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Caitlyn Build Guide by IceCreamy

AD Carry Caitlyn, I like that Boom Boom Pow!

AD Carry Caitlyn, I like that Boom Boom Pow!

Updated on November 9, 2012
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League of Legends Build Guide Author IceCreamy Build Guide By IceCreamy 23 9 60,853 Views 94 Comments
23 9 60,853 Views 94 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author IceCreamy Caitlyn Build Guide By IceCreamy Updated on November 9, 2012
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LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


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ADC Role
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More Caitlyn Runes


Hey everyone! :)

This is my second guide, this time up is Caitlyn! She is a great ranged DPS, with a whopping 650 range among the biggest of the game. If you need tips on playing Twisted Treeline or Dominion, you will not find them here, I only play Summoner's Rift. Just so you know before you start reading.

The reason I am writing is this guide, is simple. I want to give people a look into how I play Caitlyn, and by doing so I hope to help you improving your playing style when it comes to Caitlyn and perhaps even in the game itself.

Last note. If you are scared off by the seemingly large guide, I will tell you it is not. I added quite a lot of screenshots (which I made myself) and they take up quite some space. So don't be scared - it's not a lot of boring reading, I tried to make it look appealing to the eye.

Here goes, my build!

P.S. If you encounter a term you don't know, it is probably in this topic right here.
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NOTE: Click HERE for the template of this section.


+ Sick range.
+ Even sicker range on ult.
+ Rocks late game.
+ Good AD scaling on Q and R.
+ Can zone well with traps.

- Ult needs vision on target.
- Squishy.
- Early game is kind of boring.
- Farm dependent.
- Left the fuzzy cuffs at home :(
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The runes I take are quite basic, I guess. flat AD Marks, flat Armor Seals, Magic Resist/lvl Glyphs and flat AD Quintessences. This rune set-up is most viable to benefit both Caitlyn's offense and defense, in my opinion.


Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

In your runepage, it should look like this:

Other good runes include:

fillerfillerfill - Armor Penetration Quintessences, in case you face a tanky team
- Armor Penetration Marks, in case you face a tanky team

Also, please do not waste your IP/RP and buy tier 1 or tier 2 runes. Just be patient, wait until you get Summoner Level 20 and buy tier 3 runes. You can not sell your old runes, you can put them in some sort of blender and hope you will get something nice, but it is not worth it.
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Summoner's Wrath for the improved Ignite

Brute Force for the cool AD

Alacrity for the AS increase

Weapon Expertise for the useful ArPen

Deadliness for even more AD

Lethality for even more damage on your crits

Vampirism for the much needed lifesteal

Sunder for the superb ArPen.

Executioner to just top your damage off when needed.


Resistance (1 point) just to advance

Hardiness for the bonus armor

Durability for the extra hp


- I don't take Havoc because I think it isn't a good mastery.
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Summoner Spells

The viable options:

It is something I can not play without. blablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablabla
Very useful to finish off the running enemies before you are level 6, or if your ult is on cooldown.blablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablabla
I like it. If you need to get back to lane quickly to protect your turret, or if you want to push somewhere, just blink and you are there.
It's a good choice, but it's not that great because of the little amount of hp you get from it. blablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablabla
I used to be against this because your range is too big for it, but you can't stay out of range all the time and usually this comes in useful then. You want to take this if your team lacks other people taking it; imo you need at least 2, preferably 3 in a team.

The "neutral" options:

Syncs with your ult, but other Summoner Spells are certainly more useful. blablablablablablablablablablabla
It could be useful in early game to escape from ganks, but Flash does the job as well. You don't need this for chasing, because you have your ult.
You never know when it will be useful, if the enemy has lots of CC and they focus you it might come in handy... but you will never be 100 % sure.

The non-viable options:

Nah, if anyone should take it it should be your AP caster. Caitlyn has plenty enough mana, if you run out of it you are probably using your Piltover Peacemaker too much.
You are not a jungler. blablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablabla
More likely to be used by Teemo, Jax and other common hybrid champs. blablablablablablablablablablabla
You have enough farming and pushing capability on your own. blablablablablablablablablablabla
You should not die. blablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablabla
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Skill Explanation and Sequence

Caitlyn's passive is Headshot. Every few shots, you deal bonus damage. It is pretty useful especially in late game, but also when harassing in laning phase.

Tips and Tricks

In laning phase, whenever you have Headshot ready try to hit an enemy champion. Not at all costs, sometimes it is simply too dangerous.

Her Q ability is Piltover Peacemaker. It has mega-range, which will make most people whine. It does fair damage early game, but late game it is quite pointless. Do not use it to farm, use it only to harass enemy champions or to push a lane.

Tips and Tricks

Your Piltover Peacemaker has sick range - use it wisely to harass.

The W ability is Yordle Snap Trap. That is a very useful trap early game, to completely block the enemy of getting any creep kills. In mid-late game, it should be used to place in the usual escape routes after a teamfight.

Tips and Tricks

Try to get a feeling where to place your Yordle Snap Traps. Running? Place it in the direction where you are going. Opponent chasing teammate? Place it where you think he will go. Having a 1v1? Directly under your opponent would be a nice place. Pantheon or Twisted Fate ulting? Right where they will appear is awesome. Got a feeling a teamfight will start somewhere soon? Try to put traps at the usual escape routes.

E is called 90 Caliber Net. It knocks you back (even over small walls in the jungle, but I will explain this later) so it is Caitlyn's prime escape tool. It also does a little damage, but that can be almost nullified, especially in late game. You can even use Piltover Peacemaker while you are being knocked back by 90 Caliber Net, but I need some practice in doing so. It shoots you away from the enemy (or towards him/her!) and more or less "forgets" the channeling time on her Q.

Tips and Tricks

If needed, use your 90 Caliber Net to get close to the enemy by aiming it in the other direction. This becomes less useful when you finish your Phantom Dancer, because you will probably be faster by just walking. However I do not recommend this, because you never know when an additional enemy comes out and you have to run.

Her ultimate is Ace in the Hole. In early game, you can use it to harass a bit or preferably kill enemies at low hp, but this really shines in late game.

Tips and Tricks

Great to counter Tryndamere, just wait until his ult expires and kill him.

In early game, use it to harass. The damage is measly, but can help with scaring off your enemies.

If you get to low hp, but haven't used your ult yet, stick around. The range is huge, so try to help your teammates a bit more!

Level up Ace in the Hole when you can. Put a point in Yordle Snap Trap first, and max it right after Piltover Peacemaker. You should level 90 Caliber Net last.

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

Let me just give a few examples of how you could make use of your 3 Yordle Snap Traps.

If you are in botlane, you could use them to defend yourself from a jungle gank:

Spoiler: Click to view

If you are in botlane, I prefer to place them this way:

Spoiler: Click to view

You could use them to defend the most usual routes into your jungle:

Spoiler: Click to view

If you are in midlane, you could place some aggressive zoning traps:

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If you are in midlane, you could place some defensive zoning traps:

Spoiler: Click to view

If you get lucky, you are in range to use Ace in the Hole. But oh no, you don't have vision over the enemy! Fear not, because Yordle Snap Trap grants vision. Luckily you left one there, the enemy walks in it and...

Spoiler: Click to view

Oh well. Pity he didn't die, better next time :P
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Using 90 Caliber Net over map obstacles

You can also use your 90 Caliber Net to get over small walls. Do it when you have to quickly escape, or when you want to chase an opponent who just Flashed over the wall. You can also quickly get away from baron/dragon if the enemy team is coming for it.

I have decided to take some screenshots of the most common places to use 90 Caliber Net in order to explain it better. Since the map is mirrored, I will only show them at one side of the map. Obviously, they also work at the other side. Here goes:

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The only item pretty much everyone will buy. This helps us with our early game harass, don't forget to bring 2-3 Health Potions and/or a Mana Potion if you feel the need. You really should buy this as a starter item.

At your first recall you should have farmed Doran's Blade x2 and Berserker's Greaves.

The boots for any AD carry. The attack speed will help us with last-hitting and harassing, and so will the movement speed. It's important to get this quickly because Caitlyn is rather slow.
You should buy it somewhere near to your Infinity Edge, it depends a bit on the game on how soon you want it. You need this for your survivability, if you don't have any lifesteal you will not live long to deal your damage.
Hell yeah. Once you have this, the enemy champions will run cowardly towards their turret at first sight. The word Godlike will probably be mentioned a lot along with your name, now.
Again a very standard item for AD carries. You need the movement speed, once you got this not many people can catch up. The attack speed is great, and the crit chance comes in handy for the next item.

But in what order? Well, it all depends on the way the game is going.
Having an easy time in your lane? Buy a B. F. Sword when you can. Lifesteal and attack speed are cheaper, and can therefore wait.
Having a terrible laning phase? Get Berserker's Greaves, Vampiric Scepter and Pickaxe before saving up for a B. F. Sword. If you are missing too much farm, don't hesitate to get some gp/10 items!
One final note: Do not ever, EVER, get 2 B. F. Swords. First finish one into a Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge and then buy another one! I have tested buying 2, and it just plain sucks.

Awesome, you should surely buy it when the enemy is stacking armor against you. If they do not, Black Cleaver is the better option.
Probably the best defensive item there is. Late game is AD carry area so you might want to get some armor. The MR is also nice but the most important is the passive. The enemy will probably focus you, and kill you. However you will be revived and while the enemy is busy attacking your teammates you can just slaughter them. Your life steal will help you getting back to more hp than the measly 750 it gives.
Yeah, bring that damage! Once you get this, you will notice that your damage has risen significantly. You will hit hard, and you will get more survivability along with the lifesteal.

Afterwards, do not forget to buy Elixirs and an Oracle! It does not happen often you will get that far, but if you do, use them. It is also viable to buy some Red and/or Green Elixirs during the game.

Other items worth mentioning

She is really slow in early game. Might actually work to buy this, but once you pick up Zeal all your MS problems are gone, so better not buy those.
Only if the enemy team is full of champions that rely on autoattacks ( Tryndamere, Xin Zhao, Ashe, etc.)
If the enemy is heavy on CC and they keep throwing it at you, it kicks ***. blablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablabla

Philosopher's Stone

I will not advise you to buy any of them. The only time when you should, is if you are being owned in your lane. You barely get creep kills, let alone kills and assists? That is the time to get some of those. Otherwise, no.

Definitely something to keep in the back of your head if the enemy has champions that depend on life regeneration ( Vladimir, Dr. Mundo, Warwick, Fiddlesticks and such). If you get it, sell it later on because other items are simply better.
Great item when you are facing enemies that stack hp, but since it only rarely happens that most enemies stack a lot of hp, I recommend staying away from it.
Only if the enemy is not buying any Armor. In that case Last Whisper is a better option. blablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablabla

If they have a burst mage ( Veigar, LeBlanc) this might save your ***. Try that instead of a Guardian Angel then.
No, Mercury's Treads are better. blablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablablabla
Nice slow and survivability. Can't say much negative about it, I just think there are better items for her.
Gives you some survivability while also increasing your damage. Nice item, but not for her. The only exception is if they have a Karthus. The shield does wonders vs his ult :)
Awesome vs Warwick, Malzahar and Skarner. If they keep focusing you, or you keep being CCed, buy this.
If you are having problems early game, you should get this. I know it's mostly bought by junglers but it certainly has its uses in lane. blablablablablabla

Only if you are VERY confident with playing Caitlyn and the game in general. I don't recommend it though.
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General Tips

Laning with a support champion has preference, because they can heal whatever the enemy damages to you. Just don't overdo it, supports heal but they can't give you godmode. If there isn't a support in your team (which happens) a tank will suffice too. Any champion that requires farm, is a terrible lanemate for you.

You will probably like laning against another ranged DPS, as you probably have the edge over them (considering your range). Versus a ranged AP is not likely to happen in sidelane, but who knows - you should be able to contain them. Just get a Banshee's Veil or a Quicksilver Sash if necessary. Laning against a support is kind of neutral, they heal what you harass but they can't damage you enough. Laning against a melee character with a gap closer or a tank will not be cool, because you will either die a lot or not deal any damage.

The most important thing, the outmost important, there is nothing as important (I repeat because it's really important!) as... farming minions! They are the source of almost all your gold. You need items such as B. F. Sword to deal damage. Without them you are pretty useless. No matter what, you should always be farming!
Once you see an opportunity to harass your opponent, do so. Especially if it will cost him/her one or more minion kills. Once they notice you target them, they will probably run. There is also a slight chance that they will attack you, but your support should help you with any damage you receive, by either shielding it or healing you back.

NOTE. I know that some of them aren't supports, but still they make great lane partners. That is why I added the quotes to the word support in the title.

SPACE That is fun, because he heals you and he has a knockup. If he has quick fingers, he can Headbutt an enemy but before that enemy flies off, he might hit Pulverize. That guarantees a lot of damage!

SPACE If he hits Rocket Grab, it's almost a certain kill. The grab along with his Power Fist and your autoattacks (and preferably the turret, too) is very hard to beat for any enemy. Place a Yordle Snap Trap right under him when he grabbed an enemy for an even longer immobility for the enemy!

SPACE Her Eye Of The Storm is just awesome. It shields you, and gives you bonus AD! Hopefully she will level it first, because it makes your life a lot easier. If an enemy staps in one of your traps, she can move over and use Monsoon to blow the enemy towards the turret, for some serious pain. That, along with the Howling Gale knockup and the Zephyr slow makes Janna really awesome as a lane partner!

SPACE The other CC Queen. Just patiently farm until she goes in, then follow and kill everyone. Sadly she does not heal you, so early lifesteal would be nice. Don't get harassed to much!

SPACE Speaking of CC. A slow, a polymorph and a knock up! She will try to Help, Pix! into Glitterlance and Whimsy for an enormous amount of debuffs on the enemy. All you have to do is get some autoattacks and a Piltover Peacemaker on the enemy and it should be enough. If not, Ace in the Hole should solve things :)

SPACE A lane I am sometimes in. It is awesome because her Light Binding along with Lucent Singularity and Finales Funkeln if needed, deals a lot of damage already. All you have to do is take the kill, and that is that.

SPACE She has a heal, a trap that grants vision (helps with Ace in the Hole!) and random spear tosses. What else is there to want? :D

SPACE His taunt gives you free harass, and he deals a fair amount of damage as well. Not to mention the knockup from Powerball!

SPACE His taunt is really cool. It grants at least 3 free autoattacks on the enemy, and if Shen has used Vorpal Blade you will even be healed for a little.

SPACE It is so hilarious if Singed uses his flip (not fling...) and his target lands straight in your trap ;D instakill as well as confused enemies, what is not to love?

SPACE Let me see... heal, extra movement speed, extra MR/Armor and extra damage AND an AoE stun? Yes please!

SPACE Her Infuse is a little obsolete, as you will probably never be out of mana, but it's her ability to heal that really helps your laning. She can also use Infuse to silence the enemy support, so the enemy can not be healed for a short period.

SPACE His Dazzle is awesome. It guarantees some free autoattacks, and if you are clever you place a Yordle Snap Trap right under the target so they are stuck in place for even longer!
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Anyone who comes close, but if you have a choice try to protect your AP Carry by killing Akali, Kassadin and other such anti-carries first. Also annoying are the stealth champions like Twitch and Evelynn. And of course, the enemy AD-carries such as Vayne and Graves. Next up are the offtanks like Nasus and Olaf. When you got that quadra kill, take out tank Amumu or Leona.

Basically, anyone who deals more damage than you. Melee DPS are those you want to stay away from, you don't want Nocturne or Tryndamere critting your sexy *** to death. Then you should get on other squishies such as Ashe, Veigar and Shaco, and the tanks aren't really scary at all when it comes to dealing damage. They are however based on CCing the **** out of you, so keep your distance.

Try to stay in the back as much as you can. You want the tank to initiate, and then you just shoot any champion that comes in range.
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Ranked Play

Caitlyn is very viable in ranked games due to her long range and good ability to farm and harass. Just go in the bot lane with a healing support and you will rarely ever have to recall!

She can also go mid, but only if your team composition is failing (2 ranged AD carries or something...) But if she goes mid she will have a harder time using Headshot, and that is a real pity.

So when is a good time to pick her?
  • If your team does not have an AD carry
  • If your team has a support to babysit you
  • If your team has enough late game damage and really needs to survive early game

Anyhow I'm not so much into playing ranked, but if I do I can usually get a nice score with this build :)
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So, I have this cool program called LoL Replay, but I have no idea how I can edit stuff. Any help is appreciated, just leave a comment or send me a PM :)

Well, just because you really should watch them (NOTE: they are NOT mine):

Caitlyn Champion Spotlight:

Shurelia's zoning guide:
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My scores

And well, something that I was incredibly happy about:

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Special thanks to...

All the people who have commented and/or voted on my guide. No matter if it was an up- or downvote, I appreciate everything you guys did.

Some very special thanks go to:

- MissMaw, for making the awesome starting banner in this guide! Visit her sig shop right here!
- elleeeeeka for making the awesome closing banner in this guide! Visit her sig shop right here!
- Kusoku for helping me out greatly with the use of columns, thanks a lot dude!
- Taneren for helping me out with the layout for the list of champions, I really appreciate it!
- Mastery456, someone who I often play with on EUW. He is not the best player of them all, but he certainly is a nice guy. Especially because he was willing to help me with some of the screenshots :)
- LaCorpse, for making the really cool small banners in this guide! You should visit her sig shop right here.
- jhoijhoi for writing her Guide to making a Guide. It has helped me in so many ways, I can't link it enough. If you are going to make a guide yourself, READ IT!
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To do list

  • Add my own made videos
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Runes: Flat AD Marks, flat Armor Seals, MR/lvl Glyphs, flat AD Quintessences.
Masteries: 21-8-1.
Spells: Flash/ Ignite, or Teleport, Exhaust, Heal.
Items: Berserker's Greaves, Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, Last Whisper, Guardian Angel, Bloodthirster.
Skill Sequence: Yordle Snap Trap at level 1, then go R>Q>W>E.

I hope you will enjoy this build, have fun playing Caitlyn! :)

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide