Swain Update - A Team Fighting Powerhouse

Swain Update - A Team Fighting Powerhouse

The Noxian Grand General received a mid-scope update in patch 12.8, with changes to all his abilities. While Swain has found success in the bot lane, Riot have shifted some of his power back into his solo lane and team-fighting power; let’s go over the biggest changes.

Ultimate - Demonic Ascension

Swain’s most notable changes are to his ultimate, as it now lasts indefinitely as long as Swain is damaging enemies:

  • No longer doubles health gained from Soul Fragments while active
  • No longer grants Swain bonus health while active
  • Active duration - now based on Demon Power

  • Activating Demonic Ascension grants Swain 50 Demon Power, which decreases by 10 per second. After 5 seconds, Swain's Demon Power decreases faster at a rate of 15 per second
  • Swain gains 20 Demon Power per second while draining enemy champions

  • Cooldown - 100/80/60 seconds, down from 120 seconds
  • Drain damage per second - 20/40/60 (+10% AP), down from 35/50/65 (+14% AP)
  • Drain heal per second - 15/40/65 (+25% AP), up from 20/35/40 (16% AP)

These changes make Swain incredibly strong during extended team fights, as he can continue to deal AoE damage to enemies and drain their health. The ultimate is particularly effective when a lot of enemies are clumped together in a tight space, such as in the Baron/Drake pits and throughout the jungle. After 2 seconds, Swain can recast his ultimate to activate Demonflare:

  • Damage - 150/225/300 (+60% AP), up from 100/150/200 (+50% AP)
  • New - now slows enemies by 60%, decaying over 1.5 seconds
  • Removed - no longer deals bonus damage based on health drained from enemies
  • Demonflare can only be cast once per Demonic Ascension, and will not end Demonic Ascension

Before the update, Demonflare was best used some time after Demonic Ascension had been cast and Swain had drained a lot of health from the enemy. Though it can deal less damage now, the AoE slow effect makes it much easier to trap enemies within Swain’s ultimate to keep them close by and extend Swain’s ultimate. Therefore, it’s best used when as soon as possible while there are multiple enemies nearby.

Passive and E

Some of Swain’s CC has also been changed:

  • Passive (Ravenous Flock) - healing from Soul Fragments - 4/5.5/7/9% of maximum health at levels 1/6/11/16, up from 4/5.5/7%
  • Maximum health increase per Soul Fragment - 12, up from 5
  • Removed - Swain can no longer pull and rip out Soul Fragments from immobilised enemies

  • E (Nevermove) - new effect - can now be recast to pull all champions rooted by E, ripping out 1 Soul Fragment from each of them
  • New effect - now grants vision of all rooted targets
  • New effect - cooldown reduced by 20% during Ultimate (Demonic Ascension)
  • Removed - Swain’s pull no longer deals damage

This weakens Swain's power in the bot lane, as he isn't as strong when paired with another champion that can CC enemies. Instead, he now has to land E in order to pull them in and heal himself.

However, Swain is now stronger in a solo lane as has more sustainability in the laning phase and will be healing more from his passive. Rooted targets will also be revealed, meaning you can now use E in unwarded brushes to check if there are nearby enemies attempting to gank.

Q and W

The final set of changes are to Swain's Q and W:

  • Q (Death's Hand) - damage - 60/80/100/120/140 (+38% AP), changed from 55/75/95/115/135 (+40% AP)
  • Bonus damage per additional bolt - 12/22/32/42/52 (+8% AP), changed from 8.25/15/23.75/34.5/47.25 (+6/8/10/12/14% AP)
  • Max damage (5 bolts) - 108/168/228/288/348 (+70% AP), changed from 88/135/190/253/324 (+64/72/80/88/96% AP)
  • Cooldown - 7/6/5/4/3 seconds, down from 9/7.5/6/4.5/3 seconds
  • Mana cost - 45/50/55/60/65, down from 65/70/75/80/85

  • W (Vision Of Empire) - mana cost 60/65/70/75/80, down from  70/80/90/100/110
  • Pinging W now displays a list of visible enemies within range in chat (similar to Twisted Fate and Nocturne ults)

With Q having more base damage and less AP scaling, Swain should deal more damage in the laning phase and be rewarded for hitting multiple bolts with his Q. Additionally, the CD and mana cost reductions allows Swain to trade more frequently in lane.


Overall, these changes should push Swain out of the bot lane and into a solo lane. Swain's laning phase should be a little more powerful, before unleashing his devastaingly powerful ultimate in extended skirmishes.

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