Tristana: Ganking Goddess

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CyberMonkey

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Senior Member

10-29-2009

It surprised me to find that, although a fairly popular carry, Tristana has only two guides on this forum, while champions like Jax and Teemo have more than five. Being my current favorite character, I am disappointed to find such lacking resources. Thus, I precede to write my first guide, "Tristana: Ganking Goddess".

Contents:
-Skills
-Summoner Spells
-Builds
~DPS
~Hit and Run (Burst DPS/AP)
~Tankish/Team (Support)
~Attack speed+Crit
Other Builds:
~Tiamat Tristana
~Bloodrazor Tristana
~Hybrid builds
-Playstyle
-Annoying champs to lane against

Masteries will not be included, but in general, they should follow the build.

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Tristana is a fairly balanced and versatile character, as well as fun and easy to learn. Her early game is one of the best, and her ganking abilities make mid-game go smoothly and late game explosive (pun not intended). Tristana's main functions include harassing, ganking, pushing, and supplying high dps--in other words, a basic carry. The catch is that she depends on items to make her worthwhile, but this in turn gives flexibility.

--Skills--

[Passive] Increases Tristana's range as she levels.

This passive is what makes Tristana better than other ranged carries. See "W".

[Q] Increases Tristana's attack speed by X% for 7(?) seconds

Caps at 90% attack speed, which is like giving Tristana another hit every second. Although the % is low at early levels, in late game, it will allow Tristana to take on multiple champions, or destroy a tower in a few seconds.

[W] Leaps at target area, dealing aoe damage of max 250(+1 per AP) and 60% slow for 2.5 seconds. Cooldown resets when you get a champion kill/assist.

This skill is the core of Tristana's ganking abilities. Leap onto an enemy champion and fire away with everything you have. By the time they get to the edge of your great range, they will either be dead or have taken quite a beating. You can also use it to escape by using it with "R" (ultimate).

[E] Passive: When ready to cast, enemies explode when slain by Tristana's attacks, dealing max 110 in magical damage to surrounding enemies.
Active: Shoots a shot which lowers targets healing by 50% and does 25 damage per second for max 8 seconds.

Great early game and farming ability. Allows Tristana to indirectly harass enemies by killing nearby minions, and the active side is frosting on your harassment. Later, the passive side works nicely with "W" when taking on a 20+ wave of enemy minions, netting wonderful amounts of gold in seconds.

[R] Ultimate: Far ranged shot that deals max 500 (+2 per AP) and knocks target back max 1000 distance.

Mostly a defensive move, although it can be used to last hit an enemy. You can use it for ganking as well--knock them into your tower and slow them with "W" and you probably have yourself a kill. Defensively, it keeps unwanted enemies away so you can kill their buddies, protect your teammates, or run away.

--Summoner Spells--


Personally, I usually take teleport and heal when I go to Summoner's Rift, and heal w/exhaust when I play at Twisted Treeline. Flash (I don't have it yet) would be great in either case, as well as Ghost and Rally. I would not bother taking the mana heal (don't remember the name) unless you are using an AP Tristana.

--Builds--

~DPS
Tristana's recommended and most used build. Very good damage, above average survivability, but very costly.

~Hit and Run (Burst DPS/AP)
Best ganking build. Low survivability if caught. Depends on a good mana supply.

~Tankish/Team (Support)
Able to take good damage, and can dish out good dps as well. Works best at assisting.

~Attack speed+Crit
DPS with a twist. Instead of going for pure damage, goes for attack speed, critical %, and % damage.

Other Builds:

~Tiamat Tristana
~Bloodrazor Tristana
~Hybrid Builds

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DPS


DPS Tristana is, in my opinion, the best ranged carry in the game. Tristana is not quite the glass cannon that Ashe is, but can drain the life of any opponent, tank or not. On the other hand, you really need to be constantly killing champions and the dragon to support the build. You will also need to get the golem buff to use your champion abilities often.

Runes: Crit chance and/or attack speed. Mana regen also helps, as you will not be getting any mana items.

Abilities: Get W first (it can easily get you an early kill), then level E, with a few W's here and there. Always level your ultimate when it comes up so that you can increase its knockback (and damage). When you start to hit towers, jungle, or gank, get a few levels of Q to boost your damage.

Items:
Vampiric Scepter--makes early game a lot easier by keeping you in your lane as long as possible (turn into Stark's or Bloodthirster later if possible)
Berserker's Greaves--you won't need to be running away often, so attack speed is a better choice.
The next three in any order:
Phantom Dancer
Black Cleaver
Infinity Edge
Frozen Mallet--For survivability. The slow also works wonders, so getting it early is always nice.

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Hit and Run (Burst DPS/AP)

Actually, I have not tried a H&R Tristana build. Personally, I never liked AP builds, but I have included it here for sake of completeness. The point is to be able to spam Tristana's skills to get the most out of them. This way, you can constantly gank and keep your damage to the max. If you complete the build, you should have around 300 AP, which means something like 550 aoe damage for W and 1100 for your ultimate. Runes only need to have -10% cooldowns before you reach the -40% cap (Q at 5 seconds of downtime, W spam at 7.2 seconds, E at 12 seconds, and R at 36 seconds). Mana Regen (not including runes) is something like 50 per 5. I also got in +~1000 health and some armor and magic resist, but there is no HP regen, so you might want to add that in somewhere.

Runes: Cooldown is the most important here. Mana regen/HP regen is also nice of course.

Abilties: Get R>W>Q>E

Items:
Doran's Ring (replace later)
Boots of Swiftness--I believe speed is more important for this build than the AP of sorcerer's boots, because you need speed to chase and run.
Soul Shroud
Then get the following (no particular order)-
Nashor's Tooth
Lich Bane
Rylai's Scepter
Archangel's Staff

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Tankish/Team (Support)

Of course, Tanky Tristana is another option. Here, you're point support your team in ganks by slowing down the enemy champion(s) as much as possible so that your teammates can take them down. You are not truly a tank, but your survivability is much higher than most. Costly build with damage on the lower side, so it is tough to pull off.

Runes: Health and Crit chance are preferable, but anything works here.

Abilities: Similar to DPS

Items:
Vampiric Scepter (change to Stark's later; Bloodthirster if extra damage is needed)
Boots of Swiftness (for chasing)
Then in any order-
Atma's Impaler
Frozen Mallet
Warmog's Armor
Force of Nature

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Attack speed+Crit

Like DPS, AS Tristana is a good ranged carry. The difference is that AS Tristana costs less, but has a lower end game result as attack speed reaches the cap. It also levels fast, and can solo the dragon at early levels and the Baron later with Stark's.

Runes: Crit chance

Abilities: Same as DPS

Items:
Vampiric Scepter (obviously, I like lifesteal)
Berserker's Greaves
Recurve Bow-->Last Whisper (Last Whisper is why this build is deadly)
Build Frozen Mallet and Madred's Bloodrazors
Upgrade Vampiric Scepter into something better
Game should be done, but if not, get Chalice of Harmony or some other item you prefer

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Other Builds


~Tiamat Tristana
Best farmer/pusher ever. Not much of a ganker though.
Items: Lifesteal item, Berserker's Greaves, Tiamat, Tiamat, Tiamat, Frozen Mallet

~Bloodrazor Tristana
Extremely deadly. Just watch your back.
Items: Lifesteal item, Berserker's Greaves, M's Bloodrazor, M's Bloodrazor, (game over)

-Hybrids-
~DPS Speed
Items: Stark's Fervor, Berserker's Greaves, Last Whisper, Infinity Edge, Frozen Mallet, Bloodrazor/Black Cleaver

~Tankish DPS
Items: Bloodthirster, Berserker's Greaves, Frozen Mallet, Infinity Edge, Atma's Impaler, Soul Shroud

~Bloodrazor Tiamat
Items: Lifesteal item, Berserker's Greaves, Tiamat, M's Bloodrazor, Frozen Mallet, Tiamat

~Tiamat Speed
Items: Lifesteal item, Berserker's Greaves, Last Whisper, Tiamat, Tiamat/Frozen Mallet/Phantom Dancer, etc.


Playstyle:

Early game, try to solo if possible and don't waste time harassing. Tristana is a nice harasser, but I find that if I constantly try to figure out ways to kill the enemy laner, I will die instead. Just kill minions. Respond only if they make a move. Your aoe damage from last hitting should keep on the edge. If they come too close to you or your tower, then hit them with your slow and the DOT (W and E, respectively). This way, you won't have to worry about draining your mana, and your health should be fine because of the V scepter (that is, unless you are playing AP Tristana; if that is the case, lane with somebody else). After you get the money, recall when you have a chance and get your boots. When you get to level 12, you should have the items to be able to jungle for the Golem buff, then do some ganking and take out the first row of towers. As goes for all champions, stay aware of the map at all times so that you know when to gank/run. Don't let the other team catch you alone. Around level 16-18, if you have Stark's Fervor, you can probably solo the Baron. Don't spend too much time jungling though, as your main source of money should be enemy champions. Unless the other player is weak, don't gank alone, just in case. Whenever you can, rush a tower and spam Q till it is dead. Your champion will soon be a terrifying sight to behold.

Annoying Champs to Lane against:
Ashe--Volley and slow will keep you constantly at low health. Switch lanes so that you can kick her butt later.
Gangplank--Ultimate will kill you in seconds.
Morgana--Do I need to explain?
Anybody else with a slow/stun

Tristana lanes well with pretty much anybody, but somebody with stun/slow is always nice

Thanks for reading this guide. Questions, comments, flames--all welcome. Good suggestions are nice too. I will be periodically editing in case I missed something.


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pdfarsight

Junior Member

10-29-2009

Decent guide. I've wondered why there haven't been more Tristana guides (probably has something to do with Ashe being the favorite ranged DPS). Thanks for making one!

Personally, I prefer to get the Frozen Mallet as soon as possible (right after my boots). It basically gives you the longest-range slow in the game and enough health to survive some gank attempts that might otherwise kill you. She's excellent in a gank squad mid-game and by late game she can take out a tower in one use of Rapid Fire. Excellent champion that I should probably play more often.


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JohnCataldo

Senior Member

10-30-2009

I've played dozens of games with Tristana. I largely assume you will go DPS and not some trick build here. Some thoughts:

Exploding Shot Health Denial
It's worth emphasizing "Shoots a shot which lowers targets healing by 50% and does 25 damage per second for max 8 seconds." This healing reduction (added on many abilities at one point) affects all kinds of healing (except Lifesteal or weird things like Nassus, I think). In particular, if you are laning early in the game and you see someone use a health potion, you should make it a point to drop ES on them. This will reduce the health the potion gives back to them. Or, if you drop them quite low and suspect they will use summoner Heal soon, that's another good time. Good players might figure it out and wait until the debuff is gone, but many players don't realize that the heal is at 50%, or they are hurt enough that they need the 50% health anyway.


Jump & Push: W+R combo
It's not often you can pull this off, but anytime you are defending your own tower consider Rocket Jumping behind the enemy and then using your ultimate to knock that guy into tower range. Best when there are NOT enemy creeps around of course.


Summoner Spells
Ghost or Flash are good for both escaping and chasing down wounded enemies. You can also use Exhaust for this, though the usage is obviously quite different and better for killing than escaping. Teleport is good for many champs; Tristana gets a little extra value from being an excellent tower defender (especially with her ultimate). Porting in to defend a tower works better for Tristana than many melee champs or other champs in general (certainly not all but most of them.) Other spells generally have little special interest to Tristana, but general purpose spells work fine (Clairvoyance, Fortify, etc.) Heal and Clarity aren't especially exciting on Tristana.


Vampiric Scepter
Lifesteal is great (on many characters) when it's working, but if you take significant damage it can really hamper you against a good player, compared to straight up health regeneration (i.e. Regrowth Pendant). If the enemy drops you low (even to half health) while you are still healthy, they can make it hard for you heal back up with Lifesteal. They just keep harassing you when you try to attack. For this reason I prefer starting with a Regrowth Pendant. You regain life slightly slower compared to being able to lifesteal constantly, but you don't get really screwed up by good opponents, which is who you need help against. If the opponents are bad, you don't need help against them!


Early Game Items
If you are soloing, you need some kind of health regeneration. I prefer Regrowth Pendant, though if you are confident the other team won't harass you a lot Vampiric Scepter is OK too (base this largely on what the other team is playing; a good enemy Ashe or Tristana can be expected to harass you, and "moving to another lane" is no solution if the enemy doesn't want it to be.)

I often immediately build a Regrowth Pendant into a Philosopher's Stone, even before boots (though I prefer to have the +350 for first level boots before recalling). Tristana likes the little bit of mana regeneration that gives you, and obviously a money item early is helpful, though Tristana usually isn't in the poor house.

If you expect to get away without much health regeneration early, consider simply building towards one of the larger items. I'll sometimes get a Long Sword that I can build into a Black Cleaver, along with Health Potions (since you can expect to want SOME health regeneration early on).

Boots: Berserker's Greaves is usually right, but don't discount enemy team makeup. If the enemy is largely physical damage (Ashe, Jax, Yi, Sivir, etc.), there's nothing wrong with picking up a Ninja Tabi. Facing magical enemies that impede your movement (Morgana, Ryze, Zilean, etc.) consider Mercury's Treads. Either of these can greatly increase your survivability against the right team.

Large Items
You first priority for a large item is increased damage, which combos with Rapid Shot, especially for taking towers. Rapid shot means you definitely want damage before attack speed. Usually you'll want something built off of a B.F. sword; all of Infinity Edge, Black Cleaver, or Bloodthirster are viable. Infinity is the simplest, straight up damage. Black Cleaver helps in group battles more than the others. Bloodthirster gives you useful lifesteal, allowing you to stay out longer before recalling, and making jungling a bit easier early on.

Don't get a Phantom Dancer before you get a +damage item! However, if your first item is Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer is much more attractive, since you'll appreciate the +crit chance that much more.

If you don't get an Infinity Edge, you'll still want some kind of +attack speed, but it need not be Phantom Dancer. Stark's Fervor is fine with Black Cleaver, or any of the other Recurve Bow items (Last Whisper is not a combo with Black Cleaver, but fine with other items like Bloodthirster.) Take Wit's End vs. a magic-heavy team. If you get a Madred's Razor, consider getting a Recurve Bow and sitting on it until you really feel like moving up to Madred's Bloodrazor.


Jungling Items
Mid-game, there's two items you may want to help you jungle some (especially for helping you jungle and come out with reasonably high health). Lifesteal is one option; building towards a Bloodthirster is a fine choice. If your team needs help in group battles, Stark's Fervor isn't awful, but you need damage first. (You could still get a Vampiric Scepter around level 4-6 with the idea that you will build it into something later.) It's worth considering Madred's Razors as well. They are quite cheap for the jungling bonus, and let you much more easily take down the Lizard or Dragon (which you should always be doing when you can). Later you can make Madred's Bloodrazors out of them, a perfectly fine item for Tristana to wield.

On a higher level, more cohesive teams, you don't worry as much about this, because you can get help taking down jungle creeps. But for pub play these are serious considerations.

Jungling
Tristana should never be a dedicated jungler. However, you should be paying attention to the jungle by mid game. You are a high damage character, so you should contribute to taking out the dragon every single time he's alive. Additionally, the Lizard buff on Summoner's Rift works better for you than most champions. You have extremely long range and high damage. Combined with Rocket Jump, most enemies simply can't flee you with this buff, as anyone you hit is slowed down.

Additionally, when I'm pubbing with Tristana, I expect to regularly get the Lizard buff as long as there aren't any junglers (on either team). This makes it far less important to pick up Phage or Frozen Mallet, and at least lets you delay buying it for quite a while. I suspect that Tristanas who get Frozen Mallet right away are undervaluing getting the Lizard buff.

For the rest of the jungle, it's not that exciting, but strongly consider helping your casters get the Ancient Golem buff when it's at all convenient, or even for yourself if you are completely out of mana but have plenty of health (and possibly some jungling item, so taking the Golem down doesn't cost you a ton of health.)


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JohnCataldo

Senior Member

10-30-2009

Oh, also, on harassing:

You want to harass enemies. Not to the exclusion of attacking creeps. But if you can keep the enemy at a distance and not killing creeps on their own, your team gets a major advantage.

I usually shoot at any creep I think I can last-hit. But if there aren't any of these, harassing the enemy is good. And you can forego a few last hits if it will keep the enemy away and not getting money.

This works especially well if your enemies in the lane are strictly melee without any strong ranged abilities against you. There's no way you should let them just get a bunch of money when you can hurt them and they can't hurt you.


Against someone who can harass you back just as much, you can try to gain dominance with some harassing (and even get some by having health regen if they don't -- harass each other, wait, and you have full health and they don't). But vs. Ashe or whatever, playing more passively is fine. If they come to harass YOU, however, you have to consider at least potshotting them back a little bit instead of just fleeing and not getting any money yourself.


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thegamenet

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10-30-2009

Very cool guide i posted it on www.thelolwiki.com and gave you full credit Also, note that this is our only Tristana Guide!

nice work!

Curtis


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thegamenet

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10-30-2009

Hey John, that post you have there looks like it is (nearly?) guide ready - are you interested in packaging that into a guide and perhaps having it posted on the LoL Wiki? Let me know at curtis@thegamenet.com

Cheers


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CyberMonkey

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Senior Member

10-30-2009

wow so many comments suddenly! Thanks John for the tips; I have played another dozen or so games now, so I will be posting a version 2.0 soon. Do you mind if I quote you?

P.S. omg! I got posted on a wiki!!!! XD


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JohnCataldo

Senior Member

10-30-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberMonkey View Post
wow so many comments suddenly! Thanks John for the tips; I have played another dozen or so games now, so I will be posting a version 2.0 soon. Do you mind if I quote you?
Sure, that's fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegamenet View Post
Hey John, that post you have there looks like it is (nearly?) guide ready - are you interested in packaging that into a guide and perhaps having it posted on the LoL Wiki? Let me know at curtis@thegamenet.com
I might. I've been too lazy to actually fix it up all pretty and nice. =D


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thegamenet

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10-30-2009

Keep me posted, I'll gladly add you to the wiki (and give you credit of course).


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Q Senna

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04-22-2010

Why would you get a Tiamat when you're trist..


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