Crystal Maiden has cemented her place at the top of the support totem pole for Dota 2 7.33, but what makes her the best?
DreamLeague Season 19 gave Dota 2 fans an instant look at how pro players interpreted the massive changes in 7.33, but the Berlin Major has officially given the patch its identity. The game has become a mix of quick stomps and hour-long slogs, and the new items and mechanics play a massive role. Hero selection is another hot topic, and while Medusa and Alchemist are the first-pick cores of the month, the support pool has been warped by the presence of one hero.
Crystal Maiden was the most-picked hero in all of the Berlin Major, appearing in 93 different matches and achieving a 50.54% win rate. The hero was also the tenth most-contested overall, a very high honor for a humble position five. Making things even stranger is that Crystal Maiden was arguably nerfed in 7.33, losing an additional 80 starting health in exchange for slight number tweaks on Frostbite and Freezing Field.
With those minor changes in mind, why has she suddenly become the support every pro team wants?
What makes Crystal Maiden the best support in Dota 2 7.33?
Like many of the other best heroes in 7.33, the popularity of Crystal Maiden comes down to her lane presence, system changes, and sheer versatility,
The biggest economic change in 7.33 is a major buff to the value of early kills, especially during the laning phase. With Frostbite to lock enemies down and Crystal Nova to chase, CM fits that criterion to a T. Starting at level two, she can initiate heroes who get out of position and set the carry up for a kill. The warp gates have also revived her value in trilane scenarios. It could be argued that her fragility makes the early kill changes a double-edged sword, but skilled players know how to play around that.
The second major system change is the reduction in mana regeneration tools. Clarities and Mangos are both in short supply, which consequently raises the value of Arcane Aura. She’s able to keep her team topped up on mana in the lane as well as during a midgame death ball. This is a unique trait that only Keeper of the Light can roughly replicate for one hero at a time.
Lastly, Crystal Maiden’s dominance comes down to her sheer versatility. In the grand finals alone, Gaimin Gladiators ran her with both traditional defensive items like Glimmer and Force, only to rush Solar Crest the next game. Evil Geniuses and OG both preferred the new item Pavise, while Tundra had an affinity for Boots of Bearing. Thanks to her jungling ability and versatile item builds, Crystal Maiden has emerged as the best support in all of Dota 2 7.33.