Brand Build Guide by DddyAwsmSauce
[Fall Out Boy] My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (9.8)By DddyAwsmSauce | Updated on April 21, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:
Runes: More Reliable
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Threats & Synergies
Runes: Comet Poke
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Champion Build Guide
[Fall Out Boy] My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (9.8)By DddyAwsmSauce
I am a pharmacist, ranked League player, and most importantly, huge Fall Out Boy fan!
Their lyrics are really poetic, Patrick Stump has an awesome voice, and their instrumental skills are top notch.
They've evolved overtime from punk pop to more of a pop & alternative rock style.
Fall Out Boy is truly an artist, and I like how they express their art.
Anyways, I don't want this guide to be a Fall Out Boy guide since I'm writing a Brand guide.
Brand can bring high impact to the game due to the following:
1) Area of effect abilities (W Pillar of Flame and unstable Blaze)
2) Crowd control potential with Q Sear and slow-over-time from combination of Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Blaze passive.
3) Now combine 1) + 2); you have area of effect slow-over-time
4) Good damage output
Please enjoy the guide and playing Brand!
I did notice Brand was weak after the Rune Reforged (which is when I created this guide)
During season 7, my win rate with Brand was well above 50% (if I recall correctly), but I was struggling with Brand pre-season 8.
The reason was probably removal of Deathfire Touch , which worked synergistically with Brand's passive, ablaze.
With patch 8.1, ablaze is now buffed to deal 4% of the targets max health, instead of 2%.
That's quite a buff, Brand should be much stronger now.
I've been thinking about his place in league at the moment (strong, average, weak).
He is an average pick at least for Mid.
Lack of mobility makes him easy to get picked off, while his range is not that great (for E Conflagration and R Pyroclasm; that's about half of his kit).
You'll have to manage not getting picked off and kiting in order to successfully play Brand.
That being said, Brand is probably stronger as a support at the moment.
His passive, Blaze over-time damage (4% max health overtime) does not scale off of anything.
It's straight up 4% of the affected opposing champion's max health.
In the other words, you can have 1000 AP or 100 AP and still deal the same 4% of the max health damage.
That's not efficient.
Rather than stacking AP in Mid lane, he might be better off as a high damage dealing support at Bot lane.
I have added a support section, but I'm not much of a supp.
And that's not to say Brand is a bad pick at Mid.
Rest of his abilities (including explosion from Blaze scale off of AP, so there is nothing wrong with going full AP with Brand.
Lastly, one of the recent patches (8.5 I believe) brought some significant changes to mage itemization.
It feels a bit weird, but it is what it is.
Liandry's Torment no longer provides magic penetration, while Morellonomicon does now.
Speaking of Morellonomicon, it now provides health and not mana, so I feel like everything is mixed up now.
I no longer build Rod of Ages on Brand now, since Morellonomicon is more important due to magic penetration (it's like lethality for AP abilities).
I build Rylai's Crystal Scepter as the first item now, in order to get the syngergistic slow going (plus it was buffed for 10 extra AP; I'll take it).
That's about it for the updates. Enjoy folks.
Update 5/24/18 & 7/21/18
Not much has changed about Brand or midlane/mages at the moment (Patch 8.10-8.14).
He is probably better off as a support, but still viable as a midlaner.
At one point, my win rate with Brand was at 70% (all games played as mid with this build).
Following are changes that I've made to the guide this time:
1) For a starting item, I favor Doran's Ring over The Dark Seal since Doran's Ring now has small benefit on farming.
So if you could use any help with last hitting (like I do), then Doran's Ring is a better starting item now.
If you are confident in your farming and rather take The Dark Seal, it will most likely reward you handsomely.
2) I've made some changes to the runes. I prefer Arcane Comet over Summon Aery due to higher damage. Also, I'm choosing Transcendence over Celerity for extra CDR. Despite my success playing as Brand, I've actually been playing Annie lately, and I feel this setup works better overall. This is still experimental on Brand, but I believe extra CDR is more beneficial.
3) I've added Luden's Echo on the viable item list.
Not a big fan of it on Brand, but if you want to be aggressive, this will help with extra mana, CDR, and damage.
Also updated example final builds.
4) Finally got my lazy a$$ to get started on the items section.
That's about it for now. Enjoy.
Long time no see y'all!
After graduation from pharmacy school, I have been working fulltime as a pharmacist and keeping myself busy.
(In fact, I often grab additional shifts so I work overtime $$$).
Anyways, this guide is not meant give updates on my life, but rather guide you to play Brand.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), there hasn't been much change to Brand or runes/items I run on Brand.
Hence, there isn't much for me to update at this time (but I'd like to update this guide to fit the new Mobafire look).
He is still probably better as a support (which I am not an expert on), due to crowd control, lane phase poke, and overall damage output.
But he still remains to be a viable pick at mid, so enjoy either way!
Update April 2018
Long time no see fellow summoners.
I have been busy working fulltime as a pharmacist; life is just hard to balance :(
Since my last update of this guide (long time ago lol), mages and mage items still have not seen significant changes; just minor updates and balancing.
Hence, not much change in the item builds and strategies.
In this update, I expanded the rune section to explore Domination route.
Thank you for stopping by and enjoy playing Brand!
Natural tank health shred
Area of effect and over time damage
High utility (CC potential)
Synergizes well with items
BM-ing with CTRL + 3 spam
Not exactly an one-shot mage
Dodge-able abilities (you will likely struggle against mobile champs like LeBlanc, Ekko)
Sorcery is a good pick for Brand as Primary to boost his stats.
It'll increase his damage output and poke potential, while helping with mana management.
Arcane Comet or Summon Aery works.
I like Arcane Comet due to its higher damage and area of effect (as opposed to Aery, it's absolutely single target).
Spamming spells on opposing champions decreases the cooldown on Arcane Comet.
The nice thing about those Keystones is that both can be proc'ed from the passive Blaze damage; for example, let's say Arcane Comet is on cooldown when you land your ability on an opponent- but if Arcane Comet becomes available while the opponent is taken damage from Blaze, it'll proc Arcane Comet.
My pick is Manaflow Band to help manage mana since Brand is a poke-heavy champion.
I haven't had much mana issues with a combination of Manaflow Band and Biscuit Delivery, despite having no mana item (unless I'm building Luden's Echo, which is very rare for me).
My choice is Transcendence, which is a CDR rune that's effective on all of his abilities.
He'll get free 10% CDR at level 10, I'll take it.
This is beneficial since I typically don't build an item on Brand that provides a CDR.
He won't get to use the other half of this rune (excess CDR being converted to AP), but it's no big deal.
Absolute Focus is fine but it won't do any good if you can't keep the health above 70%.
But shouldn't be too hard to keep your health since you're a backline mage.
Gathering Storm is my choice.
He'll get increasing AP every 10 minutes; not a whole a lot in the beginning, but bigger if the game go late.
AP scaling on his abilities are relatively low compared to one-shot mages, but Gathering Storm would still help with the damage output.
Scorch is similar to Deathfire Touch but it's only for one ability every 10 seconds.
Might be a good poke rune in the beginning, but I just don't see much benefit.
Waterwalking won't hurt but its benefit is situational, unless your team is tactically planning on a team fight in the river.
My choice is Inspiration for secondary.
Biscuit Delivery essentially gives you extra potions with a bonus of permanently increasing your mana pool by a total of 160, which helps with mana management.
Cosmic Insight gives you a free 5% CDR on all the abilities and summoner spells.
I especially like the CDR on summoner spells, but 5% CDR on all abilities is obviously helpful for Brand.
Pick Perfect Timing over biscuit delivery if you are faced against Fizz or Zed to counter their ults.
Now I will briefly talk about the Domination pathway.
Keystone: Dark Harvest- This updated keystone makes it convenient for Brand to collect stacks (more or so during the teamfight).
When you damage an opposing champion below 50% health, you deal additional damage (increased by the number of soul fragment) and obtain a soul fragment.
Brand's abilities (W Pillar of Flame, Pyroclasm, and Blaze explosion) deal damage in large areas, so it's very easy to catch an opponent with < 50% health during a teamfight.
Not only that, it can be proc'ed off of damage-over-time (passive Blaze damage, Liandry's Torment damage).
The cooldown on this Dark Harvest is quite substantial though, with 45 seconds.
But this can be reduced to 1.5 seconds upon champion kill/assist.
Compared to Arcane Comet, Dark Harvest will definitely deal more damage in total.
So should you pick Dark Harvest? Not always.
Arcane Comet is a good poke rune and Sorcery pathway gives you stats that are beneficial for mages (cooldown reduction, AP, mana).
And proc'ing Dark Harvest doesn't necessary lead to meaningful damage (I guess the same can be said for Arcane Comet, but the Comet can be proc'ed more often hence making it a good poke rune).
My conclusion is Arcane Comet is more reliable, while Dark Harvest is riskier but snowballing rune.
Second Line: Tough choice between Cheap Shot and Taste of Blood. Cheap Shot can be proc'd all day once you build Rylai's Crystal Scepter and it's true damage. Taste of Blood is helpful for lane sustain while trading pokes.
Third Line: Ghost Poro- provides more vision (sort of prolongs the length of Stealth Wards you place). If the Stealth Wards you place don't get destroyed and turns in to a ghost poro, you'll gain adaptive force (up to 30 AP). Both Zombie Ward and Eyeball Collection do that, it's just the matter of how you obtain the adaptive force and what other effects you get.
Fourth Line: Tough choice between Ultimate Hunter and Ravenous Hunter. Ultimate Hunter educes the cooldown of your ult (and Brand's ult is pretty powerful when used during a teamfight). Ravenous Hunter is good for lane sustain for poke trade (kind of like Taste of Blood.
Secondary Pathway: Manaflow Band to increase Mana pool and Transcendence for cooldown reduction (after level 10).
Welp, that wasn't really brief...
Brand's passive ability.
After you damage an opponent with an ability, they get a stack of Blaze and take damage over time.
This damage over time synergizes well with Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Liandry's Torment.
Rylai's gets extended slow over time, and Liandry's gets extended damage over time.
That's very efficient.
Subsequent abilities on the target with a stack of Blaze will be empowered.
Q Sear: stun
W Pillar of Flame: increased damage
E Conflagration: the damage spreads
Each ability (including each hit of R Pyroclasm) adds stack of Blaze.
After 3 stacks, the target explodes (!!!)
That's like having an another spell; supplements his damage output.
There is no cool down on the explosion, so if you can manage to apply 3 stacks of Blaze to multiple opposing champions, then you can cause multiple explosions (!!!)
See the video at the end of this section for that multiple explosions + Baron steal.
(Yes it also applies to jungle monsters)
One thing you might take it for granted is Mana refund when he kills an opposing unit with a stack of Blaze.
You can apply a stack of Blaze to multiple minions with W Pillar of Flame then CS with basic attacks or E Conflagration for efficient farming/pushing.
Pillar of Flame
This should be the first spell to be maxed out.
It's a skill shot and deals damage in a circle .
This is your main poke ability and leads to stun with Q Sear if you can land both.
If the target already has a stack of Blaze, then W Pillar of Flame will deal additional damage.
But I really expect this to be the first ability.
Second ability to be maxed.
Shoots a spell in a straight line; it's a skill shot and has relatively small hit box.
Only hits the first target; will be blocked by a minion or other opposing champs.
If the target has a stack of Blaze, then Q Sear will stun the target if hit.
Hence, you would want to save it for a target with the stack on it.
Since it has almost no up time, you can also use it to reliably secure a Cannon Minion kill.
Last spell to be upgraded.
Has a short range and doesn't deal much damage to be honest.
But it's not a skill shot and applies a stack of Blaze.
You can use it to set up for a Q Sear stun or apply the third stack of Blaze for explosion.
If the target already has a stack of Blaze, then using Conflagration on that target will spread the ability, meaning nearby opposing units will take damage and get a stack of Blaze.
Hence you can chain this to other abilities or efficient farming.
W Pillar of Flame then E Conflagration to mage minions makes it clean farming mid-late game.
Another tip on this ability: if an opposing champion is near minion(s) with a stack of Blaze, then use Conflagration on that minion, which spreads the ability to your opponent.
This is a safe way to poke your opponent; mind you Conflagration has low damage, but still applies a stack of Blaze for extra damage and potentially lead to combos.
Ultimate for Brand.
Throws a fireball to a target (non-skill shot) that bounces UP TO 4 times for UP TO 5 hits.
Emphasis on UP TO since if there is no nearby opposing unit(s) besides the original target, then the ability will stop there.
It also prioritizes the target with higher stack(s) of Blaze, meaning you want to make sure your target has the same or more amount of stacks.
For example, let's consider a few scenarios:
1) You target Teemo and there is no nearby opposing units. Then Teemo just takes 1 hit.
2) You target Teemo who has no stack of Blaze and there are nearby opposing minions. Teemo will take up to 3 hits and 2 hits to the nearest minion, then explodes (!!!).
3) You target Teemo who has no stack of Blaze and there are nearby opposing minions with 2 stacks of Blaze. Then after 1 hit, Teemo only has 1 stack so Pyroclasm will target those minions with 2 stacks of Blaze.
Naturally, before casting R Pyroclasm, you want the target to have at least equal amount of Blaze stacks, and there are other targets the ability can bounce on.
The only exception is when you need only small amount of damage to secure a kill.
However, each hit of Pyroclasm only deals small amount of damage.
If you are going for kill secure with a single hit, you might want to proc the explosion and use Ignite.
Additionally, if the target(s) already have stack(s) of Blaze and get hit by Pyroclasm, they are slowed, which is a plus.
Great ability to cause destruction during team fights.
1) W Pillar of Flame --> Q Sear --> E Conflagration (--> R Pyroclasm --> Ignite)
This is the bread and butter combo during the laning phase.
Apply Blaze with W Pillar of Flame, stun the opponent with Q Sear, then proc unstable Blaze with E Conflagration.
You can also do Ignite and R Pyroclasm if you're going for a kill.
Since your opponent is stunned, this combo leaves little chance for them to retaliate.
However, both W Pillar of Flame and Q Sear are skill shots.
W Pillar of Flame can be dodged if not placed properly or if your opponent is mobile.
Q Sear can be blocked by a minion and the hit box is not big.
But this combo is very rewarding.
2) E Conflagration --> Q Sear --> W Pillar of Flame (--> R Pyroclasm --> Ignite)
Alternatively, you can use this combo if you are committing to a 1 vs 1 fight.
E Conflagration has a short range but not a skill shot; undodge-able once you get in the range, and applies Blaze.
Then stun the opponent with Q Sear and finish up with empowered W Pillar of Flame to proc unstable Blaze.
You can also do Ignite and R Pyroclasm if you're going for a kill.
While this combo is easier to hit, you're making yourself vulnerable by getting into the range of your E Conflagration.
You're more likely to get counter poked/retaliated, so use this combo only if you're really committed to scoring a kill.
Doran's Ring is my main start since it gives you useful starting stats (AP, Health, Mana Regain) plus extra damage on minions to help last hitting.
The Dark Seal and Refillable Potion start if you are confident in your last hitting (I'm not).
The Dark Seal will reward you handsomely with its stack if you play good, plus cost effective lane sustain with Refillable Potion.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Usually, this item is my priority to finish.
Rylai's is pretty cheap mage item priced at 2600 gold and works highly synergistically with his passive, Blaze.
The damage-over-time from Blaze continuously apply slow effect from Rylai's Crystal Scepter; in essence, he gains a semi-perma slow from this item.
Brand excels in teamfights with his area of effect spells and potential for multiple explosions.
This item will add additional CC potential to his spells and passive; quite frankly, Brand is a teamfight monster with Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Good chunk of Brand's damage comes from his passive damage-over-time (and Liandry's passive).
Unfortunately, these damages don't scale on AP; it's just flat percentage damage based on the opponent's max Health.
They are also reduced by building Magic Resistance.
So, how do you effectively increase his damage output?
Build Magic Penetration!
Sorcerer's Shoes effectively provides Magic Pen and movement speed.
I won't say Ionian Boots of Lucidity is never viable on Brand.
But I highly prefer Sorc's Shoes for its increased damage output.
You also increase chance at one-shotting squishies by building Magic Pen.
Another highly synergistic item on Brand.
I always get it after finishing Rylai's Crystal Scepter, since the slow passive from Rylai's automatically doubles the passive damage from Liandry's.
Brand's passive Blaze over-time damage extends Liandry's passive over-time damage as well, which is why Liandry's is highly synergistic with Brand.
This item got an interesting update, adding another passive Madness.
Essentially, after you damage an opponent, your damage output increases by 2%.
This stacks every second, up to 10% until exiting the fight.
Two reasons why I consider this item as core: Magic Penetration and Grievous Wounds.
As I explained with Sorcerer's Shoes, Magic Penetration is an effective way to increase his overall damage output (especially by increasing over-time damage from Blaze and Liandry's Torment.
With this item and Sorc's Shoes, you'll start dealing massive damage to squishies as well.
Grievous Wounds is a great passive since many champions are reliant or use some sort of healing as their kit.
Essentially, almost all ADC's will build some sort of Life Steal at one point in the game.
Healing champions (some of them are reliant) include: Swain, Darius, Tryndamere, Nasus, Olaf, Akali, Vladimir, Soraka, Nami, just to name a few.
Grievous Wounds substantially decrease the effectiveness of healing/life steal.
You could consider getting Morellonomicon before Liandry's Torment depending on how healing reliant your opponents are.
Arguably the most OP item on League.
It has an on-demand stasis effect which can be used if you are caught out, to reset the momentum, and/or nullify certain abilities such as Zed and Fizz ultimate.
Also gives you some AP, armor and CDR, which is nice.
The caveat is that when you pick Perfect Timing as your rune, the cooldown on Zhonya's active is reduced by 15%.
Brand doesn't really have a kit where he synergizes with Zhonya's Hourglass (as opposed to champions like Morgana and Swain).
Pick this item (whether as first or later) for games where you can effectively use the active ability.
Another defensive item.
You will gain a spell shield which blocks the first ability from an opponent once.
The shield's cooldwon in only 40 seconds, which I think is pretty nice.
Essentially, this item will give you an one-time pass to prevent you from getting caught out by a CC ability or getting one-shotted, which will give you better chance at placing and finishing your spell combos.
Also gives you some AP, magic resist, and CDR.
This one is a pure offensive item.
Essentially, you'll gain 40% magic penetration, making your damage from your spells more effective (damage from the spell itself and Blaze).
This applies to the total magic resistance, so it's still effective if your target has no bonus magic resistance (since they still do have an innate magic resistance).
Although, the more magic resistance they have, the more profound this effect becomes.
For example, if you have two opposing champions but one with MR of 100 and the other with MR of 200.
This item treats the former as MR of 60 (reducing MR by 40) and the latter as MR of 120 (reducing MR by 80).
Remember, for opponents stacking MR, magic penetration is more effective than building AP alone.
This is more of an alternative first item.
In addition to AP, it'll give you a ton of mana plus 20% CDR (10% from the stats, 10% from unique passive) so you can spam your abilities more.
It also has an additional damaging effect to nearby opposing units when your "charge" is at 100.
(I see this item as a mage version of Statikk Shiv, in a way).
What's nice is that this effect applies an on-hit effect, hence applies a stack of Blaze and slow effect of Rylai's Crystal Scepter if you have one.
Also, when your "charge" becomes 100 while your opponent is being damaged by Blaze, then it'll also proc the effect as well.
It's component, Lost Chapter gives you a mana sustain by restoring your mana upon leveling up.
Hence it's most effective to be built during early game.
This one's a pure AP item.
It gives you a ton of AP and additionally, increases your AP by 40%.
This one's an option if you want more damage from your abilities, but mind you again that your passive Blaze doesn't scale off of an AP.
I think he has high utility and works well with any viable team composition.
During team fights, he does the best job when the opposing team is aggregated.
Try to hit multiple opponents with Pillar of Flame, stun one of them with Sear, and finish up with Pyroclasm and unstable Blaze.
Brand synergizes well with Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Liandry's Torment for it's slow and extended bonus damage over time effect.
While he may lack an ability to one shot squishies, he has a great balance of damage and CC.
Be sure to stay alive during the fights- you're in for the long run.