Swain Build Guide by Dreadscythe95
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Runes: Offensive Swain Support
+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Ability Order "Strength is the only teacher."
Threats & Synergies
Always the same story. You think you have him but then he ults and erases you if you don't have your hourglass yet. And if that fails then he just runs away, it's extremely hard to punish a pyke even if he does mistakes. Cancer champion in general, he counters everything, not just Swain, he needs balance or changes.
A good thresh is always scary. The problem is that Swain is at his weakest early, where he hasn't build life and armor yet while Thresh does an absurd amount of dmg early game. So if you do one misstep while poking, he will hook you, pull the adc with lantern and ingite you and you can't even flash away. if your adc tries to help, he dies as well since thresh will be in between you and your adc and he is more tanky than you.
Her black Shield Counters Swain's E and W and her Ultimate is a good answer to yours. Her Q is a classic, if she hits it, you lose your Wi-fi connection.
His range and DMG/burst can make your life a nightmare.
If you are not Morgana, Brand, Leonna or Pyke, Nautilus is always a big threat. His all-in is very dangerous, with 1 billion CC, especially before lvl 6 that Swain has no Ult and he can't sustain the dmg. A clense could help in this situation but Heal is useful as well.
She is very dangerous because her early game is deadly with massive CC and all-in potential. The problem here is that Swain doesn't have a very reliable disengage tool pre-lvl 6 becase his E stuns the enemy while it returns, which takes a lot of time considering that leonna jumps in your face and also there is a big possibility that your E will fail because in lane there are a lot of minions in front of you all the time. In late game, if you don't feed, you become a more reliable asset because of the dmg you put on the table combined with CC and area of effect dmg.
A good bard can abuse you early game and his Ultimate negates your all ins.
He is very dangerous for swain because with aftershock he gets very tanky and he has A LOT of mobility and so he can abuse your adc and jungle gangs. Things also get extremely dangerous when he pairs up with Xayah. If they are both laining against you play under turret and wait for them to mess up. If you manage to keepo your adc relatively safe and you scale then you can snowball them late game.
He can bully you a lot and his true dmg can make your lifesteal useless since you can't outrade him easily when you both have ults.
She feels so broken these days. She has dmg early, sustain, massive cc and scailing.
His mobility makes him very difficult to hit and if you lose your spells in a situation where you are overextended he is going to erase you cause he does a ton of dmg early to mid game.
Jhin can do a lot of DMG early with his passive and Q poke when Swain is at his weakest, with low passive stacks, low health and no ult. If he has a tanky support like Nautilus, Alistar or Leonna to keep you away from him he will erase you and your adc before you can have the time to put out your dmg.
You Ult and you stack health, and she stacks you spears. And then she rends. Ouch! Always try to burst her, don;t keep the ult for too long cause in longer fights she can 100-0 you with a simple rend if she has stacked many spears inside you.
He has low mobility so you can shut him down early with a good E and he won't scale that well then, he is no vayne. Still if you fail to lock him down and your adc fails to erase him first his absurd early game dmg will send you both on vacation back to the fountain.
His cage can ruin Swain's R so wait for him to use it before you use your ult. His burst also answers your sustain to some extend.
50-50. If she get's a lead, she is hard to punish, if you get a lead you can snowball her.
She is not very strong early but her true dmg is very dangerous. You need to shut her down at lvl 6 or earlier because in late game, team fights won't be fun and your tankiness will mean nothing to her.
She does a ton of dmg like Brand. The thing with her is that her plants are not that annoying for Swain because his Q and E and W all are not blocked by them. Still, it's a skill match. Be careful of her ultimate.
She is an ok threat alone, especially after the nerfts that she received in patch 9.18. She gets extremely dangerous though when she is paired with Rakan. They are very dangerous combo with a lot of mobility that can lock you down and cc you for days.
You can own her but if she survives the early game then the team fights get much harder.
They have similar scaling but Swain is more opressive early game amd hhis kit counters her kit well.
Easy lane for you. He can't answer your poke with his and his ealry game is weak as well so he can't shut you down. At lvl 6 you and your adc can take them by storm. If he goes hybrid build go Zeke's Convergence and you will be fine.
Similar to Ezreal. She struggles against you at all stages of the game.
His low mobility combined with low armor and low CC means that a simple Swain E can burn his summoners and a second one can kill him if your adc pays attention. Kog maw needs a support that can keep the enemies away for him to deal his massive dmg, but it's diffucult to keep Swain away after lvl 6, especially with nimbus Cloack and Shurelya's. Still Kog'maw becomes a much bigger threat with a Lulu, Janna, or Morgana support.
He can't answer your poke and he can't lock you down for long enough. He will struggle to protect his adc at lvl 6 if you hit your things. He will struggle late game as well against you because of your aoe dmg and tankiness.
His ultimate synergises well with Swain's ult, helping him in teamfights.
Swain's autoattacks and poke range makes his turrets useless. A lvl 6 ult burst after some poke is all it takes to end him.
Her ult has excellent synergy with Swain's Ultimate and they both excel at longer fights since Swain stacks his ult burst and Kalista stacks her spears. Nevertheless, all adcs synergise well with Swain .
They work amazing together. If Swain lands an E and Jhin is not in his first shot then they can burst him down in no time. It's very terryfying for an adc to get a full E,W,Q,electrocute combo from Swain and knowing that a Jhin 4th shot is coming.
A lot of poke and range.
Senna is not on the high damage ADC side but she has a lot of sustain, poke and CC which fit's very well Swain's agressive playstyle. They could be a very strong poke duo in lane that scales a ton in the late game and has a strong teamfight prescense. Her healing and shield synergises amazing with Swain's healing builds.
They offer a top of dmg and lane control together. If Syndra stuns someone then he cant escape from Swain and Syndra has massive burst so the enemy gets deleted.
The on-hit build transforms her to an adc but she also has a cancer stun that passes through minions, poke and an area of effect stun+dmg ultimate. Add Swain with poke, stun, slow and an area of effect dmg/sustain ultimate and get ready to be reported for toxicity.
Strong early game that helps Swain's weaker early game. Together they have a ton of poke and lane pressure. Hi sult is even more deadly because Swain's passive and CC will immidiatly follow, dooming the enemy bot.
Oh the poke is real and it's combined with strong CC. The best thing though is the lvl 6 powerspike when both MF and Swain have their Ultimates. It's a massacre.
So much dmg ealry. And since lucian falls late game your team still has a support that offers a lot of dmg to the table.
A ton of dmg early, even pros get surprised. If the opponent bot are not careful at lvl2 and lvl3 powerspikes then one swain E followed by a W slow means that Draven can erase them from the lane.
Ezreal is a safe adc and he can follow Swain's calls because of his E. Also because of his W his single target dmg is very big early game, allowing him to finish Swain's picks easily.
They synergiuse very well, they have strong poke and when they both ult it's glorious.
They have a lot of CC and lockdowns. A bit of cancer.
Good and safe lane with a lot of cc. Also they both get benefits from extended trades. I love their synergy.
Aphelios is immobile so in many situations Swain can't protect him well in the early game. Still their kits have very strong synergy together and if they play safe the early game they dominate the mid-game forward.
Toxic bot combo. Endless CC and two area of effect ultimates combined with a shield that denies CC. Cancer.
Like Morgana but with more burst, less cc and similar cancer.
The burst they provide is amazing and the memes alone are worth it. The best thing is when they both build for Lifesteal and the can't die anymore. Their lane pressure is quite big as well after lvl 6.
She is good but not amazing with Swain because of the way their abilities synergise. Still, an ok lane, it has potential.
They are a safe lane to some extend. What makes their synergy just ok is that they have different goals when it comes to how their kits work early game. Kai Sa is about kitting and stacking her passive so that she can become a hyper carry/assasin, that's why she excels with tanky supports, and supports that can keep the enemy away from her. On the other hand, before lvl 6, Swain is about all-in and erasing/outlasting the enemy with dmg they don't expect coming and can't avoid easily. So sometimes what Swain does and what Kai Sa does are oppossites early game. After lvl 6 they both excel at longer fights. becoming a hyperscaling bot.
If you survive the early game then you become a hyperscaling bot. Still your early game is easily abused and you can end up being flammed by your teammates before 10 mins of the game if the opponent jungler decides to abuse you. Against opressivee lanes like Morgana, Jhin, Thresh, Pyke, Brand this lane gets very difficult as well...
They are similar to Twitch. If you survive the early game then you become a hyperscalling bot. Yet Vayne is also safer than Twitch sinse her Q and E can also save her from a lot of early gangs.
A lot of lane control and Swain can punish easily people that go for his turrets. Very strong laning.
He is not great in general right now because of his low mobility even though he has very high dmg. The enemy can abuse you to death early game, making it a very hard lane. A very good Kog Maw could still do wonders though and allow you both to reach ultra scalling.
Very low lane pressure. They have very strong all-ins with the package and Swain's ulti but that's it.
Champion Build Guide
I always believed that Swain was an excellent support. He has poke, slow, stun, vision, sustain and an area of effect ultime. Still he was not reliable enough to be an all out/full meta support. SO what changed? After his latest rework his Death's Hand dmg now passes through minions and his Demonic Ascension doesn't need 5 soul fragment stacks to work anymore, instead it stacks permanent health and does dmg according to how much you have channeled the drain effect, so he became even more reliable and even more tanky. This is what finally pushed me into maining Swain support and making this guide to share my thoughts for the strategy.
I hope that we will see more of Swain Support in the future since he is not just a good support but a quality support as well.
Update: It seems that Swain became an A/S tier support after patch 9.18 and a favorable meta pick for Worlds 2019 so I guess I was right after all.
The reason for electrocute is simple, the dmg is a lot for a squishy adc (and sometimes a squishy support) and they don't expect a support to do that much dmg (especially when the adc in next to him to follow up).
Cheap Shot is excellent for Swain's combo since if he lands his Nevermove or Vision of Empire the dmg is even bigger.
Ghost Poro offers extra vision which is very important for bot lane and in some situations Swain's dmg is increased as well since you try to ward the enemy jungle a lot with a support.
Ravenous Hunter synergises very well with Swain's healing/sustain. Another good pick is Ultimate Hunter because it permanently reduces the cdr of the R and since Swain doesn't need stacks anymore he can always have an ulti available but since we already go full cdr for the build and runes I recommend Ravenous Hunter because if it gets stacked it can help Swain survive in a 5v5 and define the course of the entire game.
Scorch is very good for Swain because his early game poke is very strong but he can't survive easily very offensive ealry game bot duos. With the added poke it's easier for him to asnwer the enemy poke an dpush them out of the lane. Manaflow Band is another great option for Swain though. It is also very useful pre-6 for sustain which is great for the rest of the game as well since it permanently increases his mana pool and his mana regenration but not that much needed now that Shurelya's Reverie is not viable on Swain since his itemization offers him a lot of mana regen already with Rod of Ages while the added poke from Scorch can be very scary for the opponent team early game.
Transcendence offers early CDR that is crucial for Swain and since most of his items offer CDR transcedance transforms it into dmg which is a great investment. This is why we add the 1-10% CDR Rune since at lvl 18 combined with Transcendence it gives (2x10=20AP) and earlier CDR compared to just the straight 9 AP the 9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP) Rune gives.
Actually, when I made the guide, I thought people would see what I see when it comes to skill maxing but it seems that a lot people that haven't played a lot of Swain support believe that E maxing > Q maxing, WHICH IS WRONG. I shall explain:
While it is true that probably the most important thing in a supp is reliable CC, equally important is reliable poke. Before the latest Swain changes, when Death's Hand would not pass through minions, Swain couldn't poke reliably with it, so E maxing seemed more viable since a great Nevermove can increase your chances for an early kill.
The thing is that even when fully maxed, Nevermove has still 9 seconds cooldown (it falls to 5 with 40% cdr), which means that you won't use it more than once in a team fight, and neither the range nor the duration scale with upgrating, only the dmg (which is not a good excuse since Q does more).
On the other hand Death's Hand, when fully maxed, has a cooldown of 4 seconds (with 40% cdr it's actually ~2), making Swain a real threat and since it passes through minions it's very reliable as well.
So remember, Q > E > W. Swain is not Morgana. Morgana's whole kit revolves around hitting her Q, and it's a massive part of her full dmg. Swain is more about the consistent dmg,poke and burst while sustaining at the same time. Morgana is about binding enemies with her Q,R, while her W drains life and her E protects the carry from the enemy cc. In contrast, Swain is about the consistent dmg,poke and burst while sustaining at the same time. Morgana wants to perma CC the enemy, Swain wants to outlast and outdamage the enemy.
The idea behind the build is:
1) It needs to be cheap, you are not the carry of the game and you won't have the gold of the other laners so you need cheaper items.
2) It needs to offer survivability. Swain plays as a tanky AP mage and so he needs Health (which will stack more by his passive), armor and magic resist. Swain needs to survive some time to put his massive CC, dmg and ultimate to the table so he needs to buy his time. As a support he also needs to initiate fights as well so he can't afford to be a glass canon. Eventhough he is the support, him being the first loss in a team fight will be a big breaking point for the team.
3)It needs 40% cdr. Swain is an offensive support that needs to spam his abilities a lot which means that cdr is crucial, allowing him to have a Q in less than 3 seconds. No worries though, most of the items in his build offer cdr. The cdr that will stack above 40% is not useless as well, since we take the Transcendence rune, which transforms the extra cdr to AP.
Let's explain the items:
Boots. Depending on heavy AD or AP team comps Tabis or Merc shoud be chosen. Sorcerer's are too much for a supp, you are not a carry. Ioanian Boots can be useful for the early CDR since Rod of Ages doesn't offer CDR and with Transcendence you turn that CDR above 40% into dmg so it's not going to waste. Still, the Support Swain path and the runes give him a lot of CDR so the Ionian boots are an overbuy after mid game.
Rod of Ages is such a good buy on Swain and the reason it that it's a cheap and tanky AP item that scales as the game progresses like Swain's passive. It gives AP, Health and a lot of Mana Pool and Sustain. it also scales into a very good AP item during the mid-game.
Zhonya's Hourglass is kind of obvious, except from the standart Armour, CDR and AP that help A LOT it also synergises extremely well with the Ultimate.
With the core build we are at 20% CDR already and so with Transcendence and the CDR Rune we can easily reach the 40% CDR mark in the mid game.
Liandry's Torment is a great item for Swain since it offers everything Swain needs, AP, Health and two passives that synergise extremely well with his kit, especially the Ultimate. The only downside is the price, which is quite big for a support. Nevertheless, at that point of the game if you are not behind, Swain is scailling very well and has a strong presence so he can farm (a bit) and gather a lot of assists and maybe even some kills so he can definitely afford it. If you are behind in game leave it for a cheaper and more defensive item. When you build it, you should definitely consider Rylai's Crystal Scepter. These 2 items have great synergy and you will have more survivability than with a Rabadon's Deathcap (still nothing comes close to the dmg that the deathcap offers). Finaly, Liandry's has also great synergy with Zeke's Convergence so if you want an all around defensive option instead of Rylai's, Zeke's is your item.
If the opponent team has a lot of AD and AP dmg and a final defensive item is needed then Zeke's Convergence is the ideal item cause it offers resists to both and the active is amazing with Swain Ult.
Twin Shadows is very good for Swain because for the extra movement speed, especially not that Shurelya's Reverie and Nimbus Cloack are not viable for Swain. Also the active is very good for locking enemy targets, a very useful ability for a support like Swain. The item is worth the cost instead of Rylai's against teams with a lot of mobility, burst and stealth (a lot of assasins for example).
Rylai's Crystal Scepter has amazing synergy with Swain. Health, AP and a passive that slows for every spell he casts (great synergy with the Ultimate). Evenmore, it has amazing synergy with Liandry's Torment, which you will build most of the time.
Morellonomicon is amazing against heavy healers because of the grevious wounds passive and the magic penetration. I would not recommend it though in basic situations since Swain is not the carry of the game and utility will be probably needed more. The item is also very expensive for a support and Liandry's is already a big investment. The only situation that Morello should be priortized for Swain Support is if the opponent team has heavy healing like a fed Renekton, Nasus, Trundle, Illaoi etc and you need the grevious wounds passive.
Spirit Visage gives 10% CDR, Health and it's passive synergises very well with Swain's Passive and Ultimate.In the rare occassion that the opponent team is full AD the item is not worth the expense and so it shoud be put aside for something else, like a Redemption or a Twin Shadows.
Rabadon's Deathcap is the option for the situation that you are fed and there is not enough dmg on the team so Swain needs to transform from a support to an AP carry. At this situtation it is also recommended to buy the Sorcerer's Shoes for the magic pen since you will get 40% CDR from the Runes anyway and survivability won't be your priority.
That's all Folks. Now you can officially unleash the might of Noxus in the Bot Lane. One last advice: Flame is Lame. GlHf.