Build Guide by Louch
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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.
I'm going to start by putting it out there that I haven't experimented with any other Brand builds yet. I've still yet to have a reason to. Hoping you guys like this as it's my first build that I've written a guide for, and I've had a lot of success with the build since Brand's release. Flame(:P) the guide all you want, but I'm not the one missing out at this point.
Pros / Cons
-Does pretty ridiculous damage.
-Powers through creep like crazy.
-Does not need to be ahead to get kills.
-Not a lot of CC.
-When something is on you for too long, you die, like every other caster.
-Doesn't always carry a full team.
Basically, he does damage, he's good at that, but after your combo is done you run out, wait for Cool Downs, and hope your team is still fighting by that point. Being able to position yourself so that you can weave in and out of combat is critical.
Pretty generic caster runes. His AP Coefficients are horrible, so no reason to get AP quints. and mana regen per level yellows combined with Rod of Ages has fixed all my mana issues. I have considered using just enough CDR Blues to have 40% CDR with blue buff/Morello's however, ability power is still stronger during the laning phase, even with his terrible coefficients. If you want some extra lategame power, I would suggest modifying your blue runes to hit 40% CDR.
Again, pretty generic caster masteries. The biggest thing of note is that I don't pick up improved flash. I have never ever wished for flash when it had 5 seconds left on the cool down. I have however wished I had enough mana for one more spell to kill someone, only for the mana to come a second too late. Maybe I'm just lucky/have relatively good positioning, but I'd rather have my mana talent than 5 second shorter flashes.
Exhaust is a considerable alternative to flash, as melee champions tend to be the ones that sit on Brand for too long and killing him, but flash + sear is generally enough to keep your distance until your team comes in and occupies them for you. If you're going in with a team short on CC, and no one else has picked up exhaust, I could see using it, and altering your masteries to include improved exhaust over the single critical chance mastery.
Man, more generic caster stuff. I pick up Rod of Ages instead of the standard Arch Angel's because as I said earlier, his AP coefficients are terrible, so the health is worth more than the AP. The only item I get for pure AP value is Rabadon's, as it just gives too much AP to ignore.
Picking up a ward or two every time you back is very necessary, as Brand doesn't like getting ganked, nor does he like to stop harassing because of the fear of someone being in your mid bushes about to gank you. This is of course, assuming that other lanes are not available for ganking. You can push a wave of creep in a couple seconds, move to another lane for a possible gank, and come back before the person you're laning against will be at your tower. But, if everyone is playing safe, don't bother, and just ward up.
The order after Rabadon's is game dependant, if I feel like I need more defense than my team can offer I will normally get Zhonya's. Banshee's Veil is good against CC heavy teams, and Void staff the rest of the games. If Void staff isn't your first of the three, you will generally want it as the second. Sometimes I will pick up a 6th, other times wards will fill your sixth slot, as information benefits the whole team, and you are not that item dependant.
A shout out to Rylai's which every player suggest I pick up...Why? Sure, a slow would be nice, but overall, if you really need that slow you're doing something wrong. Most kills are from coordinating ganks, and between your stun and the CC that any champ you're playing with SHOULD have, nothing should be getting away from your combo that takes all of about 2 seconds. So would it be nice? I guess, but then I'd have to take away a survivability item, as Rod of Ages gives needed mana, and Rabadon's is ubiquitous to all AP champions for very good reason. Feel free to attempt and convince me of it's use, I just fail to see it.
I've also considered Morello's Evil Tome, however, I tend to be my team's only AP carry, so I'm free to take blue whenever, which puts a utility tree champ to 34% CDR on it's own. If you cannot take blue often, feel free to use Morello's as a CDR replacement to either Zhonya's or Banshee's Veil.
Phreak was pretty spot on with Brand here, E is the priority, 1 point of Q for the stun and you're golden.
As far as rotation goes, Conflagration when ever someone gets close, if they push towards you after that, follow up with Pillar and Sear. If you're in a team fight use your ult as soon as you get someone burned, as it's really slow to start and you need to get the damage started as soon as possible. Only use your ult in a 1v1 fight if you're positive it'll finish the other person, although this isn't commonly an issue past laning phase.
If you're trying to start a gank, lead with Pillar of Fire, but get Conflagration onto the target first, much like how Phreak suggests in the champion spot light. Hold onto the stun until after the target starts walking away, so that you can predict their movement.
Hopefully this guide helps some people, any and all feedback is welcome, and I would love to hear how your games turn out when using it.