Build Guide by Krazah
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Swain is an incredibly unique champion, who in my opinion rivals Malzahar in terms of just pure fun. Here is my guide for him. As stated at some point in all my guides, this is merely a suggestion on how to build and play this remarkably fun champion.
Amazing DoT output
Great for singling out targets in team fights
Has an AMAZING ultimate when trying to get away
1v2 or more = you are in trouble
Once you finish your move combo, you got nothin for a while
Even with his passive...mana is a big issue early-mid game
Ultimate DRAINS mana quickly if you don't pay attention
Carrion Renewal (Passive)- Swain's base mana regeneration is increased by 250% after killing an enemy unit.
Decrepify (Q)- Swain sets his raven to cripple an enemy. Over the next 3 seconds, the target takes damage over time and is slowed.
Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 Mana
Magic Damage: 25 / 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 (+0.25 per ability power) per second
Slow: 20 / 23 / 26 / 29 / 32 %
Nevermore (W)- Swain marks a target area. After a short delay, mighty talons grab hold of enemy units dealing damage and rooting them for 2 seconds.
Cooldown: 18/16/14/12/10 seconds
Cost: 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 Mana
Magic Damage: 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+0.5 per ability power)
Torment (E)- Swain afflicts his target, dealing damage to them over time and causing them to take increased damage from Swain's attacks for 4 seconds.
Cost: 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 Mana
Magic Damage: 72 / 110 / 148 / 186 / 224 (+0.6 per ability power)
Extra Damage Taken: 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20 %
Ravenous Flock (R)- Swain transforms into the form of a raven, during this time up to 3 lesser ravens strike out at nearby enemies each second. Swain is healed for half the damage dealt by the Ravens.
Cooldown: 15 seconds
Initial Cost: 25 Mana
Upkeep Cost: 5 / 7 / 9 Mana
Magic Damage: 50 / 75 / 100 (+0.2 per ability power)
A great starting item for early AP and Health.
I use this as my 2nd item in my Malzahar build. What I've realized is that spell vamp on Swain is actually incredibly potent and having this early game has it's advantages with torment.
Pretty much a standard caster boot choice, but use what you feel would work best for the game you are in and your own play-style.
Swain is extremely squishy, so getting this item early is a huge bonus for him. It allows you to have a bit of room to deal your spells and get out quickly without getting pummeled in 3 and a half seconds. It's not much but it certainly does help to have this extra health early.
Great item for casters in general, but especially for Swain for the AP + Mana
You may choose to get 2 of these, but I prefer getting other items.
I like this item for the spell vamp as well as the beneficial aura it gives. It's a great item for Swain especially mid-late game.
This is a great item as well, especially for Swain because of the magic resist buff as well as the magic resist debuff aura. This is really critical for swain and if you want more of this early, I suggest getting this after boots. (As long as you aren't terribly pressed for mana)
This is my final item. If you get this far in a game and are just trucking through the other team and they refuse to surrender the might of your Edgar Allen Poe references, grab this and end it.
Swain is not the easiest of champion's to consistently play well. He is, as a lot of champions are, very team dependent. However if you get fed and learn to play him well, you can be a destructive team carry with your damage and healing abilities.
The basic combo for Swain that I use is Q->W->E->Ignight->Ult.
(Decrepify for the slow ---> Nevermore for the snare ---> Torment immediately after for the multiplicative damage effect, (if you don't think you can do this all fast enough, cast decrepify, then torment, then nevermore)and ignite after torment for even more damage)
The ultimate at the end or the beginning of this rotation is up to you I do it at the end because by then all of your damage is in place and this allows you to deal even more damage while healing yourself, so even if they turn around to try and do something, it's too late
One thing I have to stress about Swain is that even though your ultimate returns a lot of your health, YOU ARE NOT A LIFESTEAL TANK. You are a squishy mage and you will be focused and will die. Play your cards right and you can be devastating, over-extend to much and your face will meet the snowy/spring time fields of justice quite quickly.
More updates will come with time, however I ask you to give my build a chance, and comment and tell me what you think. He's a fun champion, and I hope my build lets you enjoy this walking Edgar Allen Poe reference.