Mirana’s combination of fun gameplay plus high game impact had won the hearts of a lot of players. That was quite some time ago, as now she has fallen behind compared to others; indeed, she’s currently one of the weaker Heroes.
I won’t focus on why, and what buffs she’d need, but rather on how to make the best of her. After all, her playstyle hasn’t changed much.
Let’s start with the basics, namely, position and skill/item builds.
Mirana can technically fill any position in the game. Generally, you want to be able to create a lot of kills; that’s what this Hero does. It can be risky to play her as a carry nowadays, and her solo can be a hard deal as well, due to her low base damage, unless it’s a relatively easy lane. Most people prefer her as a roamer/doublelane offlaner to make the best out of her Arrow early on.
Most people will level Starfall+Arrow first, leaving one level for Leap and Moonlight Shadow each. In my opinion, leveling Arrow isn’t worth it that much anymore. Skills that only progress in damage as you level them are way too retro for the current meta. You don’t gain anything in cooldown, stun duration, range etc, and it isn’t even a reliable nuke, so extra levels will quickly become dead weight. Starfall should always be maxed out though, as it provides a creep wave clearing mechanism, and the double Starfall damage is too much to ignore.
On the other hand, extra levels in Leap provide everything: Better travel range, move and attack speed (32% attack speed at level 4 is quite a lot), manacost and cooldown.
So, I prefer putting one, maximum two levels in Arrow, then maxing Starfall, and then Leap. Obviously, you always put a level in Leap early on.
As far as items go, even when you play a core Mirana, you shouldn’t try saving your gold for expensive items too much. She’s the type of Hero that should constantly be fighting. Bottle+Aquilla+Magic Wand+Drums will provide the stats and regeneration you badly need. As far as boots go, it really depends on the situation. If you’re roaming around the map a lot, fighting all the time (probably the best scenario for Mirana) Phase Boots provide mobility and damage. Treads can be good if the enemy has too much burst and lockdown. As a support, you can always get Arcane Boots. As a roamer, Tranquil Boots+Clarities will allow a rain of Arrows all over the map.
After your core items, you can get pretty much anything your team needs. The traditional Manta+Mjollnir DPS build is one way to go about it, but try to be innovative. Personally, I find Linken’s Sphere to work wonders, if it’s a good pickup for the match. Desolator is the cheapest way to dish out tons of damage. Heaven’s Halberd is generally a very useful and underrated item. Solar Crest is still a powerful choice.
And now, some tips for the gameplay.
Once more, when playing Mirana, you need to be a constant threat for enemy Heroes. If you want a passive farming solo/carry, there are way better Heroes for that. As a ganker, always look for arrow opportunities. The current map layout allows for some good positioning in all lanes. Here’s a few things to look out for about Arrows:
-Decent players won’t get hit from obvious Arrows coming from the front. Try hiding in the trees and firing from a player’s blind spot. Think about how you use your camera when playing. Your attention is generally focused in front of your Hero, on creeps and the enemy on the lane. So, any arrow from the sides or from behind is always less anticipated. This is more obvious for solo mid players. Try sneaking up to them from behind, you’ll see a lot of difference in their reactions.
-The easiest time window to predict an enemy’s movements is when they’re about to last hit. At that moment, people are focused on the last hit itself, so they move in a predictable straight line, and also they don’t pay much attention to anything else. Try mastering your Arrows on moments like these, and you’ll hit A LOT more.
-The creep one-hit kill with Arrow can be more useful than you think. Killing the big neutral camp means getting a quick level 2, and generally not wasting time when you can do nothing else means a lot in the early game. You’ll need a few Clarities for that, but they more than earn their price.
But sometimes, a straightforward approach can be better. This is especially true when you’re solo mid, as you can’t really surprise your enemy by hiding somewhere. You either need some setup from your allies, or you simply need to surprise them otherwise, namely by Leaping and Arrowing in their face. The stun duration and damage won’t be that much, but you’ll be in a good position for a double Starfall and a lot of right-clicks.
After your oh-so-important early game which may allow you to snowball, keep roaming around the map and bully people around. If you’re playing core, farm a bit, but not too much. Rune control is very important for Mirana, as her full combo will drain most of her mana. Don’t be afraid to die if you’ve gotten some kills first. After all, most of your gold should be reliable gold.
Last but not least: your ult.
While extremely useful, it can also be easily countered. If you’re using it to save someone, you need to use it fast, as there are 2.5 seconds fade time at level 1. Keep your eyes on the minimap and if you see trouble, smash that button. Don’t hesitate to use it often.
The best use for it is for initiations rather than escaping though. A single Dust of Appearance is enough to ruin your escape, but a surprise attack from 5 invisible Heroes can win team fights, unless the enemy has put Sentry Wards everywhere. The drawback is that you need good communication with your team for this to work, which can be somewhat of a luxury in pubs.
But, it never hurts to try.