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Caitlyn Build Guide by caitlyn_tym

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author caitlyn_tym

Headshot! A Guide Per Game Basis

caitlyn_tym Last updated on September 18, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 23

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 7

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About the Guide

THE STARTER BUILD - please comment and try the build strategies before voting

Before using the above mentioned builds, I recommend that you read this guide first. The reason is that this guide delves on the idea that knowing your character, their weapons, their weaknesses and strengths is very important because the items AND Caitlyn's gameplay will change depending on your opponent and how strong or weak your team is.

I've played Caitlyn since level 10 until 30 so quite obviously: She's my favorite. She was the only champion that I've ever played in the hopes of mastering her.

Well, here's a secret: There's NO SAME build for her!

As with most summoners, I started by following certain specific, high-rated builds and strategies. They were successful; however, there were question that kept looming:

If the builds and strategies were so good...
... why are there times that Caitlyn loses?
... why are there times when she can't kill a lot?
... can she lead the team to victory as how Rammus, Trynd, and Xin etc. dominate the game?
... can she turn the game around?

Hopefully, this guide can answer these questions.

I hope that you can understand that this guide may be quite LOOONG because after all, I've played her since level 10.

If you have some new information about Caitlyn that I don't know, feel free to tell me. Ever since I've summoned Caitlyn, I learn new things about her every single day.

Once again, please try to read, use then try my build first before voting. I hope that downvotes will not happen before trying out the different strategies because considerable time and effort has been given to give you all the information I can for you to enjoy Caitlyn. Have fun!

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Playing her is easy but enjoying her to her maximum potential is hard. In fact, this is the sole reason why I love her: As a summoner, you must think EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF THE GAME to enjoy every second Caitlyn runs around the battlefield.

It's time to use our brain cells and see the different strategies we can use.

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Pros and Cons, Runes and Summoner Spells


Caitlyn is one of the most underestimated characters in League of Legends. Most summoners think that she's more carry than killer. Well, I beg to disagree. She's a killer when she needs to be.

  • Ranged:
    This means Caitlyn must not die. As she has the longest range among all champions, take advantage of it. Kill from afar and live to kill more
  • Good damage dealer during early levels:
    Take advantage of this to gain control of your lane.
  • Headshot (Passive)
    this does 150% more damage on a champion. Use wisely.
  • Can lane solo:
    This does not mean Caitlyn is all strong and mighty. Stay close to the an allied turret.
  • Perfect sniper:
    Ah, Caitlyn's best friend: Ace in the Hole
  • Building Destroyer:
    When in the progress of destroying a turret, focus on destroying the turret. Her Attack Speed will destroy it in no time.
  • Great allied turret Defender:
    Her peacemaker easily destroys the creeps which prevents the opponents from getting any closer to destroying the allied turret

    • Squishy:
      Always remember: She's squishy because she is powerful if she stays alive too long in the game. Keep her alive. When in clashes or lane fights, keep her alive. Do not be suicidal. Do not be a martyr. She is not meant to be a martyr.
    • Target during mid to late game:
      Her life, ideally, is small. This gives an immediate kill for the opponent.
      She is also a threat when kept alive.
    • Ultimate isn't fully dependable:
      Another champion from the other team can choose to take the damage of the Ultimate if he/she steps along the line of fire
    • Dependent on allies to win:
      Based on experience, you can make Cait the ultimate killer and turret destroyer but if your teammates suck, you can't be someone who can turn the game around.
    • ZERO damage to a Mordekaiser
      If Caitlyn is battling with a Mordekaiser who has a good build, accept the fact that Caitlyn will have ZERO damage once Mordekaiser level 2 to 5. She will never get to kill that Mordekaiser. Stay close to your allied turret.



    Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

    Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration

    Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

    Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

    Greater Quintessence of Lethality

    [Greater Mark of Insight]
    I've tried comparing damage using Greater Mark of Magic Penetration and and Greater Mark of Critical Damage. The damage of Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is much more. I've read other guides and they said that it is only per chance to get a high crit damage. Greater Mark of Magic Penetration provides a consistent high damage to target champion or minion

    [Greater Seal of Clarity]
    Need I say more? Normal attack is power while mana is MORE power.

    [Greater Glyph of Shielding]
    She is squishy.
    Protect her from those magical damages.

    [Greater Glyph of Focus]
    Lesser cooldown + more attack + more damage = more kills.

    [Greater Quintessence of Desolation]
    I've compared damage between Greater Quintessence of Desolation (armor penetration) and Greater Quintessence of Critical Damage(critical damage).
    Greater Quintessence of Desolation wins.


    • Used for chasing a kill
      By using Flash, no one will escape Cait
    • Used for escaping

    • Used for killing
      The properties of Exhaust plus Caitlyn damage is equal to a kill
    • Used for escaping
    • Escape + Kill Combo
      Most of the time, Even if Tryndamere, Yi and Olaf have a low life, they will be so greedy to chase to kill Caitlyn even if she has gone past an allied turret.
      This is the combo I use to kill them before they kill me.
      It may be intimidating but trust me, it becomes natural. Here is the combo:

      (note: this varies so use logic and common sense to juggle the combos)
      • Step 1 Exhaust
      • Step 2 90 Caliber Net
      • Step 3 Piltover Peacemaker
      • Step 4 Run
      • Step 5 Normal Shot (as much as possible without opponent getting too close)
      • Step 6 Run
      • Repeat process from Step 2
      • Ace in the Hole if Available (note this takes 2 seconds so don't take the risk if opponent is too near)
      • Champion trying to kill you is dead

      So what did we learn?

      Know and remember Caitlyn's strengths and weaknesses. Now. Why?

      Because after this Chapter, we will learn how to empower Cait's strengths and lessen your weaknesses.

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Every 8 / 7 / 6 attacks (attacks while in brush count as 2), Caitlyn's attack will be enhanced to be a headshot, dealing 150% damage to a champion or 250% damage to a minion.

  • Stay in the bush and get a free shot
  • Use Headshot to a champion

Piltover Peacemaker
Caitlyn revs up her rifle for 1 second to unleash a penetrating shot in a line which will deal physical damage to all targets hits. It will deal 15% less damage for each subsequent target hit, down to a minimum of 40% damage dealt.
  • Used for big damages. It's better to stay in the bushes that way the opponent will not see when she fires Piltover Peacemaker; therefore, will have no way to evade.
  • Used to harass
  • Creep Cleaner

90 Caliber Net
Caitlyn fires a heavy net in front of her. The net will slow down the first target hit by 50% and will deal magic damage to it. Upon firing it, the recoil will knock Caitlyn back.
  • Used to chase a champion
  • Used to escape. Apparently this 90 Caliber Net will allow you to pass through trees and get up and down cliffs.
  • She can escape the crater that Jarvan IV makes when he does Cataclysm (discovered by accident when I panicked after I got caught in Cataclysm)
  • Used to slow down a champion to stay within range for your killer shots

Yordle Snap Trap
Caitlyn sets a trap at the target nearby location. The trap triggers when a champion walks over it. When sprung, the trap immobilizes the champion for 1.5 seconds, dealing magic damage over the duration and additionally revealing the target for 9 seconds. Caitlyn can set up to 3 traps and they last 4 minutes. When she sets a trap once the cap has been reached, the oldest trap will deactivate itself.
  • Used to see if a champion is hiding in the bushes (champions hidden in bushes become visible for a fraction of a second)
  • Place in bushes during laning to prevent opponents from dominating the grass
  • Place in between Caitlyn and an opponent chasing her
  • Place in front of an allied turret for defense
  • Prevents harassment from other champions

Ace in the Hole
Caitlyn marks an enemy champion at a huge range and channels for 2 seconds to line up the perfect shot, providing vision of the target for the duration. She then fires the projectile to deal massive physical damage. Enemy champions can intercept the bullet for their ally.

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Early Game

Caitlyn is good at laning; therefore, don't worry if she is the only one defending a lane.

Caitlyn's Best friends

  • This only applies if Caitlyn is at the top or bottom
  • Grass provides camouflage. Camouflage gives Caitlyn a 'free' shot to fire Piltover Peacemaker and Headshot; therefore, harassing opponent
  • If an opponent starts to dominate the grass, use Yordle Snap Trap. This will (1) scare some champions from using the bush again, (2) see if a champion is waiting to ambush her and (3) trap opponent for a kill

  • Protect the allied turret Caitlyn is defending at all costs. It is her best friend.
  • If Caitlyn has to go mid, the turret will be safety zone.
  • If an enemy champion decides to chase Caitlyn, stay close to the allied tower. DON'T RUN if the enemy champion has a low life. This will be hard to explain so I made a simple illustration. I know it looks childish but I hope you will all understand it.

    In this picture, I used Olaf.
    And yes, this actually happened.
    This picture means that by staying beside an allied turret, both Caitlyn and the Allied Turret are attacking Olaf. Olaf was being greedy and kept chasing Caitlyn around the tower. I used a normal shot while the turret hit him. When he realized that the turret was attacking him as well, it was too late. The moment he turned his back to run away from the turret, I was free to fire a Piltover Peacemaker and the turret gave the final blow.

    Like I said, your turret is your best friend. Don't run. Stick with it.

    Know Thy Enemies

    So. Who should Caitlyn watch out for?
    There are a lot but here are SOME of those who tend to have a past time of harassing Caitlyn.

    Mordekaiser - if faced with a Mordekaiser with a good build, go on def mode. Caitlyn's damage is ZERO or close to ZERO. Seriously. I freaked out when I found out. Focus on final hit on the creeps to earn money. Once Caitlyn is level 6 or 7, farm the wolves and the wraiths. Focus on earning money.

    Katarina - When she's the enemy, I focus on 90 Caliber Net then Piltover Peacemaker. When Katarina uses her ultimate to suddenly appear in front of Caitlyn and deal massive damage, immediately use 90 Caliber Net, fire Piltover Peacemaker and then Normal shot (if possible Headshot). Continue doing until her life low enough for you to fire Ace in the Hole during level 6.

    Champions like Xin Zhao Tryndamere Cho'Gath Garen etc are perfect for Caitlyn. They tend to be greedy and Caitlyn feeds on the greedy. These characters are straightforward champions; therefore, it's very easy to fire Piltover Peacemaker 90 Caliber Net Headshot Exhaust Ace in the Hole and trap them in the Yordle Snap Trap.

    Ezreal and Vayne are the type of champions where you, as the summoner, need to think before acting. Ezreal and Vayne deal a huge damage on Caitlyn; therefore, it is important to limit the place they can move on. Use Yordle Snap Trap to keep them in one side of the lane. Always have 90 Caliber Net for creating immediate distance between Caitlyn Ezreal and Vayne. Use Piltover Peacemaker wisely. Summoners who use Ezreal and Vayne tend to move their champions a lot; therefore, only FIRE WHEN YOU ARE SURE IT WILL BE A HIT.. Do not allow them to regenerate by firing normal shots or Headshot once in a while. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE.

    Heimerdinger Leona and Vladimir are hard. I really go on def mode because their rate of healing is so fast. If someone can figure out a way to harass them during early game that would be appreciated. ^^


    First item to buy
    Doran's Blade
    • The health, damage and lifesteal help a lot
    • As much as possible do not go back to the base until Caitlyn has 1600++ money.

    Middle Early Game Items

    The next thing to think about is whether Caitlyn needs boots or more damage. Here are the following Middle Early Game Items. Choose the item based on the information under each picture.

    Berserker's Greaves
    • In Harassment mode and needs attack speed to deal more damage
    • Opponent moves too much, gets out of range too much
    • Needs movement speed to chase opponent or to run away

    Mercury's Treads
    • Needed against Champions with too much CC (crowd control) damage. Crowd Control is used to describe a spell or ability that temporarily reduces a unit's ability to fight.
    • Buy to get more magic resist because at this point, it seems Caitlyn's runes are not enough
    • Increase in movement
    Doran's Blade

    If Caitlyn's damage is too little or if she is unable to harass enough PLUS there's not enough money, it wouldn't hurt to buy 1 or 2 more Doran's Blade She would need the extra damage, health and lifesteal to survive, kill and grow.

    IMG /IMG

    Site Ward
    This will be explained at the next section


    Ambush Mode - Wait in the bush closest to your turret. Make sure that the opponent is close to Caitlyn and your teammate before firing exhaust on the one with the lowest life. Fire Piltover Peacemaker then continuously barrage your normal and Headshots. Use Flash when necessary to secure a kill.

    Site Ward
    Early Warding
    As much as possible place a Site Ward or Yordle Snap Trap on the blue circles on the picture above. This is very important because other champions from other lanes tend to gank the place where Caitlyn is staying. Protect yourself with information. Get a Site Ward if needed.

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Middle Game


At this point it is very important to focus on pushing. Caitlyn must focus on destroying enemy turrets. At this point, her attack speed and/damage would be high; therefore, enabling her to focus on destroying turrets.


At this point, you will feel Caitlyn's power. It would be a BIG temptation to start chasing an opponent but as much as possible don't.

I've learned, through experience, that Caitlyn can make as much as 12 to 19 kills but if she does not push, then it's still a DEFEAT.

Remember, the goal in this game is to get to destroy the other team's base. Not. The. Kills.... Do. Turrets. First.

At this point, farm whenever possible. Her items would be very expensive so try to get money whenever she can. But never forget - her strength is laning. Make sure she will never forget to protect the lane.


Increases attack speed while Caitlyn is still trying to find money to get better items

Frozen Mallet
This is useful to slow enemy down. Why is this wonderful? It's because the longer a champion stays within Caitlyn's range, the more Caitlyn can damage the champion. Not only that, at this point, team clashes become more and more frequent. Your Phage and Frozen Mallet is useful to slow down a Champion your team is doing an FF with. Not only that, Caitlyn has so much life she can stay as long as she wants within the game without dying.

If the opponent would be pure melees, then this would be perfect to deal more damage to them.

Vampiric Scepter
If Caitlyn is always the first target during clashes, it's better to get vampiric scepter to survive. After all, Caitlyn is better alive than dead.

Madred's Bloodrazor
useful when battling Mordekaiser and and Vladimir

Phantom Dancer
Increases attack speed - useful for dealing with dps champions.



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Late Game

There are only 5 things to think about:
1. PUSH to destroy opponent's base
2. Farm to get items to push ASAP
3. Ward areas to prevent ambushes.
4. Don't be Greedy
5. Time to enjoy the fruits of your success


Trinity Force
More speed and more power

Black Cleaver
This is useful in reducing the armor of a champion

Banshee's Veil
This is needed if the opponent has very high Ability damages.

Guardian Angel
This is the best part. Just when they thought Caitlyn is dead, she comes back to kill yet again .

Guide Top



This concludes the guide.
It's not yet complete because there are more illustrations I want to add.
But at least the basics are here.

Hope you can enjoy Caitlyn as much as I did !!!