Caitlyn Build Guide by ADCGuides
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.
Threats to Caitlyn with this build
|Ezreal||Ezreal has 550 range but his Q is about 1k range I think. So, dodging is Q is the main objective in this lane. Thats it, auto,move to the side, and thats how you win. He does have burst at level 6 though, so dont get chunked.|
|Graves||He has very weak range. However, he does have a burst skill. When you see him E up, just use your E,Q combo and come out on top. If you allow him to Q auto you, you will lose. Graves is a duelist and Cait must poke. Dont allow him to get deep in range.|
|Kog'Maw||He has weak early laning but dont let him bully you with his range buff. Push tower on him and pressure Kog. You should be poking him as he farm under turrent. Dont get killed by jungler though since Kog is a lategame champ, you dont want him to have an early lead.|
|Quinn||She has 525 range. If she tries to hop on you just walk back and hit her the moment she turns. If she blinds you, dont fight her because she is considered a duelist. Laning should be easy but dueling her is pretty tough. Most Quinns will be aggressive.|
|Urgot||Havent fought one recently. He does have low range so abuse him at level 1. Dont get bombed and get spammed Q. Just poke him down and dodge that bomb.|
|Vayne||She is a very easy early laning champion to fight against. However, a good Vayne will beat a decent Caitlyn. Vayne is a duelist and if the support locks you down, you will lose that fight/lane. At 6 you have to be careful. Her kill potential increase when she hit 6. You must zone her heavily before 6 or just wreck her and end the game early. In solo q, most people dont group and dont know how to fight against a vayne. Just wreck her early and take the game.|
General info on Caitlyn
Caitlyn is an attack damage carry. She heavily relies on positioning and auto attacks. With her 650 range, she can be a bully throughout the laning phase. However, once you have lost lane, it can be difficult to come back into the game as a threat. She needs items to be sufficient. Farming is a must when playing Caitlyn. In team fights, you must try to stay alive as long as possible. Dont try to focus the opponent carries if you are going to die. Doing consistent damage is better than going all out and die. Remember the basics while in teamfights. First is the positioning. This is very important for most ad's. The second most important thing is focusing. You must focus the closest person you can hit. Even if it is a tank, at least you can do damage to them. The next important task is prioritize your target. Even if your closest target is the tank, but you see another champion next to them, hit that target instead. Remember that Randuin's Omen counters Caitlyn. So if the tank has Randuins and Jungler has Randuins....well GL. But lets say their tank is Lee Sin and you see a Rumble next to them, try to aim for Rumble assuming Lee Sin has Randuin and Remember the important role,
Pros and Cons
- Easy laning phase
- Able to pressure opponent
- Has a built in escaping tool
- Strong kiting ability
- Longest range (natural that is)
- Strong poking potential
- Scales well throughout the game
- Able to take towers and inhibitors down from a distance
- Weak against lock-down
- Cannot duel
- Hard to comeback from losing lane
- Dependent on items
- Relies on positioning
A good Caitlyn can get off to a great start. Remember that she does not fall at any moment of the game. Throughout the game, she is an average ad. This makes her a safe pick when choosing ad first. Farming is essential when playing Caitlyn. Keep in mind that she needs items and positioning. Practice the laning phase because the result of the laning will help you when you need to preform in a fight.
During the Early Game:
When arriving to lane, you should focus on farming and poking. As Caitlyn, she has the ability to pressure most ad and supports. You also have many zoning potential. However, do not do this if your opponent is a lock-down support. Just pressure and zone is all you need. With the highest natural range during the lane, you should be a bully to your opponents. At the beginning of laning phase, focus your attention on farming. An auto attack for a loss of creep is usually not worth it unless you can chunk the opposing ad. So, focus farming early. The time to poke is when the other creeps are healthy and you see your opponent walking up to cs. This is the time to position yourself for an auto attack. Remember not to take minion aggro though. Minions play a huge role during the laning phase. They can decide the outcome of a battle.
Farming plays a huge role for an ad carry. They have to have some type of income. Look at the minions as money that is walking towards you. Why not take the free money? Killing a champion is worth gold but can you do it while surviving, or can you kill them before they kill you? Learning these basic mechanics for income is how you can start your champion strength. Caitlyn is a very early game champion. Take the time to invest in the most profitable situation to have a lead on you and your team.
Poking is very essential as an ad. The one who comes out on top in trading usually bullies the lane. If you are 50% and your opponent ad is 70%, you most likely will not win in a fight. This goes for most match-up. The only way to win is to outplay your opponent ad and support. So in order to win in this situation, you must outplay 2 champions. Your support must have a huge role in this outplay, too. Do not take a cs for a chunk of your health, it isn't worth it especially as Caitlyn. Usually, you shouldn't easily get chunk because of the range, but you can somehow get combo'd by opponent and just get burst. Becareful on when you are going to poke and farm. Its your choice but make the wiser decision.
Lane control is very important as an ad. When you are winning your lane, you don't have to charge for more kills. Just get the minions that give you 100% gold. If you try to kill your opponent and end up dying, you just threw a lead. Don't dive or try focusing on kills, the minion gives you gold and exp. If you die, you zone yourself from this. Freezing lane means to just stop the minions from approaching a specific area. Once you won a lane, let their wave push yours and freeze it before it hits tower. Then, wait for your minions to come and take aggro. After the minions have arrived, just last hit. Do not push the wave at all (auto a minion 3-4x to kill it) <- this will slowly push the wave. Have the minion stack up near your turrent. The opponent wouldn't dive you because your stronger. If they come to cs, punish them but don't commit because freezing a lane means minions does alot of damage. Freezing lane also helps when you lose your lane. The opponent would probably push to tower so let them. Jungle threat should be in their mind so they wouldnt do anything crazy unless you let them. Freeze when you have control of lane or losing lane. Its the best way to get gold.
Farming under turrent is another essential aspect to becoming a great ad carry. Some champions would just push you to your tower. At the beginning of the laning phase, it would be somewhat difficult to farm under tower. But once you have acquired some more ad, it should be simple. Assuming the minions are full health, let the tower hit the melee 2x then auto and range minion 1x then auto. Judge the tower damage and weaken the minion to be able to last hit. You must be able to calculate the turrent damage to the minions to effectively farm under tower.
If you are winning lane really hard, my advice is not to take tower. Just let the minions get killed by the tower. That's more gold for the turrent and not their ad. This helps zone your opponent ad by alot. It also applies pressure and will attract the jungler. Be prepared to fight a 3v2 unless your jungler is smart and comes for a counter gank. Whenever you feel like your other lanes need money, just break tower for the global gold. After taking tower, either force other objective or pressure another lane. If the opponent ad is farming bot and you go mid with your support, it would be a 3v2 (assuming the support is with mid). Then their jungler will be forced to assist in protecting tower which leaves the top laner in a 2v1 (assuming your jungler is with your top). This will apply pressure in 2 lanes and more global gold. Also, when you are losing bot and outplayed your opponent and doubled them, just take the tower for extra gold. Its up to your judgement on when you should take tower.
In the early game, dragon plays an important role. Do not force a dragon if you just killed the opponent ad. The jungler, mid, and support can make an outplay on you and take the dragon instead. Remember, dragon damage can be op in the early levels. Advice for taking dragon would be if the jungler is top and your mid and bot is pressuring. That would be a good time to do it. Also, if your jungler ganks bot and get a double, take dragon with mid laner. This will help snowball your lane. Note take the dragon timer (+6min after every death). Dragon is an early game throw so don't lose lane because of it.
During the Mid Game:
If you have the lead in the game, pressure plays a huge role. Remember, during the mid game, you should have at least completed Infinity Edge or Bloodthirster. If you are going the BT route, pressure other lanes. BT allows you to push and do alot of damage to tower. Since you cannot crit turrents, the BT helps you break faster if that is your choice. If you are going the IE route, remember to farm up to get your dps item (Phantom Dancer). Once you have obtain IE and PD, you can start forcing fights. This is only when you are ahead in the game. With IE and PD you have the strongest dps than any other champion. But, this is when the first teamfight decide who is truly in the lead.
Global objectives are basically things that can give you gold for the entire team. For example, towers, dragons, and barons are global objective. Tower allows you to pressure certain areas of the map. Destroying a tower gives 150g per player. Killing Baron gives you 300g per player and a buff that gives you good ap/ad with buffs to minions. You siege much easier as Caitlyn with a Baron buff. These objectives can help win a game.
You have many options when you are pressuring the map. Usually, dragon would be your center of attention. Be sure to break bottom and middle tower to have an easier time doing dragon. With those 2 towers gone, you can have vision on your opponent position. Push your bot lane and mid lane then pink dragon. Ward around the dragon area (usually the entrances to the river). You can either do the dragon or bait the dragon. Most players will give up a dragon because the cost of losing the fight will make the game worst for them. Continue pressure to take down towers. When a tower is destroyed, certain parts of the map can be taken for yourself. You can ward deeper in their jungle because of no threat of being punished. Remember not to ward too deep where your team cannot save your life.
Dragon is a mid game spotlight. Many solo queue players take dragon at 10-15minutes in the game. However, most experience players know when you take dragon at like 5-7minutes. It take cooperation with each other. During the mid game, you should start pressuring dragon when its up. You can play it in many ways. First, you can push down mid and force a fight. If they do not engage you just keep pushing. The moment they engage, take a step back out of tower range and fight. During the mid game, an uncoordinated fight under tower can lead to a comeback for the other team. Once you have killed 1-2 players and came out on top, take down another tower and rush dragon. The other option is to ward the enemy jungle and dance around dragon. If you are ahead, this dance probably wouldn't cause much damage to you. If your lanes are pushing, someone will get greedy and farm it up. Its just a matter of time for you to just start the dragon. Remember, dragon is a throw pit for the early to mid game. Dont cost your team the game for doing it.
Warding can win your team the game. It is like a flashlight for your team. Since the map is naturally black, just add some flashlight and you can win a game. The ward could spot enemy at entrances to your or their jungle. It also allows you to position yourself for an enemy attack or coordinate your own with the team. Wards also pressure the map. Using pink wards, you blind the opponent from your location within the area of your ward. Base on how the game flows, you have specific location of wards. I like to call these type of warding, Aggressive (Aggro) or Defensive (Def) warding. When you are aggro warding, it means warding in your opponent jungle. This could be entrances or exit to their jungle. It allows you to spot where your opponent jungler or opponent team are headed. Their position can help you make the choice to play a certain way. Def warding is warding your own jungle. You usually do this when the game is against you. It allows you to see your opponent location as they are entering or exiting your jungle. Since they are winning, they are more likely to invade. Spotting them can help your team catch someone out of position and collect gold to make a comeback. Wards -> Win Games. I have seen this with my own eyes.
Team fighting is the most important aspect of League of Legends. The laning phase < teamfights. If you win the laning phase but lose team fights, guess what, you will lose the game. The laning phase only decides how your team fighting will be. If you are in the lead, your team fights will be towards your side. However, if you are losing laning, teamfighting will be harder for you. Just because you won the laning phase doesn't mean you won the game. Your opponent can just outplay you in team fights and you lost the game. Don't ever get cocky when you play LoL. You can get all egoistic when you win but not while the game still plays. You could get smashed from just 1 throw. Position is key while playing the game. Each champion and role must position a specific way. As Caitlyn in particular, you should attack the closest prioritized target. For example, if you see a Jarvan IV as your closest target but see that rumble is next to him. Aim for Rumble assuming that Jarvan has Randuin's Omen. Your main focus should avoid attack the target with Randuin's Omen. The slow its so strong against ad champions that rely on Attack speed. This is a very good item against Caitlyn since she has to kite you and auto. With this item, she can get shut down. Remember to position and orb walk (if you dont know what orb walk is, I have detail on the 'Basic ADC Mechanic' section). Don't get lock down and dont use your net aggressive unless the team fight is yours. That is your only peel excluding flash. The mid game team fight is very essential because it will determine who will control the mid game. However, this isn't the case for late game (details will be on 'Late Game').
You don't usually see people take baron in the mid game. Unless you got aced in a team fight and the other team is very healthy. During the mid game, some focus should be on Baron. Just because you dont think they can do it, ward it for safe keeping. You rather see that they aren't doing it than assuming. Remember, this is a late-mid to late game throw pit. Games can turn around just from this objective. Be very cautious while doing or controlling Baron. I'm not capitalizing too much on Baron because I dont see much Barons done in the mid game. But it can be taken so always be cautious.
During the Late Game:
At this time, you should be focusing on your positioning. During the late game, one mistake can cost the game. The moment you die as an adc, your team will lose almost all their damage. Only way for your team to win if you die will be an outplay or your team can just 100-0 the other ad. Do not put yourself in a position to ever get caught. You should let your team lead and stay behind them. Be wary for anybody that will be able to jump on you. Remember not to focus the target with Randuin's unless that is the only option. Staying alive and doing damage as much as possible is much better than focusing their squishies and dying. If you cant kill their squishies and you end up dying, that will be a fail fight. So its better to do dps than burst and die.
Team fights will usually determine the game when its like 40+minutes. A mistake will cost you the game regardless how small. You should always try to stay towards the back and progress forward only if your team is winning. Remember to kite and re-position yourself. Orb walking is a really good mechanical method to keep yourself from harm. It will stop most people from charging forward and jumping on you so easily. Assuming you have red buff, you can kite someone to almost infinity with the safety of her net and flash. Try to look at how the fight is going on. Dont flash the moment someone jumps on you. Examine how you see the fight is working out then react. This judgement has to be make quickly and a second of hesitation can cost you the fight. REMEMBER to position and kite your target. Use your trap to maneuver your opponent to a specific location. You can place the trap in front of you or the path of your target.
I didnt cover much of team fighting because the objectives fore late game will initiate the fight. Baron is one objective most people throw over. Do not throw a game over Baron. Even though you killed 1-2 people, the opponent can just outplay you at Baron and take the game over. As an adc, it is hard fighting near baron. First, if you are tanking Baron, he will do tremendous amount of damage to you before a fight begin. Fighting in the pit is also a bad position. When I'm on purple tower, I usually fight baron over the wall. There is a certain spot you can stand over and attack baron. But, this only works for Caitlyn and a level 12+ Tristana. If you are any other champion, it is dangerous taking baron when you are on purple side. You will have to position yourself where the team can collapse on you from behind. If you are in the pit, that is an easier way to pin down any adc. This problem doesn't occur for Caitlyn, but it is a generalization for all ad. For blue tower, its much easier because you can see the incoming opponents. You also have better positioning since you are in front of baron and can easily disengage to reposition. Fights occur a lot for Baron. Most people throw at this objective. Dont be one of the teams that have 10k gold and lose baron and get aced. This is an immediate sign of a major throw. <- That is kinda exaggerating but you get the picture. Remember to not tank baron and kite the team. Since you are fighting near bushes, place trap there so if someone step on it, you can see them in the bush. Or, if the team full engage, then place it anywhere near you. Since you are fighting in a small area, someone is going to step on it.
If all inhibitor turrents are up, trying to siege towers will be hard. Unless you have a great team, Caitlyn can slowly poke the turrent with 650 range. Do not poke tower alone, even though there are minions. You can get caught out and die. Slowly hit towers like 1-2 time per wave. When the cannon minion is there, you can try to hit 2-3 times. But dont take the chance. If you see then engage a little, just back off. The moment you have the turrent down, the inhibitor should be easy. Remember to slowly poke the inhibitor. They could engage you at anytime. Once you have the inhibitor, you have 2 options. You can either pressure Baron (which is a throw and I dont recommend), or pressure another lane. Like lets say you take down mid inhibitor, rotate to bot and slowly take down the inhibitor turrent. Remember to be patient and poke tower, then inhibitor. After clearing 2 inhibitors, it isnt hard to take the third. It is kind of easier to do baron if minion is crowding their base. After successfully clearing baron, siege the other lane and take the final inhibitor. After buying your items, 5man the base. With 3 inhibs down, the game usually leans toward you. Wait for all 3 lanes to push and poke tower. If the opponent team do not fight you while you siege base turrents, you will win the game. The moment they engage, just back up and have the minions fight by your side.
Be sure to ward the map during the late game. At this time, vision is very crucial. You will need to know your opponent position before they know yours. If you facecheck a bush, this will usually mean gg for the game. Once someone is dead, Baron will be targeted. It will be nearly impossible to contest unless you go for a massive outplay. Warding will help your team to just position yourself better if you know where your opponents are at. Fighting in a black jungle is really bad. You have no site of where your opponents are located and they could just flank you from behind. Just watch your back and keep the map lit up. DO NOT EVER FORCE A WARD IF YOU THINK IT IS DANGEROUS. This is the first step to throwing. Just ward where you are safe. Before walking in a bush, ward it and then walk into it. This just keep yourself as safe as possible. Ward base on how the game is going. Remember? Aggro and Def warding. My opinion is that Def warding is the most dangerous one. If you must Def ward, that mean you can walk into an ambush. Aggro warding just lets you get in and get out. DO NOT FORGET WARD -> WIN GAME.
Make sure to deny opponent the 5th dragon or get the 5th dragon yourself. The stats of 5 dragon is so strong. I believe that it is on par to the baron buff.
Bot Lane (Synergy)
Annie-Has great early cc and great for setting up kills. This lane will be mainly focusing on harass and all-ins after harass is complete.
Alistar-Great peeler but very balls deep. Once he goes in, he GOES in. Ali is great with burst lanes or mobile lanes. Ali should not initiate unless you are ahead because after Ali W,Q combo, you are vulnerable as Caitlyn.
Soraka-All about sustain. This will be a farm war at bot.
Thresh-Great peel and initiate. Has ability to provide a lot of pressure.
Sona-Good sustain and harass. Great babysitter for Cait.
Janna-Good peel but focus on Cait autos with her shield. Cannot go all in unless other duo make a mistake.
Taric-Not my favorite with Cait. A single stun and a heal. Armor aura is good but I don't like him with Cait.
Blitzcrank-Just because he grabs, doesn't guarantee a kill. A grab can actually get them to a closer position to kill you.
Leona-Really hard engage but can be used as a peel. Leo can initiate with ult and sit in the back with you.
Lulu-Did not see many Lulu but she has good poke during lane and her ulti can make such huge plays.
Zyra-Personally, my favorite. She can peel, initiate, poke, and all around pressure.
Nami-Her slow buff is great on Cait, especially if you're fighting a short range adc.
Bard-He could poke with Cait. However, must be a good Bard because his ult can troll you.