Character Guide: Trist - Guide for League of Legends: Clash of Fates
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This is a guide to Tristana for beginners. It assumes that you are not a very high level summoner and thus have limited runes and masteries. Trist happens to be available for unlocking completely and totally FREE (see my beginner's guide for details), and she is pretty easy to play. This makes her a great choice for a beginning guide. Note that I also provide quite a bit of what could be considered to be basic gameplay advice. Once again, my target audience is new players. This guide for PATCH VERSION 188.8.131.52. I. Why Trist? -- Pros and Cons -- How to get her free! II. Abilities and Stats III. Skills IV. DPS Theory V. Stats we Want Most VI. What About AP? VII. Runes VIII. Masteries IX. Summoner Spells X. Items (long) -- Itemization TL;DR -- Rationale: Starting Items -- Choice of Boots -- First Midgame Damage Item -- Big Damage Item -- Post Big-Damage Item -- Getting some Attack Speed -- Endgame Items -- Optional/Situational Items -- Items to Avoid XI. Gameplay Strategy -- Beginning the Game -- Loading Phase -- Game Start -- Early Game Strategy -- Specific Opponent Strategy (countering certain champions) -- What if I am Not Mid? -- Midgame Strategy -- Endgame Strategy XII. Final Words I. Why Trist? ============= * As mentioned, she is FREE and thus can always be available for usage. * She is easy to play and has several ways of 'escaping' and thus is harder to kill than one might expect. She is pretty well balanced and has a nice set of powers that work well together. * She is considered a Ranged DPS Carry and can make a large contribution to a battle in the lategame. Your team may have to 'carry' her along somewhat by giving her the solo mid slot and helping repel ganks. However, she eventually becomes a beast that will carry the team to victory and dominate the opponents with her extreme range and very high damage output with a basic auto-attack. * She has a decent early game, decent middle game and a great endgame. She doesn't really stink at any part of the game, nor is she easily shutdown by anything. There's no "OMG, they've got X! U lose, Trist." conversations. * She does well playing as the mid-lane, but also works well on the side lanes unlike some characters who really NEED the solo lane to function well. * She is stable. Unlike Ezrael who keeps getting buffed and nerfed and buffed and nerfed and so forth, Trist hasn't significantly changed as far as I can remember. You don't hear much about 'that no-skill cheeze hero', and OMG, overpowered!', and so forth. * Even if your team is doing poorly, if you can do well you can influence the game and win! With most heroes such as spellcasters and tanks (non-carries) there just isn't much you can do. But as long as your team hasnt fed their carry too much, and aren't too cowardly to fight, then you can make a comeback. Also, you don't have the endgame slump that many spellcasters end up facing during the really long games when they wind up with about 700 damage dealt per spell, vs your 700 or more damage 2.5 times per second! Cons: ----- * For better or worse, she will typically go in the solo lane, which means you go 1v1 and have a higher chance of getting surprise attacked by the sides. * Trist is relatively easy to kill and because she is so dangerous lategame, she is the first target that enemies will attack in team fights, and they will do their best to beat you down early and midgame to prevent you from becoming a threat later. You WILL be the primary target/victim of any of the stealth characters like Shaco, Twitch, and Evelyn. * She is well balanced. There is not really anything that she can do that is 'overpowered' or unusually good. You can't feast on their tears from their comments about "OMG, u autoattacked me! SOO cheezy!!" How to get her for free? ------------------------ 0) If you tried it unsuccessfully, go here first: Visit http://www.facebook.com/#!/editapps.php?ref=mb Remove the "LOL Community Tristana" from the apps list. 1) Use a facebook account that MATCHES YOUR EMAIL USED TO SIGN UP FOR LEAGUE OF LEGENDS!!! Make a temporary junk one if the address doesnt match. 2) Sign into your facebook account that matches the email used for LOL. 3) Visit http://facebook.com/leagueoflegends Make sure to "Like" this. There are several league of legends like things, so make sure you like the right one! 4) Visit http://leagueoflegends.com. Sign into your league of legends account if it doesn't automatically do so. 5) Visit http://leagueoflegends.com/facebook and note that the page always redirects to the stupid 'play for free!' page. Click the top right corner to continue onwards to the Facebook page. 6) It should detect that you are a fan and credit you with the skin. 7) Log out and back into the game if necessary and check your summoner to ensure you have Trist and the special skin. II. Trist's Abilities and Stats =============================== These are Trist's starting values at level 1, her gains per level, and final level 18 maxed scores. Health 497 (+82) 1891 Mana 225 (+32) 769 Damage 48 (+3) 99 Attack Speed 0.66 (+0.02) 0.9925 Range 550 (+9) 703 Armor 18 (+3) 69 Magic Res. 30 (+0) 30 HP Regen/5 5.80 (+0.13) 16.80 Mana Regen. 4.20 (+0.05) 8.5 Mov. Speed 310 (none) 310 Lets compare these values to a big Tank like Alistar, Health 582 (+114) Mana 225 (+33) Damage 64 (+3.4) Attack Speed 0.635 (+0.010) Range 125 Armor 18 (+3.5) Magic Res. 30 Health Regen. 39.0 (+0.9) Mana Regen. 20 Speed 300 Analysis: --------- We see that her health is less than many heroes but only maybe a 20% difference even between her and the big tank. It isn't a huge disparity. Her armor values are similar to most other champions and no champion that I know of ever gets any Magic Resistance as they level up. So pretty standard stuff there. So basically there is no reason for her to be all that squishy just looking at these values. The squishiness stems from the fact that she is very frequently targeted and her items and masteries tend to focus on offense moreso than defense. Surprisingly her damage is actually pretty lousy! Not what you would expect from a ranged DPS who supposedly has a FULL BAR for 'Damage' in the Champion summary! This underscores the need for things that boost her damage! Her attack rate is ok, but not really amazing. In fact, it takes 230% attack speed boost to get her to hit the cap of 2.5 attacks per second. This includes her free boosts that she gets as she levels, so she goes from 0.99 per second to 2.5 with +230%. This is why attack speed boosts are not as effective as you might otherwise expect as one would think a +100% attack speed would in fact double your damage output. Notice she is the ONLY champion in the game who's range gets better as she levels up. 703 is significantly better than any other champion. The big thing we notice is that her health and mana regeneration are bad! Really bad. This basically says that we need some form of mana regeneration to be able to consistently do stuff. Otherwise we will be running back to base all the time. The good news is that mid and endgame, she tends to stop using her most mana intensive skill. III. Skills ============ Passive: Boosts her range by +9 per level. (Q) Rapid Fire (Active): Increases Tristana's attack speed for 7 seconds. * Cooldown: 20 seconds * Cost: 80 Mana Attack Speed: 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 % (W) Rocket Jump (Active): Tristana fires at the ground to propel herself to target location, dealing magic damage and slowing surrounding units by 60% for 2.5 seconds when she lands. On kill or assist, Rocket Jump's cooldown resets. * Cooldown: 22 / 20 / 18 / 16 / 14 seconds * Cost: 80 Mana * Range: 800 Area effect Magic Damage: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.8 per AP) (E) Explosive Shot (Passive): Enemies explode when slain by Tristana's attacks, dealing magic damage to nearby enemies. (Active): Explosive Shot rends the target enemy, reducing healing and health regeneration by 50% and dealing 25 (+0.1 per ability power) Magic Damage per second. * Cooldown: 16 seconds * Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 Mana * Range: 600 * Passive Magic Damage Dealt to adjacent: 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 * Duration of active component : 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 seconds (R) Buster Shot (Active): Tristana fires a massive cannonball at an enemy unit. This deals magic damage and knocks surrounding units back. * Cooldown: 60 seconds * Cost: 140 Mana * Range: 700 * Magic Damage: 300 / 400 / 500 (+1.5 per ability power) * Knockback: 600 / 800 / 1,000 Analysis: --------- **RAPID FIRE is why Tristana does not need much attack speed, or more accurately: why Trist does not focus on attack speed until after getting big damage boosts early and midgame. This ability is cheap enough and low cooldown enough to be used in every major team fight. However, this skill should NOT be used early game! The reason is because you just don't hit very hard and a 30 or 45% speed boost will only equate to maybe one extra shot. During early game it is all about hit and run, not sustained firing. It is only useful if you happen to be able to push their tower, but that is kind of entering midgame territory. Hence we level this one so that it gets maxed around level 12ish and ignore it early. **ROCKET JUMP is a multi-purpose tool. It has a good range and is great for escaping from the bad guys. This should be its primary use and stay reserved for such a use. DO NOT INITIATE a team fight with this skill! It can also be used offensively but this leaves you very vulnerable. Ideally you would jump onto the bad guy, do some damage, slow them, and shoot at them while they try to get away. You only do this during laning or a gank. Note a few things about this skill: 1) It always fires IMMEDIATELY on use. If you click say 1000 range away, it will immediately jump in that direction 600 range instead of walking in that direction first and then jumping to exactly where you said to go. The latter is what almost all spellcasters do with aiming their AoE effects so this is unusual. It means that you can always quickly rocketjump to safety and just click ANYWHERE behind you and she will go. It also means that most players have a case of wishful thinking when they are attacking and miss their targets. Say you are level 11 with a 650 range. You are shooting at someone and they are getting away. You will jump and target them. But they are at range 700+ by now and you only jump 600. So you MISS them entirely and lose out on the minor rocket jump damage and more importantly the 60% slow! Hence, you are only able to get a few more autoshots in instead of killing them. Fail! You have to be very careful and learn to not fall for 'wishful thinking' on offense! Just cuz you put the circle on them doesn't necessarily mean she will hit them when you are targeting past its range. 2) Its cooldown is refreshed whenever you get a kill or assist. Some advanced players like to jump in and finish off a fleeing bad guy and then immediately re-jump back to safety. This is usually a good way to get killed if they use a Heal or shield or whatever; then you won't get the kill and can't jump back out! Ditto if you get stunned by another champion, etc. You will note that leveling up this skill really doesn't do much for you. It gets a nice increase in damage and decreases the cooldown. The damage is a bit of a trap in that it makes you want to jump on enemies even moreso. However, even in the middle lane this can lead to a quick death since early on the enemy creeps hit really hard really fast. The enemy champion can easily drop a Exhaust on you and all the sudden you do ZERO damage while the enemy creeps beat you up. Generally when you have enough damage output to be able to make a kill, then you don't actually need the extra damage from Rocket Jump. The decreased cooldown is pretty useless. 16 seconds is way too long to use it multiple times in one battle, so there is little difference between 16 and 22, especially when it resets when you get a kill/assist anyways. Hence, I recommend taking ONE point only in this skill until it is the only one left to max out. **EXPLODING SHOT is mostly used for its passive benefit. However it does give you a pretty impressive 'nuke' at level 1. It deals 100 damage over 4 seconds which is better than almost all other level 1 damage skills. The down side is that it gains a measly +25 damage per skill level which stinks. Even worse, it costs +10 extra mana per level up! So its damage per mana stays about the same! It does have the benefit of messing up the enemy's healing which can be nice if they decide to stand and fight and rely on their Heal summoner spell to swing the battle in their favor. Remember that this is a spell and thus is not on your autoshot timer. This means that you always want to Shot-DOT them. Right click them to move in to shoot once with your 550-ish range auto-attack. IMMEDIATELY while still moving click E and click the enemy as soon as your auto-attack fires, then move back. This ensures they take about 150 raw damage and makes them respect you. The reason this is important is because their 'nuke' only does about 60 to 80 and their autoattack is probably shorter range or they aren't used to doing a shot-Nuke. So in a nuke-exchange you come out ahead. At level 3 and 5 their nuke becomes a lot better, but with shot-DOT you can still keep even and prevent them from chasing you away by threat of their nuke. The passive benefit starts at 50 and increases by 25 per level up which is pretty decent. This skill helps you get extra minion kills that you wouldn't otherwise get and also helps you clear out large quantities of minions that bunch up. Try to shoot the weakest one and when it blows up, target the next weakest and so forth which is the easiest way to take down a large mob. This ability does help you Push towards the enemy tower which can be BAD early game and good midgame and beyond. It is bad because the closer you get to their tower, the harder it is to harass the enemy and you are more vulnerable to another foe coming out of the bushes to attack you. It is a long way back to your own tower... Note that against many foes you can attack the ranged minion that they are behind. When it blows up they will take a damage equal to 1 or 2 auto attacks. This is a good way to 'extend your range' a bit and more importantly, shooting a minion to blow up on the champion does a lot more damage and won't cause the enemy creeps to attack you! I recommend maxing Explosive shot as quickly as possible. Even though the damage gain of the active is weak, it is better than nothing and the passive gain is really pretty strong. By mid and late game, you should NOT use the Active very often which frees up your mana for Rapid Shot and Buster shot. **BUSTER SHOT is your big damage attack that also knocks foes back. Keep in mind that its damage is not THAT huge and is reduced about 17% from their starting 30 magic resistance. Hence one of the most common mistakes is to rocket jump in, shoot at a foe and then use Buster to finish them. Instead, you get em down to 50 HPs and are pushed to safety! This is extremely irritating. So only use buster as a finisher if you are either totally sure that they will die, or if you are solo and want to add enough extra damage to ensure they have to run back to base. DO NOT push the baddie to safety when in a team fight! Everyone will hate you!! The best use of the Buster Shot is to push foes towards your team or tower. Lets say it is level 6 and the enemy in your lane gets too close and is at half health. You rocket jump BEHIND them and immediately buster shot them. This will knock them towards your tower and they will have to run all the way past you or off to the side to escape. Meanwhile you've dropped Exploding shot on them to prevent heal and deal more damage and are shooting at them like crazy. This is a good strategy in small-scale fights too or when the enemy is outnumbered. Using this in team fights will get you killed though, so this is more of a laning strategy. Be careful using this early on as you can take just as much damage from the enemy creeps that you jumped into as you deal. This works fantastic in ganks since you typically are approaching from behind them anyways. Open with the buster shot to push em into your allies and turret. As they Flash/Ghost/run away, rocket jump on them to slow them if needed. If you rocket jump first, there is more of a chance of them Flashing and avoiding the attack, but with a 700 range, they won't be able to flash past your buster shot. Also, your allies will likely have their own stun/slow which would make your rocket jump slow a moot point. You want to save that for if they are able to break free and your buddies snares are on cooldown. Buster shot is also a defensive tool. Sometimes the bad guy will come to gank you. You rocket jump behind them or off to the side but they use some ability to slow you or stun you. You can then use Cleanse or Ghost or whatever and Buster shot them to push them away from you. You then run to safety. Note that buster shot only damages one foe but pushes ALL nearby foes away. Hence it works great even with multiple baddies chasing you. Buster shot can also be used during the laning phase. Ideally you want to get a kill but sometimes you can be up against a tough opponent, usually a spellcaster type. In this case, buster shot can be a good parting volley, what I call the Punishment Combo. Make sure you have 300 mana!! You would rocket jump close to them, hit em with Exploding shot and buster shot before they can respond. Then you run off and either return to base or continue like normal. The knockback effect keeps them AND any nearby creeps from pursuing or counter attacking whereas normally jumping on them would go poorly for you. Buster shot is strong for countering channeled or ongoing effects in a team fight. The best example is against Fiddlesticks. He teleports into your team and deals MASSIVE damage in an area around him for 5 seconds or so. A quick buster shot to push him away from your allies WILL make a huge difference in that fight. If you are against champions that have abilities like this, hold onto your buster shot in team fights so you can negate it. Nunu's ultimate is another good example with the frost ring thing. Finally, you can use Buster shot to steal a kill. It has a short enough cooldown to do this. In a team fight, right before the enemy dies, use buster shot to get the finishing blow. This is especially valuable if your Quick Shot has just stopped and thus your DPS drops. Hence you are unlikely to get the kill without 'cheating'. If the enemy is on a killing spree especially, you want to get the big payout for the kill. Remember that YOU are the carry, and thus you really do need the gold. I don't usually do this but if I am having a streak where I am getting assists but not many kills, I remember that I have this trick up my sleeve. Once again, make sure you actually KILL. If you fail and push them to safety, your team will be very upset with you! If done correctly your team will be none the wiser since it doesn't push on a kill and the cooldown is low enough to be usable on the next team fight. You want to use this during ganks or against the last surviving enemy. Don't steal-kill the very first baddie in the team fight. Skill Order: ------------ Based on the above analysis, I always go: 1: Exploding Shot for 100 damage dot and farm. 2: Rocket Jump for an escape or offensive opportunity. 3: Exploding Shot 4: Rapid Shot - Not really used for a while but need to start leveling it. 5: Explosive shot 6: Buster Shot 7: Explosive Shot 8: Rapid Shot 9: Explosive 10: Rapid 11: Ultimate 12: Rapid 13: Rapid 14+: 1 more ultimate and max out rocket jump. tl;dr: Max explosive ASAP, take 1 rocket jump then max out Rapid shot next. IV. DPS Theory ============== Your total Damage Per Second(DPS) is based on two things mostly. These are your attack damage and attack speed. Think of them as length and width of a rectangle. Length times width = area, or dmg times speed = DPS. And we ALL remember from our calculus that a square is the way to maximize the area of a rectangle. Right? Yeah ok, moving on..... What you want to do is to BALANCE these two variables to maximize your DPS. If you have a godly attack speed but do lousy damage then you are doing it wrong. In the same way, awesome damage at slow speed is weak too. Think of it like the rectangle. Say you have a starting 1 attack speed and a '1' attack damage. The area or DPS would be 1. (1x1). Say you have gold and can add 10 'boost points'. What if you now had 11 attack damage but kept the same 1 attack speed? Your DPS would be 11. A long skinny rectangle. Ditto with boosting speed but not damage. The best approach would be to add FIVE to each attribute for a 6 speed, 6 damage = 36 area/DPS. This is what I mean by maintaining a balance. You want your higher attack speed and your higher attack damage to multiply together to get the highest possible DPS. This is the basis for how we pick your items and masteries and runes. V. Stats We Want Most ===================== Looking at Trist, we see she already has a 90% speed booster that can be used pretty reliably in team fights. In order to 'balance' things out, we want to focus solely on attack damage until we have a good +100 or so. Then we will focus more on attack speed again. One thing to note: Her base attack speed is 0.66 attacks per second. EVERYTHING is based on this! Every time she levels up she gets a bit more attack speed but her BASE speed stays the same. Therefore at level 18, her attack speed is 0.9925. With Rapid shot it jumps to.. .9925 + .65 times 0.9 = 1.58 shots per second. To get the maximing attack speed cap, you need a grand total of 230% attack speed boost in total once she is level 18. You get 90% for 'free' with Rapid Shot. This leaves 140% more you can get with +attack speed runes/masteries/items. The takeaway is that adding +100% attack speed does NOT double your damage! Trist's base damage is pretty bad. Therefore our primary thing we want to boost is Attack Damage. We want to get it up there fast! A final example to reiterate this is that to go from 1.58 attack speed to 2.5 capped would boost your DPS by 60%. It would take 140% attack speed worth from items to do this, which would cost a fortune! (140 x 25 = 3500 G estimated!) On the other hand, a +50 damage BFSword would ALSO increase your DPS by 60% by boosting damage from 70ish to 120ish for only 1850 gold. Once you are dealing 200ish damage per shot though, an extra +50 damage is only a 25% DPS boost. It then becomes more efficient to start looking at attack speed boosts. Survivability is also important. A dead Trist deals 0 DPS. Hence we want to be able to take some hits. Improved HPs is the best way of doing so for several reasons. Mostly, her existing HPs are low enough that it is not efficient to buy armor and magic resist. Also items that are good for Trist typically boost HPs, not armor/MR. You don't want to spend too much on defense, but you need enough to NOT be a glass cannon. If you are that easy to kill, the enemies will tend to focus you even MORE than normal. Critical Hits are a multiplier. It costs a fixed amount to buy critical hit chance, but the results vary. If you have weak damage, then 20% crit is a 20% boost to that weak damage. With strong damage, you get a 20% boost of that. Hence critical is a nice stat to have but we want to save it for LAST where it will have the most effect for the resources we put into it. HP and MP recovery are nice to have. However, trist generally doesn't stick around after taking damage or running Out of Mana (OOM). She runs back to base to restock. While MP recovery is always somewhat useful to keep her running, you do NOT want a half-dead Trist running around fighting in a team fight! She is first to get focus fired and she needs to always be at close to full health. Hence, HP recovery is ONLY really useful during the laning phase. Shorter cooldowns are beneficial but not to a big degree. Your ultimate is fast enough to be available every big fight. Your other abilities are slow enough to only really be usable once per big fight. Even a 40% off won't help this much. Therefore cooldown reduction isn't the best use of resources. Move speed is good. You don't need tons of it, but you want to be able to keep up with the team and the bad guys. After you rocket jump to safety you need to be able to not get caught by the baddies before reaching your tower or safe spot if the fight goes poorly. Lifesteal is strong with Trist as it gives her a much better mechanism for recovering health. Several good offensive items have it. In theory it improves your survivability because you gain health quickly as you deal high DPS. In practice you tend to get chain stunned or eat a lot of burst damage which makes it a moot point. However, if you can quickly cleanse and rocket jump back, you can start shooting again and quickly refill your health, as opposed to having to retreat or fight with extremely low health for an extended duration. Or, if you survive the initial onslaught you can Rapid Shot and deal heavy return damage while their abilities are on cooldown, thus gaining lots of health back. However, lifesteal is not very good early on since you deal weaker damage and don't continuously attack very often. Armor penetration is pretty good. Everyone gets about 80 armor at level 18 which means your attacks do a bit more than 1/2 damage. Clearly mitigating this is a good idea. This is kind of a 'critical hit' like item in that it provides a percentage boost to your damage by negating their percentage reduction. It is most effective when the enemy has little armor. Mathcraft: Enemy has 20 armor. You shoot for 100 damage. They eat 83 damage. You pierce 20 armor. They now eat 100 damage, or +17 damage. Win! Enemy has 200 armor. You shoot for 100 damage. They eat 33 damage. You pierce 20 armor. They now eat 36 damage, or +2 damage. Woopie. Conclusion: ----------- Attack damage is highest priority, as well as armor pierce when available. HPs are very good. Moreso than armor or magic resist. Attack speed is valuable but not until you hit for 200 per shot. Critical hit is good lategame only. HP recovery is ok early, but weak mid to lategame. MP recovery is decent and better than getting a bigger mana pool. Cooldown Reduction is weak. Lifesteal is weak early but fairly good lategame. Armor Penetration is strong, but works best vs low-armor targets. VI. What About Ability Power? ============================= Maybe you were wondering about boosting AP instead of attack damage and attack speed? There are actually guides about AP-Trist. The theory is that Trist actually can acquire a great deal of burst damage which is very hard to counter during the mid-game. Some boosts to AP can increase this damage to lethal levels thus making you a dominating force midgame instead of endgame like a typical Trist. With 100AP for example, a level 12 Trist can deal: * 250 + 80 = 320 from rank 5 Rocket Jump * 200 + 80 = 280 from rank 5 Explosive Shot * 400 +150 = 550 from rank 2 Buster Shot * 270 TRUE damage from Ignite. ------------ 1420 damage! (though some of it occurs over several seconds, but their healing is reduced to like 1/4th anyways between Ignite and Explosive shot). She can do this attack in under 1 second which can WTFPWN most foes very fast. With DeathFire Grasp, she can add its percentage nuke on top of that! Sounds tempting huh? The main issue with this approach is that it is hard to cough up the AP fast enough without compromising the rest of the build. AP Trist won't get any extra mana regen or HPs or anything. They will need to rush a NLR(+80AP) for 1600 gold ASAP and a Soulstealer(1200) which builds up. It is then extremely important that she can find people to gank. If she can't rocketjump onto them, then she won't get the kill. If they are a bit too tough, she can't kill them and dies. This reliance on ganking means little farming creeps. If she can't get kills, she won't get any gold and no stacks on Soulstealer. This means she will suck very badly. Even if all goes well, during the endgame in team fights she can slaughter 1 baddie in range, but then has no use at all beyond that since she hits for 90 damage at 1.5 speed best-case. Plus she has to go recover mana and HPs often since The Combo takes a lot of mana. It can work very well, but it is situational. Because of the negatives, I am focusing on the standard AD Trist which is a lot easier to play and isn't so dependent on certain variables coming into play. VII. Runes ========== I realize you won't have lots of slots and are using level 1 runes. But heres what I'd do with what you got: Your Marks should be armor penetration. These are the most efficient marks you can get and are immediately useful. They effectively increase damage by a percentage. They are just more efficient than attack damage boosts. UPDATE: So they got nerfed and other choices became more viable. Still, math seems to indicate that Armor Penetration is a top tier choice. It also works for ALL physical damage champions which saves IPs and minimizes rune rework. Seals have more choices. I go with MP Regen per level as it more than breaks even with the flat-MP regen choice by level 5. This allows you to keep using your skills without running OOM and is valuable throughout the game since you would not have to buy a dedicated MP regen item. Attack speed and armor are also fairly efficient but the attack speed isn't super helpful early to midgame. You don't have enough HPs for armor to be a big assistance. Glyphs are normally used for cooldown reduction. You might want to keep them at that since you likely have these glyphs already for most characters. Alternatively you could take yet more scaling Mana Regen. It is slightly less efficient than a seal but still works decently, especially when you are under 10 and don't have a lot of seal-slots for MP regen. VIII. Masteries =============== Most guides say 21/0/9 or 9/0/21 which doesn't mean much to noobs like me. As a general rule, here are the masteries which I find to be the most valuable: Offense: * Deadliness - 1 point is 2/3rds percent Critial hit chance. max it. * Alacrity - Attack speed. Both are more late-game, but its your best option * Take 1 Archaic Knowledge as several of your abilities are Magical. A 15% pierce of their typical 30 MR means your 300 damage buster shot does an extra 9 damage. Similar with rocket jump and explosive shot. It is not huge, but is significant since you will not be getting any magic resistance penetration items of course. Many casters will already be reducing MR severely so they wind up getting 15% off of that reduced value, which is pretty weak. ** Sunder - Armor penetration of 2 per point is very efficient and useful at all phases of the game. *** Brute Force - Adds base damage. Much better than the lousy 'add damage to minions' options you had earlier. Tier 5 sucks. Lethality is pretty weak since you CAN'T EVEN CRIT until way late game. Take the earlier cooldown reduction instead if you can hit tier 6 to take Havoc for the 5% more damage. Defense: Defense is pretty lousy. Armor and MR at tier 1 are great but more for higher HP champs. The other choices are marginal with Evasion being the best. Tier 4 with extra flat HPs and improved Cleanse are good but not worth the other lousy masteries in this tree. Utility: * Perseverance SUCKS bad. Your base HP/MP regen is truly awful (see your stats) and a 2% increase per point is awful. Unfortunately the other choices are bad as well at tier 1. Tier 2 sucks too with a minimal XP gain which blows since you are mid most of the time anyways. Expanded mind is no good as your Mana pool is small so +5% isn't helpful. Tier 3 gives you the big MEDITATION which is 5MP/5 for 3 points and equal to a 390gold Meki Pendant! Tier 4 adds movespeed bonus which is very nice. Tier 6 for lower summoner cooldown is great but tier 5 isn't the best for you. I would say to max out Offense over all else. Utility gives you huge MP Regen, but its really the only strong thing in the tree. XI. Summoner Spells =================== * Cleanse - One of my favorites. You tend to get disabled a lot. Being able to cleanse and rocket jump away has saved me from countless ganks. Especially during early game when I am playing in the middle lane and someone comes after me. Cleanse/Rocket means they lost out on XP and gold during the trip to me and going back in shame after their failed gank. Without rocketjump cleanse wouldn't be as good, since you'd likely get killed anyways. But since you have the escape, cleanse is gold. The only downside is that several abilities can prevent you from casting cleanse. Examples are Warwick's pounce doodad, Maltazars ultimate, and various forms of silence. This means you will get chain-stunned/silenced and you can't even cleanse/rocket to get away. Ive died many times pounding Cleanse and trying to Rocket while stunlocked. * Clarivoyance - This is a spell that every DPS guide says that the Support champions should take. But they don't...ever. I think I've seen a whopping TWO people ever take it besides me. I'd strongly consider it. With a fast cooldown it really helps with map awareness that you won't see during solo queue play. Nobody wards or even calls missing half the time so this is very valuable and worth the slot. I use it like so: a) At 5-10 seconds into the game after I buy, use it on their platform. You can often see which champs are going to which lane, AND whether they have left or not. If their champs are still sitting there while yours are going then this means the bushes for that lane will be clear. If they are moving or gone before yours are moving then you can warn them to be careful. b) After the first Clair, you buy then go mid usually. Clair will be ready to go by the time your guys arrive in the top or bottom lane. If you think they might not have been first to the bush, tell em "Bot, lighting up ur bushes in 10 sec. wait for it", and then when they have arrived, light it up. Allies can now use spells/ranged attacks against those hiding in the bushes and turn a potential disaster where 1 ally gets cripped into a totally different situation. Your teammates will love you. You also have nothing better to do when you are mid waiting for creeps, right? c) When laning mid and you have the opportunity to push their tower, or if someone calls 'missing' top or bottom, use Clair on the bushes on the side of the river where you suspect baddies. You can easily see baddies that are waiting to gank you and pull back. Actually this works very well anytime that you are pushing a tower. Clair can ensure that you dont get ganked, at least for a short time. d) Midgame and beyond, you can sometimes find missing enemies. Ping the Baron late game to ensure he isn't being hit. Or hit their jungle or a lane with no visibility to get a hint where they are heading. This is also good for when there is 1 or 2 champs that appear to be alone. View behind em or in bushes to see if there are 3 more champs waiting to ambush you when you take the bait! e) Using clarivoyance to help your teammates early will establish you as a leader, somewhat. At the least, your team will like you more and see that you are trying to help THEM, which is rare in solo queue. They are more likely to try to return the favor. ------------------ * Ignite - This is a nice way to get an early game advantage. You run in to get in a Shot (550 range) and then hit em with Explosive and Ignite for a pretty mean combo. That can force their healing potion or spell within the first few seconds of the laning phase which is a big advantage. However, it just doesn't get used past level 7 or so. By then my auto-attack has more range than Ignite or Explosive shot so I use it for harassing and keep my distance. After two uses it sits worthless for the rest of the game in my experience whereas most other choices are handy throughout the game. It can be useful against fast-healing foes though in group fights, so don't forget about it entirely. * Flash - Youve got rocket jump with 2x the range. You shouldn't need flash. * Ghost - With jump you should be able to get away. If not then you were likely overextended. You shouldn't need this. * Heal - A solid spell and a good choice for a low level summoner. It also can generate team goodwill and help in teamfights. * Clarity - An ok choice for low level summoners. However, you usually dont burn through that much mana. I go through it fast at level 1-3 with explosive shot, but soon my auto-attack outranges it which lets me dink the baddies and run back without getting into Explosive shot (or their nuke!) range. If laning against melee guys or shorter range folks, then yeah you might go OOM spamming explosive shot. But this is situational, so I kinda hate to go clarity. Heal is more general purpose utility. After level 10 or so, your Seals and Glyphs should provide enough MP regen. * Teleport - A good choice maybe for higher level games. Since you are playing mid, you have a shorter run back to your lane. Teleport is nice, but saves maybe 15 seconds. You wont lose THAT much gold/XP by not having it. Mostly teleport has a LONG cooldown (FIVE freaking minutes!) and typically only gets used a few times every game. Many people swear by it so give it a shot when you get access to it. If the cooldown wasn't so friggin long and/or had a better mastery I would be more excited. The current mastery takes a whopping FIVE SECONDS off of the 5 minute cooldown. Seriously? A whole 1.6% cooldown reduction?!? * Exhaust - A bit too situational for me. On offense you already can slow with Rocket Jump. If that plus Explosive shot plus Buster isn't enough to kill then you are already overextended. Defensively exhaust is ok but does not stop their spells. Cleanse,Rocketjump gets you clear most of the time and is a better choice than exhaust. * Avoid revive and fortify as they aren't all that great and not really your thing. X. Items ======== Itemization is almost always the most controversial aspect of a build. Our objective is NOT to just identify a bunch of good items. There are lots of them that will work. We want to figure out how which items are the best for making Tristana operate at the highest efficiency possible. This includes not just the items but the order in which they are gotten. This can be very dependent on what enemy champions you are facing and how the game is going, so consider these to be SUGGESTIONS and modify as needed. Another important factor is the ability to be able to buy them in chunks. You don't want to be forced to save up 1850 gold for a BFSword and buy nothing if you happen to be forced home with only 1700. Hence, there needs to be some ability to make smart decisions on how to spend the gold you DO have to help you perform better until the next shopping trip. A final factor is the number of item slots you have available. Ideally we want to have expensive items because if you have a bunch of 1500ish items then you wind up running out of space endgame and have to sell weaker items for a loss. Typically this isn't a big deal but it is why we don't load up with Doran's blades and Brutalizers for example even though they are very efficient. This is my general build, although several alternatives are certainly viable. My focus is more on telling you what KINDS of items to get at certain points in the game. Basically the plan is to boost attack damage early which is the best complement to Rapid Shot and the most efficient way to boost DPS. Then we switch to boosting attack speed as that is now better than just getting more damage. Along the way we hope to get some armor penetration and extra HPs. Endgame, we ideally get some critical hit chance which multiplies our big damage. Itemization TL;DR: ------------------ Wanna be well rounded and team friendly? Doran's Blade or Doran's Shield, plus 1 health potion. level 1 boots Longsword or Ruby Gem -> Upgrade to Phage (ideally done in 1 step) BF Sword or Longsword -> Black Cleaver -> Upgrade Boots to Berserkers Boots -> Upgrade Phage to Frozen Mallet Starks Fervor Sword of the Divine (if dragging on, sell Doran and get Infinities Edge) Big HP boost, slow on hit, HP/5 regen aura, high attack speed, big damage boost and heavy life leech with high flat armor penetration that destroys normal armor foes. Big boost to physical teammates. OR.... Want to go pure DPS all out? Doran's Blade/Shield +1 HP Potion Level 1 boots Infinities Edge -> Berserker Boots Last Whisper Zeal -> Phantom Dancer #1 Zeal -> Phantom Dancer #2 (sell doran's) Zeal -> Phantom #3 Heavy damage and attack speed, enhanced movespeed and dodge vs physical, high crit rate dealing 250% damage = incredible lategame DPS. Important note: I calculate item values and gauge their efficiency by taking basic items and scaling them down to figure out how much that attribute is worth. For example, Ruby crystal is 475 for 180HPs, so its about 2.5 gold per 1 HP. This is the basis of much of my analysis of the completed items. Rationale: Starting Items ------------------------- There are quite a few good choices, but Doran's Blade seems to work best. For 430 gold you get 120HPs, +6 damage and +4% lifesteal. This basically winds up being about 300 gold worth of HPs, 240 worth of Attack Damage, and 140 gold worth of lifesteal. This item gives you a lot of great value for the money, with the disadvantage being that it 'slows down' your big items. I believe Dorans is worth it though. Extra damage helps you last hit easier as well as harass a bit better. Life steal gives you 2 to 3 HPs per attack which provides a bit of HP regen effectively. Assuming 1 attack per 5 seconds equals 2.5HP/5 regen rate. You can also auto-attack for periods which will regen a lot more life if necessary, though you generally do not want to autoattack during early laning. The 120 HPs can really help prevent you from dying due to a focused burst by the enemy. Plus, there is nothing that you are really dying to 'rush', unlike champs who rush a Chalice so they can spam spells, or a Catalyst to get a Rod of Ages ASAP or get a Sheen to double their damage. No early item that you will want provides a massive 'completion bonus' that is significantly greater than the sum of its parts. Hence, Doran's items are pretty solid for you. A Doran's Shield is a good alternative when you suspect you will be up against champions that you just cannot help but take damage from. The 8 armor is minor but helpful since you will be most likely to take auto-attack damage and minion attacks during the laning phase. The 8/15HP regen is significant, equal to 1 healing potion every 2 minutes, and of course the 120HPs is useful throughout the game. One viable alternative for very low level summoners is to take a Rejuv Bead and a Fairy Charm with a health potion. This provides the mana regen that you would normally get through several Runes. These two items can be upgraded into a single item, Tiamat. However, while tiamat is easy to assemble and gives you timely HP/MP regen, the HP regen isn't very valuable mid to lategame and Tiamat's splash ability is pretty weak. Hence it just isn't super cost effective for any summoner past level 8 or so. But it sure beats being out of mana all the time for a very low level summoner or buying a MP regen item that you can't do anything with. It might be tempting to go with a bunch of potions only and save your gold. However this means you are starting with a handicap basically. You want to bring as much power to your lane as you can initially to gain an advantage. The slight speedup to your item build is more than offset by the lack of extra HPs and damage which can get you killed or make you miss last-hits. As mentioned, you aren't in a huge hurry to get to any particular key item. Other approaches are to take just a longsword to build into your real items faster. A longsword is tempting but the lack of HPs and especially regen is very hurtful since you could only buy 1 HP potion with no lifesteal and no 120HP buffer. You will get nuked out of your lane pretty fast and have to run home or hide in the back. A Vampiric Scepter steals about 6-7 HPs per attack, but this only works as long as you are auto-attacking which I don't recommend because you will push to their tower and you will be extremely vulnerable to being ganked from someone attacking from the river. Also, a few good nukes and you will wind up being forced to hide in the back, unable to lifesteal your way back to a safe HP level. Scepter also leads only to a Bloodthirster which locks you in somewhat. With a scepter, you can't even afford a single health potion! This is more viable if you are in a side lane instead of being solo mid. A regrowth pendant is tempting too as it regens 180 HP per minute. Remember that HP regen isn't very useful mid to late game and the pendant just does not build into any items that are at all desirable. At least the Dorans Shield gives you a good 300 gold worth of extra HPs and 120 gold worth of armor in addition to its 96HP/minute regen rate. Sure it is less regen, but it is a lot more efficient and useful mid to lategame. In some cases though, you really need the extra regen and your max HPs and armor doesn't matter as much as keeping up with your HP losses. Choice of Boots: ---------------- Level 1 boots are pretty important as they add +50 speed, on top of your base of 310. That is a pretty big difference and necessary at level 7ish to run away from ganks and catch baddies to take potshots at them. At 350 gold, they are pretty cheap. From 310 to 360 speed is a very noticable 16% increase. Level 2 boots however only add +20 additional speed. This is not NEARLY as significant which is why I put off level 2 boots for a while. Plus they cost a lot! Berserker boots give you a good 625 gold worth of attack speed so they are pretty efficient. However, attack speed isn't as important early on so we aren't in a huge hurry to upgrade. 360 to 380 is only a 5% speed boost. Other boot choices are Swiftness which costs an extra 650 gold for +20 speed over the other level 2 boots and no other benefit. Obviously this is very inefficient and is only for champions that absolutely must have the extra speed boost. You don't really need the speed all that much. It's not worth bypassing the 25% attack speed of Berserker. Many people love Mercury boots but they are very expensive and lowering the duration of bad effects isn't that helpful. Seriously.. dropping a 3 sec stun to 1.8 seconds will STILL likely result in your death since the other enemy champions will catch you and then apply THEIR nasty stuff as well. A cleanse and rocketjump should allow you to clear all debuffs and get you out of range so you don't get chain CC-ed and beat up. Heck, many times I get some much Crowd Control dumped on me that I can't even hit the Cleanse, RJ fast enough to get away, or I get the infamous die-on-landing effect. A lot of champions can get great use out of Mercury Treads but they just haven't helped me that much as Tristana. The magic resistance is nice and the upgrade to level 2 is a great time to get MR, but overall the attack speed is just more valuable for Trist for the gold spent. Ninji Tabi are very cheap level 2 boots with armor and dodge. These are great for many champs but your HPs aren't really high enough to take advantage. Also you tend to get attacked by magic damage moreso than physical. In any case, I tend to upgrade my boots right after my first Big Damage Item. That is when attack speed becomes more valuable. Plus none of the boots really lend themselves well to being a defensive item. First Midgame Damage Item: -------------------------- I like Phage quite a bit. Unlike a big item, you can finish it very quickly and get a nice bonus efficiency benefit. For 1290 gold you get 225 health (worth 560gold) and +18 damage (worth 720). These are exactly the stats we want early and in about the right ratio. The extra HPs plus from Doran's really does make a big difference in surviving as several heroes have just enough burst damage to take out a champ with 0 defensive items. It can let you survive the initial onslaught to jump to safety. This is pretty important when you are laning solo mid for surviving a 2 person gank. In addition, you have a chance to slow down a baddie when you hit them for several seconds. This is VERY nice to have midgame since fights are usually 2v2 or ganks. When you rocket jump onto a baddie in a small scale fight/gank, use Rapid Shot and shoot, you have a great chance of getting the additional snare. This easily makes the difference between them getting away and you and your buddy(ies) getting the kill. You can NOT count on it, but you will occasionally get a beneficial effect for it. If you look at the item effects vs cost, you are basically getting this snare for 'free'. Phage also has a good upgrade later in the game. If you have good teammates that are able to tank for you pretty well, then you might want to skip this and go straight for the big damage. However, most of the time you will really benefit from taking Phage first. Major Big Damage Item: ---------------------- Adding damage items is the most efficient way to boost DPS early. In the interest of space-efficiency we want to pick up one big one. Out of the various damage items, I SLIGHTLY prefer the Black Cleaver. For 3065 you get +75 damage (worth about 3000) and the armor pierce as a bonus. Its maximum armor pierce of 60 is worth about 1500 gold as a reference, and it pierces armor not just for you, but for allies as well. So the cleaver is much more efficient than the attack damage might indicate. Due to your high attack speed the armor debuff stacks up quickly and stacks with whatever you have from masteries and runes. Against a typical foe, you will be able to drop them from 50 armor (at level 12ish) to 0 in three shots including your existing armor penetration. This would correspond in dealing 100% damage instead of the 67% you normally deal which is effectively a 50% total damage boost for this reasonably common scenario. (if you deal 67 and get a 33 boost, that is 50%, NOT the 33% you might expect.) The armor drop also helps your physical damage allies significantly. In my experience, the gold cost of 3000 means I can get it completed and make good use of the armor piercing benefit midgame when I really need it. Other good choices are: a) Bloodthirster - Starts at +60 and can hit +100 damage. It is actually less total DPS due to lack of armor pierce or crit factors. However, the lifesteal is really nice to have and makes you much stronger in a one on one extended fight. This is a viable alternative but I prefer the armor piercing capability and that it is a constant benefit vs a snowballing one. Also note that midgame you don't GET attacked 1 on 1. You get jumped on by 2..or 3...or 4 at once and you usually get burst-damaged down, so lifesteal is usually irrelevant. It can be pretty handy lategame when you deal huge damage and have big team fights with tanks you can hide behind. b) Infinities - Even early in the game, the critical and effect make Infinities deal BETTER damage per gold than the Cleaver but without the armor pierce. It actually looks more efficient than the cleaver, plus as your damage keeps increasing throughout the game IE's multiplicative crit effect also get bigger. However, the armor penetration is very beneficial to Trist and also helps her allies. By this point constant firing is more prevalent than sniping single shots (where the Cleaver isn't very good). If you take IE, you will need another source of armor penetration. Another problem is that the 4k cost makes it tougher to complete and thus gain the extra bonus that a completed item provides relative to the cheaper black cleaver. By the time Ive got an IE, I already have had a cleaver and have just gotten a recurve bow. IE is still a solid option that many people tend to take instead of the cleaver. Consider taking IE if you want to focus harder on your longterm DPS and have few physical teammates. If you do go with IE, consider skipping Phage to complete it faster. Mathcraft: Assume a 90 damage Trist, based on being around level 12 with a doran's blade and Phage already gotten when the item is completed. For 3075, +75 damage = *41 gold per damage* (you can NOT discount the armor pierce which can add 50% more DPS.) For 4050, +80 damage, and a 20% chance of dealing +150% damage. == +80 damage plus 20% of 255 bonus damage. == +80 damage plus effectively 51 bonus damage. == +131 damage = **31 gold per damage** but without armor pierce. (However the crit effect keeps growing as you get other stuff!) c) Sword of Occult - Cheap heavy damage but lose 1/3rd when dying. Discussed later, but snowball items are not really ideal with Trist. d) Brutalizer - It is an efficient source of dps. It is basically 2 and a half longswords (1000 gold worth), paying 337 gold for 10% cooldown and the +10 armor pierce which is fantastic. The 2 major downsides is that it is a small item that does not build into anything, so it takes up too much space for what you get. Secondly, the 10% CDR really is not all that useful for Trist and is basically a waste. Thus, discounting CDR, it is not much more efficient than basic items. e) Bloodrazor - Great vs big tanks but less efficient vs normal champs, and is lousy against minions and buildings. Deals magical damage which you have no penetration for, but typical resistance will be less too. It doesn't work with critical hits either, in case your build includes any of several +crit items. Worth considering if you are against multiple high-HP foes, or as a 5th or 6th item, as it also boosts attack speed. Mathcraft: Assume a 90 damage Trist that has a 1.4 attack speed with Rapid Shot. Base damage 65 + 6 Dorans +18 phage = 90. 0.8 attack speed plus 0.65*.9 = 1.385 (close to 1.4) DPS base = 126 DPS with Cleaver = 231 (for 3000 gold) plus 20-60% from armor pierce. DPS with IEdge = 310 (for 4000 gold) (increasing with later items) DPS with Bloodrazor = 265 (for 3800 gold vs 1k foes) (332 vs 2k foes) (blood razor calculation) Attack Speed = 1.4 normal speed + 40%*.65 = 1.66. 90 dmg +30 bonus = 120 damage per hit. Physical DPS = 199.2 Magical DPS vs 1000HP foe = 40 dmg x 1.66 = 66.4 (double vs 2k foe) Post Big-Damage Item: --------------------- Upgrading to Frozen Mallet gives you two awesome boosts. It costs almost 2000 gold and adds whopping +2 damage. Hence we focus on getting our high damage item before upgrading to the Mallet. The +2 damage boost is laughable but an extra 475 HPs (worth almost 1200 gold) isn't! You get a big survivability boost with +820 more HPs than baseline. A boost about this time is due since it can make a big difference between dying to an anti-carry like Twitch or Evelyn or Poppy's initial attack, and living long enough to rocket jump back and take em out with your team (and buster shot if they re-approach you). Your other 700 gold worth of value you are paying for though is the slow on-hit effect that always triggers 100%. This guarantees that a baddie that you can hit will NEVER get away. When you win the team fight and they scurry like rats, if you can Rocket Jump in their direction and get in ONE 700 range autoattack then you've got em! They are basically continuously snared by -30% move which you keep reapplying for an easy kill, barring Ghost Flash or other speedup effects. Also when team fighting, it ensures that your target can't retreat back as easily. Therefore you don't have to reacquire a new target or chase them and put you in danger. Your melee allies will love you as well. The snare also means that you can escape from even a Ghosted bad guy. You cleanse their stun/debuff, rocket jump back then shoot em once. You can then leisurely stroll back to base. When ganking, the snare is very useful obviously. Whereas normally if a bad guy is pushing your tower, you would send 2 or 3 people to ensure they die, the snare ensures that 2 people should be more than sufficient to make the kill. Seriously, this single item has turned around games for me. Previously their team would burst DPS us and then run off. With this single item, all the sudden I can slow their stragglers and our team finishes them off. This shut down the hit&run strategy and we came back to win. Note: It is a 30% move snare for ranged attackers. The 40% is melee-only. It is still sufficient though most of the time. Sometimes foes can dodge an attack or use terrain which can let them get away. You may wish to skip this upgrade and opt for more DPS if you are not feeling very threatened by the bad guys or if your allies have a lot of slows/stuns. Or maybe just get a Giant's Belt and move on. If there is any doubt though, the survivability and utility from Frozen Mallet is awesome. Only you can make the call when and if to upgrade to the Mallet. Finishing out with Attack Speed -------------------------------- With 80ish base damage and 100ish from items we hit pretty hard. With Rapid Shot we hit fast in short boosts. Now it is time to boost attack speed even more with Rapid Shot and boost our normal DPS a bit more. We also get some crit to amplify our high total damage output. We will take several of the following choices: a) Last Whisper - 40% attack speed boost and +10 damage boost and you penetrate 40% of the bad guy's armor. Unfortunately, you apply your Runes/Mastery flat armor penetration BEFORE the 40%! So if foes have 60 armor, by the time youve stripped 10-20 from rune/mastery and your Black Cleaver gets in a few shots and strips 24 more, then you are only taking off 40% of maybe 20armor. Or nothing potentially. That's pretty weak! If you did NOT take Black Cleaver then this becomes a very efficient choice since it provides 1000 gold worth of attack speed, 400 worth of damage and the 40% penetration will typically be worth at LEAST 30 armor penetration against most foes which is easily worth way more than the remaining 500 gold worth of value that you are paying for. b) Malady - EDIT: Malady got remade, so its not an option anymore. c) Stinger - 40% attack speed for 1140 is fairly cost effective with its 'free' cooldown reduction, but it doesn't build into anything. Mine as well just buy a plain recurve bow. d) Wit's End - 2150 gold for 40% attack speed. Basically adds +42 damage too. Sounds good but it's just not. Discussed later. e) Zeal - 1200 gold for 20% attack speed and 10% crit with movespeed. Builds to Phantom Dancer for 45% attack speed, 30% crit, dodge and move. Fantastic with infinities edge due to crit stacking. The dodge and movespeed isn't quite as valuable but it is not bad either. It is your best pure DPS if you took Infinities early. f) Starks - A very solid item and party friendly. Gives you 45% attack speed (worth 1125 gold), 20% lifesteal (worth 700 gold), -25 armor to ALL enemies within 1100ish range (Worth around 750ish gold), plus 30HP/5 (900 worth) of regen. Your allies benefit from all but 20% attack speed worth of it at about 1200 range out. All this for 2550 gold, so it is pretty efficient, even considering the HP regen isn't all that great lategame. If you have several physical attackers in your team, this is well worth considering. STACKING: If someone else has Stark too, you get the TWICE the aura benefit, once for yourself and once from their Starks. They get a double-benefit too. Everyone else only gets a single aura benefit though even with multiple starks present. Basically, all champion's own auras do NOT count against the 1 aura per type limit. g) Sword of the Divine - Recently buffed! Extremely efficient way to get speed as it adds 60% attack speed (worth 1500 alone!) and basically +25 damage that cannot crit(worth 1000 in theory). The active gives armor penetration 30 and cant-be-dodged for 8 seconds. It is not amazing, but it is 'free' considering how cost-effective the item is. I don't think the magic damage crits and definitely won't benefit from your armor penetration. Still, this is the most attack speed you can get from a single item as more than half its value goes into it and it is pure DPS. If you take this, move it to item slot 1, so you hit Q and 1 (rapid shot and this) at the exact same time since they both last about the same and work well together. Then laugh as their Jax with his 60% dodge takes hit after hit... Since the magic damage doesn't crit, this is best with our party friendly build as it almost maxes our attack speed out with a little leftover room for mastery/rune improvement. It is surprisingly good. h) Bloodrazor (from earlier) - It is super expensive to consider for a speed booster, but I wanted to mention it because it also adds a big pile of extra damage. It is a great last-item slot for when a game drags on and you have a bunch of gold. Replace your Doran or some cheaper item with a Bloodrazor for a big DPS boost. If you took Infinities as your big item, you want Last Whisper next for armor piercing power, followed up by Zeal->Phantom Dancers to boost attack speed and massively increase your DPS through crit stacking. If you took Cleaver then you are more party friendly, and I recommend Starks to continue in this vein along with Sword of the Divine for near maxed attack speed, more damage, and a decent active. Since all 3 of them have armor penetration capability, you can literally strip 100 armor down to 0 within 1 second which DOUBLES your effective DPS. Take them in whichever order you wish. Sword is more efficient and more attack speed for cheaper, but Starks provides lifesteal and team-wide buffs. You can always sell your Doran's and get whatever big item you want to finish out the build if the game drags on. I'd recommend an Infinities Edge. MathCraft: Speed Item DPS analysis. --------------- Assume 200 damage trist with 1.5 attack speed. 300dps. Assume no Infinities, but a Cleaver instead, not factoring in armor pierce. * Phantom Dancer - 200dmg at 1.8 attacks = 360 x 1.3 (crit) = 468 (3400 gold) * Starks - 360 dps (2600 gold). Add lifesteal, HP regen, big ally boost, and mass armor pierce for all. * Sword of Divine - 200 dmg at 1.95 attk = 390 + 100 magic x .25 x1.95 = 49 = 439 DPS for 1970 gold. Plus its active skill. Assume 200 damage trist WITH Infinities at 1.5 attack instead. DPS = 200dmg x 1.5 attack = 300 x 20% crit x150% of 200 dmg = 300 +90 = 390 DPS * Phantom - 200 dmg at 1.8 attack @ 50% crit = 360 + 270 = 630 dps. * Last Whisper - 210 dmg at 1.75 attack @ 30% crit = 368 + 110 = 478 dps. (plus a very big armor reduction) * Sword of Divine - as above = 380 DPS +crit +48 magic = 542 dps. (plus active benefits) * TWO Phantom Dancers - 200 dmg at 2.1 atk @ 80% crit = 924 dps. Optional/Situational Items: --------------------------- Not every game plays the same. You must occasionally make adjustments. Here are some that periodically crop up. Keep in mind that when you take these some ignorant players will complain. Ive been griped at on several occasions for deviating from the "good items". They can consume excrement as far as I'm concerned but I wanted to give the heads-up. a) Banshee's Veil - This is a great item that boosts your HPs which we like, boosts mana pool which isn't as useful, Magic Resistance which is good, and gives you a shield to negate enemy spells. You typically have enough range to avoid most spells and ideally you have a tank to hide behind. There are some cases where the enemy has long range disablers or the enemy is composed of mostly spellcasters. In these cases, a Veil can be very advantageous. The thing to remember though is that your DPS really starts accelerating quickly towards the endgame and this item does NOTHING for it. It effectively slows your DPS progression for quite a while. Therefore make sure you really really need the Veil and that it is worth the tradeoff in your damage. A dead Trist deals 0 DPS though, so don't be afraid to take it if needed. b) Wit's End - Wit's End is a seemingly good choice. It costs 2150 and gives us 1000 gold worth of attack speed and 1680 worth of damage. 30 magic resist is technically worth 450 gold. Therefore the item is very efficient, though it doesn't build any further. The ideal case is that the enemy takes damage from the manaburn and it limits their ability to do much thereafter. A more typical case is that they either have tons of mana and it doesn't matter (in which case you just do +42 damage which is fine). OR, they run OOM and you don't deal the extra damage. I am actually OK with that too since an OOM opponent is almost always a worthless opponent unless they are a physical carry like you. However, there are several reasons why this item is just not very good: 1) Against ENERGY or HP using champions such as VLAD, Mordenkeiser, Kennen, Shen, and the like. Or even Garen who just has cooldowns only with no other resource. In these cases you wind up with an expensive Recurve Bow basically. 2) It is worthless against towers. One of Trists jobs is to quickly push down towers with her Rapid Shot and high damage. The bonus damage of Wits End obviously won't work against towers and buildings. 3) It is worthless against minions. Again, Trist is great at burning through minions to push a tower or defend. Wits End will not help at all in this. Since you'd get Wits End pretty early on, this really gimps you. 4) It doesn't work with critical hits which means it has anti-synergy with several of your recommended items like Infinities, Zeal, etc. 5) If you could only have it when laning, it would be awesome. But by the time you actually get it, the game is into ganking and team fights instead of harassment. c) Tiamat - Tiamat is a viable alternative to Black Cleaver for very low level summoners where you just don't have the MP regen to fight effectively. You wont have armor penetration runes/masteries either, so take Last Whisper as your attack speed item. You will get the full benefit of the 40% pierce and it won't conflict with your flat armor penetration since you won't have any. Tiamat is somewhat maligned, but it is pretty much the only physical attack item that has built-in mana regeneration..especially regen that lasts the entire game. It gives you the ability to start with decent HP AND MP regen items and then combine them into one reasonably good item. d) Multiple Dorans - Sometimes things just don't go well. You get killed and return to base with little luck farming or harassing. You have 500ish gold. You havent given up yet but you are definitely off to a bad start. You might consider multiple Doran's Blades. They are the most cost effective way to quickly increase your survivability and add a bit of damage. Another blade gives you more HPs, lifesteal and damage and makes you a lot more effective than just getting a longsword. Next trip to base you might get 2 more Dorans. Realize that Doran's are boosting your survivability way over DPS. But, saving your gold and going back to get owned some more isn't a good solution as they might buy items too! With doran's you are getting more efficiency than them and this gives you at least a chance to make a comeback. I'd suggest you get boots and then skip straight to a BF Sword -> Infinities Edge when you have the gold. Then you can start selling Dorans and replace them with expensive items one by one. If you are being severely harassed and can't farm, consider this approach as a last ditch effort. With 4 blades at level 7 you are hitting for about 85 and lifestealing 14 life per attack which gives you massive regen. The 480 extra HPs does a lot to make you much more resistant to stun-nuke chains. For 1300 extra gold this gives you a lot of efficient gains. Remember, this is NOT some pro-strategy to get an early advantage because you would normally want more pure damage over the mostly survivability this provides. I'd rather have the +18 damage phage with a snare and 220HPs vs the 18 damage triple sword with lifesteal and 360HPs that I'll have to sell later. This is an ANTI-FEEDING strategy only. Items to Avoid: --------------- Pretty much all your items should focus on increasing DPS or HPs. Anything else should be avoided. You might think that 5 Gold/10 second items would be nice. Wrong! Trist has a fairly so-so early and mid game. Gold/5 items pay off later in the game at the cost of early/midgame. This is exactly what your champion does by design! You do not want to make it even harder to get by early and mid game as it will gimp you too badly to make an impact lategame. The avarice blades are tempting, but remember that early game crit is not a very effective use of your gold. They don't build into anything useful either. Avoid cooldown reduction items. They are typically very expensive and you simply don't need cooldown reduction all that much. It is nice to have, but not a priority. Avoid pure defensive items. It might seem like a great idea to take an Aegis which boosts your HPs, and everyone's armor/magic resist. However your role is to deal damage! You need enough survivability to not get killed in one focused burst, but otherwise it is wasted gold. Most of your gold needs to go towards DPS. Also, you want to take HPs over armor and Magic resistance since those are much more effective on high HP champions which you are not. Snowball items are usually a bad idea. As the physical carry, you are target number ONE. Even playing defensively you tend to get killed since you have to get into the fray to really do any damage. Snowball items are lots of fun when you are winning anyways, but are very poor when losing or tied. If you are already winning then you don't need a win-more item, since being a physical carry you only get better as the game progresses. Your items should help you make a comeback or beat a tie. Hence avoid Sword of the Occult and be wary of Bloodthirster. Bloodthirster at least can be refilled quickly off of minion/creep kills and is decently efficient on its own already. Sword of the Occult is crap until you have a good 6 stacks or so. Ditto with Leviathon. Hybrid items should be avoided too. Anything that gives Ability Power is garbage. Dont be fooled by Sheen and Lichbane or Trinity Force which increase your attack after using an ability. You don't have spammable abilities and you want to shoot LOTS of solid shots, not a single boosted one. Alternative Builds: ------------------- There are lots of decent enough choices. As long as you follow the formula: Get lots of damage early and some extra HPs. Then boost attack speed and try to get some crit in there lategame. Fit in some armor penetration when possible. When experimenting remember that just about ANY build can dominate. This doesn't make it good! You want consistency. Here are some various alternatives and my commends: 1) Dorans Blade/Shield 2) Boots 3) Wit's End 4) Phage 5) Berserker Boots upgrade 6) Sword of the Divine 7) Frozen Mallet upgrade 8) Bloodrazor. Lots of on-hit effects. No crit needed. Fairly weak against towers and minions but killer against champions. 1) Doran's Blade/Shield 2) Boots 3) Maybe Phage. 4) BloodThirster 5) Emblem of Valor -> Stark's Fervor 6) Sword of the Divine 7) (sell doran) BloodThirster #2 This one revolves around massive lifesteal. As long as the enemies don't have too much burst damage and/or disables, you can quickly regain any lost life by use of massive lifesteal with high DPS. 1) Doran's Blade/Shield 2) Boots 3) Black Cleaver 4) Infinities Edge 5) Zeal->Phantom 6) Zeal->Phantom This full offensive build combines armor piercing and crit by taking two large damage items early. I would not really recommend it because getting the Zeal>Phantom earlier instead of the Cleaver would likely result in higher DPS due to attack speed and crit consideratons. Plus this build is very expensive and has no defensive capabilities. XI. Gameplay Strategy ===================== Beginning the Game ------------------ During the champion selection phase, it will usually be clear that you will take the middle lane. If there is any doubt, say "I guess Trist will mid.". You will almost always go mid except for the following scenarios: a) There are multiple ranged carries, such as you and Ashe. In which case make it clear who will mid. You don't HAVE to mid, so if someone really wants it, no problem. b) There is a spellcaster that really needs to level up more quickly. For example, Kog Maw really really needs to level up fast because a large part of his game is his Ultimate. Hence hitting 6 fast is very important, as is getting to 11 and 16 for significant range and damage boosts. Ditto with Annie, Ryze, Morgana, and several others. c) There is a nub. Sometimes you will have people that want to mid with suboptimal champions. If they declare they want to mid, respond with, "Should X take mid instead of Trist?". Most of the time, the other teammates will chime in and the nub will realize that they probably shouldn't mid over you. Sometimes this doesn't work, so you can either suck it up and let them try, or dodge the queue if you are really uptight about it. d) There is a counter. Sometimes sending Mordenkeiser or Cho Gath mid can be a better play than sending the Trist against their Ashe. The tanks will counter their ranged DPSer by out-healing their harassment and messing up their ability to farm. Loading Phase ------------- Check out who you are facing during the loading phase. Most of the time this will tell you who you are going to face in the mid lane. At the very least it ought to narrow it down to 2 champs. Take a look at their summoner spells they picked. Make a mental note so you don't get caught by surprise by their Flash or Exhaust or Heal. The champ you face will also determine your strategy and occasionally you will take an alternative item. Game Start: ---------- Buy your stuff and head out to mid, and stay behind your second tower. Many people like to wander around which is a bad idea. You can't actually do anything if you did encounter someone so no sense taking a risk or even letting them know who they are facing mid. If you took Clarivoyance, you will view their platform and tell who is going where and if they will beat your guys to the bushes. Then Clari again when it comes up and your guys have arrived and are about to go into the bushes if you suspect they might have a trap waiting. Since you have nothing else to do for 1:30 this is a nice thing to do to help. Early Game Strategy: -------------------- Generally you want to focus on last hitting creeps. Your early game is not THAT great and against a decent opponent you won't get any kills or be able to send them home. The idea is to harass the opponent if you can, but 70% of your effort should be on concentrating on last hitting. You NEED gold really bad to make a difference. The first thing you should do is click on the enemy and see what item(s) they have. This plus the champ itself gives you an idea of how vulnerable they are to harassment. You want to see 1 health potion and a Dorans Ring. That means they regen only 200 HPs until they run back. Worst case is a Regrowth Pendant and a potion which gives em 180HP/minute and some burst-healing. Or a champ with some built-in healing capabilities of some kind like Cho Gath. This right here will let you know whether to not even bother harassing, or to be more aggressive about it. When you harass, you WILL be hit by the enemy creeps and your HP regen stinks bad. You don't want to force yourself to retreat and lose gold/XP because you 'harassed' your enemy! You don't want to hide way back from their creeps. Get a bit closer so you can harass the enemy without being so obvious as to start moving in from way back. The shot-DOT is what you want. Shot has a 550 range and once you shoot they will start running. Since Explosive Shot has a 600 range, you ought to be able to get in the shot and DOT. You right click them to move in to attack and hit E and as soon as the shot goes off, click em again to quickly drop Exploding shot on them. This hits for a good 140 damage. You then quickly retreat and throw off enemy creep aggro. Resist the temptation to rocket jump onto them UNLESS their creeps are almost dead and yours are somewhat alive. Otherwise you will open yourself to attack and their creeps will damage you as much as you damage them. Plus the enemy will likely have some 'trick' like Summoner Heal spell, Enfeeble, or some spell that will ensure your death. Be sure to take advantage of your exploding shot passive. Go ahead and shoot the minions that the enemy is behind. When they blow up, the enemy will take damage. This is a way to extend your range sort of. More importantly, enemy creeps will NOT attack you for only shooting at creeps. So you get to damage the enemy champion without risk of counterattack by enemy creeps! Once you hit level 6, make sure you have 140 mana for buster plus enough for a rocket jump. If they are low you might try for a rocket jump behind them and blast them towards your tower. Ideally do this when their creeps are dead and you have some on the way. Then you blast away while your creeps beat on them too which should give you a kill. Many times though they will be more wary. The melee champs will not move into melee until they have your creeps to beat on and will run off when most of their creeps are dead. So you have to time it carefully to finish off their creeps with your jump, get behind them and shoot them into your creeps. Ranged opponents will usually not get close enough to let you do this. Most of the time you will have to settle for the Punishment Combo where you Rocket into them, Explosive shot and then Buster shot them away from you. This does lots of damage and is very low risk. It won't kill them usually but will make them retreat and you can then deny them XP/gold and hopefully push their tower a bit. If you expect to get off several shots, use Rapid Shot for the 30% boost. (45% at level 8). MAKE SURE YOU HAVE 300 MANA!!! Nothing is more scrubby than rocket-jump, explosive shot, and then being 50 mana short of your ultimate. The bad guy and his creeps will then jump on you for a quick death. Right after the tower push, you will want to back off, auto-attack their creeps to death and run back to base to replentish mana and buy stuff. With any luck you can pick up level 1 boots and the components to Phage and don't forget a few more Health potions. When you get back their creeps will be at your tower and you can take em out. You keep laning for a while longer. Soon everyone else will be getting close to level 6 and the laning phase will be coming to a close. If the bad guy is not back or is not threating your tower, you might want to go top or bottom and gank someone. Be sure to announce your intention to your team. "Coming bot to gank" so they will not push their lane and allow the baddies to get closer to your tower and thus be vulnerable. You should be able to come in from behind and Buster Shot them right into your tower. Or you rocket jump behind them, buster shot them towards your tower and they will be slowed while you shoot them up. You want to make it quick though since you don't want your middle tower to get beaten up just so you can gank someone. Make sure you have a good group of creeps pushing towards them which gives you time to gank without losing your middle tower. You can also go shoot up the neutral creeps close to your lane. The wraiths are pretty easy and this is a good use of your rocket jump as you return from base. The wolves are also good targets to get a bit of extra gold and XP while you would otherwise just be waiting around for their creeps to get closer to your tower. Explosive shot makes these much easier than you might expect. Always start with the weakest baddie and chain the explosions. Specific Opponent Strategy: --------------------------- *Ashe - A common matchup. Her auto attack outranges yours and so does her volley. She will often start with a regen item which makes her very hard to harass. Finally, her frost shot lets her kill you quickly if she ever gets an upper hand and at the least force you to use 80 mana to rocket jump away. Your best bet is to farm like crazy and stay way back. Her volley hits your creeps so you will want to stay inside your creeps to avoid getting dinked. Unfortunately, you will not be able to harass her with explosive shot without eating a few auto-shots and a volley as you run off. So don't try. As long as you don't feed her, you will be a better carry than she will. At level 6 your range now matches hers and I would go for the Punishment Combo. You should have all your mana and she won't expect your offensive. You won't kill but it will likely force her back. She is almost guaranteed to use her ultimate after you push her back, so when retreating, expect it and be ready to dodge to the side. * Trist - Many trist players will level up Rocket Jump and pounce on you. This makes for an easy victory since you will snipe away with Explosive shot which is a better use of the mana. Your creeps tend to beat up the enemy Trist when they aggressively jump on you. When they are almost dead and are running away you can then Jump on them for the win. Use Shot-DOT early and Dot-shot later when possible which should give you the advantage. Avoid punishment combo since she can jump right back on top of you, slow you, make you unable to run from their creeps which are attacking you, and then buster shot for the win. Instead, dont Rocket Jump... just shot, explosive shot, buster and move back. * Sivir - Her auto attack range is 425 which is much shorter than you. The major problem with her is that she throws this giant glaive which can hit you TWICE. Do not stand in your creeps, but stand outside them. This means her riccochet shot is unlikely to hit you, and she has to choose between getting some free farming vs your minions, or attacking you with the glaive. Also you can see it coming better whereas her auto attacks are normally attacking your creeps so you get more used to the auto-attack glaive heading towards you if you stand inside your creep area. Basically you need to harass her with Shot-Dot and approach from the sides. Make sure to be close enough that she doesn't easily see you coming. Otherwise she will use her Spell Shield and absorb your Explosive shot and get mana for it. Or, you will eat her big Glaive twice over. So only use your explosive shot occasionally and mostly auto attack and dodge her Glaive. She will likely start with a Meki for MP regen and 2 HP pots so you can definitely force her back by harassment. She has no answer for the Punishment Combo either if you are fast enough to do it before she can get the spell shield, or you have baited it out. * Corki - You have him outranged with your explosive shot so snipe away. Your auto-attack range is the same as his but you will pull ahead as you level. Stay to the side of your creeps. His major ability is to toss grenades. They are pretty easy to dodge but you want to make him choose between you and your creeps (for farming). He has his own version of rocket jump so if he moves in, be sure to be ready to rocket jump yourself back. Dont duke it out because his grenade will be ready at point blank and will BLIND YOU. Now you have a 100% miss rate and lose. He is more likely to use Exhaust and other offensive summoner spells too, which he will bust out for the win. At level 6 he will be able to shoot long range rockets at you. Just be ready to dodge them and you will be fine. Wait for a chance to do the Punishment Combo then zig zag back to avoid his rockets. He only gets 1 rocket every 10 seconds so they aren't a huge threat but they DO store up so when he gets back from base, expect an onslaught! He will likely start with a Meki MP regen so he ought to be more vulnerable to harassment. * Zilean - He is dependent on leveling so he will often go mid. He is a BIG problem because his time bomb hits really hard at a 700 range! He also has the ability to Bomb/Rewind/Bomb for a double-nuke that can kill you around level 5 easily. 2 Bombs = 420 damage! He also has a 600 range auto attack so you can't push him around after getting bombed. Finally, he can speed himself up for a short duration to catch you and double-bomb you. If you suspect playing against him, consider a Regrowth Pendant instead of Dorans. Stay back and last hit exclusively. He will bomb you periodicially. When he does, get away from your creeps. Dont give him free gold! You actually WANT him to bomb the crud out of you early on and burn through his mana. They only deal 100 damage (minus 16 Magic resist) which you can regen in 30 seconds. If they are smart they will save mana (or have clarity) for when they are level 3 and 5 when their bombs hurt a lot more. So you will need to stay further back and retreat when he moves towards you. Remember, he wants to AoE farm by bombing your creeps. This means he isn't bombing you, so do NOT blow up on your creeps and let him farm for free! The only good news is that at 6 you can use the Punishment Combo next time he move in to bomb you. He will likely be shocked and you can almost hear the "OMG, I am bleeding my own blood! WTF?!" thoughts. It will make em back off some at least. * Heimerdinger - His big thing is turrets that push the lane. He also can toss grenades that blind but they are pretty easy to dodge. The main thing to avoid is his auto-targeting triple hit thing. It has a 1000 range and attacks the 3 closest targets. Once your creeps are severely wounded, move back since you wont have them to absorb the auto-hitting projectiles. His 550 range matches yours so you will need to use Exploding shot to dink away. He will likely have MP regen items so use your slight range advantage to whittle him down. Against Heim, you actually DO want to auto attack creeps to counteract his pushing ability. Focus on the ones in the back and hopefully they will blow up on him. They blow up on the other ranged guys and you then focus on them. This gives you a good 3 guaranteed kills per wave and helps keep his ranged creeps from building up. Otherwise he WILL wind up pushing your tower down bit by bit. Be sure to shoot up his turrets for bonus gold when you have creep support. Your creeps target turrets last priority, so they won't compete with you to kill them. Don't kill a turret on your own though with no support as you will take too much unnecessary damage. Also, making him replace turrets eats his mana supply which means less grenades and seeking projectiles. * Miss Fortune - Her range matches yours. She will either spam her long range Make it Rain or use Double Up to ricochet off your ranged creeps onto you. If she Rains a lot, stay away from your creeps to prevent her from damaging you and farming at the same time. If Double Up, you have to stay close to your creeps so she can't always hit the one closest to you and guarantee the bounce onto you. But you will take damage from it. She can do both, but it will drain her mana fast and one will be underpowered. She will also hit harder than you due to her cursed shots or something and she will definitely be in the mindset to get in autoshots, especially when you are slowed from the Rain. Make sure to shoot at her and put your DOT on her when she does to punish her. She will be using a MP regen pendant or Dorans Ring and is vulnerable to counter-harassment. This is another good Regrowth Pendant choice because it is very hard to avoid taking damage, but she can't really do much burst DPS. At mid levels you can try to snipe at her with your better range while avoiding her AoE harassment. Be ready to rocket jump to the side if she uses her Ultimate. Use your Punishment Combo at 6, but expect to take some damage back while running away while she uses her Ultimate. Remember, you own her lategame with your massive range and attack speed boosts. * Teemo - He is pretty irritating to lane against now. His attack range is only 500, so your autoattack outranges him. The main problem is that he has a blinding dart attack at range 680(!) that is difficult to avoid. He will shoot you with it, blinding you and making your auto-attack miss. Then he gets in one shot which deals weak damage, BUT poisons you for 4 seconds. Rank 2 poison deals 66 damage! Ouch. To make matters worse, he gets a 15% permanent speed boost as long as he doesn't get hit which lets him get in and out of range quickly. Try to get Rejuv Pendant to outheal his damage. Early on you want to rely on Explosive shot. Your 100 damage DOT will outdamage him and you heal lots faster. At level 3, your 125 dot breaks even with his, but you have the healing advantage. DOT and run. NO DOT AND SHOT because we don't want to eat his poison attack. Your shot will miss anyways due to blind. At 5, hang back and be careful. He now has poison, level 3 dart and movespeed boost. At 6 though, you can hurt him bad with burst damage. The Punishment Combo works amazingly well since he will want to run into 500 range to poison you. Rocketjump, explosive shot and buster shot does massive damage to his frail self and keeps him from any reprisal. Blind doesn't affect your spells remember. If you took ignite, this combo really hurts bad. A minute later, use the same combo and that should send him back to base crying for mama. Always stay behind your creeps when pushing forward after 6. He will always dump mushroom bombs as he advances hoping you will run into them when you push back. Let your creeps 'discover' the bombs...not you! * Twitch - He has weak range but an ability called ambush which costs a flat 60 mana, low cooldown, and turns him invisible. Worse yet, he automatically gains an attack speed bonus BETTER than your rapid shot for longer duration! Plus his attacks poison you and he has a long range slow and nuke that are worse depending on how poisoned you are. You wanna take Doran's Shield or even a Regrowth Pendant against him. His stealth lasts up to 10 seconds per rank. Basically you can NOT outshoot him. Instead last hit ONLY. DO NOT PUSH. This prevents him from sneaking behind you and doing massive damage as your tower detects stealth. He doesn't want creeps attacking him so he attacks from the side typically. You want to move to the opposite side and back which will make him disengage or draw closer to your creeps who are moving into attack him and your ranged creeps are already shooting him. Moving straight back will allow him to get in more shots which is why you pull directly away from him and go to the side. He might pop his slow and follow, in which case THEN you rocket jump back out of range. If you rocket first, you will wind up out of mana too fast. By making him use both his abilities you will make him go OOM before you. As long as you have decent creep protection and react quickly to his attack, you should be able to outheal his harassment and focus on farming. Remember that HE needs items too and when he sees that his attacks dont do that much damage and get outhealed, he will focus more on creeps if he is smart. If not, he will be under-farmed and be weak lategame because when he is sneaking, he is NOT farming! As long as you dont feed him by getting killed, you are gaining the advantage. Just dont let him get between you and your tower with your creeps behind your tower or he will be able to do a ton of damage to you and possibly kill you. Another thing to remember is when he is not stealthed, you outrange him quite a bit. He also has to hit you to poison you, which is necessary for BOTH his other abilities. Use this time to harass the heck out of him. Use explosive shot and make his life miserable. At level 6 if he ambushes, you can immediately explosive shot and buster shot which hurts him quite a bit. Ignite is king if you happen to have it. Once he is at 1/2 health, he usually won't mess with you anymore. * Morgana - Another big problem. While technically a support caster, she will build up two abilities, an AoE nuke that hurts you and your creeps, AND a targeted nuke that stops your movement. So whether you stick with creeps or not you get punished. Hence stay on the very edge of your creep group, so they cant easily hit you with the skillshot, but you can easily sidestep the black stuff on the ground. Her range isn't very good and she won't have healing items...BUT all her spells give her health back! The basic key is to not get hit by the snare and not to stick around in the black stuff for too long. She pushes your tower hard, so be sure to autoattack her ranged creeps to keep from taking tower damage. As usual the Punishment combo is pretty strong. She does have a shield that absorbs magic damage and negates bad effects but it only blocks 100 damage, plus 50 per rank, so it won't absorb very much. Still, expect her to use it to basically negate your explosive shot at level 4+. Finally, if you see a strand of magic between you and her, rocket jump away immediately. If she can keep it on you for 4 seconds you take more damage and are stunned. She will then dump black junk under you and then snare you for the kill. So shoot up her minions, avoid her black stuff, and use your range to harass. * Mage types - Several casters will want to take mid to get their nukes high level as fast as possible. Hence you will likely be up against Ryze, Annie, Veigar and other spellcasters. The basic idea to remember is that at level 1, your nuke is better than theirs! They will run in to nuke you which is just fine because you will shot-DOT them right back. Their nuke does about 80, and yours does 50 shot +100 DOT. Many of the mages will either not use their auto attack in combo with their nuke because they are used to spellcasting or their range isn't as good. This means you want them to burn through their mana at level 1 and 2 nuking the crud out of you. You can give as good as you get and the more mana they burn early, the less they can use later. Remember, your DOT really doesn't get much better nor more mana efficient, so use it early. You will probably want to auto-attack their ranged creeps after the spell exchange to give you some lifesteal regen and to hopefully blow up some creeps onto them. If they are dumb they will use their SECOND nuke against you they got at level 2, which guarantees them a very quick out of mana. Remember that they will be boosting one nuke primarily such that even at level 7, their second skill will only be at rank 1 or maybe 2. By getting off to an early lead, this will dissuade them from harassing you as much later at level 5 when their nukes now do a LOT of damage! At 5, you can NOT trade spells with them anymore unless you've beaten them up early. You will have to shift to a farming mode even moreso and avoid them when they move towards you. Since they started with Doran's Ring most likely, they will only have a single health pot, so you can definitely drive them back early on with DOT-shot combos. Remember to make an intelligent decision early. If they have Area Effect nukes then stay to the side of your creeps so they can't farm and hurt you in the same blast. If they use targeted nukes, stick with your creeps and hope they misclick a creep occasionally and your creeps have a closer distance to counter attack them when they nuke you. If they have skillshots that ARE stopped by hitting your creeps, stick with them. If they have skillshots that hit all, then this is just like fighting AoE opponents...stay away from your creeps. These guys are best at level 5 through 15 by design. As long as you can play somewhat defensively and not feed them, you will eventually be able to blow them away in seconds, whereas with your +HP items you won't die to their burst. * Melee types - These guys are a pain to deal with surprisingly. The main thing to be aware of is that they will almost always take a HP regeneration item. This makes them very difficult to harass because they heal so fast. Also, they typically have some kind of nuke or stun or ability to jump on you or whatever. Therefore your main concern is that you will not be farming and instead focus too much on harassing them. The fact is that harassment will be difficult, so only do so when their creeps are at high health (so you don't miss last-hits). Otherwise focus on last-hitting. Or blow up the ranged creeps where they hang out a lot. Many melee guys will simply let their creeps punish you for harassing them and just out-heal and out-lastHit you. Stay in your creep zone so that if they do jump on you or nuke you, then they will not be able to follow up and beat on you without taking lots of damage from your creeps. They don't get a ranged attack basically and have to move in to get last-hits. When they do, shoot them and DOT them. Make sure to not fall under 100 mana, as you will be tempted to use your DOT a bunch and run OOM. At 6, you should have 140 for a buster shot and enough for a rocket jump and hopefully explosive shot. If they are pushing you into your tower, look for an opportunity when they move in to last hit one of your creeps when most of theirs are dead. Move in like you are going to harass, and then rocket jump BEHIND them, buster them into your creeps and tower and start shooting. They will be slowed, maybe eat turret fire and your creeps will hopefully start attacking them. You should be able to deal significant damage which will send them home or make them tower-hug and not last hit for a while. If they counterattack you, your creeps and tower will definitely blow them away. If this doesn't look like a possibility, at 6 you can at least be more aggresive because if they stun you and walk up to you, you can Buster shot them right back. You can also rocket jump away from them and shoot em up some more. Their charge/stuns usually have a long cooldown, so by countering them you can really rritate them and plink away. This works much better after you have Phage and boots after level 6 or so. If you proc a slow from Phage, it can definitely have an effect. What if I am NOT MID?!? ----------------------- It is not the end of the world. Mid is valuable because it lets you have 100% of the gold from enemy minions in theory. The extra XP is nice since you get buster shot faster but most of your skills really don't need extra ranks in them all that much. Try to pick a team mate that is a tank or does NOT have an area effect farming skill. YOU want to get most of the creeps in your lane and nothing is worse than a partner that spams some AoE that kills all the enemy ranged creeps in one shot/combo! Keep in mind that you are the most fragile and will likely have TWO enemy champs trying to nuke you and beat you down. You just need to stay back, don't rocket jump in and get beat up and farm like crazy. Obviously harass the enemy and use your Jump to slow the baddies if your ally is engaging successfully by using a stun or slow. You are more likely to use the Dorans Blade to help lasthit and harass. Try to stay close to the bushes so you can control them. You dont want the enemy in and out of the bushes forcing you to retreat or worry about them instead of farming. Other than that, the rest of the game strategy is about the same. One more thing... unless you bought your items super fast and immediately started moving, do NOT run into the edge bushes without your partner. The last thing you need is to get beat up by two waiting melee guys and killed or gimped within the first minute of the game. Obviously clarivoyance will eliminate this problem. If you can safely get in the bushes this is a big advantage. With your starting explosive shot you have one of the most damaging abilities in the game and theres a good chance they will try to Heal or potion as soon as you and your ally attack them at close range. Explosive shot will HALF the effectiveness of their healing which can make a big difference. You wont get a kill unless your partner is awesome but you can definitely gimp them badly. Mid Game Strategy: -------------------- In the mid game, people are starting to roam and gank and trying to push towers. At this point you want to NOT be running around too much. Make sure when you are moving it is to keep leveling up and killing creeps where they pile up or when a lane is neglected. You should now be able to take out all ranged creeps by shooting the one on the middle which should blow up on the other 2, and then you kill them. Definitely help out when possible and your Phage should come in handy to slow down retreating enemies. Your early/midgame objective is to take out their middle tower. As the creeps go back and forth you want to get in a few auto-shots when no enemy champion is around. Use Rapid shot to take best advantage of these push opportunities. When running from place to place, be more cautious about your route. You dont want to run into a group of baddies. Definitely travel with others or be careful. If you DO get jumped and Crowd Controlled when traveling the river, Cleanse and run towards the riverbank and you can Rocket Jump OVER into the bushes. This is a good way to escape, but expect that one of the bad guys may use Ghost and follow you, so keep moving! If caught, you can always Buster Shot them backwards which should let you reach your tower safely. Take out the small neutral creeps next to mid when you are waiting for the bad creeps to get within range. After taking out middle tower, you do NOT want to push to their second middle tower as you WILL get ganked and killed easily. Hence, at some point you just have to wait for their creeps to push back to your tower. This is a great time to help gank and/or take the neutral creeps. Get the Red Buff when it is convenient to do so. The Red Buff from the big Lizard creep adds bonus damage and slows-on-hit to your auto-attack. This makes you a prime candidate for it. To get it, rocketjump or just move into the small creeps in the back. The big one will come for you. Shoot both small ones which will make them blow up on the big one. Drop explosive shot on the big one and Rapid shot. Then shoot until he finally keels over and return to base and heal. DO NOT USE BUSTER SHOT! It will knock them through the wall or otherwise push them away. This will trigger their "disengage" mechanism which makes them heal right back up! Once you have the buff you will be much more effective when ganking. You are not really all that Uber yet, so your goal is to support your allies in small scale fights and blast enemy creeps and hit the easy neutral creep camps too. Mostly, you want to keep farming. End Game Strategy: ------------------ Now you have a maxed out Rapid Shot and some decent attack damage, you are a big threat to the enemy. You have great auto attack range. Your job is to participate in team fights. DO NOT ROCKET JUMP IN! It is someone elses job to initiate and you should never be the first one in. Let the others eat the enemy spells and then you MOVE in and hit Rapid Shot and start blasting away. You will wind up shooting up their tank, but that is better than jumping in and getting owned by all of them. Try to switch targets when they are available as you will see more squishy champions enter battle a bit later like you. Be ready to rocket jump back when you are targeted or stunned by their tank. Above all, choose your targets carefully. Shoot at the most vulnerable high value target you can, SAFELY. Remember that your Mallet/Phage will be slowing down whoever you hit. If you see allies attacking 1 target, you should follow suit and help burn them down quickly if you can. Even though it deals little damage, be ready with Explosive shot to negate enemy healing. SOMEONE will have Heal spell on their team, especially at low summoner levels. They will be using it. It's hard on the mana supply so don't overdo it. Be prepared to buster shot a baddie back who is about to kill your ally. If their Ashe is shooting away, Buster her to remove her from combat temporarily while you team up on another of their team. Only do this if you don't have a designated Channel-interruptee that you are saving buster shot for. If they have a Galio or Fiddlesticks or Ammnu or Morgana or other big AoE channeler, you definitely want to be able to ruin their ultimate. Very few champions have a 700 range channeling-hozer like you do. Don't 'rescue' the enemy by Bustering them away when they are guaranteed to die from your allies. This is worth repeating as it is the most demoralizing thing you can do as Trist to make your team mad at you. Basically, DON'T RUN OFF solo into their territory. You can't beat multiple champions solo. As you get a chance, kill creeps both neutral and enemy. However, DON'T be farming while everyone else is fighting. You should stick with the team lategame for the most part if there is a chance of a fight breaking out. (when you are in enemy territory). If you did a good job early and mid game, then you should have enough firepower to not need to farm all that much endgame. The objective is to WIN, not to "finish your build"! Forcing your team to fight 4v5 without their DPS is very bad and will offset any possible gain from you farming up some more items. They will die, lose towers, and feed the enemy as well as ragequit and surrender. So avoid this. XII. Final Words: ----------------- I guess that is the end. Remember, play cautiously and focus on farming and you should be able to bring some serious damage to the fight late game. Be sure to thank your tanks when they bail you out of trouble. Share the credit by saying "good job", etc when they help setup a kill that you get. You really need your team to like you to play best as Tristana. Good luck! Please send feedback to joemamaNOSPAM at hotmail.com (remove the nospam)