Build Guide by Vegetable
Not Updated For Current Season
Twisted Fate Build
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.
Welcome to my Twisted Fate guide and my first guide ever. I have been playing Twisted Fate for a while, and I would like to share my build (which I mainly use on Twisted Treeline, mind you) with all the other Twisted Fate players out there. I am not claiming to be pro, just rather experienced, although I do not play Ranked (thanks to slow internet), so this may not work in such a pressurized environment. I have tried all builds of TF: AD, AP--even (AP) tank! I read that hybrid TF was really viable and because he starts out like either AD or AP (depending on starting items) and can adapt if need be. Thanks to this, Hybrid Twisted Fate, and TF as a champion appealed to me in that he was incredibly flexible and adaptable, which is quite rare in heroes. I've played with a couple hybrid builds, but I eventually found myself following something very similar to this layout more often. In solo queue, playing Twisted Fate is not a terrible idea, despite popular belief, as his versatility and flexibility as the game goes on makes him a great pick to fill many roles.
This build is not meant to carry, but if your team lacks one, this can be quite effective, given that you've played your cards right, both literally and metaphorically. I've found that using these items seldom lets enemies get away, and always has time for ganks and cleaning up team fights taking place across the map or in the jungle (again, on Twisted Treeline this statement is true, but on Summoner's Rift, there's a lesser chance unless all opponents are low or there are 3 at realtively low HP).
So if you like versatility, flexibility, adaptability, and utility, please, read on!
There are a couple of way to go about this.
Level 1: W - Pick a Card
Always start off with this. If you're skilled with this, you know makes First Blood and harassing a breeze.
Blue Card is good for last-hitting minions and, when it hits level 2, refunding mana to help you stay in lane and harass even more.
Red Card is good for harassing enemies. This works especially well against melee champs (on TT, Mundo will hate you), as when they come in to last hit, you slap 'em with a Red Card for bonus damage and a slow, all the while, you've just made farming easier on yourself, as you dealt the same damage the minions around him. Very useful, but do not abuse, as you will easily run out of mana without using Blue Card when needed.
Gold Card makes Twisted Fate possibly the best ganker and biggest threat in the game. With his ultimate, he can instantly threat a kill anywhere on the map, starting off with an easy 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 second stun. Use this when you're going for a kill or you want to force the enemy to very low health and recall, allowing you to go help your teammates or push the tower (but beware of potential gank!). It even helps with escaping. With no cast time (aside from the sequence of picking the card), you can pop Gold, turn around, stun, run, and repeat if need be.
I'm just getting started. This skill is the most versatile in the game, it seems to me. Keeps mana up, farms minions very well, slows enemies, and stuns a single target all the while, this skill scales with AP! Blue Card's bonus damage + your mid-game AP = free mana. Not to mention, it can be used on turrets, so when you're pushing, always remember to Blue Card (unless you smell a gank, in which case, have a Gold ready). Red Card will become an AoE slow & Nuke, while Gold Card will deal great initial damage to the enemy.
A little info on the skill, the rotation is Blue -> Red -> Gold -> repeat. When you first activate W, however, the first card that will appear will not always be Blue. The cycle / pattern will remain the same, but the starting card will vary. So you have to pay good attention to that if you need a specific card immediately. Usually, the card that starts off when you activate W disappears faster than the rest of the cycle.
If you're really skilled with this, you can try to mind**** the opponent. Since enemies can see the card over your head flashing and when it is set to a certain card, they'll know when and when not to run away or engage. If you pick Blue Card and they notice, they know you messed up and can punish you for it, while if you pick Gold and they see, they'll get out of there. With impeccable timing, you can walk in with the cards still flashing, and if they choose to retreat, pick a Blue Card while they run to refund the mana cost, essentially costing them farming time, gold, and experience, while you just got an early & extra 22 gold. If they choose to engage, which they usually do because they believe you forgot to press W again (and TF is very easy to kill early game), Gold Card them and begin smacking their face with cards. In order to do this, you must know the cycle of the cards, and on which card you should approach him with, as by the time you get there, the card you want (Gold) must be over your head and ready to pick for the stun. There's no real set time or math formula I can give you, it's just that you should time the distance between you and your enemy, read the enemy's movement, take the minions into account, check what boots you have (Boots 1 or BoM or Mercs), and then you should pop it, read it, go in, and do as the situation calls. Again, this is a fairly difficult task, but it does make the enemy underfarmed and under-leveled. If done often and correctly, the enemy could be a level-and-a-half below you, excluding a kill on them you may have gotten.
All and all, get it first and max it first. It's that simple.
Level 2: E - Stacked Deck
Another lovely skill. This is why Hybrid Twisted Fate is so powerful. Stacked Deck scaled with AP in damage, just like Pick a Card, so you're probably thinking AP TF is much better. But what's the point of nuking for 200+ damage when you only do it once in a duel/gank? It won't be such a big threat unless you come prepared. Hybrid TF offers the Attack Speed in so that Stacked Deck procs more often, for higher damage output. Combined with decently high AP, Stacked Deck will be a good burst every 2 seconds (once you start attacking 1.9x/sec).
We're just getting started. Stacked Deck has another passive: Increases Attack Speed by 3%/6%/9%/12%/15% and reduces the Cooldown on Fate's skills by 3%/6%/9%/12%/15%. This is why you max this second. Once both maxed, your Pick a Card will be available every 2.5 seconds thanks to this skill, Nashor's Tooth, and our masteries. That's basically a 2-second stun every 3-4 seconds. How awesome is that? The increased Attack Speed also basically makes room for more AP, which makes your skills damage even more. As a final note, use this to last-hit minions or give 100 damage to an enemy champion early game for harassing, but I advise against it considering TF's small range (relative to other ranged champions) and his super-squishiness. Not much else to say. This skill is pretty self-explanatory and I don't have to tell you to use it, because you can't not use it unless you don't level it up.
Level 3: W - Pick a Card
Level 4: E - Stacked Deck
Level 5: W - Pick a Card
Level 6: R - Destiny
I'm stopping here only to explain the use of Destiny.
First and foremost: ganks. Plain and simple. Or, so you'd think. Blindly using Destiny doesn't win you games. Using Destiny once you see an opportunity to gank someone while you're still in lane, farming minions, looking completely natural and non-threatening wins you games. Map awareness and positioning is everything if you want to play Twisted Fate properly, so practice these two things and you'll be silver (golden if you master the PaC mind****). If the enemy if badly positioned, to hell with your positioning, you don't even have to use Destiny, just Teleport to a turret or minion there if they're over-extended. Keep in mind, when ganking champions with the ability to Stealth, you must never, and I mean NEVER over-extend them if you don't think their death is imminent. Tower-diving is completely different than over-extending a stealth champion. Thanks to your supreme squishiness, you can easily be taken down by a Level 6 Twitch who is left at 1/4 HP if you're not prepared or not fed. Gate when you KNOW you can get the kill and live, otherwise it isn't worth it.
Secondly, you can use this to save your carry who is Legendary from being chased by an enemy Shaco/Mundo/Singed. Get a Gold Card ready, pop in, POW! right in the kisser, and continue running and stunning unless you are healthy enough to take them down. This is sometimes a smart move, but sometimes it is unnecessary. It's all on your judgement, really. Whether it's worth using your ult to save your teammate(s) is up to you, and the impact it has on the game is never guaranteed to be big, small, positive, or negative. You just need a little luck.
Thirdly, using this to escape. Now, I used to do this often when I first bought TF, but now I have become more wise about using Destiny simply to escape. The problems I had back then were that I kept using it before the enemy ran out of stuns and silences. For this reason, be aware of the CC on the opponent's team and whether they have been recently used or not. If you plan to escape, it's a good idea to have a good idea of the opponent's current status with regards to CC. I find Flash helps a lot with using Destiny for this purpose. Pop Destiny, Flash into a nearby Fog of War spot or brush, even, then quickly Gate to safety. Note that this needs to be somewhat planned. If you're not in the position to escape properly, then don't escape. Doing this wrong results in a lost Ultimate, essentially (unless you're level 18 with this build, it'll be back up as soon as you''re alive. Again, whether this impacts you or the game will vary from game to game, but it's best not to blow your ultimate for no purpose with any champion.
Fourth, getting into a teamfight. Here, positioning and timing is everything. Optimally, the enemy team should be chasing a very bulky ally so that one or two enemies are a little behind in the skirmish, being pushed around by their carry popping Ghost or Flash to net the kill. Gate right in with a Gold Card and pick off their stray teammate OR the weakened one of the bunch. But make sure that YOU don't get focused, as you don't want your usefulness to end right there. You just made a 5v4 into a 4v5 in two seconds. Brilliant. Stay behind the enemy team and force them to split up. In doing this, be cautious for when the entire enemy team comes to focus you. Keep your distance and come in when you know the enemy will fall. If done successfully, you've single-handedly made a 5v4 a 3v5. Leave the rest to your team...unless they're all at 1/10 HP or the enemy has their carries still healthy (in which case, your team is doing it wrong). AP Twisted Fate does a better job with this thanks to his burst, but Hybrid TF is only outshined here and in burst damage. However, this may not even be the case, as Hybrid TF can kill full health enemies at a moderate rate, while AP TF has to burst the enemy down before he gets destroyed. In this respect, I find Hybrid Twisted Fate equal to AP in a teamfight situation.
Lastly, just scouting. There's almost no downside to just popping your ult if you smell ganks either on you or your allies. Even at level 6, you can eat an enemy jungler or scout for your own jungler. Remember if you're ganking the jungler, read his movement and coordinate with your teammates in the nearest lane to help block off an escape route. As a matter of fact, when scouting, you can put the enemies in a 'checkmate' position (even though I have explaining how TF is like playing Chess, I won't get into it). If both lanemates are in a brush and your allies are decently healthy, Gate right out of their turret's range and wait. MAKE SURE YOUR ALLIES KNOW TO ENGAGE. Sometimes, on solo queue, your allies are dummies who can't read obvious signs. You can wait for your allies to engage, or start off with a stun. Either way, it's an easy kill. The other foe may get away, but you can push your lane easily since you hopefully got him low. I don't highly recommend just scouting, but if you have no other use for it, and all is perfect in the world, netting a free kill or depriving the enemy of a free kill or two is quite useful.
Tied onto this, you can just hide. Hide in between the opponent's Outer turret and Inner turret (Turrets 1 & 2 in the order you progress down the lane) inside the brush. Do this if your allies are pushing hard and an enemy is harassed to quite low HP. Watch the line and strike at the right time. Since you popped your ulti 20 seconds ago and you didn't kill anyone, they feel safe, so they recall back behind their turret. Until you pop out of nowhere and smack them with Gold Card for the easy kill. If you also happen to see a passing enemy at relatively low health, initiate a fight if you know you'll win; but make sure you aren't caught by the enemies in the lane! Just a fun trick that worked for me a few times :D
Level 7: Q - Wild Card
An early level in Wild Card allows for more efficient farming, harassment, and kills. Wild Card hits through enemies and obstacles, as well as stealth characters, so use it to your advantage if chasing one (read the First part of Destiny rant). With this, Akali's Twilight Shroud is a joke if she's juking. Once she pops it, immediately Wild Card, and it'll hit her almost everytime. Unfortunately, it doesn't reveal stealthed champions, but getting that last hit at a confusing moment is always great. I guess you could call it a trump card.
Now, harassing and farming with Wild Card is tricky, and depends quite a bit on your ability to aim with it. Wild Card has three trajectories: One in a straight line that your cursor has designated, and two other on opposite sides at 45 (40?) degree angles. If aiming at an enemy champion behind a minion wave, try to read their movement and aim appropriately. A good player is never idle (and neither are you!), and is always moving (so are you!), so this can be difficult. But thanks to three cards being flung, you can lead them into one of them, possibly. The harass isn't highly noticeable unless you choose to get Fiendish Codex in lieu of Stinger onto building your Nashor's Tooth, which is never a bad idea. In terms of farming, try to Wild Card when the minions are coming in a straight line before they group up with an epic war on your minions. Unless they're really bunched up and can be hit by all 3 flying cards, then this is the most efficient way to get early damage on the minions, allowing for easier last-hits and faster pushing, which may lead to a free recall, time to gank, help your allies, et cetera. Just one point is enough for now, but if you really want to farm up or focus AP mid-game because they have a lot of physical tanks, then go ahead.
Anything past level 7 is up to you. I like to simply max PaC and Stacked Deck, while grabbing Destiny whenever possible. Wild Card comes last, as later in the game, it's more common (in my experience) for champions to get away with such low HP, so chasing and hitting them with Wild Card will probably net you the last hit. Seems unnecessary before then.
This is the result of your farming. Whether you did it well or not, you require, in this build, four core items (outside of boots).
To start off, I usually get a Dagger and a Health Potion. The Dagger helps a bit in lane with last-hitting, but the I mainly get it so Stinger will only cost me the second Dagger + Recipe cost. In this route, you can get the Stinger, and if the enemy has far too much magic resist, adapt. Go purely AD Twisted Fate, as it will allow for, hopefully, better results against those kind of teams. You may not need a Stinger on AD Fate, but the added Attack Speed is nice, and the CDR might also come in handy (which is what you pay for in buying the Stinger). If you take mid, for whatever reason, I highly suggest you start with the Fiendish Codex recipe, taking an Amplifying Tome and a Health Potion, and Wild Card as your first skill. No one's getting First Blood in mid lane, so you may as well farm up with Wild Card. Don't spam it, just use it once every minion wave or whenever you see an obvious harassment opportunity. AP Fate must take mid-lane because of his high-damaging Wild Card, so what it's a good idea to impersonate that for the majority of the laning phase, even if your Wild Card doesn't do 300 damage. With the added AP, it'll be helpful for farming minions.
On your first trip back to base, you should either have finished building the Stinger / Codex and gotten Boots 1, Health Potions if you can't afford Boots. If you farmed well enough, you may as well finish your Boots, as by this time, you're hopefully Level 6 and can gank from base and chase with 5 Enhanced Movement, Flash, and your stun. You're more than ready to net some kills right about now (Stinger route moreso than Codex route' but don't let that discourage you).
Second time back, finish your Boots if you haven't already, as well as Nashor's Tooth. Now we're talkin'. 25% CDR, 55 AP, 50% AS...you're set for the early-mid game. Destiny ganks should be a breeze vs. squishies, and you can now even jungle fairly well, so maybe grab your Golem Buff if you don't have a jungler in need of one, and spam Reds and Wild Card to farm like crazy.
From here, try building Guinsoo's Rageblade, grabbing either item first. Blasting Wand allows for more powerful Wild Cards and PaC, while Pickaxe increases your overall damage output. The choice shouldn't be too tedious; I tend to go for Blasting Wand first because it is cheaper, and gives good bang for its buck, which helps mid-game, where AP TF shines.
Once finished Guinsoo's Rageblade immediately pack Sheen. With Sheen, backdooring turrets is a breeze. Attack with a small minion wave, Blue Card, Wild Card for proc, Blue Card, Wild Card for proc, and so on and so forth. Wild Card spamming allows for Sheen to proc more often, so that you have constant burst damage on the turret. Also, Wild Card helps eliminate the incoming minion waves, so that always helps. Backdooring is fairly easy, but you are easily susceptible to being ganked. For this reason, analyzing the current situation carefully is highly advised before going in for a push. If you have a minion wave on the turret on bottom lane, just Teleport there and wait for a while in the brush. If an enemy champion appears to clear the wave, then wait for them to leave until you spot them somewhere else on the minimap. Then, clear out the minions, make a quick push and retreat. If you don't get the tower, you have severely damaged it with, hopefully 2 rounds of Blue Card and Sheen proc'd Autoattacks. If someone comes after you, make sure to Flash once they've used their main method of CC. Let them Exhaust you, stun them (because it CANNOT be dodged), then wait for Exhaust to wear off, and Flash away. Hopefully you have a safe retreat. Again, use your judgement on the situation to deem it appropriate or not to backdoor.
I highly recommend Malady for two reasons: 1) Obviously, the Attack Speed and Ability Power. 2) The Passive works well with Wild Card, as if you attack an enemy 4 times (Stacked Deck proc, anyone?), their Magic Resistance drops by a total of 24 (6 per hit). This will help you nail them with Wild Card for the last hit. The added 50% Attack Speed allows you to hit almost twice per second! With Guinsoo's stacks, you'll be hitting a little over twice a second! However, you may want to consider getting this earlier sometimes, as the Magic Resist drops may not be noticeable on tanks and squishies (who sometimes build survivability later on), but on tanky damage-dealers like Mordekaiser, it does help bring them down faster. For me it's a core item. For you, maybe you'd like to skip it for the late-game options below.
From here on out, it's whatever you want. You've got your 4 (+ Boots) core items, now you need to adapt to the game at hand. If you haven't already drifted off into AP or AD builds, then consider the following: Are they stacking HP to help them survive (Olaf, Mundo)? Madred's Bloodrazer is a good pick. Are you dying too quickly to the enemy DPS? Thornmail is a fine choice. Would you like to be even more useful in teamfights? Randuin's Omen makes your team happyface. You could go for more DPS in the form of Phantom Dancers or keep the Hybridity alive with Trinity Force or Lich Bane (both work well; I prefer Lich Bane for more AP and lower cost). Maybe grab some lifesteal in the form of Stark's Fervor (granted no one else has it) or Bloodthirster; even Hextech Gunblade isn't a bad choice at this point. Guardian Angel is also very nice on squishies like Twisted Fate, allowing for a safer getaway on weakened enemies, or to keep dishing out that damage during the teamfight. Warmog's is also fine, but this late in the game, you might not be getting enough minion kills to get the full bonuses, as that's what you really pay for in buying it.
My runepage is displayed above.
9x Flat Armor Penetration Marks
9x Health per level Seals
9x Flat Cooldown Reduction
3x Flat HP Quintessences
Armor Penetration will help more than Magic Penetration, as there are many item options available for that. Also, the Magic Penetration Marks are much weaker than ArmorPen.
Health per Level Seals can be replaced with Flat Dodge if you'd like. The extra 180 life @ 18 can help you out, if not barely, but significantly.
Flat Cooldown Reduction helps your early game farming by letting you Blue Card more often to regenerate mana more efficiently. With a total of 49% CDR lategame thanks to Masteries, maxed Stacked Deck, and Nashor's Tooth, the CDR per level runes won't help very much. You could even completely substitute these for Magic Resistance per level or Flat, Magic Penetration, or Ability Power per level. To be honest, this is really open to anything, I just have Flat CDR and I don't want to waste IP on anything else.
Flat HP Quintessences work on everyone, this includes Twisted Fate. It helps his early game survival issues that he so desperately needs.
I follow a generic 9-0-21 Mastery build, grabbing my respective Summoner Spell's bonuses, as well as grabbing Sacred Knowledge in the Offense Tree. I take Archmage's Savvy over Deadliness because the critical won't benefit you unless you build critical strike.
In the Utility Tree, I pick Expanded Mind over Meditation because your Blue Cards refund you enough mana at will, so the regen is hardly need (it is also marginal), while an additional 5% of total mana is much more useful mid-game. I then take the Utility Mastery so that Golem Buff lasts longer, and work my way down the tree.
Here, we have quite a few options. I'll start with my two favorites:
Teleport: Now, you may be thinking Gate + Teleport is redundant. It isn't. If you just need to defend a lane, or backdoor WITHOUT the other team suspecting it (Destiny > Gate to lane = Must go to said lane to rape TF), allows for easier pushes and much better map control. Before, no, and even after Level 6, you may be hesitant about recalling in case you lose experience and gold from your lane. Teleport remedies this by letting you recall, get the items quick, and port right back to the action, like you were some sort of magician. Your presence will be instilled in their minds; they'll see you everywhere! Speaking of backdooring, Teleporting to a lane and attracting 2-3 of the enemy team will result in, usually a free lane on the other side of the map, so you could, optimally, bait them towards top/bottom lane, burst down the tower a bit or get rid of it to get them there, then Destiny and Gate to the opposite lane to restart the process. This little game of cat and mouse will frustrate opponents a lot, and it has for me. If you're in an Arranged Team, warn them that you'll do this, and ask them to gank the incoming 1 or 2 losers you while you push the second lane like a fed Yi.
Flash: Ah, yes, Flash. I've already mentioned you many-a times in this guide so far. Flash is a great chase and escape tool, especially during early levels. While some prefer Ghost, I really can't overlook the usefulness of it's juking potential in the jungle and getting that Gold Card in for the kill BEFORE grabbing that turret aggro. You can Flash from one brush to the next, you can Flash right out of focus of a teamfight...I could go on. Flash is overall a great Spell with its mastery.
Ignite: Still a fine choice. It tells the enemy that they are inevitably dead. It counters Mundo and Warwick by cutting their healing in half, so that's also a plus. However, Wild Card pretty much does what Ignite does, except that Ignite catches Flash users, while Wild Card doesn't (unless you're in range).
Exhaust: A great spell as well. If you're going to use this, us it right. When killing, Stun with Gold Card, Auto Attack until stun wears off, Exhaust, get Gold Card ready while auto-attacking, Gold Card, continue attacking. This always nets a kill on a single opponent. Be careful on Exhausting casters, as they may still be able to kill you with their spells. When escaping with this, Gold Card, run until stun wears off, and if they persist, then Exhaust. Gold Card if they persist, you'll lose them. This spell does synergize well with Gold Card, as you've obviously noticed, so it's a great choice if no one else has it (every team should have Exhaust to nerf the enemy carry in teamfights!)
Ghost: I can't really vouch for this spell. I can say that it makes for a longer chase for sure, given its duration with the mastery, and the speed buff is great with Boots of Mobility. A longer and more persistent chase may net you more kills than Flash, but I can bet that it also let you die more than Flash. That turret aggro always gets ya, hm?
Clairvoyance: A literally brilliant spell. If you don't want to blow Destiny for scouting, simply scout with Clairvoyance. This is best used with Teleport, as if you know it's safe to Backdoor by scouting with Clairvoyance, Teleport for the backdoor and Gate if there's any trouble. Then again, you should be getting wards as well...But still, it reveals a greater area and includes revealing brush. Sadly does not reveal stealth, so beware.
Solo Q'ing with Twisted Fate isn't the best idea. However, I do just that because of his flexibility, versatility, and utility. Adapting to fill a team role that isn't tank is one of Twisted Fate's strengths, so you abuse it! Adapt and rework my build, your build, any build as you see fit. No Twisted Fate build should be the same everytime (though the core items might still be there every game). When faced with a team in Solo Queue, try to sweet-talk them into following your orders or read your signs. Sure, it's manipulation, but you want to win, and in order to do that, your teammates must agree with you. You are in control of the map, not them, and as such, you must lead them and warn them whenever you can.
Arranged Teams are better, as there is no sweet-talking required (hopefully). You should just discuss signs and plans with them before entering queue to make sure they understand what to do when you're doing whatever. Going back to the "checkmate" anti-gank, under the Destiny skill rant, if your team reads you and you read your opponents properly, both opponents will die, or at least the lane will be free for a push. So communicate.
Communicate. Like in pretty much everything, communication is key. Leading a gank by forewarning your allies is more likely to be successful than you just randomly popping in, killing the enemy, and your Solo Q teammate's yelling in all chat "KSER!!!" Remember, this game isn't 1v5, it's 5v5, and you should make sure you are a part of your team by talking with them.
Just throwing this in, a great teammate for Twisted Fate is Shen. Once you are both level 6, you can both teleport anywhere across the map to your allies, making a 1v3 a 3v2 (you just ganked the member straying in the back). A good Shen uses his Taunt well, so you should read when to run and let Shen Taunt, as once you've got the kill from behind, they may seem trapped, but 2 champions can take you down quite easily, so let Shen do his job: tank. In this way, they both offer complete map control together, so use this to your advantage, and take the action to somewhere they'll never expect it.
I hope you enjoyed this guide, and found it useful. I know it looks more like a playstyle guide rather than a hybrid build, as I overemphasize Twisted Fate's versatility, flexibility, and utility. But I do play with this build in mind almost every time at the start of a game. Whether I change it or not always depends on the game, but this is my default build, essentially, and as such, I decided to post it for others to see. I also hope my advice helps improve your Twisted Fate play overall! Again, I use this is Twisted Treeline usually, so results on Summoner's Rift vary (though I did use this build a few times on SR and have had fairly good success with it).
If you have any other suggestions to the build or have any problems or questions with the advice I've given, please feel free to comment! I'll be sure to reply as quick as I can.
Also, my apologies that this guide is just a wall of text, I can't figure out how to put item and skill pictures into this forum coding =X. Any advice on that would be appreciated as well.
Thanks very much for reading! I hope your luck plays out for you on the Fields of Justice!