Caitlyn Build Guide by SnowCherry

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author SnowCherry

Caitlyn - Run & Gun ; An Embellish Guide (Detailed)

SnowCherry Last updated on December 18, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 22

Honor Guard

Defense: 7


Utility: 1

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Hello guys , I am SnowCherry , i am from the Singapore(GARENA) Server, IGN: Alara. Welcome to my humble guide of Caitlyn . Personally, as a LoL player, i have grown and improved my gameplay by reading alot of guides here, so i decided, that since i benefitted so much, its time to give back (:. This is my first time making a guide. So if there are any mistakes. I apologise in advance (: In this guide, i will also talk about the way, i feel IS the best to play Caitlyn be it Solo or in a Duo lane.Lastly, Trolls with no constructive comment to make my guide more wholesome. Please get under your bridges SO without further ado , lets get cracking at this awesome/hot champion!

Cheers to PlentaKill for this awesome song! (even though i used Teleport to solo mid xD)

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Pros / Cons

Every champion has their good and bad points. So lets take a look at Caitlyn's


  • Great laning presence
  • Good harrass game
  • Strong(Damage) from early to end
  • Strong pusher with
  • Ultimate that picks off fleeing enemy champions like Master Yi
  • Nice array of skills , Damage , Mini-stun/tracking tool , Escape mechanism/Slow & a Ultimate that goes chiiikkkiiiiiiiiiiiii bang.... AN ENEMY HAS BEEN SLAIN XD


  • Squishy prone to being focused/rushed down by a mob
  • Skills cannot be spammed alot at the start. (Relatively high cost Q)
  • Ultimate is blockable. ):
  • 3 traps at one time
  • Item dependency is high for damage output. eg: 1236 dmg on Ultimate. PROVIDED you are well farmed.
  • Traps are visible (what kind of trap is this!) ):
  • Easily countered if enemy build on armor.

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Masteries explained


Offensive - This is pretty much standardized across ADC.

Defensive - Caitlyn is not a bursty ADC that just chucks damage like Ezreal . She does damage by lasting long in team fights and hitting from afar. Therefore defense over utility.

Utility - Flash . Duh LOL

Any queries PM me :D

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Set of Rune

Take note!
If you want to play Caitlyn aggressively opt for Seal of replenishmentseal of replenishment so that you can spam your skills more often than normal.

Optimal Rune set

( Stupid Leblanc ):

  • Greater Seal of Alacrity. Makes you last hit easier and hit faster than creeps and turrets .
  • Greater Glyph of Warding. This is here because LEBLANC IS OP! but erm yeah.... this is here to counter against a AP-heavy team. TAKE NOTE by getting this set. YOU ARE SQUISHY TO AAs

If you are up against a AD-heavy team . Swap your glyphs into armor glyphs. :)

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- I agree that Exhaust is a great spell for Caitlyn , it can counteract burst champions like Akali and XinZhao and many dpsers. A 70% lowering of attack damage and turn tides instantly. Therefore this is taken and not Teleport .


Flash There is really nothing much to say about this choice *wink* It is a escape, a chasing tool. One of the best spells in the game and a must-have for Caitlyn.

Other Viable choices

Teleport - Used only if the lineup of both teams makes high mobility an advantage . But it is super effective in maintaining lane presences and also with the help of wards. you can teleport and help other lanes or just to instantly join in a teamfight by teleporting to a minion.

You can also tele-Ace-In-The-Hole-port and pick off enemy champions with low HPs, resulting in an easy kill.

Not forgetting you can also use it to focus push a single lane , in the late game period , and backing off once you notice the enemy team is coming for you.

Heal - Highly viable depending on your support.

Ghost - Preferential. If you prefer this and not Flash . Or if Flash is not as efficient. For an example against Akali , you cant really out-flash her. so Ghost is a better choice .

Cleanse - After the Season 2 buff , Cleanse can be also taken for Caitlyn to Cleanse away Exhaust & Ignite so as to keep up the damage output.

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Skill Sequence & Applications & Why?

Levels 1 - 6


Levels 7 - 12


Levels 13 - 18



Piltover Peacemaker

You pump this skill first simply because this skill is gonna be your bread & butter. It is a harrass, its a pushing skill, its a farming tool. Not to mention sick range . Use this skill to last hit minions and HARRASS enemy. This way . When you are at level 6 with ultimate. Your enemy at mid would have not much hp to spare . Killed guaranteed. oh yeah !

Yordle Snap Trap

This is a super useful skill for Caitlyn. First of all, its a Mini-stun, you find Master Yi or Xin Zhao rushing you down. Place it at your feet, then about 1 second later, you take a step back and SNAP , snared. Take note its also very useful for counter-attacking other champion's skills, such as Katarina's Death Lotus for eg; Katarina Shunpo you and activates her ultimate. set at where she is spinning, coupled with and immediately followed up with . If she lives, end it with Ace in the hole.

Likewise, you can do the same to Pantheon Ultimate, by placing it right in the middle, the minute he lands, it will trigger the trap and you have slightly staggered his element of surprise .

Good to take note, that this is almost like a skill that antis Guardian Angel, simply the minute the enemy champ is reviving from Guardian Angel, lay the trap on top of the enemy champ's body, the second the champ revives. SNAP , leaving you with an easy kill over G.A.

You should also make it a habit to lay traps in brushes to keep your junglers alive, prevent yourself from getting ganked by a mob and in TEAM FIGHTS... NEVER EVER THINK THAT , "oh its pointless to lay a trap in this mess". IT IS NOT, a MINI-STAGGER AND TRACK IS NOT USELESS , track plus ultimate, provided enemy is already low on hp , it will kill them and you would be at a safe distance to do so too! So make use of the 3 trap limit and soon you will find your ask saying that 3 traps are not enough... CAUSE THEY ARENT!.

This also grants brief sight of whats in the brushes if you plant it inside brushes for about 0.5 second.

90 Caliber net

Caitlyn's only means of escaping and parkour, this skill is so useful, that i may leave out some good examples as there are too many ways to apply this skill.

Firstly, this is a slow. Target at the chasing enemy champion, if it hits, the enemy is slowed and apparently due to the massively insane recoil of the net. Caitlyn gets pushed back. Works for me :D

Secondly, use this to escape from enemy champion's skills. Like Jarvan's Cataclysm, Veigar's Event Horizon and if timed correctly, you can even counteract against Xin Zhao's Audacious charge + Three talon strikes combination, meaning the second he charges in. Use 90 caliber net to slow and widen the space in between , resulting in a failed knock-up from Xin Zhao , unless he flashes , then its a different story.

In some games, I pump this skill first and not Yordle Snap Trap is because if your enemy's team has a jungler or organises a gank on you early in the game, like say level 2 - 5 , you can use this to slow and run, if this is not enough to escape from death, just Flash away without any hesitation. YOU WONT DIE UNLESS YOU FLASH INTO A WALL .

If you are solo-ing Dragon. Stand near the corner , so that if enemy check the Dragon and you are there . WITH NO FLASH , just fire your 90 caliber net and leap pass the wall and you would have escape from certain death, unless someone flashes or does the same thing as you did. Check out the image below for a clearer explanation.

So basically , the red circle is where Caitlyn will be, you fire the Net , with your back facing the wall, and you should be able to get up to the area, behind the Dragon's rest.

Ace in the Hole
- Caitlyn's Ultimate

She steadies and takes aim for 2 seconds before firing a devastating shot that flies across a red line. This amazing skill has only one drawback, which is , it can be blocked or if Caitlyn gets stunned it doesn't fire. so usually you use this at a start of a fight or at the end. When the enemy decides to flee. Once locked on , no matter how fast the enemy runs, the bullet will still fly way out of the initial channeling range and hit its initial target unless blocked.

If you are in a clash you cant seem to assassinate anyone with ulti. Re-position yourself at a different angle. Make it hard for the enemy to try to block. IF that is not applicable , lower everyone's hp till its below your ultimate damage and fire it away. That way, no matter how you aim, one will die.


Why isnt this or that first. Your questions will be answered here!


Jokes aside,Traps are taken first because they can "tighten a lane" literally. Plant traps in a straight horizontal line and you find your counterpart having difficulty walking past that area. But they are not maxed first! In fact, I max it last. Why? Because it adds on dmg per level, maxing Net 2nd is better as it reduces the Cooldown time on it, makes escaping easier and more often.

Peacemaker is maxed first . Why? For more Damage & shorter cooldown of course. Makes your harrass even stronger then it already is. Makes farming easier too.

Should you feel the need to pump Net at level 2 or 3, go ahead.

Skills to MAX order

1st - Piltover Peacemaker
2nd - 90 Caliber Net
3rd - Ace in the hole
4th - Yordle Snap Trap


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Fight & Escape Tactics

For 1on1 situation, if you find yourself getting out-hit, fire , follow up with Peacemaker and then continue AA-ing and when its low enough, MAKE SURE THAT IF THEY HAVE HEAL, ITS USED. IF THEY CAN DODGE LIKE VLAD . MAKE SURE THAT THE SKILL USED TO DODGE IS IN COOLDOWN. With all that covered, Lock-on and press 'R' and wait for the lovely female announcer to say our favourite line...."the enemy has been slain".

When fleeing, lead shot with your net when your running back towards ur base, lead shot meaning, dont wait for the opponent to get in range of your net then you fire, that would be too late. Fire it with estimation then by the time the enemy runs to the position you predicted. Your shot will just hit right smack in the face and slow them down and they will find that you are faraway ahead and give up chasing, most of the time.

If the enemy decides to tower dive you. Dont panic, in fact smile... (: . Plant a trap towards the direction, you are running to.. When the enemy closes in... fire a net Seeing that you are limping away with one-hit-hp left, he will charge at you, fire Peacemaker and kite him around the turret and if he runs after making a terrible mistake to tower dive you, Ace-in-the-Hole that bugger!

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Game plan( Solo & Duo lanes)

Solo Mid

Generally as Caitlyn Your laning presence is very strong but there are some champs that will really get under your skin like Leblanc with her insane spells or Brand . Basics of farming , never over-extend when people are missing or jungler.Last hitting should be easy , my games with Caitlyn my CS average from 250 - 320 per game.

Why so stable? Because of her passive and Peacemaker. Harass with your passive and Peacemaker but not all the time and when the time is right, just burst out your damage onto your opponent and finish off with ultimate. Thats the game plan for early to mid game.

Late game, you should hit like a truck , super high damage, with the time to time criticals.
Your ulti will no longer be killing as often as your normal attacks will. SO save your ultimate for champions that are too far away or running from low hp. CC enemy carries > support > lastly tankers.

Duo Lane

Your best friends

Why so many best friends? Its because Caitlyn is such a nice lass . LOL JK. If you notice, all those champions i have stated are either healers or champions with crowd-control skills and stuns and snares.

When taking top or bottom duo lane. You will want to hit from the brushes as it triggers your passive x2 faster. You can last hit more accurately with the passive and at the same time dominate your lane, the enemy will never go near the brushes but when they do, take a look at the mini-map. IF there is MIAs. BACK! It means a gank is coming. Other than that. Just harass and farm,ward your river and you will be safe. (:

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Basic Positioning & Zoning (New players READ!)


This is how i place my traps in a lane. There isnt much space for the opponent to walk. The minute they step on a trap. Punish with AAs or Piltover Peacemaker.

Also good to take note. Sometimes hitting with AAs is as good . Make good use of Caitlyn's range (1 of the furthest in game).

The main gist is to zone out the opponent by using the traps so that they cant stay near the minion waves resulting in loss of EXP and GOLD. But also watch out for ganks when you are zoning. There is always the tendency to over-extend when you are trying to zone out your counterpart.

So to prevent getting ganked , WARD. By doing so, you can see oncoming ganks and when they fail a gank, they lose precious time farming and leveling in context of the ganker.

Basic Positioning

Never get caught out of your team. If you die, your team is highly unlikely to win the next clash.

Position yourself behind your team with your team being in between you and the enemy team. sometimes in jungle. its better to fight over the wall, using the wall to zone people and using Net to leap over walls to make your enemy overextend and leave your team to crush them and you just flick damage from over the wall since your team is the ones providing the vision of your enemy.

If you are near to death, back away, to a safe spot then ultimate whoever you can ultimate and then recall to BASE. This is what I call making the best out of your situation.

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Mandatory item that its stats explain why we need it for Caitlyn, getting 2 of these will help alot in scaling your attack damage , early in the game, not to mention 200 hp more and 6% lifeteal DESPITE THE NERF ON DORANS IT IS STILL USEFUL FOR CAITLYN

I know some of you guys may disagree with this 1st buy but with the new buff on offense mastery tree getting this will grant 6% lifesteal at the start with quite alot of damage and the 100hp makes this 475gold item a golden buy for this babe.

Boot choices

Boots of Swiftness - Great for roaming and getting in ranged to ulti dying champions , in addition if you are getting Frozen Mallet allows you to kite many champions.

Berserker's Greaves - Basic boots for Caitlyn gives you much needed attack speed.

Mercury's Treads - Only if you are up against many disablers. SITUATIONAL.

Core items

Explanation for core

Reasons why I rush out a Bf sword
-good solid damage
-part item of most of your main items.
-its expensive the faster you get it , the better
-makes your farming even easier then before.
-adds quite abit of damage to Peacemaker & Ultimate.

If you arent doing as well as to get it , get Pickaxe first, its important to raise your attack damage up as soon as possible :)

After getting BF sword or Pickaxe, quickly form Berserker's greaves and you are quite formidable. With decent attack speed and damage.


Guardian Angel if you are getting raped before the clash even starts. This is a viable choice to solve your problems.

Against AD/Balanced Team


Against Disablers/AP Team

Against Tanks/Dodgers

Note : take only if the enemy has no if the enemy has alot of armor but no you should still just get as it provides a aura that desolates armor.

Against a Balanced team/My preferred build



This build is very balanced out except for going against AP, if you do encounter 1 or 2 AP champions. You may get this but you must be wary not to get bursted down by champions like Akali .

All builds were thought out carefully.

If you are playing on bottom lane with a Support like Soraka, Sona, Taric , Alistar or any other support that provides you with sustain. Start with dorans, if not go for boots ,3 pots.

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Creeping / Jungling / Farming

After the laning phase is over. This is where your CS makes or breaks, while you are running around starting or joining ganks. Make sure you jungle as you slowly creep your way into the lane that the gank is called for. FARM AS MUCH AS YOU CAN, it isnt that hard with Caitlyn . Just and finish off the dying minions with AAs. If you find yourself not getting most of the champion kills, not to worry. Assists are also gold earned, you find yourself reasonably fat by 20mins. Try to always attack from bushes. It triggers x2 faster

Get red buff and blue buffs as much as you can, this helps you fare better in fights. RED buff gives you a DoT + slow ]while blue buff shortens CD and allows you to use your skills more often.

If you find that the enemy team is not pinpointing on you. you should add on a Vampiric Scepter to maintain your laning time, thanks to the lifesteal granted + 2 dorans's = 18% lifesteal. Meaning when you are low on hp, just hop to the jungle or lane and hit on creeps and get your HP back up, Thus giving you more farming time. Win-Win situation.

However, if you do get focused on or simply being seen as fodder by the enemy team , 4 simple things you should do.

  • Wardsight ward your lane/ jungle, wherever you are farming at so that you can see ganks or dangers approaching.
  • Watch out for champions that have global skills (eg.Ashe ,Ezreal ,Karthus . These champions can kill or help kill you from their lanes or from a far distance.
  • If its too dangerous. Never hesitate to recall back to base. Just get your jungler or team mates to cover your lane for you.
  • If you see a team fight happening. Stay at the back to deal damage and moving to the frontline only when enemies are fleeing.

    If you've done what i have just said. If you do LOSE a game, it wouldnt be your fault(feeding) anyways.

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Team Work

When teammates run to your lane to help you , ASSIST THEM , for eg(Lee Sin ) from the bottom lane comes to for gank you. You and your enemy at mid-lane have harassed each other to low healths or maybe you are at a disadvantage with lower hp, the minute you see Lee-Sin starting his combo, immediately after seeing him landing his skill-shot. Don't wait , Just cast your Ultimate straightaway, if it does not not kill, it will at least render your opponent to low hp, forcing them to recall to base. This resets your laning presence and situation, not to mention more peaceful farming time.

No matter the situation, always help. You wont lose anything except for mana .

When fleeing , dropping traps in wake of your escape route will help a lot. If the enemy does catch up, Net them and slow and constantly use Piltover Peacemaker to flick their HPs down and discourage them to continue chasing or maybe even kill them back.

ALL of these acts makes you a better team player!

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Warding 101

2 simple things


Credits to HolyHirako for this image of the map and its warding spots.


Generally, you want to plant wards in places where enemy can walk by to gank you and your teammates so warding will prevent 50% of the ganks from happening.

Similarly, Vision wards are planted the same ways but more focused on the lane itself . Granting vision over champions like Twitch ,Shaco ,Teemo .

Destroying wards/Counter-warding

Get Oracle's elixir , If you are pretty sure that there are wards around, if the enemy team has invisible champions or champions who plant invisible objects. Getting this as early as possible has its advantages.

So after getting this. Form a search party and march through the map looking for wards to destroy, why a search party? Sooner or later your enemy will realise you are destroying their wards and will try to form a gank on you, having a group of people will discourage the thought of that or make it harder for them to succeed. Agree? (of course you'll agree LOL)

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Update log (as stated on 14/11/11)

Season 2 of LoL is starting, as soon as the new mastery tree is up , this guide will be revamped . Coping with the new system and also the 2 nerfs on Caitlyn :(

ON 15/11/11
- Added more text info skill list
- changed colour of text to make it more soothing to the eye. LOL

ON 21/11/11
-Revamp Mastery tree prior to season 2

On 8/12/11
-Updated Best Friends Section
-Added in Janna , Morgana, Soraka, Karma and Galio :)
-Added more content in the Farming section thanks to feedback by Pa1taimon

On 13/12/11(huge update)
- Lethality removed
- Demolitionist added
- Added a whole new section talking about masteries.
- Added more depth in Skill section explaining why some decisions are made this or that way
- Added a new section Fight & Escape tactics
- Added the Ashe and Akali signatures by Jeffy40hands! Once again thanks dude! :)
- Added new section Basic Positioning & Zoning
- Added Credits section
- Tweaked runes and edited content

On 30/12/11
-added Guardian Angel under a new section called situational under items
-checked for spelling errors. (if there are still somemore , please tell me!)

On 9 Jan 12
- tweaked runes to give Cait abit more edge over AP users.

On 18 Jan 12
- Lunar new year is coming!
- More updates on build and gameplay for the up and coming sejuani patch. the bull from atlantis LOL JK

On 30 May 12
- Tweaked masteries
- Updated some info.

ON 19 Dec 12
- Season 3 is here! New build and play style will be researched , giving you guys out there an update by EOY 2012.
- In light of the pleading cries of all my lovely readers.... I HAVE NERFED MY COLOURS! (ITS TRUE)
- Some updates.

-Soon to come-
Clashing position and more smart play insights!
1-on-1 section, a section that tells you how to outplay different champions.

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In the making of this guide. Alot of people's input were considered and helped perfect my guide , I cant really remember all of you guys but i would like to sincerely thank everyone and anyone who has help me.

Also If you are extracting or referring to anything on my guide . PLEASE credit. Its basic manners .

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Finally , it is completed! However if you feel that i have missed out any informations or any errors OR JUST ANYTHING, feel free to drop me a message, vote me up if you liked this guide(which i hope you do) . Anyone who contributes to my guide making it more wholesome with constructive comments and reasoning deserves a +rep from me!

Cherry Cupcake Caitlyn
Credits to InkJetCanvas

SnowCherry, from Singapore!
Repertoire represent!