Brand, the Burning Vengeance, is one of the most powerful mage supports in League of Legends. Don’t be fooled by his 48.68% win rate and 3.90% pick rate is Solo Queue because if you master Brand’s kit, you’ll routinely top the damage charts in your games. Let’s see how you can use Brand to climb the Solo Queue ladder!
Brand’s spells set his foes on fire, dealing 2% of their maximum health as magic damage over 4 seconds and stacking up to 3 times. Brand’s abilities are empowered against burning targets.
Once Blaze reaches 3 stacks, the area around its target is marked for 2 seconds. After the timer runs out, Blaze explodes, dealing 12-16% (based on level) of maximum health as damage to all enemies struck. If the initial target dies, the explosion will still trigger.
Brand can’t stack his passive more than once on enemies that have exploded within the last 4 seconds. Killing an enemy that’s under the effect of Blaze restores a small amount of mana.
How to use: Brand’s passive is one of the main reasons why he’s so good in the support role. Damage based on maximum health scales well throughout the entire game, and if you manage to get 3 stacks running, you can easily wipe out an entire team. It also means Brand isn’t as reliant on raw AP, and he can go with cheaper mage items while still dishing out a ton of DPS. As for the mana regen part of your p
assive, it isn’t as useful since you won’t be last-hitting creeps much.
Brand throws a fireball in the target direction, dealing damage to the first enemy hit. If Brand’s target is already affected by his passive, Sear will stun it for 1.5 seconds.
How to Use: Until you get Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, Sear is your only CC spell. Which means that you have to land it to pull through in fights. Of course, this is something that’s easier said than done because your Q isn’t very fast and you’ll likely have to predict enemy movement to connect it. Things get easier if someone else hits their crowd control, and you only have to cast Sear as a follow-up.
Keep in mind that you actually have to activate your passive to make your Q stun its target. The best way to set up a stun is by casting Conflagration [E], but any of your other spells work just as well, provided you land them. Still, the E > Q rotation will be your main initiation combo, so make sure to practice it. In rare cases, you can go for a Q > E combo to blindside your enemies with an instantaneous stun, but this requires your target to be at max Conflagration range.
W: Pillar of Flame
After a brief delay, Brand conjures a blazing inferno at the target area, dealing damage to all enemies hit. If Brand’s target is affected by his passive, Pillar of Flame deals 20% more damage.
How to use: This is a very powerful offensive spell. It deals a lot of damage upfront, but most of the time, you want to cast it to poke and zone enemy champions. The delay is annoying, though, so you’ll have to: a) do some predicting, b) land Sear [Q], c) cast Pillar of Flame exactly when the enemy champion is going for an auto attack. In 5v5s, you want to cast Pillar of Flame over the enemy backline to discourage them from sticking in the fight.
Brand instantly sets the target enemy on fire, dealing magic damage to them. If Brand’s target is affected by Blaze, Conflagration spreads to nearby enemies.
How to use: Brand’s E does the least amount of damage out of all of his spells, yet it’s essential for setting up Sear [Q] stuns and empowering Pillar of Flame [W]. Use Conflagration to tag an enemy champion with your passive, and follow up with other abilities to finish the job. The AoE part of the spell can come in handy when you need to clear minions or when your foes are hiding in their creep waves.
Brand hurls a massive fireball at the target opponent. The fireball bounces up to four times between nearby enemies, dealing magic damage with each bounce. Pyroclasm briefly slows all enemies hit.
How to Use: Brand’s ultimate is devastating! Not only do bounces deal a ton of damage, but they can quickly stack up Blaze, making your foes vulnerable to your other spells. Try to use it when enemy champions clump up together or when they’re hanging around minions. A single cast of your ultimate is fairly lackluster, so you want to get as many bounces as possible.
R > W > Q > E
Pillar of Flame [W] is amazing for poking down the enemy marksman, so max it first. Next, invest points in Sear [Q] to reduce the cooldown on your main crowd control spell. As for Conflagration [E], leave it for last. While the spell is reliable, it doesn’t scale as well as your other abilities, and it’s perfectly capable of tagging your foes with Blaze at rank 1. Don’t forget to level up Pyroclasm [R] whenever you can.
Brand Runes and Summoner Spells
Brand works best with Sorcery and Inspiration runes. On the surface, it might seem that Arcane Comet is amazing on him. However, Summon Aery is a far more consistent option that doesn’t rely on you having Rylai’s Crystal Scepter or hitting Sear [Q]. Manaflow Band is another great rune purely because it makes up for the huge mana cost of Brand’s abilities. For your third Sorcery rune, choose Absolute Focus—most of Brand’s spells are long-ranged, which makes it easy to dish out damage from a safe distance.
As for the Inspiration tree, make a choice between Magical Footwear, Perfect Timing, and Cosmic Insight. Also, consider going with the Precision page and grabbing Coup de Grace and Triumph if you want to make the most out of your laning phase.
Brand thrives on aggression, so Flash and Ignite are the best summoner spells for him. The former is your only gap closer, and you should save it for the times when you need to go in for a play or get out of harm’s way. As for the latter, it’s great for securing kills and negating enemy Heal.
1.) Eye of the Watchers > Sorcerer’s Shoes > Liandry’s Torment > Rylai’s Crystal Scepter > Void Staff > Zhonya’s Hourglass
Brand is a pure mage support, meaning he wants to have AP items in his build. Spellthief’s Edge is the perfect starting option for him, and you should eventually turn it into Eye of the Watchers. Sorcerer’s Shoes are also an excellent choice for their magic penetration. Liandry’s Torment brings in a powerful mix of health, CDR, and magic penetration while boosting your percentage damage in the process. Keep in mind that Liandry’s burn will refresh with every tick of your passive.
Rylai’s Crystal Scepter is another classic Brand item. In the late game, you need to connect your abilities to be useful, but it’s quite hard to do so since everyone’s moving so much. Rylai’s slow can be procced by Pillar of Flame [W], Conflagration [E], and even Pyroclasm [R], making it great for landing more spells. Speaking of the late game, you’ll likely need more magic penetration, so grab a Void Staff to shred through enemy MR. Round out your build with Zhonya’s Hourglass to prevent dropping during the first seconds of a teamfight.
Even though we’ve listed 6 items in our Brand build, most of the time you want to have a spare slot for Control Wards. Securing vision around key objectives lets you set up ambushes and catch your enemies off guard. Which is exactly what an aggressive support like Brand wants.
You always want to tailor your build to different in-game scenarios, and that means exploring Brand’s situational items. Even though Sorcerer’s Shoes are incredible for their raw firepower, Boots of Mobility will make you much better at roaming and moving around the map. In a similar fashion, Boots of Swiftness are useful for navigating teamfights and Ninja Tabi/Mercury’s Treads are worth buying if all you need to do is survive the initial burst.
But let’s forget about boots for a moment. Frost Queen’s Claim might seem like a great Brand item at first glance, but getting it means you also have to buy Ruby Sightstone. And that simply doesn’t mesh well with the rest of your items. Instead, turn to other damage purchases. Luden’s Echo adds seven more burst to your teamfights, and Rabadon’s Deathcap allows you to scale better in late game scenarios. Consider getting one of these instead of Zhonya’s Hourglass if you’re confident in your positioning.
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When to pick Brand?
Brand is a mage support that depends on hitting skill shots. This means you want to face as many immobile champions as possible, especially in the carry department. For your team composition, you want to have a strong frontline that brings plenty of crowd control to set up your spells.
Brand Matchups and Counters
Most ranged supports will have a hard time sustaining through your damage, but be careful of champions like Nami, Lulu, or Karma that can speed up their allies to avoid your spells.
In a similar fashion, Brand struggles against mobile marksmen like Ezreal and Lucian because they can seamlessly dodge his skill shots. Tanky initiators also present a problem since Brand doesn’t have any gap closers to escape from someone like Leona or Blitzcrank.
Laning Phase and Early Game
Aggression is the name of the game for Brand’s laning phase. Take Pillar of Flame [W] at level 1 and start poking the enemy AD carry. Since he’ll be focused on last-hitting, you’ll have several opportunities to connect your W and weave in a couple of auto attacks. Don’t overextend, though, because you’re not strong enough to fight 1v2. At least, not yet.
Your goal is to soften up the enemy duo as much as possible while pushing for level 2. Once you hit it, unlock Sear [Q] and look for a stun. Chances are your enemies will anticipate this and try to play safe, but you can still catch them out with Flash and Ignite.
Level 3 presents another Brand powerspike. Now that you have Conflagration [E], it’s much easier to land your stuns. Plus, you can stack up your passive for a hefty burst of damage. But don’t get carried away trying to push your lead because it’s very likely that the enemy jungler will be turning his attention to the bottom lane at this point. After all, a squishy mage support with no escapes is a very juicy target for him.
However, as long as you know where the opposing jungler is and keep your river warded, you want to be pushing. Brand excels at harassing people under their turret. Wait for the moment when the enemy AD carry moves in to last-hit a creep and cast Pillar of Flame right on top of him. This way, he’ll be forced to choose between losing CS or taking damage. And ultimately, both of these choices suit your agenda.
You reach your full potential at level 6. As soon as you unlock Pyroclasm [R], your kill pressure goes through the roof, so start looking for all-ins. Even if you end up dying, your AD carry should still be able to clean up, provided you went through your entire spell rotation. Use this pressure to bully the enemy duo and take down its turret.
Brand is the king of mid game teamfights. His entire kit is made for punishing positioning mistakes and dismantling squishy champions, which is exactly what the doctor ordered in Solo Queue. If you’re the one initiating the fight, your approach is fairly straightforward. Start the fight with Conflagration [E], follow up with Sear [Q], and finish the job with Pillar of Flame [W] and Pyroclasm [R]. If your target doesn’t die from the initial burst, chances are it will still fall to your passive.
From then on, take a step back and wait for your cooldowns to come up. Or simply chase together with your frontliners to crush your foes 5v4.
Things get a bit more complex if your team is on the back foot. In this case, you need to kite back while throwing out Pillars of Flame and landing E > Q combos on the most dangerous targets. Wait until your enemies have entered a choke point or clumped up around your carries and fire off a devastating Pyroclasm [R]. If you’ve been diligent about landing your abilities, you’ll get a lot of Blaze stacks going, which will put a dent even in the most robust frontliners.
On another note, when you get Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, you can set up guaranteed stuns with E > Q. It’s even worth Flashing in for squishy carries if they get out of line.
Since Brand is effectively a fifth damage dealer, he scales well in the late game. Not only that, but he’s amazing at contesting objectives. The combination of Pillar of Flame [W] and Pyroclasm [R] can easily wipe out an entire team in the Baron pit, and you should always go for it when an opportunity presents itself.
You also have to be mindful of your positioning. At his core, Brand is a very squishy champion, which makes him a great target to focus in teamfights. Stick in the back unless you’re certain your enemies can’t engage onto you and don’t wander off alone to ward if you don’t know where your opponents are. You’re not a traditional support, and dying without casting any spells will dramatically decrease the damage output from your team.
Brand is all about aggression. He’s a dominant lane bully that absolutely tears through teamfights in the later stages of the game. And even though he doesn’t offer much in terms utility, he carries by seizing the initiative and outdamaging his carries in teamfights.
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