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How I relearn a match-up against a reworked champion

With Swain’s return comes an entire new match-up to learn.

We get reworks all the time nowadays. Urgot, Evelynn, Galio, and now Swain. Whenever a new champion is released, we talk about having to learn a completely different match-up. You have to discover this character’s weaknesses and strengths, learn what you can and can’t get away with. But reworks are different. Well, kinda.

Now that Swain has been re-birthed into the world, he’s in the limbo of not knowing quite what to do with him. Is he a completely new champion that forces you to learn a new match-up? Yes. But he’s also the Swain he was before. It’s a confusing topic to grasp but pretty key to playing against a rework.

When going against Swain, your goal should be to be more comfortable against the rework than the person actually playing the rework itself. Taking Swain for example, he has the same strengths and weaknesses as he once did. You can punish Swain by poking him from pretty far away. He’s also extremely immobile with not particularly reliable CC. Gank him and hit him with skillshots until he has to go home.

On the other hand, Swain has some of the same strengths. Post level six, a competent Swain could theoretically survive a gank and turn it into a successful 1v2. Just because you have backup doesn’t mean you can go whole hog on Swain. Instead, you still need to poke him out and bring him down in health.

Riot Games

All of those things were also true of old Swain. The principles remain the same while the look and feel is somewhat different. That being said, old Swain was old and not nearly as versatile as new Swain. Old Swain would have never been able to burst you down quickly the way new Swain can with his Q. But everything is a give and take. What Swain gained in potential burst he lost in tank.

But these are the kind of details you need to know. How things have changed and why. Luckily, we have lots of coverage on all those things over the course of a rework, but you can win without even doing your homework.

The key to playing against a rework, or learning to play against anything new to the game, is playing erratically. Switch up your styles after every back. Chances are, the person you’re playing against is inexperienced on the champion. If you’re on someone you feel even mildly comfortable on, you should win by default.

When you first get to lane, play hard and see how the champion reacts. If they meet your aggression with more aggression, are you winning the trade or are they? This may change over the course of the laning phase, but it should give you plenty of information on how to play going forward. If you’re trading even or negatively in your favor, switch to being passive. See if they get too aggressive or just try and farm it out.

Unless you’re trying something brand new, you should always have the experience advantage over the rework player. Use this to your advantage and weave in an out of your play styles. Eventually, you should find a sweet spot and be able to consistently punish the newer champion.

Play hard, learn, and you won’t have any trouble with Swain or anyone else.

Riot Games