Build Guide by Dr Gats
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Note: This is my first ever published build, so it may be a little sloppy, any tips/help/suggestions/criticism always appreciated. I also plan on expanding each section as I go so there is more on how to play BC as a whole, not just this build. Also while reading please keep in mind that the items listed graphically above are only the core 3 items I use, the rest are dependent on your situation, read the whole build below for details.
This Blitzcrank build is designed for maximum tie-up and survivability. Your objective is to get to the front lines of battle, and make sure damage is thrown your way as you gratuitously relocate enemies in the battle. Peel melee off your squishies, grab gankers from over walls, nab unsuspecting and foolishly curious soft targets and start that fight!
After playing BC for a while, I found that for me his biggest weaknesses were his lack of gold (can't last hit worth beans), his speed (both movement and attack speed), and his mana (both regen and pool). To address this, I incorporate gold producing items into my core build, address speed on multiple fronts, and focus on mana regen rather than both regen and total mana.
Your basic game strategy will be to lane with bottom or top, and stay in lane until you can afford at least one, hopefully two gold generating items and some boots. During this time you should play very defensively, and only go for ganks that are a sure thing, save yourself for rescuing your lane mate which is much more likely. After you have your gold item(s) and some Boots of Speed, kick your support out of your lane and play solo for a while. This lets the other lanes get some sudden strength (which SHOULD mean some kills), while you tie up hopefully two enemies and still crank out gold. (worst case scenario is that one of your lane enemies leaves, making all lanes even, oh no) Around lvl 10 you should start mixing it up, trying to stay in every major team battle there is. Your job is to draw in squishies, while peeling strikers off of your squishies, and keep the enemy tank busy. As you have no taunt, it is essential that you get cooldown reduction into your build so your enemies stay in your fist and in the air, not on the rest of your team.
Start off every game the same, with a Regrowth Pendant and a mana pot. This will keep you out in lane until lvl 5-6 without going back. I try to wait until at LEAST 715 gold to go back for my first trip, which nets me some Boots of Speed, and lets me turn my Regrowth Pendant into a Philosopher's Stone. This gets gold flowing early, so it's not necessarily a bad thing to go back early, especially if you are packing teleport. Second trip back try to get a whole Heart of Gold. This is your core build, all other variations on my build stem from these three items.
By this point in the game, you should be able to identify who the heavy hitters are on the enemy team. Take a sec and look at your "tab" screen. Don't just look at any kills/deaths, but also take into account who is stacking what, who has how many minion kills...the WHOLE picture, not just k/d. Your job is to identify whether it's mostly magic or physical damage coming your team's way, and whether or not lockdown character's are causing issues. You can always try talking to your team too. Depending on what you find, there are two main branches that I go into.
If most of the damage heading your team's way is coming from characters like Veigar, Annie, Vlad, or anyone stacking Ability Power, this is your choice. I usually leave my two gold producing items where they are at so they can keep racking up gold, and I immediately make my way towards a Negatron Cloak, and build it into a Force of Nature. This usually gives you the edge you need to crank out a couple of kills or assists with your team, and with that little extra gold plus your two items still cranking out coin you can usually afford a Spirit Visage with little extra effort. This potent combo gives you a ton of Magic resist, extra movement speed, and a TON of regen. You can routinely pull the trick where you retreat from battle because you need to go back to base and heal, but instead just sit in the bushes for a few seconds and your health will pick right back up, and you hop right back in the fight. This build usually also favors Mercury treads as snares go hand in hand with most casters, but if you happen to be going up against zero snares don't worry, because you should win soon! (has happened once or twice, I just leave the boots at base level). Usually at this point I finish the Heart of Gold into Randuin's Omen (even if you don't need armor for the enemy champs, it helps you tank towers and slow enemy's down), and then finish Philosopher's Stone into a Shurelya's (also helping you chase down the other team). Those two items combined give you a huge boost to your cooldown, making you an unstoppable uppercut machine. Your Overdrive should be able to be on continuously, and your uppercut should be about the same, allowing you to constantly chase and uppercut fleeing enemies. If the game is still going at this point, I pick up a Stark's Fervor, giving you some attack speed to help you land those uppercuts, and giving buff's that everybody loves to your whole team.
If most of your damage is coming from physical attackers such as Master Yi, Teemo, or anybody stacking attack damage/crit, then this is your best option. I usually start out by pickup up some Warden's Mail to bolster my Armor value early (don't finish into Randuin's unless you are sure the game is going to be quick, you stop getting gold if you finish it!). If I am doing well at this point I try to sneak in a Leviathan. Then I pick up either Thornmail or Sunfire cape depending on what type of attacker I am facing (attack speed characters prompt me to get Thornmail, otherwise it's normally sunfire cape). Boots lean towards Berserker's Greaves unless you have issues that call for Merc Treads, or if you plan on picking up attack speed somewhere else you can always go for super unkillable and pick up some ninja tabi; the extra armor is ok, but the dodge on top of your already impressive damage soaking makes them /cry. Then finish up your Randuin's and Shurelya's giving your more armor and chase down ability, and top of the build with a Guardian Angel if needed. Do NOT pick up Frozen Heart/Glacial Shroud, as the cooldown will be mostly wasted as you are pretty close to the 40% cap already. The attack speed reduction from it may be tempting when you have a Yi or Teemo on you, but I would advise against it and pickup some Thornmail instead. As this version of the build doesn't have quite the regen or cooldown of the magic resist version, I have been attempting to insert an Innervating Locket into the build with limited success, let me know if you've found a good way of doing it.
Your choices won't always be so cut and dry, sometimes the other team is well balanced and hits you from both Attack Damage and Ability Power. There is no one build that will stop these well balanced teams, so instead please take some time and read through the following section and pick and choose which items to buy to suit you against each team.
Shurelya's Reverie - Gives Health, gold while building, and across the board regen, a must for all builds. Activated ability also enables my Blitzcrank Special, see tips below.
Randuin's Omen - Provides massive armor, health, health regen, and cooldown reduction. A must for all builds. While the unique passive helps against attack speed characters and melee gankers, I don't tend to rely on it as the % is so low. Activated ability helps with chasing, see tips below.
Mercury Treads - Gives a bit of Magic Resist, but also aids against snares greatly. I tend to prefer this over Banshee's Veil as the veil has a cooldown, these do not. So when the enemy team is pouring on the snares/fears/slows/taunts/etc, you will get out of ALL of them early, whereas after the first spell when you have a veil, you are pretty much effed. Stacking the two is always allowed, but expensive, not recommended. Not to mention that the veil never seems to be up when you need it, as the other team clearly SEES your veil, and tries to pop it with small abilites.
Berserker's Greaves - The attack speed staple to make sure you land those uppercuts. If you forgo these for Merc Treads or Ninja Tabi, make SURE you supplement your attack speed somehow, either by always having Overdrive on, or picking up a Stark's.
Ninja Tabi - When you have no need for the Merc treads, and uppercuts have been easy to land (or you are getting your attack speed elsewhere), these will add dodge into your MR/Armor unkillable nature. Always fun.
Leviathan - While always fun to stack hit points and a seeming no-brainer for a tank, this item is actually situational for my build. First, there are a LOT of % of HP attacks out there now, easily negating your Leviathan and making it a waste of money as you die and lose stacks. Secondly, having lots of HP doesn't mean jack unless you have Armor or MR to make it last. For this reason, I usually only grab Leviathan if I can already mitigate damage fairly well, and have a bit of spare coin. This usually means I don't need it however as we are already winning usually. The sweet spot though is when your teams are almost evenly matched, as this can mean the difference between you staying alive, while their tank dies. As you have very little killing power and it's way more expensive, ALWAYS take this over a Warmog's.
Force of Nature - AMAZING when you need to go up against some magic damage. Gives you tons of MR, move speed, and regen! LOTS of regen! So great I am actually sad when I have to face physical dps. Really shines when combined with Spirit Visage.
Spirit Visage - Gives you a little health and MR, but chiefly gives you cooldown reduction and gives you a huge boost to any regen you already have. For this reason, never grab this first, always finish either Randuins or Force of Nature first. By picking this up, it let's you forgo getting Shurelya's or Randuin's as you don't need the cooldown reduction so bad any more, and kicks your regen into overdrive. Probably my favorite item for BC, just doesn't serve any good without complimentary items.
Sunfire Cape - While the armor is nothing to scoff at here, the HP ratio is a lot better, which is why I normally don't grab Sunfire Cape. I would prefer this item a lot more if it were better with armor, not so much HP. If I wanted HP with BC, I would pick up a Leviathan. The saving grace here, is that it still gives good survivability, but mostly kills enemies WHILE you chase them. If you have a fair amount of squishies who use physical attacks (Teemo? Yi?) on the enemy team, go ahead and pick this up. Otherwise pass.
Stark's Fervor - Has only ONE place in my build, but it's my favorite variation: the magic resist branch. When you take the Berserker's Greaves out of your build for Merc Treads, this helps you pick your attack speed back up so you can land Power Fists, but also gives all your allies that you are constantly around fantastic bonuses! Also takes away any armor those pesky mages may be sitting on. Bring a friendly Teemo or Twitch and watch the enemies gurgle (because you can't cry when your mouth is full of blood).
Guardian Angel - Great armor, OK magic resist. Great finish to any build, just because when they FINALLY bring you down...you get right back up. Always save for last however, as it only compliments an already sound build. Buying this by itself will only delay the death.
Innervating Locket - Mildly useful when facing attack damage characters. Since you won't be getting Spirit Visage, this helps supplement your regen and cooldown that you would otherwise get. The only bad side is no armor or magic resist, just straight HP and mana. Have yet to find a good place to insert this in my build (there are usually more pressing needs for my gold), I don't tend to use this too often.
Thornmail - Cheap, TONS of armor, and throws back damage for every time you are hit with a basic attack. This is a DUH item any time you are facing physical attackers, especially with high attack speed.
Tips, Tricks and Strategy
The Basic One Two: Your default rescue or instigating combo is to pull the enemy to you, and hit him up in the air. This buys time to let your allies either go for the kill, or get away, whichever is needed. The key is to activate your power fist BEFORE you pull, so it is ready the moment they reach you. Popping your Static Field is usually helpful here too if you have nasties that like to pop key moves when you pull them, but be quick about killing them!
The Blitzcrank: Hate it when your two teams won't stop *****-footing around in middle, neither side taking the offensive? Well when you are coming from somewhere else (other lane, fountain, whatever), make sure your allies are ready, and kick on your Overdrive. As you run into your gaggle of allies, pop Shurelya's and move your whole team into quick strikin range, surprising your opponents. Extra points if you also have your Randuin's, use it!
Turbo Shoryuken: You know you're doing this build right, when you can continually keep your Overdrive turned on, and charge up your next Power Fist by the time they hit the ground from your first one. Rinse and repeat while your allies chew them up. Do not attempt if you are alone unless the enemy is very VERY near dead, as the time you are spending could most likely be used better.
Rocket Grab: There are a million uses for this, and you will only get good with practice (my teamates will tell you that's still not a guarantee: I miss a lot still. It's the golden ones that count though!) The basic use is to pull an enemy to you to kill him. Also useful for peeling close range enemies off of your squishies. Include terrain for extra win, like pulling an attacking enemy INTO your base from over the wall so he is separated from his allies; or pull a Fiddle who just launched his ult AWAY from your team and over some trees, watching him cry. Be warned that at low levels, this has a very high cooldown and an IMMENSE mana cost, so use sparingly until about lvl 6. When you are facing experienced players who are a bit dodgy, they will always try to juke while running from you, anticipating your rocket grab. Try to contain yourself at this point, as your cooldowns are nice, but you usually only get one shot at these guys. Instead of trying to second guess which way they are gonna juke, wait until they have to maneuver around an ability or terrain, as it's a lot easier to predict where they are going to go. If there is none around...save your shot, they cost a lot of mana, and you never know when you are going to need the grab for something else.
Overdrive: Increases move and attack speed, and at higher levels never has to be turned off really. Only thing that can be said is when you are in those 4 levels or so where you are holding a lane solo, use this to mow through minions a bit faster and get a few last hits in. Only time it's gonna happen.
Power Fist: Nothing much to say, except get that attack speed up! Blitzcrank's base attack speed is so slow, you can activate PF and watch in dismay as faster characters (Yi, Miss Fortune, anybody that's ghosted) literally dance circles around you while your slow *** attack animation fails to complete and land the hit. Only takes a teeny bit of attack speed to circumvent this, so get it!
Static Field: Dishes out decent single burst AoE damage and a quick silence. Always useful, but I find it's best used to delay an attacking team from using key abilities for just a split second, so my team can get them off first. Also for when nasties like LeBlanc or Shaco try to give you the slip. Clone? Meh, I'll kill both. When facing enemies with channeled key abilities, ALWAYS save yours for after they start channeling. When facing enemies such as Nunu or Galio this is the key between winning or losing team fights. You automatically trump those abilities with this one, all you have to do is wait.