Teamfight Tactics Set 5 will introduce another brand new mechanic, Shadow Items. These new items will offer a twist on the traditional items that TFT players have grown accustomed to over the last four sets. The Shadow Items are more powerful, yes, than their “vanilla” counterparts, but that power often comes with a price.
The big question with Shadow Items is “how much does that penalty hurt” and “how does this change affect how I use the item.” These are the questions that this guide will attempt to answer, breaking down all of the Shadow Items, how they are different from the vanilla items, and how their use cases are different.
One note before diving into this guide is that we will not be doing a deep dive into Spatula items as they interact with Shadow Items, other than Force of Nature. Whether a Spatula or the combined item does affect which trait the item will give, but otherwise the items are not functionally different. Make sure to check out an item cheat sheet to see which combination of Spatula and vanilla or Shadow Item grants the appropriate trait.
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In addition, for purposes of the guide the first item will always be designated as a “Shadow” item. Remember, though, that either (or both) component items can be Shadow Items to get the resulting combined Shadow Item.
Force of Darkness
Wearer’s team gains +2 maximum team size but the player’s Little Legends takes 100% extra damage.
Recipe: Shadow Spatula + Spatula
Force of Darkness is a pure high-risk/high-reward Shadow Item. If you get it, you are banking that you are going to keep winning, especially as the game goes later. Only pick this up if you are set up for a massively powerful comp.
Cursed Infinity Edge
Recipe: Shadow Brawler’s Glove + BF Sword
Grants 75% Critical Strike Chance (including components). Each point of Critical Strike Chance above 100% becomes +1% Critical Strike Damage. The wearer also gains 30% critical strike damage.
Each time the wearer crits, they deal 4% of their maximum HP to themselves as true damage.
If you’re looking to maximize the power of a crit user, Cursed IE will do that, but at the cost of damaging themselves. Make sure to mitigate this by either having a sustain item like Bloodthirster or Gunblade also equipped, put it on a champion with innate healing from their ability or traits (for instance Legionnaires heal after casting their ability), or pairing this with a Guardian Angel.
Learn how to use TFT Set 5’s new Shadow Items!
Recipe: Shadow Brawler’s Glove + Negatron Cloak
The wearer is immune to crowd control, but has 25% less max health.
Best for high-DPS carries who don’t have a lot of maximum health. It seems counter-intuitive, but these low-health carries are going to die quickly anyway, so maximize their damage and pray your frontline holds up.
Recipe: Shadow Brawler’s Glove + Recurve Bow
When the wearer inflicts a critical hit, the target’s Armor and Magic Resist is reduced by 70% for 2 seconds. The wearer’s Armor and Magic Resist are also permanently reduced by 70%.
Similar to Evil Quicksilver, Final Whisper is best for units that are squishier, and especially ones that you won’t stack resistances on. This item is also massively good when combined with Jeweled Gauntlet and placed on units that have large AoE abilities (for instance, Morgana).
Recipe: Shadow Brawler’s Glove + Needlessly Large Rod
The holder’s spells can inflict critical hits. Gain 40% Critical Strike Damage and 25% Critical Strike Chance, but when the wearer casts they lose 15% of the maximum Health.
Similar to Cursed Infinity Edge, this item needs sustain or resurrection to be viable. It’s quite good when paired with Gunblade or on a unit like Karma who will get some healing with her Dawnbringer trait.
Hand of Vengeance
Recipe: Shadow Brawler’s Glove + Tear of the Goddess
The holder begins combat with two buffs:
+40 Attack Damage and +40 Spell Power
Basic Attacks and Spells heal for 40% of damage dealt
After each takedown, if the holder has these buffs, they lose them; if they do not, they get both buffs again.
This doesn’t really affect the instances you’d put HoV on a unit, it just makes the item a bit riskier. Assassins and Legionnaires who can pump out DPS still love either the vanilla or Shadow variant.
Dark Shroud of Stillness
Recipe: Shadow Brawler’s Glove + Chain Vest
When combat begins, shoots a beam straight ahead of and behind them that delays affected enemies’ and allies’ first spellcast, increasing their max Mana by 65% until they cast.
This is the only Shadow Brawler’s glove item that is purely better than its vanilla variant, because you can control how many of your own units are affected by the beam. Just make sure to place the wearer alone so not many of your own units are affected and this cripples the enemy team.
Explosive Trap Claw
Recipe: Shadow Brawler’s Glove + Giant’s Belt
Blocks the first enemy spell that hits the wearer, then teleports them to the spell’s caster, and causes both units to start targeting eachother. They deal 20% increased damage to each other.
Great for melee carries who don’t have a way to get onto the backline (read, non-Assassins). You’re also going to want to make sure that the wearer has some resistances so that they can out-duel whoever they’re fighting.
Cursed Thief’s Glove
Recipe: Shadow Brawler’s Glove + Brawler’s Glove
At the beginning of each planning phase, the wearer equips 2 temporary items. These Items are always full shadow items.
If you’re running a Forgotten comp, put this on one of your non carries like Hecarim or Thresh. All the allies will now gain twice the stacking bonuses that they would have since the ally is guaranteed to have two more Shadow Items to add to the stacking.