Caitlyn Build Guide by Matut159

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 Matut159

Got them in my sights - a Caitlyn Guide

Matut159 Last updated on October 5, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Meet the long gun of the law. (Introduction)

Hello, and welcome to my guide!

This Guide will be about Caitlyn, which is one of my favourite champions. Caitlyn is a ranged DPS dealer which excells at long range sniping and early game domination. I even consider her the best ranged AD Champion.

So let´s get started :)

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Let's investigate. (Why Caitlyn)

So, maybe i left you asking: 'Why do you consider Caitlyn the best ranged AD carry?' or 'Why should i play Caitlyn over, for example Ashe or Vayne?'

Let me tell you why Caitlyn:

  • Her base autoattack range is the longest in game, hovering at 650. This means you can easilly harass their Miss Fortune without being at risk. Lategame her range is shorter than Tristana though.
  • She synergizes very good with aggresive supports like Taric or Lux.
    Taric combined with Caitlyn can lead into wasted flashes or even a kill!
  • Caitlyn has a very good farming skills, at level 9 with combined with a few can drop minion waves in seconds.
  • She has insane DPS the whole game, meaning she can snowball very easily and dominate the late game.
  • She is a very stylish champion, and i love her quotes, hence the reaso why i put them in this guide.

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Calibrating. (Skill Sequence and Skills)

Caitlyn has a unique skillset, which enables her to do a lot of things:

Headshot = this passive is basicaly used for harassing or easier last hitting in lane, and improving your DPS in teamfights. Don´t forget that it charges faster when you are in a brush. You can utilize the brush, for a free big hit on enemy champion each 4 auto attacks, and that will show the difference after 3 headshots :)

Piltover Peacemaker = Caitlyn´s main laning skill. You can use this for harassing enemy champions, farm minions and push lanes. Refrain from using this skill each time when it´s on cooldown, mostly because you won´t have mana as this depletes mana very fast. You can use or for mana issues, or just request a Soraka on your lane :). (Btw, Soraka + Caitlyn has proven to be a very strong lane, because Soraka synergizes well with Caitlyn, so she can be very aggresive and don´t die) Overall, a very solid skill.

Yordle Snap Trap = Caitlyn´s CC and utility. You can put your traps in brushes and spot incoming ganks, snare the enemy then unload your on them etc. When you´re pushing a lane, put the traps in a row with the tower, so enemies will be forced to either trigger it (and recieve a hit) or stay behind their tower and let the tower take the hits. Either way it´s a good situation for you :). Allways remember you have only 3 traps available, so dont trap every brush you see, only the important ones. Here are some examples of trapping performed by my Superior Safari Caitlyn:
This is an example of trapping a pushed lane. The two traps are for the enemy team, and the third one is to spot ganks. I placed the third trap in bad place, because it can be seen by a jungler, so he can evade it. It should be in the red cross.

This is for your jungler. Trap either mine places, or the ones crossed.
Basically, you want to put your traps in brushes or choke points, like the entrance to blue buff

This is the I AM UNGANKABLE trapping distribution. When placing traps like this, you won´t have any of them in your bottom brushes I recommend this when you are behind in kills and don´t want your enemy to kill you again with jungler.

90 Caliber Net = The escape mechanism and gap closer. Use of this ability is very simple: When in danger, shoot yourself from the enemy, aiming on them to slow them. When attacking, shoot yourself at the enemy, closing the gap. This skill works similarly to Tristana´s , allthough on much shorter range and damage output early. It´s an amazing skill nevertheless, and can make the difference between waiting for respawn or chilling at the base with 5% HP :P

Ace in the Hole = The finisher or the opener, your bet.
When i first played against Caitlyn, i thought this ultimate is amazing, however now i think it´s not the best skill on Caitlyn. Its major drawback is the interrupt, which means you probably won´t kill their 200HP Brand,but instead you stratch their full HP Alistar. This ultimate requires some planning, if you can deal enough damage to kill, similar to Karthus But in the end, a fitting ultimate, for a sniper like Caitlyn, you just need to use it smart. Either hit their squishy before battle for massive damage, or try to catch runners.

For the Skill Sequence i use the one mentioned above:

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
At level 1 pick, then 2x , at level 4 . then it goes like this:
>>>. Simple.

The reason of leveling over is because the cooldown scaling of is better than cooldown and .25 slow scaling on , so when roaming with team you can trap choke points more often.

Tips and Tricks
  • In addition to burning through your mana,Piltover Peacemaker burns through the minions, leaving your minions to push, so you will be open to ganks. Use it wisely.
  • Try to pair yourself with a champion with CC, as you can put a trap right behind them when they are in the CC, so they will be immediately trapped, leaving you free attacks.
  • Even when fed, Caitlyn is very squishy, so don´t engage and don´t be in the frontlines. One CC usualy means game over for you :(
  • Your 90 Caliber Net paired with can make amazing escapes, but don´t be too cocky, you cannot escape everything.
  • Prepare to be focused in teamfights. By buying a simple Banshees Veil you can survive for example AP Sion´s Cryptic Gaze into your face, and kill him afterwards.
  • You can use your passive to kill red buff or blue buf faster, saving you time when you could be farming

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Up for a showdown? (Runes)

Main Rune Options


Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Health


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I love a good chase. (Masteries)

Main Mastery Page


This mastery setup i consider being the best for Caitlyn, Simply because of the huge DPS boost early, mid and lategame. The nine points in Utility ensures that the pesky enemy Ezreal won´t be level 6 before you :P, as well as decreasing your respawn timer and prolonging your buff duration, all the good stuff...

If you don´t like the 9 points in utility, you can spend the 9 points in Defense, taking 3 in , 3 in , 2 in and the last one in
This way, you will be even more tanky, but you will have less XP then your oponents.

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I have the tools for the job. (Itemization)

Core Items

Now, i feel that itemization for AD carries is very similar, so this will be pretty basic.

Start with:
  • or x3. Doran´s with a healer, Boots without one
  • (Optional) up to 3, these 475 Gold darlings will make your laning phase even better, but you don´t have to get them if you are winning your lane allready.
  • , try to get them among the blades, or before another item.
  • Rush this item, because it gives you a HUGE boost in DPS. If you can´t afford it, buy a

    and instead.
  • Now, you have to choose what to buy. If you are winning the game and don´t plan on dying, buy a . If you can stack it before midgame, you will have a big advantage, because you can stay on the lane almost forever.
  • However, if you aren´t winning, and you expect yourself to die, buy a This item is absolutely mandatory on AD carries, because of the extreme damage dealing crits. When you have a combo of and , you crit regularly, fast, and for much damage.
  • If you didn´t buy a Bloodthirster, buy some lifesteal now. Even a should do. This is for fighting other AD based champions, where lifesteal means an advantage
  • Complete your
  • Now is the time for defense. Build one from this items: , , or Yes, even Warmogs. When stacked, it gives you around 75% of your base hp and you can combo it with .
  • Based on enemy armor build either or , where when overall enemy armor is about 120+ build the Whisper, 80- armor, build the Cleaver.
  • For the last item, you can take what you need. for attack speed, for attack speed and lifesteal, or another defensive item.
  • All game: , Sight ward
  • End game teamfights: ,
You probably won´t have your full build in every game, but when you do, you are deadly. These items all together cost around 20k gold, so don´t forget to farm.
These items are NOT set in stone, so feel free to experiment and alter your build. Enemy Master Yi tearing you apart? build a . Karthus ulting you for half of your hp? Early or , you got the idea.
Asking yourself what to buy for defense? here is a pointer: for knockups: Cho'Gath, Blitzcrank etc.
for suppresions: Warwick, or AoE´s: Gangplank

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Hot on the trail.(Summoner Spells)

The Best Spells

- I think this doesn´t requre any explanation. Flash out of teamfight, Flash over the wall, etc. This Spell will save your *** countless times.
For 1v1, 1v2 early, escaping etc. When put on a AD Champion like Garen, he won´t do any significant damage for 3 seconds, use this to your advantage and 1v1! beware of enemies exhaust, simply because when put on you, you deal almost no damage too!

The Usable Ones

You may take this over , but since you should be aggresive, this doesn´t help you securing kills and 1v1 as much as does. But take this spell if you find yourself dying too much, or if you are playing Caitlyn for the first time.
Push lane, recall, and enjoy your advantage over the enemy, as you have more items. I would probably take this spell if i am going mid, because AP Champions like Cassiopeia can harass you back, and you will find yourself being low-hp often. Don´t die, recall, teleport, no problem :)
This can save you when focused, but probably won´t because you are so squishy. You can survive a Sion though.
For mana problems. I don´t recommend it though.
For securing kills early and mid game. is better though.

Don´t Use Those, Please

You will die a second later, wow.
This spell isn´t that bad as people think, but you have to have champion who can utilize it. Caitlyn can´t.
For junglers and 5 man troll games
Almost never saves you, late game even the turret :(
I have seen this spell about 3 times, that says enough i think.
Supports should take this, you worry about kills and farm, not about the enemy jungler killing his wolves.

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I'm on the case. (The Gameplay)

Early Game

If this was any other AD Carry, especially Ashe i would advice you to farm the whole early and mid game. You can do this too, but you are Caitlyn! Your early game is scary, as i said before, so abuse it. Walk into brush, last hit 3 minions and the enemy.
Do this a few times, and if they can´t outheal that, you can go for the kill. Usually you want to play hyper aggresive if you catch someone in your trap. Place them into brush, and if you hit someone, quickly them. This requires some practice, but if you can do it properly, your enemies will be forced to retreat. Also, if you don´t have a creep available to last hit, you can try to harass with your 650 range :P. Try to not to push your lane, aim your peacemakers and generally don´t do stupid stuff, like when their mid Akali is missing, and they have a jungle Nocturne, and you are on enemies´ tower pushing their creeps. Don´t do that, play it safe, especially whe you are first time Caitlyn.

Mid game.

Now the lanes will start to split up, first tower will fall and the gameplay will revolve around pushing turrets, ganking and dragon control. I would recommend to farm as hard as you can, push your lane, kill the turret, and then go farm somewhere else. Late game, your damage can be outshined, so you need to compensate it with items. Items cost Gold. You gain Gold from minions and kills. So farm. AD Carry gameplay generally revolves around farming, so prepare to kill a lot of minions.


In teamfights, your role is to deal damage, you don´t have to kill their AD carry, that is your assassin role( Talon), you just need to deal damage, as long as it´s safe. You can melt even their tanks, if you shoot them around 5 seconds, so don´t aim directly on the carry, just deal damage. Also, positioning. If you can position yourself well, you shouldn´t die often, just stand as far as your attack range enables you. Also, you should wait for dangerous CC´s like Leona or Amumu . Then, when you are sure you won´t die in one second, go in and shoot someone. But remember, as far as possible.

If you died a lot of times, say, 6 or more, you should farm up. Tell your team to not engage, just farm, for as long as you can. If done properly, you can still win the game, it will be just harder.

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Me, miss? Not by a long shot. (Ranked Play)

Caitlyn is viable at all elo, and she is considered one of the best picks. At low elo, she will stomp, basically because of her range. I play Caitlyn at 1400 elo, and i usually do good.
If you want to start playing rankeds, learning Caitlyn will greatly help, as she generally helped me to get higher, and i only started to play rankeds 2 weeks ago.

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Boom. Headshot. (Your Friends and Enemies)

In this chapter i will list some of the best lane combos, worst lane enemies, and general champions which you can have problems with.

Friends Basically, a support with a CC, preferably hard CC, or Soraka with mana SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE/color]
Enemies Or all good AP mages or assassins. Especially a assassin, if a ults you, you are probably dead, depending on his build. On your lane, you could have problems with or but usually smart play > Champion.

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Would you prefer the good cop, or the bad cop? (Conclusion)

And that sums up the guide, i hope you liked it. I will of course update and reinforge my guide to keep up with patches and other guides. Based on feedback, i may write another guide, so please let me know how was this one, and give me some tips for the future.

Until next time, and good luck with sniping your enemies :)

Comments are VERY welcome ofcourse

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Change Log

  • 3.10.2011 Added some details, like the picture in Introduction, and fixed some errors.
    Also, i rewrote the first two chapters, because they were accidentaly deleted :(
  • 2.10.2011 Edited the guide based on feedback
  • 2.10.2011 Guide published on MobaFire