Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hero Build: Crystal Maiden (Position 5 - Hard Support)

I was looking on the dota2gamepedia, and I didn't really like the way the item suggestions for Crystal Maiden (CM) were laid out.  Here's my take on Crystal Maiden support, which allows you to roam or lane, and has a few early points in her mana-regen aura, to support the rest of your team.

Crystal Maiden by Zrog (Position 5):
Start (590):  Courier, Tangos (give 1-2 to mid), Clarity (to be annoying), Health Pot, 3 Branches
Early:  Boots, Wand, TP, Wards
Core:  Tranq Boots, Wand, Bracer, TP, Wards, Dust
Low Luxury:  Eul’s, Ghost Scepter, Force Staff, Shadow Amulet, Blink Dagger
High Luxury:  BKB, Scythe, Agh’s, BoT
Situational:  Medallion, Urn, Drums, Vlad’s, Veil

Item Notes:
  • You want an early Teleport Scroll (TP) to save teammates if they get tower-dived, or to counter-gank
  • I made two sections of Luxury items, because in some games, if you're doing your warding/de-warding and other support duties, you aren't going to EVER have gold for the bigger items.  Instead of saving for something you'll never get, go for a low-luxury item.
  • Some builds advocate a Gauntlet instead of three Branches, to free up inventory space, or to get a very early Urn.  However, given that you're going to want a Wand anyway, I would always prefer three Branches over a Gauntlet, for the extra stats.  IMO, if you really need the inventory space, skip one of the Branches.
Ability Build:
L1 - Frostbite
L2 - Crystal Nova
L3 - Arcane Aura
L4 - Crystal Nova
L5 - Arcane Aura (you ARE a support, after all)
L6 - Blizzard (yes, at L6 - it's better now)
L7 - Crystal Nova
L8 - Crystal Nova (maxed)
L9 - Frostbite
L10 - Frostbite
L11 - Blizzard
L12 - Frostbite (maxed)
L13 - Arcane Aura
L14 - Arcane Aura (maxed)
L15 - Stats
L16 - Blizzard
L17+ Stats


  • Versus Blink-carries, level Frostbite over Nova.
  • For Level-1 teamfights, Nova is better than Frostbite because of the AOE and attack slow.
  • Crystal Maiden is awesome in teamfights if there's no one to interrupt her ultimate.  She is similar to Witch Doctor in this respect, although unfortunately she's less tanky.
Good Combos with Maiden:
  • Strength carries with small mana pools and good early nukes (Sven, WK, Tiny, etc)
  • Secondary Stunners (Lesh/Lina/Jakiro)
  • Melee Stunners (Slardar, Centaur, Ursa, etc)
  • AOE lockdown heroes (Magnus, Enigma, Disruptor, Clockwerk, etc)
Anti-Maiden Heroes:
  • Gankers (Nyx, Riki, Bounty Hunter, Clinkz, Bloodseeker, etc)
  • Silencers (Silencer, Drow, Death Prophet, Skywrath, etc)
  • Pugna

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