[Guide] AD/AP TF? No way!

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Dr Troll

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Senior Member

03-22-2010

Edit-**This is NOT an AD guide** people are still commenting on this as though it is. You should never, ever pick up any kind of AD items unless it's like your sixth item and it's maybe a sword of the occult, after your AS is capped out and you have a frozen mallet. Again, this guide is entirely AS and item procs. On we go!

Since the recent patch, I've seen a whole lot of different builds for TF, including AP, AD, AP/AD, AS/AD, and a bunch of other combos.

Lots of these builds may work, but from what I've been reading and seeing of other TFs, they fall a little flat. I think that's because no matter how you build him, his damage output is pretty much half ap and half physical. This makes focusing on either stat a poor choice.

Also, let me say that this guide is for soloing mid. I haven't played TF in lanes very much so I'm unsure about this guide's viability when laning.

Lastly, can I say for sure that this is THE build for TF? Hell no, he's a whole new champion now and he hasn't been out long enough to make that statement I'm also not a top 500 ELO, so I have no way of saying if this is viable at the highest levels of play. What I will say is that I've had great success with this build and I encourage people to try it. With that said, on with the guide!


Skill Order and Use
First, let me just say that I think Wild Card is not so great now, and it is definitely worthless using this build, so do not get it until you have no choice. You will use other skills and tactics to harass.

I start with SD over PaC, and here's why: your level one harass will be very strong if you hit minions to build SD and then drop the fourth hit. GC'ing at lvl one isn't all that great of an idea as you'll take minion damage trying to put any further hurt on them. Once you do get PaC, farm up 3 hits and drop red cards on the enemy champ or on a minion near an enemy champ as the splash will still do good damage. This is great trick to nab opponents just outside of TF's somewhat short range, so use it often as it's a harass and farm in one.

I take SD over PaC, but what's important is that WC isn't picked at all. Once PaC is lvled up a bit, the GC stun will allow you to go for ganks and actually finish people.


Masteries
I go full offense, picking up sorcery and archaic knowledge, and skipping lethality. I've been using exhaust so I pick up cripple, but burning embers is viable too. The rest goes into utility in the obvious places.


Edit-something I've been trying to figure out is if Havoc applies to on hit effects, IE does it cause SotD to hit for 105 damage? I'll look into this more, but I doubt it does.

In light of my assumption, i've changed my masteries. I now go 8 into offense, getting alacrity. I then put the rest into defense.. The extra armor, MR, dodge, reduction, and flat +60 health helped a lot more than I thought it would in teams of survivability, especially if you go cloth armor. Makes laning mid a lot safer. Ardor is just great for adding even more atkspd and a bit of AP. Offense just didn't seem worth it to me anymore considering most of your damage does not come from AP/AD but rather item procs.


Runes
Unlike other carries, you won't be going full armor pen and whatnot. Remember, our damage comes from a strong combination of on hit effects, cards, and 4th hit SD's. I've also tried CDR, but I don't feel it's worth it as SD+golem will take care of your CD's just fine. It all comes down to getting your on hit effects off as often as possible, and for that I go full AS.


Summoner Spells
I've been going flash/exhaust. Flash is obvious, exhaust really helps shut down other physical carries, especially when they try to counter exhaust you and you trigger your SotD. On the other hand, improved ignite is nice too for early kills.



Item Build
First, let me say that I've seen lots of TF's go malady. I've tried it and I don't like it. Starting with a vamp scepter is okay, but your range isn't that great and your AD is even worse, so it can be a bit unreliable/slow to heal.

I don't get Guinsoo's because SotD is just so much better in my opinion-higher AS without having to build stacks, guaranteed exhaust counter and GC/SD hits (you cannot afford to destiny in and have someone dodge your GC, this will totally ruin your gank) and the 100 extra damage with your SD+the armor pen does more overall compared to the AP/AD of Guinsoo's.

This is probably the section I'll get the most **** for, but I'll explain why I pick what I do.


Cloth Armor+3 hp pots+1 mp pot
I know what you're all thinking, but it's better than it seems. 3 hp pots should be more than enough to let you lane until 6+ in mid unless you play very poorly, and the cloth armor more than doubles TF's Armor which greatly aids his survivability early game, but more importantly it builds into...

Madred's+tier 1 booties
Why madred's? First, it will allow you to golem and lizard, giving you crucial CDR and a slow on your attack. Second, it builds into TF's best item, an improved Madred's.

Improved boots, dagger OR improved boots, recurve bow
Generally Merc treads are the boots of choice, but if you aren't worried about CC then take the luxury of Greaves at your own peril.

Depending on how your game is going/what you can afford, you can choose to either rush the next Madred's or go for an SotD. SotD will add an extra 100 damage to your SD proc, make it impossible to dodge your GC/SD hit, and it also counters cripple blind entirely (ALL OF WHICH ARE VERY IMPORTANT!), and give you a nice amount of armor pen and a huge 55% AS. This item should definitely be rushed against an enemy Jax. Remember to use it during the fight!

Side note: If the enemy team is very heavy AP, a Wit's end here can also be suitable-TF is one of the very few champs a Wit's End is good on imo.


Madred's or SotD/Wit's End, whichever you've chosen to get first
SotD is recommended first, but Madred's will boost your damage tremendously and will let you make short work of tanks, so play it per game. Madred's is easily the best item you can get on TF, especially with this build.


Match specific item(s)
Here's where you make a judgment call. Dying or coming close often, or need a reliable slow? Go with a phage/frozen mallet. CC's/AP got you down? Banshee's Veil. Want to help yourself and your team? Get a Stark's. Looking for more pure damage? Go with a Wit's End or, if you're already doing well and are very confident that you won't die, pick up a Sword of the Occult as 10-20 20 stacks+2.0-2.5 AS+ all your other damage is pretty much instant death for anyone.




Early game
Harass and farm with red card+4th hit SD's as stated above. Blue card last hit if mana is an issue, but it really shouldn't be. At around 6-8, go back and buy your first items, and start watching your other lanes for weaker champs to destiny+gc in on. This takes some practice as the loss of ult slow makes it trickier, but just use good positioning and don't do anything too reckless.


Mid game
Nab golem, lizard, and dragon whenever possible, while farming/helping lanes and porting in for ganks whenever the opportunity arises. This requires map awareness, so use that minimap! AS TF is an amazing pusher/BD'er, so be on the lookout for chances to drop turrets.


Late Game
By this point, enemies will fear your destiny+GC a great deal and most of the time they'll either turtle (awesome, farm and push), or push you five man. Send four of your teammates to defend whichever turret they're pushing, and if a couple minions are present, destiny off and drop a turret. Otherwise, TF plays just like any other ranged carry with a stun, the only difference is his damage comes from different sources. In short, you're fragile but you'll melt their entire team.



Tips
If your team is teleport heavy, destiny in near something that needs to be dropped and have your entire team teleport to the ward and push like mad. If done right, the enemy team will never see it coming.


Don't be afraid to use your ult when their team is MIA. Sometimes it won't reveal anything useful, but sometimes it'll give key information on a gank that's about to take place, or give you a nice chance to destiny in and kill a caster grabbing golem or whatnot. Don't sit on your ult for half the game just because there doesn't seem to be a good time to use it.

Use destiny as an escape skill! If you're running from a gank squad with half health and you probably aren't going to make it, ult and port to your base. The cast time is super short and damage does not interrupt it, so as long as you think you'll live long enough, use it to escape then /all LATOR LOLOLOL. Seriously, this has saved me so many times.

You are papery; do not overextend/bite off more than you can chew in team fights, and don't gate in on a champion you aren't at least 80% sure you can own in .5 seconds. Likewise, don't gate in on an Alistar that will take you 10 seconds to kill even if you are 95% sure you can do it, as often times he'll hold you up long enough for his team to get his back. Remember, in, kill a champion in less than 5 seconds, OUT. Likewise for turrets.

Gold card is threatening, use the obviousness of it to your advantage. Most players will instinctively run from a GC, so use that to force back to their turret and interrupt their farming/ganking. This can work for Destiny too; if a teammate is getting chases 2v1, just popping your ult can sometimes be enough to scare them off, even if you plan on teleporting somewhere else.

buy your Sword of the Divine when you have ZERO Stacked Deck. That way when you attack with your 4th card of Stacked Deck you also proc that +100 dmg of SotD.--MrCarrier






There's lots more but it's 3 AM and I need to sleep. I'll revise this tomorrow. In the mean time, constructive comments/criticism is always welcome.


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Suffocation

Senior Member

03-23-2010

I prefer to farm with wild card and red card. I just max Q and E and one in W. Wild card can still harrass well. and it has a huge range.
I will try madred's next game. I went doran's ring + pot, double elixir, Sword of the Divine, merc treads, Stark's Fervor, Triforce last game.
I go 9 (spell pen) - 0 - 21 (ulti !!) and I really like the TF now as he is. Still a top tier hero and imo he's balanced now. Yes, his ult is absolutely game changing etc but so are other ult's of certain heroes.


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Dr Troll

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Senior Member

03-23-2010

I hear you, WC is definitely good for farming, but madred's+a high AS/red card use will be all the farming you'll ever need. WC is also good harass, but getting it slows down your other skills that are much better on the new TF in my opinion. The problem with not lvling W is the lack of stun duration from GC, and I think you'd find that lvled up red cards are actually better than WC for farming.

Stark's is a solid item, and I can kinda see why you'd get trinity force, but I think the improved Madred's is just too awesome to not get ASAP over both of those.

Seems like a lot of TF's are reluctant to drop WC, but give it a try and let me know what you think.

Good comments.


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MrCarrier

Junior Member

03-23-2010

DrTroll,
Your build and play style is just how I like to play TF. I agree on almost all points with your gear selection and tactics. I, like you, am not a top tier player. Hell, I am only lvl 22. But I enjoy TF's play style.

Runes: there is always debate on what works best. Attack speed is great. Armor pen works great too. I think cooldown reduction can work wonders for more Destiny Ganks.

Gear: Spot on, IMO. A little tip: buy your Sword of the Divine when you have ZERO Stacked Deck. That way when you attack with your 4th card of Stacked Deck you also proc that +100 dmg of SotD.


My one gripe about TF... Everything he does is telegraphed. You got a card over your head when you wanna toss Pick a Card, you got a nice little ring of cards around you when you wanna throw your 4th card of Stacked Deck. And Destiny puts a huge beacon of light over the enemy's head saying "Here I come!" But on the other hand, I also think it just takes some skilled play to land your Gold Card/Destiny and it makes it that much more rewarding when it does land


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Dr Troll

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Senior Member

03-23-2010

Yeah that tip about buying SotD is nice, it's something I try to do but I forgot to mention.

Having a big gold card hovering over you definitely scares people off, but that can be a good thing too...that's something else I'll add.

I agree about it being more rewarding, I didn't play the old TF because A) I sucked with him the few times I played him and B)I hate playing god tier champs in any game.


Edit-sounds crazy, but I recently switched to full defense for masteries. It's explained above.


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Charmicarmicarmicat

Senior Member

03-23-2010

So tell me

How will you be of any help in a teamfight, if all you can do is autoattack? IMO WC is needed early so that you can actually kite and do some damage in safety. His range is pitiful, so is his health which puts a big 'FOCUS ME' sign over his head.

At best, SD adds 45 damage and 30% AS at level 5. There are many heroes who can outdps TF, so if that's your primary use for him there are better options out there.

Not saying that an AD build is bad, but a build that doesn't get wildcards until the end leaves something to be desired.


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Dr Troll

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Senior Member

03-23-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmicarmicarmicat View Post
So tell me

How will you be of any help in a teamfight, if all you can do is autoattack? IMO WC is needed early so that you can actually kite and do some damage in safety. His range is pitiful, so is his health which puts a big 'FOCUS ME' sign over his head.

At best, SD adds 45 damage and 30% AS at level 5. There are many heroes who can outdps TF, so if that's your primary use for him there are better options out there.

Not saying that an AD build is bad, but a build that doesn't get wildcards until the end leaves something to be desired.

What do you mean? He's useful in a teamfight the same way any carry is; stay behind the tanks and melt everyone. I think you're underestimating how insanely fast TF kills people with this gear setup. I have no idea where you're getting 45 damage from SD, as it adds 180 damage per fourth hit, and the CD reduction is also extremely valuable.

This isn't an AD build at all, did you actually read the guide? You aren't just auto attacking in fights, you're busting out AOE slows with red card or single target stuns with gold card and proceeding to kill anyone you focus, including tanks (due to madred's). I don't see how this isn't obvious. His survivability is better than a lot of other carries if you follow this guide and know how to use his abilities correctly.


I just don't see how wildcards are useful at all in a team fight on dps build. They'll add a pitiful amount of damage, and if you're trying to play TF as an AP caster/harasser then there's REALLY something to be desired. They're marginally safer early game, but that does not justify how badly they start to mid-late. I've played against quite a few TF's who go AP and focus on cards, it isn't hard to deal with and none of them have stood out at all.

I also explain how I harass early game in safety.

I feel like maybe you clicked this, saw that I eschew Wild Cards, and then posted a reply without reading the rest of the guide.


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PdXMorpho

Member

03-23-2010

I play tf pure AD now and i leave out wild cards and i never had the problem you mentioned above in team fights, i normally GC the enemy champ that is being focus fired or if we need to run i can red card and slow the whole enemy team. at low leves with SD and PaC i have never had trouble that being said im only lvl 24 but have over 60 of my games with TF and much prefer him now this may change when i hit 30 but im open to suggestions i just dont like AP TF


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Dr Troll

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Senior Member

03-23-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmicarmicarmicat View Post
At best, SD adds 45 damage and 30% AS at level 5. There are many heroes who can outdps TF, so if that's your primary use for him there are better options out there..
I honestly think you need to try this kind of build before saying that. I think you're thinking of a TF that stacks AD/AS, and that I'm trying to say that it will out dps a fed Twitch or Trist. Your damage comes from a combination of physical dps, magic damage, and item hit effects. I guarantee you will be more than happy with his ability to kill anyone if you try this method, as Madred's alone with 2.5 AS will melt through a tank very fast.

The reason to pick TF is that he can be anywhere at any time, ganking anyone, doing huge amounts of damage, with a super reliable stun and aoe slow. He's both a team fighting carry and a map roaming ganker at once. He also has pretty crazy scouting abilities.


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Dr Troll

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Senior Member

03-23-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by PdXMorpho View Post
I play tf pure AD now and i leave out wild cards and i never had the problem you mentioned above in team fights, i normally GC the enemy champ that is being focus fired or if we need to run i can red card and slow the whole enemy team. at low leves with SD and PaC i have never had trouble that being said im only lvl 24 but have over 60 of my games with TF and much prefer him now this may change when i hit 30 but im open to suggestions i just dont like AP TF

Agreed. AP TF is just lackluster now. I've seen quite a few since patch and they've all been unimpressive.


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