LoL Champion Guide: Swain Runes, Build & Playstyle | RiftFeed
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LoL Champion Guide: Swain Runes, Build & Playstyle

Guides 19-10-2023 11:45

Swain is one of my personal favorite champs. One might say it's my best champ. I've reached Diamond 2 with an 80% win rate in 40 games on this pick, so I can give you one or two good insights in this Swain Champion Guide.

Swain Guide Header

Ah yes, Swain. A champ which always has been a favorite of mine, even though he got changed quite a lot. I loved pre-reworked Swain as well, so I got quite some years of experience on him.

He's played as Support most often right now with a role rate of 50,6%, but I don't think it's where Swain shines.

Just in comparison: Swain Bot has a win rate of 54,54% and Swain Mid 54,23%, while Swain Support only has a win rate of 50,83%

In this guide, I will show you everything that I know about this champ and why I'm so successful with it.

LoL Champion Guide: Swain's Abilities

Swain abilities

Like every other champion in LoL, Swain possesses a passive and four unique abilities:

Passive - Ravenous Flock

Swain can get a Soul Fragment after enemies died. You can collect them while standing near, as well as with W and E.

For each stack, you get bonus health and heal a bit upon collection.

Q - Deaths Hand

Swain unleashes five bolts in a cone. If multiple bolts hit the same target, they deal bonus damage.

So make sure to always stay close to the enemy, if you want to have the maximum burst.

W - Vision of Empire

Swain puts an eye on the map, which explodes after 1,5 seconds. If you hit enemies with it, they are slowed and give you a Soul Fragment. 

The W also gives sight, so you can use it to check for Drake or Baron. 

This Ability has a huge range, which increases with leveling the ability. 

This ability has a pretty huge skill expression in my opinion. 

E - Nevermove

Swain launches a demonic wave, which will come back. On the first instance, it will deal magic damage on enemies it passes through, on the second instance, it will root your enemies and you can pull them back by reactivating your ability. 

You will also get a Soul Fragment from pulling them. 

R - Demonic Ascension

Swain's ultimate ability. To be honest, this one is a little bit long and complicated. But as long as you hit champions with your circle, you will heal and deal damage. You have to make the connection last though, because if nobody is in your ult range anymore for a certain amount of time, it will end.

You can also recast this ability once, which will get some good extra burst and slow. 

This ability is your bread and butter and you shouldn't really fight without it.

Swain's Playstyle

Hextech swain
Swain is a pretty cool champion to play! | © Riot Games

Swain is an AP drain tank. His play style is pretty unique, as he wants to stay in as many people as possible in the same time. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Harassment: Use your E, W, Q combo to harass your enemies for short trades.
  • Teamfights: As soon as the enemies can't disengage the fight anymore, activate your ultimate and try to get onto their carries with ghost. You will be extremely fast, so no carry can even flash away from you. If you're dropping low, just resort to their tanks for healing back up. Make sure to use your E and W on your own teams CC. 
  • Awareness: Map awareness is crucial in every LoL game. You can fight 2v3 easily at level 6, but 2v4 or 2v5 is not always a given. So still look at the map please. Also it's extremely important to always be aware of your teammates fighting, because you can have a massive influence on fights with your W.
  • Synergies: You need a support with high CC. The best combo with Swain is Taric, followed by Leona, Nautilus and Rell.

Swain Runes And Item Recommendations 

Winterblessed Swain
Respect Swain in lane. | © Riot Games

To optimize Swain's effectiveness, I recommend the following runes and item build:

  • Items: Liandry's Anguish, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Cosmic Drive
  • Runes: 
    • Precision: Conqueror, Presence of Mind, Legend: Tenacity, Last Stand
    • Green: Conditioning, Overgrowth, 
    • Attack Speed, Armor
  • Starting Item: Doran's Ring + 2 Potions

Swain can apply Liandry's extremely well with his ult. 

Rylai's will permanently slow your enemies, making it really hard for them to dodge your skill shots or even get out of your ultimate in general. Also, it makes your W really a pain in the ass, because they are just slowed for ages because of the initial W and the Rylai's slow in combination with Liandry's. 

Cosmic Drive makes Swain a race car. You just can't get away from him, ever. You can't even flash or position well as an ADC, because Swain will always get you. Like actually always. 

Mejai's Soulstealer should also be purchased in nearly every game. If you won one team fight (which you should hopefully be able to do with mid game Swain), you will have an insane amount of damage. 

In case, you have your Mejai's stacked up, you can also go for Zhonia's Hourglass. Don't do that if you don't have a stacked up Mejai's though. Cosmic Drive is just a lot better if you couldn't really snowball until this point or if you simply didn't buy Mejai's.

You should go for the Magic Penetration Boots if possible.

5 Tips And Tricks For Swain

Dragon Master Swain
Master Swain thanks to our guide! | © Riot Games

I understand that it's challenging to remember every detail we've discussed so far. Here's a brief summary of the most important aspects of playing Swain:

  1. In lane, use your E when enemies are trying to last hit.
  2. Activate W directly, when you hit an E. Pull them into it.
  3. Use your W to cut off the enemies escape route. This doesn't only apply to you, but also if your team chases someone. Also, you can use it for easy Dark Seal stacks across the map. Always W on CC'd targets if possible. Also, use your W to interrupt enemies who want to base.
  4. You aren't super strong until Level 6. At Level 6 you can take every fight you want though. You are only half a champ without your ultimate.
  5. Always try to stand melee to the ranged champs while having ultimate activated, so they can't flash out of your ult range. You will always out damage them. As soon as they flash, use your E to pull them back in.

I hope, this guide gave you some good insights into how to play Swain.

If you want to check out some more articles, look no further!

Tim Ladegast

Tim is working on his Bachelor's degree in Media Studies at the University of Bayreuth. His passion for video games led him to intern at EarlyGame, where he presents the latest patch notes, champion guides and off-meta strategies for League...