Aug 27, 2015

Weird Picks #27: Top Lane Braum

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Hi everyone and welcome back to another episode of Weird Pick Wednesday! This week we're featuring another support champion that used to be played top on release, but has been relegated to bot lane since. However, if Nautilus can make a comeback top, maybe it's only a matter of time before another strongman returns to the scene...check out the full details below!

Introduction

Hi everyone and welcome back to another episode of Weird Pick Wednesday! This week we're featuring another support champion that used to be played top on release, but has been relegated to bot lane since. However, if Nautilus can make a comeback top, maybe it's only a matter of time before another strongman returns to the scene...check out the full details below!

How to Play
Runes: Attack Speed Quints, Hybrid Penetration Reds, Flat Health Yellows, Flat Magic Resist Blues
Masteries: 21-9-0, Defensive Top Masteries
Abilities: Q, W, Q, E then prioritize  R > Q > W > E
Core items: Trinity Force/Iceborn Gauntlet, Sunfire Cape, Sterak's Gage, Merc Treads, Randuin's Omen

Why It Works

Self-Proccing Stun
Unlike Leona, Braum has the ability to pop his own passive, which is why we choose to run him with Attack Speed Quints. Even when it's on cooldown, Braum (somewhat similar to Rumble's overheat) gets bonus magic damage against enemy champions.

Excellent Assist Off Jungle Ganks
Although he can leap to creeps normally, his assist off jungle ganks is extremely good as it also provides junglers defensive stats, preventing them from suiciding into your enemy laner and donating them a quick double buff.

Anti-Garen
With Garen so popular lately on the rift, Braum does exceedingly well against him as a super tanky champion with kiting and escaping potential. Also, as a champion who generally doesn't snowball off kills, it's unlikely he'll be quickly marked as the villain unless Garen decides to start suiciding into the turret.

Potential Pitfalls

Weak Waveclear
Similar to many only champions relegated to support, Braum suffers from extremely below average waveclear ability. Against heavy pushers, he's quickly shoved to turret and begins to have trouble farming under tower. If you suspect this to be the enemy laner's strategy (i.e. Singed), then it might be best to grab AD/armor runes and a Doran shield early game to tank the wave.

Low Damage
Despite there being plenty of damage around the map in the form of burst damage mid laners, devourer junglers, and runeglaive junglers, Braum does in fact suffer from low damage being a champion primarily known for his utility.

Conclusions

Braum Top may work well as a counterpick to melee champions on teams with heavy skillshot reliant enemy champions. He may also do well if his own team has low engagement potential or if you have something like a Yasuo laning mid.

He can generally be picked without fear of being counterpicked since nobody would expect you top, but that doesn't mean he's good top in every situation.

Suggested Rating: Low Tier 3

What do you think about Braum Top? Comment below!


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