Swain Counters: How To Counter Pick Swain

Swain is an AP champion that normally plays mid lane. However, he also makes an effective top lane champion. In this article, we discuss how to effectively counter Swain on Summoner’s Rift.

Best Swain Counters

  • Viktor
  • Lux
  • Syndra
  • LeBlanc
  • Ziggs
  • Galio
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Tyrant Swain

Swain Counter Picks

Now that you know who counters Swain, you can finally counter pick Swain in any matchup. Let’s take you through some tips on how to use a few of these champions who are counters to Swain. After, there is a general section explaining how to use any LoL champion as counters for Swain. After all, if you know how to play against Swain, you can play safely and effectively to defeat Swain in a lane.


Always save Viktor’s W as a defensive tool against Swain in case he lands his root on you. He has no mobility moves so it will be relatively easy to intercept him with W before he does too much damage.

Poke him with E to force him to use his ultimate to sustain. If he does this you have a window of opportunity(8 seconds) to engage with him while he has no ult to duel you.


Syndra outranges him quite hard. You should focus on harassing him pre-6 as much as you can to try get ahead of him or forcing him to base.


  • If Swain uses his root on LeBlanc, dodge it with her W(aimed at him) and engage on him.
  • Swain’s lack of durability early game makes him extremely easy prey for you to go aggressive with him and establish yourself a lead.
  • Swain gets quite tanky as the game goes on, if you try combo him and he still has a chunk of health left, don’t try to finish him since he will be able to sustain it back up and will have no problem killing you if you can’t escape.
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Bilgewater Swain

Tips For Playing Against Swain

  • Swain excels in team fights and skirmishes that last for an extended period of time. Avoid this!
  • Make sure Swain is ignited or has some form of healing debuff on him when fighting him. This will let him heal significantly less from his ultimate.
  • Try picking mobile champions who are able to deal with his abilities.
  • Swain has pretty bad wave clearing potential unless he’s maxing out W first and even then it’s on a hefty CD. Play someone that can clear waves fast and force him to miss CS under the tower.
  • Swain mostly deals magic damage, investing in magic resistance will mitigate his damage.
  • Use healing reduction effects such as Ignite or the passive from Morellonomicon to prevent him from healing a lot of damage from his Ravenous Flock. This strips Swain of his primary sustainability and makes him much easier to kill.
  • Avoid going on a 1×1 battle against Swain as a melee or short-ranged champion, since Ravenous Flock lets him heal for most of the damage done. This allows Swain to win trades against almost any champion unless they have a lot of sustain themselves.
    • Using a champion with a higher range than Swain is a good idea. For example, an ADC with a very high range such as  Tristana or Caitlyn can kite Swain and avoid being hit by his spells, thus allowing them to kill him easily.
    • There are other 2 alternative methods of dealing with Swain. One is quickly bursting him down with an assassin such as Fizz and LeBlanc. Another is calling your teammates to focus and kill Swain. This is viable because while Swain is tankier than other mages, he is still not very tanky, and being burst will prevent him from dealing enough damage and healing himself. Keep in mind that Swain can buy items such as Zhonya’s Hourglass and Banshee’s Veil, which will prevent him from being quickly assassinated. If you somehow fail to kill him, don’t bother trying and just run away.
  • Do not underestimate Swain’s damage; although he only has one burst skill in Nevermove, he can dish out massive damage over time if you allow him to. If you believe that you will be able to survive Swain’s initial 4 seconds of damage, such as due to your own high lifesteal stat, (as well as out-damage his ultimate’s healing) you may be able to tank his damage and turn the fight when he is waiting for cooldowns.
  • Swain is very weak early game against champions that can push the lane, due to his poor farming capabilities without Ravenous Flock. Being pushed to his tower will likely make Swain miss some last hits, so pushing is a viable strategy, but be very cautious of enemy ganks, as Swain is one of the best gank followers.
  • Avoid getting hit by Swain’s Nevermove to remove a large part of his damage combo.
  • Move away from  Swain if he uses his Ravenous Flock. This will waste his mana and force him to put it on cooldown.
    • Attacking Swain right after he cancels Ravenous Flock is the best time to attack him.
  • Get out of his spell range when you are in effect of his Torment as you will take more damage while affected by Torment. When his birds target you, his ultimate will also heal him more.
  • Quicksilver Sash can save you from a well-placed Nevermove.
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Northern Front Swain

By using the champions who counter Swain and the LoL Swain counter tips above, you can now develop a strategy to help you, as a summoner, become an effective counter to Swain players.

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