Caitlyn Build Guide by RAPMONSTA
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Hello and thank YOU for clicking on this guide. My name is RAPMONSTA2 and I create champion guides & stream on Twitch. I love League of Legends & also love to share my knowledge in the ever-changing world on the Summoner's Rift. I've been playing League of Legends since season 3. I am a Mid/ADC main and my favorite champions include: Ryze, Corki, Cassiopeia, Twisted Fate, Caitlyn and Sivir. I had a TON of fun making this guide for YOU. Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, feel free to tune into my Twitch stream and ask in the chat.|
Without further ado, let us get into the guide.
+ Long auto attack range
+ Early game lane bully
+ Scales well into the mid-game
+ Traps are great zoning tools
- CC will cancel Caitlyn’s spells
- Weak ultimate if she is set behind
- Average in 1v1 situations
- Must be able to use Yordle Snap Trap effectively
|Flash is a must-have in order to make plays and get out of sticky situations.|
|Heal is a better option than Barrier since bot lane is a 2v2 lane. You can heal your support if they get low.|
|Fleet Footwork: Fleet Footwork gives in-lane sustain and the safest all-around Keystone Rune for ADCs. Fleet Footwork works well with Doran's Blade life-steal as well as Doran's Shield passive. An alternative rune is Press the Attack if you don't need sustain in-lane.|
|Triumph: The 12% missing health restore after takedowns from Triumph & the HP-sustain from Fleet Footwork & Doran's Blade/ Doran's Shield keep you alive in team fights, even when you get low.|
|Legend: Alacrity: The extra attack-speed is nice and helps with CSing in-lane.|
|Coup de Grace: Coup de Grace helps finish low-health targets. An alternate rune would be Cut Down if the enemy team has multiple tanks, as Cut Down will help you DPS the tanks.|
|Celerity: The movement speed from Celerity and the adaptive-AD from Celerity synergies well with the movement speed from the attack speed items, i.e. Statikk Shiv, Rapid Firecannon, etc.|
|Gathering Storm: Gathering Storm scales really well with ADC because ADC scale into the late-game and gathering storm just makes them stronger the later the game goes.|
|Headshot (Passive): Caitlyn does additional damage if they are rooted by Yordle Snap Trap or slowed by 90 Caliber Net or if headshot if proc’d from generating Headshot stacks.|
|Piltover Peacemaker (Q): Caitlyn’s main source of wave-clear and poke. Remember that Piltover Peacemaker slightly cones out after it hits the first enemy target.|
|Yordle Snap Tap (W): This is her root/CC. It roots for 1.5 seconds and activates Headshot on the target rooted. Great Caitlyn players will know the E-W combo, which I will explain down below.|
|90 Caliber Net (E): This is her gap-closer and also slows the enemy hit by 90 Caliber Net.|
|Ace in the Hole (R): Caitlyn’s finishing spell that is perfect to damage/kill any enemies running away that are outside your auto-attack range. If you are within auto-attack range, do NOT charge up Ace in the Hole because the animation takes too long when you can just DPS them down.|
|We want to max out Piltover Peacemaker first because it is our main source of wave-clear. Then max Yordle Snap Trap second as our CC spell. We level up 90 Caliber Net last. Rank up Ace in the Hole whenever possible.|
|The additional attack speed from Berserker's Greaves is great and helps increase your DPS potential.|
|If you are having a hard time against lane-bullies, such as Draven, or if the enemy team has multiple-AD champions, Ninja Tabi are great to allow you deal with them easier.|
|Are you a Crit-base ADC? Do you plan on building Crit-based Attack-Speed Items? Infinity Edge scales well with Crit-based Attack-Speed items, such as Rapid Firecannon, and increases you Crit damage.|
|Are you against duelers/assassin? Phantom Dancer is great against duelers/bruisers/assassins because of the 12% damage reduction against the last champion you hit. Also the movement speed buff from being within 550 range of an enemy champion helps with kiting.|
|Do you do on-hit damage? Do you need help wave clearing? Runaan's Hurricane is great on apply on-hit effects and also helps with waveclearing.|
|When should I go Statikk Shiv? If you need waveclear and poke. Statikk Shiv synergies well with Rapid Firecannon.|
|When should I go Rapid Firecannon? If you have an short auto-attack range or if you want to poke with extended range. Rapid Firecannon synergies well with Statikk Shiv.|
|When should I go Lord Dominik's Regards? If the enemy team has tanks and multiple champions with high-HP, Lord Dominik's Regards will help you deal additional damage as works well with the Cut Down rune.|
|When should I go Mortal Reminder? If the enemy team has healers and HP-sustain, i.e. Vladimir, Soraka, Sona, etc.|
|When should I go Blade of the Ruined King? If you plan to dueling and if the enemy team has high-HP champions. Blade of the Ruined King works well with Lord Dominik's Regards and Cut Down against high-HP tank champions as it does % HP damage.|
|When should I go Maw of Malmortius? If the enemy team has AP-assassin champions, and/or it is difficult to deal with poke from AP champions.|
|When should I go Mercurial Scimitar? If you are against a heavy-CC enemy team.|
|When should I go The Bloodthirster? If you just need raw Lifesteal.|
|When should I go Death's Dance? If you just need Lifesteal and are also against burst/assassins. Death's Dance synergizes well with Phantom Dancer’s damage reduction passive.|
|When should I go Essence Reaver? If your spells have low base cooldowns and you spam a lot of spells.|
|When should I go Guardian Angel? If you are having a hard time staying alive and/or if you are against AD-assassin/burst.|
Caitlyn is a very safe laner and she is a lane-bully. She can poke and trade because of her auto-attack range. You want to poke whenever possible and squeeze in auto-attacks when the enemy ADC goes to last-hit CS. Also, you want to use your Yordle Snap Trap to zone out the enemy support from the bush and force them to the river-side of the lane.
A common combo for Caitlyn is the E-W combo. 90 Caliber Net into Yordle Snap Trap.
To pull off this combo, you 90 Caliber Net the enemy champion, and quickly put down a Yordle Snap Trap as soon as you 90 Caliber Net. The slow from 90 Caliber Net increases the chance of the Yordle Snap Trap rooting the enemy champion. If pulled off properly, you can proc Headshot back-to-back.
Another combo is the E-Q combo. 90 Caliber Net into Piltover Peacemaker.
This combo is easier to pull off. First you 90 Caliber Net and then Piltover Peacemaker as you fall away.
Each lane match-up/game requires different ways to play the laning phase. Down below, I will try to give you as much information about the laning phase so you can apply this to imrpove your gameplay. During the load-in screen, you want to be actively thinking how you want to play out the laning phase and come up with a strategy on how to come out with a lead during the laning phase. By planning ahead, you are able to follow guidelines and set yourself up for success because you are actively thinking about what to do next/how to react to certain scenarios.
Laning Phase is one of the most important parts in League of Legends. It is the start of the game and a strong laning phase helps you smoothly transition into the mid/late game.
The Laning Phase composes of CS (creep score), Wave Control, Trading, and Pressure. Most players know only one, two or maybe even three out of the four major components of the Laning Phase. High-elo players understand how to efficiently control all four major components of the Laning Phase and therefore, are able to play their champions optimally. In this guide, I will break down all four major components of the Laning Phase and hopefully, help you gain LP.
The first phase of Laning is creep score or commonly known as CS. CS is the number of minions that you have collected gold from through last-hitting them. CS will be your MAIN source of gold income and helps you build items.
A perfect CS score at the 10 minute mark will be around 107-114. The important part of CSing is that you are consistent game-to-game and that you are building a solid foundation through your mechanics. If you are currently getting around 50 CS at the 10 minute mark, aim to improve and get 70+ next game. You can achieve this through optimal back timings, wave control, trading, pressure, and mechanics, all which we will talk about later in this guide.
The second phase is Wave Control. Wave Control or Wave Manipulation can be broken down into 2 basic concepts. The wave is either Pushing or Freezing.
Let’s talk about Pushing first because the majority of players will subconsciously just Push the wave without knowing the advantages/disadvantages of Pushing the wave. Pushing the wave is damaging the enemy minions faster than the enemy can, which creates an imbalance of minions for each side. If you have more minions than the enemy, you will create a Push.
Let’s break down the two different types of Push(s): Slow Push vs Fast Push
A Slow Push, simply put is killing the enemy caster minions first. By doing so, you are taking away the damage portion of the enemy minion wave. Remember, caster minions do the damage, melee minions do the tanking, and cannon minions do both. If you kill the caster minions first, you are taking away the damage portion from the minion wave and creating a slow push as the melee minions tank the minion damage. Slow Push(s) usually results in your minion wave stacking and becoming bigger (in numbers) than the enemy minion wave. Slow Push(s) are great if you are trying to roam, base, put down a ward, and/or tower dive. When you create a Slow Push into the enemy, the wave will eventually bounce back and cause a Slow Push back to you. Because of this, you will not lose out of much XP and CS from roaming or basing rather than if you didn’t Slow Push into the enemy tower and based/roamed.
Fash Push is where you are killing the enemy melee minions first. By doing so, you are taking away the tank portion of the enemy minion wave and creating a Fash Push because there are less minions to tank your minions' damage. Also, a Fash Push can be created by just killing as many enemy minions as fast as possible. Fast Push(s) are great if the enemy laner just based and you want to deny them CS and XP. It is also great if the enemy is low and you want to tower dive with your jungler. If you are Split-Pushing, Fast Pushing creates Pressure onto an objective. Also, you can Fash Push to set up vision around your lane if you feel like you may be ganked soon. Remember, Fash Pushing leaves you vulnerable to enemy ganks and it is highly NOT recommended if you are low-HP and/or do NOT have vision on the enemy jungler/laners.
The important theme in Wave Control is you want to be conscious on what you want to achieve with the minion wave. Are you close to leveling up? You might want to push to get level 2 before the enemy so you can get a more favorable trade. Are you against an assassin who excels in gap-closer? Then you might not want to push and give him a long-lane to gap-close onto you. Are you planning to dive with your teammates? Then you might want to create a Slow Push in advance, so you have a huge minion wave to help with the tower dive. OR you can Fast Push if you are short on time.
Pushing the wave will help you gain EXP faster due to the enemy’s minions dying faster. It also creates Pressure in-lane because you can push in the wave and threaten to roam to other lanes or invade the enemy jungle. Lastly, it forces the enemy laner to CS under-tower and have their tower take damage from the minions.
Freezing the minion wave. This is a harder concept for many players to apply to their gameplay. It requires patience and game knowledge. A Freeze is keeping the minions for both sides equal. To create a freeze, you would want to try to keep the number of minions for both lanes equal while last-hitting for CS at the very last possible second. The most optimal position for a Freeze would be right in-front of your tower but just outside your tower’s range. It creates Pressure on the enemy because they have to expose themselves to a gank by being so far up in-lane. Also, they cannot freely trade against you because they are threatened by the Tower. Also, CSing that far up in-lane will also open them up to being ganked. Just from this, a Freeze is great to set-up ganks and/or deny the enemy laner from CSing/trading with you. Also, Freezing the wave is great to limit the gank potential from the enemy jungler, if you are looking to deny XP and/or CS from your enemy laner, and if you want to base. Earlier we talked about Fash Pushing if you are looking to base. An alternative to having an optimal base timing, is to base on a frozen wave that is slightly pushing towards you. Not only do you get an optimal base timing but also get to deny CS/XP.
Let’s say you got a Freeze against you, how do you break a freeze? You can either try to wave-clear and reset the wave OR you can call for your jungler to help push out the wave 2v1 and reset the wave that way. The important part of breaking a freeze and resetting the wave is understanding what caused the Freeze in the first place and not repeating it again.
The third phase is Trading. Trading is dealing damage between laners. By doing so, you create Pressure by bringing down their HP. Now, you want to do more damage than your opponent in trades. But sometimes, you can get Trades where you take no damage while damaging the enemy laner. How? When the enemy goes to last hit a CS, they are in a vulnerable spot to take a bad trade. At that split-second they must make a decision. Do I go for that CS and take this unfavorable trade or do I forfeit that CS and not take this bad trade? This is what is called Pressure. They are pressured into making an uncomfortable decision in the heat of the moment. Abuse this to get favorable Trades in-lane. 99% of players do not actively look to trade when the opponent is about to go for a last hit on the CS. Trust me, this single concept alone can make your laning phase go from good to great!
The last and final major phase is called Pressure. Pressure is extremely important because it can translate into Tempo. Pressure is created when you push in the wave and look to roam. Now the enemy laner feels pressured because they have to decide, do I CS these minions and be late to the roam or do I leave the CS and match the roam? The opportunity cost created from Pressure can expose players’ flaws and poor understanding of the Macro-game. ABUSE Fog of War to create Pressure. Just the threat alone on being off the map creates Pressure on other lanes and put them in an uncomfortable spot.
All four phases of the Laning Phase are connected to each other and by actively thinking about what you want to achieve in the lane and executing that plan will build a solid foundation so you can smoothly transition into the mid/late game with a lead/advantage.
Other Key Concepts:
Positioning: Ask yourself, should I be sitting in my minion wave or should I standing aside my minion wave? If I am pushed up this far, how exposed am I to being ganked? Based on your answers, you should adjust your positioning to cover your weaknesses.
Build small advantages over the laning phase and they will add up later in the game. If you get a lead, snowball that lead to your advantage by either roaming to other lanes or killing your laner.
Now I will give you a common & difficult matchup to help you understand how to plan out the laning phase, and execute that plan.
Matchup: You are “Twisted Fate” vs an enemy “Fizz”
From prior games and game knowledge: you know that pre-6, Twisted Fate can poke and harass Fizz in-lane. But if you don’t poke/harass Fizz and create pressure in-lane pre-6, Fizz will kill you as soon as he turns level 6 with his ultimate.
How I want to play this matchup pre-6: I want to allow him to push in the wave as soon as the game starts but I want to freeze the wave just outside my tower’s range. Then, I want to create Pressure, where he is forced to overextend in-lane and CS is an uncomfortable spot. This exposes him to an early gank, where he can be set behind. Also, I want to trade every time he goes for a CS but I also want to be aware not to aggro the minions too long because it will break my freeze.
How I want to play this matchup post-6: Now that Fizz is level 6 and has ultimate, if I push the wave and stay in-lane, I will be exposed to being caught by his ultimate. So how do I counter this? I fast-push and look to create pressure by roaming. This covers my worries about being caught by his ultimate if I were to sit mid after I push the wave, and at the same time, I create pressure of the map.