Teamfight Tactics – League of Legends
It seems like an age since I have had a new, interesting game to play online but Riot Games’ new Teamfight Tactics may well be what I have been looking for! Teamfight Tactics is a brand new game mode that is coming to the League of Legends client. I have been busy checking out the PBE version to give you all of the information you need to get going when it hits live!
What is Teamfight Tactics?
TFT is a a round-based strategy game, where you aim to build the most powerful team that you can. You are pitted against seven opponents and aim to be the last person, or in this case very cute Little Legend, standing.
How does Teamfight Tactics work?
There are a lot of elements to Teamfight Tactics so let me break things down for you!
The game is broken up into multiple rounds.
When the game starts there is a carousel of champions that all players can draft from. Think of them like your starter pokémon! There are more champions than players so you will always have a choice, however, being fast off the mark can really pay off! These carousel ‘event’ rounds happen throughout the game so you can get a new free champion. After the initial round players pick in reverse order of current standing, so the weakest players can pick first, which allows them a chance to comeback. As the game progresses, you can draft increasingly stronger and rarer champions from the carousel.
The first three rounds after your initial draft are your new champion versus jungle-type mobs. This allows you to build up some gold, hopefully grab an item and start thinking about your team composition.
The main rounds! Either you will teleport to an opponent’s board or they will teleport to you. You are given time between rounds to change your champions, decide where you want to position them on the board and add items etc. All battling is automatic so it is really important that you are prepared and ready before the timer hits zero! Once you are facing your opponent, the two teams will battle it out until one is defeated or the time runs out, which counts as a draw. You lose health for each remaining enemy champion left standing at the end of the round. If you lose all of your health then you are out of the game.
The first resource is gold. Each round you earn a set amount of gold which you can then spend on champions or levelling up. If you decide to be frugal, you can receive bonus ‘interest’ gold for having increments of 10G in your stash. Whether you save or splurge early is up to you! Basically, if you don’t mind being weak early it could pay-off with higher spending power later on in the game. However, sometimes you may just want to smash face! You will have to decide which tactic works better for you and will depend on the starter champion you pick. Bonus gold is also earned for a win-streak.
The second resource you can utilise are weapon parts. Any champion picked from a carousel comes with an item on it. These can sometimes be advanced items but usually they are basic ones. Combine two basic items to create an advanced item. Each combination creates a unique item. Items can also drop from minions in PvE rounds, but this is somewhat random and not guaranteed.
Anyone who plays League of Legends will already be familiar with some of the items dropped but the build paths in TFT are different. If a champion already has one item you can hold a different item over their head to see what finished item would be created if you equip it. If you sell the champion, you can equip the item to a new champion instead. Scarra has created a great cheat sheet to show you build paths and I recommend you check it out! Here is a preview:
Teamfight Tactics Champions
Each champion in the game has an origin and a class. If you’ve played League of Legends before then you’ll know that each character has a unique backstory that explains a little bit about who they are. In TeamFight Tactics this backstory is the basis for each character’s origin. There are 13 different origins that a character can have, and most are self-evident; robot, dragon, pirate. Some, however, are a little more dependent on your League of Legends knowledge but the important thing is how many champions in your army share an origin.
If you have enough champions of the same origin in your army you gain a buff. The same is also true of classes and a big part of the game is picking champions that create strong synergies of both types. By the end of the game your army could have up to 10 champions, so you can have a large mixture of different synergies active at the same time!
Synergies help you a lot, but it’s not enough! You also need to upgrade and equip your champions. Each champion starts at rank 1. Three rank 1s become a rank 2 version of the champion, who does increased damage and has more health. Three rank 2’s become a rank 3. These can sometimes be strong enough to kill entire armies on their own. Using the pokémon analogy three Charmanders create a Charmeleon, then three Charmeleon’s make a Charizard.
The strongest armies are those with well equipped rank 3 and rank 2 champions, with a potent mix of origin and class synergies. To do that you need skill, a bit of luck and a firm understanding of how to earn and spend gold.
In Teamfight Tactics positioning is very important. You want to protect your back line but also enable them to be part of the fight. There are a few important champion origins and mechanics to look at too! For example, Yasuo’s origin is Exile, which enables him to start combat with a shield as long as he is NOT adjacent to any other units. Blitzcrank grabs the enemy furthest away from him, regardless of whether anything is between him and his target. Anivia, Kennen, Brand and Miss Fortune all have AOE abilites so it is best not to stack closely against them, just like in Summoners Rift! If you have three elementalists, they summon an elemental at the start of combat. It will spawn in an empty space around your team so you can manipulate it to be in the front line by, for example, stacking your team in a corner.
Teamfight Tactics looks like it going to be a really fun game, if not a bit complicated when you first begin to play. Players who have never played League of Legends will initially be at a small disadvantage as they learn more about the champions and items. That said, TFT could be a great introduction to LoL! I like that there will be a ranked mode so you can be as competitive as you want to be. I imagine it will be a great way to relax after some not so great games in Summoners Rift. There are, of course, things that will change from the PBE to live such as balancing and making certain elements of the game clearer. I am really impressed with the current game play and look forward to Teamfight Tactics hitting the live servers.
Does Teamfight Tactics sound like your kind of game? I highly recommend you check out Twitch and watch some of the PBE game play.