Braum, the Heart of the Freljord, is one of the best defensive supports in League of Legends. With a 51.54% win rate and a 5.02% pick rate in Solo Queue, he emphasizes the strengths of his AD carry while crippling the damage of the enemy marksman. Let’s see how you can use his kit to carry your games!
Passive: Concussive Blows
Braum’s auto attacks and Winter’s Bite [Q] apply stacks of Concussive Blows to his target for 4 seconds. Once the first stack is applied, auto attacks from Braum’s teammates will generate additional stacks. When Concussive Blows reaches 4 stacks, the target is stunned and takes bonus magic damage.
Concussive Blows can’t affect the same target more than once every few seconds, although the target will receive bonus magic damage from Braum’s auto attacks and Winter’s Bite.
How to use: This is one of the most powerful passives in the game. It’s perfect for invading since marking enemies with Winter’s Bite [Q] will slow them down, allowing your teammates to quickly build up a stun. Not only that, but the fact your auto attacks apply Concussive Blows means you should be trying to tag as many people as possible in teamfights. In the laning phase, Concussive Blows provides a ton of crowd control, and you should always base your trades around it.
Q: Winter’s Bite
Braum hurls an icy projectile in the target direction, dealing damage to the first enemy hit and slowing them by 70%. The slow decays over 2 seconds.
How to Use: Winter’s Bite is your main way of starting fights. Of course, merely landing it isn’t good enough, and you’ll often need an AD carry or another ranged damage dealer to follow up on your initiation. Since the spell is quite spammable, use it to chunk out your foes in lane. Also, remember to cast Winter’s Bite in teamfights to apply Concussive Blows and peel for your carries.
W: Stand Behind Me
Braum jumps to an allied target, positioning himself between them and the closest enemy champion. The Heart of Freljord gains bonus armor and magic resistance. If his target is a champion, they also benefit from the same amount of resistance increase.
How to use: Stand Behind Me is invaluable for saving your teammates. As a Braum, it’s your job to block damage and incoming skill shots, and W puts you in a prime position to do so. Combine that with the fact that you can cast Unbreakable [E] right after, and Braum turns into a perfect human shield.
Of course, you can also use this ability for initiation. Simply jump to the minion (or champion) that’s closest to your desired target and follow up with Winter’s Bite [Q] or even Glacial Fissure [R]. Most people won’t anticipate a Braum engage, which makes for a fairly reliable way of starting fights.
Remember that you don’t actually need allies to use this spell, and you can very well self-cast it for the extra resistances. In a similar fashion, jump to an allied minion if you need to make a quick escape.
Braum raises his shield in the target direction, intercepting all projectiles (i.e. auto attacks and skill shots) from non-turret enemies. The damage he takes through the shield is reduced, and the damage from the first projectile Braum blocks is negated completely. While Unbreakable is active, Braum gains the ability to pass through units as well as bonus movement speed.
How to use: Unbreakable is perfect for getting your teammates out of sticky situations. In bot lane skirmishes, cast it to negate the damage of the enemy marksman, turning a trade into a one-sided slaughter. As for 5v5s, you want to be soaking up as much damage as possible to make it easier for your carries to take over teamfights.
Of course, your shield isn’t big enough to cover your entire team, so you should always decide on a priority target that you need to protect beforehand. Also, keep in mind that Unbreakable is on a long cooldown at early ranks, and you might want to hold on to the spell unless you absolutely have to cast it.
Finally, your shield intercepts skill shots. And while that might benefit you in most cases (like blocking Ahri’s charm or Jhin’s ultimate), it can also backfire spectacularly. For example, raising Unbreakable against Nami’s Q will make it much easier for her to land a bubble.
R: Glacial Fissure
Braum jumps into the air and slams his shield in the ground, creating a massive fissure in the target direction. The fissure deals damage to all enemies on its path and around Braum. Enemy champions hit are knocked up. Afterward, a field of ice remains in the area for 4 seconds, slowing down all enemies within it.
How to Use: This ultimate is perfect for peeling. Use Stand Behind Me [W] to get to the champion you wish to protect and follow up with Glacial Fissure for the massive AoE knockup. Another way of using your ultimate is to start fights with it. However, unless you jump to a frontliner or Flash on top of the enemy team, Glacial Fissure is quite easy to avoid. That’s why the only time you should be casting it offensively is when someone else already landed some crowd control.
R > Q > W > E
Winter’s Bite [Q] is your main way of establishing a presence in lane, so always max it first. Follow up by investing points into Unbreakable [E] to enhance your defensive capabilities—after all, most of your usefulness will come down to the shield timing. Wrap up your build with Stand Behind Me [W] and don’t forget to level up Glacial Fissure [R] whenever you can.
Braum Runes and Summoner Spells
For your runes, you want to get into Resolve and Inspiration paths. In theory, Braum should work best with Guardian, but since that keystone is a bit underwhelming right now, Aftershock is a much better fit. Keep in mind that you will have to reach 4 stacks on Concussive Blows or cast Glacial Fissure to proc it.
Follow it up with Font of Life to deal more damage to slowed champions. Next, make a choice between Iron Skin and Unflinching. The former is a decent option for tough lane matchups, but the latter has better scaling. Finally, grab Second Wind. You will be tanking a lot of hits, so having a reliable way to restore health will always come in handy.
Your choices in the Inspiration tree are a bit more flexible. Looking for more lane presence? Grab Approach Velocity for the extra movement speed to slowed targets and Biscuit Delivery for sustain. Trying to find more playmaking opportunities? Hextech Flashtraption and Cosmic Insight are perfect for that. Hell, you can even pick Magical Footwear or Future’s Market to get faster item powerspikes.
Braum always wants to run Flash to have an extra gap closer in those do-or-die moments. As for your second summoner spell, you’ll need to decide between Exhaust and Ignite. Exhaust is the clear-cut best option against divers and assassins. But since your kit already has a ton of peeling tools, we recommend going with Ignite in every case where you can dominate your lane.
1.) Ninja Tabi > Face of the Mountain > Ruby Sightstone > Locket of the Iron Solari > Knight’s Vow > Gargoyle Stoneplate
Braum is the ultimate protector, and his core build emphasizes this identity. Naturally, you want to build a regular Sightstone and upgrade Boots of Speed into Ninja Tabi as quickly as possible, but your real first big purchase is the Face of the Mountain. The item has health, CDR, and a point-and-click shield—everything a tank support could ever want. Follow up by finishing Ruby Sightstone—its unique CDR passive is great for making use of item actives.
Speaking of which, Locket of the Iron Solari provides an AoE shield for your entire team as well as some much-needed resistances on top of that. Next, turn your attention to Knight’s Vow. This item is perfect if you have a fed carry on your team, so always get it when you have someone you absolutely need to protect.
Round out your build with Gargoyle Stoneplate. Braum isn’t very tanky without Unbreakable [E], and Stoneplate’s active will allow you to survive while your shield is on cooldown.
Like most supports, Braum has many situational items to consider. Start with your boots options. Ninja Tabi is undeniably great in the bot lane meta, but Boots of Mobility are much better if you’re looking to roam or make plays. And if you ever face a team with a ton of CC and AP, don’t hesitate to grab Mercury’s Treads.
Sometimes you just don’t have enough gold to wait for the Face of the Mountain. In this case, turn your Targon’s Brace into Eye of the Equinox—the item will provide decent tankiness while freeing up an extra item slot. Zeke’s Convergence is another viable Braum purchase. Its active synergizes well with your CC-heavy kit, and its stats aren’t too shabby either.
If you ever find yourself lacking an initiator, consider buying Righteous Glory. Sure, Braum isn’t the best at starting fights, but Righteous Glory’s active will still let you find some openings. And even though Braum can’t make use of Redemption’s stats, its AoE heal is potent enough to warrant the purchase. In a similar fashion, get Mikael’s Crucible to save your teammates from hard crowd control.
Keep in mind that even though we’ve listed 6 items in our build, it’s often better to save one slot for control wards. Vision wins games, and clearing out enemy wards will open up many opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise have. That’s why you should only build the sixth item in extreme late game scenarios when there are no neutral objectives to contest.
Read also: LoL betting odds
When to pick Braum?
Braum is a defensive support that thrives against melee divers and initiators. His shield is perfect for blocking projectiles, and he can use it to briefly counter most spell casters and auto attackers. Finally, unlike most utility champions, Braum is very much focused on countering AD carries rather than other supports.
Braum Matchups and Counters
Braum’s matchups are all about landing CC and abusing shield timings. His worst counters are ranged supports that can keep their distance while chipping away at his health pool (i.e. Zyra, Nami). Utility supports like Lulu, Janna, Sona, and Soraka can also prove troublesome since Braum doesn’t have the necessary tools to punish them.
Meanwhile, initiators like Blitzcrank, Thresh, Alistar, Rakan, and Leona will have a hard time finding openings against Braum. Furthermore, Heart of the Freljord does incredibly well against short-ranged AD carries like Lucian, Draven, Kalista, and Sivir. Long-ranged marksmen that rely on landing skill shots (Caitlyn, Varus, Jhin) will also struggle against Braum.
Laning Phase and Early Game
Buy a Relic Shield and three potions and try to set up an invade into the bottom side of the enemy jungle. Braum has one of the best level 1s in the game, so you want to make full use of it by catching an unsuspecting enemy or kick-starting a teamfight.
Your goal here is to land Winter’s Bite [Q] on the squishiest target and tag other enemies with your passive to proc as many stuns as possible. If you manage to drag the enemy team into a prolonged fight, chances are you’ll come out on top. And in the case you don’t find anyone during your invade, place a ward at the enemy buff to spot where their jungler starts.
Regardless of the outcome of your invade, start moving towards the bottom lane. Unless you’re paired with an early game AD carry like Lucian, Draven, or Kalista, your first level is fairly underwhelming since the enemy duo can just keep its distance. Begin auto attacking creeps and pushing the wave with your passive. If your enemies get cocky, cool them off with Winter’s Bite [Q], but don’t try to force a fight too much. Your real powerspike comes at level 2, so save both Relic Shield stacks to last-hit two melee minions from the second minion wave.
From then on, you have two options. If you’ve won the push and hit level 2 first, put a point into Stand Behind Me [W] and jump to one of your melee minions. Since the minion will likely be close to the enemy bot lane, you’ll be in a great position to land Winter’s Bite and stunlock the enemy carry.
If you’re the one getting pushed in (or the lane is even), level up Unbreakable [E]. Sure, you won’t be able to make flashy plays, but the shield will be massive for surviving all-ins and mitigating poke damage. Try to cast it to block deadly skill shots or to shut down the enemy marksman.
Level 3 brings another powerful powerspike, but your play pattern remains the same. Stick next to your marksman, soak up damage and look for that perfect Winter’s Bite. Once you land it, turn up your aggression and go for a trade.
At level 6, your kill pressure skyrockets. You can easily turn most initiations with Glacial Fissure [R], but chances are the enemy bot lane will know this and will attempt to keep its distance. In that case, focus on tagging them with Winter’s Bite and following up with your ultimate for an easy CC chain.
If the enemy jungler visits your lane, there’s a huge chance your opponents will get reckless. This presents a perfect opportunity to stack up your passive and turn a 2v3, provided you haven’t taken too much damage during the laning phase. And if you get a gank from your jungler, you can cast Stand Behind Me [W] to jump to him and land an easy Q.
Braum’s mid game is all about teamfighting. You want to stick as close to your carries as possible while holding your finger on Unbreakable [E]. As soon as a 5v5 starts, cast your shield to negate enemy damage and use Winter’s Bite [Q]/Glacial Fissure [R] for peeling. If your allies are diligent about proccing Concussive Blows, you can dismantle most divers before turning onto the enemy backline.
Of course, the perfect situation won’t always present itself. Sometimes your carries are too far behind, so you might want to stick with your frontline and dive deep into the enemy team. Once again, cast Unbreakable to tank enemy auto attacks and crowd control. Follow up with the Q > R combo onto the enemy carry to lock him down in place and set up your teammates with an easy kill.
If you find yourself defending against a siege, remember that you can use your shield to soak up some damage. Just don’t walk too far up, because the enemy team can—and will—engage onto you. When Unbreakable is down, Braum is surprisingly squishy.
Another thing to note is that Braum is quite good at doing objectives. Stacking Concussive Blows grants access to a lot of burst of damage, and Stand Behind Me [W] and Unbreakable are great for tanking Dragon and Rift Herald.
In the late game, your overall strategy remains, but you now have powerful actives at your disposal. Cast Locket of the Iron Solari at the start of a teamfight to soak up as much damage as possible. As for the Face of the Mountain, use it last-second to save a dying carry.
Also, even though Braum isn’t the best initiator, he can do a lot of work if he catches the enemy team in the Baron pit. Don’t hesitate to flash in and cast Glacial Fissure [E]. Just make sure there’s someone nearby to follow up.
Braum is the shield that protects your carries. He’s a perfect counter to initiators and divers, and his CC-heavy kit makes him a very powerful teamfighter. Granted, he won’t be useful in every single situation, but every decent Solo Queue support should have Braum in his arsenal.
Read also: LoL champions for beginners