Swain Build Guide by renzoken99
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.
Hey there everyone! This is my first guys EVER about any character but will not be the last! Doing this guide on my second most favorite character in the game and this guy packs a mean punch.
Pluses and minuses
- Doting enemies can deceptively lead to a kill
- Cd of ult is awesome
- Slows and stuns
- Deadly all the time
- Has a crow on his shoulder
- Can't take too much damage without ult up
- Slow :'(
- Can't FOCUS on more than one enemy
- Tends to get targeted
So for runes I choose to go with complete and utter AP to the max. This guy was MADE to take down people without so much as blinking a single eye so it makes sense to only increase that with runes. Also adding in a bit of Magic Pen into this build makes him that much more devastating.
Now the reason I didn't put Magic regen into this rune set is because he honestly doesn't need to focus on the help from it. I mean all someone needs to do is tower hug and last him minions with swain and his passive will help u out! Even though he is an aggressive champ and looks for those kills, playing it smart and recalling will help you avoid spending the IP on regen runes.
As for masteries I go for complete ability power in the offense tree and some help in the utility tree. We focus on offense because swain is a natural made hard hitter. While he may not be the easiest to handle because of his squishy-ness he is still one hell of a fighter. (btw I say squishy WITHOUT adding in his ult into the equation ;D ) Either way more of a hard hitter means more threatening he is to other players. A hard hitting swain that can knock off half or more of your health in mid game with combo of 2 abilities is devastating to any champ. (...alright maybe not half against voli but u know what i mean) The focus on attack with just sweeten his already amazing abilities and make your dots do that much more damage.
Items (A.K.A Tools of destruction)
To start off we get a sapphire crystal and 2 hp pots. Why? because this will lead you into your rod of ages MUCH faster than you would if you get a doran's ring. Don't get me wrong though, the ring is a great starting item but swain wants to get strong early game and to get an endgame item so early is only going to improve his ability to take down enemies in early and mid game.
OR WHEN READY!
Next up is to get swain his much needed speed boost and get him the catalyst so he can stay out in lanes longer. The catalyst + good farming + passive = less recalling and more harassment and hopefully more kills. The boots however are a NECESSITY in the early game. Expect to get them 1st if not second after catalyst. As for soulstealer DO NOT i repeat DO NOT get this item until you are confident and are pretty good with swain! Soulstealer is an amazing item which will make even baron scared once he sees you but if it's hard to land those kills or get those assists then wait till u get enough experience BEFORE you try out this item. Your AP will skyrocket but better to be safe then sorry.
Next you want to head into rod of ages asap in order to get it's stats on the count. You want to get this items before mid game really gets going. I usually get it around the 16-20 min mark but the sooner the better! (...if possible) Also aside from the constant buff up you also get some more sustainability when lane-ing. Overall a good item.
Gotta get these kicks! Speed is a problem for swain and sorc shoes give him a nice up in that department and give him some magic pen to get through to those more tanky champs. I choose sorc shoe's over anything else because of it's support toward casters. The other shoe's don't work as well with swain however I have gotten the boots of swiftness once or twice in order to catch up to certain enemies. REMEMBER TO BUILD ACCORDINGLY!!
These items are you end game player cleaners as i like to call them. With the deathcap and will of the ancients you will be healing and dealing damage so much to the point where your damage and heal number above your head will remind you of Christmas. I always get deathcap and will in every game but may change it around depending on who i'm playing against. Those changes are for you to decide but I usually go with hourglass or void staff to take out more enemies. Quick note on hourglass: Great active power and help you out more than you know, when you activate it and you are in your ravenous flock form you STILL SEND OUT BIRDS TO ATTACK AND STILL GAIN LIFE! This means you are invulnerable and are healing and dealing damage at the same time. Great life saver and even better at absorbing damage from those 3v1 - 4v1.
Now I choose to go for torment first in order to land and blast the enemy with my basic attacks and maybe and ignite if i see them that low on health. Torment is practically the backbone to swains abilities because honestly who wouldn't want an added bonus to their damage when they attack? This is the first skill I max so i can dish out the sweet sweet damage that swain loves to give ;)
Next to max is decrepify cause of it's nice slow and good combo-ing with torment. Now I usually send out torment first then follow this decrepify BUT u can reverse it if you have quick fingers and the situation demands it. What i mean by this is if you see a champ out running u and you got the choice to hit with decrepity or torment by god please use decrepity!!! The slow could mean the difference between getting the kill or chasing till you get ganks and NOBODY wants to get ganked when they're that close to a kill (...unless your that kind of person...which in that case your team will hate you) However if they are running and you can plant nevermove and KNOW you can land it then use nevermove instead. This brings me to the last ability.
NEVERMOVE!! Your gank initiator and your ticket to stop someone in their tracks then say hi with a nice BOOM to the face. Nevermove is your stun which u will have a hard time with if you don't practice and get it down. Nevermove is interesting because you have a delay for the stun to kick in after you cast it and if your opponent is smart then they'll get out of that targeting circle before they're caught. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! I took me a bit to get it down but now i can even hit people in the bushes with this ability without trying to hard :) it's one heck of a skill but at level 1 it's just as useful then max and besides your other abilities need to be focused on before this gets priority.
Laslty we have swain's ult ravenous flock! This ability transforms Swain into a raven/crow form and gives you some great pluses!! First off it lets you attack 3 targets which are closes to you and puts priority toward enemy champions. Now the amazing part comes in, swain gets health for half the damage of each attack he does in this form! Now pair that up with his increased power and his nice passive to replenish mana and you have one hell of a hardhitter right here. Swain's ult is your tool to getting kills and pulling through the end of the fight without too many scars.
These two are part of your nice combo which are going to help you get kills like no other!
First off is ignite which will help you deal even more damage and combos nicely with torment! What I mean when I say this is that the damage you deal with ignite will increase when you have torment on the enemy! Your bonus damage helps strengthen ignite more than it already is and is VERY useful early to mid game. In early game nevermove + torment + decrepify + ignite = rage quit :) Used this many MANY times to take down all kinds of enemies by myself and take them down faster with a partner :)
Next is flash which honestly is like a staple in every build i see XD It's useful as a quick escape but more so as a way to catch enemies when paired with swain. One of the best things to do is flash toward the opponent and nevermove right behind them if they start to run. Next thing they know they're watching the respawn timer go down before their had time to activate an ability. Fun times with this ability for sure :)
Playing (and killing) with swain + Team Work
At the early parts of the game, Swain really REALLY wants to get mid. It's where you lvl up fastest and where you can 1v1 your opponent. Swain's passive to replenish is magic and his dots make him great at harassing the opponent and also give a lot of different benefits. Swain wants to focus on farming in order to get up in lvls but by lvl 3 you should be able to really put the pressure on your opponent or hopefully kill them and get the first blood :) Also you COULD start to gank other lanes because his stun is a great way to help your other teammates get a kill on even the toughest champions. It's hard for any champ to win a 3v1 or 3v2 when you get stunned and got 3 guys wailing on you.
This is the part of the battle where you should start to give people a reason to target you in fights first. Swain is a natural when it comes to team fights because of his ult and great ability to stun and dish out damage. With other partners in your battle you should be expecting to take at least 1-2 opponents in each fight. Remember that's at LEAST! Also with the healing you get from your ult you should be in ok shape coming out of the fight. Remember to pick up the blue buff when you can cause the regen it give u will help out more than you can imagine.
By this part of the match you should either have your teammate in awe of your kills or you should be at the most pretty even with a good team facing some good opposition. This is where you can practically nuke anyone except for those really tanking chars and you should be ganking every lane when possible! However don't go out there looking to go 3v1 at full health on both sides. Swain has the potential to do so but always be wary of your opponents. If your going against 2 champs and they're 3/4 or less life, you can probably take em out before your opposing team can get to them. Don't forget how valuable buffs are this late in the game! Your blue buff should be around swains head so much it should be making YOU dizzy. A baron buff would make u very happy at this point and should be watched out for. Remember to stick with your team so your not ganked and don't be afraid to take out that champ that's out in the open. Swain is EXTREMELY capable and deadly in the right hands. btw expect to see the word "Aced" more than twisted fate can see in his deck!
GANK, GANK, GANK, GANK, ...see a rage quit... , GANK!!! You are a monster on the battle field and should show you are! Your slow and stun is value in any fight and will be greatly appreciated by your teammates. You want to either be killing the team with your own hands or have enough assists that you can rightfully ask your team to stop ksing you. Swain is a nice surprise when he pops up and can get a kill in any lane with the help of his teammates, withouth a doubt.