Image from Riot Games

Words by Tremaine Noel

 

So, here we stand at the start of a brand new Teamfight Tactics set. Riot has graced us with 200 years of development once again. However, for those who don’t know, allow me to give a short explainer.  

  

Teamfight Tactics (or TFT for short) is an online auto-battler made by Riot Games. Yes, the same Riot Games that brought you games such as League of Legends, Legends of Runeterra, and Valorant. That’s it. There are no other games. Technically, TFT is part of the League of Legends client as well. Not really an impressive catalogue, but that’s not what this article is about. This article is about one of the new team compositions in TFT’s latest set.  

  

Riot has always loved to have a bit of a superiority complex in its development. When the champion Aphelios was released in League of Legends, and everybody complained he was broken, Riot turned around and said that the players didn’t know what they were talking about. Instead, people should blindly trust them because, unlike the players warning them about how busted Aphelios was, the Riot design team had a cumulative total of 200 years of development experience between them all. Safe to say on release, when Aphelios was one-shotting entire teams, 200 years became a bit of a meme in the community. Once again, here, in this set, I would argue that 200 years is applicable in this composition I am about to discuss.  

  

The aim of TFT is to collect units on the board (typically League of Legends champions in various skins). These champions, by default, have a star rating of one and possess certain characteristics. When combining multiple units of the same characteristic, one gives the units of that type certain bonuses. Each champion also costs a certain amount of gold in the shop, with the cheapest champions costing one and the most expensive costing ten. As one increases in levels, it becomes easier to get higher-cost champions that are generally stronger at lower star levels. In order to make champions stronger (increase their star rating), a person needs to get more copies of that champion. Three copies of a champion will make them a two-star version of themselves, and nine copies of that champion will make them a three-star version of themselves. Items can then be placed on each champion to give them further strength by buffing certain statistics they have, like damage, mana regeneration, and critical strike chance.   

  

Now, usually, it’s quite difficult to obtain a three-star unit. This is because the pool for units is shared between players. Once the pool of a certain champion has been exhausted, it is impossible to obtain it, and the less there is of a champion in the pool, the less likely it is to appear in your shop. Players can reroll the shop for the cost of two gold coins as many times as they’d like a round. However, once you run out of gold, there are no more rerolls, and if you’re rerolling for expensive units, this can be a problem for your economy. That is unless you’re playing Jade Swiftshots, the most 200 years composition to come out of this set to date.  

  

Allow me to explain. Simply put, the key to this composition is that you lose a lot. Early. Ideally, you don’t even have a win until round three-one of the game. This is because of a feature called lose-streaking, which gives you more gold the more you lose in order to catch you back up with the other players. You’re also enabling losing by refusing to level yourself up artificially like every other composition wants to do early. “Why am I doing this?” you might ask yourself. The answer is simple. You want a lot of three-star, one-cost units, and you want them fast. So, you save your gold entirely until round three-one. No level-ups. No rerolls. Just patiently sit there and lose. Then once three-one hits you, start rerolling like a madman. Yes, your economy will go down the drain, but that’s irrelevant because you don’t need a good economy to buy one-cost units consistently.   

  

You keep rerolling and buy yourself as many copies of Ezreal, Leona, Taric, and Karma as you can see. Ignore everything else. Once you have these three-starred, purchase an Ashe and a Lee Sin. Since you’re at a low level still at this point, you should have a high percentage chance of rolling a one-cost champion. When this is done, stick a blue buff, infinity edge, and jewelled gauntlet onto Ezreal, and a Gargoyle’s Stoneplate, Warmog’s Armour, and Bramble Vest on Leona.   

  

Congratulations, you’ve achieved numerous feats that make your composition one of the strongest in your lobby. These are:  

  

  1. Two Swiftshot bonuses to make your Ezreal attack faster.  
  2. Two Guardian bonuses to give free shields consistently to your tanks and their closest allies.  
  3. Three Jade bonuses to give healing, attack speed, and area of effect damage to the composition.  
  4. Two Tempest bonuses to deal 10% of the enemy units’ health as true damage every few seconds.  
  5. Three Dragonmancer bonuses to make either Karma, Lee Sin, or Ashe, an absolute powerhouse of a damage dealer.  
  6. An Ezreal casting every second with basically guaranteed critical hits.  
  7. A Leona tanking for you that literally will not die unless the entire enemy board focuses her.  

  

If you have built this composition right, two things will happen. Firstly, your opponents will be very confused as to why a bunch of units just got two and three-starred. Secondly, you’re going to start winning. A lot. Expect to see your losing streak turn into a winning streak very quickly. This positive momentum should carry on for a bit. However, at this point, your goal is to get to level eight as fast as possible. This is because, at level eight, you get room to include Shi Oh Yu, the Jade Dragon. This bumps your Jade bonus from three to six, which doubles the attack speed and healing received by your team. This is what allows you to keep the momentum going late game and compete with the comps running five-cost units.  

  

The only problem I’ve seen this composition face is that if you don’t three-star the champions quickly, then you’re kind of screwed. However, even if this is the case, usually one person still ends up getting lucky and assembling the pieces they need to let the strategy run rampant, which is to be expected given that TFT is such a luck-based game. As a result of this composition being so easy to force and play (with the carries literally being the cheapest units in the game), this composition falls into the 200 years of design experience club. The developers made a bunch of cheap units, which individually aren’t that great. However, when applying their different traits, one arrives at an insanely powerful combination of units that synergise easily with one another. With items, basic abilities from Ezreal and Leona become game-changers that can one-shot or stall entire compositions easily. Without fail, a player can use this composition and climb the ranked ladder through consistent top-four placements with very little technical know-how of the game or positioning.  

  

So, dear reader, I leave it up to you. You can either embrace this strategy and abuse it to climb well into the highest ranks of the ladder. Or you can counter it by buying up the one-cost units these players need for the absolute lols. Either way, I wish you luck in the climb to the top because if there’s one thing you’re gonna need in TFT, it is luck.  

By Pelican Magazine

Pelican is one of the oldest student publications in Australia and the only independent paper at UWA. If you like having opinions, writing, drawing, and/or free tickets to local events, then Pelican is the place for you! We print six themed issues a year, and run a stream of online content.

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