Caitlyn Build Guide by Venoxyte
Not Updated For Current Season
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.
Hello my name is Venoxyte. I am writing this guide to help educate people on Caitlyn. I am currently unranked but I was Silver last season and am working my way up the ranks currently in Season 4.
Caitlyn is a long range ADC who excels at using her long range to bully enemies and to last hit and attack from a safe distance.
Pros / Cons
-Pros + Very Long Range (660)
+ Powerful Ultimate
+ Nice Escape Tool (90 Caliber Net)
+ Strong Passive
+ Safe Laner with her long range and Zoning ability with traps
Caitlyn's exceptional range and damage allows her to be a strong lane bully. Her 660 range is only outmatched by Tristana at high levels and Jinx when she is using Fishbones, the Rocket Launcher and Annie's AA range is equivalent to Caitlyn's. Her Q allows her to poke and push lanes easily. Her snaptraps allow her to zone and punish enemies for bad placement. Her E allows her to easily escape/catch up to enemies.
-Cons - Squishy like most ADC's
- 90 Caliber Net has a long CD at early ranks
- Fairly high mana costs on spells
- No innate Attack Speed Steroid like other AD's
Unlike other ADC's Caitlyn doesn't have an attack speed steroid but she sort of compensates by having such a long range. Her high mana costs on her spells limit her ability to spam her abailities. 90 Caliber Net has a long cooldown at early ranks.
AD marks are the most logical choice with this Lifesteal quint setup. You need the extra AD from these to help you last hit minions and give you increased damage on your harass. Alternatively you can use armor penetration runes here but if you choose to use them you'll have a very difficult time with last hitting.
Armor seals are fairly self explanatory, the metagame will have you always laning against another AD carry (or possibly AD bruisers) which makes armour runes required unless you want to take huge amounts of damage and die a lot. Never play without these as soon as you're summoner level 20.
Scaling MR glyphs are simply the best remaining choice, as there aren't a whole lot of glyphs that benefit an ADC. Scaling MR is generally better because most bot lanes don't have enough magic damage to cause you issues, but if you're certain your lane opponents will have very high magic damage you can take flat instead. If you feel like you're having mana issues, replacing some MR with flat mana regen can be a good option - but I don't recommend replacing more than 4.
Lifesteal quints are absolutely amazing and have been underestimated for a long while. With these combined with Doran's Blade your sustain is very high and lifesteal also scales into lategame better than any other quintessence. The alternative is using attack damage, which will give you a little more damage on your early harass and easier last hitting. Right now I prefer to use this mixture of 2 Lifesteal and 1 AD.
I take 21/9/0. As an ADC you need damage from the offense tree to deal damage throughout the game. 9 in defense gives you some extra durability to survive.
The most common summoner spells I use on Caitlyn are Flash and Barrier
Barrier is great for baiting people, surviving 1v1s, and to save your self from things like Requiem Trueshot Barrage Super Mega Death Rocket!.
Flash is probably the most useful summoner spell in game at the moment. It allows you to dodge skill shots, juke people, Re-position and so much more.
Cleanse can be picked up if the enemies have a lot of CC abilities to lock you down.
Most other summoner spells aren't that strong on Caitlyn. Some others to consider are Ignite and Heal.
Piltover Peacemaker: Caitlyn's Q is her main poking tool and wave pusher.I max this first.
Yordle Snap Trap: Caitlyn's W is used for zoning and with some supports can provide an even longer CC chain on enemies. I max this last.
90 Caliber Net: Caitlyn's E is used for escaping and catching up to enemies. It can also knock Caitlyn through walls. I will show which walls she can jump with 90 Caliber Net later in the guide. I max this second.
Ace in the Hole: Caitlyn's legendary ultimate. Her ult can be used to pick up kills your team cant get and also to finish off kills you and your support set up. I pick this up whenever I can at levels 6,11,and 16.
Caitlyn's core items are The Bloodthirster, Berserker's Greaves, Statikk Shiv, and Last Whisper.
Explanation of Items
The Bloodthirster is required on ADC's because it gives us raw damage and lifesteal. What more could an ADC want.
Berserker's Greaves gives Caitlyn Attack Speed and are the most common boot choice for ADCs.
Statikk Shiv?? Most people would think that I am crazy when I buy this over phantom dancer. They are wrong because Statikk Shivs passive is what makes it amazing. The passive allows you to splitpush faster and the 100-200 damage can be the difference between a kill and the enemy getting away.
Last Whisper Attack Damage and Armor Penetration what more does an ADC want. This allows you to shred those pesky armor stacking tanks and make them sorry they messed with the master sniper.
Infinity Edge Raw Damage and Crit are Caitlyn's favorite stats. It also make your crits do 250% damage instead of 200%.
Guardian Angel The most common pickup as an ADC as a defensive item. Nice armor and MR and a revive passive what more could an ADC need.
Banshee's Veil Grab this lovely item when the enemy team has things like Leona's Solar Flare Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab Thresh's Death Sentence etc. This item grant's a spell shield every 25 sec and gives Health and MR.
Mercurial Scimitar is a very nice item when the enemy has spells like Malzahar's Nether Grasp Zed's Death Mark Warwick's Infinite Duress etc. The active on the item removes all CC from you. It also grants a hefty amount of AD.
Sona is a very powerful support that brings a lot of utility and poke through her kit. Her ultimate Crescendo Can make for amazing engages and allows you to have very high kill potential at level 6.
Leona brings a lot of CC to your team. Her hard engage with Solar Flare --> Zenith Blade--> Shield of Daybreak can be devastating and will almost always yield a kill or force the opponent out of lane. Tip: Drop a Snap Trap under a Stunned target to extend the CC Chain.
Annie brings a very large amount of damage and a very nice form of engage with Pyromania Summon: Tibbers. With Annie as your support if they focus you she will destroy them and if they focus her you will destroy them. You both have a 660 AA range so your poke is immense.Tip: Try to aim a trap under stunned targets to prolong the CC chain.
Thresh brings some nice peel and all-in potential with his kit. Thresh can easily zone enemies wit the fear of being hit by Death Sentence. Thresh can easily engage fights at level 6 when he has The Box. Tip: if you can aim a snap trap under a Death Sentenceed target you can almost guarantee a kill.
Blitzcrank is a very deadly support with his Rocket Grab--> Power Fist combo. He can easily feed you if you get some nice pulls.Tip: try to put a trap under Blitzcrank when he pulls enemies to make them regret getting in his range.
Tarics kit is very strong and he also is very tanky. He passively give you bonus armor with Shatter and can also shred enemies armor with it. His ultimate will give you bonus AD and AP. Watch for his stun for when he will engage.
Janna can easily peel and set up kills with her kit. Her Monsoon can peel for you and it also heals you while you stand in it. Watch for her tornado to see when she will engage.
Nami provides very nice sustain and kill potential to the lane. Her Tidecaller's Blessing gives slowing attacks and her Aqua Prison can easily set up kills. Her ultimate can peel or engage fights easily.
Karma's kit brings a lot of poke and kill potential to lane. Karma's ult Mantra has many uses including being able to shield all allies in range with Inspire.
Zyra's kit allows her to catch enemies off guard and she does a decent amount of damage with her plants. Her ultimate Stranglethorns can easily set up kills.
Nunu's kit gives Caitlyn attack speed from Blood Boil and he has a very nice slow from Absolute Zero and Ice Blast.
Lulu can provide you with a nice shield and a very strong amount of poke with Glitterlance. Her ult Wild Growth gives you a very nice HP boost and slows enemies around you.
Other Viable Supports
Alistar is a very deadly support with his very high amount of CC and being able to deny CS with the risk of getting Headbutted and also his Triumphant Roar can heal minions and make enemies miss last hits. His ultimate provides him with A LOT of armor so he can take a lot of damage.
Maokai is very uncommon support but his kit allows him to do it very well. His Twisted Advance can snare targets to easily set up kills and his ultimate Vengeful Maelstrom can mitigate damage but also returns a nice amount of damage to enemies.
Fiddlesticks is uncommon but he can do some nice damage and provides a fear with Terrify and a slow with Dark Wind. If enemies stand in Drain it can easily destroy their health at early levels.
Swain is very uncommon but i have seen a lot of Swains lately and they do very well. His kit has a lot of damage and a very nice snare with Nevermove. His ultimate allows him to survive a beating but it will drain his mana fast.
Tips and Tricks
Caitlyn's 90 Caliber Net knocks her back. She can use it to jumps these walls while she has her back to them.
There are many ways to use her traps such as using them to zone people as shown here.
Traps also reveal units in brush for a split second.
Your main focus as Caitlyn early game is to get CS and stay safe.
Some benchmarks for CSing 80 CS by 10 min, 150 CS by 20 min, and 250+ by 30 mins. Caitlyn's long range allows her to harass enemies from far away without them being able to attack you.
By mid game you should have your The Bloodthirster, teir 2 boots, and be building your Statikk Shiv. Keep your CS up and focus on taking dragon winning fights and pushing towers. Make sure there are wards on dragon.
In the late game you should be finishing your Infinity Edge and starting your defensive item. Keep CSing and stay in the back if teamfights erupt. Seige towers control Baron Nashor and finish the game and make sure not to die.
Caitlyn excels in teamfights due to her long range and her ultimate. Try to aim Piltover Peacemaker to hit as many targets as possible. Keep a snap trap around you in case those pesky assassins try to dive on you. Hit whatever is in range of you but prioritize: Assassins, AP mid, enemy ADC, Supports, and then the Bruisers and Tanks.