The Swordsman



originally built this deck with a mind to boost Kwang’s lifesteal and boost his damage threat with crit chance and attack speed, but found that it was more suited to other Fighters (Khaimera and Kallari as noted in the comments). There wasn’t much in the way of damage resistance, or actual damage so he sat on the fragile side.

My approach changed during the writing of this guide, and takes a bigger focus on attack speed as Gift of Heavens life steal is a set amount, not a percentage of damage, so more hits means faster healing and the longer you stay in the fight.

Coming from a caster/carry background this deck is a bit of a bridge between that play style and the role of a fighter

With the changes brought on by monolith it was time to revisit The Swordsman, and quite a lot changed. Whilst there is attack stored and life steal, the deck is now more focus on crit, basic penetration, damage and health regen. Figured Kwang already heals passively in a fight, having regen out of the fight became the new focus.

This build is still very much 1v1, and initiator, a glass cannon if you will, but is now a solid off and safe laner

Abilities Overview

Gift of the Heavens (Kwangs Passive) is going to be what gives you the ability to go toe to toe with other hero’s, the more you hit the more you’ll heal. It can also be shared to nearby allies as an AOE from your sword.

Speaking of Fury of (R) and Light of the Heavens (RMB) both centre around your sword, either on Kwang’s person or in the world if thrown with Judgement of the Heavens (Q or Square), which has the added benefit of tethering the enemy jn place making closing on a caster or ranger much easier, and will become central to your role as an Initiator.

Kwang’s ultimate teleports him to his sword before dishing out damage and slow, you can also use this as an escape technique if set up correctly and things turn dire.

Abilities upgrade priority

E > RMB > Q > R

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Abilities Combos

  1. Early Game

Early Game this is going to be a good entry into smaller team fights, Gift of The Heavens not only does AOE damage, great for clearing minion support, but temporarily boosts your physical and damage resist before you pound on the enemy.

2. Mid Game (offensive)

The aforementioned initiator combo. Pin multiple enemies in place, smash them with lightning then teleport in doing more AOE and slow before carving into the enemy. Be aware that as soon as you hit RMB the tether will break. Make sure you have support, as I mentioned at the start, Kwang hits hard but with this deck won’t last long to a focused attack

Alternatively use this in reverse

 >  >  as the enemy will take the full brunt of your Ult and be slowed to prevent dodging the second AOE

3. Mid Game (defensive)
RMB → Q → R
The planned, or tactical, withdrawal. If things are getting heating and you have a clear shot, you can throw your sword to safety and Ult after it Teleporting out of danger, and hopefully live to heal and return to the fray. Using RMB first gives a bit of hurt to the enemies, and resistance to stave off ranged attacks

Early Game

Though not primarily a Jungler, Kwang can fill the role, and this build lacks a scythe or syphon, so leave the Jungling to others.

I find this build struggles in the Mid, excels in the Carry role in the safe lane, and will hold its on in the Off Lane.

With  and a Nirvana Stone you’ll be able to out-lane your opposition one on one, as your always healing and have early crit chance boost, so they over reach you will get some early kills for the team. Through Trial and Error I’ve found that instead of leveling 1 card at a time, this build needs to build across then up, by which I mean at least 3 cards then start upgrading. Depending on who I’m laning against its either Offensive Maneuvers or Brightsteel Plate as my second card followed by Pendulum of Lords for health and mana boost.

Mid Game

This is when I’ll start completing cards for those great bonuses. You’ll notice a heavy lean to power and crit chance here.

Think of the old Samurai movies where two combatants would charge past one another and one would fall over dead. That is the inspiration here. You don’t want to get stuck brawling, though with  a fully upgraded Nirvana Stone and Lantern of Spring you’ll be able too.

That’s why you go for the Blade of Agora next. Max it out and not only should you be criting 70% of the time it’ll be for 100% more damage.

It’s at this stage that (like a carry) I go out ganking.

Late Game

Late game is where I can sometimes find this deck struggles, it’s either tearing up or being outclassed, and I’ve yet to find the solution. Still great in a team fight, if you get caught over extended you may find you struggle to soak the damage or dish enough out.

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