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Tristana Build Guide by Vapora Dark
Vapora Dark In-Depth ADC Tristana Guide Season 13
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+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Example Full Build
Draw a Bead (PASSIVE)
Tristana Passive Ability
Table of Contents
|Why Play Tristana||Summoner Spells||How To ADC|
|Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, as a jungle main in season 8, and again as an ADC main in seasons 9, 10, 11 and 12. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that.|
I've been writing guides on MOBAFire since 2011, during which time I’ve won a few guide contests and broken a few records for guide views and such. I've also written some champion guides for Riot Games on the Lolesports site.
In this guide I will go very in-depth into gameplay and teaching you exactly what you need to do, so that this guide is the only resource you will ever need to go to to learn about Tristana, who has been one of my favourite champions, if not the favourite, ever since I first started dabbling in ADC in season 2 before her rework, and especially after her rework in season 5.
They say in regards to ADC that once you learn to play one ADC, you can play them all. It's not too far off from the truth. Almost all marksmen share the same basic mechanics. Because of this, I've made this my most in-depth guide by far, as rather than just teaching you Tristana, I'll be teaching you an entire role. Once you're done reading this guide, I expect you to have learned deep fundamentals for the ADC role which you will be able to apply to any other ADC that you wish to play thereafter.
Tristana has one of the most explosive playstyles of any ADC. You are an assassin of squishies at all stages of the game, there is no point where the enemy doesn't have to fear your engages. CC and Exhaust are Tristana's worst enemy, since her damage post Explosive Charge isn't very high (though Lethal Tempo can mitigate this to an extent). If she can be CC'd enough to not fully charge her bomb, or if her bomb damage can be mimized with Exhaust, she becomes unable to one-shot her target and her chances of winning the fight are much lower. However, if she gets to full charge her bomb unimpeded onto a priority target, the enemy's chances of winning the fight are slim.
Tristana's greatest stage by far is the early-game where her bomb damage has the most impact. She has an amazing laning phase in any matchup that allows her to stack her bomb without much trouble, and her impact in early skirmishes where she can immediately take any target out of the fight with her bomb while able to otherwise still provide a lot of auto-based DPS as an ADC is almost unparalelled.
You will often hear that Tristana has amazing scaling, that she's a hypercarry even. This was once true, but now it is a myth. Despite her scaling range, she falls off hard in the mid-game when her bomb stops being able to one-shot the enemy frontliners and she doesn't have access to enemy backliners without being easily killed herself. It still deals a ton of damage, but its massive cooldown prevents it being a reliable tool for Tristana to be dealing insane damage with it in teamfights. And her DPS with Rapid Fire is great, but still pales in comparison to the damage of true hypercarries such as Vayne, Kog'Maw, Jinx with minigun, and the devastating AoE potential of Twitch with Spray and Pray. And when Rapid Fire is down, her DPS becomes downright laughable.
Though Draw a Bead seems like an amazing scaling tool, her range for most of the mid-game is barely higher than Ashe's and most games it never goes higher than Caitlyn's range unless the game goes quite late, and even when it does it only barely surpasses it by 19 range. Her scaling range only reaches spectacular levels for an ADC very very late into the game, and at this point she does become a decent late-game champion, but still no hypercarry when you compare her damage to true hypercarries.
So when you are picking Tristana, you are generally doing it expecting to dominate laning phase but generally not have as much impact throughout most other stages of the game. Alternatively, you are picking her alongside a very strong scaling support such as Sona or Yuumi who on the surface don't look like they would have much synergy with Tristana, but are actually quite good with her because they make up for her weak scaling while she makes up for their weak early-game. If the scaling, team-fighting monster Tristana is your dream playstyle, these enchanter supports and others like them are the closest it gets to what you want, since they will put less emphasis on your laning phase and more emphasis on your mid-late game. Running Lethal Tempo will also take a lot of power out of your early-game and instead put it into your teamfighting.
Aside from all this, the biggest reason to play Tristana is she's so damn fun. Getting resets on her W is such a fun mechanic to have on an ADC. Whether she's weak or strong, suited to the meta or not, she'll always be one of the most fun ADCs in the game for me to play.
Tristana currently has 2 options for runes: Hail of Blades and Lethal Tempo. Hail of Blades is the option with the most synergy with Tristana’s playstyle as it helps guarantee she’ll get a full Explosive Charge proc and gives her extra burst. Lethal Tempo is starting to get used more and more in higher Elos as it makes her less one-dimensional, since she’ll still have damage even with her bomb on cooldown. This is a big advantage when CC chains make it difficult for you to fully charge the bomb, or when Exhaust neutralizes its damage. Especially in higher Elos there’s a case to make that players are good enough at playing around Explosive Charge that it becomes more effective to take Lethal Tempo on Tristana to make her less dependent on it, but for the average player I’m of the opinion that Hail of Blades is more effective. Still, Lethal Tempo remains an option if you prefer the scaling teamfight playstyle, which is what attracts a lot of people to Tristana in the first place.
When using Hail of Blades, you’ll always want to pair it with Precision as your secondary tree since Precision holds all the best minor runes for ADC, namely Legend: Bloodline since you’re not building any early lifesteal. Taste of Blood and Sudden Impact are both fine; Taste of Blood gives you better trades while Sudden Impact gives you more kill potential in all-ins. Eyeball Collection and Treasure Hunter are then your only choices for their slots, since ADCs don’t get much use out of anything but Eyeball Collection and Tristana cares more for gold than anything else offered by the Hunter line. Alongside Legend: Bloodline, you’ll generally want to run Triumph, since it synergizes quite well with her balls-to-the-walls playstyle where she’ll often survive on slim HP margins. Triumph will often save you from dying to minions or the second bot laner. Situationally you can also swap it out for Cut Down when facing tankier comps where you’ll get a lot of value out of Cut Down.
When using Lethal Tempo you have a little more variety in choice compared to using Hail of Blades. For your secondary tree, Domination, Sorcery, Inspiration and potentially even Resolve are all options as your secondary tree. For Precision your minor runes will be Triumph and Legend: Bloodline same as before, and for the last row your choices are between Coup de Grace and Cut Down, depending on whether the enemy team will provide you high value from Cut Down. If not, just default to Coup de Grace.
For running Domination as your secondary tree, you’ll always want to run Treasure Hunter, and then you can run either Taste of Blood for a safer laning phase, or Eyeball Collection for better scaling. I would generally opt for the latter since it really gives more value overall, but it’s not a great difference. The advantage of running Domination secondary is that it helps you snowball harder thanks to Treasure Hunter, but also provides 0 value if you’re not getting takedowns, and is more effective if you’re getting those takedowns sooner rather than later too. Despite its inconsistency, the value when it works well is great, and most players consider this the best secondary tree for Tristana.
Sorcery secondary is quite clearcut: always run Absolute Focus and Gathering Storm. You can consider occasionally swapping out Absolute Focus for Nullifying Orb which is a super underrated choice against high magic damage, especially if laning against mages, but you also can’t go wrong just running the two aforementioned runes in every single game. Together they combine to give very large amounts of AD and are solidly the best scaling rune setup, in large part thanks to Gathering Storm. If you’re a sucker for the hypercarry Tristana fantasy, this setup will most benefit you in getting the highest possible lategame scaling.
For Inspiration secondary you’ll always want to run Magical Footwear and Biscuit Delivery. Magical Footwear gives you essentially 300 extra gold to work with until lategame by delaying your boots during the stage where they’re least important anyway, and you stand to benefit from +10 movement speed throughout the rest of the game thereafter. Biscuit Delivery gives you a slight boon to your early laning by giving you a small amount of sustain and mana restore, but this is almost negligible. The real treasure of this rune is providing you with 150 extra mana for the rest of the game. Altogether, Inspiration supplies a mixture of better laning as well as scaling, as there are many points where +10 movement speed and +150 mana will benefit you even if you don’t notice them. The increased scaling is where the majority of the value lies. It doesn’t scale as hard as Sorcery but it does kick in and peak a lot sooner than Sorcery does.
Resolve secondary is definitely the least popular option of the four, but probably no less viable. Here you’ll always want to run Overgrowth for increased tankiness mid-late game. It won’t do much early, but when it kicks in it’ll make you significantly tankier. It’s worth mentioning though that it’ll definitely decrease your Cut Down value if you’re running that, by either reducing the scenarios where it’ll proc or reducing its damage when it does. You then have the choice of Bone Plating and Conditioning. Conditioning is naturally the highest scaling choice, but does nothing until 12 minutes. Those extra resistances can provide a lot of value though if you’re expecting to have to deal with a lot of unavoidable damage in teamfights, especially vs assassins. While Bone Plating can be an excellent choice in giving you an advantage in volatile all-in matchups, such as against Draven or Lucian. Just don’t bother running it into poke matchups as it won’t reduce any significant damage in most scenarios.
Flash and Heal has been the standard ADC summoner spell combination since as long as the average player can remember. Only us old timers remember ADCs running Ignite and later on Barrier.
The reason you want a defensive summoner alongisde your Flash on ADC is that you have a lot of DPS, so the longer you can survive, the more damage you'll put out, usually out-damaging what you'd get from Ignite. And if it can go as far as to save your life, then that's even better, as ADC's are very important to have alive for both providing DPS and taking down towers.
Heal is the typical choice for this purpose, but a less popular but perfectly good alternative is taking Exhaust, while your support runs either Ignite for kill potential or Heal for a more defensive laning phase or better scaling. Exhaust is mostly known as a defensive summoner that can help you survive assassins mid-late game, but one of its niches that flies very under the radar is that it is the best dueling summoner for an ADC. When you Exhaust an opponent their damage is significantly reduced for the next 3 seconds, and for an ADC that is already incentivized to get right up in the opponent's face and duel them straight up, this is a massive boon to their ability to win the fight.
Exhaust on ADCs like Caitlyn or Jinx is basically entirely just to reduce the damage of someone trying to kill them, but someone like Tristana will use it while being the aggressor of the situation, meaning she straight up has more uses for it than someone like Caitlyn does. And with Exhaust already being a viable option for those other ADCs who only use it defensively, for Tristana I would go as far as to say that it is optimal to use it over Heal. I run it every game that I can, so long as my support isn't running it, and when I see them hovering it in champion select I ask if they can run Ignite or Heal instead. It is invaluable for making sure that the opponents can't burst you down before you've done your thing.
Unfortunately, it's also a summoner that works extremely well against Tristana when run by the opponents since Tristana's ability to win a fight usually lives or dies by her ability to fully stack her bomb, so to have her bomb damage cut almost in half even when she succeeds in fully stacking it is crippling, and usually forces an immediate defensive Rocket Jump to disengage when she gets her reset rather than using it to finish the opponent off as she usually would.
|Draw a Bead||The range of Tristana's basic attacks, Explosive Charge and Buster Shot is increased by 0 - 144 (based on level) for a total of 525 - 669 range.|
My thoughts, tips and tricks
This passive is possibly my favourite passive in the entire game. It's been nerfed since I first started playing Tristana in season 2, but it still gives you a huge amount of range, and the only champions that out-range you at level 18 are Kog'Maw with Bio-Arcane Barrage activated, Jinx with rank 4 or 5 Switcheroo!, Twitch with Spray and Pray activated and Senna with sufficient Absolution stacks. Aside from Senna, these spells only grant temporary range buffs, so Tristana is the highest permanent range champion in the game once Draw a Bead takes her above 650 range at level 16, which is the breakpoint where she begins to out-range Caitlyn.
|Rapid Fire||Tristana gains 50 / 65 / 80 / 95 / 110% bonus attack speed for 7 seconds.|
My thoughts, tips and tricks
With this spell activated, Tristana's DPS becomes incredibly high. Unfortunately the down-time on it is very long (9 seconds at max rank), so you need to be sure to make the most of it while it's activated. The most obvious way to do this would be to use it right after Explosive Charge to help you try and get as many stacks as possible onto your target. You don't want to waste it if you're in a position where it's not safe for you to auto-attack much.
Tristana dashes to the target location, dealing 95 / 145 / 195 / 245 / 295 (+ 50% AP) magic damage to all nearby enemies on impact and briefly slowing them by 60% for 1 / 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 seconds.|
Whenever Tristana takes down an enemy champion or detonates Explosive Charge at maximum stacks on an enemy champion, Rocket Jump's cooldown is reset.
My thoughts, tips and tricks
Along with Draw a Bead, this is the main defining spell that separates Tristana from all the other ADC's. Tristana is all about being that high range ADC that dashes all over the place getting resets.
Rocket Jump is really unique compared to most other dashes because it's got a little bit of a cast animation before she dashes. But while the actual dash can be interrupted, the cast animation can't be. So for example, if you get knocked up during the brief cast animation, you'll be briefly knocked up but then your cast finishes, and your jump overrides the knockup. Whereas if you finish your cast animation, then jump, then get knocked up while in the air, the knockup will cancel your jump and you'll stay in place.
This unique way of functioning is both a blessing and a curse, since while it means it can easily override a lot of CCs if you save it to use reactively, it also makes it very easy for champions with displacements to simply hold their CC for your jump when you need it to get out and immediately cancel it.
However, all in all I think it's one of the best mobility spells in the game, due its long range and the amazing things you can do by overriding CC with it.
Oone thing to note is that you can't auto-attack during Rocket Jump, but you can cast abilities, so in other words Explosive Charge and Buster Shot. This means that when you Rocket Jump on top of an enemy you can place Explosive Charge mid-air and immediately get one charge as soon as you land. Or you can Buster Shot a low HP enemy mid-air to ensure they die before getting a chance to trade much damage back onto you.
PASSIVE: Enemies explode when slain by Tristana's basic attacks, dealing 55 / 80 / 105 / 130 / 155 (+ 25% AP) magic damage to all nearby enemies.|
ACTIVE: Tristana places an Explosive Charge on the target enemy or enemy turret. After 4 seconds the charge explodes, dealing 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 (+ 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150% bonus AD) (+ 50% AP) physical damage to nearby enemies. The explosion radius is doubled when used on a turret.
Tristana's basic attacks and abilities against the target increase Explosive Charge's damage by 30%, stacking up to 4 times for a maximum 120% increase, upon which the charge also detonates instantly.
My thoughts, tips and tricks
This is Tristana's main trading spell in lane, which you'll be maxing first. The base damage's scaling with levels is decent at max stacks, and the AD ratio is well above average at level 9. As a result it deals huge burst, especially if you explode it with Buster Shot or a critical hit. With a few items, you can burst down any squishy carry if you can hit them with full stacks.
Unfortunately it scales really badly on low stacks, making her short trades extremely weak. However, she's pretty decent in full-blown all-ins, as you'll easily get max stacks if you're not forced to switch targets, and the burst, especially combined with Buster Shot, means it's really risky to start a fight on a full HP Tristana post-6.
Its other use, besides damage on champions, is damage on towers. It makes Tristana one of the best tower killing ADCs in the game alongside Jinx, as after a few items she will require only one minion wave to take out an entire turret. Though you don't actively want to splitpush as a playstyle as an ADC, this is invaluable should you ever find yourself alone on a side lane, pushed up to the turret with no enemies defending it and no reason to immediately group with your team.
Tristana fires a massive cannonball at the target enemy, dealing them 300 / 400 / 500 (+ 100% AP) magic damage and knocking back the target and all enemies around them by 600 / 800 / 1000 units.|
My thoughts, tips and tricks
A very useful ultimate with many uses. The basic ways to use it are either for burst, or using the knockback as self-peel. More offensively you could use it to shoot an enemy closer to your team or away from where they're trying to run, but avoid trying to focus too much on this since I see a lot of Tristanas tunneling too hard on trying to shoot an enemy towards their teammates when they could literally just one-shot them instead. Situations where you particularly care about which direction to shoot an opponent with offensive purposes are very rare as Tristana, usually the direction only matters defensively.
Be aware also that the knockback (but not the damage) is AoE and you can knock multiple targets back if they're standing together. Very niche but incredibly useful when you get to utilize this.
Having given you a short rundown on how Tristana's abilities all work, I'll now go ito depth explaining some of the more obscure aspects of her kit that can be used to win games.
Using Rocket Jump to cancel CC
The most obvious and useful mechanic for this spell is the ability to "cancel" displacements and outplay CC. As mentioned earlier, Rocket Jump has a small cast animation before it goes through with the jump/dash animation, but successfully completing your cast animation isn't required to proceed to the jump animation. Meaning if you get CC'd or displaced in any way while in the middle of your cast animation, you'll still jump anyway, and in the case of displacements, it'll undo the displacement. To use the example from earlier: Blitzcrank casts Rocket Grab towards you, you know it's going to hit so you use W. You enter your W animation, Blitzcrank pulls you out of it and you start flying towards him. But then you enter your jump animation, and this "cancels" the hook, AKA you stop flying towards Blitz and instead jump all the way to your target location. And thus you completely avoid Rocket Grab despite having been hit by it.
Now to use other examples where this is useful, imagine you're playing against a team composed of Malphite, Gragas, Fizz, Ashe and Leona. Here are examples of how you can use Rocket Jump to outplay some of their CC.
This one actually takes pretty good reflexes, it's one of the hardest to pull off because of how fast Unstoppable Force's animation is, but it's definitely doable and very rewarding if you succeed. The moment you see him using Unstoppable Force, you Rocket Jump backwards. He'll slam into you and knock you up, and to that you say "To hell with your knockups!", and simply Rocket Jump to safety like you didn't just get hit by one of the most deadly anti-ADC ultimates in the game.
It's sometimes less ideal than simply Flashing it since Unstoppable Force deals a ton of damage (and definitely don't do this against a full AP Malphite because you'd get 1-shot), especially if Malphite hits you with Ground Slam and/or Seismic Shard either while knocked up or while jumping away, but if there are no other troublesome threats to you on the enemy team besides Malphite, you can feel free to just bait Unstoppable Force all you want and then when he's wasted his engage, just lifesteal the damage back up.
If you're confident in your ability to cancel the knockup and the damage taken won't be an issue for you, it can be very beneficial to frequently "misposition" near Malphite and bait him to engage on you to try and pick you off, as you'll slip away almost unharmed, and just like that Malphite's ultimate is down and the threat of a 2-3 man Unstoppable Force is off the table, and if your team is in position to fight, it's one of the best opportunities they'll get since the enemy initiator just wasted their engage.
Though be warned, Malphite can just as easily turn this bait around on you; rather than using Unstoppable Force from far away and giving you time to react to it, if he's smart Malphite will Flash and use Unstoppable Force from almost melee range, giving you almost no time to react at all. It's honestly incredibly unlikely you'll ever see this happen unless you're relatively high Elo, but be aware that it's a possibility, and it can really screw you over if you were relying on being able to react to a 0.5 second ult animation; reacting to a ~0.2 second ult animation is a whole other beast, especially if you're not expecting it.
Now this guy's pretty easy. He has 2 different displacents you can cancel, Body Slam and Explosive Cask. If he tries to Body Slam you, just cast W as soon as you see it, your jump animation will start once you've already been knocked up and stunned. However, beware that Gragas has a cool mechanic of his own with Body Slam; if he flashes mid-cast, any targets on the spot he Flashed on will be hit by Body Slam, basically allowing him to extend the spell's range by Flash's range. If he casts Body Slam towards you even though he's clearly out of range, he's going to be aiming to extend the range with Flash, so use Rocket Jump anyway.
You can also outplay Explosive Cask. You may or may not find it a little hard at first since the animation can be easily confused with Barrel Roll's animation, but if you have no trouble differentiating them then it should be pretty easy to react to since it's quite a telegraphed spell. When he casts it, just use Rocket Jump just before it hits the ground and you'll cancel the knockback and jump to safety; another great engage tool blown on nothing.
There is again room for Gragas to outplay you though. For example, if he's ganking you and you need to use Rocket Jump to get away even though he's not cast Body Slam yet, as soon as you finish your cast animation and enter your jump animation, he can Body Slam you (and can do it from quite far away if he extends the range with Flash) to cancel the jump. If you find yourself in this situation, needing to dash away while there's a Gragas with Body Slam available very near you, then you should not risk using Rocket Jump before his Body Slam unless you have no other options. If you have Flash, use that instead. If you don't, use Buster Shot to knock him back to a safe distance before using Rocket Jump to get away. If neither Flash nor Buster Shot are available and you really need to Rocket Jump away or you'll die, then just go through with it and pray that Gragas messes up the cancel/is too dumb to try to cancel it to begin with.
Aside from that, if he manages to get in R range of you without having to use Body Slam, he can bait your Rocket Jump with Explosive Cask, then once you cancel his Explosive Cask knockback and begin your jump, he can cancel that by hitting you with Body Slam; which is not as disastrous as being knocked back by Explosive Cask, but still definitely something you'd wish to avoid if you're in a situation where Gragas will go to such lengths to land a bloody CC on you.
It's also possible for him to bait your Rocket Jump with Body Slam and then cancel your jump with Explosive Cask, but this one's a lot harder for him to pull off since the timing needs to be just right. Use Explosive Cask too early and it gets cancelled along with Body Slam, use it too late and it'll only end up knocking you sideways or even backwards (the direction you were trying to dash to anyway).
The two latter methods for a Gragas to outplay your Rocket Jump are pretty advanced and if you're low Elo I think you're probably unlikely to see them. Even in my Elo they're pretty rare since not everyone is familiar with their interactions and counterplay to each other. It's more the kind of thing you'd see experienced Challenger players do, but you never know when you'll run into some random gold Gragas that saw a Challenger player do exactly that and think to emulate them.
Chum the Waters has to probably be the easiest spell in the game to outplay with Rocket Jump, though the drawback is that the effectiveness of outplaying it isn't as great as some of the others. If you get hit by Chum the Waters, there'll be a delay of 1.5 seconds then the shark knocks you up and slows you. I said it's the easiest to outplay because that delay gives you a lot of time to react to it, just use Rocket Jump right before the shark attacks and boom, outplayed.
But the reason I said the effectiveness of outplaying it isn't as great as some of the other examples is this: during the 1.5 second delay you're going to be slowed and this will allow Fizz or whoever's with him to walk up to you and deal damage to you. Then with Rocket Jump you'll bypass the knockup and most of the remaining slow duration, but by then you'll have probably already taken quite a bit of damage, and then you take Chum the Waters' damage on top of that; even though you can avoid the worst of the CC, you're still in for a world of hurt.
Sometimes it's best to not even cancel the knockup, but rather use Rocket Jump as soon as you get hit (if you do it too late the knockup will cancel part of your jump), so you can bypass the initial 1.5 second slow by being mid-air for the duration. Then when you land you'll still get knocked up, take damage and suffer through the second half of the slow, but it at least means that you'll have immediately put some distance between you and Fizz, whereas going for the knockup cancel usually requires letting him catch up to you during the first half of the slow and bursting you some. This is especially useful if you can Rocket Jump under tower, since it would force Fizz to dive you with full HP (minus the damage you take from Chum the Waters) if he wants to kill you, which often puts him off. Even if it doesn't, he'll probably have to use Playful / Trickster to catch up and once that's on cooldown you can safely Buster Shot him away without risking him dodging it and making you waste the cooldown.
IMO, this is the rule you should follow when determining whether to Rocket Jump before the knockup or whether to cancel the knockup: If Fizz/anyone else is near enough to damage you during the initial 1.5 second slow, Rocket Jump before the knockup to bypass that slow and avoid Fizz immediately closing the gap and bursting you. If Fizz or anyone else are too far away to be an immediate threat to you during the 1.5 second slow, put up with the slow then cancel the knockup, since that option is the one that overall inhibits your movement the least and immediately putting some distance between you won't be necessary.
Enchanted Crystal Arrow can sometimes be hard to react to but it's not the hardest. Now this one's a little different from the other spells I've mentioned so far in that it's not a displacement, but it's another example of how you can use Rocket Jump's mechanics to your advantage. Here what matters isn't just the cast animation mechanic, but its duration as well as the naturally high duration of Rocket Jump itself.
Let's say you're laning against Ashe and Leona, and suddenly Ashe casts a perfectly on point Enchanted Crystal Arrow towards you. You don't have enough time to move out of the way so unless you Flash (which may not be up or you might not want to use), it's 100% going to hit you and stun you. So what do you do?
Well as this entire segment gives away, yes, you use Rocket Jump. Backwards, unless you have a better idea. "But Vapora, your jump is so slow that it's still going to hit you". Why yes, but the jump being so slow is actually what makes it so good for that situation, because what Rocket Jump lacks in speed, it makes up for in distance, and it's a great tradeoff for this particular situation.
Because Enchanted Crystal Arrow's stun duration increases the more distance it travels, for a duration between 1 and 3 seconds. I'm not sure exactly how long the stun would be for hitting someone right in front of you in the lane, but let's say it's 1.5 seconds (probably generous); a full distance Rocket Jump takes about ~1.25 seconds to complete, so by jumping backwards right before the arrow hits you, you're spending almost the entire stun duration casting Rocket Jump, which is almost like you were never stunned at all. And for when you're getting hit by longer duration Enchanted Crystal Arrows, you may not bypass the entire stun, but you'll bypass a good chunk of it, ofentimes making the arrow a waste of a cooldown despite it hitting its mark. The most it'll do is force your jump when you otherwise didn't want to use it, but you won't be taking free damage while stunned like the Ashe probably intended.
Fairly easy champion for you to outplay her CC again. If you get hit by Zenith Blade, or you can tell you're going to, before it snares you and begins dragging her towards you you can cast Rocket Jump to enter your cast animation. Most dashes after being hit by Zenith Blade would drag Leona to your dash's destination with you so you can't use it to get away from her if she's hit you, but with Rocket Jump, by timing it correctly (only casting it when she's already cast Zenith Blade) she'll be dragged towards you when you're in your cast animation, and then whether still snared or stunned by her Shield of Daybreak you'll Rocket Jump away to safety.
Outplaying Solar Flare is pretty obvious, whenever you see it cast on you you just immediately Rocket Jump and you'll bypass almost the entire stun.
The only way Leona can outplay you in regards to Rocket Jump CC cancel is if you use Rocket Jump to outplay Zenith Blade and then she immediately follows up with Solar Flare on your destination. If you have no Flash then there's not much you can do about it since you can't really dodge while you're ending/just ended your jump animation, but at the very least you're likely to be pretty far away from her ADC/team, which is a better position to be in than most ADC's would be when caught out by Leona.
Something to note is that this mechanic isn't effective against Nautilus's Dredge Line. Although you might think the same situation as with Rocket Grab should apply, Dredge Line actually works a little differently, which affects Rocket Jump in a big way. Rocket Grab interrupts your cast animation by pulling you towards Blitzcrank, but the pull itself is then interrupted by your actual jump.
But Dredge Line isn't just a pull; it pulls you towards him and him towards you, and then it does a mini knock up; this mini knockup would occur at some point during your actual jump, rather than your cast animation, and therefore the chain of events that would transpire would be something like this: Nautilus casts Dredge Line -> you begin your cast animation -> he hits you and pulls you towards him -> you cancel the pull with Rocket Jump -> he cancels Rocket Jump with his mini knockup. End result: you get hit and pulled in by his Dredge Line and your Rocket Jump gets put on cooldown, completely wasted.
I do believe there are very particular situations where you can outplay this interaction though, but I don't think they're consistent. Because the timing of the mini-knockup is dependent on how long it takes Nautilus to reach you after hitting his hook which depends on how far/close to you he was when he cast the Q, there can potentially be situations where the window between the pull and the knockup is so narrow that it can actually be covered by Rocket Jump's cast animation, if it was a low range Q. The caveat is that the lower the range of his Q, the lower your window to react to it, especially since its animation is very fast and untelegraphed compared to Rocket Grab. That being said it is possible, though still more complicated than other displacements, you just need to time the Rocket Jump to right before you get grabbed. The further away he is from you, the narrower the window is where you can cast W.
I suppose it's technically possible that even max range Dredge Lines can be outplayed with a very specific timing and it's just hard for even me to pull off, but I doubt it. But I won't rule it out either , so feel free to test this out in situations where you're sure to die if you get hit by Dredge Line without being able to interrupt it anyway. Maybe one day you'll get lucky and the interaction will turn out to be possible.
Anyway, that's one really specific, and very annoying interaction with Rocket Jump which I figured I'd inform you of before you found out yourself the hard way.
The following are the only other annoying interactions I can think of:
Frozen Tomb: This is the one spell in the game that actually prevents your jump even if she casts it during your cast animation.
Death Sentence: Similarly to Dredge Line, Death Sentence is 2 displacements in one, as when you're hit by it Thresh pulls you back twice. You can override the first pull, but the second one would cancel your Rocket Jump. You end up slightly further away from Thresh than if you were to not use Rocket Jump, but it's almost never worth it when there's always the chance you could use the full distance jump to get away later. If you can actually properly identify a situation where this is useful though, then props to you. It has definitely saved my life before even if by accident.
Cease and Desist: Again, 2 displacements in one, a knockup followed by a knockdown. If she used Vault Breaker to get to you then you should just wait until after Cease and Desist hits you before Rocket Jumping away, but if her Vault Breaker is up then she could use it to cancel your Rocket Jump if she's smart, so it's safest to Flash away.
Explosive Charge animation cancel
Explosive Charge's cast has 2 phases: The actual cast time, and a wind-down phase where she jumps up into the air and drops back down, which you can observe here. Lots of champions have a similar wind-down phase on some of their spells, such as Ardent Blaze, Piercing Light and Siphon Power, among others. This isn't very well known, but this wind-down phase is useless (the spell has already been cast when you enter it), and actually very easy to get rid of.
All you have to do is auto-attack as soon as your cast time ends (which can be seen through the bar that pops up for a split second when you cast it), as you'll have entered the wind-down phase. Auto-attack commands entered before the wind-down phase will be queued to go through after it ends, which is what you saw earlier when Tristana jumped up into the air before auto-attacking the turret. But auto-attack commands entered during the wind-down phase will cancel it completely, meaning it'll either interrupt her jump animation, or if you do it fast enough, cancel it before she even has time to jump.
Here's a clip of it in action:
Comparing it to the Tristana from earlier you can see that while the first Tristana hops up into the air after/while using E, my Tristana just stands in place. Why is this useful? Because by getting rid of that useless animation you can begin auto-attacking sooner, meaning you can more easily and quickly do Explosive Charge-AA trades, and can more easily hit 4 stacks on someone while having low attack speed, or limited time to auto-attack (stunned for some of it for example).
And here's a fun fact: Shortly after her rework in season 5, Tristana received a buff to her Explosive Charge that made the animation scale with attack speed, so it's long animation wouldn't be cutting into your DPS once you have some items. But this buff doesn't actually affect her cast time (it's already something like 0.2 seconds), all it does is speed up her wind-down phase. But, as I just explained, this animation can be cancelled outright, meaning if you animation cancel Explosive Charge quickly enough, from as early as level 1 you can basically make its animation as quick as if you were level 18 with 2.5 attack speed. Which is not broken by any means, since it basically just makes you able to auto-attack like ~0.5 seconds sooner. But at the same time it can be the difference between landing or not landing an extra auto-attack, which especially since it grants you an Explosive Charge stack, is pretty impactful during trades in the early-game.
The best way to do this animation cancel IMO is to just spam right click during Explosive Charge's cast time until your auto-attack goes through. Theoretically you could try just learn the exact timing necessary and just right click once, but you're never going to be good enough to get it precisely perfect every single time and may even sometimes auto-attack too early and end up not cancelling the animation until pretty late. Additionally, since this mechanic exists on so many different spells within the game that all have different timings, the single most effective way to universally master it on every champion is to just spam right click and get better at spamming it fast enough that you'll auto-attack at the perfect split-second to cancel the animation as soon as possible.
Also, if you enter a movement command at any point after clicking Explosive Charge, Tristana will automatically begin moving the second her cast time finishes, not even entering her wind down animation. But this is less useful since you usually don't want to be moving right after casting Explosive Charge.
This one's pretty niche. Basically you just cast Rocket Jump but Flash during the cast animation, so that just before jumping you Flash to a new position to jump from. It essentially accomplishes the same thing as Flashing then casting Rocket Jump, but wasting slightly less time since you're starting your Rocket Jump animation.
Its main use though, at least for me, is to catch out an enemy in a 1v1 situation where they're trying to keep their distance from you. Using Flash and Rocket Jump together you can close a lot of distance, and by using Flash mid-W cast it gives them a lot less time to react to it and back off in time, or even to use their own Flash to get away before your slow lands.
Bear in mind though that it has to be used during Rocket Jump's cast animation, not the actual jump, or your Flash will just cancel your jump and you'll end up looking like an idiot.
Using Flash to cancel Rocket Jump
Another niche one!
Okay there actually is a reason why you might want to cancel your jump with Flash. You're still gonna look like an idiot doing it, but the enemy will be laughing from their grave, so who's the real winner?
Very rarely, you may find yourself in the complicated situation where both you and a ranged enemy are both 1 auto-attack away from death, but out of each other's range, even if you were to use Flash. And you know you out-range them so you could auto-attack them before they can auto-attack you, but they know this too, so they're smart enough to not bother trying and just run from you. You really want the kill and Rocket Jump would bring you in range of them, but if you greed for that they'll just auto-attack you mid-air and you'll die, since Rocket Jump locks you out of auto-attacking and your ultimate is down.
So both of you figure, it's a stalemate. If neither of you are going to greed for the kill and die, then there's nothing more to do there except walk away.
If you chose to walk away, then props to you for not being greedy, but there's actually a way to take the kill relatively safely. You use Rocket Jump towards them to close just part of the distance, then cancel it and cover the rest of the distance with Flash and immediately right click the enemy the second you're in range, which will be unexpectedly quick from the enemy's perspective. Therefore you get the first auto-attack off (if they even auto-attack/attack you at all), get the kill, and hopefully survive thanks to lifesteal + Triumph.
That's actually a situation I've found myself in a few times and managed to get a kill out of thanks to this mechanic. Aside from that it's also just useful in general whenever you want to use Rocket Jump to close a gap but need to be able to auto-attack as soon as possible. Maybe you want to chase down a low HP Syndra but you know she's going to stun you with Scatter the Weak and 1-shot you if you try to jump on her. That's when you jump on her anyway, bait out the E, then Flash diagonally to dodge it and cancel your jump, and auto-attack her for the kill.
You really do look like an idiot every time you Flash and cancel your own jump, but it can be worth it!
Explosive Charge on minion harass
When an enemy walks up to one of your minions to last-hit it, you usually want to take this opportunity to poke them with an auto-attack. However occasionally you'll find yourself in a situation where both you and your enemy want to last-hit a minion at the same time, and he'll walk right next to the minion you want to last-hit.
In this situation it's best not to auto-attack him since your Explosive Charge passive will harass him instead, sometimes dealing even more damage than your auto-attack would depending on what level you are and how much AD you have.
However you can take this "indirect harass" technique to the next level, and even cast your actual Explosive Charge on the minion you want to last-hit and then immediately auto-attack it to kill it. If the enemy ADC is positioned next to it as they should be, the moment the minion dies they'll take splash damage from both your E's active and passive, which at level 5 for example is a guaranteed base damage of 204, though in reality it'll deal slightly more when you factor in the AD ratio and however much AD you have at that point in time.
Whenever you notice an opportunity to harass an enemy this way rather than harassing them with an auto-attack, you should take it. It usually deals more damage (varies depending on items and level), but most importantly, you don't draw minion aggro from doing it, so if they try to poke you with an auto-attack and you poke them with this, they will take some minion retaliation while you will take 0 and can just back off to end the trade before drawing any minion aggro to yourself.
However you do need to be very careful that when you do this, you're sure the explosion is actually going to hit your enemy, because Tristana has a very limited mana pool and you can't afford to constantly try and hit your enemy with long-shot minion Explosive Charges and miss a great deal of them. You just take the opportunities that look free, but remember this is niche and you won't be able to do it even once in the average game.
Using Buster Shot as CC
Buster Shot's main use in duels is just for burst, but another important aspect is that during the knockback, once you have an attack speed item you can easily weave in an extra auto-attack during Buster Shot's knockback, during which time the enemy can't retaliate as the knockback is CC'ing them. Of course usually they'll be knocked out of your range so it's only good for one free auto-attack, but one free auto-attack coupled with Buster Shot's damage frequently makes all the difference.
Using Buster Shot for CC in duels is also most effective when you can knock them back into a nearby wall. It's not Condemn so it won't actually stun them, but even after they hit the wall and therefore stop moving, they'll still be in the "knockback" CC state until the time required to cover the distance they're meant to cover, which goes up with each level in Buster Shot. Effectively, you'll be stunning them, since they'll only briefly be getting knocked back until they hit the wall right behind them and they'll spend the rest of the short duration unable to neither move nor fight.
This "stun" duration goes up with each level in Buster Shot, and while it's not a long CC by any means, depending on what level you are and what your attack speed is, you could fit as many as 3 free auto-attacks in the duration. At the very least, it's a way to get a free auto-attack off during a fight in a way that won't knock them safely out of your range afterwards, so you don't have to be 100% sure that the final auto will kill them.
Another way of using Buster Shot for CC without requiring a wall, if you only need the CC to buy you one extra auto-attack, is to use Buster Shot, auto-attack as they're being knocked back, and then Flash forwards to auto-attack them again, hopefully before they think to/are able to auto-attack you back.
Assassination burst combo
Tristana's combo can do a lot of burst, so if an enemy squishy makes the mistake of getting too close to you while you're ahead (or even/behind but stronger anyway) and you're sure you're safe, you should aim to punish them for it, or you're simply playing too passively.
The main combo for assassinating enemies on Tristana is Rocket Jump followed by mid-air Explosive Charge. Next you do 2 auto-attacks if your Rocket Jump landed on them to grant you an Explosive Charge... charge, and 3 auto-attacks if you didn't manage to land on them. Once you have 3 charges, you use Buster Shot and one final auto-attack during the knockback. This final part of the combo does massive burst as it deals damage from Buster Shot and a fully charged Explosive Charge both at once, as well as an extra auto-attack thrown in for precaution. The beauty of this is that enemies frequently have no idea of just how much damage you're going to do in these last few clicks, so someone might be fighting back and thinking they have a chance of beating you, but then be dead 0.5 seconds later while you're still at 60% HP.
Even enemies that don't try to fight back will still have an incredibly hard time trying to get away from you if you land Rocket Jump on them for the slow (brush cheese ftw), and even without the slow, if you're close enough it's usually enough to just chase them down for 3 auto-attacks before executing with Buster Shot. Additionally, in the offchance that they survive your full combo, you should have a Rocket Jump reset to finish them off with.
Champions like Ezreal are the hardest to catch out this way since they can most easily escape you in these 1v1 situations, but someone like Jhin is extremely vulnerable as he has no mobility.
Just make sure you don't get too bloodthirsty and try to 1v1 everyone you find only to die when their team shows up to save them. That's when you're not playing passive enough. Go for the 1v1 assassinations when your enemy is making a mistake by being able to be killed by you, but don't try and force it so hard that you're the one making the mistake by going in.
Double Rocket Jump
Finally the last trick I'm going to talk about, another fairly niche one. If you place Explosive Charge on someone and auto-attack them for 3 charges, by using Rocket Jump and then Buster Shot in mid-air, you'll be able to reset your Rocket Jump while using it, and then be able to use a second Rocket Jump.
As you can imagine it's not very often that you would want to use this since it can seem quite overkill to need to use 2 dashes on top of ulting an enemy away, but sometimes when you're being chased by multiple enemies, it can be useful to dash as far away as you can, and therefore 2 dashes are better than one. You would want to use Buster Shot to knock someone back anyway, so if you can afford to use Explosive Charge and stack 3 charges before making your getaway, it should help your chances by quite a bit.
Your mythic options are between Kraken Slayer, Galeforce and Immortal Shieldbow. Kraken Slayer is the strongest and what you should go in most games. But Immortal Shieldbow can have its uses in games where you face high burst and may want more survivability, and Galeforce offers the most burst and protection against many comps against whom additional mobility is appreciated. It can also help you get more kills and snowball. Kraken Slayer is not just the best item for dealing with tanks but also the highest DPS item in general.
When choosing which to build, it should be considered which will be more beneficial to you in any given game. As a default though, with no external factors considered, Kraken Slayer is almost always the best, while Galeforce can leave you lacking in damage if you miscalculate how much DPS your team needed from you in fights. Additionally, Tristana is already so mobile and already has so much burst that Galeforce can often be overkill.
Use Galeforce only if you feel like the mobility will be really necessary in a particular game, or if there are particular champions on the enemy team you think Galeforce will help you outplay. For example, I love Galeforce into Xayah because of the way that matchup generally tends to play out. Tristana jumps into melee range of Xayah while placing her bomb on her, Xayah then ults, which places a ton of feathers behind Tristana, then she uses Bladecaller which does a ton of unavoidable burst to Tristana because she had to jump into melee range, then Tristana probably loses the fight unless she's so ahead that she doesn't mind tanking all that damage. Galeforce however changes the 5th step into " Xayah uses Bladecaller to which Tristana responds by using Galeforce to the side/behind Xayah so she gets hit by 0 feathers and proceeds to finish one-shotting Xayah".
I can't immediately think of any other champions for whom Galeforce dramatically improves the way a fight plays out that's limited to just Tristana, but there may be other interactions you might clue onto Galeforce being a lifesaver for Tristana.
As your second item you'll always want to go Stormrazor since Tristana's DPS benefits so much from AD, because of your bomb and also your massive attack speed steroid. The slow can also help you abuse your range advantage either for kiting or chasing people down.
For third item your options are either Infinity Edge or Rapid Firecannon. Infinity Edge is generally the better choice, but Rapid Firecannon can also be a good luxury item to build 3rd if you're really ahead. To help you understand why, I'll talk a bit about Rapid Firecannon and how it works.
Rapid Firecannon, on top of the standard damage poke that comes with the Energizer passive it shares with Stormrazor, increases your range by 150 for one auto-attack. Auto-attacks as we know scale extremely hard with items. Not only do they do more damage the more AD you have, but the more crit you have also the more likely the auto-attack is to deal double damage.
So this free poke is worth a lot more when your auto-attacks do a lot of damage compared to when your auto-attacks do very little damage. This fact is why Rapid Firecannon as 2nd item is almost never done anymore since the items rework in season 11 where better 2nd item options were introduced for ADCs, only sometimes on Caitlyn and Jhin who have particular synergy with Rapid Firecannon but still have other items that are considered better as 2nd item for them than Firecannon.
So the more damage to an enemy HP bar your auto-attacks deal, the more worth a free auto from Firecannon becomes. And the more fed you are, the more damage relative to the enemies' HP bars your auto-attacks will do, meaning the more fed you are the more useful Firecannon will be for you. So while I would never recommend building it before 3rd item, you may occasionally find it worth building it before Infinity Edge if you're really fed and you think you'll get a lot of use out of the poke compared to how many situations you'd be able to take advantage of Infinity Edge's raw DPS in.
That being said, remember that Infinity Edge does do significantly more DPS, so in games where DPS is what you need, such as vs relatively tanky comps who won't die fast to you, then Infinity Edge is what you should build. Rapid Firecannon can then be considered at any point after Infinity Edge if there is no situational item that should be considered more pressing to build than it, such as Lord Dominik's Regards against high armor comps.
Speaking of which... Lord Dominik's Regards is essential against multiple tank comps, especially when they're particularly focusing on stacking armor. It's recently become a trend to build this early (2nd or 3rd item) against tank comps but I believe this is misguided because the damage increase onto tanks is nowhere near enough to compensate for the amount of damage you lose onto non-tanks compared to building your regular core items. This, as with any situational item besides components like Quicksilver Sash, should only be considered at least after your first 2 core items, and usually even delaying it for Infinity Edge is good too. Building it even 3rd would be against really extreme amounts of armor in my opinion.
Mortal Reminder is essential against comps or individual champions with high reliance on healing, such as Vladimir, Aatrox or Dr. Mundo. You should also consider rushing Executioner's Calling as your first big component in laning phase against supports like Yuumi or Soraka because all their strength in laning phase comes from their healing, and cutting it in half has a greater impact in fights than building damage. You also don't have to complete Mortal Reminder until you've completed the rest of your build, since it's a very cost-inefficient item and most of its benefits are already obtained with just Executioner's Calling.
Bloodthirster is now an amazing choice if you can afford to spare the gold now that it gives 20% crit chance. This is an item that offers a great mix of offense and defense between its +20% lifesteal and the huge overheal shield. A great item to be considered when in search of some tankiness as an ADC.
Guardian Angel is a good item to build when your team's win condition hinges on your own survival. Usually built as a final item but can be built at any point after Infinity Edge if you're not lacking in damage.
Phantom Dancer is a very strong alternative to Rapid Firecannon if you just really want raw DPS to get multiple Kraken Slayer procs to deal with tanks more easily. It gives you a lot more movement speed to help kite and chase people down, and also a ton of attack speed once you fully stack it, making it the highest DPS item you can build besides Kraken Slayer and Infinity Edge. I wouldn't recommend building this alongside Rapid Firecannon though because then you go way over the attack speed cap while Rapid Fire is up, so you're wasting a lot of stats. Consider them interchangeable choices, since despite not sharing the same niche, they cannot be built together. You can also consider Phantom Dancer as a second item instead of/before Stormrazor if you're reliant on Kraken Slayer procs to deal with tanky teams early on.
Mercurial Scimitar is mandatory against certain champions whose CC can be devastating and hard to avoid, such as Skarner, Malzahar, Lissandra and many more. You can start by building just Quicksilver Sash at any point after your first item, whenever you deem it necessary, and just like Mortal Reminder you don't want to upgrade it until you've completed the rest of the build since it isn't a very cost-efficient item once you already have the active.
Bot Lane Matchups
Spoiler: Click to view
This is probably the most important thing I'm going to talk about in this guide. Any good guide will show you what to build, but few of them actually properly explain how to play. This chapter will be a mix between teaching mechanics and game sense to succeed in the ADC role which you will be able to take away and apply to any ADC you decide to play thereafter.
Also known as "stutter stepping". This is the most basic, yet also by far the most important mechanic to learn for playing AD carry. Orb walking is a term that comes from DotA, but in League it means something different. Orb walking is the act of moving to cancel your auto-attack animation, once your auto-attack has already been fired. The reason you'd want to do this is that it allows you to move around while you auto-attack an enemy, rather than standing still while you auto-attack them. It means you can more easily dodge skillshots during fights, you can constantly reposition yourself to wherever you need to be, you can move away from minion range during a fight, etc.
Proper use of orb-walking will maximize your DPS as you're auto-attacking as much as your attack speed permits you while also allowing you to move around, say, to stay in range of a fleeing enemy. Here's an example of someone orb walking while attacking a Soraka that's running away, and that same person simply right clicking her to auto-attack her while she runs, highlighting difference between orb-walking and just right clicking.
Notice how the Caitlyn that orb-walks stays a lot closer to Soraka for the first few seconds while she runs away, keeping her in range for more auto-attacks, while the Caitlyn that doesn't, quickly has Soraka run out of her range, and she has to begin chasing until she gets back in range. Orb walk Caitlyn lands 6 auto-attacks before she has to begin catching up to Soraka, no orb walk Caitlyn lands 2 auto-attacks before she has to begin catching up. By the time Soraka runs out of orb walk Caitlyn's range, she has already landed 6 auto-attacks. At this point, no orb walk Caitlyn has only landed 4. And this is what I mean by orb-walking maximizing your DPS: by cancelling the "useless" part of your auto-attack animation once you've already done your auto-attack, and instead moving along with your enemy, you'll be able to stay in their range longer, therefore being able to auto-attack more often.
Rather than using orb walking to chase an enemy, you can also use it to run away while still attacking them. This is commonly referred to as kiting. There really isn't much to explain if you already know the basic orb walking. It's just orb walking... but while running. Here's an example of a Vayne orb walking, it was one of the best examples I could find.
After killing Riven she just moves onto normal orb-walking to kill Corki and Leona, but the Riven kill was kiting right up until the end when Riven started to run. Also, notice how after she kills Riven and starts to 1v2 Corki and Leona, she suddenly starts moving from side to side. This makes it harder for Corki and Leona to land skillshots as her movement is so unpredictable.
The reason "kiting" (orb walking backwards) is given a specific name, but orb walking in any other direction isn't called anything other than orb walking, is because orb walking backwards is the most important use of orb walking that an AD Carry should apply. It allows you to keep doing damage, while at the same time running from champions like Riven or Irelia who want to kill you.
You'll never be perfect at orb walking. No one is, and I see even pros cancelling their auto-attacks pretty often. But you should strive to be as perfect as you can be at orb walking. Never stop practicing it. Orb walk while you farm in lane (moving constantly makes it harder for enemies to land skillshots on you too), orb walk while you farm jungle camps, orb walk while your team does dragon, orb walk while your team does baron... Never ever stop practicing orb walking, it's really hard to get used to perfectly orb walking at all attack speed values, and the more practice you get, the better you'll be, even if sometimes there's not actually any real need to orb walk.
There's one mistake we can make while playing ADC which we can never completley get rid of, and which without taking proper measures can be deadly if we make it: misclicking. It sounds easy to kite, in theory; right click enemy, right click backwards, right click enemy, right click backwards, right click enemy, right click backwards... easy peasy, and just like that, you're unkillable, right? But what happens if your mouse cursor is just a millimeter off of the enemy champion model, and rather than right clicking them, you actually right click the ground and end up walking TOWARDS them, which is the opposite of what you're trying to achieve? Then your opponent catches up to you and you die.
|Often this can get you killed, and especially when you're trying to kite with high attack speed (very common with Tristana because of Rapid Fire), it's really hard to move your mouse backwards and forwards for movement commands and auto-attack commands without making a single misclick.|
People misclick all the time, and honestly, my mouse accuracy was horrible when I first started playing AD carry. I've improved a lot in that aspect since then, but I'm still no Uzi. You wouldn't believe how many times I misclick every single game. But it actually doesn't really affect me that much, if at all. Most good players aren't affected too badly by misclicks, and the reason for this is the wonderful command we call Attack Move.
Attack move is a command which is usually set to A, X, Shift+right click, or just left click. What it does is, is it acts very similarly to right click; if you attack move an enemy, you'll attack that enemy, and if you attack move the ground, it'll move towards that spot. The difference between attack move and right click though, is that if you attack move the ground, your champion will move there, but they will stop to auto-attack an enemy if they run into one before they reach the spot they attack moved.
Kiting is the most obvious time to apply attack move, as it'll save your life so many times, maybe even various times in a single game, depending on how many misclicks you tend to make while kiting. But when else should you use it? Some people would advise using it basically any time you orb walk, as it'll ensure you're auto-attacking as frequently as you can. But you know when I would recommend you to use attack move? Literally for every single auto-attack. If you misclick, even just while farming, rather than accidentally running forwards and possibly opening yourself up to poke or an engage, you'll just auto-attack the minion anyway. The worst possible case scenario you could get from attack moving in that situation, is that you attack the wrong minion and miss a last hit. Which is bad, but you'll probably never lose a lane or a game just because you missed that one single minion in laning phase; if you accidentally get too close to your enemies because you right clicked and misclicked, then that could certainly lead to you losing your lane. Maybe not often, but it can definitely happen, especially against more competent enemies.
You don't need to literally copy my own hotkey for attack move, but if A, X or shift are too awkward for you to get used to, then you should just try and find a key you're comfortable pressing on a regular basis whenever you want to use attack move. For me, T works like a charm, maybe you'd rather just find a different key. You can change your attack move hotkey by opening up the Option screen with the Esc key, going into Hotkeys and scrolling down to "Player movement", left clicking it, and finding "Player Attack Move". If you can find a key that you can get comfortable with, there's really no reason for you to ever need to right click an enemy again.
Another thing that might put you off attack move, especially if you're used to smart casting (a lot of people, me included, smart cast literally every spell in the game), is that you need to click the attack move key then left click on your desired destination/enemy, which feels clunky if all your other keys use smart cast. But Riot actually has you covered there! There's basically a smart cast version of Attack Move called Attack Move Click, which is what I use, and have set to T on the above screenshot. If you're the type to smart cast all your spells, then you can make using your attack move hotkey feel as quick and smooth as any of your spell hotkeys.
This has been a pretty long explanation, but that, my friends, is attack move. Seriously, start using it, it really does make a huge difference. Not so much if you don't play auto-attack reliant champions, but definitely on AD Carry.
Laning mechanics are basically every action you do in lane to build up an advantage. Some of it is very obvious and I'm not going to bother explaining them, such as last-hitting, and other things are more subtle and are just things you learn with experience. Well I'm going to make you skip the "experience" part and just teach you everything I've learnt about laning bot lane as an AD Carry. All you'll have to do is remember it and practice applying it.
The theory of getting ahead on bot lane isn't rocket science. If you do more damage to your enemy than they do to you in trades, you'll have higher HP than them. And thus you're more likely to win any fights you get into. But what if your champion does the same amount of damage as your opponent's champion? Or worse, what if they just straight up do more damage? Well that doesn't mean you're going to lose regardless of player skill. It just means you need to play better than them. The more subtle aspect of laning mechanics is all about trading with (damaging) your opponent in ways or situations where they can't easily damage you back, and also the reverse; counter-trading in situations where you're meant to be vulnerable and your opponent tries to poke you for free damage.
I realize this is sounding really ambiguous, so here's a situation with more context: You're laning on bot lane, 2v2, farming. You see that one of your team's minions are getting low, and you know know that your enemy is about to walk up to it to last-hit it. If they're busy auto-attacking a minion, then they can't auto-attack you at the same time; which is why as soon as you see one of your minions getting low enough for your enemy to last-hit, you wanna pre-emptively move forwards, practically next to that minion, so that when your enemy goes in to last-hit it, you're in range to auto-attack them while they're busy auto-attacking your minion. In most cases, they're forced to choose between cancelling the auto-attack on the minion to trade back with you, or more commonly, they'll keep going for the last-hit and won't trade back with you, so you just get an auto-attack on them for free.
And when I say that you need to learn to counter-trade when you're meant to be vulnerable, I'm referring to when you find yourself in the opposite of the previous situation; you're the one going in for a last-hit and your opponent positions themselves to get a free auto-attack on you. As mentioned, you can either a) tank it like a man and hope you'll overall win trades anyway, or b) ignore the last-hit and just auto-attack them back so it's a 50/50 trade. If you go for option B every time and your enemy goes for option A every time, you'll miss a few more last-hits than them, but you'll end up higher up on HP and that means you can transition that into either killing your opponent, or zoning them to gain a higher CS lead than the few minions you missed due to auto-attacking your opponent instead.
But there's a 3rd underrated option, C. Option C is, don't last-hit, simply concede the CS in exchange for not losing HP. This is useful if you're facing someone like Caitlyn who outranges you so much that you wouldn't even be able to trade back if you tried. In the Tristana vs Caitlyn matchup you typically want to win the lane through finding engages, and to engage you need sufficiently high enough HP that you won't be immediately burst down. In these circumstances it's best to play for the long game. By giving up some farm now, you get a kill or get to force the opponent out of lane later, making up for the lost CS then. This is also a fine option if rather than being outranged, the opposing champion also just stomps you in trades, as can be the case with Draven or Lucian. Both champions have better short trades than Tristana but she is more likely to be able to burst them down than them her in all-ins, giving her a potential win condition of playing safe and giving up some farm in order to beat them in an all-in later.
That being said, don't be sitting there at full HP being too afraid to last-hit. When you beat opponents in all-ins by as high a margin as Tristana typically does, you don't need your entire HP bar to win a fight. You can comfortably take some damage, especially if you're also dealing damage back. How much HP you need depends on how thin or wide your margin for winning in all-ins. Against Caitlyn, depending on the support matchups you could easily be 50% HP or even 20% HP in the right circumstances (if your support is the one engaging with some form of lockdown CC) and still be able to one-shot the Caitlyn before she can deal sufficient damage to kill you. Draven and Lucian however are burstier and so you need more HP to win an all-in against them. However, since they also can't trade with you outside of your range you still have more room to comfortably trade without worrying too much about your HP bar since their HP bar will also be going down, even if slower.
The less HP your opponent has, the less HP you need to beat them too. The caveat is that you need at least as much HP as is required to survive long enough to fully proc your bomb. While Draven can get away with winning a fight in 2 quick auto-attacks if that's all it takes for his axes to finish his opponent, Tristana's Explosive Charge requires at least 2 auto-attacks if you hit Rocket Jump and Buster Shot, 3 auto-attacks if you can only hit one of them, or 4 auto-attacks if you can't hit either of them. And any interaction that relies on landing Rocket Jump is already delayed by Rocket Jump's cast and travel time as well as how long it takes to land your autos.
Every time you go for a single auto-attack on an enemy, you should then back off, preferably into a brush, to shake off minion aggro. If a brush isn't an option, or it's warded so it won't make chasing minions lose vision of you, then you should just run backwards until it re-aggros onto your minions. Sometimes a lone minion might chase you way further than it really should and if you go too far then it won't be in aggro range of other minions, so at a certain point rather than running backwards you should run in circles around your caster minions until it decides to attack your minions again.
Positioning is also an important aspect of winning your lane. You want to position yourself in a way that if you're going to trade with the enemy ADC, you're safe from the enemy support too. So for example, say the enemy ADC is positioned to your left, and the enemy support is to your right. If you also position yourself to the right, you're vulnerable to being attacked by both the support and the ADC. If you position yourself more to the left, you can trade with the ADC but you're also out of the enemy support's range, so it'll be a 1v1 trade.
Here's an example of bad positioning:
By standing there, I'm vulnerable to getting attacked by both Ashe and Braum. If I try to trade it's going to be 1v2, and there's no way I can win that trade. Even assuming my support were on the lane, it's still suboptimal positioning if I'm intending to trade with Ashe. And even if I'm not, they can take advantage of my positioning of their own accord.
Here's an example of good positioning:
If I try to trade with Ashe here, I'm out of Braum's range and he'll need to reposition himself before he can join the fight. In this screenshot I'd actually miss one or two last-hits if I try to trade with Ashe, but if Ashe plays properly she'll try to AA me for free damage while I last-hit the minions, so it's ideal to just give up the CS and trade back.
Note that it's technically bad positioning in both screenshots as I can't be positioned so aggressively in a 1v2 lane, but this is just meant to give you an idea of what good and bad positioning is in a 2v2 lane. You'll constantly want to reposition yourself depending on the enemy ADC and support's movements so you can be as safe as possible and have minions between you and enemy skillshots.
Lane freezing is a more advanced-ish technique that you won't usually see applied at low Elo, but becomes more common in Platinum and Diamond. It's actually really easy to do, the reason it isn't common at low Elo is simply that people don't know about it, or don't think about it.
To undo a lane freeze, you need to push the minions as fast as possible, and harass the enemy bot lane away from the minions if they try to tank them to create another freeze, to force your minions under their tower. The minions should hopefully die before the next wave arrives and reset the lane.
So this is what the enemy bot lane should be trying to do too if you're the one creating a freeze. However, if you're ahead enough, you'll be strong to the point of being able to win trades/fights even while tanking the minions you want to freeze, meaning the enemy bot lane has no way of preventing you from freezing other than getting their jungler to come help shove the wave into your tower. This kind of teamwork usually doesn't happen even at my level of solo queue though. So if you're ahead enough, you can indefinitely freeze the wave for as long as you want, keeping it very near your tower so you're unlikely to die to ganks, and also forcing the enemy bot lane to over-extend if they want to get last-hits, which would leave them vulnerable to getting ganked.
The only disadvantage to lane freezing is that seeing as the enemy bot lane can't get close enough to farm if you're ahead, you leave them no choice but to leave bot lane and either gank mid or simply group there to take the tower, assuming they're smart enough to leave bot lane. At this point you should just clear the wave that you've been freezing and push hard to take the enemy tower. If your jungler helps mid lane your mid tower might hold 2v3, while the enemy bot tower has no chance of surviving 0v2. At worst you'll trade 1 for 1 if it comes to this, or you might just take their tower then also group mid and make sure that tower doesn't go down.
This is one of the biggest CS leads I've personally managed to create through freezing a lane. You can see that although Sivir has only died 3 times, I've created a massive CS lead just by freezing the lane and zoning her so she could only farm with Q. Her jungler never came to break the freeze so it held indefinitely.
Note however that Tristana is the worst champion in the game for freezing due to her Explosive Charge's passive. Every time you last-hit a minion you'll do unnecessary splash damage onto other minions which will slightly push the lane more than necessary. In the right circumstances you'll still be able to keep up a temporary freeze, but in many situations where you should be able to freeze, Tristana can't. It's still worth mentioning even in a Tristana guide, but it's not as easy as it would be with any other champion, especially the later in the game it is with more levels in Explosive Charge. If nothing else, you can just do a temporary freeze for as long as you can, rather than a long-term freeze. But inevitably any freeze will dissolve and instead turn into a slow push. Which leads me into the topic of slow pushing.
LANING UNDER TOWERS
Slow pushing is a technique which is identical in execution to freezing, in that you last-hit the minions as slowly as possible. The only difference between freezing and slow pushing is the wave state. If the wave is pushing towards you, it's a freeze, meaning that you're indefinitely keeping the wave in a state of pushing towards you. If the wave is pushing towards the enemies, then it's a slow push, meaning that while the wave is pushing you're trying to delay the inevitable crash into the enemy turret as long as possible.
The benefits of slow pushing are numerous. Similarly to freezing it can allow you to deny some farm from the enemies if they are unable to safely last-hit, but it will deny less farm than a freeze because your minions will outnumber the enemies', causing the enemy minions to die faster and kill less of your minions, so that for a lot of the farm you're more delaying the enemy last-hitting it more than denying it.
But another big benefit is that it helps you build up large minion waves to pressure or fight the enemies with. Minions can block skillshots, tank turrets for long periods of time, and provide a surpring amount of damage towards enemies should they aggro onto them. Faced with a slow push, it's much riskier for enemies to try and fight you or trade with you than it would be with a freeze. And when the wave ends up under turret, it'll tank the turret for ages giving you a lot of time to hit the turret and poke down the enemies. On top of the time provided, it also becomes a lot harder for the enemies to try and poke you back or engage on you knowing that simply hitting you will lead to a large amount of minions starting to deal damage back to them even without you doing anything. Though you deny less farm through zoning on a slow push than a freeze, every minion that you weren't able to deny is now working for you in whatever you choose to do under the enemy turret. And should potentially diving be on your mind, the dive'll be much more likely to succeed if you have 13 minions aiding you than 5.
Comparing slow pushing to freezing, slow pushing is a much more proactive technique since it comes with the intention of later on either pressuring/diving the enemies during the crash, or making progress towards taking the enemy turret. While freezing is just mounting up a slow CS lead while nothing much at all happens to affect the map or actually increase your own gold income as opposed to decreasing your opponents' income. It's also much safer to execute since rather than building up a larger enemy wave that potentially could help them beat you in a fight should they choose to engage, you're building up your own wave and decreasing their chances of winning a fight.
That being said, it doesn't come without its own risks. The main disadvantage of slow pushing is that around halfway or towards the latter half of the slow push when the wave enters the enemy side of the map and you are awaiting shoving in one or two final waves, you become vulnerable to a gank by the enemy jungler. While these ganks tend to be fairly easy to escape because it's very telegraphed when the enemy bot lane suddenly starts running into your massive wave, the enemy jungler clearing your vision afterwards can put you in a very tough spot, as you'll have no idea whether they left to continue clearing camps or are camping the brush waiting for you to overextend again. The whole time you're also losing farm because your massive wave is killing your minions and if you don't walk up and finish crashing the wave into the turret it'll provide the enemies an avenue to freeze, further incentivizing you to walk up and break it and potentially get ganked in the process.
Ganks are inconvenient at the best times, but being ganked halfway through a slow push can really put you in a tough spot with no clear answer if your jungler can't come and help you out of it. Even cutting my losses and recalling hasn't proved a reliable answer for me as many a time I've gotten back into lane only for the enemy jungler to still immediately regank as they patiently waited through my entire recall and walk back into lane. If the enemy jungler knows your wave state is in a ****ed place where you can't get any farm without avoiding a gank, they have no reason to leave until that circumstance finally changes. Chances are they won't miss as much farm from their jungle as you will from your lane.
Though this is one big way a slow push can backfire, it isn't guaranteed to play out this way even if you get ganked. The bigger your wave the higher your chances of just being able to 2v3 whenever the jungler shows up, especially if you can quickly turn on and burst down the jungler and walk away before the enemy bot gets to contribute much. Otherwise, the enemy bot lane might just tank too much damage walking into your wave that you can burst one of them down before the enemy jungler gets close. It's all about identifying how fast you can kill someone and who's the fastest person you can kill before their allies can begin to help them. Especially as Tristana, at all stages this shouldn't be much of an issue as you can easily burst someone down and easily get into position to do so. However you also won't have too massive a wave to work with ever because of how fast you're forced to push with Explosive Charge's passive.
LANING UNDER TOWERS
If you shove your minion wave under the enemy tower you'll be forcing them to try to last-hit while the tower tries to kill their minions, which is a little more complicated than last-hitting in normal circumstances. There's a few things to consider in this situation:
1) The enemy tower will slowly be taking damage as your minions attack it, and you might get some auto-attacks off on it while your minions tank it. This can eventually end up costing the enemy their tower.
2) Last-hitting for the enemy ADC will be harder, it might cost them a few CS, how much usually depending on whether their support helps them prep last hits or not.
3) You will be vulnerable to engages, should you not play carefully enough, and it's extremely dangerous to get engaged on near their tower, especially by anyone with any kind of "pull" displacements that can take you right under their tower, e.g. Thresh Death Sentence, Nautilus Dredge Line, Blitzcrank Rocket Grab, Alistar Flash Pulverize Headbutt into tower (this one is the hardest to react to, though fortunately it's cooldown is limited to Flash's cooldown).
When shoving to the enemy tower, you need to play very carefully if the enemy has any of that dangerous engage. It's mostly only safe for you to auto-attack the enemies/tower if you still have melee minions tanking the tower, and it depends on how far back the support is standing. You can't do much while the support has a clear engage opportunity, but if they're being blocked by minions you can auto-attack them as long as it's safe in an attempt to force them to stand further back, where it's harder for them to engage on you.
|When you're not under threat of being dangerously engaged upon, you're a lot less restricted in what you can do, and you can auto-attack the enemy ADC every time they try to auto-attack a minion, whether as prep to last-hit it or to actually last-hit it. Naturally this mainly only applies to ranged minions as you'd have to be really close to the tower to do this while they're last-hitting melee minions. Instead you can auto-attack either the support (if it's someone that's safe to attack), or the tower. As Tristana, you should also often be placing Explosive Charge on the tower, so long as you still have melee minions tanking it, and auto-attack it as much as you can. "As much as you can" varies and depends on how the enemy reacts to it. If they stand far back doing nothing, you can go at it as much as you want, probably reaching full stacks (after which you immediately walk backwards to avoid getting hit by the tower). If they move forwards to stop you stacking your charges on the tower, then you move backwards to compensate and attack them back at a comfortable distance where you're either out of range of the tower, or can move out of range before it has time to auto-attack you.|
When poking the enemies under their tower, the most optimal way to do it is to take into account the turret's auto-attacks, and its auto-attack "cooldowns". E.g. if the turret just started its auto-attack on a minion, then it has another 0.83 seconds before it can begin another auto-attack. This gives you plenty of time to poke someone, then move out of the tower range. It's not hugely important to take into account the tower auto-attack CDs, but the further back the enemy you're poking is standing, the more time it'll take you to move out of tower range, so the more you're able to abuse it, the more aggressively you can play under tower.
|When you're the one last-hitting under tower, which should happen more often given your weak laning and therefore inability to contest pushes, what you need to know about last-hitting under tower is that melee minions take 2 tower shots and 1 auto-attack to last-hit if they start off at full HP, and caster minions take 1 tower shot and 2 auto-attacks to last-hit. Requiring 2 auto-attacks is what makes them the trickiest, as you'll either need to prep the first auto-attack in advance (hard to do while being pressured by the enemy bot lane, especially when you don't have a "dangerous engage" support), or you'll need your support to help you last-hit by auto-attacking it once for you. As you can't control your support's actions, and I often have trouble even getting my premades to do this, that 2nd option isn't terribly reliable. Often the sad truth is, you're just going to have to miss a lot of CS if you're forced to last-hit under tower. Especially true on Tristana as Explosive Charge's passive annoyingly interferes with the regular system.|
When minions don't start off at full HP when they're about to receive tower focus, you (and your support if they're smart) need to try and prepare it so after the tower shot, it'll be at enough HP for you to last-hit. Often though, you can just see that it's impossible for you to last-hit a certain minion no matter what you or your support do, again especially true on Tristana because she has no spells like Piercing Light that immediately do a large spike of damage to adjust its HP fast, and you have to just sadly watch as it dies to the tower.
FARMING OUT OF LANE
Ever wondered how pros can get 300 CS at 30 minutes before? No, it's not completely down to "insanely good last-hitting mechanics". You can do it too, just by using a simple wave control technique. Watch this video to understand how minion waves work (it'll also go through lane freezing again).
So when 2 minion waves collide on bot lane, in the middle of the lane, you should be there to push those 6 minions. And then you leave bot lane. No, you don't stay to push the 2nd minion wave too and force your wave to hit the tower. Aside from being at risk if you do that, it's also just not smart to do it. Because once you clear the first wave and your minions advance to crash into the next minion wave, your minions will be on the enemy's side of the map, and as you just learnt from the video, that means that the wave will slowly but inevitably start to push towards your side of the map.
When the wave that you're pushing is a cannon wave, that messes with this technique a little bit. Because you'll be killing the enemy cannon minion and letting your own cannon minion push uninterrupted, the enemy minion wave won't slowly push up to your tower. Instead your minions will continue to push forwards, very slowly. When it's a cannon wave, you should either push the 2nd wave too (if it's safe to do so, not at all safe to do when the enemy team is ahead in towers and enemy threats are unaccounted for on the minimap), or just recognize that you won't be able to get the wave to push back to you in this specific situation and settle for creating a slow push instead, rather than trying to create a farming opportunity for yourself later on.
The video also explains how to create a slow push, but this technique is very rarely useful in solo queue with how uncoordinated everyone is outside of very high Elo. Keep it in mind in case you ever think it could be useful, but most of the time it just ends up creating a huge minion wave for the enemy AD carry to farm, getting him ahead in farm instead of you. It's better suited for ranked 5s assuming your team understands the strength of a slow push, or if you're a high Challenger player and for some reason reading a MOBAFire guide.
In some situations, notably when you expect to be sieging for a while and especially sieging towers that are really close to the enemy base, such as inner towers and inhibitor towers, it's really not ideal to have to force yourself to go back bot lane to farm every 2 minutes. If you do the technique and you can't go bot you'll essentially have just created a slow push against yourself, causing the enemy minions to die to tower, wasting gold, damaging your tower, and possibly even destroying it. Rather than putting yourself in that situation, this is when you want to create a slow push against the enemy team, as they'll hopefully be too busy defending against the siege to send someone to clear bot. This way they'll be the ones losing minions to the tower, taking tower damage, and possibly losing a tower if it's already low. And if they do send someone to clear it, you'll either have an easier time sieging or your team will be able to dive the enemy team 5v4 under tower.
When it comes to team-fighting as an ADC, there is one golden rule which is the most basic team-fighting rule of all, and yet makes you an infinitely better team-fighter if you start following it; attack whoever's closest to you. If you stand at the back, behind your frontline, and just auto-attack whichever enemy is absolutely closest to you, you have the best possible positioning, as you'll only be in focus range of whoever's diving you, or whoever you're attacking. It's recommended in general to take down the enemy carries before the tanks, but as the ADC if you try to attack a carry then you're in range of every single member of the enemy team, and if they all focus you then you'll go down in under a second. By keeping your distance and attacking just whatever's closest, you'll be hardest to kill, and can therefore output maximum DPS by just staying alive and being able to auto-attack all fight long. The only time you should attack the enemy team's carries is when there's no other enemies standing between you and them.
The best players of all know not only when to follow that one basic rule, but also when to take even further measures to stay safe. Before you ever even get into a team-fight, you should have already analyzed what all the threats to you on the enemy team are, and play more safely or aggressively accordingly. For example, if a Shyvana is the one trying to dive you, you'd want to follow the rule of attacking whatever's closest, and just kite her while your team also hopefully tries to peel her.
||But sometimes you need to turn the safety notch up another level and straight up walk away from someone that could be a threat to you. For example, if you're playing vs Zed, you cannot be one of the ones trying to focus him down while he still has enough cooldowns and HP to be a threat. Even if he's the only person in range of you, and you have 3-4 team-mates around you, you still can't be auto-attacking him until the threat he presents has been neutralized ( Death Mark goes on CD, or he gets so low that he'd die before he could burst you). All the skill and mechanics in the world won't stop him bursting you down in half a second if he gets near enough. And you not only need to stay out of his Death Mark range, you also have to account for the extra distance he can cover with Living Shadow, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Flash, and how quickly they can help him close the gap.|
No, when you're playing against Zed and you see him running in your direction, you stay as far the f**k away from him as you can get. Don't help your team kill him, that's not your job. The assassin's job is to kill you, your job is to not die to him, and your team's job is to protect you from assassins by killing them. If the assassin commits their cooldowns onto someone else when they realize they can't get to you, that's when it's safe for you to walk back into the fight. Or if the assassin gets CC'd and blown up uselessly before they get to do anything, then it's also safe!
Champions that present such a large threat to you aren't just limited to assassins ( Talon, Zed, LeBlanc) that can burst you down within a second. Other champions, mostly if fed, can just out-duel you so brutally, that even if you have 2-3 team-mates helping you in an effective 1v3/1v4, you're still going to die if they can get in range of you. Champions that can commonly do this when fed are bruisers like Irelia, Jax, Renekton, etc. Champions tanky enough to qualify as tanks while still dealing huge damage to a squishy target like you, especially when fed.
Against champions like these, it's really necessary for you to watch out and keep your distance. You can try poking them with the occasional auto-attack if possible, but you can't fully commit to DPS'ing them down until again, they either fall so low at your team's hands that they're no longer a threat, or realizing that they can't get to you, they commit their most important cooldowns (mobility and/or CC) onto someone else. In Irelia's case, it's safe to commit onto her when she's used either Bladesurge, as she won't be able to gap close to you or burst you with it (though Flash may still pose a threat), or Flawless Duet, as it'll prevent her using her deadly stun on you. And if she's used both then until they come off of cooldown she presents almost no threat at all, so long as you maintain good positioning and kite if she tries to walk towards you.
When following the rule of "attack whoever's closest", often you'll have to choose between two champions that are at a more or less equal distance from you, and it'll be optimal for you to attack one or the other, but it's hard to be completely certain about who the right target is. That being said, here are some things for you to consider which will hopefully lead to you making the right choice:
1) Which is the bigger threat?
You'll want to take out whoever's the biggest threat not just to yourself, but to your team as a whole, and disregard the weaker enemy. Sometimes it's not very clear cut, others you have to choose between a fed Riven and a 1/1/5 jungle Sion, in which case it's a very obvious choice which you should focus.
2) Who would die faster?
When the targets are equally threatening, you'll want to focus whichever one is squishiest/lower HP, as the sooner they're out of the fight, the sooner your team gains a numbers advantage. Sometimes even if they're the lower threat, it's still worth focusing them down first if they're going to die significantly faster, but only sometimes, and it depends on how big a threat the other possible target is.
3) Who's least likely to get away from you?
Nothing frustrates me more than placing Explosive Charge on a tank right as they start walking away/otherwise leave my range and I have to start auto-attacking someone else without having placed many/any stacks onto the guy I originally planned to focus. Even in non- Tristana scenarios, or when your Explosive Charge is already on cooldown, you'll want to focus the least mobile one as they're the ones most likely to die if they get low. A tank with gap closers like Zac (and let's just say his passive isn't up so you don't need to worry about that) may get low, then just leave the fight with Elastic Slingshot before you can finish him off. If your other option is an equally tanky Nautilus for example, he's less likely to be able to get away alive when he gets low.
Generally, from top to bottom those would be the most important factors to take into account respectively, but sometimes one factor, if it's big enough, can over-ride a generally more important factor. For example, choosing to DPS down a negative KDA, full AD Lee Sin, over a fed Riven, because you can kill the Lee in about 2 seconds while the Riven is both tankier and more mobile, so takes a fair while longer to kill.
Another important aspect about team-fighting again starts before you ever get into the team-fight; it starts when you're buying items at the shop. You should be looking towards the enemy team's composition and their items and adapting your purchases accordingly. Infinity Edge and Rapid Firecannon are your first 2 core items no matter what so you require no adaptation there, but afterwards you need to build more situationally.
Before you buy, open tab and analyze the enemy team. If they have CC that can be a real threat to you, especially when combined with magic damage, then you should aim to build a Mercurial Scimitar first. It'll allow you to play a little more aggressively against those bruisers I mentioned earlier too; you don't have to be as scared about getting 1-shot during the duration of Equilibrium Strike or Counter Strike anymore. You do still have to worry about the damage both of these guys do against a squishy target such as yourself though, so while you can play a little more aggressively, don't push it too hard, and continue to play with caution if any of these kind champs are fed.
If the enemy team has so much armor that it makes Last Whisper a good purchase (something you'll just have to learn through experience), then buy it ASAP or you won't do any damage to armor stacked enemies.
Next I'm going to analyze a Tristana team-fight to show you with a real example exactly what should be going on in your head at the time.
00:20 - Only 2 people are more or less in my range, Corki and Nautilus, which is safe to fully commit to. I begin focusing Nautilus and would have switched over to Corki once the Tempered Fate ran out had he not immediately Flashed over the wall.
00:25 - Nautilus Flashes over the wall. The only nearby enemy is Tryndamere and he's retreating as well as low HP, so I don't consider him much of a threat, especially as my Flash and Buster Shot are up, so I Rocket Jump in pursuit of Nautilus knowing that even if he and Tryndamere turn I'll be perfectly safe.
00:31 - I make the mistake of walking face-first into Amumu who has Bandage Toss and Curse of the Sad Mummy up; however this may have been because I knew I was relatively safe since even if Bandage Toss were to hit me, I had Mercurial Scimitar up.
00:32 - Upon seeing the Bandage Toss I try to juke it and it instead hits Bard. When this happens I know he's going to go for an immediate Curse of the Sad Mummy to lock me down for his team-mates and try to do damage to me himself. Rather than use my 90 second CD Mercurial Scimitar active to get rid of it, I instead pre-emptively Rocket Jump backwards so that the snare goes off while I'm already in my Rocket Jump animation. This way, at the expense of immediately being able to DPS Amumu down, I save my Mercurial Scimitar active in case it proves to be necessary later. ( Bandage Toss or Mocking Shout)
00:35 - Once Curse of the Sad Mummy's CC runs out, I walk forwards to keep attacking champions seeing as it's safe.
00:36 - Tryndamere spins into my range so I turn to him, but after 1 auto-attack I stop DPS'ing since he activates Undying Rage and he won't lose any more HP. I can't turn on Amumu either since I don't want to get trapped between Tryndamere and Amumu so I instead walk backwards until it's safe to auto-attack again.
00:39 - Here I decide it's safe to turn again since Undying Rage is about to run out and Tryndamere has no time to close the gap on me before it does, so he's pretty much out of the fight as far as I'm concerned. I turn on Amumu, but knowing that his Bandage Toss is likely up I only do a single auto-attack before juking to the side. As expected I dodge the Bandage Toss, and it's important to note that it wasn't reaction time that made me dodge it; I dodged it because I knew it was likely to come so I automatically juked to the side as I would against any skillshot champion. If there had been no Bandage Toss to dodge I still would have juked to the side, and then after my next auto-attack I would have juked to the opposite side, making it hard for him to land the skillshot since I'm not standing in one place.
00:40 - I auto-attack him once more while still kiting backwards to make sure he can't get to me, at which point he turns around knowing he'd die before reaching me.
00:41 - Tryndamere's Undying Rage runs out while he's still in my auto-attack range, so I turn back to him just as he tries to spin away. Luckily the one auto-attack I could get off was a crit so it kills him even after he heals.
00:42 - After Vladimir Flashes away, Corki tries to turn on me but knowing I'm a lot stronger and that his 2 team-mates are too far away to immediately aid him, I take the fight while kiting backwards to make sure Tryndamere and Zed won't reach me for as long as possible.
00:44 - Zed manages to close the gap just as I land the soon-to-be killing blow on Corki so I Flash away to make sure he can't land any fatal damage to me while I turn to kill him.
00:45 - After my Flash Zed has no means of getting to me and killing me before I could kill him so he begins to run away. I switch from kiting to chasing him while orb-walking.
00:46 - He realizes running away isn't enough to get away from my auto-attacks thanks to red buff (spectator mode bugged and doesn't show I have one, but that's where all the slows are coming from), so he Flashes away. Corki's running right to me so I could turn to finish him, but I realize that my Explosive Charge is going to kill him anyway, so rather than immediately finishing him off I Rocket Jump after Zed while Corki's still alive, so his death will give me a reset to use a second Rocket Jump for chasing.
00:47 - I Rocket Jump forwards and focus down Zed first, since he's the squishiest and I need to kill him before his Living Shadow comes back up and saves him.
00:49 - 2 auto-attacks in I'm still in auto-attack range but I Rocket Jump forwards anyway to close as much of the gap onto Amumu I can, knowing that after I kill Zed I'll get yet another Rocket Jump to chase with that'll guarantee his death.
00:51 - Getting another reset off Zed I Rocket Jump on top of Amumu and get the slow on him, at which point it's clear he'll die so he just turns on me and attacks me for the sake of doing something, even though he can't kill me either. Rather than immediately kill him I run behind him and kill him with an unnecessary Buster Shot in BM.
And thus the team-fight ends with me having barely received a scratch, but having 100-0'd Nautilus, last-hit Tryndamere, 100-0'd Corki, 100-0'd Zed and 40-0'd Amumu. I still had Buster Shot and Mercurial Scimitar to spare to keep me safe had I needed them, so the team-fight was played well enough that I was really nowhere near falling at any point. When I had to back away I did, and when I had to go aggressive I did.
Before you even get into lane, you should know that Tristana is an ADC with a fairly weak laning phase. This means that often, you'll find yourself on the losing end of lanes, at least at first, even if you think you're playing fine; that's just how Tristana is, unless you're vastly superior to your enemies. But even then...
The key to getting through lane phase on Tristana even when you're in a lane where just because of the matchup alone you can't possibly win early-game, is to farm safely. Sometimes you'll need to stand far back and miss a few last-hits. Sometimes you'll even need to stand out of XP range. It's okay. It goes against your every instinct to just give up the lane like that, but it's what you need to do to survive. It's okay for you to fall behind, it's not okay for you to die a few times in lane when it can be avoided. During your death you'll miss all the CS and XP that you would have missed by standing really far back anyway. Just play really safe, avoid dying, and get whatever CS you can. If you have a chance to win your lane, either because it's a good matchup or you're way better than your opponent, then great, do that. But when you're losing your lane, remember to farm safely. It's fine to lose lane, you just need to lose lane gracefully.
During laning phase, your objectives are to out-CS your opponent, kill them if possible, and take down their tower ASAP. Most of the damage you do to the tower will be while your enemy is off the lane, either shoved out or dead, so you don't have to worry too much about wearing the tower down when the lane is pushed towards them. In those situations I mainly focus on harassing the enemy, and attacking the tower when that's not an option.
Before getting into lane, you should help your jungler do red buff by auto-attacking it until it drops to about ~200 HP. If your jungler isn't starting on bot side, you and your support should instead go into the bot lane brush on the enemy's side of the lane and wait until minions spawn so you can immediately start pushing and get a shove going.
As soon as you get into lane, you should immediately start spamming auto-attacks on the minions, starting with the melee minions, to push faster than the enemy bot lane and therefore be able to hit level 2 faster. You should be aiming to last-hit all the minions too even though you're also meant to be spamming auto-attacks. This means that when an auto-attack would leave a minion on very low HP and cause it to be finished off by minions, you need to wait until it gets low enough for you to last-hit. That doesn't mean you have to waste time while you wait; instead you auto-attack a different minion, then when you're able to auto-attack again you turn back to the original minion to last-hit it.
FYI: It takes 6 minions of the first wave and then another 3 melee minions to hit level 2 on bot lane.
If the enemy bot lane hits level 2 before you you have no option but to back off and let them zone you. Don't try to trade, don't try to last-hit, don't try to fight them when they engage on you; the level advantage is a huge one, and they can win any fight they force on you from there. You'll only miss a few minions since if they've hit level 2 before you, then they're pushing the lane, so the minions should end up near you tower soon enough, allowing you to hit level 2 as well.
If, on the other hand, you and your support are the first to hit level 2, this means you can zone the enemy bot lane. Even once they hit level 2, they'll still have to stay zoned until the wave hits their tower and the lane equalizes, as you'll have the minion and positioning advantage to dissuade them from trying to contest your zoning. If when you move in to zone them they just try to fight you, it should be an easy fight for you and your support to win. Tristana has a very dangerous level 2 if she's fighting level 1 enemies, as they'll be so weak that she can freely Rocket Jump into melee range and still out-trade them. If your support is on the same wave-length as you and trying to fight them, you should Rocket Jump onto the enemy ADC/the support if they're easier to kill, and place Explosive Charge on them mid-air. When you land you'll instantly place one stack, and the huge slow should keep them in your range long enough to possibly get full stacks on them, providing you with a Rocket Jump reset and possibly allowing you to use it a second time in one fight, should they still be far enough away from the tower for you to Rocket Jump on top of them again.
All in all, if they don't respect your level 2 advantage, they will either die, take a lot of damage, burn some summoners, or all 3. And the same will happen to you if you're slow to hit level 2 and you don't respect their level 2 power.
You'll notice while playing Tristana that Explosive Charge's passive can make last-hitting complicated. I wish there was some secret trick I could give you to help you get past that, but truth is, it's just a case of getting used to it. The only thing I can tell you is that sometimes you'll need to aim to last-hit a minion in a way where the explosion will also kill another minion that you'd otherwise miss.
Your playstyle should revolve around what kind of a support you have. If you have someone like Leona or Nautilus, it's often viable to Rocket Jump on top of one of the enemies for extra burst and an Explosive Charge stack when they engage, especially after level 6 when you can add Buster Shot into the mix, as your being in melee range won't matter because you'll be bursting them down very quickly, leaving them no time to abuse your positioning. With other more passive, trade-focused supports, such as Janna, Nami, Karma, you'll want to hold on to Rocket Jump either to finish enemies off or to get away when a fight goes wrong, and just focus on short trades with enemies without over-extending too much. The way you do this was already explained in How to ADC.
If you manage to force your enemies (or at least the ADC) out of lane, by killing them or otherwise, you should shove your minion wave into their tower as fast as you can to make them lose out on CS and XP, then recall for items, which should usually give you some form of item advantage, as well as XP advantage.
Sometimes the enemy has a large enough minion wave, or has another minion wave incoming, that you won't be able to shove your wave into their tower in time to make the enemy ADC lose all their CS. But instead, often you can just recall, get your items, then get back into lane just in time to catch the minions as they reach your tower. In that scenario this is the most beneficial option, as rather than losing your minions to their tower, the enemy is losing your minions to their own minions, because of their minion advantage, explained in the video linked in Farming Out of Lane.
But sometimes you can't do this because either a) the enemy minion wave is too big, and would push to your tower before you have time to get back into lane (you can try to remedy this by thinning out the minion wave in some cases, leaving it big enough to still push but not too fast), or b) you need the gold from pushing the minion wave for your next item, in which case it's worth shoving the wave even if it doesn't cost the enemy ADC any CS.
Here's a video by SoloRenektonOnly, that recently hit the front page of reddit, which does a good job showing you exactly how this works.
It could also be helpful for you to go through the comments of the thread at some point and read SoloRenektonOnly's responses to questions, it can teach you a lot about wave management and answer any questions you might still have after reading this and watching the video.
|The exceptions to going back after forcing your enemies out of lane are when you can't afford any important items and you're already full HP and stocked up on Health Potions anyway, in which case you can shove the wave to the enemy tower and just do as much damage to the tower as you can, or when you think the enemy's absence from the lane will be enough for you to take down the enemy tower, which if you succeed, will give you 650 gold if tower FB, or 250 gold if not.|
If you want the lane to deny some CS from your enemy while you're taking the tower and you know you're safe from ganks and guaranteed to take the tower, you can bounce your minion wave off the enemy tower. Bouncing means that when you've pushed your minion wave to the enemy tower and have the tower on low HP, rather than auto-attack it and destroy it right away, you leave it on 5-10% HP for a bit while it kills your minion wave, denying CS from the enemy ADC as they're not on the lane. You time it in such a way that once it kills the last minion, you need only attack the tower a single time to destroy it. You can then either go into the brush and recall or shove the wave before recalling, depending on how much you can get away with in the situation, and whether you need the gold or not.
If your jungler successfully ganks you should ping him to help you take down your tower. Most junglers would rather either take dragon or just leave the lane to go keep farming, but the gold you get from taking down a tower is worth more than either of those options. Don't flame them if it doesn't go your way, just ping the tower and try to communicate with them to say that it's important for the team for you to take down the tower. Once it's down, it'll be easier for your team to transition that into dragons anyway.
Once you've taken down the enemy tower, you should recall for items. It's extremely risky to start laning at their inner tower, due to the risk of jungle ganks, so once you've pushed the wave past their turret, you should either take dragon with your jungler if he's around and willing to do it, or just rotate mid and try to gank and kill the enemy mid laner if possible, or otherwise try to take the tower down 3v1. It may take a while to do so, and you may find that you'll have to go back bot lane a few times to defend the tower, farm the minions and push it onto the enemy's side of the map again, then rotate mid for a little more tower damage, then move back bot to defend the tower. Every time you return mid lane you can try to go for another gank if the enemy mid laner is overextended, if you manage to kill him then you can definitely take the tower.
If the enemy mid laner is someone with amazing waveclear, such as Anivia, then you might find it would take you way too long to actually take the tower down even 3v1. In that situation it's better that once you've taken down the tower, you ask your top laner if he'll lane swap with you. If he accepts, then you and your support will go top lane into a 2v1, where you'll be trying to take an easy tower, and your top laner will go bot lane to lane 1v2 and just try to survive and get as much farm as he can. On your way to top lane, ask your jungler in advance to come gank top and dive 3v1, at this stage of the game there's almost no top laner that can survive that kind of tower dive even when at full HP. If he sees your jungler coming through wards, or otherwise manages to escape alive, you can still just zone him away from the tower with your jungler and easily take the tower down in one wave as 3.
The enemy team obviously has the potential to do the same thing as you, but you're the one setting the stage. You're prepared in advance for what's to happen and know what to do, and the enemy team is being taken by surprise and most likely won't immediately know how to react properly. Not to mention, having lost one of their towers already, they won't be preparing to shove into your tower, rather they'll be trying to freeze on their side of the wave for as long as they can, to stay safe. This is bad for your top laner in the sense that he won't be able to CS properly until the wave does reach his tower, if at all, but good in the sense that they won't be able to dive him straight away even if they do think to do it. He should also have the sense to place defensive wards so he can see the enemy jungler coming in case he does come for a dive, which the enemy top laner won't know to do in advance as he isn't prepared for the 1v2 situation he's about to be placed in.
Once you've taken the top lane turret there's not much else left for you to do other than group and make plays as a team. Having taken two towers your team should hopefully be at a large gold advantage. If the enemy bot lane is trying to take your bot tower you can recall, go bot and try to kill them 4v2 with your jungler, or 3v2 with your top laner, or 5v2 if your mid lane and jungler are willing to help. From there on it's mid-game, and you should be going for whatever objectives you can get with your team.
OUT OF LANE
Outside of laning phase, your objective is to destroy the nexus. No I'm not kidding, that's literally the best way to describe it. Every action you take in laning phase is to set you up for mid-late game, every action you take outside of laning phase is to bring you one step closer to destroying the enemy nexus. The way you do this is by performing actions that will make killing the enemy team easier (aquiring gold, dragons, barons) so that you have less resistance, and destroying towers as a way to acquire gold, have better control of the map, and open up routes to the nexus.
At this point you should be grouping with your team as much as possible to teamfight and siege down towers. Tristana is one of the best ADC's in the game for sieging towers, due to her extremely high auto-attack range, Explosive Charge and Rapid Fire. She can also keep herself safe from aggressors by Rocket Jumping away should someone try to engage on her while she sieges.
When you're attacking a tower with enemies nearby you always want to be positioned at max range from the tower while you auto-attack, and in between auto-attacks you should move backwards then forwards, so that while your auto-attack is "on cooldown", you're not spending any more time closer to the danger than necessary. It's also good habit in case they start to try an engage and you're already automatically moving backwards the moment you finish your auto-attack, meaning you'll often protect yourself from an engage faster than you can actually react to it, so long as you notice in time to not move back towards the tower for your next auto-attack.
Against teams with very high wave clear (f**k you Anivia), it can be very hard if not impossible to siege down towers, especially inhibitor towers that actually recover HP all the time. Your options in these situations are to engage on the enemy team under their tower, which only works when you're reaaaaaaaally far ahead, or go get baron. The enemy team won't usually just give up baron for free though, and so you can use this to bait them into a fight. They'll need to constantly have vision on baron to make sure you're not doing it, which can be hard to keep up if your team places pinks and uses Oracle's Lens to clear their wards, so at some point they might have no choice but to face check baron to make sure you're not doing it. Even if you are, you can take the opportunity to turn around and team-fight.
I hope this guide helped you learn to play Tristana. She was the first ADC I ever took a liking to, back in season 2, and since starting to main ADC she's always been one of my favourite ADC's both pre and post rework, not specifically because of her strength as a champion, but just because she's always been so fun to play. I hope this guide will help you see that and play her to her full potential. :)
Special thanks to Janitsu as well for coding my guide when I asked him on such short notice, I think it turned out pretty great so kudos to him!
If you still have any further questions after reading the guide, feel free to ask in the comments, I'll try to answer them as soon as possible and consider addressing them in the guide so future readers may not have the same questions.
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