I've been playing for almost a month now. Prior to starting I played Starcraft 2 and other RTS games. I still need to learn a lot about League of Legends theory and get familiar with more champions before I can consider myself good, but I think I've picked up AP Twisted Fate's tactics pretty well. I think this because I can pretty consistently win 1v1s against ranked friends, especially in mirror matches and I don't usually have any individual trouble in 5v5s. Thanks to my lack of deep understanding of the theory behind builds, I'll focus mainly on the mechanics and strategy I picked up on my journey with Twisted Fate.
Runes And Masteries
I don't know or have much to say about runes and masteries. I don't even have all those runes and masteries that other guides say you should get. Also, I'm not sure how to make those fancy rune and masteries images so I'll just recommend to look at other Twisted Fate builds.
I almost always get Athene's Unholy Grail, Nashor's Tooth, and Rabadon's Deathcap because the unique perks they give are invaluable. Zhonya's Hourglass is situational. If you feel confident enough, you can swap it out for something that gives you even more damage like Liandry's Torment.
Athene's Unholy Grail will help you be able to throw card after card in team fights so you'll never be wanting for mana for a gold card.
Nashor's Tooth gives you that extra damage in follow up shots to a stun.
The Deathcap gives you some crazy damage overall, especially if you have your Nashor's Tooth.
I only get Zhonya's Hourglass if there are fed assassins who try to gank me in team fights. It also helps if you're in an uber-aggresive mood and like to initiate fights.
Flash - Mandatory. Helps you land those epic clutch stuns and get away in those high-speed pursuits.
Ghost - After Flash, this is my favorite summoner spell. It gives you that edge in team fights, helps you chase people down, and occasionally helps you outrun extremely commited enemies.
Ignite - This one's also viable but I generally don't like it. Ignite doesn't work well with a poking play style but it'll definitely help to secure those squishy kills in combination with a surprise teleport.
The Rest - I can't see why any of the other summoner spells would be better than those listed above for Twisted Fate.
Early game's all about the farm. Harassing is fun and stuff but you need your AP ASAP! I highly recommend going into an AI game and practicing killing every single creep on your lane with a combination of your W, Q, and basic attack. You can often get a hit on your opponent with your Q in addition to a minion, but don't focus on that until you have your items because it feels like only a pin prick at low levels.
Mid game is where Twisted Fate shines the most. This is when he just got a high AP item and can take out a chunk of enemies' health because they don't have any magic resist yet. Your job is to poke with your Q, poke, poke, teleport -> kill. On top of the awesome damage your Q has, there's also a huge range so they can't really do anything against your poke except try to dodge it. Against a clump of 5 enemy champs, you're bound to hit someone.
You can easily shave off half of a squishy's health with your Stun + Wild Card combo so if you find anyone wandering about with low health, you can easily secure the kill with your ultimate. Late game, your power drops off compared to other champs but with full CDR and the epic mana regen from Athene's, you can stun like a boss. Your poke still hurts like hell against squishies so keep poking!
Q: Card Slinging
Your Q (Wild Cards) are like 50 caliber bullets. They have crazy range, do massive damage, and penetrate anything in their way. Getting last hits with them is pretty straight forward but remember that your W Blue Card is much more efficient mana-wise. I usually use Q if my minions are all focusing one minion, my W is on cooldown, and I don't have enough basic attack damage to secure the last hit.
If you're trying to hit enemy champions, I've found that aiming a side card at the enemy sometimes catches them off guard. Generally, your Q is easy to dodge so don't waste mana on it unless your know you're going to hit someone (i.e. a group of low-health minions, a clump of enemy champs, a stunned enemy champ).
W: Stun, and company
The most basic skill of any Twisted Fate player is picking the right card. You always want enough mana in the bank for 2 card picks and 1 wild card unless you have the crazy mana regen you get from Athene's Grail. This way, you're always a threat. You can always stun the opponent and guarantee a Wild Cards hit. You're also always protected. If the enemy decides to chase you, you pick your gold card again and stun them while you run away laughing. If they don't chase you, you can always farm back your mana with your Blue Card. Your W ability is your sword, shield, and bread.
In the laning phase, picking a card often feels like playing a polyrythmic piano song. One part of your brain needs to keep track of the card and lock the needed one in. The other needs to pay attention to attack rate and last hitting minions. This is one of the reasons why a well-versed Twisted Fate can be so much better than an inexperienced one because the timing is something that's difficult to get down without practice - and gives you a huge advantage in laning. While they're missing their cards and last hits, you're farming your passive and getting mana as soon as your cooldown finishes.
Here's a synopsis of the uses for the different cards:
Blue - Mana regen. The extra damage isn't as useful as a slow or stun so the only reason why you'd use the blue card is to get mana and/or last hits.
Red - I only use red card if I need that bit of extra range to hit the enemy champion. Hitting a minion close to the enemy champ will apply the slow on the enemy and allow you to easily land your Q.
Stun - This is your most amazing ability, especially combined with your Q. Always have a stun within reach in case someone decides to surprise gank you or you can secure a kill with Ghost.
Quick Tip: You don't always need to pick the card right away. As long as you don't lock in, you can threaten enemies with a gold card if they come close or farm mana with a blue card if they don't. Delaying the locking in also gives you more time with the card activated which is invaluable in pursuits where you need to take time to catch up.
In my experience, E isn't a very useful ability on AP Twisted Fate until late game when you have Nashor's Tooth and the attack speed it gives you. First of all, the damage is pretty negligible compared to your other abilities. Most significantly, it's hard to use correctly. In order to land your E on enemy champions without high a attack speed, you'll have to farm it up on minions and pay attention to what you attack and when. This is just too much management for too little benefit so I recommend upgrading this ability last.
R: Twisting Fate
Fate's ultimate is one of the best of ultimates of the champions I've played so far. He can secure kills, get to team fights instantly, and in some situations, escape death. Here are a few use cases for the Twisted Fate's ultimate:
At level 6, the ultimate is a free teleport. If you don't see any gankable targets in other lanes, you can recall, buy your items, then use your ultimate to clear a big chunk of the lane. Just make sure you're standing on the spawn for the mana regen because this ability uses a decent chunk of mana.
After a team fight or against a wandering squishy, you can use your ultimate to secure the kill. If you can help it, teleport into an unwarded bush close to or on the trajectory of the victim. If you spot your team chasing a high-priority target, feel free to stop the chase with the same strategy.
After poking the enemies down, you can teleport on the enemy squishy, initiate a team fight with a red card (for the splash slow), and make it a 4v5 before the fight even starts. Zhonya's hourglass is worth it if you want to rambo into the middle of the enemy team. Note that this strategy doesn't work against good players because they'll be expecting you after you pop your R.
... For your opponents' egos. This is my first guide so I don't know what opinions to expect from the audience. I hope I explained the abilities and how to use them well but if not, please give me suggestions on how to make the guide better (if it's not a total lost cause).
Thanks for reading my guide and please give your feedback so I can make it better.