With the final Teamfight Tactics (TFT) half-set — Set 9.5 — comes a trio of new traits for players to enjoy: Vanquisher, Ixtal, and Bilgewater. While each trait comes with its own interesting features, the pirate hometown of Gangplank, Illaoi, and Miss Fortune has fans the most excited. But what’s special about Bilgewater? How does it work and how do you play around it to win?
How does the Bilgewater trait work?
With the Bilgewater buff, Bilgewater units’ attacks and Abilities mark enemies. These marks store a percentage of the damage a Bilgewater champion deals to the enemy. After 2 seconds, marked enemies are struck by a cannonball. This cannonball deals the stored damage plus a flat amount of physical damage. This flat amount changes based on how many Bilgewater units are on your board.
Bilgewater trait scaling works as follows:
- Three Bilgewater units: 200 flat damage + 25% damage dealt
- Five Bilgewater units: 300 flat damage + 45% damage dealt
- Seven Bilgewater units: 500 flat damage + 90% damage dealt
- Nine Bilgewater units: The previous Bilgewater buff and cannonballs also damage nearby enemies
How to build the Bilgewater trait in TFT Set 9.5
Like all TFT traits, building Bilgewater isn’t all about having Silver/Two-Star or Gold/Three-Star tier units of every Bilgewater champion. Instead, it’s more about building the strongest versions of the units that will do the most damage and carry your team to victory. In Bilgewater, that unit is Nilah. Putting a Bloodthirster, Rapidfire Cannon, and Titan’s Resolve on her can turn Nilah into a self-sustaining, damage-dealing menace of a unit. Back that up with a fully-tanked-out Nautilus or Nasus and you can have quite a powerful team.
Also, Bilgewater is one of those fantastic traits that does great as the star of the show and as a supporting act. You can build out all seven Bilgewaters or you can have three of them augmenting some Juggernauts or Vanquishers. It all depends on what you get and how you’re playing each specific game. Bilgewater is one of those versatile traits that will likely become very popular in TFT Set 9.5, so be careful of competing for units with your fellow players. If there are four other people snatching up Nilahs, you might want to pivot and wait to play Bilgewater until the next game.