First and foremost, I would like to establish that this is my first guide ever. So if there are some serious navigation problems just point them out and I will fix them.
Okay, now we get down to business. I can't express enough that there is no cookie cutter item build, or way to play. I say this because for each opponent you go against you will need to adapt and overcome. I will do my best to give you an idea of how to play her against specific opponents.
*Special Note; I am sick of seeing people making guides for Heros they have played less than 50 or 60 times. Yes, I will dotabuff stalk you sue me. Yes, I realize it's easy to play all Heros after you've been playing for awhile. But, frankly there is a lot of things players fail to understand about specific Heros with less experience playing those Heros despite their overall time spent in game.
New **** I just added will be in gray as I'm on an iPhone and don't feel like doing all the fancy **** until I get to a computer. But, that being said enjoy the rest of the guide since there is some good information in it about Dota, Crystal, and many other Heros. Please leave comments, rate, drink beer (last one optional). And thank you for stopping by despite my "yellow rating". Some people are little vaginas and down vote at the drop of a hat. "What?!?! He doesn't play like I do?!!?" -down vote. Seriously though there is some good info in here, some may be controversial, but hell, isn't that why we make guides? To better ourselves and the community.
For this section I felt it was a good idea to pull specific comments from the comments below as they may ask some good questions. Since not everyone may read the comments I have posted all the ones I felt were the best suited for this guide below. Comments will be those in red, My Reply will be in green, the light blue indicates key components to my response for those lazy enough not to read all of it.
IAmLegend wrote: You job as a CM is to support, not carry. What makes her such a good support is that she has relatively low item reliance. She also is one of the best lane gankers. You just frost bite and watch your carry and mid go to town on them. Your aura helps your carries be able to spam their abilities, as well as you to spam yours to harass your opposing lane mate back. Typically with a CM I do a lot of stacking and pulling. Its important to keep stacking in to the late game so your carry can keep farming. You want to spam nova at your opposing laners and when they push too far with low HP you frost bite and help your carry get the kill. Not Kill steal. If your team is relying on a hero with 1500hp, 1 base armor and very low right click damage output to carry them then your team is in trouble.
I feel as if you hadn't read a single thing I typed in the guide. Imagine for a second that your carry Sven was unable to pick up the kill off of Invoker. Invoker, had used Ghost Walk thinking he was safe. Now imagine no creeps are around for Sven to Cleave for the possible kill. Are you just going to sit there and twiddle your thumbs as Invoker walks happily away? No, your going to Crystal Nova, which is hardly a kill steal.
Frostbite Damage, sometimes it accidently kills, but, are you going to "steal" the kill on purpose? No. Your Ult, are you going to fear using it in a team fight for fear you may "kill steal". If you do, you have no clue how to play this game.
Now, yes, generally you'd like your actually carries to get a farm. But, all too often you have teammates that play hero's they don't know how to play or they are just bad. Doesn't it suck when you know your probably going to lose because your team blows? Yes, it does. So this guide is showing you how you can solely carry a team under the right circumstances. Not, KS as you indicate.
Support, Carry, Tank they are just terms used to indicate what a hero should do. Yes, CM is technically a "Support" ideally all you'd need to do is support. But, frankly that's not how it goes 50% of the time hence why most people have a 50% Win/Loss Ratio. Now, imagine for a second you did what was necessary to win the game, This includes tanking, baiting, carrying, supporting. A good player understands this and will utilize all methods to win the game.
So yes perhaps you may be upset that I indicated CM as a Semi-Carry under circumstances. But, this guide is for those who want to win. Take that 50% and increase it past its threshold.
The other day my entire team was dead, I was 1v5 defending our Rax. Perhaps I shouldn't have used my ult killed 3 of them (with the help from magnus who came towards the end of the battle). Maybe, I should have went to ward the jungle instead right?
Yes, you may be in "trouble" if a CM is needing to carry you. But, being in trouble doesn't change the outcome. But, how you play can. If you know who your playing with and you know its safe to play hard support ***** go for it. But, if your like me you'll adapt and over come to defeat your opponents under all circumstances.
Rylai, The Crystal Maiden;
Born in a temperate realm, raised with her fiery older sister Lina, Rylai the Crystal Maiden soon found that her innate elemental affinity to ice created trouble for all those around her. Wellsprings and mountain rivers froze in moments if she stopped to rest nearby; ripening crops were bitten by frost, and fruiting orchards turned to mazes of ice and came crashing down, spoiled.
When their exasperated parents packed Lina off to the equator, Rylai found herself banished to the cold northern realm of Icewrack, where she was taken in by an Ice Wizard who had carved himself a hermitage at the crown of the Blueheart Glacier. After long study, the wizard pronounced her ready for solitary practice and left her to take his place, descending into the glacier to hibernate for a thousand years. Her mastery of the Frozen Arts has only deepened since that time, and now her skills are unmatched.
October 21st 2013
- Freezing Field AS/MS AOE slow increased from 20/30 to 30/30
- Freezing Field Aghanim's Scepter AS/MS AOE slow increased from 50/30 to 50/50
- Cannot be purchased until 3 minutes after creeps spawn
- Movement speed bonus reduced from 55 to 50
Urn of Shadows
- Soul Release cooldown reduced from 10 to 7
- Duration increased from 6 to 7 minutes
- Killing Observer Wards now grants a 50 gold bounty
Black King Bar
- Recipe cost increased from 1300 to 1375
Eul's Scepter of Divinity
- Cyclone cooldown reduced from 30 to 25
- Movement speed bonus increased from 35 to 40
- Shadow Walk cooldown increased from 18 to 28
Veil of Discord
- Now uses Null Talisman instead of Robe of the Magi (from +12 int to +6 int, +3 str, +3 agi, +3 dmg)
- Magic weakness duration increased from 20 to 25 seconds
Rod of Atos
- Cripple cooldown reduced from 16 to 12
Some of these things may not change how you play Crystal Maiden, but, some considerations will be made. One in which is may be my new choice of boots is the update to the Tranquil Boots
+ 75 Movement speed
+ 3 Armor
+ 3 HP Regeneration
Ability: Heal - Restores 250 HP over 20 seconds while out of combat. 60s cooldown. 25 mana cost.
+ 25 Movement speed
Restores when the last 10 seconds don't have 3 instances of damage.
Can be disassembled
+ 85 Movement speed
+ 4 Armor
+ 10 HP Regeneration
+ 60 Movement speed
+ 4 Armor
Restores when you haven't attacked or been attacked in the last 13 seconds.
Cannot be disassembled
On the old boots, your broken boots moved you down to 25 Movement speed (MS) when attacked making it hard for you to escaped and move into position. The new "broken" boots move your MS to 60. This is faster than all the boots in the game despite them being "broken" (except for Boots of Travel)
Essentially, they now offer every thing Crystal Maiden needs, +1 Armor, base Movement Speed, broken Movement Speed which is still faster than the majority of boots, & if you manage to escape a 10 HP Regen. This HP regen will automatically heal at 10 HP per second as long as you do not attack & have not been attacked (I did note that casting spells does not "Break" the boots).
**I am going to continue to try these boots out before making changes to the guide.
Obviously, you'll want to grab the Animal Courier if no one else is going to. This also incudes Observer Ward, it may be beneficially to give the wards to the offlane if your going to be babysitting in the safelane. This is so that they can defend themselves against ganks, as well as blocking the pull camp.
The Iron Branch&; Gauntlets of Strength offer you minor survivability, but, beyond that they can be built into your Urn of Shadows and your Headdress.
Now, the reason I suggest getting a Healing Salve early on is that it can potentially save you or an ally in a tough spot.
Flying Courier, as quickly as you can, no exceptions. The reason behind this is so that your teammates can get their items as fast as possible. This alone can change the outcome in ganks and counter ganks.
Observer Ward, You'll always be buying wards. It protects you against ganks, helps in preventing jungling, and can set up ganks. This is a must if your up against a Lycanthrope & Ursa or any other opponent that can Roshan early.
Boots of Speed, After you've taken care of the courier & wards you'll want to purchase boots as fast as possible. This is because your slow already, any advantage you can give yourself on your opponents the better.
Urn of Shadows, This items is great for supports. Its relatively cheap compared to other items, it offers an increase in mana regen and gives you some decent stats. It will keep you and your ally's alive & in lane. Opponent barely escaping? Use your urn to finish them off. Bare in mind that if your team isn't getting any kills you will not be getting any charges. It may behoove you to skip buying the Urn & go straight for the Headdress.
Headdress, offers early HP Regen to you and your allies in a 750 Aoe. More importantly, it can be built into a Mekansm later in the game.
Phase Boots; They cost a little more than Tranquil Boots, but, I have found that they work better. Have you ever got an enemy down to 8 HP only to have them get away? Of course you have & it sucks. If only you did more damage right? Well, here is your answer. Okay, now comparing them to tranquil boots. If your getting attacked as Crystal Maiden, how often is it you live? Not very often or at least not often enough to get the full use out of healing your self with tranquil boots. Chances are if your getting focused on, your going to die.
Keep in mind that when you get hit often enough your speed bonus drops. So, what do they offer you if you can't move in and out of position and can't heal yourself? Not much except the fact that their cheap. Phase Boots offer you that 16% movement bonus no matter what (assuming its not on cool down) & a little extra damage to finish off your opponent and farm more effectively. If your an aggressive player these boots are ideal for escaping & tower diving.
Mekansm; This is a must if your supporting properly. Burst heal, armor, stats, and HP aurora. Mek is a must in just about any team.
And just a note; I ****ing hate Mek on CM. Yes, I said it blasphemy I know. Reason being, first crystal maiden ult takes 600 mana and is a channelling. After using frostbite, nova, and popping your ult you really don't have the mana to use a Mek. From my circa 200 hours played with Maiden this is the number one thing I've noticed.
If you have a carry that can pick it up (say a meepo or perhaps an OD hell ya) or another support without a channeling/ larger mana pool. Get it if no one else gets it of course, but you might as well not level your ult for the level 3 as that's when it becomes the most troublesome. In fact when I get the chance I'm going to add a new build just so your able to utilize the Mek despite a level 3 ult so stand-by for that.
Depending on what heros you are up against you will want to change the items you buy. If you have a Bloodseeker, Batrider, or Vengeful Spirit on your team you will want to get a Force Staff. It works great with their abilities and can also set up ganks or save a teammate.
Spirit Breaker giving you problems? Eul's Scepter of Divinity will save you from a charge & an ult. Not to mention that it also gives you a movement bonus.
Clinkz, looking to feed off of you? Ghost Scepter can save you just long enough for you to use your abilities, have your teammates counter initiate, or for you to escape. If your able to save up the gold for a Ethereal Blade you can. But, frankly I don't suggest it.
Does the enemy have a large amount of aoe disables? Drow Ranger, Death Prophet, Earthshaker, Tidehunter, Warlock exc. Black King Bar will quickly turn into your greatest asset. If your stunned you will not be able to support, or more importantly spam your spells. If someone else can pick up the Mek and support on your team it may behoove you to rush the BKB.
Shadow Blade; Honestly, I love Shadowblade. Even if your enemy dusts you it grants you a 20% increase in movement speed. Slow Crystal Maiden isn't so sluggish now. It also grants you +30 Attack speed which really helps you with your last hits. But, above all else, it can be combined with your Ult for devastating results. Pop this bad boy after your Freezing Field and watch them all squirm or die. Combined with a Black King Bar you will be unstoppable (assuming your positioning is flawless). Keep in mind, if you have to many invisible heros on your team, or they have a Bounty Hunter or Slardar on their team you may want to opt out of this item. Keep in mind it will not protect you from AOE stuns so choose your situational items wisely.
Sentry Ward; some of you may wonder why this isn't a core item. Well, in all reality we know when the enemy team is warding you can see them on the mini map. Buy them as needed, if you don't believe they're warding don't bother wasting your gold. Same can be said for dust of appearance, buy it to save your carry's from taking up 1 inventory slot, but don't buy it unless they have a lot of invis units.
Black King Bar If you haven't really needed it and you feel as if you bought all you could, this could be considered a luxury item, which is why I placed it on both situational & luxury items.
Aghanim's Scepter, Other than making you more of a bad ***, it doesn't help your team past your ult and the nice stats. This is why I believe it to be nothing more than a luxury item.
Veil of Discord, I love this item as it gives you some nice HP Regen and armor, it helps you and your team by making your spells hit that much harder. It also would free a slot in Zeus inventory if he is on your team. It doesn't cost too much gold making it an all around effective item.
Rod of Atos; Frankly, I have only bought this item once as the games generally don't last long enough for you to get every item imaginable. Cripple your enemy so they cant move out of your Ult or utilize it so that your DPS heros like Sven & Ursa can have a field day. Not to mention it grants you a nice HP Boost.
Okay, I have seen some crazy builds with Crystal Maiden. Nothing is wrong as it is how you play her that is the important thing. But, this is what has worked for me. Level 1 Frostbite, 1.5 second hold + 70 damage. Ideally, you want to use this as your creep wave is on them (same concept as Invoker Cold Snap). It is great for getting first blood and can save your teammates. If they are dumb enough to dive the tower early on, you are almost guaranteed a kill.
Arcane Aura level 2; Why? Well what good is a Nuker that doesn't have enough mana to use their spells? Don't underestimate the power of good timing and a few auto attacks. But, you will need mana to spam your frostbite.
Arcane Aura Level 3; Craziness you say? Well, not only does it help you it helps your team. Not to mention your building it up so that you can essentially utilize your Ult at level 6.
Crystal Nova Level 4; One of the most versatile spells in Crystal Maidens arsenal. 100 AOE Damage at level 1 which can get you the last hit on a unit that believes they were saved from death. " Quas Quas Wex !" Invoker laughs and utters out a sigh of relief when all of a sudden he bursts into ice. Who has the last laugh now? Beyond, that combined with Frostbite you can inflict large amounts of damage. Mana will not be much of a problem allowing you and your lane partner to dominate the lane. Arcane Aura Level 5; Still building up for that big bad ult.
Freezing Field (Ult) Level 6; I have always thought people were boarder line crazy for not getting this at level 6. The common excuse is that it requires too much mana, well hello you have the best suited aurora in the game to your needs. This ultimate is devastating I have personally whipped out teams using it. Never underestimate the power of ice. Later, in the guide I will be talking about effective positioning and usages for all of Crystal Abilities.
At level 7 you'll want to finish that Arcane Aura to ensure that you don't run out of mana when you need it the most. After this feel free to pick up more frostbite levels or crystal nova levels. Frankly, I never change my skill build. I have found that this works for me the majority of the time. Increasing the amount of damage in Nova I believe to be better suited for game play. It is your most versatile spell, where as the enemy can still cast spells through frostbite.
Alright, so I decided to experiment just a little. As you noticed the difference here is at what level you max your Arcane Aura. I decided that at level 3 you will only be able to utilize your spells in 1 battle. As most fights don't last longer than 5 seconds, your spells should still be on cool down. This being said you are really wanting to focus on dealing out extra damage.
I did notice slight mana problems, but, not enough to really make a huge difference. There was twice that I was unable to use my Ult. due to the fact that I had used my spells previously to the fight. If you have a very mana intensive team or are pushing lanes heavily I would stick with skill build 1. But, if your looking towards ganks and utilizing all of your spells to the max I would rely on skill build 2.
The early game items are slightly different. Here you are focusing on staying alive in lane, harassing the enemy & getting kills. This will put early game charges on your urn if your able to buy it quickly. Generally, if you are focusing on just that you may want to get the Urn of Shadows before boots. If your able to get your team to help buy a support item ( Flying Courier, or Animal Courier) that can really speed up the rate at which you begin ganking.
Obviously, you'll always want to have a Town Portal Scroll handy, but, I put extra emphasis on it early game as you can save your teammates and set up ganks before the enemy has enough time to get a decent farm.
Luxury Items; If your going to be focusing on ganks, it may behoove you to purchase a Blink Dagger. But, again it truly is personal preference.
Taking a road trip so I thought I'd update the guide. Alright so recently I have come across the one and only jungle maiden. now this may not be new to some, but, I find it works well within certain teams. If you have a viable offlaner such as Weaver for example. Then you might want to consider the jungle maiden.
Now you may laugh but I find you can farm effectively as well as gaining experience. Most importantly you are able to rotate between mid and safe lane for routine ganks which can really help your team. Now, unfortunately I am unable to do that much on an iPhone so I'll need to come back and make some changes.
Level 1 frostbite will be taken as it allows you to detain the largest creep in a camp for up to 10 seconds, you can then kite the smaller creeps until the large one becomes free. If you need to refreeze the large creep then you may do so. But, if you do this you'll need to make sure you hit level 2 before rotating to the next camp. Once you hit level 2 you'll want to put a level into arcane aura as it allows you to continue jingling.
As you are jungling you will want to stack and pull/ pull through for the lane. If you can achieve level 3 during this time frame you can gank the enemy if they are playing close to the tower. Personally, I get a level 3 nova as it can be devastating combined with a frostbite (time the nova for the end of the bite allowing for max slow time).
As far as items go not too much changes except you will want to go boots of tranquility instead of phase boots. Why? Well that ring of protection allows you to take some extra hits while jungling. Observer wards you'll want to place for your own security as a jungle maiden is vulnerable, this is especially true for facing Herod like bounty hunter, blood seeker or anyone else going out of their way to make your life hell.
Some items you'll want to pick up sooner than later are boots to help your gambling potential and a tp scroll to gank the unsuspecting offlane. As far as runes go, some mid laners feel as if they are entitled to every rune. While you generally want to avoid utilizing them if your mid is coming to grab one use your own discretion. If you can save your teammates by snagging a haste or set up a successful gank with an invis rune for your hard carry to secure a kill than 9 out of 10 times it may be worth it.
If your getting screwed with mud golems, or the enemy has warded all the camps it may behoove you to join the offlane just to keep yourself from becoming too under leveled (as a maiden this can really hurt since a maiden is at her best early in the game.
A lot of people feel as if they can't properly farm with Crystal Maiden. Those people are insane. Last hitting isn't that hard once you get used to her attack animation. If you need help or want to inflict that extra damage Phase Boots and a Shadow Blade will allow you to effectively push a lane. Frostbite a melee creep not being attacked. Attack the ranged creep in back and when your creeps have almost killed an enemy creep use your Crystal Nova. This will give you about 150 gold in about 2 seconds. If your really on your game finish off the wave with your base attack (I don't want to call it auto attack as you want to focus on getting the last hit).
This combination allows you to push lanes & effectively farm. Don't be the guy that takes away from the carries farm. Only do this if there isn't a carry to take the gold. Most likely you'll have instances in game where you can do what I've described without pissing off your carries. The carries will appreciate you successfully supporting in all feasible ways while still being a bad ***.
Special Note;-When farming make sure your mana pool doesn't run too low. You'll need to defend youself against ganks.
Frostbite the hardest hitting creep, then use your Crystal Nova right away. Finish off the little creeps with auto attacks. Once you've whipped them up finish off the large creep. Obviously, this doesn't work on Ancients, Mud Golems, and you won't be soloing Roshan any time soon.
Frostbite is effective in disabling DPS hero's or allowing your carry to kill off the squishy hero's. Don't be afraid of accidently killing the enemy hero as it does happen. But, better off dead than escaping. Now, that that's been said, don't do it when your carry already has a guaranteed kill.
Crystal Nova; Try to use this towards the end of your frostbite on a single target. This will ensure that the effects of both abilities will last as long as possible. If you are dealing with multiple targets you'll want to use it early-mid time after you used frostbite. Keep in mind your casting distance for Nova is greater than frostbite. If an enemy is out of range of frostbite you may be able to slow them down long enough for you to catch up to them and frostbite.
Freezing Field; You have the Mana so utilizing it in a gank or counter gank is not a problem for you. I love seeing a Shadow Fiend or Natures Prophet alone in the woods. Most players will underestimate your power and willingness to use your ult. Take advantage of this. Frostbite - (BKB if applicable)- Ultimate - Nova if they live long enough to make it out of your Ult. The Nova will slow them down enough for you to kill them with auto attacks or to kill them instantly.
I had a Kunkka that thought it was his lucky day to find me alone. After he had used his Torrent and X Marks the Spot on me I had just enough life to Frostbite - Crystal Nova - Freezing Field. He had expected me to run as most players do. But, running from someone with a faster movement speed than you is counter intuitive. If your going to die you might as well fight. My ult was strong enough to kill him off leaving me to the last laugh. He even mentioned that he thought I'd run.
As we can see positioning is everything, especially in team fights. If you had watched The International 2013 (Ti3) you would have learned how devastating Crystal Maiden Ult is if you didn't know this already. It can obliterate your opponent (added effects with a Aghanim's Scepter).
Don't be afraid to fight, you are a stone cold warrior and your enemy's should fear you by the end of the game. With this mindset, I guarantee you will see an increase in wins while playing Crystal Maiden.
-Global Mana Regen Aurora
-Slow unless you get some items under your belt.
-Requires great positioning & timing
-Victim to every disable
Deny Creeps, give your teammate a warning if your moving in for a kill. If they are decent they should notice the signs. Crystal Maiden works great with any hero that has high DPS and has a stun or slow. Juggernaut, Centaur Warrunner , Sven & Ursa are truly your best friends in lane. Another great hero to be laned with is Kunkka. His passive keeps the enemy's health continuously low leaving the lane open to easy kills. If you are able to Frostbite as the creeps move in. There is no reason why Kunkka shouldn't be able to secure a kill. In this case it may behoove you to put extra points into Frostbite vs. Crystal Nova. This is to ensure that his Torrent is a for sure hit.
Ironically, Juggernaut is one of your worst nightmares along with; Storm Spirit, Earthshaker, Bounty Hunter, Zeus, & lastly, Lifestealer. Pudge players believe they can take advantage of your slow speed and channeling ability. Which they can if you don't play smart. But, once you become better at positioning, timing, warding, and dodging Meat Hook, Pudge is not a problem.
**There has been an update, which allows Pudge to carry a Blink Dagger this is bad news for you. Now he can blink in, Dismember then Meat Hook your fine *** as you run away, this may cause some new problems. Lina also can be a pain in the ***, but, if you get the right items and position yourself correctly she won't be able to cast on you as much. If you have a Nyx Assassin on the map, your best bet is to stay with a teammate and use sentry wards constantly.
So there I was playing with a ****py Sniper on my team and then I had this thought Sniper rapes Crystal Maiden ". I can't believe I had forgot to add this one until now (1 day later). Simply put, Sniper rapes you. His Headshot do in fact go through magic immunity (BKB). This being said you are defenseless against him unless he stays stunned long enough for you or your teammates to kill him.
Past the Headshot he inflicts a great amount of DPS and you'll quickly feed to an experience player. Shadow Blade won't be effective if he uses Assassinate before you fade out. Your best item against Sniper is an Ethereal Blade, but, lets face it. If your saving up that much gold you can't be supporting as well as you should.
Another great counter to everything you do is Riki. Smoke Screen, Diffusal Blade, Backstab. Not much you can do, keep in mind he can Blink Strike while in Frostbite.
-Again, your crazy if you don't get your Ult ASAP. I have read many guides regarding how to play Crystal Maiden, but, frankly I have yet to be impressed. Which is why I am making this guide.
I learned how to play Crystal Maiden back in Warcraft III The Frozen Throne (Dota 1) and is to this day my favorite hero. She can be played very aggressively or as a hard support. I have carried my team to victories (generally the 24 minute games, if it gets past 30 minutes the real carries begin to come back). I had a Pudge say to me "First time I have seen a Crystal Maiden out carry a Phantom Assassin.
-60% win rate with her which is above average. Feel free to watch my games, but, please note I am not a pro, but, I do strive to play her to the best of my ability. Lately, I have been picking her against opponents I know rape me just for a challenge (only way to get better).
-If I feel I have discovered a new way to play, or perhaps I butchered the "navigation" of the guide I will come back and edit it. Feel free to debate in the comments and critique me as I don't care if you think this is the "right" way to play. Again this is what works for me. But, if we can discuss how to truly play her effectively that will make everyone a better player. Besides, I'm sure someone will cry that I didn't add a Blink Dagger, which will bring us to the Blink Dagger vs Force Staff debate (But, with all chips aside, use what your comfortable with).