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Build Guide by TheYawningWhale

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author TheYawningWhale

A Comprehensive Swain guide - Ranked Play (updated 05-29-11)

TheYawningWhale Last updated on June 3, 2011
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Ability Sequence

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





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Sorcery
Alacrity
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brute Force
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lethality
Improved Rally
 
 
 
 
 
 
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Evasion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Veteran's Scars
Willpower
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ardor
Reinforce
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tenacity
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Awareness
Expanded Mind
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Intelligence
Mystical Vision
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Presence of the Master
 
 

Utility: 21


Guide Top

A Brief Introduction

A Few Opening Words


So, you've decided to play Swain, have you? I've seen plenty of different builds and I have been experimenting throughout hundreds of matches; I'm now here to share some of my experience with you. A good way of getting started is copying the build straight away, see how it feels and try to evaluate it. Do by all means experiment yourself and deviate from the build. The more games you play, the closer you'll come to find the perfect build for you. This guide is a lot of copy paste from my earlier guide but also quite a lot of reworking.
Typical end game stats. This is what you can be looking forward to =D

This guide will be a rather advanced guide and meant for ranked play. I've used it plenty of times with great success so now I want to share with you the revised version of my previous guide! Disclaimer: The pictures in the guide aren't meant as boasting pictures but they are there to illustrate stats, a scenario, a game mechanic and to just generally make the guide more pleasant to look at. They are not from ranked games but from normal games played with a couple of my mates.


The Theme of the Build


I struggled quite a lot between the HP, MP and AP balance with Swain. My main goal was to have a steady increase in AP but also being able to survive in the team fights. After a lot of testing I came up with this build. The goal is to maximize Swain's AP as fast as possible, as well as being able to keep him alive and giving him a mana pool large enough to sustain his ultimate for a longer period of time.


Runes


The choices of runes are pretty much the standard of any caster. Swain does not need any mana regen runes due to his passive ability Carrion Renewal so those are immediately ignored. One might want to get health quintessenses instead of the ability power ones but you'll have to figure out which ones you feel most comfortable with. The 15 extra AP together with an amplifying tome gives 35 AP at level 1 which provides for great harrassment.


Masteries


Once again, pretty standard caster specs. Some people might get the improved ignite instead of Presence of the Master. Being able to cast Ignite and Flash a lot more often than usual means more ganking and escaping options however which is why I chose Presence of the Master.
Swain almost always wants to have the blue golem buff (I'll come back to that later in the article) so 2 points in Meditation is pretty necessary. Another thing which differs from the normal cast build is that I've taken a point in Blink of an Eye instead of Greed . Greed gives you 1 gold per 10 seconds, that's 6 gold per minute and thusly a whooping 120 gold per 20 minutes. I've never understood the need for this mastery, seeing as 120g is easily obtained from one to two creep waves.
Why did you get 3 points in reduced death time you newb?
You might have noticed that there's just 1 point in Perseverance and 3 points in Good Hands. If you do the simple math you'll reach the conclusion that Perseverance contributes with virtually nothing. Let's say you have 150 M/5s and 50 HP/5s at level 18 (that's actually an incredible lot so these values are way too high for a caster). With perseverance you'd get 156 M/5s and 52 HP/5s, i.e. an increase with 6 mana per 5 seconds and 2 hp per 5 seconds. Lategame, this does nothing whereas 10% reduced death time will shave off 5-6 seconds from your time spent dead lategame which can mean the differece between a loss or a win. You shouldn't strive to die of course but when you've got to choose between a useless spell and one which can save you the game if you actually do happen to die (which will happen some time in your career, i promise you) the choice is pretty easy.

Good Summoner Spells


This is a must-have for all Swain users in my opinion. The fact that Torment increases Ignite's damage by another 20% is huge due to Ignite dealing true damage.
A great spell for either escaping or chasing down enemy heroes.
Same with this spell. Using either this or Flash is a personal preference, but I wouldn't recommend using both because they pretty much do the same thing. You don't really need two escape/chase spells since you already have Nevermove, Decrepify and your ultimate to save you.


Viable Summoner Spells
Obviously good for the sake of longevity as you can just teleport home for healing and then tp back to the lane in the early stages. Replacing this with flash or ghost is never a good idea and I've regretted not having Ignite if I replace that with Teleport.
I haven't tried this spell an awful lot but Swain tends to get focused down quite quickly during the team battles and using Cleanse to escape the early nukes is a great way to surive and thusly be able to deal tons of damage a few seconds later. Cleanse used to remove Ignite if I remember correctly, this isn't the case anymore however.


Bad Summoner Spells


Your passive regains mana for you. There is no point at all to get this spell.
Your ultimate will heal you for way more than Heal can do. Keep in mind that Heal also applies a debuff on you which reduces further healing taken by 50%. This spell actually does more damage to you than good.
The main goal is to never die. Instead of picking this you can pick a summoner spell which actually prevents you from dying instead.


Guide Top

Gameplay

Since we're talking about ranked play, the common metagame consist basically of the following setup: Jungler (usually tank or offtank), Solo top (usually tank or offtank), AP mid, ranged AD carry and support bot.
The obvious thing to note here is that Swain should go mid (since he's the AP hero) but thanks to his ultimate and passive he's got great lane longevity and with this build will be able to get quite endurable so he can also go top. If you want to switch around it's fantastic to let Swain go with a support such as Taric, Zilean or Morgana because you'll be able to completely devastate the opposing heroes bot lane.

Basically, you're best suited to go mid to fill that role. If you've got an offensive support champion (that sounds kinda paradoxal) on your team you could definately pair up. Try to avoid top lane because there are other heroes who will do a much better job there (such as Jarvan IV, Renekton, Cho'Gath etc

The following sections will provide the early game for going solo mid but the same, general idea can be applied to both solo and top lane.

Early Game (level 1-8)


The first thing you want to do is grab an Amplifying Tome and a Health Potion.

Skill-wise you've got a choice at the start. Get Nevermove first if you feel a 5v5 level 1 fight will be occuring since that will give the team some well needed crowd control. It's also good skilling Nevermove first if you're getting heavily harrassed at your lane since you can last hit creeps from afar with it. It's cast from the midpoint of the circle so it reaches further than the actual cast range (see chapter Tips for a picture). You want to follow up this skill order with the one listed at the top of the guide.
If no early team fight occurs and you'll be able to harrass your enemy, skill torment first and be on the offense. Your skilling order should be E-Q-E-W (then continuing like at the top of the guide). This will provide a great harrassing ability and will almost always assure a kill at level 4 if the enemy champion is too careless. The more you harrass them, the less farm they will get. This results in them becoming more and more frustrated and more likely to do a mistake (and probably get killed).

By level 4 you'll have your full spell combo, no matter which path you took earlier, and are now able to burst out quite a lot of damage. Keep maxing Torment as your main skill because that's the spell which will give you the greatest damage output. When the enemy hero is down to about 300 hp and you've got an opportune moment, quickly Flash/Ghost towards them and launch your Q-E-W-Ignite combo (alternatively W first without using Flash; if they become rooted you follow up with E-Q and ignite) and finish them off. If they're not paying a lot of attention they'll be dead before they even realized what happened. By using Decrepify first you'll be able to slow them down a bit, thus having an easier time to land Nevermove. Decrepify has a shorter casting range than Nevermove though so when trying to get in range they might run away from you. It's up to you whether you want to initiate with Decrepify or Nevermove.

The main goal is to never go back to the base until you have enough cash to at least buy Catalyst the protector and preferably a pair of shoes. The catalyst will provide a lot of longevity and thanks to your AP/level runes you'll still be able to keep up in the damage. As soon as you hit level 6 you'll be able to replenish your hp quite rapidly so try to stick around for as long as you can. If you're able to survive until level 6 it'll be a breeze afterwards.
Last hit a lot to keep your money coming and your mana high. Practice landing Nevermoves on your enemy and keep the harrassment up by casting Torment on them whenever you've got a good shot.

Mid Game (level 9-13)


This is when you, or at least are about to, have acquired your Sorcerer's Shoes and have begun building your Rod of Ages. Keep farming mid and keep an eye on the two other lanes. Swain is a great ganker and should try to do so as often as possible; it's almost always an assured gank.

The concept and ideas about ganking are the same as with any hero. Try to find an opportune moment together with your allies and ambush the enemy heroes. Don't be afraid to focus different targets during your gank. Remember that all of Swain's spells except Nevermove are damage over time spells so you can easily use Torment and Decrepify on one target and lock the second target down with Nevermove. Don't take this as a rule obviously, it's just a tip. If your main target won't die from the dots and your team mates, you'll obviously focus down that hero instead of trying to get the second one as well. It's of course a lot better to kill one guy than not to kill anyone at all.

In the midst of a fight your ultimate should be on all the time, especially in large team battles as it heals you during the entire fight. It's very important that you keep a close eye on your mana and won't let it drop too low. The longer you keep Ravenous Flock active, the more mana it costs per second. This is why it's great for Swain to grab the golem buff. With it he can keep his ultimate active almost indefinately, as well as lowering the cooldown for his spells.

During this time you'll finish building your Rod of Ages and upgrade your tome to a Haunting Guise. It's not too expensive, gives Swain a bit more HP and provides tons of magic penetration. Now your spells will do 100% damage to pretty much any squishy on the opposing team. If you're having a hard time staying alive, start building Zhonya's Hourglass because it's way more important to stay alive than skyrocketing in AP, we'll get the AP eventually. If you're kicking arse all over the place, get a Rabadon's Deathcap and continue kicking arse.

The spell order I choose to go here is, like i said earlier, max Torment first. Put points in Decrepify until you are able to put your second point in your ultimate and afterwards max Nevermove. The reason for this is because the larger team fights will be occuring at about this time and you'll really want to start maximizing your aoe spell instead of a single target spell. Increasing levels in Nevermove not only increases its damage but also lowers the cooldown of the spell.
Try to gank as much as possible. Keep your ultimate active for as much as your mana pool allows you to; don't empty your mana pool completely as you'll still want to be able to fire off one last Nevermove or dot spell. Grabbing a Catalyst first will increase your lane longevity and letting you have a more aggressive playstyle.

End Game (level 14-18)


The plan for the end game is basically continuing with the plan from the mid game. The only difference is that the larger team fights will now occur more often. During these fights you want to pay extra attention to if you are hit by ignite or are getting focused down. Ignite will completely demolish Swain as it decreases your ultimate's heal by 50%. If you are dropping rapidly in health or are getting focused down, flash away quickly and wait for the Ignite to wear off or use your Zhonya's Hourglass. The hourglass makes you invincible for two seconds, with Swain's ultimate that's pretty much 400-600 HP healed. When you aren't close to any enemies you should immediately turn off your ultimate to preserve mana and then immediately turn it on again when you're back in range. With 40% cooldown reduction your ultimate has a 6 second cooldown. Position yourself safely before turning your ultimate off, you want to be sure you'll survive those 6 seconds.

Even though you feel invincible if you're well fed, Swain is still incredibly easy to take down if focused correctly. You can be a bit more careless and risky with Swain than with other casters but keep in mind that he's still a caster. A robust such but still not a defense-specced tank.
Be wary of your mana and if you have Ignite on you. Always focus down easy targets, as always during a team fight. Swain is not unkillable just because he has his ultimate active, but he sure can take a beating.


Guide Top

Fighting - 1v1 or Smaller Battles

Alright, here comes the most fun part and the most essential part: how to do well in a fight. You obviously need to take into consideration how well the opposing champion has been doing (Has he or she a lot of farm? A lot of ganks? Been utilizing the champion surprsingly well? Got any weird summoner spells to be aware of such as Heal?). The main question to always ask before venturing into a fight is Does the champion I'm about to attack have Ignite? If so, is it on cooldown or is it ready to be used?. As I mentioned earlier, Ignite will completely demolish Swain's healing from the ultimate, as will spells from katarina, gangplank etc. Your ultimate will still do full damage but you'll lack in survivability. Another huge factor to take into consideration is how well your mana pool's doing. Do you even have enough to get into a fight? Remember that your ultimate drains mana quicker than you might think, so always get the blue buff whenever possible.

I'll split this section into a few arbitrary archetypes and discuss how to face them 1v1, in the next chapter I'll talk about larger teamfights.

Melee Charger
This includes champions such as Xin Zhao, Akali, Master Yi etc. They deal a great amount of damage when they come into melee range so that's what we want to avoid. Use your torment and decrepify as soon as you reach them and be ready to use Nevermove if they decide to charge. If they decide to run away, decrepify will make sure you'll be able to catch up so keep on chasing with your ultimate active. It's really crucial that you don't prematurely use Nevermove when chasing because a good player will most likely do a 180 degree turn when they get a Nevermove in front of them and go on the offense instead. This is sort of the goal, force them to attack you when you're absolutely sure you'll be able to burn them down with your ultimate, torment and decrepify again.

If a melee charger initiate on you, quick cast Nevermove where you stand (i.e. hold down shift and W while hovering the cursor above Swain), use your ultimate, torment, decrepify and walk out of melee range. DO NOT use your Flash or Ghost. You already got away safely and will need more escape spells if another enemy champion is nearby. Kite the enemy down but be exceptionally wary of heroes with short charge cooldowns (I'm thinking especially of Akali).

Melee Without Charge
This includes champions such as Trundle, Mordekaiser, Olaf etc. Nuke the enemy down as soon as possible with all you got but never let them into melee range. You want your ultimate to hit them while waiting for your spells to be ready again so just keep on kiting. Only save Nevermove if they've got Flash or Ghost ready for the same reasons discussed in the charge-scenario.

Ranged AD carry
This includes champions such as Ashe, Ezreal, Caitlyn etc. It's possible to run outside the range of decrepify which means if you open up with it on the enemy champion they can just take a few steps back, making decrepify break. For a successful gank a balls to the walls mentality is needed. You want to charge into melee range to make it easier for your ultimate to hit as well as increasing the effectiveness of decrepify. If possible you should try to open up with nevermove, run in and use torment and decrepify while running side by side with them. Most AD carries will have double escape spells, i.e. both Ghost and Flash so be ready to either chase or to stop the attack. A very important thing to remember is that's still a successful gank if you forced them to use one of their summoner spells. The AD carry is usually squishy but quite mobile, if you take their mobility away they'll go down very quickly.

Nuking Caster
This includes champions such as Veigar, Annie, Malzahar etc. These champions deal damage in one huge burst and then they're pretty much useless for several seconds. The obvious question one should ask is "Can I survive one round of spells and can I kill them before they unleash another one?". Casters usually have spells such as Ignite and Flash so be extra wary of their Ignite. Attacking-wise it's the same as attacking the AD carry: charge into melee range and nuke them down as fast as you can. Knowing approximately how long their cooldowns are is incredibly important.

Sustained Damage Caster
This includes champions such as Swain, Vladimir, Cassiopeia etc. Instead of wondering if you're able to survive one burst-round you should figure out if you're more endurable than they are. Once again, casters usually got Ignite as a summoner spell which means your ultimate won't be helping you as much as you could hope. Fighting-wise it's nothing special, run into melee range and nuke them for all you've got. The faster they go down, the shorter the fight, the less damage you'll take.

Tanks
This includes champions such as Shen, Amumu, Malphite etc. In a teamfight you NEVER EVER want to focus a tank. Swain does incredibly poorly against them so they can be quite tought to take down 1v1. Dodge their initiating spell which is usually a skill shot (dash, bandage toss, charge etc) and just kite them. Because they can take such a beating your mana might not last long enough for a successful kill.

Checklist:
- Is having your ultimate's healing decreased a possiblity (ignite, katarina's blade etc)?
- Do you have enough mana?
- Ranged or melee hero?
- Save Nevermove or use it at once?
- How dangerous is the enemy?


Guide Top

Fighting - Team Fights

Swain has two uses in a team fight: To nuke down the enemy squishies and provide some crowd control in the fight to save your team's squishies. Swain can take a beating but you should not initiate a fight. Let your tank do the initating then proceed to run towards your real target - the enemy AD carry or caster.

Your single most important spell in a teamfight. It can be used to split up enemy champions in an initiate or to defend your AD carry. When your tank has initiated you should try to snare the caster and AD carry while running towards them. If the enemy has charged on you, keep an eye on your team's AD carry and make sure that any nearby enemy champions are rooted with Nevermove. It can also be utilized as an initiation spell when there's a 5v5 skirmish. Try to snare one of their pokers (like Corki, Caitlyn, Cassiopeia etc) and then let your tank initiate. You can still cast decripify and torment from afar but never run into melee range yourself with your ultimate on. It's tempting but you'll die incredibly quickly since the whole enemy team is up by their snared champion and ready to protect him/her. Always let your tank do the first charge while you can prepare a suitable target with your Nevermove.
Nevermove can be used both offensively and defensively - don't waste this great spell for the sake of getting some extra damage in. Use it in a crowd controlling manner but don't wait too long with using it. We're maxing it before Decrepify for a reason and that's to reduce its cooldown time (6 seconds at level 5 with 40% cd-reduction). Use it wisely but frequently, this is one of the hardest aspects to master with Swain.

The damage is great and the slow can help a lot in both a defensive or offensive way in the same way Nevermove does. Remember that enemies can walk out of the spell, causing it to break.
It doesn't require a casting animation so you can cast it while running towards your targets. With 40% cd-reduction it has a 4.8 seconds recharge time.

When your team initiates
- Root their caster and AD carry
- Run past their tanks and try to position yourself so you're behind their carries
- Make sure your ultimate always hits three targets for full health regeneration
- Keep a close eye on your HP and be ready to flash out

When your team gets initiated upon
- Protect your carries by snaring charging enemies
- If your team's split up: stay at the back and try to survive
- If your team's together: head straight for the enemy carries

Lastly: always keep an eye on your mana pool. No more mana means no healing and no fleeing abilities = dead Swain


Guide Top

Core Items

The item order written at the very top of the article obviously depends on how the game is going. The 6 items I've listed are the core ones I almost always use, the order in which i get them can vary greatly. I'll now briefly talk a bit about them.

A great item at the start. It gives you quite the AP boost and will be turned into a Haunting Guise later on.
With these together with the rune specs, you'll have approximately 29 magic penetration (as well as your 15% from the masteries). The starting magic resistance for all heroes is 30 MR, then they might have some runes and perhaps even the 6 bonus from the defense tree. The point is, you really want to get spell penetration.
During the early game, you'll want to get a Catalyst the Protector as soon as possible. A good goal to set up is having enough cash for the catalyst and a pair of boots for your next visit to the base. Personally I try to have my Rod of Ages fully built together before the 20 minute mark. If you don't have the rod by then, obviously just keep building them until it's are finished, but 20-25 minutes is the goal you should aim for.
In this build, Rod of Ages is a must have. It makes Swain more durable throughout the entire game, sorts his late game mana issues out as well as increasing his AP by 80.
A great next step for your amplifying tome. It's not too expensive and provides you with even more spell penetration. All in all you'll have 49 + 0,15% spell penetration which will be more than enough for any enemy squishy hero.
Get either the Blasting Wand or the Needlessly Large Rod first obviously, whichever you can afford during your next visit in the base. Rabadon's Deathcap is just insane due to the +30% AP boost it gives. No need to explain it further, this item will make your AP go through the roof. The Deathcap itself contributes with 202 AP thanks to its own unique passive.
Now that you've gotten the Deathcap we'll keep on boosting our AP but also increase Swains survivability. The hourglass increases the armor by 50 but also is able to make Swain invincible for 2 seconds. These seconds can be incredibly essential in a team fight because Swain's ulti will keep on healing him for the time being. Always make sure to turn on your ultimate on before using the Hourglass. Not only does the Hourglass prevent you from dying but also makes it possible for a great counterattack with your replenished HP
We've got the armor and the HP, only thing left to work on is the magic resistance. If you want a more tankier build, Force of Nature or Banshee's Veil will probably be a lot better. As I explained earlier though, this build is about bursting out as much damage as possible so we'll go for the item which provides us with a great deal of magic resistance, magic penetration as well as even more AP.

If you've gotten all this and still haven't won the game there's something seriously wrong. Sell your Haunting Guise and buy a solid tier 3 item instead and continue buying potions for your excess amount of gold and you'll win soon enough =D.

Consumable Items
Sight Ward Always a handy item to get whenever you're back at the base. It makes your laning a lot safer and you can even ward by their wraiths or near their blue when you got the opportunity. The general warding should be done by your jungler and support so don't buy too many wards since that will cripple your build order.

Buy these after level 11 when you've got some spare money and an extra slot in your inventory. You want to save these until a big fight occurs so don't use it as soon as you've bought it. The elixir together with your specs and blue buff will make you reach the cooldown reduction cap of 40%.


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Alternative Items

Starting items

These are just alternative starting items, i.e. if you don't want to go amplifying tome + health potion at the start.

A common starting items for casters. It's great because it gives mana regeneration, HP and ability power, but it lacks the ability to actually replenish your HP. With proper play, you won't need the mana regeneration from it and the 100 extra HP won't do alltoo much if you can regenerate it. Still, it's a viable item and it's a lot easier mana-wise to grab this first if you're having trouble with the last hits.

+ 3x Health Potion. It gives more survivability on the lane and you can harrass easier with torment thanks to your increased movement speed. You'll miss out on 20 ability power however which will reduce the effectiveness of your harrass. If you're good at landing Nevermove, reaching the enemy won't be an issue.

+ 2x Health Potion. Provides a larger mana pool at the start and you're able to buy two potions as well; that's great but you'll be lacking in ability power. With proper last hitting the mana won't be an issue so even though you're able to spam more spells they won't be as effective as with an amplifying tome or doran's ring.

Amplifying Tome upgrades

If we opted to go for that amplifying tome at the start of the games we've got plenty of options for it. I've tried each of these and reached the conclusion I liked the Haunting Guise the best, I'll however mention the other paths to go.

An obvious candidate. It's great on Swain thanks to his area of effect spells which will assure stacks. It's just so risky to get however because if you're getting focused down a lot it's a space wasted and 800g lost. Stacking items are usually never a viable strategy in higher ranked games.

Another possible option. It gives more magic penetration and AP than the Haunting Guise but less HP and it's more expensive. Since I want to get Rabadon's Deathcap quite early I don't want to start building another costly item and I don't like missing out the HP I get from the haunting guise. Void Staff is however an incredibly good item and is definately an item to consider.

It's alright I guess. The spell vamp doesn't really do as much as one could hope for. It can be upgraded into a Will of the Ancients but it's still most often best to grab more AP than actual spell vamp with Swain. The more damage you deal with your ultimate, the more it will heal anyways; so grab AP instead of spell vamp.

An awesome item but also quite costly. Like I mentioned earlier, I like to get rabaodn's quite quickly and this will delay that time quite a lot unless you grab this after the deathcap. Normally I get this as a very last item in the rare cases the game has lasted for that long, replacing my Haunting Guise with this.

Other Possible Items

It's a solid item to grab but the question is what you want to replace for it and how you want to build it. I've seen plenty of Swain users who grab a Tear of the Goddess early on to sort their mana issues out which can be fine but I'd rather get a Rod of Ages quickly than this. It's up to personal preferance though so try away!

Gives tons of magic resistance and enables you to get rid of the decreased health generation from Ignite and champion spells from Katarina and Gangplank to mention a few. It's a solid item if they've got an ignite-heavy team or any of those champions and will definately increase your survivability.

In my opinion, not a very useful item. The thing which is useful is that it reduces your cooldowns and grant some magic resistance but the part about increased healing effects is really negligble. Your healing will increase a lot more by getting AP instead of this item, so if you want the magic resistance I'd suggest getting an early abyssal scepter.

Always been a solid item thanks to it's utility. It reduces your damage but is be handy against nukers who open up with a stun (i.e. Evelynn, Sion etc) or even more importantly, against heavy nukers (i.e. Veigar, Annie etc)


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Tips

Last hitting
Swain has a wonky attack animation and he doesn't deal an awful lot of damage with his normal attacks. Becoming a successful Swain player requires a lot of last hits on the creeps to keep regaining mana. Practice the last hitting a lot as it's probably the most vital part at the early stages of the game.

Fleeing
There are two things worth mentioning about fleeing with Swain.
1: Decrepify doesn't need Swain to perform a casting animation. This means he does not have to turn around and face his targets and he can keep running all the time.
2: Use your ultimate to be able to regain a bit of hp from the enemy who's chasing you. It might not seem like a lot of hp but it's actually quite often a very deciding amount.

Nevermove
When your team is fleeing, do take the time to place a Nevermove behind you to either snare the enemy heroes or at least force them to take a small detour around the area. One thing you'll have to be wary about is that it only snares, Nevermove does not stun. This means that they can still cast spells and kill you off if you're not careful.

When entering brush it's good to throw down a Nevermove if you think the enemy hero will stand there. Not only will it catch them by surprise but it will also allow you to safely-ish enter the brush if you want to continue the assault.

You can hit a target outside your casting range as long as the center of Nevermove is inside the casting range.

Ravenous Flock
Always turn this spell on before entering a team fight. The ultimate is still active and running even though you're getting stunned, using Zhonya's Hourglass and whatnot. Because of your ulti you'll still be able to gain life and got a lot better survival rate than if you wouldn't have had it active. There's no real reason to not have it turned on as you're going to want it active a split second later anyways.


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Closing Words

Right. That's my take on Swain so far. I apologize if the english has been poor, seeing as it's not my mother tongue. This is a slight rework of my first guide so any constructive feedback and/or comments about Swain in general is more than welcome =). I've thought a lot about the build and plenty of the thoughts have not been mentioned in the article because I deemed them not relevant for this specific build. Omitted discussions include items I do not use, the other summoner spells, different rune combinations etc, as that would've made the article three times as long.

Do please comment and rate. I hope the build helped at least a bit and I'll be seeing you in LoL!