Riot Games recently released their new Game Mode, Teamfight Tactics (TFT). It had been in the Public Beta Environment (PBE) for a while, but even if it’s still technically in its beta stage, now we can all play it. It turns out to be a really interesting experience. Here’s my take on the game.
A Whole New Game
From my time playing Teamfight Tactics last week, I can safely say that it is a completely different game from League of Legends, and not like how Summoner’s Rift differs from Twisted Treeline. TFT is a whole new experience. The new game shouldn’t disappoint hardcore LoL fans as TFT still uses a lot of tropes from League of Legends, like Items and Gold. You just need a couple of matches to get used to the game.
Having said that, I must emphasize how enjoyable this game turned out to be. The objective being that, by acquiring several champions and organizing them, you form a team to face other players in a simulated battle that depends on your initial position, composition, and synergies. Eight players face each other constantly, starting everyone at 100 health, and whenever you lose a match you lose health according to the number of enemy champions still alive. The last remaining player wins; easy right?
It is definitely far more calm than that of League, and relies completely on strategy and resource management, unlike League which is fueled by mechanics and player’s performance. There is an important RNG factor to be considered, but its impact is far less if the players know how to play. We can divide the game into 3 stages:
1. Early Game: Champions and Gold
This game relies entirely on how well you manage your gold. Gold allows you to buy champions and gain additional experience to level up (each level up lets you put one more champion on the battlefield), and you gain gold each turn depending on your bank (how much gold you have saved) and if you are on a winning or losing streak.
To get by in the early game you must make the best with the resources you are given. Buy the cheapest champions so you can level them up quickly (3 level one make a level two, and 3 level two make a level three). The difference between a level one and a level two is abysmal, so to survive you must make a couple of cheap but strong units early game. The reason isecause theuy can be sold if necessary, making the most out of your gold.
2. Mid Game: Synergies
To move past the early game and start solidifying yourself with a good mid game, you must make synergies between your champions. Each champion offers 2 or 3 different synergies, which are a bonus effect you get when a specific number of champions with the same synergy are on the battlefield. These bonuses are really strong and can make or break a match completely.
The best thing to do is to grab your strongest champions (those level 2 or level 3 you’ve been cooking since the first match) and build synergy around them. Start replacing those champions that do not offer anything for your synergy, and start looking for champions that do. When that Demon comp kicks in and you start stealing your enemy’s mana so they can’t ult, you will be glad you sold that Warwick and bought that Morgana.
3. Late Game: Items and Compositions
And thus we get to the late game, some casualties have been dealt, and probably only 3 or 4 players remain with around 40 health. Matches are fast and a lot of synergy effects and ultimates activate constantly, it is chaotic. To secure that sweet first spot we must make the correct items for our composition.
You probably noticed that during the game, whenever a PvE match was due, the minions or monsters probably dropped an item or two, and the wheel in the middle where we grab a champion each round offers also an item. Two basic items combine to make a complete item, which adds an additional effect alongside the stat increases the item gives.
It is important to be sure what items give each combination. For this, you can hover the second item if the first is in a champion and the game will show you the item it would make without dropping it. What item you can make depends obviously on what the monsters dropped, but you can always search for a particular item you need.
The real question is what item you should make, as it depends on your game plan. Your composition, unlike your chosen synergy, is basically the role of your champions during the match, whether it is dealing damage from afar, soaking damage, or assassinating the backline. The most advisable thing to do is to build items to reinforce the role of your best champions, but this part requires some time to figure out.
Best Advise is to Keep Calm
Teamfight Tactics is a game of strategy, of planning ahead, of following your plan and reacting to the enemy. Prove the synergies you feel are strong, and see which items you need to make your plan work. Do not get in love with an idea from the start and be flexible in your strategy. It is the best way to win.
If you like a more calmed and though out teamfight simulator, I strongly recommend you to try this game out. If it is not your thing, League is still as good as ever.