Rocket Jump To Elo Heaven - A Tristana Guide
Mon 31st Jul 2017 - 5:10am
If you've been playing ranked this past patch or two there isn't a doubt in my mind that you've been on the receiving end of your fair share of the Bandle City beatdown at the hands of The Yordle Gunner. "But what happened?" - you may be asking yourself. "Why is everyone playing Tristana now?" Well, dear reader, I have got some answers for you. We'll start by looking at all of the meta ADCs running around the rift as of patch 7.13.
Caitlyn is currently sitting at an almost 53% win rate with a massive 19% play rate. Another heavy hitting ADC right now is our resident Rift rat Twitch boasting a slightly higher win rate albeit accompanied by a substantially lower play rate at 9%. Finally, we have the rambunctious Rocketeer herself sitting at a nice middle ground with a 51% win rate and 10% pick rate. Now, what do all of these ADCs have in common? They're all extremely strong late game hyper carries. Champions like these have been able to claw their way back up to the top of the bot lane food chain thanks to the continuous nerfs to early game armor pen ADCs. Now they have a chance to go even in the lane and try carry the mid and late game by team fighting.
But let's zero in on Tristana. While she is very strong right now, you should refrain from diving in head first without learning her ins and outs lest your ELO take it for you. Speaking of diving in, let's begin with the first and most important facet of maximizing Tristana's potential: Her Rocket Jump.
One of the things that make Tristana difficult to play is her very conflicting playstyles in the early and late game. In the lane phase, you're very weak to start off BUT there are a very finite amount of opportunities you can take to get yourself an unexpected 2v2 kill if you can spring on them. Tristana's E ability (Explosive Charge) makes her a natural pusher which makes it easy to beat your opposition in the infamous level 2 bot lane race. If you do manage to get your W while their duo is still level 1, one of the two things will happen. Option number one is that they'll acknowledge your level 2 spike and you can zone them off of cs and you've already got an advantage in the lane to work with or option number 2: They'll try to get to match your level 2 as soon as possible and you can capitalize. Position aggressively and once they enter your auto attack range chuck an E onto them, get as many auto attacks in as possible before they leave your range (usually 2), then rocket jump onto them for the slow and damage.
Keep in mind your support needs to be behind you the entire time since your level advantage won't cover the fact you're in a 1v2. If you and your support manage to execute this correctly you should force the enemy's exhaust and maybe their heal as well. However, every game of League of Legends is unique and you can't do this every game without being punished. Supports like Bard and Morgana who don't gain huge power spikes at level 2 will still destroy you with your level advantage if they can hit their cc (which they probably will since you just jumped right on to their ADC's face). The same goes for ADCs of this nature like Draven and Miss Fortune as well.
Another distinct opportunity to use your Rocket Jump offensively in lane is after you've bought a big item or components like a BF Sword or Bilgewater Culass. If the enemy bot lane over stays to try push in a wave, you should almost always jump on them in order to try to force Summoners or a kill before they've spent their gold. You should still be careful though and carefully watch their behavior. For instance, if they're too bold when they're clearly at a disadvantage, the enemy jungler will probably be ready once you jump in. One last tip about your Rocket Jump in lane is to use it when your E is already at 4 stacks. Your W will detonate it early and you'll instantly get a reset but only when the charge is at 4 stacks. Outside of the lane, however, is where you can tell a good Tristana from a great one. If you come out of the lane with a lead it's easy to let the power get to your head and get too brave.
You'll want to jump on any squishy you see and one shot them just because you can, and while that is true 99% of the time, they won't be alone and you just jumped into their entire team. Once you get exhausted and die your entire screen will be flooded by a barrage of missing pings and "WTF Trist?", all of which will culminate in a "The enemy team has slain Baron Nashor" message popping up in your chat. In one key press, you've successfully antagonized your entire team and lost control of the game. Moral of the story is to use your W exclusively as a self-peel tool unless the entire enemy team is one auto attack away from death and they've used up all their CC on your frontline.
Now that we've covered how to not lose the game for your team, let's move on to how to carry it instead by going over the rest of her abilities.
In lane phase, your Q ability and E are the same as your W in the sense that you can be much more liberal with them when you use them. If you're ever able to reliably auto attack either of your enemy laners, you should throw your E on them and activate your Q to try stack it as fast as you can. It's difficult to fully stack your E early into the game since you won't have a lot of attack speed yet, which is where your Q (Rapid Fire) comes in. Not only will it help you stack your Explosive Charge quicker, but it also allows you to prioritize completing your Infinity Edge without needing an early Zeal first for a massive mid game damage spike.
Tristana's E ability Explosive Charge is probably the second most iconic thing about her kit after her Rocket Jump. Most people think you should just drop this on whatever enemy you're auto attacking right at the start of the fight, which is all well and good in laning phase, but when full fledged team fights start breaking out it's a different story. In the initial stages of a team fight you should do what all ADCs do best - stay safe and deal damage without commiting to one target. If the team fight is playing out front to back, that is if the enemy back line is focusing your tanks while you focus theirs, you should drop your E on to any non-priority target you're focusing on, trying to melt down the enemy front line before the opposing carries do the same to yours. If you start the team fight in a favorable enough position to be away from any of the opposition's tanks, with your frontline at your side, you can instantly lob your E on to a squshy and watch them try to scrabble out of your attack range. A neat trick you can use as Tristana is the R -> E combo which I'll explain momentarily.
Tristana's R Buster Shot is definitely the most straight forward ability in her kit. Laning phase is when it's most feasable as a damage threat with its hefty base magic damage at level 1. If you manage to get a fully stacked Explosive Charge on the enemy ADC or a squishy support while you're sitting on a BF Sword, you should be able to ult them for a kill unless they blow their Heal or Exhaust, and if they do live on a sliver of HP, you'll get a W reset since your E was fully stacked. You can also use it in conjunction with your Rocket Jump to escape jungle ganks. Now on to the R -> E combo I mentioned before. If you do happen to get a fully stacking E on a tank in a front to back team fight you can try to R the tank into their own backline to spook the enemy team carries while also giving you and your friendly carries some breathing room.
And last but not least, let's talk items and Masteries.
A few patches ago, Tristana primarily built Blade of the Ruined King since frankly the item was overpowered and it helped give her the final little push she needed to be viable. But as of patch 7.14, the objective best build is to rush Infinity Edge. The same could be said for Tristana's Zeal item choice as well. Runaan's Huricane's build path of a Zeal and Recurve Bow gave the highest consistent single target DPS in addition to the extra 2 bolts of AOE, but since the recipe was changed, Zeal and double Daggers the deadly "Double Shiv Combo" of Rapidfire Cannon and Statikk Shiv are the way to go. After you've got your 3 core items and tier 2 boots completed, you build Tristana the same as every other ADC which is subjective to the kind of the game you're playing. Finally, we have the "age-old" Warlord's vs. Fervor debate. After the recent change to Warlord's where it works off of the "Energized" system if you're building the Trifecta of IE, Shiv and Rapidfire, it's always better to go Warlord's over Fevor. Additionally, the crit mulitplier on Infinity Edge also works with the healing from Warlord's which is all the more reason to run it over its Ferocity counterpart.
There you have it folks - the ins and outs of Solo Queue's latest ADC craze. Tune in next week for the hows and whys of Riot's latest Lethality Balancing.