- Secret Snax:
- Revel Unity:
- Twilight Umbrage:
- Final Thoughts:
Every game has its fair share of removed content that didn’t make the final cut. In Set 7 of Teamfight Tactics, there were 4 Augments I want to talk about that were removed during PBE. Why were they removed? What it would be like if they were still around? In what ways could they be re-implemented? Let’s discuss all that and more starting with the first and most well-known augment:
Trainers have a 33% chance to secretly feed their dragonling bonus Snax. Gain a Tristana.
A large portion of the community has yet to know that it was even removed during PBE and I still read comments on YouTube, Twitch and Reddit of players wondering why they’ve never been offered it. Well if you didn’t know, now you do. Secret Snax is not in the game currently and for a very good reason. It was simply too strong the way it was and too difficult to balance without a rework.
How so? Well here’s a very basic view on the power of the Augment:
If you have three Trainers there’s a very good chance you get +1 Snax per round with a 33% chance per unit. In basic terms If you roll with 33% odds in your favour and you get 3 chances to roll, the likelihood of you winning at least of 1 of the rolls is a very safe bet. Let’s also not forget that that’s just the minimum and you can get up to +3 extra Snax per round!
Well what is even the value of one snax and why is it such a big deal to get an extra one every round?
Well to get one snax you have to:
1. use up one unit slot to play a trainer
2. use at least 3 gold to 2* star a trainer
3. use at least 6 more gold to 3* a trainer
Now at face value this may seem pretty easy to obtain an extra snax per round but let’s look at the hidden implications behind fulfilling each requirement.
1a. Often it makes your board weaker to play a trainer, especially in early rounds with only a few board slots. This is when you want to play them if you want to stack them earlier. 2a. If you natural it you only need to pay the unit price but often you need to factor in the cost of rolling for the upgrades. 3a. You have to roll to hit any 3* unit almost every time. Hitting the easiest unit (Heimerdinger) hardly spikes your board that turn. In fact you could spend 20-40+ gold just to get 1 extra snax per round.
As you see, the value of 1 snax is worth a lot in terms of resources and investment to us. For Nomsy it’s an even bigger deal as he gets +20 HP, 1 AP, and 1.4-2 Armour and MR per snax (he receives all the armour/MR upon a level up and only up to level 4).
I won’t get too much into it here but when you observe the trajectory of Nomsy’s scaling and in relation your board strength, you’ll realize that getting your Nomsy fed earlier and hitting his levels a stage earlier can result in tremendous board strength and a huge swing in tempo. The game is balanced around being able to deal with a level 4 Nomsy at stage 5+ but at stage 3 you might as well have had a free 10-cost dragon on your board that also doesn’t take up any unit slots.
You cannot balance Nomsy around two different trajectories of scaling. Either you have ‘Secret Snax’ being a good balanced augment but base Trainers suck or you have ‘Secret Snax’ be an unbalanced overpowered augment for an already strong Trait.
For Fun Rework Ideas:
New Secret Snax:
Every time Nomsy levels-up, all Trainers randomly gain one of these bonuses: 20% AS, 15 AP, 15 AD, 15 MR & Armor or 250 HP. Gain a Tristanna.
A lot like ‘Unstable Evolution’ from last set, this would make staying at lower levels to reroll all your trainers a little more worth it without destroying the carefully balanced trajectory of Nomsy.
New Secret Snax 2 (Trainer Heart):
Your teams counts as having an additional Trainer. Gain a Lulu.
This might be bit too overpowered for how easy to tech-in Trainers already are but I think it would allow for some really interesting boards and capped-out endgame boards that still have 3 Trainers.
Gain 10% damage every time Scalescorn units start combat in a new hex, up to 30%. Gain a Lillia.
I really enjoyed the ‘movement’ idea of this one and wish they had time to rework it as the augment had two glaring issues:
- If I recall correctly in PBE you could just move your units back and forth on the same hexes and essentially get a free 30% damage boost for a negligible cost
- 30% more damage might not sound like a lot on the surface but to understand just how broken this was you had to take a closer look at the Scalescorn trait.
Take Olaf for an example. He gets bonus DPS from the ‘Warrior’ trait, his passive, his active and his items. Olaf was already so over tuned that he had to be nerfed several times throughout PBE and a couple times again during Live. Now we add Scalescorn on top of all that which actually powers him up in a unique manner. It does bonus magic damage based of a percentage of his entire damage output -meaning that every damage buff I just mentioned was something it scaled off of, even the items like ‘Runaan’s Hurricane’ which almost never happens. Now imagine we got another 30% damage buff for Scalescorn for doing practically nothing. I’m honestly glad this was left behind in PBE because Sin Olaf was already enough Scalescorn for an entire set.
Scalescorn is unbalanced already because it scales off everything (traits, stats, items) adding another similar power boost is downright broken especially when you can get it for virtually free
The concept is really fun though and I think with a limit to where you can move (ex. you can’t go back to the same hex right after) and a different bonus it would have been pretty fun to play around!
For Fun Rework Ideas
After 2 second of combat, Scalescorn units gain 5% damage for each hex they walk, up to 30%.
I think this still captures the spirit of the original in terms of having to position and keeping the ‘nomad’ theme. Some new positioning strategies like purposely making your Olaf walk all the way around might be fun and unique to see. He already walks away from the his target half the time anyways, taking my LP with him.
The Revel trait grants its bonuses to all of your champions. This does not increase your number of Revel units. Gain a Jinx.
I think we all know why this didn’t even make it to PBE. It was in the tactic.tools data base until last patch but I don’t ever recall hearing about it or seeing it during PBE. I mean this augment would be worth a prismatic and a half right now and back then it was a just a gold.
Revel Crown is already the #1 augment in both it’s top 4 rate and win rate at the time of writing this post. The revel trait has also been adjusted or nerfed every patch either due to it’s problematic design. Revel unity would be giving every unit a top tier item without even taking up a unit slot, your only penalty would be having to play at least two revel units which is 100% not even an issue with that level of power.
Fun Rework Ideas?
This is hard as revels are so prone to being broken with just a nudge that it’s hard to even come up with one. Maybe make all the firework hone in on one target at a time? Even that sounds like it might be overkill with how delicate the balancing of the trait it.
Units that start combat next to Whispers are stealthed for 5 seconds.
I remember at the start of PBE thinking that this augment was quite odd, why would they have a trait-specific augment that effected every unit except the specific trait it was made for? It was sort of counter-intuitive; you need to play whisper units to even have the chance to be offered the augment and then it doesn’t really do anything for your actual whisper units.
I understand that the design concept for Whispers was to be a vertical tree as well as a tech-in option when you needed that MR/Armour shred. But if you’re playing whispers there’s a pretty high chance you’re playing vertical whisper carry with Elise or Syfen. At that point those two are what you want to protect so Twilight Umbrage becomes pretty useless there.
Here’s an example:
In this case Ornn/Qiyana being stealthed means your Sy’fen/Pyke -your main carries are now targeted instead. You could have them NOT touch the whisper units to avoid the stealth, but then… you might as well not have the augment in the first place.
You could try something where instead of playing vertical whispers you only play 2.
This is just the average Lvl. 8 Corki Bruiser board. I guess it’s nice to have Corki and your back line units protected against assassins and what not but is this worth a gold augment? It seems pretty worthless without a lot of assassin in your lobby.
This is the one of the few comps I could think of that used this augment effectively. A variation of the Scalescorn comp with Whispers + Mages.
The 7 second stealth is actually really powerful especially on your melee carries but even here it’s providing limited value. Positioning is already harder on melee carries and now you have to factor in staying next to a whisper unit, not to mention needing them in your comp; that variation of Olaf is only good when you hit the early Zoe or else Sylas is useless and you just play Shen.
All in all it just feels awkward to play around and unintuitive to have a whisper specific augment that wants you to play less whispers.
I think it was removed due these reasons and it’s uncomfortable design. I will add though that I really like the concept and direction these types of augments.
For Fun Rework Ideas:
New Twilight Umbrage:
“Whisper units take X% less damage from shrunken enemies”
This one brings power to the whisper units themselves. It could also scale w/ # of units shrunken: ‘x% less damage taken for each shrunken unit or shrunken unit targeting it.
I like this one a lot because all the whisper units can make use of it, obviously tanks like Sy’fen, Thresh, and Sylas but also Pyke as well who is notorious for being super squishy and always seems to pop 2 seconds into a fight. One I could see would be Elise who is already pretty obnoxious late in to the fight as you watch her 1v9 your entire team. There is also the matter of the whisper trait having incredibly good synergy with stalling.
It’s fun to imagine a game where these augments did exist and entertain possibilities of them returning. Although I think we are all glad that none of these made the final cut as we learned just how game-warping they would have been. This bring us to the learning point of the dissection.
If you hadn’t noticed by now we can make a direct connection between the augments and the traits they affect. Using the same reasoning as to why they were removed we get a clear idea of where the strength of the respective traits come from. Twilight Umbrage could not allow whisper units to have a 7 second stealth period because of how they scale into the late game. Trainer’s are super flexible and having a Nomsy fed early allows for one of the strongest openers. Scalescorn’s had been dominant in every single patch no other units being repeatedly nerfed as many times as Diana and Olaf -this being due to the trait scaling off all forms of damage amplifiers. Finally revel has repeatedly been shown that it cannot be balanced on other units and is a huge reason revel’s win percentage looks so good in the data.
Even with a casual topic such as ‘cut-content’, I personally think there are ways to use the information you gained to your advantage. What are your thoughts on these forgotten augments and how would you choose to rework them given the chance?