Hi, I’m Guubums. I’m currently rank 4 NA (1609 LP). You might recognize me from ladder, tourneys, on streams, or from previous guides, most notably my Adept Ashe and Vanguard Mystic Ahri guides in set 4.
I learned and started spamming keepers leading up to NA regionals and found solid success with it throughout the tourney, despite not making the final day. I have since learned a lot more about the comp and become the most prominent keeper abuser in the world. There are many nuances to the comp that even the highest level players seem to be missing.
I wont be able to explain every nuance in the guide, so come check out the stream to learn more.
This is the strongest version of the comp at level 8 with a keeper chosen. The items on each unit are some of the BIS (best in slot) for those units, but the only 2 key items in the comp are morellos and Guardian Angel (GA) for your Kennen, I’ll talk about items more later in the guide.
Composition and Gameplan
Keepers is a solid comp that can excel by rolling at any stage in the game, be it level 6, 7, 8, or 9. The comp is a excellent at playing for fourth, but a well played keeper game can easily cap out higher than almost if not all other comps in the game and get first.
In general, the best level to roll for the comp is level 8 since it gives us better access to Xayah chosens and 5 cost units to cap out. The best 5 costs to run are obviously azir and ornn since they slot right into the comp. Since the comp can theoretically complete at 7 with keeper chosen and Xayah, Rakan, Kennen, jarvan, Azir/elise, ornn/lulu, and Aatrox, we need to find the best unit to fit in with our level 8 and 9 slots.
The best 2 units to fit in are xayah and sett. Sett does extremely well in this comp since he deals with some of the problems the team has which are high HP units that do not die to the initial ults of the main carries (Xayah, Aatrox, Kennen). Furthermore, with how much survivability 6 keeper and elder gives, Sett almost always returns from situps and gets his true damage ult for a late fight win. A second xayah benefits from the existing synergies and an itemless xayah can still output close to the highest DPS on the team. If stacked with extra ornn and late game carousel items, you can run two itemized Xayah 2s which is almost always stronger than making a Xayah 3. The exception is if making a xayah 3 would allow us to play another 2* 5 cost (Yone, Zilean).
The general game plan is to reach 5-1 with at least 45HP and 40+ gold to roll for the final comp. The comp is extremely cheap so we are given the option to roll at earlier levels to stabilize our board if our natural shops are not going our way.
Do you ever run Sejuani?
Almost never. Why? Sejuani, while excellent in many comps is extremely worthless in this comp. Her ult buys time for DPS carries (see olaf, kayle) to work, but also tends to come later in the fight and tends to be highly effective at stalling frontline units, but much worse against backline units. Since the comp already excels at exploding the frontline with the kennen xayah combo, units like sejuani are highly ineffective.
With this said, we quickly realize why Aatrox and Ornn are extremely broken in the comp. Aatrox and Ornn are highly effective at dealing with backlined carries. Aatrox needs no explanation, but Ornn is regularly considered a terrible unit without his blacksmith passive, so why is he broken in this comp?
Ornn checks off 2 tank synergies that gives him a ton of survivability. This gives him the opportunity to ult multiple times in a fight and can swing matchups late into the fight (for example, ulting when kayle’s QSS has worn off). His ult targets furthest unit and the first portion applies a 50% attack speed slow so even just getting the initial cast off against a corner carry can be huge.
When do you want to go for Kennen 3 and when do you want to go 9?
Kennen 3 is a safe win condition, but it is not the only win condition. If you don’t have a keeper kennen or roughly at least 4-6 Kennens before you make the consideration, going 9 and playing extra and better units is probably a safer win condition. Furthermore, don't tunnel on going for kennen 3 if the unit is contested.
By far and away the biggest mistake 95% of players make when playing this comp is items. I am not at all exaggerating when I say that the only 2 items you want in this comp are GA and morellos for your kennen. Your Xayah items are extremely flexible.
BiS Xayah is *probably* Hand of Justice (HoJ), Jewelled Gauntlet(JG), and Infinity Edge (IE) /titans/HoJ, but the term "BiS" is the biggest bait in all of TFT. In the vast majority of cases, even outside of this comp specifically, greeding BiS is a very suboptimal play. You need 1-2 solid items on your carry most of the time and if you're fortunate enough to hit BiS, it should be considered a high roll, not the goal.
The single best item on Xayah is probably HoJ, but contrary to popular belief, you don’t want to be building multiple HoJs on one unit. The reason is that they have poor scaling with one another. Not only do you get griefed if you roll double healing (0 damage), but even the damage scaling of having 2 HoJs is slightly inefficient (see below).
Realistically, Xayah items hardly matter. She gets innate base stat scaling from elderwood and a ton of survivability from keepers and her aggro-drop ult. A better way to look at items for Xayah is to build the best items you can given your early game slams. A list of passable items for xayah include:
HoJ, JG, IE, Last Whisper (LW), DB, Blood thirster, Titans, hurricane, guinsoo, shiv, GA, Thief’s Glove.
Essentially, give her literally any damage item.
Other items in the comp that are good are utility such as frozen heart (FH) and redemption. FH is terrible in general, but since j4 and rakan move around the map as much as they do and they have increased survivability, it becomes pretty good.
Shroud and zephyr are generally not recommended in this comp since positioning is fairly rigid and you prefer to position your units altogether and often outside of key zephyr and shroud spots so no need to prioritize these utility items.
Ionic Spark is better on a non-kennen unit since you’d rather save the 3rd slot for a late game carousel item or an ornn item and we can get the value from spark from a different unit anyway.
Tank items are good on Aatrox and Sett.
Scaling a units damage.
The optimal way to scale a units damage is to have buffs to base stats(ie. Elderwood, deathcap, warlord, Death Blade (DB) ) , crit (IE, JG) , and damage ampliers (GS, titans, HoJ), instead of going vertical in any single bucket. Why?
The way this works is that any bucket multiplies with the others but adds with its own. To illustrate this, take a scenario:
- 100 base damage spell with Dcap, JG, GS against non giant (10% amp)
- We have
- (100 x 1.8 x 1.1) x 1.9 = 376.2 for a crit (0.45 chance)
- (100 x 1.8 x 1.1) x 1 = 198 for a non crit (0.55 chance)
For an expected damage of 265.29
- Take the same thing but have 3 fully stacked titans (50% damage amp for each titan) or 3 damage HoJ rolls.
- 100 x (1+ (0.5 x 3)) = 250.
With even the best case scenario for titans, it is worse than the other setup where GS is only a 10% damage amp. The difference becomes clearer if we have a 50% amp (HoJ, stacked titans) or 80% if GS is actually getting value in the first scenario.
- The easiest way to actually look at this is, without using an in-example:
100 x (1 + (0.5 + 0.5 + 0.5) = 250
100 x (1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5) = 337.5
Multiplication is better scaling than addition!
As a disclaimer, these calculations don’t take into the account any component base stat with the exception of Dcap, and since it’s using a spell, it will favor spell based scaling such as JG, but the conclusion holds true regardless.
Rod/sword/glove > bow > chain > tear > cloak > belt
Pretty much offensive items are much better than defensive items. We get most of our defensive capability from keepers anyway and offensive items always give more direction and are also often just stronger in the early game.
Only elder spat is particularly desirable and is best used on kennen > sett > Aatrox.
Otherwise, vanguard and warlord is passable to avoid dead spats.
This is my default positioning and I'll explain why for each unit.
STOP DEFAULTING IN THE MIDDLE, IT’S INCONSISTENT.
Positioning in the middle hedges that you wont be on the wrong side in certain matchups, but gives a less consistent MU in almost all scenarios since we can’t guarantee Xayah targeting.
- We position on the sides, even if it’s the wrong side (ideally, we same side the enemy board since it gives us a much higher likelihood exploding enemy carries before they cast).
- Positioning on the sides allows xayah to ult towards the middle and the back, instead of away. Also, xayah fully reaches backline if you put her at the front row.
- Since we almost always position on the side, opponents will position units such as Lee sin and Sett in front of our clumps (ideally our kennen), consider placing kennen on second row if these opponents are in your rotation.
- Soldiers in the back since we don’t tend not to need the extra frontline and they help block lee sin and influence Asol ult directions.
- Aatrox and Sett at the most vulnerable positions in the front since we want them taking aggro and gaining mana from taking damage.
- Backline Ornn. Ornn ulting late in the fight is much better than early as explained above, but this also gives him keeper shields and time to scale elderwood.
At level 8:
Keeper Kennen and Xayah are the best. Otherwise, the other 2 Xayahs are also excellent.
Both Aatrox chosens are also quite good if you don’t have at least an Aatrox pair and especially so if we’ve already upgraded the rest of our board.
At level 6 and 7:
Take a chosen that fits with the items you’ve slammed and can potentially slam to stabilize your board.
What about keeper rakan and jarvan, when do you keep, when do you drop?
If selling these chosens make your board too weak at level 8, keep them, otherwise, if you have a healthy amount of gold and hp, you can considering selling. Otherwise, keep them and go 9 to find a 5 cost chosen.
I also do paid coaching. I've worked as a tutor both professionally and privately for 6 years. I've coached several players to challenger and many players to masters, including a handful as recently as set 4.5. I also actively coach friends other prominent members of the NA challenger community, most notably, DQA, inikoiniko, chessmage, kurumx, mismatchedsocks, and boxbox (including receiving boxbox’s most informative coach award)!
If you're interested, please find me on stream, or DM on discord at guubums#1874
I'm often coaching and talking to DQA_TFT, noobowl, chessmage and others on mine and their streams.