Tristana Build Guide by NikFreaX

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author NikFreaX

Tristana - The Underplayed Carry

NikFreaX Last updated on November 6, 2011
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Ability Sequence

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

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Welcome to my first guide on Mobafire! In this guide, I will try my best to give you a good insight on Tristana. All the feedback is welcomed and will be appreciated (as long as you're not a douche about it)!

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Skill Sequence

First off, let's talk about the Skills for Tristana.

Passive - Draw a Bead: Draw a Bead increases your range per level. With this, you have the longest natural range in the game, which is 712. This allows you to stay in the back at team fights, but still lets you do as much damage as you can.

Q - Quick Draw: In a nutshell, this increases you're attack speed depending on its rank. Because of this ability, you don't really need to spend you're gold on something like a Phantom Dancer. If its like a Wit's End, that would be a fine item, but this should be you're main source of attack speed. I max this out first because it allows me to take out turret faster and to become a big factor in team fights.

W - Rocket Jump: Rocket Jump allows you to jump to a certain location on the map and deals damage to anyone who is in the range of it. This works well if you need to escape or take out someone like Akali who used her W in the middle of a fight with 50 or so HP. The really good thing about this is that it refreshes on a kill/assist. This gives you a good opportunity to tower dive someone with your ult, which I will talk about later on.

E - Explosive Shot: One of my favorite early game harass tactics. Explosive Shot allows you to do damage over time on the target of you're choice and to reduce their healing by 50% for the 5 seconds. If combined with an auto attack when you use it, you can be a real piss off in your lane. The passive is really good as well, which makes the unit explode when you kill it and deals damage to any enemy unit around it. This helps out Tristana's farm so much early, its crazy.

R - Buster Shot: Oh Buster Shot, the amount of "HOW THE HELL?"'s you've gave me in games. Buster shot deals damage to a target and knocks them back. This, combined with your W, is very deadly early. There's not too much to say about this ability. Its very good to kill with early and nice to get people to back off of your teammates late.

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Summoner Spells

Exhaust - I take an Exhaust to shut down other carries and to help get a kill early. Its also good if you're being chased and you know you can get away without dying. For example, its not a good idea to use Exhaust on a 1400 HP Nocturne when you have 300 HP if his ult is up and you're at your tower. He'll end up killing you most likely and he'll barely live.

Flash - Flash is nice to escape from ganks with as well as getting kills early. This should be used if you're low on Mana or Rocket Jump is on CD. Its kind of like Ezreal having a double flash with his E. I don't ever Flash in to start a fight. That's why your W is there.

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The runes for Tristana are pretty straight forward. Armor Pents are good to have early so you can do a little more damage in your lane. Getting the Armor Yellows and Magic Resist Blues help you out early since you're very squishy early. I also get the Flat AD quints because its nice to hit a little harder early game.

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I've tested MULTIPLE item builds for Trist, and I believe that this one is the best for her. I'll talk about why these are so helpful for her.

Doran's Blade - The extra damage and HP is nice to have early. I used to go Boots + 3HP pots,
but I would die pretty quick. You only want to get one though, since none of Tristana's abilities run off of AD and it will interfere with your build. If it was someone like Ashe whose W runs off of AD, I would stack them 3 times, but you want to avoid that with Trist.

Berserker's Greaves - This gives you a little speed boost and helps your Q out. I tried to put on Boots of Swiftness before, but I didn't find it as useful and Berserker's. This is your only item other than the Black Cleaver that gives you Attack Speed.

The Black Cleaver - One of my favorite items to get on Tristana. The Black Cleaver gives you AD, AS, and reduces armor by 45 if you hit your target three times. The attack speed you get on it is pretty nice and also helps out your Q. With your Q active and you having Berserker's and the Black Cleaver, you should be hitting about 1.6-1.8 hits per second.

Wriggle's Lantern - Wriggle's is nice to help out Tristana's farming game, as well as being a good helper for Dragon/Baron. Also, if you're at top lane and there is going to be a fight at mid soon, you can use this with your Q to get a red buff and then go mid. A ward comes with it, which is really helpful and saves you the gold so you don't have to buy a ward.

Hexdrinker - Some people have mixed thoughts about this item, but I like it a lot. It gives a small AD boost with some MR and it will give you a shield if you're hit with something like Lux's ult, because we all know Lux can't get kills with that. Its a nice item to get and I really wouldn't substitute it with anything else.

Guardian's Angel - A nice item that gives you Armor, Magic Resistance, and brings you back to life when you die. I always feel as if I am focused late game, so this item can help me out in a team fight if that end up happening. Its always nice to have three people pop their ults on you and they can't get the kill!

Infinity Edge - A lot of people will argue with me that this item should be like a "early get" for Tristana. I find this to be a sweetener for your build. Usually, I don't get this early and I can end matches pre-thirty minutes. Its a very nice item and you can get it early if you wish, but I really wouldn't.

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Normal Play

So, how would this build fare in Normal Play?

Honestly, unless my teammates are pants-on-head ******ed, you'll be getting kills like crazy. What I've noticed in Normal's is that people, unless they're a tank or a jungler, they like to focus on damage mainly, while forgetting to build some form of defense. This build just messes up those kind of players and it will make it hard for you to die, unless you're caught by yourself, which would be very funny.

In Normals, you can go mid or go with another damage dealer in a lane and do just fine during the match. Though, it depends who you are going to be facing against at mid. If its someone like LeBlanc, I say, "AWW HELL NAW" and leave. Though, if its Teemo, then I go 4/0 11 minutes in.

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Ranked Play

So, how does this build work in Ranked?

In Ranked, you want to make sure you're with a support like Sona, Alistar, Blitzcrank, Janna, etc. They'll help you farm and get kills, unless they're new to the champ or don't know where the left click is. Just remember not to be too cocky, try to harass when possible, and don't push out too far if they have a jungler. While you do have those escape tactics, you don't want to waste them and then be somewhat handicapped if the jungle does decide to come at you again.

You have a nice late game presence and you should be a big threat in team fights.

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Farming is HUGE

on Tristana. She can do it so easily it isn't even funny. Her E passive helps out so much and gives you that extra push while laning. Hell, you're even given a Wriggle's Lantern to help you out. There should no excuse about you getting <150 creeps at the end of the match.

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A helpful Tip

W+R+W - What do these crazy letters mean Nik?! Well, W stands for your Rocket Jump and R stands for your Buster Shot. This combo can be used effectively if timed correctly. Here's a scenario: Let's say you and your laning partner pushed the lane opponents to their turret. Look! That Teemo has 125 HP left! Buster Shot does 300 Magic Damage! What you'll do is you'll Rocket Jump right at Teemo's location, use your R immediately, then Rocket Jump out, since you'll get the kill and Rocket Jump refreshes on a kill/assist! If I ever record a clip of myself doing this, I'll put it in this section to show it off.

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Pros / Cons

+Longest range in the game.
+Nice harass early.
+Very good damage early to late.
+Kickass Farming Game.
+Can escape very well if caught in a wrong spot.
+Nice amount of defense.

-Not a good amount of HP.
-Can be shut down easily if not careful.

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All in all, Tristana is a great AD carry to play if done correctly. She can farm like a boss, do a great amount of damage, and can be hard to kill late game. She's underplayed, so if any of you newcomers want to get Tristana from the Facebook promo, go ahead and do so, but take a look at this guide before you do, so I don't have to hunt you down...

Thanks for taking the time to read this guide! Again, any feedback is appreciated (as long as you're nice or going to give constructive criticism) and I hope to see more of you Tristana players in the future!