The best comp so far in the Teamfight Tactics Dragonlands expansion has been Tempest Mage. Although its nowhere near the most played comp, the numbers don’t lie when it comes to the best performer. With the comp being very tricky to pilot, one of Upcomer’s TFT experts is here to show you how to terrorize your lobbies with this in-depth Tempest Mage guide that goes over each phase of the game, items, augments, positioning and more.
The win condition for Tempest Mage is simple; get to level nine and upgrade the board with optimal champions. There isn’t a composition in the game that has a higher cap than this one. With a comp focused around four different five-cost champions, this comp has more than enough tools to beat anyone, it’s getting there that is the hard part. The comp is very expensive to pilot as players will need the gold necessary not only to hit level nine, but to upgrade many expensive champions including the main carry of the comp Ao Shin.
The comp wins games due to the insane amount of utility that stalls the round long enough for Ao Shin to cast his powerful spell multiple times.
Early Game (Stage 2)
Players want to prioritize getting an early mana item and an early tank item. Statikk Shiv and Spear of Shojin are the two items to focus on for damage, while Gargoyle’s Stoneplate and Sunfire Cape are the focus for tank. Players are going to need a mix of both in the early and mid-game. As for augments, any augment that benefits AP style of play like Luden’s Echo or Blue Battery are great; however, econ augments will allow players to hit late game faster which is the primary win condition. Late Game Specialist is by far the best silver augment to take because of this. But taking this requires players to play as strong as a board possible without needing to roll too much gold.
There are two key openers players should try to find in the early game. The first is an early Trainer start. The trainer trait will be in the comp through the end game so picking it up as early as possible allows for Nomsy to hit four-star as fast as possible. Heimerdinger also doubles as a Mage which is important. Ideally, players will want to find a Lulu to be the pair but if a player gets an early Tristana she can be a placeholder.
The other opener is Astral. Nami and Vladimir paired with Heimerdinger gives players quick access to three Mage at the start of the game. Skarner and Illaoi are a great frontline as well to prevent early bleeding. Nami is also a good secondary item holder before players find Ryze or Zoe. At level four players should always try to get in Astral along with a Heimerdinger. At level five, grabbing either Lulu or Tristana for Trainer is ideal.
Mid Game (Stage 3 and 4)
Post-Krugs, players have a decision to make at level six. Players will still want to run Astral with Heimerdinger as their first four champions. However, the other two spots are up to debate. Players can go for five Mages with Ryze and Sylas which gives players better damage, or they can go with one of those two and a Lulu for better frontline. Sylas is the best tank champion in the game especially due to the Mage trait. If players have tank items like Gargoyles Stoneplate, definitely add in Sylas. AP items like Spear of Shojin and Archangel’s Staff? Add in Ryze. If players have both, forget about Lulu until level seven. At level seven, just add in the other champion you didn’t have at level six.
Take a look at your HP at the start of Stage 4. If you are healthy and think your board is strong, players can elect to just level to eight. But in most cases, players will need to roll for upgrades to key units that can be used to preserve HP until they can hit level nine.
Late Game (Stage 5+)
For this comp to win lobbies, players are going to have to find themselves either high rolling at level eight or going to level nine. At level eight, start to replace the Astral champions with end-game pieces. Illaoi can be changed out for Ornn, Vladimir can be changed out for Zoe, Bard can be changed out for Nami and Yasuo can be thrown in if found. If a player finds an Ao Shin and has items to throw onto him with a good frontline, then that is also the time to make the pivot. But do not do this if going a champion down will hurt the survivability. Ao Shin is expensive, not only cost-wise, but also board-wise since he takes up two spots. Typically, an upgraded Sylas with two or three items, Nomsy that is three-star or higher and an upgraded Ornn is sufficient enough to make Ao Shin survive long enough. As for items on Ao Shin, he can carry anything as long as Shojin is one of the items. ideally, players will want Gunblade and Archangel’s Staff on him as that is his best in slot. But items like Statikk Shiv and Deathcap are good too.
Once players hit level nine, simply roll down until the board is upgraded. On the carousel, prioritize aura items like Zeke’s Herald and Banshee’s Claw to keep Ao Shin safe and fast. If players hit the Tempest Mage end game board, they are easily favorites to win the lobby.
ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.