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Champion Spotlight

Tristana Champion Spotlight

Tristana Champion Spotlight

Recommended Items

Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran's Blade item Health Potion item Warding Totem item
Early B. F. Sword item Zeal item Boots of Speed item
Essential Infinity Edge item Berserker's Greaves item
Offensive Rapid Firecannon item Blade of the Ruined King item The Bloodthirster item
Situational Mercurial Scimitar item Lord Dominik's Regards item Guardian Angel item
Consumables Health Potion item Control Ward item Elixir of Wrath item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Blade item Health Potion item2
Early B. F. Sword item Zeal item Vampiric Scepter item
Essential Infinity Edge item Berserker's Greaves item Rapid Firecannon item
Offensive Blade of the Ruined King item The Bloodthirster item Statikk Shiv item
Situational Lord Dominik's Regards item Maw of Malmortius item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Wrath item
Howling Abyss
Starting Guardian's Hammer item Boots of Speed item Health Potion item3
Essential Statikk Shiv item Berserker's Greaves item Infinity Edge item
Offensive The Bloodthirster item Lord Dominik's Regards item Phantom Dancer item
Defensive Mercurial Scimitar item Maw of Malmortius item
Consumables Health Potion item Corrupting Potion item Elixir of Wrath item


Playing as TristanaSquare Tristana
  • Tristana's Draw a Bead massive gun allows her to fire at a safe distance, exploit this as much as possible.
  • Use Rocket Jump Rocket Jump to detonate the Explosive Charge Explosive Charge on an enemy to finish them off with a great burst of damage, this will subsequently reset the jump cooldown.
  • Tristanahas great power when pushing her lane. If your enemy isn't nearby, she can exploit this by shoving towards the tower to take it out.
  • Tristana's cooldowns are very long, especially in the early game where she doesn't have a lot of power. Therefore, you should play the lane safe and focus on farming towards items and poking the enemy down to prevent their engages.
Playing against TristanaSquare Tristana
  • Tristana will naturally push lane with Explosive Charge Explosive Charge, ambush her if she attempts to siege.
  • Tristana becomes problematic by the time she reaches her full build, it is strongly suggested to end the game before that occurs.
  • Explosive Charge Explosive Charge helps Tristana farm out of her weak early game. Pushing the lane towards her tower will make farming incredibly challenging with this ability.
  • Tristana can inflict massive damage in a team-fight. Forcing her to escape will prevent her from decimating your team.
  • Stand away from your minions in lane to avoid collateral damage from Explosive Charge Explosive Charge.
  • Try to not engage Tristana when she can easily escape with her Rocket Jump Rocket Jump and Buster Shot Buster Shot off cooldown. The exception is when you can hold her in place with crowd control long enough to kill her.
    • Tristana is vulnerable to being hit by crowd control during the animation of Rocket Jump Rocket Jump (being essentially a very slow dash), so a well-timed lockdown can prevent her escape.
  • Tristana mainly deals damage from her auto-attacks. Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen and Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart are good items to counter build against her, since it will greatly reduce her DPS.
  • If Tristana is building Ability power icon AP, be very cautious and ward well as she may jump out of nowhere and one-shot you easily. Also, missing calls can prevent a lot of her potential ganks.
    • In team fights, do not leave any squishy teammates in the front and prepare some CC for her all-in. Be sure to retreat if your team is weakened, because the cooldown of Rocket Jump Rocket Jump resets whenever she gets a Takedown.
    • Purchasing a Banshee's Veil item Banshee's Veil counters Ability power icon AP Tristana easily. Because AP Tristana is combo reliant and she has long cooldowns, if she can't kill you, she becomes useless for a time; if you negate one of her spells, a huge portion of her damage is gone.
  • When built Attack damage icon AD, Tristana does not have scaling for her burst abilities due to the lack of ability power, meaning her mid-game is a little weak. Abuse this, since her late game is one of the closest to unstoppable.
  • Do not let Tristana anywhere near a turret. If she is missing in action, chances are that she may be hiding somewhere and her team might be buying her time to effectively split-push and destroy a turret.
Playing with TristanaSquare Tristana


TristanaSquare Tristana is a long-ranged marksman that specializes in pushing lane and causing collateral damage. She excels in snowballing along successful fights and can quickly eliminate her targets from the safety of the backline. Her strength comes from her ability to destroy turrets within mere seconds with Explosive Charge Explosive Charge and Rapid Fire Rapid Fire, which can also secure objectives such as DragonSquare Dragon and Baron NashorSquare Baron Nashor.

Ability Usage

Draw a Bead Draw a Bead [Innate]
  • Since Tristana can keep her distance, she performs well in the back line of her team, whom can cover her from danger.
  • Tristana can outrange most other ranged carries at level 16, making her a very strong pick if your team lacks hard crowd control but have a wide array of slows.
Rapid Fire Rapid Fire [Q]
  • Leveling early on is ill advised, since her low damage early in the game can't make much use of the attack speed steroid. Wait until you buy some AD items such as a B. F. Sword item B. F. Sword.
  • Rapid Fire is applied to the next auto attack's wait period - cast it right before an auto attack to squeeze as much as you can from the duration.
Rocket Jump Rocket Jump [W]
  • Rocket Jump is often used defensively, especially for jumping out of AoE abilities such as Absolute Zero Absolute Zero, as well as in and out of the base walls.
    • The cost of Rocket Jump is a bit high compared to her mana pool. Make sure you have enough mana to use it at all times.
  • Tristana can use abilities while in the air, allowing very fast combos.
    • Jumping over an enemy and then using Buster Shot Buster Shot to send them flying back to your allies or an allied turret can be very effective, but don't put yourself in positional jeopardy if the enemy can follow up on your lack of escape.
  • Since Rocket Jump resets on kills or assists, you can jump in to secure a reset so you can follow up even further.
  • As many players tend level up Rocket Jump last, be mindful of its long cooldown at rank 1 because jumping bad situation without getting the reset may end up just getting you killed.
  • Rocket Jump is considered a "Dash dash", even though it is visually a "jump". This means that if you jump over a trap (like Yordle Snap Trap Yordle Snap Trap) you will activate it.
    • Likewise, this also means that many enemy abilities such as BlitzcrankSquare Blitzcrank's Power Fist Power Fist can interrupt your jump mid-flight if you're not careful.
Explosive Charge Explosive Charge [E]
  • The passive is particularly useful in farming - if there are a lot of minions in a relatively confined area, killing the weakest one would splash a bit more damage to the healthier ones nearby, allowing you to last hit faster.
    • Combine this with Rapid Fire Rapid Fire and she can easily farm up and clear minion waves with ease. Be aware that this may push your lane more than necessary and leave you open during the laning phase.
  • In the early game, Explosive Charge's passive is your best method of harassing enemies because Tristana's basic attack damage output is weak early on.
  • Explosive Charge won't pay off unless you are sure you can charge it up, using it early in the fight will maximize its usage.
  • Explosive Charge resets your auto attack animation, allowing you to sneak in another auto attack to push trades in your favor.
    • It can also interrupt your auto attack, so don't try to apply both at the same time.
    • You can finish Explosive Charge by Rocket Jump jumping into the enemy after you have ramped it thrice, this is useful if you've engaged a target locked down by crowd control. However, keep in note that this is a high risk move because you've launched yourself into the fray.
Buster Shot Buster Shot [R]
  • Buster Shot's main purpose is its displacement, which is great for disrupting divers such as Jarvan IVSquare Jarvan IV or oppressive mages such as VeigarSquare Veigar.
    • Note that Buster Shot can push enemies tightly packed together and can even knock them through walls.
  • You don't always have to knock the enemy away, you can turn the tables by shooting them into your incoming backup.
  • Using Rocket Jump Rocket Jump and using Buster Shot while in mid-air can ensure your escape.


Precision icon Precison has some of the best options for Tristana's sustained fighting style.

  • Press the Attack rune Press the Attack is excellent for high damage team compositions. Tristana can easily apply the stacks to enable extra damage for her entire team.
  • Lethal Tempo rune Lethal Tempo can boost her trades in the early game by allowing more attacks per second to ramp Explosive Charge Explosive Charge and inflict Critical strike icon critical strikes.
  • Fleet Footwork rune Fleet Footwork gives her great lane sustain, which often times is very important in helping her survive early game.


TristanaSquare Tristana's skills become more relevant for their utility than their damage in the late-game, so rather than getting cooldown reduction, she'll become heavily reliant on basic attacks. She benefits from items that grant Attack damage icon Attack Damage, Critical strike chance icon Critical Strike Chance, and on-hit effects, along with a high affinity for Attack speed icon Attack Speed.

  • Berserker's Greaves item Berserker's Greaves is almost always the staple boot for Marksman icon Marksmen with the attack speed it gives. Tristana is going to need all she can get outside of damage items.

There are four possible choices for Attack speed icon Attack Speed with Critical strike chance icon Critical Strike Chance. It is recommended for to buy at least two of those options, alongside Infinity Edge.

  • Rapid Firecannon item Rapid Firecannon gives the least attack speed out of all three options in exchange for higher range It lets her poke enemies from a distance along with more siege damage. Sometimes Tristana doesn't want to come close to an enemy, especially if it is a dangerous assassin or diver. Rapid Firecannon helps with that.
  • Statikk Shiv item Statikk Shiv gives Tristana some waveclear and burst damage during duels. It is best used when paired with Rapid Firecannon item Rapid Firecannon because the damage from both items stack (due to seperate Unique Passives), and also Rapid Firecannon allows Statikk Shiv to recharge faster and apply damage to towers, giving her even more siege damage.
  • Runaan's Hurricane item Runaan's Hurricane is a situational option. It has more waveclear than Statikk Shiv, but without the burst damage for dueling. Tristana won't normally put up with multiple enemies early in the game- however come late game and Tristana has AoE damage in teamfights, which is a significant advantage late game and a requirement in some games, especially against tankier/more sustainable teams. It is also very good when paired with Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King or Mortal Reminder item Mortal Reminder since the extra bolts apply on-hit effects.
    • All Life steal icon Life Steal counts as an on-hit effect.

There are four options for Life steal icon Life Steal. However, depending of the game, Tristana may not need it if she gets sustain/survivability from other choices (for example: the rune Legend- Bloodline rune Legend: Bloodline, or Ravenous Hunter rune Ravenous Hunter, or a dedicated Controller icon Enchanter)

  • The Bloodthirster item The Bloodthirster is a very common staple item that provides raw life steal and AD, both which have fantastic synergy with Critical strike icon critical strike. It also gives a Hybrid resistances icon shield, which will protect against the brunt of assassinations if Tristana goes down fighting.
  • Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King is a better choice if the enemy team happens to have tanks or juggernauts, as the percentage health damage is needed early to keep them in line. This is best paired with armor penetration, as the enemy tanks may attempt to stack armor to counter this item's percentage damage.
  • Death's Dance item Death's Dance is very situational. The Bloodthirster item The Bloodthirster will usually give more raw sustain. However, it would be powerless against sudden engage. When paired with Phantom Dancer item Phantom Dancer, this item completes a fortification of damage reduction that helps against persistent foes that would rather dive to kill Tristana in a fight.

Ability power icon AP Tristana can be viable given that she has decent base damage and AP ratios. If you plan to play this, it is recommended to buy items that supplement her basic attacks, such as Lich Bane item Lich Bane, or Hextech Gunblade item Hextech Gunblade. After that, focus on items that give raw AP, such as Rabadon's Deathcap item Rabadon's Deathcap.

  • Nashor's Tooth item Nashor's Tooth lets Tristana charge Explosive Charge Explosive Charge faster, and gives her an on-hit AP scaling damage that has synergy with Rapid Fire Rapid Fire.
    • In this situation, you may also consider purchasing Guinsoo's Rageblade item Guinsoo's Rageblade, which synergizes with both Nashor's Tooth on-hit damage and with Explosive Charge (as it gives AD and AP). Remember that both of these items promote a sustained damage style, which may not suit Tristana if you plan to play her as an AP assassin/burst damage. In that case, it may be better to stick to Lich Bane item Lich Bane / Hextech Gunblade item Hextech Gunblade.

Synergies & Counterpicks

Works well with: Struggles against:

Blitzcrank - the Great Steam Golem

Having a Rocket Grab hook for an engage means that Tristana can still keep Rocket Jump Rocket Jump handy if prey tries to run, or things get real ugly. Blitzcrank can hold onto his grabs long enough to toss her enemy an Explosive Charge explosive parting gift for the road.

Draven - the Glorious Executioner

Draven's notoriously oppressive early game puts Trist in a dance of death, despite being one of the only marksmen to go toe to toe with him. Not only is he already ahead in terms of sheer damage, but he can also League of Draven cash in just once to widen the wage gap that will make life miserable.