Background Image

6 Shadow Item Combos in TFT that will Blow Your Mind

Published: May 3, 2021
TFT Shadow Item Combos on Vayne

In this new season of Teamfight Tactics, we got introduced to Shadow items. This adds a really cool new mechanic to consider when building out your teams. We’ll cover what shadow items are, as well as some of the best shadow item combos in TFT season 5 to help you make the best of this cool, new mechanic and win more TFT matches!

Teamfight Tactics (TFT) is a great auto-battler game that is very similar to League of Legends. It requires a lot of careful thought, planning, and some luck 😂 to win. One of the biggest decisions you have to make in any TFT match is what items will you complete and which of your champions will get those items.

We’ll be covering some of the coolest new Shadow item combos in TFT. If you are new to Teamfight Tactics and/or are interested in learning more about how to dominate this game mode, you should also check out our in-depth TFT guide.

What are Shadow Items in Teamfight Tactics?

Completed shadow items are powerful new TFT item variants that come with improved abilities but also come with a significant downside. You have to be very careful and thoughtful when placing shadow items on champions. Many could render a poorly chosen champion, useless. Some could even kill your champion faster than the enemy could 🤯.

Here are some examples of the great benefits and scary downsides you must consider when using Shadow items in TFT:

Shadow Guinsoo's Rageblade Item in TFT

Guinsoo's Sacrificial Rageblade

Attacks grant +9% bonus Attack Speed for the rest of combat. The bonus Attack Speed can stack any number of times. The holder is dealt 2.5% of their maximum Health as true damage each attack.

Shadow Final Whisper Item

Final Whisper

When the holder inflicts a critical hit, the target's Armor and Magic Resist are reduced by 50% for 5 seconds. The holder's Armor and Magic Resist are also permanently reduced by 25%.

Shadow Item Gargoyle Stoneplate of Immortality

Gargoyle Stoneplate of Immortality

The holder heals themself for 45 health every 2 seconds for each unit targeting them.

Shadow Item Warmog's Sacrificial Armor

Warmog's Sacrificial Armor

Grants 1800 bonus Health (including components), The holder takes 100 true damage each second.

How do you get a Shadow item?

Base shadow items are required to build into completed shadow items with additional stats, but base shadow items do not have any bonus stats themselves. In this season of TFT, you get a completed Shadow item by combining at least one base shadow item with another base item. It’s worth noting that combining two shadow items doesn’t further increase the bonuses you get out of the completed shadow item.

There is a Shadow version of every item in TFT. With their larger bonuses and significant downsides, players now have a whole other world of strategy to consider.

What happens when you combine Shadow items with Spatulas?

Except for the rare case where you combine a Shadow Spatula with another Spatula to produce Force of Darkness, the resultant items do not have any negative effects. They are just different variants on the typical trait giving spatula-based items.

Force of Darkness can really help your team win by providing two additional champion slots, instead of 1. However, it also can end your game early with a large, negative 2x penalty to Little Legend damage after every loss.

Unbelievable Udyr Sustain with Very Dark Blue Buff

Very Dark Blue Buff comes from the merging of at least one shadow Tear of the Goddess (aka Shadow Tear) with another Tear of the Goddess. Normally, the champ you give a regular Blue Buff would gain 20 mana each time it casts its ability. This is great on low mana cost champions, but with only 20 mana added each time, it usually doesn’t alter the course of the battle or change the champ’s mechanics that much.

Udyr champion in TFT Synergizes Well with Shadow Items

Enter the Very Dark Blue Buff 😎. This shadow variant had its normal mana gain reduced to 15 from 20. However, if your champion is below 60% max health, it gives you a whopping 50 mana each time they cast their ability. For any champion in TFT with less than 50 mana required to cast their spell, this means they will continuously use their ability.

This is great, but not a lot of champions can live very long below 60% HP, so it has very limited utility. However, Udyr is a perfect champion to use Deep Blue Buff on. This is because his ability grants him either a shield or an attack speed bonus each time the ability triggers. In particular, his recharging shield is a great combination with Deep Blue Buff, as it doesn’t boost his HP, so he can keep the instant ability recharge while maintaining his defenses!

Very Dark Blue Buff + Archdemon's Staff of Immortality + Udyr Shadow Item Combo

Omg, could it get any better than a shield that recharges every 1-2 seconds? Yep! Add the Archdemon’s Staff of Immortality to this Shadow item build and Udyr will almost be unkillable! With the Staff, you gain the wearer gains bonus max health equal to 300% of their max mana and heals for the same amount.

Very Dark Blue Buff Shadow Item in TFT

Very Dark Blue Buff

fter casting their Ability, the holder gains 15 Mana. If the holder has less than 60% Health, this is increased to 50.

Archemon's Staff of Immortality Shadowy Item in TFT

Archemon's Staff of Immortality

Each time the holder casts their ability, they gain empty maximum Health equal to 300% of their maximum Mana. The holder then heals for that amount.

With this combo, you will constantly be refreshing your ability power and healing yourself in the process. Because the Staff of Immortality increases your max health while it heals you, you won’t be quickly bursting back above that 60% max HP threshold to instant-cast with Deep Blue Buff, yet you will constantly be gaining HP and refreshing your shield. The amount you gain with each cast will also continue to grow exponentially.

With this build, we recommend stacking either a CC immunity item for added sustain or a damage-dealing item to really make TFT Udyr a beast. Is this the revival of Godyr? If you are also building Skirmisher, you’ll get some great AD every second as well to help keep Udyr a damage-dealing threat too.

You can get the Staff of Immortality by combining at least one shadow version of the basic items Tear of the Goddess (Shadow Tear) and Needlessly Large Rod (Shadow Rod).

Alternative TFT Champions for this Sustaining Shadow Item Combo

Udyr is one of the best champs in TFT to use with this Shadow item combo because his ability procs continuously without having to worry about range. Further, he natively adds his own shield to help with the sustain while you have low health. There are other champions that may work with this build (i.e. Poppy, Pantheon, and Lux), but all of the other champions don’t have quite a low enough mana threshold to instantly cast over and over again while also having another method to sustain them with low health.

Some others with added sustain from their abilities, like Poppy and Lux, can’t instantly cast, though they will cast every couple of auto-attacks, which is still pretty good. These Shadow item combos will help them a lot, but it won’t be nearly as effective as on Udyr.

Insane Ranger Damage with Shadow Guinsoo and Lifesteal

Guinsoo’s Rageblade provides a decent boost to attack speed, but at 6% added AS per hit, it doesn’t always turn the tide of battle. That’s where Guinsoo’s Sacrificial Rageblade (the shadow variant) comes in. The Sacrificial Rageblade gives a much improved 9% bonus AS per hit.

Because bonus attack speed gets layered on faster if you’re hitting more often, the bonus scales faster than linearly, so that after just 10 hits, you’ll be hitting about 50% faster with this shadow item than you would with the standard Rageblade. The difference in attack speed will only grow from there. You can see how attack speed grows over time with both Rageblades for a champion like Vayne, in the Figure below.

TFT Vayne Item Combo with Rageblade Shows that Vayne Will Deal Much More Damage with and Stack Much More Attack Speed with Shadow Item Version in TFT

It’s clear for champions in Teamfight Tactics like Vayne, who rely on AS to deal a lot of their damage, that you get a huge benefit out of using the shadow Rageblade item variant over the regular Rageblade. Yet, the Spectral Rageblade comes with a huge downside. It quickly kills your champion, inflicting 2.5% max HP true damage with every basic attack 😱.

That is why you must combo Guinsoo’s Spectral Rageblade with a lifesteal item, such as Bloodthirster. With Bloodthirster, you should be able to keep your life up while also dealing insane amounts of damage. This is one of the best Shadow item combos in TFT for Rangers and other attack-speed-reliant champions!

Live Forever with the Pantheon and Riskthirster Shadow Item Combo

In Teamfight Tactics, Pantheon gets to use his Aegis Assault shield ability, which grants him a significant damage reduction bonus (75%+) for 4 seconds while also dealing a large amount of AD scaling physical damage in a cone in front of him.

Riskthirster is an awesome TFT Shadow item to combo with Pantheon. Due to Aegis Assault’s relatively low mana cost and long cast duration, he will spend a lot of his time mid-cast with this ability.

Pantheon Shielding with an Item in TFT and Throwing His Spear

Unlike its common variant, Riskthirster heals based on total physical damage dealt, not just during auto attacks. This means that you will gain massive amounts of health back every time you use your ability, especially if there are multiple enemies in front of you. Furthermore, remember, he’s almost immune to damage while he uses his ability. Typically, pantheon will heal back all damage received every time he uses his ability with this TFT item combo.

To ensure Pantheon survives between uses of his ability, you should probably also give him other sustain-based items, such as immunity to CC, increased health, or immunity to critical hits.

Diving the Backline with Vengeful Trap Claw

Vengeful Trap Claw is a cool variant of the basic Trap Claw you can use to help your melee champions dive the enemy backline. If you don’t have an assassin on your roster, it can be hard to take out those carries. And as we all know, by the late game, it’s usually just one or two carries in the backline doing 80%+ of the enemy team’s damage.

Every team needs a way to take those out. A few non-assassin champions have abilities that let them rush the backline, but for the most part, this is rare. That’s where Vengeful Trap Claw comes into play. Whenever a champion bearing it is struck by an ability, say from a backline mage or AD carry, they get teleported to that caster. Both champions then immediately begin engaging one another.

If you have a melee champion that can burst down enemies quickly but has a hard time making it to the enemy backlines, this is a great Shadow item combo to place on them. However, if you only place it on a relatively weak champ, they will likely be killed by the enemy carry when they teleport to them.

Teamfight Tactics Volibear Champion

Be careful, don’t waste this item on an average champion. Put it on a champ you are confident can take out their targets. We really like a lot of the Skirmishers and Nightbringers for this, but any powerful melee champ will do.

Buffing Your Frontline Tank with Warmog's Sacrificial Armor

Frontline tanks are meant to take the brunt of the enemy’s initial assault and give your carries a bit more time to deal their massive damage. Some frontline tanks can last a long time if they are heavily invested with items. You may not want to go down that route of massively buffing one tank. Instead, you may just want to get a quick buff to keep them alive longer while putting most of your items into your damage-dealing carries. If that’s the case, you should seriously consider giving them Warmog’s Sacrificial Armor.

This Shadow item grants a massive 1800 bonus HP, but it causes your champion to take 100 true damage per second. For frontline tanks that may not normally last more than a few seconds, this is not really a loss. Instead, you’ll gain 2x HP that the enemy team will now need to burn through before being able to get to your carries.

You can build this Shadow armor in TFT by combining two Giant’s Belts (at least one has to be a Shadow belt).

Destroy All Resistance with Massive AoE, Final Whisper, and Jeweled Gauntlet

In this Season of TFT, some item combinations give massive bonuses to a unit’s tank. For instance, Refracted Bramble Vest gives its wearer a massive +200 armor. Furthermore, trait sets like Ironclad and Mystic give large resistance bonuses to all teammates.

If you’re looking for TFT Shadow item combos that will obliterate the enemy team’s resistances, you’ve come to the right place. If you combine Final Whisper with the regular Jeweled Gauntlet TFT item, you get a combination that will make most ability hits deal massive critical damage and significantly cut both types of resistance at the same time. You don’t want to combine with the Shadow version of Jeweled Gauntlet (Sacrificial Gauntlet) in this item combo. Sacrificial Gauntlet causes too large of a health hit with each cast to be worth it in this combination.

Shadow Final Whisper Item

Final Whisper

When the holder inflicts a critical hit, the target's Armor and Magic Resist are reduced by 50% for 5 seconds. The holder's Armor and Magic Resist are also permanently reduced by 25%.

Jeweled Gauntlet the Non-Shadow Item Version

Jeweled Gauntlet

The holder's magic and true damage from their Ability can critically strike. The holder gains +40% bonus critical strike damage. (Not a Shadow Item)

If you stack these items on an AoE-based champion, such as Pantheon, Volibear, or Morgana, you will get an item that can nuke Tanks and carries at the same time. This Shadow item combination is probably best built against tanky opponents. It will be less effective (and probably not worth it) if your leading opponents don’t have more than one frontline tank.

Key TFT Shadow Item Combination Takeaways

As you’ve seen here, there are some pretty epic TFT Shadow item combos that can turn an ordinary champion into a terrifying one. The risk in building solely around these combinations is that you aren’t necessarily guaranteed to be able to build them when you want to. That being said, with the new item selection choices, you have a much higher chance to get the items you want in Season 5.

We really hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and it opened your eyes to some cool new possibilities with Shadow item combinations in TFT. If you have discovered or thought up some other great combinations, please leave us a comment below. We may add your TFT combos (attributed to you) to this guide to help other players out too!

Images Courtesy of Riot Games.