Caitlyn Build Guide by MRN.Heartbeat

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 MRN.Heartbeat

Want another shot? Heartbeat's Caitlyn Guide

MRN.Heartbeat Last updated on July 10, 2013
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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... Hi guys. My name is Heartbeat, and I'm a former professional League of Legends player from ex-Team MRN. Currently I have three accounts in Diamond 1, and I play every role at a very high level. I have played mid, AD, and support to a professional level.

Caitlyn has been one of the most played AD carry champion ever since release. She's popular because she has one of the longest range auto attacks in the game. This makes her able to safely output her damage from a really far and safe distance.

Here's a video I did to show you how I generally play Caitlyn in a high ranked game:

Follow me on twitter! @HeartbeatLoL

Mondays~Fridays from 12~6PM PST

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Let's talk about what Caitlyn excels at, and what she's mediocre at.


  1. Incredibly Long auto attack range (650)
  2. Has an escape ability ( 90 Caliber Net)
  3. Incredibly Lane Dominant, can play aggressively 'safely'
  4. Has an extremely long range nuke (Ace in the Hole)
  5. Has great tower siege capability, using her traps
  6. Can poke well using her Piltover Peacemaker.


  1. Peacemaker is a skillshot
  2. Has no AD or Attack speed steroids
  3. Mediocre mid game without items

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. Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage


9x AD marks are key because you want to be doing the most damage as possible as an AD carry. AD marks will not only let your auto attacks and skills do more damage, but it will also help you last hit easier.


Armor seals are very core for an AD carry because you will most likely be going against another AD carry and a support. Without armor seals, you're going to be taking a LOT of damage in lane, and thus without these you will never be able to 2v2 against the enemy bottom lane.


I like a mix of mana regen and magic resist glyphs. There are two ways to build glyphs, either full magic resist (scaling or flat, whichever you feel is appropriate) or throwing some mana regen glyphs in. The reasoning for mana regen glyphs is so that you can take 9 points into defensive tree in your masteries. This gives you a lot more armor and health for laning phase. Without mana regen glyphs, you're pretty much forced to put points into utility tree for the mana regen. So I like the trade off, and i personally recommend putting a couple mana regen glyphs + using the defensive tree in your masteries.


I like using 2x Life steal Quints and 1x AD Quint. This is because you still want the lifesteal runes that will help you sustain yourself forever in lane, while still having a pinch more of AD to help you bully your lane harder. If you feel like you just want more scaling into late game, then feel free to take 3x life steal quints, i believe this is personal preference.

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21 points into offensive tree is core on any AD carries. Your main role is to farm until mid to late game, so that when you have 4~5 items you will be doing the most damage in your team. In order to maximize your damage output, putting 21 points into offensive tree will bring out that maximum damage potential. I personally like putting the 3 points into butcher/destruction for easier farming under tower / more damge to turrets (since Caitlyn is one of the strongest tower pushing champions in the game). If you disagree, then feel free to put the 3 points into havoc (remember getting 2 more damage every 100 damage isn't too appealing for me.)

Now like i mentioned in the rune section, I like to go 9 points into defense tree so that i won't have to put points into utility tree for the mana regen. To do this, you will need a couple mana regen glyphs in your runes. Caitlyn does use a lot of mana, and you WILL need mana regen to stay in lane. So personally, through many experiments I came to personally liking the 9 points into defense tree as it lets your laning become a LOT more flexible with the extra armor and health.

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There's only one ideal way to build Caitlyn. The reasoning behind this is because of Caitlyn's lack of steroid, she needs to be building straight into the late game as soon as possible. As soon as you have that sweeet IE + PD + LW, you'll be pretty much set for the game in terms of damage.

Starting item
- This is the most solid item to start with on Caitlyn because you can utilize the Damage/Sustain that this item gives better than any other carry due to your long range.

On your first back, you should try to buy
- This is the best item you can get on your first buy. Saving up 1550 gold might be a bit hard, but this will let you build towards that Infinity edge as fast as possible, while still giving you a ton of AD by itself during laning phase.

- Try to buy one of these two at the very least on your first back if you're forced to back early. Vamp sceptor will pretty much let you sustain yourself until you can buy a BF sword, and berserker greaves are one of the most cost-effective items in the game because it gives you a lot of movespeed as well as attack speed, which are both really strong on caitlyn.

Building into Late game..
- This item here is probably the most important item to get on Caitlyn. Not only does it add a lot of raw damage as well as that 250% increased damage from crit, but once you get a crit on your passive Headshot, it will do MASSIVE damage. If you have a smooth laning phase, you should definitely aim to build this item first.

- This item synergizes best with Infitity Edge because it gives you a lot of crit as well as attack speed in order to have more chances to crit. The movespeed definitely helps as well in order for you to kite.

- This item is great if you plan on sieging towers really quickly because it adds the most raw damage than any other item. It's also nice vs divers so that you'll be able to somewhat sustain yourself throughout the fight.

- I tend to go Shiv with BT because it's a bit cheaper than a PD, and you'll be able to hit your last whisper much earlier. BT/Shiv is much cheaper than an IE/PD, hence i like to buy those two in that combination - IE/PD for the ultimate late game damage, and BT/Shiv for mid game presence as well as tower sieging.

- Once you have your BT/Shiv or IE/PD you'll want some percent armor pen so you can start shredding down tanks. As the game goes into mid-late game, everyone will have at least some armor because of runic bulwark, so you'll need to get this regardless as your 3rd or at least 4th item.

- I build this if the enemy team has multiple divers. This will let you self-peel using the active and it's just a generally good utility to have building towards the late game. I'd buy this instead of a Bloodthirster after the IE/PD/LW build.

Defensive item options for late game
- If the enenmy has a lot of skill shot CC's, or massive pokes you'll definitely want to buy this item. The cooldown on this item is fairly short, so as long as you position decently you will be immune to getting caught.

- I like to get this if i just need that extra bit of HP to stay alive, and the lifesteal i have is enough to sustain myself throughout extended teamfights. This will make your auto attacks slow every hit, so it's also really great utility to provide for your team.

- If you need to buy QSS because of a supression skill or against unavoidable ultimates from zed, morgana, or vladimir, then go ahead and buy this. It will also give you a lot of AD from the full upgrade, so if your reaction is good enough to press the active and save yourself, definitely go for this item.

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Headshot (Passive)

This will make your auto attacks do extra damage every 8th/7th/6th auto attack depending on your level. When you're in a brush, the counter will count twice so if you're able to position yourself in a brush during a skirmish it will greatly increase your damage output! Also, if you happen to get a critical strike along with this increased damage it will output an insane amount of damage, especially combined with an Infinity Edge.

Piltover Peacemaker

You main pushing/harassing/poking ability that deals damage in a line. Remember that it will deal less damage as it hits more targets! It's good to note that you can use this right after you use your 90 Caliber Net which will put you in a safe place as well as deal a good amount of damage to the enemy bot lane at the same time. Late game, it's better to use your auto attacks instead of stopping yourself to cast this ability because of its 1 second casting time.

Yordle Snap Trap

A mainly sieging ability that places a trap on the ground, and once an enemy steps on it they will be snared for 1.5 seconds. This is great when pushing towers or being pushed to towers because you can create a barricade with it. With the barricade, your team can initiate if someone decides to eat the trap accidentally, or it will either stop the enemy from initiating on to you. Remember that this also gives you vision of the target for 9 seconds!

90 Caliber Net

Your main escaping tool that can also be used to gap-close if needed. This ability might be a bit tricky at first because you need to cast it opposite to the direction you want to be propelled. Again, you can combo this ability along with the Piltover Peacemaker. This ability can also be used to jump through small walls such as dragon pit or baron pit so make sure you know where you can jump over!

Ace in the Hole

A snipe ability that has an extremely long range. It will deal massive amount of damage, but its only fault is that the enemy teammate can block the bullet for the target. If the target dies before your shot goes off, it will go on a short cooldown so you'll be able to cast it again (although it consumes the mana). I don't recommend shooting this in the middle of a teamfight because it will make you immobile for a second, so only use this as your last bit of damage if you feel like you're way too low to enter the teamfight.

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Skill Sequences

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

You always want to max Q first because it is your trademark pushing/harassing/poke ability. By leveling this ability up it will deal much more damage, as well as decrease its cooldown.

Next, you want to max E because it's your main escape ability. By leveling it up it increases the damage the net deals, as well as significantly lower its cooldown. This means it will add more punch to the E+Q combo, and you won't have to be zoned when your net is down as it will have a much less of a cooldown.

Lastly, max traps last because it gives you the least benefits. You can max traps 2nd if you're playing 5's with your friends or team and your team wants to start pushing at around 10 minutes. By being able to put a trap zone when you're sieging your team will have more catch opportunities as well as having a safety zone. But otherwise, you should max this skill last because it's usually late-game when your team will want to group up and start pushing, maximizing the utilitiy that the yordle snap trap brings.

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Good Lane partners

Let's talk about which popular support champions are great with Caitlyn.

- Thresh brings everything to a bot lane. He will give you a ton of CC, a lot of damage, as well as that lantern to get you out of sticky situations. As a Caitlyn lane who's designed to take down towers by pushing, you'll feel really safe with the amount of peel that Thresh has when a jungler seems to be camping you. Also, if a Thresh lands a hook then that should end up in burning the enemy bot lane's summoner spells or even a kill.

- Janna Cait is an old school lane that has always been strong because you can fully utilitize the AD buff that you get from Janna's shield in combination with Ciatlyn's insane auto attack range. Also, Janna is one of the best peelers for an AD carry mid-late game, so that just adds more reason to pick janna with caitlyn! Although, you should watch out for bad trades because Janna won't provide you with much health sustain.

- This is one of the hardest pushing lane combos for a bot duo. With Lulu's Glitterlance combined with your Piltover Peacemaker you should be able to instantly clear creepwaves at max levels. Not only that lulu can give you a shield as well as a big health buff with her ultimate, so this makes her a great support to be with a Caitlyn.

- Sona's one of the best poking/trading supports in the game, using her powerchords to chunk enemy bot lane often. This is where Caitlyn also excels at, by being able to poke the enemy down with your 650 range, hence these two make for an excellent lane. Although you should definitely watch out for jungler ganks because Sona isn't a mobile champion and she doesn't offer much peel for you.

- Nami is my recent favorite support to play with Caitlyn because her E works best with long range AD carries, and Caitlyn is one of them. When she lands her bubble you can follow up with a trap for an incredibly long snare duration, and she can also heal you through trades. An all around good support with a Caitlyn!

- This is another old school lane where the taric will stun and then Caitlyn can set a trap under the stunned target for an additional snare duration. Works well, but we haven't seen much Taric lately. it's still a great lane, just underplayed.

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Early Game / Laning phase

... This is where Caitlyn shines. You can either opt to help out your team against a heavy invade team such as Blitzcrank by starting with traps and then putting some down in narrow jungle corridors. Otherwise, save it so you can put a level in Q level 1.

You should decide how you want to play laning phase before the creeps meet at 1:55. You can either start pushing right away, or play the last hit game and look to trade here and there. This also depends on the support - if you're playing with a melee support you might want to farm near your tower because melee supports won't be able to do much when you're up pushing enemy tower. Always try to coordinate your ridiculous auto attack range with your support to maximize the amount of poking and harassing you can deal in lane. For example, if the Janna gives you a shield you should maximize the efficiency of it by trying to play a bit more aggressive with the shield as well as the bonus AD you get from it. Remember to always use your traps somewhere either in the bottom brushes or at the enemy tower on cooldown.

You should think twice about using your 90 Caliber Net offensively as it is your only escape ability other than blowing your flash. Make sure you stay on the right side against a catch jungle if you're on blue side to avoid getting hit by a skill-shot in the blind spot (and hug bottom wall when pushing on purple side). ...

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Mid/Late Game + Teamfights

... Mid to Late game solely depends on how much farm you were able to get as well as a couple kills. You typically need to get your IE/PD/LW or BT/Shiv/LW before you can start dealing damage to tanks - so try to focus on farming as much as you can. Don't be discouraged if you messed up somewhere and fell behind in terms of gold - just be patient, freeze the lane if you have to, and just farm until you have more items!

In teamfights, it's actually a lot easier to play teamfights with a Caitlyn because of her long range. Try to hit what you can with your range, even if it means tanks. If you feel like the enemy nocturne built full tank and you're okay with him hitting you then ignore the tank and go for the back line with your team. This kind of stuff comes with experience and game-knowledge, so the more you play Caitlyn the more knowledge you'll have on knowing what to do in teamfights.

Sieging is another thing we should talk about. Laying down 3 traps to make a barricade when pushing against enemy towers will give you that safety net when the enemy tries to initiate onto your team. Also, if the enemy steps on the traps you should be able to chunk them or even maybe kill them. If you don't have creep waves to hit the tower, just stay back and throw out as many Piltover Peacemakers as you can to slowly wittle the enemy team's health down. Just Always remember, do NOT get caught while pushing and sieging towers. ...