Caitlyn Build Guide by Janitsu
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
We recommend you take a look at this author's other builds.
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.
I am Janitsu and this is my guide, where I explain how I play Caitlyn. I am always open for new ideas and will definitely check if they work! Also constructive criticism is allowed here! I don't want to see comments where people downvoted for no good reason. Also other Caitlyn guide authors: I don't want to mess with you, so please do not downvote my guide just to get your guide to higher plot!
So, this one is pretty short Introduction, I will introduce you my Caitlyn guide!
Caitlyn is pretty damn good AD carry, but they just don't play her that much anymore. Her ultimate ( Ace in the Hole) is not the best ultimate for teamfights, but it is very good ultimate for getting some early kills (Early Kills = Some Feed).
So, just put this song on and read this guide!:
(Alice fan, anyone)
Pros and Cons
|Headshot is the name of your passive. It deals some additional damage, and it is very useful in the early game since it gives some good damage against their AD carry and also makes your farm a lot easier with it's damage. This passive is better than some other AD carries have in my opinion at least, and I wouldn't change this for Vayne's passive, for example.
Piltover Peacemaker is your early harass and KS tool (KS = Kill SECURE, not Kill STEAL). It has pretty good damage early on and it doesn't have so bad scaling either. I max this first because of it's overpowered early game damage and because it makes underturret farming easier. Note that the damage will lower for every enemy you hit. You should max this first like I do, since it is the best ability Caitlyn has with her ultimate.
Yordle Snap Trap is the "gank counter" tool, and it is also very good against enemies that you would win, if they wouldn't run away. It immobilizes enemy and you will see him for a certain duration. This will probably prevent most of the ganks, if you know where to put these traps. I recommend maxing this last since it doesn't get so much better with each level.
90 Caliber Net is your main escape tool and it is also very good if you can catch someone with it. I max this second because I find it more useful than Yordle Snap Trap. It also slows enemy it hits and that's why you should aim for the enemy you are fleeing from. It has pushback. I recommend maxing this the second because the cooldown will get lower and that means you can escape easier.
Ace In The Hole isn't as good teamfight ability as Vayne's Final Hour but it is very good to finish off the enemies that run away. Note that it can be blocked by another enemy and it should be used only if you are pretty sure no one can't block it. This is ultimate so you take point at levels 6, 11 and 16.
||Greater Mark of Attack Damage is pretty much like obvious rune for AD carry. It allows you to have easier farm and it means you can't actually fail that much with it! greater mark of armor penetration is alternative for this one! I recommend getting this if you think you can't have too easy farming and getting ArmPen runes if you think they will build much armor mid-early game.
Greater Seal of Armor are taken because you will probably get harassed and you will probably get some minion aggro while harassing yourself. I think that you can get some other runes, but IMO these are the ones you should take to every game, and I won't recommend getting another runes because of it.
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed are just optional. Almost every kind of Glyph is as good for Caitlyn as are the others. I recommend getting either these or Greater Glyph of Mana or Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. The choice is yours, I use these, you may use whichever you want to!
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage are for the farming as well as your marks are. I get either these or greater quintessence of armor penetration. I find these to be more useful than greater quintessence of armor penetration because of the easier farming and the early damage with your auto attacks and with your Q Piltover Peacemaker.
I usually take these masteries. Why? Let's find out!
||Fury only gives you attack speed, but Caitlyn is one of the AD carries that benefit too much from attack speed. Your Headshot will help you with either farming or harassing. It is also good because of your passive.
Deadliness is for the Weapon Expertise , and it gives some AD for the late game, too. The 12 AD at level 12 isn't too much but Weapon Expertise is worth of taking 4 points to this mastery. You will just get some additional attack damage in the late game.
Havoc gives you some damage to every kind damage, except true damage (which I can understand lol). This one is also pretty much like basic to every AD carry and I can give you some maths. If you deal 500 damage with critical normally, with Havoc you will deal 500 + 0.03 x 500 = 515.
Weapon Expertise is the reason you need to get Deadliness and this mastery is pretty neat. It gives you 8% armor penetration which is pretty much IMO! I take this because it is like the most useful mastery you can take for AD carry.
Lethality gives you critical strike damage, which I often find useful. It "only" gives you 5% more damage to your critical strikes which means that if you crit 500, you will deal with Havoc : 500 + 0,03 x 500 + 0,05 x 500 = 540!
Brute Force gives you just some flat attack damage, and it is pretty much like the best choice to get when you need to get better masteries. I take this because it makes farming easier as well as let's you get better masteries.
Frenzy is going to make your late game even better. Every time you crit, you will get some additional attack speed which means more crits which means more attack speed! Overpowered should I say. Or quite fancy :3
Sunder is like "lolwtf" mastery. It gives you tons of armor penetration (=6 armor penetration) and you WILL need that armor penetration against their early game armor. It is also helpful late game since they will probably get some armor against someone as good as you are :3
Executioner is there to finish off your enemies. We've already counted the damage against enemies if you crit with Havoc and Lethality (which was 540). Let's add this one too!: 500 + 0,03 x 500 + 0,05 x 500 + 0,05 x 500 = 565! You've gained 65 free damage already!
Summoner's Resolve is there for the Cleanse or the Barrier, which I recommend taking on Caitlyn. It doesn't help too much, but it is better than nothing! I don't usually pick other summoner spells than Barrier or Cleanse so this is pretty useful!
Durability gives you some late game health which is pretty useful. It is also good because of Veteran's Scars . I usually take this if I am not going with some more magic resistance against someone like Sona or Blitzcrank, and even then, I will probably take this.
Hardiness gives you armor against their AD carry's harass and against minions. You will benefit at least something from it and it is pretty neat mastery, too. You should also take it for the Veteran's Scars .
Veteran's Scars gives you some early game sustain and allows you take some more damage. The health might save you from Ignite and it is worth taking it. I recommend getting this in almost every game!
Here are the Summoner Spells I recommend, which you can decide form!
Pick Two of These:
||Flash is your main escaping ability/summoner spell thingy. I recommend getting this with Ignite/ Barrier/ Cleanse/ Heal. I get this to almost every champion I play with, and I love it. It gives so much mobility and utility for you and that's why you should get it too! It also gives you more escapeing power and allows you to go through walls.
Ignite is pretty neat summoner spell but I usually find myself with either Barrier or Cleanse. Why so? Well, as Caitlyn you are usually far away from your enemy and it is hard to apply it while attacking so that's why you can't apply it 50% times in my opinion as always. It is worth it if they have much health regeneration.
Barrier is pretty neat summoner spell as well. It gives you pretty strong shield and allows you to escape easily. If enemy has Ignite, your Heal would be useless, but Ignite can't affect this one. I recommend getting either this or Cleanse. Read what I said about Cleanse and decide, or pick something else, it's your game, not mine.
Cleanse is summoner spell which works best against teams that have much CC that prevent you from using your auto attacks so stuns and things like that. You seriously need to consider this over Barrier if they have like Vayne/ Taric combo at bottom. I have this in 25% of my games. Do not pick this in blind pick, since that means you won't be able to get the full benefit from it.
Heal is now a support summoner spell IMO, but you can take it and use it if you want to. I do not recommend doing so tho, because that means you won't have as much kill potential as you would with Barrier since they can counter you with Ignite (50% healing reduction) and that's the problem with it.
There are multiple starting choices:
This start is for the hard kill lanes against you. I start with these if there's a Blitzcrank/ Thresh and Ezreal/ Graves/ Miss Fortune/ Vayne because if you get grabbed and they have enough burst to kill you, they will kill you.
This item is for low range low harass sustain lane comps against you. This item is pretty good because it gives ad and some sustain and you can easily harass their AD carry the hell outta there
This is the start against lanes that you know can't harass you so much, and you can easily win trades against them. You autoattack will deal a lot of damage to their AD carry, and it will force him/her to back up, or at least be careful while farming.
||The Bloodthirster is the main item for almost every AD carry, and it is good item because the stats it gives are just OP. Lifesteal helps you to stay on your lane, attack damage helps you with harassing. And it gets even better: The stats can be improved! You can get some additional lifesteal and 30+ attack damage!
Infinity Edge is so good item, even though it is pretty expensive. The stats it gives are worth of the gold. Critical strike chance and critical damage + attack damage. Let's say you have like 130 AD, and then you have got a few kills and some farm, and can instantly get Infinity Edge, you'll get 150 AD and chance to critical strike. Also, normally your critical strike would hit for 300 (if they have no armor), now it would hit for 1.5 x 300 = 450 damage
Berserker's Greaves are worth of buying. They synergy well with Headshot, Infinity Edge and The Bloodthirster. You will hit faster = more critical strikes and more Headshots, and with Headshot and The Bloodthirster you'll deal even more damage and also your normal basic attacks will have more dps, since now you have more attack speed!
||The Black Cleaver is so good alternative for Last Whisper, if they have three enemies with more than 125 armour I recommend getting Last Whisper but if they all have atleast over 80 armor, I would probably get Last Whisper. This item gives you some good stats: Armor Penetration, Health, Attack Damage, Cooldown Reduction and Armor Reduction.
Phantom Dancer is the item you get if you don't want to get Statikk Shiv or you sell it if you got it. In my opinion, you should get this item as soon as you get Infinity Edge. I recommend getting Zeal with your early B. F. Sword so you can have huge early advantage with your passive. The crit chance is so overpowered if you have your Infinity Edge already, and the Zeal isn't bad either.
Statikk Shiv is my favourite item for the EARLY GAME. I usually sell it when I go to mid game or late game. It is pretty kewl item if you have enemies with much armor, but you already have Zeal, since it gives you some good magic damage, which even strikes 4 enemies! I would recommend getting this if you think you won't be able to do enough damage to kill the tanky ones in the enemy team that have got so much armor.
Mercurial Scimitar is considered as offensive item but it is defensive item as well. I usually get this one if enemies have much CC and magic damage. Check Defensive Items for other items you can get, if this doesn't suit you, or the enemies do not have much CC or armor.
Last Whisper is the item you get if you don't get The Black Cleaver and this one is for the enemies who have much armor (three enemies with more than 125 armor) and I can say that this item is worth the gold you spend to get it! I usually get this mid or late game, very seldom early game. The Armor Penetration this item gives you is like getting two The Black Cleavers (if they would stack lol). I recommend getting this if you need something to kill the tanky ones or you need some health.
||Warmog's Armor is the one I prefer to get if you are being bursted down or you are getting focused and they deal a lot of different damages (magic damage, physical damage and true damage; Teemo for example). Warmog's Armor is pretty good item for late game since the stats it gives are pretty good, though there are usually better items for other situations.
Mercurial Scimitar is pretty much like explained in the previous section (Offensive Items). It gives magic resistance and the attack damage it gives is pretty overpowered. The Cleanse in it is also pretty good since I've been against teams where they have Vayne ( Condemn), Taric ( Dazzle), Udyr ( Bear Stance), Malzahar... Maybe you got the idea.
Guardian Angel is pretty neat item. I think this video will explain you what this item does (or somewhat at least :3). I get this item if they have HYUUYGE amount of burst, and Warmog's Armor wouldn't help in that situation. It's like having two Ad carries in your team (or not lol)
Wit's End is also a pretty neat item. It gives you magic resistance and attack speed, with some additional magic damage. This means that it is very good item against some certain AP carries. I'd recommend getting this if your team is pretty fed but you are worried about someone like Fizz in their team. It doesn't cost SO lot so IMO it is worth it to get it.
Sunfire Cape is against the Attack Damage champions in the enemy team. It is also good item against melee AP carries and Attack Damage tops. The magic damage it deals isn't too much, but it's better than nothing. I recommend getting this if they have alteast somewhat fed AD carry and you are scared for yourself or if you find yourself farming alone in the dark (or lane dunno)
Laning - Partners, Opponents
In this section I will tell you which supports I prefer myself. There might be other supports that work well with Caitlyn, but I like these the best.
||Janna is pretty neat support because she can give you a free B. F. Sword when she hits level 9, and that's why I like her. She also has pretty much CC and long range knock up, so you can easily but down a few Yordle Snap Trap whilst they are airborne. I recommend Janna the most against AD carries like Ezreal and Graves because she can counter their dashes and blink, and also she can Flash/ Monsoon combo behind them.
Thresh is like the hardest name to write. I always miss one "h" in his name. I like to have Thresh as my support since he has so much level 2 (or 3 depending on what he levels) CC, so you will have fun time with him if the Thresh is good. I like Thresh when I have have Blitzcrank against me. He is also a pretty good all around support. It is a battle between him and Blitzcrank. (had to copy his name from google search. What am I doing with my life..)
Blitzcrank is kinda like the same as Thresh is but then again, he isn't. I like Blitzcrank if he is good and he can pull people (clicky clicky) and is able to keep them close to him so you can tun up to them and put down some Yordle Snap Traps and then get some kills. I recommend having Blitzcrank if you have weak early game champions against you ( Sona for example).
Sona hmm... I like her because of the sustain but the supports above are far better than she is with Caitlyn. Sona doesn't offer as much CC early game which means you won't probably get too many kills with her and that means you won't get as much money and that means you won't be as much of an carry in the late game. I recommend having her against poke lanes like Ezreal/ Nidalee combos. (seen a lot of them lately, lol)
Leona is pretty good support along with Thresh and Blitzcrank since she has so much early game CC she can give you either easy kills or just suicide when she jumps on an enemy. You really need to have a Skype call (OR whatever you use) to be successful since I've seen many Leonas doing only suicides because I can't help them as soon as she initiates. I recommend her against easy kill lanes without much poke.
In the early game, you really should only last hit and harass their AD carry as much as possible. Every time their AD carry comes to farm, you really should at least try to land an auto attack. Try to get some kills with your support if possible. Remember to put down some Yordle Snap Traps to prevent ganks and to immobilize them as they try to run away from you :)
You should aim for a B. F. Sword and Vampiric Scepter early game to have some sustain. Also getting Zeal can be useful!
You should try to get dragon now. You probably have at least one kill and about 100-150 farm (at least 100). This is the time where you can either shine or die. You should try to stay back in teamfights and let your tanks and offtanks protect you while you just kill them with your insane damage coming from The Bloodthirster and Headshot. You shouldn't die too much and you should try to get some feed to carry the game in the late game.
At this point you are probably legendary and ****. You should try to get baron(s) and dragon(s) ASAP. You will be pretty much like unstoppable because of your high range, so you can just stay back in teamfights. You should also get something tanky like Warmog's Armor to stay alive, if your team can't protect you as much as they should. You should try to push and force some teamfights if you can.
Nothing more to be added IMO :)
Format: DD/MM/YYYY - WHAT HAVE I DONE
16/04/2013 - Fully reworked items and About Caitlyn, deleted a huge amount of things I wasn't happy with
20/04/2013 - Added some things to the Items section and also made some "art" kind of things
21/04/2013 - FINISHED UPDATING - WO-HOOOOOOO! Bring it on Banana and Lagger!