Caitlyn Build Guide

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Caitlyn - A 5 minute head start won't be enough for you

written by skaa

Caitlyn Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hello everyone. First of all, this is my first guide for League of Legends. I have made several guides for some other games, and I believe I now have sufficient knowledge and skills at LoL to finally write a guide and try to pass on my knowledge to others.

    One of the things you will probably notice, is that English isn't my main language. There will probably be typo's all over the guide, if you do find any, please comment or just tell me in any way you can.

    Let's now talk about the champion you came here to learn about. Caitlyn is (at the time the guide was written), the newest champion on the League. She is a ranged AD carry, that can be built multiple ways. I will try to explain some, and tell you which ones are the most viable (known until now).

    I hope you enjoy this guide, I will try to complete it as much as possible. Feel free to comment, and tell me what you think.

  • Abilities

    A nice passive, in my opinion. It is great to harass in early game, aswell as last hitting. You might say that there are better options, but this one does its cut well.

    As you can read, this passive is triggered at the 8th shot. When in grass, it is triggered at the 4th shot. There is a counter in the buff area, so you can keep track of your shots.

    There are good ways to take advantage of the 150% damage at the 8th shot. You can use it to auto attack minions and last-hit, and when it is triggered, take advantage of Caitlyn's huge auto attack range to harass an enemy champion. If the champion is squishy, you will deal 1/4 his HP, easily.

    Use the grass to your advantage. Keep yourself in it as long as you can, last hitting minions has never been so easy. In side lanes, this is great. Jungling lizard and golem also gets a lot easier.

    Piltover Peacemaker
    This skill is simply magnificent. You may have noticed that Ezreal has a similar skill.

    This will be your main damage skill while laning. Its low cooldown and relatively high damage are good arguments to keep using it. It also has a HUGE range, and is extremely fast, and it still penetrates the targets! Over all, a very decent skillshot.

    In mid-late game, with a decent set, you'll be clearing the 6 minions in a wave with this skill alone. It is also usefull when killing enemies that are escaping through grass and you can no longer target. There are several applications to this skill, we'll talk about that later.

    Yordle Snap Trap
    A snare trap, that scales of AP. It is rather helpful to keep control of gankers and even get kills. You can only use 2 at the same time though, you have to think carefully when using one. However, the low MP consumption (60, at all levels), is very appealing, and allows you to have both traps deployed most of the time.

    When an enemy steps on it, he will be snared for 1 second, and you will see him temporarly.

    Imagine jungler Fiddle, coming to your lane for the double kill, and you are already at 1/2 HP. If he steps on it, you will have time to go back, and avoid getting ganked. You will need to place them well, because those will save your ass.

    I have also used those to get kills. If an ally stuns a target and the target was trying to escape, place it in front of him. Chances are, he won't even notice with all the sparkles flying, and will step on it, stunning him again, and probably ensuring the kill. Just be careful, the trap takes 1 second to deploy correctly, like Teemo shrooms or Shaco's JiTB.

    Like I said before, this trap is scaled of AP. Since the damage isn't that much (neither is the scale), it is quite hard to land as a damaging skill, it is useless to build AP towards this skill. Same happens to the [skill=90 Caliber Net], which I will explain after this.

    90 Caliber Net
    A slow skill, and a great way to help you escaping.
    Caitlyn gets pushed back when using this. It's not that good if you are chasing someone, because the slow won't make up for your knockback, but it is an EXCELLENT way to escape. When running towards your turret, use this against someone, and you'll be pushed further, helping you get safe faster, and it will also slow the enemy. This almost guarantees your escape.

    It can also get through some walls. Careful, because it can't get through all of them. The range of the skill is slightly lower than the one from Flash.

    It scales of AP, but you probably won't be building it. I prefer using this skill as an escaping mechanism or to help other team mates get the kill (a kill for the tank and an assist for the carry is better than not getting the kill at all)

    This skill also scales of AP, but you don't want to build AP just for this. CD is too big (like in the [skill=Yordle Snap Trap]), and damage won't increase that much, making it a skill whose main purpose is escaping and helping teammates get a kill. You will rarely use this to kill an enemy champion, but it is possible. Later, I'll tell you how this skill can be used, it has several applications.

    Ace in the Hole
    Great range. Good damage. Impossible to miss (can be intercepted though). Endgame, it will be dealing over 800 damage if the target has no armor. And it gets a higher range the further you level it. F*** yeah, it can't get much better than this.

    There are several things that you need to take note:

    - Some reports say that this spell will hit enemy superminions and cannon minions (haven't confirmed it).
    - While channeling, the ultimate won't reveal the enemy until it fully channels (locks the target). If the enemy is getting stealthed or is covered by the Fog of War, the ultimate will be cancelled and put on a small cooldown.
    - Some people have seen the ability crit, however, Riot says it is only visual, and the ability actually DOESN'T crit.

    Now the good stuff:

    - Frozen Mallet, Tiamat and Life Steal affects the target upon hit.

    - The ability WILL reveal the champion targeted for a while even if he got out of range (although, it will be cancelled if the ulti hasn't channeled yet).

    Also, take note of the following:

    - Pantheon Aegis shield (Passive) will block the ultimate

    - An enemy CAN intercept the bullet for his team mate

    - It takes some time to channel, soo you probably don't want to stand near a champion with CC's.

  • Summoner Abilities

    For summoner abilites, you got several options that will help Caitlyn a lot.

    I'll start of with my personal favourites, and then tell you which ones you should avoid.

    Best choices

    Flash Flash is a good ability for every champ. It adds another escaping mechanism, and a great help to last hit that lucker champion that always gets away (motherf...). If you like it, get it.

    Teleport Teleport is always cool, mainly because Caitlyn isn't one of the fastest champions. In the laning phase, you might have some problems with HP and MP, and this will help you to blue pill and get back to your lane fast, avoiding your EXP loss.

    Ghost Escaping mechanism, chasing, etc, might be useful. Take it if you like it. Ghost needs no introduction.

    OK Choices

    Clarity Caitlyn lacks mana. And you probably won't be building it. In laning phase, your auto attacks won't be enough, if you can remain long enough in the lane, this might be the spell for you.

    Ignite Meh, in late game, it won't be anything special. Unless there's a Mundo on the other team, I wouldn't recommend it. Great for early game kills, but nothing else. A single auto attack on a squishy champion in late game, will deal 2x the damage Ignite deals. You can still take it if you like it.

    Bad choices

    Exhaust Recent nerfs, and short duration. Won't be that good anymore, you got better choices for this slot.

    CleanseIf you get ganked, you won't get out of it with Cleanse. Flash will probably help you more, if you even get out of the Stun/Snare/etc. Not worth the slot it takes.

    Heal Good for early game, useless after minute 10. Don't do it.

    [spell=fortify] Leave it for tanks and supports.

    Seriously, don't.

    [spell=rally] Not. Worth. It.

    Clairvoyance Leave it for supports, your Ulti range is pretty big, but Clairvoyance won't get you much kills.

    Revive Don't make me say it...

    Smite Although Caitlyn has potential for jungle (due to her passive), she can only jungle properly after lv6, which makes it useless. Not needed.

  • Masteries + Runes

    Being a ranged AD carry, you probably want to get the last Mastery in the Offense Tree. You will also rely on the crits in late game, or at least, it will be a great help.

    This is my Mastery page:

    You can also exchange the point in "Good Hands" to "Spatial Accuracy" if you decide to take Teleport.

    I think that masteries are very personal, and if you think you would do better with another ones, go ahead. You can only know if something is good when you actually try it. These are my favourite, and I use them when I go with Caitlyn.

    For runes, you got several options.


    Greater Mark of Malice Crits are important when playing Caitlyn, and if you got these, you will want to use them.

    Greater Mark of Desolation With Armor Pen, you always know what damage you will deal, withour relying on your luck to get a crit. However, it won't damage as much as a crit.

    You have to make a decision here: Either go for the crit if you are feeling lucky, or go for the Armor Pen, if you want to play "safe". Crit will help you a lot more in late game, but Armor Pen will help you with your low damage in early game. (I like Armor Pen more, but it's up to you)

    Greater Mark of Strength If you do like these, you can opt by them. They give you higher early game damage, although it isn't really that much in late game. Still, quite a nice boost for the game start. Not my personal favourite though.


    Greater Seal of Malice Crit in the Seals can be good. It is better on the Marks, but still decent on the Seals.

    Greater Seal of Alacrity Attack speed. Need I say more?

    These are the 2 main options. You can use dodge if you like, but it won't save your ass with Caitlyn.

    Greater Seal of Clarity Some also say mana regen/lvl is good, I don't use them, but it is higher in Seals than Glyphs, if you choose them, take them in Seals.


    Greater Glyph of Clarity The Seals version of these are better, if you need them, go with the Seals.

    Greater Glyph of Alacrity Again, Attack Speed. If you got the Seals, you probably should ignore these, and go for the MP regen. If you use the Crit in Seals, you should go with these, they are a nice boost.


    Greater Quintessence of Strength A lot of reasons to use that one. I probably won't need to name them.

    Greater Quintessence of Desolation Early boost, combined with Armor Pen Marks, you'll crush squishies in early game.

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude Always useful, doesn't matter which champion you have. Specially when it is as squishy as Caitlyn.

    Once again, it is up to your choices and whether you have or not the runes mentioned. Pick whichever you want, any of those will improve your laning phase (which may be very difficult with Caitlyn).

  • Items

    Ahh, Items. The one little thing that no one seems to ever agree on. With Caitlyn being the newest champion of the League, even more people disagree on what items you should build with Caitlyn. Being so, I'll start with my personal build, and then move on to other builds I've seen, or might be worth giving a shot.

    My personal favourite

    Start of with Doran's Blade and a Health Pot. Go to your lane and start farming. By the time you get out of there (if everything goes as planned), you'll have plenty of money, since Caitlyn is a great last hitter and very good for harassing.

    In your first trip to the spawn, you should get your boots. If you did farm well, you'll have money for Berserker's Greaves and probably even more. Ideal thing, would be getting the boots and if possible, a B. F. Sword. Now, I know this can be hard, but as you gain experience with Caitlyn, you'll realise it is easier than it seems to have over 3k Gold on your first trip back. If you didn't accomplish this objective, don't worry. You'll have time for it later. If you do have some gold, buy a Vampiric Scepter or even Long Sword.

    (Side note: If the enemy team is heavy on CC's and AP, consider getting Mercury's Treads)

    You should start to get some easy gold now, and even kills. Rush The Bloodthirster or even an Infinity Edge from here. The Black Cleaver is also a nice choice, damage and passive has been nerfed, but the Attack Speed seems nice along with the damage and passive (although it was nerfed, it is still sweet).

    Personally, I prefer having The Bloodthirster instead of the Infinity Edge, because of its passive, that will easily get the item stats to 100 AD and 25% Life steal, granting you heavy damage and some Life Steal, which is always nice.

    The Bloodthirster and Infinity Edge feel like a "must have" item on Caitlyn. After these, you'll probably want some survavibility, as most tanks will now have over 3-4k HP, and even squishies got past the 2k with their Rylai's or Rod of Ages. You will want some HP, but won't want to be wasting gold without getting AD. Frozen Mallet is your answer. Some AD, a LOT of HP, and a perma slow on your enemies. Ganking has never been so easy. Enemy has split from their team? Gank him.

    These are, in my opinion, the core items.

    Berserker's Greaves/[item=Mercury's Tread]
    The Bloodthirster/ Infinity Edge (choose your preference, or take both if you want. There's only pluses if you get both)
    Frozen Mallet

    These 3 combined, will unleash the beast Caitlyn is. You probably won't need any more AD, so, focus on your DPS. Phantom Dancer. I won't need to describe it.

    Build some more crit in the end, if the game is still going. Survivability, if you're having problems with the enemy damage. It all depends on your opponent now. You might consider buying Last Whisper if the enemy team has 2 or more players stacking Armor (that means, over 150-200 Armor at this point). Buy it earlier if you feel like it is a need.

    Later I'll add more builds in a few days. I can tell you that they are based on crit and so on. You'll get the idea when I post them.

    Due to the build cost, you probably won't be able to buy these all the time. I suggest you get either Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge, depending on your preference. Personally, I like Bloodthirster more, it's a more realible item, although the crits won't come as often. But it's up to you.

  • Skilling Order

    Your Q is very important in the laning phase. It deals a good damage ammount, it's a great farming skill, and has a high range. It also consumes considerable ammount of MP, so keep an eye on it.

    The W trap is also useful in laning phase, to avoid ganks (like I said earlier), but you will only need level 1 until late game.

    The E slow shot is a useful escaping mechanism, specially if you are in mid. When shot, Caitlyn goes backwards a bit. This can be used to go through small walls. Not every wall works, soo be careful when doing it.

    Max your R whenever you can. Damage and range dramatically increases when you add a point in this beauty. And trust me, you will get kills with this.

  • Build Example

    Build Example (using my recommended items)

    This would be the average recommended build (NO RUNES AND MASTERIES).

    As you can see, the gold is a bit over the average you would get in a game, but don't forget Caitlyn is a great farmer. The final stats are also pretty nice. Don't forget that these stats are including the fully stacked passive of Bloodthirster.

    Later, I'll add more builds and do some theory-crafting around which is the best. This is still quite fresh, and I'll probably throw in a bit more time onto this.

  • Farming

    Farming with Caitlyn is rather easy, thanks to her passive.

    We got 2 possible situations here:

    Side laner - Your passive will be greatly aided by the side grass. You can remain there as long as you want, last hitting minions from a safe distance, and harassing champions when your passive is triggered. Your W trap will also be helpful, if placed in the grass near the river, preventing ganks (beware, it is not 100% guaranteed that it will avoid them, but it will surely be triggered by the unlucky summoner or someone that wasn't paying attention. Your other trap can be put in your opponent's side grass. Garen won't like that, I can assure you.

    Mid laner - In this part of the field, your passive won't be that helpful. Grass is too far, you won't be triggering it as often as in a side lane. However, Caitlyn range is greater than most champions, specially on early game. Use it to your advantage. And as in the side lanes, whenever your passive triggers, harass the enemy champion. Last hitting is rather easy with her aswell.

    You should also realise that in early game, your damage is really really low compared to some AP champions, and your survavibility is also very low. If caught in a stun or snare, you're going to get out very hurt from the situation. Take care with that while farming.

    (I'm planning on making some videos and getting some screenshots to show you the best ways to do these. I'm also working on new strategies, comment here if you got any good ideas)

    Videos coming soon

  • Pros / Cons

    Caitlyn, is overall, a great champion. Very good damage, a devastating endgame if well played, good escaping mechanisms, etc etc. But there are things you should still watch out for.


    - High damage in endgame, perfect to destroy squishies and turrets
    - Some good escaping mechanisms and anti-ganking trap
    - A good AoE skill with low cooldown, that will deal considerable damage and can be well used on a teamfight
    - Great farming abilities and an awesome pusher/lane controlling


    - Squishy champion. If you get ganked by 2+ enemy opponents, you're done. In teamfights, you'll probably be focused, specially if you're being fed.
    - It might be hard for Caitlyn to do well in teamfights. With only 1 AoE damage skill, she can't do much more other than killing the running champion on low health or autoattacking. However, it is possible to do good in teamfights (I have acomplished a quadra-kill with her already - killed a Vladimir, Garen, Mordekaiser and a Nasus).
    - Easy to play - Hard to master. If you don't master her abilities, you may have some problems. But when you do, you'll be unstoppable.

  • Working in the team

    Since you are a very good pusher and laner, you probably want to stay ther as long as possible. When teamfights start, you NEED to have either Infinity Edge or Bloodthirster. If you don't, I'm afraid you're in some deep s***. If you are being too much focused, consider rushing the Frozen Mallet.

    Other than that, I'd recommend you to focus the enemy carry. Caitlyn completely obliterates any carry within seconds. Cast your Q as much as you can, it will deal considerable damage. Use traps to block enemy escapes. Never forget to cast your Ulti on the running champion with low Health. And probably one of the most important: STAY THE F*** BACK. You're going to deal a lot of damage, but not if you die within 3 seconds. If the enemy team tries to focus you, good, RUN. Your team will be killing while they chase you. Be smart while playing, and help your team mates whenever possible.

    I can never get tired of saying this: Caitlyn can bring turrets down in seconds. push a lane while your team defends, and get to their inhibitor. It will greatly improve your team options and scatter your enemies.

  • Summary

    Caitlyn is an impressive champion. She can turn enemies into gun powder within seconds, and her laning abilities are just stunning. Extremely fun to play, and honestly, worth the 6.3k IP if you know what you're doing.

    I'll be updating this guide as often as possible. It is already a big text-wall, but I plan on making it bigger, adding more strategies and options, builds, items, etc. If you feel something is wrong, please tell me in the comments. Leaving your opinion is extremely appreciated. (also, I'll be uploading some videos, with some more instructions and ideas. They will be up soon)

    +1 if you like :)

    And once again, correct any spelling mistake I have made: I really don't want to go through with all this reading again D:

    Cheers, and have fun!

    Please, take in consideration that the guide isn't yet 100% finished. I will work on it in the following days, so don't comment on it being incomplete or poor. I'll get to it ;)

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