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Caitlyn Build Guide by RemonttiReiska27

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League of Legends Build Guide Author RemonttiReiska27

Caitlyn - The Sheriff Of Piltover

RemonttiReiska27 Last updated on November 9, 2013
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ADC Role
Ranked #14 in
ADC Role
Win 47%
Get More Stats

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: 6


Utility: 3

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About Caitlyn

Caitlyn is a ranged Attack Damage carry, a role that specializes in building massive amounts of damage and annihilating enemies from a distance.

Caitlyn's strengths compared to other ADCs are her considerably superior range; the average ADC has a range of 550 whereas Caitlyn's is 650, allowing you to hit your opponent without receiving damage in return. Caitlyn's abilities combined with this range allow you incredible poking and zoning potential and make her a very safe, strong pick that has very few losing matchups. Caitlyn is considered to be one of the best ADCs in the game at present.

On the downside, her mid game is somewhat weak and her aggressive pushing/zoning style of laning invites ganks from the enemy team. She's also not the best in a straight up duel to the death, so if you fall too far behind on Caitlyn you could find the game snowballing against you.

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These marks are the most logical choice with this Lifesteal quint setup. You need the extra AD from these to help you last hit minions and give you increased damage on your harass. Alternatively you can use armor penetration runes here but if you choose to use them you'll have a difficult time with last hitting.

Armour runes are self explanitory, the metagame will have you always laning against another AD carry (or possibly AD bruisers) which makes armour runes required unless you want to take huge amounts of damage and die a lot. Never play without these as soon as you're summoner level 20.

MR runes are simply the best remaining choice. There's really not much that's useful for an AD carry in glyphs and you're extremely squishy to AP carries so a little extra resistance there won't hurt. Take flat MR if you're against a bot lane with strong magical damage - champions such as Sona, Lulu, Corki, Zyra or Tristana are good examples of this. If not, you can take MR per level instead. If you're not sure you should stick to flat MR - most bot lanes deal enough magic damage to make using per level risky.

These quints are absolutely amazing and have been underestimated for a long while. With these combined with Doran's Bladeyour sustain is very high and in many situations you can actually skip buying lifesteal until much later in the game. Being able to sustain from the start of the game at zero gold cost is awesome and Lifesteal also scales into lategame better than any other rune. The alternative is using attack damage, which will give you a little more damage on your early harass.

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The choices are all fairly straightforward here as far as Offence is concerned. You're an AD carry, your job is to do as much damage as possible so you want to go deep into the tree picking up all the AD-based masteries while ignoring the AP ones.

I take points in Butcher over Havoc because Havoc is pretty bad and adds very negligible damage.

I prefer to spend the remaining points on a mix of Defence and Utility in order to get a good variety of bonuses. With this setup you enhance both your summoner spells, gain some helpful defensive stats and get some mana regen to help you spam your Q and W more often.

Other options include 21/9/0 and 21/1/8 if you prefer to go deeper into one tree.


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Barrier great general defensive spell that makes you stronger in fights and allows you to survive situations where you'd usually die. This spell is especially effective against burst or assassin champions who telegraph when they're about to use their damage. You may also be able to bait enemies into suicide with it.

Flash spell is 100% essential on every AD carry (and most champions in general). You can use this to escape from ganks, dodge skills that would kill you, correct your teamfight positioning, go through walls or even use it offensively to finish off a fleeing enemy. There's no reason to ever not take this spell as soon as you unlock it.

Cleanse is a great choice to replace Barrier if you're worried about the other team's CC. Bear in mind that this does also remove the effects of both Ignite and Exhaust, the two most common offensive summoner spells you'll see on your lane opponents.

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The reason why I prefer to start with Q is because it gives you the potential to hit much harder at level 1. Landing a perfect Q can win your lane immediately and it's much better if there's any kind of confrontation. Starting with W is somewhat popular but I feel it very rarely pays off and leaves you extremely vulnerable and unable to push early.

Since your W and E skills are mostly for utility you'll want to prioritize points in Q first for massive damage on your poke. I prefer to level E next, because it gives you more escapability and it gives you more damage + a faster cooldown on your burst combo. Skilling W can make your traps more annoying and let you spam them more effectively but I think it's generally not as good.

As always level R whenever you're given the option.

"Headshot" passive gives you a nice amount of extra damage, essentially half of a critical hit. It's very good for harassment early game and also becomes pretty scary later in the game once you have IE + PD. When it's ready you'll hear a sound effect and see a glow appear around Caitlyn's hands.

Make sure to try to use the shot on your lane opponent as much as you can, because it hurts a whole lot. At the very least you can use it to scare them into backing away from you. It's worth noting that this charges twice as fast when you shoot from brush.

Caitlyn's main ability Piltover Peacemaker does massive damage and has very long range, so use it to keep up the pressure on your opponent early game and chunk down their health. Once you get good at predicting your opponent's movements you can deal a lot of harassment damage through proper use of this ability. This is also your main tool for pushing the lane.

Bear in mind however the 1 second cast time not only requires you to predict your target but also makes you vulnerable as you're forced to stand still for this time. Later in the game once you have IE and PD you'll notice that because of the cast time you actually start to deal more damage with autoattacks than by using Q, so at that point in the game it's advisable to only use this to poke or when several enemies are clustered together.

Yordle Snap Trap ability is one of the keys to what makes Caitlyn such a strong zoning champion. You can put these in a line of three across your lane behind the enemy minions and it makes it incredibly hard for your opponents to last hit or make any kind of play without receiving a lot of damage in return.

You should be sure to place traps around the area when your team is attempting an important objective such as Dragon or Baron. If the enemy team show up they'll have a tough time navigating around them during the fight. If an enemy gets stunned by an ally, you can place a trap right on top of them to chain your CC. Also use these to block off the path of enemies who are chasing you or your allies.

It's very important to keep in mind that these traps give a very brief period of vision when you place them down. This means that you can and should use these to check for enemies in unsafe brush or over walls.

90 Caliber Net Despite the misleading description the most important part of this skill is actually the recoil. This skill is Caitlyn's escape and it works basically the same as Flash, although unlike Flash it does have a short cast time during which you are still vulnerable. Use it to escape, chase and cross walls by aiming in the opposite direction to where you want to go. Remember if you are being chased hitting the net will apply a significant slow on one enemy.

Ace in the Hole Usually you'll be using this to pick off low health enemies who would be able to escape otherwise. Bear in mind that even though this can be blocked, the travel time is very fast so it requires close proximity or the use of Flash to block the bullet. You can get some unexpected kills in lane by hitting a good Q to take an enemy low and following it up immediately with this. If you can get both enemies low you're more or less guaranteed to get a kill on one of them. It can also be used simply to pressure an enemy into going back to base or stop a recall.

Do not use this ability in the middle of a teamfight. The massive cast time actually means that you'll deal much less damage than with autoattacks and you're a sitting duck while it channels.

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Doran's Blade starting item gives you the best possible combination of stats. You have AD for poking and last hitting, health in case there's a fight and you heal every time you attack which combines nicely with your lifesteal quints. Be careful if you're used to health potion starts because the sustain is over time and won't help you much if you get chunked really low. It takes around 44 attacks for this start to equal Long Sword + 2 pots in effective health which is very easily doable.

B. F. Sword Pretty straightforward item; gives you a ton of damage on autoattacks, Q and R. Once you have this you'll notice your harassment becomes considerably stronger. If you can afford to pick this up before your boots you should definitely do so.

Berserker's Greaves You need to buy boots at some point and these have the best stat for an AD. If you have the money to buy a bigger item you should priotize it over boots since they don't add too much to your ability to fight in lane. Essentially you should pick up boots anytime you have enough money left over to do so but make sure you have them finished during mid game at the latest.

Vampiric Scepter With lifesteal quints this item is no longer always necessary to build in lane, but you'll still want to pick this up if you're having a difficult time sustaining yourself against a lane with good poke/trades. With this your ability to heal will be pretty ridiculous but keep in mind that it's delaying your Infinity Edge by 800 gold. If you don't have Lifesteal quints you'll almost certainly need to buy it.


Infinity Edge This item provides the most raw DPS of anything in the game. It takes a little while to get going however, and you'll need to finish other items before you really see the massive damage output coming out in teamfights. For this reason, some people prefer to build The Bloodthirster here which is more of an early/mid game ability based item and not as strong at pure autoattack damage output. Since Caitlyn is a strong autoattacker with a good late game I prefer Infinity Edge over Bloodthirster.

Phantom Dancer Once you have this your damage output will really start to take off and you can begin demolishing enemies in teamfights with consistent IE crits. This item synergizes well with Infinity Edge and Headshot and is a must have item on almost every AD carry.

Last Whisper This is probably the number one item that is misunderstood by newer players and guide writers. Even if the enemy team is fairly low on tanks and only has one or two armour items this is still a requirement to buy on an AD carry and will almost always give you more damage than anything else. Bear in mind that champions building armour are the most likely to be attacking you and moving into your range during teamfights. Once you have this, you are officially at late game mode and will be able to obliterate enemies during fights provided you are able to stay alive and attacking.

Late Game

The Bloodthirster This item rounds out your stats nicely by giving you a huge chunk of AD and providing lifesteal to keep you healed up. With this you'll have a ridiculous amount of DPS and as long as you have something to attack you'll heal for half your health every couple of seconds.

Guardian Angel It's pretty rare that you'll reach this point in a game but if you do you'll definitely be wanting a defensive item to stop you from exploding instantly. There's quite a variety of defensive choices which excel in different situations, but GA is generally the most versatile choice since it works well in basically any situation. When you do an enormous amount of damage, being able to come back for a round 2 is extremely strong. This item is especially strong against assassins and burst champions who must run into your team and use everything to kill you only for you to stand up again.


Replacement for The Bloodthirster. This item is more effective if your opponents are stacking up a lot of health, but bear in mind that the passive damage cannot crit like AD can. You may also wish to buy this for the active, which is highly useful as a self-peel against some bruisers or lower mobility assassins as it creates a large movespeed advantage for you.

Replacement for Guardian Angel. This is a pretty good item that works essentially the same as Cleanse, except notably it also works on several non-cleanseable ultimates - Warwick, Malzahar, Skarner, Mordekaiser,and Zed are some examples that can be removed with the active. The weakness of this item is that it has virtually no effect against a bruiser or assassin jumping on your face and won't stop you dying very quickly. Remembering to actually use it at the correct time can also be an issue.

Replacement for Guardian Angel. This has been somewhat underappreciated on AD carries for a while, but I actually really like this item in some situations on Caitlyn. It gives you a nice chunk of health to help with survival and a small but significant amount of AD. Most importantly, this item gives you a very strong 30% slow on every autoattack which synergises well with Caitlyn's range and allows you to kite some champions forever.

Replacement for Guardian Angel. This is a great item if you find yourself dealing with a lot of magic damage on the enemy team or you're facing off against a fed AP carry, particularly if they have one large nuke or CC spell that will go to waste against the shield - Kassadin , LeBlanc and Annie for example.

Replacement for Guardian Angel. This may seem like an unusual choice for an AD carry, but when facing an enemy team with an extremely high amount of AD or AD-based bruisers this item could actually be a really good choice. The combination of high health and armour gives you the most effective stats against such opponents, while the passive and active serve to slow down enemies who run at you and help out your ability to kite. That said I feel that GA is generally a better option.


Nice little boost lategame for when you have no room for items or can't afford any. If you have the cash you should buy one of these late in the game when you feel that the next fight will decide the outcome. I don't really recommend it but if you're feeling brave you can also get one of these earlier in the game and try to bait out a fight against your lane opponents, since they work as an instant bonus to both current and max health when used. Think of it as a mini- Heal.

Doesn't do very much for Caitlyn, but once you've finished everything else and still have money left after buying red elixir you might as well pick this up. The CDR can be somewhat helpful.

Again, this isn't really a good idea to buy on an AD carry but if you've finished everything else you may as well get this to help clear wards and reduce the load on your support.

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In the current metagame, AD carries are played in bot lane with a support champion. Here's a quick list of supports in rough order of how good they are with Caitlyn.

Nami has been quite underrated for a long while, but after a series of buffs she is actually a great support offering good CC, a strong heal and a buff to your autoattacks. Combined with Caitlyn you get good zoning potential and lots of free damage if an Aqua Prison lands.

Lulu has some of the best poke of any support, with her slow also making it easy for you to hit your Q. In addition she is very good at protecting you with shields, slows and extra health from Wild Growth.

Sona has even better poke damage than Lulu. This lane is a little less safe than Lulu since sona lacks a way to protect you until level 6, but in exchange you get a heal and a bit more potential in an all-in fight with Crescendo.

He's pretty OP. Thresh is a strong aggressive support but he also has great gank support, good defensive peel and the ability to pull you to safety. He can even choose not to go in for a fight when landing a Death Sentence, unlike Blitzcrank or Leona.

Janna is the ultimate protector support and excels at keeping you safe with her CC while also adding a great deal to your poking and trading potential using Eye Of The Storm. Janna's own damage is quite lacking however.

Zyra is very good at catching out opponents with her Grasping Roots and Stranglethorns, allowing her plants and you to deal large amounts of poke damage. This is also strong defensively.

Other Supports

At one time Taric was considered the #1 support with Caitlyn, but after numerous nerfs his glory days are over. He still provides good zoning and fighting ability in lane but his late game sucks and other supports can serve you better.

Nunu used to be absolutely ridiculous with Caitlyn but he has been nerfed a great deal since then. His Blood Boil provides her with the steroid ability that she sorely lacks, giving her a large boost to her mid and late game, but in my opinion it's not enough to make up for what he lacks in other areas.

his lane could be pretty annoying since it has neverending sustain. Unfortunately the problem with Soraka is that she's completely useless in a fight and can't protect you at all, so you'll die every time your opponents decide to go in on you. She's also useless at securing you kills or supporting ganks.

Blitzcrank is a kill focused support who likes to start fights a lot. Although he's pretty good at it, Caitlyn isn't really very good in a direct fight so I don't feel like this is a great combo. On the plus side he is very good at zoning with brush control.

Leona is even more kill focused than Blitzcrank, diving directly into your opponents and forcing all ins. Again, although Leona is a good support Caitlyn is a fairly bad fit for this sort of thing.

Alistar is very unpopular right now and just not that great in general. He can both start fights and protect, but he can't really do anything in between - his damage kinda sucks and his range is fairly short.

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Early Game

If your team has a jungler, you'll generally want to begin the game by protecting your team's jungle. For blue team a good spot to stand is the tri-bush next to bottom lane (this can be a dangerous spot if the enemy team has a Blitzcrank). For purple team you can stand just past the opening to your jungle near the dragon pit.

If you're on blue team and your jungler is starting with the Elder Lizard or you're on purple team and your jungler is starting with the Ancient Golem you can and should help them out a lot by assisting them with killing the buff monsters - just be careful to leave before it dies so you don't risk taking the kill or the exp.

Assuming you helped in the jungle, when you arrive in lane you should find the minions already fighting. It's very important in bot lane to make sure that you push the lane by damaging minions slightly harder than your opponent does at level 1 to ensure that you gain more experience and reach level 2 first. This gives you a window of opportunity to play aggressively and zone out your opponents since you and your support will have two abilities and better stats. If you're unable to do this and your opponents reach level 2 first you must play cautiously until you can equalize the level disadvantage.

In general, the best strategy for farming minions is to allow them to fight until one is near death, and then pick them off with a single autoattack. This reduces how much your lane pushes, making it harder for enemies to gank and easier for allies. It also enables you to zone your opponent away from the minion waves much more easily if you get an advantage. However, another more aggressive strategy that works well with Caitlyn is to push continually up to the enemy tower by hitting minions with autoattacks or Qs - this makes it hard for your opponent to get last hits, allows you to harass them easily while they attempt to do so and puts pressure on the enemy team to respond to your push.

Whenever there are no minions that are on low health, you can and should be taking shots at your opponents instead. Caitlyn's range is the highest in the game and you should abuse it as much as you can for free damage. If you notice that your opponent is about to try to last hit a minion, hit him with an autoattack or two and consider following up with a Peacemaker. In general you should try to establish your dominance and make them afraid to even come close to the minions. Be careful not to do this too much right away, since enemy minions hurt a lot at early levels.

Whenever there are no minions that are on low health, you can and should be taking shots at your opponents instead. Caitlyn's range is the highest in the game and you should abuse it as much as you can for free damage. If you notice that your opponent is about to try to last hit a minion, hit him with an autoattack or two and consider following up with a Peacemaker. In general you should try to establish your dominance and make them afraid to even come close to the minions. Be careful not to do this too much right away, since enemy minions hurt a lot at early levels.

If there's a fight at any point, make sure to kite by moving around in between shots. If you don't issue a move order Caitlyn will simply stand there doing nothing in between autoattacks, which is wasteful and can be dangerous or cost you kills. Always hit the biggest threat to you, which is most likely going to be the AD carry. If you're able to get kills on your opponents, push the minions up to the enemy tower by autoattacking as fast as you can and return to base to buy items. Pushing the minions in this way means that your minion waves will hit the enemy tower and die on it before anyone can arrive, giving no experience or gold to the enemy team.

Hopefully you are winning your lane. If you feel like you're ahead, you should attempt to place three traps across the lane and stand on the minions or even between the minions and your opponents. This forces them to navigate your traps and take free damage every time they attempt to get close to the farm. If someone walks into a trap, you have a free hit with Piltover Peacemaker and several autoattacks. If you're significantly ahead or some members of the enemy team are dead and your Jungler is nearby, you should attempt Dragon for a big global gold and experience bonus for your team.

If you should fall behind and no longer feel safe to zone and harass, just try to pick up as many last hits as you can without getting into danger and hope your team assists you. As long as you're careful to keep up your cs you can still get yourself back into the game later on. One last thing to remember is to check items. Items like Vampiric Scepter and B. F. Sword make a great deal of difference to the lane and knowing which areas you're stronger and weaker in compared to your opposite is important.

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Mid Game

This is probably the most 'vague' section of the game and the part that people understand the least. Mid game generally begins as soon as towers start to be destroyed around the map. It is the part of the game where people begin to roam to other lanes and move around in groups to make things happen. It's not uncommon at this stage of the game for a team to attempt Dragon or begin ganking lanes with 4 or even 5 people which makes it somewhat unsafe to continue laning in the river area, especially if your tower is already dead.

This is also the stage in the game where Caitlyn is usually weakest. Skirmishes begin to happen more regularly here and as I mentioned Caitlyn is quite weak in direct fights. Without items your autoattacks don't deal very much damage and your skills are not very effective at DPS. You have a few options here depending on how well you're doing.

You can always:

•Destroy the enemy bot lane tower.

•Roam, try to get an advantage by picking up Dragons, kills and the mid lane tower. Bear in mind the enemy bot lane can farm freely while you're gone.

•Take a jungle camp. This is a little easier for blue team because minigolems are much closer to the lane than wolves.

If you're head you can:

•Stay in bot lane and keep zoning and freezing the lane. Bear in mind the enemy bot lane may roam.

•Stay in bot lane and push like crazy. This will put pressure on the enemy team and force more people to come to bot lane.

If you're behind you can:

•Freeze the lane by tanking minions before they hit your second tower and only last hitting them. Done properly, this causes the minion waves to stay on your side of the map for a very long time and is by far the best way to catch up when you're behind in cs. However, your opponents are free to roam to Dragon and mid lane and your team may have difficulty without you.

Even if there's a lot of action around the map, try to keep an eye on your own lane and return periodically to farm up the gathered minion waves. Keeping up in farm whilst controlling objectives and assisting your team is difficult but very important to the role of AD carry.

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Late Game

I define late game as the point in the game where it becomes extremely unsafe to be moving around without your team and getting caught or losing a teamfight will result in immediately losing Baron, Inhibitors or even the game. Generally at this stage of the game AD carries will have completed most of their core items (in this case IE + PD+ LW) and will be doing a lot of damage. Do not stay in a lane alone for any longer than necessary or you could find yourself getting caught or the enemy team rushing a Baron. Stick with your team as much as possible.


Your role in teamfights in fairly simple in theory - deal as much damage as you possibly can.

The most important skill to work on when playing an AD carry is positioning and kiting. This means ensuring that you are never in a position where the enemy team can stun and immediately kill you. Stay as far back as possible and target the enemies that are most threatening to you. It's likely that at least one of the enemy team's tanks/offtanks/assassins will try to get to you and either kill you or force you out of the fight. Don't panic and move backwards in between shots. Remember that you have 90 Caliber Net, Barrier, Flashand be ready to use them when necessary to gain more time and distance.

You may encounter people who tell you to focus carries and ignore tanks. These people do not understand how to play AD carry. It's very rare that you'll get an opportunity to properly focus an enemy carry and when you do it's usually because they made a big mistake. 90% of the time you'll be forced to target tanks before you can break through to the enemy back line. This is one of the main reasons why you buy Last Whisper.

Above all, staying alive is the most important objective. Without your damage your team will lose the fight and you don't do any damage when you're dead. When in doubt, just attack the closest enemy.

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Thanks for reading!

If you have comments, suggestions or questions please feel free to post here or send me a private message. I will read everything and reply to questions and criticism.