Now that meta marksmen Wanwan and Beatrix are getting banned in almost every ranked game, looking for an alternative in the gold lane is the best solution to this problem. One of the most viable substitutes is Melissa.

The Cursed Needle received impactful buffs to her abilities in MLBB patch 1.7.08, making her an effective pick in pub games and in the competitive scene. In fact, she is among the top 10 heroes with the highest win rate based on MLBB stats.

Melissa’s skillset is a great combination of long-range poke and defense, which makes her a strong laner against most matchups. If you’re able to capitalize on her early game dominance, she has the potential to snowball and carry her team to victory.

To help you dominate in the Land of Dawn using the marksman of the Forsaken Light, here’s a comprehensive guide.

Melissa’s skills

Skill 1 – Falling!

Screenshot by Jeremiah Sevilla/ONE Esports

Melissa slides forward and increases her Attack Speed by 50%-75% for 3 seconds. The skill’s cooldown is reduced by 1.2s each time Melissa damages the enemy by attacking Muddles.

  • As her main mobility spell, this allows Melissa to reposition herself during duels or team fights and move around along with her puppets, similar to how Kagura moves her umbrella. You can use this to dodge enemy skills or move nearer your allies to get protection in clashes.
  • This also gives her decent DPS thanks to the attack speed bonus. Use this skill whenever it is up, along with her second skill to harass your enemy on the lane.
  • Max this skill first to reduce its base cooldown as it is vital for chasing or escaping.
  • Don’t forget to utilize the cooldown reduction effect which you can activate through her second skill.

Skill 2 – Eyes on You!

Screenshot by Jeremiah Sevilla/ONE Esports

Melissa throws Muddles in a direction. Muddles deals 250-400 (+80% Total Physical Attack) Physical Damage on the first hit and links nearby enemies for up to 6s. Linked enemies will be slowed by 60% that decays over 1.5s and can break the link by moving out of the range. 

Muddles will return to Melissa early when she’s too far away. When Muddles is present, you can tap the Attack Minion button to directly attack Muddles, though it cannot trigger the multi-hit damage.

  • This spell is Melissa’s main damage source and also a debuff (slow). Poke your enemies by spamming this along with her first skill.
  • If the enemies are moving away out of Muddles’ range, you can use her first skill to keep them tied to the puppet’s link.
  • As much as possible, use your Basic Attack to trigger the multi-hit damage, but avoid chasing too deep. You can maximize the range of this skill by tapping on the Attack Minion button to directly hit Muddles and damage linked enemies.

Ultimate – Go Away!

Screenshot by Jeremiah Sevilla/ONE Esports

Melissa commands Cuddles to release the Field of Protection. When activated, the field knocks back enemies in the area and deals 500-900 (+100% Total Magic Power) Magic Damage to them.

It’ll then continuously knock back enemies who attempt to enter the field, dealing 50-90 (+10% Total Magic Power) Magic Damage and briefly slowing them. The field will also interrupt the enemy’s movement skills unless they’re immune to control effects. The field will move with Melissa once, when she’s about to move out of the boundary.

Learning this skill permanently increases Melissa’s Physical and Magic Defense by 3. This effect is increased to 5 times when the skill is active.

  • This is a defensive ability, but you can also use this offensively by pushing enemies near to your allies.
  • You can reposition the field using her first ability and move further away from enemies chasing you.

Passive – Doll Buster

Melissa deals 125% damage to minions, creeps and summoned units.

  • This passive also works on her puppet Muddles as it is a summoned unit. It synergizes with her second skill.

A comprehensive guide on how to play Melissa in Mobile Legends

Recommended battle spell

Credit: ONE Esports

Inspire is the most recommended battle spell as this allows you to dominate your lane matchup through the additional attack speed, physical penetration and lifesteal it gives. In the later stages of the game, it lets you deal heavy damage in team fights.

But if you need to play more safely, go for Flicker instead. It helps you reposition when you’re getting chased by assassins or heroes that can jump into the back line, thus allowing you to freely cast your skills and basic attacks.

Recommended emblem set

Credit: ONE Esports

Before marching into the battle, make sure to choose the Marksman emblem. Go all-in on Bravery for physical attack and Swift for attack speed to maximize your poking potential in the laning phase where Melissa is strongest.

Select the Electro Flash key talent for chase potential when you’re ahead in the gold lane matchup or sustain and bonus mobility when you’re behind or getting ganked frequently. Weakness Finder is also good if you can play aggressively on the lane.

Recommended item build

Credit: ONE Esports
  • Swift Boots
  • Windtalker
  • Berserker’s Fury
  • Scarlet Phantom
  • Demon Hunter Sword
  • Malefic Roar or Blade of Despair

As the gold laner-marksman of the team, you are expected to dish out most of the damage on enemy heroes and turrets. This item build gives you the maximum damage and attack speed, but make sure that your roamer or other allies can protect you during team fights.

Alternative build

  • Warrior or Tough Boots
  • Windtalker
  • Demon Hunter Sword
  • Wind of Nature
  • Brute Force Breastplate
  • Malefic Roar

If you have other damage dealers in your team and you need to survive longer in clashes, you can opt to have this hybrid build of damage and defense.

Wind of Nature is essential if you’re getting dived by an assassin armed with physical burst. You can replace it with Rose Gold Meteor or straight up Athena’s Shield to negate magical burst. You might also want to opt for Immortality instead of Brute Force Breastplate if the game goes the distance.

Skill tips and combo

Credit: Moonton

Start with Eyes on You! (Skill 2) to harass your opponent in the lane then prioritize leveling up Falling! (Skill 1) as this is Melissa’s mobility spell. Thanks to the buffs from the latest patch, you can now use her second skill more frequently together with her first skill, for attacking her puppet Muddles now reduces its cooldown much faster.

Level up her Go Away! ultimate ability whenever possible. This gives Melissa more physical damage and magic defense now, so make sure to use this when engaging in a duel or team fight.

Melissa’s skill combo is quite simple. Cast her second skill first then use her first skill for additional attack speed to poke your enemies. You can deal damage to enemy heroes beyond your attack range by hitting Muddles and damaging those who are linked to it. Do this by tapping the Attack Minion button.

You can also use this combo to zone out enemies while sieging turrets, just like what ONIC Esports’ Calvin “CW” Winata did in their game against RRQ Hoshi.

Ready to rank up using Melissa?

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