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Dota 2: Pro Tips for Playing Crystal Maiden

Updated on January 13, 2017

Crystal nova grants vision

At all levels, Crystal Nova grants 7 seconds of vision. There are two parts for this vision. The first part is the unobstructed vision area near the center of the circle:

  • Visually, it is the area that extends until the first barely-recognizable frost ring
  • The radius is only half of the radius of Crystal Nova
  • The vision is unobstructed (similar to a Bat Rider on firefly or Night Stalker with Aghanimn's Scepter), everything within the area is visible, even if it is blocked by a tree

The second part of the vision is the obstructed vision area which extends further than the Crystal Nova itself:

  • The radius of the vision is almost twice the radius of Crystal Nova, losing just slightly to an observer ward
  • The vision is obstructed (just like a normal hero or an observer ward's vision), it cannot see beyond an obstacle
  • In essence, it is like placing a lesser version of the observer ward (shorter duration and vision radius)

A Crystal Nova casted at the center of the cliff grants vision similar to an observer ward
A Crystal Nova casted at the center of the cliff grants vision similar to an observer ward

Some situations where Crystal Nova's vision will be useful:

  • De-warding the high ground or hard-to-reach neutral blocking wards
  • Scouting over tree line or high ground for ganks before engagement
  • Finding those pesky enemy heroes juking near the side shops and towers
  • Scouting Nature Prophet inside his sprout
  • Scouting inside the Roshan pit

My ice can see clearly now
My ice can see clearly now

Using crystal nova to initiate fight

Why? The movement speed and attack speed slow from Crystal Nova will more than likely turn the tide of the battle, compare to the damage of Crystal Nova. The 30% movement speed slow can really hinder the mobility of enemy heroes, whether if they are coming in to cast a spell or retreating. The 20 attack speed reduction means enemy carry does a few attack less. Finally, with a 15 seconds cool down, you might even be able to use another one at the end of the fight.

Frostbite disables blink

Frostbite stops AntiMage and Queen of Pain's blink, Nature's Prophet's teleportation but will not stop spells like riki's blink strike, void's time walk, mirana's leap. Do keep in mind that opponents can still cast most of their spells while under the effect of frostbite.

Jungling with frostbite

At all levels, Frostbite does 70dps for 10 seconds on creeps level 6 and below, which is just about erm... everything in the jungle! This makes Crystal Maiden such a powerful jungler, even at level 1. Here are some tips to keep in mind when jungling with this skill:

  • Level 1 frostbite is exactly the same as level 4 frostbite in terms of damage and duration when it comes to creeps
  • Every creep with less than 700HP (ignoring hp regen) will perish to a single frostbite
  • If you leave the experience range when frostbite kills the creep, you will only receive the gold but not the experience
  • If you have the extra MP (and you should always have because of arcane aura), SPAM THOSE FROSTBITES. Frostbite anything as long as it doesn't take farm off your carry and whenever the skill is on cooldown. On your way to a gank? Drop a frostbite! Pulling neutral camp? Drop a frostbite! You will really benefit from every extra farm
  • It is really easy to roam alternately between the lane and jungle. Just drop a frostbite on a neutral creep then proceed to help out the lane. Repeat whenever possible and you'll be grabbing some extra farm without sacrificing your laning presence


Going aggressive with arcane aura

You and your team will benefit so much with a level in arcane aura early on most of the time compared to an extra level in Crystal Nova or Frostbite. The global MP regen is so useful as it allows your to spam their skills, which usually determines who will dominate the lanes. However, if you are going for more points on Arcane Aura early on, be sure to tell your team and remind them to keep spamming their skills.

Freezing Field slows enemies even if the explosion doesn't hit

When you activate freezing field, enemies within the range are guaranteed a 30% movement speed reduction even if they are not hit by the explosions. This is a great follow up after the initial Crystal Nova and Frostbite as it severely hinder the mobility of enemy heroes in a team fight. You can even use this to catch out retreating enemies!

Using the fog of war for Freezing Field

Of the most blatant weakness of Freezing Field is that it can be disabled so easily by enemy heroes, hence most CM players do not level up this skills until they have secure ways in the form magic immunity to channel this spell for the whole duration.

While this is good depending on heroes lineup and play style, Freezing Field is still too good a skill not to have in team fight. For a successful Freezing Field in a fight especially in the early stage without magic immunity, positioning and timing is of utmost importance.

Ideally, you would want a perfect Freezing Field right in the center of a team fight. Until you have the items to do so, you might want consider the alternatives:

  • Activate Freezing Field after the enemies have thrown out their initial stuns
  • Hide in the fog of war before the engagement
  • Lure enemies then go behind a tree and let it go! (Sometimes you won't even need to do the luring as enemies will always go for the maiden for being such an easy target)

The cunning maiden lures enemies into her team and ulti behind the trees!
The cunning maiden lures enemies into her team and ulti behind the trees!
The Crystal Maiden was already waiting
The Crystal Maiden was already waiting

Mobility item

With only 280 base movement speed, Crystal Maiden is currently the slowest hero in Dota 2, that is until the addition Techies. The lacking in HP and base armor department certainly does not help and no wonder everybody wants a piece of the maiden.

Without any mobility or escape mechanism, it is very easy for Crystal Maiden to become Crystal Feeden. Hence getting a mobility item in the form of blink dagger / force staff or survivability item like Black King Bar, Eul's Scepter, Ghost Scepter is important.

Perfect Freezing Field positioning and Timing from Na'Vi Puppey

Which item would you prioritized first on Crystal Maiden?

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Do you have any pro tips that I left out? Drop them here!

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      VanBourner 3 years ago

      Shadowblade is the most useful item for CM IMO. When you cast Freezing field, you can use your items (such as mek etc) without cancelling the field. Now if you start the ulti and immediately Shadowblade (17 seconds) you will be able to cast it fully, unless there is a ward, gem wielding hero etc. However, remember to have tranquil boots. Combined with SB (17 secs of invisibility) you will become really hard to kill. Just remember, use the SB for escapes, not for attacks. Also, you do not need to fear Jug /AOE while invisible as the tranquil boots will stop regening only auto-attack based damage, not spells. Unless the other team has some really destructive AoE (they usually do not have that). SB is great for warding etc. With Eul's scepter, the slow maiden becomes turbo maiden (+90 movement from tranquil boots if not attacked/otherwise +50, +40 from eul and while SB is active +20% and walking through units. So in the end you have 410 while not attacked, 380 during fight AND 456 when SB is active and you are escaping from fight or 492 if SB is active and were not in a combat)

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      Duc Nguyen 3 years ago

      Great tips, i have been playing CM many times but don't know Level 1 frostbite is exactly the same as level 4 frostbite in terms of damage and duration when it comes to creeps.

    • Michael Poon profile image

      Michael 3 years ago from Australia

      Great hub, you put a lot of effect into these tips. Love seeing other Dota 2 hubs :) Keep up the good work!