Character Edit

As a hero Swann might seem a little limited at first to a new player with his melee attack against ground units and lack of big damage abilities but as you play him you'll find he has other strengths pretty quickly. Swann is the best siege hero in the game with his turrets and tanking ability.

If you need to take out an entrenched enemy hive then you need Swann, his turrets can lay down an amazing amount of sustained damage and his hellfire turrets in particular have one of the longest range attacks in the game with enough talents which is great for both bosses and enemy hatcheries. When the enemy horde tries to press through to damage your turrets Swann can put himself between them and hold the line alone for extended periods of time with some of the strongest defense perk available to heroes thanks to adaptive armor and other skills.

So where does Swann fall short? Well he is a very slow pusher for a lot of the game and struggles early on with energy and cooldowns thanks to his need to split focus between putting down turrets and tanking damage. He also has a hard time with some bosses unless left to prepare for just the right amount of time. You have to be very careful with Swann if you want to keep you damage numbers high but your tankiness lets you recover from mistakes even if it does set you back.

In 2019 patch, Swann's turrets can attack buildings and has insane range without causing lag, a major improvement. He can also stack up to 5 turrets when not using them. Once you get Satellite Uplink, this can be used to quickly set up 4-turret kill pods. If enemies happen to run into one of yours, run to the other pods.

Perks Priority Edit

Useful Perks Edit

  • Absorption: very important in early game to make Swann becomes viable or help clearing the map while other heroes are still weak. If you don't want to pick Energy Mastery then this is the right choice. This won't make Swann's energy regen high enough to chain cast everything, but it is useful if you want to use your Mastery point for something else.
  • Leadership: only pick this if you pick Helldiver or unit drop talents.
  • Helldiver: one of the best buffs to Swann in 2019 update. They are much stronger than regular drop pods and can handle Zerg drop pods easily, allowing Swann to run away.

Useless Perks Edit

  • Onslaught: Swann never fights directly and only with his turret. He also suffers from drop pods in harder modes, so this perk is useless. Just run away from the pods.
  • Bug Zapper: when enemies come close, just run. The drop pods can be handled easier with Helldivers perk. Swann is also never on the front-line so this perk will only activate on drop pods, but it is not strong enough to kill them.
  • Toxic waste: you're never on the front line, so there won't be a lot of enemies to use this perk on. The drop pods are too powerful and your Flaming Betty is more than enough for AOE damage.

So-so Perks Edit

  • Air Support: only if you play solo and need to push to a highground location.
  • Mercenary: You won't spend a lot of time running into enemies in early game, but if you play solo, it might be useful for aggressive nuking.

Example Hellwalker Mastery / perk Order Edit


  1. Compartmentalization - Required Mastery. You do lack one mastery to be ready for specific enemies. Furthermore this speeds turret spam up.
  2. Leadership - Required Mastery. Insane buff to your Turrets.
  3. Air Support - Vision on highground. Otherwise useless. You need this if you play solo, skip in groups.
  4. Doomsday - needed if you want to nuke. You should take this in groups.
  5. Bug Zapper - needed if you have to play with brutalisks. Brutalisks stick on you with that one.
  6. Weaponsmith - You can get this for an earlier damage increase. Not needed but makes your life easier.
  7. Absorption - Take this for mana-safe runs. On max level you dont need the mana regen but you'll be mana starved without this if you dont get all energy regen talents early on. Really, you want this.
  8. Beginner recommendation: Compartmentalization, Leadership, Weaponsmith, Absorption.


  1. (Level 0 - from Perk:) Lightweight Equipment Mastery - More Stuff.
  2. (Level 0:) Haywire Missile Mastery - Early game Energy and a nice buff to Gatling Turret. You can easily delay this if you get a nice energy talent.
  3. (level 10:) Fists of Fury Mastery - see Armor.
  4. (level 20:) Armor Mastery - you will be at 60 armor with adaptive armor from talents pumping you up to 100 armor. You are immune to almost every damage in this game. Except bosses, Hive Guards, Ultralisks, any spelldamage (Biles, Toxic gas) and armor piercing Flesheater. Most important, immune to Nightmares. Nightmare drops start on level 40. You can tank them now. Those guards at roughly 10 minutes? They hit you for 10 damage now. Your part in a group game is to take hits, so your teammates can safely shoot at the enemies.
  5. (level 30:) Combat Architect Mastery - Autorepair on Turret's fixes WBF weirdness and we basically just want Satellite. A lot of Satellite. And your selfheal. You can skip this if you get score before level 40. So delay this as long as possible.
  6. (Level 30 - safe point for:) Satellite Uplink Mastery - They got changed a bit, currently 1 tower powers up every tower in his range. They do not stack anymore (atleast on gatling - not sure about hellfire turret). They provide vision and detection. It is recommended to have atleast one of them near your towers then build them for detection and vision while running to the front. Doubles the damage of your towers.
  7. Energy Mastery - Necessary unless you're lucky with Talents or have Absorption perk.
  8. Weapons Research Mastery - Damage increase.
  9. Big Game Hunter - More damage against stuff that matters.
  10. Weakspot - Necessary for Behemoth, helps for high armored enemies. Just that there are almost no high armored enemies. Probably at level 60 or 70 for you.
  11. Frontal Assault - Helpful to keep turrets alive? I don't think this is useful. Your armor does not work that well with shields. Any damage that will kill your turrets will still kill your turrets.
  12. Nuke Mastery - this is not necessary. Any kind of survival mastery for yourself helps. If you plan to nuke take this on level 70.
  13. Iron man - snare resistance may be necessary for you if you want to run with brutalisks.

Dead turrets don't help at all. It is necessary for you that you know what happens - so you can move away from your turrets before ultralisks drop. Try to keep your turrets alive - but stick with your team. You're a melee support. Be closer to the enemy than your teammates. Let the enemy hit you. If you stick in base with swann then you are useless. Should mention when your team pulls Omegalisk you need some turrets prepared in base. Every other boss does not need preparation time. By the way, armor in starcraft works this way: 40 armor, 50 dmg then you take 10 dmg. 40 armor, 41 dmg then you take 1 damage. 40 armor, 39 damage then you take 1 damage. Damage - armor = result.

Key Talents Edit

Masteries Edit

Iron Man Mastery

A good mastery for beginners but pretty useless on difficulties where dying isn't part of the game.

Weakspot Mastery

This mastery makes your Hellfire battery and Gattling gun ignored armor, as well as boosting the damage done against armored targets of the gattling gun. This is a very wanted mastery, as it currently outperforms Weapon research in term of damage output (especially against armor targets like buildings, bosses and ultralisk)

Frontal Assault Mastery

This mastery is mainly for making your turrets (especially Flaming Betty) withstand a few more hits from Ultralisks, buying you more time to do damage/run away. It’s a decent mastery and should definitely be taken once you reach the late game, however, earlier on, it’s not really worth it compared to other stuff you can get.

Armor Mastery

A useful mastery to flat out increase your defense. It is one of the best starting masteries if you're looking for an easy carefree start.

Combat Architect Mastery

This mastery increases your life regeneration, reduces the cooldown and build time of your uplink tower and gives hellfire, gattling and uplink tower self repair. It's mostly used for the reduced cooldown on the uplink tower, making it a very strong late game talent as well. With this talent, you can easily put down 5 uplink towers per hellfire turret cooldown, making “kill fields” much easier to create. It is very recommended that you take this and satellite at the same time if possible, or just after each other. Without this talent, the Satellite uplink tower mastery is pretty worthless.

Energy Mastery

This mastery increases your energy regeneration, increases your max energy and reduces the time before your shield starts regenerating as well. Due to the high cost of turrets for Swann, this talent is very great early on and should be taken as the first or second talent for maximum efficiency and is definitely needed if you want to take Lightweight Equipment Mastery.

Lightweight Equipment Mastery

This Mastery reduces the cooldown of your turrets and stimpact, for the cost of 4000-5000 minerals over 20 upgrades, resulting in 200-250 mineral per upgrade. This is one of the best masteries for Swann, and should be taken as soon as you have energy mastery or a high energy regeneration (nemesis module and the like). It reduces the cooldown of hellfire to 30 seconds, betty to 30 and Gatling to 25 seconds, making it possible to stack turrets up much faster. It’s a must have talent.

Allrounder Mastery

This mastery gives you two additional talent points and increases your max energy. It's generally a late game mastery, best taken when you have either run out of good talents to take, or feel like you need the two talent points to get a critical talent like the shot speed increase on your hellfire battery.

Satellite Uplink Mastery

This mastery gives you the Satellite Uplink Tower. Requires 1000 kills in a row to unlock. The satellite uplink tower increases the attack speed and range of nearby Hellfire batteries and gattling guns. Each tower can buff up to 2 different attack towers, and the buff stacks up to 5 times. At 5 stacks, the range is increased by 12.5 and the attack speed is increased immensely. The way you wanna use this tower, is to create “kill fields”, places where you stack up a lot of hellfire batteries (6-7+) and kill everything that comes within range of these. This mastery is best used when combined with the Combat Architect mastery, which reduces the cooldown and build time by a huge amount. A must have talent in the late game.

Haywire Missile Mastery

This mastery gives the ability to shoot out 3 missiles on a 10 second cooldown at the target, and allows your gattling guns to do the same. It's generally very strong, especially for insane, and should be gotten around the mid-late game. What makes this talent so strong for Swann, is that it gives him a ranged burst, which deals 500 damage to massive/psionic units on a 10 second cooldown, meaning that if you’re kiting or just see an ultralisk or something, you can knock off a chunk of its health pool just by clicking it and then running again. It has roughly a range of 7, meaning you can’t outrange spinecrawlers with it. It’s also very useful against bosses, and gives the gattling gun a lot more burst potential.

Big Game Hunter Mastery

This mastery increases your auto attack damage versus Massive units, your Hellfire Battery damage, and gives you 15% more Experience/money for Massive units. This mastery can be taken in the mid/late game, as its main purpose is to increase damage towards ultralisk and other massive units.

Weapons Research Mastery

This mastery increases the damage of your Gattling turret, Hellfire battery and your anti-air damage at the cost of 5000 minerals over 10 upgrades, making it 500 mineral per upgrade. An OK mastery for Swann but the cooldown reduction on Lightweight is more important to get first.

Fist of Fury Mastery

This mastery increases your armor by 10, doubles your attack speed, gives you a health boost and increases your melee damage against heroic and massive units. This is a very strong mastery to take later on when you have a very high healthpool on insane, or earlier on in lower difficulties, as the increased attack speed makes it a lot easier to get out of surrounds, and the increased damage makes Swann a real beast in melee. This talent should also be taken over armor mastery, if you feel like you have enough armor to tank whatever you want to tank (generally, if you can get up to 45 armor with adapt, which is needed to tank swarm queens, you want this talent over armor mastery because of the increased damage it gives)

Nuke Mastery

This mastery increases the radius of your nuke, the damage of it versus heroic and allows you to cast it anywhere on the map that you have vision of. This is a late game mastery, and is mostly used for killing the last few bases at a faster pace, or “cheesing” them by killing the production facilities of the zergs. It’s commonly used for killing the creep towers near the last boss, and is best combined with Radical Restructuring and Massive Blast


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