Brand Build Guide by Aswedor
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.
this is Aswedor and I'm presenting you my first guide about Brand.
I intend to build him as nukable as possible, while giving him sustain and a bit of survivability. If you miss hit points, take a look at the defensive build, if you want to build him kamikaze-assassin-like against noobs, check out the offensive one.
This guide will provide you with some basic information about valid mid-lane tactics, suggested purchases & alternative builds, valid skilling orders, usefull standard combos, a warding 101 and a couple of tips and tricks for Brand specifically as well as for the League of Legends in general. You will also find a damage calculation sheet for Brand.
Pros & Cons
- Insane Burst
- Stun & Brush-Check with Sear
- Team ult with Pyroclasm
- Your highest damage skill Pillar of Flame is an AoE-spell
- Gank resistance with bouncing Pyroclasm
- Awesome farmer
- Damage-over-time will make you laugh when killing a fleeing enemy :-3
- No escape abilities
- You will fail to hit your non-targeted-abilites Sear and Pillar of Flame every once in a while.
- You will misclick your combo when overestimating Conflagration's range.
- You will die a lot if your enemies do their jobs.
- You'll have to get your burst off before dying, meaning that you will probably get tons of assists while not being able to s...ecure kills yourself.
I take 9 and 3 Magic Penetration Marks and Glyphs, 6 Magic Resist per Level Glyphs, 9 Mana Regen per Level Seals and 3 flat Ability Power Quintessences.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration + Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration + Sorcerer's Shoes give you 30 Magic Penetration. This reduces most champions MR to zero, making you deal true damage, basically. Even if their carry gets 80 MR late game (30 base MR + 50 through Banshee's Veil e.g.), you can still nuke them in one burst.
These runes are essential for dealing Tons of Damage. Don't change them unless you find it absolutely necessary.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist give you 8 Magic Resist. That helps you out a lot in lane, obviously, although I guess you could switch them out for whatever you want since you get MR with your Chalice of Harmony.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration give you sustain. They become better then their flat equivalents at level 7, so I would prefer them over Greater Seal of Replenishment. After purchasing Chalice of Harmony you shouldn't have any mana issues anymore.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power increase your Ability Power by 14. You could replace them by Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed (+4.5% Movement Speed) or Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist (+12 MR = 50 Magic Resist without items), depending on your play style.
I take 21-0-9 Masteries.
The most important points are:
Summoner's Wrath : Makes Ignite a steroid.
Sorcery : Brings your CDR to 34% together with your Athene's Unholy Grail and Deathfire Grasp.
Arcane Knowledge : Makes you deal more damage to enemies with MR.
Blast and Archmage : Increase your AP by 40-50 late-game.
Executioner : You want to get the kills.
Meditation : Your early game sustain.
Runic Affinity : You should get the blue buff in early game. Later on, you don't really need it anymore due to your massive MP5 and CDR.
Pillar of Flame:
|Amazing passive, often dealing the last tick of damage it needs to get the kill. Also enabling your other skills to do some awesome stuff.
High damage at low costs. Long range skillshot. Stuns target if ablaze.
Brand's main damage ability. Area of Effect ability with nice range. Deals 25% additional damage when ablaze. Short seconds channel time.
Targeted ability. Considered a single target spell which is important for Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Spell Vamp . Spreads to other enemies nearby if target is ablaze and is then regarded as a multiple target spell. Nice for farming and harrassment.
Targeted ability with low cooldown. Jumps up to five times between your enemies .Spell shields block its damage and the Blaze debuff, but don't stop the fireball. Edit 18.104.22.168: Missile speed was buffed from 800 to 1000 and it now prioritizes Champions for one bounce after hitting an ablaze target. Getting the best effectiveness is difficult because people tend to run away from their team mates if you target them. ^^ Best used during CC.
You start with your Q, Sear, which deals the most damage at level 1 (80+0.65AP), whilest having the lowest cost at all levels (50 Mana). Usually, you should leash the Golem or Lizard with it.
Your second skill point will be your E, Conflagration, because with your E+Q combo you have a reliable stun in case of a level 2 gank by Alistar, Nocturne, ...
From now on, you want to level up your W, Pillar of Flame, because it gives you the most damage at level 9. It does not make sense to pick W first, because it doesn't get the 25% bonus damage at level 1, obviously.
The second ability you want to max depends on your personal preference. Take your E if you want to farm and push easily, or take your Q to maximize single-target-damage.
Max your Pyroclasm ASAP.
-Is your team going to invade their jungle at level one? Skill W for hitting multiple enemies camping in the same brush. Make sure you know how to hit it though, since this AoE-spell can be quite tricky to land.
-Do you want to safely harrass your lane opponent early on while staying behind your creep waves? Take E.
-Are you a cheater? Pick R first.
I usually take Ignite and Flash.
Ignite helps you to kill people with a lot of HP5 or life steal because of its Grievous Wound and does also give you 5 extra AP, which is nice. Pretty standard on casters because it simply increases your damage.
Flash compensates for your lack of GTFO-skills.
Although there might be other valid Summoner Spells, these two synergize best with this guide's build, since as a nuker you usually want to put as much damage on their carries as possible, and then simply run away or flash out of the battle to wait for your cooldowns to come back up.
I usually start with boots and three pots. I would suggest this against skillshot-dependent champs because the movement speed obviously helps you dodge their stuff.
One major advantage of rushing a Chalice of Harmony and buying Athene's Unholy Grail soon is that you can build it up step-by-step if you have to go back with little gold. Nevertheless, it is usually a better idea to stack a couple of Doran's Rings and get the gold-per-5 Kage's Lucky Pick when you are losing your lane.
Buy wards! Better spend gold on them instead of being unable to farm due to lack of vision or death >:P.
After having bought Kage's Lucky Pick, make sure you have already gotten your Boots of Speed and buy Sorcerer's Shoes before upgrading to Athene's Unholy Grail (which gives you 40 AP for 500 gold :D).
Your next core item will be Rabadon's Deathcap. It just gives you the huge damage boost you need on an AP carry.
Deathfire Grasp comes next. Its active together with your approx. 450 AP make you a frightening duelist. Always cast it before an engagement.
Sadly, most games end at this point. Apparently, people don't appreciate being lit on fire >xD
Your Zhonya's Hourglass provides additional survivability and an amazing active which will save your butt more than just once. However, you have to get along with an additional item's ability. Get this earlier when they stack AD items, and consider skipping it if beneficial.
As your last item, i'd recommend Rylai's Crystal Scepter to enhance your survivability and soft-cc-utility/kitability. Of course, if you are destroying the enemy team, a Guardian Angel might be the best choice due to the fact that they are very likely to focus you first in a team fight, and in this case you are basically dead after using Zhonya's. Obviously, a good team composition will allow your allies to cc them hard enough for you to escape before falling in your Guardian Angel's lap.
Obviously, they might have a lot of MR after a while. You can either buy a Void Staff to counter this, or an Abyssal Scepter. The latter one will make your more durable, but forces you to stay in combat range. I would recommend this against annoying AP casters with just a little bit too much MR, but usually Void Staff is the better option.
Another legitimation of Void Staff is the fact that your passive doesn't stack with AP, but its damage increases with Magic Penetration.
- Counters most mid-laners with Athene's Unholy Grail, while also giving nice sustain.
- Survivability in team fights with Zhonya's Hourglass
- Capable of killing their AD-carry 1v1 damagewise
- 34% Cooldown Reduction and a lot of Mana Regeneration will make you actually buff-independent.
- It takes some time to get used to having two items with active abilities.
- Pretty squishy.
If you want to play aggressively, you could think about starting with a Meki Pendant to rush a Fiendish Codex. I think it's legitimate because you don't want to miss the Mana sustain it needs to cast that killing blow. A Chalice of Harmony would work as well because its Magic Resist lets you trade better.
Get Sorcerer's Shoes and Rabadon's Deathcap asap.
Deathfire Grasp is your next goal, increasing your burst output enormously and reducing your cooldowns by 15%.
Your next items are situational, providing either some more safety with something like Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Magic Penetration with Void Staff.
- One of the highest burst damage outputs achievable in-game early on.
- Squishy due to lack of defensive items early game.
- Only legit against bad players who fail at focusing.
..."I go for the most important target: Soraka." - Phreak in Riot's Malzahar Champion Spotlight
- They will nomnom you like an apple. You don't want to look like some half-eaten apple, do you?
You start with a Sapphire Crystal and get Catalyst The Protector and your first core item shall be Rod of Ages.
Choose between Sorcerer's Shoes for damage, Mercury's Treads against Crowd Control and Ninja Tabi against their AD Carry.
Then you can get a Banshee's Veil to counter your lane and a Zhonya's Hourglass for teamfights. It might be a good idea to get Hextech Revolver now, since your resistances make your healing effects more effective. It simply is more difficult to harrass your recently spell-vamped health back down when you have got a lot of Magic Resist and Armor.
Not enough Magic Resist? Abyssal Scepter is your friend. Not enough Armor and problems with their AD Carry? Order your Frozen Heart in the next 5 hours and 26 minutes and choose... jk, nvm.
I would suggest buying Rylai's Crystal Scepter for even more life, or Rabadon's Deathcap to finally get some damage.
- Enemies are no longer able to nomnom you like a handful of popcorn.
- Poking the enemy burst after burst.
- Can more or less compensate for the lack of a tank on your team.
- Due to Brand's abilities' high base stats, you still are a threat to the enemy team. Max your W first and Q second to make up for your lack of AP.
- You might lack your tons of damage. *cough*might=willdefinetely*cough*
- Would lose 1v1 fight against enemy's AD Carry. Stick with your team.
|Deathfire Grasp increases your burst damage significantly. Highly recommendable for everyone who stacks AP, especially against Champs with a lot of health. It's dangerous to go alone. Take this!|
|Hextech Revolver can be used for the sustain, but you should sell it in late game. Personally, I would rather buy a couple of Health Potions.|
|I've never really tried Lich Bane on him yet. I'm a bit sceptical for several reasons:
-I wouldn't want to swap any of those mid game items for it.
-You have to get close to your enemy to use it's passive -> too dangerous in team fights.
-You will almost never auto attack.
-Honestly, it just doesn't fit to my playstyle. I usually try to get my burst of as fast as possible.
Of course, due to Brand's passive's duration of 4 seconds it is possible to get both Lich Bane's passive and his spell's bonus effects. Cast - auto attack - wait for Lich Bane's CD - cast - ... should work, but is probably too difficult to manage in team fights. All in all it's just a very different way to play him.
All of these combos are also mentioned in other chapters. If you read this guide from the top to the bottom, you can skip this.
Don't cast ignite if unnecessary. Early game you might want to autoattack after the stun to increase your damage significantly. This will become obsolete with more AP. I promise.
Cast Pyroclasm when you have a chance, but try to set your targets ablaze first.
Stay behind your tank during the whole process.
Conflagration & Sear
Move behind this guy so the other enemy is forced to come close to him.
On both of them: Pillar of Flame
On the one with higher health: Pyroclasm
Pyroclasm on the guy with more remaining Hit Points (if still standing near).
Warning: just do this if only one of them has high damage output. Mind the enemies' defensive abilities ( Heal, Exhaust, Shields, Spell Shield, Stand United, Wish, ...) to avoid that awkward moment when... Oh shi-
If defending a turret, spare your stun until they get attacked by the tower.
Tips 'n' Tricks
This chapter contains useful universal information. For specific tips for Laning Phase, 1v1 and Team Fights, check out the dedicated chapters.
- Blaze applies Rylai's Crystal Scepter's 15% slow until 1.5 seconds after its last tick of damage, giving you a 5.5 second slow.
- Blaze procs spell vamp.
-Don't be afraid to fight 1v2 if you have your ult up. Pyroclasm deals tons of damage when bouncing five times between two champions.
-Many people will get a Banshee's Veil against you. This is undoubtedly the best item to counter Brand at the moment, since you can wave your utility goodbye when you are unable to combo them properly. Avoid 1v1 fights against Champs with this item, but pop their spell shields with your long ranged abilities (Q & W) while staying behind your tank.
-Your most reliable combo is EQW. Make sure you hit your Sear for the stun and let the enemy watch helplessly while you are frying them with your Pillar of Flame. Mind Conflagration's short range (625).
-Cast your Deathfire Grasp on their carry when you have a chance. Try to follow up and kill him, so he doesn't recover to full health.
-In a late game fights, trading a friendly AP carry for their AD carry is usually a win, but never ever suicide intentionally.
-Remember to use to stay alive, to deal awesome damage. Never die with their cooldowns up! (But do not waste your Flash if you are sure not get away.)
-They will stack MR against you. They always do. Nevertheless, you will stack AP as well, and if they don't go all tanky, you will still be able to deal a good amount of damage to them whilest bursting their AD carry down to zero.
Champs don't counter Champs, Summoners counter Summoners.
Your goal early game is to "win" the laning phase. You know you have been doing it right when you have got your Sorcerer's Shoes + some Doran's Rings + Athene's Unholy Grail before your enemy got his first core item(s). In order to achieve this it is essential to follow a few simple rules.
-Farm. Make sure you get the last hits only so you don't push the lane.
-Get higher Creep Score than the enemy mid laner.
-Don't use your abilities to farm unless you want to push the lane (before ganking side lanes, going b, getting dragon). However, you can zone the enemy by setting the Caster Minions ablaze because you could harrass with your E, but keep in mind that you need two spells to stun the enemy jungler during a gank.
-Harrass your enemy when possible, as long as you don't miss out farm.
-Try to avoid harrassment.
-Make sure to win trades as often as possible. Most midlaners are casters, so don't be afraid to go in after being shot down to half life in one burst. They will be unable to keep their damage up while their abilities are on cooldown.
-Mind minion aggro. If your enemy gets focused by a bunch of minions, stunning him will deal a comparably high amount of damage.
-Don't risk your life. Go back when you're out of potions and on low health.
-Try not to go back without having killed the last minion wave.
-Buy wards on your first way back. They get kills and save lives.
-If the junglers start fighting, you should get there and help your teammate out.
-Take the blue buff if your jungler doesn't need it.
-Never hestitate to ask for ganks if you are having trouble with your opponent.
The other way around, if other lanes have a hard time dealing with their foes, it's your jungler's and your job to help them out, because you should be at least 1-2 levels ahead. Push your lane before leaving and make sure not to be to obvious. Leaving through the jungle instead of the river might make them think you went back to base, increasing your chance of a successful Pyroclasm Double Kill. If you set your first target ablaze, your ult is very likely to ignore the minions on the second bounce and hit an enemy champion. Thanks to Riot for this small but awesome buff ;)
-With Sorc's Shoes it takes only 10-15 seconds to get to top/bot. Don't just watch them engage and leave with <200 health.
-Write ss/mia, if the enemy midlaner is out of sight for more than a few seconds. With tier 2 boots, he is very dangerous if not accounted for.
-Never forget to notify your allies also if he didn't show up after respawning. He's probably doing something bad.
This section is based on my standard build, which focuses on giving Brand the ability to kill most carries with one full burst after level 10.
-You should always engage with your Deathfire Grasp first as it deals magic damage in the amount of a percentage of the targets current health. At this point you will have around 450 Ability Power from . You should also have 30 Magic Penetration. Congrats! You are now able to burst their carries from full health.
-Never hestitate to cast your ult on a single target. With Athene's Unholy Grail and Deathfire Grasp, your ultimate has about 70/60/50 seconds cooldown (CDR=34%; CD=105/90/75). Mid- and late-game this is less time than you would spend dead.
Also, you picked ignite for a reason. Better waste it 9 out of 10 times than regret not casting it this 1 time. I'm not telling you to go all-overkill onto a half-life Soraka, but use a spell whenever you consider it necessary to win the fight.
In team fights, it is usually a good idea to arrive a bit late, when your enemies already have blown all their skills into your tank or offtank, or while your team is succesfully cc-ing them.
-Your Pillar of Flame's and Sear's ranges are 900 and your W also has an effect radius of 175. It's your job to pop their spell shields, but stay safe! If you are caught in any type of cc, you are gonna watch the rest of the battle from below with a dozen ice-cold arrows of Ashe in your chest.
-The combo I use most in team fights is WQ. Your Pillar of Flame sets your target ablaze while your Sear stunts it for 2 seconds, so your team is able to follow up. The benefit from this combo is its awesome range of 900, leaving you safely behind your tank.
-If an enemy is getting out of position, use your DFG-EQW-combo to kill them. Don't waste it on their tank, though.
-Your highest damage output combo against their whole team is QEW. Sear sets one target ablaze, Conflagration jumps to enemies in a radius of 200 and Pillar of Flame deals 25% extra damage to champs who are ablaze. Keep in mind that you refrain from using your 2-second-stun this way.
-Your ulti is easy to stop from bouncing, so never use it to initiate, but after you have cc'd them or while they are busy hitting their cute Qs and Rs and Ws. Pyroclasm is extremly difficult to dodge when you are not paying attention due to its increased missile speed of 1000, so wait for the right second to cast it. If there are minions around, make sure to hit your targets with Pillar of Flame first. You notice you have waited too long when your teammates are dead or when your own screen turns gray.
Warding on Summoner's Rift
Even though I didn't want to include this chapter at first, I decided that this guide should cover as many aspects as possible and warding is a crucial part of the game, I guess... So here is my warding section. You can probably skip if you have yet placed a ward successfully.
Ever wonder how much damage Brand actually deals?
Check out https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AijjY9euFh7hdEVaaWNlMlVnMVZrM2xVQUF3d2g4Ync&output=xls
It is hardly recommended only to change the values in the blue boxes. Oh, and please don't divide by zero.
If anyone knows how to link this stuff properly, I would be happy about a comment. Uh, and Moba? The possibility to use HTML/CSS/JS would be utterly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
omg stupid bb code noob feeder l2p gg
Thanks for reading through to this point, I really appreciate your attention.
One more (hopefully obvious) piece of information: You will have to mix the three different builds and the combos etc. to fit your own playstyle and the overall situation in-game. I've had a lot of ggs with my standard build and my semi-aggressive playstyle (it's not about surviving, it's about killing him first! lol).
Just do not stick to anything stated in this guide by all means, especially not if it just doesn't work for you.
tl;dr: It's a guide, not a cookie recipe.
If you have any questions, suggestions, corrections, complaints or insults, feel free to comment or write me a message on MOBAfire or in-game on EUW.
If you find this guide helpful, please take your time to up-vote it, so it shall become more popular.
Thank you for your time.
July 31st 2012/August 10th 2012
P.S.: <3 to everyone who helped me develop this build and improve this guide, especially Curandil, Vermörder, Kaiwhitehat, Kranklafan & Isthatok.
"I am a creature of ever-lasting fire. I am a creature who burns away what needs to make way for what will be. I am a creature born to renew the world." - Brand
0.1 Started playing Brand in the spring of 2012
0.2 Tried different builds, liked nuker most
0.3 Wrote calculation sheet in Excel, taking AP, MR, MP & HP in account
0.4 Decided to write a guide out of boredom (7/30/2012)
1.0 Released after accidently clicking on the Publish-button (7/31/2012)
1.1 Furiously tried to take it back offline. Failed. Decided to fix uncompleted parts as fast as possible.
1.2 Noticed positive feedback and constructive suggestions (Thanks a lot!). Felt awesome. Added stuff and started to redesign some sections to make them more clearly. (8/1/2012)
1.3 Included Patch Notes for version 22.214.171.124 (8/1/2012)
1.4 Added offensive and defensive builds. Reworked chapter arrangement (Tips 'n' Tricks). (8/9/2012)
1.5 Rewrote Introduction. Added warding tips because a couple of people said they would find it helpful... Whatever^^ (8/9/2012)
1.6 Added Spell Combo and Damage Calculation sections (8/10/2012)
-Add more situational items
-Add pics wherever fitting
-Make a small video guide.