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The set 5.5 update for Teamfight Tactics is finally here. TFT Reckoning: Dawn of Heroes introduces a brand new theme of champions called Sentinels. In this TFT Reckoning Sentinels guide, players will learn what the Sentinels do, which ones work best and how to play the composition.
Overview: Win Condition and how it works
The new Sentinels trait introduces eight brand new champions into the game. Some of them, like Akshan and Lucian, are the big damage dealers in the synergy, while units like Pyke and Rakan are there to support. However, the best way to play this comp is to focus on the hidden gem of the composition, Irelia. Irelia is only a two-cost unit, but has an amazing ability.
Her “Defiant Dance” ability states that on every cast she surrounds herself with blades, for four seconds. While the ability is active, she gains a damage reduction that increases by 10% each time she attacks. The surprising part is that this stacks up to 90% damage reduction. Also, if that wasn’t good enough, when the ability ends she strikes her target with magic damage. Irelia is the ideal carry due to her high damage output and unparalleled immortality. Build damage, speed and subsequently winning, becomes a breeze.
Now that players know their carry, here is where the traits kick in. The Sentinel trait states that at the start of combat, the Sentinel with the highest health gains a shield that grants attack speed each time it is applied. When the shield is destroyed or expires, it will pass to the ally with the lowest percent health. This shield on Irelia is insane as it helps her swing faster and gives her additional survivability. Her other two traits (yes she has three), are Legionnaire and Skirmisher, which make for very good comp adaptability.
As for items players are going to want to prioritize, Rageblade will get her swinging fast enough to hit the 90% damage reduction cap. With all the damage reduction, players are going to want to make sure she stays alive by building a healing item like Bloodthirster or Hand of Justice. Once you have these items, the third is pretty flexible. Items like Titan’s Resolve are good for tank stats, but you could take extra damage item or even a Quicksilver Sash to prevent CC.
Early Game (Stage 2)
Starting at the opening carousel, players are going to want to start with either a sword or a bow. The bow is ideal here, as Rageblade is a fantastic early game item in general, and the most important item to build on Irelia. Players should be picking up sentinel units when they show up in the shop. This comp is eventually going to need six different choices, so even units like Olaf and Senna are needed.
Since Irelia is only a two-cost unit, chances are that she will show up in the shop sometime on stage two. To prepare for this, players should try to fit in Skirmishers and/or Sentinels in their level three and four boards. Olaf doubles as a Sentinel Skirmisher, so he’s a perfect pick up. Other low cost Skirmishers that are solid are Udyr and Kennen. The first sentinel activation comes at three units. Since Irelia and Olaf count for two, players should ideally add in a Pyke, but Senna also works.
If a player lands an Irelia at level three or four, they should immediately look to throw in either three Sentinels or three Skirmishers. At level four it’s possible to have both. A team made up of Udyr, Olaf, Irelia and Pyke is insanely strong. At level five a player can add in a Legionnaire to make Irelia even stronger. If a player is lacking in damage then Kalista fits, or Aatrox if a player needs more frontline.
If a player is struggling to find Irelia, don’t panic. Udyr is a good holder for Irelia items. Just look to play the strongest board possible with a decent frontline and good backline.
Mid Game (Stage 3/4)
Since the main carry of this comp is a two-cost unit, players are going to want to get her to three-star. To do this, players should not roll at all until level six. Ideally a player will econ above 50 and then spend the excess gold to hit level six. Once level six, players are going to want to “slow roll,” which consists of rolling excess gold above 50. When rolling, players should obviously be picking up Irelia, but also other units that they will want in their mid to late game comp.
At level six it’s possible to fit in the six Sentinel bonus. Although, this is unlikely as it requires a player to hit a four-cost unit such as Galio or Lucian. But, since a player will be staying level six and rolling a lot for Irelia, it can happen. If it does, then the six units on the board should be six Sentinels. If not players can add either another tank if they lack front line or more damage. At this point Irelia should have a Bloodthirster and a Rageblade. With excess item components, players should look to add tank-based items to their frontline units. Mana items here, are amazing on Rakan. In fact, another option while re-rolling for Irelia is to look to three-star Rakan as he’s the ultimate support unit for Irelia.
Rakan is a three cost Sentinel Renewer with his “Gleaming quill” ability. The ability states that Rakan throws a feather at his target and then heals allies in a radius, based on their missing health. If the quill kills his target, the radius is increased. This is perfect for Irelia as it adds to her survivability since none of the other units in the comp have the ability to flat-out heal her. At three-star, Rakan heals for a high 80% of allies missing healthm, which makes the three-star effort worth it. Players want to have Rakan cast as much as possible.
When it comes to which Radiant items to pick up, if a player doesn’t already have a Rageblade or a Bloodthirster for Irelia, pick up the radiant version if available. The Radiant Spear of Shojin is great for Rakan. If an AD item like Deathblade is available, players can use that as their third Irelia item. If those items are not available, players can pick up a utility item like the radiant Banshees Claw, or even a tank item for their frontline. Essentially this comp does not rely on any one radiant item.
Once a player does hit Irelia three-star, they should level to seven and throw in a Skirmisher like Jax, to have a comp of six Sentintels and three Skirmishers. At this point in the game, Irelia is very strong.
Late Game (Stage 5+)
Once stage five hits, other players in the lobby begin to power spike. Irelia is still strong at this point but a lot more crowd control starts to come into play. Units like Rell, Ivern and Volibear can ruin Irelia’s tempo, so keeping Irelia safe is optimal. The downside to Irelia is that she is a melee unit so she’s going to want to be on the front line, which makes her more suspect to CC. Thankfully, Banshees Claw can prevent critical CC from disrupting her flow. Players should prioritize this if able.
When it comes to what units to run once a player hits level eight, Rell is a very nice fit, especially if the third Skirmisher in the comp is Jax. Rell and Jax activate the Ironclad bonus, which gives all ally units some increased tank stats. Rell also has one of the best CC abilities in the game that can lock down units for Irelia to shred.
Even though Irelia is a fantastic carry, she is most likely going to need help at this stage in the game. Players should be looking to get another carry online. In the late game, players have two built-in options. The first being Jax as he is the best Skirmisher unit in the game aside from Irelia. Jax with a Bloodthirster and a Runann’s Hurricane can be the perfect janitor for Irelia. The other option is Akshan. Akshan is the legendary Sentinel but since he is a five cost unit, players won’t see him until late game. But Akshan is the perfect replacement unit for Senna. If a player has a lot of extra AD items, they can simply throw them onto a Lucian and then once they find Akshan, throw them onto him.
Players will most likely stay at level 8. At level 8 players should just be making sure to hit their upgrades and position Irelia in a way to dodge key CC. Putting her on the corners can be a good way to do so.
There are some key things to note with this comp. Lucian can be the primary carry if players can’t hit Irelia three star. Players can eventually transition into Akshan. Both Lucian and Akshan can use Irelia’s items really well so don’t tunnel vision on getting Rakan to three-star. He is great but getting to level eight and hitting other upgrades are more important. Irelia can also be a very good tank if needed. If a player is struggling to find damage items early or doesn’t have AD items, consider making Irelia the primary tank and using an AP damage dealer like Karma or Vel’Koz as the primary carry.
This comp is a good way of learning the new units and what they do, while also giving players a strong comp to climb with. If you found our TFT Reckoning Sentinels guide, stay tuned for more TFT guides.
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.