A Guide to the TFT Carousel Rounds
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Sometimes you can feel like you are in the circus with TFT’s share draft. Little creatures running around dragging champs and items around…everybody else spinning in a circle. It’s pretty easy to get confused. Don’t worry, we are here to help you figure out what you should be looking for and maximizing your carousel rounds without losing your cool.
The Starting Carousel Round
This is probably the most deterministic one. Everyone starts with nothing and at the same time. There are clear things you should be looking for: Aim for 2 cost units unless you can get a Recurve Bow out of a one cost unit. Another reason to pick up a 1 cost unit could be if the remaining 2 cost units have the worst items on them (Chain Vests and Negatron Cloak). If that is the case, go for any 2 cost unit with a decent item.
This is how to prioritize items in the first carousel:
- Recurve Bow
- Tear of the Goddess
- Needlessly Large Rod
- B.F. Sword
- Giant’s Belt
- Negatron Cloak
- Chain Vest
These are the items you want to make early game and how to use them:
Rageblade: Great on Nidalee (add Warwick for Wild combo), Vayne or even Tristana if you are desperate.
Statikk Shiv: Better early game item than Rage Blade, a bit weaker late game. Great on Nidalee, Vayne, Tristana, and Lucian.
Spear of Shojin: Can be used early on Kha’Zix, Darius, Ahri or any spell based carry. Late game, it’s good for caster builds, assassins and even Ashe (using Ashe as stun bot in a rangers comp).
Bloodthirster: Amazing item to build but only if you already have a carry like Nidalee or Vayne with an ATK speed item. If you build this item, you need to strongly consider using a single target AD DPS for as your carry (Draven, Nidalee, Vayne, etc).
Rabadon’s Deathcap: Only make it if you have a Spear of Shojin on someone like Ahri.
Rapid Firecannon: A must have on Nidalee 3 star, It’s a good replacement for Guinso in all the hyper carries builds if needed.For example, if you hit 3 Recurve Bows early, it’s fine to build an RFC over a Guinsoo’s, even if you plan on playing an A-Sol comp. Instead of using your first Large Rod for a Guinsoo’s, you can instead make a Rabadon or Hextech.
Zephyr: Try to keep Giant’s Belt for a Zeke and Negatron Cloak for a Blood Thirster (if you go for an AD carry). Usually, you should only build this item if you get a 2nd Belt/Cloak or want to keep a win streak going. If you place the Zephyr bottom left, it will CC the units on the top right corner. Keep that in mind when you decide which unit gets the Zephyr.
Later Carousel Rounds
Your objectives will shift in the later shared draft rounds as you start to solidify your composition and know what you want to do. In a sense, it can be a relief to be first and not have to worry about choosing so much, but that’s the point of this article: to help you make the best choices. Let’s break each one down:
Carousel Round 2:
In this draft, you are probably still looking for the correct items to round out your first set of basic components. This essential for making the combined items you need to make your composition strong. At this point in the game, none of the units are valuable enough to think twice about taking an item you need.
Carousel Round 3:
Now it starts to get interesting. Key 4 cost units like Draven, Brand, and Aurelion Sol join the party. Sometimes a legendary unit will show up, and in rare cases a completed item will come bundled with a champ.
You are going to have to use everything you know to make the right decision:
- High value completed item and you have a chance to grab it?
- Building towards a Brand comp and see a Brand?
- Need a Recurve Bow still?
- Left with bad choices and want to just cash in on 5 gold instead of 3?
- Make sure that you don’t buy a bad item (check out our item tier list to understand what’s good) on a unit that is your carry. This will effectively reduce the number of slots available to you by 1.
Carousel Round 4 and Onward:
We have now hit the phase where you probably are one of the few left if you made it this far. Given that, you probably have a good idea of what you want. Make sure to prioritize what you need, but if you don’t see anything you want, denying your opponent is a good play.
For example, taking away a person’s Kayle if they are building noble can be more effective than making yourself stronger since you will be facing them soon and often.
Hopefully, this helps you not get overwhelmed every time the shared draft pops up. More than that, we hope it helps you get an edge over the competition and also troll your friends a bit :).