Caitlyn Build Guide by NirvanaBunny
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.
Items of Situation
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.
Threats to Caitlyn with this build
|Twitch||Twitch simply can't handle Caitlyn's harass and pushing power. He has no way to harass back or clear waves and even his damage is lower in early game. He only has a chance if he can force a fight once he has items.|
Welcome to my guide for the ADC character Caitlyn - The Sheriff of Piltover.
This guide includes builds and strategies for this champion and assumes you are familiar with the basics concepts of the game.
+ Great CC
+ Excels at Kiting
+ High Range
+ Passive allows for extra poke damage
+ Natural Escape
-Low base stats
-Skills less effective late
-Traps are visible
-Ult can be interrupted
Caitlyn 's basic attacks generate 1 stack of Headshot . At 7 / 6 / 5 stacks, her next basic attack will deal bonus physical damage equal to 50% of her attack damage. The bonus damage is tripled against minions and monsters. Attacks from brush will grant 2 stacks of Headshot . Attacks against towers will not grant any stacks.
After a 1 second casting time, Caitlyn fires a projectile that deals physical damage to all targets it passes through. Each target hit after the first takes 10% less damage, down to a minimum of 50% of the original damage.
Caitlyn sets a trap at target location that arms after a brief delay. Enemy champions who come within 67.5 range of the trap will detonate it, becoming rooted and taking magic damage over 1.5 seconds. The trap also grants true sight of the target for 9 seconds.
~ Caitlyn can set up to 3 traps and each lasts 4 minutes. Traps are visible to both allies and enemies. If she sets a trap when three are already placed, the oldest trap will deactivate itself.
Caitlyn fires a net, knocking herself back 400 units in the opposite direction. The net will deal magic damage and slow the first enemy hit by 50%.
After a brief delay, Caitlyn locks onto a target enemy champion and channels for 1 second. While channeling, Caitlyn gains true sight of the target. If Caitlyn completes the channel, she will fire a 3200-speed homing projectile toward the target that deals physical damage to the first enemy champion it hits.
Summoner Spell Choices
Heal is a great general defensive spell to improve your survivability in duels and teamfights. Use it in any situation where you need the extra health and movespeed to survive, or to bait enemies into suiciding for you. You can even potentially use it to save your allies or to help them reach their targets in a gank or fight. With the patch 4.5 changes I strongly believe that Heal now outclasses the previously used spell Barrier in almost every way and will be used a great deal on both AD and support. I would not be surprised at all if it gets nerfed in the future.
Ignite is a great offensive spell to secure your kills, but I wouldn't carry it all the time as Caitlyn . You are a ranged champion for a reason and with your Ace in the Hole you can secure your kills that way. Though, I still sometimes carry it around with me if my support decides to run Heal instead of Exhaust .
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
* AD marks are simply a must have for an AD carry. You need the extra AD from these to help you last hit minions and to give you increased damage on your harass. Some people like to use a single Crit Chance mark for a chance at a cheesy one in a million lane winning crit.
*Armour seals are virtually required for laning against ranged AD opponents, which will be practically every game in bot lane. Without them you'll take a great deal of extra damage from your opponent and won't be able to trade effectively./color]
*MR glyphs are the best remaining choice, as there aren't a whole lot of glyphs that give good benefits for an ADC. Flat MR is usually better because most bot lanes have enough magic damage to be a threat, but if you're certain your lane opponents will have no/very low magic damage you can take per level instead. Replacing 3-4 MR with attack speed can be a good option if you prefer to risk a little more offence.
*AD Quints I like just because it'll give you some extra AD, though you can use whatever you prefer for these. Another option is Attack Speed Quints
Items of Situation
Can replace Phantom Dancer. This is the better mid game oriented choice for your AS + Crit item, being cheaper than Phantom Dancerwith a better build path and giving you strong up-front damage and waveclear using the lightning proc. A very strong strategy can be buying an early Avarice Blade (after Pickaxe or B.F. Sword), giving it extra time to stack up. You'll earn about 400 gold from it, making Shiv effectively about 700 gold cheaper than PD.
This item gives you the highest amount of DPS of anything in the game due to the powerful crit passive and its' synergy with Phantom Dancer . Once you have this you have a cheesy 20% chance to do a huge amount of damage to your opponent, so you should try to poke with autoattacks and pray that RNGesus is on your side. Prioritize building either the BF sword or the Pickaxe over the Cloak of Agility because crit chance is worse than AD until you already have ~180 AD.
It's pretty rare that you'll reach this point in a game but if you do you'll probably be wanting a defensive item to stop you from exploding instantly. There's a variety of defensive choices which excel in different situations, but BV is generally the best choice because of the high amount of stats it provides plus the insanely strong spell-shield. It really screws with your enemies' ability to poke, initiate/catch and to burst you down. Even against a team with only one magic damage source the shield and health alone will help you a great deal.
Replacement for Guardian Angel . This may seem like an unusual choice for an AD carry, but when facing an enemy team with an extremely high amount of AD casters or AD-based bruisers it's actually a pretty decent choice. The combination of high health and armour gives you the most effective stats against such opponents, while the passive and active serve to slow down enemies who run at you and help out your ability to kite. That said, I still feel that GA is generally a better option.
Can replace Berserker's Greaves only in ultra late game with all items finished. Selling boots for this item causes you to gain more damage, C DR and Tenacity at the expense of your movement speed, which makes it quite a risky thing to do. I don't generally recommend doing this unless you're extremely confident in you and your team's positioning because it makes chasing and kiting much harder, which can result in you actually losing DPS even though you have more damage stats.
Can replace Banshee's Veil. When you do a huge amount of damage, being able to come back for a round 2 can be pretty strong. This item is especially strong against fed assassins and burst champions who must run into your team and use their cooldowns to kill you, because they will waste all their abilities only for you to revive. The passive can easily go to waste, however, if you misposition and/or your team isn't able to protect your revive location.
This item works extremely well with cait's passive Headshot . This item makes you hit 2 bullets apart from your original one, each one dealing 50% of your attack damage (and applying on hit effects such as lifesteal and critical hits). This means you will get 3 of your 6 needed hits to activate your passive, and if you attack while in the bush you will get your passive immediately (as long as there are 3 targets to hit).
~Though, while I never really get this item anymore, it's a decent item if you are behind in farm late game, or even early game. If that happens I buy it and when I'm caught up, I sell it and get a different item.
Can replace Banshee's Veil. If you feel absolutely confident that you're not in any danger of being killed during team-fights you might wish to go for a full damage build by finishing with this item. You'll get crazy amounts of life-steal and chew up tanks, plus a useful active for self-peel.
AS and Crit chance are must-have stats on an AD carry, combining with IE to give you a huge amount of autoattack DPS. Once you have this you'll hit a huge powerspike as you'll be attacking very fast and triggering IE crits 55% of the time, so you should be looking to teamfight. Compared to Shiv, PD gives you a later/slower powerspike and no useful passive, but does give you considerably more stats than Shiv. Since Caitlyn has no problems waveclearing and doesn't deal burst damage it's often better to go for the stronger sustained damage of PD.
Rules as a Marksman (ADC)
A marksman is a ranged attacker that sacrifices defensive power and utility to focus on dealing strong, continuous damage to individual targets. Typically focused on using their basic attacks more than their abilities, marksmen have the capability to scale and deal out devastating levels of damage in the late phase of any game.
Not only should you pay attention to what the enemy minions health are at for last hitting; but keep track of yours. Every time you see friendly minions low, expect there AD going to last hit it and make him make a choice between trading auto attacks with you and missing the CS, or taking a couple of auto attacks for that CS. If they don't have sustain, giving them huge damage early game is worth missing out a couple CS to get them zoned.
You always want to start Q Piltover Peacemaker . It allows you to push the lane early and make your way to dominate the lane easily. Don't be afraid to use your range effectively. Caitlyn is a very safe champion with range, traps, and net. Don't try to fight champions head on unless you have an advantage in trading damage. Caitlyn 's attack speed nerfs were targeted for her early laning phase so she's that much weaker going straight up 1v1. Remember, she's a sniper play like one! If the enemy bot lane tries to initiate on you, just use your E + Q combo to get out while doing a good amount of damage to them, then go back to annoyingly poking them with your range.
Caitlyn is a great tool for sieging with her range, Q, and traps. Once she gets her The Bloodthirster it makes it a lot easier with better attack damage, and better damage with her Q which has a really high AD scaling. By mid game you should have probably dominated your lane by now so you can group, roam, and try to win other lanes (if not stay in lane and just continue being the annoying sniper you are).
Late game is one of Caitlyn's strongest point (after early game/laning phase). Often there will be some team fights, you want to start out ulting a non sustain champion such as their mid laner or support, since they are the usually the most squishiest. Using your ultimate Ace in the Hole on their ADC doesn't benefit you much since they always have lifesteal, so they can just sustain by hitting the minions. Hit your ultimate and they're down at least half health before the fight starts.
Teamfighting as Caitlyn
Your role in team-fights in fairly simple in theory - deal as much damage as you possibly can.
The most important skill to work on when playing an AD carry is positioning and kiting. This means ensuring that you are never in a position where the enemy team can stun and immediately kill you. Generally you want to stay as far back as possible - ideally, at maximum auto-attack range from your target - and target the enemies that are most threatening to you. It's likely that at least one of the enemy team's tanks/bruisers/assassins will try to get to you and either kill you or force you out of the fight. Don't panic and keep moving in between shots. Remember that you have E, heal and flash and be ready to use them when necessary to gain more time or distance.
You may encounter people who tell you to focus carries and ignore tanks but generally these people do not understand how to play AD carry. It's very rare that you'll get an opportunity to properly focus an enemy carry and when you do it's usually because they made a big mistake or got caught. Most of the time you'll be forced to target tanky champions before you can break through to the enemy back line - this is one of the main reasons why you buy Last Whisper. Only if the enemy tanks are very low on both damage and disruption is it occasionally possible to simply ignore them and proceed straight to the enemy backline.
Above all, staying alive is the most important objective. Without your damage your team will probably lose the fight, and you don't do any damage when you're dead. When in doubt, just attack the closest enemy.
~Small edits and spelling changes
~Updated for Season 5
~Small update in build
~Change in summoner spell
~Small change in abilities
~"Items of Situation" updated and edited
~"Summoner Spells" tab added
~Created new build "Aggressive"