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Tank Swain : I'm five steps ahead of you!
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It's me Dangerfield back at it once more with the Swain Guide to end all Swain guides! These build for Swain is so powerful, that once it starts going around they will probably end up nerfing Swain into the ground. This tank build when used correctly basically makes you an immovable object in lane you recall on your own terms with this build, and can easily solo defend against up to 3 enemies early game under your tower(sometimes all 5 mid/late game). I don't play ranked often, but I still maintain a 95% win rate with this build. Solo que and ranked alike. Well lets get on with it shall we?
*edit* I have also added the burst swain build I use.
*edit* As of 12/13/11 the percent of bonus health on the heal mastery was reduced to 10% from 15%. It's still a useful spell with this build, but nearly as OP as it was before.
I also changed my guide to reflect both the tank and burst builds.
x9 magic pen reds
x9 flat armor yellows
x9 ap per lvl blues
x1 magic pen quint
x2 flat ap quints
About the only other variation i see is going all magic pen quints. If you know for a fact you're going against a right click heavy team aka Cait, Kog, Udyr, Volibear...etc you can go with dodge runes I suppose(might as well before they get ride of them lol). I favor flat armor yellows though.
Afer that I usually go with Spirit Visage into hextech revolver then Deathcap. Once you finish Deathcap you'll want to grab the Deathfire Grasp and then finally build Hextech Gunblade from the revolver.
About the only time you'd switch this build up is against a heavy AP team with alot of burst. Then you might want to skip the spirit visage for a better Mres item like Force of Nature or Banshees. Also if they are stacking mres youll probably want to get rid of the spirit visage(sadly ;() for Void Staff.
Swain's Ultimate is so powerful I can't believe they allow him to use it on such a short cool down. the damage it does isn't that great, but it damages while healing and when you are in bird form your auto attacks do more damage. It drains mana pretty fast so you have to use it wisely.
So...basically you max E first, Q second, W last.
You should come out on top 90% of the time with this strategy. During my play time with this build the only time I died or couldn't kill someone going all out was when....
A) Went mid against Le Blanc and was careless
B) Traded evenly with a Fiddlesticks, BUT he had a blue buff and I didn't and we both ended up running away from each other. Neither one of us wanted to gamble anymore.
C) Went against a mundo and he pretty much out sustained me, because of his HP regen.
D) Went against a Brand and Volibear solo top. I played well, but brands early game damage was just too much.
Other than that I haven't had any problems 1v1 against anyone else.