Crystal Maiden

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Crystal Maiden
Crystal Maiden.png
16 + 1.7
16 + 1.6
16 + 2.9
Level Base 1 16 25
Hit Points 150 454 967 1594
Mana 0 208 793 1365
Damage 19‒25 35‒41 80‒70 124‒130
Armor -1 1.24 4.88 9.42
Attacks / Second 0.58 0.68 0.83 1.02
Movement Speed 280
Turn Rate 0.5
Sight Range 1800/800
Attack Range 600
Missile Speed 900
Attack Duration 0.55+0
Base Attack Time 1.7
Collision Size 24

Rylai the Crystal Maiden is a ranged intelligence Hero used as a hard support and disabler. She is perhaps best known for her powerful global mana regeneration aura. This aura allows mana dependent allies to excel during the early to mid game and the laning phase, and allows her to constantly activate her own spells without needing to worry much about the mana costs. She also has a high amount of early game presence with just a few points in her Crystal Nova and Frostbite abilities. 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 it and doing moderate damage per second. Combining these two abilities together along with a laning partner's own spells often results in the quick death of an enemy hero. Although her strong early game presence is quickly lost due to 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 Arcane Aura, strong disabling and nuking prowess, relative ease of usage, and almost complete lack of item dependence makes her a reliable support caster that can be useful in any team.


Crystal Maiden Rylai, the Crystal Maiden
Play "When Hell freezes over, I'll start calling it Heaven."
Role: Pip roamer.png Support / Pip disabler.png Disabler / Pip ganker.png Nuker / Pip babysitter.png Lane Support
Lore: 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.
Voice: Gin Hammond (Responses)



Crystal Nova
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged. Play
Crystal Nova icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Area Enemies Magical
A burst of damaging frost slows enemy movement and attack rate in the targeted area.
Cast Time: 0.3+0.6
Cast Range: 700
Effect Radius: 400
Damage: 100/150/200/250
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 30
Slow Duration: 3.5/4/4.5/5
Cooldown 15 Mana 100/120/140/160
The air temperature around Rylai drops rapidly, chilling all around her to the core.


  • 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.

Blocked by Spell Immunity. Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged. Play
Frostbite icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit Enemies Magical
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 Time: 0.3+0.6
Cast Range: 500
Damage per Second: 100
Hero Duration: 1.5/2/2.5/3
Creep Duration: 10
Cooldown 10/9/8/7 Mana 115/125/140/150
Rylai channels winds from the Blueheart Glacier, imprisoning attackers in thick blocks of ice.


  • Despite the visual effects, Frostbite applies its effects immediately and cannot be disjointed.
  • Frostbite stuns the target upon cast for 0.1 seconds.
  • Frostbite roots and disarms the target, preventing it from moving and attacking.
  • 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).

Arcane Aura
Not blocked by Spell Immunity. Cannot be purged. Can be used by illusions.
Arcane Aura icon.png
Ability Affects
Aura Allies
Gives additional mana regeneration to all friendly units on the map. This bonus is doubled on Crystal Maiden.
Radius: Global
Allies Mana Regen Bonus: 1/1.5/2/2.5
Self Mana Regen Bonus: 2/3/4/5
Cold temperatures promote the essence of magic, causing Rylai's presence to allow spell usage in abundance.


  • The aura's buff lingers for 0.5 seconds.
  • Restores mana in form of mana regeneration, so it regenerates 0.1/0.15/0.2/0.25 mana in 0.1 second intervals, which makes 1/1.5/2/2.5 mana per second.
    • Regenerates 0.2/0.3/0.4/0.5 mana in 0.1 second intervals for Crystal Maiden, which makes 2/3/4/5 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 60/90/120/150 (120/180/240/300 on self) mana in one minute.
  • On level 4, it effectively provides slightly more mana than Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots which is used whenever it's off cooldown (137.5 opposed to 135 in 55 seconds).

Freezing Field
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged. Play
Freezing Field icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
No Target / Channeled Enemies Magical
Surrounds Crystal Maiden with random icy explosions that slow enemies and deal massive damage. Lasts 10 seconds.
Cast Time: 0.3+0
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
Cooldown 150/120/90 Mana 200/400/600
Can be Improved by Aghanim's Scepter (* shows the improved values). Increases damage and slow.
Once the place of her exile, Icewrack has become an anchor for Rylai's frigid onslaught.


  • 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.
    • This means when her position changes while channeling without getting canceled (e.g. with Force Staff icon.png Force Staff, or an allied Meat Hook icon.png Meat Hook), the affected area will follow her.
  • Despite the visual effects, the damage is dealt as the falling ice shards are spawned, not upon them reaching the ground.

Recommended Items[edit]

Starting items:

  • One each of Tango and Healing Salve will give you enough regen to lane. Both items can be used to replenish your carry's health as needed if you are not taking much harass damage.
  • Due to her low base Intelligence, a Clarity is highly recommended for being able to cast spells when they are needed, even if Arcane Aura is skilled early. Having a Clarity allows Crystal Maiden to have two disables at level 2 and the ability to replenish some mana over time.
  • While expensive, Gauntlets of Strength can give Crystal Maiden more HP, which can help extend her survivability. However, if you have the inventory space then purchasing three Iron Branches is more cost efficient as they also increase her Intelligence and Agility, and can build into a Magic Wand.
  • Buying the Animal Courier or a pack of Observer Wards at game start is expected of support heroes due to their item independence.

Early game:

  • With her small base HP and mana pools, a Magic Stick is useful for giving Crystal Maiden burst mana regen.
  • It is recommended to purchase Boots of Speed as early as possible if other support duties such as upgrading the courier or buying additional wards is not an immediate requirement. Crystal Maiden has one of the slowest base movement speeds in the game, and benefits greatly from an increased movement speed.
  • Bracer can be upgraded from Gauntlets of Strength to provide a good mix of attributes, the Strength bonus being especially useful to improve her durability.

Core items:

  • 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.
  • 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 can replenish her mana pool while Tranquil Boots's passive heals her. 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 position herself for Freezing Field and lock down fleeing heroes with her other abilities. As well, it can be used as an escape tool if the player's reaction time is fast enough to use it before taking player damage.
  • Drum of Endurance gives Crystal Maiden stats across the board and can be upgraded from a Bracer. The extra movement speed can also increase her mobility slightly, allowing her to chase or flee more effectively.
  • 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.

Situational items:

  • Black King Bar is an expensive luxury item that should be considered only if your team is doing well. It prevents interruptions to your ultimate channeling, as well as increasing Rylai's health pool.
  • Aghanim's Scepter can give Crystal Maiden a large amount of lockdown ability with her ultimate, 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, or as an additional disable against enemies.
  • Ghost Scepter helps against auto-attacking carries by granting Rylai a brief period of invulnerability to physical damage, as well as some additional stats.
  • Scythe of Vyse gives a very reliable 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.



  • Crystal Maiden's potent disables grant her a powerful early-game roaming and ganking presence, particularly when her slow base movement speed is offset by Tranquil Boots.
  • Because of her low base movement speed, Rylai benefits greatly from positioning items such as Blink Dagger and Force Staff. When not spending gold on support or survivability items, it is wise to invest in positioning items.
  • Crystal Nova icon.png Crystal Nova is a large area of effect nuke that also slows your enemies. You can hit enemies from 1100 units away with it (700 casting range + 400 radius), applying the slow and allowing you and your teammates to catch up to fleeing foes to disable them further.
    • 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.
    • Crystal Nova can be used to help push a lane without contesting carries for last hits, as the damage is not quite enough to kill a wave of creeps. However, make sure to keep it off cooldown in the possibility of an upcoming teamfight.
  • Frostbite icon.png Frostbite is a great rooting disable which prevents the target from moving or attacking. It also interrupts channelling spells and teleports by applying a mini-stun upon cast. Unfortunately, it does not prevent enemy heroes from casting spells (except for True blinks).
    • Frostbite lasts 10 seconds on creeps, no matter what level it is. This can be useful for jungling on the side as it will deal 1000 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 almost 43% of the time.
  • Arcane Aura icon.png Arcane Aura benefits the whole team greatly, especially one with a strong caster/ganker line-up, as it grants them a better lane presence due to the increased number of spells they can use. Even past the laning stage, at max level it equates to using Arcane Boots icon.png 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 giving you more casting power.
    • 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 your ability to disable the enemy in the early game.
  • Freezing Field icon.png Freezing Field is an incredibly strong spell. However, it can be unpredictable and usually gets interrupted by your enemies almost immediately if cast at the wrong time. Freezing Field also consumes a lot of mana at higher levels, so use it sparingly.
    • 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.
    • Prior to casting Freezing Field, it is recommended that you cast Crystal Nova on as many enemies as possible first, as the slows stack. Slowing the enemy's movement speed by 60% and their attack speed by 60 can go a long way towards locking them down for your team to capitalize on.
    • In general, it is not recommended to level up Freezing Field immediately when 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.
    • 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 Tidehunter icon.png Tidehunter's Ravage icon.png Ravage or Enigma icon.png Enigma's Black Hole icon.png 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 ganking, it is important to layer your disables, even among your own spells. While Crystal Nova's 15 second cooldown ensures that it can only be used once in a gank, Frostbite's 7 second cooldown at max level allows you to cast it twice in quick succession. Therefore, the most effective way to disable a target is to Frostbite them first, and then apply Crystal Nova right before its duration ends. This will slow the enemy immediately when Frostbite ends, and the slow will last for up to 5 seconds, enough time for Frostbite to come off of cooldown and be cast a second time, enabling you to keep an enemy in place for up to 10 seconds.
  • Played as a hard support, Crystal Maiden benefits from the utility of many items:
    • Besides Observer Wards, Sentry Ward icon.png Sentry Wards should also be frequently purchased in order to de-ward enemy wards. As well, upgrading the courier to a Flying Courier (Radiant) icon.png Flying Courier greatly benefits the team.
    • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows is useful to build on roaming Crystal Maidens as an alternative to Bracer, as it can add to her damage nukes or be used to recover health after ganks. The additional Strength gives her more HP, while the mana regeneration works alongside Arcane Aura to keep her mana topped up.
    • Force Staff icon.png 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.
    • Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord is a decent utility item that gives Rylai many benefits. Besides the all-around stats, the additional armor helps her survive against physical damage, and the magic resistance reduction against enemies allows her to do more damage with her magic nukes, especially Freezing Field.
    • Heaven's Halberd icon.png Heaven's Halberd serves as both a utility and survivability item. The Strength and evasion give Crystal Maiden more HP and survivability against physical attacks, while the active disarm can be used to halt an enemy carry from attacking in teamfight situations.
    • In a pinch, Shadow Amulet icon.png Shadow Amulet can serve as a poor man's substitute for Black King Bar. Used on yourself right before casting your ultimate, it can shield you with an umbrella of invisibility that prevents the enemy from hitting you with targeted disables as long as they don't have detection. However, it is not a wise pickup if one of your allies already has invisibility-based abilities, as the enemy will more likely have detection on hand to counter them.


  • 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 icon.png Arcane Aura used to be named Brilliance Aura.
  • In early versions of DotA, Crystal Maiden and Lich icon.png Lich used to share the same Frost Blast icon.png 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.
  • 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.[1]
  • 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]

December 17, 2014 Patch Update 2

October 30, 2014 Patch

  • Increased model scale from 0.81 to 0.95.

December 12, 2013 Patch

  • Base Intelligence reduced from 21 to 19 (same base damage)

June 14, 2013 Patch

January 24, 2013 Patch

August 09, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added a teleport animation to Crystal Maiden.

August 02, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added new Axe and Crystal Maiden responses.

July 26, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Updated Crystal Maiden's textures.

May 10, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Crystal Nova vision.
  • Fixed Freezing Field ground slow aoe being slightly off.

February 16, 2012 Patch

  • Crystal Maiden illusions will no longer play her custom death anim.

January 19, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Modified hero selection portraits of Bloodseeker and Crystal Maiden.

September 16, 2011 Patch

  • You can now target-cast cast-attacks while disarmed (e.g. Frost Arrows while under Frost Bite).

September 15, 2011 Patch

  • You can now target-cast cast-attacks while disarmed (e.g. Frost Arrows while under Frost Bite).

August 05, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Freezing Field to never land a splash too close to CM.

August 04, 2011 Patch

  • Removed death effect blood from CM.
  • Crystal Maiden has a new death animation.

July 01, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Freezing Field to favor splash locations near her.
  • Fixed Brilliance Aura not affecting regular units.

June 24, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Frostbite not doing a ministun when cast.
  • Fixed Frost Nova not giving visibility.

May 26, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Frostbite not revealing invisible units.
  • Fixed Frostbite damage interval.

March 12, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Crystal Nova working on towers.

March 03, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Freezing Field not slowing attack speed.

January 27, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Frostbite visual effect appearing on the target even if the spell was blocked.
  • Added 10 second creep duration exception for Frostbite.

Balance Changelog[edit]



  • Frostbite icon.png Frostbite damage interval from 70 per 1 second to 50 per 0.5 seconds (total damage now 150/200/250/300)
  • Freezing Field icon.png Freezing Field explosion radius increased from 230 to 250


  • Base intelligence reduced by 3.


  • Base Intelligence reduced from 21 to 19 (same base damage as before).






  • Freezing Field icon.png Freezing Field AoE increased by 100 (Explosion AoE adjusted to keep damage probabilities equivalent).



  • Crystal Nova icon.png Crystal Nova
    • Damage increased from 80/130/180/230 to 100/150/200/250.
    • Slow duration reduced from 5 to 3.5/4/4.5/5 seconds.


  • Replaced Frost Nova with a similar new ability Crystal Nova icon.png Crystal Nova:
    • AOE Damage: 80/130/180/230. AOE: 400. Slow Duration: 5. Attack Speed Reduction: 20%. Movement Speed Reduction: 30%.
    • Cast Range: 700. Cooldown: 15. Manacost: 100/120/140/160.
  • Arcane Aura icon.png Arcane Aura lowered from 0.75/1.5/2.25/3 to 0.5/1/1.5/2.



  • Changed Freezing Field icon.png Freezing Field mechanics a bit. The slow now comes from the area rather than the explosions. Changed the distribution method on Freezing Field as well.



  • Fixed Brilliance Aura to properly stack with Ring of Basilius
  • Improved Brilliance Aura a bit


  • Frostbite reduced from 2/2.5/3/3.5 to 1.5/2/2.5/3, damage per second increased to equal the same total damage as before


  • Freezing Field recoded to allow for multiple instances.

Replaced Abilities[edit]

Frost Nova (pre 6.60)
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged.
Unknown icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit Enemies Magical
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 Time: 0.3+2.4
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
Cooldown 11 Mana 100/130/155/185
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Despite the visual effects, the spell is completely blocked when the target is Linken's holder. Not blocked when hit as a secondary target.
The air temperature around Rylai drops rapidly, chilling all around her to the core.


  • This ability was replaced by Crystal Nova icon.png Crystal Nova in the 6.60 gameplay patch.
  • The area damage is dealt before the primary damage.
  • The primary target takes the primary damage and the area damage, resulting in 125/200/250/400 damage (before reductions).


See also[edit]