Build Guide by
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Please, for the love of Spode, look elsewhere for a beginner's guide. I'm not going to go terribly in-depth with Tristana for this build, and it isn't designed for people who don't know her very well.
The object of this build is massive magic penetration without using AP. So, in reality, it's all about the Bloodrazor and the Explosive Shot. Early game, your MagPen will pay off by farming up more minions than you ever thought you needed, and late game it will allow you to simply obliterate your opponents with the Bloodrazor. (For those wondering, late game post-Razor items will be discussed later). It's a difficult build to play, does absolutely nothing against turrets, but you'll find that it completely decimates enemy champions and any smart*** with Thornmail will sudden find themselves dead and you running away happy. This is run best in big teamfights, since the backup will take pressure off of you so you can do your work. This is by no means a nuke build - it's pretty much the exact opposite. Your score at the end WILL appear like a support score - low/low/high - and it should. Make sure your team knows that, or they will expect DPS Tristana and all will be lost.
Gameplay - Getting Your Bloodrazor
In the early phase, you're running for lifesteal. At this point, you pretty much just need to keep yourself alive, since this build carries like crazy. Tristana is really the best mid this way because she needs to get as many minion last-hits to activate her Explosive Shot as possible. You'll notice that Explosive Shot always does flat magic damage if you read it - this means the only way to wipe minions faster is to penetrate their magic defenses. So I also run for Sorcerer's Shoes as quickly as possible. In addition, I also purchase an Avarice Blade for crits now and sale later (or built possibly into Youmuu's, if you're finishing with crit.chance) and make sure you've finished the Razor and have SorcShoes before you enter ganking phase - and hopefully even your Chalice. Teleport around as needed, and maybe even initiate ganks. You still can't do much damage yet, so pushing and defending is your best bet.
Mid phase is by far your weakest. You'll be a strong pusher and nearly unstoppable in the early phase, and a high-damage support in late phase. But in the mid, you've built very little for actually killing people. Here is where your abilities start coming most in handy. RF should be used mostly for turret kills or jungle minions, RJ is your escape mechanism (with Flash being a last resort), and your ultimate can either be used in ganks/teamfights or as an escape mechanism. You'll see ES becoming less and less useful now, but as you clear out pockets of minions in between fights, you'll feel the magic pen really kick in. You're going to need to rush, doing as much jungling and minion killing as possible to get out Stark's and Madred's and get started on your late game option. Keep yourself out of trouble, and soon enough you'll be ready for the final phase.
Gameplay - Kill Effing Everyone
Towards the end of mid game and as late game begins, you'll start feeling just how much being a focused pusher can get you screwed. Madred's damage alone is nice, but not nearly nice enough. If you've been careful and swift, you won't even be near done with ganking when you choose your final option. This option will be of three items that fill out your item spots and crush your opponents into dust.
1. Balance In the Force - Armor Penetration and Critical Strike Chance
In this option, the philosophy is to completely decimate the enemy no matter what kind of defense they have. Madred's is already a great item to tear the **** out of tanks, and adding ArmorPen/CritStrike will most definitely help with that. My preferred three for this are Phantom Dancer, Black Cleaver, and Youmuu's Ghostblade. This is, also, the fastest option with the combination of Phantom's movement speed and Youmuu's active, and works the best with Stark's lifesteal.
There is also a very good reason I don't use Frozen Mallet here. Tristana is not a tank, so a ton of lifesteal AND health is unnecessary. Plus, she already has a good AoE slow in her RJ.
2. Vanguard - AP and Initiation
You have all of this magicpen, so why not make use of it? Tristana is an honestly good magic nuke, and this option turns Bloodrazor into a hybrid item. In addition, this makes you the best initiator on your team. I start this by selling both Chalice and Avarice to get Archangel's Staff, Lich Bane, and Zhonya's. This option, to me, is generally superior to trying to switch to physical damage in the late game, but it makes you that much more vulnerable to Gallio, Veigar, and the life.
I do not build Rylai's partly for the same reason as Mallet, and partly because it does not seem to affect Madred's.
3. Stay Focused - Attack Speed
The point of the build really is to focus around Madred's, and this is the option that won't drop you into so far of a hole in late game. This is also my most preferred way to play, although your record won't be nearly as pretty as it would be by adding a bunch of lategame kills. I first rush out Sword of the Divine, and then build into Wit's End and Phantom Dancer. Of course, now a magic resist champion (Gallio, really) can basically ignore you, since now the massive bulk of your damage is magical. Your lifesteal becomes more minuscule here, but your DPS is massive.
Have fun, test it out, and always post suggestions for me to try out. I can't say this is the best way to build Tristana (I'm not terribly smart), it most definitely has some bugs, but it offers a way to do battle that is completely different than every other character.