The New TFT Set:4 Mechanics and How to Adapt to Them
With the release of Set 4 coming very soon, everyone will be looking to gain a competitive edge against other players to start their ranked climb. Some players have lots of time to spend on PBE to familiarize themselves with the new champions and mechanics. For the players who don’t have much time, I hope to try and give some pointers on how to adapt your play style for the upcoming Set 4 release.
NOTE: If you haven’t already, make sure to download our overlay to keep up with all of the latest meta comps. The overlay will also allow you to view the team comps from within your game client.
Understand the New Champions, Abilities, and Traits
It can be intimidating for players to essentially relearn the game as there are new champions, traits, and even a few items. If you have the time, you could go through every single trait and champion to learn all the new abilities and traits. While this will definitely help, sometimes it’s just best to throw yourself in a game and learn as you play.
Learn while Playing
Preparing before you play will help a lot, but I believe that for many players, simply playing the game will be much more effective. You can read and try to memorize all you want, but playing the game itself will help you learn the easiest.
Even if you only play one comp every game, you can still absorb the information from other players you play against. As you get more comfortable with one comp, you move onto the next, and the next, and the next. Eventually, you will have used most of the champions in the game, or at the very least have seen other players utilize all the champions.
With inevitable patch updates, it’s important to try and familiarize yourself with as many comps as possible. If the meta shifts toward certain comps, you will already have enough knowledge to quickly pick up a new comp.
The Chosen mechanic is the main feature of Set 4 and will add a lot of variance to the games you play. For those of you who don’t know, here’s a brief explanation of the Chosen mechanic from Riot’s dev article.
Occasionally, in your shop, you will be offered a Chosen champion. These champions are already at 2-star level, so they cost three times their normal 1-star price and come with some extra power:
- One of their traits (origin or class) is “Chosen” and counts as 2 of that trait!
- They also get +200 HP and a unique stat bonus—either 500 HP, 35% spell power, 50 AD, or 25% reduced mana cost. (Tunings subject to change)
Chosen units make reaching certain traits like Warlord (9) much more doable than in previous sets. It also allows you to reach high unit synergies with less units, allowing you to be more flexible with the units you choose. This mechanic opens up a lot of options, and will inevitably affect the meta very much.
Streaking Early with Chosen
The Chosen mechanic affects players throughout the game and players can opt to pick up a Chosen unit early game to try and build a win streak. If you find an early Chosen unit that fits into an S-tier comp, congratulations, you not only can build a win streak, but you will likely transition seamlessly into your late game comp.
However, even if you don’t find an amazing Chosen unit early, you can still opt to pick one up as a way to stay strong throughout the game. If you sell your Chosen unit, you will be able to find another one in the shop, but you will have a net loss of 1 gold from selling the unit. Hopefully, that Chosen unit earned much more gold than that from a potential win streak.
If you didn’t find any decent Chosen units early, or have just bad luck in general, you could use Chosen as a way to comeback into the game by trying to hit a 3 or 4-cost Chosen unit. Try not to lose too much HP and make flexible items where you can. If you roll down at level 7 or 8, you have pretty decent odds of rolling into a strong Chosen unit that you can transition into.
Warning: Doing something like this can be very risky and requires more knowledge about the game. You have to be comfortable with transitioning into a multitude of different comps depending on what Chosen unit you find. In an ideal world, the perfect Chosen unit would appear that fits into your comp seamlessly, but relying on that is less consistent than trying to leverage the early game with a Chosen unit.
Picking a Chosen
Chosen units have two bonuses. The Chosen trait that counts as two, and the bonus unique stats. For the most part, the Chosen trait is what you care about. You can roll into a Chosen Elderwood or a Chosen Dazzler that will boost your team strength immensely. You can be lucky and find a Chosen carry with a good trait bonus, but looking for that every game is not very consistent. If you like playing a certain comp, try to figure out what Chosen traits would best fit your team, or best adapts against enemy teams.
For those curious enough, the bonus unique stat is also predetermined based on the Chosen champion. Here’s a little table from Riot Mortdog’s twitter showing all the possible bonuses.
However, as I just mentioned, you will find the most consistent results looking for a Chosen trait, rather than a Chosen champion.
System changes are my least favorite type of update. While I definitely agree that these changes are often helpful for the game, as a player, system changes are arguably the hardest thing to adapt to. Even some slight changes to the system can dramatically change how you play the game. I’ll cover the three main system changes that I think will impact the game the most.
This one is a small change, but I do think it should be noted. Essentially, when rolling or when the shop refreshes, if you didn’t buy a champion from your shop, it will not appear in the next shop. In previous sets, a lot of players would purchase unwanted champions as a way to thin the champion pool. Doing this would give you a very slight increase in the probability of finding a unit you want. With this change, that is no longer the case when you’re not rolling down a lot of gold.
For most of the game, if you’re just sitting back and trying to hit natural units, don’t buy units you don’t think you will need. Doing so will allow them to appear in the next shop, which is what you don’t want. This is definitely a quality of life change as you no longer have to purchase unnecessary champions, but it was a tough habit for me to break and I still do it pretty often in games.
Even still, if you are rolling down a lot of gold to look for a certain 5-cost unit or 4-cost, etc, you can still purchase a few to thin the champion pool. While you won’t take them out of your next shop, you will take that exact copy of an unwanted champion out of the champion pool, slightly increasing the odds you find the unit you want in the following rolls.
This one is only a slight change to the game, but it will be important to know of this change so you can adapt accordingly.
As you can see, the odds of finding certain cost champions throughout the game has been changed. These odds don’t change too much of the game, but it does affect comps that utilize slow rolling. In set 3, players who built comps around 3-cost carries would slow roll at level 7. With this update, you now have the best odds of hitting a 3 star 3-cost at level 8.
Riot have said they will balance this by making 3 costs more powerful since they are now harder to hit. Similarly, for comps that revolved around 1 or 2-cost units, you previously would slow roll at level 5. While this will still be the case, just know that it will be slightly harder to hit a 2-cost carry at level 5 than it was in Set 3.
This one is definitely going to be the biggest change in my opinion. Riot are still tinkering with the final numbers, but essentially, leveling up will now be more expensive than it was in Set 3. To loosely quote Mortdog, it felt as though too many players were hitting level 9 too consistently in Set 3.
Furthermore, it was too common for players to be able to rush level 8 and roll down for strong units without much risk involved. Players on PBE are already adapting to this change by rolling more at level 7 instead of waiting for level 8. In a strong lobby, players likely won’t have the luxury of waiting until level 8 to spend most of their gold.
As a result of this change, the meta of Set 4 will likely be more fast-paced and aggressive than before. Other regions like Korea and EU already play a very aggressive style compared to NA, but this change pushes the meta toward that direction. We will have to see how the top players adapt in high elo games, but for the most part, playing more aggressively should favor you in the new set.