Brand Build Guide by Silverae
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.
Brand - How to Set the World on Fire
This is my first in-depth guide!
Hey guys, a few words before we get started here.
1. Use this however you want :) (Other than buying/selling)
2. Thoughts, opinions, and criticism is appreciated!
3. I'm not the best player ever, so I don't expect everyone to agree with my build/skilling options. I have played over 1500 games though, so I do have some experience.
This guide is primarily for playing mid lane, you can take most of what I say for other lanes as well but hopefully you won't have a need to go anywhere but mid!
Now, let's get started on setting the world on fire!
- Fantastic laning, can beat anyone if played properly.
- Good ganks with CC.
- Has great farming ability with a good AA animation.
- Lots of AOE control.
- All skills deal damage.
- Fantastic passive, allows for securing kills.
- Can skill depending on what he's up against.
- Can go OOM if you rely too much on abilities.
- Relies on all skills to do damage.
- Stun can be unreliable due to being a skillshot.
- Not the best ratios, 2.3 with all skills together.
- Squishy, albeit can take more than most other mid champions.
- No escape!
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Health
Now, my runes aren't your standard runes for most AP champions. A lot of sets of rune types work for Brand, but I find these to be my favorite as I've played him more and more. Of course, runes are all player preference, and it's all up to the players themselves. I'm not the biggest fan of AP runes just because he doesn't scale as well with them skill to skill.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - The cookie cutter magic penetration runes. They work well for just about any type of AP champion!
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration - Brand can crave mana at times, this just helps him all game long.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction - Brand requires all of his skills to do damage, so why not have them up faster than usual? People can opt these for magic resist runes or scaling AP if they choose to do so.
Greater Quintessence of Health - Brand doesn't scale the best out of AP carries from skill to skill, so if you want to win early game fights you may as well outlast them. His bases are strong enough by themselves to get the job done. Greater Quintessence of Ability Power does work though.
Other viable Runes
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - Always good, flat defense early.
I go 21/0/9 because it helps you farm in lane with extra mana and I don't see any reason not to go 21 in offense due to the fact you are a caster and you need to do damage.
Sorcery - Who doesn't want CDR? Take 3 points into this, because the extra 1% won't help you much compared to Summoner's Wrath .
Summoner's Wrath - Since I take Ignite, I get an extra 5 AP + 5 AD.
Blast - More ways of getting AP as you level up.
Arcane Knowledge - One of the most important masteries for any AP champion.
Havoc - 2.0% damage increase is pretty nice.
Mental Force - Earlygame AP is always nice.
Spellsword - Makes poke, harass, and sustained damage so much better.
Archmage - Gets you 5% more AP, along with your Rabadon's Deathcap.
Executioner - More damage is great, also works with your passive, making it a great finisher.
Wanderer - Get two points in this, just extra movement speed.
Meditation - Mana Regen for more lane sustain.
Expanded Mind - Mana per level!
Runic Affinity - That blue buff you should be getting will last quite a bit longer.
These are the summoner spells you'll be taking most, if not all the time.
Flash is a very good summoner spell, sets you up for positioning. It lets you finish a combo or escape from an enemy.
Ignite is the bread and butter of most AP champs. Even moreso on Brand, when paired up with his passive Blaze, you'll get to finish enemies a lot sooner than they think they would be. With both Blaze and Ignite, you'll be hitting true damage and magic damage as a % of the enemies health. You also get 5 AP + 5 AD from Summoner's Wrath . Fire burns.
Other Valid Choices
Teleport is a good spell, helps getting to and from places.
Exhaust is another good spell, helps if the enemy team is AD heavy as well.
Ghost is an extremely good spell, it's fine to take this instead of Flash if it suits your playstyle.
- Makes harass so much stronger. 8% of max health in 4 seconds. Fire always the best element.
- Paired with Ignite, the amount of damage you can do to another person is absurb. You'll get a lot of kills with this combo.
- Any spell can proc this. With Brand's AOE you want to get this on the whole enemy team.
- Procs Rylai's 15% slow.
Sear - Brand launches a ball of fire forward that deals 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+65% of ability power) magic damage to the first enemy it hits. If the target is ablaze, the target will be stunned for 2 seconds.
Base CD: 8.0/7.5/7.0/6.5/6.0
- One of Brand's main kiting tools.
- Good for hitting champions that go out of their way to skillshot.
- Brand's only form of CC, a stun if they are afflicted by Blaze.
- The highest ratio out of any of his skills.
- Combo into it from any skill, most likely Conflagration.
- Does not go through minions, can cancel an autoattack with it instantly.
Pillar of Flame - After a short delay, Brand creates a pillar of flame at a target area, dealing 75 / 120 / 165 / 210 / 255 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to enemy units within the area. Units that are ablaze take an additional 25% damage.
Base CD: 10
- Brand's AOE damage and his most damaging skill.
- Use this after enemies are afflicted with Blaze for a 25% damage increase.
- Great for farming in conjunction with Conflagration.
Conflagration - Brand conjures a powerful blast at his target, dealing 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 (+55% of ability power) magic damage to them. If the target is ablaze the conflagration will damage nearby enemies as well and set them ablaze.
Base CD: 12/11/10/9/8
- Brand's combo starter.
- Good for harass in lane and farming after casting Pillar of Flame.
- Brand's main targetable spell.
- Works extremely well with Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Pyroclasm - Brand unleashes a devastating torrent of fire that bounces between enemies, dealing 150 / 250 / 350 (+50% of ability power) magic damage each time it bounces. If a target is ablaze, Pyroclasm's missile speed increases. It will bounce up to four times for a total of five hits, and can hit the same enemy up to three times.
Base CD: 105/90/75
- Rips through a team, moving from target to target.
- Does prioritize champions, however it still can hit minions.
- An optional combo starter instead of Conflagration.
- On paper, doesn't seem to do a lot of damage. However it hits 5 times, allowing you to really set the world on fire.
- Note that it does 150/250/350 + .5 of your AP in damage PER BOUNCE, so in reality it is doing 750/1250/1750 + 2.5 of your AP in damage to the whole team.
Brand Spell Combos
Brand has many spell combos he can utilize, however the most efficient ones are:
E > Q > W > (R) - This sets up Brand's stun easily with a Conflagration, and is primarily his combo for laning phase before you have an ult or if you don't want to use it. You can add in the ult at the end for optional damage.
R > Q > W > E - This is Brand's main teamfight combo, due to the fact that with this combo, you'll gain the most AOE damage from Brand's Conflagration with the Blaze passive, and still setup the stun from Sear. However, you still do have to time Sear so that it hits after the ultimate has connected.
Here's a video for those who enjoy visuals!
Skill Sequencing/Game Overview
Now, let's get to the fun part about playing Brand. Brand is a character with a lot of viable options to start the game off, so I'll go through them in detail.
Brand is a very diverse character who can play against mostly all champions with different strategies. Though I state leveling and maxing Pillar of Flame first, I do think that leveling Sear and Conflagration is viable against many matchups as well. Taking a level in Conflagration at level 1 gives you a deceptive amount of level 1 damage paired with Blaze.
Getting Sear at level 2 gives you a stun paired with Conflagration. And finally, your Pillar of Flame will be your main damage tool past level 3, with Sear for a stun and Conflagration as your leading tool. Once you get around level 5 or 7, Pillar of Flame into Conflagration should easily farm caster minions.
General Tips for Early Game:
- Try not to push the lane so you don't get ganked! Last hit and get gold so you can build your damage quick.
- If you do end up pushing the lane, check to see if any lane is gankable! Then gank tons because your lanes need it. (ps: secret to going up in solo queue elo)
- Brand can score a kill very early with his Blaze + Ignite combo, so keep that in mind.
- Ward your bushes with Sight Ward to prevent jungler ganks, and call for your jungler if you need to.
- Get the blue buff in the jungle when possible. (Increased mana regen and lower cooldowns.)
General Tips for Late Game:
- Follow your team closely.
- Brand can pick off characters very easily with his Conflagration >> Sear combo.
- When a teamfight happens, nuke down the carries! The role of the AP Carry is to shut down all of the opposing team's carries, due to the fact that AP Carries may not be able to do much to tankier
- Always attempt to get your burst off before you die, Brand's cooldowns aren't very high and every bit of damage will help your team.
- Brand has extremely good teamfight control, his range is good so he doesn't have to commit very hard to do all of his damage with his combo. Keep his positioning in mind.
- When in a teamfight, target the squishiest champion that is also dealing the most damage. Brand will probably have enough damage to kill that champion while also doing massive damage to the rest of the enemy team due to AOE.
What Skills to Level When
Sear - Level this up when you're sure you can land skillshots or are in a heavy skillshot lane, although you probably won't need to as opposed to your other two options.
Pillar of Flame - Level this up in most lanes, will help you farm and does the most damage in terms of regular spells!
Conflagration - This skill is really good to level up when you need to deal damage consistently with a target. It's really good at efficiently farming, almost as good as Pillar of Flame, and when characters like Katarina or Fizz are really hard to hit due to their movements, you can consistently Conflagration and get your damage off just as effectively! If you decide to level up Conflagration first, reverse the order of your skill level ups with Pillar of Flame.
- Keep an eye out for junglers! Brand is an extremely potent solo laner and you will most likely be ganked eventually! Especially since he has no escapes!
- Sear can be used to check bushes, be very wary and don't facecheck!
- Conflagration >> Sear is your combo life! It allows you to quickly escape ganks or get pressure started on an enemy.
- The Crest of the Ancient Golem helps a ton when using Brand. Having this allows you to spam your abilities like no other with increased mana regen and lowered cooldowns! Ask your jungler if you can take this nicely :)
- Ward the brushes when you can! This will help Brand stop incoming ganks or maybe even snag a few kills with the map awareness!
- Be sure to check enemy summoner spells! They probably will run Flash and Ignite, but it's always good to be safe!
- Play other champions. The more knowledge you have, the better a player you'll become. You more you play other champions, the more you'll know how to play against them, and what they are capable of.
- Be sure to spam your taunt/dance when you aren't doing anything particularly dangerous! Setting the world on fire is a good thing to do when bored.
Now, the real stuff.
Now, this build is my build, and all builds are personal preference. Just because I have something listed up here does not mean that it is always the right thing to build.
THE BUILD ITSELF
- Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions are the way to go. In mid lane, the only thing that will keep you alive is positioning, and so that is exactly what this will do. Doran's Ring and Amplifying Tome starts are also viable, but I feel that getting Boots of Speed will increase your abilities in mid lane. If behind, feel free to stack up to 3 Doran's Rings.
The Core Items
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a source of straight HP and AP. The bonuses are great to Brand, giving him a good about of survivability along with the ability to dish out more damage. However, what makes this so good on Brand is the passive. The passive on Rylai's Crystal Scepter grants a slow which applies on Brand's passive, giving you a 15% slow for 4 seconds! This allows you to lead all of your skills more easily, giving you more chances to kill and escape enemies. Buy the Blasting Wand or Giant's Belt, depending on whether you need survivability or not. Also, the Rylai's slow stacks with Liandry's Torment, making that combo deadly along with Brand.
- Rabadon's Deathcap is the core item on every AP champ. It gets you straight up damage and if you rush this right away you'll be able to kill anyone in your game with the level lead from mid lane. If you have the gold to buy Needlessly Large Rod, you should buy that. If not, get Blasting Wand first.
- Sorcerer's Shoes are really good items on Brand, allowing him to get more penetration for maximum damage. Get the Enchantment: Furor later for the extra speed in fights.
The Fiery Stuff
- Liandry's Torment is a great damage item for Brand, giving him massive % damage on all of his skills with his Blaze which is crazy amounts of damage. This item's passive works with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, making it a great choice.
- Void Staff is a fantastic item for Brand. It basically is straight up AP with 35% Magic Penetration, which allows for you basically to be able to ignore most magic resistances and deal your full damage.
- Zhonya's Hourglass is an extremely good item for lategame Brand. Stasis allows you to get rid of any focus on you for 2 seconds, allowing you to get cooldowns back up or even just stay safe until your team arrives. It gives you a lot of both armor and AP and is an ideal choice for a final item. I don't take flat on survivability on Brand due to his cooldowns and the fact that he needs to get as much damage off as possible. Get the Needlessly Large Rod first.
- Abyssal Scepter is an extremely good item on Brand and is an alternative to the Void Staff. The passive aura lowers magic resist and if the enemy team is not buying a ton of magic resist, this is an ideal choice for a Brand player.
This also grants you magic resist, helping your survivability rates. Please read this for info on Void Staff vs Abyssal Scepter.
- Rod of Ages is a good item for farming, damage, and tankiness. If you like this item, build it early so it can get stacks faster. It's the solid item to build on most AP champions first at the moment if you're ahead especially and don't need the damage as much. Rylai's Crystal Scepter is also a very good choice for this item slot.
- Mejai's Soulstealer is a risky item to take. Only if you're really confident this will get you anywhere, as you need to be doing well in order for this to kick in. Otherwise if you feel up for it, go for it. It gives a ton of AP when you have a decent amount of stacks.
- Archangel's Staff is a decent item, one I wouldn't buy on Brand though. It gives you a lot of AP, mana, and mana regen. However, the cost is high and Brand is mana efficient as long as you have decent mana conservation rates.
- Deathfire Grasp is an amazing item for single target burst. It's good when you are going up against a tank team, since it deals a lot of damage for an item active. Make sure you use the active if you have it though. I wouldn't put it on my main build because Brand is based on AoE damage, though if there is a target you need to single out this is here.
- Lich Bane is not a bad item at all, however to fully utilize the potential you need to be autoattacking. I don't use it as by the time you're at the point in the game where you'd want to buy this, you probably have blue and are spamming your skills like no other.
- Banshee's Veil is a fantastic defensive item if you needed to get one. It allows you to have a shield, so people will find it harder to get CC onto you. I don't take this as I feel Brand needs every bit of damage, and the stasis on Zhonya's Hourglass gets the job done.
- Athene's Unholy Grail is an extremely good item. I feel it isn't as strong on Brand however due to the fact that it costs a ton and he has good mana conservation. However it is a good replacement for other items in my build.
Thanks for reading my first guide! I hope you can use this to better your skills and please vote and leave comments.
- omniwynd - For helping me with the video.
- Lasuna/Xenoburritos - For helping me with the video.
12/6/2012 - Whole guide revamped for S3.
7/14/12 - Guide written.