Portals are a huge part of the new Set 9 mechanics, and here’s everything you need to know to dominate them.
We will be recommending certain strategies and tips for all 30 regions, but keep in mind that just because something is recommended, it doesn’t mean other strategies do not work–they just work a little bit less.
Gain a Spatula on stage 2-1. Each round, champions equipped with Spatulas feed Poro Snax to their closest ally and grant them 20 permanent Health for each Spatula component they have.
How to play: Honestly, with this the best case scenario is you stack a low cost tank that you’re going to reroll, allowing for you to build massive amounts of HP at all stages of the game. Otherwise, just put the buff on any carry or tank that you can keep throughout the game
PvE monsters are replaced by scuttle crabs that grant extra loot.
How to play: Typically either a super greedy playstyle where you build tons of econ with a lose streak or super aggressive playstyle where you push levels and slam most of your items are used in this portal. If you don’t have many upgrades and/or your item components are not great, perhaps look to lose streak. Otherwise, if you have strong items and upgrades, look to push the tempo with your extra loot.
Also note that each Scuttle drops guaranteed at least 1 gold so you can plan your interest around that.
Twice per stage, get a free high-tier champion. The champion’s tier increases with game time.
How to play: With this, oftentimes you can use the units you get early to meet interest thresholds (aka 10, 20, 30, etc) to accelerate your econ. Otherwise, the units may be useful to your board, such as a Jayce when you’re playing Gunners. As you approach mid/late game, there may be scenarios where you can play around whatever 4 cost you got from this portal, as long as your items are appropriate.
Yuumi’s Zoom Zone
Player combats last 20 seconds instead of 30 before overtime starts.
How to play: In this portal, frontline is very vital because your backline units will always do damage in overtime, it’s just a matter of keeping as many units alive as possible to maximize the overtime benefit.
Gain a Crown of Demacia on stage 2-1. If the holder dies, you instantly lose the fight.
Crown of Demacia
If the holder begins combat in the front 2 rows, regenerate 1-7% maximum Health per second (based on stage). If they start in the back 2 rows, gain 1-7% Attack Damage and Ability Power every second instead.
If the wearer of this item dies, you instantly lose the fight.
You can remove this item by benching the wearer.
How to play: IJ can not think of a single scenario where you don’t put this crown on a backline unit. It is extremely risky to put it on a frontline unit. One niche scenario may be putting it on Darius or Garen if you’re rerolling Juggernauts, but otherwise it is probably best to put on a Ranged unit.
All units are larger and have 150 bonus Health.
How to play: Obviously Bruisers benefit from this, but other slight buffs are things like Guinsoo’s Rageblade and Archangel Staff, as higher HP units = longer combat time, allowing for more scaling. Otherwise, winstreaking may feel a bit better than lose streaking because lose streaking will be more punishing. This is because it will be harder to kill more units.
On stage 4-5, gain a Masterwork Upgrade consumable that lets you upgrade one equipped item into its radiant version.
How to play: There is not unique way of playing, I’d say you play the exact same playstyle as you usually would, as the Radiant Upgrade doesn’t fundamentally change how the game should be played, it’s just a nice enchantment to your item.
Data checking which Radiant items are the best is quite useful too
Randomly on either stage 2-5 or 3-5, gain an Ornn Item Anvil.
How to play: With this, be sure to make sure not to make 3 complete tank or carry items to allow for the Ornn item to occupy one of those slots. Obviously playing for winstreak by slamming early game items would be good, as you should be able to get a good item off Ornn to compensate for possibly suboptimal late game items.
A spot on your bench becomes the grove. The champion placed in it contributes their non-unique traits as though they were in your army.
How to play: Treat this a Tactician’s Crown, whatever unit you put in the spot will serve as a trait-bot. It’s important to look for units that could possibly give more than 1 trait bonus, however! This is also great for vertical comps that need 9 units because you don’t have to level up to level 9 to get a 9 trait active.
Gain a Scroll of Knowledge on stage 3-5. Use it on a champion to open an armory offering every emblem that matches their traits.
How to play: This portal basically forces you to narrow your options at stage 3-5 as to what you want to play late game. Remember to have a plan as to what you want to play before this scroll is offered!
The Dreaming Pool
At the start of each stage, gain a champion that fits your team.
How to play: This portal is especially useful lategame, when you’re missing 1 or 2 more copies for a 2* unit or you really want a special 5 cost that completes your team. Early game, sometimes it can be used simply as economy through selling, or it can serve to make your board stronger so you can keep your HP high and/or winstreak.
On stage 2-1, gain a placeable battle flag that grants 20% Attack Speed and a 20% max Health shield to units that start combat adjacent to it.
How to play: The typical way to play this is to put the flag near the backline corner so that your tank(s) can stay in the front without the flag buff while your carries and other units can surround the flag. This way, your positioning isn’t griefed and the enemy can’t close in on your backline as easily. Shroud of Stillness is better on this map too
Each time you take an augment, a random arena hex appears. Champions on an arena hex gain an item that they can use.
How to play: This portal is pretty simple, if the hex is in the back 2 rows look to put one of your carries in there, and if it is in the front 2 rows look to put one of your bruisers/tanks. Comps with multiple carries really like this map
All augments offered this game will be prismatic.
How to play: Though competitively inconsistent due to the RNG nature of prismatics, this portal is undeniably fun. Play for immediate strength through strong combat Prismatics or look to invest in your lategame through augments such as Level Up.
No augments will be offered this game.
How to play: This is just TFT before augments. Play normally!
The first augment offered this game will be prismatic.
How to play: Another Prismatic themed portal, look to accentuate your playstyle with augments. For example, if you’re a reroller, look to take March of Progress or Golden Ticket.
When ANY unit dies, collect their soul. Every 40 souls, gain a loot orb.
How to play: If you truly wanted to get as much value out of this portal as possible, you would look to put out a medium strength board to maximize the total amount of deaths on the field per turn, but I’d recommend just play normally aka lose or win streak.
Every time a player dies, all players open an armory containing 4 of the eliminated players’ items.
How to play: Playing strongest board and investing heavily in your early/mid game by slamming items is actually very good here, as you can always find items for your carries later through other player’s deaths.
If you don’t have a Magnetic Remover on your bench at the start of each round, get one.
How to play: What this allows you to do is slam items without worrying about selling/replacing your units. This way you can slam items on practically anyone and not be punished! Shroud of Stillness and Zephyr are also especially good on this portal.
Each champion on a component carousel has 2 components on them instead of 1.
How to play: You can either look to play super aggressive and hope to compensate for best in slot items later, or you can lose a bit of HP to get your best in slot items immediately with this portal.
Stage 4-7 is replaced by a treasure armory round. Each reroll costs 2.
How to play: You can play aggressively without worrying about having bad items late game with this armory, so look to slam items that offer a lot of early/mid game strength!
On stage 2-5 and 4-5, gain a Tactician’s Crown.
How to play: This is just more units, make sure your midgame and endgame boards are strong, because you will lose plenty of HP otherwise.
When you reach 40 Health, receive a blessing from the Targonian gods.
How to play: What I’ve seen do pretty well is reroll comps in this portal, as you tend to get to low HP pretty quickly while you’re looking for your 3* units. What ends up happening is as you go below 40 HP, you tend to also hit your 3* copies so then the power spike from the blessing and hitting your units will allow you to winstreak and place well.
Starting at stage 3, gain a Lesser Champion Duplicator at the start of each stage. On stage 5 and beyond, gain a Champion Duplicator instead.
How to play: With this you don’t have to roll as much for a 2* 3 cost unit midgame. This allows you to save a bit of economy to invest in lategame.
The Lavender Sea
Starting on stage 2-1 a void symbiote infects a board hex. After every carousel and PvE round, it moves randomly. The hex grants 20% damage reduction if it’s in the first two rows and 20% increased damage if it’s in the back two rows.
How to play: So for this generally you want to put your main carry on the hex if it’s in the back two rows and your main tank on the hex if it’s in front two rows. Be careful when it’s in the middle because you don’t want to get baited and put your carry there because they will get targeted by all the AoEs
Travel to a random location that is not currently shown.
How to play: HAVE FUN
Gain an unstable completed item that pops off and transforms into a random item every round.
How to play: This forces you to be a bit creative as to who you put items on and the board you play, but generally if you wanted to be super safe you can look to play an AP an AD carry lategame, as this allows for you to maximize every variation of item you can get from this.
Every time you select an augment, gain 4 gold per augment you have.
How to play: Use the gold you get from this to build interest to invest in the lategame or rerolling. If your board is strong though, you can use this gold to push the early and midgame to winstreak.
Every time you build a completed item, gain 3 gold.
How to play: Look to build items early if they fit a particular comp/style that you tend to play, as the gold acquired can get can help you hit economy thresholds early, allowing for the high interest. Also augments that give item components are a ton better, so lean into those.
There is no interest this game. Instead, starting on stage 2-1, gain 3 gold every round.
How to play: Typically since there’s no interest, you should look to push levels and play aggressively to winstreak! Also Rich get Richer and Hedge Fund do NOT work here.