League of Legends Briar, the Restrained Hunger: guide, runes, and items.
Published: October 11 2023
Last updated: November 7 2023
To say the release of Briar, the Restrained Hunger, the 165th champion to join the League of Legends universe, was met with mixed feelings is an understatement. There are a few reasons for that, but the one stat that tells it all is Briar’s first-day win rate being under 30%, making it one of the lowest in history. In preparation for the article, we certainly contributed a lot to that win rate, but after some practice, the champion feels much better.
The newest LoL Champion Briar isn’t as straightforward and easy to master as other previous entries.
A reason for Briar’s difficulty includes her use of current health to use all her spells, alongside not having any passive health regeneration. As such, saying that managing your health is complex is an understatement. Seriously, any mistakes you make during your first levels can end your game on the spot, as Briar is nearly impossible to play from behind.
On Briar’s release day, many players attempted to play Briar in the Top, Mid, and Jungle roles, but only the Jungle role showed promise so far. Briar’s levels one to three are currently too weak to play in a lane outside of rare matchups until the champion receives some defensive buffs.
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LoL Briar champion skill breakdown
Briar passive ability in League of Legends: Crimson Curse
Briar’s passive Crimson Curse truly defines her as a champion. The bleeds and healing scale immensely well throughout the game and make you an incredible damage dealer in the mid to late game. As the bleed stacks and can run on multiple targets at once, it is immensely helpful for Jungle Briar as that is currently the only role that can sustain enough to be consistent. In addition, the area-of-effect damage provided by Briar’s W - Blood Frenzy also applies stacks of Crimson Curse to all enemies it damages.
Briar Q ability in League of Legends: Head Rush
Q - Head Rush is a simple but effective part of Briar’s kit. It helps you set up for teammates, clear monster camps more effectively, and deal a decent bit of damage in the process. A neat little trick Head Rush provides is its ability to jump to nearby allied minions as well, making it a great tool to escape when things turn bad during your gank attempts. Also, Briar can leap across certain walls with Head Rush when certain jungle camps spawn, which allows you to speed up your movement across the jungle as long as you have vision of where you want to go.
Briar W ability in League of Legends: Blood Frenzy / Snack Attack
W - Blood Frenzy / Snack Attack is Briar’s main damage buffing ability that comes with an initial and secondary activation. Blood Frenzy causes Briar to chase and attack the closest enemy, prioritizing champions if they are near minions. While in this self-taunt mode, you can’t control your movement and attack targets, so use it wisely. The second cast, Snack Attack, is available during the duration of Blood Frenzy, which increases the damage of your next attack and heals you for a very large amount.
The heal and empowered damage of Snack Attack works on both monsters and champions, making it a great tool to use in any situation.
Briar E ability in League of Legends: Chilling Scream
E- Chilling Scream serves multiple purposes for Briar, the most important of which is its ability to cancel Blood Frenzy. While Blood Frenzy is a fantastic ability, it can be incredibly dangerous. Since you don’t control your own movement and targeting, opponents can easily drag you into places you don’t want to go. Wasting Chilling Stream before using Blood Frenzy is one of the most common ways new Briar players die or lose most of their health bar.
Aside from its use in canceling Blood Frenzy, you can use Chilling Scream in several more ways worth knowing about. The first is simple: the ability deals a decent bit of damage and really improves your jungle clearing speed. Next, many Briar players forget the 40% damage reduction during the charging of Chilling Scream. Whether you are getting hit by an enemy ability or tower, you can negate a big portion of the damage by timing your E properly.
And last, you can manipulate enemy minions with it, which comes in handy after you successfully gank a lane. A great example is that you can push back the enemy melee or cannon minions, causing your team’s minions to crash into the enemy tower sooner. The benefit of that includes your team’s ability to hit the enemy tower quicker, and the enemy team loses more resources as your own team’s minions get hit sooner by the tower.
Briar R ability in League of Legends: Certain Death
Certain Death is the most hilarious and dangerous ability in League of Legends. While at first you read through the ability and think, cool, some buffs, and it helps me close the gap between me and my target, that isn’t close to the true potential of this ability. What the tooltip doesn’t explain is that Certain Death has a near-global range. That is right; you can launch Certain Death from the base or most of your jungle and try to gank any lane, any time. While it isn’t easy to hit this projectile, with some team coordination, it’ll lead to a lot of excitement throughout your games.
And, when you don’t want to throw out your long-range attempts, you can always shoot it from a close distance where it is much harder to avoid. That all said, be careful with shooting your ultimate at teleporting or recalling enemies. You don’t control whether or not you launch at your enemy, and if you hit them in the last second or so of their recall animation, you are flying straight into the enemy fountain.
Briar’s skill order
While many of Briar’s choices are still developing, the skill order seems set in stone. W level one, E level two, Q level three, and you max out the skills in the order W - Q - E after that. The reasoning is simple: your E doesn’t change much between its first and final rank, as its main purpose remains to cancel Blood Frenzy as needed.
Rune Setup for champion Briar in LoL
With Briar’s recent release, there is still some debate about the best rune setups for Briar. So, let’s take a quick overview of what players tested in the first week of Briar’s release and what rune pages show the most promise.
With Briar’s melee attack range and large attack speed buffs, the Precision - Conquerer rune outperforms everything drastically. In the early days, some players tested the Resolve - Aftershock rune as well, as Briar’s Q provides a consistent way to activate it. While Aftershock remains one of the recommended rune pages in the League of Legends client, it just isn’t good enough.
While Precision Primary with Conquerer remains a lock for Briar, there is still much experimenting with the other choices within her rune page. For example, there is a lot of debate between Coup de Grace and Last Stand as the final option in the Precision tree, both of which have benefits in the right situations.
Similarly, players split between secondary Resolve and Inspiration, both seeing “good” results for Briar Jungle players. To get started, definitely use the Resolve setup, as the extra defensive tools are helpful to mitigate the impact of the mistakes you’ll inevitably make. Within the Resolve path, the Conditioning rune is pretty set in stone, whereas the choice between the other rune is more flexible. There is a choice between Overgrowth, a rune that provides Briar passive Health, and Revitalize, which buffs her healing by 5%.
As with most champions, the go-to bonus runes are Attack Speed, Adaptive Force, and Armor or Health, depending on the player's comfort in the jungle role.
Itemization explained for Briar in League of Legends
The itemization for Briar is very interesting so early on, as several items were “the best” at some point in this past week. However, certain items seem to become the go-to as players continue to learn more about this unique champion. For example, all jungle items saw play at one point for Briar, but Mosstomper Seedling (green) has become the item of choice for Jungle Briar players.
Champion Briar’s first item choice: the Stridebreaker
The Stridebreaker is the most popular choice for the first item on Briar. The stats and the small slow it provides suit Briar more than the previous popular choices of Blade of the Ruined King (non-Mythic), Trinity Force (Mythic), and Goredrinker (Mythic) items.
That said, many Briar players still pick up an early Vampiric Sceptre to help keep their health topped up throughout their jungling adventures. Once players become better at their clears with Briar, this likely gets cycled out of the build path as some of the high-ranked Briar players are already trying, but there is nothing wrong with using it while you learn the champion.
Interestingly, some Jungle Briar players are experimenting with a different build entirely, prioritizing the Black Cleaver (non-Mythic). Then, after the Black Cleaver, building into other items like the Trinity Force (Mythic) or Jak’Sho, the Protean (Mythic), depending on their position in the game and the needs of their team.
Optional Items for Briar in LoL
As with any champion on release, many options exist for many situations. Some include the ones we mentioned above: The Black Cleaver, Trinity Force, Stridebreaker, and the Blade of the Ruined King. Other items worth considering are Sterak’s Gage or Death’s Dance, which help improve Briar’s survivability when facing assassins on the enemy team. Similarly, in terms of defensive tools, players experiment with Wit’s End, Spirit Visage, and the Maw of Malmortius for situations that call for magic resistances.
In terms of boots, as with most champions, defensive boots are just too valuable to consider the alternatives. Plated Steelcaps is the default, and Mercury’s Treads is optional against teams with too much magic damage or lockdown.
Gameplay advice for Jungle Briar in League of Legends
Aside from the complex management of your health as Briar, the champion is relatively easy to play in the Jungle role. Your main weakness is in the early levels due to the self-taunt from Blood Frenzy, as you can’t avoid some of the damage dealt by the jungle camps with the usual method of kiting them back after every attack.
Once you get some levels under your belt, you can look to gank lanes that help you with your setup. While your stun is a nice benefit, it isn’t enough to lock down most opponents, so try and assist the lanes that have some abilities of their own. One tip, especially for newer Briar players, is avoiding the first scuttle fight. Once you become more experienced, you’ll find some champions you can take on in one-on-one scenarios. Still, your champion remains incredibly fragile throughout the early game, so avoiding your opponent is recommended.
Briar becomes one of the best surprise gankers in League of Legends at level six. Don’t forget you can take alternative paths to the enemy, such as through the lane, to catch them off guard with Certain Death if they have prepared the other paths with wards. Remember, the closer you can come without them spotting you, the better your odds of landing this ability.
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