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Swain Build Guide by FelixMrChat

Middle [14.5] Swain the Manaless King (Mid/Top)

Middle [14.5] Swain the Manaless King (Mid/Top)

Updated on March 8, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author FelixMrChat Build Guide By FelixMrChat 9 1 15,095 Views 0 Comments
9 1 15,095 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author FelixMrChat Swain Build Guide By FelixMrChat Updated on March 8, 2024
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Runes: Main

1 2 3 4 5
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band

Presence of Mind
Last Stand

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10-180 Bonus Health


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost



Early Item

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
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Champion Build Guide

[14.5] Swain the Manaless King (Mid/Top)

By FelixMrChat
Chapter 1: Conquer the early game, Grand General! The road to Noxus' glory awaits.
So you've chosen to walk the path of Noxus' cunning tactician, Swain, the Grand General. Ruling the midlane with an iron fist (and demonic tendrils), you'll unleash torment upon your enemies, draining their life force and asserting your dominance. This guide serves as your war horn, equipping you with the knowledge and strategies to conquer the battlefield in Season 14.

Rune Supremacy:
    Sorcery: Embrace your poke and sustain potential with Summon Aery: it fuels your early harass and helps manage those mana costs. Choose Manaflow Band for further mana regen, Transcendence for scaling ability power, and Scorch for early game damage burst. This setup dominates most matchups.
    Precision: Opt for Presence of Mind and Last Stand if you find yourself facing aggressive opponents. This combination provides additional mana, mana regen, and bonus damage when low on health, helping you sustain and fight back.
    Alternatives: Remember, adaptation is key. In challenging matchups, the green tree offers options. Phase Rush grants mobility against high-movement champions, while Conqueror (though less traditional) provides sustained damage and healing in the top lane. Choose what suits your playstyle and the matchup.

Starting Items:
    Doran's Ring: The standard choice for most matchups, offering AP and sustain. Go for this in 95% of games or if you're unsure.

    Mercury's Treads: Useful against heavy crowd control (CC), but consider taking anti-CC runes instead and opting for Sorcerer's Shoes or Swiftness Boots for the damage or mobility.
    Plated Steelcaps: It gives a decent amount of armor in early, and helps a lot to tank more autoattack.

Dominating the Lane:
    Wave Manipulation: Master the art of controlling the wave: freeze, slow push, or shove depending on the situation. This controls enemy aggression and sets up gank opportunities for your jungler.
    Harassing Prowess: Utilize Vision of Empire (E) to poke enemies and heal yourself. Land Torment (W) for bonus damage and slow them down before the E reactivation. Remember, Deathbringer (Q) deals more damage when the enemy is near, so use it as a punishment!
    Matchup Know-How: Analyze your opponent. Against melee champions, abuse your range and prioritize dodging their engage abilities. Against ranged opponents, play safe under tower, focus on last hitting with minions while poking with E and W, and wait for opportunities to punish oversteps. When facing an all-in, try to predict their trajectory with W to slow them down.

Trading Tips:
    Combo Mastery: Combine E and W for maximum impact. Throw E through minions to harass, then cast W and reactivate E to pull them back for bonus damage and slow.
    E Strategically: While E can last hit minions, prioritize punishing enemies who overstep or get trapped by W. Against melee champions, don't waste it if you're at risk of dying.
    Mana Management: Start with Doran's Ring or Corrupting Potion for early mana sustain. Consider Manaflow Band or Presence of Mind in your runes if mana management remains a concern.

Power Spikes:
    Swain's strongest level power spikes are at levels 3, 5, 6, 9, 11, and 16.
    Significant item power spike: Liandry's Anguish/Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Remember: Patience is key! Swain excels in the mid to late game. Focus on farming safely, establishing lane control, and poking when opportunities arise. By laying this foundation, you'll be poised to unleash your true power in the coming chapters. Conquer the early game, Grand General! The road to Noxus' glory awaits.
Chapter 2: Midgame Supremacy - Unfurling the Noxian Banner
With a firm grasp of the lane, it's time to expand your influence and orchestrate decisive victories. Let's explore the midgame tactics to elevate your Swain gameplay:

Midgame Objectives:
    Secure Neutral Objectives: Prioritize securing Rift Herald and Dragon with your team. Nevermove (R)'s map pressure lets you force trades or secure objectives uncontested. Remember, coordination is key!
    Roam for Ganks: Don't be confined to midlane. Your ultimate's global range and crowd control potential make you a potent ganker. Look for opportunities to snowball your lead and empower teammates.
    Participate in Skirmishes: Join your team in mid-game skirmishes. Use Torment (W) and Vision of Empire (E) to peel for allies and zone out enemies. You can even secure kills from the other side of the map, especially with Aery and/or Rylai's.
    Scale for Late Game: Don't neglect farming. Maximize your itemization to reach your late-game power spike, where you become a frontline mage with sustained damage and control.

Key Tools:
    Nevermove (R): Now unlocked, it's your trump card. Use it strategically to engage in teamfights, secure objectives, or deter enemies from pushing. Remember, the longer you channel, the bigger the impact.
    Demonic Ascension (Passive): Stacking it enhances your abilities. Focus on auto-attacks between skill casts to maximize its potential.
    Vision of Empire (E): This tool becomes even more crucial. Use it to secure vision around objectives, track enemy movements, and set up map plays. Train yourself to become a master of vision control.

Matchup Adaptations:
    Burst Mages: Prioritize Rookern to survive their initial burst and turn the fight in your favor. See specific item notes for further guidance.
    Tanky Champions: Consider Liandry's Torment or Void Staff later in your build to melt their resistances.
    Assassins: Opt for defensive boots like Mercury's Treads or Plated Steelcaps and consider Banshee's Veil or Zhonya's Hourglass for spell protection. Rush Frozen Heart if they rely heavily on auto-attacks.

Itemization Alchemy:
Swain's strength lies in his versatility, and his item choices can drastically alter his playstyle and effectiveness. Remember, adaptation is key! Consider the following factors when selecting your items:
    Enemy Team Composition: Are they AD-heavy or AP-heavy? Do they rely on auto-attacks or magic damage? Analyzing their strengths and weaknesses is crucial.
    Personal Playstyle: Do you prefer aggressive roams or sustained midlane pressure? Knowing your preferences helps guide your choices.
    Specific Matchup: Some champions require targeted responses – Frozen Heart against Tryndamere, for example.

Remember: The midgame is about snowballing your lead and securing map pressure. Play aggressively, but maintain awareness of your positioning and cooldowns. Don't hesitate to use your ultimate to secure crucial advantages for your team.
Chapter 3: Late Game Supremacy - Commanding the Battlefield
Having weathered the midgame storm, you stand poised to claim victory in the crucible of the late game. This chapter equips you with the knowledge to unleash Swain's true power and lead your team to triumph:

Late Game Goals:
    Dominate teamfights: Your AoE damage and crowd control shine in large-scale engagements. Use Nevermove (R) to zone enemies, peel for allies, and secure kills.
    Siege objectives: Coordinate with your team to siege enemy towers and inhibitors. Swain's sustained damage and tankiness excel in sieges.
    Protect key targets: Prioritize protecting your carries with Torment (W) and Demonic Ascension (Passive)'s healing.
    Close out the game: Don't let opportunities slip. Capitalize on enemy mistakes and push for victory decisively.

Key Considerations:
    Positioning: Stay mindful of your positioning in teamfights. Utilize your ultimate strategically to avoid getting focused down.
    Focus targets: Prioritize high-priority targets like enemy carries or squishy mages. Your burst damage can turn the tide of a fight.
    Itemization: Adapt your item build based on the enemy team composition. Consider adding defensive options like Rookern or Frozen heart against specific threats.
    Objective control: Never underestimate the importance of vision and objective control. Use Vision of Empire (E) strategically and participate in objective fights.

Late Game Strategies:
    Split pushing: With your tankiness and wave clear, consider split pushing to draw pressure and create opportunities for your team.
    Flank and engage: Use your ultimate creatively to flank enemies and surprise them in teamfights.
    Combo effectively: Chain your abilities seamlessly to maximize damage and crowd control. At this point of the game, the combo R - Flash - R is really effective. With you Rylai, never forget you can cancel a chase with your Qspell.
    Communication is key: Coordinate with your team to call objectives, engage in fights, and secure victory.
    Remember: The late game is about calculated aggression and decisive plays. Utilize your full potential, adapt to the situation, and lead your team to glorious victory!

With this guide, you have the tools and knowledge to master Swain in Season 14. Remember, practice makes perfect. Take Swain onto the battlefield, hone your skills, and claim your rightful place as the Grand General of Noxus!
Chapter 4: Vision Domination
As the Grand General of Noxus, information is your most potent weapon. Swain thrives on controlling the battlefield, and vision plays a crucial role in achieving that dominance. This bonus chapter equips you with the knowledge to transform from a blind tactician to a master of vision manipulation:

Early Game Warding:
    Establish lane dominance: Place a control ward in the river bush opposite your lane entrance. This grants vision for enemy jungler ganks and lets you track their movements.
    Secure scuttle crab: Ward the scuttle crab location on your side of the river to contest it safely and gain vision control in the jungle.
    Deny enemy vision: If facing aggressive junglers, place a control ward in their jungle entrance to counter their invades and protect your laner.

Midgame Warding:
    Expand your vision: Ward strategic points around objectives like Rift Herald and Dragon. This helps you anticipate enemy rotations and secure objectives efficiently.
    Track enemy jungler: Maintain vision in the enemy jungle to know their whereabouts and warn your teammates about potential ganks.
    Deep ward for flanks: As you roam for ganks, consider placing deep wards in the enemy jungle to flank teamfights and surprise your opponents.

Late Game Warding:
    Siege wards: Ward around objectives you're pushing (towers, inhibitors) to spot enemy defenders and react accordingly.
    Objective denial: When defending, ward key entry points to objectives and anticipate enemy pushes. Use control wards to block vision and channel your inner Grand General.
    Vision denial: Remove enemy wards whenever possible to blind their movements and gain the upper hand. Focus on high-value wards around objectives or deep in your jungle.

Swain-Specific Warding Tricks:
    Utilize Vision of Empire (E): This ability shines for warding. Use it to scout objectives, track enemies, and set up surprise ganks without revealing yourself. You can even track pink ward.
    Catch in a bush : If you take a dewarder, you can wait in relevant bush (blue, red, drake, nash...) to catch the enemy jungler and then secure drake/nash
    Coordinate with teammates: Share your vision findings and communicate ward placements effectively for maximized map control.

Remember: Vision is power. As Swain, mastering the art of warding will elevate your gameplay to a whole new level. Manipulate the fog of war, dictate the flow of information, and lead your team to victory with the unwavering vision of a true Grand General!
Conquering the Rift with Swain
Congratulations, Grand General! You've reached the end of this comprehensive guide to mastering Swain in Season 14. By wielding the knowledge within, you're well-equipped to dominate the midlane, orchestrate map dominance, and lead your flock to glorious victory. Remember, practice and adaptation are key. Hone your skills, experiment with your strategies, and remember:

Noxus never forgets.

Special Acknowledgements:
Crafting this guide wasn't a solo endeavor. I must express my gratitude to the following:
    Kilianyeah_lol, a player who reached the Challenger level thanks to his mastery of Swain, for his valuable advice and special attention in helping me correct my mistakes and improve my guide. Subscribing to his Twitch channel is a must for all players wishing to learn more about Swain (and many other champs!)
    Google Gemini, SDXL, and Perplexity: These AI tools provided invaluable assistance in processing information, organizing content, and streamlining the writing process.
    r/SwainMains/ on Reddit: The dedicated community offered insights, feedback, and support during Season 14's changes, guiding me through the depths of Swain's mastery.

Your Feedback Matters:
    This guide is a work in progress, and your input is crucial. Feel free to leave positive or negative feedback, suggest improvements, and share your Swain expertise. Together, we can refine this guide into a valuable resource for aspiring Grand Generals everywhere!

May your ravens feast on enemy champions, and your Nevermove (R) forever inspire fear.

To learn wave managment more in-depth, i'd advise to read this blog post :

P.S. Remember, this guide serves as a foundation. Explore different builds, experiment with playstyles, and adapt to the ever-changing battlefield. Swain's true potential awaits those who dare to unleash it! You have to know the matchup, i'd advice to have played at least once every enemy champ you could encounter, to know at least the mechanics.
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