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Tristana Build & Rune Guide

Tristana Guide

If you’re the type of player who plays for towers and objectives rather than kills, we have the ideal ADC for you today. Tristana is a small Yordle in League of Legends that excels at demolishing towers from afar. Planting bombs and knocking back enemies before jumping out of danger is her thing. If you’re worried about getting out-ranged by the enemy ADC, just wait till late game when your basic attack range outshines almost everyone. This is Tristana in all her glory.

How To Play Tristana In League Of Legends

Tristana has more to her kit than most people realize. Having a pretty short attack range plus low damage early in the game, many may struggle to keep up with her skill curve. However, balance your damage right and dive into fights at the right moment to get a few kills in your back.

Tristana can also stick bombs to enemies, detonating them for higher amounts of damage the more she right-clicks the target. And if you need to get out, simply use your R to knock away anyone chasing after you.

How Do Tristana’s Abilities Work?

Playing Tristana might seem tricky, but her abilities sure aren’t. With small, simple descriptions, most of her abilities amplify her damage. She also has a pretty well-rounded kit as compared to most marksman champions, making it very hard to lock her down in teamfights. Her W allows her to jump in and out of fights or even reposition herself to block out damage.

She also does a ton of AOE damage through her passive and E, dissuading enemies from grouping. However, catch out a target, and use Q to shred through their health bar. To finish them off, hit them with your R to secure the kill.

Draw A Bead (Passive)

Tristana’s passive, Draw A Bead, allows her to passively gain basic attack range as she levels up. She recieves 0-136 extra range based on level, up to a maximum of 525-661 bonus attack range. This range bonus doesn’t just apply to her basic attacks but also to her E and R abilities.

This really helps in the late game when getting too close to an enemy can spell death for most ADCs. Tristana can comfortably sit back and fire off her auto attacks while having W for a quick escape, just incase.

Rapid Fire (Q)

Rapid Fire is quite similar to a staple ability some ADCs have, which enhances their attack speed. Since most ADCs are entirely dependent on their auto attacks to deal damage, this ability can really help out in short burst trades. This ability really synchronizes well with Tristana’s kit in particular, as she can stack up her Explosive Charge ability faster, significantly enhancing its damage. The duration of this ability is 7 seconds.



Bonus Attack Speed/%




Rocket Jump (W)

Marksman champions are extremely vulnerable throughout the game, especially without a proper support. On top of that, they are the most targeted role in teamfights. To avoid getting absolutely annihilated, Tristana has Rocket Jump. When activated, Tristana takes flight and jumps to the target location. On landing, she deals magic damage and slows enemies by 40% in a small radius.

This ability is great for repositioning yourself during teamfights. Sometimes, it can even be used offensively to jump into an ongoing fight, granted you can survive the onslaught. With its cooldown being refreshed on enemy champion takedowns or detonating a fully stacked E, she can quickly change positions and get out of harm’s way.


Mana Cost


Magic Damage (+50% AP)

Slow Duration






Explosive Charge (E)

Explosive Charge is one of Tristana’s main damage-dealing sources, especially in shorter trades. Tristana can toss an explosive onto the target enemy champion, minion, or tower, dealing physical damage at the end of its duration. This charge does AOE damage in a larger area when attached to a turret to all nearby enemies.

Furthermore, Tristana can basic attack the target to add stacks to the charge, up to a maximum of 4 stacks. Each stack increases Explosive Charge’s damage by 30%. After max stacks, the charge will detonate instantly. Explosive Charge also has a passive effect where whenever Tristana kills an enemy, the target explodes, dealing magic damage in a small radius.


Mana Cost


Magic Damage (+25% AP)

Minimum Physical Damage (+50% AP)

Bonus Damage Per Stack (+15% AP)





70/80/90/100/110 (+50/75/100/125/150% Bonus AD)

21/24/27/30/33 (+15/22.5/30/37.5/45% Bonus AD)

Buster Shot (R)

Buster Shot is a great execution ability that can deal a burst of magic damage while also knocking back the enemy. When activated, Tristana fires a giant cannonball at the target, dealing magic damage and knocking them back. This ability also deals the same damage to surrounding enemies, stunning them for 0.75 seconds.

Tristana can use this ability to get out of sticky situations, especially when targeted by assassins. This, combined with her W, makes her an extremely mobile and hard target to stick on to in teamfights.


Mana Cost


Magic Damage (+100% AP)

Knockback Distance






Tristana’s Build Path (Items + Runes)

Tristana can deal massive amounts of damage if piloted correctly. While she lacks attack range in the beginning, she becomes a monster with her first few items and runes stacked up. Let’s see how this plays along in an actual match.


Starting Item: Your starting item can be Doran’s Blade or Longsword. Doran’s Blade gives you a bit of lifesteal and additional minion damage, making it easier to last hit and sustain in lane. Longsword gives you some base AD but builds into higher tier items. For beginners, we’d recommend Doran’s Blade.

Core Build: The core build will consist of Kraken Slayer into Phantom Dancer. Tristana requires very high kiting ability in order to efficiently deal damage. Kraken Slayer greatly increases your attack speed, especially with some extra legendary items. Phantom Dancer gives you stacking movement speed to help you kite better.

Situational Items: Infinity Edge and Bloodthirster are great pickups for Tristana after your main items. Infinity Edge gives you much more critical strike damage, while Bloodthirster helps heal back up. This item is very important in the later stages of the game when you get heavily poked by burst mages or assassins.

Boots: Bereserker’s Greaves will be your boots for an additional attack speed bonus.


Primary: For your primary runes, you will choose Lethal Tempo into Triumph, Legend: Bloodline, and Coup de Grace. Lethal Tempo gives you increasing attack speed while Legend: Bloodline gives you lifesteal in the early game. Coup de Grace helps finish off low-health enemies, and Triumph gives you back some health on champion takedowns.

Secondary: Secondary runes are Eyeball Collection and Treasure Hunter. Eyeball Hunter passively gives you more AD as you get champion takedowns, while Treasure Hunter increases your gold economy on the same requirements. Both are amazing scaling runes, perfect for Tristana.

Final Thoughts

Tristana can be a fun champion to play, as long as you know how to maneuver her. Knowing when to jump into fights or kite back is very important as you cannot just stand and basic attack enemies with her. However, once you have those mechanics down, you’ll be able to get the drop on unsuspecting enemies and finish them before they can run.

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