Hey all, I?ve been seeing some posts popping up saying that big boi SWK needs some buffs because he doesn?t have a spot in the meta right now. This is simply not true. With the rise (more like return of, pro?s can never make up their minds what is good or not eg Aphro and Odin becoming overnight sensations and Poseidon bursting onto the scene after been absent forever and subsequently disappearing again) of guardians it?s true that he is now relegated to solo and jungle.
Solo is the hardest of the two for him to handle as it requires a style of play most people are uncomfortable with. Here is my guide:
Pros: Very high damage with good control and sustain. Extremely safe and versatile with great mobility. Transitions very well from strong mid game to late game.
Cons: Has some difficult match ups, very poor early game, early clear is horrendous.
Standard start: Death?s Toll, HoG 2, one of each potion.
As you familiarize yourself with the solo SWK playstyle and match ups you can change up the start to Enchanted Buckler or Iron Mail. Against tougher mages such as Ra and He Bo it pays to rush a Stone of Gaia e la Vamana.
Order of skill leveling: This is purely down to personal preference. You will either be maxing Magic Cudgel or Masters Will first for waveclear. Masters Will does more damage and has great utility as a slow, while Magic Cudgel is very safe clear and amazing poke. Personally I max Magic Cudgel first. I don?t ever point skip, as having a point in Masters Will is very useful and is necessary for full clear of the archer minions. At level 8 I put a second point into 72 Transformations as by this point I?m ready to get aggressive and seize control of the lane. The extra damage and stun time on the Tiger Stun make a huge difference when brawling my opponent. It?s also more than likely I?ve had to blow my ultimate to sustain thus I have no problem with not leveling it at level 9 due to it?s long cooldown at low level.
To survive in the solo lane requires simply toughing out the early start. It is imperative that you request the jungler in helping you secure your own blue buff for the first few spawns because a) you will need your HoG to clear and not lose gold to tower b) it will take you forever to clear it by yourself and you?ll take too much damage and c) You can aggress onto the enemy blue buff as you clear yours much faster, SWK excels at getting out of bad situations should the enemy jungle try to prevent you.
The method of waveclear with SWK is different to other warriors. Early on you will be trying to lose as little gold to the tower as possible while minimizing harass from a blue buff enabled enemy. As the waves meet Magic Cudgel the entire wave, HoG the melee minions and finish the archers with Masters Will. This is the only way to achieve full wave clear. If you waste HoG on the archers you will spend too much time killing brute minions and be open to harass. Early on hitting the enemy with Magic Cudgel is ill advised as you will take far more damage in return from archer minions. For every other wave you will have to Ox form the wave, attempting to hit the enemy solo laner, Magic Cudgel from behind and Masters Will to disengage from the wave and the enemy. It?s always important to land some safe harass otherwise you will get poked out of lane very often.
Getting poked out with SWK isn?t the worst as you can use his great mobility to scoot back to lane. Don?t be afraid to give your tier one tower away if you need to farm safely. As you familiarize yourself with him you won?t have to resort to this.
My standard cookie cutter build VS a well split team (equal physical and magical).
Warrior Tabi -> Ancile/Jotunn?s -> Midguardian Mail -> Qin?s Said -> Frostbound Hammer.
Actives: HoG 3 or Fist Stun, Weakening Curse/Heavenly Agility/Either Shell/Girdle
This is my personal favourite build, as you learn SWK you will make your own, there are so many ways to build this god his strength is in his versatility.
Always get Warrior Tabi ASAP if your early game isn?t going too horribly. If you?re up against a particularly vicious Ra or Chang?e, grab a Stone of Gaia and scream for ganks, then sell it later when you approach full build. This build here provides plenty of tankiness, full CDR and large amounts of damage and control. With all the slows and stuns you will find plenty of time to get auto attacks in and start a nice chain of cc for your team. Jotunn?s or Midguardian Mail are picked up over the early Ancile if against a physical god. The second active item is purely personal preference. I love Weakening Curse I think it?s the strongest item in the game, however I also love Spiked Shell. I would not advise getting beads, as you have a cc immune ultimate and the ?beads reset? of abilities really doesn?t help SWK as much as a weakening curse etc.
Build VS a poor split (i.e. 4 physical, or 3 physical but with a Geb)
Warrior Tabi -> Runeforged Hammer -> Jotunn?s Wrath -> Voidblade -> Qin?s Sais -> Whatever you feel like.
Heartseeker isn?t a bad pick up on SWK, since all of his abilities do damage it effectively provides you with 225 extra ability damage. 50% + 50% + 80% + 120% scaling on his abilities. Magi?s Blessing is a good pick up if you find your Tiger Stun is getting interrupted too much, against Ra you will need Winged Blade, be careful not to overcap CDR however. Personally I know how to bait out the cc that interrupts Tiger form so I rarely have to build Magi?s.
I generally like to stack a bit of HP on my SWK builds via Frostbound Hammer and Midguardian Mail. Both are very useful items and you will heal more HP since the ultimate is percentage based. If you don?t like either of these items and want to be safer, Mystical Mail is a great early pick up to patch up his poor wave clear, I don?t personally favour this item as it scales horribly into the late game.
Another way to build SWK is with critsticks, utilizing his ability to close distance and land auto attacks with his slow and stun.
Warrior Tabi -> Urchin -> Shifters Shield -> Rage -> Deathbringer -> Executioner.
I?ve used this build to success on SWK and Odin, if you find you aren?t tanky enough feel free to swap out Shifters Shield for a Magi?s etc. I don?t advise building Qins Sais AND crit because the crit will always be doing more damage than the Qin?s Sais. Executioner adds penetration to your abilities in addition to the bloated penetration it boasts allowing you to swing for far greater damage with your basic attacks than Qins Sais offer.
I can?t cover every possible build these are just good examples for people who are new to SWK to try. A good rule of thumb is that Qins Sais allows you to build tankier as they will allow you to deal good damage with your basic attacks regardless of your build. Crit takes longer to come online and be effective thus build tanky first if you take that route.
You will enter the mid game state when you have finished your third item, 80% of the time this is Jotunn?s Wrath for me. This is when your relative damage is highest as you can cycle through all of your abilities multiple times in one fight. You will also be finally safe in lane and free to aggress on the enemy and chase kills. Capitalize on this time by making swift rotations to help your team. Ganks and objective securing are imperative in the mid game in order to ensure your Mages and Hunters have superior itemization to finish the game.
Late game your aim is to land as many basic attacks as possible. Initiate with Tiger Stun, cripple them with weakening curse or Masters Will and dump as much damage into the enemy as possible. Magic Cudgel is worthless at this point except as long range poke. It takes too much time to use in a teamfight when 1,000 damage spells and crits are being thrown about. Always try to hit at least two people with your ultimate.
Feel free to ask question/give advice or insight 😀