Caitlyn Build Guide

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Enforce Justice with Caitlyn, the Sheriff of Piltover

written by Nhan-Fiction

Caitlyn Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Note: All of this information pertains to the Summoner's Rift map for Patch v1.0.0.119.
    External Image

    Hello there,

    My Summoner name is Coug54, and I play on the U.S. servers.

    This guide is the result of a collaboration project that involved participants from this thread. Everything seen throughout this guide contains contributions from community members who wanted to add something toward this community strategy guide.

    I want to thank all of the adamant community members who spent the time to share their two cents about what they think about Caitlyn, the Sheriff of Piltover. Unfortunately, not every bit of information could be used for this guide, but I attempted to use as many contributions as I could reasonably fit throughout the sections. There was just so much valuable information to choose from that jamming everything into one guide would be impractical.

    Happy reading.
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    Quoted Text:
    Disclaimer: For the quoted material throughout this guide, I have taken the liberty of correcting things like spelling, grammar and style elements for the sake of presentation.

  • Abilities

    Headshot
    This is a counter-based passive that grants bonus damage to Caitlyn's auto-attack whenever it reaches eight/seven/six stacks (changes at Level 7 and 13, respectively). If Caitlyn attacks from the brush, then it counts as two stacks. This effect deals 150% bonus damage to an enemy champion or 250% bonus damage to a minion. Caitlyn relies on this passive as an essential element to her damage output.


    Piltover Peacemaker
    After a short delay, Caitlyn fires a projectile that pierces through foes. The projectile deals less damage based on how many units it goes through, down to a 40% minimum. Because this ability uses physical damage, Caitlyn's attack damage and armor penetration augment this projectile's power. This is Caitlyn's go-to skill throughout an entire game.


    Yordle Snap Trap
    Caitlyn can set up to three, conspicuous traps that spring on an enemy champion if they step on it. Each trap has a maximum time limit of four minutes. The trap has a brief delay before it can activate. An enemy champion who steps on a trap will suffer magic damage and will be immobilized for 1.5 seconds. The enemy champion will be revealed to Caitlyn's team for a few seconds. In addition, this trap also works on champs in stealth.


    90 Caliber Net
    This interesting ability doubles as a skill shot with a recoiling effect, which knocks Caitlyn back a few steps once she fires the projectile. The projectile deals magic damage and provides a slow effect to a single enemy unit. However, the main attraction to this skill is the recoiling effect. Caitlyn can use the recoil for both defensive and offensive purposes. This skill can also launch Caitlyn over certain spots in the terrain if she is close enough.


    Ace in the Hole
    Once Caitlyn finishes channeling, she fires a long-range bullet that deals physical damage to a single enemy champion. Another enemy champion can intercept the shot by getting in the way as the bullet is flying toward its intended target. This ability receives extra damage based on Caitlyn's bonus attack damage and applies Caitlyn's armor penetration stats.

    When selecting a target, Caitlyn will always have vision of the target as she is channeling. However, this ability will reset itself if the initial target "disappears" during the channeling time. If this occurs, Caitlyn is compromised with a short cooldown buffer so she can use this ability again in a few moments without being penalized with the full cooldown. However, she is not refunded her mana.
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    Note: Some bugs have been confirmed for Ace in the Hole, such as the bullet randomly hitting a minion instead of an enemy champion. Riot has mentioned that they plan to address these bug issues.


  • Tips & Tricks

    Caitlyn is by no means a powerhouse with her skill-set, so she requires a bit more effort to achieve maximum results. Mastering these simple techniques will bump up Caitlyn's efficiency. You cannot run and gun with Caitlyn and just expect success. You will need some finesse and precision. Most importantly, Caitlyn relies heavily on her allies to defeat her opponents.
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    * Keep an eye on your Headshot counter to know how many more stacks you need to trigger the effect. The lucky number is eight/seven/six (remember that the number changes at Level 7 and 13, respectively).

    * Whenever Headshot is ready, Caitlyn starts to glow a bit and makes a sound. Be aware of this so you do not waste your special shot by accident.

    * Remember that auto-attacks from the brush count as two stacks toward getting Headshot ready, so try to attack from the brush when the opportunity presents itself.

    * If you are two stacks away from a Headshot proc when attacking from the brush, Caitlyn will immediately charge up and fire the special shot. If you decide to cancel this shot in mid-animation, Caitlyn will charge up the shot but not fire it (berzerk dragon).

    * When fighting monsters in the jungle, get your Headshot to proc quickly by fighting from the brush. Every normal monster camp (except for the one with Wolves) can be dragged toward the brush (CCBeara).

    * Headshot only triggers on minions, monsters or enemy champions. This means you may attack buildings to build up counters, but you will never trigger the effect (bguggs).
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    * Piltover Peacemaker is a physical damage-based ability. This means its bonus damage is linked to Caitlyn's attack damage and her armor penetration stats.

    * Using Piltover Peacemaker resets Caitlyn's auto-attack (Sabre Wolf).

    * Piltover Peacemaker is Caitlyn's minion-clearing ability. Make sure the aiming reticle goes through an entire minion wave before firing, ensuring each of them get pierced by the projectile.

    * Unlike other skill shots, Piltover Peacemaker deals the most damage to the initial targets that the projectile hits. When aiming at enemy champions, try to blast them with the projectile when they are in front of minions and not behind them. However, smarter opponents will hide behind minions anyway, which means you might have to settle with firing at them for less damage.

    * Take note that the hitbox for Piltover Peacemaker is a tad shorter than the aiming reticle suggests. The very last part of the projectile's range is strictly visual and has no effect (Cyborgschatz).

    * When firing Piltover Peacemaker into the brush or fog of war, listen closely for the "hacking" sound the projectile makes when it goes through enemies. This means you have hit something.
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    * Keep in mind that you can only have three uses of Yordle Snap Trap out at all times. If you place a fourth trap, the first trap will disarm itself.

    * Always use your three uses of Yordle Snap Trap, even if they are in random locations. You never know when an enemy champion is going to walk over one (dbrowdy).

    * Take note of the sound that Yordle Snap Trap makes when you set it. This can alert enemy champions of your presence. Keep this in mind if you are trying to sneak up to enemy champions.

    * Because Yordle Snap Trap does not trigger on minions, feel free to throw some traps in the middle of minion paths.

    * Yordle Snap Trap takes a brief moment before it can trigger.

    * Yordle Snap Trap does not provide vision by itself (lambchopsX).

    * Yordle Snap Trap can be seen by friend and foe alike. It is a good idea to nestle traps inside the brush where it is harder to spot.

    * A Yordle Snap Trap hidden inside the brush can be seen by an enemy who enters the grass.

    * Be creative with how you use your three traps. Nestle Yordle Snap Trap in the brush to spot ganks from the other team's jungler, drop traps in plain sight to create special zones that will discourage your foes from getting near, place traps at spots where you can run through if you need to make a getaway and so forth.

    * Coordinate with allies to combo Yordle Snap Trap with other abilities. For instance, Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab works wonders with the trap because an immobilized target is very vulnerable to the pull. Also, Blitzcrank can also drag enemies into the trap.

    * Similar to Nidalee's Bushwhack traps, Caitlyn gets a brief glimpse of vision as she drops her Yordle Snap Trap. Use this aspect of the ability to scout for potential danger.

    * Again, just like Nidalee's Bushwhack traps, Yordle Snap Trap provides vision of an enemy champion who steps on it for a few seconds. Because it also reveals enemy champions in stealth, this trap can be an effective tool against champions like Evelynn or Twitch.

    * Though Yordle Snap Trap has 'trap' in its name, this does not always mean you have to be sneaky with its uses. Utilizing the trap in a very direct manner is actually very practical. For instance, placing a trap right onto an enemy in a team fight is essentially using a disable on them.

    * Yordle Snap Trap does not disappear after Caitlyn dies. If you are in a team fight where you are about to bite the dust, laying a trap down for your team to take advantage of can prove useful.

    * Clones created from abilities like Mordekaiser's Children of the Grave can spring Yordle Snap Trap. This is because the clones count as champions, and this makes them capable of activating the trap (Alaman).
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    * 90 Caliber Net will often be your panic button in dangerous situations. Use this ability to create separation from incoming threats.

    * Remember that 90 Caliber Net can let Caitlyn jump over minions (Cheesecakes).

    * 90 Caliber Net sends Caitlyn through Turrets or Inhibitors if she is right next to them.

    * 90 Caliber Net can launch you over a wall or ledge, but only if Caitlyn is very close to it. However, some spots on the map are impassable.

    * Sometimes, aiming 90 Caliber Net away from an enemy will be necessary to close the gap between a fleeing foe. Use the recoil to get a few steps closer to your intended target.

    * You can negate the recoiling effect of 90 Caliber Net by shooting it with Caitlyn's back right next to a thick wall.

    * You can still fire 90 Caliber Net while rooted, though Caitlyn will not be pushed back from the recoil (berzerk dragon).

    * Though 90 Caliber Net does do some magic damage, try to reserve this ability to be used against enemy champions only.
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    * Ace in the Hole is affected by Caitlyn's bonus attack damage and armor penetration stats.

    * Ace in the Hole now always gives vision of the initial target as Caitlyn is channeling, meaning she has more chances to get her ultimate off without sending the ability into the buffer time.

    * Ace in the Hole can apply item effects like Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

    * Ace in the Hole does not crit. At the moment, any crit is strictly visual and is a bug (Shiraka).

    * If you are blinded when you shoot Ace in the Hole (e.g. Teemo's Blinding Dart), your ultimate will miss (Shiraka).

    * If your initial target is "lost" during the Ace in the Hole channeling time, Caitlyn will be compensated with a short buffer time of five seconds instead of the full cooldown, but she will not be refunded her mana back. However, she will not receive the buffer time if the bullet is fired (Saint Kiwi).

    * Ace in the Hole goes into the buffer time if Caitlyn is disabled while she is channeling (Suzaku910).

    * The range of Ace in the Hole applies to selecting the initial target, meaning Caitlyn can still fire at her target if they run outside of the ability's current range (Suzaku910).

    * Sometimes, using 90 Caliber Net to knock you over a few steps can give you a good angle for Ace in the Hole. This is particularly effective when you need to get perpendicular with your intended target who is near another enemy champion who can block your shot. After launching yourself with the net, immediately begin your ultimate (jalb3rt).

    * Clairvoyance is a handy Summoner Spell to combo with Ace in the Hole. It lets you reveal targets for you to select with your ultimate.

    * It is generally ideal to save Ace in the Hole to finish off a low-HP foe.

    * Be aware of your surroundings when using Ace in the Hole. You are a sitting duck as you are channeling, so try to pick a safe spot to fire from.

    * Try to avoid using Ace in the Hole when a potential target has even one ally champion nearby. A bullet interception can prove costly. This is especially true when trying to shoot the ultimate into a crowded team fight.

    * In some cases, using Ace in the Hole as an opener as opposed to a finisher may be a smart move. This is particularly true in upcoming team fights where you want to soften up a key target.

    * Ace in the Hole can only target a champion, which includes clones. For instance, if LeBlanc's Mirror Image triggers, you can click on the created clone by accident, therefore wasting your ultimate. Clones can also intercept the bullet because they are considered champions. Keep this in mind.
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    Special Shout-out: I would like to thank GiRLSTAR for this particular sub-section and granting me permission to use some of her video clips. She details the following technique in her excellent guide.

    Skill Chaining
    Shaving off a second when using your abilities can make a huge difference. This one second can end up leading to a big payoff for any given situation. All of Caitlyn's abilities are capable of skill chaining off one another. It is very simple to do. You just need to use a second ability as you begin using the first ability. Essentially, you are using two skills at the same time as you mitigate the windup time of the second ability. However, keep in mind that some skill-chaining combinations are not as crisp as others.

    Some examples:
    * You can drop a Yordle Snap Trap right as you are firing a Piltover Peacemaker.

    * You can launch yourself backward with 90 Caliber Net while laying down a Yordle Snap Trap.

    * The two videos below depict Caitlyn firing Piltover Peacemaker and 90 Caliber Net together.





    Note: Generally speaking, Ace in the Hole does not work with skill chaining very well. The long channel time somewhat negates the time-saving purpose of skill chaining, though the option is nevertheless there.

  • Skill Builds

    Caitlyn has two common skill builds she can go. Basically, the main idea is to max Piltover Peacemaker first because it lets Caitlyn farm, harass, poke and just attack her enemies from afar. Both skill builds are useful in their own ways, though more players tend to lean toward Skill Build A.

    A lot of people do not get Yordle Snap Trap at Level 2 because 90 Caliber Net tends to be more practical at the very beginning of the game.

    Skill Build A

    This is a common skill build that you will see Caitlyn players use. 90 Caliber Net is a key ability for giving Caitlyn some versatility. More importantly, it increases Caitlyn's survivability in hairy situations.

    Skill Build B

    This is the skill build that is described by Phreak in Caitlyn's Champion Spotlight. It maxes Yordle Snap Trap second because it lets Caitlyn drop her traps in a quicker fashion.

  • Champion Summary

    Now that Caitlyn's skills have been explained, how exactly does she stack up as a champion? Well, due to light buffs throughout a bunch of patches, Caitlyn's viability stock is on the rise. Caitlyn used to do well early to mid game and then default into a semi-carry of sorts at late game, but now her late game has some potency now. With enough items, Caitlyn can actually be a competent AD carry in the last act of a game.

    In other words, Caitlyn is definitely a solid choice as a lineup's AD carry.

    Caitlyn's Pros
    (+) Naturally long attack range.
    (+) Good at destroying towers.
    (+) Can fill a team's role of AD carry.
    (+) Skill-set grants Caitlyn a lot of versatility, which includes an escape mechanism.

    Caitlyn's Cons
    (-) Extremely frail.
    (-) Slow movement speed.
    (-) Skills eat up a lot of mana from an already-limited mana pool.
    (-) Skill-set is versatile but not powerful in comparison to other champion kits.
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    Other Opinions

    Quoted Text:
    She is Sivir, Yi and Teemo all rolled into one. She has Sivir's Q (x2 just about), Teemo's shroom (not really great when needed quickly) ... (Sabre Wolf)

    Quoted Text:
    I find Caitlyn is most powerful when completely based on poking. She clearly doesn't do the damage of your average carry, such as Tristana or Miss Fortune, but her range and abilities allow her to work a team down to low health without being in danger. If a team fight actually starts, her damage is pretty ignorable. She has a low base attack speed (doesn't reach 1.0 at level 18 w/o items) and her abilities are made to interrupt other damage.) (nightfangm)

    Quoted Text:
    The conclusions of my experiences with her? It’s hard to place my feelings for Caitlyn, she’s a fun champion no doubt, but there’s always this tiny niggle in the back of my neck that makes me feel that, unfortunately for our sully lass, there’s probably others who can do her job better … (Rapid99)

    Quoted Text:
    With Caitlyn your item choices are incredibly important. You need to take note of the enemy team as well as your own when picking which items to purchase. Are they mostly beefy DPS and tanks? Are they escape artists or mostly squishy? What does your team have to offer? Lots of stuns or other CC? Loads of skill shots? These all factor into what you should be getting with Caitlyn. (Cyborgschatz)

    Quoted Text:
    I do not like crit builds on her, because she's squishy and she's different from other ranged carries. She relies on her superior range to get kills and safely harass, so I'd rather have reliable attack damage ... (BorutoRaikou)

    Quoted Text:
    Personally I would rather play as Tristana, because she doesn't have to sacrifice an item slot for AS like Caitlyn desperately does. Caitlyn is more powerful than Trist for early game, but after that I'd rather play as Trist, or Ashe, or Miss Fortune, or Twitch... You get the idea. (emoney1)

  • Early Game

    Ideally, Caitlyn is generally more useful in a side lane than a solo. This is because a farmed Caitlyn is, unfortunately, not as powerful as other farmed champs. All of the extra gold and experience would be better for a different solo champ, though Caitlyn can still make do with the solo-lane privilege. Caitlyn also has the option of being a team's jungler.

    When it comes to the laning phase, Caitlyn has a powerful early game because of her long range. Zoning with Caitlyn is thus a cinch because she can chip away at her opponents with plenty of breathing room to keep her safe from retaliation. Just keep your distance and do not make it easy for your lane opponents to harass Caitlyn.

    Caitlyn is especially compatible with a variety of lane partners. Try to team up with ally champions who can combo with Caitlyn's abilities, such as Blitzcrank. The laning process is Caitlyn's phase to lose, so milk it for all it is worth.

    Key Points
    * If you are in a side lane, strive to control the brush. Controlling the brush means you can get Headshot to proc faster.

    * Try to use your Headshot strategically. Whenever it is ready, make sure you are using it to last hit a minion or harassing an enemy champion with it.

    * Use Piltover Peacemaker to farm minions, but be aware that clearing the waves too quickly can push your lane. Unless you are planning on destroying the opposing team's outer Turret, you can be setting yourself up for a gank from the other team's jungler.

    * If you are pushing into the opposing team's outer Turret, use Piltover Peacemaker to harass and put pressure on the enemy champion(s). Poke them constantly to discourage them from defending their Turret, but also be cautious not to draw tower aggro. If done correctly, you can essentially deny your lane opponent(s) of a lot of gold and experience (dbrowdy).

    * Piltover Peacemaker is a decent harassing tool against enemy champions.

    * Lay Yordle Snap Trap in good spots throughout the lane. Because you can only have up to three at a time, you cannot afford to drop the traps in awkward spots where they will never trigger.

    * Yordle Snap Trap is useful for guarding against junglers. If you are in a side lane, drop a trap inside of the river brush. This is particularly important if you are planning on pushing the lane (dbrowdy).

    * Do not spam 90 Caliber Net all willy-nilly. This ability should be saved for emergency escapes or when you are trying to bag a kill. Using this ability to harass is not a good idea, mana-wise.

    * Ace in the Hole should be used as a finisher early in the game.
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    Other Opinions

    Quoted Text:
    She's counting on early-game kills to get her through midgame until she can afford B. F. Sword and start really hurting people. (dbrowdy)

    Quoted Text:
    She is a monster during laning phase and early game, but after 30 mins or so she can't do much unless other team is all squishy. (emoney1)

    Quoted Text:
    Early Game: I found her to be fairly good. Her auto-attack has incredible range and makes for easy harass. At this stage, traps are more than decent for gank protection, except for mid (too many gank entrances). (berzerk dragon)

    Quoted Text:
    I would really like to point out that Caitlyn has mana problems; a lot like Ashe or other low-mana, high-cost carries.

    My original setup as far as Summoner spells went was Cleanse/ Ghost, but I recommend Clarity/ Ghost after I tried it.

    It's much more useful than Cleanse, especially when you aren't facing many CCers.

    And when you are, (you have) Banshee's Veil, which is a recommended item, for sure, due to Caitlyn's lack of base health. (runchbawx)

    Quoted Text:
    Tip: Place three traps at the edge of your Turret's range to funnel or prevent enemy dives ... (bguggs)

    Quoted Text:
    She has a very strong early game to the point of OP if you have a good lane partner like Taric. If you take advantage of that, it will fuel your mid and late games to be better because you will have the cash for the AD/AS items. If you are not able to have that good early game, you're in trouble. (Sabre Wolf)

  • Mid Game

    Mid game is usually a good phase for Caitlyn. This is the point where she starts to buy some of her damage items before her enemies stack up on a lot of armor and HP. In other words, this is the transition point before Caitlyn's shaky late game approaches. Imagine an invisible hourglass looming over Caitlyn's head, constantly warning her that her usefulness will gradually wane as the game drags on.

    You MUST take advantage of this phase to maximize Caitlyn's value to her team. If you can set up some kills and take down some Turrets, Caitlyn will certainly fulfill her purpose during the game.

    In team fights, your main job is staying in the back and providing cover fire. Treat Caitlyn as a support champ and not a carry. Your main goal will be to avoid the front lines like the plague. You are supposed to be a sniper and not the tank.

    Key Points
    * You can worry less about precise uses of Headshot from here on on out. Just attack normally and let the proc occur naturally.

    * Use Piltover Peacemaker to cut down minion waves to guard Turrets or to push lanes.

    * Blast enemy champions with Piltover Peacemaker in team fights and for general harassing/poking situations.

    * Drop Yordle Snap Trap whenever you can.

    * Save 90 Caliber Net for dangerous situations.

    * Always have Ace in the Hole on standby until you need it. Spamming it is not very practical.
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    Other Opinions

    Quoted Text:
    Mid Game: IMO, this is where Caitlyn shines. Once she gets some AD, Piltover Peacemaker is so good. All I had to do was run around and shoot it into teamfights. Easy. I love it. (berzerk dragon)

    Quoted Text:
    She desperately, DESPERATELY needs those B. F. Swords as soon as humanly possible.

    Unlike a Corki/Pantheon/Tristana/Ashe, getting two to four Doran's Blades does practically nothing for her. Yes, it's a good starting item, but stacking those just isn't enough of a boost to see an effect. She just doesn't scale well enough with how little damage they add. (The extra HP is nice though). (Cyborgschatz)

    Quoted Text:
    I build:
    * Crit on her (for passive).
    * Attack speed (for passive).
    * Armor pen (for Piltover Peacemaker and Ace in the Hole) and Sword of the Divine (for passive).


    Infinity Edge synergizes with her passive + the unique effect of Sword of the Divine + Headshot = amazing auto-attack damage. (TwilightPrince)

    Quoted Text:
    Just to be clear, I think of the mid game as the last part of a carry's farming time.

    I build flat attack damage because I use Piltover Peacemaker for my major damage so crit strike and attack speed don't help very much. (nightfangm)

  • Late Game

    Assuming you have farmed well up to this point, Caitlyn should be quite powerful in this phase. Caitlyn should be more than capable of being a lineup's AD carry at this point in the game.

    Key Points
    * Headshot becomes just another attack at this phase. Do not worry about saving it.

    * Piltover Peacemaker will reach its strongest point in this phase due to Caitlyn reaching higher attack damage and armor penetration values.

    * Use Piltover Peacemaker to clear minion waves.

    * Keep dropping Yordle Snap Traps whenever you can.

    * Use 90 Caliber Net to bail you of a jam.

    * You can probably afford to go nuts with Ace in the Hole during this phase, which includes opening team fights with it. Every bit of damage counts in this crucial time.
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    Other Opinions

    Quoted Text:
    CAITLYN DOES NOT WANT TO START A FIGHT! She is most useful avoiding fights and whittling the enemies down before she ults to finish them off. She is very very proficient at this, but if the fight actually starts she will not do noticeable damage or have noticeable CC. (nightfangm)

    Quoted Text:
    I don't know why people are saying Cait is bad late game. If you ask me she's one of the best late-game, ranged champs in the game. She's AMAZING in team fights due to her range and traps to cut off backdoor ganks. (neoftw420)

    Quoted Text:
    It seems to me she has a terrible late game if not completely fed. (Suzaku910)

    Quoted Text:
    All in all Caitlyn is a reasonably competent AD-support DPS with a tricky to use but hard CC and a long-range opener/finishing blow. She’s a letdown as a carry due to her lack of an attack steroid. (Rapid99)

    Quoted Text:
    Very late game should be a very scary thing for Caitlyn, especially with the current tanky meta. (Cyborgschatz)

  • Strategy Selection

    As part of this special project, I have assembled a collection of different strategies posted by community members. Each of the following sections contain unique interpretations on how to play Caitlyn. None of these specific strategies claim to be the best method for playing this champion. They are just personal approaches and nothing more.

    It is up to you, the guide reader, to decide whether you will follow a specific strategy to a T, mix and match different elements that you like from multiple sections or you can just come up with your own tactics altogether. Part of the fun with this game is discovering what methods work for your personal playing style. Experimenting with strategies is an important element to evolving as a player.

    Also, keep in mind that I am completely willing to add more personal strategies to this guide. All you have to do is ask nicely (through a PM), and I will consider it.
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    Note: Of course for any of these given strategies:
    * Be sure to buy additional consumables and pitch in for wards whenever you see fit.
    * Grab the special potions [item_icon=elixir of agility][item_icon=oracle's elixir] when you have the extra gold.
    * Stock up on Doran's Blade or Doran's Shield if you are having a rough game (it happens to all of us). Gradually sell the items off when you get back on your feet, financially.

  • Community Member Strategy - bguggs

    Rune Setup
    External Image

    Greater Quintessence of Desolation x3 to give Caitlyn more armor penetration.
    Greater Mark of Desolation x9 to increase Caitlyn's damage output.
    Greater Seal of Clarity x9 to have more mana regen so Caitlyn can use her abilities more.
    Greater Glyph of Focus x9 to lower Caitlyn's cooldowns.

    Note: (A Greater Glyph of Clarity set is shown in the picture.)
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    Summoner Spells
    * Get Ghost and something else.
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    Masteries
    External Image

    Key Points
    * This is a typical 21/0/9 build.

    * [mastery=offensive mastery] powers up Caitlyn's last hits against minions.
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    Finalized Item Build Example
    [item_icon=stark's fervor]

    This strategy avoids snowball items in favor of consistent, rising damage.

    Build Order
    1. Start with a Doran's Blade.

    2. Get Boots of Speed next.

    3. Make Last Whisper to increase Caitlyn's armor penetration.

    4. Upgrade the Boots of Speed into Berserker's Greaves.

    5. Make The Black Cleaver for further armor-reducing power.

    6. Build Banshee's Veil to give Caitlyn some spell defense.

    7. Purchase Infinity Edge for greater damage output.

    8. Sell your Doran's Blade. Finish the build off with [item=stark's fervor], assuming no one else on your team is making it. Otherwise, make a different item.
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    General Strategy

    Quoted Text:
    Treat Caitlyn as an auto-attack champion and not a spell-spammer. (bguggs)

    Your main goal is to stack armor-penetrating items so Caitlyn's attack damage can pierce through whatever she is firing at. This is a simple, straightforward means of playing Caitlyn, but sometimes sheer simplicity is all you need to achieve great results.

    Key Points
    * You should be shooting, kiting and trapping nonstop.

    * Use Piltover Peacemaker to finish off enemies, or hit them as they're fleeing. However, this ability is not your primary damage dealer.

  • Community Member Strategy - berzerk_dragon

    Rune Setup
    External Image

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x3 to give Caitlyn a safety net of HP to work with.
    Greater Mark of Desolation x9 to increase Caitlyn's damage output.
    Greater Seal of Clarity x9 to have more mana regen so Caitlyn can use her abilities more often.
    Greater Glyph of Clarity x9 to have more mana regen so Caitlyn can use her abilities more often.
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    Summoner Spells
    * Ghost and then use Teleport, [spell=fortify] or Clairvoyance.
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    Masteries
    External Image

    Key Points
    * This is 21/9/0 variation build.

    * It is a matter of preference for Strength of Spirit versus [mastery=awareness].
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    Finalized Item Build Example


    This strategy focuses on stacking raw damage.

    Build Order
    1. Begin with a Doran's Blade.

    2. On your first trip back to base, purchase Boots of Speed and an item piece for Last Whisper.

    3. Upgrade Boots of Speed into something, or you can purchase B. F. Sword if you can afford it.

    4. Once you have upgraded Boots of Speed, turn your B. F. Sword into The Bloodthirster. This will complete the core.

    5. Build a survivability item at this point. The go-to options include:
    * Banshee's Veil for protection against spells.
    * Randuin's Omen for extra defense plus an active slow effect.
    * Frozen Mallet to have extra HP and to give Caitlyn's auto-attack and ultimate a slow effect.

    6. If the game continues to drag into a really long game, just build more damage. Stock up on B. F. Swords and make them into bigger items.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Strategy
    This build is for the Caitlyn player who likes to focus on using spells.

    Quoted Text:
    I'd classify it as a low-risk, medium-reward playstyle. (berzerk_dragon)

    Key Points
    * Last Whisper and The Bloodthirster let Cait do great damage from a great distance.

    * Outside of the early game, auto-attacks are generally only used for farming and chasing, so attack speed and crit are not needed.

    * Cait should stay outside of fights and constantly poke with Piltover Peacemaker.

    * Piltover Peacemaker is everything with this build, so learn to aim it well.

    * Caitlyn is a good siege champ. Standoffs at enemy towers are favorable because Caitlyn can simply push up to the tower. Shoot the tower once or twice and back off to do it again with the next creep wave.

  • Community Member Strategy - CCBeara (Jungle Strategy)

    Rune Setup
    External Image

    Greater Quintessence of Alacrity x1 to give Caitlyn more attack speed.
    Greater Quintessence of Swiftness x1 to make Caitlyn slightly faster.
    Greater Quintessence of Alacrity x1 to give Caitlyn more attack speed.
    Greater Mark of Alacrity x9 to increase Caitlyn's attack speed.
    Greater Seal of Alacrity x9 to increase Caitlyn's attack speed.
    Greater Glyph of Replenishment x9 to enhance Caitlyn's mana pool.

    Note: Some Tier 2 Runes are shown in the picture.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Summoner Spells
    * Teleport and Smite.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Masteries
    External Image

    Key Points
    * This is a 21/9/0 setup designed for jungling.

    * Points are allocated toward the Defense tree to pad Caitlyn's defense when roaming the jungle.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finalized Item Build Example


    Like typical jungle strategies, Madred's Razors is a focal point to this item build. The rest of the items are typical, AD-centered fare.

    Build Order
    1. Begin with Cloth Armor and five consumables of Health Potion.

    2. Convert the Cloth Armor into Madred's Razors and Boots of Speed. Get a ward or two if you can afford it.

    3. Upgrade Madred's Razors into Wriggle's Lantern.

    4. Turn the Boots of Speed into Berserker's Greaves.

    5. Buy Tear of the Goddess next to help with Caitlyn's mana issues.

    6. Upgrade the Tear of the Goddess into Manamune.

    7. Start working toward building Infinity Edge. An early Cloak of Agility works wonders.

    8. The last two item slots are usually reserved for situational items, which can be:
    * The Black Cleaver is good for enhancing damage output.
    * [item=madred's bloodrazor] is a strong choice if you are facing particularly beefy opponents.
    * Phantom Dancer is a good choice for Caitlyn.
    * Banshee's Veil is always a solid item to build on any champ.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Strategy
    Throw the opposing team a curveball by surprising them with how well Caitlyn can jungle. She is not amazing by any means, but she does a passable job.

    Quoted Text:
    She is a very competent jungler in the sense that she can obliterate creeps and not get counter-jungled easily. Unfortunately, she isn't the best ganker. She's slow and has a very little chance of actually catching up with the gank. It's not that she can't gank, but it's not amazing. (CCBeara)

    External Image

    Jungle Pattern
    1. Start at the Ancient Golem camp to get the blue buff. You will need a bit of help from your allies, though getting assistance from your solo-mid teammate should suffice.

    2. Head all the way toward the duo Golem camp.

    3. Then backtrack toward the Wraiths.

    4. Either gank or push to farm, depending on the circumstances. However, if there is not an enemy jungler, then repeat steps two and three on the opposing team's side.

    5. At around Level 4, you should be able to nab the red buff from the Lizard Elder camp quite easily. You can also get another blue buff.

    6. By this point, just jungle whenever you can and try to gank if the situations present themselves. Keep in mind that staying in the jungle for too long can be disastrous for your team.

    Key Points
    * Teleport is used to counteract Caitlyn's slow running speed. For instance, you can warp to a ward , allowing you to jungle faster or even get into position for a very sneaky gank.

    * Like for any jungle strategy, use Smite to last hit the big monsters to prevent someone from stealing buffs from you. Using this Summoner Spell too early on big monsters could prove foolish if you are interrupted by enemies. It is better to be safe than sorry.

    * It is the jungler's job to place at least some wards whenever you have the spare cash for them.

    * Always utilize the brush to let your Headshot proc quickly. This is very important to ensure your damage output against monsters is maximized. Always drag the monsters toward the brush. You can drag any normal monster camp toward the brush, except for the one with Wolves.

    * Use Piltover Peacemaker to mow down monster camps.

    * Put your Yordle Snap Trap to good use by dropping them in good places to help your teammates. You can also use the traps to guard you as you are in the jungle.

    * Avoid using 90 Caliber Net on monsters. Save it for emergencies in case enemies try to hunt you in the jungle.

    * Ace in the Hole is very handy in ganks. Its long range can snipe enemies from afar when they do not expect it.

    * Keep in mind that, unlike other junglers, Caitlyn does not gank very well with her skill-set. When you show yourself during ganks, focus more on poking and pushing than trying to bag kills.

    * This strategy is very dependent on how well your team is doing. If your team is struggling, do not be surprised to see your jungle situation adversely affected.

  • Community Member Strategy - Cyborgschatz

    Rune Setup
    External Image

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x3 to give Caitlyn a safety net of HP to work with.
    Greater Mark of Desolation x9 to increase Caitlyn's damage output.
    Greater Seal of Evasion x9 to give Caitlyn some defense against physical attacks.
    Greater Glyph of Shielding x8 to build up Caitlyn's magic resistance over time.
    Greater Glyph of Warding x1 to increase Caitlyn's magic resistance.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Summoner Spells
    * Teleport and Flash.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Masteries A
    External Image

    Key Points
    * This is a simple 21/0/9 setup for Caitlyn.

    * The [mastery=spatial accuracy] Mastery is taken, but not the one for [mastery=blink of an eye].

    Masteries B
    External Image

    Key Points
    * This is an alternative 11/0/19 setup that emphasizes utility.

    * There is a lot of cooldown reduction with Sorcery and Intelligence.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finalized Item Build Example
    [item_icon=stark's fervor]

    This particular item build is based on what your team is comprised of and what kind of opponents you are facing. Adjust accordingly.

    Build Order
    1. Your early items will depend on what kind of route you are willing to take:
    * Begin with a Doran's Blade if you plan on going a generic item build.
    * Grab a Long Sword if you are going [item=madred's bloodrazor] at some point and two flasks of Health Potion.

    2. Decide on whether you want to get The Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge as your first big item, and then start to work toward purchasing the appropriate recipe components.
    * If you bought the Long Sword earlier, then start working toward the [item=madred's bloodrazor].

    3. Be sure to buy Boots of Speed at some point when you can. Upgrade the boots when it is convenient.

    4. Assuming you have one of the first big items completed at this point, consider buying attack speed items like:
    * Sword of the Divine is a decent choice against the right lineup.
    * [item=stark's fervor] is handy if no one else on your team is making it.

    Alternatives would be:
    * Executioner's Calling is a good choice if you want some extra lifesteal and crit.
    * Last Whisper for lots of armor penetration.
    * Phantom Dancer is another useful item for Caitlyn.

    5. Buy either more damage like another The Bloodthirster, Infinity Edge or a survival item like:
    * Banshee's Veil for spell defense.
    * Frozen Heart for mana, cooldown reduction, extra armor and the attack speed-slowing AoE.

    6. Fill the last two item slots (after selling the Doran's Blade if you bought it earlier) for either more damage or survival items. Preferably, you should focus on damage in a lot of cases.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Strategy
    This strategy revolves around building damage and padding Caitlyn with some survivability.

    Quoted Text:
    Whether you go with [item=Madred's bloodrazor] or a B. F. Sword first, make completing your item top priority, only spending money on boots or potions on your times back. (Cyborgschatz)

    Key Points
    * Teleport is to warp Caitlyn to locations quickly so she can offset her slow movement speed.

    * Flash is on hand when you need to move a few steps ahead or back for various situations.

  • Community Member Strategy - dbrowdy

    Rune Setup
    External Image

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x3 to give Caitlyn a safety net of HP to work with.
    Greater Mark of Desolation x9 to increase Caitlyn's damage output.
    Greater Seal of Clarity x9 to have more mana regen so Caitlyn can use her abilities more often.
    Greater Glyph of Clarity x9 to have more mana regen so Caitlyn can use her abilities more often.

    Note: Some Tier 2.5 Runes are displayed in this picture.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Summoner Spells
    * Use Ghost for sure and get a Summoner Spell that is based on preference. Be sure to tweak the Masteries for the appropriate Summoner Spell, if possible.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Masteries
    External Image

    Key Points
    * A unique 11/0/19 build that stresses utility.

    * Key Masteries stress getting extra mana regeneration, movement speed and cooldown reduction.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finalized Item Build Example
    [item_icon=malady]

    This strategy focuses on giving Caitlyn lots of movement and attack speed, allowing for more procs from her items.

    Build Order
    1. Start with a Long Sword and a Health Potion.

    2. Get Boots of Speed next.

    3. Turn your Long Sword into a Phage. You get a bit of extra HP and a random slow effect.

    4. Make a Zeal for the extra movement and attack speed.

    5. Get a B. F. Sword and then eventually turn it into a The Black Cleaver.

    6. Convert Boots of Speed into Boots of Swiftness to enhance Caitlyn's movement speed.

    7. Upgrade the Phage into a Frozen Mallet for extra survivability and the slow effect.

    8. Get [item=malady] for the magic resistance-reducing effect and the extra attack speed.

    9. Buy a Phantom Dancer with the Zeal.

    10. If the game reaches this point, you can build items like:
    * Another Phantom Dancer for even more movement and attack speed.
    * A [item=madred's bloodrazor] for extra attack speed and bonus damage.
    * Consider Wit's End if you want to burn though the opposing team's mana with lots of attack speed.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Strategy

    Quoted Text:
    Move speed from Zeal ( Phantom Dancer) and Boots of Swiftness is super important on Caitlyn. You should keep the range advantage.

    She'll have a slow, armor shred, magic resistance shred and Headshot all procing, which makes having attack speed extremely important. The items that don't give attack speed will provide Caitlyn with survivability. (dbrowdy)

    Key Points
    * This strategy emphasizes movement and attack speed.

    * With a lot of attack speed to work with, this strategy relies on a lot of proc effects for Caitlyn to defeat her enemies.

  • Community Member Strategy - nightfangm

    Rune Setup
    External Image

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x3 to give Caitlyn a safety net of HP to work with.
    Greater Mark of Desolation x9 to increase Caitlyn's damage output.
    Greater Seal of Clarity x9 to have more mana regen so Caitlyn can use her abilities more often.
    Greater Glyph of Clarity x9 to have more mana regen so Caitlyn can use her abilities more often.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Summoner Spells
    * Move Masteries around based on Summoner Spell preferences, if possible.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Masteries
    External Image

    Key Points
    * A 21/0/9 setup for Caitlyn.

    * Be sure to substitute some points for specific Summoner Spells, if desired.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finalized Item Build Example


    This strategy focuses on stacking raw damage to give Caitlyn's auto-attack, Piltover Peacemaker and Ace in the Hole a lot of potential in terms of power.

    Build Order
    1. Begin with a Doran's Blade.

    2. Upgrade the Boots of Speed into Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Mercury's Treads.

    3. Buy a few more Doran's Blades, or just work toward making more B. F. Swords.

    4. Make The Bloodthirster.

    5. Focus on stacking more duplicates of The Bloodthirster. Wedge in Last Whisper at some point.

    6. For alternative items, you can substitute any slot reserved for The Bloodthirster with things like:
    * Frozen Mallet for survivability and the slow effect.
    * The Brutalizer if you are farming poorly.
    * [item=madred's bloodrazor] if your enemy team is tanky.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Strategy

    Quoted Text:
    * I only focus on farming before level 6, at which point I do my best to harass the enemy lane. Usually I get them down low enough to ult and get an early kill. If I'm not mid, I always have a trap in both the bush that goes to the river and the bush that we are currently pushed to in lane.

    * Before fights start, I try to stay at the back while constantly firing Piltover Peacemaker to get enemies low before the fight.

    * When the fight actually starts, I'll try to hit as many enemies as I can with Piltover Peacemaker and throw down a trap in the middle of the fight. Once I start getting focused, I just use the net to back out. If I'm low, I'll ult their squishy and go back.

    * If I still have health, I'll keep firing Piltover Peacemaker.

    * I build flat attack damage because I use Piltover Peacemaker for my major damage, so crit strike and attack speed don't help very much. Outside of fights I try to get Lizard (for my ult and auto-attacks) and Golem (for the cooldown reduction and mana so I can spam my Q more) when I can. (nightfangm)

    Key Points
    * The Bloodthirster can independently stack, so getting duplicates can yield a lot of bonus damage.

    * Remember that any item slot for The Bloodthirster with alternative items if you want to mix things up a bit.

  • Community Member Strategy - Sabre Wolf

    Rune Setup
    External Image

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x3 to give Caitlyn a safety net of HP to work with.
    Greater Mark of Desolation x9 to increase Caitlyn's damage output.
    Greater Seal of Clarity x9 to have more mana regen so Caitlyn can use her abilities more often.
    Greater Glyph of Focus x9 to lower Caitlyn's cooldowns.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Summoner Spells
    * Ghost and Flash, Teleport, Cleanse, Clairvoyance or Ignite.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Masteries
    External Image

    Key Points
    * An 18/0/12 setup for Caitlyn.

    * Perseverance and Meditation are used to enhance Caitlyn's regeneration capabilities.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finalized Item Build Example
    [item_icon=madred's bloodrazor]

    This is a variation to the standard Caitlyn item build.

    Build Order
    1. Start with a Doran's Blade.
    * An option at this point is to start with a [item=Meki Pendant] to make a Tear of the Goddess for Manamune.

    2. Buy Boots of Speed and then upgrade them to Berserker's Greaves.

    3. Purchase Madred's Razors next and then save up for[item=madred's bloodrazor].

    4. After finishing your [item=madred's bloodrazor], make Last Whisper next.

    5. Build Banshee's Veil to pad up Caitlyn's spell defense.

    6. Get a B. F. Sword and work toward The Black Cleaver.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Strategy

    Quoted Text:
    (Caitlyn) is a backup carry, not a primary carry like Kog-Maw and Miss Fortune are. She is more of a Support/Carry because she can help finish stuff off. (Sabre Wolf)

    Key Points
    * Treat Caitlyn as a support champ as opposed to your team's dedicated carry.

    * Take advantage of Caitlyn's strong early game.

  • Guide Author's Strategy

    Rune Setup
    External Image

    Greater Quintessence of Avarice x3 to give Caitlyn passive income.
    Greater Mark of Desolation x9 to increase Caitlyn's damage output.
    Greater Seal of Evasion x1 for good luck.
    Greater Seal of Clarity x8 to have more mana regen so Caitlyn can use her abilities more often.
    Greater Glyph of Focus x9 to lower Caitlyn's cooldowns.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Summoner Spells
    * Teleport and Clairvoyance.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Masteries
    External Image

    Key Points
    * This is a simple 21/0/9 setup for Caitlyn.

    * Sorcery is taken to be used in conjunction with Greater Glyph of Clarity blues.

    * [mastery=archaic knowledge] is taken as a filler point.

    * No Summoner Spell-specific Masteries are taken in this case. Getting Perseverance over Teleport will be more useful in the long run.

    * Though a lot of people hate Greed, this particular Mastery will be useful for this specific gold-generating strategy.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finalized Item Build Example


    This strategy relies on three Greater Quintessence of Avarices, Greed, and Philosopher's Stone to generate a lot of free gold. The other emphasis is to build up Caitlyn's armor-reducing capabilities and raw attack damage.

    Build Order
    1. Start with a Regrowth Pendant and a Mana Potion. If you are playing it safe like you are supposed to, this particular potion will be more useful.

    2. As soon as you have enough gold, warp back to base and make a Philosopher's Stone. Use Teleport to return to your lane quickly. You now have lots of regen and some passive income to work with.

    3. Get Boots of Speed next, and then eventually turn them into Berserker's Greaves. These boots will counteract Caitlyn's sluggish movement and attack speeds.

    4. Augment your armor penetration with Last Whisper. Using both flat and percentage armor penetration will pack a punch against anything you fire at, which includes towers.

    5. Assemble The Bloodthirster for raw damage.

    6. You have a lot of practical options at this point, so build depending upon the situation. Some possible choices include:
    * Make an Infinity Edge if you want bigger critical hits.
    * Make [item=madred's bloodrazor] if you are going against a beefy team.
    * Consider [item=stark's fervor] if you want to reduce even more armor from the opposing team.
    * Build Phantom Dancer if you want lots of attack and movement speed.
    * If you really need some spell defense, make Banshee's Veil for this item slot.

    7. Buy another damage item at this point, such as a duplicate of The Bloodthirster.

    8. Sell Philosopher's Stone and top the build off with a Guardian Angel, a Banshee's Veil (if you did not buy it earlier) or another damage item.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Strategy
    This particular game plan is very simple - play it safe and let your passive income supplement your coffers. Caitlyn is not a primary carry by any means. She is going to be providing cover fire most of the time and playing a pseudo support role. Pick your battles very carefully and be aware of your surroundings. Because Caitlyn is very vulnerable due to a lack of defensive Summoner Spells on hand, your best bet is to keep risky situations to a minimum. Just make sure you have sufficient backup from your allies to improve your survivability.

    The strategy's effectiveness is very dependent on how well your team is doing. Your supporting efforts are only going to be as potent as the team you are trying to help out. If your team is not pulling their weight, this particular strategy can produce mixed results.

    Key Points
    * Use Teleport early in the game when you can afford Philosopher's Stone. Focus on using this Summoner Spell as a way of bouncing around lanes and keeping Turrets standing for as long as possible. Avoid using this spell as an emergency escape unless it is absolutely necessary.

    * Spam Clairvoyance whenever you can. Without any Summoner Spells to bail you out of a jam, this Summoner Spell can spot trouble before it can get you. You can also use this Summoner Spell to find potential targets for your ultimate.

    * Philosopher's Stone will prove quite useful for this strategy. It will keep your HP and mana pool in check throughout the game.

    * The three Greater Quintessence of Avarices, Philosopher's Stone and Greed will pad your wallet with lots of free gold as the game goes on. All you have to do is make sure your farming pace is at least decent to ensure you keep the item build on track.

    * The main focus of this strategy is to increase Caitlyn's raw damage. Though her damage output is not that high compared to true carries, this does not mean that Caitlyn is a pushover by any means. With the appropriate items, realize that Caitlyn's auto-attack can become come quite lethal for her adversaries.

  • Closing Thoughts

    Well, I hope you have enjoyed reading about Caitlyn, the Sheriff of Piltover. She is a different kind of champion who requires an alternative style of play. Though she is a bit underpowered in her current state, this could easily change when some of her problem areas are addressed in potential buffs from Riot.

    Again, I would like to thank all of the community members who helped me put this guide together. This guide would not have been possible without their help. If anyone else would like to contribute something to this guide, feel free to PM me and I will consider adding it, depending on what the contribution is and whether it is convenient for me to do so.

    Go Cougs!
    External Image

  • Changelog

    1/18/2011
    * Tweaked some things based on the Patch v1.0.0.109 changes to Piltover Peacemaker and Ace in the Hole.

    2/1/2011
    * Modified various item builds due to Patch v1.0.0.110's changes to the cost of Doran items .
    * Modified the Guide Author's Strategy section a bit.

    2/15/2011
    * Tweaked the Guide Author's Strategy section a bit.

    2/19/2011
    * Altered the Guide Author's Strategy section a bit.

    2/19/2011
    * Adjusted things in the guide for Patch v1.0.0.113's tweak to Headshot.

    2/29/2011
    * Adjusted things in the guide for Patch v1.0.0.114's tweak to Yordle Snap Trap.
    * Rewrote some sections due to Caitlyn's improved scaling.
    =^..^=



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