Blitzcrank – You Gotta Find First Gear
Table of Contents
I - Who is Blitzcrank?
II - Why play Blitzcrank?
III - Blitzcranks Abilities.
IV - How to Grab people.
V - Summoner Spells, Runes, Masteries
VI - Build
VII - Jungling
VIII - When NOT to pick Blitzcrank
IX - Blitzcranks Friends
X - Closure
I. Who is Blitzcrank?
Blitzcrank is a tanky support focused on initiating, disrupting, and snatching free kills for your team. Blitzcrank is mainly played as a duo-bot lane with a ranged AD as he is a poor top laner due to his lack of harass and sustain. He can be played as a jungler with varying degree but shouldn’t be your default jungler of choice (More in jungling section).
II. Why not just play a healer support, they’re so much better!
Unlike the sustain supports (Soraka, Sona, Taric, Alistar), a well played Blitzcrank can punish poor positioning of enemies, force advantageous fights, and has no CC that can be cleansed or reduced with Merc treads. He also can easily fill the role of off tank/bruiser should your team need one.
III. So what can Blitz do again?
Passive: Mana Barrier – Blitzcrank’s mana barrier can activate every 90 seconds when he hits 20% life. This creates a mana shield equal to 50% of his current mana.
This passive is amazingly deceptive as it’s useful for baiting enemies who see you at low health, and for team fights to keep you alive. The main problem is that you NEED mana when this activates meaning if you’ve recently used a lot of abilities and don’t have mana the shield will be miniscule to non-existent. This is why having both a large mana pool and good mana regeneration are great things to have.
Q: Rocket Grab – 120 Mana, 20 second CD (-1 per level) – Blitzcrank fires his right hand, if it encounters an enemy unit it will stun them and deal (80/135/190/245/300 [+1.0 AP]) magic damage while he pulls them to himself.
This is what makes Blitzcrank. Landing a hook on a squishy can instantly win you the team fight or the game. Landing a hook onto the enemy Amumu will likely lose you the team fight or the game. Your job is to try and make the best possible shots to deliver gold to you team in the form or squishy enemies. Take 1 point into this early (level 1 or 2, preference is yours) if you need more damage in lane, max it first, if you need to roam more max it second. If your team intends on invading, taking this at level 1 has a good chance of netting your team a kill since its range is longer than flash.
W: Overdrive – 75 Mana, 16 second CD – Blitzcrank supercharges himself increasing his movement speed by (16/20/24/28/32%) and attack speed by (30/38/46/54/62%) for 8 seconds.
This is pseudo-ghost. Blitzcrank should not use ghost because he has this ability. Blitz mainly will deal damage from auto-attacking, so the attack speed is helpful, however the movement speed is why this ability rocks. Blitz is an amazingly fast ward sweeper and fast reaction support thanks to this ability. It will also let him chase or escape with ease. I max this ability first to roam or second if I'm laning longer, but I take it at level 3 when supporting.
E: Powerfist – 25 Mana, 9 second CD (-1 per level) – Blitzcrank charges up his fist to make his next attack deal double his total attack damage as physical damage and pop his target up into the air.
Part of your combo, and perhaps the strongest CC in game. At 5 second CD at max rank, and 3 seconds with 40% CDR, whoever your punching will REALLY dislike you. Two tricks are to use this ability right after you land a hook keeping the target CC’ed for your team mates to burst them, or to punch the enemy walk back and grab them. The second strategy is the most efficient as it’s almost impossible to miss a hook in this way, however you won’t pull them as far. This ability can also be used to interrupt channels such as Katarina’s, Malzahar’s, Galio’s [Note you must have Powerfist activate when he taunts you], Nunu’s and others. I take this ability first or second and max it last.
Build Note: This ability also benefits from Lifesteal making Blitzcrank one of the few supports who would greatly benefit from building a Zeke's should your team be running a triple AD heavy auto-attack team, it’s worth considering.
R: Static Field – 150 Mana, 30 second CD –
Passive: Lightning arcs off of Blitzcrank to hit a random nearby enemy for (100/200/300[+.2]) magic damage
Active: Deals (250/375/500[+1.0]) magic damage and silences surrounding enemy units for .5 seconds. The passive is not in effect during the cooldown.
This ult is very high-damage for such a short CD. When fighting a single enemy for a prolonged fight (Enemy tank/tanky dps) not using the active so the passive will repeatedly hit them will cause more damage than quickly using the active. In a team fight there’s a few things you should consider for this ultimate.
A) Does the enemy have a channeled spell I will need to interrupt?
B) Can I disrupt a burst mages combo by using this spell?
C) Am I able to hit all/most of the enemy with the active?
If the answer for A is YES, save your ultimate to interrupt the ult. This lets you CC one person and still be able to interrupt from a decent distance without changing targets. If they’re running a mage such as Brand, Anivia (Silence stops her ult) or other combo mage using your ult to temporarily mess with their combo can lead them to dealing reduced damage or missing spells. If none of the above, positioning yourself to hit as many as possible for the most damage/annoyance is preferable.
IV. How to Grab People
Aside from the obvious "Hit the skill shot" there's many tricks to using Blitz Hook. Since your playing as a support, your buying wards and choosing where they get dropped. Warding the tri-bush below dragon and the bush behind dragon when playing on Purple side can net your team a kill from a hook on an unsuspecting enemy who either knows your doing dragon, or thinks your doing dragon.
Warding the enemy Blue can net you a hook on either the blue golem to steal the buff for your team, or the jungler and the buff when he goes to do it, same applies for Red buff.
When attempting Baron, or attempting to counter baron landing a grab on either the melee hitting baron or waiting on the other side of the wall can net a kill making the baron fight 5v4 in your favor. Wards are your friend, as fishing, although funny when successful, isn't optimal.
Landing a hook isn't ALWAYS a good thing, if you grab the enemy tank to start a fight, you just helped the enemy. If your team mates are low health, grabbing a full health carry to them probably didn't make them happy either. Don't kill your team with your grabs.
Finally, you will miss sometimes. It happens. I call those "Fear Factor" shots, they were the "If that hit you, you'd have been dead...." that weren't likely to hit. If you miss an easy shot however, those are facepalmers. Don't get mad at an ally if they're angry for you missing a grab, they just don't understand not every grab can go through. But be mad at yourself if you ever miss a facepalmer (I sure as hell have....).
Note: Although not mentioned later in "When not to pick Blitz", Yorick, Malzahar, and Heimer are annoying as their summoned creatures can be used to block hooks. This mainly arises in late game fights, and thus has a smaller impact than your laning enemy.
V. Summoner Spells, Runes, Masteries and selection.
A. Summoner Spells
A variety of runes/mastery/Summoner Spell setups work on Blitzcrank. Since you will be bottom lane, consider Heal or exhaust for early kills and saving your carry from assassinations late game. Blitzcrank’s lack of sustain is his major weakness, Heal helps hide that weakness. Ignite can also be ran to try and snowball a lane with repeated kills. This works best when you get to pick Blitzcrank against an advantageous lane.
Your second summoner will be Flash. Beyond the “everyone takes flash DUH”, flash works well on Blitz just like Udyr, a flash knock-up -> grab combo or even the sweet flash->grab->punch combos are too good to give up.
Blitz has to be tanky in order for him to do his job, since he will be in the bottom lane the main damage you have to worry about early game will be from an AD.
Red: Flat armor, Hybrid Pen are my preferred. Between Blitzcrank's autoattacks and his Q/R he deals a decent mix of magic and physical damage, Hybrid penetration marks give him the most kill potential for marks. The flat armor will add 8 armor which will help early game against harass/
Yellow: Flat Mana Regen, Flat Armor are my preference. If you went for flat armor from red, getting Mana regen from yellow will keep your pool nice and sturdy through the early game until you can build some items.
Blue: Magic Resist Flat or per Level, Flat Armor, Flat CDR are all useful. Flat armor is still useful, and will net you 6 more armor, however I prefer Magic Resist/Level since you won’t encounter much AP damage until mid/late game you’ll get more value from them than flats. Flat CDR glyphs are also nice as they get you towards your 40% CDR early.
Quintessence: Movespeed, Flat Armor, Flat Health. I’ve been trying movespeed recently and delaying my boots until later it works reasonably well when they have a slower jungler or a very fast team (Oh how I hate you Sona…). The flat armor for the same reasons, the health gives you an early game advantage. -- Move Speed quint's are even better since boots were nerfed, huge buff to the Quints since masteries with movespeed were pretty much removed.
--- I’m certain people will scream “Why You No Gold Generation?!?!”, Blitzcrank IS NOT a passive, or even Pseudo-passive support. You need to get in their faces and PUNCH them or at least threaten them so they soil themselves. He can’t afford to wait for gold to buy items to be useful because by then his ranged AD partner will be screaming bloody murder and his lane has become a wash.
This is pretty standard for most supports currently, some might drop Perseverance in defensive for more utility (5% CDR etc) but it's such a powerful mastery it's hard to drop on any tank/melee support.
Recover vs Enchanted armor, they both suck but Recover is better early and Enchanted it better late, take your pick they won't make much difference anyways.
VI. So what does this Robot build?
Targons OR Ancient Coin + 1 ward + 2 potions
Targons vs Ancient Coin
Both are quite powerful for different set ups. Ancient coin gives blitzcrank plenty more opportunities to use rocket grab to get kills and picks early game. While Targons makes your all-in and sustain far better.
If your worried about being able to get to minions to USE Targons (fighting a long range poke lane or you have an ADC who can trade well early game) taking Coin will let you last through the laning phase and perhaps grab a miracle shot on a losing lane.
The tier 3 of the items are vastly different. If you get Ancient coin and upgrade it to Talisman, skip Mikaels crucible since you shouldn't need the mana regeneration from it. Instead you'll need durability. If you went Targon's getting a Mikaels will cover your mana issues.
If you got fed enough early while using a Targons, a Manamune can substitute in a lot of games (when you don't need the cleanse) for Mikaels.
Sweeper vs Ward Trinket
This is one of those hard decisions you have to make. Sweeper in my opinion is better to start with if you can be aggressive from level 2 immediately because your against a squishy support/easy to grab ADC. This lets you clear out a bush of one of their wards so your grabs are hard to predict.
If your in a lane against a Leona, Alistar, Taric or someone who can intercept hooks and not care about being the focus early game, using the ward trinket so you have better coverage is strong.
Remember though if you bring a Sweeper KEEP TRACK OF WHERE they place wards. By clearing out a ward that is placed to watch for jungle ganks, you can put fear into the lane even if your jungler is on the other side of the map. Mind games are important.
Tier 2 Gold generation Item (Nomads Medallion OR Targons Embrace)
Boot 1 (Merc Treads if enemy CC > 2, , Tabi if vs 3 AD, +5 is usable if you want to roam a lot, which Blitz is good at)
Sightstone – yay tanky and free wards! (Upgrade to Ruby when affordable)
Ruby Sightstone - This item will remain with you for the entire game, having the ability to have 3 wards out at all times with 5 charges per back is amazing. It allows tactical warding of where you need to go right THEN and THERE. Use it.
Tier 3 Gold Gen item (Face of the Mountain OR Talisman of Ascension)
Frozen Heart – Dem Auras/CDR/tankyness
Locket of the Iron Solari
--- Triforce is a great item, sadly it’s VERY expensive and blitz won’t likely get the farm for it and your probably NOT really there to be a damage dealer, however if you can afford it get it.
--- Iceborn Gauntlet is similar to Triforce, consider getting it if your team needs more CC and your pretty fed
--- Zeke's Fervor is amazing if your team is running triple AD (Tanky AD top + Jungle, Ranged AD bot)
If your doing good in lane phase and can afford to build a Manamune BEFORE 20 minutes, it's worth getting as it gives you a strong damage tool, nearly unlimited mana, and if the game goes longer you'll become a serious damage threat.
Season 4 Jungle Crank is pretty much dead. He relies entirely on successful ganks as the jungle murders him. I would avoid doing Jungle Crank unless your very experienced as a jungler and as blitzcrank.
You'll need a leash regardless of where your starting.
Red – Flat AD - need to be able to clear, his W gives him the steroid to make them useful.
Yellow – Flat armor, as is standard with most junglers.
Blue – Preference based, Attack Speed will make your jungling faster, Armor will make it safer, MR/Level will help you mid-game, and flat CDR is always helpful. I personally use MR/Level as I don't normally build a MR item for some time.
Quintessence – Lifesteal allows you to sustain and gives a pretty big difference in health on your clear meaning your first gank isn't as risky if they counter gank.
Start with a Point in Powerfist, it’s slower than using Overdrive, faster than Hook and keeps your level 1 team fight (in case of an enemy invade) strong since you’ll still have a CC as well as giving you the option of a level 2 gank with Hook -> Powerfist. Remember to use powerfirst to RESET YOUR AUTO-ATTACK, meaning you use it right after landing a basic attack.
Start off with a Machete and 5 Health potions and go to Blue (Red if your on Blue side) you need your team to deal damage to it, the more the better so having your bottom lane being the ones who leash you is ideal. USE SMITE. make sure they know your going to smite so they don't sap Exp, hopefully if done right you'll have nearly full health after killing blue (using only one potion)
Go and kill Wraiths afterwards, Blue -> Red doesn't give level 3 so you need an intermediary camp. After wraiths do your 2nd buff using smite again. You'll have to chug through potions since the jungle is painful currently.
Once you have double buff, look for a lane to gank. Those who have used flash/have no built in dash are ideal since you can almost guarantee a kill with a hook. Careful of being counterganked as Blitz often loses early duels.
Machete ->Spirit Stone -> Spirit of the Elder Golem
Dorans Blade - Extremely cost effective and REALLY helps with sustain and clear, ideally only pick up one.
Manamune (if doing okay-> great)
Sheen -> Iceborn/Triforce
If you’re struggling, building the defensive items is recommended. If your dominating, grabbing the damage items is recommended to snowball the game harder in your favor.
Remember that Blitzcrank is an AMAZING LANE ganker, meaning sneaking into the bushes unseen and doing a sneaky grab. He is also an excellent flanker since his overdrive will let him catch enemies before they have time to back off from pushing a tower and cc them for kills. Remember that although you should keep up in levels, your combo is effective even at level 2 against a high level opponent when coupled with an ally and a few successful ganks can pull you or a lane out of a slump.
When jungling as Blitzcrank use the SWEEPER trinket so you can check lane brushes you sneak into so you don't waste too much time waiting to land a hook when they know your there.
VIII – When NOT to pick Blitzcrank
Champs to AVOID:
Ezreal : Ezreal’s if smart will dodge your hooks with blink, also if you can hook him he can shoot you and then dodge your hook. I hate this guy.
Taric: Taric’s natural tankiness against AD (which you and your ally are) means he’s hard to burst and will stun and heal after the knock-up.
Alistar: Alistar is your least favorite enemy. His cow butt will get in the way of your hooks giving him easy initiations, the upside is that if you team wants to kill Alistar, grabbing him is cake, but 99% of the time a bad idea.
Caitlyn: Her traps limit your movement and will generally make it difficult to get a good hook, her poke and range make her a pain to lane against and her net if used properly can help dodge your hook. Not your best friend to lane against, but at least her poke isn’t as good as Ezreals.
Vayne: Her tumble lets her avoid your hooks easily, and her wall stun makes sitting in the bushes risky. Getting a grab on her fragile ass however can result in her death.
Tristana: Not nearly as bad as Vayne or Ezreal, she can be grabbed mid jump but still annoying as her jump is the farthest, her ult also messes up any engage you get onto her partner after 6.
Sivir: Her spell shield will likely be saved to block hooks, however its cooldown is quite long so you can bait it out. Depends largely on her partner whether it will work or not
Graves: A dash to avoid hook – check, an AoE blind to make hooks hard to hit – Check, Burst that does more when close – Check, Tanky as all hell? – Check. You don’t want to lane against this guy, you want to lane WITH him.
Lucian: A new addition to bottom lane, he's quite similar to Graves except more fragile. A well played Lucian will be difficult to fight but not nearly as bad as a good Graves for Blitzcrank.
Champs to LOVE:
Sona: Sona is super squishy and easy to burst, she also has no escape mechanism so at best she can ult you and try running. If you can keep from letting her poke you to
death, you will kill her mercilessly.
Janna: Janna is also super squishy and easy to burst, the downside is that at level 6 if you don’t kill her with burst her ult will likely save her life. Early on her harass and CC are annoying, but she has no hard escape.
Soraka: Aside from silencing you to prevent a perfect hook and winning the lane with ridiculous sustain if allowed to poke, Soraka bows to your mighty robotic form. Easily bursted pre-6, slightly harder with her ultimate, however her no escape lets you continuously poop on her if she even slightly gets out of place. If paired with Sivir or Ezreal not recommended as you will be poked and sustained to death
Miss Fortune: Yea, she hates you. You interrupt her ult, she has no escape. Avoid her poke and make her call you daddy. Blitz is #1 against MF hue hue hue.
Corki: Similar to Tristana, but no secondary disengage to help his ally. Bait his Valkyrie and get him when he’s on CD or zone him and it’s GG.
Urgot: His short range means he's in the danger area more and is easier to zone. He isn't seen much bot anymore due to nerfs, so expect him if he's picked to be in mid lane. Blitz excels against Urgot however because he's really easy to pull early before Urgot get's tanky.
Ashe: Easy to hook, very very weak. Downside is you won’t escape her if you don’t kill her, which isn’t a problem normally. Great choice to pick Blitz against.
Kogmaw: Easy to hook, fragile, this guy is free food. Downside – he dies and hurts you early game, and if you don’t instagib him late game he will eat you. Perfect champ for Blitz to be picked against.
Twitch: No natural escape, but he will stealth away if you don't kill him very quickly, his poison can be a bother but he's super squishy.
Draven: No natural escape, but his W's movement speed will let a smart draven avoid hooks, you can somewhat bait him into catching an Axe and hooking him knowing he is going to go there *probably*, but it's harder the better they get. Draven nerfs mean he's easier to trade with early game thankfully.
Jinx - Her short range in minigun form will make for a pretty easy hook target as she wont use her rocket launcher form often. Squishy, with no escape. Blitz can devour her.
Teemo/TF– All are fairly easy to play Blitz against, Teemo is annoying to everyone but squishy and will die if hooked. These are very rarely seen bot, but Blitz works well against them all.
IX – Friends of Blitz
Graves – Blitz Loves Graves. End. Nothing about him doesn’t scream “OMG BLITZCRANK SUPPORT NAOW” He bursts like a boss, which Blitz is about, his smokescreen can be used to make enemies unable to see the hook coming and he does more damage at close range. <3 You graves!!!
Caitlyn – Blitz has a crush on Caitlyn, her Traps make his 1-> 2 combo even more potent. Enemy stepped in a trap? Free grab. Grabbed an enemy into a trap? Punch them right as they leave it for extra CC! Her relatively safe laning phase keeps her from needing babying as well.
Vayne – Grab an enemy, knock them up, pin them against the wall, that target has now broken their keyboard. A CC on a carry is love. She also snowballs hard so a few kills on her will win you the game. Downside is her laning is weak, so you have to bring you “A” game with this baby.
Ezreal – Relatively safe in the laning phase, and when you score a grab -> Punch combo his burst is amazing. Only downside compared to Graves is he’s squishy so has to play a little safer.
Corki – The armor shred from Corki will help you help him kill the target, his burst is decent as well.
Tristanna – For games you want to play Ping Pong. Grab -> Punch -> Rocket Jump -> Blaster Shot. Very funny, very effective. She also works well against Soraka/Sona, however her lack of poke/lane safety makes her less favorable than others.
X – Closer
Blitzcrank is awesome, sit down and relax with a can of oil, flip through your PlayRobot magazine with Orianna on the cover and teach them why the time of man has come to an end! Blitzcrank is a high-skill, high-risk, high-reward champion. Playing Blitz poorly will result in you being fairly negligible in the game. Playing Blitz well, will result in you spoon feeding your team the victory. There is ALWAYS room to improve.
Any feedback is appreciated, positive and negative. I wrote this guide because the lack of Blitz guides I even remotely can agree with, or are up to date makes me sad. I’m far from perfect, this is my first guide and I hope to make it as good as I possibly can.
Note: You gotta find first gear... in your giant robot car! You dig Giant Robots, I dig Giant Robots, We dig Giant Robots, Chicks Dig Giant robots...... Nice.
*Update 3/17/2012: Altered jungle section after more practice with item paths, Zeke's replaced Stark's in item builds.
*Update 12/28/2012: Updated guide to Season 3
*Update 7/28/2013: Updated jungle section after more
experience, also updated build paths.
*Update 11/27/2013: Updated guide to Season 4
Its too bad seeing the demise of Manamune/Triforce/Heart blitz, who could deal pretty significant damage, on par with tanky DPS. (200 AD +triforce = 700 dmg every 3 seconds powerfist, along with AS steroid)
Very nice guide. I agree with everything mentioned. Its a bummer not being able to build up mana anymore for a stonger shield, manamune, but oh wells.
Most blitz players still try to build tear->manamune, and dont' seem to realize that the meta has changed signficantly.
So I give big props to this guide just for pointing out why that doesn't work anymore. I agree with the build and everything. Heal/CV is a good idea too.
"Unlike the sustain supports (Soraka, Sona, Taric, Alistar), a well played Blitzcrank can punish poor positioning of enemies, force advantageous fights, and has no CC that can be cleansed or reduced with Merc treads. He also can easily fill the role of off tank/bruiser should your team need one."
Alistar can do all those things...
Blitz is certainly a better initiator than Alistar. You can't deny this. Plus Blitz can pull a bad guy from 1000 units off right into your waiting arms and that of your ally and minions. Alistar can maybe do his charge/knockup combo to give your ally enough time to get off a few shots.
Blitz also has the 'free kills' aspect by pulling a bad guy into your entire team to be instakilled. Blitz also has fantastic mobility thanks to his turbospeed booster, unlike Alistar's freaking slooow butt.
Anyone who double CC's is Blitz's friend. Check Sion. He stuns, Blitz Grabs. Blitz Knocks Up. Maybe an exhaust. Sion can stun again. Maybe an exhaust. Blitz can Knock Up again.
Or Singed. Singed/Blitz Combos are very, very deadly and his DoT works double well.
Alistar, less so because then your team lacks the insane damage and you might get a counter to the face, but if you gank with Alistar and Blitz... well... yeah...
I have found huge success with starting Mana Crystal->boots1+tear->sheen(offensive double cc lane)/glacial(defensive)->catalyst->boots5(roam)/merc->then upgrade your sheen into trinity if you need more dps, glacial if you need to be more tanky. Realistically you dont need to upgrade your tear until either you finish your trinity or you have nothing else to build.
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