Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Braum, the Heart of the Freljord is the newest champion to be released on League of Legends. According to his lore, Braum is a goat herder by occupation but he looks a lot more like a brawler that would be involved in old time fisticuffs with his muscled frame and large mustache. Braum is classified as a support tank and is a lot of fun to play. You always feel like you have something to do that will help your teammates.
Braum’s passive, Concussive Blows, may be one of the most important parts of his ability kit. Anytime Braum hits an opponent with a basic attack or with his Winter’s Bite ability, it applies a stack of concussive blows to the target. Once the initial stack is applied by Braum, basic attacks from Braum’s teammates will also apply additional stacks. When an enemy champion reaches four stacks, they become stunned for up to 1.75 seconds and take some magic damage. An indicator underneath the unit will show how many stacks have been applied as shown in the screenshot above.
Concussive Blows is a great way for Braum to support teammates without even really having to do much. It is especially strong when he is laning with a Marksman that uses a lot of basic attacks. Oftentimes, a stun from Concussive Blows will surprise the enemy player and can lead to him or her being caught out where they get killed or at the very least take a lot of damage they didn’t expect. Concussive Blows can be great during team fights since your entire team focusing on one champion after you hit them will max out the stacks on them rather quickly.
Winter’s Bite is Braum’s only spell that will damage opponents other than his ultimate. Basically, a ball of ice shoots out from his shield in a line. It’s a skill shot but isn’t very hard to hit because the missile moves really fast. Upon hitting an enemy, it will deal magic damage which scales with Braum’s maximum hit points (another reason to build him tanky). It also slows enemy movement speed by 70% which decays over two seconds. You will definitely want to take a point in this skill first and then level it up to maximum as soon as you can after learning your other two abilities. The amount of slow this ability inflicts can be devastating at the start of the game. Winter’s Grasp can also be used to help allies or yourself escape while being chased by repeatedly casting it at your pursuers as you flee. The movement speed slow should be enough to help you get away.
Stand Behind Me is Braum’s ‘W.’ Stand Behind Me can be cast on an allied champion or minion (unfortunately it doesn’t work on friendly wards like Lee Sin’s dash). Braum will then leap to the friendly unit, granting both himself and the unit he leaped to a hefty bonus to armor and magic resist for the next three seconds. Braum can also simply cast it on himself to get this bonus. Stand Behind Me can be very useful in giving a teammate some extra protection in a close battle or helping save them when they are about to die. It can also be used as a gap closer to engage enemies by jumping onto a friendly minion an opponent unwittingly got too close to. Another good use for this spell is to help Braum disengage from combat by leaping away from enemies. It also combos well with his Unbreakable ability. Despite how much utility it has, learn and then level up Stand Behind Me third.
Unbreakable is Braum’s third spell. When cast, he raises his shield and creates a large barrier in a target direction. The shield will block 100% of the damage from the first attack that hits him from this direction and will reduce damage from subsequent attacks by up to 40% for the next three to four seconds depending on the level of the ability. Braum also gains 10% movement speed while the shield is raised and has the ability to intercept projectile attacks that are aimed at friendly champions. As mentioned previously, it combos nicely with Stand Behind Me. First use Stand Behind Me to leap to an allied champion that is currently fighting an enemy, then immediately cast Unbreakable and raise a shield between your friend and his opponent. This combo can be used to turn the tide of a duel or even help an allied champion retreat from a battle he would have otherwise been doomed in.
Unbreakable doesn’t just reduce damage from projectiles though; it reduces all oncoming damage from enemies in the direction of the shield. This includes melee damage and minion attacks! The one exception is that it doesn’t reduce turret damage. One other thing worth nothing is that it only reduces damage. It doesn’t actually shield Braum from the ability so any crowd control effects will still affect him. It should also go without saying that you actually have to have the shield aimed in the right direction a well. Learn this ability after Winter’s Bite.
Glacial Fissure is Braum’s ultimate ability. When activated Braum jumps up and slams the ground, which creates a fissure in the ground that shards of ice erupt out of in a straight line in front of him as well as the area immediately surrounding him. Enemies around Braum are knocked up for 1.5 seconds while enemies hit by the ensuing line are knocked up for a fraction of a second (unless no enemies were around Braum at the time, then the first champion hit by the line is knocked up for the full 1.5 seconds). The ice remains on the battlefield for four seconds, substantially slowing enemies that walk over it. It also deals magic damage scaling off Braum’s ability power but the knock up is its real power. Even the slight disruption from being hit by the line part of the ability can throw off the timing of your opponent’s casting and have a huge effect on the outcome of a team fight.