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All Guides Swain Guides Mastering The Garbage That Is Swain
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3 months ago
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Swain Statistics for Cartion

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

Value
Average
Games Played
1
8
Win %
0
44
Kills
0.0
5.3
Assists
1.0
7.5
Deaths
1.0
6.2
KA:D Ratio
1.0
2.1
Gold Earned
4.6K
11.4K
Creep Score
92.0
161.4
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

Swain is really garbage, but I love him, I really do. Swain is the champion I've enjoyed most out of any champion in league of legends, but he is really bad, so I tested a bunch of setups to find out what I think is a pretty good build on Swain, as well as giving some other less effective but optional paths. I think this champion can actually be pretty good, I've had teammates awe at my high sustain and insane burst and then laugh when I do nothing when I lose lane (did I mention he is garbage). Swain is one of those champs where if he is ahead he is a raid boss, but if he is behind is as useful as ap Garen. This setup will help you make this most of this garbage champion as long as you can manage to make it out of lane without being 1k under.

New Runes Back to Top

Swain is given two ways to itemize himself, either burst based off of his Q/W/E combo or through his consistent damage ultimate. The Swain rework was overall pretty awful, the main issue in my opinion is that his ult feels really out of place with the rest of his kit, like a by gone relic to remind us that his old ult was a thing. Swain, if used properly, can have some pretty fair picking and burst potential outside of his ultimate, his ult however does very little damage and the only burst it gives doesn't become used until the d.o.t deals enough damage which is near impossible if damaging a single target. Unless you are itemizing towards dealing consistent damage in the form of his ultimate and low cd q (being 1.5-1.4 seconds at 40-45%cd) you are only using it as an equivalent to a Alistair ult, it makes you hard to kill. Do not try to itemize towards both your Q/W/E and ultimate, you'll end up with an awkward setup bad Swain players setup into where they have no damage and no sustain in fights, it gives Swain a far worse name then I think he deserves.


Burst Itemization - This is my preferred choice for Swain, this is where your build reflects the possible picking potential in Swains kit. Swain has a pretty awkward burst combo, but if used it is a very fair pick tool as well as very shocking in the presence of the receiver, since Swain is known for terrible damage. The combo relies on you hitting E, luckily if you get good enough at using it (or just spam it/get rylais/twinshadows) the combo is set from there. Start with hitting your E, then W in front of them (not under them) and then pull them with your passive into the W as it begins to pop, then move forward slightly to get a 5-shot Q. This combo combined with electrocute and cheap shot (as well as the build i'll get into later) will do anything from 50-100% your target depending on your current position in the game and their build, it is possible to one shot enemy adcs if you have a good enough lead. Even though it does a fair bit, this is Swain and he is garbage and without a good ultimate to fit into the combo in most cases you'll have to add another Q and ignite the target. A neat tip as well, one E can proc electrocute, the forward damage, root damage and pull damage will proc electrocute without even a AA. 

Ult Itemization - This route I never take anymore, I found that this tends to lead into poor damage outputs and nonexistent burst outside of enormous leads, however this will turn you into somewhat of a raid boss in team fights which is pretty okay. This is a setup that is probably more suited toward top lane rather than mid due to the emphasis on long trades/fights. With this you are taking aery to help increase your ult based damage, you can get several procs in team fights with this rune. Mana flow helps with your poor mana levels since with the ult oriented setup you are only going to go abyssal/roa for your mana sustain, although you can opt out of going mana flow for ultimate hat for the ult based setup if you like dealing with 0 mana every fight. Next you can choose between transcendence or celerity, this is really down to preference. Then finally scorch, because you really need the damage.

Pressure Itemization - This choice is really optional and I would only go it if I wanted to opt into teleport for a split centered play style, although you can go it with any setup since lets be honest, unsealed is op. I'll go more into the optional inspiration choices below but for a secondary you can either go for sorcery or domination. Sorcery you are most likely going for transcendence and mana flow, although celerity, mana flow and null ord are all fine depending on preference. Domination you are going for ravenous hunter the either cheap shot or zombie ward. Ravenous hunter is amazing on Swain as it helps with his awkward healing setup where it is all based in his w and e, the hardest abilities to hit, however this gives his Q a chance to heal, which is just swell :). You can go this with any setup but if you want you can opt for a sneaky split build, its awkward and pretty bad, but that is Swain in a nutshell, I love him.

Secondary Inspiration - In all three trees inspiration in a secondary or primary page and I put Magical Footwear and Cosmic Insight for them but I think there is a lot of options here that comes down to situation and preference. Magical Footwear is almost always a must get, the only case where I wouldn't get it is if I knew I was getting an Hourglass and I knew I needed to abuse the 15% reduction, if not for both those reasons I always go Footwear. Footwear not only saves 100 more gold then stopwatch but also makes your early itemization more easy since you can focus directly on rushing out items instead of stopping to get boot, plus the extra ms is really nice on Swain. Minion Dematerializer is really nice to help out with Swains poor wave clear in lane as well as gives him better wave clear later on, pick this is against hard pushing laners that you want to go even with (champs like Tali and Sol will push you out no matter what so it might just be better to let it hit turret). Biscuits are really nice for lane sustain since its hard to avoid skillshots with immobile Swain having all his abilities stopping his movement, plus the mana is really useful on him. Futures market pairs really well with stacking items so pairing it with the likes or ROA and Footwear can create very early full item purchases. Cosmic insight is just great. Approach velocity I don't actually think is that bad on him, that fact that it works well into your combo (allowing you to run forward faster to get a 5-shot Q), but also he can proc it off of allies cc by using his passive, this can allow him very easy access to teamights by working off of allies cc. 

Why not phase rush - I've seen alot of people go phase rush and I use to go it when I started Swain since I assumed it would be ideal, however I realized that you just didn't need it. Getting into fights isn't that hard on Swain and his damage is so poor that it is far better to opt into damage dealing keystone (or Unsealed because its op op) then one that you just let you run quickly into the team fight. Its not that useful in catching people since one you get them in range it hard for then to escape unless they are highly mobile (unless you have glp/twinshadows/rylais). You can go it if you really like, but trust me there are far better choices.

Abilities Back to Top

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

This is pretty self explanatory except for the E first. The E first is only if you are going for the burst based build, this is because you can proc electrocute with one E, allowing for some pretty effective level one cheese since noone expects the start. Also if your team is up for it you can invade with this. Everything else is standard, your Q is your main ability so you max it, your E is second because your W doesn't going much of anything from ranking it up and W is last. Level your ult at 6/11/16 because this is league and you do this on everyone.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Standard Start
    Possible Tear Rush (not tested thoroughly)

Core Items

    Standard Burst start (Might be nolonger efficient in future patches 8.5+)
    Alternate Burst Start (My preferred setup)
    Standard Ult Setup (If you still want damage
    Alternate Ult Setup (More tanky setup, better for toplane)

Situational Items

    Boot Options
    Burst Options
    Situational Options
    Niche Options
(All items reasons will be listed below build guides)

Burst Itemization - This build will give you pretty solid burst as well as giving you okay resistance. The first item is either to rush and Watchers or a tear, Watchers in the future may not be as useful in later patches so you'll most likely go tear. ROA is next getting that much needed damage, mana and health sustain. After that you have three options, go for a lost chapter item (glp or ludens) opt for a protobelt or use it as a fill slot for any of the optional choices above. Then finish boots and fill in the last two slots.

If you dont know what to fill just go Arch/Roa/Sorcs/Glp/Liandries/Rylias as a standard build.

Ult Itemization - This build focuses on more sustain with more constant dps. You'll start out rushing a catalyst item either ROA or Abyssal, then you will rush an hourglass. After that its mostly fill, try avoiding burst items like the lost chapter choices or spellbinder. 

If you dont know what to fill just go Roa/Hourglass/Sorcs/Liandries/Rylias/Void as a standard build.

Items

ROA - Best item on Swain, gives good dmg as well as mana and health sustain, most core item on him.

Abyssal - Optional alternative to ROA, gives a tankier option and puts more focus on base damage early which helps Swain due to his low scalings. Will really hurt your burst though. 

Watchers - This item is kindof busted right now, which is why they are trying to kill it for laners. This is a very cheap item that gives ap, health, cd, mana regen and wards, all amazing on Swain and pairs nicely with zombie ward.

Tear/Arch - This came as a choice to replace watchers if it dies out in patch 8.5+, this item in combination with ROA kills your poor mana issues and makes it almost impossible to go oom later game, this combined with the 20% cdr and mana to ap passive (which gives 100+ ap is paired with ROA and ludens/glp) great item on Swain.

Hourglass - Everyone thinks this is a must need core item on Swain, I can only assume this is because its a mage/tank item and your ult stays active inside hourglass. Keep this in mind, Swain ult sucks, unless you go for the ult itemization and poorly attempt to be a raid boss this item isn't core. However it is useful against assassin match ups which gives Swain some issues due to his E/W being almost worthless against assassins. Get when you need it.

Ludens - Really helps with burst setup and gives good mana/ap and 30% cdr when paired with tear or Watchers

Glp - Same as ludens but you gives up constant procs for cc, works very well inside of Swains E combo if used between his W and Q. 

Protobelt - This item is actually great for Swains burst combo, E, W, Passive, Proto, guarenteed 5-shot q, gets you just close enough to get a solid burst combo off if not obstructed. Health, Ap and cd are all great on Swain aswell.

Rylais - Great item against mobiles teams, also very good if you have trouble hitting your E. Maybe you're bad or maybe they're really good, I won't ask. 

Void - Get when they stacks MR, simple.

Liandries - Great item on Swain, basically his death cap. If you need damage get this item, even on the burst build it is good since your combo is slow enough that you will have 5 stacks by the end of it, allowing for really good follow ups if needed. This is also really good if the enemy team is stacking health.

Morell - This is really good against heal heavy comps, because grievous wounds is op. This is also good against somewhat tanky teams, maybe they don't really have a tank but aren't squishy enough to warrant going raw ap.

Banner - Banner is great right now, just really strong. If you are going to be pushing at all this game and no teammates are going to get it, just buy it yourself. Riot made towers gold op, so grab em all while this item is good.

Banshees - Really good against poke or pick. Also gives MR but who cares there are better choices for that.

Twin Shadows - Actually pretty good on Swain, okay ap, some ms and cd. Most important is that it actually makes it so you can hit a W from a distance, just spooky ghost them first. Really good if you have have a pick comp, would highly recommend with teammates like ashe, blitz, morg, elise, etc. 

Spellbinder - This is a snowball item, are you ahead and wanna say f**k itemizing sustain I wanna go deep, then this is the item for you. Pretty okay item on him but isn't amazing, almost kind of a troll choice, but pretty fun if you are ahead or actually wanna one shot people.

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Ahri
    Easy
  • Akali
    Hard
  • Anivia
    Medium
  • Annie
    Easy
  • Aurelion Sol
    Medium
  • Azir
    Medium
  • Brand
    Medium
  • Cassiopeia
    Hard
  • Corki
    Medium
  • Diana
    Hard
  • Ekko
    Hard
  • Fizz
    Hard
  • Galio
    Medium
  • Jayce
    Hard
  • Karma
    Medium
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Kassadin
    Medium
  • Katarina
    Hard
  • LeBlanc
    Hard
  • Lissandra
    Easy
  • Lucian
    Medium
  • Lux
    Easy
  • Malzahar
    Easy
  • Morgana
    Medium
  • Orianna
    Easy
  • Ryze
    Hard
  • Syndra
    Easy
  • Taliyah
    Easy
  • Talon
    Hard
  • Twisted Fate
    Medium
  • Veigar
    Easy
  • Vel'Koz
    Easy
  • Viktor
    Medium
  • Vladimir
    Easy
  • Xerath
    Medium
  • Yasuo
    Medium
  • Zed
    Hard
  • Ziggs
    Easy
  • Zilean
    Medium
  • Zoe
    Medium

VS

Ahri

Easy

VS

Akali

Hard

VS

Anivia

Medium

VS

Annie

Easy

VS

Aurelion Sol

Medium

VS

Azir

Medium

VS

Brand

Medium

VS

Cassiopeia

Hard

VS

Corki

Medium

VS

Diana

Hard

VS

Ekko

Hard

VS

Fizz

Hard

VS

Galio

Medium

VS

Jayce

Hard

VS

Karma

Medium

VS

Karthus

Easy

VS

Kassadin

Medium

VS

Katarina

Hard

VS

LeBlanc

Hard

VS

Lissandra

Easy

VS

Lucian

Medium

VS

Lux

Easy

VS

Malzahar

Easy

VS

Morgana

Medium

VS

Orianna

Easy

VS

Ryze

Hard

VS

Syndra

Easy

VS

Taliyah

Easy

VS

Talon

Hard

VS

Twisted Fate

Medium

VS

Veigar

Easy

VS

Vel'Koz

Easy

VS

Viktor

Medium

VS

Vladimir

Easy

VS

Xerath

Medium

VS

Yasuo

Medium

VS

Zed

Hard

VS

Ziggs

Easy

VS

Zilean

Medium

VS

Zoe

Medium
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