Crystal Maiden/Guide

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Gameplay[edit]

Playstyle
Crystal Maiden minimap icon.png Crystal Maiden is an efficient support who specializes in slowing enemies. Her highly valued Arcane Aura icon.png Arcane Aura increases mana regeneration for all her teammates, while she remains effective throughout the game with very little items. In large fights, she can channel a Freezing Field icon.png Freezing Field to obliterate enemies over a wide area, along with using Frostbite icon.png Frostbite to target individuals. However, Crystal Maiden is quite fragile even compared to other supports, and is one of the slowest heroes in the game.
Pros Cons
  • Gives team mana regeneration.
  • Numerous slows with high cast range.
  • Great at killing jungle creeps to catch up.
  • Not item dependent.

Support[edit]

Ability Builds[edit]

Generic Crystal Maiden
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 25
Frostbite icon.png Arcane Aura icon.png Frostbite icon.png Arcane Aura icon.png Frostbite icon.png Freezing Field icon.png Frostbite icon.png Crystal Nova icon.png Arcane Aura icon.png Talent icon.png Arcane Aura icon.png Freezing Field icon.png Crystal Nova icon.png Crystal Nova icon.png Talent icon.png Crystal Nova icon.png Nil icon.png Freezing Field icon.png Talent icon.png Talent icon.png
Generic Crystal Maiden
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 25
Frostbite icon.png Arcane Aura icon.png Arcane Aura icon.png Crystal Nova icon.png Crystal Nova icon.png Freezing Field icon.png Crystal Nova icon.png Crystal Nova icon.png Frostbite icon.png Talent icon.png Arcane Aura icon.png Freezing Field icon.png Arcane Aura icon.png Frostbite icon.png Talent icon.png Frostbite icon.png Nil icon.png Freezing Field icon.png Talent icon.png Talent icon.png

Talents[edit]

Hero Talents
+300 Crystal Nova icon.png Crystal Nova Damage 25 +1.5s Frostbite icon.png Frostbite Duration
+50 Freezing Field icon.png Freezing Field Damage 20 +120 Gold/Min
+250 Health 15 +125 Cast Range
+60 Damage 10 +15% Magic Resistance
Notes:
  • The attack damage is added as bonus attack damage, and therefore does not benefit illusions.
  • The magic resistance stacks multiplicatively with other sources of magic resistance.
  • Upgrading health increases maximum health capacity and keeps the current health percentage.
  • The Frostbite icon.png Frostbite talent affects the hero and non-hero duration, although only the hero duration is displayed in the description.

Tips & Tactics[edit]

General[edit]

  • 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 straightforward 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 minimap icon.png 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.

Abilities[edit]

Crystal Nova icon.png Crystal Nova[edit]

  • 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 1125 units away (700 casting range + 425 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 icon.png Frostbite[edit]

  • 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 channeling 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 icon.png Charge of Darkness and Phase Shift icon.png 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 icon.png Arcane Aura[edit]

  • 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 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 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 icon.png Freezing Field[edit]

  • 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 icon.png Ravage or 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 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%. 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 the enemy lineup 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.

Items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango and Healing Salve icon.png 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 icon.png 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 icon.png Gauntlets of Strength can give Crystal Maiden more HP, which can help extend her survivability.
  • Animal Courier (Radiant) icon.png Animal Courier should always be purchased by Crystal Maiden.
  • Observer Ward icon.png 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.

Early game:

  • Magic Wand icon.png 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.
  • Boots of Speed icon.png 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 icon.png 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.
  • Town Portal Scroll icon.png 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.
  • Soul Ring icon.png Soul Ring can using it to effectively gained mana.
  • Flying Courier (Radiant) icon.png 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.

Core items:

  • Tranquil Boots (Active) icon.png 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.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png 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.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png 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 icon.png 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.
  • Sentry Ward icon.png Sentry Wards should be regularly purchased in order to destroy enemy Observer Wards, as well as to counter invisible enemy heroes.

Situational items:

  • Black King Bar icon.png 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 icon.png 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.
  • 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 to allow her to cast her disables more easily.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png 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 icon.png 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 icon.png 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 icon.png 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.
  • Null Talisman icon.png 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 icon.png 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.
  • Veil of Discord icon.png 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 icon.png 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. 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 icon.png 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.