Call to Arms: League of Legends' Tristana [come play with us!]

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Andrew Beck at

shotturrets

We periodically host Call to Arms events that rally the entire PC Gamer community behind a single MOBA character for a full week of sweet, sweet gaming bliss. Our goal is to have fun and put our collective heads together to develop a community strategy guide for that particular character. This week, we're making it super accessible by choosing League of Legends' Tristana, who's free to play this week. Join us, and share in the glory by downloading League of Legend's client for free here.

Tristana – The Megling Gunner

Rocket-jumping is a time-honored, well-loved PC gaming tradition. For years, we've launched ourselves to the heavens with a fiery explosion and fired rockets mid-air at unsuspecting enemies during its sacred ritual. Enemies stand in awe as we rain death upon them from on high. Whether you mastered the skill in Quake or struggled with the timing as a Soldier in Team Fortress 2, now is your time to shine! Rocket-jumping isn't just for FPSes anymore--you can find that same addictive joy in League of Legends.

Enter Tristana, one of the original cast in the ever-growing pantheon of League of Legends champions. She’s a squat, elf-ish, ranged damage-dealer who wields an single-shot cannon with an over-sized barrel that's as big as she is. On her back, a basket overflows with cannonballs ready for the loading (that is, of course, unless you fork over some cash for her epic firefighter skin, which replaces the ball-filled basket and cannon with a hydrant and hose that sprays jets of water). And with any big weapon that fires explosives, it just takes one well-aimed shot at her feet and BAM! Tristana executes the physics-defying rocket jump. At first, you may stop and wonder at how an iron ball packs the punch needed for an aerial leap, but once you’ve bagged your first jump-kill with it, you’ll no longer care.

The view is lovely from up here--Annie'll never know what hit her.

Just like it did during the classic days of Quake, Tristana’s rocket jump creates some of the greatest moments in a match. Whether you're attempting a surprise attack or a desperate flee attempt, a bit of a lift is just the ace you want up your sleeve. See a lone hero pushing a tower? Leap out from behind the trees for a nice scare. Need to catch up to a fleeing champion? They’re just a little hop, skip and jump away. Get ganked by the entire enemy team when you're trying to take out the epic dragon-creep? Just scale the wall to safety in a single bound (taunting your enemies while you're at it). The possibilities are endless, so long as you don’t miscalculate the distance and end up with a profound, but ineffective, bunny-hop. Nothing screams FAIL! quite like seeing your champion smack up against an wall when you should be sailing to safety. Face-palm!

A few tips

As a ranged champion, Tristana performs best when she's primarily loaded up with damage and attack-speed items. Couple those with her passive increased range and her Rapid Fire ability to fire up to 80% faster for a few seconds, and she can be quite the glass-cannon. Items with on-hit effects are great with her attack-speed, but be sure to tack on some extra hitpoints in the process, just to be safe.

Whether soloing in the middle lane or teaming up with an ally, Tristana’s passive ability that causes her cannonballs to shatter, doing AoE damage, whenever she kills an enemy is perfect for scoring cash-granting kills on minions, not to mention helping build those early tower-pushes. Just be wary of pushing too far, too fast-- the other team is bound to notice and lay a nice trap for you in the bushes.

If you've seen that old video of a big balding man who takes a cannonball to the gut at point-blank range and stumbles back into a net, you're already familiar with Tristana's ultimate, the Buster Shot. Point your cannon at an enemy champion and fire a heavy shot to knock them backward, no bald man or net required.

But cannons are not toys--you'll need to be careful when working with teammates--the buster shot can be a huge boon or a huge bane. Time it right and you’ll save a fleeing ally from imminent death. Or combine it with a rocket jump to leap past an enemy and knock them backwards into your tower. Time it wrong, however, and you may unwittingly free a rival champion from the clutches of your team. D'oh!

Line 'em up, knock 'em down.

For the next week, Tristana is part of the free champion rotation. Get out there, give her a try, and let us know what you think. We'll be hosting game nights on League of Legends all week long, so be sure to join our Steam group and follow us on twitter (Josh, Lucas, Andrew) to receive announcements when we host games! In League of Legends, you can message Nereus, Ljrepresent, or Antichulius in-game for invites. Or set up your own Tristana-filled games.

Don't just wait for us, though. We're on a collective mission to play Tristana as many times as physically possible in a week, so do your part and cruise through some matches whenever you have some free time, and capture some hilarious videos ot try out some new item/mastery builds so you can send us your screenshots, videos, strategies and tips! You can download the client for free here, and hit up our beginner's guide for League of Legends if you've never played before!

Whether you play with us, with friends, or with some random pubs (or bots!), help us build the PC Gamer players’ guide to Tristana. To pitch in, and see your name on these hallowed internet pages, send any of the following to letters@pcgamer.com with "Call to Arms" in the subject line.

  • Your favorite item builds, rune choices, and mastery selections
  • Tips for new players, both for playing as Tristana and for playing against her
  • Your epic or embarrassing Tristana videos or screenshots (for videos, upload 'em to your Youtube account and send us the link)
  • Rants and raves--anything you love or hate about Tristana
  • Your total kill/deaths/assist count for all of your matches this week, as Tristana only. Your scores will add to the grand community-total.
  • Cast your vote in our Tristana poll on our Facebook page

 
We'll be collecting your submissions in the comments of this post, in this forum post, at letters@pcgamer.com, or on twitter with the #PCGCallToArms hashtag.

When the rotation changes next week and Tristana is no longer free to play, we'll sift through everything you've all sent in and compile it into a full community guide for Tristana, with the best videos, strategies, tips, anecdotes, and a combined kill/death/assist ratio for all us as Tristana and post it on the front page of the site.

*Cue Valve’s Rocket Jump Waltz* Let the battles begin!