Twisted Fate is a champion in LoL that has so much versatility, you can pick him into almost any game. On top of being so versatile, he is one of the most hated champs by many. Why? He is considered very anti-fun to face, and a majority of Twisted Fates will feed very hard and gain little to no farm while doing so. This makes his team feel very frustrated and want nothing to do with a Twisted Fate on their team. This is because hes a very gankable champion with no escape outside of his gold card, which stuns for 1-1.5 seconds. Because of this Twisted Fate is reliant on playing his champion VERY WELL. In this guide I will go over a majority of the strategies and tips to not be one of the stereotypical Twisted Fates who spam die, never ult their lanes, and have no farm.
What do we go over first with Twisted Fate? His builds, runes, and mindsets throughout the game.
The best rune set up for TF right now is Sorcery into Inspiration. These 3 rune pages are the ones I use in almost every game, and the reason for using them depends on the champion select and the rank I am playing at, and how I feel is best for the game to come.
Comet on TF is by far the most useful and effective rune he currently can take. It gives him poke through his Q + W trades, and gives him extra damage to allow him to set up ganks, and pressure lanes out which gives you the freedom to use his R.
Manaflow Band is another great rune that syncs perfectly with any mage, TF included. Anytime you hit a Q or W in lane, you will get additional max mana, and when this procs 10 times you will gain additional mana regen which is always needed on TF to allow him to ult + use combos. Anyone who has more than a couple games on TF will know that he struggles with mana early game. This rune is a must in games where there isn’t a ton of magic threats.
Nullying Orb – Small magic shield when low. Perfect vs any teams with magic burst, or multiple magic threats. The shield isn’t very big but it can be a life safer. Important vs lanes like Leblanc, or mages + Magic junglers. In games vs a LB/Syndra/Kat, i will always take orb. In games vs a xerath + Elise (example), I will also always take orb.
Absolute focus – Probably the best rune to take after the many nerfs to celerity. It provides the most damage while above 70% Hp. TF a majority of the time will be above 70% HP outside of very early lane phase or at the very end of SOME teamfights. I take this whenever I’m playing regular games.
Transcendence – This is a rune i take when I’m playing in games where i feel i will be very ult reliant (mostly smurfs/diamond 5). Its not optimal but it allows you to hit 30-40% cdr much quicker and with more options. Absolute focus is currently better for damage but in same games quicker W / R’s is more important than damage on TF.
Scorch – W / Q damage in lane / Ults. Gathering storm in some games will never be useful as games can end quickly. When climbing / playing TF you want to be build consistency which is something scorch will always bring.
Minion Dematerializer – Use 5 on casters and 1 on melee. Allows you to kill backline caster waves with Q at a much earlier spike, and no longer will you have the issues with leaving caster minions 1 hp.
Time Warp Tonic – escapes ganks easier with the 5% MS (used to have this in movement speed quints so old TF mains will have some nostalgia). Corrupting pot + pots scale on time warp tonic and it increases your lane sustain greatly as well. A pretty much overpowered rune currently.
Flash is a must in every game, no questions. Escape ganks, flash golds for kills, etc.
The other depend heavily on the game.
Ignite – TF does the best with ignite. Ignite sets up lane kills, causes certain match ups to sway into your favor that normally wouldn’t (TF vs LB, TF vs Fizz). Ignite also helps to set up ult kills that you sometimes would miss by having anything else. Ult – > gold – > q – > ignite – > kill secured.
Exhaust – A requirement for Zed as well as Syndra. It is too important to have exhaust vs Zed + Syndra for Their R. Without exhaust you are a sitting duck every single time they have R up. Exhaust can also be taken in games that have tons of divers just for some extra safety. This is something you have to get a feel for by playing TF. A camilie jungle, irelia top etc might make exhaust a viable option where ignite is too risky to take. In some games you might still want ignite.
Cleanse – Very important to take in various games that have tons of CC. A Liss + Elise combo on the other team is almost a requirement to have cleanse. When vs a Zoe it is also very important to have cleanse. Cleanse removes the ability for Zoe to ever take you out in a situation you misplayed and took an E from her.
Heal – Heal is a rare, but useful summoner vs some things. Xerath is one of these cases. When vs xerath ignite will be almost useless for lane since you wont be able to be in range of him a majority of the time. His range is too great unless someone sets up for you before hand. Most people will take cleanse vs tf as well, so ignite has even less use. Heal is going to allow you to dodge more if need be, and bring more MS and HP for a 2v2 that could occur with a jungler. Heal is also very useful for Azir as well. Long range mages you won’t be able to touch often, turn heal into a great option, instead of a meh option.
Starting builds –
Doran’s ring – In a standard lane you will want doran’s ring for the early AP + HP + mana regen. TF is focused on last hitting due to his passive so the mana regen is a nice little bonus.
Boots + 4 potions – In a lane like xerath or Ahri or Syndra, you will want a lot of movement speed to constantly dodge and bait out skillshots to waste their mana and gain an advantage in lane. Doran’s ring is okay vs these as well but boots really gives you a nice edge in lane vs these types of laners.
Early bases –
TF’s early buys are heavily decided based on his gold values, as a lot of champions.
An early build for me would look like some of the following examples :
Whats the point of showing a bunch of early build paths? It gives you an idea of how every game varies a lot and nothing can be crystal clear. Twisted Fate always has a “general build” but the order in which you base and purchase each varies a lot based on the game and how your lane + gold is playing out.
Rod of ages > Boots – > lich – > zhonyas – > hat – > void is the most “sterotypical build”.
In some cases you will want a banshees over a hat or void. In very rare cases (facing a kog, trist, jhin, anivia, VERY long range champs where you HAVE TO hit a gold card) you will want to build a rapidfire cannon after lich or zhonyas. I’ve been testing it out and I think its critical in some games where you are being forced to constantly team fight and have to hit long range important gold card targets.
For full builds refer to the above section that mentions build paths!
Lane phase Strategies :
Twisted Fate’s lane phase follows a few patterns depending on the lane. Remembering which pattern to follow will decide how you play out each lane phase. I can’t write how to play out every single champ but I can write out the similiar patterns for a lot as well as some of the meta!
Red Card Opening : One of Twisted Fate’s common strategies is what we call as the red card spam, or double/triple red card opening. This is a lane opening where you walk in and begin to spam 2 to 3 red cards in order to gain a lane favorable advantage + time over the other mid laner to allow you to ward and be in a position to follow your jungler. The red card opening is very hard for any mid laners to match outside of a couple champions. On top of being able to ward + help your jungler, it also gives you a headstart vs lanes such a xerath that otherwise would be unmatchable in terms of shove + harass. By opening with a red card spam, or double/triple red card you allow yourself control of the lane which you normally wouldn’t.
In the image below, we see Dopa opening with a red card to start off a lane phase, in order to get control over a Xerath who has yet to come to lane. This will allow him to say ahead of Xerath is time advantage, while forcing Xerath to use his mana to waveclear and not poke out Twisted Fate.
Pull the lane strategy: This is opening where twisted fate will do JUST under the amount of shove as the other laner in order to bring him a safe lane phase. This is a good opening vs very annoying champions who normally destroy TF in damage. Yasuo/Fizz are prime examples of this. By pulling the lane (pull the wave towards you, and then proceeding to freeze outside your tower) you provide safety, and the ability to farm, and later on the ability to harass while doing so in safety by using your tower.
In the image below you will see an almost perfect example of pulling the lane. Dopa in this image has gotten a 4 minion pull and this allows him to sit as his tower and freeze and farm safety. Fizz now has to walk up to try to farm, Dopa is ungankable, and Fizz is always in danger farming
Matching the lane Strategy : Matching the shove of your laner is another common strategy people will use on Twisted Fate. This is when you do about the same shove as the laner and you both continue to reset the lane. This is useful in lanes such as Ahri, Syndra, and Lux. These lanes you can use movements and manipulation to continue to harass, and win lanes. Shoving them in would be risky for ganks, being under your tower would make you too vulnerable to poke as well as losing control of lane priority.
Lane phase Matchups
Ahri: Match shove, or bounce back, weave in and out of minions to bait out charms + get her to miss Q on minions. This will give you chances to be up a cooldown during lane phase and allow you to out trade her. If you some how overshove then you can use this time to ward and attempt to reset/bounce the wave back to you. ALWAYS be cautious of where your jungler + ward is. One charm will lead to death if they have a jungler with good followup. A common mistake TFs make vs Ahri is be too focused on trying to W her directly instead of red card bounce harassing her. I’ve seen it time and time again a TF walks up to W her and gets charmed and dies to her or a gank. You have to match the shove or outshove her and ward and use the protection of your ward + jungle to be safe. This is a winnable lane!
Anivia: Red card spam and bounce the wave back, force her to spam use spells (Q) to waveclear and try to shove you back. Level 1-2 she has no threat to you if you are constantly microing around the lane. You can get W harass out, or red card bounces on her if shes not careful. Once you begin to bounce it back let the wave shove back into you around level 3-4, and look for a base around 6. You want Catalyst vs her so you can farm vs her tear + blue + R constant shove. After 5 you don’t want to be near her anymore. a Q + W will be the death of you or force you back to base.
ASOL : Submit level 1-3 and try to avoid harass from him, farm under tower and SPAM ping! you will not be able to do much vs him until level 4. He will try to ward or spam roam. This match up is not bad after your first base but very frustrating until then. Do your best to cs and keep it off your tower but it can be hard if they are a ASOL main. After level 6 the lane is a pretty standard wave clear and ult type lane. The biggest thing with ASOL is to spam ping and try to control ward + trinket his roams so your team sees him coming. Once he roams in a bad position this leaves you in a position to R and turn the tides for a lead.
Orianna: Outshove her early, look to ward, help jungler and then later on then match shove. Mirror her on the opposite side of the lane. Her Q is reduced through minions and by staying on the opposite side you can throw her off while W harassing her with red card minion bounces. Ward one side, keep your champion around there, and look for a standard base whenever the timing is fit. Post 6 be very careful of Orianna ult anytime you are waveclearing.
Syndra: A very annoying lane if she figures out your dodging patterns. Play the early game to figure out good she is at reading your abilities. I recommend boot start and if vs a bad followup jungler, shove her in level 1-2, then look for a match shove just on your side of the mid lane. You don’t want to be under your tower but you don’t want to be gankable. If in a bad spot proceed to Q farm and do not walk up to the wave and get E’d and die to a gank. Winning this lane is all about your movements vs her skillshot predictions. If you are better you will win, if she reads you, will take poke and have to base and have to compensate after lane phase some how.
Xerath: Triple red card spam, stay off your minions, on the side, this will make him constantly choose to harass you or shove the wave. Continue to shove him in early lane and then bounce it back when possible. Continue the bounce back and forth with Red cards so you always have a very smooth lane. Rank 2 boots rush is very viable here. If low cc + mr you can go swiftness boots!! Merc treads are usually the better option however.
Kassadin: Red card spam wave one and two, bounce it back with the cannon wave and avoid taking his poke whenever possible. While he is shoved in, constantly harass him off the wave or tower until the wave begins to bounce back. MAKE SURE to ward around the second or third wave or you will die to a gank harassing him like this. W him when you can, stay behind your caster minions so he constantly draws agro from your minions whenever he Q’s you. This is a easy lane level 1-3 but becomes hard very quickly. Avoiding interactions after level 4 is the best option unless you get a lead.
LeBlanc : This is a lane you can either pull towards you or match, depends on the jungler. If its a gank heavy jungler i do not recommend shoving her outside of level 1-2. She will most likely kill any TFs without tons of XP with a W – > E combo into a gank. Level 1-2 try to W her when shes in a bad spot, red card bounce minion comet harass her and avoid ever letting her hit a W on you. Her only damage should be her E + Q. If you are getting hit by W you are playing TOO close to her. Play around how the minion wave is based on how many redcard bounces you could do or how she hit the wave. If needed you MUST Q farm from safety until you can base and buy a control ward and get HP. Your stuns later will be very devastating for her because she has to go in constantly to do her damage in fights.
Zed: A VERY annoying lane if you are not used to fighting Zed. Level 1-2 is free, spam poke and spam shove him, harass him under tower while avoiding Qs.. Ward around level 2. Once he hits 3 you have to watch out for W + electrocute combos. If he misses his W E Q, you are free to harass him for about 15-20 seconds!! this is the time to manipulate the wave, get vision, and harass him. VS Zed you have to time his W in your head always or you will die and feed him. At 4-5 you should avoid being in range of him period and try to manipulate the wave the best you can to farm. You want to bounce it back to you and give you free farm from level 4 and onward. Q farm if required similar to LB. Tabis + Seekers are a must almost always vs Zed and you need to keep Exhaust for her R always. I recommend a Catalyst – > Seekers – > RoA – > Tabi.
These are just some of the common match ups, and it should give you a decent understanding of what to do vs a lot of TF matchups. A lot of matchups is something you have to just learn and develop for yourself over time. It is really about mind games, wave control, and helping your jungler but these are how i play out most lanes and it helps me get through them best. Sometimes the elements of the lane change because of a skirmish and such but this is all relative to YOUR game.
Post lane for TF:
After lane TF has two options. Side lane if its a game where he can safety farm in a side, or stay mid and waveclear and look for picks with his team. In MOST of my Twisted Fate games I will sit mid until Rod of Ages + Sheen or Lich. After that I will sit in a side lane for almost the rest of the game. TFs strength is being able to ult places and turn fights a mid laner shouldn’t otherwise be able to join so quickly. To capitalize on this, it gives him a lot of power to force someone to match his lane he is in after lane phase. If no one matches you, you get free towers with how much damage your autos with lich allow you to do. The biggest thing about this is you MUST ping your plan, and you must NOT die in a side lane. This is why in dangerous games, such as vs a lot of asssasins, it is better to stay middle in farm, and make picks with your team. TFs passive is about farming! You must be farming and getting gold always on him or he will feel like a caster minion because he has low damages on his kit to begin with. A Utility ult, and a gold passive means he only does damage with 3 skills, and his E is not a burst skill! If you are dying and not ahead you will feel weak. You must stay alive!!!
Team fights for TF:
In a teamfight you will be staying in a safe spot, playing stun bot for the ADC or stunning high threat targets in range. You must never kill yourself to get stuns. If you do a flashy play or step up you MUST have an answer for being out of position. Flash, Zhonyas, a support ready to peel or any of these things must be at the ready if you step forward in a fight. If you are dead, you are not stunning for the ADC, you are not damaging, you are not gaining gold. All of TFs main purposes are defeated if you kill yourself too early in fights.
Closing thoughts: All in all, TF is a great champion to pick almost anywhere except when you need huge mid lane damage.He has great utility, great CC, decent damage, and a game changing ult. I always recommend learning him for your games.