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Brand Build Guide by Padrepio

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Padrepio

[PreSeason 7] In-Depth Brand ~ Catching Fire (updating)

Padrepio Last updated on November 23, 2016
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Ability Sequence

3
8
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key W
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R

Masteries

Fury
 
 
5/
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
5/
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
5/
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Offense: 18

5/
Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Defense: 12

Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Utility: 0



Threats to Brand with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
Cassiopeia Low range, low mobility, low HP. Usually you're out of her ulti range so you can kill her without problems.
1
Swain Avoid his snare and you will win. Don't stay near him, he can cripple you and heals back.
1
Ryze Zero range, no real burst power until late game. As long as you ward river, you can not lose this lane.
1
Quinn Low health pool, a single combo can take 75% hp. Care of her roaming playstyle.
Guide Top

Introduction

[*]



Build under revisitation for patch 6.23


Hello! I'm Padrepio 69, a platinum (again!) midlaner on EUW. I climb to this point playing Brand and Malzahar midlane, and I think I have learned things that I hope could be useful for everyone.
This will be an in-depth guide, but you can have "ready-to-go" tips by reading notes.
This is my first real guide, so I'd like to receive comments and suggestions.
English is not my native language, so please be gentle with me if I fail something. I'm going to spell-check every word but if you see any mistake please let me know.

Brand is a good pick for soloQ. He has a lot of damage single and multi target, a stun and a bouncing ultimate that could decimate enemies if they don't play organized. Actually he has no real counter mid if you pay attention on your moves and his passive synergize perfectly with Deathfire Touch .

If there are terms that you don't understand, this is a glossary.

I want to say thanks to jhoijhoi for How to make a guide


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Pros / Cons

Pros
+ Good early-mid that scales pretty good into lategame.
+ Has a stun
+ Multi-target damage
+ BURN ENEMIES!
Cons
- No real escape
- Your main damage spell is a skillshot
- Your stun is a skillshot


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Masteries

Mastery Explanations
Going to update this section as soon as I fully understand those changes. Anyway main line is the same.
Masteries
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
space
FEROCITY

Tier 1 Pretty much self explanatory: you want ability damage, you're not going to auto attack.

Tier 2 This is up to you. I find myself better with 20hp every 25 seconds, but if you are a man you can pick Double Edged Sword instead.

Tier 3 2% spellvamp will never be really useful. You have Feast to sustain during lane phase and AP is simply better.

Tier 4 As soon as you reach 2 unique kills (or 3 after Rylai's Crystal Scepter) this talent becomes on average better then Oppressor , but if you prefer early game damage you can get Oppressor instead.

Tier 5 Magic penetration over Armor penetration, you're a mage!

Tier 6 Keystone mastery! This is the best mastery we can pick: it procs with your passive! They nerfed it a little, but on AP Brand it's still better then Thunderlord's Decree .


space
CUNNING

Tier 1 Wanderer gives you a way to escape some ganks, and is useful when you have to reach someone. Simply better then Savagery

Tier 2 Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation is so awesome, expecially now that we have no more mana potion. You lost 20s of blue buff every 5 minutes for a much better starting potion. If you think your lane-phase will be easy and your jungler will let you get blue buff often, you can go for Runic Affinity instead. Assassin is not so good on a team fight oriented mage, so you should avoid it.

Tier 3 If you are able to manage your mana, you should go for this: more damage is what Brand is looking for.

Tier 4 Obvious choice, if you're not a support.


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Runes

Runes



Runes

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
6

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
3

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3


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Summoner Spells

Ignite is the main summoner spell for aggressive midlaners. You can add a bit of damage to your combo and your enemy will only gain 60% of healing effects. Ghost should be chosen if you don't like Ignite and you need ganks potential and fast positioning. It often force you to buy a Morellonomicon to obtain grievous wound. Flash is your only escape tool, and can really save your life. You can also use Flash offensively if you need to reach your opponent for a couple of spell.

Other summoner spells aren't really useful. You can think about Exhaust if enemy team is full of assassin, Barrier versus burst or Teleport if you're in a split-push composition, but they don't give you same kill potential as Ignite or Ghost do.


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Champion Abilities




Blaze:
When you hit an enemy with a spell, you deals damage over time and your spells gain additional effects. This DOT combos perfectly with your keystone mastery (that proc on every tick of your passive) for an enormous quantity of damage over time! It synergize well with Rylai's Crystal Scepter slow and Liandry's Torment DOT too. It stacks 3 times and then explode for a BIG amount of damage in a large area. This explosion proc a passive stack on other enemies hit and can provide you the right finisher for an escaping enemy.



Sear:
High base-damage skillshot with the lowest cd of Brand spell set. Your main target is to hit enemies ablaze, so you can apply your stun. After your Rylai's Crystal Scepter you can use it to slow enemies if you're not sure you can hit them with other spells first. Usually a slow is enough to combo Q with an empowered Pillar of Flame

You will usually max Sear after Pillar of Flame but sometimes you can choose to max it after Conflagration: Q gives you more direct damage and a low cd stun, but E is powerful for AOE damage in teamfight and for reduced CD on your "set him ablaze" spell.

Tips and Tricks
  • With 35-40% cdr you can use Q twice in less then 4 seconds, so your second Sear will stun your enemy. It works better against river-crab: he will be stunned for 4 seconds every 3.9 seconds, suffering a lot of damage! (This build has no enough cdr for this, but you can try it for fun!)
  • If you need some little damage, you can Q to a minion and then Conflagration on him: he will explode dealing aoe damage and if you're lucky enough you can hit enemy champion.
  • If you want to save your mana but your target is ablaze, Q + one autoattack is usually mana worth and risk-free.



Pillar of Flame:
Your main damaging tool. It deals good AOE damage, that becomes even better if you use it on ablaze targets. Just care of his CD, if you miss this spell you will have to wait a lot before you can use it again.

It's not so easy to land, because Pillar of Flame has a casting time and deals damage only after 0.5 seconds, so if your enemy is smart he can avoid it.

You're going to want to max out Pillar of Flame before everything else to increase his damage.

Tips and Tricks
  • During lane phase, try to use Pillar of Flame while your enemy is trying to last hit, he cannot move during attack animation.
  • If your enemy is a melee, he have to move near to you: cast W on his back, if he tries to avoid it you will be in range to E-Q him for a bit of free damage.
  • Gain advantage of terrain obstacles: minions and walls can block your enemy's path!
  • After you have your Rylai's Crystal Scepter you can use your W on every slowed target: there is pretty much 0 chances that he can avoid it at this point.
  • If you can E-Q someone, follow it with Pillar of Flame so you can full stack your Blaze.
  • Remember that it deals 25% more damage against ablaze targets.



Conflagration:
This ability is good for setting target ablaze and for farming. You can get a caster wave with a W+E combo even if you're really behind. Your best combo against champions is E+Q, it will easy stun your target if he is not ready.
Care: this spell has a very low range, if you feel like your enemy can kill you avoid Conflagration or you have to be too near to your enemy.

You're going to want to max out Conflagration after Pillar of Flame and, as before, you can choose if max it before/after Sear.

Tips and Tricks
  • If your enemy is not smart, he will be near to minions even if they're ablaze. You can punish him for this by pressing E on a minion and watching the fire burn your enemy!
    • This means that your best poke combo in lane is W on caster minions and then E one of them! WARNING: this will burn your mana too!
    • If you fell lucky, you can even Sear to a minion, Conflagration on him when your enemy is near and then Pillar of Flame under your ablaze enemy.
  • Primary target of this spell, out of big teamfights, is to put enemies ablaze. If you max this spell, you can reach this objective more often.



Pyroclasm:
A bouncing fireball that can potentially reach 1050 + (150% AP) damage on a single target? Yes please! When 1v1 this spell deals massive damage as long as it can bounce on enemy's minions, when in teamfight you gain a great AOE tool!

You're going to want to max out Pyroclasm whenever is possible.

Tips and Tricks
  • His ablaze bonus is just meh: you can start your teamfight with R without fear as long as you can follow it with other spells.
  • If 1v1 try to avoid to fight where there are no minions/monster: your Pyroclasm deals less damage if cannot bounce.
  • Watch your incoming minion wave, so you know where enemy minions are. You can begin a fight a couple of second before they reach you: if your enemy run away, Pyroclasm will bounce on incoming minions and will reach him!
    Wanna some GIFS?
  • Only a single bounce will be absorbed by Spell Shield, and it will keep bouncing!
    Wanna some GIFS?


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Items

Item Sequence

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
2600

Sorcerer's Shoes
1100

Liandry's Torment
3100

Rabadon's Deathcap
3800

Void Staff
2650

Zhonya's Hourglass
2900

STANDARD BUILD PATH

Main item, his passive synergize with your passive and it gives you AP and HP. With this item hitting skillshots will be much easier.

Haunting Guise is a good early game item, it gives you AP HP and magic penetration for just 1600 gold. You want to upgrade it before Rabadon's Deathcap because Brand has poor AP scaling and he suits better with passive/utility damage then pure AP.

You can buy Boots of Speed when you want, but don't upgrade to Sorcerer's Shoes until you have your core items. They can be switched for Ionian Boots of Lucidity if you really want CDR, but usually magic penetration is just more effective.

This item increase your AP dramatically. Buy it before Liandry's Torment only if you're really fed and want to surf your power spike. Buy it as last item if you start with a mana sustain item.

At this point enemies have too much magic resist and your 30 magic penetration is just not enough, so you need this staff. If they are building magic resist alway build it not later than your 5th item, if they are behind 50 MR (crazy people!) you can think about skipping this item instead.

Your only defensive item, will give you 2.5 seconds of invulnerability forcing enemies to switch target. Be sure that your team can defend you when you return targettable because you have no way to run away of enemies.
If you buy a mana sustain item you will probably have to skip this one


MANA SUSTAIN FIRST ITEM

You can start your first back with Lost Chapter if you want mana sustain. Do not upgrade it until teamfights start (so usually your build path will be Lost Chapter-> Rylai's Crystal Scepter-> Morellonomicon). Morellonomicon gives you grievous wound so it is mandatory in some matchups (against Soraka or Vladimir for example).

You can start your first back with Catalyst of Aeons if you want mana and health sustain. Upgrade it as soon as possible in order to benefit from Rod of Ages scaling bonuses. Rod of Ages is great to counter burst champion early game but doesn't give you CDR, so you want to pair this with Ionian Boots of Lucidity.


SITUATIONAL

You usually want to reach at least 20% CDR in lategame. Buy Ionian Boots of Lucidity if they are the only source of cdr available for your build.

If you started with Spellthief's Edge you should buy it as first item. Get Fiendish Codex before Frostfang if you have not enough money first time you back. With this item you can buy Liandry's Torment as second item, and postpone Rylai's Crystal Scepter later in the game. Remember to use his active! You can sell it in very late game to buy a defensive item, usually his passive has repaid his cost at this point.
This item got nerfed because Riot don't want to see it on midlaners, now it is very situational.

Great item if you're super fed. It gives you tons of AP but is really hard to keep stacked. You can try this if you're vs brainless team. The Dark Seal will help you to understand if you can keep stacks: buy it early and pray nobody focus you.

This is an overall great item, but Brand doesn't benefit from it too much. While it has great utility on mages that rely on it to do a fast waveclear, Brand can clear an entire wave by just WE. Damage bonus is good, it gives you 100AP plus ~ (110 - 170) magic damage that are great early game, but not so useful lategame. Since we have other 2 core items, we cannot build it early game so it became outclassed by an offensive-defensive item like Zhonya's Hourglass when death timer is 45s long.


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Combos

Farming

Your farming combo. If you are fed, you don't even need E in order to get caster minions. Remember that your passive deals damage, so if you have time you can wait 2-3 tics before Conflagration


Main

Your main combo in every stage of the game is E-Q, autoattack then W. It deals a lot of damage and prevent your enemy to avoid Pillar of Flame and to counterattack you.

Wanna some GIFS?



Safe

or
QW is a good combo for dealing damage from a great distance, if you're able to hit enemies.
EW has a lower range, but is easy to set up if your Q is on CD for some reason.


All-in

This is your all in combo in lane-phase. You will be able to kill pretty much everyone with this as long as your ulti can bounce. That's why we start Conflagration and land Pyroclasm after Pillar of Flame: enemy minions will survive to a single W but they will be ablaze, so your R will bounce between your enemy and those minions for maximum damage output!


Teamfight

During teamfights you can switch order keeping high damage at lower risk. Starting R-Q will let you Conflagration over an ablaze stunned target, so you deal other AOE damage and (you should have Rylai's Crystal Scepter at this point) land an easy W under enemy team. During teamfights, if not necessary, avoid AA: they deal few damage and can cost your life. Try to reposition yourself while your spells are on CD instead. Remember to use this combo only if teamfight has already begun, you don't want to waste your Pyroclasm CD for poke.


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Early, Mid, Late game playstyle

Early Game

Early game is when you face your opponent in lane. Your main goal is to last hit minions and poke your opponent.

Caution: Math

You should understand who is your enemy. If he is melee use your spells when he tries to last hit and punish him with AA if he is too near. Remember that minions > poke.
Learn to understand if something is mana worth. You have to manage your mana expenditure, so for example an E on your lvl 1 will burn a lot of your mana dealing low damage, but if you're lvl 2 and you can E-Q, adding 1 or 2 AA to this combo, half or your enemy HP bar will be gone and your mana expenditure is worth because your opponent now has to play really safety if he doesn't want to die. Same thing for your W, if you use it only for taking minions it will burn your mana instead of enemy life, vice versa if you're able to get your opponent AND enemy minions, and then hit your enemy with your E, your combo is mana worth again!

Care of ganks, always keep one side warded if you are pushing, and ask for gank as soon as you reach your lvl 3: you will deal a lot of damage if someone can keep your enemy blocked for a couple of seconds.

If you gain blue buff, spam spells and try to get a kill if your enemy is low enough. Every time your opponent is not in lane and also you wanna leave it, push your wave under enemy turret (just WE on a group of minions) so your enemy will lost experience and gold while you have time to recall and return in lane before his minions will reach your tower.



Mid Game

Midgame starts after lvl 6, often near lvl 9. You should try to coordinate with your jungler to do some ganks botlane and then go for dragon, or gank toplane and then go for the small baron. When you are trying to do an epic monster, there is a little tip that can help you. Start E, then AA for 2-3 seconds so your passive can proc and then W on him. Keep your Q and R off CD so if enemies try to steal, you can R-Q him for an easy stun.
Remember that your passive explosion works on epic monsters, so aim for 3 stacks if you need some burst.

Little and unorganized teamfights will start now, you should be ready to do your combo if you see a window. Remember that you have 0 defense so you have to keep yourself away from enemies. Avoid AA if you think enemies can reach you.



Late Game

During late-game a lot of organized teamfights happen, especially midlane. Your AOE will reach maximum effectiveness if you're able to hit W, but your life now is really important because respawn time is near to 1 minute, and if you die enemies will have time to get objectives and sometimes even a win. Play from the backline and keep your stun for those who tries to reach you. Don't try to AA if is not really necessary, use time between spells to reposition yourself. Remember that you're not the initiator, so don't expose yourself even if you think you can easily kill a misplaced enemy unless you have full vision of enemy team.


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Game settings

You can improve your play-style by changing your interface. After you have some experience with icons, you don't need a big HUD anymore and you can reduce it in order to have a better map vision. This is even more useful if you're playing on right side: your enemy will come from the bottom of the screen and if you have a smaller HUD you can see him before. Those settings should let your interface readable, but you can choose settings that suit your taste.




Timestamps are used to be fundamental to keep track of dragon respawn. Now Riot added it over your TAB menu, but timestamp is still good if you are ready to write when opponents burn their flash, or place a ward, or cast their ultimate. You should simply write in chat F / W / R and when you have time to read it, add to that time ~5 / ~2 / ~1 minute so you can know when they have it up again or when wards goes down.




You should learn how to use quick cast. You become more responsive when trying a fast combo if you don't have to switch between keyboard and mouse-click. Try to play some custom games with QC enabled and learn how it works, I ensure you that you will become faster that before. When you're able to E-Q someone before he can even touch you, you will thank me :P

There is a tip to keep cast range indicator alive even if you have quick cast enabled:



I asked the creator of one of the best guide I've ever read, Orianna's Guide by Cubby1313, for taking those tips.


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Wards & Trinket



Wards are extremely important in this game. Wards save lifes. You can avoid a gank from enemy jungler, steal enemy's blue or bait enemies, and in this patch wards are free!
However, if you have no ward with you, your spell and your keystone mastery will help you to understand if someone is in a bush without the fear of face-checking: throw a Sear in a bush and you will hear a distintive sound if it hits, or just use Q or W and watch if you get a dark-red circle under your feet, it's the characteristic trait of your mastery.

This is a map of most common ward points, yellow points are for trinket wards, pink points for vision wards.



Tips and tricks

There are two green points that can lead you to a "better then usual" vision.
If you're playing mid, you should alway place a pink ward in the green dot near to the middle lane. This bush (or the specular on right side) is often avoided from classic jungler route, so you will have vision of enemy jungle at least until baron-teamfights start. Unfortunately some people know this trick and will often check this bush, if it happens don't put vision ward in that point again.
There is also a green dot on toplane (there should be one specular on botlane, right-side). Assuming you're playing on left side, and enemies have an Evelynn, you can put a pink ward on the green dot and a yellow ward on the pink dot in the river bush. Now you're able to see if Evelynn is coming from river without have to put a visible pink ward in river! I don't know why, but this things doesn't work for checking enemies wards or Shaco stealth... that's probably a bug.






What trinket should you use? That's very situational. As now, best trinket to have is Farsight Alteration (even if they just nerfed it - they did it again!), you should have at least one of this trinket in your team, but never ever have more then two blue trinket in your team! This trinket is really powerful because it can give you infinite wards with no life-timer and it has a low CD, but blue wards give lower vision.
If you are winning, you can keep your entire jungle warded because enemies cannot clear them, and if they try you will see them and easily kill them. Even if you're not winning, this trinket is still very useful because you can safely ward points from distance without risk your life. By the way, place blue wards mostly in bushes, so if you're lucky enemies will not see them. The green dot near mid lane is still a good spot for blue wards.

Remember that your team should never have more then two blue trinkets, because they give your team only visible wards and sometimes invisible yellow wards are mandatory, so you can keep your Warding Totem not updated, it will work with no problems and can give your team the possibility of great baits. For example, small groups of enemies often try to invade your jungle and pick'n'kill single members of your team. If you have invisibile vision of your jungle, you can group with your team and transform a 1vs3 in a 5vs3, gaining a great advantage.

You're not supposed to get Sweeping Lens because you should never be on front line, but your team need at least a red trinket so if nobody wanna buy it you should do. Don't switch to Oracle Alteration, it's more a tank/melee-oriented trinket.


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Change Log, ToDo, Viability over patches.

30/11/2015 Published.
02/12/2015 Small edit and a new ToDo list.
27/12/2015 New items, little edit on masteries.
01/02/2016 Patch adjustment.
09/11/2016 Massive update for preseason.

Viability

images from champion.gg

ToDo
  • Add gifs for teamfight rules
  • Add gif for ward tip section
Some flags for statistical purpose