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Swain Build Guide by Genesis#129164

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Genesis#129164

What a pretty birdy (:

Genesis#129164 Last updated on October 24, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #16 in
Top Lane
Win 48%
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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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This is my first LoL guide (: and its for one of my main champions Swain the Master Tactician. I love Swain why you might ask? because he da gangsta :L he excels at midding and is someone you just don't feed. He takes time to master and get use too but trust me, his worth every second in the world and just takes some practice and common sense.

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Carrion Renewal - This is your passive with every kill your regain mana think of it as an extra reason to last hit, don't rely on it for mana though

Decrepify - This is your Q and is maxed out 2nd for the stack damage on torment it helps secure kills since its a great slow but one bad thing about it is that its like fiddles drain. You can just walk out of it. It does damage over time and remember... OMG ITS A BIRD THAT SHOOTS LAZERS? !%%!@%!%!%!!^ MOVE OVER LUX.? *drools*

Nevermove - This skills is one of the things that separates the bad swains from the good and is always maxed out last. This skill has so many uses it can save people and secure kills but knowing when to use it and successfully landing it only takes time and practice.

Torment - Your E is a poison like move that does a good amount of damage over time and stacks great with your q since it amplifies damage by a certain % the higher the level of it it stacks great with your other spells.

Ravenous flock - This is your ultimate and what makes you such a beast in lane in a 1vs1 its best if your fighting in lane with enemy creeps because you'll get more hp regen, creeps giving you 25% of the damage your crows do and heros giving you 75% of the damage you do. Remember since the recent patch he got a buff where the crows automatically target heros instead of creeps. It shoots 3 crows at a time some people ask the question if there is only one enemy does all 3 crows attack them? well the answer is... i wish >.> it will only shoot 1 crow per enemy

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The Pros and the Cons


    Drops people in seconds
    High survivability early and mid game
    Able to dominate mid lane easily once his level6
    Able to fight most champions

    Not as tanky late game
    Extremely mana hungry
    Requires timing
    Absolutely useless when he has no mana
    Not the best turret killer

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Summoner Spells


Ignite is a must for swain since it secures kills and is also useful for many other things such as a pesky tryndamere or a draining fiddle. Now Clarity there is a huge debate on whether clarity or flash is better for swain, in my opinion I think clarity is better. Why? because you are SUPER MANA HUNGRY your ult drains hard out and your going to need it on a lot during team fights, ganks, anti-ganks, killing stuff... awhile flash is used to either escape or go in. Swain does not really need to go in because his combo should kill people almost instantly. Escaping? In team fights your meant to sit there and drain and nuke like crazy. You can also trick people with clarity (: "oh hey look swain has no mana GET HIM" (clarity) OMG RUN ABORT ABORT


Teleport - If your lazy and don't like walking a lot since well Swain is and old man... he has a walking stick you know? Don't want to stress him
Flash - If you think flash is better then go for it. Remember its just my opinion on clarity im not enforcing it all I did was state things in my point of view

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Greater seal of replenishment
The runes I got are for general mana sustainability and also a good ap boost early game to help you dominate mid lane. Why? because swain is extremely mana hungry and a good ap boost will help you get a couple of good kills early game.

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The masteries that I have chosen are 10/0/20 taking the extra magic penetration in offense rather than the summoner spell cdr in utility. At times I change it, why? because sometimes you just wish you had your clarity back and by getting the cdr you could use it much more faster but if you get the magic penetration you will do more damage. Really either way its your choice I like either one equally.

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Early Game

At the start you should start of with a Dorans Ring for the extra ap, health and mana regeneration your next item should be another Dorans Ring since it'll make you extra powerful early game. HOWEVER if the enemy has made you return to base before you have enough for a Dorans ring get HP pots instead around 2-3 of them. After this you get your boots, Sorcerer shoes ! obviously...

Mid Game

In mid game around lvl11 ish you should either have your Archangels or almost be there why an archangels and Rylais though? Why not a RoA? In my opinion I hate RoA i find it pricy, I mean sure its an all around mage item but eh I just don't like it. With a Rylais and Archangels ill get more mana and more hp, maan regen a frost aura alot more AP and it seems much more worth it. Also im not a patient person (: Now there is some debate about Rylais Crystal Scepter some people say its useless since you already have a slow but i find it ESSENTIAL. Why you may ask? because it gives you HP, Decent AP and best of all A FROST AURA (every bird from your ult slows). The frost Aura makes running away and chasing much easier for you and allies. Will of the ancients is optional but i like it, because its cheap, gives decent AP and gives me even more spell vamp on all my spells and more on my Ulti. Makes me feel like a big boy >=D

Late Game

By lvl16-18 you should have sold your 2 Doran's Rings and be starting on your Rabadon's Deathcap to give you that late game damage output. After your Rab's get your self a Zhonyas but this depends if your getting focused more on team fights maybe a Zhonyas is better if not and your confident you can just drop them all then get your self a Rabadons.

Why who wouldn't like choices !

Abyssal scepter - Alot of Ap on there team? and still want some good damage output? then an Abyssal's is the item for you ! (replacement in early game or Zhonyas or will of the ancients)
Void staff - Heaps and heaps and heaps of magic resist? well guess what I HAVE A VOID STAFF MUAHAHAHAHAHA (late game replacement zhonyas or rabs or will of the ancients)
Guardian Angel - YAY THE OLD MANS DEAD OMG HIS BACK QQ >< (replacement zhonyas or will of the ancients)
Deathfire Grasp - Hey look.. he has another nuke... *crys in corner* (replacement will of the ancients, zhonyas)

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Play Style !

To play Swain you must understand him and his limitations.
Early Game
In early game all you need to do is play a little safe.. you know chuck your e at them once and a while and make it seem like your a defenseless old man who cant do much damage. UNLESS they full on come at you... if they do teach them a lesson and either e,q,w or w,e,q. Keep doing this until around level6. By this time you should have your second Doran's rings. Now if you don't have a kill yet. Now is the time to get one start playing a little aggressively by harrasing them from time to time with your E and your Q combo. If they overextend to much W,E,Q or Q,E,W and R chase, chase, chase don't forget ignite. That should kill them. If there's a jungler you may want to get some wards. Or if there's a twitch or eve a vision ward is nice. This is something I need to get out though sometimes running is not the best option depending on whose ganking you, you can take both of them on sometimes even 3. Heres a good example. SCENARIO ! lets say a Warwick is about to gank you and your fighting a Teemo. Warwick jumps in and teemo comes in at lvl6-10 YOU CAN TAKE THEM ON just ulti nuke your friend Teemo like crazy, kill him and then most likely if the Warwick is smart he will run away if not rape him too but remember you will need your clarity. If your doing your early game well. The end result should be that your opponent is under leveled by at least 2 levels and can't farm properly.

Mid Game
By now you should have some of your items and people should be weary of you. You should also have AT LEAST 2 kills by now if you played your game properly. Start walking around get a blue bluff now and then, gank people, help defend just play casually and dominate in team fights. If your going to push, just push some lanes a little bit. Maybe just 2 or 3 minion waves? Remember though your ulti makes you tanky. Not invincible so don't push your self too much. Another thing you could do in mid game is just farm and level up this way you should have a clear advantage later on and dominate.

Late Game
Now you should have almost all your items and a lot of kills. Your role in team fights is to attempt to disable one of the enemy champions and kill them fast why? because you got a lot of cc and you should be seen as the scary old man who has a fetish for birds. Preferably the carry or the support. Your cool downs are quite low so just sit there and life drain and do all the damage you can. Keep your ads alive cause in the push afterwards you won't do much since your pushing capabilities are pretty ****. Don't foreget if you got Zhonyas and you get targeted straight on (if you killed a lot and was really annoying then this is most likely going to happen) zhonya immediately as you begin to get targeted. Remember your ulti still works in zhonya mode.

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Things to remember

* Your extremely mana hungry
* Your a great nuker
* Don't underestimate your ulti and at the same time don't overestimate it
* Master your nevermove this is what separates the good swains and the bad swains
* Your ulti does not make you invincible
* Map awareness helps you with any champion
* Common sense
* Your skill sequence is either E,Q,W,R or W,E,Q,R
* Ignite will half your halve your heal from your ulti. So watch for this pesky little spell

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Frequently asked Swain questions

Question: I don't get it why would swain benefit from clarity and not flash? After all clarity is almost useless late game and he also has a passive that gives him back mana per kill.
Answer: Ah you make some fine points there however Swain only gains lets say 10+1 per level mana per kill. Thats going to sustain you heaps (Y)... NO swain is a ****py last hitter and you can not rely on last hitting all the time just for mana. Plus yes it is true that clarity is useless late game but Swain is an exception he needs clarity all the time since his mana drains much faster than other heros and he needs to sustain his ult form during team fights awhile bursting people down at the same time. Lets do some math ! To morph into a raven it costs 25 mana at when Ravenous Flock is maxed out during his ult form it costs him an additional 9 mana each second to sustain the form. Lets say a team fight is 10 seconds? Just your ult on will cost 340 mana. than your skill sequence will cost 305 mana thats 600 mana gone. You'll be spamming your spells continually as well you will see your mana pool go down and clarity will by you some extra time.

Question: Does Swains birds prioritize champions?
Answer: Yes it does actually ! Due to a recent patch Ravenous Flock will target nearby enemy champions first rather than the first nearby enemy minion

Question: Does torment stack with ignite?
Answer: Yep thats why ignite is a great spell for swain great for those early burst downs !

Question: Nevermoves damage and Ap ratio is much higher than Decrepify so why shouldn't I max that out first?
Answer: Nevermove has a cool down of 18 seconds at lvl 1 however Decrepify has a cool down of 5 seconds fixed through all levels. Think about this the damage i can do with Decrepify + Torment is much more accurate (nevermove positioning) and much higher with the lower cd. Also the mana thats needed to cast Decrepify is much lower helping you with that early game sustain.

Question: Why not a RoA?
Answer: Good question now you see a RoA would usually be bought before 20 minutes or on the 20minute mark thats a good Roa. A decent RoA is bought below the 25minute mark in my opinion. The reason i do not get a RoA is because it doesn't give me that early game OOMPH that I LOVE about Swain. He isn't much of a farmer either I mean sure his ult can help him farm a lot but that uses mana and people could use that as an opening to get you since when you turn it off theres a 10 sec cd before you can use it again. Nevermove farming is a definite no no because its cd is long and its needed for killing, escaping etc. Getting a RoA early game would kill my early game OOMPH where i just go around killing people.

Question: If there is only one target will Ravenous Flock fire 3 birds at them instead of 1?
Answer: No thats just way too OP

Question: If I were to use torment, Decrepify and ignite on a vlad would his pool of blood cancel all these spells?
Answer: No he'd still get his *********

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Overall Swain is one of my most favorite characters and is an awesome midder. He nukes like crazy and drops people instantly. His also a mage that is quite tanky and very sustainable. I hope my guide has helped you guys and im open to any feed back. Any questions? feel free to leave them in the comments below and ill reply ASAP

A word of warning to those who try my guide. The second you choose clarity for swain people will in fact call you noob. However ! i have dealt with this a bunch of times and ive proven them wrong every single time. Ignore them and show them that a swain with clarity is a swain to be feared !