Twisted Fate Build Guide by Trojan995
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Not Updated For Current Season
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I didn't know where else to put this, so I'd put this here.
AP Cardmaster is still viable, despite the ultimate nerfs.
Why? Because he's the best at what he does. (within reason)
A quick evaluation:
- Twisted fate has among the best AP poke in the game. Some might say that Disintegrate is a poke, but that's nothing compared to twisted fate. Wild Cards do MASSIVE damage at a long range, and they're AoE to boot (not only are 3 cards tossed, but 1 card can hit an infinite number of enemies). Probably the only poke that can truly compare to twisted fate's cards is nidalee's spears. Both Wild Cards and javelin toss/takedown are fantastic for damaging enemies under their turret, which very few AP carries can do without possible retaliation (oh yeah, you think you can use your 700 range poke to hit that Cho'Gath? WELL WHAT ABOUT Rupture???).
- Twisted fate has a spammable stun. This is not exclusive to twisted fate, but it's a virtue that very few AP carries have. If you account for picking the card, it has a ~6 second cooldown. I'm not going to sugar coat it and pretend it's #1 stun in the game, but it's definitely a potent aspect of his kit.
- Twisted fate is simply the best AP backdoor there is. Teleport in -> Lich Bane proc until the tower is down -> Destiny out. Simple, effective, awesome.
So, all this added together makes twisted fate not the #1 AP carry of the month, but it does put him in league with many other viable AP carry champions.
The best summoner spell in the game, this makes you a monster of a champion. You can Flash to get away, Flash over walls, or Flash to get within range of Pick A Card: gold for a killing combo. Great summoner spell because it kicks ***.
Teleport: This is great to augment twisted fate's split pushing abilities. Since he can no longer Destiny into a good split push situation, it's best to Teleport in and then Destiny out.
Optional Summoner Spells:
Ghost: The combo of ghost/flash gives twisted fate a lot of mobility that he needs. This combo will be overall better for team fights and such, but your split pushing abilities will suffer significantly.
This makes your burst combo stronger early game, so that you can Flash within range, Pick A Card: gold, and then Ignite/ Wild Cards for the kill. This makes your laning phase better. Take this when split-pushing is not a core strategy for the game/team comp you're playing
Row 1: I take 4 points in Mental Force because it's the only AP-oriented mastery in this row.
Row 2: I take 4 points in Sorcery to get to the next tier. Also, the only AP-oriented mastery in this row.
Row 3: I take 1 point in Archaic Knowledge because oh my god is 10% spell pen good, especially for 1 mastery point. Soopah cool. I put 3 points in Havoc because a 1.5% boost to damage is better than boosts to AD.
Row 4: I get 4 points in Blast because 18 AP isn't bad late-game, especially with the rabadon's boost. Also, the only AP-oriented mastery in this row.
Row 5: I get 4 points in Archmage because a 5% boost stacks with your rabadon's, and then late game it gives you lots of AP. Also, the only AP-oriented mastery in this row.
Row 6: I get 1 points in Executioner because, while this doesn't help as much as the old havoc, it does help a significant amount.
In General: I get 21 points in offense because the options in utility for mages now are pretty mediocre. The options in offense are pretty good.
Row 1: I take 3 points in Expanded Mind because the mana is helpful, whereas the reduced death time will only be marginally useful. I take 1 point in Summoner's Insight because it helps both Flash and Teleport.
Row 2: I take 4 points in Swiftness because Meditation might be useful in lane, but the move speed will benefit TF far more in the long run.
Row 3: I take 1 point in Runic Affinity because TF is a candidate for blue buff, and it's always useful to have longer-lasting buffs.
In General: I go 9 points into utility because the move speed, buff duration, and a bit of mana are going to benefit TF more than the resistances provided in the lower tiers of defense.
Second Sight: This is a good passive, mostly because it gives everyone on your team enough gold to buy a few wards. More map awareness means more win, amirite?
Wild Cards: Your main damage dealer, this gives great poke at long range. There's not much more to say about this.
- The range is longer than tower range, so hit enemies under their tower with this.
- This activates Lich Bane proc, so throw the cards randomly while damaging towers.
Pick a Card: many skills in one, this has varied uses.
- Draw gold for epic combo kill.
- Red actually isn't that great - some say it's good for clearing minion waves, but usually I like to draw blue to keep my mana up, and use Wild Cards to clear them instead (since if you draw red, you're probably using red + wild cards combo anyways).
- Blue is great for harassing and last hitting.
- Blue does the most damage to towers.
- Draw Pick A Card: blue as often as possible while in lane for either last hitting (keeps mana up) or harassing. Harassing with blue is pretty hard considering your AA range, but it's not impossible.
- Usually when you're just attacking a champ for damage (in the heat of a battle), you'll want to just slam the PAC button and hit them with whatever card you draw. However, try your best to draw gold when you're in a more calculated battle, or when you're about to engage and you have time to focus on which card you'll draw.
Stacked Deck: this skill is okay, but it's not exactly a major component of your kit. It's still useful, though.
- Auto attack enemies as much as possible to get that 4th proc in the middle of battle, but don't sacrifice positioning for it. You can attack from afar with Wild Cards, so only move in to AA range when it's safe.
- You can time the proc in lane to match up with Pick A Card: gold for major burst harass on the enemy.
Destiny: Recently nerfed, this teleport only reaches 5500 units, or almost from mid to side lanes. Use sparingly now, since it doesn't reach far.
- To gank, just walk into the river a ways and teleport behind the enemy.
- Have Pick A Card: gold ready before you port.
- Try to teleport in front of the enemy, but not too far ahead. If you teleport right next to them, the enemy will be out of gold card range by the time you port in. If you teleport too far ahead of the enemy, they'll just take a different path. Try to take the middle road, so that you lead the enemy's movements but you don't make them change direction. In short - land that gold card!
- Don't hesitate to use it for the reveal in crucial situations; sometimes it's necessary to see the enemy for a perfect initiate/counter initiate.
- You can still backdoor/gank with your ultimate, just not nearly as well.
- Be sure to mouse over the skill before activating, so you can see the range (and if you can teleport to where you'd like to land).
- Nearing the end of a teamfight, you can catch the runners by teleporting in front of them, kind of like a less predictable but more free-willed Paranoia. When you target an enemy with Paranoia, you dash to that enemy directly, and will always hit them. When you try to use Destiny to engage a running enemy, you can't predict with 100% accuracy where the enemy will end up - will they Flash, or double back to avoid you? Possibly, so the engagement itself is unpredictable. However, the free will comes from being able to land wherever you want, and not just on an enemy.
I start with Pick A Card for 2 reasons:
- gold card is best for level 1 team fights
- blue card keeps mana topped off, while you'll run out of mana fast with level 1 Wild Cards.
After that I max Wild Cards because it's my main damage dealing ability, and will give crazy lane dominance every time you land it.
I max Pick A Card after that because Stacked Deck isn't as useful as PAC.
I max Stacked Deck last because it's the least potent of TF's spells.
Marks: I get Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x9 because Q, W, and E all deal magic damage. I get all my damage from spells, so this bolsters my damage most of any marks.
With Sorcerer's Shoes, you'll be penetrating about 28-29 magic resist (depends on if the number rounds up or down), which is just about how much base magic resist most champions have (usually 30). This should give you enough magic penetration to last until your void staff (which is later). People will probably buy magic resist before then.
Seals: I get greater seal of replenishment x9 because despite getting lots of mana (from Banshee's Veil and Lich Bane), we have no mana regen. This gives us a leg up early game, and makes it so that you don't have to hit blue cards so often, especially during a team fight.
Glyphs: I get Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power x9 because more AP is more good. Flat and scaling AP glyphs even out really early, so I prefer these.
Quints: Like the glyphs, I get Greater Quintessence of Ability Power x3 for lots of early game damage. AP quints are among the best caster runes one can take. Early game damage can make such a difference during the laning phase, especially against non-sustain champions that you will often be facing off against during mid - force an enemy to go back once and you can deal loads of damage to their tower. Do it a second time, you might be able to take the tower. These are superior to 2nd choice quints Greater Quintessence of Health because we'll be buying Catalyst the Protector ASAP, so health quints will be substantially useful for a much shorter period than AP quints will.
Boots of Speed: Buying boots to start gives you a few advantages over the enemy. Firstly, it gives you a quick way to get boots-2 early in the game. Secondly, it gives you the ability to buy 3 Health Potions, which gives you more sustain in lane than most other combinations ( Cloth Armor + 5 gives more, but cloth armor isn't as useful in lane). Lastly, it gives you an advantage over your enemy when you harass - moving in to hit the enemy with Pick A Card will be easier, and likewise running from harass/ganks will be better.
Catalyst the Protector: Buying this is a quick and easy way to get defense (through health), mana, and sustain. Sustain comes from 2 sources: first, the bonus mana/health pool, which means you can take more hits and use more spells before you run out, and the passive, which regenerates mana and health when you level up. This means that Catalyst will be great for keeping Twisted Fate in lane, and it'll provide enough defense for a long time to come.
Sorcerer's Shoes: Great shoes that will make your burst combo burst for more. These boots + runes make you deal true damage to any enemy without MR. They simply make your early game better.
Sheen: More AP - cool. More mana - cool. 100% of base AD proc on hit - HOLY **** THAT'S AWESOME!! Makes your Pick A Card cards deal OMGWTF crazy damage, and you'll take down towers faster too. We won't upgrade this to Lich Bane until we have lots of AP to make sure the ~2000 gold upgrade is worth the money.
Rabadon's Deathcap: Most AP you can get out of any item, this will give all your abilities more damage (we liek, yesssss?), and gives you enough AP to make Lich Bane deal substantial damage.
Lich Bane: The 100% of AP proc is why we buy this. It's pretty cool that it comes with MR and move speed too. Your Pick A Card cards will now be dealing explosive damage, and you'll be the best AP tower-downer this game's ever seen. Now you're the cool cat, Throw those gold cards and watch them weep.
Void Staff: Not much AP, but we'll still be dealing more damage. The 40% spell pen means you'll deal more damage against high-MR targets, and the enemy can't just buy more and more MR to counter you (they can, but it won't be nearly effective enough).
Don't get any of the other MPen/MReduction items. Your only other options are Haunting Guise which is really only good in a few situations, and Abyssal Scepter whose aura doesn't reach as far as Wild Cards, so it won't be penetrating anything special (lol).
Mercury's Treads: More defense. Why? Because now that we have % spell pen, we don't need flat spell pen. We get rid of Sorcerer's Shoes, and we buy Mercury's Treads. Now CC won't get you down as much as before, and you'll have more MR (though you had enough already).
Banshee's Veil: Now's about time for defense, dont'cha think? I think so. BV gives MR (Twisted Fate naturally has higher base armor than base MR), and the health is a nice addition too. The mana makes my life easier, and it's nothing to scoff at, but that's not why we buy this item. The spell shield is amazing; however, there are times when it's popped by really trivial spells that we wish would have never popped the shield. Still, great defense item.
OPTIONAL: Guardian Angel: If you need armor more than MR, and you don't mind having less mana (shouldn't be too much of a problem if you draw blues a lot), then this item is better than BV. The revive means that you can fight longer and win clutch fights without risking too much.
ALSO OPTIONAL: Quicksilver Sash: great against heavy magic teams or heavy CC teams, get this when you need a cleanse.
Zhonya's Hourglass: This will finally give twisted fate more armor, and the most AP you can buy in one non-rabadon's item (short of Archangel's Staff, but that's different). The stasis is surprisingly amazing; it's perfect for counter-initiates. Chances are, if the enemy initiates on a Rupture or Curse of the Sad Mummy, they're going to try and pile all the damage and CC that they can onto you. If you can pop stasis when you have the chance (read: between CC's), then you can bide time just long enough for your tank to start doing his job. Then you can reposition after the enemy has blown all their CC on someone else. Awesome, yesss? Yes.
Be sure to use this in the best of times. Good examples are when you dip into dangerous range to gold card stun the enemy, and you're about to get bombarded with a bunch of stuff - Pillar of Flame, for example - just pop that sucker and wait out cooldowns and allies.
OPTIONAL: Rylai's Crystal Scepter: A different kind of defense, almost as much AP, but lots of utility - get this when you don't want stasis, but instead want kiting/chasing power.
There's two ways to lane that will affect your late game. Here they are:
Defensive laning is the general build I use here. Here's the pros/cons for using this over the offense build:
+ Better for split-pushing late game
+ Faster Lich Bane IF you manage to farm well
+ More sustain in lane
+ Easier to dodge skill shots with Boots of Speed
+ Easier to land pick-a-cards with Boots of Speed
- Much harder to beat enemy in lane
- Slower Lich Bane IF you only farm as well as you would have with offense build, due to the early Catalyst the Protector
- Squishier until you get Catalyst the Protector
- Less damage until Rabadon's Deathcap
The reason I use this as my main build, as opposed to the offensive build, is because Twisted Fate shines most when he gets Lich Bane. You're a damage machine once you get that one item - thus, it makes most sense to itemize early game to be able to farm 24/7 until you can pump out that damage like octomom pumps out children. Most lanes will be farm-fests anyways, even if you take the offense build.
Additionally, taking Teleport helps two-fold: 1. you can farm more, and b. your split-pushing powers are augmented late-game. So, this skill has more late-game potential than it does on other champions.
Offensive is an alternative build I sometimes use for Twisted Fate. Now, why would we want to use an offense build?
+ Stronger in lane
+ Easier to get kills
+ Takes less total gold to get Lich Bane
+ More health very early on
- Less split-pushing late game
- Costs more total gold for entire build
- Less sustain (no potions)
- Between being more aggressive and no Teleport, probably will have less CS
- Probably a slower Lich Bane (less farming) IF you don't manage to destroy enemy in lane
For the offensive laning, you're going to switch your build up a bit.
First of all, take Ignite instead of Teleport. This will give your burst combo more damage early on, and will secure you more kills in the laning phase.
Second, your item build is changed. Instead of the above listed build, we use this for early game:
After that, the build continues normally (resuming with Rabadon's Deathcap after sheen.
So. You're in lane. What do now?
Well, learn Pick A Card first. Why is this?
- If you get into a fight at level 1, you want to BAM! Stun the enemy.
- If you get Wild Cards first, you'll run out of mana. Solve this by using blue cards a lot.
Also, you'll be performing what I like to call "the harass dance" a lot. Here's what I'm talking about:
You go in to harass, Pick A Card gold locked and loaded. The enemy sees this, so they back off. Thus, you back off. But they've got something up their sleeve: they want to harass YOU! So guess what: they move towards you. But you're not a dumbass, you know what you have up their sleeve. So you move away, so they can't hit you. The process repeats when you try to harass again.
So, you've danced the harass tango with your enemy, now what can we do to prevent it?
- First, it's not entirely necessary to prevent. Sometimes you need to test the waters to see what your opponent is willing to do, and how they're playing (are they willing to trade blows? Can you interrupt their last hitting just by moving close to them?). So, if you need to dance, dance!
- Use Wild Cards for harass instead, and blue cards to refill mana.
- Don't even try to use Pick A Card to harass the enemy - 510 range on your auto attacks, where the average mage spell harass is ~600-700 range. You probably won't be able to get frequent PAC hits on the enemy.
- taking Boots of Speed as a first item makes it so that you can approach the enemy easier.
- If you can guarantee a kill, you can Flash - gold card. ONLY do this when you can guarantee a kill; for instance, with Ignite or a jungle gank.
Okay, so we've covered the harass dance. Now, what else is there to mention?
Ah yes - farming!
Farming is important. It gets you gold. Farm a lot.
But seriously, twisted fate gets most of his power from Lich Bane in every respect - damage and split pushing. So, you need to farm to get it. Sadly, there's items that need to come before it - such as Rabadon's Deathcap (because if you buy Lich Bane without any AP beforehand, you're paying 2210 gold for nearly no damage boost). So, twisted fate needs to farm a LOT.
Fortunately, we can sustain the lane! 3 Health Potions keeps your health up, Pick A Card blue keeps your mana up (and gives you a nice last-hit augmentation). Wild Cards can grab multiple last-hits side by side while still hitting the enemy. Teleport makes sure you can get back to lane when you need to recall (if you run out of potions, for instance).
So, moral of the story: farm. a lot. Once you get your Lich Bane, push towers.
Thanks for PsiGuard and wRAthoFVuLK for giving me tips on improving my guide!
Thanks also to JhoiJhoi for her awesome guide-writing guide!
Since I didn't want to make an entire section for one question (will later be expanded), here's the FAQ:
Q: Why is your defensive early game build the main build, and not the offensive build?
A: I didn't want to use the offensive build as a primary build because I figured that if you want a general AP caster, you're going to play someone else. If you're going to take a backdoor monster AP champion, you're going to play Twisted Fate. The defensive build accentuates this better by taking teleport and focusing more on farm (to get to Lich Bane faster), so I decided to use it as the primary.
The offensive build is actually closer to high-risk high-reward, whereas the defensive build is low-risk medium-reward. Lane superiority can be reached rather easily with the defensive build, it just requires taking advantage of sustain over the enemy and fighting a battle of attrition (Twisted Fate's forte) over a battle of burst (though Twisted Fate has strong burst, many champions you're going to go against are just stronger).