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Swain Build Guide by thatsnotmypirate

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League of Legends Build Guide Author thatsnotmypirate

Swain - The Pirate Nazi - 1000AP Build **Update 12/15/11

thatsnotmypirate Last updated on December 15, 2011
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Team 1

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Middle Lane
Ranked #26 in
Middle Lane
Win 52%
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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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This is my swain build, When build is finish and you have 20 stacks on soul stealer this build gives you over **1000 Ability Power**. Now I will make sure you know how to use Swain to get some sweet, sweet kills.

**Keep in mind mobafire doesn't add the AP right, it doesn't say 1000 ap but it is in game, even a bit over with runes and everything.**

Keep in mind that I play Swain as a mid carry, and nothing else. I never lane. I never jungle, and I will never AP tank lol.

If you build Swain right and learn him right, he can sometimes solo a whole team. That is, if you rape them early game.

Swain picks up kills fast early game. He is able to take people out because he has amazing damage output just to start with. In my opinion, that first fast kill with Swain means the game.

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My Games

Read Build Part before using!

Swain has always been my main, I saw his spotlight months before I even joined the game. But when I did I got swain and been in love with him and his awesome bird. I haven't saved many of my game but here are the ones I did save.

Also please read how to play swain and not just use my build blindly

All of my swain games end up looking something like this.

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**Need to knows**

I think everyone should use build one. Over all it will be your best build.

Your runes are very important, with doran's ring you will have 48 AP at the start of the game. Pick at them with your E and an auto attack if you can land one safely, kill minions till your mana is back up, then do it again. (only use E to pick at them for now)

At level 4 you CAN and WILL get a kill if they are at 70% hp.

W - E - Q - Ignite and watch them die. Make sure you flash away from them after you unload if you need to. Remember that swain does damage over time, he will die sure enough.

Also Remember to hold down *shift*

This is called smart casting, all you have to do is have your mouse over him, then just hit E Q and ignite. It sames you the trouble of having to click the spell and click them. It will just cast on them if you do it this way. You can hit him with all your spells AT ONCE, its much much faster.

"Why 70% hp? I can get them lower!"

You want them to have high enough hp that they will safe, which is why only you E. That way they won't really know how high your burst is till they die from it. It's baiting their own death lol.

Well after you kill your lane, Go for Blue then GANK GANK GANK.

Gank your heart out with swain, he is amazing at it, so do it as much as you can. early to mid game. At lvl 6 you should be ganking when you can.

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1000 Ap Screen Shot

Here is proof of my 1000 AP build. At this point in the game its at 950, but you can also see my build isn't finished.

Also I want you to look at the damage that Torment alone does. Just that one 6 second cooldown spell does 1000 Damage. Also upping your damage by 20% making the Lazar bird + Torment combo alone kill anyone with 3000 Hp. Over all your 3 skill combo does about 5000 damage or more. Also don't for get that your ult does awesome damage each wave or birds. With this damage, you will be able to Lazar Bird + Torment and walk away right after knowing you will get the kill.

Also I was soloing 3v1 at this point. You heal so fast with your ult that you became very hard to kill even when only 1700 Hp. Thats how i only died 2 times.

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Ok, you may want to know if I am a carry, why don't I put many points into Offense? Other than magic penetration, there isn't much to offer other than the 5% extra damage it gives you at the end. So why waste all those points for 1 mastery? My Swain is mega mana starved until late game, so he relies on mana buff 24/7. Steal theirs, and take yours all the time. That is why I have 30% duration on buffs. I also like the utility skill tree because of the summoner spell cool-downs. Flash and ignite will help pick up that first kill.

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Summoner Spells

- This is my favorite spell on casters, and I find it a must on swain. Its damage over time with doing great damage threw out the game. Because of this combo, you will end up getting kills long after they get out of range from you, ending you with a lot of WTF from your enemy champions.

- I find this spell awesome on swain. and is one of the best way to get away from your enemy when your are in trouble. Also is awesome to get close to a running enemy to even cast in front of them, or keep them in range of

- This is an ok spell to get away or get to someone who is running away, but I find flash a much better spell to get away from people or chasing because nevermove and Lazar bird will keep them slowed down. Swain is hard to get away from.

- Never get this skill. It is useless end game. Swain passive is already very good at keeping on your mana up. Also you should be getting blue buff with swain all the time anyway. So no need for this skill. After angle staff you will have a huge mana pool anyway.

I highly recommend using and with my build

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Skill + How to use Swain

To start out, you want to make sure you get a point into each skill. I am all about getting a fast kill so you will need all of them. (BTW Lazar bird = Decrepify = W)

At level 1 start by just using Torment + 1 normal attack on your enemy laner. I know I know, A normal attack on a mage?!?!. Yes, torment ups all your damage by 8% at rank 1. So your normal attack will hurt. But if the person your laning with hits to hard back, Only use torment and run. Torment doesn't really have an animation, so you can cut it and run as you cast it. Remember to last hit creeps to get that mana back. At level 2 it gets fun, if they are foolish enough to try and come attack you, E (Lazar bird) then Q (torment). Do it fast, it will look like both skill hit at the same time really. You want to get torment on them before the first damage check comes from the bird. Remember almost all of swain moves are damage over time spells other then Nevermove

This is KEY At level 3 you can kill if they have about 75% hp or less. but to be safe, get them to 50% or less. Make sure they are about mid way between your tower and theirs. People don't know this, but do NOT try to cast nevermore when they are in the middle of the AOE, they will know what your doing, Even lead them with it, or do this trick I'm about to tell you about.

This is a trick and it works almost 80% of the time or more cause no one sees it coming. Keep hitting creeps, nevermore range is very long, when you hit E, you see the AOE circle. What you want to do is place the center of the AOE circle at the end of the circle you can cast it. Why? Because people don't see that range coming, its farther then they think. Most likely you will get them off guard once and that's all you need. Once stun, Flash to him, Lazor Bird +Torment+ Ignite +normal attacks, If your hp is to lower then 20% don't do it. With 30-50% hp, do it then run, but hit them if you can. You will see there hp melt like butter. Torments also works with Ignite and ups the damage by 8% (I think) even if it doesn't, it stacks with the damage over time for a massive early game damage. Once level 6 this combo works even more with your ult. Nevermore+Flash+Lazar Bird+Torment+Ravenous Flock+Ignite=Massively Dead

On the other hand If your doing bad in your lane. STAY IN THE LANE, just don't die, do not warp back at all, save your mana, hug that tower like your life depends on it. They will most likely waste mana trying to kill you, It is very important you stay in the lane till level 6. Because then you can use all that mana to heal. Then you will be back in the game. Just last hit till then.

- This is an awesome spell, Its a tether skill that slows there movement while doing awesome damage over time. If they have on then it does crazy damage. It is also good to help land if you have problems landing it.

- Now lets talk more about Nevermove, Its your only lifesaver, Nevermove is swain weakness. What? Why? Because, when nevermore is on cooldown you are 100% defenseless. Swain can be really strong and overwhelming, but if a player is smart, after you cast Nevermove, if they rush you, it is over. Even with awesome damage you will be free to hit. So ONLY cast if you are in a safe spot or if you know you can lane the stun. Never cast it when its just you holding off 3 people and you aren't close even to get to a tower. If they rush you, Ult, Stun, and run(or flash). Your stun will save you so many time. You need to learn when it is to be use as an attack or saved for defense. Another reason for blue buff cooldown reduction.

If you are having problems landing Nevermove, use Lazar bird then Nevermore, but this will drop your damage a good bit. Master Nevermove

- This is your damage... This is your love... This is swain.
Torment is what makes your damage so amazing, when maxed, it makes you do 20% more damage. Combo is, Nevermove, Lazor bird, Torment, Ult.

Don't always use it like how I said up there. It will work most of the time but people will get smart, you will have to lead them with it. This is where swain can get tricky, its a mind game.

Run from them cast it so they fall into it, running away from you, try to cast it in front of them or Flash+Nevermove if they are to far.

- This can make you tanky IF you have over 500 Ap, With my builds it can land you at 1000 AP With soul stealer. When you have 800 Ap, you tear people apart, tanks, high Hp. Don't matter.

This skiil is hard to master, It will eat your mana like no tomorrow, so its never wise to leave it on. At level 6, farm using Nevermore + Ult, with a good amount of Ap you will be able to kill waves fast with that combo, The best part is that you will regen all that mana cause of your passive. Keep in mind that you can turn off ult and birds will still return to you and heal you. Don't have to keep it on till you heal So turn it on to send out 1 wave and turn off right after they leave you. (once your able to 1 hit them after Nevermove)

When fighting someone 1 on 1 or some times team fights, Make sure there are minions around to heal you more. Also sometimes its best to run at creeps vs to a tower to heal if your running, keep that in mind

Also this still gives you alot of damage when Torment is on someone, Remember Torment is ment for the person you are trying to kill. Don't just cast a spell and each person, Your spells are ment to be aimed at one person at a time (unless running)

Also this skill is a bit like Nevermove because it is to fall back on when your in trouble, use it for, healing, try to kill someone, Quick casting for farming, Being ganked. If you are low on mana and being ganked, Nevermove is always before Ravenous Flock, After you stun, then turn on ult. But never get caught on cooldowns for Nevermove and Ravenous Flock or you will die, and you will die fast.

Also, if your in a team fight and they are running from you, Its safe to flash to the person your trying to kill with your ult on because you want to make sure you are hitting the right person.

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In Mid Lane

Chances are you can get the first blood in middle, and after that first kill you should be able to keep the one up on there mid.

The problem is that this makes you popular, and not in the good way. When the other team find out that your a force to be reckoned with they will try to gank you or just change mids.

But the gank can be the problem if you don't have a stun and flash and early game you won't have blue buff for cooldowns. So how do we avoid this? Easy, After the first kill or two buy wards one for the left and right bushes. Go into the bushes to place them so no one sees you put them down. This will keep you laning very safely, only back out if you see someone coming. Don't stun the bushes unless you 100% have to. Make them think a teammate called MIA, don't let on to the fact you warded bushes

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Build 1 and Build 2

Each Build gives something different.

The first build is the safest, Ensuring your damage throughout the whole game with out having to worry about stacks on S.S

The second build is the easiest because it ensures you have mana mid game, you will still always need blue buff so I don't use this build because blue buff covers your mana. But this makes you less dependent on blue

The third and final build is the hardest but the best AP and most rewarding. This is my 1000 AP build. Mobafire doesn't add up the Archangel's Staff passive so it doesn't show the AP. But I assure you with 20 stacks on Soulstealer, this is a 800+ Ap build. No hp items, pure Horrifying damage. You will be so much of a problem that the whole team will get some type of magic resist, So you will end up throwing Void staff over an item (Hourglass if you ask me)

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Build 3 - 1000 AP

The third and final build is the hardest but the best AP and most rewarding. This is my 1000 AP build. Mobafire doesn't add up the Archangel's Staff passive so it doesn't show the AP. But I assure you with 20 stacks on Soulstealer, this is a 800+ Ap build. No hp items, pure Horrifying damage. You will be so much of a problem that the whole team will get some type of magic resist, So you will end up throwing Void staff over an item (Hourglass if you ask me)

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Builds paths + Other Items**

Core Items - Rabadon's Deathcap, Sorcerer's Shoes
I get these Items every game, you should to.

REMINDER, mobafire doesn't add the double angle staff passive, trust me this build is over 900 Ap. I will screen shot it later.

I want to make it very clear that the items shown above are only my Core items. But every game is different. Below I show all the items I use on swain. I never go by this the 3 builds every time. Every game is different, everyone calls for different items. Mix match the items I have below when needed and you will be fine.

I always try very hard to stay in mid till I get 1600 for needlessly large rod. This gives you so much damage early game. My Swain is all about AP. The more AP Swain has the more fearsome he becomes. That 80 AP early game will rape face to get you the rest of your items. I even skip level 2 boots and more mana to get more AP, which is why you need Blue Buff

Other Items
- This is for if you are having problems with a spell caster and teams with Magic resist.

- Yes I like to use 2 AA Staffs at times because the passive stacks giving you so much mana and so much Ap that you can almost live in your ult even with out blue buff. Never do more then 2. But this item can be traded for anything with Ap/Hp items.

- This is for if your having problems with a team that is stacking Magic resist, If you aren't having much problems with spell casters, This items wins over Abyssal Scepter and vise versa.

- Underrated item I believe. Its very cheap, Like dirt cheap. A very good item if you need just a bit of magic pen and some HP to keep you alive. This item should be sold end game. Void staff should give you all the magic pen you need.

- Good for a AD team, its also good if there is a carry other then you and you get force down first, the active will throw them off. ALSO, you can use your R then Hour glass, meaning you can deal damage and heal while how being able to be attacked, OP

- Another great item. It gives 50 AP and then an aura that gives your team 30 AP and spell vamp giving you 80 AP. This item is great if you have Vladamir or any other champion with healing skills. I don't use this always myself, I feel as your R is enough of a heal.

- An item I will never get, But people use to boost your Healing of your ult. But it has been nerf and to tell you the truth, The spell vamp from the item you get from Hextech Gunblade Wins over this, Even more so because it gives AP.

- If you want to get swain moving this could be very good, I have never used it my self. But I think if you got 800 Ap, your melee would be something to fear lol. Just remember to attack between spells if you can. Also, E will ramp up the damange of Lich Passive. Epic

- Can't go wrong with this item on anyone. More Hp, more Mp, more Ap because of AA Staff, and block one spell every 45 secs (nerf in patch) It even blocks ults, Who wouldn't want that. (BTW if someone has BV, I believe your ult can turn it off, if not, waste lazor bird to get rid of it.)

- Ehh maybe, I wouldn't because you want more Ap then 70, and Blue buff + Elixir of Brilliance will deal with cooldowns

Rode of Ages - This item is very good if because sometimes you just need that extra Hp and MP. Also more Ap with AA Staff. But I always go for Ap over Hp because your ult will end up giving you more hp then you have already.

- Also a yes. Need a big Hp boost with good Ap, then go for it. Slow people with you ult too, Pretty cool. As I said before I always for for AP over HP. But then again, not everyone is as careful as me in game

and Others - This is a common mistake, when your build is done, But them, Its worth it. Also Ap stacks with your Deathcap

I will add more a bit later. Comment and Vote Please :D

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When To Change The Build

I played a game with a Nidalee as the carry. She was the person on team I was having problem with. Her spear would do around 30-40% of my hp, Which I healed with my ult in about one second. But I looked at her build and she was pure AP so to Counter her build I did this.

I got Abyssal Scepter to up my damage and lower her damage on me. You can also see I have another Negatron Cloak cause I was building Banshee's Veil. This Reduced her damage to me by a lot. This turn the tide and I never died to her again and was able to win the game.

Here is another game
In this game they had a fed monkey king. He had 20+ kills and 3 deaths before I had even fought him at all in the game. When we did mean I killed him, but next time he flashed to me and ulted me. I melted. So I grabbed some armor and was building up to Z hourglass. But the game ended before that, I had 20 stacks and he ended the game with 26/11. I killed him every time we met again, even after he had force of nature.

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Falling Behind Team

Just not your day? You are a good carry but your team is calling you a feeder.

We all have been there. Swain is all about that Ap, with low Ap, no kills. No kills = No money.

So some ways to get back into the game. Push lanes when you can to farm up. Even if they are away from the team. But if they are in trouble make sure you were there to at least stun.

Jungle. I know I said I don't, but I do when I'm over level 6 to make sure I keep my income up if I am falling behind.

Elixir of Brilliance - Worth getting early game if you are doing poorly, It will help get you a kill if you are in the level 1-6 range and need to pick it back up. Don't under estimate them. Use them.