Renowned as a well-balanced hard support, Crystal Maiden possesses strong nukes and disables that allow her to apply strong slows to enemies. Crystal Nova is a powerful area-of-effect nuke that slows both attack and movement speeds of enemies within an area for several seconds, while Frostbite encases an enemy in a block of ice for several seconds, immobilizing them and dealing moderate damage per second. Combining these two abilities together along with a laning partner's own spells is often enough to bring an enemy hero to their knees. Her Arcane Aura passive will also regenerate mana for Rylai and her allies, greatly boosting their ability to cast spells in the early game. Although her strong early game presence can be countered by her extreme frailty and poor mobility, she can still inflict a heavy amount of damage in teamfights later on if she is able to channel her deadly ultimate, Freezing Field. Her global mana aura, strong disabling and nuking prowess, simple spell layout, and almost complete lack of item dependence makes Crystal Maiden a reliable support caster that can be a strong asset to any team, and judicious use of her ultimate allows her to lay waste to her enemies when used properly. With protection from her team and appropriate item selection, she can be the only support any team needs.
Bio[edit | edit source]
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Abilities[edit | edit source]
|A burst of damaging frost slows enemy movement and attack rate in the targeted area.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Cast Range: 700
Effect Radius: 400
Move Speed Slow: 20%/30%/40%/50%
Attack Speed Slow: 20/30/40/50
Slow Duration: 4.5
- Provides 900 radius ground vision at the target area for 6 seconds.
- Plays a sound effect during the cast time which is audible to everyone.
|Encases an enemy unit in ice, prohibiting movement and attack, while dealing 50 damage every half-second. Lasts 10 seconds on creeps level 6 or lower.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Cast Range: 500
Damage per Second: 100
Hero Duration: 1.5/2/2.5/3
Creep Duration: 10
- Despite the visual effects, Frostbite applies its effects immediately and cannot be disjointed.
- Frostbite stuns the target upon cast for 0.1 seconds.
- Disables the following spells: Blink, Blink, Teleportation, Charge of Darkness, Phase Shift, Tricks of the Trade and Blink Dagger.
- Frostbite reveals invisible units for its duration.
- Frostbite deals 50 damage in 0.5 second intervals, starting immediately, resulting in 3/4/5/6 (20 against creeps) damage intervals.
- Can deal up to 150/200/250/300 (1000 to creeps) damage (before reductions).
|Gives additional mana regeneration to all friendly units on the map. This bonus is increased for Crystal Maiden.|
Allies Mana Regen Bonus: 1/1.5/2/3
Self Mana Regen Bonus: 2/3/4/8
- The aura's buff lingers for 0.5 seconds.
- Restores mana in form of mana regeneration, so it regenerates 0.1/0.15/0.2/0.3 mana in 0.1 second intervals, which makes 1/1.5/2/3 mana per second.
- Regenerates 0.2/0.3/0.4/0.8 mana in 0.1 second intervals for Crystal Maiden, which makes 2/3/4/8 mana per second.
- Stacks with all other sources of flat mana regeneration.
- The flat mana regen bonus is not considered by percentage mana regeneration increases.
- Regenerates up to 60/90/120/180 (120/180/240/480 on self) mana in one minute.
|Surrounds Crystal Maiden with random icy explosions that slow enemies and deal massive damage. Lasts 10 seconds.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Max Channel Time: 10
Slow Radius: 835
Explosion Spawn Radius: 195-785
Explosion Damage Radius: 300
Damage: 105/170/250 ( 170/250/310)
Move Speed Slow: 30% ( 50%)
Attack Speed Slow: 30 ( 50)
Slow Duration: 1
- The slow is applied to all enemies within the radius in 0.1 second intervals, regardless of the ice explosions.
- Every 0.1 second an explosion occurs, for a total of 100 explosions.
- Each ice explosion can spawn within a random distance of 195 to 785 away from Crystal Maiden.
- The explosion spawn radius is divided into four 90° segments (0°–90°, 90°–180°, 180°–270°, 270°–360°).
- The first explosion occurs within the north-east segment of the circle. The next occurs in the north-west segment, proceeding counterclockwise.
- Can damage units up to 1085 range away (785 spawn radius + 300 explosion radius).
- The average damage is roughly constant up to a radius of 485 units, falling off after that. It is slightly less than 50% by 785 units. The very center does slightly (5%) more damage.
- For enemies within 485 radius, Freezing Field deals about 2000/3300/4800 ( 3300/4800/6000) damage over the 10 second duration, ±1.9 explosions.
- If each explosion could hit a single target, it would deal up to 10500/17000/25000 ( 17000/25000/31000) damage (before reductions).
- The area of effect is centered around Crystal Maiden's current location, not where the spell was cast.
- Despite the visual effects, the damage is dealt as the falling ice shards are spawned, not upon them reaching the ground.
Recommended items[edit | edit source]
- One each of Tango and Healing Salve provides Crystal Maiden with enough basic regen to remain in-lane and support her teammates without being harassed away and being forced to return to base.
- Clarity is a useful purchase due to Crystal Maiden's low base intelligence preventing her from casting too many spells in the laning stage. The additional mana replenishment can allow her to bring both of her disables to bear on an enemy, greatly increasing the odds of a kill during a gank.
- Gauntlets of Strength can give Crystal Maiden more HP, which can help extend her survivability.
- Buying the Animal Courier at game start is expected of support heroes due to their item independence.
- Magic Stick is useful for giving Crystal Maiden burst regen, particularly due to her small HP and mana pools. In a pinch, the burst mana regen of a full-charge Magic Stick can allow her to cast Frostbite or Crystal Nova in an emergency.
- Boots of Speed are a crucial early purchase on Crystal Maiden due to her extremely low base movement speed. Increasing her mobility allows Rylai to get within range to cast her disables on her foes, or outrun pursuing enemies.
- Bracer can be upgraded from Gauntlets of Strength to provide a good mix of attributes, the strength bonus being especially useful to improve Crystal Maiden's survivability.
- Magic Wand is very useful on Crystal Maiden as it is a cheap way to give her stats and more survivability, key requirements for hard support heroes. The increased charge storage also allows her to restore up to 255 HP and mana instantly, which can allow her to do more in fights.
- Tranquil Boots are the cheapest upgradable boots available, and allow Crystal Maiden to remain out in the field for extended periods of time. As Arcane Aura restores her mana pool while Tranquil Boots's passive heals her, Crystal Maiden can stay out in the field indefinitely and never need to return to base. The increased movement speed and extra armor are also a boon, allowing her to roam, gank and flee more effectively.
- Blink Dagger augments Rylai's mobility, allowing her to instantly jump within range for locking down enemy heroes with her disables. The improved mobility also allows her to move around the map more easily to support her teammates, or escape pursuing enemies.
- Drum of Endurance gives Crystal Maiden stats across the board and can be upgraded from an already-purchased Bracer. The extra movement speed can also increase her movement speed, allowing her to position herself for casting spells more easily.
- Observer Wards should be purchased regularly and placed at key areas around the map. As a support, giving your team map vision is critical to victory.
- Town Portal Scroll is mandatory for all heroes, but should be carried in surplus on Crystal Maiden as her disables can drastically turn ganks around.
- Black King Bar is an expensive luxury item that should be considered only if given farm priority and all other support duties have been met. It prevents interruptions to her ultimate, as well as increasing the size of Rylai's health pool.
- Aghanim's Scepter can give Crystal Maiden a large amount of lockdown ability with Freezing Field, as well as give her stats across the board, particularly her health and mana pool, giving her both extra survivability to cast the ultimate and the mana to do so at higher levels. If your team can prevent Freezing Field from being interrupted, it can be a strong luxury item to invest in once you have the mobility to deploy it reliably.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity grants Crystal Maiden additional movement speed, allowing her to be more mobile, and grants her a larger mana pool and mana regeneration. The active can be cast on yourself to make yourself temporarily invulnerable while also removing debuffs, or as an additional disable against enemies.
- Ghost Scepter gives survivability against auto-attacking carries by granting Rylai a brief period of invulnerability to physical damage, as well as some additional stats. The active is also useful for shielding her from attack damage during Freezing Field, preventing enemies from ending the channel by attacking her.
- Scythe of Vyse is a very expensive support item, however it gives a very reliable ranged hard-disable, a larger mana pool and some more HP, and a powerful mana regeneration boost.
- Shiva's Guard gives Crystal Maiden a strong area slow which synergizes with Crystal Nova and Freezing Field. The armor bonus also makes her much more resistant to physical damage, making it harder to focus her down.
- Glimmer Cape can be a useful item to purchase if you intend on making use of Freezing Field regularly, and is otherwise a good support item. Casting the active on yourself prior to jumping in with your ultimate can give you a little extra time to channel it, allowing you to deal more damage. In other situations, it can give you or an ally the ability to stealthily initiate on targets you have vision on, or can be used as an escape or survivability tool by granting someone on your team invisibility and greatly increased magic resistance.
Counters[edit | edit source]
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Tips[edit | edit source]
- Crystal Maiden is a well-rounded support who possesses good early-game disabling and roaming capability. She is also an easy hero to learn, as her abilities are straightfoward and give her team strong disabling and nuking potential.
- Like most intelligence casters, Crystal Maiden is extremely squishy and easy to kill if focused down by the enemy. This is further exacerbated by her low base movement speed, tied with Invoker for the second-lowest base movement speed in the game. Due to her strong disable potential, she can most effectively mitigate this and by building mobility items that give her a measure of escape, since it doubles to give her initiation potential.
- Because her abilities are strongest in the laning stage of a match, Crystal Maiden can greatly aid her team by being extremely active on the map as early as possible.
- Crystal Maiden is most often played as her team's hard support, babysitting her safe lane carry and purchasing the support items for her team. Because she does not require farm in order to be effective, she can afford to spend most of a match with few items more than basic boots and a Town Portal Scroll.
- Rylai's strong disable repertoire makes her a very strong early roamer, as she can disable and nuke down enemies in order to secure kills in the laning stage.
- Crystal Nova is a large area of effect nuke that also slows enemies' movement and attack speed.
- Crystal Nova's long cast range and wide radius allows Rylai to hit enemies 1100 units away (700 casting range + 400 radius), making it a strong initiating slow that can hinder enemies' attempts to run away so that Crystal Maiden and her teammates can more easily pursue.
- In teamfights, cast Crystal Nova early on, as the movement speed slow can hinder enemies' movements and set up spells for teammates, while the attack speed slow can reduce their ability to fight. Its low cooldown allows Rylai to cast it multiple times over the course of an engagement, so casting it early in a teamfight will give it more time to come off cooldown to be used as a supplementary nuke and slow afterward.
- Crystal Nova provides ground vision in its casting radius for a short duration. This allows it to be used to scout high-ground areas, particularly for checking elevated cliffs for enemy wards or inside Roshan's pit.
- Frostbite roots the target enemy while also disarming them and dealing damage over time.
- Frostbite can be a strong disable due to its ability to instantly immobilize an enemy. It also interrupts channelling abilities by applying a mini-stun upon cast. While it does not prevent enemies from casting spells, it can inhibit True Blink abilities, as well as Charge of Darkness and Phase Shift. Depending on the enemy lineup, maxing out Frostbite first can give Crystal Maiden's team an edge in fights.
- Frostbite lasts 10 seconds on creeps, no matter what level it is. This can be useful for jungling on the side as it will always deal 1,000 magic damage to neutrals, and can be useful for rooting enemy-controlled creeps during fights.
- Frostbite's up-time increases drastically as it is leveled, as the cooldown decreases in tandem with the disable duration's increase. At level 4, it is possible to keep an enemy rooted for 50% of the time, so staying alive in teamfights can allow Crystal Maiden to severely hinder right-clicking carries if they have no method with which to prevent her from casting it.
- Arcane Aura provides a global aura that replenishes teammates' mana over time, with the bonus doubling for Crystal Maiden herself.
- Arcane Aura benefits the whole team greatly in the laning stage, as allies with strong nukes or disables can cast their spells profligately to gain a lane advantage. Even past the laning stage, at max level it restores more mana than using Arcane Boots on all teammates globally whenever it is off cooldown, which allows all allied heroes, especially those with small mana pools, to cast spells much more frequently.
- It is wise to get at least one level of Arcane Aura in the early game. As Rylai's low base intelligence greatly limits her ability to cast her disables during the laning stage, having some form of early mana replenishment goes a long way towards improving her ganking prowess.
- When choosing when to level up Arcane Aura, you should bear in mind your team's composition, as well as that of the enemy. If the enemy has numerous mana-destroying spells or your team can benefit from the mana regen in-lane, then taking at least a couple early levels can give your team the freedom to use their spells more frequently. However, bear in mind that this comes at the cost of having fewer skill points in your disables in the early game, weakening your ability to gank enemies.
- Freezing Field is a channeled spell that summons a blizzard around Crystal Maiden, greatly slowing all enemies while dealing heavy damage over time.
- Freezing Field is an incredibly strong area nuking spell that deals more damage the closer an enemy is. However, it can be unpredictable and can be easily interrupted by Crystal Maiden's enemies if cast at the wrong time. Freezing Field also consumes a lot of mana at higher levels, so use it sparingly.
- Freezing Field must be used at the right time to avoid interruption and being focused. Generally speaking, in an encounter it is best used after the initial nuking phase, when the enemy's stuns are on cooldown. If your team has an initiator with the capability to disable a group of enemies, such as Ravage or Black Hole, Freezing Field should be used in tandem with their mass disable. Using Freezing Field very often results in Rylai's death if cast out in the open, and she rarely is able to channel it for its full duration, but if she can maintain it even for a few seconds it will be useful for her team.
- When positioning yourself to cast your ultimate, try to utilize trees and high ground as cover if the option presents itself. By shielding yourself in the fog of war, the enemy loses the ability to use targeted stuns to interrupt you, increasing the odds of channeling the spell for a longer duration.
- Freezing Field can be used as a supplementary slow after Crystal Nova in a teamfight. Stacking the two slows together can reduce enemy movement speed by 50-80%, and boosted by Aghanim's Scepter can ramp up to 100% movement speed slow and -100 attack speed. Even if Freezing Field is quickly interrupted, the slows and damage can greatly inhibit the enemy and give Crystal Maiden's team an opportunity to catch the enemy with further area disables and nukes.
- In general, it is not recommended to level up Freezing Field every time it is available, as it is highly situational and increases drastically in mana cost as it's skilled more. However, its slow and gigantic (if unpredictable) damage can be very useful in early game, especially against enemies that lack the means to interrupt it, so taking one point in it early on and leaving it at level 1 until much later can give you access to the ultimate while preserving your mana pool and freeing up your skill points for other abilities. Overall, let your decision be informed by enemy line-up as well as laning composition.
- When ganking, it is important to layer your disables, even among your own spells. While Crystal Nova's cooldown prevents it from being used too often in an engagement, Frostbite's 6 second cooldown at max level allows you to cast it twice in quick succession. The most effective way to disable a target is to Frostbite them first, and then apply Crystal Nova right before its duration ends. The slow from Crystal Nova can prevent an enemy from moving too far before Frostbite comes off of cooldown, which can be cast again before the slow debuff expires.
- Played as a hard support, Crystal Maiden benefits from the utility of many items:
- Sentry Wards should be regularly purchased in order to destroy enemy Observer Wards, as well as to counter invisible enemy heroes.
- Flying Courier is important to purchase as early as possible if gold permits, in order to facilitate delivery of items to teammates around the map.
- Null Talisman is a useful alternative to Bracer when purchased as a stat booster. It provides a useful amount of bonus intelligence, bolstering Rylai's meager base mana pool and allowing her to cast her spells more readily as needed. It can build into a Veil of Discord later in order to provide utility to her team.
- Urn of Shadows is a good utility item to build over Bracer as a roaming Crystal Maiden, as it can add to her damage nukes or be used to recover health after ganks. The additional strength gives her HP, while the mana regeneration works alongside Arcane Aura to keep her mana topped up.
- Force Staff is a good cheap support item to build on Crystal Maiden if saving up for a Blink Dagger is unfeasible. It provides Rylai with repositioning abilities, and increases the size of her mana pool to allow her to cast her disables more easily.
- Veil of Discord is a cheap utility item that gives Rylai many benefits. Besides the all-around stats, the additional armor helps her survive against physical damage, the greatly increased intelligence improves the size of her mana pool, and the magic resistance reduction against enemies allows her to do more damage with her magic nukes, especially Freezing Field.
- Aether Lens is a strong caster item that greatly improves Crystal Maiden's disabling capabilities. The item provides additional mana, improving the utility of Arcane Aura and facilitating casting spells from her small mana pool, and the HP regen works alongside Tranquil Boots in keeping her health topped up. The increased cast range allows Rylai to cast Frostbite and Crystal Nova from longer ranges to catch enemies with her disables, while the spell damage amp increases the lethality of her nukes.
- Mekansm is a situational purchase that can improve Crystal Maiden's ability to support her team. It improves her overall stats while providing extra armor, and the active allows her to heal her teammates and herself in teamfights, improving overall team survivability.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Rylai is one of the oldest heroes from the original DotA in Reign of Chaos DotA. Her title used to be Frost Maiden.
- Rylai's name in Warcraft DotA was Rylai Crestfall. Her surname was removed in transition to Dota 2 for the implementation of her sibling rivalry with Lina.
- Crystal Maiden's Arcane Aura used to be named Brilliance Aura.
- In early versions of DotA, Crystal Maiden and Lich used to share the same Frost Blast ability (although they were both named Frost Nova). However, in later updates, Crystal Maiden's Frost Nova was changed to Crystal Nova, turning it into a free-cast area-of-effect ability, while Lich kept the original effects.
- In Warcraft DotA, Crystal Maiden's Frostbite can freeze the enemy's Fountain and the duration was counted as creep.
- League of Legends features an item called Rylai's Crystal Scepter, a homage to the Crystal Maiden from the original DotA.
- In World of Warcraft an alliance NPC is named Rylai Crestfall, a homage to the original Crystal Maiden from Warcraft III's DotA.
- Crystal Maiden's leveling-up response Play "Is it cold in here or is it just me?" is a reference to the action movie Demolition Man.
- Crystal Maiden's respawning line Play "You only live ice..." is a reference to the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice based on the novel of the same name.
- Crystal Maiden's line Play "It's all fun and games until someone's frozen solid." is a reference to a novel written by Christopher Brookmyre entitled All Fun and Games until Somebody Loses an Eye.
- Crystal Maiden's rare response Play "Can you guess my... favorite poet?" is a reference to Robert Frost due to his last name.
Update history[edit | edit source]
Balance changelog[edit | edit source]
Replaced abilities[edit | edit source]
|Frost Nova (pre 6.60)|
|Blasts enemy units around a target enemy unit with a wave of damaging frost that slows movement speed and attack rate for 4 seconds.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Cast Range: 600
Effect Radius: 200
Primary Damage: 50/100/125/275
Area Damage: 75/100/125/125
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 20
Slow Duration: 4