Caitlyn Build Guide by TROLLing1999
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Core Laning Phase Build
Full Build Example
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
allow me to introduce myself, I am TROLLing1999, a semi-experienced guide writer here on Mobafire. Regarding ranked queues, I mostly play as an ADC or a mid-laner. One of my favourite Marks(wo)men right now is Caitlyn, The Sheriff of Piltover. So in this guide I will try to give you an in-depth look in Caitlyn's mechanics and inform you about as many thing as I know about her, while trying to ensure you an enhoyable. Let's see if I'll succeed in this.
So I'd advise you to take a seat and let me present you: "Headshooting as Caitlyn"!
||Who is Caitlyn?
Caitlyn is a Marks(wo)man, which means that she playes bot together with a support and that she should be built in order to deal lots of sustained damage. She belongs to the category of lane bullies. Her kit allows her to harass from long range, play aggressively and zone the enemy in lane, while having an escaping tool. She scales nicely into late game aswell, when she can deal a considerable amount of dps.
What are her strenghts?
As I mentioned above Caitlyn is widely know for her long-range harass with Auto-Attacks and Piltover Peacemaker. In addition to this, Yordle Snap Trap is a great ability for zoning and limiting the enemy's actions in lane. She also has an escaping mechansim with 90 Caliber Net and can pick off low health targets thanks to Ace in the Hole. Waveclearing and dealing sustained damage from long range are some other things she excels at if built correctly.
What are her drawbacks?
Caitlyn's aggressive playstyle attracts enemy junglers and roamers to gank bot lane and get kills. So map awareness and warding is vital. Furthermore, Caitlyn has a really tough mid game, most times she falls off during this phase of the game and if you do not play carefully the enemies might start snowballing at you. Other minor disadvantages Caitlyn players have to face is her slighly complex skillset( skillshots etc.) and the somewhat high mana cost that don't allow her to spamm her abilities.
These three are the only viable summoners spells for Caitlyn. Flash is mandatory because it is an extra escaping mechanism and it can also help you secure kills. Heal is my second choice 90% of the time because it now scales better than Barrier into late game and also gives a temporary MS boost, while it can also remove Ignite and other healing reduction effects . Against Thresh, Leona, Ashe and other enemies in the lane with heavy CC, Cleanse is the obvious choice. There is no huge need to take cleanse if it comes to heavy CC jungler/mid/top because you can rush Quicksilver Sash during the laning phase and protect yourself from them.
OffenseAs a Marks(wo)man your primary goal is to deal damage. As a sequence you should go deep into the offense tree and get all the points that will bootst your physical damage output and especially your sustained damage dealt by basic attacks. Because of this you ignore all the AP-masteries.
Some of you might be wondering why I am not taking Double-Edged Sword , Blade Weaving and Spell Weaving . Regarding the first one, I have the feeling that as an adc there are going to be situations where you really want to avoid taking that extra 1.5% damage while the bonus damage it gives you is minor. In terms of the other two now, they're more of AD-Caster masteries and I prefer the extra sustain from Feast and the dps from Frenzy.
DefenseThe best place to put the rest 9 points is the defense tree. Specifically, you should aim for masteries that can strenghten your lane presence. Block and Unyielding will help you a lot when trading while the bonus sustain from Recovery is truely remarkable. Finally, with the points in Veteran Scars and Juggernaut and the HP from Doran's Blade you will have over 600hp at level 1, so that you don't get forced out of lane.
|Greater Mark of Attack Damage
These are the marks most AD Champions use including adcs. You should take these to increase your damage output with AA, Piltover Peacemaker and Ace in the Hole. They will help you last hit better and trade effectively.
|Greater Seal of Armor
Marksmen always do more physical damage than magic damage. So you should take Armor Seals in order to reduce the damage you take from champions and minions. The alternative is Greater Seal of Health that got buffed in the recent rune changes.
|Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Supports do mostly magic damage. Without some Magic Resist the damage would be too much for you so Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is really worth the value, especially now when support Annie and other strong poke/killing supports get more and more popular.
|Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
After the nerfs on Life Steal Quints, grabbing greater guintessence of attack speed is the best choice. They allow Caitlyn to land more AA, when poking and especially when punishing enemies for taking farm. You can also stack your passive more quickly.
Doran's Blade is mile better than any other starter regarding marksemn. It will provide you with anything you want: Attack Damage, Sustain and some Tankiness. Now there is also space for a Health Potion. With Doran's Blade you should be more than fine.
At your first back you want to purchase 2x Doran's Blade and B. F. Sword along with Boots of Speed if possible. Triple Doran's Blade is really a thing now since it allows you to skip Vampiric Scepter and go straight for Infinity Edge without loosing any important stats.
Infinity Edge is your first item rush right now. It gives as much damage as The Bloodthirster along with crit chance and bonus critical damage. Overall it gives more damage than The Bloodthirster and you can also abuse your range and kite hard with some crits. As long as you can farm well you will be able to purchase this early. After finishing it upgrade your boots into Berserker's Greaves. It's the one and only choice for marksmen.
Phantom Dancer provides you with 50% AS, 30% Critical Strike, 5% MS and unit collision. It's indeed a great item that boost your single target damage and especially during late game. If you ask me, I aim for this in most of my games because it kind of makes up for your lack of dueling potential.
On the other hand, Statikk Shiv is much better for split-pushing since it's passive will guarantee you very fast waveclears. With Statikk Shiv you can also kite very effectively(more info on tactical play). Charge your stacks by moving and cancelling animation and once the passive is on attack the enemy for tons of damage!
Last Whisper is the most gold efficient item on marksmen. With this in your inventory you won't have problems hurting any target even the tanky ones, that stack armor.
After the changes The Bloodthirster shouldn't be rushed anymore. However, I still purchase it late game because that bunch of AD is really nice along with the sustain from life steal. The shield is not bad either and might actually save you from those bursty assassins like Veigar.
Guardian Angel is a great item. You should buy it in the most of your games. It gives you both Armor and Magic Resist and a rebirth passive that can be really useful if your team is well coordinated.
Banshee's Veil is a situational defensive item. Buy it against AP heavy teams and especially against champions that rely on combos or have unavoidable CC abilities like Nautilus' ultimate.
Mercurial Scimitar is really usefull against CC heavy teams. You must be able to choose when to activate it, though, and do it successfully.
Priority Max 1: Ace in the Hole should be your number one priority max because it is your ultimate and it's vital to get it whenever possible so that it scales according to the level.
Priority Max 2: Piltover Peacemaker is your main damage ability and because of this it should be maxed at level 9.
Priority Max 3: 90 Caliber Net is your escaping mechanism and you should have it as often as possible. That's why you max it at level 13. The damage and the duration of the slow becomes more as well.
Priority Max 4: Yordle Snap Trap is more of an ultility spell that has to do more with placing the traps correctly than with damage. As a sequence you max it last. I like to get a point at level 2 though so that I have more chances to zone the enemy after an early push.
|Yordle Snap Trap (W)
// Placing Yordle Snap Trap correctly is a skill that separates great Caitlyn players from good Caitlyn players. Early game you can put them a cone or next to another(with a gap between each) in order to increase your zoning chances or in the edge of the bushes. Mid-Late game you should try to block the gateaway paths of enemies, ensure your and your teams' safety and if you're a bit lucky secure kills(for example around the paths of dragon/baron when you want to attempt it).
|90 Caliber Net (E)
// Despite not being the most reliable one, 90 Caliber Net is still an okay escape tool. Fire it to save yourself from a gank during the laing phase or to get away from an assasin later in the game. Always try to have it off cooldown during big fights and do not use for no reason. It passes through walls. After a successful 90 Caliber Net, you can fire Piltover Peacemaker towards the enemy for some more damage.
|Ace in the Hole (R)
// This is a very good finishing off enemies move. During the laning phase you can use your Auto-Attacks and your skills to poke the both enemies hard and then use Ace in the Hole on one of them. Kill secured! Late game it is much more likely for enemies to block it so make smart use of it. Do not activate Ace in the Hole if there are many enemy melees around and always have a quick look at the enemies HP and Armor. Avoid using it in the middle of teamfights, during the cast time you would be able to deal more damage with AA plus that you can't move.
Caitlyn is really strong during the laning phase and has many favourable matchups. So your ultimate goal should be to win the lane and based on your early lead outscale the enemy in the late game. If you want to know how to do this read the instructions below.
|>>Harassing- Denying Farm
Another task you have to accomplish as Caitlyn is to deny the enemy marksman's farm. This is done by well timed harass either with spells or with basic attacks. Usually a successfull Piltover Peacemaker or a Headshot will panic the enemy enough, but there other tricks as well. For instance, you can attack the enemy exactly at the time when he is about to last hit a creep, which means that he should choose between you or the creep(win-win situation for you!). Or you can run in bush attack him and then go in the safety of the bushes again so that he doesn't reply to your poke.
"Lane freezing" is another good tactics you can enforce while being in lane. I don't highly recommend for Caitlyn, since it does not encourages aggressive playstyle but it is still useful if you take/loose a turret. The point of "lane freezing" is to hold the minion wave close to your turret but not withing its radious. This is managed by last hitting at the VERY LAST moment! If there is a low hp enemy that is not being attacked though, do not kill it. If you do this constantly there will be a time when enemy minions might reach your turret...so the trick is balancing your last hits. This needs tons of effort and practice but it's critical to be able to do.
On the contrary with early game, Caitlyn is weak during mid game. She falls off a bit and you should fight to keep your lead so that you don't find the enemies snowballing at your face. Carful plays are a must-do in this stage. Read below to learn more.
Split-Pushing is a thing many marksmen tend to do in this stage of the game. It mean that you stay in bot lane and push the lane in order to get creeps and objectives for your team. As Caitlyn you have fast wave clears thanks to Piltover Peacemaker and you can also buy Statikk Shiv. You also have an escaping mechanism and some free vision with your traps. What you lack though is dueling potential, whichs is really important as well. So be careful.
|>>GROUP UP WITH YOUR TEAM!
That's your other option. It is much better to group up with your teammates if you/your team is behind. Together you can take advantage of any special advantages your team composition has and take objectives. Participating in early teamfights is not really your best since you might not have all your items. You should stay defensive and attack the closest(more later). Anyways, try to destroy the outer and inner mid turret and to take dragon. Good use of wards and trinkets is truely critical if you want to get objectives early. Do not forget to place your Yordle Snap Traps.
Provided that you had an okay mid game, now you must be quite strong and be able to deal lots of damage in fights. Your goal now is to finish your build and win the game. However, you must be aware of how you should play to manage this.
Teamfights are large fights with 8 or more people involved. They usually occur during the late game and it is vital to know how to behave there. Theoritically, your priority targets are the enemy carries, who deal the most damage. Many unexperienced marksmen players, though, are under the misapprehension that they should reach them dead or alive. NO, that's a job for assasins. As an ad carry your priority is to stay alive in order to deal as much sustained damage as possible. Stay safe behind your tanks and attack the closest, also try to move around(mainly backwards) between your shots. Try to keep a distance of at least 500-600 range and keep 90 Caliber Net to get away from enemies who want to reach you. Do not get caught out of position and DO NOT DIE! A dead Caitlyn can't deal any damage!
CLICK TO WATCH A DETAILED VIDEO ABOUT POSITIONING FOR TEAMS!
Kiting means to attack the enemy from a safe distance and then back off again. This can be repeated many times and it is especially effective against melees. Successful kiting can already grant you an advantage over the enemies before the fights starts. However, you should be really careful when kiting. Do not do this when you don't have enough vision of the enemy team, you lack your escape tool and you don't have allies around. This can cost you your life. Kiting requires great positioning and good timing. Caitlyn can be a really strong kiter with her long range attacks and she can become even better if you learn how to cancel your animation. This will also help you chase more efficiently.
CLICK TO WATCH A DETAILED VIDEO ABOUT ANIMATION CANCELLING!
Do not forget to vote and leave some constructive criticism. If you have any question just ask in the discussion box or PM me.
Have fun playing Caitlyn!
-This is TROLLing1999 signing out...
Before the guide has (officially) end I would like to give a huge thanks to people who have contributed to this guide. These are
- jhoijhoi for her Guide on Making Guides
- -NA- Veng Lmfao for the amazing work with graphics. He made the banners, the line dividers and the advertising sig of the guide. Click here if you want him to make something for you as well.