The current Teamfight Tactics meta revolves around the strength of the Ninjas. They are likely the strongest composition at the moment due to the insanely powerful units that make the synergy. They have a good damage type mix, strong utility and tons of damage. Since there are only four of them needed, they can also fit into many final compositions. Since there are so many versatile units, the items you can build vary greatly from game to game. Here is an in-depth Ninja items tier list.
This item can singlehandely turn Akali from a one hit wonder into a full team wrecking crew. By giving her 40 starting mana, she casts her spell right after jumping. She then gets 20 out of 25 mana back from the Seraph’s passive, letting her ult again after just 1 auto attack. This item is basically mandatory for Akali, with one exception (which is tiered further down).
If you hit the components early, consider putting the item onto a Pyke or Kha’zix while you wait for Akali to show up. Because of this, early Tear priority on carousels might be a bit lower. However, if you don’t find one by Krugs, look to pick them up.
In the event of the enemy players running Yordles or building Phantom Dancers, an RFC can help to make your Zed into a carry threat. The increased range also allows him to attack while not being directly next to troublesome CC units like Kennen or Volibear. In addition, building this item unlocks the ability for you to transition into a Draven composition if you can’t find Akali.
Just a warning: don’t build this item on Akali or Kennen. The extra attack range will cause both of them to whiff their spells often.
Kennen is one of the best units in the game, and for good reason. When you put items on him, he turns into a team shredding monster. Extra damage for him is never a bad option, and the heal deny that Morello brings allows him to contribute so much to a teamfight.
While you can put one on Akali, often times she just one shots people anyways, making the heal deny essentially pointless. It can be good versus a fed Draven or Volibear with healing items and Phantom Dancer, though.
If you do choose the carry Zed route, a Bloodthirster will keep him alive and well, while also giving his damage that extra oomph. This item also transfers well to a Draven carry pivot, so it is a safe option if you have extra B.F. Swords.
Same concept as BT on Zed, but this one goes on Akali or even Kennen.
A situational defensive item versus other Assassin players or Draven players. The attack speed also helps a Zed to hit more, or Akali to ult more.
Same concept as PD, but for heavy magic damage comps. You can also combine a PD and Claw on your Akali to make her into a tanky monster.
Because all of your units will be lining up on the back row, a Zeke’s gives Ninjas tons of value. The extra attack speed will allow your Akali to ult more and your Kennen to ult faster. Make sure to position in a way that gives your most valuable units the buff. You can often give it to Elementalists or Blademasters in addition to your 3 damage Ninjas. Put it on either Kennen or Zed, depending on what other items you have room for.
Locket of the Iron Solari
Same concept as Zeke’s, but for additional tankiness. Locket however, falls off much harder than Zekes, and builds out of more helpful components for other valuable items. Only build it if you have excess components. It is best placed on Kennen, but can be put on Akali or non-Ninja units.
This item puts an exclamation point on your carry’s damage. The 100% extra critical damage is also additive, instead of multiplicative. This means that with Assassin synergy, you will be hard pressed to find a unit you can’t one shot. Zed is the best candidate to use it, but it also works with Akali’s ultimate, making her a viable recipient as well. However, the double component cost makes it a bit harder to build.
Same concept as IE, but best used on Kennen or Akali.
When placed on Kennen, this item turns him into a backline diving threat immediately. If he has items and gets a clean jump off, you can expect him to top damage fights. Having an extra Assassin also allows you to go for the 6 Assassin buff earlier than usual.
Remember that exception for Seraph’s on Akali? If you had bad luck with finding two Tears, making Akali a Sorcerer isn’t a bad alternative. She won’t be a spell spamming nightmare, but getting double mana per auto attack is nothing to scoff at. The 40 AP is also good for making her fewer spells count.
Since Brand for Elementalist and Aatrox for Blademaster are frequent Ninja pairings, a spare Darkin can definitely be made use of. Kennen is a good unit for this, as he will get many autos off from your backline. His ult will also greatly benefit from 40 starting mana.
While it can be a powerful tool to help one of your units drop aggro, if your Ninja Assassins are getting killed before killing the enemy carries, you likely already lost. GA is just an excess tank item that you often don’t need. Kennen and Akali are the best users of it in the comp.
A viable option for heal deny to put on a carry Zed if you don’t find a Morello for others. Very situational, but the extra tankiness from the items can half make up for not being a true defensive item.
Sword Breaker / Hush / Cursed Blade
Extra on hit utility, only build if you have the excess components.
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