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Swain Build Guide by Heansuh



Updated on September 28, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Heansuh Build Guide By Heansuh 41 12 161,512 Views 6 Comments
41 12 161,512 Views 6 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Heansuh Swain Build Guide By Heansuh Updated on September 28, 2021
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1 2 3 4 5
Unsealed Spellbook
Magical Footwear
Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight

Manaflow Band

+8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3 4 5 6
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Ability Order Start with W --> E --> Q. Master Q, W and E

Threats & Synergies

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Extreme Threats
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Champion Build Guide


By Heansuh

DISCLAIMER: im diamond now with 48% win rate atm in euw server for swain. he isnt usable at high elo. DO NOT try unsealed spellbook swain, unless you really have nth to use (dark harvest looks better).


Swain's W rework makes him even better. He'll get nerfed for sure one day.

I got inspired by Nasus runes (Ghost + Heal), and wondered how the heck am I supposed to win that guy in lane. It was impossible because he can use W on me to slow me down, and he can easily overheal by hitting minions!
Then, I was thinking,

"Why not I use his runes and spells?"

That's when I took Ghost + Ignite against Nasus. Then, I could win him in lane this time. Finallly!

Update on 17 Nov: I reached Diamond 4 with Swain Top, and I got more wins as Tank Swain instead of the usual Dark Harvest. I feel like it's viable only when your team has no tank, and against AD bruiser, but against Fiora/Illaoi... I have no idea.

I used to play Swain from long ago. I started to play him from Season 4, due to his attractive features about dealing with crows, but also his life-stealing and teamfight-heavy abilities. Similar champions like him that deal with health could be Vladimir and Dr. Mundo, but both were not like Swain. A mage that's tanky and painful? That thought was just insane.

This made me feel weird writing this guide too; playing him as a POKING champion.

After his 2nd and 3rd rework, I tried Swain again, and I always felt that this champion was somewhat amiss. He was never tanky nor that powerful as a mage due to his short-ranged skills. It was a low-tier champion (except the time right after the 3rd rework, he was insane).

Now, from Patch 10.15, his skills have changed - Q can be used to push lanes more efficiently, and W can be used like an damaging, red, ephemeral Farsight Alteration trinket.

Thanks to these changes, I also feel like Swain can be used in competition, but not much research seems to be done for laners. His massive skillset, especially his W; granting vision in early game like Ashe's E makes him really crazy!

I tried him as Support using Glacial Augment to Mid, and tried runes like Phase Rush, Undying Grasp, and even Prototype: Omnistone (which was trash, because Swain had no auto-attack related skills). After undergoing many trials and errors, I realised that it was better to play him as Top/Mid/Bot as Support takes up ward item and limit to his levelling, even though Swain has so much potential during teamfight.

Lastly, the fact that he can influence other lanes with his W makes me feel that this ol' guy can really appear in competition sooner or later. It really is a hidden gem.

Although the title may be "TOP LANE POKING SWAIN", this build can be used at Top, Mid and Bottom, and even Support with my item build and runes. Also, he's not solely made for poking - that's what makes him even stronger. You can easily get ranked high in damage dealt to champions, because it's soooo easy!

Until he comes back to the competition with his ravenous cry, I will try to update this guide as much as possible. Stay tuned!
Items (Tank Swain)
1. Sunfire Aegis --> OP ITEM RIGHT NOW.

Why? Because it works on Swain as well. What you are basically gonna do with this item is to NOT spam your Qs to push your lane. Try your best to make use of your Sunfire Aegis to push lane by embracing the enemy minions. Use your skills only to trade against enemy champion.

During teamfight, keep going in front and make sure the enemy ADC cannot deal damage to your team. This should be done by using your ult and going in like a madman in front. Thanks to your AoE from ult, it'll give you lots of lifesteal and you'll succeed in teamfights most of the time. Get that frontline as a tank!

2. Zhonya's Hourglass

You need this for teamfight. It's a really good item against AD bruisers as well when you wanna ignore their skill(s). With a little bit of AP, you can push lane and do damage in teamfight.

3. Abyssal Mask

Remember that when you play Tank Swain, you deal AP damage from Sunfire Aegis that is based on your health. Therefore, Abyssal Mask not only provides Magic Resist, but also Health to deal more damage from Sunfire Aegis. This is also very useful when your team has an AP mage Mid/APC, as it reduces enemy's magic resist. Even if your team does not have any AP mage mid/APC, it's still a good item to go.

4/5. Demonic Embrace/Spirit Visage/Morellonomicon/Warmog's Armor/Frozen Heart

Honestly, all items are great here, but they really depend on situation. Let's take a look at them one by one, and build them accordingly. This is where your brain play comes in.

Demonic Embrace - Take this when you wanna kill the enemy ADC, as this item gives you AP damage. It also provides you health from Giant's Belt. Good as a tank item as it provides MR/Armor during teamfight.

Spirit Visage - When enemy AP is painful, and when you want to be at the frontline.

Morellonomicon - When no one in your team builds antiheal while enemy team has strong healing (which happens a lot of times), and to ensure AP mages in your team to deal more damage by building other AP items. It also provides a little bit of Health that increases damage from Sunfire Aegis.

Why Morello? During teamfight, it is very easy for Swain to give Grievous Wound effects to enemies because of his ultimate's large AoE. This will make it very easy for AP mage in your team to deal damage easily without having to build antiheal item, as Morellonomicon is nerfed in terms of magic penetration.

Warmog's Armor (Research Ongoing) - When your team is winning hard. It provides lots of health, so more damage from Sunfire Aegis, but that's not the main thing as Tank Swain. It sometimes is better than Spirit Visage, but it no longer provides insane health regen when you get hit by enemy minions.

6. Plated Boots/Mercury's Treads

For Boots, don't think of purchasing Boots of Swiftness or Sorcerer's Shoes unless there is a really special case of your team winning hard. Against Nasus, Boots of Swiftness is considerable, so we'll see.

*. Sell Boots and get Force of Nature/Cosmic Drive/Gargoyle Stoneplate/Items from 4/5.

I feel like this is a very good strategy in late-game, because Swain has great synergy with many items. Add some item that increases your usefulness in teamfight late-game instead of keeping your boots! However, it's not viable for Swain to go late-game. Unless your team can really carry you hard, DO NOT sell your boots because your movement speed is the slowest at 325 (excluding Janna's 315 and Kled).
Q --> E --> W --> R.

If the enemy wants to FF15: W --> W --> W --> R.



This is where antitank Swain comes in. You thought that Swain was only a tanky mage champion, but with W's rework, you can basically shoot Gaara's Third Eye jutsu and scare enemies off. It's like Teemo Shroom that grants vision.

Cheap Shot

It works really well with Swain's E and passive.

Eyeball Collection

So that you can make offerings to our Kazekage Gaara.

Ultimate Hunter.

Swain's Ultimate skill comes quite fast enough, but it's still not bad to take it because Swain needs his ult all the time for teamfights. After Ravenous Hunter and Relentless Hunter got nerfed for Swain (Ravenous Hunter only provides 1/3 AoE lifesteal, which are Swain's main damage from Q and ult, and Relentless Hunter's movement speed bonus got nerfed), this is what I usually build. Ravenous Hunter, however, is still a good rune for Swain, especially when you build Spirit Visage. It is really up to your preference!

Secondary: PRECISION

Presence of Mind for Mana regen, and Legend: Tenacity against enemies' CC comp. If enemy has no CC, you can take Coup de Grâce or Last Stand, and I prefer Coup de Grâce.


Please refer to the Runes on top.

Primary: Grasp of Undying
Secondary: Presence of Mind, Legend: Tenacity

Health-based runes are taken. You can also take Revitalize, but personally, Overgrowth feels better late game.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Heansuh
Heansuh Swain Guide
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