Swain Build Guide by karolis123
Season 11 Swain Support Full Guide (MoonStaff Update)
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Ability Levelling
Threats & Synergies
Laning is impossible
Champion Build Guide
|Swain is a weird hybrid of a mage and an engage support, he has burst in the laning phase with a great CC all in combo and transitions into being a pseudo-tanky battle mage that can fight up close. He excels in skirmishes and teamfights, given his big ultimate , his pull which can be procced of ally's CC spells and his W which can spot enemies that are out of vision or trying to run away.|
+ Lots of Damage for a Support
+ Great Pick Potential
+ Good All in Pressure post 6
+ Really Good at Utilizing Ally CC
-Relatively Short Ranged
-Weak vs Grievous Wounds
Electrocute is a good standard keystone rune as it's probably the easiest to use since you just need to E
to proc it. It's generally good for its burst, Cheap Shot adds to that since it's going to be proccing of off your E
. Eyeball gives you AP on takedowns and Ultimate Hunter lets you have you ult up more often.
Your secondary runes for this page are going to be Inspiration , running Perfect Timing and Biscuit Delivery, I prefer these but you can also take Magical Footwear instead of Perfect Timing , I previously had Magical Footwear as the one I prefered, but with Season 11 changes to the meta, I think Perfect Timing is better currently.
Conqueror is another keystone that works well on Swain, especially against lanes where you can really burst e.g tank support and a long range ADC that you can't ever hit. It also scales better, and in later fights stacking up the extra AP and healing is generally going to be more beneficial than one Electrocute proc, this requires the enemy champs to be short range or a lot of melees so that you can stack Conqueror for a fight. This page also gives you access to Presence of Mind which returns Mana after you get kills or assists. Finally you get Legend: Tenacity which is useful against champions with CC, and Coup de Grace makes you deal more damage to low health targets.
Your secondary runes for this page are yet again are going to be Inspiration , running Perfect Timing and Biscuit Delivery, I prefer these but you can also take Magical Footwear instead of Perfect Timing , I previously had Magical Footwear as the one I prefered, but with Season 11 changes to the meta, I think Perfect Timing is better currently.
DISCLAIMER: This Rune page is not as good as it was with Hextech GLP-800 in Season 10 since Everfrost functions differently, And I'm not sure if I should remove this page since I don't find myself running it at all. I figured I'd keep it but put a disclaimer that it's not what it was in Season 10, but you can still maybe play it with Everfrost if you wish.
Glacial Augment is the third and final page that I would recommend. It lets you stick to targets with your Auto Attacks which in turn is letting your Q
deal more damage since the spell does more damage when you hit more bolts, in short; being closer to enemies=your Q
deals more damage. This page gives you the aforementioned Magical Footwear/ Perfect Timing and Biscuit Delivery, on top of Cosmic Insight which gives ability haste, meaning your spells are shorter CD.
Your secondary runes for this page are Domination : Cheap Shot and Ultimate Hunter which are mentioned in the Electrocute page of the guide.
[PASSIVE] RAVENOUS FLOCK
Swain's ravens collect Soul Fragments that heal him and permanently increase his maximum health. Swain can right-click an immobilized enemy champions to pull them closer to him, dealing damage and ripping out a Soul Fragment.
Swain's Passive is something you can control, so while it may be tempting to use its as soon as you see it, you can wait until the last second of the CC to make the CC duration longer. The CD of the passive means you should track like an ability since you don't want to be using it when you won't be able to make use of the enemy being pulled e.g too far away/you're outnumbered/enemy coming at you anyway.
It's also a spell that allows you to pull Enemy champions when Ally's CC, meaning it's great to lane with champions that can let you pull enemies such as Jhin W Deadly Flourish ,Draven E Stand Aside ,Senna W Last Embrace , Ashe R Enchanted Crystal Arrow etc.
You gain Soul Fragments with your passive, Although You don't really do anything with souls actively, they just restore some HP and add to Your permanent HP after hitting Swain's W or Use his Passive. You also get souls from walking near recently dead enemies.
[Q] DEATH'S HAND
Swain unleashes several bolts of eldritch power that pierce through enemies. Enemies hit take more damage for each bolt they are struck by.
Swain's Q is going to be your main DPS spell in longer fights, as it has the shortest CD and Damage, It's going to be dealing more damage when you are closer to the Enemy, but you can use it as poke in lane especially when the enemy ADC or Support missteps, using either your E > P > W > Q for all ins or simple Auto > Q for a short trades.
[W] VISION OF EMPIRE
Swain opens a demon eye that deals damage and slows enemies. Champions hit are revealed and also grant Swain a Soul Fragment.
Swain's W is a great tool to slow enemies when they are running away from, or at you. It's an excellent spell for checking spots where the enemy JG might be pathing based on if the camps are up, and also checking routes where a midlaner might roam from. It's generally good to use when you see an Ally fighting, either to assist some damage, slow an Enemy, or simply block a path an Enemy is running to. Last thing I'll say is that it's also nice to be able to check bushes or objectives without having to facecheck them.
Swain launches a wave of demonic power forward. It then returns to Swain and roots enemies it hits.
Swain's E is going to be the main CC spell that allows you to all in an enemy and let you unload your combo on, it goes through minions so it's a little bit easier than other hook champions, with the downside that it roots the last target hit, meaning if there are minions behind an enemy its best not to throw it out.
[R] DEMONIC ASCENSION
Swain transforms into a demon and drains health from nearby enemy champions, minions, and neutral monsters. Swain can cast Demonflare to decimate nearby enemies with a nova of soulfire, dealing damage equal to a portion of the health he drained and ending his transformation.
Swain's R makes you deal AOE Damage during its duration meaning your going to damaging multiple targets with this spell.
Try to ult when the fight is starting to go All in, and you can get close to enemies, not while both teams are dancing around waiting to start. This also means that if Enemies start running at you to engage, Use the Ult as it makes you a little harder to kill. It doubles the bonus health gained from the passive making you a little more durable, but if if your around multiple Enemies draining them it's likely that they will try to burst you, and this is where Zhonya's Hourglass usefulness comes in, as you can activate R and Zhonya. You can end it early or wait out the duration for an AOE Explosion Demonflare damage, which is good for finishing enemies of.
The MoonStaff build revolves around two items Moonstone Renewer and Staff of Flowing Water, this build allows Swain to heal and buff allies A LOT while still being a build centered around having AP. The base stats of the mythic Moonstone Renewer is the same as Imperial Mandate so your play style isn't changing drastically.
Moonstone Renewer heals allies while in combat, so when you have teamfights as Swain and you are in your Ult your going to benefit from this, and Staff of Flowing Water will give allies movement speed, 10% extra heal from Moonstone Renewer. All around these items have very good synergy together.
The mythic passive also gives Ability Haste per Item which is a stat that is great on Swain. It's Pretty Good that these items are very easily affordable on a Support budget and Doesn't change up your gameplay, other than when you will have a completed Zhonya's Hourglass.
Starting items for Swain will really never change, You're going to have Relic Shield, 2 Health Potions, and a Stealth Ward . Spellthief's Edge can sometimes be useful against melees that can't engage that well on you, such as Braum or Tahm Kench but for the most part I would say that Relic Shield is going to be more consistent in getting your quest completed for wards.
Considering your first Recall will be around level 4-5, and have enough gold for Dark Seal and Refillable Potion maybe a Control Ward, then these are going to be your options. Refillable Potion is going to give you sustain from early to mid game, and Dark Seal just gives you some AP and Health for a budget price, that also helps snowballing.
Moving from the early game you can start to buy component items like Amplifying Tome, Blasting Wand, Bandleglass Mirror, Kindlegem, Fiendish Codex, that build into your full items , as well as your boot options once you get the them from Magical Footwear or if you buy them. Boot options range from Defensive, like Plated Steelcaps against Attack based champions or Mercury's Treads against AP/CC champions, And Offensive like Sorcerer's Shoes which boost your damage, or Neutral Ionian Boots of Lucidity that can give you some extra Ability Haste.
|Imperial Mandate is a good general option for Swain Support as it gives Health and AP, two stats he makes good use of, The Price being something a Champion on a Supports Gold Income can buy consistently, and giving an extra source of Damage for You and Your Ally in it's passive that procs when you CC an Enemy Champion, e.g Swain's E or W .|
|Liandry's Anguish Is going to be a good option against multiple HP stacking enemies, Or if you just get a lot of gold from kills and can afford it, but generally on a Supports Gold Income it might be hard to complete.|
|Everfrost Is in a similar situation as Liandry's Anguish in terms of gold, but is made up for the fact that it give you HP to survive longer considering your going to be lower level than most other Roles and an Active that can proc your Passive, aswell as working well with Glacial Augment.|
|Zhonya's Hourglass Well rounded item AP,Ability Haste and Armor, making it a good option against multiple AD treats, or purely for the active which synergizes well with your Ultimate .|
|Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives Swain HP and AP, Two stats he loves and its passive slows enemies, meaning when you cast your Ult its slowing everyone getting hit by your Ult which gives some Utility for your team but also for yourself as it's easier to get up close and use your Abilities, Q deals more damage the closer you are so you can see the synergy there.|
|Demonic Embrace Decent Stats, and a passive which makes you harder to kill[gives Armor and Magic Resist in Combat] and deal more damage [gives you %HP Damage over Time]|
|Void Staff Good VS Enemies that build a lot of Magic Resist|
|Cosmic Drive Good Stats in terms of HP and AP, gives A LOT of Ability Haste, and a passive that makes you faster when hitting enemies meaning it's easier to run someone down in your ult .|
|Banshee's Veil Decent option if enemies have a lot of Magic Damage, bit overshadowed by Spirit Visage|
|Spirit Visage Good against Magic Damage heavy teams, and when you're required to be somewhat of a frontline, and increases your healing in ult|
|Zeke's Convergence Cheap source of Health and Armor, when you want to be tankier, useful with onhit ADCs due to its Passive. Ability Haste and Mana is a nice bonus too.|
|Morellonomicon Useful against teams that have multiple sources of healing, and you can buy just Oblivion Orb for the Grievous Wounds passive, which is only 800g, and build other Items without having to commit to a full Item.|
|Rabadon's Deathcap Straight up it just gives a lot of AP and increases your current AP, Generally stay away from it as I don't really see when building this item is good, except hyper late game when you just need a lot of AP and can sell something else.|
Swain should be starting E in every game as Support since it's hard to justify ever taking Q or W , given that E also gives him access to his Passive from the very start, giving you what is essentially two abilities.
E start enables you to invade enemies/expect an invade with the potential being that you can root multiple enemies(if they are stacked) with the actual spell, and then single out 1 enemy using your passive pull .
It also opens you up to cheeses when the enemy is coming back from leashing, and is the best spell to have for the laning phase.
Once the actual lane starts, you can go for lvl 1 E >Pulls, since it doesn't put you at an aggressive position, and just using it to trade lvl 1 is fine since it's not taking you out of the neutral lane position.
You should spend level 1 trying to get level 2 from the first wave and 3 melees from the second wave, and to threaten a level 2 advantage where you can fish for a E >Pull >W combo. Use Ignite if there's a kill here, mostly if your ADC also hits them and you expect the enemy to die, if they survive on low hp they either have to play extremely passive or recall either way you gain an advantage.
That although is the ideal and won't happen every game based on matchups, different ADC champions you are paired with will different levels of commitment, so pay attention to what the enemy champs and Ally ADC can do in the early levels and base your decisions of off that. Understanding this will come with time for the most part.
You should play Swain from a neutral position. This means that you should look for opportunities for the enemies to missposition, rather than being overly aggressive. This doesn't mean however that you should play overly passive, and should look to trade with enemies with AA>Q , or landing E >Passive Pull . You're in Lane to punish the enemies mistakes.
If the enemies are missing/dead you should help you're ADC to crash by spamming Q till the minions are low enough where they won't die to your minions but that your ADC can kill them easily.
Mid Game on Swain support doesn't change drastically in that you should still be with your ADC whether they are Mid Top or Bot, And you should look to respond to fights either by moving in anticipation, or using W to help out and just generally look for opportunities. Don't leave your ADC alone and Perma Roam.
Don't forget about Your Relic Shield quest if its not done since the wards will be invaluable in Mid Game, especially if you are looking for Roams since you should Ward around where your ADC is farming.
Swain loves to teamfight and around this point he should have his first item completed and maybe have a Stopwatch so look for good fights.
NOTE: You should ping Allies for the right play whatever it may be e.g Dragons/Turrets but At the end of the Day you're playing SoloQ and it's going to be a lot better to give into the chaos if your teammates aren't following your calls, since you can at least control what happens when following them rather than being stubborn.
In the Late Game, Try and see who from the enemy team is under-leveled or under-farmed as you generally want to know on who to focus, and who is too weak relatively to be a threat.
Your Gold Income as a Support will heavily rely on Winning fights, so take into account that you are going to be relatively Weak to the enemy carries and you won't be able to do anything alone unlike earlier in the game, So don't go too far up by yourself or get caught in Areas that are unwarded.
Considering the Death timers are longer at this point it's a lot easier to Win or Lose the Game from One potential fight. So At this stage don't take just any fight as its harder to keep track of enemy Teleports.
As Swain, and CC supports in general in the Late Game you are going to be Winning due to killing mispositioned enemies, so look to Catch enemies off guard.
If you aren't the only source of CC on your team, its going to be a lot easier to start a fight/catch because of your Passive >E which will be a long CC to pick of an enemy.
Roaming is straightforward enough in that you should look for time to impact the rest of the map when:
Swains strength in roams comes from his ability to follow up on Ally CC due to his Passive , And he offers CC himself. His damage is also a factor.
Another factor of roaming is what your jungle is doing and what champ they are playing, if it's something like Zac or Rammus you can make use of their CC for your passive pull. And if Mid has some hard CC you can do same.
After a roam you should look to getting back to Lane with your ADC so they don't miss CS but also just for yourself to get as much XP and Gold from being in a lane consistently Relic Shield, so don't overstay.
You shouldn't overthink roaming and You shouldn't go overboard with roaming either.
Warding Has a few different functions as a Support where you can:
Defensively Ward, meaning you ward on your side of the map,
Neutral Wards being in the River or bushes that are in the river,
And Finally Offensive Wards, which are on the Enemies' Side of the map.
When you should ward what and when generally depends on where your team or enemy team is and what they are doing, this just comes with experience.
Swain has the Added Bonus that his W gives vision from a very high range, so look to use that before just face checking.
Look to use Vision for your own benefit, to get a jump on the enemy team or look for picks and try to keep a supply of Control Wards .
When warding the area around an objective before it has Spawned, and there's not a fight waiting to happen, try to recall after warding to refresh your wards.