After a long Patch 12.5, Teamfight Tactics returned with some updates for a patch that had a little bit of everything. Every AD unit in TFT got a buff or nerf, and some of the more problematic Hextech Augments, including the removal of the Innovator Soul and the Innovator Dragon. Of course, this is poised to have massive effects on the TFT meta, which was previously dominated by the Innovators.
In addition to those changes, champions like Irelia and Jayce got hit hard, leaving the Scrap/Innovator combo a bit down for the count. But with buffs to the Hextech trait, Swain, Galio, and Silco (dear god, why?), it could be the time to shine for Arcanists, Hextechs, and Scholars. Let’s take a look at how the meta has shifted in Patch 12.6 for TFT!
Best TFT items in Patch 12.6
In terms of the items, the biggest change we see is the shift of Frozen Heart up from C to B tier, along with a bit of a drop for items like Blue Buff and Chalice of Harmony. That might seem a bit odd, considering that we would expect AP items (and items that counter Arcanists) to surge in popularity as units like Ahri and Viktor grow, but this is also in response to the Innovator nerfs. Remember that Seraphine was also a big AP user and she got hit hard with her main trait getting nerfed.
Guinsoo's Rageblade rising to C tier also gives us a clue as to why Frozen Heart is so important: as a counter to units like Draven and Warwick who can abuse Guinsoos. Getting that lowered attack speed to start can help stop those auto-attackers before they get off the ground.
For those Arcanists, though, we see that Morellonomicon is now the strongest item in the game, and items like Gunblade and Jeweled Gauntlet have risen to power. Those Arcanists will still need AP items, but they have a wide array of options for what offensive items to use.
Best TFT comps in Patch 12.6
One comp has finally risen to the S tier after patches of Innovator parity. Chemtech/Arcanist Viktor is now the dominant comp in the game (more on him in a bit). Nipping at Viktor’s heels, though, is Arcanist Ahri. She’s notable for having a few different flex options, but her strongest comp in Patch 12.6 is actually full-on Arcanist 8 (if you can swing it).
After that, Renata Glasc remains atop the “good-but-not-great” tier. We also see that is where the Innovators have settled, with comps built around Seraphine, Kha’Zix, Irelia, and Ezreal all sit. So Innovators, despite having Innovator 7 removed, is still a viable comp.
Part of the evidence for that is the other top-tier B comp, Scrap Jinx. Innovators synergize very well with the Scrap trait (Ekko and Ezreal both have it) so it’s very easy to flex that into a Jinx or Irelia carry comp. The bear may not be as threatening as he was before, but he’s still something of a menace.
Viktor has always been there, creeping around in the dark waiting for his moment to reassert himself atop the pack. Thanks to the gutting of Innovators, Chemtech Viktor is now back at the top. Using a lot of very high-cost units like Silco, Vi, Ahri, Renata, and Viktor, this comp doesn’t come online until late-game. The beauty of it, however, is that it’s possible to flex from one of two early-to-mid-game comps to reach it.
Players can either go with an early Arcanist comp (Vex, Ziggs, Swain, Malzahar), stacking those items on Malz and seeing if you can hit a 3-star. The alternative is a Chemtech/Challenger starting comp with Warwick/Tryndamere and see if they can slow roll those units. You can pivot at any time depending on which items, units, and Augments you hit. Regardless, if you can hit late game with at least Shojin for Viktor, this comp is going to destroy people.
This is the full-send Arcanist comp, so you need to be sure that you can hit that Arcanist Emblem early (hopefully you get a Spatula plus a Rod). If so, you can push for 8 Arcanists with this easy comp. Ahri is the focal point of this iteration, but by no means does she have to be. That is to say, if you get the right items and hit a few Viktors early, there’s no reason not to make him your centerpiece.
Now, in the event you push for this comp but don’t get the Arcanist Emblem, there’s a simple fix. Drop Brand and add Lulu. This will give you two Enchanters and three Yordles. In the late game, use those Yordles as free additional income to hit your next interest spikes to either roll for Viktor or Ahri, or level to nine (where you can add another Enchanter like Orianna).
Diamond TFT Player & esports watcher.