I usually play this build in arena and generally focus around Baron's utility rather than getting kills or tanking. Whilst Baron is good at both with the right build, I like to focus on the benefits Baron can bring to a team, especially in a team fight. If you are seeking the glory of carrying your team, this build is not for you. Whilst he does reasonable damage with this build, he can do a lot more if you go full burst mage.
+Excellent utility kit
+Can fill any role
-Short range abilities
-Heal is unreliable and dependent on hitting an enemy. Can't heal unless in a fight
-Whilst he is the 'jack of all trades' he is also the master of none.
For those who haven't played Baron before, it is worth noting that his abilities are slightly shorter range than other mages and as such, you need to be slightly closer to the action. Which is why I like building him defencively.
I tend to start with shoes of focus because cooldown is pretty much essential on him, hence why I have full cooldown reduction in this build.
I then go on to buy either Lotus crown or void stone depending on whether there are more physical or magical on the other team. Lotus crown is good to get early as it will give you team a nice shield as well as a nice juicy heal, excellent during team fights. All the stats on this item are perfect for this build, especially the mp5 as he is quite mana hungry early game. The void stone gives you some nice defencive stats too as well as a good team utility aura lowering enemy defences.
After these items, I tend to buy chrono's pendant to get a nice jump in cooldown reduction. It also helps considerably to control his mana issue. If you're needing more defence however, breastplate of valor is another good option.
Depending on how things are going I'll either buy gem of isolation or pythagorem's piece next. Gem is a bit more defencive and helps lock down kills, especially if you can land your third ability. Pythagorem's is a nice item to cap your cooldown reduction whilst giving your team a boost in damage output and lifesteal and also giving you a nice chunk of health to absorb more damage.
I hope you enjoy this build as much as I do. I feel it accentuates all his best qualities and makes him a formidable team fight presence. You will rarely get a kill, but if played right, you will rarely die, and that (in my opinion) is more important than getting kills. His ability to lock down a target, heal his team whilst simultaneously dealing reasonable damage (and slowing enemies with gem), soak up tonnes of damage and having beneficial auras makes this build an excellent team based option.
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