TFT Set 4.5 Guide for Returning Players
Tue 2nd Feb 2021 - 5:51pm
TFT is a game that changes a lot. Whether you haven't played since the beginning of set 4 or even back in set 3, there is a lot to catch up on. New mechanics, strategies, and most importantly units can seem overwhelming so we'll be going over the changes one at a time. We'll take a look at each unit, its abilities, and what comps you can play them in. So without further ado, let's hop into what's different.
The biggest change from Set 3 to Set 4 (besides units) is the chosen Mechanic. This has stuck around for Set 4.5 so if you played Set 4 you'll recognize it. Basically, special "Chosen" units will appear in your shop. These units are automatically at two stars and have bonus stats. They also count as two of a certain synergy, allowing you to hit synergy spikes earlier. This mechanic makes it a lot harder to force comps, but don't feel forced to run a comp just because you get an early Chosen for it.
If you haven't played since the start of Set 4 you'll notice a lot of champs have been swapped out and new ones took their place. If you haven't played since Set 3 you'll be noticing ALL new champions. You'll need to understand all these champs to be able to effectively play so we'll be going over every champ in the current Set.
Aatrox - Aatrox is a 4 cost tanky Vanguard unit with a powerful displacement ult. When playing against Aatrox try to change your positioning so that your carry is at least one space forward from the rest of your backline. This is because Aatrox pulls the two farthest units (Quick note: If Aatrox is 3 starred then he will pull five units! This is very difficult to position against and would take unorthodox positioning to avoid).
Akali - Akali serves her role fairly well as a 3 cost assassin unit. She is fairly squishy, often getting killed before she is able to use her ability. With this in mind, it's better to put AD items like Rapid Fire (the increased range helps a lot) or Infinity Edge on her. All in all, she is a decent backline unit and potential backup carry in Zed comps.
Annie - The "frontline" of the mages, Annie is a pseudo tank thanks to her shield. While this is fairly strong in the early game it does fall off and often leads to her being bursted in the late game. Due to this, mages are often paired with another comp (like Elderwood) to add frontliners.
Aurelion Sol - One of the strongest late-game units. An Aurelion Sol with Blue Buff and Gunblade can destroy teams. It's likely he will receive various nerfs so abuse him in mage comps while you can!
Azir - Azir is an interesting 5 cost that puts your ability to position on the fly on display. Azir creates sand soldiers that you can position before the round starts. This can be great for buying time for your units, especially against mages like Aurelion Sol.
Brand - Brand will be in just about every mage comp due to his Dragonsoul synergy with Aurelion Sol. He's a decent unit in his own right with a fairly strong stun. Unfortunately, Dragonsoul is a weaker synergy right now so it doesn't benefit him tremendously.
Braum - A TFT staple, Braum is back to tank up damage. He has his signature ability from past sets to soak up damage and fulfills his role in the early game as a front line.
Cho'Gath - Cho'Gath serves a similar role to Aatrox with a powerful AOE displacement (far more powerful with fabled buff). However, he is not as tanky and Fabled comps are not very consistent. Fabled Vanguards is likely his best comp right now, but it will be interesting to see where he stands as the patch continues.
Darius - Fans of set 3 will be familiar with Darius. While not as strong as his Space Pirate glory days, Darius is a decent 3 cost unit that can wreak teams if he chains his ult. QSS is a must if you want to build a team around him (he's countered hard by CC), but he doesn't have a particularly strong comp to be placed in right now.
Diana - Diana is one of the strongest early game units. Her shield and damage make her a monster during the first few rounds. It's easy to slam her with items early and even keep her viable into the late game with the right items.
Elise - A decent unit in the early stages of the game and can tank some damage thanks to her ability. Elise is required for 9 cultist comps. While not the weakest cultist, she will rarely hold items. On the plus side, at only 1 cost she can contribute to rushing 3 cultists very early in the game.
Fiora - A fairly weak early unit, Fiora is very similar to her set 3 counterparts. Her ability can be strong, however is held back by being single target CC in a game with so much AOE CC in it now.
Garen - Another TFT staple, Garen is about as consistent as it gets. With his Vanguard buff, he is a staple in early game front lines and can stay useful until midgame.
Irelia - Her ability to AOE disarm teams can be clutch in late-game fights. While not a carry herself, Irelia is a valuable member of Enlightened team comps. Putting leftover items on her can be great as she makes great use of items like Ionic Spark.
Janna - Janna is a typical TFT enchanter that shields allies. She is commonly used in Enlightened comps and is typically paired with another Mystic for the synergy.
Jarvan IV - Jarvan is a lot better than he was in set 3. His new ability lets him knock up multiple units. You can use him to open with 3 Warlords or just in a Warlord comp in general.
Jax - Jax is a pretty underwhelming unit. He is on the weaker side compared to the other 2 cost units and while he has an AOE stun it's not as useful as someone like Pyke. He does see some use in Duelist comps and can hold items pretty well.
Kalista - Kalista serves as the primary carry in Cultist comps. Her ability makes her auto attacks stay in a target and then she pulls them out when they are within range of being killed by her ability. Giving her a Runaan's Hurricane for its passive is huge for her and is a must-have.
Katarina - Katarina is the carry of most warlord comps. She has an AOE damaging ability that shreds through enemy teams but can be interrupted by CC. Giving her a QSS and Gunblade let her stay alive long to wreak havoc.
Kayle - As a 4 cost carry Kayle does great damage and is the cornerstone of Executioner comps. Similar to how she was in set 3, you'll want to give her items like Rapid Firecannon and Guinsoo's Rageblade. Once Kayle uses her ability to ascend she starts doing AOE damage on each hit.
Kennen - Kennen is on the weaker side of 3 cost units, but still has a solid place in comps build around Zed. His ability gives him solid AOE CC and will keep enemies in place while Zed bursts through them.
Kindred - Kindred is typically a secondary carry in a lot of meta comps. You'll see her alongside Kayle in Executioner comps and Spirt Slayer comps. Her ability reduces healing for enemies and does good damage all while activating very frequently due to its low mana cost.
Lee Sin - As is typical of 5 cost units, Lee Sin is quite strong. He can take enemies completely out of the fight with his ult and even brings AOE CC to his team while doing so. While he's best in Divine comps, he is also a great unit to add if there is an unfilled spot in your comp.
Lulu - Lulu is an enchanter unit whose ability buffs an ally and knocks up enemies around them for a moment. While Janna is commonly used in Enlightened comps, Lulu is instead the enchanter for Elderwood/mage comps.
Maokai - A typical early game brawler unit. Maokai does his job well as an early game front liner alongside Tahm Kench. Normally Maokai is kept around in Elderwood comps until Ornn is obtained.
Morgana - Morgana is a powerful ability-based carry. Her ability does massive AOE damage and lowers enemy attack speed. While she can serve as the primary carry in Soul Syphoner comps, she is also a great secondary carry in comps like Enlightened or even some variations of Mage comps.
Nasus - Nasus is a very strong early carry. His ability combined with Syphoner synergy gives him great healing. Giving him a Titan's Resolve is great for win streaking early, but he also can be given items like Deathcap or Jeweled Gauntlet to do more damage.
Nautilus - Nautilus is one of the new fabled units and is a solid frontline unit in his own right. His stun lasts for four seconds once you get him to two stars. He has a solid place in the meta via Vanguard Fabled comps and also as an early game front line for any comp.
Neeko - The primary carry of Vanguard Fabled comps. Neeko's ability does AOE damage that hits 3 times per cast. With fabled buff, this damage can be massive (especially with Death Cap + Jeweled Gauntlet).
Nidalee - Her ability will pop just about anyone in the early game, assuming you have time to get it off. You'll need to get her to 3 stars to really do anything late game. Giving her a Spear of Shojin is a must if you want to run a Sharpshooter comp around her.
Nunu - Nunu is a strong 4 cost brawler. His ability deals bonus true damage to enemies below half health. Often the least picked of the 4 cost units, there are often times where you can flex a 2 star Nunu into your comp for some easy round wins. Nunu also has a place in some Elderwood comps.
Olaf - My personal favorite of the 4 cost carries. Olaf is the cornerstone of the increasingly popular Olaf Slayer Comp. Upon activation, his ability makes him immune to CC while also increasing his attack speed and making his attacks partially AOE. Olaf does great with nearly all Attack Damage or Attack Speed items with items like Deathblade and Rapidfire being his best.
Ornn - Ornn is an amazing unit fitting of being a 5 cost. He can tank tons of damage while bringing great AOE CC from his ability. His unique blacksmith synergy creates valuable "artifacts" that give stats or effects to his allies. Ornn is a critical part of every Elderwood comp and is one of their win conditions.
Pyke - Contender for strongest early unit thanks to his ability to potentially CC the entire enemy team. Pyke goes great in just about every comp thanks to his wide range of synergies. For example, you'll see him in Zed, Olaf Slayers, Enlightened, Warlord, Cultist, and Syphoner comps.
Rakan - The other contender for the strongest early unit also due to his potential to CC the entire enemy team. Rakan's ability lets him dash through the enemy team disarming them before finally taunting the enemy he dashes to. This combined with innate tank stats makes him very powerful. Rakan is great on any Elderwood Comp.
Samira - Samira is a very strong 5 cost sharpshooter. Her ability gives her strong AOE damage while also dodging attacks. Uniquely, Samira does not have mana, and instead, she gains stacks towards her ability via her Daredevil synergy. This synergy makes her dash after every other attack and stacks towards being able to use her ability.
Sejuani - One of the best tanks in the game. Sejuani brings great CC. As a 4 cost Vanguard, Sejuani is similar to Aatrox and they are often paired together for the Vanguard synergy. Common comps using Sejuani include Olaf Slayers, Dragonsoul mages, and Executioners.
Sett - Sett can be strong assuming he has enough time to use his synergy properly. Likely the weakest of the 5 cost units, the only main meta comp that uses him is the occasional 8 brawler comp.
Shen - Shen is a 4 cost unit that is good in a variety of comps. His ability gives him a shield and AOE taunts enemies. Shen is often the main frontline of Ninja/Zed comps but is also prevalent on Enlightened and Executioner comps.
Shyvana - Shyvana is a decent carry or secondary carry for teams. Her Dragonsoul synergy makes her prevalent on Dragonsoul Mage comps as a secondary carry or even the main carry if Aurelion doesn't get good items. Due to her ability that gives her bonus attack speed, you will want to build attack speed and attack damage items on her.
Sivir - Sivir is possibly the strongest 3 cost unit. Her ability gives her and two allies a large boost of attack speed when activated. When given items like Infinity Edge and Last Whisper Sivir becomes a viable late-game carry. More typically, she is given a Zeke's Herald to give even more attack speed to her allies and takes a secondary carry role.
Swain - Swain is a 5 cost unit that acts as a sort of drain tank that also does massive damage due to his ability that deals AOE True Damage. When given a Hextech Gunblade he becomes near unkillable. He fits into tons of comps well like Olaf Slayers, Dragonsoul mages, and Syphoners.
Tahm Kench - An early game brawler unit like Maokai. Tahm Kench's ability lets him ignore part of the damage he takes. The interesting thing is this ability is always active, meaning he doesn't need mana to activate it. This means an early two-star kench can be great especially when paired with another brawler for the health synergy.
Talon - Talon is typically the carry of enlightened comps. His ability deals a massive amount of damage and, similar to Darius, if it kills his target he will immediately recast it. The best part is it will target whoever on the enemy team is dealing the most damage, therefore, letting him annihilate carries.
Teemo - Teemo is not a spectacular unit. He has a niche ability that blinds the highest attack speed enemy (therefore making their attacks miss). Having said that, he is still necessary for sharpshooter a lot of comps so he does have a place in the meta.
Tristana - The final sharpshooter unit is the 1 cost Tristana. Her ability gives her pure attack speed and this makes her quite powerful early (think Xayah in Set 3). While typically not taken on sharpshooter comps, Tristana becomes very powerful when given items and 3 stars. This has created comps with 3-star Tristana as the main carry.
Tyrndamere - Tryndamere is typically the secondary carry (or primary when Katarina doesn't get good items) of Warlord Comps. His ability dashes and deals AOE damage to enemies, and also enhances the damage on his next few auto attacks.
Twisted Fate - Not much to say about Twisted Fate. He helps achieve early 3 cultist synergy and is required for 9 Cultist comps. Outside of that, he has a weak unreliable ability with too high of a mana cost to be useful.
Veigar - Veigar has an interesting mechanic with his ability. When he kills an enemy with his ability, that deals single target damage to the lowest enemy, it gives him permanent spell power. This does take quite a long time to add up though; meaning Veigar typically ends up as a backup carry to Aurelion Sol.
Vi - Vi is another underwhelming unit. Her ability is much weaker than it was in Set 3 and now just deals some AOE damage while reducing their armor. She sees play early mostly to contribute to early Warlord Synergies but doesn't stay long term in many meta comps.
Vladamir - Vlad is a great early unit to pair with Nasus. His ability deals burst damage to a target and heals allied units for half of it. When paired with Nasus (or any other Syphoner) they get the Syphoner synergy which heals him for part of the damage he does.
Wukong - Wukong is a 1 cost unit and Vanguard. His ability deals decent single target damage and stuns. He doesn't have much use outside of the first few rounds, but he can be used in a divine comp before you get your main units.
Xayah - Xayah is the primary carry for non-mage Elderwood comps. But you could also add her to an Elderwood Mage comp if you end up with some Attack Damage Items. Her ability makes her temporarily invulnerable, deals AOE damage based on her Attack Damage, and then deals more AOE Damage as Magic Damage.
Yasuo - Yasuo is a 1 cost unit that is great for holding items early. His ability dashes and deals damage based on his Attack damage. When Yasuo hits 3 stars and is given proper items (things like Hand of Justice and Deathblade) he becomes powerful enough to be the primary carry of Duelist comps.
Yone - Yone is a 5 cost unit with a very powerful ability. It is an AOE ability that massively reducing the armor of all enemies hit (by 60% !). Afterward, whenever Yone hits 20 mana he dashes and deals massive damage to a target previously hit by the AOE ability. Yone is typically put into Enlightened comps as they already have Adept units for his synergy. However, he also has a special synergy with Yasuo making him used in Duelist comps too.
Yuumi - Yuumi's ability heals allies and grants them large amounts of attack speed. When taking into account the low mana cost this makes it one of the strongest abilities in the game (Blue Buff even lets her nearly use it off cooldown). Yuumi is used in a lot of comps, but she's nearly always in Fabled Vanguard and Executioner comps.
Zed - Quite possibly the strongest Early-Mid Game unit, Zed brings a ton of damage. His first ability sends him to the enemy backline without the need for the assassin synergy. His second ability deals single target damage and steals part of the target's attack damage. This makes him perfect for dealing with enemy carries. Zed has quite a few comps built around him as the main carry so you can take your pick (try giving him a Rapid Firecannon for the extra range and speed).
Zilean - Finally, we have Zilean another 5 cost unit. His ability lets him revive allies and grant them attack speed after they are revived. He is the win condition of most Cultist comps and looks to revive the carries to get them back in the fight. Getting a Blue Buff and Spear of Shojin is fantastic for him.
Hyperrolling is no longer a viable strategy in Set 4. Slowrolling has become far more common and is required for a lot of comps now.
Try to play every composition so you have a feel for them. This set requires more flexibility than Set 3 and you will be at a disadvantage if you only force a single composition.
You don't have to hold onto a Chosen all game! Look to sell your Chosen and roll down around 8 until you get one that fits your comp.
Adding on that last tip, you don't have to base your comp around what Chosen you get. If you have a great start for a comp, don't force a different one just because you can't find a good Chosen. Patience is key.
Early rounds are far more competitive than in Set 3. Loss streaking isn't as viable as it used to be. You may find yourself bleeding health if you don't play your strongest board.
Reread this guide if you forget what units do or what comps you can play them in!