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3 Days to Challenger: Set 6.5 In-Depth Innovator AD Flex Guide

Hey everyone, welcome back to another TGH guide written by Trade. Set 6.5 is only three days in and the meta is shaping up in a seemingly pretty decent spot but with some comps considerably easier to pilot and play. After three days, Trade has hit Challenger, and is currently rank 7 on the NA ladder with almost a 30% win rate and 70% top 4 rate. Here is his LoLChess and Twitch. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Trade has made the bulk of his climb playing two main comps: Innovator AD Flex and Hextech Sivir into Capped Legendaries. This guide will focus on how to play Innovator AD Flex. His guide on Hextech Sivir into Legendaries will be released over the weekend.

[Related: Chase traits for TFT 12.4]

When to Go This Comp

This comp usually performs best when given an Innovator opener. Trade will seldom pivot into an Innovator board without having one first as upgraded low-cost units such as Ezreal, Singed, and Zilean are pretty important. In addition, the strong point of this comp is that the player can use their strong opener and pivot into any 4 cost carry. This means that they can slam every AD and attack speed item comfortably without being concerned about best-in-slot itemization or being contested. When a player’s options are extremely flexible, they generally use much less gold to pivot into a board and thus will have the options to go level 9 and cap out with strong legendary units. The basic recipe is Innovator opener + AD Items = Innovator AD Flex.

Comp Variations

The reason why this has been so successful is because of how easy this comp is to pilot and cap out. The comp runs 5 Innovators (Ezreal, Zilean, Ekko, Seraphine, Jayce) and is essentially able to flex any AD 4 cost carry with it (Jhin, Irelia, Kha’Zix, Draven, Sivir). After those five units, there are three open slots, usually opening up a slot for their 4 cost carry, a supporting unit, and another strong unit such as Vi, Silco, Tahm Kench, or Senna/Gnar. If the player hits Silco 2, they should ALWAYS run Silco, as he can buff the Innovator, help Orianna and Ekko cast sooner,  and is especially OP with Kha’Zix and Irelia. Even though he provides no synergies, the unit is simply beyond broken. Below are examples of how to play this comp with each respective 4 cost carry. 






This comp can also be played AP carries and AP items, but Trade made the majority of his climb playing AD. If given AP items and no AD items with an Innovator board, try to play something like this. 

Of course, if given an Innovator Heart or Spat, run 7 Innovators and simply cut Silco or Gnar/Vi/Senna.


Itemization Options and Which Carry to Commit To

Given that there are so many four-cost carry options, a player may be wondering which carry is the best to commit to. On a level 8 rolldown, Trade will generally pick up every single one of these units but will prioritize certain champions depending on matchups and itemizations. However, it is never correct to go into this comp with a four-cost carry in mind, and the player should slam every AD and Attack Speed item they get in order to save HP and preserve tempo. Items such as Infinity Edge, Last Whisper, Giant Slayer, Deathblade, Bloodthirster, Guinsoo’s Rageblade, Hand of Justice, Runaan’s Hurricane, Edge of Night and Statik Shiv should be slammed without hesitation; Rapidfire Cannon can also be slammed if given too many bows. 

Jhin – Jhin can generally do extremely well with any AD items, but attack speed items such as Statik Shiv will generally favour Draven or Sivir instead of Jhin. Jhin’s best-in-slot itemization will consist of Infinity Edge, Last Whisper, and Giant’s Slayer; however, Deathblade, Runaan’s, Bloodthirster are also amazing on him.

Irelia/Kha’Zix – Irelia and Kha’Zix basically share the exact same items. They both either need a healing augment or Bloodthirster to survive. Without one of these, it is almost never great to play Irelia or Kha’Zix unless the player is given no other options. Irelia and Kha’Zix’ best-in-slot itemization is probably Bloodthirster, Infinity Edge, and Last Whisperer, but items such as Deathblade, QSS, Giant Slayer, Edge of Night are all great. They can also use items such as HOJ, Blue Buff, Titan’s Resolve just fine. 

Draven – Draven is kind of the king of being able to use every item, but is probably the worst of the five carries; fantastic when looking to play for top 4. He uses Jhin items extremely well, but can also use the bruiser items and attack speed items. His best-in-slot itemization will probably consist of Infinity Edge, Last Whisper, and Guinsoo’s Rageblade, but he can use literally any of the above items including the unconventional items such as Statik Shiv, Blue Buff, Titan’s Resolve, etc. 

Sivir – Sivir is also very flexible in itemization. Like Draven, she can use AD items such as IE, LW, GS, DB, Runaan’s but can also really like attack speed such as QSS, Shiv, Rageblade. Her best-in-slot is probably Rageblade, QSS, and GS but can use all the items listed above. 

Of the list, Sivir and Draven are definitely the most flexible ones, as Jhin really likes the hard-hitting AD items and Irelia and Kha’Zix need healing. Irelia and Kha’Zix are much better into the squishier team comps as they have a lot of backline access, Jhin and Draven are the best in front-to-back fights, and Sivir is best when combined with other backline access (such as excess Seraphine and Orianna items).

However, in a vacuum (with no other considerations about matchup and items), players should prioritize Jhin=Kha>Irelia=Sivr>Draven just because Jhin and Kha’Zix have the most flexible slots and are probably the more powerful champions without needing too many traits. Another consideration to keep in mind is the Socialite hex. With a backline Socialite hex, Jhin and Sivir become incredibly dominant. With a third-row socialite Hex, Draven is very powerful. In the front two rows, Irelia becomes the best; however, Trade will often default to Kha’Zix as he can literally be run in any Socialite hex. 


Other Itemization Options

This comp must have a Morello. This can either be placed on Ekko or Seraphine, but Ekko is usually preferred as it is easier to hit him earlier and his ability is better at applying it. Seraphine or Orianna will carry AP and Mana items; usually Seraphine but if the player hits Orianna first feel free to itemize her. In the Jhin comp, AP/AS and extra AD items can also be placed onto Zeri. Tank items are usually stacked onto Jayce, but if the player has Vi 2 and Jayce 1, always stack Vi before Jayce. Extra AD items can also be placed on Jayce in the back row if the player is running Vi as the primary tank. 


Item Opener

Given that this comp mainly prioritizes IE and LW, glove start is ideal; however, belt, chain, bow, and BF are also decent openers. In order: Glove > Belt > Chain = Bow > BF.


Early Game (Stage 2)

The early game for this comp is incredibly straightforward. Play early game Innovators and try to play for tempo. The player should not prelevel on 1-3 or level on 2-1 they do not have upgraded Innovator units. If they have a Singed and/or Ezreal pair, do not level and play for lose streak until these units are hit. As the Innovator scales off star level, Ezreal and Singed 2 are incredibly important. Here is an example early game board: 

Camille can be stacked with AP items and Morellos but prioritize itemizing Ekko if hit early. AD items can be stacked on Ezreal but the player would have to remake Ezreal, which isn’t a big deal but can be quite annoying. Any early 2* can hold AD items such as Camille, Corki, Twitch, Jarvan, Rek’Sai, Ashe, Warwick. If given a strong enough opener, simply level to 4 on 2-1, level to 5 on 2-5 and just play for tempo. 


Mid Game (Stage 3-4)

On 3-2, level to 6. If quickly bleeding out or have a lot of pairs, feel free to roll down to around 10-20 gold to stabilize. Otherwise, continue to sit. If the player has a lot of money, level to 7 on 3-5 (if it does not drop them below 30 gold). On 4-1, unless the player is continuing to win streak, roll down until Seraphine is hit, allowing for 5 Innovators. At this point the board should look something like this: 

Late Game (Stage 4-5)

If the player has not rolled this game to stabilize, level to 8 on 4-2 and roll down for one of the boards listed above. Be sure to hold every single one of the 4 cost carries and potential supporting units such as Silco, Vi, Gnar, Tahm Kench, Senna, Camille, Miss Fortune/Zeri, Jinx, etc. If the player has had to roll a little this game and is not rich, level to 8 on 4-5 and roll for the boards mentioned above. If the player is extremely healthy (90+ HP plus) and feels that they do not need to roll, they can go level 9 in order to cap out with legendary units. 

Late Game Capped Board Options

The strength of this comp is that it can get away with rolling very little gold in order to have a very stable board; as such, the player should always be looking out to make capped late-game boards. Extremely simple ways to cap out a board is with Silco and Jayce 2, with Jayce 2 holding the AD items instead of whoever was carrying the previous AD items. If playing Jhin, the player can easily cap out their board with a stacked Zeri 2 as well. If playing Draven, they can easily cap out with a Kai’sa 2. Otherwise, it is usually wise to cut two of the innovators for better four and five-cost units. Here is an example of a capped late-game board with Jayce holding AD items, Viktor holding AP and Mana items, holding tank items, and Silco/Ekko/Tahm/Renatta holding leftovers. 


Positioning this comp is relatively simple. If possible, put the comp’s carry in the socialite hex. The Innovator summon should usually be in front alongside another tank (Singed/Jayce/Vi/Sejuani). Be careful of getting the Innovator Summon Zephyr’d. Do not solo frontline the Innovator as it is too squishy and will often die too quickly. If running Singed and Zilean, be sure to put them on the same side, as they can perform a nasty combo (Singed can fling the bomb into the enemy team). In general, try to center Ekko towards the biggest enemy clump, Jhin opposite from the enemy carries, and Kha’Zix on top of enemy carries. The two units in front of Silco should almost always be Orianna and Ekko, but with a Silco 1 star, it may be worth front lining him and having him buff Ekko and the Innovator Dragon for an earlier cast. Other units the player can buff are Gnar and Jinx, as their early cast can drastically increase their DPS. In the late game, always try to Silco buff impactful carries, such as Viktor and Renatta, Seraphine, Orianna, Jinx, and the Innovator summon. 


All augments revolving around the Innovator are typically S tier. Clockwork and Socialite Heart are not bad, Enforcer Heart is decent, as well as all generically good augments, especially those that also buff the Innovator Summon.

S (Amazing): Innovator Soul, Innovator Heart, Self Repair, Ancient Archives, Ardent Censer (with Locket), Broken Stopwatch (if playing Jhin, especially with +1 Clockwork)

A (Very good): Clockwork, Socialite, Enforcer, Scholar, Backfoot, Battlemage, Blue Battery (with Vi, Silco, Draven/Irelia/Kha’Zix), First Aid Kit, Makeshift Armor, Cybernetic Uplink, Duet, Exiles, Keepers, Luden’s Echo, Meditation, Pandora’s, Phalanx, Portable Forge

B (Generally Decent): Celestial Blessing, Thrill of the Hunt, Cybernetic Implants/Shell, Electrocharge, Item/Component Grab Bag, Second Wind, Sunfire Board (without Morello), Titanic Force

C (Usable): Bruiser, Arcanist, Target Dummies

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1 comment

TFT Patch 12.5 Tier List and Meta Predictions: Day 1 March 2, 2022 at 3:18 pm

[…] between Jhin, Sivir, Draven, Kha’Zix, and Irelia carry. Be sure to check out Trade’s in-depth AD Innovator Flex guide for more details on this […]


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