Caitlyn Build Guide by GGnoRemaC
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This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
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First of all, thank you for choosing to read my guide! My name is Cameron, and in-game I am known as GGnoRemaC; notice the cleverness? Do you? Well? (;
This will be the intro to all my guides, so if you are familiar with what is coming, feel free to move along!
To start things off, I am going to let you know that this guide is aimed to aid newer players. I am not a pro, but neither are you! In these guides I will be laying out for you the basic steps to learn a character the same way I did! Now, by playing these champions in these ways, I find great success in my games, and hopefully the same will happen for you!
I plan to focus less on runes and masteries and more on basic learning of a characters playstyle as well as a very solid build to begin with. Not only will I explain WHAT to do, but I will explain WHY in order to provide a fuller understanding of each champion.
My History With Caitlyn
Caitlyn is by far my favorite champion in the game. Not only was she the first champion I learned how to play competitively, but she was the first champion I carried a game with ^^.
I started out by playing with a couple of my 30 friends, back when I was a wee little 5. Not only did I hold my own, but playing as Caitlyn I would rack up scores of 10-2-5, 15-5-7, etc. Now keep in mind at this point I have no runes, very little masteries, and no Flash... Playing against people with full rune books, mastery pages, and jerks who would keep Flashing at me )':
Now that I'm a higher level with all those nice extras, my Caitlyn is sick. Not only do I compliment a good team by getting kills and dominating lanes, but I carry bad teams to victory by going 22-2-4 while all my teammates go negative.
Moral of the story is, anyone can learn and dominate with Caitlyn. She is not a complicated, nor excessively difficult champion, but she is definitely badass.
Oh and Arctic Warfare Caitlyn? GG.
Pros / Cons
Amazing attack range (650)
Very strong mid-lane
Incredible late game auto attack
Ease to learn
Great at killing weakened enemies from insane distances
Can carry an entire team when not countered properly
Minimal Crowd Control (stun, slow, disable, etc.)
Not the best escape mechanisms
Ace in the Hole can be blocked easily, not so useful in clustered teamfights
Mana issues early
Hardcountered by Thornmail
Since this will be your first selection with Caitlyn in-game, this is where we shall begin our build.
Assuming you are at least level 12, this is a must-have. A friend of mine once said "the only counter to Flash is Flash."
In my opinion, tele is a must have for any carry-type hero that plans on going mid. I even use it when laning top or bottom. The time it saves is invaluable. For example, if you are being harassed very hard in mid and didn't buy any health potions, you can easily recall back to base, heal up, buy some safety potions, and be back all within 20 seconds. Also, if you have just recently slain your opponent, you can go back to base, buy some cool items, and teleport back to you lane and keep that farming/level advantage up. Not to mention that in the late game, you can easily hop into a teamfight after a death or recall, or even backdoor some towers. Teleport is simply an amazing spell.
If you don't have Flash or you don't like Teleport, this would be your next-best option. You do need some way to escape, right?
Again, if you don't have Flash and don't like Ghost, this is always nice when getting hardcore CC'ed by the entire enemy team.
Clairvoyance is never a terrible spell, because it can save you from ganks or even lead to some ganks of your own. Every really strong team should have once person with Clairvoyance, preferably a support champion. However, with Caitlyn, a good Clairvoyance cast on an escaping enemy can mean the difference between landing an Ace in the Hole and letting someone get away.
Not bad when chasing enemies, but considering your range you shouldn't be the one on the team getting in close for the cast.
Again not a bad spell if you want to be that annoying Caitlyn that nobody can escape, but once again you shouldn't be that close to the enemy anyway.
Not the worst early game if you really like to spam that Piltover Peacemaker, but you should be managing your mana. Not worth sacrificing any other spells over.
You are a carry, don't get in the habit of relying on heal to stay alive.
There is a reason you never see Rally, it stinks. The only time I can think of that 10-35 additional AD being useful is in a level 1 team-fight. But how often will that happen?
OK I guess if you plan on tricking opponents into tower diving, but people generally wont fall for it and fortify really loses its usefulness towards the late-game. Not worth replacing another spell.
Are you jungling? No. Then don't pick smite.
Why are you planning on dying?
Laning Phase Talk (Early Game)
Let's now talk about how you should be playing your laning phase.
In unranked games, I tend to take mid for the sole purpose of carrying. It, however, is not always the best option based on your team composition. Caitlyn's real potential comes with a very good supportive laning partner such as Alistar or Sona. In any lane, however, your goals are very similar...
As a general preface, you want to be last hitting like a boss. With Cait, it shouldn't be too hard since your range is insane. Starting with your Doran's Blade, you should be able to farm up as well as harass a bit, while having ample sustain to keep you healthy. Your primary goal here is to destroy the tower and out-farm your opponent.
Don't spam your Piltover Peacemaker every chance you get; use it strategically. For example, land one on some weakened ranged minions and get a good triple CS. I find it's main use early-game to be harass, however. When an enemy champion gets close, hit 'dat Q and make them hurt. If you can manage to hit them first (before any minions) it will hit very very hard. Anyways, landing a Q isn't always ezpz, since it is a skillshot. Make sure to lead your shots in the direction your opponent will be most likely going.
Aside from last hitting and harassing with your Q, you want to be actively placing Yordle Snap Trap once you hit level 3. If you are pushed back, you can lay them out in the choke point to your tower. If you are pushed forward, the bushes on either side of you are always a good place, but if you are 100% sure of where all enemies are at all times you can throw them in your opponent's face to constrict his movement.
Your 90 Caliber Net has some very situational use.
1. You are getting ganked and need to escape. Launch yourself away from your enemy, and if possible slow them too. Keep in mind that you can hop up small walls such as thin lines of trees and the cliff to the river. You can also hop down any wall.
2. You have gotten your enemy to about half health, are very far away, and are feeling brave. You can turn your back to your enemy and launch yourself "back" into them to get into Piltover Peacemaker range, hit 'dat Q, and then auto-attack till they are dead.
3. You are very close to or behind your opponent. Hit them with the net first, then your Q, then kill.
Use your Headshot to harass! When possible, always hit the opponent with your headshot rather than a minion, and in no-time they will be at very low health.
If possible, stay in your lane until you have enough gold for Beserkers Greaves. If you have to go back before that, however, it isn't a big deal since you should have Teleport. When I play mid I try to never recall unless I have Teleport ready for use.
-Planned for post-published editing-
Bottom Lane/Duo Lane
This is the situation you will most often find yourelf in, since you should be letting an AP carry take mid (they are more dependent on leveling up than you). Pretty much everything from above applies. The only main differences are that you will have a laning partner* to babysit you, and you can also use the bushes to get your Headshot up twice as fast. While there are less places to be ganked from, there are less places to escape to.
*You should be laning with your team's tank or support (someone who doesn't need CS). Make sure to let your partner know that they need to let you get all the last hits so you can farm up and get that build rolling. A fed Caitlyn is a bit more scary than a fed Soraka wouldn't you agree? If your partner is a support, their job is to keep you alive. If your partner is a tank, their job is to babysit you and/or assist you in killing opponents.
Almost exactly the same as Solo Mid, except now you are a bit safer.
If you happen to be going against two opponents*, however, then you just need to be very careful of any disables (stun, snare, etc.). You are very squishy and can drop in a second. Just harass the squishier opponent when you can and last hit. In this situation, it is more than okay to be a little more aggressive as far as minion attacking goes. Not only will you have your Headshot available more often, but you will be able to keep up with the lane-pushing of your two opponents.
*Having two laning opponents when you are solo top means they don't have a jungler, which means your jungler should be very very happy.
Roaming/Post-Laning (Mid Game)
The big question is, when do you leave lane? Here I will explain all the situations in which you will have to leave your lane.
1. You are at a dangerously low HP level. This one is pretty simple, and can occur at any time. Simply recall back to base, buy what you can, and Teleport back to lane if possible.
2. You have recently killed your opponent. If this gives you enough gold to buy something nice, and you have Teleport up, recall. Tele back stronger than before, rinse, repeat. If the kill left you at very low health, go back regardless of the aforementioned; there's a high chance some pissed off teammate is going to come finish you.
3. You have so much gold you can't fit any more in your pockets. Chances are that if you have this much gold, you have Teleport up. Just go back and buy your best items, come back.
4. You have just killed the tower. At this point, you have won your lane, and are free to roam around, helping and ganking where needed. Keep an eye on your lane however, your opponent may keep trying to push it and get the tower back; don't let that happen.
5. You hit level 6. This means you have your wonderful Ace in the Hole. If you aren't busy using it on your own lane, and any lane has a low-HP opponent, feel free to deal the finishing blow(s) or initiate for an easy assist. Let your teammates know your ulti is up and if you are ready to roam. If you haven't killed your opponent's tower by now (don't worry if you haven't, you shouldn't have), then try to keep the pressure on unless your team really needs you. Your primary goal as mid-lane is to destroy the other mid tower and prevent the other mid-champion from farming ahead of you.
Always make sure to let your team's jungler know when you are leaving to go back so that they can cover for you while you are gone.
How to Roam:
If you don't have a jungler, things are really simple. Stay in lanes that need pushing, and if all is well then you can either push hard (3 people) one lane or take your jungle. Typically, Caitlyn can solo a buff if you've build up to a B.F. Sword and Vampiric Scpeter. You want Red buff, it is incredible on Caitlyn. Help an AP based teammate acquire Blue buff. See a low-HP opponent? Kill. Make sure to maintain your mid-lane, as it is your responsibility to keep that tower alive. Keep on farming!
If you do have a jungler, you are going to be bouncing around a lot. Hopefully they help you grab Red buff, and with that you can either choose to run around ganking or hard push a lane. Keep your farm up, last-hitting your own lane as you maintain it.
Continue with your build, make sure you don't get caught by multiple opponents, and keep on owning!
Frequent Teamfights/Hard Lane Pushing (Late Game)
Okay, so it's past all the laning and careful tower pushing/roaming. Now it's that time where your whole team stays together as a group and pushes a lane that needs some pushing. Let's go through the three different states your champion could be in right now:
"Feeding," Underfarmed, performing poorly, etc.
Your goal at this point is to stop dying. It is bad enough that you aren't your team's staple for killing opponents, but if you are feeding the opponent you are a huge detriment to your allies. Try to get back in the game by farming as much as possible and picking up kills when you can, but BE CAREFUL. Make sure to never be aggressive unless you have a clear advantage. Be placing your Yordle Snap Traps in very defensive locations such as bushes to the side or behind you. Try your best to get back in the mix without getting yourself even further out.
"Standard," decently farmed, decent kill/death count
This is the most typical spot to be in a very close game. You may have a couple of deaths, but you will have a nice handful of kills. Your goal here is to continue with your progress. Don't overextend; just because you are 6/2/3 doesn't mean you are owning, it just means you are playing a proper carry. Make sure to stay behind your tanks and off-tanks, and use your Yordle Snap Traps wisely. If your team is using wards well, place them aggressively, restricting opponents' movements. If not, placing them defensively is never a poor choice.
"Fed," heavy farm, LOLOLOWNING
Okay so you clearly know what you're doing, or you are playing against some pretty bad people. Regardless, you should have the luxury of being as aggressive as possible without ruining your kill streak. Throw 'dem traps in your opponents' faces, taunt with your Piltover Peacemaker, be annoying with your Headshot. Keep it up, but don't be stupid and ruin it.
What to do in a teamfight:
1. If possible, before everyone engages, throw your Yordle Snap Traps all around where the teamfight is bound to occur. They can save your life or get you a pentakill.
2. Be in the back, preferably close to a thin wall or cliff that you can 90 Caliber Net through. If caught in front, you will be dropped instantly. It is your tanks' jobs to keep you alive to deal the DPS.
3. First thing you want to do after your team/the opposing team engages is land a Piltover Peacemaker on as many enemies as possible. This skill hurts like a ***** and is one hell of a way to start your DPS.
4. You are Caitlyn, commence with auto-attack. Your order of importance for focus goes as follows: Squishy/High DPS, Squishy Support/Disablers, Off-Tank, Tank. Pay attention, if someone has Thornmail, STOP HITTING THEM. You will kill yourself.
5. Is someone escaping with low HP? If you have time, get at an angle where blocking the shot would be nearly impossible and line 'em up. If not, lock and pray. You just got yourself a nice kill.
If the enemies all try to focus you, which happens often, just get out. You shouldn't be the ONLY DPS on your team, so the time they waste chasing you is the time your teammates need to kill them. A good 90 Caliber Net and Flash rarely fails if positioned correctly before a fight.
To "backdoor" a tower means to quickly push a lane and destroy the enemies' tower while they are all preoccupied. This is often used as a come-from-behind strategy. If you do decide to pull this, be sure that you have ample time to get the tower and get away. As I'm sure you know, Caitlyn is incredibly easy to take down if you can reach her, so solo pushing a lane is very dangerous. If your team needs it however, Cait can push a lane with her Piltover Peacemaker and simple auto attacks very very rapidly.