Caitlyn Build Guide by RGKrislund
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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.
Hey guys! My name is Kristoffer "Krislund" Pedersen - I'm the AD Carry/Marksman of Reason Gaming! I play on EUW and EUNE servers, and on EUNE my account has hit Challenger several times! My main account was Diamond 1 78LP before the reset.
I really enjoy playing AD Carry/Marksman even though some might think they are too weak this season. I've played a lot of Caitlyn and a lot of other AD Carries, so I have a strong knowledge in this category.
Caitlyn is the strongest champion during laning phase. She's clearly known as a lane bully and has long range, good poke, and can easily punish people for last hitting. Of course this is not everything about her. There is much more to come, so if you want to know more about her, continue reading!
Follow me on twitter @Reason_Krislund if you'd like to follow Reason Gaming's progress and myself through tournaments and general games!
Pros / Cons
- Very easy to pick up champion.
- Can benefit your general trading and CSing skills due to her range.
- Can easily push lanes with Piltover Peacemaker as well as escape ganks simply with her Yordle Snap Trap and 90 Caliber Net. Very safe champion.
- Even though she is a very easy, safe champion, she is also a very strong AD Carry that excels at mid game and late game.
- Can be pushed out of lanes by champions such as Jinx or anyone that can match her range.
- Must be careful when casting Piltover Peacemaker as it roots you during the channel time, any champions with CC can easily land abilities within the second that you are casting the ability. Her Yordle Snap Trap also roots her during channel but smaller duration than her Q.
- Her E 90 Caliber Net can easily be cancelled by any form of stun or other cc.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Damage - I only put 3 attack damage marks, which I will explain why I take attack speed in marks below. You need around 9-10 standard attack damage from runes, which makes you able to trade and have better last hitting if pushed under turret. This gives you a good balance of attack damage to do so combined with your quints.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed - The reason why I pick so much attack speed is because it makes you turn around easier. Three months ago Caitlyn received a nerf to her attack speed which effected her early lane phase. That's why I decided to go with attack speed. It makes you trade more easily and just makes the "Attack + move" more smoother until you begin building attack speed items. With Caitlyn's long range, you are able to spam a lot of auto-attacks in the face of your opponent and are also easily allowed to push the lane quickly. It gives 8.5% attack speed, I've used it for 2 months now and it just makes me able to dominate my opponent that much more, you simply out trade them by doing "attack + move" so easily. It also stacks up your passive faster.
Greater Seal of Armor Armor is pretty standard on every champion, they are the best runes you find in seals (yellows). It gives the standard armor so you don't get harassed easily or poked by enemy auto attacks.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist You always want some magic resist, magic damage supports are often used in the bot lane and AP is a part of the current meta, so you always want some standard magic resist. With the new season meta magic resist in lane phase has become a bit more important. Because of Caitlyn's range though you can afford to not take all 9 magic resist.
Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration I like to run mana regen on Caitlyn since I go 21/9 in my masteries. Mana regen allows you to spam your Q Piltover Peacemaker, safely poke your enemies down without worrying about not being able to E, or just keeping shoving the wave. This wont really hurt any of your defensive or other choices you could take in mastery, so I really like this pick up especially on Caitlyn.
Quintessence of Attack Damage I run full AD to make up for the little AD i have from Mark of Attack Damage. It makes me have 9.6 AD which is enough to get better trades off, makes last hitting easier and also last hitting under turret with 1 hit by your support helping you.
Many people will question why I don't run lifesteal quints. As Caitlyn you shouldn't really get harassed much, so you want to either have a B. F. Sword and destroy people in trades or go for the Vampiric Scepter to make up for you going full AD in the quints. You will get used to it, after around 5 games!
This is basically what you want to run on every single AD Carry, except possibly Ezreal and Corki.
There is only 1 thing unusual to what other people run, they don't go for the Double-Edged Sword but I really like this stat. It gives you an extra 1.5% damage, but you also take 1.5% damage. However that's the price you pay! Some sustain from two Doran's Blade or even just one can help this out. If you find yourself in good position and abuse the long range Caitlyn has, you should benefit 10 times from it instead of picking feast which gives silly 2 health and 1 regen for each creep you kill/last hit (which you barely feel the benefit of in this meta).
Block - Great stats - makes you block 2 auto attack damage from champs
Recovery - Gives 2 health/5 seconds - Helps you a lot if you get poked since you don't have any lifesteal in the earlier phase of the game, only from the Doran's Blade which you receive 3 health from. Also good to counter act the double edged sword mastery.
Unyielding This is just an extra upgrade from the Block mastery, just adds 1 more reduced damage (range), pretty standard and helpful in your laning phase.
Veteran Scars This is actually really good for AD Carry. Most are always pretty squishy especially since they nerfed the Doran's Blade health down to 80. I really think this mastery pick up makes up for it, so I really like picking up all these 36 extra health.
Juggernaut This isn't the hugest mastery for AD Carries, but it's the best you find if you want to spend 9 points into the defensive tree. It adds extra health to your maximum health, if you add a Banshee's Veil or Spirit Visage, you benefit a lot from it. It's cool, gives the extra health you need as an AD Carry so you don't get exploded, you can definitely feel the difference playing with or without this mastery.
This is pretty much a standard start for AD Carries. Even with its nerfs, Doran's Blade still gives you stats you really need in bot lane, good attack damage, some health, and a small amount of sustain per hit. It is still a very cost efficient item as it only costs below 500 gold and has a good impact during laning phase. Not much else to say about this start, there are some other items you can buy but this gives you the best balance of trade and sustain.
As Caitlyn you have two choices for your first big damage item, either The Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge. I like the first option as it gives you a really nice boost in straight up damage and lifesteal. Plus, the creeps during lane phase serve to fill up the item's stats. Aim to have Blood Thirster before the 16 minute mark. If you go back with 800-1000 gold you go for the Vampiric Scepter itself. If you have 1550+ gold you always want to buy B. F. Sword for the damage.
I prefer to get Statikk Shiv before Last Whisper and instead of rushing Phantom Dancer (for mid game) because I like to be in a lane constantly pushing and outplaying people mechanically. You go for the Last Whisper first if you want to seige and if people have really strong armor. It makes Caitlyn deal damage in the mid game where she lacks.
After your core items you normally should aim to get an Infinity Edge, or if you really need a defensive item at this point you can opt for that instead. My choice is between Guardian Angel or Mercurial Scimitar. Get GA if you are up against really strong gap closers that can just burst you down (Malphite / Yasuo combo), meaning you literally can't do anything and just straight up die. If you are against hard CC like Annie, Leona, or Ashe's arrow then you go for Mercurial Scimitar.
Before you sell boots for Zephyr you can get either Enchantment: Furor or Enchantment: Homeguard for your enchantment. Furor is for better kiting potential and homeguard if you need to quickly get back into the action.
At the point where you are at your final six item build, the above build is what I aim for. Zephyr has incredible stats and is a decent replacement for your boots with movement speed (combined with Phantom dancer). If you reach a six item build you should always sell your boots for Zephyr. Phantom Dancer is better than Statikk Shiv late game simply because it gives you better attack speed, more critical strikes, and better movement speed. On top of this there is the passive that allows you to walk through minions, monsters, or champions.
Get Mercury's Treads if you're up against lots of fears, slows, large stuns, or any CC that is giving you problems that can't be solved by Mercurial Scimitar. It also gives you a small amount of extra MR. Banshee's Veil is good against someone like Gragas so he doesn't just explode you with his ultimate. Randuin's Omen is good against a full AD team or people who can engage on you like a nocturne. It's real good for the extra health, armor, and kiting ability.
Headshot Is a really great passive, because you lack an active strong damage steroid, and you clearly make up for it with Headshot. It's really good in lane for harassing and trading with you enemies during the laning phase. One thing I really like about this passive, that if you stand in the brush, Headshot is charged by your auto-attacks so when you're standing in the brush you charge it x2 as if you were standing normally in the lane, so it requires less attack to stack up Headshot if you're standing in the brush. Some people don't realize this, so use it to your advantage if you're in a 1v1 situation to get more damage output. This passive also really hurts during late game combined with your crit attacks.
Piltover Peacemaker (Q)
Piltover Peacemaker Is a really strong spell mid/early game, you want it to mostly clear out waves and deal a large amount of damage if you hit enemy champion by themselves, It has a high AD scaling, so with the items you get it actually deals a lot of damage. Most people sometimes don't realize just how much damage is can do when it isn't blocked by creeps. It also creates a lot of pressure in lane which gives you the upper hand.
Yordle Snap Trap (W)
Yordle Snap Trap Is a really great utility spell, you can create a lot of presence in lane by having them offensively so enemies have to walk a different path or on top of them. You can put them in brushes where junglers usually go, or you can put them in lower brush so if people are trying to zone you from there, you automatically zone them. It creates a lot more presence then most people think.
It can also be used to protect an objective or if you're sieging, you put them offensively. You can have a max of 3 Yordle Snap Trap at a time.
The most important thing about this spell, that you actually can use it in team fight. If a team fight is breaking out and you know the enemy team has a gap closer, you want to trap at where you are standing and dealing damage from in case someone wants to focus you. You can also bait them into your trap and have a better safe position if someone comes running up at you. Try it out, I use this during team fights lot!
Another great thing about this is against people who have Zhonya's Hourglass, Guardian Angel or a passive like Aatrox or Zac. All of these when used make the champion stay in one spot until the duration is up. All you have to do is set a trap underneath them while this is happening and when they come out they're guaranteed to be hit with the trap.
90 Caliber Net (E)
90 Caliber Net Is your escape ability, made up of two parts. The most important is that it fires you away from the enemy, and it also slows any enemies hit. This makes it easier for Caitlyn to kite her enemies and get into a safe position (You can also fire yourself over small walls). One good trick with Caitlyn is where you combo the 90 Caliber Net with a [Piltover Peacemaker]]. The way you do it is, by casting the 90 Caliber Net and at the same time you press the Q button you throw out the Piltover Peacemaker. This is has to be done instantly, the spells will stack and it wont channel the cast of Piltover Peacemaker, as it normally takes a moment to channel it. What makes this a really good combo is that because you slow the enemy with 90 Caliber Net, you almost have a guaranteed hit with Piltover Peacemaker.
Ace in the Hole (R)
Ace in the Hole Is a situational spell, and while it isn't the best late game, I still like it. One point against it is that it can be blocked by other enemy champions, but people tend to run left and right which ends up with people not blocking it. I use it in 2 occasions, either I want to start a team fight off using it, so you make sure that one of the enemy team is harassed. I often use it like this when I see their AP or other non sustain or squishy target, then it makes a huge difference going into a fight or if you want to put pressure. The other use is that it's always good to finish off enemies, which is the more common usage that you will usually see in game..
You always want to start Q Piltover Peacemaker. It allows you to push the lane early and make your way to dominate the lane easily. Don't be afraid to use your range effectively. Caitlyn is a very safe champion with range, traps, and net. Don't try to fight champions head on unless you have an advantage in trading damage. Caitlyn's attack speed nerfs were targeted for her early laning phase so she's that much weaker going straight up 1v1. Remember, she's a sniper play like one! If the enemy bot lane tries to initiate on you, just use your E + Q combo to get out while doing a good amount of damage to them, then go back to annoyingly poking them with your range.
Every time the enemy AD carry tries to go for the last hit, you want to harass him. Remember that your passive is double charged when you're standing in the brush, so try to use that to your advantage to stack them up faster. You want to harrass them with Headshot on and use your Q Piltover Peacemaker for pushing the lane with your 90 Caliber Net as your escape.
Try to stay in lane as much as possible so you in the first buy can get a B. F. Sword. It allows you to out trade any opponents and scales incredibly with your Q Piltover Peacemaker. Most people don't realize just how much damage your Q actually does when it isn't blocked by lots of creeps.
Not much else to say about laning phase, Caitlyn is a very safe champion with long range that can dominate just about any lane. Some lane comps are more dangerous than others, you just need to adapt to that while still keeping the same playstyle. Remember, poke, poke, poke! Keep your E for the escape and use your Yordle Snap Trap to get more dominating position over your opponent. Just look at how they are moving in lane and set your traps to predict where they move next. Also, set traps in brushes for vision or to block a potential initiation. You can also set traps where you think the game's pathing will take enemies who are trying to gank you.
Caitlyn is a great tool for seiging with her range, Q, and traps. Once she gets her The Bloodthirster it makes it a lot easier with better attack damage, and better damage with her Q which has a really high AD scaling. By mid game you should have probably dominated your lane by now so you can group, roam, and try to win other lanes (if not stay in lane and just continue being the annoying sniper you are).
Get your bottom turret when you feel like its worth rotating to mid and get the turret there, it could be potentially be after you have gotten The Bloodthirster + Statikk Shiv / Last Whisper
Try to force objectives either turrets or dragons. Your traps come in really big at this point in the game as they can be used offensively or defensively to help your team out. If both teams are stalling around dragon and someone steps on your trap, that can be a game changer. Read my tips in the skill section on how to use the traps.
At this point, again just keep poking and forcing objectives, and overall just farm up. You're an AD Carry so remember to never stop trying to sneak some farm in when you are absolutely safe to do so.
Another great thing to do during this phase is to take advantage of your ultimate when your lane is over and you're roaming. An example of this is when you just killed your bottom turret and went back to base, if your top laner starts dueling with his opponent you can quickly head towards top lane, cast your ultimate and either pick up a kill or help secure your top laner a kill from a distance. They'll never see things like this coming.
Late game is one of Caitlyn's strongest point (after early game/laning phase). Often there will be some team fights, you want to start out ulting a non sustain champion such as their mid laner or support, since they are the usually the most squishiest. Using your ultimate Ace in the Hole on their ADC doesn't benefit you much since they always have lifesteal, so they can jut sustain by hitting the minions. Hit your ultimate and they're down at least half health before the fight starts.
In team fights you want to abuse your range, stand far away from everything and just attack whoever is closest, use the traps to zone people or on yourself to keep the gap closers away from you. Remember, her traps can be a game changer so be mindful of using them offensively or defensively before and during a team fight!
Again Caitlyn is really good at taking towers down, so grouping with her is really good, put trap on their turret so enemy team cant engage, and you have free potential to hit the turrets.
Nothing really special to say about Caitlyn during this phase, use your range and do your best to put out as much damage as you can.
I am going to write about some match ups that are pretty difficult for Caitlyn, most else are pretty self explanatory. Just abuse your range and play like a sniper not a bruiser!
Difficulty Scale: 5/5
Lucian difficulty 3/5
Lucian is a skill match-up I would say, but should be in Caitlyn's favor. Your range is longer than his so he has to get to an appropriate angle to hit you with Q, you have an easier time pushing against him. So Caitlyn has the upper hand in this match-up as long as you play it smart, don't get into close range skirmishes against Lucian and avoid getting hit by his Q Piercing Light. His Q can safely poke you if he aims it right, and Lucian is just a beast if he is able to get up close to you to output damage.
Varus Difficulty: 4/5
Varus Is actually decent against Caitlyn. His range is decent and his harass is almost as good as Caitlyn's, since he has his Q Piercing Arrow and E Hail of Arrows. It's kind of a skill match-up as well I would say, but Varus shouldn't win in the end, when he hits 6 when he get his Chain of Corruption. What makes Varus good is that if you get hit by his Hail of Arrows he might have chances to get a few auto attacks onto you, so you should look out for that. If you play it smart and avoid getting in situations for him to use his spells on you then you should come out of this one alright. Just remember, Varus is very deadly if you get caught up.
Jinx Difficulty: 4/5
Jinx Jinx is actually a really hard match-up for Caitlyn as her Q Switcheroo! gives Jinx pretty much the same range as your standard range. She can easily push against you and if you cast your Piltover Peacemaker she can put her E Flame Chompers! right underneath you as you are channeling the ability. So you should watch out for this, you want to hard push her early, but I would say this match up goes to whoever has got the better support. However you can still outplay her, if she goes for a trade with her E Flame Chompers! you can take the advantage and use your E 90 Caliber Net + Q Piltover Peacemaker. If you win early, you will have a good time against her, so I would say the first 3 levels pretty much decides whether you have a hard or a good time in this match-up.
Sivir Difficulty 3/5
Sivir Many people think that Sivir is a counter to Caitlyn because she can just Spell Shield her Q Piltover Peacemaker or other spells. But Caitlyn in the lane has an upper hand, Sivir's range is not that large so it makes it easier for Caitlyn to poke her easily when she goes for a minion, you don't want to spam traps to zone her since she can just absorb them with her shield which would allow her to push against you or cast her Q Boomerang Blade to push even faster. This lane should be in Caitlyn's favor you should be at least up in 10-15 creep score[*] and by a certain point even more so.
Thank you very much for reading through my guide for Caitlyn! I hope that you will be able to use this to your advantage and climb the dreaded ladder!
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