Build Guide by Haelstrom
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Twisted Fate Build
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[Note: Guide has been updated as of 05/13/10.]
This is my take on the magnificent Twisted Fate. For related information on the champion, see this.
First, his Summoner Spells. Twisted Fate basically has the functionality of Clairvoyance, Clarity, and Teleport in and of himself (Destiny, Blue Card+SD, Gate respectively), so I don't particularly recommend any of them. Rally's situational, Stacked Deck + Blue Card'll do you just fine in place of Smite, Revive's a waste unless you're being a jerk on TT and even then TF being on TT is odd, so that leaves 6 truly viable Summoner Spells.
Fortify is great, don't get me wrong. It'd be nice if at least someone has it on your team. But on average, you'll not be rolling with it. Cleanse can be be useful, in the right circumstances. Heal.. mm.. it can keep you alive, but I'd prefer something to help me kill. Ghost feels like a little bit of a waste on TF (unlike on say, Singed where it's outright awesome), so:
Flash, Ignite, Exhaust are your best picks.
As useful as Flash is however, you won't need it [as much] once you get better situational and map awareness abilities. Combine this with the fact it's commonly discussed they'll be taking it out and replacing it with a gear equivalent.. well.
Ignite & Exhaust, these are wonderful.
Against oh-so-common healer teams, Ignite can be a god-send, and I cannot even begin to tell you how many early-game ganks I've scored with it. Those little ticks of damage have made enemies who think they narrowly got away suddenly give me a nice chunk of gold & experience, and Haelstrom loves gold & experience.
Exhaust however, has more potency against non-healers and in the late game. Making someone miss 100% and move 30% slower, plus with the talent, make that happen for 3.5 seconds with 10 lowered armor and magic resist.. well, with a TF, that's just candy. It will save you against melee DPS, and make a lot of enemy solo carries cry. It's your other other CC.
People'll tell you runes don't matter. Ignore them, they are lying (or just underplay rune importance.) Sure, you're not getting +170 damage right off the bat or anything, but runes are your means of tailoring a character to your specifications and giving you an innate advantage. They sure as hell matter.
First off: don't.. buy runes until you're 20. Save up your IP for Champs and Tier 3 Runes. Why? 20'll come before you know it, and then you'll have to replace all those Tier 1 & 2 runes anyway. And Tier 3 can be significantly more expensive, especially the Quintessence runes which can range around 2000 IP a piece. Just trust me.
Now, for Marks or the Red Runes, I actually recommend Greater Marks of Desolation (armor penetration.) This way, EVERYONE is squishy as their innate armor goes out the window, and for tank heavy teams, this on top of your armor pen talent and Last Whisper really packs a hurting.
For Blue and Yellow or Glyphs and Seals, I recommend Attack Speed. Nice little buffer to get you slapping out Stacked Deck hits quicker.
Now, Quintessence Runes, I'd say either the Fortitude or Desolation (or combination there of) would be your best picks. Fortitude aids your squishy self especially early game (and early game, you want your ganks, no?) - while Desolation compounds the armor pen argument early.
Pick a Card at level 1, Stacked Deck every level you can't get Pick a Card, Destiny at 6/11/16, Wild Card when it makes you.
Wild Card sounds cool. And don't get me wrong, it has its uses. It has pretty hellacious range, so you can nab that last second kill. You can also use it on bushes, as it'll give you a tell-tale "phwpt!" sound to let you know someone's in wait. But in utility, damage even if you stack AP, etc.. it isn't what it used to be. Still, it keeps going through targets, and is a nice harassing tool as well as a scouting tool. Get it last.
Pick a Card, now there's our bread & butter. God I love PAC. You click W to proc Pick a Card, in which case it will cycle through three color cards (Blue, Red, Gold). You click W again on the card type you want. Note while it will randomly start on a different card, it always goes through the same pattern - Blue, Red, Gold. If you see Red, next is Gold. If you see Gold, next is Blue.
Note every card has its own specialties. Don't just go "HUHR GOLD CARD" - becoming the Cardmaster means you know all their potencies.
Card Damage at the 5 PAC Levels:
Blue Magic Damage: 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 (+0.4 per ability power)
Red Magic Damage: 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 (+0.4 per ability power)
Red Slow Percentage: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50%
Gold Magic Damage: 15 / 22.5 / 30 / 37.5 / 45 (+0.4 per ability power)
Gold has a multitude of uses. No, you can't stun turrets (anymore), but you can stun people. You can also stun neutral monsters, even Baron - which is awesome. Makes offing those neutrals a ton easier when they're unable to attack you back for a few seconds. Often, this is what you want to start a fight against an enemy champ with. Stun them, and proceed to demolish them. Sometimes, you wanna click W once and not hit it again until you're a little closer to them, so they don't know quite what you're going to do. Other times, you may want to broadcast that Gold card so they back the hell off from say, a friendly champ, a lower health turret.. you get the idea. Note it is a single-target stun, not an AoE stun like before.
Blue is downright awesome. You should never need mana potions. It has the highest base damage of the cards, making it great for hitting turrets, neutral monsters, and if you gauge it right, finishing a champ off in one decisive blow before they get to their comfort zone. This ability has intense synergy with Stacked Deck, since Stacked Deck Blue Cards give you a ton of mana back, and can make laning phase enemies really get scared of you quick.
Red, you're going to use pretty damn often. It's a great farming tool, five-fold:
1. It's AoE.
2. It slows.
3. It deals decent damage.
4. It can crit, like all PaC.
5. You can use it to harass your enemy champ while farming by getting in range to hit minions next to them.
Later game, it's really nice against enemy groups - get in range of their point man, whack him as he's retreating and watch the whole group get hit with an AoE + a slow. Great for pressure, great for helping your team dive into multiple enemies, great for making enemy pursuers have a tougher time getting after you, great for farming.
Stacked Deck: Holy hell this is an awesome ability. First off, you look awesome: cards rotating around your chest? People see it and know you mean to kick some ***. Secondly, while we cannot apply Stacked Deck hits to turrets anymore, it does boost Blue Card damage - which helps. What does Stacked Deck ultimately do for us?
1. It boosts our attack speed by 6 / 12 / 18 / 24 / 30% . Oh my god, it's like they knew!
2. Cooldown reduction of 3 / 6 / 9 / 12 / 15% - more Pick a Card and Destiny using. Awesome.
3. Bonus Damage: 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 / 210 every fourth hit (aka the hit after the cards rotate around you.)
And they apply to Pick a Card. Slap that bonus damage onto your PaC, and if the PaC crits? Man you're going to ream your enemy hard. It makes your Blue Card replenish your mana like crazy, it makes your red card obliterate minion mobs, and it makes someone stunned by your gold card feel pessimistic about their future. Furthermore, thanks to the fact you'll be attacking faster than hell, you'll see that bonus damage again.. and again.. and again.. and again..
DESTINY/Destiny's Gate: Combo ability and your ultimate. First, you use Destiny, which makes every enemy champ, even stealthed players, show for 6 seconds. Then for those 6 seconds, you have yourself Gate, which is a 1.5 second warp -anywhere- on the map you select. I'm not kidding. You can warp into the enemy base if you so choose.
First off, this makes Twitch, Teemo, Evelyn, Shaco, etc. shudder. Second off, this makes people who go off on their own shudder. This makes people who think they got away shudder. In general, it is a fear inducing ability.
I see someone with low HP hugging a lower health turret? You can kiss both of them goodbye in one run. A Warwick's killing neutral monsters? Thanks for all the free buffs buddy, say hi to Urf the Manatee for me! Enemy team is hounding yours in a group skirmish? I think I'll just Gate on over to one of their weaker turrets and obliterate it, which usually makes 2+ of their ranks run on over, in which case I'm already long gone. I see I'm about to get ganked from every possible side imaginable? Nope. G'bye.
Note: anyone who tells you "DESTINY ISN'T FOR KILLING" is bad, and you should immediately ignore them. Now, with Stacked Deck not working on turrets, Twisted Fate back-dooring the base isn't as profitable.. until late game. Then, Gate on in with a ward, let your enemy team teleport on in (god forbid you have a Shen), and watch the enemy team rage and QQ in All Chat, then on the forums.
Really, the value of Destiny & Destiny's Gate has no limit. Flanking, ganking, escaping, obliterating, salivating, IZ GEWD. But one more thing to keep in mind. You know those champs who manage to get into their base with no health?
They feel secure in their base. They feel "home sweet home!" They feel like they weathered the storm.
Nothing, bar none, makes them ragequit faster than to Gate in right in front of the spawn platform and kill them as they're mere inches from salvation. It's risky, but ******** it is worth it; it almost always cinches me a ragequit, in which case I just single handedly made the game 5v4. Ahhhh.
Usually, you want to start with a Doran's Shield/Blade and a Health Potion. This'll keep you going in the early ~ mid game, since you needn't worry about your mana if you keep up on it. Twisted is powerful, but also on the squishy side; Doran's Shield/Blade is a welcome early game boon.
Soon as you got enough cash and you feel you can get away to nab it, I recommend Merc Treads or Ninja Tabi depending on your enemy team. (More DPS, Tabi. Casters or CC, Treads.) Only go for Berserker if you're face-rolling the enemy team utterly.
If you're facing a team with stealth players, I'd recommend nabbing an Oracle at some point. Hell, if you're facing a Teemo with Mushrooms, do it - easily regained gold, and that way you don't run into any embarrassing deaths. And if you're ganking extra hard in the beginning and got the spare cash, an Elixir of Agility is something to keep in mind - gigantic crit chance boost and attack speed boost for 4 minutes that persists through death? Yes please.
1. Zeal. If you're back in spawn and aren't closer to 1.8k, get Zeal, then your boots. Zeal is just a nice item period. If however, you get some nice early kills and are harassing well enough to farm decent, don't hesitate to go BF Sword. An early game Bloodthirster can make your enemies cry "OP."
2. After Doran/Zeal/Boots/maybe Bloodthirster, you wanna go for Youmuu's Ghostblade. Avarice Blade > Brutalizer > Blade. Put this in your first item slot so you can hit the 1 key to proc it when need be. You may ask "is this worth it?"
+30 attack damage, +15% crit chance, 20 armor pen, 15% Cooldown reduction (remember Stacked Deck? With this, you can damn near hit the cooldown reduction cap with absolute ease.) Then, its unique:
"UNIQUE - Gives 20% movement speed and +50% attack speed for 4 seconds. Attacking enemy units with melee attacks increases the duration by 2 to a maximum of 8 seconds. 60 second cooldown."
It's like mini-ghost with super attack speed bonus. Pop it to help get away, or to help destroy an enemy, or to help crush a turret. Good item.
3. Phage is usually a good choice to nab after Ghostblade. Slow on hit is pretty, ask Ashe.
4. Wit's End, Last Whisper, Madred's Bloozrazor, Executioner's Calling. Keep these four items in mind. Wit's End is a solid choice against a heavy caster/tank comp, Last Whisper is plain awesome more than half the time against any team but especially against armor heavy teams, Madred's Bloodrazor is great against high HP opponents and generally good, and Executioner's Calling against health restoring/health regen teams plus your Ignite is flat out death. They're all good items.. which depend heavily on who your enemies are, and depend heavily on when you should get them.
5. Infinity Edge. +80 damage, you sold me. +20% crit chance, cool. 250% crit damage, holy damned hell sold.
Once you get later game, sell your Doran's Shield/Blade if you need that extra gold or if you need the item slot.
6. Sometimes you'll wanna ditch the Zeal and Phage for other items. Sometimes you'll wanna upgrade them to Phantom Dancer and Frozen Hammer respectively. Play it by ear.
7. Stark's Fervor is a viable item, especially if you're going around team-mates a lot rather than solo ganking a lot. If, god help you, you find yourself having to lane as TF rather than solo mid, definitely nab it.
1. Sword of The Divine seems cool.. but I really only recommend it on HIGH HIGH dodge compositions, like a Jax/Yi. Even just a Yi or just a Jax may not necessitate it, because it doesn't help as much as you think. Those 5 seconds of guaranteed hit sound nice, except a smart Jax'll get you by minions who'll he'll dodge, or by your team-mates who'll get him to dodge, making your SoTD a waste of gold. And since the 4th hit effect doesn't apply to turrets anymore..
2. Trinity Force is a must-have for a hybrid/AP build, but it's just not cost effective for you. That's because, as the item's name implies, it's an all-around item.. and you're not an all-around build, or an all-around champion.
3. Don't ever get Malady. It looks cool, but let's review what you get out of it:
2040 gold for 50% attack speed, 15% lifesteal. (The attack speed is what fools new players, that's not of a total, that's of what you currently have, Last Whisper is far better.) Unique: Physical attack inflicts target with a debuff that causes any champion physical attacks to the target will be increased by 5 bonus damage. Stacks 6 times. (Very small damage buff.)
2550 gold for Stark's Fervor: +20% Attack Speed, then an aura that applies to both yourself and your nearby teammates which gives 20% Lifesteal, another 20% Attack Speed, and 30 Health per 5 seconds regenerated. Also reduces nearby enemies' Armor by 20, it's 510 more gold for a vastly superior item.
Malady's never a good choice. There is always a superior option for you.
4. Berserker Greaves.. I know their allure. I do. But as you play more, you'll find you run into CC (stuns, taunts, etc.) ..ALL the time. 40% reduced duration of those is a life-saver, and the magic resist on Merc Treads is also killer. Ninja Tabi's dodge compounding with your Zeal, plus that armor, is pretty damned pro. Berserker Greaves however, just don't benefit you too much because you shouldn't have an issue with attack speed at any point. Only get them if you are raping souls outright, in which case you may not need the other two boots - but don't be arrogant, that's not gonna happen often.
ABILITY POWER & HYBRID
Personal preference, but obviously I make no priority on obtaining AP or trying to create a Hybrid. I feel this build ultimately hits that much harder after the first second, downs turrets and buildings faster, keeps your neutral buffs current faster, and performs better. Obviously, your mileage, Elo, team composition, etc. will vary, but that's my take on it.
High Priority Targets
Turrets & Inhibitors. You are the man with Blue Card when it comes to destroying inhibitors and ninja-capping low HP turrets.
Warwick. They usually jungle, meaning long as you play your cards right (huhrpun), they should be easy ganking & easy picking - and then bam, you not only got experience and gold, but all the buffs they so courteously collected for you in one convenient package! A serious time saver, which also usually makes the Warwick mad (thus, they go after a now-stronger you, which usually turns out poorly for them.)
Anyone with low health. Watch for baiting, and use common sense, but really - you can make double and triple kills happen others could only dream of.
Enemy Twisted Fates. You get the drop on a TF, they're squishy. And you'll most of the time have the edge on AP TFs, which are sadly still very common.
Ryze & Twitch. Where your team-mates may QQ like fools, once you learn to play TF well, these guys are free food for you unless your team fed them to the umpteenth degree. On that note, try not to let that happen.
Solo-mid Katarina with Shunpo. Done right and runed right, man this is a difficult opponent. Nowhere else have I ever had an issue with her, but in this scenario, you may need to play it defensively if they're aggressive & good; it can be painful.
"Just walk away!"
You underestimate how squishy TF is. You may not get the chance -to- run away. Still, done right, you'll shred her.
Zilean. Just having him on the enemy team necessitates you go into full-blown aggressive ganking mode, no exceptions. Otherwise, the enemy team's 8% EXP bonus will really make things difficult overall (they can't farm when they're dead, clearly.) Highly recommend against playing passively in this situation, at any point.
Teemo is your bane in solo mid. A good one, anyway. No, you can definitely smash him, but he has a natural Exhaust effect which applies to your Pick-a-Cards, and usually nabs Exhaust to boot.
Note, you don't need to solo-mid as TF with this build, this build works just as well in side lanes. But preferably, try to solo mid when you can.
Sivir: She can be irritating at first encounter. First off, stand to the side of your minions (you'll get used to the distance needed so you don't get ganked/don't lose minion EXP) so you can still attack enemy minions, but not get flicked at by her Ricochet toggle. I hate repeating myself, but you're squishy: getting whacked by auto-attacks non-stop, even at diminished damage, can be problematic. Her Spiral Blade gets easier to dodge as you get used to her; I usually type in chat "YOU AIN'T RICHTER BELMONT" after she misses the first nine times, but I digress.
Ryze: Hahaha. When they changed his snare, I couldnt've laughed harder. Yeah, he can ream you, but you can ream him that little bit harder which'll snowball into Ryze being your candy. Remember: now you can harm him while he's in snare.
Twitch: Be aggressive. Oracle Elixir is highly recommended. Just keep widdling away at him until you think you can smash him with one Gold Card - Ignite - (if need be) Flash - PaC with auto-attacks between rush, and enjoy dominance on him so long as you play it cool. A starved Twitch is great. His only super dangerous quality early game is Expunge, watch for it.
Teemo: Not as high priority for Oracle, but I still recommend it due to his mushrooms and Camouflage. His Toxic Shot and Noxious Trap.. sssuuuucccckkk. I've rarely died to a Teemo 1v1, yet I've felt painful deaths long after I've gotten away from his damage over time abilities. To top it, his Blinding Dart is painful to us especially, since our Pick A Cards can miss. Combo that with Exhaust, he can be deadly.. but not unattainable by any means. Red Card minions by him to keep the pressure up, destroy his mushrooms for easy bonus gold and to make sure you don't get hit by Noxious Trap, and you should get him down.
Twisted Fate: IT'S YOU! Except usually AP, which means they'll usually do worse than you early game. I hate being that way, but it's true - you can get aggressive if they're bad, or just pressure them so you hit 6 first, recall for some item buying, then Gate behind them and blitz them down in one fell swoop. Whoever gets the drop and maintains the pressure better, wins. And you get used to my build right, that'll be you. THERE'S TWO JOKERS IN THE DECK, them and their player. Show them this.
Karthus: Come in from irregular angles, and red card often, then dip to the side rather than retreat backwards. Lay Waste will rarely if ever hit you if you get used to it, and even when it does, given your minions'll be nearby, it should very rarely ever hit you and you alone, making it deal pretty shoddy damage. Obviously watch out for Requiem when you're low health [unless the moron does it in your reach, then stun him during the 3 second Channeling for food.] Really an easy to handle solo-mid champ for you.
Ashe: Ah, Ashe. Get used to her Volley Shot range, and push for a PaC application before & after it since it has a 20 second cooldown. You should have this so long as you play it cool; the only issue will come when she gets her ultimate, so try to have Flash up when she's about level 6 and provided you're nearby her, just in case she tries to blitz you down with it in one fell swoop. It'll deal pretty lethal damage on you and stun you, and though the stun duration won't be its cross-map max, she'll then jump in to smash you with arrows while slowing you - a lethal combination especially at this stage. If you can't dodge it manually, dodge it with teleporters in your feet (which is what I assume Flash is). Hell yeah. Watch for her trying to slow you to set you up for a gank, and she's food.
Shaco: Bares mentioning. Believe it or not, he can be a damned potent solo-mid. Get that Oracle Elixir and smash his soul in. When he Deceives, gold card him. Done right, you can flat out negate his Deceive duration, which will make that Shaco angry. Watch out for Jack in the Box; smash 'em from max range when possible, getting feared mid-fight can make for easy Backstab application for the Shaco. When he's 6 and can Hallucinate, Red Card & back away unless the true Shaco's lower health, then immediately about-face and try to blitz the real deal down. Red Cards are damned effective on this, as it'll slow the fleeing true Shaco down, making easy picking.
Heimerdinger: Try to Red Card multiple turrets and him if possible. Remember: yeah, his rockets and his Concussion Grenade are painful, but a Hemerdinger without turrets up is a sad, sad man with a mustache. If you can get a good push on him to where there's few-no turrets up, go for gold and try outright pushing him back. He can't set his turrets up in the right proximity, man is he screwed. What good is his UPRADE!!! ultimate, if his turrets are behind~the side of his mid turret because you're an aggressive jerk? Read up on his Evolution Turret mechanics, and you'll get him.
Tristana: Rocket Jump is your main menace; show her you also have a long-range attack that slows. RED CARD RED CARD RED CARD- her main draw is making herself go "WEE" towards or away you, and with her Ultimate, making you go where she likes. Don't let her play you, you're the cardmaster. She tries that ****, Gold Card you and calmly walk where you wish to go while whacking her. They usually can't resist trying to Rocket Jump past you and then using their ultimate to knock you towards the turret, so watch for that strategy and show that little girl Facebook isn't cool.
Ezreal: His skill-shots versus your dodging capabilities are what this boils down to. Learn his range, because if he can consistently bead in on you, you're dead - if you can consistently get out of harm's away and counter attack, he's very dead.
Blitzcrank: Rocket Grab Arm of Doom is your big fear point here. I recommend keeping one minion ahead of yourself while attacking. You do that and keep doing that, you have the constant range advantage. Annoy him like hell with it.
Pantheon: Get used to his Heartseeker, CC, harass, walk back. You should be able to out-farm him until he gets desperate and goes for a turn-around kill on you, no real sweat - but don't underestimate his Heartseeker's damage.
There are other solo-mid champions, for sure. But these are your most common (Fiddle usually prefers solo'ing a side-lane or I'd include him.)
Trap Card NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
That's about it for now. I hope this guide's of some use to you. Props to Benedryl Jackson for setting me on my way as a beginner, Riot for making the game, Jack of Hearts for being gangster.