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Caitlyn Build Guide by StriveHD79

ADC ✔️[10.18] S+ Tier Marksman|Diamond Guide|All Matchups

ADC ✔️[10.18] S+ Tier Marksman|Diamond Guide|All Matchups

Updated on September 19, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author StriveHD79 Build Guide By StriveHD79 28 1 93,266 Views 4 Comments
28 1 93,266 Views 4 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author StriveHD79 Caitlyn Build Guide By StriveHD79 Updated on September 19, 2020
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1 2
Fleet Footwork
Presence of Mind
Legend: Bloodline
Coup de Grace

Nimbus Cloak
Gathering Storm

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Heal


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

✔️[10.18] S+ Tier Marksman|Diamond Guide|All Matchups

By StriveHD79

Has Self-Peel
Great Area Control/Denial
Strong Late Game
No Bad Matchups
Lane Bully

Caitlyn is arguably one of the best marksman to pick right now. She has extremely strong laning power, mainly due to her long autoattack range and out ranging most of the other marksman. Not only this, she is one of the strongest early game laner, she is able to push the lane faster than most other marksman, using her Q ability from level 1, pressuring the enemies from the start, able to push for level 2 power spike to have the threat of early kill pressure. Making use of her range advantage by poking the enemies whenever they try to go for a minion, this will help you slowly gain an health advantage, over time you can even 2v2 dive the enemy under their own tower once you have built up such advantage.

- Low Mobility
- Q Ability Locks Her In Place
- Hard To Comeback
- Weak Versus All-In
- Weak Versus Sustain

Caitlyn is generally weak against All-In and Sustain matchups, a champion in particular comes to mind is Senna. She likes to poke and harass enemies as much as Caitlyn does, except for the fact that her Q will damage and harass her opponents and at the same time heal herself and any allies hit by the ability. Meaning that whenever she trades, she will almost always come out on top with her sustain. Other champions that provide strong sustain in lane are Yuumi and Soraka, actively poking and trading against these two lanes may be a mistake which will ultimately make you lose more health, trading too much and your health will dwindle quicker than you expect when you thought you had an advantage by poking them, so now you would have to reconsider, you either all-in or stay back and farm safely.

Why Caitlyn ?

I have played Caitlyn for a very long time even before she became meta, and was not exactly in a great spot but I was still playing her. Something about her headshot autos, her range, , her strong laning phase, her overall kite, combine with the excellent skin designs like the pool party just makes her really fun to play. Besides the fun element, she is a extremely potent pick right now, an almost must pick/ban in pro play. You are able to blind pick her into any matchups, as she has zero terrible ones, there are some matchups that is not as favourable but nothing unmanageable. Not only this, she is extremely oppressive in lane when paired with the right support like Janna, who provides poking in lane, shielding, healing and excellent disengage tools. At times you are even able to 2v3 against the enemy junglers, and when you are constantly winning lane and pushing, the enemy team will try to group and kill you. Which means they are losing out in their own lane or is giving free space for your own team to make plays knowing the jungler is in the bot lane and not in their lane to gank them.

When to pick Caitlyn ?

Caitlyn is an excellent blind pick right now, since she has no terrible matchups. Meaning you do not have to worry about the team composition or what the enemy team pick as much when picking her. You generally want to pick her into something that has short range and champions that you are able to keep at bay. Something that comes to mind is like Lucian, his range is extremely short and thrives in close quarter fights. While he does have his dash ability, it is simply not enough to make up and gap close the distance to kill you as you can easily use your net to get away from him. You may consider pairing Caitlyn up with a support that provides strong peeling or poke ability, something like Janna has it all, she provides poking in lane, shielding, healing and excellent disengage tools, but that is best case scenario, Caitlyn does fairly decent with most of the supports overall so I would not sweat it.

  • Fleet Footwork: is really good on Caitlyn for two reasons, she can proc it with her superior range advantage to gain movement speed to further chase down enemies or escape from a dire situation, and it synergies well with her headshot passive to heal for a bonus amount.
  • Presence of Mind: Even completing essence reaver you may still encounter some mana issues where you run out of it. This rune changes that and helps prevent you from ever running out of mana. Allowing you to constantly use your abilities without the need to rest.
  • Legend: Bloodline: This is by far the best out of the other 2 options, because it scales the best, providing the most value. We can have attack speed in our build but very rarely do we get to build life steal as an ADC(Unless you are really ahead). So it is very important to have some form of life steal to sustain during mid to late game.
  • Coup de Grace: This rune goes well with ADCs in general and especially Tristana because this gives the most consistent damage in comparison to the other 2 options. Pick Cut Down instead if there are multiple high hp opponents.

  • Nimbus Cloak: The extra movement speed whenever you use a summoners spell is massive, for example when you try to escape by flashing, sometimes the enemies can still catch up to you, but with nimbus cloak the extra movespeed you gain will ensure they do not catch up. Or when you are trying to flash forward to chase down enemies, it will ensure you secure the kill.
  • Gathering Storm: Guaranteed free AD and scaling when the game goes on for too logn which is particularly useful for ADCarry, late game is where ADCs shines the most. This will ensure you are always relevant once the game hit late.




















Caitlyn's basic attacks generate a stack of Headshot on-attack, doubled when attacking from a brush. At 6 stacks, or 5 while in brush, Caitlyn's next basic attack becomes unstoppable and deals bonus critical damage.

| Range: 1300 | Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 | Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 MANA |
Caitlyn fires a projectile in the target direction that deals physical damage to the first enemy it passes through, after which it expands in width but deals only 60% damage to all enemies it passes thereafter.

This is a very strong ability early game, you usually want to use it on the minion wave to gain early lane control. And during fights you can use the E+Q combine, to maximise your DPS.

| Range: 800 | Static Cooldown: 0.5 | Cost: 20 MANA | Recharge: 30 / 25.5 / 21 / 16.5 / 12 |
Caitlyn sets a visible untargetable trap at the target location which briefly grants sight of the area and arms after 1 second, lasting for a duration. After the maximum amount of traps is laid down, deploying another immediately destroys the oldest one.

This is a very strong objective control ability, if used correctly, can completely stop enemy advances onto a certain objective/area. You can even use traps in the middle of a teamfight, where it is impossible to react to where you place your traps, therefore constantly snaring enemies in place, it can single handedly win you teamfights/games if done properly.

| Range: 750 | Cooldown: 16 / 14.5 / 13 / 11.5 / 10 | Cost: 75 MANA |
Caitlyn fires a net and recoils 400 units in the opposite direction, dealing magic damage to the first enemy hit and slowing them by 50% for 1 second.

This is your main ability to stop enemies getting on top of you and a way to escape from dire situations. This ability combine with the Q ability, forms a nice combo E+Q at the same time towards an enemy, slowing them down which guarantees your Q hit and then the follow up headshot auto attack to maximise DPS.

| Range: 3500 | Cooldown: 90 / 75 / 60 | Cost: 100 MANA |
Caitlyn locks onto a target enemy champion and channels for 1 second, True Sight icon revealing the target and revealing herself to enemies.

I usually save this ability to execute an enemy who is low on hp. You can even use it at the start of a fight when your team is chasing down the enemies so that your team can have vision over that particular enemy.

  • Stormrazor is one of your core(first) item. This item will give you that extra burst to help you kill an enemy, along with its slow that with your superior range advantage will allow you to poke the enemy, slowing them down to any follow up you or your team may have.
  • Infinity Edge is another one of your core(first) item. An item that you can actually build first if you happen to build Pickaxe first and build Stormrazor second. This item will amplify your crit damage, making it a must item for a crit ADC, and help you scale extremely well.
  • Rapid Firecannon's another one of your core items. After completing both Stormrazor and Infinity Edge you definitely want to get this. This will increase your attack speed & crit chance, for a very cheap price. Not only this, this specific Zeal item will give you extra attack range every time your energise stack is at 100. Further amplifying your Stormrazor passive, allowing you to look for a play or escape if in danger.
  • Berserker's Greaves is an item I would try to complete as soon as possible. As soon as you get your first item I would try to complete Berserker's Greaves. This item gives a lot of value because it essentially gives you the same amount of attack speed you would get from a normal Zeal item like Phantom Dancer & Rapid Firecannon, the only thing you miss out is the crit but you do not really need crit early, especially on boots that only cost 1100g.
  • Statikk Shiv is usually a situational 4th item. I really like this item because of the extra burst damage it provides, it will also apply the Stormrazor passive to anyone it damages, which can slow the entire enemy team if they group up the moment you get the passive off, however there are other better items like the Phantom Dancer which provides a shield for you. I usually go for Statikk Shiv if I know I will not be taking a lot of damage in fights and is able to free fire at all times or when I am super fed and ahead.
  • Phantom Dancer's an excellent 4th item choice if you are looking to get full 100% crit chance. You can never really go wrong with this item as it provides a shield when you reach low health and also the necessary stats you need as an marksman. This is especially useful against enemies who will undoubtedly be on top of you, every teamfight, like Talon, Kha'Zix, Zed etc. Be careful to not build this with a Hexdrinker or Maw of Malmortius as their passive overlaps each other.
  • Guardian Angel is one of my least favourite items as a marksman. The reason being that the cooldown on it is way too long, whilst it is cheap and gives decent stats, you really only buy it as a last item and then sell it later on once you make use of its passive. A decent item to consider when you are against AD Assassins, like Talon, Kha'Zix, Zed etc.
  • Blade of the Ruined King is a very situational item, that you may consider if you are against multiple high hp stacking tanks, like Dr. Mundo, Ornn where most of the teamfight, you are hitting the tanks. However I would not recommend this item if there is only one tank, as any Last Whisper item should usually get the job done.
  • Bloodthirster is also another situational item, I would say it is good if you are against enemies who has long range poke and pokes you out heavily, as the extra life steal and the shielding will be very useful. Also it is excellent against Assassins as the shield it provides will help you survive, like that extra tick of ignite or burst, allowing you to life steal more in the middle of combat to potentially survive their combos.
  • Death's Dance is a must have items if you are up against any opponents that can easily get on top of you, the passive to reduce the damage and turn it into bleeding is massive. It will give you that extra bit of survivability and life steal to continue fighting and survive. With this item, you will no longer get one shot and should be able to fight back against Assassins like Katarina, Zed, Talon, Evelynn etc.
  • Maw of Malmortius is a great item when up against an AP threat that you cannot avoid, something like Akali, Evelynn, Katarina comes to mind. Definitely consider building the Hexdrinker opponent first before completing this item, only complete the full item later on. Do not be afraid to buy Hexdrinker as 2nd or 3rd item. Keep in mind that this passive overlaps with the Phantom Dancer passive.
  • Wit's End is an okay item, and not particularly great for a marksman to purchase, it is only good when up against full AP enemies, even so only buy this after completing Maw of Malmortius

Net Combos

One of the bread and butter combo that you should know. Is by casting your net and immediately cast Q and autoattack to activate the headshot maximise your burst damage. This combo will deal the highest amount of damage in the shortest amount of time. The reason this provides the highest amount of DPS is because the moment you cast your net you are also able cast your Q, cancelling the animation of your Q. This combo will require you to hit your net, in order to actually carry out the rest of the damage, as hitting your net will slow down the enemy and granting the next autoattack a headshot on that particular enemy, it also makes it extremely easy for your Q to follow up afterwards.

Another combo is that very similar, except you replace using Q with your traps. So at what situation should you use this over the higher DPS combo ? You would generally want to use this when your damage is not high enough to kill the enemy but instead you want to CC them in place so that your teammates can follow up with their own damage and CC. A good example would be when you have a heavy CC support like Thresh and a jungler is looking to gank your lane, and if an opportunity arises do not be afraid to try out the E+ W combo.

Trap Combos

If you manage trap an enemy to start off with, here is a high damaging combo you can try. { +AA+ + + +AA} As trapping enemies will grant the next autoattack on that enemy a free headshot, you can do massive damage if you start off with this ability and then follow it up again with another free headshot with your net + Q into your ultimate and finishing it up with the final headshot autoattack.

Caitlyn is an inherent lane bully, due to her superior range against 90% of the marksman in the early game your goal each game is to try to poke your enemies down which will lead to an health advantage which then leads to potential kills. The way to trade in league of legends is what I call trading stance, where whenever the enemies go for a minion, you can punish them with autoattacks or abilities, you will need to apply this often with Caitlyn and pay attention to the enemies also trying to apply this method against you. Otherwise you will take bad trades and fail your goal of poking the enemies in the early game. Of course, whilst doing all this, you should prioritise getting your own farm first before attacking an opponent, often times in low elo, players will make the mistake of trading too often, going for random all-ins which makes them miss all the minion wave, and in turn you will lose more gold than when you simply sit back and farm. With Caitlyn, a common problem is that the enemy jungler will come for you quite frequently, since you are a strong early laner that will push the lane by default. It makes it a very easy decision for the jungler to come down to your lane. So, warding is important but in the early game we will not always have a ward available with us. You have to be mindful of where the enemy jungler is at all times when you are pushing up. This will be further explained the map awareness guide chapter.

Further Example;

You may consider poking the enemies even though you know they will trade to heal up. Let us say you are against something like Ezreal and Yuumi lane. This lane is inherently very weak early game and by you constantly taking good trades, not losing too much health whilst chunking out Ezreal's health points, you will force Yuumi to heal, which in turns uses mana, that is a finite resource, this is particularly good especially in the early laning phase because you will soon force yuumi to base to regain her mana. Thus gaining advantage, pressuring Ezreal even further, by forcing him to also base or make him 1v2 and it may also need to a potential tower dive, causing him to die, slowly building a huge lead for yourself and your team.

This will be further explained in greater details and examples in the later guide chapters.

Caitlyn does not have great moblity, and will require strong positioning even with her net ability available once outside of laning phase. It is important you make use of your traps especially when you have a sizable lead, whether to block off an entrance to the dragon pit/baron pit or blocking off the enemies from defending their own tower, it is important you make use of this. This will put immense pressure on the enemies to watch out for your traps and also to stop them from engaging onto you and your team. Giving you the freedom to further pressure the enemies and keep them away from objectives. You also want to go through the map awareness guide chapter to thoroughly understand what you can do and what you cannot do once out of lane.

In the video above I talk about the following concepts:

- Respecting Fog of War

- Hitting/Starting Objectives without a Reason

- Dealing with Assassins

- Knowing what good fights to take and what bad fights to avoid

It is recommended that, you take one of those tips and attempt to apply it in your next game to reap its benefits. Make sure you only do one at a time if it is too overwhelming, otherwise you will not learn from it. Even playing in a normal game will help, it need not be ranked.

In the video above I talk about the following concepts:

- Level 2 Power Spike

- How to punish your enemies with this power spike, or respect it and back off of it

- Knowing how many minions it takes to reach level 2 first in a duo lane

- 3 Clips of 3 Different ADCarry; Tristana, Caitlyn and Ezreal show casing what we have mentioned above.

Make sure you test this out in a normal game first before attempting it in ranked. It is okay to make mistakes, go all out and learn from your mistakes. Best to record with some sort of software so you can go back and watch your own replay to analyse what has happened.

This video is not owned by me but I think it is very well detailed on how to teamfight in general as a carry.

- Direct Initiate

• Create fight or flight response.
• Go in 1v5 if you have to.
• Carries DO NOT go in.

- Follow Up Initiate/Hit Tanks

• Tank pressure backline, or tankline.
• Forces everyone to use cooldowns/abilities
• Carries stay OUT until tank cooldowns/abilities are used.

- Hit Tanks

• Hit tanks after tank cooldowns/abilities are used.
• Forces out backline cooldowns/abilities
• Carries in range of 1 person.

- Kill Backline

• APC flash on backline or finish off tanks.
• ADC can dive if no enemy burst cooldowns/abilities are up.
• Tanks can make a flash play.

- Clean Up

• Flashes to kill fleeing enemies, this will ensure objectives are much easier to take without anyone contesting or the potential of throwing the game away.

I highly recommend you watch the video, not only just read the text on this guide. The video will include examples and instances where it very much make sense and will sink into you how it actually works. If you have to, make sure to rewatch the video a few times and in your next few games, to only focus working on these things for every teamfight. This may come across as overwhelming if you are a new player, but be patient it will become second nature.

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