Thursday, September 2, 2010

Twitch, The Plague Rat

Twitch, The Plague Rat, as you all know is one of the two stealth heroes in the game. He is, in my opinion, very powerful, and he can decimate the enemy team within seconds if he's fed properly. While many people may argue that he is crap ('omg elixir and he's useless'), that's far from the truth, and a good and cautious Twitch player can easily carry a game. Now don't go thinking he is an instant game winner, there is no such thing, and it always depends on the enemy team's setup. While there are some games where Twitch might simply not be an option, you'll find he's very adaptable and you can have various item builds to counter most enemy heroes.

That being said, let's get going:


Deadly venom

Twitch's attacks infect the target with Deadly Venom, which deal 2/4/6/8 damage each second, stacks up to 6 times, and lasts up to 8 seconds.

This is Twitch's passive, and the number of stacks applied to an enemy will trigger extra effects in his two main abilities, Debilitating Poison and Expunge


Twitch hides in the shadows, waiting for a nearby enemy. If he attacks, he will gain bonus attack speed.

This is basically your stealth ability. Some notes about it. It doesn't last very long in the initial ranks, and you will only start leveling it to a decent amount somewhere near level 10, so until then beware. Also, keep in mind that it takes a second (not sure if more) to activate, and the timer resets if you get hit by any kind of attack (including minion hits) so it can take you quite a lot to get in stealth when under fire. Other than that, try to activate it so that you have about half duration or less left on its timer when you decide to strike, to maximize the attack speed buff.

Debilitating Poison

Infects a target with a crippling poison, slowing his movement speed.

A very underestimated spell by most (bad) Twitch players. This is really the key to making your attacks efficient and getting the kill rather than just hurting the enemy a bit. It gets extra duration depending on the stacks of poison (passive) that your enemy has on him, but it does NOT remove the stacks. Needless to say, always use it before expunge.


All nearby enemies secrete Twitch's toxic venom from their bodies, dealing damage for each stack.

A high damage source, it's pretty obvious to use it only after you have enough stacks of poison on the enemy. The range is pretty big, I'd say about as big as Karthus' Q spell, but you'll just have to get the feel of it by playing.

Spray and pray

Twitch closes his eyes and fires his crossbow as fast as he can, spraying piercing arrows ahead of him.

Twitch's ultimate, very powerful, goes through enemies (so you'll want to get them in a line most of the time), grants extra attack speed, stacks poison. You should only use it when you're safe to get as many hits as possible.

I will explain these abilities and how to use them for maximum efficiency later on in the guide.


Nothing much to say here. I play with full Critical Chance runes, and HP Quints. I have 17% at the start of the game and 532 health.

You can experiment on these, and you can alternate on some parts, as this particular set of runes is only useful for a few heroes and you might not want to spend you IP on it.

However, I would say the HP Quints are a must, you're already squishy as hell, especially on level 1, and those quints can be used in any set.


I play a standard 21/0/9 spec,


Deadliness 3/3
Archmage's Savvy 1/3
Sorcery 4/4
Alacrity 4/4
Archaic Knowledge 1/1
Sunder 3/3
Offensive Mastery 1/3
Lethality 3/3
Havoc 1/3


Good Hands 1/3
Perseverance 3/3
Expanded Mind 4/4 (you can experiment with these 4 points in any combination between Expanded Mind and Awareness)
Utility Mastery 1/2

Feel free to adapt things to your play style, this does it best for me.


Most guides will give you different options, must-have tier, good tier, bad tier etc on summoner spells. I'm telling you straight and simple:

Flash and Cleanse

I've tried many possibilities and these two are by far the best. I'll explain further on.


Alright, onwards to the actual gameplay. I will structure this section into level brackets.


At Level 1 you and your team have a decision to make: will you go mid or not. Decide for yourself if you prefer 1v1 or 2v2.

As a note, you can't jungle, or solo lane effectively (yes, you CAN do them, but you end up gaining less than you would on a normal lane)

Starting items - two major possibilities here:


Doran's Blade + Health Potion - this works OK, but you'll need to replace it later on. The lifesteal + hp will let you stay on the lane for a while.

Vampiric Scepter - my personal preference. While you lose the HP buff, you get much more lifesteal, and, if you're careful, can lane for longer periods of time than you would with Doran's Blade. This MUST also be one of the items in your final build.



  • Try to last-hit as much as possible. When you're not last-hitting, harass your opponent with autoattacks. The easiest way to do it is to get close, hit once and then run back a bit. Rinse repeat this and most opponents won't even touch you.
  • If you get 3 or more stacks on your opponent, consider using slow to hit him more, and even expunge once you're close to level 5. It will hurt him a lot.
  • Don't waste mana in the first 3-4 levels unless you're going for a kill. You'll need it when you actually start doing damage. Your autoattacks will hit for quite a great deal, and you can get nice crits as well.
  • You're pretty squishy, so no Rambo crap. Play it safe and farm like a madman. You get stronger only at level 9 and so forth.

Level 1 - Debilitating Poison (only go for Ambush if you need to scout for some reason - ie opponent jungler)
Level 2 - Expunge
Level 3 - Expunge
Level 4 - Ambush (get this earlier if you feel like you need it)
Level 5 - Expunge (this is when it starts to really hurt)
Level 6 - Spray and Pray


The details mentioned here only apply from a certain level of play, where you only meet good/very good/awesome players. They obviously won't apply when playing vs newbies or otherwise bad players.

Also, don't follow these as a rule. You can outplay some of the heroes mentioned on the "avoid" list, it just depends on luck (crits, etc) and your team in general (setup, global ults, junglers, gankers).

What to avoid:

If you're matched against these heroes on mid, you should ask for someone to take over the lane. There's no shame in admitting your weaknesses, and maybe someone from your team can counter your opponent better than you can. 

  • Ezreal - Ezreal will make quick work of you. If you HAVE to play against one then hide behind creeps, try to farm, and don't let him hit you too much. You'll end up using Blue Pill quite more often than you'd like, but you can't help it. He's just too strong mid for your rat.
  • Karthus - You can beat him sometimes, but he's annoying as fuck and you won't get any farming done, so just avoid it altogether.
  • Kassadin - Once he's level 6, he'll harass you too much for you to be able to continue farming.
  • Katarina - Her bouncing blades will get you down fast, at level 6 she can easily dive and finish you off, she just does more damage than you overall.
  • Kennen - Big range, lots of stunning, you generally don't want to fight him mid.
  • Kog Maw -  His range is too much, and he hits really hard, he can see through your stealth with his ult, it's just a no-go.
  • Malzahar - Great farmer, much damage, and Cleanse won't work on his ult anymore, so he will kill you when he pleases.
  • Vladimir - He's pretty easy to kill early on, but it gets harder by the level, and then he turns the tables on you. At level 6 he can basically 3-shot you using all of his abilities.
What to take on and how:

  • Ashe - Unless she's absolutely godlike, I see no reason Ashe should ever beat you on mid. You do more damage, you can Cleanse her ult, etc. Only thing to watch out for is her summoner abilities. Dodge volley behind creeps and you're golden. Ashe mid is free Twitch food.
  • Anivia - Simple stuff, dodge her stuns and get close right after to hit her some. At level 6 she becomes a huge pain, and you'll have lots of trouble with her.
  • Annie - Sometimes you want to avoid her, although you can take her on. You need to be extra careful with her stun and Tibbers, only use your Cleanse once, and when you're going for the kill. If you use it any other time, you won't be able to beat her on mid.
  • Corki - A very rare apperance, I honestly don't know what to recommend vs. him for I have only fought him mid once or twice in roughly 300 Twitch games.
  • Fiddlesticks - Hit him when he life-leeches a minion. Watch out for his fear, and after level 6 beware of his ult. Otherwise, stay away from creeps so you don't get hit by his farming ability.
  • Heimerdinger - Easy to kill since the nerf. Nothing much to explain, keep his turrets dead and him harassed, but avoid the blinds at all costs. If turrets are becoming a problem, use your ult on them.
  • Kayle - She will probably push quite a lot, but she doesn't have much damage to begin with, so you can harass well.
  • Mordekaiser - He will push and harass alot, but you can beat him with proper poking of attacks at him from time to time and expunging when shield is low.
  • Morgana - Avoid her snare and you should be fine. Don't hit expunge when she uses spell shield, and try to farm a lot when laning vs her.
  • Nidalee - Avoid the spears and traps at all costs. Never go for the kill without knowing you can beat her current hp + a heal or two.