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Swain Build Guide by Taiack

Support Support Swain Train

By Taiack | Updated on January 11, 2020
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Runes: Small nerf of damage for HP increase

1 2
Cheap Shot
Eyeball Collection
Ingenious Hunter


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


Summoner Spels
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


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Support Role
Ranked # in
Support Role
Win 51%
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Ability Order This, Just this.

Threats & Synergies

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Champion Build Guide

Support Swain Train

By Taiack
Hi I am Taiack. I used to be a Jungle main, I switched to Support at the start of season 8. I have managed to reach Diamond 3 playing Swain support, along with Alistar, Blitzcrank, Brand, and Jarvan the 4th. I will be attempting to put as much useful information as I can, while I haven't been able to test a few matchups. This guide should be easy to follow. I will also be updating it as I learn more matchups, and probably learn more ways to improve this guide.

I have realized, the warding section may be too much info for this guide. I will be halting the planned section of warding lategame. I will be adding a link to another guide on warding alone.... I will have to make that before refining and linking to the new warding guide. For now, these sections will remain.

As I iterate on this guide certain portions, and examples may be changed. The game is ever evolving, and so should guides.
Why Swain as a Support? Back to Top
There are many reasons to take Swain as a support.
-Your team is lacking magic damage.
-You want to have kill preassure on bot lane.
-There are tanks already on the team.
-You just want to play Swain support.
-The enemy support is very squishy and sustain heavy. Sona/ Nami/ Soraka
Pros & Cons. Back to Top
Kill pressure from level 1
Can become tanky and still deal damage.
Versatile build paths allow different options of play.
Is able to take over a game.

CC can shut him down.
His Q can be blocked by minnions or other champs you didn't want to hit, or Yasuo/Braum walls.
He has the potential to make teammates miss their abilities by pulling them.
He can be out ranged by other supports like Xerath or Velkoz.
Abilities. Back to Top
Ravenous Flock Passive active - Swain can periodically target a nearby immobilized enemy champion to rip out a Soul Fragment from them. dealing magic damage and pulling them a short distance towards him.
Enemy champion takedowns will also leave a Soul Fragment behind.
Damage - 20-105 (based on level)(+30%AP)
Cooldown - 12 / 9 / 6

Passive- Swain's ravens bring nearby Soul Fragments to him, healing him for 4 / 5.5 / 7% of his maximum health and restoring 4 / 5.5 / 7% of his maximum mana. Each Soul Fragment collected permanently increases his maximum health by 5

Death's Hand Q
Swain unleashes five bolts of eldritch power in the target direction, dealing magic damage () to the first enemies they hit. Enemies can intercept multiple bolts, taking bonus damage. Bolts that kill their targets continue onward and restore 3% maximum mana. This can repeat indefinitely until the bolts reach their maximum distance.
Damage - 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 / 135 (+ 40% AP)
Bonus damage per bolt 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35%
Mana Cost - 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85
Cooldown - 7.5 / 6.25 / 5 / 3.75 / 2.5 seconds

Vision of Empire W
Swain summons a demonic eye at the target area, revealing it for 2 seconds, which explodes after 1.5 seconds, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit, halved against minions, and slowing them for 2.5 seconds. Enemy champions are revealed for an additional duration and have a Soul Fragment ripped from them.
Damage - 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 / 300 (+ 70% AP)
Slow - 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65%
Reveal Duration - 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
Mana Cost - 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 / 130
Cooldown - 22 / 21 / 20 / 19 / 18

Nevermove E
Swain launches a demonic wave in the target direction, dealing magic damage to enemies it passes through.
Upon reaching its maximum distance, the wave returns to Swain, detonating at the first enemy hit, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies and rooting them for 1.5 seconds.
Damage - 35 / 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 (+ 25% AP)
Detonation Damage - 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 / 75 (+ 25% AP)
Mana Cost - 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80
Cooldown - 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9

Demonic Ascension R
Swain frees the demon within for 12 seconds, doubling the health gained from souls. While Demonic Ascension is active, Swain drains all nearby enemies, dealing magic damage to them each second, and healing himself for each enemy hit, reduced by 90% against minions and monsters.
After restoring 125 / 300 / 450 health with Demonic Ascension, Swain can end its effects early to cast Demonflare, and automatically does so at the end of its duration.
Damage per second - 35 / 50 / 65 (+ 14.167% AP)
Heal per second - 20 / 35 / 50 (+ 16% AP)
Cast requirement - 1 Soul Fragment
Cooldown - 120

Demonflare R
Swain releases his stored Soul Fragments, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies based on how many he accumulated. (max 5)
Damage per Fragment - 45 / 60 / 75 (+ 21% AP)
Max Damage 5 Soul Fragments - 225 / 300 / 375 (+ 105% AP)
Early game Swain. Lane Phase. Back to Top
Swains Nevermove E is a great tool for level 1 invading. Extended invades early can net your team a substantial lead.

The goal level 1 is to fish for Nevermove E on the squishies. Though it does still work pretty well on melee supports. Hit someone with Nevermove E , right click to pull and auto them at least once. You should be able to chunk most champs by 25% or more just with Nevermove E Auto and Electrocute. (try not to be me and misclick multiple times, you'll let a free kill go, and look bad.)

Level 2 is basically the same thing, but you need to know the range that your Ravenous Flock Passive active moves championss and what direction. Once you hit an Nevermove E use Vision of Empire W where you are going to pull them, then pull and auto. This trade alone should net in a kill if you Ignite and auto/ Flash auto.

Level 3 is a repeat of level 2, with the extra damage from Death's Hand Q, This combo is the bread and butter of Swain. From here on out your Death's Hand Q will get much stronger, and you'll be able to use Death's Hand Q more frequently.

Levels 4 & 5 should be played basically the same as level 3. Note that your Death's Hand- Q will keep scaling. Which will quickly become usable by its self to trade. Also do not under estimate auto attack damage, and weave them in between Vision of Empire - W and Death's Hand - Q spell casts to maximize damage.

At level 6 you can all in. I recommend having Flash available so you can secure a kill.
Item Purchase Order. Back to Top
Start the game with Spellthief's Edge 2 Health Potion and Warding Totem.
Spellthief's Edge line is the best support item for Swain because, the ability power, damage on hit, mana regen, and gold for trading.(Or attacking towers.)

Your First Buy.
Upgrade your support item for its better stats, and increased gold generation. Grab a Control Ward.
Every time you base to buy, buy a Control Ward.
If you have used your Health Potions pick up Refillable Potion.
Buy Dark Seal for added damage, mana, and the ability to snowball a little bit better.
Also pick up Boots of Speed if you have enough gold. Early game you don't need boots because of Swains ability to disengage with Nevermove E and Vision of Empire W. If you do die, your positioning was bad or you missed your abilities.

By the time you're level 6 you should have figured out how you want to play the rest of the game out.
Supporty support swain.
If you managed to get take-downs start by picking up Aether Wisp and Kindlegem for Shurelya's Reverie. This item is ment for you to use as a chase item, or team disengage. Once you have Shurelya's Reverie the next most important item to have is Stopwatch. Make sure you upgraded your boots. Youre now locked into finishing Zhonya's Hourglass.
The game at this point should be pretty much over, if not, continue on with purchasing Zeke's Convergence bind it to your ADC, or someone who auto attacks and seams to live during fights. When you ult try to put yourself in places to bait the enemy damage and use Zhonya's Hourglass.

Full AP support.
If you're going toward full AP support style. Start off by upgrading your support item. Pick up Dark Seal, Refillable Potion and Boots of Speed. This build does much more damage, and you have more HP. Build for Haunting Guise then sit on it. Finish your Sorcerer's Shoes then Zhonya's Hourglass. After Zhonya's Hourglass is completed finnish the Liandry's Torment. The next item to build is Hextech Protobelt-01. The reasoning for buying Hextech Protobelt-01 is the HP and AP for the gold cost is great, also the active synergies's with your ult, does damage, and can put you in range to "shotgun" someone with your Death's Hand Q. On top of all of that Ingenious Hunter rune lowers the cooldown of the active. If you managed to still somehow be in the game after these builds are completed, go for Morellonomicon.
Warding. (Early-Midgame) Back to Top
You're not a support if you aren't providing and clearing vision for your team.

This ward map is for Blue SideRed Marks - Control Ward Placement.
Yellow Marks - Support item Wards.
Dark Blue - Places your ADC might ward. IF they ward at all.
Place your control ward here, everytime. The only people who will clear it will be the enemy midlaner, or jungler who is trying to dive you.
The Support item ward placement will give you(and your team)info further in advance than the warding spots you probably are use to. Also these spots give more meaningful info to your midlaner(who can now ward topside) and your jungler (counter jungle/gank info.)

This ward map is for Red SideRed Marks - Control Ward Placement.
Yellow Marks - Support item Wards.
Dark Blue - Places your ADC might ward. IF they ward at all.
Again. Place your control ward here. The only people who will clear it will be the enemy midlaner, or jungler who is trying to dive you.
The Support item ward placement will give you(and your team)info further in advance than the warding spots you probably are use to. The hard part is forcing your self to go ward. A very good time to move and ward is after forcing your lane in. You shouldnt miss more than 2-3 minnions of XP. (Ping your ADC to be careful wehn you do move to ward.) Also these spots give more meaningful info to your midlaner(who can now ward topside) and your jungler (counter jungle/gank info.)

This warding section has been moved. Please see this warding guide
Ingenious Hunter & Active item Cooldowns. Back to Top
Items that matter With this Setup only. These numbers do not take Commencing Stopwatch into account.(Its not part of the build.)
Zhonya's Hourglass - Cooldown can be reduced down to -72 seconds.
Shurelya's Reverie - Cooldown can be reduced down to - 54 seconds.
Hextech Protobelt-01 - Cooldown can be reduced down to - 24 Seconds.
Team Fighting. Back to Top
When a team fight breaks out, it may be tough to tell if you need to Demonic Ascension R. If you or someone else on the team is able to land CC on 2 or more targets, pop your Demonic Ascension R and get in there. The place for you to be is behind your frontline and infront of your backline. if you dont have Zhonya's Hourglass, or a Stopwatch be careful you arent going too far forward.

Your goal is to deal as much damage with your Death's Hand Q as possible on the closest weakest targets. and Nevermove E, Vision of Empire W the back line.
If you went the tanky route, with Zeke's Convergence and Shurelya's Reverie just get up close and personal. You should be tanky/sustain enough to win teamfights even if you die. Zeke's Convergence slow alone can win you teamfights.
Tips & Tricks. Back to Top
If you have trouble landing Nevermove E on enemys, pay attention to your minnions HP, when they move to last hit is the best time to cast Nevermove E.

Use Nevermove E to secure a kill on the way out, then Flash behind another enemy to root them.

Pay attention to the map, there will be many opportunities to use Vision of Empire W to block a path of an enemy leading to their death. Or to stop enemy backs, so that an ally or yourself can catch and kill them.

Death's Hand Q + Flash, to finnish off low enemys.

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