Hello! It's that time of the patch again for the trait tier list! As usual this is a breakdown of each synergy as to what makes it strong (or weak) in the current meta. This is not meant to taken literally in terms of power. Sure S Tier traits will be overall better than C tier but don't ignore synergies in the lower tiers simply because they are placed there. TFT is all about adaptation and playing flexibly so every synergy can be used well depending on the situation. With all that said let's go ahead and get to it.
To begin with we have the synergies in the S Tier! This tier consists of Slayer, Daredevil, Keepers, Blacksmith and Vanguard! These synergies have a lot of influence on the current meta and are used consistently in most games.
Starting off our tier list we have Slayer! This should come at no surprise to anyone familiar with the current meta as every lobby is all about Slayers, Slayers and more Slayers. And this is for a good reason since the synergy has a lot of versatility. This is due mainly to the champions as you have multiple top tier carries with Olaf, Samira and Tryndamere. Even Zed is a potential carry, albeit far less common than the other three.
Honestly if there was ever a time to have a Tier above S it would be for this current meta as Slayer is a clear standout above all the other synergies.
Up next we have Daredevil! Daredevil is a natural companion to Slayer because, well, Samira is really good. There’s not really much else to this since a lot of what’s good about Samira has to do with the fact she’s a late game Slayer carry. The main downside to Samira, at least in comparison to Olaf and Tryndamere, is two starring her will be more difficult since she’s a five cost. But even at tier one she still does a ton of damage and can carry, as long as you have items for her.
The surprise of 11.5 is Keeper! Keeper shot up in popularity near the end of 11.4. This is due to a six Keeper composition that utilized the newly buffed Kennen along with having Xayah as the reliable carry. Of course this composition alone isn’t enough to warrant Keepers being in the S Tier but it has helped Keeper remain relevant in the late game where previously it struggled.
The other reasons for Keeper doing well, and deserving a spot in this tier, is due to their strength in the early and mid game. A Chosen Keeper can win-streak a board through stage two and Kennen in the mid game with Keepers can continue that streak. From there it’s an easy pivot into six Keepers. Basically at every stage of the game we’re seeing Keepers do well whereas previously it was mainly in the early game.
As usual we have Blacksmith in S Tier thanks to the relevancy of Ornn’s Artifacts. Ornn as a unit is alright given he has crowd control as a frontline unit but really when anyone is talking about Ornn it’s entirely about his artifacts. As far as which artifacts are better than others, well, Eternal Winter is a clear fan favorite and easily one of the best. At the end of the day it doesn't really matter what the strength is of each artifact as you don't really have any control over which ones you get. The only time you do is with an item reforge consumable, so if you get an Ornn artifact that doesn't work with your composition you can try to reroll it. Otherwise use what the game gives you and oftentimes that's going to be good enough.
And at the bottom of S Tier but still at the top of the meta in terms of frontline we have Vanguards! Vanguards, despite receiving nerfs, are still the best frontline champions you can have. They are hard to kill while providing a ton of crowd control between Sejuani, Aatrox and Ornn. And of course there is the Fabled/Vanguard/Mystic composition that relies heavily on Vanguard, specifically Nautilus. All in all if you ever need a strong frontline the easy option is going to be Vanguard.
That’s it for S Tier so let’s move on to the synergies in A Tier! This tier consists of Dragonsoul, Executioner, Mage, Sharpshooter, Syphoner, Cultist, Assassin, Brawler and Mystic! These synergies are commonly used in top four compositions and are all around consistently useful.
At the top of A Tier is Dragonsoul! Dragonsoul fell off a bit in priority, mainly because Slayer has taken over the meta. Because of that you’re going to see less six Dragonsoul as the trait tends to get split between Olaf, Swain and Aurelion Sol in various different compositions. Still, it has a lot of relevance in the meta so it’s a top tier trait nonetheless.
It's worth noting that the breath attack of Dragonsoul is ridiculously good, especially the later the game goes as there's more likely to be high health targets. Early game though it's surprisingly good because of how prevalent early game Brawlers are, so having a Tristana with Dragonsoul, for example, is quite good.
Executioner has politely moved aside for the rise of Slayers as Kayle struggles to compete against the potential each Slayer carry has. Kayle is still an amazing carry, it’s just that you need a relatively high-roll board to compete with a lot of the Slayer compositions. Kayle aside, Xayah has risen in value given the popularity of the Keeper build so between both champions, Executioner remains a top tier trait.
Mage is surprisingly versatile in the current meta. Sure it relies heavily on Aurelion Sol as the main carry but there’s plenty of options in regards to other champions you can rely on that are Mages as well as what builds you can use the trait in. Most commonly there’s either seven Mages or Elderwood/Mage but there’s plenty of variations to both. But at the end of the day this trait is definitely carried by Aurelion Sol.
Sharpshooter is doing well in the meta thanks entirely to Sivir, and partially Samira. Samira doesn’t really need the trait to do well but it is a helpful trait to have for her. Sivir, on the other hand, is a viable late game carry if you three star her so having Sharpshooter is necessary. There’s also the potential to run Tristana 3 as a carry but it’s a relatively niche composition.
Syphoner is fantastic as a splash trait especially because both Morgana and Swain are strong frontline champions that can be tossed into most compositions. All in all it’s not a game changing trait but it pairs well with a lot of the current meta carries, plus Swain is one of the best five cost champions.
As far as the late game goes, Cultist is not particularly relevant. There is a variation of the Sivir composition that uses it but overall when you’re thinking about Cultist it’s for the early game and mid game once you hit six of the synergy. Six Cultist is easily one of strongest stage three boards that scales well into stage four. Players can use it to skip from level seven to eight for a quicker late game transition into a four cost carry. As mentioned you can stick with Sivir as Sivir 3 is great late game but you may want to consider moving away from Cultist later on in the game.
Assassin’s aren’t doing that well in the meta, but they are doing well enough to warrant a place in A tier. For the most part the trait is doing well because of Talon. During the early game it can struggle but if you ever find an early Akali then this trait gains a lot of versatility during the early game and well into the mid game.
Brawler barely holds onto relevance thanks mostly to the return of eight Brawler in the meta. This composition fell off after receiving several nerfs but after players used it effectively in recent tournaments we’ve seen this build be used more and more. It relies heavily on a strong mid game with Shyvana 2 and to do well in the late game it does require a bit of high-rolling to hit Shyvana 3 and Sett 2.
And the last trait in A Tier is Mystic! Mystic is a top tier splash trait, though how relevant it is depends a lot on the lobby. But even against Slayer it has been used since Slayer often uses champions like Swain or Morgana, along with traits like Dragonsoul.
Let’s move onto the B Tier synergies! This tier consists of Fabled, Spirit, Duelist, Adept, Exile, Emperor, Warlord, Elderwood, Divine and The Boss! Overall these synergies are capable of doing well in the current meta but for the most part are just average at best.
Alright at the top of B Tier we have Fabled! Fabled is amazing when paired with Vanguard and Mystic and almost completely useless otherwise. There’s practically no other composition in the meta that utilizes Fabled besides Vanguard/Mystic. But given that the build is capable of doing well and counters certain meta compositions we can’t place Fabled too low in the tier list.
Spirit is still primarily used as a splash trait, though we are seeing four Spirit used alongside Sivir carry. This hasn’t fully developed yet in the meta so for the most part if you’re going to use Spirit, use it as a two piece splash trait.
Next is the staple of B Tier, Duelist! Duelist is not a terrible trait, especially with champions like Tryndamere doing well. The issue is that to play a Duelist composition you need to either high-roll or find a Spatula to use on Kayle. But they did buff Yasuo this patch so Duelist is once again a viable early game option to win streak with. If you do want to pursue a late game Duelist composition you need to spike in the mid game with six Duelist and Yasuo 3. From there you have to hit a quick level eight to try and find Lee Sin, maybe Kalista 3 and hope you're not out-scaled by Slayer compositions.
There’s an issue with Adept in the meta as a lot of the current carries really don’t care about the attack speed slow. Xayah is in the frontline so she’ll cast relatively quickly, Kayle often has Quicksilver and Olaf becomes unstoppable during his ultimate. So in terms of slowing down carries, Adept doesn’t do that good of a job. That said it’s still a useful splash trait, especially since you get a good frontliner with Shen and Yone has been continually buffed each patch.
Speaking of Yone, let’s talk about Exile! First, Yasuo was buffed so this trait is all around more useful during the early game. Second, as mentioned, Yone was buffed, again. The problem for Yone is that he does fall to the wayside a lot of the time in the late game compared to other five costs like Samira, Swain, Lee Sin and Zilean.
Emperor, or Azir, is an all around average champion. He has good crowd control and his sand guards are useful. The main reason we’re keeping Azir up in B Tier is because of how well Keepers are doing, otherwise the Emperor may have found himself in C tier.
Next we have the hardest to place trait, Warlord! Warlord can be incredibly strong with Katarina 3 but it can also fall flat and barely scrape into the top four. The ups and downs of this synergy makes it difficult to pin down in the meta. So we’re placing it slightly below average but keep in mind that it can be an above average trait depending on the situation.
Elderwood is on the struggle bus for sure since Mage doesn't rely entirely upon it anymore to do well. But with Xayah as a relevant carry and Elderwood/Mage still being played, this trait still has a place in the meta. We do recommend maybe aiming for more Brawlers than Elderwood, or seven Mages instead of Elderwood if you're looking for a mid game pivot.
Unfortunately there’s not much use for Divine in the meta outside of Kayle/Executioner compositions. But in regards to that build, it’s an essential piece to helping Kayle do well as a carry. Outside of that the only time Divine has much presence in the game is because of Lee Sin.
And the last trait in B Tier is once again The Boss! Essentially what the issue with Sett is, is consistency. There are times where he fits extremely well in a composition and can pop off and carry and there’s plenty of other times where it does barely anything at all. By no means is he a terrible unit but the fact he has moments where he’s entirely useless, as a five cost champion, is why we’re placing him so low on the tier list.
And now we can move onto the last tier, C Tier! This tier consists of Ninja, Enlightened and Fortune! These synergies are useful in the right situation but have less of an impact on the meta than the tiers above them.
Up first for C Tier we have Ninja! All in all when you look at the Ninja champions, all of them are useful in the meta. Kennen is key to the success of Keepers, Akali can wreck the mid game as a carry and Shen always has use as a frontliner along with providing both Adept and Mystic. Zed is the only Ninja with a diminished presence in the meta but even then he’s still capable of being a carry if you three star him, plus he has inherent value with the Slayer trait.
The issue with Ninja is combining all four of them together is rarely worth pursuing. That’s not to say playing a four Ninja composition is bad or unplayable, just that it’s not consistent enough to do well the majority of the time.
Next we have Enlightened! Enlightened continues to be in a weird place, especially considering Talon is a playable carry in the current meta. Morgana is also quite valued and Janna is decent in the early game. The continued issue is that neither Talon nor Morgana really care about this trait. Morgana will cast plenty fast since she’s often in the frontline and Talon cares more about his items and having the Assassin trait.
There’s also a huge gap between the early game for Enlightened and late game as Janna is really the only relevant early game Enlightened. This means there’s no value to the trait during those parts of the game and only comes into play if someone is running Talon as a carry which is already relatively niche.
And the last trait to talk about today is Fortune! Look, Fortune is really good when the player is comfortable with losing and knows how to steer themselves out of a loss streak. If you look at the top level players in tournaments, quite a few of them use Fortune extremely well. But for the majority of players, Fortune is just a bait. Sure every once in a while someone will hit the big pay out and potentially win off of it but for every payout there’s likely dozens of players that lost because they didn’t get the payout.
So yeah, we recognize the potential in Fortune but it’s not a recommended trait for most players.
Alright that's the end of the trait tier list! Honestly even though Slayer is such a dominant part of the meta, there's still plenty of options if you want to play other synergies. I do look forward to seeing the 11.6 patch balance out the upper end of traits just a tiny bit though as we're pretty close to a really diverse meta where many different compositions and traits are able to go head to head with one another.
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