Build Guide by
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Runes: I use these runes because I play Tristana specifically for big damage. I find the added crit damage can be helpful to finish off on last hits. Armor penetration plays a big part in this build.
Abilities: Most people say to stay away from rapid fire until late game. I disagree. Rapid fire is Tristana's core ability that sets you apart from regular ranged characters. Stacking Rapid Fire with the effect on Youmuu's Ghostblade offers very quick tower desolation as well as killing enemy heroes. Her Explosive shot is taken and skilled up quickly because she can use it in two ways. First being as a way to kill creeps and pick up bonus gold and secondly because it is a good damage of time to use early game. I only get 1 rank of Rocket jump because I find rocket jump is weak on damage compared to the bonus you get from rapid fire as well as more often puts you in danger if used offensively instead of defensively.
Items: The purpose of this build is survivability for Tristana. She does a lot of damage and lifesteal if required to support her squishiness. In no way can you stand there and fight a melee face to face but from range you can use it to heal her; on creeps as well as enemy heroes. I buy the vampiric sceptre first because it allows me to stay in the lane if playing cautiously for extended periods of time. Allowing to refill health as opposed to recalling after killing an enemy hero. As soon as possible get the Bloodthirster and kill as many creeps as you can until you see it capped. When it is, your damage should be around 200. The avarice blade is nice to hang onto to get the gold necessary for Youmuu's Ghostblade. Once you have a Youmuu's unmanned towers can be destroyed in under 15 seconds. The Last Whisper provides additional armor penetration and increased attack speed. After you have this item enemies really need to watch out, they will lose HP fast. Infinity Edge is a core item that shouldn't take too long to build at this stage in the game. You should be getting kills regularly and splattering creeps all over the place. Finally, I rarely have enough time in the game to get it, but the Black Cleaver allows to penetrate even more armor the late game heroes you are opposing may have accumulated. After 5 hits it takes away 60 armor this will allow you to damage enough tough tanks quickly.
Early: I generally try to play Tristana mid. I try to keep my distance and use her passive range increase to keep myself out of harms way. If someone tries to gank you, rocket jump away and if necessary use ghost to get the hell out of there. Enemies will try to harass you, but patiently shooting creeps will earn you gold and health. Continually widdle away at your enemies when possible. Landing crits on them can put them back in their base quickly giving you the XP advantage. While they are gone attack creeps to refill your health and use rapid fire on the tower to take it down as much as possible. (Later use rapid fire and Youmuu's to destroy towers) Occasionally while widdling away enemy health, if they are getting low, I will rocket jump onto them, DoT them with explosive shot and exhaust them. They will have a hard time fleeing. If there is mana left over use the ult or the rapid fire to finish them off. Remember, with her passive you can reach them from farther with regular attacks than you can with your ult.
Mid game: If I have destroyed their tower and the creeps are pushed back I move to other lanes to gank. Coordinate with your teammates to let them know you are coming so they can use crowd control to help you deal damage to enemy heroes. If you kill an enemy hero in another lane, push that lane and attempt to destroy their tower. Keep an eye on mid to make sure the creep push isn't too close to your tower or you will have to return to defend your lane. Whenever possible, kill the golem for his buff so you can readily spam rapid fire non stop. This will ensure your health stays full and that you can push back very hard. I've often won games just by pushing towers at opportune times. If you are experiencing enemies fleeing from you too quickly, kill the epic lizard for the red buff. Stay with your teammates and don't push far in a lane on your own unless you are completely away of where your opponents are on the map.
Late game: Tristana is squishy, especially late. I used a variety of techniques to ensure I stay alive to do some damage. First of all, by late game Tristana's attack range is longer than anyone. (except a few long range abilities like Ezreal, Nidalee and Ashe) She can deal damage quickly when allied heroes use stuns, slows, roots, etc. If you find you are being targetted there are a few ways to make yourself less hittable. 1.) Keep your allies in front of you and behind you. Don't be alone in the way back but be just a little behind your tanks. Enemies coming from the rear to gank will have no problem stunning you, slowing you, and generally finishing you off before you can do much. 2.) Use rocket jump to keep your range. If Xin Zhao is charging at you and finally makes it to you. Rocket jump and keep shooting him. 3.) When he makes it back to you again. Use your ult to push him away and continue attacking. Most of the time, this will yield dead enemies. If not, hope your lifesteal will keep you up long enough to finish him off. By late game with the armor penetration and crits from the Infinity Edge I have reached hits of over 1200 damage. No one survives that, period. Even before the Black Cleaver you can be hitting for over 800 damage per hit on critical. If you find yourself in a one on one situation, exhausting enemies and using the range seperating abilities will generally win you the fight. Some people are more difficult to kill than others.
Summary: Tristana is a damage dealer that is incredibly squishy. I have played Tristana a majority of the time I have played LoL. She is one of my favorites but she does have some shortcomings. She is not incredibly effective against casters. I have had more trouble with Karthus than anyone basically because of his range and quickness of recast on his primary ability. Vlad can also cause problems because of his life steal abilities and he always turns into a puddle when you are going to put the final hits in to kill him before he makes it back to tower. Kennen can also be a problem because of his speed but his is squishy as well and you need to use that to your advantage. Never be afraid to get in as many hits as you can on an enemy hero. You will be surprised how quickly they will lose health.
I hope you find this guide useful. I would assume people reading this will find it easier to kill Tristana as I am exposing some of her weaknesses, but I thought it was necessary to share because I enjoy how much damage she really does. I know this build is only 2 items different than the games recommended build but I do find they make a big difference in her early and mid game.