Headliner Guide

Today we will cover what a Headliner is, how to buy them, how to play around them, when to sell them, and what items are great on each headliner. Lastly we will cover general Headliner tips at the end.

What is a Headliner?

In TFT Set 10, the “Headliner” is a new mechanic–some may recognize it from the old name of “Chosen” from Set 4. Headliners are automatically upgraded units that come as 2-star champions in your shop. One of their traits is doubled in effectiveness, and they have unique bonuses, often a bonus in stats or an augmented ability. They cost the sum of their star level, so a 3-cost Headliner would cost 9 gold, as you’re essentially buying three units to make a 2-star​.

Why do Headliners keep showing up in my shop?

Headliners can appear in your shop with each shop refresh if you don’t already own one, or every 4th shop if you do. That means if you want to casually pivot your board, you can do so by waiting to see a good headliner every 4 shops. If you want to quickly remix your board, you can sell your Headliner and find a new one in every shop.

Note: You cannot have two Headliners. You cannot buy the Headliner in your shop if you already have one, so you must sell your existing Headliner in order to buy the one in your shop.

Headliner Odds

Level1 Cost2 Cost3 Cost4 Cost5 Cost

Here are the odds of seeing a specific Cost Headliner based on your Level

How to play around Headliners

Using a Headliner effectively can significantly strengthen your board, especially in the early to mid-game. They are fantastic item holders, and you should try to use one each round if possible since they provide huge bonuses to your team.

“But what if I don’t like the Headliners I see?” Too bad. Try to play them as much as possible. Since Headliners give a free 2-star, bonus stats, and a bonus trait, you are effectively refusing to play an upgraded champion, a trait spatula (equivalent to a silver augment in most cases), and lose out on it’s bonus stats as well. This is a huge downgrade to your team!

What Headliner should I buy?

Obviously, if there was a Headliner that gave us the exact trait we wanted, that is perfect, but we are not always so lucky. With this in mind, we want to always have a “worst case scenario” Headliner that we want to buy every shop.

In this board below, we have Bruisers and Pentakill, and we are looking for another unit to put in. Obviously finding a Bruiser or Pentakill Headliner would be great, but what should we buy if we don’t see that? Something as simple as a Headliner Rapidfire Aphelios could be playable for a few rounds before we swap it out for something better when we roll down. This is because we have 5 melee units, and getting 1 ranged unit would add a lot of value to our team since we need some damage. Yes, yes, I know, Aphelios does not give any key traits for our team, however, I’m trying to illustrate worst case scenarios. It is “takeable” because we need a ranged damage dealer and maybe an AD item holder. If we needed an AP item holder, a “worst case scenario” Headliner could be something like Senna. In the early game, we cannot greed our Headliners if not we lose too much HP, and we also cannot roll in most case because that would be horrible for our economy early on. The purpose of early game Headliners is to save HP until we are able to do a big roll down, which occurs at 3-2, 3-5, or 4-1 in most cases depending on your leveling strategy.

Note: This is just one example and not a rule regarding the units and traits mentioned.

Headliner Guide

When to sell Headliners

You should sell your Headliner in 2 scenarios

  1. You see a better Headliner in your ‘every 4th shop’ Headliner
  2. You are about to roll down a lot of gold and expect to buy a new Headliner at a higher cost

You should also try to not have a low cost (1 or 2 cost) Headliner in the late game (Stage 5 and beyond) because you are sacrificing a lot of power.

Best Items on Each Headliner

Item Guide:

  • (Top Left) Tanks: Make whatever items you get that game, so just slam them early and often
  • (Top Right) Melee Carries: AD or AP Melee carries like some survivability, damage, and healing
  • (Bottom Left) Ranged AD Carry: Generic AD items such as attack speed, armor penetration, attack damage, or damage amplification
  • (Bottom Right) Ranged AP Carry: Generic AP items such as mana regeneration, ability power, magic resist shred, or damage amplification
Headliner Guide
1 Cost Headliners

Headliner Guide
2 Cost Headliner Items

Headliner Guide
3 Cost Headliner Items

Headliner Guide
4 Cost Headliner Items

Headliner Guide
5 Cost Headliner Items

Headliner Tips & Tricks

  1. Pre-leveling when you know your next shop contains a Headliner can sometimes give you a Headliner of a higher cost, such as on Stage 2-3 to 2-5.
  2. Buy normal copies of the low cost Headliner unit you have just in case you need to sell your Headliner later and still need the original unit for a trait bonus
  3. In the early game, put items on your Headliner because you will likely sell them
  4. Try not to play low cost Headliners in the late game unless they are 3-star units
  5. Headliners are not permanent. You can always sell them to see something later
  6. Always try to play a Headliner every round unless you have a very specific plan such as lose streaking