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Caitlyn Build Guide by Cross-Hair

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Cross-Hair

Caitlyn - A Quick Build Cheat-Sheet

Cross-Hair Last updated on January 14, 2012
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Main DPS

[VS]

Support DPS

Ability Sequence

2
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
1
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
4
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 9


Guide Top

Introduction

I've noticed many builds incorrectly portraying how Caitlyn should be played. I'm going to try to keep this short and sweet while trying to cover some of the key aspects of playing Caitlyn properly. If you are looking for the absolute basics of Caitlyn, this may not be the best guide for you. The spotlight is a good starting point for that.

This guide covers two main ways of playing Caitlyn - Main DPS and Support DPS. Please click between the two builds above to see the main differences (Team 1 and Team 2 respectively). I'll cover some general info on Caitlyn, some build justifications, and some advanced skill usage with her.


Guide Top

General Skill Info

Headshot
Reduces required number of attacks.
Use and abuse this during laning to punish and zone opponents; bushes are key for this. Mid-late game this is icing on the cake and should not be relied on heavily. A crit with this triggered deals 310% damage to a hero with this build. Scales with Attack Damage, Attack Speed, and Armor Pen.



Piltover Peacemaker
Increases damage and mana cost; decreases cooldown.
Basic nuke, abuse its range and AoE ability to farm, nuke, and soften enemies prior to teamfights. Scales with Attack Damage and Armor Pen.


Yordle Snap Trap
Increases damage; decreases cooldown.
Utility traps. Use offensively and defensively. Mastering placing traps separates good and great Caitlyn players. Use in bushes, around corners, along pathways, and to chain stuns (more later). There is no excuse to not having all of your traps down at all times. Make sure these are placed as you move throughout the map. Scatter these prior to team-fights and place them behind you for escapes. Use them to check bushes prior to entering. Taken as a priority over net to reduce cooldowns. Scales with Ability Power.


90 Caliber Net
Increases damage and slow duration; decreases cooldown.
Use this as an escape-only skill. Net + Traps + Flash + Exhaust/Ghost should be enough to get you out of most situations. If you die, you were out of place... Additional points for CDR are not recommended. Scales with Ability Power.


Ace in the Hole
Increases damage and range; decreases cooldown.
Major burst damage. Use to soften up lanes and pick off runners. Do not try to specifically kill-steal with this (more often than not you will anyway). Can be used to apply Lizard Buff and Frozen Mallet to slow for allies. Scales with Attack Damage and Armor Pen.


Note, to maximize Caitlyn's damage potential, there needs to be a strong focus on Attack Damage and Armor Pen with Mana Regen to support spammage. Not AP. Not Attack Speed. Not Critical. She is not a stand-and-shoot champ, but rather a run-and-gun. Mana regen is critical. Most Caitlyns fail since they are not able to spam Piltover Peacemakers and Yordle Snap Traps while having mana for 90 Caliber Net and Ace in the Hole. This. Is. Critical!


Guide Top

Skill Chaining

Caitlyn's inherent DPS is sub-par to other ranged carries such as Ashe. What sets her apart is her skills and their utility. All of Caitlyn's skills have a built-in delay that makes them difficult to use, but they can be chained together to form nice combos. By using these combos you can remove the wind-down lag of the first ability and wind-up delay of the second.

Note that Ace in the Hole cannot be truly chained, but is the natural end to any of these combos. Skill combos are listed in order of most-common use:

Yordle Snap Trap -> Piltover Peacemaker
Common sense. Note a true combo, but the actived snare from the Yordle Snap Trap makes for an easy setup of Piltover Peacemaker.

90 Caliber Net -> Piltover Peacemaker
Standard Chase/Escape + Nuke Combo. Use this to clear space from a chaser or close in on a runner. The slow or smaller gap should allow for an easier shot. Combine this with a charged Headshot for an extra punch.

Piltover Peacemaker -> 90 Caliber Net
Another multi-purpose combo that can be used to nuke and chase (netting away) or double-nuke (netting towards). Note that using 90 Caliber Net towards the target should not be used except for poking, slowing for allies, or setting up for Ace in the Hole. You will not recover ground from the knock-back. See videos for examples:

(Special Thanks to MissNinjaGirl)
(Special Thanks to MissNinjaGirl)

Yordle Snap Trap -> 90 Caliber Net
There's almost no delay between the two casts. Place trap immediately in front of champ. A chasing/fleeing champ will be slowed by the net long enough for the trap to spring (the 50% slow is short, but potent). Follow this up with a Piltover Peacemaker for easy nuking.

Stun -> Yordle Snap Trap
Place Yordle Snap Trap immediately after an allies stun/snare. The original stun duration should keep them in place long enough for Yordle Snap Trap to activate. Adjust timing for longer initiating stuns.

Yordle Snap Trap -> Yordle Snap Trap
A bit more luck oriented, but if an enemy hits one of your Yordle Snap Traps and the skill is off cooldown, drop another under them immediately for a double-stun. I have an OCD habit of dropping traps like crazy so this is a bit difficult, but this can be a great way to get a First Blood. Yordle Snap Trap -> Stun -> Yordle Snap Trap is a great possible combo, but make sure the stars align before attempting to pull it off.

As previously mentioned, Ace in the Hole is the natural finisher to these combos...


Guide Top

Main DPS Build

This build is heavily focused on main damage through Piltover Peacemaker, support damage through auto-attacking, finishing through Ace in the Hole, supporting with Yordle Snap Traps, and escape with 90 Caliber Net. Mana Regen is key to be able to accomplish these; without it, you will quickly be reduced to auto-attacks, which is better suited for other champs. Make sure you click "Team 1: Main DPS" build at the top to see the proper build....

Pros / Cons

spaaaaaaaaaaaaaace
Pros


+ High DPS Output
+ Long Range Damage
+ Spammable Skills
+ Great Farmer
space
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Cons


- Very squishy
- Requires Careful Positioning
- High Priority Target


Masteries

Masteries
1/5
3/5
4/1
1/5
4/1
1/1
1/5
2/1
3/1
1/
1/5
3/1
1/1
3/5
1/1


There's not a lot to explain here, so I'll just touch on the key points. Demolitionist is taken over the extra point in Vampirism since your long range can shred towers, even if defended. This can get your whole team early gold, open up the lane to friendly ganks, prevent tower-huggers, and open you up to gank another lane. Last hitting and harassing is still top priority though...

Utility masteries are taken for Meditation and Runic Affinity . Mana is needed to upkeep spammage and Caitlyn makes great use of both Lizard and Golem buff.

Defensive masteries are ignored for this build since Caitlyn relies heavily on proper positioning and a tiny bit of health or resists is not going to keep you alive if caught out of position.


Runes


Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Quintessence of Lethality
3

Armor Penetration and Mana Regen... Pretty self-explanatory. Substitute as necessary.

Summoner Spells


Flash: A must. Can juke skill-shots and clear walls that 90 Caliber Net can't.
space
Exhaust: Used to slow chasing/fleeing enemies and reduce damage from gankers. Can be substituted for Ghost.

Items


  • : Starting Item. If all goes as planned, this should be enough to keep you in lane until B.F. Sword...
  • : The goal is to rush this ASAP. If you're forced to go back to base before you can get this, jump directly to getting The Brutalizer and Boots of Speed. Do not keep stacking Doran's Blades as you'll run out of room and need to sell them.
  • : Core Damage Item. This item is mainly gotten for the raw damage for Piltover Peacemaker and Ace in the Hole. The critical chance is icing on the cake.
  • Berserker Greaves: The rest of the build has no attack speed, so these boots add an effective 25% DPS to your autoattacks. Addition attack speed loses its luster; stay away. Substitute other boots as necessary.
  • : Needed for sheer attack damage. Infinity Edge plus The Bloodthister allows for easy farming to build it up. This will make you a high priority target if you aren't already, so be extra careful with positioning.
  • : Most games should be done by now. Caitlyn falls short at this point since she can't consistently DPS, but this helps punch through with Piltover Peacemaker and Ace in the Hole.


Guide Top

Support DPS Build

This build is heavily focused on being a tanky support DPS. Caitlyn can provide decent DPS while being tanky and providing a consistent slow with Frozen Mallet. Using 90 Caliber Net + Frozen Mallet guarantees Yordle Snap Trap activation (see combos). This build should only be used if a primary AD carry is present, and tank support is needed. Make sure you click "Team 2: Support DPS" build at the top to see the proper build....

(Note that this is a great build for Dominion!)

Pros / Cons

spaaaaaaaaaaaaaace
Pros


+ Very Tanky
+ Long Range Slows
+ Amazing Kiting
+ Good Support

space
space
Cons


- Subpar DPS output
- Cannot spam skills
- "WTF? Tanky Caitlyn?"


Masteries



Similar to Main DPS Build. Armor/Resists/Health are taken over mana regen for added tankiness. Complements the extra HP of Frozen Mallet.


Runes



Armor Pen for Damage. Armor and Magic Resistance for added tankiness. Movement speed to kite better with Frozen Mallet; Greater Quintessence of Healths are acceptable as well.



Summoner Spells


Flash: A must. Can juke skill-shots and clear walls that 90 Caliber Net can't.
space
Ghost: Useful to chase/escape and kite like a madman.

Items


  • : Starting Item. If all goes as planned, this should be enough to keep you in lane until B.F. Sword...
  • : The goal is to rush this ASAP. If you're forced to go back to base before you can get this, jump directly to getting The Brutalizer and Boots of Speed. Do not keep stacking Doran's Blades as you'll run out of room and need to sell them.
  • : Core Damage Item. This item is mainly gotten for the raw damage for Piltover Peacemaker and Ace in the Hole. The critical chance is icing on the cake.
  • : The magic resist helps with tankiness. The Tenacity is fantastic and will allow you to continue to kite-chase through slows and stuns.
  • : Damage, life, and the much needed slow. This will greatly complement your armor and resists and your range + slow will make enemies rage.
  • : Used for the armor and the %life to damage. With the full build, this item will give 60 damage. Get Banshee's Veil first if MR is a priority.
  • : Great synergy for a tanky build. Get this before Atma's Impaler if MR is a priority.


Guide Top

Conclusion

I presented two builds that are very effective for Cailtyn. The most important thing to take away... use your brain!. Be somewhat fluid and adaptable and don't pick a build from the start and 100% blindly follow it!

Just because I don't suggest a hybrid build between the two, doesn't mean you can't use it!

Good luck!