Teamfight Tactics' patch 9.18 is now live, and with it comes a major change that affects how items are distributed. Rather than winning each PvE round, which results in monsters potentially dropping items or gold, each monster now has the potential to drop a Mystery Box (with at least one Mystery Box guaranteed, just like items and gold were previously). Mystery Boxes come in one of three varieties, each with its own set of possible contents.
All Mystery Boxes have the potential to drop a brand new item called Neeko's Help. This is a one-time consumable item that, when placed on a champion, produces a 1-star copy of that champion on your bench, easing the process of ultimately 2-starring or 3-starring crucial champions on your team.
Spent all day today playing the new 9.18 patch and it feels a lot different in terms of the pacing of the game.— C9 Khroen (@Khroen) September 11, 2019
There's a lot more opportunity to econ and then level up to 7 or 8 before most players would. The meta in terms of viable comps feels pretty much the same though.
Common Mystery Boxes, in addition to Neeko's Help, can contain either gold or champions, which are placed on your bench. If your bench is full, you will simply receive gold. Since Common Mystery Boxes are all-but-guaranteed to drop in the first three PvE rounds and can produce Tier 3 champions, this potentially widens the number of viable early-game team comps and can majorly boost your early game gold count since the value of three champions is often larger than a standard early gold drop.
Uncommon Mystery Boxes can contain all of the above, plus unfinished items, besides Spatulas. Rare Mystery Boxes can contain the above plus full items and Spatulas. Later rounds increase both the frequency of Mystery Box drops as well as the potential for rarer Mystery Boxes to drop. This new system also ultimately increases the ability to gain gold later in the game since, while Mystery Boxes later in the game are more likely to contain items, their higher frequency will still result in significant gold and/or champion drops, which can be sold for gold.
One added balance change that ultimately compensates for the significant increase in gold drops is an adjustment to the amounts of experience needed to level up. Levels 5, 6, and 7 now require an additional 2 EXP respectively, while level 8 requires an additional 4 EXP and level 9 an additional 6 EXP.
Patch 9.18 also includes a number of changes to champions, traits, how items work, and more. For a full list of patch notes, visit the League of Legends website.
Source: League of Legends