Hello! It's that time of the patch to take a look at the current ranking of each synergy. There's a bit of a snag for this week as a hotfix patch came out recently which may have some affect on the current meta. Considering the changes it likely won't make too much of a difference but I'll address each change within the respective traits. In any case, as usual, this tier list is not meant to discourage playing lower ranked synergies. This is just taking a look into each trait and seeing why it's doing well or not. With all that said let's get started!
To begin with we have the synergies in the S Tier! This tier consists of Slayer, Daredevil, Mage, Executioner and Blacksmith! These synergies have a lot of influence on the current meta and are used consistently in most games.
At the top of our tier list we have Slayer! This really should not be much of a surprise as the meta hasn’t changed a whole lot in recent patches. Slayer has been dominating for quite awhile thanks to the flexibility of the champions. Olaf, Tryndamere and Samira are all top tier carries which makes pivoting into Slayers much easier than most other synergies. And you really only need three of the trait to get a lot of benefits so you can easily fill the rest of your composition with splash synergies like Syphoner.
Sitting alongside Slayer is Daredevil! As mentioned, Samira is a top tier Slayer carry in the meta and possibly the best champion overall. There’s few other champions that can compare to the damage output a two star Samira can do with full items and Slayer. She also does well as a secondary damage dealer to augment your board whether you’re running Slayer or not.
Next we have Mage as the flexibility of this trait is doing quite well in the meta. Of course you do need Aurelion Sol in order to play Mage but the fact you can run so many variations of Mage makes it a top tier synergy. The star of the show is still Aurelion Sol as his damage output with Mage almost rivals the AoE damage of Samira. Overall Mage is one of the most consistent synergies throughout the whole game.
Mage was one of the synergies that received a change in the hotfix, though it was only a nerf to the bonus ability power of 7 Mages. It's a small enough change that it likely won't affect this synergy in the meta. Still it's worth keeping in mind moving forward with the rest of 11.6 that if you do run a seven Mage composition that it may be slightly weaker.
It’s debatable whether Executioner deserves a spot in S tier as it’s not quite up to par with both Slayer and Mage. But if you take a look at the meta and what players commonly play, Kayle with Executioner is near the most played by far. That consistency is why Executioner deserves this placement.
The downside to Executioner is that it does lack flexibility since you need Kayle 2 with good items in order to place well. Compared to say Aurelion Sol who can skate by most of the game as a one star or Slayers that have three different viable carries. Despite that downside, Executioner with Kayle is still a top tier synergy.
Lastly, Kayle was nerfed in the hotfix patch. Tier 3 Kayle losing damage is kind of whatever since hitting a three star four cost is rare but two star Kayle losing a bit of damage is certainly worth mentioning. Again, like Mages, this may not make too much of a difference but you should be aware that Kayle isn't going to be quite as strong as she was at the beginning of 11.6.
And the last trait in S Tier is Blacksmith! Ornn once again finds his way into this tier as his artifacts continue to be highly valuable. It’s really only due to the power of the artifacts that Ornn continues to be highly valued because as a champion he’s rather lackluster since his ability frequently fails. But that’s alright since artifacts add a lot of extra power to a composition since items are such an important part of TFT.
That’s it for S Tier so let’s move on to the synergies in A Tier! This tier consists of Keeper, Dragonsoul, Syphoner, Vanguard, Sharpshooter, Cultist, Adept, Exile, Brawler and Mystic! These synergies are commonly used in top four compositions and are all around consistently useful.
At the top of A Tier we have Keeper! Keeper is a step above every other synergy besides those in the S Tier. The reason is that Slayer, Mage and Executioner all do a fair amount of AoE damage that Keeper can struggle against. This is because Keepers want to clump up to gain extra shields which in turns means AoE is good against them. That weakness aside, Keeper is definitely one of the strongest synergies with presence in the early, mid and late game.
Dragonsoul is in an interesting spot because of Aurelion Sol, Olaf and Swain. Those three champions are at the top of the meta and that naturally increases the ranking of Dragonsoul since it’s common to run at least three DS when using those champions. Those champions aside, the synergy does well on it’s own throughout the game with Tristana carrying the early game, Shyvana the mid game and the three aforementioned champions carrying the late game.
As for the hotfix patch that nerfed Tristana 3 again, well, since Tristana 3 was already not that high of priority after the initial nerfs in 11.6 the secondary nerf to her shouldn't matter too much. More importantly they buffed her damage at tier one, so running early Tristana is even better now, especially with Dragonsoul. That said, two star Tristana was unchanged so ultimately there won't be much of a shift in the meta.
Syphoner is by far the best splash trait in the game as extra healing benefits so many compositions. Plus a lot of late game compositions run Swain as he’s one of the best late game champions. Morgana is also a common fixture in the meta as she pairs well with Swain and has her own composition alongside Talon. Swain having a lot of presence in the late game really carries Syphoner, though it's not uncommon to see him ran without the trait. For example in a Mage composition he's used both for Dragonsoul and as a holder for a Mage spatula purely because of his ability to frontline and not so much because of Syphoner.
Vanguard has taken a bit of a fall in the meta mostly because of how common Last Whisper has become. Since a lot of builds run LW it’s harder for Vanguards to be the sole frontline for a lot of builds, so we’re seeing them a bit less and other frontliners a bit more. That said you’re never going to be in a bad position if you run Sejuani or Aatrox in your frontline.
Next we have Sharpshooter which took a bit of a hit with the Tristana nerfs. Sivir is still doing well as a carry and of course in the late game there is Samira. Despite Tristana 3 being nerfed, she is still quite strong in the early game as a two star champion so while the presence of Sharpshooters is a bit diminished in 11.6, they are still overall doing well. This is made even more apparent with the second round of nerfs to Tristana 3 but as we already talked about it's not like Tristana 3 was all that common anyway.
The king of the mid game goes to Cultist as this synergy is easily one of the strongest during stage three and four. That is assuming you’re able to hit six Cultists. After the mid game this trait does fall off, though it is saved somewhat by Sivir who is still used in the late game as a main carry when three starred.
Adept has shot up in value thanks to the fall of Vanguards. Basically Adept champions are being used more and more as frontliners, and of course Yone in the late game is quite strong. Adept is also easy to splash in so it makes sense it’s taking the place for Vanguard in some compositions.
Following Adept we have Exile which is essentially tied to how valued Yone is. Sure in the early game with Duelist we still see Yasuo do well but Exile, in the current meta, is all about Yone. And Yone is doing well, therefore so is Exile.
Nearing the end of A Tier we have Brawler! Brawlers are still trudging along as an all around useful frontline synergy. But their power in the late game is definitely diminished and relies heavily on hitting Shyvana 3 with Sett 2. But overall Brawlers are still a solid frontline choice, especially in the early game.
And the last trait for A Tier is Mystic! Mystic doesn’t have as much value in the meta as two Mystic doesn’t quite cut it against a lot of the magic damage. Given how popular the trait is we can’t really place it any lower than A tier.
Let’s move onto the B Tier synergies! This tier consists of Assassin, Warlord, Spirit, Duelist, Divine, Elderwood, Emperor 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.
At the top of B Tier we have Assassin! Assassin, in general, is more or less a secondary trait for certain champions like Talon and Katarina. Full on Assassin compositions are quite rare, though doable if you can three star Akali.
Warlord got some nice buffs in 11.6 that have helped it rise up in the meta, though not by much. Essentially the goal when using Warlords is to utilize them in the mid game and pivot out of them later, similar to Cultist. Katarina 3 can still carry in the late game but don’t expect it to be all that consistent.
Spirit is struggling slightly as there’s not as many compositions utilizing anymore, especially with Tristana 3 being nerfed. Still, Sivir does well with four Spirit and in rare cases we see Ninja/Spirit do well. Plus it is a strong splash trait for compositions like Keeper or Executioner.
As usual Duelist is sitting comfortably in B Tier as it can do well but lacks a lot of consistency. The saving grace for Duelist is when you have a Spatula and can use it on Kayle in an Executioner composition. It’s also worth mentioning that while Duelist isn’t too important for Tryndamere, it is useful to run it with him if he’s your main carry especially since it opens the door to running Lee Sin.
There’s still not a lot of use for Divine in the meta outside of Kayle compositions. But since Kayle is doing well that automatically boosts up the value of Divine. The only other aspect about Divine worth mentioning is that Lee Sin is still one of the best late game five cost units.
Elderwood is in a funny place because three Elderwood is quite common between Keeper builds and Mage builds. Even six Elderwood is playable when running a variation of a five Mage composition. The issue is that fights are often a bit too fast for the scaling to really matter for Elderwood, so the trait struggles a lot against late game compositions.
And ending B Tier we have two solo traits, Emperor and The Boss!
Azir is a great champion for Keeper but outside of that he’s not commonly used, especially since late game Warlords don't have much of a presence in the current meta. Maybe we'll see Warlords move up a bit as players get used to the buffs to Vi, Garen and Katarina but in reality if we haven't seen that shift yet then it's unlikely to happen. Overall though, Azir is useful for his CC and sand guards but isn't worth playing over other five cost units.
Sett is similar in that he has a lot of value for Brawler builds but tends to fall flat in other compositions. There's also the issue that Sett continues to lack consistency. Sure, when he gets two starred and can ult onto a juicy target to deal a bunch of damage he's great but it's just as likely he'll do nothing in a fight. That lack of consistency means running him is generally not worth it unless you have a specific composition for him.
Both of these five cost champions are still worth two starring if you can, but they definitely have less of a presence in the meta compared to other late game champions like Samira, Swain and Lee Sin.
And now we can move onto the last tier, C Tier! This tier consists of Fabled, 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.
Kicking off our last tier we have Fabled! Fabled is in an unfortunate spot as it can do well in the meta within a Vanguard/Mystic composition. But to do well you have to hit Sejuani, Aatrox and Neeko 3. And at the end of the day you’re at the whim of how high-roll other players' boards are, so even snagging a win with Fabled can be difficult.
The other issue is that Fabled basically has zero presence outside of that specific composition. Nautilus occasionally pops up during the early game and Cho’Gath at least has value with Brawlers but the trait itself is rarely ever used. Combining the lack of usage and the lack of consistency in the only build utilizing it we have our reason as to why Fabled is in the C tier.
Looping back to the hotfix patch, Neeko did receive a decent buff to her damage at each tier. But as we said, Fabled really only matters in one specific composition so all this buff does is it helps Vanguard/Mystic do a bit better in the meta. The flaws of the composition are still apparent even with Neeko doing more damage and outside of that build the buff won't matter at all.
Ninja, like Fabled, can do well on occasion with either a Zed 3 or Akali 3 carry. Overall though you’re rarely going to see players utilize four Ninja and instead lean on using the individual champions. Which, to be honest, the individual Ninja units are all fantastic. Kennen is used for Keepers, Shen always has a place thanks to Adept, Akali is strong in the mid game and Zed can occasionally be used in Slayer builds. But since we’re considering Ninja about the whole trait and not individual champions it’s clear that the synergy is lacking in the meta.
Enlightened once again wallows away in C Tier because it really doesn’t provide a whole lot. Both Talon and Morgana are fantastic champions in the meta and using them together is quite common so seeing at least two Enlightened is not all that rare. But when you think about it, does Enlightened even matter for either of them?
Morgana gains plenty of mana by being placed in the frontline while Talon cares more about getting kill resets, so neither of them really utilize the increased mana generation. Since the other Enlightened units are barely a factor in the meta we’re left with Enlightened as a trait being borderline useless.
And the last trait to talk about is once again Fortune. As usual let’s preface this by saying yes, Fortune is really good when utilized well. The reason why we’re firm on our stance that Fortune is low tier is how often it baits players into losing a ton of health without much benefit. Sure hitting that eight loss pay-out feels great but for every player that gets an advantage from playing that way there’s four others that weren’t able to make it work and lose as early as stage four because of it.
Again we want to make it clear that when played well, Fortune is one of the best synergies in the game, especially early. If you can get 3 Fortune rolling right away you're setting yourself up for a potentially strong mid game. But that's if you're experienced enough to know when and how to pull yourself out of a loss streak. Otherwise yes, you can just run it when winning for extra gold which is quite good. But forcing Fortune, as a lot of high ranked players have started to do, is not going to work out for the majority of players. Thus we're putting Fortune all the way at the bottom due to the amount of risk it is to run Fortune.
That's all for today! Overall I like where the meta is, there's plenty of viable synergies to choose from and even though Slayer is more common and easier to run it's not completely dominating to the point where nothing else is playable. We'll have to see how the B patch plays out but it does feel like it didn't address any specific thing in the meta. Sure a Neeko buff is nice and 7 Mage was a bit strong, but the changes really didn't do much to alter that.
Thank you for reading and if you're looking for more TFT content you can find it over on the GiantSlayerTFT YouTube here and twitter here! And if you'd like you can follow me on twitter here!
As always I highly recommend checking out https://lolchess.gg/ as it's a great resource for TFT.