If you’re just starting out and learning about how to play Marksmen, look no further than Tristana, who in my opinion is one of the absolute best Marksmen players can end up having.
Unlike Marksmen like Xayah, Ashe and Varus, Tristana is an agile Marksman whose main goal is to pop in and out of battle to deal damage, resembling playstyles like Jhin or Gnar. In my experience, Tristana has one of the quickest learning curves and some of the most diversity on her kit.
Before we dive into all the reasons Tristana makes an awesome champion, let’s cover Tristana’s passive Draw a Bead (passive). Tristana players will gain up to 136 extra range based on their level.
The improvement of Tristana’s range will effect her basic attacks, Explosive Charge (E) and her Buster Shot (R), effectively her whole range increases.
Tristana’s abilities include Rapid Fire (Q) which provides Tristana players with bonus attack speed, Rocket Jump (W), which allows Tristana players to jump to the targetted location and Explosive Charge (E) which can be placed on both enemy champions and turrets. Basic attacks will charge Tristana’s Explosive Charge (E) which will deal increased damage to said target.
Tristana’s ultimate ability Buster Shot (R) can be used in emergencies tho knockback enemy champions or if players have enough damage players can secure a takedown using Buster Shot (R).
SUMMONER SPELLS: Flash and Heal
RUNES: Fleet Footwork, Triumph, Alacrity, Coup de Grace // Eyeball Collection & Taste of Blood
ABILITY POWER UP: E, Q, W
FIRST BUY: B.F. Sword or Vampiric Scepter & Boots of Speed
BUILD ORDER: Infinity Edge, Berserker’s Boots, Rapidfire Cannon, Blade of the Ruined King, Phantom Dancer, Bloodthirster
COMBOS: Tristana players are going to want to make sure that they always empower Tristana’s Explosive Charge (E) with a few shots that are empowered with Rapid Fire (Q).
Players who do not empower Tristana’s Explosive Charge (E) will deal with drastically less damage than if the Explosive Charge (E) explodes after empowerment.
Players can also fly in with Tristana’s Rocket Jump (W), secure a takedown and fly out with Rocket Jump (W) which resets after players secure a takedown or as soon as Explosive Charge (E) explodes.
SUMMONER SPELLS FOR TRISTANA IN ARAM
As is with all other Markmen, Tristana benefits heavily when she takes Flash as one of her summoner spells.
While it’s true that Tristana players have access to unmatched movement from her Rocket Jump (W), players may want to use Flash as an extra escape or can use it to boost the distance travelled towards the enemy champions in order to secure enemy takedowns.
It’s not necessary that players use Flash in tandem with Rocket Jump (W) when playing Tristana, however, if players find themselves in scarier situations than usual, use both to your advantage. The same can be said if players take notice of extremely vulnerable or isolated enemy champions.
Due to Tristana’s high attack speed, players won’t have much difficulty securing takedowns or bursting down enemy champions, especially if the enemy is squishy.
HEAL OR BARRIER
Heal and Barrier tend to be the only other summoner spells players will want to take as Tristana as Tristana does not use a whole lot of mana.
Heal and Barrier both are defensive summoner spells, though I prefer to take Heal over Barrier as Heal provides both health and movement speed, while Barrier provides a shield on a shortened cooldown.
Players can use both Heal or Barrier in tight situations where players may die.
RUNES TREES FOR TRISTANA IN ARAM
Become Energized by using basic attacks or moving. When fully Energized, 100, a player’s next basic attack will restore between 3 to 60 (+30% bonus AD) health, based on the player’s level.
Players will also receive a 20% movement speed buff for 1 second. As a ranged champion, players will receive 20% of this healing when attacking minions.
Tristana players should try to stay back when in ARAM, as players will have a hard time escaping enemy champions if they are jumped on. If Tristana players take any damage, they should pull back briefly while healing off of minions until it is safe to jump back into battle.
Fleet Footwork falls off a bit in the late-game, but players can definitely benefit from having it still, especially as you build attack speed.
Players who do not need healing or movement speed should take Lethal Tempo as it will help Tristana players deal more damage at a fast pace.
Triumph is one of the most powerful runes that players can take while playing ARAM, especially if your team gets a number of kills in a row.
Players will receive 6% of missing health as well as 10 Gold every time they participate in a champion takedown. Players will experience a 1-second delay before they get their health from securing a takedown.
Alacrity provides players with 3% (+ 1.5% per Legend stack) bonus Attack Speed, up to 18% when players have 10 stacks.
Securing enough kills to receive the 18% Attack Speed can be game-changing, especially if players haven’t died and thus do not have a way to access the shop.
Alacrity won’t help carry you throughout the whole game, but it will make sure that you get a few extra hits whenever you need it. Alacrity is perfect for those of you who need some extra help
COUP DE GRACE
The fourth Rune is definitely a personal choice, but I always like to choose Coup de Grace because it gives you 8% more damage to enemy champions below 40% health.
Collect 1 Eyeball per champion takedown, up to 10. Each takedown will provide players with 1.2 Attack Damage up to 12 bonus Attack Damage. Players will gain a total of 18 Attack Damage.
Players can also choose to use Cheap Shot (true damage when enemies are movement impaired) or Taste of Blood (healing when damaging enemy champions) instead.
Abilities Heal for 1.5% of damage + 2.5% per every champion takedown for a maximum of 5 stacks. Healing is reduced to 1/3 on AoE damage.
While Ravenous Hunter won’t do a great deal of healing, it’s never a bad idea to round out your damage.
SKILL LEVEL UP RECOMMENDATIONS & TIPS ON HOW TO PLAY TRISTANA IN ARAM
RAPID FIRE (Q)
Empowering Tristana, players will gain 50 / 65 / 80 / 95 / 110% attack speed.
Rapid Fire does not cost any mana and can be used every 20 / 19 / 18 / 17 / 16 seconds.
Although attack speed is always a nice thing to have when playing Tristana, Rapid Fire is going to be the second ability players upgrade as it doesn’t provide any other crucial or vital stats to Tristana players.
As mentioned earlier, the main use for Rapid Fire is to empower Explosive Charge (E), though players can choose to use Rapid Fire any time it is off cooldown.
ROCKET JUMP (W)
For the cost of 60 mana players will be able to jump to enemy champions, dealing 95 / 145 / 195 / 245 / 295 (+50% AP) magic damage to all nearby enemies upon landing.
Enemies who are hit upon landing will also receive a 60% slow for 1 / 1.5 / 2 / 2.5 / 3 seconds.
Upon securing an enemy takedown and upon Explosive Charge (E) detonating, Rocket Jump will reset, allowing players to get out of tough situations.
As mentioned earlier, Rocket Jump is an extremely effective way for players to both get in and out of battle. Truthfully, my opinion is that Rocket Jump is what sets Tristana apart from the majority of other Marksmen.
If used well, Tristana players will be the cause of massive amounts of damage while still being able to pop out of battle untouched. Of course, just because Tristana has Rocket Jump, doesn’t mean that she’s going to be completely invulnerable.
A good tip to note is that Tristana’s Rocket Jump cannot get her out of Veigar’s ability Event Horizon (Veigar’s E) as the game doesn’t technically have a Y-axis.
Max out your W last as you will not rely on it for damage.
EXPLOSIVE CHARGE (E)
Funny enough, Explosive Charge was originally my least favourite Tristana ability when I first started playing her, but it quickly grew on me, especially when I realized just how much damage it actually does.
For the cost of 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana, every 16 / 15.5 / 15 / 14.5 / 14 seconds players will be able to place a bomb onto enemy champions, minions or enemy turrets.
Upon explosion, Explosive Charge will deal a minimum of 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 ( + 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150% bonus AD + 50% AP) and each one of Tristana’s basic attacks (or abilities) increases the damage by 30% stacking to a maximum of 120%.
The bonus damage per stack equal out to 21 / 24 / 27 / 30 / 33 (+ 15 / 22.5 / 30 / 37.5 / 45% bonus AD + 15% AP).
Upon being charged 4 times, Explosive Charge will explode instantly, dealing maximum damage at the ability’s maximum range.
If enemy champions are killed during this explosion, the explosion will deal 55 / 80 / 105 / 130 / 155 (+25% AP) magic damage upon securing the takedown.
If Explosive Charge is placed on an enemy turret and is charged/detonated it will deal physical area damage upon explosion.
BUSTER SHOT (R)
Buster Shot is shockingly my least favourite ability Tristana has, but it’s because it is mostly used defensively.
For the cost of 100 mana Buster Shot will fire a cannonball dealing 300 / 400 / 500 (+ 100% AP) magic damage knocking back enemies 600 / 800 / 1000 units.
Buster Shot has a 120 / 110 / 100-second cooldown and thus should only be used to get enemy champions off of you. The most ideal situation is to use Buster Shot to get an Assasin off of you or enemies who have a great deal of crowd control.
GEAR BUILD FOR TRISTANA
Infinity Edge deals 80 Attack Damage, 25% Critical Strike Chance and also deals 25% critical damage.
More damage, more power. Infinity Edge is going to be the piece of gear that sets you apart from the other team.
I don’t think I have to explain this… Attack Speed Boots for an Attack Speed Queen. You can thank me later for my brevity.
Pairing up extremely well with Fleet Footwork, Rapid Firecannon provides players with a 35% bonus range (+150 range maximum) when players are Energized. Energized attacks will also deal 120 magic damage.
Rapid Firecannon provides players with 30% Attack Speed, +25% Critical Strike Chance, and +5% Movement Speed.
BLADE OF THE RUINED KING
Giving players 40 Attack Damage, 25% Attack Speed and 12% Life Steal.
The most enticing thing about Blade of the Ruined King is that basic attacks deal 8% of the target’s current health as bonus physical damage. This makes shredding tanks fairly easy, while still giving you the same effect on lower health champions. The minimum bonus physical damage players will deal is 15 AD.
As an active, players will deal 100 magic damage to the target champion, causing them to move 25% slower for 3 seconds.
Blade of the Ruined King is nice when it comes to shredding tanks, but otherwise, I find Blade of the Ruined King leaves me fairly exposed and vulnerable so if you’re looking for chunkier health look below.
Providing players with 30% attack speed, 25% critical strike chance, 5% movement speed as well as providing players with ghost as well as 7% bonus movement speed for 2 seconds.
As a unique passive, players will receive a shield that absorbs 240-600 (based on level) damage decaying over 2 seconds every 90 seconds when the player’s maximum health is below 30%.
Honestly, Phantom Dancer is just a nice piece of gear to have on any quick Marksman!
Bloodthirster provides players with 80 Attack Damage and 20% Life Steal.
Bloodthirster can also overheal you by converting excess health into a 50 − 350 (based on level) “shield.” Bloodthirster’s shield will decay when out-of-combat for 25 seconds.
In the situation of Bloodthirster, I kind of think of “go big or go home” and quite frankly, I’d rather have a huge chunk of Life Steal all from one item than a bit of Life Steal and some other meh stats.