Build Guide by RaphaelRaven
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
I'll start with runes. To be honest, I'm not completely set on these. This is just what I run, and I've had a lot of success with them. The AP is nice for some extra damage with abilities. The armor penetration I love because it fits well with my play style, which I'll get into later. The mana regen and Clarity make running out of mana not much of a worry while laning in the early game, which means I can stay in my lane longer, which is great.
As for masteries, I mostly go for the utility tree because of Mystical Vision, Meditation, and Utility Mastery. Unless there's someone on your team who desperately needs the blue buff, it's a great option for Blitzcrank. In fact, even if you're playing with Karthus or Anivia, by mid-game you ought to have proven how important to the team you are and they'll likely step aside if you want the buff. I also love the movement speed. As for the 9 in attack masteries, that's simply for spell penetration. I know it isn't much, but with the AP runes it gives Blitzcrank just a bit more killing power.
As I said before, I choose Clarity for extra laning time and for support in the late game. Especially if you're on a team that doesn't make a blue-buffed Blitzcrank viable, Clarity could keep a push alive. Clairvoyance, on the other hand, is very much a personal preference, and I think it is extremely useful with Blitzcrank. On top of being able to scout buffs, dragon, Baron, and gank spots, it can be used to see through thin walls. You'll need practice before you find grabbing spots that work well for you, but once you find them, Clairvoyance allows you to utilize them without any ally champs or minions nearby to give you vision. If someone runs back low on health, they probably won't run all the way back to base. In fact, wherever they stop, there is likely a way to get them with your grab from the jungle. So Clairvoyance in a spot that won't be noticed easily but will still give you vision of a likely-port-back spot. Just run this spell through 10 games and I think you'll agree that it's ridiculous on Blitzcrank.
Alright, items. I build Boots of Swiftness first for speed, obviously. It compliments my early maxing of Overdrive to make chasing a great option even in the early game. Then I build Trinity Force ASAP, going Sheen-->Phage-->Zeal. Sheen makes Blitzcrank able to kill people in early-mid game without a tower pull, which broadens his utility massively. And as an all-around item, there's nothing in Trinity Force that Blitzcrank doesn't want. I feel that it's just an amazing item for him. After Trinity comes Atma's Impaler, and this is where I start building a bit for survivability. Notice that I get Phage before Zeal when building Trinity to give Blitzcrank a bit of extra health and chase power....between Phage and Atma's, Blitzcrank ought to have enough health to be able to survive my play style. Not to mention that Atma's will tack on about 60 damage once it's done, which makes it a fantastic item in combination with Trinity.
Banshee's is slightly situational....if i get it, it will always be after Atma's. It rounds out Blitzcrank's survivability and adds a bit of damage along with the health and mana (Atma's bonus). I'd say I build Banshee's in about 90% of the games I play as Blitzcrank. The only time I wouldn't is if I'm fighting a team with little ability damage. So if in doubt at all, get it. And then Infinity Edge just to put Blitzcrank a bit over the top. Usually I won't get to this point in the item build, but if you finish IE, you'll be pretty ridiculous.
Okay then. This is where all of my items and runes and everything start to make some more sense. Obviously, I don't build Blitzcrank as a tank. I don't even build him as an AD DPS. I used to before switching to this build, btw. Basically, my build gives me enough killing power to pull a squishy out of a battle, kill it in about 2.5 seconds, and get out alive. Then I can do it again. And again. This is where the blue buff comes in handy. Blitzcrank is one of the most versatile champions in the game in terms of play style, and he ought to be used as such in any given game. As the title of this build states, Blitzcrank can win a team fight before it even starts. Generally, physical DPS carries like Ashe or Master Yi won't build much health. They get by on absurd amounts of damage and lifesteal. Well, if you're ever pushing a tower, and the entire other team is lined up defending it, sneak around the side. Find a squishy (be it a support caster or physical DPS), pull, use all abilities (they really ought to die), and GTFO. All of a sudden, the enemy team is down to 4 champions defending the tower and they are missing a crucial support or carry. At the very least, said support or carry will be at about 25% health and very cautious.
The great part about this build is that I don't need any other champions with me to pull this off. The armor penetration, spell penetration, Trinity Force, extra AP....it all adds up to give Blitzcrank enough killing power to kill a squishy before they even realize they've been pulled. So that's the focus of this build. Even in team fights, stay back a bit. Don't engage directly, this build doesn't have enough survivability for that. Just wait for a good opportunity to pull an easily-killable target. If you're standing by your team, it doesn't even matter if you pull the tank. Obviously, don't aim for the tank, but it's not a big deal if you hit him accidentally. When your abilities are on cooldown, assess the fight. If it's still going on, hang back and wait for abilities to come back. If it's a rout and the enemy is running away, chase while waiting for abilities to come back. Use Clairvoyance to make sure they don't juke you. GET GOOD AT WALL-GRABS. There are many times in any given game where you will have an opportunity to make a blind grab for a kill. This takes a lot of practice, but you won't get better unless you try. So give it a shot.
I'll add one section on early game before I wrap this up, as the play style is a bit different. As you noticed (and are likely critical of), I max Rocket Grab first. The reason for this is that Blitzcrank is a mediocre farmer, and having a 1-second cooldown reduction on Power Fist just isn't going to give him that much of an edge. Blitzcrank is a champion farmer, not a minion farmer. Seriously. Early game Blitzcrank requires a lot of practice on its own. You always want to be by your tower. Tower pulls are the basis of Blitzcrank early game, and I guarantee there will be an opportunity for one. At some point in the first 15 minutes, one of the champions you're laning against will mess up. Don't miss that time. Also, when you and your lanemate are doing a good job of harassing, they might hang out by their tower with less than half health. The early points in Rocket Grab will give you the ability to take them out with a combo, if not a tiny bit of help from a lanemate. In fact, if you've got Sheen already, it's no contest. If the enemy champs are really that good at avoiding tower pulls, though, just use Power Fist to harass. Once they're at about half or 2/3 health, even a pull in the lane towards your lanemate should kill them if neither of you do something stupid. Keep in mind, though, that at the end of the day, Blitzcrank is a support champion. If the opportunity arises to give your lanemate a kill, gift-wrap it and give him your blessing. But don't let someone get away because you tried to let your lanemate kill him. That's just silly.