Tristana + Grandfather Fae: Finally, a Competitive Tristana Deck!

Tristana has been the most lackluster Bandle champion since forever, but the new cards have changed everything!
  • Origins

Ever since her release, Tristana has been one of the more lackluster champions of Bandle City, her decks being overshadowed by both Bandle Tree and Yordle in Arms swarm archetypes.

She was mostly seen in lists splashing cards like Might or Atrocity, which could cheese out wins but never had a real impact on the meta.

This season, I decided to give Tristana another chance. She was slightly buffed some time ago in Patch 2.18, and we also got the latest Bandle City release – so I wanted to see if any of the new cards gave her the support she needed.

After her buff, she became less reliant on Overwhelm to close out games, so my idea was to combine her with Demacia for cheap combat tricks and Rallies.

You may wonder – why Gnar isn’t in the list? Well, while it is true that Gnar usually can make any deck better, he is a bit too expensive to work with Tristana well. Fizz and Teemo are the champions of choice as they promote a fast Tristana level-up and can act as secondary win conditions thanks to Yordle in Arms.

  • Gameplan

Your objective is to swarm the board with multi-region units and level Tristana fast in order to abuse her insane level 2 as soon as possible.

Hungry Owlcats were always good with Tristana and the new card Grandfather Fae is just amazing in this deck. Two multi-region followers in one card is exactly what you want and the +1 attack to Faes is the cherry on top as it allows your units to trade up and force blocks.

Although you can play every card on curve and go for maximum tempo, your deck is at its best when you take a couple slow turns in the early game to set up your engines. So, unless you are against an aggressive burn deck, feel free to play it slow and sacrifice some HP – it will be worth it.

Also, avoid playing Tristana before she levels, treat her as a more aggressive and faster Yordle Captain. The amount of damage she can push will surprise you! Against Gnar decks in particular, which are incredibly popular in week 1, be careful not to leave your Tristana vulnerable.

You have more units than most decks out there, so feel free to attack and force your opponent to run out of chump blockers. This is crucial because you don’t have easy access to keywords like Overwhelm or Fearsome.

Your main win condition is having Tristana remain on board for a turn or two, allowing you to deal insane amounts of damage, and your Demacia combat tricks really help in this regard.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned – maybe you didn’t draw Tristana or she wasn’t enough. In that case, Yordles in Arms in combination with your Elusive units can win from unexpected situations, especially if followed up by Golden Aegis.

During the mulligan, against aggressive decks look for 1-drops and try to save some HP early then find a turn to set up one of your engines and take over the game. You can afford to be greedier when facing non-burn decks – you can throw away your Fleethfeather Trackers and look for your main engines: Grandfather Fae, Bandle Commando, Bandle City Mayor, and Tristana.

  • Verdict

Grandfather Fae is an underrated card and exactly what Tristana needed to become competitive. Now, we can level her consistently without running bad cards like Proto Poro.

During the first days of the expansion, I got to Diamond 1 with Tristana swarm with a score of 14-7. The deck is powerful, consistent, and can win games in many different ways – which, in my opinion, makes it a Tier 1 contender in the new metagame.

So, if you want to climb and finally use those copies of Tristana that have been gathering dust in your collection, this is the deck for you!

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