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[Guide] Blitzcrank, Pudge 2.0

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First guide. Figured I'd contribute to the community a little. For those of you who don't know who Pudge is, he's a DotA character whose trademark meat hook skill would pull enemy players to him. Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab works with a similar mechanism. It sets up all kinds of opportunities to kill opponents who don't pay attention, and works wonders for initiating.

The Basics

: This is not a carry Blitzcrank guide. If you want to be dealing massive amounts of damage. Play Yi. Or Jax. This guide is about initiating and setting up kills with Rocket Grab, and making it really, reaaally hard for grabbed opponents to get away from you. You'll be filling an Alistar-like roll, where you separate an enemy out of the pack for your team to destroy. Like Alistar, you'll also be pretty beefy. That said, you should still end up with plenty of kills.

Important Stats and growth
Health: 687 (+100 per level)
Mana: 311 (+38 per level)
Movespeed: 309
Attack: 57 (+4 per level)

I rounded the attack gain per level. It might have a decimal I missed.

Skills and comments

Rocket Grab: Blitzcrank fires his right hand. If it encounters an enemy it will stun them and deal 60/120/180/240/300 magic damage while he pulls them to himself.

This is your meat hook, your signature move. It will be what nets you and your team countless kills if used right, and will, more often than not, land you or your lanemate first blood. More on that in early game.

Overdrive: Blitzcrack supercharges himself to increase movement (16/20/24/28/32%) and attack (30/38/46/54/62%) speed for 8 seconds. When this effect ends, Blitzcrank is slowed by 25% for 3 seconds.

It's okay for chasing people down to rocket grab them back. The attack speed is pretty nice, but this guide focuses more on team play and support than carrying, so this skill wont be optimized. I don't recommend it until later game. Using it early will usually get you killed from the slow.

Power Fist: Blitzcrack charges his fist to make his next attack deal double his base damage and pop his target into the air.

Wonderful skill. It acts as a stun and the cooldown is 9/8/7/6/5. You don't see disables with that kind of cooldown. You'll be maxing this first. USE THIS TO LAST HIT. It's cheap and effective.

Static Field:
Passive: Lightning arcs off of Blitzcrank to hit a random enemy for 100/200/300 magic damage every 2.5 seconds.

Active: Deals AoE magic (200/300/400) damage, disabling the passive until recharged.

The passive is much more helpful than the activation effect now that silence has been removed. If you can follow an enemy hero, the passive will deal a lot more damage than what you can get bursting them with the activation, plus the passive is a great farming skill.

Situations you should use the activation in:

1. With the lower cooldown, if you see a large wave of creeps, go ahead and pewpew it with your activation. It's good money and it cools down pretty fast. Only use it on larger creep waves though, don't waste it on smaller ones where your passive and intelligent last hitting will get you just as many creep kills.
2. If an enemy hero is going to escape you and is running through creeps or other heros, activating for the kill is smarter than chasing and hoping for your passive to hit the right target.
3. Killing heroes with blink skills who wont stick around for long.
4. When you are going to die, go out with a bang.

Passive-> Mana Barrier: Upon dropping to 20% health, Blitzcrank's Mana Barrier activates using 50% of his current mana to absorb damage for 10 seconds. Unused mana is refunded after skill ends.

Really good passive, actually. Makes you quite a bit tankier with a decent mana pool and will save your life quite often.

Skill Order:

1. Rocket Grab
2. Power Fist
3. Power Fist
4. Rocket Grab/Overdrive
5. Power Fist
6. Static Field
7. Power Fist
8. Rocket Grab
9. Power Fist
10. Rocket Grab
11. Static Field
12. Rocket Grab
13. Overdrive/Rocket Grab
14. Overdrive
15. Overdrive
16. Static Field
17. Overdrive
18. Overdrive

Level 4, if you really want Overdrive for a small movement/attack speed boost, go for it. Just use it carefully. I don't find it necessary though. Max power fist first. With utility masteries, you'll be popping people into the air every 3.5 seconds. It makes it really hard to get away from you.

Masteries: I go 9/0/21 for maximum cooldown reduction/regen.

3 Archmage's Savvy
1 Deadliness
4 Sorcery
1 Archaic Knowledge

1 Spatial Accuracy
3 Perserverance
2 Awareness
4 Expanded Mind
3 Meditation
3 Quickness
1 Blink of an Eye
3 Intelligence
1 Prensence of the Master

Blue: Clarities
Yellow: Vigors
Red: Desolations
Quints: Fortitudes

That's what I use. The clarities are a must. They'll keep your mana up all game. The rest of it is just preference, really. Desolation might seem like a strange choice, but early game, it makes your rocket punches hurt. Personal Preference really, other than clarities. Those are vital.

Summoner Skills: I prefer Teleport and Flash. Flash is great to get one last Power Fist/Static Field on people if they are going to escape, or for escaping yourself. Teleport saves so much time, I don't see why you wouldn't get it. Really though, it's a playstyle/team choice.

Item Build:

Sapphire Crystal->Catalyst the Protector->Rod of Ages
Boots of Swiftness
Zeal-> Trinity Force
Frozen Heart/Banshee's Veil (Heart for physical dps, Banshee's for casters)

The game should be over by this point. If it's not, I suggest taking up a tank/support roll, because you'll be getting overshadowed by dedicated carries.

Anyway, as you can see, the items don't really fill a certain niche as much as they round you out in almost everything. You'll have substantial amounts of health and mana, so you wont go down easy, you'll have a touch of AP to make your Grab and your Ult a little more painful, and you'll have a lot of movement and slow for chasing things down. Ideally with this build, if you pull an enemy hero over with your Grab, they wont be getting away from you.

Another thing these items will emphasize is beefing you up. You wont be a dedicated tank, but you won't go down easily. Blitz has some really nice health per level, and you'll be getting good amounts of health and mana for your passive with these items.

Playstyle and Game Progression:

Early Game:
Pick up your health potion and Sapphire Crystal. Head to a lane. It doesn't really matter if you're solo or with a lanemate, but if you choose to go with a lanemate, try to choose one with a stun or snare because you'll be rocket grabbing all over the place. Try to let the opposing lane push to your tower. If you're really good, you'll get them to a point where their creeps aren't in tower range, but you can rocket grab opposing heroes into tower range. Once you're level 2 and have Power Fist, use it to pop Rocket Grab victims into the air. If you successfully drag an enemy hero to the tower and pop them into the air before they get out of range, they will die 9/10 times. It's even better if you have a lanemate to stun. Taric is absolutely ridiculous for this. He can stun before to give you a better Rocket Grab shot or after to keep them in the tower longer. Keep up the defensive play/rocket grabbing until you have enough money to blue pill back for Catalyst the Protector and boots of speed. Pick up another health potion if you feel like it. Teleport back and prepare to stay in your lane for the long haul.

Mid Game: Okay. Once you get Static Field and have Catalyst the Protector, your game plan changes from defensive to offensive. This is the part of the game where you will be raking in your kills, so enjoy it while you can. You'll also have a psychological advantage over the opposing heroes in your lane because they wont expect you to go offensive after you've been tower hugging all early game.

With Catalyst, you can afford to be a little more offensive because you have health and your passive, and your ult and power fist allow you to cause a lot of pain to enemy heroes while you chase them, making you very effective at ganks. Spend mid game roaming the map, ganking heroes and using your ult activation to take down larger creep waves.

Ideally, when you gank, you should first let your teammates in the lane you are coming to know you're coming, so they are ready. Come up from behind the enemy and Power Fist the hero who is lower on health. If your teammates have no stun to keep him in place after your Power fist, get ready to aim a Rocket Grab and follow up with another Power Fist. Something should be dead at this point. Head to another lane, and do it again.

If roaming and ganking doesn't appeal to you, try to find lanes that are being pushed and pull heroes into towers. There are very few players who don't give you an opportunity to grab them at some point. Watch for those opportunities, because they will often result in a kill. You can farm very well by using power fist to last hit. Your ult's passive also helps a lot for creep killing. You'll still be making a lot of gold this way, but it's far more devastating to take down enemy heroes than enemy creeps, so I recommend using your gank potential.

Go back to base when you need to heal and work towards your trinity force, making sure you get sheen first, because it has amazing synergy with Power Fist. Get Phage second, because slow procs mean it's that much more likely that your enemies wont be getting away once you've gotten close.

Late Game: You can usually identify this stage of the game by your faltering DPS. You have a lot of burst potential midgame, but late game, with the item build I've suggested, you wont be soloing too many enemy heroes. That's fine though, because end game is where team play really begins and team play is where Blitzcrank shines. You now take on the roll of initiator full time. This is how you do it.

First of all, make sure your team is actually playing as a team at this point. There's no excuse not to, and if you have some idiot off still trying to farm or push lanes solo, you're going to lose, because he'll get ganked, then you'll get pushed 4v5. Don't let that happen. Ever.

Now, once your team is all together, start a push. They opposing team will come to defend, and will probably stalemate you by tower hugging somewhere. This is where you win games for your team. This is what Rocket Grab was made for. Use it at every opportunity to pull an enemy away from the tower and into your team. If you hit an enemy hero, that hero will die if your team is at all competent, and half the time the opposing team will surge in to save him just to die along with him because they left their defensive position in a hurry.

Every time Rocket Grab goes on cooldown, use it on the next hero who tries to run away. Every time Power Fist goes on cooldown, use it to hit the most vital enemy hero next to you. If you feel like the tide is turning against you, and you have more than 2 heroes near you, activate your ult. It'll do pretty decent damage still, and that might be enough to cause the enemy team to disengage and run. Running is what you want to see. When they run, rocket grab one back. He'll die, and you can continue your push with an advantage.

If you couldn't tell my all the raving I've done about it, it's all about strategic use of rocket grab at this point. It is probably the best initiator in the game, and proper initiation is what wins team battles.

Rocket Grabbing: Because so much of what blitzcrank does for a team revolves around his ability to rocket grab effectively, I'm making this section to provide a few pointers. By and large, the best thing you can do to get better at it is to practice and get a feel for the skill, but these are a few things I find myself doing as I try to aim a grab:

1. Watch the enemy heroes and get a feel for their movement. How defensively do they play against possible grabs? Run to an area where it looks like you are going to grab them. How do they react? Which direction do they run to get away from you? Is it to the side or back? Very rarely will you be able to land a grab by just clicking on a hero. You have to anticipate his movements to hit him and to anticipate you have to analyze.

2. Be aware of creep movement. There's nothing more frustrating than shooting off a grab only to have a creep walk right in front of it. If your creeps are about to die, it means enemy creeps are going to be moving soon. Be aware of these things.

3. Be patient and don't get frustrated if you miss. You wont hit 100% of your shots, and you'll make yourself worse if you get angry and impatient. Wait for a shot to present itself and be ready to take it.

4. Move around a lot. Run at enemies like you're going to grab them, then back off. They'll get confused and wont know what to expect. You don't want to be predictable.

5. Hide in the bushes or behind terrain. If they can't see you, they can't dodge. One thing to be careful for though, is if you hide behind terrain, you have to leave space for the enemy hero in front of you. Otherwise they just hit the terrain and don't go all the way through it.

6. If creeps enemy creeps in front of a hero are about to die, you can fairly frequently catch the hero off guard by shooting a grab right as or slightly before the creep he's using as a shield goes down. Learn to anticipate when creeps will die, and use it to your advantage.

So that's that. As I said in the beginning this is my first guide, so if you have questions, or if I left anything out, feel pretty to let me know.

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Personally, for yellow runes I would go for Regeneration runes over Vigor, they are better at lvl 4 (just barely, but still).

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I play very a very similar build and I build him this way:

Sapphire Crystal -> Sheen
Boots of Speed -> Swiftness
Phage -> Frozen Mallet (Trinity is okay, but I'd rather have a more stable slow effect and more health).
Sunfire Cape/Force of Nature (depends on situation)

It might seem like too little mana but I hardly run out of mana before something more drastic happens (bigass teamfight, huge push, death) and don't really find any more to be necessary. The passive is almost negligible as you don't want to get that low anyways (though, it's good for mindgaming).