Teamfight Tactics AFK Astro Snipers Guide

by jlee7x2

1. Introduction

Hi everyone, I’m jlee7x2 and I started playing TFT in Set 3. I peaked at high Grandmaster and also got my smurf (misterswag) to GM mostly playing this comp. In my last 25 games (+353 LP), I forced this comp 21 times. 3 of the 4 other times I went Jinx on Dwarf Planet to counter the 7 other players going mech.

I play exclusively on a mobile device while AFK multitasking (exercising, cooking, studying), looking down once in a while for shops/carousel and only sweating during the late game. This is indeed suboptimal and has probably cost me a handful of close games, but the comp is just too consistent so the climb is inevitable. Also playing like this saves mental and increases the volume of high quality performance games. However, I’m probably capped at Grandmaster and to get any further, you might actually have to be a good player.

Being a mobile player

  • Contrary to popular belief, I find that I actually play much better on mobile than on PC. I don’t have very fast APM with a mouse/keyboard to begin with, but moving on a touchscreen is very easy.
  • Rolling/scouting is difficult, but that’s okay since I play the same comp every game and could do the Lvl 8 roll down in my sleep. Positioning can be done very quickly.
  • I am almost convinced that mobile players have a latency advantage at the opening carousel or maybe it’s physically easier to tap a touchscreen than to click a mouse. I rarely lose that early contest for tear.
  • By playing mobile, I’m not tied down to a computer and can be semi-productive while playing (LTE connection is great for playing outdoors) – TFT has way too much downtime especially at the start of the game and between rounds, not to mention overtime. These traits make it very streamer friendly though
  • The only downside is that I really wish that I could type “me astro one trick no scout no pivot” in chat at the start of every game.
  • Shout out to Yucong for hitting rank 1 playing only mobile only rebels a few patches ago.

Hardforcing a single comp

  • I hear a lot of comments that hardforcing isn’t how the game should be played and that you should play your strongest board and be flexible. At the highest levels, this is probably optimal, but if you don’t have the time or the mental capacity to know what’s best to play, following this guide is an alternative to gain ELO and obtain that next tier shiny border :^)

Hey wait this isn’t a Patch 10.17 comp, 10.17 just came out!

  • I expect that Patch 10.17 is a very minor patch when it comes to the meta – 2/4 Sniper buff was nerfed by 1%/2% which should be negligible and Blitzcrank was buffed. This comp has been viable since the start of Set 3.5 and I think that the small nerfs only make it more likely that you’ll be able to go uncontested! The existence of this guide however…

To give credit where credit is due, this guide is adapted from on /u/dennisj9 a.k.a. “The Great Lakes”‘ guide for 10.12 (which I followed to hit Masters in 2 days at the beginning of Set 3.5) but with some added details for 4 snipers, early boards, positioning, and strategies for the latest patch.

2. The Comp

Lvl 8 Astro 2 Snipers Mystics w/ Blitzcrank

Lvl 8 Astro 4 Snipers

Lvl 9 Astro 4 Snipers

Note: This general positioning is optimal if you can get away with it. More details about positioning for specific matchups are included in a section below.

2 Snipers vs. 4 Snipers

  • Playing 2 Snipers Mystics w/ Blitzcrank is an amazingly consistent build. At ELOs up to mid Masters it is the most free top 4 ever. Blitzcrank is a great early game unit and forces opponents into suboptimal positioning and can cheese a backline carry with a well-placed Zephyr. At the very least, Blitzcrank brings in a unit to the center for maximum shroom efficiency. Adding Mystics beefs up your front line and allows Teemo 2-3 additional casts which, at least for Stage 4/5, more than makes up for the 8% Sniper buff. Also, Teemo without blue buff needs Karma in order to be any kind of effective.
  • If I find Lulu at lvl 8 or have Celestial spat, I will pivot to 4 Snipers. Celestial is non-trivial, especially if your Jhin is stacked. 4 Snipers has a higher ceiling and results in more 1st place finishes. However, you should only attempt to go 4 snipers if you are healthy and have hit a lot of your main units already. Ashe and Cait are nice-to-have sniper/urgot/cc bots but are not consistently dependable, so I find they are more useful in a win-more situation.

When to play this comp + pivoting

Always play this comp and never pivot – especially when you get to higher ELOs and see the same people in your lobbies. If you are a madman and willing to hold hands with anyone at any time, hardforcing a single comp is actually advantageous because of experience and earlier item slams/unit holdings.

Opening Carousel

  • Tear/Rod >> Sword > Vest > Belt >>> Bow > Cloak.
  • Try to get a tear first, mainly just to discourage others from going Astro Snipers.
  • For Mortdog carousels, go for Shroud or Frozen heart.

Early/Mid Game

Hold pairs and play what you get. Play your strongest board and try your best to kill units and not lose. Playing bard for 1-2g is not worth getting aced every round. Your main goal is to make it to Lvl 8 with 30-40 gold to roll around Stage 4 Carousel. If you’re losing early, get items from carousel to slam. Always position to try to kill 1-2 units at least. It’s okay to lose, but not okay to lose extremely hard.

Rolling before level 8 is an int. There’s no unit you need early that is worth rolling for. If you roll early and don’t hit anything you can just ff. However, if you don’t roll and lose streak, you can still easily top4 with proper econ and rolling at Lvl 8.

Frontline options: (Brawlers/Protectors)

Damage options: (Snipers/Blasters/Infils/Demos)

Here are some examples I’ve found success with

Leveling/Economy timeline (typical)

This is obviously different depending on the galaxy, but on average this is a typical rough guideline. Breakpoints can change if you’re streaking or playing Bard.

Do not roll until level 8

  • Lvl 4 @ 2-1 (sometimes pre-level Lvl 4 at 1-4 if you have the gold and are looking for 2-costs)
  • Lvl 5 @ 2-3 (pre-level)
  • aim for 20g at 2-7
  • Lvl 6 @ 3-2 (32g/42g)
    • This usually costs 12g
    • Don’t do this if you have nothing to put in.
  • Lvl 7 @ Stage 3 PvE (40/50g)
  • Lvl 8 @ around Stage 4 Carousel on interval depending on your health, gold.
  • Lvl 9 after 2* Jhin/Teemo/Gnar

Push levels aggressively if you are win streaking to continue your streak and give yourself a chance at your 4-cost units early.

Stage 4 roll down

  • If you don’t have enough gold to level at 4-3 and roll 30-40g, wait until 4-5 or 5-1. Try to have enough HP to sac. It is important that you have gold to roll at lvl 8 because most of your main units are 4-costs.
  • If you have <40hp at 4-3, level and roll down all the way down and try to stabilize. Also do this if you are contested and the person holding your hand hasn’t rolled/hit.
  • If you have 40-70 hp at 4-3, roll to ~30g each round to find 1* Jhin/Teemo. Save hp until PvE, roll down at 5-1 to 2* your units.
  • If you have >70hp, congrats, sac hp and slow roll. 2* your carries and go to Lvl 9

Late Game

  • If you’ve hit 2* Jhin/Teemo/Gnar try to go Lvl 9 and put in 4 snipers. Do not roll specifically for any other units unless you are dying and have the pair already.
  • If you’re playing for top 6 and haven’t hit your carry units, it’s a low roll game so just donkey roll, play high risk positioning, and accept your fate.
  • If you can’t make it to Lvl 9 and haven’t found Lulu, it’s completely okay to stay Lvl 8 and play Mystics + Blitzcrank. Focus on positioning and it’s an easy top 4.

Rolling/Economy Tips

  • If you can 10g at 2-2 or 2-1, do it
  • Don’t pre-level to Lvl 5 if you have 10g at 2-3
  • If you have a 3+ lose streak at 2-5, int the last round before PvE
  • Don’t hold units early if it costs eco unless it’s Jhin/Teemo.
  • If you can level and put in something while keeping 30-40g don’t be afraid to do it
  • If you are 5+ streaking and get stronger by leveling while keeping 10-20g do it
  • Rolling specifically for Lulu at Lvl 8 isn’t worth it, just play Soraka and go to Lvl 9.

3. Itemization

This comp is so consistent because of its super flexible itemizations and ability to be played from ahead or behind due to its expensive Lvl 8 power spike. There is no single must-have item.

SLAM EARLY (2-3 components)

  • Blue Buff
  • Morello > DCap > Spark
  • IE

If at any time you have 4+ components, make something from below even if it’s suboptimal to save hp.

Items + Substitutions

  • Jhin (Infinity Edge, Last Whisperer, Giant Slayer)
    • You want Jhin to have 3 offensive items ideally so he can kill a unit within the first 3 shots and then another with his 4th shot.
    • Last whisperer is overrated and not necessary without IE. Teemo will take care of the Bramble folks.
    • Giant Slayer –> Guardian Angel > Deathblade > Bloodthirster
    • IE/LW –> DB/Runaans
    • LW –> GA > Runaan’s > RFC
  • Teemo (Blue Buff, Morello, Deathcap)
    • If you don’t have Blue Buff, you must play Karma.
    • Deathcap –> Luden’s > Gunblade > HOJ
    • Morello –> Deathcap > Jeweled Gauntlet > Giantslayer
  • Gnar (Ionic Spark, Shroud)
    • Ionic Spark –> Zephyr > Dragon’s Claw
    • Shroud –> Bramble Vest > Frozen Heart > GA > Titan’s Resolve
    • Trap Claw > Zz’Rot > Thief’s Gloves
  • Wukong (Thief’s Gloves)
    • Thief’s Gloves > Zephyr
  • Lulu/Soraka/Ashe (Shojin)
  • Karma (Chalice)

4. Positioning + Matchups (Easy to Difficult)

General Positioning

  • I’ve gotten a lot of flak for clumping and hard cornering my carries together. This isn’t typically done and will probably be a controversial point in this guide. The bottom line is, if Teemo/Jhin die, you lose, so you must protect them at all costs. Especially if you don’t want to scout every turn, split positioning is too vulnerable to infiltrators. Hard cornering Jhin is the best way to ensure he will get 1-2 4th shots off with maximum Sniper buff. Clumping makes your opponents clump during the fight too, and using mystics and Nautilus as a meat shields lets Teemo deal guaranteed massive AoE damage. At the very least you will kill some units because of focused fire from Teemo/Jhin and usually not ever get aced.
  • If your lobby has 2 or more Blitzcranks, position for it, but leave Nautilus or a mystic in front of your carries to take infiltrator aggro. Otherwise, if there’s only 1 Blitzcrank, just take the L if you get matched up with it, or swap sides at the last second.
  • Position so Gnar on the side that with the enemy carry.

Left side positioning

In higher ELO lobbies, your opponents will scout every turn and position for you. However, if you don’t have the mental to scout/position every turn, just always swap sides very quickly before the start of every round. This works maybe 80% of the time if you’re fast and frankly that’s good enough.

Left side Lvl 8 Astro 2 Snipers Mystics w/ Blitzcrank

Right side Lvl 8 Astro 2 Snipers position for Blitzcrank pull

Left side Lvl 8 Astro 2 Snipers position for Blitzcrank pull

Left side Lvl 8 Astro 4 Snipers

Left side Lvl 8 Astro 4 Snipers position for Blitzcrank pull

Right side Lvl 8 Astro 4 Snipers position for Blitzcrank pull

Left side Lvl 9 Astro 4 Snipers

Left side Lvl 9 Astro 4 Snipers position for Blitzcrank pull

Right side Lvl 9 Astro 4 Snipers position for Blitzcrank pull

ELO Diff

The difference between playing this comp in diamond/low Master’s and Grandmaster is the late game positioning mind games. You can never move in Diamond and still do fairly well, but high ELO lobbies require focused attention to: Infiltrators, Zephyr, Shroud, where Gnar ults, what Blitz pulls, what Jhin hits, etc.

Hardforcing this comps allows you to really learn the nuances of this comp against other comps which is what can win you games at high elo. I never thought I would match up with some of my favorite streamers and occasionally do well in lobbies with them – I certainly would not be able to do this as a flexible gamer.

Matchups – Easy to Difficult

vs. Rebels (Easy)

  • By design Rebels are hard to position and naturally clumped up. Hard position the opposite side that they’re on and position Gnar to jump on the Rebel clump. Meat shield around Teemo and it’s too free
  • (Medium) if they have GP 2* with GA and AP items. Adjust to split positioning in this case and hope that GP ults some random corner lol

vs. Brawler Jinx (Easy)

  • This is the same as Rebels except you have to think a little bit about Gnar, Vi, and Asol. Swap Blitz last second to grab any unit not Asol and try to position on the opposite side of Gnar. Many times Vi ult gets stopped by a stray shroom that was used on Zed which is pog

vs. Xayah (Easy)

  • Xayah has a hard time finishing off a Gnar with defensive items and if she gets hit by a single shroom she’s basically dead as she’s slowed with a very short range. Hard cornering Jhin on the same side as Xayah gives a high chance Jhin will 1 tap Xayah with his 4th shot after killing frontline. Though try to position so Jhin isn’t wasting 5 seconds hitting a Shen even though Teemo should take care of a non-3* Shen quickly.

vs. Star Guardians (Easy)

  • Mystics hard counter this comp as Syndra usually doesn’t one shot a 2* carry. Their frontline dodge Neeko is susceptible getting blown up by shrooms and Teemo/Jhin attacking from across the map is massive amounts of damage.

vs. Cybernetics (Easy)

  • Cybernetics are mostly melee and tend to clump up together making them prime targets for Teemo. Hard cornering your carries together usually lets you kill Ekko before he ults. This matchup is especially free if Jhin is stacked as they’ll lose redemption value. Watch for Zephyrs

vs. Pirates (Easy)

  • If a perfect item, upgraded GP ults on your entire team there’s not much you can do, so pray to fight RNG to have him ult the Gnar that’s behind him. Otherwise, it’s a pretty easy matchup as Darius has a hard time resetting on a tanky frontline with Mystics before dying.

vs. Vanguard Mystics (Easy)

  • Vanguards will brawl it out with your frontline while Teemo and Jhin easily clean up. Just make sure their Wukong isn’t in a place to cc your backline. Also, make sure to position Gnar in a way that doesn’t fling Jayce directly into your carries for a power slam :’)

vs. Astro Snipers :^) (Medium)

  • Mirror match comes down to whose Gnar smurfs and ults the carry first. It may be advisable not to clump specifically for this case, but I would just swap sides quickly as the greedier positioning has a great advantage.

vs. Mech Viktor (Medium)

  • This very popular comp is manageable with Mystics. It may seem counterintuitive to hard corner because of Viktor, but staying far away and killing the Mech ASAP (before it ults) is a win condition for this matchup. 2* Jhin will usually survive a Viktor ult and heals up with Celestial buff.

vs. Reroll Battlecasts (Difficult)

  • Astro snipers banks on Teemo blowing up squishies and Jhin one-shotting big tanks. This is made much more difficult when the entire enemy team is 3* tanky. Thankfully, this is not a popular comp and usually dies before late anyways.

vs. Bang Bros (Difficult)

  • If your opponent has perfect item 3* Yi, ignore that matchup because you will lose no matter what so better to just position yourself for other people. If it’s 2* Yi, position on the opposite side of the Rebel clump and pray that Jhin 4th shots Yi/Yasuo/Zed

vs. Dark Stars (Difficult)

  • Shaco is very annoying and Xerath 2 outscales your damage and range. It’s important for Teemo and Jhin to work together to kill Shaco early so he doesn’t smurf your entire team with a full Dark Star buff.

vs. Late game Legendaries (Treebeard/Peeba) (Difficult)

  • This comp usually dies before late game, but if someone is highrolling out of their mind it’s okay you can just get 2nd.

5. Galaxies

Easy to Difficult

Galactic Armory

  • Lots of early components lets you slam items and streak early because you already know what you’re playing. Be careful of being contested though if a tear is included in the common components. In cases like these though, you should have the advantage over your contesting opponents. Slamming Blue/Morello/IE and typing in chat may discourage others.

Treasure Trove

  • Getting lots of early money lets you build a strong board and econ well. Fully stacking Jhin and Teemo is a key to being successful with this comp so having lots of items is a plus. You can greed and more likely hit optimal items too.

Superdense

  • Superdense allows you to play Lulu and Karma at 8 which is a huge spike for 4 Snipers. Also, having freedom to fit in random Astros with Bard mid game can help level to 8 quicker as more units –> longer fights.

Trade Sector

  • You push levels pretty liberally with this comp which is advantageous for you. Combined with early item slams, it’s fairly common to streak early and snowball your advantage to a good finish.

Manatee’s Delight

  • It’s better to go 4 snipers in this galaxy because you can pretty much be guaranteed a celestial spat or FoN. It’s not worth to grab a cloak early though, still focus on slamming strong early items.

Normal Galaxy

  • If you get a tear at the start but not dropped at stage 1, focus on econ and lose early to get a tear at the first carousel. Then stabilize with a blue buff item holder. Remember that your advantage hardforcing this comp is not needing to roll early for direction, superior eco, and early item slamming.

Salvage World

  • Your early item slam advantage is moot in this galaxy, but you can save hp most of the time by making good early items on the strongest unit (that you know you’re going to sell later for) and make it to your roll down being pretty healthy.

Plunder Planet

  • If you’re lowrolling in this galaxy, it’s very hard to do well, but the inverse is also true. Lowrolling early occurs pretty commonly in the early game, so not having a lose streak advantage is a little monka. Here’s where pushing levels aggressively and learning to play your strongest board without rolling a la k3soju is an important learned skill.

Dwarf Planet

  • Four people hitting Mech stage 3 is nearly impossible to deal with and you’ll take too much damage to hit Lvl 8 reliably. So this is the only galaxy where I wouldn’t play this comp unless the units were handed to me. Go any comp that uses Giant Slayer well, hold mech units, and hope at least 2 people get trolled by fish. Or go mech if you’re lucky

6. Contesting Twitch Streamer Gameplay VODs

7. LoLChess Match History Proof

10.16

Edit 1: Playing Patch 10.17

+218 LP in 8 games (7 games Astro, avg. 2nd)

After (expectedly) tanking a lot of LP the day I posted this guide, I had a good run today on patch 10.17 and here are some random thoughts and additions that I forgot to include:

  • Vanguard Cassio is a good early board if you hit the units and BB/Morello
  • Don’t be fooled by the 4 snipers in all the recap of these games, I tech them in at the end for final fight – I was probably playing 2 snipers and blitzcrank for 88% of the game.
  • LW is not necessary anymore as Titan’s/HOJ is more popular than Bramble on Mech nowadays. Going for GS/GA instead allows Jhin to survive an unlucky Syndra ult
  • Early game, prioritize high cost units at carousel for econ if you can (i.e. pick a 3 cost Sword over a 1 cost tear even if you can make BB, unless you have 2* ziggs/cassio already)
  • Make sure you have at least 1-2 defensive items by 4-7. It doesn’t matter if you have 6 perfect items on Teemo/Jhin if they die immediately once your frontline gets blown up. Similarly, if you have 6 perfect items on Teemo/Jhin, 4 snipers isn’t necessary and you should play brawlers/mystics to buff up your frontline.
  • Blitz is good for resetting Jhin aggro in case there’s a Mech/Neeko solo frontline so that Jhin will target infiltrators after a quick first kill.

Early Itemholders:

Jhin items: (IE > LW > GS), Zed, Vayne, Lucian, Darius, Kog, Jinx

Teemo items: (BB>Morello>DCap), Ziggs, Ashe, Graves, Darius, Illaoi (Morello), Jayce, Rakan, Vi, Cassio

Gnar Items: (Spark > Bramble/Shroud), Illaoi, Darius, Jayce, Leona, Malphite, Mordekaiser, Poppy, Jarvan, Rumble, Vi

TL;DR

JLEE7x2’s Grandmaster AFK Mobile Player guide. Force Astro Snipers every game for consistent top 4 finishes. Play Blitzcrank with Mystics mostly unless you hit Lulu, then go 4 Snipers for Celestials. Slam items early and don’t ever roll until Stage 4 at Lvl 8. Whenever you can get away with it, hard corner Jhin and clump your carries together with other units as meat shields so they kill things faster and you don’t ever get aced.

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