Twisted Fate Go Hard Deck Guide & Matchups

This guide is the first installment of our brand new series of articles that will explore the matchups of the popular Cosmic Creation meta decks.

Hello, Agigas here! I am a Master player since beta with several #4 peaks and tournament wins. I love sharing my knowledge about the game and I have been a regular writer at RuneterraCCG. I write in-depth deck guides, articles for tournament players, and curate our constantly updated Meta Tier List.

This particular guide you’re reading is part of our on-going series of guides on meta decks. You can find all the other guides and a matchup table on this page.

This guide is dedicated to TF Go Hard – a deck that dominated until its recent nerf, but that is still holding a great win rate thanks to the evolutions of the meta.

TF Go Hard created by Agigas
TF Go Hard

Archetype: Midrange/Combo. 

The idea behind Twisted Fate Go Hard is pretty straightforward: it is a deck that cycles well and gets to cast Pack Your Bags as early as possible (usually it happens around turn 7-9). Besides the cards that accelerate your draw (Twisted Fate, Pool Shark, Fortune Croaker, Glimpse Beyond, and Salvage) you also have Zap Sprayfin who tutors either Glimpse Beyond or Go Hard itself.

Twisted Fate is the perfect champion for this archetype, with his ‘Destiny Card’ ability providing draw and control tools. But more than that, he is also an additional win condition! This deck can level him up very quickly – it is not a rare occasion to watch him flip over the duration of just two turns. Once he is leveled up, Twisted Fate can win games all by himself.

Don’t underestimate this deck’s midrange nature either: with lots of cycling and small units, it’s capable of flooding the board rapidly. Elise is a great champion to help that aspect of the deck. This board presence allows the deck to defend efficiently, all the while lowering the opponent’s health gradually to prep a devastating Pack Your Bags.

General Tips

  • Don’t play out Pool Shark on turn 1. Playing Pool Shark too early greatly increases the chance of drawing a Fleeting card you can’t make use of. Pool Shark is a unit you want to avoid playing before turn 3 (you have a lot of important 4-cost units you can draw into with it). Waiting for even a bit longer than is often advisable.
  • Optimize your ‘Go Hard management’. Be aware that every time you play Go Hard you shuffle two copies of it into your decks, which means you essentially increase the chances of drawing Go Hard. Because of that, you want to sequence things right and cast Go Hard before casting card draw.
  • Sometimes it is better to hold off on casting Pack Your Bags. You want to play Pack Your Bags as a finisher: build a threatening board, then use Pack Your Bags to clear your opponent’s units. They will have only 1 action to play a unit to defend themselves. This way, you can get a very powerful attack in. Once you’ve transformed Go Hard into Pack Your Bags, your opponent has to play around it. They will slow down or even stop developing units altogether. Because of that, you can take things slow yourself and cast Pack Your Bags only once it really gives you the upper hand.

General mulligan tips:

  • Go Hard is the key spell in the deck. If you have a Go Hard early, it will make it a lot easier to get to Pack your Bag in time. Hence it is a card you want to keep. Zap Sprayfin is very often also a good card to keep, because it will help you find your Go Hard.
  • TF is a powerful and flexible champion, you also want to keep him in your starting hand.
  • You have a lot of cheap units, look to have something to curve out your early turns.

Be aware that these are just the general guidelines to help you understand the deck’s gameplan. Mulligans are very matchup-dependant – please refer to the matchup section below for more specific advice on mulligans against different meta decks.


Click on the box to read detailed info about a matchup of choice:

Mulligan for: Twisted Fate, Zap Sprayfin, Go Hard.

Matchup tips:

  • They can’t play around Pack Your Bags very well and it’s hard for them to come back from it.
  • The only way they could come back from Pack Your Bags is if you haven’t gotten enough value from it. Don’t rush it, wait for the good moment to cast it.
  • They can have a hard time dealing with Twisted Fate. Culling Strike and Trifarian Gloryseeker are their best answers.
  • Zap Sprayfin and Wiggly Burblefish can do a lot of Nexus damage to set you up for lethal, they don’t have ways to block Elusive units.
  • A well-timed Reckoning is their best shot at winning the game, be careful and play around it.
  • You don’t have good tools to stop a leveled-up Ashe lethal so don’t let her live.
  • In the late game, avoid dropping low on Nexus health if you don’t have the tempo – they could burn you out with Captain Farron.

Mulligan for: Jagged Butcher, Dreadway Deckhand, Go Hard, Withering Wail, Twisted Fate; Fortune Croaker – if you have Jagged Butcher.

Matchup tips:

  • In the first few turns take every trade you can and remove as many units as you can to deny them the big Crowd Favorite. You don’t have great ways to remove him, so it’s their best tool to win the game.
  • If you are attacking ‘on evens’ and have TF in hand, play a Dreadway Deckhand after their turn-3 attack. The Keg that it will summon in conjunction with TF’s Red Card on turn 4 will destroy their Crowd Favorite plan.
  • They have a lot of 1-health units, so Red Card and Withering Wail carry this matchup. Go Hard is also a great way to stop their board from spreading.
  • Once you’ve dealt with Crowd Favorite, your main objective is to remove Jinx as soon as they play her. Leveled-up Jinx would win them the game very fast all by herself.
  • Vengeance, Go Hard (or better, Pack Your Bags), and TF’s Gold Card are your best ways to remove Jinx. After you’ve dealt with Discard Aggro’s early onslaught, you can start saving those cards in hand as answers for Jinx.

Mulligan for: Go Hard, Elise; Zap Sprayfin, Jagged Butcher, Twisted Fate if you have a good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • Teemo Foundry is looking to fill your deck with shrooms and accelerate your draw with Foundry, to deal a lot of burn damage and finish you with Ezreal.
    • Because you’re also looking to cycle through your deck to cast Pack your Bag, you can accelerate their shrooms burn. However, it also means they also accelerate your cycling.
    • Casting Go Hard also creates 2 new Go Hards in your deck, with no shrooms on them. This dilutes their shrooms and buys you a lot of time.
  • Their best way to get a strong start is with an early Teemo that hits your nexus.
    • Having an early Go Hard is important. It accelerates your gameplan, augments the size of your deck which makes shrooms weaker, and allows you to remove Teemo early.
  • In the first turns, it can be hard to get a board advantage because they have early units and cheap freezes to take good trades. As the game goes on, your higher number of draw and units will make you able to take control of the board and pressure them a lot.
    • Be careful to not take too much early damage from their units. Their win condition is to burn you down, so be conservative with your nexus health.
  • When your board gets wide it can be hard for them to stall with freezes for very long. They also have no life gain and can’t prevent burn damage, so if you get them low enough you can easily finish them with Pack your Bag and/or Doombeast.
  • Think twice before playing a draw card effect when your deck is filled with shrooms.

Mulligan for: TF, Go Hard, Elise; Jagged Butcher, Withering Wail, Zap Sprayfin – if you have a good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • In this matchup, you have the edge both with your early/mid-game units and with Pack your Bag.
  • They have a lot of draw. They can refill the board with elusive units a lot of times. Don’t give them more time than necessary.
  • They can level up Twisted Fate extremely fast (Pick a Card, Rummage, and other cheap draws). This is often what will make them able to compete with you. You should take any chance you have to remove TF.
    • On turn 4, there is a little dance between their TF and your TF – the first TF to come down will get gold card’d. Pass while you’re already putting pressure on them (often with Elise) to force them to play TF first.
    • Your own TF and Go Hard (sometimes with a Keg) are your best TF removals. However, they can sometimes protect him with Suit Up. If they have a 4/4 TF, you might have to use Vengeance on him.
  • Withering Wail is a powerful board clear against them. Try to use it with a Keg so it also removes their level 2 Fizz, Zap, and Burblefish copies. It will force them to use a removal on your Keg.

Mulligan for: Go Hard, Elise, Twisted Fate, Zap Sprayfin, Jagged Butcher.

Matchup tips:

  • In this matchup, you want to be proactive and serve the role of the aggressor. If the game goes late and you can’t present enough pressure, they will kill you with Lee Sin.
  • Your proactive plan can be slowed down by an Eye of the Dragon and/or a buffed Sparklefly significantly. Don’t give up on trying to pressure them, the number of cheap units you have access to is usually overwhelming for them.
  • If you are proactive enough, it will force them to play into Pack Your Bags later.
  • On turn 1, Go Hard is a great answer if they start with Zoe. However, don’t pass if you have Jagged Butcher – play him out. If you pass they’ll be fine playing Zoe on turn 2 instead, and you would just handicap your own gameplan.
  • Flood the board early to push damage, in the first turns it’s difficult for them to defend efficiently (they don’t want to trade off Eye of the Dragon and it takes time to start generating Dragonlings; they don’t want to block with Zoe; Sparklefly is small and often can’t trade efficiently).
  • You generally want to develop before attacking instead of open-attacking – there should be a specific reason to do otherwise.
  • If possible, try to make them tap under Nopeify mana before you cast your first Go Hard.
  • They usually can’t remove TF without Lee Sin or the 0-mana Celestial follower The Serpent. Playing TF on turn 4 can present them with a real threat.
    • Even if they have Lee Sin, it’s tough for them to use all their mana to play him out on turn 5 if you’re also pressuring them on the board. A leveled-up TF gives you an incredible boost in pressure.
    • They can slow down TF with Hush.
  • If they go below 4 mana with Lee Sin on the board you want to use Vengeance on him.
  • If they manage to get to the point where they can kill you with Lee Sin, you still can try to remove Lee Sin with Vengeance/Ruination or to use Glimpse Beyond on the unit he is kicking to make the kick fizzle. But those are dangerous situations if they still have some mana up.

Mulligan for: Jagged Butcher, Go Hard, Dreadway Deckhand, Elise, Twisted Fate; Withering Wail if you have a great hand.

Matchup tips:

  • Pirate Aggro is a very explosive deck that can put a lot of board pressure very quickly. Use your midrange units and Go Hard to contain their early draw and keep your nexus healthy.
  • They don’t have other removals than Noxian Fervor, which cost them a lot of tempo. Playing TF and threaten the level up can put a lot of pressure on them, and if he does level up it will make the game way easier.
  • Try to set up a strong Red Card or Withering Wail to get control of the board.
  • The most dangerous part of their deck for you are their big Overwhelm units, GP and Farron. You don’t have very good blockers for them, so keep your Vengeance to remove them.
    • If Gangplank or Farron might be coming soon on their attack turn, consider keeping your TF in hand to be able to use the gold card against them.
    • They can level-up Gangplank rapidly. Try to prevent them from spacing their nexus damage over the turns. To do so, you can for example force their Noxian Fervor or kill their Legion Grenadier on a turn you already took nexus damage.
  • Noxian Fervor is their only 3 mana cost spell. If they play Zap Sprayfin, you know they have at least one in hand (note: some version play a copy of Brother’s Bond).

Mulligan for: Go Hard, Zap Sprayfin, TF, early units (Jagged Butcher, Elise, Dreadway Deckhand).

Matchup tips:

  • They have no healing, so every point of Nexus damage you deal gets you that closer to a victory.
  • Yourself, you can sustain some damage and gain health with Go Hard and Withering Wail. However, if you get too low they get to kill you with Ezreal or Farron a lot easier.
  • They can struggle to keep up with your cheap units in the early game.
  • Draven is their key early unit. You want to kill him with Go Hard before he does too much damage.
  • In the mid-game Tri-beam Improbulator can give them the big tempo-swing. Finding Go Hard before it’s too late is key, so optimize your draw.
  • Resolving your Glimpse Beyond and not having it fizzle is very important. The Fast spells to play around are Ravenous Flock, Mystic Shot, Noxian Guillotine, and Stattick Shock. Some versions play Get Excited too.
  • Once you find Pack Your Bags it’s time to close out the game.
  • As you’re getting ready to cast Pack Your Bags, stop trading units if possible, and assemble a large board of your own.
  • If using Pack Your Bags doesn’t set up a lethal immediately, you can delay it and wait for both boards to get bigger. Alternatively, wait for them to play a key unit like Ezreal, so Pack Your Bags has a proper impact.

Mulligan for: Twisted Fate, Go Hard, Zap Sprayfin, Glimpse Beyond, Elise.

Matchup tips:

  • Elise and Zap can push a lot of damage with their evasive keywords.
  • Twisted Fate can level up very fast.
  • Go Hard + Keg or two copies of Go Hard are the easiest ways to remove TF. Avoid casting your Go Hard too early if you lack ways to remove an opponent’s TF that is coming.
  • Leverage your Kegs to the fullest – the opponent can’t remove them for cheap at fast speed.
  • When their Go Hard is transformed to Pack Your Bags:
    • It is harder for them to produce small targeted points of damage. Force them into a situation where they have to use their Pack Your Bags on your not-so-big board.
    • Spend your mana on limiting their board rather than expanding yours. You want to have a few units out to defend efficiently – avoid playing into Pack Your Bags you can’t recover from.

Mulligan for: Go Hard, Glimpse Beyond, Twisted Fate, Zap Sprayfin; Dreadway Deckhand – if you have Go Hard.

Matchup Tips:

  • Fiora is a potent win condition of theirs:
    • Glimpse Beyond can slow down Fiora win condition and counteract the value of their Barriers.
    • Vengeance is strong but can get Denied and overall has a huge tempo cost. You would also like to have it up for Cithria.
    • It can be safer to try and remove Fiora with cheap spells instead (Go Hard, TF, Pack Your Bags) – if possible.
  • They can have trouble beating through your cheap units and the constant stream of value in a ‘fair’ game.
  • If you manage to prevent Rivershaper procs they can run out of value.
  • In the late game try to set up some anti-Fearsome blockers – or Pack Your Bags – for Cithria’s ability.
  • Some versions play Nopeify. If possible, use your first few initial copies of Go Hard when they are under 2 mana.
  • Be careful to not run into Deny with a big spell like Vengeance or The Ruination. However, if you have several big spells in hand, you might want to force Deny with a first spell to clear the way for the others.

Mulligan for: Go Hard, Zap Sprayfin, Twisted Fate, Dreadway Deckhand.

Matchup tips:

  • Focus your efforts on removing Miss Fortune – if you don’t, she will win the game:
    • Don’t use Go Hard on Fleetfeather Tracker turn 1, keep it for Miss Fortune.
    • They have protection spells (Sharpsight, Ranger’s Resolve, Riposte), it might take more than 3 damage to remove her.
    • Most versions don’t have ways to interact with Kegs at fast speed, so those are very helpful to remove MF. If they play a version with Garen they have Single Combat.
  • TF’s Red Card is strong, especially with Kegs. Be aware of Ranger’s Resolve though.
  • Cithria the Bold can help them to push a lot of damage with Fearsome. Vengeance is a clean answer to this powerful threat. Twisted Fate’s Gold Card is another way to stall her.
  • If you manage to hold them off as long so that you get to cast Pack Your Bags, they shouldn’t be able to ever come back from it.

Mulligan for: TF, Elise, Go Hard; Jagged Butcher, Fortune Croaker, Dreadway Deckhand if you have a good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • This matchup revolves a lot around Twisted Fates. Both players can level him up rapidly and can struggle to remove the opponent’s TF.
    • For both of you, TF’s Gold Card is one of the best ways to remove the opponent’s TF. Be careful when you want to play TF when the opponent’s TF isn’t yet on board.
    • Their other way to remove your TF is by challenging him with Boxtopus. Ideally, you want to play TF right after their attack – it will give you the longest window to level him up.
    • To remove their TF, your best option is often Go Hard, sometimes combined with Kegs. However, be aware they can have protection spells like Sunblessed Vigor or Pale Cascade. Vengeance is also an option if you don’t have a better way, but is way over-costed and can get counter by Bastion.
  • Besides TF, Aphelios is another unit you want to remove. If you can’t remove him, he can also snowball the game for them with his weapons.
  • As the game goes on, they can snowball a lot with Veiled Temple and key units. You want to pressure them, and close out with your Back your Bag turn.

Mulligan for: Zap Sprayfin, Go Hard, Twisted Fate, Vengeance.

Matchup Tips:

  • In this matchup, removing Soraka is your top priority:
    • Removing her with damage seems near impossible, so your tools to do that are Vengeance and The Ruination.
    • The matchup can be very hard when they have Soraka on-curve – your answers for her come late.
  • If you can’t remove Soraka, play for the burn plan.
  • If they don’t have Broadbacked Protector out quickly, their only other Nexus healing option is Guiding Touch.
  • Sometimes you don’t even want to level-up your TF at all – his Red Card accelerates them toward Star Spring win condition.
  • Avoid trades and let them fill their board up with small units – these will die once you get to Pack Your Bags.
  • Don’t be afraid to let their attacks through – they are not very likely to beat you down, and even if they try to, all you have to do is to keep chumping Star Shepherd.
  • Big units that survive Pack your Bags and the Star Spring are the two only threats that they have against you.
  • When you try to remove a unit, play around the protection spells they could have (Guiding Touch, Pale Cascade, Sunblessed Vigor, Astral Protection, Bastion).
  • Withering Wail can be used to break Bastion’s Spellshield.
  • To have a better shot in this matchup, consider adding some number of The Ruination and/or Crumble to your build.

Mulligan for: Jagged Butcher, Elise; Fortune Croaker – if you have Jagged Butcher; Go Hard, Zap Sprayfin – if you already have a good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • Go wide as soon as possible to start applying pressure. Elise is a key unit.
  • Try to play around their Avalanche and Withering Wail. However, you can’t always play around them, sometimes you got to hope they don’t have it.
  • Avoid open-attacking on turn 3 – you would give them an easier time playing Wyrding Stones, Catalyst of Aeons, or even Kindly Tavernkeeper.
  • They will struggle to fizzle out your Glimpse Beyond if you cast it on your 2+ health units.
  • Playing TF when you have a small board can force them to Avalanche him to prevent his level-up. It will clear the path for you to rebuild and go wide.
  • Passage Unearned can be a very nice tech to upset the matchup when the opponent cast Feel the Rush.

Mulligan for: Jagged Butcher, Elise; Fortune Croaker – if you have Jagged Butcher; Go Hard, Zap Sprayfin, Twisted Fate – if you already have a good hand.

Matchup tips:

  • Go wide as soon as possible to start applying pressure. Elise is a key unit.
  • Try to play around their Avalanche and Withering Wail. However, you can’t always play around them, sometimes you got to hope they don’t have it.
    • Be careful before using Fortune Croaker on Elise. In most situations, you should rather use it on a 1/1 spider to play around their damage-based board wipes.
  • They will struggle to fizzle out your Glimpse Beyond if you cast it on your 2+ health units.
  • Playing TF when you have a small board can force them to Avalanche him to prevent his level-up. It will clear the path for you to rebuild and go wide.
  • You can deal with a wide board of Anivias with Pack your Bag + TF’s Red Card or Withering Wail. This is extremely useful against The Harrowing.
  • Passage Unearned and Commander Ledros are very nice tech to help you upset the matchup.


TF Go Hard, after getting nerfed in the patch 2.0.0, managed to find its way back in the meta. The deck still has a lot of power, and thanks to its loss of popularity, the meta is now a lot less hostile toward it.

Like I said earlier, this guide is part of a series where I’ll go over all the top decks in the meta so you have all the resources needed to learn the deck you want and improve as a player. This series is my most ambitious project so far, I hope it will be helpful!

If you want to share feedback, have a question, or want to discuss this guide, I’ll be happy to answer you on this dedicated Reddit post! 😉

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Thanks for reading!


LoR player with multiple tournament wins and #4 ladder peaks. Ascended Seasonal top 4. I love writing guides to share my experience with the game with the community!

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