A Guide to the TFT Carousel Rounds
If you’re new to Auto Chess games or came from a different Auto Chess game, you might have trouble knowing what to do during the carousel. The game throws you right into it, so it may catch you off guard, but it is something that you will quickly pick up.
In this article, we’ll be explaining how the carousel works, and what items you should look to go for.
If you’re brand new or still have trouble figuring out what items combine into what, make sure to download our overlay for an easy in game resource for items.
What is the Carousel?
At the start of the game, every player will see a spinning carousel of units with an item on it. By right clicking, you can move around and try to be the first to grab a specific champion and item. At the start of the game, all of the units will be 1-cost and this will gradually increase as the game goes on.
Starting from Stage 2 (the first pvp stage), every 4th round will be a carousel round. Once again, you will be able to grab a champion with an item, except now, players will be released 2 at a time, starting from the player with the lowest health. Because of this, being lower health early on can be a strategic choice to grab an item you really want.
The first carousel sets the tone for your early game and can play a solid impact on what comp you choose to play. Do note that for players around low Diamond or lower, you can do well by starting with just about any item component (except maybe Negatron Cloak).
To display this, I’ll go over each item component and some of the strong item choices you have. This will help you decide what item you want to start with and how you decide to play the game.
For the following section, check out our item page if you don’t know what each item does.
One of the most popular items to start with is a Recurve Bow. Recurve Bow is unique compared to other item components because some champions best items require multiple Bows. For example, Kayle wants Rapid Firecannon and Guinsoo’s Rageblade, meaning she requires 3 bows. Getting one at the start greatly increases your consistency in completing these items.
Other than that, Recurve Bow is still a strong item that can be used in many different comps
- Rapid Firecannon and Runaan’s Hurricane are a core item on many champions
- Guinsoo’s Rageblade and Statikk Shiv are great early game items
- Last Whisper and Giant Slayer are great for dealing with late game tank
Another popular starting item choice is B.F. Sword. Almost all of the items you can build with B.F. Sword are strong both early and late game.
- Infinity Edge and Deathblade are two of the best attack damage items.
- Zeke’s Herald and Guardian Angel are strong on any team comp on many different units.
- Hextech Gunblade is great for magic damage carries like Katarina or Aurelion Sol.
Unlike BF Sword and Recurve Bow, Chain Vest is strong for different reasons. Bow and Sword are mainly used to increase your early game attack damage. Chain Vest, however, is a more defensive item that starts out a bit weaker, but can fit into many comps.
- Locket of the Iron Solari and Sunfire Cape are good early game items on any team comp
- Guardian Angel is a flexible defensive item on carries or strong frontline units
- Bramble Vest is an amazing defensive item
- Titan’s Resolve is also a great item that is good on tanks or even Crit Damage carries.
Going back on the offensive, Sparring Gloves is a strong item because it helps you build offensive items for either attack or magic damage carries.
- Infinity Edge and Last Whisper are great damage items on many attack damage carries.
- Jeweled Gauntlet is probably the best magic damage item on most carries.
- Quicksilver is an amazing defensive item for your main carry.
- Hand of Justice is a strong damage item on any damage carry.
Needlessly Large Rod
Rod is still a strong starting item, but it is slightly less flexible than B.F. Sword. There are some stand out items, but these items mostly transition into magic damage comps, which are usually less flexible than attack damage comps. However, Rod can be a stronger item late game on some carries compared to Bow and Sword items.
- Locket of the Iron Solari and Guinsoo’s Rageblade are great early game items.
- Rabadon’s Deathcap and Jeweled Gauntlet are great magic damage items.
- Hextech Gunblade is great on certain carries like ASol and Katarina.
We rate this item slightly lower than the items above simply because you don’t have great attack damage items to build other than Guinsoo’s Rageblade. Even still, if you really enjoy playing magic damage team comps, this can be the item for you.
Much like Chain Vest, Giant’s Belt is a strong and flexible early game item. It doesn’t necessarily point you toward a specific comp, so you can choose this item if you like having flexibility. We like Chain Vest a bit better than Giant’s Belt, but this is still a solid item.
- Sunfire Cape and Zeke’s Herald are strong early items that can fit into any comp
- Morellonomicon is a unique item that is also strong, but is stronger late game on late game units.
- Zz’Rot Portal is solid early, but not quite as strong as some other items.
- Zephyr is a very powerful item, but is more powerful late game when you can use it to its fullest.
Tear of the Goddess
Much like Rod, Tear is a somewhat weak start for a few reasons. Not many champions require a Tear in their core items, but you can definitely have a powerful team with lots of Tear items.
- Statikk Shiv and Luden’s Echo are very strong early but fall off very hard.
- Chalice of Power and Hand of Justice are strong in almost every team comp.
- Blue Buff is a powerful item, but in the current set, not many carries depend on it like Rapid Firecannon.
While Spatula is a very powerful item, it can sometimes become a dead item. Starting with a Spatula can be very strong as it opens you up to a lot of powerful combinations. However, in the middle or toward the end of the game, this item can become a dud if you aren’t able to effectively use it in your team comp.
Unfortunately, Negatron Cloak doesn’t have very good starting combinations. Runaan’s Hurricane and Chalice of Power are two of the better items, but most of the other items aren’t strong items to start the game with.
Many powerful items use a Negatron Cloak, but many of these items are a bonus rather than a requirement. Things like Zephyr and Dragon’s Claw are more situational and not great for early game fights.
Later Carousel Rounds
After the initial carousel, you will have a few goals for the rest of the carousels in the game.
Carousel Stage 2-3:
In the two carousels after the initial, you will simply want to pick up an item component that you need. Getting an item component that you can use and combine immediately will add the most power to your team. You could also consider getting an item component that you really need but can’t build an item immediately.
Ideally, the item you need will be on a higher cost unit, but sometimes you may just have to take the 1-cost unit if it has the item you need.
Carousel Stage 4:
In this carousel, 4-cost units will begin to appear.
- If you are strong and healthy, prioritize getting the item component you need the most.
- But, if you are behind, you may want to pick up a 4-cost unit if it is a carry that will help you stabilize.
- Lastly, you see a 4-cost carry with an item you want, run straight for it.
Carousel Stage 5+:
In Stage 5, the Carousel will have only combined items. Be sure to keep this in mind when combining items before this point. You may not make it to the carousel in Stage 6, which will have both combined items and components. As such, make sure to combine what items you can.
5-cost units will begin appearing here, so also think about if a 5-cost will carry your team more than a specific item. Lastly, you may also want to see what items or units other players want. You can choose to take something your opponent wants to prevent them from getting stronger rather than getting something you want yourself.
This was my basic introduction to item starts and things to keep in mind for carousels. After a few games, you should get used to this mechanic and know what to do. Try testing out certain item component starts to see what works for you. Many top players prefer different starting items, so don’t be afraid to try out something new.