Welcome to Grab Club (Blitzcrank)
Blitzcrank can be a terror on the Fields of Justice, moving enemies into positions for ganks, disrupting movement, laying down physical or magical damage, and being fairly tanky. Blitz is a great addition to any team.
This guide will help introduce you to the multiple flavors of Blitz, as well as best-use practices I have learned through my time playing him.
What makes a good Blitz
-You enjoy a character that is suitable for high risk, high reward play.
-You can think creatively.
-You enjoy disrupting enemies
-You can easily utilize AP, AD, and Tank builds for a single character.
When your life drops below 20%, half your CURRENT mana is converted into a HP shield for ten seconds (one minute cooldown.)
Rocket Grab [Q]:
Blitzcrank fires his hand in a straight, decently long skill-shot that pulls the first enemy (minion, champ, non-baron non-dragon monsters) to blitzcrank while stunning them for a short (about 1 second) period of time. Deals decent damage, scales with AP.
Blitzcrank speeds up for a period of time for 8 seconds, increasing movement and attack speed.
Power Fist [E]:
Blitz's next normal attack with deal double his total attack damage, as well as knocking enemies up into the air.
Static Field [R]:
Passive: Blitz randomly Zaps enemies that remain close-by for decent damage once every 2.5 seconds.
Active: Blitz zaps everyone in range for good damage (scales with AP), silencing them for .5 seconds.
This is a great passive for multiple reasons. The first being how easily it translates mana into survivability, allowing any tear of the goddess item (AA or Manamune) to contribute heavily to your defense (especially with strength of spirit.) Also of note is how deceptively 'squishy' a blitzcrank can appear while shield has not activated. If you're feeling truly malicious, or a karthus ult threatens to go through your remaining HP before your shield can active, hexdrinker works extremely well with this passive. Mana shield makes escapes much easier, allows for riskier tower-dives, and allows blitz to skip most HP increasing items.
Woe upon the enemy who is hit by this. Now, the power of a well-placed grab is something many players learn to fear. Not only is finding yourself power fisted while the other team's tower zap you to bits a very fast way to die, it's sure to scare your opponents to no end. The true strength of grab is in destroying the careful positioning of your enemies- moving them away from towers, allies, into your allies or towers, making them hit teemo shrooms, karth walls, and even dragging them through walls.
So let's talk more about Blitz' most important skill. Many players spam grabs. While a great waste of mana, it's a bad use of the skill. Players upon seeing too many grabs will become skittish, and harder to grab.
Grab also SHOULDN'T be taken as your level 1 skill, for three reasons:
1: Grab-> Powerfist is more powerful than grab alone.
2: Enemies will always assume you have grab, playing more cautiously allowing you to last hit and potentially zone them out.
3: Enemies who realize you chose powerfist often magically forget that you'll get grab at level 2.
4: You want to reduce powerfist cooldown ASAP. (Okay, four.)
Overdrive compliments a AD build more than AP thanks to the attack speed increase. Overdrive is great for escaping, positioning, tower busting, getting back to lane faster, increasing mana through tear of the goddess items, and is just plain sexy.
Power Fist [E]:
Power fist does affect damage done to towers. Power fist should ALMOST ALWAYS be used immediately after a successful grab to follow up the amount of time an enemy is out of position to allow allies or towers to continue what you started. Power fist contributes great damage with AD items, and with a sheen-based item, can do monstrous damage at high levels. Power fist can disrupt channeled ults, and should always be held in reserve against Nunu's and other champs who channel their ult. Fiddles, Nunu, and Malzahar are just three champs seriously pwned by powerfist breaking channels.
Static Field [R]:
One thing to note about static field is its really short cooldown- often near 30 seconds long. This allows static field to be used for clearing massive creep clumps with slight AP gains. Static field is a high-damage, short-term disruption move. The silence is almost negligible, but is long enough to stop any channeled ults. Static field increases sharply with AP.
Flavors of Grab
TANKY: Your intent is to dive into battle, disrupt enemy champions, soak damage, and survive. Tank Blitz brings much to the table- mana shield, multiple disruptive moves, as well as a movement utility. Tanky Blitz makes a fine initiator. AP will probably be your highest offensive stat as certain defensive items also build AP (Abyssal Scepter being the prime example). Tanky blitz will usually run the gamut of Frozen Heart, Sunfire Cape, Boots of Swiftness, Abyssal Scepter, and other items to match the enemy team.
CORE ITMES: Frozen Heart, Boots of Swiftness, Abyssal Scepter, ArchAngel's Staff (to capitalize on AP from Abyssal), Sunfire cape, LichBane
AP: AP Blitz boasts a few things. The first is that static field can quickly hit absolutely crazy levels of damage at low levels with relatively little effort. Mana gains for the shield and health regen will be easy to find, and contribute to survivability easily. AP Blitz has a good option with LichBane to contribute to power fist damage, but loses damage overall with overdrive. LichBane also gives less to Blitz overall than trinity force- less movement speed, no chance to slow enemy, and attack speed helps with pushing tower.
CORE ITEMS: ArchAngel's staff, Abyssal Scepter, DeathCap, Boots of Swiftnes, LichBane
AD: I prefer this Blitz because tower bashing is easier, faster, and more efficient. Damage for powerfist comes from one source, and trinity force is a great addition. Although Rocket Grab and Static field won't be as powerful, Blitz can function as a physical off-carry fairly easily, combining good damage output with tanky disruption. It's tasty goodness.
CORE ITEMS: Manamune, Trinity Force, Boots of Swiftness
Marks: Go armor or magic pen depending on whether you plan on going AP or AD.
Seals: I've been running mana regen/5. Although blitz doesn't have mana issues late game, early game that particular well dries up fast.
Glyphs: Cooldown. More grabs, more fists, more fun.
Quints: Attack Damage/AP Per Level, or Health, Or Mana (Basically, whatever you want to maximize.)
Take a full six points into the Armor and Magic Resist Masteries.
Three points into Strength of Spirit (VITAL TO SURVIVABILITY)
Skip Dodge Chance (Only really useful against physical carries)
Harden Skin and Defensive Mastery
Perseverence: 3 Points
Goals of these Masteries:
Maximize Survivability, HP/Mana Regen
I usually run Ghost and Ignite
Heal: Why take this when you have Mana Shield?
Revive: Just save yourself the pain of choosing this.
Exhaust: A decent choice. Pales when you consider how well blitz can contain an enemy.
Ghost: A great movement speed buff that works well for chasing, positioning and attacking.
Teleport: More vital these days due to shorter death timers? (Great second choice.)
Ignite: Stops that enemy with 20 HP from escaping. Also makes Mundo mad.
Clairvoyance: Leave this to the support.
Clarity: A decent choice, although you shouldn't be THAT mana starved.
Smite: Powerfist is better. Trust me.
Cleanse: A decent choice. Blitz is vulnerable to CC. (Great second or third choice.)
Flash: The monster cooldown partnered with how grab is supposed to make the enemies come to you really makes ghost more appealing.
NOW THE RULES OF GRAB CLUB:
-1: You do NOT talk about Grab Club
0: You DO NOT talk about Grab Club
1: Thou shalt not grab Katarina while she has access to her ultimate
2: Thou shall grab from unexpected places.
3: Thou shalt not grab minions.
4: Grab shalt always be followed by a power fist.
5: Thou shalt use grab to spread dismay and fear among your enemies.
6: Thou shalt move enemies away from their allies and towers.
7: Thou shalt move enemies into your towers and allies.
8: Thou shalt always attack to grab champions attacking your nexus into the fountain.
9: Thou shalt realize that grabs can go through walls.
10: Thou shalt deliver tasty kills to your friends through grabs.
11: Thou shalt not use grab at level 1.
12: Thou shalt not pull enemies out of your allies ults.
13: Thou shalt attempt to grab from unseen positions whenever possible.
14: Thou shalt always try to grab the squishy.
15: Thou shalt always attempt to disrupt ultimates such as absolute zero through the use of grabs, power fists, or your static field.
16: Thou shalt always use powerfist and overdrive to push towers faster.
17: Thou shalt be aware of Mana Shield's Limitations
18: Thou shalt not neglect teammates.
19: Thou shalt disrupt enemies however possible.
20: Thou shalt not pull enemies near near-death allies.
21: Thou shalt taunt "YOU JUST GOT FISTED" after every kill.
22: Thou shalt not be a *****.
23: Thou shalt grab for the team.
24: Thou shalt treat the grab as a present for your carry.
25: Thou shalt hold the lessons of grab club close to your metallic breast, aware that they will bring despair and woe to your enemies.
26: Thou shalt ignore rule one if powerfist and static field are off cooldown.
So, I'm going to go over some tips, tricks, and strategies.
1: PURSUING SOMEONE RUNNING AWAY FROM YOU
There was just a nasty teamfight where most of the enemy team died and now the last survivor is making way for his turret.
Look at the situation; most players will immediately try to grab the sucker, bringing him back into the claws of death.
That is often the wrong move, considering:
1: Grab forces blitz to stop moving while it executes. This makes grabbing someone actively running away much harder to hit.
2: With overdrive and Ghost/Flash, many characters cannot outrun blitz.
3: Powerfist is a decent way of stopping a character from escaping.
Examine the situation. If you can land that clutch grab, go ahead for it. Otherwise, in my recent games, I've found that overtaking someone with overdrive then powerfisting them is more effective- as they stumble away and your team descends on them, a grab can be landed with ease, preventing their movement again. Don't forget that with mana shield up, turret diving IS possible.
So, you can't overdrive up and powerfist them, and a straight grab won't work. Then it's time to look at grabbing through a wall. Many such places exist where a grab through a wall can rip a champion away from their turret into the mouths of your hungry chil- er, teammates.
Arguably, grabbing through a wall without vision is difficult, risky, and relies a lot on luck and that 'hunch' of placing it where the enemy will hopefully be. But through minion waves, wards, friendly champs, or clairvoyance, sometimes even an escaping character can be seen behind a wall.
So laning phase for Blitz is a fun time. A big part of this is the harsh penalty for taking turret damage that is a great chunk of HP going bye-bye. Grabbing an enemy champ into a turret almost always spells instant-death, even more so after powerfist enters play. However, landing these grabs are not the primary goal of laning.
Seriously, pushing your first tower is. Let's not beat around the bush here. Taking out your turret is worth more than any number of kills at this early point of the game. I'll go ahead and list why:
1: Gold. Not just for you, but for your entire team.
2: Clearing a turret makes your enemies in your lane much easier to attack from behind.
3: They're also have longer to run before they can hide under a turret
4: It frees up you or your laning partner to go gank if needed, or to get dragon, and generally reduces pressure on you to defend your turret.
5: It allows your minions to push further towards their base, increase lane vision and awareness.
So get your last hits. If you follow my advice and go for a tear of the goddess for mana (shield) building, you definitely want to be using powerfist (at less than 50 mana a pop, why not?) often. Don't be afraid to harass enemies with powerfist or grab- I've caused enemies to retreat back to their turrets by activating powerfist and walking boldly towards them. Grabs should be primarily used for kills, not for harass. At 140 mana, you can't afford to grab someone just for them to get away all the time. Make your grabs hurt, and hope your ally can pile on the damage along with you.
Besides last-hits, the occasional kill or two, you're eventually going to reach a turret. At this point, overdrive and powerfist are key. Attack Speed and Increased Damage? Yes please.
Let's talk about a good laning partner for blitz:
1: Damage output that doesn't overlap yours:
IE: If you're going AP, they deal physical and vice-versa. Basically, this means unless they build armor and magic resist, one of you will deal high damage.
2: A character who can disable someone you grab. (IE: Nunu, Udyr, Ryze, Anivia)
A grab is a great thing, but after powerfist, blitz can't keep someone close. Grab has a horrendous cooldown, and powerfist is usually at least four seconds. So having a hard CC nearby to capitalize on how long your enemy is out of position getting fist rammed down his throat, the better.
3: High damage output.
Blitz doesn't get bursty early game, until he gets his hands on sheen or gets some AP build for his Ult. An early level grab can go fruitless without the damage output to bring a character down. (IE: Akali, Most Straight AP Casters)
So that's the majors covered. So take my usual laning Partner, Shurimpu (who helpfully posted below), who plays Nunu.
Iceball: Yup, Strong CC right after a Grab/Fist Combo.
Consume: So he steals my last hits and complains about singed poisoning his food?
Bloodboil: Who doesn't love faster tower-smashing, faster returns to lane, faster movement and questioning how Blitz's blood can boil?
Absolute Zero: So let's see. It's a CC+Nuke, one that you can prevent enemies from leaving. Sounds great to me.
That's a strong thing about blitz is that he is great at pulling enemies into effects such as Singed Poison, Teemo Shrooms, Karthus Walls, Kat/Nunu Ults, etc. That makes these champs good to lane with.
So let's clear the air. Preferably, instead of initiating a teamfight, you grab someone, yanking them away from their turret and teammates, preferably into a dark part of the jungle where your teammates rip them apart.
But that's not always possible. Maybe someone overextended and needs to be pulled out of the fire. Maybe Kennen's ult isn't available for copious, wonderful stuns.
Here's what to consider:
Grab, fist, or Ult?
Am I tanky?
What is my goal?
Generally, you want to rush into the fray and hit the squishiest, highest-damage character available to you, or grab them into your teammates. If both teams are clumped and you drag someone from that clump, both sides usually jump in immediately to feed or try to save the poor smuck who met rocket grab.
For teamfights already in progress, concentrate on shutting down their carry or high-damage output characters as possible. Other characters to specifically single out for hate are fiddles (drain), kat (her ult), malzahar (if he's ulting), Jax (usually one powerfist will break his ult stacks), Nunu (ult again), or any stealth char (squishy and high damage.... GET'EM).
You have the most disruptive move-set in the game- use it. Shut down anyone doing something detrimental to your team.
More to come as I get the motivation to update and improve this.
5: Late game itemization (AD Specific)
So let's admit it. The recommended build for blitz is strong set of items, but outside of the core items (Manamune, Boots of Swiftness, Trinity Force, Frozen Heart), Blitz's direction becomes a bit more unclear.
Phantom dancer is a downright fun item to get on a mostly-built blitz. Short of kassadin chasing you down, most champs simply -cannot- keep up with an overdriven trinty+phantom dancer Blitz. Toss in ghost for superfluous effect, with mana shield to make you appear squishy- and you become great bait, a great backdoor champion, and great for clearing masses of minions pushing your towers.
HexDrinker is an item I get when I feel malicious. It compliments manashield extremely well, for a few reasons. Hexdrinker cannot fail to activate, a problem with Mana Shield and high burst attacks (say, Veigar). Hexdrinker also gives a flat amount of shield, equivalent to building 600 points of mana. However, hexdrinker does not protect against physical damage, lasts for a slightly shorter time than manashield, and is otherwise a weak item. Its core use is definitely stopping high-damage attacks from instantly turning you into scrap.
Frozen is an item choice I rarely make. Ultimately, frozen mallet is for those feeling evil enough to -entirely- lock down a character within a fight. Between grab, fist, static field and the lingering slow from this, Blitz then runs the gamut of stun/repositioning, slow, knock-up, and silence for CC. That's a hard amount to beat. The extra HP also contributes to tankiness.
The alternative to Frozen Mallet for slowing needs, Rylai's provides AP, allowing your abilities to hit harder. Powerfist and grab still slow pretty much exactly as if you'd built a mallet- but static field can now act much like a low-powered Randuin's every thirty seconds. That's nothing to sneeze at. And still, giant belt for HP goodness.
Speaking of Randuin's Omen:
For AD Blitz, Randuin's main purpose is continuing the chain of disruption possible with blitz. The reverse reverie effect could prove instrumental in keeping an enemy within reach of you golden fists of doom. Definitely an item to consider for tank builds, as it punishes those you attack you directly.
So my stance on this item is officially to skip it. It's an expensive item. The attack and damage boosts are minimal. The attack speed is almost entirely irrelevant considering trinity force and overdrive. The 4% Current HP as damage isn't as viable on Blitz for the simple reason that blitz swings more towards damage than attack speed. Ultimately, sheen procs are what give blitz the burst to really rip through champions- not a sustained barrage of attacks.
Rod of Ages:
Unless you're building AP blitz and can get this out early, I'd consider skipping this item. While the HP and Mana are great, the time for the item to reach full strength is lengthy, and ultimately don't contribute overall to your abilities outside of flat numbers.
You don't need HP, mana regen, or a movespeed buff that is entirely outshined by overdrive. The CDR is nice, but not vital.
Combining armor with HP and damage over time for standing close to your enemies, sunfire is a decent item for blitz. However, it does have its limitations. With static field, its applications pushing minions are entirely overshadowed, most enemies spend the majority of their time running away from blitz at full speed, and only powerfist and grab can ensure that sunfire will cause any damage at all. Should you get sunfire, you want to get either Rylai's or Frozen Mallet to ensure that enemies stay close for as long as possible.
Sword of the Divine:
The sword is an... interesting early game choice. If you find yourself sitting pretty on a tear, sheen, and boots of swiftness, the Sword of the Divine can quickly pump your damage output to obscene levels early in the game, pretty much through midgame. Giving the highest attack speed bonus from any single item (rageblade excluded) and effectively 25 magic damage per hit (100 every 4 hits), Sword of the Divine can be a NASTY NASTY surprise. Did I mention armor pen on activate and the ability to make Jax players everywhere hate you?
In total honesty, the Black Cleaver is a very niche item for blitz in a few ways. The damage coupled with attack speed compliment the AD build well, and the armor shredding is icing on the cake. The reason why I consider cleaver a niche item is because most enemies fail to fully build armor against an AD blitz, and not dealing damage is rarely a concern. BF swords are also terribly expensive, so weighing the benefits before investing should be a priority.
6: GRABBING BUSH
So let's talk about bushes. They block line of sight. They contain Garens. They lead to deaths if facechecked with the entire enemy team in them. They are your friends.
Bushes are especially great for Blitz for many reasons, primarily positioning and relative protection from attack.
Say you're running from an enemy at decent HP. You can take them on, mano-a-mano, and there's bushes nearby. Try running for the bushes, activating powerfist, and SLAM into them the moment they enter the bush. Usually, an enemy will be caught off guard by this, thinking that you were going to continue running. It means that you really get the first hit off, might throw the player off balance as they try to react, and have some element of surprise.
Now also, grabbing from bushes has major advantages- it's harder to dodge, zoning becomes much easier, and multiple friends and allies can be lurking around to capitalize on your tasty presents.
Here are the boots I can seriously recommend (in relative order of my preference):
Swiftness allows you to move fairly **** fast in conjunction with overdrive to land powerfists, specifically on fleeing enemies. Being able to overtake enemies is extremely valuable to blitz.
Mobility boots get a really bad rap. While they are highly situational, you can deny the escape power of enhanced movement 5. I tend to prefer swiftness because they allow for better chasing immediately after a fight- where enhanced move 5 won't be active yet.
3: Merc Treads
Don't get me wrong, magic resist and CC reduction are great. If you're going against an team that's trying to lock you down with stuns, consider this item heavily. Otherwise, I cannot stress how Blitzcrank's mobility works in his favor.
4: Cooldown Boots
I take CDR glyphs and usually build towards frozen heart, so these aren't really necessary for my builds. Your millage will vary.
5: Sorc's Treads:
20 Spell pen is nice... I guess. It's still better than dodge or attack speed though.
6: Ninja Tabi
This item is so niche these days that the only champion I can seriously suggest take this item is Jax...
Attack speed is nice, but Blitz shouldn't be lacking after Trinity Force... not to mention overdrive.
you could go a little more depth on builds, strategies, and orders...
First of all, you may have 4 reasons not to take grab at level 1, but I have 400 reasons why you should (A pull gets you first blood in early teamfights)
Also for your summoner spell choices, flash is much better than ghost for blitz because it lets you position yourself for a grab, or flash into a powerfist... and clairvoyance is one of the best blitz spells because it gives you vision... also "save this for the support" i actually tend to classify blitz as a support
Very good guide, very little I can nit pick you over! Besides that it's not full off *****'s like condon's guide lol.
Anyways you forgot the taunt EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! After a triple kill...
And for my prefered build of ad tank, Manamune, Warmog, Atma's, Banshee, Triforce last if your the backup tank typically get frozen heart or FoN instead, but I use 21/7/2 and need the hp, and it becomes AD through atma's nj.
Grab is THE best skill for level 1 jungle invasion + first blood. There is no better level 1 champion than Blitz.
Clairvoyance is also necessary for Blitz if no one else on your team has taken it.
Ghost is actually less important for Blitz because of Overdrive. Flash is a far better choice, both for setting up grabs and for escaping by jumping over walls/trees.
Because I find Blitz tends to do better with a support-tank-initiator role, 0/9/21 is probably a better mastery setup for far shorter summoner spell CDs, as well as all the other goodies in the utility tree (movespeed, mana regen, lower CDs) while still getting the armor, MR, and strength of spirit masteries in the defensive tree.
And to the poster before me, grab @ level 1 is rarely worth it, unless you laneing with someone who can roflstomp them for you, the punch knockup @ 1 and pull @ 2 typically leads to kills more often than an escape @ 5% hp.
Just from 200 wins as him, without the punch grab is worthless, just have patience @ level 2 they aren't as scared of a grab as they are when they first see you and will misstep more.
I happen to lane with OP, and I like his Blitz a lot. I roll Nunu.
He takes Powerfist first, because we take both small golems together and it helps us out. Powerfist and Consume for plenty of damage, and we both get just over half a level from killing the two golems. Then it takes 5 minion deaths nearby to level two. We then pick up Grab and Ice Blast, and commence to put the hurt on enemies with an early level advantage.
This works for us. Naturally, it depends on your laning partner and if you're premade/matchmaking. We use skype, so the communication makes us deadly.
I do agree with you guys on summoner spells. Ghost is nice, but kind of redundant on Blitz, since he has overdrive which is a shorter cooldown. I'll try and talk Cain into rolling Flash. A Flash into a grab or punch sounds pretty swell.
Anyway, good start, man. Put in more information (specific build orders, strategies at different times in the game, etc), and I think you'll have something that can really help Blitz players. He's a cool guy, not enough people play him if you ask me.
In lane this may be true, but all higher elo/ranked games will have a jungler, and generally a fight in the jungle over buffs. There is no excuse not to have pull for this
Thanks, great post :D
The main reason being that like Shen, I can push a tower quickly, and if a standoff arises, I can teleport to a nearby ward or minion in a position to land a grab, and spice things up a bit :)
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