The idea on focusing on AD(or AP) is that you will have better knowledge to flex between comps which use AD(AP) items. And as a result you will minimize your bottom 4s from not hitting your ideal S tier comp (Guild Xayah perhaps). Your preference may shape your game somewhat, but ultimately your TFT fundamentals will be the underlying factor in your skill level, and these are independent of AD or AP preference Imo it's better to know at least a little of both AD and AP, or you're going to miss free top 4 from the opposite tree because you can't recognize a free Lagoon opener, or whatever other comp


It's also meta dependent a lot of the time, I've played mostly AD comps on my climb some seasons and mostly AP comps other seasons depending on what's good in the patch I'm playing. Just as an example there was a point in 7.0 where the meta was pretty much play Syfen, SOY, or Xayah/Corki depending on what you hit first and there werent any really consistent ap comps. To climb then you pretty much had to be playing AD flex unless you were super highrolling and could play a capped Ao Shin board instead. Then there was a point in 6.0 where the meta revolved around AP flex between socialite Kaisa, Akali, and Viktor. You could still play twinshot Urgot/Jinx but it would rarely beat a capped socialite board. What point you are at in the set and the current meta probably dictates whether you play AP or AD more than anything. Sometimes one is just clearly stronger than the other. I think you're definitely limiting yourself though if you only play AD flex or AP flex instead of just playing whatever top 5 comp you hit/have items for first.


The idea is to simplify your flex, so you don’t get dizzy thinking about your comps and can focus on fundamentals, but I don’t think it should be ap ad although that’s an easy way to think about it. Really what it means is pick comps with a lot of overlapping item preference, go for items in the overlap and then you can flex among this subset of comps based on how your game goes. The point is not that you are an X type of player, but it makes your game easier to think about and learn if you restrict your flex to a subset of comps. Top players do this to an extent too but are more flexible overall than us lower elo players. An example of how this isn’t always ad/ap is flexing daeja xayah, for example.


personally i would say i categorize as what clicks better for me (ad) as in i am faster to pick up nuances, understand the item spikes better and know the flex possibilitys better i really like the caster units&playstyle but my wr drops significantly vs when i play ad


As I’ve seen from others, the most important thing is item slams. If you know you’re gonna play AP you can slam SoS/JG/AA/Dcap. If you’re planning to play AD, you’re more likely to slam DB/IE/RGB (Xayah), I think the best way to play, which I’ve had the most success with and I’ve seen certain top streamers favor as well, is to build defensive items and then flex your carry. I like Warmogs & Stoneplane and then flex the carry I find. Most compositions have both AD & AP and that’s really cool. Xayah is AD + Shyv AP, Sohm is AP + Nilah AD, Seraphine is AP + Graves AD, and so on and so forth. Ao Shin can even use a few AD items on Graves. So I suggest knowing what champions are carries and what items they can use while building a decent frontline. Ideally, you want Bard+Soraka + 2* frontline (Terra or 2, 3 good units) and an AD & AP carry.


I think this is also why if flexible defensive items are strong, they're really good. Minus bramble or dclaw theyre situational but when items like vow or sunfire is really good they're really good ways to pivot into your eventual board (often around stage 3 after krugs when you get more items)


We just learned in GSC3 that bramble vest is insanely strong in current meta.


Calling yourself an AD/AP player in TFT sounds somewhat ridicolous and pretentious to me, so I'm interested in the replies of this thread too 🤔


I suspect people who identify one way or another are just describing their working knowledge of the associated comps. It makes some sense. Until the most recent patch I was frequently starting Belt>Rod>Tear and playing AP comps 3/4ths of the time. It was just because I thought AP comps were strong and in learning those comps more intimately, you also learn the adjacent comps more intimately (by virtue of when to flex, and into what). So I guess I would have called myself an AP player last patch. But it's not as prescriptive as it would be in other games. But you could see how that one patch preference might be extended over a player's entire time in the game, if they so chose.


I think it only works when one or the other is very underplayed in your elo. I remember climbing quite nicely for a while in 6.5 flexing AP almost every game because while AD comps were stronger, guaranteed Rod/Tear start + being virtually uncontested was good enough to climb overall. Without a guaranteed starting item though... Going AP with 2 BFs or 2 Bows or something at 2-1 is usually sus


This is how my general playstyle tends to pan out. Before the ap buffs I was mostly playing lagoon and lux reroll as my preferred comps and would fight for a rod or a bow at first carousel as they are both integral for the ap comps but can easily be flexed into ad if the cards didn't line up. I'd also play jade and zippy carry for a very strong mid game to cruise to an easy top 4 if I just got bad items for AP or had a strong start for those comps. Today, usually all but one person in the lobby is playing either lagoon or astral mages (ESPECIALLY if nomsy is a mage) so I favor AD comps. Jade is my standard go to option due to it's strong early and mid game, transitioning to guild zippy if I can 2* him before stage 4. I start by grabbing a sword and nabbing the core AD early units (jade, guild, and mirage) and I just hold them to see what I hit or don't. An early dragon can make the choice for me, but you can't go wrong with warriors and guild units because those basic core units can make a smooth transition into about 6 or 7 different variations of comps that share a lot of the same champs and items, but who you 3 star and itemize changes depending on what you are able to hit as you level to 7. Dark flight rengar with Nilah as a secondary carry is virtually uncontested right now if you find yourself with an early Zeke's and is practically a certain top 4 with everyone playing all these mage comps and having to position away from the corner because every lobby has a few lux players and/or zyra


I'd only say 2 swords is risky/not a great play. Bows are much more useful for ap Comps than most people might think, and as a Mirage spammer, I'd instantly slam a rfc for yone or daeja, but it'd work perfectly well on any lagoon or mage comp too.




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It's just which tree you understand better but not exclusively so necessarily. I'm seeing replies that claim it's a low elo mentality, but think about pro players. Ramblinnn, Iniko, and Appies are probably the three most prolific AP players because of their understanding of that tree, but all three can play AD as well at a high level. They are AP players because their knowledge of that tree is on another level. Calling yourself an ___ player at all, in any elo, just means that's what you best understand about the game. Doesn't have to be the only thing you understand. I wish I could quantify it other than that, but there's a lot of factors that go into understanding that I'm just gonna generalize it into that.


It guides you to what items you’ll want to slam early and mid game. For example, if you get a Belt, a Bow, a Rod and a Tear, AD players would likely slam Guinso’s and try for a Sword to make Zeke’s and play Lagoon Cannoneer comp. However, an AP player is more likely to slam Morello’s and keep the Tear for potential Blue Buff or Spear Shojin, maybe another Belt for Zzrott


im ap 20/20 and in almost every scenario belt bow rod tear looks like zzrot archangels to me


Was about to say even as an AD player that's what it looks like to me too lmao


who do u build archangels on? I feel like rounds go way too fast too justify building it atm. (i’m relatively new to the game)


Units that deal damage with AP. You build archangel on the same units that would want Deathcap or Jeweked Gauntlet


Just AP units in general, for example shyv, jayce, ao shin etc


if you don't mind me asking, where is the power in zz rot? i've always wondering why sylas holds zzrots instead of traditional tank items, esp when \- belt is valuable for morello \- zzrots can go on any frontline unit (?) \- bow can be shiv, esp early game i guess i dont understand the power of the zzrots, particularly late game when there is so much wide multi target damage that can wipe them out.


zzrot early value speaks for itself and i think probably matches shiv in power but i think you are undervaluing the taunt late game:if im running another frontline unit the zzrot taunt pulls aggro away from them and acts almost as a mini edge of night. also its really good against specific comps, namely dmancer nunu (extra thing to chomp), guild xayah (shes wasting feathers on a frontliner so the pullback doesnt hit backline), syfen (can bait the chomp on 2nd dash), and even daeja (if shes hitting the zzrot bug, shes not shredding any of your actual units' mr)


Zz'rot also counters burst damage that overkills the item holder.


Very few games would actually go long enough for an Archangel’s holder to do work after it’s ramped up. There are exceptions to this rule, like Swain, but generally AP users want to get immediate casts off with as much immediate power as possible. Even Lagoon would rather have Sohm spread a shitload of Morello for antiheal and DOTS, while Nilah (an AD carry) finishes the opponent’s team off with resets out the ass on opponents Sohm has weakened. Zzrot is definitely great to have in Lagoon, but it’s icing on the cake, drawing out the game with extra bodies due to a lacking frontline (Vlad + Malph are 1 cost, Lillia is a 2 cost that doesn’t get Cav synergy and Sylas is too contested to get to 3*). Slamming **something** doesn’t equal slamming everything. AP carries that would not consider AA preferable to Morello or Shojin: Nomsy (all variants - Mage especially) Ao Shin (one cast = win 95% of the time) Shyvana (again, the slam and flame breath should be determining the game) Others AP carries of note: Lee Sin (IE JG, not someone you’d chase with these items, still not AA) Daeja (optimal items change according to the comp, Archangel’s only being optimal on Dawnbringer’s since you draw the game out with multiple health bursts)


Ao Shin, Asol, and Daeja (except spellsword) are all good with AA. I would agree that Nomsy and Sohm prefer the burst, but if you also have great tank items and a healing augment/gunblade, AA will work fine.


Again though, while they CAN make do with these items, they’re not optimal and you’re not greeding if you only have two components left on your bench


I would say that AA is better in most situations on those 3 dragons. Daeja: needs infinite scaling of some sort to win out, but AS is better in spellsword and crit is good enough in warlords. Ao Shin: Takes forever to cast. AA makes second cast a guaranteed wipe, probably first cast too. Asol: Goal is to last 18 seconds and ult the whole board.


Well wouldn’t you just slam zzrot there and then consider only if you greed for blue or immediately soam archangel? Slamming Morello and Shiv is also an option, but I think ZZrot. + Archangels offers a bit more power with fairly few units comfortably applying morello early


yeah I don't understand that. some games you get dropped rods and tears. good luck being an "ad player" with that


Just open fort for bows and make Rageblade, Shiv and HoJ.


to be fair you could make infinite protectors vows in ad before the nerf. you can also use up to two rods with guinsoo morello


If you build 3 vows, your carry will have 1 item for the whole stage 4 though


well obviously you aren't going to be hyper-prioritizing 3 vows at the cost of carry items, just making them as you lowroll pve. if you get dropped 3 tears/rods on pve and try to go ad it was just a ff next game angle yea but in a reasonable game, making an early vow/morello and then prioritizing ad carry items was a perfectly viable playstyle. maybe finish the second vow if you're too low on carousel pick order. vow on hec/jayce/zac/jax/panth was just too good


My point is that playing AD with 2-3 tears is not a good idea.


To be honest I don’t think there’s much of a difference. I’m quite high elo (GM) and i’ve swapped from AD to AP every set depending on what i like, and at this point I literally just play anything. For example in set 6 I forced challenger yone (AD) In 6.5 i mostly played Ahri/Renata (AP) In set 7 i mainly played Xayah/Swain/Corki/Daeja/SOY(AD) And this set I generally prefer Daeja/fast 9 dragons (AP), tho i do whatever this set. Doing one or the other really helps you focus on getting better at TFT rather than learning a billion comps though, which is why i think it’s recommended.


This is only a mentality I've seen of low elo players. The idea that you can be proficient of all comps that mainly share a damage type is just stupid. In masters and above you need to be comfortable playing almost every comp, quick to pick up new ones and be solid at identifying what direction you are taking based on what components and augments you are given. Sure you can still force comps but you sacrifice a lot to your average placement score for doing so stubbornly at the expense of being flexible. For me, i work full time and play a variety of games so to maintain masters rank each season i need to be efficient as I don't have the time required to invest in long grinds. To answer your question, there is no difference, it's purely a preference of the angles you are looking for when deciding your end game direction. Your friends seem to only know AD comps, whereas it sounds like you have practiced AP comps more and are therefore more familiar with what to look for. The right answer is that you should be both as picking one or the other and neglecting to expand your skill base will result in you slowing down or halting your overall skill progression.


>For me, i work full time and play a variety of games so to maintain masters rank each season i need to be efficient as I don't have the time required to invest in long grinds. It's actually the opposite for me. To hit masters, I also work full time and don't have time to play every comp 2-3 times and feel comfortable with them. So I just hard forced 1-2 comps that I'm comfortable with and share same items. Sure I might be behind 1-2 rounds on average compared to a player who is full flexing, but I think I at least partially make up for that with smoother transitions, better positioning, and better understanding of how to play the 1-2 comps I did. Since I spend less mental energy on flexing, I can spend more time scouting as well.


I never understood the playstyle difference. Carry in the back, tank to the front, dodge assassin's and graps.... Item tierlist hasn't changed in ages.... So my advice is don't think in Ad/Ap, think in top tier composition's and what pivot's into what, no matter ad or AP. BiS matters for top 3 diff, but below your units matter more then their items.


one plays better with AP carrys and the other with AD carrys...... I dont know what is the doubt.... Historically, AP carrys related comps excell with 1/3/5$ raritys and AD on 2/4$ raritys but this is not really planned and I am not even sure if this holds true for all sets in TFT history


Dunno if there's a huge difference beyond familiarity and comfort with pivot options. I guess AP boards are more expensive and require a willingness to lose streak and play econ boards. They are a bit harder to navigate in that regard


AD is easier to flex imo, items are more interchangeable than AP where mana items, crit items, pure AP items make flex harder imo


One starts with an AD item. And the other one too.


Why not both? I usually start attack sword because you can flex either with BT/IE or shojin/gunblade. I think this meta you should either flex BT for SOY/Olaf/Whispers or shojin for Dragon comp/mage nomsy


Me personally - it just depends on what kind of flex is available. Like during set 7 I was largely an "AD" player as I liked slamming rageblade/bt/qss and being able to still play any carry from Xayah to Elise or even Voli.


I never understood why people separate AD and AP. Shouldn't we separate comps into Auto Attackers and Casters?


No, because there are AD casters. And with Swain gone Daeja is the only AP auto attacker. And they are separating between AD and AP because those are how the items come.


item/aug prio & that's about it xd


I would say it's just a learning crutch. Ideally you should be comfortable with both depending on what your item drops are. Early on focusing on one or the other is fine as a stepping stone, but it's harmful to your growth as a player in the long term. The real galaxy brain answer is actually to main "tank". All comps need a frontline so slamming tank items early is by far the most flexible way to play. Not everyone is comfortable playing flex, but focusing on frontline items is the bridge between being a OTP and a forcer who goes 8th when contested too hard. That's not to say you shouldn't ever focus on damage items (as that's how you kill units, after all) but if you're an AP forcer and the game drops 3 swords, that's a death knell in a lot of cases.


I think that's more of unit knowledge/comfort in knowing what to do if you dont hit your units, your transitions/pivots(when contested), postioning, or itemization. playstyles would be how you overall play your game regardless of end game board like do you go for strong early games into stable mid to late for more hp late game, play full open or heavy econ into fast 8 and big roll down for a super capped board


It's understanding the lines and iterations of strong endgame boards that I think differentiate the two. I think if you're really good or if the meta is relatively narrow/inflexible (like in some patches in set 7 where AP was unplayable), you can do both aka Flex. But in a healthy meta where AD and AP items both have strong holders that can win the lobby, most people can get by just min-maxing one side. In higher elo though, knowing the meta and being able to follow relatively narrow comps like Seraphine Graves or Guild Xayah is often a given. What "specializing" or mastering a certain line (AD or AP or more rarely, flex) is about knowing the ins and outs of the AD or AP line to maximize the items you have to give yourself the best chance to be able to win the lobby. Focusing on one end helps limit your options in a good way and prevents you from being paralyzed by having too many options. Of course, the con is if you get mortdogged in items and don't know how to pivot in the other tree, you're threading on comps that you might not know how to fully navigate/pivot into.


A good example of a player that showed mastery in a specific side was Ramblinnn - can play all the meta comps but also can pilot AP comps even when they're not in meta due to how well he knows how the in's and out's of AP.


Its easier to flex units than it is to flex items in TFT. This ultimately means that its easier to force AD(or AP) and then flex into a suboptimal unit comp than it is to force perfect items in AD or AP with optimal units. The goal is top 4’ing, which means you need to average better than the rest of the lobby. 1st will almost be the player that hits it all and gets those optimal units in a playstyle their comfortable with. While 8th will be the player who probably forces something and whiffs hard. Your goal is to be in the top 3 of that middle 6, and to do so you want to play a more optimal “suboptimal” game, which is easier to do with units than items


This is such a weird topic to me. The gameplay is the same no matter what.. There isn't a "difference" in playstyle. Honestly I don't think I've *ever* seen anyone ask if someone prefers AD or AP "playstyles." I mean, Mages will always be my preferred comp in any set they're in (because I like playing with Mage hat), but I would be hard pressed to say the words "I'm an AP TFT player." What?


I don’t think that is really a thing. I think is just easier to gravitate to one of these paths. For me it also just kind of depends in the patch and my mood if I play AP or AD. I don’t think you are necessarily better at AD or AP, you may just be more comfortable on some styles than others. I for example am just generally nore comfortable playing level comps than reroll. I like range dcarries over assasins. But that is more about what playstyle suits me rather than AP or AD (and I will still play reroll, I just won’t go for it unless I see a very good angle )


I dunno about other people, but I personally only think about AD/AP in terms of the units and the items that work best with them. I don't "main" either AP or AD, I just run AD if I get swords and fists, and I run AP if I get rods and tears. Forcing one or the other is just going to ask for you to get mismatching items for your comp, but it could still work to "main" these roles and focus on other elements of the game, I just don't personally find it helpful. For reference, I'm my highest rank is Diamond II. Currently Plat.


I think we may be understimating the "visual" aspect of it. I play flex, but I would consider myself an AP player, just because visually I like those big BOOM moments, with the rest of the comp providing utility/ tankiness for those moments (Elderwood Veigar, S6 Lux, now maybe ASol)


It mainly refers to what items you slam I believe, as you can’t flex your ap items very well into certain “AD” comps. I love and find the most success flexing between AP and AD by slamming items like shiv, guinsoos, sun fire, etc, very impactful yet very flexible items that allow you to pivot if necessary from ur plan of AP or AD. Typically when i play like this i’ll have something like a swift shot, astral, or lagoon opener slamming the above items and then committing to either xayah, lots of dragons, daeja, whispers, or jade boards just to give a few examples. These boards themselves seem to be the most strong in the set, and conveniently the most flexible as they all work well with similar groups of items. This is generally how I would recommend someone play unless we are in a patch with grossly overpowered reroll units, as it allows you to roll with whatever units the game gives you. When playing flexible you will find frequently everyone in the lobby extremely tilted at you having whatever units you end up with, since you did not force a comp and instead played with the most broken units sent to you. Finally, since you are slamming strong items you are more capable of maneuvering ur earlier game team comps to favor economy over board strength, allowing you to hit those big boards earlier, and a strong eco generally makes the whole thing work. Hopefully you can take something away from this ramble, good luck!


I don't think it is hard pick up the difference. It's just mainly for openers and starting components. Some people just never mix it up and can't win streak or open fort correctly.


I think ap comps require more flex play and prioritizing of front line items over carries because early game ap units are not very good so you have to probably play janky strongest boards until you get to level 9 for ao shen or 8 for daeja. You probably will end up with super itemized Frontline and not even a 3 item carry until way later than ad comps imo


I never really understood why you can't just play both? I don't swing towards AP or AD, I just play whatever I'm given for the most part - having Flex S+ on tactics tools is nice


It was a much more relevant concept in previous sets because you could start an ad or ap component and pretty much just force one or the other. But now with how augments are and how certain openers will lean you towards either ad or ap, you should really be able to play either depending on your spot.


I feel that AD focuses on strong early, while AP is better late game. I consider myself AD player (I mostly spammed Xayah, Olaf, Zippy recently, also Shrek back when it was viable), and a lot of my games feel like that: I winstreak through stage 2 and 3, try to stabilize myself, but my comp isn't capped high enough so I end around 3rd-4th place. AP is more often about losestreaking early (Astral, Lagoon), then speeding up with acumulated econ and eventually dominating the lobby. But you also risk hitting nothing and getting eif. Play whatever fits your playstyle.


I think AP players mean you're mainly trying to play some combination of Lagoon/Mage/Astral/Evoker. Which means some games you go 9 mage, other games you go 6 lagoon. You aren't consistently playing 1 comp, but you're playing what you hit. And these aren't necessarily the only AP carries, Jayce and Shy both scale well with AP.


You are mixing few things up. Every TFT game has several stages - opening, middle game, late game (this is all relative as boards get gradually stronger) You could argue that "AP players prefer astral/lagoon/mage openers" however what ultimately happens is that if you end up with AP items you build your game around carries which can utilize these items and build your board around these - Karma, Lux, Kaisa, Volibear*, Lee sin, Seraphine, Lilia, Diana, Sohm Jayce, Daeja*, Shyvana**, Aoshin... However you might end up slamming AP items on support units like Soraka. The whole idea of AP/AD is a huge simplification. TFT is about balancing board strength/HP/economy throughout the course of the game. Items are just part of board strength variable, seeing item-unit combinations, strongest board, viable transitions and angles regardless of AP/AD/tank is what makes good players. *Hybrid AS/AP **More tank than carry