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Twisted Fate - Modern AP build

Last updated on January 4, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

Twisted Fate - Card Master

Why AP?

This is probably the most commonly asked question? Why AP? His ratios are bad, he has bad range and his AD synergizes with stacked deck.

But wait a minute....what does his AD scale with? His red card, and thats it. His Q is worthless on an AD build, and his PaC is but a stun with no real damage until late late game. Mid game is terrible on AD tf, even if he's fed, he's basically just waiting for kses because he doesn't have enough damage to hold his own against anything, not even AD soraka, mid game. That means, he's just a free target that poses no threat to the enemy unless he gets mid, gets fed and manages to get damage items before mid game comes around.

AD is certainly viable, but its definitely not the best way to go, and AP DOES have comparable dps.

Stacked deck, PaC, and WC all scale with AP, WC has great range for snipes AND VERY GOOD poke in team fights. Once you get lich bane, ur PaC alone will do more than half a squishies hp even if u are 1:1 kda at that point. You can only go up, and AP tf has a baller early/mid, and a very nice late game too, especially with the zhonya's rework.

even with 540 AP you hit hard, but that value is actually quite a bit LESS than what you can achieve now, thanks to the zhonjas rework.

I've also been trying and trying to find a build to point ppl wishing to try AP tf, and simply CANNOT find one. Ofc, if u do find this successful, keep mum, we don't want Riot nerfing our cardmaster anytime soon do we?

Early Game

This should be a breeze, grab a mana crystal OR

doran's ring

first up, your choice, without quints of fort def get the ring. If you're new to this also get the ring.

Last hit, then back off. Never be in range for enemy spells unless u have ur PaC READY (not off cd, ready) and wc off cd for a counter hit or to harass. You're harass will be mainly blue cards and sometimes WC, which you do NOT use till level 2 WC because their damage is pathetic before that. You're goal is to harass them till they b. If they do not, you have 2 options. Either, pretend to prepare another blue card to last hit, inch in close enough, then lock in gold and flash in for the kill with WC. Stacked deck proc is nice if doing this but not necessary depending on their hp. A good opponent will usually just back off...try not to dive, be wary of heal, and their cc esp if they got instantaneous cc. Don't chase, if u couldn't land ur GC then drop off because they will escape if they have half a mind to it.

You're 2nd option is to back off, let them push then ult in for the kill. Again, good foes should back, if they are trying to back while ur ult is up, use clair to check then go in if you think you can make it.

ONE MORE THING: YOU are one of the BEST COUNTER JUNGLES.Clairvoyance + destiny really really rape enemy junglers doing dragon/buff at any time, ESPECIALLY junglers that get low. WW and Udyr will prob be the only junglers that won't be super easy to gank, but jungle EVE ESPECIALLY, shaco, olaf, xin, trynd, yi, shen, rammus etc. are all real candidates for ganks. And its near imp to avoid. Just remember to recall in a bush or the wall nearest to enemy base to avoid being killed and trading kills, though early game that is OK to do so. Later game, trading kills is a waste, because you can easily kill their whole team or at least 2-3 of them if you preserve yourself and practice patience.

Now comes mid game, iur most fun part


Now, you should have Sheen and maybe even sorcs and another Amp tome (fiendish if you've been fed by their mid). If any lane has 2 ppl who are squishy and below 75% hp, overextended against both of ur lane mates, tell them ur going in, and go in, double kill should be easy. Make sure at least one of them has some form of cc, going in when that lane has master yi and garen doesnt really turn out that well.

Pantheon + you is simply OP. If both of you go in and fail to get a double kill, its either cuz they had flash and ghost and lots of hp, or u were really unlucky.

FInishing for you is a lot easier than it is to do with AD tf, ur pac's sheen proc and your wild cards follow up is an auto finish, no need to chase around auto attacking like some ******ed hobo chasing a free meal just out of range for that last autoattack. (yes ad tf often needs to chase after kills because everyone outranges, outruns, out survives and outdamages him esp mid game, there's a reason so many of them feed, and I don't blame them, its such a frustrating set up, and Riot should be ashamed for putting AD items as his recommended items, only someone with extreme knowledge of TF can viably pull that off consistently, and even then AP tf is the build of choice except certain situations which I will detail later)

Besides finishing, your red card + wild cards combo is a massive force in team fights, wait for tank to ini sneak in from a bush and use it then stay on the fringes. Know your enemy, adn twaht they can do. Know the cc for sure and its range and conditions, you have to hover at different ranges to kite a pantheon, a morg, a sion etc. etc.

A good place mid game is to have you're Sheen, Boots, Nashors, Radabon's and possibly the BW for Lich Bane.


You now have Lich Bane, and are building towards a Zhonya's Hourglass (here depicted as NLR). The armor will aid turret diving and defense, after this, you want rylais or abyssal depending on certain factors.
If they are downright nuking you're *** a lot, get abyssal, the Mr is wanted. If they are managing to get lots of hits on you but dont instagib you that well (lots of dps) rylais generally works better, even if they got a madreds, because it turns ur wild cards into a kite machine. If the enemy team didn't get any def items on their carry, you kill them in one combo, starting 500 AP. Fed enemy panth who stacked damage? You rape him.

Now lots of ppl do get defense, but even can actually kill a morgana, that has Rylais and Rod of Ages, in 2 combos (tested) but u need to be smart about it. You always need to be smart about dodging, coming in and out of bush, and making urself a pain in the *** to target. Kiting is you're game, and you can turn the table faster than even a singed. THis is where the AS comes in, Nashors Tooth + SD will give u great as, so that you can instantly turn around and hit GC's and WC;s in a lightning strike, then back off and have them off cd and ready to go in 2-3 more seconds. Boom.

In team fights, you're hell really. You don't need to focus anyone, just throw you're load at anyone with red card + wc and see them decimate. You need you're team ofc, but you need them mostly for cc, maybe 1 more dps (physical) would be great for beating on them, but if 2 tanks can draw their fire you can take out everyone that matters easily even in 3 v 5, and gtfo.

Avoid tanks, there's no point to attacking them, also, use clair in pair with destiny to BD, with abt 500 AP, you melt towers so fast, like literally, you can outpush a 5 v 4 push top with ease. You will be getting a good deal more than that thanks to the new caster items buff (thx Riot) and baron adds to that even.

Oh and one more thing, ur mana is never a problem past 200-300 AP, one blue card restores a **** ton of mana, so no need to b just cuz ur oom.

Golem buff is OP on tf esp in laning phase, very few ppl will be able to dodge all the WC u spam at their ***es and they will be forced to b and often die.


Regardless of how great twisted fate is, unlike certain champs, he doesn't do great AGAINST every team comp. However, he is very versatile and can FIT into any team comp, but there are certain counter pick teams that hurt him very hard, here are champs that make it risky to play twisted fate:

1) Akali - her instant burst hard counters ur pre arranged timed burst. You;re burst is great, and in fact you can out burst her at times, but she will still find killing you very easy. Her R, her burst, her shroud, really hurts you hard

2) Kassadin - Ouch, just ouch. Silence, good damage, etc. Yes you can beat kassadin a lot easier than u can beat akali, BUT, IF he manges to get fed, you're free meat no matter how good you play. Unless the kas is a downright failure, which means he shouldn't be fed in the first place

3) Poppy - not so much of an issue as the above 2, but again, great single target burst, great damage reduction, very hard to kill. If she's doing enough damage to 2-3 shot you, life gets really hard, evne if u go for MR. Because then ur rushing MR and getting owned by the rest of their team OR you're not doing enough damage to matter

4) CC + dash champs: Like xin, le blanc (if done well, very well), akali, etc.. these should not stop u form picking tf, but you need to be very wary of them since if they catch u anywhere away from a turret (or even under it and ur not full hp) they will wreck you. In team fights after they've expended their dash (akali will always target you, the kill is to easy to give up, and she has 3 shots at it) you can kite them pretty well but before that they can really come in and wreck you out of nowhere esp if your team is non -comittal.

5) Healers - they make u waste mana while poking and not letting u do a lot of ur job. Again, beating them is entirely possible, and I've done it lots of times, but really depends on how good ur team is at fighting and whether or not you are capable of focusing and commiting to killing the healer in team fights. It's just a bad matchup though.


AD tf as I said, was never the best build on the block. But its viable, and can always be pulled off if you are experienced enough. (dont start out ad plz, its just a very very ******ed starter because you have bad map awareness early (I did too) and bad everything, you're just an indigent).

Great if you're team has lots of AP damage dealers, or if the other team has healers / akali. Ad tf is less hurt by akali, because her dash doesn't make such an impact on you're damage (Akali at point blank makes Wild cards glitch up and miss alot, they tend to not hit at all at point blank), and less hurt by healers because when he's doing damage, it's ina team fight and hes commited and got a focus. If you're doing your job, and youre team is doing there's, you're getting damage done faster than the opponents can really heal themselves.

However, AD tf is hurt really bad by other ranged carries and other mages. BUt he rocks against melee dpsers and melee assassins that are either beefy or lack cc.

AP tf rapes other ranged carries, other mages, other chars with cc (his cc has a low cast time, which gets lower when u get attack speed) and squishy melee dps.

AD/AP tf are both decent against stealther, but AD will have more trouble 1 v 1 catching or fighting shaco, twitch and evelynn because they will often manage to get away and deprive you of you're damage, or be able to outdamage you during the phase they are squishiest and weakest: mid game. Ap tf will wreck them easily, if they have anything less than half hp its a free kill.

The new items are not yet here, so the build will be updated, and there are something I did not cover 100%, feel free to ask anything and any scenario. TF is all about playing specifically against every champ, and adopting and knowing what to do in every case. If you don't know what exactly a certain champ does it will make ur life hard, so feel free to ask me what to do against any champ that you are uncertain about, or in any situation.

GL, and I really hope this helps all the ppl wanting to play the badass cardmaster