It’s finally time for another TFT update! I have to be honest with you guys, I’ve been playing TFT since day one, and Runettera Reforged was the most fun I had since Set 2. The introduction of Region Portals was one of the best things Riot did, along with the introduction of Legends. I also felt a lot more team compositions were meta simultaneously than in previous sets. Sometimes it did feel like some augments took over the game to the point where counterplay was not really there, but you would still never see me vote for the Stillwater Hold.
Horizonbound is bringing a lot of new changes to the game, while still maintaining the overall theme of the Runettera Reforged. Among other things, we will be getting some new champions and traits, while we will be saying goodbye to some. I will talk about the most notable changes happening, so you will be prepared to start your ranked grind on day one!
Also, a small announcement: Starting with the release of Set 9.5 for TFT, we will be talking about meta team compositions for every single patch of TFT right here at Ganiming! Every time Riot Games releases a new patch, we will talk about the changes made and how that will affect which team compositions perform the best!
When Does TFT Set 9.5 Go Live?
The latest TFT Set 9.5 named Horizonbound will go live on September 13th with the patch 13.18! But you can play it on the PBE right now!
Removed Champions and Traits
On September 13th we will be saying goodbye to some of the most meta-defining champions and traits of Set 9. Through the set Kalista team comps were some of the best performing in the whole game, while Yordles always had one of the carries that just seemed one step above everyone else. Some more frustrating champions to play against are being removed, such as Garen, Lux, Akshan, and Zeri.
New TFT Set 9.5 Traits
There are three new notable traits that are being added with Set 9.5. The first one, and the one that I am most excited about, is Bilgewater. It is a large trait with 7 champions that is pretty straightforward. Bligerat champion attacks mark their targets, which take extra damage after 2 seconds. The damage scales with the number of your Bilgewater champions.
The second origin trait is Ixtal which includes three champions. It brings back an elemental rift mechanic from Set 2 of TFT! Every game gain different elemental hexes on your board that give a different bonus from game to game.
The third trait seems to be replacing the Deadeye trait and is called Vanquisher. Another simple trait that gives your units extra critical strike chance and damage, while also allowing their abilities to critically strike.
Bonus: Bilgerat attacks and Abilities mark enemies. The mark stores a percentage of damage dealt to the enemy by Bilgerats. Marked enemies are struck by a cannonball after 2 seconds, dealing the stored damage plus a flat value as physical damage.
- (3) 150 + 35% damage dealt
- (5) 250 + 50% damage dealt
- (7) 400 + 100% damage dealt
- (9) 650 + 125% damage dealt, Cannonballs damage nearby enemies
Champions: Graves (1), Illaoi (1), Twisted Fate (2), Miss Fortune (3), Nautilus (3), Nilah (4), Gangplank (5)
Bonus: Gain elemental hexes, which give a different bonus from game to game.
Champions: Milio (1), Qiyana (2), Neeeko (3)
Bonus: Damage from Vanquisher Abilities can critically strike. Vanquishers gain bonus Critical Strike Chance and Critical Strike Damage.
(2) 15% , 10%
(4) 35% , 25%
(6) 55% , 40%
Champions: Jhin (1), Ashe (2), Darius (3), Nilah (4), Xayah (4)
Smaller Trait Changes
Some of the traits have been changed slightly for the new set. Their mechanics will mostly stay the same, but there were some numbers tweaking and some changes to the conditions for activating them.
(1) Darkin are possessed by a weapon. When they die, the weapon possesses the nearest ally champion, granting them the weapon’s power.
(2) Weapon powers become 50% stronger
Weapon powers are described in each Darkin’s Ability tooltip.
Champions: Naafiri (2), Aatrox (5)
After 8 seconds, an ice storm strikes the battlefield. Enemies take a percentage of their max Health as true damage and gain debuffs.
(2) 5% , enemies are 40% Sundered and Shredded for 10 seconds
(3) 12% , enemies are also Stunned for 1.5 seconds
Champions: Ashe (2), Sejuani (4)
Every 4 seconds, Shurimans heal 5% maximum Health. After 8 seconds, select Shurimans Ascend and gain 20% maximum Health and 30% Attack Speed.
(2) The strongest Shuriman Ascends
(4) All Shurimans Ascend. +15% Ascension bonus
(6) Instead, Ascend at combat start. +45% Ascension bonus
(9) Ascend twice, at combat start and after 8 seconds. +75% Ascension bonus
Champions: Cassiopeia (1), Renekton (1), Naafiri (2), Taliyah (2), Azir (4), Nasus (4), K’sante
Slayers gain 12% Omnivamp.
Slayers deal bonus damage, doubled against units below 66% Health.
(2) +6% bonus damage
(4) +20% bonus damage
(6) +40% bonus damage
Champions: Kayle (1), Qiyana (2), Rek’Sai (3), Quinn (3), Mordekaiser (4), Aatrox (5)
New Set 9.5 Champions
Bilgewater/Gunner/Rogue (1 cost)
Ability: Smoke Grenade
Launch a smoke grenade toward the current target. It explodes on impact dealing physical damage to adjacent enemies, leaving behind a smoke cloud that Chills.
Chill: Reduce Attack Speed by 30%
Bilgewater/Bastion (1 cost)
Ability: Harsh Lesson
Deal magic damage to the current target, linking souls for 5 seconds. While linked, heal for percentage of all damage taken by the target.
Ixtal/Invoker (1 cost)
Ability: Ultra Mega Fire Kick
Kick a ball at the current target that deals magic damage and Stuns for 2 seconds. The ball bounces to the closest enemy behind the target, dealing magic damage in a 1-hex radius.
Darkin/Shurima/Challenger (2 cost)
Eviscerate the current target, dealing physical damage.
Darkin Dagger: Gain Omnivamp. After casting, 2/3/4 packmates attack the first enemy hit.
Omnivamp: Heal for percentage of damage dealt
Ixtal/Slayer/Rogue (2 cost)
Ability: Supreme Display of Talent
Dash to strike enemies in a line and deal physical damage, Stunning, and knocking up enemies for 1.5 seconds.
Bilgewater/Multicaster (2 cost)
Ability: Stacked Deck
Throw a hand of cards at the current target, dealing damage and encircling them. After 1.5 seconds the cards explode, dealing damage to nearby enemies.
Bilgewater/Juggernaut (3 cost)
Passive: Gain 30% bonus Armor and Magic Resistance from all sources.
Active: Summon a whirlpool that deals magic damage to enemies within two hexes, Stunning them and pulling them towards the center with a knock up.
Bilgewater/Strategist (3 cost)
Ability: X Marks the Spot
Call down an X-shaped rain of bullets, dealing magic damage and Wounding targets for 5 seconds.
Wound: Reduce healing received by 33%
Ixtal/Bastion (3 cost)
Ability: Pop Blossom
Leap towards the current target and gain Shield for 3 seconds. Slam down after a brief delay, dealing magic damage to enemies within two hexes.
Demacia/Slayer (3 cost)
Launch Valor through the row or column with the most enemies, marking them to take increased damage for 4 seconds. Then rain down arrows, dealing physical damage split between all marked enemies.
Demacia/Challenger (4 cost)
Ability: Blade Waltz
Become untargetable and strike the current target 4 times. Each strike deals physical damage and true damage. Heal for 20% of the total damage dealt. If the target dies, change targets to the nearest enemy.
Noxus/Slayer (4 cost)
Ability: God of Death
Passive: Attacks deal bonus magic damage, increased while God of Death is active.
Active: Gain Shield and 1 range for 5 seconds. Killing enemies in this state steals 8/8/20% of their Health, Attack Damage, Ability Power, Armor, and Magic Resistance until combat ends.
Bilgewater/Vanquisher (4 cost)
Ability: Formless Blade
Passive: Attacks strike in a cone, dealing physical damage to up to 2 additional enemies. Every 3rd attack becomes empowered, striking in a line for physical damage.
Active: Gain a Shield for 3 seconds and dash to a safe location. For the rest of combat, gain 44% stacking Attack Speed.
Zaun/Sorcerer (4 cost)
Ability: Undercity Tactics
Throw a vial at a nearby enemy, covering adjacent hexes in shimmer for 6/6/10 seconds. Enemies affected by shimmer take magic damage per second. Allies affected by shimmer heal health per second.
Ionia/Vanquisher (4 cost)
Summon 7/7/12 feathers that converge on the current target, dealing physical damage each. Each feather removes 6 Armor from the first target they hit until the end of combat.
Ionia Bonus: Attacks restore an additional 5 Mana
Bilgewater/Gunner/Reaver King (5 cost)
Ability: The Dreadway
Cutlass Passive: Gain 50 Armor and Magic Resist. Attacks ignite the target, dealing true damage over 3 seconds. Pistol Passive: Gain 3 range. Attacks grant 5 extra mana.
Active: Summon the Dreadway to sail across the board, crashing into the first enemy hit and dealing magic damage in a 3-hex radius. Allies the Dreadway passes through or hits with the crash are empowered by citrus, gaining 30/40/300% Attack Speed and immunity to crowd control for 4 seconds.
The most notable change that will be happening in TFT Set 9.5 is the item update. Items will now be split into 4 categories:
- Core items (regular items that can be crafted from components)
- Radiant items (upgraded versions of core items, giving way more stats)
- Artifact items (unique items crafted by Ornn, which give interesting effects)
- Support items (items providing buffs to your team, which can be obtained from augments, portal rifts, and rewards)
New Core Items
There are 6 new core items that will be craftable in the TFT Set 9.5, replacing some of the old regular items. But don’t worry, as those items are not completely gone, they have just been rebranded to support items.
Negatron Cloak + Tear of the Goddess
Combat Start: The holder gains bonuses based on their starting position.
Front Two Rows: 15 Ability Power and 35 Armor and Magic Resist.
Back Two Rows: 25 Ability Power and gain 15 Mana every 2 seconds.
Giants Belt + BF Sword
Once per combat at 60% Health, increase max health by 25% and gain 30% Attack Damage for the rest of combat.
Giant’s Belt + Negatron Cloak
Grant 15 Armor and Magic Resist for the first 10 seconds of combat.
50% Sunder enemies within 2 hexes.
Sunder: Reduce Armor by 50%
Chain Vest + Brawler’s Glove
Deal 15% bonus damage, increased to 30% while below 60% health.
Recurve Bow + Giant’s Belt
After casting an Ability, gain 40% Attack Speed for 5 seconds.
Needlessly Large Rod + Chain Vest
Combat start: Shields the holder for 30% of their max health for 8 seconds. When the shield breaks or expires, gain 40 Ability Power.
Support items are not craftable from components you collect during a game of TFT. They feature some very familiar items like Locket and Zephyr but with some new additions as well. These items will give your team buffs and boost some of their stats.
Aegis of the Legion
Combat start: Empower all allies in the columns behind the holder, granting 30% Attack Speed and 20 Armor and Magic Resist for 10 seconds.
Combat Start: Grant the holder and all allies within 1 hexes in the same row immunity to crowd control for 18 seconds.
Chalice of Power
Combat start: Grant 20 Ability Power and 15 Mana to the holder and allies within 2 hexes in the same row.
Locket of the Iron Solari
Combat start: The holder and allies within 2 hexes in the same row gain a 200/250/300 damage shield and 25 Armor and 25 Magic Resist for 20 seconds.
Needlessly Big Gem
Once per combat: If the holder is alive after 15 seconds of combat, grant 1 gold per 2 living allies, and each living ally deals 34% more damage.
Attacks and Abilities 50% Shred and 50% Sunder enemies for 10 seconds.
Combat start: Grant 40 Armor and 40 Magic Resistance to the holder and their adjacent allies.
Shroud of Stillnes
Combat Start: Shoot a beam that 30% Mana Reaves enemies.
Your team gains 100 Health.
Virtue of the Martyr
Heal all allies for 7% of their max Health every 5 seconds. When the holder dies, increase the heal amount by 200% and continue the duration for 10 seconds.
Combat start: Grant 25% Attack Speed to the holder and allies within 2 hexes in the same row.
Combat start: Summon a whirlwind on the opposite side of the arena that removes the closest enemy from combat for 5 seconds.
Your team gains 10% Attack Speed.
Combat start: Summon a large Voidspawn that Taunts nearby enemies.
New Artifact Items
Most of the artifacts that were in the game before were not changed, but some new ones have been added to TFT Set 9.5! Some shimmerscale items are now considered artifacts as well.
Once per combat at 75% Health, increase max health by 35% and gain 45% Attack Damage for the rest of combat.
Crest of Cinders
When combat begins, the holder and all allies within 1 hexes in the same row gain the Crest of Cinders.
Units with the Crest of Cinders empower their attacks to Burn their target for 7% of their maximum health as true damage and apply 33% Wound.
Early Meta Predictions
The most obvious unit to play around would be Fiora. Her ability makes her untargetable, which has 1v9 written all over her. She can be played in a full Challenger or a full Demacia comp, but I did have the most success when pairing her with Challengers. The fact that she gets help From Kai’sa makes this an easy way of gaining LP.
Noxus team comps are interesting and even more dangerous than before. The addition of Mordekaiser does not force you to reroll for your 3 stars every game and allows for a bit more versatility. I am noticing that Mordekaiser is taking over more and more games, witht he mos popular build being Jeweled Gauntlet into double Rapidfire Cannon.
Shurima is still as strong as ever, but it feels easier to hit the requirements. I really enjoyed adding some strategists to the team, but I had the most success when I utilized the double Darkin buff with Naafiri and made Aatrox the second carry.
Low-cost unit rerolls have performed very well so far. Champions that stand out the most tend to be Milio, Twisted Fate, and even Graves if used correctly. Milio’s ability provides damage and CC, which is amazing for a one-cost unit, while Twisted Fate can carry through the Multicaster trait.
I had a change to test out both the Warwick and Kassadin carry augments and they still feel like an easy way to finish in Top 4 of any game if you itemize on them correctly. I am still to try the Boss augment for Sett as I didn’t see it in game yet.
Quinn reroll has been appearing more and more often, with its build being similar to Akshan in the previous Set. There are 2 ways of playing her: you can go down the full Demacia route with an extra slayer, or down the Slayer route with just enough Demacia units to grant her a Radiant item.
I had a perfect Void game, everything lined up for me. I had a ton of early Void units, got an emblem on my second augment, and even got Bel’Veth the very first turn when I hit level 7. But as I got to Baron Nashor in the late game and leveled up my units, I just felt my team dealt no damage. Perfect items on Bel’Veth, Kai’sa, and Fiora with the emblem made no difference, and even though I was at 100 hp at Wolves, I just barely lost out on place 4. But then in another game I managed to hit both Kai’Sa 3 and Bel’Veth 3, which definitely wins games.
Bilgewater is an easy team comp to run to get yourself into the top 4. It has both early and late game units and you don’t even need emblems to hit Bilgewater 7. I’m still unsure if Gangplank is better in the frontline or the backline, but I have to say it is a lot of fun building him full AP and lining him up in the back row. Nilah is an insane champion as well, who can easily take over games if used correctly.
I also used Bilgewater with the 4 Gunner synergy, which was my favorite way of playing it so far. Both Graves and Gangplank are Gunners, so it is super easy to hit, and Aphelios can still carry games even though he isn’t a Deadeye anymore.
Silco + sorcerers team comp seems the strongest to me so far. Literally every time I’ve seen it used it was top 2 at least. Silco’s ability both heals his allies and damages enemies, which makes him a threat even if he is only one starred. But I am yet to try him myself, as he is incredibly contested in all my games.
It is still very hard to predict what the meta will be when the TFT Set 9.5 finally hits live servers, as the balance of everything is constantly being changed. The addition of new items could easily turn some champions into unexpected carries, while some changes to the traits could prove to be meta-changing.
Are you looking forward to the new TFT Set 9.5? What is the highest rank you have achieved so far and where are you aiming to land in the next set? Let us know in the comments below and keep an eye out for our meta rundown when the update hits live servers!