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-   -   Basics to playing as a good Swain? (http://forums.na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=1853847)

Ashald 02-23-2012 05:46 PM

Basics to playing as a good Swain?
Can anyone on this form suggest a good way to play Swain, and when to use skills and what not? Don't tell me to use E first before any other spell, that one is pretty obvious.

Powerstoned 02-23-2012 09:45 PM

Get and RoA and sorc boots.

So level W first and foremost. put just 1 into Q, and level up E right after W. As you know most of the objective is to throw on torment either 1st or second, because it's a damage multipler. Sometimes it helps to use a Q first to slow down an enemy before you're able to hit them with E, just make sure you're using your most leveled up ability after torment.

Zombie Savant 02-23-2012 10:12 PM

Hey comrades,

I am but a lowbie, but have been midding Swain with some frequency. An excellent guide for items and strategy can be found on Mobafire, but some basics are:

Start with boots and three potions for sustain. You should be last hitting more than enough to support a harass. I would not suggest Nevermore (his most important skill) until level three. Get your E first, and Q second. E is a decent dot harass for squishies (Viegar and Annie for example) The Q is important to counter burst if they start pushing into the creep throng. Level three get nevermore, and then focus on getting Q up.

Ignite is super important for early nuke; most people don't get swain, so when you score a kill at level 3 or 4 it comes often as a surprise.

I would build Catalyst the Protector, then Sorc's Shoes, then RoA, From there things open up a bit. Depending on your team you might Rylai's, if you've got enough CC then just pump AP. Whole game changes as soon as you get your ult, and you should start ganking other lanes around their if you can afford to.

Swain is half-tank half-burst. I know some people that suggest DFG but I find it better to focus on running ganks, being mobile, and being more sustainable/tanky than pretty much any other mid.

Just some ideas from a newer player.

Folly Inc 02-23-2012 10:25 PM

You level your E first. Q second, W last.

W is your utility spell, and it's also your only burst skill, it does the least amount of damage out of your skills, and is hardly ever used as an initiation tool. DO NOT level it first.

Welcome to playing Swain 101, I'm your Host, Folly Inc.

Rule #1: play passively as swain until you reach level 6. Do not be the initiator in fights as your Q works MUCH more effectively in sending enemies running than in chasing after them

Rule #2: start with boots and potions. Focus on last hitting minions, and only harass your opponent when they come in to trade blows.

Rule #3: Whenever your jungler initiates, follow up with your W. If they get even a quarter second stun on the enemy, it's enough to land your W and snare for the kill.

Rule #4: Swain is equal parts damage, equal parts positioning. Don't get caught with your pants down if you use your ultimate and are suddenly out of mana. Make sure you're well on your way OUT of engagements when your mana starts to dwindle in bird form.

Powerstoned 02-23-2012 11:48 PM

Why do you think W does so little damage? Each of his abilities his do similar damage, and frequently the only ability that you're sure to always hit is your W. Plus the ability to catch multiple champs/minions in it, this can be the strongest ability you have early game easily.

You hit an enemy with Q, they run away just like you said, and get out of there before the all the damage can be taken. You hit them with E, and sometimes aren't able to follow it up with anything if they're at the end of your range. But you hit them with W, you will always be able to follow it up with another hit or two.

Folly Inc 02-24-2012 12:04 AM

E and Q do deceptively large amounts of damage, it's just not in burst form

Powerstoned 02-24-2012 12:08 AM


as you can see, the damage is pretty close to equal, and with the ability to grab multiple champs and minions in it, you can see the potential for alot more.

ViashinoWizard 02-24-2012 01:52 AM

Don't listen to Powerstoned, he has no idea what he's talking about (lol mobafire).

ALWAYS max Torment first. Torment is where your damage comes from; technically it does 5 less damage than Nevermove, but it has better AP scaling and, more importantly, it amplifies ALL your damage, including Ignite and autoattacks. The amplification scales with level.

Max Decrepify next. It's your most damaging spell if the entire duration lands.

You max Nevermove last because it's main strength is its utility, not its damage. It lets you get a full duration Decrepify and prevents enemies from escaping your Ravenous Flock. Now, it does do good burst damage, but there are four reasons why Decrepify is better to max first.

1. Nevermove is a skillshot, and one with a significant delay. It is difficult to land and not guaranteed. Conversely, Decrepify will always do at least SOME damage, and if you're close to the enemy when you cast, it's difficult for them to break the tether before the duration ends.
2. Nevermove has the highest mana cost of Swain's normal spells, and it increases with rank. It costs as much at rank 1 as Decrepify does at rank 3 and Torment does at rank 4. You need good mana management as Swain (unless you build Tear of the Goddess, in which case stop building Tear of the Goddess and learn some goddam mana management), and making your most expensive spell cost even more is not going to help.
3. Nevermove has a much longer cooldown than his other spells. At max rank, it has the same cooldown that Torment and Ravenous Flock have at rank one, and it will always have a longer CD than Decrepify. Making Nevermove your second damage spell means your DPS is strictly lower than if you had the same rank Decrepify. DPS is more important as Swain than burst.
4. Nevermove has maximum utility at rank 1. Decrepify does not. It roots for 2 seconds at all ranks. Decrepify, on the other hand, provides a 20% slow that scales up to 32% with levels. Ranking Nevermove will let you snare more often, but even at rank 5 you won't be in a position to cast it more than once during a fight until later in the game when teamfights start.

Unrelated Advice:
-Try to have the Blue Buff as often as possible.
-Get good at last-hitting. Swain's passive is a powerful source of mana sustain, and you need your mana as full as possible for when it's time to use your ult.
-Remember that Torment amplifies damage from any source controlled by you, including Ignite, DFG (not recommended except against HP stackers) and autoattacks. Be sure to keep autoattacking enemies after you Torment them if possible. Swain's low level damage is actually quite high because of this. However, autoattacking will not always be an option. For example, you may need to be constantly moving to keep a running enemy in range of Ravenous Flock.
-Your maximum damage combo is E>(Ignite)>R>Q>W>AA. However, this requires you to already be on top of your opponent.
-A combo you're more likely to land against someone who isn't in your face is W>E>R>(Ignite)>Q>AA
-Zhonya's Hourglass is your number 1 item for armor. Ravenous Flock continues to send out birds during Zhonya's active.

Oppress0r 02-24-2012 07:39 AM

W does the least amount of damage of the three and to top it off it is a delayed skill shot. Even if you're pro AND psychic, it doesn't deserve top priority IMO.

General Sassycat 02-24-2012 07:58 AM

Folly said play passively before six but i have to disagree. Say your versing an annie, for instance. You have boots, and she has dorans. Because your faster than her you can harrass easily, so you shouldn't be afraid to wait for her to try and q farm and then just e q harrass her. With ignite and an enemy caster that has wasted there cooldowns to farm (which seems to be the norm these days, pushing the hell out of your lane to try and deny creeps) you can easily get a kill with your full combo. You can even do it with just e if you have enough ms and are smart about it.
So yeah basically I'd say don't play passively but play it smart. Whenever the enemy leaves themselves open take that opportunity to strike unless the cost is too great ie losing part of a huge creep wave to your tower. Swain seems to do really well early game because of his toolkit and, if given the opportunity, you should take advantage of that.

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