In addition to our biggest mid-set roster swap to date, Neon Nights brings over 80 new Hextech Augments, the Edge of Night item, and a few other fun new gadgets. Before we get into it , you can find more info on Neon Nights cosmetics here. Oh, and if you’re looking for the download on some of the new units and traits, I know a beautiful and brilliant author who wrote this one just for a beautiful and brilliant you.
All this and more that I just don’t have the word count for hits PBE February 1st, and comes to live during patch 12.4 on February 16th! With that, let’s get into it.
Before we start theory-crafting our new Augment line up, let’s say goodbye to a few Augments that couldn’t be out past curfew during these Neon Nights. Here’s a list of those leaving alongside the traits (Academy, Imperial, Protector) they synergized with:
All For One
Neon Nights comes with new gadgets and gizmos aplenty. Augments allow us to insert much variety and decisions making in each game, and we’ve been really enjoying them, but enjoying your enjoying them even more. With Neon Nights bringing so many new Units and traits, we’ve had to augment our Augment roster accordingly. And now that we have half a set of Augment expertise under our belt, we’re even better at making fun ones while also keeping them as balanced as possible. So, while we won’t have time to get into all 80+ new Augments, I’ve gone ahead and asked some of my favorite devs (and one other) to pick their favorites and tell us how they can be used.
First off: our Technical Game Designer, Chloe “Alice of Clubs” Wright. Here are their favorite two:
Blue Battery (Silver, Gold): After casting their ability, your units restore a flat amount of mana.
“Have you found yourself missing the times of stacking Seraph's Embrace? Do you find yourself asking, ‘What if my units just cast their spell more often?’ Well, do I have an Augment for you.
With Blue Battery I continue the pursuit of the endless mana dream. The dream where you utilize the correct items, traits, and Augments to cast spell after spell without the need for an auto attack in between. The absolute high roll recipe for the endless mana is Synaptic Web Mutants (with an emblem), Blue Battery 1, Blue Battery 2, and a Blue Buff. You’ll have a unit who normally takes 90 mana to cast, casting back to back to back. It’s beautiful.”
Thieving Rascals (Gold): Yordles will occasionally spawn with an item component.
“I love the idea that the items the Yordles spawn are actually stolen from that rude shopkeeper on the Howling Abyss. Like those hypothetical Yordle Rascals, my only loyalty is to chaos and this Augment can get you there. With Thieving Rascals you have the chance to get a bunch of items, but you also have a chance that those items are gonna spawn on inconvenient units.
Obviously you want to run this with any Yordle composition, but take care if you are trying to itemize a specific way—even the best laid plans of Mice and Yordles can often go eighth, but also first.”
Kent “Riot kentwuhoo” Wu from the live balance team has been taking notes on his favorites during our internal playtests:
Double Trouble (Silver, Gold, Prismatic): If you have exactly two copies of a unit on your board, they both gain Attack Damage, Ability Power, Armor, and Magic Resist. When you upgrade a unit to 3-star, gain a 2-star copy.
“I love Augments that change the way you have to approach building your team, so Augments like Double Trouble and Built Different are really appealing to me. These boards look SO different from what you’d normally see in games of TFT—and I’m all for that type of out of the box comp building.
When I get Double Trouble I like to run Legendary units and 4-costs, with two Braums, two Zeris, two Oriannas, a Jhin, and a Leona, but honestly the backline can be any other 2-star Legendary.”
Tiny Titans (Prismatic): Your Tactician grows larger and heals 35 Health. You can now exceed 100 maximum Health.
“Breaking rules in TFT is pretty fun, but it’s especially fun when you can mess with your Tactician’s health. Seeing a player shoot up the scoreboard during the planning phase after taking this is a huge question mark ping moment, and I love that. This scoreboard movement happens occasionally with the Metabolic Accelerator Augment and Teemo in Reckoning, but much less commonly.
When I get Tiny Titans, I greed for an expensive comp because I know I have the extra health to keep a loss streak on.”
Next we have Lynda “Shynkro” Tang, who helps design and implement everything on the cool new stuff list. Here are some of her favorite Augments:
Future Sight (Gold, Prismatic): Gain a Zephyr/Radiant Zephyr. Know who you fight next (more on this later).
“When you have Future Sight, TFT starts to feel like a series of 1v1s. Taking this early gives you tons of power without giving direct power to your board, and it also lets you play mind games with your opponents. If you see someone with Future Sight on your board, it might make you think that they are scouting you because they will fight you next.
Future Sight works well with units that rely on enemy positioning, such as Blitzcrank. It’s also good with Mercenary since you can position and adjust your team to get those perfect losses. If you don’t get it, yet you still want to counter your opponents’ boards, you can always just build 3 Zephyrs.”
Recombobulator (Silver): Champions on your board permanently transform into a random champion that costs 1 more. Gain 2 Magnetic Removers.
“Ever since Fates (set 4) my favorite thing to do in TFT is to cash out on a huge Fortune loss streak and try to figure out how to pivot my comp from that cashout. Getting this Augment feels like that cashout and pivot moment. It makes me feel like if I can pivot and win with the new units I am a genius, but if I go eighth, I can blame it on
Mortbad RNG. ;)
This augment is really strong on stage 3 if you have a two star 3-cost unit or a 4-cost unit in play, since that’s a free upgrade to an early two star 4-cost or a 5-cost that you can then pivot and play around.”
And finally we have our Game Design Director, Riot “Riot Mort” Mort’s top two:
The Golden Egg (Prismatic): Gain a massive Golden Egg that hatches in 5 turns.
“One of the more fun and wild augments, Golden Egg, only appears on stage 4-6 and says, ‘If you are willing to play the next five rounds down a Prismatic Augment, you will get a MASSIVE reward.’ Golden Egg opens up the ability to play a strong early game and then hunker down until you can see the giant egg hatch—and it’s just such a high. But, I also can’t wait to see how many people throw their game trying to take this. High risk, high reward!
I’d pair The Golden Egg with any strong early game board, like Scrap or Arcanist, that can get you through 5 turns while being down a Prismatic (highest impact) Augment.”
Radiant Relics (Prismatic): Open an Armory and choose 1 of 4 unique Radiant Items.
“As a game designer, each time we make a set with a fun set mechanic, it’s always bittersweet when those mechanics have to leave. The Radiant Items from the second half of Reckoning were pretty fun, so it’s great to bring them back with the Augment system just like we did with the Ornn items from Portable Forge. This includes a personal favorite, Radiant Thieves Gloves, which always rolls 2 Radiant Items every turn!
Take Radiant Relics when you have a powerful carry that greatly benefits from stacked items. For example, Draven as the Debonair VIP with Radiant Bloodthirster is going to be a very, very difficult to kill champion!”
And now that the Devs have told us about some of their favorites, I guess we’re done here. Hehe, not even close—I’m not letting these pesky devs take all my fun, here are some of Rodger, “MinionsRpeople2” Caudill’s favorites.
Tri Force (Silver, Gold, Prismatic): Your 3 cost units gain Health, Mana, and Attack Speed.
“As someone who likes their Augments to tell them what to do, this Augment really hits the mark. It also creates the dream of Linking all three versions of Tri Force together, similar to running multiple versions of Built Different or Stand United.
When I see Tri Force, I know I’m going to race to level 7 and then run a hodgepodge of 3-star 3-costs to create a rather confusing end of game screen—except with a change I’ll talk about later it really won’t be that confusing.”
High Five (Prismatic): Gain three 5-cost champions.
“Only offered as your third Augment option, High Five gets me ever closer to the 3-star 5-cost dream. I should take High Five whenever I find myself pushing levels with a good econ knowing that I have the likelihood of seeing a high amount of 5-cost units that game. But in reality, I just like strong units, so I find myself taking this Augment a bit more frequently.
Like a good old fashioned congratulatory hand gesture, or a classic Angel Olsen song, High Five is also a great ‘fit for most scenarios’ Augment—not to mention if you can’t use any of the 5-costs, at least you’ll get 15 gold.”
And that’s it for Augments—the rest, like why I quoted myself in an article I wrote, remains a mystery.
With the mid-set we’re swapping out Guardian Angel with Edge of Night, a brand new anti-burst item. What makes Guardian Angel so powerful is also what makes it such a difficult item to balance—namely, its aggro reset (when people stop attacking the GA holder) that occurs when a unit goes into stasis. No matter how much we tweak GA’s respawn health, its source of power remains unchanged. To make matters worse, certain champion kits rely so heavily on the aggro drop that we have to balance them around the item, and the item around them. These users are often able to channel within stasis, creating a feels bad moment of, “the enemy is casting, but I can’t do anything to stop them.” That’s just not that healthy.
With Edge of Night, we keep the powerful aggro drop, but give it a clear visual power in the form of a stealth that also sheds debuffs and afterwards grants an additional boon of attack speed. The stealth is very short, creating a more even power experience for units, as well as creating a more visibly powerful way to protect your carries and keep them carrying harder and longer. Check out the full item details below.
Last, and arguably most impactful, comes two experience changes that we will be implementing with the mid-set. First up, the Scouting Opponent Hint System! Or as I refer to it, S-OH-S.
There’s a lot to do in TFT, and keeping track of what opponents you’ve fought recently to know who you are more likely to fight next is just one more thing that takes a frontal lobe-full of bandwidth to track—which is skull meat processing power better used for repositioning, rolling down, itemization, and… well, scouting just two or three other players. That’s why we haven’t been surprised to see add-ons take over some of this less rewarding processing burden. In fact, we wish that we had implemented an opponent tracking system earlier so we could provide a more fun and fair experience for players on mobile and PC.
So, with the introduction of Neon Nights, and Augments like Future Sight that utilize opponent tracking, we pulled the trigger. We’re working on a matchup tracker that will help you get a sense of your next opponent. And while we see this as a necessary improvement to our UI, we want to make sure it’s done right—so expect this to launch a bit after our initial mid-set’s release.
So now that we’ve got our eyes set on the horizon, what of the past? After all, those who forget it are doomed to repeat it. To that end, we’re updating our end of game match history to show Augments that you’ve chosen, and allow more units to be displayed for cases where you have a couple Tactician’s Crowns from a Mercenary cashout. Now you can scroll through your match history, examine your choices, and make better decisions for the future—or keep forcing Mercenary Augments regardless. Your choice!
Wow, we made it. That was a long one, and I couldn’t have gotten through it without you. Oh, you’re still here, well let me remind you about where we can continue our conversations, albeit one-sided. You can read all about the Neon Nights cosmetics and gameplay overview by clicking on the appropriate links. You'll start seeing everything on PBE February 1st, and on live servers with patch 12.4 early morning on February 16th. The Pass and store content will activate later that day at 11 a.m. Pacific Time!