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Swain Build Guide by Dreadscythe95

Support Swain Support - "We Have The Momentum" [S10]

By Dreadscythe95 | Updated on July 23, 2020
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Runes: Offensive Swain Support

1 2 3
Domination
Electrocute
Cheap Shot
Ghost Poro
Ravenous Hunter

Sorcery
Manaflow Band
Transcendence
Bonus:

+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2
Offense
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked # in
Support Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Items

Ability Order "Strength is the only teacher."

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

Swain Support - "We Have The Momentum" [S10]

By Dreadscythe95
So Why Swain Support?
"The more they try to kill me the more they reveal I am on the right path."

I always believed that Swain was an excellent support. He has poke, slow, stun, vision, sustain and an area of effect ultime. Still he was not reliable enough to be an all out/full meta support. SO what changed? After his latest rework his Death's Hand dmg now passes through minions and his Demonic Ascension doesn't need 5 soul fragment stacks to work anymore, instead it stacks permanent health and does dmg according to how much you have channeled the drain effect, so he became even more reliable and even more tanky. This is what finally pushed me into maining Swain support and making this guide to share my thoughts for the strategy.

I hope that we will see more of Swain Support in the future since he is not just a good support but a quality support as well.

Update: It seems that Swain became an A/S tier support after patch 9.18 and a favorable meta pick for Worlds 2019 so I guess I was right after all.
A few Words for the Runes Back to Top
"They are five steps from realizing: I am ten steps ahead."


The reason for electrocute is simple, the dmg is a lot for a squishy adc (and sometimes a squishy support) and they don't expect a support to do that much dmg (especially when the adc in next to him to follow up).


Cheap Shot is excellent for Swain's combo since if he lands his Nevermove or Vision of Empire the dmg is even bigger.


Ghost Poro offers extra vision which is very important for bot lane and in some situations Swain's dmg is increased as well since you try to ward the enemy jungle a lot with a support.


Ravenous Hunter synergises very well with Swain's healing/sustain. Another good pick is Ultimate Hunter because it permanently reduces the cdr of the R and since Swain doesn't need stacks anymore he can always have an ulti available but since we already go full cdr for the build and runes I recommend Ravenous Hunter because if it gets stacked it can help Swain survive in a 5v5 and define the course of the entire game.


Scorch is very good for Swain because his early game poke is very strong but he can't survive easily very offensive ealry game bot duos. With the added poke it's easier for him to asnwer the enemy poke an dpush them out of the lane. Manaflow Band is another great option for Swain though. It is also very useful pre-6 for sustain which is great for the rest of the game as well since it permanently increases his mana pool and his mana regenration but not that much needed now that Shurelya's Reverie is not viable on Swain since his itemization offers him a lot of mana regen already with Rod of Ages while the added poke from Scorch can be very scary for the opponent team early game.


Transcendence offers early CDR that is crucial for Swain and since most of his items offer CDR transcedance transforms it into dmg which is a great investment. This is why we add the 1-10% CDR Rune since at lvl 18 combined with Transcendence it gives (2x10=20AP) and earlier CDR compared to just the straight 9 AP the 9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP) Rune gives.
Maxing: Q vs E Back to Top
"Pity stays the hand of the merciful, but not mine."

VS

Actually, when I made the guide, I thought people would see what I see when it comes to skill maxing but it seems that a lot people that haven't played a lot of Swain support believe that E maxing > Q maxing, WHICH IS WRONG. I shall explain:

While it is true that probably the most important thing in a supp is reliable CC, equally important is reliable poke. Before the latest Swain changes, when Death's Hand would not pass through minions, Swain couldn't poke reliably with it, so E maxing seemed more viable since a great Nevermove can increase your chances for an early kill.

The thing is that even when fully maxed, Nevermove has still 9 seconds cooldown (it falls to 5 with 40% cdr), which means that you won't use it more than once in a team fight, and neither the range nor the duration scale with upgrating, only the dmg (which is not a good excuse since Q does more).

On the other hand Death's Hand, when fully maxed, has a cooldown of 4 seconds (with 40% cdr it's actually ~2), making Swain a real threat and since it passes through minions it's very reliable as well.

So remember, Q > E > W. Swain is not Morgana. Morgana's whole kit revolves around hitting her Q, and it's a massive part of her full dmg. Swain is more about the consistent dmg,poke and burst while sustaining at the same time. Morgana is about binding enemies with her Q,R, while her W drains life and her E protects the carry from the enemy cc. In contrast, Swain is about the consistent dmg,poke and burst while sustaining at the same time. Morgana wants to perma CC the enemy, Swain wants to outlast and outdamage the enemy.
Explaining the Philosophy of the Build Back to Top
"The demon is always in the details."

The idea behind the build is:
1) It needs to be cheap, you are not the carry of the game and you won't have the gold of the other laners so you need cheaper items.
2) It needs to offer survivability. Swain plays as a tanky AP mage and so he needs Health (which will stack more by his passive), armor and magic resist. Swain needs to survive some time to put his massive CC, dmg and ultimate to the table so he needs to buy his time. As a support he also needs to initiate fights as well so he can't afford to be a glass canon. Eventhough he is the support, him being the first loss in a team fight will be a big breaking point for the team.
3)It needs 40% cdr. Swain is an offensive support that needs to spam his abilities a lot which means that cdr is crucial, allowing him to have a Q in less than 3 seconds. No worries though, most of the items in his build offer cdr. The cdr that will stack above 40% is not useless as well, since we take the Transcendence rune, which transforms the extra cdr to AP.

Let's explain the items:

Boots. Depending on heavy AD or AP team comps Tabis or Merc shoud be chosen. Sorcerer's are too much for a supp, you are not a carry. Ioanian Boots can be useful for the early CDR since Rod of Ages doesn't offer CDR and with Transcendence you turn that CDR above 40% into dmg so it's not going to waste. Still, the Support Swain path and the runes give him a lot of CDR so the Ionian boots are an overbuy after mid game.

Rod of Ages is such a good buy on Swain and the reason it that it's a cheap and tanky AP item that scales as the game progresses like Swain's passive. It gives AP, Health and a lot of Mana Pool and Sustain. it also scales into a very good AP item during the mid-game.

Zhonya's Hourglass is kind of obvious, except from the standart Armour, CDR and AP that help A LOT it also synergises extremely well with the Ultimate.
With the core build we are at 20% CDR already and so with Transcendence and the CDR Rune we can easily reach the 40% CDR mark in the mid game.

Liandry's Torment is a great item for Swain since it offers everything Swain needs, AP, Health and two passives that synergise extremely well with his kit, especially the Ultimate. The only downside is the price, which is quite big for a support. Nevertheless, at that point of the game if you are not behind, Swain is scailling very well and has a strong presence so he can farm (a bit) and gather a lot of assists and maybe even some kills so he can definitely afford it. If you are behind in game leave it for a cheaper and more defensive item. When you build it, you should definitely consider Rylai's Crystal Scepter. These 2 items have great synergy and you will have more survivability than with a Rabadon's Deathcap (still nothing comes close to the dmg that the deathcap offers). Finaly, Liandry's has also great synergy with Zeke's Convergence so if you want an all around defensive option instead of Rylai's, Zeke's is your item.

If the opponent team has a lot of AD and AP dmg and a final defensive item is needed then Zeke's Convergence is the ideal item cause it offers resists to both and the active is amazing with Swain Ult.

Twin Shadows is very good for Swain because for the extra movement speed, especially not that Shurelya's Reverie and Nimbus Cloack are not viable for Swain. Also the active is very good for locking enemy targets, a very useful ability for a support like Swain. The item is worth the cost instead of Rylai's against teams with a lot of mobility, burst and stealth (a lot of assasins for example).

Rylai's Crystal Scepter has amazing synergy with Swain. Health, AP and a passive that slows for every spell he casts (great synergy with the Ultimate). Evenmore, it has amazing synergy with Liandry's Torment, which you will build most of the time.

Morellonomicon is amazing against heavy healers because of the grevious wounds passive and the magic penetration. I would not recommend it though in basic situations since Swain is not the carry of the game and utility will be probably needed more. The item is also very expensive for a support and Liandry's is already a big investment. The only situation that Morello should be priortized for Swain Support is if the opponent team has heavy healing like a fed Renekton, Nasus, Trundle, Illaoi etc and you need the grevious wounds passive.

Spirit Visage gives 10% CDR, Health and it's passive synergises very well with Swain's Passive and Ultimate.In the rare occassion that the opponent team is full AD the item is not worth the expense and so it shoud be put aside for something else, like a Redemption or a Twin Shadows.

Rabadon's Deathcap is the option for the situation that you are fed and there is not enough dmg on the team so Swain needs to transform from a support to an AP carry. At this situtation it is also recommended to buy the Sorcerer's Shoes for the magic pen since you will get 40% CDR from the Runes anyway and survivability won't be your priority.


That's all Folks. Now you can officially unleash the might of Noxus in the Bot Lane. One last advice: Flame is Lame. GlHf.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Dreadscythe95
Dreadscythe95 Swain Guide
Swain Support - "We Have The Momentum" [S10]
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