9 Reasons Why Crystal Maiden is the Best DotA Support Hero

The Best support in Dota depends on the player, on the opponent's line up and on your combo.

But why am I writing this post?  It's because when in terms of flexibility and effectiveness  Rylai (Crystal Maiden) is the one who stands out among the rest.  Vengeful Spirit also covers a lot of aspects needed for supporting but there are important things that makes Rylai ahead of her.  It will be discussed here.

1.  We're currently in the Trilane Era

Crystal Maiden is one of the best support in a trilane.  She can play aggressive at early levels because of her 3.5 seconds frost nova at level 1.  She can use it to harass and spam it on opponents, preferably all of them due to its wide Area of Effect (AOE).  It also has low mana cost.  The strategy is to waste some of opponent's HP spamming and doing normal attacks, then execute the trilane combo.

Comparing Crystal Maiden with Vengeful Spirit (the hero most people would argue to be the best support hero), Maiden is way more useful.  Frostnova's slow for 3.5 seconds have higher chance of getting a first blood than a magic missile for 1.45 seconds.  The only advantage of Magic Missile is when the target has blink, leap or other escape mechanisms.  However, it's really not a great option to aim for these kinds of heroes at the trilane as stated at the Trilane Do's and Don'ts, there are other soft and more vulnerable heroes.  Once a hero is slowed, you can land more hits. A short stun duration from Vengeful Spirit's magic missile will make you unable to hit your opponents once they started moving (unless you got great move speed, attack speed and good animation cancelling) specially if you're using a melee hero.

2.  Crystal Maiden has 2 useful disables at early levels

At level 3, Crystal Maiden would have Frost Nova and Frost Bite.  These are 2 skills that would assure a kill at the trilane.  If used with proper timing, the hero will be stucked within 300 range for 5 seconds (3.5 seconds slow from Crystal Nova and 1.5 seconds hold from Frost Bite).

Comparing Crystal Maiden with Vengeful Spirit, Vengeful Spirit can only hold a hero for 1.55 seconds at level 3 (with level 2 magic missile).  She can help reduce armor and it's a good thing but in this case holding a hero longer is a more useful thing to do by support heroes.

3.  Frost Nova makes Rylai aggressively safe

Support heroes are vulnerable because of their low hp but Crystal Maiden can be aggressive and land her Crystal Nova without getting in trouble, thanks to the casting range of this skill.  Opponents will find this hard to evade having the fact that they need to get levels and golds as fast as they could at this point of game.  They also want to dominate the lane because if they don't the game is at risk for them.

Crystal Maiden has 700 casting range(Crystal Nova), while Vengeful Spirit only has 500 casting range(Magic Missile).  With low hp at early game and being the main target at the trilane, it is risky for Vengeful Spirit to cast her disable because when she does, opponents can execute their combo on her and she won't last longer than 2 seconds.  In addition to that, when chasing a hero, Crystal Nova, being able to be cast on land, is more reliable because fog users won't get away easily unlike Vengeful Spirit's Magic Missile that is a hero-target skill.

4.  Frostbite's Duration is long enough to set for a kill

Frostbite's durations at level 1 to 4 are 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3 seconds, respectively.  3 seconds hold is just too much to kill a hero getting focused fire in team games.

Can't move?  It's because You're under my spell.
Vengeful Spirit's Magic Missile's duration from level 1 to 4 are 1.45, 1.55, 1.65, 1.75.  Frostbite totally owns Magic Missile in terms of duration though beaten by damage having 210 total damage (70 per second) while Magic Missile has 325(at level 4).  Magic Missile's one advantage over Frostbite is the damage, however Crystal Maiden still has Crystal Nova which adds more damage.

5.  Free mana regeneration for all.

Brilliance Aura's free mana regeneration lets Crystal Maiden's team mates and herself have more advantage over the opponents their fighting against on their lanes.  Having more mana means having more skills to spam for harassments and kills.  It also let other heroes save their golds from buying Ring of Basilius (or other Mana Regeneration items) early game.  Buying Ring of Basilius will stack to her Brilliance Aura and will give more mana regeneration.

Vengeful Spirit doesn't have this so there's no point of comparing.

6.  Long Normal Attack Range

Ideal supports should also be able to baby sit. Other supports have heals(like Dazzle) to baby sit and others have stuns to save from enemy combos (like Earthshaker).  Crystal Maiden's ability to baby sit comes from harassing opponents with her long range normal attacks and skills.  She can also use her skills for saving ally heroes.

Vengeful Spirit only has 400 attack range while Crystal Maiden has 600.  This makes Vengeful Spirit unable to harass opponents on her lane that much because once she tries to harass with her short range normal attack, her opponents won't hesitate killing her in one second.

7.  Vision from Nova

Another advantage of Crystal Maiden is her ability to have vision on fogs, though the range is short.  This can be used to show up a hero being chased, to check for opponents that might be hiding through fogs or to check whether the opposing teams are trying to kill roshan.

Vengeful Spirit totally beat Crystal Maiden in this aspect having longer casting range from her Wave of Terror.  Longer casting range obviously means more safety for the hero.  However, having this kind of ability, though short-ranged, is still a useful skill for the team.

8.  Nova-Bite combo assures successful ganks

Crystal Maiden is also a good ganker using her Crystal Nova and Frostbite to set up a kill.  Hero long ranged slow makes it easy to make sure that the target won't escape from getting a Frostbite.  However, it is not advisable to use Crystal Nova first before Frostbite when trying to kill an opponent with blink.  At that point you should be sneaky and land Frostbite first before Crystal Nova.

Vengeful Spirit's bread and butter in ganking is her magic missile.  Magic missile alone requires her to be sneaky and not scare her target.  Once the target is caught, it should be killed within 1.75 seconds (Magic Missile's Max duration) to kill the opponent.  While Crystal Maiden can hold the enemy longer up to 3 seconds (Frostbite's max duration), not to mention the slow from her Crystal Nova.  The advantage of swapper in ganking is her Netherswap.  A swap and bam is one of the top ganking strategies.

9.  Great AOE for Clash

Crystal Maiden won't be left behind in team fights.  She has a great hold, slow and a very high damage channeling ultimate skill, Freezing Field.  Proper positioning and timing is required to use this.  Don't just do it if you're not suicidal.   Use it when all the deadly skills (specially disables) are made or they are already focus firing an ally hero.  You can walk and do it but if you have a dagger, you'll have greater timing and position so you'll have more chance to inflict greater damage.

Comparing Crystal Maiden to Vengeful Spirit, Vengeful Spirit doesn't have this kind of clashing ability but she has great initiation/saving ability, thanks to her Nether Swap.  She also has an aura that increases her allies' damage within 900 range around her.  Both are useful but Crystal Maiden's ultimate can damage alone making her have the upper hand against Vengeful Spirit in this case.

Other Candidates for Best Support:

Vengeful Spirit - as discussed she's good at some aspects like having a painful stun damage, longer vision, and great skill for saving and initiating(Nether Swap).  However, Crystal Maiden beats her by having more disabling skills, lane domination, clash usefulness, AOE damage for clearing creeps and Free mana regeneration for all.

Witch Doctor - he got healing skill, a stun, and painful nukes.  He's a fair support but obviously Crystal Maiden beats him in terms of disabling opponents having the ability to hold a hero longer.  Witch Doctor needs to perfectly bounce a cask on heroes to hold them longer in place.  Witch Doctor is also too fragile to cast his maledict having a 400 casting range.  It also has a very small Area of Effect, 150.  Crystal Maiden can damage and disable enemies easier as what will be much harder for Witch Doctor. 

Earthshaker - one of the best hero in clash.  He has a long range stun and can turn into a perma stun hero because of his Aftershock.  However, Earthshaker is melee that makes him unable to harass opponents by doing cheap shots.  Duration of Fissure is 1, 1.25, 1.5, and 1.75 from level 1 to 4, respectively.  This requires him to trap the enemy to give more time for his allies to kill.  Thus, if fissure is cast incorrectly he can be anti-offensive disrupting his team mates from killing.  Crystal Maiden has the advantage in ganking, lane control, harassing, vision, amount of mana and mana regeneration for the team.

There are other good support heroes in Dota World but Crystal Maiden is definitely the most flexible and effective specially in dominating the trilane.  She's best at dominating the lane so pick heroes that can be aggressive and have great killing powers.
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jimboy said...

hey? ur so good in writing guides but why don't u post it at playdota.com so that manay can benefit?

Anonymous said...

sir vengeful pa din ako eh pwede nya iswap yung hiter pag pinapatay tapos pwede din pang initialize yung ss ni cm parang pipe lng e tsaka madaling kontrahin yun pag pro kita naman sa mga chinese eh:D

Anonymous said...

TAMA . vs PRin

Anonymous said...

VS pa rin

Anonymous said...


in early game just get two bracers, so that ur mana is enough for swap and stun...Later get PT,VG,LOTHARS,DESO...


Anonymous said...

support deso?.ilan lasthit mo nun?

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