[Hero Review] Swain, the Master Tactician

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Grandjester

Member

10-06-2010

I'll be sharing my opinions on Swain's gameplay and design as well as proposing possible balance changes to hopefully push Riot into making changes I personally believe will benefit the game over time. Just a note that this is my opinion and I am well aware that what I say is not being stated as a fact, and should merely be taken as a topic of discussion. There is also the possibility I could be completely wrong in my beliefs, because I'm human and all that.

Depending on the response I get from the forum in regards to this thread I might make this a series, reviewing new champs as well as existing champs I believe are in need of change. If you have criticism to offer against my suggestions, I'd be happy to work with it. If you're just going to flame my ideas without any constructive feedback I'll ignore you. I'd be very happy if any staff from Riot want to comment on this post in any way, as my main intention of this thread is to try and give my view on champ balance. Anyway, continuing with...

Swain, the Master Tactician

Concept and Design
In my eyes Swain is the first true Debilitator type champ in the game. His focus seems to be on enfeebling and disrupting enemies while offering supporting damage and being quite a nuiscance on the battlefield. This, in my opinion, is awesome and is a type of gameplay I have great fun playing with. I could also see him being built as a sustained damage dealer/debilitator hybrid if built with heavy amounts of AP, but I can't see this working at the moment due to something I'll explain later on.

In terms of artstyle, I like his walking animation. Using an actual walking stick makes me view him as weak or ill, spreading disease and weakness where he treads as crows fly overhead like vultures, a foreboding omen for those who are unfortunate enough to cross his path. His ultimate makes him look quite terrifying and is outstanding, but I think his normal form is somewhat lacking. I can't place my finger on it but looking at him when he's not in his ultimate form doesn't leave me interested.

Gameplay
Here's where I'll point out something. Swain seems to have a minor case of Urgot Syndrome, in which his early game is very powerful while his late game seems too weak. He has scaling issues and his debuffs aren't enough to make him viable late game along with his low damage output at that point. His laning ability is fantastic, no need to change that. Mid game he can do decent damage while being a great ganker and farm well. Then late game it just goes horribly downhill.

So I'll give my opinion on what changes could be made to fix the issues he has and make him a much stronger pick. It's mostly to do with his abilities as his stats are fine. So I'll go through them:

Passive - Nothing wrong with this. I'd say it's actually one of the better passives for a mage. Makes laning against him a nightmare because of how often he can spam his abilities to harass and his ult to stay in the lane. Useful for pushing as well.

Q - This is the only ability I'm not too fond of. The slow seems weak and the range is a bit short. A few changes I could suggest are:

  • Buffing the ratio or base damage.
  • Increasing the slow amount.
  • Increasing the distance the enemy has to move away from the bird before the effect breaks.
  • Adding a new effect, such as the current cooldowns of the targeted enemy stopping while the bird is lasering them. Would work with his debilitator theme, though might be too strong or complicated.
Of course, I'm not suggesting that all those changes at once are necessary. They are just possible changes that could be done to the ability to make it stronger.

W - This ability makes me feel as though Cho'Gath got the short end of the stick when they were handing abilities out. It is fast, decent AoE, good damage and at max level with cd reduction can be spammed. A spammable AoE snare is a very good ability. I don't feel as though this ability needs anything done to it aside from perhaps a buffed ratio to help his late game damage more.

E - This ability is great, but scales badly like I said. A buff to the AP ratio would fix it. I'd also like to suggest changing the increased damage taken debuff to work for his whole team instead of just himself, perhaps nerfing the numbers to balance it out if done so. Would work well with his role, but again this probably doesn't need to be done.

Ult - His ult is awesome. Really fun and makes his survivability insane if built tanky. It could use a buff to the ratio, but that might make it imbalanced because of how much self-healing he gets out of it. The birds could also prefer to target champions much like Sona's Q, but that might make his laning phase overpowered.

Conclusion
I like Swain. I'm going to keep playing him and figure out builds and get better with him. In fact I think he might end up as one of my favourite champions. Scaling issues aside, he does his role well and I love his ganking potential. Thanks for an awesome champ, Riot.

Anyway, offer constructive feedback to what I've said, so this doesn't feel like a waste of time. :P

Edit: Bah, CHAMPION REVIEW, not hero review. I'm STILL doing that. Oh well, please don't flame me for that lol.


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Isidius

Junior Member

10-06-2010

I haven't had a chance to play him yet, but I don't see why you were minus'd for your post. It's well thought out, and while some ideas probably won't work, that isn't the point of this post.

On topic though, thank you for the review, it gave me a little bit more info and insight on a champion that I hadn't had a chance to play as, with, or against yet.


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CODChimera

Senior Member

10-06-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandjester View Post
I

The birds could also prefer to target champions much like Sona's Q, but that might make his laning phase overpowered.
Really annoying watching the birds attack minions :X Good post though.


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Raike

Senior Member

10-06-2010

I've been having to build a nasty AP build on him due to no one else on the team bothering to carry, which can be a problem as he isn't really meant to be a carry.

The only recommendation I'd make is to buff the ratios on his spells at higher levels, or raise the damage at higher levels, as currently the early game is fine, but end game is very weak.


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Yaysian

Member

10-06-2010

Tank Swain is oddly effective also.


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H Minnow

Senior Member

10-06-2010

I'd say minor reduction to base damage(he still has his passive to help his early game however) and to boost his ratio's therfore giving him a much better late game while slightly worse early game.


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Grandjester

Member

10-06-2010

I'm building him as tank at the moment with Rylai's, Spirit Visage and GA. Zhonya's is also fun if you can get it, because while you're in stasis your ult will keep going and heal you up to full, it's hilarious.


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StretchyStretch

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Senior Member

10-06-2010

I think Nevermore needs a slightly shorter delay before the snare, lazer bird needs more range before canceling(initial range seems fine), and he needs more survivability, more hp/armor/mr per level.


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Grandjester

Member

10-06-2010

Nevermove seems to activate quickly enough without being impossible to avoid. There needs to be some leeway to allow dodging, or it would be less interesting and kinda op.


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Grandjester

Member

10-07-2010

Bump for more input.