Patch 9.14 included massive buffs to many of the items in TFT, resulting in fundamental changes to the landscape of the game. Most notably, the changes to Cursed Blade and Warmog’s have turned them from some of the most useless items to some of the most powerful items in Teamfight Tactics.
We’ve come up with the following tier list using the past few days of gameplay and the Twitch Rivals tournament as data. We’ll go through the criteria on what it means to be in a certain tier after, and then discuss the items within that tier.
S+ Tier: Items that are entirely game breaking on the right characters, requiring people to specifically comp and itemize against them. They significantly increase your chances of winning the game when equipped in the right scenarios.
When combined with characters (Volibear, Gunslingers) that can proc on-hit effects on multiple characters at the same time, Cursed Blade has the potential to tear down fully built 3-star comps. It’s still unclear whether or not Cursed Blade still has the same effectiveness when given to a single target champion, but on fast attacking champs like Rangers and Blademasters, the potential to shrink a 3-star unit to effectively a minion is extremely powerful and very hard to compete with.
Warmog’s Armor extends the lifespan of most units by an absurd amount and forces enemy players to itemize differently (Red Buff or Morello’s) when it’s in the game. When put on characters like Braum, killing them requires far more firepower than is reasonable.
Firecannon’s ability to double the range of characters and prevent missing will always make it one of the best items in the game. Don’t forget, it’s tied with Blade of the Ruined King for granting the most attack speed in the game as well (40%).
Lets you add 1 extra champion to the game, which is quite possibly the single most powerful effect in the game. FoN becomes exponentially more powerful in the late game, allowing you to exceed the 9 champion limit or reach it without having to spend gold on levelling past 8. Having an extra champion is worth more than most items in the game when you consider the bonuses granted by anan extra synergy or ultimate.
S Tier: Items that help fight S+ items or become extremely powerful when combined with S+ items. They are competitive options over S+ Tier items in all scenarios.
With Warmog’s in its current state and many players stacking Brawlers to buff up Volibear, Morello’s and Red Buff are some of the best DPS items to build in the current meta. They not only block all healing (including the healing from Warmog’s), but deal % max health damage as well. They also provide health which help your units survive against Assassins, who are strong in the current meta.
Thornmail now does significant damage when placed on a tank. An auto-attack reliant team will likely die to Thornmail’s reflected damage if attacking a tank with it. If you also equip a Warmog’s on that tank, it will be able to survive exponentially longer, making Thornmail even more effective.
Spear of Shojin and Seraph’s are the two best items when it comes to getting a champion to charge their ultimate abilities. Ultimate abilities tend to be what deal the most damage or provide the most utility, so these two items significantly increase the DPS or usefulness of any champion in the game. Pay close attention to how both items work, as they need to be assigned to the correct champions.
Seraph’s gives 20 mana every time a champion casts a spell in the game, often making it better on characters with small mana pools (less than 100) and lower attack speed. Spear of Shojin on the other hand is more self-reliant, granting 15% max mana each auto attack, making it more powerful on champions with large mana pools (more than 100) and higher attack speed.
Phantom Dancer remains one of the best defensive items in the game. Phantom Dancer is one of the few ways to allow a squishy unit to survive longer than 2 seconds in an Assassin-heavy meta. Furthermore, every champion in the game has a 25% chance to crit, meaning that it essentially gives a unit 25% dodge chance.
The only reason Phantom Dancer isn’t an S+ item at the moment is because Rapid Firecannon is in the game and prevents enemies from dodging.
A Tier: Items that in the right scenarios are S tier items. Outside of those scenarios, they remain powerful items, but cannot compete with higher tiers.
Dragon’s Claw blocks magic damage, meaning that characters like Karthus, Veigar, Aurelion Sol, or Akali will have trouble killing whoever has the item. There’s a couple of reasons Dragon’s Claw can’t compare to Phantom Dancer or Warmog’s.
- It isn’t 100% damage reduction. It won’t save you from a 3 Star Veigar, or an Aatrox doing 1000+ damage with his ult
- Sorcerers are suffering under a very Assassin heavy meta right now, with most team compositions in the game not dealing nearly enough magic damage for Dragon’s Claw to be super effective.
Despite being the best Attack Speed item in the game, Guinsoo’s Rageblade has been sunk to a lower tier due to how powerful the S+ and S Tier items are. Since it takes a while for Rageblade to ramp up, it’s not as useful on a lot of characters with a slow base attack speed. Furthermore, with the amount of play Assassins are getting on the current patch, most of the best users of Rageblade (Rangers) have trouble stacking the item and need to prioritize more defensive options.
Hextech Gunblade is an incredible healing option for characters that deal massive amounts of damage with AoE abilities, such as Morgana or Aatrox. It gives these characters the potential to heal for half their health bars if they get a good ultimate off, which is absurdly powerful. It’s effectiveness is limited by items like Morello’s or Red Buff that reduce healing, however the item’s base stats make it an attractive item no matter the situation.
With buffs and changes to Statikk Shiv, putting it on a fast attacking target like a Blademaster, Ranger, or Lucian causes it to proc multiple times in a fight. Due to base MR values, Shiv will deal around 80 damage per hit each proc, for a total of 240 damage. On fast attacking champions, one can expect several procs a round, resulting in a lot of extra damage to the enemy team. The splash damage Shiv can crit, and thus combines with Infinity Edge for devastating damage to enemy teams.
Make sure you equip it on a champion that can use the item well, or else it ends up not dealing very much damage and becomes a mediocre use of its components.
Ionic Spark does 200 true damage to enemies that cast their spells. Most 1-star champions (in the early game) have around 600 hp at most, meaning that Ionic Spark deals roughly 33% of every character’s health pool. This makes it by far the most overpowered early game item to have. When combined with a decent early game composition like Gunslingers, it’ll likely almost guarantee you a healthy win streak. Later in the game, its effectiveness does drop off, but it usually ends up dealing damage in the thousands due to how many ultimates go off in a late game fight.
Much of the power of Zeke’s Herald is invisible. 15% attack speed is very effective on pretty much every champion in the game. By stacking multiple Zeke’s on the same champion, you’re able to increase the attack speed on 5 champions on your team by 45%, the equivalent of rolling approximately 11 Recurve Bows for the cost of 6 items. However, recent limitations impact its potential. As of the patch, only 5 champions can receive the buff, and the buff is applied to champions standing in a line, thus, maximising its power prevents the user from utilizing defensive positioning.
B Tier: Items that are A-Tier in the right situation, but aren’t nearly as useful outside those situations.
These two items are the best items when it comes to boosting a champion’s raw damage output. However, just putting either item on one champion tends to be very lackluster since they provide no defensive output whatsoever. These items would be included in A-Tier, but they often require a second item to be paired with them to reach their true potential, which makes them a very expensive investment to make.
Bloodthirster is similar to Gunblade, but only works on auto attacks and provides worse stats. Rangers, Draven, and Tristana are the best users of the item, but it tends to pale in comparison to Gunblade outside of those champions.
Redemption’s a really great early game item when enemies have trouble finishing off a character that’s at 25% hp. It can often swing early rounds that you might lose. Unlike Ionic Spark (which also falls off in the late game, although not nearly as hard), Redemption is a B-Tier item because it’s pretty much useless in the late game. The heal often takes too long to go off in the late game, with its user and nearby champions often dying before the heal can be applied. In addition, the healing is hard countered by Morello’s and Red Buff. It also deals no damage and provides sub-par stats.
Frozen Heart’s a really good item, but it’s very hard to have it apply to the right targets when it matters. There are more consistent items in the game at the moment when it comes to providing defense. Frozen Heart truly shines when it’s paired with other items — pairing it with a Warmog’s user will greatly maximize its effectiveness, and potentially lead a tank to apply a very strong debuff on the enemy team for most of a fight. Like Infinity Edge and Deathcap, it’s a B-Tier item because it relies on other items to be effective.
Runaan’s Hurricane isn’t a defensive item despite its build path — instead what makes it useful is its ability to proc on-hit effects on multiple champions. When combined with Gunslingers, Blademasters, Rangers, Volibear, and items like Sword Breaker, Hush, and Cursed Blade, it can be extremely devastating to enemy teams.
Sword Breaker and Hush are similar items to Cursed Blade in that they prevent enemies from reaching their full potential. On Gunslingers and Volibear, they have the potential to entirely gimp a team and prevent enemies from dealing meaningful damage.
However, they’re worse in two primary ways.
- They don’t provide very useful stats
- They don’t reduce an enemy’s health pool the way Cursed Blade does
Putting them on a champion that can’t proc on-hit effects on multiple targets significantly reduces their effectiveness.
C Tier: Items that have really niche uses and don’t tend to be that good outside of those uses.
Locket Stacking was nerfed in 9.14 so that spell power and Sorcerer synergy no longer increases the shield value. A hotfix later in 9.14 (July 20th) reverted its base shield amount to 200, meaning that stacking 3 Lockets provides an additional 600 HP for 5 champions on your team. While it was extremely powerful prior to the hotfix especially on Ninja Assassin comps, the last minute change definitely takes it down a peg. The amount of shielding does not scale well into the late game now, making it not worth the item investment as much any more.
It should still be fine on Ninja Assassin comps, but it might be better to invest in different items such as a Deathcap or Thornmail with the components.
Zephyr is a pretty common late game option in TFT for its ability to prevent an enemy champion from doing anything for 5 seconds at the start of the game. While the effect is very powerful, the item has some issues:
- It’s extremely telegraphed who the item will hit, so against players who know how to fight it will position around it.
- The item’s stats are awful and provide very little use
- While the item is powerful and tends to swing fights that are very even, these fights are often very rare. Most of the time, you would rather use its components to build higher tier items that would outright just make your team stronger.
Titanic Hydra has taken a nosedive since 9.13 with the rise of other items. It doesn’t provide enough damage to break through Warmog’s, and it can’t compete with the utility that Cursed Blade, Hush, and Swordbreaker provide. Nonetheless, it does deal AoE damage (based off user’s max HP) on hit, which can help augment the damage output of champions that only hit single targets. It’s pretty funny on 4-Brawler Firecannon 3-star Volibear if you ever manage to roll that well.
Sword of the Divine can lead to incredible damage output on champions with either high crit damage, attack speed, or multi hit abilities, but it rarely ever works out in practice. The % to gain 100% crit is extremely unreliable, and often doesn’t activate early enough to matter. In addition, Phantom Dancer as an item entirely invalidates Sword of the Divine. BF Sword and Recurve Bow build into many powerful items that are far more consistent and reliable than SotD, putting the item it at the bottom of the worst tier where it should be.
You may have noticed that we haven’t put Spatula Items on the list. This is mostly because their effectiveness is really dependent on what you run, and it’s very hard to categorize how good they are in comparison to every other item in the game since they can range from entirely useless to insanely overpowered, especially Frozen Mallet, Darkin, Blade of the Ruined King, Yuumi, and Yomuu’s Ghostblade.
For these items, you really have to consider what your options are, where your economy is, and the bonuses that these items will grant your units. For example, Yomuu’s Ghostblade gives a champion the ability to jump at the enemy back line, so even though it will give a Draven extra crit damage, you probably don’t want him diving the enemy team. Darkin and Frozen Mallet allow non-Demon/Glacial units to mana burn/freeze so long as there’s another Demon or Glacial on the team. Yuumi makes a character a Sorcerer, passively granting them faster mana generation.
If you ever get a Spatula, keep an eye out for how you can use these items and how they can change the game for you.