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Introducing TFT: Rise of the Elements

Introducing TFT: Rise of the Elements

At their 10-Year Anniversary, Riot Games (they finally earned that name) announced many things to come.

Among the announcements was TFT Set 2, or, as they dubbed it, Rise of the Elements (the whole theme behind 2019’s preseason). They also announced TFT on mobile (with cross-play compatibility) in early 2020.

TFT: Rise of the Elements would introduce a revamped roster (with only a few champions remaining from the previous iteration), a bigger board, an elemental theme different in every game through the Elemental Hexes, and a fully reworked Classes and (Elemental) Origins system.

They also said that they would focus on balancing the game better but more on that later.

Today, I will analyze this change of events and present you with my personal thoughts about it.

I also have a review of TFT that you can find here.

Without further ado:

How Did We Get Here?

TFT landed with a bang. It had such an amazing reception, that Riot couldn’t handle their servers!

Everyone loved the next big thing and this alone made many players return to League.

However, things did not go as well. TFT ended up being a complete mess of a game that awarded you for playing only specific things in order to win.

How did it end up over there?

Riot Games was changing things on a weekly basis. At the start, this included some light changes to overtuned stuff, and minor reworks to undertuned, underused, or straight useless champs, classes and origins.

Everything was great, the meta was shifting slightly, but, even though there were some optimal things, you could win by being creative and not having to worry about something absurdly overpowered.

Riot then decided that they wanted to introduce big changes that would shake things up.

So, they released new champions, a new Item Component, and a whole new Origin. As you can guess, some of these things turned out broken, and Riot was unable to fix it.

TFT ended up being a game of who gets 1 of 3 OP comps before the others, and they would proceed to easily win (by placing top 3).

Anyone who seriously deviated from these comps (or just tried to build something else) was at a severe disadvantage.

Apparently, Riot decided on big changes a long time before the announcements, as you could see by their balance changes that they weren’t trying to stabilize the game, rather, just keep it at a playable state for preseason.

In With the New; Out With the Old

So, what’s changing?

For starters, almost every Class and Origin got reworked. I mentioned before that Riot wants this new version to be more balanced. How?

They are completely scrapping the whole “a class/origin hard counters another class/origin which in turn hard counters another and so on and so forth”.

This circular logic didn’t work out because some classes/origins didn’t just hard counter the other, they invalidated them. So this led to a weird line where everything that the strongest class/origin doesn’t invalidate, is meta.

The new Elemental Origins, as well as the revamped classes, aim at having a relatively equal amount of soft counters and slight advantage toward some other classes/origins.

The game does seem more balanced on release, as you can build any comp and be as flexible as you want. You can always beat another player’s comp and always lose to someone due to synergies.

That doesn’t mean that the player with the luckiest series of opponents wins the game.

Positioning is more important than ever, and you are also judged by how well you utilize the game’s element.

That’s another change by the way; each game has 1 of 4 elements on the board (ocean, cloud, mountain, infernal).

That means that at the start, there will be a respective elemental hex somewhere randomly on the map (the hex is the same on all players, however), and another one at the start of the second PvP round.

Each hex gives a different bonus and takes up an item slot, so the decision-making potential here is limitless.

The Element of the game also determines Qiyana’s Elemental Origin. Qiyana is an Assassin with a different Elemental Origin every game. You can use her to boost your team with that respective element.

Another big change is on the champion pool size. There are now fewer copies of every single champion.

The intent behind this change is to encourage each player to build their own thing, instead of all trying to build the (number-wise) optimal comp.

They also rebalanced Items, but the changes are very little here, mostly to accommodate the new classes and origins.

As I said, the game does seem more balanced on release, and Riot said they would try to “shake things up a bit” without doing major changes that could break the game like before.

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Final Thoughts

So, is it better? Yup!

Just the fact that you’re not forced to specific comps if you want to win is a HUGE upgrade for me.

In fact, I stopped playing TFT for about a month and a half before the announcement, I was really fed up with the state of the game.

But other than that, I personally adore the idea of Elemental comps and experimenting with different possibilities.

The fact that Riot encourages you to experiment and try new things out is even better.

If they can really “shake things up a bit” without ruining balance, then all the better. But TFT right now is well done (even though far from perfectly balanced).

At least when the new season kicks in, it will be much more fair to play and climb the rankings. The game is more dependent on personal skill, creativity, and mental agility than ever.

Finally, the mobile version will probably boost it to new heights as TFT will become portable, and everyone will be able to climb from anywhere.

Not to mention how much easier it will be to sneak some gaming time into your routine if it’s portable.

That’s all about TFT: Rise of the Elements. What was your initial reaction? Are you happy with the changes? Do you prefer things as they were? Leave a comment below.

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