Twisted Fate Build Guide by Mowen
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Mastery Tree Is Outdated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.
Twisted fate has not had much love since his ult got nerfed a long time ago, but in my opinion he is still strong. I find him to be a good solo queue champ because of his ability to push up his lane and quickly gank others. This will in turn help your team snowball into victory through kills. I have played him a lot in ranked and normals, and this build works well in both.
TF requires a unique playstyle that is different from most AP champs. In lane he pokes you to death and outfarms you, and in teamfights he can assassinate the carry and control the enemy through a low cooldown stun.
This is my justification that TF can work in Ranked games. I played all of my games with him between 1500-1650 ELO. This should also give you an idea of what level I play TF at. I'm not trying to say I'm pro, just letting you see where my perspective is coming from.
I will go into more details about how to use skills at different phases of the game in the following sections, but for now here's a quick overview.
This is a decent passive. It gives your whole team an edge on farm. Not much to worry about playstyle-wise though.
Insane poke. You usually need to combine this spell with Pick A Card to get the most out of it. The use of this spell changes depending on what you're doing.
In my opinion the most versatile skill in the game. Need a stun? Yellow card. Need mana? Blue card. Need to farm? Red card.
Just remember... Yellow Blue Red Yellow Blue Red Picking the right card when you need to is vital to success, and comes with practice.
When your stacked deck is ready it gives nice burst on your next autoattack. This skill will help you burst, and once it's leveled give you some nice free CDR. Sadly since we level this last you won't get the CDR for a while.
An ancient OP (for those of you who don't remember, Destiny didn't used to have a range to teleport!) now a balanced skill. You can still split push and gank from close to one lane away. I also use this to secure kills from low health targets under towers. If you didn't understand it, the first time you use R you activate the sight portion of it, the 2nd time you hit R you need to target somewhere on the map to teleport to.
- This tends to be the choice I pick most often which is why I put it in the build at the top. This starting setup if you need sustain in lane against those pesky poke champs such as Cassiopeia, Karthus, Xerath, Orianna, Ryze and the dreaded Zilean. This setup also helps you hit people with your Pick A Card since TF's auto attack range is very short.
Remember pick Pick A Card as your first spell as it's the most valuable. Level 1 Wild Cards doesn't do much damage so the utility you get from Pick A Card is infinitely better.
As soon as the game starts buy your starting items and head into your jungle to protect your jungler. You'll probably want to take a spot in the brush to look for incoming ganks (though if theyre's a Blitzcrank on the other team don't stand out far by yourself!). If your jungler starts at Golem leash for him with your Red or Yellow card (Golem spawns at 1:55) and head to lane.
Focus on farming by using your Blue card for some extra last hitting oomph. I find that using my blue card to last hit makes it infinitely easier. Once you're level 2 you can start using Wild Cards to last hit as well. Remember if you use a blue card right after Wild Cards you will get back the mana you spent. Just keep farming and last hitting with Wild Cards / Blue card. I promise you you will be poking your lanemate without even trying from the stray Wild Cards.
FIRST BLOOD! I find that it's very easy to get first blood with TF. As you've been farming your stray wild cards have been hitting your enemy, slowly lowering their health. If they are ~200 health you can kill them with a simple trick.
1. Make sure your next hit will proc Stacked Deck for extra burst
2. Lock in your Yellow Card when you're within Flash distance.
3. Flash and stun them with your card.
4. Aim your Wild Cards at them, when you're right beside them and they're stunned so you can't miss.
5. Ignite if necessary.
This can also be accomplished if they are b'ing under tower (though I wouldn't do it vs a lvl 6 Annie!), and 90% of people will be very surprised by this tactic because they don't expect TF's to burst them early game. This tactic also works with Destiny as the gap closer instead of Flash if you are level 6.
If you are having trouble against your enemy mid, never fear! One of the best things about TF is he can choose to not duke it out with his lane mate, and gank other lanes instead. For instance I recently had a ranked game where I versed an AP Sion. Well, the thing about Sion is he's very hard for AP's to kill. So instead of trying to kill him, I just killed other people in different lanes, and we won! :) Don't waste your time trying to kill a mid that you can't.
If you are low on farm you can always pick up Doran's Ring's or Catalyst the Protector. I prefer Doran's Ring's so you can earn some bank in ganks (hue). Just make sure to push out your mid lane before you go out to gank so you'll have time to return after the gank and protect your tower.
You will quickly notice you are pushing up the lane quite a bit, and are therefore vulnerable to ganks. This is ok, because TF is a hard champion to gank since he can usually Yellow Card and run away. However, if you're against a jungler with a nice gap closer such as Lee Sin or Jarvan IV you might want to back off if you're pushed up too much. These guys will own you if they can get close to you. On your first return pick up a sight ward to help you ensure you won't get ganked.
- Get this if you've been awesome at farming / ganking, and have the money to buy it when you go back.
- Get this if you don't have the money for Needless, and especially if you're trying to avoid pokers such as Cassiopeia and Karthus.
- You can either go the doran's stacking route, or get needless if you have enough money. 9 times out of 10 you will go doran's stacking because it's much easier to do. TF needs to have strong ganks at 6 and up, so you need to make sure to always keep him up to date with his items. Doran's stacking provides you a strong mid game start which is where TF needs it most.
- I only get this if I'm literally getting owned in lane. Just try to not die and farm.
- A possible alternative, I prefer lower CD stuns to a little more damage.
TF's early ganks are his biggest boon. As I have discussed in the previous section TF pushes his lane up pretty fast. If you see that a lane can be ganked...
1. Push your lane up past midpoint.
2. Make sure your next hit will proc Stacked Deck for extra burst (good but optional).
3. Walk backwards into the fog of war so your enemy doesn't see where you go.
4. Walk towards the lane you want to gank. (Mouseover your R to see the range of his ult)
5. Once you're close enough lock in Yellow Card then use Destiny.
6. Click R again where you want to port in.
7. Hit them with your Yellow Card if they're not already stunned (or stun right after the other stun ends if they are already stunned).
8. Hit them with Wild Cards while they're stunned.
9. Ignite if necessary.
The reason for locking in Yellow Card before you ult is because Destiny makes enemies instinctively retreat towards a tower while it's up in case they are ganked, so you want to give them as little time to run as possible. However, if an enemy is being chased and you want to Destiny in to secure the kill, you can lock in Yellow Card after activating Destiny.
So Where Do I Port in When I Ult?
When ganking another lane try to port in either in a nearby brush that will cut off the fleeing enemy. (I'll try to get a screenshot of this whenever I remember to hit Print Screen while killing fools).
If you are finishing off a low health champ by yourself just port in right on top of the enemy so they cannot run. If they use Flash that needed to be blown anyways, and you can probably catch up to them since you have Lich Bane.
Keep helping your team snowball through ganks that are nigh impossible to stop, and end the game relatively early. TF tends to fall off lategame once people get some health since he can't kill them in one combo. Make sure to keep farming as well. In order to play TF you need to surprise your enemy with how much damage you do, which is why farming is so important. By this stage in the game you should CHUNK any squishy character, so make sure to focus the squishies in your ganks.
Focus on securing objective such as Dragon or Baron. If your team is fighting or grouping to fight make sure you're either with them or within ult range of them. Communicate with your team to let them know you'll ult in if a fight breaks loose, or else they will think they are 4v5.
- If everything is going to plan you should have this item, and with it chunk the enemy carry during fights.
sheen rod - You should have this item as well, it will give you a nice boost to your burst damage and more importantly help you kill turrets when you split push.
- If you are doing really well you might also have this item by now, and you will be able to chunk squishies AND turrets.
- If you did poorly early game and built a Catalyst the Protector you should build into this item. Building this item is also helpful if you have another AP carry on your team since TF doesn't NEED blue. You should let them have it if you're doing well.
- If you are getting roflstomp'd you should probably build this using your Catalyst the Protector. TF can still be useful without damage (as long as you have other damage dealers on your team) since he can stun on a low CD, and that's better than feeding.
Remember TF is a great split pusher from 1 lane away. Red Card the melee creeps + Wild Cards in a line will demolish the whole wave if you have been keeping up on farm. If you are unsure of his ult range just make sure to keep mousing over R to ensure you are in range of your team. If the enemy team goes mia while you're split pushing make sure to back off because they're probably coming for you, or you could buy some wards and ward the path towards the lane you're pushing so you'll see them coming and can back off at the last second.
The reason split pushing is so strong is it forces the other team to make quick decisions.
Case 1: They force a fight on your team since you're split from them. You ult in and even the odds of the fight while the creeps do work on their tower.
Case 2: They send 1 person to stop your split push. You tell your team to initiate on them, you ult in, the fight is now 5v4.
Split push if you can. Only split push when you know where all members of the enemy team are, and of course STAY IN ULT RANGE! Make sure there are wards in the enemy jungle if you want to split push. If TF gets caught he is pretty squishy and will easily lose a 1v1 with an offtank.
Otherwise make sure to always be with your team. Late game is all about winning teamfights, and if your team gets caught in a bad position or down a man it could mean GG. Roam as a team, and make sure to stay in the back since you will be quite squishy.
- If you're doing well and don't need much defense, take this.
- If the other team is building MR, take this.
- You should definitely have this by now, but if you don't, please buy it!
- Take this if you are getting caught in CC initiators. This is a good mid/late game item since it will make you a lot harder to kill in teamfights. However, I don't like this much for my last item slot since it doesn't offer that much survivability apart from the active.
- This makes a good last item if you need survivability. Makes you much harder to kill and punishes those that dive you since they have to kill you twice and wait for you to come up. Since you are in the back this means your team will be wailing on them while they're waiting to kill you again.
Before a teamfight starts make sure to throw out some Wild Cards to poke. You should have blue so mana shouldn't be an issue. This will help give your team the edge once the fight ensues.
If a team fight breaks out in the jungle or where there's a lot of brush make sure to use Destiny to stop them from juking your team. Also, if you're vs. Akali make sure to ult to stop her from hiding in her shroud.
When you're in teamfights try to Yellow Card / Wild Cards the highest priority target in range. You will definitely want to take out their AD or AP carry first if you can. If you can't just stun / wild card the next target on the priority list. Make sure to combo, then run back, combo, then run back. Ducking in and out of the fight is the key to TF's staying power in teamfights. This will make you quite an annoyance with the low cd stun, and very hard to kill. It's not worth autoattacking because his range is still pretty short, so it will be more risk than's worth taking.
Just remember, BOB AND WEAVE BOB AND WEAVE!
If their AD carry is just wrecking your team, you may want to consider diving them with Destiny. Use your ult and teleport into the back lines, and combo their carry. Even if you die, if you take them out it will be worth it. Think like Kassadin. However, most of the time this isn't necessary.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Pretty straightforward. Mpen marks are the best damage reds for aps.
greater seal of vitality: Since TF doesn't need much mana regen because of his Blue Cards these are great runes to take. There aren't many other good alternatives.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power - Surpasses Greater Glyph of Ability Power at level 6, which is when you need your ap most, so these are the best since they're worth triple flat runes at lvl 18.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - Takes longer for the scaling to surpass the flat, so flat quints are better. They also just give you so much, they let you poke from level 3.
Some viable alternatives:
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration - TF doesn't need much mana regen because of his Blue Cards, and with Blue Buff you don't need any. However, sometimes my teammates are dumb dumb's and say "TF doesn't need blue, he has blue cards!" Not necessary, but still nice.
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power / Greater Seal of Ability Power: If you don't feel like mana regen is necessary, you can take these for more damage.
After testing both 9/0/21 and 21/0/9 I like 21/0/9 better. It lets you be a force both early and late game, and is easy to compensate for the missing CDR by buying CDR boots.
The offense tree masteries are pretty straightforward. I find reduced time dead and increased movespeed better than the mana regen masteries since TF has blue cards.
That being said 9/0/21 is also viable, it will let you be more controlly / supporty but deal less damage.
- Necessary for getting early kills. I think it's a must have since TF is all about snowballing early/mid game through ganks.
- TF lacks a quick escape method. You can normally get away by stunning enemies that are chasing / ganking you, but Flash will cover those cases when cards aren't enough.
- Used if you want to focus on split pushing moreso than ganking. I am not really a big fan but a lot of other people like it.
I wouldn't really get anything else. Heal is easily countered by the Ignite most mid champs will take. Ghost isn't very useful because you chase with Destiny. Clarity is also unnecessary because you have Blue Cards. Exhaust is ok but Ignite is better for AP TF since he relies on burst damage to kill and gank.
I hope you learned something about Twisted Fate from this guide. He has been my favorite AP champ for a long time, and I hope others can have as much fun playing him as I do. I plan to keep this updated, so check the changlog if you're wondering when I last updated!
12/14/2011 - Published!
12/22/2011 - Changed flat ap runes to scaling, updated runes section
1/19/2012 - Uploaded ELO screenshot so everyone knowz how leetz I am.
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