4 great team compositions to climb with in TFT patch 11.17
Duelist Cypher, Honeybadger PMC, Draconic One-Trick. Checking for typos is like clearing corners: I do it or I'll feel dumb.
Teamfight Tactics’ Ranked Season continues and a new metagame has begun to emerge in Dawn of Heroes. Here are some tips and tricks for 4 great compositions to take into your next competitive match!
Lucian On The Loose
Lucian has turned out to be an absolute monster in TFT’s Dawn of Heroes set. The Sentinel Gunslinger is easily one of the single most powerful carry options in the latest version of TFT. As with many comps before it, this one looks to enter the levels where its key carry, Lucian, becomes available and leverage a strong economy into the timeless advantage of being first to pick it up. Sentinel is the key focus, its shield giving increasing value for fights that go long, especially when bouncing back to Lucian. This focus on longer engagements is complimented in the final composition by both Knights and Ironclad, granting defensive stats to your main carry and placing powerful frontline units between it and your opponent. All you need to do is buy time for your Lucian to shred through his enemies with his powerful ultimate.
Early on, the only 1-cost unit that you’ll be keeping in the final iteration is Senna. Mirroring her lover’s traits as a Sentinel Gunslinger, Senna is exactly the sort of cheap enabler that can save you health or win your rounds early while still supercharging Lucian once he arrives. Look to surround her with any combination of the other cheap Sentinels in Olaf, Irelia, and Pyke. Irelia and Olaf sharing an offensive trait make them the most straightforwardly powerful complementing elements for Senna in the starting stages of the game. A third skirmisher will give you a competent 4-unit composition so looking for an incidental Kennen, or even a Lee Sin or Nidalee should luck smile upon you, can net you some extra gold and health as you make your way into the midgame.
For 2-costs, you’ll be looking to collect Nautilus and Pyke where you can. Though they won’t often be taking center stage early on into a game, they will offer great disruption in order to make space for Lucian as the game goes on. Look to level up to 6 as the third PvP round starts and see if you can find early copies of Rakan, Rell, Galio, or, of course, Lucian. It’s not worth dumping gold to try and get the god-roll, collect the best units that can slot in with your 4-man core, and continue to collect interest where possible. Additionally, don’t feel the need to search for any 4th or more copies of the two-cost units here, while you’ll be glad to snatch any that come to you, your gold is better spent in later rounds.
Don’t feel the need to search for any 4th or more copies of the two-cost units here, while you’ll be glad to snatch any that come to you, your gold is better spent in later rounds.
One of the advantages of this comp is its lack of 3-cost units that it wants to search for. After 2-starring Rakan, there’s nothing you’re going to want. Save that gold for levels 7 and 8 where you’ll most consistently be able to collect the most impactful units. Because of this, it’s important to keep your gold in the early stages in order to get to 7 with enough interest to feasibly level all the way to 8.
Here, look to collect Rell and Galio as well as Lucian, aiming to 3-star Lucian if at all possible. In order to determine whether this is feasible or not, scout your opponents’ boards and benches to look for copies of Lucian. Once you see 6 Lucians elsewhere, it’ll be very difficult to get him all the way to 3 stars until at least one of the owners is knocked out. Lucian-focused compositions don’t always require a 5-cost to round out their top end, which means you won’t be contesting your opponents for those as well. Prioritize securing AD-focused items for Lucian, with the ever-ubiquitous Death Blade & Bloodthirster combo being as good as ever. The third item can be filled with whatever auto-focused items you can put together or even some light ability power.
I Knight Thee Kayle
As long as Kayle’s had a super-scaling damage mechanic built right into her ability, there have been compositions that focus on dragging the game out as long as possible in order to guarantee themselves an easy ascension for the Aspect of Justice. It seems like only a matter of time until these hard-stalling compositions rotate back around and become one of the best strategies available. Such is the case with TFT in the current patch. The elevator pitch is pretty simple; buy all the knights you can find. Leona, Poppy & Nautilus are your early bread and butter. As can be easily imagined, a board full of knights will have a hard time chewing through enemy compositions in order to keep you going through the early game. In this place, look to substitute in a twin Ranger or Legionnaire package in order to accelerate your damage. Both Ranger and Legionnaire activate with 2, which makes them the easiest carry option in order to free up your other gold to propel you towards a fast level 8.
That’s the notable key of this composition; given its incredible focus on defensive traits, it desperately needs to be one of, if not the, first to gain access to 5-cost units. While a 1-star Kayle can get you part of the way, she won’t be truly useful until she’s been 2-starred. In addition, Garen being another 5-star with two relevant traits in Knight and Victorious means you can have two threats leading the charge of your offensively-challenged lineup. The intent is to outweigh the lack of offense across your team by hyper-focusing on the twin carry choice of Kayle and Garen.
Kayle continues to love Guinsoo’s Rageblade and Hand of Justice as her near irreplaceable core like before, with a defensive item often being the pick to round out her 3 pieces of equipment. Guardian Angel is ideal, but Trap Claw, Gunblade, and more will do in a pinch. It’s essential to get your carry core of Rangers or Legionnaires up quickly, as saving yourself health by winning rounds where you can and stockpiling some gold can make all the difference. This comp wants to sit on 50+ gold for most of the mid-game, using excess profits to catapult themselves up the XP chart in order to reach the coveted ‘Fast 8’. Leveling up to 6 can be slightly delayed if you prefer to get a long-term advantage on experience by paying for it with interest accumulated through future rounds. Don’t overspend your gold and have to put in a last-ditch effort to level up to 8 to snag the Kayle; try to save yourself health earlier in order to buy you time later. Not entering level 8 with enough gold to do some rolling can defeat the purpose of this comp if you haven’t been lucky enough to secure a Kayle off of the carousel.
Don’t overspend your gold and have to put in a last-ditch effort to level up to 8 to snag the Kayle; try to save yourself health earlier in order to buy you time later.
Prioritize the components that can get you a Guinsoo’s and a Hand of Justice, as much fun as it can be to experiment with itemization, Kayle’s equipment has essentially been solved for a while now. Once you’ve assembled the items, the stronger of your two carry core pre-Kayle can hold them while you wait to roll the golden units at 7 and up.
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Assassins are one of the traits that always break some of the rules of TFT. You send most of your board flying at your opponent in an attempt to drown their backline in high-crit damage dealing units while their frontline trundles away, ignoring their carries being shredded. On the current patch, that strategy is stronger than ever. There’s some flexibility this time, with hyper-roll composition focused on Nocturne still being available should the right game present itself. Otherwise, looking to pair a powerful Revenant package of Volibear and Fiddlesticks with Viego in order to scrap with other 5-star wielding compositions.
Early into the game, the only two units you’ll be picking up that make it into your final composition are Kha’Zix and Pyke. Both are efficient early-damage dealers, but they will need a frontline champion to buy them time to kill enemy units. Pairing Gragas, an easy early find, with Kha’Zix in order to turn on Dawnbringer will give you a nice power boost. On top, look to collect something like a Sejuani, or even a Nautilus to also take a beating. Sejuani is the more useful of the two in the midgame, so snatching a few of those should they roll around is never a bad idea.
From there, an important decision to note is whether you’re going to spend gold to look to collect as many copies of Nocturne as possible, as he can certainly solo carry with the right items once he’s fully leveled up. If you’re fighting with another Assassin player for units, don’t bother trying to eke out those 9 copies and just look to collect a 2-star and move on. Compound your gold and set your eyes on your 4 and 5 cost units. Leveling up to 7 on 4-1 is crucial if you want to collect key units like Diana, Fiddlesticks, and Ivern in order to have a tight Assassin 4 as well as setting yourself up for your Revenant frontline.
While Viego and Volibear are the cherry on top that can fill the gaps in your composition going into late game and top 4, focus on acquiring 2-stars of all of your 4-costs. The Armory has helped this composition immensely by increasing the number of rounds where you’ll be able to grab spatulas or trait emblems to give an additional unit the trait you care about. Assassins have loved this change, and Fiddlesticks is an ideal target for it. Slingshotting an AoE mage straight into your opponent’s backline is one of the most satisfying feelings in the game, and with the ability to have his ultimate crit, Assassin Fiddlesticks is as fun to watch as he is powerful to play.
The positioning of this composition varies mainly depending on a mix of factors. Firstly, see if there are general patterns in all of your opponent’s positioning. Do most of them have their carry to the left or right? Are there Zephyrs to avoid? These basic positioning questions become even more impactful on Assassins, and it’s important to vary which assassins go where. Your opponents will actively be trying to keep their valuable units away from your most powered-up champions, so being able to adapt on the fly is essential. In summary, play this comp when you get good items for your early carry in Nocturne, and make a decisive call whether you’re going to try and 3-star him or aim for a more varied threat range with more units.
Hyper-rolling your money away to assemble a god-like 3-star Vayne has been a strategy several times throughout TFT’s history. Much like in League, Vayne’s true damage on-hit via silver bolts allows her to shred through your opponent’s team under the right circumstances. This comp pairs Vayne and Varus as cheap Ranger carries with a few choice Forgotten units and whatever else you can pick up to taste. It may seem overly simple, but it’s a tried and true strategy. For strategy, it’s about what it sounds like. Look for every copy of Vayne you can get your hands on. Don’t roll for no reason, but once you have some spare gold and are pushing towards 3-1, be willing to roll down while your opponents look to level up in order to grab as many copies of the Demacian monster hunter as you can. Once you’ve picked up 5 or so Vaynes, you can begin to plan your strategy around her. Prioritizing item components that can get your Vayne off the ground and dealing damage is incredibly important. Runaan’s Hurricane is a must-have, as the ability to proc silver bolts on two targets at once is the only way Vayne will be able to compete with other carries’ AoE damage. Guinsoo’s Rageblade is also practically essential, as rapidly scaling attack speed is exactly what Vayne wants. You’re looking to enable her damage through the sheer weight of auto-attacks and true damage procs rather than individual attacks being high impact.
Giving Vayne access to Forgotten’s free stats is another important stop along your road to victory with this comp. With the value that 4 Forgotten offers, you’re best to pick up the biggest hits in the early to mid-game. Thresh, Hecarim, and Miss Fortune are the most likely to take up these slots, as they’re easiest to collect after you’ve spent gold rolling in order to find Vaynes early. This comp requires you to willingly enter a gold deficit when it comes to XP and interest as the round winds on. As mentioned, Varus will be the unit enabling Ranger for Vayne. Again, this is in the interest of not competing with Draconic players for Ashe, and your gold deficit means you don’t have the luxury of saving up and waiting to collect Aphelios. If you can get her, Rell can be nice to top out your curve and let Hecarim buy Vayne time to get her Guinsoo’s stacking.
With the value that 4 Forgotten offers, you’re best to pick up the biggest hits in the early to mid-game.
The key to making this composition work is learning how to balance the need to collect 9 copies of a 1-cost unit with the incredibly punishing reality of being behind a lot of gold and XP from your opponents’ economies. Temper yourself and spend less gold than you think you need to, be wary of dropping yourself below iterations of 10 gold before rolling down just before 3-1 and transitioning your plan from there. And remember, these are just a small selection of the compositions available right now. Redeemed Revenant, Draconic and more can all easily take first in even top-tier lobbies. We hope these strategy deep-dives can help you be more ready to try out one of these compositions in your next TFT game!
Header image source: screenshot from Leagueoflegends.com.
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