Octograb, if you see it go out and hit an opponent, you have the time to burn that enemy to 0 life if your whole team focuses them.
Countering Murky – A few Weird Tricks to get more fish this season, environmentalists hate it!
- Both Stealth characters are great Counters to Murky in lane early game. Nova particularly can 1 shot, or nearly 1 shot Murky with a well placed Snipe until about level 6. Keeping him out of lane early game can help your team maintain an XP lead up until whatever map objective spawns. Late game Zeratul and Nova are both great Egg Hunters, for more on this, see below.
- Know when it is appropriate to hunt Murky’s Egg. Similar to Abathur hunting, there is a right and wrong time. Wrong times include any time in the early game, or when a team fight is breaking out with the 4 other members of your team and all 5 members of the opposing team. Right times include when your team already has a 3-4 level advantage, or if 2-3 of the enemy team is down, and your team is NOT able to push core to win. Hunting Murky’s egg can serve multiple purposes; obviously it can lead to benching him for a full respawn timer, but it can also bait him out of a lane to come protect his egg if he is close.
- As we spoke about in the tips for playing Murky, he is pretty vulnerable while stunning an opponent with Octograb, he is essentially stunned himself. If an octograb is used out of position, punish it, not only can this net you a sweet sweet .25 kill, it will probably save your poor octopus violated team mate.
- Wait for the Bubble. The Bubble is Murky’s main way to stay alive. Do not burn your abilities first and allow him to bubble away. Knock down his health with auto attacks, and if he re-engages after the bubble, then burn your cooldowns to quickly take care of him.
That’s all I’ve got on Murky, hopefully at least a few people get in on buying Murky, but more importantly hopefully people will learn to effectively play and counterplay the little fish, he truly is one of the most fun and unique heroes currently in the game, so get out there and Murk to your heart’s content!