TeamFight Tactics: Galaxies

So it’s been a while since Teamfight Tactics officially went live, and since then I dipped my toes into the game with their Elemental set. I had only played the game once prior to that during the beta, when the original set was introduced, and honestly didn’t know what would change with this game nor how often these changes would occur. I had also basically written off the genre after I wasn’t really intrigued with DOTA Underlords or Teamfight Tactics in its earliest form. When friends convinced me to give it another go, I found a surprising amount of fun could be found while not really controlling the action. I suppose this should be common sense, since people have been playing idle or clicker games for years now, but those styles of game rarely appealed to me on a personal level. Regardless, I managed to play enough to start to understand the rules, the champions available, their classes and item builds and then jumped headfirst into ranked. During that season (which are rather short) I climbed from Iron to Bronze, but abruptly the next set was released and progress was reset. The next new thing? Galaxies.

The previous set had a special feature, where certain tiles of the battlefield would be enhanced with buffs that would apply to whichever champion you stood upon them. This time around, those tiles are gone, replaced by a random chance to enter into a different galaxy for that game. Above are examples, and honestly I don’t even know if I’ve seen either of these or if there are more of them. I have probably played more games since the new set kicked off than I did last season, so I would imagine I would have seen at least one of them, but honestly there is so much new information to absorb after a reset, I couldn’t tell you if I have.

New items were introduced that can help you to get to those higher origin/class tiers faster, along with a couple that are utility oriented. Having used both the Shroud and the Portal, the Portal is the better of the two but the Shroud still has its uses. I like putting it on my tank that has an item or two by late game or is level 3 and it’s effectively a guardian angel. It’s really good. The others rarely pop up in the carousel and you don’t get spatualas often either so you’ll see less of them.

Just when I started to understand which origins and classes worked well together, they switched things up on me. I have managed try most of these to the minimum or 2/3 that they need to go online, but have pulled together a Mech Pilot team one time, a full squad of 6 Chrono and Star Guardian. I really enjoy Chrono because it grants attack speed across the board, so if you have a couple of other strong champions that don’t quite fit they still benefit from the attack speed. Speed = more mana = more spells = more DPS. Fighting against Mech Pilot comps feels shitty but I actually got crushed when I ran it so I guess I didn’t have the proper support.

There are some similar classes this time around, but a couple of others that do something a little different. Snipers only require two units, and actually stack quite well with Chrono. Vanguard is a solid choice too even if you only get to 2 units. Starship basically replaces Alchemist in that the character runs around aimlessly, but has a powerful ability. Infiltrators are basically Assassins. Blademasters function mostly the same. Overall the bigger changes occurred with the origins, and many of these I haven’t fully delved into due to having other preferences.

Anyway, as I said I’ve been playing more often now than I had been mainly due to being home basically all of the time. I’m really starting to enjoy it as well, after learning more about the new abilities I felt confident I could get further in ranked than I had previously. I managed to come out of my placement matches in the same spot I had ended the prior season on, so there was nowhere to go but up! Since then, I have played a few more rounds and managed to get my first victory of the season (with the aforementioned 6 Chrono 2 Sniper build) which promoted me from Bronze IV to Bronze II. I think I’ll be able to run up to Silver at least before the reset. Looking forward to trying, and I’ll check back in the next time we have something new to tackle.

A Ramble for Friday

I sat down at my computer this morning to write something, but upon inspection of my drafts folder, there are two articles that I have yet to work on and little else. One of those articles is about the launch of Season 4 for Apex Legends, but I really don’t have a lot to say given that I haven’t really played more than a handful of games this season. I didn’t buy the battle pass either, because I haven’t been playing so I don’t see the point in paying money for something I won’t get enjoyment out of. It’s not that I’m disillusioned with the game, I still think it’s the best battle royale game on the market and I still enjoy the world and character design. It’s still a great shooter at its core as well. I did have enough in-game currency to unlock the new character immediately, and I’ve played enough games to see the changes to the map. There are still rotating limited time game modes and apparently there will be a portion of time where we go back to King’s Canyon (the original map). I still have friends playing regularly, but with my interest shifting back towards League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics, I don’t have time to play both with any sort of regularity.

The other draft in my folder is a Magic: The Gathering EDH deck brew, one that I’ve been working on for quite some time. When Throne of Eldraine released, the preconstructed Brawl decks came out as well, and there was one character that I was interested in building around. I finally got my hands on the Chulane deck, and I brewed it up immediately. Thankfully many of the more expensive cards I want to put into the deck are already in my collection, but there are still several cards needed and I don’t think I can build it out just yet. Also, in the subsequent months there was the release of the next set, Theros: Beyond Death and that changed my brew a little bit. It seems at least for me that very few decks are ever “finished.” Instead, they are a more fluid evolving thing — new sets introduce new cards and new combos and new synergies and sometimes a deck that started out fairly focused on one theme ends up taking a completely different turn. As such, I’ve broken up decks to make new ones and as I play more I find that some of my decks just weren’t very good, or another project comes up where I want to pull good cards out of substandard decks to put into a new one.

For instance, I just built a deck around Klothys which is one of the new Gods from Theros, and initially it just didn’t perform the way I would have thought. I already know that there are some better cards I could buy that would replace some lesser versions but I didn’t want to spend a ton to finish the deck off, so it’s a budget build for now. Regardless, it has still yet to perform after a handful of games, and I’ve already gone through and swapped out about 20 cards. I guess it has something to do with matchups in that I have played against other decks that are doing the same sort of thing better, or just combo off faster (for reference, this deck doesn’t depend on combos, just value and big stuff to finish a game). Perhaps it will see a game where it shines, but for now I’m starting to focus on other decks I have and how I can improve them, along with looking ahead to new brews. We also know that the next set of commander decks comes out in the next couple of months, so I assume there will be new projects I’ll want to take on. Whatever the case, between the couple of games I’m playing and MTG, I haven’t had a bunch to write about.

There are new games on the horizon. DOOM Eternal releases soon. Final Fantasy VII Remake as well. Those are two I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. The latest Metro game is no longer an Epic Games Store exclusive, so being able to buy it on Steam has me tempted. I do still have a few games I bought within the last few months that I have yet to complete, so once I get around to those I’ll have more to write about. Whatever the case I’ve been in the mood to write more often, but then I sit and realize I don’t really have anything substantial to say and skip it. I honestly thought I would have gotten more posts in this month but as I said, when you play the same couple of games all month it’s not super exciting to write about nor great for readers. I can tell you that I started my ranked journey in TFT and after being placed in Iron III I’ve worked up to Iron I. Bronze to come. I have yet to play ranked in LoL, but I intend to give it a whirl again. Perhaps I’ll get back to the same level I used to be at. I’ll also be playing MTG as much as I can, and though I’ve had a ton of great experiences it’s hard to translate that into blog posts. Perhaps I’ll start streaming or recording so that I can share some epic games. It’s an idea I’ve been toying with, but I’ll make it official ahead of time if I decide to start doing that.

So yeah, I’m still around, just having trouble getting the words onto the page. I’ll try to do more posts like this if this persists, just to check in.