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Properly Equipped - How to Get the Most Out of Items in Teamfight Tactics

bitterlove

bitterlove

Fri 29th Nov 2019 - 9:41pm

Component Items

Attack Speed: +15%

Let’s start with the Recurve Bow. It gives a unit an additional 15% attack speed. Attack speed increase means that as your unit uses their basic attacks, they charge mana more quickly, and therefore use their ult more often. Obviously, this item is best to place on units who have high base attack speed, but this item also builds into a lot of early game snowball items. This is a high priority item regardless of composition.

 

Attack Damage: +15

The B.F. Sword is the more up-front sister of the Recurve Bow. It gives a unit an additional 15 attack damage. Because attack damage is inherently less useful that attack speed, the item builds into some of the deadliest effects in the game. 

Starting Mana: +20

Tear of the Goddess is one of the two items that can simply have no effect on a unit. If a unit does not have an activated ultimate, but rather a passive ability, they gain no effect from this item. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, it builds into some of the best items in the game. On units heavily reliant on their ultimates, especially ones with slow attack speed, Tear’s addition of 20 mana at the start of battle is game-changing. 

Ability Power: +20%

Needlessly Large Rod is even more situational than Tear, as it requires a champion to either have a damaging ultimate or an ability that specifies magic power. For some champions, there simply isn’t a way they can use Rod.

Health: +200

Starting with defensive items, the Giant’s Belt grants a flat 200 health. It’s one of the less useful base items because it has only a few top-tier build paths and its bonus stat is relatively unimpactful. Expect to see a lot of these get passed over on the carousel.

 

Magic Resist: +25

Negatron Cloak is a more situational item in part because it offers magic resist, a relatively unimportant stat. Negatron is interesting because it builds into three items with on-hit effects, which pair especially well with Rangers and Berserkers.

Armor: +25

The last defensive item is the Chain Vest which grants 25 armor. This is another early game snowball item which can fall off devastatingly hard. 

Crit Chance: +10%

Dodge Chance: +10%

Sparring Gloves is a bit of a wild card. Crit chance and dodge chance are both situational and the items it builds into are sometimes luck dependant. Keep in mind that all units have a 25% base crit chance.

 

It must do something...

Golden Spatula received a nerf in Set 2, but make no mistake, this is still the best item in the game. The only problem is that it can be useless in certain comps if you can’t build a Force of Nature. Also, note that Lux’s Avatar ability only applies to her base element, not any elements gained from a Spatula item. Just don't hold out for this item to complete your dream comp as it is not as common as it was in Set 1.

Completed Items

Blade of the Ruined King (Spatula + Recurve Bow)

Attack speed: +15%

Wearer is also a Blademaster.

Cannot equip on a champion that is already a Blademaster.

Blademasters are one of the strongest comps in the game right now held back only by a relative lack of synergy between individual Blademasters. This item fixes that. Keep in mind that the Blademaster bonus applies on-hit effects but no Blademaster has inherent on-hit effects.

Youmuu’s Ghostblade (B.F. Sword + Spatula)

Attack Damage: +15

Wearer is also an Assassin. (Including the Innate stealthed jump)

Cannot equip on a champion that is already an Assassin.

Assassins are a very powerful class and letting a unit share in the spoils of the Assassin class is a great boon. Just keep in mind that this item is a little bit inconsistent on the initial leap, sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t. The Alchemist trait (exclusive to Singed) overrides the jump.

Rod of Mages (AKA Mage's Cap) (Spatula + Tear of the Goddess)

Starting Mana: +20

Wearer is also a Mage.

Cannot equip on a champion that is already a Mage.

One of the most powerful items in the game. Mages are a great comp, especially the Veigar hypercarry variant. You can either put this item on a tanky frontliner or summoner to summon twice the number of units. Double Tibbers or triplicating Zed are hilarious combos.

Inferno’s Cinder (Spatula + Needlessly Large Rod)

Ability power: +20%

Wearer is also an Inferno.

Cannot equip on a champion that is already an Inferno.

Inferno is an alright bonus right now because its abilities counter Rangers very well, but other than that matchup and the rogue Mages, the Inferno bonus is underwhelming. The individual units are strong but their bonus can fall flat. In addition, there are 6 Inferno units, so you rarely need to make another unit an Inferno to get a bonus. As of right now, do not build this item.

Frozen Mallet (Giant’s Belt + Spatula)

Health: +200

Wearer is also a Glacial.

Cannot equip on a champion that is already a Glacial.

Glacials are a powerful comp that only have 5 units (not counting Lux) so this item is essential for a 6 Glacial comp. Because the Glacial bonus builds at a consistent rate (20%, 40%, 60%), it might not be worth building because of diminishing returns on the Glacial bonus and the potential to have other powerful synergies.

Talisman of Light (Negatron Cloak + Spatula)

Magic Resist: +25

Wearer is also a Light.
Cannot equip on a champion that is already a Light

Lights are probably the best six piece synergy in the game, so being able to bring a unit into the Light family can be crucial. 

Warden’s Mail (Chain Vest + Spatula)

Armor: +25

Wearer is also a Warden.

Cannot equip on a champion that is already a Warden.

While this may be subject to change, as of right now, Wardens aren’t particularly strong and the opportunity cost of Spatula is too high to justify this item.

Berserker’s Axe (Sparring Gloves + Spatula)

Crit chance: +10% Dodge chance: +10%

Wearer is also a Berserker. 

Cannot equip on a champion that is already a Berserker.

This is a relatively situational item. As of right now, the Berserker bonus is fairly mediocre outside of Glacial comps, who already have 2 inherent Berserkers. In addition, the opportunity cost is too high unless you want to build a Predator/Glacial/Berserker comp.

Force of Nature (Spatula x2)

Increases the unit cap by 1.

More units, more synergies, more damage. The only potential downside of this item is that you might spread your gold too thin. Note that you don’t need to have Force of Nature attached to a champion to get access to its effect so you can build it, then sell the unit, so it doesn’t take an item slot. You’ll rarely be in a position to have that many items, but it can be valuable.

Runaan’s Hurricane (Negatron Cloak + Recurve Bow)

Attack Speed: +15%, Magic Resist: +25

Basic attacks fire an additional bolt at another nearby enemy, dealing 60% AD and applying on-hit effects.

This is the instant counterpart to Rageblade. A great item to spread on-hit effects. In addition, this item makes it so that ranged champions gain mana when they fire their auto attack as opposed to when their auto attack hits a target, making them gain their spells faster.

Guardian Angel (B.F. Sword + Chain Vest)

Attack Damage: +15, Armor: +25

Upon death, cleanses negative effects and revives after 2 seconds with 400 health. This effect can trigger once per combat.

Probably the single best item to put on a tank. The return of a Malphite or Nautilus can be crucial in buying a few more seconds for your carries to free fire and their one ult can change a fight.

Hextech Gunblade (B.F. Sword + Needlessly Large Rod)

Attack Damage: +15, Ability Power: +20%

Basic attacks and Special Abilities heal for 25% of the damage dealt.

Because of the increased focus on magic damage in Set 2, units can gain massive amounts of health with this item. Veigar in particular loves this item.

Giant Slayer (AKA Last Whisper) (B.F. Sword + Recurve Bow)

Attack Speed: +15%, Attack Damage: +15

Basic attacks deal on-hit 8% of target's current health bonus physical damage.

Previously, this item was considered one of the best items in the game, but the recent nerf has put it down on the list especially with how valuable its components are. Even so, it’s still very useful to build onto high attack speed carries and could prove invaluable if the meta shifts to favor Wardens.  

Dragon’s Claw (Negatron Cloak x2)

Magic Resist: +50

Grants 50% resistance to magic damage.

This was one of the hardest hit items in the transition to Set 2. As of right now, do not build this item. It's barely better than the combo of its component parts.

Hush (Negatron Cloak + Tear of the Goddess)

Magic Resist: +25, Starting Mana: +20


Basic attacks have a 33% chance to Silence (mana-lock) the main target for 4 seconds, preventing the target from gaining mana.

This is an interesting item largely because its build path is a bit counterintuitive. On-hit effects are typically favored by units whose main damage comes from their auto attacks and magic resist is usually something you want to put on frontliners. Because of this, only a few units can use this item to its maximum potential, most of them Assassins. 

Morellonomicon (Giant’s Belt + Needlessly Large Rod)

Health: +200, Ability Power: +20%

Dealing damage with a Special Ability applies a burn on the enemies hit for 10 seconds, dealing 2% of target's maximum health true damage each second and applying Grievous Wounds for the duration, reducing healing on the target by 80%.

Morellonomicon is terrifying on units with large AoE ultimates, but that list isn’t especially long. Most comps will have at least one unit who can benefit from Morellonomicon so it’s almost always a good build. It is also spread by the basic attacks of summoned units. Singed is particularly broken with this item because every tick of his poison trail can transfer the burn effect.

Rapid Firecannon (Recurve Bow x2)

Attack Speed: +30%

Doubles attack range.

This item is especially strong for helping heavy melee comps like Berserkers leverage a numbers advantage and effectively dogpile a key threat. In addition, it can make your ranged carries fight from an even safer range. The only weakness of this item is its high cost considering you could be building two seperate Recurve Bow items. In addition, for champions like Diana, this item could position them outside of the range of their own spells.

Statikk Shiv (Recurve Bow + Tear of the Goddess)

Attack Speed: +15%, Starting Mana: +20

Every third basic attack from the wearer deals 100 magic damage to the target and 2 additional targets.

Perhaps the best item to stomp early game. The flat damage does fall off but it does have strong synergy with Predator comps who can proc their unique execute with the shock effect. It also spreads Poison.

Guinsoo’s Rageblade (Needlessly Large Rod + Recurve Bow)

Attack Speed: +15%, Ability Power: +20%

Basic attacks grant 4% bonus attack speed for the rest of combat. Stacks with no upper limit.

This item is probably the best item Recurve Bow builds into. Once you build this item onto a high power carry, the rest of your comp should be focused on letting that carry free fire as much and as long as possible. The build path will sometimes force you to weigh whether giving a unit with no ability to use ability power is worth using a Needlessly Large Rod on.

Ionic Spark (Needlessly Large Rod + Negatron Cloak)

Ability Power: +20%, Magic Resist: +25

Whenever an enemy casts their Special Ability, they take 90 true damage.

In Teamfight Tactics, almost every unit needs to cast spells and Ionic is great for punishing spells. It even hits twice when a Mage doublecasts. The only weakness is that 90 flat damage can falter if the enemy has lifesteal or massive base health. This item procs Predator and Poison too. 

Luden’s Echo (Tear of the Goddess + Needlessly Large Rod)

Starting Mana: +20, Ability Power: +20%


When the wearer deals damage with their Special Ability, the first target hit and up to 3 enemies within 2 hexes of the target are dealt an additional 150 magic damage.

Luden’s is an interesting item because it functions like a spell version of Statikk Shiv, but ultimates don’t come out as fast as auto attacks in the early game and the flat 150 damage is not incredibly meaningful late game. This item’s best niche is with Predator comps who can proc their execute with the Luden’s splash damage. The components can usually be put to a better item however.

Phantom Dancer (Chain Vest + Recurve Bow)

Attack Speed: +15%, Armor: +25

Dodges critical strikes from basic attacks and Special Abilities.

This item shuts down Assassin comps and works alright against normal comps because all units have a base 25% crit rate. Note that this item nullifies Kha'Zix. Definitely dependant on your lobby and its components are often better used elsewhere.

Rabadon’s Deathcap (Needlessly Large Rod x2)

Ability Power: +40% (effectively +70%)

Sources of ability power are 75% more effective.

This is a very powerful item especially on units who start a round with mana, whether it be from an elemental hex or a Tear. This also increases the damage that Summons do. Even so, this item is typically best built onto a carry who already has another item.

Red Buff (Chain Vest + Giant’s Belt)

Armor: +25, Health: +200

Basic attacks apply on-hit a burn on the target 10 seconds, dealing 2% of target's maximum health true damage each second and applying Grievous Wounds for the duration, reducing healing on the target by 80%.

This is powerful on-hit item especially strong against Lights who rely on their healing. Do keep in mind it can be spread from certain ults which apply on-hit effects. The only weakness is that its build path is suboptimal for carry champions who don’t particularly care for the increased bulk.

Sword Breaker (Negatron Cloak + Chain Vest)

Armor: +25, Magic Resist: +25

Basic attacks have a 33% chance to disarm the main target for 3 seconds, preventing that enemy from basic attacking.

Disarming is arguably superior to mana-locking especially with the nerfs to mana gain from getting attacked. While not an optimal set of stats to put onto a damage threat, its on-hit effect is devasting.

Warmog’s Armor (Giant’s Belt + Giant’s Belt)

Starting Health: +400

Regenerates 6% of missing health per second, up to a maximum of 400 health per tick.

An absolute menace to deal with on early game Druids and Nasus, but it falls off hard as the game goes on. In addition, given the prevalence of Morellonomicon and Red Buff, this item’s regeneration can be rendered useless.

Frozen Heart (Chain Vest + Tear of the Goddess)

Armor: +25, Starting Mana: +20

Reduces the attack speed of adjacent enemies by 25% for 1 second.

Frozen Heart is a very strong item on a number of different champions ranging from tanks and assassins. Kha’Zix can inflict its effects on multiple units with his dash. 

Redemption (Giant’s Belt + Tear of the Goddess)

Health: +200, Starting Mana: +20

When falling below 30% of maximum health, creates a 3x3 area that, after a 2.5 second delay, heals allies within for 1200 health. This effect can trigger once per combat.

It’s one of the few items you mostly put on tanks. In extended fights, it can be a game changer, but it is not very useful for high burst damage comps like Assassins. 1200 health is more than the full health most 2 star units, so the heal doesn’t exactly fall off late game. Because of how long early game fights can be, this item can stomp the early game. In general, not a high priority item. Absolutely busted synergy with Zed though.

Seraph’s Embrace (Tear of the Goddess x2)

Starting Mana: +40 

After casting Special Ability, grants 20 mana.

One of the best items in the game for units that love to spam ults. If you can pair it with Spear of Shojin, you can set up a carry to throw out ults like candy. Do keep in mind that all units do have an inherent cap on how often they can use their ult based on their ult cast animation. 

Spear of Shojin (B.F. Sword + Tear of the Goddess)

Attack Damage: +15, Starting Mana: +20

After casting Special Ability for the first time, basic attacks restore an additional 18% of maximum mana.

Maybe the best item in the game. This pairs especially well with more Tear items and Ocean hexes. This combos especially well with mana refund champions like Lux and Volibear. Shojin is better for champions who have shorter mana bars while Seraph's is better for champions who want to cast their spell asap.

Bloodthirster (B.F. Sword + Negatron Cloak)

Attack Damage: +15, Magic Resist: +25

Basic attacks heal for 40% of the damage dealt.

For auto-attack backline units, this item can vastly increase their longevity. Unfortunately, it can have absolutely no effect if used on a unit who is under constant crowd control. 

Titanic Hydra (Recurve Bow + Giant’s Belt)

Attack Speed: +15%, Health: +200

Basic attacks deal 3% of your maximum health as magic damage to the target and adjacent enemies behind them.

This is one of the items that benefits one particular champ, Olaf. It can help other champions but it’s by far best used on Olaf. It can proc Predator though.

Zephyr (Giant’s Belt + Negatron Cloak)

Health: +200, Magic Resist: +25

At the start of combat, banishes for 6 seconds the unit that mirrors the wielder's placement on the other side of the board.

Zephyr is an item that can absolutely blow out a game if it takes out a key carry but you’ll get the most consistent mileage from it in high burst damage comps who can thin the herd before the airborne enemy gets back to the ground. Note that you can only have 1 Zephyr on the board at a time.

Thornmail (Chain Vest x2)

Armor: +50

When hit by a basic attack, reflects 100% of physical damage mitigated as magic damage to the attacker.

With the increased focus on magic damage in Set 2, this item has become all but useless. Carry Braum or Skarner might be the perfect piece to win your lobby once every 20 games, but you’ll almost always want something else.

Locket of the Iron Solari (Chain Vest + Needlessly Large Rod)

Armor: +25, Ability Power: +20%

At the start of combat, the wearer and all allies within 2 hexes in the same row to the left and right gain a 300 health shield for 8 seconds.

One of Riot's famous revolving doors of viability. This item flits in and out of the meta with buffs, nerfs, and meta calls. The important thing is that this item only lasts 8 seconds, so it is more suited to quick fights rather than longer fights. While this item's health bonus is active, units cannot be poisoned.

Zeke’s Herald (B.F. Sword + Giant’s Belt)

Attack Damage: +15, Health: +200

At the start of combat, the wearer and all allies within 2 hexes in the same row to the left and right gain 15% bonus attack speed for the rest of combat.

This gives 15% attack speed which can be huge. That's as if each unit buffed was equipped with a Recurve Bow. Keane notably used it to great effect at the Twitch Invitational. In a game where attack speed benefits nearly everyone, this is a great piece.

Deathblade (AKA Lord's Edge) (B.F. Sword x2)

Attack Damage: +30 (+45 with starting first stack)

Grant 15 bonus attack damage per stack. Start each round with 1 stack, and gain 1 stack when participating in killing an enemy, including summoned units. Stacks with no upper limit.

The attack damage counterpart to Rageblade. This item is much more powerful in Set 2 because killing summoned minions grants stacks allowing your carry to put out more damage. Not a great item to put on Summoners because their summoned minions attack with Magic power.

Infinity Edge (B.F. Sword + Sparring Gloves)

Attack Power: +15, Crit Chance: +20%

Grants 125% bonus critical strike damage.

Infinity Edge can massively increase the damage output of Assassins with boosted crit rate from the Assassin trait or high attack speed Rangers. It pairs especially well with Kha’Zix, whose spell is a confirmed crit. Amazing to see from Thief’s Gloves since your champion will have a 30% boosted crit rate. Just cry a little on the inside if you see a Phantom Dancer on the other team.

Jeweled Gauntlet (Sparring Gloves + Needlessly Large Rod)

Crit Chance: +20%, Ability Power: +20%

The wearer's Special Ability can critically strike.

A rather situational item. Critical hits and spell casters don’t really get along too well. Without proccing a crit, this item is strictly inferior to Rabadon's. The critical hit is calculated on a per-target basis. Qiyana and Diana are good carriers but this is usually an item you should build with leftover pieces. Note, this is the only way a summoned minion can ever crit.

Repeating Crossbow (Sparring Gloves + Recurve Bow)

Attack Speed: +15%, Crit Chance: +20%

When the wearer dies, Repeating Crossbow is re-equipped to a new ally. Each time the item is re-equipped, it grants an additional 30% attack speed and 30% critical strike chance for the remainder of combat. This effect can stack any number of times.

In a composition with multiple damage threats, this can be lethal. Unfortunately, in the time of greatest need, your enemy’s units just won’t attack the unit holding Crossbow until the very end. The most reliable use is with Yorick on your team so it can transfer between minions of light, but even that is somewhat luck-based. Keep in mind that without a Jeweled Gauntlet, summoned minions with this item cannot crit.

Hand of Justice (Sparring Gloves + Tear of the Goddess)

Starting Mana: +20, Crit Chance: +10%, Dodge Chance: +10%

At the start of each round, gains one of the following buffs: Basic attacks and Special Abilities deal 50% increased damage, or Basic attacks heal 50 health on-hit.

One of the best items in the game for high cost units since it can either boost their survivability or their damage output and get them closer to casting their spell. While most units would like to be able to choose their effect, both effects are so powerful you can afford to go either way. Incredible on Zed.

Iceborn Gauntlet (Sparring Gloves + Chain Vest)

Dodge Chance: +20%, Armor: +25

Upon dodging an attack, creates a zone of ice. Enemies inside the zone have their attack speed reduced by 25%

One of the best items to put on Jax or Master Yi as both their spells are counted as dodges. It also combos with Phantom Dancer. It can get highly contested on Cloud maps as it also synergizes with the Cloud bonus.

Quicksilver (Sparring Gloves + Negatron Cloak)

Dodge Chance: +20%, Magic Resist: +25

Gains a spell shield that prevents the next crowd control from applying. This shield refreshes after 3 seconds.

It’s okay. It can be the last item to put on a stacked carry so they get to free fire for a tad longer. The main problem is that it can be triggered by a half second knock up instead of blocking a more important freeze and 3 seconds is a long time. A lot of times, you can use your pieces elsewhere.

Trap Claw (AKA Backhand) (Sparring Gloves + Giant’s Belt)

Dodge Chance: +20%, Health: +200

At the beginning of each round, gains a spell shield that blocks the first enemy spell that hit. The enemy that breaks the shield is stunned for 4 seconds.

Arguably a worse Quicksilver. You can put it as a last item on a stacked carry but its pieces are often best used elsewhere.

Thief’s Gloves (2x Sparring Gloves) 

Crit Chance: +20%, Dodge Chance: +20%

At the beginning of each round, the wearer equips 2 random items that are removed at the end of the round. The quality of these items are based on player level.

Probably one of the most nerfed items from release to now. Until level 7, this item will usually only give one completed item and one component part. In addition, it cannot be made if your unit already has another item. It will also negate the elemental hex bonus. Not a terrible item to put on a secondary carry, but they need to be able to benefit from tank, spell, and on-hit items. Remember to adjust your team's positioning if you get a Zeke's Herald or Locket. 

The other item

Neeko's Help

 

Place on a champion to create a 1-star copy of that champion and add it to your bench.

One of the best things to see. You can use it to complete an elusive 3-star or make one of your five cost units hit their 2-star power spike. 

Conclusion

One of the most important things in Teamfight Tactics is adaptability. The meta may change, your lobby may vary, or you might be down 70 health by Krugs, but it is always up to you to make the best play available. Maybe this means building a suboptimal item to survive or miss out on getting a 2-star to get a perfect item in the carousel or vice versa. Sometimes, your luck just isn't there and all you can do is cut your losses and aim for a non-eighth place finish. Happy teamfighting reader.

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