Brand Build Guide by Daktylus
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My Brand Build
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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.
Welcome MOBAfire! I'm Daktylus ("DerFinger" on EUW) and this is my Brand guide!
I consider guide's to be a way to present one way to play a chapion. Do not feel like this a strict guideline about "how to play Brand". This is just the way i like to play him. I will explain why i play him this way, and i hope it'll somewhat affect your Brand playstyle.
I plan on doing a "Matchup" chapter. But right now this is it.
Let's roll it.
When to play Brand?
So, when do you want to pick Brand? Generally, your team is lacking an AP Caster, you pick one, Brand is one, you pick Brand. Makes sense. But mroe specifically, when EXACTLY do you want to pick Brand, especially in the current Meta?
2 Factors: YOU! + YOUR TEAM
So this would be a really good teamcomp to pick Brand into. You have a strong frontline, to set up a teamfight a Brand loves, and the ability to pick up single enemies. Shyvana and Jarvan are especially great at "dividing" a team, to make your Pyroclasm even more devastating. More on that later on.
That is something really important. In the beginning of Season 4, Team Dignitas said that it is important to pick champions you feel comfortable with. Only then you can play a champion to its full potential.
So ask yourself what kind of champions you like to play, and try to find out, if Brand will fit you.
I really like champions that are safe and strong in the early game and develop into great teamfighters later on in the game, such as Lux, Orianna, and Ahri. Brand fits perfectly here. Why? Well, let us see that now.
Pros / Cons
- Great early game
- Awesome duelist
- Amazing teamfights
- Good burst
- No escape
- Fairly squishy
- Hard to master
- Skillshot dependent
Actually these are my standard masteries for AP Casters. You go deep in the offensive tree to get that damage you need, and take some points in the utility tree for the mana regen and Cooldown Reduction of Summoner Spells.
Maybe some points are interesting, so i will point that out.
I take only 2 points in Sorcery , just because the 2.5% CDR are not really worth it, considering that i get Double-Edged Sword and Feast for it. As Brand, you want to be in the backline of your team. It is not your job to take damage, you want to deal it. So we get the Double-Edged Sword , to deal more damage. And i think that offense is the best defense anyway. Especially as brand. Oh, you want to fight me? oh, you are dead. Sad.
I do not take Runic Affinity to get Culinary Master . I like to exploit my lane dominance here. Taking a strong laning champion and then on top getting better potions just gives you the default advantage here. Especially in 1v1 duels this will be more important than having a blue buff for example. And these pots are still useful later on.
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
We need to get a bit deeper into this, since these runes may be a little bit suprising.
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration?
I get them for a fairly simple reason. I lose like 2 magic pen and get like 9 armor pen. In fact, this makes farming a bit easier, and you definitely will hit with some autoattacks during your combo, and we know that these little autoattacks do hurt early in the game. They are worth on champions that autoattack more than other ap casters. I do not take this on Karthus but i take it on Lux
I get the Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist to boost my early game stats even more. Since the Seals are most efficient on armor, and the glyphs are most efficient on magic resist, i get them, to maximaze my ealry game dominance. I generally like to boost a specific strength of a champion instead of trying to patch up his weaknesses.
Self explanatory. Must have in mid. Except Ryze maybe. But who plays Ryze anyway?
Brand's spells light his targets ablaze, dealing 2% of their maximum health as magic damage per second for 4 seconds, for a total of 8% maximum health. Monsters take a maximum of 80 damage per second from Blaze (320 total damage).
This is one of the reasons why Brand is so strong in the early game. Any passive that gives you some early game relevant stats boosts your laning. "Damage" ist one of those "relevant stats" and add some damage to your great early game damage, resulting in an amazing early game damage.
- Always be aware of targets that are ablaze, since all your abilities get stronger on them.
- Targets are ablaze for 4 seconds, so try to pause between your abilities and still take that advantage
Brand launches a fireball forward that deals magic damage to the first enemy it hits. If the target is ablaze, the target is also stunned for 2 seconds.
To hit, or not to hit. That is the question. Its answer divides the good from the bad, and the dead from the alive. Hitting this ability on a target ablaze, will stun them, will kill them. Conflagration into Sear into Pillar of Flame into Pyroclas is some huge burst, that can kill a squishy from 100 to 0. But when you do not hit this, you probably will miss the Pillar of Flame too, and then be out of range for Pyroclasm and the enemy lives.
- Try to be aware of target ablaze in a complicated teamfight to stun an important target
- Learn how to hit linear skillshot, since this will be key about macimizing your combo
After a 0.625 second delay, Brand creates a burst of fire at target 250-radius area, dealing magic damage to enemies inside. Units that are ablaze take an additional 25% damage.
This it what makes Brand Brand. Good Range, good base damage, good scaling and great damage AoE damage on ablaze targets. Use it to farm, to harrass, to kill. This skill is like your right hand (or your left in case you are left-handed). Master it of you will fail.
- Always try to hit a target ablaze
- In a teamfight, try to set as many targets as possible ablaze before you use this ability
- Using it after a Sear stun will guarantee that it hits
Brand blasts target opponent with fire, dealing magic damage. If the target is ablaze, the conflagration will also spread to enemies within 300 range of the target.
Great and easy AoE damage, good for teamfights and for farming. The ablaze effect is fairly weak, so you can use it to set targets ablaze to get the other ablaze effects.
- Sear into Conflagration into Pillar of Flame makes the most AoE damage. Use this for farming or for teamfights that don't need your stun anymore
- Hitting minons ablaze ma harras the unaware enemy
Brand unleashes a devastating torrent of fire to a target that will bounce between enemies, dealing magic damage each time it bounces. If a target is ablaze, Pyroclasm's next bounce will prioritize champions. It will bounce up to four times for a total of five hits, and can hit the same enemy up to three times.
This ability makes Brand a great teamfighter. By the way, all AoE damaging ults do. This one is tricky to use though. It is not recommended to use this on a full team, because everyone will only get damaged once then. Hit the ult on 2 to 3 people, for it to damage targets multiple times.
- Using this on an ablaze enemy in lane, while a creep wave is near, will make it possible to bounce to the enemy 3 times
- Look for 2 to 3 high priority targets that are isolated from their team, to make full use of the fact that it can hit an enemy multiple times
Flash is just amazing. It makes up that Brand has no mobility. Just because Flash jas so various reasons, it is nearly always a have to pick.
I recommend Ignite. It makes it able for you to win a duel, or just adds the little damage you need to get a kill.
Barrier is like the only alternative for Ignite i would accept. When you play against LeBlanc or a different champion you feel really vulnerable against.
Obviously, you take Pyroclasm whenever it is possible.
I max Pillar of Flame first. Highest damage single target and AoE, combined with it's capabilites on targets ablaze make there no other option to max first.
I personally go for Conflagration second. Maxing Sear second makes sense too, since the single target damage is higher, and you can stun more often, but i really want to dominate the teamfights, and at the time you max your second ability you will have the first teamfights and this higher AoE damage can decide it in your favor. ACTUALLY, because you want to win your lane you want to teamfight early.
OMG Daktylus u n00b y u no build this OP SW4G Liandry's Torment into Rylai's Crystal Scepter! Instant dislike dawg!
Well indeed. I do not. Just because i like my build more.
I do see why people tend to build Liandry's Torment and Rylai's Crystal Scepter, but honestly, i think it is way better to invest in mana regen and cooldown reduction.
Brand has a generally strong laning phase. This is because of his passive Blaze, his strong base damages and his bonus affects due to Blaze. Taking some mana regen and cooldown reduction make you use this abilites more often in lane, AND in teamfights, resulting in higher damage and utility over time.
The Doran's Ring start is just the best. These items are extremely cost efficient and give the best stats early on, and that is what you want to have on an early game strong champion. I even recommend investing into a second Doran's Ring early on.
So, in most cases i do take the Tear of the Goddess and the Morellonomicon over the Athene's Unholy Grail
I want to deal damage. That is priority number 1. Damage. Getting a Tear of the Goddess, later on a Seraph's Embrace and a Morellonomicon gives you way higher damage per gold than the Athene's Unholy Grail. Therefore, you do not get any magic resist.
But most of the times you want to be in the backline, dealing damages in a safe position, so you should not care that much about defense. And like i said. A duelist like Brand gets his defense through offense. Someone who is dead can't kill you.
IMPORTANT: I HIGHLY RECOMMEND to pick up the Athene's Unholy Grail when you lane against certain champions, that want to kill you, or are a threat to you, like LeBlanc or Ahri. In the late game, even a Lux can kill you with one combo, so build it against her too. But not against champions like Karthus, Orianna or even Ryze.
Did i already say that i want damage? GET DEM HATS!
Finish off your build with situational items after you picked up your core.
Some armor and heavy AP is always good. Especially the active is awesome. Use the ult -> Zhonya's Hourglass -> See them die while you are invulnerable.
Yeah, you could pick them now. Esepcially great for kiting and dealing with some annoying tanks.
In case you need more damage and no tank is bothering you.
The most important thing to do in lane is to farm. Farming is by far the safest and most consistent way to earn money. In case you are against a champion you feel comfortable againt, you can use mainly your autoattacks to farm, and your spells to harradd/zone the enemy. A Pillar of Flame is definitely something he wants to avoid. Try to have a look at his minions too, so whenever the enemy wants to last hit, position a Pillar of Flame at where he wants to last hit from, so deny him farm and/or harass him.
In case you are against something you do not like at all, like LeBlanc (no one likes LeBlanc btw. She is like a female teemo!), use your spells to farm. Pillar of Flame into Conflagration, and/or even a Sear into Conflagration into Pillar of Flame is some great waveclear.
Generally, Brand is a really strong early game champion, and you want to use that. Try to somehow "win" your lane. When you harradd/zone him a lot, you will outfarm him. Maybe you will get the possibility to kill him even. Just go all in with Conflagration into Sear into Pillar of Flame into Pyroclasm if available and into Ignite deals a lot of damage. So when an enemy stays in lane with low health punish him for that.
But outfarming the enemy is actually enough. A kill or two would be great, but just try to get an advantage in lane. An advantage in lane can snowball into an advantage for teamfights, which can be an advantage for your team. When you win mid, and your team goes for dragon, the enemy team can let you take it or die while contesting it. Many champs that win early game fall off, and are weaker in the late game. Because Brand's has still a great teamfighting, he still is great in the late game, but it is hard to master. A great ult is hard to land.
In the teamfights, you generally want to wait for the right opportunities. Look for isolated carries to ult them, try to use your Pillar of Flame on as many ablaze targets/carries as possible, stun targets worth being stunned.
Great positioning and great timing will split the good Brand from the bad Brand, and only game experience and experience with Brand will make you learn it.
Always try to work with your team. In case you have a really great team for a 5v5 situation, try to use your spells only to hit multiple targets. If you have a team that is better at catching single enemies off guard, consider to use your Pyroclasm on a single target.
In my opinion Brand is a strong champion at any time in the game, if he is played right. He can dominate his lane, early teamfights and late teamfights.
He is also a pretty fun champion to play, well at least i think so.
So i hope you liked my guide, upvote it and/or even leave a comment. Open for any criticism and/or tips you have for me!