Teamfight Tactics Star Guardian Challenger Guide
by The Great Lakes
My name is The Great Lakes and I’d like to share some insight on Star Guardians with you.
I’m an Assistant Principal who has found some extra time to play TFT after Covid-19 effectively ended the school year, so I decided to hit Challenger this set by forcing Star Guardians only.
I have played 100 Star Guardian games straight from Diamond 4 to Challenger without pivoting once. https://lolchess.gg/profile/na/thegreatlakes/s3
Why do I never pivot? Well, I’m actually not very good at the game and the fluid transitional period of pivoting makes me feel uncomfortable. Also, I’m used to being a 1-trick wonder. In 2013 I was a semi-pro league player throughout season 3 by playing only Jungle Leona every game. (Leona Gone Wild)
Here is some advice and a few misconceptions that I want to clear up when playing Star Guardians.
1. Stop calling it egirls: Last set we called 6 Beserkers “Beserkers” and 6 Inferno… “Infernos”. Rangers? You guessed it, Rangers. 6 Yordles – Yordles, 6 Nobles – Nobles, 6 Brawlers – Brawlers, etc. The list goes on. You sound like my edgy high school students when you call it egirls. If you want to be good at 6 Star Guardians, call it Star Guardians or SG. If you take anything away from this post, it should be this.
2a. Neeko is more important than Syndra: I often see players rushing to get those tears and build a Seraph’s for Syndra as fast as they can when playing Star Guardians. Brother, let me tell you about my good friend Neeko. Neeko is not only your only solid frontline champion, but her CC is amazing. A strong vs weak Neeko will absolutely decide the outcome of your game. If Neeko melts, suddenly the entire team is in your backline. However, a strong Neeko will hold entire teams at a standstill, apply morellos, and give your backline an ample amount of time to win the game. Neeko’s perfect items are GA, Morello’s, and Spark. With these items, in most games Neeko will typically be your main damage dealer as well as your tank, especially if she is 3-starred.
2b. GA is your most important item, not Seraph’s: The #1 item that you need every game is a GA on Neeko, not a Seraph’s on Syndra. If Neeko doesn’t get her ult off, you will not be winning that round. GA is crucial for this. This item will be priority #1, then you can build seraphs or any other item you want in any other order. You can win games with a weak Syndra as there are other damage dealers on your team. You won’t win any games with a weak Neeko.
*I like to sacrifice Poppy or Zoe to the Zephyr gods, but if this is proving difficult, drop the spark for QSS on Neeko.
3. It’s okay to be contested: There is this notion that there can only be 1 successful Star Guardian player in a lobby, that you need everything 3-starred to place well and contesting is a 7/8 “holding hands” situation. While 3-starring your champs will increase your strength, it’s okay to share. I’m contested all the time, but I still found a way to hit Challenger with a single comp.
Keep in mind, the current strategy of slow rolling at level 7 goes out the window when you are contested. You have a very limited mathematical chance of 3-starring 3-cost units if another player is attempting to do the same. However, you can still do well in the lobby. If another player is contesting you, do not stay on level 7 longer than it takes to 2-star everything, then move onto 8. Large magic damage lobby? Toss Lulu into your build asap for Mystic. Large physical damage lobby? Wukong has been a strong asset for vanguards and CC. Wukong will typically ult right after Neeko creating a quality CC chain as well.
Try to keep some econ if you can manage it. Once a contesting player dies, that is your chance to roll down for 3-stars. At level 8, 35% for 3-cost champs still gives you a great chance for 3-star Neeko, Lux, and Syndra.
4. Why is your win rate so bad?: You will finish 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quite often with Star Guardians, especially, if you are in a contested lobby and are trying to outlast the person contesting you. It’s cool though, because the LP gains are pretty consistent.
5. Spatula Items: Remember when I said GA was the most important item? I lied to you. The Star Guardian Charm is. If you see a sweet, sweet spat on the carousel, you go get it brother. Most of my 1st place victories come from 6 Sorc, 6 Star Guardian games. The Star Guardian item goes directly onto a VelKoz as soon as you can, drop the Poppy, and add a TF/Annie/Xerath.
6. What do I do with bows?: Avoid bows at all costs on carousels. If you get a bow, there are two options: Throw a Zz’rot on Poppy (Not Neeko). Neeko has a GA and will survive the duration of the fight, thus never utilizing Zz’Rot. Poppy, however, dies quite often and quite early in fights giving you an extra frontline. If you get 2 bows, make an RFC and put it on Soraka for extra long bananas. Ahri can’t make use of it as it messes up her ult and Soraka casts less due to her ult cost allowing her to auto attack more.
7. Final Comp at 8: Without a Star Guardian Charm your comp will be the 6 Star Guardians, Lux, and Lulu. With the Star Guardian Charm, you will place the star guardian Charm on Vel’Koz, use the Star Guardians minus Poppy, and add Lux with TF/Annie/Xerath for 6 Sorc, 6 Star Guardian.
8. Positioning: Geckos in the front, ladies in the back. Lux and Zoe should be on the furthest ends of your team. All the sorcerers should be in a line on the back row. Except for Ahri, her range is only 660 and you want here orb to hit as many people as possible. I like to place Ahri in front of Syndra. If you are getting man handled by infiltrators, move Ahri to the back row and place Poppy and Lulu in front of your Ahri and Syndra. Be sure to watch out for the human plagues that put Zephyr on Blitz. If infiltrators are not a problem, place Poppy right next to Neeko to eat Zephyrs and man reavers.
9a. Leveling: Even with the new player damage changes, I still econ to 7 and slow roll from there. If you are taking a lot of damage, I may roll down a small amount at 6 to stabilize but never more than 8 gold or so. The exception to this rule is the new FoN at level 5 galaxy. If you do not hit level 5 when your opponents do, the power differential is too much and you will lose too much health early. I usually wait until after the round 3 carousel to level to 6, but you need to watch what your opponents are doing. If you have a streak and they all level to 6 on 3-2, you probably should too. If you have too little health and they all level to 6 on 3-2, you may need to as well.
If you are contested, try to level to 8 a little after raptors. You most likely aren’t going to 3-star many units until your competition has died, so you need to find other means to power spike. Lulu has served me well and so has Wukong for that final 8th spot.
#9b. Rolling: As stated above, slow roll to level 7.
Late Game: So, you’ve made it to late game. You are level 7 with 50 gold. Now what? Rolling the last of your gold depends on your health and your power spike potential. Try to roll down the last of your gold before it’s too late to make a comeback. ~30 health is good because if you drop a game by chance you aren’t out of the game. If you are being contested, try to wait until your competition has left the game to roll down if possible.
Disregard the previous advice if you are sitting on 7 or 8 Neekos and Syndras after raptors. The power spike from getting these units to 3-star will change the trajectory of your game greatly. It’s worth hamstringing your economy after raptors if you can go on a quality win streak and power spike by spending the gold.
#10. Is Chalice good now?: Chalice is dope.