Brand Build Guide by Pagan Poet
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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.
Hello and welcome to my build for Brand, The Burning Vengeance.
Constructive criticism is always welcome, as well as alternative item possibilities etc.
Also please try out this build a few times before rating. Much appreciated.
[*] This is my first build here.
[*] This build has not been tried in ranked games yet.
[*] I always play Brand mid lane. This build is based on a mid Brand but should work with lane Brand too. Personally I just find it close to impossible to get my build together fast enough to keep up when playing in lane. Maybe you can do better :D
Pros / Cons
Insane damage output
For Summoner Spells I always go with Ignite and Flash. I tried other spells like Exhaust and Teleport but I always come back to those to.
Fits Brand and, together with your ability to set people ablaze this provides awesome DOTs, often killing your opponent after he escaped out of your spell-range.
Your a caster. Sooner or later you will encounter a "Holy **** I need to GTFO!!!"-Situation.
Alternatively it can be used as an offensive move, surprising your enemy. Flash can be used to flash over creeps, getting you within range for your combos (more on those later).
I've always preferred the 21 points in Utility to 21 in Offense. Cooldown reductions and mana regen are just way more useful on a caster like Brand, who is easily mana-starved. Many builds like to get into deep detail on Masteries, but honestly I don't really know what to say.
I took the extra XP over the extra gold but that is really a preference thing.
On Brand I use a pretty common mage rune build.
Not much to be said here. There is no good reason not to take magic pen.
Greater Seal of Replenishment x9
You want to spam your pillar don't you?
AP. What more you want to know?
Some people hate this mash-up but personally I like it. Together with your Marks of Insight and your Sorcerer's Boots Sorcerer's Boots this will give you 30 magic pen, which is the default magic resist on all champions. Early game this is extremely useful.
Some more AP. Love it.
Now that we've covered runes let's go over our Items:
Many Brand-Players like to start with a Meki Pendant for the mana reg, later building it into a Fiendish Codex or a Tear of the Goddess. Personally I prefer the AP and health I get from a Doran's Ring. My Runes usually give me enough mana reg to sustain my lane for quite some time. But there is nothing wrong with starting out with a Meki Pendant if you feel the need for more mana reg early on, especially since we're going to need it to build our Morellos later. I often take Meki's if I'm up against a champ I know I usually have trouble with and need to play defensively.
I used to buy 2 Rings if I was doing well and could spare the gold after getting my Boots of Speed. Honestly I didn't see much difference.
Again, not much to say here. In my opinion the only viable choice, get them as fast as possible.
Morello's Evil Tome
Ok, by now you've hit the point where most AP-Burst-Champs cry out for a Rabadon's. Again, nothing wrong with going with this wish but I found that having my spells cooldown faster after a full combo is actually more useful as having that one combo deal slightly more damage. Nothing is more frustrating than having your enemy surviving with a sliver of health just because your Conflagration needed one more second. Also the mana reg let's you spam and farm a bit more.
Now that we can spam our spell rotation let's beef up it's power.
Situation: You've come to realize something: You're freaking awesome! You dominate your lane and rape whatever pathetic excuse for a mid-lane champ the enemy sent your way. Good. Now in your enthusiasm please don't forget to get a Soulstealer.
Situation: The enemy team is a bunch of cowards, stacking magic resist because they are scared ****less of you. Go get a Void Staff and show them how futile their attempts are.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Situation: Your damage output is respectable but enemies always get away. That'll slow them right down. The health boost is a nice cherry on top of the frosting (pun!).
Will of the Ancients
Situation: Having trouble winning teamfights against tanky teams? Jealous of AD-Carries with their fancy Bloodthirsters? Will of the Ancient is the item you need as your entire team profits from it. But check first if a teammate already bought it.
Situation: Things aren't going your way and you always get focused and eliminated before you can do anything. Banshee's Veil is awesome. Being able to ignore one CC spell can be the difference between winning and losing a teamfight if you are the main magic damage dealer in your team.
Gameplay and Combos
Your main goal early game is farming, but at the same time you want to harass your opponent as much as possible. Good thing you've got your pillar. Try to place it in such a way that you hit the caster-creeps as well as the enemy champ. If your enemy is smart he is going to run around in order to avoid your pillar, if that is the case then focus on farming, don't try too hard to hit the enemy as this will only drain your mana with little effect. Another thing to keep in mind is that your pillar doesn't deal damage immediately when cast but only when it erupts, so champs standing only a short way inside the AoE still can escape.
Spell combo for farming is W -> E (We'll get into combos later on). This can also be used as a harass tool. Often when your opponent sees you advance he will often -and rightly so- back up in order to avoid your pillar, but immediately turn around as soon as you "only" hit the caster creeps. As soon as he is back near them, cast E on the nearest minion you just set ablaze and watch it bounce back on the enemy.
If you are having trouble staying in lane buy some potions.
As soon as you find a good farming rythm and money isn't too much of an issue, start going aggressively for kills. This doesn't mean being overly cocky when your opponent is stronger than you though. It should go without saying but apparently the notion of playing safe is completely unknown to many players. If you find yourself matched against a stronger player, play it safe. It ain't fun, but it's the best you can do for yourself and your teammates. Also don't forget to keep an eye on your other lanes. Brand can be a pretty good ganker once you have your E → Q combo under control. Don't be afraid to use your Flash to gank, if all goes well you shouldn't need it as an escape spell. Don't forget to keep farming and go for blue whenever you can.
Not much to say about Late Game. Keep in mind that even though you deal huge amounts of damage you can die very easily and do whatever the situation calls for: Defend if you are losing and push if you are winning. Try not to initiate teamfights. Keep farming and going for blue. Seriously, there is no reason not to have blue if you can have it.
Teamfights can be annoying and frustrating with Brand because most of the time you will be the main focus of the enemy team. Try to stand back and go for their carries. Also: Holding on to your ult in order to pick up more kills by the end of the teamfight isn't always the best thing to do. Use it in order to damage the enemy team and make it easier for your close quarter champs. Kills can still be picked up after you break the enemy team.
Your bread and butter combo with Brand is the good old stun-combo:
E -> Q (Conflagration -> Sear)
This is the easiest way to stun your target and can be therefor used to escape or save a teammate, but most importantly it's the opener for full skill rotation.
E -> Q -> W -> R
Once you stun your enemy blast him with a pillar as it deals bonus damage to enemies set ablaze and the stun will prevent them from escaping. If they still live after that, throw your ultimate for good measure. If the enemy has more hp left than one hit with Pyroclasm deals damage this can be a bit of a gamble, depending on the amount of creeps/champs in the vicinity of your opponent. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing your enemy getting away just because your ult decided to target another creep instead of bouncing back to the champ. But I would still cast it because your E will probably be out of cooldown by then.
W -> E
Let's you easily farm the caster creeps.
Risky combo - max damage output in teamfights:
Q -> E -> W -> R
This combo is risky because you have to time it exactly right and a lot can go wrong. But if it works out the result is well worth the result. Cast Q first, following it with E will set more enemies ablaze, allowing your pillar to deal bonus damage on several enemy champs and giving you a faster ultimate (Pyroclasm is faster when cast on an enemy set ablaze).
The tricky thing is that you have to hit your Q and your W skill exactly right in order to get the best damage output possible.
Keep in mind you can use your Q to stun after any of your abilities, not only your E. When chased by 2-3 enemy champs I often find myself casting my ultimate, directly following it with a Q in order to make an escape. More often than not you will even be able to kill your chasers (depending on their life - don't be a martyr) by following it with W and E.
The conclusion is:
Brand rocks. There are many ways to build him, this one is mine. Try it and maybe it will become yours too =)
Thanks for reading and don't forget to try before voting =)