Swain Build Guide by MisterJason

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League of Legends Build Guide Author MisterJason

Swain Tanky Ap

MisterJason Last updated on November 29, 2011
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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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 11

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 19

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Hello Everyone, (I know my English is not the best because it's not my first language)

This is my first Guide and i want to show you how i play Swain, who is a very strong but very underestimated Caster. I play him as a Offtank. In my build he has no (or just few depending on rune choices) AP at the beginning of the game, but in my opinion this is not a problem because he has good Early game Damage.


Gameplay section will be added!!!

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Pros / Cons

In this capter i will show the advantages and disadvantages of this Build


+ Very strong sustaintility
+ Very tanky
+ Hard to kill all over the game
+ High Early game Lane standing
+ High Early game Damage
+ Strong vs common Mid Laners


- No heavy Burst Damage
- Not much AP Early
- Weak vs Heal Reductions like Ignite
- Without Flash no Escape, but if you play safe it's no problem

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Now i will describe whitch runes i take, why i take them and the pros and cons of my choices

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration I take Magic Penetration for Marks, those are pretty standard, i dont think i have to explain why i take them with a Caster.
Greater Seal of Replenishment or Greater Seal of Armor Flat Mana Regeneration or Flat Armor. Swains Early game is very mana dependet so i mostly take Mana Reg, but both are viable choices. Flat Armor helps much if you Solo Top someone, Mana Regeneration are more helpful in Mid because you can harras the enemy (mostly AP) more frequently.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist or Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power Flat Magic Resistance or AP per Level, both work great on Swain. Again it depends on your Lane Choice, for Solo Top i recommend AP per Level while i recommend Flat MR for Mid, because you will most likely face an AP-Carry in Mid. With the Regrowth Pendant and the MR you will be nearly unkillable in Early if you don't get ganked.

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Played a bit with new masteries:
Tried 20/0/10 and some other combinations but 0/11/19 worked best in those games.

You get massive Def with those 11 points and spell vamp in utility tree is just great, together with the extra Mana you get

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Summoner Spells

I go for Teleport and Ignite. Ignite is very very very important. I just can't say how important it is. The true Damage, the Heal Reduction and most important: It gets increased Damage if the enemy is under the effect of Torment. On level 18 that means 410 + 82 = 492 True Damage.

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Carrion Reneval
This is your passive. It regenerates Mana for every Lasthit you do. I hope I don't have to explain how important it is to Lasthit, and just to Lasthit, otherwise you will most likely push your lane, witch makes it harder to gank for your Jungler and gives the enemy Jungler a Chance to gank you.

This Skill is your strongest Damage Spell, as long as the enemy don't moves out of range.
A weak slow keeps the enemy in range, but with Flash he can easily negate the Damage Decrepify does. Nevermove is Swains only chance to keep an enemy in range.

is the hardest CC Swain has. It is a 2 Second Root, very effective while chasing and retrieving. But it is very hard to land, because there is a short delay between clicking and rooting. Nevermove can be compared with Cho'Gaths, Rupture, witch works in nearly the same way.

has more than one use: For sure it is Swains Bread and Butter, because of the Damage it does. Torment also increases every Damage Swain does to the Target by up to 20%. Combined with Ignite, [Decrepify]] and your Ultimate Ravenous Flock, you get a great Damage Output, even with low AP.

is your Ultimate, the Skill that defines Swain. It helps you in every Situation of the game. Ravenous Flock is very mana intensive and mana costs increase per level. It's necessary that you understand how to use this Ability:

    To farm Creeps use it max 1-3 secs
    To heal yourself us it, depending on games progress for 4-6 secs
    Use it as long as possible in a teamfight, but it has to hit 3 Targets to be effective.
    Try not to get OOM while using it.

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Skill Sequence

I max Torment first because of the Utility it has, the Dmg of Decrepify is a bit higher but not constant. I max it second. If you fail to land your Nevermove it's hard to do Dmg with Decrepify. Torment is more useful in all stages of the game, because of the Dmg it does and the 20% bonus Dmg with all other Skills and Attacks.

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For Items I start off with a Regrowth Pendant. In my opinion it’s the strongest item you can take for both lanes, Mid and Top. Especially in Mid it helps a lot against bursters like Brand and Annie. With the Greater Glyph of Magic Resist and the Regrowth Pendant you can resist their Burst, while they waste their Mana on you. You will regenerate more Health than they can burst you.

After Regrowth Pendant I build Boots of Speed and a Catalyst the Protector. With those Items you can stay in lane as long as you want. I farm untill i got up to 2000g and build a Rod of Ages as fast as possible. If you have to go Base before you could farm 1710g for Rof of Ages i build Sorcerer Boots, you can also take Mercury Threads if the enemy team has some strong Crowd Control champions.

After i got those Items I go for my socalled "Triangle of Surivability": Giant's Belt, Negatron Cloak and Chain Vest. There is no real order to get them but all three should be in your Item Build. They give you very high surrivability, whitch helps you to stay alive in team fights. For normal i build every Item into a Item with AP and Def Stats.

The Items I build are Rylais Crystal Scepter, Abyssial Scepter and Zhonya's Hourglass. I think all of them help alot if game continues. In combination with your Ravenous Flock you get very tanky, for most enemies unkillable. For sure you can vary the itemy you build out of the Triangle, for example if enemies have very strong AP you can build a Banshee's Veil or a Force of Nature with the Negatron Cloak. The Chain Vest can also be used for another Item if the enemy team is heavy AD. Build a Thornmail or a Frozen Heart out of it.

All of these Items can be taken with Swain, and depending on the situation, all can be strong. For example: Force of Nature gives you a Movementspeed Buff (Swain is a very slow Champ, and the Health Regeneration works well with your Ravenous Flock. Or Frozen Heart can be a strong Item on Swain because of the Cooldown Reduction, the extra Mana and the debuff. But keep in mind that those Items lower your Damage in a Teamfight while they increase your Surivability. Without Abyssal Scepter and it's Magic Penedration you also lose alot of your Damage Output. If you don't forget to use the Active of Zhonya's Hourglass it has many uses: It does not interrupt your Ultimate or the Healing you get from it. For normal i finish my build with a Rabadon's Deathcap to dramatically increase the Damage Output.