Tristana Build Guide by QuexFehftir
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
This is a bit different than most of the Tristana builds you see out there. Rather than focusing totally on damage, this build brings some survivability into the mix to quick bursts, and to be able to sustain yourself against smaller amounts of damage on the lane in team fights.
Throwing this in second because this is a MUST for any major carry. Not so much farming, but LAST HITTING. This really can't be emphasized enough. Learn how to do this, do it well and master it. The faster you can get your items, the more pressure you have to add to team fights. Once you have all your gears, you can literally make or break a team fight.
Normally I'll take Teleport/Ignite or Flash/Ignite.
Ignite being in both builds, really helps you set up kills in the early parts of the game. Lowering healing, this along with Explosive Shot drop regen to nothing really, and add some nice damage to boot.
Teleport is more for solo queue, where your teammates may be less reliable to be keeping turrets in check. This is also very useful in the laning phase, as you can B to base then return quickly to pick up items without them putting any real pressure on your tower. Also, this can be used to get to a minion wave that needs handled quickly for some farm, or to help hold a tower under some quick pressure. This also helps much with this build specifically with the lack of boots.
Flash is a quick escape, or an easy way to catch a runner that is just about dead, especially since, mana allowing, you can Rocket Jump out after the kill. Otherwise it's a nice way to prevent a kill and a wall hop. This along with Rocket Jump can really get you out of tight spots.
Just a quick list with reasons..
Deadliness some extra bread and butter damage stacking.
Archmage's Savvy better than the other two, assuming you don't take either as a summoner spell.
Sorcery simply to eat a prereq and open up Archaic.
Alacrity One here to fill out some points and add to the damage.
Burning Embers I almost always take Ignite, and this will help push the burst a bit when the skills are used in the right order.
Archaic Knowledge in early game you got good skill burst. This just helps out with that a bit.
Sunder must have for relying on the auto attack dps.
Brute Force adding some more damage!
Lethality keep on supporting those crits.
Havoc simply adding more of what this is all about.
Spatial Accuracy just more help for Teleport. Take Perseverance otherwise.
Good Hands less time dead is always a good thing. This really builds up over the course of a fight if you end up on the receiving end too often.
Awareness leveling up faster is great, especially for a carry.
Utility Mastery this is great for the red buff or any other neutral buffs. More time is always better on these.
The overall idea is to build up skill burst for the opening laning phase, then to follow up to carry point. This is how to do it.
Explosive Shot to start, building it and Rocket Jump both evenly up to 3, and taking Buster Shot at level 6. Good to burst people down probably throughout the whole laning phase. The auto attack DPS for Rapid Fire really builds up once you have your Infinity Edge completed, and Phantom Dancer really sets it off. Afterwards Explosive Shot comes first, for pushing lanes harder with the extra AoE damage, and Rocket Jump last since the burst is mainly useful early-game only. Late game it will more than likely just get you killed if you try to use this skill for damage in most situations.
Greater Quintessence of Critical Chance Greater Glyph of Critical Chance Greater Mark of Critical Chance Greater Mark of Desolation these four build up your damage. I take Crit Chance over full Armor Pen just for more burst damage with more reliable crits. Nailing a nice few in a row will make a huge difference in a team fight.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration Greater Seal of Regeneration these two come together for endurance in the laning phase, giving you a bit more room to take hits and trade blows.
Of course, this is what makes the carry what a carry is. Farming is super important to bring yourself up to gear as fast as possible. Here's the breakdown.
Health Potion and Regrowth Pendant to start out your laning phase with some good HP/5 and healing. This is usually pretty important for trading blows, or keeping yourself alive against a stronger laner.
Brawler's Gloves as the first step towards Zeal. This is done early to buld up your movement speed and auto attack burst, considering the lack of boots in this build. You can actually do some decent auto attacks in the lane phase with this, the aspd and crit makes a fairly nice difference, especially with the crit runes.
B. F. Sword is normally the best first step to take towards your Infinity Edge, building up the damage makes last hitting a lot easier, while moving to get Pickaxe. Infinity Edge is the next step, allowing your Q to really start to shine. Last hitting and pushing lanes becomes rather simple at this point.
Cloak of Agility is the next step, leading up to Phantom Dancer. This is the point where you start getting the damage that you can destroy other carries with.
Vampiric Scepter for a bit of lifesteal leading up to Emblem of Valor. These make it easier to stay alive and hold your own while laning and top off your HP from random jungling creeps while building Zeke's Harbinger.
Aegis of the Legion is the point where this build starts going into a different direction. Building defense at this point will let the other items deal their damage, while making yourself a bit of a tank. This lets you deal damage while healing yourself, greatly increasing your longetivity and durability in team fights.
Guardian Angel is the next step. Building both of your resists over 100 lets you last fairly long under some pressure. Focusing another carry or lower armor character can easily heal you fast enough to take the hits from a tank or standard tanky DPS.
The Bloodthirster is the final bit of added damage and lifesteal. The damage scales with your crit, and the lifesteal added with Zeke's Harbinger makes it rather easy to keep yourself topped off and taking a bit of a beating under pressure. Chances are that you should be able to kill any other carry at this point, unless they are geared relatively similarly. You might not deal quite as much damage as fast, but the way you survive will make a huge difference considering the sustained DPS that you will be able to do.
Usually lasts about the first 15-20 minutes of the game. This can really make or break a team's morale, and staying on top is extremely important as a carry, especially if you are playing mid. Here are just a few tips that will keep you on top.
- Last hit, master this.
- Don't be afraid to tower hug if you need to. Better to fight there, than to feed the opposing team, setting yourself up for a loss down the line.
- Tristana has extremely powerful early-game burst. Explosive Shot is great for harassing. Getting them to or below 3 bars of health once you have Explosive Shot and Rocket Jump can set you up for a kill when used along with Ignite. Lots of poeple may not even be expecting it. Just don't overextend yourself. You can also normally land nearly 6-7 bars of health once you get Buster Shot at level 6.
- Keep trying different maneuvers to harass. ; For some examples..
First time run straight up with Explosive Shot, with a quick auto-attack on top of it, then run away.
Second time Rocket Jump to the side of them if they seem to be staying out of landing range and Explosive Shot to whittle them into your burst range, then pull out a full combo when you know you can finish.
Third time you may even want to just Rocket Jump into auto attack range and just take a few shots at them to fake them out, since they will probably be expecting Explosive Shot.
Fourth time you move in and take them out, but don't ever be afraid to try a different harassing approach, being unpredicable is key. Just BE SURE to keep an eye on top and bottom if you are at mid. Using Rocket Jump to go for a kill with someone coming to gank you can often force the dead one to be you, with their mid surviving. Map awareness is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
- If you manage to push their creeps back to tower, and don't feel comfortable pushing it all the way up, go ahead and Rocket Jump into your wraith mob set and drop Explosive Shot on the big one. This can net you an easy bit of gold/exp without adding pressure to your tower and putting you at risk. This might cost you a few hp, but doing it a good 5/6 times can give you a nice edge while laning at mid, especially against someone with a weak lane game.
Pros / Cons
-Much higher survivability than standard glass cannon builds.
- Aegis of the Legion and Zeke's Harbinger both help to support the team along with giving yourself a nice boost.
- With Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, Zeke's Harbinger and The Bloodthirster, you get damage that fully scales around crit which boosts the rate of lifestealing.
-Lack of boots will take some getting used to. Zeal only takes you up to 324, though Phantom Dancer is 245, almost up to Boots of Speed.
-The opposite of higher survivability is a bit less overall damage.
Creeping / Jungling
For the most part as Tristana you won't be doing too much of this. However anytime during the lane phase that you have their tower pushed, and the opposing champion is busy with creeps, feel free to W into the wraiths and drop an E on the big black one. They should all die around the same point and net you an easy bit of extra gold/exp, giving you a boost over the champ you are going up against in mid. This doesn't apply nearly as much to side lanes, but if you are at golems on the way back, don't be afraid to kill them when you can, so long as pressure isn't building up too quickly at your towers. Any extra kills here add to your overall farm, which is what makes or breaks a carry like Tristana. Get all you can!
Early game - You don't have too much to offer at middle, at least not until level 6 where you can start ganking side lanes if you end up dominating the lane. Usually this is best spent taking down your opponent at mid though. Focus on last hitting and farming at this point.
Mid game - This will usually start around the 15-20 mid mark where people start pushing towers a bit harder. Hopefully you at least have a B. F. Sword and Zeal by this point. With these and Q you can add some surprising good burst to enemy carries and low armors in team fights. And as always farm as much as possible.
Late game - Finally the point everyone's been waiting for. This is when Tristana really packs a punch with max'd out Rapid Fire and geared up for damage. In this case you get some good survivability while doing it, so don't be afraid to stick around a bit at the side if you see a carry coming up. Just be sure to Rocket Jump away if you see deadly CC or more than one champion coming to charge at you. Get all the kills you can and push it through to the end!
This is a really different take on how to play Tristana at endgame, focusing on survivability as well as damage. Draw a Bead really gives Tristana the edge she needs to stay at big range late game, this just lets you take hits when the fight inevitably gets drawn to you. This is is NO WAY SAYING "since you have some resists, go be a tank!" as that would be a totally fatal flaw. This just adds some more survivability through the utility of life stealing, and will most likely allow you to completely wreck any other carry you might come up against. Good luck and thanks for reading!