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Tristana Build Guide by naLk

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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.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author naLk

Tristana - Wonna see the Fireworks?

naLk Last updated on July 25, 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.


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 misunderstood champion. People compare her to Ashe and Corki then say that those other champions bring more utility and damage to a team. She is less straight-forward than some other AD Champions, however when her skills are utilized properly, she has a great team fight presence and is often game changing. Bob Dylan once said, "Don't criticize what you can't understand".

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I take 9 Armor Penetration Mark's and 2 Armor Penetration Quintessence's to do great damage early game. I take Flat Armor Seal's to come out ahead in the auto-hit exchanges that take place during the laning phase. I take Flat Magic Resistance so I'm not as squishy vs. casters. I take 1 Health Quintessence because I need extra cushioning so that I'm not a complete glass cannon.

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I take 21 in Offense because it helps maximize my damage output and I can dump the remaining 9 points into Utility for the experience mastery which is crucial in a solo lane. Against a Pantheon, I'll put 9 points into Defense (Strength of Spirit and Flat Armor) to make laning against him easier.

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Should upgrade your Level 1 Boots to Berserker Boots. You want to start your Infinity Edge by buying a Pickaxe, B.F. Sword, and then Cloak in that order. A good goal to set yourself is to have your Infinity Edge, Doran's Blade, and Berserker Boots by the 20 minute mark.

Don't forget to buy elixirs if you feel a game changing battle is about to happen (Fighting over Baron or an inhibitor). Just be sure to prioritize a green elixir over a red elixir if you only have 300 gold.

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Skill Sequence

I max Rocket Jump first because it helps maximize your burst damage at level 6. I take 2 points in Explosive Shot prior to level 6 because it helps you slightly with your level 6 burst damage. After level 6, I prioritize my Q and E to set myself up with great late game.

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Summoner Spells

I take ignite flash on tristana in solo q, as solo q is tends to be more snowbally and taking ignite makes my early game burst considerably stronger.

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Laning Phase

Tristana is one of the best carries during the laning phase, only matched by Corki and Miss Fortune. In a solo queue game, you can take ignite and beat the best of Corki and Miss Fortune players as they almost never take ignite.

As a Tristana player, you want to play aggressive in the early levels and push out your wave. It's very crucial to get level 2 before your opponent does as you can land an unexpected jump on them and dictate the flow of the lane from that point forward.

The best time to land your jump is when your opponent is coming in for a last hit on a creep or by faking a blue pill and instantly jumping on your opponent as soon as they get in range.

While it's important to play aggressive as Tristana, It's more crucial to play calculated. You don't want to jump on an opposing carry when they have a creep advantage or when a jungler may be nearby in the brush as the lead you gained over them earlier could disappear or even worse, you could die.

During the early levels, you're main objective is to farm the lane as you scale better than most champions. You need to think twice before you trade a kill. Being greedy and exchanging kills is not always the way to play Tristana.

At Level 6, you can burst for approximately 600 damage. If you have ignite, you can burst for approximately 800 damage.

As Tristana, you'll want to have your lane pushed out well, so watch out for enemy junglers and only force the advantage when you're sure the jungler isn't near.

When the enemy minions are pushed back, you can push the minions back even harder and let their tower push your lane back. While you're creeps are under the tower, you can then jump to the wraith camp and clear it. After you clear it, you can teleport back to base and come back to an evened out lane.

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During mid-game you're just looking to finish building your Infinite Edge. Move around between lanes and group up for dragon and other key objectives such as Lizard Buff. You're #1 priority at this point should be to farm. Don't try to force a fight unless you have a significant item advantage on your opponent as delaying your Infinite Edge sets you up for a bad late game. You should just farm unless your team is grouping up for a team fight over dragon or a buff.

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Team fights Mid-Game

Prior to having your Infinite Edge, a large portion of your damage comes from your spells. As a carry, your #1 priority is staying alive. Always maintain your distance from melee based damage and tanks with CC (Crowd Control). Use your range to your advantage to poke at targets from a distance. When you see a turning point in a team fight, you can burst down an important target, jump in and burst them, and then jump straight back out or jump towards another fleeing enemy. Always remember that your Rocket Jump cooldown refreshes every time you get a kill or an assist.

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As a carry you always want to stay with your team during the later phases of the game. Never face check a bush, don't farm a lane that is already pushed out alone, don't overextend, and don't chase people. How you perform late game is largely based on how your early game went and how early you got your Infinite Edge. Also remember, buy survival items if you are having a problem staying alive.

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Team fights Late-Game

At this point in the game you should be able to pose a threat to even the tankier champions. Melee DPSers have surpassed you in damage and you often can't 1v1 them. Remember to use your Ultimate to knock back and not to deal damage at this point in the game. Use your Rocket Jump to traverse walls and to keep obstacles between yourself and the enemies diving type champions. Your presence in the team fights as a carry only gets larger the longer the game continues. It's important that you prioritize staying alive, but don't position yourself so far back that it's going to hurt the amount of DPS you output. Positioning is one of the hardest things to master as a ranged AD Carry and it will take time and practice to get it down right, but having perfect positioning is what will separate the Mid-Elo players from the High-Elo players. Just remember to never give up because Tristana is one of the strongest carries in the game so get out there and play some Tristana games!