Teamfight Tactics

Release date: June 27, 2019
Platforms: Microsoft Windows

Teamfight Tactics: Ultimate Beginner's Guide

Teamfight Tactics (TFT) is an autobattler game mode of League of Legends. In this guide, we explain its basics and give a few useful tips for a successful game 
Index

Currently, the game is implemented as a game mode, so it is played through the League of Legends client and account. There is no level limit so you can create a specific account for TFT. This approach accelerated and simplified development but has not provided an opportunity to implement cross-platform gaming.

The game is quite simple and intuitive, but you realize this through defeats. However, who wants to experience this ‘’time loop’’ with the neverending ‘Set. Lose. Repeat’’?

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Genre and rules

Autobattler is an ‘’every man for himself’’ battle in which you do not influence the outcome in any way except for purchasing units and setting them on the battlefield.

  • Eight players participate in TFT. Each one fights for himself and has 100 health.
  • At the end of each round, you earn gold that is spent on buying champions from the split random pool. A split pool means that only a certain number of identical champions can take part in the game.
  • You set the champions on the field and face another player. After this, your units fight automatically.
  • A defeat in the round causes damage. The game ends when you have 0 health, while the last survivor is the winner.
  • The game starts with a draft (or carousel). You choose the first champion with an item.
  • The game is divided into stages. At the first stage, you’ll have a draft and 3 PvE rounds against minions. In these rounds, you’ll get random items from eliminated minions.
  • The following stages consist of 4 PvP rounds, 1 PvE round and 1 draft.
  • All players start with the first level. The level is increased in the first and second rounds against minions, so players have levels 3-4 by the time they enter PvP rounds. All rounds after round 3 provide you with 2 XP.
  • The level determines the number of units at the battlefield. You cannot set more units than your level allows. If possible, a number of units that is smaller than your level is automatically replenished from the bench.

Interface breakdown

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Interface legend:

  1. Your avatar (Little Legend)
  2. Your battlefield. Here’s where you set your champions.
  3. Bench. Champions who have not been set at the battlefield.
  4. Store. Buy champions. Refresh the store. Buy XP. Block (no automatic refresh). Profit (when hovering)
  5. Trait tracker. Classes and origin.
  6. Item inventory.
  7. Gold generators. Each one symbolizes one interest gold.
  8. Scoreboard. Shows HP of each player. Click on the player to view his arena.
  9. Stage tracker. Shows rounds in the current stage.
  10. Phase tracker. Shows how much time is left and the champions’ limit.
  11. Opponent’s side.

Gameplay tips:

  • Your avatar in Teamfight Tactics is a Little Legend. You can use emotions during the battle (just like in Hearthstone😉)!
  • The battlefield is 7x6 and consists of hexes. Perhaps, this is one of the main differences of TFT, not so noticeable but quite unusual. Certainly, this does not allow calling the game an Auto Chess clone. The battlefield is to become customizable in the future but currently it has only 4 different color schemes.
  • Up to nine champions can be stored at the bench.
  • The store offers five champions to choose from. Refreshing the store costs two gold. It is updated automatically each round. You can block this automatic refresh by clicking on the ‘’lock’’ if you do not want to lose a good set.
  • On the left, you’ll find a trait tracker that shows the required quantities of different champions to get the upgrade. Hover your mouse over it to see which upgrade is provided.
  • Generators show how much interest gold you may get. They are visible to everyone and provide a peek at the state of your economy.
  • The players are placed in the table on the right side and are sorted by the amount of health. The position in the table determines your position in the draft.
  • Above, you’ll see the current stage and its rounds. Victories in previous rounds are indicated by a check mark, while defeats are indicated by a cross.

Little Legends

The game has seven Little Legends:

  • Water Sprite (by default)
  • Featherknight (penguin)
  • Runespirit (golem)
  • Molediver (mole)
  • Hantling (ghost)
  • Furyhorn (something between a bear and a sheep)
  • Silverwing (griffon)
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Everyone except Water Sprite has six skins, each having three tiers. They are unlocked through donations. This is the only monetization in the mode. Perhaps, other ways to get the skins will be implemented later. The Legend is used in the draft to choose a hero and to use the pirate’s ability which requires you to open the chest. Also, they have emotions which are mostly used to annoy…

Champions

One of the bulkiest parts of League of Legends is the abundance of champions. Transferring such a huge mass to TFT at the start would have been insane so TFT has only 50 champions. However, Riot has already announced that they will add Twisted Fate in the next update, so the number of champions will grow to 51. Currently, the goal is to increase the number to 60 by adding a champion every two weeks. After this, developers will slow down the pace but will add champions in sets.

At this point, champions have several characteristics:

  • Tier (rarity). It is divided into five categories: regular (white), irregular (green), rare (blue), epic (purple), legendary (orange). The categories have different prices and impact appearance in the store and damage to the enemy in case of victory.
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  • Class. Ten different classes determine the roles and provide synergy bonuses, while some of them have special abilities: Elementalists and Sorcerers get 2x mana from basic attacks, Assassins start the fight by invisibly jumping to the furthest target.
  • Origin. The 13 origins are partially based on lore and sometimes correspond to the factions of Runeterra (the world of League of Legends). For example, Nobles – Demacia, Imperial – Noxus. However, that’s more of a homage to lore than actual rules. In general, the division is based on features. The origin also provides synergy bonuses.
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Each champion is counted once, and his copy will not count towards the calculation of synergies. However, the collection of ordinary units is required to increase their level (or stars). Collecting three regular (🌟) champions will automatically improve it to one silver champion (🌟🌟🌟), while three silver champions pave the way to one gold champion (🌟🌟🌟).

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This upgrade improves basic characteristics:

  • Health. When health is 0, the champion leaves the battle.
  • Auto attacks (basic attacks) that deal physical damage equal to the power of the attack.
  • Attack speed – the number of auto attacks per second.
  • Attack range, in hexes.
  • Critical strike chance. Deals additional 50% damage. Set at 25% for each champion by default.
  • Armor decreases physical damage.
  • Magic resistance decreases magic damage.
  • Special abilities deal magic damage or provide boosts that increase with the ability power.
  • Mana is replenished by auto attacks and damage. The ability is used automatically once mana is maxed out.

Most of the champions operate with basic attacks, accumulating mana to use abilities. Several champions (Vayne, Kassadin, Graves) do not have mana, and their attacks have an additional effect.

Damage to players depends on your composition: the stronger and rarer the units are, the more damage they deal if they live up to the victory. Thus, the more enemies have been killed, the less damage you’ll get.

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The sale of first-level heroes occurs at the same price as their purchase so sometimes it makes sense to take everything that can and cannot be useful and sell the units when you need place in the inventory or money. As the item can be removed only by selling the champion, you may sometimes find yourself in an unpleasant situation when a strong item is on the wrong champion. Avoid this trap by carefully planning your moves. If it happens, you should make a willful decision depending on the situation.

Items

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There are eight basic items in the game. Basic mathematics tells us that the number of their possible combinations is 36. Each combination has its own effect besides the increase in items’ characteristics.

In the game, you’ll get items through PvE. One of the main complaints at the moment is the randomness of item appearance. For example, you may have one or as much as five items by the end of the first three rounds against minions. Obviously, the difference between these two scenarios is too big and creates rather unpleasant situations, but hopefully this problem will be resolved in the future. This feature does not enhance the gameplay but makes the element of chance a very important factor.

Developers implemented the mechanics of automatic assembly of two items on the champions. When the unit has one basic item and you give him the second basic item, a combined item is always crafted. However, what should you do if you do not need the combined item, but you have the opportunity to craft the right one? You can use another champion: craft the right item on him, sell him, receive the combined item to your inventory, and put this combined item on the right champion.

Carousel

Finally, we got to the draft: what is it?

All eight or fewer remaining players are teleported to the central island where they are closed in small zones. This looks like Hunger Games, doesn’t it?

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In pairs, starting from those with the least health, the zones are opened, and the players can take any of the characters with an item who are moving around the circle. By this moment you should know what you need and have a plan B in case someone else has the same idea. Do you need a specific champion to increase the number of stars? Or you need Recurve Bow to create Phantom Dancer (an item which allows you to dodge all critical attacks)? Proper planning in the draft allows you to come back into the game after defeats.

Remember that drafts are the only place where you can get the items you want and, in some cases, take away the items that are on your opponent’s wishlist.

Controlling experience and money

Gold mechanics are very simple:

  • 5 coins per round.
  • +1 for every ten coins that you have (interest generator).
  • Bonus of victory/defeat series (+1 for 2 in a row, +2 for 5 and +3 for 8).
  • Pirates origin bonus: randomly 0 – 4 coins for one PvP round.

The interest generator is very important. It’s worth keeping more than 50 gold to get additional 5 gold per round. One of the two main strategies in the game is centered around this way to extract gold.

  • Your avatar (Little Legend) has a level that determines the number of champions on the battlefield.
  • Each round provides you with 2 XP regardless of the result. You can buy 4 XP for 4 coins.
  • Level control is very important as levels determine the ability to get champions from higher tiers.
  • The number of pieces itself is a very serious advantage. If you have less than 8 XP to get to the next level, you should invest money in leveling up.

Each level requires you to get a certain amount of experience from the previous one.

32 XP
46 XP
510 XP
618 XP
730 XP
846 XP
970 XP

Strategy

At the moment of writing this guide, the game had two main strategies after the start (until level 4): hyper rolling and economic. Let’s look at them in more detail:

The beginning of the game

At the very beginning, a lot depends on luck. More, the choice of the first draft makes almost no difference.

  • There are stronger items: B.F. Sword, Spatula, Needlessly Large Rod and Recurve Bow can be combined into very strong items so you must chase them.
  • Champion: take the second tier as their sale will cost 2 gold which somewhat unties your hands at the beginning of the game. In general, any set of champions easily copes with minions if you have more than two champions.
  • First PvP rounds are play no important role. If you win, you may get +1 gold from the series of victories. If you lose, you’ll be the first one to participate in the draft with the chance to pick up something useful.

Hyper rolling strategy

In this strategy, you spend maximum money on first-tier champions at the beginning of the game.

  • Do not invest in experience and choose with whom you will proceed by round 4. For hyper rolling, you should have at least 4-5 copies of a certain champion by this time (i.e. you should have a silver champion and a few more copies). Otherwise, you’ll have little chances to realize this strategy so you should implement the economic strategy.
  • So, if you have 5 identical champions, i.e. 1 (🌟🌟) + 2 (🌟), you may start to update the pool until you collect 🌟🌟🌟.
  • They are very strong in the early game, they have a huge supply of health, but the main reason is that the game has a divided pool: the longer the game lasts, the more people can take a certain champion. Then, he will not appear in the store which causes problems with collecting 🌟🌟🌟.
  • Sometimes, hyper rolling works but it is a risky strategy. If you are unlucky and the necessary champion does not appear, you’ll spend too much gold for nothing.
  • For this scenario, you should have a second champion to realize this strategy.
  • Another downside of this strategy is that it is not suitable for the late game. It works well in the early and middle game.
  • The best choices to get them to the gold level are Vayne, Graves, Nidalee, Kassadin.
  • The remaining options are more or less normal except Fiora and Mordekaiser.
  • Do not forget to upgrade your gold champion with suitable items!

Economic strategy

This is a strategy based on the use of the interest generator in which you should not spend money on refreshing the store and champions that you do not need.

  • You should focus on tier 4 champions (epic), preferably on Draven, but any epic champion who is available earlier will be suitable to realize this strategy.
  • In all likelihood, you will be losing at the beginning of the game. However, you’ll have an advantage at drafts, turning your weakness into strength.
  • You should get to the monetary ‘’control points’’ which increase your income: 10/20/30/40/50.
  • You should also buy experience twice: when you have 4 XP left to get level 5, and the same for level 6.
  • At level 5, you’ll have a chance to get tier 4 champions (5% probability). At level 6, the probability increases to 10%, so it’s important to get these levels and start realizing the strategy earlier if you are lucky enough.
  • After level 6, you could focus on building a set based on your epics with appropriate synergies.
  • Before this, use something solid in order not to lose much. Do not let your health decrease below 40. If this happened, it may be the time to go all in: start spending money and ignore tiers, just collect available synergies.

Endgame

However, Teamfight Tactics, just like other games of the genre, provides a good opportunity to show your creative skills so improvise!

It is also important that Riot Games will be actively involved in achieving the proper balance in the game. The League of Legends has been changing regularly for 10 years now, and it’s one of the components of its success. Thus, some details may become completely irrelevant in a week.

Also, remember that this guide offers tips rather than laws carved in stone.

Useful links:


Robert Summers