Teamfight Tactics has been blowing up since Riot’s release of the Auto-Chess game mode in late June. The main focus for many players, as with other Auto-Chess style games, is unit synergy and item power. Though this will do well for most casual players, those looking to climb once ranked mode is released in mid-July will need to consider more aspects in order to succeed.
Those who are coming to this game from League of Legends will be extremely familiar with the importance of team comps. Though a drastically different game style than League, TFT has tanks, marksmen, mages, assassins and supports. With very few exceptions (namely the full assassin comp) players will need to make use of at least a few of these to be successful.
With the bonus for Rangers, Gunslingers or Sorcerers one is able to increase their overall damage greatly, but without any protection, their team won’t last long enough. Counting instead on a team of tanks and a bonus like that from Knight or Brawler, and one’s units will survive much longer, but won’t be putting out much damage while they do.
Just like in traditional League, a successful comp consists of Damage Dealers (ideally both from spells and auto attacks) and things to protect them, such as Tanks and Supports. It’s no coincidence that some of the easiest comps to find success thus far have these things naturally. The Noble/Knight strategy provides players with Vayne and Lucian to deal damage, and Darius, Mordekaiser and Garen to protect them. Similarly, the Ranger/Glacial comp contains both Tanks and Damage Dealers, and the buffs synergize well, too. The Glacial buff freezes enemy champions, allowing the Rangers to deal consistent damage safely.
Though synergy is one of the more fun and exciting parts of the game, it is key to consider a true team comp while building towards it as well.
Equally as important, and relatively simple, is the positioning of a team. On the surface, the basic “tanks in the front, damage in the back” idea is a sound one. However, there are some intricacies of the game that must be taken into account as well. Blitzcrank is not one of the strongest champions in TFT at the moment, but that doesn’t mean he can’t mess things up a bit and cost someone a round.
His Rocket Grab ability pulls the farthest enemy to the space right in front of him. This will typically be the most powerful Damage Dealer with most team setups, taking them out of the fight before they even get started. If a player knows there are a couple Blitzcranks out there, players should consider switching their positioning so that he pulls a tank instead.
Another mechanic that throws off new players is that of an Assassin comp. Assassins jump to the enemy back line as soon as the round starts, taking out Marksmen and Mages, leaving the tanks to be whittled down. Depending on the team, one can try to pack themselves in a corner, leaving them no space to jump to, or to mix up the team a bit, having a tank or two back there to deal with them. If it gets down to the end and one is consistently facing assassins, they might even try flipping your positioning completely, with the tanks in the back, completely negating their jump.
Neutral rounds are some of the least discussed, but most important parts of the game. Not only can a player lose health if they fail, but items are only gained by succeeding. The initial minion rounds are pretty straightforward – if one has Champions on the board, they should win. However, things get a bit trickier after that, and depending on the team, players may struggle through these rounds.
At level 9 comes Krugs. Nothing flashy, but they can easily take down unprepared teams. It takes a while for early units to kill them, and when two die, the last one is returned to full health. Position near the single Krug rather than the side with two to avoid splitting damage. Take out one at a time, and they’re easy targets.
The next neutral round is Wolves, which most should already be somewhat prepared for. These monsters are running a full Assassin comp, and will all jump on the back line if able to. Players need to stack their team like they would against any other assassins.
The Raptors can be especially tricky if a team lacks defenses, as they bring decent damage and get increasingly harder to kill. Most standard comps may find them easier than the wolves, but they shouldn’t be taken lightly.
After that comes the Dragon, who dishes out some pretty big splash damage. If one doesn’t have a comp that can kill it quick or disable it (Zephyr is huge here), players need to spread their team out so the splash damage doesn’t take them all out at once.
Rift Herald is similar to on Summoner’s Rift, charging forward and doing single target damage while being extremely hard to kill. Then comes the Elder Dragon, who is more powerful than the previous drake, although similar. It will push through defenses and shrug off debuffs, but to be fair, one wouldn’t have made it this far without already having a strong team. Focusing on beating this monster as it could hand anyone a clutch win in the final rounds with a solid item and damage avoided.
Though they get less attention than Synergies and Items, the composition and positioning of a team can be just as essential to success in those later rounds. Treating neutral monsters as keys to success rather than boring rounds to get through will equip a player’s team with items, and keep the health counter high, setting a team up for a first place finish.