Caitlyn Build Guide by macrovirus
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 the build I use for Caitlyn. There is something you need to recognize if you are going to play Caitlyn. She has one purpose and only one purpose. Caitlyn is a pure AD carry. Her entire purpose in the game is to pursue champion kills. The build proposed here is to support this mission. It is not to be a well balanced champion.
I'm working on the formatting and graphics. This is the first run to get the content correct. Please be patient.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
So to the Rune selections...
3 Greater Quintessence of Strength - +2.25 Attack Damage per
9 Greater Mark of Strength - +.95 Attack Damage per
9 Greater Seal of Resilience - +1.41 Armor
9 Greater Glyph of Alacrity - +.64% Attack Speed
A more defensive option would be to consider 9 Greater Glyph of Warding for the Magic Resist. This is a very tempting option, but we are going to rely on our ability to kill quickly and our teammates to keep us alive.
These runes start us off with some decent stats: +15 Physical Damage, +12 Armor, +5.76% Attack Speed.
21 in Offense, 0 in Defense, and 9 Utility.
As stated in the beginning our goal is pure offense and early game improvement.
Caitlyn while pure AD, really needs her mana early. She has at least 3 traps to get out and into the bushes early. Traps control the map, use them. She will also need to heavily use the Piltover to push back the other team. Caitlyn's range is awesome. With her range and Piltover , your opponents should be firmly hugging their turrets. Keep them under there. The turret will eat up your minions faster than the other champion can kill them. That is gold the other team won't get. Yes they will continue to level up, but they will be broke, and you should be able to whittle down the first turret efficiently.
So use the extra mana to be that much more a pain for the opponents, while farming every minion you can. The extra damage and attack speed from our masteries/runes should allow you to chew up any minions within your radius. Last hitting is optional. We've already stated we want to apply constant pressure to the turret.
I take Flash each and every time. If you don't take Flash or Ghost you are a sitting duck.
For the second spell I tend to split between Exhaust and Teleport. Both have their advantages for an AD carry who wants to farm.
The deciding factor for me is lane choice. If I know I will be handling mid or solo top, I will select Teleport. I don't want to leave my lane unattended or stop our jungler from getting leveled up.
For bottom lane I take exhaust. This is critical for countering the gank or even stopping two aggressive bottom lane champs. Melee champs will charge through the bullets on occasion. Hit the Exhaust, kill them or back up. Same with the gank. Exhaust the higher DPS, kill the weak, and then work on the second champ. Exhaust with the suggested mastery list also reduces the armor by 10. So you can kill them that much faster.
Others might suggest Ignite. Ignite does damage and is a good spell. I won't begrudge anyone for selecting it. However Ignite does not shut anyone down or enable you to escape when needed. With Ignite the other champ can and most likely will keep on attacking.
To be blunt, no one can out range you early game. You can really go anywhere you want except for the jungle. Caitlyn does not belong in the Jungle.
Help your Jungler with a leash and protect the buffs in the first few minutes.
As this is a primarily an offensive build with no consideration for defense, I'd advise most players to avoid solo top. While Caitlyn is capable, solo top is a large risk. If you are a strong player and no one else with take it, go for it. You'll level up quickly and should get a decent under turret farm.
Top Lane Risks:
Other Team might not jungle, leaving you in a 1 v 2 with no defensive attributes.
Other Team should jungle, constant threat of a gank top lane stops your aggressive pushing
You want to rack up early game kills, and solo top isn't the best place for that
Your jungle will end up kill stealing what you've been whittling down
Top Lane Summary:
Possible 1 v 2
Risk of Ganks
Level up faster than bottom lane
Caitlyn can farm successfully from under the turret
So where does that leave Caitlyn?
Mid or Bottom lane. The choice here really depends on your team composition and the opposing mid champion. The safe answer is always bottom lane with the support. This lane will provide you with a support, who should provide a heal and some wards to keep you safe. You should be able to stay in this lane indefinitely if played correctly.
An example of early bottom lane success
Bottom Lane Summary:
Sustain - With a decent support and a Dorian blade, you won't need to leave.
Minions - You can safely stay behind your minion waves and farm all early game.
Harassment - You have huge range and traps. You should control the other team's movement
Kills - Other champs will get frustrated and do something stupid or aggressive. Kill them.
Kills - There are two of them in this lane. So someone should be there to kill.
What about mid? This is the tougher lane selection to discuss. Caitlyn's range makes her a strong mid choice. However most AP carries prefer to operate out of the mid lane to start a match. This provides the AP carry a little isolation from other champs and allows them to get their skills and AP scaled up before facing ganks or team fights. If your AP isn't comfortable in mid, take it. Otherwise be the better teammate and take bottom lane. You'll be doing some killing in mid eventually anyway.
Mid Lane Summary:
Mostly 1 v 1
Threat of ganks from top or bottom, trap and ward the bushes to neutralize.
Your range should cause a case of turret hugging from AP champs who have to wait to scale up.
You take away the opportunity for your AP Carry to scale up quickly.
If you take this, you need to carry the team.
Bottom Lane Supports
In my first revision I left out this section. It was an oversight and once it was brought to my attention I agreed this is a critical aspect to Caitlyn and her success.
The support has the important job of getting the river warded. That is job number 1 for them. Feeding your mana, health and shielding are secondary. To play this aggressive you need map awareness. Every trip back the support should be investing 75 or 125 gold on wards.
sight wardHere is a brief tutorial on the basic sight ward.
Here are my preferred laning partners:
Sona - Easily one of the strongest supports you can have. Sona ensures you never have to recall.
Soraka - Provides health, armor and mana. Yes Caitlyn needs mana early.
Taric - Another strong support, who quite frankly is underplayed.
Lulu - Help, Pix! and Wild Growth abilities. Everyone likes to see a giant Caitlyn.
There are other champs you can lane with, but these are the 4 you want. With these four you should be getting all the minion farm and champion kills. These pairings are designed to dominate that bottom lane. The risk of course is you'll have to handle two potential enemy champs both capable of killing. You have the offensive fire power. You also have your net, traps, and exhaust to gracefully return to your turret. Once there gather your thoughts, get healed and get back to pushing.
So it is time for items. This is the largest variable in our game. It depends entirely on where you want to start. Mid/Solo Top - Purchase Boots of Speed, 2 Health Potion, and a Mana Potion. If you are more conservative go with a 3rd Health Potion. I lean to the heavily aggressive so I want to have a little extra mana in my back pocket. I want to be able to toss it back at level 6, to ensure I can fire off my ultimate on one of the weakened champs in my lane.
If you are starting with a partner in lane, it is your job to take the Doran's Blade. There is nothing bad about this item. Extra health, more attack damage and life steal. This small amount of lifesteal helps keep you in the lane and farming. With Caitlyn you should post huge farming numbers in most early games. Regardless of lane choice, you should be able to keep pace with mid-lane.
On our first trip back, which should be immediately after first blood if you have a lane partner. Grab the Elixir of Fortitude. For 250, it is a great early game item. This should let you get back in your lane to begin snowballing the kills.
If your first trip back is after several minutes, get either Boots of Speed or Doran's Blade. Whichever item you didn't get in the beginning. If you have the money grab a 2nd Doran's Blade. This should put you in a strong early position in terms of damage output and lane sustain.
The next two items you are saving for are the B. F. Sword and the Vampiric Scepter. Just remember keep the opponent contained and farm. If the jungler is non-existent or weak, use your traps under the opponent's turret. This is more to annoy and frustrate than kill. This will cause them to move to predictable locations and enable you to spam them with
Once you complete The Bloodthirster, you need to begin increasing your attack speed and critical strike. The easy option here is Zeal --> Phantom Dancer. After a single Phantom Dancer, get the Infinity Edge. Then follow up with the 2nd Phantom Dancer. By now you should be all set. Beserker Greaves, 2 Phantom Dancer, The Bloodthirster, Infinity Edge.
The last item is really up to you at this point. I go one of 4 directions:
2nd The Bloodthirster - Additional lifesteal to offset the pesky thornmail the other team should have purchased by now
Force of Nature - against strong AP champs. Also enjoy the movement speed and health regen
Last Whisper - Armor Penetration late game can not be overvalued. This will let you cut through any champion.
I'll keep this section very short.
I'm all about pressing my lane early and often. I want to max out my Piltover as quickly as possible, followed by my traps. Many other guides will insist you start off with traps on level 1. I stand firm and state that is a bad choice. Traps are a defensive maneuver. We have champions and minions to kill. We can't face check bushes, we need to have the Piltover to safely check. Piltover is also effective at pushing the first couple of minion waves. We'll have our traps by the 8th minion killed. So no loss. Take the traps at level 2. Place the traps as follows:
The bush in the river. We need to be aware the jungler will want to help.
The edge of the long bush closest to their turret. This is to setup for our escape.
The third trap I like to place it between the turret and the wall. This keeps the lane narrow.
I only need 1 level of my 90 Caliber Net early game. I prefer to use my range effectively and hold onto my flash to escape. I also carry Exhaust. So the net is a 3rd escape mechanism and the most cumbersome of the 3 to use effectively.
Always take your Ace in The Hole, whenever you can level it up.
Video Footage of Proper Usage of the Piltover Peacemaker
Video Footage of Proper Usage of the Yordle Snap Trap
Video Footage of Proper Usage of the Ace in the Hole
Video Footage of Proper Usage of the 90 Caliber Net
The above video footage was created and posted by ReignOfLoL.
Headshot is a great passive ability for this offensive champion. Basically ever 8,7, or 6 attack you deal an additional 150% damage to an enemy champion. The counter is doubled if you shoot from the bushes. Your support needs to be aware of this. They can't hide in the bushes. You will be firing from there. Especially when you are pressing the opponents against their own turret. Use the increased damage to kill off minions and champs. This Headshot is also helpful near the blue and red buffs. It sure was nice of them to put that bush right there. On minions it is 250% damage, so you can grab those buffs quickly. To start the game you are probably going to help your jungler with the leash. This is an opportunity for you. Do it from the bush. Get the counter up and your Headshot ready before you even get in your lane. You'll have Piltover to clear the brush, then hit that champ for 150% damage right out of the gate. For this build that is 118 damage on the first basic attack. If you target a squishy champ, they are running for the turret. This can really add up late game once it begins stacking with your critical strikes. You can post some huge single shot numbers.
Ace In the Hole
This is your Ultimate and it is a powerful one. When it is fully leveled up the range is 3000 and damage 700. This gives you the ability to pick up several cheap kills per match. Any low health champion is a potential kill, assuming the map has been properly warded. That being said this ultimate probably backfires more than most. It takes forever to fire. While you are aiming you can get killed if you aren't in a safe location. Look up League of Legend failures on Youtube. You'll find more than one example of a Caitlyn botching this. Your ultimate is not to be used in the middle of a fight.
Ace in the Hole - Pros:
Decent cool down at 60 seconds when leveled up.
Ace in the Hole - Cons:
Can be intercepted
Reveals your location on the map. Draws a line right to you.
This ultimate is used to finish off champions who try to escape.
An alternative use of this ultimate, that I like to employ is as a threat deterrent. If you can catch the AP Carry or AD Carry wandering towards a potential fight that your team might lose, pop them with this. The kill doesn't matter as much as keeping your team intact. Hopefully the carry retreats and your team can quickly engage a team fight.
These are the events that will determine the outcome of the match. You need to always be in range of the team fights when the laning phase begins to break down. If you've had a strong run in the bottom lane you may be the cause of this break down. Using the huge range of your Ace in the Hole, slide up the river and try to hit the enemy mid champ for an easy kill. You don't even need to full on gank, just let your mid know its happening.
Back to the Team Fight discussion. You do not want to be caught in the middle or the front of a team fight. You are the squishy target and will be focused. You should be circling the fighting area, occasionally harassing with your Piltover or Basic Attack. Be cautious with the Piltover, it is a slow shot, but does damage everything in its path. If harassing be prepared to fire the 90 Cal Net at the start of the fight. You want to be out of the area of effect range. As soon as the fight kicks off, find the opposing AP Carry and take them down. The AP Carry is the biggest threat to you and your lack of magic damage. The AP Carry also is probably lacking any sort of Armor. From their go after the AD Carry. The AD Carry is probably already being abused by the rest of your team. At this point you may or may not still be alive. If you started far enough on the edge you probably avoided the burst damage and the focused attacks. If you are still alive you can begin finishing off anything that is left standing. Is your Ace in the Hole up? Hit that last enemy trying to limp back to base.
Caitlyn Fail Clips
So far this guide is how to do things right and be aggressive. This section will have none of that. This section will feature clips of completely botched Caitlyn plays from YouTube.
- 90 Caliber Net Failed 1
- 90 Caliber Net Failed 2
- 90 Caliber Net Failed 3
- Ace in the Hole Failed 1
- Yordle Snap Trap Fail - Check the bushes
- Team Fight Fail 1 - Bad Positioning
Special Yi Clip for JungleKing
This guide is my first and a work in progress. The goal of this build is to support an extremely aggressive early game to lead to a strong mid and late game.