Tacticians from across the Convergence have recklessly wielded the power of Draconic Augments and Ancient Dragons, and through this, they have forever changed the Dragonlands. That’s right—your actions have changed the world that Pengu and Co. have found themselves in, but they’ve also changed gameplay. To dive more into that second part, we’re going to be talking with Stephen “Riot Mort” Mortimer about how Dragons (Treasure and otherwise) have changed. But before I pass it off to him, be sure to check out all the new units and traits coming to the Dragonlands, and the new cosmetics making their debut here.
Hey folks, Mort here, let’s talk about Dragons and our design goals. When we first brought Dragons to Dragonlands, we wanted to craft exciting and powerful units that would act as the centerpiece to your team and allow you to build your powerful vertical trait base around. To this end, we found mixed success.
Some of our Dragons are definitely impactful. Shi Oh Yu and Idas are great examples. They became powerful backbones for playing vertical Jade, or designing a comp around (Cannoneer Idas). But while these two found a healthy place in our meta throughout the first half of Dragonlands, units like Shyvana and Aurelion Sol took us a long time to get right.
With their high cost, unique trait, and two slot requirements, it took us a while to ensure each Dragon was worth fielding while also not being oppressive. Their high cost created difficult situations where players would need to be extremely lucky or plan their economy out to the Nth degree to hit 3 copies. Being allowed only one Dragon, we’d see players commit to a specific Dragon, say Daeja, then face a frustrating situation in which other Dragons would clog up their shop. This also ended up limiting composition diversity, especially in the late game.
All that being said, when we solve the above problems, Dragons are really fun! They have high-impact spells and can create nuances in positioning due to their power. So with Uncharted Realms, we set out to solve the issues above, while adding a heck of a lot more Dragons.
Okay, here’s what you need to know:
Now, let’s break it down. With Uncharted Realms we wanted to open up build diversity in a way that we could be happy with, and of course, add more Dragons. Because we knew that we were allowing players to play more dragons, they would WANT to play MORE Dragons. In addition to allowing you to field as many as you want, we also encouraged this with the new Dragon trait.
The Dragon trait works a bit like Guild in that as you add Dragons, the trait does different things. Let’s check out those things:
Innate: Dragons require 2 team slots.
Dragons provide +3 to the marked trait, and gain additional bonuses based on how many Dragons are on your team.
(1) 500 bonus Health
(2) and 20 Armor and Magic Resist
(3) and 10% bonus damage
(4) and +1 to team size
(5) and double the previous stat bonuses"
The fourth one is particularly interesting (and useful to Dragon aficionados). By adding +1 to team size, when you hit level 9, you can field a total of 5 Dragons.
Knowing that there will be a wider variety of Dragon comps, we’ve also added more Dragon Augments. There’s Dragon Heart, which gives you +1 to the Dragon trait, and a Prismatic called Age of Dragons, which grants three Dragons (Zippy, Nomsy, and a random tier 4). Additionally, if you only have Dragons fielded, every 5th attack from a Dragon fires a Dragonsoul blast that deals magic damage equal to a chunk of their target's max Health. And now that we have so many different Dragons, there are different ways to run this Augment as well.
Okay, this is where Riot Prism wants me to let you know that you can read more about these Dragons over at his Gameplay Overview article—it’s a good summary of the new units, so be sure to check it out.
We’ve got high expectations for how players will utilize Dragons, both at a competitive level, and a Riot Prism level. With more Dragons providing a wider array of trait bonuses, we expect compositions that utilize multiple traits to a deeper degree. For example, fielding Idas and Daeja will allow for deep utilization of both Shimmerscale and Mirage, while providing both frontline and backline DPS. We’ve also adjusted the trait webs to allow for the splashing of traits (using multiple traits without going into a deep vertical) alongside Dragons more effectively.
With more Dragons across different rarity tiers, you should expect to see them early and often. We also expect Dragons to become item holders for other Dragons as players continually swap them out in search of the most powerful late game board. Alongside having more Dragons on the board, we expect the power of skillful positioning with Zephyrs and Shrouds to go way up. With more power concentrated into less units, positioning errors will be costly, but they won’t be as costly due to the overall reduction in Dragon prices. Speaking of prices, let’s talk about our new Treasure Dragons.
As a substitute for Raptors, the Treasure Dragon provides a decision-making opportunity for players to offer gold to finalize their board. To this end, the Treasure Dragon was a success. The Dragonlands set mechanic was much more exciting than Raptors for players, while also getting rid of situations where Raptors gave items that were completely useless for the team that you had already committed to by stage 4-7.
But like all things in TFT, players learned to optimize the Treasure Dragon—which isn’t exactly a bad thing, but it can reduce some of the excitement of the event. Typically, players reach the Treasure Dragon and roll until they hit one specific item or component that their carry desperately needs. This removes part of the decision making process in the roll down as players are just focused on hitting that one item/component. You could even say that their strategy with the Treasure Dragon is charted, but we’re in Uncharted Realms, so it’s time we spice the Treasure Dragon up.
Instead of appearing with the same loot distribution each time, the Treasure Dragon can now appear in three different versions. These new versions are the Chaos Dragon and Order Dragon, and they each appear in 30% of games, with the remaining 40% of games bringing back the classic Treasure Dragon. The same version of the Treasure Dragon will appear for all players. Let’s take a closer look at what they offer!
The Chaos Dragon will have highly variable loot offerings each roll. The offerings will have no clear theme or purpose, but they will all be high in value—some higher than others, but you’ll just have to roll to find out what loot suits your team best.
The Chaos Dragon can contain Emblems, Ornn items, Champion Duplicators, Spatulas, and pretty much anything we can throw at players (aside from the kitchen sink). It also marks the return of the Training Dummy consumable from Fates: Festival of Beasts. Check out some of the options in the roll down below!
With its variable rewards and costly rolling, the Chaos Dragon should provide players even more avenues to explore. Will you search for that trait Emblem to hit a chase trait, or will you take an earlier roll with a Duplicator, Training Dummy, and some gold?
The Order Dragon is centered around giving the player a Radiant item to power up their team. This dragon will contain similar options to the original Treasure Dragon, but be way more powerful with the inclusion of a Radiant item. Watch us roll away below!
Adding Radiant items was a definite must for us as a dev team, as it adds another layer of decision making between picking your preferred Radiant item versus getting that one item component you are looking for to hit that perfect item combo on your carry. Will you prioritize hitting the best Radiant item, or will you take whatever Radiant item you get in search of hitting that Infinity Edge?
Alright, that’s it from me, now I’ll let Riot Prism close up shop.
Wow those Treasure Dragon changes look cool, but the only treasure I value is the readers I’ve met along the way.
We’re excited to see what ultra-powerful boards you all can come up with during Uncharted Realms! If you’re thirsty for more of my writing after all that Mort, be sure to check out our Gameplay Overview and Pass and More articles. Finally, I know it can be hard to keep all the dates for our release straight amidst your busy schedule, so we had an artist mock this up for you to help!