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Tristana, the Megling Gunner - the AP style.
Oh and yes I know it's long, sorry in advance :P.
I'd recommend skipping to the juicy parts of gamestyle and/or itemization for those of you who know Tristana's skills.
This guide is about building Tristana as a spell caster with her awesome burst and utility options, it makes her a very strong hero-killer in small fights (1v1-3 if well fed), and an awesome utility provider to end game ganging.
In addition the latest changes (smaller mana costs mainly) make this build even more viable then it have been.
Let's start with reviewing her skills:
* Q - Rapid Fire - Tristana fires her weapon rapidly, increasing your attack speed for a short time.
Attack speed: 30%/45%/60%/75%/90%
Cooldown: 20 seconds
Cost: 80 mana
Well, increasing attack speed is always awesome, for pushing, extra damaging an enemy or downing his tower, but in this build it will fit the role of proccing Sheen/Trinity Force in most cases, though in end-game it's an amazing ability as you'll be stacking some attack power aswell for fitting the carry role aswell usually.
* W - Rocket Jump - Tristana fires at the ground to propel herself to a distant location, dealing damage and slowing surrounding units for 3 seconds where she lands.
On a champion kill or assist Rocket Jump's cooldown resets.
Damage: 70/115/160/205/250 (+0.8 for each 1 AP)
Cooldown: 12 seconds
Cost: 80 mana
Slow: 60% for 2.5 seconds
The bread and butter of your game, use it both offensive and defensive ways to make the best of it, even trick people with it, but that's bit more complicated.
This spell scales amazing with ability power, which allows it to get to ridiculus amounts of damage per jump. Remember it proccs Sheen/Trinity Force which is key for bursting with this build.
You could (and usually should) at mid-game to crush push waves using this, 1 jump will get most of the mobs 1 shot away from death if not killed, and adding with your E's passive ability it's just 1-shotting a full push wave.
* E - Explosive Shot - When Tristana kills a unit, her cannonballs turn into a sharpnel, dealing damage to surrounding enemies. When activated, Tristana deals damage to target unit over time, and reduces healing.
Damage: 25 (+0.1 for each point of AP, which may sounds a little but don't forget it's per tick which evens for +0.8 per AP point)
Time: 4/5/6/7/8 seconds
Cooldown: 16 seconds
Reduce healing: 50%
Cost: 50/60/70/80/90 mana
An awesome skill, very underated and underappreciated, had countless kills using it on a 1/3 hp champ, hitting an auto attack and leaving him to die. The passive part of it is amazing for farming, and harrasing if used well.
When using it you must never forget it's -healing effect, as it helps you nuke down people with summoner heal easily and abuse supporting healers (they usually tend to not notice they have the debuff and burn more mana healing themselves again and again).
Again it proccs your Sheen/Trinity Force so it's blessed to use every fight.
Don't forget that when the active is on cooldown the passive isn't working (!) so don't use it when you don't have to, else you're just losing money you could have made.
* R - Buster Shot - Tristana loads a giant cannonball into her weapon and fires it at an enemy unit. This deals damage and knocks the target back.
Damage: 300/400/500 (+1.5 for each AP, yes 1.5:1 ratio!)
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Cost: 140 mana
Knockback radius: 175 (yes it's an AoE knockback- small, but effective)
The ultimate, your big nuke, has so many uses, can be used to save an allied hero from a nub Master Yi who's chasing him, and ofcourse the usual offensive usage.
Should be saved as the finisher as much as possible, it gets to insane damage numbers eventually. Used well in team fights to spread a bit the enemy team or score one's kill fast (usually their biggest threat, which goes down surprisingly fast with you on his neck).
* Passive - Draw a Bead - Increase Tristana's attack range as she levels.
Range- +7 per level, ends up to +153 attack range at level 18.
I go with Flash and Ignite.
Flash's just cause it's so awesome to get you out of lots of annoying situations and support you with a second getaway when Rocket Jump's on cooldown.
Ignite is a neccesity, it's a fucking must, so useful for your nukedown at early game, and a respectful dot throughout the rest of the game, it will score you kills if you use it right.
But hey, summoner skills is about every one and his game style, that's just me.
Well I won't go too deep into this, basicly offensive (!) spellcaster, hit -cd's if possible and if taking ignite hit the improvement (+10 free ability power when ignite's on cd is awesome)
I know I've said Rocket Jump's your main ability, but hey, Explosive Shot's passive just allows you to snatch more mob kills, and well harass (if you bomb the wave's ranged mobs, it will in 90% of the cases hit their champion with bit of damage, that's low damage I know, but you ain't gonna kill just 1 but hopefully get 3 killing blows which equals 150 damage if he's close enough).
Afterwards maxing Rocket Jump becomes first priority, at level 3 you can go for a kill if you harrassed well or have a lane mate.
Keep ganking over and over again, all over the map, don't stay at one lane too much, the more you eat, the stronger you'll get and the more viable for endgame.
Rapid Fire at level 10 just to have another way to proc Sheen/Trinity or to push down a turret.
Start with Sapphire Crystal and 2*Health Pots for harrasing and staying longer at your lane.
I usually don't need to hit base, I tend to go at about 6-7 and usually with 2-3 kills by then and go shopping with shitloads of money.
Item order is:
Sapphire Crystal + 2*Health Pots
Sheen <--- KEY bursting item, allows huge bursts at early-mid game.
Mejai's Soulstealer <--- cheapest most useful 140 ability power you'll get.
Here it goes according to the game
Boots1->MR boots if you're troubling a Ryze or caster heavy team
Boots1->Boots of Mobility, awesome item for unleashing your reign of terror upon the other lanes through ganking!
Boots1->Sorc boots if you want to pump up your magic dps, or your enemies start stacking MR.
After boots in every situation complete Trinity Force, it's an amazing item in every way you can play from here.
Items continue according to team's neccesity, if I'm too fragile I hit armor of some kind, if we don't have enough carriers or a good carry I hit Infinity Edge asap and a Cleaver, if a caster annoys me (like Ryze's usually do, I jump to gank them, and 1 sec before I seal the deal their ulti rapes me 100% to 0% flatout) I get MR to smash him, and if all goes well, nobody annoys me more then they should, and we've got the carry to do it so I can still focus on champion killings I just smash more and more AP, but this optimal situation rarely happens.
*If I see I'm going free for using AP heavy build I'm building a LichBane instead of Trinity Force (!)
Try getting a solo lane, mid's the best option ofcourse (allows you to sneak quickly to the sides to gank and get back quickly to your own lane), if you didn't get a solo lane nevermind, you'll still do great.
Harass all the time, don't let your opponent be on 100% hp, never, it's better for you to down him to 70% and yourself along the way aswell (at level 3 you can bomb 70% to 0% in most cases using jump->exploding->ignite and 2 auto attacks).
Be aggressive and when you hit level 6 start your ganking game, sneak to the sides, make a kill, and get back to push your own lane (boots of mobility make this lane jumping rock).
Same as early, keep ganking, build yourself and prepare for the endgame (which you lose bit of viability in, but you're still awesome usually), notice your team's neccesities, if you need a stronger carry or just another one, go for Infinity Edge after your Trinity Force, that will also allow you to have huge bursts thanks to TriForce's proc.
This is about the part when both teams go head smashing 5v5 usually.
You're highly effective in this part as a hero killer if you've gone heavy AP, and thanks to Rapid Fire you can snap turrets real fast even as AP.
When you're sieged and need an initiate, you can pop a Jump->Buster an opponent into your team and Flash out of there asap, it works really nice, bit risky though and will never compare Blitz's fish hook due to your need to position well but you learn how to do this pretty darn good and become your team's initiator.
Rocket Jump an enemy, hit him with an auto attack (Sheen/Trinity), Explosive, auto attack, Buster Shot and if you see he aint dead pop ignite while he's flying away from you (yes it's doable and really useful). Rinse and repeat every time you want to kill a champion.
Use Rocket Jump on an enemy to position well, hit Buster to send him inside your turret!
If you prefered Fortify as summoner spell use it to increase damage output of the turret, if a teammie has it ask for it and prepare him in advance. he will usually get 2-3 shots before he's out of turret's range, and well, that in most cases means a kill.
Also use a lane mate to slow/stun him inside the turret if possible to ensure a kill.
Doing these methods on a Tristana and playing her as an mage really owns, got insane scores doing so, hitting the 13-1, 10-2 for quickie games (30-35mins surrender) and 22+ kills in those hour and over rare games, with very low death counting.
You're insane champion smasher but you need your team to take care of the rest usually (aslong you're going heavy AP ofcourse).
That's the way I do Tristana and usually smash hard doing so .
I've never encountered a Tristana playing AP besides me (and got supportive responses a LOT) so thought I'll publish it a bit .
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I'm glad you've gotten supportive responses to AP Tristana, I've only had negative reactions and have had losses blamed on me and called things you'll only hear on the internet for building her as AP even with scores like 20-5.