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Twisted Fate Build Guide by Tesseractual

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Tesseractual

The Cardslinger - Twisted Fate Mechanics and Strategy Guide

Tesseractual Last updated on March 2, 2016
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Middle Lane
Ranked #3 in
Middle Lane
Win 53%
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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.


Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 18

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 12

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

Threats to Twisted Fate with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Annie Her stuns are easy to avoid and if she saves them for you, she'll fall behind while you're still farming like a champ with your Q from a distance. Just watch out for her ultimate because it can hit you hard.
Heimerdinger His turrets hurt like hell if you let them hit you but you can pretty consistently melt him with your pokes and get free farm time. Play passively, stay behind minions, and hit your Qs and he'll get behind pretty fast.
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I recently hit level 30 and placed into Silver 1. Games have steadily been getting more difficult and many of the tips I provided in this guide were only good against new, low-level players. Against high-level experienced players, I've found that I can get a way with a lot less so I'll be revising my strategy and updating this guide with what I learn.

Note: I've gotten more experience with TF and the game in general. If anyone interested in an update of this guide, let me know.

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Pros / Cons

Here are the pros and cons I've identified for this way of building and playing Twisted Fate:


+ Reasonable comebacks
+ Good kiting and escape (escape through kiting; not sure if that's a thing)
+ Secures kills easily
+ Great poke/long-term damage
+ Crucial team fighter
+ Strong late-game pusher


- Passive early game
- Medium squishy
- Mega annoying - you'll be the first to get focused down if you let them
- All-or-nothing commitments
- Situationally luck dependent
- Very item dependent
- Team dependent

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Runes and Masteries

I'm not level 30 yet but if I was and I had enough IP, those are the runes and masteries I'd get for Fate. Note that half the time I don't even use the right mastery page and do just as well, so I don't think they matter much.


Mark of Magic Penetration - Almost all your damage comes from magic so you this works well to increase your damage.
Seal of Scaling Health - Sometimes that bit of damage from ignite kills you, or you could've came out alive with the kill if you soaked up that 1 extra basic attack. This rune keeps your squishiness at bay. Alternatively, you can get armor or magic resistance if you know who you're up against.
Quint of Movement Speed - Movement speed is needed for positioning for the entire game. It also helps you chase people down and land your stuns.
CD Reduction - This helps you poke more and get stuns out faster in the mid-game. Also helps with landing last hits. With 6 flat runes and 3 scaling, you'll have 10 CD reduction at level 18 - a nice, incremental number.


The masteries are pretty straightforward for an AP poker. Get as much damage in your shots as you can, even sacrificing durability, because you'll be far enough away to not need the durability.

Note: Check out Greedforce's guide for a more experienced take on Twisted Fate and his build.

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Summoner Spells

Flash - Mandatory. Helps you land those epic clutch stuns and get away in high-speed chases.

Ghost - After Flash, this is my favorite summoner spell. It gives you an edge in team fights, helps you chase people down, and occasionally helps you outrun extremely commited enemies.

Cleanse - The best way to counter Fate's stun is to disable him before he can land it. Cleanse will instantly rid you of disables and save you in tight situations. With cleanse and your stun, no single enemy will be able to chase you down.

Ignite - This one's also viable but I generally don't like it. Ignite doesn't work well with a poking play style but it'll definitely help to secure those squishy kills in combination with a surprise teleport.

The Rest - I can't see why any of the other summoner spells would be better than those listed above for Twisted Fate.

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There are 3 main categories of items for this guide: Core, Defensive, and Offensive. Core items are essential because of the unique perks they provide while Defensive and Offensive items help you snowball or recover based on how the game's going. Generally, I buy items in this order: Sheen -> Boots of speed -> Athene's Unholy Grail -> Shoes from Offensive/Defensive with enchantment -> Lich Bane -> Rabadon's Deathcap -> AP Item from Offensive/Defensive -> Void Staff -> Elixer of Sorcery.


The unique perks Core items provide are invaluable.

The main thing you need shoes and an enchantment for is the movement speed because you're relatively squishy and you need to chase people down for your stun. Furor helps you secure the kills as well as run away after you land a stun while alacrity gives you a constant movement speed bonus - good if you can't land your basic attacks.

Lich Bane Unless you really can't get close enough to land your stuns, Lich Bane is essential. The bonus damage it gives you synergizes really well with your W and gives you a great deal more burst damage. Even so, it's only useful if you have a lot of AP for the bonus damage. Early game, get a sheen for easier last hits but don't bother with building the rest of Lich Bane until you have a lot of AP.

Athene's Unholy Grail Helps you throw card after card in team fights and you'll never want for mana for a gold card. This works really well with the play style because as soon as an enemy dies in a team fight, you'll have enough mana to chase the next guy down.

Rabadon's Deathcap is pretty straightforward. It keeps your pokes and attacks sharp and makes your other AP items scale better.

Feeling the Squish

If you're getting consistently, successfully focused at any time, get a Zhonya's Hourglass. It'll save you from bursts in team fights and keep you on the battlefield to put more damage on the other team. If you have a full inventory late-game, feel free to sacrifice Athene's Unholy Grail because you probably won't need it as much as you do in the mid game.


If your team is sucking or the enemy just has too much damage, get defensive items so you don't have to die every time your teammates do. These items make you more useful from afar since getting close is too dangerous.

Luden's Echo A pretty straightforward AP item that gives your pokes some extra damage. The movement speed bonus is also really helpful for not dying.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity completes your cooldown reduction. Enchantment: Alacrity gives you a constant movement speed bonus which is more useful than furor because it works from poke range.

Rapid Firecannon I picked this up from playing AD Fate and it works so well with your stuns that the lack of AP and the wasted crit bonus bonus are worth it compared to the extra range you get to land your stuns. If you're feeling underfed or squishy but your team's doing alright, get this item to stun from afar in team fights.


If you feel comfortable with getting close (i.e. you have a good tank to hide behind or you're just a badass), pick up a Nashor's Tooth for some epic on-hit damage. This'll push the enemy like crazy and end the game soon (see Late Game strategy). The AP from the offensive items keeps your pokes sharp so even if you get driven back, you'll still be able to deal good damage from afar.

Sorcerer's Shoes gives you a decent amount of magic penetration while Enchantment: Furor is useful because you have opportunities to get in and trigger the movement speed bonus.

Late Game

Void Staff is a pretty straightforward item. It makes you deal a decent amount of more damage late-game and gives you AP.

Replace your previous shoes with Berserker's Greaves if you have Nashor's Tooth. The attack speed bonus will let you melt towers even faster, and gives you loads more of DPS.

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High Noon lets you put on the old wild west attitude you need behind your cardslinging. If only those cards had bullets painted on them to complete my metaphor.

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General Strategy

AP Twisted Fate's play style feels kind of like counting cards. Go in only if you'll probably come out positive and bail with what you can before the casino gets suspicious. Play it safe, actively work for an advantage, and keep the advantage for a win - at the very least a good KDA.

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Early Game

Early game's all about the farm. Harassing is fun and stuff but you need your AP ASAP! I highly recommend going into an AI game and practicing killing every single creep with a combination of your abilities. Try dealing collateral damage with your Q as often as possible, chipping at the opponent's health in addition to securing last hits.

During the laning phase, your W is the most useful ability but it doesn't scale well with upgrades, and actually costs much more mana at higher levels. Level 2 W will significantly help with last hitting but after that, you'll start getting diminishing returns. Max your Q to increase the pressure you can put on the enemy mid

I think this is fairly standard strategy but I'll mention it anyways: Only push to their tower if you have wards up. Otherwise, keep the minions in a healthy center position of the lane so you won't get ganked.

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Mid Game

Mid game is where Twisted Fate shines the most. This is when he just got a high AP item and can take out a chunk of enemies' health because they don't have any magic resist yet. Your job is to poke with your Q, poke, poke, teleport -> kill. On top of the awesome damage your Q has, there's also a huge range so they can't really do anything against your poke except try to dodge it. Against a clump of 5 enemy champs, you're bound to hit someone.

When team fights start, you should linger around the outside and only use your Q and stuns until after the enemy team uses their bursts. Stay close enough so you can secure a kill or chase down the enemy team if they run, but far enough so they can't focus you.

If you have Zhonya's hourglass and it's not on CD, feel free to get close and land as many stuns as you can.

With your Ultimate, your cleanup is amazing mid-game which is why you Athene's Unholy Grail works so well. As soon as you get a kill or assist in a team fight and the enemy team scrams, you'll have enough mana to teleport and execute your combos.

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Late Game

You can easily shave off half of a squishy's health with your Stun + Wild Card combo so if you find anyone wandering about with low enough health, you can secure the kill with your ultimate and get an advantage in the next team fight. Late game, your fighting power drops off compared to some other champs but with full CDR and the epic mana regen from Athene's, you can stun like a boss. Your poke still hurts like hell against squishies so keep poking!


In late game team fights, you'll be doing some epic basic attack damage with your Nashor's tooth. Instead of lingering on the outskirts the entire fight, try to find an opening where you can Ghost -> Stun -> Kill/massively damage -> Scram. Since you're one of the squishiest champs in the late game, you'll have to play your cards quick, safe, and right.

Keep in mind that your late-game pushing power is amazing. Your basic attack damage does upwards of 200 with Nashor's tooth, and around 600 with Lich Bane's effect. Combined with a colored card, you can take down a turret in less than 5 shots. With Berserker's Greaves, you'll be sending out more than 2 shots per second. Feel free to solo towers if you're not low on health.

Your wave clear is even better than the damage you do against buildings. With a single red card and a Q, you can clear the majority of 3 stacked minion waves then clean up the survivors with your awesome basic attack. Since enemy champions'll kill you pretty fast, you shouldn't hang around them without your team. Your top priority is to put constant minion pressure on the enemy and sneak a building kill whenever you can.

Split push whenever your ult is up and you see a lack of enemies on a lane. Keep pressure on the enemy on all lanes, forcing them to invest valuable time clearing the minions you've pushed to their base, all while you're just 2 seconds away from your team.

If a fight is forced out of your team, pop Destiny and teleport to where you're needed.


If your team was getting pummeled and you had to go the defensive, you'll have to play passively and wait until the enemy makes a mistake. Ideally, you'll transition to the offensive build to unlock your full pushing power but if your team can't get any momentum, don't bother with getting items for pushing. Defend, play it smart, and be greedy with your KDA. In my experience, there's not much a Twisted Fate can do to turn a losing game around.

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Q: The Card-Sling

Your Wild Cards are like 50 caliber bullets. They have crazy range, deal massive damage, and penetrate everything in their way. Getting last hits with them is pretty straightforward but remember that your Blue Card is much more efficient mana-wise. If you're not low on mana, it's always worth it to guarantee a last hit or two and poke an enemy as well.

After the laning phase, your Q is one of the best pokes there is. Long range, reasonably hard to dodge, low cooldown, and low mana cost all make it an amazing long-term damage dealer.

Max this first because it's your highest damage ability.

Quick Tip: If you're trying to hit enemy champions, aiming a side card at them sometimes catches them off guard.

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W: Stun, and company

Pick A Card... The most basic skill of any Twisted Fate player is picking the right card for the job.

Here's a synopsis each card's use:
Blue - Mana regen. The bit of extra damage isn't as useful as a slow or stun so the only reason why you'd use the blue card is to get mana and/or last hits.
Red - I use red card if I need that bit of extra range to hit the enemy champion. Hitting a minion close to the enemy champ will apply the slow on the enemy and allow you to easily land your Q. Later on in the game, red card is very good for keeping away a group who's chasing you but keep in mind that if they're already on top you, a stun's usually better since it cuts off one enemy's DPS. If your team is chasing a group of enemies, don't hesitate to secure all of those kills with a well-placed slow but remember that they can still fight back. Red is also useful for clearing minion waves and clumps of monsters (i.e. chickens) for that extra bit of gold.
Gold - This is your best friend. Always have a stun within reach in case someone decides to chase you or you can chase them and secure a kill. Use this card as often as possible in team fights. Target the enemies your team is focusing or the ones who have strong CC or damage.

You always want enough mana in the bank for 2 card picks and 1 wild card unless you have the crazy mana regen you get from Athene's Grail. This way, you're always a threat. You can stun the opponent and guarantee a Wild Cards hit and still be protected from ganks. If the enemy decides to chase you after you extend, pick your gold card again and stun them while you run away laughing. If they don't chase you, you can always farm back your mana with your Blue Card. Your W ability is your sword, shield, and bread.

In the laning phase, picking a card often feels like playing a polyrythmic piano piece. One part of your brain needs to keep track of picking the card. The other needs to pay attention to attack rate and last hitting minions. This is one of the reasons why a well-versed Twisted Fate can be so much better than an inexperienced one because the timing is something that's difficult to get down without practice - and gives you a huge advantage in laning. While they're missing their cards and last hits, you're farming your passive and getting mana as soon as your cooldown finishes.

Max this second because you can't spare the extra mana until later on.

Quick Tip: You don't always need to pick the card right away. As long as you don't lock in, you can threaten enemies with a gold card if they come close or farm mana with a blue card if they don't. Delaying the locking in also gives you more time with the card activated which is invaluable in pursuits where you need to take time to catch up.

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E: Ca-ch$ng

Thanks to Epicmaneuvers and Greedforce, I realized that this ability is crucial to farming. Throw a point into E early on to guarantee more last hits and save your mana. Try to spread out your W and E so that you'll be able to get damage bonuses in between cooldown/chargeup. I.e. If your stacked deck is up, use it to kill a creep before locking in your blue card.

If you want to trade, have a stacked deck up to add to your stun, sending out some extra damage in the trade.

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R: Twisting Fate

Fate's Destiny is one of the best ultimates of the champions I've played so far. He can secure kills, get to team fights instantly, and in some situations, escape death. Here are a few use cases for the Twisted Fate's ultimate:

At level 6, this is a free teleport. If you don't see any gankable targets, you can recall, buy your items, then use your ultimate to clear a big chunk of the lane. Just make sure you're standing on the spawn for the mana regen because this ability uses a decent chunk of mana.

After a team fight or against a wandering squishy, you can use your ultimate to secure the kill. If you can help it, teleport into an unwarded bush close to or on the trajectory of the victim for extra surprise. If you spot your team chasing a high-priority target, feel free to stop the chase with the same strategy.

If you're about to be surrounded, pop a stun on the guy chasing you and teleport to safety. Against champions without stuns/knockbacks, you might not even need the stun. Sometimes you can take the damage like a man and channel away your teleport.

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Slight of Hand (Mechanics)

As AP Fate, your basic attack does almost no damage until you get Nashor's Tooth. The key to securing kills is your stun card. If you land a stun, don't just sit there and tickle him. Keep running towards where you think the enemy will try to run after the stun wears off, and stick to him like glue so that he'll never get out of range. As soon as your W's cooldown finishes, pop him with another stun and secure the kill.

Gold->Q is a pretty straightforward combo. If you have Lich Bane or Nashor's Tooth, it might be worth it to land follow-up attacks while the enemy's still stunned but before your basic attack does any significant damage, it's better to play it safe and take home what you can without receiving any damage yourself.

Red->Q is like Gold->Q but only more useful when 1. You need the extra range from the splash or 2. You're trying to land hits on a group of enemies. Generally, it's better to use Gold-Q because it removes any chance of retaliation and lets you get an extra basic attack in after the Q.

In tight situations where you're running away, it's sometimes better to double tap W and pop a card asap. You have a 2/3 chance to put some CC on the enemy which makes the odds in your favor. If you have Rylai's Sceptor, you'll even apply a slow with your blue card making getaways much easier.

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Smart Casting

For a long time, I played without Smart Cast but immediately noticed the difference after I started using it. Personally, I still need the range indicators so I use smart cast with range indicators. The milliseconds it takes to release the keys is negligible even in the clutchiest of situations but the range markers and second chances are really useful.

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The End

... For your opponents' egos. This is my first guide so I don't know what opinions to expect from the audience, or how to make an especially appealing guide for you guys. I hope I explained the mechanic, strategy, and build well but if not, please give me suggestions on any improvements I can make.

Thanks for reading my guide and good luck with rage inducing.