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.
(Updated for "Karma" Patch) Hello there, and welcome to a guide that should help you, as Swain, garner money by creeps and by getting fed. It costs quite a lot to teach a bird to shoot lasers so listen up and listen well. A few points I should add to this is that you are not guaranteed to be fed quickly and that your own abberations and intelligence does come into play on how well you do. Swain is a quick and easy Champion to learn. He is my preferred second, Taric being my first. For more detailed information on how I play Taric, please see my build for him personally ( http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/ap-mr-armor-taric-39447 ) For those who wish to play one of the most underrated tanks in the game the way I play him. Onward and upward though, time to talk of Swain, The Master Tactician.
In which we cover the basics of Swain himself
What can I say about Swain as a character. Oh I know, He's a ****ing LEGEND! Seriously fun to play, seriously powerful, and seriously BOSS. I mean look at him, aside from having a jacked up leg, he is everyone's vision of beastly. Plus his abilities border on hysterical. It's hard not to have a laugh when Decrepify is used, I mean, it's a damn laser shooting bird. If that's not funny I don't know what is. Torment adds personal magic pen for 4 seconds and Nevermove keeps them there while you wear them out and heal while in your Ultimate. It's all kinds of brutal. Of course, he is sorta squishy, a prime target for ganks/team focuses, and not too awesome for cc. But that evens him out and comes back to the player. Be smart, be powerful,and have longevity in mind and Swain can be an unstoppable killing machine.
In which we cover Items and why they are the way they are
Most people will ask why I go basically by the initial build for the first few items and the answer is that they are the items I see as the most useful, and you don't need to bugger off too quickly from items that help a character progress, especially a semi-nuke carry like Swain. Think about it, Swain needs AP, and a lot of it because his abilities don't pull too much from his reserves. Rylei's Crystal Scepter and RoA are good for that, Rylei's gives health and he is squishy so he definitely needs the health boost. Where his Ultimate fails(Which it rarely does), more health can be the difference between killing and being killed. I take Rabadon's Deathcap for the massive AP boost, it can be switched around with Zhonya's Hourglass depending on the match however. I personally have gotten to Rabadon's/Zhonya's only once before the other team has surrendered or otherwise lost. As for the Gunblade, it's just nice to have and trust me, it helps.
In which we cover proper laning procedure
Middle should be an initial choice. Always want middle and take it. It will be of much use to you. You get a great amount of money for nearly always being able to last hit and for killing the only other person in middle lane. After taking Nevermove and the Doran's Ring, head there and wait by tower. Move out to the center if you wish but stay far enough back that you can level, see, and be able to escape the ganks that might occur from about five minutes in. Be Passive aggressive till level 6. Don't think you can't die and be aware. When your opponent comes forward, hit them with your entire force possible and they will push back. Be wary when you should, and make sure to be just outside the green. This establishes lane control and survivability. When you hit 6, go all out. If you are low on health, sit in the middle of the minions, if your opponent is smart, they won't come near you for fear of your other attacks. Only keep Raven Form up until you have full health. Any longer and you'll run short of mana. If you find yourself running short and you haven't had your ultimate up for long, use Clarity so you can get your mana and health back. Remember, it's seven extra mana per second to keep your ultimate up. Toggle it on and off for maximum effect and minimum damage to mana reserves.
In which we cover mid to late game procedure
By ten to thirteen minutes in, ganks will begin. This will begin team fights and the mid game. So what do you do? Rape is what you do. If you played smart and have taken every advantage, you will by now have racked up kills and some good money. Buy your items, become more powerful, and kill. Swain, although squishy, must be a front liner for his spells and to make the best use of his ultimate. Don't be afraid of death and be right by the tank. You'll probably save his ***. Nevermove should always be first, followed by Torment and a quick Decrepify. If all are attacking, chances are kills will be had. With Ravens flying everywhere, chances are lives will be saved. At this stage, it is never wise to go out on your own, so don't. There is a high chance of such a horrid damager being ganked, and getting killed never hurt anyone. I'm not gonna lie, You are going to die a few times, but if you are smart, it won't be enough to matter. Often times I myself have gotten cocky and taken them five on one. I've gotten a few kills (Mainly because someone ported in luckily or showed up for the last hit) but I've always died. 2v1 is your top as Swain. Never more than 2 by yourself. You won't be able to handle it. Any more than two and you wait for a teammate. Point is, play smart, don't get cocky. Around this time, your enemies are powerful. You must be more so. You must (And Should) be fed.
I will be making eventual changes to this, depending on feedback and personal games. I must ask that you try building as I have shown before commenting and rating, as personal experience gives a more proper view into these sorts of things.