Teamfight Tactics Xayah Shredder Guide
by ME XAYAH ONLY
Hi, I’m ME XAYAH ONLY, NA challenger, and today I’m bringing you a guide for 6 BM Xayah, my favorite comp in the game. You can call it shredder or whatever, but I’m a simp for my queen.
If this comp is completely new to you, the lvl 8 is
Xayah, Jarvan, Rakan, Fiora, Shen, Riven, Irelia, Yi
Here’s my lolchess: https://lolchess.gg/profile/na/mexayahonly
While my match history is obviously not only Xayah, as I’m a Flexible Gamer TM now, earlier in set 3.5, I reached low challenger playing exclusively Xayah 100 games in a row, even if I got rod and tear from stage 1 creeps. However, I’m still finding great success with the comp and I believe it is often underrated on many tier lists. I’m also not going to tout this guide as the only correct way to play Xayah or even a good way to play Xayah, but this is the way I do it, and LP speaks for itself, so take it as you will. This “guide” will also be kinda long, because I think that non-comprehensive guides that don’t take you through thought processes are pretty useless.
GLOVE -> BOW -> SWORD.
Optimally, you want to start glove, as Xayah requires Last Whisper to be remotely useful. Glove start also enables cybers if you don’t get a bow or sword drop and can even lead to sorc or mech if you get a tear or a rod. Bow can lead to jinx or bangbros if you don’t get a glove drop from creeps, and sword is extremely flexible if you get neither last whisper component.
Keep in mind that item ordering is flexible based on what you are comfortable playing if you don’t hit Xayah, but these three items are in general what you should be looking for on carousel if you’re thinking of playing Xayah.
Stage 1 Creep Drops:
Assuming you’ve started one of the three items above, stage 1 minions is usually where you’ll decide whether or not you’ll be playing Xayah. In my past as an unethical forcer, I used to decide before I queued up, but realistically, you’ll be deciding at 1-4 whether or not you playing Xayah, because once you commit, its really difficult to transition out of (I’ll elaborate later). The only thing that I evaluate when I make this decision is my items. I play Xayah if I have at least two of the following three: GLOVE BOW SWORD. Seem familiar? This is because BIS Xayah is LW, IE, and GS, and if you decompose that into component items, it sums up to 2 Gloves, 2 Swords, and 2 Bows. These 3 items are your best friends for many of the carousels to come. If you didn’t drop at least 2 of the 3, pivot. You’re most likely not getting top 2 or 3.
You’ve decided on playing Xayah:
Ok, you’re at 2-1 now and you’ve decided on playing Xayah, this means that the F key (buying XP) is no longer a button. Do not press it at all costs. This is what I mean when I say that once committed, its difficult to pivot out of, because the comps that you could pivot into will be pressing the F key and pushing to lvl 4 at 2-1 or preleveling to 5 at 2-3.
Xayah is a reroll comp that relies on hitting 3 star 1 costs, so what this means is that you’re going to want to stay low level for as long as possible and have as much gold to roll above 50 as possible. Side note: I know there’s been a lot of posts on here about hyperrolling vs slowrolling in the past, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this. Hyperrolling is a grief 95% of the time, don’t do it. Ok, back to the issue at hand. You want to stay low level and hit 50 as fast as possible. The two most consistent ways to do this are to win streak and to lose streak. Because you are most likely going to be lower level than a lot of your opponents throughout stage 2, win streaking is significantly more difficult to guarantee, and besides, health is a resource, so you might as well use it to lose streak. Stage 2 is the most important stage of the game when you play Xayah, because how fast you can get to 50 gold will determine how fast and efficiently you can get your 3 star 1 costs. I’ll use this as an example: I would much rather be 50 gold 60 HP at krugs than to be 30 gold 80 HP. Why? Assuming you haven’t pressed the F key at all, you should be lvl.4 8/10 after krugs. Being able to roll excess gold above 50 at lvl 4 is so sexy. For a while, your board will be mostly if not all 2 stars, so the extra hp that you have isn’t going to matter if your board stays at that strength for another 3 rounds as you try to get to 50. Instead, if you’re lower health but already 50 gold, you have a chance of hitting big upgrades or even early 3 stars that might significantly decrease the amount that you lose by or even net you some wins. Your lose-streak will probably extend to 3-3 or 3-5 most of the time, and during each of those rounds, you’ll be making 13 gold, which is around 5 rolls. By hitting 50 gold as fast as possible, you are getting to a state where you can actively improve your board as soon as possible.
Stage 2 is the most important stage of the game for Xayah players. If you have lost through 2-3, IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that you lose until neutrals. Do not be afraid to take 10 dmg to guarantee the loss streak. This part of playing the comp is the most experience based. You need to sweat scout and make sure that you are playing the strongest board that still loses to everyone in the lobby. You actually lose infinite econ for winning 2-5 or 2-6.
Earlier, I said that I only decide whether or not I play Xayah based on my items, and some of you might have thought: “What if you don’t have any of the units?” Without a doubt, units are important and greatly beneficial to hit early, but lets think about it critically for a second. Between 1-2 and 2-5, you get 8 natural shops in total. Assuming that you have around 55-60 gold after krugs, you get 8 shops due to your slowrolling within the first 2 rounds of rolling. While the chances of hitting 1-cost units has decreased, think about stage 3 as an entire stage of getting 5 shops per round, so 30 shops, and compare that to the 8 natural shops that you get throughout stage 2. While my math is sketchy, the logic holds, so hopefully you get the point. Another benefit of lose streaking throughout stage 2 and early stage 3 is that you’re guaranteed to be first pick on carousel probably even until stage 4 carousel. This is where you hopefully get your BIS Xayah items, unless your opponents have paypalled Mort. The order of building should be LW -> IE -> GS, although you may prioritize GS over IE if you see 5 mech players in the lobby or something.
As you slowroll at 5, your board should look something like this: https://lolchess.gg/builder/set3.5?deck=4ca039a0dda111ea80b8ab7a09e19636
You can also semi-mirror it to the other side if that preserves you HP.
When you slowroll, try your best not to dip below 50, so roll until 52 or 53 every time, dipping below 50 for a unit that you could have found the next round of rolling is a bit of a feelsbadman. Ideally, you’re trying to 3 star Xayah, Fiora, J4, and Shen, in that priority. If you need to clear bench space, sell a less important unit in that ordering. Typically, I will only hold those 4 units after I have 2 star rakan.
Eventually, you should hit Xayah 3. If you don’t, it’s an 8th, like literally. Not one of those “its an 8th “ moments that all the TFT streamers have. You absolutely cannot move on without Xayah 3. Along the way, hopefully you’ve found at least one of fiora 3 or j4 3. If you haven’t hit Xayah 3 by 4-2, just roll down until you hit. Hopefully, you shouldn’t end up having to do this.
If you’re one away from hitting a couple units including, breaking 50 is ok, because this is when you spike the hardest. Sacrificing 2-3 gold of econ is worth starting your winstreak a round or two earlier.
Something that I think is important is that Xayah 3 is not the only carry of the comp. Your are also carried by 3 star 1 costs that serve as big tanks and also do decent dmg with the blademaster and j4 attack speed buffs, so even if I hit Xayah 3, sometimes Ill continue to slowroll for J4, Fiora, or Shen if I’m close. Generally, I set the bench mark at whether or not I have at least 7 of those units when I decide whether or not I’ll continue to slowroll or whether I’ll level. Another factor that contributes to this decision is how strong I am compared to the rest of the lobby. If it’s a highroll lobby and I’m still weaker than many people even with Xayah 3, I know that I can’t afford to slowroll and I need to go 8 as fast as possible. If it’s a lowroll lobby and hitting Xayah 3 has made it so I’m winning every round, I know that I can afford to slowroll a bit, but be careful, if you don’t hit within 2 rounds, just press F so you don’t throw your lead. This is another instance of learning by experience, as this decision is mostly made by instinct.
Getting to 8:
After hitting Xayah 3 and hopefully a couple other 3 stars, the next phase of the game is getting to level 8 as fast as possible. After hitting Xayah 3 or a few rounds after (detailed in the section above), I will always level to 6. Hopefully you can put in Riven or Blitzcrank, but if not, any chrono will do. Don’t be afraid to roll once or twice here to find a chrono, as it buffs your Xayah and Fiora substantially. This level 6 board will generally win against most pre-4-3 spike boards so hopefully you can winstreak up until 4-3. If you’re not omega-unlucky, you should be able to go 7 at 4-3.
When most comps level to 8 at 4-3, they’re looking to roll down afterwards, with getting to 8 mostly being for the better shops on their rolldown. However, getting to 8 with Xayah is purely for fitting 6 BM. Thus, the second that I have enough gold to 8, I’ll spam my F key. This is your second big spike of the game. As you’ve slowleveled from 6 to 7, hopefully you’ve found at least 3 of Yasuo, Riven, Yi, or Irelia, which you can then play at 8. If the lobby is very magic-dmg heavy, playing your lvl 5 board plus 2 mystics is ok, but you should always be aiming for your lvl 8, 6 BM spike.
This is where sweat scouting wins or loses you the game. If you didn’t win streak most of stage 3 and all of stage 4, you might not be able to go 9. This means that once you hit 8, your board might be what you’ve got, minus a few minor upgrades. If you’ve been winstreaking through all of stage 3 and stage 4, then go 9 for either ekko or thresh, since you should be decently health, probably upwards of 50 health. However, if you didn’t highroll and were delayed with getting your 3 stars, or you didn’t winstreak due to some highrollers in your lobby, positioning is now your win condition.
General positioning: https://lolchess.gg/builder/set3.5?deck=6fa08a80ddaa11eaba57ebef54edd4a5
This positioning is super subject to change, and I believe that positioning is not something that you should copy exactly, as its one of the premier forms of skill expression to be learned in the game, but here are some general principles:
Having all of your units on one side isn’t optimal in most cases, generally you want a bait unit on the other side of the board. This protects you from a teemo shroom that one shots your entire frontline and frontlining Riven will sometimes cause the mech to turn around as she dashes behind it. However, the general principle is that you want your units to be as close to your enemy’s units as possible while still keeping your Xayah safe from CC and infiltrators. You want fights to be as short as possible, where you can get to “shredding” your opponents frontline as quickly as possible.
Astro-Snipers: Have your clump of units on the opposite side of teemo and try to have your bait unit tank the first teemo shroom. You might have to move Xayah back one row to keep her safe from Nautilus ults. Otherwise, this matchup is completely dependent on how quickly you can deal with the Wukong and whether or not you can bait the Gnar ult in the wrong direction.
Cybers: Try to keep your units on the opposite side of the Wukong if they’re playing that and on the same side as Vi, but otherwise positioning isn’t that important. You will farm Cybers until they have ekko 2 and thresh 2.
Mech: This one is a little more difficult, because Viktor will aim his ult at Xayah most of the time. However, spreading out your frontline can often solve this issue. This matchup is mostly dependent on whether you have GS or not on Xayah. Spreading out your frontline not only messes with Viktor ult, but can lead to some of the units on the sides of your board ignoring the mech and making their way to the backline, which is good. However, spreading out your frontline is generally an int against many of your other matchups so keeping track of whether or not you’re fighting the mech player(s) is important.
Sorcs; If they know what they’re doing and aren’t omega-lowrolling you lose this. Sorry, not much you can do when the neeko stuns your entire frontline every 3 seconds.
Jinx: Try to be on the opposite side of Gnar if they’re playing brawlers. If you manage to not get completely CC’d by Gnar and avoid zephyrs and blitzes, you farm this matchup. Until they get GP with GA and Spark, they’re helpless.
If you don’t have LW IE GS, every carousel you’re looking to build those items, but obviously you’re going to get other items from neutrals. What do we make with these items?
The items that aren’t Glove, Bow, or Sword are:
Belt, Vest, Cloak, Rod, Tear, and Spat.
Because Xayah is already stacked with damage (always 3 dmg item Xayah, anything else is a grief), its better to use these items to make utility and defensive items. I don’t mind slamming these defensive components on Fiora or J4 to preserve some health, because I’ll eventually combine them with other “useless” items to provide some utility. The best items are (in no order):
Locket (Rod and Vest), Zephyr (Belt and Cloak), Redemption (Tear and Belt), and Shroud (Vest and Glove). Locket’s value is maximized when placed on a 3 star unit (hopefully J4 or Fiora), Zephyr allows you to deal with frontline Gnar or Wukong, or backline hypercarries (place zephyr on rakan which you can move around), and Shroud and Redemption are all-around great items in any comp that has components left over. Slamming components on your non-xayah units will allow you to hopefully fill those components in later to get useful utility items.
If you have the luxury of getting a spat, then sometimes you can sacrifice your third item on Xayah to make Infiltrator Fiora or Blademaster Rakan. Both of these are automatic top 4s, with Infiltrator Fiora being slightly better. Hitting 6 BM sooner at 7 rather than 8 lets you fit Thresh or Ekko at 8 and gives you the opportunity to look for 2 mystics at 9, and getting infiltrator fiora 3 turns all of your losing matchups, maybe even sorcs, into winning matchups, as she can just assassinate the backline as she autos at infinite speed with 6 bm buff.
Great galaxies to play Xayah in:
· Galactic Armory: You’ll probably be much closer to BIS Xayah and you can slam utility items. Mostly likely you’ll have BIS Xayah by stage 3 carousel.
· Dwarf Planet: While this galaxy is dominated by GP and Mech, slamming zephyr and GS once you get the components for them will win you so many matchups. Their backline is closer to your Xayah which means they’re just that much easier for Xayah to get to
· FON galaxy: This and Galactic Armory are probably the best two for Xayah. Being able to get 6 BM in at lvl 7 and being able to slowroll with chrono on the board is crazy. You can also fit mystics at 8 instead of 9 if need be. Lots of potential here and you as capped by needing your BM synergy bots. This is probably my highest winrate Xayah galaxy
Bad Galaxies to play Xayah in:
· Plunder Planet: By lose streaking and sometimes not killing many units, you lose out on too much gold. Xayah is unplayable here unless you manage to highroll your 2 star units for your board on 2-1 or 2-2. If you end up playing Xayah here, slam your items and ignore streaks, because you make that econ back from killing opponents’ units.
· Binary: 2 Item Xayah can’t kill frontline.
This is my first time writing in-depth about anything TFT related, so if you got to this point thanks for reading, and if you have any constructive feedback, I’d love to hear it. I just wanted to give people an idea of the way I play Xayah so that they may consider it when they play the comp and maybe expose some of the more nuanced thought-processes behind my playstyle. gOoD LuCk oN tHe RiFt sUmMoNneRs.