Twisted Fate General Guide by M3ATL0V3R

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League of Legends Build Guide Author M3ATL0V3R

A guide to a magic damage Twisted Fate

M3ATL0V3R Last updated on September 25, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hey guys, this is my guide to playing Twisted Fate in the most optimal way possible. You will see many guides including recommended items by Riot tell you to get attack damage items even though he has two skills that add magic damage on hit. Most of you better players will already know that this is not the best way to play to play Twisted Fate and this guide will probably just tell you what you already know but I’ve included a lot of information on game mechanics and optimization that you may not know so continue reading. To the rest of you that think that attack damage items/runes/masteries are the best way to play twisted fate, you are sort of right but not quite. Attack damage twisted fate is ok but not the best way to unleash his potential. It’s hard to explain in a single paragraph so please keep reading and keep an open mind. Before you rate and comment please try the guide in game, think about the concepts and relate them to my build and if you still think I’m wrong explain to me why you think this is not the best way to play Twisted Fate. This open mind thing goes both ways so if you think one of my items are not the best and another could replace it or another skill or mastery is better I will fully apply my mind to the idea and try my best to see how your right, if I still think you are wrong I will give a full explanation and proof to why you are wrong and I will thank you for it. Please try to prove me wrong because it’s the only way I can improve this guide and my build, which is why it’s here in the first place. This guide isn’t about being right it’s about improving your game play as Twisted Fate and mine as well. I hope you enjoy the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it :)

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Although born to poor gypsy parents, the champion known as Twisted Fate was able to gamble his way to prosperity as a card shark in the seedy underground gambling circuits of Demacia and Noxus. No matter how close the authorities came to catching him, the rogue always found a way to slip through their fingers. Despite his good fortune, he was never able to win that which he truly desired - the ability to control magic. When Twisted Fate learned of an experiment being conducted in Zaun that might help him with his wish, he did the only thing a gambler of his worth could do - he went all in and volunteered for the experiment.

Conducted by the infamous Dr. Xavier Rath, Twisted Fate was told that the wager for such participation might be steep. He might change forever, or nothing might happen, or he might die horribly. Pain, however, was likely a part of the deal no matter the outcome. These were hardly the worst odds the gambler had faced; his hopes raised, Twisted Fate underwent the experiment, enduring what he must for a chance at his dream. Then, it ended - with seemingly no effect whatsoever. The gypsy rogue flew into a murderous rage, but, before he could strike down the team, he suddenly teleported himself miles away. With a sly grin, he realized his luck had won out yet again. He now brings his luck and rakish charm to the Institute of War, where he is the Champion of choice for many - especially the gambling kind. To this day, Twisted Fate has avoided his inevitable reunion with Dr. Rath. The Card Master knows, however, that a confrontation is coming.

While the future may be mysterious and unknown to most, Twisted Fate is certain that his future lies within the cards.

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The Basics

If you are new to League Of Legends I highly recommend you read this section because if you play any hero in this game you will need to know how to ward, how to last hit, how to gank, what to do in a team fight, who to lane with, how to control your lane, which heroes should be in what lane, when to pick Twisted Fate, what ELO is, when to get runes and what runes to buy.
If you don’t know the answers to ALL these read these other guides:

Last Hitting, how to control your lane (zoning), what a gank is:

When to pick Twisted Fate:

How to Ward:

What to do in a Team fight:

What ELO is:

When to get runes and what runes to buy:

Who to lane with and what heroes should be in what lane:
I Couldn’t find a resource to awnser these questions so comment if you do. I’ve found Twisted fate does well laning in a reasonably safe lane at the beginning so mid is not the best option. Try lane with a support or any hero that can distract the enemy or protect you while you farm. Try not to lane with a hero that needs lots of farm because this you need the farm yourself. Now what hero should be in what lane is not set in stone because the three lanes are only slightly different. The middle lane is more prone to ganks as it’s close to the other lanes and so it’s quite unsafe there which is why usually only one hero lanes in this lane. You may be thinking now if its unsafe then why can’t no one lane here? Well the answer is if no one is in the lane no one gets the experience and gold from the minions dying there and the experience and gold on the 3 hero lane will be quite low (because experience is split to all champions in the lane) Since the hero in the mid lane will get more experience and farm because they’re by themselves and the lane is close to all other lanes, a hero with good ganking capabilities and a strong ultimate like Kennen and Fiddlesticks will best be suited for this lane. The bottom and top lanes are by far the safest as it is only prone to ganks from the middle lane so heroes that don’t have great early game or ganking capabilities will lane here at the start of the game. We know that our team will be made of a support, a tank, a caster a carry and you. The caster will probably be mid so that leaves the bottom and top lanes. Depending on whether you have a jungler or not you will have 3 or 4 heroes to fill these lanes. If you have a jungler then you will have 2 heroes bottom (for control of dragon) and one hero top. Make sure that if you have a jungler that your top solo can handle the lane because they will be laning versus 2 heroes or one if they have a jungler too. I highly recommend that top lane is taken by a hero that can handle harassing and farming against two heroes so that rules out the tank and the carry. If top is taken by a tank or carry you’ll find that against equally competent opponents that aren’t a carry or tank they will either feed or not be able control the lane or farm enough. Bottom should be taken by a farmer and a protector (support/distraction).

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Skill Mechanics Explaination

Second Sight:

This skill is passive. It extends over the entire map and gives all your allies including yourself 2 extra gold whenever you/they kill an enemy unit. Usually in a game an entire team will get between on average 100-200 creep kills so this is 200-400 extra gold per champion which is pretty good if you’re team is farm reliant.

Wild Cards:

This skill shoots out 3 cards when you click this ability you will see the range of the cards, where you click is where the first card will go and the other 2 cards will shoot out at an angle on either side, I don’t know the exact angle but here’s a picture showing about how large this angle is:

The other two cards aren’t that important hitting long range targets but will make a difference when hitting enemies close to you

Pick a Card:

This skill is amazing and probably why twisted fate is listed as a hard to play champ. What happens is you activate this ability and above twisted fate you will see 3 cards cycling between red blue and gold (If you are playing against twisted fate you can see this too so keep away from him during this time). The second time you activate the ability it stops cycling and what card was above your head when you activate this skill is what card will be activated. Red is good magic damage and a slow on your next attack, blue is good magic damage and mana replenishment depending on your damage on your next attack and gold is a bit of magic damage and a stun on attack. It’s like a one of those gambling machines when you have to press the button at the right moment to get what you want. Deciding what card to use at what time will separate great Twisted Fate players from ok ones. You should use the red card in team fights and when pushing because of the area of effect damage. You should use gold when Yi activates his ultimate (because he can’t be slowed and his damage is huge during this time) or when you are killing a single enemy and in any other situation where a single target crowd control skill is needed. You should use blue when you are alone and need some mana and you definitely will not need the other cards at this moment. Many first time twisted fate players are overwhelmed by this skill because they spend too long deciding which card they want. There are times you should take the time to decide which card you want and times when you shouldn’t. If you are in lane last hitting constantly checking the map and noting the positions of all allied champs and enemy champs you can’t decide what card to use while harassing your enemy otherwise you won’t last hit as well or be as map aware. Just hit that ability twice after that singed gets too close while you are last hitting and right click singed. Now if you about to enter a team fight then you should take 1-3 seconds to activate red and if you are closing in on that single enemy you should take the time to activate gold. Because this is a skill that is based on cooldown and not attack speed (like Stacked Deck) it is the strongest skill early game so we should max this first

Stacked Deck:

This is an awesome ability for Twisted Fate; we already have magic damage and crowd control from Pick a Card so this goes well with it. This skill is a passive as well so there is no need to activate it once learned. What happens once you’ve learned it is every four attacks you will hear Twisted Fate laugh and see cards spinning around him (this is very good to note if you are playing against Twisted Fate because you can hear the laugh and see the cards too) and his next attack will deal bonus magic damage based on the level of the skill. This should be maxed second as it scales with attack speed.


This is a pretty good ultimate for Twisted Fate what happens is you activate it once and all champions including stealthed ones are revealed. This is a great anti assassin skill because what the skill doesn’t tell you is that it reveals traps laid down by the enemy but not wards. So Teemos mushrooms and Shakos jack in the boxes are revealed as well as them hiding in the bushes. Secondly after you can see your enemies you can teleport a fixed distance which is about half the map in diameter after channeling for 2 seconds. With the new domination game mode coming out soon this skill is looking very promising and I hope Twisted Fate does not get nerfed in this mode because he’s such an underused champion. I didn’t even know he was a 1350ip champion till he was free one week and I decided to play him for the sake of getting to know him to counter him if ever play against him. EDIT: I played a few games with Twisted Fate on dominion and I found his ultimate to be very very useful and it probably wont be nerfed as there are other heroes with really good movement that aren’t nerfed like Pantheon and his ultimate and Rammus and his powerball. Use this skill when a team fight breaks out far away from you or when you are hunting low hp heroes. Other less optimal uses are to use the ability to escape or backdoor. If you are going to use the skill to escape make sure you can survive for another 2 seconds and make sure you won’t get stunned while channeling. If you are using the skill to backdoor make sure there won’t be a team fight anytime soon, make sure you won’t get ganked and make sure you have madreds razors and some decent attack speed to mow down creeps. These conditions are hardly ever satisfied so as a rule thumb, don’t backdoor with Twisted Fate.

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I choose 9/0/21 because we need to deal good magic damage hence the 9 and we need survivability so I go all out in the defence tree. The Utility and Offence trees have nothing that really benefits twisted fate so it’s best to avoid them but if you find you don’t need more survivability then put 21 in the Utility tree instead. We put 9 into Offence so we can get the magic penetration to add to our magic damage. Our build is mainly magic damage and ability power adds a bit of damage so we put 3 to Archmage’s Savvy . We need to put one point to Deadliness to get masteries below it. We put 4 to Alacrity instead of 4 to Sorcery because 6 seconds off your ultimate isn’t as beneficial as a bit more damage per second but it depends on what you want so either of the two would be fine. In the defence tree we get Resistance and Hardiness then we got Evasion instead of Strength of Spirit because we don’t mana and 2% dodge will help sometimes. I once played on dominion and was about to die then Ashe shot me with one more arrow to finish me off and ran away. By the time she realized I dodged her arrow it was too late and I got away. Next we get Nimbleness and Harden Skin to become even more less squishy, we ignore Defensive Mastery because you won’t get hit by minions much if you play right so its sort of useless. The rest of the Defence tree is self explanatory.

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This also flexible depending on how you like to play but one thing is definitely set in stone and that’s the Magic Penetration Marks . I get Magic Penetration Quintessence’s because ability power doesn’t boost your damage by much early game or late game, I get Flat Armor Seals for early physical damage protection (for laning against heroes like tryndamere) and Magic Resist Per Level Glyphs for late game magic defensive capabilities. You could get Dodge Seals instead of armor ones, I just put armor seals because dodge seals are quite expensive to get. Flat Magic Resist is an option too so if you have spare influence points feel free to experiment a bit.

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Summoner Spells

Twisted Fate is quite flexible so you can get anything here except:

You shouldn’t get this because this skill does not add to your killing power. Let a support or tank get this.

This skill is not really that great in lane because it doesn’t add to your farming speed like it would if you were in the jungle (Twisted Fate cant jungle).

This skill like heal and is again for tanks and supports.

This is pretty much dominions form of Heal, don’t get it.

Don’t forget your Pick A Card Skill replenishes your mana, and you don’t really use much mana either.

If this was magic damage and you team had a lot of magic then maybe but since its attack damage, don’t get it.

Another support/ tank skill.

My picks: Flash + Ghost
For Twisted Fate I get Flash and Ghost. Flash is better for correcting bad positioning and getting in range quickly while Ghost is better for chasing over large distances. Along with boots of swiftness and phage you can kite and chase enimies quite well in teamfights and after them.

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Why Magic Damage?

Now after seeing my items, runes and masteries you might be thinking why are there no damage/critical chance/life steal items in my build? Well the simple explanation is this is not the best way to maximize Twisted Fates damage per second/survivability. The complex explanation will involve a few complex concepts and a bit of math so if you dont understand a paragraph re-read it.

Ok before I explain my answer I’m going to have to teach you a few things about maximizing a hero’s power. So how do you create the perfect hero? Well let’s see what happens when we only focus on a single attribute, say attack damage. Let’s look at an extreme case. We have 1000 damage that is inflicted upon the enemy on every hit but we only have one hp. Now this could be effective if the enemy never attacks you but in real situations Karthus would kill you every time his ultimate is up, Ashe would shoot you down with her long range arrow and every hero that can catch you will kill you. Now in real situations you will never have one hp but you can see from this example that you have to balance hp and damage that you can take and deal enough damage to win a fight.

Now in the real game there is not just one type of attribute that benefits you’re in game damage or survivability there is physical damage, armor penetration, ability power, magic penetration, magic damage on hit, life steal, spell vamp, attack speed, armor, magic resist etc so how do we choose what to get and how much to get and why? Well all these attributes can be broken down to two types, attributes that increase your damage and attributes that increase your survivability in a fight. To create the best hero we need to balance these two but let’s find the best way to deal damage. Now let’s think about the previous example I used before except now we can choose between 1000 attack damage and 1 attack every second or 500 damage and 500 attacks per second or 1 damage and 1000 attacks per second. Which will maximize your attack damage? The second one and here’s why: your average damage in a fight per second is your attack damage multiplied by your attacks per second. Using this you will see that you get 1000 vs 25000 vs 1000 so you can see that you need to balance both attack speed and effective damage to inflict the most average damage per second. But how do we know how much attack speed and damage to get? Well imagine attack damage and attack speed are two sides of a rectangle. The damage per second is the area of the rectangle, if we make it too thin by making one of the sides too small you get very little area and very little damage per second as you saw earlier. It turns out that to maximize the area of a rectangle you make the sides equal, you can prove this with a bit of calculus but I won’t bore you with the details, just remember that we have to balance the two attributes. Now in the real game to get attributes you have to buy items to increase these attributes but the problem with balancing these attributes is that the average gold cost for each attribute is different and you want to get the most damage for your money. To compensate for this if an attribute is more expensive that the other per piece of gold you get the cheaper one but you also want to maximize that area of the rectangle so now the perfect balance of attributes is not when they are equal but when they are equal in respect to their gold cost. For example if attack damage was twice as expensive as attack speed you would get less of it but you still would get some because otherwise your rectangle will be too thin and your damage per second will low. So how much attack damage do you get given you have 50 attack speed taking into account the gold cost per attribute? Well if they cost the same you would get the same amount but attack damage is twice as expensive. So you divide the attack speed by 2 (because attack damage is twice as expensive) and you get 25. Ok now that we know how to balance two attributes of differing cost how do we balance 3? Well instead of thinking of creating the perfect square you have to create the perfect cube and make all 3 sides equal. Using this theory we can see that as a general rule of thumb, If you spend 500 gold on damage its best to another spend another 500 on attack speed rather than on more damage (though this will depend on your initial attributes of course).

Ok now that we know how to balance heroes to get the greatest damage, lets apply this to Twisted Fate. First of all look at all of Twisted Fates skills, notice that all of them deal MAGIC damage. Now most other builds you see will stack physical damage but for physical damage to be effective you need to stack physical damage attributes like armor penetration and critical chance. Twisted Fate naturally from his skills has NO physical damage from his skills unlike heroes like Ashe Nasus Tryndamere so physical damage items won’t synergize at all with his existing skills. Synergy? What’s synergy? Well it’s like the previous example where we were balancing two side of a rectangle except if you build attack damage on Twisted Fate IT DOES NOT multiply with his magic damage that he already has. If you build attack damage on Twisted Fate you have to balance critical chance, armor penetration etc with this attack damage to maximize your overall damage BUT the critical chance DOES NOT affect your already existing magic damage and the armor penetration DOES NOT effect it either. So its like you already have a partially built square for you to maximize (a magic damage square) and by building attack damage you create a totally different square unrelated to this existing square which is stupid because if you have a partially built house why would you want to suddenly create a new one right next to it? It will cost too much money and it’s a waste of space.

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How To Max Twisted Fates Damage

Ok so now that we know that physical damage isn’t the answer lets explore the ways we can maximize Twisted Fates magic damage. Now you will see that Twisted Fates damage increases with ability power but is stacking ability power through ability power items going to maximize Twisted Fates attack damage? No. This is because TWO of his attacks are on hit effects so you want items that 1: increase your magic damage and 2: increase your attack speed. Pure ability power items like Needlessly Large Rod don’t increase his damage by much compared to other heroes. To prove this lets compare Needlessly Large Rod(1600 Gold) to Malady(1825 Gold). Needlessly Large Rod adds 32 damage to Pick a Card and Stacked Deck while Malady adds 20 to every attack. Let’s say for simplicity that Pick a Card is like Stacked Deck and inflicts damage every 4 attacks. The total damage is 64 damage over 4 attacks which is 16 damage per attack which is less than the 20 you get for Malady. We also didn’t take into account the attack speed bonus and magic penetration of Malady which is HUGE, so you can see that ability power Twisted Fate is not the best idea. Now what if we get Wild Cards instead of the magic damage per attack skills? Well to be honest I hate Wild Cards, it’s the only skill that sets Twisted Fate behind other heroes because it’s such a useless skill… Well not useless but sub optimal and I'll explain why. Firstly Wild Cards is a skill shot and the card flies so slowly through the air that long range targets can easily move out of the way, secondly if you use it up close it’s a bad idea because you are sort of squishy and you want to keep your distance from enemies. I hope riot will increase the speed of the cards or decrease the angle of offset for the other 2 cards because then I might have to rethink this guide because the cards scale reasonably with ability power (65% = 52 damage per Needlessly Large Rod).

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What Items To Get?

Now that we know we have to get magic damage on hit, attack speed and magic penetration let’s see which items fit the criteria… you will see riot recommends Sword Of The Divine on Twisted Fate and many other builds recommend it as well without actually thinking about how optimal it really is. Sword Of The Divine is perfect except for the active ability. Sword Of The Divine gives us attack speed and magic damage every four attacks just like our passive but its active adds armor penetration so it’s a useless active if you are stacking magic damage and we are trying to find the best items that have everything we want, not just a few things. Wits End is a great item for Twisted Fate. It adds survivability in the form of magic resist, it gives you an INSANE magic 42 damage per hit and a good amount of attack speed. Now I’m afraid that we have already run out of optimal items for Twisted Fate. Madreds Bloodrazor is the last magic damage item you will be getting because it's expensive and because it adds attack damage so it’s not very optimal, though at this point of the game enemies will have a lot of hitpoints so this counter weights the negatives. Ok now that we know what magic damage items to get, we have to fill the gaps. At the start of the game I recommend in decreasing order of preference: either Doran’s Blade for survivability and damage for last hits and harass in the early game or Boots Of Speed and some health potions for kiting ability or Null-Magic Mantle and health potions to rush your Wits End. Next after you have your Wits end and your Doran’s Blade you have decent survivability so now it’s time to increase your speed with Boots Of Swiftness . After this your damage is quite high so you get Phage for more survivability and to slow your opponents down while you chase them. Next get Malady to add more magic damage. Now that It's mid-late game It’s time to buy the big guns and get Madred's Bloodrazor . After this finish off your Frozen Mallet and get Banshees Veil to max out your defensive capabilities. Notice how at the beginning I get low cost items made of small pieces. This is important otherwise you won’t scale fast enough in the early game and will be at a disadvantage. Also notice how I cycle between damage and survivability items as the game progresses, this is important to keep your character balanced so you can survive the enemies punishment in team fights while dishing out lots of your own.

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Twisted Fate is a very good champion when stacked with magic damage on hit items. Players that use Twisted Fate should play him as assassin and magic dpser because of his skills that add to his magic damage and his ultimate that can be used to finish off enemies after a team fight. When played properly Twisted Fate completely dominates the lane and in team fights because of his ability to pick off enemies with his ultimate and his skills that add to his magic damage.

I’d like to thank all the guide makers here at Mobafire for helping me when I first started playing League Of Legends with their guides and inspiring me to make my own to give back to the League Of Legends community which have helped me so much. And most of all I’d like to thank YOU, the viewer for taking the time to read and reflect on my guide. I wish you good luck, and with what you’ve learned I hope you become a great player so that maybe one day, we clash in the League Of Legends.


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