Twisted Fate, is the re-make here yet?

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Zophir

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02-10-2010

Twisted Fate, The Cardmaster - An AP Guide

Commonly abbreviated as TF or CM, Twisted Fate is one of the more controversial champions due to his total map control, map dominance, gank-prevention & gank-initiation, omnipresence and extremely synergistic spells. Most of these concepts are foregone in beginner and even average play and as such, is often not seen as overpowered.

Twisted Fate is also a champion that is good in all stages of the game, be it the Laning Phase, Mid-Game and even Late-Game.

This guide will cover the basis of rolling with an AP build on TF due to the fact that I see it as the most effective option.

As for his skills:

Wild Cards (Q)

Quote:
Twisted Fate throws three cards, dealing damage to each enemy unit they pass through.
Throws three cards which deal 60/110/160/210/260 (+0.6) magic damage to each enemy unit they pass through.
Wild Cards are your bread and butter for dealing damage and harassing as well as sniping tower-huggers early game. Late game these cards can be used to completely clear creep waves as well as to snipe the opposing team's backline casters. Early game you want to level this up as soon as you have a rank in PaC, but don't throw them until you've got at least 2 ranks in them, otherwise the mana:damage ratio is pretty pathetic.

Pick a Card (PaC) - (W)
Quote:
Pick A Card - Twisted Fate chooses a magic card from his deck, and uses that for his next attack, causing bonus effects. Cast once to shuffle the deck and again to choose your card, enhancing your next attack.
Blue Card gives 40/50/60/70/80 bonus magic damage and allows Twisted Fate to Pick another Card.
Red Card deals 25/50/75/100/125 (+0.4) magic damage to nearby enemies and slows them for 1.5 seconds.
Gold Card deals 50/100/150/200/250 (+0.4) magic damage to nearby enemies and slows them for 1.5 seconds, additionally stuns the unit hit for 1.5 seconds.
Lasts 10 seconds
This is the first skill you want to get a rank in, and it's really what seperates a decent TF from a horrible TF. If you can't consistently lock gold cards then go into a practice game, just sit in your spawning pool and try to lock them over and over. The key to this, based on your latency is to press the W key a second time as soon as you see the red card disappear (since the order is always blue->red->gold->repeat).

Blue Cards: These babies proc "on-cast" effects such as Sheen and Lichbane. If you know what Sheen does then you know why you're going to be rushing it as your first item. These cards allow you to pick another after you've thrown them so they are extremely useful to take out Towers or farm minions for easy last hits.
Red Cards: Never get these, they are a watered-down version of Gold Cards in every single way.
Gold Cards: The whole reason you are able to gank and be a huge support in teamfights. Gold cards allow you to gank with amazing effect. Not only do they keep your opponent in a nice spot, it sets you up for a perfect Wild Cards "skillshot" followed up by a nicely-proc'd auto-attack. In teamfight these things are able to turn the tide of most battles; just be aware of your positioning because if you go up to throw a gold-card you are most likely in a focus-able position.

Gate - (E)
Quote:
Gate - Teleports Twisted Fate to any target location.
Teleports Twisted Fate to target location. This takes 3 seconds to cast.
Your main ability that allows you to gank. It basically eliminates your need to take Teleport because you can easily get back-in on the action everytime it's recharged. Early game this is great to refuel your health and mana supplies as well as getting more items without losing any experience in your lane. Mid-game this is an awesome ganking tool in combination with your ultimate. Late game this ability basically allows omnipresence - you are at all places on the map at once, you can teleport wherever you want on a 36s cooldown with the right set-up. Keep in mind that even if you use this in grass, enemies can still see the animation appear.

Destiny - (R)
Quote:
Destiny - Twisted Fate predicts the fortunes of his foes, revealing all enemy champions and slowing their movement speeds for a short duration.
Reveals all enemy champions (including stealthed champions) and slows their movement speed by 30% for 4/5/6 seconds. Destiny also causes Gate to teleport twice as fast while Destiny is up.
The ultimate of ultimates - not only does this baby reveal everyone on the map, it also slows them by 30%. See a twitch escaping with really low health? Suspect an Evelynn snuck into your backlines during a teamfight and the enemy team is retreating? Need to finish off that Shaco with 10hp? Suspect an on-coming gank on one of your teammates? Just feel like going to kill someone? Pop this sucker. There are so many uses for Destiny that it's just unfair. This thing is (in my opinion) the most-contributing factor as to why TF is overpowered, second to the synergy between all his skills of course.
One more thing, popping Destiny allows you to gate twice as fast (1.5s) so if you know for a fact that you're ****ed you can pop it and gate into your spawning pool. This is even possible in the middle of being focused! (So long as you're not rooted or silenced during the cast) The sheer number of times I have escaped from a situation like this is sickening.

Masteries
I suggest a 9/0/21 build and it's pretty strict, you might be able to work out a 13/0/17 if you have your reasons but I would really suggest going 9/0/21, your mastery tree will probably look like this:
*******http://i50.tinypic.com/2v8fg3a.png********
The reasoning for this mastery tree is simple. The 21 points in Utility excellent augments any caster, TF more so than others.
3x Perseverance: Not much here, a bit of extra regen is nice early-game.
1x Good Hands: An extra bit of time alive won't matter that much until end-game, this is put in here just to reach Tier 2.
4x Awareness: 5% bonus experience is nothing to scoff at, the sooner you hit level 6 the sooner you can get a kill, an extra 5% max mana will not help you lane better in the long run.
3x Meditation: Oh baby, an extra 5mp/5s is amazing early game and helps sustain you even throughout mid-game.
2x Utility Mastery: Considering you're going to be getting golem throughout the game, not to mention all the buffs you will probably acquire through kills, the 30% increase in buff duration is amazing.
3x Quickness: TF is one slow-ass piece of **** with a base move-speed of only 300. Upping this makes sure you're on par with your lane partner and are able to avoid harassment that would otherwise force you to port back early and deny experience. Mid-game and late-game this can also help with chases and escaping ganks if you know what you're doing.
3x Intelligence: 6% CDR on all abilities is nice, especially considering late game you're aiming for a 36s-cooldown on Gate and a really quick Destiny.
1x Improved Clairvoyance: The duration increase on this allows you to be a bit more sloppy with it and not need to cast it 100% properly, but the 5s cooldown reduction on it is mainly what this is for.
1x Presence of the Master: With improved clairvoyance and this baby, you're casting your eye almost every 40s!

Now with 9 points left over, the defensive tree is kind of out of the question: if you get focused you're dead, a 2% chance to dodge and 6 armor isn't going to change that. Rather you should spend it on improving TF's strengths through the offensive tree. If you're not level 30 yet I wouldn't bother speccing into the offensive tree at all until you are, the only reason is for Archaic knowledge (15% MR penetration). The 3% CDR is also quite nice in combination with a few extra points of AP, but Archaic Knowledge is really what enables you to hit like a truck late-game.

Runes
Runes are mostly personal choice, but this is what I've found works best for me.

9x Greater Marks of Insight (+8.55 Magic Pen total)
9x Greater Seals of Replenishment (+3.7 Mana Regen/5s total)
9x Greater Glyphs of Celerity (+8.1 Cooldown Reduction @ L18)
3x Movespeed Quints or 3x Magic Pen Quints depending on my mood

All of these runes are geared towards TF dealing more damage and being able to lane early with the mana regen and max cooldown reduction by level 18.


Summoner Abilities
There are numerous different options and combinations I've experimented with, I'll list the ones I've found effective.

Flash + Ignite: Not much to say here, easy to initiate with gold card in hand + a flash and finish them off with ignite for an easy kill. The bad part is that you lack survivability although Flash can be used to escape, it has a fairly long cooldown and you should be aware of your positioning so you shouldn't really need it. I would reccommned this if you're starting out.

Flash + Cleanse: A little too much survivability, again, you don't really need Flash as it's a bit overkill when you can just pay attention to your positioning, especially with Cleanse giving you a free "get-out-of-Ashe's-ulti-free-card".

Cleanse + Clairvoyance: I think Clairvoyance is a must in every team, it works best on TF because you really don't need that second summoner skill slot. Cleanse is also perfect because it allows you to get out of that dreaded CC, which is really the only thing that kills you. Definitely the choice for the more experienced TF players.

Teleport + Cleanse: Meh, not much more than a gimmick but teleporting in to rock a tower followed by a gate out is sometimes worth it, don't know if this works anymore because of the nerf to cleanse...

Ghost + Cleanse: Same reason for Teleport + Cleanse, except instead of gating out you gate in and ghost out, cleanse to remove CC to make sure you escape.


Item Build
1. Sapphire Crystal + 2 Health pots
2. Sheen + Sight Ward
3. Boots + Ruby or Sapphire Crystal
4. Catalyst The Protector
5. Rod of Ages
6. Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi or Sorcerer's Shoes
7. Lucky Pick
8. Deathfire Grasp
9. Lichbane

The reason for Sapphire Crystal as the starting item is because early game, it helps TF lane more effectively. The only thing limiting TF's laning ability is mana to sustain harassment with Wild Cards and mana to spam PaC for some awesome mind-games. It builds nicely into Sheen, which not only gives +AP for Wild Cards + PaC damage, it allows you to farm even more effectively, easily getting last hits from PaC's blue card Sheen proc. TF is a very item-dependant champion so having an easy way to farm is definitely a plus.

The Sheen being the second item is for obvious reasons previously explained, and the Sight Ward is semi-optional. If you have any decent opponents then you will know which side is probably going to come and gank you - prepare for it because you probably won't escape once they're in your field of vision. If you're doing pretty well by your first trip back and maybe have gotten a kill then you'll probably be able to afford boots this trip as well.

"Kind-of" rushing a catalyst is also a pretty good idea because it allows you enough HP to turret dive for a gank or survive their counter-attack. The +HP on level up also allows for some pretty nice mind-games: you're close to leveling up and that killing spree you've acquired looks pretty nice, people are willing to sacrifice themselves for that extra 400+ gold. They don't know that their ignite or that turret or their poison won't kill you after they die, because you're just going to gain enough health to survive when they keel over
Plus the fact that this thing builds into a Rod of Ages, pretty much a necessity on all casters due to the amazing cost for so much: Lots of AP, Lots of Health, and Lots of Mana.

At this point assess the enemy team, get whatever boots you think would suit you best, if you're already doing amazing just get Sorcerer's Shoes to further face-roll them. Never get Boots of Swiftness because it won't allow you to chase or escape more effectively due to your horrible base move-speed.

At this point you should start considering Elixers of Brilliance, they give you 10% CDR, along with about 40-50AP at only 300g a pop. They allow you to clear the caster minions with a single throw of wild cards up the lane, and a gold card takes care of the remaining melee minions.

The game doesn't usually go on past this if you're in a good team, but get a Kage's Lucky Pick when you can and keep it that way for a bit, slowly building up for your Deathfire Grasp, don't bother rushing for it because you get a free +5g/10s from the pick.

After you finish your grasp you can start working on your Lichbane, it's just like Sheen, but better. You have so much AP at this point that your auto-attacks will take off an extra 20% of their HP just because of this item. The +Movespeed also allows you to succeed in those chases and escape from those nasty ganks that are present at this stage of the game.

Note: Sight Wards
Sight wards are a verrrrry beneficial item for Twisted Fate, not only can you stack them long the inside of the jungle when you're pushing up a lane to see oncoming ganks, but they allow you to keep track of your enemy's movements for the next 4 minutes in that lane and around the jungle area there. And of course, it further boosts TF's already insane map-control. Try to put them in bushes but generally the best places are outside of the brush.

Ability Build Order:
1. PaC
2. Wild Cards
3. Wild Cards
4. Gate
5. Wild Cards
6. Destiny

The order from here goes in the following order:
Destiny > Wild Cards > PaC > Gate

The reasoning for this is because Destiny's cooldown is ridiculous even with CDR items, Wild Cards is your overpowered harassment & sniping tool early->mid game, and PaC increases your burst damage during ganks. Gate is left at level 1 because the cooldown reduction from Gate is really unnecessary when Destiny's recharge is so long. You're not making a fountain trip every 45s anyways.


Playstyle:
Early Game / Laning Phase
It's nice to get a Mid-Lane as TF because as soon as you get level 6, someone is going to die. In the laning phase, make sure you play mindgames with your opponent. TF is great at doing this and generally frustrates your opponent greatly. Things like dancing at their turret, or hitting them with Blue Cards when they expect you to hit minions is really demorazling, they know there's nothing they can do about it except call a gank - which is why you have your sight ward(s) up. Gate at level 4 because you need it at some point, and if you level PaC at level 4 then you're foregoing a rank of Wild Cards @ level 5 for Gate. If you're in a side lane then getting Gate even at level 3 could be an acceptable option if you've gotten an early kill and are low on health / mana, but that's why you have health pots and +Mana/5 from Runes/masteries. After getting your second rank of Wild Cards you will have enough firepower to adequately harass enemies without losing too much mana.

Mid Game
As soon as you hit level 6 it's time to gank, port back to your base, preferably out of range of sight. If you feel you can't immediately gank anyone in any lane (including yours) with your Destiny -> Gate -> Gold Card -> Wild Cards combo then just walk/gate back to your lane and continue farming / pushing. As soon as you see the opportunity, make sure to get them.

Mid-Late Game
From this point on you should have a tower down, maybe roaming ganksquads are starting to form. Your job is to push at all times. Push every lane simultaneously, don't forget to throw down sight wards at key choke-points in the jungle on the way to the lane you're pushing. Keep golem buff on you when possible for maximum cooldown reduction on your gate. Remember, you are omnipresent, every fight the enemies are going to engage in must be seen in their eyes with you there. Not only do you not actually have to be there to instill this feeling of presence, but when the fight actually takes place you don't even have to gate in, a Destiny is usually enough for your team to either escape of annihilate the opposing party. Note that with the recent slow percentage nerf (45->30%) you might actually have to assist your teammates in the team-fight if the odds are slightly in the enemy's favour.

You are very item dependant but you are also 100% of the team's map awareness, never hesitate to call MIA's and always be placing down wards. I see way too many people not place down wards, and for the most part it's okay but when you don't really have any built-in escape mechanism (gate's on cooldown usually) you really need those wards, they're only 90g... Your constant farming and pushing of all lanes at once will net you so much gold that you can pay for sight wards to prevent your demise in addition to all those brilliance elixers and your working towards that Grasp and subsequently your Lichbane.

Late Game
Never ever ever be alone, unless you have both Flash and Ghost you will probably not escape alive from the almost assured 5-man ganksquad roaming around the map, looking for easy kills. Always stay with your team unless under extreme circumstances and don't go out and get that Golem buff when there are 4 or 5 missing heroes. Keep a ward both in Baron's little arena and outside in the grass, it is VERY easy to snipe Baron with practice, especially with Voracious Corruption's effect - lowering the main party's DPS. When I say snipe Baron what I mean is you stand in that grass right outside Baron (you can even gate into it) and throw Wild Cards to snipe that last little bit of Baron's health. AS SOON AS YOU SNIPE IT MAKE SURE YOU RECALL OUT. You've got 8s to get the hell out of there because that's roughly how long it'll take them to realize they don't have the buff, they saw cards fly past them, that you're standing in that brush, and to haul their asses over there to annihilate your squishy face. Keep pushing all lanes at once, but save gate to get out of there as fast as you possibly can.

Hope you enjoyed my guide, and any comments / tips for improvement would be appreciated; keep in mind that this is my first guide and I tried to make it as informative as possible :P