Brand Build Guide by krazerrr
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.
8/7/11 - Reposted my updated guide, and FINALLY got everything copied over. Forgot to put in summoner spells for a while, but it's fixed now haha. silly me =P
8/8/11 - Reformatted and updated the guide. Hopefully it is easier to read and go through.
Alright guys, this is my first guide, so don't be too harsh. Don't rate before reading the entire guide or at least thinking about the build I have put up.
Now Brand is an amazing champion. Out of rage from an exam, I got back to my room, bought Brand with RP as soon as I got online, and began learning him. I quickly learned how amazing he was in lane and how he can just destroy or sustain himself against almost any other champion. He is one of my favorite AP Carries right now. I have also played Lux, Orianna, and Morgana (who is actually more support, but can carry hard until about 30 or 40 minutes into a game), but Brand definitely has the most lane dominance.
Pros and Cons
Ghost: Great for catching up to other people, and initiating ganks and dives. It lets you get in, throw your combo down, and get out as quickly as possible, meaning less damage and less risk for death. With Rylai's Crystal Scepter, you will almost never not finish off a 1v1 chase
Clarity: Amazing support spell, but essential to HUGE spammers for early game. The best way to use clarity offensively is getting low on mana. If your opponents notice that you are low, then they will think they're safe, so they'll go in for a kill. Pop your Clarity as they try to dive you, and demolishing your enemies. It's also great for keeping your team in lane for pushing as there are MANY times when the entire team is out of mana, and everyone needs to go back or cannot harass as much as they should be.
Now tons of people have been asking WHY CLARITY?! I honestly believe that Clarity solves all of your mana problems early and mid game. Why waste gold on items when you can just use clarity. The only other summoner spells I would ever get on Brand are Teleport and Flash for helping with dives and ganks.
Other great Summoner Spells:
Teleport: ALWAYS a great spell. Getting teleport instead of ghost will help you get to team fights quicker and help gank other lanes like crazy! Teleport is so broken, so use it while you still can.
Exhaust: This cuts down an enemy's damage by 30%, and slows them, which allows you to burst them down with less fear! Great, but honestly, you don't need it in my opinion if you can just lane well with Brand, consistently harassing and pushing the minions. A good harass will lead to an easy kill.
Flash: Great escape and great initiating spell. Flash in, land a stun, and throw down the rest of your combo. It will make people rage hard. It's almost like a Flash Tibbers Bomb from Annie, which can bring you down to less than 30% hp, if not an instant kill.
Clairvoyance: meh, great for being super cautious, but honestly, Brand is a hard AP Carry! Getting a support spell like Clairvoyance, that doesn't help his laning phase at all when you could just buy wards is a waste. Let the support get cv.
Greater Seal of Replenishment
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
This is a standard AP Carry rune setup, giving magic pen, flat mana regen, flat cdr, and flat AP. The main focus of these runes are to give Brand an even bigger early game advantage. Mana regen combined with cooldown reduction, some extra ap, and some magic penetration will allow Brand to truly shine early game. If you can't either zone out or out level the other team in your lane, even just by a little bit, then you're not being aggressive enough as Brand.
The standard 9/0/21 will work fine with Brand. Getting improved Clarity and Ghost is a must if you do follow my build and get those summoner spells. Putting points into boosting the buff duration is always good since as Brand, you will almost ALWAYS be getting the blue buff. The cdr from the offensive tree is also helpful, along with the 15% magic pen.
Brand's spells light his targets ablaze, dealing 2% of their maximum Health in magic damage per second for 4 seconds.
This is Brand's passive, which essentially is an Ignite. Great for picking up kills when you burst them down to almost nothing. To get the most of of this skill, especially when you are doing early farming, use your next skill at 3 seconds, so the blaze timer will reset when it is just about to end. I cannot emphasize how important this is for farming and especially taking down blue buff. If you were to spam your full combo while doing blue buff, Blaze would time out and you would get the added effects of either Sear or Pillar of Flame. It takes practice, but it is for just a tiny bit of extra damage.
Cost: 50 Mana
Brand launches a ball of fire forward that deals 80/120/160/200/240 (+0.65) magic damage.
If the target is ablaze, Sear will stun the target for 2 seconds.
Great spell for poking, but really just used for initiating and stunning enemies. It has a small hitbox, and is a medium speed projectile, so get used to landing these stuns. The true difference between a good and a bad Brand is whether or not you can land this stun consistently.
Pillar of Flame
Cost: 70/80/90/100/110 Mana
After a short delay, Brand creates a pillar of flame at a target area, dealing 80/125/170/215/260 (+0.6) magic damage to enemy units within the area.
Units that are ablaze take an additional 25% damage from Pillar of Flame.
The bread and butter of your damage. With the 25% damage bonus, you can DESTROY enemies, and make them rage at you hard. Of course, the delay is hard to get used to, but if you can consistently land this move, then you will dominate your lane, and eventually their entire team. It's an amazing poking skill, as well as farming and CC once you get your Rylai's Crystal Scepter. This skill is what makes people think that Brand is OP and does too much damage.
Cost: 60/65/70/75/80 Mana
Brand conjures a powerful blast at his target, dealing 70/105/140/175/210 (+0.55) magic damage.
If the target is ablaze, Conflagration spreads to nearby enemies.
The shortest ranged skill for Brand, but it is a target shot, unlike Sear and Pillar of Flame. By far the easiest skill to set up for a stun, and makes farming as Brand easy with Pillar of Flame.
Cost: 100/150/200 Mana
Brand unleashes a devastating torrent of fire, dealing 150/250/350 (+0.5) magic damage each time it bounces up to 5 bounces.
If a target is ablaze, Pyroclasm's missile speed increases.
Can be frustrating to use, but it is ridiculous if two champions are standing next to each other or in the middle of a team fight. Be aware that this can also bounce off of minions, so if you are 1v1 against a Malzahar, THROW THIS BAD BOY OUT AS SOON AS HE IS ALONE WITH HIS VOIDLING! Try not to use Pyroclasm against a champion around a full wave of minions as 9/10 times it will hit the champion and never come back. Pyroclasm is all about choosing your fights and positioning, as are his skill shots i.e. Sear and Pillar of Flame
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Maxing out Pillar of Flame will give you the ability to both zone out your opponent and harass them constantly. Then max out Conflagration so you can further harass your opponent. Throwing down a Pillar of Flame first and then using Conflagration is your main farming combo for lanes, and should kill the ranged minions. If it doesn't, then the Blaze DoT should pick it up if you time it correctly. It is also the most consistent method of dealing damage, as it is a target skill, rather than a skill shot. Sear is maxed last simply because it doesn't have any use other than it's stun, which doesn't increase with higher levels.
1. HIGH BURST AOE
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I put the combos in order of preference. I like to use Pyroclasm at the end of my combo, but you can use it whenever you feel appropriate. Either way, Sear and Conflagration, so that multiple targets have your passive Blaze on them, followed by a Pillar of Flame is the highest damaging combo that Brand has.
In the following combos, I won't put Pyroclasm as an option since it is only used for team fights and securing kills. Use it at your own discretion, as the bounce is very unreliable sometimes.
2. Quick Stun (For Ganks)
A quick Conflagration and Sear will stun anyone, especially if they are running towards you or are already stunned. This is the quickest way to get someone in a stun, but be aware that since Sear is a skill shot, it can be blocked by minions and other champions. Always make sure that you have a clear shot when you try to go for this combo.
3. Running Away and Tower Diving
This lets you lead off with Pillar of Flame. Now you may ask why would I not want to use the extra 25% bonus damage from Pillar of Flame? Well let's put it in context.
If you wanted to dive someone, Conflagration almost ALWAYS puts you in the tower's range, and if you get stunned while in the tower's range before even landing a stun, then you will have given up a free kill. Leading with Pillar of Flame gives you a safer way to put your passive onto the enemy champion.
Now when you are running away, the tables are flipped. The Quick Stun Combo will also work for this, but usually I will be chased by more than one target. In this case, I want to lay down ALL of my spells as quickly as possible, not to do as much damage as possible, but to scare them away and keep them away from me. Pillar of Flame with Rylai's Crystal Scepter makes them slowed from far away, but it takes practice to land this properly while fleeing. Followed by a Sear stun and then a timed Conflagration to keep the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter and the Blaze DoT up will ensure that they keep their distance from you. If they keep chasing, since you used your Pillar of Flame first, it will come off of cooldown quicker than normal, hopefully before Blaze wears off of the enemy champions. The 25% damage bonus can help ensure kills when the enemy overextends for you. It can also lead to some interesting kills and failed chases for the enemy. Be warned that if you are not running away in between skills, then you will DEFINITELY get caught and will most likely be killed.
Each Skill Explained Thoroughly
Now at level 3, you should have all 3 of your main skills. I use Pillar of Flame and then Conflagration in order to farm minions. When trying to harass or get the kill on an enemy, I prefer to use Pillar of Flame and then Sear.
Pillar of Flame is your bread and butter move. It is the main source of AoE damage, since it gets a 25% boost if the target(s) getting hit are already ablaze. Pillar of Flame can be used to poke at people under the tower and scare people off while running away from them. The burst damage from Combo #1 HIGH BURST AOE is just ridiculous in a team battle.
Conflagration has a very short range, so I don't use it in order to get the stun down unless they are near me. Conflagration is truly only useful for three things, farming, getting Blaze on multiple champions, and getting down Combo #2 Quick Stun.
Sear is honestly only used for the stun, poking, and for initiation. It's damage isn't decent until it is rank 3, which will be at level 16. Now the stun is part of the move, and poking means being able to hit people from far away, but what about the initiation?? Just use the aforementioned Combo #3 Running Away and Tower Diving.
Pyroclasm is a huge damage skill, but requires another target around to truly shine. When there are just two champions with no other targets around, this ultimate just demolishes them. The random bounce makes this skill quite unreliable in the lane sometimes, but it is all about positioning and choosing your fights.
WARNING: Pyroclasm is an amazing nuke, but very random at times. It only shines in team battles, or when engaging multiple enemies. In a 1v1 situation, Pyroclasm is almost worthless, and is almost a waste of mana unless you can secure the kill.
Okay, so let's go through Brand's core items
I like to start off with a Doran's Ring. It gives you HP, AP, and mana regen, which is essential on Brand. With the mana regen, along with clarity, you shouldn't have to leave lane for the first 20 minutes. The only time you should go back is when you're low on HP, which should never happen thanks to his amazing ranged harass, or if you can afford any major items aka Needlessly Large Rod.
Rabadon's is great for Brand. The quick AP boost works wonders, but only start rushing this item if, and i emphasize, IF you can get it within 5 or 10 minutes. If you have 2 or 3 kills by the time you go back your first time or have more than 1600 gp for a Needlessly Large Rod, then definitely start rushing Rabadon's. Some people say ALWAYS rush Rabadon's, but honestly, if you are somehow getting zoned out and are low on gold, you should spend it on something more cost efficient, even if it is an Amplifying Tome for Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Boots of Speed. Although I do rush Rabadon's Deathcap at the beginning of the item build, I don't believe that builds are set in stone.
In most situations, I will rush Rylai's first by getting a Giant's Belt instead of Rabadon's. This gives you a ridiculous amount of health early on for an AP Carry. The only issue is that you won't be doing as much damage, but honestly, as Brand, you don't NEED a lot of AP early game. Your poking and harassing should keep people away from you, which sets up for easy ganks and dives in your lane. Now Rylai's gives you both a slow and 700 HP. The slow will help you land your stun, and let you chase better, even without tier 2 boots. The 700 HP boost also gives you more sustain, allowing you to really take some hits and not be afraid of going in for the kills. Rylai's, i feel, is essential for Brand since it gives him more utility in team fights and helps him sustain his lane better. The slow has also saved me countless times while running away from ganks.
Getting Boots of Speed is a must while rushing or between acquiring Rabadon's Deathcap and Rylai's Crystal Scepter. You need some kind of boots by 15 minutes in, even if you are rushing another item. I chose Sorcerer's Shoes because they give you some magic pen, which makes Brand even more deadly than before.
Will of the Ancients: One of the best, but very under used, items in the game for AP carries. People don't realize how much spell vamp does for AP Carries, especially when you have a Rabadon's Deathcap already. The spell vamp, along with the HP from Rylai's Crystal Scepter make Brand much tankier and have much better sustain in team fights. He can continuously stay in team fights while taking damage because his spell vamp will keep his health relatively high. Of course if you get focused down, nothing will save you, but you just have to be cautious in team fights.
This item gives you both AP and 40% Magic Pen, which lets you SHRED through tanks or anyone that has MR i.e. Singed and Mordekaiser. Without void staff, the damage you do could be cut down in half due to Force of Nature and Banshee's Veil. It is essential late game if you see more than 2 characters with either of the two aforementioned items.
Okay, so the hourglass only gives you 100 AP and 70 armor. What's the use of that? More AP is ALWAYS good on Brand, and the extra armor is quite amazing. The last patch also made Zhonya's Hourglass 200 gold cheaper, which makes it easier to get, but the active ability is truly amazing. If you ever are in a team fight as Brand, you will begin to get focused down HARD. He is too much of a threat to be ignored, so when you do begin to get focused, you just activate Zhonya's Hourglass and become untargetable and invulnerable for 2 seconds. This is HUGE. Although you can't cast any spells while the hourglass is active, it allows you to avoid dying instantly, and possibly survive the team fight. As soon as the 2 seconds are up though, you have to either throw down ALL of your spells or make a tactical retreat to better position yourself for your full combo.
Not needed for Brand, but it comes in handy when facing a team loaded with cc or against another huge AP carry doing well on the other team
Great Item, but it doesn't offer as much as the items in the core build do. It gives AP, CDR (which is ALWAYS good), and mana regen, but the mana regen is wasted if you have clarity and mp5 seals. Again, if you do grab this, then you do not need clarity.
Okay, I have a HUGE issue with people getting Archangel's on Brand. I don't understand why anyone would take a Tear, when getting Clarity can solve your mana problems. Clarity along with mana regen masteries, runes, and especially blue buff, will take away ALL of your mana problems for the entire game. Not only that, but Archangel's takes too long to build up a decent amount of AP. Even if you were to Tear of the Goddess never upgrade it to Archangel's Staff until late game, most of Brand's moves are not very "spammable". Yes, Archangel's does give more AP than Rabadon's Deathcap, but you are sacrificing so much time building up for late game. By spending 995 gold on a Tear of the Goddess, you are setting yourself farther away from finishing your Rabadon's Deathcap, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and even your Sorcerer's Shoes. Tear only gives you mana regen, so you don't gain any AP from your 995 gold, which is a loss of potential damage during the laning phase. This in turn leads to losing kills within the first 10 minutes because you didn't grab an item that truly helped your harass. With Clarity, you already have more than enough mana for the first 20 minutes of the game, without getting ANY mana items. Archangel's is not the worst item ever, and it definitely helps Brand. I just think it takes too long and isn't worth it for someone who needs more survivability, since he can get focused down very quickly in team fights. I just TRULY do not support or approve of ever getting Archangel's Staff on Brand.
STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Honestly, Brand is a lot of fun, and I played him non-stop for over 2 weeks. He has to be played aggressively in order to keep up with every other champion, simply because he doesn't have as much utility. After getting Rylai's he becomes both an AOE slower as well as a nuker
As a side note, I have reposted this guide because I originally posted a skeleton of this quite some time ago, it never got updated until today, and I don't think it will ever get any views unless it was reposted as a brand new guide. Sorry if this causes any issues, but I don't want my guide to go to waste because no one looked at it when I first posted it when it was incomplete.
I hope you liked this guide. As said before, this is my first one, so I don't know how it'll turn out. Please Comment, Rate, and provide suggestions!!! =]