Caitlyn Build Guide by Irish King
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.
This is my first guide and I figured I would make it about my favorite champion. This guide is my standard guide but I DO NOT recommend this for new Cait players. The key to this guide is to not die (duh) for you will lose your Bloodthirster stacks and that can be detrimental to your game. Note that this is a GUIDE, it does NOT mean u follow this to the very letter because you can't have a build that will work for every single game you play. Please go out and test this guide before thumbing down or even up, I would prefer my guide to be known that its ****py if that's the case than to have a bunch of upvoters say it's good without trying it. There is little fancy detail in here as I am a noob at BBC so deal.
Pros / Cons
Extreme damage mid/late game.
Good escape skills if you get the practice in.
Can push towers.
Really fast attack speed.
Ridiculous range that makes picking people off inside towers easy.
Dying ruins all of your stacks and can ruin your damage output.
Not much crowd control, makes team fights a little harder.
Shallow mana pool.
Now, I take clairvoyance to get the sight on a target if they get into the fog of war. Clairvoyance has a very low cooldown and can be both used offensively and defensively and any team should have at least one to spot baron, dragon, jungles, etc. I take flash but if you so desire you can take ghost instead, I prefer flash because you can combine it with your net to escape through a jungle really fast.
Like I said you can take ghost instead of flash but exhaust, ignite, and teleport are other possibilities. Heal and cleanse shouldn't be needed since you should be avoiding damage in the first place. Clarity is not a good choice since your blues and golds should keep your mana at healthy levels throughout the game. If you are having mana problems early game then you are spamming your skills too much. Late game rarely has a moment that you are low on mana. All other spells are either **** or they don't work well for Cait so don't pick them.
I take armor pen. reds and purples to get that extra edge on armor stackers and especially early game (everyone has some armor so any armor pen. is helpful). While later on the runes won't help you much if they're stacking like no tomorrow there is always the option of swapping certain items out but that will be explained in a later section.
For golds and blues I take mana regen. per level. Cait has a low mana pool and these help A LOT throughout the entire game. I've tried using other runes to up my damage output but after testing I can say with confidence that mana regen. is the best fit.
Now obviously you cannot use this exact build for every single fight you ever partake in unless all those fights are the same thing. Some of these items change according to the circumstances as any good LoL player knows. The featured build at the top is exceptional at nuking squishies down like it's no one's business while also providing some decent damage to tanks depending on what type of tank they are. The main items to switch out are bloodthrister and phantom dancer since you should have one of each no matter what.
The core of the build:
The items you want to ALWAYS get every game are as follows with explanation:
Doran's Blade (this is a basic starting item that you should only sell to make an extra space in your inventory)
Bloodthirster (this gives you high damage output when it's stacked up with kills and high life steal. be warned that dying loses all stacks and your damage output is way down especially if you have two of them. with full stacks this does MORE damage than an infinity edge AND it stacks, think about that.)
Phantom Dancer (this gives you everything you need, speed, crits galore, and attack speed. really helps chase people down and nuke them.)
Infinity Edge (this gives you stable damage output to help u stay on your feet in case you die. Plus, who doesn't love double damage crits?)
First are the Boots of Swiftness these are my preferred boots since they enable me to either hunt down targets or get the hell out of there if the need arises. However, the Mercury treads are a very good option if you face a team with heavy crowd control (which good team compositions should have) and heavy magic damage. If you don't have any crowd control issues and you are playing with people that are going to be easy to catch then the Bezerker Greaves are a good option to maximize your damage output. Last are the Boots Of Mobility, now I personally have never used these myself on Cait but they will make roaming a walk in the park. If someone would like to put these to the test and give me some feedback then I will update this but I have terrible luck roaming to I will not test it myself. Remember these are judgement calls based on yourself choose the right boots according to the match.
If your team composition is calling for an armor stacking tank buster then you have a few options as to which items you can swap. A good choice is to exchange a bloodthirster and phantom dancer for black cleaver and ghost blade. These will shave off some damage, life steal, and crit chance in exchange for some good armor penetration.
Obviously one of the items to pick is bloodrazor since it is the dominator of any health stacker. Malady is a possible option to give your bloodrazor a little extra oomph along with your traps that you should be spamming and your net (ive gotten plenty of kills with both of these skills, with a hair more AP you may cross that line of kill and close call)
High AP Team:
There are a couple of item options that will help you live but you will have to figure out what items to swap. First is Banshee's Veil, simply amazing against casters and gives you a nice health, mana, and magic resist boost. Quicksilver sash is a cheap item that gives u magic resist and its active is essentially Cleanse, however if your'e one of those people that cannot remember to ever use your active items (like me) then I do not recommend this particular choice.
High speed team (Teemo and Yi come to mind):
Obviously you are going to need to keep both Phantoms and the best option is to get a frozen mallet. I would highly recommend that you stick with boots of swiftness in the cases of these teams.
Being fed to ridiculous levels?:
This is too much fun, ditch a bloodthirster for a Sword of the Occult and when u hit that 20 stack mark you will zoom by people and then nuke them for EVERYTHING. However, this is obviously for one of those games that ends up with you getting fed to OP levels and bloodthirsters are already risky enough. Another bloodthirster replacement could be a Manamune but I haven't ever used one on Cait so I cannot give accurate information on its effectiveness.
This skill is a great harasser since it gives you essentially a standard crit. It also works well to last hit minions that are being swarmed by your minions and it can garuntee that you get the final blow. Since the stacks for this skill double when you are inside of a bush you can do a side lane with Cait (solo side lane is awesome but you will not always have one) but I recommend you stay in the mid lane to get that gold and experience you need.
This is a skill shot, that means that if you hit some with it, stealthed or unstealthed, they will be hurt. Now there is a slight delay in the time the shot goes off so you have to time it just right. The damage on the peacemaker is reduced by 10% for every target it hits down to 40%. This means that if you try to hit someone behind a wave of creeps it wont do much so try to maneuver around to get a better shot. I've also noticed it gets a little bit further than the actual range indicator so take that into consideration. An excellent tactic is to shoot from inside a bush or behind a wall in order to give your target minimal time to dodge. In the beginning this skill does not do much damage with one point in but its range makes picking people off inside tower easy.
Yordle Snap Traps:
Now before you say the Yordle Snap Trap is worthless let me educate you. In mid lane, if you spam these traps and your enemy keeps hitting them then your going to have a nice little dent in their health later on. Most people think the traps suck and are very wrong, if not for traps I would have missed out on many kills and be killed many times. Now when you engage in a team fight start to lay these down all around so anyone trying to run will hit them and your team can net a kill, remember as long as the team gets a kill it's fine it's not all about 1 person getting the kills. Now when you are pushing a tower solo (something that's risky) or with a small group, you may notice there are some narrow pathways from the jungle into the lane, perfect for trapping and running away when u spot them. These traps are also good for checking bushes since they give you brief sight inside of the bush. Yet another plus is they will trigger even if a stealth hero runs over it. Now if you are being chased, a good strategy is to place the traps in bushes ahead of you as long as you lead your enemy through them. The downsides of the traps are that they are visible and there is a delay before they are armed. If you practice though, you can time them just right to catch people chasing you or running away.
90 Caliber Net
This is AMAZING at running away but the long cooldown on this keeps it fro being a get out of certain death free card but it is close to that. This is a mostly defensive skill since it pushes you back from the direction you are shooting which makes it difficult to use the actual slow to chase. The push on the gun however makes it so you can jump certain walls and cliffs but before you test it in a dire situation I suggest you try to find the spots it actually works in, nothing is worse than expecting to get over that wall and then finding out you cannot. When you are being chased just point it at your chaser, shoot, and laugh away. For offence this only effectively works as a small blink or jumping walls to your target, experiment a little to get the feel.
Ace In The Hole
This will be your source of easy pick offs and serious lols. You have to maintain sight of your target for the first second or so in order to successfully shoot them, this is where clairvoyance comes in handy. If you got someone running way out of your sight (for example Shaco) then just place a clairvoyance in the general area and as long as you get the time needed to sight them you will be golden. This skill is TERRIBLE in team fights since someone can take the bullet if they get in the way. The only instance this should be used is if your target is not close to anyone that will survive the shot. Also remember that it only does about 250 damage at rank one so if you want to pick someone off make sure your shot will finish them. Also take into consideration any champions that have shield or armor abilities, these can ruin your shot and really piss you off.
Generally I try to auto attack my target down and save the peacemaker in case they begin to run so i will not have to waste my ultimate.
Cait has ridiculous farm when you have some damage to back up your peacemaker. When you have your full build you can one shot most minions with your crit train rolling. When you buy your bloodthirsters or lose their stacks you should grab some jungle (if you do not have a jungler) and creeps until your at full stacks before you dive back into action. If you do not break 200 creeps after a full length game then you really need to work on that, I personally get around 270 ish most games.
I do not enjoy ranked play since people either take the game way to seriously or they want to have all the glory and will hog all the creeps and kills or die trying. If someone would like to give these builds a thorough test in ranked for some feedback I will gladly add your input to this guide but make sure you can handle unranked before you try it.
Obviously your job is to decimate the champs that you are being built to dominate currently, there's no sense in attacking a target that you will not be effective at killing. After you shred your main targets then you should move on to killing those that remain. While the fight is going lay traps down and spam your Q. The traps work really well against melee champs and can help ensure a kill.
Champs To Watch Out For
These are champs that cause difficulty when playing as Caitlyn, I encounter them often when I am in the mid lane and they are the ones that make me annoyed.
I hate Anivia the most solely because of her egg, remember to never waster an ult on her if she still has her egg up and don't tower dive.
She can be an issue if you are not used to Caitlyn but be patient and harass with peacemaker to get the upper hand.
If you play another Caitlyn there's a pretty simple solution to dealing with her, buy a second Doran's Blade. This will give you extra edge on her early game and can easily put u above her if she doesn't buy one as well.
Her snare, slow, and passive can really ruin your day but if you just watch her movements then you can avoid these.
Any snare hero
Remember that Caitlyn has a high range so if you are snared in 1v1 then make sure you don't panic. Sometimes attacking back with lifesteal will actually be your salvation then simply trying to run.
If there are any stealthers on the other team then put traps in the bushes, this can save your life but its not a guarantee so be careful.
I will update this list if I come across anyone that makes life difficult in lane.
Cait is an amazing character if you treat her right and if you follow this guide and practice then you should have no problems. After I a sufficient amount of screens for scores then I will post them here. Good luck and please, test it out thoroughly before you vote either up or down.