Brand Build Guide by Terroronyou
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Threats & Synergies
Fairly easy. Hard to get to you due to your stun. He is fairly slow so is easy to hit with skill shots. Be aware, your ult will not worth if his wall has not been damaged!
Depending on how much damage you can poke early will make or break you. Keep your distance and poke. His flash combo if landed on you will likely cause your death.
Easy lane as long as nobody gets hooked. If you fall behind early Blitz can snowball very hard. But poking him early will force him to roam later in laning phase
You should be able to out poke. Bard shrines do not heal well. Care for Bard + Jungle tunnel ganks and care for bard stuns.
Only threat is flash + AoE taunt. Easy to poke.
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.
Heals can be frustrating. Do your best to land combo + ignite to negate the heals. Need to all in to get advantage.
Lulu is very strong currently. First few levels before first buy will be tough, try to force her to shield herself/allies instead of using it as a damage ability in early laning.
Before she hits 6, you need to have 'won' the lane (should be easily possible). When she hits 6 and lands a full combo on you, pray your ad is good or have flash!
Her early poke is better than yours until lv4. If you have a strong burst adc then you can kill her early easily.
First few levels of poke + heal can be annoying. If you catch her with combo, she should die.
Very annoying, can spam heal most of your damage, will require an all in. Do your best to dodge her spells and consider a early Morellonomicon if team is not building Executioners Calling / Morellos early.
Just care for his 3x Debuff and being consumed. Kite and poke. Later in laning phase care for possible Ult with Jungler behind lane.
Very squishy. Try and engage before he pokes you down.
Careful of slow and double bomb stun. Keep distance until combo is ready. Make use of AoE if he has ult.
Careful of full engaging as her ult + plants will destroy you. Poke with Pillar until she gets low.
Keep distance, poke and kite. Easy.
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 Master 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'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.
As of 8.23 Preseason - Dark Harvest provides a lot of damage and also procs off your passive, so even if you die if you have done all of your AoE you can potentially still do a decent amount of damage when dead.
I recommend the following minor runes -
Cheap Shot will proc off Rylai's Crystal Scepter and off your ultimate Pyroclasm as long as they have a Blaze Stack. Extra minor damage.
Eyeball Collection Provides more AP scaling for your spells and Dark Harvest. You are welcome to take other options here including Zombie Ward, but I prefer the damage.
Ultimate Hunter Another personal prefence, but you are welcome to take whatever rune here. Having your ultimate on a shorter cool down for team fights is always useful.
Manaflow Band helps the mana intensive laning phase with the poke. After 10 stacks you will receive 1% of your missing mana every 5 seconds. When you are still needing to stack Manaflow Band and low on mana decide if its worth being greedy for the poke or conserving your mana for a combo a bit later on if needed.
Absolute Focus Gives a decent base amount of AP throughout the game, you can also go Gathering Storm as a late game risk option, but you only start to get decent value at 30 minutes into the game, and the average game length is around 27 minutes. Scorch is ok but generally the damage is very low.
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 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).
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!
Spellthief's Edge gives you passive income and also rewards you gold by laning auto-attacks and/or spells on the target up to 3 charges which replenish over time. Blaze no longer grants gold per tick, but this is still this best possible item for AP Supports due to the base stats it provides and the upgrade towards Eye of the Watchers.
Remnant of the Watchers
Upgrade to Remnant of the Watchers gives you decent mana regen, 10% Cooldown reduction and an extra 4th ward, which is handy if the enemy Oracle Lens one of your wards.
If you accidentally kill a minion, you will still get the income by hitting towers/champions as long as you have completed the quest.
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.
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.
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.