Professional Bengaluru player Adrian Basil shares a walkthrough on how you should approach TeamFight Tactics if you've never played the game before.
TeamFight tactics can be difficult for a beginner to understand. The game has different elements, variations and combinations that may take some time to get to grips with.
If you were one of those who started the game, play the tutorial and then quickly ditch it, check out the handy guide below with entries from Adrian Basil from Bengaluru, who has mastered the game and various championships. Adrian outlines a step-by-step guide on how to play the game with insights from your personal experiences.
Step 1: Understand the Gameplay
TeamFight Tactics is a multiplayer game that pits eight players in a match. Each player builds a team composition of champions and plays one-one-one rounds against each opponent in the match. You can choose a limited number of champions for each round and equip them with items purchased from the store, once the round starts you cannot make changes to your team.
Rounds are played on a chessboard with grids in three rows; you place your champions in offensive and defensive positions before the round starts.02
Step 2: Research champions and items
You build your team composition based on the champions you select and the items you equip them with. “You need to know what the different items do, what each one is, what types of units exist, and how they make synergy before even playing the game,” says Adrian.
Champions have specific attack and defense abilities, and it's best to equip them with items that improve those abilities. Be sure to study them before starting to play.03
Step 3: Build a strong board
Each player has a different preference for their strong board. This is based on the strength of champions in your team and the synergies between them.
As a general rule of thumb, Adrian suggests choosing two to four two-star champion units. “Remember that there doesn't need to be a synergy, as these will be stronger than most one-star units. If you have three of these strong two-star units, your chances of winning the round are very high, even if you don't have any synergy,” adds Adrian.04
Step 4: Build a good frontline and backline
Your front line will absorb damage and your back line will inflict damage. For your first games, Adrian suggests picking Leona, Udyr, Vladimir, Nautilus, Sejuani, and MissFortune, as they are one-cost units that are good frontlines. He also suggests Ziggs and Khazix as backliners for his early games.
“Suppose you have a comp comprising Leona, Aatrox and Poppy, then Leona and Poppy would be your knights synergisizing and absorbing a lot of damage. Aatrox would do a lot of damage to the opponent. All in all, it would be a good comparison,” says Adrian.05
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Step 5: The right placement for your champions
Placing your units on the board is most important, as you need to make sure your line of defense negates the damage coming from your opponent. “If your opponent's offense can hit your attack too easily, you won't be able to inflict a lot of damage to win the round.
It's important to make sure your defensive units are blocking the opponent's line of attack,” says Adrian. The key to this is changing unit positions every two rounds. This will not give your opponent enough time to react if he has explored your board before. “It's all about pushing your opponents away while they're watching the board the way you are,” says Adrian.06
Step 6: Watch your next opponents
Adrian says it's important to use the time between rounds wisely. “You have to buy units from your shop, decide if you need to level up or synergize, or use the time left to scout out your opponents,” says Adrian. You can use hotkeys to switch from one opponent to the next, a tactic that is called patrolling.
This tactic helps you see where your opponent's offensive units are, so you can configure your board to counter their plan. “If I defeat your strongest unit early on, you won't be able to cause me much damage. If you can't get past my front line, my chances of winning go up.
The trick is understanding whether you need to focus on destroying your opponent's front line or rear line,” he says. Adrian adds that scouting helps with fluidity because you'll keep changing your board according to your opponent.
Step 7: Learn to manage your gold
Gold is used to buy items or unlock champions. For every 10 gold coins you manage, you receive one gold coin in interest. You can collect a maximum of 50 gold coins. How you use your gold will depend on your strategy. If your strategy is to push early, you'll want to buy high-cost units early in the game.
Many higher level players choose to accumulate 50 gold and then make purchases. “Once you get 50 gold coins, the rest of the game becomes easier as you have a lot of gold to manage. But the trade-off is that you might not have enough units to defend yourself until you get to that point, and you might take damage in those first few rounds,” says Adrian. But he adds that the damage of the first few rounds is very low.
“It's normal to do the losing streak early as you also get a losing streak bonus. Once you reach 50 gold coins, you can roll or level up. But if you're below 50, it's hard to laminate or buy units,” he says.
Step 8: Transition from mid to late game
Once you get to the middle of the game, it's important to start preparing your team for the endgame. If you've managed the early game well, you should have enough gold, wins, and a strong composition of champions and team items.
Adrian says it's important to pick high-cost champions for the last game. “If you see a four-cost unit early in the game, you'll need to take it as is and it'll stay strong.
Having these units early helps build a win or loss streak. You can transition from a comp you have to a stronger version of that comp,” says Adrian.
He also mentions that the formula for beating them all is to have a team composition where two-thirds of your champions are units of four costs or more.