Yordle Snap Trap
90 Caliber Net
Ace in the Hole
Hello and welcome to my Caitlyn guide. This guide covers any lane that is in combination with a support, but does not include solo top or mid.
At the moment, Caitlyn is a solid AD to learn both in competitive play and Solo Queue. Her strengths lie in her strong laning, safety in teamfights, and siege. Since her buffs to her traps allowing her to stack headshots, she has massive damage potential as well as utility. In this guide, you'll learn both the optimal build path and the mindset you should maintain at each phase of the game in order to secure the highest probability of winning.
Ability trap out opponents from objectives or from your team, making sieges easy
Relatively safe pushing and farm
Immense lane pressure from her range
Reliable escape that also does a lot of damage if it hits a target
Can kill stragglers with ultimate
Relatively squishy and easily dies to duelists if they get close
Needs items to scale into the late game, has a relatively weak mid-game
Traps are hard to take advantage of compared to other utility champions such as Sivir and Ashe
As a general guideline, Riot has allocated different rune colors to a respective purpose. Marks = Offensive, so the best runes here have to do with combat stats such as AD, penetration, or attack speed etc.Seals = Defensive, best runes here are health and armor.Glyphs = Magical + Utility, In this section the best runes come from AP, Magic Resist, etc.
For this section, I recommend taking Attack Speed as they are the most gold efficient and relevant stat for Marksmen. Physical Damage is a close followup, but your early game base Attack Speed without items is horrendous for both trading and pushing lanes. Taking Attack Speed Quints will enhance your ability to both CS and trade with opponents seamlessly without missing too much.
Taking Physical Damage here for the same reasons as above is the most cost efficient. Attack speed runes do not give that great of a boost using reds. Physical damage allows for increase of damage on your abilities as well as higher margin for error when last hitting creeps. Some champions feel awful when CSing using auto-attacks like Vladimir mainly because they don't have a very high base attack damage and have no rune space to do so. As a Marksman, most of your gold is reliant upon your auto-attacks and thus investing 9 runes into physical damage is highly recommended.
The only defensive stat for bot lane that you should consider is Armor since you will be trading auto-attacks most of the time.
Glyphs are greatly varied for marksmen, but typically you will want to take some magic resist. I like to go with 6 flat Magic Resist runes and vary the last three with attack speed or mana regen depending on the champion. Some marksmen like Forg1ven or Rekkles like to go full Attack speed and disregard magic resist. This is OK, because most of the time you won't have to deal with a lot of magic damage, and by the time you do the rune set is negligible.
Most of the tree is pretty standard, but the 6.13 changes will optimize Double-Edged Sword, Bounty Hunter, and Warlord's, as their alternatives have been nerfed. We take Fervor's, however, because, of Caitlyn's lane dominance and ability to be quickly bursted.
Bounty Hunter is preferential as you're almost guaranteed to kill 2-3 unique persons per game which overrides Oppressor. In the event that you even kill just 1 person, having a 1% damage increase at all times is better than a 2.5% damage increase for only when your opponent is CC'd.
Feast has also been hit with minor nerfs, whilst Double-Edged Sword has been buffed making it the ideal choice to pick up.
This skill is a must-have for every marksman. Positioning is the most powerful tool you have, both offensively and defensively. In the late game, you can use flash offensively for instantaneous 1k crits, or put yourself behind teammates or advantageous terrain in order to safely deal more damage, or just run from picks that could end the game. You can also prevent snowballs early game, by flashing away from ganks or bad 2v2 skirmishes. Absolutely a must take.
Allows a decent amount of mobility for team fights or skirmishes as well as healing you and your teammate up to deny potential kills. This is a great summoner that I would only alternate for Exhaust in really unique situations, which I'll explain below. I would take Heal for 90% of my games.
Surprisingly strong in certain situations, Exhaust relies on surprising your opponent when they try to duel you. You can mitigate most assassin's damage using this spell and even changes the flow of the game later on as it discourages assassins or bruisers from trying to pick you. This is a niche spell that could turn out really greatly, but some of the drawbacks is that it requires a different style of gameplay early on. You can't get poked down as you won't have a heal, and you won't have the extra mobility to run away. You could place a Heal on your support, but chances are they won't be used to playing with it and won't save you most of the time.
Skill Order: R > Q >W > E
Ace in the Hole has one of the highest single target scaling in the game, we max this first to increase your assassination potential. Piltover Peacemaker becomes an extremely potent waveclearing ability after obtaining levels and attack damage so we max this common ability second. Trapping, and the ability of having 5 simultaneously provides immense pressure, maxing this as third priority -- it's imperative that you max this second behind Piltover Peacemaker and place them accordingly during sieges, it makes all the difference.. 90 Caliber Net provides as an extremely handy slow and escape so we level this next for the cooldown reduction.
The only starting items that you should take are these. Doran's blade allows for great sustain and base HP in lane. It used to be the case that you could sometimes get away with taking longsword or cloth armor for more potions, but it is not cost effective anymore as the price of potions has gone up.
Great boots that enhance your laning, survivability and pressure. Caitlyn relies on impeccable positioning and her ability to move in and out of teamfights to do as much damage as possible. This item, although isn't cheap, is core to build early on as Cait is very auto-attack reliant. You could also alternate this for Boots of Swiftness which are solid but not as optimal, only build if you're low on gold.
This item is very useful because your headshot range also extends your Runaan's arrows, it also gives Caitlyn the necessary stats in dealing a good amount of damage versus grouped up enemies. Since the arrows are able to crit, this item becomes very valuable in late game builds. We complete this item first after buying one incomplete damage item, such as B.F. sword.
Simply a great item that increases your late game damage output by enhancing Critical Strike, Damage and Critical damage. You don't take this first because both Critical Strike and Critical Damage are highly reliant upon having a lot of offensive items before becoming useful.
Aside from the ability to cleanse all debuffs, this gives one of the greatest amounts of attack damage in an item along with great lifesteal and an active that allows you to reposition quickly. This essentially works as a secondary flash for repositioning as the burst of movement speed is great and ensures that you're not CC'd while moving. I take this even if I feel that spell shield is more than enough to block out incoming CC.
This item can be substituted for Statikk Shiv if you find that your AoE damage isn't great enough, this item is great because it almost guarantees that you'll be able to damage every few seconds without risk of getting killed. Just like your Headshot, this also increases your Hurricane's arrow range making it highly useful.
Armor penetration is important in the late game, especially with the new meta shifting around armor stacking. You should take this last as it only affects BONUS armor as opposed to TOTAL armor. Take this if you have 1+ opponent that will most likely hit 300+ armor during the game. If you are against enemies that are squishy and do not stack armor I recommend Phantom Dancer as it gets you to the Critical Strike cap as well as increased movement / attack speed and reduces damage against you making it a solid 6th item.
The early game is where Caitlyn shines especially at level 1 as she is a champion that not only has a long attack range but her level 1 ability does as well. The way you want to play the lane, is to ward out constantly to prevent jungle ganks, and harass and contest every CS your opponent comes in for. You can win against most lane matchups this way as there will not be another AD that can trade you early on. With each minion you have, that is a guaranteed at least 1 auto onto the enemy AD as they come for it, thus your strategy should be to freeze the lane as much as possible and contesting every misposition. One thing to watch out for is trading with the support, unlike the AD, they will almost always have 3 pots and it is almost never worth it to trade them unless you can either get it for free or if your support trades them with you at the same time.
Be wary that you back off as soon as you push the wave, because you leave yourself susceptible to a bad trade if the enemy turret clears the minions and your opponents initiate upon you, or a jungle gank occurs. To ensure the highest win %, have your jungler gank other lanes as you push up to ensure that the rest of your team is ready for the mid / late game.
At this point you should have Runaan's Hurricane and maybe even Infinity Edge. At this point in the game, you can easily siege with your traps, allowing your team to rotate around the map for Rift Heralds, turrets, picks, and Dragons. You want to force the enemy AD to keep coming bot lane to clear waves and grouping quickly with your team to force objective losses, before the enemy team can react. Pushing lanes alone is highly dangerous, however, as the enemy team will be frustrated that you're causing so much map pressure, so be wary of picks and ward out if you decide to push solo with enemies missing on the map.
If your team decides to group and fight, you should be good enough to fight with 1-2 items, but don't over commit as you're not that strong without a third Critical item such as Shiv or Rapidfire. Your main source of damage comes from your auto-attacks and potential trapped headshots, so try to stall until then. You want to make slow sieges on enemy turrets during this time with your traps, to gain more gold for your items.
A quick tip on teamfights as any marksman is that you should always be focusing the front line in this order:
Bruisers --> Tanks --> Backline
Bruisers are generally any tanky melee or frontline champion that can solo you in a 1v1 setting or deal massive damage (>30% of your HP). You want to focus them and not go past them, because as soon as you get close, they will focus their damage onto you. If two of the frontline bruisers are within range of you, you're almost certainly dead, especially if one of the backline has the ability to follow up with ranged damage. The ONLY case you should go for the backline, is if the frontline currently has NO cooldowns AND the backline is preoccupied with your team's bruiser or assassin. In this special scenario you are allowed to go for backline IF you feel that you can finish them off without risking your death. However, in 99% of situations you want to be focusing the frontline and positioning well to not get CC'd or chunked. Sivir is especially good at doing so, because her ricochet allows her to hit the backline without putting herself in danger. Therefore, even if your team initiates, if you feel that they saved cooldowns for you, don't walk up and start attacking until you are absolutely certain that you can get good damage off without risking your life. It is often best to wait 3-5 seconds after initiation to begin attacking, because most bruisers and assassins will be forced to hit a target instead of waiting for you, lest their team dies.
Depending on how much you zoned the enemy bot lane and took advantage of your early and mid game -- you may or may not be able to carry. Be sure to not cross the your half of the map and only wander in zones that are warded. Try not to engage in 1v1's, with decent mechanics you should be able to destroy any opponent by yourself, however, you're not as strong as you were earlier so this will be much harder.
Your focus in this portion of the game should be on Baron and the enemy inhibitor. They are almost interchangeable in priority. If you take Baron, pushing down turrets and the inhibitor will be a lot easier --likewise if you take inhibitors, the super creeps will cause enough pressure to take Baron easily. The general guideline should be as follows: if 4 of the enemy team is down, you take their inhibitor (especially if it is primarily their carries) -- if 2-3 of the enemy team is down (especially the jungler), you take Baron. The above guideline usually guarantees the objective 90% of the time. In some cases though, you won't have the opportunity to take these for free.
In diamond tier, the NUMBER ONE throw is objective control, I cannot tell you how many games I lost just because of sloppy control over objectives. ALWAYS have vision over every entrance to Baron, you want to be able to estimate to the best of your abilities whether to finish Baron or turn to fight the remaining enemy team. A common mistake that people call out is that there is 1 person bot -- automatically go for Baron. This is WRONG. That call is entirely situational -- if the 4 enemy team remaining are nearby and can stall until the 5th, you will fight a losing battle and Baron cannot make up for that. You also have to be wary of AoE teams that can lock you into Baron pit -- as an ADC you will most likely be trapped taking not only the AoE skills, but also Baron's massive damage as well.
Your main priorities in this portion of the game:Be there for EVERY team fight or skirmish on your side of the mapHave Baron warded and controlled (pushing down top and mid turret / wave)Match the enemy AD, don't let them group faster than you
Difficult at first to play against as he can trade damage onto you with his Dash and passive, also his Piercing Light (Q) is hard to trade back as it is paired with his autos very quickly so you need to keep your range. With enough practice, if you are able to dance outside his E + Q range, his trades become nonexistent. Since Lucian is a good lane abuser with the correct support, I recommend avoiding trades with him and harassing as much as possible to prevent his all-ins.
A fairly simple matchup, Ezreal is heavily reliant upon his Mystic Shot, so if you ever find yourself in a duel with him, as long as you can dodge 2+ of them, you should easily win the fight. It is important to stand behind minions or your support at all times in order to avoid his poke. Pushing up to turret against him is not that great as his Mystic Shot cooldown is low enough to allow him to farm easily. It is better in this case to trade with him while behind minions and zone him from the wave, while looking for a gank.
An extremely annoying matchup after her first back because she'll avoid any confrontation with you while clearing waves easily. Harassing against her is difficult as you have to come off the minion wave because of her Ricochet, but you also risk getting caught out by either her jungler or support.
Similar to Lucian, there's nothing really you can do in this situation early on if he decides to go aggro on you. Try to avoid trades and push up the waves in your favor while trading onto him, as catching axes and last hitting takes full mental effort. Be careful of his movement speed burst as he can easily trade from afar and catch up to you. Keep a good distance and farm into the mid-game. If you can get 1-2 ganks off on him after level 6, assuming you haven't died, you can reset his stacks to keep his pressure healthy.
Relatively difficult to play against due to his range and damage. You can't trade with him because, although you outrange him slightly, the raw blunt damage he does with his autos, spells, 4th shot, deathfire touch, and his support can add on quickly. You want to abuse his inability to CS at turret easily, and his lack of wave-clear and push up to turret safely. Be warned that he can snare you from a huge range, so if the jungler ganks, be ready to back off because his root can hit you even if he's not on the same screen.
Ashe's only advantage in lane is her 600 range, and frost arrows that bypass your trade damage. Her volley is extremely easy to hit, so you be wary and stand behind minion waves if possible. Her early game is relatively weak, so you do not need to push the wave up, and since her mobility is quite low, you can freeze the lane to setup for jungle ganks. Post-6 you be wary for potential arrows, lane ganks with ashe is very common especially in higher elo.
A really strong opponent because, her E and R can lock you down from afar, and her pure damage can surprise you and kill you in a hectic team fight. This is a good lane to push up as her waveclear is not that great, and her bullying potential is large.
To play out this lane push up, and harass him under turret as he can't farm and back off if jungler is on your side of the map. Occasionally he will go invisible and try to slow you by throwing his slowing bomb, and you can easily back off and shield it, allowing you to escape. Be careful to never overextend against him, as his dueling potential is really good once he gets one or two items.
This is actually a tricky matchup if two highly skilled players are playing against each other. Both of you will do massive damage in the late game to the opposing enemy teams, but kog'maw has a severe range disadvantage early on. When he activates bio arcane barrage, back off until it wears off and only trade when it's down. In the late game, this holds especially true, and only fight him if you he's at around half health and you are sure you can burst him down quickly. Never focus him unless you are sure you can burst him within 1-2 seconds because his sustained damage will shred anyone. A common mistake for marksmen, is that they will feel pressured by the damage output by the enemy carry. Position well, and only overextend in teamfights if all potential dangers are null.
Caitlyn offers much to any team composition and can be a highly favorable pick in most matchups. She is able to control wave / bully opponents / handle 2v3's very well / push turrets / and secure objectives with her presence.
The best way to get better at Caitlyn is to practice her constantly. Reading guides should only give you a general outline as to what you should be capable of doing. It is up to you to take this guide and practice over and over. I'm glad you read up to this point and hope you support my stream and other outlets. I had the pleasure of writing this guide for you all and plan to do many more for other ADCs.-=Note=-If you like or dislike what you read, please give me feedback in the comment box below so I can modify and adjust the guide.Thank you all!