Tristana Build Guide by KaalSchneid

League of Legends Build Guide Author KaalSchneid

Tristana ADC In-Depth Beginner Friendly

KaalSchneid Last updated on January 11, 2017
Like Build on Facebook Tweet This Build Share This Build on Reddit

Team 1

Ability Sequence

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


Natural Talent
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Offense: 18


Defense: 12

Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Utility: 0

Threats to Tristana with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Corki Haven't really seen him played bot, much, and when I do, it doesn't go well for him. His Machine Gun ability shreds armor, and his care package can displace you, his Ult outranges you, and his Q is an AOE... but you can beat him early game and press your advantage really easily. All in him when you hit LVL 4.
Guide Top


So, my first build, to help new players ADC effectively. Follow the steps, and use your head as best as you can. This should keep you alive. Message me or comment anything, I will do my best to respond.

The Best thing about Attack Damage Carry's (ADC): You never really have to change up your first three items. I've always gotten an AD/Crit item / , a Zeal Item, and Berserker's Greaves to start, and always had my best results there.

The thing about Tristana is: Her E is her bread and butter, and to use it best you need to hit the enemy with your E, and pump it up 4 times (each auto attack and ability that hits counts as a pump up). Tristana NEEDS Attack Speed and Attack Damage, it is ESSENTIAL on her to use her Abilities best as an ADC.

Guide Top

Get Tristana Free, with Riot Girl Skin

Tristana is FREE with her Riot Girl Skin if you visit go to Free Riot Girl Tristana, and follow the directions. You don't have to, but it is legit, and all that other wonderful stuff, 100% free, and it's official League of Legends stuff.

Guide Top

Pros / Cons


++ Tristana is a very fun champion to play
++ Can make amazing plays
++ High mobility with W, easily reset
++ Among the best tower destroyers in the game
++ Can take dragons, and turrets quickly
++ Can take Baron with 4 items and a tank
+ Has a mostly consistent build path
+ Can benefit from many items for different usage
+ Tristana is a free champion.
+ Very High Damage Per Second
+ Long Range late game
+ Super Easy to use abilities


-- Difficult to Master
- Amongst the most squishy champions
- Can fall behind early, somewhat easily
- Can ruin teamfights with a misplaced Ultimate
- Always able to be Crowd Controlled
- Short Range early game

Guide Top


Tristana requires runes to effectively pick up the slack in her early game laning.

I take 4 flat Attack Damage marks, 5 flat Attack Speed Marks, and 3 Attack Speed Quintessences for their early game effectiveness and synergy with Tristana's abilities.

For new players, I highly recommend checking out the League of Legends wikia page on Runes Here!

You can only have a certain number of Runes, and you'll want as many tier 3 runes as possible. Save up IP for them until Level 20.

Guide Top


Tristana excels at singling out a single target and bombarding them with long range cannon fire. So, I suggest taking either Warlord's Bloodlust or Fervor of Battle , depending on your own preference. I switch them up from time to time, but I feel best with Fervor for Raising my Attack Damage on attacking champions.

Fury - Because Tristana is an Auto Attacking Champion, Fury is needed.
Fresh Blood - Excellent for occasional poke, can be traded out with Feast .
Vampirism - Tristana benefits more from lifesteal than 10 AD and 15 AP at level 18!
Battle Trance - Fed or famined, more reliable than Bounty Hunter unless you CAN kill each enemy,
and Double Edged Sword makes you even squishier - more for burst-y champions. You deal sustained damage.
Battering Blows - You do Attack Damage, don't be silly.
Fervor of Battle - Raises your AD per Auto Attack on enemy champions. So, each Auto Attack does more damage, your E gains more damage, and your enemies take more damage. WHOO!!!
Warlord's Bloodlust - Increases lifesteal based on your missing health. Increases survivability, and perfectly viable (especially with Runaan's Hurricane), but the benefit comes at low health, which you probably won't survive with for long, anyway.

Savagery - Doesn't make much of a difference, but Wanderer doesn't help farming.
Secret Stash - Biscuits are great, you're never alone for Assassin and you won't be buffed enough to benefit as much from Runic Affinity
Merciless - More damage = more kills = more gold + Mana Refund from...
Dangerous Game - Helps sustain you in teamfights.

Greenfather's Gift ... you are not Rengar. You run away from Rengar. You shouldn't be spending much time in bushes, because that's where Rengar hides. And Bandit only makes sense if you can't get 100 Creep Score (Minion kills) by the THIRTY minute mark. Besides, if you use Dangerous game enough, you'll earn enough gold from stringing together kills and assists to surely make up the difference lost in 1 gold per missed minion.

Guide Top


Alright, kinda very controversial, but extremely important. The ADC is the Attack Damage Carry, and as an Auto Attacking champion, Tristana needs: Attack Speed, Attack Damage, and Critical Hits.

Doran's Blade and Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation. Strong start, but quick fall off around level 5.
Farm up until 1300-2400 gold. (Anymore and you'll probably die. Don't Die.)

B. F. Sword. Farm minions and kill champions effortlessly.
Berserker's Greaves. Get more hits out, and move quicker.
Phantom Dancer. Insane Attack Speed, good Crit, Movement Speed, dueling potential. Now you will actually fully pump your E when you tag your enemy laner, lookout! :D
Infinity Edge. Increase Crit Damage by Astronomical Proportions, + AD. Sweet.
Blade of the Ruined King. %Health Damage, Lifesteal, Attack Speed, and game changing Active!
Last Whisper Unless they have only 1 tank on their team, and that tank is a complete pushover, get a Last Whisper to cut through his armor. If you REALLY don't Think you need it, then feel free to get an Edge of Night for the spell shield and AD.
The Bloodthirster. Even More AD, The Most Lifesteal you can get in one item, Start fights with an overshield!.

More depth:

Tristana needs Attack Speed and Damage, first and Foremost. So, B. F. Sword will help you farm and get ahead. Also, the initial price jump to get B. F. Sword is easiest to achieve first, as long as you're not getting bullied out of lane. SO, say you have a B. F. Sword... pick up some Berserker's Greaves, Build a Zeal item. I always go Phantom Dancer for the dueling potential, but Rapid Firecannon or Runaan's Hurricane are perfectly fine. Finally, finish that Infinity Edge last, prioritizing the Pickaxe if you can afford it.

So, you have 3 items: Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer (or other Zeal Item), Berserker's Greaves.

Now... Chances are, you aren't lifestealing enough, or getting your E to pop 'quite' as often as you want. Enter: Blade of the Ruined King. I suggest getting the Vampiric Scepter first, usually, but you have to use the grey matter between your ears to adapt to the situation.

Now, we're already on our final items. If you need Armor Penetration, you can get Last Whisper (or anything that comes from a Serrated Dirk if you're confident) Just remember you only have one slot left to finish 2 items with. Your Options are Armor Penetration/Lethality Last Whisper into Lord Dominik's Regards or Mortal Reminder, Edge of Night (use at your own risk), or you need more lifesteal: Death's Dance or The Bloodthirster. If enemies are dense with armor and health, Lord Dominik's Regards will help shred them and make them feel squishy. Or if you're up against insane Regen (bunch of Warmog's Armor, or a Dr. Mundo, Garen, and Swain are Carrying your enemy team) Mortal Reminder will help stop part of that regeneration. Or (and this does happen) they don't really have a tank, but a ton of damage. Death's Dance or The Bloodthirster, whether you want the CDR and passive self bleed of or the 5% extra lifesteal on

Remember, I no longer endorse selling Berserker's Greaves at any point, anymore. If you're not doing well with them, you won't do better without them. Nuts, right!?

Guide Top

Unique Skills

PASSIVE - Draw a Bead - All Auto Attacks and Abilities increase range each level. Simple, the more you level up, the more you outrange other's auto's. Take note: Lux, Jihn, Caitlyn, Jinx, Kog Maw, and Twitch are ALWAYS a danger, one way or another!

Q - Rapid Fire - Increase Attack Speed for a while. Simple, bolt action to semi-auto.

W - Rocket Jump, DOES NOT JUMP. Dash with AOE Damage and slowing landing at High Mana cost early on. Resets CoolDown on champion kills & assists, or after detonating E on enemy champion early (if it just times up, no reset.). 70/30 good for getting away from fights, or into them. Beware, you are ALWAYS crowd controllable!

E - Explosive Charge, Tristana's Best friend.
Passive : Deals minor Magic Splash Damage on all kills (Yes, minions, champions, I've gotten a few double kills from the passive being the last hit).
Active : Sticky Grenade! Lots of Attack Damage, Good AD Scale, Each Trist Hit (including Rocket Jump, Buster Shot, and Auto Attacks), gives +30% damage up to 4 times, until detonation. Use on everything and everyone against you, beware excessive mana cost early on, and cooldown.

R - Buster Shot, Push target back, with pain! Decent Damage (+100% Ability Power), but helps runaway with rocket jump, too! Always level up at least once, then decide between it and your Q. Use for escapes or pushing enemies out of fights if your team is LOSING the fight. OR, rocket jump over a close enemy, and R them into your team: USE CAUTION in teamfights!!!

How to use:
Q - After E! There is no harm in it, ever, but early game is hard to benefit from fully.
W - After Q. To jump on a 3 hit E for extra damage, to close distance, make distance, etc.
E - Before all else. Q helps pump up damage, W & R help detonate. Good for farming, too!
R - Variable. Make distance, do some damage, pump up E, Increase distance with W.

To "bug out" W away, and Ult enemy away from you or toward/away from teammates.

Favorite combos.
Tag enemy with E, Pump with Q three times, W on to enemy for the kill, W away to safety.
Tag enemy with E, Pump with Q twice, W on to enemy to close distance, Ult to pop E, W to secure the kill or to safety.
W onto the target, tag target with E in mid air, land, pump with Q until detonation, W to safety or a kill. (Try not to risk getting killed, unless you really think you can double kill.

Tag enemy with E, Pump with Q once, W on to enemy, ULT, auto attack for kill. (RISKY! What happens here is you tag a low health enemy, Use Q to improve your Attack Speed, attack once (1), W onto them (2), Ult them (3), and if your Attack Speed is quick enough, the last Auto Attack should follow them to Detonate E as you Rocket Jump in. Then, you will get the typical reset, and can rocket jump again.)

Tag enemy with E, Pump with Q Three times, W on to enemy1 for kill, Auto Attack enemy2, W over enemy2, Ult enemy2 toward base, auto attack until dead.

Maximum Attack damage and lifesteal. Bunched enemies get E, Q, W, continue W and autoattacking until Pentakill is achieved.

Guide Top

Skill Sequence

Tristana's Skill Sequence is a little strange my way, but I'll explain why.

Level 1, E Explosive Charge for trading with enemies, a lane pushing passive, it's really nice, and should be taken first every time.

Level 2, W Rocket Jump will allow you to escape most bad trades, can be used offensively, is an awesome positioning tool, and this one point is pretty essential.

Level 3, Q Rapid Fire allows you to pump up your E, increases attack speed for no cost, and with most champions, you usually want one point in each of your 3 basic skills by level 3.

Level 4 & 5 E Explosive Charge to increase the damage, increase the AD Scaling (110% AD at Skill Level 5), and decrease the Cool Down.

Level 6 R Buster Shot for a 300 Magic Damage (LVL 1!!!) Knock-back Cannonball. Again, most champs you want to upgrade your Ult once ASAP.

Level 7 & 9 E Explosive Charge to finish it, get the most bang for your buck, etc.

Level 8, 10, 11, 12 Q Rapid Fire to finish it for 110% Attack Speed. Ordinarily, at Level 11 you would take your Ultimate again, however, I get my own best results by maxing Q first, to benefit from it fully. One point in Buster Shot is almost always enough to make it to Level 13.

13+ R whenever possible and W. Most times, the cooldown reduction from leveling up Buster Shot is negligible, but the damage is not, nor is the increased knockback. W can be reset very often without being leveled up, so upgrading W is redundant for Cooldowns and cost (cost increases as it's leveled up), and the buffs gotten from leveling it up are purely offensive, when it should be used mostly as defensively after laning phase ends.

Getting right down to it, your W is a life saver. If you take E for Level 1 to trade and Creep Score, (as you should) take W second. You can avoid a lot of bad situations, reposition however you want, you can attack with it, it's a real game changer in and of itself, with just one point.

Tristana's E Explosive Charge is her bread and butter. Her Best Friend, Second only to Teemo and Wriggle. Now, her W, rocket jump is her second best disengage. You slowly dash away (you are totally CC-able at all times!) If you really need to disengage yourself, or the enemy, use your R - Buster Shot, it moves them a set distance away, the closer you are to them, the further they go. Q is cooldown only, and can more than double her Attack Speed. Keyword: can (cap at 2.5 AA's per second.)

So, When starting off: upgrade R whenever possible, Take E first for it's passive pushing power, then W to run from early trouble, then Q... Max E first, Max Q whenever you can not Max E or R, and only upgrade Rocket Jump last.

Guide Top

About Me

Okay, take a look at my Profile on the NA Server (Summoner name KaalSchneid), I have over 160,000 points in Tristana, as of 2017. Tristana is my Main Champion, I am unranked, I play League of Legends almost every day, I've carried games as her, etc.

I've tried Essence Reaver (plausible for new players.)
I've tried Runaan's Hurricane/Phantom Dancer/Rapid Firecannon (each plausible).
I've tried 100% critical strike chance builds (plausible).
I've learned a very important thing: if you know HOW to benefit from the build and HOW to play the Champion, and HOW to play against each of the +250 other champions in the game: you can make a difference.
I'm not a God, I have bad games, I get outplayed, I miss minions, but I also do have perfect games here and there, I snowball appropriately whenever I get the opportunity, and I know my champion. I know what to expect from what I do, I know how to take advantage of enemy mistakes, and I play with random players all the time and make it work.

Guide Top

Items in Depth

I have a build up above (Step By Step) On EXACTLY what to buy with Tristana's gold, up to your last item. But, let me explain these items in detail. The B. F. Sword is great for farming, and gives your Auto Attacks and your E an epic boost early game. It is essential you learn to get a B. F. Sword by last hitting minions, using your passive on your E, etc. When I don't have to worry, I kill caster minions with 4 auto's early game, and by then the melee minions are low enough to last hit, usually.

Next, Berserker Greaves. If you want to win, you need winner's shoes. Berserker Greaves early in the game lets you minion hit even easier, and will give you attack speed over any opponent who takes anything else. Attack speed synergizes with your Q, which helps your E, and all good things from there.

Thirdly, a Zeal item. Honestly, the only item I'd recommend against building out of a Zeal would be Stattik Shiv. You can try everything out, I've had good results from everything, really. They all give Attack Speed of similar percentage, the same critical strike chance, and a movement speed buff of 5-7%. If you took Warlord's Bloodlust, it's usually best to go Runaan's Hurricane, and nobody can argue against that combination, as each Runaan's hit will give you lifesteal based on your current health! If you took Fervor, Rapid Firecannon or Phantom Dancer will synergize perfectly. Keep that in mind.

Those 3 Items should probably never change, until they (or Tristana) are changed.

Next, a vampiric scepter is your friend, because even with Warlord's Bloodlust, more Lifesteal is good. If you want to go Bloodthirster, you can (although, the cost gap is pretty big, even at this stage of the game, sometimes). I prefer Blade of the Ruined King (BotRK) for the Attack Speed and "Percent Maximum Health Physical Damage." Yes, that damage will be impeded by armor, it's not true damage (that's why Vayne is a nightmare...). The gaps to get Blade of the Ruined King never exceed 600 Gold at any point, and you can change your mind at will, but the Vampiric Scepter stays.

Honestly, whatever you didn't take as the Fourth item, it's wise to make up with the Fifth. If you took AD, go Attack Speed. If you got Attack Speed, go Attack Damage. Either way is fine. If you want to take a freaking Trinity Force here, that's okay, as long as you got a Bloodthirster before hand.

Sixth Item, it's entirely up to you, you have to learn what you need against your biggest threats. I'll admit, a lot of the time, that will be CC, and your answer should be an Edge of Night or Mercurial Scimitar. Learn your needs, and the needs of your team.

Guide Top


Caster minions take 4 hits, with these runes, masteries, and a Doran's blade at level 1. If you get 3 hits on each, on the first wave, last hitting the center minion will score 3 CS (Creep Score). You have to learn how much Tristana's E's passive is going to hurt surrounding minions and enemies to make full use of it. You will push lane pretty hard by last hitting, but you CAN freeze lane if you're skillful, and you can push to their turret by auto attacking minions before last hits, but always remember "get minion gold, get CS experience, get ahead of your enemy before they realize, and know how and when to press your advantages."

If you go ward river and 3 enemy minions die, and your enemy laner gets the next level first... that can make your laning phase harder in just a few seconds. Keep everything in mind, know when the enemy jungler is ganking another lane so you you know "I can ward now, safely, after this minion wave." I've had my support out level me to level 6, because I had to back from getting poked, while my support leeched minion experience. Your support should be there to keep you alive or get you kills, remember their strengths and weaknesses.

Guide Top

Team Work

Tristana is actually pretty cool because of 2 abilities that can make her a ganking monster... her W and her R. If mid lane is pushed back, and you're pushed way up, you can walk to midlane, W into position behind the enemy, Ult them into your tower, and duel them while they deal with their new awful positioning. Just beware counter ganks, and your dueling potential. If you get bursted down too quickly, nothing can save you.

In team fights, you are the "Back Line." Notice the Quotes. You are actually pretty valuable, as a high damage dealer, BUT... you're not so valuable if you're not doing damage. Tristana skirts the outside of a fight, staying away from crowd control, and outranging other ADC's and (ideally) melting squishy casters from relative safety with her passive range. Unless you can hurt the enemy front line, don't use abilities on them. Unless you can get out safely, don't go charging in (against Tristana herself's preference). If your front line is dead, escape by any means necessary. You are the AD damage dealer, though, don't make them fight without you.