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General Guide by MissMaw

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League of Legends Build Guide Author MissMaw

Misused Guide

MissMaw Last updated on February 7, 2015
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Hi friends, I'm a veteran LoL player who has been playing the game and following the competitive scene for three years. I main Marksmen with about 1600 normal games played. I don't play much ranked but in season two I reached Gold (1505 Elo) and in season three I reached Gold I. Currently I'm in Gold II for solo queue and Platinum V with my 5s team.

I bought Caitlyn way back in season 1 and she has always been one of my favorite champions in the game. I've written one previous guide which was also for Caitlyn, but it became very outdated and to be honest I wasn't very good at that time. Watching Doublelift playing Caitlyn at IPL5 was the inspiration for me to start playing Caitlyn again and to start over with this guide.

In other words I like to think that I know what I'm talking about.
If there is any term you do not understand, please check the LoL Terminology before asking.


||| Caitlyn is a ranged Attack Damage carry or Marksman, a role that specializes in building massive amounts of damage and annihilating enemies from a distance.

Caitlyn's strengths compared to other ADCs are her considerably superior range; the average ADC has a range of 550 whereas Caitlyn's is 650, allowing you to hit your opponent without receiving damage in return. Caitlyn's abilities combined with this range allow you incredible poking and zoning potential and make her a very safe, strong pick that has no losing matchups. Caitlyn is considered to be one of the best ADCs in the game at present.

On the downside, her mid game is somewhat weak and her aggressive pushing/zoning style of laning invites ganks from the enemy team. She's also not very good in a straight up fight to the death, so if you fall too far behind on Caitlyn you could find the game snowballing against you.

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Previous Chapter
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Runes
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|| 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 may use a single Crit Chance mark for a chance at the cheesy one in a million lane winning crit. |||

|| Armour seals were nerfed quite hard in patch 4.5, but they're still generally the best option for laning against AD opponents - which will be most games in bot lane. Another decent option is a mixture of health and armour, taking 4 armour seals and 5 health seals. |||

|| 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 some MR with flat mana regen or attack speed is a great option for a little more offence. |||

|| Attack Speed quints were greatly buffed in patch 4.5 while the old choice of Lifesteal were nerfed. These quints improve almost everything about your laning phase by making it easier to last hit multiple minions, smoothing out your attack animation and allowing you to land repeated hits on opponents much more easily. They also scale well and are the highest value flat quints in the game. I prefer this mix of AS and AD for optimum last hitting. |||

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Masteries
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The choices are mostly quite straightforward here as far as Offence is concerned. You're an AD carry and your job is to do as much damage as possible, so you want to go deep into the tree picking up all the AD-based masteries while ignoring the AP ones.

|| I take points in Butcher and Feast instead of Double-Edged Sword , Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving because the Weaving masteries aren't particularly useful for Caitlyn as she is an autoattacker and the Feast sustain is incredibly valuable. I skip out one point in Warlord for Dangerous Game because Warlord provides very minor bonuses and triggering Dangerous Game can be really game-changing in fights.

I like to spend the remaining 9 points in the Defence tree to pick up useful laning masteries. Block and Unyielding allow you to trade more effectively, more health is always extremely useful and 2 health regen is surprisingly significant early on.


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Summoners
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|| 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 Heal now outclasses the previously used spell Barrier in almost every way. |||

|| This spell is 100% essential on every AD carry (and most champions in general). You can use this to escape from ganks, dodge skills that would kill you, correct your teamfight positioning, go through walls or even use it offensively to finish off a fleeing enemy. There's no reason to ever not take this spell as soon as you unlock it. |||

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Ability Sequence
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|| Start with Q because it gives you the ability to deal much more damage at level 1. Landing a good Q can win your lane immediately and it's much better if there's any kind of confrontation. Starting with W is a trap, please don't do it - it will make you useless and/or extremely vulnerable to getting caught until at least level 3.

Since your W and E skills are mostly for utility you should prioritize points in Q first for damage and poke. I prefer to level E next, because it gives you more escapability and more damage + a faster cooldown on your burst combo. Skilling W can let you spam your traps more effectively but it's generally not as good.

As always level R whenever you're given the option.

Abilities
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|| Every 8 / 7 / 6 attacks (attacks while in brush count as 2, attacks against structures do not count), Caitlyn will fire a headshot, dealing either 150% damage to a champion or 250% damage to a minion. || //
This passive gives you a good amount of extra damage, essentially half of a critical hit. It's very strong for harassment early game and also enhances Caitlyn's DPS nicely later in the game once you have some items built up. When it's ready you'll hear a sound effect and see a glow appear around Caitlyn's hands.

Make sure to try to use the shot on your lane opponents as much as you can, because it'll hurt a whole lot. At the very least you can use it to scare them into backing away from you. It's worth noting that this charges twice as fast when you shoot from brush.



|| Caitlyn revs up her rifle for 1 second to unleash a penetrating shot which deals 20 / 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 (+1.3 per attack damage) physical damage to targets in a line. It deals 10% less damage to subsequent targets, down to a minimum of 50%. || Q
Caitlyn's main ability. This thing does high damage and has very long range, so use it to keep up the pressure on your opponent early game and chunk down their health. Once you get good at predicting your opponent's movements you can deal a lot of harassment damage through proper use of this ability. This is also your main tool for pushing the lane, as it will take a huge chunk of health from an entire_.minion wave.

Bear in mind however the 1 second cast time not only requires you to predict your target but also makes you vulnerable as you're forced to stand still for this time. Early in the game if you're fighting you should be sure to weave Q in after an autoattack whilst you're unable to attack to maximize your damage output. Later in the game once you have items built up you'll notice that because of the cast time you actually start to deal more damage with autoattacks than by using Q, so at that point in the game it's advisable to only use this to poke, when several enemies are clustered together, or when you're unable to reach with your autoattacks.



|| Caitlyn sets up to three traps which trigger on champions. When sprung, the trap immobilizes the champion, deals 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+60% of ability power) magic damage over 1.5 seconds and reveals the target for 9 seconds. Traps last 4 minutes. When she sets a trap once the cap has been reached, the oldest trap will deactivate itself. || W
This ability is one of the keys to what makes Caitlyn such a strong zoning champion. You can put these in a line of three across your lane behind the enemy minions and it makes it incredibly hard for your opponents to last hit or make any kind of play without receiving a lot of damage in return.

You should be sure to place traps around the area when your team is attempting an important objective such as Dragon or Baron. If the enemy team show up they'll have a tough time navigating around them during the fight. If an enemy gets stunned by an ally, you can place a trap right on top of them to chain your CC. Also use these to block off the path of enemies who are chasing you or your allies. ||

It's very important to keep in mind that these traps give a very brief period of vision when you place them down. This means that you can and should use these to check for enemies in unsafe brush or over walls.



|| Caitlyn fires a heavy net to slow down her target by 50% for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds and deal 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+80% of ability power) magic damage. The recoil knocks Caitlyn back. || E
Despite the misleading description the most important part of this skill is actually the recoil. This skill is Caitlyn's escape and it works basically the same as Flash, although unlike Flash it does have a short cast time during which you are still vulnerable. Use it to escape, chase and cross walls by aiming in the opposite direction to where you want to go. Remember if you are being chased hitting the net will apply a significant slow on one enemy.



|| Caitlyn takes time to line up the perfect shot, dealing 250 / 475 / 700 (+2.0 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to a single target at a huge range. Enemy champions can intercept the bullet for their ally. It provides vision of the target for the duration. || R
Usually you'll be using this to pick off low health enemies who would be able to escape otherwise. Bear in mind that even though this can be blocked, the travel time is very fast so it requires close proximity or the use of Flash to block the bullet. You can get some unexpected kills in lane by hitting a good Q to take an enemy low and following it up immediately with this. If you can get both enemies low you're more or less guaranteed to get a kill on one of them. It can also be used simply to pressure an enemy into going back to base or stop a recall.

Do not use this ability in the middle of a teamfight. The massive cast time actually means that you'll deal much less damage than with autoattacks and you're a sitting duck while it channels.



EQ Wombo Combo
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Caitlyn's E skill has a few interesting interactions with her other skills, most notably the fact that it can completely cancel the animation for Piltover Peacemaker whilst launching it from where you were standing before you used E. This is done by quickly using E and pressing Q immediately afterward before you move (it helps if you're using smartcast).

The result is that your opponent has to deal with a hard to see Q coming from an unexpected place, possibly while being slowed and damaged by your net.

This is a useful combo because it allows you to gain distance whilst still dealing damage and can take opponents by surprise. You can also follow up by using your ultimate for a surprising amount of burst damage if your opponent is on low health. It also happens to look really cool. The video below is the best example I was able to find, but you should be able to figure it out with a little practice.


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Items
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|| Starting Items

Core Items

Late Game Items

Situational Items



Start
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|| This item gives you the best possible combination of stats for early laning. You have AD for last hitting and poke, health in case there's a fight or you're bursted and you have lifesteal to sustain every time you attack. If you're forced back with a low amount of gold and/or you're having trouble with sustain you should pick up a second Doran's Blade.

|| You have a little extra gold left over from Doran's, so pick up a health potion for some more lane sustain. Use it when you've lost a good portion of health from a trade to heal yourself back up or during an engagement to give yourself an advantage. Throughout the early game you should be sure to pick up 2 or 3 health potions every time you're in base and have gold left over.

|| There's now a choice of three free trinkets, but this one is fairly obviously the best of the three. You get a short duration ward which is pretty useful for helping your support out with warding the lane brushes and later for checking potentially dangerous brush or objectives.



Core
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|| 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 25% chance to do a ridiculous amount of damage to your opponent, so you should try to poke with autoattacks and pray you get lucky. It's pretty stupid that this is how the game works now honestly but there you go. 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.

|| Boots are a requirement for every champion and these boots give the best stat for an AD carry, however the stats they give really aren't very helpful in most laning situations. If possible you should always focus on building up Infinity Edge before getting boots, though gold amounts don't always work out that way. If you happen to be at base with ~300-400 gold you can pick up Boots of Speed earlier in the game.

|| 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 be attacking very fast and triggering IE crits 55% of the time, so you should be looking to teamfight. This is the better late game oriented choice for your AS + Crit item, giving you higher stat boosts compared to Statikk Shiv. In terms of DPS this item is considerably better, especially later in the game when Shiv's passive becomes much less useful.

|| This is probably the number one item that is misunderstood by newer players and guide writers. Even if the enemy team is fairly low on tanks and only has one or two armour items this is still a requirement to buy on an AD carry and will almost always give you more damage at this point of the game than anything else. Bear in mind that champions building armour are the most likely to be attacking you and moving into your range during teamfights. Once you have this, you are officially at late game mode and you should be able to obliterate enemies during fights provided you are able to stay alive and attacking.




Late Game
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|| You'll really be hurting for Lifesteal by this point in the game, and although The Bloodthirster was nerfed incredibly hard I still think it's a decent choice for a late game purchase. This item will allow you to heal back up rapidly from the outskirts of a teamfight and from minions if you get poked/chunked while standing off against the other team. The shield passive isn't all that great, but 440 health isn't bad and when kept fully stacked it will protect you from 1-2 abilities and give you a possibility to survive if you get jumped on by an assassin. Alternative item: Blade of the Ruined King.

|| 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 spellshield. 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. Alternative items: Blade of the Ruined King, Guardian Angel, Mercurial Scimitar.

|| You can put this on your boots later in the game once your core is complete if you have some spare money to burn. It helps out somewhat with your kiting but it's honestly not that noticeable and there are more important things to buy.
Alternative item: Enchantment: Homeguard.

|| : This is basically just a free health and AD boost for extreme late game when you have no items left to buy. Free stats, why not?
: Doesn't do very much for Caitlyn, but if you've finished everything else then you might as well. 10% CDR is useful for your 90 Caliber Net.
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Situational Items
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|| Can replace: The Bloodthirster OR Banshee's Veil. This item is more effective than BT if your opponents are stacking up a lot of health, but bear in mind that the passive damage cannot crit like AD can. You may also wish to buy this for the active, which is highly useful as a self-peel against some bruisers or lower mobility assassins as it creates a large movespeed advantage for you. Buying this instead of a defensive item can be very risky as you leave yourself open to getting caught out and bursted down, but if you're certain you can remain safe it will give you the highest possible DPS in the game.

|| Can replace: Phantom Dancer. Compared to PD, Shiv gives you a stronger early and mid game with its passive by attaching up front area damage to your first autoattack, allowing you greater ability to poke or burst down enemy champions and push lanes very quickly. This damage will fall off very quickly later in the game however, and the item offers considerably less in actual stats than PD does. If choosing this item it becomes even more important to move around in between your autoattacks because doing so will actually enhance your damage. Prioritize buying Zeal before Avarice Blade unless you're a long way behind and just trying to farm up and avoid fighting.

|| Can replace: Banshee's Veil. When you do an 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 your team isn't able to protect your revive location.

|| Can replace: Banshee's Veil. This is a decent defensive item that works essentially the same as Cleanse, except notably it also works on several non-cleanseable ultimates - Warwick, Malzahar, Skarner, Mordekaiser and Zed are some examples that can be removed with the active. The weakness of this item is that it has virtually no effect against a bruiser or assassin jumping on your face and won't stop you dying very quickly, plus the build path is pretty terrible. Remembering to actually use it at the correct time can also be an issue.

|| 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, CDR 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: Enchantment: Furor. This enchantment is great in any situation where you're really behind in a game and find yourself basing a lot. The massive movespeed boost lets you get to lane much faster, catch enemies and make plays when your base is under attack.


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Recommended Supports
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||| Braum is pretty crazy right now. His laning isn't that great because he has problems dealing with pushing and poking champions, but Caitlyn can mitigate these weaknesses and easily trigger his passive with her long range. Braum's teamfighting and late game is incredibly good, as he can lock down the entire enemy team for huge periods of time and is extremely tanky.

|| Deadly Bloom

||| Zyra excels at pushing and poking, just like Caitlyn, as well as bringing powerful AoE for teamfights. Her damage is very high in both laning and late game. Her weakness is that she's very squishy, dying quickly if caught out with burst.

||

||| Nami provides everything you could ask for in a support with her multiple CCs, buffs and heals. Her Tidecaller's Blessing works very well on Caitlyn because of her high range. Nami is very hard to play however - she has no real damage of her own and if she misses her Aqua Prison she's useless.

||

||| Thresh is a strong aggressive support with great gank assist, good defensive peel and the ability to pull you to safety when you're in trouble. Thresh is highly versatile and can choose to play in a more poke oriented way, as his on-hit damage is high and his Death Sentence sets up Peacemaker even if he decides not to go in. Combine this with being tanky and Thresh is always a great choice.

||

||| Morgana is another versatile support offering good opportunities for both poking and initiating fights with her Dark Binding, though it's rather difficult to hit compared to other abilities. Her Black Shield can also protect you from a whole bunch of nasty CC effects that would normally result in your death, as long as she's able to use it in time.

||

||| Lulu has some strong poke ability to compliment Caitlyn's, with her slow also making it easy for you to follow up with Q and autos. In addition she is great at keeping you safe with CC, shields, whimsey movespeed, and extra health from Wild Growth.

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||| Karma brings a crazy amount of poke damage to your lane and has a powerful slow to allow you to easily follow up with your own damage. She also has good utility, with a snare, shield and a Talisman of Ascension-style effect on her Defiance giving your team mobility. Unfortunately despite her ridiculous early-mid game Karma's late game is relatively weak compared to others.

Other Supports
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||

||| Sona has a lot of laning power with great poke and decent healing and later in the game she brings a powerful initiating tool in her instant AoE ultimate. She's extremely squishy however and can die very easily if she gets caught by any CC.

||

||| Leona doesn't really synergize too well with Caitlyn, but she is still a great support. She has a huge amount of lockdown CC combined with being almost impossible to kill with her armour/MR shield and good early burst damage. Unfortunately caityln Caitlyn is not the best at following up on Leona's initiations, but this lane can still work fairly well.

||

||| Janna, like Nami, can buff your poke respectably using E while also shielding you for a good amount. Again however, her own damage is extremely lacking and she has no good way to pressure your opponents. On the bright side, Janna is also pretty good at protecting you later in the game with her ultimate, CC and shield.

||

||| Annie is extremely strong at initiating and winning fights, having the highest burst damage AoE of any support. Later in the game, her Flash + ultimate combo can devastate the entire enemy team. Since her nerfs, however, her laning is rather weak - she has almost no ability to poke and her spell ranges are low, making her not a great choice for a Caitlyn.

||

||| At one time Taric was considered the #1 support with caityln Caitlyn, but after numerous nerfs his glory days are over. He still provides pretty good zoning and fighting ability in lane but his late game sucks and other supports can serve your needs better.

||

||| Nunu used to be absolutely ridiculous with Caitlyn but he has been nerfed a great deal since then. His W provides her with the steroid ability that she sorely lacks, giving her a large boost to her mid and late game, but in my opinion it's not enough to make up for what he lacks in other areas.

||

||| This lane can be pretty annoying since it has neverending sustain. Unfortunately the problem with Soraka is that she's relatively useless in a fight and has no mobility or CC, which means you are both at very high risk of dying if you get caught by any abilities. She's also not very good at securing kills or supporting ganks.

||

||| Blitzcrank is a kill focused support who likes to start fights a lot. Although he's pretty good at it, Caitlyn isn't really very good in a direct fight so I don't feel like this is a great combo. On the plus side he is very good at zoning with brush control.

||

||| Alistar is quite a strong late game support as he's very good at protecting you from threats, however his laning phase is very bad in most matchups. His short range makes him an easy target for harass and his damage in a fight isn't high enough to make up for it.

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Early Game
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If your team has a jungler, you'll generally want to begin the game by protecting your team's jungle. For blue team a good spot to stand is the tri-bush next to bottom lane (this can be a dangerous spot if the enemy team has a Blitzcrank). For purple team you can stand just past the opening to your jungle near the dragon pit.

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If you're on blue team and your jungler is starting with the Elder Lizard or you're on purple team and your jungler is starting with the Ancient Golem you can and should help them out a lot by assisting them with killing the buff monsters - just be careful to leave before it dies so you don't risk taking the kill or the exp.


|| Assuming you helped in the jungle, when you arrive in lane you should find the minions already fighting. It's very important in bot lane to make sure that you push the lane by damaging minions slightly harder than your opponent does at level 1 to ensure that you gain more experience and reach level 2 first. This gives you a window of opportunity to play aggressively and zone out your opponents since you and your support will have two abilities and better stats. If you're unable to do this and your opponents reach level 2 first you must play cautiously until you can equalize the level disadvantage.

In general, the best strategy for farming minions is to allow them to fight until one is near death, and then pick them off with a single autoattack. This reduces how much your lane pushes, making it harder for enemies to gank and easier for allies. It also enables you to zone your opponent away from the minion waves much more easily if you get an advantage. However, another more aggressive strategy that works well with Caitlyn is to push continually up to the enemy tower by hitting minions with autoattacks or Qs - this makes it hard for your opponent to get last hits, allows you to harass them easily while they attempt to do so and puts pressure on the enemy team to respond to your push.
|| Whenever there are no minions that are on low health, you can and should be taking shots at your opponents instead. Caitlyn's range is the highest in the game and you should abuse it as much as you can for free damage. If you notice that your opponent is about to try to last hit a minion, hit him with an autoattack or two and consider following up with a Peacemaker. In general you should try to establish your dominance and make them afraid to even come close to the minions. Be careful not to do this too much right away, since enemy minions hurt a lot at early levels.


If there's a fight at any point, make sure to kite by moving around in between shots. If you don't issue a move order Caitlyn will simply stand there doing nothing in between autoattacks, which is wasteful and can be dangerous or cost you kills. Always hit the biggest threat to you, which is most likely going to be the AD carry. If you're able to get kills on your opponents you generally want to push the minions up to the enemy tower by autoattacking and Qing as fast as you can and return to base to buy items. Pushing the minions in this way means that your minion waves will hit the enemy tower and die on it before anyone can arrive, giving no experience or gold to the enemy team.

Hopefully you are winning your lane. If you feel like you're ahead, you should attempt to place three traps across the lane and stand on the minions or even between the minions and your opponents. This forces them to navigate your traps and take free damage every time they attempt to get close to the farm. If someone walks into a trap, you have a free hit with Peacemaker and several autoattacks. If you're significantly ahead or some members of the enemy team are dead and your Jungler is nearby, you should attempt Dragon for a big global gold and experience bonus for your team. ||

Example of how to zone with traps:

If you should fall behind and no longer feel safe to zone and harass, just try to pick up as many last hits as you can without getting into danger and hope your team assists you. As long as you're careful to keep up your cs you can still get yourself back into the game later on. One last thing to remember is to check items. Items like Vampiric Scepter and B. F. Sword make a great deal of difference to the lane and knowing which areas you're stronger and weaker in compared to your opposite is important.

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Mid Game
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This is probably the most vague section of the game and the part that people understand the least. Mid game generally begins as soon as towers start to be destroyed around the map. It is the part of the game where people begin to roam to other lanes and move around in groups to make things happen. It's not uncommon at this stage of the game for a team to attempt Dragon or begin ganking lanes with 4 or even 5 people which makes it somewhat unsafe to continue laning in the river area, especially if your tower is already dead.

This is also the stage in the game where Caitlyn is usually weakest. Skirmishes begin to happen more regularly here and as I mentioned Caitlyn is quite weak in direct fights. Without items your autoattacks don't deal very much damage and your skills are not very effective at DPS. You have a few options here depending on how well you're doing.


You can always:
  • Destroy the enemy bot lane tower.
  • Roam, try to get an advantage by picking up Dragons, kills and the mid lane tower. Bear in mind the enemy bot lane can farm freely while you're gone.
  • Take a jungle camp. This is a little easier for blue team because minigolems are much closer to the lane than wolves.

If you're ahead you can:
  • Stay in bot lane and keep zoning and freezing the lane. Bear in mind the enemy bot lane may roam.
  • Stay in bot lane and push like crazy. This will put pressure on the enemy team and force more people to come to bot lane.

If you're behind you can:
  • Freeze the lane by tanking minions before they hit your second tower and only last hitting them. Done properly, this causes the minion waves to stay on your side of the map for a very long time and is by far the best way to catch up when you're behind in cs. However, your opponents are free to roam to Dragon and mid lane and your team may have difficulty without you.

Even if there's a lot of action around the map, try to keep an eye on your own lane and return periodically to farm up the gathered minion waves. Keeping up in farm whilst controlling objectives and assisting your team is difficult but very important to the role of AD carry.

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Late Game
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I define late game as the point in the game where it becomes extremely unsafe to be moving around without your team and getting caught or losing a teamfight will result in immediately losing Baron, Inhibitors or even the game. Generally at this stage of the game AD carries will have completed most of their core items (in this case IE + PD + LW) and will be doing a lot of damage. Do not stay in a lane alone for any longer than necessary or you could find yourself getting caught or the enemy team rushing a Baron. Stick with your team as much as possible.


Teamfighting as Caitlyn
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Your role in teamfights 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. Stay as far back as possible and target the enemies that are most threatening to you. It's likely that at least one of the enemy team's tanks/offtanks/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 and 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. 90% of the time you'll be forced to target tanks before you can break through to the enemy back line. This is one of the main reasons why you buy Last Whisper.

Above all, staying alive is the most important objective. Without your damage your team will lose the fight and you don't do any damage when you're dead. When in doubt, just attack the closest enemy.

Table of Contents
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If you have comments, suggestions or questions please feel free to post here or send me a private message. I will read everything and reply to questions and criticism.

And remember...



Guide Top

Hey guys. My name is Vapora Dark. I play on the EUW server on the account Vapora, which was Diamond in season 4 and is currently sitting at Platinum 3. I've been playing League of Legends since late season 1. Talon has been my main champion since a little after season 2 started, and since then I've collected ~2,000 games on him. In season 4 I reached my highest ever rank at Diamond 2, on my Talon only smurf hey its talon, which is currently sitting at Diamond 5, and (hopefully) climbing.

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

I play Talon on every role, but this guide is going to be based on mid lane, which is the only role really worth playing him in.

Even after his last nerf, Talon's still a pretty strong pick in solo queue. As of writing this, he's the mid laner with the 8th highest win rate in solo queue (only counting from gold+)



If there is any term you do not understand, click here for the Terminology chapter.


1. An Evaluation of Talon
2. Runes
3. Masteries
4. Summoner Spells
5. Abilities
6. Items
7. Early Game
8. Mid Game
9. Late Game
10. Matchups
11. Conclusion





A year ago, Talon was one of the most underrated champions in the game. Then out of the blue, Curse's mid laner Voyboy brought him out in an LCS game, and had a lot of success with him. Shortly after that Talon's play rate (and soon after ban rate) shot up and he got played in more LCS games. He even got played at Worlds for the first time, and in more than one game. After so much exposure, it became obvious to everyone that Talon had a serious design flaw; he could silence you for 1 second, and he could kill you in under a second. He had no counterplay other than staying the hell away from him. As an ADC, all you could do if Talon jumped on you, no matter how fed you were, was pray that someone would Exhaust him fast enough to save you.

cutthroat And so, Riot nerfed him by removing his silence completely. In return, they gave him a 0.25 second 99% slow. After that everyone who'd jumped on the Talon freelo train hopped off and considered him nerfed out of viability. He's back in the exact same spot he was in a year ago. And he's still pretty underrated.

A 1 second silence isn't broken. What is broken, is a 1 second silence coupled with the rest of Talon's kit. The silence is gone, but what made it broken is still there; huge damage dealt almost faster than the other person can react. In some cases since the nerf, I've killed an enemy in under 0.3 seconds, from full HP. Talon's nerf cut down on his oppressive power, but there's still not much counterplay against him when he gets ahead.

So, Talon's strengths:
He doesn't snowball. He avalanches. Give him an item advantage and he'll repeatedly blow up his enemy laner every time his ult comes off cooldown, and be a huge threat around the map if he roams.
Great roaming in laning phase. Rake ends up being a pretty decent slow as you level it, giving Talon some CC to bring into ganks. This, coupled with the huge, quick burst he brings to ganks, makes his ganks deadly against the right enemies.
Great at catching out individual enemies. Being able to approach unsuspecting enemies from stealth, or simply running up to them with Youmuu's Ghostblade and Boots of Mobility, and blowing them up the second he touches them, Talon's ability to swiftly remove an enemy from the map before a fight is possibly unmatched.
Can be a great duelist as well as assassin. He isn't limited to just being able to beat squishy enemies. His huge instant burst will take a big chunk out of bruisers too, and with Youmuu's and Noxian Diplomacy, he can keep up a steady stream of DPS after his initial burst, meaning the champions that can withstand Talon's attacks for long are few.

He has his fair share of weaknesses too though:
He's weak before he has items. As mentioned before, Talon has high ratios but low base damages, so before you get your build going, he's going to be weak against most enemies. If you can get through the early levels more or less even with your opposing laner, you should be fine as soon as you get items and hit level 6, but if you fall behind, you may have a tough time catching up again without any jungle help.
No clear escape. He can use cutthroat to go in on an enemy, but he can't use it to get away from one (unless there are some really conveniently positioned minions nearby). Shadow Assault can serve as an escape, but it's also essential as a damage tool in lane, so you're significantly weaker if a jungle gank forces you to use it to escape. It's also obviously unavailable as an escape if you just used it for damage. And in addition to these points, pink wards, Oracle's Lens or stealth reveal (hello Lee Sin) will make the stealth component of Shadow Assault useless, leaving you with just a small burst of movement speed to get away.
It's hard not to die in teamfights. If the enemy team plays their cards right, teamfights should follow a pattern of you killing the enemy ADC, only to proceed to die to the rest of his team. Unless you have Flash up there's not really anything you can do about it. This means it's very easy to get shut down gold from Talon, and it's hard to carry teamfights unless you get a chance to do a lot of AoE damage.

My dear friend Talon is far from perfect, but at the same time, I feel like his strengths outweight his weaknesses by far.







greater mark of armor penetration



ArmPen
+11.52
Armour
+9
MR
+12.1
AD
+6.75
greater mark of armor penetration Marks: Armour pen is the most optimal mark for Talon. Talon does 100% physical damage, aside from Ignite, and when you get items, the amount of damage you do is huge. Armour pen will reduce the amount of damage mitigated by the enemy's armour.
alternative option

Seals: Armour seals are essential when playing against an AD matchup. The damage mitigation will make you a lot more tankier than HP seals would, and there's just really no other options for seals.
alternative option

Glyphs: Magic resist glyphs are the most optimal choice when playing against AP matchups.
alternative options

Quints: The optimal choice here is AD, as it'll help you last-hit and increase your damage against enemies greatly.
alternative option







Offence Tree
In the offense tree, we grab as many damage enhancing masteries as we can, as they synergize very well with his kit.
  • Double-Edged Sword : This mastery is worth it on most damage dealing melee champions. It increases damage on your enemies as well as yourself. As Talon, you'll be taking a lot of damage early game during your weak phase, but for the most part you'll be dealing more damage than you'll be taking during the game, making it worth it.
  • Expose Weakness : You basically never fight an enemy without casting a spell on them, and you do a ton of damage so that 1% extra goes a long way. And yes, it does increase your own damage as well as your allies' damage.
  • Spell Weaving + Blade Weaving : Your burst mixes auto-attacks with spells, so during your burst you'll build up max stacks on both of these masteries, so that you're doing 3% extra damage on both auto-attacks and spells.
  • Executioner : 5% extra damage is really strong, even if you do only do it to half HP enemies.
  • Dangerous Game : This can save your life quite a lot, but the most useful thing about it, I've found, is that the extra mana it restores will constantly come in handy in situations where you'd be OOM without it, more than the HP it restores would.
  • Warlord : It isn't a very strong mastery really, but the only options are this and 1.25% CDR. We put just 1 point in this, partly because of what I just said, and partly because the first point is the strongest, giving 2% extra AD while the other points just give 1.5%.
Defence Tree
There isn't much to talk about here. We go for defense because it's stronger than utility, and we pick the only masteries that are any good within the first 9 points.
  • Recovery : I'm not going to talk much about this, I'm just going to mention that it gives you 24 extra HP per minute, which is double the HP one point in Veteran's Scars gives you. Instead I'm going to say that the only alternative, Enchanted Armor , gives you 0.45 armor and 0.6 magic resist, until you build more resistances, if you ever do. So it's not much of a competition.
  • Block + Unyielding : As a melee champion you take numerous poke during laning phase. These two masteries will therefore be very useful as every enemy auto-attack will do 4 less damage, and every spell 2 less damage.
  • Juggernaut : Even though you don't build much HP for the most part, it's still the strongest mastery available to you at that point, and at level 18, you'll have built up a decent HP pool just through your base stats anyway.








|| FLASH || This is the best summoner spell in the game, almost every champion takes it and it's completely irreplaceable. It's the defensive summoner and the best offensive summoner all at once. The fact that you see all 10 players take this in 99% of games just goes to show how strong it is. Talon has no good escapes, so this is absolutely essential on him. Even its offensive use is very important for his teamfighting. Being able to Flash -> cutthroat the enemy ADC during teamfights gives them very little time to react when they weren't expecting you to be on them so fast. ||

|| IGNITE || This is the second best summoner spell for Talon as it adds more damage on top of his burst. It'll help you secure kills you wouldn't have otherwise had, and the healing reduction will counter any mid laners who decided to take Heal to survive against you in lane. And when your primary objective is to kill someone, more damage never hurts. ||













There's 2 viable options here; Crystalline Flask or Long Sword. At lower Elos, if you're good enough you can get away with starting Long Sword every single game and winning every lane no problem. If you're not as good, or if you're higher Elo where enemies are more able to punish you, there's a lot of matchups where you'll want to start Crystalline Flask instead. In the matchups part of the cheat sheet I wrote what item you're recommended to start with in each matchup, and I'll remind you again when I explain each matchup further down in the guide.

The general idea is that you start Crystalline Flask against lanes that either outsustain you if you don't start it, such as any champion who starts Cloth Armor like Akali or Katarina, or against high harass lanes where you'll spend the first half of laning phase farming up through enemy harass, such as Ziggs or Orianna.

You start Long Sword against any matchup which has high focus on melee trading; for example, Zed. While Zed does have ranged harass in the form of Razor Shuriken, it isn't overwhelming, and he'll need to get in melee range to farm a lot. You can force trades when he goes for a last hit to abuse your Long Sword damage, which isn't something you get to do against ranged champions.

In each of your first backs, you want to go for whichever items will give you the biggest power spike (AKA, whichever items will give you the most AD). For example, even if you're intending to rush Tiamat, if you only have gold 800 gold on your first back, you don't just buy one Long Sword and save the rest of your gold for getting Pickaxe on your next back; you buy 2 Long Swords, one which will build into Tiamat and the other into The Brutalizer. Talon's lucky compared to most other champions in the sense that Long Sword is a component of almost every item he builds, meaning on each back, if you can't afford anything other than Long Sword, you can just buy one and it will build into one of your core items later on. Most champions have to keep saving up for items that cost ~880 or ~1600 gold if they don't have enough on one of their backs, whereas Talon can always find something he can afford on each back.

A general guideline for what to buy on your first back each game is something like this:
500+ gold: +
750+ gold: +

900+ gold: +
1100+ gold: +

1250+ gold: +
1600+ gold: +
N

O

T

E

S
• The priority of your consumables is as such; 1If you don't have : 2 s > > . 2If you do have : > > . Don't buy a Vision Ward if you have personally already set one down, as you can only place one pink at a time.
• If you don't have Crystalline Flask, you need to have enough gold left over after buying your chosen items to buy at least 1 Health Potion. I accounted for that in the guideline.
• You should never have over 3 Long Swords at any one time. It'll clog up your inventory and you eventually won't have enough space for all the separate items you need until you upgrade them all.
• Your inventory should never consist of just The Brutalizer. You need at least 1 other damage item to go with it; if you have 2 Long Swords and go back to base with 700 gold, you just buy another Long Sword and get Boots of Speed. This is because part of The Brutalizer's cost efficiency comes from the armor penetration, but if you don't have enough damage for that armor penetration to be worth it, then The Brutalizer is cost inefficient.
• You can buy Boots of Speed too at any point, but only upgrade them before finishing Tiamat and The Brutalizer if you intend to roam.



The first two items you'll be aiming for are Tiamat and The Brutalizer. The order in which you build them depends on the game and how you want to play; The Brutalizer is less effective against enemies with high armor, so if the enemy has built Cloth Armor or Seeker's Armguard, you'll want to opt for Tiamat. And due to how it immensely aids your wave clear, you can also opt for Tiamat if you either want to play more defensively, or if you want to roam more. If your enemy hasn't bought armor and you want to kill them as much as possible, go for The Brutalizer first. Then build whichever item you didn't build, with Boots of Speed in between if you're wanting to gank. You can even upgrade them to Boots of Mobility, but you need to gank enough to make the purchase worth it. Never upgrade to Boots of Mobility if you don't have either The Brutalizer or Tiamat.




After you have Tiamat and The Brutalizer, your next 2 objectives are Youmuu's Ghostblade and Last Whisper. The order depends; if you're super fed and you go back to base with enough gold for a whole Youmuu's Ghostblade, then you buy it straight up. The reason is that if you're fed, then you already have enough damage to destroy anyone you come across, and Youmuu's Ghostblade's active will make you considerably faster than anyone else on the map, and allow you to much more easily get in range to burst someone down. If you finish it during laning phase, your enemy laner will have to hug the tower to stop himself dying repeatedly every time all your spells come up.

If you don't have enough gold for Youmuu's however, or if you're not fed enough to abuse its active, then build Pickaxe/ Long Sword/both to build into Last Whisper as soon as you have enough gold.

These are your core items, items that you build every game no matter what. After this your choices can be more situational.



Your options are:

Infinity Edge: This is situational, but not in the sense that you only buy it in specific situations. You just buy it whenever you don't need any of the other situational items. It's really strong, so you should hope to make it your 5th item in most games.

The Black Cleaver: You buy this instead of Infinity Edge either when the enemy team has very high armor, and you need to put a large dent in the enemy team yourself to carry teamfights, or when the enemy AD carry is building Randuin's Omen. The reason for this is that when the ADC becomes that tanky, Infinity Edge's huge initial burst loses value as they'll survive it and the rest of your burst won't do as much damage because of their armor. In most cases you'll have already built Infinity Edge by the time they start building Randuin's Omen, so you can go for a glass cannon build and build The Black Cleaver as your 6th item. Once you have enough gold, you can either sell your Infinity Edge and get a defensive item, or you can just keep up the glass cannon build if it's working out for you.
[4:35:50] Daniel: Hexdrinker: You build this as either your 5th or 6th item whenever the enemy team has either a very large single AP threat, or is running a double or triple AP comp. Annie and Zyra support count as AP threats if they're building full AP.

Guardian Angel: Never build this as a 5th item, only as a 6th, or your damage will fall off very quickly. You should generally build this when you're carrying and your team needs to do more than just kill 1 person before dying yourself.

Mercurial Scimitar: Build this whenever there's 1 particular CC in a game that's constantly screwing you over. Whether it be Annie's passive, Warwick's Infinite Duress, Malzahar's Nether Grasp, or just Nasus's Wither. It takes priority over Guardian Angel if you need it, but you'll usually need Guardian Angel more than Mercurial Scimitar, if you even need anything defensive at all. You could also build this as your 5th item and Guardian Angel as your 6th against squishy, high CC high damage comps.

Banshee's Veil: This substitutes Guardian Angel when its passive goes on cooldown if you're against a team with decent magic damage and CC. Or you can just buy it instead of Guardian Angel to be tankier. Again, only as a 6th item.

Randuin's Omen: Similarly to Banshee's Veil, this is your go-to defensive item when your Guardian Angel goes down if you're against a high AD comp, or alternatively, you can buy it instead of Guardian Angel just to be tankier in general, if you feel like you need to be.


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