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new guide to swain

Last updated on October 7, 2010
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Hello to all of you, before we start I would like to point out that I am in no way a pro gamer, heck I have yet to reach summoner lvl 30. I do not play ranked games yet and spend most of my time soloing. This means that I do not rely on things that stack with kills or assists like mejai's. This is my first attempt at a guide and english is not my native language so bear with me.

Swain: The Master Tactician

Swain is described as disabler, nuke, mage, ranged, slow atm and while he does have a decent single target damage he is in no way a Ryze or Veigar his ability power(AP) ratios are a bit low for him to be an effective nuker. What he is, is a great disabler/support dps and this is what I try empathise to do with this build.

Summoner Spells

This is my standard mage setup.
I use Ignite, because most of the time you just need that extra bit of damage after blowing all your abilities and your basic attack does almost no damage. This spell will help you get alot of your kills.

Ghost is a must have in my oppinion, it is a great utility spell. Use it get out of trouble or if you need to get to the action faster.

These can easily be substitudet for any summoner spells you prefer. I will advice you to have at least 1 escape spell(Ghost, Flash or Cleanse), and try to avoid: Revive, heal, exhaust, smite and rally.

Revive: As many others have pointed out this spell is almost useless, try not to die instead.

Heal: As soon as you reach lvl 6 you will have no more use for this spell, if you want extra healing take clarity so you can use your ravenous flock longer.

Exhaust: You have a slow and a root as your basic abilities you really should not need another.

Smite: Smite is a jungeler spell, while it will help you get golem buff earlier it's use is limited.

Rally: I have yet to see a use for this spell. Please enlighten me :D


9/0/21 more or less a standard caster build.
I use Greed because those extra few gold just comes in handy in the early game.
Utility Mastery because golem buff is just so nice on this champion.


I dont have a lot of runes yet so I haven't testet this much.

Magic Penetration(Mpen) marks: A must for offencive casters. This lowers the amount of magic resist your target gets against your spells which results in increased damage.

Mana per 5 sec per level (Mp5/lvl) seals: You need mana, Ravenous Flock is a mana drain, the more Mp5 the better. Also works great with your passive.

Cooldown reduction per level (CDR/lvl) glyphs: The cooldown on Swains abilities is quite long this will help you untill you reach the cap at 40% CDR.


Max Torment and Decrepify first get Nevermove at lvl 3 max Ravnous Flock whenever possible.

Torment scales a bit better than Decrepify for damage purposes but slow get more assists, all depends on your play style.

Nevermove is actually pretty good for farming creeps.


I focus on a few things with items on Swain, surivability, slow and ofc. damage.

I usually start out with an Amplifying tome and a healing potion.
the tome can later be built in to Rylai's which is a great item for Swain.

I like Mpen on casters that is why I go for Sorceres shoes, but dependent on what you are fighting switch as needed.

Zhonya's ring is great for its active: Use flock and this if you are getting focues in group fights. The AP is nice aswell

Get Glacial Shroud for CDR and if against a melee heavy team be prepared to upgrade til to Frozen Heart

Usually this is where the game ends for me, but if not go get that Archangel staff.

Play style

Don't go solo lane if a ranged carry is on the team, while you can do ok in solo lane it benefits carries much more. Besides all your slows/snares will help you and your lane mate get a few kills early on.

allways use Torment before Decrepify this will do more damage. To nuke somone be sure to use ignit just after Torment and then start the Lazer bird (Decrepify)

more to come