Twisted Fate Build Guide by csocsu
Not Updated For Current Season
Camper on Top Lane
Twisted Fate Build
Rush when you can
Example Full Item Build #1
Example Full Item Build #2
Not Updated For Current Season
Introduction & Pros / Cons
In the competitive meta today, top laners running teleport are the norm.
One reason for this is that certain objectives have become very snowbally by nature. Dragon buffs now stack and often given balanced team comps getting 5 stack dragons = free win. Similarly for Baron, the buff now allows a team to push and take down towers a lot more effectively, hence if one team consistently loses control of one of the global objectives, the game can very quickly get out of control.
In general however, top lane teleport has been entering the mainstream in the west from Korea where it has been popular for a while - Looper was famous for his teleports in season 4 for example. Early skirmishes and team fights can often result in the trasferring of 1000s of gold from one team to another - these team fights especially if they occur during the laning phase can dictate what happens for the rest of the game entirely. Timely teleports can guarantee that gold is transferred to your team or prevent the opposite from occuring, and also as pointed out before they also allow better objective control in general.
Teleports essentially can give your team a numbers advantage for a short time allowing you to turn the tide or tip the power balance and result in gains. While your opponent top laner running flash/ignite is stuck farming a minion wave, a player with a teleport could teleport to a ward near dragon join a fight that results in 4 kills for his team by tipping the tide of the fight with numbers advantage.
Blah blah blah, essentially top laners urnning teleport and long range blinks in general can be OP if used well, snowballing your team, preventing the opposite, securing objectives.
TF is a champion that can tip the balance consistently given his ultimate given his long range blink ultimate, and hence he can be strong when played top lane, particularly if the enemy doesn't run a teleport, for the reasons outlined before.
Note that top lane is called an island because there are no significant objectives there. Dragon is contested throughout the game, baron only comes into play late game. Hence, top laners are left to fend for themselves. The distance from top lane to Dragon means that supposing both top laners don't take teleport, dragon will be fought over 4 vs 4 without the top laners. One of them with a teleport means it'll end up 5 vs 4.
Only trying to stress why it is that top laners are the ones running teleport and no one else. It is because they are usually far away from the big game changing team fights - as usually said fights occur over dragon, bot lane or mid lane.
When done well he can be a very fun and rewarding champion to play. Of course though, he won't always be the best champion to play. He has pros/cons in general, some of them are:
1) Can win games by camping all the lanes.
2) Global map presence and pressure being able to go to where he is needed yet as he has 2 long distance blinks, he can still stop his towers from going down.
3) His ganks supposing he times them right are easy to do effectively given his hard CC gold stun card.
3) His gold card 2.5 second point and click stun can have a 3 second cooldown with 40% cdr, hence he has that easy to use hard CC that is so required to shut down some assassin type champions and consistently be able to peel for his carries.
3) Can provide AP damage if your team comp lacks it.
4) His ultimate shows the positions of all the enemy team members allowing your team to not get caught out as much (e.g. enemy team sneaking a baron).
5) Can be difficult to gank and tower dive given his stun, and can always blink back to defend tower if he does die not missing as much.
6) His blinks are OP if the enemy top laner doesn't have the teleport summoner spell.
7) His waveclear and mana usage is manageable and further his passive results in him gaining more gold by default, hence if played well even if he is forced to play overly passive he can still defend his lane and keep up with his opponent laner.
1) His laning can be rough given how squishy he is by default, and against a lot of opponents he has to play passive unless the tf player is skilled; played poorly he will easily die and be a liability for his team.
2) He can be difficult to gank because of his gold card, but if his gold card is down, then he will instead be a free kill with enough enemies.
3) Just because he can gank other lanes doesn't mean the player will find the right time to do so to snowball his lanes (and before the enemy lanes get snowballed and his actions backfire) - to play him well requires a lot of map awareness.
4) If his team lacks tanks he likely has to build full tank but that also means his damage is mediocre as his base damages aren't that high and unlike other tanks his team fight presence won't be the greatest, that is he will struggle if he is the only front line - i.e. he has very little AOE damage and disruptive CC - e.g. Sion q and ulti, Zac e and ulti, Maokai; he can stun a single target but what if there are multiple damage threats he has to handle at the same time? He essentially can struggle to zone as much as other super tanks, hence in certain team comps that require such a thing, he might not be the best champ to play.
5) If he is built slightly tanky, rather than full blown AP and magic pen (e.g. lich bane first item), and his team mates all fall behind he will often not have the consistent damage or burst to carry his team mates because he is cooldown reliant and his skills have mediocre base damages but high scaling (meaning they are good only if u build a lot of damage).
6) His port ganks can easily backfire and snowball the enemy team instead hence he is a very high risk high reward champion.
In general, Twisted Fate top lane is a high risk high reward champion that can reward those who can abuse his global map presense and ganking ability to snowball his lanes and secure objectives.
He is as effective as he is able to make use of his long range blinks.
This guide suggests ways to maximise on the OP factors of his kit and diminish drawbacks.
Top lane is an island so if even if you are currently "winning" against your opponent laner, your aggression can often backfire and result in a pulled off gank by the enemy jingler - this can then easily mean you lose your turret for free, or your enemy snowballs against you.
TF especially if you don't build full damage will struggle to exert kill pressure on the enemy laner in the first place - his base damages are low hence he needs AP and addative damage like lich banes procs to do damage, but if you are building slightly tanky, then his damage will end up mediocre because he cannot rely on his base damages.
If your enemy gets snowballed against you because of your over-aggresion, then there will be little chance of you to be able to pressure him at all after that by default.
I am suggesting essentially that there's very little for a TF player to gain by being over-aggresive (at least pre-9 before he gets the ward upgrade) particularly early game.
If you believe you can get kills you probably ought to, but to get whittled down trading with the opponent exhausting mana and so on is not optimal. Not only will that make you an easy target for ganks, you will also struggle to pull of ganks when the opportunities arise - you won't have the mana to pull off a combo to finish off the enemy when you port mid lane for example, or you will port bot lane with 1/2 hp and end up giving the enemy adc a kill.
TF top lane wins by default if he is allowed to passively farm and keep lane slightly pushed. His passive gives him extra gold hence given even farm he will already be ahead, and a slightly pushed wave means that he will be able to look for opportunities to gank with less pressure, do so and return without his towers not taking much damage.
When to tele/When not to tele
You could go very in-depth into this, considering team compositions and individual champion "power-spikes" and so on, for example Rumble is a very strong top laner and becomes a very strong mid game champion after a couple of low cost items. One way to prevent a Rumble on the enemy team from having much of a influence on a game is to constantly gank him and shut him down - forcing him to get his items later in the game reducing the time during which his damage and skill set is "strong". The game could statistically end before he gets his "power-spike".
I won't be doing such an in-depth analysis but I encourage you to do so at least slightly before the game even starts.
Some simpler things to consider when considering that sort of problem is "who snowballs the most on my team" and "who snowballs the most on the enemy team?". Who would be good to shut down on the enemy team, and who would benefit from your ganks on your team?
Also, who is "easy" to gank? An enemy mid laner with no dashes vs a high mobile assasin?
It is also important to recognise that mid lane is in perfect range for TF to reach with just his ultimate, to reach bot lane he is forced to use his teleport from top lane. His ultimate has a significantly lower cooldown than the summoner spell teleport. This is also why he is used mainly in mid lane as that allows both top and bot lane to be within range of his ultimate.
*** Irrelevant stuff
In this guide TF is a supportive global presence top laner that takes advantage of timing windows to turn the tides of team fights far from top lane. I won't be arguing about whether just because he can be considered to be a mid laner by default, he shouldn't be played top lane at all (I would suggest that he isn't actually a strong mid laner currently because teams require certain things from a mid laner, and other champions can provide those things much more effectively; (note. the things top laners are required to do is more diverse because support and jungler can offer them)).
In general however that the best way to play TF top lane in terms of ganks, is to gank as much as possible and early on as it seems right.
By doing so, 1) you can ensure a potential snowball on one of your lanes before the enemy jungler and/or luck makes it so the enemy team snowballs on that lane, 2) you can always attempt dragon with your numbers advantage after porting mid or bot lane and it fails which is a reasonable trade for damage to your tower and loss of some cs (note that probably of winning games after securing first dragon was around 70% or something (leagueofgraphs.com); correlation, causation ???).
If you do not use them early enough you won't have as much of an impact later on as the lanes may have already been snowballed out of control (e.g. enemy jungler ganked bot and enemy adc got double kill on your teams adc). When you gank, it will be more akin to prevent the snowball from snowballing futher, than creating your own snowball.
There is no one single strategy that can allow you to win games via porting consistently 100% of the time, instead here are some things I attempt to do all the time.
1) Try and teleport bot lane or mid before 6 - if it succeds attempt dragon, if it fails attempt dragon. Early game damage on your turret will be minimal because early game turrets have damage taken reductions which fall off later in the game.
2) As soon as you hit 6 look for opportunities to gank mid lane and do so as soon as you can. Don't hold onto it.
3)When dragon is up there will probably be a fight, hence be ready to port during those times. Especially if your opponent top laner is running teleport. When it comes to teleports, if you come too late it's gg.
4) If the enemy top laner ports and it's too late for you to join, be sure to pressure if not take the top tower. TF can take towers down reasonably fast given his w works on towers.
5) If your team snowballs, be constantly looking to port and not give the enemy a chance to catch up - after early game, you will have distortion boots probably lucidity and at least 30% cdr thanks to scaling cdr runes; you will be able to constantly gank so don't believe you have to hold onto to it for a better time because at least one of your ports will likely be up then. Further, the enemy top laner will be playing more passively by now as your team wlil be exerting more pressure in general so you can take the time to scan the map more closely.
6) If you team falls behind, if you already have tanks be more careful about your ports so as to not feed them further, instead look for good ganks where the enemy mispositions themsevles - and in soloQ they likely will. In general though, you should be playing defensive, attempt to help cover towers when the enemy groups up to push down, and stall the game out and hope they make mistakes.