How to annoy enemies and teammates alike: A Master Murky guide by DoubleUHarrison

How to annoy enemies and teammates alike: A Master Murky guide

By: DoubleUHarrison
Last Updated: Jun 6, 2016
4 Votes
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Build 1 of 3


Build: General Build

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20


Build: Bubble Build

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20


Build: Annoy-O-Tron Build

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Table of Contents Top

Introduction Top

We all know that Murky is a quirky, annoying specialist with a propensity for equal amounts of violence and annoyance, but who is hereally?

In a weird, roundabout kind of way I consider Murky to be the HOTS character closest to a fighting game character. The mechanics are all there: Spacing, annoyance, poking, using safe moves to press an advantage, and in general being a pain in the butt.

Basically, I'm saying that Murky is the Murloc version of Ryu. Victory is found in the heart of mrglrgrlgl.

I hope to use this guide to shed some light on the more psychological advantages that Murky can have over an opposing team, especially when you can take advantage of their pre-concieved notions of Murky play and catch enemy off guard.

Also.... Here's some Murloc noises. You all know it's why you're here.

I’m Will Harrison, video game critic for the Toledo Blade and this is the updated version of my previous guide on Murky, Murloc supreme and my favorite character in HOTS. He's the only character I have over level 10 and the only Master costume I've purchased. I love him dearly.

Let's murgle.

At A Glance Top

In the four pillars of HOTS hero types, Murky falls under the category of Specialist. What does this really mean? To be honest, the archetype is a misnomer, as Murky is an adept ganker and expert duelist in addition to being a great siege engine and all around pain in the rear.

Here is a short rundown of Murky for those that LOVE bullet points:

  • Has the ability to create havoc, pester, and annoy, thanks to his passive trait.
  • Doesn’t use mana for his abilities.
  • Incredibly fast health regeneration
  • Very high burst damage capabilities from Level 10 and up, with this ability growing exponentially at level 20.
  • One of the best junglers in the game.
  • His Safety Bubble allows him to play footsies in lane, as well as escape, mess up skill shots, and in general be a jerk.
  • Is an absolute monster in 1v1 situations against non-warrior characters.
  • Is one of the few characters that can operate solo, split pushing or harassing objectives without hurting the team by being out of place.
  • Players who don’t know how he works will always be at a disadvantage, thanks to his unorthodox play style.
  • Is a Murloc, and therefore is better than every other character.

  • The smallest health pool in the game, which still comes into play despite his faster re-spawn.
  • Completely reliant on keeping his Spawn Egg safe. If your Spawn Egg is found, you’ve effectively been taken off the board as a threat to anyone or anything for at least 20 seconds.
  • His offensive centers around being close to opponents who can often kill you in just a few hits; as such, it is easy to make mistakes or find yourself stuck in bad situations.
  • Nearly worthless in team fights until Level 13 and/or 16.
  • His best tools, the Pufferfish and Octo-Grab are able to be countered and Cleansed. Good players will plan for it accordingly.
  • Very cooldown heavy.
  • The sheer fact that picking Murky causes people in public matches to act as if picking him was a waste. Be prepared for potentially getting a ton of negative feedback.
  • Little variety in regards to viable talent choices, especially at levels 4, 7, and 16.
  • Requires a high level of coordination and timing to play well.

Trait Top

Why is Murky so annoying? What harm could a baby fish monster with an overbite really cause? The root of all answers stems from Murky’s passive trait Spawn Egg.

At first glance, you may assume that you read the ability wrong or that this is some type of typo. Your eyes have not deceived you: Murky does indeed return to the field of battle 5 seconds after death for as long as there is an Spawn Egg on the field.

This ability is Murky’s greatest advantage, as well as his biggest curse.

The Spawn Egg allows Murky to be aggressive in-lane as well as at team fights centered around capture points. Essentially, a well placed Spawn Egg can turn a 4v5 fight into a 6v5 fight as Murky picks off squishier enemies and stragglers, or potentially jumps in the way of potentially lethal attacks aimed at fellow team members. Enemies may think they are seeing double each time they kill Murky, only to see him rear his fishy head to slap foes with his trout over and over.

The Spawn Egg can also serve as a fount of frustration in regards to your foes. Some players gain a mindset of searching out and destroying Murky eggs through an entire game without realizing they’ve fallen into Murky’s trap. A player focused on eliminating the Egg is a player that is, most likely, out of position and focusing efforts away from objectives and team fights. More to the point, frustrated players may waste Ultimates and cool downs on Murky, failing to notice that he has returned 5 seconds after dying and is back for revenge.

The Egg is also a problem in that many Murky players allow it to be a crutch. It’s very easy to overextend and Murky, and proper Egg placement plays a big part. A well-placed Egg can allow Murky to push lanes, siege, or give his team the upper hand in a fight. A poorly placed Egg can leave Murky vulnerable or scrambling away from key positions in an attempt to place his Egg and avoid further detection.

A note: The Egg can be placed in stealth areas, but will appear if an enemy enters that same patch of stealth. Proper Egg placement changes from map to map, so take a hard look at stealth placements and find spots that are safe as well as advantageous.

Abilities Top

Slime is Murky’s main spammable ability that hits everything in an area around him, marking hit enemies as Slimed. With a short cooldown, a slow, and decent damage, Slime is a strong part of Murky’s kit in clearing lanes, staying safe, and being annoying. The area of effect is large enough to allow Murky to poke at in-lane foes while remaining safe. Additionally, Slimed enemies can potentially receive more damage later in the game thanks to talents.

Murky’s biggest gun comes in the form of a floppy, stinky fishy. Pufferfish is Murky’s go-to damage dealer, and part of the reason he is so dangerous as a sieger, lane wiper, and mercenary killer. The Pufferfish won’t be targeted by towers, but enemy placements like Gazlowe’s turrets will shoot at it.

Speaking of shooting: The Pufferfish can be killed in 2-3 hits, rendering your attack useless. While many novice players will hardly ever attack the Pufferfish, those who have played against Murky enough will know what is up. Be smart with your placement and get used to throwing fish in ways that optimizes it’s area of effect. The Pufferfish can be used to flank enemies who are attempting to flee, thrown forward to siege against towers, or tossed into a way point to disrupt and harass enemies.

Avoid using in-lane against auto attack Heroes like Tycus or Valla. It isn’t worth the effort. Try standing on the Pufferfish, as it will make it harder to click on and autoattack.

Ever thought to yourself: “Gee, if only a character had Uther’s Divine Shield but on a 14 second cooldown?” Well, here yo go. Safety Bubble is the key to Murky’s zen-like ability to be an annoying little turd. Want to bomb in and out of scrums? Wish to attack and leave like the Viet-Cong army? Is your desire to trick someone into using a long cooldown or Ultimate only to see it washed away in the loving safety of Safety Bubble?

You can do all this and more.

Safety Bubble is also a great way to catch up with fleeing enemies, body block opponents during team fights, or save your own bacon. My personal favorite use of Safety Bubble is getting the attention of 1 or 2 enemies, getting them to chase, and bubbling away, leaving their own teammates outnumbered and exposed.

Good times.

Be mindful of the cooldown. Safety Bubble really is a magic button, but it can only save you if the cooldown is up. Only use it in situations where you know you can either recover or hide.

Ultimates Top

In the case of Murky, one Ultimate is clearly better than the other. Alas, the mantle of Superior Ultimate does not belong to March of the Murlocs. This ability serves a few uses, including pushing against turrets or trapping enemies in a team fight. However, those few uses and the ability’s insanely long cooldown don’t merit a choice over Murky’s other, far superior Ultimate.

Cool-looking? Absolutely. Useful? Eh.

Now: Count to 3 and a half.


It may not seem like a long time, but in the MOBA genre where seconds at a time are absolutely vital, being unable to act, move, or us abilities for 3 and a half seconds is practically a lifetime. Thus, Octo-Grab.

The squid grab is Murky’s key to 1v1 and ganking superiority, allowing him to rush from stealth and latch onto an enemy and keep them there. Whether you’re using Octo-Grab in a Slime+ Pufferfish+ Octo-Grab, near 1 hit KO combo or immobilizing a healer during a team fight, this Ultimate is vital.

A word of note: Murky is vulnerable and stationary while using this Ultimate, but your opponent will stay latched in place, even if Murky dies.

There is an art to fishing for Grabs that is very much like playing Zangief in Street Fighter IV. You need to think about how your opponent may react to a situation when they know what to expect. After all, everyone who has ever played Street Fighter knows that Zangief wants to throw his opponent. This leads down a trail of mindgames that, more often than not, sees an opponent letting down their guard to the other parts of the big Russian's game.

The same with Murky. Mess with their mind and train them to expect the Grab, then go a different route.

For more instances of Octo-Grab being awesome, please view this recording:

Talents Top

Murky has a wide variety of builds, but not many viable choices in each of his talent levels. As such, it is important to use talents that synergize with each other, giving Murky a clear boost to one specific aspect of his game over the others.

Let's look.

Level 1 Talents Top

In most cases, Fishtank is going to be the talent to take at the start of the game. This is especially true if facing a team with Nova, Valla, Tychus, or Illidan. Fishtank goes a long way to keeping Murky alive. If you’re not as worried about livability, then by all means take Bribe. Otherwise, take the Block and stick around just a little bit longer than usual.

Bribe is my personal favorite in the Level 1 tier, with a wide variety of application across all maps. Bribe gives Murky the ability to pressure the enemy side of the map at specific times by taking mercenary camps just before key objectives, such as Sun Temple nodes. Thanks to Murky’s ability to mow down minions, Bribe will build up fast, allowing Murky to take mercenary camps as early as level 6, once again leading to Murky being an annoyance and distraction.

If you aren’t worried about staying alive or if your team has a good tank/healer combination, take Bribe every time.

Bubble Breeze is outclassed in this tier due to the utility and usefulness of Bribe and Fishtank. This isn’t to say that Bubble Breeze is a bad ability. In comparison it just lacks bang for your buck. The movement speed increase is great in cases where you may want to chase down an escaping foe or run away in a pinch.

But, honestly: Just take Fishtank or Bribe unless you're doing a Bubble Build.

And... Ugh, look: I realize that you may be thinking that your Egg having more health sounds like a great idea. But, to be honest, if an opponent is actively attacking your Egg, then Assault Egg really only buys you a second or two of extra time before the Egg dies regardless.

Even if you’re looking to be more aggressive with your Egg placement, Assault Egg still isn’t worth the investment over the rest of the tier.

Level 4 Talents Top

While I have come around to Envenom as a viable choice, there's still only one clear cut winner at the Level 4 tier: Living the Dream.

This ability is the key to Murky’s power and makes him an absolute beast in 1v1 situations, against mercenaries, and just about every other time in between. Living the Dream may seem antithetical given that Murky dies over and over, but if anything it serves as a reminder to play games safe and minimize deaths.

A damage boost of 15% is nothing to sneeze at, and Living the Dream is one of the main reason why Murky should never be overlooked. Pick nothing else... Unless I tell you to. Trust me.

Level 7 Talents Top

Slime Advantage is a great damage buff to one of Murky’s biggest weaknesses. While buildings aren’t affected by Slimed, Heroes, minions, and mercenaries are still going to take extra damage from this talent. As with other tiers, this talent is simply so good that it overshadows everything else available.

Compressed Air is a great talents for beginning Murlocs because it allows you to figure out the spacing and mechanics of Pufferfish. However, at a point this talent becomes a crutch. You’re far better off becoming more accurate with your Pufferfish tosses and eventually taking the damage bonus talent.

While an increase in slow amount that Hindering Slime sounds great, I find a 10% increase to be rather negligible. I suppose there are universes where Slime builds might want this and you’d take this over Slime Advantage, but that reality isn’t the one I currently live in.

Clairvoyance is incredibly situational, but I would still never choose it. I suppose this ability could have uses in Blackheart’s Bay or Ravens Hollow, but it is hardly a worthy substitute for Slime Advantage.

Level 13 Talents Top

Wrath of Cod is an essential component of every Pufferfish build, and just an awesome name for a Talent. Given the fact that the Level 16 Slimy Pufferfish will automatically Slime targets in the Pufferfish’s landing zone, Wrath of Cod is just too good to pass up.

The ability to place Safety Bubble on a 9 second cooldown is a tempting offer. Bubble Machine becomes viable if building a survival/harassment build, especially if taking Rejuvenating Bubble at Level 16.

Bubble Machine will allow you to hang around in teamfights longer, as well as harass 1v1 in-lane scenarios with ease. However, it is important to keep in mind that you’ll be taking a hit in damage generation by not taking Wrath of Cod or Continuous Slime.

I think Continuous Slime a great ability that can really turn the tide in a duel. I'm not sure if I would take it over [{Wrath of Cod]] in anything but a Slime Build, but it's nothing to sneeze at.

I have no idea why anyone would choose Hidden Assault or why it even exists. Absolutely useless and very much part of an inane design choice made for Murky way back in Closed Alpha. Skip.

Level 16 Talents Top

Yet another tier where I consider there to be only one real, viable option. Slimy Pufferfish eases in taking mercenary camps in a speedy manner, as well as sets up useful, negative debuffs on the opposing team. Obliterate minions, camps, and buildings with ease once you acquire this ability.

And, of course, this also doubles the damage of your Pufferfish if the correct talents have been taken. A key component of the Pufferfish+ Octo-Grab combo build.

Thought Murky regenerated health fast already? Rejuvenating Bubble turns the knob up to 11. If you’ve taken all of the Safety Bubble Talents up to this point then Rejuvenating Bubble can be a very good ability that provides a large amount of grief for the opposing team. A good secondary choice, but hard to recommend as an alternative to picking Slimy Pufferfish.

Blood for Blood is a strong and viable choice, even after a recent nerf. Blood for Blood shines in scenarios against high HP tanks, even if Murky won’t always be getting the most out of so much health gain, given his small health pool.

There is potential for an Envenom+ Blood for Blood combination, found in the Dueling Build.

As for Slimy End...

I… Uh… What?


Don’t take this.

If you do, I’ll tell Murky. Murky will be very sad. And probably eat your cats.


Level 20 Talents Top

You pick ... And a Shark Too!


What? Why? Who? Mrgl?

… OF COURSE YOU TAKE THE SHARK. Why? Allow me to explain through the magic of ANIMATION AND PICTURES!


Oh: You want a real reason? Well, okay.

I always pick Shark over Rewind for the simple fact that Rewind is far too reliant on landing a perfect storm of situations and (lag-free) combinations. Given the choice, ... And a Shark Too! is much more of a sure thing in regards to damage. Sure, with a proper Rewind combo, Murky can, in theory, 1 hit KO any character in the game. Such a move isn’t nearly as reliably or situationally applicable as theory-crafters would have you believe.

Assuming your opponents don’t have or won’t use Cleanse, Shark is the way to go. HURRAY SHARK.


Sorry about my yelling. Let's continue.

If you somehow got confused and took March of the Murlocs, then take Never-Ending Murlocs I suppose.

Or don’t. I mean….Yeah.

March of the Murlocs is still iffy, even with this talent.

Bolt of the Storm is a great talent that has no place being used by Murky, especially when compared to the other Level 20 talents. Don't do Bolt, not even once.

Builds Top

Alright, we have a lot to go over here. Let's start with the general, Ranked Build.This build is meant for the most general of Murky play; some pushing, being an outlier in team fights, and being able to hold your own in chase situations. the goal is to catch unsuspecting squishy enemies with a Slime, Pufferfish, Octo-Grab combo, which puts a serious dent in all but the tankiest of heroes.

Feel free to swap Slime Advantage for Compressed Air, as the latter can sometimes catch nimble enemies like Tracer.
The Bubble Build is Murky's dueling build, providing equal amounts of survival capability and damage potential. Use Envenom+ Blood for Blood+ Pufferfish+ Octo-Grab for amazing damage potential, wiping anyone off the map who has the nerve to chase Murky down.

I'm looking at you, Illidan.

Rewind can be subbed for Shark at your preference.
The Annoy-O-Tron Build is meant for solo lane pushing and being annoying as possible. Take camps. Push a lane when everyone else is fighting over that oh-so-important vision tower. Be a big jerk and collect huge siege damage.

This is the only instance where I like March of the Murlocs, either as a distraction, a push on towers, or by flanking a teamfight from the direction of their escape and sending the adorable baby Murloc horde after them.

Rewind is also a solid choice for 20. Be sure to collect as many minions as possible so that you can Bribe enemy mercenary camps early and often, preferably when they're least suspecting it.

Tips and Tricks Top

  • In the early game, don’t fret over team fights. Until level 10, Murky is just about useless. Instead, focus on soaking lanes, pushing buildings, and possibly taking a mercenary camp or two.
  • Once Level 10 is achieved, Murky can spread out across the camp in search of prey. However, his full ganking power doesn’t come to fruition until after Level 16 Talents are taken.
  • Don’t be overly aggressive with Egg placement until the late game. Opposing teams are less likely to go Egg searching towards the tail end of a game. This is a great chance to place it in a secluded piece of stealth on the enemy side of the map and attack targets or prevent enemy retreat.
  • Murky works well with: Johanna, Nova, Valla, Kael’Thas, and just about anyone with a decent stun.
  • Watch out for inept team mates playing the likes of Diablo, Nazeebo, or anyone else that can knock enemies out of Pufferfish or Octo-Grab range. Trust me: It’ll happen.
  • I love using Bribe to steal early Mercenary camps right before objectives, forcing the enemy to prioritize. It can cause a lot of havoc in the early game, leading to the opposing team to ignore soaking the lanes.
  • Don’t be afraid to die for a good cause. Murky is a great body blocker and meat shield. Sometimes a Murloc has to do what a Murloc has to do.
  • With that in mind, protect your Living the Dream damage buff in the late game. It can mean the difference between a dead Jaina and a Murloc Popsicle.
  • Don’t be afraid to hide in the bushes for a tasty, squishy enemy. After Level 16, Murky can 1 shot KO just about any non-tank. Prime targets are Nova, Jaina, Kael, Illidan, Gazlowe, Falstad, and Zeratul.
  • Murky’s worst enemies are Tychus, Nova, Tracer, Wizard, and Zeratul. If you are in the lane against any of these three, leave. Immediately.
  • Don’t be afraid to let your team mates fight in a 4v5 situation if it means you can steal a mercenary camp, objective, or building. Murky is built to wander and does it better than any other Hero in the game currently.
  • This is a given, but be mindful of your cooldowns. Each one is precious, like a tiny baby Murloc with a wooden sword.

Fin Top

Haha. Fin. Fish pun. Get it?

Jokes. I have jokes.

I hope this guide can help out anyone that either wants to learn Murky or is looking to figure out how the little guy ticks. I don’t know why, but I immediately fell in love with him. His play style is interesting and fun, and it is simply a joy to play such a unique character.

Murky and I wish you farewell!

Will Harrison is a journalist in Toledo, Ohio who writes about the video game industry. Find him on Twitter, at The Toledo Blade, on YouTube, or on Twitch.

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