Tristana Build Guide by Vapora Dark

League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark

Vapora's Guide To Tristana

Vapora Dark Last updated on November 20, 2016
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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

Vapora Dark
Hey guys, my name is Vapora Dark. In season 5 I was Master tier on 2 seperate accounts and right now I'm high Diamond on multiple accounts. And when my exams are over I'm sure I'll get Master back pretty quick. :^) Most people know me as a huge Talon fanatic, but I've been an ADC main since the end of season 4. And Tristana is currently my favourite ADC.

Anyone that's read my Talon guide(s) will know that I don't cut corners when it comes to writing a guide. I will go very in-depth into gameplay and teaching you exactly what you need to do, so that this guide is the only resource you will ever need to go to to learn about Tristana.

There's a saying, in regards to ADC. It's something like "once you learn to play one ADC, you can play them all". It's not too far off from the truth. Almost all marksmen share the same basic mechanics, with the exception of Kalista and new Graves. And thus, this will be my most in-depth guide yet, as rather than just teaching you Tristana, I'll be teaching you an entire role.

I hope you enjoy reading the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, and most importantly, that you take everything you can from it! And if you do enjoy it, upvotes are very much appreciated!

Follow me on Twitter @VaporaDark if you wanna hear from me outside of the guide, I recently started using it and would like people to actually see the things I may choose to Tweet. :)

If you like Tristana and would enjoy talking about her, come participate in /r/TristanaMains on Reddit!

And if you ever want to see how I personally play Tristana, feel free to follow me on Twitch. I'm more than happy to play Tristana and other ADC's upon request, but as most of my current viewers only want to see Talon, that's what I have to play. If you want to see Tristana, please follow and let me know in the chat if you catch me streaming!

I don't have any montages but if you want to be wooed by my Tristana plays here's a few clips.

Now coaching!

If you're struggling to improve then for £10 (Paypal only) I can do a VOD review of one of your games.

I'm a multi-season Master tier player specialising in ADC and mid lane. If you're interested, PM me here on MOBAFire, on Reddit, or on Twitter to start setting it up.

The focus of the coaching is to show you what kind of mistakes you make without realizing on a game-by-game basis, and to teach you the fundamentals necessary to spot your own mistakes and improve on them yourself. If you feel like you're doing everything you can in your games but still can't seem to consistently win and climb, like every game is a coinflip as to whether you win or lose regardless of how you perform, then that's where I come in and show you what you're doing wrong, or what you should be doing but aren't, as someone that's been playing for 5 years and can stroll through Bronze-Diamond Elo blindfolded with both hands tied behind my back while playing first-time ADC Karma.

With that being said, onto the guide. :)

Tristana has been a strong champion for months now, and right now I think she's one of the strongest ADC's both in competitive play and solo Q. Her weakness is her weak early-game where she can get bullied and set behind when matched against stronger early-game champions such as Lucian and Miss Fortune, who right now have received a few nerfs that have made them a little less common.

Tristana's mid-game is very strong and her late-game is definitely among the strongest of any AD carry. Rapid Fire can give her extremely high DPS for a limited duration, she gets a lot of burst with Explosive Charge and Buster Shot, and she's an extremely safe champion with her extremely high range ( Draw a Bead will give her the highest permanent attack range in the game) and resettable, long distance dash, Rocket Jump.

I think these factors more than make up for her early-game weakness, which is in itself not too weak. She has some good matchups, especially at level 6 which is a huge power spike for her while not always such a big power spike for other ADC's.

And above all, the biggest reason to play Tristana is she's so damn fun. Getting resets on her W is such a fun mechanic to have on an ADC, and since her preseason changes that make it reset on her E that's only become more fun to play around. Whether she's average or strong, suited to the meta or not, she'll always be one of my favourite ADC's to play just because of her playstyle.

AD marks give the strongest relevant stats for your role. These will help you last-hit better, allow you to deal more damage in trades through auto-attacks and Explosive Charge, and increase your DPS.
You take armor because it's the most stat-efficient rune you can take through seals. Flat HP seals also give good stats nowadays, but armor is just straight up a better stat to take on bot lane. Both aim to make you tankier but armor is better for that when you're laning against an ADC.
You take magic resist here because again it's the most stat-efficient rune to take, although here you have room for a little variation, given that the enemy bottom lane's main damage threat is 90% of the time physical. On caster ADC's, it's common to take 5 magic resist glyphs and 4 mana regen glyphs. On more auto-attack oriented ADC's it's common to run 4 or 5 attack speed glyphs and fill the rest of the slots with magic resist. I personally like to run the 5 attack speed glyphs page most of the time on Tristana, but I keep a full magic resist glyph page in reserve in case I'm having to lane against a high magic damage support such as Annie, Brand or Sona.
The standard AD carry page consists of 3 attack speed quints. AD quints sound better in theory, just like AD marks are better than attack speed marks, but attack speed quints are just really stat efficient. Think that 9 AS marks give 15% AS and 9 AD marks give 8.55 AD, and 3 AS quints also give 15% attack speed, but 3 AD quints only give 6.75 AD, nearly 2 AD less than the marks do. AD marks are stat efficient, AD quints not so much. They're not inefficient, hence, why they're good on a lot of other champions, but on champions like AD carries, who use attack speed so well, it's just more worthwhile to run AS quints as they're more stat efficient than the alternative.

Prior to patch 6.1, 18 points in Cunning was the strongest mastery path for almost every champion in the game, purely for Thunderlord's Decree and Precision . In patch 6.1, Precision has been nerfed for AD champions, and Fervor of Battle over in the Ferocity tree received a substantial buff, making it once again strong on auto-attack based champions such as AD carries. Not all AD carries mind you; Corki still wants Cunning for the hybrid pen, given that a lot of his damage is magic damage, and Miss Fortune still wants it to abuse Thunderlord's Decree on Make it Rain. But aside from these few odd exceptions, most ADC's currently want to take Fervor of Battle , which means investing 18 points into Ferocity.

Ferocity Tree

Fury vs Sorcery : Pretty easy decision, Sorcery is only good on caster type champions, but even caster ADC's take Fury because of the scaling all ADC's have with attack speed. 4% is almost a whole quintessence in a tier 1 mastery.

Feast vs Double Edged Sword : Again, super easy choice. There are situations where Double Edged Sword really screws you over because you take more damage than you deal (such as when being focused by 2 people), so it can actually negatively influence you in fights, and pretty often in fact. Feast is a stronger version of last season's Feast, and also looks the part in-game, restoring a noticeable bit of HP on one minion for every minion wave. In lane it's super strong and you won't win against someone taking Feast if you're not also running it.

Vampirism vs Natural Talent : These might seem more up for debate, but for me the choice for ADC's has always been clear. Natural Talent is a mastery that requires you to level up to make the most use of it, while Vampirism almost doubles your level 1 lifesteal. It's an almost-invisible benefit, but it's subtly a huge boost to your laning phase. You won't notice it but it's likely to restore about ~100 HP before your first back. Meanwhile the guy that starts with Natural Talent gets almost no stats at all. You'll do more damage, mainly out of laning phase, with Natural Talent , but the boost to your laning phase that you'll get with Vampirism isn't one you want to pass on.

Bounty Hunter vs Oppressor : Paired with certain supports (such as Leona) you could make a case for Oppressor being strong enough early-game that it's worth more than Bounty Hunter in the long run, but generally, enemies don't spend so long CC'd that the damage is noticeable enough to warrant taking it over Bounty Hunter .

Battering Blows vs Piercing Thoughts : Most of your damage output is physical so you get more out of armor penetration.

Fervor of Battle vs Warlord's Bloodlust vs Deathfire Touch : Deathfire Touch is awful on Tristana as her spells aren't spammable at all, so she gets very little out of it. Fervor of Battle and Warlord's Bloodlust are both masteries that start off weak but scale better than Thunderlord's Decree . Warlord's Bloodlust is a little more defensively oriented as you want it to sustain yourself in team-fights while Fervor of Battle gives you a huge DPS increase, which in my opinion is better, and as it also makes your laning phase a little better as opposed to Warlord's Bloodlust which doesn't kick in until later, I recommend Fervor of Battle 100% of the time.

Cunning Tree

Savagery vs Wanderer : Savagery helps you out-push your lane opponent and makes last-hitting easier. And Wanderer , well, it doesn't really do much. As an ADC you're not one to run around the map making plays, most of the time you'd only want movement speed while in combat, so this mastery isn't really much use for you. It's really a more support-oriented mastery.

Secret Stash vs Runic Affinity vs Assassin : You're in a 2v2 lane and will rarely 1v1 enemies so that quickly rules out Assassin as an option. Runic Affinity won't do much for you as you don't spend much time actually holding buffs most games. Secret Stash is underrated by many, but it gives you 35 extra HP per Health Potion, which is over +20% effectiveness per pot. It can be the difference between winning or losing a lane, and again, much like with Feast, you're setting yourself at a clear disadvantage in lane if you choose not to run it.

Merciless vs Meditation : As Tristana you don't really need mana regen, Tristana's a more auto-attack oriented ADC rather than a caster type, and even then Merciless does enough damage that even mages and caster ADC's want to take it over Meditation .

Dangerous Game vs Bandit : Again there's no real competition here, Bandit is a support mastery, 3 gold when you auto-attack an enemy every 5 seconds isn't much, and that's the most the mastery will do for you. Dangerous Game on the other hand is pretty strong, it will often save your life by either restoring your HP to survive with a sliver of health, or giving you free sustain during a team-fight to help you survive, or giving you enough mana to escape/kill more enemies with your spells.

Flash and Heal has been the standard ADC summoner spell combination since possibly mid-season 3. In fact, Flash has been the standard summoner spell to take on almost every single champion since forever. It's always been indisputably the best summoner spell in the game, so there's nothing you can replace it with, especially on a champion like Tristana.

Heal on the other hand, replaced Barrier when it got buffed in season 3 to give movement speed on the cast, which is the reason it's been standard over Barrier ever since, despite being affected by Ignite's Grievous Wounds. Aside from the small movement speed boost, which can be used both offensively and defensively, another reason why it's stronger than Barrier is it affects an ally, which is perfect for bot lane where you're laning with a support.

The reason you want a defensive summoner on ADC is that you have a lot of DPS, so the longer you can survive, the more damage you'll put out, usually out-damaging what you'd get from Ignite. And if it can go as far as to save your life, then that's even better, as ADC's are very important to have alive for both providing DPS and taking down towers, especially in Tristana's case given her tower shredding capabilities with Explosive Charge.

Ability Description
Draw a Bead The range of Tristana's basic attacks, Explosive Charge and Buster Shot is increased by 0 - 119 (based on level) for a total of 550 - 669 (based on level) range.

My thoughts, tips and tricks

This passive is possibly my favourite passive in the entire game. It's been nerfed since I first started playing Tristana in season 2, but it still gives you a huge amount of range, and the only champions that out-range you at level 18 are Kog'Maw with Bio-Arcane Barrage activated, Jinx with rank 4 or 5 Switcheroo! and Twitch with Spray and Pray activated. These spells only grant temporary range buffs (or in Jinx's case, she'll only have that range some of the time at least), so Tristana is the highest permanent range champion in the game once Draw a Bead takes her above 650 range at level 16, at which point she begins to out-range Caitlyn.

Ability Description
Rapid Fire Tristana gains 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110% bonus attack speed for 5 seconds.

My thoughts, tips and tricks

With this spell activated, Tristana is one of the highest DPS champions in the game. Unfortunately the down-time on it is very high (11 seconds at max rank), so you need to make sure to make the most of it while it's activated. The most obvious way to do this would be to use it right after Explosive Charge to help you try and get as many stacks as possible onto your target. You don't want to waste it if you're in a position where it's not safe for you to auto-attack much.

Ability Description
Rocket Jump Tristana dashes to the target location, dealing 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+ 50% AP) magic damage to all nearby enemies on impact and briefly slowing them by 60% for 1 / 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 seconds.

Whenever Tristana takes down an enemy champion or detonates Explosive Charge at maximum stacks on an enemy champion, Rocket Jump's cooldown is reset.

My thoughts, tips and tricks

Along with Draw a Bead, this is the main defining spell that separates Tristana from all the other ADC's, both pre- and post-rework. Tristana is all about being that high range ADC that dashes all over the place getting resets.

Rocket Jump is a little different from most other dashes in the sense that it's got a little bit of a cast animation before she dashes, but while the actual dash can be interrupted, the cast animation can't be. So for example, if you get knocked up during the brief cast animation, you'll be briefly knocked up but then your cast finishes, and your jump cancels out the knockup. Whereas if you finish your cast animation, then jump, then get knocked up while in the air, the knockup will cancel your jump and you'll stay in place.

This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It's a good thing in the sense that certain kinds of CC, such as Pulverize, can be held until you want to use Rocket Jump and then used to cancel it. But on the other hand, the cast time can be abused to block or cancel other kinds of CC. For example, when a Rocket Grab comes towards you, you can press W, then the cast animation will begin, you'll get grabbed and begin to get pulled, but then the pull will be suddenly cancelled and you begin your Rocket Jump from the spot you cast it.

But while this makes Tristana a very good pick against Blitzcrank, it isn't quite as effective against Nautilus's Dredge Line. Although you might think the same situation as with Rocket Grab should apply, Dredge Line is actually a little different, which affects Rocket Jump in a big way. Rocket Grab interrupts (but doesn't cancel) your cast animation by pulling you towards Blitzcrank, but the pull itself is then interrupted by your actual jump. But Dredge Line isn't just a pull; it pulls you towards him and him towards you, and then it does a mini knock up; this mini knockup would occur at some point during your actual jump, rather than your cast animation, and therefore the chain of events that would transpire would be something like this: Nautilus casts Dredge Line, you begin your cast animation, he hits you and pulls you towards him, you cancel the pull with Rocket Jump, he cancels Rocket Jump with his mini knockup (and therefore cancelling your pull cancel). End result: you get hit and pulled in by his Dredge Line and your Rocket Jump gets put on cooldown, completely wasted.

That's one really specific, and very annoying interaction with Rocket Jump which I figured I'd inform you of before you found out yourself the hard way. Most other spells of that kind you can get away with cancelling the CC by letting it hit you during your cast animation. For example, you may not be able to block Dredge Line but you can certainly block Depth Charge. Any other knockup or displacement spell, you can block it with your cast animation, but it'll cancel your jump if it hits you during the actual jump. With proper timing you can cancel most of those spells, and it's not hard at all to get the hang of it.

Something to note is that you can cast spells and auto-attack during Rocket Jump. This means that you can Rocket Jump towards an enemy, and mid-air cast Q and E to hit them with Explosive Charge while you're still in the air, and landing on them with Rocket Jump will immediately give one Explosive Charge stack. This is important to know if you intend to aggressively Rocket Jump forwards to 1v1 an enemy, or even to kill them in a 2v2 if you're in a situation where you can afford to jump into melee range (not usually recommended).

Ability Description
Explosive Charge PASSIVE: Enemies explode when slain by Tristana's basic attacks, dealing 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+ 25% AP) magic damage to all nearby enemies.

ACTIVE: Tristana places an Explosive Charge on the target enemy or enemy turret. After 4 seconds the charge explodes, dealing 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 (+ 50 / 65 / 80 / 95 / 110% bonus AD) (+ 50% AP) physical damage to nearby enemies. The explosion radius is doubled when used on a turret.

Tristana's basic attacks and abilities against the target increase Explosive Charge's damage by 30%, stacking up to 4 times for a maximum 120% increase, upon which the charge also detonates instantly.

My thoughts, tips and tricks

This is Tristana's main trading spell in lane, which you'll be maxing first. It scales above-averagely with levels at max stacks, and has a huge AD ratio at level 9. As a result it deals huge burst, especially if you explode it with Buster Shot or a critical hit. With a few items, you can burst down any squishy carry if you can hit them with full stacks.

Unfortunately it scales really badly on low stacks, which is mostly what you'll be doing in lane. The cast time and time it takes you to stack it is what makes Tristana's laning phase so weak in comparison to quicker-trading champions such as Lucian and Miss Fortune. However, she's pretty decent in full-blown all-ins, as you'll easily get max stacks if you're not forced to switch targets, and the burst, especially combined with Buster Shot, means it's really risky to start a fight on a full HP Tristana post-6.

Its other use, besides damage on champions, is damage on towers. It makes Tristana the best tower killing ADC in the game besides Jinx, who's a riskier, less mobile alternative.

Ability Description
Buster Shot Tristana fires a massive cannonball at the target enemy, dealing them 300 / 400 / 500 (+ 100% AP) magic damage and knocking back the target and all enemies around them by 600 / 800 / 1000 units.

My thoughts, tips and tricks

A very useful ultimate with many uses. The basic ways to use it are either for burst, or using the knockback as self-peel. More offensively you could use it to shoot an enemy closer to your team or away from where they're trying to run.

A neat trick you can do is to abuse your range advantage with it. For example, if you're 1v1'ing the enemy ADC, someone like Vayne for example, who can have over 100 range less than you, you can cast Explosive Charge before she's in range of you, auto-attack, then Buster Shot her backwards so if she wants to continue fighting you, she's going to have to run back towards you where you'll get another free auto-attack on her before she gets into your range. If she chooses to run you still have Rocket Jump up and plenty of time to stack up your Explosive Charge, which will either kill her or give you a Rocket Jump reset to finish her off with.

Doran's Blade + Health Potion: Doran's Blade may give less AD than Long Sword, but the HP makes you tankier and more able to survive all-ins, which is invaluable. Going Long Sword + 3 Health Potions would overall give you more sustain, but if you get all-in'd and either die or get zoned away from the minion wave then it's not worth it. It's also a more gold-efficient start as Doran's Blade is a super cost-effective item and you'll be spending 50 gold on pots rather than 150 gold.

As a high AD scaling champion, your options for your first item are between Infinity Edge and Essence Reaver. Seeing as Tristana doesn't actually gain much DPS through CDR, you'll want to aim for the more auto-attack oriented item Infinity Edge. However, when you have a B. F. Sword and a Pickaxe, upgrading them to Infinity Edge won't grant you any more AD, it'll just give you the passive, which isn't very cost efficient on its own. When you have B. F. Sword and Pickaxe, it's better to then buy Zeal, then on your next back buy Infinity Edge if you can afford it, Rapid Firecannon if you can't afford IE, or Cloak of Agility if you can't afford that. After you've completed IE you'll want to upgrade your Zeal into Rapid Firecannon, currently the strongest of all the Zeal upgrades on auto-attack based ADC's because of how much damage the increased range will help you do, and how good it is for sieging.

Next you'll want a lifesteal item: Your options are between The Bloodthirster and Mercurial Scimitar. You'll want to build Mercurial Scimitar, usually starting with Quicksilver Sash, when there's CC you're being targeted with in teamfights that is very disruptive or lethal to you, such as Wither, Glacial Prison or Summon: Tibbers. In season 5 you would go Quicksilver Sash then either Last Whisper or The Bloodthirster rather than ugprading to Mercurial Scimitar right away, but as this season Last Whisper isn't as strong an item, and Mercurial Scimitar both gives lifesteal and has just as much AD as The Bloodthirster, if you want the Quicksilver Sash active it's optimal to just upgrade it into Mercurial Scimitar right away.

After you've built either The Bloodthirster or Mercurial Scimitar (which should usually be Mercurial Scimitar, you should proceed to build whichever one of the two you didn't build first, unless you need Last Whisper.

You can build Last Whisper at any point after Infinity Edge and Rapid Firecannon if the enemy team's building a lot of armor. It's best not to directly upgrade it into either of the upgrades until you've completed the rest of your build though.

By the time you hit 5 items, 99% of the time it's definitely ideal to build Last Whisper, as armor is such a common defensive stat and it's likely that the enemy team has built a lot of it. In the rare situation where they still haven't build much (if any) armor by that point, you can go ahead and build a 2nd AS-crit item, of which your options are Statikk Shiv, Phantom Dancer and Runaan's Hurricane. However, as of patch 5.24 it's no longer a good idea to stack Statikk Shiv and Rapid Firecannon, so if you built Rapid Firecannon, as is ideal, then you should disregard Statikk Shiv as an option. I would personally build Phantom Dancer, especially if you can afford it at the same time as Runaan's Hurricane. Tristana doesn't benefit too much from the AoE auto-attacks, and the damage reduction passive can always be useful.

This is probably the most important thing I'm going to talk about in this guide. Any good guide will show you what to build, but few of them actually properly explain how to play. This chapter will be a mix between teaching mechanics and game sense.


This is the most basic, yet also by far the most important mechanic to learn for playing AD carry. Orb walking is a term that comes from DotA, but in League it means something different. Orb walking is the act of moving to cancel your auto-attack animation, once your auto-attack has already been fired. The reason you'd want to do this is that it allows you to move around while you auto-attack an enemy, rather than standing still while you auto-attack them. It means you can more easily dodge skillshots during fights, you can constantly reposition yourself to wherever you need to be, you can move away from minion range during a fight, etc.

Proper use of orb-walking will maximize your DPS as you're auto-attacking as much as your attack speed permits you while also allowing you to move around, say, to stay in range of a fleeing enemy. Here's an example of someone orb walking while attacking a Soraka that's running away, and that same person simply right clicking her to auto-attack her while she runs, highlighting difference between orb-walking and just right clicking.

Notice how the Caitlyn that orb-walks stays a lot closer to Soraka for the first few seconds while she runs away, keeping her in range for more auto-attacks, while the Caitlyn that doesn't, quickly has Soraka run out of her range, and she has to begin chasing until she gets back in range. Orb walk Caitlyn lands 6 auto-attacks before she has to begin catching up to Soraka, no orb walk Caitlyn lands 2 auto-attacks before she has to begin catching up. By the time Soraka runs out of orb walk Caitlyn's range, she has already landed 6 auto-attacks. At this point, no orb walk Caitlyn has only landed 4. And this is what I mean by orb-walking maximizing your DPS: by cancelling the "useless" part of your auto-attack animation once you've already done your auto-attack, and instead moving along with your enemy, you'll be able to stay in their range longer, therefore being able to auto-attack more often.

Rather than using orb walking to chase an enemy, you can also use it to run away while still attacking them. This is commonly referred to as kiting. There really isn't much to explain if you already know the basic orb walking. It's just orb walking... but while running. Here's an example of a Vayne orb walking, it was one of the best examples I could find.

After killing Riven she just moves onto normal orb-walking to kill Corki and Leona, but the Riven kill was kiting right up until the end when Riven started to run. Also, notice how after she kills Riven and starts to 1v2 Corki and Leona, she suddenly starts moving from side to side. This makes it harder for Corki and Leona to land skillshots as her movement is so unpredictable.

The reason "kiting" (orb walking backwards) is given a specific name, but orb walking in any other direction isn't called anything other than orb walking, is because orb walking backwards is the most important use of orb walking that an AD Carry should apply. It allows you to keep doing damage, while at the same time running from champions like Riven or Irelia who want to kill you.

Masterful orb walking is when you can do it without cancelling your auto-attack a single time (a very common mistake every player makes from time to time is to begin your movement command before your auto-attack animation has finished, therefore cancelling it and causing you to have wasted your time beginning the auto-attack), while also entering every auto-attack command RIGHT as your attack speed permits you to attack again. If you do it faster than your attack speed permits, you'll move backwards, stand still briefly, then begin your auto-attack, then move backwards, then stand still briefly, then begin your auto-attack... Which is better than no orb walking at all, but isn't as good as it could be. Whereas if you do it perfectly, you'll move backwards, stop and IMMEDIATELY begin your auto-attack, move backwards, stop and IMMEDIATELY begin your auto-attack... This way you spend less time standing still, making you more mobile, and either keeping you safer while you kite or maximizing your damage output as you stick to targets better.

You'll never be perfect at orb walking. I don't think anyone is, I see pros cancelling their auto-attacks pretty often (though not as often as the common player obviously). But you should strive to be as perfect as you can be at orb walking. Never stop practicing it. Orb walk while you farm in lane (moving constantly makes it harder for enemies to land skillshots on you too), orb walk while you farm jungle camps, orb walk while your team does dragon, orb walk while your team does baron... Never ever stop practicing orb walking, it's really hard to get used to perfectly orb walking at all attack speed values, and the more practice you get, the better you'll be, even if sometimes there's not actually any real need to orb walk (if you have Statikk Shiv though, it's almost always ideal to do it as the more you move, the more stacks you generate).


Now, there's one aspect of orb walking which, while it's not the hardest part (that would be ensuring you don't ever cancel your auto-attacks), it is the most lethal when you mess it up; misclicks. It sounds easy to kite, in theory; right click enemy, right click backwards, right click enemy, right click backwards, right click enemy, right click backwards... easy peasy, and just like that, you're unkillable, right? But what happens if your mouse cursor is just a millimeter off of the enemy champion model, and rather than right clicking them, you actually right click the ground and end up walking TOWARDS them, which is the opposite of what you're trying to achieve?

Often this can get you killed, and especially when you're trying to kite with high attack speed (very common with Tristana because of Rapid Fire), it's really hard to move your mouse backwards and forwards for movement commands and auto-attack commands without making a single misclick. Hell, sometimes it looks like your mouse is over the enemy champion but the game just thinks you meant to click the ground.

People misclick all the time, and honestly, my mouse accuracy was horrible when I first started playing AD carry. I've improved a lot in that aspect since then, but I'm still no Doublelift. You wouldn't believe how many times I misclick every single game. But it actually doesn't really affect me that much, if at all. Most good players aren't affected too badly by misclicks, and the reason for this, is just two words: "Attack move". What is attack move? Attack move is a command which is usually set to A, X or Shift+right click. What it does is, is it acts very similarly to right click; if you attack move an enemy, you'll attack that enemy, and if you attack move the ground, it'll move towards that spot. The difference between attack move and right click though, is that if you attack move the ground, your champion will move there, but stop to auto-attack an enemy if they run into one before they reach the spot they attack moved. In the past, your champion would auto-attack whichever enemy was nearest to them if you right click the ground, but in a recent patch, they changed attack move to attack whichever enemy is nearest to the exact spot you attack moved to, which has made it even better than it used to be.

Now this may sound pretty useless, but it actually has a variety of uses, the most prominent being kiting; because when you right click backwards, then attack move your enemy, then right click backwards, then attack move your enemy, etc... If all goes well and no misclicks are made, then great! You just successfully kited. But if you DO misclick (and trust me, you will misclick so so so so often...), then you right click backwards, then attack move the ground instead of your enemy... but because attack move makes you attack the nearest enemy to the spot you clicked if there are enemies around, rather than accidentally running headfirst into that charging enemy, you'll just simply auto-attack them as if nothing happened.

Attack move is the cheat code to removing 99% of the negative consequences you'd usually have for misclicking on the ground. Except it's not a cheat, or a hack, or anything like that; it's a command just like right click is, except bound to a different key. Sometimes misclicking with attack move will make you attack the wrong target, which can be annoying and very occasionally fatal (who hasn't accidentally auto-attacked a minion mid-fight before? =D), but using attack move rarely actually hurts you. So the idea is basically this: if you use attack move on enemies instead of right click, and you make no misclicks then there's no difference. But if you use attack move on enemies instead of right click and you DO make a misclick, what could in some situations be a fatal mispositioning error, may as well not be an error at all, because attack move will make you auto-attack your enemy anyway, making it as if there was no misclick. Attack move won't give you the mechanics of a God, but it will significantly reduce the consequences of all the mechanical errors that you do (and everyone does them).

Now, kiting is the most obvious time to apply attack move, as it'll save your life so many times, maybe even various times in a single game, depending on how many misclicks you tend to make while kiting. But when else should you use it? Some people would advise using it basically any time you orb walk, as it'll ensure you're auto-attacking as frequently as you can. But you know when I would recommend you to use attack move? Literally for every single auto-attack. If you misclick, even just while farming, rather than accidentally running forwards and possibly opening yourself up to poke or an engage, you'll just auto-attack the minion anyway. The worst possible case scenario you could get from attack moving in that situation, is that you attack the wrong minion and miss a last hit. Which is bad, but you'll probably never lose a lane or a game just because you missed that one single minion in laning phase; if you accidentally get too close to your enemies because you right clicked and misclicked, then that could certainly lead to you losing your lane. Maybe not often, but it can definitely happen, especially against more competent enemies.

There is basically no downside to attack moving for all your auto-attacks, other than the awkwardness of having to switch from right click to attack move as you move and auto-attack, rather than just right clicking everything. But for me, it isn't awkward at all. For 2 years I've had attack move set onto the "T" key so I can easily click it just as easily as I can click any spell. Clicking A, or X, or, oh my god, shift?!?! Now that is definitely an awkward thing for me to have to be doing with my pinky that's comfortably resting on my Q key. But having it set on T? So I have to slightly move my index finger to the right whenever I auto-attack. That's no problem for me at all, other than maybe once every 100 games where I accidentally click R instead of T and fire my ult into minions... I mean that's embarassing when it does happen, but pretty rare! Attack moving for auto-attacks has become so natural for me that I just can't go back to right clicking enemies anymore; and there's no point. It accomplishes the same thing, but does it better if you happen to misclick.

You don't need to literally copy my own hotkey for attack move, but if A, X or shift are too awkward for you to get used to, then you should just try and find a key you're comfortable pressing on a regular basis whenever you want to use attack move. For me, T works like a charm, maybe you'd rather just find a different key. You can change your attack move hotkey by opening up the Option screen with the Esc key, going into Hotkeys and scrolling down to "Player movement", left clicking it, and finding "Player Attack Move". If you can find a key that you can get comfortable with, there's really no reason for you to ever need to right click an enemy again.

Another thing that might put you off attack move, especially if you're used to smart casting (a lot of people, me included, smart cast literally every spell in the game), is that you need to click the attack move key then left click on your desired destination/enemy, which feels clunky if all your other keys use smart cast. But Riot actually has you covered there! There's basically a smart cast version of Attack Move called Attack Move Click, which is what I use, and have set to T on the above screenshot. If you're the type to smart cast all your spells, then you can make using your attack move hotkey feel as quick and smooth as any of your spell hotkeys.

The last use for attack move (besides just being a superior right click in terms of auto-attacking ememies), is using it for facechecking brushes. Say you're chasing a low HP enemy into a brush (and there are no minions nearby for your attack move to automatically make you attack), rather than running into the brush, having to check where your enemy is when you gain vision of them, and then having to move your mouse towards them to auto-attack them, you can just attack move into the brush. So long as they're in your auto-attack range when you enter the brush, you will immediately auto-attack them as soon as you have vision. This is useful if a 10 HP LeBlanc is running into a brush and you just need to auto-attack her before she suddenly bursts you down to nothing because you couldn't click her fast enough after you gained vision. Or if you're in an area where you could easily be juked, you will immediately auto-attack the enemy as soon as they exit the brush, rather than running into the brush right as your enemy runs out of it in the opposite direction; this applies more to melee champions, but it can help you on AD Carries and ranged champions in general too.

Anyway this has been a pretty long explanation, but that, my friends, is attack move. Seriously, start using it, it really does make a huge difference. Not so much if you don't play auto-attack reliant champions, but definitely on AD Carry.


Laning mechanics are basically every action you do in lane to build up an advantage. Some of it is very obvious and I'm not going to bother explaining them, such as last-hitting, and other things are more subtle and are just things you learn with experience. Well I'm going to make you skip the "experience" part and just teach you everything I've learnt about laning bot lane as an AD Carry. All you'll have to do is remember it and practice applying it.

The theory of getting ahead on bot lane isn't rocket science. If you do more damage to your enemy than they do to you in trades, you'll have higher HP than them. And thus you're more likely to win any fights you get into. But what if your champion does the same amount of damage as your opponent's champion? Or worse, what if they just straight up do more damage? Well that doesn't mean you're going to lose regardless of player skill. It just means you need to play better than them. The more subtle aspect of laning mechanics, besides just right clicking champions and not accidentally clicking a minion during a fight (which totally never happens to me haha...), is all about trading with (damaging) your opponent in ways or situations where they can't easily damage you back, and also the reverse; counter-trading in situations where you're meant to be vulnerable and your opponent tries to poke you for free damage.

I realize this is sounding really ambiguous, so here's a situation with more context: You're laning on bot lane, 2v2, farming. You see that one of your team's minions are getting low, and you know know that your enemy is about to walk up to it to last-hit it. If they're busy auto-attacking a minion, then they can't auto-attack you at the same time; which is why as soon as you see one of your minions getting low enough for your enemy to last-hit, you wanna pre-emptively move forwards, practically next to that minion, so that when your enemy goes in to last-hit it, you're in range to auto-attack them while they're busy auto-attacking your minion. In most cases, they're forced to choose between cancelling the auto-attack on the minion to trade back with you, or more commonly, they'll keep going for the last-hit and won't trade back with you, so you just get an auto-attack on them for free.

And when I say that you need to learn to counter-trade when you're meant to be vulnerable, I'm referring to when you find yourself in the opposite of the previous situation; you're the one going in for a last-hit and your opponent positions themselves to get a free auto-attack on you. As mentioned, you can either a) tank it like a man and hope you'll overall win trades anyway, or b) ignore the last-hit and just auto-attack them back so it's a 50/50 trade. If you go for option B every time and your enemy goes for option A every time, you'll miss a few more last-hits than them, but you'll end up higher up on HP and that means you can transition that into either killing your opponent, or zoning them to gain a higher CS lead than the few minions you missed due to auto-attacking your opponent instead.

Every time you go for a single auto-attack on an enemy, you should then back off, preferably into a brush, to shake off minion aggro. If a brush isn't an option, or it's warded so it won't make chasing minions lose vision of you, then you should just run backwards until it re-aggros onto your minions. Sometimes a lone minion might chase you way further than it really should (rito plz fix) and if you go too far then it won't be in aggro range of other minions, so at a certain point rather than running backwards you should run in circles around your caster minions until it decides to attack your minions again. It sounds ridiculous, but yeah, sometimes that's just what you have to do to lose minion aggro.

Positioning is also an important aspect of winning your lane. You want to position yourself in a way that if you're going to trade with the enemy ADC, you're safe from the enemy support too. So for example, say the enemy ADC is positioned to your left, and the enemy support is to your right. If you also position yourself to the right, you're vulnerable to being attacked by both the support and the ADC. If you position yourself more to the left, you can trade with the ADC but you're also out of the enemy support's range, so it'll be a 1v1 trade.

Here's an example of bad positioning:

By standing there, I'm vulnerable to getting attacked by both Ashe and Braum. If I try to trade it's going to be 1v2, and there's no way I can win that trade. Even assuming my support were on the lane, it's still suboptimal positioning if I'm intending to trade with Ashe. And even if I'm not, they can take advantage of my positioning of their own accord.

Here's an example of good positioning:

If I try to trade with Ashe here, I'm out of Braum's range and he'll need to reposition himself before he can join the fight. In this screenshot I'd actually miss one or two last-hits if I try to trade with Ashe, but if Ashe plays properly she'll try to AA me for free damage while I last-hit the minions, so it's ideal to just give up the CS and trade back.

Note that it's technically bad positioning in both screenshots as I can't be positioned so aggressively in a 1v2 lane, but this is just meant to give you an idea of what good and bad positioning is in a 2v2 lane. You'll constantly want to reposition yourself depending on the enemy ADC and support's movements so you can be as safe as possible and have minions between you and enemy skillshots.


Lane freezing is a more advanced-ish technique that you won't usually see applied at low Elo, but becomes more common in Platinum and Diamond. It's actually really easy to do, the reason it isn't common at low Elo is simply that people don't know about it.

Lane freezing is keeping the minions on your side of the lane/in front of your turret, far enough away that the turret can't kill the enemy minions so that you don't accidentally end up pushing. You might want to do this for 3 different reasons: 1) You want to set up an easy gank for your jungler, as the enemy bot lane will have to overextend to farm. 2) You want to keep yourself safe from ganks. 3) You're zoning the enemy bot lane so you don't want the lane to end up pushing into their tower where they'll be able to farm more easily.

The way you lane freeze is by not pushing, and only last-hitting minions at the last possible second. This keeps the enemy minions alive for as long as possible, causing them to deal more damage to your minions and kill them faster than the enemy minions die. Once all your minions die the enemy minions will advance forwards, and you/your support need to tank them near your tower until your minion wave arrives and begins tanking them for you. When the rest of the enemy minions arrive, their minions will have the numbers advantage, and will continue to naturally push so long as you don't kill their minions too fast, or their minions don't run into tower range (which is why you need to freeze it far enough away that a melee minion starting to attack a caster minion won't place it in tower range).

To undo a lane freeze, you need to push the minions as fast as possible, and harass the enemy bot lane away from the minions if they try to tank them to create another freeze, to force your minions under their tower. The minions should hopefully die before the next wave arrives and reset the lane.

So this is what the enemy bot lane should be trying to do too if you're the one creating a freeze. However, if you're ahead enough, you'll be strong enough to win trades/fights even while tanking the minions you want to freeze, meaning the enemy bot lane has no way of preventing you from freezing other than getting their jungler to come help shove the wave into your tower. This kind of teamwork doesn't happen even at my level of solo queue though. So if you're ahead enough, you can indefinitely freeze the wave for as long as you want, keeping it very near your tower so you're unlikely to die to ganks, and also forcing the enemy bot lane to over-extend if they want to get last-hits, which would leave them vulnerable to getting ganked.

The only disadvantage to lane freezing is that seeing as the enemy bot lane can't get close enough to farm if you're ahead, you leave them no choice but to leave bot lane and either gank mid or simply group there to take the tower, assuming they're smart enough to leave bot lane. At this point you should just clear the wave that you've been freezing and push hard to take the enemy tower. If your jungler helps mid lane your mid tower might hold 2v3, while the enemy bot tower has no chance of surviving 0v2. At worst you'll trade 1 for 1 if it comes to this, or you might just take their tower then also group mid and make sure that tower doesn't go down.

This is the biggest CS lead I've personally managed to create through freezing a lane.

NOTE: Tristana is possibly the worst champion in the game for freezing, aside from maybe new Graves, due to her Explosive Charge's passive. Every time you last-hit a minion you'll do unnecessary splash damage onto other minions which will slightly push the lane more than necessary. In the right circumstances you'll still be able to keep up a freeze, but in many situations where you should be able to freeze, Tristana can't. It's not terrible, so it's still definitely worth mentioning even in a Tristana guide, but it's not as easy as it would be with any other champion. If nothing else, you can just do a temporary freeze for as long as Explosive Charge will let you, rather than a long-term freeze.


If you shove your minion wave under the enemy tower you'll be forcing them to try to last-hit while the tower tries to kill their minions, which is a little more complicated than last-hitting in normal circumstances. There's a few things to consider in this situation:

1) The enemy tower will slowly be taking damage as your minions attack it, and you might get some auto-attacks off on it while your minions tank it. This can eventually end up costing the enemy their tower.

2) Last-hitting for the enemy ADC will be harder, it might cost them a few CS, how much usually depending on whether their support helps them prep last hits or not.

3) You will be vulnerable to engages, should you not play carefully enough, and it's extremely dangerous to get engaged on near their tower, especially by anyone with any kind of "pull" displacements that can take you right under their tower, e.g. Thresh Death Sentence, Nautilus Dredge Line, Blitzcrank Rocket Grab, Alistar Flash Pulverize Headbutt into tower (this one is the hardest to react to, though fortunately it's cooldown is limited to Flash's cooldown).

When shoving to the enemy tower, you need to play very carefully if the enemy has any of that dangerous engage. It's mostly only safe for you to auto-attack the enemies/tower if you still have melee minions tanking the tower, and it depends on how far back the support is standing. You can't do much while the support has a clear engage opportunity, but if they're being blocked by minions you can auto-attack them as long as it's safe in an attempt to force them to stand further back, where it's harder for them to engage on you.

When you're not under threat of being dangerously engaged upon, you're a lot less restricted in what you can do, and you can auto-attack the enemy ADC every time they try to auto-attack a minion, whether as prep to last-hit it or to actually last-hit it. Naturally this mainly only applies to ranged minions as you'd have to be really close to the tower to do this while they're last-hitting melee minions. Instead you can auto-attack either the support (if it's someone that's safe to attack), or the tower. As Tristana, you should also often be placing Explosive Charge on the tower, so long as you still have melee minions tanking it, and auto-attack it as much as you can. "As much as you can" varies and depends on how the enemy reacts to it. If they stand far back doing nothing, you can go at it as much as you want, probably reaching full stacks (after which you immediately walk backwards to avoid getting hit by the tower). If they move forwards to stop you stacking your charges on the tower, then you move backwards to compensate and attack them back at a comfortable distance where you're either out of range of the tower, or can move out of range before it has time to auto-attack you.

When poking the enemies under their tower, the most optimal way to do it is to take into account the turret's auto-attacks, and its auto-attack "cooldowns". E.g. if the turret just started its auto-attack on a minion, then it has another 0.83 seconds before it can begin another auto-attack. This gives you plenty of time to poke someone, then move out of the tower range. It's not hugely important to take into account the tower auto-attack CDs, but the further back the enemy you're poking is standing, the more time it'll take you to move out of tower range, so the more you're able to abuse it, the more aggressively you can play under tower.

When you're the one last-hitting under tower, which should happen more often given your weak laning and therefore inability to contest pushes, what you need to know about last-hitting under tower is that melee minions take 2 tower shots and 1 auto-attack to last-hit if they start off at full HP, and caster minions take 1 tower shot and 2 auto-attacks to last-hit. Requiring 2 auto-attacks is what makes them the trickiest, as you'll either need to prep the first auto-attack in advance (hard to do while being pressured by the enemy bot lane, especially when you don't have a "dangerous engage" support), or you'll need your support to help you last-hit by auto-attacking it once for you. As you can't control your support's actions, and I often have trouble even getting my premades to do this, that 2nd option isn't terribly reliable. Often the sad truth is, you're just going to have to miss a lot of CS if you're forced to last-hit under tower. Especially true on Tristana as Explosive Charge's passive annoyingly interferes with the regular system.

When minions don't start off at full HP when they're about to receive tower focus, you (and your support if they're smart) need to try and prepare it so after the tower shot, it'll be at enough HP for you to last-hit. Often though, you can just see that it's impossible for you to last-hit a certain minion no matter what you or your support do, again especially true on Tristana because she has no spells like Piercing Light that immediately do a large spike of damage to adjust its HP fast, and you have to just sadly watch as it dies to the tower.


Ever wondered how pros can get 300 CS at 30 minutes before? No, it's not completely down to "insanely good last-hitting mechanics". You can do it too, just by using a simple wave control technique. Watch this video to understand how minion waves work (it'll also go through lane freezing again).

So when 2 minion waves collide on bot lane, in the middle of the lane, you should be there to push those 6 minions. And then you leave bot lane. No, you don't stay to push the 2nd minion wave too and force your wave to hit the tower. Aside from being at risk if you do that, it's also just not smart to do it. Because once you clear the first wave and your minions advance to crash into the next minion wave, your minions will be on the enemy's side of the map, and as you just learnt from the video, that means that the wave will slowly but inevitably start to push towards your side of the map.

After clearing that first wave you just go pressure mid or teamfight or whatever, then you just return bot lane in 2-3 minutes when the enemy minion wave has finished pushing to your tower (and make sure to get there before the minions start dying to the tower). At that point it'll be a 15-20 minion wave. Assuming it's 20 minions, and you've been off of bot lane for 2 minutes, you'll be getting 20 minions for the 2 minutes you've spent off lane, keeping with the 10 cs per minute rule you always want to aim for (though won't always be able to achieve).

But even if it isn't quite 20 minions, the time that you've spent off of bot lane, you'll have spent farming mid lane, and maybe even jungle monsters. You'll essentially be farming 2 lanes at once, keeping you easily above the 10 CS per minute rule so long as you can consistently get to the bottom lane wave in time before the minions start dying to the tower. This won't always be possible, as CS isn't the most important thing in the game. Sometimes you'll be busy teamfighting, or making sure you're around in case a teamfight starts. But in general you'll want to go farm the wave as much as possible, then push the wave onto the enemey's side of the map to restart the push, both to get ahead in farm and to avoid having a huge minion wave destroy your tower.

When the wave that you're pushing is a cannon wave, that messes with this technique a little bit. Because you'll be killing the enemy cannon minion and letting your own cannon minion push uninterrupted, the enemy minion wave won't slowly push up to your tower. Instead your minions will continue to push forwards, very slowly. When it's a cannon wave, you should either push the 2nd wave too (if it's safe to do so, not at all safe to do when the enemy team is ahead in towers and enemy threats are unaccounted for on the minimap), or just recognize that you won't be able to get the wave to push back to you in this specific situation and settle for creating a slow push instead, rather than trying to create a farming opportunity for yourself later on.

The video also explains how to create a slow push, but this technique is very rarely useful in solo queue with how uncoordinated everyone is outside of very high Elo. Keep it in mind in case you ever think it could be useful, but most of the time it just ends up creating a huge minion wave for the enemy AD carry to farm, getting him ahead in farm instead of you. It's better suited for ranked 5s assuming your team understands the strength of a slow push, or if you're a high Challenger player and for some reason reading a MOBAFire guide.

In some situations, notably when you expect to be sieging for a while and especially sieging towers that are really close to the enemy base, such as inner towers and inhibitor towers, it's really not ideal to have to force yourself to go back bot lane to farm every 2 minutes. If you do the technique and you can't go bot you'll essentially have just created a slow push against yourself, causing the enemy minions to die to tower, wasting gold, damaging your tower, and possibly even destroying it. Rather than putting yourself in that situation, this is when you want to create a slow push against the enemy team, as they'll hopefully be too busy defending against the siege to send someone to clear bot. This way they'll be the ones losing minions to the tower, taking tower damage, and possibly losing a tower if it's already low. And if they do send someone to clear it, you'll either have an easier time sieging or your team will be able to dive the enemy team 5v4 under tower.


When it comes to team-fighting as an ADC, there is one golden rule which is the most basic team-fighting rule of all, and yet makes you an infinitely better team-fighter if you start following it; attack whoever's closest to you. If you stand at the back, behind your frontline, and just auto-attack whichever enemy is absolutely closest to you, you have the best possible positioning, as you'll only be in focus range of whoever's diving you, or whoever you're attacking. It's recommended in general to take down the enemy carries before the tanks, but as the ADC if you try to attack a carry then you're in range of every single member of the enemy team, and if they all focus you then you'll go down in under a second. By keeping your distance and attacking just whatever's closest, you'll be hardest to kill, and can therefore output maximum DPS by just staying alive and being able to auto-attack all fight long. The only time you should attack the enemy team's carries is when there's no other enemies standing between you and them.

The best players of all know not only when to follow that one basic rule, but also when to take even further measures to stay safe. Before you ever even get into a team-fight, you should have already analyzed what all the threats to you on the enemy team are, and play more safely or aggressively accordingly. For example, if a Shyvana is the one trying to dive you, you'd want to follow the rule of attacking whatever's closest, and just kite her while your team also hopefully tries to peel her.

But sometimes you need to turn the safety notch up another level and straight up walk away from someone that could be a threat to you. For example, if you're playing vs Talon, you cannot be one of the ones trying to focus him down while he still has enough cooldowns and HP to be a threat. Even if he's the only person in range of you, and you have 3-4 team-mates around you, you still can't be auto-attacking him until the threat he presents has been neutralized ( cutthroat goes on CD, or he gets so low that he'd die before he could burst you). All the skill and mechanics in the world won't stop him bursting you down in half a second if he gets near enough. And you not only need to stay out of his E range (otherwise you could just auto-attack him from out of his range because you're Tristana), you also have to account for the extra movement speed he can get from Youmuu's Ghostblade and Shadow Assault, and how quickly they can help him close the gap. Not to mention how quickly he could cover a huge distance to get you with Flash.

No, when you're playing against Talon and you see him running in your direction, you stay as far the f**k away from him as you can get. Don't help your team kill him, that's not your job. Your job is to not die to assassins, and your team's job is to protect you from assassins, which in a lot of cases, they must do by killing the assassin whenever he tries to get to you, hopefully unsuccessfully. If the assassin commits their cooldowns onto someone else when they realize they can't get to you, that's when it's safe for you to walk back into the fight. Or if the assassin gets CC'd and blown up uselessly before they get to do anything, then it's also safe!

Champions that present such a large threat to you aren't just limited to assassins ( Talon, Zed, LeBlanc) that can burst you down within a second. Other champions, mostly if fed, can just out-duel you so brutally, that even if you have 2-3 team-mates helping you in an effective 1v3/1v4, you're still going to die if they can get in range of you. Champions that can commonly do this when fed are bruisers like Irelia, Jax, Renekton, etc. Champions tanky enough to qualify as tanks while still dealing huge damage to a squishy target like you, especially when fed.

Against champions like these, it's really necessary for you to watch out and keep your distance. You can try poking them with a max range Rapid Firecannon auto-attack at most, but you can't fully commit to DPS'ing them down until again, they either fall so low at your team's hands that they're no longer a threat, or realizing that they can't get to you, they commit their most important cooldowns (mobility and/or CC) onto someone else. In Irelia's case, it's safe to commit onto her when she's used either Bladesurge, as she won't be able to gap close to you or burst you with it, or Equilibrium Strike, as it'll prevent her using her deadly 2 second stun on you. And if she's used both then until they come off of cooldown she presents almost no threat at all, so long as you maintain good positioning and kite if she tries to walk towards you.

When following the rule of "attack whoever's closest", often you'll have to choose between two champions that are at a more or less equal distance from you, and it'll be optimal for you to attack one or the other, but it's hard to be completely certain about who the right target is. That being said, here are some things for you to consider which will hopefully lead to you making the right choice:

1) Which is the bigger threat?
You'll want to take out whoever's the biggest threat not just to yourself, but to your team as a whole, and disregard the weaker enemy. Sometimes it's not very clear cut, others you have to choose between a fed Riven and a 1/1/5 jungle Sion, in which case it's a very obvious choice which you should focus.

2) Who would die faster?
When the targets are equally threatening, you'll want to focus whichever one is squishiest/lower HP, as the sooner they're out of the fight, the sooner your team gains a numbers advantage. Sometimes even if they're the lower threat, it's still worth focusing them down first if they're going to die significantly faster, but only sometimes, and it depends on how big a threat the other possible target is.

3) Who's least likely to get away from you?
The less mobile one is the least likely to walk away and succeed in getting away. Nothing frustrates me more than placing Explosive Charge on a tank right as they start walking away/otherwise leave my range and I have to start auto-attacking someone else without having placed many/any stacks onto the guy I originally planned to focus. Even in non- Tristana scenarios, or when your Explosive Charge is already on cooldown, you'll want to focus the least mobile one as they're the ones most likely to die if they get low. A tank with gap closers like Zac (and let's just say his passive isn't up so you don't need to worry about that) may get low, then just leave the fight with Elastic Slingshot before you can finish him off. If your other option is an equally tanky Nautilus for example, he's less likely to be able to get away alive when he gets low.

Generally, from top to bottom those would be the most important factors to take into account respectively, but sometimes one factor, if it's big enough, can over-ride a generally more important factor. For example, choosing to DPS down a negative KDA, full AD Lee Sin, over a fed Riven, because you can kill the Lee in about 2 seconds while the Riven is both tankier and more mobile, so takes a fair while longer to kill, if you can even succeed in killing her that is.

Another important aspect about team-fighting again starts before you ever get into the team-fight; it starts when you're buying items at the shop. You should be looking towards the enemy team's composition and their items and adapting your purchases accordingly. Infinity Edge and Rapid Firecannon are your first 2 core items no matter what so you require no adaptation there, but afterwards you need to build more situationally.

Before you buy, open tab and analyze the enemy team. If they have CC that can be a real threat to you, especially when combined with magic damage, then you should aim to build a Mercurial Scimitar first. It'll allow you to play a little more aggressively against those bruisers I mentioned earlier too; you don't have to be as scared about getting 1-shot during the duration of Equilibrium Strike or Counter Strike anymore. You do still have to worry about the damage both of these guys do against a squishy target such as yourself though, so while you can play a little more aggressively, don't push it too hard, and continue to play with caution if any of these kind champs are fed.

If the enemy team has so much armor that it makes Last Whisper a good purchase (something you'll just have to learn through experience), then buy it ASAP or you won't do any damage to armor stacked enemies.

Here's a video that just hit the front page of Reddit the day I wrote this. It's meant to be a video about Alistar but we're going to focus on Sneaky/Draven's play, as I feel it was a short but very good video in the sense that it really helps demonstrate some of the points I made. Sure it's not Tristana, but as all ADC's play so similarly, it's relevant enough.

6 seconds is when Taric engages and the teamfight begins. Right at that moment he makes a mistake in standing too far forwards to auto-attack the stunned Ryze. Alistar with Flash up is to be considered as high a threat as any fed bruiser given how devastating his combo can be, but Sneaky didn't respect that, maybe due to being distracted given he was talking at the same time. He could have died right there if Alistar had Flash Pulverized him, especially if he then got Headbutted into their tower, but he actually ran so far forwards that Alistar mistakenly assumed he could Pulverize him with no Flash and Sneaky turned back at the last second, baiting Alistar into almost wasting his Pulverize had it not hit Taric.

Mistake #1 by Sneaky, and not the only one. When Nidalee gets caught at 8 seconds he initially does the correct thing by turning onto her and focusing her down with his team, but you can see how Riven has already activated her Youmuu's Ghostblade and is running towards him. After his first auto-attack on Nidalee Sneaky should have turned around, given that Riven is one of those high threat champions that try their hardest to dive you and murder you if they reach you, especially given that his team's CC was all down, and she had Flash up too. He got very lucky when Riven used her ult too early, which ended up allowing him to survive long enough to kill her, but as a consequence of his over-extension, he still ended up dying to Alistar shortly after.

The whole thing probably would have played out a little better if he had been Tristana to be fair haha, Tristana has some pretty awesome get out of jail free cards in Buster Shot and Rocket Jump. But even with this in mind, you still want to keep good positioning, and you definitely don't want for the enemy support's misplay to be the only reason you don't die 3 seconds into a fight.

That's it for this video, Sneaky's 10 seconds of survival made it pretty quick to analyze. :^) Feel free to enjoy the rest of it for it's entertainment value. :) If I find more/better videos to illustrate the importance of good positioning and examples of good play I'll add them here, this was literally just the first I saw while writing this chapter and I figured it would do the job!


Before you even get into lane, you should know that Tristana is an ADC with a fairly weak laning phase. This means that often, you'll find yourself on the losing end of lanes, at least at first, even if you think you're playing fine; that's just how Tristana is, unless you're vastly superior to your enemies. But even then...

The key to getting through lane phase on Tristana even when you're in a lane where just because of the matchup alone you can't possibly win early-game, is to farm safely. Sometimes you'll need to stand far back and miss a few last-hits. Sometimes you'll even need to stand out of XP range. It's okay. It goes against your every instinct to just give up the lane like that, but it's what you need to do to survive. It's okay for you to fall behind, it's not okay for you to die a few times in lane when it can be avoided. During your death you'll miss all the CS and XP that you would have missed by standing really far back anyway. Just play really safe, avoid dying, and get whatever CS you can. If you have a chance to win your lane, either because it's a good matchup or you're way better than your opponent, then great, do that. But when you're losing your lane, remember to farm safely. It's fine to lose lane, you just need to lose lane gracefully.

During laning phase, your objectives are to out-CS your opponent, kill them if possible, and take down their tower ASAP. Most of the damage you do to the tower will be while your enemy is off the lane, either shoved out or dead, so you don't have to worry too much about wearing the tower down when the lane is pushed towards them. In those situations I mainly focus on harassing the enemy, and attacking the tower when that's not an option.

Before getting into lane, you should help your jungler do golems by auto-attacking the big golem 3 times. If your jungler isn't start on bot side, you and your support should take the golems instead. This will grant you a significant XP lead over your opponents and give you level 2 first, which can be snowballed into a kill or cause the enemy ADC to miss a lot of CS.

You should tank the monsters first, so you can later lifesteal up some of the damage you took with Doran's Blade, Vampirism and Feast. Just tank them for one or two hits (each), then move backwards to let your support tank them. They should be the one taking 90% of the damage as they'll be starting with 3 Health Potions as opposed to your 1 Health Potion, so they can recover from the damage taken more easily. Start off by killing the small golem first to get it out of the way (communicate this with your support before you start taking the camp), then move onto the bigger golem. Your support should be letting you get the last hits, but soaking XP so you both share the XP for the kills, and will therefore both hit level 2 at the same time, therefore able to abuse the level 2 power spike at its fullest. Again, try to inform your support of this to make sure you're both on the same wavelength before you start taking the camp.

If your support mistakenly leaves you with 100% of the XP, it's no big deal either, but Tristana is one of the worst ADC's for being level 2 while her support is only level 1, as you'll be taking Rocket Jump at level 2 and can't afford to use it aggressively if your support is only level 1. However, you'll still benefit from always being ahead in XP to the enemy bot lane, and slightly ahead in gold, so it's still well worth it. And at the very least, you'll be able to abuse your level 2 base stats advantage against the enemy ADC, even if you can't abuse your extra spell.

When you get into lane after doing golems you'll always be hitting level 2 before the enemy bot lane, even if some of the enemy minions die out of your XP range before you get into lane. A lot of the time you'll actually make it to lane in time to not miss a single minions' worth of XP, so you'll lose nothing except one of your supports' Health Potions for doing golems.

As soon as you get into lane, whether you did the golem start or not, you should immediately start spamming auto-attacks on the minions, starting with the melee minions, to push faster than the enemy bot lane and therefore be able to hit level 2 faster. You should be aiming to last-hit all the minions too even though you're also meant to be spamming auto-attacks. This means that when an auto-attack would leave a minion on very low HP and cause it to be finished off by minions, you need to wait until it gets low enough for you to last-hit. That doesn't mean you have to waste time while you wait; instead you auto-attack a different minion, then when you're able to auto-attack again you turn back to the original minion to last-hit it.

If the enemy bot lane hits level 2 before you you have no option but to back off and let them zone you. Don't try to trade, don't try to fight them when they engage on you; the level advantage is a huge one, and they can win any fight they force on you from there. You'll only miss a few minions as if they've hit level 2 before you, then they're pushing the lane, so the minions should end up near you tower soon enough, allowing you to hit level 2 as well.

If, on the other hand, you and your support are the first to hit level 2, this means you can zone the enemy bot lane. Even once they hit level 2, they'll still have to stay zoned until the wave hits their tower and the lane equalizes, as you'll have the minion and positioning advantage to dissuade them from trying to contest your zoning. If when you move in to zone them they just try to fight you, it should be an easy fight for you and your support to win. Tristana has a very dangerous level 2 if she's fighting level 1 enemies, as they'll be so weak that she can freely Rocket Jump into melee range and still out-trade them. If your support is on the same wave-length as you and trying to fight them, you should Rocket Jump onto the enemy ADC/the support if they're easier to kill, and place Explosive Charge on them mid-air. When you land you'll instantly place one stack, and the huge slow should keep them in your range long enough to possibly get full stacks on them, providing you with a Rocket Jump reset and possibly allowing you to use it a second time in one fight, should they still be far enough away from the tower for you to Rocket Jump on top of them again.

All in all, if they don't respect your level 2 advantage, they will either die, take a lot of damage, burn some summoners, or all 3. And the same will happen to you if you're slow to hit level 2 and you don't respect their level 2 power.

You'll notice while playing Tristana that Explosive Charge's passive can make last-hitting complicated. I wish there was some secret trick I could give you to help you get past that, but truth is, it's just a case of getting used to it. The only thing I can tell you is that sometimes you'll need to aim to last-hit a minion in a way where the explosion will also kill another minion that you'd otherwise miss.

Your playstyle should revolve around what kind of a support you have. If you have someone like Leona or Nautilus, it's often viable to Rocket Jump on top of one of the enemies for extra burst and an Explosive Charge stack when they engage, especially after level 6 when you can add Buster Shot into the mix, as your being in melee range won't matter because you'll be bursting them down very quickly, leaving them no time to abuse your positioning. With other more passive, trade-focused supports, such as Janna, Nami, Lulu, you'll want to hold on to Rocket Jump either to finish enemies off or to get away when a fight goes wrong, and just focus on short trades with enemies without over-extending too much. The way you do this was already explained in How to ADC.

After 2-3 backs you should stop buying Health Potions, because at that point the winner/loser of the lane will have pretty much already been established. If you're winning, buying Health Potions (which are so much more expensive in season 6 than they were in previous seasons) will slightly close the gold gap between you and your lane opponent, and if you're losing you'll just set yourself even further behind. Of course it's not an exact science, maybe after 2-3 backs you feel like a Health Potion or two might still be the deciding factor on bot lane, but usually that's the point where I consciously decide to stop buying Health Potions. You might think "oh it's just 50-100 gold each back, it's not that much gold". Until it builds up and you've spent 700 gold on potions (after 14 potions, realistic amount that I would have bought last season and recently saw a pro build in 1 game), whereas last season that would have been 300 gold cheaper. That's a whole kill that's being wasted on just the extra gold of Health Potions this season. So you have to be more sparing with Health Potions this season, they're not as gold efficient anymore.

Here's screenshots of LGD Imp's (formerly from SSW, season 4 Worlds winners) most recent Tristana games:

You can see that in both games, he only built 5 Health Potions the entire game, and had already stopped buying them by the time he finished his 2nd item. Last season I would have personally bought 2 potions every B provided I had the gold for them and open slots, but considering there's a risk they won't have absolutely any effect over the game (besides costing you 50 gold each), they're just not worth it anymore, especially out of lane.

Something that should also be noted about his purchased items is the pink ward he bought each game; if you ever go B, buy all the items you need, have at least 1 item slot and 75 gold left, then you should buy a pink ward, provided you don't already have one placed on the map. Place it somewhere it'll last a long time (your support will be the one pinking tri and any other commonly contested brush), such as somewhere in your jungle where it'll detect invades and possibly ganks, while being relatively safe and giving you vision of that area for large periods of time. I personally ward the brush on the wall behind red buff if I'm on blue side (left side of the map), and the blue buff brush if I'm on purple side (the right side of the map).

If you manage to force your enemies (or at least the ADC) out of lane, by killing them or otherwise, you should shove your minion wave into their tower as fast as you can to make them lose out on CS and XP, then recall for items, which should usually give you some form of item advantage, as well as XP advantage.

Sometimes the enemy has a large enough minion wave, or has another minion wave incoming, that you won't be able to shove your wave into their tower in time to make the enemy ADC lose all their CS. But instead, often you can just recall, get your items, then get back into lane just in time to catch the minions as they reach your tower. In that scenario this is the most beneficial option, as rather than losing your minions to their tower, the enemy is losing your minions to their own minions, because of their minion advantage, explained in the video linked in Farming Out of Lane.

But sometimes you can't do this because either a) the enemy minion wave is too big, and would push to your tower before you have time to get back into lane (you can try to remedy this by thinning out the minion wave in some cases, leaving it big enough to still push but not too fast), or b) you need the gold from pushing the minion wave for your next item, in which case it's worth shoving the wave even if it doesn't cost the enemy ADC any CS.

Here's a video by SoloRenektonOnly, that recently hit the front page of reddit, which does a good job showing you exactly how this works.

It could also be helpful for you to go through the comments of the thread at some point and read SoloRenektonOnly's responses to questions, it can teach you a lot about wave management and answer any questions you might still have after reading this and watching the video.

The exceptions to going back after forcing your enemies out of lane are when you can't afford any important items and you're already full HP and stocked up on Health Potions anyway, in which case you can shove the wave to the enemy tower and just do as much damage to the tower as you can, or when you think the enemy's absence from the lane will be enough for you to take down the enemy tower, which if you succeed, will give you 345 gold if you're on your own, or 235 gold if you're with your support (he gets the same amount), as well as 125 gold to every other member on your team. In total these outer turrets give your team 845 gold, so you should aim to get towers down as fast as you can, if possible.

This applies to inner turrets too, although not so much in laning phase obviously. Each one gives you 400 gold if you're alone, or 275 if you're with someone else, and 150 to everyone else on your team, giving out 1,000 gold in total.

If you want the lane to deny some CS from your enemy while you're taking the tower and you know you're safe from ganks and guaranteed to take the tower, you can bounce your minion wave off the enemy tower. Bouncing means that when you've pushed your minion wave to the enemy tower and have the tower on low HP, rather than auto-attack it and destroy it right away, you leave it on 5-10% HP for a bit while it kills your minion wave, denying CS from the enemy ADC as they're not on the lane. You time it in such a way that once it kills the last minion, you need only attack the tower a single time to destroy it. You can then either go into the brush and recall or shove the wave before recalling, depending on how much you can get away with in the situation, and whether you need the gold or not.

If your jungler successfully ganks you should ping him to help you take down your tower. Most junglers would rather either take dragon or just leave the lane to go keep farming, but the gold you get from taking down a tower is worth more than either of those options. Don't flame them if it doesn't go your way, just ping the tower and try to communicate with them to say that it's important for the team for you to take down the tower. Once it's down, it'll be easier for your team to transition that into dragons anyway.

Once you've taken down the enemy tower, you should recall for items. It's extremely risky to start laning at their inner tower, due to the risk of jungle ganks, so once you've pushed the wave past their turret, you should either take dragon with your jungler if he's around and willing to do it, or just rotate mid and try to gank and kill the enemy mid laner if possible, or otherwise try to take the tower down 3v1. It may take a while to do so, and you may find that you'll have to go back bot lane a few times to defend the tower, farm the minions and push it onto the enemy's side of the map again, then rotate mid for a little more tower damage, then move back bot to defend the tower. Every time you return mid lane you can try to go for another gank if the enemy mid laner is overextended, if you manage to kill him then you can definitely take the tower.

If the enemy mid laner is someone with amazing waveclear, such as Anivia, then you might find it would take you way too long to actually take the tower down even 3v1. In that situation it's better that once you've taken down the tower, you ask your top laner if he'll lane swap with you. If he accepts, then you and your support will go top lane into a 2v1, where you'll be trying to take an easy tower, and your top laner will go bot lane to lane 1v2 and just try to survive and get as much farm as he can. On your way to top lane, ask your jungler in advance to come gank top and dive 3v1, at this stage of the game there's almost no top laner that can survive that kind of tower dive even when at full HP. If he sees your jungler coming through wards, or otherwise manages to escape alive, you can still just zone him away from the tower with your jungler and easily take the tower down in one wave as 3.

The enemy team obviously has the potential to do the same thing as you, but you're the one setting the stage. You're prepared in advance for what's to happen and know what to do, and the enemy team is being taken by surprise and most likely won't immediately know how to react properly. Not to mention, having lost one of their towers already, they won't be preparing to shove into your tower, rather they'll be trying to freeze on their side of the wave for as long as they can, to stay safe. This is bad for your top laner in the sense that he won't be able to CS properly until the wave does reach his tower, if at all, but good in the sense that they won't be able to dive him straight away even if they do think to do it. He should also have the sense to place defensive wards so he can see the enemy jungler coming in case he does come for a dive, which the enemy top laner won't know to do in advance as he isn't prepared for the 1v2 situation he's about to be placed in.

Once you've taken the top lane turret there's not much else left for you to do other than group and make plays as a team. Having taken two towers your team should hopefully be at a large gold advantage. If the enemy bot lane is trying to take your bot tower you can recall, go bot and try to kill them 4v2 with your jungler, or 3v2 with your top laner, or 5v2 if your mid lane and jungler are willing to help. From there on it's mid-game, and you should be going for whatever objectives you can get with your team.


Outside of laning phase, your objective is to destroy the nexus. No I'm not kidding, that's literally the best way to describe it. Every action you take in laning phase is to set you up for mid-late game, every action you take outside of laning phase is to bring you one step closer to destroying the enemy nexus. The way you do this is by performing actions that will make killing the enemy team easier (aquiring gold, dragons, barons) so that you have less resistance, and destroying towers as a way to acquire gold, have better control of the map, and open up routes to the nexus.

At this point you should be grouping with your team as much as possible to teamfight and siege down towers. Tristana is one of the best ADC's in the game for sieging towers, due to her extremely high auto-attack range, Explosive Charge and Rapid Fire. She can also keep herself safe from aggressors by Rocket Jumping away should someone try to engage on her while she sieges.

Sieging towers is pretty simple, but you need to be careful about it. When both teams are alive and your team is trying to take a tower, it's your job to do as much damage as you can to the tower without dying. You need to do as much damage as you can while remaining safe. This means you can't just walk up to the tower, press Q and stand there auto-attacking until it dies; this leaves you open to get engaged upon, unless there's no resistance from the enemy team. Instead you have to repeatedly poke the tower. Walk up to it, attack it a bit, back off if someone dangerous is walking up to you. Now you might think "but what if they never stop protecting their tower? Doesn't that mean it's never safe for me to auto-attack it?". If they're constantly standing in a defensive position in relation to their tower, then they're in range for your team to attack them and force them back. They need to be in a place where it's safe for them to sit and look for a good engage, where your team has no way to attack them besides tower diving them, which only works when you're super ahead. And if they advance, that takes them further out of safety, so if you match their movements to stay safe from an engage, they'll be forced to move back for their own safety again, as they don't want to get engaged on either, nor poked down to a point where they need to back to recover their HP.

So you should think of sieging as, slowly whittling down a tower. It almost never takes a single minion wave to destroy a tower (unless you have baron buff), it can take many, many waves, but slowly but surely, the tower will go down if you can siege it properly.

When you're attacking a tower with enemies nearby you always want to be positioned at max range from the tower while you auto-attack, and in between auto-attacks you should move backwards then forwards, so that while your auto-attack is "on cooldown", you're not spending any more time closer to the danger than necessary. It's also good habit in case they start to try an engage and you're already automatically moving backwards the moment you finish your auto-attack, meaning you'll often protect yourself from an engage faster than you can actually react to it, so long as you notice in time to not move back towards the tower for your next auto-attack.

Against teams with very high wave clear (f**k you Anivia), it can be very hard if not impossible to siege down towers, especially inhibitor towers that actually recover HP all the time. Your options in these situations are to engage on the enemy team under their tower, which only works when you're reaaaaaaaally far ahead, or go get baron. The enemy team won't usually just give up baron for free though, and so you can use this to bait them into a fight. They'll need to constantly have vision on baron to make sure you're not doing it, which can be hard to keep up if your team places pinks and uses Oracle's Lens to clear their wards, so at some point they might have no choice but to face check baron to make sure you're not doing it. Even if you are, you can take the opportunity to turn around and team-fight.

I hope this guide helped you learn to play Tristana. She was the first ADC I ever took a liking to, back in season 2, and since starting to main ADC she's always been one of my favourite ADC's both pre and post rework, not specifically because of her strength as a champion, but just because she's always been so fun to play. I hope this guide will help you see that and play her to her full potential. :)

Special thanks to Janitsu as well for coding my guide when I asked him on such short notice, I think it turned out pretty great so kudos to him!

And again, feel free to follow me on Twitch if you ever want to learn from my own Tristana play, just make sure to request it in the chat so I know there's actually demand for it!

If you still have any further questions after reading the guide, feel free to ask in the comments, I'll try to answer them as soon as possible and consider addressing them in the guide so future readers may not have the same questions.

And once again I would like to remind you that if you enjoyed the guide, upvotes are always appreciated and help very much!

Now coaching!

If you're struggling to improve then for £10 (Paypal only) I can do a VOD review of one of your games.

I'm a multi-season Master tier player specialising in ADC and mid lane. If you're interested, PM me here on MOBAFire, on Reddit, or on Twitter to start setting it up.

The focus of the coaching is to show you what kind of mistakes you make without realizing on a game-by-game basis, and to teach you the fundamentals necessary to spot your own mistakes and improve on them yourself. If you feel like you're doing everything you can in your games but still can't seem to consistently win and climb, like every game is a coinflip as to whether you win or lose regardless of how you perform, then that's where I come in and show you what you're doing wrong, or what you should be doing but aren't, as someone that's been playing for 5 years and can stroll through Bronze-Diamond Elo blindfolded with both hands tied behind my back while playing first-time ADC Karma.