General strategy on Twisted Treeline is to have two solo lanes, and a jungler. Although a duo lane can work (the duo lane pushes aggressively and counter jungles), it’s generally accepted that having a jungler is a superior strategy, as your team gains more gold and experience over time. This guide is written based on having a jungler.
Due to the small map size, and ability to easily force objectives, Twisted Treeline is very potent to snowballing. The first 5-10 minutes of the game are EXTREMELY important. A few early kills can swing the game completely in one teams favor. Although this makes strong early game champions such as Renekton or Xin Zhao great picks, it doesn't completely rule out strong mid to late game champions. For example, Kassadin gets a huge power spike at level 6, yet his early game is terrible. Kassadin does his best to not feed pre-6, and once he gets his ultimate, he gets really scary. Generally though, strong early game champions reign supreme on this map.
Level 1 invading and fighting is an option, but I really dislike doing this. Basing the flow of the game entirely off of one level 1 team-fight is too much of a gamble in my opinion. But if you are certain you have a stronger level 1 team, you can invade and try to fight. An advantage to this is if the enemy backs off from you, your jungler can steal the enemy’s big wolf with smite, giving him a leg up over the other jungler.
Altars play a significant role on Twisted Treeline. Having at least one is important early game, since it gives you 3 bonus gold per monster or minion killed. Having both altars mid to late game is a huge advantage, as you get 10% increased AD and AP. Altars start out neutral, and unlock at 3:00. Altars are captured by standing on them while they are unlocked. If you take damage while capturing, it will stall the capture for a brief period. Once captured, the altar belongs to your team, and is locked from being captured by the enemy team for 90 seconds. When you own an altar, you will be granted vision of any enemy that walks on top of it.
Altars can be large points of contention all throughout the game. Even when they initially unlock at 3:00, it's very common for both teams to fight over an altar. Stealing the enemy's altar at the beginning of the game gives you a nice advantage early. The best way to do this is to push both lanes and have your jungler invade, and then as a team work together to capture the opposing teams altar. Your whole team needs to be on the same page for you to try this though. If your bottom lane is pushed back to your tower, it’s going to be a 2v3 fight for their altar, and you will most likely fail. If the enemy is making a play for your altar, and undoubtedly has an advantage, either try to poke them down first while they are on it, or just let them have it. An early altar is definitely important, but not game-breakingly so.
What if you push your lane, and the enemy freezes it at their tower? There are 2 ways to handle this situation. The first way to solve this problem is to push the lane all the way to the enemy tower (if you are scared of getting ganked, ask your jungler to help you with this). This will reset the lane, and it also makes it much harder for the enemy to last hit while they are under tower. The second thing you can do is invade the enemy jungle together with your jungler, and steal as many jungle camps as you can. Or you can combine both methods. Push the wave to tower with your jungler, and then roam into the enemy's jungle together. After that, if the top lane is still frozen, you can 3 man push down bottom tower.
Mid to late game, altars can be used to force team-fights. If you feel your team is stronger, you can invade and attempt to take the enemy’s altar. This will force the other team to either fight you, or let you take the altar for free. Both give you an advantage. Although, certain teams can try to poke you off of their altar, even if they are down. Champions such as Cassiopeia or Morgana can stall out an altar capture basically forever if they aren't zoned out of being able to do so. Knowing when you can take altars or defend altars is an extremely important skill to have on Twisted Treeline, and more than anything just takes practice.
It sounds kind of obvious, but taking towers is an important step in winning the game. So many times I see teams win fights, and then take nothing for it. Even if you can only take out 1/2 of a tower's health before the enemy respawns and gets back, any bit of damage on a tower is important. It will be that much easier to take next time. If your jungler ganks for you and you get a kill, push the lane and start chunking the tower. At the very least, this will force the enemy to respond. If they don't, you get a free tower. Don't be afraid after getting a kill to 3 man push down a tower. Taking an early tower gives you a TON of map control. It allows you to control the enemy's jungle, and you will be able to deny their jungler of a lot of farm and experience.
Vilemaw - The Giant Spider
Vilemaw is a frighteningly huge spider that can be tough to take down. Upon slaying it, each team member receives 190 gold, and the Crest of Crushing Wrath buff (increased health and mana regen, 30% attack speed, 20% cooldown reduction). Vilemaw spawns at 10 minutes, respawns 5 minutes after being defeated, and gets increasingly more powerful as time goes by.
While Vilemaw isn't nearly as hotly contested as Ebonmaw was on the previous map, it's still very important to keep tabs on it. The gold it gives is equal to approximately 2 champion kills, and the buff is extremely helpful in team-fights, and pushing down towers.
Killing Vilemaw itself isn't necessarily the tough part. Two people can take it out relatively easily. The tricky aspect of defeating Vilemaw is knowing when to do it. If you are in the middle of trying to kill Vile and the enemy team shows up, generally you will already be weak from the giant spider smashing your face in. This means they will either be able to kill you if you stick around, or they get to take the already weakened Vilemaw for free as you retreat. Some good times to attempt to defeat Vilemaw are as follows:
- You ace the enemy team, but don't have minions pushed up to take a tower. If you're healthy enough, you can attempt to Vile.
- Top lane is pushed, and you see at least 2 enemies bottom.
- You own the enemy altar, and it will be unlocking in the next 10 seconds. If the enemy goes to take their altar back, this is a great time to try to sneak Vilemaw.
Vilemaw can also be used as bait. To do this, let the enemy see you run into the Vilemaw pit, but sit on the very edges of the entrance. The enemy will assume you are doing it, and come to check your progress. As soon as someone enters the pit, you jump on them as fast as possible. Try it out sometime! It works really well.
Once you've taken a tower or two, it's generally best to stay grouped up. You don't necessarily all have to be right next to each other, but be in a position that you can respond quickly if the enemy tries to ambush a teammate. If you're ahead, do your best to keep control of the altars and Vilemaw, and slowly try to siege down towers. This can be tough if the enemy has good wave-clear This is where having a champion with ranged attacks makes life much easier. A Jayce, for example, is incredible at poking down towers. His W in cannon form hits towers really hard, and he has his gate and knock-back for disengage if they try to jump on him.
Once you get one base tower down, things get a bit easier. Forcing down an open inhibitor is much easier than a tower, and super minions will then push that lane automatically. Eventually, the enemy will have to react and stop the super minions, and this is when you push down the other base tower. After that, destroy the other inhibitor. Once you have two inhibitors down, the super minions will be pouring in, and it shouldn't be hard to push down the final tower. Be patient though. It may take a few waves, but eventually you will get it. If you're having too much trouble, wait until you have the Vilemaw buff, and then make a final push with the bonus regen it gives you. An Ichor of Rage can be extremely helpful when trying to take down the final tower (it gives you 15% bonus damage to towers).
If you're behind, do your best to turtle and keep up in farm. It sucks, but really the only chance you have of coming back is if you either have a better late game team and can turtle long enough, or if the enemy makes a huge mistake. Or if you're behind far enough, several huge mistakes. Which is very rare if you're playing against a decent team.
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