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Where does Muerta, Dota 2’s new hero, fit in the meta?

Muerta, Dota 2’s newest hero, seems to be finally finding her groove.

Initially pegged as a scaling ranged carry that deals magic damage with right clicks, she seems to be doing best in support roles, according to Dota 2 Pro Tracker.

Muerta only has positive win rates in positions four and five, while carries and mids clock in at an abysmal sub-43 percent win rate. Offlane is barely below 50 percent, with wildly varying builds, ranging from secondary carry to utility.

While there were calls of the hero being underpowered, Muerta’s winrate has been steadily increasing across all levels of play, according to Dotabuff. She’s gone from a 42.57 percent win rate on release to 46.56 percent at the time of writing. Another factor could also be her pick rate tanking — she was present in three out of four games but it’s down to one in four now — meaning she no longer gets first-picked into direct counters.

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Muerta’s ultimate might not be her best spell

Screenshot by Nigel Zalamea/ONE Esports

When played as a support, Dead Shot becomes the star of the show for Muerta. As players are improving with the hero, we’ve seen numerous combos that the gunslinger can pull off.

The obvious one is fearing enemies into awkward positions, whether that means directly into themselves for additional right clicks, or into the arms of an awaiting ally.

Another potent usage of Q is to use it to hit two targets. On hit, Dead Shot provides a 100 percent slow, while the ricochet fears another target away.

It’s especially good in the side lanes since there are always two heroes. This can be used to harass, secure kills, and even prevent backline help from engaging you.

Dead Shot also sets up a mini combo with The Calling. An instant silence can be followed up with a fear back into the AOE, which can catch out targets who don’t expect their escape skills to be nullified.

The level 15 talent, which gives Dead Shot 250 extra cast range, is likely key to improving her win rate. It’s currently doubly effective, since the cast and bullet both gain the 250 additional range, meaning you can hit units 500 range further.

It’s not certain whether this interaction was intended, but it can be stacked with other cast range bonuses like Aether Lens and Eye of the Vizier for some truly absurd range.

What’s Muerta’s future in drafts?

Muerta seems to be trending towards more of a support role, and that’s likely where she’ll be most effective for the time being.

Suppose her crowd control skills remain powerful parts of her kit, dependent on future patches. In that case, Muerta could evolve into a flexible pick that can be picked in earlier phases of the draft and swap roles when necessary.

Otherwise, she might be more of a lower-priority gotcha against specific hard carries that she deals well with — those that rely almost purely on physical spells or attacks and with little mobility to get away from Pierce the Veil autos.

Her ultimate is still quite powerful, even purely as a defensive feature. Rendering oneself completely immune to physical damage is a game-changer in any role, and the offensive aspect of the spell shouldn’t be overlooked even from a support position.