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.
Critical Hit! It's super effective!
This is my first guide here and funny that it should be on the newest addition to the League of Legends champion roster, Caitlyn. I picked her up first day and I've been playing her for about 30-35 games now and it's an absolutely blast. A lot of people will say that she's not the greatest because of how easy it is to dodge or mitigate her Q and E, but I can assure you, those people have not seen a properly built Caitlyn. So! Here we go.
Added a second rune/item build. It doesn't really fit in with the whole setting of this guide, but it offers more of a competitive edge as opposed to the pub-stomping nature of the first build.
Less Doran's Blades, less focus on AS/Crit% and more on utility, survivability and late-game wrecking. Bloodrazor is not just a tank shredder, but a crusher of most late-game fights when you've got high AS. As a champion that operates as an AD carry, I can't name many situations where you would be focusing a tank in team fights. Guardian Angel is a staple (esp. in ranked) to any late-game champion build.
Also, buffs to her Q make it much better early game, and still decent late game. I haven't gotten around to testing if its worth casting over losing 1-2 seconds of right clicking, but it seems mildly promising. The buffs to her ult don't change a lot, but it can still be used to pick off a lone champion or to do some damage before a fight starts.
Masteries, Runes, and Summoner Spells.
I follow a standard 21/0/9 mastery build with Caitlyn. Pretty self-explanatory.
As for runes, there are a lot of viable options here.
Marks: I go with ArPen marks. I don't think anything else would be better in these 9 slots no matter how you look at it. ArPen is always important for an AD champ.
Seals: Mp5/Level. Why? This will make it so that you won't have too many mana problems during a given game. Some people have been building chalices or manamunes and I think that's just an absolute waste of damage potential for this champion.
Glyphs: Magic Resist. Caitlyn is a glass cannon, she has a very low starting health pool and it does not get much better as you progress. Giving her some more passive MR will be a great help. Alternatively, you could grab more Mp5/Level, Health, or Crit.
Quintessences: Flat HP quints. Caitlyn could really use the extra health, especially early on. If you're feeling a bit more confident, stack up some more Crit.
note about runes: with 2 phantom dancers, you'll be at 100% crit anyway with the rune set I've listed anyway, but I'll elaborate on that later.
Ghost and Exhaust. Both good for chasing and getting away. This build doesn't use Frozen Mallet so having that extra time to gun someone down is very valuable. I wouldn't recommend any other summoner spells really since these two have great synergy with this build.
Every 8th shot does 150% to an enemy champion or 250% to a minion/monster.
Not much I can say about this skill. It explains itself. Stand in brush when you're killing red/blue. You can harass and farm lanes from brush early game too if you aren't facing an aggressive champion comp.
Piltover Peacemaker (Q)
Your bread and butter creep killer early/mid-game. You can use it to harass champions early game, just don't be too predictable with it. Shooting it from the brush means they won't see you rev it up. Shoot where they're going to be, not where they are. Simple skill shot tactics.
It goes through walls so you can use it to scout and steal jungle kills or check baron/dragon. It can be good at scaring people off of strategic map points.
This skill was buffed to have higher base damage and 1.3 AD scaling as opposed to 1.0. I have yet to test it's viability late-game, but it still remains an early game killer. It is amazing early game.
Yordle Snap Trap (W)
Everyone's favorite cupcake in a bear trap. You can choose to max this over your E, but I find that E is more effective when maxed before this. Put it down in the brush, in spots and angles you may be attacked or ganked from. Use it like Teemo's mushrooms. Though you can only have two down at a given time, they can be effective at scouting, saving you from a gank or ensuring a kill on an unsuspecting player.
90 Caliber Net (E)
Contrary to popular belief, this is not used best as an offensive skill. It's like most "blink" moves in the game. The recoil can save you while also slowing an enemy champion, while also doing moderate damage so that your team can jump on them. It's primary use will be to get you through/over walls and other spots in the terrain. Knowing where and when to use this can save your life. I usually use it as soon as I see someone so much as running towards me, not giving them a chance to initiate anything.
Ace In The Hole (R)
I wish this ult wasn't so obvious, because it makes it way too easy to intercept or to prepare for. It's not the most effective tool at catching someone who is chasing because the channel will cancel once someone enters fog of war. However, you can use it through all terrain gaps. It's good to start a fight with too, as it adds a lot of extra damage (especially when it crits) to a squishy champion. Do NOT use this in the middle of a fight. The channeling time is better spent auto-attacking. Be smart with this skill. There is never any harm in just randomly casting it to scare someone off or do enough damage to force them to be defensive.
This skill was buffed to have more base damage, and give sight on the target. Now you will NOT have wasted the ult if someone uses line-of-sight to disengage. More guaranteed kills, and it becomes a bit more of a threat. The damage, however, is still not that great early on and is still easily intercepted.
Start with a Doran's Blade and a Health Potion. Lane until you've got enough to at least buy your Berserker boots and then buy 2 more Doran's Blades afterwards. (around 2000g)
A lot of people would probably vote against it, but having 3 of these suckers early game gives you a huge boost to your survivability. That equals out to 300 HP, 24 AD and 9% LS all for roughly 1300g.
Next, your first B.F. Sword. This will add some much needed damage early game, although you lack the raw AS to carry just yet. You'll hopefully see your farming abilities bolstered by this pick-up en route to Infinity Edge. Buy the Cloak of Agility before you buy the Pickaxe. The Crit% will help more than the +25 AD.
Here's your main item. This will be the first item you get post-boots every game, no ifs, ands, or buts. I shouldn't have to explain this one. It is the staple item for the ranged AD carry.
Here's where you get a nice boost to your AS and crit%. You can choose to either rush the first Phantom Dancer or get two Zeals before completing either. The +16% combined movement speed along with the other two stats helps a ton in your ganks and team fighting abilities. This is about where you'll notice that you're critting almost every shot you take. You should be somewhere around 1.6-1.8 AS (or more if you have a teammate with Stark's!).
Some people might ask, "why not just get Bloodthirster or Black Cleaver?". I think that it's better to have your attack stats rather than your damage at the mid-to-end-game transition phase. You will notice that you won't have any shortage of damage if you pick your targets correctly. Having two Phantom Dancers boosts all of your necessary attack stats to their desired heights and now it's time to start building damage.
The main reason I pick BT over the other B.F. Sword created items is because of the lifesteal. Once you pick this up, you'll be critting for something around 800-1000 on most things you decide to shoot. Every shot. Twice or thrice per second. This will keep you alive in just about any situation, especially if you can keep the stacks up. Alternatively, if you find that the other team is stacking armor on more than just their tanks, you can choose to get a Black Cleaver, as it adds a nice amount of AS as of last patch, as well as the ArPen stacks.
It's time for situational items.
If you feel that the enemy team is rushing straight through your teammates just to get at you, you're going to find yourself in a heap of trouble. Look no further than Banshee's Veil to save your life and boost your survivability considerably. I shouldn't have to explain this one.
If you find that you don't need any surv. boosts, then go for another AD carry item. Last Whisper and Black Cleaver both have their perks, and either one is good. I usually go with Last Whisper if I don't make a Banshee's Veil. Alternatively, you could grab Phage -> Frozen Mallet if you think your attacks need some slow on them + the HP boost. Honestly though, I think the movement speed from your boost, two Phantom Dancers, and added utility from Ghost/Exhaust are more than enough.
Now, keep in mind that because you have two Phantom Dancers, there may be situations where you want two of the aforementioned items. What should you do, or what can you do? You could sell your boots. If you really need to. I don't recommend it, but you can make up for the loss with the PDs.
Now that all the specifics are out of the way, lets move on.
Now that I've got all of that..
This section of the guide will be dedicated to Caitlyn gameplay. I'll go through the phases of a given game, as well as tips for farming, ganking, et al.
While Caitlyn is a great choice for middle lane, she excels with a partner in a side lane. This guide will be written for side lanes. Middle lane would be played similarly to that of Tristana or Ashe.
Laning, Creeping and Harassing
Grab your items and move to the lane. Depending on your partner, you may choose to wait at your tower or go ahead and be aggressive in the far bushes. This depends on your playstyle.
Last hit minions as best you can. If you find that the enemy champions are getting too close to the creeps or you, abuse this and harass them with simple auto-attacks. Caitlyn's attack animation start-up is rather fast and it's very easy to harass; her attack range should also not be underestimated. Once your passive stacks are full, make it count. Harass an enemy champion for a free ~100 damage shot or finish off a catapult/minion for ~150-200 damage.
Use the bushes to your advantage. If the laning phase is stuck in neutral, it's a good time to sit in the brush and just auto-attack creeps from there. Pushing the lane is not necessarily a bad thing with Caitlyn. Her range allows you to hit towers out of most champions normal range, and harass them as well without being punished. Your creep score should be your #1 priority, as you want to rush your starting items.
At level 2, get your W (trap) and place it in strategic points in the bushes. Places you might expect to be ganked from, or see an enemy jungler come out from. Put it at the front of each bush entrance. Feel free to use your Q to harass, but remember to line up your shots properly and not to waste too much time in doing so, as it takes away from your creep farming. Doing this too often can drain your mana to nothing quite quickly, so make sure to keep an eye on your mana pool and manage it accordingly.
Once you get ~2000 gold, head back and buy your next set of items.
At this point, you can choose to return to your lane/push the tower, or go around helping your team push towers and get champion kills. Grab Lizard buff whenever you can, you should be able to take it on somewhere around level 6-8.. provided your team does not have a jungler/a jungler who does not need red.
Farm up a B.F. Sword en route to Infinity Edge.
I didn't cover a few things in the early laning phase that I'd like to cover now. These tips ought to help your overall survival and counter harassment from enemy champions.
Your E is an amazing tool. The recoil sends you back far enough to jump over thin walls and terrain gaps. You can break line-of-sight with it around brush, and also use it to slow an enemy champion who is chasing you while also getting further away from them. The best time to use it is when you believe someone may be trying to initiate on you. Always be safe. Caitlyn is a glass cannon and should be handled with care. Don't let any champs get near you because most of them will decimate you early on.
Your trap is also a very, very valuable tool in knowing enemy positions as well as preventing OR initiating ganks. While you may be placing them in "obvious" spots, they are still very effective. Their trigger range is larger than the actual trap and are very good to place at the edges of brush. Using them to give an idea on the state of the neutral buffs, dragon or Baron Nashor is also a great use of this tool. If your team is doing dragon and you don't have wards up in their jungle or on side-paths, put a trap down in nearby brush or on paths of entry. It has a 1-second arming time, so remember that.
Q can be a very deceiving skill. The animation stretches out quite far, however the projectile will not hit confirm towards the end of its path. I'm hoping they fix this because sometimes it gets me excited for no reason when I try to secure a kill. :(
Your ultimate should not be used as a killstealer. You might be a carry, but you are just wasting 2 seconds by casting it in the middle of a team fight. You would do more damage by right clicking someone than you do with your ult in the time it takes for it to rev up and travel the distance. It can be easily intercepted and VERY easily noticed by the enemy team as it puts a large targeting laser on the target. Use it to initiate, or before the fight even starts. Cripple an unsuspecting opponent from the fog or from an odd angle. Do not use it head on as it will be blocked accidentally or purposefully.
Your role in team fights is to pick off squishy targets, primary damage dealers, carries, and the like. You will not hurt most tanks for much, and it is rather stupid for a team to focus most tanks in the first place. Do not be at the front line of a fight, stay to the back or almost out of it. Your range will make up for that. You cannot sustain much damage and it is to your advantage to have control over those who aim to kill you by being far away from them. Use Ghost and Exhaust as needed to catch/run from enemy champions.
Once you form your core item build of Infinity Edge and 2 Zeal/Phantom Dancer, you will notice your DPS going through the roof. Having the two Phantom Dancers gives you a substantial movement speed boost as well, which is great for cat and mouse games.
Towards end game, and once you get your Bloodthirster, your damage will skyrocket and you'll be one-shotting creeps.. and three-shotting enemy champions.
The most important things I can end on here are:
- Make your presence known in the laning phase. Harass, outfarm and keep yourself and your laning partner safe.
- Prioritize farm over fighting early on. This does not mean you should ignore battles.
- Get that Infinity Edge early! It is your absolute core item.
- Pick and choose your targets wisely. Don't go into auto-pilot when clicking someone to death.
- Stay towards the back of fights. You aren't a tank. You never will be.
- Don't use your ult as a KSer unless it's 1v1. It's a waste of time that is better spent closing the distance or switching targets.
- Last, but not least, experiment a little! Don't be afraid to try new strategies.
I hope this guide is satisfactory. I'll update it as I see fit. Maybe I'll add some fancy pictures to show certain things. Remember that Caitlyn is a very new champion and I'm sure there may be some changes in her future. Enjoy! :)