Many times, players often say “The hardest part of building this is finding units” or “I never have enough gold to find my units and then I die.” While this may be true and you may encounter unlucky games, the best TFT players can consistently build the units they want because they manage their economy effectively.
The Fundamentals of TFT Economy
Let’s start with the basics. If you are a new player, focus on learning the following fundamentals:
In the first few rounds, you will receive an increasing amount of gold each round starting from 2 gold or more until a base of 5 gold per round.
Starting in round 1-2, you will get 2-2-3-4 gold, and 5 gold per round thereafter.
You earn interest for every 10 gold you have for up to 50. Interest is calculated at the end of the round and ranges from 1-5 gold.
So if you have 30 gold by the end of the round, you will get 3 extra gold. (Here sell Vi to reach 10 gold)
The three main approaches reflect the gameplay you’ll find in other strategy games (if you’re an RTS veteran, now’s your time to shine):
Aggressive: This focuses on early game power-ups and wins, punishing greedy opponents, and hoping to bolster their advantage late in the game.
Greedy: This sacrifices early game so you get more overall gold, access to higher-level units earlier, and more chances to roll back.
Equilibrium: Weaker than both extremes, but with this kind of economy, you can win any game if you make the right decisions and get good fortune.
The goal of this Economy strategy is to use as much gold as possible to gain an advantage. That means scrolling up to find key units to upgrade and level up early in order to win consecutive gold.
Move actively in the first level to get the units you want to level up. This is usually an S-level unit (see our list of TFT generals), you could build a layout around and get some of them.
Once you’ve upgraded your units, you want to level up to bring in other units you’ve ranked so that you can keep your advantage. An example of this is placing two silver ranking units that you want to combine then on the board.
The next thing you have to master is to make sure you know when your potential customers are strong enough to take you away for a while, then stop spending and start saving.
This strategy is based on getting to the threshold of 50 gold as quickly as possible so you can start making that maximum return. From a certain perspective, greed is actually quite reliable, as you can’t always control whether you win or not, but you can always control how much you lose.
You want to make sure you are reaching the threshold of interest as soon as possible. That means you won’t buy much outside of the really powerful core units you think you’ll need.
You also don’t want to level up before reaching 50 gold and have accumulated your first interest. Each amount of gold you spend early will cost you time and interest before it hits the threshold.
You want to create a team strong enough not to lose too much HP and not lose to creeps. Losing a creep will make you miss valuable items. Equip powerful finished items on units you know you’ll sell and use them as item owners before you find your carry.
Also, keep in mind that you can buy units when you cannot reach interest thresholds and then sell them to reach the threshold of interest in the next round. You should do this in case you can form a pair into a 2-star unit.
This is what most other games would consider a standard opener. You don’t want to limit your options early by committing to an Economy strategy, and you want to be able to select critical units while being able to hit interest rates and reach steady levels.
Unfortunately, this is also the most difficult strategy to play, since you have to know what to choose, what to hold when to sell, when to level and when to cross the interest rate threshold. That is why mastering one of the other economic strategies can lead to faster results for you because you are performing well on a particular strategy.
You want to take smart steps to make steady progress in terms of qualifications and economy. Buy strong units, hold pairs, and the only level or roll up if you have a specific purpose.
Don’t spend gold early unless you hit the unit naturally and want to win by leveling up. Also, if you roll low, you will probably want to lose the early game sequence to get more gold. However, don’t lose too much as you don’t want to lose too much HP soon.
You want to recognize your winning streak and your losing streak and play accordingly. Level up in a losing streak when you’re under 50 gold doesn’t make sense because you want to keep losing and don’t rush to make your board stronger.