How to Beat Cultist Comps in TFT
Cultist comps are very strong in the current meta, but they aren’t extremely dominant. Even still, losing to a Cultist comp can be infuriating as you can feel helpless against their Galio.
There are a few tips I’d like to share about countering Cultist comps, but these tips can only go so far. If their team is stronger than yours and they position as well as you do, there’s nothing you can change. So without further ado, let’s get into the tips.
Limit their Win Streak
In my opinion, Cultists perform very well in most games due to how easy it is to play and how easy it can be to win streak with an early Cultist Chosen. Therefore, the most effective counter to Cultist comps is to disrupt their win streak. If a Cultist comp has enough economy to roll for multiple 3 stars, their Galio will be extremely strong, and can possibly be too strong to beat.
Galio gains additional attack damage and health based on the stars of the Cultist units. At level 8, a full Cultist comp with all two stars is strong, but still beatable. It gets difficult when they have 2, 3, or even 4 3-star units to further power up Galio. Not only that, but 3-star units like Evelynn, Pyke, Elise, and even Twisted Fate can be very powerful with an item or two.
One reason I believe Cultists aren’t as oppressive in high elo is that it’s much harder to maintain a win streak in high elo. Cultist comps can’t consistently get multiple 3 stars in high elo. In lower elos, this is more feasible if you ride a long win streak and can afford to roll for many 3 stars.
So how exactly does one disrupt a win streak? The simple answer is to play more aggressively. Let’s use level 6 as an example. Almost every player will level to 6 at 3-2 or later.
If you haven’t fought the Cultist player in Stage 2, there is a good chance (about 33%) that you will fight them on 3-1. You can use this chance to level up to 6 early and try to steal a win from them. This will disrupt their win streak and set them much further back than if they continued streaking.
This strategy comes at a big risk as if you don’t win, you will ruin your own economy and fail to disrupt theirs. However, if you really hate Cultist players, you can do this to spite them.
If you don’t expect to play the Cultist player anytime soon, you should still look to position around their comp. If they are on a win streak and you want to safely disrupt it, you can also decide to counter position for their board specifically.
In the early and mid game, it’s more likely that their positioning will have flaws. Maybe their carry is alone on the left side, or maybe their team is clumped. Whatever the case may be, if you proactively position to beat them, you might be able to steal a round from them and disrupt their economy.
Without a doubt, one of the best items to counter Cultists is Quicksilver. This item is good on almost every carry, but Cultists make this item especially useful.
Aatrox’s ability pulls in units while units like Pyke and Evelynn jump into your backline. Quicksilver allows you to easily place your backline carry in the corner with protection. This can prevent them from getting pulled in by Aatrox and from getting stunned by Pyke.
Armor is another key factor to keep in mind. Most Cultist comps run Jhin as their main backline carry. This often means Jhin will run items like Infinity Edge, Last Whisper, Giant Slayer, or any combination of those items. Having a Bramble Vest on your main tank can be key to delaying Jhin’s damage output to the rest of your team. If Jhin has Last Whisper and Infinity Edge, Bramble Vest is less effective, but it’s still better than nothing.
Zephyr is another key item that can change a fight. Jhin is strong with either Guardian Angel or Quicksilver, but if the enemy Jhin only has Guardian Angel, a well placed Zephyr can delay his damage long enough for your team to win. Even if the enemy Jhin has Quicksilver, you can still Zephyr the Aatrox in order to get quick access to the enemy backline or quickly kill off Pyke and Evelynn.
Assassins / Shades
In my opinion, Assassin and Shade comps have a good matchup into Cultists as Cultists have weak backline protection. The only true tank is Aatrox and Evelynn and Pyke jump to your board, making the backline much weaker than other comps.
If you can place a Talon or Diana so that they target Jhin at the start of the fight, you will have a much easier time. If they have a 3 star Twisted Fate or Elise, this can be more difficult, but that’s why it’s also important to disrupt their economy. A level 8 team with only 2 star units have a much more vulnerable backline compared to other comps.
A Strong Tank
Even if you manage to kill of Jhin, you still have to deal with Galio. If your team is simply stronger than theirs, you will have an easier time killing off their team and make quick work of Galio. If the teams are close in strength, you may want to also consider investing into a stronger frontline.
After you kill Jhin, if all of your frontline is dead, Galio will make quick work of any carries you have. That’s why it’s essential that your frontline can outlive the enemy’s. After killing Jhin or any carry they chose to itemize, having a tank still alive will make a huge difference. Buying some time for your carries to kill Galio before they can reach them is also essential to the fight.
To achieve this, you can look to build some defensive items like Bramble Vest or Gargoyle Stoneplate on your main tank.
These are just some of the tips I’ve noticed while playing and playing against Cultist comps. They can be a menace in the lobby, but they aren’t too overpowered that nothing can stop them. Take your time to analyze the fights you have against them, and also try to look at the game from a wide perspective. Try and see what made the Cultist player successful throughout the game and not just one fight. This will help you find holes to take advantage of.