League of Legends players, let me introduce everyone to Braum. The next champion to enter the League comes from the Freljord, sporting a rather Viking-esque physique which puts him somewhere between Mr. Clean and Alex Louis Armstrong from Full Metal Alchemist. A rather apt comparison, because this support-brawler is going to be cleaning the floor with opposing teams as soon as he's released. His exorbitant amount of CC and ability to get in the face of any champion as he pleases makes this support a legitimate competitor to Thresh's current crown.
Braum is what Riot designer RiotWreckz describes as League of Legends first true tank support (as Alistar and Leona cry in the background). His goal is not just to soak up damage like current meaty supports, which he'll do too, but to create "zones of safety" behind him. That's why his E skill, Unbreakable, is said to be the key to his play-style. Which will make sense as soon as we introduce Braum's skills:
- Passive: Concussive Blows
Braum’s basic attacks apply Concussive Blows. Once the first stack is applied, all basic attacks from Braum and his allies apply further stacks. Targets that sustain four stacks are stunned and suffer bonus magic damage. After being stunned, Braum cannot apply Concussive Blows to his target again for a moderate duration.
- Q: Winter’s Bite
Braum propels freezing ice from his shield in a straight line skillshot, dealing magic damage (based on Braum’s max health), slowing and applying a stack of Concussive Blows to the first target hit.
- W: Stand Behind Me
Braum leaps to the aid of a nearby ally, positioning himself between his target and their nearest enemy champion, and granting both Braum and his target bonus armor and magic resist based on his total armor and magic resist.
- E: Unbreakable
Braum raises his shield in a target direction, negating the damage from the first attack from the shield’s direction and reducing the damage of all subsequent attacks as long as the shield is raised. Braum intercepts projectiles with Unbreakable, causing them to hit him and then be destroyed. He also gains a minor speed boost until he lowers his shield.
- R: Glacial Fissure
Braum slams his shield into the ground, sending out a huge long-range skillshot that knocks up and damages all enemies caught before leaving behind a strong slow field.
As most players can immediately tell, Braum's kit is absolutely terrifying. While Braum doesn't the ability to hard initiate like many of the very popular supports in the meta right now, his ability to follow-up initiators or jump out into the backline with Stand By Me in conjunction with a ridiculous amount of CC is, in theory, way powerful. Not only does his skill-set complement many current strong AD carries, but also single-handedly reintroduces several weaker AD carries back into the meta. It's good to have a big friend with a bigger shield.
What Braum lacks in initiation and showers, he more than makes up for in personality and facial hair. His introduction to the League community, which came in the form of what may be the best video production out of Riot Games yet, was hilarious, adorable, and unforgettable. His jovial laugh is more than enough to portray that Braum is a jolly giant, but nothing but a ruthless warrior could carry that shield around -- let alone wear but a loin cloth in the Freljord.
Disappointingly the lore that came with Braum's champion reveal is rather underdeveloped and unextraordinary. While it's good that Riot is letting Braum's skills and in-game appearance/actions stand on their own, the giant of a man deserves a similarly sized background if I do say so myself. Here's what Riot did provide:
"The frozen peaks of the Freljord have for centuries punished the weak. But as these feared glacial lands host the graves of the frail, for the mighty, the land is a cradle, a place that elevates mere strongmen into true champions. Braum’s story started here, and as his strength and fortitude grew, so too did his legend. Today, his feats inspire all from the poorest of peasants to the fiercest of raiders. And as he prepares to bear his shield into battle once again, he goes knowing he carries the hopes and adoration of the Freljord’s people with him."
Braum is currently on the League of Legends Public Beta Environment for testing and will hopefully be released in the next few weeks.
In the word of Neoseeker's very own Lydia Sung, "Oh my god. I am so excited. Be sure to mention that I want Braum so muchhhh. Rhhhgnnnghgh." One man, one moustache, a hero to us all.