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 is a simple burst damage combo caster with some not so simple skills.
Q is a skill shot. W is a delayed, circle-visible-before-exploding aoe (which can be walked out of just in time by most nonslowed quick clicking champions). E is a guaranteed single target nuke. Then R, your ult, bounces off both heros and creeps and nukes them, as multiple single targets, in the midst of all the rest of your fiery aoe casts.
Any time any of these touches someone, they're ignited by your passive, which melts actual health percentage for as long as you persist in burning them with further casts.
While they are ON FIRE, the following are true:
Q (the skillshot) stuns both heroes and creeps (you can jungle taking minimal damage if the strongest camp creep is stunned and then W'd and E'd). W does extra, percentage amplified, aoe damage. E aoes every target around that one (even if they aren't yet ignited). Your ult travels faster so that it will bounce more often, igniting and speeding up every time IT revisits an ignited target or you have ignited any target it chooses to bounce to (and by aoeing everything to death except creeps, then stunning and ulting one of the heros and running back a step, waiting for CD's to Reset, then shooting off 3 more spells). Rinse and Repeat.
But you're made of fire. Why wait to rinse and repeat?
Speed up your cooldowns.
With all of these cool skills what stats will you need? Well all 4 skills want you to have massive AP, so you want a hat. But this many low cd skills means that you can be able to cast them A LOT.
You have the potential to hit one character with 10 sources of magic damage at once provided you plan for the ult bounces, faceroll all 3 spells onto your main focus target, build the magicPenetration items (Void Staff for late game pen, if your runes and other mPen aren't cutting it and you want some %pen to help take down tanks) and you can melt through anyone like hot fire through butter.
As for that All Important CDR:
If you follow this build you will have 20% out of the max 40% CDR out the gate, at lvl 1. 19.8 or something actually.
Get 0 items and blue buff and you're done (39.8% ~~ 40% for all intents and purposes in this game, no need to add a blue pot unless you don't have blue for a while).
Get 2 of either: a Spirit Visage, a Soul Shroud, a Shurelya's Reverie, or a blue pot - and you're done.
Get 1 DeathFiresGrasp (Nashor's tooth lolHybridBuild is viable -- but get red AS marks and less CDR blues and swap in some AP because Nashor's would but you at 40+ wasted %ages) and you're done.
Brand is about a couple of things.
AP AoE Burst and Stun and Dots (like Annie, get items like Rod of Ages or Banshee's or Zhonya's or Rabadon Hat or Void Staff).
Surviving team fights as a mage (with health and resistance and magic spellsteal to heal like Swain, get items like Spellsteal Book, Spirit Visage, CDR, MagicResist (FoN, Banshee's, Quicksilver), and armor (Frozen Heart + Randuins).
Continuous AP burst and dps every time his spells come off CD and he is within mana constraints (like Anivia, with items like Tear -> Archangels for permanent mana, early boots because you're slow, Lichbane to beat on the people you've stunned, Void Staff, CDRregen items along with the AP mix for when you get high lvl'd and if you don't have a stacking RoA or Archangel or Tear).
Single Target Burst Damage when you can get off all of your spells without your stun being blocked or any of your Aoe's or ults fizzled by flash/ghost/overlyTankyPeopleInterceptingStuns (like Leblanc, using items like Lichbane, ghosting or quickly moving through creeps (possibly flashing over them), and then an item like Archangels for a big mana pool rather than regen: you want to burst until your health and mana are low and your money high, then retreat to reset cooldowns, buy items, and possibly Stack up stacks on a Mejai's if you are steamrolling).
Tbe following are in descending order of usefulness, in my opinion.
Red: Magic Pen
Yellow: Health/Mana Regen or Armor (could also have more health more mana regen or per levels of mana regen as necessary in accordance to how much mana regen and mana pool you build).
Blue: CDR or CDR per lvl, AP/lvl, Mana, Mana/lvl, flat AP, or Magic Resist (if you can't have cdr here, put an alternative and build early cdrBoots, a DFG, a Spirit Visage, Shurelya's Reverie, or a Soul Shroud, or blue pots, before you begin building hardcore AP and the rest of this build)
Purple: CDR or CDR per lvl, Health, Earlygame Health Regen, Movement Speed, mana regen, mana, Ability Power flats, or Ability power / lvl, health regen, armor or magic resist, magic pen, or any other nice stat like +exp (part health/MovementSpeed/AP/regen/mana would be good alternatives to the allmighty early game rune 20% cdr you can get with purple,blue and red/green masteries).
Depending on if you change your masteries, runes, summoner spells, build, playstyle, summoner lvl, summoner name, and skins
(LoL, these last 3 things only count as much as the player: f2p nonskinned free week people reading my guide, and 100% pro skinned people with funny names and 4 people waiting with them in Teamspeak should also be able to at least comment or discuss my guide)
You're going to want to change your runes (just note many other rune choices work - there is no one OP rune set on most characters (pure AP/lvl in all 30 runeslots used to be op on morgana or Yi or HealaDenyGankadyplank, mana/lvl on singed/ryze, critdamage and TriForcce on gp/ashe/cait/mundo/sion and cdr/dodge on jax or nidalee comes quite close to OP though, hah).
Brand is a combo caster who has little survivability.
Magic Pen reds. Survivability (and maybe regen) yellows. CDR blues and purples.
Movement speed, ap, more health, and more regen are all good choices. Clairity, teleport, Clairivoyance, Heal, Exhaust, Ignite would all change your needs for mana/regen, health, MovementSpeed, Ward purchasing, health pot fees, stop carry damage or a faster-than-brand retreater, and help you burst with less AP or take down healers.
Use the runes you have, and note that Brand is not as dependent on lvl 1 runes (like say a very precise jungler like Yi or Renekton or Nocturne who are squishy and need some survivability as well as damage in order to jungle) as many other heroes.
Just - as said again elsewhere - play as carefully as your health bar and mana bar dictates. If you like Brand, pick one favorite build, and then keep playing him adjusting your runes/masteries/items until you get something you like even better than my silly guide (and then post it for us all to see and I'll edit you in with credit ;) ).
I'm suggesting Exhaust and Flash.
If you don't have Flash or don't want to spec Exh, then you can get:
Ignite if you want early game burst, antiheals, and more combo ability (with DeathFiresGrasp).
Clarity if you want to forgoe a mana/regen item and just get AP earlier.
Heal in early summoner lvls where the health goes further (without full runes or masteries or tiered out ELOs).
Ghost if you don't want flash (it's better if you have a lot of health, Lichbane speed, and Shurelya's Speed with white boots or CDR boots or Merc Treads).
Fortify if you have a good team ???
Clairivoyance if you want that perfect ult or jungle safety or ganking (or sight of the carry that's hiding in that bush, possibly).
Teleport if you want to farm but have few runes for regen or health (and you want to b or be able to go bot -> top -> mid -> ... every couple of minutes, fully healed from base with 3-4 spells up).
But Exhaust is great to start the combo, it'll guarantee a pillar (you can e as well, to make the pillar aoe if you want burst on that hero), then stun the slowed target unless they flash/blink/ghost away / exh you / give you the slip through a wall or some grass... Etc. Lots of uses. Not only in chasing or comboing, but it also blinds a carry that could destroy you or a squishy or low health friend.
Flash is great. It's just great. Unleash your combo. Flash out.
Step into a bush. Say oops. Flash out. Fire Fire into that bush. Run away.
Someone getting away? Dive. Kill. Flash out. Or Dive-Ult-Runaway.
The possibilities are endless (and lulzy if you get warmoggs, blue tree talents, armor/mr runes, spellsteal, maybe a sunfires or atmas or triforce with your rylais health, you can become quite a tanky nuissance whatwith a stun and being a powerful source of damage even with low ap if you have CDR through DFG, CDRboots, or Kindelgem + a Kindelgem item for that 20%, or blue buff.
Maybe Revive instead of Fortify. Fortify can't stop 100 creeps. Resurrected endgame Brand can.
Team it with teleport and try to spec for both if you do it. Bahahaha. Be sure to get Zhonya's Hourglass as well as a RoA or Archangels, a Guardian Angel, Warmoggs or Rylais, Spellsteal Gunblade, Atma's, Nashor's Tooth, CDRboots, Triforce. Straight mixed damage ap/ad/as/tank. Bwahahah. (Please don't.)
So your main stat, after that ap and survivability, becomes, in this guide at least, CDR.
The CDR hard cap is 40%. Blue buff adds 20%. Temporary Blue Pot adds 10%. DeathFire'sGrasp adds 20%. CDRboots add 15%. Randuin's adds 5%. A TWENTY stack Mejai's would add 20%. Spirit Visage, Soul Shroud, and Shurelya's Reverie all bring tenacity and stack in some sense with being another aura to pair with the SpellSteal book - possibly the most important part of this guide outside of magicPen (usually a void staff), mana pool/regen (usually a Tear or Catalyst and then Archangels or RoA or Banshee's), AP (Rylai's for the slows on every aoe skill, maybe a DeathFire'sGrasp for the cdr and Burst, or a lategame Rabadon and Lichbane or Zhonya's big rod), and then survivability (Merc Treads or the AP/regen tenacity if you do or don't need the cdr boots, that Rylai health, and maybe Spirit Visage or other kindle gem item (soul shroud lets you buy 2 health crystals, and shurelya's has some regen pieces to buy), like an early/mid game catalyst or turtle shell for either Banshee's for MR and cc Resist that stacks with tenacity, or the RoA for AP and health and mana if you don't have tear/archangels nor need MR and then a Randuins from the shell because even without any other resistance items, a randuins is more powerful than invincibility of Zhonya's against multiple physical carries and/or chasers which the Randuins will slow (both their MS and AS).
Build the health items (and the SPELLBOOK of spellsteal and then with Rylai's permaslow, while buying either Zhonya's invincible armor, spirit visage, Force of Nature, (Warmoggs if you feel like being the godmodetank because your team has no nonsquishies), or randuins/FrozenHeart, or shurelya's reverie for activatables or additional HealingoverTime effects so you can survive some team burst, cast all your fiery pyroclasmic spells and then walk away from the fire with a cool hair shake and a full lifebar after your randuins chills their carries out or your zhonya's dodges some caster/spell damage from ults or something), and then some tenacity from the AP tenacity, the regen tenacity, or the merc treads tenacity and your kDr will be like a nice golf score (300 is not perfect in that middle number, we ain't bowling).
But the biggest part of this guide about this Wombo Combo Fire Caster?
The maximum cdr is 40%. It's a hard cap. 400 armor > 300 armor. 50% cdr == 40% cdr >= 39.9% cdr.
Standard Green/red 9/0/20 or 21 green will give you 9% cdr. Full blue runes will give 5.85% cdr. Purple will give 4.92% cdr. This is 19.77% or 20% cdr.
Add CDR boots and Randuin's and you're 39.77% ~ 40% == done.
Add only a Death'sFireGrasp and you're done.
CDR boots are thus, great (with 1050 gold, you can be 5% short of maximum cdr without blue buff or blue pot (with blue pot and the boots, you are actually in cdr overkill mode and are wasting 5%). If you ever get a 10% cdr or 20% cdr (+ap like DFG or the CDRbook of AP) item, sell your boots for either magicPen (unless you build a void staff or Haunted "Guys"), or tenacity and MagicResist Merc treads (or get the tenacity spellsword), or get movement speed white booties, or movement speed sandals (though if you want ms, just either get a lichbane (or a triforce if you honestly want your right click ranged attacks to: Slow, Hit for Double physical Damage, and attack faster as well as improving your ms, giving you health, mana, and crit, and some attack speed - if you got this capitalize on slows with rylai, health with warmogg, and crit with Atma's, and then more armor from Zhonya's Frozen-Heart + Randuins, or more MR from Banshee's Veil or Quicksilver Sash.
I will finish editing Items text and options as I experiment in the 30s with Brand.
Will report soon.