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Tristana Build Guide by Leya

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Leya

KABOOM - How to build a legendary Tristana

Leya Last updated on December 9, 2011
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Ability Sequence

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

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 22

Honor Guard

Defense: 8

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hi guys! This guide deals with my favorite champion in League of Legends...

Tristana, The Megling Gunner

The Megling Commandos are something of a legend in Bandle City. They have a history that spans centuries, and they remain the oldest yordle military unit still in service. They are renowned for their courage and bravery, as well as their deadliness and ruthlessness, making them the respected and feared of all warriors in Bandle City. Legends of Megling, the valiant founder of the commandos, can still be heard whispered throughout Valoran and it was these legends that most fascinated young Tristana. Since she was a wee child, Tristana wanted nothing more than to become the crack shot that her idol was all those years ago. She trained her entire life until she was old enough to join the military and could attempt to earn the rank of Megling Commando. The senior officers were impressed by her abilities, claiming that Tristana was a natural, and she realized her dream that day as she donned her Megling fatigues. Though her heart lies with her unit, the call to the Institute of War was greater still and now Tristana honors her tradition and protects her people as a champion in the League of Legends.

''Stand very still when she asks you to put an apple on your head!''

Tristana was my very first champion I've played in League of Legends. I just want to show you how I play her, and I'm glad about your ideas to make this guide better. Sorry for bad english ! :> Please tell me about mistakes too. Thanks.

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Last update: 9.12.11:
- Changed item purchase
- Masteries changed
- "Pros/Cons" changed
- Discriptions of "Summoner spells", "items" and "playstyle" changed
- Deleted the "Against mid champions" chapter

update: 28.11.2011: New masterie tree

update: 19.10.2011

- First i deleted the 4 other builds, and i changed my first build.
- Seals and Glyphs changed
- changed the "item-chapter"
- removed Ryzefrom the against mid champions list

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Pros / Cons


- Large ranged champion
- High DPS champion
- One of the best carries in the game
- Mid and lane champion
- Can use Rocket Jump to escape(like Flash) or to jump over an enemy champion.
- Funny playstyle and cute voice


- Focused in team fights
- Hard to play in early game
- like every yordle - squishy.

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Tristana's abilities

Draw a Bead
Increases Tristana's attack range as she levels.

You may think it's bad passive but I think it is one of the best passives in League of Legends.
In teamfights you stay behind your team, they safe you. Use Rapid Fire and cause the DMG for win this teamfight.

Tristana is squishy, but with this passive she has a safety distance between her and the enemies.

Rapid Fire
Tristana fires her weapon rapidly, increasing her attack speed for a short time.
Increases Tristana's attack speed by 30/45/60/75/90% for 7 seconds.

- It's a great carry-combine with your passive, so it is your mainly spell.
- You can destroy a turret faster.
-Farming/defending is faster.

Rocket Jump
Tristana fires at the ground to propel herself to a distant location, dealing damage and slowing surrounding units for 3 seconds where she lands.
Tristana fires at the ground to propel herself to target location, dealing 70/115/160/205/250 (+0.8) magic damage and slowing surrounding units by 60% for 2.5 seconds when she lands.
On a champion kill or assist, Rocket Jump's cooldown resets.

- Jump over a wall (or over abilities like Event Horizon or Cataclysm)
- Morganas ultimate is useless against you because you can jump away.
- Good to avoid abilities like Death Lotus, Absolute Zero and so on.
- It slows an enemy and it's nice to get a last hit when the enemy flees.

Explosive Shot
When Tristana kills a unit, her cannonballs burst into shrapnel, dealing damage to surrounding enemies. Can be activated to deal damage to target unit over time, and reduce healing received.
Passive: Enemies explode when slain by Tristana's attacks, dealing 50/75/100/125/150 magic damage to nearby enemies.

- Nice for farming(because of the passive)
- Reduces heals ( Sona or Soraka) or heal-pot-effects.
- Sometimes a very usefully dot-DMG.

Buster Shot
Tristana loads a massive cannonball into her weapon and fires it at an enemy unit. This deals magic damage and knocks the target back.
Tristana fires a massive cannonball at an enemy unit. This deals 300/400/500 (+1.5) magic damage and knocks surrounding units back 600/800/1000 distance.

- First of all it has a funny sound!
- The knocking is usefull to shot trough a wall(when you have CD on Rocket Jump), to espace a fight or to help an allied to escape.
- Nice to annoying a . Before he can use his Undying Rage, you use your ultimate to kill him. xD
- You can use Rocket Jump over a champion and then Buster Shot to knock an enemy to a turret.
-It's good in combine with your passive Draw a Bead, because you safety distance will be improved.

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Greater Mark of Desolation
Armor Penetration is the most needed rune for Tristana.
It improve your DPS and it's very helpfull against tanks with much armor.

Greater Seal of Vitality
It's a defensive rune for more chance of survival.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
It's very usefull to have this rune, because especally your early game is improved with it. Just a bit more magic resist improves your chance against a (for example) Karthus or Xerath

Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Just believe it. It's most important for her. Same reason like with Greater Mark of Desolation

Why not...?

- Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Desolation reduces the armor what means you do more DMG too. And it will help more later game than Greater Mark of Attack Damage

- Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration
You can choose this as well. But later game I only need Rapid Fire because your attack DMG is so greater than the DMG of Rocket Jump, Explosive Shot or Buster Shot. Rapid Fire do not cost a lot of mana. You just could need Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration for early game.

- Greater Quintessence of Health
An expensive rune for only 26 x 3= 78 extra health.
Frozen Mallet or Greater Quintessence of Health ?

=> so Greater Quintessence of Desolation is just better.

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Summoner Spells

- Why Exhaust ?

It's the most usefull summoner spell for her.
- It slows and prevent an escape
- Can help to escape
- Put it on a hard DPS enemy to weaken him.

- Why Teleport?

Yeah, it's a funny story why I'm always take this spell.

Nobody thought that we would win, but I saw the chance to teleport down when all the 5 enemies come in our base to destroy the nexus. :) It was a great game !
Since this I take this spell. It's also good to destroy a turret fast while the enemies are sidetracked.

Others :

- Ignite
Ignite is a really good other choice instead of Teleport. It helps in early game to get a kill easier. I don't use it because in late game it's not THE HIGH DMG, and you have to get in a dangerous range in team fights to put it on an enemy. I think for team fights its better to stay in the background for carries. But it's up to you :)

- Cleanse
I'd never tried this. But I don't think you could need it.
For Tryndamere or Master Yi it's better because they are dependet on their ultimates.

- Ghost
No not needed. Tristana is a slowly champion but you have Rocket Jump to escape. Exhaust can be used for escaping AND for getting a kill.

- Flash

- Rocket Jump has a lower cooldown
- you can even jump over walls or abilites. So it's the same impact like Flash

- The rest
simply useless.

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This is my standart item build and I explain why.

Berserker's Greaves
I buy them after two Doran's to improve my farming and certainly my survivability.

The Black Cleaver
It's a very powerfull item for Tristana. I prefer to buy it after shoes, but sometimes it is better to buy Infinity Edge first. I think this item is great in early and in late game, but particualy in early game. There are tanks in enemy team, they can't have so much armor in early game, so they are targets like the squishy champions. (This don't means you have to focus the tanks first!)

Infinity Edge
Mh, yeah Infinity Edge is just a must have item for each carry. The question is, should we buy it after shoes or after The Black Cleaver ?
I think it's situational. Sometimes they are strong enemies which are very survivable. ( Example Nasus, Olaf Shen ...) In this case I prefer to buy The Black Cleaverfirst, and then Infinity Edge.

Phantom Dancer
I really love this item. It gives important values you need for Tristana: Critical strike and attack speed.

Frozen Mallet
One of the items who gives a survival chance. It gives life and attack damage. And the passive is really great: Slow the enemies by nearly every shot. Before you can finish this item I prefer to get the red buff as much as possible.
Frozen Mallet works perfect with Tristana's passive. You have large range and you can slow the enemies, it's perfect to follow enemies who want to escape.

The Bloodthirster
It's a strong AD item. Lifesteal is great for squishy champions like Tristana. It helps to stay in a fight for a longer time :) It's no problem to buy it as last item, because you can farm very well, your bonus will be full after some minion waves.

Situational items

Banshee's Veil
I like this little protective item. The bubble protects from nearly every ability. For example Enchanted Crystal Arrowis a very annoying ability. In a teamfight you are marked with it to death. ._.
And the Banshee's Veil gives a bit health and mana :)

Madred's Bloodrazor
A great item against champions with much health( Cho'Gath, Vladimir, Olaf and so on)

Guardian Angel
A protective item against hard feeded enemies.

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First: I HATE Tristana in mid. I hate to play carries in mid.

This is why I play Tristana on lane.

Good Lane partners
My favorite Lane parnter is Alistar. He is supporter AND tank. He has much stuns and he can tower dive with his ultimate. The heal is good, but the reason for Alistar is that Tristana need a protective tank on her side!

Soraka or Sona or Janna
Mh yeah, I don't like supporters with Tristana that much. I don't think it's bad, it's up to the playstyle of each summoner. In my opinion, I need as Tristana a partner who can start the lane fight. And these supporters are squishy like Tristana.

Blitzcrank Singed
I love Blitzcrank. <3 I love Singed. <3
The CC's and the dmg is great. The only thing which is against the champions as partner for Tristana is, that they could get the kills which you need as carry.

Other tanks ( Rammus Shen Volibear Leona ...)
I like them all. Rammus and Shen, they can help you so much with their taunts. It's a good other choice instead of Alistar as partner, but the Cow is my favorite anyway.

Laning phrase
Harass, harass, harass!
You have a great range, so there aren't reasons against just auto attacking as much as you can. Explosive Shot is YOUR harass ability. Use it as much as possible too, but be careful with it. You have to get in range for the enemies to put it on them. If they want to attack you, just jump away with Rocket Jump.

I like to gank my enemy out of the bush. I use Buster Shot first (!!! Kick them to your team!!!) then activate Rapid Fire. Your enemy will try to escape or to attack you so Exhaust him. In case of trying to espace use Rocket Jump to slow after the Exhaust debuff. If he is still alive try to use your Explosive Shot when he nearly arrives his turret.

Team fights

Stay behind your team, use Rapid Fire everytime and attack a hard DPS first after you put Exhaust at him.

Explosive Shot
you need to put it on a champion when the enemy team has a healer in their team. ( Sona, Janna, Soraka or Taric)

Buster Shot
Use it to help an allied to escape the team fight, or knock an enemy though a wall! Can help much to knock a tank, healer or a hard dps champion.

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Most important thing is to play Tristana defensivly enough to escape every fight and teamfight. Choose the right items for her to make her best in DMG. You can get pentakills but ONLY with help of your team. Don't try it alone and help your team in escaping too!

So this was everything for now.
Please tell me how I can improve my guide! I estimate your opinions and try to find a answer for it. Have fun with playing my favorite champion Tristana ! ;)