The orientation of the Iapetos Tower’s safe zone is actually random but it will always face one of the adjacent path tiles.
As you already noticed it will often appear near the Hero which makes it quite easy to dodge. This will change a bit in the next version of the game. The safe zone will then have a chance to face path tiles which are further away from the Hero, making it harder to dodge. It will still be random but the chance of the safe zone being near the Hero will be lower.
The damage dealt by the Iapetos Tower is already very high, it just doesn’t hit very often.
Also, keep in mind that it has a lot more HP than all the other towers, even more than the barricades. This alone makes it worth using as it takes the attacking player more time to destroy it.