How to Climb to Diamond
Greetings reader, and welcome to my final installment of “How to Climb” for TFT. If you’ve read every single entry so far, I appreciate it and hopefully you’ve learned a lot. Here’s some quick links to all of the previous iterations.
In the previous guides, I’ve covered things like fundamentals, intermediate skills, and more advanced tips on many topics in the game.
This final guide will be covering what I believe to be the final steps to reaching Diamond, and a little bit extra for beyond that.
The core focus of this guide will be to cover many things you can improve on outside of the game. This will include things like, learning from other players, preparing a game plan, keeping up with patches, and keeping a stable mentality.
Learning from Others
Firstly, one of the best ways to improve as a player, is to watch other players. This can be your friends who are higher rank, steamers, Mortdog, or anyone that you would consider a better player.
If you have some free time, maybe check out a stream, or play one on the side while you multi task.
Here are a few things you should consider while watching:
- When do they make a decision that is different from what you would do?
- Do they have any strategies that you can try to copy in your games?
- Watch for mistakes that they make so you don’t do the same thing.
In general, having a good balance of playing the game and watching the game will help you improve a lot. I personally tend to watch more than I play, but some players are the opposite.
If you play a lot, you will learn a lot of things from experience, and in general, learning concepts is faster. Conversely, if you consume a lot of content, you can pick up on a lot of little details that you can apply to your games.
Ideally, you can do both of these things, but every player will do so in varying amounts. Do what you have time for, and see how you can improve in one aspect or another.
Constructing a Game Plan
Moving on, we have what I like to call a game plan. This part isn’t particularly important, but if you really want to climb, having a good idea of what you’ll do before the game can help.
When I refer to a Game Plan, I’m talking about knowing what plan you have before you get into game. This can be things like:
- What starting item do I want to go for?
- What early game units do I prefer to pick up?
- How will I transition in the mid game to comps I like to play?
I covered transitioning in the “How to Climb to Platinum” article, and I think it applies a lot to a game plan. If you are comfortable with a few comps, how can you maximize your success?
For example, you may like to play AP comps, and want to mainly go for Tear or Rod starts. Going into the early game, what units should you pick up to stay flexible between comps, or do you plan to hard commit to one comp?
Whatever the case may be, having a plan before the game will free up “brain power” in the game. If you already have a plan to follow, you can spend more time in game making other decisions like positioning, scouting, rolling, etc.
Keeping up with Patches
Knowing what to play whenever a new patch drops is probably one of the hardest things to do. It can take quite a bit of time to fully understand how much certain changes affect the meta. Over the years of TFT, I’ve read through just about every single patch. Even still, I can’t predict how the meta will turn out easily.
- Should I play a comp that was just nerfed? Was it nerfed too hard?
- What if I play a new comp that just got buffed?
Questions like these should come up every new patch, and some patches affect the meta much more than others. If you’re climbing seriously, be sure to stay up to date to at least know what you’re getting into. The worst scenario is going into a game and not knowing something changed.
At this point in climbing ranked, you should definitely play attention to more things outside of the game. In just about any competitive setting, having a clear and well rested mind is extremely important.
If you’re a very strong player, you can definitely hit Diamond without straining too much, but for others, it can be much more mentally straining.
First off, you should pay more attention to how the games are affecting you. If you are chaining bottom finishes, are you staying calm, or are you getting frustrated? Even if you aren’t frustrated, you should consider taking a break to reset from the games.
Even if it was just a streak of bad luck, taking some time off to reset will help you more than running it back.
Sometimes, it may take only one bad game to ruin your mood. In this case, clicking play again is probably the worst thing you can do.
You might be able to turn it around, but if you have another bad game, you risk losing even more LP, or even ruining your day. Take some time off to try and evaluate what went wrong, and come back with a fresh start.
As a gamer, it can be difficult to understand when you’re getting tired. If you’re like me, you may enjoy playing at degen hours and not keep track of time. While this is usually fine, if you want to play at your best, you need to also be at your best physically.
Playing a game after being well rested vs playing at 2 or 3 AM after a long session is completely different. It may sound obvious, but having more quality games is more beneficial for your LP and your hidden MMR. Simply spamming games won’t help.
On the other hand, maybe you can only play at certain times of the day, or you only have free time at certain hours. Planning around your responsibilities outside of TFT will give you more time to play quality games.
Tips to go Further Beyond: Master, Grandmaster, Challenger
At the moment, I don’t plan on writing additioanl guides on how to climb to Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger. At this point, I feel like I would simply be saying more of the same things.
Reaching Master is a big achievement for many people. While your favorite streamer may hit Challenger every set with ease, there’s way more players who haven’t reached Diamond yet.
To put it quite simply, reaching Master or higher is a commitment. You need to put in the time to learn the game, learn the set, learn the comps, learn the fundamentals, and the list goes on.
Breaking the Rules
Personally, I think that if you have solid fundamentals and a good understanding of the meta, you can reach Master in TFT without doing anything too crazy. If you can get an average placement above 4.5, it’s simply a matter of time before reaching Master.
However, if you want to climb faster, and improve at the game, this is where you start learning how to break the rules. I covered a lot of tips such as when to level, how to position, what items to make, etc.
These rules are simple, but they may not apply to every situation. There are honestly an infinite number of considerations to make in a game, and sometimes, breaking a rule is correct. Maybe you decide to level up to 7 in Stage 3 to push aggressively. Conversely, maybe you don’t level up to 6 until 3-4 in order to build up more economy.
Eventually, if enough people break the rules, it becomes the new norm. Then, more players will break that new norm, and so on. (Back in Set 1, people didn’t almost always level up to 7 at 4-1)
The reason I talk about breaking the rules now is that if you’re approaching Diamond, you should have a good idea of why the rules exist. Once you have a good understanding, you can start breaking them to see how that affects your game.
TFT is a very complex game. There will never be a game where 2 players make the same decisions. Because of this, the more you break the rules, the more you learn about niche situations, and how to take advantage of them.
If you want to reach Master, you are basically saying you want to be in the top 1% of players. While that number will vary, the point remains.
If you want to be in the top 1% of players, you need to do the minute things that increase your odds of winning, even if only by 1%.
Let’s say you reposition and scout every round. You may only save only 5 HP or so. That 5 HP might not even matter in most games. However, maybe 1% of the time, it will matter, and you might save or win more LP.
Getting to Challenger is a long grind, and every little decision you make adds up over time. If you’re serious about reaching the top of TFT, try to do every little thing you can. While the results might not reflect your efforts, over time, it will only help you.
This wraps up my guide on how to climb to Diamond in TFT. This article covered things you can do outside of simply playing TFT.
I could have gone more in depth on different tips and tricks for things like leveling, positioning, or things like that. However, I feel that these tips will make you a better player not just in TFT, but in any game really.
As you play more, you will pick up on more things, but having a good understanding of good practices outside the game will go a longer way for you as a gamer.
This will be the last series for my How to Climb, and hopefully this helped you reach your highest rank. My last piece of advice would be to not get discouraged. TFT is quite a complex game, but it’s also very rewarding if you put in the time to learn it fully.
That’s all from me! Good luck in your games, and try not to go 8th. 🙂
To learn about the latest new TFT Set, head to our all-in-one Teamfight Tactics Set 8.5 reveal page that covers all champions, synergies, and more!