Swain Build Guide by Repulol
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.
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.
Hi, my name is Repulol and I have been playing Swain for a good while. For the time I've been playing Swain I have been using really bad builds (results varied) until now. My friend recommended me too use full AP runes, don't put any Mastery Points in stuff like MP5 and just focusing on lasthitting and poking. Swain is a very strong laner because of his high sustain and damage. He excels at picking of carries in just a matter of seconds.
The earliest account of Swain's existence comes from a Noxian infirmary doctor's notes. According to them, Swain limped into the ward without cry or complaint: his right leg was snapped in half, with bone protruding from the skin. A small, scowling bird seemed affixed to his shoulder. The doctor gawked in horror as the young adolescent answered questions about his health and age with a calm, even stare. Even behind the echoing crack as the sand counterweights reset his tibia, Swain’s measuring gaze never flickered, nor did his eyes twitch from the pop of his fibula. He refused the doctor’s recommendation of magical treatment for the leg’s inoperable damage, requesting only a spare crutch before shuffling away. He next surfaced in documents from the Noxian military, although it is evident that they are incomplete. Normally a crippled boy would be turned away in shame from Noxus’ proud legion, but the records indicate his first designation was that of a ranking officer.
The men who've served under him (and survived) have remained in his charge with unshakable faith and loyalty. He leapt through the High Command's hierarchy, often ascending when superiors requested demotions to join his unit. A cunning strategist, Swain was decorated after every battle he fought, regularly hobbling in contemplation at the front of the assault. His rise to power seemed unceasing until he was suddenly relegated to inactive status prior to the Ionian Invasion - a bewildering decision which reeked of bureaucratic subversion. If Swain was upset by the events which unfolded, he never belied it. His face was so implacable that it was popularly rumored to be a mask, disguising something utterly inhuman beneath. More controversy surrounded the bird that never left his shoulder, whose name he whispered only to it. When Demacia escalated its presence in the League, Swain was immediately returned to active duty.
"If you haven't yet lost the ability to ask, you may not yet ask for relief."
If you're up against a AP heavy team build a Abyssal Scepter and Rylai's Crystal Scepter after your Rod of Ages.
If you're up against a AD heavy team then rush a Zhonya's Hourglass after your Rod of Ages.
You should always adjust your build after what you're up against.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is a MUST. The MPEN is required for being able to do some damage to your opponent.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power can be swapped for more survivability from runes like Greater Seal of Vitality as the AP benefit isn't really a huge game-changer. Some may also prefer Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration for the increased sustain.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power The early AP bonus isn't really much, don't get zoned and you'll be noticing that your AP is increasing steadily, even without AP items. Can be swapped with Greater Glyph of Ability Power for a stronger earlygame.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power gives you a good burst of AP for every phase of the game, and is a lot better than Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power. With 3x Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power you'll need to get to at least level 11 before benefiting the same amount AP as Greater Quintessence of Ability Power grants you at level 1.
|Level 6 AP from Runes = 30||Dont read||Level 11 AP from Runes = 42||This text||Level 16 AP from Runes = 54|
Summoner's Wrath : Use Ignite and you got yourself 5 bonus AD for lasthitting and pushing, and 5 bonus AP for harassing and pushing.
Mental Force : It's AP, for god's sake.
Butcher : Minions are your source of mana because of Carrion Renewal, you will need them to survive the laning phase, 4 bonus damage makes it easier to lasthit.
Sorcery , Arcane Knowledge , Havoc , Blast , Archmage : AP, MPEN, CDR, increased damage overall, good attributes for every AP-character.
Executioner : Makes champions and minions easier too kill.
Resistance : If you're going mid (like you probably will) some extra MR will be adding some survivability.
Tough Skin : You take less damage from minions, extremely useful for tanking a whole minion wave with your ult and harassing with a lot smaller chance of diminishing returns.
Summoner's Insight : Flash will be up more frequently, may grant you a kill or just save you from a strong gank.
Decrepify (Q): Decrepify does good damage and slows. Tag your opponent with Torment for increased damage before using Decrepify. Decrepify makes Nevermove a lot easier too hit as it slows your opponent.
Max it second for increased damage output and slow.
Nevermove (W): Nevermove is a AOE-nuke and snare. It deals good damage and snares the opponent for 2 seconds, but is somewhat hard too hit. Tag your opponent with Decrepify before trying too hit someone with Nevermove. Can be used to escape, chase and take out enemy carries in the matter 2-3 seconds as it deals a lot damage.
Max it last as the snare duration doesn't increase with levels.
Torment (E): Torment is your primary damage output. Tag your opponent with Torment and all of your attacks deal increased damage, and when I say all of your attacks, then I mean ALL of your attacks. Ignite deals more damage, basic attacks deal more damage, items like Bilgewater Cutlass and Hextech Gunblade deal more damage, all of your abilities deal more damage. The only con is that the increased damage is limited to you and no one else.
Max it first, it's your primary ability as it will make early game harassing very easy and it increases the damage you deal with everything.
Ravenous Flock (R): Ravenous Flock is Swain's ulti, it's 50% of Swain's sustain. Ravenous Flock deals huge amounts of damage and heals you for 75% of it against champions (25% against minions), just don't forget that you can't keep it on for long, as it drains more mana for every second it's on. With the help of Carrion Renewal for mana and Ravenous Flock for health you can stay in lane for almost as long as you want.
I level it up at level 6, 11 and 16 as it's a sustain/farming tool and is really good for teamfights, does damage and gives you a lot of health, making you somewhat tanky.
The set of Summoner Spells that I recommend
Flash: Flash, as said before, could easily grant you a kill or just save you. Flash is useful for flashing into range of enemy carries so you can melt them. Flash is also useful for fleeing ganks, use Decrepify and Nevermore together with Flash too maximize the gap between you and your enemies.
How to use your spellcombo - Teamfights and Lane
At level 18 your runes grant you 60 AP and 8,5 MPEN.
Your masteries grant you 4 AP from Mental Force , 18 AP from Blast , 5% increased AP from Archmage , 4% CDR from Sorcery , 10% MPEN from Arcane Knowledge and 5 AP and AD from Summoner's Wrath when Ignite is on CD]].
Your Runes and Masteries give you 91 AP, 8,5 + 10% MPEN and 4% CDR. If you combine your AP bonus from Runes and Masteries with Rabadon's Deathcap you'll be getting 114 AP.
Your typical harass/poke in lane combo should be: Torment > Decrepify > Nevermove
This will drain your mana and that's why it is important too keep up your farm with Carrion Renewal.
When you feel like going for the kill: Torment > Decrepify > Nevermove > Ignite > Ravenous Flock > go behind your opponent and wait for CDs > Torment > Decrepify > Nevermove > they should be dead by now.
In Teamfights (targeting their carry): Flash (if needed) > Nevermove (stopping them from moving, making it easier for the rest of your team) > Ravenous Flock > Torment > Decrepify > Ignite.
You can also initiate Teamfights when you got Zhonya's Hourglass and Rylai's Crystal Scepter while still focusing their carry like this: Flash into the enemy team > Ravenous Flock > Nevermove, try to hit as many as possible > Torment > Decrepify > Ignite > Zhonya's Hourglass, wait for your team, your ult keeps on going even though you're un-targetable > win
To make the most out of Swain I recommend you to enable smartcast on all of your abilities as they all should be cast in a rapid succession.
Smartcasting is done by re-binding all of your buttons (Q, W, E, R, D, F) from cast ability to smartcast ability. Smartcasting is really efficient as it casts your desired spell as soon as you let go of your button, the spell will hit whatever your mouse targets (no need for clicking). Skillshots go flying wherever your mouse was when you let of go the button. Non-skill shot abilities will only be cast if your mouse is hovering over a target.
Thanks for at least reading through my guide, feel free to leave a comment to why you upvoted/downvoted the build, I'm open for suggestions and critic.
I would like to thank Jhoijhoi for a whole guide on how to make guides, I would also like to thank Flensson (EUW) for giving me a lot of tips.
26/11/12: I will be reworking and updating the content in this guide, the primary build is getting revamped.