Hello guys! I'm a LAS player nicknamed Iulos Dageim who happens to love both Swain and the discussions here on the boards. Swain has been my main for years now, probably seven? I can't quite remember, I started playing since the ending of season one and I found him pretty quickly. He was the champ that made me comfortable at maining something, before Swain I jumped from one champion to another. His rework was due, tho, as his kit was pretty toxic and he was visually outdated, but I grew incredibly fond of his character, and I felt a lot of champions would get updated before my main.
The reason I feel the need to say this is because Riot didn't stand a great chance at pleasing me. Maybe to someone not fond of current Swain his rework is a hundred percent improvement, but thats not how I feel about it. I'll proceed to express my opinion about whats good on the rework, and what, I feel, was lost in the process of modernization.
Swain's new kit is, in my opinion, the highest improvement of his rework.
The current Swain kit has a lot of problems, the biggest one is lack of interaction other than "hey dude, just don't stand there". Besides that, most players think his kit is unable to express skill even by experienced Swain players (which, tbh, I mostly agree).
The reworked kit is basic enough to still not be considered a crazy mechanic champion (like birbman Azir), but is certainly more complex than his current kit. I absolutely adore the passive and the ult (not visual-wise, but i'll get into that later), while also liking his Q-W-E. Those three skills, however, feel pretty basic, with the biggest offender being the Q.
I don't want to be holded against my words, tho. I'll be a fairer judge of his kit tomorrow, when he hits the PBE.
Lorewise, Swain seems really close to his old depiction. He is still the cunning grand-general, who has big enough balls to fight his own fights, both military and intellectual ones. The only thing that worries me is him turning way too much of a good guy in the end. I know he is still ruthless, but I wouldn't like Riot to go overboard with how much justified his actions are.
The addition of him being a victim of the ionian wars feels like a great one to make, and I look forward to know more about his story and how he interacts with the rest of League's universe (I'm dying to hear his voice over).
This is, by far, the part I dislike the most about the rework. Swain went from a crippled, kinda hunched, old man WITH A GORGEOUS BIRD to a really elegant, imposing, tall and handsome guy who happens to have white and long hair. Don't get me wrong though, I'll judge the rework with nostalgia-tinted glasses, as his new design is pretty great even by Riot standards (though I feel like his base skin could be better, but I'll get to that at the end of this post)
New Swain doesn't seem to have the dark and threatening vibes old Swain had, and that was one of the greatest parts of his design. When playing old Swain I felt like I was using a wise warlock who, even though taxed by his time on this world, had an enormous amount of power. This has been lost on his rework, as he is now a more in-your-face powerful. While old Swain felt aged, new Swain only shows his time on Runeterra through his white hair. Problem is, his hair could be any color and the core feel of the champion wouldn't change a bit, as we will probably see in his Bilgewater skin. In other words, they feel different: Old Swain correlates with the wise, dark and crippled warlock (pretty much like most female witches are described, but with a male character), while New Swain correlates with the immortal, ever-young warlock trope, which I don't really enjoy nor do I find necessary, as we have quite of those in the roster (Vladimir, for starters, and I'll expand later). Needless to say, I'll judge this more thoroughly on the PBE.
Another visual thing that grinds my gears is the lack of Beatrice on all of his skins. I hesitated about putting Beatrice here instead of in the lore section, but I'm pretty confident that she still is a thing, probably the demon present in the bit of lore we had. However, the demon-crow was always present on Swain's shoulder, and was a great addition to his in-game feel and, also, to his skins. For those who don't know, Beatrice was the emblematic crow that stood on Swain's shoulder, and it changed to an owl or a parrot on Northern front and Bilgewater skins. Being empathic only to his bird made Swain, at least to me, a really intresting character, and I can't help but to feel heartbroken about her not being visibly there anymore.
The third point of my complaint about his visual is the removal of Swain's leg cripple. I genuinely liked the fact that Swain was a stupid-powerful guy who happend to have a crippled leg. I'm aware of both: the old theory that his broken leg was a fascade to trick his opponents to think he was weaker than he was (which I don't really like), and the fact that he now lacks one arm. I wouldn't have had any problems with exchanging his crippled leg for a severed arm, but he doesn't feel crippled anymore because his lacking arm was replaced with a fully funcional demonic arm.
Last but not least, I'm really disappointed on the half-transformation Swain goes through with his ult. I have always loved monstrous champions, and loved both pre+post rework Yorick, and pre+post rework Urgot. However with the change you guys are pulling here, Swain feels like an epic, evil villain, instead of a monstrous, fear inducing nightmare. I really can't express how much of a let-down this is for me, as I feel it betrays the darker half of my so loved main.
If you had read this post whole, I'm really thankful. I made this to vent my feelings over the new Swain, and it ended up being way more than I thought it would be. I'll try to summarize the three biggest problems I have with the new rework, in order to try and focus fixing them (though I doubt something will change, as all of this is only my opinion and the new Swain is pretty great).
**-Swain feels way too clean:** New Swain looks amazing, but it feels, imo, made with the same cookie-cutter looks used on both BloodLord Vladimir and, to a lesser degree, BloodStone Taric. He is a tall, imposing,handsome , long-haired and menacing guy with a heavy and elegant armor. This isn't bad per se, but I feel like is unfitting with the Swain persona. His looks give him an aristochratic feel, he is way too elegant and clean in comparison to old Swain, and it doesn't suit him imho. This is an even worse offender if you think that Swain pulled noxians to support him because they recognized their own ideals through him, and I feel like Noxus is better represented by someone that looks more roughened up. I would start by changing his facial features and shortening his hair.
**-Beatrice is dead:** I've already talked about this, so I'll keep it short. Taking the crow out of his looks feels like a bad move. It's a great visual asset and it was core to his identity. Also, by removing her, you remove the thematic change of his skins, which was a great incentive to buy them.
**-Wings are sexy, crow demons are not:** With the visual change to his ultimate, Swain went from a terrifying monster to a dope-ass anime-looking character. His new ult looks great, but betrays his old monstrous vibes, and those were also a big deal on Swain's core identity. Furthermore, this problem plus the one before (lack of Beatrice) erase every connection to his second, more bestial half.
**TL;DR:** I loved old Swain, I like new Swain. His kit is gold, his lore seems cool, his visual desing is pretty betraying to his old persona. Changing his base look to be more roughend up would be a great start (please make him less like Blood Lord Vladimir). Please bring back Beatrice-chan and full transformation.