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Teamfight Tactics: Reckoning's Shadow Items Explained

When it was first unveiled in mid-March, Riot Games' Stephen Mortimer stated that Teamfight Tactics: Reckoning was "based on the ultimate struggle between good and evil" and explained some of the gameplay components it would bring with it in patch 11.9. Since then, more information has come to light regarding the Reckoning's new components, including Shadow Items, which were explained in a press release sent to SVG.

In Teamfight Tactics: Reckoning, Shadow Items are "more powerful than their original counterparts," according to Riot's press release, but their use can come at a terrible price. This is due to the fact that these items have been corrupted "by the magic of the Black Mist." The mysterious Black Mist is the primary cause of the corruption of the Convergence, the map where all of the game's action plays out.

The Shadow Items mechanic in Reckoning include Shadow Components, which "can appear in every carousel after the first one, as well as in the Armory." These components can be combined with other items to grant different, darker effects. The Armory is an in-game store through which players can browse Shadow Components, "similar to how you buy champions."

How Shadow Items work

Stephen Mortimer posted a video to his YouTube channel demonstrating how Shadow Items will work. In the video, Mortimer describes Shadow Items as "base components." He compares a B.F. Sword to a Shadow BF Sword. While both are identical in appearance and in stats, the two produce different results when combined with different items.

For instance, when the regular B.F. Sword is combined with Tear of the Goddess, the player gets the Spear of Shojin, whereas the Shadow BF Sword's combination with Tear of the Goddess grants the player the Spectral Spear of Shojin. With the former, the player's Basic Attacks grant 8 Mana while the latter weapon grants the player 14 Mana upon the player using Basic Attacks. In exchange, however, the player attacks with a 25% damage decrease — which would be the "price" teased by Riot's press release. This means that players will need to be strategic in their team builds, which will help to ensure that these "tradeoffs" can be off-set by other stat boosts.

Mortimer reiterated that Shadow items are typically stronger than base items. The aforementioned Armory and the carousel are the main methods by which players obtain Shadow Items, as they will "not drop from normal PvE mobs," according to Mortimer.

Teamfight Tactics' success preceding Reckoning

The Armory "will also play a major role in Hyper Roll," according to Riot Games. Hyper Roll is a new mode within TFT Labs, which allows players to build teams to their satisfaction and ensure victory. Thus, Shadow Items, contained within the Armory, will also play a part in Hyper Roll. Players "should expect to get two to four Shadow Components in any given game depending on their choices" between the available carousel and Armory options. In other words, players can expect to be able to make all kinds of wild item combinations with relative ease. 

Teamfight Tactics has come a long way since it was turned into a permanent mode in League of Legends after being a limited-time game mode. Evolving over the course of multiple patches and sets, the mode saw a solo release on mobile platforms and, as of March 2021, has amassed 80 million players

With the new Reckoning set, which includes new origins, champions, and classes (as well as the coveted Shadow Items), Teamfight Tactics may remain a go-to game for many fans of Riot Games titles and the strategy genre overall.