Giant Slayer

TFT

In Defense of One Tricks

A few weeks ago, I was watching AsianGamer5, a popular Zed one-trick, when a viewer in chat asked the following question.

 

"Why do you choose to one trick a comp instead of learning the game?"

 

This question surprised me, as it represents a sentiment that is very far from what I believe. In my opinion, one-tricking a composition not only allows you to learn the game, but it removes a level of variation in your games. This lack of variation enables you to focus more heavily on the parts of the game you see every time you load into a game. TFT is a game of fundamental concepts, and it's often times very difficult for new players to break down all of the RNG to see how these fundamentals work. By repeating the same endgame over and over, you can focus less energy on what the comp needs to look like and instead focus on fundamentals such as economy, pivoting, and reading board strength.

Allow me to back up to Set 2, back when Olaf existed in the Berserker comp. At the time, I was a Silver player casually playing with friends with no ambition to climb. For whatever reason, I decided to see how far I could climb if I tried to learn the game. With only a month before the set was over, I knew I had to buckle down and find a quick way to climb. After experimenting with a few reroll comps, I eventually found a LoLChess profile with the name "Me No Zerks", a berserker one trick in high challenger who is more popularly known as Gunmay. I studied his LoLChess, and eventually found his stream. I wrote down when he rolled, when he leveled, what comps he played in the early, mid, and late game. And even though his endgame often looked the same, I noticed that his items, his leveling timings, and his early and mid-game compositions often looked very different game to game. By studying the variations in the comp, it allowed me to think critically think about how these comps were built. After a week or so of spamming Berserkers, I started to think about the following concepts.

 

Early Game - How strong does this board need to be early in order to reach the end game? Do I need to slam items, do I need to roll aggressively? How many comps allow for an easy transition into my endgame?

 

Pivoting Your Board - I'm not always going to hit the units I want to play, so what are a few early and mid game compositions that I can also play to keep my health up? Building a flexible early game board provides the flexibility to save gold and spend it looking for the units I want to play later in the game.

 

Reading Board Strength - What are the major powerspikes of my comp? What are the powerspikes of all of the variations of this comp? Asking these questions helped me understand the idea of a win condition, and also helped me start to look at other people's boards and understand how strong they were. If you know the general strength of the lobby, it's easier to know when to roll, when you level, when to sit and when to all-in.

 

Late Game - What is the minimum viability for this comp to win? To Top 4? If I don't hit that minimum, what other options do I have to try and salvage the game? This goes hand in hand with reading board strength, as I learned to pivot my level/roll timings based on the strength of my board versus the lobby.

 

While actively thinking about these concepts, I hit Masters in ~100 games. I ended up playing in GSTV's Fight Night and actually just barely outplaced Gunmay in the tournament to place 3rd (He was kind enough to let me play Berserkers). I'm not talented at TFT, I'm not amazing at games. But I found a way to play the game that broke down fundamental concepts of the game in a way that I could learn them. I think that there are many ways to learn concepts about the game, and one-tricking could very easily be the most effective way for you to learn. So if you're on the fence about it, I'd encourage you to give it a shot. You may just end up learning more than you expected.

 

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Thanks so much for reading! My name is Gangly, and I'm a Masters TFT player on the NA server. I create educational TFT content on Youtube, and occasionally stream when I compete in tournaments. You can find me online with the following links:

Youtube

Twitter

Twitch

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