Tristana Build Guide by broofboob
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Ultimate ADC Tristana
Example final build
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.
Hi everyone, I'm Broofboob. I'm a Plat 5 ADC main who has mained Tristana since I got to level 30 early Season 3. I've stuck with her through the highs and lows of recent times and have developed a good understanding of the champion and her limits.
Tristana, like any champion, has positives and negatives however I believe she is one of the best champions in the game to play at ADC at any level. Whether you play a lot of ADC or are just wanting to pick it up, I highly recommend using her as often as you can.
Pros / Cons
|+ Self peel and escape mechanism
+ Incredible late game damage
+ Decent early game
|Tristana is one of the best late game ADC's period. If you get to 6 items you will be a terror unless the enemy has 6 armour items. Despite this her early game does not suffer due to the effectiveness of her Explosive Shot and Rapid Fire and the high damage provided by her Buster Shot after she hits 6. In addition she has one of the best escape mechanisms in the game on her Rocket Jump.|
|- Weak mid game
- Pea shooter without items
- Escape mechanism can be cancelled
|To offset this her mid game really is awful compared to other popular ADC's like Corki, Lucian or Twitch. without items you will find yourself hitting lots but for pretty much no damage and your abilities wont help much in this situation. In addition her Rocket Jump can be cancelled by a lot of abilities including Devastating Charge, Flay and Vault Breaker. Basically any displacement ability.|
These are standard ADC masteries. 21/9 so that you have a lot of damage but can sustain particularly against a tough lane opponent. The bonus health from Veteran Scars is very useful as is the reduced damage from Block and Unyielding . Defense is very important as an ADC as you can't kill anything while dead.
On the offensive side I believe the most important masteries are Feast, Dangerous Game and Havoc . Feast gives you added lifesteal which can be incredibly beneficial in lane for staying up in health. Dangerous Game allows you to go for risky plays with your Rocket Jump and Buster Shot on low health enemies and escape without dying. Havoc is the pinnacle of the offense tree and the damage it gives reflects this.
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed: These quints give more damage over time early game than straight AD and also give you a smoother auto attack animation. This is expecially important pre 6 when your auto attacks are rather slow.
- Greater Mark of Attack Damage: This gives you plenty of AD early game which both increases your harassment damage on the enemy ADC and makes last hitting easier in the vital early levels.
- Greater Mark of Critical Chance: Lets be honest, 1 extra AD doesn't compare to the cheese of getting a level 1 crit first shot every 100 games.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: I actually use flat MR because I don't want to spend money on these, however these are more effective as usually you wont be up against much hard magic damage until these are at least on par with the flat MR. The exception is if you are against a heavy magic damage support like Annie, Karma or Sona.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Flat Armour is what I like to run because it reduces the damage of both the enemy laners auto attack harassment and that of the minions when you harass them.
Alternatives include 5 Greater Seal of Health which is a more efficient early game set up at the cost of IP.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage are effective replacements for quints if needed.
The two spells Heal and Flash are nearly always what you should take.
If the enemy has an assassin like Rengar, Zed or Katarina and your support is running ignite, you may want to take Exhaust instead.
For your first 3 abilities I recommend going Explosive Shot into Rocket Jump into Rapid Fire. If you are just leashing your Explosive Shot will help your jungler the most and will run out, so there is no worry of stealing the buff. It also means that if you end up being engaged on at level 1 you have a decent chance of winning as it halves the effectiveness of the enemy laner's heal. In addition to this the aoe damage on kill allows you to push for level 2 faster.
I take Rocket Jump at level 2 either to engage with - the slow is very effective as is the reset and aoe damage, or to escape if they look to be winning the level 2 trade. You should however always take it at level 1 if going for an invade. The slow is great for catching opponents off guard and as it is aoe you can deal up to 350 damage through one ability. Chain resets at level one can amplify your Rocket Jump damage very effectively.
The reason I take Rapid Fire last is because it doesn't really help at early levels other than a slight dps increase which isn't really noticable compared to the utility offered by Explosive Shot and Rocket Jump.
If the lane is going well max Explosive Shot. It helps push the lane to the opponent turret which should make csing hard for them at early levels, and it provides decent harassment damage on cast. If the lane is going badly max Rapid Fire as your Explosive Shot has a tendency to prevent you from csing under turret and you wont be able to trade effectively with it when behind. Instead you should rely on your Rapid Fire to trade auto attacks and do more sustained damage if your jungler ganks.
Buster Shot is a very high damage ability, and people often dont realise just how much damage it does at level 6. If your opponent is caught napping as you hit 6 don't be afraid to Rocket Jump in before using both Explosive Shot and Buster Shot for up to 470 magic damage pre resist. If you throw in an auto attack or two you can get up to 600 damage which may be enough to net you a kill. You can always then Rocket Jump out of danger.
At first buy you should always buy Doran's Blade and a Health Potion. This provides the most cost effective start to lane with extra health and plenty of sustain alongside additional damage to trade.
At first back you should aim for a B. F. Sword. Getting a first buy on a B. F. Sword is a huge advantage over your lane opponent and can be the turning point in lane if you are losing. If you are struggling and need to go b before you can afford a B. F. Sword then a Pickaxe is a weaker buy but an acceptable alternative. You may be tempted to get Berserker's Greaves early, however without an AD item to back it up it won't provide much at all in lane compared to the AD items.
I always build an Infinity Edge first item. The build path allows for strong laning and it is a massive power spike once obtained. A crit if you have one of these early can literally be a quarter of the opponents health. I then build Statikk Shiv. The attack speed allows you to get more crits off and the additional crit chance goes well with the passive from Infinity Edge. In addition to this the passive allows you to more easily hold turrets if behind and push lanes if ahead. I find the Statikk Shiv helps to offset tristana's weak mid game somewhat because of this.
My 3rd core item is usually a Last Whisper. The Last Whisper is relatively cheap and it allows you to do more damage for longer before going b. It is a very good item and you will be getting it right around the time the enemy will be buying decent amounts of armour if the game is progressing at a steady rate.
The Bloodthirster tends to be my 5th item. The lifesteal and AD are often invaluable at this point in the game, and if the enemy team isn't building armour I will take this item 4th instead of a Last Whisper.
Guardian Angel is one of the best items in the game for solo queue. In a manic team fight it can often turn the tide as the enemy team over commits to killing the Tristana at the back line. As Tristana you won't even necessarily die if caught with GA up as your Buster Shot followed by a Rocket Jump can place you far from the enemy very quickly after reviving. Build this item 5th if lots of teamfights are occurring and you keep getting blown up.
The above are all alternative items you can build. Banshee's Veil is an effective replacement when your Guardian Angel is down, particularly against bursty AP mid laners like Ahri, Syndra and Annie. The shield can save your life if against engagement supports like Thresh and Morgana and the health helps against every form of damage. You may want to build this as an alternative to Guardian Angel if it is one spell that keeps catching you off guard.
Blade of the Ruined King is a very useful alternative to The Bloodthirster, with the active providing self peel and increasing your damage against tanky champions. The reason I don't like Blade of the Ruined King is because with it you will max out attack speed with Rapid Fire active, and so it isn't fully effective. It is still worth buying if they have a raidboss like Nasus, Dr. Mundo or Shyvana, but only if they are fed.
Phantom Dancer is the alternative item to Statikk Shiv, and in many ways I can't fault people who prefer to build it. I believe Statikk Shiv is a better item for cheaper, however this choice really comes down to personal preference.
If you feel you are lacking damage at max items, try buying a second Infinity Edge. The boost in AD and crit chance can be a huge help even if the passive is wasted.
As an ADC your main role is to safely deal damage to the enemy team. There is almost no such thing as being too safe on ADC, if you die too easily the team fight is pretty much lost unless you have a fed team mate who can make up for your lost damage.
Early game you should focus on csing and trading with your lane opponent. A good target to hit if you are around silver is 100cs at 15 minutes with your opponent 10 or more below you. If you hit this it means you are both farming decently and keeping your opponent at bay, however there is room for improvement.
As the game moves into the Mid game you should group up with your team mates and either siege turrets or defend them. When besieging turrets your focus should be on safely putting damage on the turrets, not the enemy team. If you are defending then try and safely clear minions, however if that is not possible hang back where you cannot be caught. Remember that while peel is a great help when playing ADC, staying alive begins with your own positioning and knowledge of the enemy team.
In late game team fights your priority should be to stay alive while dealing damage. Always auto attack at the longest range possible and orb walk backwards if needed. Don't ever dive deep to try and get a few lucky crits and delete the enemy mid or ADC as you are just as valuable as them, if not more so, and so this would not be worth. Often you will find yourself either auto attacking a tanky frontline champ or running from an assassin. Don't get impatient as over a few seconds you will be able to kill them with a little bit of skill. All you have to do then is hope you are better than their ADC and that you are alive when they are not. After a won team fight remember you are the biggest damage dealer your team has so make sure to get objectives if safe and not farm wraiths.
All the above applies to Tristana as well as most other ADC's. As Tristana your focus really should aim for late game as you can be incredibly safe with your massive range and self peel. While Kog'Maw and Vayne do more raw damage late, Tristana is far easier to keep alive and so excels in solo queue where the mechanics are lacking and the decision making poor. If you hit late game as Tristana you have a really good chance of winning any game.