Caitlyn Build Guide by Mootowncow
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.
The Role Of AD Carry In Season 3
Understanding the role of the champion you are playing and what is expected out of that role is an extremely important aspect of understanding any champion. The role of AD Carry has always been to farm for an extended period of time then proceed to carry the game as the primary source of single-target DPS at range, building mostly glass cannon in order to maximize DPS.
As of Season 3, this has slightly changed. With the cost efficiency of armor and health items, along with the change in how armor penetration works and the availability of offensive items for bruisers such as black cleaver, it becomes much harder for an AD Carry to survive late game long enough to deal any sizable damage.
So to conclude the first chapter, the point of this guide is to show how to turn Caitlyn into a strong pick in the current meta, capable of snowballing the game in record times safely and consistently.
When Should I Pick Caitlyn?
Caitlyn manages to fill roles other than late game DPS better than any other AD Carry pick currently available. While Caitlyn is an extremely strong pick on her own, there are certain team compositions in which she excels. She does best with champions that aim to push and gain early advantages in their own lane. Lanes such as Pantheon Mid/Top, Yorick Top, Mordekaiser Mid, along with a strong ganking jungler such as Maokai create a game atmosphere where Caitlyn is the strongest.
How Should I Play Caitlyn?
In one word, aggressively. Caitlyn has a unique advantage in bottom lane few can compete with, an auto attack range of 650. This advantage is easiest to press on low range carries such as Graves and Sivir. Another aspect of laning that Caitlyn excels at is pushing. Through the combined power of her Q and her passive, Caitlyn can quickly push the lane at any time. Abusing her range advantage early levels and her pushing power allows Caitlyn to create a huge advantage and knock down bottom tower quickly and easily. One should aim to get the 1st bottom tower and purchase Boots 2 and Statikk Shiv as soon as possible. Why those items? First, Statikk Shiv combined with her Q allows Caitlyn to chew through waves at record pace. Second, these items give you the movespeed needed to escape from ganks which is invaluable if you are farming past the 1st bottom tower.
One of the most common mistake players make in bot lane is to immediately go to mid once the 1st tower on either side is down. This manuever is easily messed up through a well timed gank from the top or jungler, or through any bit of poor positioning. Often times, the better strategy is to continue to to push bottom lane, in order to further deny their bot lane farm and to pull aggressiveness from other lanes and the jungler, allowing your lanes to gain or regain advantages. If you find that continuing to push and pressure bottom lane becomes impossible because of heavy ganks, then you can look to push another lane, preferably one that has built some sort of advantage.
This strategy can carry your team into the late game, where if you have played well, pushed down towers, and taken objectives and buffs, your team should have a large advantage. Look to take Baron and then to push and end the game quickly as possible. Remember that the best played game is the one that ends the fastest with a victory for your team.
What Should I Be Wary Of When Playing Caitlyn?
While Caitlyn is an extremely strong laner, there are quite a few circumstances and champions which can stall or even deny her victory. There are several threats in lane for Caitlyn. All-In laners such as ones used in kill lanes and Draven can be extremely dangerous for Caitlyn if not played well against, smart trap placement along with strong pushing and use of E will allow her to survive and win these engagements. The same goes for when the opponents have a strong sustain support as Soraka. Advantages will be harder to create, and you will need to play to Caitlyn's advantages in lane in order to come out on top.
One of the greatest challenges for AD Carries to overcome is when their solo lanes fail. In this kind of situation you have to look to freeze your lane and deny the other laner experience and gold so you are able to purchase items in order to overcome the deficits of your other lanes. The game will most certainly be extremely hard to win in this circumstance but it can be done as long as you play well, farm well, and position defensively.
What Supports Should I pick with Caitlyn?
Caitlyn is somewhat unique in the fact that by herself, she can effectively farm in many 1v2 matchups. Thus, you will be able to play with any support and be able to win the lane. That said, there still are some support picks that work better than others for Caitlyn lanes. Here are some examples:
Paired with Caitlyn, Soraka turns this into the most fool-proof and safest lane in the game. Outside of repeated gigantic mistakes, this lane will be able to win sustain wars and push anyone out of lane.
When Lulu pairs with Caitlyn, she emphasizes two important aspects, pushing and auto attack harass. Lulu can push the lane quickly with her Q and punish melee supports hard with her passive and ranged auto attack.
Sona and Caitlyn lanes are among the strongest, if not the strongest early level lanes in the game. Whereas Soraka starts getting incredibly strong around level 3, Sona can push a level 1 or 2 advantage slightly harder. Also extremely safe.
Most believe that Caitlyn is extremely weak lategame compared to most AD Carries and has no steroid, when in fact, Caitlyn's passive is a steroid in itself, enabling strong sustained DPS and high burst damage if combined with an IE crit on the same auto attack. Nunu opens up opportunities for Caitlyn to harass with autos using Ice Ball, and with Blood Boil, Nunu enables Caitlyn to do extremely strong late game DPS and destroy towers quickly.
Overall, Caitlyn is one of the strongest and my personal favorite AD Carry pick in the game. Her ability to excel in both pushing, harassing, and freezing, along with her overall game utility make her a great pick in all cases, and in some, a game breaking one.