Famed in song and legend, a hard drinking, harder fighting, brawler of a Dwarf. A member of the Bronzebeard clan who changed all of Azeroth with his decisions, bad and good. Take all that away and you still have a Dwarf and his Hammer and really, does a Dwarf need anything else? That is the Muradin you get to be in Heroes of the Storm. In his own words “You’re the Dwarf now, dawg.”
Roles that Hero Can Fill:
Tank or, potentially, bruiser. Usually not ideal simply because Muradin is such a good tank and there are better bruisers. When we see Muradin as a bruiser it is a denial pick/soft ban, but he can fill the role, no question.
- Q; Stormbolt: 1.25 Second Stun that is a skillshot. Hitting these makes or breaks Muradin’s ability to gank, peel, and engage for his team. Combo with Dwarf Toss when chasing/setting up for ganks.
- W; Thunder Clap: A 25% area slow that doesn’t decay and lasts 2.5 seconds and reduces enemy auto attack speed by 25%. Once slowed, enemies are easier to body block for ganks and can creates space for your backline to disengage.
- E; Dwarf Toss: Used as either a gap closer or a disengage. For ganks it allows instant positioning for strong body blocks, combined with Q and E. If you’re winning a fight it also makes for a great chasing mechanic, but in most team fights it ought to be saved for disengaging after you’re low on health. Only use it to hard engage a team fight if Avatar is available and you pop it right away. When playing mobile ward this allows Muradin to safely take more dangerous rotational paths and be aggressive with his map positioning as long as an obstacle is nearby that he can jump over to be safe. With the change adding Resistant instead of Unstoppable, Muradin is more vulnerable to stun chains, Mighty Gust, etc. but is even tankier, which is hard to imagine.
- Trait; Second Wind: Instant health regen. This allows Muradin to essentially only ever have to back for mana, allowing him to be more active on the map. In fights he can escape with E and regen, then re-engage. Unless he is dead, a Muradin never truly has to be out of a fight.
Muradin is not particularly strong or weak on any specific maps, though he struggles slightly on Infernal Shrines due to how reliant he is on his Q, which can miss just due to a monster spawning at the wrong time. Special note for Sky Temple: his ability to solo the Temples and escape bottom Temple safely jumping from the bush back into his own base makes it easy to steal shots, which can end up being significant. He may also be slightly weaker on Tomb and Battlefield because of the lack of rotational picks when you're talking about the 4 man always being together. This would apply to Braxis as well except his trait's sustain gives him a small edge there.
Muradin’s kit lends itself strongly to rotational picks and all out brawl style team fights because of his ability to sponge heavy amounts of damage while mitigating damage for his team. Ideally, you will spend all your time rotating, waiting in bushes, setting up kills for your team, and abusing the strength of Dwarf Toss to aggressively scout and interfere with the enemy team’s rotations. In team fights, Muradin can go in and stay in a fight longer than any other tank, which is a huge advantage in the extremely burst oriented team compositions now common in HotS. Try and absorb as much damage for your team as possible while keeping priority targets CCed, disengage, regen, and re-engage.
Muradin lacks wave clear but is very strong at rotational kills. Because wave clear enables rotations, he is best paired with heroes who have some combination of strong CC (roots/stuns), good wave clear, and burst damage. Xul, Kael’Thas, and Li Ming, are some of the stronger examples. He is also one of only two tanks that can handle being a solo front liner and is the stronger of the two, so if your team wants to go triple ranged, pick Muradin. He also pairs well with Anub'Arak against the right team.
For supports his insane self-sustain means he doesn't really require a burst healer, so any healer who provides utility is going to be strong with him. In particular Lúcio does very well with Muradin.
Poke and damage over time heroes, like Lunara, don’t do as well with a Muradin. Muradin really wants to abuse his survivability to trade damage with the enemy team. Because he can take more damage, this trade results in a kill for his team while Muradin survives the damage of the enemy team. This is much harder to do if that damage isn’t more burst oriented.
Muradin is so strong across the board that talking about heroes he counters specifically becomes fairly nuanced. When a hero is always strong, how do you define when he is slightly stronger? But due to sheer survivability and above average damage output for a tank, particularly with the right talents, Muradin is very slightly stronger against heroes who are weak to dive. Chromie and Lt. Morales are some strong examples. Also, unlike most attack speed slows in the game, his is available right from level one, making him slightly stronger in the early game than other tanks vs melee auto-attack heroes like The Butcher and Illidan.
Muradin is such a generically good tank in all categories that it is hard to talk about counters to him, but he does have one hard counter in my opinion. The Lost Vikings. When the enemy team is always grouped as four, rotational ganks cease to exist. You can rarely afford as a team to set up on one viking because Muradin, as the tank, needs to be with his team defending against the inevitable pressure that TLV provides on the map. He also struggles slightly against heroes who spawn a lot of summons, like Anub’Arak’s beetles, because of how reliant he is on his Q. Tychus is always going to be very good against Muradin, due to his trait.
The Default: This talent is usually the default pick just because of how strong it is and at best other talents at this tier are only situationally better.
Niche/Situational: One of the most common questions I get asked is when do you take certain less picked talents. They often have uses but the uses are specific to either comps or maps. These are those talents.
Must be Paired with Other talents: Often there are certain talents that, by themselves, are not very impressive but synergize so well with other talents that if you plan on taking the other talent, you should take the talents that pair well with it.
Trap: Trap Talents are either actively bad or, more usually, simply so much worse than competing talents at the same tier it doesn’t make sense to ever take them.
Fun: This can be a little bit of a personal thing, but I’m going to label the talents I personally consider fun even if they are not actually worth taking in most situations.
- Avatar: In general, you should take Avatar. It synergizes so well with how Muradin plays that passing it up is always a very difficult decision.
- Haymaker: If you’re a bruiser in your team comp, are on maps like Towers of Doom or Tomb where fights around the gates are frequent, or there is a single extremely high priority target like Lt. Morales or Cho’Gall, then Haymaker giving you the ability to deliver that target to your team can be worth it if your team otherwise lacks tools to isolate and kill those targets. Haymaker is also just fun.
- Block: After the changes to level 1 talent choices, Block ends up being very good against heavy hitting AA heroes like The Butcher, Thrall, and Greymane. Mitigating damage helps him get more value out of Healing Static (13) which can add up in fights.
- Perfect Storm: If you’re the bruiser in a team comp you can consider picking this talent up. You need to stack it early game for it to be really effective and it always adds damage if your comp is otherwise lacking it. Sometimes your composition is focused on the blow up, in which case it is also a strong contender. The mana cost decrease is always very valuable, regardless of role or map however.
- Third Wind: This talent ensures Muradin really never has to back for anything but mana. With the mount speed changes he starts every gank attempt at full health, meaning absorbing some tower shots or really any damage in lane almost ceases to matter. It also allows him to re-engage in team fights faster and in some sense makes him better against heroes like Tychus who can chunk him out of a fight temporarily. Easily the strongest overall tanking talent at this tier.
- Sledgehammer: On PvE centric maps, particularly on BoE, this talent always needs to be strongly considered. The ammo destruction is basically irrelevant, the extra damage is what matters. It has other niche uses like being able to quickly one shot Doubloon camps with Piercing Bolt (7) on BHB, but overall BoE is the strongest contender for viability. To give an idea right at level 4 when this talent is picked up it hits for more than 500 damage per Q. When combined with Perfect Storm, you can be chunking the second Immortal for 1k+ per Q if you stacked well, and it only goes up from there.
- Crowd Control: With the recent upgrade this talent is much more viable. On Infernal Shrines, Tomb of the Spider Queen, and Braxis for the Zerg defense it is top tier. If the enemy team has 3+ melee heroes, it edges out Thunder Burn in terms of damage and usually ties it in Healing Static (13) triggers.
- Thunder Burn: The actual tool tip doesn’t give away how strong this talent is. Every talent that applies to the W, re-applies with the second area. With the choice of two strong W talents at 13, this is an amazing talent. Though if you aren’t going any of the other W talents, it isn't worthwhile, which is why it is labeled as requiring synergy, rather than the default. It does also slightly increase your wave clear, which is always a consideration.
- Reverberation: Realistically Thunder Burn is going to be better because of how strong Healing Static (13) is. Having two triggers of all W talents, the extra area damage, and five seconds of 25% attack speed slow versus one trigger, no extra damage, and three seconds of 50% attack speed slow the former is basically always better. However if you are countering many melee auto attack heroes and are not planning on taking Healing Static for whatever reason, Thunder Burn loses a lot of value and this will edge it out. I find it hard to imagine a scenario where that is the best decision however.
- Iron Forged Momentum: The nerf his this talent pretty hard. Not having E available more frequently means you cannot play as aggressively as Muradin. However the competing talents at this tier still do very little to help you tank better, so as a tank this still ends up having the highest value. Particularly the reduced cooldown on W means more Healing Static (13) triggers, regardless of if you went Thunder Burn (4) or Crowd Control (4).
- Landing Momentum: Used correctly the speed boost should have almost zero impact. You want to jump over a wall to disengage, you’re already safe. You want to jump into W or Q, which already allows you to body block when chasing or ganking. This talent patches weak positioning or badly timed use of E, but the solution isn’t to take this talent, it is to work on positioning and timing your E.
- Piercing Bolt: Strong vs heavier melee teams. It can also be used to get around heroes like Anub’Arak, Zagara, etc., that spawn a lot of summons that can absorb Q, though drafting Muradin against heroes like that already puts him at a disadvantage.
- Skullcracker: For bruiser Muradin or against certain heroes like Morales, Illidan, Sonya, etc., this is now a top tier choice as stuns really disrupt them. The increased attack speed makes the stun more frequent and with good stutter stepping you are impossible to get away from without a strong disengage being burned, all to counter your basic attacks.
- Burning Rage: Prior to the Healing Static rework the question was basically “Am I likely to get value out of Thunder Strike?” If the answer was no, you took this. I’m not sure this is ever better than Healing Static right now, except possibly vs Zagara to clear creep easily, but as always it needs to be noted that it does increase wave clear. This should not matter as the tank but often does in uncoordinated games.
- Healing Static: Combined with Avatar and Iron Forged Momentum, this provides insane amounts of sustain in team fights. You can actually go from using your E as a disengage in close fights, to using it to aggressively position in the middle of as many of the enemy team as possible for a massive burst heal. The best tanking talent by far at this tier. The secondary trigger of W from Thunder Burn (4) also heals you, which is a lot of sustain and essentially makes that talent mandatory if you take this one, though Crowd Control (4) against enough targets is better. Even for Bruiser Muradin, not dying and sticking to your target is not to be underestimated.
- Thunder Strike: If you can isolate a target, W them, Q them, forcing them to stand in the second explosion from Thunder Burn (4), all the while auto-attacking them, then you can kill any squishy hero in the game. At 20, with Rewind, you can basically kill any non-tank 100-0 by yourself while they are CCed the entire time. Because it requires that they be the only target this talent can be very hard to utilize. Has anti-synergy with Crowd Control (4), so choose accordingly.
- Spell Shield: This talent protects against ability burst. For the most part, Muradin isn’t worried about getting bursted out. I would only ever consider this vs triple mage teams (Three of Magestad, Stackmodan, Jaina, Kael’Thas, Chromie, Li Ming) and even then I would be hesitant. It is much better after the patch but still is unlikely in most circumstances to negate more damage than Healing Static will help you recover from, so it is only worthwhile if it denies lethal burst regularly, which isn't usually an issue for Muradin.
- Imposing Presence: While the change was a huge upgrade for other heroes with Imposing Presence, for Muradin he already has a slow, his attack speed slow is better and easy to apply, and his other 16 talents are so strong at making him do new things that doing something he already does well slightly better is not worth a talent at the third most powerful tier.
- Stoneform: 40% Heal over time. With Avatar this is crazy. If you need sustain at this tier for some reason, you take this talent.
- Dwarf Launch: Simply isn’t good enough to compete with the other talents at this tier. If any Blizzard developers are reading this, please combine with either Landing Momentum at 7 or Heavy Impact at 16. In HL this talent does very well as a “win more” talent because of the chasing potential, which is why it has a low pick rate but a very high win rate at certain tiers. Also it gives you a killer engage range with Haymaker (10).
- Heavy Impact: Q is a little hard to hit. This is a relatively easy to his stun that you can use to engage and then Q a stationary target, which is much easier, providing a lot of chase and lockdown for your team. It also provides good follow up to Devouring Maw, Void Prison, Sonya's Leap, etc., the primary issue the stun is so short and your E is not available as often as it was due to the Iron Forged Momentum (7) change. Without Unstoppable frames you can be displaced, rooted, or stunned mid jump, denying the value, which against certain teams also makes it harder to use.
- Give ‘Em The Axe: With the buff to Healing Static, Muradin’s survivability is basically covered. I consider this the default talent at this tier, always take it and only switch if you specifically need either Stone Form or Heavy Impact. The fact that it gives you 1-on-1 kill potential against most heroes is not to be underestimated.
- Unstoppable Force: The problem with this talent is the most dangerous part of CC chains is getting bursted out. That isn’t likely to happen to an Avatar-ed Muradin, but if it were a huge risk, Hardened Shield would be better. Avatar already lasts 20 seconds and most team fights are decided, one way or the other, long before that.
- Grand Slam: Fun. Bruiser Muradin, even with Haymaker, prefers Rewind for the 100-0 potential.
- Hardened Shield: Are you getting blown up? You need this. Are you not getting blown up? Take Rewind. You have 19 levels to figure out how good the enemy team is at killing you. This is usually only really strong against teams who are good at focusing fire, which makes it a questionable pick up in less coordinated games compared to Rewind.
- Rewind: Standard on bruiser Muradin, in general just a really strong talent for him. In a high level competitive environment Hardened Shield is almost mandatory because of how strong focus fire is, but outside of that I strongly recommend Rewind.