Brand Build Guide by Jukantos
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.
Hi everyone, Jukantos here. Im pretty new to Mobafire, but ive found a playstyle for me to use on Brand that i could not find on this page, so i thought id share it with you and hear your opinions. Pretty new to all of this, so feel free to critizice (constructively please) and tell me how i can improve this guide and my playing overall.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
Since Brand has received a small but painfull nerf to te range of Conflagration with the last patch, i had to adjust some of the most important parts of this guide, as my strategy heavily relies on it. I worked over some of the Parts already, more Updates are coming in the next few days
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
Update 2: (25.11.2011)
the new masteries in my eyes opened 2 new ways of playing brand. i now prefer to play him 21/0/9 as shown in this guide, but he is also very viable 9/0/21. the utility setup is a lot more defensive BUT with spellvamp and exp bonus can be a big advantage from lvl 6 on. however, i prefer 21 in offense, with flat AP quints and straight offensive Pillar of Flame Harassment from lvl 1 on. With thos new masteries and the nerf onto the movespeed mastery, my old unique way of playing brand unfortunately got much weaker then the new "standard" offensive one.
still, relying on pokes with well placed pillar of fires / luring your opponent into burning minions range for Conflagration is pretty viable.
Pros / Cons
Pros of this build:
Extremely Strong Farming, even early in the game.
Good harassment against squishy champions that hide behind their minions
Cons of this build:
You are kinda dependant on your jungler for your first kills
You may get kicked outa mid if the enemy realizes what you are doing
Takes some time to get a lot of m pen, so you are vulnerable to stacked early magic resist
For Runes, i prefer some very typical caster runes, despite breaking some oldschool prejudices on the quints. i pick Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration, Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction and Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Wait a second, Movespeed??? Yup, i love these quints for the additional mobility, allowing me safer escapes, catching running enemies and slipping out of focus in teamfights. they might not give you the lvl 1 durability of flat health quints, but over the entire game they are likely to give you at least 1 kill and at least 3 saves from death, so they are worth it! Cause i said so! (tm by phreak)
Alternatively you can use Greater Seal of Replenishments for even stronger early harass/farming. However it might make you a bit more bluebuff dependant in the lategame.
For Masteries, i take a very typical 9/0/21 build, with
and Meditation], as well as [[Blink of an eye and
Presence of the Master
Why do i take Good Hands ? well, from this site and other sources ive learned, that i need at least 25 mana per 5 regeneration to actually get ONE bonus point from the mastery... not worth it. i cry about that one wasted mastery point in perserverance but its necessary sacrifice.
I take Flash and Ignite as my Summoner Spells. Despite the fact that Ghost makes a lot of sense too, i feel that with the extra movespeed from my runes and masteries im maneuverable enough in teamfights without having to use Ghost, while Flash just is a much better escaping tool if used well.
I start the game with a Dorans ring.
As soon as i hit the important 1100 gold in mid (2x dorans + 2 wards) (or whenever the enemy champion has me down to a critical amount of life if i screwed up) i teleport back to base.
I buy a 2nd and even a 3rd Dorans Ring, giving me a nice mana regeneration for continued use of my Farming Combo ( Pillar of Flame into Conflagration), as well as better harassment and some durability. Depending on my needs i also invest in Sight Wards or Health Potions. If my Jungler is willing to give me the bluebuff or help me steal the enemy blue ( Tryndamere, my best friend) i leave the 3rd dorans ring out, since the bluebuff gives me enough mana regen. Otherwise, i try putting down a ward at enemy bluebuff and steal it when i see a chance.
After the Rings, i usually grab Boots of Speed and my Needlessly Large Rod, when i come back to base the next time. If im getting pushed around too much, i might also focus my Sorcerers Shoes first, for even faster movement and poking.
Afterwards, i complete Sorcerer Shoes if i havent, and then Rabadons Deathcap, to get me close to the important 300 AP. Once this is accomplished and the mid tower is down, i start helping the other lanes to get all front towers down and save money for Rylais Crystal Scepter. If the enemy team is extremely heavy on AD or AP i go for Abyssal Scepter or Zhonya's Hourglass instead. Afterwards i find, that Morellios Evil Tome is actually a great item to get in this stage of the game (typically midgame) cause it lets me spam out my entire nuke combo at least twice per teamfight.
Then i head for Voidstaff, selling my first Dorans Ring on the way.
At this point, if i got myself fed enough, the game is already pretty done, so i invest in more burst with Zhonya's Hourglass, while also using it frequently in teamfights since i will be main focus of everyone.
Once my 5th item is completed, i focus on Elixir of Brilliance and Sight Wards over my 6th item, to help control the map, because my burst is usually strong enough. The Dorans Ring is a not THAT bad even for the lategame combined with my other items and im usually in no hurry to get rid of it. However, if i get focused extremely, i may focus on buying a Banshees Vail to keep me safer in teamfights.
Words to 2 alternative items.
Despite this item being an awesome choice for brand if you are able to feed it, it will hand a giant neon sign saying "Zomg kill me i deal a lot of dmg" over your head (freely quoted from an annie pro guide) Also, i prefer AP items that instantly give me a lot of AP and early in the game i focus on my dorans rings for my harassing MP regeneration.
The fact i dont like about this item, is that if you rush [[Tear of Goddess] early on, you dont have the early AP from dorans to kick your enemy out of mid. Also, the lack of AP will delay your instantkill combo on the ranged minions. However, this item adds a huge amount of mana to your small pool, so it is actually worth buying, even if you buy it pretty late. I would only recommend rushing for it, if your jungler helps your dominance in mid a lot. Its mana charges fairly quickly, even if you buy it late. screw those 15 AP from the last 500 mana you are probably not gonna reach on its unique passive.
Also, a recent update added a mana counter to the goddess tear and her 2 evolutions. sweetness.
Will of the Ancients:
Now, this is a neat item to exchange pokes and keeping you alive longer in teamfights. however, i dont buy it unless my team has at least 3 ppl in my team doing actual magic damage with their attacks and or abilities. its not worth rushing over my core items and the spellvamp is too weak until its completely formed out. maybe a nice 6th item to round up the build if the game takes real long.
Now here is the point where my playstyle differs from the "usual" Brand Style.
I go for W E W E W E R Q W W R E E Q Q Q Q.
This means i delay Pyroclasm by one level and also am unable to stun with Sear until lvl 8. It leaves you a bit vulnerable to your opponent in mid if he realizes what your doing and you are NOT maneuvering him out well. however, if your kiting works, you are capable of awesome burst harassment just with your Pillar of Flame + Conflagration on the enemy directly (risky cause of short cast range) or onto a nearby also struck ranged minion (much better alternative).
I change one of the early points in Pillar of Flame for a point in Sear, if i think i can land a stun to ensure a kill in cooperation with my jungler. However, the farming combo has priority for this build.
Dance in the middle (earlygame)
BUT: with just 2 Dorans Rings (item build coming next chapter) you are able to kill all enemy ranged minions at lvl 5 or latest at lvl 6, while also continously harassing the enemy with Conflagration if he is anywhere near his ranged minions.
While you dont get an awesome lot of HP without flat HP quints, the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed and HP from dorans should keep you pretty safe, even at lvl 1.
The twist with this strategy is the fact, that you need to move pretty close to the enemy ranged minions without drawing too much fire from the enemy champion. And thats where your Movespeed quints come in handy again.
Just "dance" with your opponent, meaning you always stay on the opposite side of the lane from him. You can continously switch sides to confuse your enemy, who will have to give up some of his lasthitting attention if he really wants to harass you. Do not focus yourself on lasthitting minions with your basic attack after you get your spellcombo to clear ranged minions with one blow. Not unless the enemy is off the lane, or far enough so you can easily do it without getting a Summon: Tibbers or equivalent painfully spell in the face. Of course you can use your basic attack to farm melee minions, but not at the cost of taking fire yourself.
This can help you put up a good harassment if you use Conflagration on the right ranged minion (watch the circle to make sure your opponent is in range). The correct aiming here is always the ranged minion furthest away from the champion that still hits him. You dont wanna move unneccesary closer just to use it on a different minion, as it gives the enemy champ a chance to counter fire.
Important: On your first trip back to base, buy 2 or 4 wards and make sure to ward both sides of the rivers bushes, so you can dance around the lane without having to fear intervention from an enemy jungler. If you see the enemy jungler, retreat to safety! it may give away your wards, but its better then dieing and not getting farm/exp at all + giving the enemy mid 300 gold.
Midgame (Level 7-11)
At this point at latest you should request a gank from your jungler or an assassin in your team. If you dont have a jungler, ask your strongest ganker on a sidelane to fake a base retreat and make him come to the river to help you with a little gank. Your wards can come handy in here if any teammate has the Teleport Summoner spell
Even if you dont have your stun up yet, the sheer burst from 2 champions including your Level 3 Pillar of Flame and Conflagration into your Ultimate can already kill a champion. And even if you miss Pillar of Flame, there might still be an opportunity on a minion to hit the enemy with Conflagrations area effect. In this Situation you might also be lucky enough to have your ultimate bounce between the champ and a minion to give him 2 hits. Note that your Ultimate can actually bounce over the wall to the wraith and come back if the enemy is too close to the Wall with the Wraith behind it.
Wether you succeed in killing your opponent or not and he ran to base, push the mid tower as good as you can and destroy it, so your minions do a bid of mid control and you are able to assist on other lanes. However, if your wards time out behind you, make sure not to stay too long if any of the outer lanes 4 champions is missing.
Try to not let your team search teamfights too early, if you dont have lvl 2 Pyroclasm your burst is much weaker. Ganks are absolutely good in this stage of the game, but dont go for 5v5 confrontations yet.
Endgame (Level 12-18)
Once you have gotten yourself through the midgame, you should be equipped with at least your 3 Dorans Rings and your Deathcap, as well as the first Survivability item, if you played and ganked well. This means you will be at roughly 400 Ap, or you can boost yourself there with a blue Elixir. The offensive push against the mid tower and your assistance on killing the outer lanes front turrets should pay off for you and your team here.
At this stage, Teamfights are getting important. Make sure your team has wards on important spots, such as Dragon, Bluebuffs and potential Trap bushes (Intersections near the wraith and the 2 small bushes near baron and dragon)
If you get into a Teamfight, try to blow Pillar of Flame and Conflagration on the enemy team, focusing their DPS. However, use your STUN to prevent their Support or tank from healing too much or being too disruptive. If the enemy DPS try to hug together behind their tank, feel free to break them down with Pillar of Flame, Conflagration and Pyroclasm :) Try to dish our your combo in a short burst before retreating behind your tank, waiting on cooldowns. Brand should never hand around the front line for too long, and that is where your movespeed quints once again come in handy.
Also you should try to maintain yourself a permanent bluebuff, by asking your jungler (wriggles) or your support to put wards near both bluebuffs. Keeping both bluebuffs on your team gives you huge advantages in pushing and as well in Teamfights, as also in drawing out fights over longer durations (initialising and retreating after short bursts and 1-2 kills)
You are NOT an initialiser. A lot of People try to initialize Teamfights with Brand, throwing out his Pillar of Flame and stun, followed by their ultimate.
This strategy has 2 weak points. 1) you draw focus fire and are likely to die very early in the fight. 2) Enemy Banshee Vails can easily render your ultimate worthless by blocking the Ablaze from Pillar of Flame or by simply blocking your ultimate completely.
Wait until your Tank / Disruptive Jungler has initialised, Let the enemy Banshees Vails disappear, MAYBE help that by using Conflagration and Sear on an enemy support or carry for a first stun disruption, but from the 2nd line.
When the first Series of spells has gone through, its your time to demolish everything, typically by using Pillar of Flame, Conflagration, Pyroclasm and Sear to stop enemies from Spreading out. However, you might wanna change to order for a quick carry/support disable. If you got the bluebuff/morrelios or active elixirs, you can chain sear for two quick stuns, basically taking an enemy AD carry/support out of the fight quickly and easily.
Just remember to stay in movement to make it harder to burst you down with skillshots. If you take too much aggro, stay behind your tank(s) and try to lure the enemy AD ranged to run after you. You will be pretty damn fast with your runes and masteries.
Additional Notes / Summary
This has been my first attempt to write a guide on Mobafire and if you really read to this point, thank you very much for it.
I totally appreciate constructive feedback and id be very happy if you helped me in editing out this guide for the better (visuals of runes, items, skills and item order for example)
I will continue to edit this guide, so if you dont like it now and give it a downvote cause of my poor editing knowledges, please check back again later after ive had to chance to improve it :)
For the League! Happy hunting Summoners!
Dancing Brands best friends and biggest Foes
Now as a first addition, heres a list of Champions that my Brand build nicely harmonises with, and a list of champions who you should better not meet in mid.
Nr1: (Support) Janna. Her Tailwind passive in addition to your masteries and runes gives you a total of 10.5% movespeed for the entire game! that means even if you start with dorans ring, you move faster then an enemy with boots! HURRAY!
Nr2: (Support) Zilean. His Heightened Learning boost allows you even easier W+E harass when you are already lvl 5 while your enemy is still stuck at lvl 4. those passive exp alone may give you the edge to push your enemy outa the lane and overtake them by the critical deadly 2 levels mark :)
Nr3: (Jungle) Rammus. The Rollerball of Death. Nothing is quite as effective as a rammus rollin in your lane from the side, knocking and taunting your enemy, giving you a free shot on all your 4 skills + ignite. guaranteed success / flash waste on your opponent, (who will be helpless against your next offensive flash)
Nr4. (Jungle) Skarner. OK, i lied. Skarners Ultimate also gives you a free full Spellcombo on the enemy mid. however, since it takes a lvl 6 jungler to use this trick and he has not really perfect gap closing, its not nearly as effective as rammus. However, a good jungler that helps you (even if its just for denieing) is a good friend.
Nr5. (Jungle) Tryndamere. Not in a huge need for the bluebuff, typically not starting at it either... if he gives you the bluebuff, dont hug him (you are burning btw) but thank him in chat :)
Nr5. (Jungle) Amumu Amumus Bandage Toss can be a bad surprise out of a bush for any opponent who tries to chase down the "weak" brand. If you are lucky enough to have Amumu on your team, make sure to communicate and coordinate with him, so that you can lure your enemy into actually following you to Amumus Brush.
Nr6. Orianna Ive actually found a quite vitable strategy of playing Brand in the bottom lane since last editing this guide, the patched Soraka is a HUGE help to your harassment, with free mana, mana manipulator and huge magic resist shred, even early on. Also, if you play at bottom lane (only recommended with AD top and AD jungler) you can have someone else play Orianna in mid. Oriannas Ultimate Command: Shockwave is THE opportunity for you to BOMB it down on the enemy team. Pillar of Fire, Conflagration and Pyroclasm will deal THOUSANDS of damage to the stuck enemy team. Also, her Command: Protect may protect you from an early death if focused and even trap enemys into following you into the Command: Dissonance zone, which is also a great target for her ultimate and your spellcombo. especially if only 2 melees follow you and you can melt them down. Overall, Orianna is the best thing that can happen to a Dancing Brand :)
Now, lets look at your biggest FOES in mid.
The Riftwalker. The biggest Pain for any AP mid. Well, im not gonna lie to you, its really hard to beat a kassadin in mid with my guide. You can basically forget the W+E combo on the ranged minions, if you get closer then half a football field he will silence you with his Null Sphere, also giving you huge damage and then just slip away.
The only way to beat him is to stay defensive, always in range to retreat to your turret, farm as much as you can with your combo and request frequent ganks from your jungler in mid. A well played Kassadin can beat you if you make the smallest mistake, so beating one in mid is probably the toughest challenge you are going to face.
Nr 2: Brand.
Yeah, you laugh. Im telling you, it can be difficult to beat an enemy brand in mid. Whenever you get him in your range, your in his too. The important point here is to Dodge all enemy Sear shots and just give him the kick with your higher level W+E combo, as well as dodging all possible enemy Pillar of Flame's with your increased movementspeed. In this mirror match, the skill level decides, so beating an enemy brand in mid means you were the better brand and/or had the better jungler. never play too agressively against another brand if they have a jungler cause his burst + his junglers help may make you die and then he has the mid to do whatever he pleases.
if you face an enemy brand and they have a jungler, MAKE SURE you put wards in those river bushes. If you see the enemy brand plant wards in the side bushes, feel free to invest in purple wards to destroy his! it will only cost you 25 gold (one minion lasthit) cause you can destroy his ward afterwards, while also making him insecure and harassable!
Beating another Brand in mid can be really satisfying, cause you know, that you kick *** :)
Nr 3: LeBlanc.
oh yeah, the Black Rose Lady. Her Burst, silence and jumping around CAN be a pain for you. however, well played leblancs have one more advantage. the moment you shoot your killing spell and triumph, her passive is just gonna save her ("How about a magic trick?") and make her laugh at your face.
Request ganks from your jungler often and try to trigger her passive with your harassment and non ultimate skills. once she doubles herself, her copy will follow her.... making her an easy shot for a once-twice-tripple bounce by your ultimate! so trigger her passive with your non ults and IMMEDIATLY shoot your Pyroclasm at her when her passive has been triggered.
Nr 4. Annie The Child of Darkness
Annie can be a pain to play against. She can farm for free with her Disintegrate... if you LET HER. To beat annie, it's vital that you harass her as badly as you can, even at level one. Feel free to not shoot your Pillar of Flame at the minions, but at annie instead. you HAVE to push her out of the lane at least once, or you are eating a tibbers in the face at lvl 6.
However, annie is likely to combo an offensive Flash with Summon: Tibbers at lvl 6. So when you see annie is saving up mana and starts running towards you, put your mouse at a safe distance and ready yourself. Theres nothing more funny then laughing at an annie that Summoned Tibbers to the spot you just flashed away from. And i guarantree you, she WILL try to use flash tibbers at some point if you keep harassing her from out of her range, OR she will waste her stun on Disintegrate and you get the chance to flash away before tibbers actually comes out :)