Twisted Fate Build Guide by Gh0stP1rate

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Gh0stP1rate

Twisted Fate (Hybrid) - How to Build and How to Play

Gh0stP1rate Last updated on June 29, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Twisted Fate: Death is your Destiny

Welcome to my Hybrid Twisted Fate guide. This guide is all about map awareness, map control, assassinations and teleportations. It starts with high burst magic damage by taking Wild Cards early and then switches to high physical DPS late game with items like Guinsoo's Rageblade and Hextech Gunblade. Twisted Fate is one of my favorite champions to play because of the global threat to all your enemies. Your teammates are never alone; they are always with Twisted Fate.

WARNING: Twisted Fate is hard to play. Pick a Card is a hard skill to use, Wild Cards is a skill shot that costs a lot of mana, Stacked Deck requires watching the counter to ensure maximum burst damage, and his Ultimate requires serious map awareness to be truly effective.

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Pros / Cons

High burst damage early game
High DPS late game
Excellent crowd control (two slows and a stun)
Unrivaled map awareness and control
Excellent mobility (two teleports)
Great Pusher
Easy to two-hit neutral creep camps above level six
High innate cooldown reduction
Cheap item build

Hard to play
Easy to miss-click Pick a Card
Low base attack speed
Low base move speed
Vulnerable to crowd control

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Summoner Spells

I'm pretty inflexible in my summoner spells, but I'll present options beside the ones I like best:

Exhaust is good for Twisted Fate because it slows the opponent's move speed and attack damage, which lets you hit them harder while your Pick a Card stun cools down. Exhaust is better than Ignite because you will deal more damage with your auto-attack during three seconds than Ignite does.

Teleport is a must. Having one teleport (his Ultimate) is good, having two makes you impossible to catch, predict, or counter. You can teleport to wards and mushrooms, so keep that in mind as the game progresses. Placing a ward in a lane with the intent to port back to it later is an unwelcome surprise for the opponent.

Other options:

Ignite doesn't deal enough damage. It's great on spell casters for early game kills, but Exhaust retains usability long into the late game. If several people on your team take Exhaust and none have Ignite, I'd take it to counter heavy healing champions.

Flash is a fine escape or engaging spell. However, you have enough stuns to escape anything but a full team gank, and you have your ultimate to engage or to catch runners.

Ghost is a fine mobility spell, but you don't need the mobility and we'll build plenty of movespeed later.

Clairvoyance only adds to your impressive map awareness, but the same effect can be achieved with some well timed ultimate activations and well placed wards. It will take skill to predict when and where to use each of these alternatives, but it will make you a better player and gives you room for a better summoner spell.

Heal is okay if you are afraid of dying a lot, but I have found that with defensive runes, lifesteal, and a careful playstyle you can eliminate the need for heal as a summoner spell.

The rest of the summoner spells ( , , , , , ) should not even be considered for obvious reasons. Leave a comment if you feel this is seriously in error.

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I've spent a lot of time thinking about runes for TF, and I haven't bought them all already but I'm pretty sure I know what I like.

Greater Mark of Desolation Nine of these marks give you 15 armor penetration which gives you a lot more early game presence when auto-attacking enemies. You'll get 15% spell penetration from your mastery trees so there is no need to get more from your runes.

Greater Seal of Regeneration Nine of these give you 18 health regeneration per 5 seconds at level 18. The reason I've chosen these over Greater Seal of Vigor is because at level 4 the Seal of Regeneration is healing for more than the Seal of Vigor. Since very little game time is spent at level 3 and below, it's better to have the scaling runes.

Nine of these give you 27 Ability Power at level 30, which is the equivalent of an Amplifying Tome. Having items for free is powerful. Once again, these pass the Greater Glyph of Ability Power at level 6. Since I'm looking for the majority of my kills between levels 5 and 18, I'd rather have the higher AP that the Glyph of Force offers.

Three of these give you 75 health from the start, which is a great boost to your survivability. I can't tell you how many times I've escaped with less than 75 health and thought to myself "without those quints I'd be dead".

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For the masteries I've gone with a somewhat standard 21/0/9, with a few notable exceptions:

Offense: Taking only one point in Lethality but two extra points in Alacrity because a higher attack speed means you'll hit your fourth attack sooner, your cards will hit faster, and you will be able to spend more gold on other items in game.

Utility: Spatial Accuracy helps you use your teleport more often, which is always a good thing. Health and Mana regen are nice, as is bonus experience. Twisted Fate loves running through the jungle and taking red and blue buff, so having those for a longer duration is very nice.

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Skill Sequence

First I'll start with a summary of the existing builds so you can appreciate where this build differs:

Pure DPS builds (find the highest ranked here) raises Wild Cards last, and focuses on items that increase attack speed and attack damage. It uses items that would make any character a DPS powerhouse, and has an expensive 17,000 gold cost. It ignores Fate's Wild Cards skill completely, which is your best pushing / creep clearing / burst damage.

Pure AP builds raise Stacked Deck last and build a Rabadon's Deathcap quickly, which is a very hard item to build early. For a long time your only high damage ability will be Wild Cards, which has too long of a cooldown to kill anyone. All you'll be doing is stealing kills from your teammates, which isn't a good way to make friends. Because Stacked Deck is raised last you'll have to wait the full two minutes to use your ultimate.

Hybrid builds focus more on the DPS side of fate and bring in some late game AP ( Hextech Gunblade and Lich Bane) to make your Wild Cards hurt a little more. The problem here is that Wild Cards is most effective early, when it's dealing a lot of burst damage and the enemy hasn't bought an expensive health or magic resist item yet.

What's so good about this guide?

This Hybrid guide starts with one point in Pick A Card and then one point in Stacked Deck just to make sure you have both abilities (the Gold Card stun and the 4th hit bonus damage). Then take 3 points in Wild Cards and get Destiny as soon as it's available at level 6. From here, max Wild Cards and Stacked Deck to get more burst damage, more attack speed, and more cooldown reduction, then finish with the final levels of Pick a Card to make your stun longer and to get more damage and slow and mana regen.

Taking Wild Cards early gives you a huge burst damage to enemy champions and creeps. This will help you push, get kills, harass, and clear neutral creep camps. It's foolish to ignore such a powerful skill shot.

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How to use Twisted Fate's skills

Twisted Fate is one of the hardest champions to play, so I've decided to dedicate a section to how his skills are supposed to be used.

Wild Cards is your primary nuke. It's a skill shot, which means you target a place on the ground and three cards fly out in front of you in a cone. The cards go through creeps and champions without losing power, so don't be afraid to shoot them through whole groups of creeps to hit a champ hiding behind. In fact, try to line up your shots to hit the maximum number of targets, keeping in mind that one card flies straight ahead and the other two split off at approximately a 20 degree angle. It'll take practice to be able to hit enemy champions with the side cards, but you should never miss once you or an ally has stunned the enemy. Just point the cards at his head and shoot.

For lane creeps, fire the cards before the enemy creeps bunch up to fight your creeps. Because they march in a straight line, it's not hard to have them all at half health before they even meet your creeps. A single red card after they're bunched up will finish off all the ranged creeps, then a few auto attacks will finish the melee creeps.

For Neutral creeps, hit them with a burst of wild cards from about one body length away, so that the wild cards go through all of them. It's pretty easy with all the camps except the wraiths, which there are four of. Try to position yourself so that the center card is lined up with the blue wraith and the red wraith diagonally across from it, then let the two side cards hit the two side wraiths. A single red card shot at the blue wraith will drop the entire camp.

Warning: Using wild cards in the jungle can give away your position to an enemy on the other side of the trees. Be careful and if you think an enemy is in the jungle with you save your wild cards for them.

Pick a Card is the hardest skill to use. Upon pressing w once, the deck will start shuffling over your head. The order is always gold, blue, red. Memorize this. Tattoo it on your wrist. The cards flick through pretty quickly, so to get the card you want press w once to start the shuffle, then press it again when you see the card just before it. So if you want stun, always press w after you see red card for a second. Any longer and you'll get blue card, and your teammates will all be mad at you.

Blue Card: Mana regen. Use to last hit creeps every time the cooldown is up. This will keep your mana pool full, and because we are not putting a lot of points into it until the late game you'll have to use it often. Luckily it has a short cooldown so you should spam it at every opportunity. Twisted Fate should never run back to base because he's out of mana.

Red Card: AOE damage plus a slow. Use on groups of enemies, creeps, and neutral creeps. Not effective in 1v1, pick Gold Card instead.

Gold Card: Stun. Low cooldown. Use at every opportunity. You can queue this up while you are casting Destiny and Teleporting with your ultimate - every time you land on an unsuspecting enemy you should have a stun ready.

This passive does a lot of good things for you. The 15% attack speed is like having another Zeal, the 15% Cooldown Reduction is amazing, and the bonus damage every 4th hit makes your attacks sting quite a bit more. Whenever you're about to cast your ultimate, look at the counter and make sure your next hit will deal bonus damage. If not, find a creep and hit it once or twice to get the bonus damage on the next attack. Aside from the little pop up, Twisted Fate will have cards floating around his waist when he's ready to deal bonus damage, which the enemy can see but probably doesn't know what they mean. Landing on someone and dropping a gold card stun with the bonus damage from stacked deck and then throwing wild cards through them can easily deal 300-400 damage at level 6, which is where your ganking power comes from.

Destiny is the first spell in a two-part ultimate. Destiny reveals all enemy champions on the map and lets Twisted Fate use Gate, a skill that allows him to teleport anywhere on the map. Keep your eyes on the minimap, and when you get to level 6 call a gank and ping the champion you want to kill. Make sure your allies in that lane are ready too, and it helps if the enemy is not close to his turret. Get your Stacked Deck bonus damage ready, cast your ultimate, and click right behind the enemy champion. While your ultimate is channeling (1 second), hit w and queue up a gold card. Right click the enemy champion before you land to ensure your first attack will stun him and not a nearby creep. Cast Wild Cards while he's stunned, and hopefully your allies will be right there to help you kill him. If not, as soon as the stun ends, Exhaust the enemy and keep auto-attacking. When Pick a Card is back up, stun him again, then cast Wild Cards again. If he's not dead yet, you picked a hero with too much health to gank or your teammates failed hard.

The sequence, in summary:
>>>>>> >>>>

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The items I build attempt to maximize damage while minimizing deaths. For damage, you'll need Attack Damage, Ability Power, and Attack Speed. For survivability, you'll need Move Speed, Lifesteal, and Spell Vamp. Magic Resist and Armor are optional and will be discussed below.

I start with a Vampiric Scepter for the lifesteal. I've tried Doran's Blade quite a bit but the 3% lifesteal isn't enough to keep me in lane and I end up having to recall home to heal at some point. Plus, the 21 Armor Penetration you get from your runes and masteries means you'll deal plenty of damage early in the game.

You should be able to lane until you have 920 gold for the Berserker's Greaves. If you have to come back early, buy the boots first, dagger second. Move Speed will keep you alive better which is obviously a problem if you're back early.

After the Greaves save up 1175 for Zeal. If I'm mid and a get a good gank at level 6, I can buy these outright. More often than not I buy both pieces first, then come back and get the recipe later. Between the Zeal and Greaves I've increased my attack speed by 45% and my move speed is now 405, fast enough that enemies can't easily get away.

You might wonder why I've taken an AP skill first and AS items first, and the reasoning is simple: Wild Cards, as a skill shot, does more than enough damage on its own. However, Fate's auto-attack is kinda pathetic without some help, either from Stacked Deck's passive or from the items you build.

Your next item is Guinsoo's Rageblade, which gives a whopping 93 AP, 32% increased attack speed, and 35 attack damage at eight stacks. For 2235 gold that's hard to beat. Guinsoo's gets a stack for every attack or spell cast, so after the first round of your spells plus an auto-attack you've got four stacks, and it doesn't take long to get the next 4 attacks in and max out the stacks. The stacks only last about 5 seconds, so once you're in the fight, keep fighting.

Finally I build my Scepter into a Bilgewater Cutlass and finish that into a Hextech Gunblade. The Gunblade does a number of neat things - 60 Attack Damage and 75 Ability power are nothing to scoff at, but it also provides lots of survivability in the form of 20% lifesteal and 25% spell vamp. If you're ever low on health in the middle of a team fight, just throw some wild cards at the nearest creep wave. You'll instantly gain 300-400 health and every attack gains you 30 more health. Don't forget the active!! The slow plus additional damage is very useful for runaway champions.

You'll notice this build is very cheap - just under 8000 gold. With this core of items Twisted Fate is capable of dealing a lot of damage very quickly, and you'll find yourself teleporting all over the map to intercept overextended enemies and tear them up. Often the enemy team will surrender and you won't have to worry about building anything else. If the game goes on, here are some options:

Lich Bane is a great item on Twisted Fate. The extra damage when you cast Pick a Card can be ludicrous, often you can teleport to a runaway hero and kill them in one hit. The added Magic Resist and Mana are nice, but usually unnecessary.

More often than not, I'll build a second Gunblade. having 40% lifesteal and 50% spell vamp makes you nearly invincible. A single Wild Cards through a line of 6 creeps will heal you for 600 damage, finishing them with a red card heals for another 450.

I build this Sword when facing anyone like Jax, Teemo, or Sivir. Characters who can blind you or who have high dodge chances die exceedingly fast when every attack hits their frail bodies. The additional armor pen for those attacks doesn't hurt either. Usually I find the extra attack speed isn't necessary, and therefore it's not part of the core build.

Upgrading your Zeal is never a bad idea if you have gold to burn.

This is a great anti-caster item. Twisted Fate loves casting Destiny, finding Annie all by herself in a lane, landing next to her and tearing her up. This doesn't work if she hits you with a Tibbers stun for 1000 or more damage. Having a veil up means you can teleport to her without fear and rip her apart.

If you find the other champions are outdoing you in terms of damage, get a Thornmail. Between this, your lifesteal and your stuns and slows, even the hardiest DPS champions will fall.

I'll buy this item if I'm facing two or more champions with very high health (over 4000). Otherwise, it's not worth the gold. However, when Dr. Mundo shows up with 7800 Health, nothing puts him in his place faster than 312 bonus damage per attack.

Whenever there is armor, you build Last Whisper. I wouldn't do it for just one high armor hero, because you shouldn't be focusing the tank. However, if your team is heavy in physical DPS and the opponents are all catching on and building armor, then it's time for a Last Whisper. The armor penetration shreds tanks as if they were wearing tinfoil.

Another reasonable late-game item for Twisted Fate if you're not being focused and want more damage. The armor penetration, attack speed, and attack damage are everything he wants, but only build this if the other team is not coordinating well and you're not dying in team fights.

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Why I don't recommend Trinity Force

There are a lot of players who recommend Trinity Force on Twisted Fate, and I've tried it several times and not been pleased. Here's my breakdown of the different abilities and why I don't recommend it:

Cost: at 4070 Gold, this item alone costs more than half of my entire build. It can take half of the game to build this item if you're not doing well, and that's a big risk. I'd rather just take the most valuable part, the Zeal, and leave the rest of it out.

30% Increased Attack Speed: Twisted Fate already has 45% increased attack speed from the Berserker's Greaves and Zeal, plus 15% from Stacked Deck. Combined with Guinsoo's Rageblade he's got 192% of his base attack speed. Another 30% attack speed adds (192+30)/192 =1.16 or 16% to his damage output. It's just not worth the gold.

30 Attack Damage and 30 Ability Power: We like this, but Hextech Gunblade gives twice as much for less gold.

15% Critical Strike: Crits don't hit on towers, and we like pushing towers hard. I want items that add real damage, not a random chance of damage that doesn't work on buildings.

250 Health and 250 Mana: Minor survivability boost, but the blue card gives us mana back and the lifesteal gives us health back. Unnecessary.

12% Movement speed: TF needs more than just boots, so I always buy a Zeal. That gets him to 405 MS, which is fast enough to catch anybody. Also, have I mentioned that he can teleport?

Passive: 25% chance on hit to slow by 35% for 2.5 seconds. This is why we have Gold Card - free stun! This is why we have Red Card - free slow! This is why we have Exhaust - free slow! This is why we get red buff - free slow! This is why we build Hextech Gunblade - (well, not so free) - slow!

Passive: on cast, increases base attack damage by 150%. This is wonderfully powerful, but not worth the cost. Your AD is around 200 by this point in the game, so this would add 300 damage every cast. You have 2 spells with 4 seconds cooldowns, so that's one spell cast every 2 seconds on average which is equal to an extra 300 damage every two seconds. While that's a lot of damage, you are attacking 3 times in those 2 seconds, so you would only have to increase your attack by 100 AD to reach that same level of extra damage. Two B.F. Swords get you +90 AD, or one The Bloodthirster gets you +100 AD fully stacked. Both of these options are cheaper.

In short, Trinity Force is too expensive and doesn't mesh well enough with the Twisted Fate that I'm trying to build.

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Early Game (Levels 1-6)

Twisted Fate is equally happy with or without a lane partner. If you have a jungler, you can even take the 2v1 lane if you are careful. If you're alone, don't explore the brush. You are too squishy and it doesn't take much crowd control to ensure your death. If you have an aggressive ally, follow him with gold card over your head. Twisted Fate can get early game kills, but don't overextend for them. It's too easy to die this early in the game, and your attack speed isn't very impressive so you're not doing a lot of damage.

A lot of laning is basic knowledge, so I won't go in detail on how to play LOL. Here are some TF specific tips:

    Red Card on a nearby creep won't show the opponent a yellow outline because you're not attacking him. It's a good way to sneak in extra damage.
    Gold Card works great when an opponent over-extends to try to land an attack or a skill shot. Hopefully your ally will come and add some damage, if it looks like you can kill the enemy go ahead and use exhaust. It's got a short cooldown so don't worry too much about it.
    Blue Card should be used at every opportunity. At worst, it's free bonus damage. At best, it's necessary mana regen.
    Wild Cards shouldn't be used until you have 3 points in the skill (At champion level 5). Two reasons for this: Because the opponent has seen cards around your waist and red/gold/blue cards, they might assume you're only taking points in those two abilities (most guides on this site recommend that). Having a 3rd ability could come as a nasty 160 damage surprise for an overly aggressive opponent. Secondly, it costs a lot of mana, and at levels 1 and 2 you are dealing less than 2 damage per mana spent. At levels 3 and above you are dealing 2 or more damage per mana spent, so it becomes worthwhile to cast.
    Don't use Destiny at level 6 unless a gank is obvious and easy. Wait until level 7 when you'll have another point in Wild Cards for an extra 50 damage. It will really help you get kills.

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Mid Game (Levels 7-15)

I'm including a wider range in Mid Game levels than most other guides do because I feel that the mid game is over when you've completed my build and that won't be until level 15 or 16, depending on how many kills you get. During this phase of the game, abuse the buffs and Teleport as much as possible. You should run into the jungle with a friend to help you kill the lizard and get red buff, then go over and kill blue by yourself. Port back to base and heal, then use your ultimate and find someone to land next to. Don't overextend for the kill, but be aggressive about using your ultimate. Too many a TF will "save" Destiny for when they "need" it, and will go 2-3-5 for the whole game. Don't do this. Teleport often, and then use your summoner spell to bounce to a different lane. The enemy team should give up on calling "mia" for you because they have no clue where you are or where you're supposed to be.

Although I feel this should be obvious, kill every creep you see. For lane creeps, throw a red card and wild cards through them and that will kill every one. Same thing for neutral creeps - run into the jungle at every opportunity and kill creep camps. TF's passive gives 2 bonus gold per kill, so if you manage to kill 250 minions you'll have a bonus 500 gold. That might not sound like much gold, but it's like having a free starting item. It makes a small difference, but only if you're farming creeps like a mad hound.

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Late Game (Level 16 - end of game)

This is where the team fighting starts, but that's not your job. Get both neutral buffs, pick a side lane and start pushing. Meanwhile, tell all your other teammates to push mid. Remind them that you have your ultimate up and you can be there to help at a moment's notice. Keep your eyes on the map at ALL times. Learn to anticipate enemy moves. Here is a classic example:

You are pushing top alone. Your teammates are all pushing mid.

Enemies: Three defending mid, two pushing bot. Suddenly, the two bot champions disappear from your minimap. Wonder where they're headed? Towards you. Depending on where you are they may run through the jungle or recall to base then run out the lane (or more likely, run out the woods alongside the lane to surprise you. As soon as you see them disappear from the far lane, you have about 20 seconds to get out, because it will only take them 8 seconds to recall home and 12 to run out to you in the lane. Don't push your luck, because they'll bring stuns and slows. Once 10 seconds have gone by, and they've committed to getting you, use your summoner teleport and get to the bottom lane. Push that until they come for you again, then use your ult and go mid to help your team.

With practice, you can effectively push both top and bottom lanes, make tons of gold and always be ready to drop a gold card on mid should they need backup.

As for items at this stage, you should have finished the core build and gone on to build one or two of the situational items. It's different every game, so don't ask me to add more to the build list at the top of the page. Facing heavy AP nukers? Build MR, like Banshee's Veil or Force of Nature (or both, lol). Facing fed DPS? Build Thornmail and Randuin's Omen. Facing unkillable tanks? Build Last Whisper and Madred's Bloodrazor.

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Summary - If you only read one thing, read this

Level up Wild Cards first. Burst Damage is good.
Build AS/AD/AP items. DPS is good.
Kill every creep you see.
Use your ultimate every time the cooldown is up. Land on the enemies whenever they are alone.
Don't forget about Hextech Gunblade's active.

Please comment and rate!!