TheAfricanDream's Rank 1 Swain EUW Mid Guide
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Runes: Standard Runes for Teamfighting
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Ability Order Mid level order
Threats & Synergies
If Sylas gets any sort of lead during the landing phase, the game will become a nightmare. When he becomes level 6 he will only take your Ultimate and will do what Swain does but more effectively in fights because of his dash and point-blank heal. Make him your Perma ban in champion select
Anivia can completely kite you once she becomes level 6. Anivia was made to counter short range mages mid lane and Swain will suffer in this matchup. Try your best to dodge her Q and try get an early kill before level 6.
Viktor will outrange you in lane and he will mainly try and poke you down with his E. Take Second Wind as your rune in the resolve tree and start the game with a Dorans Shield. Do not worry about giving him manaflow band stacks becuase he will naturally poke you in lane. Focus on trying to kill all the creeps and look for roams and plays with your jungler. Viktor will outscale you however you are stronger in the early jungle skirmishes.
Syndra is very similair to Viktor. She will outrange you in lane and will combo trade with you until she can burst you with her R. Syndra will always try to Q you when you are about to last hit a creep. Try your best to predict her Q E combo to delay her passive powerspike. She is one of the hardest scaling champions in the game so you have to look to shove mid and roam either top or bot lane. Just like Viktor take Second Wind as your rune in resolve and start the game with Dorans Shield to survive her poke in lane.
Cassiopeia will always be able to kite you and kill you if both of you are even in lane. Take Second Wind and Dorans Shield just like in the Syndra/Viktor matchup. Cass will look to poke you with her Q early and will repeatedly look to kill you with spamming her E. Respect that she will have priority mid lane and try to organize a gank onto her with your jungle. She has no mobility so if you have an engage jungler it will be an easy kill mid.
Leblanc is able to repeatedly jump onto you with her W, land a chain and Q onto you and return to her W effigy without Swain being able to land an E. This lane is challenging for Swain because Swain can only reliably land a Q point blank when she jumps onto you. Take your Q first and look to punish her whenever she seems to W ontop of you. Swain will however outscale Leblanc and she will have to look for early kills to be able to win the match. Try to stay alive and keep your Creep score up.
Irelia at all stages in the match can easily kill Swain. A good irelia will try to freeze the wave mid and force you to walk up and CS. If this does happen and you have to walk up deep into lane to last hit minions, try get your jungle to come and shove out mid wave or she will kill you when you walk up to last hit creeps. She will look to Q four minions and will then Q onto you and kill you with ignite. If you see lots of irelias and not many Sylas's, feel free to ban her because there isn't too much you can do to win this lane. Take exhaust as your summoner spell if you want to play safe in lane. Always take bone plating as your rune in resolve as this will heavily reduce her combo damage when she jumps onto you.
Just like Syndra/Viktor, the same tips and runes/item advice applies here. He will outrange you and poke you heavily, way more than Syndra or Viktor. Stick to a Doran's Shield and Second Wind and you will be able to survive this lane. Look to make early plays as he will outscale you. Azir has more mobility than Syndra/Viktor so it will be very difficult to make a play happen Mid lane.
This is a pure skill matchup. Ahri has more mobility when she is 6, however Swain can easily land an E on her in lane. Try to land an E on the backline minions when she is hiding behind them. The E has a lollipop effect that will land on her for an easy pull. Ahri will always being in Q range for easy poke-through minions. After a few combos, she will be within kill range. You can take ignite in this lane for early kill pressure. Just make sure you are ready to dodge her charm as that is her only way to kill you.
One of the easiest matchups for Swain. His larger hitbox makes it easier for Swain to land his E and W for easy passive stacks. Play aggressively in lane as you have the range advantage. Keep in mind that Galio can easily setup ganks with his jungler onto you.
This matchup is Swain favoured. You can easily kill all his voidlings with your Q. Malzahar will always be inside Swains range which makes him a very easy kill pre 6. Your E can proc his passive as it moves through him, and while on the way back, the E will proc on him and you will be able to pull him for an easy passive stack.
Respect Vladamir's empowered Q and never let him land it on you and the lane is very easy to play. Swain has a minor range advantage over vlad and can easily poke him down in lane. Your E is very easy to land in the lane so keep looking to use your E whenever you can. Take ignite to reduce his healing when he ults and from the empowered Q. This will make it very easy to kill vlad in lane. Vlad will outscale you but you can get some early Magic Resist and you should be just fine.
This one is very hard to list. If you kill Kassadin early in lane and prevent him from farming, the game is very easy to win. However, if you cannot kill him before 6, Kassadin will be able to free scale without much that you can do to stop him. Take ignite in lane and play to solo kill him or force him to recall and miss multiple waves. Kassadin has no mobility pre 6 and his only way to trade in lane is his Q. Do not use your Q when Kassadin has his Q shield up, wait for his shield to time out. This will ensure efficient trades in lane which is crucial to winning this lane. Levels are extremely important to Kassadin as his level 16 pretty much makes him unstoppable. This means you should try your best to deny him from getting as much xp as you can.
This matchup may seem Katarina favoured, however, Swain can easily kill her in lane. Take exhaust as your summoner spell and start lane with your Q. Q spam her and auto attack her as much as possible before she gets level 2 and 3. Getting early prio in lane is important as if Katarina gets a slight lead, there is not much you can do to beat her. Be careful as playing aggressively in lane makes you very vulnerable to ganks. Try to get some early wards into the jungle. Keep in mind that if Katarina buys either a Blade of the Ruined King or a Divine Sunderer, she will be able to 1v1 at any stage in the game at that point.
The same advice that applies to Syndra, applies to Orianna as well. Orianna has very strong basic attacks so do not exchange basic attacks with Ori as she will always come out on top. Take ghost in this lane as Ori will most likely take phase rush so you will need to keep up with her.
Swain is able to abuse and kill Zed in lane. Try to use your range advantage and basic attack him when he tries to last hit a minion. Try to stand behind a minion at level 1 as Zed's Q does less damage after the first enemy hit. If you can dodge Zed's Q W trade combo mid, you have a 20s window where he cannot trade with you due to his W having a long cooldown which gives you time to pressure him in lane. Respect Zed's level 6 as that is when he gets all his kill pressure. If Zed finds a kill in lane, he can snowball the game out of control, so try your best to keep him from snowballing the game. Take Bone Plating in lane to nullify his trades.
Veigar will always be inside Swain's E range which makes him an easy kill in lane. Veigars' abilities are very telegraphed which makes them easy to dodge. Do not let him get free stacks onto you and Veigar should be very easy for you kill.
Akali must be treated the same as Katarina and Zed. Akali has no real way to kill you before 6. Try basic attacking her when she tries to last hit a minion. Dodge Akali's E and respect her inside her shroud and you should be fine in lane.
If Xerath plays at his max range, there is nothing Swain can do to fight Xerath. Try your best to land a W as soon as Xerath starts to charge his Q and that will slow him, making it almost guaranteed to hit your W. If you manage to land an E on him, try your best to dodge his E as that is the only way for you to ever kill him in a fight. Take Second Wind as one of your runes and buy a Doran's Shield as your starting item.
The same tips for Xerath apply to Vel'koz as they both fullt outrange Swain and will poke you down in lane. Try your best to survive in lane as this will primarily be a skill shot dodging test. Play for your side lanes and jungler as you will be stronger in early skirmishes than Vel'koz.
Take your Q first in this lane and keep poking him. Try to proc his passive shield by basic attacking him and play super aggressively at level 1. Respect Yasuo's level 2 as he can kill you on that spike. His dash makes it very difficult for you to land your E so prioritize saving your mana for your Q only. If you are ahead Yasuo is an easy lane but just make sure you do not overextend and take poor trades as he can easily take over the lane.
Yone is very weak level 1. Play at your max range and just try to poke him down with your Q and basic attacks. Most Yone's will start Doran's Shield into Swain so that they can survive in the early levels. Respect his tornado and back off so that he cannot force an engage on you. He can easily run you down at level 3 with his effigy so try to dodge his Q's and play at the max range. Once he buys a Blade of the Ruined King he will be able to 1v1 you at any stage after that. Respect that and only look to make plays on him at that point with your team.
Although this matchup may seem heavily Qiyana favoured, there is a lot Swain can do to win this matchup in the first few minutes. Qiyana is a very very weak champion level 1. Like most melee enemies, you can heavily poke them with basic attacks and your close-range Q at levels 1 and 2. Slow push this wave and harass her as soon as she stands up to last hit a minion. If she takes too many bad trades, she will not have any kill pressure on you. Respect her level 3 if she still has a lot of hp and play around her cooldowns. Qiyana will have to roam and get a lead to win the game. Keep her mid lane by pressuring her but be careful that you do not get ganked. Take Bone Plating if you are worried about being killed in lane.
This matchup will mainly depend on Swain dodging Vex's e in lane. If you dodge her e, then she is a free kill but if you get hit then she will chunk you out of lane. That is her only way to trade in lane so play around her E range and look to punish her if she misses. You can take Bone Plating in this matchup if you are not confident in dodging her abilities.
Annie has a very strong trade pattern with her passive so try to fight her when she does not have full stacks. Her abilities don't have a very far range so she will usually be inside your max range. Trade with her normally and play around her E shield movement speed as she can easily dodge your E when you use it. She has a very strong level 6 so only all-in her if she is about half hp.
Karma will look to try and trade kill you before level 6. She will have lane prio but you will outscale her when you get your first item. Try to follow her plays around the map and she will look to shove mid and roam. She does not have that much kill pressure on you as you can out-sustain her in a fight with your R. Play patiently in lane, farm all the creeps and as soon as you get your item, you can look to all in her. Just be careful as she will try and kite you and wait for your R to run out. Take ghost in this matchup to keep up with her movement speed
Play at your max range in this matchup and do not let him proc his passive on you. If you hit an E, do not pull him straight away, instead walk in the opposite direction to him and then pull so that you are outside of his attack range. A few of these short but effective trades mean that you can kill him in lane. Akshan will look to roam so ping your teammates as soon as he leaves lane.
Although Zoe does outrange you, as long as you dodge her bubble she is not threatening in lane. Stand well behind your creeps so that the explosion part of her Q does not hit you. Dodging her E can be challenging but basically Zoe's will wait until the last second of her R or will wait a while before using their E. They try to study your movement pattern so try run in a straight line before moving in one direction as she is about to use her E. Buy an early Null-Magic mantle if you want to be safe.
This only applies to AP Varus. Varus like most of the other champs in this category will outrange you. Varus can easily fully kill you at level 6. Do not handshake the lane with him and Perma farm, instead look to roam around the map as he will be able to one shot you with Nashor's Tooth as his first item. Do not let him auto-attack you pre-6 as this is the only way for him to trade in lane. Only his auto attacks and R apply the blight stacks so try your best to dodge his R as if you get hit, you will be fully one shot. I do expect AP Varus to be nerfed in the future as this does feel way too strong.
Take ghost in this matchup to keep up with his Phase Rush and this lane should be easy. You will be able to outrange him if you play around your max E range. Do not let him combo you as he will be able to burst you very quickly. Ryze will outscale but Swain will be much stronger in the mid-game.
The current meta is not too favorable for Fizz, but if you do see a Fizz, respect his kill pressure in lane. Fizz can easily dive onto you and kill you at level 2. Play aggressively at level 1 and keep trying to poke him as soon as he uses either his E or Q. Buy an early Null-Magic Mantle and focus on killing all the creeps. Fizz will have lane prio and will be able to roam more than you. Try to sit mid and ping as soon as he leaves lane. Take Bone Plating to reduce his combo damage in lane.
Seraphine will outrange you in lane, however she has quite telegraphed abilities and will not be able poke you out of lane if you start Doran's Shield. Seraphine has better trades than you, but Swain is stronger in extended fights due to Conquerer and his demonic ascension. Once you get a lost chapter, look to all in her if you land an E on her as she has no dash in her kit.
Swain can easily play inside Asols star range and poke him down in lane. He is very vulnerable to your E and has no way to escape once you get Rylai's. Asol will look to hard shove mid and roam so try shove mid and harass him so that he will not be able to roam.
A good corki with great movement can be a pain for Swain to deal with, however pre 6, corki does not have a lot of range and can easily be hit by your E in lane. Look for short trades as he will beat you by basic attacking if you let him. Careful of corki package and wait for it to run out. Corki scales very well so do not handshake mid with him, look to make plays around the map early as Corki is extremely weak in the early game.
Lux will completely out range you in lane, but she has to play the lane at her max range to win. Look for extended trades mid when you hit her with your E. Your Q cooldown is a lot shorter than her cooldowns so look to harass her if she misses her Q. Lux has no mobility spells so once you hit your E on her, she will have no escape except for binding you. If you can reliably dodge her Q, this matchup is very simple
Champion Build Guide
My name is TheAfricanDream, or simply just Lans
I am a Grandmaster EUW Swain Mid OTP and was Rank 1 Swain EUW for the majority of the end of last season.
I am South African born and raised, and recently moved to the UK in August 2022. I managed to peak 917 LP Grandmaster and maintained Grandmaster until the season ended.
I started maining Swain ever since his rework back in Season 8. I played semi-professionally in the South African esports scene and now I only play Swain in Solo queue.
I now stream weekdays 7pm GMT on Twitch - TheAfricanDream. Feel free to come by for causal talk about the Grand General or if you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them.
I hope you enjoy this guide as this is the first one I have ever done.
I will be updating this guide regularly so feel free to check in now and again for updates on the current build.
Swains Passive Ravenous Flock: Each stack gives 12 max HP and stacks infinitely. Souls are collected by landing and recasting Nevermove on champions, champions hit with your Vision of Empire and dead enemy champions drop souls which can be collected when Swain walks near enough. If you land a Vision of Empire onto an enemy and if they die within the next few seconds, you will not only get the guaranteed soul from the hit Vision of Empire but the soul, which dead enemy champions give, will be collected from afar after a few seconds. This means using your Vision of Empire for playmaking results in 2 souls if the enemy dies after being hit. You do not need to get the kill to receive both souls.
Swains Q Death's Hand: This is your main damage ability apart from your Demonic Ascension. This ability will do more damage the closer you are to your target. This ability doesn't do an extremely high amount of damage but will be used to wear down opponents in the landing phase and in fights. This ability is very good for trading in lane as it passes through minions, however, keep an eye on your mana as Swain has high mana usage.
Swains W Vision of Empire: This is one of the highest skill ceiling abilities in the game. This ability can be used for long-range snipes, blocking paths for escaping enemies, and preventing enemies from engaging on your allies. This ability does not do much damage, but the heavy slow and extremely long range enable it to be a play-making tool while you are inside another lane. Constantly check side lanes to see if you can assist in slowing the enemy as this could lead to them burning Flash or your allies getting a kill. Try placing the Vision of Empire in front of the enemy in the escape path. In choke points in the jungle , this can lead to the person having to Flash or having to be slowed by the Vision of Empire. Try to use your Vision of Empire in sync with your teammates' crowd control or when the enemy has used their mobility ability.
Swains E Nevermove: This ability has a lollipop effect at the end of the ability. This is very useful in the laning phase in particular as you can throw your Nevermove onto the caster minion and if the laner] is standing right behind the caster minion , the Nevermove will land onto them with the circular hitbox at the end of it. Swain can pull all champions hit with the Nevermove. This ability does not do much damage but is Swain setup for the rest of his kit.
Swain's R Demonic Ascension is his core fighting ability. Do not start team fights or Demonic Ascension. Try not to use your Demonic Ascension before main objectives spawn such as drake or baron nashor . Your Demonic Ascension does not do heavy damage but will provide a very strong slow. Save this recast in fights to catch a fleeing enemy by Demonic Ascension and throwing out an Nevermove will guarantee you land the Nevermove or you will force the enemy to Flash. High-priority targets will be the ADC as they are usually the most immobile. Try to always stand in the range of the enemy during a fight to keep your Demonic Ascension. Zhonya's Hourglass and Chronoshift will not cancel your Demonic Ascension and your Demonic Ascension will still be active during the conditions unless enemies leave your Demonic Ascension radius.
Conqueror : This rune looks underwhelming when you look at the healing done, however, the healing is the bonus of the rune. The main function of the rune is the stacking flat ap which it gives. This is very valuable in long team fights where the bonus AP will last a long time. Do not focus too much on keeping Conqueror stacks up in fights as this rune will proc naturally with Swain playstyle. Demonic Ascension damage does not keep Conqueror stacks in fights, you must auto-attack or do ability damage to refresh the timer.
Presence of Mind : Best rune for Swain in this row. The mana from kills in team fights allows him to keep fighting without worrying about his mana . This is the only rune you will take for mana .
Legend Tenacity : Tenacity is important on Swain as you cannot cast your Zhonya's Hourglass while under crowd control. You will be in the frontline for most of the game so you will experience a lot of crowd control. This rune is a must-have for the precision tree.
Last Stand : Since you are a frontline, you will take a lot of damage and will be about half HP or below in fights. This rune allows Swain to do more damage while he is lower on HP. This works well with Zhonya's Hourglass as you will end up using Zhonya's Hourglass when you are about to die.
Conditioning : A great rune for keeping you a frontline battle mage. You will receive about +10 armour/magic resist from this rune. This will help keep you alive in team fights after 12 minutes. Go this rune if you are able to free scale in lane.
Overgrowth : This rune gives you permanent Max Hp when minions/monsters/enemies die near you. Take this rune for mid/late gaming scaling. This rune gets a lot of value later in the game when Swain has more passive stacks. This helps him be tankier if you go with a damage-orientated build.
Bone Plating : This rune helps deal with champions who like to do trade combos such as Zed, Irelia, Qiyana, Katarina. These champions will try all-in you and have no poke. This rune will help to reduce the damage of their combos.
Second Wind : This rune will heal after a few seconds you when you take damage from enemy champions. Take this rune against champions who will poke you down in lane such as Syndra, Viktor, Vel'Koz, Xerath. This rune will help keep you healthy in abusive poke lanes when you are outraged by the enemy laner.
Revitalize : This rune will slightly increase all healing received. This rune by itself with Swain is quite underwhelming as you will not heal enough to get great value out of the rune. Take this rune only if you have a Soraka or a Yuumi on your team as you will get max heal value with those champions.
Unflinching : This rune gives your increasing Slow resist and Tenacity based on how low on HP you are. Take this rune in games where the enemy team has a lot of crowd control .
You will need to look for early roams to get some early kills or try and get your side lanes ahead. Since you are a drain DOT ap mage, playing for your ADC bot lane is crucial as you will need solid AD damage in team fights. Try to shove and clear the entire wave mid before you roam as you do not want to lose CS or experience by roaming.