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Doran's Ring x3
Magic Pen Boots
Sell off the rings for -
Rod of Ages
The combo of Rylai's/RoA should give you signifcant HP. The other items are too important to get first to worry about how long it takes for a RoA to get to full stacks. If you're able to finish off your build, you should have no problems staying alive. If you're playing right, you should really never get hit in the first place.
9/0/21 - Standard Caster/Utility Build.
No compromise here. Brand needs large amounts of farm and you need flash to escape and to jump other champions who think they are safe. Ignite requires you to be closer than normal, even though it could be very appealing to ignite.
One rank in E/W/Q by level 3, in that order. Your priority is to max out E, W and then Q after having one rank in each. A lot of people suggest maxing out W first, but you're limited by your ability to skill shot, as well as your opponent's ability to dodge. E is instant, does great damage, and doesn't have line of sight or skill shot issues. That is your primary harasser skill.
Brand should get mid every time. His lane control is great, but his prone to ganks, so a solo top is not adviseable unless you ward your flank. By staying mid, you should be able to stay safely near your tower.
Brand is a mana hog. You want to ensure that you use absolutely zero mana on minions. You last hit minions with auto-attacks only. Not only will this ensure that your lane will not be over-pushed, but you'll be able to save all that mana for harass. If you spend money on mana-regen items, you'll lose out on the higher +AP items. You'll notice that the big ticket items in the item build leave no room for mana. That's why you have 3 Doran's Rings. The HP/Mana/AP/Regen on those three rings are cheap enough to keep your mana up while harassing enemy champions. Always leave yourself enough mana to blow your load. Only when you're intending on heading back home should you dump your mana pool on minions. Push the wave out, recall and come back.
How to combo:
This is the bread and butter of Brand. You learn to combo, or you feed horribly and do crap damage. Against a solo player your combo looks like this:
Hit with an E
Attempt to hit with a Q
If successful with a stun, finish with a W
The reason for this combo is to save mana and to maximize damage. You'll notice that each ability does something different when they're affected by his DoT passive ability(Damage over time). Each ability puts that fire DoT on a player, so essentially, the first spell you cast is basic. His E does nothing special when going against a solo player. His Q stuns if someone is affected by the DoT and his W will do 25% additional damage if a person is affected. Landing the E is easy. Landing the Q is skill-shot based. The difficulty is reduced if you have Rylai's. The W is a piece of cake to land if the player is stunned. All of that damage adds up to a significant chunk of HP removed, even if you have little or no AP. AP items are the only way to make Brand do better, hence the build order. You cannot deviate.
So you're in the mid/end-game fights and you're engaging in the 5v5 fights. How do you do massive damage? First off, do not expect many kills. Your job is to annihilate the health pools, putting the enemies into retreat mode, or to cause the enemies to get finished off by the remainder of your team.
Start off with your ult. Yes, your ult. It not only does great opener damage, but it also puts a dot on everyone it hits. From there, take the closest target you can, and hit them with an E. Because they'll have a DoT on them, you'll explode that E onto surrounding players. Land a pool underneath the most amount of players possible while maintaining your safety. Finally, toss in a Q. It'll hit the closest opponent, which is most likely the one coming for you. If you use smartcasting, many of these abilities will go off simultaneously. I recommend casting individually for team fights, however. You need time for your ult to bounce and for your E to land and to properly size up where you want your W. Once you've blown your load, get out. Do not auto attack. come back once some of your abilities are off cooldown and if you feel it is safe.
You won't get many kills this way, but you'll do amazing damage in an opener.
Brand is one of the best tower harassers in the game, making it possibly to kill someone standing underneath their tower at full HP. His W becomes the main source of harassment at that point instead of his E. The delayed response means you can back off before the tower hits you. You typically want to harass with your W, attempt to stun with a Q, and then finish off with a dive, using E.
You want to ensure that you use your ult when there are no minions nearby. Clear a minion wave and then use that ult. If you can successfully land a stun (W+Q combo). Hit with an E/R simultaneously for the kill. The most ideal situation in the world is two champs near each other, with no minions. With enough AP, your ult will hit a champion up to 3 times, guaranteeing your kill.
Learn how to properly combo. When against solo champions, E is your opener. Against team fights, your ult is your opener. Against tower harasses, your W is your opener. When you land a stun, take advantage of it and make them pay for getting stunned. Rank one of his stun is the same duration as rank 5. This is why you level it up last. Get practice with him and watch the kills come in.