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Week of 10.15: Trait Tier List
Hihi! It's the end of the week and that means it's time for my last 'week of' article for the meta! As usual this is a tier list for each synergy in the game, rating them from S to C tier. While there's definitely a few traits doing really well and few not so well it's worth keeping in mind that the power of every trait is always changing and can vary from game to game. With that all said let's get to it!

                                      S Tier

Starting off the top of the list we have S Tier! This consists of Dark Star, Vanguard, Mystic, Astro and Sniper! These synergies are exceptional and are likely to be seen most games.

At the top of S Tier is Dark Star! It’s likely no surprise to see this synergy at the top once again as there weren't really any nerfs that would have lowered the value of the trait or champions. Xerath did lose a bit of priority as a carry but both Jhin and Shaco are still doing amazing in the meta. Jarvan is also more in line with other one cost champions although he’s still a valuable asset for Dark Stars and Protectors.

Really though the biggest contributor to Dark Stars continued success is definitely Jhin. Jhin is hands down one of the best, if not the best, carries in the game currently. He’s just so damn good that he carries Dark Star on his back to the top of the trait tier list. Of course he’s not alone in making this trait good but it often does feel that way. Beyond the champions we’ve mentioned, Karma is also played quite frequently as a pair to the carry for a multitude of builds. 

All in all the Dark Star synergy is strong but is certainly made stronger because of the champions.

Next up we have Vanguards! Yep, Vanguards are still the best, and most common, front line option in the game. This is even more so true after nerfs to a few of the Protectors whereas Vanguards have enough champions that any small tweaks won’t affect the viability of the trait. Whether it’s two, four or even six Vanguards you’re going to have a quick and easy way of filling out your front line.

We can’t talk about Vanguards without mentioning Mystics, right? 

Technically we could because the build Vanguard/Mystic, while still viable, is actually not as common as it was last patch. But where Vanguard dominates the front line, Mystic controls the splash traits. You’re almost always going to splash in two Mystics for your build, regardless of what you’re playing. Not only is the trait amazing, the champions within the trait are all insanely useful.

Now we can move onto Astro! Don’t worry, Sniper is right behind Astro because you’ve likely noticed how immensely popular Astro/Sniper is in the current meta. Sure, four Vanguard with Sniper is playable and more dominant in certain regions but as a whole you’re going to see Astro/Sniper far more than any other variation.

A big reason for this is the synergies just line up so well together. Astro gives you Nautilus, Teemo and Gnar which means you get a lot of CC, good front line and great magic damage. Outside of those three there is Bard as well but he’s more of an outlier champion and not really specifically tied to any particular synergy.

So yes you have Astro as one half and Sniper as the other for these pair of synergies. Sniper isn’t as impactful as Astro is but it gives you two things. One, more damage. Increased damage is useful, even if it doesn’t always get the most value. The second reason is the champions themselves.

As mentioned there’s Teemo who is both Astro & Sniper but you get access to the best ranged carry in the game, Jhin, by going Sniper. Caitlyn is a strong early choice who also gives Chrono and Ashe is an amazing back line utility champion with the CC from her ultimate. Combine all of these factors together between Astro & Sniper and you can see how these two traits easily make it into S Tier.

                                        A Tier

Moving along we can begin to talk about A Tier! This consists of Infiltrator, Cybernetic, Star Guardian, Protector, Starship and Paragon! These synergies are above average and while not quite as dominant as the traits in S Tier they still hold their own against them or are often played alongside them.

Infiltrator is at the top of A Tier mainly due to Ekko, Fizz and Shaco. Shaco, of course, is a great carry but both Fizz and Ekko are really powerful champions that you’re going to see played in a multitude of builds. Of course Infiltrators also benefit from Mech-Pilot returning to the meta but honestly their placement on the list would likely remain the same regardless. That’s just how good Ekko, Fizz and Shaco are.

Since we’ve talked a little bit about Ekko that makes for an easy transition into the next trait, Cybernetics. Cybernetics may not do as well as Astro/Sniper and can struggle against Vanguards but they are definitely doing well enough in the meta. Especially in the early game and into the mid game with the buffs to Lucian. 

With him returning as a viable early carry you’re able to smoothly transition into six Cybernetics, or other builds, quite easily. Mixed with the fact that both Irelia and Vayne can carry and Ekko being a late game beast it makes this placement an easy choice for Cybernetics.

Alright let’s shift gears and talk briefly about Star Guardian! This trait isn’t quite as dominant as it was last patch which is mainly due to the lowered priority of Syndra. She is still a strong carry but not as commonly played as she was last patch. So why is Star Guardian still so high up in the tier list?

Because Neeko, Janna and Soraka are absolutely ridiculous when played together. They are such a powerhouse late game combination that can be slotted into several builds that it makes the value of Star Guardian shoot up to the stars. Honestly if you haven’t tried playing those three champions together yet we highly recommend you do!

Next we have Protectors! As mentioned, Neeko is great with her Star Guardian friends so it means you can easily play Protectors with them as well. Outside of that, Jarvan is still doing well early and mid game though he definitely falls off compared to last patch. Overall this trait isn’t as good as Vanguards for your front line but the champions themselves really make up for its shortcomings.

Nearing the end of A Tier is Starship! Aurelion Sol isn’t always going to be your go-to late game champion but in a lot of games he’s going to be. Why? Because he’s difficult to kill by being immune to CC and his fighters draining mana is just so effective. Aurelion is a staple of the meta and likely isn’t going anywhere unless he’s nerfed heavily.

Another one unit trait is Paragon which comes in as the last synergy of A Tier. It’s really just because Janna is so good, to be frank. As far as the trait itself goes, it’s… It’s okay. Magic damage can be nice to bypass armor heavy front lines but overall the actual effect of the trait is completely overshadowed by Janna herself.

                                      B Tier

Let’s move on to the B Tier! This will consist of Blaster, Mech-Pilot, Blademaster, Chrono, Celestial, Battlecast, Brawler and Rebel! These synergies are average in strength so while they won’t always be as strong as the tiers above them they are good enough to be played frequently.

First up is Blaster! Blaster actually got a lot of improvements in 10.15 with buffs to Lucian, Graves and Jinx. It’s still not that dominant of a trait but Jinx being a viable carry really raises the value of this synergy significantly. There are also times where Kog’maw and Battlecast make great use of the spread damage of the Blaster trait so it’s not only tied to Jinx, which is a good thing in making it more viable.

Mech-Pilot is basically the embodiment of average right now in the meta. It can do well, and even win games, but it can also flounder and flop to a middle of the road placement. It is worth noting that this trait is significantly more valuable on Dwarf Planet, so look to try playing it there if you find yourself on that Galaxy.

Blademasters are in a similar boat as Mech. It can carry games, specifically with either Master Yi carry or Xayah carry, but it can also easily get fourth or lower. To make Blademasters effective it requires a fair amount of high rolling in terms of items and champions which doesn’t make it the most consistent of synergies.

It may seem weird but Chrono and Celestials are about equal in utility as splash traits. Both of them have a place but neither of them are anywhere close to as useful as Mystic is. Basically you can play both of these traits with any composition and you’ll find success but their impact has been diminished greatly in recent patches.

Ah, Battlecast. Battlecast is hard to place right now because it does have a strong build that utilizes it with reroll six Battlecast. And in the early game it can do quite well but… is it strong enough to rise up in the tier list? As it is currently, likely not. It’s definitely doing better than it has in previous metas but it’s still a trait that struggles to find its footing consistently. We are definitely keeping an eye on this synergy though as it has potential to rise up in the tier list as the meta continues to evolve.

Next we have Brawlers! Look, Brawlers aren’t bad at all. But compare them to Vanguards or even Protectors and it should be clear why they are in B Tier. By comparison to those other front line options they really are just… average. That doesn’t mean you should overlook them, especially champions like Gnar, Vi and Blitzcrank, but there’s certainly more of a reason to play Vanguards for your front line instead of Brawlers.

And rounding out the bottom of B Tier is Rebel! Rebels have a place in the current meta but gosh do they require a hefty amount of high rolling to succeed. Three Rebels is much easier to commit to, specifically early game. But if you’re talking six you need Jinx 2 with good items, Gangplank 2 to pair with Ziggs and Aurelion Sol 2 just to have a chance at fighting against other top synergies. It’s definitely not a bad trait but for sure struggles a lot of the time to do well.

                                     C Tier

Alright we’re at the end of the list with the synergies in C Tier! This tier consists of Sorcerer, Mana-Reaver, Demolitionist, Space Pirate and Mercenary! These are below average synergies that only do well in niche situations.

Up first is Sorcerer! It may seem odd seeing Sorcerers so far down in the list but hear us out. For starters, yes they are a great two piece splash trait but you’re not always going to make use of them. The second thing to consider is their carries. 

Viktor is back in the meta but… he doesn’t really rely on this trait to carry. Xerath? He’s all about attack speed so additional damage, while nice, isn’t that useful. And lastly Syndra. Syndra benefits from being able to ramp up, meaning you want her to cast more so the Sorcerer buff almost doesn’t matter because mana is way more important. So basically the bottom line is that splashing two Sorcerers is good in the right circumstance but you really don’t need this trait for any of its carries. And that’s why it’s in C Tier.

Mana-Reaver is really, really good in Cybernetics. Outside of that it doesn’t exist and it’s the same reason as usual, there’s just not enough relevant meta champions to choose from. You only have Irelia and Thresh, which are both fantastic, but not really reliable enough to run together in a majority of builds.

Demolitionist, overall, is an essential synergy in the situations you want it. Mostly with Mech but generally to buff up Gangplank. But honestly Gangplank is not that relevant of a champion right now and that really lowers the value of Demolitionists. That said it is still great for Mech and is quite a strong early game trait.

So there were buffs to both Darius and Graves for Space Pirates in 10.15. Because of that the trait is actually playable again early game! After that it falls off, as usual. Darius just isn’t reliable enough to carry this trait into the mid game and you’re almost never going to hit Gangplank early enough for the four piece to be relevant. Until there’s some major buffs to Darius or the synergy itself we’re unlikely to see Space Pirates ever become relevant outside of early early game.

And the last trait for today’s tier list is Mercenary! It’s probably not much of a surprise to see it here considering the previous two were also about Gangplank. Despite how poorly it must reflect on Gangplank to have all three of his traits as the bottom of the list it’s worth pointing out he’s not terrible.

Gangplank mostly suffers from being far too expensive for too little pay off. When played in six Rebels or with Mech he’s quite useful and does not only a good amount of damage but provides AoE CC. But he needs to be level two with good items to really shine. And then that’s where Mercenary comes in.

Mercenary just… doesn’t provide enough for how expensive it is. While each upgrade is okay it’s just a big investment. That said its value does hinge on how strong Gangplank is, but given his current capabilities spending the gold for each upgrade just costs too much.

Alright that's all for today's tier list as well as my last article on the 10.15 meta! Next week 10.16 will be coming out to hopefully shake up the current meta and as usual I'll be writing up a patch review when it comes out! Thanks for reading! <3

As always check out https://lolchess.gg/ as a great TFT resource! You can find more of me on my twitter here and twitch here as well as more GiantSlayerTFT content here!
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