Hihi! Welcome back to another TFT meta article and my first for the new year! It's also the last how to play for set four before the new 4.5 set is released in the next patch. Since the meta will be shifting drastically given the amount of changes incoming I thought it would be a nice send off for Dusk and Jhin to highlight them as the last build for the original set four.
Overall it's one of the stronger builds in the current meta so if you're still looking to climb on ranked it's definitely a worthwhile composition to consider. With all that said let's go ahead and get into it starting with the strengths & weaknesses of the build!
1. Strengths & Weaknesses
Right off the bat let’s clear the air and say that no, you do not have to play Jhin with Dusk. It’s simply one of the better compositions that Jhin can be used in. Because he’s such a flexible carry that brings us to the first and most prominent weakness of Dusk/Jhin which is being contested.
Dusk champions on their own, specifically Riven and Cassiopeia, are already fairly contested because the trait is one of the strongest in the game. Added on top of that there’s Jhin who’s a commonly used four cost carry. And piled on top of all that is the fact that hitting a four cost isn’t always reliable until level eight so there are games where some players will hit everything you need earlier than you.
The best way to play around this weakness is scouting. Scout to see what players have rolled during stage three after level six, stage four after level seven and when they’ve leveled to eight. Those timings will give you the best idea of who’s playing what and whether or not you’ll be able to pursue Dusk/Jhin. The beautiful thing about TFT is that you’re never hard forced to play one way and can always pivot, so don’t fret too much if it looks like the build you want is being contested.
Another weakness is somewhat tied to being contested but more of the fact this build is expensive. Two of the core Dusk champions are four cost units and Jhin himself is a four cost. Just to two star those three champions is a lot of gold. Ideally you’ll be able to find pieces of the compositions between level six and eight but oftentimes you’re going to have to spend a good deal of gold rolling on top of upgrading those champions.
On the flip side to this weakness, the fact a good portion of this composition is reliant on late game champions means it will scale really well. Once you hit level seven and begin finding parts of this build, especially Jhin, your board will quickly stabilize. From there you can continue to upgrade it and generally hit late game quite easily.
And the last strength to talk about is the flexibility of this composition, which mainly has to do with Jhin as a carry. Since Dusk can be used as a splash trait you can fit Jhin and two other Dusk units into practically any composition, or even skip Dusk altogether. Basically you’re always in a position to change your board based on what you roll since the only really important champion is Jhin.
2. Core Items
As usual the best way to break this down is to identify your item holders beginning with your primary carry. In this composition's case the obvious carry is going to be Jhin. Therefore you do want to aim at finding items for him but keep in mind that you can play universally good items and still do well. Items like a Hand of Justice, for example, does well in the early game and can be used on both Jhin and Riven.
This also means utility items are great as well like Chalice, Zeke’s and Locket. Generally speaking, use Zeke’s in your backline for Jhin, Chalice to buff your Riven and Locket can either be used front or back depending on your composition. Later on in the game you can also look for items like Zephyr or Shroud as they can force other players to position in awkward ways that will benefit your board.
Anyway let’s focus back in on Jhin. Ideally Jhin wants Sword items like Deathblade, Giantslayer and Infinity Edge. Giantslayer is one of the stronger options in the mid to late game since there’s a good amount of high health targets by that point. Rageblade is also somewhat usable on Jhin but since it’s an awkward item to fit into other compositions try not to build it too early.
Defensively the best item is going to be Quicksilver, though Bloodthirster can be okay since it has life steal and damage. Guardian’s Angel is always useful but generally if you make one it will be prioritized to other champions like Riven or even Zilean. Lastly one of the best items you can give Jhin is a Dusk Spatula as turning him into a Dusk unit boosts his passive damage by a large amount.
The next item holder to consider is usually your secondary carry. For Dusk/Jhin that’s going to be Riven who also doubles as part of your board's frontline. Because of that you should aim to give her mainly defensive items like Sunfire Cape, Bramble Vest or Guardian’s Angel. Since she’s the secondary item holder you shouldn’t prioritize finding items for her except in the case of something like Sunfire since that item does really well early game and can be used on multiple champions.
And it is possible to make Riven more of the carry, to do so you’ll still give her a defensive item but the rest of her slots should go towards AP items to boost her damage. This isn’t the best option if you have Jhin but it’s a good alternative if you are unable to find Jhin or good items for him.
3. Core Champions & Traits
Well it should be somewhat obvious considering the composition’s name but the build is going to focus on using Jhin as your carry with Dusk as the main synergy. The core champions for this build are Jhin, Riven, Cassiopeia, Vayne and Thresh. This will give you two Sharpshooter and four Dusk. You can also drop two Dusk but make sure you’re keeping Vayne to use as a Sharpshooter.
Outside of those core champions you can go several different variations. One is to go all-in on Dusk by also adding in Lillia, though you will want a Dusk Spatula for Jhin if you go this route. Another variation focuses more on the Sharpshooter trait with either four or six Sharpshooters. Generally four is better because it lets you flex in other champions and traits.
Another option is to play for the late game with level nine and legendaries. If you play for that look to grab Zilean, Lillia, Azir and Yone as the priority five cost champions, and then fill the rest of your board with whatever you hit.
Now that we’ve touched on some variations let’s focus in on what the build will look like at level eight in a standard game. As mentioned you will want Jhin, Thresh, Vayne, Riven and Cassiopeia. Along with those champions you can add in Aatrox, Zilean and Azir. Azir can be replaced by another Keeper like Jarvan until you find him and Zilean can be replaced by Shen. If you do play Shen and two star him, adding in Yone later is great for Adept.
One last topic to cover before we move onto the stages of the game is what Chosen you should look for. The best in slot Chosen is going to be Sharpshooter or Cultist Jhin because that instantly gets you Jhin 2 with increased stats. Of the two, Sharpshooter is better since you can then flex in a fourth Sharpshooter or replace Vayne with a better champion.
If you’re unable to find a Chosen Jhin then Riven is a great secondary choice with either of her traits doing well. Other options include Mystic or Adept Shen or a Chosen Aatrox. And of course if you get to level nine without a good Chosen you can always roll for any five cost Chosen.
Keep in mind throughout the mid and late game that being greedy for your Chosen is not a good idea. If you’re given the option of a strong Chosen, especially a four cost, take it and build around that.
4. Early Game
Besides reroll compositions the early game is basically the same for any composition. Try to maintain high health, level at standard intervals and play your strongest board. There are currently three timings you can level to four, either on 1-4 prior to stage two starting, 2-1 or 2-2. Leveling on 1-4 is called pre-leveling since you will level naturally at the start of the next round.
The benefit of doing this, or leveling on 2-1, is to give yourself a chance at hitting an early two cost Chosen. Practically any two cost Chosen is going to be worth playing during stage two and usually results in a win streak. Most games this is going to worth doing even though it will slow down your economy as you'll get an insane power spike from hitting an early two cost Chosen or even a three cost unit like Kindred
Besides trying to high roll a two cost Chosen you can look to pick up either a Cultist or a Keeper Chosen. Playing those two traits, especially together, can make for an easy mid game transition since the plan will be to play Jhin and Riven.
Another Chosen to consider is Vayne, either as a Dusk or Sharpshooter. Vayne 2 can definitely carry stage two if you’re able to play an early game board around her just make sure you keep an extra Vayne on your bench to sell later. Thresh is also another great early game champion to look for as he can provide early Dusk and a lot of survivability with his shields.
As for the timing to level five, either pre-level on 2-3 during the carousel round or level afterwards on 2-5. The general rule is if you can’t make ten gold interest at the end of 2-3 it’s better to just pre-level, otherwise leveling afterwards is better. The goal with pre-leveling here is a chance at finding a strong three cost champion and potentially hitting an early four cost.
5. Mid Game
The mid game will begin around 3-2 when most of the lobby will be leveling to six. It is okay to level slightly later if you’re near fifty gold but generally you want to level no later than 3-5. Stage three can mostly be skipped except for the players that had a weak stage two.
If you’ve lost a lot of health going into stage three and your board is still not strong enough it’s a good idea to roll a few times on 3-2 or 3-3. Basically look to upgrade your existing champions, pick up any four costs you may hit or look to play a strong three cost carry like Kindred. But try not to roll too much as you don’t want to grief your economy. The lowest you should roll is down to ten gold but preferably stay above twenty.
Moving on from stage three we enter stage four by leveling to seven on 4-1. While it is possible to delay leveling here it's usually not a great idea because you're putting yourself behind the lobby's leveling curve. Keeping even or ahead with the rest of the lobby ensures your board will be strong enough to either win rounds or not take bad losses and saving health during stage four is important.
After leveling you can roll if you need to. Some players will have strong boards going into stage four and won't need to roll but for most players it's a good idea to roll some gold, at least to hit upgrades for your current board. For Dusk/Jhin this is the point of the game where you'll begin transitioning your board over to a composition that centers around Jhin as the carry with Dusk champions supporting him.
A one star Jhin is plenty strong to use during this stage so don't worry about rolling to two star him. If you already have a better carry, like Kindred 2, then keep Jhin on your bench for the time being unless it makes sense for your board to add him in. Basically try to have a good front line and a good carry during stage four as that will save you a lot of health.
Past the early rounds of stage four you're going to want to aim for level eight sometime between 4-5 and 5-1. The soft rule to follow here is level when you'll have at least thirty gold left over, that way you can afford important upgrades to your board if you need to stabilize immediately.
After you've leveled to eight the plan is simple; roll for upgrades and transition your board into the late game. While a Chosen Jhin is great for this composition, as stated earlier it's not a necessity. It's more important to play what you hit rather than being ultra greedy.
And with that let's move into talking about the late game!
6. Late Game
Alright now we're moving towards the late game as we get near the end of stage five into stage six. At this point of the game there's a few important things to do. The first is scouting. I'd recommend scouting all of the time throughout the game but it's crucial to get into a habit of doing it late game.
Knowing the strength of other players boards is going to help a lot with both positioning and what late game champions you'll be able to hit. For example if quite a few players have Yone then hitting Yone 2 is going to be difficult, especially when rolling at eight. Scouting also, as mentioned, is important for positioning.
Positioning is the other key mechanic to learn late game and it's mainly about dodging threats your carry. Since Jhin is your primary carry you want to keep him away from threats like Kayn, Zed or any other champion with backline access. Also keep your front line in a positioning that prevents Yone from casting towards your Jhin or from a Sett hitting. Basically an easy way to do this is to move your board around a lot in-between scouting so other players have a hard time positioning for you.
And the last important thing about the late game is knowing when you should stay on eight to roll for a stronger board or leveling to nine. Generally you want to roll if you've been losing multiple rounds going into stage six (or prior to this if you're low on health) because level nine is... expensive. And leveling with enough gold to roll for a substantial upgrade is unlikely so the best thing to do in these scenarios is to roll on eight.
When rolling on eight you mainly want to upgrade your current board so everything is two starred. While rolling pick up strong late game champions like Yone, Zilean or Azir. It's also possible to try and hit a three star four cost but it's not likely to happen most games so don't make it your focus.
And for anyone able to level to nine the same soft rule applies; try to have around twenty to thirty gold left after leveling. This way you can actually hit upgrades for your board. Since legendaries are so good it is an acceptable strategy to transition most of your board into five cost champions. Jhin is still worth keeping since he works well as a ranged damage dealer even with a board of mainly five cost units.
That's really it when it comes to the late game for this build, and really any build. Focus on scouting, repositioning and using your gold if you are losing rounds and close to dying. My number one rule is to never lose a game with more than twenty gold because in those cases I could have potentially saved myself an extra placement by spending it.
That's it for how to play Dusk/Jhin! I know most players are focused on the new and shiny set 4.5 so this was more of a send off article for Dusk and Jhin. Personally Dusk has been my favorite synergy in set four so I'm definitely going to miss them. I'll be back later this week with a few more articles on the meta!
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