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How to Play Muerta, the Master of Death

The latest hero in Dota 2 has been released with themes relating to Central American culture and a time of great rejoicing for us Latinos being represented in our favorite game.

Muerta, the Master of Death, is described by Valve as a ranged carry that is intelligence-based, which draws similarities to other auto-attack mage heroes like Lina and Outworld Destroyer. She’s a ranged intelligence hero with strong skills for farming, 

However, when it comes to succeeding with Muerta, there are two important rules to keep in mind: having good positioning and controlling your opponent’s positioning. This is true for most heroes, but Muerta has a great skillset that emphasizes those two rules’ importance and can give you an advantage when being mindful of them. 

However you decide to play her, the key to succeeding is to understand your limitations with this hero and to know when you can push that boundary to snag a kill before the enemy kills you. 

Muerta’s skills 

For starters, let’s look at her abilities: 

Screenshot by Nigel Zalamea/ONE Esports

Dead Shot (Q) is your 360MLGNOSCOPE skill shot ability. The range on this skill is incredible and more importantly, it helps you both farm and set up kills. Farming with Dead Shot is simply having the skill bounce off creeps so that it spreads to hit all other creeps nearby. The more interesting aspect is its Fear disable where you can have it bounce off enemies, trees, or creeps to then hit an enemy in a preferred direction to get them off your back or to have them come closer. What’s really nice is that it can be used to interrupt channeling abilities or land far-away shots blindly that could ultimately kill an enemy.

Screenshot by Nigel Zalamea/ONE Esports

The Calling (W) can be used both offensively or defensively. Should an enemy jump you and try to fight, you can pop The Calling’s massive AOE on yourself to slow their attack and movement speed — giving enemies the choice to push through and fight you or to try and flee very slowly. The OoE is massive, so it’s a great zoning tool during the laning stage and can be an easy setup to land your Dead Shot as a follow-through or vice versa.

One more aspect to consider with this ability is the damage and silence component from the revenants that rotate around the area of effect. Positioning this properly can also help break channeling spells or punish long-range casters that are sitting on the edge of a teamfight. 

Screenshot by Nigel Zalamea/ONE Esports

The value of Gunslinger (E) is that any enemy you hit with an effect like Desolator’s Corruption or Daedalus’ Critical effect will be applied to another target. This not only gets you a jump on farming, but also means your output is massively increased as you build up attack speed. At the moment, players are building Maelstrom to increase your farming speed, but please note that the Chain Lightning effect has an internal cooldown, so it’s simply not possible to have the Chain Lighting consecutively with Gunslingers. 

Screenshot by Nigel Zalamea/ONE Esports

Pierce the Veil (R) shifts you into an Ethereal form minus the drawback of taking increased magic damage and makes you immune to all physical attacks. It also shifts your physical attacks to become magical, meaning that high armorheroes will melt to your traditional attack. Furthermore, the ability also gives you increased movement and attack damage, making your output on enemies a force to be reckoned with.

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What items are good on Muerta?

At the moment, items for Muerta are in flux. Maelstrom and Black King Bar seem to be a staple for the hero. With Maelstrom and Gunslinger, you farm incredibly fast to net you larger items that may be necessary for Muerta. Black King Bar combines well with Pierce the Veil, blocking any targeted disables from ever hitting you, and you can’t take any physical damage when shifting into your ultimate ability’s form: it’s the best of both worlds with no drawbacks!

Items that build upon her attack speed, magic damage output (and mana pool since she has very little mana initially) or positioning are keys to unlocking Muerta’s strengths. Be prepared to buy items like Blink Dagger, Hurricane Pike, Scythe of Vyse, and more when determining how best to build this hero.

Does Muerta fit into a role?

Credit: Valve

By the time this article is released, Muerta will be stuck between two identities: the one Valve has set forth as a core hero and the one the community is seeing her as: offlane support. The reality is that because her skillset is so versatile, she can really excel as both, and we’ll have to wait and see what the meta dictates her to be strongest as.

For a midlane core hero, you rely on your first two abilities to get control of the lane, punish enemies that try to go for last-hits or for the rune, and effectively zone them out from the creep wave. Furthermore, once you hit six, the damage you get with Pierce the Veil makes ganking very comfortable for her. If you play her as a midlaner, make sure to set the tempo with regular kills in the lanes and take advantage of your early levels to maximize your output to give your team an advantage. 

As an offlane support, Muerta plays similar to the mid except you are punishing enemies who over-step their positioning with Dead Shot, causing them to be Feared in your direction. Muerta has a lot of different setups depending on your offlaner to make the enemy safelane carry squeamish when playing versus your duo.

Muerta needs to keep the tempo up

While Muerta’s current win rate seems low, approximately 44 percent at the time of writing, she still excels in a variety of ways, especially during the early stages of the game. Her skill set combos well on its own or with a team, and she effectively interrupts other magic-based heroes with her Dead Shot and The Calling. Pierce the Veil helps mix up the damage when taking down tanky foes and effectively makes you invulnerable in combination with your Black King Bar.

Be proactive with Muerta to ensure you can compensate for any weaknesses you may experience by dominating your lanes, setting up regular ganks, and keep the tempo in your favour. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my guide in-game where I will be regularly revising and updating the hero and be sure to follow me on Twitter: @TorteDeLini and Twitch: /TorteDeLini for guide information.