Riot Mortdog calls TFT Kled a ‘placebo buff’ to be used more in future patches

Buffing Kled got people to try playing the Set 5.5 champ again.

Image via Riot Games

Riot Games’ Teamfight Tactics game design director Stephen “Mortdog” Mortimer addressed the power of Kled during the 11.19 Post Mortem, along with being able to one-trick a comp at the Reckoning Worlds finals today.

Delicious Milk advanced from the group stage to the finals in today’s TFT Reckoning World Championship matchup by only playing Hellion re-roll. The developer team nearly applied a nerf to Kled with the 11.19 B-patch, but they decided not to ship the update. Addressing Kled in the 11.19 Post Mortem, Mortdog refers to the increase at three-star as a “placebo buff.”

“If anything, I’m taking a very important learning here, and I’m going to call these placebo buffs,” Mortdog said. “I actually think the balance team is going to have to start using placebo buffs a little bit more.”

The buff to Kled, according to Mortdog, didn’t “have any impact on making Kled meta.” Instead, the change highlighted Kled in a way that got tacticians playing the champion more, which led to an optimization of items and a skill set in how to play the Hellion re-roll comp within the Patch 11.19 meta. 

Delicious Milk was able to break the code on how to run Kled, running the re-roll comp during every game of the day two group stage. He was able to advance to the finals but almost missed the cut. 

Kled isn’t unstoppable, according to Mortdog. Tips given during his stream today included punishing a Kled re-roll player early in the game, building a bramble vest, having Ironclad, building a strong front-to-back comp, and paying attention to positioning. 

When asked on stream whether a player “one-tricking a comp” should be able to win TFT Worlds, Mortdog referenced how the format on the final day is different. Players must finish with a first-place victory after obtaining 18 points to win the TFT Reckoning World Championship. One-tricking Kled will lead to players griefing Delicious Milk, making it nearly impossible for him to win by only playing Hellion re-roll during the finals. 

Going forward, Mortdog plans to implement the usage of a placebo buff more often in order to highlight potential champions, traits, or items that players are missing out on. As for Delicious Milk winning TFT Reckoning Worlds by only playing Kled, it’s likely not going to happen, according to Mortdog