Mar 11, 2018

FOTM Report: Swain Buffed, the General is Back

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Swain's win rate in Patch 8.5 absolutely surged to the top of the charts, and this is the strongest he's been since rework. What's driving his massive success?

Buffs in Patch 8.5 gave him a greatly reduced Death's Hand [Q] cooldown combined with a bigger radius on both his Vision of Empire [W] and more importantly his Nevermove [E]. It also gave his ultimate the ability to pass through champions, making it much more effective.

Overall, he's become quite oppressive and really does remind me of Vladimir at his peaks...a massive burst damage, sustained damage, damage tanking, wtfisthisjuggernaut. Check out how to play him below!

Introduction

Swain's win rate in Patch 8.5 absolutely surged to the top of the charts, and this is the strongest he's been since rework. What's driving his massive success?

Buffs in Patch 8.5 gave him a greatly reduced Death's Hand [Q] cooldown combined with a bigger radius on both his Vision of Empire [W] and more importantly his Nevermove [E]. It also gave his ultimate the ability to pass through champions, making it much more effective.

Overall, he's become quite oppressive and really does remind me of Vladimir at his peaks...a massive burst damage, sustained damage, damage tanking, wtfisthisjuggernaut. Check out how to play him below!

How to Play
Abilities: Q, W, E then prioritize R > Q > E > W
Summoner Spells: Flash + Teleport
Starting Items: Doran Ring + Potions
Core Items: Dark Seal, Tear of the Goddess (into Archangel after RoA), Rod of Ages, Sorcerer's ShoesZhonya's Hourglass, Liandry's Torment, Sell Dark Seal -> Rylai's Crystal Scepter

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Rune Setup


Many players still run Summon Aery, but the majority of high level players are switching over to Phase Rush. Swain's cooldowns are extremely low, especially on his Q. As a result, running down your enemies is much more valuable than the damage boost that Aery gives. 

Why It Works

Ridiculously Low Cooldowns
At max CDR and max level Q, Swain can throw it out once every 1.5 seconds. That's absolutely ridiculous and makes him a ticking time bomb in terms of scaling. This champion really does become the "we have late" meme.

Powerful Combo
Even without getting damage, Swain's ability to 100 to 0 champions with just a Doran Ring for damage is immense. Again, as a result of his low cooldowns he's able to spam his abilities, and the increaseed radii make it a cinch to land them.

Mage Buffs in 8.4
After Patch 8.4, all the mage items got reworked largely in Swain's favor. They all give a healthy amount of HP, and the changes to Archangel's Staff give him a great deal more in mana pool at an earlier stage of the game.

Potential Pitfalls

Still Vulnerable to Heal Reduction
While Zhonya's Hourglass largely mitigates his weakness to heal reduction, Swain is still a heal tank at his core. Once enemy marksmen get their items, Swain is still in danger of getting burst down. However, as long as he has a dive buddy, hs can still abuse his cooldowns to show enemy champions what burst really looks like.

Relatively Short Range
Swain has plenty of tools to mitigae the weakness of his short range including his pull and his crowd-control. However, the fact remains that he is a shorter range mage than most without the fast and unavoidable burst damage that most close-range mages have. This means that he needs to build tanky to be effective. 

Conclusions

Swain in his current state is massively broken as a result of his synergy between his low cooldown damage and Phase Rush. He's still good with Aery as well, but with Phase Rush he becomes a true late-game scaling hypercarry that becomes very difficult to deal with, especially in a solo queue environment.

Suggested Tier: God Tier

What do you think about Swain in his current state? Comment below!




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