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All Guides Swain Guides The Bird is the Word!~Current Guide for Swain~[Patch 6.20]
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Swain Statistics for Rïnzler

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

Value
Average
Games Played
8
Win %
45
Kills
5.3
Assists
7.4
Deaths
6.3
KA:D Ratio
2.0
Gold Earned
11.5K
Creep Score
166.4
Average

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  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

14.png - It's the standard spell you take most of the matchups;
3.png - Take this when you face assassins like 157.png 238.png 91.png 105.png. You can also pick 14.png but Exhaust is better to low their damage bad.
12.png - If you think that you cannot win the laning phase, take this for farming or ganking the other lanes.
4.png - Obviously, what else would you get instead?

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

FEROCITY WALL


Why do i take Vampirism over Natural Talent?

Vampirism gives you Lifesteal and SPELLVAMP, and that's what fits well on Swain as his swainmetamorphism.png drains HP.

Of course take Deathfire Touch, it's the best key mastery on Swain as he deals damage over time.


I prefer put points on Resolve instead of Cunning because Runic Armor empowers all kind of healing, HP regen and shields' effects.


Immagine.png

If you're more on the mana sustain instead of the HP regen, use this page.

Abilities Back to Top

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

swainbeam.png Q - Decrepify swainbeam.png

This skill got buffed after the 6.9, now it's an area skillshot and gives priority on the enemy who has been affected by swaintorment.png. However, if the enemy walks away from the max range of the skill, it doesn't stop and targets the closest unit. Max it as first as the E increses 20% of your damage at all levels now and you can slow more in early.


swainshadowgrasp.png W - Nevermove swainshadowgrasp.png

There's no need to explain this skill, use this only to snare your opponent and stop his escape. Max it as last.


swaintorment.png E - Torment swaintorment.png

With 6.9, now swaintorment.png has 20% of increased damage at all levels. Max it as second.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    best start.
    this is not recommended, but if you're against an ad assassin and you feel insicure, take it and play safe.
    viable anyways

Core Items

    always buy theese on your first back. vision ward can save your butt from ganks.
    take one of theese. i tried the glp, but i think roa is still the best one on swain, even if its passive changed.
    always
    Take this when you reach lv 9
    This should be your standard core set. Zhonya is just the strongest item on Swain for teamfights!
    if you're behind against an ap.

Situational Items

    Standard full build. this is the classic build if your game goes normal and you're fed enough to delete their carry with your combo,
    Full Build against heavy ap: always take zhonya to be unbeatable in teamfights. you can replace sorcerer's with mercury if you feel focused and you need tenacity against their cc
    full build against heavy ad: if they have ad fighters, tabi are the best choice.
    full Magic penetration: use this build if your enemies are mostly tank and hard to beat down.
    slowing build: this is more for fun, i suggest it if you're so confident with the game. rilay's passive with glp's active have double slowing effect, that would make you annoying af
    I'm not very confident with this item yet, but it's kinda great: 20% mana refunding when leveling up and by kill/assist, 20% cooldown reduction and applies grevious wound when enemy hits below 35% of hp. i should try it.

BUILD ORDER


  1. 1056.png2003.png - This is your best start, it gives mana regen and mana gains on lasthit (stacks with Swain's passive);
  2. On your first recall, the first item you have to give priority in is 3010.png, 'cause Swain needs sustain, so if you poke the enemy you convert the 15% of the damage taken as mana, and restore 20% HP when spending it, then buy 1001.png and complete it to 3020.png after your first item. Always try to save 75g and take 2043.png, remember that you're very weak in early, so keep your lane warded to prevent ganks;

    SITUATIONAL: If you're in trouble against your enemy in lane, don't complete your first core item and take a piece of the defensive second one:
    1057.png Against AP mid;
    3191.png Against AD mid.

  3. Once you have enough gold, go back and complete your first item. You have 2 choices:
    3030.png This item is pretty nice: gives the same passive of 3027.png, better early stats and an active that slows enemies in the selected area by 65% for 0.5s. It's not that much but it's enough to engage them. If you feel more confident, pick this as first.
    3027.png As explained before, ROA is the best item yet on Swain, because it's a mid/lategame item, same as the champion, and gives better stats at full stacks.

  4. Now it's time to verify what's the defensive core item you have to complete. You have 2 choices:
    3157.png It's the best one ever on Swain, as its active doesn't interrupt Swain's swainmetamorphism.png and you drain HP even when invulnerable, even better after 6.9 when it gives now 10% of Cooldown.
    3001.png Abyssal is another great item, but it must be taken as second just ONLY if your opponent is AP and you're in real trouble against him. Your priority is always to get 3157.png because of its active, but take Abyssal over it only if you are behind against strong burst mages like 7.png112.png99.png61.png etc.
  5. The next item is 3065.png: it's so op on Swain, its passive increases all your kind of regenerations (including spellvamp) by 25%. It's just a nice item for lategame;
  6. Once you completed your core build 3020.png3027.png3157.png3065.png you've to check the situation.
    If you are fed enough you can go for 3089.png + 3135.png and become painful as hell with your damage If you're behind i suggest you 3151.png or 3116.png, they cost 600g less than 3089.png and they're more like hp sustain and strong poke. Take one of those and then go for 3135.png.

FULL BUILD ORDERS

  • Standard build: 1056.png+2003.png > 3010.png > 1001.png > 1026.png > 3027.png > 3020.png > 3191.png > 3157.png > 3211.png > 3065.png > 1058.png > 3089.png > 1026.png > 3135.png

  • Build vs Full AD: 1056.png+2003.png > 3010.png > 1001.png > 1026.png > 3027.png > 3047.png > 3191.png > 3157.png > 1058.png > 3089.png > 3024.png > 3110.png > 1058.png > 3116.png

  • Build vs Full AP: 1056.png+2003.png > 3010.png > 1001.png > 1026.png > 3027.png > 3020.png > 1057.png > 3001.png > 3211.png > 3065.png > 3191.png > 3157.png > 1026.png > 3135.png

  • Magic Penetration Build: 1056.png+2003.png > 3010.png > 1001.png > 1026.png > 3027.png > 3020.png > 3191.png > 3157.png > 3211.png > 3065.png > 3136.png > 3151.png > 1026.png > 3135.png

  • Slowing Build: 1056.png+2003.png > 3010.png > 1001.png > 3145.png > 3030.png > 3020.png > 3191.png > 3157.png > 3211.png > 3065.png > 1058.png > 3116.png > 1026.png > 3135.png.

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Ahri
    Easy
  • Akali
    Easy
  • Anivia
    Medium
  • Annie
    Easy
  • Aurelion Sol
    Medium
  • Azir
    Hard
  • Brand
    Easy
  • Cassiopeia
    Hard
  • Corki
    Easy
  • Diana
    Easy
  • Ekko
    Easy
  • Ezreal
    Medium
  • Fizz
    Easy
  • Galio
    Medium
  • Gangplank
    Medium
  • Heimerdinger
    Medium
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Kassadin
    Easy
  • Katarina
    Easy
  • Kayle
    Easy
  • Kennen
    Easy
  • Kog'Maw
    Easy
  • LeBlanc
    Medium
  • Lissandra
    Medium
  • Lulu
    Hard
  • Lux
    Medium
  • Malzahar
    Medium
  • Morgana
    Medium
  • Ryze
    Medium
  • Syndra
    Hard
  • Taliyah
    Medium
  • Talon
    Easy
  • Twisted Fate
    Easy
  • Veigar
    Easy
  • Vel'Koz
    Hard
  • Viktor
    Medium
  • Xerath
    Easy
  • Yasuo
    Easy
  • Zed
    Easy
  • Ziggs
    Easy
  • Zilean
    Medium
  • Zyra
    Medium

VS

Ahri

Easy

Your early game is way weaker than hers, so if you meet a good Ahri she can poke you a lot and make your early very hard.

However, if you have knowledge about this matchup you can avoid her skillshots and use your combo aswell.
After 6 She becames food for your birds.

VS

Akali

Easy

She's a farming champion pre 6 so you've the advantage.

Poke her with your swaintorment.png + swainbeam.png every time you can to zoning her from cs.

VS

Anivia

Medium

Honestly i find this matchup based on the skills.

She has long range abilities therefore she can stay away from your poke and harass you.
However, your swainshadowgrasp.png has enough range so if you snare her you can get enough close to harass her aswell. Don't get caught by her stun pre 6 and you can win the trade.
Be careful when she reaches 6 and uses her  glacialstorm.png + frostbite.png poke 'cause you will lose lots of HP.

Item suggested: Go for 3001.png, rush it if you're behind.

VS

Annie

Easy

This matchup is easy/medium. Annie has long range auto attacks, but not quite long with her Q and W, as she must get closer to use her combo, when you have more range to use yours.

Be careful after 6, as infernalguardian.png got buffed so hard. Try not to get caught with half hp or she will burst you to death.

Item recommended: 3001.png, rush it if you're behind.

VS

Aurelion Sol

Medium

He's a good poke champ and he's based on stun and slows to harass you, therefore try to avoid his aurelionsolQ.png when in lane (the skill gets bigger but goes in one direction, so when you see it move aside and it's easy to skip).

After 6 you should win the trade.
If he aurelionsolR.png you, don't run away as he will expect you to do that. Walk close to him and use your swainmetamorphism.png to drain hp and force him to deactivate his aurelionsolW.png.

VS

Azir

Hard

Azir is very hard to beat up.

He has very annoying poke skills.
Play safe is the best way. After he uses azirW.png + azirQ.png, you can try to respond using swainshadowgrasp.png first so he cannot run away with his azirE.png.

Item recommended: 3001.png, rush it if behind.

VS

Brand

Easy

His brandpassive.png is brutal for your swainmetamorphism.png but he has no mobility so if you get him he will suffer.

VS

Cassiopeia

Hard

Durr, poison is your worst enemy, and 69.png is very annoying, even more now after her cassiopeiatwinfang.png has 0.9s cooldown permanently.


Take  3027.png asap and then go for 3001.png.

VS

Corki

Easy

I personally don't find this matchup hard.

Corki has a good poke but your combo decimates him and you have enough range to harass him aswell.
Don't use your swainshadowgrasp.png if he didn't use his carpetbomb.png, just be unpredictable and force him to use it, then you can try to snare.

VS

Diana

Easy

Diana is a good fighter, and pretty annoying.

But as 84.png she needs to farm cause her pre 6 is pretty hard, even more against you. Poke her badly.
After 6 she better not use her dianaR.png on you as you will ult aswell and absorb HP.

VS

Ekko

Easy

Tsk, another fighter, we all know where this is goin' to end.

VS

Ezreal

Medium

As usual, 81.png is so annoying that pisses me off every time, especially when he's AP.

Just care about his early poke, your range is enough to get him, unless he doesn't dash with ezrealarcaneshift.png.

VS

Fizz

Easy

Well he must get close to deal damage, and you eat assassins.

Just don't get too cocky in early as his trade is easier than yours.
You should not have problems after 6.

VS

Galio

Medium

I almost never had matchups with 3.png but his galiobulwark.png is a very powerful skill and you deal damage over time, that's even better for his healing.

However he can't burst you that much as you have sustain with your swainmetamorphism.png.
It's a skill-based matchup.

VS

Gangplank

Medium

Oh well, his damage is huge so take care of it.

He can remove your swainshadowgrasp.png with removescurvy.png so force him to use it before you want to snare him.

VS

Heimerdinger

Medium

Damn, i hate him so much.

Heavy poke, but it's also true that your swainmetamorphism.png counters his h28gevolutionturret.png.
Just stay away from his upgrade!!!.png+h28gevolutionturret.png, its damage is insane.

VS

Karthus

Easy

No mobility, you can get advantage from it.

VS

Kassadin

Easy

His early is very weak so harass him with your combo.

He shouldn't be a problem even after 6, but be careful about his roaming, it's a lot faster than yours.

VS

Katarina

Easy

"How dare you to face your general? Bow before me!"

Her poke is boring but if she shadowstep.png on you you are free to use your combo on her and deal a lot of pain.
Care after 6 as her deathlotus.png's debuff makes your spellvamp hard.

VS

Kayle

Easy

Range fighter, but still a fighter. Not a problem for you, your burst is more painful than hers.

VS

Kennen

Easy

The only thing you must take care of is his annoying AAs and kennenshurikenhurlmissile1.png+kennenbringthelight.png. But your trade is way better, don't be scared of him.

VS

Kog'Maw

Easy

He can be very annoying but he has no mobility.

So it's food for your angry birds.

VS

LeBlanc

Medium

This is a very annoying matchup.

7.png is a great burst champion, and her skills deal a lot even in early game.
I suggest you to play very safe until you reach 6, then you can beat her. Wait she uses leblancslide.png, then you can get her pretty easy.

Pick 2033.png, recommended.
Item suggested: 3001.png

VS

Lissandra

Medium

For me, it's a skill-matchup.

Her poke is as good as yours, the difference is she has a better engage/escape and good CCs.
Try to avoid her  lissandraQ.png.
The good thing is your sustain counters her, so she can't burst you at all.
Be careful when she uses her all-in, it might be the jungler ganking her.

VS

Lulu

Hard

She's a good harasser with her luluq.png, you should be careful before 6.

She can't burst you, but her damage is huge anyway.

VS

Lux

Medium

So annoying range. Take care of her nice poke and don't get caught by her luxlightbinding.png.

However you out-trade her after 6.

VS

Malzahar

Medium

Dayum, after the 6.9 his skills became very boring.

Do not let him get you with his alzaharmaleficvisions.png cause you almost risk to die at lv 1 by his damn Voidlings. Push hard your lane as his alzaharmaleficvisions.png always puts his minion wave under your tower.
After 6 you should breath a little bit more, but beware his combo, try to ult before he ults you so he can't burst you down instantly.

VS

Morgana

Medium

Morgana is one of the strongest midlaners EVER!

- Long range skills;
- High damage;
- An anti-cc spell.
If she's good, she will stay away from your poke and she will try to darkbindingmissile.png+tormentedsoil.png you every time.
Force her to use blackshield.png, then use your combo and try to beat her.

VS

Ryze

Medium

Skill-matchup.

His combo is very strong, but your early is stronger, so poke him down.

VS

Syndra

Hard

Ewh, this girl hurts with her balls!

Her range can be annoying for you trying to get her, so don't do it, use your combo only if you snare her with swainshadowgrasp.png.
Beware she doesn't have lots of her syndraQ.png on the ground, as her syndraR.png can decimate you.

Get 3157.png asap to counter her ultimate.

VS

Taliyah

Medium

Never tried this matchup yet, nobody picks 163.png tho. xD

But judging by both gameplays, A good Taliyah pokes a lot and abuses of her mobility to keep the distance from your skills.
If you can't harass her with swaintorment.png normally, engage with swainshadowgrasp.png and if you connect, go and get her.

VS

Talon

Easy

Uh. An Assassin? Cute.

His damage is high, true, but he can burst you only pre 6 and you can outplay him with your skills as his combo ends with him close to you, very close.
However, if you are in trouble, rush 3157.png.

Take 3.png, it's very effective on him.

VS

Twisted Fate

Easy

If your swainshadowgrasp.png gets him, he's f*cked!

VS

Veigar

Easy

Veigar is a farming champion, so you must harass him and try to not let him farm.

His lategame scales better, but you dominate in early/mid.

VS

Vel'Koz

Hard

Such a very ranged champion.

His skills hurt a lot and he can outpoke you easy.
Try to farm safe until 6 or your jungler comes to help you.

VS

Viktor

Medium

One of the baddest opponent for Swain.

Anyway, this match is based on skills, he outranges you so try to get him with swainshadowgrasp.png.

VS

Xerath

Easy

High long range, but no mobility.

His skills are pretty easy to avoid, so move zig zag and get him with swainshadowgrasp.png, then use your combo.

VS

Yasuo

Easy

He's just yasuoE.png yasuoE.png yasuoE.png yasuoE.png and again yasuoE.png!! How much i hate this.
Now your Q has been turned into a skillshot, therefore his yasuoW.png can block everything except your swainshadowgrasp.png.

Unfortunately for him, you're 50.png dammit, so you eat assassins alive!
Get 3.png in this matchup, wait till his yasuoW.png is in cooldown and use your swaintorment.png+swainbeam.png when he tries to get close to you.

VS

Zed

Easy

GG Easy, Zed!

Pay attention to his harass, it's pretty good.
If you're in trouble, rush 3157.png to remove his zedR.png's damage.
Get 3.png in this matchup.

VS

Ziggs

Easy

Some people call this a medium matchup, but i find it easy cause he's pretty easy to snare and harass.

However, keep an eye on his poke.

VS

Zilean

Medium

Uh dammit, this old man pokes a lot and runs away with his timewarp.png.

Anyway he's very squishy, so if you get him with swainshadowgrasp.png, he becomes your slave.

VS

Zyra

Medium

Her range is pretty good, enough to poke you down and don't let you reach her.

Try to get her with your swainshadowgrasp.png before all-in.

How to lane with Swain Back to Top

As i said, his early is pretty weak and based on farming. However, after patch 6.9, his swaintorment.png increases damage to 20% at lv 1 too, so that makes your poke even stronger.
Use swaintorment.png + AA against enemies as much as you can to make them lose their HP a lot.
Try to push a bit the wave, don't let minions get to your tower, as it's pretty difficult for you to lasthit.
Just farm safetly if you're against poke champs like 99.png 161.png etc. as their trade can beat yours and you will be in trouble.
When you first back to base, remember to have enough money to buy a 2043.png and put it on the edge of the bush bewteen the blue buff zone and the river, that's the perfect spot to have enough vision to spot the enemy jungler's ganks and the safiest where to keep a ward.
If you cannot win the midlane, you have 2 choices:

  • Roam in other lanes;
  • Ask your jungler for ganks and let you snowball.
Once you get your first item [3027.png or 3030.png] you will have the sustain and the AP you need in early game.
Always rush for 3157.png as second, because it's the best item who makes you almost indestructible in teamfight.
Get 3001.png only if you were facing a strong AP midlaner and you were vulnerable to his damage.

Pros & Cons Back to Top

PROS

  • His damage overtime is very huge. He just needs his first item to become very strong in early;
  • He has great sustain and he's a very painful counter for assassins and fighters;
  • In mid/late he becomes very tanky and powerful at the same time, he can oneshot the carry with his combo;
  • After finishing  3157.png, he becomes a pain in the *ss in teamfight and he can dive easily;
  • If you win your lane, you can carry your team to the victory most of times.

CONS

  • His weak early game makes him enough vulnerable to get beat down;
  • If Swain loses his game, it's pretty hard to comeback;
  • It's difficult to lasthit, so you must focus more on it.

Teamfights Back to Top

So, actually i don't know how precise i can be in this section, but since you asked i'll try.

Have you finished your laning phase?
Did you complete your core items?
THEN IT'S TIME FOR TEAMFIGHTS, FOLKS!

So, how to act as 
50.png in a teamfight?
It's pretty simple, Swain is a very strong off-tank mage, no matter what teamcomp do you have, he's quite always effective.
The best thing about him is that even if you get caught by a cc skill (ex. 
412.png 's threshQ.png), you will be able to respond to their engage with your combo.
However, don't let them get you anyway, stay near your teammates and let the tank be in frontline, cause your point is to focus their carry and delete him.
Always engage with your 
swainshadowgrasp.png, if you miss the target, don't proceed unless you're really fed and you can fight without snare anyone.
When your 
swainshadowgrasp.png hits the carry, then your fellows should start to focus him. Use all your skills on him and don't be afraid of the other opponents, since your swainmetamorphism.png has 5 crows, so the more targets you hit, the more HP you drain, and that makes you hard to beat down.
When you have 
3157.png, you will not be afraid even of 53.png 's rocketgrab.png: if he gets you, hope they don't have enough damage and cc to not let you do nothing. Otherwise, use your ulti and if you feel about to die, activate 3157.png and you will restore your Health for free, then wait your teammates to follow you up so you can continue with your combo and finish your job.

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