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League of Legends Build Guide Author

Swain - A Pirate Nazi

Last updated on March 15, 2011
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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My Games

Swain has always been my main, I saw his spotlight months before I even joined the game. But when I did I got swain and been in love with him and his awesome bird. I haven't saved many of my game but here are the ones I did save.

Also please read how to play swain and not just use my build blindly

All of my swain games end up looking something like this.

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Alright this build won't be really deep but I will add little by at a time till its a big one. But I will make sure you know how to use swain to get some sweet sweet kills.

Keep in mind that I play swain as a mid carry, and nothing else. I never lane. I never jungle, and I will never AP tank lol.

If you build swain right and learn him right, he can sometimes solo a whole team. That is if you rape them early game.

Swain picks up kills fast early game. He is able to take people out because has amazing damage out put just to start with. In my option, that first fast kill with swain means the game.

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Ok, you may want to know if I am a carry, why don't I put many points into Offense. Well uninstall the game cause its a dumb question, but I will answer. Because other then magic pen, there isn't much to offer other then the 5% more damage it gives you at the end. So why waste all the points for 1 mastery. My swain is mega mana starve till late game. So he rely on mana buff 24/7, Steal their, take yours all the time. That is always why I have 30% duration on buffs. I also like that tree because of the summoner spell cooldowns. Flash and ignite will help pick up that first kill

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Skill + How to use Swain

To start out, you want to make sure you get a point into each skill. I am all about getting a fast kill so you will need all of them. (BTW Lazar bird = Decrepify = W)

At level 1 start by just using Torment + 1 normal attack on your enemy laner. I know I know, A normal attack on a mage?!?!. Yes, torment ups all your damage by 8% at rank 1. So your normal attack will hurt. But if the person your laning with hits to hard back, Only use torment and run. Torment doesn't really have an animation, so you can cut it and run as you cast it. Remember to last hit creeps to get that mana back. At level 2 it gets fun, if they are foolish enough to try and come attack you, E (Lazar bird) then Q (torment). Do it fast, it will look like both skill hit at the same time really. You want to get torment on them before the first damage check comes from the bird. Remember almost all of swain moves are damage over time spells other then Nevermore

This is KEY At level 3 you can kill if they have about 75% hp or less. but to be safe, get them to 50% or less. Make sure they are about mid way between your tower and theirs. People don't know this, but do NOT try to cast nevermore when they are in the middle of the AOE, they will know what your doing, Even lead them with it, or do this trick I'm about to tell you about.

This is a trick and it works almost 80% of the time or more cause no one sees it coming. Keep hitting creeps, nevermore range is very long, when you hit E, you see the AOE circle. What you want to do is place the center of the AOE circle at the end of the circle you can cast it. Why? Because people don't see that range coming, its farther then they think. Most likely you will get them off guard once and that's all you need. Once stun, Flash to him, Lazor Bird +Torment+ Ignite +normal attacks, If your hp is to lower then 20% don't do it. With 30-50% hp, do it then run, but hit them if you can. You will see there hp melt like butter. Torments also works with Ignite and ups the damage by 8% (I think) even if it doesn't, it stacks with the damage over time for a massive early game damage. Once level 6 this combo works even more with your ult. Nevermore+Flash+Lazar Bird+Torment+Ravenous Flock+Ignite=Massively Dead

On the other hand If your doing bad in your lane. STAY IN THE LANE, just don't die, do not warp back at all, save your mana, hug that tower like your life depends on it. They will most likely waste mana trying to kill you, It is very important you stay in the lane till level 6. Because then you can use all that mana to heal. Then you will be back in the game. Just last hit till then.

Now lets talk more about Nevermore, Its your only lifesaver, Nevermore is swain weakness. What? Why? Because, when nevermore is on cooldown you are 100% defenseless. Swain can be really strong and overwhelming, but if a player is smart, after you cast nevermore, if they rush you, it is over. Even with awesome damage you will be free to hit. So ONLY cast if you are in a safe spot or if you know you can lane the stun. Never cast it when its just you holding off 3 people and you aren't close even to get to a tower. If they rush you, Ult, Stun, and run(or flash). Your stun will save you so many time. You need to learn when it is to be use as an attack or saved for defense. Another reason for blue buff cooldown reduction.

If you are having problems landing Torment, use Lazar bird then Nevermore, but this will drop your damage a good bit. Master Nevermore

Now Torment, This is your damage... This is your love... This is swain.
Torment is what makes your damage so amazing, when maxed, it makes you do 20% more damage. Combo is, Nevermore, Lazor bird, Torment, Ult.

Don't always use it like how I said up there. It will work most of the time but people will get smart, you will have to lead them with it. This is where swain can get tricky, its a mind game.

Run from them cast it so they fall into it, running away from you, try to cast it in front of them or Flash+Nevermore if they are to far.

Now for Ravenous Flock, This can make you tanky IF you have over 500 Ap, With my builds it can land you at 800 AP With soul stealer. When you have 800 Ap, you tear people apart, tanks, high Hp. Don't matter.

This skiil is hard to master, It will eat your mana like no tomorrow, so its never wise to leave it on. At level 6, use it Nevermore + Ult, with a good amount of Ap you will be able to kill waves fast with that combo, The best part is, that you will regen all that mana by kill them with your ult. Keep in mind that you can turn off ult and birds will still return to you and heal you. Don't have to keep it on till you heal So turn it on to send out 1 wave and turn off right after they leave you. (once your able to 1 hit them after never more)

When fighting someone 1 on 1 or some times team fights, Make sure there are minions around to heal you more. Also sometimes its best to run at creeps vs to a tower to heal if your running, keep that in mind

Also this still gives you alot of damage when Torment is on someone, Remember Torment is ment for the person you are trying to kill. Don't just cast a spell and each person, Your spells are ment to be aimed at one person at a time (unless running)

Also this skill is a bit like Nevermore because it is to fall back on when your in trouble, use it for, healing, try to kill someone, Quick casting for farming, Being ganked. If you are low on mana and being ganked, Nevermore is always before Ravenous Flock, After you stun, then turn on ult. But never get caught on cooldowns for Nevermore and Ravenous Flock or you will die, and you will die fast.

Also, if your in a team fight and they are running from you, Its safe to flash to the person your trying to kill with your ult on because you want to make sure you are hitting the right person.

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Other Items + Builds

I have boosted 2 builds. One is for if your doing amazing early game (soul stealer build) Or a safer build I tend to go with that get soul stealer later or sometimes never. I tend to go with the safer one and get soul stealer around mid game.

I always try very hard to stay in mid till I get 1600 for needlessly large rod. This gives you so much damage early game. My swain is all about AP AP, the more Ap swain has the more fearsome he becomes. That 80 Ap early game will rape face to get you the rest of your items. I even skip level 2 boots and more mana to get more Ap. Which is why you need Blue Buff

Other Items
Abyssal Scepter - This is for if you are having problems with a spell caster and teams with Magic resist.

Void Staff - This is for if your having problems with a team that is stacking Magic resist, If you aren't having much problems with spell casters, This items wins over Ayssal Scepter and vise versa.

Zhonya's Hourglass - I don't use this much, But its good for a AD team, its also good if there is a carry other then you and you get force down first, the active will throw them off.

Hextech Gunblade - Another item I don't get often but works very well. Its active skill does 300 and slows which is nice when your on cooldowns. It also gives you pretty good Ap and Spell vamp meaning that massive damage you do will heal you even more. Also your ult will heal you more as well. This item is for when you sell Doran's Ring and have to much money left over, I don't think it should ever be a core item

Spirit Visage - An item I will never get, But people use to boost your Healing of your ult. But it has been nerf and to tell you the truth, The spell vamp from the item you get from Hextech Gunblade Wins over this, Even more so because it gives AP.

Lich Bane - If you want to get swain moving this could be very good, I have never used it my self. But I think if you got 800 Ap, your melee would be something to fear lol.

Banshee's Veil - Can't go wrong with this item on anyone. More Hp, more Mp, more Ap because of AA Staff, and block one spell every 45 secs (nerf in patch) It even blocks ults, Who wouldn't want that. (BTW if someone has BV, I believe your ult can turn it off, if not, waste lazor bird to get rid of it.)

Morello's Evil Tome - Ehh maybe, I wouldn't because you want more Ap then 70, and Blue buff + Elixir of Brilliance will deal with cooldowns

Rode of Ages - This item is very good if because sometimes you just need that extra Hp and MP. Also more Ap with AA Staff. But I always go for Ap over Hp because your ult will end up giving you more hp then you have already.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Also a yes sometimes. Need a big Hp boost with good Ap, then go for it. Slow people with you ult too, Pretty cool. As I said before I always for for AP over HP.

I will add more a bit later. Comment and Vote Please :D