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Caitlyn Build Guide by 87alphaone

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League of Legends Build Guide Author 87alphaone

Mrs Caitlyn - complete guide (ranked)

87alphaone Last updated on October 2, 2012
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E, ArPen, Good start


W, Full AD, Bad start

LeagueSpy Logo
ADC Role
Ranked #13 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: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Greetings Summoner! Im 87alphaone and I proudly present my second guide on Mobafire. This time its for Caitlyn who is, I believe, one of the most awesome AD carry in whole League of Legends.

The format of this guide will be very similar to my Jax guide (link here).

The composition of this guide is made to simply lead you where you want. Simply said, the guide is divided into sections, which are divided into chapters with sub-chapters inside.

In description of every section will be the date of last update or revision, so if you are checking my guide more than once, you can simply see if I added something new or not.

Under the date of update/revision is the status of the section. For example with new patch come some important change, but I dont have time to update, so I only notice it there.

DO NOT be scared of wall of text. Some chapters just need it!

If you find some spelling mistakes, let me know via comments or PM, I will fix it.

I write WITHOUT apostrofs ('). It requires to change my keyboard settings from Czech to English language and that is kinda annoying.

I will use some parts of my Jax guide in this guide.

Important note: Cheat sheets may look very confusing, but they are not. It just shows the options! How to act and when to use what is written in relevant chapters (masteries, runes, ability sequence).

So without further ado, lets get started!

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Few following chapters contain some general informations. This stuff is good to know, because it belongs to basics of League of Legends gameplay.

In this section you will receive:

  • Brief info about shortcuts in my guide (and generaly in LoL)
  • When you should play Caitlyn
Last update/revision: 16th July 2012
Status of informations: UP TO DATE

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Shortcuts/terms explanation

Skip this chapter if you are experienced LoL player and shortcuts make you no problem. This chapter is copied from my Jax guide. Click on spoiler to view.

Spoiler: Click to view

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When to play Caitlyn

As you already know, Caitlyn is AD carry. But what does it actualy mean?

AD carry is champion that is very weak in early game and needs a lot of gold to get his/her items. AD carry scales with ITEMS. It doesnt matter if you have lower lvl than rest of your team (and same lvl as your support) if you have good items. AD carry is GOLD DEPENDANT. Simply said: gold = items = strong AD carry

When to play Caitlyn? Its easy, when your team doesnt have any so far. Its pretty smart to pick AD carry in first three picks, so your mid AP carry and solo top teammate can not be countered.

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In this section I will talk about actions you should do BEFORE the game starts.

It contains talking about:

  • Runes
  • Masteries
  • Summoners Spells
  • Skills and skill sequence
Last update/revision: 16th July 2012
Status of informations: UP TO DATE

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Runes are very important with every champion and can decide how you do in early game. Caitlyns early game is crucial to be succesfull in mid and late game, however the late game is the part of game, when you will excel and when you will be the biggest threat in enemy team eyes.




I have actualy 2 rune pages to use and the choice which one I take depends on enemy bottom lane composition.


  • + 15 AD (easier last hitting, bonus damage for Piltover Peacemaker)
  • + 12,69 armor (early game defense)
  • + 24,3 MR at lvl 18 (late game defense)


Greater Mark of desolation
  • + 15 ArPen (to penetrate enemy armor)
  • + 12,69 armor (early game defense)
  • + 24,3 MR at lvl 18 (late game defense)
  • + 7,75 AD (easier last hitting, bonus damage for Piltover Peacemaker)


As you can see, the core of the runes is the same in both cases.

Greater Seal of Armor is a must have. You will play bottom lane versus enemy AD carry and even if 12 armor doesnt look like too much, in the start of the game it is a lot. Never change these.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist will help you in mid (and late game ofc), when teamfights start to break down. In these fights, you will met even enemy AP carry and some MR are deffinitely helpfull.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage will just help you to last hit and generaly to dish out more damage.

However the slot for Marks offers two possibilities.

Greater Mark of Attack Damage give you more pure AD. Take these and skip Sunder in masteries if you play versus squishy AD carry ( Ezreal, Ashe, Sivir).

Greater Mark of desolation are way better versus bully enemy AD carry (and some supports). Examples when to take these and take Sunder : Graves, Taric, Urgot.

More in depth explanation will be in the gameplay chapters.

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Masteries are very important and not only for Caitlyn. According to runes I have 2 setups for masteries, which do not differ that much, however some little changes are there.




Brute Force - 3/3 - +3 AD deffinitely worth it.

Butcher - 1/2 - 2 bonus damage to minions, this point is to unlock next Tier

Alacrity - 4/4 - +4% attack speed

Weapon Expertise - 1/1 - 10% armor penetration. More ArPen for more damage.

Deadliness - 4/4 - +9 AD at lvl 18. This is not the best mastery, but still worth to invest in it.

Havoc - 3/3 - +1,5% increased damage. ALL damage

Lethality - 1/1 - +10% to critical strike damage, crits will hurt!

Vampirism - 3/3 - 3% Lifesteal.

Executioner - 1/1 - 6% increased damage to targets below 40% of their HPs.



Brute Force - 3/3 - +3 AD deffinitely worth it.

Butcher - 1/2 - 2 bonus damage to minions, this point is to unlock next Tier

Alacrity - 4/4 - +4% attack speed

Weapon Expertise - 1/1 - 10% armor penetration. More ArPen for more damage.

Deadliness - 4/4 - +9 AD at lvl 18. This is not the best mastery, but still worth to invest in it.

Lethality - 1/1 - +10% to critical strike damage, crits will hurt!

Vampirism - 3/3 - 3% Lifesteal.

Sunder - 3/3 - +6 Armor penetration. More penetration = more damage.

Executioner - 1/1 - 6% increased damage to targets below 40% of their HPs.



Summoner's Resolve - 1/1 - improved Heal

Hardiness - 3/3 - +6 armor

Durability - 4/4 - +6 health per lvl. Small buff for early game, that increases till the end of the game. Its no miracle, but better than nothing

Veteran's Scars - 1/1 - +30 Health at start of the game to be not so squishy


So far we have 2 rune pages and 2 masteries setup. The way how you want to use them is:
  • 1. PURE AD runes + 1. AD OFFENSE masteries + DEFENSE masteries
  • 2. COMBINED runes + 2. ArPen OFFENSE masteries + DEFENSE masteries

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Summoners Spells

List of viable summoners spells for Caitlyn is pretty short, counting only 3 choices.


Heal is very popular with AD carries, cause it allows you to trade damage with your enemy and then just heal up. You can use it to bait enemy: act like you are low and you are easy to kill and when they go in, you just heal and make them pay for their mistakes

Flash is without doubts the best summoner spell in LoL. Offensive and defensive possibilites are so huge, that I dont want to even name them. Flash allows to reposition yourself if you are caught in bad spot.

Exhaust is pretty a must if no one from your team have it. However its better to be picked by solo top or jungle player (or support these days). Shuts down one enemy for few seconds and slows him donw. Replace Heal. Take Summoner's Wrath instead of Butcher and Resistance instead of Summoner's Resolve in masteries.

The rest of summoners spells is not viable for Caitlyn!

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Skill Sequence - skills under focus

First part of this chapter will explain spells and the second part will explain lvling order.


Headshot is your passive. After certain amount of AAs, you get charged your Headshot. Next AA will deal bonus damage depending on target (minion/champion). This is pretty nice passive, that gets more usefull as your attack speed raises up.

Things to remember, tips and tricks:
  • + Shooting from brush counts as 2 stacks, so in teamfights, try to position yourself in some brush, if its possible
  • + When Headshot is charged your hand starts to glow red
  • + At laning phase, try to stack up your passive while lasthitting minions and charged attack use to harass enemy

Piltover Peacemaker is your Q. It releases penetrating shot dealing physical damage, however this damage is reduced with every additional target it hits. This spell has pretty fair range and its great to harass your enemy. Be carefull not to push minions with it.

Things to remember, tips and tricks:
  • + Piltover Peacemaker is good in situation when you need to lasthit i.e. 3 minions, just position yourself in line with them and kill them all
  • + At lower champion lvls this spell does more damage than your AAs, in late game its only good for poking, because charging time takes few seconds
  • + If your enemy is running with very few HPs and you are out of AA range, try to finish him with this spell
  • + Max this spell as first (lower CD, higher dmg, higher cost)

Yordle Snap Trap is your W. This spell places visible (to all) trap, that sprung only on champions. Your enemy gets snared for short time, disabling his movevent and escape abilities (he can still AA). Additionaly the enemy receives magic damage over time.

Things to remember, tips and tricks:
  • + Yordle Snap Trap is great for zoning your enemy. Place them at strategic places (I preffer placing into brushes)
  • + Can save your life and secure a kill if placed correctly
  • + Place traps even in teamfights, in the heat of battle your enemy can hit it accidentaly
  • + While defending objectives, place traps in access routes - enemies have to go around (or get traped)
  • + Traped enemies are visible for 9 seconds, so you can avoid gang
  • + If an enemy get traped, try to shoot your Piltover Peacemaker at him/her
  • + DO NOT (NEVER) place traps if you play versus Sivir, she is your number. 1 counter

90 Caliber Net is your E. It shoots a net in THE DIRECTION OF YOUR CURSOR that slows hit enemy and deals magic damage. The recoil of shot net throws Caitlyn BACK FROM CURSOR.

Things to remember, tips and tricks:
  • + You can jump over some walls with this spell, just walk to wall as close as possible and then aim your cursor in the direction OPPOSITE to wall and shoot
  • + You can use 90 Caliber Net to dodge skillshots
  • + If your enemy is running shoot 90 Caliber Net behind you to dash yourself closer to enemy
  • + If you need to run, shoot 90 Caliber Net at the enemy to slow him down and get more space between you and him/her

Ace in the Hole is your R = ultimate. After short channeling time it shots guided shot that hits enemy dealing massive physical damage.

Things to remember, tips and tricks:
  • + Enemy champions can block this shot for their teammates
  • + Provides vision after you lock on your target
  • + Do not use this spell in crowded situation, because blocking the shot by an enemy is very possible
  • + Use Ace in the Hole to kill running enemies
  • + After you manage to harass your enemy, you can shoot your Ace in the Hole even if it doesnt kill your enemy. They will mostly recall or at least hide behind turret to avoid more damage. That means you can farm without being in danger.



Lvl up your ultimate every time you can. That means lvl 6, 11 and 16.

First spell to lvl up is Piltover Peacemaker (Q). This helps to harass your enemy and to have some spell that enemies have to count.

Lvling Yordle Snap Trap and 90 Caliber Net depends on game situation.

I preffer to lvl up Yordle Snap Trap as second because it lowers cooldown and you can place more traps in shorter time. This helps to zone your enemy during laning phase and secure brushes at lane. However if you need to dodge a lot of skillshots its better to lvl up 90 Caliber Net as second for lower cooldown.

Last possibility is to lvl up Yordle Snap Trap and 90 Caliber Net simultaneously while maxing Piltover Peacemaker first.

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In following chapter is the info about items, in which order buy them, what are the alternatives, how to act if you are being zoned, how to act if you have good game...

This section includes:

  • Items
  • Buying order and true story

Last update/revision: 16th July 2012
Status of informations: UP TO DATE

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Items 1 - item choices

If you have read my Mr Jax - complete guide, you may expect huge items chapter. But Caitlyn is quite different and her items choices are way easier.

No matter how many games will you play, you mostly end up with very similar items, however the routes how to get there can be quite different. I will talk about this problematic later in this chapter.

To be succesfull as AD carry you need to have 4 things:



Sixth item is your defensive choice (I will talk about them later).





Boots are a must have item with every champion. Pretty obvious bonus is increased movement speed with an additional bonus. For AD carries works only one boots. ALWAYS take boots. Do not play without them!
  • Berserker's Greaves are the only one and only choice you should consider. They give you movement speed and attack speed. All you need.



Infinity Edge should be your first item you buy. Do not even think about building Phantom Dancer first. Phantom Dancer is cheaper, but if you compare damage output with Infinity Edge and with Phantom Dancer, Infinity Edge wins. ALWAYS.

Infinity Edge gives you a huge bonus to your damage output and AD carry is all about damage output. You can be super squishy (and you will be), but that damage you can dish out is ridiculous.

If you scroll up a bit back to start of this chapter, you will see (again) those 4 stats you need as AD carry. The order written there is a DOGMA. At first you need some Attack damage, but after you get it, you need more attack speed. Attack speed cannot be stacked forever (2,5 AS cap), so for more damage you need crits.

Infinity Edge will give you:
  • + Attack damage
  • + Critical strike chance
  • + Increased critical strike damage


Phantom Dancer is overall good item for Caitlyn. It increases your movement speed and that allows you better positioning in teamfight. Attack speed increases your damage output and critical strike chance make your crits to hit more often.

Phantom Dancer will give you:
  • + Attack speed
  • + Movement speed
  • + Critical strike chance


In times when you finish your Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer your enemies starts (if they are smart) to stack some armor to counter you. And if they try to counter you, do the same, counter their armor. Last Whisper gives you some AD, but that ArPen is important here!

Last Whisper will give you:
  • + Attack damage
  • + 40% ArPen


Time to get some sustain, right? Sustain form for Caitlyn is lifesteal and what is the best lifesteal item in game? Correct, its The Bloodthirster. Its pretty good idea to get Vampiric Scepter in early game (I will talk about buying order later). However be carefull, because if you die, half of your stacks are lost upon dead!

The Bloodthirster will give you:
  • + Attack damage
  • + Lifesteal


Sixth item should be mostly defensive, however if you have great team, that understands you are the most important damage dealer in your team and protects you (=dream team), you can go for more damage! Lets look at possible choices and when to pick them.

Guardian Angel
  • + Armor
  • + MR
  • + Revives after dead, 5 mins CD
Guardian Angel is pretty standart defensive choice for most AD carries, including Caitlyn. It gives some armor and MR and revives you after dead to give you second chance. In long games, this can be the difference between won and lost game.

Quicksilver Sash
  • + MR
  • + Pocket Cleanse every 90 seconds
Quicksilver Sash is a must have if you play versus some of these: Warwick, Malzahar, Urgot. They all have supresion, which can be only canceled with this item (or by stunning the caster).

The Bloodthirster
  • + more damage
  • + more lifesteal
Second The Bloodthirster buy in cases you want MOAR damage. I dont like buying same item twice, but if you want, do it!

Madred's Bloodrazor
  • + Attack damage
  • + Attack speed
  • + Bonus magic damage
Madred's Bloodrazor is very expensive, but it can help you in few cases. At first, enemy team have tons of HPs ( Dr. Mundo, Vladimir), or enemy team doesnt stack armor to counter you. Personaly I preffer Last Whisper, but there can be games, when you just need it.

Frozen Mallet
  • + Attack damage
  • + 700 HPs
  • + Slow
Frozen Mallet is my favourite item! Your enemies cant run anymore. I know you can get red buff, but it doesnt give any HPs, Frozen Mallet does.

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Items 2 - Elixirs


There are two situations when you should buy elixirs.

1) You have full build.

2) The game stucks at some status quo point.

In the case when you already have full build, every additional killed minion, killed champion and champion assist give you gold and it is a waste to not use it. So buy elixirs! Elixir of Agility gives you attack speed and critical strike chance. Elixir of Fortitude gives some flat AD and HP bonus.

If the game stucks at some point when no one wants to initiate and you are just running there and there over map doing actualy nothing you should consider buing Elixirs. They can change the tide of battle and give you small advantage over the enemy team. And LoL is about small advantages. Good player always try to find something how to get advantage over enemies.

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Items 3 - buying your items, true story

After reading previous chapter, you know what to build, but the order how you make it is very important and it would be sin for me not to talk about it.


The game just started!

Who is your support, can he heal you?

Head to lane, help your jungler if he requires that, unlock your Piltover Peacemaker. When minions come, try to LAST HIT as many as you can!

Your goal at 15 minute mark is 100 CS. If its more, good for you (my best result was 100 CS in 1217 mark), if its less, try to improve yourself.. If you get some kills, add 15 CS for every kill you have scored.

Lets talk a while about the screen above. Its from ranked game I have played yesterday (22nd July 2012). Pls notice few things:
  • My support is Soraka so my starting item is Doran's Blade
  • Time 13:28 and 100 CS (plus one kill and two assists)
  • I was not back yet since the start of the game

First trip back, are you doing good?
This part of game ends if you manage to get your B. F. Sword.

The game goes on, doesnt matter how did you manage to go so far, but now you new to start build your damage items. You already have your B. F. Sword, build Infinity Edge from it. Do it as fast as possible (faster if you can). In most cases, AD carry that manages to build Infinity Edge will win his/her lane.

Infinity Edge is finished now. My top time while getting Infinity Edge was 15:40 mark. And thats not all, because I had even finished boots and Vampiric Scepter! As you can see, your next two items are Vampiric Scepter and Zeal.

Your damage is pretty fine now, you have around 200 AD, attack speed 1,25 and some lifesteal. Teamfights are starting to break out in this stage of game. You are getting serious threat to enemy team. If not sooner, your team have to start protect you in these fights right now.

After you get few kills and assist in these teamfights you should be around finishing your Phantom Dancer and starting Last Whisper.

Fights for dragon takes a lot of time now. Several teamfights breaked out in last few minutes. Both sides have some losses, but you manage to survived that all and getting few kills. Wards covered map is very important now. You have to know about every enemy movement. Are they invading you? Can you push some lane? Team leader will give an order and you have to go. You just cant go farm. You have to stick to your team, because you are weak alone, like everyone. You need your team and your team needs you. Dont let them go!

Last Whisper ready? No? Maybe you need more sustain, get your The Bloodthirster before you continue. Ask your team to let you farm and get stacks up for more damage and lifesteal. They will understand it, they have to!

We have pushed top lane for inhibitor. Our enemy now has to split up to cover rest of the lanes and that pushed lane. Their jungle is our now, we can farm it all. We had even free Dragon without any problems. They are scared now and those weak start to think about surrender. Hopefully their team leader is strong and says: "we play till the end, we still have nexus, dont give up"

5 Items ready? Great job, you are doing well so far. You have one slot ready. What do you need? I will offer you something, lets take a look:
  • Guardian Angel - You feel you cant afford dead right now?
  • Quicksilver Sash - A lot of CC? You are scared, Im sometimes too.
  • The Bloodthirster - You cant die? You are crazy man! Get this!
  • Madred's Bloodrazor - You sometimes die, but you dont care (btw. this could be a great name for difficulty in Doom). You need more damage, but you dont like two same items? (Me neither.) They have a lot of HPs? Take this bloody hand and take piece of them.
  • Frozen Mallet - My queen between last items. Its getting annoying how they always run? It is, I know. Get this hammer and stick them to ground. They will sweat ice in desperate try to run.

This takes too long. Somehow they made it. We have failed in teamfight for Baron Nashor. Only our Brand survived. I would never believe how is ONE MINUTE long. Never.

But we are all back now. Baron buff is gone. Our team leader is trying to find some opportunity how to surprise them, but then...suddenly! Malphite alone in our jungle? We gave him no chance. He is down for a MINUTE. Regroup and push. We have advantage now. Bottom lane inhibitor is down, their Soraka is down...she tried to defend it. Five versus three for 25 seconds. Push Nexus turrets. Our minions are coming. A lot of them. We just believe we can finish this now. One turret is down, second turret is down. Malphite is back, he goes in with rest of his team. But we focus Nexus, no more fights, no more dead.

We made it, its over. Victory is our!

If you want to know, who is the author of this awesome (and true) story, click the spoiler below.
Spoiler: Click to view

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Working on. Expect these chapters ASAP.

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---THE END---

YOU MADE IT! You have just read whole guide about the most awesome AD carry Caitlyn. I hope you liked it and it was full of informations you have expected. If you feel there is something missing, dont hesitate to contact me via comments are PM and I try to add the info you request.

Thank you for your time while reading this guide!

Comments and (up)votes are highly appretiated! :-)

Good luck, peace...