Hot takes! Comes get your hot takes! Alright. Teamfight Tactics dropped learnings from Set 3 (and 3.5) and introduced us to Set 4. So it’s time to make some unsubstantiated opinions and predictions! Warning! This is basically a ramble of speculation and excitement for the new Set. Also I’m just going to make the assumption all of you have the new set open on a second tab to reference honestly.
TFT Fates: Chosen
What’s up with the “Chosen”? Mortdog mentioned this set may be a little casual unfriendly and this could be why. The Chosen mechanic is very dynamic and potentially punishing. That said, it certainly has a cool power fantasy of building around your Chosen champion.
Moving on, they give the example of a Chosen Garen (1-cost) with double Vanguard and 700 extra health. The picture does not make it clear he has the health bonus, so it’s possible the unique bonus is based on the champion (as in all Chosen Garen will have bonus HP) rather than a RNG roll between the different boosts. It would certainly make it easier to balance that way; they would only need to consider one specific boost per champion.
As a quick tangent, I’m expecting mana costs to have an even tighter band compared to the last set, or a soft rework of Shojin/Blue Buff. We’ll see. They mentioned that certain mana interactions were too drastic so some type of reining in will occur.
Back to the Chosen. We’ll have to see how strong the 4/5 cost champions are. We may see people pick up any old early Chosen and drop them for later pivots. Instant 2 star Jhin seems too strong just after Krugs, but 2 star Jinx needed more to build around. How tanky is Chosen Garen, with the immediate Vanguard armor bonus and a massive amount of HP? We may also see the double synergy in conjunction with spatula to make some interesting compositions. It certainly seems much easier to reach those 9 synergy goals. Regardless, the Chosen version of champions can be tuned with the additional stat bonus, so I am more excited than apprehensive.
Let’s hop into the new synergies.
Alright, this is a basic stat boosting synergy, with a reward for sticking to it. You definitely don’t want to lose streak with Warlord synergy. I want to compare these numbers to the Cybernetic buff we have in Set 3. At 3, Warlords gives 150/300 HP and 10/25 SP, while Cybers gives 300HP and 35 AD. At 6, Warlords gives 400/800HP and 25/50SP, while Cybers gives 550HP and 70. Frankly? Warlords looks super strong. We’ll see how many of the Warlords want SP, but it seems like slamming a Rabadon’s Deathcap onto maybe Katarina will be pretty fun. You’ll definitely want to commit to Warlords a bit earlier, as it takes a whole stage to gain the full benefits of the synergy, assuming you are win streaking. If you’re at average power it might take two full stages to actually gain the stacks. Design wise, it’s an interesting way of delaying power, since raw stats can be very oppressive early game. Remember how Cybernetic power fluctuated a lot in Set 3? This could potentially make it easier to balance since it’ll have a more even power curve, even though in a single game it’s less consistent.
Woo. If any of you played Dota AutoChess or Underlords and I mention Druids, I’m sure you’ll understand this immediately. As usual, Riot is giving us a fun twist. All the Moonlight units are 1/2-costs instead of being spread out like they were in DAC. This synergy can come online quickly and ramps up even harder with the new 4 star champions.
Yup, the madlads went and did it and I’m super excited. Remember hyperroll? I sure do. It looks like Diana and Lissandra are 1 cost while Sylas is 2 cost. It remains to be seen if there will be any more Moonlight champions. While I am not worried about the potential balance of these units, I am worried that they will crowd out any other hyper or slow roll strategies reliant on 1 and 2 costs. Interestingly this uses the base skin of Diana and Lunar Wraith Sylas, but Coven for Lissandra. It’s possible we see Coven LeBlanc, Lunar Wraith Caitlyn or some others in addition to these three champions.
Daisy/Mech is back. But bigger. And comes in late with a big AoE stun. I am so scared of going into the first PvP round and a Galio dropping in on me honestly. Because that will happen and even if Galio didn’t do anything, 1800HP is massive. Despite that, I am really excited for this. Elementalist was a great emergency frontline and this will be even easier to attain. But again, I am also so afraid of how easily accessible it is and that it may overtake the early game, especially since we can already see there are 2 1 costs and a 2 cost, at least. There are two more Cultists to be revealed and their costs will impact the game greatly. For fun, I’ll guess 2 cost and 5 cost.
“But they didn’t say Ninja?!” They gave us Kennen with the Ninja tag and that’s good enough for me. Also Kennen almost certainly is coming back with Slicing Maelstrom. Coming soon, Akali, Zed, and Shen. They said in the past if they reuse a synergy they want to keep it as similar as possible. This is why they used Infiltators and not Assassins in Set 3. It was too distinct to reuse the name.
Now, it’s time to make bad predictions. Akali will be a 4-cost Ninja Cultist Assassin using her Blood Moon skin and most likely her Q — five point strike once again. Let’s hope blue buff doesn’t get out of hand. Zed makes yet another return as a Ninja Assassin….hmm. Hopefully they’ll mix up the abilities a bit more? Finishing with Shen, it looks like Blademaster might not actually be returning. So how about 2-cost Ninja Duelist Shen where he gets Spirit’s Refuge yet again. Even though I want Akali and Zed to be different, I like Spirit’s Refuge, although it’d be cool to see his other abilities in action. Some 4 cost taunting Duelist with %HP would be interesting. Don’t worry I’ll come back to Duelist.
We got lots of trait information from the examples they gave us. We have the return of Assassin(?!), Vanguard, Brawler, and Mage(?!). Will Mages still have the double cast? No idea, sounds scary. Will it be a spatula on top of that? Doubtful, sounds hilarious, though. They let us know that Assassin spells will crit when you gain 2 synergy…which makes Jeweled Gauntlet worse? Still decent? No idea. I’ll have to see numbers, how critical chance interacts, if it’ll be a good damage all the time, some of the time. Who knows?
Now let’s do some big speculation.
Alright, I’ve come back to it. We see Xin Zhao and Kalista as our Duelists. Reading the Cultist description makes me think Duelist will be a 2/4/6 synergy with an in-combat conditional. I think that they will gain a damage bonus when not adjacent to an ally, or something similar. The Cultist composition lists Duelist as a 2 synergy, but still says “If you manage to get Duelist activated”, implying there is an additional condition. With this in mind, I think Xin Zhao might actually get his ultimate and knockback enemies…and allies? No idea. Duelist almost certainly has some type of isolation mechanic happening.
We’ve got Elise, Jarvan, and Kennen for our known Exemplars. I’m guessing its a 3/6/9 tank trait that gives shields. Well Riot told us Exemplar gives shields and it sounds like they actually give them to allies, in the Warlord description. It feels a bit out of place on Elise, but we’ll see how it actually works.
Sharpshooter sounds similar to Sniper from this previous Set, but obviously it’ll have a bit of a twist. It sounds likely to bring Critical Strike Chance based on distance, possibly including the spells, as Nidalee’s Javelin Toss is iconic for having big damage at range. Next we have Evelynn with Shade. That’s all I got honestly. It sounds like an invisibility type trait, but I am unsure what use that has in TFT and it is unlikely she has a unique trait as a 3 cost. Lastly Lissandra has Dazzler, which sounds like a trait that adds a stun to spells. I will be curious to see who else might have Dazzler.
So what champions can we expect to see. We see Thresh as a Phantasm…implying other Spirit Blossom skins might be Phantasm? Spirit Blossom Ahri will appear as a Mage, nearly guaranteed. We could see a return of Teemo, as a Sharpshooter. Duelists Yasuo and Yone are also likely to make appearances. It’s possible we will see all the Spirit Blossoms and they will actually occupy two different origins, but use different color palettes.
Thank you if you made it this far! I’m really excited for this set, and there’s actually a lot more hints in this article than I expected.