Tristana Build Guide by The Last AP Tristana

League of Legends Build Guide Author The Last AP Tristana

[Season 7] AP Tristana Mid Lane

The Last AP Tristana Last updated on November 19, 2016
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R


Natural Talent
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12


Cunning: 18

Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

Threats to Tristana with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Ezreal LOL
Kog'Maw R.I.P.
Lux She is dead lvl 2 (or lvl 3 if she has barrier)
Nidalee Go back to your jungle, noob
Orianna She has a shield but you don't care
Varus No hp, no escape, NO CHANCE
Viktor Jump, go away from his W, kill him.
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Why would someone play AP Tristana?

About me

Hello, I'm Squishy Support/Last AP Tristana from EUW servers and i'm 23. Welcome to the first thing i ever wrote on the internet lol, I hope you will like it ! I am currently diamond and play AP Tristana a lot, and I know the champ well but i'm not great midlaner, so some of you might be soon better than me with it ! I started playing league of legends in season 2 and discovered AP Tristana during season 3, so she has been my favorite champion for more than 3 years now. I know that people say "AP Tristana doesn't work anymore you noob" but this is completely false. What is true is that the E mechanics changed so much with the rework that it was pretty hard to adapt, and a lot of people gave up after feeding again and again. However, once you found your items (= Nashor's tooth) this build works exactly the same as before.

Why would someone play AP Tristana?

The AP Tristana players have almost disappeared from the game so you might not understand why i'm playing this build. For example : you can do well playing ap lucian, but the playstyle is almost the same as a normal lucian, in other words he is just a "weaker ad lucian" and it doesn't make much sense to play it. Tristana is not like this : instead of being (like her AD version ) a marksman dealing sustained damage over time, with little burst due to her spells, AP Tristana is a VERY bursty assassin deleting a squishy champ in less than 3 seconds, with a resettable damaging jump.

Her full burst combo is ~ base damage + 310% AP (without the lichbane and nashor's tooth ratios), which is very similar to a leblanc (300-360% AP depending on the combo) or fizz (generally 310-350% AP). What prevents her from being a "weaker leblanc/fizz" is that she has specific strengths : She is extremely strong in the very beginning of the game, and can snowball hard not only by killing the enemy laner again and again, but also by roaming and taking down the towers on all lanes extremely fast ( Leblanc has lower cooldowns but is not great pusher/sieger/farmer, Fizz is a bit more mobile but being melee can allow the opponent to bully him in lane).

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Two Compilations and A Full Game

They are not the most flashy things i did but there are some useful plays you will have to master ! (All comes from platinum or low diamond ranked games)

First Compilation

Second Compilation

A Full Game

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Pros / Cons

- Terribly strong burst
- Burst combo is very fast
- Ultimate lane bully
- Snowballs extremely fast
- Tower annihilator
- Hybrid damage
- Awesome cleaner in team fights
- Cute

- Can't kill tanks
- Sometimes you just don't want hybrid damage.
- Risky playstyle makes lategame difficult
- If you fail your teammates will flame
- Your teammates will flame in champ select already
- Your enemy will sometimes ragequit so early you will be sad

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

- This will increase your damage in the very first minutes because you will auto attack a lot and your E also has a big AD scaling. It will help you to last hit a little too.
You can use precision or Magic Pen. marks too.

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

- This is good against both physical and magic damage, and the offensive seals are bad runes.
You can also use Armor seals.

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

- Your spells have big AP ratios so this will give you some damage.
You can also use MR, scaling AP glyphs.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

- Again for your big AP ratios.
I don't recommend any other quintessences.

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You can take this because the mana regen of the Doran's Ring you bought at the start is enough for the whole game.

Bounty Hunter

You are an assassin and will have a lot of kills so you can also take this one instead of double edged sword, without any problem.

Thunderlord's Decree

This is the perfect keystone for burst champs.

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You might be wondering why this item is there. The reason is that it allows you to land faster the 2 or 3 auto attacks you need to fully charge bomb when you assassinate someone. It's also good to push and ANNIHILATE towers.

Ok, WTF? You will probably think this item is stupid until you tried it but i will try to explain. This was designed to give immobile battle mages a decent engage. However, this item is currently better on the champs who have mobility already because they can dash in front on the enemy, THEN activate this item to deal TONS of burst damage (because the enemy will take the 7 orbs). As an early-mid game burst item, it suits well to your early-mid game killer identity, and the hp helps you surviving. WARNING : IT GOT NERFED IN THE 6.22 PATCH AND I THINK GUNBLADE MIGHT BE BETTER NOW (Just try both)

Tristana's E scales very well with both AD and AP and you auto attack a lot so this is a very good item. Also the active is like having another burst spell and the sustain is cool to permapush!

The problem with magic pen boots is that 50% of your damage is physical so i recommend buying boots of lucidity so you have ult more often and can use E on minions without getting punished. When you are full build you can get the magic pen boots because you have too much CDR. (If you don't know it, magic pen boots help a lot to kill squishy targets)

Not much to say. This is the ultimate item for ap champs, giving you a huge powerspike.

Some people think you can play an ap champ without this item but that's completely false. This is just like Rabadon an absolutely necessary item when you play a mage.(I think it gives even more damage per gold than rabadon...)

This item adds a 50% ap to your burst combo and also improves your "Jump Chain" because it will activate after each jump (it has a 1,5 sec cooldown though), allowing you to clean teamfights easily and get amazing multiple kills.

This is essentially an item for lategame, allowing you to jump in really hard to destroy the enemy adc or ap carry, and stay alive when you would have died otherwise. Never buy this only for the stats (even on other champs)


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Skill Order

Why not maxing E directly ?

E will be your favorite spell, so why not leveling it at the beginning? The reason is that when you put a point in E , all you get is a ridiculous 10 damage ( --> 22 if you fully stack the bomb) and a 0,5 sec shorter cooldown !! On AD Tristana you will max it fast because it also increases the bonus AD ratio, but in this build we have close to 0 bonus AD. The AP ratio is huge but stays the same regardless of how much points you put in E, this allows you to put points in W while still doing insane damage with your bomb (110% AP when fully charged).

If maxing E is not important, why do we max it so early?

What we forgot before is that maxing E also increases the damage of the passive part, which is very good to push and farm. And also you will not always be able to land the jump on the enemy.

Special case where you should max E directly

I don't recommend picking Tristana against the very hard matchups ( difficulty 7 to 10), but if you end up laning against one of those, max E since the start (for waveclear and pushing power) and just farm because you shouldn't jump on them anyway.

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This passive is pretty cool. It allows you to outrange even caitlyn in the last levels.

Tips and tricks :

- Your auto attacks, E and R will always have exactly the same range.

- You can attack Baron and cast your spells from BEHIND the wall at a certain level

This spell is not essential for ap Tristana but it will still help you getting your bomb stacks faster and pushing lanes.

Tips and tricks :

- It will activate your Lich bane

This is the spell making this build interesting and funny, because everyone likes to kill people by jumping on their face. Each time you kill or assist in killing a champion, the cooldown will reset, allowing you to jump on someone else (like Katarina or Kha'zix). THE COOLDOWN ALSO RESETS WHEN YOU FULLY STACK A BOMB ON A CHAMPION (so much people forget it).

Tips and tricks :

- You can cast your other spells during your jump. For example you can put your E in mid air so your jump will add a stack to it.

- Don't jump in too hard in lane if you have not warded properly or the jungler might kill you

- Enemies can't gank you because it's a huge escape

This is a huge source of damage for AP Tristana just like the AD version. A fully stacked bomb is (220 + 110% AP) damage. The passive part also scales with ap but is good only for farming.

Tips and tricks :

- This spell does insane damage at lvl 1 already. If you put this bomb on a standard mage like lux lvl 1, and put 2,3 or 4 stacks, the enemy will lose more than 50% hp.

- Deals physical damage.

- AoE spell.

- E + 2 auto attacks will trigger thunderlord when the bomb explodes.

- If you put the last stack with R, the bomb will explode AFTER the knock back

For AP Tristana, this spell is not only a knock back but a single target nuke like Veigar's ult. With the "example full build" this spell + one auto attack is around 1500 damage

Tips and tricks :

- Don't use it to last hit secured kills because you might need it right after.

- You can use it for ks if you don't need ult for the next minute lol :D

- Can steal baron

- You can do an auto attack right after ulting even with the knock back

- Don't use it to peel unless it is ABSOLUTELY necessary

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Team Fighting

Teamfight Basics

Like other assassins, you don't like teamfights. You will prefer picking up people walking alone on the map and finish the game fast by taking objectives each time your team is overnumbered.

However, during mid-game (= when you finished your nashor tooth and protobelt), ap Tristana is still very scary in teamfight and can easily get triple, quadra or even pentakills. Never engage a 5v5 fight by yourself : Try to stay out of the enemy vision and when you see an opportunity, jump on the enemy carries and destroy them, THE UNSEEN BLADE IS THE DEADLIEST.

The late game teamfights work the same but you will get deleted if you do a mistake so be careful. You can still get penta though.

Your Best Friends

You will enjoy having in your team someone who can engage and disturb the enemies so they don't position well, while also doing decent damage to the carries. Then you will be able to clean up and destroy everyone.

Your Deadliest Enemies

You will hate people than can negate your damage and prevent you from killing the carries. Also, if you jump in and get exhausted you are probably dead so be aware of the cooldown of this spell.

Special Case : You completely failed your game

You are strong laner and can't be ganked : if you failed your game, that's probably your fault so don't flame anyone. However the game is not lost : Just suicide all the time to kill someone important (the enemy midlaner or adc), your team might be able to win the following 4v4

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Thank you for reading !

Ok i tried to keep this guide simple but i think i have not much more to teach you anyway. I hope you will have fun and stomp your opponents with this build ! Keep in mind that even in ranked mode it is just a game, so stay friendly and don't flame as it would only make your teammates uncomfortable and sometimes even hurt them. They are just people like you after all.
You can vote for my guide if you found it useful, and if you like it i will write more guides about my other picks.
Thank you and happy gaming !