Riot Games have added an incredibly powerful fourth level for Teamfight Tactics champions as a result of a change to the Guardian Angel.
In the current live version of the game, the maximum level a champion can reach is level 3. Champions are levelled up by collecting three of the same unit, which combine to form a level 2 version, and three level 2 champions are required to reach level 3.
On the PBE, however, there’s now a fourth level, but this can only be unlocked with the use of the Guardian Angel item.
The updated GA now includes an extra effect – not only does the champion wearing it respawn after dying, they also come back a level higher than they were before. This holds true even if the champion is already level 3, unlocking a new, even more powerful fourth level.
Level four champions have significantly improved stats, including doubling their health pool. While they won’t respawn with that health pool fully restored, combining the item with health-replenishing effects like Redemption or Warmog’s Armor could make a level-four champion incredibly hard for enemies to get rid of.
It also appears that there might be some hidden changes to the amount of health Guardian Angel can give a respawning champion, and what happens if you stack more than one of the item on a single unit – although it’s not entirely clear whether all the differences are intentional or PBE bugs.
In theory, the Guardian Angel returns champions to life with 500 health, but TFT player u/Aquamort did some testing and discovered that this number seemed to increase for champions that also got boosted to level 4.
In another instance, a level two champion with two Guardian Angels came back first at level three, and then died again and returned still at level three, but with full health. The effects don’t seem entirely consistent, however, so it’s hard to tell exactly what changes Riot intends to eventually push to the live servers.
In addition to adding a level four, Riot have also expanded the tiers on the opposite end, also introducing a new ‘level 0’. The Cursed Blade has a chance to reduce the target’s level by one, but this effect is currently made redundant if the target is only level one.
With the introduction of a ‘level 0’, even low-level targets can be effected by the item, becoming even more vulnerable than they already are.
This isn’t the only change benefitting the Cursed Blade – the items effect now also stacks, meaning that if you’re lucky enough for the effect to occur multiple times, you could reduce high-level targets all the way down to level 0 within the round.
As this is the PBE, there’s no guarantee that these changes will remain in this state by the time they reach the live servers, but they do give an indication of the direction Riot is thinking of going in. The changes should arrive with the next major update, Patch 9.14, which is also set to introduce ranked play.