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Teamfight Tactics’ fifth set, TFT Reckoning, comes out on the Public Beta Environment on April 13. The set will feature 58 new champions and a new game mechanic along with old and new traits and champions. Upcomer got the chance to test the new set in a preview event hosted by Riot Games. Here are our first impressions on the new core game mechanic of  TFT Reckoning’s Shadow Items.

Shadow items give extra power at a cost

Shadow Items replace the Chosen mechanic, making TFT Reckoning stand out from previous sets. TFT Reckoning adds a shadow form to the standard eight item components. Interestingly, the component itself acts the same in both shadow and standard forms (BF Sword still gives an additional +15 attack damage just like a regular one, for example). Using a shadow component to make a completed item makes it evil.

When a player has an evil item, the item usually becomes upgraded. For example, if a player uses a Shadow BF sword and a regular chain vest, instead of making a Guardian’s Angel (GA), the player will make a Guardian’s Fallen Angel (GFA). Regular GA revives the unit equipped with 400 HP, while the GFA revives the unit at max HP.  The catch is that these evil buffs come alongside a nerf. In GFA’s case, the user gets 50% reduced attack speed for the remainder of combat after resurrecting.

This is where the new set mechanic becomes interesting. These new TFT Awakening Shadow Items provide a big boost at a cost. Some of the new item abilities completely change how an item works, but it’s unknown at this point if the cost is going to sway people from building these powerful items over regular counterparts.

Shadow Items bring new spatula combinations

Archangel's staff TFT Reckoning

In other itemization news, Luden’s Echo has left the game. Archangel’s Staff replaces the Tear plus Rod combination. The new regular Archangel’s Staff grants the holder extra spell power each time they cast a spell equal to 35% of their total mana. Instead of gaining spell power for each cast, Archdemon’s staff grants them bonus health instead. Additionally, it heals them for the same amount on each spell cast when at 250% of their total mana. There seems to be no drawback or cost on this item, as it is a separate item and not a buff.

The final thing to note on Shadow Items is the interaction with the golden spatula. The spatula itself can come in a Shadow Item variant. For example, Force of Nature becomes Force of Darkness when shadow spatula is used to make a Force of Nature. It lets players increase their team size by two whole units. The drawback is that players will receive double player damage for the rest of the game. Some spatula combinations now require the use of a shadow component or spatula.

TFT Reckoning brings some much desired player agency to the game

Armory TFT Reckoning

Here are a handful things to note about TFT Reckoning Shadow Items:

  • Shadow Item only require one shadow component.
  • Shadow item components will not drop from PvE rounds. They can only be acquired from the carousel and the new “armory.”
  • The armory appears on every second round of each stage through stage four.
  • In the armory, players will be given a choice of two items components (sometimes later stages have a choice of four). Usually, the choice is one shadow item component and one regular. A player simply picks one and the item is added to their inventory.

TFT Reckoning Shadow Items effectively double the amount of available item combinations. Now, TFT has 90 different completed items that can be placed on champions. With so many items in the game, champion interactions with the different Shadow Items are going to lead to very interesting meta developments.