The compositions in Teamfight Tactics: Reckoning are separated into two groups, AD and AP. When it comes to a guide on AD compositions in TFT: Reckoning, there are a couple of good ones, but the standout has to be the Jax-led Skirmisher composition. Jax and the rest of the Skirmishers provide the in-your-face battles that all the other comps can’t achieve. If players want to bring the fight to the frontlines instead of attacking from the back row, this is the best comp in TFT.
In this expert guide, we’re going to look at everything you need to know to climb up the ranked ladder with one of the strongest AD compositions in the game.
TFT: Reckoning Skirmisher guide Overview: Win Condition and how to play
With the massive buffs to the majority of the Skirmisher trait champions in patch 11.10, the Jax-led comp has seen a surge in play rate and for good reason. Even before the five champion buffs, the skirmisher comp was already in a decent position. The goal with this comp is simple. Give Jax his three best-in-slot items and build a wall in front of him. Once he ramps up, there is no stopping the onslaught. This is due to Jax’s crazy ability.
Jax’s ability at first glance might not seem good enough to put on a four-cost hyper carry, but it definitely is. Empowered Strike is a 20 mana ability that when activated, lets Jax slam his target for a percentage of his attack damage. More importantly, each time he activates this ability he gains stacking attack speed for the rest of combat. What this means is that as the fight goes on, the faster Jax attacks and the more damage he outputs. The goal here is to maximize that damage output.
Players are going to want to go deep into the Skirmisher trait. At the six unit bonus, all skirmishers gain a 600 health shield and six attack damage per second. This is a match made in heaven for Jax, as not only does he attack faster as time passes, but he now gets stronger too. Thanks to buffs to other skirmisher units, Jax’s supporting cast are not just synergy bots and can hold their own. Units like Pantheon, Trundle and Lee Sin all got fantastic buffs that allow for Jax to pop off.
Now, onto items. Since Jax has built-in attack speed and attack damage, it’s vital to give him the life steal he needs to stay healthy. Bloodthirster is perfect on him in either the shadow or regular form. To make sure he doesn’t get crowd controlled, players are going to want Quicksilver Sash as well. Again, either the shadow version or the regular one is fine.
Lastly, players are going to want to take advantage of his scaling power and allow for Jax to attack multiple units at the same time. Runnan’s Hurricane is the perfect item for Jax. It allows Jax to heal more during his initial ramp up where he is most vulnerable and allow for him to take down units the supporting cast can’t.
Every best in slot item for Jax relies on a cloak, which is pretty much the first time that cloak is a wanted item in TFT. If a player can secure some cloaks early and if they can grab a few early skirmisher units, they should consider forcing this composition.
In the early game, the main focus should be acquiring item holders that can use the Jax items well. There are two good ways to navigate the early game. Players can look for a Skirmisher start, or a Legionairre start.
The Skirmisher start is definitely ideal. Not only are players finding a good Jax item holder with Udyr, they are also playing units that will see play later into the game. This makes the transition later on much less confusing. When going this route, players are going to want to find a two-star Udyr as fast as possible.
The other important factor is finding two more Skirmishers to get the three Skirmisher bonus active. Thankfully, there are a ton of cheap skirmisher options. Trundle and Kennen are two-cost options that should appear early on in stage two. Pantheon and Lee Sin can also pop up early, especially off the blue orb players may get in the PvE minion round. Players should only go for this start if they have the three skirmishers early.
The other start revolves around playing Legionnaires. This start is easier to achieve as players only need a Kalista and a Aatrox to get the Legionnaire bonus active. Kalista is a great holder for Jax items and unlike Udyr, she isn’t in immediate danger because she is a ranged unit. When going with this start, players should look to complement Kalista and Aatrox by trying to fit in some redeemed units like Leona and Varus, or a beefy front line with some Knights or Brawlers.
Since players want to be able to find Jax as early as possible, leveling aggressively is the way to go. Players should look to level to four on stage 2-1 and level to five on stage 2-5.
After the Krugs PvE round to end stage 2, players should look to transition into the very strong six skirmisher power spike. This does require a bit of high rolling on level 6 though. The idea is to simply play six different skirmisher units, which is insanely strong at level six. This is because with six skirmishers, each of them will have a 600 HP shield, which is too much for any team to handle on stage 3. This is easily the best board a player can have on stage 3, but do not tunnel vision on it. Players should not roll at all when they level to six. The only exception would be to roll four to six gold if a player is sitting on a couple of pairs, like Trundle and Kennen.
Players can level to six on stage 3-2 and continue to try to play their strongest board possible. If the six skirmisher board isn’t realistic, then players should look to capitalize on what they currently have going for them. When players are sitting on Udyr as their primary carry, they should consider throwing in a Sett and either an Ashe/Zyra, using the Draconic bonus for a little while, to generate extra gold. When players are using Kalista, there’s also an option throw in a Brand and a Nunu, using the Abomination trait to give the comp some extra damage to close out fights.
The important thing to note during the mid-game is that a player should always be prioritizing Jax items. On the Armory, always look to pick up the missing pieces on Bloodthirster, QSS and Runanns Hurricane. If those are not available, items like Morrello’s are very strong on Kennen and generic frontline items like Warmogs and Bramble’s vest are good too.
Level seven is where the six skirmisher board is likely to come into play. Either at stage 3-5 or stage 4-1, players should level to seven and hunt for a Jax. Even at one-star, Jax with optimal items will be more than strong enough to carry fights. At level 7 players should roll for Jax and some upgrades, looking to add the six skirmisher buff. Once players hit six skirmishers and a jax, they should stop rolling and look to go to level 8. Leveling to eight on stage 5-1 should be the target. Outside of the six skirmishers, players should look to add in a Rell or a Nautilus to give the Ironclad bonus, rounding out the level seven comp.
At level 8, players are going to need upgrades badly. Stage 5-1 is the most common stage for comp spiking in the entire game. The Skirmisher comp is no exception. However, Jax at one star isn’t going to be able to do the heavy lifting, so it’s vital players look for the upgrade here. At level 8, players should roll down all of their gold until they hit Jax two-star and critical upgrades. Players are going to want to take advantage of the strong buffs that units like Pantheon, Lee Sin and Trundle recently got. Getting these units to two-star is vital when it comes to protecting Jax.
Players are still going to want to run the six skirmisher bonus though, which leaves two extra slots for the composition at level 8. There are a couple of options when filling out those holes. Players can opt to run the Ironclad package or the Dragonslayer package here.
The Ironclad package uses Jax’s secondary trait to its max potential. Ironclad gives all units extra armor, depending on how many Ironclad units are active. If a player has two, then all the units they control gain 40 armor. If they have all three Ironclad units then all allies gain 90 armor.
In a meta where skirmishers and other AD comps are prevalent, Ironclad is a fantastic option. Outside of Jax, the other two Ironclad units are Nautilus and Rell. Both have powerful CC abilities and provide another frontline option. Rell is the better of the two so if a player has an option for either, than pick Rell.
Other comps will also look to maximize on armor, so some sort of armor shred is ideal. That’s where Darius comes into play. Darius provides the armor shred needed to get Jax going and to end fights quickly. If a player has the chance to run Darius over Nautilus, then they should do so without hesitation.
If players believe that damage is lacking overall, then they should consider running the Dragonslayer package. Although Mordekaiser got nerfed, he is still one the best carry units in the game and in this comp, the package provides some much needed mixed damage. Instead of running Rell and Nautilus, players wanting the Dragonslayer package should look to add Diana and Mordekaiser. With these two units, players will have the Dragonslyaer four bonus active.
That bonus states that once a Dragonslayer ally scores a takedown in a fight for the first time, all allies gain additional ability power for the rest of the round. Dragonslayer units gain 80% bonus power and when they score the takedown, they give the rest of the team an additional 60% bonus Ability power. This will give the team the extra damage needed to take down any team.
Players can activate both if they are able to get their hands on a number of different spatulas. Skirmisher, Dragonslayer and Ironclad spat opens up the possibility of running all of these on level 8. If a player reaches level 9 they can run all of these plus the Darius, to make one of the strongest boards in all of TFT.
TFT: Reckoning Skirmisher guide late game summary
At this point in the game, players have all the tools necessary to win games, with a couple of things to remember. Do not ever front line the Jax as he will get bursted and killed before he does damage. Instead, place him behind a unit in the second row to allow him to walk up and start attacking without being focused.
Trundle is the sleeper carry for the team and needs no attention. This is because Trundle’s ability, Subjugate, essentially steals all of the stats on whoever he is targeting. Place Trundle in front of the enemies’ big tank or big melee carry for free wins.
Viego is a wild card and can steal rounds by himself with good positioning, if he can get onto the enemy backline carry running the Dragonslayer package. Make sure all the damage dealers are targeting a single unit, to get the Dragonslayer takedown active as soon as possible.
Good luck on the TFT: Reckoning climb with our Skirmisher guide!
About the Author
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.