With the release of the Lucio patch to Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard has seemingly resurrected a much-loved Hero. A former glorified character that once upon a time arguably took down Team DK, the Korean giants, for Cloud9 at the very first Global Championship.
That’s right, Murky the Baby Murloc!
For some time now, Murky has not been favoured in the Meta for multiple reasons; mostly because recent Hero releases allow his style of play to be easily countered.
Developer Comment: Mrrgrgrlgrl! Rise my brother murlocs! Mrrrgrgrlrlgrl! Vengeance will be ours! In examining Murky, his original health and egg timers are vestiges of a different time, created before even Jaina entered the Nexus.
It seems the Developers realized that post Murky, Hero releases have not been favourable to him and have decided to buff up a few things to compensate.
Murky has been a niche pick for quite some time and this rework was a chance for Blizzard to inject some viability for Murky in the Meta, however this does not appear to be the case. Unfortunately, no matter how well they buff his Slime or health, he is still easily countered. His Octo-Grab is still nerfed into the ground giving him no CC, he offers little advantage aside from split pushing a lane, and on most maps he is still of little to no assistance in gaining Objectives. These points aside though, they have managed to reinvigorate the silly and fun experience that differentiates Heroes from the other popular MOBA games. This is by far a massive improvement from the previous iteration. Although on the flip side, they have also brought back the annoying little toad who is always taking down Towers and Forts when left unchecked.
By far the most ingenious Talent rework has to be the addition of Egg Hunt. Not only is it fun to play mind games with the enemy, but this new Talent is also a useful tool for vision and strategy. For example, on Tomb of the Spider Queen, you can place a fake Egg near one of the turn in points to provide critical vision on the Objective. This will give your team vital knowledge of exactly when the enemy team is handing in. Not only that, but it’s a cost-free ability AND if destroyed, the Egg will also punish the enemy with a sneaky Slime! It really is a win-win ability.
Along with many other Talent changes, one build seems to have stood the test of time – the Slime build. It is a high damage, cost effective build that is hard to ignore when executed properly. Straight off the bat, his Slime now adds a 25% Slow. Combine that with Talents such as Slime Time, Time to Krill, Toxic Build-up and Making Inky and he will delete the sturdiest of targets. Another big change is a controversial Tank build giving the squishy fish a high health pool and massive damage mitigation.
Developer Comment: We wanted to give him more base health to make him a little harder to burst down, but traded it for a little longer time to respawn from his Egg.
Not only have they increased his base health, but they’ve also given him a couple of interesting Talent choices to increase his survivability. First, Egg Shell at Level 13 gives Murky a shield equal to 100% of his maximum health. Then for the kicker, Big Tuna Kahuna at Level 20 doubles Murky’s health pool. This means that at Level 20 he will have 3337 health, over a 400% increase from his starting health of 792. Combine this with the shield from Egg Shell and Murky can have more effective health than a Level 20 Muradin (6675 versus 5774). Broken.
On top of this, there have been some other changes as well. For instance, Pufferfish (W) has a larger radius built into the ability, deals 50% less damage to Structures, and has a higher health pool with better health scaling. However, it is now targetable by Towers, Forts, and Keeps as well as AOE Abilities. This means placement is more important than ever.
All around, this latest rework for Murky makes for a new, fun experience that will almost certainly dominate in the lower leagues of play. Unfortunately, in the upper echelon he will undoubtedly prove to be of little challenge. With the new and improved Slime build, Tank build, and changes to certain mechanics he is definitely worth dusting off and trying again. But don’t spit all your eggs into one basket, as he will not be the new high tier pub stomp Hero.