IntroductionHello everyone, my name in game is Clocksey. I have over 1000 games played, and am extremely passionate about understanding League of Legends and love the competitive scene. I spent a lot of time watching high elo streams and also playing.
I would like to warn everyone, I hate writing. I'm bad at it, my writing doesn't flow or sound good. I'm only writing this guide to try to teach what I know about swain, not impress anyone with flawless grammar or a well written guide.
In this guide you will find lots of quality information that has been obtained through numerous trails and games.
What is you role as swain?
Swain has a very unique roll as a caster. You are not a nuker, not an assasin, but a sustained, utility, tanky, caster.
You have great utility in all parts of the game with your spells. Especially when you buy your rylias.
With your ult healing you, you can tank a great deal of damage. Because heals give effective HP, always lean towards MR or ARMOR over HP tank items.
You are a caster that deals relatively low damage to single targets, unless you use all your spells on them.
Solo lane is always preferred on Swain, but if you can make a good team comp work, Swain does well bottom.
- Added 2 Videos (1080p)
- Fixed some horrible grammar
- Rewrote some
- Added some alternate builds!
- Fixed bad writing
- Added Catalyst section, recommended to watch regi for further help with this.
- Catalyst play section is now outdated a bit..
- RoA is decent
- Swain tier 1. GG
- Fixed formatting!
- I don't hate RoA anymore!
- Re-wrote a bunch based on more experience with swain!
- Added philos to build
- note: swain nerfs :(. I believe riot will buff him next patch.
Item BuildsWhat you see above is a very standard swain build. With those items I feel good. I'm tanky, I do damage, I'm a bird.
Now I would like to comment on some items.
You don't need spellvamp on swain. Spellvamp is NOT a good stat. It will never be good. It is bad.
UPDATE: Well, with the recent healing nerfs, I'm going to be evaluating spellvamp on swain. Stay tuned ~
It isn't THAT bad anymore
Its OK. I used to be really good for the super heals, but with the ongoing nerfs to it, its getting less and less viable to use. It's not bad, especially if you cant save up for a banshees.
NO DON'T DO IT
Building this is worse then building a ROA. Extremely expensive for what it does, and you simply do not have room with your build path to buy this pathetic item.
Take my word for it. Please don't buy this.
Quick Silver Sash
Good choice, but it should never be a core item. This item is and always will be situational. Awesome counter to heavy ignites, malz, ww, etc.
Never have a static boot in mind! Never mindlessly follow builds and just auto buy whatever it tells you to. The two main choices are and .
However, sorc boots are usually the best choice!
RunesWhile people may thing my rune choice is a little too defensive, a good defensive runebook can lead to a very aggressive play style.
The MR per level glyphs are super important. If you've played swain before and looked at your stats, you'll see your armor be at around 70-90, while your MR is at a flat 30 for the entire game.
This sucks. Fix it with runes.
Magic pen reds are the best on all casters so take them.
Mana regen yellows are 100% debatable, but I enjoy them. Dodge and armor aren't very good on swain, so I chose mana regen to make laning easier and so if some shaco decides to take blue all game you wont be super useless, only useless.
Health quints are good for early aggression in the lane.
* I have CDR blues in this one, I don't really recommend them over MR anymore. They still work fine, and so do AP blues.
Passive: Carrion Renewal
Whenever Swain kills an enemy unit, he recovers 10 mana (+1 each level).
Free mana in the lane! Awesome passive, works well when you need to farm just a bit more gold and when you need to heal (with ult).
Swain sets his raven to cripple an enemy. Over the next three seconds, the target takes 25/40/55/70/85 (+30% ap) damage (per second) over time and is slowed.
Cost 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100mana
Slow is extremely useful, usually only does good damage when combo'd. Up until late game, you won't be getting full damage out of this unless you can hit your root.
Now late game this ablity takes on a different role. With your rylias it will slow for a great deal, so once again it is good to use on melee champs. Combo it with your other spells for max damage.
Swain marks a target area. After a short delay, mighty talons grab hold of enemy units dealing 80/120/160/200/240 (+70% ap) damage and rooting them.
Cooldown 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10seconds
Cost 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120mana
AOE ROOT WOO. Learn to hit this. People will notice you missing stuns as much as people notice blitzcrank missing hooks. Its a lot easier if you q them, but if you e them before you get max DPS.
This ability is especially useful vs. melee champs. Try to always hit them with it over ranged or casters.
Swain afflicts his target, dealing 75/115/155/195/235 (+80% ap) damage to them over time and causing them to take 8/11/14/17/20% increased damage from Swain's attacks for 4 seconds.
Cost 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85mana
Use this to make all your skills hurt really bad! Increased damage rocks! During laning, it makes your auto attack harass hit a bit harder, and your combos deadly.
R: Ravenous Flock
Toggle: Swain transforms into the form of a raven, during this time up to 3 lesser ravens strike out at nearby enemies dealing 50/75/90 (+20% ap) damage each second. Swain is healed for half the damage dealt by the Ravens.
Cooldown 15 / 0seconds
Cost 25 / 0mana
super bird form. When you get your rylias all your birds will slow people. Awesome healing for lane sustainability, very good damage when you get some AP. Late game people will wtf when you heal for 10k HP.
This ult works during zhonyas active. Press 1 if you are in trouble, and after 2 seconds you will be full health!
Ignite is 100% required in my opinion. The massive damage you get while stacking it with E will not only lead to first bloods, but a huge possible snowball and the ability to destroy carries late game.
Flash is good. Ghost isn't as good as it used to be.
MasteriesI run 21 in the utility tree for the manaregen, CDR, and all the other goodies casters love.
Getting strength of spirit is extremely important. Without it you will have an awful time laning from
Level 1 FightsAlways pay attention at the beginning of the game and listen to what your team wants to do. Swain is a very decent level one champion ONLY if you can hit your skill shot. Hitting nevermore is a potential 5 man snare for 2 seconds. At level one that can get you a kill, or save a teammate.
LaningNow this section is where I will be going the most in depth about Swain. What makes or breaks a good swain is not his late game, not his mid game, but level 1-6.
You really need to pay attention to
- AUTO ATTACK. Even though you're a caster if you don't auto attack you are wasting dps. If you can get off a few good trades and hit him do it.
- This is especially important when you are going for your first blood combo.
- Extremely important in all games
- If you go out of mana with swain, it's because you cant last hit
Ability to control and handle a wave
- This is the most broad topic I will cover, Handling a creep wave takes a huge amount of time to learn.
- You must always make decisions on when to attack, if you should push him, if you want to be pushed, when to recall, and when is it a good time for you to gank.
- With swain at level 1-4, its a good idea to stick to last hitting and try to let him push.
- This part is 100% vital if you want to play swain
- Never go up and spam spells when the CDs are up, always look at your mana, oppenents health, creep wave, and all other variables that go into account
- Auto attack him and keep your opponent at around 60% health.
While this part is the most difficult, one you learn it the next section will be a breeze.
First Blood.Ignite really helps here. If you have been controlling your damage, denying a bit, harassing with auto attacks and just keeping the opposite laner low but not worried about dying you have done your job.
You will want to start to get aggressive with auto attacks here, take damage if you need to. Use one of your 3 spells depending on how much health you need to lower before your big combo.
Now it is time.
You. Must. Hit. Your. W.
Use e to slow him, flat out hit him with w, do whatever it takes. If you land your only skill shot, you will kill him. Use E, use Q, and ignite. AUTO ATTACK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.
With this devastating combo all oponents will be taken by surpise. The increased damage on ignite HURTS along with auto attacks and DOTS going on he will die if you have mastered controlling your damage.
Here you can see, I have weakened my opponent to the HP i want him at. I have done my damage very slowly too him to give him the illusion I can not nuke him down.
* the timer on ignite is glitched, it was up. lolreplays fault
Recap; CONTROL YOUR DAMAGE. WAIT FOR THE RIGHT MOMENT. DONT FUCK UP.
Embedding is broken? Heres link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08we_omj-Ck
Mid GameIf you have succesfully first blooded your opponent, this will be a walk in the park. He will be underleveld and farmed if you have been controlling the creep wave correctly and you can try to snag a few more kills. Either way, when you hit 6, you wont die.
It is crutial to farm farm farm mid game. Killing champs is the best way to farm, and last hitting is important too. If you have a catalyst and boots, just keep farming and controlling your damage. Other player makes a mistake? Combo his ass. Mid game you are king. KING. Don't be anyone's bitch.
The other teams jungler is mot likely a melee champion and your Q and W rape melee. With all this CC and a decent team, you should be able to secure dragons. If you farmed and are doing well, without being ignited you will almost be unkillable as long as you manage your mana and have the ability to combo someone hardcore.
TURN OF YOUR DAMN ULTIMATE
Seriously, learn when to turn it off. You keep it on to long? You have become 100% useless. There is nothing more useless then an OOM swain.
TURN IT OFF THANKS.
Late GameAlright, now onto the late game. You will feel like god if you have most of your build complete, but.
YOU. ARE. STILL. NOT. THE. TANK.
Let your tank do the tanking. Let him go in first. Let him die first. You are more important.
In most late game fights, you will want blue buff. No blue buff? Try to avoid a fight if your team will listen to you.
Now when your tank goes in, you need to get in the fight to do some dps. blindly run in. Yes, I know I said you are not the tank but you need to slow as much as you can with your ult + rylias, and try to do damage. Once you notice your health go down a bit pop your hourglass. Your ult will heal you up and the other team can do nothing but take damage from you. Afterwards, use your CC and damage on the right targets. Try to shut down their melee, or snare as much people as possible.
Final ThoughtsPlay swain, he is a lot of fun :)
Works extremely well in solo que and can carry 4 scrubs easy. Please leave comments if I missed anything, or add me if you wanna play with me.