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Brand Fire in the Hole
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Release Date: 4/12/11
Attributes: Mage, Ranged
Cost: 975 RP or 6300 IP
+ Has great AoE damage
+ Can kill squishes instantly will full combo
+ Blaze is a built in mini Ignite
+ Decently low mana costs
+ Every ability can deal damage
+ Can dominate teamfights with Pyroclasm
- As a carry you are squishy
- To be great he needs to be able to land his skill-shots
- If you start to do really well will get focused
- Requires player to play smart to maximize abilities
- Needs a good amount of practice to master
Tier 1: Because I take Ignite I put one mastery point in Summoner's Wrath which will give you and additional 5 AP and AD when Ignite is on cooldown. Since you gain extra AP when Ignite is on cooldown I put 3 points in Brute Force to move on to Tier 2 as well as give me +3 AD which will help you early game for last hitting creeps.
Tier 2: In this tier I put 4 points in Sorcery for some greatly welcomed cooldown reduction. While it is only 4% cooldown reduction every little bit helps and it allows you to move on to Tier 3.
Tier 3: In this tier I put my points in Arcane Knowledge and Havoc. Arcane Knowledge provides you with 10% Magic penetration which helps get past the enemies magic resistance allowing you to do more damage. This combined with Void Staff will allow you to deal a lot of damage even if the enemy builds magic resist. Havoc increases damage by 1.5%. Not a mastery that provides a noticeable difference in-game but is the best place to put your points to get to Tier 4.
Tier 4: In Tier 4 I put points in Blast. This provides some AP per level to increase your power ever so slightly. Putting points in Blast will allow you to move on to Tier 5.
Tier 5 & 6: In Tier 5 I put 4 points in Archmage which will increase your ability power by 5%. After that I put my last point into Tier 6 which is Executioner. This will increase your damage by 6% for opponents that are below 40% of their health.
Tier 1: There are to masteries that I put points into in Tier 1. First one is Summoner's Insight. Because I take Flash putting a point in Summoner's Insight will reduce the cooldown time on Flash by 15 seconds. This could be the difference between having Flash available to escape or not. The second mastery is Expanded Mind which will increase your Mana by 12 per level with a total of 216 extra mana at level 18.
Tier 2: In Tier 2 I put 4 mastery points in Swiftness which will increase your movement speed by 2%. This will help make you a little bit faster and since Brand's movement speed won't exceed 400 with Sorcerer's Shoes all extra speed is nice.
Tier 3: Your last mastery point should go in Tier 3 and in the mastery Runic Affinity. Brand should have blue buff as often as he possibly can and with Runic Affinity the time that you have blue buff will be increased by 20%.
Greater Quintessence of Potency
Greater Mark of Insight
Greater Seal of Replenishment
Greater Glyph of Force
The Greater Quintessence of Potency give an additional +5 AP per quintessence. So a full set would be 3 of these thus granting you +15 AP at level 1. Combine these and your magic pen marks and you will be able to deal a considerable amount of burst even at level 1 which is great if your team decides to invade the enemy jungle.
Other viable choices to replace the Greater Quintessence of Potency:
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude: These quintessences will provide +78 health at level 1 making you more tanky than your opponent. While more health is nice, you will lose 15 AP if you choose these so you must decide which you need more, early AP or early health.
Greater Quintessence of Swiftness: A full set of these will increase your movement speed by 4.5%. These along with Swiftness and Boots of Speed will make you pretty quick at level 1. The best part is that these quintessences will be very helpful throughout the entire game.
The Greater Mark of Insight will give you +8.5 flat Magic Pen. Magic penetration is what makes mages able to deal lots of damage to enemies even when they have Magic Resist. These marks combined with Sorcerer's Shoes will let you go through the majority of early game magic resist and should hld you over until you purchase your Void Staff. In my opinion there are no alternative Marks.
Whenever I play as an AP mid champion that uses mana I have a habit of spamming my skills often for fast farming thus making me a player who pushes the lane. With Brand this is no exception. To help fix this I take the Greater Seal of Replenishment to help increase my mana regen/5. With these runes you will gain +3/7 mana regen/5. This combined with your Doran's Rings will let you have great mana regen for the times that you do not have blue buff on you.
Other viable seals to replace the Greater Seal of Replenishment:
Greater Seal of Vitality: If you do not have a habit of pushing the lane with your skills like me then you can probably afford to not use mana regen seals. In this case these runes will grant you +78 health by level 18. Since the majority of your items are not health based every little bit of health you can get will help. On champs like Kennen or Akali who do not use mana I use these seals on them.
Greater Seal of Force: If you think that you do not need extra health or mana regen runes and you want some extra AP power then go for these runes. You will be losing out on extra mana regen or health but will be gaining some AP for late game. So you must decide power over utility.
For my glyphs I personally choose the Greater Glyph of Force. I find these glyphs to compliment the Greater Quintessence of Potency rather well as they contribute a little bit to your early game AP and then scale into late game. You should be able to burst down your enemies pretty well and hopefully get some early game kills. These are for the aggressive player.
Other viable glyphs to replace the Greater Glyph of Force:
Greater Glyph of Focus: These glyphs grant you some nice cooldown reduction from level 1. Brand's cooldowns are sort of on the long side for an AP carry so every little bit of CDR that you can have when you do not have blue buff is welcomed. These glyphs I would take if I am not using the Deathfire Grasp build because the other two builds do not offer CDR.
Greater Glyph of Warding: If you are in a lane in which you feel that you will end up getting owned or have a hard time you might want to consider taking these glyphs. They will provide +12 Magic resist which will help protect you from early game magic damage until you can buy a Negatron Cloak. You will lose offense and utility but will gain defense with these runes.
Ignite is an amazing summoner spell. It deals 70-410 true damage over the course of 5 seconds depending on the champion level. In the early game stages of the game Ignite will be used to finish off enemies in those early game trades. As the game progresses you should use Ignite to finish off the enemy AP or AD carries first or to reduce the healing on enemy champions that use a lot of health regeneration like Dr. Mundo or Vladimir making them easier to kill.
Flash is definitely one of the best spells to exist in League of Legends and is exceptional for AP carries who do not have a lot of mobility and will need to escape during the course of the game. If you are feeling confident you can also surprise your enemies by flashing to them in order to put off your combo and getting the stun off from Sear to leave them open. Just be sure to hit your skillshots if you plan on doing that.
While Ignite is an extremely useful summoner spell it can be replaced with Teleport. The main reason why I suggest this is because of Brand's passive Blaze. Blaze being a mini-ignite should be able to finish off some of your enemies if they escape when they are low. You can use Teleport to gank other lanes if you feel the opportunity presents itself or if you know that you will be tested in your lane and you do not feel to confident you can use Teleport to get back to lane quickly without risking tower damage or losing XP.
Blaze is an interesting passive. Blaze causes all of Brand's abilities to apply the "Ablaze" debuff to all enemy units hit. While active, the debuff deals magic damage equal to 2% of the target's maximum health every second. All of Brand's abilities gain additional effects when used on a target that is ablaze.
Tips and Tricks:
Blaze needs to be on the your target in order for you to stun with Sear.
Blaze will draw tower aggro so be wary of that if your team towerdives or you are in range of a turret.
Blaze will active the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter after the damage is done so even if your enemy runs from you they will still be slowed by 15%.
Your combos become stronger when your targets have Blaze. Try to get as many people
as possible ablaze before using your skills in teamfights.
Sear is Brand's first skill also known as his "Q" skill. It is a skill-shot nuke that will collide with the first enemy it hits. So unfortunately it will NOT go through minions. However this is not a bad thing all the time. If you need to farm from a distance because of a hard lane than using Sear to help will net you some minions. Keep in mind though you do need Sear for trades and fights.
Tips and Tricks:
Sear will stun your enemy if they are ablaze by Blaze.
Sear will not activate on hit effects like Sheen from Lich Bane
Sear is a skill-shot so only with practice will you be able to increase you chance of landing it.
Sear can hit stealthed units like Evelynn if they have Blaze and stun them but it will not reveal them from stealth.
Pillar of Flame(W):
Pillar of Flame is Brand's second skill also known as his "W" skill and is an Area of Effect or AoE skill meaning it hits all enemies standing in the area of the skill. Pillar of Flame can be used to harass and farm at the same time if your enemy is close to their minions. Keep in mind that it has a 0.2 second delay before it deals damage so lead accordingly.
Tips and Tricks:
Pillar of Flame will deal 25% more damage when enemies have Blaze on them.
Make sure to lead Pillar of Flame to get as many minions possible and your enemy if they are close enough to their minions. This will require great timing when facing champs like Malzahar and Xerath.
Pillar of Flame has the longest cooldown after Pyroclasm so keep that in mind. If you feel that a teamfight might start soon save Pillar of Flame for the right moment so Pillar of Flame isn't on cooldown when you need it.
Conflagration is Brand's third skill also known as his "E" skill. Basically Brand conjures a powerful blast at his target, dealing magic damage to them. If the target is ablaze the conflagration will also damage nearby enemies, as well as setting the units ablaze.
Tips and Tricks:
Conflagration is Brand's most reliable skill for delivering Blaze to your enemies. So if you are having problems landing Pillar of Flame then use Conflagration to harass your enemies.
Conflagration will set enemies ablaze near a minion or enemy that already has Blaze on them. If you use Pillar of Flame on minions and your enemy gets too close to them use Conflagration on the minions to spread the Blaze to your enemy.
Conflagration will proc the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter for all enemies hit with it. Conflagration has the same channel time as Pillar of Flame, 0.2 seconds.
Pyroclasm is Brand's fourth skill also known as his "R" skill and ultimate. It is an unreliable ult in the sense that it does not prioritize champions over minions so be wary of that when you use it. Brand unleashes a devastating torrent of fire that bounces between enemies, dealing damage each time it bounces. If a target is ablaze, Pyroclasm's missile speed increases. It will bounce up to four times for a total of five hits, and can hit the same enemy up to three times.
Tips and Tricks:
Pyroclasm's initial movement speed is very slow and will only increase if the targets are ablaze. So make sure to hit as many people as you can with Pillar of Flame and/or Conflagration before launching Pyroclasm.
Pyroclasm will hit 5 times and can hit the same enemy 3 times. This means that Pyroclasm really shines in teamfights involving 3 or so enemies and away from minions. Make a mental note of this. If you can, wait a little bit to use your ult in 5v5 teamfights.
Pyroclasm will bounce to enemies that are in the Fog of War or are in bushes so keep an eye on where it bounces as there might be a hidden enemy waiting.
Pyroclasm will activate the slow on Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
For your early game laning phase you will be focusing on farming while harassing your enemy as much as possible. Last hitting and getting your creep score up plays a major role in League of Legends as it will give you the gold to build your items and make you the powerful force that you should be. You want to last-hit every minion that you can and it is crucial that your creep score is higher than your enemies at all points of game.
The second part of the laning phase will rely on your ability to harass your enemy while being able to dodge the harass thrown at you. A lot of AP champions rely on skill shots for harass. Practice constant movement in lane to make it more difficult for your enemy to land their skills. More missed skills by your enemy means less damage you take and less of a chance that you die. While doing this you must make sure to land your own skills to harass your enemy.
Last part for early game is to make sure that you never overextend unless you wards placed that will give you warning when an enemy comes to gank you. There are different zones in lane that determine how safe you are and if you are overextending or not. Below is a picture that demonstrates this:
To sum it up:
Farm as much as possible
Keep your creep score above your enemy's
Practice constant movement to throw your enemy off
Land your skillshots as much as you possibly can.
Do not overextend without placing wards.
At this stage of the game you should continue to farm farm farm but you will be starting to get some kills as well. Your jungler should be very active in ganking your lane hopefully netting some kills and assists for you. This will help take some pressure off of you and allowing you to get some free farm in or go back to buy some items.
If you are having a good laning phase and feel that an opportunity presents itself to go and gank top or bottom lane then you should definitely do it. This could help the other lanes as well as maybe get you some kills or assists. If your attempt was successful then come back to mid lane and carry on. If not then go recall and return to your lane. These fights will be 2v2, 3v2, 3v3 or possibly 3v4 and 4v4. Most of the time they are mini team-fights but can sometimes be larger.
Once mid-game starts normally some towers will have been destroyed wither by your team or the enemy team. Hopefully your turret is still standing. When towers are destroyed usually the people in those lanes will start roaming a little bit looking to help other lanes take towers. When this happens full on 5v5 teamfights can possibly start to occur so be prepared and know when to use your full combo.
To sum it up:
Continue to farm and go for kills when jungler comes to gank
If you are able to gank top or bottom lane for potential kills or assists.
When towers are destroyed people will roam to help out other lanes.Be wary of this.
At this point in the game possible 5v5 teamfights can occur.
At this point in the game the first layer of turrets will probably be gone for one or both teams. This means fights are now 5v5 99% of the time and the winner will have some time to push lanes and at least damage towers. Because of this you must try to win as many teamfights as possible. In a balanced game a fight could go either way but in a one-sided game most of the time the fights will also be one-sided.
Keep building your build adjusting to what you need to survive and deal damage. Hopefully you have your core items in Rabadon's Deathcap, Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Void Staff. If you do not have these items by now then you are either behind in farm or are currently losing. Try to continue to farm up and get your items if you are behind.
To sum it up:
First layers of turrets will be gone.
5v5 Teamfights will occur 99% of the time.
If you win a teamfight use this time to push lanes or get buffs.
Your core items should be built.
Continue to farm as much as possible if you fall behind and try to catch up.
Towards late game you should have about 5 full items built and almost every teamfight will end in one team being Aced. This means that every single member of one team will die in a fight thus leaving only minions to defend any turrets and inhibitors still standing. The team that wins can decide to push the lane to destroy as many towers and/or inhibitors as possible or if enough of them are alive they can go and take Baron Nashor to gain boosts.
At this stage of the game warding is important. Getting Vision Wards and Oracle's Elixir to ward Baron Nashor as and destroy enemy wards should be done. You should also ward the most commonly traveled paths in the jungle. This will allow you to see the enemy and prepare for a potential fight as well as keep an eye on Baron and your buffs.
All it takes for you to win in some games is to win a teamfight and Ace the enemy team. I have won many games on one Ace and pushed threw to kill the nexus. To avoid this you need to focus the enemy champion who deals the most damage and you must prepare for it and execute it as a team. You take out their AD carry and AP carry before you and your AD carry get taken out and you should be able to win the fight late game.
To sum it up:
When late game arrives you should have at least 5 items fully built.
Avoid being Aced and Ace the enemy team.
Ward Baron Nashor as well as other heavily traveled spots.
Sometimes all you need to win is to Ace the other team, coordinate with your team to ensure a team-fight win.