Hello! This will be the second article about the new synergies of set five, this time I'll be covering the fourteen new (some not so new) Classes. There's a lot to talk about, though there's quite a few returning traits from previous sets that a lot of players will be familiar with. But there's also plenty of new and uniquely designed traits. Before we begin let me warn you once again that specifics are still being altered on the PBE, we won't have concrete numbers to work with until the set fully launches. So I'll try my best to avoid numbers when possible. With that said let's get to it!
To start things off we have a returning Class from previous sets, Assassin!
Assassin is a two, four and six piece trait with six total champions. Those champions are Kha’zix, Leblanc, Katarina, Nocturne, Diana and Viego. There is a Spatula item for Assassin that requires a regular Glove. For any veteran players the trait remains the same as it was previously but for those of you new to TFT we can quickly break down what Assassin does.
Innately Assassin champions will leap into the backline at the beginning of combat. On top of that they gain increased critical strike chance and critical strike damage, which increases as you add more of the trait. There’s not much else to discuss in regards to Assassin as they’ve been in almost every set so far. The main noteworthy thing about Assassins in set 5 is the return of Nocturne, meaning we may see Blender once again. Viego is also worth highlighting as a five cost Assassin gives the trait some presence in the late game.
Another returning Class from previous sets is Brawler!
Brawler is back once again except this time it’s only a two and four piece trait with five total champions. Those champions are Gragas, Warwick, Sett, Nunu and Volibear. There is no Spatula item for Brawler so in order to hit early four Brawler you need to find all of the low cost champions as the only other Brawler champion is Volibear which is a five cost unit.
Nothing has changed for Brawlers as the units gain increased health when the trait is active. While Brawler will be used as frontline, they will fall of in the mid game since most of them are low cost units. That said, in the late game you will have the option of adding in Volibear who does bring much needed crowd control to any frontline, so there may be some use for Brawlers at that stage of the game.
Much like Assassin there’s not a whole lot to discuss in regards to Brawlers as most players know what they do from previous sets and for new players the bonus health is easy to understand.
Next up is our first solo Class of set five, Caretaker!
Caretaker is a specific trait given to the five cost champion Heimerdinger. Heimerdinger also has the Origins Draconic and Renewer so it’s not the first time we’ve mentioned him thus far. But those are shared traits whereas Caretaker is only on Heimerdinger, which makes him one of the unique champions of set five.
When you place Heimerdinger on the board you gain a baby dragon, which gains 100% of Heimer's attack speed and restores fifty mana upon dying. Basically Caretaker is a summon trait, though it’s not quite the same in value as Eternal, as Wolf has its own separate ability from Kindred. Instead the baby dragon only casts when Heimerdinger does, and Heimerdinger only does ability damage through the dragon, so you need both for the trait to be useful. Overall this trait has an interesting design but having the dragon and Heimerdinger so reliant on one another may lower the usefulness of this trait.
Let’s move on to one of the funnest Classes, Cavalier!
Cavalier is a two, three and four piece trait that consists of four champions. Those are Kled, Sejuani, Hecarim and Rell. You can also give the Cavalier trait to any champion with a Spatula plus a shadow Chain Vest. We’re saying Cavalier is a lot of fun because of the innate bonus that Cavalier champions get which causes them to charge towards their target whenever they move. This charge is fun to watch, especially when there’s a lot of distance between the Cavalier unit and their target.
In addition to the charge, Cavalier champions also take reduced damage. This effect is then increased at the beginning of combat, and whenever they charge, for a few seconds. The amount of damage reduction goes up with each tier of the trait. Since the trait goes up by one each tier it’s easy to fit in multiple Cavalier units on your board.
While there are a lot of frontline options in set five, Cavaliers are so far one of the best. Specifically Rell as she quickly became the top frontline champion on the PBE. Overall Cavalier looks like a well designed frontline Class for set five. The only potential issue is that damage reduction can cause balancing issues, so they’ll have to be extra careful when tweaking those numbers.
Next we have another solo Class with Cruel!
Cruel is the solo trait for Teemo in set five. There’s a couple of unique aspects to this trait but the one that stands out the most is the fact you cannot buy Teemo with gold. Instead you have to pay health, which comes from your little legend and total health pool. Now you may think you can then sell Teemo back to regain health but nope! Once you buy him that health is gone as selling him will give you gold instead.
The other interesting aspect of the Cruel trait is a bit ambiguous in its description. It’s worded that a cruel champion hungers to be alone against exactly one enemy left standing. That’s all the trait says, which again is pretty vague. In reality what happens is when there’s one unit left against Teemo, Teemo essentially auto-wins the fight. So be wary about playing any long drawn out compositions that come down to the wire as anyone running Teemo is going to win the round against you!
The last unique Class of set five is God-King!
God-king is a trait unique to both Garen and Darius, but the way it affects them is slightly different. A God-King champion deals bonus damage against enemies that have at least one of their rival traits. In order to have this trait active you can only have one God-King on your board, so make sure you’re not losing out on additional damage by having both Garen and Darius in play.
Garen’s rival traits are Forgotten, Nightbringer, Coven, Hellion, Dragonslayer, Abomination and Revenant. Darius’s rival traits are Redeemed, Dawnbringer, Verdant, Draconic and Ironclad. The rival trait system adds an interesting strategic layer to the late game because you can try to counter specific players by playing one of the God-Kings that gains the most amount of value against said players board.
At the moment this rival system seems a bit underutilized but we’ll likely see it play a major role in the future as players get better at set five. Considering God-King is one of the selling points of set five we'll likely see them add a bit more flare to either the trait or two champions.
Moving along we have Invoker!
Invoker is a two and four piece Class that consists of four champions. Those champions are Syndra, Ivern, Karma and Teemo. It’s an easy to understand trait as all allies gain extra mana from their attacks when Invoker is active, with the amount gained increasing when you go from two to four.
Invoker is simple but well designed as you can easily splash in Invoker to gain value from the trait. Compared to say, Enlightened from set four which only affected Enlightened units, so it’s good to see them take a similar concept and improve upon it.
The only downside to Invoker is that you won’t be able to activate it early game unless you high-roll an early four cost. This means Syndra basically won’t have one of her traits until you reach the mid game and can play additional Invoker champions.
Next up we have another returning Class from a previous set, Knight!
Knight is back again this time as a two, four and six piece trait with seven total champions. Those champions are Leona, Poppy, Nautilus, Thresh, Taric, Darius and Garen. The trait is the same as it was in the past with all allies blocking a flat amount of damage from all sources. Basically when you have Knight champions in, your whole board takes less damage.
Overall the Knight trait is simple and easy to employ, particularly early game where the reduced damage is going to be the most noticeable. All of the Knight champions serve well in the frontline so expect this trait to be commonly used in a lot of compositions.
Moving on we have Legionnaire!
Legionnaire is a two, four, six and eight piece Class that consists of seven total champions. Those champions are Aatrox, Kalista, Riven, Yasuo, Draven, Mordekaiser and Kayle. On top of those champions you can add additional ones with a Spatula plus a normal Bow. Legionnaire is a trait for carries as Legionnaire champions gain bonus attack speed plus the first time they cast an ability they heal for a percentage of the damage dealt.
Essentially when using this trait you’re using it for the increased attack speed, which increases the higher up you go with the trait. Draven is the most obvious carry but almost all of them are designed in a way that they can be used as a carry. Kalista and Aatrox do well in the early game, Yasuo and Riven can serve as item holders for Draven and of course late game you have Kayle. Only Mordekaiser sits in a weird place for Legionnaire but since his ability does increase his damage dealt on auto-attacks, having increased attack speed is not bad for him.
Once again we have Mystic returning!
Mystic is a two, three and four piece trait with five total champions. Those are Lux, Lulu, Morgana, Ryze and Kindred. Nothing has changed in regards to what Mystic does as all allies gain increased magic resistance. The only notable change is that the trait goes up by one, instead of two like in previous sets. We don’t have much to talk about in regards to Mystic because almost everyone is familiar with it by this point.
Next is the last returning Class from a previous set, Ranger!
Ranger is back this time as a two and four piece trait with five total champions. Those champions are Vayne, Varus, Ashe, Aphelios and Kindred. The basics of Ranger remain the same as Ranger champions gain bonus attack speed after four seconds and then that bonus drops after another four seconds.
The champions of this trait are meant to be carries, though the only one capable of carrying late game at the moment is Aphelios. Kindred is less of a carry and more utility because of their ability, same goes for Ashe. Varus and Vayne both do well early game but won’t scale well later on, thus leaving Aphelios as the main Ranger carry.
Let’s move on to the next Class, Renewer!
Renewer is a two and four piece trait with five total champions. Those champions are Lissandra, Vladimir, Soraka, Ivern and Heimerdinger. You can also give Renewer to another champion with a Spatula and a regular Tear. Renewers will heal for a percent of their maximum health each second, though if they are at max health then they instead gain mana. The amount restored increases when you go from two to four of the trait.
This is another well designed trait because it’s simple to understand but has interesting applications. Adding a Renewer to your board early game can be a great way to win rounds because they’ll survive longer than other champions. Or late game you can use the Renewer function of restoring mana at full health by keeping Heimerdinger safe in the corner, so that he’ll cast his ability earlier. Overall it’s an interesting trait, though it does add even more healing to the set which already has quite a lot.
Next we have Skirmisher!
Skirmisher is a three and six piece trait with a total of eight champions. Those champions are Udyr, Kennen, Trundle, Lee Sin, Nidalee, Pantheon, Jax and Viego. You can also give the Skirmisher trait to another champion with a Spatula plus regular Sword. Skirmisher is another carry-like trait except it needs to scale. This is because in addition to gaining a shield at the start of combat, Skirmisher champions also gain bonus attack damage each second.
What this means is you want your Skirmishers to survive a long time so that they gain more and more attack damage. Most of the Skirmishers can do well as a carry at certain stages of the game, but overall since there’s so many Skirmisher champions you’re going to mainly use a lot of them as trait bots. Nidalee has been used often as a carry but the consistent carry for Skirmishers seems to be Jax, though he is a melee champion so keeping him alive can be difficult.
And the last Class of set five is Spellweaver!
Spellweaver comes in as a two and four piece trait with five total champions. Those champions are Ziggs, Brand, Viktor, Zyra and Vel’koz. You can also give Spellweaver to another champion with a Spatula plus a normal Rod. While there are other traits in set five that increase the ability power of a champion, Spellweaver is meant to be similar in design to traits like Sorcerer and Mage.
When active, Spellweaver champions have bonus ability power which is then increased anytime another champion uses an ability, which stacks up to ten times. So basically you’re just gaining a lot of bonus ability power when running Spellweaver. It’s simple, but doesn’t really lend itself to being all that useful since all you’re gaining is bonus ability power for those Spellweaver champions.
In set four, Mage provided double cast, in previous sets the bonus ability power of similar traits would boost all allies. But here, Spellweaver only affects Spellweaver champions, so it’s a bit niche in how useful it really is. That and there’s only one late game carry, Vel’koz. Overall the design of Spellweaver is nice and simple, but maybe a bit too simple.
That’s all for today folks! All in all there's a lot of diverse traits in set five between the Origins and Classes. There does seem to be a lot of emphasis on healing and shielding, which may become an issue at some point in causing games to go too long. But we're only in the PBE stage so it's a bit too early to tell. Definitely looking forward to the full release of set five next week on the 28th as the PBE, while fun, has a lot of ups and down in terms of balance, which is understandable.
Thank you for reading and if you're looking for additional TFT content, especially on set 5, you can find it over on the GiantSlayerTFT YouTube here and twitter here. And if you'd like to you can follow me on twitter here!
As always I'm going to shoutout https://lolchess.gg/ as a great resource for TFT, especially when learning a new set.