Alright, so I recently wanted to main Swain because he was getting a rework and I thought his new skins looked sick and his kit overall looked great. However, upon playing his rework, I've noticed that his kit is absolutely disgusting. Here I'll be describing why he's become such an unplayable champion along with some potential buffs to fix him. Now as a disclaimer, I'm aware he's fairly new, and therefore understand that he will get patched along the way.
Anyways, I'll start off with his passive. His passive heals for almost no health at all. In addition, it serves a huge nuisance in terms of his ultimate (more on this later). His passive also requires you to hit skill shots. Which are nearly (if not extremely skilled and gotten used to) to hit. Otherwise, you'd have to be next to an enemy that has died recently. Making Swain jungle seem promising. However, the fact that it is required for Swain to hit one of two skill shots which are incredibly hard to hit in addition to having to be around dead champions or having someone else snare an enemy makes his passive almost useless.
Moving on, his Q. His Q restores mana if it kills an enemy. However, it restores almost no mana at all. Old Swain simply had to kill a minion or an enemy to restore a small portion of his mana. Now Swain is forced to use an ability that barely has range, barely has damage unless used in the face of an enemy, and restores almost no mana upon killing a unit. Q does ultimately scale in damage and has almost no CD, but in landing phase, Swain's Q is just as useless as his E and W. Making him have to rely on auto attacks to yield most of his damage from.
Next, Swain's W. This ability is an interesting one. The idea of it is really neat, but it takes almost an entire century to explode which allows enemies to dodge it easily and Swain players to lose mana and their will to live. It's just a bad ability that I'm pretty sure it's only purpose is to check up on whether rift or dragon is being taken. Even when ganking top or bot as Swain mid, this ability falls short in all regards.
Swain's E is an ok ability. Although it's quite hard to hit it, it's much easier to than his W. But, the fact that it does minimal damage as well as hits the first enemy when returning to Swain makes it a little useless. The only beneficial part of wasting your mana on this ability is in order to collect souls.
And finally, Swain's ultimate. The pinnacle of absolute uselessness. As I've mentioned above, Swain's ultimate requires him to collect souls VIA his passive. And as I've also mentioned, it's nearly impossible to collect these souls with the requirements set up. Swain also barely heals anything from his cult compared to the healing he had in his old kit. The damage is also much lower. But back to the healing, it practically makes using Zhonay's not worth it while using your ultimate simply because of the close to nothing of health that you will receive. The ability doesn't allow Swain to sustain at all in a team fight as well as only truly pays off if you have all souls and you're able to activate demon flare. At which point, it barely is useful if your team already killed everyone off or you end up dying much earlier.
Overall, Swain also has very bad lane survivability. Compared to other mid laners such as Annie, Fizz, etc... who get their ability cooldown as well as mana refunded to a good extent if they kill a minion with it, Swain gets almost no mana back from his Q passive. As mentioned above, Swain also gets no healing from his E and Q, and he barely has any damage on either of these abilities to compensate for his lack of mana and health. Swain is also no longer as tanky as he used to be. Making his lane sustain meaningless.
Now for some ways this could be fixed... If you don't agree on these fixes, let me know your suggestions, but I truly believe Swain needs to be buffed one way or another.
Passive: Revert it back to when you kill a unit (minion, enemy, or jungle camp) he gains some mana back. You can keep the healing from the soul collection the same.
Q: Remove the passive that lets him regain mana if he kills a unit. It's absolutely useless. Also, either increase the damage, increase the range, or allow it to pass through minions. Swain's poke as of right now is horrible.
W: Allow the explosion to go off faster. Keep the rest the same.
E: Keep it the same.
R: Maybe increase the healing on it? Also, maybe find another way to collect souls besides using your E, W, or having a teammate snare / stun them. Make Swain more independent.
Anyways, hopefully someone from Riot considers this (if they even read my thread). I know I've said a lot, and I hope Swain really gets these necessary buffs. He's become so useless that almost any mid laner / top laner is able to stomp him in lane. Even if Swain gets ahead in the beginning, it's incredibly hard to keep the lead due to the fact that almost nothing in his kit scales.