Build Guide by Freegid
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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.
This guide is constantly changing as a I experiment with different builds. So bear with me if I ever make mistakes. I'm trying to find a build that does justice to TF and can be used in most (if not all) situations. If you're going to down vote me at some point, do let me know why in a comment below. :3
8/11/2010 - Update
I found a flaw or two in my build. These are the problems:
1. It doesn't do well with tanks and thick heroes.]
2. It was lacking in early attack speed.
This build should still fulfill your function. The rundown is as below:
Doran's Shield - For early survivability
Grieves - For more early attack speed
Brutalizer - To try and get 30-40 armor down to 0, and the nice cd reduct too.
Zeal/Phage (Pick) - To fulfill your function = to kite/slow an enemy for your teammates.
Recurve - I sometimes get this before Zeal/Phage. It depends. But I would pick zeal over this. It's essential for the dps you lack as TF naturally does. Take hold or SD's early advantage.
BT - For more damage/survivability
Madreds - To take down tanks. Gives decent damage output to squishies too.
Defense Item - Pick one. Bashee's/GA/FrozenHeart.
Phantom Dancer - Finish Zeal/Frozen Mallet
Whisperer/IE = Sell your brutalizer for this, it's early game benefits are down the drain.
This is considering that there are atleast 2 tanky champs. If there's just one, and 4 squishies (Not likely), then replace madreds with something else, IE perhaps. I found this build the most efficient in terms of killing power. I'm still testing it though.
8/9/2010 - Update
Added Last Whisperer. I feel that at that point, it's worth it to get aspd. Plus it works wonders with Black Cleaver too. Thus far, I only got as far as my Phantom Dancer. But even then, I was dealing 500 to a high tanky shen. (Crits.) I think I'll settle on this build for awhile.
You should choose between PD/FM properly. Completing either one first may affect you greatly. If they have high physical damage team, go PD for the extra damage output and the dodge. But if you find yourself getting superganked, then get FM.
8/3/2010 - Update
Regrettably, I have under-looked the importance of survivability when it comes to TF. So i decided to remodel the build slightly. After a few games, I've realized that 2x zeals isn't as viable as phage, then zeal (Don't underestimate the 18 damage from phage.) It makes chasing and ganking much easier, plus the health is also essential. As for the damage items, first black cleaver, then you can pick between starks/bloodthrister. I've personally found more AD is better than atkspd. But if you're dying alot, starks will be the better choice.
Masteries, in the aspect of survivability has also changed. I found that 21/6/3, maxing out the defensive masteries is much more beneficial than 1 gold/10 seconds.
But of course, if there are but 5 squishies, don't hesitate on going with 2 zeals, and if it's 5 tanky champs, replace black cleaver with madreds.
- - - -
I've played twisted fate for about 150 wins now, and I've experimented indomitably with his build. Throughout my escapades LoL as a TF main, I've come to realize a few mistakes I've made in the past, and it's with this build that I justified my function as TF. I can't say I'm the best Twisted Fate player, and admittedly I'm not level 30 yet, but I feel that considering the amount of bad twisted fate players out there, I have a say in helping improve the quality of TF players globally. Don't get me wrong though, much of this guide is theory driven, since I don't have all my runes/levels. It's possible to own with TF, but if you have bad teammates, or incompetent ones, be ready to lose. You may be able to pick them out one by one, but if you get no support, you're just a sitting duck.
Who is TF?
Twisted fate is a -arguably- underplayed character on LoL. He uses a card-type skillset and is capable of porting anywhere in the map with his ulti. Contrary to popular belief, TF is not a true carry, he is unable to dish out a constant amount of damage from a safe distance in a team fight. However, he is able to stun and pick out single targets in flusters, dps them to death, and thereby giving the team a significant level of advantage.
Above Average DPS
Superb Assassination Skills
Requires mid-high map awareness
EXTREMELY EASY to FAIL at (if focused, or just by being plain unlucky.)
You're not AP, there's no discussion here, leave this until later. Don't get me wrong though, the 260 damage from lvl 5 does help in some cases. You can last hit runners/add to your dps later in the game. But if you feel you MUST have this skill, then -only- sacrifice pick a card to level it. You don't want to be losing out on the ASPD/DPS advantages of Stacked Deck.
Pick A Card
If it wasn't for the skill, I really wouldn't be playing TF. The most important thing here is to understand how to get what card you want.
Blue = Replenishes Mana
Red = AOE Slow
Gold = Half Damage of Blue/Red, Stuns up to 2 seconds.
The order that pick a card cycles in is Blue->Red->Gold. To pick the card you want, you reclick PaC a card before the card you want. To be honest, I think to achieve this indubitably is just by matching the card effect to the card before the actual card. Like, Red = Stun, Blue = AOE, Gold = Mana.
The bonus damage goes off on your 4th card. Along with PaC, this becomes a last hit wonder. Pick Blue card to ensure that you don't waste mana (Blue card is a net-cost of 10 mana, AP less) The ASPD is nice too.
3 Main uses.
1 - Assassination - When you see an enemy with low health, lock in a gold card and port behind them (or wherever you think they'll be headed). Typically, when their busy, porting right behind ensures you a stun, but if their mobile, you want to port in the route their heading toward, time it right so they run right into you. (Porting into brushes isn't a bad idea too.) For the most part, you'll want to do this to help even out team fights too. See a 2v3 going on on top and 2 heroes are low? PING and then port there, turning the tides.
2 - Spying - When it gets to a little later in the game, Assassination becomes a less viable function. Instead, when all the enemies are missing, knowing where they are helps prepare your team for the worst. Sometimes, you even find them at baron, when this happens, if Baron is at least at 75% at the instance of casting the spell, then port behind baron, and try to get the kill for your team. I've done this a few times, successfully. It pisses them off, badly.
3 - Backdooring - When the going gets tough, cheat. I know, it's a very cheap trick, backdooring. However, if you really have no choice, taking out one of your opponents inhibitors may the only way you can win - and a win is a win.
Why 2 Zeals? Why Berserker's Grieves? THEY SUCK. Yes, yes they do. But what TF does best, is get in and out of battles extremely fast. Ask yourself this: What is your function? Shen's is to tank, Morgana's is to Kite, what's yours? Your function is to be able to throw a gold card whenever you can, whilst taking the least attention possible - hence, running in and out of battle fast, hence, 2 zeals. You are a glass cannon, you are not supposed to get hit, hence the grieves. Mercury threads are high tier-y and great and all, but if you manage to stay behind the front lines and not get hit by CC, I'd much rather have 25% aspd that's more globally useful than the 40% CC reduction. 2 Zeals benefit you almost as much as a Last Whisperer, about 200 more, and you get 16% MS, 20% crit, in exchange for the limitly useful 40% armor Pen. with a whopping 65% aspd, you'll be taking advantage of your 4th card, and a 40~ish% crit rate doesn't hurt too.
You can choose to start with anything other than Vampiric Scepter, anything you think fits better. I feel that Doran's items are nice and all, but the sword's life steal is pathetic and negligable, the shield is nice, but then again, you need to wait for your hp to heal automatically rather than make it happen yourself. But it's your own preference, you may decide to go with shield/sword if you're thinking about bush ganking at level 1.
You may want to rethink the second zeal in some cases. True, the movespeed from the second Zeal is nice, but if you're dying alot, you may want to prioritize and get a phage instead. Sometimes, just SOMETIMES, when there are like 4 really armor heavy heroes on the opponent's side, I'll pick Last Whisperer. It works wonders along with Black Cleaver. But black cleaver is a definite must, it gives armor REDUCTION, which gives the opponent negative Armor. That along with 40% crit, you eat squishies alive. Anything that comes after your core is under your own digression. If you feel like you're dying alot, and already got your phage, finish your Frozen Mallet, if you feel like you need more ASPD, use your Vamp Scepter and finish your Starks, which decreases their armor by 20, that's effectively -80 armor off enemies, which is -50 assuming their armor stays at 30. You deal amplified damage, which is scary. Not to mention you also help take down big targets faster if you have a high Physical DPS team.
You almost always want to get a defensive item, it depends on who your opponents are though. High Castor team? Bashee's. High Physical team? Frozen Heart. Just plain messy? Guardian's angel. Anything goes, use your head.
Early Game, Laning Phase.
Grab your start item. If it's something Doran's, get a health potion to go with. Picking a lane is important, don't be ignorant about it. Who's gonna mid? Look at your team's composition, who'll benefit most? You? Karthus? You don't need to be level 6 ASAP. Your ulti is nice to have, but remember, you're not a true carry, because of your short range, you aren't able to be DPS like ashe or tristana.
If you're not midding (oh god please don't let that Janna mid, or Soraka.) then pick a lane partner with good CC. It works extremely well with your PaC. Depending on whether or not you would like to bush gank at the beginning, grab PaC first. Gold card an enemy, click A, hit, move, hit, activate PaC again, lock gold, stun, FIRST BLOOD. It's a skill you need to master, until you get your second Zeal, moving and using A to attack will pretty much be your natural ASPD. By hitting and moving at the same time, you're closing the gap between you and your enemy, so you won't be out of range for the next Gold card. Important, learn it, live it. You may even want to consider this during later stages of the game so enemies don't get away.
TF is a great laner - Unless there are great CCs in your lane. This being said, if you see Sion/Taric be EXTREMELY defensive and weary. Otherwise, you're completely fine. Make sure to abuse your 4th card and PaC. What I like doing religiously is lock Red card for maximal damage, move in, and hit one of the enemy champions for some sick damage. It takes off quite abit. However, if you have half health, or maybe even at 3/4, you may want to avoid this, as an exhaust while you're doing this may very well be the end of you.
In the perspective of CS, you might want to consider shortening the distance between you and creeps. When you have a partner in lane, it's pretty annoying when their last hitting like you are. Closing in on creeps will help you to last hit more accurately. You don't necessarily HAVE to use your 4th card everytime you want to last hit a creep. I usually use blue card, NOT in conjunction with 4th card. But if i'm desperate, i'll use them as a combo. MAKE SURE your blue card hits though, since the update, now it doesn't drain mana if you miss. :[ It used to though, damned riot.
Try your best to stay in lane as long as possible. Try to get atleast 1.5k by 10 mins, if you succeed in getting more, that's great, but 1.5k is the bare minimum you should have if you didn't slip up. Always use flash to port away if you see a potential gank (That is, if you stand completely no chance and your lane mate is incompetant.) Go back, get your first zeal and your level 1 boots. I complete the boots if I can sometimes. But after that, you can go look for your first potential gank (if you're level 6.) Lock in gold card, destiny, port behind a person/in the brush, gank. If it's up to a last hit, flash if you have it, use exhaust here too, it comes in handy even if the blind isn't applicable.
Mid Game, lvl 8+/11 if you mid-ed,gank phase.
By now a few enemies should still probably be laning vicariously in lane. Unbeknownst to their knowledge, you and another ally are hiding in a brush waiting for them to push across the river line, and cut off their escape route. REMEMBER, MAP AWARENESS. Don't try and gank if you realize that ALL of them are missing, gank smart.
You should also prioritize tower destruction over ganking. Unless your entire team is about to die and they need your help definitively, don't port btm while finishing a turret. The games about destroying the nexus, and every turret down brings you oh so much closer to a win.
At this point in the game though, don't worry too much about dying, it happens. If you have your black cleaver, you should be strong enough to take down a few enemies solo. If you see an Ashe soloing a lane? You can kill her pretty easy, unless she's some weird tank build. Port behind, gold card, hit hit hit, once it ends, exhaust, gold card again when possible and free kill. It doesn't take to many cycles. Remember to hit+run while gold card is in effect.
A few team battles during the gank phase is unavoidable. Make sure you try and flash out the instant you're targeted by more than one enemy. If both Ashe and Tyrnd are after your *** in a fluster, flash out, let them hit the tank, and come back in with a gold card and a vengeance and take those *****es down. Though, if your tank is horrible, don't expect this to work if they can't take a few hits. If you have an area stunner, don't even hesitate to start dishing out damage once Amumu's ult occurs. It's the most annoying thing for the tank when he ults expecting you to attack, and you don't. Be aggressive, focus, and be smart, and you'll be an unstoppable force.
Make sure to always try and kill the dragon if no one's killing it. I sometimes ward if I feel that the enemy team is missing too much. Place on the river next to baron, and one next to dragon. Sometimes I put one near their blue buff if they have more than 2 castors. The cooldown reduct for a castor can mean life or death in battle. Especially if they have ryze, GET BLUE BUFF BEFORE THEY DO, otherwise, you're in for a hurtin. Remember that dragon gives gold for your entire team, not only you, same applies for the exp. Though, you get more just by being there.
Late Game, lvl 16+, End Phase
If the game has gone on this long, the one thing you need to aim for to end it quick, is an ace. An ace is when you kill every single enemy on the opposing team. If you're able to do this, there's no interfering you when you push towers. However, an ace is nice, but not necessary. I personally try and hit turrets as much as possible, even if one of my teammates are suffering, a turret can turn tables, and champion deaths might mean lost gold, but then again, the game IS about the nexus. However, if your entire team is about to die, TF alone poses no threat to the rage of 5 enemies charging torwards your nexus. PREVENT IT. GOLD CARD. GOLD CARD. GOLD CARD.
Baron when the opponent seems to be busy pushing. If one of them is pushing, that's the green light, if two, that's even better. Usually it takes an entire team to take down Baron, otherwise, a single warwick can take down Baron with the right items.
If you win. Congrats. If you lost, then don't be disheartened. TF can only carry a team so much. Deaths with TF are inevitable. Unless you can prevent damage for minutes at a time, you're going to die atleast once. Just don't try and make it a trend.
If you're done reading this guide, good on you, you care enough about playing TF to try and get good at him. You'll have bad games even after mastering TF, it's inevitable. You can't prevent losses unless you're flawless in every game. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you, as a human, are flawed.
TF will always be my main, I'm simply much too in love with his style. I may not be the best at him, but he's definitely an interesting enough champion to play for 100s of games. Though, be warned, if you don't play well, an unfed/itemless TF is essentially useless. Other than the exception of the Gold Card, your DPS will be **** without Black Cleaver. With that, I hope you had fun reading this guide and learning about TF from my perspective.
I'm also open to critiques.