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Twitch Build Guide by TROLLing1999

AD Carry Twitch: A Guide to the Smelly Assassin

AD Carry Twitch: A Guide to the Smelly Assassin

Updated on June 23, 2014
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League of Legends Build Guide Author TROLLing1999 Build Guide By TROLLing1999 8,538 Views 4 Comments
8,538 Views 4 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author TROLLing1999 Twitch Build Guide By TROLLing1999 Updated on June 23, 2014
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Hello ladies and gentlemen!
This is TROLLing1999 yet with another marksman guide. This time I will be presenting my thoughts and tips on playing Twitch, The Plague Rat. Twitch recently got a visual update and thus his popularity and pick rate was increased, too. His kit is centered around auto attacking and applying stacks of Deadly Venom followed up by Contaminate for maximum damage output.

Twitch is recognised as a strong marksman with good trades in lane and great potential in teamfights. However, there are some elements of his that tend to be overlooked by many people. Twitch can scale extremely well into late game and become a hypercarry similar to Vayne, while the addition of Blade of the Ruined King in the core build along with Ambush transforms him into an assasin-like duelist. Twitch can be a threat all game long if played correctly and that's exactly what I attempt to teach you here!
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Patch 4.10: Changes on Twitch

In Patch 4.10 Riot decided to nerf Twitch to oblivion after the play he had seen both in the competetive scene and in solo queue. Riot claimed:

"We think Twitch has awesome lategame power, but he's also got an offensively strong early game on top of having a lot of safety throughout. To focus on that safety aspect, Ambush's stealth often let Twitch make an escape even when already caught out by enemies. We do think the new AD itemization changes will benefit the smelly rat, but the focus here is (mostly) to provide some additional counterplay for preventing stealth (hit him in the face!)."

As a consequece the changes below took place:

Passive - Deadly Venom
TRUE DAMAGE: 2/4/6/8 (at levels 1/6/11/16) ⇒ 1/2/3/4/5/6 (at levels 1/4/7/10/13/16)

Q - Ambush
STEALTH TIMING: Time to stealth without taking damage now 1.25 seconds ⇒ 1.5 seconds
STEALTH TIMING WHILE BEING HIT IN THE FACE: Maximum time to stealth while taking damage now 3 seconds ⇒ 6 seconds

Right now Twitch is nowhere near as strong as he used to be before the changes. Not only is his true damage reduced during all the phases of the game but he also has no sure escape mechanism. 6 seconds is way too much for an adc and in most cases a marksman will already be dead within this time period.
All in all, Twitch is nothing like the old Rat. However, hopefully, there aren't any changes on his kit for now. You can still play aggressive and apply stacks of your passive in lane, even though you need to be much more careful now. If you manage it through the laning phase, you still have the hypercarry potential, as your damage is still quite good.
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// This is the best possible mastery setup for Twitch sicne it adds lots of damage and some good defensive bonuses for the laning phase.

// In the offense tree you want to grab masteries that will directly increase your physical damage output and especially your DPS since you're not a caster-marksman. Thus it's legitimate to choose Frenzy over Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving . Some other points also boost your performance in lane and especially your sustain.

// The idea behind the points in the defensive tree is that they make you more durable in trades and thanks to the damage reduction, the healing regeneration and the increased health it will be much more difficult for opponents to force you out of lane.
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Summoner Spells

+ /

Flash is mandatory because of your lack of mobility and of an escaping tool in general. Flash can help you escape from sticky situations by Flashing over walls or it can be used aggressively to get a good position for a better combat.

After the buffs, Heal has taken the place of Barrier as the primary defensive spell choice. It now scales better than barrier into and also provides you with a temporary MS boost. In addition to this, it can remove Ignite and other healing reduction effects.

Cleanse is awesome if you are quick enough to use it within these 1-2 seconds, while you're affected by CC. Otherwise, you'd better go for Heal. I always get it against support Fiddlesticks, Taric etc. You can also grasp an early Quicksilver Sash or rush Tenacity Items.
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Laning Phase

Always start the game with Doran's Blade, a Health Potion and Stealth Ward. This start gives AD for last hitting trading, sustain and tankiness so that you don't get forced out of lane and some vision. At your first back opt for a second Doran's Blade( a must have after the changes) Boots and Bilgewater Cutlass. Thus you will be able to escape from enemy ganks thanks to the movement speed and trade more effectively due to the extra LS and AD. Your first core item should be Blade of the Ruined King(finish it before you leave the lane). It gives you great dueling potential thanks to the Life Steal, the AD and the AS (=more passive procs) and the active, while the passive counters the hypertank meta. It's a great invenstment, whose powerspike is late game. Then upgrade your boots to Berserker's Greaves for more mobility and more efficient trades.

Standard Mid-Late Game

After completing botrk I usually try to buy Phantom Dancer. It increases a lot my single target damage, thus allowing me to outduel enemies with ease. The crits also proc with your ultimate and you can really achieve a really high damage output. Then I purchase Last Whisper to counter the armor the enemy team will have built already. It is a very cost efficient item and it will allow to hurt not only squishy but also tankier targets. Infinity Edge is one more core offensive item purchase. It boosts your general damage output a lot thanks to the 75 AD, the Crit Chance and the Crit Damage Increase. It also synergizes well with Phantom Dancer. With this in your inventory you will deal insane damage both in 1vs1 situations and in teamfights with your ult. From all defensive items, 90% of the times I choose Guardian Angel. Its passive can turn a teamfight if your team is well coordinated and it provides you with enough armor and magic resist.

Noteworthy Alternatives

Statikk Shiv is a replacement to PD. It gives less AS and Crit but it is cheaper and the passive can help you waveclear much faster and split push lanes. I pick it when I want to split push or don't have enough gold for Phantom Dancer. Bloodthirster is an alternative to Blade of the Ruined King. If you purchase it you change your whole gameplay since you won't be such a great duelist late game but you will be stronger in early- mid game trades. Mercurial Scimitar is good item pick against CC heavy teams, while Banshee's Veil is really good versus unavoidable CC abilities like Vi's ultimate. Maw of Malmortius is very situational. I only purchase it if I have bought an early Hexdrinker against a burst mage like LeBlanc. After the changes in Patch 4.10, Youmuu's Ghostblade is a great choice if you're ahead. It's active can work nicely together with your Ambush AS steroid and allow you to burst down people.

Full Build Example #1

This is my standard and most common build. It is centered around Blade of the Ruined King. With this item build you're a monster late game . You can duel with everyone or even assassinate squishies in seconds, waveclear and you deal tremendous damage in teamfights thanks to the Infinity Edge+ Phantom Dancer combination. Additionally, tanks shouldn't be much of a problem if you manage to kite them thanks to Blade of the Ruined King, Last Whisper and the true damage from Deadly Venom. Blade of the Ruined King's active also gives you an extra edge against assassins and bruisers with gap closers. The defensive item should be chosen purely according to the situation.

Full Build Example #2

I don't use this buildpath very often. The combination of Bloodthirster and Statikk Shiv is clearly early-mid game oriented. If you follow this build you won't have much trouble trading with other strong carries mid game. You will also excel at splitpushing. However, you won't scale as well into late game and marksmen such as Vayne or Jinx will probably cause you problems. Your damage in teamfights will still be decent and you should be opting more for them rather than 1vs1 situations since you lack the dueling and assassinating potential of Blade of the Ruined King.
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Ability Explanations

(Passive) Deadly Venom
Deadly Venom seems weak early game but it scales really well into late game. It deals true damage over time and allows you to win trades even if you land the same number of auto attacks with your opponent. Your kit is centered around this ability since Contaminate deals damage according to the stacks you have.

(Q) Ambush
This is another ability that is average in the laning phase and scales really well into late game. Early Game, i use Ambush only as an escaping mechanism along with Flash and when returning to lane and plan to trade with the enemy addc so that I can get the extra AS. Mid- Late Game it adds a lot to your dueling and roaming potential and will allow you to approach teamfights without being scouted. It can also work as an escaping tool.

(W) Venom Cask
This looks more like an ultility spell but also has its offensive uses. When trading always throw this if your enemy is backing off or is too far away. You will get more stacks in your passive and it will result into a harmful Contaminate. Note that like AA it resets Deadly Venom's duration. So you can use it at the end of mini trades and then back off to apply more damage.

(E) Contaminate
This ability is Twitch's bread and butter. It is heavily reliant on Deadly Venom since you deal more damage if you have lots of stacks. Every time you manage 3 or more hits to an enemy use this ability for maximun damage output. If you see you can do more basic attacks wait till you get full stack of your passive and then cast this spell. It has a ridiculously long range and can help you finish off fleeing targets.

rat-ta-tat-tat (R) Rat-Ta-Tat-Tat
Upon acttivation your ultimate gives you lots of AA range(most range in the game), some AD and turns your AA into skill shots. The bolts also apply on hit effects, crit and Deadly Venom. If you can aim correctly this ability will allow you to outduel everyone 1vs1 or finish off targets that are running away. However, it best shines in teamfights, where it can deal tons of damage itself or combined with Contaminate.
You can also siege turrets easily since you now have more range than them and won't be hit. However, this use is very situational. Remember to move between auto attacks if it neccessary and aim carefully because otherwise you won't use it to full potential.

At level 1 you want to grab Contaminate in case you have to trade early. Then at level 2 I like to put my point into Venom Cask because it is more helpful when trading than Ambush. At level 3 you want to put a point in Ambush. It can help you and your support intitiate trades or escape from enemy ganks. From now on, I prioritize Contaminate because it gives me kill potential and scales well into late game. Ambush comes second because the increased duration and the better steroids are a great help when dueling/chasing/running away mid-late game. Venom Cask doesn't scale as well into late game and 1 point is enough till level 14. Like with every other champion grab your ultimate whenever possible.
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Laning Phase

The Bottom Lane

This image illustrates the bottom lane and the three main zones you should be aware of when playing bottom lane. Before you proceed with the advanced tactics you should learn the basics and have the following things always in mind.
  • Green Zone/Safe Zone: This is generally when you want to be if you don't have any vision at all. It is very hard for the enemy jungler to make a successful gank. You shouldn't let the enemies rule your safe zone at any cost.
  • Orange Zone /Risk Zone: This is a risky zone. Being here means that you are susceptible to ganks but you won't neccessarily die.
  • Red Zone /Danger Zone: If you're in the danger zone you are highly likely to die since the enemy jungler has much space to finish you off together with the enemy bot lane. Don't push that much if you don't have vision and the enemies bot are both alive.

Controlling the Minion Wave

Last Hitting
Last hitting is the easiest and safest way to earn gold. What makes it different from simple farming is that you actually wait until the minion's hp falls low and then you only the killing blow. Thus you won't push the wave too much and you will stay in the safe zone. This way it will be much harder for the enemy jungler to make a good gank and you won't be susceptible to harass and all-ins either. The video at the left gives good information and tips about last hitting.

Zoning is the result of winning trades, having vision control and/or receiving a good gank. It means that you take control of the enemy's safety zone and thus deny him XP and gold. Once you recognize the advantage you have over your enemy start last hitting from the back by placing yourself between the enemy minions and the enemy. If the enemies try to approach they will receive a lot of damage and will loose the trade because you are stronger than them. This way you deny lots of gold and experience to enemies and increase your advantage. Note that when attempting to zone the enemy you should first "freeze" the lane. This means that you keep the minion wave at a place of your choice and is accomplished by last hitting at the very last moment.


As Twitch you want long extended trades where you will be able to proc as many stacks from Deadly Venom as possible and then follow up with Contaminate for maximum damage output. A good way to start this type of trade is when the enemy is about to last hit a minion. Then you can attack him once or twice, throw Venom Cask, attack once more and then Contaminate. You will generally deal quite a lot of damage and take very few in return due to the fact that the enemy won't be able to deal damage, while he is attacking the minion because of his attack animation. Also note that if you have the chance to make even more basic attacks go for it and then cast Contaminate as a finishing move. In some cases you might be able to cast Contaminate twice in a fight so have this in mind.

Another tactic that is commonly used is keeping Deadly Venom up on enemies for as long as possibe. This technique will deal lots of damage over time and might as well result in you zoning the enemy. You can for instance make 1 or two AA and then fall back. Within the next 6 seconds you should throw Venom Cask or make 1 more AA and then repeat. When you feel like you have brought the maximum possible damage to the table without overextending cast Contaminate. You can repeat this proccess but at some point enemies will become aware of this and will simply go out of range.

Have in mind that most adcs can't outtrade Twitch in an extended trade especially post 6 because even if you land the same amount of AA, you will win because of the poison.

Extra Tips

  • At level 1 you can attempt a fasr push in order to gain level 2 faster than your enemy. If you manage this you can force a trade and zone your opponent. Do not delay by leashing for your jungler because you will miss the first creeps.
  • As long as the river is warded and you have map awareness you can escape from enemy ganks by activating Ambush. Keep an eye on the minimap!
  • When there is a single enemy in lane(adc or support) you have a very good chance to zone the enemy. Just throw in everything you have.
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Mid Game

Split Pushing and Roaming

If your team is causing pressure mid game and can contest objectives in its own then you can splitpush. Slitpushing means pushing a lane as much as possible and thus securing farm and objectives for your team. No matter which build you follow as Twitch you can be a good split pusher. Your waveclears are pretty fast thanks to them Venom Cask+ Contaminate combo. Additionally, Twitch is a top tier duelist thanks to his kit, which means that he won't have problem killing enemies in 1vs1 situations. When splitpuhsing, warding is vital. Given that drake and river should be warded by your support, you should put your Greater Totem in the tribush. If you see an enemy that you can outduel or 2+ enemies ganking you go back immediately and use Ambush, when they come relatively close.
If you are way ahead you can roam around the map and gank enemy splitpushers. You can assassinate many champions thanks to your Ambush+ Blade of the Ruined King combo and your poison from Deadly Venom. Make sure, though, that you don't fall back in terms of farm. You're not an assassin like LeBlanc or Kha'Zix and for you farm is still more important and more safe than kills.

The other option is grouping up with your team and siege turrets and contest objectives together. During mid game it's really important to win the vision game so that you can predict the enemy team's movements. Good vision along with winning teamfights(more later) will allow you to get dragon and turrets. Thus you can secure a gold lead for late game. Always keep an eye for large minion waves bot and top or for enemy squishies splitpushing. You can clear them and gain some extra gold.
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Your goal as Twitch in teamfights is simple: Land rat-ta-tat-tat successfully. However, no matter how simple it might sound, it needs quite a lot of skill and practice to achieve.

Before the teamfight it's wise to stay in the back line and wait for your team to initiate or get initiated. Twitch is not such a great kiter but if there is a melee target without a reliabe gap closer you can try to kite them. Kiting means to attack them and then go back to safety(and repeat). Generally, you don't want to use Ambush before the teamfight because you might need to use it later as an escaping tool. If you're sure about yourself or you have a good engage composition, you can do it, though.

While moving around before the teamfight you should be trying to dodge any form of harass and at the same time find a good angle for a future rat-ta-tat-tat.

Once you initiate or get initiated you should immediately evaluate whether you can use your ultimate or not(yes=likely to win/no=likely to loose). If yes, pop it and auto attack as much as possible while keeping an eye for bruiser that might jump on you. Once you have landed 3-4 AA with your ultimate use throw Venom Cask and use Contaminate for maximum damage output. Once your ulti is off the teamfight must have come to an end. If not just attack and kite the closest target.

If somebody jumps in your face, then use Blade of the Ruined King and Venom Cask on him and try to create some distance between yourself and him. Then kite him carefully and use Contaminate. You should be able to kill him or to force him to switch target.

In case, you get initiated and find yourself in a bad position then just flash out and activate Ambush. Go away so that you can easily flee from enemies but also keep an eye in the teamfight and make sure that you can get in again because your tanks and bruiser might do some damage/ absorb lots of damage and you and the other carries could be able to kill some enemies.

Always remember, that a dead ADC can't do any damage so your level 1 should be staying alive so that you can deal lots of sustained damage. Also Twitch, no matter how great he is in 1vs1 situations is not an assassin but a marksman. As a consequence, your aim(apart from making a good ultimate) is to kite the enemies as much as possible and attack the closest target and not to reach enemy carries and melt them.

The video below shows an exaple of a good teamfight as Twitch by C9 Sneaky(in solo queue) and the rest of his team. Pay attention at his position: Every enemy is within range and he is able to reach squishier targets as well. On top of this he also lines rat-ta-tat-tat really well. Of course it's not everythink thanks to him but to his teammates as well and in most cases I don't expect a solo queue team(especially in lower tiers) to be that well coordinated. Enjoy!

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Twitch is heavily team dependant, especially in teamfights, since he lacks self-peeling ability or a reliable disengage spell and he probably needs some sort of AoE CC to make his ultimate more effective.

The team composition I have shown above is really well-rounded. It is not as strong early game but if the team manage it through laning phase, they will have huge impact late game. The team lacks of pure initiator and relies more on Trundle's dueling potential and tankiness to keep the enemy front line busy. Nocturne operates as an assassin or anti-carry, even though he can also work as a peeler if neccessary. Once Zyra and/or Lulu land their ultimate(s) Twitch should start using rat-ta-tat-tat. This team as a whole can work really well in fights due to the combination of burst, dps and tankiness and the strong CC. Additionally, there is a lot of peel and disengage via CC or buffs for the poor Twitch and the rest of the team if something goes wrong.
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Miss Fortune
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This is all I have for now! I really hope you enjoyed the guide and that I gave you a different perspective or helped you improve as a player in some way.

If you have any questions or remakers, feel free to make them in the discussion box/section. If you choose to downvote, please give me a good reason so that I can improve.

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