Supports, assemble! After several guides for core positions, we are coming back with the guide for the most famous support hero of Dota 2 - Crystal Maiden.

With two AoE slows, root and a very useful aura CM can laugh in face to whichever hero, who names himself a support.

Table of contents

Starting Items

Even though Crystal Maiden has a mana regeneration aura, it is still very important to purchase a comfortable amount of mana regeneration items to be able to use your spells effectively at the beginning of the laning stage. The more pressure you apply on your opponents at the start of the game, the easier it will be to deal with them later.

Ideally, your starting items should be: x6 Tango, x2 Enchanted Mango, Clarity, Animal Courier, x2 Observer Ward and an Iron Branch.

Make sure to give x2 Tango to your midlaner, it will allow him to get all the necessary items. Give one Observer Ward to your midlaner and the second one to your offlaner. It is not necessary to keep the ward for the safelane, unless you are going to lane against a hero, who can harm you by using Fog of War.

Crystal Maiden 7.22

Early-stage of the game(-1:30-12:00)

The game for a support starts with a Bounty Rune fight. Crystal Maiden is a very squishy hero, this is why it is very important for you to select a safe position and carefully use your spells and attack your opponents from a distance. Most of the times it would be better to contest Bounty Runes in the offlane, but if you have a strong carry and the enemy offlaner is quite weak, you can consider fighting for Bounty Runes at the safelane.

Coming to the lane, your first objective is the ranged creep. Usually, most carry heroes are unable to secure a last-hit on a ranged creep. It is very important not to let the enemy team deny it, this is why it is very important for a support to secure a ranged creep. Try to use Crystal Nova to last-hit a ranged creep and harass your opponents at the same time.

Do not be afraid to hit creeps with Crystal Nova while you harass your opponent. Keeping the lane equilibrium is important, but not as important in a current 2-1-2 meta.

Once the lane started pushing, make a pull to either small or big jungle camp to restore a lane equilibrium and deny some farm from your opponents.

Do not rush to skill Arcane Aura at level 2. Even though it is the correct thing to do in most of the games, sometimes it is more valuable to surprise your opponents with Frostbite and make a kill with the help of this ability.

When the game is about to reach the first nighttime, you should bring yourself x2 Observer Ward to upgrade the vision around the map. Your goal is to have wards in your inventory by the time you are going to contest the Bounty Runes, so after the bounty runes fight you can immediately go to place new vision. Ideally, you should aim to place one Observer Ward in the middle lane and the second ward around either the safelane or a power rune.

Do not stay in the safelane for too long. Good movement is a key to win games as a support. Once you give your carry a decent start, you can start roaming around the map and apply pressure on the enemy carry and midlaner.

Crystal Maiden 7.22

Focus on ganking the most vulnerable core heroes, prioritize killing midlaner over other heroes. Midlaner usually has the most experience out of all heroes, so you can get a lot of levels for killing him.

Do not be afraid to farm jungle camps from time to time. Crystal Maiden can do it very fast with the help of Frostbite. You can even make several stacks on some camp and farm it with the help of Freezing Field.

Aim to upgrade vision ever 5 to 6 minutes. It is very important to provide good vision for your teammates in all stages of the game.

By minute 12 your goal is to force your team to destroy at least one tier-1 Tower in the offlane, ideally follow it up with the tier-1 Tower in the middle lane. Destroying these two towers will grant your team access to the enemy jungle.

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Mid-stage of the game(12:00-26:00)

Usually, by the start of the middle stage of the game, your cores are not ready to fight yet. They want to get some farm, so it is very important for you to create space for them to get items.

Provide good vision for your team to protect your cores from getting ganked. Select one or two cores of your team, who has some powerful spells and force them to use Smoke of Deceit with you. Every time you use it, you should also aim to place aggressive vision while you are under the effect of Smoke of Deceit.

Try to make ganks close to important objectives, such as Towers or Bounty Runes. Your goal is to make a kill and then immediately apply pressure on enemy tower.

Try to have at least two lanes pushed towards your opponents at all times. It will allow you to move around the map freely, place useful wards and make successful ganks. Map control is very important.

Think about the strengths and weaknesses of your enemy’s and your team`s drafts. Use this information to your advantage. If your team has a better teamfight, you need to make sure to defend your towers and use all opportunities to take fights. If your team doesn’t have any teamfight potential but becomes stronger in the late-game, focus more on split pushing and making single kills.

Find ways to secure yourself some farm and experience. Crystal Maiden can benefit a lot from having her key items, such as Black King Bar and Blink Dagger in the late stage of the game. Do not be afraid to push lanes aggressively. It is normal for a position 5 support to die once or twice.

Crystal Maiden 7.22

Late-stage of the game(26:00-99:59+)

The late stage is the real test for a support player. In this phase of the game, you will have to show your individual performance to its best.

Every death can be crucial, this is why you need to pay a lot of attention to your positioning in fights. Always play around your teammates, do not allow them to die alone. Make sure to back them up while they split push or make kill attempts.

Vision in this stage of the game has to be exceptional. One effective Observer Ward, which will spot an enemy team`s rotation can secure a win for your team.

Maintain good communication with your teammates and focus on playing around key objectives of the game, such as Roshan, Towers and Bounty Runes.

Remind your teammates to place disciplined and do so yourself. Do not make unnecessary dives or risky moves.

Common mistakes

  1. Staying in the safelane for too long. Movement is a key to win games as a support. Once the laning stage has finished, you should aim to make a rotation to either offlane or midlane.
  2. Keeping a poor position in fights. Crystal Maiden is a very squishy support. Make sure to position yourself behind your cores in fights, so enemy heroes would have a hard time killing you. Use Fog of War to your advantage.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Improve your skill through watching streams, videos or replays of professional players, who pick this hero.
  2. The easiest way to destroy a Tower is to do so with the help of Siege Creep. Pay attention to the match duration timer and try to make aggressive moves once Siege Creep respawns.
  3. Maintain a good communication with your teammates. Nowadays, good support should also be a good companion and a decent psychologist :) .
  4. Get yourself a Quelling Blade to make de-warding easier. You can also use Queilling Blade to cut trees and secure yourself a better position inside the jungle. It will help you to use Fog of War more effectively.
  5. Do not rush to use Freezing Field in fights, unless your opponents have no way to cancel it. Wait for enemy heroes to waste their disables and only then use your ultimate.

Allies and counters

Crystal Maiden is a hero, that you pick in the early stages of the draft. She doesn’t have any real counter picks, as she can provide impact against all heroes in Dota 2.

CM is great counter to heroes with units, such as Chen, Enchantress and even Beastmaster.

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