Brand Build Guide by WOMBO
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.
This is my second guide and will probably see a few more revisions later (as well as pictures, everyone loves pictures).
Due to Solomid's editor not loading properly on this computer on any of my 4 browsers, I'll have to resort to Mobafire which does not seem to have many quality Brand guides. Furthermore, whenever it's his freeweek it's ridiculous the number of bad plays people make with him.
I've played him with great success 3 times at 1450 elo, but I don't usually pick him much in ranked. I'll probably get some pictures later when I'm not so lazy and waiting for queues to start.
Brand is (typically) an AP burst caster. He is also somewhat viable as an AD early game due to most of his burst being base damage and his decent auto scaling. This is kind of an against-the-mold build however, and I don't recommend it unless you're bored and an experienced AD player.
Brand should only take a solo. Levels are incredibly important for casters, and Brand is no exception. Furthermore, bot lane is much harder to get kills which is important with Brand and with 2 champions in a lane their survivability is much higher.
Mid lane is the lane most people run him in; solo top is weaker as champions there tend to be much more tankier, he is easily ganked and most current tops can gap close on him, which reduces his effectiveness. Top is the easiest lane to gank, which is why tanky champs go top lane rather than squishies (obviously there are exceptions).
I believe to play Brand you actually must read his lore or know what kind of champion he is. Despite this most people won't do it and I've never actually read the lore on a guide, so I won't bother you with it. There are plenty of other places to read it or find out his personality. This isn't essential but I do think it's pretty important. Knowing the kind of champ he is will put you in the mindset for playing Brand.
Runes are very straightforward.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Only option I'd ever run on AP Brand. If it's AD I would definitely run flat AD however, as his animation speed is fine.
Greater Seal of Armor: I tend to run these by habit since I harass with autos as well as spells. They reduce minion damage, monster damage and retaliating autos.
Greater Seal of Vitality: I don't personally use them but they're similar to armor, but with HP instead. As I already run Giant's Belt in my build I don't find them worth running.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration: You may decide to run mana regen instead if you aren't taking as much physical damage or harass more with spells. Personally I feel like these aren't quite necessary but other people may find them useful. It's flat regen counterpart is okay as well, but falls off fairly fast.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: Scales you much better into lategame. The flat counterpart isn't quite as necessary as you aren't an early game burster.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist You might want this or its counterpart if you're in a hard matchup against an AP or just feel weaker overall. I don't use this as much due to incorporating negatron cloak in my build later.
If you opt for the mana regen glyphs, make sure you're harassing and landing your Ws, or they'll have gone to waste. Revolver is a good choice with them for the sustain in lane.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: Honestly the best choice in my opinion, you get free early game AP and the other choices aren't quite as useful.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: If you feel like you need to kite harder/get kited a lot (which shouldn't happen often) you might consider MS over AP. As I rush Rylai's on Brand most of the time, I don't find myself wishing I had extra MS to catch up to someone generally.
These are personal/majority opinion, but feel free to use other runes. Honestly only the marks should stay consistent.
I'll keep this short, since variations from the one put up above won't change much.
I take all the AP and related masteries in the offensive tree. This should be fairly obvious. If you're going AD, you'll want the attack damage ones (obvious). I put the standard 21 into this tree because Brand is a very aggressive mid lane. 21 in utility is generally reserved for farming passive champs and 21 in defense is usually used for champions getting countered.
One note: I do take the initial +3 AD over +3 AP because his scaling isn't great so it's not much of a damage boost. This pretty much applies to all AP mid champions, the 3 AP is useless.
I don't run anything in defense usually. If you feel like it's a hard lane, go for 9 in defense. Put in armor/MR accordingly and just go for the +30 health route. It's pretty straightforward.
I'll usually get 9 in utility. I get the mana for... mana and improved flash for obvious reasons. Mana aids in spamming harass in lane. Most times I opt for more MS, but you may want mana regen if you're going for a lane sustain route or don't think you need the speed. It's really user preference and shouldn't change your playstyle much.
There are only two I ever use.
Flash: MAKE BIG PLAYS you can basically use this in every single situation and it's broken op gg
Ignite: BIG DAMAGE KILL SECURES this adds up with Brand's ridiculous passive and gets you tons of kills. It also reduces healing, so fk you swain
Other commonly seen spells on him (though this is a misnomer, I only see smurfs running them):
Ghost: Why would you get movement speed on Brand? It doesn't help you except gap close after a few seconds and won't save you from instagib champions.
Exhaust: This basically makes a champion useless for a bit, so it's okay on Brand. It works defensively and offensively but doesn't actually secure kills on it's own. You may run this against hard matchups or if no one else has it (though I would still not run it honestly).
Cleanse: If you need to use this spell you're probably already dead. It's only useful initially in lanes with high cc potential like Nautilus.
Surge: He doesn't scale that well with AP and it won't help you get that guy who just flashed over a wall after a rotation like Ignite will.
Revive: lol wat
Clarity: stupid this doesn't actually do anything gamechanging in a fight so all it does is keep you in lane a little longer.
: Brand's ridiculous passive. You get a mini-ignite on all your spells and it's % damage based on HP, which makes you shred tanks even without meaning to.
: Brand's only CC. It's not a reliable one but it scales the best and is fairly large/fast moving. Max this last as the CC length is the same all throughout but deals less damage than his other skills. If you miss this a lot, you are either not leading (predicting) correctly with it or using it too hastily. If you keep it off smartcast hold the indicator over them for a while instead of trying to quickly get the stun off.
To clear wraiths fast, move to the center fire, Q the big wraith, E it, then W. This kills them quickly with only a little AP.
: Brand's main source of damage. If you can't get in range, start W. It's a fairly low-delay AoE and deals extra damage if they're burning. Make sure you can land this.
Don't farm with this too much unless you know what you're doing. It puts you in a vulnerable position without the majority of your burst as well as pushes the lane and waste your mana.
: Brand's supplementary damage. If they're burned, it spreads to other targets in a similar AoE to his W. If you Q a minion/big Wraiths, you can E it to spread the flame and W to clear the wave/Wraith camp. If you use it on wraiths, make sure you click the center before you get there, or you won't be able to click the middle due to the model size of the surrounding creeps.
Start E if you're against a somewhat-close range champ or who has a weak level 1; you can trade much better as it's reliable damage.
This also lets you sneak in harass by spreading it to the opposing laner from a burned minion.
: WOO BIG DAMAGES MENG! Use this to secure kills (low cooldown, feel free to use it on single target) start fights (after your tank or whoever initiates, though) and burn everything to the ground. The blaze passive isn't that great on this but it's good in that it'll hit everyone before they can get away.
The damage this does is ridiculous when paired up with Amumu's ulti or Vlad's; the MR reduction and extra damage makes this like a Nunu ultimate in terms of damage.
In lane, if they're next to a minion and there are no other minions around, you can ulti them for 2-3 times and Q/W/E for a kill.
Items on Brand are very simple. You will not have to deviate much; however:
GAMES CHANGE, BUY ACCORDINGLY AND RESPONSIBLY
The best route to go in the majority of situations. This gives you the movement speed to dodge and land spells as well as the sustain because you will be trading HEAVILY with Brand.
The only other route I'd use. This gives you burst and some health, but no sustain. You won't be able to trade as well but you definitely can instagib people.
There are a few other starts, like Meki Pendant or Amplifying Tome but they don't give you the mobility to trade or burst/sustain to trade easily. Weak starts.
Sorcs gives you damage. Merc's give you a little survivability (if you ever have to use these though you're probably dead). Lucidity will let you cast more spells overall, increasing overall damage but not initial burst. I take Sorcerer's Shoes 99% of the time. I usually don't upgrade until a little later in the game however.
You have two initial routes after accumulating around 1300g:
This gives you lane sustain and some more burst. It's a decent start and will let you stay longer and therefore dominate your opponent through trades; however, it doesn't increase your survivability much or your teamfight presence as much as the second route.
I almost always run this route instead. It'll keep you alive and give you much more utility, as well as combo your spells better. The slow is ridiculous because Brand's damage is very high and if you land all of your spells, the base damage and passive will stack up very fast.
Furthermore, getting ganked isn't as much of a problem with E>Q and your slows.
This makes ganking and teamfights much easier as well, keeping everyone slowed after an ultimate or W.
There is another option - Abyssal Scepter - but that is mostly used when counterpicked with LB or Kassadin, which shouldn't happen in Draft as you should never pick Brand first.
If you do have to go against a high burst mid, you may consider this over the other two above. Take Negatron Cloak first.
You might opt for a single-target burst build with Deathfire Grasp and get an early Kage's Lucky Pick but keep in mind this doesn't increase your survivability or combo potential or lane sustain.
This should be your second big purchase always. It gives you a ridiculous amount of extra burst. After that, however:
: AP and spellvamp! You won't always get this but in double AP comps it's very strong.
: Counter-double AP comps. You may want to sell this for a Void Staff but maybe not. Speaking of which...
: Huge burst increase. This also makes your passive better against tanks, who will probably be taking a few hundred from it alone through your R bounces or W/E aoe.
: After your initial rotation, you may want this to lose focus and get the cooldowns off. This won't always save your life however as you have no natural escape. Still strong for the armor and AP buff.
: MR and free cleanse on 60 second CD. It's great but you must use it's active.
: Not too too bad but still kind of pointless. You'll need time to stack the mana and Brand isn't a lategame-oriented champion. His scaling isn't great either and he doesn't run out of mana too often.
Early game: AGGRESSIVE PLAYSTYLE BRO
Want to know what's the core of laning with Brand? Reginald is the perfect answer:
AGGRESSIVE PLAYSTYLE BRO
You HAVE to trade at level 1. Only in very few instances would you not do so: against champions that have a stronger level 1. Riven is one of them, though she's not impossible to beat (I would honestly max E against her however, it's very easy for her to dodge/shield W). By way of explanation, Riven is weird but doable anti mage mid lane because of her gap closing, sustain, damage and shield. LeBlanc, however, or Kassadin are good choices. LB can't follow up with her initial Q and is easily within range; start E and trading with it and autos will help your laning. This is the same as with Kassadins, though they are much more careful. If you get silenced, make sure you auto until you can cast E. Brand's strength lies in his passive, allowing him to trade easily.
If you start W, make sure you can land them. Start it always against slower champions (Anivia is a big one, but E is just as good). The easiest way to land it is when they go for a last hit; otherwise putting it slightly behind them will usually hit them.
Basically trade trade trade
Your usual lane combo ends up as E>Q>W retreat, but it will change based on the situation. Keep in mind his level 6 kill potential: if they are even 70% you can try to get a kill with E>Q>W>ignite>R. Ignite before you ulti because your ultimate has much longer range; if they flash out you can still secure the kill.
Mid game: AGGRESSIVE BUT CAREFUL MANG
Sight WardSight WardSight WardSight WardSight WardSight WardSight WardSight WardSight WardSight Ward
Don't get ganked, because aside from E>Q, flash and Rylai's passive, you have no natural escapes.
Teamfights start breaking out! Get in on that action. R>E>W for a ton of damage. Q to stun for peeling/catching. W where they're clumped. E someone who's burned. Get in on that AoE damage!
This is when you begin ganking/farming hardcore. Get your Needlessly Large Rod, complete the Rabadon's Deathcap, win people's lanes, push out lanes.
Typically you'll ideally have a few kills and little to no deaths. However, if you're falling behind, farm and get wraiths. Getting kills won't be as important since Brand is kind of a snowball champ and needs gold. You won't be able to get kills without the money.
Lategame: TEAM FLASH MOVE OUT
Stay with the team.
DON'T GO OUT ALONE FOR ANYTHING WITHOUT WARDS.
Baron is the new Dragon, so go ulti that thang when they go for it. People get quadras and pentas for that.
Stay behind the team, even during teamfights. Wait until the majority of CC is blown. Due to the high damage potential and CC you'll most likely drop if you get hit. Usually it's safe to go if they're already beginning to focus someone.
Brand falls off fairly hard lategame, so try to be relevant and don't die. Dying is the strongest CC in the game.
This is about time when you're almost done with your build. If you're completely done with it, you've gone too far and you'll have to hope for some throws. Brand is still relevant, but not as much as others like Ahri, Morgana (utility-wise), Viktor, Ryze or any other APs.
TRADE TRADE TRADE TRADE TRADE
I'll update this later as time goes on. I think this is one of the more comprehensive guides on Brand, he's a bit underplayed as of now due to his weaker lategame and presence. He's a fairly strong pick however and can stomp pretty easily, something like a safer LeBlanc.
Matchups/pictures coming soon np