Teamfight TacticsMentality

Teamfight Tactics Guide: How to Make the Best Carousel Picks

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?

TFT Set 8 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.

Starting Carousel

TFT Basic Items

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 Sparring Gloves).

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. Also check the main website to see updated Tiers for items every patch.

Recurve Bow

TFT Set 8 Recurve Bow

One of the most popular items to start with is a Recurve Bow. Recurve Bow is one of the best offensive items to build for AD based comps. Giant Slayer and Shiv also provide some leeway to build into AP comps as well.

Overall, 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 tanks.

B.F Sword

TFT Set 8 B.F. Sword

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.

  • Giant Slayer and even Deathblade are two strong AD options.
  • Spear of Shojin is strong on any team comp on many different units.
  • Bloodthirster is great item for AD carries that need sustain.

Chain Vest

TFT Set 8 Chain Vest

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. Even still, defensive items are still very effective at win streaking early.

  • Locket of the Iron Solari and Sunfire Cape are good early game items on any team comp.
  • Bramble Vest is an amazing defensive item.
  • Titan’s Resolve is also a great item that is good on tanks and carries.

Needlessly Large Rod

TFT Set 8 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.
  • Morellonomicon is a great utility item on almost every team comp.

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.

Giant’s Belt

TFT Set 8 Giant's Belt

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. Giant’s Belt builds into three of the most flexible items in the game, making it a very good first choice.

  • Sunfire Cape is arguably the best win streak item in the game.
  • Morellonomicon is a unique item that is also very strong as long as you have the right unit to hold it.
  • Warmog’s Armor is another great defensive item for a frontline tank.

Tear of the Goddess

TFT Set 8 Tear of the Goddess

Tear is another solid item, but the items cater more for magic damage carries instead of attack damage ones. Similar to Rod, if you want to play magic damage comps, go for these items as they build into important items for magic damage carries.

  • Statikk Shiv is a great early game item that also provides a nice debuff.
  • Chalice of Power is amazing in almost any team comp to provide more Ability Power for your carry.
  • Blue Buff is a powerful item that turns some units into hyper carries like Soraka.


TFT Set 8 Spatula

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.

Negatron Cloak

TFT Set 8 Negatron Cloak

Negatron Cloak is still a very solid item, but the item usually takes last pick over the other ones. Some notable items include:

  • Bloodthirster is great for high damage carries to gain some lifesteal.
  • Chalice of Power and Zephyr are great on any team, but don’t provide as much power early game.
  • Runaan’s Hurricane is great for scaling the damage of carries that auto-attack.
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate is great for making one unit into a hyper tank.

Sparring Gloves

TFT Set 8 Sparring Gloves

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. It can also build into great defensive items as well.

However, Sparring Gloves items don’t do very well in the early game, and are more catered to the mid and late game. As such, we don’t recommend picking this item first unless your comps requires many gloves.

  • Infinity Edge and Last Whisper are great damage items on many attack damage carries.
  • Jeweled Gauntlet is also a great magic damage item on most carries.
  • Thief’s Gloves are a strong flexible item as well.

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.

To learn about the new TFT Set, head to our all-in-one Teamfight Tactics Set 8 reveal page that covers all champions, synergies, and more!