Thread: Swiftblade - An easy guide for an easy hero

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    Swiftblade - An easy guide for an easy hero



    [Hero Role]

    Swiftblade is a strong laner combined with a slow/stun. He is one of the best mid-game carries and is effective even to the late game. His strength lies in his magic-immune spin and a strong ultimate which combines heavy damage with invulnerability.


    Swiftblade's base damage is sub-par for a melee hero. This is a minor consideration when last hitting. As for mana, an ironwood branch is a heavy consideration if counterstrike is picked early game. This will enable you to use your ultimate and spin without any discrepancies in mana at level 6. I usually fly it on the courier after mid gets his bottle (usually along with a tango set, as needed), as I don't need it until level 6 and I have better starting items to pick.

    [Skills Analysis]

    Blade Frenzy


    The skill that gives you the early game edge. Resist the temptation to use at level one. Lane with a hero that stuns/slows (and is ranged for harass), let them harass the enemy at level one-three with a nuke and a bit of burst. When your ally cooldowns are back up, the enemy has no escape mechanisms and you are level three, this is usually the time to get first blood. Resist the temptation to use this before you are in range of your enemy. Either when your enemy turns around to animate a stun or when you are within 100 range are good times to spin.

    Counter Strike


    One point suffices for early game if you are being harassed. A simple equation with no real items reveals 50 x .15 = 7.5 damage return per autoattack. Considering 50 - 8 (stout shield) = 42 damage on you per autoattack you are giving them back about 18% of the harass on you. Later in the game, 30% chance to reflect, say, 200 damage is very respectable.

    Way of the Sword


    Gives you that extra auto-attack damage standard on a carry.

    Swift Slashes


    This skill is best used on low-hp casters or a carry out of creep range. Generally, I hide behind a tree near where I know a team fight will break out. I will wait for the enemy squishies to enter the fray, then come from behind with a big ult.

    [skill build]

    Blade Frenzy
    Counter Strike
    Blade Frenzy
    Blade Frenzy
    Swift Slashes
    Blade Frenzy
    Way of the Sword
    Way of the Sword
    Way of the Sword
    Swift Slashes
    Way of the Sword
    Counter Strike
    Counter Strike
    Counter Strike
    Swift Slashes

    [Item Build]


    Logger's Hatchet, Iron Buckler, Runes of Blight 565g

    The start items are all about the lane combo you expect to face. You may be thinking "how will I know what I'm going against?" The answer is both experience and asking your team. Usually a team runs a carry+support in a safe lane, a heavy damage combo in the far lane, and in the middle lane a strong ganker. I generally have most success as swift in the safe lane, mostly because it gives you the distance to maintain your 5-second nuke and gives you safe farm.

    [Basic Build]

    Marchers 500g 1065g
    Lifetube 875g 1940g
    Ghost Marchers 1500(1000+)g 2940g
    Runed Axe 4150(3275+)g 6215g
    Whispering Helm 1850g 8065g
    Savage Mace 5400g 13465g
    Symbol of Rage 6150g 17765g

    This is my standard build on swift. The Marchers can be gotten before or after Lifetube depending on how much you are hurting, how much you need to compete for creep kills, and how fast you need to be to catch up to your enemies for a spin (say, assuming your ally doesn't have a slow or stun). The Runed Axe allows you to push farm the lane and kill neutrals with ease, as well as giving you the hp and mana regen so you don't need to worry about mana or health potions. Around level 6, my farm usually isn't good enough for a mana tube, so 1-2 mana potions for a spin + ult combo is often nice. Whispering helm gives you the quad effect of cheap damage, life steal, scouting, and stacking. Although some would choose other orbs, my personal preference is this. Note: You do gain lifesteal during auto-attacks while Swift Slashing. Later, Savage Mace gives you the damage you need as a carry, and Symbol gives you survivability.


    Wingbow/Demonic Aegis/Savage Mace/Shrunken Head

    All these items are good depending on what enemies you are facing. Do you need to combat crowd control? Is the enemy carry lacking Savage Mace and a lot of physical damage is being put out? Would +/- team armor benefit your team overall? All these are things to consider and are very situational.

    [Alternative Items]

    Blink dagger
    If the enemy team is locking you down or you can't get in range for your ult or spin, this item lets you close the gap and get to the enemies you really want to damage.

    Instead of a Runed Axe, this item gives health/mana regen in addition to spellblock instead of increased damage.

    If your team is lacking slows/stuns, this item allows you to stay on top of your enemies.

    [Team Compositions]

    The #1 key to a Swiftblade's success is an ally that is ranged with a stun or slow that allows you to farm. Good examples: Slither, Plague Rider, Glacius, Myrmidon. Swiftblade functions best in a team with a strong amount of stuns and slows aiming to win battles in the early/mid game. He suffers most against teams with blinks, stuns that pierce through magic immunity (tundra, rampage), and push team compositions (especially with summons) that diminish the effectiveness of Swift Slashes.


    2. Image from Tristan Savatter
    3. Image from
    4. Image from Cylone Pictures
    5. Toshirô Mifune, from Seven Samurai movie
    Last edited by Marbles; 09-15-2011 at 10:29 PM.
    "NOOB EZ MODE HEROES" are played in the competitive scene for a reason. They win.

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