Murky. The fishman. (Formerly) worst hero in the game. Nobody aroused stronger emotions in Heroes players than Murky, and I doubt anything’s changed. When I was doing my placement matches for this season, a teammate picking Murky first had everyone else, except me, threatening to quit before the game even started. I tried to rally the troops, but in the end we could only reduce the enemy to two keeps before the inevitable. Little did that forgotten Murky fan know that he was a mere two months early.
(Random thought: I wish ZP has chosen Murky instead of Gazlowe for his solo-queue-to-rank-1 challenge. Yes, rank 1. It was that long ago. He climbed to within one game of the promised land, and his team had Sylvanas on the old school Haunted Mines, but then someone left at the draft screen and a deluge of losses ensued. Never trust a goblin.)
There’s a general consensus on the best Murky build now, so even though I’ll go through that, this guide will include the finer points of Murky too.
Level 1: A Fishy Deal (Picked 71.7% of the time among Diamond/Master players)
This is probably the main reason Murky is so dominant right now. Almost every map has a camp or two consisting of two mercs, so sometimes you can bribe both yours and the enemy’s at about the same time. But, as a general rule, I never take the enemy’s camps unless I can bribe the whole camp and I haven’t been seen en route. There’s just too high a chance of getting jacked.
You need to get everything you can out of this talent to live up to Murky’s potential. Unfortunately, this means last hitting with pufferfish. (At least it’s far less tedious than DOTA-style last hitting).
To kill a minion wave with pufferfish at level 1, you need to slime the entire wave twice, and then immediately lay down pufferfish. It’s much better if you limit the slime radius to the back four minions the second time you slime, otherwise you’re going to prematurely kill the minions in the front, which will be taking damage from your own minions during this time.
The main threat to this is of course the other hero. If it’s someone who can effectively poke you, just get in there, slime, get out, slime again, pufferfish. There’s no need to hit the minions or the enemy hero more than this in order to get fishy deal stacks.
Try to preserve your health the first time you slime. If they are attacking your pufferfish right when you throw it down, you can try to prevent this by bubbling near the pufferfish so they can’t target it effectively.
Some heroes, like Valeera, might try to gank you at this point in the game. Actually, I guess it’s just her and Zeratul; you’ll see everyone else coming except for Nova, who can be thwarted by hiding among your own minions so they absorb snipes. I’m not too sure what you can do against Valeera aside from being extra careful. At least she’s ganking you and not somebody else.
Later on in the game, pufferfish will be able to kill the whole wave after one or even zero slimes. I think this is around level 13 or so, but try it for yourself. There are no pufferfish talents in this build though.
Level 4: Slime Time (84.0%)
This is mainly to improve Murky in team fights. Pufferfish builds are too easily countered by avoiding it in team fights. If you just want to kill minions with it, tufferfish is unnecessary. Living the dream is a great name for a talent, but if someone wants you dead, they can force you to run at the very least. There’s a reason that don’t-die-or-you-lose-your-stacks are generally unpopular.
Level 7: Black Lagoon (59.3%)
Black lagoon just fits in better with your slime build. A time to krill (34.0%) will stop people from running away, but if your talent requires that the other team just ignore you, especially as Murky, that should be a red flag in my opinion.
Level 10: March of the Murlocs (89.2%)
The other big buff Murky just got; the cooldown was reduced from 100 to 80 seconds and the tiny Murlocs are now 30% faster and 30% more annoying.
To get the best use out of this, just remember that if the enemy can run, they will. Sounds obvious, but we’ve all used an ult during a team fight that’s far from any objective, and voila, wasted ult. To keep from becoming a sad Murky, only use it near an objective, or maybe a tower.
I still get people demanding I take Octograb in some of my games and there might be a place for it. Obviously, cleanse gets rid of Octo, and you’ll know when the other team gets level 7 whether they took it (though Kharazim can also get rid of Octo with level 16 talent cleansing touch, so beware).
But even if they don’t have cleanse, is it ever better than march? I think the only time would be on a map with multiple objectives spawning at once, like Towers of Doom or maybe Warhead Junction. I don’t think Braxis Holdout counts because you can’t just fulfill the map objective in a couple seconds like you can on those other two maps; the points have to be held for a long time. But most of the time, the map and the presence of cleanse will make the choice for you.
Level 13: Rejuvenating Bubble (75.1%)
The problem with fish tank, like a time to krill, is that you can’t expect the enemy to ignore you that long. Taking fish tank is just trying to solve Murky’s worst problem (durability) by forcing you onto the front lines, hitting enemy heroes: the last place Murky wants to be. Bubble does the same job, and better.
Level 16: Toxic Buildup (66.2%)
The only non-pufferfish option at this tier. Wrath of cod (2.7%) would in theory be good against octograbbed tanks. That’s a very niche role. And as for fish oil, there are much easier ways of sliming people…like toxic buildup!
Level 20: Big Tuna Kahuna (44.0%)
Finally, some real disagreement. There’s just nothing else you can do to survive stuns other than taking this. If you’re confident the other team will ignore you, take making inky. I’ve already mentioned why I think that’s a bad idea. But if you think you can get away with it, knock yourself out.
Other Stuff (e.g. egg placement)
I don’t like to be too aggressive with egg placement because it doesn’t make that much of a difference. If you’re the only one trying to take an objective, and you die, it doesn’t matter how close your egg is. You’re going to lose that objective without help.
Another reason is that even with help, you don’t get back into the fight that much faster. Take Battlefield of Eternity. It will take you about 20 seconds to ride from the fountain to the nearest immortal. If you spawned at a fort, probably less than ten. How much would you gain if you put it in the nearest possible steam vent? Five seconds tops? It’s the quintessential high-risk low-reward scenario to me.
Other than that, just be aggressive with Murky. Get all the stacks you can every chance you get; don’t be sloppy. Try to get your slime quest done ASAP. Only take enemy camps if you haven’t been seen and you can bribe the entire camp (or, obviously, you’re sure nobody can stop you in time).
Thanks for reading. It’s time for me to go back in with Murky atop his golden cock and take revenge for years of insults.