All Guides Swain Guides [S4/S5/S6/S7] Master tier EUW - An in depth guide to Swain Toplane
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Swain Statistics for GASA SOSSARNA

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

Value
Average
Games Played
373
5
Win %
62
43
Kills
5.3
5.2
Assists
7.6
7.5
Deaths
4.0
6.1
KA:D Ratio
3.2
2.1
Gold Earned
11.1K
10.5K
Creep Score
179.0
158.4
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

4.png

Flash is the most powerful summoner spell in the game that will save you from many early ganks. The summoner spell also allows you to play more aggressive in teamfights. As Swain is a very immobile champion, Flash gives you a way to engage into teamfights by flashing in range to their backline. This will allow you to surprise enemy carries who thought they were safe even if they're normally unreachable. Despite the high cooldown, the raw power and flexibility of Flash makes other options feel underwhelming. 

179.png

12.png

Teleport is another very strong summoner spell that is powerful and flexible throughout every stage of the game. In the earlygame, you will most likely use it for either getting back into lane quickly or using it to teleport behind the enemy botlane. However, before doing the latter you must be sure that your team will get something out of this teleport. If you don't feel like you will get drake, kills or a tower with this teleport then it's probably not a good idea to use it as you will be losing a lot of experience and gold from teleporting away from your lane. If your botlane offers a lot of crowd control and the enemy botlane is pushing too far, this could however be a great way to give your team an advantage. 

In the mid and late-game, you generally want to use this spell to teleport to dragon and baron. You can alternatively walk to the objective and then teleport back to the opposite side of the map after the objective if the enemy team has a lot of catch potential. Using teleport as flank tool if you have a ward behind the enemy team is a situational and dangerous option, but it can work if your team is able to quick enough follow up with your play. 

Something that will benefit your team a lot is timing summoner spells, and this is especially true for teleport. Both Flash and Teleport normally have a 5-minute cooldown. If the enemy toplaner has the mastery Insight 6241.png that reduces summoner spell cooldowns by 15% (which is fairly common), then they're on a 255-second cooldown which translates to 4 minutes and 15 seconds. Constantly reminding your team when you have teleport advantage will alone increase your chances of winning.

New Runes Back to Top

The new runes have given Swain a lot of new options. There are two primary trees that are good on Swain: Sorcery and Inspiration. But I'll also be going through Percision as it's very strong on Swain as a secondary tree.


179.png

SORCERY TREE


Arcane Comet Arcane%20Comet.png?width=32 is fantastic on Swain. It synergizes really well with all of your abilities apart from your ultimate. Using swaindecrepify.png on your opponent will procArcane%20Comet.png?width=32. Due to your slow, Arcane%20Comet.png?width=32will be a lot harder for your opponent to dodge than usual. This gives you an enhanced poking ability in lane, especially so if your lane opponent stands in swaindecrepify.png for an extended period of time. Arcane%20Comet.png?width=32 also has great synergy with your swainshadowgrasp.png as it's a guaranteed hit. Your swaintorment.png will amplify the Arcane%20Comet.png?width=32 which will give you more damage during shorter trades. All in all, it's a great rune that will not only give your combo more damage, but also make your harass in lane a lot stronger. It synergizes especially well with having Precision as your secondary tree, but more on that later.


The Ultimate Hat The%20Ultimate%20Hat.png?width=32 will be your next choice most of the time, unless you're up against an AP champion such as 84.png68.png, in which case you want to be taking Nullifying Orb Nullifying%20Orb.png?width=32 instead. As your swainmetamorphism.png is such a spammable ultimate, you will get many stacks of The%20Ultimate%20Hat.png?width=32  very quickly. While the cooldown reduction difference doesn't look massive, it's very important for Swain to have his ultimate up at all times. Taking The%20Ultimate%20Hat.png?width=32 will help you achieve this goal. The other options just aren't as attractive most of the time.

Transcendence Transcendence.png?width=32 is a no-brainer. It's by far the best option as Swain is very CDR dependant. Most of your abilities will have high cooldown and a lot of your favorite items give cooldown reduction so it's a very easy choice. Simply put, it's awesome.

Scorch Scorch.png?width=32 is also fantastic on Swain. It will get applied a lot in both trades and fights due to the massive amount of damage over time you have in your kit. While it's mainly good for poking and early trading, it does it job very well. It overshadows the other options and I don't see any point in taking anything else here.

179.png

INSPIRATION TREE

This tree is very interesting on Swain. As a primary tree, it gives you a lot of resources to be strong in early-game fights and scale well into the midgame. While it directly doesn't give you many combat stats, it's a great primary tree to pick when you're just looking to farm for your items as quickly as possible. As a secondary tree, it's better than the other options in the earlygame but very useless later on. 

KleptomancyKleptomancy.png?width=32is by far the best option out of the three and is the only reason you'd go Inspiration as your primary tree. If you're up against champions who you can't really auto-attack range without getting punished, such as 2.png122.png, or if you're up against a ranged champion, don't go into the Inspiration tree. However it's fantastic against melee champs who you don't really need to win lane against to outscale. As long as you're allowed to auto attack them a lot, this is a very powerful mastery. I'd take this against pretty much every tank in the game, and even other champions such as: 58.png420.png. They don't really pose a threat even if they get into your auto attack range, so your Kleptomancy.png?width=32 will get a ton of value. 

Perfect Timing Perfect%20Timing.png?width=32 is one of the best runes in the game as of writing this, and on Swain it's obviously very overpowered. Always take this no matter what. Not only does it make your path to your 2-core build cheaper, it's very good at turning ganks and skirmishes around. If you don't take this, you're doing something very wrong.

Magical Footwear Magical%20Footwear.png?width=32 is another great rune that makes getting to your 2-core build cheaper. While the other options can be tempting, this is by far the best one as you're just looking to finish your core as fast as possible before heading into teamfights.

Cosmic Insight Cosmic%20Insight.png?width=32 is probably the least exciting rune you'll take. You really only just take this because the other options are terrible. The CDR is obviously very nice and the item CDR makes your 3157.png a lot better, so it's not that bad.


179.png

PRECISION TREE

Always take this tree as secondary, never primary. This tree is very good late-game compared to your other options.

Presence Of Mind Presence%20of%20Mind.png?width=32 is the main reason of going into this tree. It's not only extremely good in teamfights both early-, mid- and lategame. It gives you even less mana problems in lane. It will allow for some surprise 1v2s and outplays if played correctly. Presence%20of%20Mind.png?width=32  gives you the ability to constantly have your swainmetamorphism.png active during a fight without having many mana problems which is a huge relief for every Swain player.

Coup De Grace Coup%20De%20Grace.png?width=32 synergizes extremely well with the Sorcery tree and Presence%20of%20Mind.png?width=32. Focusing down one target and bursting them will be a lot easier with previous runes such as Arcane%20Comet.png?width=32and very rewarding thanks to Presence%20of%20Mind.png?width=32. It allows Swain to be played more aggressively and it could even change your playstyle. You can choose to either flash and burst their backline carry, or you can focus down whoever your carry is trying to kill for some easy Presence%20of%20Mind.png?width=32 duration. Either way, this is definitely the rune you want to take and extremely good in teamfights.

Masteries Back to Top

This is the mastery page you want to be using most of the time. There are a few variables however:

127.jpg

Feast 6122.png vs Fresh Blood 6121.png 


Fresh Blood is generally a great choice for Swain as you'll often be up against melee champions in toplane and your Torment [E] swaintorment.png multiplies your 6121.png damage. However, when you are playing against a ranged toplaner you won't be able to proc  6121.png nearly as often as you would against a melee champion. This, in addition to the fact that ranged champions tend to have more harass earlygame, means that you should pick 6122.png instead.

179.png

Explorer 6221.png vs Tough Skin 6223.png


Similar to the previous variable, choosing between these two masteries mostly depend on what you will be laning against. 6223.png is the most common choice as it gives you an easier lane against most champions. The only time you shouldn't be taking this is when you're up against a champion like 57.png 68.pngor 79.png who don't necessarily auto attack you. 6221.png just gives you more value in this scenario as your bush play will be quicker and you'll have an easier time roaming midlane from river. 

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

swainpassive.png

Carrion Renewal [P]

This is Swain's passive. The effect allows him to spam abilities in lane and not have to worry about mana costs in teamfights too much. It scales nicely with mana items such as 1082.png3027.png3030.png and 3040.png. While it's not a flashy passive, it definitely does its job and it does it well. 
179.png
swaindecrepify.png

Decrepify [Q]

This is Swain's first ability. It's a very flexible spell that has great synergy with your other spells. In lane, you can use this to kite both melee's and short ranged champions. You'll also be able to waveclear fairly effectively just by putting this in the middle of a minion wave. In teamfights, it's often going to be used to synergize with other spells such as allowing you to catch people off with swainshadowgrasp.png or allowing you to catch up to people with swainmetamorphism.png.
179.png
swainshadowgrasp.png

Nevermove [W]

This is Swain's snare and only form of hard CC. It's a very scary ability if used correctly, as the high cooldown compensates for its raw power. You can combo this with your swaindecrepify.png slow to make it easier to land. In lane, you either want to use this spell defensively or offensively, depending on the matchup. Against champions like Sion 14.png who have no way of running away from this ability, you want to be using this to harass your opponent in combination with swaintorment.png and swaindecrepify.png. When you're up against more mobile champions like 92.png, you generally want to wait until they've used their gapcloser unless you force the opponent in a bad position by using it. Your swainshadowgrasp.png is your primary way of escaping ganks before you get access to your swainmetamorphism.png, so use it with caution. You can use it to waveclear when you're in a good position to push the lane before recalling. 

This is not a spell you want to be wasting in teamfights. Usually, this is a spell you want to hold on to until you can reach the enemy backline. Using this on the enemy mage or marksman can zone them out from the fight for several seconds and potentially make you able to kill them with your other abilities, depending on how strong you are. As your goal in the teamfight is to deal as much damage to the enemy carries as possible, using this on any other target (unless freekill) is not recommended. Missing this spell will enable the enemy carries to kite you, so use it together with your swaindecrepify.png to secure the hit.
179.png

swaintorment.png

Torment [E]

This spell is what makes Swain deal damage. Using this before your other spells is crucial as it amplifies the damage of your other spells. Whatever champion is afflicted by swaintorment.png will also get prioritzed by your swaindecrepify.png, which you can use to harass the opponent lane in the middle of a minionwave. Generally, this is a great harassment tool in lane as you can swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png and auto for massive early game damage. In teamfights, you want to save this spell for the enemy carries. Using this on the enemy frontline is usually a waste, since your target should almost never be the tanks. This is due to Swain's high cooldowns and mana costs. It's just too mana draining to be in long drawn out fights where you are forced to have your swainmetamorphism.png up the entire time.

179.png

swainmetamorphism.png

Ravenous Flock [R]

Once you get this spell at level 6, most matchups instantly turn into your favor. This ability is both great for shorter trades and all-inning. It gets increasingly more mana draining the longer you use it, so be sure to turn it off as soon as the trade is over. Use it cautiously against champions like 92.png or 240.png who have great all-in potential and can punish you when its on cooldown. The AP scalings on this ability is great which is why buying items like 3089.png is usually a better idea than magic penetration items like 3135.png. I wouldn't recommend using swainmetamorphism.png to farm as your swaindecrepify.png and swainshadowgrasp.png already does the job quite well enough for you, but if it's completely safe and you're about to recall then you might as well use it.

127.jpg

BEGINNER:

You pretty much always want to max Decrepify [Q] swaindecrepify.png followed by Nevermove [W] swainshadowgrasp.png and Torment [E] swaintorment.png . After the small rework Swain got in the Midseason-Magic update, his swaintorment.png no longer scales very well with levels, so your two options will be to either max swaindecrepify.png or swainshadowgrasp.png first. As swaindecrepify.png is easier to use, more reliable and has a lower cooldown, it's almost always better to max first. 

179.png

ADVANCED:

There are very specific situations where you want to take your first point into swaindecrepify.png , at level 2 swainshadowgrasp.png , and then at level 3 swaintorment.png . Some criteria have to be met:

  • If your jungler starts topside and is planning to be botside around 2:45-3:30
  • If the enemy toplaner has a strong ability to push you in and harassing you down early e.g. 236.png80.png24.png2.png
  • The enemy jungler is strong at diving early levels e.g. 57.png64.png76.png60.png
If all of the criteria above are true, then you want to start swaindecrepify.png level 1 as soon as you see the enemy toplaner wants to push you in early. Taking swaindecrepify.png first and using it on the wave that is pushing towards you will not only give you the ability to farm safely from distance against these aggressive champions, but your lane will de-push making it hard for the enemy jungler to gank you. If the enemy minion wave is not as your tower, you cannot get dove. You just need to make sure you have vision on the opposing jungler so he doesn't gank you from behind if you managed to push up too far with swaindecrepify.png (however this last point mainly applies to red-side as you need to ward tribush even though you're not pushing that far).

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

Core Items

Situational Items


127.jpg

STARTING ITEMS


1056.png2003.png2003.png

Most of the time, you'll want to buy these items at level 1. It's especially great against champions that have good all-in, such as 92.png or 240.png, due to the extra health you get.



1082.png2031.png

While 1082.png is generally a bit greedy, it's great if the opponent can't pressure you earlygame. Generally, this is the item you want to take against most tanks, such as 111.png or 57.png, and against sustain matchups such as 8.png1082.png makes your passive swainpassive.png give you more mana as well.


1054.png2003.png

Against laners that are very oppressive in the earlygame, such as 80.pngor 236.png, taking this will help you survive the earlygame.

2033.png

This can be great against champions who have a lot of poke pre-6, such as 62.png. It gives you great sustain and makes your next recalls a lot stronger as you won't have to buy potions. This is mostly just a starting item I'd buy in midlane, however, since most toplane champs can't poke you down. It does synergize with your swaintorment.png though.

127.jpg

CORE ITEMS

3027.png

Rod of Ages gives everything Swain wants: health, ability power and mana. Even the new passive is amazing for skirmishes and teamfights as you'll get so much mana back from them attacking you. It also gives you easy recall timings. If you're basing with 750 gold you can easily pick up a 1082.png and 1028.png. If you're on 1100 gold, you can easily just purchase a 3010.png. The only downside do this item is the fact that it has to scale up for 10 minutes before you get the full stats. Most of the time you'll have this fully stacked at around 20 minutes which is when you'll get your huge spike with 3157.png. This makes Swain's midgame insanely strong. 


3157.png

There isn't an item that's better for any champion than 3157.png is for Swain. The single reason why Swain is even viable is because how powerful this item is on him. Your ultimate will stay on as the statis active is in effect, which means you can pop this in the middle of a teamfight and regain a lot of health while dealing tons of damage. One of Swain's weaknesses is the fact that he has high cooldowns, but Zhonya neutralizes this weakness. The combo you will do most of the time is swainmetamorphism.pngswaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png3157.png, and then by the time Zhonya's statis effect is over, your spells will almost be back up. Just like 3027.png, it's very easy to buy as all of the components are really cheap and accessible. 

3089.png

As stated before, 3089.png is a fantastic item on Swain due to how well his swainmetamorphism.png scales with AP. Another reason why I usually go 3089.png as my 3rd item is that Swain's mostly a 2 item champion. After that, he doesn't get that much stronger compared to other champions. You could go for a 3165.png or 3151.png, but those items won't do as much impact as 3089.png will unless there are certain circumstances where these items are better (such as 3151.png vs a strong frontline). Due to the lack of other great options, 3089.png is usually just the best 3rd item to get.


127.jpg

SITUATIONAL ITEMS



3003.png

In slower games, buying an early 3070.png can be really good for you once you spike at around 20 minutes.3003.png is a great 3rd item replacement for 3089.png as it still gives you the stats you want, along with a great active that you can use either before or after you use your 3157.png active. However, keep in mind that buying 3070.png will slow down your two item power spike by a couple of minutes.



3030.png

In certain metagames, this item can be a good substitution for 3027.png. While 3027.png is better at scaling into the mid and lategame (which the meta is focused on as I'm writing this guide), 3030.png is a fantastic item early on that gives you both great stats right away, with a decent active into the bargain. This item gets a lot of value when you want to be stronger early on and if the enemy carries lack mobility. Your catch potential with the 3030.png active is very good when the opponent has low mobility carries such as 134.png or 22.png. You can even use its active for extra waveclear. 



3065.png

While 3065.png looks really good on paper, the regeneration buff doesn't really do much when you consider the fact you can just buy another AP item to increase the amount of health your swainmetamorphism.png gives you. Despite this, this item can be good on Swain if the enemy team has multiple AP threats, such as a jungle 60.png or a support 143.png combined with an AP sololaner. 3065.png gives you more durability in teamfights and so it can also be a great item if your team is ahead and your role is just to surive teamfights as long as possible.




3135.png

I'm not the biggest fan of getting 3135.png on Swain as the champions who will have the most magic resistance will be the tanks and bruisers. The fact that you want to be focusing on the carries as much as possible, 3135.png is only really valuable if the enemy carries buy items such as 3139.png3091.png3156.png3111.png or when the enemy team buys a massive amount of magic resist. It's still a decent last item to get just so you deal slightly more damage to the enemy frontline, but for the most part it's a bit overrated. It does have some synergy with 3151.png, so there's that.



3151.png


This is a decent 3rd item and a good item to get if the enemy carries aren't a threat and the enemy frontline has most of their gold. If you want to compare it to 3089.png as a good 3rd item, then 3151.png gives you a bit stronger early power thanks to the magic penetration and the extra health that it gives helps you survive burst. However, if the enemy carries are the biggest threat and they don't have a massive amount of burst, I'd avoid getting this item as 3089.png will give you more spellvamp with swainmetamorphism.png and similar damage. 



3165.png


Being one of the most underrated items on Swain, 3165.png gives you great stats and a fantastic mana-passive which adds on to your swainpassive.png. If fights are a bit drawn out, getting this item just for the mana and passive is a great choice. It also applies grevious wounds to targets below 30% health, which is very strong when dueling against champions like 84.png114.png39.png. Most of the time I'd get 3165.png as a 4th or 5th item.  


127.jpg

BOOTS


3047.png

When the opposing team has several auto attacking champions such as 39.png24.png, these boots are fantastic. Even if it's only the enemy toplaner and AD carry, these shoes are going to be very valuable. If you're against champions like 92.png126.png who aren't as auto attack dependant, these boots will still help mitigate a lot of damage and will make you very durable in both teamfights and 1 v 1 scenarios. 


3111.png

These boots are only valuable if the enemy team have either heavy amount of magic damage or when they have a large amount of CC. I usually wouldn't recommend these boots, but it can be very effective if their toplaner, jungler and midlaner are all AP based.  


3020.png

If you're ahead and the enemy team either lacks a fed AD carry, several auto attack dependent champions, or CC, these are the boots you want to get. This item is great if you purely want to delete their backline and you don't really care if you die or not. The damage you get from these are noticeable and is a good purchase when you feel you need a little bit extra damage.


Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Akali
    Medium
  • Camille
    Medium
  • Cassiopeia
    Hard
  • Cho'Gath
    Easy
  • Darius
    Easy
  • Dr. Mundo
    Hard
  • Fiora
    Easy
  • Fizz
    Hard
  • Galio
    Easy
  • Gangplank
    Easy
  • Garen
    Easy
  • Gnar
    Easy
  • Gragas
    Easy
  • Heimerdinger
    Medium
  • Illaoi
    Easy
  • Irelia
    Medium
  • Jarvan IV
    Medium
  • Jax
    Easy
  • Jayce
    Medium
  • Karma
    Medium
  • Kayle
    Medium
  • Kennen
    Easy
  • Kled
    Medium
  • Lissandra
    Medium
  • Lucian
    Medium
  • Malphite
    Easy
  • Maokai
    Easy
  • Mordekaiser
    Easy
  • Nasus
    Easy
  • Nautilus
    Easy
  • Olaf
    Hard
  • Ornn
    Medium
  • Pantheon
    Easy
  • Poppy
    Easy
  • Quinn
    Hard
  • Renekton
    Easy
  • Rengar
    Medium
  • Riven
    Hard
  • Rumble
    Medium
  • Ryze
    Medium
  • Shen
    Medium
  • Singed
    Medium
  • Sion
    Easy
  • Talon
    Hard
  • Teemo
    Easy
  • Trundle
    Easy
  • Tryndamere
    Medium
  • Urgot
    Easy
  • Vayne
    Easy
  • Vladimir
    Medium
  • Volibear
    Easy
  • Warwick
    Easy
  • Wukong
    Medium
  • Yasuo
    Hard
  • Yorick
    Easy

VS

Akali

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 1056.png3157.png3065.png3165.png)


BEGINNER:


Swain has a pretty good early laningphase against Akali. Unless she's in her Twilight Shroud [W] akalismokebomb.png, you're basically free to use your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo whenever you want on her. Keep in mind that you can use your swaintorment.png against her before she uses akalismokebomb.png to make her get damaged while in stealth. This will reveal her location and make it easier for you to predict her movement. While her sustain is fairly decent in lane combined with a 1054.png, she's not going to be able to contest your trades. Her level 6 spike is a bit stronger than yours, however, as she'll then be able to trade quite well against you. She's not going to be too scary until she gets her 3146.png though. At this point, you'll want to avoid 1v1ing her as she's hit her biggest powerspike.

As you don't have the best sidelane pressure against Akali, try to drag her out of the sidelane by forcing a lot of teamfights in the midgame. If this isn't possible to pull off, you want to itemize against her so she can't bully you in a sidelane. After your 3027.png3157.png spike, I'd recommend you to buy a 3065.png for the sheer durability and CDR, as well as 3165.png for the healing reduction and 40% CDR. This will allow you to use your swainmetamorphism.png more freely in duels. 

127.jpg

ADVANCED:


 When Akali hits 6, she can start pressuring you in 1v1. She'll be able to bait out your swainmetamorphism.png by jumping on you with her  akalishadowdance.pngakalimota.png+autoakalishadowswipe.png combo, disengaging with akalismokebomb.png, and waiting until you deactivate your swainmetamorphism.png, and then she'll try to jump on you again as her ult cooldown is a lot shorter than yours. While you will be able to avoid the 2nd jump after she disengages if you back off, you're going to get zoned by her akalismokebomb.png as you can't safetly get close to minions without your swainmetamorphism.png up at this point. This play pattern isn't that threatening until she gets her 3146.png powerspike, but it's still something you need to keep in mind.  

VS

Camille

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png3157.png)

Swain can do fairly well against Camille early on in the game. While she can play aggressive and trade back with you, it often puts her in a bad position. If she jumps to a wall with her Hookshot [E] camillee.png, you can easily predict where she will land and place your swainshadowgrasp.png, making her unable to recast it. Other than that, you basically just want to harass her down by spamming your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png combo. She's never going to be able to outtrade you unless you misplay. Your ult is great against her ult, as it makes you tankier against her all-in. If you played lane correctly, you should end up with a decent cs advantage once laningphase is over. 

Splitpushing against her later on in the game will be a bit tough, as she scales insanely well. Once she has around 4 items, it will be difficult to win duels against her. You can outplay her by using your swainshadowgrasp.png to stop her camillee.png, but its consistently hard to pull off every time and if she does manage to land her camillee.png on you, she's most likely going to be able to kill you. You can alternatively use your 3157.png active to dodge this, but sometimes it will be better to use it to avoid her 2nd Precision Protocol [Q] camilleq.png. Try to force as many teamfights in the lategame as possible to drag her out of the sidelane.

VS

Cassiopeia

Hard

Cassiopeia is one of those lanebullies that scale really well. She's going to be able to zone you really well in the earlygame. This is one of the few matchups where I'd recommend leveling swaindecrepify.png level 1 and swainshadowgrasp.png level 2 as these will both help you lasthit from a distance, and stop her in her tracks if she tries to go aggressive on you. Try to farm as well as you can while trading back when she goes for a cassiopeiaq.pngcassiopeiae.png. Your level 6 spike is a bit stronger than hers, and as long as you're full HP and hit all of your spells, you'll probably win an all-in at this point. Since Cassiopeia has to play very aggressive to get a lead and she's very easy to gank, tell your jungler to come top to put her behind. 


You're going to be able to hold her quite well in a sidelane. If she plays well, you're never really going to be able to all-in her. She gets a lot of movement speed from her keystone 6361.png and her Noxious Blast [Q] cassiopeiaq.png which she can use to avoid your swainshadowgrasp.png. If she does dodge this spell, it will be very hard for you to duel her as she's going to be able to tank your damage with her 3040.png and sustain Twin Fang [E] cassiopeiae.png She's going to outright outdamage you in a 1v1, but teamfighting against her won't be that difficult. If you see her trying to enter a fight, you can use your swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png on her before she gets her movespeed buff to lock her down. As her range is very short, locking her down is very valuable.

VS

Cho'Gath

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 1082.png3070.png3027.png)

This is the only matchup in the guide that I've barely played due to Cho'Gath being a new meta pick. However, as an immobile tank, there is little he can do to you. He's going to be able to sustain all of your harass, but at the same time he's never going to be able to threaten you unless you get hit by a Rupture [Q] rupture.png when you're already low. He's a very easy champion to play against thanks to your ability to kite very effectively. 

Cho'Gath gives you a farm lane, so buying scaling items like 1082.png3070.png3027.png is highly recommended. As harassing him earlygame is useless due to his passive chogathpassive.png, all you need to do is focus on lasthitting. Use all your abilities for lasthitting, and make sure he doesn't push you in too hard as farming under tower can be difficult. If the enemy jungler has cc, such as 60.png59.png, Cho'Gath can combo their cc with his rupture.png to kill you  and pick up an easy Feast [R] feast.png stack. So be careful if you're pushing in too much, as you don't want Cho'Gath to get rolling. 

VS

Darius

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 1001.png)

Swain doesn't hard counter Darius as hard people think. He has more movement speed than you do (especially once he has 3044.png3111.png, so if you're not careful he can run up to you and use his Apprehend [E] dariusaxegrabcone.png to gapclose and chunk you with dariuscleave.pngdariusnoxiantacticsonh.png. If you see him approaching you, use your swaindecrepify.png on him before any other spells as swaindecrepify.png doesn't have an animation to stop quickly you from moving. When he's far enough away from you, you can use your swaintorment.pngswainshadowgrasp.png to chunk him out. If he doesn't play aggressive, you can poke him with a swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo when he goes for last-hits. Just keep your distance so you don't get chunked. 

After level 6, he's not going to be able to 100-0 all-in you. As long as you use your swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png properly to kite him, it's going to be difficult for him to get 5 stacks of his passive dariuspassive.png on you. He's going to lose every trade if you use these abilities correctly. 

The longer the game goes, the harder it will be for him to do much to you. Your champion just outscales him in terms of 1v1 and teamfight potential. There's no way he can win a duel if you kite him properly. Darius is one of the champions that I'd consider focusing in teamfights as he can't really respond to your swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo.

VS

Dr. Mundo

Hard
(KEY ITEMS: 3070.png3027.png3165.png)

Why is this matchup so difficult?


Mundo is the only tank in the game that Swain can't do anything against due to how well he can itemize against you. Playing against a Mundo with 3065.png3194.png3083.png is not very fun, and despite him building basically full tank, he'll still deal a lot damage in 1v1. Especially with his new buff to his Masochism [E] masochism.png, he'll have a lot of tools to facetank your damage. You're basically never going to be able to kill him in all-in's. You won't have the mana pool or the damage to do anything to him in duels. If you're too overextended, no matter how healthy you are, he can literally just use his Sadism [R] sadism.png and run at you and kill you. And if he doesn't kill you, you'll be low HP, low mana and you're forced to back without him losing much health. This is true for all stages of the game. 

127.jpg

What can you do in this matchup?


While Mundo will be hard to 1v1, you can still play to scale and be strong in teamfights. He can't kill unless you let him do so by overextending and getting hit by too many Infected Cleavers [Q] infectedcleavermissilecast.png. Before level 6, you'll be able to harass him aggressively with swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png and force him out of lane. However, missing your swainshadowgrasp.png will give him an opening to all-in you. So unless you're confident in hitting this ability, save it for when he tries to kill you. Once he gets his Sadism [R] sadism.png, you will need to start playing safe as this allows him to play more aggressive. When you're splitpushing against him, he won't really be able to deal that much damage to towers, so his threat in a sidelane isn't that big. 

Since you want to be focusing on scaling in this matchup, getting an early 3070.png before your 3027.png is a good idea. If you want to be stronger against him in particular, you can go for 3151.png3135.png, but unless the enemy team has several tanks I'd avoid these items as going for a regular 3157.png3089.png3165.pngbuild will make you a lot stronger in teamfights.

VS

Fiora

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png3157.png3165.png)

Laning against Fiora is quite easy. She doesn't have much damage in the early stages of the game, and she's not going to be able to sustain your constant barrage of swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png harass. When she uses her Lunge [Q] fioraq.png to harass you, you can use swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png to both damage her back and kite her so she doesn't get more damage on you. If she decides to Riposte [W] fioraw.png your swaintorment.png, then you have an opening to use your swainshadowgrasp.png on her. Just don't use swaintorment.png as you're casting swainshadowgrasp.png, because then she'll be able to fioraw.png both spells at once. 

In lane, you want to be playing as aggressively as possible. You'll be able to zone her away from both cs and experience if you force her to back early. Once you hit 6, both of you spike pretty hard. In an all-in, there's a lot of small things you can do that will help you win. If she uses fioraq.png to gapclose and then uses her Grand Challenge [R] fiorar.png on you, use your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png right away, followed by a swainshadowgrasp.png shortly afterwards. If she's bad, she will fioraw.png your swainshadowgrasp.png which isn't that big of a deal for you as long as you dodge her stun. However, a good Fiora will always fioraw.png your swaintorment.png as that's where the majority of your damage comes from in an all-in. If she does this, you should just try to survive and not fight her back as she's most likely going to win the duel. You obviously want her to proc as few vitals as possible. You can do this by slowing her with swaindecrepify.png and running away from her. Another great trick you can use to prevent her from proccing all her fiorar.png vitals is standing right next to a wall. This makes her unable to reach that vital, as the wall will block her from getting to that side of your champion model. If you do this and she doesn't fioraw.png your swaintorment.png, you should win the duel.

Later on in the game, Swain is one of the few champions that can hold a Fiora splitpush. Swain can kite a Fiora all-in very well and items like 3047.png3157.png3165.png are very powerful against her. If you're standing next to a wall, she will never be able to proc her 4 fiorar.png vitals and dive you. You can even use 3157.png's active to reduce the amount of time she has to proc all her fiorar.png vitals.

VS

Fizz

Hard
(KEY ITEMS: 1056.png3047.png3157.png)

Fizz has always been a classic counter to Swain. When he goes in to harass you with fizzq.pngfizzw.png, you can't really counterattack, as he can dodge all of your spells with his Playful Trickster [E] fizze.png. If he does this too much however, he'll eventually run out of mana. So if you're able to last hit minions and get mana back from swainpassive.png1056.png, it might still be worth it to use your spells on him after his aggression. If he uses fizze.png on you to engage, you can predict where he's going to land and chunk him with an swainshadowgrasp.pngswaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png combo. If he plays with 14.png12.png, you need to be very careful. If you're not full HP and near your tower, he can all-in you with his Chum the Waters [R] fizzr.png

The matchup is difficult until you get your 3027.png3047.png3157.png spike. The  3157.png active is great at dealing with his fizzr.png damage, especially if Fizz is going AP. Your core items will help you to survive his all-ins and dives, and they also make you very powerful in mid-game teamfights. This is why I wouldn't recommend splitpushing against Fizz since you can try to force him off the sidelane by forcing a lot of teamfights. Fizz is very scary once he gets his 3078.png3091.png3153.png, so play very safe if you're stuck in a sidelane against him. 

VS

Galio

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 3070.png3135.png)

Galio's another tank that won't be able to deal with you later on. Out of all the tanks, his laningphase is one of the best though. His Winds of War [Q] galioq.png is a great tool for pressuring the lane and harassing you early on. His Shield of Durand [W] galiow.png is a great ability for him to shield a lot of your harass, and if you get too close to him in the early game he will be able to use his Justice Punch [E] galioe.png to gapclose and deal some extra damage to you. 

This doesn't mean that you can't pressure him early as well. You can trade back by continuously poking him down with spells. Once you hit level 6, this matchup becomes quite easy as his champion lacks an ultimate that does anything in 1v2 scenarios. He's not going to have the damage to trade against your swainmetamorphism.png, so all you need to be worried about is getting ganked. While getting ahead in lane is good, playing aggressive could also get you ganked and lose your advantage. If Galio manages to get really ahead in this matchup, he can buy a lot of great magic resistance items such as 3001.png3194.png to outpressure you in a sidelane. If he does get a lot of magic resist, getting a 3135.png would give you a lot stronger side-lane pressure. I'd also recommend going 3070.png in this matchup as Galio basically gives you a free lane to invest into scaling.

All in all, his 1v1 is weak without a big lead. His teamfighting is good but he's never going to be able to threaten you in a regular game. 

VS

Gangplank

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 3020.png3165.png)

While I do think Gangplank is underrated in lane, he's still not going to do be able to do much against you. If he goes to poke you with Parley [Q] gangplankqwrapper.png you can just poke him right back with an swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png . Keep in mind that he can use two gangplankqwrapper.png for every combo you do on him. You'll still be able to outtrade him earlygame though. Since you're ranged, you'll be able to deny him his Powder Kegs [E] gangplanke.png. Since it counts as a unit, your swainpassive.png will give you mana back as you last hit his barrels.

Against Gangplank in lane, you want to play as aggressively as possible. Once you hit level 6, your all-in against him will be strong as long as you don't let him proc his gangplanke.png. Keep track of his Cannon Barrage [R] gangplankr.png cooldown as it's a powerful global ability. 

Gangplank is a powerful lategame splitpusher against you, since he has tons of mobility to kite you and catching him will be impossible as he can just gangplankw.png your swainshadowgrasp.png. Since he's able to kite you so effectively, he can outrun you when you pop your swainmetamorphism.png. This means that you'll be deactivating it a lot as keeping it on for too long will drain your mana. Getting as much CDR as possible is a good adaption to this situation, so buying a 3165.png is a good investment for your ability to survive in a sidelane against Gangplank. This way, you'll be able to deactivate your ultimate without being too vulnerable to him if he decides to re-engage on you. As Gangplank won't be buying much magic resistance, focusing him in teamfights is not a bad idea. 

VS

Garen

Easy

This matchup is similar to a lot of other melee matchups. He's going to deal a lot of damage upfront, but you should be able to kite him. Keep in mind that his Decisive Strike [Q] garenq.png breaks him free from all slows, so if he runs at you don't use your swaindecrepify.png on him before he's used this ability. This will make hitting your swainshadowgrasp.png a lot easier. Laning against him is fairly easy, as you can use your swaintorment.png6121.png to chunk him down in the early game. Don't let him regenerate his health with his passive garenpassive.png. This is easily done as you can harass him from ranged combined with the fact that most of your damage is dot based, especially your keystone 6164.png


It's not a terrible idea to focus this guy in teamfights, as you don't want him one-shotting your backline. Unless he's managed to get a big gold lead, you should always be able to pressure him in a side-lane. If he tries to all-in you, the best time to pop your 3157.png is during his Judgement [E] garene.png. Don't approach him when you're low HP, as he can silence you with his garenq.png so you can't retaliate and kill you with garenr.png.

VS

Gnar

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png)

I've always used Swain as a counterpick to Gnar when he's popped up in the meta. Swain scales extremely well in a splitpush scenario against Gnar. Swain is also fantastic in the early stages against Gnar as he can't really kite you like he can with most other toplaners.

Before you hit level 6 in lane, you can't really threaten him that much. You can poke him down with your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png combo whenever he goes for a last hit, but usually he'll try to neutralize the trade by hitting you back. You should outtrade him before level 6, but not hard enough to force him back. Don't use your swainshadowgrasp.png until he wastes his Hop [E]gnare.png, as its otherwise very easy for him to jump away from it. Your cooldown is 4 seconds shorter however, so if you both trade these spells you can try to use it as soon as its up again for free harass. 

Once both of you hit level 6, you should still be stronger as he won't have the damage to all-in you. He can get you low, but if he does, you'll be able to sustain back with your swainmetamorphism.png and therefore win the trade. He does spike in the matchup when he gets a 3155.png, so remember that he could buy this item against you as it's very easy to overlook. He might even get an early 3111.png or if he's really insane he'll buy an 3123.png. If he does buy this hyper splitpush focused build just to try to win the sidelane over you, he's going to be really weak in teamfights. Try to force as many teamfights as you can if he decides to buy these items as he'll most likely be really squishy and useless. Even if you do end up in a sidelane against him, you're going to be relatively fine. You need to be a bit more careful than usual, but he shouldn't be able to outright all-in you unless you misplay quite badly. The longer the game goes, the harder it will be for him to sidelane against you. You just need to be patient and take all the small advantages. 

VS

Gragas

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 3027.png)

While Gragas has more laning presence than most tanks, it will be hard for him to pressure you in the matchup. He can poke you down in lane with Barrel Roll [Q] gragasq.png, your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png will be far more annoying for him to deal with. Keep in mind how easy it is for Gragas to use his Body Slam [E] gragase.png to dodge your swainshadowgrasp.png. The longer the lane goes, the harder it will be for Gragas to deal with you. Once you get your 3027.png, you'll just have too many stats for him to deal with. As Gragas is very strong at setting up ganks, the only threat will be the enemy jungler ganking you if you play too aggressive. It's difficult to avoid in this matchup as you're forced to play agressively against Gragas, as he will slowly poke you down with gragasq.png if you don't hit him back. You can avoid this bad situation by calling your jungler to prioritize topside so you'll be able to do whatever you want. Considering how strong you are in both 1v1 and 2v2 scenarios, with a decent jungler you'll be able to get complete control over the topside of the map. 

VS

Heimerdinger

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 3070.png3027.png3111.png3157.png)

Heimerdinger is one of the most annoying champions to lane against due to how strong his pushing power and wave control is. He's going to be able to continuously push you in early on. You don't have the amount of wave clear to push him back, so all you're going to be doing in the earlygame is last-hitting under tower. As he doesn't have a great way to harass you apart from his Hextech Micro-Rockets [W] heimerdingerw.png (which you can just dodge by standing behind your minions), you're going to be relatively safe in the early game. If he does try to harass you with heimerdingerw.png, you can retaliate by hitting him with a long range swainshadowgrasp.png and following it up with a swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png. However, this aggression is unsafe if he's got H-28G Evolution Turrets [Q] heimerdingerq.png nearby. He'll continue to push you in for the entire laningphase and it will be difficult for you to respond to this. Unless you consistently hit long range swainshadowgrasp.png on him, all-inning him earlygame will be tough. Your best bet is to just try to farm as well as you can to get an early 3027.png stacking as fast as possible.

Considering how slow this matchup is, I'd even recommend going for a 3070.png for better scaling. Getting a 3111.png will massively help your ability to all-in him later on. Once you get your 3157.png you will be easily able to use the active to protect yourself from a lot of his damage and come out on top in a duel.

VS

Illaoi

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 3157.png3165.png)

In this matchup, she lacks the mobility to avoid any of your spells. Her all-in is very dependent on you walking into her after getting hit by her Test of Spirit [E] illaoie.png. If you don't get hit by this spell, she will lose every all-in. If you do get hit by this spell and she has nearby tentacles, don't trade with her and just run away from the radius. You can basically use your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo whenever you want in this matchup, and as long as you don't get hit by her illaoie.png you'll be able to out trade her. As long as you don't get too poked from her Tentacle Smash illaoiq.png, there is nothing she can do. If you're level 6 and she misses her illaoie.png, as long as she doesn't have too many tentacles you can just run at her and kill her. As long as you're quick on your feet and dodge most of her spells, this matchup is a piece of cake.

Once you get your 3157.png, this matchup becomes even easier as during an all-in you can pop your active when during her Leap of Faith [R] illaoir.png duration. This will essentially neutralize her ultimate and secures your ability to win a duel against her. You can even go for a 3165.png later on in the game to reduce her healing.

VS

Irelia

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png3157.png3165.png)

A skilled Irelia player can be very troublesome for Swain to deal with in the early-midgame, due to her fantastic itemization against him. She can buy many items that are powerful against Swain, such as 3123.png3155.png3091.png3111.png. Even Irelia just getting an early 3057.png will be hard for Swain to deal with. She can start Blade Surge [Q] ireliagatotsu.png level 1 and jump on you whenever it's off cooldown. While this will chunk you down early levels, it will push the lane towards you and put you in a safe spot to freeze the wave under your tower. The mobility she has inside of a minion wave will make it hard to use your swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png properly. This means the only time you'll properly be able to use your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo is when she jumps on you. If she has 3044.png3111.png, her bonus movement speed will allow her to dodge swainshadowgrasp.png. This is why your skillshots and timings have to be on point in this matchup. 

If she doesn't manage to get a lead on you, once you have your 3027.png3047.png3157.png powerspike, being on a sidelane against won't be too much of an issue. As long as you fight her when her Hiten Style [W] ireliahitenstyle.png is on cooldown, you'll be able to hold your own in a splitpush scenario. You can activate your 3157.png when she uses ireliahitenstyle.png during a duel to avoid its damage. I'd recomend going for a 3165.png later on to reduce her massive amount of healing.

VS

Jarvan IV

Medium

For a melee champion, Jarvan is great against ranged toplaners. He's got great tools to both poke you down in lane and all-in you, all while being powerful both in 2v2 and teamfights. He'll mostly trouble you in the earlygame. All of your ranges matches his jarvanivdemacianstandard.pngjarvanivdragonstrike.png combo, so he'll be able to combo you whenever you go for a trade. The best way to approach this laningphase is generally to use your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo if he tries to poke you with his Dragon Strike [Q] jarvanivdragonstrike.png. If he doesn't use this to poke you out, you're only going to be able to harass with swaintorment.png as you need to save your swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png just in case he uses hisjarvanivdemacianstandard.pngjarvanivdragonstrike.png combo to gap-close on you. If he's got his Cataclysm [R] jarvanivcataclysm.png up and does poke you down with jarvanivdragonstrike.png, it's very important to trade back with him. If you take too much poke without trading back, he'll be able to all-in you as his damage is very high earlygame. 


Until you get your 3027.png3047.png3157.png powerspike, he'll be able to pressure you quite well. The longer the game gets, the stronger you will be in duels against him as he'll have to resort to go with defensive items against you while you can just go for AP items. Just like most strong initiators, you don't really want to focus him in teamfights. Just as he engages on your team, you can zone the enemy backline with swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png so they can't follow up with Jarvan. 


VS

Jax

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png3157.png)

Swain is a great pick against Jax. You're able to both bully him in the earlygame, be stronger than him in a teamfight, and hold him in a lateame splitpush. 

In the early levels, Jax does actually quite well against Swain, as he can level up his Leap Strike [Q] jaxleapstrike.png level 1 and harass you with it (combined with autos). This can be hard to deal with, especially when he hits level 2 and he can combo his jaxleapstrike.png with his Counter Strike [E] jaxcounterstrike.png which can stun you and deal tons of damage to you earlygame. If he does this, however, he will automatically take minion aggro and push the wave which means there's only a limited times he can do this until you're safe by your tower. When the wave is near your tower, you'll be able to harass him with swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png quite easily. If his jaxleapstrike.png is on cooldown, you can even add your swainshadowgrasp.png to your combo as he won't have a way to avoid it. Even if he does use his jaxleapstrike.png a lot early levels, you can retaliate by using your swaindecrepify.png to prevent further auto attacks, and swaintorment.png for extra damage. 

Once you both hit 6, you're going to be able to win all-ins as long as you kite him properly with your swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png. If you manage to kite him well, he won't get so many auto attacks off, which will heavily decrease the damage he gets from Fervor 6162.png his passive jaxpassive.png. The more stacks he has, the harder it will be to 1v1 him, so keep this in mind when going for an all-in. If he has full stacks on his jaxpassive.png, you should not walk up to him as he'll be very powerful in a duel. If you do manage to kite him as he jumps on you with full stacks, he'll lose a lot of them and you'll be able to 1v1 him. 

Once you hit your 20 minute 3027.png3047.png3157.png powerspike, splitpushing against him will be a piece of cake. Later in the game, you will be able to hold him in a splitpush scenario, but actually 1v1ing him can be tough, as Jax is one of the strongest duelist champions in the game. He'll never be able to dive you as long as you have your 3157.png so all you need to be focused on is waveclearing the minion waves.

VS

Jayce

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 1054.png3047.png3157.png)

BEGINNER:

A skilled Jayce player is one of the scariest things to face in the game. He's a very strong snowballing champion that has a very strong early- and midgame. His itemization is very powerful against Swain as 3123.png3155.png3111.png are all very comfortable items for Jayce to buy. The only reason I've set this matchup as 'Medium' instead of 'Hard' is the fact that Jayce is a hard champion to play and a lot of Jayce players aren't that good at him, especially in lower elos. A good Jayce will be able to pressure you in the hard in the laningphase and transition that into a big lead. 

Luckily, he doesn't have the best way to avoid your swainshadowgrasp.png in lane. While he does have multiple ways to speed himself up, they're usually going to put him into awkward positions. It's generally best to use your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo as he approaches to auto attack you in ranged form. This way he'll be stuck in an animation and won't have that much time to react to your swainshadowgrasp.png. Once you get your swainmetamorphism.png and catch him with your swainshadowgrasp.png, your all-in spike is quite strong as he doesn't get a real ultimate. 

Once you get your 3027.png3047.png3157.png spike, you'll be able to hold him well in a side lane. Your teamfighting will still be stronger than him, so try to force as many teamfights as you can if you feel like you can't pressure him in a splitpush scenario.

179.png

ADVANCED:

Never leash when the enemy toplaner is Jayce without proper vision, since he's one of the strongest toplaners at screwing with your leash. Let your jungler know the risks of starting topside against a Jayce so he can decide if he wants to start botside instead.

Level 1, he's going to try to trade with you with auto attacks. If he does this, ward the first lane brush as then he won't be able to de-aggro the minions by walking into the brush. This will make the minion wave push harder towards you and make it easier for you to last hit as he wont be able to zone you from the wave. 

VS

Karma

Medium

Karma is a decent early-and midgame champion with a lot of poke and waveclear. She's very safe and hard to catch in a bad position and she doesn't need many items to be useful in a teamfight. What she does lack is lategame 1v1 presence and lategame teamfighting, unless she has a fed hypercarry on her team. 


Her laningphase is fairly easy to read and not very threatening. She can poke you out with an empowered Inner Flame [Q] karmaq.png, and try to shield off any damage with Inspire [E] karmasolkimshield.png, which can make Karma a very annoying champion to lane against. She can even use her karmasolkimshield.png to dodge your swainshadowgrasp.png, so don't use it unless her speed buff is on cooldown. If you do manage to catch her out with a swainshadowgrasp.png, she can simply use her empowered Focused Resolve [W] karmaspiritbind.png and heal back a lot of your harass before using her karmasolkimshield.png to run back to safety. Once you get swainmetamorphism.png , the matchup becomes a bit easier as you will be able to sustain her poke and push out the lane a bit easier. She'll still be able to pressure you, but as long as you survive the early game you're going to outscale her. Her poke damage will be powerful throughout the game, but that's about it. 

VS

Kayle

Medium

Swain's quite good against Kayle early on in the game. Your ranges matches her range, which means you'll easily be able to harass her in lane whenever she goes for a cs. She will be able to use her Divine Blessing [W] judicatordivineblessing.png when you cast your swainshadowgrasp.png, so try to save your snare until her speed buff is on cooldown. A well timed Intervention [R] judicatorintervention.png can block the majority of your damage, especially if she blocks your swainshadowgrasp.png . Try to run to your tower if Kayle manages to block this spell as she's most likely going to win the 1v1 at that point. If she's experienced and pushes you in a lot, you have less options in lane. Kayle is relatively easy to gank, so call for your jungler for help if she does play this aggressive. 


She will eventually outscale you in a split-push scenario, as she scales incredibly well with items. Try to force teamfights in the lategame as that will draw the Kayle away from the sidelane.

VS

Kennen

Easy

Against AP Kennen:


(KEY ITEMS: 3111.png3157.png)
Your range matches his range very well and you will be able to swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png harass him very effectively in lane. As long as you don't get hit by too many Thundering Shurikens [Q] kennenshurikenhurlmissile1.png in lane, you'll be able to outtrade him. At level 6, you're going to win all-ins as long as you're patient with your swainshadowgrasp.png. Using it when Kennen has no Lightning Rush [E] kennenlightningrush.png and you've applied your swaintorment.png amplifier is ideal.

You definitely want to be buying 3111.png in this matchup. Later on in the game, save 3157.png's active for Kennen's Slicing Maelstrom [R] kennenshurikenstorm.png as it's fantastic at avoiding a lot of its damage. Kennen has poor itemization against you ever since the removal of Abyssal Scepter, so you'll win the lategame duels. You're also stronger in teamfights as you can zone the enemy backline as Kennen tries to engage, removing a lot of the possible follow up.

179.png

Against AD Kennen:


(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png)
Your range matches his range very well and you will be able to swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png harass him very effectively in lane. Using your swainshadowgrasp.png when his Lightning Rush [E] kennenlightningrush.png is up is not recommended, as he can easily dodge it with that extra movement speed. Most of his earlygame damage will come from his empowered Electrical Surge [W] kennenbringthelight.png auto attack, so keep track of when he has this and plan your next few seconds accordingly when looking at trades and lasthitting. Your level 6 all-in is pretty strong against Kennen as he won't have any items yet and he's going to lack any kind of burst. You need to be careful as his sustained damage is very high with 6162.png. If you cant burst him down with you combo, retreat with the fight. 

Kennen has pretty good itemization against you, being able to purchase either 3123.png3155.png3140.png3091.png or 3153.png very comfortably. If he does opt to buy most these items, he'll be slightly stronger on the sidelane against you but it will delay his teamfight powerspikes. Try to force teamfights with your team if he decides to buy these items to force Kennen off of the sidelane. 

VS

Kled

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png3157.png)

This matchup is very interesting and there are a lot of ways to play it. I've experienced it going both ways, so I'd consider it a skill matchup. You need to keep your distance earlygame, as Kled will be able to deal a lot of damage with his pre-6 all-in. If you don't get hit by his abilities, you can poke him down with your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png combo. You can add in a swainshadowgrasp.png to the combo if his Jousting [E] klede.png is on cooldown. 

Against Kled, you generally want to slowly poke him down instead of all-inning him. If you manage to poke him down just low enough so he doesn't get to pop his passive kledpassive.png, then wait until all your abilities are up again and go for an all-in. If you just try to all-in him chances are that he's going to pop his passive and you're not going to have any of your spells up. This gives him the ability to re-mount and kill you.

Another very important thing to note is how dangerous it is to use your swainmetamorphism.png to harass in this lane. Kled has one of the best all-ins in the game, and if you don't have swainmetamorphism.png off cooldown but he has his Charge! [R]  kledr.png up, he'll be able to ult you from full HP and either get you very low or outright kill you. This is why you should always wait for an all-in before using your swainmetamorphism.png. If you're use this and he has kledr.png, play very safe and sit next to your tower and wait for your cooldown. 

Later on, splitpushing against him will be fairly easy. He can itemize with a 3155.png 3194.png, but ultimately you'll be fine. Both in lane and later on in the game, it's very important for you to communicate with your team where he is at all times, as his kledr.png is a fantastic tool for roaming around the map. It's especially good for roaming midlane in the early stages of the game, so make sure your team knows when he's missing.

VS

Lissandra

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 3111.png)

An experienced Lissandra will poke you down with Ice Shard [Q] lissandraq.png while pushing the lane, and will be quite oppressive early on. While you will be able to retaliate with swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png, the lane will be pushing towards you and you'll be forced to take some free lissandraq.png harass while lasthitting. While her poke is strong, her all-in is fairly weak against you. You will be stronger than her as you hit level 6, so unless she uses her Glacial Path [E] lissandrae.png or her Frozen Tomb [R] lissandrar.png to avoid the damage from your swainshadowgrasp.png, you'll either kill her or force her out of lane. Getting 3111.png right after your 3027.png is very valuable in this matchup.

Both you and Lissandra have very similar roles in teamfights and get your spikes at similar times in the game. You generally don't want to focus her in fights, as she can either use lissandrar.png or 3157.png to avoid most of your damage. 

VS

Lucian

Medium

(KEY ITEMS: 1054.png3027.png3047.png3157.png)


BEGINNER:

Lucian's laningphase and dueling potential is very strong. You generally want to avoid fighting him earlygame at all costs. It's going to be difficult getting all cs, so save your spells for when he goes aggressive on you. You always need to be scared of his luciane.pnglucianq.png combo as the range is relatively high and will deal a lot of damage. If he does use his Relentless Pursuit [E] luciane.png aggressively, you will be able to respond with a swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo. Just make sure to not use your swainshadowgrasp.png when his luciane.png is off cooldown.

If he does decide to buy an early 3123.png3155.png, never try to duel him. Until you get your 3027.png3047.png3157.png, he's going to be stronger than you in 1v1s. 

 Luckily, if Lucian doesn't get ahead in the earlygame, he won't be much of a threat later on. He might still be able to beat you 1v1 in the lategame if he buys items like 3156.png3139.png
179.png

ADVANCED:

There are very specific situations where you want to take your first point into swaindecrepify.png , at level 2 swainshadowgrasp.png , and then at level 3 swaintorment.png . Some criteria have to be met:

  • If your jungler starts topside and is planning to be botside around 2:45-3:30
  • If he's slowpushing and stacking up a minionwave.
  • The enemy jungler is strong at diving early levels e.g. 57.png64.png76.png60.png
If all of the criteria above are true, then you want to start swaindecrepify.png level 1 as soon as you see the enemy toplaner wants to push you in early. Taking swaindecrepify.png first and using it on the wave that is pushing towards you will not only give you the ability to farm safely from distance against these aggressive champions, but your lane will de-push making it hard for the enemy jungler to gank you. If the enemy minion wave is not as your tower, you cannot get dove. You just need to make sure you have vision on the opposing jungler so he doesn't gank you from behind if you managed to push up too far with swaindecrepify.png (however this last point mainly applies to red-side as you need to ward tribush even though you're not pushing that far).

VS

Malphite

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 1082.png3027.png)

Similar to most other tank matchups, there's not much Malphite can do against you. The only way he's going to threaten you early game is by going full AP and maxing his Seismic Shard [Q]seismicshard.png. If he does decide to do this and doesn't snowball, he's going to be pretty useless later on as he doesn't scale very well with AP. Most of the time he's going to go full tank and you'll be able to slowly whittle him down and take his tower. He can't really trade with you as you'll outdamage him every time. The only thing he has going for him is the fact that he's really tanky and you probably can't kill him if you get ganked. You also need to make sure you deny his passive malphitepassive.png by constantly poking him with auto attacks and spells. You just need to make sure you don't run out of mana. Consistantly getting every cs with swainpassive.png will ensure you can keep getting spells off on him.

VS

Maokai

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 1082.png3027.png)

As with most tank matchups, Maokai can't do anything to you. Harassing him repeatedly with swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png and autos during lane should force him back early. If Maokai is in range to use Twisted Advance [W] maokaiw.png on you, save your swainshadowgrasp.png as he can easily dodge this spell by jumping on you. If he ever uses his maokaiw.png on you after you hit level 6, you should be able to all-in him. As you're so dominant in this matchup, you can't afford to miss lasthits as then you'll be losing out on a lot of mana you could be using to harass the opponent. 

Let your jungler know that you're strong in this matchup so you can get control of the topside jungle. You should win every 2v2 as the enemy team will lack damage to kill you. 

VS

Mordekaiser

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 3030.png3157.png3165.png)

Swain is very powerful against Mordekaiser in every stage of the game. His poor ranged harass coupled with the fact that he's very easy to kite makes this matchup a piece of cake. His goal in this lane would be to permapush the lane to avoid conflict and getting harassed. However, everytime he gets close to the minion wave you can easily hit him with your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png. He will have no means of responding back without getting help from his team. The only spell that is going to deal real damage to you is his Mace of Spades [Q] mordekaisermaceofspades.png, but you won't get hit by this spell unless you for some reason decided to go melee range against him. 

You're able to do whatever you want in this matchup both 1v1 and 1v2. As Mordekaiser is very easy to gank, you should call your jungler to go top and punish him for picking this champion. I'd even recommend going 3030.png in this matchup just so he's easier to catch. If he still manages to get into melee range of you, you can use 3157.png to avoid some of his Children of the Grave [R] mordekaiserchildrenofthegrave.png damage. I'd also recommend going 3165.png as a 3rd or 4th item matchup as Mordekaiser is very dependent on healing in both teamfights and 1v1 duels.

VS

Nasus

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 1082.png3070.png3027.png3157.png)

Nasus suffers from the same problems as a lot of the other tanks do. He's extremely easy to kite, he has no damage to kill you and he can't harass you in lane. While he has some of the best sustain in the game, you're still going to be able to zone him from CS and whittle him down. Since Nasus can't threaten you earlygame, you're going to get every cs with your swainpassive.png so you're never going to run out of mana. Once he has his Fury of the Sands [R] nasusr.png and a 3057.png, he can threaten you. You need to make sure you hit your swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png if he elects to all-in you. As he suffers from a lack of mobility, this shouldn't be too much of a problem. If you feel confident and you don't think the enemy team will teamfight too much earlygame, you can even invest in an early 3070.png which will make you a lot stronger mid-lategame. 

Nasus is one of the few champs that I'd recommend focusing in teamfights. Your swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png are fantastic kiting tools against a champion with no mobility or range in his kit. Take advantage of this by protecting your vunerable carries.

While his teamfighting doesn't become much stronger lategame, his splitpushing certainly does. Be very careful when splitpushing in the lategame against Nasus, as he'll take down towers really fast with a stacked Siphoning Strike [Q] nasusq.png. He's going to be a lot stronger 1v1 if he decides to buy a lot of magic resist items like 3111.png3065.png3194.png. You can only kill him if he elects to dive you past a tower. If he does this, you use your swainmetamorphism.pngswaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png3157.pngswaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo. If you snare him while you're in Zhonya, he'll be forced to take extra tower damage. This is however very dependent on him making mistakes. You generally want to avoid splitpushing lategame against him. 

VS

Nautilus

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 1082.png3027.png)

Most tank matchups are really easy for Swain, and Nautilus is no exception. Unless you get hit by nautilusanchordrag.png in laningphase, there's nothing Nautilus can do. And even if he does, you can easily just trade back with a swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo. You're stronger than him both in 1v1, and 2v2. While Nautilus is very strong at setting up ganks, he'll lack the damage in a 1v2 scenario. Unless you're way too far up, you shouldn't be able to die from a gank. If he randomly gets ahead by getting a doublekill after using 12.png botlane, he'll be able to buy an early 3194.png and be able to hold you well for the mid and late-game. Other than that, he doesn't really have an option to win the 1v1 matchup. 

VS

Olaf

Hard
(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png3157.png)

Olaf is really strong againt Swain for many reasons. If he hits Q on you level 1, he's going to run at you and chunk you down and force you to pop both your potions early on. The best way to approach the laningphase is to just try to lasthit as much as possible while not getting hit by too many axes. When he hits an axe and runs at you after a couple of levels, you can use a swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.pngswaintorment.png combo on him. If Olaf manages to get a good freeze off, you have to call your jungler to help push out the lane. If the Olaf missplays, you'll even be able to kill him. Be careful though as Olaf has a really powerful earlygame in skirmishes, so make sure the enemy jungler isn't toplane. 

Once he hits his level 6, he's going to be even stronger than you since he can run at you avoiding both your swaindecrepify.png and swainshadowgrasp.png with his Ragnarok olafragnarok.png. It's really important to stay near your tower when he has this ability up as he has a lot of kill potential on you. If you play safe enough, you should be able to get out of laningphase without too much of a deficit. Unless Olaf is freezing, let your jungler know to avoid being topside as Olaf is very powerful in early fights and snowballs extremely hard.

Luckily, Olaf scales really poorly and if he doesn't get a big lead early he won't do much in teamfights. He can buy items like 3155.png3065.png3194.png to be strong against you in splitpush, but that doesn't take away the fact that he's a weak teamfighter. Even in the splitpush, you should be able to hold him relatively well as long as you don't facecheck him. If you overextend and are forced to fight him, the best time to use your 3157.png active is when he either uses his Vicious Strikes [W] olaffrenziedstrikes.png or olafragnarok.png, as these abilities have a set duration and can run out during your 3157.png.

VS

Ornn

Medium

Despite being a tank, Ornn has a lot of damage in the early game. It's not as easy to stomp this guy in the early game as it is with other tanks. You need to be careful of his ornnq.pngornnw.pngornne.png combo early on. This combo matches your range and has a shorter cooldown. The only way you can pressure him is by constantly pushing the lane, and by doing this you become vulnerable to ganks. If you realize that pushing isn't an option due to the enemy jungler wanting to camp you, consider picking up a 2033.png to be able to endure some of his poke. You can alternatively let your jungler know that you're stronger in a 2v2 to get him to assist you in punishing Ornn. Whenever he uses his Volcanic Rupture [Q] ornnq.png to poke you, wait until the pillar disappears before trading back. This gives him no chance to trade back. Let your team know when he's missing as he's a very strong roamer thanks to his Call of the Forge God [R] ornnr.png


In the lategame, he stands no chance in a sidelane. Slowly whittle him down and don't waste your swainmetamorphism.png.

VS

Pantheon

Easy

(KEY ITEMS: 1054.png3030.png3157.png)


While Pantheon is one of the strongest champions in the earlygame, Swain is one of the few champions that can hold him quite well. Every time he tries to harass you with his Spear Shot [Q] pantheonq.png, you can respond with an swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png, even if he jumps on you with his Aegis of Zeonia [W] pantheonw.png. You will be taking more damage than him in the earlygame, so don't try to play too agressive. As long as you don't let him zone you too much and you get your 3027.png at a reasonable time, you'll be fine. This is one of those matchups where you can actually go for 3030.png  instead of 3027.png as the early power will really help against Pantheon. You're going to be outscaling him either way, so the lack of scaling stats doesn't matter too much. The active also helps a lot with catching Pantheon.

The only way he can massively outpressure you is by constantly roaming. I'd recommend trying to push as much as possible so he'll lose more by roaming with his Grand Skyfall [R]  pantheonrjump.png. Just communicate with the team when he's in fog of war so your team knows when to play safe. Even though 3123.png3155.png are good items on Pantheon, you'll easily be able to 1v1 him later on when you get your 3157.png

VS

Poppy

Easy

Poppy can't do much against you both in lane and outside of lane. Similar to other tanks, she will lack the damage to trade with you earlygame and keep up with your harass. As long as you keep outside of her Hammer Shock [Q] poppyq.png, she's gonna be forced to use Heroic Charge [E] poppye.png to trade with you, which puts her in a really bad position as you'll be able to use your entire swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo on her. If she uses it after you're level 6, you can easily pop your swainmetamorphism.png as well and massively chunk her. Keep in mind that she can potentially dodge your swainshadowgrasp.png with her Stead Fast presence [W] poppyw.png, so if you're not confident with this skillshot wait until she uses this ability. In early lane, you'll be able to use brush to make her not able to comfortably use her poppypassive.png. The only time she'll be a threat in the lane is when you run out of mana. This is why getting every free last hit with swainpassive.png is important so you can pressure her.  Despite Poppy being a very powerful 2v2 champion, you'll easily be able to 2v2 any combination due to the low amount of burst she has.


If you keep her down in the earlygame, she won't be able to get her matchup spike 3194.png in time.

VS

Quinn

Hard
(KEY ITEMS: 1054.png3047.png)

Why is this matchup so difficult? 

Quinn is similar to 236.png in lane as they're both ranged lanebullies who are powerful 1v1. What makes Quinn a much harder matchup than 236.png is the fact that you can't just play safe and farm for lategame. If you don't have any pressure toplane against an experienced Quinn, she'll be able to terrorize your entire team by permaroaming with her ultimate Behind Enemy Lines [R] quinnr.png. This is the most powerful roaming ability in the game. Putting this ability on such a strong laner makes her really annoying to play against. When you're playing against a Quinn, it's extremely important to communicate to your team that she's missing so she doesn't snowball. The key to winning against Quinn is to put her behind in the earlygame, as she's really weak when behind as she won't be able to duel or one shot carries. Let your jungler know this and tell him to gank her.

She'll win pretty much every early trade against you, she can dodge your swainshadowgrasp.png with her Vault [E]quinne.png, and she can comfortably itemize both 3123.png3155.png. She's one of the few toplane champions that can properly kite you with the help of her passive Harrier quinnpassive.png, so even when you hit level 6 your swainmetamorphism.png won't really do much in trades. 


127.jpg

What can you do in this matchup?


As previously mentioned, Quinn is very useless when she's behind. This makes shutting her down early very important, either it being with lots of ganks or investing in a lot of vision in the river. If she doesn't get a lead in the 1v1 or manages to outpressure you by constantly roaming, you're going to eventually outscale her in both 1v1 and in teamfights. This is one of those matchups where I'd consider going 3030.png for the active slow and earlygame power.

VS

Renekton

Easy

Being one of the few champions who can go even or even win against Renekton, Swain is a fantastic pick against the king of toplane. Early on in the lane, the only way he can touch you is through his Slice and Dice [E] renektonsliceanddice.png which has a long cooldown earlygame. When this spell is on cooldown, you can basically do anything you want to him. Even if he uses his renektonsliceanddice.pngrenektonpreexecute.pngrenektoncleave.pngrenektonsliceanddice.png combo to gapclose and trade with you, you're still going to go even in the trade. Combine that with the fact that you're going to be able to continuously auto attack with 6121.png and your amplified swaintorment.png damage, he's not going to have a good time. Something you need to keep in mind is to not use your swainshadowgrasp.png before he uses his renektonsliceanddice.png, as he can easily dodge it. You can alternatively use this right before he uses his Ruthless Predator [W] renektonpreexecute.png , as he is unable to move during the animation. 


While Renekton is one of those champions that can comfortably purchase 3155.png3111.png and later on, either 3065.png or 3194.png. These items won't be that trouble for you as you will naturally outscale him with your core items as well. In the mid- and lategame teamfights, you'll be a lot stronger than him, and unless he goes for a very aggressive build with lots of AD items, you'll be stronger than him in 1v1 as well. You just need to not get behind early and you're all set.


VS

Rengar

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 1054.png3010.png)

Rengar is one of those champions that are really disgusting to play against pre level 6, no matter what champion you're on. His damage outpush and ability to use brushes is unmatched, so always stay on the right-hand side of the lane. This requires you to have vision in the river, however, as it makes you more vulnerable to ganks. Play as safe as you can before level 6 without too losing too much experience and gold. It's really important that he doesn't get a freeze off in this matchup as he'll be able to zone you out from a lot of minions. Let him push the lane out if he does elect to do so. If he does manage to get a freeze, call for your jungler for help. Rengar is fairly weak 2v2, especially after your level 6. After you get your 3010.png, you will start winning trades. He can't really jump on you if your swainmetamorphism.png is off cooldown as you'll just be able to use your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo. Keep in mind that his empowered Battle Roar [W] rengarw.pngcan cleanse your swainshadowgrasp.png , so prioritize using your combo when he doesn't have any ferocity. Once he goes into fog of war, it's really important for you to communicate with your team that he is missing. Rengar is one of the strongest roamers in the game thanks to his Thrill of the Hunt [R] rengarr.png. Don't let him gank your teammates, as a snowballed Rengar is one of the scariest things in the game, especially in lower elo games. In a lategame scenario, you'll be able to hold him well 1v1 as well as be more useful in teamfights.

VS

Riven

Hard

(KEY ITEMS: 1056.png3047.png3157.png )


Why is this matchup so difficult? 

An experienced Riven will give Swain a very hard time in all stages of the game. With a 1054.png and her rivenfeint.png, she can both block Swain's level 1 harass and poke you with an auto. She has a very easy time dodging both your swaindecrepify.png and swainshadowgrasp.png with her massive amounts of mobility, which makes you very vulnerable before you get access to your swainmetamorphism.png. In the laning phase she will be able to contest every cs. If you go even in trades with her, she'll eventually get an advantage since she doesn't have a resource bar. Since you're so dependent on lasthitting to sustain your mana pool she'll easily be able to get an advantage just from purely trading. Once both of you do hit level 6, she will still beat you in all-ins, due to how much raw power she has with her rivenfengshuiengine.png and your lack of durability. She can all-in you from nearly full HP, which makes her able to bait out your swainmetamorphism.png while harassing you. If your swainmetamorphism.png is down and you get too close, you'll give her a free kill. 3123.png3155.png3111.png are all amazing items on Riven, which makes this matchup even harder for you to deal with.
 

127.jpg

What can you do in this matchup?


Unless she's bad, not much, honestly. You can punish her if she uses all her gaplosers at once with an easy swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo, but being dependent on the opponent doing these sloppy mistakes is not the position you want to be in. 3157.png is a decent item against her, as it gives armor and you can use the active to avoid a lot of her damage. 

179.png

ADVANCED:

In the lategame splitpush scenario, it's going to be really difficult to leave the lane that Riven is splitpushing in. As an experienced Riven player will most likely win duels later on in the game, and the fact that he will quickly eat a tower if you don't defend it, your safest choice is to simply ward your jungle before siting by your tower waiting for minion waves to arrive so you can quickly clear them. If you do put down vision, your team will see Riven attempting to extend his botlane pressure and they will have more options to react accordingly. If he does elect to leave the lane he is splitpushing in, you are free to push up extra waves. The further the wave is from your tower, the more time you have to make plays on the map that forces Riven to leave the sidelane. 

VS

Rumble

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 3157.png)

Pressuring a Rumble in the earlygame is a hard task, as his pushing power is impossible to rival. In the early stages of the lane he'll try to push you in a lot to avoid getting harassed. You can't really punish him for doing this unless your jungler is nearby. He'll be able to harass you in the early game with either his rumbleshield.pngrumbleflamethrower.png combo or just his rumblegrenade.png, but you should be able to trade back with a swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png and not get too chunked. Your level 6 spike is stronger than his in terms of 1v1, so you can start more playing more aggressive. Catching him with a quick swainmetamorphism.pngswaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo multiple times during laningphase can result in him having to eventually recall.

When you're in a sidelane against him, look to catch him with your swainshadowgrasp.png as much as possible. As long as you have your 20 minute 3027.png3157.png spike, you're going to win duels against him. You can even decide to buy a 3030.png in this matchup just so it's easier to catch him. By using your 3157.png active to avoid a lot of his Equalizer [R] rumblecarpetbomb.png damage, you're going to win the trade. Rumble is one of the champions I'd recommend focusing in teamfights as he's very squishy and easy to catch. His range is really low and he doesn't have many escape mechanisms, so catching him with an swaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png shouldn't be too difficult. 

VS

Ryze

Medium

While Swain wins the all-in war, Ryze wins the poke war. If he doesn't get pressured by the enemy jungler, he has the power to continuously push you in. You can't really abuse the fact that he's a lategame champion by the fact that he's able to push in the lane so much better than you can. While he'll never be able to kill you, it will be hard for you to get a big advantage over him in lane without him doing something poorly in lane. The last thing you want to be doing in a matchup is being too dependant on your opponent making a misplay. 


You will however be a lot more useful in earlygame and midgame teamfights and skirmishes. His ranges matches yours and it will be hard for him to enter a teamfight with a giant bird in his face. You'll definitely want to force as many fights as possible early on in the game if Ryze is on the enemy team. I'd recommend going 3030.png instead of 3027.png in this matchup as it gives you more early power as well as more catch potential against Ryze.

In teamfights, wait out his 6361.png before casting your swainshadowgrasp.png to secure the lockdown. As your swaindecrepify.png range is bigger than most of his spells, you'll be able to zone and kite him quite well in fights.

VS

Shen

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 1056.png3010.png)

One of the biggest misconceptions is that Shen's hardest counter is Swain. The matchup is decent for Swain, but Shen still has a lot of options to outpressure Swain. Shen has one of the strongest pre-6 laningphases for a melee champion in the game. He has high damage shenq.png with a low cooldown shield shenpassive.pngand a gapcloser shene.png , while practically not being restricted by mana costs. 

In this particular matchup, Shen will be able to use his shenpassive.png to sustain a lot of your harass from both your spells and your auto attacks in the early stages of the lane. Considering how powerful Dorans Shield 1054.png is at the moment for Shen, it will be hard to force him out of lane before level 6. If Shen gets ahead, Swain can't really abuse the fact that Shen wants to pressure the map with his Stand United shenr.png, as you lack both the consistent waveclear and tower-taking ability to do so. If Shen gets a gold lead from pressuring the map, he can buy both Tiamat 3077.png and Adaptive Helm3194.png in attempt to survive the lane while pressuring the map. 

Swain can however pressure Shen out of lane if played well. If Shen isn't allowed to ult around the map and get gold leads for his team or for himself, you'll eventually be able to whittle him down yourself by constantly pressuring him. As he has no way of killing you after you hit your level 6, laning against him will be very simple. Once you have your 3010.png, you should have enough mana to play more aggressive. By constantly playing aggressive and harassing him you will eventually get topside control. You're safely able to do this as you will most likely be able to 1v2 the enemy top and jungler if you get ganked, due to Shen's low damage after level 5. If you're constantly pushing the lane and pressuring him, he'll lose a lot more from leaving his lane with his shenr.png . If you're constantly pushing, you'll also be able to get more damage off on the enemy toplane tower. You'll just have to hope your team respects shenr.png and doesn't give him a gold advantage. 

VS

Singed

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 1082.png3070.png)

Singed is harder to play against than most tanks due to the amount of pressure he can put on the map my just using his Poison Trail [Q] poisontrail.png to push minion waves. His play pattern is predictable yet hard to counter for Swain. You don't have the waveclear to counterpush, so for most of the laningphase you'll be sitting under your tower lasthitting minions.

As Singed will most likely be permapushing in this matchup, you'll need to have good vision in your topside jungle. The enemy Singed has a lot of opportunities to either roam mid or disrupt your jungler. Communicate with your team as soon as Singed enters fog of war. Unless your jungler is very powerful, trying to gank the Signed is usually a bad idea as you won't deal much damage to him let alone catch up to him. While Singed can put a lot of pressure on the map, he can't ever kill you unless you let him. This allows you to go for greedy items such as 1082.png and 3070.png.


VS

Sion

Easy

Like most tank matchups, Sion can't really do much to you. The best thing he can do is charge up his Soul Furnace [W] sionw.png , use his Roar of the Slayer [E] sione.png and hit you with a charged up Decimating Smash [Q] sionq.png and sionw.png for tons of damage. This combo will be unreliable however since if you dodge his sione.pngthen he won't be able to get nearly as much damage off on you. And even if he does, you'll be able to retaliate with an easy swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo yourself since he lacks any sort of mobility (apart from his ultimate). In all stages of the game, he'll never be able to pressure you in a 1 vs 1. The only thing he has going for him is the fact that he can gank mid or botlane with his sionr.png without you really having an option to respond. As Swain's pushing power is lackluster due to your high cooldowns, you can't really punish Sion for roaming. That's why it's very important to communicate to your team where Sion is at all times, and warn about potential sionr.png ganks.

VS

Talon

Hard
(KEY ITEM: 3157.png)

Talon has a very strong early game against Swain. His Rake [W] talonw.png has a long range and nearly matches your swaintorment.png and swaindecrepify.png ranges, so you won't be able to harass him in lane without getting damaged as well. In general, he just deals more damage than you in trades so waiting for him to misuse his talonw.png and then using your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo is your best bet of neutralizing the matchup. 

Talon has an easy itemization path with both 3155.png3123.png being fantastic items on him. This makes his 10-15 minute spike quite strong. This will usually be before you've completed your 3157.png, so this is when he'll be very powerful against you in duels. However, once you get your 3157.png, you'll be able to avoid a lot of his burst from his Shadow Assault [R] talonr.png and talonw.png which will make the matchup swing in your favor. 

VS

Teemo

Easy

What makes Teemo an annoying champion is his earlygame harass and his ability to kite melee champions. Both of these things don't affect Swain at all as you're both ranged and you have the ability to kite him due to how low his range is. Harassing with your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo gives you tools to outtrade him and make hit hard for him to reach you with auto attacks. The one thing you have to have in mind is his Move Quick [W] movequick.png which allows him to avoid your swainshadowgrasp.png, so if you're not confident in predicting his movement, try to save this spell until his movequick.png is on cooldown.

VS

Trundle

Easy

(KEY ITEMS: 1056.png3047.png3157.png)


Trundle is a fairly easy matchup for Swain. You can quite freely just harass and kite him with your spells throughout the entire laningphase. Trundle does have a fair bit of sustain so last-hitting minions with your passive swainpassive.png and 1056.png will give you the mana you need to out-sustain him. He won't have much kill potential on you after you get level 6 so just keep your distance before then so you don't get caught by his Pillar of Ice [E] trundlecircle.png and gutted by his Chomp [Q] trundletrollsmash.png and multiple auto attacks. His Frozen Domain [W] trundledesecrate.png can make it troublesome to hit your swainshadowgrasp.png, so be patient with using this spell as it's your main way of escaping an all-in. His ultimate Subjugate [R] trundlepain.png wont give him that many stats from you, so you shouldn't feel threatened from him after you get your level 6. 

Trundle has fairly poor itemization against Swain. 3123.png is a terrible item on Trundle, and 3155.png isn't much better. He also has to choose between getting 3065.png and 3194.png, where he wants the regeneration buff from 3065.png and the damage mitigation from 3194.png. As your itemization path makes you unkillable to him, you're eventually going to outscale him and be more useful than him in teamfights.

A tip is to use 3157.png as Trundle is using trundlepain.png on you, as this will decrease his overall damage output in an all-in as Trundle won't be able to use the temporary armor/magic resistance debuff from trundlepain.png during 3157.png's active.

VS

Tryndamere

Medium

(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png3157.png)

Both Tryndamere and Yasuo are very similar matchups for Swain. They both outtrade and outpush Swain in the early stages of the game, and later it's hard for Swain to leave his lane as he has to defend against Tryndamere's oppressive splitpushing. However, since Tryndamere doesn't have Yasuo's Wind Wall [W]yasuowmovingwall.png, this matchup becomes a lot easier than the Yasuo matchup. 

While Tryndamere does have his Spinning Slash [E] tryndameree.png to get out of swaindecrepify.png radius and dodge your swainshadowgrasp.png, his only way of harassing you is through this spell. This is why you should wait for him to tryndameree.png into you before using your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo. You can even use your swaintorment.png combined with 6121.png and auto attacks to harass him in lane. Doing this will make you survive Tryndamere's earlygame. If Tryndamere is running 14.png, don't stay in lane if you're low. He has great diving potential, especially after he gets Undying Rage [R] undyingrage.png

If you tell your jungler to gank and his tryndameree.png is on cooldown, he will be incredibly easy to kill. Tryndamere is a very weak 2v2 champion as well so if the enemy jungler comes to countergank you'll most likely win the fight as well. Your best bet in this lane is telling your jungler to camp the Tryndamere to get control over topside. 

179.png

ADVANCED:

In the lategame splitpush scenario, it's going to be really difficult to leave the lane that Tryndamere is splitpushing in. As an experienced Tryndamere player will most likely win duels later on in the game, and the fact that he will quickly eat a tower if you don't defend it, your safest choice is to simply ward your jungle before siting by your tower waiting for minion waves to arrive so you can quickly clear them. If you do put down vision, your team will see Tryndamere attempting to extend his botlane pressure and they will have more options to react accordingly. If he does elect to leave the lane he is splitpushing in, you are free to push up extra waves. The further the wave is from your tower, the more time you have to make plays on the map that forces Tryndamere to leave the sidelane. 

VS

Urgot

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 1056.png3157.png)


BEGINNER: 


This matchup is very easy for both of you in lane, as you're both (short) ranged champions that want to bully melees. As long as you keep your range from Urgot and you don't let him use his Disdain [E] urgote.png on you, you're going to be fine. Avoiding this spell will also decrease the chances if you dying to a gank, as Urgot can't follow up a jungle gank very well. Later on in the game, you will outscale him in both teamfights and 1 vs 1 if you stick to the same strategy as you did earlygame. 

ADVANCED: 

Once you've completed Zhonya's Hourglass3157.png, this matchup becomes very easy as you're able to either use the active to avoid Fear Beyond Death [R] urgotr.png or the damage coming from his Purge [W] urgotw.png . 

VS

Vayne

Easy

(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png3089.png)

With proper bush usage, Vayne can have a decent pre-6 against you. If she manages to Tumble [Q] vaynetumble.png out of your swaindecrepify.png radius or out of your swainshadowgrasp.png then she will out-trade you. However, after you hit level 6 you can punish her for using her vaynetumble.png too aggressively and using all your spells on her. She will have no way of killing you as long as you have your ultimate up. Punish her for every lasthit with your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.pngswainshadowgrasp.png combo. If she uses her vaynetumble.png aggressively, you can simply pop your swainmetamorphism.png and start fighting her. As long as you have mana, she won't win the trade.

Later in the game, it might be tough depending on her itemization. If she opts for a 3156.png3091.png3140.png or 3111.png, it might be worth building a Void Staff 3135.png depending on how many of these items she has and how much magic resist the rest of the enemy team has. If she doesn't have any magic resist than going for a 3089.png right after your core (3027.png3157.png) will make teamfighting a nightmare for her. Her ranges are really short so she has no real way of kiting you in teamfights.

VS

Vladimir

Medium

(KEY ITEMS: 1082.png3027.png3070.png)

Before the changes they made to Swain in the Mid-Season Magic update, Swain was quite good in lane against Vladimir. Nowadays, the matchup is a lot more even. You're slightly stronger earlygame midgame, but he scales a lot better than you. This puts a lot of pressure on you as you need to be playing extremely aggressive to punish his slightly weaker earlygame. An experienced Vladimir player can time his Sanguine Pool [W] vladimirsanguinepool.png to avoid all of your spells, so don't use everything at once if that ability is off cooldown. Lasthitting every creep to sustain your manapool is crucial if you want to get a lead over him early on. This is one of the matchups I'd recommend starting Dark Seal  1082.png in, as you want to be out sustaining him and the fact that he won't have any kill potential on you. You can even go for a 3070.png if you feel like the game will be very slow-paced. In the midgame, try to force Vladimir to fight a lot as this is his weakest point in the game. In lategame teamfights, your focus should not be on keeping Vladimir down as he is very strong against your damage over time abilities. The movement speed he gets from Stormraider's Surge 6361.png makes it difficult for you to hit your swainshadowgrasp.png on him. It's better to focus down the enemy AD carry at this point. 

VS

Volibear

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 1056.png3027.png)

Swain has an easy time against Volibear. Whenever he tries to charge at you with Rolling Thunder [Q] volibearq.png, you can simply stop him in his tracks with swaindecrepify.png and swainshadowgrasp.png. As far as you keep your distance from him, laning should be very easy as he can't really punish you for lasthitting. A good Volibear will use brushes, so you can keep one of them warded as long as you have a ward for the enemy jungler. After your level 6, Volibear has pretty much no kill potential on you. Considering Volibear has really poor sustain, your focus in this matchup should be throwing all your spells on him. To do this you need to properly be lasthitting with your passive swainpassive.png and 1056.png for mana. As this matchup is easy for you, lasthitting is extremely important so you can finish your Rod of Ages 3027.png early.

VS

Warwick

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 1056.png3157.png)

Laning against Warwick is fairly easy, as he lacks any damage to kill you throughout all stages of the game. While his sustain in lane is fairly powerful, just constantly throwing spells at him is a surprisingly effective approach in this matchup. As Warwick is one of the few champions who can't abuse your high cooldowns due to his lack of damage, you will freely be able to harass him down with a barrage of spells (as long as you're lasthitting properly with your passive swainpassive.png and 1056.png . Against a more experienced and aggressive Warwick player, you can easily just stop him in his tracks with your swaindecrepify.png and swainshadowgrasp.png as he attempts to harass you. You can even use 3157.png's active to avoid his Infinite Duress [R]  warwickr.png

VS

Wukong

Medium
(KEY ITEMS: 1056.png3157.png)

This matchup is surprisngly tricky to play. Due to Wukong's aggressive playstyle and spell patterns, it's hard for Swain to retaliate any of his hostility before level 6. In this matchup, Wukong will punish you for lasthitting with his monkeykingnimbus.pngmonkeykingdoubleattack.png combo before using his Decoy [W] monkeykingdecoy.png making it impossible for you to hit your spells on him. Your windows of aggression are when monkeykingdecoy.png is on cooldown. If you let him go too aggressive on you early in the lane, he can snowball like a monster and constantly roam around the map with his pressure. However, the matchup becomes a lot easier once you hit 6 and you can trade back and sustain his harass. Keep in mind he has relatively high cooldowns that can't punish you so hard for using your ultimate to trade and sustain. He will rarely have the ability to 100 to 0 you even through his Cyclone [R] monkeykingspintowin.png. You are then able to land all your abilities as he cannot use his monkeykingdecoy.png during monkeykingspintowin.png. This gives you the ability to easily chunk him and possibly kill him if he misplays brush play after his initial aggression. So the trick to beating Wukong is to wait for level 6 and punish him for misusing his monkeykingdecoy.png or waiting for him to use his monkeykingspintowin.png and then willing the trade.

VS

Yasuo

Hard
(KEY ITEMS: 3047.png3157.png)

Why is this matchup so difficult? 

An experienced Yasuo player can be one of the hardest lane opponents and matchups in the game for Swain. Not only can he use Wind Wall [W] yasuowmovingwall.png on three of your abilities swaindecrepify.pngswaintorment.pngswainmetamorphism.png, he can also bully you in lane before level 6 due to his oppressing lane pattern. His passive yasuopassive.png will shield most of your swaintorment.pngswaindecrepify.png harass in lane and you can't really stop him from dashing through all the minions and auto attacking you. If you elect to use any of your spells to counterattack, he'll either just pull up his yasuowmovingwall.png or dash away. The reason why Yasuo is so difficult for deal with for Swain especially, is because of the fact that Swain suffers from long cooldowns which gives Yasuo's yasuowmovingwall.png a lot of value. He can also comfortably buy both 3123.png and  3155.png without losing too much power.
 

127.jpg

What can you do in this matchup?

Yasuo can be extremely oppressive in lane, especially in the early levels before you hit level 6. However, he lacks the potential to kill you straight up 100 to 0. If he instead tries to slowly whittle you down, you can simply use your ultimate to heal the damage back. You can also use abilities from fog of war to surprise him and give him less time to react with a yasuowmovingwall.png . Less experienced Yasuos have a tendency play very aggressively and overextend. You can punish this by telling your jungler to gank him. As you're ganking him, he will most likely run away from your minions making him unable to dash your swainshadowgrasp.png making the kill extremely easy. 

179.png

ADVANCED:

In the lategame splitpush scenario, it's going to be really difficult to leave the lane that Yasuo is splitpushing in. As an experienced Yasuo player will most likely win duels later on in the game, and the fact that he will quickly eat a tower if you don't defend it, your safest choice is to simply ward your jungle before siting by your tower waiting for minion waves to arrive so you can quickly clear them. If you do put down vision, your team will see Yasuo attempting to extend his botlane pressure and they will have more options to react accordingly. If he does elect to leave the lane he is splitpushing in, you are free to push up extra waves. The further the wave is from your tower, the more time you have to make plays on the map that forces Yasuo to leave the sidelane. 

VS

Yorick

Easy
(KEY ITEMS: 1056.png3027.png)

Yorick is very easy to kite with your swaindecrepify.png and swainshadowgrasp.png as he has no innate mobility in his kit. While his damage his high if he gets his yorickq.pngyoricke.pngyorickw.png combo off, he won't deal enough damage to kill you with your swainmetamorphism.png up. Before you get your ultimate you need to be careful, however, as he can sustain most of your harass with Last Rites [Q] yorickq.png and combo you down for massive damage early levels. Your main focus should not be spend all your mana harassing him in the early levels, since you'll need the mana to escape ganks. It's generally better to be playing safetly and just trying to farm as you'll be able escape any gank as soon as you hit 6 unless you don't have the mana to do so. Letting him push you in, freezing the wave just before the enemy minion wave hits the tower and simply lasthitting will give you a comfortable path to an early Rod of Ages 3027.png .

In the later stages in the game, he'll only be useful as a splitpusher and since you'll be able to both hold him in a splitpush while being a lot more useful in a 5v5 scenario, this matchup is definitely Swain favored.

About myself and the guide Back to Top

Hey! I'm Dumbo, also known as Tornell. I've been maining Swain for nearly half a decade now, consistently being between Diamond 1 and 400lp master tier since Season 4. In my early days, I used to only play Swain midlane, but as I roleswapped to toplane I started playing him there as well. This guide is meant to express my opinions and thoughts on the champion to inexperienced Swain players. There might be certain matchups or tips you will disagree on, but everything written down in this guide is my own experiences with the champion after playing it at a high level for over three years. I hope you enjoy reading it, and please leave your feedback in the comments. 


Thanks for reading!

Changelog Back to Top

25DEC2017 - Added Changelog
                       Added Corruption Pot (in Items)
                       Added Ornn (in Matchups)


17JAN2017 - Added runes (NEW)

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