When Should You Commit To A Meta Team Comp In TFT?
When it comes to learning how to play TFT at a high level, one of the biggest questions that most people have to find answers to is when is the right time to commit to a meta team comp in TFT?
How many components or items do you need to pick up before you pivot? Is it too late to backpedal?
Each of these questions is pretty darn relevant - but there's really no answer that's set-in-stone to be correct in each and every scenario.
However, as with all things in TFT - there are a few methods that you can use to decide what team comp to roll with, when and how to commit, as well as how to adapt should things go awry.
Let's dive right in!
The Early Game - Browse Flexibly
If you're a one-trick pony or someone who typically builds around a few preferred comps, the early game can be tricky if you don't end up with units that match your items to the tee.
Here you should aim to hit level 6 by 3-2 while gradually building up some 2 star champions for your lineup. If you're not getting lucky on item drops or champion picks to go into a meta team comp - you should aim to build around staying above 70% HP before Krugs.
Now, let's talk about items in the early game for a quick second.
It's pretty common to find the items you need, but not get the ideal carry with them in the early game. If this happens to you - it's perfectly ok to build out the items on a sub-par champion.
For example: building out BB or Morello's on Lucian. While he's certainly not ideal, he's definitely quite the threat to players who haven't itemized or opted towards saving their items banked on the hope of landing the ideal carry.
The 2-4 Carousel
The first carousel should serve as a good pointer towards what build you may want to start planning for in the early stages of the game.
The goal here is to land a cross-comp item or 2 perfect items for a meta comp.
However, in our experience - going cross-comp at this stage works best because going for the 2 item route locks you into a particular comp, which leaves you open to being blindsided later in the game if you roll down.
As a rule of thumb, we suggest that you pick up whatever item gives you an immediate power spike, without falling off to steeply in the later stages of the game.
The 3-4 Carousel
By this point, you should be ready to commit to a particular comp at the drop of a hat.
Here are some of the indicators of what you should go for that may have occurred by this stage:
1. You may have found a 4-cost unit to build the comp around
2. You may have strong comp items
3. You may have collected a pool of champions that allow you to roll into a particular comp
4. You may have found the ideal carry on the carousel
The expectation here is that you should be nabbing the final pieces to start building your comp.
By 4-1, most players will have hit level 7 and if you dawdle on picking a comp, you're bound to lose way too much HP before you find a direction - an that spells "GG."
The Mid Game - Time To Commit
Once the midgame is abound - around level 7, most people will roll down in order to find the perfect units for their comp.
However, most of the time, this is where people get stuck - what do you do if you can't find the champions you need?
It's actually pretty simple. Just relax, and use sub-optimal units. The whole goals here is not to get wiped off the board, and something is certainly better than nothing.
For example, if you're trying to roll into "the Wall" but you're missing a final Vanguard, you can easily throw a 4-cost Gnar into the mix to fill the gap - or pick up a Victor and enjoy that extra mana.
Being able to slap together an impromptu half-comp can save your HP and give you enough time in the game to find the units you really need.
But, what if you can't find the items?
If you've kept up with us this far - likely you've figured out that it's alright - just build the next best (available) thing. Can't find a Giant Slayer or Last Whisper for your Jinx? No worries - pick up Deathblade or build a Red Buff instead.
The takeaway here isn't to go and build whatever turns up - instead of that, create backup plans and learn which items interact best with certain champions. That way whether you're missing a champion or items, you always know what you can fall back on.
Dealing With The 4-1 RIP
It happens - some games, you've made all the right choices - you were flexible in the early game, you got some great items, and then 4-1 hits. You roll down. But unfortunately, you're just unable to get a strong team of units together.
So, what do you do to deal with this scenario?
Well, realistically, you've got two options at hand - you can either pull a fast 8 or try your luck at the Raptors.
The 4-7 Raptors
This is the last creep round where you can pick up item components and it's going to be your last foothold if you need to build items.
And if you're missing units - after this round, nearly everyone hits 8 and you'll have to roll down here to try and find the units you're missing.
While some inexperienced players may be tempted to just wait and try again at 5-1, the problem lies in the fact that you're likely going to be missing too much HP and you'll have to roll every succeeding turn just to stay in the game.
The Fast 8
What if you've got the perfect items for a particular team comp, but you can't seem to find the units?
While this isn't something we'd recommend to newer players - you can actually purposefully lose round after round in the early (and possibly mid) game in order to rack up the gold to hit level 8 faster than the typical 4-7 (you're likely going to hit it at 4-3 if you pull the strategy off) and roll down at that point in order to search for the units you're missing.
However, it doesn't come without risks.
If you hit the units you needed - you're good. But if you don't, you simply don't get a guaranteed 8th.
While it may be tempting to try and lock in what comp you want to play early in a match of TFT - there are a few key identifiers that you should rely on to guide you towards the best possible comp for you to dominate your match.
If you've kept up with us throughout this guide, you've now got the hints to know when and how to decide on building into a meta team comp. And if you paid close attention, you've even got a few tricks up your sleeve to solve deficiencies and pivot elegantly, without throwing the game.
With that - we wish you the best of luck on your TFT grind!
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