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League of Legends Build Guide Author PotatisFarfar

Swain your normal ap tank

PotatisFarfar Last updated on May 5, 2011
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Middle Lane
Ranked #26 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
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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

Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hey and welcome to my first (and prob last) guide. We will be covering swain. Prob one of my favorite tanks!

Check out my kennen Guide here It is abit shorter and more of a build, but it works none the less ;)

NOTE: I haven't been playing swain that mutch latley, so this guide culd be a bit outdated, maybe not the optimal way, but it works!

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Swain a tank?

Before we begin. wanna make this clear. Swain is a tank. He is not a caster i made fit for the job. He was thought out to be a ability power tank! And shuld be played as such. Just look at his spells. all of them fit perfectly for the job. People like to go tank mudno (i think he shuld be played dps) just becouse his rediculus ultimate. It's the same with swain. only that he actualy have reliable CC!

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Pros and Cons


- Incredible late game tank
- Really strong early game
- Nearly no mana problems becouse passive (in early game)
- Great Crowd Control


- Rather squishy before lvl 6
- Ignite screws you over
- Not a great farmer without golem
- Really needs golem to shiny late game!

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The runes are kinda basic.

If u wanna switch out Greater Glyph of Magic Resist to Greater Glyph of Ability Power if u want to get those early kills.

You can also play around with the quints. You culd go all out on the Greater Quintessence of Ability Power or Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration depending if u want some more Defensive or offensive power early game.

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If u want u can go 9/0/21. for a more caster oriented mastery build.

In that build u wanna grab spell penetration in offensive. Reduced time dead, xp boost, buff doration, cd reduction and summoner spell cd reduction in utility.

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Summoner Spells

Is a perfect spell to get upp close and personal. something u want with swain!

What is better than dots? More dots ofc! this will grant u kill whole game. + it's the perfect counter against those other swains, and mundo ofc.

Other options:

always wanna be were the action is? this is the spell for you.

don't like flash? take this instead!

always work. always will work.

Haveing problem with carrys? Fear not! There is a spell to help you! (Use it as ignite, on the carry!)

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Skill Sequence

the spell order upp to lvl 11 shuld be(getting 1 point of Nevermove at lvl 2 or 1):

Ravenous Flock > Torment > Decrepify > Nevermove

But after lvl 11 it is upp to you. if u are winning get more Decrepify. if it is pretty even get like it says in the skill builder.. if u are haveing a hard time, get Nevermove

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*NOTE: This is purly how i build him. And how i recommend to build him. U culd easy swap places on Rylai's crystal scepter and rod of ages (if u go for rylais first, atleast buy the: Catalyst the Protector. I ussaly 1st get the hextech revolver] then get spirit visage before i get the full Will of the Ancients.

Main item build:

Good starter. gives u the hp, mana regen and ap to survive early game.

Prob best boots in game.

This item will make u tanky, boost ur dmg, that in turn boosts ur survivability.

This is prob one of the best items on swain. Not only will it give u more ap and hp. It will also make it imposible to run away from u when ur in ultimate form.

This is what makes u a unkillable beast. paired upp with your ultimates passive abillity this will make u heal for about 300 each secound!

Not enough healing? Need a bit more magic resist? If u thought people culd kill u before? well now they really can't!

Well now u got hp, ap and spellvamp! What do we need to finnish this tank cake? some Armor / magic resist ofc!. This item provides both. There is nothing as funny than makeing the other team kill you twice!


This is the only counter to your mortal enemy! Ignite I recomend picking this upp against a ignite heavy team. Replace either Spirit Visage or Guardians angel.

Just wanted to add a bit more info on these shoes. They are a great option to mercry treads. I use both nearly the same. why these Shoes works so great on swain is mainly: it makes u deal more damge (duuhhh?) But something u wanna keep in mind is the more damge you do with your ultimate. the more damge you will be Recovering :) Great option if they don't got alot of cc'ers

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Were to lane?

All swain really need to do dmg is a lvl advantage. He don't really need items to be scary dmg vise. Being so. you shuld always try to get solo lane. Solo side lane is better than mid. (you will most of the times get double kill on lvl 6.)

I can only name 1 time you shuld not solo lane. And that is when you got a taric on your team. Taric / Swain combo is the scariest and most op combo in the game right now. (if you ask me.) Me and my friend once got 7 kills before they hit lvl 6!

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Basic Combo

Your basic combo is as following:

Hit ur enemy with - Decrepify
When they are slowed hit them with Torment
When affected by both spells cast Nevermove on them, this is much easier when they are slowed (remember to lead the shot)
Go in with Ravenous Flock and follow them.

If they are not dead? spam the spells as cd go off.

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Your ultimate!

When shuld you stop casteing it? well i ussaly stop when i am at 20% mana. makeing me able to cast some spells to escape. wait off the cd, then dive in again. if you do run out of mana. then your pretty much screwed.

REMEMBER! Your ult is like a Tank stance. You don't wanna tank in caster form!

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Golem / lizard Buffs

Shuld u take them? or let some one ealse take them!

Ancient Golem - This is a great ult for swain. it will let you keep ur ult upp nearly all the time. makeing you even harder to kill. if possible have this on u all the time.
Maybe shuld make this clearer: YOU NEED THIS LATE GAME IN LONGER TEAMFIGHTS!

lizard elder - a ok buff to have on swain. Another Dot on your enemy is always nice. But for god sakes let your carry have this. (You will probably get one from the enemy carry any way.)

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Tanking basics.

What is your role as a tank?
How do i tank? maybe u ask.

Your role as a tank is simble. Take damage! and keep damge from your team mates. A nice way to see if u did good is to look on the results after a teamfights:

You and your team is alive: GREAT!
You are dead. But your ashe got a quadra kill: GREAT!
You are alive. but your ashe is dead: Bad

Bassicly. If u die, and your team won the fight. you did your job, and you did a good one! Even better if u survive! But something you shuld keep in mind is: Your life is less worth than the carry. if u can save the carry, DO IT! maybe u will die but u will win the game. (most of the times)

So how do tanking work? Well i am gonna compare it to World of warcrafts Tanking.
It is called aggro!
Basicly what i mean is u need to generate aggro. The more aggro you have the bigger the chance there is that the enemy is gonna attack you.
How do you generate aggro? You piss them off! You do damage! You make them focus you. Becouse if they don't. they will die.

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As a tank. it is your job to Iniate team fights. Here u have 2 options:

Senario 1: You have Flash ready? Great. then flash on the enemies carry (with ult on) and drop every thing u got on him, just stand there and laugh as the enemies try to take u down.

Senario 2: No Flash? To bad. In this situation, try to get close enough to the enemy carry to either A, try to hit a Nevermove or B, Come close enough to get a Decrepify off. followed by a Nevermove.

What u wanna look out for is Ignite and nukers like Veigar.

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A very special note!

To Round this upp we will take a look on Swain's so called cryptonite. (Yes he is superman DEWO!)

Healing reduce effects.

The things that comes from : Ignite, Miss Fortune, Katarina, Tristana, Gangplank and Executioner's Calling

It might not be a good idea to pick swain when the enemy team have miss fortune or katarina in the enemy team.

Remember removes this debuff

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This is the best way to play swain if u ask me. Ofc pure ap swains gonna have a bit more damge, but you can kill them. If u ever have played against a tank swain, u know how tough he is. This is my first guide as i said. Uptateing as much as i can. Will add more as time passes but for now, we will se how popular this guide gets.

Please give it a fair try before voteing.