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Brand Build Guide by unk87

Support Brand Support

Support Brand Support

Updated on April 30, 2019
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League of Legends Build Guide Author unk87 Build Guide By unk87 59 6 98,435 Views 5 Comments
59 6 98,435 Views 5 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author unk87 Brand Build Guide By unk87 Updated on April 30, 2019
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Runes: Preferential

1 2
Domination
Dark Harvest
Taste of Blood
Zombie Ward
Ravenous Hunter

Inspiration
Biscuit Delivery
Time Warp Tonic
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

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Support Role
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Support Role Ranked #38 in
Support Role
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Threats & Synergies

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Introduction

I'm currently a Diamond 3 player and I main support. Especially AP, Tank and off-meta supports.
I've been playing Brand support for about 5 years back when it was an non-meta "troll pick". By now I've had hundreds of Brand games and have probably every match-up a dozen times.
According to lolskill I've been top5 Brand in my region for those years, but I'm not sure about it's ranking method.

The rationale was that Brand had a LOT of damage built in his kit but is too vulnerable and immobile as a mid-laner especially against the assassin meta that was and still is common. Brand doesn't really wan't to farm to get strong, he wants to burn people down.

A lot has changed in his kit since Riot officially accepted his viability as support, but the basic premise stays. Brand does a lot of damage even when limited to support gold and wins team-fights not by boosting his team but by presenting another carry level threat.

Now that Brand has become somewhat regular at bot-lane (and dreadfully played) I've decided on writing a guide to teach a few tricks.
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Summary

I consider Brand to be best classified and the best example of Battlemage. As such, Brand has a lot of damage potential in his kit, especially for teamfights, but is also somewhat vulnerable with limited utility.

Brand is a typical lane bully. His spells have good range and do good damage for mana spent. By focusing on harassment, Brand has great potential to make the enemy lose cs while also having good kill potential against most match-ups.

Brand really shines in mid-game and beyond. Brand may not be good at engaging or disengaging, peeling or even roaming, but at one thing he's nearly unmatched. He deals a LOT of damage in teamfights.

Getting Brand with even gold in mid-game is generally a very favorable game.
As a support, Brand really messes with people as his killing potential is far higher than the average support and is a very strong champion even alone.

A common misconception is that Brand aims to steal kills from the adc. While Brand may end up getting some kills, his immediate goal is to use his very strong early to mid-game to get his team and adc fed into the late-game.

Strengths:
  • High %hp damage
  • High AOE damage
  • Good range against most bot-lane match-ups
  • Strong early
  • Scales well into late-game
Weaknesses:
  • Low utility
  • Low mobility
  • Long cooldowns
  • Reliant on skillshots and combos
  • No sustain (mana on passive doesn't work as support)
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Runes

Domination
Dark Harvest is easy to proc, strongly increases burst, scales into late-game, resets on fights. Solid keystone.
Dark Harvest isn't so strong early because laners will have pots to stay with high HP. Brand needs to play aggressively to start stacking.
Cheap Shot got nerfed and it's damage is too low. Not too easy to proc with Brand.
Taste of Blood is very nice for extra sustain in lane. Improves trading.
Very powerful rune that provides extra map visibility. Synergy with supports which constantly ward and remove wards.
Superior ward coverage wins games.
(8.14) Removed Zombie Wards from own wards so this rune loses a lot of utility while having a decent once-per-fight damage bonus. Still good, but other options can be considered.
Ghost Poro can work as an extra ward, but getting the extra AP can be a hassle.
Up to 30 free AP, but requires a lot of stacking and doesn't give extra map vision.
Relentless Hunter provides a lot of easy out-of-combat ms which is very important for roaming and backing up the whole team.

Sorcery
Arcane Comet provides a nice boost to the strength of trades. It does twice the damage of Summon Aery, but also features a small AOE. The downside is that not every comet hits, but from experience a good 70% will and Arcane Comet is unmatched at finishing people off. Brand also reduces it's cooldown relatively well.
Also very useful for checking brush as the comet will trigger. With some practice it's even possible to land a combo using the comet as a guide.
Arcane Comet typically deals about 3-10% of my total damage to champions.
Manaflow Band is essential for mana sustain into the mid-game. The +250 mana alone is equal to a 350g Sapphire Crystal. At a minimum, Brand should poke enough to activate Manaflow Band so it doesn't stay off cooldown for long.
Transcendence provides free 10% CDR. The downside is that it does nothing until lvl10 which is far into the game. Not a bad rune for this build since we won't have nothing but Frostfang and 1-10% from runes for most of the game. CDR above cap isn't much of a problem since it goes into AP. Celerity increases MS bonuses, which Brand doesn't have. Absolute Focus provides a scaling AP bonus of up to 40 but only when health is over 70%. With Brand's range, lack of sustain and his tendency to be focused down, staying above 70% health is tough.
Scorch deals some extra damage on a 10s cd timer. Does increase poke a little, but the overall damage isn't so significant anymore after being halved for less burst. Gathering Storm provides increasing AP every 10 minutes. At 10 minutes (8AP) it's about even with a 30-40 damage Scorch (but less burst), but at 20 minutes (24AP) and beyond Gathering Storm becomes one of the most powerful runes in the game.
Brand sometimes falls slightly behind late-game because he didn't got enough gold, had to purchase more defensive items or simply because the enemy team also scales very well. Gathering Storm evens this out and provides damage to finish games off.
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Spells

Flash is just too good. Ignite increases Brand threat for the whole game and during early fights also gives vision and grievous wounds.
[Ignite] DOT stacks nicely with Brand.
Exhaust is great for managing late-game carries and some assassins with strong burst such as Zed.
It doesn't work very well for Brand for many reasons such as his high cooldowns and little CC.
It also doesn't help landing Sear if the enemy chooses to hide between his minions.
Having threatening spells is essential for a vulnerable champion like Brand. Teleport doesn't offer much for a support.
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Abilities


Blaze is the most important part of Brand's kit. It stacks up to 3 times each stack dealing 4% health over 4s so if fully stacked will deal 12% over 4s, but more importantly once reaching 3 stacks it will charge up and detonate after 2s.

What the tooltip doesn't tell:
  • Blaze's detonation also stack Blaze. This is often what creates those chain explosions that everyone likes on to see on the other team.
  • Targets that already exploded can't have more than 1 stack for 4 seconds. They CAN be immediately stunned with Sear because they will have a stack from the detonation.
  • Blaze works on big monsters and is very good at taking the rift scuttler , dragon and baron . Brand w/ pots can solo dragon after at about lvl6 (it's tough) or earlier with a honeyfruit.
  • Blaze procs effects such as Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Morellonomicon over and over.
  • Blaze's DOT ticks will make invisible enemies shimmer every second.

Sear is the straightforward linear skill-shot and what your enemies are mostly trying to dodge. It's mostly used to stun enemies affected with Blaze, but can also be used to poke early on as Sear has slightly more range and using it might throw enemies out of their dodge pattern.
Brand is very vulnerable when Sear is on Cooldown so pay attention because enemies will abuse this and will often try making it hard to land a stun.
Landing Sear is crucial. Brand must hit at least 80% of his stuns to be playing decently.

Tips:
  • Don't rush things, each Blaze stack lasts 4s. Be patient and you will find the opportunity to land a stun.
  • Find an opening and be aggressive. If the enemy goes in the defensive it's far easier to land Sear.
  • Going point blank often works. Janna, try dodging that.

Pillar of Flame is probably the most hated part of Brand's kit. A fairly cost-efficient AOE blast with good range. It's Brand's main poking spell and also highest damaging regular ability since it gets +25% damage on enemies affected with Blaze.
It has a slight delay so predicting enemy movement is essential.

Tips:
  • Early trading spell vs spell against another support can often lead into a stalemate. Unless you hit both ADC and Support with the same Pillar. That is completely winning the trade.
  • Pillar of Flame has good synergy with adc's that have wave clearing abilities such as Jhin. When shoving the lane try to coordinate so you hit the caster minions first allowing the adc to finish them off easily.
  • Pillar of Flame is decent at checking brushes with Arcane Comet.

Conflagration is an important spell for starting and spreading Blaze. Short casting time but no projectile.


Tips:
  • Unlike other Brand spells. Conflagration is relatively silent.. and deadly. Unwary enemies can be easily attacked if they get near a target affected with Blaze. It's not a bad way to poke and throw people off balance.
  • When initiating with Conflagration enemies will usually start dodging madly because they assume a Sear is following. Don't. Throw people out of balance. Wait a while, follow with Pillar of Flame or Pyroclasm then Sear.

    It's possible to start leveling Conflagration before Sear for better AOE and waveclear or mix them up. Both get reduced CD and higher damage.

Pyroclasm summons a bigger devilish Sear that bounces around spreading Blaze and trying to blow people up. It's important to remember that Pyroclasm only slows people if they have Blaze. Also, due to it's targeting mechanism it is much more effective at blowing people that already have some stacks.
Pyroclasm is the most important spell in Brand's kit and a must have for any fight in the late mid-game and after.


Tips:
  • Pyroclasm provides very high kill potential when facing 2 enemies.. or better, 1 enemy champion and some other fodder.
  • There are many high IQ combinations possible. One of my favorite is dueling someone down by bouncing into rift scuttler or dragon . Once Brand reaches 6 the enemy jungler better not try soloing objectives.
    The real gold is bouncing on Shaco's Hallucinate or Leblanc's Mirror Image
  • Enemies can easily kill their teams if you predict their patterns. Rakan's will often go in, knock someone up and then retreat.. with a Pyroclasm.
  • Pyroclasm disappears into Wind Wall and Unbreakable.
  • Pyroclasm has higher range than Conflagration. Don't be afraid of starting with Pyroclasm for the slow or just for the first stack.

Combo


So. Every Brand ability triggers his passive Blaze which also empowers his abilities which stack more Blaze and people blow up. We can all see that the real damage potential comes from combos and more importantly detonating Blaze.

Never think Brand has a fixed rotation. It doesn't really work. Unlike assassins and even other mages, Brand's basic stun is SLOW to pull off. Unless the enemy can't see your position or they have potato reflexes it's unlikely they won't react against an obvious Conflagration+ Sear.
Brand also has high cooldowns so it's punishing to miss.
Brand wants to land a stun? YES. And it's easier when people can't react against it.



Brand's spell sequence doesn't matter as long as everything hits and Blaze detonates.

Don't be predictable. The best order is what the enemy won't be ready to avoid.

Pyroclasm can be used just for the slow, even vs single-target. It helps engaging without rilay's.

To clear a wave QEW is the strongest.

A final trick. When the enemy has Flash up, you can often bait if off with Conflagration + Pyroclasm (may look like a sear or just panicks people) followed by a Pillar of Flame. Usually enemy will Flash then it's an easy Sear.
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Items

When I pick Brand, my intention is to always build AP. Brand has poor utility so trying to build traditional support items on him usually results in poor damage and poor utility.
The goal here is to maximize his damage and threat to the enemy team. Brand wants to be strong enough to be able to win 1v1's with a successful stun. This creates a lot of pressure not unlike a fed adc.

Early on we're going fairly standard:
Early Items
Spellthief's edge provides AP, mana regen, a decent damage boost and most importantly, it gives gold for hitting enemy champions and turrets.
In my opinion, currently, the decision between which support item to purchase hangs mostly on which will give most gold. Especially early on, supports need to rush for the 500g mark to complete their quests and unlock those sweet free wards. This is a massive map vision/control advantage.
With Brand and an early Frostfang I usually complete my quest anywhere between 9 and 11 minutes. If the lane was somewhat hard/tricky or I had to roam my quest would complete under 13 minutes.
Remember that farming temporarily disables Frostfang's gold generation so before the quest is finished you want to avoid taking cs, but there are a few tricks:
  • If you want to cs, do it with full stacks or before returning base.
  • Towers are an especially easy way to spend stacks. Shove people under tower and use up those stacks before returning base.
  • Auto-attacking is fairly obvious, but many Brand players seem uneasy doing so. Don't be timid. If that Janna can auto you, you can auto back.

Frostfang is a very important upgrade and should be purchased ASAP (I prefer having my first back around 500-1000g). It increases damage dealt and most importantly gold generation a lot.
I don't usually upgrade Frostfang into Remnant of the Watchers because the upgrade mostly gives extra stats. The extra 1 ward charge is good but for mid-game 3 charges is plenty.
I'll upgrade when I have 950g lying around (late-game) or when the enemy team is fighting hard for vision control of objectives (mostly Baron). Having vision of objectives is extremely important and on tense games you can't afford going back to shop to restock and leaving Baron not warded.


I prefer Refillable Potion instead of starting 3 pots. You start with a little disadvantage but more often than not your enemy will blunder it's pots and after first back and afterwards you will have a good advantage. Refillable Potion also has synergy with Dark Seal.


The Dark Seal is a cost-efficient item that provides a lot of AP, essential mana for your early-mid game and about extra 30hp from each charge of Refillable Potion. Sell later on if you lose your stacks to either finish an item or free a slot for Control Ward.
My preferred 1st return gives me enough gold to finish Frostfang, buy a Dark Seal and a ward.
If early skirmish was bad and you had to go back before 500g. It's often good to take a Dark Seal.
Control Wards are very important.
Do:
  • Control important brushes and chokepoints that you need use to get a kill.
  • Control important brushes and chokepoints to reduce gank threat or to escape.
  • Control objectives you want to take.
  • Provide vision of contested objectives. The enemy is doing baron and your jungler NEEDS that vision. Place the ward.
  • Use control wards to bait fights. It's one of the sweetest baits ever.
Don't:
  • Waste time and money with control wards on places you can't control. If the enemy is going to immediately fight for that spot and you can't fight, then just don't start it.
  • Place control wards as if they are an statement (unless baiting). Like a dog pissing at a tree. Control wards main purpose is to deny regular wards not to save you money on the long run.
Boots aren't as important as the items listed before. Ward well, play smart and you won't need that mobility early on.

Mid-game
Out of the early-game and into mid-game. Some lanes won, some lost and the strong players have shown themselves. It doesn't really matter if you did well or if everything went south. Mid-game is the strongest for mages such as Brand and you want to do a lot of damage.
First thing to do is to see who's strong on each team. If there's a fed assassin or anything that might instantly kill Brand, now is the time to prepare to fit some defenses in the build.
For most games just buying the Core Items will be enough as they increase Brand's damage a lot while also providing some extra health. I generally consider Brand to be strong enough when he's able to kill caster minions with a single Pillar of Flame.

Tip:
You can mix and match Morellonomicon and Liandry's building items. I usually rush Morellonomicon because my matches often have enemies with strong healing, but you might buy Oblivion Orb and then start Liandry's. Or even halt both and go for another item. adapt.

Core Items
Negates a lot of MR which massively boosts Brand's high %hp damage.
Besides the valuable AP and HP it also reduces Magic Resistance so that together with Sorcerer's Shoes Brand will start doing nearly true damage to most enemies that don't build resistance. Also inflicts Grievous Wounds which is a very strong debuff that last's very long due to Brand's Blaze
Similar stats to Morellonomicon and may look redundant, but both have a lot of synergy with each other and Brand's Blaze. Usually purchased after Morellonomicon unless the enemy team is very tanky and has little heals.

Late-game
Build costs 8200g + wards by now. If modestly fed it's possible to have finished the Core by 20 minutes. Some games might end before completing the core. If not, no problem because Brand scales well into late-game.
Now it's important to decide which path to take.
  • Full Damage is great in many situations especially when Brand already has the advantage. Ineffective if Brand is weak or the enemy has strong assassins that can't be bursted such as Diana, Akali, Fizz, etc.
  • Tanky is generally a good way to build as the Core already provides decent health, Brand has less burst but doesn't get to be so vulnerable. Not so good if the enemy team thrives in DPS such as several carries or massively fed hyper carry or ranged tank-dps such as Ryze, Vladimir.

You can purchase one or two defensive items and still be mostly AP. This is many times the best path as often the real threat is posed by one or two enemy champions and you might get a lot with a single defensive item.

Full Damage
Similar to zombie Karthus, Brand's teamfight tactic is to unload as much damage as possible. This works very well when the enemy team also does a lot of damage, but mostly has little HP and resistances as a good Pyroclasm alone can win a teamfight.
Also good when the enemy team simply has no one that can reach Brand that easily.
With core items and Void Staff every tank will think twice before getting near.
With core items and Rabadon's Deathcap every flame will take a chunk of a carry's health.

Defensive Items
Having a lot of offensive items means little if you can't survive long enough to press R.
Enemy teams with assassins that are very hard to land a combo ( Zed, Fizz, Katarina) or mages that either outburst Brand ( Cassiopeia, Orianna, Ryze, Elise) or outrange him ( Xerath, Vel'Koz, Zoe).
Abyssal Mask provides great defensive stats, but the aura and CDR also benefit offensively. A good choice when needing that extra beefiness.

Banshee's Veil provides a lot of MR, but no health which isn't much of a problem because you already should have at least one of your core items before buying this.
Very important item against teams with long range abilities and CC.
Provides some minimal protection against AD assassins as it at least negates the first spell which is often around 300+ damage.

Zhonya's Hourglass provides AP and some armor. The active is very important against fed assassins such as Zed and Rengar, but I honestly dislike building this item as Brand has no mobility and is likely to die when out of stasis.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter provides similar stats at similar cost to Morellonomicon and Liandry's Anguish but also a 20% slow that activates over and over on Blaze.

I currently don't like this item, unless to specifically counter certain fed-champions, because I think that the provided utility actually isn't so powerful especially against champions with a lot of mobility, but this is an item that I see rushed on 100% of Brand players so I'll discuss it a little:
  • Rylai's is the strongest against enemies with no mobility or only movement speed bonuses such as most Juggernaut's, which Brand is already very strong against. It also denies the Phage most of them buy.
  • Rylai's is moderately effective against ranged casters and marksmen. Moderately because unlike Juggernaut's, these actually are likely to hit Brand back when they get slowed and it might not be fun if they hit harder. Rylai's might not offer enough slow to counter these, or they might even Flash. It happens.
  • Rylai's is ineffective against most Assassins and Diver type fighters because these just close the gap into Brand's melee range. 20% slow is not enough to get distance after that.
    I mean. it's all fine when Brand is flinging spells at these while they try to kill someone else, but eventually they get sick of that and just go for Brand. Then what?
    Then Brand is forced into Zhonya's Hourglass. In the end you purchased a 2600g item that requires a 2900g item so Brand finally gets anything against the most threatening champions.
  • By 20 minutes (I don't know the official stance, but I consider this transitioning from mid to late-game) Brand will barely have the gold to finish Morellonomicon and Liandry's Anguish. So to fit Rylai's into the Core, one of those has to go and I believe both offer much more even if they are slightly more expensive.
    I'll give it that Rylai's quite gold effective for the stats as it provides 10 more AP for 400-500g less.
  • Brand already has a decent slow in Pyroclasm which set's him up for the remaining combo. Rylai's is a small help for landing those combo's, but unnecessary and usually slows the build.

It's a decent, maybe even great purchase, but a situational one.
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Match-ups

Typically Brand is stronger the more the enemy team relies on tank champions and longer fights. Brand wants to keep pouring spells.
It doesn't really matter if there's one or two fed enemies that can kill Brand in a few hits as long Brand can use his spells before as he will usually deal far more damage to the entire enemy team.
Brand Simply Cannot be tanked. alongside Cassiopeia and a few others with True damage. It's very hard to face Brand's Blaze repeatedly.
Obviously winning your own lane is a great way to begin winning the game so I'll go into typical bot-lane match-ups.

Enemy team:


Bottom lane is much more complex than other lanes because match-up advantage isn't just determined by 1v1's but combinations of different pairs and skills. Sometimes two easily solo-able champions can be very tough to take down together.
Brand has very little utility/flexibility so it's important to understand when you have an advantage and press it hard.

Brand's damage comes mostly from Blaze detonations and Pillar of Flame in a combo. This is critical as it means fights are essentially decided by Brand's ability to land the combo.

Enemy supports:



Controllers which are subdivided into Enchanters and Catchers. These are the typical "true" supports as these champions have kits with generally high utility, but are rather weak alone.
Enchanters:
Enchanters are the traditional supports that provide a lot of utility for the team in the form of buffs, heals/shields and crowd control, but generally minimal damage and are typically vulnerable on their own so they will stick with their adc for the majority of the game.
  • For Brand, facing enchanters is usually easy. Short trades are generally even because although Brand deals more damage Enchanters usually have more sustain or shields, but landing a combo is very deadly. When doing so I prefer to use a first combo to bait the enemy Heal. Without heal, landing a combo at the enemy adc or support is usually deadly even when nearly full health.
  • This type of lane usually allows Brand some aggressive poking with Pillar of Flame, Sear and even basic attacks. Try punishing enemy for cs and generally distribute damage between the adc and support. If you focus on one, the support will use it's heals/shields and negate some damage so remain unpredictable. I like to remain close to my adc so both can attack back if the enemy support tries basic attacking as Janna, Nami and Lulu often do.
  • Brand is stronger at pushing lane than every Enchanter so it's often a good tactic to do so. It is easier to poke the enemy under tower and they will often lose cs.
    Another good tactic for a shoved lane is to place Control Ward in the brush closer to the enemy tower.
    If the enemy tries to regain vision without a gank, Brand can easily land free spells always aiming for that sweet combo. A single mistake on the enemy part nets Brand a kill.
    If they stay at tower they will lose some cs, get slowly poked and eventually Brand will have some killing potential after he gets Pyroclasm.
    Brand can also stealthily roam and also control rift herald and dragon .
  • Controlling map vision is very important. Enchanters are terrible alone and grabbing one trying to ward is an easy kill. This gives Brand a general vision advantage. Don't be afraid to camp some brushes.
  • Morellonomicon should be purchased ASAP to reduce healing. Here it's generally best to purchase a lot of AP as Brand's damage will simply overwhelm any shield/heal.

Catchers:
Catchers are supports that excel at engaging and immobilizing single targets. They have a strong early game and will usually try to engage a fight. Their relatively easy CC and high (early) damage makes it specially dangerous when receiving ganks. Catchers also are good at roaming since any their engage is so powerful.
Catchers are bad at extended fights and aren't burly enough to really tank.
  • When facing a Catcher the most important thing is to stay focused and don't feed. Every single mistake on your side will be abused. It's important to safely poke the enemy support so they can't risk engaging. This means that whenever you cast a spell to poke you must leave their range as they will try to engage during your cooldowns.
    Losing Flash is terrible.
  • Brand has a lot of killing potential against Catchers so if they engage poorly (low health, your minions, no ss, etc) it's fairly easy to get a gank. Usually target the support as he's likely in a worse position.
  • Catchers NEED to get an advantage early to snowball because otherwise their mid-game is lackluster and they do fall hard in the late-game. If played correctly and at least denied kills in bot-lane, Catchers will be at a disadvantage.
  • If denied kills, Catchers will often roam. As Brand you must predict this and also roam. Brand wants to counter-gank as Brand is much stronger in team-fights especially when everyone already used their abilities.
  • You might want to purchase a defensive item as 2nd or 3rd. It makes Brand less of a target. If you are far ahead then it's fine to continue to stack damage as Brand's damage itself is more than enough of a deterrent against these.


Tanks:
Tanks are subdivided into Vanguards and Wardens.
Vanguards are more aggressive as they have more ways to initiate a fight and crowd control, but on the other hand they aren't so naturally tanky and usually if they use their abilities to initiate they won't have anything to disengage if the fight goes wrong.
Wardens are usually the really tanky stuff, have abilities stronger at peeling for their team, but aren't so strong at initiating. Being more tanky doesn't really make a difference against Brand.

  • Both types will eventually try going all-in, the difference is at timing. Vanguards will usually try their play as soon as lvl2 or lvl3 (mind the possible early gank) while Wardens will usually wait for an opportunity after lvl4.
  • Many think that picking a tank and going all-in against Brand is the right move. It's NOT, it's stupid. You are picking Brand because Brand melts meatshields.
    The best response against tanks is to aggressively poke them so they cannot all-in. Vanguards in special aren't really so tanky early. They cannot afford engaging at 1/2-3/4hp and taking a full combo+ignite.
  • Don't get baited. Ward, control vision, shove if allowed, control river. Only way to lose is to give free kills and letting the Tank snowball and roam. Brand is the one to be aggressive here.
  • Wardens have low roam potential and not much killing power 2v1 if your adc stays safe under tower (early ofc). It's usually fine to roam and pressure them to be more active. Brand wins most duels against tanks.
  • Supports don't get enough gold to stack HP, Armor and Magic Resistance. As long as your team isn't full AP and Brand isn't totally behind in gold they can't affort to tank full combos. Just don't throw everything at Leona's Shield of Daybreak, Alistar's Unbreakable Will, etc. Have some sense.

Bot-lane behavior


A few general tips on what to expect from early lane:
  • If Brand has an easy time poking the enemy ADC and an easy time poking/trading with the enemy support then it's a favorable lane. Example: Draven and Soraka.
  • If Brand can win most trades against the support, but the enemy ADC is generally too safe/mobile then it's also a favorable lane, but requires more caution. Example: Ezreal and Alistar.
  • If Brand has a tough time winning trades against the support and can hardly poke the enemy ADC then the lane is even. It will mostly be decided by ganks, roaming or blunders. Example: Lucianand Nami.
  • If the enemy support is also a mage but with far superior range then the lane is bad. Brand can only endure into the mid-game, but preferably find an opportunity to roam. Example: Xerath, Vel'Koz.

General enemy team composition


Out of lane and into mid and late-game Brand can do very well even if lane was poor. Again, most damage comes from detonating Blaze and Brand needs to stay awfully close to enemies for that.
Brand has easy match-ups against tanky champions with limited mobility such as Garen, Dr. Mundo, Illaoi which also usually like to clump up together.
Brand also has an advantage against any shorter-ranged mage and most adc's for the same reason, he generally outduels them and does much more AOE damage in team-fights. Brand's poor utility is still more utility than most adc's have.

On the other hand, the worst scenario for Brand is to face several high-mobility tank-dps or assassins. Brand might have an advantage in team-fights, but if the enemy plays well they will avoid full engagements and focus on short fights, pick-offs and split-pushes which Brand simply can't refute.

If an enemy solo-laner is weak against Brand, punish him. Even if a few levels behind Brand usually can safely gank a melee top-laner.
If an enemy solo-laner is strong against Brand, harass him. Try getting vision of his lane so he can't receive help neither roam. Gank if possible, but don't feed. It's often easy to wreck an assassins lane with an early kill.

The worst the match-up, the more aggressive Brand has to play. He can't allow a snowball that can't be stopped later. Mind that aggressive isn't fishing for plays that can't be made. Being aggressive is having oppressive presence as to deny enemy plays while looking for that small tiny opening and then go all-in.

Favorable partner ADCs


Brand is best matched together with an aggressive, but fairly independent ADC with high burst damage such as Draven, Lucian, Caitlyn or Xayah.
ADC's that provide small pressure on their own or need strong peel/buffing will usually be more of a liability. Avoid pairing Brand with adc's such as Varus, Vayne, Sivir and especially Kalista because you don't want to throw yourself right into the enemy.

It's preferable that your remaining team be stronger on physical damage as to not encourage the enemy to build magic resistance early. Void Staff is a fairly expensive item that is best purchased later.
Also, as a means of breaking the enemy gold efficiency. Brand usually provides enough magic damage that he alone makes the enemy buy magic resistance items.
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Laning attitude

In any lane usually the first few minutes (lvl1-lvl2) will be used for both sides to probe each other with small trades. (Be careful not to get lvl1 ganked)
For Brand it's very important to assert dominance as early as possible. Hit the enemy every time they allow, spells, basic-attacks, everything.
Don't take neither allow your adc to take a single hit without at least equal retribution.

A good way to ensure you will be able to respond to ranged basic-attacks is to stick closer to your adc ensuring you both are equidistant to the closest enemy. Have sense, don't just walk into your adc's path blocking him and getting hit by spells.

Getting lvl2 first is a priority. The first side to get lvl2 will be that first kills the 3 melee minions of the second wave. So, when the second wave reaches the lane attack it. Use Pillar of Flame if necessary. There's little excuse for not getting lvl2 first when playing as Brand. Immediately push that small advantage trying to land a spell.
Don't overextend. Don't get greedy going for an obvious combo.

Poking with Pillar of Flame.
It's one of the cheapest pokes. The basic trick is to watch your minions and wait for the enemy adc to go for the last-hit. Up to platinum they will nearly always get hit. Keep piling pressure, auto-attack if possible to keep the adc far from you. Don't get picked off.
The same process can be done against the enemy support. It will usually try poking or just using his gold generator and it's usually an easy hit.

Tip:
Early lvl2 and lvl3 enemies will strongly expect Brand to poke Pillar of Flame then Sear. Surprise them. Poke Sear then Pillar of Flame. This even does more damage.

If the enemy support is an Enchanter or Mage, Brand wants to reach every level with at least equal health until around lvl4 when it's possible to make significant moves and start chipping at those potions.
If the enemy support is a Tank or Catcher, Brand wants to reach every level nearly full health while the enemy is at most 3/4. It can be VERY dangerous if these supports are allowed to initiate, especially with a gank.

Dominant side
If allowed the chance to be on the aggressive dominant side, take it. Ideally you want to keep the enemy stuck between his tower and his brush while having good river vision yourself. Eventually an opportunity will present itself, but don't be greedy and eat stuns.

When on the dominant side you will want to exploit it. First objective is rift herald .
Having the Rift Herald strongly deters enemy jungler and mid-lane activity on the bot-side making it easy to push for bot-lane advantage.
Control Herald's vision either with a ward or constantly checking it as it takes a while to do it early. Brand can at least threaten most enemy junglers from lvl2 and above.
If your jungler is doing an skirmish top-side, most likely against the enemy jungler, it may be an opportunity to grab the rift herald yourself. At level3 and above Brand should kill it in little more than a EWQ. It will refund mana anyway.
Such ease in controlling the side-objective can be made into a strong advantage against a traditional Tank or Enchanter dps that simply don't have damage.

After asserting dominance over bot-lane and river, you might still have nearly zero chance of getting a kill. You aren't tower diving Janna. Don't.
Expand your dominance, ward less near your brushes and more into enemy jungle, don't let the enemy jungler make successful plays through bot-side. React to mid ganks. Band together with your jungler to invade or gank.

Eventually your team will get a gold advantage or at a minimum a free dragon .

Defensive side
Playing on the defensive also gets kills and wins lanes. Most important thing is to avoid doing too much damage to minions if the enemy isn't. Don't want to play defensive far from your tower.
Keep working the poke when possible trying to make good trades. Wait for a gank or a bad play. Some enemy comps are very bad at sieging or diving and will easily mess up.

Brand only needs 1 combo to win a lane. Keep focused and an opportunity might show.

Try to keep some vision in the river. If playing left-side a good play to receive a gank is to walk through tri-bush first followed by the jungler. It confuses people. If both flee, Brand will already be in range unless they Flash (I usually don't use spells in this case because likely they will get a minion wave to block Sear).
If one or both stay to engage the adc (if they go for Brand, just stay alive) then usually the best play is focus the easiest one to stun.

3v3's can be hard before Brand has Pyroclasm, but very strong if playing a retreating fight.
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Warding

Because warding is part of the role.
I'll discuss a little about vision, but I won't go into specific warding spots because that should feel situational and fairly obvious. I also don't think it's a big deal if the ward isn't in the perfect sweet spot for certain bush. If the reader wants to see those, I'm sure there are plenty of guides out there.

What regular wards do?
-Isn't it obvious? Allow seeing the map through the fog-of-war.
So what? Does it accomplish anything? You always have vision of your base. Is there any enemy going there early on?
I'm not going far into analogies. You see a lone Sona, you know Twitch is around. Twisted Fate is missing, you know he's ulting. People disappear with an objective open, they are going for it. That much is fairly obvious.


Note here:
There's usually a mini-fight early for lane-brush control. You get into the brush to poke, the enemy support wards, vice-versa. There's advantage to be gained here. Feint the enemy to ward your brush then either push the lane or retreat it.
That fresh ward is now useless. Early on they are quite precious and a ward wasted can mean a gank unavoided.

So 1. You NEED wards to give information that you DON'T already have. Wait. That's a fairly large amount of things and we only have 3 regular +1 control. All of them?

NO. You NEED wards for things you can do something about.
Can you leave the lane before that Lee Sin tryhards you? Yes. So we'll need a good ward.
Can the enemy do Dragon while you have RIft Herald . Not likely, but maybe if the jungler sneaks around and jumps into the pit. Is he likely to go into your jungle for that? No. Then we won't bother.
Can the unfed enemy do a 20min baron? Not likely. We won't waste a ward.
Do we need full vision to take a tower 5v3? No. We will focus on the weak spots.

So 1b. We NEED wards to give actually useful information that team might use.

But it's only 3 wards. What to prioritize? Ok. What we have less information about? Enemy Janna who was about a spell's reach away 5s ago or the enemy Lee Sin who got 3 kills in the past 30s in 3 different places?
Different game. Which deserves more having sight of, the enemy Bard support which leaves lane every 15s while you have a slow-*** Lux mid half into enemy tower or the enemy Veigar which is happily stacking his passive into oblivion?

So 2. We WILL prioritize having vision on what's CURRENTLY most important and threatens to develop into unfortunate situations so to minimize the odds that our plays go wrong.

This deserves extra examples:
You are beating bot-lane. There's no threat from enemy bot (like Janna+Ezreal). You have one ward in the close enemy jungle so not much threat from there. You have one extra ward, what you use it for? Many people will toss it into Dragon.
What for? Playing Brand and dominating early if the enemy jungler even threatens to get near you will smoke him.
Shove that ward near you mid-lane so he isn't so likely to die. We want to win the game here, not win bot-lane just to so we have to win all the other lanes.

Your Top-lane is getting pulped. He got ganked twice and is barely holding tower. Bot-lane is okayish and you got your first back.
If it's me, I'll take a ward, go all the way up there, shove a few fireballs into whatever enemy champion is there and toss a ward.
It's hard for a support to carry a game. It's harder to make a comeback. Don't let things get out of hand if you can help.
Remember it's not Janna support, Brand's isn't babysitting a lazy carry.

And finally. 3. We NEED wards because it's extremely difficult to fight near a brush without vision inside of it.
We won't get juked into oblivion because no one has a ward.

What about control wards?
It might sound intuitive that since they are named Control, they like, help controlling stuff, but what I'll mostly see it people trying to "control" their OWN side. Things need to be very bad that we need to regain control of our own side of the map.

Many supports will walk around like they are rich smoking Control Wards on very obvious locations which they make NO effort at actually controlling and neither offer much tactical advantage at controlling.

Again, why the hell do you want to control your jungle if any teamfight there is easily won for you? You already HAVE control. Merely warding to know who's invading where suffices.

Using a Control Ward as a long-term way to save gold is totally stupid.

So 4. Control Wards are for FIGHTING to control an area.

We are shoving it where we are going to FIGHT for and anyone that wants to fight back will be blown to pieces.
We are shoving it at that Dragon because if the enemy wants to get it they will have to fight for it.
We are shoving it at brushes that are important to control lanes we intend to push (mostly first towers).
We are shoving them into a brush because right here, right now we're having a skirmish and the enemy can't fight without vision. Insta-win. (albeit a more uncommon resource)

Brand is doing all of the above in his early-game because it's the most effective way of using his early strength, especially against Enchanters as they can't easily fight back.
Also. As Brand, If the enemy support tries to take your ward. Be certain the enemy jungler isn't near then wait for the right moment to go all-in.
You probably spent most of the early-game trying to get near the support to unload your combo and there he is basic-attacking a stupid ward. Made up statistics - 4/5 of my games I win bot-lane as Brand by fighting for a control ward.

As a final note:
Generally, as in most games, controlling the middle of the playing field has more importance than controlling the corners. This is simply because there's probably more activity going on towards the center than obscure brushes.
So it's usually a good idea to keep some vision towards the mid.
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Pings

Just a small note here.
Since the support isn't paying attention to cs, it's easier to spot enemy movements. It's important to ping them to the team as they might notice too late even if it's on their wards.
For specially imminent dangers I favor just spamming "danger" ping ASAP, favoring the incoming direction. For roams what I found most effective is to ping about 3 times "missing" then about 2 times the missing champion icon and perhaps the remaining "danger" at the incoming direction.
This reduced the chance of being ignored from about 80% of just "missing" to about 10%.
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To be continued

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League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide