Tristana Build Guide by MRN.ecco
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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.
Hey, there! I'm "ecco" and am here with a guide about our little cannon-carrying yordle, Tristana! Tristana is a champion who has a fantastic early game and the safest late game of all the hyper-carry ADCs. She is extremely fun to play and for the most part fairly straight-forward as she doesn't have a lot of complex mechanics. I'd say she is one of if not the best ADC to play at lower levels because of her innate safeness and the opposing team not being able to punish her properly during his weak point (mid-game). With that said, she can work very well at high level of play, it is just difficult to. Hopefully my guide will help you garner important information about Tristana and demolish other summoners on the rift!
- Longest auto-attack range in the game at level 18 (ignoring active spells).
- Strong laning phase.
- Incredible late-game damage.
- Very safe.
- Strong disengage.
- Worst mid-game of all ADCs.
- Lack of wave-clear when being sieged upon.
- Not much room to outplay in a duel once behind.
Alright, the composition I have laid out above is pretty well balanced at playing around Tristana. I picked a strong laning champion in Renekton that would at worst lose lane, given even skill, and has the chance to win lane hard. Later on he will be a fantastic meat shield in team-fights and will take a lot of focus off of Tristana. Lee Sin is an incredibly strong early game jungler who can snowball lanes incredibly hard and also brings good late game utility to his team. Ziggs is the most annoying champion in the game because he stalls like no other. He can stretch out the game until Tristana does reach her core item-set and begins murdering everyone. Braum is a very strong laner who can set up her for kills very well with the slow from his Q and his passive stun.
The composition is well rounded at getting advantages early, protecting Tristana in fights (not that she needs too much of it because her kit is already safe), and then stalling out those games that don't go very well early. Having a strong wave-clear in mid is essential to playing Tristana because not only does it have the potential to stall the game out but it also lets her farm side-lanes to get her core as quickly as possible.
Overall she is a very flexible ADC that can work in a good majority of compositions. Having heavy wave-clear mid is the one thing I would say would be essential to playing her.
This is the common setup of summoner spells on ADCs and has been for the last few months now. It is overall the most powerful because Heal affects both champions in a duo lane. Even in situations where you're using it only on yourself, it is only marginally weaker than barrier at protecting yourself and also gives you a movement speed buff for one second.
|...|| Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
This is the rune page that I have been using for roughly the past month now. It took some experimenting and research to finally decide on a page but I feel like it is the strongest with the recent changes done to the popular ADC runes.
Attack Damage marks are still the strongest out of all the other marks by far. Since armor runes were nerfed a good amount and health runes were buffed, we directly swap on over to health seals. We need a little something to help out early game defenses as we are a squishy little ADC and this coupled with our masteries gives us some survivability. Glyphs are a little strange. We aren't running much magic resist so we can take full advantage of how strong attack-speed runes currently are. We just need to be careful when going against Nami and Sona as they deal a great deal of magic damage. Life-steal got nerfed a good amount and also got placed back onto Doran's Blade so we just straight up don't take it in runes anymore and take a bunch more attack-speed to help out our damage output.
Tristana runs very standard ADC runes with a small change. We'll be switching out both of our points in Warlord to put them into Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving . She has strong spell damage as well as a DoT in Explosive Shot which quickly maxes out the 3% damage bonus from Blade Weaving. Overall much more beneficial use of those two points than they would be in Warlord (which is typically just used as filler anyway).
In a normal lane this will be how I level up my abilities. The reason I am getting a second point in Rocket Jump at level 4 instead of Rapid Fire is because it gives more kill/burst potential. If it is a slower lane where you don't think you have kill potential then I would go ahead and get a point in Rapid Fire at level 4 and just keep your Rocket Jump with 1 point until you max it out last.
Rapid Fire is what helps Tristana be Tristana. It is the highest auto-attack steroid out of all the ADCs and makes her late-game become god-tier. 90% attack-speed is almost two Phantom Dancer's worth of attack-speed. That's /so/ much. This ability does have a fairly long cool-down though so using it at the proper time is important. When you know you'll be pumping out a lot of auto-attacks is when you want to use it to get the most efficiency out of it.
Rocket Jump is a pretty dumb spell. Dumb because it's way too good. It is the largest disengage/gap-closer out of any ADC. The only one close to it is Corki's Valkyrie. And if that wasn't enough, it does a /lot/ of damage. Definitely early game. It also slows. Ohh, wait? There's more? It resets on kill or assist? That is /so/ broken. Could you imagine if Valkyrie had that? A little dumb, mustached Yordle flying around in his air-ship with fire all over the map. That'd be ridiculous! Yet, Tristana has it. Makes her so insanely safe with such strong burst potential early on.
Explosive Shot is a silly spell. I'm honestly surprised it is still in the game in the form that it is since they nerfed Corki's Phosphorus Bomb for being an auto-win for a trade and not being fun/rewarding for either party. That is literally exactly with Explosive Shot is except it is even more obnoxious. It is a magic damage DoT that reduces healing by half. She can walk up, auto-attack trade, shoot off explosive shot to cancel your auto-attack animation and then just walk away. Trade won.
The other part to this spell is the passive. It will explode dying creatures with a magic damage AoE. This will naturally push the wave and can also be used to harass the enemy. Be careful when last hitting as it can cause you to miss cs fairly easily. Takes practice and judgement to CS very well with Trist.
Buster Shot is the final piece to Tristana's kit. If she wasn't already safe enough from her resetting jump or her 703 range at level 18, then she sure as hell is now. A knock-up that becomes an AoE off of the original target that blows back things that were collided with by the original target. The main use of this spell is as a disengage. It creates a lot of space between you and the tank-line if you wait for them to use their gap-closers.
It can also being used as a finisher to add that extra burst to a target to kill them. You can do some cool stuff with it where you jump past a target and ult them back into your team or something similar. Typically something like this is used to set up a gank while in laning phase because it would be a fairly risky play otherwise.
The bread and butter start for ADCs.
The core for Tristana has changed a decent amount over the years but its core ideals remain the same. Those ideals are focusing on attack speed and critical strike chance. Both of our core items have these stats and the reason they are favored so heavily on her because she has zero ad scaling on any of her abilities. She relies on her auto-attacks for almost all of her damage so we focus on increasing that damage.
Statikk Shiv is an interesting first item that has risen to popularity during the past few weeks. It has overtaken Blade of the Ruined King as the first item on Tristana because it helps her with her terrible mid-game. BotRK only really synergizes well with Youmuu's Ghostblade which isn't a strong item on Tristana. This means that we'd have to wait for another two items to complete during Tristana's weakest stage (mid-game) for her to rise back to power. This just isn't optimal so we go for this build.
We're going to want to build a Zeal on our first back and if we don't have enough gold for one then you're wanting to buy a Pickaxe. We'll save this Pickaxe to be combined into an IE after finishing our shiv. So once we complete our Shiv, we upgrade our boots to Berserker's Greaves and then start building toward our Infinity Edge. If possible, always build B. F. Sword and Pickaxe prior to Cloak of Agility as increasing your AD is more important than more early crit.
Lots of final item choices here. The first one, Last Whisper is mandatory. We build this as our 3rd item to finish up mid-game damage build.
Now I'll discuss the rest of our choices and when we should build them.
Blade of the Ruined King vs The Bloodthirster. There is a decision to be made here for our life-steal item. BotRK is going to overall improve our damage output a great deal and give us more kiting potential. Bloodthirster has double the life-steal of BotRK as well as a defensive shield. So it is going to come down to whether or not if you under the threat of getting cc'ed and bursted. Bloodthirster will help you gain life back faster as well as have an artificially larger health-pool. BotRK is better if they don't have high burst/cc.
Mercurial Scimitar is fantastic at being used as anti-cc item. If they have a Morgana or Elise and their CC is what you're worried about the most then this is the item for you. It gives you a get out of jail free card, a handful of magic resist and a good amount of AD.
Randuin's Omen got nerfed in the last patch so it isn't as strong as it used to be but it still serves the same purpose of peeling off tanks. It is fantastic against champions like Nocturne and Shyvana who can't really do too much to stay stuck to you when you have this item. This in conjunction with Rocket Jump and Buster Shot makes you almost impossible to pin down.
Banshee's Veil is fairly strong at serving the purpose of eating a CC (if you're able to avoid getting hit by a spell so you can absorb the spell you're scared of) and making you tanky against AP damage. It is a strong choice against champions like LeBlanc and Fizz where it can be difficult to avoid their damage.
Guardian Angel is your final option and the one I purchase the least. It is a catch-all item that is only good if you're just straight up dying to assassins every fight. It is most strong against Talon and Akali who are ridiculously fed as they can 1-shot you through almost anything if they have enough items. Otherwise, I prefer one of the other three options.
|...||Tristana's early laning phase is one of the strongest out of all the ADCs in the current meta. As discussed earlier in the guide, it can mostly be attributed to her Explosive Shot. It's a ridiculous spell that auto-win trades with the click of a spell. We'll be auto-attack harassing them when they're going to last hit and trading when Explosive Shot is off of cool-down. When it is on cool-down, we're going to want to be safe. It is a fairly long cool-down and we will be losing most trades without it as most ADCs have spells with shorter cool-downs than us. With that said, if they are able to force a trade on you, make sure to at least auto-attack while kiting backwards. Don't take damage for free. That is an important rule of laning as an ADC. Even if they out-trade you, you always have the opportunity to fight back a little bit and it's best to be as efficient as possible even in the worst of situations.
If you have an aggressive support who goes in (such as Braum, Leona or Alistar) then they can set you up for Rocket Jumps and potential kills. If you have a more poky support (like Sona or Nami) then it will be more about playing out the trades and potentially jumping in on a low target that mis-positions. Just make sure to /always/ be careful when jumping in because if you get baited and their jungler is there then you die. You just die. Unless you have Thresh as your support with a Lantern waiting for you. God that champion is dumb... Anyway. Yes. Be careful and calculated with your Rocket Jump but don't be scared to use it. Playing scared and being afraid to test your limits hinders improvement.
|...||Mid-game is when Tristana is at her weakest point. She is decently strong with her BotRK but until she finishes her IE she is pretty damn blah compared to most ADCs. Just be careful with your team and let them know that they need to play out the game slow so you can farm up. If your team is up a lot of gold then this point isn't valid as a lead is a lead. Who cares if it's your weakest point if you're still stronger than your opponent.
With Tristana's incredible sustained damage from her items and Rapid Fire you'll be able to burn down objectives very quickly. It is fairly unsafe to force objectives 5v5 until you have your IE finished as you will be most likely weaker than the enemy ADC but it is also depends on what your composition is strong at. If you have a strong team-fight composition then they can make up for your lack of contribution with the comp's core strengths.
Because of her insanely long range, sieging towers can be very beneficial as she can safely damage them. You don't have to overextend when going after the turret's hp bar and if they try and go in on you then you can just jump right out of danger.
When team fights do occur you are going to want to be on the outskirts of the fight when it breaks out. Your incredible range and damage will make you nearly impossible to kill if you are always positioning properly. Make sure to be auto-attacking as much as possible. This is /so/ important. I watch so many team-fights be lost because an ADC is just straight up too scared to even get in auto-attack range. You're Trist. You have a disengage in your ult, a mile-long jump and the range of a trebuchet. Once a their front line begins to fall is when you can start to contemplate rocket jumping in to secure kills and hop all over the place like a madman.