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Swain Build Guide by mandatorycloud

Middle Swain Mid/Top/Bot Season 9

Middle Swain Mid/Top/Bot Season 9

Updated on January 17, 2019
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League of Legends Build Guide Author mandatorycloud Build Guide By mandatorycloud 13 0 30,529 Views 0 Comments
13 0 30,529 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author mandatorycloud Swain Build Guide By mandatorycloud Updated on January 17, 2019
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Runes: Phase Rush

1 2 3
Phase Rush
Nimbus Cloak
Gathering Storm

Bone Plating

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)


1 2
Most Common
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport



2 Or More Healing Threats (Yes, this includes ADCs that go BoRK and Grasp Tanks!)

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

Swain Mid/Top/Bot Season 9

By mandatorycloud


Hey guys, mancloud here. This is my Swain guide that I've been meaning to make for a while now, but was waiting until preseason sort of settled down in case there were any major changes.

I've played mid lane professionally for various teams in the LCS and Challenger series and now I stream Master/Challenger gameplay on Twitch. Swain was one of my most played champs in 2018 (almost 400 games), and I thought I'd write on a guide on him. At the moment, I'm not playing very much Swain, but I still think he's a solid champ that has great versatility (can be played as top, mid or bot lane carry).

I still have quite a few things to update/add to this guide, like specific build paths, matchups, etc, but I figured it's good enough to upload for now.

Here are my links:

I stream my Master/Challenger games frequently on Twitch, follow/watch that here:


There are really only two types of keystones that you want to run on Swain. These are damage ( Electrocute, Grasp of the Undying) or utility ( Phase Rush). Deciding between the two will depend on what you're up against.

Most of the time, I decide which runes to run based off of what the enemy team can do. If they're very slippery and can easily get away from your ult, phase rush might be necessary to close the distance ( Ezreal, LeBlanc).

If their team comp is all about diving into you, then you can probably get by without the mobility, especially if they have a ton of CC (what good is a giant move speed buff if you're going to spend it stunned or rooted anyways). Examples of this would be Lissandra, Ryze, and Leona.

One aspect you can also consider is if you have a high amount of kill pressure in your lane. Electrocute might be much better if you have a Trundle or Camille jungle, as they have powerful set up for your Ravenous Flock -> Nevermove combo.

There are only two runes that I think should be taken 99% of the time and those are Transcendence and Nimbus Cloak. Almost always, if you're taking a Domination keystone, you should be taking Sorcery secondary. They're just too good on him. The 10% CDR helps you get to the 20% CDR sweet spot at level 13 (with 10% from Zhonya's Hourglass), and Nimbus Cloak allows you to reposition during Demonic Ascension which is crucial.

If you take Phase Rush, you have more flexibility. I highly recommend Second Wind and Revitalize if you end up going this route. The combination gives you a ton of regen in fights ( Ravenous Flock, Rod of Ages passive, Demonic Ascension drain) AND allows you to cast Demonflare sooner.

The way Swain's ult works is you have to drain a certain amount of HP before you can cast Demonflare. Revitalize increases the drain, allowing you to use your nuke much sooner. It's especially noticeable when draining 3 champions simultaneously.


The only starting item you should be taking as of the writing of this guide is Doran's Ring. Health synergizes with Swain's passive and Second Wind. Also, the 5 on-hit damage allows you to use your autos to match push from the opposing laner as Swain's waveclear is terrible for most of the laning phase.

Corrupting Potion is decent, but I don't think the extra bit of sustain is really worth the loss in AP, health and on-hit damage. I also do not generally run Inspiration for Time Warp Tonic, so the value of the potion is not as high as it should be.


P: Ravenous Flock

Important things to note with this is the healing off takedowns and from pulling someone scales with your max health, up to 7% at lvl 11. The cooldown is also very similar to your e at all stages of the game, to get a feel for when it's up.

Q: Death's Hand

Shotgun-like spell that deals insane damage up close at max rank (324+.96AP). When using this to waveclear, be sure to get multiple minions low because the bolts continue on and restore mana on unit kills. You will generally need about ~3 minions to get a free Q once you get a mana item.

W: Vision of Empire

This is a powerful spell that you should not cast randomly. It has a very high mana cost and is extremely easy to dodge if the enemy is paying attention or isn't CC'd. Use it to either a) combo with Nevermove or other CC, or b) force enemies to path a certain direction. Place it so if they choose to dodge, they are in a dangerous position (such as in E range or pathing into a teammate). The slow is very punishing, so people will almost always try to dodge it. Also gives you a soul fragment for Ravenous Flock healing.

E: Nevermove

This is your most important spell for trading. Keep in mind that on the spell's return, anything will cause it to detonate and it has a small AoE. Use it on the wave when the enemy is chilling in ranged minions for an easy pull.

Here is the standard trading combo you should aim for in lane:

This combo will proc Phase Rush and can set you up well for an all-in once you have your ult available.

R: Demonic Ascension Demonic Ascension and Demonflare

The most important thing to remember about Swain's ult is that you have to drain a certain amount of hp before you can detonate. It can drain from 3 targets, but is reduced against minions. In a teamfight with revitalize, you can almost instantly pop Demonflare. However, this leads me to the next most important part about Swain's ult: stacking your soul fragments.

In order to have strong ult damage, you HAVE to make sure you are getting soul fragments. Stack your passive by pulling from your Nevermoves/teammates' CC, by landing Vision of Empire, or by participating in kills. Every time this happens, your ult damage increases by 45/60/75 and .21 AP. The number of stacks can be the difference between barely tickling them and one one-shotting an ADC.

League of Legends Build Guide Author mandatorycloud
mandatorycloud Swain Guide
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Swain Mid/Top/Bot Season 9

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