TFT Economy Strategies and Tips - How to Get Gold and When to Spend It in Teamfight Tactics?
TEAMFIGHT TACTICS ECONOMY STRATEGIES
In TFT - the League of Legends auto chess game mode, there are plenty of powerful synergies, items, and team compositions. We have already written guides about them and the game can become pretty easy when you manage to complete them. However, getting to that point can often be challenging. In this article, we’re going to focus on some of the economic strategies that can help you with building a powerful TFT composition, as well as some small quality of life tips related to accumulating and spending your TFT gold. Depending on your team comp, you might want to use your gold differently. That being said, some general knowledge about the TFT economy is valuable for all builds. The list of important things regarding the Riot Games' auto battler economy is pretty long and we're going to try and talk about every point. Get ready to get some wins in a ranked queue with superior gold management!
There are three basic mechanics that we’re interested in right now. First: for every full 10 gold coins up to that you have at the end of around, you’ll get an extra coin (the maximum is additional +5 if you have 50 gold or more in the bank). Second: the lower you are on the leaderboard, the sooner you get to pick during the carousel rounds. The only factor that decides the players’ position on the scoreboard is the amount of HP left. Finally, TFT provides additional gold to players who manage to keep a win streak or a loose streak. That makes going "win one, lose one" for the whole game the worst possible cycle, at least for your economy and the potential extra gold generation from the streaks.
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ECON BUILDING STRATEGY
These three features led to the emergence of a somewhat controversial strategy. Many players purposefully lose early rounds, to get the best stuff from the carousel. By doing that they don’t have to spend much money, so they quickly accumulate more coins from the bonuses and improve their economy. The TFT terminology is not extremely established yet. This playstyle can also be referred to as turtling, or lose early start. The last one is a little bit misleading because the most important, key part of this playstyle is accumulating gold. Losing rounds is a secondary goal (but keeping a losing streak can help). Just remember to spend your gold before it gets too hot. This strategy often requires difficult transitions that can be impossible to do in a single turn. Dying before you're able to use your coins and set up a comp doesn't feel great.
When you manage to exceed the 50 gold threshold, you have to know when to start spending. You'll probably want to use some of your coins for leveling. Around level 6 or 7 you should start rerolling some of your money to get some powerful three cost and four cost units to level 2 (for T3 maybe even three stars). If your TFT team comp starts looking really good and you still have money to spend, you can always buy experience and get an even higher level.
There some more nuances to pulling this off flawlessly. As we already Teamfight Tactics provides you with additional gold not only for a win streak but also for a losing streak. Weirdly enough, loss streaking efficiently is arguably the more difficult of the two. To do that, you need your team comp to be able to lose to everyone else's. This part sounds easy. However, at the same time, you don't want to keep getting defeated too hard, because that way you're going to lose a lot of HP. Your health pool is an important resource in TFT and throwing it away recklessly is straight-up bad. The whole thing often ends like this: attempts to minimize your losses result in winning a random round against one of the weaker boards. This cuts your losing streak and leaves you in a suboptimal position. You don't control other players in TFT, someone else can also go for this strat and sandbag early game even more.
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This strategy is not recommended for new TFT players, because of two reasons. To pull it off, you need to know exactly what you want from the carousel. Beginners often don’t know the best champion+item combination for their current strategy and making the right decision quickly is crucial to make this method work. The second drawback is simply the risk. If you lose too much HP early, you might lose the game before your team comp really gets going. It’s definitely something that you can explore later on when you more or less know what you’re doing in your TFT matches. Learning the game is recommended before you try to implement this strat.
The general idea is to sacrifice some of the early rounds in exchange for more income and a better economy that is later used for powerful TFT late games. If you want to employ this strategy, make sure to go for a team comp that's based mostly on T3, T4 and T5 units. The main options are Glacials, Rangers, Imperials, Elementalists, and Sorcerers. Especially the last class has some extremely powerful high-cost units that can use the synergy really well. This economy-focused strategy has been buffed in patch 9.15 with the damage nerfs and some balance changes. You can make a bit more money with a losing streak now and get to 50 gold while staying relatively healthy. However, if you're losing streaking remember not to fall too low and stay at least over 30-35 health. At the same time, it's fair to say that the reroll strategy is now overall weaker. That being said, don't believe the TFT guides that want you to not care about anything and just rushing to 50 gold. By doing that, you will finish in the bottom four more often than not.
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AGGRESSIVE WIN STREAKING STRATEGY
Now, let's talk about the opposite of playing for econ in TFT. This playstyle requires starting an early win streak and making money off of it for as long as humanly possible. In order to do that, you're going to need a powerful team comp at level 3 or 4 and possibly some strong early game items, like Ionic Spark or Luden's Echo. Getting a lot of two-star heroes is the most important part, but a strong early synergy, like three Nobles, some Brawlers or Gunslingers can also help out a lot.
If you have a decent synergy and strong units on the board, you should start collecting additional power on your bench. When you have a strong champion waiting there (for example, you're level 4, but you managed to upgrade five units to two-stars already) spend your gold to get a level up if it's within your reach of course. Don't worry about synergies too much, getting some additional raw power on your TFT board is extremely valuable in the early-to-mid game. Estimating the strength of units and synergies at different points of the game is the key to pulling this strategy off.
Always scout your enemies' boards. If your team comp is by far the strongest one in the game, you can be greedy and build up your economy for a bit (it's possible to get to 50 gold on a win streak, but it requires not only skill but also plenty of luck). However, if there's a real threat of losing a round, you should definitely try to prevent that. Maintaining a long win streak is a key element of this strategy. Remember, it gives you additional gold as long as it's alive.
When talking about this strategy, people often use the term high rolling. It creates a common misconception that high rolling is some kind of a way to play Teamfight Tactics. The reality is a little bit different. To high roll, simply means to get lucky with the game's RNG, most often through really favorable unit shops. Relying on good fortune is not really a strategy. That being said, if you are high rolling, you probably should play to aggressively maintain your win streak, it's a great way of snowballing a game and pressuring your opponents (the last thing is slightly more difficult after the damage nerfs, but still worthwhile). Even after the Little Legend damage nerfs, the meta still favors the aggressive playstyle - it's just not as one-sided anymore.
Just remember not to build your team comp around Tier 1 units too much, because you are going to level up sooner than most of the players. It means that getting a one-cost unit to three stars is less likely than it would be with some slower playstyle. On the other hand, this might give you access to some early T4 and T5 champions, making your transition smoother and setting you up for the late game. If you get really lucky and play everything out perfectly, this strategy might even net you a 100% HP flawless victory. Be careful though, if you don't transition into the late game properly, you might get out scaled by an econ player that manages to assemble a superior TFT team comp.
LIMITED CHAMPION POOL AND ROLL RATIOS
Probability of rolling a certain champion tier changes with your character level. On the lowest levels, you obviously get the most first-tier units. From level 6 onwards, they get surpassed by the second and third-tier. This spawned another strategy, where players accumulate gold up to level 4 or 5 and then reroll all of it to get as much first, second or third-tier units that match their comp. Before the 9.14 patch, rerolling at level four was the most powerful, because it was easier to get your T1 unit to the third level. These are the basic ideas behind the reroll strategy.
It's the most beneficial if the carry unit in your team comp is one cost that you need to get to three stars as soon as possible. This strategy was the most notorious with Gunslinger comps focused on Tristana and Graves. The more extreme version of playing Gunslingers included actually re-rolling all your gold every round and only picking up Gunslingers and Pyke. We don't recommend doing that anymore though, because of some direct and indirect nerfs to the hyper reroll strategy.
Statistically, it’s the best way of getting multiple champions to level 3 (you need a total of nine identical units to do so). The July first patch changed some of the roll probabilities, making the Tier 1 units fall off sooner, but it made getting T2 and T3 champions easier to get to level three. You can always take a look at the current roll ratios on different levels.
At the same time, the limited champion pool is another important factor. There can only be a fixed amount of each unit type in a single TFT game. For Tier 1 it’s 39, Tier 2 caps at 26, Tier 3 at 21, Tier 4 at 13 and Tier 5 at 10. It leads to the situation, where you get a higher chance of rolling a certain unit when other players are not buying it. Keeping both of those things in mind is crucial in playing any kind of a reroll strategy.
This is an important thing to keep in mind. It’s a good idea to enforce a habit of checking what comps your enemies are building. You can do that not only to counter them but also to estimate which champions you’re more likely to roll. If everybody else is stacking Kassadins, the likelihood of you rolling three or four more is pretty slim. You can even count the units to see how many are left in the pool, but it’s difficult to keep up within the short downtime that TFT gives. Another one of the interesting tips that some players use, is holding onto certain units that they don't need, just to decrease the chance the enemy player getting it. If you see that your main rival is stacking Imperials, sitting on two Swains might be the right thing to do, even if your economy takes a hit and Swain is never making your comp.
OTHER TFT ECONOMY TIPS AND TRICKS
You only get bonus gold for each full ten coins in your bank. Finishing the turn on a number that ends with 8 or 9 is suboptimal. If you’re in this situation you can either sell an unnecessary unit that you’re not using to get over the threshold. You can also do the opposite and buy a bunch of units if you have enough room on the bench. This way you have a higher chance of getting some nice synergies or level-ups. Even temporarily buying units that you don't want can be good. By doing that, you remove them from the limited pool and decrease the chance of getting them in the next shop. A certain degree of flexibility is necessary for this game. Pigeonholing on a single strategy, while not getting any units or items to execute on it, is a road straight to a quick defeat.
If you got two components, but you don’t remember what they combine into, there’s a simple trick to check it without alt-tabbing. If you have room on the bench, buy an unnecessary unit, give it one of those items and then check by dragging the other component onto them (now you can also simply hover one component on top of the other to see what item they combine into). You can later sell the unit for the same gold and get your item back in the inventory. It can also be used as a method of putting a full item on a champion that already has a component or just simply avoiding misclicks while creating a full item. Buy a random unit, give them the two components to get a full item, sell that unit and you can give the full item to whomever you want.
Most players decide on their team comp based on the items they got. If I get components for Rapid Firecannon and Bloothirster quickly, I might want to build around a Draven, if I can get multiple Statikk Shivs I probably want to run Rangers, et cetera. You can always roll to find other champions, there's currently no way of switching items. That's also why during early carousel rounds you should always prioritize items over units (in the late game you can go for the specific champions necessary to round up your comp). It's obviously much easier to execute upon if you're getting a ton of items in the early game, but playing around the item drops can net you a sizeable advantage.
This brings us to another point, using items in the early game. If early on you know the direction in which your team comp is going, you can easily divide your units into three categories. They are potential carries, units that will make it to the end due to synergies and the temporary champions that you keep for their power right now but going to sell later. This is one of the most important tips for playing TFT, but you do need some game knowledge to utilize it properly.
For example, in the early game, I can put RFC and BT on my two-star Elise. She's definitely not the best user of those items, but it's still better than to let them sit on the bench. I know that the moment I get a Draven, I'm selling the Elise and giving the items to my newly acquired carry. Combining random items for some instant power is bad, but not using your item power at all is also suboptimal. It's like coming to base and not spending your money in regular League of Legends.
Buying experience early, without strong units is rarely a good idea. A potential win streak can justify trying to go through the game without losing any round as long as possible. Otherwise saving up or collecting champions is almost always a better idea. At the same, remember to make sure that you win all the PvE rounds. Five champions are sometimes necessary to defeat Krugs, that’s the moment when buying EXP is not a bad idea. Experienced players often know whether their team can win a PvE round or not, but if you’re new to the game – getting the fifth spot for Krugs might be a great idea. After all, PvE rounds are the only non-carousel opportunity of getting items, missing out on them is a huge impairment.
At the same time, don't just randomly press the roll button. Going for a well thought out reroll strategy is completely fine, but randomly rolling now and then for no reason is just wasting gold. Only use this TFT function when it's a part of your strategy or when you have some nice upgrades that you're looking for (four pairs on your bench pretty much justify rolling every time). If you're having a really bad game you can also use it as a panic button, but it's more of a "desperate times call for desperate measures" TFT situation.
Another source of extra gold is the Pirate origin synergy. It gives you extra gold after every round against other players unless you’re really unlucky. You can quickly grab three of them and either transition into Gunslinger or Assassin comp. There’s also the possibility of getting rid of them completely and going for a full change of comp. You can learn more about it and other TFT passives if you read our Champions and Synergies Guide!
That's all you need to know about the Teamfight Tactics economy for now. Just remember that different openers and item drops will work well with different strategies. Recognizing the best matches to invest in a win streak, build up the economy or employ the reroll strategy is an important skill in TFT. Teamfight Tactics is a really enjoyable game and it can provide you with chill gaming experience. If you're just beginning to play Teamfight Tactics, make sure to check out our other guides. If you're interested in something else than TFT or League of Legends, we have plenty of articles, guides and other kinds of content for various popular online games on our blog! You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. What do you think about managing the economy in TFT? Make sure to leave a comment and share your thoughts!