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Swain Build Guide by

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Swain - The initiater

Last updated on November 6, 2011
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Middle Lane
Ranked #26 in
Middle Lane
Win 52%
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hey all, this is my first build on mobafire. I'm not a experienced player. I just love to play the game and to play Swain this way. I'm curious what you think of it and i would love to hear your advise on how the build could be better. I'm not lvl 30 yet, but coming there. And i also don't own any runes. But even without the full masteries and the proper runes it's really easy to play Swain this way.

Have fun reading!

PS: I'm from the Netherlands and my English isn't perfect. So sorry for any mistakes made in the writing of this build.

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Swain the Initiater

Why i choose to build my Swain as a initiater? It's just really usefull for the team. The main idea of Swain the initiater is to deal tons of damage and make it easy for your teammates to kill the enemies.

Early game you must get as many kills as possible with your combo. To do this you must play solo lane. It can either be mid or solo top.

Late game it is your task to initiate the team fights. You can use your flash to get in the middle of the enemy team. Pop your ultimate and then pop your Zhyona's active. You will not die for 2 seconds and 3 of the enemie team will get hit pretty bad. You can then try to land your nevermove when you leave the active of Zhyona's. Your teammates will have 3 low enemies that are easy to kill now. Those 3 enemies are also slowed because of the effect of Rylai's.

If you use this you are very usefull for you team late game and the team doesn't need a tank. This can make a huge difference because now you have way more dmg output then you would have had with a tank.

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The Swain Combo

The most important strength of Swain is his combo early game. This way you can get fed and make a difference late game. The steps of the combination:

The combination starts with your E spell. This way all your other damage output gets increased. The second step depends on how well you play Swain and on how well your oponent plays. It's best to first go for the W spell. Then for the Q spell. If your ultimate is ready always start with E then R. Last but not least activate your ignite. Always activate your ignite while your E is still active. This way you ignite deals more damage.

When you don't manage to hit your Nevermove you can always choose to first pop you Decrepify. This way your opponent gets slowed and it makes it easier for you to land your Nevermove.

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I do not own all these runes. I only own the Greater Mark of insight. The runes speak for themselves, but i will explain it shortly.

As Swain i want to get as many kills as possible as soon as possible. These runes just give me that early advantage. The magic pen is also nice end game, it's always good to have as Swain.

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Summoner spells


Why do I choose clarity? It's quite simple, early and late game this gives me the big advantage of being able to use my ultimate way longer then when I don't have clarity. When I'm low on mana and being chased this gives me time to move to my teammates or even kill the enemy.


Why i choose ignite? I choose ignite because it's great in combination with my Torment. When I use the full Swain combo, it's always the ignite that gives the final touch. Early game this gives Swain easy kills and this way you can get fed.

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Item Choices.

Why Sorcerer's Shoes? It gives you the magic pen that's usefull for a AP champion. Simple as that.

Why Rod of Ages? It gives you massive AP, health and mana. The AP is great for all of Swain's abilities. The health is great so Swain becomes less squishy. And the mana is great because Swain is really mana hunry both early and late game.

Why Zhonya's hourglass? Well thats a really simple question for me. The effect of ZH is 2 second no damage taken. The con of this item is that you can't perform any actions yourself. If Swain pops his ultimate before he uses ZH the ultimate still works. When Swain is low health and he pops his ultimate in combination with ZH his health is back to 60/70%. And ZH also gives 100 AP. Just a great item.

Why Rabadon's Deathcap? No explanation needed.

Why Rylai's Crystal Scepter? It gives you AP. But the best part of this item is that it slows your enemies when you hit them with spell damage. This makes it easier for your teammates to hunt and kill after you initiate.

Why Abbysal Scepter? It gives you AP and it lowers the enemies resistance. It's nice to have as Swain.