Teamfight Tactics Why Talking To Yourself Is Important
If there’s one piece of advice I could give any player to climb divisions, it would be this – work on your internal monologue while you play. And actually, make it external. It works better. Talk to yourself constantly while you play.
GM JohnnyBlack here again, with something you could maybe call a midgame guide. In my opinion, the following content is most applicable to lvl 5, lvl 6, and lvl 7. If you can master this self talk in that section of the game, you’ll make far fewer mistakes and navigate it much more cleanly. The reason it’s so hard to make midgame content is that it’s different every game, so I can’t just tell you what units to play or when to level/roll. Given that, here’s some instruction which is hopefully of the “teach a man to fish” variety.
With respect to the chart, the following questions should help you improve primarily along the Econ and Units dimensions (With the questions I decided to list; self talk will help across literally all of them).Overview
- Why talk to yourself?
- Talking before leveling
- Talking before rolling
- Talking before pivoting
In each section, I’ve bolded what I believe to be the most important question to ask yourself.Why talk to yourself
If possible, you should talk out loud to yourself every turn. The main reason for talking out loud is that it forces you to actually do it. If you allow yourself to “just think” instead, if you get a little tilted, or a little tired, or a little distracted, you might stop “just thinking” without realizing it. All of the sudden you zone back in and you’ve turned a 1st into a 4th, or a 5th into an 8th. By committing to talking out loud, you’ll notice, “Wait, I didn’t say anything this turn. Did I actually think?” I’m not exaggerating when I say that, for me personally, talking to myself every turn is roughly a 3 division difference. I’m a GM player normally, and if I don’t talk every turn (read: forget to think every turn), I’m a D2ish player. So talk, talk talk.Talking before leveling
Any time you’re about to level.
- What’s the best thing to play if I level?
- How much stronger does that get me?
- How is adding mystic/cloud/warden? (answering this question is when you scout)
- How much interest does it cost me to level?
- How greedy can I afford to be here based on hp/board strength?
- Am I rolling when I level (see next section)?
Ask these questions out loud, and come up with the best answers you can. I see so many people literally auto pilot the times that they level. Even worse, not only do they level on a strict schedule, but they roll at the same times every game too. Stop doing that. Chat with yourself about these 5 questions not just on the turn you plan to level, but also on the previous turns. Any time you have down time in the game, use it to work on your near term (or long term) plan. This game is too complex to make all the decisions in the moment. Now, often when you level, rolling…Talking before rolling
Many people roll on auto pilot. Even more than leveling on auto-pilot, rolling for no reason is a great way to donate LP.
- What can I hit to get stronger?
- How many pairs do I have?
- If I don’t roll, how much hp will I lose?
- Does the cost of the units I’m looking for match the %s of the level I’m on?
- Would I roll to 0 if I hit nothing?
- Is rolling better than using this gold to level?
Here’s one of the huge befits of talking through all these questions with yourself before rolling: you know when to stop. Let’s say you’re trying to hit Malphyte to get stronger, and you have 2 pairs. And in your second shop you hit Malphyte and one of the pairs. That’s it, you’re done. And you know that, because you already thought about what your spikes were and how much stronger you had to get to maintain sufficient HP. On the flip side, let’s say you haven’t hit and you’ve rolled 30g, with 20g left. Do you keep going? Again, you don’t have time to make that decision in the moment. Before you rolled, you decided if you didn’t hit you’re going 8th, so in the moment you know to just keep mashing D. Godspeed friend.Talking while pivoting (and many turns before, please)
Most of these questions you should just ask any time there’s downtime in the game. Pivoting from a strong midgame comp into a lategame one is tough. It’s an extremely precise science, and if you mess it up too badly you can literally lose 20hp in one turn. I think we’ve all been there.
- What do I want my final comp to look like?
- How do I get there without getting weaker?
- What order am I getting rid of these units?
- Are any of these midgame units actually just staying the whole game?
- Are we playing for 1st here or top 4?
- Is 9 reasonable this game?
- Do I have a realistic spike at 9 or am I rolling on 8?
- Who’s getting what items from my current midgame units?
This is probably the hardest part of the game. The key to it is pre-thinking as much as you possibly can. When I successfully pivot my trees or glacial stuff into a 1st place late game comp, it’s literally just execution on the actual turns where units switch. I hardly ever roll into a unit, see it, think, then swap it. I go, “Oh, there’s an Annie2. I already decided if I hit Annie it’s going here, and we’re selling that, and those items which popped off are going here.” If you don’t do this, you’ll sac free HP on the turns where you switch stuff.Final Thoughts
Some of you might be a little skeptical – “JohnnyBlack, you’ve only given me the questions! What about the answers!” Just give it a shot. As any good engineer will tell you, finding the answer to your question is usually pretty straightforward; the hard part is asking the right question.
So talk to yourself. Force yourself to think. Use these questions, and you’ll gain at least 2 divisions, guaranteed. (Unless you’re asking them already :)