Hello there, this guide is my first guide on Dotafire and is it for the first hero I have played : Crystal Maiden.
She is one of the best supports in the game, with her very great global mana regen aura, Arcane Aura. But I personnaly play CM with an offensive playstyle and so I max Frostbite first. Why ? For more laning domination and easy early kills... and its result for more gold for my carry.
I'm not a pro at all in Dota2 and I completly agree with the classic build which makes you maxing Arcane Aura. This is just my way to play CM, but I also put 2 others skill builds, the classic Arcane Aura build and a Crystal Nova build for more damage early game. Hope you'll enjoy it !
(Sorry if my english is bad, i'm french.)
When to pick Crystal Maiden ?
Q - Crystal Nova : An AoE magic damage spell with a 30% movement speed slow and a 20% attack speed slow at ALL levels. Useful for harassing early game and for slowing your opponents in lane fights. I take it early and max it last.
W - Frostbite : I really like this spell. Its not really a stun because the target can cast spells during it duration, but some spells are blocked by this one, like Anti-Mage's Blink for example. In early, its pretty nice for securising a kill when a mate is ganking on your lane. I max it first for its duration (3 seconds at level 4).
E - Arcane Aura : A global mana regeneration aura, with 2 mana per sec. bonus at level 4. Very great for your mana hungry allies and yourself.
R - Freezing Field : A very powerful AoE damaging spell with 250 magic damage per second at level 3 (310 with Aghanim's Scepter) for 4 seconds, but it is a channeling spell. That's why you can't use it very often, because the ennemy just have to put one stun on you and you're dead.
You can take it at level 14,15 and 16 but I personnaly get it earlier, at level 10 and 11. Use it when you're sure you can land it for the entire 4 seconds, like in the finishing of a fight, after the ennemies used their disables.
Starting set : Animal CourierOR Observer Wards - Tango - Healing Salve - 2x Clarity - 2x Iron Branch
Courier or wards like all supports, Basic HP regen and 2 clarity instead of 3 branches for more spell spamming.
In Early game, pick up Boots of Speed first, and build your Iron Branches into something, you can go for a Magic Wand but I personnaly get a Headress early to rush my Mekansm (the second Branch will be used to build the Buckler).
After that, get a Sage's Mask for mana regen and build it into an Urn of Shadows, very great support item for me, good hp bonus, mana regen, and a heal !
Now it's time to upgrade your boots, Phase Boots are a must. Some damage and the Phase bonus which is very useful to fleeing, chasing ennemies for a last Frostbite, travelling the map faster, etc. Power Treads are good too if you're looking for additionnal stats, but Phase are really a must.
After that, finish your Mekansm, great hp regen aura and armor/restore spell which is useful in teamfights. If you've got some kills and additionnal gold, you can rush a Pipe of Insight instead of Meka if its very necessary (If a Queen of Pain or Lich's ultimate are pwning you for example). But dont buy both Meka and Pipe, because your opponents'll just have to focus you and these items'll be useless. If you're going on a Meka, let someone else with good farm buy a Pipe.
Obviously, during you're building all these items, be sure to always have a Town Portal Scroll and some Observer Wards on you to teleport fast for defending, pushing, fleeing, and have the map control.
Luxury items : Black King Bar - Aghanim's Scepter - Shiva's Guard - Blink Dagger - Eul's Scepter of Divinity - Force Staff
If you have some bonus gold, take a look on the two last items : Eul's and Force, they are quite cheap and give you great bonuses : mana regen and Cyclone for Eul's, and intelligence, damage, attack speed and an escape mechanism for Force Staff.
If you have a LOT of extra gold, rush a Black King Bar immediatly, it'll let you put your ultimate without being disabled. After BKB, bests Luxury items are Aghanim's for extra Freezing Field damage, Shiva's for armor, intelligence and AoE slow and finally, and why not a Blink Dagger for trolling, but buy it only if you just have to spend gold and you already have BKB and Shiva's.
For situationals, as I said earlier, Pipe if you really need it, Drum of Endurance if nobody is buying it for the speed aura and some extra HP and Intelligence, Blade Mail if you really need more survivability and Gem / Sentries / Dust if Riki, Clinkz or Bounty Hunter are very annoying for you and your team !
Here we go ! Buy your startings items, and wait for creep spawn to slow them and get more near of your tower. Harass ennemies with Crystal Nova and auto-attacks and try to deny some of your creeps. And the most important thing : LET YOUR CARRY FARM. You're a support, donc forget this !
Once your opponent is midlife, try to kill him (if possible the carry first). Frostbite him, let your carry jump in the fight and use Crystal Nova to damage and slow your ennemy when the bite ends.
If your lane is sucking, ask for a gank to your jungler or your midlane mate, helping for a gank is very easy with CM, when your mid mate is here, use your CCs to garanty a kill.
If your carry is very strong and can solo a few time easily, you can gank on midlane, Frostbite then Crystal Nova and win.
Dont forget to get map control near your lane too, if you have a time, go at your lane's runespot and put a ward. The map control early game protect you from ganks and helps the midlane boy to view Runes easier. Later in the game, put wards on the other side runespot to help your top / bot mates too.
Once you're in mid game, finish your core build if you did'nt. Stay near your team and please, dont go alone in the woods alone without ward, ennemies can just pwn you if you don't play safety. Defend tower, help for pushing and in teamfight and keep your Freezing Field for the GREAT MOMENT to garanty a win in a decisive teamfight. Keep warding at runes and other places where you need map control and get some Dust of Appearance if a stealthed ennemy is annoying your team, or Gem of True Sight if you're sure you'll not die fast after buying it.
And keep playing safety, stay behind your tanky teammates because CM is VERY squishy and feeding with her is very easy at all stages of the game if you don't play safety enough.
Crystal Maiden have a lot of friends. Not only because she's pretty sexy, but cause she's a ****ing great support too.
Anti-Mage : Arcane Aura Makes him regen mana quick for a spammable Blink and Frostbite then blinking in the fight is quite powerful in lane fights.
But not as powerful as Juggernaut, Rylai's best friend. Frostbite + Blade Fury is an INSANE combo, and will garanty you the first blood. Ursa is quite deadly too with his Fury Swipes.
Characters who rely a lot on spells and who've not a huge manapull are great with CM. Like Earthshaker, Storm Spirit or Tiny.
Another Rylai's icy friend is Ancient Apparition : Frostbite and Cold Feet Synergises ****ing well !
And the best for the end, Omniknight a.k.a Chuck Norris is quite crazy too. Repel'll let you using Freezing Field without having Black King Bar.
But CM don't have only friends...
All early nuking champions are deadly for Rylai : Vengeful Spirit with her Magic Missile will just pwn you if you are too near. Tiny the 2 buttons nuking rock is very annoying too. Be careful when he ganks on your lane. Your sister Lina is not really your friend too with her deadly combo early game.
Crystal Maiden looks easy to play, but she's not really. The most important thing you have to keep in mind is "I AM SQUISHY" CM is very easy to kill and you have to play safety in all stages of the game and avoid feeding the opponents.
If you don't agree with something in my item / skill build or others things, just post a comment, I'll edit my build to be as good as possible. And don't forget to rate it too !