Hello! Welcome to another article for patch 10.25 that delves into another aspect of the meta. Today is, as the title suggests, a trait tier list. Basically I'll be breaking down every synergy into different tiers from S to C and talking about what makes them good (or not so good) in the current meta.
Keep in mind that even though it is a tier list the fact is practically every synergy can be useful depending on the right situation and composition. So don't let the placements deter you from playing a trait simply because it's lower than a different trait. With that said let's get to it starting with S Tier!
This tier consists of Dusk, Adept, Mystic, Tormented and Exile! These are the most commonly played synergies in the current meta and likely to place the most consistently compared to the other tiers.
Up first we have Dusk! Dusk has overtaken the meta as one of the most played, if not the most played, synergies currently. The main reason for this is the flexibility the trait itself provides since bonus spell power is always useful, especially if you have a Spatula to turn a champion into a Dusk unit.
Beyond that the champions themselves all do quite a bit with Riven being a solid carry, Thresh providing a lot of shielding and great crowd control from both Cassiopeia and Lillia. Lastly, what makes Dusk work so well, which does have to do with the flexibility of the trait, is that it pairs nicely with five cost champions.
As usual we have the two best splash traits still sitting in the S Tier. Adept provides a useful attack speed slow that affects the entire enemy board which is always going to be useful. Not only because the enemy carry can be slowed down but also the fact that attack speed is one way to gain mana. By causing units to attack slower they gain mana much slower than usual and thus cast a lot later in the fight. In addition to this the champions for Adept are great, especially Shen as he's one of the most contested champions.
Mystic will always be useful, at least for the first half of set four, because there's just so much magic damage in the game. There's not much else that needs to said about Mystic, it's just a solid splash trait with great champions.
Next we have two traits to highlight two of the strongest five cost champions, the first being Kayn with Tormented. Kayn just does so much damage late game, either to one target or in an AoE, that he constantly has a place in players compositions.
Even if you don’t use Shade, which is common, you’ll still find value running Kayn as a damage dealer. His value goes up even higher once you’re able to upgrade him to either blue or red Kayn, both of which can do well depending on the state of the game.
The other commonly played five cost with a lot of impact is Yone with Exile. Exile is nowhere near as big of a power boost as Tormented but we can’t ignore that Yone, as a champion, is one of the best late game champions. Exile just helps keep him alive long enough at the beginning of the fight for his ability to go off and from there he will devastate the enemy team. Exile also does well early game because of Yasuo as he can carry during stage two.
Let’s move on to the A Tier synergies which consists of Keeper, Hunter, The Boss, Divine, Elderwood, Warlord, Cultist and Ninja! These traits are above average when it comes to the meta and while they won’t have as much impact as S Tier traits they are still vital to placing well consistently.
At the top of A Tier we have Keeper! Keeper is placed so highly mainly due to Riven and Azir being a common pair in the late game. We’ve already talked about how Dusk is a great facilitator for five cost champions late game so it makes sense you’ll see Riven and Azir played together frequently.
Of course the shield itself late game is not as important as it is early and mid game, which is where it has the highest impact on the game. Finding a Chosen Keeper is a great way to solidify your early board to transition into a stronger late game, which is what the current meta is all about.
Next we have Hunter! Hunter is where you will find several core carries of the meta, as well as one of the best early and mid game champions, Kindred. Ashe, Warwick and Aphelios are all viable carry options, depending on the situation. While Ashe and Aphelios are great carries the backbone for Hunter is really Warwick. This is due to the attack speed buff he provides to any champion sharing a trait with him, which in turn makes his fellow Hunters do a lot more DPS.
The Boss is back baby! Sett has returned to the, well, not spotlight, but at least he’s playable now. While he wasn’t bad before they bug fixed him in 10.25, his value was certainly less than all of the other five cost champions. But they fixed Sett so he now does consistent damage and that damage is good. Another bonus for Sett is that he pairs well with Warwick, meaning he has value in a lot of different compositions.
All of this talk about Warwick brings us to our next synergy, Divine! Divine is definitely not doing as well as it was prior to 10.25 but it’s still a solid choice mainly because of Warwick. Because of Warwick, each Divine champion is going to do a lot more damage due to his attack speed increase. And a lot of the time that’s going to be true damage which is always valuable since it can’t be mitigated.
It’s also really easy to slot in Divine champions for a lot of builds, whether it’s Irelia for Adept or Lux to provide Dazzler when playing Ezreal. But when all is said and done, Warwick is definitely the most valuable Divine champion.
Elderwood has been the surprise of the meta, which really isn’t too much of a surprise considering the trait was buffed and a few of the champions were as well. But the main reason as to why it’s doing well is the increased defensive stats, even though it wasn’t much you have to always keep in mind that the stats increase overtime. So even a buff of five armor and magic resistance gets a lot of value the longer a fight goes.
For the most part expect to see Elderwood used as a three piece trait when playing Ashe, although you can definitely commit to six or even nine if you have good Veigar items.
Warlord has climbed its way up to the A tier mainly because of how solid it is during the mid game if you have six Warlords. Of course this does require some luck since you need Katarina 2 and most of your board upgraded. But in the games that you manage to do this you’ll find your late game transition to be much smoother than usual as six Warlords can carry during stage three and four quite easily.
There are ways to make Warlords work later on as well. Generally you will need a bit of luck since you have to hit at least Katarina 3 or nine Warlord, neither of which is that easy to do. If you can then this trait can do well, and even win games, but for the most part we recommend using Warlord primarily in the early and mid game.
Cultist is a lot like Warlord except it really doesn’t do that well in the late game at all. As far as the early game and mid game go though it’s definitely up there as one of the best synergies to play for. As long as you have upgraded Cultist champions, preferably with a Chosen, the Galio summon will do a lot of work and should carry you through to level eight without much trouble.
And the last synergy of A Tier is Ninja! Honestly we aren’t completely sure if Ninja deserves to be here since the Zed carry composition isn’t doing that well anymore. That said, Shen is one of the most valued champions currently and Zed is still a viable mid game carry so we’re okay with keeping Ninja this high up, even if it’s at the end of A tier.
Alright let’s move into B Tier synergies! This tier consists of Brawler, Sharpshooter, Duelist, Moonlight, Shade, Assassin, Fortune and Mage! Basically these are average or slightly below average synergies that have a place in the meta but have less value than the synergies in A Tier.
At the top of B Tier we have Brawler! Brawler is a solid early game synergy as high health is hard for most early game boards to deal with. After the early game is where Brawler begins to fall off dramatically and only has a place in compositions that happen to have Brawler champions.
Late game, for example, you may have Sett and Warwick, which increased health is certainly useful for them but not that important. Brawlers are also finding value in Elderwood compositions thanks to Nunu and Maokai.
Sharpshooter is in an interesting position. Teemo's early game is amazing and Jhin is a solid mid to late game carry. But six Sharpshooters, or even four, is not nearly as viable as it once was. Primarily this is due to Jinx not being a reliable carry and the fact is committing five champions for the six Sharpshooter buff is a bit much.
You’ll get a lot more value running Jhin as either a Chosen Sharpshooter on his own or paired with one other Sharpshooter like Vayne. That said you can still do well with Sharpshooter if you commit to it but we recommend playing only two or four in current meta.
Next are our two reroll focused synergies starting with Duelist! Duelist is still an amazing early game trait with a Chosen Yasuo, or even Fiora, and scales well into the mid game if you commit three starring Yasuo. Beyond that the synergy does fall off quite a bit so we only recommend committing to it if you can easily hit Yasuo 3.
Moonlight is the other reroll synergy which struggles slightly more than Duelist. It struggles because there's a lot of conditions that need to be met in order for Aphelios to carry in the late game. Diana 4 is also struggling in the meta since Assassin's aren't doing that well for the most part.
That all said, Moonlight has a lot of potential. Aphelios paired with Warwick is a devastating combo and you can have an early Aphelios 3 thanks to Moonlight. But again, the problem with Moonlight is consistency.
Shade is struggling right now to find its place in the meta but since Zed is still a viable mid game carry we’re alright with placing this trait in the middle of B Tier. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of value for Shade besides Zed since neither Evelynn nor Kayn really have much use of it.
Assassin is also struggling since there’s no strong carry for it anymore besides Katarina in Warlords. Diana can still do well but isn’t consistent enough and while Pyke is an amazing champion he matters more for his ability and being a Cultist than being an Assassin. Overall expect to see this trait only when someone is utilizing Katarina or committing to Diana 4.
Fortune can be amazing and it can be a huge bait which makes it infinitely difficult to place in a tier list. There are times that Fortune is easily the best synergy in the game and other times it does almost nothing. It really comes down to player choice and knowledge.
Of course if you do find Fortune early enough in the game you'll probably be in a good position later on, either thanks to the extra gold it provides from winning or getting a big cash out. We just want to caution any would-be Fortune players that it's an easy synergy to trap yourself with so be careful!
The last trait for B Tier is Mage! Mage is doing slightly better now that Elderwood is doing well as both Lulu and Veigar do well with the Mage trait. But the trait is still struggling to find a solid place in the meta since six Mage is currently only done as an inconsistent reroll composition and Ahri really doesn’t need Mage to do well.
And now for the last few synergies that are in the C Tier! This tier consists of Dazzler, Enlightened, Vanguard, Spirit and Emperor! These are below average synergies that can do well but depend heavily on the right situation to do so.
Dazzler has really struggled to find an identity since Enlightened compositions have fallen off. It’s still an amazing trait but it can be difficult to find the right time to use it. The saving grace for this trait is Ezreal since he’s a strong late game champion but even then fitting a second Dazzler in your composition can prove difficult.
Lux also helps this trait a lot since Divine is commonly played in the meta. But again the issue is if you don't have Divine or Ezreal, how do you ever justify fitting in Dazzler?
Since we mentioned it the next trait is Enlightened which has such a diminished role in the current meta than it previously did. Without a proper carry the only real use of Enlightened is when you have Janna. Morgana can be useful because of Dazzler but even then both Lux and Ezreal feel way more worthwhile to run. Unfortunately until either Morgana or Talon are back as viable carries it may be worth skipping over Enlightened except when you have either an early Janna or have the trait by happenstance from playing units like Irelia.
Vanguard continues to be the weakest of the defensive synergies because just armor doesn’t cut it in set four. There’s just too much magic damage in the meta and there’s even a lot of true damage. But we do want to make it clear the Vanguard champions are great! Both Sejuani and Aatrox are amazing because of their CC and the early game Vanguards do well during stage two and three. Hecarim also has an increased role in the meta thanks to Elderwoods being back.
But the champions don't need Vanguard to do well, besides very early on in the game. They are just good units, generally with better secondary traits like Thresh with Dusk. The saving grace for Vanguard is that there has been a small resurgence of players going Vanguard/Mystic.
Spirit is still at the bottom of the rankings because quite frankly it doesn’t do enough to matter. Maybe if they made the trait something you can easily splash in it would do better but the mana values of the champions are too low for Spirit to make an impact during a fight. The only exception to that is Ahri but Spirit builds focused around her are not a thing currently so Spirit just has no place right now.
Alright I've been wanting to really share my feelings as to why I always place Emperor in the bottom position on every tier list. Honestly it's not even that I think Emperor is bad because the sand guards are useful since they just add extra health to your board. And Azir, on his own, is an amazing champion. I just have a personal bias against this trait because it feels so, so lacking for a five cost champion.
Considering that Sett gets a ton of additional things for being 'The Boss' and Kayn gets a lot of extra power from Tormented, Emperor just pales in comparison to those. Which is why I always have Emperor at the bottom of the trait tier list. That said it may end up going up next patch simply because I have to acknowledge that Azir is a really good champion.
That's it for the 10.25 trait tier list! Again let me reiterate that this is not meant to say 'only play S or A tier traits!' because that really doesn't work in a game like TFT. Every synergy is useful depending on the composition and game. Well, every synergy except maybe Spirit because let's be honest that synergy does very little currently. Anyway thank you for reading!
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