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Swain Build Guide by undeadsoldiers

Middle [8.24]Empire Above All[IN-DEPTH TOP/MID SWAIN GUIDE]

Middle [8.24]Empire Above All[IN-DEPTH TOP/MID SWAIN GUIDE]

Updated on December 8, 2018
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League of Legends Build Guide Author undeadsoldiers Build Guide By undeadsoldiers 11 0 28,670 Views 0 Comments
11 0 28,670 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author undeadsoldiers Swain Build Guide By undeadsoldiers Updated on December 8, 2018
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Phase Rush
Manaflow Band
Gathering Storm

Perfect Timing
Cosmic Insight

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Hello ! I'm undeadsoldiers and this is my Swain guide. I've found that he is a very good mid/top-laner for climbing, especially for people in low elo [<gold], since he's a tank mage. You won't pop like, say, Lux, but you also won't one shot with a single combo. He can be the front line for the team if you build Morellonomicon and other tank mage items. Overall he is a good cary since he has a for of CC (E), vision (W) and his ulti can target everyone + it heals him. A bonus is he is Noxian. ( my favourite region ;) )

If you wish to find out how to play, win and have fun with Swain read on !

If you enjoyed my guide make sure to check out others I've made:
-In-Depth Veigar Guide
-In-Depth MF Guide
-In-Depth Ekko Guide
-In-Depth Morgana Guide
-In-Depth Ahri Guide

Disclaimer:The 'Item' and 'Matchup' descriptions are in their respective note boxes, as I have been advised to put them there, since people do look at guides mostly before matches and do not have time to read everything. If you, however, want me to put them in chapters, I will.


Health: 525(+90 per level)
Attack Damage: 58(+2.7 per level)
Attack Speed: 0.625(+2.11% per level)
Movement Speed: 335
Health Regen: 7(0.65 per level)
Armour: 22.72(+4 per level)
Magic Resist: 30(+0.5 per level)

Jericho Swain is the visionary ruler of Noxus, an expansionist nation that reveres only strength. Though he was cast down and crippled in the Ionian wars, his left arm severed, he seized control of the empire with ruthless determination… and a new, demonic hand. Now, Swain commands from the front lines, marching against a coming darkness that only he can see—in glimpses gathered by shadowy ravens from the corpses all around him. In a swirl of sacrifice and secrets, the greatest secret of all is that the true enemy lies within.

+ Good For SoloQ
+ CC
+ Good Poke in Lane
+ Decently Mobile
+ High Damage

He's a great pick for soloQ and he can carry games. He has his form of hard CC and he can get vision from far away. He can go for good poke and his trades are strong if executed correctly. He's decently mobile and he has high damage when he gets a full ulti combo.

- Trades Can Go Bad
- Skillshots
- No Escape
- High CD for laning-phase
- Relies On Combo

Swain relies on his combo (E, W, Q), and if he doesn't do it correctly a trade can go really bad since he doesn't have any escapes, except through ulti, so pre6 trades are risky. The first move is his E, which is a skillshot and it's his best abiltiy. If you miss this the only thing you can rely on next is your ulti or Q.

This goes really well when combine with Swain's ultimate. When you see a Swain just running at you in demon form with his E you don't really have anywhere to go, especially if you're low mobility and have no escape.

If you want a lot of poke in lane, constantly proccing it with Q, that can already poke quite well and help csing, take this. It will affect squishy targets a lot, but it is technically a skillshot, so if you want something safer go for Summon Aery, but I like more damage.

If I know that I'm against a burst mage like Veigar and I get stunned in his cage, I know I'm gonna deny some damage. Pretty good, but I don't take it unless these situatuons occur.

For more mana sustain in lane I take this pretty much every time I go for Sorcery.

If you plan on combining this with Phase Rush as a keystone, then go for it. It's pretty good and makes chasing down enemies after ulti much easier.

I mostly use this with the Cosmic Insight from Inspiration. It converts excess CDR into adaptive AD or AP and it can be pretty useful.

Swain has no movement speed bonuses, so there's no real reason to take this, unless you're in a super special matchup I guess.

This is good for poke in lane if you want to bully a melee opponent.

For extra poke you can take it.

If you don't plan on doing a lot of roaming don't take this. Usually I would only recommend this to junglers or a specific support that roams well.

This outclasses Scorch big time. It's just a better rune for what Swain needs since the game doesn't only consist of the laning phase, and out of laning phase Scorch is not as good as Gathering Storm.

Swain has a three hit combo, so this is very very good for him. It's so funny to just kill someone off the Electrocute and it can do a whole lot of damage. Also the nerf that happened some time ago does not affect him at all since he isn't an assassin or something and if you play Swain in the top lane, the trades won't be too frequent, so Electrocute has time to cool down for every trade.

I take this as Swain's E is hard CC, a root and a pull, so it does more damage and this is usually go-to choice if I am taking Domination in any tree. Trades with this are super good in my opinion, and later in the game it does get pretty scary.

I don't really use this one as much as Cheap Shot, but it is also very viable. Since I primarily play Swain top lane I get mostly malee matchups, so I take use of this rune by buying a Corrupting Potion at the start and autoattack punishing when they walk up too close, or to deny cs.

Well, this is pretty much useless on Swain. Even with the teleport, usually ran top lane, you still don't get much use of it, Swain doesn't have leaps, jumps or anything. Maybe if you recall in lane and want to go in on your low health enemy with tp, but the others are far better options, so don't even bother with this.

If I decide to roam a lot, maybe with an Oracle Lens and overall deny vision from the enemy team, this can be useful, though if I'm playing top lane, I tend to stick to my lane and push, so I prefer to take Eyeball Collection.

This is the second option for me, after Eyeball Collection, I like being in control of the map, having vision everywhere and my map awareness is very good, if I want some extra I would take this.

This is what I mostly take, since it is the best option out of the three and I think it has the most payoff with the adaptive AP and AD bonus.

This is what I always take on Swain since I like to take Resolve as my secondary and the healing is very good when combined with the ultimate.

This is what I take when I take insptiration as a secondary, combined with the Cosmic Insight it is great if you plan on going for the Zhonya's Hourglass build.

I never really take this, Swain doesn't need out of combat move speed, he needs it in combat, which Phase Rush takes care of, and this becomes useless.

Swain already doesn't have a huge cooldown on his ultimate, so it's better to opt for Ravenous Hunter or Ingenious Hunter instead.

Secondary pages:


I like taking bone plating when I know I'm gonna get all inned by a champion that tends to do that a lot.

In the patch 8.23, Chrysalis has been removed which is a shame. The new rune ( Shield Bash) does not fit Swain and right now, out of the three, Demolish is the best option.

This is my best rune on Swain, for my tank mage build it goes really well. Now that it has got nerfed to the ground it is not as good on Swain, previously being my favourite to the Resolve tree. Though, it is still the best option out of the three.


I like having a start to my Zhonya's Hourglass if it's that kind of game, so Perfect Timing will help out big time.

Biscuit Delivery can bring a lot of sustain in lane, but with it I prefer to take Time Warp Tonic to elongate the effect.

I like the cooldown I get on Zhonya's Hourglass or any other item and abilites, it pairs well with any of the first row choices.


Swain's ravens collect Soul Fragments that heal him. Swain can right-click an immobilized enemy champions to pull them closer to him, dealing damage and ripping out a Soul Fragment.
This is a very cool passive, and I like it because you control it. You collect soul fragments with your abilities so you can use your ultimate. The more stacks you have the more effect the second proc of the ultimate will have.

COST: 65/70/75/80/85
RANGE: 725
DAMAGE: 55/75/95/115/135 (+40% AP)

Swain unleashes several bolts of eldritch power that pierce through targets killed. Enemies hit take more damage for each bolt they are struck by.
This is a really good poke tool and you can spam it in lane + farm with it.

COST: 70/85/100/115/130
RANGE: 3500
DAMAGE: 100/150/200/250/300 (+70% AP)

Swain opens a demon eye that deals damage and slows enemies. Champions hit are revealed and also grant Swain a Soul Fragment.
This is actually Eye of Missed Skillshots, because you will never hit anyone with it unless they're rooted. No one sane would just walk into it. It's good for getting vision and you use it in your combo aka just pull them into the eye with your E.

COST: 60/65/70/75/80
RANGE: 850
DAMAGE: 35/70/105/140/175 (+25% AP)
ROOT: 1.5 second(s)

Swain launches a wave of demonic power forward. It then returns to Swain and roots enemies it hits.
Ah, Swain's signature move, ' Nevermove', or as they call it 'stupid caster minions in my way'. It will take some time to actually understand when the second hit will come through and when it wont, so you will probably spend tome time farming the back line minions instead of champions in lane. In teamfights it's actually pretty good and it can make sick plays.

RANGE: 650
DAMAGE: 35/50/65 (+14% AP) every second

Swain transforms into a demon and drains health from the 3 closest enemy champions. After draining enough health, Swain can cast Demonflare to end his transformation and decimate nearby enemies with a nova of soulfire.
This is a great ability. It doesn't have a huge cooldown like, say, Karthus ulti. Whenever you feel like you can just cast this nuke of an ability, deleting health bars and healing yourself in the process. If I am not tanky enough, I take Zhonya's Hourglass with me.

> > >





















#1. Death's Hand
2 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 8

#2. Nevermove
1 / 9 / 10 / 12 / 13

#3. Demonic Ascension
6 / 11 / 16

#4. Vision of Empire
3 / 14 / 15 / 17 / 18
I like to take my E first, just to shield myself from any level two ganks or tri-bush cheese, however I max it second in most cases. In other cases, where I want to limit the mobility of my enemy, or counter their CC, I max it first for a smaller cooldown. If I'm against, say, Renekton, I want to wait for him to use two dashes and maybe stun me, if I am sure I can tank through it, then use my combo. Making sure he used two dashes means that he can't dash away from my E.

I get Q second and I max it first usually. It's a good poke tool and I can spam it in lane since it regenerates some mana back. Talk to the lightning hand.

I take Vision of Empire last, because its a skillshot that you most likely won't land alone without your E. It's good for vision and getting stacks on your passive after E.

Take Demonic Ascension at the available levels (6, 11, 16)

Turrets have 1095 sight range, 775 attack range and deal physical damage. They grant their team true sight, allowing it to see all traps and stealth units within their vision range.

There are four kind of turrets depending on their location:

Nexus towers: Located in front of the nexus, there are two of them.
Inhibitor towers: Located in front of each inhibitor, guarding the entrances to the base.
Inner towers: Located in front of the inhibitor towers.
Outer towers: Located in front of the inner towers.
Towers can only be targeted and damaged if they are the first structure standing in their lane. Turrets located behind the first standing structure are invulnerable and untargetable until the first one is destroyed. Inner towers only become vulnerable when their outer tower is destroyed, and inhibitor towers only become vulnerable when their inner tower is destroyed. Nexus turrets are invulnerable and untargetable until one inhibitor is destroyed. If a turret is destroyed while one of its shots is in mid-flight, that shot will not deal damage. Turret shots travel at a speed of 1200.
Make sure to last-hit a turret as it will grant you 400 gold which can put you at a big advantage if you spend it right. It will also be beneficial for your team as they will gain some gold too. Getting a first turret might relieve the pressure off of your teammates, but it will transfer it to you, as you will be targeted more.
However do not pass an opportunity to get first turret blood, it is just too big of a bonus to miss !


The gist here is that turrets won't fall over at 5 minutes when the enemy team groups up and hard-pushes your lane. Instead, as they chip your turret down, they'll get some extra gold to reward their aggression while your turret becomes increasingly harder to kill. It’s win-win: Lane bullies get more turret gold than before while late-scaling champs have a more reliable window of safety to farm under turret. This also means your lane won't be decided as heavily by the success or failure of other lanes since their own turrets are harder to take too. The falloff mechanic ensures lane phase won't be too much longer on average and makes plating gold a true advantage for early-game champs since once it's gone, it's gone.

PLATING: Outer turrets begin the game with five temporary plates. A plate is broken for each 1000 damage dealt to the turret. (Plates don't have health of their own.)

PLATE STRENGTH: Turret plating grants 40 armor and magic resist at game start

PLATE BREAKING: Dealing 1000 damage to an outer turret also causes a plate to break, granting 160 gold (divided among nearby champions) and increasing the turret's armor and magic resist by 30 until turret plating falls off
BULWARK For 20 seconds after a plate is destroyed, the turret also gains Bulwark, granting an additional 25 armor and magic resist for each nearby enemy champion past the first. Multiple instances of Bulwark stack if multiple plates are destroyed within a 20 second window.

FALLOFF: Turret plating falls off at 14:00, causing outer turrets to lose ALL armor and magic resist and making unclaimed plating gold permanently inaccessible

First Turret Bonus:
FIRST BRICK: 300 gold ⇒ 150 gold (reduced to accommodate turret plating gold)

Outer Turrets:
HEALTH: 3800 ⇒ 5000
AD SCALING: 4 per minute ⇒ 9 per minute
AD CAP: 180 at 7:30 ⇒ 278 at 15:00

ARMOR & MAGIC RESIST: 55 ⇒ 0 (replaced by turret plating)
ARMOR & MAGIC RESIST SCALING: +1 per minute ⇒ 0 (replaced by turret plating)
GLOBAL GOLD 50 (unchanged)

Inner Turrets:
AD SCALING: 4 per minute ⇒ 9 per minute
AD CAP: 250 at 28:00 ⇒ 305 at 18:00
GLOBAL GOLD: 100 ⇒ 50

Inhibitor Turrets:
AD SCALING: 4 per minute ⇒ 9 per minute
AD CAP: 250 at 28:00 ⇒ 305 at 18:00
GLOBAL GOLD: 150 ⇒ 50

Nexus Turrets:
AD SCALING: 4 per minute ⇒ 9 per minute
AD CAP: 230 at 28:00 ⇒ 285 at 18:00
GLOBAL GOLD: 75 ⇒ 50

Dragons, also known as drakes, are powerful monsters that can be found in Summoner's Rift. Their camp is located in the river alcove on the lower right side of the battlefield.

There are five types of dragons:
- Cloud Drakes are useful for both teams regardless of their gold lead or deficit; leading teams can create pressure, split push, and rotate around the map faster for positioning, while trailing teams can still use it to expand vision, respond to split pushing, and position defensively.
-Even with a single stack, Cloud Drake can be very powerful in split push comps, especially if it's denied to the enemy team.
- Infernal Drakes are highly contested and considered by many players the strongest dragon due to its raw power boost. If viable, contest the dragon at all cost.
-In the early game the percentage increased won't make a difference, but the Infernal Drake's late game power is massive.
- Mountain Drakes are also very powerful late game as it makes objectives like Baron Nashor easier to deal with.
-Siege comps can benefit greatly from Mountain Drake as it provides additional pushing power against structures.
- Ocean Drakes are deceptively powerful during the laning phase; backing off for several seconds allows its beneficiary to extend its presence in lane and can make the difference in some even match ups.
-Another benefit of Ocean Drakes is the ability to mitigate damage against poke comps, forcing the enemy team to spend more mana and delaying or even preventing potential flanks.
-Due to their tankiness and the strength of the buff they provide, attempting to kill an Elder Dragons usually prompts the enemy team to contest the kill. Therefore, teams wishing to slay it must take great caution when doing so while the majority of the enemy team is alive, much like Baron Nashor.

The first four types are globally known as Elemental Drakes, which, when killed, permanently grant a Dragon Slayer buff Dragon Slayer stack, granting various effect based on the dragon killed. No more than one dragon can be present at the same time in the battlefield, but several different dragons can spawn at different times throughout the game. The Elder DragonSquare Elder Dragon grants a temporary buff called Aspect of the Dragon buff Aspect of the Dragon. Elder Dragons beyond the first for the same team grant Aspect of the Dragon buff Empowered Aspect of the Dragon, which is twice as effective and lasts twice as long.

All dragons are between levels 6 to 18 and all of their attacks are ranged.

Try to get them when: a) Bot Lane has just died and your jungler is in range; b)enemy jungler has died and it's not warded so you can try to sneak it, taking only the support to help.

Baron Nashor is the most powerful neutral monster on Summoner's Rift in League of Legends. Killing Baron Nashor grants Hand of Baron to all living teammates for 210 seconds. The buff gives bonus attack damage, bonus ability power, Empowered Recall, and an aura that greatly increases the power of nearby minions.

Soloing Baron Nashor is usually impossible. It is generally only feasible very late into the game with a champion who has immense sustainability, DPS, and tankiness; and even then it is not guaranteed. Most champions who are capable of soloing the Baron are bruisers or tanks such as Udyr, Warwick, Xin Zhao, or Nasus. However, there are some exceptions; a skilled Malzahar or Yorick player, for instance, has the ability to solo Baron with relative ease.

Killing Baron Nashor with a team is fairly simple. Baron primarily attacks the target closest to him, so with proper positioning, a tank or bruiser can be made to take the brunt of the damage.

Try to get Baron once most of the enemy team is dead or when the jungler is dead, but beware of the rest of the team trying to steal it. Watch out if it is warded.

Remember to always tell your jungler to ward Baron or even go ward it yourself, and if you do not succeed at stealing it try to kill the enemy team as fast as you can so they lose the buffs.

Swain is very flexible, in the sense that he can be the front line, or the back line, depending on the style in which you decide to build him, basen on your team. If you don't have 2 or even any tanks, go tank mage Swain, if you do, however, you can opt for more AP than HP oriented items, since you are not too squishy anyway. In teamfights I prefer to go in with W(to scout out with vision)>E>Q>R>zhonya's(if needed). With the healing from the ulti you will gain back a lot of HP+your W has a better chance to hit with more targets around.

Swain is a sustain mage and he can be great in many matchups. His skill curve is not big, so you will be able to pick him up quite quickly, only having to adjust to the skillshot hitbox, as with all champions. If you're already skilled in aiming it shouldn't be a problem. You will end up casting E on the back line caster minions numerous times, but it will improve with practise.

If you enjoyed my guide make sure to check out others I've made:
-In-Depth Veigar Guide
-In-Depth MF Guide
-In-Depth Ekko Guide
-In-Depth Morgana Guide

Feel Free To Ask Questions!

7/11/18 Published Guide
20/11/18 Added New Runes
21/11/18 Added Two New Synergies and New Turrets

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League of Legends Build Guide Author undeadsoldiers
undeadsoldiers Swain Guide
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