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Twisted Fate Build Guide by HeadinPants

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League of Legends Build Guide Author HeadinPants

Showing Enemies Their Twisted Fate

HeadinPants Last updated on November 16, 2012
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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.



Offense: 19

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 11

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Read this If Nothing Else

If you aren't going to read this entire guide, please don't bother to vote or comment- I prefer to receive REAL feedback. I would also like to note to readers that I am in the process of putting videos and images together, so they should be in this guide sometime during December at the latest (sorry, but high school has arrived). Thank you, and please, read on!

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Hello to all of my fellow MOBAFire friends and all that. This build is meant to take the versatility of Twisted Fate and push it to its full potential by dealing large portions of both magical and physical damage. While it doesn't provide the magical damage of an AP Twisted Fate or the physical damage of an AD one, it has a good portion of both. I hope you enjoy this guide or at least find it informative.

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Twisted Fate- Lore and Emotes

If you find these interesting, take a good read, but otherwise, go ahead and skip them.

Note: The emotes in the above video are from before the most recent remake.

Although born to poor gypsy parents, the champion known as Twisted Fate was able to gamble his way to prosperity as a card shark in the seedy underground gambling circuits of Demacia and Noxus. No matter how close the authorities came to catching him, the rogue always found a way to slip through their fingers. Despite his good fortune, he was never able to win that which he truly desired - the ability to control magic. When Twisted Fate learned of an experiment being conducted in Zaun that might help him with his wish, he did the only thing a gambler of his worth could do - he went all in and volunteered for the experiment.

Conducted by the infamous Dr. Xavier Rath, Twisted Fate was told that the wager for such participation might be steep. He might change forever, or nothing might happen, or he might die horribly. Pain, however, was likely a part of the deal no matter the outcome. These were hardly the worst odds the gambler had faced; his hopes raised, Twisted Fate underwent the experiment, enduring what he must for a chance at his dream. Then, it ended - with seemingly no effect whatsoever. The gypsy rogue flew into a murderous rage, but, before he could strike down the team, he suddenly teleported himself miles away. With a sly grin, he realized his luck had won out yet again. He now brings his luck and rakish charm to the Institute of War, where he is the Champion of choice for many - especially the gambling kind. To this day, Twisted Fate has avoided his inevitable reunion with Dr. Rath. The Card Master knows, however, that a confrontation is coming.

While the future may be mysterious and unknown to most, Twisted Fate is certain that his future lies within the cards.

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Pros & Cons

Pros / Cons


+ Immense damage output
+ Demolishes tanks
+ Can slow without casting Pick A Card
+ Damages well no matter which defense is focused in an enemy build
+ Amazing Sustainabality
+ Pick A Card hits like a truck
+ Can arrive at a major fight on short notice
+ Stun on a short cooldown
+ Pick A Card's blue card turns mana restore into farming and pushing power
+ Can 1v1 a Jax with a little luck (video)

- Squishy late game, forcing him to fight from the back
- Relies on being able to make basic attacks
- hitting the correct choice with Pick A Card takes practice
- Doesn't have the spell power of a straight AP Twisted Fate
- Doesn't have to basic attack power of a straight AD Twisted Fate
- Can't survive large bursts, especially from AP carries
- Has only 19% cooldown reduction end game

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The masteries of this build are focused on providing consistent damage from Stacked Deck, penetration, and good sustain. Here are the masteries I take and reasons for each one.

Summoner's Wrath -
Since I take two summoner spells that benefit from Summoner's Wrath , it would be rather foolish not to take it. Since the ability power and attack speed from surge immensely increase my damage output and I deal mixed damage (regarding the 10 effective armor and magic penetration from Exhaust), this mastery makes my 1v1 fights end much faster.

Mental Force -
4 additional ability power at level one increases my damage out put from my primary damage tools ( Stacked Deck and Pick A Card).

Demolitionist -
Bonus damage to turrets will allow you to get a turret advantage on the enemy much faster.

Alacrity -
Allows me to trigger Stacked Deck more often and allows access to Weapon Expertise .

Cooldown reduction allows me to cast my scouting and emergency travel spell Destiny and other spells more often, which becomes very helpful late game. Also allows access to Arcane Knowledge .

Weapon Expertise -
Allows me to deal my physical damage more consistently to champions stacking armor.

Arcane Knowledge -
Allows me to deal my magic damage more consistently to champions stacking magic resistance.

Vampirism -
Sustain early game and helps survive late game when targeted.

Expanded Mind -
Let's face it- Good Hands is pretty useless if you can have more mana instead.

Improved Recall -
Normally I don't take it, but there's no point in taking Summoner's Insight and I shouldn't die enough for Good Hands to be helpful, so it's a better option.

Swiftness -
Provides better speed before I build boots and makes me much faster late game when combined with Trinity Force and Berserker's Greaves.

Transmutation -
Turns your great damage from Stacked Deck into amazing sustain.

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Many people probably said something along the lines of "What's wrong with this guy?" when they saw my runes above. I assure you, I have good reasons for these choices. Here are my reasons for each.

After much debate, I decided on Greater Mark of Precision. Since I already have 10% armor and magic penetration from masteries, the additional flat penetration proves itself quite useful.

For seals I decided to cover my weaknesses. My main weak points were late and early game health, and late game armor. Naturally I decided on deviding between each weakness evenly, building 3 greater seal of defense, 3 greater seal of defense, and 3 greater seal of vitality.

I choose to cover my weak magic resist end game with my glyphs, building Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist.

Another weird set of runes, I am well aware. I split between lifesteal and spell vamp to provide higher amounts of sustain. With the last I build Greater Quintessence of Precision to help deal with enemies stacking armor and magic resist.

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Summoner Spells

Between the attack speed and ability power buffs, Surge gives much higher damage output.


  • Since it reduces incoming damage and slows, it can be used as an escape.
  • Provides 10 effective armor and magic penetration on the target because of Summoner's Wrath .
  • Excellent way to help finish off an enemy if your stun is on cooldown.

Reasons for not using other summoner spells:

Healing isn't an issue as long as you can make basic attacks.

Twisted Fate has his own mana restore spell.

Useful, but best when on cooldown.

Twisted Fate has his own teleport that requires no target.

Good, but Twisted Fate can escape without the help for Flash without much difficulty.

Twisted Fate's ultimate is a better scouting spell, even though it has a higher cooldown.

Pushing power isn't helpful on this build because it has plenty of push of its own.

Excellent spell. It really is, and underused. Excellent for escaping and/or counter-disabling with Pick A Card. This card is a good alternative to Exhaust, especially in competitive play.

Twisted Fate already kills minions like a boss, and he isn't jungling.

Useful but not the most effective escape, especially compared with Flash. Also, Twisted Fate has a stun, so he wouldn't need it.

For a non- Soraka, non- Karthus, non- Shen, revive is pretty much a pointless spell.

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Skill Sequence/Ability Explainations

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Passive: Loaded Dice
Every time an ally champion kills a unit, they receive an extra 2 gold, which increases the rate at which your team gets fed, even if slightly.

Q: Wild Cards
Twisted Fate fires three cards in a cone, dealing magic damage to each enemy they pass through. The spell is cast as a target spell, with the center card aimed at the target location. The other two cards branch out at roughly a 35° angle from the middle card. Each card travels until it reaches maximum range, at which point it disappears. As a small damage source that only becomes effective once I buy Rabadon's Deathcap, I max Wild Cards last.


W: Pick A Card
Over the next few seconds, 3 cards will appear above Twisted Fate (and on his ability bar where this spell is). Recasting will select the current card. The next attack after selection will have an additional effect.

Damage comparison: Blue > Red > Yellow/Gold

-Red Card:
Enemies around the attacked unit (and the attacked unit) take magic damage. all enemies damaged by the red card are slowed.


-Yellow/Gold Card:
The target struck by this card is stunned briefly and takes some magic damage.


-Blue Card:
The target struck by the blue card takes some magic damage. Twisted Fate restores mana based on the amount of damage dealt.


As a secondary damage source, I max Pick A Card second.

E: Stacked Deck
Passive #1: Twisted Fate gains 3% attack speed and cooldown reduction per point in Stacked Deck.

Passive #2: Every fourth basic attack Twisted Fate makes deals a large amount of magic damage.


As my primary damage source, I max Stacked Deck first.

R: Destiny/Gate
Destiny: Upon casting, Twisted Fate reveals the location of all enemy champions on the map. While in effect, Twisted Fate can cast Gate.

Gate: Twisted Fate teleports a distance on the map. The distance isn't small, but it isn't global either.


As an ultimate, I put points into Destiny/Gate at levels 6, 11, and 16.

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Items: What to/What not to Buy

Game Starting Items:
Option 1: Vampiric Scepter
Option 2: Boots of Speed, sight ward, Health Potion
Option 3: Boots of Speed, 3 Health Potions

Choosing which option to try is probably best decided by what play style you are used to playing with Twisted Fate or what champions you tend to play. The Vampiric Scepter option is very good if you want to focus on winning trades. If you are used to starting with a mid lane ward, I recommend playing with the second option. If you prefer playing mid lane with speed and sustain without harassing most of the time, I would recommend the first option. These build starters are aimed at building large amounts of sustain, and speed if you prefer. However, the Vampiric Scepter option is specialized for this build in that it plays very much into the focus on basic attacks and survivability through spell vamp and lifesteal.

Second Item Step: Madred's Razors

This item will make farming easier, especially if you are not very good at estimating when to last-hit. It provides some armor for early physical durability. It also builds into two great items for late game, Wriggle's Lantern and Madred's Bloodrazor.

Third Item Step: Berserker's Greaves
Since Stacked Deck is your major damage output, the attack speed from Berserker's Greaves is a great way to accelerate into late game. If you find your magic penetration insufficient, you might consider building Sorcerer's Shoes instead. Another good option is Mercury's Treads, as magic resist is a late and early game weakness, and the tenacity makes counter stunning much easier.

Fourth Item Step: Hextech Gunblade
This is a core item in this build, and it is comparable to an early dessert cake. This item will make Twisted Fate comparable to a ranged version of Jax in terms of damage. Its active can turn odds in your favor when cast on an incoming support or carry. It also provides damage in both categories, which allows you to hit weak points in your opponents' defenses.

Fifth Item Step: Malady
This id possibly one of the best Items a hybrid offense champion can buy. It gives 20 AD in the form of magic damage, attack speed, ability power, and magic resist reduction. This item is truly lovable. The counterpart, Wit's End, is a good option if you find yourself being bursted down too quickly.

Sixth Item Step: Phage or Sheen

Even if you are not feeling the need to build Wit's End and you build Malady instead, you should start to feel squishy by the time you finish building it. Eventually if all goes well, you should be building into Trinity Force. If the enemy is targeting you because you are too squishy, consider building into Frozen Mallet (If the damage isn't heavily magic damage) and so building Phage first. If the the damage is mostly magic damage, build yourself a Sheen instead and try building into Lich Bane.

Seventh Item Step: Rabadon's Deathcap
This is a core item for this build, and puts extra icing on your dessert cake, Hextech Gunblade. Because it provides more spell vamp than lifesteal, the restore between it and Rabadon's Deathcap is immense. It also makes your damage sources extremely potent.

Eighth Item Step:
Option 1: Trinity Force
Option 2: Lich Bane
Option 3: Frozen Mallet
Option 1: Trinity Force
Triforce is the preferable option of the three when playing on the offensive. It provides everything a hybrid Twisted Fate needs. The passive from Sheen will make Pick A Card very powerful, the passive from Phage will almost guarentee slows when combined with your attack speed, and the extra movement speed will make you able to keep up with the faster moving champions. This is a lovably Twisted Fate friendly item.
Option 2: Lich Bane
Lich Bane is a good item if you find yourself being bursted down. It also makes Pick A Card hit extremely hard as well as providing ability power to make every spell more dangerous.

Option 3: Frozen Mallet
The health from this item will make surviving in fights much easier. It guarentees a slow with every attack, which makes hitting with Stacked Deck much easier. This item does wonders for Twisted Fate against AD carries.

Ninth Item Step: Madred's Bloodrazor
This is a great item, especially when combined with Malady, which allows you to demolish tanks very quickly. It also gives attack damage, making damaging enemies who stack magic resist easier. If you find enemies building armor or AD carries targeting you, consider building Abyssal Mask or Zhonya's Hourglass, respectively. AD carries will have to deal with the armor from Zhonya's Hourglass, and if they build armor, it won't help them deal with your magic damage from Abyssal Mask.

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Early Game

Subsection 1: Laning
Hybrid Twisted Fate is meant to take the middle lane, pushing and farming effectively at the same time. Between Vampiric Scepter, mana restore from Pick A Card, your runes and your masteries, you should have plenty of sustain. If the lane is pushed, head either to the nearby wraith camp or back to base to heal. Between Pick A Card (Blue), your lifesteal, and your spell vamp you should be able to both receive more cash and heal up a bit.
Subsection 2: Harassing
Hybrid Twisted Fate has many ways to harass. Here are the ones that I recommend the most.
Example 1: An enemy champion is near their minions and you have Stacked Deck charged. Cast Pick A Card (Red) and target the minion nearest the champion. The slow will allow you to catch them with Stacked Deck and a quick cast of Wild Cards.

Example 2: The enemy champion seems to prefer using the locked screen feature and you have Stacked Deck charged. Come at them from below on the map (easier if you are in the southwest base (if you were to assign a compass to the game) where their spell bar will cover up your attempt to engage. Hit them with Pick A Card (yellow) and attack them a few times, landing Stacked Deck, Wild Cards, and a few basic attacks.

Example 3: You have high ability power and the enemy has low magic resist, but is wary of your Pick A Card. Cast Wild Cards. Issue: Cards travel slowly and don't do much damage even on a hit.

Subsection 3: Last-Hitting
When Stacked Deck is charged and you aren't harassing, use it on minions with higher health than you usually aim for with last-hitting. (video) The extra damage will pick up the minion kill. Another good way to farm efficiently is to cast Pick A Card (blue). (video) Since it restores most of the mana it uses (sometimes more than it uses) and it has the highest damage of all your choices for Pick A Card, it makes picking up minions with higher health much easier. If a few minions fall low at the same time, try snagging the ones you cant get with basic attacks by casting Wild Cards. (video) If lots of them are low and close together, cast Pick A Card (red) to harness the area damage to pick up all of them at once. (video) When no minions are low, hit the ones with the highest health with basic attacks to charge your Stacked Deck.

Subsection 4: Kills
When you have move in for a kill, don't cast Pick A Card immediately. It has a huge tell, so if you cast if while engaged, they can't avoid the stun from Pick A Card (yellow). Try engaging by casting Exhaust and Surge instead. This method requires slightly closer quarters, but since you can land the stun on a closer, slowed target much more easily, it often secures the kill better than an immediate stun. Try casting Pick A Card (yellow) and hitting them with it right at the end of the duration of Exhaust. The extra damage from the armor and magic resist reduction combined with a stun immediately after the slow will almost guarantee securing the kill. If they manage to run out of range, try to snag the kill with a quick cast of Wild Cards.

Subsection 5: Escapes
Ways to escape with Twisted Fate vary depending on how many enemies are attacking you and what tools you have at your disposal. Here are the most common examples.

Example 1: One enemy attempts to close in on you for a kill. Try simply casting Pick A Card (yellow) to stun them and walk away virtually unscathed. Often this can get them to waste mana and/or summoner spells. video

Example 2: Two or more enemies close in to kill you. You have Exhaust on cooldown and haven't bought Phage, Trinity Force, or Frozen Mallet. Cast Pick A Card (red) to get the slow on both of them and run, casting Wild Cards as you run to heal if you need to by way of your spell vamp. video

Example 3: Two enemies engage for the kill. You have Exhaust available, or have bought Phage, Trinity Force, or Frozen Mallet. If one of them has a way to engage on you, such as Amumu's Bandage Toss, they have priority for your Pick A Card (yellow). Hit the other with a basic attack (or Exhaust if it's available) and cast Wild Cards as you run. video

Subsection 6: Pushing turrets
When pushing turrets, be sure to cast Pick A Card (blue), as it has the highest damage output. When enemy minions start reaching the turret, spam Wild Cards to reduce their health enough for your minions to take them down faster. Once they arrive, cast your Pick A Card (red) instead. Since it damages and slows units around the tower, it will supply you will a bit more time to push the turret. Absolutely never use your Pick A Card (yellow) on a turret- it has the smallest damage and you can't stun a turret. 8:45-9:11 (tf vid 1)

Subsection 7: Warding vs. Mia
If you were laning with a carry or tank partner, it would be their job to buy the wards. Since you are laning alone, you will have to supply your own. While laning, you should only need to ward two places: the brush on either side of your lane. Thes will warn of enemy ganks much better than calling "mia." (To those who do not know, "mia" stands for "Missing in Action") Mias are good, but they don't let you attack an enemy in the the brush the way a sight ward or Vision Ward does. If your team is warding every lane, calling mias will become less useful, and it will be better to spend time last hitting. Type them if you can without disrupting your farming, but the wards are a better idea.

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Mid & Late Game

1: Warding Changes
Around the time you start working on/finish building Wit's End or Malady, you should be starting to ward Baron Nashor and the dragon more regularly. You will also need to be warding the ancient golem and elder lizard to watch for jungle ambushes. (image)

2: Team Fights
If a team fight erupts away from you, get in range with Destiny/Gate and prepare Pick A Card (yellow). Cast Gate near an isolated enemy to drop them quickly before assisting your team more directly. Cast Surge and Exhaust the most dangerous carry, preferably a mage. If the enemy team starts targeting you, cast Pick A Card (red) and run away in an attempt to reconnect with your team. Poking the sides of the team fight at the beginning like this can often make winning the team fight much easier. (video)

3: Team Fight Protocol
If minions start to push one of your turrets, Twisted Fate is an excellent turret preserving choice. If his ultimate is up, he can go and pick up the farm, casting Destiny partway into the way to watch for incoming enemies. If they are close and cutting off his exits, he can enter the brush and cast Gate for a quick escape. If his ultimate isn't up, I don't recommend trying to hold the turrets with Twisted Fate, as he needs his ultimate to save himself in these situations. (video)

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Baron Nashor- the Do's and Don'ts

When your team fights Baron Nashor , save your ultimate for when Baron Nashor 's heal drops to about a third. At this point the enemy team should have figured out what you're doing. At this point, cast Destiny for the sight of the enemy, and prepare Pick A Card (red) or Pick A Card (yellow), based on how many enemies come from a single direction. doing this should allow you to delay their team long enough to finish killing Baron Nashor , helping secure the buff. However, when you start your baron fight, focus him with Pick A Card (blue) for until you cast your ultimate- since you can't disable Baron Nashor and your Pick A Card (blue) has the highest damage output, you really can't go wrong. You can also use Wild Cards, but if you do, focus it in the direction of your own jungle so the cards don't tip the enemy team off. (video)

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Actual Statistics for Level 18

Some of the figures for final stats are wrong up above, so I have taken the liberty of calculating them for you. If any MOBAFire staff are reading this, then it's a REALLY SUBTLE NOTICE THAT THEY NEED TO UPDATE THEIR STATISTICS BLOCK CODING. Haha, you're welcome everyone :) Note- These figures were calculated using the wiki figures for base stats and adding in all benefits that apply from the exact build in the overview, without the addition of potions.

Health: 2102.37
Health Regeneration per 5: 14.7
Mana: 1314
Mana Regeneration per 5: 15
Armor: 72.9
Magic Resistance: 54.3
Tenacity: 0
Movement Speed: 428.4
Range: 525
Gold Bonus: 0 per 5
Attack Damage: 212.51
Attack Speed: 2.5 (maximum)
Critical Chance: 15%
Critical Damage: Normal (+100% damage)
Ability Power: 349.7 (or 461.24 while Surge is active)
Life Steal: 25%
Spell Vamp: 20%
Armor Penetration: 11 / 10%
Magic Penetration: 6.43 / 10%
Cooldown Reduction: 19%

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Special Thanks

Special thanks to the following people:
-Those who actually read this entire guide.
-Those who give me upvotes.
-Those who give me constructive criticism for this build or complement it.
-JhoiJhoi, for giving me great coding info that I didn't have (I may love "Code Monkey" by Jonathan Coulton, but I am so not a coder).
-My real world friend (the best kind, yes?) and fellow League player Dain for assisting me with checking the coding and general layout.
-All of the other people who helped put together Making A Guide by JhoiJhoi.

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Change Log

8/27/'12: Guide Published
10/7/'12: Emote and Lore chapter added