[13.3] Caitlyn in depth Guide by misterfirstblood
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+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Regular
Threats & Synergies
Champion Build Guide
I published this guide on April 26th 2016 and updated at February 9th 2023.
Caitlyn is a high ranged Ad-Carry with a really strong autoattacks and good waveclear.
Today I wanna show you how I play Caitlyn because theres a lot of things to discuss. She got a nice little buff in this patch so this might be even more enjoyable!
Every few basic attacks, or against a target she has trapped or netted, Caitlyn will fire a headshot dealing bonus damage that scales with her critical strike chance. On trapped or netted targets, Caitlyn's Headshot attack range is doubled.
Q: Piltover Peacemaker
Caitlyn revs up her rifle for 1 second to unleash a penetrating shot that deals physical damage (deals less damage to subsequent targets).
W: Yordle Snap Trap
Caitlyn sets a trap to find sneaky yordles. When sprung, the trap reveals and immobilizes the enemy champion for 1.5 seconds, granting Caitlyn an empowered Headshot.
E: 90 Caliber Net
Caitlyn fires a heavy net to slow her target. The recoil knocks Caitlyn back.
R: Ace in the Hole
Caitlyn takes time to line up the perfect shot, dealing massive damage to a single target at a huge range. Enemy champions can intercept the bullet for their ally.
With Presence of Mind, Coup de Grace and Legend: Bloodline you will have a little bit of sustain on your laning phase anyway, so maximizing your damage with Lethal Tempo seems fine to me. If youre a big fan of Press the Attack, by all means feel free to use it, but especially in longer fights its so easy to stack lethal tempo on caitlyn, that you will have a huge benefit from the additional attack range making it almost impossible for enemies to trade with you.
The secondary tree doesnt offer a lot offer a lot of "game changing" runes anyway in my opinion but i personally like to use The sorcery Tree and specifically the Gathering Storm and Absolute Focus runes.
If you want more sustain you can choose inspiration and take some Cookies and free boots, thats totally up to you.
Also I think its much more valuable to have less deaths than maybe dealing a thousand damage more in a game and dying because you lack an active item like galeforce. But if you are against a lot of tanks and feel like you wont need galeforce feel free to buy Kraken slayer.
Your goal is to reach 60% Crit Chance as soon as possible, the combination that offers the highest DPS requires your Mythical Item and 2 of the following 3 items: The Collector, Infinity Edge, Rapid Firecannon. Finally you are able to Run Infinity Edge as your second item so there is no ultimate need in RFC as a third item. If you would like Utility at this point, you can go for whatever item you need.
After finishing those you can focus on what you need in a specific game, no matter if its live steal, damage to tanks, heal reduce, or even more damage. Keep in Mind, Caitlyns passive scales a ton with crit so you cant have enough of that.
- Give your jungler a good pull to stack your Headshot and harass your Enemies
- Try to Headshot enemies instead of minions while laning. Even if they auto attack back you should be able to win the trade.
- You can jump over walls with your 90 Caliber Net
- You can make a double headshot when stacking your Headshot and using 90 Caliber Net after
- When you get chased place some Yordle Snap Trap between your enemy and you. Remember they need some time to be activated but if they are slowed or CC'ed you have enough time to escape safely or turn the fight like I did in the following video.
- The amount of Stacks gained from attacking an enemy out of a brush is doubled, so keep that in mind and if a brush is warded anyway attack from it instead of attacking from the lane.
- If you don't lane against a tank support feel free to use your Ace in the Hole to poke. Otherwise just use it to execute enemys. Don't use it in a trade because the animation needs too many time.
- In Lategame dont use your Piltover Peacemaker/ Ace in the Hole in Teamfights. Your DPS when auto attacking should be better.
- Place some Yordle Snap Trap in botside Brushes to avoid Ganks. You can also grant vision in brushes while placing a trap in it.
- With lvl 18 set as much traps as possible the cooldown will be very short.
- Avoid using abilities in late game since your auto attacks output a higher DPS
- If you don't have vision to land your Ace in the Hole use the Farsight Alteration to make them visible for a short time. Even if they hide in a brush again the ultimate won't be cancelled.
- RED BUFF!! If someone really needs red buff, its caitlyn. I really love this hit effect on her. If you have [[runaan's hurricane] you can aoe slow your enemies by auto attacking. It also will improve your Kiting potential.
- Kiteable Tanks/Bruisers without hard CC like Garen
- Bad Early Champs like Jinx
- Champs without Waveclear like Ezreal
Caitlyn has a super strong early game. She can trade often and push very hard. It's her job to deny enemies farm and push towers to get advantages for the team in early. If Caitlyn can't snowball a lane she isn't that much effective than other adc's.
Lategame isnt bad neither since her attack range is one of the largest in the game and if piloted correctly you have a huge benefit from having that.
- Unavoidable Hard CC like Malphite/ Nautilus/ Sejuani
- Hypercarry lategame adc's like Vayne Twitch that can kill you within a second before you can even shoot back
Even though you cant do fancy invis stuff like Twitch or Vayne, your crit multipliers on the headshots have still an amazing scaling and allow you to carry teamfights by your own. If your Frontline peels you and you corretctly play at your maximum attack range, this is still a super solid late game pick.
- Tank Supporters with Engages like Leona Braum Thresh or Blitzcrank
Caitlyn needs a support to play offensive with her. It's her Job to make as much lane pressure as possible. I don't like Sona Nami or Janna to play with Caitlyn but they aren't bad at all because they got damage buffs atleast. Just avoid Soraka.
I recommend tanks with CC like Leona or Braum.
Sustain isnt really needed, so unless your Nami or Bard outtrade your enemies by their own, i wouldnt recommend picks like Soraka alongside you because you most likely outsustain your enemies anyway (because of your poke abilities)
+ Lane bully
+ Easy to play
-- No Base stat Steroids (except Headshots)
- Spells useles in Lategame (lower DPS)
- weaker Lategame at all
That doesn't mean Caitlyn can't win a 1v1 against hypercarries like vayne or tristana. It depends on the player, Caitlyns passive Stacks, the first hit, Critical strikes (luck) and Summoner spells.
For example when a fullbuild Caitlyn places a pink ward against a vayne to make her visible while her Ultimate is active and cait lands a first hit (higher range) which hits critically for about 500-700 dmg she's definitely able to win this 1v1.
Anyway you should avoid duels and try to use benefits from your high range especially in Early-Midgame.
Atleast its a very fun to play and strong Ad Carry. You can make great plays with your E and W using it the right way. Also you can improve your last hitting with caitlyn because she really got one of the best auto attack animations so shes able for low experienced players and also for competitive players.
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See You in my next Guide!