Hey everyone, welcome to TGH’s first (of hopefully many) TFT comp-specific in-depth guide! This TFT In-Depth Kalista/Aatrox Reroll Guide is curated and written by Trade (aka nathanielleung), a multi-set challenger TFT player.
His LoLCHESS can be found here.
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In last week’s TFT Patch 11.19 Tier List/Meta Snapshot, Kalista Reroll was only listed in honorable mentions; however, due to the prevalence of other rerolling one-cost comps, this already viable comp has shot up in viability and power. Although this comp has already seen the spotlight and has been somewhat well-known for months now, Trade will provide in-depth insight as this comp is by far his most piloted and favourite reroll comp to play.
This In-Depth Kalista/Aatrox Reroll Guide Will Contain:
- A Comp Introduction
- How to Pilot the Early Game
- How to Pilot the Mid Game
- How to Pilot the Late Game
- Late Game Comp Variations
- Itemization Options
As reroll comps such as Kled dominate the meta, it has become increasingly easy to play other one-cost reroll comps such as Kalista uncontested and take free top 4s. The Kled and Kha’Zix rerollers will take many of their one-cost units out of the pool, leaving Kalista rerollers with higher chances to hit Kalista and Aatrox. Despite this, this comp caps quite early and quite hard, so winning lobbies will be a rare occurrence unless the player is able to high-roll and fully cap out their board at level 9 with legendary units.
This will generally be the final board for the Kalista/Aatrox Reroll Comp:
Early Game (Stage 2)
As with all reroll comps, economy is the number-one success for this comp. It is generally recommended to prioritize making econ breakpoints (10, 20, 30, 40, 50 gold) even if it means selling some supporting units; however, unlike other reroll comps, it is recommended to not only hold Kalistas and Aatroxes but also to hold extra Leonas and Poppys as this comp rerolls four, one-cost units while most only reroll one or two. As with all one-cost reroll comps, never level in stage 2. This will give the highest odds of hitting one-cost units. Try to build the strongest board possible while prioritizing Kalista, Aatrox, Poppy and Leona. If possible, a player should try to “open-fort”, prioritizing economy and losing the first five rounds, while being sure to diligently scout and position to snipe as many backline units as possible with Kalista spears in order to save HP.
It is not generally recommended to force this comp as it suffers from weaknesses that some other reroll comps generally do not struggle with. Forcing reroll comps are usually okay if:
- The comp is insanely overpowered. For example, on this patch, Kled is an extremely powerful reroll comp and can even beat some capped late-game boards. Because of its raw power, forcing a comp like Kled will usually get punished much less than forcing other reroll comps.
- The comp is insanely stable once hit. For example, many high elo players opt to open fort and force Nocturne, despite having to drop below 40 HP in mid-stage 3. A comp like Nocturne can get away with being only 1-2 life in the mid-game because the comp stabilizes extremely hard at Nocturne 2, and will often not lose another round once hitting Nocturne 3 plus legendary units such as Volibear and Viego.
- The comp can stop itself from losing a lot of HP in the early game. For example, Reroll Gragas + Kha’Zix is easier forced than this comp because a Gragas 2 + a Kha’Zix 1 will often be able to snipe at least one backline unit, bleeding much less HP by killing extra units per round despite loss streaking.
The Kalista comp somewhat suffers from all three of these weaknesses. The comp is not currently overpowered, albeit it is quite strong when hit. Although the comp is quite stable when it successfully three-stars its carries, the comp can be susceptible to fight RNG. For example, a one-star Nidalee may jump in front of Kalista’s spear, dodging the ability and cause Kalista’s team to basically instantly lose the round. Lastly, it is strongly recommended that this comp is only pursued if one hits an early Kalista 2. Unlike Kha’Zix, Kalista 1 will almost never kill a unit; however, Kalista 2 with a BF sword is almost guaranteed to snipe at least one unit per fight, saving the player tons of HP in stages 2 and 3. However, the biggest positive about the Kalista Reroll comp is that its itemization and comp variation are EXTREMELY flexible, meaning this comp can be played with a variety of items and players can easily adapt to the state of the game.
A stage 2 (level 4) board should look something like this:
Mid Game (Stage 3)
At stage 3-1, the player should still be level 4, hopefully with over 50-60 gold. As the level 4 odds give the best odds of finding 1-cost units, a player has three options.
- If a player finds themselves with little gold and upgraded two-star units, they can sit and simply slow-roll at level five.
- If a player finds that they are sitting on many Aatroxes, Kalistas, Leonas and Poppy pairs or are close to three-starring any of them, they can roll down to 33 gold. 33 gold is the amount of gold to always go back to 50 gold in two turns (essentially sacrificing three gold for better one-cost odds and an earlier chance to hit). From here, a player can either econ back up or resort to option number three.
- If a player finds that they are extremely close to hitting Kalista and Aatrox 3 (and preferably also Poppy and Leona), they can roll to 0 gold in an attempt to hit the final remaining Kalistas and Aatroxes. A Kalista and/or Aatrox 3 on 3-1 will likely win streak all the way till stage 4 or 5, saving lots of HP and essentially making the lost gold back through win-streaking. This is by far the riskiest option, as getting unlucky and not hitting any three-stars when rolling to 0 will likely mean going 8th very quickly; however, if done successfully, a player will find themselves cruising into a top 2.
A stage three board should look like this:
If options one and two are chosen, continue slow-rolling above 50 gold to three-star the board in this priority: Kalista > Aatrox > Leona > Poppy > Syndra. In the meantime, any Redeemed unit can replace Syndra such as Varus or Lux; however, Syndra tends to be the most powerful unit in this comp as it can be three-starred and helps to peel Kalista. In heavy AP lobbies, consider putting in Lux instead as it will help a player pivot into mystics in the late game.
Mid-Late Game (Stage 4)
By 4-1, it is essential that a player has hit at least Kalista and Aatrox 3, and preferably Poppy and Leona as well. If a player has not yet hit Kalista and Aatrox, they should probably all-in their gold until they are hit both the units unless they find themselves with a lot of HP to work with. Once Kalista and Aatrox 3 have been hit, a player should rebuild their economy unless they are also extremely close to hitting Poppy and Leona and perhaps even Syndra (7-8 of all the units). In that case, a player should continue to roll all their gold until everything has been hit. If Poppy, Leona and Syndra are not close to being hit, simply give up on three-starring them and try to push to level 7 or 8.
At level 6, a player can simply throw in a Lulu (with Lux) or another two-star unit that could not be three-star (ie. 2 Leonas 2s). Once a player hits, they should easily win the next five or so rounds, so getting through level 6 should not be a great worry.
At level 7, the easiest and strongest board to pivot into will be 4 Knights. A stage 4 board should look like this:
Late Game Comp Variations (Stage 5+)
In the late game, if a player finds themselves with very low HP, they should likely stay at level 7 and roll to upgrade their board. Upgrading a board to Thresh 2, Galio 2, and Syndra 3 can likely top 4 a lobby. However, if a player finds themselves with a lot of HP and gold to work with, they should try to go level 8 or 9 to cap out their board with game-winning units such as Teemo, Volibear and Gwen.
If a player successfully makes it to level 8 with lots of gold, this comp has a lot of flexibility depending on the units needed to counter the lobby and what a player hits on their rolldown. This is one example of a level 8 board:
If a player finds that they are in an extremely heavy AP lobby and they are in need of mystics, consider this board:
Similarly, if a player finds themselves in need of Ironclads and Knights against AD or multi-hit heavy lobbies, they can consider this board: (Leona and Poppy should be substituted for better Knights in the late game, especially if they were unable to be three-starred)
If a player finds a Teemo and/or an Invoker Spat, 4 Invoker is extremely strong with Kalista, like so:
Spatulas and Tomes
Furthermore, Spatulas and Tomes work fantastic in this comp. A player with a Redeemed Spat can find themselves going 6 Redeemed. A player with an Abomination Emblem can find themselves playing three Abominations with Kalista and Fiddlesticks. 4-6 Legionnaire can be extremely powerful if a player hits a Legionnaire Emblem. A Knight Emblem makes it extremely easy to play 4/6 Knight. A Mystic Emblem makes it extremely easy to play 4-6 Mystics. An Ironclad Emblem makes it extremely to run 3-4 Ironclad and a Revenant Emblem is just a free GA when running a Revenant front-line.
This comp is EXTREMELY flexible in terms of itemization, and it is recommended that a player simply slam whatever items they have in order to conserve HP. With that being said, with the correct itemization, Kalista can easily win lobbies instead of falling off to simply place in the top 4.
Kalista: Kalista’s best in slot items are easily Infinity Edge, Last Whisper, Radiant Giant Slayer. Last Whisper is probably the only must-have item on Kalista given the prominence of Ironclads. It is also because this comp mainly deals physical damage until units such as Teemo are hit. Infinity Edge is great for consistency when combined with Last Whisper. Kalista’s last item is extremely flexible but Radiant Giant Slayer (and to an extent regular Giant Slayer) is probably one of the most broken items on Kalista because of the way it interacts with her spear. Kalista’s spear pierces if it kills the unit it hits; however, with Radiant Giant Slayer (and regular Giant Slayer), the spear when passing through a low-health enemy will get an additional 80% damage (40% if they are not above the Giant Slayer threshold) before piercing, allowing Kalista to start a chain reaction and literally pierce through 10 units.
With that being said, Kalista’s itemization is extremely flexible, and any items such as Guinsoo’s Rageblade, Spear of Shojin, Jewelled Gauntlet, Titan’s Resolve, Hand of Justice, Deathblade, Rapidfire Cannon, Runaan’s Hurricane, Guardian’s Angel, Bloodthirster, and Rabadon’s Deathcap are perfectly fine. Any radiant variation of any of the above items will work great on Kalista.
Aatrox: Aatrox items are extremely flexible and he should essentially just take any tank items that are available. Bramble Vest is great if there are many crit and AD threats in the lobby. Similarly, Dragon’s Claw is great against AP threats. Warmog’s Armor and Titan’s Resolve are generally pretty good, but items such as Gargoyle’s Stoneplate, Redemption, and Sunfire Cape work great on Aatrox as well. Lastly, Archangel’s Staff is actually surprisingly good on Aatrox early game, as both a tear and a rod are generally not wanted in this comp as it allows for Aatrox to go infinite in early fights, where he constantly heals back to full and becomes unkillable. Any radiant variation of any of the above-listed items will work great on Aatrox.
Leftovers: Leftover tank items should go on Leona if three-starred, if not, they can go on Galio, Poppy, Garen, Fiddle or Ivern. Leftover AD items can go lead a player to run 4 Legionaniare instead, with the items on Draven or Riven. Leftover AP Items can go on Teemo, Karma, Syndra or Galio.
In the early game, a player likely wants to corner their units to avoid having Kalista being sniped by Assassins; however, if a quick scout shows no Assassin players, feel free to position Kalista in a corner with the front line in the front. Be sure that Aatrox is not the first unit to aggro as he needs to consistently heal back to get the most value out of the unit.
In the mid-game, when a player has more units on board and Kalista is 3-starred, it is recommended that a player center their Kalista, as the chance of hitting a cornered enemy carry is much higher when Kalista is positioned in the center because the spear usually only has to go through zero or one enemy instead of three-four (as shown in this FANTASTIC diagram).
HOWEVER, if a player has a Giant Slayer or Radiant Giant Slayer on Kalista, cornering Kalista is likely a better choice as a player would actually want a Kalista spear to hit as many units as possible, as the spear can ramp up in damage, dealing massive damage and piercing through the entire enemy board.
Thanks for reading the In-Depth Kalista/Aatrox Reroll Guide!
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