Warren Younger is a Two Time Master+ player in Set 3. Check back for weekly tier lists every Monday for TFT Set 3.5.
The wait is over Teamfight Tactics set 3.5 is finally here. The new update brings massive changes to the game and huge shakeups to the meta. But as some things change, others say the same. Old comps got new toys and new comps have come to play.
[Related: Latest Patch Notes]
After some extensive testing on the PBE server over the last few weeks, here is a tier list of what players can expect to see and play in the first couple of days of the new set. Take this tier list with a grain of salt. The meta will change drastically as new theories and ideas are put into practice. Use this tier list as a baseline of what to test.
This tier list is split into three different sections. Super Strong (Comps that have won lobbies constantly on PBE) Very Strong (Comps that have won lobbies on PBE but need a little help) and Strong (Comps that top four constantly on PBE but have either been changed from their PBE state or have not been optimized yet.)
With that in mind, here is the day one tier list for TFT: Galaxies 3.5.
Ol’ Faithful is back and better than ever. This comp is a huge winner coming into the new update. The comp still plays similar to what old Cybers used to but with a couple of big upgrades.
Vayne is here and can rival Irelia as the comps main carry. As a Cybernetic Sniper, Vayne gives the comp some much needed ranged damage. Being able to fire away on the backline constantly while the meat shields in front of her buy time, gives the comp some much-needed flexibility.
The best part about Vayne is when her ability activates, she tumbles and goes invisible which immediately drops all aggro on her. Essentially what this means is if an Infiltrator jumps on her, she can activate her ability and escape before dying. This also lets Vayne assassinate her assassins as she comes out of invisibility and shoots the now non-threatening infiltrators in the back.
Ekko got a massive buff as well. He now casts his ability much quicker than before and his ability is much stronger overall. When Ekko casts his ability, the enemies he hits will now have Frozen Heart applied to them which cripples their attack speed. Ekko now dishes out some much-needed CC that can buy time for Vayne and Irelia to ramp up.
Irelia can still do the heavy lifting but she is no longer alone. There is a new cybernetic unit, players can opt to roll down on level seven to power spike instead of praying for an Ekko on level eight. Vayne being a sniper allows for players to fit in Chrono or Celestial in a different form now by adding in Caitlyn or Ashe.
The Cybernetic trait itself also got a buff which gives Cybernetic champions even more Attack Damage which lets Irelia and Vayne carry even harder. This comp is definitely one of the best comps in the game currently and should be able to secure wins on a regular basis.
Arguably the strongest new champion to appear in set 3.5 is Kayle’s replacement, Riven. Riven is a Chrono Blademaster who ironically doesn’t benefit too much off of either trait. The fact that she is this high despite that is scary.
In the PBE, players found out quickly that Riven doesn’t like attack speed, she likes AP items. This is due to how her ability works. Riven’s ability lets her dash forward and slash everything in her range. When she does this she gains a shield. Every third cast of her ability makes Riven unleash a wave of energy doing massive damage. Her shield and energy wave scale massively with AP. The crazy thing? Her ability costs 25 mana.
With AP items Riven essentially will gain an endless shield that lets her live long enough to cast her ability so much that she can kill everything by herself. So with that in mind, what other units do players put in a Riven comp? Since Riven likes Ability Power, players have put Riven as the sole unit on the front line with six Sorcerers on the back. Who needs a front line when the one front line unit has essentially endless health?
On top of having Riven, Viktor and Xerath can be secondary carries in this comp and with the six sorcerer buff, they don’t even need optimal items to dish out damage. This comp is very scary to deal with and if it gets going, it’s hard to stop.
Alternatively, players can go for more Chrono units instead of Sorcerer units but it seems like the Sorcerer variant is stronger.
A comp that was climbing up the ranks as of late is Jhin Snipers with a beefy front line. Well, that comp got significantly better with the release of set 3.5.
Let’s start with Jhin. Darkstars got a rework going into set 3.5. Instead of intervals of three units, Darkstars now have intervals of two units. This allows for more flexibility in the comp as there is no need to fit in bad Darkstar units just to get buffs. Speaking of buffs, Darkstar units now gain the bonus AD and AP when ANY ally unit dies not just Darkstar units. This is music to Jhin’s ears as the bad Darkstar units no longer have to die for Jhin to gain damage. But it gets better.
Jhin at levels two and three received an attack speed buff making the long-range menace even more menacing. But it gets even BETTER. Set 3.5 introduced some new snipers and with it an extension of the sniper trait. Players can now put in four snipers to gain the gold sniper trait which increases Sniper damage by 20% for each hex between them and an enemy. Jhin now does way more damage than ever before.
Just fit in four snipers and four beefy front liners and players will have a comp that can kill things quickly and stay alive long enough to do it.
Players can opt to play the traditional six Darkstars with Xerath as a secondary carry if they wish. They can also play Gangplank and Rumble for Demolitionist in the four sniper build too.
The big new trait in set 3.5 also happens to have no streamline build currently.
The Battlecast trait makes champions in the trait either deal damage or heal on every 10th instance of damage. This doesn’t sound very good but it actually is.
Kog’Maw is back and is definitely the main carry in this comp, at least in the early to mid game. Kog’Maw’s ability gives himself increased attack speed over a duration. Kog’maw is also a blaster. This alone allows Kog’Maw to use his own trait well. Then come the items. Static Shiv and Red buff allow Kog’Maw to accelerate the Battlecast procs while also dealing a lot of damage.
If AP is more one’s thing, players can carry through the new mystic Battlecast champion, Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia’s ability poisons units and when it does, those champions take a significant amount of damage over the course of 12 seconds. Every second the poison ticks and counts as an instance of damage which is great for Battlecast.
If slowly waiting for units to die isn’t one’s thing, Viktor is the unit to check out. Viktor with AP items will simply delete the other team without relying on the Battlecast trait to do it for him. And late game the big boss of the trait, Urgot jumps in and deletes champions literally due to his ability sucking in any champ and leaving nothing behind, not even a Guardian’s Angel.
On the PBE, players have been trying all sorts of combinations from 6 Protector Urgot carry to Cassiopeia hyper carry with four mystics. Of course the regular 6 Battlecast comp is good too. Once the meta evolves, players are sure to find Battlecast in the top four in their lobbies.
The e-girl comp is still here but with one massive change. It turns out that Star Guardians have been bugged since set three released. All this time the Star Guardian champions were not distributing mana correctly. In fact, as the rounds got longer, the less mana the Star Guardians would refund. That bug has been addressed and now players will see their Star Guardians with even more spell casts than ever before.
However there is some bad news, Seraph’s Embrace got reworked in set 3.5. The item is now known as Blue Buff and it does the same exact thing that Seraph’s Embrace did but it is no longer stackable. This means no more crazy Syndra shenanigans, or so people thought.
Syndra got a huge buff to compensate. Now when she kills an enemy with her ability, the excess orbs will now bounce to a new enemy instead of having wasted orbs. This allows Syndra to kill even more units much faster than before. But for players playing this comp Syndra wont be the primary carry.
With Vel’Koz leaving the set, Riot decided to throw in another tier four Spellcaster. Viktor is an absolute beast of a unit and like Vel’Koz, he will delete anyone in his path. Give him a Star Guardian Charm and players can say goodbye to their enemies as Viktor takes them out in a flash.
If this list was made before the official patch notes came out for set 3.5, Jinx would have been in the Super Strong tier. However, it was revealed that Jinx’s rockets were never supposed to work with the blaster bonus. This means that Jinx’s damage has taken a significant hit. With that said, Jinx comps will still be strong in set 3.5.
The common way to play Jinx up to this point is the classic four Blaster four Brawler composition. Gnar has taken over Cho’Gath’s spot as the tier four Brawler in this set. Early impressions have shown that Gnar is better than Cho’Gath in every single way. This is a great addition to the Jinx Brawler comp.
In recent patches, players have opted to go for a two blaster composition instead of a four blaster composition to fit in the Rebel trait bonus. The unit that was commonly thrown in as the third Rebel alongside Jinx and the Rebel Brawler Malphite was Aurelion Sol. Asol was in a pretty bad state in previous patches and his role in this comp was essentially Blitzcrank bait but that is no longer the case.
Asol got a massive buff in set 3.5. He now drains mana from enemy units whenever one of his pilots hits an enemy. This buys time for Jinx to pop off and do her job which is solo carrying fights.
A new blaster joined the ranks as well as a new brawler. Both of them happen to be Battlecast units which is also another variation players have been trying out. Illaoi and Kog’Maw serve as early to mid game carries packing the Battlecast bonus which helps them carry fights. In the late game Jinx takes over for a clean transition of power.
The six Rebel variation of Jinx carry is still good too. Miss Fortune is no longer in the game but Gangplank is. He can still be the composition’s main source of damage. GP does the heavy lifting and Jinx cleans up.
Jinx will be a meta unit in either blaster brawlers or Rebels. Look out for her in lobbies near you.
Old Mech is no more. But the new version of the comp is not bad. It’s just a lot different.
The days of Demolitionist Kai’Sa are gone but the days of Infiltrators might not be. The new tier two infiltrator may turn out to be an even better carry than Kai’Sa was.
Zed joins the fray and packs a serious punch. His ability is a passive one. Every third attack he steals the enemy attack damage and deals damage too. In a comp like Mech-Pilot Infiltrators, Zed will be able to dish out and steal a lot of damage very quickly while the mech buys time.
The mech itself got some massive buffs to its damage and health but at the cost of the units being ejected with only a third of their health. This means that if the mech dies, the round is pretty much over.
A Zed 3* with a very tanky mech is definitely strong enough to do damage but it might not be enough…yet. Perhaps when the meta gets streamlined this comp will find its place but for now, do not sleep on this comp. Mech is still here.
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