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League of Legends (LoL) Question: How to play against Swain?

Tags: Swain 11,496

  • Hamstertamer

    How to play against Swain?

    The combination of Nevermove + Ravenous Flock is basically an instant cast Death Sentence that hits you through creeps on a 9 second cooldown.

    His ultimate is literally just press R win teamfight, and he can always force a fight with the previous combo.

    His ult lasts 12 seconds. 12 freaking seconds. So "disengage when he ults" is simply not a thing. If you do that you lose the objective.

    And meanwhile Riot thinks the big thing about him that needs a nerf in 8.7 is his early game Q cooldown lul.

    How do you deal with this absurdly overloaded champion besides permaban him?

    I know that Mortal Reminder/ Morellonomicon are decent against him but that doesn't solve the problem since he still always wins his lane and turns this into a snowball, so late game items don't solve this issue. Besides reducing his healing by 40% is only a soft counter at best.

    The only exploitable weakness his kit could have would be that Nevermove doesn't go through creeps when travelling back, so you could stand in front of your ranged creeps to avoid it, but even then 1) there's a 100 AOE for the root so it can still hit you even when hitting a creep and 2) if he hits you at the max range it will always root you anyways.
  • Answers (0)

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    LordBlazer (1) | March 28, 2018 8:16pm
    Swain's kit basically revolves around nevermore. He is a combo mage who is reliant on his spells. Once you dodge nevermore you can really just all in him.

    A tip for dodging/avoiding nevermore is you place yourself such that you are standing in between your minions, with some in front of you and some behind you. This makes it hard for Swain to catch you as nevermore will root the minions behind you. But, if you get caught, Swain will pull you to use his combo of Death's Hand and Vision of Empire. But with the minions in front of you Death's Hand will not hit you.
    Try to build items which inflict grievous wounds like Morellonomicon or Executioner's Calling to reduce his healing.
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    Biperspectival (6) | March 28, 2018 7:38pm
    So, with respect to Nevermove, you basically need to get good at dodging it (I know, "duh"). A champion with mobility like Yasuo, LeBlanc, Riven, Katarina, Ezreal, etc is going to fear quite a bit better, and that mobility will let you disengage when he ults. So, if you can't dodge it easily, play someone mobile.

    Now, if you don't want to run away from Swain when he ults, you get a couple options:

    Just don't fight him in a teamfight. Take a split pushing champion like leblanc, and mercilessly shove lanes so that he never gets a chance to teamfight.

    Camp the other lanes. Take someone with a lot of map pressure like Taliyah, and just roam constantly. While Swain will get strong, you won't be dying to him since you'll be in other lanes, and if your adc/toplane gets fed enough they'll murder swain for you.

    Take a crazy high damage champion. Like Veigar or Ryze who can dish out enough damage to shut him down through his ult after you scale up. Now, your early game won't be very good, but if you're used to dodging Nevermove, you should be able to keep up okay. Lategame, when he ults you just ignore it and murder him.

    Yup, that's my advice.
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    BIG DADDY WILL (14) | March 27, 2018 8:04am
    Swain is forced to play around Nevermove which is on an incredibly long cooldown. Vision of Empire has a long detonation time and Death's Hand is too low-damage early game to be used reliably to trade. If Swain misses his Nevermove he could easily be dueled even in Demonic Ascension with grevious wounds and high damage. If you're lacking damage or can't reliably shut-down his healing then pinging for a gank will work just as well.
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    Hamstertamer (73) | March 27, 2018 10:52am
    Swain is forced to play around nevermore which is on an incredibly long cooldown.


    The cooldown early game is the same as similar abilities like Light Binding. The cooldown late game is 2 seconds shorter than Lux Q and with CDR it goes down to 5 seconds. Also his pull works on any CC from his allies.

    Swain can CC you behind your creeps, and can pull you to him. His CC in lane is far more oppressive than any other similar pick.


    If Swain misses his nevermore he could easily be dueled even in Demonic Ascension with grevious wounds and high damage. If you're lacking damage or can't reliably shut-down his healing then pinging for a gank will work just as well.


    Swain is not Mundo. Grievous wounds is only a very partial counter since it only deals with one small part of his overloaded kit. Great I just reduced his healing by 40%, but he still has his insane damage, CC and tankyness from ulti, so you still lose teamfights.

    Morellonomicon is decent, Mortal Reminder isn't even worth buying frankly since you don't need armor shred against Swain and on a carry another DPS item like BOTRK is just better to blow him up faster.

    Sure you can right click him down late game, but he'll just zhonyas like any other mage.
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    BIG DADDY WILL (14) | March 27, 2018 4:46pm
    Swain is forced to play around Nevermove which is on an incredibly long cooldown.

    Sorry I failed to specify in the early game.

    Nevermove is more predictable than most crowd control. You've mentioned positioning in front of minions can block the return root. It's important to keep distance from the wave as the root is area of effect. I'd argue that once he's used Nevermove in your minion wave that's the best time to step up and trade (in lane).

    The reduced healing impacts his damage. Swain must restore health through his ultimate to reactive Demonic Ascension therefore grevious wounds delays damage. I reiterate dodging Nevermove means his reliable damage is Death's Hand and his ultimate damage over-time. If he's properly focused he'll do very little damage. If he uses Zhonya's Hourglass then your options are either to focus another champion and/or step out of his ultimate area of effect (which is admittedly very difficult to work around).

    I would probably not recommend Mortal Reminder as well. It's better to build Executioner's Calling and sell the item later on and hopefully your ADC built it by then but can be useful during lane. Other resistances would also be good such as Maw of Malmortius or Adaptive Helm.
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    AbaddonSoulchain (16) | March 27, 2018 7:08am
    Swain isn't as strong as you may think. He's a combo mage so the typical approach is recommended. Try to dodge his E and/or Q and then you can all in him, he has no escape so he's easy to kill pre 6 as long as you have an aggressive champion. Something with a gap closer, along the lines of Riven should destroy him, jungler ganks are also helpful since like I sad, he has no escape tool. Other than that, a good poke champion with range like Ziggs should also work well.
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    Hamstertamer (73) | March 27, 2018 11:08am
    Pre 6 you can't all in him even if he misses E because he always has a minion advantage since he can spam Q on minions all day and regen mana from it. Also Swain destroys bruisers because they take full damage from his Q when they jump him (348 base damage at max rank). Riven can dodge his E by dashing but that's about it, no way she can outtrade him.

    Post 6 his ulti gives him 150 bonus HP plus the life drain which prevents you from bursting him down completely. And if you gank him he can 1v2.

    Gank him pre 6, sure, that's one kill and that's if my jungler is responsive. Then he gets 6 and gg.
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    naarcx | March 28, 2018 12:44am
    Riven's like one of the only champions I feel good playing into Swaim with... I was trying to make Ekko work against him for a while, but like you said, you just can't keep up with that mana regen. You just, yeah, obviously can't go in and face tank his Q, but not many Swain's are going to sit on their Q all day, especially if they're trying to poke you with nevermore--they need that mana/farm.

    Although, be prepared to instantly tilt your teammates when you pick Riven mid. :(
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