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Swain Build Guide by 1v1atBaron

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League of Legends Build Guide Author 1v1atBaron

Swain Daddy Coming Down the Lane

1v1atBaron Last updated on June 18, 2014
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MID Lane

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Middle Lane
Ranked #9 in
Middle Lane
Win 50%
Get More Stats

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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 0


Utility: 9

Threats to Swain with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Yasuo Though you do counter Yasuo in a variety of ways, i.e., he needs to get up close and personal making him easier to root, but playing aggressively early is not suggested as he can outtrade Swain.
Akali When she jumps to you simply ult and Nevermore her. This will pretty much deter any further aggression.
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Introduction to the Swain Train

Swain Daddy walks down the lane...
Stuff dies.

This is my first guide (be gentle with me) for a champion I really enjoy playing, especially since Swain is not played much. Many people in lower tiers of play do not know how to properly handle a Swain.

Pimp Cane + Swarm of Angry Birds = Dead Enemy Champions.
It is that easy.

This guide is still being worked on, the gist of it is here. Enjoy!

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More About Swain

Swain is a champion who lacks high early game burst like or

Nor is he a champion who is totally a face roll, i.e., mash all four buttons at once and stuff drops dead: or

Overall, Swain is a more defensive champion and through his ability to sustain can maintain his presence within the lane for very prolonged periods of time. Swain is also a great champion for when team fighting begins to occur, he walks into team fight and everyone either runs away screaming or they have the audacity to look at him funny.

Those people die. One way or another.

Like I mentioned earlier, Swain is a mid laner who has been forgotten and is rarely seen on the Rift. He is worth picking up as he is not only a fun champion but he also a great asset to the entire team.

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The Ways of the Swain Daddy

There are two ways, that I know of, that you can play the Swain Daddy.
1. The Pusher
2. Burst Sustain

I will go in detail on these two play styles, both of which are covered within the guide.

1. The Pusher

This is exactly as it sounds. You continual pressure your lane, which is why you put two points into your ability Nevermove first, to assist with farming and harass. This allows you to keep your lane pushed by rooting minions and the enemy champion. Swain's W is his highest damage skill; however, his snare does take some skill in landing due to the delay before it actually snares the enemy.

Early lane phase should consist of focus lying on last hitting and harassing the enemy with Nevermove. Nevermove is the highest damage skill, but it does have relatively high mana costs, so be careful! Once you hit Level 4 you are then able to combo with all four skills, and this carries over to when you hit Level 6.

For both mid to late game, you should be prepared to team fight. Especially when you have Zhonya's Hourglass. Rush into a team fight and activate Zhonya's to show them you mean business.

2. Mr. Burst Sustain (The 2nd build)

Now, you are probably thinking, wait! Didn't you just say that Swain is not bursty? Yes, I did, Swain has moderate burst, but his strength lies in combination from that and his sustained damage from abilities like Torment and Ravenous Flock.

The variation from the previous build lies in more emphasis on increasing AP and your overall burst on solo champions. The two optional burst items I listed are Void Staff and Deathfire Grasp. These two items make Swain a better duelist as opposed to focusing on his team fight capability. Another variation from the build is the change in mana item, i.e., Chalice of Harmony versus Catalyst the Protector. Athene's Unholy Grail gives Swain magic resist and a passive focused on mana regeneration, which in the case of the Swain Daddy are both pluses. Traits that allow him to duel better and give him greater presence within fights.

I personally play the push Swain solely because landing his snare has become semi-easy, and I prefer being able to help the entire team.

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Pros / Cons


+ High Sustain
+ Heavy CC in the form of a snare/root
+ Incredible team fight potential
+ AP Off-tank, i.e., a durable mid laner
+ Jungle pressure nonexistent after level 6
+ High Dueling Potential from ridiculous sustain
+ Demon bird transformation


- Slow, low movement speed. (He waddles)
- Difficult early game, susceptible to early game high burst
- CC is hard to land from a long range
- Does not handle ranged champions well
- Healing debuffs will cause his ultimate Ravenous Flock to lose effectiveness
- Blue Buff Dependent!

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Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Ability Power

Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Magic penetration marks are the standard for most mid laners and the most effective rune type, this doesn't changes for Swain Daddy.


The seals of scaling health make Swain a bit more beefy at level 18 you gain around 216 extra health. The more health he has simply means he can stick around a lot longer in fights, which is good! The longer Swain can stay in the fight the more damage he can dish out.

For the pusher build I suggest seals of mana regeneration as this will buff your already ridiculous mana sustain. This will give you more wiggle room to harass the enemy mid laner. However, it is worth noting that the regen from these runes (which is around 3.69) can be surpassed by your passive at level 6 and by your passive by simply last-hitting, and/or the passive regen on Doran's Ring

Your preference!

For the second build I suggest these two variants of runes. The reason being I like to have the early advantage of the base AP from flat runes combined with the extra AP per level from the scaling seals; however, that is my preference and you may want to simply go nine of one or the other, and if that is the case I suggest scaling AP over flat because the AP gained from scaling runes surpasses that of flat runes.


One choice for glyphs could be scaling AP runes, these, similar to the scaling seals, simply give Swain some more punch in fights.

These glyphs allow Swain to take more of a beating giving him around +12 magic resist. Definitely a consideration for walking into team fights.


I mostly grab these for most of my AP champions, +15 ability power at level 1? GIMME GIMME GIMME.

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A quick overview of relevant masteries within each tree.
Offensive Tree

I take this mastery to help with Swain's last hitting. Falling behind in CS can be very bad for Swain Daddy, he needs gold.

An 15% increase in both damage dealt and received.
The important aspect of this mastery is that you receive that damage back. This is not ideal for Swain as he is most times going to be the focus of a team fight, and dying quicker does not help him nor the team. I would waste a point on this.

Depending on how you want to play Swain this mastery is worth taking, especially since Swain is so team fight orientated. Would consider putting a point here.

Lets fact it, Swain Daddy is going to be killing plenty of champions, so why not get some benefits from that? As in restoring 5% missing mana/health.

This is another mastery worth looking at as it gives auto attacks +1 extra magic damage per 20 AP, helping last it.

Utility Tree

Anything to help the Master Tactician limp around the Rift is good. Why? Because you want to be able to quickly limp to a fight quicker and participate in the resulting slaughter.


Because who doesn't want Swain to have more mana/health regen?

Now for a big toss up.


Both masteries benefit any mid laner; however, this comes down to preference.

For Swain Runic Affinity is pretty essential due to how mana hungry he is, specifically his ultimate, it allows him to hold onto that blue buff a bit longer and continuously use abilities when it matters.

Culinary Master , is another option, as it gives Swain a buffed starting potion which gives back more health + a bit of mana, this allows him to be a bit more aggressive in lane.

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Skill Sequence

Swain Daddy's Skills

The combination of skills for Swain is as follows: E+Q+W+R


Carrion Renewal

  • Swain's Passive. Killing an enemy he regains 9 Mana, +1 each level. Upon killing an enemy champion Swain restores 9% of his maximum Mana.
  • His passive gives incentive to last-hit minions to not only regain Mana but also gold.
  • Allows for harassing enemies with abilities before hitting level 6.
  • With Carrion Renewal Swain can push with Ravenous Flock + Nevermove


  • Swain's Q, a damage over time, also slows target while being hit.
  • Excellent followup after landing Torment
  • Setting up a Nevermove
  • Chasing or slowing a chase
  • The abilities full duration does lots of damage, as such if you land Nevermove before casting it the damage is maximized.
  • The Laser Bird will continue to hit targets even if they are untargettable/stealthy


  • AoE Nuke, a high damage ability, which snares targets within the area of effect (Champions are still able to use non-mobility abilites/auto-attacks).
  • This skill is Swain's best form of CC; however, it is difficult to land.
  • Nevermove can be used to snare enemy junglers, lane opponent, and saving allies from chases.


  • Deals damage over time and increases the damage coming from him by a percentage. In combination with all his other abilities this makes Torment Swain's best ability.
  • Damage is also includes active item abilities, e.g., Deathfire Grasp and auto-attacks.
  • Use Torment is a great harass to enemy laners at early levels, pepper them with a few auto-attacks and show them that Swain Daddy means business.
  • When used in combination with Ignite an unprepared enemies health will melt.

Ravenous Flock

  • The demonic bird transformation that makes Swain an absolute terror once he hits level 6.
  • At least three different targets can be hit by a raven dealing damage, 75% of that damage to champions heals you, and 25% is healed from hitting minions/monsters.
  • A mana regeneration item paired with his ultimate will allow Swain to sustain himself both in lane and in a teamfight.
  • The best way to utilize Ravenous Flock is to pair it with Zhonya's Hourglass, walk into a teamfight with your team behind you and before people can turn on your use your ultimate in conjunction with Zhonya's active to deal major damage to the enemy team.

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Summoner Spells

Flash and Ignite are, in this Meta, standard. So take them. Lest you be the odd one out.

For the instances where you find yourself in these situations:
1. "****, Jungle is ganking and I am very much out of position"
2. "Enemy MID has low health, flash to secure kill"

Ignite is an extremely useful summoner's spell, especially during the laning phase.
Nevermove + Torment + Decrepify + ULTI + Ignite = A dead champion!

Another possible spell:

The only possible use for TP is to simply give you more map control, and more control over creeps. A scary thought, eh?