Tristana Build Guide

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Tristana, I'll Get You!!

written by Jordi

Tristana Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hello everyone, welcome to my Tristana guide.
    My name is Jordi and I play on the NA server.
    My IGN is JordiPrice.

    I'm writing this guide because I see many people not knowing how to play Tristana, due to how underplayed she is, so I want to share my experience with Tristana with you guys, and hopefully promote her usage in the Field of Justice!

    This is my first guide and I'll try to keep it updated.

    Comments are always welcome, especially if you downvote my guide - I'd like to know what you don't like about it.
    Please upvote my guide, if you liked it. It's my first guide, and I'm trying to make it better everytime I get tips. It would be awesome to have my first guide, good-rated!
    Please rate my guide, you only need 2 clicks to do it, and I would love even 1 upvote!

    Also, if you read the guide, and you are missing something or see some errors/typos, please say, I'll fix it.

    Thanks for reading!

    Remember this is a work in progress.
     If I get tips, I'll look what I can change.
     I try to add as much information if I can.
     If I change my thoughts about something, I'll change it.

    Thanks to:
    Sarah        (Ign = Pompoms)
    Martijn        (Ign = Fireprice)
    Frishter     (Ign = Fruitie)
    ??            (Ign = Fleq)
    Pim           (Ign = ??)

    Everyone else who inspired me.

  • Abilities

    Draw a Bead
    This awesome passive skill increases Tristana's range as she levels up, and makes you dominant in lane. You can harass/farm and out-zone with it, and it gives you safety while attacking turrets because of the longer distance.

    Rapid Fire
    I usually only use this skill to down Champions and Turrets, but of course you can use this for farming too.

    Rocket Jump
    Always make sure you have mana left to use this spell as an escape. I use this spell to chase (jumping over walls) and escaping. I don't really use this for the damage, and the slow is useful but prevents you from escaping if things go wrong, so I prefer to use the Lizard red buff to slow. I do like and find it useful to slow the opponent with this skill, but I only use if I'm sure I will kill the enemy, and/or if I know that there is nobody near.

    [spell=Explosive Shot]
    Use this to harass your opponent and always start a 1v1 fight with this before auto attacking. In a teamfight, try to use this skill on Champions like Warwick, or other champions with a lot of Lifesteal or Self-Healing, so they heal a lot less. Mostly early game when the enemy uses health potions, use this skill to make the potions a lot less gold worthy.

    Buster Shot
    You can use this skill for everything. Use it to save yourself or an ally with the knockback, or to deal the final damage early game when needed because this skill is a great burst damage surprise. I've killed lots of Tryndameres at level 6 because of Trist's ult, they didn't expect so much damage and don't get their Ult up in time.

  • Items

    I just have a simple core build. After the core build my item choice depends on how comfortable I feel with how the game is going.


    As the first item you want to get
    1. Vampiric Scepter
    Due to the lifesteal and Tristana's passive range, you can stay in lane until you have enough money for
    2. Berserker's Greaves, or Mercury's Treads which is your first trip back.
    I usually buy 2x Sight Ward when I go back too. See the image below for where I place them.
    External Image
    If your team has a support, you should be bot, and the support should take care of the wards.

    Around this time, you should get a kill, but I don't usually gank at this time. I'm mostly farming up, and also get 1 or 2 kills by the time I get my BloodThirster. If you farmed well and you have a kill, you should go back when you can buy a
    3. B. F. Sword, or, if you can, wait a bit longer and go back for
    4. The Bloodthirster. At this time, I gank, farm, and push.
    You want to keep farming as much as you can.
    Now I want to get a
    5. Phantom Dancer.

    Now I aim for an
    6. Infinity Edge.
    The reason for this item speaks for itself. This is your Core Build. Mostly the game will stop around here (10,000 gold).


    If the game is lasting longer I always get another
    7. Phantom Dancer.
    The Dammage output on Tristana significantly increases by this second PD.

    As last item I'd like to get a
    8. Frozen Mallet because of the slow and the extra health.

    I'm not adding an ''Other good situational items'' part, because it mostly speaks for itself which items are good.
    Although The Black Cleaver is worth mentioning it.

    I am going to test other builds soon, and if I like them I'll put it here.

    Now with all 6 slots full, but because you have the movement speed bonus of two Phantom Dancers, you can choose to sell your boots and buy another item. Ofcourse if you don't feel like selling your boots its good too.


    Full item build:
    1. Berserker's Greaves / Mercury's Treads.
    2. The Bloodthirster.
    3. Phantom Dancer.
    4. Infinity Edge.
    5. Phantom Dancer.
    6. Frozen Mallet.


    Also IF you buy Mercury's Treads and you buy a [item_icon=madred's bloodrazor][item_text=madred's bloodrazor] instead of your boots or a Phantom Dancer, and you have your Armor / Magic Resist runes + your Frozen Mallet you are pretty tanky and really strong. (Keep in mind that your Madred's will do 4% of their max HP MINUS their magic resistance, and tanks mostly have high magic resistance so lets say a tank has 4000 health, it would do 160 Magic Dammage, but if they block 60% of the Magic Dammage dealt to them, it will only do 160 x .4 = 64 Dammage to them.)

    The reason why I don't buy a lot of survivability is because you don't stay close enough to get stunned by most Champions, because of Draw a Bead, your Rocket Jump, and Buster Shot. If your tank has an Aegis of the Legion that helps a lot too.

    Also on Tristana and other Ranged AD Carries, I never buy a Youmuu's Ghostblade. I love this item on non-ranged AD's, because all stats on it are awesome. But I just feel like it's a really bad item for Ranged.


    So I tried another build as promised.
    I've got a new build, which works out pretty well, but this one is also, farm dependant.
    You'll have to get atleast a few kills too in the early game.
    1. Wriggle's Lantern (Remember that you can sell your Wriggle's always for a BloodThirster in late-game.)
    2. Mercury's Treads
    3. Frozen Mallet
    4. [Item_icon=madred's bloodrazor][item_text=madred's bloodrazor]
    5. The Black Cleaver

    For the last item you have to get over like 13k gold, which you won't get in most games.
    The last item really depends on the enemyteam. You could go for a defensive item like a Banshee's Veil or for an offensive item like The Bloodthirster.
    I'm going to try some other items and tell you which ones I liked the best.

  • Skilling Order

    I max out E ([spell_icon=explosive shot][spell_text=explosive shot]) first, since it's strong for laning early game. The passive of E ([spell_icon=explosive shot][spell_text=explosive shot]) is your bread and butter for farming. Just hit the ones with the lowest HP and the others will go down with him. It even damages champions if they're near a minion when you kill it! Then you get the last hit gold and the free harass as a bonus! :)

    At level 2, we want to put one point in W (Rocket Jump). I'm pretty sure you won't need it to escape before you reach level 6, but you never know, so it's worth it for avoiding the ganks or finishing someone off!

    As we maxed our E ([spell_icon=explosive shot][spell_text=explosive shot]) first, we max our Q (Rapid Fire) second, to win a 1v1 and kill the first turret of the game. We don't use our W (Rocket Jump) for anything but escaping, and ranking it up only reduces the cooldown and raises the damage, so we can max that last.

  • Masteries + Runes


    For masteries I get the unusual 27/1/2 build. Because of the masterie changes I like to get most of the things in Offense and only the Recall and Sumonner's Insight in Utility. Because I have nothing more left I want to put 1 more point in, I'll just put it in the armor mastery.

    I feel like this is the only build working for me, but if you like something else, mine is worth a try! D:



    For runes I take:
    Marks : 9x Greater Mark of Malice
    (9x0.93% Critical Chance =8.37% Critical Chance )
    (9x410 IP =3690 IP )

    Or I take Arpen Marks, I'm testing those at the moment.
    If you get Arpen Marks and quints you have 25 Arpen alltogether.
    With the masteries you have 31Arpen at Lv. 1, which I think is pretty much.

    Seals: 9x Greater Seal of Resilience
    (9x1.41 Armor =12.69 Armor )
    (9x205 IP =1845 IP )

    Glyphs: 9x Greater Glyph of Warding
    (9x1.49 Magic Resist =13.41 Magic Resist )
    (9x205 IP =1845 IP )

    Quints: 9x Greater Quintessence of Malice
    (3x1.86% Critical Chance =5.58% Critical Chance )
    (3x1025 IP =3075 IP )

    You start with 8.37%+5.58%+4%(Masteries)=17.59% (18% if you're ingame) Critical Chance, which is a huge advantage!

    (You have 30%()+30%()+25%() + 18%(Masteries/Runes)=103% critical chance.
    So that's another reason why I consider Arpen, since 103% - 16% Runes = 87% Critical Chance which I think is enough.
    The Critical Chance is mostly effective earlygame, but the Arpen is effective through the whole game.

  • Summoner Abilities

    For tristana I always use
    Just because I feel like flash is always usefull, if not for escaping then for chasing.
    Also exhaust is just awesome for plenty reasons.

    Other viable options:
      Ignite is mostly usefull early game because this is where you mostly 1v1, but later on you already killed your opponent before you are able to put ignite on them.
    I don't use it on tristana because I don't feel like I need it.

    Ghost is nice for escaping/chasing. I don't use this because I chase with the movement speed of the Phantom Dancers, and I escape with Rocket Jump.
    Also if the Rocket Jump isn't enough I can just flash through a wall or away to get into safety. Remember that lifesteal can turn the tides in situations where you need this spells.
    Teleport is usefull too. You'll save atleast one turret in a game because of this and you will maybe even get one champion kill by using it smart. (Tele to a ward near the teamfight). Also it's nice for buying items and go inmediately back to your lane after.


    I do not recommend all other abilities on Tristana.

    Remember that you should have a support in a serious game and then you go bottom, as Tristana, and not mid.
    When you have a support, the support should take Clairvoyance.

  • Working in the team

    As Tristana, you're the AD Carry, which means, you are the dammage of your team, you have to kill, you have to win it for your team.
    As you know, teamwork is the most important thing of League of Legends.
    Your role as AD Carry, is to stay behind the tank, if the tank initiates, you follow.
    One tip, this is something I have never seen anybody doing, except myself, use the Fog of War!

    The Fog of War is the effect that takes place on areas of the map that are not within the vision range of an allied champion, minion, or ward. This means that, while player can see the topography of any area on the map, they cannot see enemy or neutral units that are in the Fog of War.
    Areas which are not obscured by the Fog of War are brighter on the map.

    If you stand just around a corner, and the enemy is comming, he can't see you, I'll try to make a video when I know how to make a good one. You can learn this like this; if  you walk to the river, you can clearly see what the Fog of War is, and what not. (Forget the bush, people in there are invisible, it has not much to do with the Fog of War.) So if you are at one side of a corner, you can't see the other side. If you are at the other side, you can't see the side where you previously was. For the enemy, it's the same (if you're not revealed by a ward or a spell like Nid's/Cait's trap).

    Also, you can sometimes tell this to your teammates, because it is really helping me (us) out sometimes.

    Another cool trick you can do with the Fog of War, is, put a ward at the otherside of the corner from where you are. So the enemy can't see you, but you can see him. This really brings some advantage to you.

    RAGE. (skip if you never rage [:  )   (TheoryCraft)

    I raged a lot when I had less than around 400 wins. I just putted all my frustrations from the game, but also from other things into the game. So if my team was bad, you heard me, but also if I was bad, I went blaming my team.

    Remember that Rage makes your team likely to lose way faster.
    Today it's the 23/12/2011 and the last 10-15 games I played, I only lost like one of them. Why? Because everytime I played a game I was happy, and non-bored. I think that helped a lot.
    Now I have like 600 wins and I don't rage much anymore. I have my tactics for how to not rage.
    I think this is one of the most important things of working on the team.
    I'll try to teach you some of my tactics for How not to rage.

    First of all. It's important to have something else what you like instead of playing LoL.
    I personally don't play LoL when I'm bored and I don't really want to play LoL but I have nothing better to do. That is, because I know, if I'm not wanting to play/win it, It's pretty likely that I will lose.

    Second, I think that if your having issues at other things, that it's likely to put that frustration into League of Legends. Before you start the game, you could try to make yourself happy with something. So for example if you get happy from eating chocolate, why don't you go get and eat some of it? If you are unhappy and you lose the game, you will get unhappier from it. If you make yourself happy before the game starts, and you win it, it will positively effect your feelings and you will even get happier.

    And last, if you're having problems with your teammates, you think they aren't doing a good job and you are wanting to kill them and rage on them. You could try helping them. It's pretty hard. But if you say, things like, don't surrender, try your best, we can win this, or, you are the tank, it may help if you initiate and if we follow and ace them we may even win. If you bring things like this into a postitive light, and your teammates take it to them, it could positively effect your team with it. I really have won a couple of games by helping my teammates not to give up and make them try to win, it does sometimes work, and it will help you passively to become a stronger LoL'er too!

  • Farming

    As Tristana, you'll have to farm up until you are fed. In a game of 30 minutes lenght, you should atleast have 150-250 CS, in the beginning, you'll have to last hit. Later on, you'll get more dammage. In the beginning, if you last hit, your E will make the target Explode and deal AoE (Area of Effect) dammage. This also means, that if you kill a creep near an enemy champion, you will get a creep kill, but you also have free harrass. Double profit! (:
    If you pushed the minions to the enemy turret, or you killed one turret but you don't dare to go farm between the killed one and the next turret, you can just go into the jungle and kill some creeps. If you are waiting and doing nothing, it's wasted time. Also if your team is busy you can try and ward some tactical positions for you and your teammates.

  • Tips 'n Tricks!

    Tristana's Rocket Jump resets after a kill or assist. Remember that you can use it multiple times in a good teamfight.
    Don't underestimate the worthy of a dragon kill. If it's up, try to gather your team and kill it!
    Redbuff is really good on Tristana, even if you have a Frozen Mallet.
    ALWAYS kill the Carry/Caster of their team first! Always, because I've seen teams not doing it and just losing by that!
    If your opponent is around 500 health or below, and if you Do use Ignite, and you are Lv. 6 or higher, with 3 skillpoints in your E (Explosive Shot), you can put ignite AND e on your target. If you ult right after, you'll mostly get the kill on your opponent. It's a great burst, and the Ignite+Explosive shot will deal around 250 more dammage.
    Try using your E to jump over someone, and if you are in mid-air, you can use your ult, and shoot him to your teammates. If the enemy is diving a turret, (and your team uses CC on the target) you can shoot them even futhur in your turret, so they have no chance on escaping!
    Remember, KS stands for Kill Secure, kill steals don't exist in teamgames like League of Legends.
    Farm! You'll have to, Tristana is one of the most farm-dependant champions of the game.

    How to early-game?

    As you know, early game is the hard part for Tristana, you'll need to get through it as good as possible, here are some tips:

    Tip 1: Always keep moving when in lane. Practice right clicking the ground in circular patterns while still being in range of your minions.
    reasoning: If you are standing still and not moving, Your champion will automatically shoot the nearest minion. This is the complete opposite of what we want to do (last hit). Also, moving around lets you harrass easier and lets you dodge enemy skill shots .

    Tip 2: Always last hit! Last hitting is to attack a certain minion only when your one shot will kill the creep. (meaning don't repetedly attack the creeps. Instead, attack it only when it has low enough Hit Points to die)
    reasoning: Last hitting is definatly something you need to practice. With all the benefits it gives, It is your bread and butter for becomming a good League of Legends player.

    Tip 3: Harrass the enemy. Your main harrassing skill is your explosive shot (E skill). Try to use it as often as possible against the enemy. Along with your explosive shot, your regular shot can be used to harrass as well. With Tristanas great range, harrassing with your regular shot should be fairly simple and should be used often. Also, if you get minion aggro due to harrassing them, your range will prevent you to get harrassed by the creeps.

    Tip 4: Memorizing the approximate amount of damage tristana's combo will deal is a great way to accuratly tell when you can strike. Memorizing the amount of mana it takes also helps. If you know you have enough mana, and you know the enemy has low enough health, you know you should attack.

    Tip 5: Look at your minimap and the chat! Taking a peek at your minimap every now and then is the single most effective way to prevent ganks of any kind, besides placing wards. Also you should look at your chat if your teammates called MIA. Also call MIA yourself, because:
    1. This will prevent your team from feeding the enemy.
    2. If you call it they will be more likely to call it for you too.
    If there is an MIA, make sure you back away near your turret.

    Tip 6: Turret destroying. Tristana is one of the best pushers in the game, so bring it to good use. Also you need to know when to push. If the enemy team is dead, or ganking top with all of them while you are bot, it's a good time to push. Remember that only a few shots every now and then can completely destory a turret in the laning-phase. Also make sure there are no MIAs. Sometimes you could take a risk by pushing when there are some MIAs, but make sure you can escape with Rocket Jump. For things like pushing you should never take so much risk that you will have to Waste your flash for this, you should save this for more important situations. Also, if you push for example at bottom, it's a good thing to put a ward in the bush, so you will see people comming and escape in time, this is also makes you able to attack the turret longer while being in savety.

    Tip 7: Place wards. Don't underestimate wards, they're awesome! A ward is only 3 ~ 5 minion kills, and because of the safety it brings, you'll kill 3 ~ 5 creeps more!

    Tip 8: Ganking. Due to her rocket jump combined with her suprising damage, tristana is an excellent ganker. While it is reccomended to gank fairly often, you must also have the right timing. Waiting in a bush for 2 minutes while the enemy players are tower hugging is not ideal for a gank. Also play safe with your rocket jump, as mentioned earlier.

    Tip 9: Buffs. Make sure you get red buff as often as you can. (I usually start getting it after I have my BloodThirster, because then I'm sure that I will recover my Health, and you need to Farm up your BloodThirster anyways. Also, it's not that usefull if you don't gank, and by the time I have my BloodThirster, I start ganking.
    Also make sure you ping for dragon when it spawns. Just don't underestimate it. So much people do. If everyone gets a bunch of experience and 175 Gold each (+25 for the killer). 175 Gold over 5 teammates equals 875 (+25) Gold. That's the same as 3 kills for your team! (You will be able to solo dragon later on in the game, and remember, you can jump over the wall (mostly if you are in the blue team) if the enemy ganks you while you are at dragon.)

    Tip 10: Know the summoner spells of your enemies. Learn when and how to strike. If you know the spell of the enemies, and you know when they used them, you know when and how to kill/gank/engage. For example, I like playing Shaco, you can just gank with him, they will use their flash, they just will, I know that, so I'll gank, they use their flash, 10 seconds later I come back, now they don't have their flash, huge chance on a kill this time. With Tristana goes this tactic about the same. If you know they haven't used it, are you going to waste all of you spells to know that their Ashe is going to flash away anyways? I don't think so. Control this ability and this will be a great advantage.

    Tip 11: Because having dragon and golem, lizard and baron buffs can be so crucial in the game, it helps to memorize the spawn time of these buffs. Here are the spawn times of some neutral monster creeps.

    Spawn time: 1:55
    Respawn time: 5 minutes after you or an enemy has killed it.

    Spawn time: 1:55
    Respawn time: 5 minutes

    Spawn time: 2:30
    Respawn time: 6 minutes

    Spawn time: 15 minutes
    Respawn time: 7 minutes

  • Help! :o

    Do you guys know how to make a video? I want to make a video for this guide, but when I use fraps, I'll go and lag, even if it is in LoLreplay. The size of the videos doesnt matter to me. Even if one video is over 100 GB.
    Also, I know how to record a video without lags, but it won't be full HD.
    Any suggestions?

Do you have your own
Build Guide?

Submitted by Jordi

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