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 guys, I bid you welcome to my first guide
In a faraway place known as Lokfar there was a seafaring marauder called Kegan Rodhe. As was his people's way, Kegan sailed far and wide with his fellows, stealing treasures from those unlucky enough to catch their attention. To some, he was a monster; to others, just a man. One night, as they sailed through the arctic waters, strange lights danced over the frozen wastes. There was something hypnotic about them; it was something that drew them to it like moths to a flame. Trekking across the frozen waste, they came to a cave covered in ancient runes. The meaning of the runes long lost to them, Kegan led the way inside. There, inside a perfect cage of ice floated a dancing column of flame. There was no way such a thing should be burning, especially not in this place. However, its movement was as hypnotic as a siren's song, captivating and seductive. While the others stayed back, Kegan could not help but approach it while holding out his hand...
That is the last thing Kegan Rodhe remembers, for now his body belongs to Brand. It is a creature of olden times, perhaps even a casualty of the Rune Wars. It is known in ancient texts as the Burning Vengeance. It is a creature of pure fiery hate that exists for no other reason than to lay waste the world of men and yordles. No one is quite sure how Brand found his way to Valoran, but he began his predations at once. Overcome by Demacian forces, he was given a choice: fight within the confines of the League or die. Naturally, he chose to use his destructive powers in the League, for now...
''This place will burn, not by cinder flying or breath of wind, but by the vengeance of my hand.''
Objectives of this guide
This is not a guide "Follow my lead and you will win each and every game". God, no. It is more of a description of a build I use and find useful. I am not gonna bore you with numbers. The summary is in build, if you want more numbers, use a calculator.
You will find tips that come from my experience with this champion. It is not bulletproof, so feel free to comment and I will use your own tips when I will be updating this guide.
Let all die in fire, my friends.
Pros / Cons
+ great farmer
+ quite low CD, even lower with this guide
+ good poking abilities
+ good in teamfights (AoE dmg) and capable in 1v1
+ finally a fire user who will kick pedobear back to hell
- squishy (no surprise)
- thanks to his passive, he may steal a few kills from teammates
- tends to be focused
- skillshot CC
- he is SO BIG... Seriously, I hope they will make him a wee bit smaller in next patch...
I have chosen these runes for Brand. I'm not saying that they are the best, but for me, they are operational.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. For your early game edge. Magic penetration is a must for most casters and Brand is no exception
Greater Seal of Defense. Following my build will lead you to cca 150 armor in late game. That's not bad. Especially for a squishy caster.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration. As you can guess from items, this build's aim is the largest possible CDR. That means you will cast lots of spells in minimum time and that can empty your mana in several seconds.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration. For even more MPen.
Well, I found classical 9/0/21 the best option for Brand. Grabbing AP, CDR and more MPen from offensive tree and Mana Regen, Greed, CDR for abilities, Flash and Summoner Spells in general.
Again, I am not saying that this is the only option, however, it is one that suits ]]me the most.
This is open for discussion. I prefer spamming abilities with Brand more than classical nuking. If you have 40% CDR, your cooldown on Sear is 3.9 seconds which means that in a teamfight or in a pursuit, half of the time one enemy is stunned. If there is another champ with fast stun on your team ( Twisted Fate for example], it is a stunlock for one opponent.
First, grab a Meki Pendant and 2x Health Potion.
Your next stop should be Tear of the Goddess and Boots of Speed. I know that you have no AP yet, but if played right, you can do loads of damage with your abilities.
Next step is optional. Either buy Fiendish Codex for your Morello's Evil Tome or Mejai's Soulstealer. Morello's will give you a fair amount of AP and decent CDR. However, fully charged Mejai will give you 180 AP and 15% CDR which is only 5% less and if you have 9% from masteries, 15% from boots and 15% from Mejai... Well, you can do the math.
Morello's is a sure way to get CDR relatively early, but if you can charge Mejai and survive to tell the tale...
Next step is Rylai's Crystal Scepter. This baby gives you health (which you desperately lack), mana (the more, the merrier, especially with Archangel's Staff) and finally a decent amount of AP. Not to mention the slow effect. Not by much, because almost all your abilities are multitarget, but in a team fight even 15% can prove as a difference between life and death.
Than you can either upgrade your Tear of the Goddess into Archangel's Staff or buy yourself Rabadon's Deathcap. Either way, your AP will skyrocket.
The last item is Zhonya's Hourglass. More AP, good armor boost, very good ability.
Of course this is not the only option and most items are situational. If the enemy is building up MR, grab Void Staff.
If you get focused a lot, get yourself Banshee's Veil
If you are familiar with champions like Ryze or Annie or any other combo type AP champion, feel free to use your usual build.
Brand is a combo spellcaster. That means, in order to achieve maximum efficiency, we need to rapidly execute a streak of abilities on a single target or a group of targets. Brand rewards our efforts with unique additional effects on each ability if it is not the first one we used on our target in last four seconds.
OK, let's have a look at Brand's Skills.
Our passive is Blaze. Loved by Brand, hated by everybody else. When we hit our target with an ability, it becomes Ablaze. That means that for next 4 seconds it will take magical damage - 2% of its maximum health. Summed up, that makes 8% of their maximum health. Well, their MRes applies, so the damage is not so grave, but still, it's not bad. Moreover, when we hit an ablaze target with another ability, an additional effect will take place and renew the Ablaze status.
Now for our actual abilities
We have Sear. A single target skillshot with decent damage and fair ratio (0.65) That is cool, but what's more, this is our only CC. When our target is ablaze, it will get stunned for next 2 seconds.
Now for some tips with this ability - don't be afraid to spam it in order to harass your opponents. If you can get a clear shot, it means that he/she will be a sitting duck for next 2 seconds. That is if you managed to hit him with another ability. I personally don't use Sear as an opening. Without the stun effect, it is not so useful.
Our next ability is Pillar of Flame. And it is a great one, your bread and butter. Low CD, good damage, great range. In a lane phase, it is your best harassing tool. Sure, it has a small delay, so you may need some practice to ensure a hit but nevertheless, it is an amazing ability. If the target is ablaze, he will receive an additional 25% personal discount. Well, not a discount, but we will hurt him more.
Third in our spellbook is Conflagration. Less dmg than Pillar, but it is the best opener in your repertoir. Why? Because it is not a skill shot. Your hit is ensured. It means that you can follow up with Sear and land a devastating blow with Pillar of Flame. When farming, use Pillar of Flame on ranged minions, then Conflagration on the middle one. When the target is ablaze, Conflagration will spread onto nearby enemies, which means that you will clean up a wave of minions within few seconds.
Our ultimate is Pyroclasm. Brand will fire a fireball (sounds weird) which will hit a target and than bounce to nearby targets. It can bounce up to 5 times. It has good damage, low CD and nice range. However, it is an ultimate which should be used wisely.
First of all, don't waste it on a single target. With nothing to bounce to, the missile will dissapear. Second, don't use it on a cluster of enemies when somebody's Banshee's Veil is up. It will destroy your missile as well. Also, bear in mind that this missile DOES NOT prioritize champions. The best use is on a pair of opponents running close to each other. It can hit one target several times. You can use it on a running carry with few HP through his tank but you can't be sure where it will bounce, so it depends on how lucky you are.
Also not a skill shot. When firing on an ablaze target, the speed of the missile is higher.
I take Flash and Ignite.
Flash is a great escape or ganking mechanism. Ignite for more damage, reduced healing. Nuff said.
As for alternatives...
Clarity Yes, you are mana hungry, yes it can prove useful in lane phase. Well, if you wanna reduce your dmg output or run around without flash, be my guest.
Ghost Not as bad, the speed bonus is quite good, but even with Ghost, you cannot run through walls.
What to do?
Use smartcasting - it will speed up your combo!
In lane phase, focus on last hitting minions and harassing enemies with Pillar of Fire. If you have a decent lane partner, you can deny last hits and even experience.
If you find yourself on mid, do the same. Harass, last hit, repeat. When on 3rd level, you can try and go for the kill. Start with Conflagration, than Flash if you need to, Sear and Pillar of Flame to seal the deal. Maybe it won't be enough but I can GAREN-tee that he will be running home. However, don't forget yourself. You don't wanna get ganked. Buy wards. There are some great warding guides if you need them, but I suppose you already know how to ward.
Whenever possible, grab yourself a blue buff. Combo mages are really mana hungry and Brand is no exception.
In teamfights, be careful and reasonable. Poke with Pillar of Flame. Don't initiate! You are meant to hide behind your tank and deal damage. Dead Brand = no damage. Capisce?
When a teamfight occurs, use your W, pick a target for your Q and, if their positioning is bad, punish them with your ultimate. Use your E to either cause more DMG or to reinitiate Blaze. Focus on their carries.
Well, that's it. I am really sorry for any mistakes in my English, but it is not my original language. If you vote down, please do tell why in comments. I am looking forward to all your comments and advice. Thanks for sticking with this guide till the end.