Swain Build Guide

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Understanding LoL - Swain Edition

written by WoDahSj

Swain Build



Table of Contents

  • Updating for Volibear Patch - Done


    Volibear Patch Update To Do list:
    Introduction - of WoDahSj and The Guide - Done
    Who is The Master Tactician? - Done
    What Abilites does Swain have? - Done
    Swain's Three Roles: Mage, Off-Mage Guard or Off-Mage Damage - Done
    Pause and Practice NOW!. :) / WoDahSj's Three Learning Stages - Done
    Three Paths for Runes, Summoner Spells and Masteries - Done
    Three Paths for Leveling Swain's Abilities - Done
    Three Build Paths and Items - Done
    Summary - Outroduction - Done
    Changelog - Done

  • Introduction - of WoDahSj and The Guide

    Intro to WoDahSj: Who is that anyway?

    That would be me WoDahSj and the goal of this guide is to share my knowledge and understanding of LoL and its champions. I own every champion and usually have enough IP by the time each champion comes out to grab them right away, because of this I have become a kind of jack of all trades master of none. While I am not a "pro" and my style is not perfect, I do have a positive W/L ratio so my work to reward ratio has been worth it :).

    I have played a ton of SR since beta with over 1.2k wins and around 1k loss's. I have been playing dominion since it came out and hit 200 wins and 150 loss's last I looked. So as you can see my W/L Ratio is consistent for my career and through both modes too. 

    I play mainly "normal" games everything from solo to full pre-mades, most often though I am duo/trio que'ing. I will be joining the ranked community this season though. During Normals I usually feel the most responsible for "balancing out the team" simply because I can really owning so many champs. However just like anyone I sometimes just feel like playing a certain champion, usually because I don't feel I am good enough with them yet and I am trying to improve with them. the lucky champion that I will focus on for this guide is:

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    -----Swain - The Master Tactician-----
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    Intro to the Guide: What is this guide about? and who is it for?

    This guide is intended for New to Advanced players, its goal is to provide a good foundation for players to start off and work with, In addition to providing a little entertainment.

    What will this guide do for you?: What IS in it for you?!

    1 -Understand and Succeed: This guide will focus on helping you understand Swain and play successfully with him on both Dom and SR. It will do so by examining and giving tips and insight into Swains Roles and Abilities, as well as providing Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and Item Builds for you to use.

    2 - Foundation of Knowledge: While This guide does cover quite a bit and may be considered "Advanced" it will not be a High ELO guide to the champion at least not intentionally :), it will be simply sharing with you how I play and win while have fun in LoL. I hope it will be a good foundation of knowledge for you to start from, launching yourself into the game and growing from :).

    3 - Entertain and Think: If nothing else I hope this guide at least entertains you and helps you think of LoL in a new light. Perhaps it will inspire you to come up with a new build/tactic/strategy yourself to try. Point is, have fun, learn, think and enjoy :).

    What this guide will assume: Assumptions ahhh yeahhh!

    1 - Up until section 5: That you have played the both tutorials provided in the game and have played say less than 100 normal games so you understand basic gameplay pretty well outside of the champion factor. Which means you should have encountered all of the normal stats for a champion, such as the two different types of damage in the game, Magic and Physical. If you do not however know the base stats, here is a helpful link: Champion Statistics, If you needed to check that link you may want to look around here too for a bit and catch up on other aspects of the game as well, it has a bunch of basic information to look around at. Once you are done there come back over and we will continue on :).

    2 - After section 5: It will assume you have a fair amount of games under your belt yet you may not be level 30, that good idea of Swains abilities and role's, basically everything prior to section 6 is kind of taking hold for you, yet is not fully solidified. This is when I will go into detail about ways to level Swains Abilities, Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and Item Builds for each Role.

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    Welcome and Thanks for stopping by: :)
    So now you know who I am and have an idea of what the guides intentions are and who its for. I hope you enjoy it and if you do enjoy it or hate it feel free to vote and leave a comment why as feedback is welcomed I do improve the guide based on your feedback. Also if you want me to write a guide in this style of another champion feel free to let me know :).

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    WoDahSj: *clicks Swain* Let's do this!

    External Image: "The early bird guts the worm"

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  • Who is The Master Tactician?

    So who is The Master Tactician and what will he bring to the team?. Yes LoL is a Team game ;).

    What does Swain bring to the team?: Masterful Tactics duh, jking XD.

    1 - Three Roles: He can fulfill three roles in my eyes. Mage, Off-Mage Guard, Off-Mage Damage.

    2 - Hard CC: He can disable single or multiple targets.

    3 - Soft CC: He can slow a single target.

    4 - Damage Amp: He can amplify his damage to a single target.

    5 - Self Heal: He can heal from his ult.

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    Before we talk about Swains Abilities in depth lets first go over...

    Terms you need to know: No really try and remember these.
    1 - "AoE": Something that is an AoE will effect an area vs a single target.
    2 - "Channel" : If you have to channel an ability you cannot move or cast another ability during that channel or you're channeled ability will stop.
    3 - "Stun": If someone is stunned you or you're target, you will be unable to move or cast spells and all channeled abilities will be stopped.
    4 - "Suppression": If someone is suppressed you or you're target, they will be unable to use any abilities or move, however all channeled abilities will continue to channel.
    5 - "Snare": If someone is snared it means they cannot move but can still cast abilities.
    6 - "Passive": A Passive ability means its effect is always happening you do not need to do anything.
    7 - "Skill Shot": A Skill Shot ability means you have to actually aim the projectile to make sure it hits its target.
    8 - "Instant Cast": An Instant Cast ability means as soon as you hit the ability it will take effect.
    9 - "Toggle": A "Toggled" ability means you turn on and off this ability at will with each click.
    10 - "CC": Stands for Crowd Control it refers to abilities that stun, snare, or suppress you.
    11 - "MR": MR Stands for Magic Resistance its the value of you're opponents protection vs you're magic damage. The more you reduce their MR the more Magic Damage you will deal with you're abilities.
    12 - "SR": Refers to the Map Summoner's Rift
    13 - "Dom": Refers to the Map Dominion

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    WoDahSj: Lets discuss with them some of you're tactics and abilities shall we?.

    External Image: "A Noxian does not dawdle"

    WoDahSj: Well then we will get right to it.

    External Image: "Efficient Strategy"

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  • What Abilites does Swain have?

    Swain's 'Passive' Ability: Carrion Renewal
    Attributes: Passive, Mana Gain.

    Swain's "Passive" Ability give's him a specific amount of Mana every time he gets the killing blow on an enemy unit.

    This ability helps swain have a decent Mana sustain in lane's you may find you do not even need to buy mana pots early on due to this ability.

    Tips:
    1 - Good Timing: Practice your last hitting and get good with it and Mana should not be too much of a burden.
    2 - Pushing Power: Because you get Mana back for the killing blow on enemy units, I will often turn on my ult or cast other abilities to make sure I get the last hit as it basically lessons the cost of that ability overall, because of this swain can push lanes pretty strongly.
    2 - Bubble of Control: Once again harass your opponent and attempt to push them back so they don't get xp, keep your last hitting on focus and you will be able to consistently harass and push them back.

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    Swain's 'Q' Ability (Lock on): Decrepify
    Attributes: Select Target, DOT, Slows Target.

    Swain's 1st "Lock On" ability will deal damage overtime to your selected target in addition to slowing them. as long as an enemy is within range this ability will hit them.

    This ability is great for slowing an enemy down so you can either escape or initiate. Just by casting this on an enemy you can enable your team to get the kill or even save a life if you throw it on an enemy that is after one of your allies.

    Tips:
    1 - Combooonation: If you are having trouble landing Nevermove case this on your enemy first to slow them and make for easier combos. 
    2 - Key Targets: Use this in team-fights on key target's you think are either a high threat to you or your back line or depending on how the fight is going key targets you don't want to escape. 

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    Swain's 'W' Ability (Skill Shot): Nevermove
    Attributes: Aimed, AoE Damage and Hold at Targeted Location.

    Swain's "Skill Shot" ability allows you to target an area and after a short delay anything within the targeted zone will take damage and be held in place for a few seconds.

    This ability is usually swain's bread and butter, mastering this skill is really key to mastering swain as it will initiate team-fights, enable kills and save life's. If there is one thing you do it's learning to predict your enemy's movement and catch them in a hold, often times your allies will be able to initiate based upon you landing a successful Nevermove when normally they could not.

    Tips:
    1 - Study thine enemy: Every player in the game is unique but you will notice a lot of 'common' behavior between certain enemy champions or just from players in general, really focus on the ability to get inside your opponents head and know their move before they do and you will be a key factor in many situations.
    2 - Area Denial: Sometimes you don't even need to land Nevermove to be successful with it, you can also use it as an area denial tool so you force the enemy to make the choice of moving into the area you targeted and get hit by Nevermove or to dodge it and go to where you want them to, either way its lose lose for them.
    3 - Target not your foe: Remember you are not targeting the champion even if you click on them, all you are doing is selecting an area remember this, as you can throw holds ahead or in-front of your enemy and catch them as they run. I far to often see swain's center their enemy in the circle and usually that is not what you want to do as better players will always be moving and keeping you guessing :).
    4 - Hold still the lot of you: In Team-fights try and place this ability to hold as many targets at once, I will sometimes save this ability for a second if I did not initiate the fight and let my enemies reveal them self's and bunch up so I can hold multiple targets.

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    Swain's 'E' Ability (Lock On): Torment
    Attributes: Select Target, DOT, Amplify's Swain's Damage on Target.

    Swain's 2nd "Lock On" Ability will deal damage over time to your selected target and amplify any further damage you deal to that target while they are effected by Torment.

    This ability really helps you mark and pile on damage to who you deem is the highest threat.

    Tips:
    1 - Torment them First: Yep just like it says, Cast Torment first on your enemy as much as you can to maximize your damage output. Sometimes it's not possible as you need to Decrepify first to slow or Nevermove to hold, but try to land Torment first as much as you can.
    2 - Their eyes are wide: You can sometimes trick your enemy by harassing with Nevermove and Decrepify and not letting them see you are leveling Torment and then when they jump you, you can cast your full combo and surprise them with your damage output.

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    Swain's 'R' Ability (Toggle): Ravenous Flock
    Attributes: Toggle, AoE Damage around you, Heal return from damage delt.

    Swain's "Instant Cast" ability will deal damage to up to 3 target's around you and heal swain for a portion of the damage dealt, draining your mana constantly.

    This ability really allows swain to get in closer to team-fights then most mage's would normally be able to and even kite enemies back to your damage dealers to help finish them off.

    Tips:
    1 - Know your limits: Swain can tank and sustain fairly well in fights with this ability but know your limits you are still a mage, use the range of your ravens as your leash to enemies get in close enough to hit as many enemies you can but yet not close enough where their whole team can jump you. Sometimes you can dive all the way in though and that's where knowing your limits comes into play.
    2 - Kite like a boss: Always run back toward's your damage dealers if things start to head south for you this will cause the enemy to either attack your high damage dealers at which time you will be able to heal up and further attack them OR continue trying to kill you as they pepper them.
    3 - One does not waste a raven: Try and turn this ability off as soon as there are no enemies around, since it does drain mana constantly you can sometimes cause more harm to yourself by leaving it on and losing to much mana so that you cannot cast another ability to escape or enable the kill.

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    WoDahSj: Next I think we should look at the 3 roles you play on the battlefield yeah?.

    External Image: "How Obvious"

    WoDahSj: This way then.

    External Image: "I'll give the orders"

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  • Swain's Three Roles: Mage, Off-Mage Guard or Off-Mage Damage

    So now that we have an understanding of what Swain brings to the team as far as abilities and an idea of how to use them, lets now talk about his roles a little. 

    How to Choose which role to play: yesss how does one choose?.

    While I do use all three role's that I'll define for Swain, it's not as simple as just choosing a role and locking in, you need to reference you're team. So I will list my thoughts when I look at my team and how I choose the role I will be playing for the game.

    1st - Mage: If my team is lacking a Mage, I will go with this role first.

    2nd - Off-Mage Guard: If my team has a Mage already, I will go with this role. 

    3rd - Off-Mage Damage:  If my team already has a Mage and a Guard, Then I will go this role.

    Lets now talk about each role in-depth, what you should be considering and how you're play-style will go.

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    First what are the Concerns for Swain Mage?: Hmmm. Lets see.

    1 - 'Adapt and Assist': Being a Mage with CC you can generally guide the team-fight by hindering key targets that your allies need to takeout with Decrepify, often a fight will fallow that path, you Decrepify a target your team focus's and kills, you Decrepify the next target, etc.

    Usually you will be in the middle of your team, ahead of your squishies but behind your front-line, you will be adapting to protect your back-line or assist in pushing the front-line during a fight. Its very situational and if you were not the one initiating the fight then sometimes it is helpful to wait a second if their whole team has not yet been revealed before you react as your back-line may be getting flanked and need your help or maybe you do need to throw everything at the front-line. Swain cannot master his tactics without full intel, so attempt to make the best choices with the intel you have, but also know when you don't have the full picture and make the judgement to either  A, wait for more information or B, go fulll bore.

    2 - 'Kiting Master': Being a mage you will often be a target for your enemy to kill early on in a fight, try and balance getting their attention and then kiting them around your allies so that as you deal your damage and delay them your team can pick up the kills.

    You will win many team-fights simply because you got someone who was so determined to kill you that they chased you around for too long and ended up getting killed by your team-mates. Try not to stray too far from your allies as you kite.

    When Mage on Summoner's Rift:
    1 - 'In the Mix': Usually if your team is going for dragon or baron You will want to be hiding in the middle of your team so you can hinder/add damage to any enemy that needs it.

    When Mage on Dominion:
    1 - 'Big Hindrance': Hang around Speed buffs and Slow any enemies attempting to pass through to your back door or any other location. By doing this not only can you adapt and run to wherever your team needs you, but you are delaying your enemies doing the same. 

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    Second what are the Concerns of an Off-Mage Guard?: Similar to those above, yet slightly different.

    1 - 'Guard Duty': Being an Off-Mage Guard you will not focus on helping you allies by CCing and applying damage to them, you will help them by taking damage for them so they can deal theirs along with CCing your enemy.
    Your main focus should be to protect your Damage dealers, which may mean you need to be on the front-line or the back-line either way keep them safe. If an enemy comes for them simply CC that enemy and attempt to get them to attack you so that your Damage can Destory them. You are not a full blown tank which is why you won't lead a team-fight to take the initial brunt of your enemies damage, but you are by no means squishy within this role and you are well suited to protect your Damage Dealers.

    2 - 'Kite as needed': Just because you can take some damage doesn't mean you have to just stand there and take it. When you can Kite your enemy around so that some of their damage is reduced on top of leading them into a better position for your team to kill.

    When Off-Mage Guard on Summoner's Rift:
    1 - 'Delay like a Boss': When fighting baron or dragon you can hang more in the back as you are not built for as much damage hiding in a bush. You can use your CC abilities to delay and then kite your enemies right to your allies.

    When Off-Mage Guard on Dominion:
    1 - 'CC is King': Attempt to save your CC abilities for when the enemy push's on your point then attempt to lock them down and slow them to keep them there for as long as possible. 

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    Third what are the Concerns of Swain Off-Mage Damage?: But, WoDahSj I thought this was swains main role?.

    1 - 'Drop em like its hot': Your primary concern will be to pick out whichever target is the highest priority and destroy them as quick as possible, your team will often fallow your direction of who to kill in this role, so CC any target you think will die very quickly or if they are a high threat and start bursting and wearing them down your team will fallow suit.

    2 - 'You set them up and I'll knock em down': Stick with your Tanks/Guards in this situation so they can keep enemies off of you as you are destroying everything. Working well with them is key and if done properly your enemies will be dropping like flies. 

    When Off-Mage Damage on Summoner's Rift:
    1 - 'Nukage': You will be one of the main people relied on to drop dragon/baron as your team goes in for the kill. Given that you are dealing high damage for your team. Attempt to burn them down quickly but be aware when its time to abort and fight the enemy or attempt to finish off dragon/baron.

    When Off-Mage Damage on Dominion:
    1 - 'Swain Must Die': Utilize your team well and you will be a HIGH threat to the enemy try and stay in a position on your point/with your allies so that you can continue to deal all of your damage. 

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    WoDahSj: Shall we take a break for a second now?.

    External Image: "I'm five steps ahead of you"

    WoDahSj: No really swain let's let all of that sink in for a minute.

    External Image: "If you insist"

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  • Pause and Practice NOW!. :) / WoDahSj's Three Learning Stages

    Now you should have a decent understanding of Swain; What roles brings to the team and what abilities he is outfitted with. Which means you should have a bulk of the knowledge you need to play him well, at this point if you are new you should go off and play The Master Tactician and gain experience with him because any champion takes practice getting use to their flow and experience for the feel of the champion. 

    I would recommend pausing and practicing the concepts above no-matter who you are and then move on to understanding better options for Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and Builds. If you decide to pause and practice simply buy the recommended items and focus on his core concepts. 

    Next I will be talking about what *I* use for Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and Builds. Keep in mind its more about *me* and *my* style from here on out vs general knowledge and understanding of Swain. I encourage you to take the base understanding you have learned already and see if you can think of Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and Builds that would benefit Swain and your style and then go try it out.

    Now that the chance to practice has been given, lets move on :D.

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    I often find that people fail more due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of their champions and mis-understanding of their role on the team vs having the best Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and Build. Which is why I gave the choice of pausing and practicing. But with that said, Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and Builds are definitely important and give you an edge if used well.

    WoDahSj's Three Stages: Easy as 1, 2, 3.

    The First - Learning: I use this when I am focusing on fundamentals of a champion IE:Everything we just spoke about. Which involves a generic set of Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and the recommended Build.

    The Second - Experimental: This is when I start doing weird Combos of Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and builds, getting a range and feel for the champion on what stats feel more valuable and what seemed to be the most effective.

    The Third - Focused/Specialized: With all the knowledge and experience gain I do much more focused and practical Combos of Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and Builds, Fine tuning until I am fulfilling my role effectively.

    I will leave the first two stages for you as they are a personal journey in my opinion of you fallowing you're thoughts and idea's. In the next section I will go over my Focused and Specialized setups for the roles I play, Mage, Off-Mage Damage or Off-Mage Guard. Lets move along :).

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    WoDahSj: Time to show them how you prepare yourself for battle.

    External Image: "My thoughts exsactly"

    WoDahSj: You are determined it seems.

    External Image: "My destination is absolute"

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  • Three Paths for Runes, Summoner Spells and Masteries

    The Mage Path: No Mage on the Team? there is now :).

    1 - Runes - Mage:
    Greater Mark of Insightx9 = +8.5 Magic Penetration - For a little bit of damage.
    Greater Seal of Clarityx9 = +16 Mana Regeneration at level 18 - To assist with our faster casting.
    Greater Glyph of Intellectx9 = +101 Mana - Larger mana pool.
    Greater Quintessence of Intellectx3 = +112 Mana - Even larger mana pool.

    2A - Primary Summoner Spells - Mage:
    Flash: Allows me to shift positions as I need to help an ally or escape a bad situation.
    Promote: Allows me to push lanes harder as needed.

    2B - Secondary Summoner Spells - Mage:
    Clarity: Allows me to replenish some of mine and my allies mana as needed.
    Clairvoyance: Allows me to keep an eye on enemy positions so we can adapt.

    3 - Masteries - Mage

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    The Off-Mage Guard Path: Already have a Mage? its Guard time :).

    1 - Runes - Off-Mage Guard:
    Greater Mark of Insightx9 = +8.5 Magic Penetration - Must reduce their protection vs me.
    Greater Seal of Vitalityx9 = +175 Health at level 18 - To take a few blows when needed.
    Greater Glyph of Intellectx9 = +101 Mana - Allows for more casting.
    Greater Quintessence of Fortitudex3 = +78 Health - More health for survivability vs everything.

    2A - Primary Summoner Spells - Off-Mage Guard:
    Heal: Allows me to defend a point or tank a fight even longer for my team. 
    Promote: Allows me to push lanes harder as needed.

    2B - Alternate Primary Summoner Spells - Off-Mage Guard:
    Flash: Allows me to shift positions as I need to help an ally or escape a bad situation.
    Garrison: Allows me to lead the charge into a point or defend a point longer/even pick up kills.

    2C - Secondary Summoner Spells - Off-Mage Guard:
    Cleanse: Allows me shrug off some disables and damage to either escape or attack.
    Clairvoyance: Allows me to keep an eye on enemy positions so we can adapt.

    2D - Alternate Secondary Summoner Spells - Off-Mage Guard:
    Clarity: Allows me to replenish some of mine and my allies mana as needed.
    Revive: Allows me to quickly be back to a point to defend when they actually do kill me.

    3 - Masteries - Off-Mage Guard:

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    The Off-Mage Damage Path: Already have a Mage? and a Guard? Damage it is :).

    1 - Runes - Off-Mage Damage:
    Greater Mark of Insightx9 = +8.5 Magic Penetration - Must reduce their protection vs me.
    Greater Seal of Clarityx9 = +16 Mana Regeneration at level 18 - Mana can be a problem.
    Greater Glyph of Forcex9 = +28 Ability Power at level 18 - Increasing my damage output.
    Greater Quintessence of Insightx3 = +5.7 Magic Penetration - Further increasing my damage output.

    2A - Primary Summoner Spells - Off-Mage Damage:
    Exhaust: Allows me to disable an enemy target for a few seconds.
    Promote: Allows me to push lanes harder as needed.

    2B - Alternate Primary Summoner Spells - Off-Mage Damage:
    Flash: Allows me to shift positions as I need to help an ally or escape a bad situation.
    Surge: Allows me to boost my damage so I can burst harder.

    2C - Secondary Summoner Spells - Off-Mage Damage:
    Ignite: Allows me to reduce a target enemies healing/add bonus damage to them.
    Clairvoyance: Allows me to keep intel on the enemy.

    2D - Alternate Secondary Summoner Spells - Off-Mage Damage:
    Ghost: Allows me to escape from an area or get to an area where I am needed.
    Clarity: Allows for clutch casting/more casting for the team.

    3 - Masteries - Off-Mage Damage:

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    Additional Summoner Spells: Other Summoner Spells you could consider.

    Teleport: Is useful getting to a location to defend it or to attack it (SR only). 

    Smite: Is useful for pushing a lane faster or countering a promote. (and on SR for jungling.)

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    WoDahSj: Now lets talk about your different tactics.

    External Image: "Victory awaits"

    WoDahSj: It certainly does, but first you have to level.

    External Image: "A calculated risk"

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  • Three Paths for Leveling Swain's Abilities

    Mage Path: No Mage on the Team? there is now :).

    Mage in Dom,
    Mage in SR,
    For levels 1-13:In this situation you will be using your Decrepify the most here, using it on any enemy you or your team is trying to kill. Throwing on Torment immediately afterwards. Save Nevermove for situations where you need to lock that person down for an additional amount of time or if you need to get away from a fight.

    For levels 14+: Once you start getting Nevermove leveled you will be able to disable more frequently single or multiple targets in fights allowing further kills or more retreats, as well as be able to push lanes faster.

    Team-Fights: Your first concern is to hinder a enemy coming for your back-line or an enemy your team is trying to kill on the front-line with Decrepify fallowed by applying Torment to them immediately after, Then turning on Ravenous Flock, and using Nevermove to lock down a high threat to you or your team OR use it to lock down as many enemies as you can for your team to destory.
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    Off-Mage Guard Path: Already have a Mage? Its Guard time :).

    Off-Mage Guard in Dom,
    Off-Mage Guard in SR,
    For levels 1-13:
    In this situation you will use Nevermove the most, disabling and locking down enemies so that you and your team can either push an attack or escape, use Decrepify after the hold duration is up to chain your CC as best as possible. Saving Torment for situations when you are focusing a certain target attempting to add as much damage as you can with this build.

    For levels 14+: Once you start getting Torment leveled you will be able start dealing quite a bit more single target damage to your enemy.

    Team-Fights: Your goal here will be to protect your back-line using Nevermove to lock down any approaching enemies chaining into Decrepify to prolong the CC, in addition to applying Torment and turning on Ravenous Flock While moving in front of your allies to draw the enemies attention onto you, pay attention to how much damage you can take and kite enemies around as needed.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Off-Mage Damage Path: Already have a Mage? and a Guard? Damage it is :).

    Off-Mage Damage in Dom,
    Off-Mage Damage in SR,
    For levels 1-13:In this situation Torment will be your most used skill, Apply it to a target and attempt to hit them with Nevermove as soon as you can, while they are locked down you can auto attack for more damage. Save Decrepify for situations where you are chasing someone or when you are trying to get away from an enemy.

    For levels 14+: Once you start getting Decrepify leveled you will be able to hinder key targets more effectively and more often allowing you further chasing ability as well as escaping ability.

    Team-Fights: Your first thought in a team-fight should be whats the most valuable target to kill without getting yourself in too deep. Start off by throwing Torment and then turning on Ravenous Flock as you are close enough to the enemy then attempt to hold them and anyone else you can with Nevermove, using Decrepify on anyone your team is chasing or that is chasing your allies to hinder them.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    WoDahSj: Uhh swain what are you doing?.

    External Image: "Dispatch these worms"

    WoDahSj: Should we grab some items first?.

    External Image: "Impeccable decision"

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  • Three Build Paths and Items

    Keep in mind before I go over some of these set 'builds', to ME personally LoL is ALL about adapting there is no "one" build that is superior, there are many situations that call for you to get say thornmail vs a randuins first, or rush that deathcap.. Its very very situational and developing that sense and understanding will get you far. With that said its Item time! :D.

    Beginning Items in Dom:

    Mage Starting Items: , , , .
    Off-Mage Guard Starting Items, x2, x2. 
    Off-Mage Damage Starting Items, , .

    ---------------------------------------                                                                        ----------------------------------------

    Beginning Items in SR:
    Mage Starting Items:
    Off-Mage Guard Starting Items 
    Off-Mage Damage Starting Items
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When to use each build: How does one decide?.

    If its a 2/3 split either way: Take the one of the Hybrid Builds.
    If 4+ of the enemy are Physical: Take one of the Physical defined builds.
    If 4+ of the enemy are Magical: Take one of the Magic defined builds.

    ---------------------------------------                                                                        ----------------------------------------

    Starter Build: Simply buy the recommended items in-game.

    ---------------------------------------                                                                        ----------------------------------------

    Mage Builds:

    Hybrid Enemies:

    Hybrid Mage Standard: Balanced Mix.[builder=Swain/b911b8dad3aee4735dc9ff5274c2d779]
    Hybrid Mage A: Dieing a lot.[builder=Swain/b899bd21de7d2e5af2d57e41acd1fc33]
    Hybrid Mage B: Killing a lot.[builder=Swain/c1a38d1ba456ea7e5316f1efc5cdab13]
    Mostly Physical Enemies:

    Physical Mage Standard: Balanced Mix.[builder=Swain/2ee6f88d91525cfd44d697db8bc33cab]
    Physical Mage A: Dieing a lot.[builder=Swain/f975f61d1d4c0c639b02ba6f3526e450]
    Physical Mage B: Killing a lot.[builder=Swain/f2c49e2ec1bd2165298487a53a7500c8]Mostly Magical Enemies:
    Magical Mage Standard: Balanced Mix.[builder=Swain/82b09d337cc006905efc73ec9dbb66bb]
    Magical Mage A: Dieing a lot.[builder=Swain/e3e0f76041f0f2093f1d132129fabb79]
    Magical Mage B: Killing a lot.[builder=Swain/e8af33eee587abd222eda62e60b905cb]---------------------------------------                                                                        ----------------------------------------

    Off-Mage Guard Builds:
    Hybrid Enemies:

    Hybrid Off-Mage Guard Standard: Balanced Mix.[builder=Swain/a4a7eb350d33ed30d459bb3d103ea8ef]
    Hybrid Off-Mage Guard A: Dieing a lot.[builder=Swain/2939ef9bd240d09e29df67d8dca0e4a9]
    Hybrid Off-Mage Guard B: Killing a lot.[builder=Swain/3bc5bbf340f35c8c83a15331dfaeb9e2]
    Mostly Physical Enemies:

    Physical Off-Mage Guard Standard: Balanced Mix.[builder=Swain/1075cd8844df712ef6d0400ea5e8f5f0]
    Physical Off-Mage Guard A: Dieing a lot.[builder=Swain/b459e40992ef52ffdda9466b23a29f9c]
    Physical Off-Mage Guard B: Killing a lot.[builder=Swain/1052997a5893f68d5363a3d21f1635e5]
    Mostly Magical Enemies:

    Magical Off-Mage Guard Standard: Balanced Mix.[builder=Swain/853d531c01e80e11245ab172ade5c9a6]
    Magical Off-Mage Guard A: Dieing a lot.[builder=Swain/0a34a40c7d8987143b330f4e5ba98241]
    Magical Off-Mage Guard B: Killing a lot.[builder=Swain/59f6588c98236502f1c950036aea8fdd]
    ---------------------------------------                                                                        ----------------------------------------

    Off-Mage Damage Builds:

    Hybrid Enemies:

    Hybrid Off-Mage Damage Standard: Balanced Mix.[builder=Swain/79c77b0207da22805fe5fd809903d755]
    Hybrid Off-Mage Damage A: Dieing a lot.[builder=Swain/c9c1e53d44ed0d7add2ec95b0b7979f2]
    Hybrid Off-Mage Damage B: Killing a lot.[builder=Swain/5d14c0d0c4ce474dec05c89194575ad8]
    Mostly Physical Enemies:

    Physical Off-Mage Damage Standard: Balanced Mix.[builder=Swain/18d50790b39d8d5c09fbd347ec20ff7a]
    Physical Off-Mage Damage A: Dieing a lot.[builder=Swain/540691ddfc62f66a5398d413d51515df]
    Physical Off-Mage Damage B: Killing a lot.[builder=Swain/303831f9833961c1cd18e9f5ecc4d4fd]
    Mostly Magical Enemies:

    Magical Off-Mage Damage Standard: Balanced Mix.[builder=Swain/98fa4f2f66ee5a6d16bf4d7723a32257]
    Magical Off-Mage Damage A: Dieing a lot.[builder=Swain/19f58a1a44ca8dec3c0504f9b3252b36]
    Magical Off-Mage Damage B: Killing a lot.[builder=Swain/80425bcb33d67abd68d81596a2821754]-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Items Applicable to Swain: Those builds above are just a few examples of a clear cut build or long term goal. Itemization is still adaptable every-game to me. :).

    Swain's Applicable Boots:

    Defense:
    Ninja Tabi: I'll take these when I need Protection vs Physical and Auto Attackers
    Mercury's Treads: I'll take these when I need Protection vs Magic and CC.

    Offense:
    Ionian Boots of Lucidity: I'll take these when I need to be stunning and casting faster.
    Sorcerer's Shoes: I'll take these when I need to burst harder.

    Support:
    Boots of Swiftness: I'll take these if we are chasing more and I don't need more damage or defense. Boots of Mobility: I'll take these when I am switching points to help defend or assault a lot on the map and again if I don't need more damage or defense.

    ---------------------------------------                                                                        ----------------------------------------

    Swain's Applicable Defense Options:

    Against Physical:
    Thornmail - I'll grab this when an enemy is rushing high damage/life-steal.
    Randuin's Omen - I'll grab this when an enemy is rushing attack speed and crit-chance.
    Sunfire Cape - I'll grab this if multiple enemies are rushing damage/life-steal.
    Frozen Heart - I'll grab this if multiple enemies are rushing attack speed/crit-chance.

    Against Magic:
    Chalice of Harmony - I'll grab this if i'm living in fights and running out of mana.
    Quicksilver Sash - I'll grab this if CC is the biggest problem in fights.
    Spirit Visage - I'll grab this if I need tank their magic more early on.
    [item=Force of Nature] - I'll grab this if surviving against constant magic harassment is the main concern.
    Odyn's Veil - I'll grab this first if surviving burst magic damage is the main concern.

    Against Hybrid:
    Warmog's Armor - I'll grab this first to further boost anything else I build's effectiveness for defense.
    Guardian Angel - I'll grab this if I need to tank burst damage of both types.

    ---------------------------------------                                                                        ----------------------------------------

    Swain's Applicable Offense:

    Main Damage:
    Void Staff - I'll grab this if the enemy is stacking MR.
    Rabadon's Deathcap - I'll grab this if the enemy is stacking health.
    [item=Morello's Evil Tome] - I'll grab this if I need more damage plus sustain.
    Moonflair Spellblade = I'll grab this if CC is a problem for holding me down but not killing me.
    Archangel's Staff - I'll grab this if I know I will have mana issues but still want to add damage. MUST GRAB EARLY GAME AS IT TAKES CASTING TO BUILD.
    Deathfire Grasp - I'll grab this if the enemy team is really tanky.

    Damage and Defense
    Rylai's Crystal Scepter - I'll grab this to soft cc enemies from chasing allies or getting away.
    Rod of Ages - I'll grab this early on instead of Rylai's Crystal Scepter if I don't think I will need to Slow enemies. MUST GRAB EARLY GAME AS IT TAKES 10 MINUTES TO BUILD UP.
    Haunting Guise - I'll grab this if I need to balance tanking and damage early.
    Zhonya's Hourglass - I'll grab this to burst then distract the enemy team.
    Lich Bane - I'll grab this to chase and beat down mages.

    ---------------------------------------                                                                        ----------------------------------------

    Swain's Applicable Support:

    Aura's:
    Will of the Ancients - I'll grab this if my team is mostly Magic.
    Abyssal Scepter - I'll grab this if my team is mostly Magic vs Magic.
    [item=Soul Shroud] - I'll grab this if my team is mixed.
    Aegis of the Legion - I'll grab this if my team is mostly physical.

    Utility:
    Hextech Sweeper - I'll grab this if stealth enemies are a problem.
    Shurelya's Reverie - I'll grab this when me or my team needs to chase/move around the map a lot.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    WoDahSj: We're all set now, Runes, Summoner Spells, Masteries and Even Items. Anything else?

    External Image: "My bird is hungry"

    WoDahSj: Um, thanks for that.

    External Image: "My pleasure"

    WoDahSj: Sooo about your enemies then.

    External Image: "They dare oppose Noxus?"

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Summary - Outroduction

    If you really read this far, first of all *applause* for you and thank you for checking the guide out fully :). You should now have a good understanding of my knowledge of Swain. We first spoke about Who Swain was and what he brought to the team, we then spoke about his Abilities more in-depth and Tips for them, after that we went over the Roles that I fulfill with him on a team, I then gave you the chance to pause and practice :) and I spoke a little of how I learn, we then looked at Runes/Summoner Spells and Masteries for each Role, fallowing that we spoke about what order to level your Abilities during a game for each Role, before finally talking about Build orders for each Role. All leading up to here, the outro.

    So there you have it 'WoDahSj's Guide to Understanding LoL - Swain Edition' is before you. It has been a little long, I hope I kept you entertained and that it was easy to read :). LoL has been my prime game for years now and many of my friends/family enjoy it as well, I wish it the best and I hope it continues to grow and improve as it has since beta.
    Feel free to leave a comment and vote for the guide, I would love feedback and I am continually looking to improve :). So once again thanks for reading, and I will see you on the fields of justice :).

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    WoDahSj: What are you thinking about swain?

    External Image: "If we approach strategically from the flank... Oh who am I kidding, let's just morph and eat them."

    WoDahSj: Hey swain, while your morphed tell us a joke.

    External Image: "Your seriously asking a giant bird...for a joke?"

    WoDahSj: Yes! Please a joke?

    External Image: "Seriously again?! Just drop it!"

    WoDahSj: okayyy, but I really think they would enjoy it.

    External Image: "Think logically for ONE SECON--CAW CAW CAW"

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Changelog

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    01/10/2012:
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update


    01/01/2012:
    -Prevented the world from ending.
    -Used magic to spawn swain into our world.
    -Swain was detained by the USA Goverment.
    -Updated Changelog.


    12/27/2011:
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update


    12/13/2011:
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update
    -Reserved for Future update


    12/6/2011: 
    -Added Changelog
    -Updated format for champion dialog.
    -Updated Outroduction.
    -Added Starting Items for SR.
    -Fixed a bug that was not showing swains portrait in the Outroduction.


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