TFT Knight Guide - Check Out the Heavy Armored Comps!
Teamfight Tactics Knight Guide
This Guide is a part of our advanced series on Teamfight Tactics. If some terms or ideas seem unclear to you, we recommend checking the Beginner Guide first!
Knights are currently one of the best frontline options in the game. A lot of players will have at least two of them in their comp at some point in the game. After all, there are three cost Knights, which makes it really easy to get some two-starred, even if you're not actively trying to do it.
Of course, most builds will eventually transition out of these units, in order to replace them with some key pieces that will allow them to reach their endgame comp. But what if we stayed with them till the end? Playing for six Knights is a viable build, that's also really easy to transition out of it. It's also a great defensive foundation that can use different carries, depending on the items that you get.
Strengths and Weaknesses of Knights
Knight's trait provides a flat reduction of damage from all sources. Two, for and six Knights ignore respectively 15, 35 and 65 damage. The buff applies to all your units on the board. Obviously, it makes them strong against enemies who launch a lot of small damage attacks. If the enemy deals with 1000 damage in 10 hits, the Knights trait can ignore up to 650 of it. When it's 1000 damage in a single hit or spell, the reduction is only 65.
That's what makes Knight comps really strong against Rangers, Gunslingers and most Blademasters (fully itemized Imperial Draven still hits a bit hard though). At the same time, champions like Karthus or Aurelion Sol might be problematic. Of course, four Void builds are still a counter.
Most of these units also have decent base damages and health bars. Of course, even if you itemize them, they will get outscaled pretty hard in the endgame, but early on they can carry hard. In the patch 9.18, Knights were hard countered by Void Assassins. Now, with the changes to the Void trait, this counter should be much less painful.
There is a real possibility of hitting four Knights at level 4. You're not going to be able to do it every game, but it can happen relatively often. The 35 damage reduction so early in the game is incredibly powerful. You might still lose rounds if all your pieces are one-star and not equipped with any items, but even then it will take a lot of time to kill them. Just slot in any decent unit as your temporary carry at level 5, and you have yourself a midgame comp.
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Besides enemies who hit slow, but really hard, the obvious weakness of a defensive setup like this is the lack of damage. When you stack Knights, you're pretty likely to get a lot of long rounds. The key is to make sure that even if every battle goes to overtime, you can consistently come out on top. The way that you can do it is either by finding a strong standalone carry able to dish out enough damage or by getting multiple Ionic Sparks. The latter will, of course, have some issues against champions that don't ult that much, but it's still an interesting option.
In terms of the temporary carry choice, you can basically play anything. If I can get any two or three-cost unit two-starred and I have half-decent items for them, I will play it. If you have a lot of Attack Damage and Attack Speed items, you can consider a strong auto-attacker. If you have Mana and spell power, go with an ability user. I already had solid mid games with units like Rengar, Lucian, Ahri, or Aatrox added to my four Knight core. If you got a lot of Chain Vests and you want to make your opponents suffer. Even more, you can go for Thornmail Braum as your fifth unit, but then you're almost sure to go overtime in every round. You will also be susceptible to Sorcerers.
Key Units and Items
Sejuani – she's the strongest frontline Knight with a lot of HP and a powerful ultimate. AoE stun from Glacial Prison is extremely valuable, especially if you get multiple casts off. And it is possible since we're going for six Knights, which means a lot of survivability.
Kayle – firstly, she's one of the ways to unlock the dominant six Knights trait (but she might not be necessary with how easy it is to get a Spatula right now). Secondly, your comp will be quite melee-heavy, so getting the only ranged Knight can help a lot with positioning. Finally, Kayle is a really strong unit with decent damage output and a great ultimate.
Any standalone two-starred carry – in general, the six Knight comps will require a bit of extra punch. You're going to need a heavy damage dealing unit that can actually work without too many synergies. It will also have to be two-starred, to carry you round after round consistently. Moreover, the bigger the health bar, the more use you make of the damage reduction. Depending on the game, we're looking at Brand, Aurelion Sol, Draven, Karthus, Miss Fortune or some others. This flexibility is an excellent aspect of Knight builds.
Knight's Vow – while the item by itself is not extremely strong (+40 armor is useful, but not game-changing), it opens up a lot of possibilities. You can get to six Knights quicker, as currently there's 0% chance to roll Kayle on level 6. It also enables plenty of really strong level 8 comps. You can have six Knights and three Blademasters or three Sorcerers with only eight units. That's a real difference-maker.
Morellonomicon – with such a defensive setup, you're not likely to burst enemies too quickly. That makes life steal and any other sources of healing a nuisance to deal with. While your units may chain CC the enemy Draven with Bloodthirster and kill him while he can't auto-attack, it's much more reliable just to cut the healing with Morello. The same goes for strong users of Warmog's Armor. Knights might have some difficulties with punching through them. Healing changes from patch 9.17 slightly nerfed Morellonomicon, but it still provides a considerable value against healing enemies.
Ionic Spark – as we already mentioned, it's not extremely necessary if you have a steady carry unit. That being said, it's quite fun to watch enemy ability-spamming units kill themselves while trying to get through your tank line. If you manage to put at least two of them on one of your units, it's almost guaranteed to top the damage charts in every round, even if it stands blocked in the corner and does nothing at all.
Spatula – as usual, you want to deny as many Spatulas from your opponents, as possible. Of course, you'll also want to have the possibility of building Knight's Vow or possibly another Spatula item, depending on the exact comp that you're running.
Needlessly Large Rod – every variant of this build can use multiple Rods. Even if you were to go with Draven as your primary carry, you're still going to want a Morellonomicon somewhere in your team. Guinsoo's Ragebalde is also an excellent option for long fights, and we're likely to get those. If you're getting a spell caster carry, you'll need them even more. Besides, you can also use them to build an Ionic Spark or two.
The rest is somewhat situational, depending on items that you already have and the exact variant that you're building, you might need:
B.F. Sword – much higher priority, if you're going for the Draven version. If not, you can still use a Guardian Angel or maybe Spear of Shojin, but that's pretty much it.
Chain Vest – builds into Guardian Angel and Knight's Vow. You shouldn't combine it into anything else unless you're getting a ton of them.
Giant's Belt – one is necessary to get the Morellonomicon. If you get more Belts, you can go for another Morellos or a Warmog's Armor for Sejuani.
Negatron Cloak – Dragon's Claw on your carry, while you have six Knights on the board, makes them almost unkillable. The other option is, of course, stacking Ionic Sparks.
Recurve Bow is only essential when playing Draven, and Sparring Gloves are a rather low priority in this build.
Knights and Draven
Six Knights and Four Imperials - the strongest Knight Draven build.
One of the classic Knights comps includes Draven as the main carry. He has consistently been a reliable damage dealer throughout multiple TFT patches, which cemented him as a decent carry unit. Before we go any further, it's important to note that this variant has been nerfed in 9.19, specifically with the Rapid Firecannon no longer ensuring the 100% hit on auto-attacks. That's combined with more dodging being added to the game with the introduction of Sparring Gloves.
That being said, this build might still work, especially if Draven is not your only source of damage. If you have some Ionic Sparks or a Gangplank with Red Buff/Morellonomicon, you might be fine. What you're going to need is some Attack Speed and life steal on Draven with almost the whole team comp built to enable and protect him.
At level 7, you want to have one of these three options:
- Six Knights and Draven,
- Four Knights and four Imperials (Darius overlaps),
- Four Knights and three Blademasters (this one is easiest to get and the most likely one).
The real fun begins, when we start taking Knight's Vow into account. It enables Six Knights and three Blademasters or six Knights and four Imperial at level eight. Both of them are endgame powerhouses that can get you even first place in a high elo game. However, to do so, you're going to need, respectively two-star Yasuo or Swain, which is unlikely.
Knights and Sorcerers
Three Sorcerers, six Knights and two Phantoms with Karthus as the main carry and Twisted Fate for mana generation.
This is my personal favorite that also happens to become more reliable in 9.19 with the Dragon nerfs and the emphasis on dodging. It will require at least a single Spatula to get going (unless you're confident in getting to level 9 every game). If you're sure that you're going with this variant, you can actually make a Yuumi instead of the Knight's Vow. Giving it to Sejuani or Kayle for extra mana generation is really good. That being said, Needlessly Large Rod is really valuable here, so you might want to stick with Knight's Vow.
The endgame comp consists of six Knights and three Sorcerers – two of them being Twisted Fate and either Aurelion Sol or Karthus. We're going to use Twisted Fate to charge up our carry with blue cards, as the Knights are keeping our enemies busy. TF can be used as a temporary carry, but make sure not to give Spell Power to him, only Mana, Attack Speed and maybe some Attack Damage or crit. We want to save the rods for our endgame carries.
If you built some Ionic Sparks, you could give them to Karthus or Aurelion Sol, since the spell power is outstanding on them. It might be not optimal, but the Sparks can carry the early game, and our comp should be strong enough in the late game anyway. Just don't get baited with the one-star Aurelion – he's really weak. Don't abandon your midgame carry until you have him at two stars.
Level 7, you want to have four Knights and three Sorcerers, but to reach full power, you need level 8 and a Spatula. In this version, you might want Morellonomicon on your Sorcerer instead of Sejuani. If you're running Aurelion Sol, you might consider breaking the spell power to get Dragons, if you have trouble with mage comps. If you have a Karthus, make sure not to get rid of Mordekaiser to enable the Phantom buff. If you made Yuumi, but you can't find Kayle, you can pretty smooth transition into six Sorcerers, but it's not the most reliable comp.
You might want to go with a different variant if you get a lot of Recurve Bows or B.F. Swords, but it doesn't have to be the case. Twisted Fate is good with attack speed, and you can always use items like Guardian Angel, Spear of Shojin, or Hextech Gunblade. Just remember that you're quite heavy on magic damage, which can cause a bit of trouble against some comps. Dragons and Claw got nerfed, but they still reduce 75% of spell damage.
Knights and Elementalists
Three Elementalists and six Knights with Kennen and Brand as carries.
Without Spatula, it's a solid midgame comp that gets outscaled pretty hard, though. But if you're lucky with your item drops, you can drive it to the first place. As usual, you rely on Knights to tank, while the remaining units deal damage. In this case, Brand and Kennen will be your main damage sources. With six Knights and the extra armor, Kennen ad Lissandra can often get multiple ults off and do a lot in a single round. A brand is obviously just an overall strong carry.
That being said, this variant can sometimes suffer from a lack of damage. You're not getting the free Spell Power that Sorcerers get, so you need some Needlessly Large Rods to make up for it. Kennen needs a Morellonomicon and Brand can use all the power and Mana that he can get.
The moment that we get Anivia, we get rid of Lissandra. We don't need more pseudo-frontline – we have a bunch of Knights and Daisy (the golem also gets the damage reduction by the way). If you get four Knights and three Elementalists the moment that you get to level 7, you're in a perfect spot. With the Knight's Vow, it's even possible at level 6, but you'd have to be really lucky.
You need to two-star both Brand and Kennen to deal any significant damage with this comp, so be aware of that. If you ever get a second Spatula, you may consider making a Demon Sejuani. It increases the chance of her getting multiple ults off and enables the synergy for Brand.
While overall it might be the weakest variant of the three, it is the best against Assassins, and it doesn't rely on hitting auto-attacks. It can struggle against extremely tanky comps, especially if they're using Dragons.
Hyperroll Knights setup - optimally you want all the one-cost units three-starred for this build to work.
It's a brand new strategy that started getting traction in 9.19. It's focused on three-starring multiple one-cost units, which in turn gives them a lot of base stats. Their health pools are significantly bigger than two-starred four and five-costs. Furthermore, they can hit relatively hard with their auto-attacks and abilities. The build aims to hit six Knights eventually, but it gets advantages in the early game thanks to the strong base stats of early three-stars.
The most popular version of the build utilizes Vayne as the main carry, but you could also use a different champion if you wanted to. That being said, Vayne's true damage on every third hit is a huge source of damage, especially when she's three-starred. She'll often use items like Guinsoo's Rageblade, Runaan's Hurricane and Giant Slayer.
Remember that trying to three-star four units at the same time is greedy and risky. You may quickly run out of the space on your bench if you decide to do that. I would recommend going for 2-3 units at a time, prioritizing Vayne and whichever Knight you get the most. In the end, maxing out Garen, Mordekaiser and Darius should be doable in every game, unless multiple other people are going for the same strategy. If you see more than two other players going for it, you should probably play something else, due to the limited shared champion pool.
For this build to come online, you're going to need a Knight's Vow on Kindred and level 7. This way, you can play six Knights, two Rangers, and two Phantoms. Vayne can really shred through enemy frontlines, and Kindred is mostly played as a support for the life-saving ultimate and attack speed from Ranger synergy. The real Knights are a powerful frontline that can endure a lot of punishment, while Poppy and Sejuani also provide some crowd control.
Of course, there are some drawbacks too. There's no way to make your Vayne never miss her attacks in that comp, so enemies that can dodge might be annoying. Moreover, your primary carry relies on attack speed, which can be a detriment with how many Frozen Hearts are being built in this meta. There's also a possibility that your Vayne gets instantly killed by a stacked Assassin (Akali's damage is currently quite absurd). You can prevent that to some extent with the right positioning – still you shouldn't expect to win against high rolling Assassin players.
You're also having all the issues of any other hyperroll strategy. You're only really strong if you hit your upgrades and it's really hard to pivot out after you lost your gold looking for them. You can easily pivot before rolling down, though – a couple of Knights on board and a strong economy allow you to play pretty much anything. The other problem is: you're not getting much stronger after level 7. If you're not dealing with finishing blows yet, you might get outscaled by players who have strong power spikes at level 8 or even manage to hit 9. You can add Kai'sa or just any standalone strong unit, but it's not going to make you that much stronger.
When considering this team comp an essential thing to remember is to never buy experience until level 5. We're rolling for one-cost units, so we want to stay level 4 as long as possible. It's also optimal to hard econ up to the moment right before hitting 5 and rolling down at that point. It's not always entirely possible since to beat Krugs at level four you will need some two-stars. Try not to roll all the way down at that point if you can – keeping some econ will give you a couple of extra rolls later. When you upgrade Vayne and three or two of your Knights, it's time to stop rolling. Start saving up again and try to reach your level 7 comp as soon as possible.
Pivoting out of Knights
A great thing about Knights is how easily you can pivot out of them. They're relatively strong early on, so you shouldn't be losing much HP in these rounds. It means that you get some extra leeway when transitioning. They are a top tier frontline, so there's a chance that you won't be selling all of them (Sejuani is useful in basically every comp, some other Knights can be used as meat shields and synergy-enablers).
You can pretty much pivot into anything that you have items for. The only thing that you might regret is building Knight's Vow and maybe Ionic Spark early on. You might wish that you had those components for something else, especially the Spatula.
As I mentioned, the rest depends on the items that you have. While rebuilding, remember that you always can use the Knights as a temporary frontline. Going for a huge transition in a single turn and failing it can cost you much more health, than going slowly and methodically, even if it's a bit worse econ-wise.
Tips on how to navigate a Knights game
Since so many Knights are one cost units, you want to look for them since the beginning. In the early game, the pattern is simple. Until levels 6-7, you want to add more Knights when you can get a stronger bonus and play a carry when you can't.
After you get to four Knights, things might get more complicated, because Kayle usually comes pretty late. It mostly depends on whether you have Knight's Vow or not. If you got one, pushing for six Knights at level 6-7 might be a good idea. If you don't have that item, play it slow and wait for Kayle.
At level seven, you will usually run four Knights and three other units. Unless you have a lot of strong two star units, this is a weak point of this comp, since the four Knight damage mitigation is becoming less meaningful.
For me, getting an early Poppy or two-starring some of the one cost Knights are great signs of going for this build. Once you get some Needlessly Large Rods, Giant's Belts, Negatron Cloaks, and Chain Vests in the first minion rounds is also an incentive to play a Knight comp.
Remember to always scout enemy boards, no matter what comp you're playing. If you notice some people building Rabadon Deathcap, or simply Sorcerer or Elementalist player doing well, you might need a Dragon's Claw to beat them. If that's the case, prioritize Negatron Cloaks on the carousel, even if it means sacrificing some of your core items.
TFT Knight Builds
These are the few variants of six Knight builds that I believe are worth going for. Overall, they are extremely popular and reliable. The trait is powerful early on, with a slight drop off in the midgame – when other players hit their power spikes, and you're still looking for the synergy completion. If you manage to get all six though, you should be good to go, unless you're facing a hard counter. With Guardians currently being underwhelming, Brawlers are pretty much the only alternative if you need a strong frontline.
What do you think about this guide? Maybe you have some other favorite team comps that include Knights? Let us know in the comments and make sure to follow our blog, if you're interested in more content about Teamfight Tactics, League of Legends or other hot online games.
Is hyperrolling Knights reliable?
Hyperrolling Knights are currently one of the most reliable strategies in the game. However, just like with any other rolling strategy, scouting is crucial. The more people go for a similar build, the less likely you are to get it.
What are the best carries for Knight comps?
The most popular choices are Draven and Vayne. Go for the first one I you’re leveling and for the second if you’re rolling. You can also try a high damage Sorcerer like Karthus or Aurelion Sol.
How to counter Knights?
Knights struggle against high burst and true damage. You can counter them with a powerful Assassin like Akali, a Void composition or a powerful Sorcerer.