Tristana Build Guide by Bubicica
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.
Notes and changes
08. 08. 2011. - First release of the yet incomplete build
16. 08. 2011. Complete release of the build
15. 11. 2011. Big update coming to the build, with the next patch of LoL, since they are going to change masteries, and summoner spells. Stay tuned to find out more!
21. 11. 2011. Started Updating the build IT IS NOT READY at the current state.
This guide will try to show you how to play Tristana as an AD Carry, doing incredible damage, while not getting killed every minute. It's really just a matter of focus, and positioning.
In this build, I will explain my choice of runes, items, how to get an easy first blood, and strategy troughout early, mid, and late game.
The reason behind this build is that I rarely see Tristana in games, and when I do, they are always failing. And that brings grief to my heart and tears to my eyes. So my ultimate goal is to go in detail about how to play her, so my sadness can disappear.
Please leave a comment when voting to let me know what you liked and disliked! Also let me know if you think it should be modofied or you play your Tristana differently. Have fun while reading!
Skills and Skill Sequence
First, let's take a look at your skills:
1. This is your passive. With each level, your range wil increase. You'll begin to first notice this, at about level 6, when you have about the same range as Caitlyn. This ability is extremly useful at both early game, and late game. Details will come later.
2. This skill will greatly improve your deadliness in battles. This is the reason why you don't have to get as much attack speed as other dps characters, and only need Phantom Dancer or other attack speed items only late game. Excellent at mid game, but I don't recommend it at early levels for two reasons:
a, You can't do too much damage with your auto attacks yet
b, Your other abilities improve your farming abilities, wich is what you need at a low level
3. Your saviour. Your best skill, that makes Tristana one of the best (if not the best) ranged carries. It is your private, personal, built-in Flash. I would recommend saving it up for escaping impossible situations and ganks. But you can also use it for hopping on escaping enemies, to deliver your finishing blow. I will come back to this ability later, for now, belive me, it's the perfect skill for this build. Big hug. However, don't spend more than 1 skill point on this, you only need this to engage, or escape, so why waste your precious points?
4. I always get this one first. It greatly increses my farming ability, and it also makes me capable of landing a few sneaky hits on my opponents, wich plays a big role in getting First Blood. Also it is very useful in early game, for it deals a fair amount of damage; in the late game however, I rarely use it, becouse the damage it does by then is not significant, and it's better to save up mana for escaping.
Oh, and don't forget to hit enemies who with it, who use a Healing Potion or regain lots of health by abilities (yeah, I'm referring to you Vladimir and Fiddlesticks!)
5. Your ultimate. At early game, it's gonna get you kills. At the late game, it's gonna get you out of the grasp of death, or save your teammates. Comes useful in many situations, as you will see in my examples below. Deals quite nice damage too.
Now, a little explanation about my skill sequence:
I got Explosive Shot first, becouse it helps me a great deal in farming (minions exploding and damaging each other is a nice thing), and you can also damage the enemy hero with it - wich is your goal early game. It lets you push your lane (wich is hopefully mid lane), and keeps your opponent far away. It's active deals a fair amount of damage.
TIP: Always target the enemy champion with it, as soon as it is ready.
Next, I get Rocket Jump, for any possible ganks, or unexpected attacks. It's also the key to preform you death-dealing-combo. I will return to this in the First Blood section.
Now for some more farming capabilty, upgrading my Explosive Shot.
At level 4 I can't upgrade Explosive Shot anymore, and 1 level of Rocket Jump is enough for now, so I invest in Rapid Fire (a good investment, I might add).
One last upgrade for Explosive Shot to greatly increase my chances of getting 1-2 kills before level 6.
And then comes Buster Shot. For obvious reasons (killing).
After my ulti, I upgrade Rapid Fire whenever I can, for this will be your main damage dealing ability from now on.
By the time you reach Buster Shot level 2, you should have Rapid Fire at level 5.
Now, all that's left is to max out Explosive Shot, and after that Rocket Jump. Don't get me wrong, I love Rocket Jump, but the levels only grant you a small amount cooldown reduction and some damage bonus. You won't be able to jump twice in a fight, I guarantee you that. At least not with cooldown. (Don't forget, if you kill, or assist in a kill, your Rocket Jump cools down instantly!)
WHAT I USE
1. Combined with your explosive shot it is devastating. This is the spell, that will let you surprise your enemy in early game, and get you your first kill. In later games it is extremly useful against other AD DPS-es, and escaping enemies. Use it, for finishing off you opponents. ALWAYS use this spell, it's your friend.
2. My second spell. You'll want to return home, when you have the gold for each of your items, and this spell let's you do that, whit practicaly no waste of time. Also let's you cath up, if you had a bad start for some reason (like ganking Evelynn and Alistar at level 2).
At the later games it let's you go to your team immidiatly, while you could take a trip back home. You can also use it with a little practice to surprise your enemies (teleporting behind them, while they are engaged) and for backdooring purposes.
1. It has it's obvious benefits. I find ignite enough if I'm engaging other DPS-es, and I can use Rocket Jump for chasing/escaping. If you want to try, you might replace Teleport with it (I wouldn't). I don't think you really need it. But for goodness sake, don't replace Ignite with it.
2. No need. You have Rocket Jump, and you're slow, so the others will catch up with you with their Ghost anyway. Skip it.
3. I am always stunned when I see Flash on a Tristana. Just... why? You already have one wich is even better in some aspects. Rocket Jump is your means to escape and engage, you DON'T need Flash.
4. Other summoner spells. Just no.
As you can see, all my runes are either Critical chance runes, or Attack speed runes. You might ask, why? Why don't I get armor penetration or damage runes? The anwser is quite simple: with these runes, your enemy will likely underestimate you, and you can get a few kills early in the game, wich is imperative.
Believe me, everyone is surprised when you shoot a 130 Crit bullet in their face.
Attack speed runes let you concentrate on damage items, rather then well... attack speed items.
As you can see above in the items list above and below, armor penetration will be provided for you by Last Whisper, or in an alternative build Sword of the Divine. So I really don't see why I should use other runes instead, but you are welcome to try.
BASE ITEM BUILD
NOTE: The items listed above and below are the ones I usually get, but not the ones I always get. The items you need always depends on the current game, the enemies, and your team.
Example: If you know, that your team is going to take out Jax with magic damage at the start of each team fight there is no real need for you to get Sword of the Divine.
With that said, let's take a look at the items.
1. I always start with this item. Why not Doran's Blade? Becouse the lifesteal is not noticable, the +10 damage is just bad, the only good thing about it is the +100 health, and for that I might just get a Health Crystal. Vampiric Scepter let's you stay in your lane (wich is mid hopefully) for a really long time, and also let's you creep up upon your enemy. It is also the first item for your The Bloodthirster, so Doran's Blade is just a sad waste money.
2. These are the boots I get, and I try to get them early. When I see I have enough money for them, I Recall and then Teleport right back. There are exeptions however. When I know I can take down the enemy champion if I stay, I naturaly stay. Sometimes I stay to harass with auto-attack and Explosive Shot. It just may happen, that at these hard time, you can sum up to 1650 gold pieces. Skip this item then, and get a B. F. Sword.
3. As soon as you have the gold needed for it (1650), go back, and then return with Teleport. Now, you're beginning to do some damage, nothing much, but if you outfarmed your opponent, he will be shocked by the damage (especialy the crits) you do. Getting this item is the hard part. You'll have the advantage when you get Berserker's Greaves but getting 1650 gold for your next item is kind of tricky. If you feel like you can't bring you opponent down, just lay back, and farm, until you have the gold, no need to rush, you'll get him by mid game... lots of times.
4. Now your playing with power! Only needs 900 gold more, and you get +55 damage, and +13% lifesteal. What a deal! Try to farm a little before onleashing fury on your enemies. Engage if you must, but fill your The Bloodthirster as soon as you can!
NOTE: If you managed to get B. F. Sword before Berserker's Greaves I don't recommend getting The Bloodthirster first. Get at least +1 movement from boots.
5. You may ask, why do I need more damage? Why not some attack speed or survivability? Well, it's simply not you job. Your job, is to take out people in a few hits. If your tank and CC do thier jobs well, you don't need those things. As for attack speed Rapid Fire still holds up, you have it maxed out probably by the time you get Infinity Edge, so no need to worry about that. With your runes, this item will greatly increase your lethality. It's your second love, after The Bloodthirster.
Now, you can take out squishies in 4-5 shots, deal nice damage to tanks, and can 1on1 against non squishies. You're on a roll.
When putting together Infinity Edge try to get B. F. Sword and Pickaxe before Cloack of agility. You need raw damage more at this stage then Critical chance.
At this time, the enemy team may not notice, that you're dealing a horrible amount of damage, wel... too bad for them. And now comes the time of decisions.
6. Yep. I get this item in MOST games, but not all. The reason for this, is that by this time, tanks will realize that you deal a lot of damage even to them, so they start stacking armor. You need to counter this, and this is the perfect item for it.
But you must always be aware of the enemy team. If they use too much AoE stuns, or simply too much AoE damage, or there are too many burst damage characters on their get a Banshee's Veil first. If they have Jax, Nidalee and other guys who dodge a lot, you might want to get a Sword of the Divine instead.
So, at this pont, it's up to you. If you get Banshee's Veil just buy Last Whisper after it, and then end your items by Phantom Dancer.
I do not recommend getting Banshee's Veil or Sword of the Divine before you complete your Infinity Edge however. You will not have enough DPS, if you do, and you will be mostly useless in teamfights.
NOTE: Most games will end before you can complete your Last Whisper, take a guess why...
7. Now, the time has come, to finally increase your attack speed. I think this needs no explaination: you got attack damage, armor penetration, all you need now is some more crit chance (if you complete Phantom Dancer about 75% of your shots will crit) and some more attack speed.
You're taking down squishies in 3-4 shots, non-squishies in 5-6, and tanks in 8-10. Wich means you can take down a tank in 3 seconds. Awesome.
8. You're focused, everyone, even the dumbest ones on the other teams have realized, that you are the real threat. They WILL try to take you down. So, you need some survivability. Banshee's Veil grants you that. It will protect you from stuns and other nasty things. At late game, you need to survive for at least 8-9 seconds to take the enemy team out - so this item is the perfect choice for it.
If the enemy has only 1 stun or other harmful spels like that (taunt, suppress) or for some strange reason they're still not focusing you you might want to get a Frozen Mallet instead. I get Banshee's Veil 90% of the time.
You might want to get Banshee's Veil earlier, right after Infinity Edge. If you're being focused early or the enemy is full of stuns and snares, it is advised to do so.
So this item is highly recommended to get if:
a, You are being focused, and you need more health and magic resist to survive.
b, Enemies have started using Thornmail (If two of them have it)
c, The enemy has lots of burst damage ( Le Blanc, Annie, Brand, etc.) and/or AoE abilities ( Amumu, Vladimir, etc.)
d, You just want some more survivability. Don't forget: it doesn't just protect you from stuns but from high damage spells too like Veigars Primordial Burst.
9. Elixirs. If your finished with the build (rare), get some elixirs, and you might want the replace Berserker's Greaves with a second Phantom Dancer.
1. I get this one instead of Banshee's Veil if the enemy team is low on stuns, and I need health more than I need protection from spells. The plus health it gives is a good buffer for your lifesteal and the slow effect can be nice sometimes. Combined with the Red Lizard Buff none will be able to escape you.
2. Grab this one instead of Last Whisper if the enemy has lots of dodge, like mentioned in the Last Whisper section above.
3. A second instead of the Frozen Mallet. Only get this, if the enemy is still not focusing you for some strange reason, and you want to laugh at the way your enemies fall at you feat. It's really a pleasure seeing Katarina going down in 2 shots, tanks in 3-4.
4. You might want to get this item if the other party consists of mass stuns and Exhaust. With a few you can bear with good positioning but lots won't let you do anything.
ITEMS YOU SHOULD NOT GET
1. No. I hate this item. Grants you 25 armor, wich makes no difference, some + damage, and 4% of the targets max health every shot. Great. First of all, you don't get the lifesteal from that 4%, becouse it is magic damage. Second, you'll only need this item, for taking down HP stacking tanks. Tanks have magic resist. That means, if your shooting a 4000 HP Cho'Gath in the face, you should do + 160 damage per shot. But you don't, you'll do about + 60. Wich sucks for that much money. On top of all that, your magic damage will not critical hit wich is another huge percentage of damage lost. Why woud you need this item anyway, if you can take out anyone in a few shots?
2. Same as above. You don't need to lower their mana, when you can kill them.
3. Could be nice, but for it's price, it's just not worth it. If I had a 7th item slot, I might get it. But again (I keep repeating myself) you don't need stacking stuff, with the Last Whisper you'll punch trough their armor anyway.
ITEMS I RARELY GET
Everything. Depends on the enemy team.
Early game and First Blood
Take mid lane, if you can. You're one of the best mid lane characters, if you know how to play, when to attack, and when you should stay back. Of course, every game, and every enemy is different, so you need something else then tactic to beat your enemies, wich this guide, can't provide: Experience.
So, let's say you got mid lane. Here's what to do.
MID LANE AND FIRST BLOOD
You have a Vampiric Scepter and Explosive Shot. So naturally, you should hit minions, as often as you can, to regain lost health, and try do damage your enemy with Explosive Shots passive. Whenever your Explosive Shot is ready, sneak up to the enemy champion, and hit him with it. Also hit him with your auto attack. If done right, you should be able to do the following basic sequence:
auto attack -> Explosive Shot -> auto attack
TIP At low levels, your range is almost exactly the same as is exploding shots range. Click autoattack on your enemy, have Explosive Shot ready, when you see Tristana firing, fire Explosive Shot immidiatly, and then autoattack again. This is the easiest way to deliver the 3 blows successfully.
Most enemies will back off, when they see you hit them with an ability, to see how much damage it does, and what can they expect in the future.
You've probably lost some health, becouse of the minions, and the enemy champion. Lay back, and regain it by shooting minions, until you have your Explosive Shot ready again. Repeat what you have done until now.
This is your basic tactic. DON'T use Rocket Jump until you really need it. Why? Becouse you'll need it to surprise you're enemy, he should not know you're able to jump.
You should have your opponents health down at about half, within 2-3 explosive shots. If he has half, or less HP, the time has come for you to finish him (does not work for all enemies, some are tougher, takes practice - take them down a bit lower).
Keep hitting minions to have a high health. Wait for one of your, and one of the enemy's minion waves to meet at about half between your towers. Stand at the front of your minion wave (at the melee minions) and have your Rocket Jump ready. As soon as the enemy comes within range, jump on him, and hit him whit Ignite, Explosive Shot, and as much auto attacks as you can. If you successfully landed on him with Rocket Jump you killed him with 99% chance.
So your killer combo sequence is Rocket Jump -> Ignite + Explosive Shot + auto attacks.
This may sound easy, but it's actually isn't. Here are some tips, so you won't fail:
TIP - Only do this before you reach level 6
TIP2 - Be aware of your enemies abilities. Eg.: only jump on Katarina after she used her teleport.
TIP3 - Be aware of your enemies summoner spells. If he's got a Flash you need to get him to about 1/3 HP, and you may not have enough time to shoot Explosive Shot only Ignite and 2-3 auto attacks.
TIP4 - Don't try this under his tower, even if you Rocket Jump back, with the instant cooldown, you'll probably end up dead.
TIP5 - You might not want to use Rapid Fire at this point. It doesn't give you that much of a boost, and it consumes mana, wich you'll may need to get away from any incoming junglers or roamers after the kill. I seldom use it at this stage.
TIP6 - DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU HAVE LESS THEN HALF OF YOUR HEALTH. You'll likely end up dying (and taking your enemy with you, but that's not the point).
Okay. Maybe you couldn't bring down your enemy, becouse he was tower hugging the whole time, or you're dealing with Lux who never comes in range. You have reached level 6 however, and got Buster Shot.
Now, you have an even deadlier combo at your hand. The recepie is the same as before, replacing Explosive Shot for Buster Shot. Position yourself, jump on him, and let him have it. Use this combo, when your enemy is at half health, or even a bit more.
Deadly combo after level 6: Rocket Jump -> Ignite + Explosive Shot (maybe) + Buster Shot + autoattack
TIP If you fired Buster Shot keep hitting your enemy with autoattacks. While he is being knocked back by it, you can still land 1-2 attacks on him, so don't retreat after firing!
You may not want to fire Explosive Shot at this stage for 2 reasons.
1. Tristana has no problem with mana, but at level 6-7 you may run out, if you fire Explosive Shot first, and not have enough for Buster Shot.
2. If the enemy has means of escaping (like Flash), you'll run out of time, and will only be able to shoot one of your abilities, wich is way better, if it's Buster Shot.
If your enemy has retreated to his base, or you have defeated him and you still have some mana to spare use that mana to take his tower down with Rapid Fire. At this early in game that's all that Rapid Fire is good for. At mid and late game it will rape your enemies. Should be called Rape-id fire. Joke. Yes, it's bad
Well, that's about it for First Blood at mid lane. Let's check out side lanes.
SIDE LANE AND FIRST BLOOD
If you're forced to side lane, you're farming output is much worse, and you have to be extra careful about your enemies, becouse you are as squishy as it gets. Your tactic, is basicly the same. Shoot Explosive Shot every now and then at your enemies, harass them with your Explosive Shots passive, and when you see the opportunity, jump in, and take the kill with your combo.
Becouse there are 2 guys you're fighting against here, leaving mana for Rocket Jumping back after the kill is advised. If you jump in, and just kill, you'll wind up dead, if your partner doesn't save you. Therefore always inform your partner, that you're going in for the kill, so he will be ready to aid you.
It may happen that your mate is being attacked hard, and getting hit with stuns, Exhausts and everything. You shoud not always retreat in this situation. Sometimes it helps more to just keep stantind in one place, and keep hitting the attackers with everything you got. Your mat may go down, but sometimes you'll be able to score 2 kills instead. However, if you see them changing directions and aiming for you Rocket Jump and run for your tower. They'll probably already have used all of their abilities so you will make it back safely. Of yourse, as always, this also depends on the situation.
You can do sidelanes easily however when you got some support with you like Sona or Soraka. You will almost farm just as much as you would in mid. The only thing harder is the killing. If you have a good support pal with you, she will pull you out of danger. Summary: lane with a support, if someone really needs mid (like Malzahar).
And just a sidenote here: You can also do solo lane - but only do this, if you have to, and no other character in your team is able to do so.
GENERAL STRATEGY IN EARLY GAME
No matter if you're mid or on a side lane, your strategy is the same.
Keep pushing. I don't recommend last hitting, becouse you will not regain enough health if you only last hit minions. Kill them, and make your enemy retreat to the tower.
While under his tower with minions, hit the tower. If he comes in front of the tower, hit him once with an autoattack or an Explosive Shot and retreat a bit. With your range the tower will not hit you.
NOTE: If you fired Explosive Shot on your enemy, the tower will target you, so wait until it expires.
Remember, your goal is to get your enemy to half, or below half health, then lure him out, to deliver your combo.
You'll need all the money you can get, so try killing as much minions as you can. If you see a minion dropping on low health near you enemy, aim for it, so you can damage him (with Explosive Shots passive) and take the money.
Becouse you are pushing, always be aware of the other lanes, and the chat. If you see someone missing, let your enemy push a little and NEVER use your Rocket Jump if you don't need to. As soon as you see someone popping out of the bushes Rocket Jump back, and run for your tower. You'll always need to be on your toes, and be ready for an incoming gank. If you are, they won't get you. Oh, wards also help.
Be also aware of your health. If you're below or on half health, you are in danger. Stay back, and hit minions for health. Do not engage, just be patient, you'll soon find yourself fully restored. Now, you can continue pushing.
You may ask, when should I return home? I say return home, if you think you cannot take your opponent out with your combo yet, and need a little boost (and of course have enough gold for the Berserker's Greaves or the B. F. Sword). Also return home if you're under 1/4 health.
You should always save up mana for at least a Rocket Jump or otherwise you wont be able to escaped if ganked. Saving mana for Buster Shot too improves your chances of escaping a gank so balance between attack and defense wisely.
Finally, let's say you took out your enemy once, with your combo, and you want to do it again, but he is now playing a very carful strategy. In this case, when he comes in range shott everything you got at him. That means autoattack + Explosive Shot + Buster Shot. This should get lots of health off him so you can finish him again with your combo when your Buster Shot cools down. If he still has too much health, just keep repeating.
So your combo for lowering his health is: autoattack + Explosive Shot + Buster Shot
If you done everything successfully you should end up with 1-2 kills and the enemy mid tower down at the end of early game. A good start. If you couldn't get the enemy, don't worry, you'll make up for it in mid game.
Mid game strategy
First, let's clear when mid game starts. For me, mid game starts, when the teamfights start - this means that either your team, or the other team has destroyed 1-2 towers. By this time, you already have The Bloodthirster and depending on your farming and killing, you may already have infinty edge half done. If you got unlucky you might just have The Bloodthirster ready, and nothing else. To put it short, you're either fed, or not. So...
WHAT TO DO WHEN FED
This means, you executed early game well, and halfway done with Infinity Edge. As a quick reminder, when putting Infinity Edge together, try to get B. F. Sword first, Pickaxe second, and leave Cloack of agility last. You need pure damage.
You're dealing damage quite nicely but you can't take out the whole enemy team by yourself (yet), so you'll need a strategy. In teamfights You should alway position yourself behind your team, especially behind you tank. You are squishy, and will be crushed if you go engaging. The best time for you to engage is when the teamfight has already started. DO NOT ENGAGE WHIT Rocket Jump. If you do, you will find yourself dead, within a couple of seconds. Just simply walk in pop your Rapid Fire when you think the enemy team is commited to fight and try to target squshies. You'll notice that your shots burn trough them, leaving nothing but their dead bodies behind.
It may happen that all of the enemy squishies stay behind the enemy team (like you do). In this case, feel no shame in attacking the tank. You'll do good damage to him too, and sometimes your team can take him out before even the fighting starts. If you were to go for the squishies in this situation, you'll have to go beside the tank, and you would be too forward, and the enemy could easily target you out with some quick burst damage (like Annie + Flash). Of course, once the squishies come in to the fight, change your target and take them out with Rapid Fire instantly.
TIP - You are the carry. At mid game you're the one that's making it count. If a middle of a teamfight seems too risky to go into (to get the squishies) just keep hitting the tank. If you go down, you're team will go with you.
TIP2 - Engage in a teamfight with your autoattacks and have Rocket Jump ready. As soon as you see they're focusing you, jump away that instant.
TIP3 - Don't EVER Rocket Jump into a teamfight. You'll end up dead.
I found trough experience, I can be most efficient in teamfights if I target one guy, until he's dead. So if you are not hitting a tank then don't change your focus, taking one of the enemies out quickly means a lot.
If you won a teamfight you may see some escaping enemies. Jump after them quickly with Rocket Jump to take down one of them with 1-2 shots. And what do you know, your Rocket Jump is ready again so hop on to the next enemy. You may sometimes leapfrog on enemies like this, it's quite fun. Jumping on escaping enemies is also a good idea becouse of the Rocket Jumps slow effect - it gives your team a chance to finish the fleeing ones off.
It looks like a teamfight is about to begin. You are either defending one of your towers with you team, or attacking the enemies tower. The enemies tank (and sometimes mages) will come out time to time to see if they can initiate. When this happens, you can land a few shots on them. By the time the teamfights begin the tank may be already at half health, wich is going to make the whoe fighting a lot easier. So try to get your enemies low on healtf BEFORE the teamfight. With your range you can easily do it. Only do this if you feel it's safe to do so (like you're behind minions and your team is around you), and of course, have Rocket Jump ready to jump away.
If you got nothing better to do Rocket Jump into the Wraiths Lair for some extra gold and health (via lifesteal).
You should get Lizard Elder's buff (Red buff) as often as you can. I usually go for it once I have The Bloodthirster becouse that's the point when Tristana becomes deadly. Red Buff is your friend. More attck damage, and slow. It's a dream come true.
As for the Mana golem buff (blue buff), you don't need it. You'll rarely run out of mana, almost never. But to aid your mages or your supports getting it.
If you think it's safe, you might want to try and solo the Drake (or Dragon). You can first do this at level 13 if your The bloodthirter is filled to 1/4. You'll want to hit the drake from the bottom, if your base is at the bottom, so you can Rocket Jump away trough the mountain at the first sign of danger. As for the top, try to pull it out as far as you can. Hitting him with Rapid Fire and Explosive Shot should do him in quickly.
WHAT TO DO WHEN NOT FED
Well, basically the same. But you will have to be extra careful. You don't deal too much damage so you will need to catch up. The best way to do this is keep farming minions. In teamfights you should escape at even the very shadow of danger. You get assists only, and you may not be the most efficient player right now but if you die in teamfights you never will. If you don't die, you'll catch up in late game and will be able to distribute your revenge equally among the enemies.
Late game strategy
By late game you shoud be destroying the other team so they cower in fear at the very sight of you. That is, if you're fed. If you screwed up early game and mid game too for some reason, this is the last chance to catch up and prove yourself that you are a worthy carry. So again, let us discuss what you should do when you're fed and what to do when not.
WHAT TO DO WHEN FED
To be honest if you do the same as in mid game, you'll be perfectly fine. By this time you probably have your Last Whisper and/or [Banshee's Veil]] finished, and halfway trough your Phantom Dancer. Your taking out other carries in miliseconds, tanks in 7-8 shots.
You are probably targeted more, so you have to be extra careful. Always have your Rocket Jump ready either to escape or to hunt down fleeing enemies after a teamfight. If you get hit severly jump away instantly, then get back in to the battle to aid your team.
One thing however differs from mid game. DO NOT LET YOUR AWESOMENESS GET TO YOUR HEAD. You may be dealing horrific damage and taking down everybody but keep this in mind: if you're down the team goes with you. For example: you have a stat of 10/2/3. This means you're fed as hell. But this also means, that you've taken most of the kills from teamfights, so your teammates are not as fed. Now, at late game, you are your teams heart and soul. Kill the heart and the body dies as well. A good team WILL know what you are worth and WILL protect you.
About jungling. Get red as often as possible. Also jump into the wraiths and wolves for some extra money. That's all.
WHAT TO DO WHEN NOT FED
This means that you failed early and mid game, and trying to make up for it. It will be hard.
Try to finish Infinity Edge as soon as possible. Do not get Banshee's Veil or any defensive item before Infinity Edge. If you do, you'll never make any damage. Infinity Edge is your top priority and you number one milestone.
Stay way back in teamfights. AoE skills will kill you otherwise. You don't have enough lifesteal to make up for the damage. Only engage when you are sure it's safe, and be sure to have your Rocket Jump ready.
Use Teleport for farming. Teleport to places where minions are massing up and jungle as often as you can. You'll need every bit of gold you can get.
Last: be brave and patient. You will show them.... you just need a little time.
Tips and Tricks
In this section I will describe certain situations that you are going to get into, and how to survive them, and stay effective. With that said, let us begin.
EXHAUSTED IN A TEAMFIGHT
There are two possible events in this case. You either get focused after Exhaust or you're not. So:
1. If you're not focused: After you get Exhausted all you have to do is Rocket Jump back and then walk right into the teamfight. By the time you get back the Exhaust gets... well exhausted. It might happen that a tank or a tanky DPS is going after you - you might want to Buster Shot him back into the teamfight.
2. Just shoot. Even with Exhaust your still a good asset to your team. Keep aiming for the lowest health.
Quicksilver Sash can also help - you may wanna get one if a team is full of Exhausts.
ENGAGING OTHER DPS 1ON1
With this build, you should be take them out easy. Almost every DPS falls at your feet. Exception being Nasus becouse of his massive attack speed decreasing ability. You may get Exhausted while fighting them. If you see that Rocket Jump back instantly and retreat until it expires. The other DPS will be chasing you. As soon as it expires activate Rapid Fire and Ignite him to prevent him from lifestealing (and some extra damage). He should be laying dead and cursing you in global chat. Eat that Master Yi.
It may also happen that you're forced to engage with not having your full health. You can still win the fight with the right timing. Activate Rapid Fire and just shoot him. If you see your health getting low Buster Shot him. This will give you about 1.2 extra seconds for you to shoot him, wich means you can land 2 extra shots on him for massive damage and some lifesteal. Buster Shot usually leaves them confused if they should attack you again or disengage. If you see them running jump on them with Rocket Jump and finish them off.
AT THE GATES
EXTREMLY RISKY! You're attacking the enemy tower just before the inhibitor. If you can see inside their base via a ward or Clairvoyance. You might want to Rocket Jump inside their wall and take out a squishy (like Karthus) if he's wandering around the wall all alone. If you're done Rocket Jump back quick (don't forget, it reloads on kill or assist).
MAKE THEM PAY
Supposed your team just lost a teamfight and you're escaping as fast as you can. But Master Yi, Caitlyn and Shen are chasing you. Your towers are too far away, you can't make it. Well... you're screwed, you are going to die. The best thing you can do is the following:
Let them chase you for a little while then turn back, activate Rapid Fire and aim for one of them. If the others get near shoot them back with Buster Shot and continue shooting your target. You'll end up dead sooner or later but make them pay for it dearly, and take one of them with you.
YOUR WORST ENEMY: Thornmail
Do not panic! The enemy will get this item, if you have an AD team or they just want to disable you. Mostly only tanks get it but I've seen a whole team getting it just to prevent me to shoot them down instantly. Thankfully, they rarely get it before late-mid game. If someone gets it, try to aim for the others, but if you have to, don't be afraid to land a few shots on him too.
However, there are multiple ways for you to counter Thornmail. You'll always need a Last Whisper or a Sword of the Divine to do so. Now, for the countermeasures:
1. Get a Banshee's Veil as soon as you see the Thornmails appearing on the opponent. Since the Thornmail deals you magic damage, Banhsee's vei will protect you well against it. With your lifesteal from your other items, you'll barely notice it's effect.
2. Get another The Bloodthirster. Only recommended, if you're feeling in control (you might end up even squishier with no Banshee's Veil or Frozen Mallet). With 2 full The Bloodthirsters you're going to have 50% lifesteal. Thornmail only deals 30% damage so you still have 20% lifesteal left.
3. If you do not have money (yet) for the items above just do the following: Shoot the enemy with the Thornmail a few times, when you're health goes down a bit, shoot some minions the regain health via lifesteal. Shoot your enemy again. Slower than usual, but your enemy will die.
4. Avoid shooting enemies with Thornmail. Just shoot the others and leave the bastard for your teammates.
Pros / Cons
This build is for you if:
- You can take care and have the wits to escape
- You like to do tons of damage quick
- You like the fact that at late game the match mainly depends on you
- Don't mind if focused by everyone
- You like easy farming in both early and late game
- Can keep your attention troughout the game for incoming ganks
- Don't mind practicing a lot
- Like playing an extremly cute character
This build is not for you if:
- You do not like being squishy
- Can only focus on one thing
- Want to win the game all by yourself
- Do not like being the center of attention late game
- You're not awesome