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Swain Statistics for Boat o Goats

Author's performance with Swain compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
76
6
Win %
57
43
Kills
4.9
5.1
Assists
7.9
7.6
Deaths
3.9
6.0
KA:D Ratio
3.3
2.1
Gold Earned
11.5K
10.3K
Creep Score
187.9
152.4
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

The Godly Trinity4.png14.png12.png

4.pngFlash

Effects

Teleports your champion a short distance toward your cursor's location.

Cooldown

300 seconds

Range         

425
Flash is great for the sheer amount of utility is provides. You can either use it as an escape tool or as a way of closing the gap on the enemy's squishies. I primarily use flash to escape over walls or to jump on the enemy carry late game. Keep in mind the spell's enormous cooldown which makes Swain vulnerable because of his lack of innate escape tools.



14.pngIgnite

Effects

Ignites an enemy champion, dealing 50 + (20 × level) true damage over 5 seconds, applying Grievous Wounds icon grievous wounds and revealing them for the duration. The sight will not reveal stealth champions.

Cooldown

210 seconds

Range         

600
Ignite increases Swain's kill potential. It deals damage over time but its damage is not amplified by swaintorment.png. I typically take ignite when I'm in the mid lane to increase my damage. In the late game, I use ignite on the enemy's carries to kill them faster. The grevious wounds portion of ignite is also surprisingly useful against enemy 7.png's or champions such as 16.png or 37.png.


12.pngTeleport

Effects

After channeling for 4 seconds, your champion teleports to target turret, minion or ward. You may reactivate Teleport to cancel it, placing it on a 200 second cooldown.

Cooldown

300 seconds

Range 

Global

Teleport increases Swain's map presence. I take teleport when I go top lane with Swain to counter the enemy top laner's teleport. Late game, teleport loses a lot of its value on Swain. Teleport is good for splitpushing and backdooring as well as jumping over the early game hurdle.

Despite all the benefits to going teleport, I've found more success to take ignite instead of teleport. The extra kill potential that ignite provides is more useful than Teleport's utility. This becomes even more relevant now that Teleport has a 4.5 second channel which makes it even harder to flank with.




New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

Why 18-12-0?

As for masteries, both 18-12-0 and 18-0-12 are viable. They don't make that much of a difference so the choice between the two is mostly on preference. The Cunning tree offers some extra last hitting power, mana regeneration or damage, and extra power in teamfights. The Resolve tree offers some more regeneration, tankiness, and summoner spell cooldown reduction (really good!).

If you are going mid as Swain, I would recommend going 18-12-0. If you are going top as Swain, I would recommend going 18-0-12 to decrease 12.png's Cooldown.



Choice by Choice Breakdown

Ferocity

6114.png Sorcery - 

2% damage with abilities and spells is pretty good and is better than Attack Speed on Swain.


6122.png Feast - 

Gives 20 Health when killing a unit with a 30 second cooldown. Provides regen equivilent to 3.33 health per 5 seconds which is pretty good. Helps Swain stay in lane longer.


6143.png Battle Trance

Grants up to 3% increased damage over 3 seconds while in combat with enemy champions. Since Swain deals most of his damage over a long duration, Battle Trance is often 3% increased damage dealt and outclasses both Bounty Hunter and Double-edged Sword. I don't like Double-edged sword because it increases the damage you take and I don't like Bounty Hunter because it isn't useful until you get a few kills.


6134.png Natural Talent

Gives 10 Attack Damage and 15 Ability power at level 18. It helps with last hitting and scales our damage. I prefer this over the lifesteal/spellvamp because Swain can't take advantage of it that well.


6154.png Piercing Thoughts - 

Self-explanatory. Gives more magic penetration. Significantly worse than Precision in virtually all scenarios.


6164.png Deathfire Touch

This mastery is pretty godlike on Swain. Whenever you deal damage to an enemy champion with a spell, you give them a debuff that deals them 8 ( +50% of Bonus AD ) ( +25% of AP ) over 4 seconds (Which is halved to 4 ( +25% of Bonus AD ) ( +10% of AP ) over 2 seconds when using Area of Effect spells or 2 ( +12.5 Bonus AD ) ( +5% of AP ) over 1 second for Damage over Time spells). 

What this means is that you do a ton of extra damage with torment and decrepify. Swain uses Deathfire Touch to its fullest potential. In a teamfight you will be able to continually apply Deathfire Touch to everyone you hit for 1 second. That effectively increases the Ability Power ratio of Swain's swainmetamorphism.png by 5% Ability Power. 

With a level 1 Torment and 15AP, you deal an extra 14.85 damage! (That's pretty good!)


Cunning

6312.png Savagry

Gives +5 Damage to single target spells and auto attacks against minions. Helps Swain cs better with his terrible ad.


6322.png Secret Stash -

Gives 10% increased duration on potions and elixirs and replaces health potions with biscuits that heal 20 health and restore 10 mana instantly on consumption. Nothing too big. You can take Runic Affinity if you want to get increased buff duration or Assassin if you want more damage.


6323.png Assassin -

 Gives us 2% increased damage to champions while we don't have an ally within 800 range. Pretty much better than Double-Edged Sword. More damage amplification is always good. Secret Stash doesn't provide that much regeneration to be worth taking it over Assassin


6332.png Meditation -

Gives us some more mana regeneration which scales with our missing mana. For each 500 missing mana we have, we get 1.25 mana per second. (Pretty good!)


6331.png Merciless

Gives 3% increased damage to champions with less than 40% health (Pretty good!). Very good on Swain because of 3% percent increased damage. I personally like meditation better but it's your choice.


6343.png Dangerous Game

When killing or assisting in a kill on an enemy champion, Swain gets 5% of his missing health and mana. This mastery helps keeps Swain's health and mana up during a long teamfight or when you are 1v1ing someone else.


Resolve

6211.png Recovery

Gives a small amount of health regeneration. I take this over the percent bonus resistances because they are pretty crap. Every little bit of health regen matters.


6222.png Siegemaster

Gives 8 armor and 8 magic resitance while near a tower (Pretty good!). It's probably better than Tough Skin or Explorer. Who doesn't love free resistances when last hitting near towers?


6221.png Explorer -

Swain sucks at roaming. However, there are times that you need to leave your lane to assist your team. Explorer helps with this with 15 extra movement speed in brush and river. It is a good alternative to Tough Skin and Siegemaster


6223.png Tough Skin

Giving Swain an extra 2 damage reduction from autos might seem like it has low impact. And you'd be absolutely right, since it is like nothing. Pretty good if you go jungle Swain though (please don't). Please just take Explore or Siegemaster.


6231.png Runic Armor

Synergizes with Swain's ultimate healing. It also works on healing potions. You can also take veteran scars if you want. The healing you get from Runic Armor usually is better than the 50 Hp.


6241.png Insight

Gives Swain some summoner spell cooldown reduction. It reduces Flashes cooldown by 40 seconds which could mean the difference between living or dying from a gank. This is incredibly useful if you are running teleport since you can have tp up before the enemy top laners.


Abilities Back to Top

E
Q
W
Q
Q
R
Q
W
Q
W
R
W
W
E
E
R
E
E
Passive
Q
2
4
5
7
9
W
3
8
10
12
13
E
1
14
15
17
18
R
6
11
16

What do These Abilities Even do?


Carrion RenewalPassive: Carrion Renewal

Whenever Swain kills an enemy or structure, he restores ( 12 + Swain's level) mana. On kills and assists on enemy champions, Swain regains an additional 9% of his maximum mana.

Pretty self explanatory. Last hit and get mana! Kills and assists give you more mana. Also note that this passive works against towers, inhibitors and monsters.


swaindecrepify.pngQ: Decrepify

Swain releases Beatrice, his raven, to target location where she remains for 4 seconds.
Beatrice will attack enemies within the area, prioritizing any targets with swaintorment.png, then any other champions in range. Beatrice deals 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 (+30% of AP) magic damage a second and slows for 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%. Beatrice deals double damage to minions.

Maximum possible damage versus champions: 120 / 200 / 280 / 360 / 440 (+ 120% AP)
Maximum possible damage versus minions: 240 / 400 / 560 / 720 / 880 (+240% AP)
Cooldown: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10
Mana cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80
Range: 700
Range (Tether): 325

Use Beatrice to zone out your opponents while farming at the same time. The potential damage from Beatrice is pretty insane but they need to stand inside of it. If engaging, use it after they use their escape. Can also be used to scout for vision. Also good for disuading persuers.



swainshadowgrasp.pngW: Nevermove

Swain marks the target area. After a 0.875 second delay, talons grab onto enemy units within, dealing 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 + ( 70% of AP ) magic damage and rooting them for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds.

Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10
Mana cost: 80 / 85 / 90 / 95 / 100
Range: 900
Range (Area of Effect): 125

Long range. Gives you a lot more area of effect damage as well as reduced cooldowns on level up. Try to use it as a follow up to your Q or your other allies' cc.



swaintorment.pngE: Torment

Swain afllicts the enemy unite with a curse that deals magic damage to them over 4 seconds, amplifying Swain's damage by 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20% and dealing 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 ( 80% of AP) magic damage over the duration. The damage amplification affects all magic and physical damage Swain deals, including torment, making its modified damage 81 / 127.65 / 176.7 / 228.15 / 282 + (86.4 / 88.8 / 91.2 / 93.6 / 96% of AP).

Cooldown: 10 seconds
Mana cost: 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85
Range: 625

One of the few damage amplifiers left in the game. Great damage later in the game. Keep in mind its damage amplification applies to itself. Take it at level one but max it last since it scales poorly with ability ranks.



swainmetamorphism.pngR: Ravenous Flock

Swain assumes the form of a demoic raven. Every 0.2 seconds, a lesser raven strike out at a nearby enemy to deal 50 / 70 / 90 + ( 20% of AP). The ravens prioritze champions and each enemy can only be hit by one raven at a time. Swain heals for 8 / 11 / 13 ( 3% of AP) for every minion hit by a raven and 50 / 70 / 90 ( 20% AP) for every champion hit by a raven. The mana cost to maintain Ravenous Flock increases by every second. Swain may reactivate the ability to return to human form. 

Cooldown: 20 seconds
Mana per second: 25 + 5 per additional second Ravenous Flock remains active
Range: 700

Ravenous Flock is what makes Swain. Q+W+R is very good waveclear. Use Ravenous Flock while trading or teamfighting for some extra damages. I would advise against using it to farm minions as it makes you quite vulnerable considering its 20 second cooldown. This thing also remains active during zhonyas which is nice. It's mana cost can become quite prohibitive the longer you activate it.

I also advise not turning on Ravenous Flock if you aren't in range to hit anyone. If the enemy manages to run away, it's typically a good idea to turn off Ravenous flock if you can't chase.


Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    I start dorans+pots in most games.
    This is my usually early game build. An early catalyst really helps with Swain's mana problems
    I prego catalyst for a seeker's armguard if I'm struggling vs. an AD laner. Else I would buy it after catalyst but before RoA.
    Corrupting potion is also another viable starting item build. I'd prefer Doran's for the extra ability power and mana regeneration it provides though.
    If you ever go back with not quite enough gold for a Catalyst, dank seal can be an effective purchase and alternative to doran's ring.

Core Items

    15 Magic penetration is extremely useful for mages. I buy Sorcerer's Shoes most games.
    1st item always. Absolute core every game. Don't go a game without this
    Have extra gold? I personally limit myself to one health potion. Moderation is key!
    Zhonyas has great synergy with Swain's ult and it allows him to stay in the fight for extended periods of time. Always get after Rod of Ages.
    A Haunting Guise is uncommon while building Swain. It has the benefit of building into Liandry's and provides a boost of damage which can make it an okay buy after Rod of Ages/Abyssal/Zhonya's
    Liandry's is a solid option after Abyssal/Zhonyas/Rod of Ages. It's great vs. tanks and squishies alike. It's damage over time effect lingers with E. It also synergizes with all of Swain's abilities.

Situational Items

    Not enough testing done.
    Extremely expensive on Swain. It has the benefit of giving you lots of Ability Power. More AP = more healing . Solid 6th item.
    Extremely useful against magic damage. If you are taking up the tanking role I would heavily consider Spirit Visage after Zhonya's Hourglass.
    A mage Swain core build.
    Very cheap and very effective at mitigating physical damage. Similarly to Spirit Visage, I usually get one of these if I am taking up the tank role in a team.
    Rylai's can be a good situational pickup when you really need to slow down their team.
    Sometimes you really just need some more stats. I would generally advise against building an early negatron cloak or chain vest before you get catalyst. Can be good after Abyssal/ Zhonya's for an extra spike in tankiness.
    An alternative to Rod of Ages. See item discussion below.
    Mercury Treads can be a good alternative to Sorcerer's Shoes when you really need to survive against enemy magic damage and cc. I pick Mercury treads more often when I go top lane.
    A tankier Swain build core build.
    Can be effective if you have another magic damage dealer on your team. Mainly a good pickup if you are struggling versus magic damage and you want more damage compared to a spirit visage.

Stats Swain Loves (in order of typical importance)

Magic Penetration
Ability Power
Health
Mana
Regeneration
Resistances
Attack Damage

Each of Swain's items provides one or more of these stats. Swain needs a large health and mana pool in order to teamfight properly. You realistically can't leave your ult on the whole fight so we need mana to increase our uptime.


Starters

There are a couple viable starting options as Swain.

2033.png500g Corrupting Potion - Refillable Potion - 3 Charges which restore upon returning to base.
Each charge restores 150 health and 60 mana over 12 seconds. During this duration, you damaging attacks and abilities apply a burn that damages enemy champions for 15-30 ( based on level ) magic damage over 3 seconds. This damage is halved for Area of Effect and Damage over Time effects.

It can give a comparable amount of damage to doran's ring and gives you more lane sustain. Additionally, it also means that you never have to buy health potions ever again as it refills when you return to base. Because of this, Corrupting Potion is better than Doran's ring after your first back. Swain's kit hardly takes advantage of corrupting potion's damage over time effect however. I often take Corrupting Potion when I play Swain in the top lane for the extra sustain is provides.


1056.png400g Doran's Ring - 60 Health, 50% Base Mana Regeneration (3.5 - 9.8 mp/5), 15 AP, Doran's Ring passive
Doran's Ring is the more aggressive option out of the two. It gives you less sustain, but more damage through the Deathfire Touch mastery for all ins or very aggressive lanes. I typically won't go for an early kill because of Swain's lackluster laning phase. Doran's Ring gives Swain all of his trading power and his laning phase in lackluster without atleast 2 of these.



Core Stuff

3010.png1200g Catalyst the Protector - 225 Health, 300 mana, Regeneration Passive
You typically want a Catalyst after your first back. The regeneration, health, and mana is provides are all great on Swain. The extra mana allows Swain to go in extended engages and prolonged trades with your lane opponent. Additionally, it also builds into Rod of Ages which is nice.


3027_64.png2700g Rod of Ages -  300 (500) Health, 300 (400) Mana, 60 (100), Eternity Passive 
Provides a good amount of health, mana, damage, and a very beneficial passive. Rod of Ages's passive gives 15% of the damage you take as extra mana AND gives 20% of mana spent on abilities as health back. Additionally, Rod of Ages scales each minute after you buy the item giving a total of 500 health, 400 mana, and 100 ability power. All its stats are very useful on Swain and it is very efficient. The extra flat health and mana allow Swain to sustain his ult for extended periods of time during teamfights. You want to rush a RoA as soon as possible to make use of it's stacking passive as soon as possible. 


3157_64.png2900g Zhonya's Hourglass - 70 AP, 45 Armor, 10% cdr, Zhonya's active
Gives more you more damage and survivability. Probably the second most important item on Swain other than Rod of Ages. Zhonya's is critically important as it allows us to avoid potentially deadly spells and keep us longer in the fight. Swain's ult continues to drain mana and steal health during Zhonya's which can make it a particularly effective item to bait enemies with. I typically use Zhonya's when I'm approaching low life or when I need to dodge an ability such as Zed's ultimate or Lux's ultimate. Zhonya's hourglass is a must-buy on Swain for this reason.


3102.png2750g Banshee's Veil - 70 AP, 60 Magic Resistance, 10% cdr, spell shield passive
Abyssal is a great, cost-efficient item to build on Swain. Swain usually takes fully advantage  It can be an effective pickup against many ap enemy midlaners. I would consider building Abyssal if I'm versus heavy magic damage from the enemy team. If I plan on building an Abyssal Scepter I usually buy the Negatron Cloak before building Zhonya's.


3151.png3100g Liandry's Torment - 80 AP, 300 Health, 15 Magic Penetration, Liandry's Torment passive
Liandry's is a little on the expensive side. It does, however, have the advantage of giving Swain a ton of damage regardless of our opponents. It's damage over time effect synergizes with the slow and snare of our Q and W. The damage over time effects of our Q, E, and ult also constantly reapply the effect giving us a significant damage increase. Liandry's is absolutely fine without the help of Rylai's because our Q and W already deals double Liandry burn damage. The 15 magic penetration is incredibly useful and the damage it provides to Swain makes it one of, if not the best damage item for Swain. 

Don't be mislead that this is an item for tank-shredding, it kills squishy mages and adc's the same as well! Liandry's is a great choice for every game and I typically get it after Zhonya's.

It also, if it matters, makes it easier to kill super minions.


Other Items

3116.png3200g Rylai's Crystal Scepter - 400 Health, 100 AP, Rylai's passive
Surprisingly, Rylai's crystal scepter solves a lot of our midgame problems. It gives us 100 AP and 400 Health at 3200g which isn't too inefficient. It helps Swain chase fleeing foes easily and synergizes with Liandrys, if you choose to buy it, to boot! Unfortunately, Rylai's raw stats and passive often aren't enough as we need more important items such as zhonya's before hand. It isn't so much that the stats are bad, more it's how tiny the slow effect is compared to other item powerhouses such as liandries or void staff. 


3030.png3000g Hextech GLP-800 - 300 Health, 400 Mana, 80 AP, Hextech GLP active
I feel like I need to discuss Hextech GLP as an alternative to Rod of Ages. For starters, Hextech GLP has more mana and AP to start with compared to Rod of Ages. It also has the same Catalyst of Aoens passive as Rod of Ages whilst having a frostbolt spray active which deals 92 ( + 6 x lvl ) ( + 35% AP ) magic damage with a 65% percent decaying slow over 0.5 seconds.

Despite all these good and valid reasons as to why Hextech GLP is a better alternative to Rod of Ages, there's also the other side of the argument. Firstly, Hextech GLP costs 300 more gold than Rod of Ages. That might not seem like a lot, but it can be worth noting that you can buy Rod of Ages sooner than Hextech GLP which can make all the difference in a teamfight. Secondly, Rod of Ages just gives better stats over time and is more gold efficient because of it. There is a good difference between 500 and 300 health and 100 and 80 AP! Lastly, I find that Hextech GLP's active just isn't impactful enough to be worth buying. The slow is hardly enough to chase with much less use it to land your snare.

That being said, Hextech GLP and Rod of Ages are both similar items and grant similar stats. Ultimately the choice is your preference.

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Aatrox
    Easy
  • Ahri
    Medium
  • Akali
    Hard
  • Anivia
    Hard
  • Annie
    Medium
  • Azir
    Medium
  • Brand
    Hard
  • Camille
    Easy
  • Cassiopeia
    Medium
  • Cho'Gath
    Easy
  • Darius
    Easy
  • Diana
    Medium
  • Dr. Mundo
    Easy
  • Ekko
    Easy
  • Ezreal
    Medium
  • Fiora
    Medium
  • Fizz
    Medium
  • Galio
    Hard
  • Gangplank
    Medium
  • Garen
    Hard
  • Gnar
    Medium
  • Gragas
    Easy
  • Heimerdinger
    Medium
  • Illaoi
    Medium
  • Irelia
    Medium
  • Jarvan IV
    Hard
  • Jax
    Easy
  • Jayce
    Medium
  • Karma
    Medium
  • Kassadin
    Medium
  • Katarina
    Medium
  • Kayle
    Medium
  • Kennen
    Medium
  • Kled
    Easy
  • LeBlanc
    Medium
  • Lissandra
    Medium
  • Lucian
    Medium
  • Lux
    Hard
  • Malphite
    Easy
  • Malzahar
    Medium
  • Maokai
    Medium
  • Mordekaiser
    Easy
  • Morgana
    Medium
  • Nasus
    Easy
  • Nautilus
    Medium
  • Nidalee
    Easy
  • Olaf
    Medium
  • Orianna
    Medium
  • Ornn
    Easy
  • Pantheon
    Medium
  • Poppy
    Medium
  • Quinn
    Medium
  • Renekton
    Hard
  • Riven
    Hard
  • Rumble
    Easy
  • Ryze
    Medium
  • Shen
    Medium
  • Singed
    Medium
  • Sion
    Medium
  • Syndra
    Medium
  • Taliyah
    Medium
  • Talon
    Easy
  • Teemo
    Medium
  • Trundle
    Medium
  • Tryndamere
    Easy
  • Twisted Fate
    Easy
  • Urgot
    Medium
  • Varus
    Easy
  • Veigar
    Medium
  • Vel'Koz
    Medium
  • Vladimir
    Medium
  • Warwick
    Medium
  • Wukong
    Medium
  • Xerath
    Medium
  • Yasuo
    Easy
  • Yorick
    Medium
  • Zed
    Medium
  • Ziggs
    Medium
  • Zyra
    Medium

VS

Aatrox

Easy

I know one aatrox mid main. He is melee just harass him and win.

VS

Ahri

Medium

Just dodge her charm and you should be fine. If you land W, walk up and bait her charm then go in with E, Q, and ult. Post 6 you can straight up outdamage her.


The new buffs that Ahri recieved including the movespeed from q and healing from her passive makes her extremely hard to kill. Unless she makes a mistake, you will usually need a jungle gank to kill her. Ahri can easily disengage from max range snares so be careful when walking out of the minion wave.

VS

Akali

Hard

Level of Difficulty: Hard


Runes: Flat magic resist glyphs

Reasoning: Level 1 and 2 is the most crucial point in this matchup. This is where Swain is able to bully out Akali with E and Q while Akali does not have her primary trading tool available ( her Q and W). 

Past that point, trades become increasingly in Akali's favor as she can Q you then blink with her W to secure the auto proc. After that Akali will retreat to her shroud where she can avoid most of your damage.

Past level 6 she can make these frequent trades with you, heal back up, and abuse the long cooldown on your ult.

Tips to Playing Against:
  1.  Ask for the jungler to come gank early to help secure early lane dominance.
  2. Try to trade when her w is off cooldown. That way you can secure most of your Q's damage. Your Q cannot deal damage while she is in stealth.
  3. Past level 6 you want to be careful as she can all in your very easily. Back off if your ult is on cooldown or if you are not confident in your ability to kill her 1v1. 
  4. Call for a jungle gank if you are being zoned.
  5. Never die for some cs

VS

Anivia

Hard
Get a few points in W early on. She pushes hard with her ult.

0-18-12 Masteries.

Boots start should be considered.

One of the hardest lanes for swain. Long range stun and incredible waveclear spells disaster for swain. Your level one trading power is better than hers if you dodge her Q. Post 6 you have no choice but to lose trades. And ult+frostbite combo can easily take half of your hp.

Get a gank and try and kill her in an all-in. If that doesn't work, you'll be sitting at your tower trying to last hit all game.

VS

Annie

Medium
Q Max second.

Snowbally as hell. The one to get the first kill will often win the lane outright. Her there is no window of opportunity when she uses her Q because of its insanely low cooldown so trading is difficult.

I would just try and survive until I get catalyst and level 6 where you can all in.

VS

Azir

Medium
A few points in W early on is good as he likes pushing.

A good Azir is nigh impossible to beat in lane. Try using Q to zone him while he tries to whack you with his soldiers while you last hit.

Be wary of his ult when going aggressive. He can flash and shove you into his tower!

VS

Brand

Hard
What you are maxing second is reliant on how aggressive you can be in lane. A second point in W can be necessary to combat pushing.

I'd go 0-18-12 masteries. It's hard to be aggressive vs. Brand because of his immense base damage and stuns. 

Boots + 4 pots is not a bad start vs. Brand.

Be passive early game and go for an early catalyst.

Predictable skills. Just be careful not to get hit by his pillar of flame and you should be fine.

VS

Camille

Easy

VS

Cassiopeia

Medium
Max Q second

0-18-12 Masteries for increased tankiness.

Boots start can be considered


A good Cassiopeia will surprise you. Her damage isn't that great early game however. If she wants to trade early, she'll just run out of mana quickly. I would be cautious of her level 2 powerspike as her Q+E can kill you exceptionally quickly.

VS

Cho'Gath

Easy
I would try to get a few points in W to counteract his pushing ability.

Boots and 4 pots should be considered. Doran's ring start is usually fine however.

His incredible sustain can make it difficult to harass out of lane. Avoid the spikes. You can't kill him because he's so tanky. You outscale him and do better in teamfights.

VS

Darius

Easy

It is very easy to harass Darius early with an swaintorment.png+auto harass combo. Just be wary about dodging his dariuscleave.png and dariusaxegrabcone.png

VS

Diana

Medium
Max swainbeam.pngQ second.

12-18-0 or 0-18-12 masteries are fine. It depends on how aggressive you want to be.

Doran's ring start is usually fine. She won't be able to harass you too much early game.

Learn to dodge her Q by moving forward or upwards. Avoid harassing her when she has her shield.

Beware of her level 6 powerspike. She can do very high burst damage with a single rotation of her abilites and double ult. 3001.pngAbyssal scepter is key to not dying in this matchup.

VS

Dr. Mundo

Easy

VS

Ekko

Easy

Max Q second




Doran's is a good starting option. His harass potential early game is quite low. You can also get boots if you're worried about getting caught in his W.

Try and avoid his ekkoW.png. You can't kill him in this matchup. Be very careful of jungler ganks and his roaming. Take advantage of the fact that he wants to dash onto you to do any real damage. Don't use your Q until after he uses his dashes.


VS

Ezreal

Medium
swainbeam.pngQ Max second

12-18-0 for more damage

1056.pngDoran's start for more early damage.

AD Ezreal Mid is quite uncommon. Because of his ezrealarcaneshift.png, getting a kill can be quite difficult. Standing behind minions to avoid his ezrealmysticshot.png is also good. He is surprisingly squishy and if you can surprise flash him, then it usually results in a kill.

VS

Fiora

Medium

As a Swain you can't really do much against a fiora. Her fioraq.pngQ easily bests your swainbeam.pngQ. While her fiorariposte.pngW pretty much disables your swainshadowgrasp.pngW.


If she uses her W while trading, you can try landing your snare. But do not attempt to catch fiora with your snare while she has riposte off cooldown.

Fiora's ult makes it very difficult to duel her so I would advise against engaging her without swainmetamorphism.png.

VS

Fizz

Medium
swainbeam.pngMax Q second. Your Q is your only guaranteed damage in this matchup. It persists through the trollpole.

12-18-0 masteries for more damage early.

1056.pngDoran's start is sufficient as his harass potential is terrible early game.

Fizz is one of the champions in the game that Swain can bully. Zoning him early on is crucial. Try and bait out his fizzjump.pngtrollpole as he tends to win trades if he can use it to dissipate your swaintorment.pngtorment.

Fizz will try to roam to evade the bad matchup. Buy pinks to track where he is roaming and ping whenever he is missing.

VS

Galio

Hard
An extra point in W helps against his waveclear.

Doran's + potions is enough to survive his early game harass.

12-18-0 masteries if you want to be aggressive. Otherwise go 0-18-12

His damage is really mediocre early game. His shield does give him some durability vs. your harass but he will go out of mana quickly if he uses it too often. He'll try to harass with his Q when you go in for a last hit. Learn his harass patterns and the lane should be easy enough.

His ultimate will do a surprising amount of burst damage. Galio is also great at assisting allied ganks, so beware of his roaming and kill potential.

VS

Gangplank

Medium

Hurr durr I'm a put muh barrels. Lane is pretty easy if you ask me. His damage gets insane later on so don't feed him.

VS

Garen

Hard

VS

Gnar

Medium

VS

Gragas

Easy

VS

Heimerdinger

Medium

You wanted to harass the donger? Guess again. Clear those things with like and e or something cause they are really annoying.

VS

Illaoi

Medium

VS

Irelia

Medium

VS

Jarvan IV

Hard

VS

Jax

Easy

VS

Jayce

Medium

VS

Karma

Medium

Q has an area of effect where it lands. Just have a minion wall in between her and you at all times.

VS

Kassadin

Medium

Honestly, it depends on skill more often than not. Be sure to respond after he jumps in to trade with him. (He doesn't have a silence anymore afaik)

VS

Katarina

Medium

Her laning phase is quite weak.


She can't evenly trade with you without jumping on you first. Use this to your advantage to land an easy Q and snare when applicable.

VS

Kayle

Medium

Haven't seen any mid kayles lately. She pushes hard. Relatively easy to harass though.

VS

Kennen

Medium

VS

Kled

Easy

VS

LeBlanc

Medium
Dodge chains after she dashes. She suffers from Swain syndrome, If she isn't maxing W, just push to her tower.
This lane is extremely aggressive and comes down on who kills who first.
Miss Bursty can take your hp down unexpectedly. Her last-hitting is also crap unless she's maxing he W. You can max E then W in this matchup.

VS

Lissandra

Medium

Her Q gets extra range through minions. Her burst is impressive if she's even or ahead. Harassing her is a legitimate option.

VS

Lucian

Medium

VS

Lux

Hard

A lux can last hit effectively

A good lux can last hit without touching the minions.
This is a farm lane just don't get forced out of it.

VS

Malphite

Easy

VS

Malzahar

Medium

Pushes like a mad man. Try and hit him and avoid his minions as much as possible.

VS

Maokai

Medium

VS

Mordekaiser

Easy

VS

Morgana

Medium

She doesn't push THAT hard. Just don't get hit by her q.

VS

Nasus

Easy

VS

Nautilus

Medium

VS

Nidalee

Easy

I haven't seen any nidalee mids lately but boy are they a pain in the ass. Try to avoid getting speared and try to make it past laning phase.

VS

Olaf

Medium

VS

Orianna

Medium

Her zone (ball) control gets annoying real fast. A good orianna can wreck your face but so can you.

VS

Ornn

Easy

VS

Pantheon

Medium

Difficult to trade with. Be very wary of jungle ganks that might snowball the lane in his favor.

VS

Poppy

Medium

VS

Quinn

Medium

VS

Renekton

Hard

A very heavy snowball lane. Either you completely zone him or he zones you.


VS

Riven

Hard

Riven tends to play very aggressively. Try not to use your Q early on in the trade. Often what you want to be doing is to wait for her to dash up with her abilities to hit you. Typically after she uses her rivenfeint.png, you'll be able to catch her with a snare and a full duration Q. 


Seekers before/after catalyst is suggested.

VS

Rumble

Easy

VS

Ryze

Medium

This guy is scaring if he gets going. Try and harass him and avoid his q. Don't get snare locked and die. Be sure to keep minions in between him and you.

VS

Shen

Medium

It's very difficult to duel a shen even in the laning phase. As for general tips keep track of where his blade is. Try to avoid being in between the blade and Shen as he can hit you for a lot of bonus damage.


Like Riven you want to wait until after he dashes in your face to snare him. Punish him hard for engaging.

Shen will also be looking to teleport around the map so, whenever possible, try to keep track of Shen. If he begins teleporting you can use your snare to interrupt his teleport.

VS

Singed

Medium

If you're laning versus a singed, he's doing something wrong. Keep lasthitting under turret while he proxies. If your jungler comes to gank be sure to help him if your jungler knows what he's doing.

VS

Sion

Medium

This guy like shoving minions in your face. He will be exceptionally tanky after his first back so try and press your advantage until then.

VS

Syndra

Medium

Her balls are easily telegraphed but her catch range is long.

VS

Taliyah

Medium

If She's maxing Q, abuse the fact that it only works well on worked ground. Be very careful in avoiding her W and her roam potential. Other than that, she lacks the escapes and durability to survive an all-in from Swain.


Taliyah is a roamer so be sure to ward the river to warn your teammates if she's ganking. 

VS

Talon

Easy

Be careful of the level 2 all-in. Otherwise you can just poke him down with E+Autos

VS

Teemo

Medium

VS

Trundle

Medium

VS

Tryndamere

Easy

VS

Twisted Fate

Easy

TF's trading power comes from his pick-a-card. If he tries to harass you with it, just throw an E and auto his way. It's very hard to match TF's global presence, so just try and shove the lane as much as you can when he leaves lane.

VS

Urgot

Medium

Avoid getting caught by his dash and you should dominate the early game. His damage comes from his shotgun knees so keep to one side of him only.

VS

Varus

Easy

This guy has no business being mid. Try and dodge his Q whenever possible. Throw an E if he last hits with his autos.

VS

Veigar

Medium

He really can't do anything to you without a jungle gank. Try and zone him as much as possible with vision from wards.

VS

Vel'Koz

Medium

A good vel'koz will push the shit out of the lane. Just try and cs as best as possible. His Q is relatively easy to dodge.

VS

Vladimir

Medium

VS

Warwick

Medium

VS

Wukong

Medium

Incredibly snowbally lane. If he doesn't level 2 all in you, then you should be able to poke him down. His monkeykingdecoy.png makes it problematic to use swaindecrepify.png so I would wait until after he uses it to go in.

VS

Xerath

Medium

It's kind of pointless trying to harass this guy down. Avoid is stun/slow and watch out for ganks. If you are lucky, get an early jungle gank to help as he has no mobility.

VS

Yasuo

Easy

Just be careful about his level 6 power spike. His windwall is only good for your ult and e.

VS

Yorick

Medium

Don't get tagged by his E or you will take a lot of damage from his minions. He is melee and very susceptible to poke.

VS

Zed

Medium

This matchup is a walk in the park. Just focus on csing and don't get hit by his shurikens. Don't try to harass him out of lane, it's impossible. You completely outscale him lategame and are the better teamfighter.

VS

Ziggs

Medium

Try to stay away from the minions so his bouncing bombs don't hit you. Ziggs shoves really hard early on so be prepared to use W and shove back. Ziggs outranges you by a large margin so don't try to engage early or late in the game.

VS

Zyra

Medium

Powerful zone control. Luckily she is squishy compared to Oriannna.

An Introduction to the Bird Back to Top


Hello!

Hey Lolking guide viewers. Welcome to my Swain guide. Swain has carried me to Diamond last season and he will carry you too! I'm currently working on getting diamond again with my favorite bird.


Once a true terror in the midlane, Swain now bends to the will of pretty much anyone who has more range than him. However, don't let that discourage you! After Swain's mediocre lane phase, he turns into the monster bird we all know and love.

Swain is particlarly effective top lane where he can bully out most melee top laners. Mid lane offers the most safety but he suffers from poor matchups.

A lot has changed since Swain's release. He suffers from poor last-hitting Despite this, Swain maintains a 50%+ winrate because of his absolute dominance mid game which can snowball your team to victory. Swain isn't too popular, so you get the element of surprise. (Like seriously who expects a Swain?) People will overestimate your damage, so you can use that to your advantage. 


Pros:

Hella survivable
Great Damage throughout all stages of the game
Built in Mana regeneration passive.
Sustain at level 6.
Moderate cc.

Cons:

Very mana-intensive.
Reliant on last hitting creeps for mana.
Shorter ranged than most and tends to get bullied out of lane.
Crappy autoattack damage and projectile.
Especially prone to early jungle ganks.
Relies on other's cc to catch squishies.


Ratings:

Trading Power: 4/10
Sustain: 7/10
Utility: 7/10
Mobility: 0/10
Difficulty: 3/10
Teamfighting Ability: 8/10
Birding Ability: 10/10




Early Game Back to Top

To Bully or be Bullied

When playing Swain, you have one of two options: Either you become the aggressor or are passive. Swain needs to play passively during the early game against long-ranged mages. Picking smart trades is crucial to playing Swain correctly. Learn how to dodge enemy skillshots and abuse your snare's range to catch them offguard. If the opportunity presents itself, go in with a quick E + auto and then back off.


Farm them Minions

You want to be focused on farming minions. Be sure to keep the wave near the center to avoid losing last hits to the tower. If their wave is pushing, try to prime the melee minions to a little over half, so that when the tower takes a shot, only one hit is needed. You can use W to snag multiple low health minions at once if needed. Once you reach level 6, last hitting under tower is a breeze. 


Use those Abilities

You can also use your Q to assist with last hitting in lane. Since the initial tick of his Q is applied instantaneously, you can use it to last hit two minions at once, or last hit a minion which is low enough that your auto attack won't make it in time.

As you typically aren't playing the role as lane bully, using your spells defensively can work to great success. Oftentimes the enemy laner will just walk into all of your abilities and take loads of damage from you and your minions. Additionally it can be difficult to effectively use your abilities aggressively. 
swainbeam.pngQ Has a smallish area of effect and can easily be avoided

swainshadowgrasp.pngW Also has a small area and a delayed effect which makes landing it nearly impossible without help from your team.

swaintorment.pngE Most of E's damage comes from your other abilities. And, if you aren't using your other abilities effectively, you aren't using E effectively.

swainmetamorphism.pngR is probably one of the most punishing skills in Swain's kit. If you try to be aggressive and actively trade, as soon as the enemy laner disengages, they now have 20 seconds (the cooldown of R) of control over the lane.


Manage that Mana

You want to conserve mana as much as possible so you can stay in lane for longer. I tend to leave my ultimate on for no more than a few seconds at a time. In some matches, E and auto's simply aren't worth your mana (or time for that matter). Sometimes the enemy is super tanky and you can't afford to waste unneccessary mana trying to trade.


Wave Management

Wave management is very important for any laner in the game. Ideally you want the minions to meet at the middle of the lane. If the wave is pushing towards your tower, you risk losing last hits to the tower and also risk taking harassment from the enemy laner. If the wave is pushing towards their tower, it becomes harder to last hit and it makes you more prone to ganking.

If the wave is pushing early I like to throw a W at the casters as early as level 2 to try to stem the push.

Before going back to base or before you start roaming, make sure the minion wave is either 
A. Neutral (in the middle of the lane)
B. Minions slighty pushing towards your tower (they have more minions)
C. Minions are neutral but they are closer to the enemy tower (the wave will start pushing towards your tower)

You can achieve any of the above in numerous ways. One way I like to manipulate the minion wave is by leaving one or two minions alive while the wave is pushing. This insures that the enemy wave starts pushing slowly, but not fast enough that they will reach the tower. I'll just go back to base and hen when I get back, I'll have a nice juicy minion wave near the tower. It's important that the tower does not hit the minions but it is still beneficial for you. By letting the wave slowly push towards your tower, you are denying the enemy laner potential experience and gold.

Another way of manipulating the waves in your favor is to simply wait for the minions before it becomes neutral. What I mean by this is when there is no more minions in lane and are currently waiting for the next set of minions. If your opponent is away, you can tank their minions and hold them in front of their tower. Then recall. When you get back, a large wave will be at your tower to farm. Doing this, like the above method, insures that the wave slowly push to deny the enemy laner.


Early Item Choices

Every back: Usually get a2055.png . Sell your Doran's Ring if you do not have space.

First back: Depending on your lane you want 3010.png or 3191.png along with some 1001.png

Afterwards: Work towards your 3027.png and 3020.png then transition into 3157.png/3151.png

Mid Game Back to Top

The True Powerspike

Swain's power lies within his extremely powerful midgame. This is usually around the 20 minute mark when you have Rod of Ages and boots. You should be very difficult to take down at this point, but don't try picking 2v1 fights. Your team should be able to teamfight at this point.


Objectives

During the Mid game the game becomes more objective based. Swain is generally terrible at roaming in general. However, if an opportunity presents itself to take a quick dragon or tower, don't hesitate! Because everyone else is pretty much a better roamer than Swain, you want to keep track of your enemy midlaner to make sure your bot or toplane isn't ganked.


Sieging

During sieges, you want to make sure to use your W sparingly. A well placed W can give your team enough time to disengage or retaliate. You can time W with your allies' cc to insure maximum lockdown as well as an almost gaurenteed snare.

Teamfighting! Back to Top

You Got Some Options...

A standard teamfight breaks out when someone gets caught out of position and the enemy (or your team) collapses on them. As Swain, if you cannot land a blind snare on their team, you should not try to engage a fight. Rather, it is more beneficial for your allies to initiate for you so that you can follow up with a guaranteed snare. Before a teamfight breaks out, you have a few options regarding your positioning relative to your team.
  1. You can start hugging and staying near your backline. This is mostly effective if you aren't very tanky as you cannot stand and tank for your team.
  2. You can be the frontline in the team as well if your team initiates.
  3. You could also be completely absent for the start of the teamfight as you try to go for a flank on the enemy.

1. You can start hugging and staying near your backline.


  • Stay back near your adc when the teamfight starts. As soon as an assassin or the like jumps on your adc, mash your keyboard and kill 'em. 
  • Note: This doesn't really work against tanks or if your adc is just trash.
  • Fake Peeling- Wait for an opportunity to go ham. Basically you just do what you do when you go route 1 except when the enemy adc decides to auto a nearby teammate, you go ham on them! You can either go for the swaindecrepify.png+swainshadowgrasp.png to catch them out or you can just 4.png on them.
  • When Fake Peeling, it is important for you not to use your abilities on the enemy tanks. It is important that you have your abilities available when the enemy adc steps forward out of position.
  • This option is particularly effective if their frontline isn't that tanky or if their team has a bunch of assassins.

2. You can be the frontline in the team as well.

  • Your goal is to survive as long as possible so that your team can clean up afterwards.
  • You still do not want the one to be initiating teamfights if you cannot land a blind swainshadowgrasp.png
  • Teamfights usually devolve into each team's frontline going for the enemy squishies or when the frontlines decide to protect their backline.
  • In the former case, you should be wary of your position in the teamfight. If you cannot tank the enemy adc alone, I would advise falling back to collapse on their frontline or to 3157.png.
  • In the latter case, the teamfight looks a lot like case #1 with you being with the backline. You want to do Fake Peeling or focusing their tanks down.
  • Being the front line is most effective when you are exceptionally tanky compared the the enemy frontline. It is also good for when your team initiates as you can directly follow up with some crowd control.

3. Going for Flanks

  • Flanks are more risky than staying with your team. You run the risk of your team dying before you can properly flank.
  • When a fight starts out, you and anyone else who is diving on their backline all collapse together. The idea is, if you can surround the enemy adc, they will have no route in which to escape.
  • When flanking alone, it can be very easy to land a blind swainshadowgrasp.png as they are unaware of your location and they might be caught off-guard.
  • The result of a successful flank is the enemy backline immediately dying so that your team can then focus on their remaining tanks.
  • Flanks are most effective when you can get in a good position to flank and when the enemy lacks vision of you.

General Bird Tips Back to Top

Tips for Gitting Gud

  1. Get good at last hitting. Like REALLY good. Swain has one of the worst average cs of all mids in the game, so shore up. If necessary, get the Tyrant Swain skin because its last hitting animation is better. (not joking)
  2. Manage your mana. Use skills sparingly in the lane phase. I usually only keep ult on a couple seconds during a skirmish then back off to wait for cooldowns. Also, the better last hitter you are, the more mana you have to work with.
  3. Abuse opportunities. This applies to almost everything. Landed a snare? Enemy escape down? Enemy abilities on cooldown? Take advantage of these opportunities to get some damage in or even net a few kills.
  4. Fake engages. Playing unpredictable can lead to burnt summoner spells and escape cd's. It becomes a lot easier to engage when they are lacking an escape. It can be as simple of auto attacking a fizz to bait his trollpole or causing them to preemptively use their escape before you flash all-in them.
  5. Standard combo is swaintorment.png+swaindecrepify.png+swainshadowgrasp.png+swainmetamorphism.png. This insures that they take the most damage from your combo. The ideal scenario is having your swaindecrepify.png continue to deal damage as they are snared. This is a good combo to use when the enemy is last hitting.
  6. A good combo for picking off enemies is swaindecrepify.png+swainshadowgrasp.png+swaintorment.png+swainmetamorphism.png. Swain's swaindecrepify.png has superior range to his swaintorment.png and should be used when you want to engage from a longer distance. The slow helps land swainshadowgrasp.png although the combo does not deal the most damage.
  7. 1056.png and an early 1082.png is incredibly strong and gives Swain a ton of early game power. They provide damage, regen, and durability while you are building RoA. 
  8. Roaming sucks. Sometimes it's okay to do it. But, the chances of you falling behind is very real, and, with no way to farm waves quickly, it can easily starve you out of the game. Try and pick local fights (like near dragon or in the jungle) if you can help it. Alert your team when the opposing laner goes missing (usually with the help of your wards) and, if your team isn't a bunch of idiots, the enemy laner will have wasted time and gold.
  9. Keep track of the map. This mainly includes your laner but also applies to their jungle and other lanes. Swain's lack of mobility makes him a crutch (pun intended) and results in him being an easy target for enemy ganks. Use wards to maintain vision of the river to help spot potential enemy gank paths.
  10. Don't play too aggressively, this ties in with the previous tip to maintain map awareness. You want to keep track of the jungler to maker sure you aren't at risk of being ganked when aggressively trading with your lane opponent.
  11. Make smart trades. I cannot emphasize this enough. Part of this comes from #3 abusing opportunities. Be sure you can come out ahead if you do decide to trade. Swain has a limited amount of regeneration available to him early game. Dodging the enemies' abilities also helps with this.
  12. Know your cooldowns. Swain power greatly diminishes without his abilites. If you get off a free torment on your lane opponent, I would avoid trading until my torment is up again.
  13. Try to save both W and Q for when after the enemy dashes as they are easily avoided.
  14. Like number #13 try to predict where your opponent is going to move rather than put the skill right on top of them. Applies to Q and W.
  15. Swain has alternate jokes and taunt whilst transformed. Be sure to use them to put your enemies on tilt.

Ending Words with the Bird Back to Top

This guide isn't really finished. It's missing some stuff and other things might not be super up-to-date. However, I have spent many an hour writing this guide so I would appreciate some feedback and possible critcism. It's important for me to be able to improve and better help you anyone else reading my guide. :)


Be sure to bring our enemies terror when you pick Swain on the Fields of Justice!



Changelog

8/18/2017
  • Added explanation to rune choices
  • Fixed Mastery icons
  • Fixed Item Section
  • Improved overall readability

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