The Best Arcanist Comp & Strategies in TFT – In-Depth Guide


The time has come for us to cover some of the most interesting compositions in the whole patch 6.5. Yup, I am talking about The Arcanist composition. Arcanists are the way to go if you want to burst your enemies with your spells. They are always an easy choice to go for if you start getting some early AP items out of the carousel or the minions. 

Since you have 2 one gold arcanists, you can get them in the earliest phases of the game. Those arcanists are Brand and Ziggs. This comp is pretty argument depended if you want to go all-in with 8 arcanists, and you should probably hope to get some augments that correspond with them, such as the ones specially meant for them. 

But the thing that makes it somewhat easier is the fact that you have a couple of possibilities to get your 8th arcanist emblem, and those are Augments, Tome of Traits, and the combination of The Needlessly large rod and The Golden Spatula. So that makes them a somewhat popular composition to pick up. 

You are pretty dependent on items, too, since they do have the damage, but lack sustains, so you will need at least 2 Hextech Gunblades, but again even if you don’t, it is not the end of the world since you have 2 incredibly strong front-liners that share an Arcanist trait and those are Swain and Vex which are both pretty broken now. 

The Arcanists have lived through some changes with the release of patch 6.5, so now instead of some older Arcanists, we have Brand and Ahri, which are, in my opinion, a pretty good swap.

Arcanists offer a very generic, easy to play, straightforward but strong mage playstyle. The basic idea around this Arcanist build is to keep acquiring Arcanist units and building up the Arcanist trait synergy as much as you can. 

Since this playstyle doesn’t require any specific strategies, all you’ll need to do is focus on a healthy economy while keeping up with levels and upgrading all the units that you can. 

In this Teamfight Tactics Arcanist Build Guide, we’ll showcase the most popular beginner-friendly TFT Arcanist build and how to play it throughout the early, mid, and late game, which are the best Hextech Augments for this build, as well as how to gear and position your units.

Arcanists increase the Ability Power of your team

  • 2 – Your team gains 20 Ability Power
  • 4 – Your team gains 20 Ability Power, Arcanists gain an additional 40
  • 6 – Your team gains 50 Ability Power, Arcanists gain an additional 50
  • 8 – Your team gains 145 Ability Power

Alright! We now know all of the basic stuff and that concludes our introduction to this composition. The time has come for us to meet the squad. Arranged by the ascending order of their cost the list goes:

  • Brand
  • Ziggs
  • Swain
  • Vex
  • Malzahar
  • Ahri 
  • Viktor

Let’s meet them and say a thing or two about each one of them.

Also read: Best Socialite Comp

Brand

Brand is the newest champion that covers both Arcanist and Debonair traits. He is a pretty strong pick considering that he costs only one gold coin. Depending on what strategy you are going for, he both has versatility and damage, but one shines brighter than the other depending on the comp.

For instance, if you are going for The Arcanist trait, he will for sure have a lot more damage focused on the single target, but if you are going for The Debonair trait and comp, and through that process, you pick a VIP Debonair Brand he fires two abilities instead of one so he can burst down multiple targets with only one full mana stack.

If you equip him with the blue buff while playing the debonair trait, you will basically get 2 very strong attacks, and possibly two of the enemy’s champions instantly deleted, or at least heavily injured at the very beginning of the combat.

So that is a thing to remember. But, my opinion is that Brand really thrives with his Arcanist buddies since they give him so much AP without a single item. He can even die fast so the other, stronger Arcanists can thrive and do some serious stuff around the field.

In the Debonair trait, you really don’t want him to die that quickly if you are going for the VIP Brand, but if you are not, then I guess it’s okay. He is a much better one gold cost unit than Ziggs that also shares the Arcanist trait, so you always have that in mind.

If you are going to spend your items on him, then you should go for some basic AP items, like The Rabbadon’s Death Cap, The Blue Buff for mana, and The Archangel’s Staff, or The Hextech Gunblade for some omnivamp.

His position should always be somewhere in the back where he is protected if he is your prime DMG dealer, but if he is not, then position him around some other champions that are going to be your carries for that game, so he can take all the aggro and die before them.

He shouldn’t have partially equipped items, so if you aren’t going full ap Brand, just don’t waste any items for him. He is a one-cost unit, which means there are 29 Brands in the pool for that game, making him a very easy unit to upgrade to the maximum level.

Brand’s ability and stats:

Sear

Brand launches a fireball at the nearest enemy, lighting them ablaze for 4 seconds and dealing magic damage. If the enemy is already on fire, they take bonus magic damage which stuns them. VIP Bonus: Fires a 2nd fireball at a different nearby target (prioritizes ablaze enemies) dealing 30% reduced damage.

  • Damage: 120/160/210
  • Bonus Damage: 150/225/300
  • Stun: 1/1.5/2
  • Health 500 / 900 / 1620
  • Armor 20
  • MR 20
  • Damage 40 / 72 / 129.6
  • Speed 0.65
  • DPS 26 / 47 / 84
  • Mana 0 / 20

Ziggs

Some of you may be sad after reading this, but Ziggs is rubbish. I said it, and I meant it. He was okay-ish in the first couple of patches of the Set 6, but even then, he was not a Yordle you could ever rely on. No matter what items you put on him, he will never shine bright enough and justify the sacrifice you made by upgrading him.

In the Arcanist composition, he can be more useful simply because of the reason he will deal more damage due to the Arcanist trait passive ability, which boost’s his AP. But even there, he is by far the weakest link of the bunch.

Coming in with the price of just one gold coin, the expectations are not high, but even for such a low bar of standards, he simply isn’t good enough. He should cost 0.5 gold if you ask me, that would be okay, I guess. His ability is nothing special.

At least in some previous sets, he had a knock-up that was verbatim copied from his W in the Summoners Rift, and now it’s a mix of his Q and his R, having the worst from both.

With the Yordle trait active, he will be easily upgraded to level three, but it is not important, to be honest, since his only job is to fill the empty space that is needed to activate the trait. His main reason for getting to level three is summoning The Yordle Lord Veigar himself.

Ziggs’s ability and stats:

Mini Inferno Bomb

Ziggs hurls a bomb at his target. After a moderate delay, the bomb lands dealing magic damage to the enemy in the epicenter, and half to adjacent enemies.

  • Damage: 250/350/475
  • Health 500 / 900 / 1620
  • Armor 15
  • MR 15
  • Damage 55 / 99 / 178
  • Speed 0.6
  • DPS 33 / 59 / 107
  • Mana 0 / 60

Swain

The mighty Grand General of Noxus! Swain is my absolute favorite champion in whole sets 6 and 6.5. He was once an Imperial, but with the changes that came along with the patch 6.5, he is now a Hextech. That doesn’t mean that he has changed a lot, and I think that now he is more versatile and more useful than ever. 

He is an Arcanist, Hextech front-liner that just won’t die. Like ever. And I mean it. His ability is a verbatim replica from his In-game Q, and Riot has made him so sick. He has The Hextech Gunblade imported in his kit, so you can easily go for a game without buying it. 

He is the most important champion both for The Arcanist and The Hextech trait, and it is by far the most worth champion that you can buy for only two gold coins, making him a champion with the best money-quality ratio in the whole game. 

Since he is that cheap, that means that there are enough Swains in the champion pool, 21 to be precise. Do you know what that means? Yup, you can upgrade your Grand General to level three pretty damn quickly in the early game. If you manage that, your game is going to run very smoothly, and you aren’t likely to lose much LP and HP in-game.

Swain benefits from some weird items, but they work like a charm for him. The most important item for Swain is The Titan’s Resolve. I mean, he absolutely can not go for a game without this item. He rises in size, gets defensive stats, and since he gets his healing through his ability. 

Combine that with some AP items, and if you are going for The Arcanist comp, even more AP buffs through your augment traits, you get an unkillable machine that wipes everything on his path.

Along with The Titan’s Resolve, Swain also benefits from The Rabbadon’s Death Cap and Blue Buff or even The Hextech Gunblade, so you can really mess with your opponents.

He should be what he is, and that is an aggressive frontline that stops each of your enemies from doing any damage to your team and going any further. The center of the first row is Swain’s homeland (apart from Noxus, ofc). I will repeat. This is THE BEST CHAMPION IN THE GAME RIGHT NOW!

Swain’s ability and stats:

Death’s Hand

Swain unleashes piercing bolts of eldritch power in a cone towards his target, dealing magic damage to enemies within and healing Swain for each enemy hit.

  • Damage: 225/300/450
  • Heal: 200/275/350
  • Health 800 / 1440 / 2592
  • Armor 45
  • MR 45
  • Damage 45 / 81 / 145.8
  • Speed 0.6
  • DPS 27 / 49 / 87
  • Mana 40 / 80

Also read: Best Yordle Comp

Vex

This champion is our main frontline for any comp we play her in. With The Arcanist’s, she is in front along with The mighty Swain, and with The Yordles, she shares the frontline with Poppy. Being much better at everything than Poppy, she really benefits from any kind of AP or Tank items since they both reflect at her shield and sustain. 

With The Arcanist comp, if you have enough Arcanists and some AP on her, she can get a full hp shield as her ult. Basically, she is unkillable. This champion stayed the same through the whole patch 6 along with the changes that came along with patch 6.5. 

She is a strong pick in any comp, but since we have many stronger Arcanists than her, she really shines the brightest when she is in The Yordle comp. Over there, she is our main star of the team until Veigar comes along.

She should be positioned in the front of the board along with Poppy if you are playing The Yordles and with Swain, if you are playing The Arcanist composition. For items, I would select The Sunfire Cape, The Warmog’s Armor, The Dragon’s Claw, or The Spear of Shojin. She can also benefit from The Bramble’s vest.

As for levelling, she is the champion you want to level asap, but that might come a bit harder than one might expect since both of these comps are pretty high on demand. It is needless to say that with the Yordle comp, you will max your Vex very soon since you get them for free.

Vex’s ability and stats:

Personal Space

Vex shields herself against damage over 4 seconds. When the shield expires, it deals magic damage to all enemies within 2 hexes, and additional damage if it wasn’t destroyed. If it was destroyed, Personal Space becomes 25% stronger this combat. This effect can stack.

  • Shield: 550/700/900
  • Damage: 150/250/350
  • Bonus Damage: 150/250/350
  • Health 850 / 1530 / 2754
  • Armor 50
  • MR 50
  • Damage 50 / 90 / 162
  • Speed 0.6
  • DPS 30 / 54 / 162
  • Mana 50 / 100

Malzahar

Malza is copy-paste champion from the Summoner’s Rift. When I say that, I mean that Riot has made it a spamming, non-stop E machine that just burns everything on the board. As I said, his ability in-game is the exact replica of his in-game E, called The Malefic visions in the Rift.

He can be a menace and can easily carry any game for you if you decide for him as your core champion. Coming with The Mutant and The Arcanist trait, Malza has stayed the same through the whole patch 6 and 6.5.

If you are going for The Mutant composition, it can depend on many things if he is going to be your carry, since we already know The Mutant composition changes with each game, and there are a lot of possibilities for Mutants in a game.

The second thing that you are dependent on are the items since he does benefit from the usual AP and Omnivamp items. With The Arcanist comp, Malza already has some might AP bonuses, so he could benefit from some sustain in the form of Quicksilver and Hextech Gunblade.

Okay, let’s cover the items as they should be covered. In-depth. For The Mutant composition, I can’t give you specific items, but it is always some form of AP. In The Arcanist composition, he already has a lot of AP, but you can always go for The Rabbadon’s Death Cap, The Hextech Gunblade, The Quicksilver, and The Blue Buff.

I promise you he will delete your enemies in the blink of an eye. It is always fun to see the enemy champions HP melting like ice in the sun. Malza wants to see the world burn.

His position should be somewhere behind the front line or somewhere in the back, protected from the initial aggro of your foes.

He is a mid-range champion when it comes for the price, so he isn’t that easily maxed to level three. But you should always go for it since the benefits are mental.

Malzahar’s ability and stats:

Malefic Visions

Malzahar infects the mind of the closest unafflicted target, dealing magic damage over 8 seconds and applying 40% Magic Resistance shred for the duration. If an afflicted target dies, Malefic Visions spreads to the nearest unafflicted targets with the remaining duration.

  • Damage: 625/875/1050
  • Spread: 1/1/2
  • Health 650 / 1170 / 2106
  • Armor 30
  • MR 30
  • Damage 40 / 72 / 129.6
  • Speed 0.65
  • DPS 26 / 47 / 84
  • Mana 30 / 60

Ahri

The newest addition to the patch 6.5 is also Ahri. She belongs to the S tier, and for a good reason. She is mental. She is so damn strong. I don’t know what Riot was thinking when they were making her. I mean, yes, she does cost four gold coins but still, come on, she is like the better version of Orianna and Jhin.

Along with Ahri came her two traits, and those are The Syndicate trait and The Arcanist trait. She holds onto them with a big smile since she works so well with both comps. With The Arcanist trait, her AP has such a high jump with more Arcanists you have. The Syndicates focus more on utility, but that works as well for her.

Depending on what composition you are going for, you should decide between AP and Omnivamp items or Sustain and Omnivamp items. You get the point. Her ability is a copy of her Summoner’s Rift Q, and it does wonder on the battle arenas of TFT.

He is a strong pick for every comp, and even equipped with some augment and trait, she can work wonders in some different compositions.  Her items should be The Rabbadon’s Death Cap, The Hextech Gunblade, The Blue Buff, The Quicksilver.

She should be leveled asap when you have the possibility and resources. She should be positioned far away from the action so she can stack up to her mana and do some serious damage from behind. 

Ahri’s ability and stats:

Orbs of Deception

Ahri fires an orb in a line, dealing magic damage to all enemies it passes through on the way out and the way back. Ahri fires additional orb(s) for each time she has cast this combat. Enemies already hit by an orb now take 80% damage for each subsequent orb.

  • Damage: 125/190/450
  • Additional Orbs: 1/1/2
  • Health 800 / 1440 / 2592
  • Armor 30
  • MR 30
  • Damage 45 / 81 / 145.8
  • Speed 0.75
  • DPS 34 / 61 / 109
  • Mana 0 / 50

Also read: Best Mutant Comp

Viktor

Okay, here comes The Big Daddy! We are bringing out the heavy artillery. He is the most epic champion in this composition, purely because of his ult and its impact on the whole field during the fight. First of all, his ult spawns lasers all over the board and beyond it, actually! 

And don’t get me started about the attention to detail? I mean, the frickin’ lasers change colors accordingly to his level? Are you serious? I am getting The Star Wars vibe anytime I play him. His role is quite simple when you think about it. Win the game. 

Whether you are playing The Chems or The Arcanists, it doesn’t really matter since if you manage to get him to at least level two… 

No scrap that, he can actually change the course of a game EVEN ON THE LEVEL ONE, as long as he has either The Jeweled Gauntlet, The Rabbadon’s Deathcap, or The Blue Buff, and under the condition that you can actually keep him safe until he ults.

Position-wise, it actually can not be said precisely since it depends on the enemy’s team. If enemies are running assassins, he should not be at the back since he won’t live long enough to even do a basic attack.

So if that is the case, the middle of the field is the best choice, having some less important champions surround him from each side so he can not be touched. If, on the other hand, enemies are not running The Assassin comp, he should definitely be tucked in somewhere in the back, with less expensive and less important champions surrounding him.

As for items, basically, anything that can boost his AP dmg, so The Jeweled Gauntlet, The Rabbadon’s Deathcap or The Blue Buff, The Spear of Shojin, The Archangel’s Staff, The Chalice of Power, you get the point.

I don’t even have to tell you that if he reaches level three, it is insta win, so you know what you have to do.

Viktor’s ability and stats:

Death Rays

Viktor summons multiple singularities to fire death rays that cut across the battlefield in a line, melting through enemies’ defenses. Enemies caught in their path take magic damage, have a percent of any remaining shields destroyed, and suffer Armor Shred.

  • Damage: 300/400/1500
  • Shield: 25/33/100%
  • Armor Shred: 40/50/70%
  • Health 850 / 1530 / 2754
  • Armor 35
  • MR 35
  • Damage 50 / 90 / 162
  • Speed 0.8
  • DPS 40 / 72 / 130
  • Mana 0 / 140

But this is not it. If we are going to complete the circle and have 8 Arcanists we need another champion that we will equip with The Arcanist trait. Taking everything into consideration I have concluded that the best choice for that is Gnar. Gnar will help you complete The 3 Yordles comp, so he, and the other Yordles will quickly come to level three.

Gnar

Coming in hot with the newest patch, Gnar is a champion that brings three traits with him on the field, or the bench, whatever. He is Yordle, Socialite, and Striker, making him the ultimate choice for many compositions. He acts like a glue that connects some unthinkable compositions because of his versatility. 

He is great as a striker. He gives you the much-needed power spike in any comp because of him being a Socialite. Also, 5 Socialite composition is mental. The neverending suffering for your enemies, but also a hard one to get as it comes with its own risks and gamble of fast loss. 

Gnar is a reliable and good choice for any single of the comps you are going for, and even if you add him a trait you got from The Augment, he becomes a 4 trait menace that wipes the floor with his foes.

For most of the time, I would just position him wherever his Socialite spot appears since he is a strong and reliable pick that has a lot of sustain while dealing some serious damage to his enemies. 

He is a good striker, that’s for sure, and Riot really hit the jackpot by naming him as one of the Strikers who needed his versatility a lot and also his utility as well. He has that big knock-up, push, whatever you wanna call it, which damages the first enemy and brings aoe damage to a place where his rock hits the field.

His items should be The Warmog’s Armor, The Sunfire Cape, some augment trait if you have it, and you can go Guinsoo’s Rageblade as it is universally good on most of the champions. You can go for The Spear of Shojin if you like too.

He should be leveled ASAP, but if you are going for The Yordle comp, that won’t be much of an issue since the units level themselves after each combat.  If you have a better pick for a Socialite spot, then he is an aggressive frontline and sustain champion, and he should be equipped with the items that are compatible with that strategy. 

If you are going for the striker comp, you will already have some strong front line, so you can place him a hex or two behind your primary tanks since he is more of a bruiser than a tank.

Gnar’s ability and stats:

GNAR!

Gnar transforms into Mega Gnar for the rest of combat. Mega Gnar throws a boulder at the farthest enemy within boulder range, dealing a percentage of his Attack Damage plus bonus damage as physical damage to all enemies it passes through.

While in Mega Gnar form, Gnar is melee, gains Health, and his mana costs are reduced by 20.

  • Base Damage: 185%
  • Bonus Damage: 150/200/300
  • Health: 500/750/1200
  • Health 700 / 1260 / 2268
  • Armor 40
  • MR 40
  • Damage 70 / 126 / 227
  • Speed 0.7
  • DPS 49 / 88 / 159
  • Mana 0 / 80

Also read: Best Syndicate Comp

Suggested Builds For The Arcanist Composition In Teamfight Tactics

Let’s Talk About Strategy For This Composition

Early Game

Most of the Arcanist units are very high-tier units, so we’re going to be forced to play a very basic early-game composition and then look into leveling up & transitioning into Arcanists during the mid game. 

Brand, Ziggs, Blitzcrank, Vex, and Poppy offer a decent early comp that will allow you to save up on Gold, and get a healthy economy going in order to be level six by stages 3-2. These five units will grant you Yordle-three, Scrap-two,  Arcanist-three, and Bodyguard-two bonuses.

Mid Game

During the middle game (around level six) you’ll start to transition into Arcanists by swapping out Poppy, Blitzcrank, and with Swain, Malzahar and Ahri. 

This will provide your team with five Arcanists and ideally, you’ll want to have a Book of Trait for the sixth Arcanist or a Hextech Augment that provides the team with one additional Arcanist. Keep on leveling up and try to get to level eight by stage 5-1 as you’ll need it to roll for the rest of the team.

Late Game

Ahri is the main carry of the Arcanist team composition and if you’ve not acquired her during the middle game, this is your last chance. Along with her, you’ll want to get Viktor and Gnar with the Arcanist trait as these complete the Arcanist Build. Having eight Arcanists makes the units scale incredibly and allow them to dish out insane amounts of damage.

Final Thoughts

This brings a conclusion to our Arcanist composition guide. We now understand that this is a heavily Augment dependant and Item-dependent composition. 

But if you get all the items and you get The much-needed Arcanist trait, there is a high chance for you to win that particular game. Level up your champions, protect your carries, and use your items wisely. That is a recipe for a victory. What are you waiting for? Let’s burn some enemies!



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