Tristana Build Guide

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Tristana : The Cannonballer Goddess (2011)

written by TJEm

Tristana Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    External Image

    Welcome summoners to my in-depth Tristana Guide!

    The goal of this guide is to help you improve in playing with Tristana.
    I consider myself a good Tristana player so I thought lets make a guide.

    This is my way of contributing to the League of Legends community,
    if you appreciate it please comment and rate on the guide!

    This guide will be a work of progress for as long as I play League of Legends.
    This in order to help all new players and veterans to improve their Tristana gameplay.

    Have fun reading.

  • Pro's / Con's


    + Amazing range mid-game
    + Very powerful late game
    + Escape mechanism to avoid ganks
    + Extremely good farmer
    + Destroys turrets really fast

    - Very squishy & weak early game (glass cannon)
    - Gets focused in team fights
    - Requires good farming

  • Latest update (31-07-2011)

    Latest preformed update on this guide:

    • I changed some runes to get Tristana more armor pen.
    • Removed some typos or mistakes written in the guide.

  • Abilities

    Draw a Bead
    (Passive): Increases Tristana's attack range by 9 for each level (+153 at level 18)

    Info: In mid-game you will be out-ranging other champions and Heimerdingers turrets.

    Rapid Fire
    (Toggle): Increases Tristana's attack speed by 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90% for 7 seconds.

    Mana cost: 80
    Cooldown: 20
    Range: 1450
    Speed: 30/45/60/75/90%
    Duration: 7 seconds

    Info: Amazing ability to destroy towers, creep waves and opponents in a few seconds!

    Rocket Jump
    (Toggle): Tristana fires at the ground to propel herself to target location, dealing 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.8 per ability power) magic damage and slowing surrounding units by 60% for 2.5 seconds when she lands.
    On kill or assist, Rocket Jump's cooldown resets.

    Mana cost: 80
    Cooldown: 22/20/18/16/14
    Range: 25000
    Damage: 70/115/160/205/250 + 0.8 per ability power point
    Slow percentage: 60%
    Slow duration: 2.5 seconds
    Special: Cooldown resets on kill or assist

    Info: Great ability to escape from opponents, also good to initiate a attack but at the same time very dangerous.
    Only use this as an attack if you are 100% sure that you survive afterwards, so think it through before you jump into your demise.


    [spell=Explosive Shot]
    (Passive): Enemies explode when slain by Tristana's attacks, dealing 50/75/100/125/150 magic damage to nearby enemies.

    (Toggle:) Explosive Shot rends target enemy, reducing healing and health regeneration by 50% and dealing 25 (+0.1 per ability power) Magic Damage per second.
    Lasts 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 seconds.

    Mana cost: 50/60/70/80/90
    Cooldown: 16
    Range: 1400
    Damage: 110/140/170/200/230
    Slow percentage: 60%
    Slow duration: 2.5 seconds
    Special: Reducing healing and health regeneration by 50%

    Info: Amazing ability to obliterate creep waves!
    Good for early gaming harassing an opponent in your lane!
    Always try to hit this when someone is healing!


    Buster Shot
    (Toggle:) Tristana fires a massive cannonball at an enemy unit. This deals 300 / 400 / 500 (+1.5 per ability power) magic damage and knocks surrounding units back 600 / 800 / 1,000 distance.

    Mana cost: 140
    Cooldown: 60
    Range: 1600
    Damage: 300/400/500 + 1.5 per ability power point
    Knockback distance: 600/800/1000

    Info: Tristana's double edged word, be sure to use this ability wisely!
    Be sure not to shoot the opponent through a wall, behind his turret or towards his allies.
    Unless you are trying to save yourself from being killed.

  • Skilling Order

    You can also use Rocket Jump as first skill in order to escape.

  • Masteries & Runes

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    9x Greater Mark of Desolation
    9x Greater Seal of Strength
    9x Greater Glyph of Strength
    2x Greater Quintessence of Strength
    2x Greater Quintessence of Desolation

    If you have mana problems:

    9x Greater Glyph of Clarity

    I trust myself in positioning thus surviving,
    if you don't or consider yourself a starter:

    9x Greater Mark of Desolation
    9x Greater Seal of Resilience
    9x Greater Glyph of Warding

  • Summoner Abilities

    Summoner Abilities and Tristana!

    I always use the same combination, which is teleport and ignite.
    Teleport for destroying minion waves and towers, ignite for making kills.

    If you aren't really good or die a lot you can replace teleport with flash.
    I don't because I always try to position myself well or use Rocket Jump to escape.

    Below I've placed all summoner spells and I'll explain if it's useful or not.


    Teleport - Useful for destroying creepwaves and towers.

    Ignite - Useful for the tad bit of extra damage on a champion.

    Flash - Useful for escaping or chasing an opponent.

    Ghost - Useful for escaping or chasing an opponent.

    Exhaust - Useful for fighting an opponent or escaping from an opponent.

    Cleanse - Useful because if you're stunned you're guaranteed to die.


    Heal - Don't use this skill on Tristana.

    Revive - Don't use this skill on Tristana.

    Smite - Don't use this skill on Tristana.

    [spell=Fortify] - Don't use this skill on Tristana.

    Clarity - Don't use this skill on Tristana.

    Clairvoyance - Don't use this skill on Tristana.

    [spell=Rally] - Don't use this skill on Tristana.

  • Items build (Quickview)


  • Items build (FULL)

    Starting items
    External Image475 Gold

    Doran's Shield or Doran's Blade (If you are experienced with Tristana)

    First trip back
    External Image825 Gold

    Doran's Blade
    Boots of Speed
    Second trip back
    External Image3195/2220 Gold

    Berserker's Greaves
    B. F. Sword
    Pickaxe (If possible)
    Third trip back
    External Image1205 Gold

    Infinity Edge
    The other trips really depend on how well your team is doing,
    and on how the opponents are building their champions.


    1. Phantom Dancer
    2. The Bloodthirster
    3. Last Whisper
    4. Banshee's Veil
    TROUBLE against MAGIC:

    1. Phantom Dancer
    2. Banshee's Veil
    3. Last Whisper
    4. The Bloodthirster
    TROUBLE against ARMOR:

    1. Phantom Dancer
    2. Last Whisper
    3. The Bloodthirster
    4. Banshee's Veil

  • Items build (Situational)

    Situational items
    1. Frozen Mallet (replace: The Bloodthirster)
    * Buy this when opponents keep escaping or if you need more survivability.

    2.[item=Stark's Fervor] (replace: Last Whisper)
    * Only if your team benefits from it, and nobody else can buy it!

    3. [item=Madred's Bloodrazor] (replace: Phantom Dancer)
    * Only if a champion is stacking HP (EXAMPLE: Vladimir, Cho'Gath)

    4. Guardian Angel (replace: Banshee's Veil)
    * If you don't need Banshee's but still want great protection.

  • Items build (Other important items)

    Other important items

    1. [item=Elixir of Agility]
    Important from the moment you have Infinity Edge,
    this can win teamfights so buy one if you have some gold left.

    2. Sight Ward
    EXTREMELY important if you are playing SOLO top, always buy one!
    Also during the game if you have money to buy one of these GAMEBREAKERS.

    3. Vision Ward
    These are important because they are placed at either baron or dragon.
    The purpose of buying a pink ward is locating the opponents ward.

    4. [item=Oracle's Elixir]
    Also very important if you notice the opponents are placing a lot of wards around the map,
    only buy this if you have a lot of spare money because I believe supports and tanks should buy these.

    * Persuade them to buy one if you believe it is necessary!

    5. Mana Potion
    Could come in handy if you are low on mana sometimes.

    6. Health Potion
    These are really useful early game in the laning phase, buy these!

    7. Elixir of Fortitude
    Buy this you have acquired a full item build!
    7. Elixir of Brilliance
    Buy this you have acquired a full item build!

  • How do you play Tristana?

    In this part of the guide I will try to explain how you should play as Tristana,
    every player has his way of playing a champion and I will be showing you mine.

    Playing SOLO in a lane with Tristana

    Your main focus should be farming, after that farming and if you could farm a little bit more it's even better.
    I hope you got my point? Farming is incredibly important it should be your first second and third priority!

    Of course harassing is also an important part while you lane but it's less important then farming.
    If I would point out the priority in laning it would be the following: farm > survive > kill.

    The only reason why I harass a champion while laning(farming) is because I don't want him/her to interfere.
    Just hitting him a few times, shooting him with my explosive shot just to make him play more defensive.

    If you can't harass him for whatsoever reason, don't worry just focus on farming farming and surviveing.
    Want to kill him? Ask your jungler to help a hand, or do it yourself if you're confident to do so without dying.

    Keep in the back of your head that the opponents might have a jungler so using Rocket Jump is quite risky.
    If they dont have a jungler or you know for 100% sure that hes not around, jump on the bastard and finish him off.


    Placing wards when you play SOLO in a lane with Tristana

    It is very very important to place 's to protect yourself from ganking opponents.
    You should try to have wards up at all times if possible of course since you don't always have the money.

    I will present you with pictures of good places to place your wards soon!
    Tristana is a GLASS CANNON!

    Tristana can be very strong champion, but she is also very easy to kill.
    The key to controlling Tristana is farming and most important positioning yourself

    You don't walk up a fight stand somewhere and start shooting like crazy,
    this will get you killed against good opponents and that's the last thing we want.

    If there is a team fight or a opportunity to kill someone you have to think where to go.
    Take in mind that Tristana has an amazing range at higher levels, higher then most champions.

    NEVER stay close to an opponent always try to use your maximum distance at all times.
    This is really important in all situations because this will keep you alive.

    If you are fighting in the jungle with your teammates jump over a wall and shoot through it!
    This is one amazing way to destroy opponents without them even able to attack you.

    When going into a team fight use your brain and think what is the best position.
    If you do this every single time, you'll be destroying everyone.

    POSITIONING one of the most important things to learn.


    What I always try to do first is using my Ultimate (Buster Shot) to blow away their key player.
    Now I hear some of you people thinking, how do I know how is their key player?

    This could be various champions in one single game but theres always one you need to get rid off.
    For an example take Annie this is a very risky opponent to have, one ULTI+STUN on your team and it's over.

    You need to find the best moment to use your ultimate on ONLY that champion, to gain time until he's back.
    Just blow away a champion that can make the biggest difference in a team fight and it's your win.

    After using your ultimate you have to either attack your opponent or reposition yourself.
    Repositioning is done by either walking/flashing or using rocket jump.

    If you already learned how to position you are probably in the right place already, start destroying.
    Always aim for the opponents strongest damage dealing champion, AD CARRY, CASTER never focus a tank.

  • Tristana's role in a team

    So what is Tristana's role in a team?

    Tristana's main job is destroying their CARRY/CASTER really really fast in team fights.
    The damage and the speed she has to obliterate opponents is devastating for the opponent.
    Of course after killing him/her it's time to destroy the other victims of your reign.

    Tristana's second job is destroying towers because you're really good at downing them fast.
    This is a reason why I have teleport, just to be able to quickly destroy a tower.

    Tristana's last job is farming, you need the most minion kills in the game.
    Why? Well she needs a lot of good items to be able to destroy the opponent right?

    Work on your last hitting!

    Get every creep, every wave, every time!
    Be the leader of your team!

    If nobody in your team takes the responsibility to lead the team to victory, do it yourself.
    It sounds really hard but it really isn't, you are just making decisions for everyone that's it.

    Make sure people buy wards and use them correctly (tell them where to ward!)
    Instruct your team to take down blue/red/dragon/baron on the right time!
    Tell them to kill the opponent you marked with pinging! (CARRY/CASTER)

    Lead the way and make your team win.

    Help your team to win!

  • Helpful tips

    A few helpful tips to improve yourself with!

    You can jump over walls with Rocket Jump, good for escaping and repositioning in (team)fights.
    After every assist or kill the cooldown on your Rocket Jump resets!
    Jumping from one brush to another will not be seen by your opponents!
    Farm, farm, farm, farm, farm, farm, farm, farm, farm, and just keep farming!
    Red buff is a MUST for Tristana, have red up as much as possible!
    If Dragon is alive and you have the opportunity to kill him, DO IT!
    Place Sight Wards! Place Sight Wards! Place Sight Wards!
    Always try to position yourself in the best way possible!

  • End

    THANK YOU FOR READING, and I hope that it has been useful!

    PLEASE RATE AND COMMENT, Thank you very much!

    Leave a comment if there's something you feel is missing or if you have any questions!
    Mentioning mistakes is also appreciated, I am not perfect you know!

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