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League of Legends Build Guide Author Pads

Mastering The Tactician - Swain [AP]

Pads Last updated on January 2, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

People who play Swain may have read a lot of guides and builds to learn how to play him, so some of you might not see this guide as something more unusual than other guides, but that is because the best way to master this champion, is to stack up as much Ability Power as possible! That is if you want to rack up your stats, of course.
So, I'll get going with the guide now.
First of all, I recommend using either ghost or teleport as one of your summoner spell.
Ghost is great because Swain isn't very fast so it's great to have it for both chasing and fleeing.
Teleport is also a very good spell, since you mostly should go solo. So if you might die, you, can just teleport back to the turret, or if you just have to recall and buy some items. I took teleport as the recommended spell since it's better to have this spell if you are unexperienced with Swain. If you have played Seain for a while and feel comfortable with him, you can try ghost and see what you like best.
The second summoner spell is ignite. Ignite and Torment fits perfectly together, since they both do damage over time. So if an enemy champion is fleeing, use Ignite and Torment quickly and just wait for the "*** has slain ***" to pop up on the screen.

And now to the part which usually is the part people want to see.
What To Buy.
Your first choice is Doran's Ring. Unless you want to get the Mejai's Soulstealer or Catalyst The Protector as early as possible, that one is what I recommend as your first buy. The second item 'should be Boots of Speed, but only those. You don't really need the movement speed until a bit later, so just start of with the basic boots.
If you feel that you will get some kills without dying, I suggest buying the Mejai now, but if you get killed more than you kill, I suggest buying it later on in the game and buy Catalyst the Protector instead. But as soon as you're starting to get some kills without dying, I strongly recommend buying the Mejai.
Now it's time to upgrade your boots.
The best boots for Swain is the Sorcerer's Shoes because of the magic penetration.
Does the other team have spellcaster's with high AP or someone that stun, snare, slow etc?
Then the Mercury's Treads is highly recommended for it's magic resistance and great reduction of immobilizers.
Now the Rod of Ages is a very good choice, because of its passive and high AP, Mana and HP bonus.
By this time, you should have pretty much mana, depending on the items you've bought. Then it's a very good to get yourself an Archangel's Staff. Since it stacks up mana per used ability, and converts a percentage of your total mana into AP, then this is a great item for the ones who wants to get as much AP as possible.
Zhonya's Ring. Do I even have to say anything more? Awesome AP, and increasing your current Ability Power with 25%! With this, all you have to do is to put all of your spells on an enemy champion, enable your ulti and watch the wonders.
Now that you have 6 items, it is time to say goodbye to Doran's ring. If you have a fully stacked Mejai's Soulstealer and have all of those items, then you can't get alot more AP since it has a limit, but that is where the second Archangel's Staff comes in!
It stacks up your mana and with that, your AP, even if you have reached the limit!
If you don't have a fully stacked Mejai, then another Zhonya's Ring could'nt hurt, right?
Or yes, to the enemies, of course.
Other items that you can trade the ring for is a Hextech Gunblade or almost any other strong item, since your abilities already are very Over Powered.
You can of course try and change some of the items or try different tactics and such, since this is just my oppinion of a great build for Swain.

And now for some tactics.
You'd better paly a little defensive, since he is easily killed, and doesn't do very much damage until his AP is high. Keep your distance and try to get lots of last hits on the minions, since his Unique passive restores mana per kill. Train on timing your Nevermove, since it's a great ability and the stun is amazing if you're being chased or if you are chasing. It is also the ability with the longest range, which is why it is pretty good to take that one as your first ability and not Decrepify, since that one has a very short range and only do decent damage if they stay in its range for a long time.
If you think it's hard to time your nevermoves, try using Decrepify first and practice your timing (and handling of the champion if you're having trouble with him) in custom games so you are well prepared for your real opponents. but you really don't need more than one point in Nevermove until midgame or so, since it's stun isn't improved if you stack it. I usually have one point in Nevermove until I have 3 points in the other regular abilities, unless I use it very often.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this build you can just PM me, it would be much appreciated! I wish all of you who play this character and had a look at this guide a good luck and thank you for checking the guide out!