Drafting and transitioning are the most skill intensive part of Teamfight Tactics and require thinking on the fly. Drafting refers to the process of buying champions that work well together for a team comp, whereas transitioning refers to switching your team comp in the middle of the game if you’re having trouble getting the right rolls.
This guide is Part 2 of a two-part series we are releasing. This section covers transitioning, while Part 1 covers drafting.
Transitioning is the more difficult of the two skills to master. It’s easy to sell a champion back to the shop for at least a partial refund when you make a drafting error. However, making a mistake while transitioning will often lose you the game. The skills involved in transitioning are as follows:
- Good drafting knowledge, especially knowledge of which units are central to every team comp
- Be able to build a healthy economy that can allow you to find what you need
- Be able to identify when you need to transition early enough so that you can survive it
For a list of good team compositions in the current meta, visit our Meta Snapshot.
What is transitioning?
Transitioning is the process of partially changing your team comp in the middle of a game to another team comp. An example would be if you started the game going Wild Sorcerers and then transitioned into Demon Sorcerers. Full team comp transitions are possible, but they are much riskier and it’s usually better to do it one synergy at a time.
When to Transition:
You generally want to transition in any of the following scenarios:
Transitioning is usually a risky process where you inevitably lose a few rounds, so you generally want to minimize the amount of transitions you make and make them as fast as possible.
How to Transition:
If you’re in a position where you need to transition, you start rolling while keeping an eye out for transition units. This transition unit is a strong unit (usually Tier 4 or Tier 5) that you can build a team composition around. Tier 4 and Tier 5 units are very rare, and it’s much easier to pick up lower tier champions in order to complete a comp instead of doing it the other way around. You don’t want to invest in a 3 star Vayne and Fiora only to never find the Kayle that completes your 6 Nobles.
The ideal transition unit does not require too many additional champions to complete some of their synergies, and has shared synergies with the team you’re already running.
You’ll usually roll down a bit (10–15g) and hold onto a couple of transition units as you roll. You eventually pick one of those transition units and start picking up the rest of the pieces to comp around them. Ideally, you would spend minimal amounts of money on the transition, with a 20g transition being a cheap one.
Example of a Transition:
We’ll break down an example transition process for you:
- Say you’re running Yordles, but you can’t seem to find a Gnar.
- You’ve got Lulu, Veigar, Poppy, Kennen, Tristana, and Kassadin.
- Synergies are: 3 Sorcs, 5 Yordles, 1 Elementalist, 1 Ninja, 1 Gunslinger, 1 Knight
- You’ve got a few transition options here: You can get more Sorcerers, get more Elementalists, or even more Ninjas.
- You find an Aurelion Sol, you purchase the Aurelion Sol. Keep rolling.
NOTICE: At this point in the process, you could be rolling every turn, spending your income (the gold you get every turn) only, or you could be rolling down your banked gold (the gold you’ve saved up over the game). You would make the decision based off how urgently you need to complete the transition. Rolling down your banked gold will likely save you health, but hurt you later in the game. Rolling every turn will cost you health, but if you survive the transition you’ll be more likely to win more fights late game.
- You can’t find a Shyvana, but you find a Lissandra and a Brand.
- At this point, you’ve found Brand, Aurelion Sol, and Lissandra as transition units
- You can swap out Tristana and Poppy for the Lissandra and Brand
- Suddenly, you now have 3 Elementalists, 3 Sorcs, 3 Yordles
- You’ve transitioned from 6 Yordles to 3 Elementalists 3 Sorcs, which can start winning fights and allow you to stabilize your health and economy
The higher level you are, the easier it is to successfully transition because you’ll have more pieces available to you. Be aware of how much you have to level up for a particular transition, since doing so can slow down your transition by a significant amount.
Since TFT has a limited amount of good transition units at the moment, it’s actually very possible to entirely flow chart the decision making process. Due to the ease of completing the Elementalist synergy and how powerful it is, it’s very common to transition into Elementalists from most compositions, especially those running Kennen or Demons.
Other common transitions are:
As mentioned above though, transitioning is a pretty tricky process, and it usually poses some risks with it:
- Transitioning is expensive and usually damages your economy
- This is why win streaking early is so important. The additional income is essential when setting yourself up to transition
- You can get very unlucky and not roll anything that could work for a transition
- Do not confuse this with being unable to figure out a proper transition — the best players in the game can find successful transitions in 90%+ of their matches.
- Sometimes, your economy will be unable to sustain a transition and you will die. This becomes rarer the better you become at the game. You can usually figure out a better way to transition if you look back at the game and think about what you could have done better.
If you know how to transition between multiple strong compositions and are able to time the transitions correctly, you should be able to place top 4 very consistently. It takes games and practice. Top streamers often showcase this skill and explain what they’re doing, so you can definitely watch players like Hyped to see it in action and learn.
That’s pretty much it for transitioning though. If you’re concerned about your drafting skill limiting your ability to transition, visit Part 1 of this 2-part series!
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