This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page
Tristana Build Guide by Ceromus
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Choose Champion Build:
I am changing this guide to a middle lane only guide. If you want a more complete guide and more focused on bot lane please visit http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/tristana-the-little-package-of-destruction-137728
I added a second build which is my Max DPS build. I don't sell my boots until im ready to replace them with my trinity force.
Disclaimer: I win 96% of my mid battles. Of the 4% matches I have lost approximately 75% are due to me not paying attention to mana or me falling victim to a gank. Yes I play on US server.
Update 11/27/2011: Most Tristana guides are now pointing people in the right direction. I recommend http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/tristana-the-little-package-of-destruction-137728 for a guide that is not middle lane specific.
(Below info added 4/7/2011 1:15pm)
I added a picture with some scores and statements from other players. I just added it to catch players attention and a little reassurance that at the very least i'm not a terrible Trist.
(Below info added 9/15/2011 8:55am)
I have noticed some of the fans of my guide are constantly trying other builds. This is a mistake. If you are using this build and your Trist is still weak then you are doing something wrong and its up to you to figure out what.
Flash has several important uses for Trist. Surprising, Positioning, Escaping, Dodging, etc.
Why NOT Exhaust+Ignite:
Its a crutch you do not want to get use to resorting to Exhaust+Ignite because flash is far more important for you to have. Consider this a really bad habit.
Why NOT cleanse:
Ignite allows for a stronger early game, stronger early game almost always makes for a stronger late game. Cleanse is no longer as important due to defensive masteries and hp/l runes.
Why no early Rapid Fire (Q):
Mana plain and simple. Yes it will give you a slightly bigger damage increase than another point in explosion. Yes it is only slightly because no one is going to stand there and let you hit them over and over for its full duration. 80 Mana is a big deal early and it's just not worth wasting on Q until later on.
Why not more Explosive Shot (E):
This is the most common mistake I have seen on Trist players. You only want to last hit thats it. That is why you are starting with a Doran's shield. You do not want to do more damage to the minions than you need to because you don't want to push your lane! So why 2 points? Just for that the dot against the player thats it. It has absolutely nothing to do with the minions
(Below info added 3/31/2011 4:14PM)
If you are not smart casting with Tristana you must immediately start getting in the habit. Every ability should be smart casted (obviously not Q since that wouldnt do anything). You may need to practice smart casting rocket jump for a while what I would recommend is you push W like you normally would but instead of left clicking to actually cast it you use shift+W.
After that the order of what you purchase things is really about what you are facing. Do NOT I repeat do NOT buy boots before Doran's Blade. I absolutely love it when opponents go back and get boots as their second item because it just means my advantage is even higher than it was before.
My Core Items are:
Doran's Shield, Doran's Blade, Berserker Greaves, Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, The Black Cleaver.
The other 2 items you can change out, you can also get items earlier if you need to. If WW or Malz are constantly going for me I will definitely get a Quick Silver Sash early.
(Below info added 3/31/2011 4:05pm)
Never EVER sell your doran's items until you need that slot. For example I sell Doran's Shield when I can afford my banshee (or quick silver sash) or phage until then I keep it. Then I sell my doran's blade to fit my final item. I always keep the blade until last.
There was a time when I said buying a frozen mallet is silly because technically speaking you could have just picked Ashe and spent that money on something other than the frozen mallet and catch up DPS wise. However this was a stupid thought because contrary to what I believed at the time the Frozen Mallet is not about the slow. It's about the HP the slow and attack damage is just a really nice perk that helps your team catch & escape players.
Quicksilver sash is something to grab if you are constantly being targetted by CC. In particular suppression ults.
(Below info added 9/8/2011 12:57pm)
Pay attention to whats going on before you get pickaxe before zerker boots. If I feel I got a gank opportunity in the side lanes I am going to get zerker boots. If I feel I need extra speed vs a mid opponent that i am having problems with I will also get zerker boots first (though this is pretty rare). If I just want additional power for mid ill go with the pickaxe.
(Below info added 9/15/2011 9:00am)
There have been requests for additional advice on shopping. It's all situational people but here are some pointers to give you a general idea.
Start with Doran's Shield
(First trip back)
If MoneyOnReturn is less than 475 then buy 2xhp and 2xmana potions, priority to hp potions.
If MoneyOnReturn is greater than 475 buy doran's blade, if you have 920g after buying doran's blade then buy berserker greaves. If you still have over 830g then buy a part of the IE. If you have extra money 2xhp and 2xmana pots.
(Future Trip back when you have IE, Berserker Boots, Doran's Shield, Doran's Blade)
If MoneyOnReturn is greater than 1650 then buy B.F. Sword (You're going TBC before PD now, unless you feel you need PD first for some reason).
If MoneyOnReturn is greater than 1195 then buy Zeal.
If MoneyOnReturn is greater than 830 then buy Cloak of Agility.
If MoneyOnReturn is greater than 400 and you don't have zeal then buy brawler gloves.
ELSE just make sure you have potions, no more than 3hp pots and 2 mana pots.
Certain match ups are going to give you problems. Sometimes you won't be able to dominate mid but that doesn't mean you should die either. If you start losing the advantage try to get someone to cover you till you can recall and come back. Even if you do amazing and the screen is covered with "Yournamehere is Legendary!" you can still lose.
I know I said I wasn't really going to go give detailed pointers on game play but I need to mention 2 things that I see Tristana players struggling with.
1. When to engage: In general (a typical normal match) you want to engage right after the enemy engages one of your allies. In many cases the entire team won't switch to you if they are already on a team mate. Common mistakes are engaging too early and dying immediately or waiting too long to engage to sweep up the killing blows. Engaging late doesn't make you a good player...sure it can give you awesome multikills and great scores but you are not playing to your full potential.
2. When do use Rapid Fire (Q): You do NOT use Q when your poking. Q is your bread and butter and you should only use it when you feel you can make use of a decent portion of its duration and not be caught in a team fight with it down. Consider your teams CC when you are making the decision as to when to pop your Q.