Dota 2's new ghostly gunslinger hero is live

Muerta, the Dota 2 hero who was announced way back in October 2022, has finally arrived in the game as part of the now-live Dead Reckoning update.

Valve didn't reveal much about Muerta when the character was announced, but it turns out that she was a killer of such impressive talent that "Death himself put her on the payroll."

"A twin-pistoled engine of dead-eyed vengeance, Muerta shepherds wayward souls to the other side, whether they want to get there or not," Valve said. "And if they need more convincing, she’s ready to reveal her true form as a murderous spectral nightmare if it helps them die a little faster."

In practical terms, that adds up to four abilities:

  • Dead Shot: Muerta fires a ghostly trickshot at an enemy unit or tree. When the bullet strikes, it damages and briefly slows, then ricochets in the targeted direction. The ricochet damages all units that it passes through, stopping when it hits a hero. Heroes hit by the ricochet are feared away from the impact.
  • The Calling: Summons a group of 4.0 revenants that slowly circle the targeted location. Enemies within the area are slowed and have reduced attack speed. Revenants deal damage and silence enemies as they pass through them.
  • Gunslinger: Muerta's attacks have a chance to fire a second shot at another target, prioritizing Heroes.
  • Pierce the Veil: Muerta transforms, becoming immune to physical damage. All of her attack damage is dealt as magical damage. Muerta gains bonus attack damage and phased movement. Muerta can attack ethereal units, but deals no damage to Magic Immune targets.

The Dead Reckoning update includes a new mini-game, The Quick and the Dead, which offers points for kills and assists against assigned targets during matches. There's also a Dead Reckoning chest, "advanced battle stats," new Quickcasting customization options, and improvements to Dota 2's friends list. 

Still, some Dota 2 players were expecting bigger things and aren't happy with the relatively minor nature of the update overall. Valve acknowledged the discontent in a blog post announcing the update, and said that the hoped-for big update is on the way. 

"The Dead Reckoning Update has a lot of features we’re really proud of—a new hero, item sets, a mini-game," it said. "But we get it. Many of you were hoping for Patch 7.33.

"We’ve been working on an ambitious gameplay patch for a while, and we were hoping to get it done in time for this update. We’re currently aiming to release it in late April. So in the meantime, while we put the finishing touches on it, enjoy the Dead Reckoning Update and Patch 7.32e."

This update is also the one that finally removes OpenGL support from Dota 2, a change Valve first announced all the way back in September 2021. Valve also warned that it will update Dota 2's SIMD support from SSE2 to SSE4.1 later this year, "to allow higher performance in physics, particles, and general gameplay code." Nearly all processors released over the past 10 years support SSE4.1 so the change should only impact "a very small portion of Dota players," Valve said, but if your CPU doesn't support it, you'll need to upgrade if you want to keep playing.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.