As someone who plays twitch a whole lot, I have lots of ground to cover so I'll try to keep the topics brief. Let's go through the general stuff first
and then get into specific playstyle details.
Lore, stats, and abilities are here:
1. His ult gives him far more damage potential than any other character
2. His ult is exceptional at applying debuffs and using on-hit effects
3. Stealth gives freedom, the ability to scout, and denies the enemy knowledge--especially in the early game
1. He's squishy and his abilities are only moderately effective as escape tools
2. When it comes to team fights, he's divine with his ult but he's **** without it so you have to make it count
1. Agile heroes - Heroes that can move around quickly aren't as effected by your ultimate and are better able to focus you in a team fight. Try to keep track of their ability usage and time your actions to be when said abilities are on cooldown. Some examples are malphite, shako, katarana, yi, tristana, alistar, and jax. They also make good first targets.
2. Things that detect you through stealth - Oracles are generally touted as extremely effective agaist twitch... but they're really not, imo. However, you need to make sure you check their players regularly, know who has them, and realize that you can't scout freely unless you have any oracle users accounted for elsewhere. Generally, by the point in the game where oracles are coming into heavy use, you're more worried about making sure you have good positioning for team fights than you are about scouting anyway. What's considerably more dangerous is twitsted fate--his ult forces you to be cautious the entire game and makes your job much harder in team fights.
3. Long range abilities and other stealthers - These make great counters to your ultimate and for that reason it's usually best to wait until you've seen them before you let loose in team fights. Examples are ashe's arrow, evelyn, headbutt, other twitches, destiny, and unstoppable force.
When it comes to twitch's role, assassin seems to be the most prevalent mind set. A road less travelled is that of hard carry. In my personal opinion, he can do the assassin thing... sordof... but he lacks the overwhelming burst of a ryze or evelyn, this playstyle is more easily countered, it depends on weaker play by the opposition, and it has a timelimit on its effectiveness. On the other hand, I find that twitch played as a hard carry is more reliable, more effective, and ultimately leads to more wins in challenging matchups. That said, by all means try for some early kills when the opportunity presents itself but keep your eye on the prize--leveling, farming, and pressuring your lane opposition are my early priorities.
Now onto the specific choices
Masteries and runes:
The nuanced differences aren't terribly important and the value of each is going to depend on who you're up against anyway which, without draft, might as well be random. Therefore I'm not going to make specific recommendations; you're a physical damage dealer that shouldn't be taking much heat--choose accordingly.
Teleport - You want to farm and level fast and you have the safety of being able to teleport into fights while stealthed so take this.
Flash - This is my second choice primarily because it allows you to instantly reposition and continue durring your ult (seeing a pattern here? it's all about the ult)
Ghost - Nice against runners, might chose this if you're very comfortable about your team's ability to protect you and disable the enemy.
Exhaust - Maybe take this if your team needs some early game oomph and is short on disables
Assuming you know what you're doing and are comfortable with your abilities against the people you're playing with, I like mid solo. The shortness of the lane keeps you alive and you're generally able to harass enough to keep your opposition in check. You're not nearly as strong an early game solo as ashe, lich, etc, but even against such tough opponents, you should be able to do ok and remember that as long as this phase goes decently for you and not too too well for them, you won. That said, twitch's ability to leverage stealth to force the opposition to play defensively means he does very well in a dual lane as well. Here are some twitch-specific laning tips:
1. Stealth is extremely useful for forcing your opponent off the creeps if you're able to get an edge on them. If you get said edge, try to offset creep waves so 6 of theirs kill 3 of yours and vice versa. This way you can get your last hits in while your creeps are high on health and then stealth/harass to force them off while your creeps are low on health.
2. If you're up against a solo meele, be absolutely relentless. My starter build (below) should sufficiently get you through any early nukes they have. If you're up against dual lane, play safe until you get a level edge and then turn up the pressure.
3. You are very susceptible to exhaust and heal. Make sure you know who has what at the load screen.
4. Your poison ticking on opposing heroes will cause towers to shoot you if you're in range so stay back or expunge it
5. Try to use stealth to get you an early edge against your opponent by attacking when they're in range of a large pack of your ranged creeps
This is not an assassin playstyle start, this is a farming carry start. However, it will allow you to harass decently.
1. Start bead, faerie charm, and a health pot. This is a bit more mana than you need but the health recovery is just about right. Yes, we're going tiamat (remember--it's all about the ult)
2. Next, you get vampiric scepter, boots, and finish your tiamat. The order depends on situation: if you're being pressured very hard, pick up some health pots and the vampiric first. If not, you can go for the tiamat's damage items and boots first.
3. Zerker boots
This gives you what you need for the mid game's team fights: life steal to get the lizard buff, farm the jungle, and maintain your health; tiamat for damage, farm power, and an uber-ult, and zerker boots for movement and some attack speed. From there, your items are situational, here are the usual suspects:
Last whisper - pick this up against tanky teams
Executioner's calling - pick this up if they have lots of healers
Zeal, phantom dancer - I generally go this route if I've picked up an executioner's for their healers or if I need the movement speed or avoidance and then follow it up with infinity edge
Bloodrazor - Good against tanks that neglect magic resist and also good if it's a game where you're likely to cap out on items
Infinity edge - Great against squishy targets if you go the crit route
Black cleaver - Great against squishy targets if you don't go the crit route
Frozen mallet - A good way to tank up if your team is short on disables or if lizard buffs are tough to come by
Banshe's veil - When you need to tank up against casters and disables
Items that seem like they would be good but don't seem to deliver in practice:
Wit's end - Good if you want to be an assassin or are against support tanks but even then it just doesn't seem to work that well
Mallady - You're great at applying debuffs so it seems like it should be a good item for you but attack speed isn't a high priority for you and last whipser and zeal/pd just seem to be better ways to get it. Also, you generally decide a team fight within 4-6 shots so you don't really hvae time to stack up the debuff anyway.
Stark's fervor - You shoot farther than the aura range and the aura shows the bad guys where you are. A plain vamp scepter serves your life stealing purposes just fine
Other mana regen items - generally poor use of a slot since tiamat gives you just what you need and greatly improves your damage
Aoe disables or movement restrictions, the ability to finish runners, strong initiating abilities that can force them into an engagement, and the ability to protect you are what you're looking for. Some examples:
Rammus - poor guy is so underplayed now, used to love rammus
Now onto the most important part--Playstyle
As discussed before, the way you use your ult is everything so that's what I'm going to focus on.
Overall, what you should expect is that when you turn your ult on the enemy team has to run or die. Even if your team is getting rocked, this should still be the case. If this is not the case, your positioning, decision making, item choices, and/or farming need major work. Generally, expect your ult to decide fights within 4-6 shots and plan for such. This is how you can tell you used your ult well and you should be able to plan your meta game around this effect. When using your ult, you want to chose team fights where the enemy has heavily comitted to the engagement and will not be able to easily leave. You also want to be out of range of most of their abilities and/or engage when those abilities are on cooldown. If your tanks and casters start chaining heavy aoe disables and ultimates, it's go time. These are the prime general locations:
The woods - Skinny trails in the woods is the second best place but the opposition should know that so they're going to try to deny you that chance.
Pushing a turret - The ult is good for pushing heavily defended turret (or back-dooring an undefended one)
Nashor - Interrupting a nashor attempt is likely to decide a game right there making this the #1 best ult use.
Defending a tower - Only if it will actually save the tower by giving your team time to get there or killing enough bad guys
Locations to generally NOT to use your ult:
Out in the open - If they aren't clumped and have lots of movement room
Solo fights - Only if you need the attack speed to force them to run and will lose otherwise
Skirmishes - If they have not comitted to the fight and can easily leave, hold off
Point blank range - Makes it hard to hit multiple targets and makes you an easy target
Beyond general location, tactical position is also important. Being fairly close has its advantages since it means more attack time before they get out of range but with that comes more risk. Assess how close your can safely get and ride the edge such that even if they take you down they should be thoroughly screwed by the time they do. If you chose flash, you should also position yourself such that you have a good location to flash to in order to finish runners and/or escape. Said flash location should preferably also be a good ult location so that you can continue to fire if the situation is suitable.
Timing wise, you'd really like to see some enemy ults, teleports, and long range disables used before you open fire. You would also like to chose a time that will force their team to make a hard decision. For example, do they try to finish off that low health nunu while your ult is up or do they get out? The idea here is to get them to make different decisions and thus screw themselves over. Even if they're on vent this can work because the decision has to be made so fast.
For preparation, you really really want a lizard buff; try to have it as often as possible. If you can secure map control you should be able to have it
all the time. Obviously this is not always possible and smart opponents will try to deny it but look on the bright side: you get to pick when and where
you open up so someone with a lizard buff is a fantastic first target.
Target selection durring a fight is very important, selecting the right target is the difference between hitting several people and no people. In general, the target farthest away that is not running away is the best option. If someone is running from you and is at the max range, the ult won't
hit them unless they're heavily slowed so try to pick someone running at the front of their group as opposed to the back. If you pick someone really close to you, it will hit that person nicely but who knows what else it will hit so only do this when that target is very clearly what you need to take
down and don't much care about the others. You will probably need to change targets quickly and smartly so think ahead and know what you're going to do when your targets run. If you don't have a good plan for what will happen when they run, it's probably not a good time to use the ult unless it's being used in defense.
So there 'tis: how to play twitch as a hard carry--enjoy.
Very good guide! Here are some other useful items you should probably list:
-The Bloodthirster: May not seem like much, but +100 attack and +25% lifesteal are great on a single item. You shouldn't be dying that much anyways, so the buff should stay maxed out. Also helps quickly kill Towers and other buildings
-Tiamat: Not too incredible, but very useful for dealing extra damage if the opponent team seems to pack together too much. With your ult every hit wil splash, so it can add up a lot. Still, it relies more on your enemies not playing too well.
-Elixirs: Everyone should do this IMHO, but using elixirs can make or break a game. Late game your team can break a stalemate by selling boots (to free up an inventory slot), buying and using one of each elixir (not oracle, however), then re-buying the boots.
eh... you know what, i'm starting to feel insulted. if nobody else in team has stark, stark is a MUST HAVE,
reason 1. starks has 4 aura effects. who cares if you don't proc 1 of them sometimes.
reason 2. unless you have someone else getting stark, twitch should always get it. the chances of someone other than you getting it is very slim. 1 tank, 1 mage, 1 you, 2 others. 2 others are usually another mage and a tank. so getting that imba item is up to you.
reason 3. starks is awesome for baron nashor, nashor wins games. nashor is one of the most crucial elements to winning top tier games. if nobody has starks, you wont be able to nashor unless your whole team is several level higher than without starks.
reason 4. starks is a special status buff. no other item gives 4 separate aura effects. it's the only aura item that doesn't stack for a good reason, it's imba.
reason 5. starks armor debuff will always proc on dragon, nashor, and other creeps. so it's not like it's useless. enemies often target twitch and get in range of the armor debuff anyway.
© 2013 Riot Games, Inc. All rights reserved. Riot Games, League of Legends and PvP.net are trademarks, services marks, or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc.