Twitch Build Guide by SpaghettiMonster
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hi, the purpose of this guide is to hopefully show people that Twitch is a more viable AD carry in ranked than people currently think. Most people at the moment believe he's trash and the absolute best AD carries are Graves, Ezreal and Corki due to their burst damage and an escape. You need to adapt to Twitch's playstyle and stop trying to play him like you would for other carries if you are to succeed. I would like to show you how strong he can be if you use him properly.
Pros / Cons
- Incredible damage potential throughout the game.
- Has the most devastating ultimate of any AD carry if used properly.
- Can reposition himself multiple times in team fights, making it very hard for him to be focused initially or afterward.
- Sneakily strong damage in lane as you passively apply stacks of poison and Expunge until you're ready to go in for a kill.
- Is not "tanky" by any means but has great survivability if you use his kit effectively.
- Probably a tad bit more reliant on his team to set him up for successful ultimates and to protect him from being focused once he begins fighting.
- Doesn't have an instant burst attack like Buckshot or Volley, he requires a more nuanced play style.
Summoner Spells, Runes & Masteries
Flash is too valuable to pass up on, can use it to get one more auto attack and Expunge to get a kill, flash over walls, flash into stealth, etc.
Heal I take over Ignite because it's more effective throughout the game. You or your support can bait the enemy into trying to grab what looks like an easy kill, can keep you alive long enough to get off a few more attacks. Mostly I find that if you take Ignite you're simply out of range far too often, early kills are often a final auto attack and full stacks of Expunge, later in the game you should be far far back and Ignite normally won't help you secure any kills.
Exhaust, don't need this, your support should have this.
Ignite if you feel more comfortable with it, take it, it's not bad by any means I just prefer Heal far more often on Twitch.
Ghost Not needed, flash is much more useful.
Smite Jungle Twitch can work but this isn't what this guide is about.
Teleport Not useful in solo queue for this champion.
First of all, read this. For the runes I have chosen, you trade a small amount of early game damage for a surprising advantage mid-late game over if you choose AD runes instead, even if you were to add a last whisper at a later point in the game.
To quickly summarize before I get into it: You're looking to be as deadly as possible on Twitch. He is not tough by any means but that doesn't mean he is bad at surviving, he's all about distance, positioning and being difficult to focus in the first place.
Greater Mark of Desolation - Best in slot and with this build you will have incredible armor penetration which is incredibly effective and heavy armor through the majority of the game will not mean much to Twitch.
Greater Seal of Critical Chance - An early crit can change anything. I take these over Greater Seal of Armor due to the fact that it has better synergy with his kit and he doesn't benefit from being tougher through out & 10 early armor won't make the difference in how you trade and how you should be performing kills.
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed - These are great on Twitch for similar reasons that the seals are. He has additional bonus attack speed from his Ambush and flat magic resistance won't help you in bot lane.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation - I take these over flat AD or movement speed but if you feel you need flat AD to help you last hit more effectively than go ahead and swap these.
The masteries are pretty self explanatory however the reason I take Havoc over Vampirism is you'll have the sustain you need with double Doran's Blade/ Vampiric Scepter and 1.5% bonus damage throughout the game, I think, is just a bit more useful than the life steal in lane. (However I take Vampirism and life steal quints when I jungle him instead) For the defensive tree the armor/heal bonus/health is just more beneficial to Twitch than mana regen is, his mana issues are less of a problem now.
Boots of Speed Health Potion x3
Always start with boots and 3 pots, they'll help you far more than a dorans will to start with, at level 1/2 if Twitch can chase down an enemy and get a few more auto attacks/poison applications and expunge, he can get a kill. You most likely won't be able to do this with Dorans and boots/bots are more helpful all around.
Note: If your lane is going extremely good (double kill early on, no enemy jungle pressure etc) and you can quickly farm the money for a B.F. Sword under 10 minutes, save and do it.
At any other time: Go back when you have about 950g (or 475+ if there is an early kill, you want to recall and be an item ahead before they return with full hp) and buy a Doran's Blade (x2).
Doran's Blade Doran's Blade
Depending on how well you're doing, the next items are Vampiric Scepter & Berserker's Greaves or B.F. Sword.
By around the 20-25 minute mark your build should look like this.
Berserker's Greaves Doran's Blade Doran's Blade Vampiric Scepter Infinity Edge
The next big item is a Phantom Dancer, once you have it, it really sets you over the top for damage. You have about 60% crit and 200 AD, you're also much faster and can now easily escape ganks, chase down kills, duel, push turrets, etc.
The third and most important big item is Last Whisper, you will always want this over a The Bloodthirster, once you have it your armor pen will be insane and when you're sitting in the back melting people or shooting whoever is closest to stay as far back as possible, tanks with heavy armor simply do not matter anymore.
Now you'll want a defensive item, it's late in the game and what you should get depends on the enemy team comp:
Normally I get a Banshee's Veil if there's an enemy Warwick or Skarner or some kind of assassin type champion. The one ability that it blocks makes a huge difference, potentially stopping an instant kill or giving your team a little more time to CC/Peel whoever is on you.
If you're really really fed and an early teamfight death could mean the turn of a game and also you want to deny the enemy from killing you and getting 600g, get a Guardians Angel.
The rarest defensive item to get is Quicksilver Sash, get this item if they have a Skarner, Malzahar, Urgot etc.
If you've got all of that and the game STILL ISN'T OVER. Turn your vamp scepter into a The Bloodthirster, you'll have much more damage but the reason you don't want any other item is the lifesteal, it's much too valuable for sustain and it makes a huge difference in a fight if you're being focused. The health returned/60-100 AD is too good to trade for a black cleaver or anything else.
I have always taken Infinity Edge as quickly as possible, with two Doran's Blade and a Vampiric Scepter you have 16% life steal to sustain yourself and the critical chance and damage give you far more damage than the bonus AD you can get from a The Bloodthirster.
The above build is optimal but if you're considering other items I might as well explain why they're not as good as the ones listed above.
It may be cost effective to protect yourself from a possibly fed enemy AP carry but it's almost always a waste of 1400 gold. Twitch is very hard to pin down in teamfights and has excellent range, couple that with (hopefully) your team focusing their AP carry or keeping them at range, there's no need for this item.
Not cost effective. Get a red buff and most definitely someone on your team has a slow or another form of CC. (Tank twitch normal troll mode activated?)
The Black Cleaver
Yes, the stats are nice but you have 35% armor penetration to start the game with, so it's passive isn't necessary and you could instead be getting your Infinity Edge which gives much more damage given it's crit chance and crit dmg.
Maybe if it's an Olaf with 5 Warmogs?
Sword of the Occult
Never get this in ranked. It never pays off when you could have spent the money on something else more immediately effective instead. If you're really fed in normals, why not.
This item leads to nothing for Twitch, you won't want to turn this into Youmuu's Ghostblade because you're looking for higher AD value, you're going to get your attack speed from Phantom Dancer and your passive, Ambush.
In Depth: How to Play Twitch
The basic guideline to beating your opponent is to be passive-aggressive by slowly chunking down their health and then knowing when to quickly Ambush and get really aggressive, going for a kill.
Deadly Venom - His passive may seem like miniscule damage early on but it's in fact very crucial to how and why Twitch succeeds in lane, and late game it does indeed hurt much more. Generally, while you're last hitting creeps you want to hit the enemy AD carry or his support just once, just apply it, get free harass, and repeat. Expunge when you have at least three stacks.
Ambush - His new Q is much better in my opinion. He no longer relies on his stealth to be successful, instead it's a powerful tool. The stealth duration is in fact quite short so you have to carefully pick when it's best to use it. It's godlike for choosing the right positions in fights/evading focus and the attack speed bonus is amazing when you're ready to go for the kill.
Carefully picking when to go for the kill -
In the video below: I had passively poked and expunged Tristana to where she's 2/3rd health even with Soraka healing her. I know I can now kill her regardless if there's a gank. She tries to bait us into a gank but she's not cognizant to how much burst Twitch can do after an Ambush.
Venom Cask - Slows an enemy and applies 2 stacks of poison. It's very useful for quicker stacks to get a full damage Expunge. In lane, attack them to apply the first stack, cast W on them and attack again and that's at least a free four stack expunge that most of the time, they can't retaliate or if they do trade in damage you will come out on top.
Expunge - Your primary damage and how you finish them off. This does 1.25 of your AD at full stacks of poison. If you W onto a group of people, ult through them, you can get 6 stacks of poison in a heartbeat. Twitch's burst is very sneaky in the sense that they're not sure how much trouble they're in until it's too late and you've secured the kill. Always try and get one last auto attack in before you expunge, it's the difference between them walking away at 30 hp or getting first blood.
Example: Soraka wouldn't of died if I didn't get that one last shot before I expunged. Sometimes, to secure the kill flashing is absolutely necessary.
Spray and Pray - Honestly, this is the best ult of any AD carry and can demolish entire teams when used properly. A stealthed positioning with bonus attack speed, bonus AD, an extra 300 range, and shooting through multiple people is too much for them to handle if they don't kill you quickly.
Unique to Twitch (How to be effective in team fights & lane)
Being in the absolute best position at the right time is the most important thing you can do as an AD carry without a reliable escape mechanic.
Choosing the right time to fight
It's best to come out of Ambush either once your initiator has gone in and forced them to use their spells on him or if the enemy team does this to your other teammates, once they're initial cooldowns are blown you have a gaping window of opportunity to blow them away with your Ambush and Spray and Pray.
Repositioning yourself in team fights
Unlike any other AD Carry, he can stealth and get in the best possible position to melt the enemy team. This is really crucial to Twitch, if you don't do this properly for the given situation you'll probably find yourself dying often.
A video example below: We're at dragon and we know they want to try and clean up after we get it. I stealth immediately once it's down and move toward bot lane to get in good position, Nocturne now can not dive me so still he goes for Lee Sin and as they're on him I can slow them and apply poison and ult through Garen/Nocturne and can apply the 6 stack Expunge and pick up easy kills.
Twitch is unique amongst AD carries due to his poison. This allows him to be extremely passive-aggressive. He can farm passively while at the same time poking them constantly and/or throwing down poison to get a 3-6 stack of Expunge. If you trade properly or get free harass, it's then up to you to communicate with your support and pick the best time to dash in a bush or make it look like you're running back and hit Ambush and either grab a kill or force them to blow their cooldowns.
As always, don't overextend without a ward because you're quite slow and if you just used your Ambush you're fairly vulnerable for a short period of time.
Lane Partners & Matchups!
This is the real meat and potatoes of this guide. Other guides tell you pros and cons and what to build and well this does too but it tells you how you should be playing against who and how you can win your lane.
Let's start with busting some myths. People often claim that Twitch simply can not compete with more popular AD carries such as Graves, Ezreal or Corki. This is true in the way that if you try and play Twitch the same way as them you will lose hard and everyone will call you a troll for picking Twitch in the first place. They have more burst than you but you have the advantage of sustained damage/harass and the ability to surprise them with bonus attack speed from Ambush and a full stacked Expunge is nothing to scoff at.
Taric is the preferred lane partner for Twitch. His stun can both enable you to harass freely/go for kills when they're low enough and it can save you. Free passive armor, good burst and a solid heal. You can't go wrong with Taric, even if you're against a more aggressive lane, just apply stacks and combine your burst to win trades and push them back.
Soraka is too passive of a lane and I don't really recommend it. Most of the time you'll be pushed or zoned out by more aggressive lanes but even if that's the case, you can make ganks for your jungler really easy. With Twitch's Ambush he can get up closer, initiate the fight and slow them as your jungler comes crashing in for a gank.
Nunu can be quite effective as he can zone out enemy, front a lot of intended damage for Twitch. With his Blood Boil, his snowball and ult you can quickly 100-0 the enemy carry if played right.
Sona works well, both have a lot of damage to offer and can quickly apply it or play defensive. Her passive and her Hymn of Valor coupled with your Expunges will just be a nightmare for them to deal with and she can easily set you up with kills.
Janna, if she disrupts them well enough so you can pick your spots to take advantage this can be a great lane but generally she's not as good as with Twitch as Taric/ Nunu/ Sona/ Blitzcrank are.
Lulu - I've never tried this but her kit can really work well with Twitch to take advantage of but it depends on the enemy lane. Would be a good pick against a passive lane.
Kayle - This combination can be really strong, she has good poke, a slow and a heal that speeds you up. If you survive lane phase her ult lets you blow them up for as long as it lasts in team fights and it's truly devastating.
Blitzcrank - One of the top picks if he's not banned. Sure other AD carries might be better with Blitzcrank but you can't go wrong, his pulls change fights and make things ridiculously easy for Twitch. The farther they have to run back while they're poisoned is good for Twitch.
Alistar - Haven't tried it since he's always banned but it would undoubtedly be a good lane. Playing passive until it's the right time couldn't be easier for this lane. Alistar has all the CC Twitch needs when he goes for a kill. If Alistar or Blitzcrank are not banned and your team can grab them, do it, always.
Leona - Has wonderful CC and burst but if you're not coordinate and the enemy lane becomes the aggressors it can quickly turn on it's head and she becomes a burden.
How you fare against enemy carries:
IMPORTANT: Don't forget you have the exact same strengths and weaknesses against everybody, for each different however there are different things to lookout for and you have to know when to take advantage of it.
- If you get a kill in lane or they are forced to recall, if you have enough money for a purchase, do it. You may lose the opportunity to be up a few CS but it is far more important to be ahead/on par with them as far as your item build.
Ashe - Ashe lanes are generally passive and that's where Twitch can easily surprise them. If you carefully dodge her Volley she has no surprises for you unless she hits six. Expunge her health to dirt and coordinate with your support when you're ready to sneak in and take her out. Taric recommended. Generally easy lane, 7/10; favorable.
Caitlyn - Caitlyn can be a real pain to deal with if you let her be land her Piltover Peacemaker and if you run into her traps it's free damage for her. Make sure your support is clearing the traps and you're dodging her skill-shot and it should be an easy lane. Ask for a support with CC to catch her when she uses her 90 Caliber Net. Generally easy lane, 7/10; favorable.
Corki - Corki can be a pain early on with good burst from his Phosphorus Bomb and if he's laned with a Leona be sure to dodge her Zenith Blade. If he has a passive support it's in your favor but this lane is a toss-up and it depends on who you have as support. You can out damage him if you play properly and if you play with a Taric, Blitzcrank, Alistar you should be able to kill him without too much trouble. Depends on matchup/communication with support, 5/10; it's a toss-up.
Draven - Draven can abuse Twitch if you let him land his Spinning Axe without trading but with any CC you can keep him on his heels and he'll be passively farming until he gets help from his jungler. As long as you don't underestimate his damage and pick when to be aggressive this should be an easy lane, his Blood Rush isn't great but Stand Aside can thwart ganks and kills so beware. 6/10; favorable.
Ezreal - Ezreal is someone you don't want to play against if your support picked someone like Lulu or Lux. Any stun support like Taric lets you do what you need to do and it doesn't let him Arcane Shift out of trouble. If they pink ward beware of his poke and when you go for kills, run into an unwarded bush or make it seem as if you're backing up to get the jump on him with Ambush before he can react. If you're support is on him like glue than he's most of the time going to also be taking all of Ezreal's skill-shot damage intended for you. This is a good match up for Twitch when played properly. 7/10; favorable.
Graves - Graves will beat you if you stand there and let him get his passive and shoot you in the face hole. But that's just not how Twitch is played and you can really bother him with your Venom Cask and exploding your venom stacks with Expunge. He's generally predictable with his Buckshot and if he uses it through minions and pushes the lane it's even more in your favor as you can quickly Ambush him and he will have to Quickdraw or possibly Flash to escape the damage you can return and reset the lane. Not recommended to have a passive support due to his escapes and general toughness. 5/10; it all comes down to who he's with and what support you have.
Kog'Maw - Kog can abuse you if you let him land his Void Ooze and get off free damage with the range from his Bio-Arcane Barrage, his Living Artillery damage is negligible, it can also detect you but it's easy to dodge. If you return his damage in trades it's very easy for you to quickly Ambush him and defeat him since he has no escapes. In team fights you both have great range but Twitch has the advantage because while neither of them have an escape, Twitch can stealth and reposition himself to either A) blow up Kog'maw or B) be in better position to simply do more damage and giving your team the better chance at winning the fight. 5/10; favorable lane only if you are dodging his slow and ultimate.
Miss Fortune - She has great poke and if you let her get damage on you'll most likely lose. Be careful of when you use her heal against her reduction with Impure Shots. You should be able to beat her in most match ups and especially so if you have Taric or other hard CC. She has no escape, you have a slow and she'll most likely be more passive than you will. Also her ult is quite easily dodge-able but be careful if you're on the run. Any support with a stun and you should win. 7/10; favorable lane.
Sivir - Her Spell Shield really does nothing against Twitch, it can't be blocked as easily as Graves's Buckshot and it only lasts for about three seconds so you can easily wait to Expunge or surprise her with it earlier on. Also she's quite predictable with it so if your support is alert at all he will easy bait her into using it and then you may effectively CC her. She can't trade with Boomerang Blade since it will push the lane and you should be generally hard to pin down or hit through minions since you should be passively coming in and out of bush or suddenly turning aggressive and Ambushing her. This should be an easy lane, 7/10; favorable.
Tristana - Tristana can't trade with you early on without committing suicide if she attempts to use Rocket Jump to burst you down. Your poison stacks and Expunge will do far more damage than her Explosive Shot, which by the way she has to come even closer to cast on you. The only real worry here is if she has someone who can be very bursty with her such as Sona or Taric and let become really aggressive so just pick your spots and poke her so she won't be able to use her burst as effectively as you can. Taric is recommended here as in most cases due to his on-demand stun. 7/10; favorable.
Varus - His Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows are far less reliable sources of damage than yours since you can dodge them, especially his ult Chain of Corruption. This should really be an easy lane unless you force a bad fight, get caught in his slow and let him return more damage to you from a distance with his Q. 8/10; favorable.
Vayne - Her damage isn't that special unless she's paired with an aggressive Nunu with constant Blood Boil so beyond that, making sure your bush isn't warded so you don't get Condemn'd into a wall you will have your way with her with your constant damage. 7/10; favorable.
Don't Panic: Pinks, Oracles & Stealth Detection
A pink ward in lane or an oracles is no longer the death knell it was for Twitch even though people may still think it is. It certainly helps that they can see you coming but Twitch is no longer as reliant on his stealth. Even if they can see you in lane if you're playing passive-aggressive, regardless if they can see you, when you go for the kill the Ambush bonus movement speed and attack speed are still great tools.
TL;DR - You are not at all screwed if they drop a pink ward in the bush/lane. Just be more decisive when you want to go in and they still can't stop you.
And with that said you're not hard countered by an enemy Lee Sin in the way that Akali is. Akali relies heavily on her Twilight Shroud to sustain herself in fights, Twitch does not rely as heavily on his Ambush to stay alive and since it gives movement speed it's a great tool to do things like gain distance from his Tempest / Cripple.
So I hope at this point in the guide I have at least somewhat dispelled the popular opinion that Twitch either has a weak early game, or a bad lane match up compared to the far more popular picks.
He is best played as passive-aggressive in lane with a support who has a form of CC.
He has no real bad match ups and he's still effective even if there's a pink ward or someone on the enemy has an oracles.
If you dominate your lane or at least come out fairly even you should be much more deadly at middle/late stages of the game, you can skirmish greatly, are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to dragon/baron fights due to his Ambush and Spray and Pray when they're focused on the objective.
As a closing statement:
He's perfectly viable in my opinion and tends to actually be very powerful in lane and he maintains that throughout the game with proper positioning and knowing when to fight, he can devastate the enemy like no other AD carry can even dream of doing.
Notes & Comments
Hi, if any of you end up looking me up on lolking or adding me in-game it's noteworthy to mention that 1/3rd of my games as Twitch were played as twitch/eve duo with a friend (lol) and the other 1/3rd as jungle twitch, the most successful I've been with him is lane. I would be 8/2 as Twitch if I played no other ranked games with him except the ones where I was the AD Carry.
Screenshot from this morning when I decided to write this:
Twitch The Master of Assassination
Twitch: Facerolling the enemy
Twitch, the Divine Assassin - Season 3 Twitch Guide
Twitch - 99 problems but Twitch ain't one