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Tristana Build Guide by snukumz



Updated on July 26, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author snukumz Build Guide By snukumz 70 5 191,766 Views 2 Comments
70 5 191,766 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author snukumz Tristana Build Guide By snukumz Updated on July 26, 2020
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Runes: Standard AD Runes

Press the Attack
Legend: Alacrity
Coup de Grace

Bone Plating

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None
Hello, hello!

Welcome to my Tristana Mid Guide!

My in-game name is snu***z, my highest rank thus far is Plat 1, and I've played a decent amount of Tristana mid at this point.

The reason I tried Tristana Mid in the first place is because I first saw Faker play her at Worlds in 2019, so I knew there had to be a good reason to play this champion in the mid lane.

Tristana mid does insane burst damage and has kill potential against most other mid laners at level 3 and beyond.

Not only can she stomp the mid lane 1v1, she's also one of the strongest hyper-carry's in the game, which means once you hit late game you can really carry the game for your team, if you play her correctly.

Since I want to help you play her correctly I made this guide, now, let's get on with the rest of it!
"While many other yordles channel their energy into discovery, invention, or just plain mischief-making, Tristana was always inspired by the adventures of great warriors. She had heard much about Runeterra, its factions, and its wars, and believed her kind could become worthy of legend too. Setting foot in the world for the first time, she took up her trusty cannon Boomer, and now leaps into battle with steadfast courage and optimism.
Like most yordles, Tristana was always fascinated by the world beyond Bandle City. She traveled far and wide, full of wonder and enthusiasm for the varied places, people, and creatures she encountered. Using the hidden pathways that only yordles know, she explored the length and breadth of the material realm, remaining mostly unseen.

She witnessed such breathtaking sights as ice trolls migrating across the floes of the far north beneath kaleidoscopic auroras. She marveled as warships blasted each other to pieces in naval battles that churned the seas. She watched, awestruck, as great armies marched with unity and precision—incredibly strange concepts to a yordle!—across the endless sands to the south.

But Tristana’s carefree, wandering ways changed the day she witnessed the destruction of a bandlewood. These places are steeped in the magic of the gateways they grow around, giving yordles a safe haven from the world. Tristana, dozing in the dappled sunshine, was shaken awake as the trees around her began to burn and topple. A warband of armored marauders rampaged through the woodland with fire and axes, led by a sorcerer wreathed in dark energy.

Tristana hid in horror. The sorcerer focused his power upon the portal at the heart of the bandlewood, speaking one final utterance. Her ears still ringing with pain, Tristana watched the gateway collapse, never to be opened again. The ripples of that destruction were felt in Bandle City itself, causing great despair among the yordles.

Tristana had never experienced anything like the pain of this loss, or the guilt she felt for not acting. Never again would she allow such a terrible thing to happen. In that moment, she dedicated herself to become the guardian of all bandlewoods, and her fellow yordles.

Tristana had often marveled at how mortals protected the things that were dear to them. While she couldn’t comprehend their reasons to guard shiny metals, or walls of stone, she respected their methods, and decided to emulate them. Other yordles watched with curiosity as she took to marching around the borders of Bandle City stern-faced, and watching out for danger. She started calling her food “rations”, and set herself strict times for rest and relaxation.

But something was missing. In her travels, she had seen many powerful inventions, including the black powder cannons of Bilgewater. Inspired by them, she collected enough precious metal discs to commission a gun suited to her diminutive size.

With a wry smile, she named it Boomer.

Since then,Tristana has defended the bandlewoods from innumerable threats. In the jungles of the Serpent Isles, she intervened in a clash between the local Buhru people and treasure hunters from Valoran that was getting too close to a hidden portal, sending them all running for their lives after she leapt into their midst, Boomer roaring. And in the burning deserts at the edge of Shurima, she destroyed a Void-horror after it began consuming a secret bandlewood oasis, killing it with an explosive bomb down the gullet.

Tristana has become something of a legend in Bandle City, and recently, a number of yordles have started to imitate her, trying—and mostly failing—to copy her disciplined ways. Some have even had weapons mimicking Boomer constructed for them by the scrappy inventor Rumble, who is always seeking to win Tristana’s approval. While Tristana finds this all rather embarrassing, she has come to the conclusion that if they are going to defend the pathways to Bandle City, they had better do it properly. As such, she has started training these new recruits, and they have adopted a new moniker—the Bandle Gunners.

Nevertheless, Tristana can often be found out in the wilds on patrol by herself—simultaneously protecting the bandlewoods and also getting away from her new, and rather annoying, trainees."

+ Can kill most lane opponents at level 3 and beyond with insane early-game burst damage
+ Can deny a lot of CS because of how careful enemy laners must play to not get dove on by Tristana
+ SUPER safe to play, your W allows you to escape most ganks
+ Great at turret diving since you can jump in, get the kill, then jump out because kills/assists reset your jump's cooldown, as well as exploding your E
+ Your ultimate is good for executing low HP targets, or saving you/your allies from a enemy that gets too close
+ One of the best hyper-carries in the game, you can do ridiculous damage late game if you play her properly
+ Great waveclear due to her E's passive (killed units explode and do AoE damage)
+ Amazing at destroying turrets and getting plates if you use her bomb on towers, and if you run Demolish
+ Great sustain, and better sustain than most AP midlaners since you will have lifesteal and they probably won't
+ Great for getting highlight reels since your W resets on assists and kills which lets you get those sweet Triple, Quadra, and Pentakills!
+ If you're already good at ADC you now have a champion that's great at mid lane!


- Squishy
- She needs quite a few games to play well in the late game due to her high attack speed
- She needs people to peel for her or she can die quickly in teamfights
- Lack luster in lane and in teamfights when playing from behind (needs lots of gold for expensive AD items to be effective)
- Your team can lack AP if you go AD mid and your other lanes don't compensate, especially bad for you if enemy team builds lots of armor because of your team's lack of AP

DRAW A BEAD (Passive): Draw A Bead is Tristana's passive ability, it gives her an extra 7 attack range every time she levels up. This is weak early game but becomes very strong later in the game. You start the game with pretty low attack range as Tristana, only 525 attack range, which is less than most of the other ADC's. However, by the time you hit level 18 you have the longest unempowered attack range in the game. This will make late game teamfighting, and staying safe while still being able to do damage much easier.

RAPID FIRE (Q): Rapid Fire increases Tristana's attack speed by quite a lot for 7 seconds, and costs no mana to use. You want to use this often to waveclear since it costs no mana, but you also want to hold it so that it's up when the opportunity arises for you to go in and kill your lane opponent. If you're looking to kill the enemy laner make sure to not use this ability until you go in on them because it does have a long cooldown timer. If you don't think you can kill your lane opponent then feel free to use this to waveclear quickly and then back, or look for roams into bot or top lane.

ROCKET JUMP (W): Rocket Jump is an amazing ability of Tristana's that is unlike any other champion in League of Legends. Your Rocket Jump allows you to cover large distances which means many of your opponents need to give you a wide berth at all times, and it means that you are very hard to gank. Many CC abilities are actually countered by Tristana's jump, like Blitzcrank's pull, even if he hits you with it you can still jump out of it.

Rocket Jump reset's, which means you can use it again, whenever you get a kill/assist, or whenever you fully explode your bomb (E) on an enemy champion.

It's important to land on the enemy mid laner with this ability because it does decent damage, it adds a stack to your E, and most importantly it slows them, which allows you to auto attack them a bunch of times and kill them.

Once you get your Bilgewater Cutlass or Blade of the Ruined King you don't need to actually land on the enemy for the slow because these items will slow the enemy for you. You can also use exhaust for the same effect if you are running it.

EXPLOSIVE CHARGE (E): Explosive charge is what makes Tristana mid so viable. At level 3 you have INSANE kill pressure because you can fully stack your Explosive Charge and do TONS OF DAMAGE.

Your E can also be used to poke the enemy low, even if you only get one stack it still does decent damage, which will set you up for the kill later.

Explosive Charge can also be used on minions to shove waves quickly (especially cannon waves), and on towers to get plates and tower damage/kills quickly.

Your E also has a passive portion that does AoE damage whenever you kill unit. This is great for wave clearing, and if you get good at it it's a good way to poke the enemy.

BUSTER SHOT (R): Good ole' Buster Shot! It giveth and it taketh away.

Buster Shot will do a bunch of magic damage, it knocks the enemy and nearby surrounding enemies back, and it applies a stack to your E. Once you get good with this ability you'll be able to use it to proc the last stack on your E, and shoot an extra auto attack after using R since you can auto attack again right after using Buster Shot, this allows you to maximize your damage.

Try to save Buster Shot for when the enemy is either very low, or for when you need to save yourself or your teammates.

It's very easy stop yourself or your teammates from getting a kill accidentally by using this ability too soon and pushing the enemy champion to safety, rather than to their grave. I highly recommend not trying to greedily get the last hit for a kill by using this ability when your teammates are helping you to kill someone.

This is easier said than done and I'm certainly guilty of doing this as well, but do as I say not as I do xD.

Level 1

> AA

*Your level 1 combo is simply using E on the enemy and trying to get as many auto attacks off as possible. This does a lot of poke damage if you can manage to get 1 or 2 auto attacks off, which will set you up for your level 3 combo.

Level 3 Combo

> > > AA > > AA > AA

*Your level 3 combo is when you have serious kill potential. The enemy midlaner will often have to flash or you will be able to kill them. This combo works better if the enemy is a bit low on HP, or if you beat them to level 3 and surprise them, but even if they are full HP and at level 3 you will likely kill them if they can't stun you or get away from you somehow.

Level 6 Combo

> > > AA > > AA > > AA

*This is the full level 6 combo (without Bilgewater Cutlass). If you have Cutlass at this point then you'll want to use it as you're landing on/near the enemy since often times you won't quite land on them to get the slow for your W but Cutlass will slow them down so that you can auto attack them and proc your E to explode.

*You don't need to do this exact combo every time and shouldn't. Sometimes you'll want to get in an extra auto attacking before ulting because if you ult too soon you won't end up killing them.

*Lastly, once you proc your E to explode you can hop on them again to finish them off (often times you'll be in turret range when you land) then once you get the kill you can hop back out.

Full Combo With BoRK

> > > > AA > > AA > > AA

*This combo seems really intimidating but it's not too bad once you get some practice with it.

*Try to bait out one of the enemy midlaners abilities, especially their CC, before hopping on them and unleashing your combo. If they can stun you or knock you up it makes getting off your full damage very difficult.

*While you're about to land on them you can try flashing towards them and dodging their CC. If you do this correctly you'll dodge their CC and they won't be able to flash towards their turret and to safety because you'll already be in their escape path.
Doran's Blade is usually the best starting option for Tristana mid. It gives you sustain via life steal, extra HP for tankiness when you dive in, and extra attack damage. You might want to consider going Long Sword + Refillable Potion if you know you'll win the matchup and you want to get your Bilgewater Cutlass sooner.

Berserker's Greaves are usually the best option for Tristan mid since they will give you a lot of extra attack speed. You may want to consider getting Ninja Tabi if you're playing against a Zed/Talon, or picking up Mercury's Treads if their team has strong CC, like Elise.

Blade of the Ruined King is the best 1st item for Tristana mid because its active effect slows the enemy's movement speed by 25% for 3 seconds, which will allow you to get off your full combo, even if the enemy is outside of your rocket jump range, or if they dodge it. BoRK is also great for Tristana because it gives her a ton of attack speed, sustain, 40 AD, and % health damage for shredding tanks.

Phantom Dancer is typically what Faker builds second on Tristana mid, and I'm not one to argue with Faker. Phantom Dancer gives you a ton of great stats like 30% attack speed, 25% critical strike chance, 5% movement speed + another 7% movement speed for 2 seconds after attacking an enemy champion + movement through units. To top it off it also gives you a big shield that blocks both physical and magic damage. Since you're a champ that likes to hop right into the fray it's good to have something that will make you a little harder to kill.

Infinity Edge is an amazing item on Tristana mid! It gives you 80 AD, 25% more crit strike chance, and increases the damage of your crits by 25%. Once you've completed this item 50% of your attacks will be dealing 225% damage, making you able to dish out a ton of damage.

Bloodthirster is a fantastic option for Tristana because it makes you ridiculously hard to kill and gives you a TON of extra damage. Bloodthirster gives you a shield of up to 350 damage, and when paired with your Phantom Dancer shield that's a total of 950 damage! Not only that, but when paired with the life steal you get from Blade of the Ruined King you have a total of 32% life steal! All of this together means that you will not be an easy target to take out, which is often the bane of playing an ADC champion.

Rapid Firecannon can be a great item to pick up for Tristana because it will buff her already long auto attack range. RFC allows you to poke people from far away without having much risk of them being able to engage on you, and it lets you auto attack towers without getting too close to the enemy. RFC also gives you more attack speed, more crit chance, more movement speed, and an extra 120 magic damage every time your attack becomes energized.

Guardian Angel is a necessary pick up when playing against fed AD champions and high AD burst damage champions like Zed & Rengar. Guardian Angel is also a good item to get in-general because it will revive you when you die and give you an extra chance to turn around a teamfight.

Mercurial Scimitar is very important to get if the enemy has a form of hard CC that will likely result in you getting killed (Malzahar ult for example), as this item will cleanse you of all CC and give you 50% increased movement speed for 1 second. This item also gives a nice amount of attack damage, life steal, and magic resistance. When paired with BoRK and Bloodthirster your life steal becomes a whopping 42%!

Lord Dominik's Regards is a necessary item to pick up only when the enemy has 2+ tanky champions, or if they have 1 really fed tanky champion. BoRK isn't enough to get the job done if they have too many tanks and your team will be relying on you to be able to kill them.

Mortal Reminder won't give you as much damage vs tanks as Lord Dominik's but if you're playing against high sustain/heal champions like Vladimir or Soraka then build Mortal Reminder instead of Lord Dominik's. Cancelling out 40% of their sustain/heal is too important against those kinds of champions.
Your job during the early game is to farm well and look to kill your lane opponent.

Tristana is ridiculously good at getting solo kills early because she has incredibly high burst damage from her E if it gets fully stacked, and because most mid lane champions are very sqishy.

Tristana has one of the longest range leaps in the game and most people aren't used to playing against her mid so it's easy to surprise a lot of mid laners and get first blood.

Although Tristana is very good at leaping a large distance and going in she's also very good at leaping away to safety. Her ability to be safe actually enhances her ability to play more aggressively because she can always leap away if the enemy jungler shows up for a gank. Once you hit level 6 it's nigh impossible for you to get ganked if your ultimate is up. She is also incredibly good at tower diving because she can jump in under tower range, secure the kill and reset her jump, and then jump away to safety.

Make sure you pay attention to your mini-map so that you can help your jungler fight for scuttle or stop the enemy jungler from invading your jungler's jungle. You are very strong at bursting down a single opponent early in the game so don't be afraid to fight, especially if it's 2v1.

If you're in a matchup that you can't kill, either because they're playing super safe or because they have a CC ability that stops you from stacking your E, then just use your E, Q, and auto attacks to shove the wave quickly, and then look to roam top or bottom to get a kill. Or, just stay in lane, farm up, and eventually you'll scale hard into the mid and late game as you pick up your ADC items and become the hyper-carry you were always ment to be!
Home is where the heart is and mid game is where the skirmishes happen.

Your team will be fighting over dragons and Rift Heralds during this time and you'll want to be there to assist them when those fights happen. Pay attention to objective spawn timers and make sure you shove your wave hard and then roam over to the objective once they spawn, or once your/their team is grouping up to take the objective.

Success in skirmishes and teamfights is all about proper positioning for Tristana. You want to stay towards the back of your team and auto attack whoever comes into your range. It's good to prioritize shooting their carries but only if they are the closest target to you. It's not worth it to put yourself into a bad position trying to hit an enemy carry only to get gap-closed or CC'd by an enemy tank/bruiser and die.

That said, once you get enough practice with Tristana you'll find opportunities to hop in on low HP targets, or to hop in on an out of position enemy carry with key abilities on cooldown and mop the floor with them. The beauty of Tristan is that once she gets a kill or assist she can hop again and keep up the fight or GTFO once she's taken care of someone. I'm still no expert in this regard but this champion has a ton of outplay potential if played properly.
Mid game was for smaller skirmishes, but late game is all about 4v4 and 5v5 teamfights, and objective control.

You'll always want to be there with your team once a teamfight breaks out so that you can lay down the DPS and so they can peel for you.

Make sure to play extra safe during the late game because you're a squishy champion that can be killed easily if you are not careful. Don't go face checking brush, and make sure to wait for teammates before going to check whether the enemy is taking an objective (baron/dragon/elder).

Stick with your team, stay towards the back of the pack and light up anyone foolish enough to push into your team and tries to get on you. You want to kite them to oblivion with auto attacks, and W or Ult if they get too close. Make sure to save your W and ult until after they use their gap closing ability, if they have one.

If the fight seems won then go ham and put their low HP team members in the dirt, and try to secure that penta!
This is the matchups section and it's super important once you have the basics of playing Tristana mid down.

If you want to climb to higher elo, or just spank/impress your friends, then it is crucial to learn how to play Tristana into different matchups.

Each lane matchup is kind of like playing a different game, each with its own differences and different things you need to do or watch out for to be successful.

Below I have a list of some of the common matchups for Tristana mid, as she's a less common (currently) mid laner there aren't that many videos available yet but I'll try to add more as time goes on.

Look at how each high elo player plays each matchup while in laning phase, and try to think about the decisions they're making in the mid & late game.

If you REALLY want to get good, then you need to learn each matchup, not all at once, but all of them eventually. Try watching a few high level games and then play a few of your own. You'll start learning what to do and how to play. Keep repeating this process and you'll master Tristana mid in no time :D

Tristana Vs Akali

Tristana Vs Aurelion Sol

Tristana Vs Azir

Tristana Vs Diana

Tristana Vs Irelia

Tristana Vs Kassadin

Tristana Vs Katarina

Tristana (Faker) Vs Qiyana (Crown)

Tristana Vs Taliyah

Tristana Vs Ryze

Tristana (Caps) Vs Zed (Saulius)

*Bait out the enemy's CC ability if you can before jumping on them, especially if it's something that stops you from auto attacking, like a stun, knockup, etc. Sometimes you can dodge their CC by jumping off slightly to their side, which will cause them to miss their CC and allowing you to stack and explode your E.

*W and R both add a stack to you E, as well as auto attacks. You need a total of 4 stacks to explode your E.

*If you explode your E on an enemy champion it will reset your W cooldown. As will kills and assists.

*Q speeds up your attack speed by a lot, but it costs no mana to use, you only need to wait for the cooldown.

*Your ultimate can knockback multiple opponents, but they have to be standing pretty close together.

*Look for all-ins at level 3 on many mid lane matchups. Look to poke the enemy with auto attacks, E's + AA's, and exploding minions with your E's passive to get the enemy low and set up your all-in's.

*You can auto attack again right after using R so make sure to auto attack again after using your ultimate to maximize your damage.

*Don't get greedy with your R trying to secure the last hit and kill, if your teammates are helping you hold off on using your R. (easier said than done, but try not to greed for it! It gets real awkward for you and everybody else when the enemy champion gets away with 50 HP because you saved them, remember, the enemy team members can't honor you, only your teammates can)
Thanks for reading my Tristana mid guide!

I hope you learned some useful information here. Go give her a try in some draft games, she's very powerful and a lot of fun once you learn the basics.

Don't forget to like this guide at the top, and follow me on Twitch unless you're a ***** <3<3<3.

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