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Twisted Fate Build Guide by busterdust

Not Updated For Current Season

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

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League of Legends Build Guide Author busterdust

The Real Twisted Fate Guide

busterdust Last updated on June 16, 2011
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Clash of Fates

Ability Sequence

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

Not Updated For Current Season

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


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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TF is one of the strongest champions in the game because of utility he brings to his team from his global ultimate, map awareness, high burst damage, and from being an incredibly fast pusher/backdoor/escape artist. He is also incredibly strong in the laning phase and cannot be harassed or denied when played correctly. TF can bail a team out of a poor early and mid game and is fun to play as either an AD or AP carry. In my opinion he is the most challenging and rewarding character to play in League of Legends.
*If you are already familiar with Twisted Fate, skip to the strategy section near the bottom.*

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AP: I like to run 9/0/21 on any caster because 21 on the utility is great for reduced cooldowns, increased movespeed, increased buff duration, and for having both the ghost flash masteries. To make up for this squishiness I use 3 quints of fortitude.

AD: You can go either 21/0/9 or 15/0/15 with ranged ad carries to get the flash and buff mastery. I usually go 21/0/9 in order to get the most damage I can since ADTF deals both physical and magic damage early game.

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AP: Health quints are important prevent TF from being too squishy while having boots at the start. I get mana regen seals to help his early mana deficiency and flat ap glyphs for a bit of oomph in damage, although wildcards have a very high base damage anyway. I also run magic penetration marks like any good caster should have.

AD: These are really up to you. My logic behind getting all armor pen is that it helps your damage far more than flat damage runes from mid-late game. With this build you will also find that a good majority of TF’s early game damage is actually magic and his AD starts picking up later, so it’s best to just go for armor pen. It may be better to go armor or magic resist seals since AD has little to no mana problems.

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AP: TF is good with eitherordepending on if you want more killing power or better escape/kiting ability.

On another note I often see many other AP TF guides suggestingfor summoners. These are poor choices because not having escape summoners makes you too vulnerable during all phases of the game. Versus any competent team you will be ganked constantly and TF will have no ability to escape. Clairvoyance also needs to go onto your support characters (Zilean, Alistar, Blitzcrank, Soraka, etc) and is a waste on a carry. While teleport seems to give a good deal of utility by allowing you to have two abilities to jump across the map, you will find that it is actually limited to pushing and is redundant with your ult. Situations where teleport is actually useful on top of destiny are very rare and you will find after many games that a ghost, flash, or an ignite had more uses than teleport. Without escape of offensive summoners you lose your presence as a carry.

AD: It’s always preferable to getoron any right click champion in order to gain better battle positioning or escape out of bad situations.

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Skills and Descriptions

Passive:Twisted fate and his allies get an extra two gold per kill.

Like it says your team gets some extra gold per farm which is great because TF can farm so easily.

Q:Wild Cards: Throws out three cards in a long range

For AP this should always be the maxed skill because it does 65% of your total ap and it also has a very high base damage. Wildcards are very strong because they cover a large range, do not weaken when they pass through units (like Caitlyn’s Q), and is an incredibly safe way to harass/nuke down an opponent or a team of opponents.

For AD this skill should be leveled last as it will have no damage but is actually very useful late game when everyone has banshee’s veils and this pops them easily.

W:Pick a Card

Being able to select the proper card at will quickly is what separates a bad TF from a great one. You should at least be able to get the card you want by the second pick if it comes up. If you find yourself missing gold cards a lot then you just need to keep practicing since it is TF’s bread and butter and part of what makes him enjoyable/challenging to play.

E:Stacked Deck

AP: One point should go into this at level (X) when you only have the option of leveling either pick a card or stacked deck. You will find that it adds a good chunk of damage when you harass by stunning and wildcarding the other solo laner.

AD:Should always be maxed out first and your main harassment skill in lane. Once your attack speed starts picking up, this skill will hurt early to mid game.


One of the best ultimates in the game and has so many uses. I’ve written an entire section on how to use destiny in the strategy section.

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Item Builds


Starting Item:+ 3x
Explanation: Boots need to be on TF for offense and defense. If TF can outrun the other solo, then he usually wins the lane for the time being because they cannot run away from being stunned or getting denied badly. Boots also give the ability to dodge skillshots and other harassment. It is a much better starting item than a dorans ring (which you can still buy if you please on your first trip back).

Core Items:,,
I’ve fiddled withvson TF and came to the conclusion that sorc boots work better for the extra damage not to mentionoffers TF a passive cooldown already, so the 15% from lucidity boots is not really needed.
is a great first item for TF because it gives him extra damage on hiswhich will let him hit champions/minions harder and kill turrets faster. It also gives him some extra mana to work with.

On the way to building a rabadon's like to get a needlessly large rod before a blasting wand if I am farming well and my team is winning. The extra damage will kill caster minions in 1 shot by wildcards, and you should be able to do so for the rest of the game if you keep getting more AP. Not to mention you will hit like a truck.

Why noton TF because he spams his skills so much?

Getting an earlydoes seem like a good idea on the surface, but having a high mana pool is not always important on a caster (most of the time when lots of mana is needed, it is always more cost efficient to buy a rod of ages). When I first started playing TF I would purchase archangel’s but I eventually realized that the money spent on that item hurts TF’s damage far too much and offers zero survivability with it. Also, blue cards return TF mana equal to 50% of the damage dealt, meaning the more damage TF does, the more mana he gets back anyway.will give more of that damage and is just a better choice. Even with 3000 mana the added ability power from archangels is still less than from a deathcap.
should be purchased right after rabbadon’s and you will notice an interesting boost in damage from yourauto-attack to both champions in towers. Any squishy champ with little to no survivability items will most likely come close to death or need to flash away from you when you stun and wildcard them once you have one.

Then shouldn’t I just get a lichbane first and then a rabbadons?

Here's the math (AKA I don't know why everyone rushes Lichbane)

First let's assume your full burst includes your pick a card (Gold) + wildcard damage, and that your base (AD) damage is 100.

Level 18 Burst with Lichbane:

- Total Cost: 3470 Gold
- AP: 80
- DMG = [PAC] + [WC] = [100base+45+(.4)x(80AP) + 80AP(from passive)] + [260 + (.65)x(80AP)]
= [100base+45+32+80] + [260+52] = 257 + 312 = 569 Damage

Level 18 Burst with Sheen + Needlessly Large Rod

- Total Cost: 2860 Gold
- AP: 105
- DMG = [PAC] + [WC] = [100x2base+(.4)x(105AP)] + [260 + (.65)x(105AP)]
= [200+42] + [260+68] = 242 + 328 = 570 Damage

Conclusion: Same amount of damage for 600 less gold when buying Sheen + NLR vs Lichbane. Also, the 30mres and movespeed utility from Lich is insignificant when compared to being able to one shot caster minions with wildcards.

Late Game Items:
These items are up to you. If my team is destroying and I’m also fed, I will go all out AP and get aand a. If the game is even I will probably purchase a void staff and a(Banshees first if the other team is heavy on CC). If your team is losing you will probably never get to this point or will be still working on your rabbadon’s or lichbane.

Dorans Blade: I get this as a first item on any ranged ad carry and it’s great for the extra health and lifesteal. Buy 2 or 3 of these if you feel that you need more survivability in your lane.
Sword of the Divine: This item combined with his stacked deck gives TF a good deal of fast magic dps early game. This item’s active also sets up TF for higher damage later on.
Yoummus: Work’s great with sword of the divine and a high burst damage/chase item. Sometimes can be used as an escape. Always remember activate it!
Mercury Treads: These boots are needed for an AD TF in most games because his attack range is one of the shortest for all ranged carries, meaning he will always be susceptible to CC when he is attacking. In the rare case where the enemy team has little or no CC, berserker grieves are fine.
Infinity Edge: Your damage will be incredible once you get an infinity edge and you won’t need a phantom dancer or much armor pen since you got that covered in the previous two items and your runes.
Late Game Items:

I would suggest aright after your iedge or even before depending on how your game is going. Always build according to how the game is going and always be thinking of how you can counter their team composition before buying an item.

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Early Game/Laning Phase

AP: Laning with AP Twisted Fate can be very easy and hard at the same time. Try to focus on killing as many creeps as possible during the laning phase since TF is very item dependant. Since TF’s base damage to minions is very weak it is useful to always spam blue cards to last hit them and regain some mana. You should also ask to go against the solo who is the most difficult in order to take that burden off your team (TF should never double lane since his ultimate is needed as early as possible in the game.). TF with boots is quite strong against heavy harassers such as ezreal, cait, ashe, urgot, brand, leblanc, etc. He also has no problem getting every creep kill versus heavy pushing solos such as malzahar, heimerdinger, and sivir because his wildcards will prevent the minion wave from getting to the turret. He can outburst characters and win most of the tradeoffs when he is in range of the other solo. When his health is low he can also farm very easily at a long range with wildcards.

I mention that it can be difficult to lane with APTF because inexperienced TF’s like to spam wildcards too much and push their lane out. Any good jungler will notice this and you will be ganked constantly, especially if you choose middle. Another issue I notice is when a novice TF decides to lock gold cards constantly and deny the other solo but farms very poorly when doing so and ends up denying himself. Instead you should have your PAC (which I will now call the W skill) rotating while you farm, letting your enemy solo know you can stun them at will but blue card minions once the enemy backs off.

AD: You will not be as incredible in the lane as APTF but you should have an easier time last hitting minions and still be able to hold your own against an opponent. Your harassment is based off of poking the opponent with your, which does a good deal of consistent damage. The basic strategy is: last hit 3 minions peck at enemy solo with stacked deck, repeat. You could also: last hit 2 minions, lock a gold card, zone out or stun and then attack once more for stacked deck. The amount of matchups in which TF is free to harass an enemy carry without putting himself in danger is more limited, however.

Level 6+: Once TF gets hishe should always be looking for ways to use it as much as possible. This includes ganking the enemy jungler, revealing stealthed champions and roamers, turning a 2v2 into a 3v2, assassinating enemies that got away from your team, buying and coming back to your lane immediately (try to avoid doing this), and escaping impossible situations (my favorite). Always let your team know “My ult is up” and before you do any sort of gank ping before you turn on your ulti. Not everyone is always on the same page and confusion often leads to poor ganks and unnecessary deaths. More on how to use destiny will be covered in the strategy section.

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Mid-End Game

Covered below...

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For Assassinating or Joining a Teamfight:
If you are laning you must push out your lane before you ultimate. You do not want to kill someone bot lane and realize you have lost your tower top lane shortly afterwards. Be sure to quickly kill the minion wave but make sure you have at least 50 percent of your mana needed for the gank. Also remember to run back to your turret or a safe place before since your ult can be stopped by any crowd control by the enemy laner, then lock in a gold card, ping to your team, activate [destiny] and go.

For Revealing the Enemy Team:
You should only use your destiny as a reveal when all 5 of the enemy team are MIA and the next teamfight will determine the game. You should also use it if your team thinks they are taking a major objective (baron or dragon) and you have no vision over it.

Destiny is also a great reveal for stealthed champions and roamers. If you are unable to gank anyone with your ultimate you can spot an eve or a twitch out of position and possibly get a kill.

For Backdoor Pushing:
Read Below

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Pushing Strategies (IMPORTANT)

TF is one of the few characters in the game who has an escape mechanism that lets him push lanes far into enemy territory very quickly without much risk in dying. Because of this he has the ability to drag a game on by preventing the enemy team from doing a focused push and buying time for you and your team to farm and catch up to the enemy, turning a losing game into a tie.

When do I push and when do I fight with my team?

Knowing when to push and when to fight is the difference between a bad and a good TF, and after many games I’ve found there is a really simple rule of thumb: If your team is winning and you can win a teamfight, go fight with them. If your team is losing, notify your team to defend and go push a side lane. ALWAYS prioritize fighting with your team instead of pushing if you know you can win that teamfight. While you can turn a losing game into a draw by pushing, you can also turn a winning game into a draw if you decide to solo push while your team is forced to get into 4v5 fights.

If the rest of your team cannot defend a turret while you push a lane you most likely lost the game anyway.

An example situation to push is when the enemy team is winning and you ult to reveal that they are killing baron. If you know your team is out of position or there is no way for you to win a baron fight, teleport bot and push as fast as possible. Many times you will be able to take an inhibitor while they are busy taking baron, preventing them from pushing once they have baron. You also benefit from having a naked inhibitor because once you find their team packed together in the jungle again or pushing a lane, you can ult and quickly take out that inhibitor again.
Remember, in that situation if your team was in position and you think you would have stood a chance in a baron fight, you should definitely ult by your team (don’t ult on top of their whole team or you will die instantly) and duke it out.

How to clear a minion wave quickly as AP TF

(Before Rabadon’s) Prepare a red card and run past the minion wave so they all bunch around you. Hit them all with the red card AOE and finish the minions with your wildcards.

(With Rabadon’s) Your wildcards do enough to 1 shot caster minions. Once you see a wave coming towards you all lined up, prepare a red card and shoot a wildcard straight down that line and all that should be left are 3 melee minions with low hp. Hit those remaining minions with your red card and you should be able to clear a wave in about 2 seconds.
*Always try to hit the most minions possible with wildcards, you do not want to waste a lot of time auto-attacking and waiting for your cooldowns to refresh, otherwise your pushing effort is less useful.

How to Ward and Escape Scott Free When Pushing a Lane

Before you go solo pushing a lane make sure you KNOW where the other team is. It is not solo-pushing if there are 5 MIA and you die instantly when you try to ‘backdoor,’ and lose the game for your team. Have an idea where the rest of the team is in your head and keep notes, “3 top, 1 mid, 1 possibly around the rest of their team. Okay I should push bot,” or “3 mid one just died and is spawning soon, if I push I will be stopped immediately. “

Before you decide to push into their base it is preferable to put wards up in these locations:

The blue dots are where to ward if you are on blue team, and the purple dots are where to ward if you are on the purple team.

If someone shows up on one of the wards you put down you need to ask yourself:

-Is the rest of his team following shortly behind?
If yes than ult back to fountain or with the rest of your team
If you see the rest of their team still pushing and they sent 1 person to stop you, decide:
Can I 1v1 this person?
If yes then keep pushing or fight them
If no then ult out

You may not need to buy wards if their whole team is visible. If they start dispersing that means they are going after you. Keep pushing for a bit and then activateto get vision. Teleport out once they are near you.

*Remember that this strategy is useful if you are losing a game or if their teamfight comp is much stronger than yours. Otherwise you should fight with your team.

(edit: decided not to make a flow chart. Too much work.)

*If you have Zohnyas Hourglass, your teleport cannot be interrupted.

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AP: Teamfighting with APTF is very strange and I’ll put a video below to show how it’s done. Basically all your damage occurs in bursts and you need to disable the carry (if you can do it safely), wildcard and run out. You also need to try to wildcard the enemy champions in a teamfight simulatenously. So It’s basically: Lock gold card, stun champion, wildcard, run FAR away until you get another gold card and repeat.


AD: Team fighting with ADTF is simpler and similar to playing as Ashe, except you still need to remember to gold card your opponent as many times as possible. Always auto-attack from a safe position (this takes practice) and if you must, attack the enemy tank or support instead of the carry. Remember, you deal 0 damage if you are dead. Positioning and battle awareness take a lot of practice to understand and to be honest it’s something I’m still learning as well.

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Final Comments

I really wrote this guide for myself for reference and just to see how much I really had in my brain about this champion. I am not the greatest Twisted Fate player, but I definitely have a lot of experience playing him and went through the ups and downs of learning such a difficult champ. There was a lot of trial and error that went into writing this build guide and it is all written from personal experience. This is the RIGHT way to play Twisted Fate and I see it all the time in high level games. Hopefully this guide will also get someone who is learning this champ motivated to appreciate how versatile and how much potential he has.