If you haven’t been playing Dota 2 for that long, or if you have struggled with getting out of lower ranks, Crystal Maiden is here to help you out. She is an amazing hero that succeeds the most among beginners, but unfortunately loses her advantages once you get to Ancient rank. There’s probably plenty of time until you reach that though, so let’s not worry about it yet.
Who should play Crystal Maiden?
As mentioned before, she is great for ranked games if you want to advance through the ranks. Her kit allows you to easily dominate games even if you play her as a supportive character. The only downside is that you can easily learn her abilities and after a while it will feel like there is nothing more to her. Because that is really is the case. Crystal Maiden is very one-dimensional, so I don’t recommend maining her, unless you have a certain rank you want to reach and are willing to sacrifice fun for it.
I you want to play unranked Dota 2 with her, that’s fine as well. Crystal Maiden can teach you some mechanics, because you can focus on the overall game instead of perfecting her kit. She truly is great for learning. The only problem is, that she will get fairly boring after a while.
If you want a constant challenge instead, try Huskar.
What items does Crystal Maiden need?
- Aghanim’s Scepter
- Blink Dagger
- Rod of Atos
- Tranquil Boots
These are the core items. Each one strengthens one of Crystal Maiden’s already existing abilities, because that is really all she needs. Rod of Atos is a little different because it also gives you an extra opportunity to crowd control someone besides your Frostbite. If you are fighting against a single enemy, it’s especially great because you can hold them in one place for up to 5 seconds.
The order of these items can be changed, but in most situations you will need this one. Aghanim’s Scepter gives you a huge power peak.
Since you will mostly act as a support, you won’t need heavy damage items. So if you get ahead, you need to get things that lay into your supportive traits. Items that raise your max mana and intelligence, or give you crowd control, are generally great. What I would advise you to get is Yasha and Kaya, Aether Lens, and Eul’s Scepter of Divinity.
If you are going even with the enemy team, you don’t really need to do much. You can go the “offensive” route, or a more neutral one. The latter includes Glimmer Cape and Aeon Disk. Unfortunately you can’t do much besides these items, as you likely aren’t strong enough to pick very offensive items and fight, but also not weak enough to build defensively.
When to switch it up
Speaking of defensive builds, you will likely need to go that fairly often, but not for yourself. Crystal Maiden doesn’t have many counters in Dota 2, but even they can be ignored because nobody will explicitly go for the supportive jungler. Instead, as a support hero you need to adapt to the situation of the entire team. If everyone is ahead, you can build offensively, but if your team is falling behind you need to switch things up a bit.
Bracer is a great option if it’s still early in the game, but it won’t do much later on. Lotus Orb, Scythe of Vyse and a ton of wards will help you out much more. Make sure you have plenty of vision.
How to play as Crystal Maiden
At the start of the game your abilities will be way too costly, so try not to waste your mana. Don’t hoard it either, of course, but only use it when you need a little extra damage. The only problem is that you need to get to level 3 as fast as possible, because that’s when you can start ganking. The best case scenario would be you getting to level 3, going back for a mana item, and then going to lanes. Otherwise there is a good chance you will run out of fuel in the middle of a fight and you will lose a kill.
At this stage you should also be warding like crazy. Since your base movement speed is one of the worst ones in the game, it will be really hard for you to escape sticky situations. The only thing that will help you is Frostbite. So, to not get caught out, you need plenty of vision in the jungle, which will require you to keep a couple of wards on you at all times.
Once mid game arrives, you might feel tempted to initiate fights with your Frostbite of Rod of Atos. Please, do NOT. You are a supportive character that is there to empower the rest of your team, and help them get through fights. Wait until someone else initiates, and then go all in with your crowd control if you want.
And this is the stage where you should be wrapping up the game, because if you reach the 25-minute mark, you will slowly become weaker.