[Guide] Contemporary Cardmaster: The Benadryl Jackson Way
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----- ATTENTION: Benadryl, being the dynamic man that he is, has made some new observations. Keep an eye out for ***UPDATES*** -----
Greetings y’all. They call me Benadryl Jackson ‘cause I’m one mean antihistamine. Twisted Fate is my main man, and I’m here to tell you how to play him the Benadryl Jackson way. Now if y’all are new to this game you should summon someone else first, ‘cause TF is one complex gypsy.
Since The Patch that Changed Everything, as TF and I like to call it, I’ve experimented with a variety of builds. The Benadryl is a nostalgic man, but as much as I miss the old days I’ve concluded that a DPS/Attack Speed build is the way to go. Without further adieu, I’mma pour me some Southern Comfort and get this guide started.
Skills, and what to do with them:
Q - Wild Cards:
Twisted Fate used to be all about stacking AP like beer cans at a gypsy housewarming party. Not anymore. Benadryl Jackson doesn’t bother leveling this skill until he has to, but once it’s there you might as well use it to harass. Like mankind’s primordial fear of snakes, summoners still have a great fear of Wild Cards burned into their racial memory from the days of AP TF. Use this to your advantage.
W - Pick a Card:
Twisted Fate is a complicated man, and his revamped signature skill reflects this. Instead of just locking gold card 100% of time, now you need to actually judge the situation and choose the most viable card. When laning, you want to be using this skill constantly as it scares the **** out of your opponents. Blue card is now a fine choice for last-hitting creeps and restoring mana. Red card is now often better than gold card, as it does more damage and slows. Even if an enemy champion is staying out of your range, you can hit nearby creeps with red card and catch them in the AOE. Benadryl Jackson does this all the time, and so should you. Gold card can largely be ignored for the first half of the game, as the stun length is negligible at first (keep in mind that it’s still great at interrupting ults from Nunu and Fiddlesticks, among others). Once Pick a Card is fully leveled though, gold card becomes quite the ridiculous stun, but is still not always the best choice. Are they all bunched together? Then use red card to damage and slow them all. Does one particular enemy need to be interrupted, or are they escaping? Then gold them. Picking the right card is what makes the pros pro and the scrubs scrub the pro’s floors. Did I just say that? ****, Benadryl needs another drink.
E - Stacked Deck:
We all know how dependent Twisted Fate is on items, and compared to the old TF, leveling up this skill is practically like buying stuff. When your Stacked Deck is ready to blow its load there is a visual indicator which will probably scare your opponent off. This, plus Pick a Card, will allow you to constantly keep them away from the creeps. I’m sure y’all’ll be tempted to wait until Stacked Deck is ready to queue up a gold card for their face, and this is indeed a great strategy if you’re getting ready to gank someone, but if you’re just laning then only an idiot would stick around to get hit by that. Instead, queue up a red card and hit the minions closest to their ass as they run away. Clearin’ the creeps and harassin’ your opponent at the same time – that’s how Benadryl Jackson rolls.
R - Destiny:
Ever since Gate got nerfed to the stone age, nobody used it unless they were using Destiny anyway, so I was happy to hear that they were combined into a single sweet skill. However, it only reveals now, and does not slow at all. This isn’t a problem for a seasoned TF veteran like Benadryl Jackson, but the fact remains that y’all gotta think more when using this ult. The general rule of thumb is to port not where they are, but where they are going to be. If there are friendly champs near your target, port to the opposite side, making them the meat in your team’s man-sandwich. It’s not always that simple though, so for the love of TF’s prize winning gumbo, please, please think before you port (you got 6 whole seconds to pontificate on it). I know y’all are eager to get in on them team fights, but that doesn’t make it ok for you to throw TF into a pile of stuns and instant death. Now if you do ult and decide there are no viable ganking targets, try to port somewhere useful anyway, such as an empty lane that could use some sweet, sweet pushin’.
Skill leveling order:
Get Pick a Card first. Now I know some of y’all are gonna argue that Stacked Deck is a better first choice, but that’s bull****. What if someone tries to gank your jungling Shaco? What if you’re trying to gank their jungling Warwick? In other words, what if there’s an altercation when everybody is level 1, for whatever reason? I realize this doesn’t happen often, but when it does, you’ll be much better off with Pick a Card.
From level 2 onward, upgrade Stacked Deck whenever you can, and Pick a Card when you can’t. I shouldn’t have to tell y’all that Destiny takes priority. Wild Cards are worthless and should be ignored, but as I said before, once you’re forced to get them you might as well use them.
The Benadryl Build:
The philosophy of the Benadryl Build is that there is no concrete build. Following exact build orders in guides 100% of the time is a recipe for failure. You gotta follow your dreams and believe in the heart of the cards. With that being said, the current incarnation of the B-Build often starts like this:
Doran’s Blade / Doran's Shield:
Believe it or not, Benadryl is a big fan of Doran’s Stuff. The health is an obviously great boost for the early game, but on a sensitive soul like TF you’ll feel the difference even later on. The +6 damage on the Blade is nice, and while the 4% lifesteal is negligible it adds up over time, especially if you’ve driven your opponent back to their nexus (or killed them, Gambit-style) and are freely pushing the lane. The Shield is also a fine choice, as the armor really helps mitigate those early enemy auto attacks. Furthermore, the health regen, while meager, will probably heal you faster than 4% lifesteal on the blade.
Y’all may be inclined to pick a first item that actually turns into something later, but Benadryl Jackson doesn’t have time for your flawed inclinations. Oh, and pick up a health potion to go with it. Mana potions aren’t needed, but Southern Comfort is.
Once you hit level 6, it’s your duty to go back to base and get ready for a Destiny-fueled gank. I used to always get Berserker’s Greaves as my second item, but oh lord, how times change. Does the enemy team have a lot of stuns and disables? Well ****, son, get Mercury's Treads. Is the enemy team mostly physical DPS? Then go Ninja Tabi. That **** will keep you alive while you go Gambit on their asses.
I love this item more than Mario loves mozzarella milkshakes. Even if you can't build it all at once, the parts help you immediately, and the bonus move speed on the final thing, along with your boots, will make you faster than a megling trollop at happy hour. And baby, if you're rolling with crit chance runes like Benadryl is, you'll have well over 30% crit now. Holy ****, this item is the bee's knees. Sometimes, if I can afford it on my first trip home, I even buy it before boots. One of these days I'mma get so drunk I'll just keep buying Zeals and nothing else, and you know what? It'll be awesome.
Now listen up folks, 'cause this is ****ing important. Benadryl will probably never deviate from Doran's followed by Zeal and some kind of bootage, but from that point on, you gotta use your noggin. Twisted Fate, perhaps more than any other champion in Summoner's Rift, needs to choose his items carefully based on the conditions of a particular game.
What you get next, and in what order, depends entirely upon the context of the game. The following items are suggestions, presented in no particular order:
TF needs health like I need booze -- badly. Like Zeal, this is an item that is great even when it's not done yet, because both the component parts are cheap and immediately helpful. And when it's done? Holy mother of gumbo, you're already attacking fast enough that anybody you start gunning down will suffer a constant barrage of slowness. That, plus your X-treme move speed, and folks will be running from you like children from my front lawn on Halloween when I scare the **** out of them. A great item to get right after Zeal.
I used to rush Trinity Force a lot, but I've found that other items seem to work better. Now hold your horses: It's still awesome to get Zeal and then Phage -- just forget about Trinity Force and start building some other ****.
Holy balls, everything about this item makes sense. Well, maybe not the AP, but even that gives a lil’ boost to Stacked Deck and Pick a Card. What I really like about this item is that it is made of up of tons of cheap parts. TF might just be the most item dependent champion in Summoner’s Rift, and being able to grab a small upgrade every time you blue pill is practically essential. Having to buy Sheen is really lame though, so feel free to skip it for awhile until you've gotten some kills (as you should be) and are ready to break the bank.
I didn't get this item much back when I used to build Trinity Force all the time, but now I almost always turn my Zeal into one. Sometimes I make it right away, sometimes it's the last thing I get, but you’d better believe Benadryl Jackson will eventually be packing one of these.
Sword of the Divine:
Benadryl rarely rolled without this beauty (when he didn't, it’s because the game ended before it could be bought), but y'all surely noticed that Sword of the Divine and Stacked Deck were recently changed so that they don't do their bonus damage to towers anymore. Nowadays it's an optional item (but **** son, not if they have a Jax). Back to my old description:
A huge attack speed buff, AND you can stack your deck while you stack your deck. Most importantly, picked cards can be dodged now, so the activated ability makes it an essential choice against those dodging mother ****ers. I know y’all don’t like pressing more buttons than you’re used to. Back in the day, even Benadryl Jackson couldn’t be bothered to activate Deathfire Grasp in the heat of the moment, but times have changed, and so has the Benadryl. Get this thing, put in your first item slot, and hit 1 as soon as **** goes down.
This might sound out of place, but Benadryl has been testing this baby out and holy **** is it good. If I'm feelin' it, I buy this right after Zeal. Think about that for a moment: You'll have 18% lifesteal (22% if you got Doran's Blade) and, if you got crit chance runes like Benadryl does, ****ing 50% crit chance. Holy **** is that awesome. The lil' poison debuff is whatever, but the activated ability is sometimes good. Be sure to get this **** if they have Soraka or Mundo, put this in your second item slot, hit 2 (1 is reserved for Sword of the Divine) and watch them cry.
A lot of folks have suggested Madred's Bloodrazor, and after some experimentation...well gat ****, Benadryl must admit this item is great. Particularly good against tanks, but **** fine regardless, this is a perfectly viable item to work on (though I'm inclined to reserve it for the late game). If you've been buying items like Last Whisper and capitalizing on your physical DPS, then it's kind of counter-intuitive to buy this. If you're mainly been getting lifesteal, crit chance, and attack speed, then by all means work on this beast. Benadryl has another question about the Bloodrazor thoguh, for those who can answer: It looks like a bloody Frankenstein fist, what the ****. Do you wear this thing like a glove? Is it strapped your belt like a grim totem? **** son, that is some crazy ****.
A lot of people have suggested this item to me. It certainly seems good, and I haven't been unhappy when I've bought it, but...well, it's just counterintuitive to Twisted Fate's wanderlust. TF is a guy who often finds himself alone, or with little company, either because he's Destiny-ganking or pushing lanes behind enemy lines. A team-game item like this should be worn by someone who is always gonna stick around with as many people as possible, like Sivir or Taric. Furthermore, TF is awfully squishy to be entrusted with a team aura, so just buy an Executioner's Calling or something if you want the lifesteal so badly.
25 damage? Good. 10% cooldown reduction? Also good. This plus your natural CDR from Stacked Deck will add up to a nice 25% total, which is more than enough to sling Pick a Cards like crazy and pop Destinies up the wazoo. The 15 armor penetration is particularly nice, and when stacked with armor pen from runes (should you choose to go that route)and masteries, you’ll be set. Anybody who buys more armor than you’ll be penetrating is probably playing a champion you shouldn’t be focusing in fights anyway, but every bit helps.
Tank-heavy team? A team full of wise guys stacking Thornmail? Then forget about The Brutalizer and get this thing. Not only is the name totally sweet (Benadryl Jackson is a poet at heart), but it will ream them good.
Infinity Edge / The Bloodthirster:
Common late game choices for any DPS champion. It doesn’t really matter which one you pick, since either one will turn you into a monster (if the game goes on long enough, which it shouldn’t, you can get both). Just go with the flow and believe in yourself, Benadryl Jackson style. Sometimes you can gank so hard that you have enough money to buy a B.F. sword early. If this happens to you, then do it, baby, and don’t look back.
I'm still not entirely sure I understand how the **** this item works, but apparently the bonus damage is mitigated by magic resist. That's lame, but supposedly magic resist doesn't affect how much mana you're gonna suck outta them, so I guess it's still good? **** man, I'm too drunk for this. What was I saying? Oh yeah:
This item gets a bad rap, but if you’re going up against a mage-heavy team then it is worth serious consideration. The attack speed and magic resist are certainly relevant, and it dries up tanks' mana pools pretty **** fast.
I rarely buy an item that doesn’t help me smash face, but once you’ve established some good attack speed and DPS, you might want to forgo saving up for something ridiculous like Infinity Edge and get this first. If you don’t understand why you would want to buy this item or the circumstances in which you should, then you shouldn’t be summoning Twisted Fate yet.
Masteries, Runes, and Summoner Spells:
Your play style dictates what summoner spells you should get, but I’ll tell you right now that Flash is essential. Even though the range just got nerfed, holy balls is Flash awesome. Flash saves my life and ensures kills in every single game I play with TF. Just be sure to learn how to Flash through walls properly, as nothing looks worse than a fail-flash. From there, Exhaust and Ignite are both fine choices. I used to be an Ignite man myself, as it consistently got me kills early game. However, I have grown fond of Exhaust as it allows me to go toe-to-toe with other DPS champs, and it helps a lot with team fights later on while Ignite kind of falls flat.
As for Masteries, 21/9/0 is the way to go for this build. Just don’t put points into Lethality. I don’t care where else you put them, but Lethality is a bigger waste of points than Greed.
Runes are largely a matter of preference. A page full of crit chance runes is just fine. A page full of armor pen runes is also pretty good. Attack speed isn't bad either. **** man, they're just runes -- use what you got.
This is what Benadryl has settled on for now, rune-wise:
Crit chance marks and quints, all but one crit chance seals, and one crit chance glyph. The extra seal slot and the rest of the glyphs are mana regen /5 per level. This gives me 18% increased crit chance, and 13 mana regen /5 at level 18. Holy balls is the crit chance awesome. That, plus my early game Zeal totally ****s people up. The mana regen isn't a lot, but it's just enough so that I can spam Pick a Cards the whole game with no problems.
Well folks, I just ran out of Southern Comfort so I guess it’s time to wrap this up. I’d like to thank y’all for reading my guide, and wish you the best of times in Summoner’s Rift. I’d wish you good luck too, but you won’t need luck if you’re playing with Twisted Fate the Benadryl Jackson way.
I never did need any benadryl, but this is still an excellent guide. I might just start taking it, but for a few concerns. Namely, that doran's blade, while helpful, doesn't really benefit that much. The lifesteal is one quarter that of a vampiric scepter. One quarter of a very small number is a negligible number. I personally prefer either a stark's or a malady, starting off with a scepter as they both boost attack speed, they help the ol' cardmaster stay in for the long haul, and have cheap sub-components.
Still, cheers. A great guide, very in line with what the new TF needs.
You could replace the Doran's Blade with any Doran's item, the main advantage being the health bonus. This will allow you to be more aggressive, which is sorely needed since TF isn't the pop-in pop-out AP burster he used to be. Starks is cool though, so I think I'll try it out.
I've never had much success with TF even though I find him to be one fun mother ****er. I'm never able to dish out enough AD to get a kill. Since the new patch I've been chucking red cards on top of Stacked Decks all the time, but once it gets to late game that bonus damage seem negligible to most enemies.
I'll try this build out. I've been trying to build similar, however switched out Dorans for Vampiric Scepter with I think I built into Malady or Bloodthirster and pretty much everything short of berserkers boots were different but still DPS oriented. I'll see what happens if I go your route.
AD build is weak IMO, and your starting item isn't going to help you too much. Malady is weak on him, bloodthirster is not needed.
Rushing trinity force will make you very weak for quite a while.
I rely entirely on capping AS (very easy to do) and letting item procs from sotd, SD, and madred's do my damage. Just something to consider.
I think AD on TF is really inefficient because no matter what you do, a lot of you damage is coming from AP either way. Better off either doing full AS/item procs like I have in my guide, or going lichbane for the four punch combo. Well written guide though.
I totally agree with you about Malady, and admit that Bloodthirster is overkill, but that's about it.
First of all, it sounds like you've misunderstood my guide, which has a lot more attack speed in it than AD. Did you even read my description of Trinity Force? Every time I go back to base I'm buying things like Zeal followed by Phage. I'm constantly able to buy cheap upgrade parts, if not the final components right away. I fail to see how that constitutes being "weak for quite a while". I read your guide, and while you're doing little with a Madred's Razor and Greaves, I'm already packing Doran's Blade, Greaves and Zeal before you've even saved up enough for your Recurve Bow.
Now I won't deny that Madred's Bloodrazor is clearly very powerful on TF, and I must admit that I plan on experimenting with it. However, it seems clear to me that you're a lot weaker while working on it than I am working on Trinity Force.
As for the comment about "a lot of your damage is coming from AP either way", I can only scratch my head in confusion. The AP ratios on Pick a Card and more importantly Stacked Deck are so tiny that even if you stack AP like TF used to, you'll get negligible damage increases at best. And Lich Bane? I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous unless you're going AP, which we've already established as ineffective.
I can see where you coming from, and in the long run your build may very well be stronger if only because of the Bloodrazor, but in regards to the assessment you just gave I can only completely disagree.
rawrrawrrabblerabblerabble no MY cardmaster build!
I think they will all work because he is pretty laughably w spammingly easy to play at the moment in low to mid elo.
real men play with ****ing dorans items only anyway.
these guides are crutches we create for the weak minded
I play AP TF coz im a real man :)
Benadryl Jackson likes Churchy's style, but this aint about low to mid ELO games where any sensible build will work. This is about stomping high ELO face and ending the game soon enough to make it to the Fate family's place before their prize-winning gumbo gets cold.
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