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Tristana Build Guide by Sophie Lhant

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sophie Lhant

Tristana blew Teemo! up...

Sophie Lhant Last updated on September 28, 2011
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ADC Role
Ranked #6 in
ADC Role
Win 51%
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Ability Sequence

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

Not Updated For Current Season

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


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

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

Utility: 9

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Tristana is a very good AD carry, if not one of the best, in late game due to her 90% attack speed steroid, a gap closer that refreshes with a kill or assist, and her 712 range at level 18. Not to mention you don't have to spend any IP at all to get Tristana if you like LoL on Facebook. This build maximizes your DPS by omitting common survival items like Banshee's Veil. Remember, you are an AD carry. Your job is to melt everyone before they melt you. If you can blow up the enemy AD carry and possibly another DPS dealer then you can die in peace. Getting a Banshee's veil lowers your DPS by over 500 and only gives you a mediocre 50 magic resistance, 375 health and a spell shield that can be popped by pretty much anything in the game. No amount of magic res, armor, or health from one item will save your life if you are out of position. Getting more than one defensive item is just downright horrible because you will fall so far behind in DPS. However, there are situations where picking up a BV lets you survive long enough to deal damage as opposed to going pure DPS and getting instantly melted by the enemy team.

"You know who needs some ****ty stun for an ultimate? Boring Ashe players do" - Siv HD

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Pros / Cons


90% attack speed steroid

800 range gap closer or escape that refreshes on kill or assist

Longest natural auto attack range (without the help of skills)

Extremely high DPS

An ult that gives you another escape mechanism

High attack speed and AD makes taking out an unguarded tower very easy


Early game is kind of lacking. Her explosive shot doesn't hurt very much and rocket jumping into the enemy can be dangerous.

Squishy. If you are out of position in a team fight expect to be focused down within seconds.

Her CC isn't reliable. The slow from rocket jump requires you to jump on an enemy. Her ult provides knockback but in order to use it offensively you need to put yourself out of position by rocket jumping or ganking enemy.

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Greater Mark of Desolation 9x Desolation marks. Almost every AD character gets these. The armor penetration will help you do more damage throughout the entire game. It does not fall out late game like flat AD runes do.

9x Furor Seals. Crit chance is not needed since you will be near max crit or over max crit as you start building your phantom dancers. Crit damage makes you hit harder all throughout the game.

9x Furor Glyphs. Same reasoning as above.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation 3x Desolation quints. More armor pen = more damage throughout the entire game.

Other viable picks

9x magic res/level runes can be substituted in because every character in the game can make use of extra magic res (especially since you won't normally be buying items that give magic res). Getting 9 of these basically gives you half a banshee's veil worth of a magic res without having to use an item slot.

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Standard 21/0/9 for AD carries. Utility mastery can be switched out for greed or meditation based on personal taste.

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No matter which lane you are going to boots and 3 health pots will almost always satisfy your needs. If you get harassed out of your lane then not only are you behind in farms you are also underleveled. The health pots will let you stay in lane for much longer. The boots also provide much needed mobility on Tristana, who has one of the lowest (if not the lowest) base movement speed clocking in at 300.

You want to get a B.F. sword as soon as possible since it makes farming much easier and synergizes well with your rapid fire.

Next is your berserker greaves. Tristana is very lacking in the mobility department and extra attack speed is always welcome. Merc's treads is not necessary most of the time because if you are in range to get CC'd you are probably dead. However Merc's treads is a viable pick vs CC heavy teams.

Finish up your Infinity Edge for the extra 50% crit damage and 35 AD. With rapid fire on its like having a phantom dancer advantage over your enemy, who will only haave damage and no attack speed yet.

Build a quick vampiric scepter. This will allow you sustain yourself and prevent any humiliating situations where you have to run from a minion wave instead of pushing it because you have no life steal to counter the minion wave's damage.

Start building your phantom dancer with a zeal, since the extra 8% movement speed is very useful for Tristana. Cloak of agility or dagger first is up to you but I personally prefer the cloak since 18% crit chance is nothing to laugh at.

Complete your bloodthirster next so you have even more life steal and AD.

A second bloodthirster immediately afterwards is a good pick since rapid fire should cover all your attack speed needs. If you do not want to go straight into another bloodthirster you can build a zeal to get a decent amount of crit, movement speed and attack speed then proceed to build your bloodthirster.

Your last item is another phantom dancer since it gives you more attack speed, more crit chance (85% before masteries) and even more movement speed.

If the game drags on for a very very very long time I usually sell my berserker greaves and buy another phantom dancer. The reason behinds this is that more attack speed and crit chance at almost no cost is very useful. You essentially trade 12 movement speed for 30% more attack speed, 30% more crits (15% is wasted, but nonetheless its still good) and 15% movement speed (already factored into the 12 movement speed difference) by selling your beszerker greaves and getting a phantom dancer. The PD attack speed calculations are as follows:
1 PD (with rapid fire) - 1.956
2 PD (with rapid fire) - 2.317
3 PD (with rapid fire) - 2.5

1 PD (without rapid fire) - 1.366
2 PD (without rapid fire) - 1.727
3 PD (without rapid fire) - 2.087

As you can see no attack speed is wasted before the 3rd phantom dancer, and with your 3rd phantom dancer you still don't waste much attack speed at all.

Situational items

Even though you should not be focusing the tank, there are times when everyone on the enemy team has built somewhat tanky to counter you (or your team if your team is AD heavy). In this case substitute a bloodthirster or phantom dancer (I personally ditch the phantom dancer) with a last whisper to get the armor pen you need.

The health, mana, 50 magic res and the bubble are all quite nice, but getting this means your DPS is lowered by a lot. Get this if the enemy team is very AP heavy and you need some degree of survivability. You will lose about 500 DPS by getting this so choose wisely.

For those annoying Annie, Taric, Irelia, Amumu, and Ashe teams or for any other teams that have a lot of CC, hard or soft.

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Skill Sequence

Pick up explosive shot first so you can farm more easily using its passive. The active is also pretty decent for early game harassing. Careful about wasting all your mana though. At level 2 get rocket jump so you can escape from enemy ganks or chase fleeing enemies. Get another point into explosive shot at level 3 so its passive explosions deal more damage. At level 4 pick up 1 point in rapid fire since you cannot level up explosive shot. At level 5 get 1 last point into explosive shot so it splashes for an even 100 damage if you last hit a minion. At level 6 get your ultimate for obvious reasons. After that max rapid fire because explosive shot already splashes for enough damage and rocket jump is not used for the damage. Max rocket jump next so you can jump more often, picking up points into your ult at level 11 and 16. Lastly max explosive shot because that is your only skill left.

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Summoner Spells

Ghost and rocket jump gives you a very powerful escape/chase. Flash isn't as important since you can already jump 800 units. If you can't keep the distance between you and the enemy then no amount of blinking will save you. Similarly if the enemy can just run away from you after you've rocket jumped and flashed then that's also no good.

Teleport allows you to instantly push any open lane. By mid to late game you will have a ton of AD as well as a 90% attack speed steroid. You can down towers in seconds if left unguarded.

Other viable picks include:

Exhaust: You should be winning 1 v 1s and during team fights you probably aren't in range to exhaust their AD carry. However, it is still a very good summoner spell, just not one of the best in my opinion for Tristana.

Flash: As discussed earlier there is no point in blinking 425 more range if the enemy runs much faster than you (see Teemo, Master Yi, Akali etc). They'll just close the gap again/run away from you after you've flashed. However, a double gap closer/escape is not to be taken lightly by your enemies.

Bad picks:

Cleanse: Most of time time you just get re CC'd again. Very situational but in most scenarios its a bad pick.

Heal: Healing for 500 health isn't going to be very useful when you can just life steal for a couple hundred in one hit by end game.

Clarity: Tristana does not have any real mana problems. Even if you spam your skills this will only help during the laning phase. Afterwards it is pretty much useless.

Smite: You're not jungling.

Clairvoyance: Leave this to your support.

Ignite: You really shouldn't be relying on this to secure a kill because you can just rocket jump and chase. As the game drags on you will deal more and more damage to the point where if you couldn't finish them with your insane DPS then ignite wouldn't have helped anyway.

Fortify: You should leave this for your tank because he doesn't really rely as heavily on summoner spells as you do.

Rally: Really only useful for queue dodging. It can be destroyed so easily and is on such a long cooldown that it has no place in the game beyond trolling.

Revive: 9 minutes is a really long time. Even if you revive you will probably be alone because you just got aced. If your whole team brings revive then MAYBE it has some very situational uses.

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Early Game

Take bot with a support. Janna, Sona and Taric are great laning buddies. Heal bot's supporting got hit hard, so she is not the best support for Tristana. If no one wants mid for whatever reason you can take mid, though it should really be saved for an AP caster.

Go to your lane and farm. Tristana's harass is mediocre so if you can harass safely then go for it. If it means losing farm then don't do it (especially if the enemy duo bot has some sort of sustain. All you'll end up doing is blowing a lot of mana damaging them with explosive shot and having it healed by Taric, Sona, Heal bot etc). Remember, this early in the game rocket jump to explosive shot to auto attacks can finish off weakened enemies. Ideally you want to get your B. F. Sword on your first trip back but if you can't, pick up a few health pots (I usually take 3) and return to lane. If you are getting dominated in your lane feel free to get the pickaxe for a slight advantage. Calling MIA when the enemy disappears is a courtesy. Technically everyone is supposed to have map awareness. You probably should call MIA though if your team does not have map awareness.

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Mid Game

Once you finish the tower at your lane join another lane and help them get rid of that tower. Each tower destroyed gives your team a very nice gold boost in addition to letting your minions push further. This means that the enemy has to start pushing much closer to their base, giving you more time to defend a lane if you see it being pushed. At this point feel free to teleport to an unguarded lane and rapid fire down the tower. Any time there isn't a team fight just farm the creep waves. For mid game team fighting hang back and enter the fight once someone else initiates. Please do not be the horrible 0-9 Tristana that keeps initiating a team fight with rocket jump. Save your rocket jump for cleaning up after the team fight or for escaping if you suddenly get focused. If the enemy team is not focusing you turn on rapid fire and take out their damage dealers (mages, AD carries etc). Don't waste your time focusing the tank unless he is the only one left. Red buff helps ensure that enemies do not escape so if no one on your team wants it then go ahead and take it. By late game you will be melting everyone so fast that red buff becomes a little less important. Once again, if no one else on your team wants/needs it take it for the slow and extra true damage.

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Late Game

By late game your DPS will be high enough to down almost anyone on the enemy team in seconds. However, this does not mean that it's ok to focus the tank, even if he goes down in 8-12 hits. The tank by end game does not deal any real amount of damage. In fact, if you focus the tank you are actually doing them a favor. While you are wasting time on the enemy tank the enemy AD carry is steam rolling your team. By the time the enemy tank is down your whole team is probably dead or severely crippled. Have fun fighting 1 v 4.

Before teamfighting starts however, stay with your team. I have lost so many games because our Tristana insists on pushing a lane, believing that she is ungankable with her rocket jump + ghost escape. Most of them ended up receiving a 5 man gank. Not only are we now down one champion, we also lost a HUGE source of damage. In short, stay with your team. Don't drag your whole team down with you because you got greedy and tried to push a lane when all 5 of them are MIA.

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1. Don't feed
2. Don't get greedy
3. Farm
4. Build your end game items
5. Melt the enemy team
6. Blow up some Teemos
7. ???
8. Profit!