Click to open network menu
Join or Log In
Mobafire logo

Join the leading League of Legends community. Create and share Champion Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


Enter the MOBAFire Ironman and test your skills to compete for the $1,000 USD cash prize and a prestigious award! 🔥
Swain Build Guide by boboderaffe

Top An honest guide to Swain Toplane

Top An honest guide to Swain Toplane

Updated on January 24, 2022
Vote Vote
League of Legends Build Guide Author boboderaffe Build Guide By boboderaffe 40 4 56,869 Views 2 Comments
40 4 56,869 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author boboderaffe Swain Build Guide By boboderaffe Updated on January 24, 2022
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!
Would you like to add a comment to your vote?

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

Runes: The „Normie“

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Presence of Mind
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Cheap Shot
Ultimate Hunter

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport



The "Normie"/The "Zapper" / The "I'm trolling!"
The "Drain-Tank"
The "Conqueror is not enough"
The "Perma-Freeze"

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

Champion Build Guide

An honest guide to Swain Toplane

By boboderaffe
Why Swain Top?
Well, I love Swain since the rework. Back then, I loved the idea of the soul fragments empowering your ult and everything. It feels to me like he was much stronger in solo lanes back then. Some time around the start of season 11 I noticed he was a real beast but only until the first major changes to healing and grievous wounds, as well as item changes.

For a long time I have only very seldom played "BIG SWAIN" top with Frostfire, but always felt like something was missing. I wasn't satisfied with Liandry's not granting Health, the removal of Rod of Ages and the way they changed Seraph's.
With the Preseason 12 changes, I think he is a real monster in the toplane, if you can be patient.

Swain is not good in solo lanes
No, he really isn't. This is exactly why you have to spend the first 10-15 minutes only trading from a safe distance and always keeping an eye on the map.Surviving is always more important than trading! In 90% of cases you will outshine your lane opponent in teamfights later on ANYWAY. As long as he or she doesn't get ahead you're always going to be fine.

Pre 6 you are incredibly susceptible to ganks and you'll have to look for opportunities to W snipe the enemy midlaner or jungler to get some bonus stacks. Post 6 the power usually shifts in your favor. Swain ult gives you some bonus health, tick damage heal and usually an extra Q in all directions if you keep enemies inside your ult when it pops. While your ult is on cd, you will have to play as if you were level 5 again. DOn't take any chances and DON'T TAKE UNNECESSARY FIGHTS.

After Laning phase, ideally you want to stay as close to your team as often as possible and look for opportunities to fight while neutral objectives are up.
If your lane opponent excels in split pushing, only clear waves and only even BE there if you got TP up to join a fight.
What are the benefits of playing Swain Top?
Your biggest advantage is your greatest disadvantage. Nobody cares about toplane. Very rarely will opponents consider to gank or roam top because it'll usually cost them something on the other side of the map. That's why people like to say "Toplane is an island".

Now what does this mean? Well, it means you can scale freely for as long as you want to if you play accordingly. You're also going to have an XP lead on a solo lane.
And how is this a disadvantage? You want to fight a lot. You want your "Damage dealt to champions" stat to be as high as humanely possible at the end of every game.
This is why I strongly recommend TP for flanking or simply using it after a teamfight to go back to Lane (if absolutely necessary) to stop the enemy toplaner from taking towers.
How do I play Swain Top correctly
Your damage in the early game is low. I would refrain from using your Q at all unless the situation calls for it. Try to cast (AND HIT) your E+W+Passive as frequently as possible. The best opportunity to hit is if you cast it shortly before your lane opponent wants to last hit minions. Poke with AA against melee champions as often as you can. LEARN how to FARM with Swain, without using your abilites. If you can do all these things, while keeping an eye on the map, the worst that can happen in the worst of matchups is getting killed a few times.
When NOT to play Swain Top
Swain does extremely well against most Bruisers if you play him correctly, with some exceptions. However, he hates when he gets outranged.
See "Threats" to learn more about possible matchups.

Usually, off-meta picks like viktor, Akshan, etc. top can hurt you. The key is to KNOWING in champion select, who your lane opponent is going to be and what kind of runes and items you are most likely going to run. If you can't tell, always go for the "Normie" build and you WILL have an impact later on, it just might not be optimal for your lane. If you fear you're going to hard lose your lane, don't risk playing Swain, unless you want to learn from the experience.

Another thing is other people like to play AP picks too. The more AP there is the less likely it is for Swain top to be a strong pick. Swain top is going to be strongest if you have an AD midlaner.

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide