Brand Build Guide by Terroronyou
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+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive
Threats to Brand with this build
|Janna||Janna for the first couple of levels will block your Flame Pillar with a Shield, however as soon as you are lv3-4 and you land a 3 spell combo on her, she will go to 50% straight away.|
Hi, my name is Bizzleberry and I am a longtime League of Legends player, playing since before Season 1. Over the years I have achieved high ranking in solo queue, from Platinum in Season 1 (the highest at the time) to Challenger multiple times throughout the years. I used to stream in season 4-5 and stopped playing League for a year during season 6. I have now returned and am currently in Diamond 1 on EUW as a support main. You can catch me on my stream or my Youtube channel. I try to explain what I am doing in most situations; feel free to ask any questions on stream or leave a comment on the guide!
Here is proof Brand is viable at high-elo.
Brand is a fun, skillshot based champion, which I believe is underused currently this season. His ability to melt tanks that disregard Magic Resist will always put you top in team damage AS A SUPPORT! and is by far the highest damage dealing support as his Blaze is very strong with little Ability Power & items.
Brand's Advantages are that he provides a stun( Sear and when combined with Rylai's Crystal Scepter will provide massive AoE slows that will keep ticking with your Blaze, and of course, his damage output. In lane if you catch someone with a combo it will usually take down any ADC from 100% to 40% and is damn right scary for the enemy to deal with. Also the option to run Morellonomicon can help immensely against the current popular, self-healing champions.
Brand's Weaknesses are his lack of mobility and being able to land skill shots. Positioning is always key, and don't be surprised if you die a lot, it's the price you pay for dealing a large amount of damage as a support. Missing Sear can cost you a kill and may even cause your death in some cases. Brand does not do well pairing with late game carries such as Vayne or Kog'Maw as not falling behind in lane is crucial for your team input mid-game.
Currently Laning phase can be very snowbally, and poking with Pillar of Flame (W) is better then committing to a full combo. Summon Aery is best for the laning phase due to the fact that Arcane Comet can be dodged. Summon Aery damage cannot be dodged and will also get sent back to do another hit if she returns in time and there is still a Blaze stack on the target.
However Arcane Comet, scales better into the mid game, and if enemies are standing on top of each other, they will all take Arcane Comet and any item magic debuffs, such as Liandry's Torment.
Manaflow Band helps the mana intensive laning phase with the poke. If for whatever reason you feel like you do not need mana regen in the laning phase then The Ultimate Hat for lower ult CD, is a perfectly fine option.
Celerity Gives 3% movement speed, which is enough to help dodge skillshots and land your own during the laning phase. If you feel like you don't need the extra MS you can take...
Transcendence gives you a nice 10% CDR boost in the mid game, Absolute Focus is another perfectly fine rune to take, but requires you to be about 70% hp, which isn't particularly great early-early mid as Brand as a very low health pool (but will increase with Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Haunting Guise ).
With the current snowball 20 minute games happening, Scorch is the best option, however the damage is nothing to be amazed by. Gathering Storm will be a viable option if games start increasing towards the 30 minute mark as the AP buffs from 30 minute on wards will vastly out scale Scorch.
DOMINATION / INSPIRATION
Getting benefits from the Domination side tree will cover you mid-game and teamfights.
Taste the blood Will give you a little bit more sustain in the laning phase a teamfights and pairs nicely mid-game with Ravenous Hunter will give you some decent sustain in teamfights if you get some AoE spread going with Blaze stacks.
Cheap Shot won't properly work until you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter, (but it will apply on Sear stuns).
If you feel you want a stronger earlier impact, then consider Inspiration with Magical Footwear (The 350g saving + 10 Movespeed is nice) or Perfect Timing, the stopwatch is a pretty good item to survive and bait enemies into going all in on you and Biscuit Delivery (for lane sustain).
Bread and butter, use Ignite before they use Heal to prevent half of the healing on target. Exhaust's attack speed slow was removed in 7.5, making it not as strong in the laning phase, could be useful if you care about an assassin such as Rengar one shotting your ADC.
Brand's Passive Blaze is what will do a lot of your damage in team fights, and give you that extra oomph in the laning phase. Blaze does a passive 4% max health damage per stack over 4 seconds.
Let's pretend the enemy has 1000 HP and 0 Magic Resist. If you have one stack of Blaze you will do 40 damage with smaller tick amounts of the duration (such as 10,10,10,10 - 10 damage per second). This stacks up to three times (20,20,20,20 & 30,30) however on the 3rd stack it will only stay on for two seconds, as the Blaze Explosion will trigger and reset the stacks to one. The 4% portion of this damage is nothing crazy HOWEVER, it will trigger slow effects from Rylai's Crystal Scepter and extra damage from Liandry's Torment making it incredibly annoying for the enemy team as explosions will also give enemies one stack of Blaze if hit by a 3 stack explosion. As Blaze Explosion will also give one stack to nearby enemies, if they are clumped together mass enemy Blaze explosions will occur.
Blaze does progressively more damage with more AP and per level, it is common to do 20% max hp damage from around level 11.
Blaze also affects large monsters such a Blue Buff, Drake and Baron. This allows you to do a lot of damage to objectives. More so since patch 8.1.
Skill shot similar to Ezreal Mystic Shot. Will apply one Blaze stack and stun the target if Blaze is present on the target.
Landing this skill shot is the difference between securing a kill and dying, in some cases you want to be patient if your target has a Blaze stack as they will try and zig-zag and dodge your Sear. Remember you have 4 seconds until Blaze falls off, so if they are playing the dodging game, wait 2-3 seconds and throw the Sear during this time. You should be landing auto hits while they are running around doing no damage! Max level Sear after Pillar of Flame as it reduces the cool down per level by 0.5s.
You can start Sear as part of a damage combo, primarily used in lane. WARNING if used you are vulnerable as you will have no stun for the duration of the cooldown. ( Sear into Pillar of Flame into Conflagration)
You can also use Sear as part of a wave clear combo. Try and aim for the cannon minion first with 7 minions clumped around Brand. The combo is ( Sear into Conflagration into Pillar of Flame). However as support you will likely need to do another Pillar of Flame to clear the wave.
For more advanced users, you throw out Sear and while the projectile is still in the air, you can cast Conflagration which, if fast enough, will stun the enemy just before the Sear projectile lands.
Pillar of Flame
Pillar of Flame is your primary poke in the laning phase and the most damaging ability in your kit. It will do 25% more damage if Blaze is present on the target. It has a decent range, but the delay on the explosion is a tad slow. It is easiest to land this when the enemy ADC is about to last hit a minion.
You can use Pillar of Flame to start a stun combo ( Pillar of Flame into Sear into Conflagration).
Conflagration is an easy way for you to get one Blaze stack on the target and is primarily used to start a stun combo with Sear.
One way you can get a cheap stun on the enemy is if you Pillar of Flame the caster minions, then use Conflagration on the minions with the enemy standing near them and the Blaze stack will spread to them. If the caster minions die after the Conflagration you have a clear surprise path to throw out a Sear.
You might want to prepare this combo by auto attacking the caster minions once or twice before or after Pillar of Flame as lower levels / AP will not kill the caster minions with just a Pillar of Flame into Conflagration. Level Conflagration at level 3 and max it last.
You should only use Pyroclasm when there are champions stacked up together, as just one single bounce does very little damage. Use when two champions are standing close together, or an enemy champion is standing next to one minion to ensure maximum bounces.
Only use Pyroclasm when no bounce will happen to secure a 3rd Blaze stack that will give you a kill or to get a Blaze stack when Pillar of Flame and Conflagration are on cool down and your Sear is up. (this is very very rare.)
Pyroclasm will slow the enemy ONLY if they have a Blaze so doing a Pillar of Flame or Conflagration beforehand is a good way for them to stop running away and preventing bounces.
Pyroclasm damage potential is greatly increased per level, (more so than most ultimates). Level 6 Pyroclasm gives you 100 damage per bounce with 30% slow if there is Blaze on, and at level 11 Pyroclasm damage is DOUBLED to a potential 1000 damage and 15% more slow. Getting to level 16 is not common as support unless it's a long game, but 1500 damage and the 60% slow is very nice.
In a few rare cases, I have used Pyroclasm to bluff it's a Sear. If you are at the same running straight angle and the enemy is flustered they will Flash thinking it's a Sear. This then enables you to Flash Sear and land a stun!
Frostfang provides increased, much needed, mana regeneration and increases tribute gold to 20 gold per stack. You should be gaining 60 gold every 30 seconds which is massive! You will need to upgrade to Frostfang to obtain a Eye of Frost from the quest - (which also requires 500 gold obtained from on hits with Frostfang / Spellthief's Edge .
Remnant of the Watchers
Finishing Sorcerer's Shoes before mid game not only gives Brand some much needed mobility, but increases his magic penetration by 18. With Oblivion Orb this will put you around 33 magic penetration. Magic Penetration does not pass zero unless the target is afflicted with magic resist reduction from items or effects such as Wit's End
Oblivion Orb is the new magic pen item that you will be wanting to buy after Frostfang, to ensure you get a very early magic pen build going for the mid-game.
Morellonomicon is what it builds into, however do not follow upgrade until later in the game, unless the enemy team has a lot of healing power early. (see Morellonomicon below for more info.)
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
You will want to buy this item if you want to increase your self-tankiness and/or to increase your utility in the game. Luckily as a support, you are able to buy each component cheaply as you build to it. Blasting Wand at 850g, Amplifying Tome at 435g and Ruby Crystal at 400g make it easy to build.
Once completed you will be dealing a constant 20% slow, hopefully to a fair few of the enemy champions, making it easier for you and your team to kite and catch them. Rylai's Crystal Scepter will proc off every Blaze tick which happens once every second for the four second duration. This item will help increase your damage with Liandry's Torment
Liandry's Torment is still a decent item, and you are in combat for a long time due to the fact your passive keeps you in combat for a long period of time. However you will not be rushing Haunting Guise as early. If you do not need to complete Oblivion Orb into Morellonomicon then you can start working towards the old-school Liandry's Torment + Rylai's Crystal Scepter to increase your damage even more in teamfights. (to get to this point early enough you will probably want to avoid upgrading your Frostfang until later in the game as you will just run out of gold.
Morellonomicon can be a powerful item if against superb healing team comps, such as Soraka Vladimir Nami Fiora Dr. Mundo Tryndamere Aatrox Warwick etc. There is a long list. If you feel that the enemy has a lot of healing on their side, take Morellonomicon as your first item and encourage your team to build earlier Executioner's Calling. Morellonomicon will also provide a decent AP boost and flat magic pen. Not too shabby since you will want to buy Oblivion Orb
Void Staff will likely be one of the last items you purchase as the enemy team should have some Magic Resist at this point. Don't forget that Flat Magic Penetration is calculated BEFORE Percent Magic Penetration! This means if you already reduce the enemies' Magic Resist to around 40, shaving off 14 magic resist isn't going to be worth it; instead wait for a Rabadon's Deathcap or the safer Zhonya's Hourglass to protect against assassins.
You want to take Pillar of Flame level 1. This ability will help you poke safely from a distance and help partially push the lane towards level 2. Getting level 2 before your enemy will allow you to get Sear and enable you land a stun on the enemy. Most of the time however it will be a protective stun, particularly against heavy level 2 engages, such as Alistar, Leona and Thresh.
At level 3 you can start to shine and have access to Blaze combo. Conflagration (preferably their ADC), then Sear into Pillar of Flame. I would always use Ignite at this point, hoping to blow Heal and Flash at the very least. This will give you lane control and put you in an easier position if the enemy jungler is intending to gank your lane soon.
Level 4 and 5 will give you nice damage output on Pillar of Flame but be aware of your mana and make sure you always have around 200 mana to be able to use all 3 of your spells (300 mana including Pyroclasm). Try not to misuse Sear too much. When it's on cool down you and your ADC are vulnerable as you will have no CC, so bear that in mind before throwing it out. Also don't be afraid to use mana on the support, even if it's a tanky one, as your 3 combo is usually easier to land on those types of target and will still do decent damage due to how Blaze works.
Try and use Pyroclasm as a gank deterrent (when you are 3v2) or as an opportunity when you stun combo someone and their partner / minions are nearby. Should get a kill or at the very least burn a few summoners.
On your first buy try and get at least a Frostfang and a Control Ward (maybe also a couple of Health Potion and Boots of Speed when possible).
If you do destroy your bot tower first, try and pick up herald for your team as the tower pushing power of herald is immense. If used in a lane with no enemy champions, expect to kill the Tier 1 tower and quite possibly a Tier 2.
Midgame & Teamfights
If you are winning Bot lane, encourage your Jungler to do Drake. Have a Control Ward ready for it and once you have the enemy low on HP, start sprinting for Drake, even if it's a Cloud Drake, it could prove useful later on in the game. (Cloud Drake doesn't do too much damage, I had a game recently where I tanked the Cloud Drake while my ADC helped kill it, takes around 20s with just two of you). Infernal Dragon will hurt, so make sure your Jungler has a decent amount of health before he tanks it.
Do your best to keep brushes warded, but most importantly keep a ward in the mid lane, just in front of the Tier 1 tower; this in my opinion, one of the most important wards (apart from Baron).
Don't be afraid to sacrifice yourself for your team to get kills, you can deal a lot of damage, but you are also the support. You dying for one or more kills (as long as the one isn't their support) will always be worth it! You die for their Jungle? Great! You team can do Drake / Baron. You die for their mid laner? Great! Your team can now push down a tower.
Brand has low mobility and is squishy, you will die. A lot. However you will always be bringing someone down with you and if you get all four of your spells off, you have done your job.
In teamfights still try and support your ADC, focus on stunning assassins or tanks coming in to take out your ADC. If your ADC is behind, by a lot, then it could be better to assist your next fed person, protecting them, ensuring they are also doing a lot of damage and protect the ADC later in the game when he has more items.
Against teams cowering behind towers, if split pushing is not working, focus on pulling them out with Baron and Drakes. Do one combo on the Baron, Sear or Conflagration first so your Pillar of Flame does more damage, then save your spells for the engage to come. If you can stun the jungler, great, do so, otherwise hurling spells into the middle of their team and trying for multiple Blaze procs will do wonders and cause panic too.
Thanks for reading my Brand guide, I hope you give it a try in ranked and I wish you the best of luck! For more guides and fun videos please visit my stream or my Youtube Channel
I also have an Unranked to Diamond series if you are interested in watching, where I only play support to climb to diamond.
Thanks to Vapora Dark for layout ideas and jhoijhoi for the BBcode guide!
Special thanks to Lasoor for Images!
Thanks to Ekki for Magic Penetration information update.