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How to Salvage a Bad Early Game in TFT

How to Comeback from a Bad Early Game

The early game of TFT is one of the many portions of the game you cannot control. You may find yourself with bad items, or no upgraded champions early on. Because of this, you may find yourself losing a lot early and have trouble recovering. In this article, I will outline a basic strategy that allows you recover from a bad early game.

tft arena

Basic Lose Streak Strategy

Many players adopt an aggressive strategy that involves leveling early throughout the game to try and maintain a high health pool. This strategy attempts to achieve the opposite. If you know that your team is weak early on, you can use a lose streak to your advantage to gain a strong economy to bounce back later.

Stage 2

tft stage 2

In stage 2, if you are forced to lose streak, chances are that you didn’t find many upgraded units. If this is the case, spend the majority of stage 2 trying to make as much gold as possible, while also maintaining a strong board with the cheap units you have found.

Strategy: Lose Streaking

For items, you can build early items that are flexible like Ionic Spark, Warmog’s, Bramble Vest, or other items you can make to save some HP. An ideal situation would be losing every round of Stage 2, but not by too much. Falling to 70 health can be rough, but losing your streak can also ruin the strategy.

With a mix of scouting and game knowledge, you can determine how strong you should be to maintain your streak while saving as much health as possible.

By the time you hit the Krugs at 2-7, you should be close to or above 50 gold. If your team is too weak to beat the neutral minions, level up to 5 in order to ensure you get your items.

The items you get at Krugs will be a good indicator of what champions you are looking for in Stage 3.

Stage 3

tft stage 3

Unlike Stage 2, which involved simply losing and saving health, Stage 3 will be where you look to make a comeback. If you are lucky enough to naturally find strong units, you won’t have to worry about the strategy anymore. However, if you continue to lose health, you should look to bounce back at either Stage 3-4 or 3-5.

Strategy: Fast 7

At Round 3-2 you should always level up to 6. If you maintained your losing streak up to this point, you should still have 50 gold even after leveling. While you are level 6, start planning what your comp will be and see if you can naturally roll any potential carries like Jinx, Jhin, Teemo, or anything of the sort.

At the 3-4 carousel, there will be 4 cost units that you can grab. If you see a potential carry with a decent item, you should take it to increase your chances of hitting an upgraded carry. Also keep in mind what items you have as picking up a carry that you have no good items for will not suffice.

At Round 3-5, you will have a perfect interval to level up to 7. With the gold you’ve saved up, level up to 7 here and begin rolling to create a strong team. Most players level up to 7 at 4-1, and by leveling early, you will have better odds of finding contested carries like Jhin or Teemo. If you find an upgraded 4 cost carry, you should still roll to round out your team with other units like upgraded front line units or units that give you traits.

Stage 4

tft stage 4

By Stage 4, you should ideally have bounced back with a strong team that should land you a decent win streak. From this point, the decisions made are dependent on factors like health and enemy team strength. There are a variety of strategies you can branch out into from here, so use these tips to try and pick the correct one.

Strategy: Default / Fast 8 / Fast 9


If you have recovered by Stage 4 and aren’t in immediate danger of dying (at or above 40 health), you can look to employ a default strategy after this point. This involves leveling to 8 at 5-1 and completing a level 8 team comp. This can be a solid choice for the most part, but if you find yourself with a long win streak, you can leverage your gold to try and employ a strategy that may  result in a higher placement.

Fast 8:

If you won every round after recovering on 3-5, by 4-3 you should have around 50 gold. At this point, you can choose to level up to 8 here for a couple of reasons. If you have a good 8th unit to put in, leveling up to 8 can ensure you continue your win streak. Furthermore, if you believe that your team won’t last much longer against enemy teams, you can level up to 8 early to ensure that you don’t lose the little health that you already have.

Fast 9:

Going for Fast 9 is more risky, but if done successfully, will result in the best chance of a 1st place. If the team you built at level 7 is very strong, you can use only the gold you have above 50 to start leveling to 8 and eventually 9 in Stage 5. This will give you the best chance of hitting 5 cost units which, depending on your team comp, can drastically improve your chances of winning.

Stage 5

How you play Stage 5 will be a direct result of the choices you made in Stage 4. If you already went for a Fast 8 strategy, the choices you make here will differ if you decided to play Default or Fast 9. Once again, the choices you make here should be a response to other factors in the game like your health, gold, and enemy team strength.

tft kayn

Strategy: Adaptation

Regardless if you decided to Fast 8 or Default, you will always be level 8 by Round 5-1. If your Fast 8 was successful and you have a very strong team, you can look to go level 9 at this point. Alternatively, if your team is still weak and you are missing key upgrades, you should continue to roll a bit if you feel that you might die soon. Knowing whether or not to roll is a decision you have to make depending on your health and team strength. If you want to play it safe, you can roll to create a strong level 8 team.

On the other hand, if you completed a very strong level 8 team by any of the strategies, you can look to push your advantage by going for level 9. Leveling up to 9 doesn’t have a clear indicator, but if your health falls below 30, you should look to level up to try and make the strongest possible team. Alternatively, if your team continues to win, you can level up to 9 at 6-1 to try and make that final push for 1st.


Using a strategy like this can be very rewarding when pulled off. By losing the early game, you will naturally have a better carousel pick and can choose units with the items you want or higher cost units to snowball your gold even further. By leveling up to 7 early, you have better chances of finding contested units, and will have a much easier time making a strong team than the players who hovered in the middle of the lobby.

Unfortunately, this strategy also comes with a higher risk. By losing the early game, you put yourself in a very vulnerable position. If you Fast 7 and can’t build a strong team, you are at the mercy of RNG and rolling every round to try and stabilize. If you continue to have bad luck, you will likely just get a fast 8th place.

In either case, it is important to understand that you just won’t top 4 every single game you play. By employing a strategy like this, you give yourself the best chance of coming back from a bad early game. This will improve your consistency and result in a better climb.

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