Caitlyn Build Guide

Meet the Long Gun of the Law

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When Cait was released I fell in love. A gamer that doesn't fancy himself a sniper in any FPS isn't a gamer worth knowing. It's certainly no different for me in LoL. Sadly when she was first released her AD scaling was atrocious, lacked any abilities to help her AD scaling (eg. MF/Trist's rapid fire abilities), limited use for her traps and her ult too easy to counter. A recent buff has seen her passive shot activated more frequently. This has made her devastating late game with crit+attack speed items, as her passive bonus is translated into crit strikes to hit for over 1500dmg. She's been given an additional trap which has triple their effectiveness in constricting an enemies lane, bunkering down turrets, spamming them in team fights and marking key bushes. A lot of my ult kills come from traps I'd prepared earlier that people flee into after a failed team fight. It reveals them long enough for me to get into range and pop my ult. My favourite buff was too her ult. The general speed at which it's cast and reaches the target was decreased which made it a lot harder to block as enemies often overshoot each other while trying to manoeuvre the tank in place. Late game it can do some serious damage meaning if a squishy champ went for the block they'll also have to flee the fight. Caitlyn is hilariously good fun to play and there's nothing quite so satisfying as scoring a kill with her ult! Hopefully with this guide you'll learn to enjoy her as much as I do! [highlight]REVISED[/highlight] as of 30th August 2011. I find myself slightly less newby than I was so have adjusted my guide to compensate! Hope this helps you guys!

[title][img=skills/caitlyn/p.png] Passive: Headshot[/title] [number]Every 8 / 7 / 6 attacks (at level 1 / 7 / 13) (attacks while in brush count as 2), Caitlyn will fire a headshot, dealing either 150% damage to a champion or 250% damage to a minion. [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] A fantastic passive ability that allows for early game harassment, easy farming and a quick red buff steal by using the bush. Fire this off at the enemy every time it's up in your first few levels and soon they'll learn to fear it. This'll let you push them back and start denying them last hits and even XP. [title][img=skills/caitlyn/q.png] Q: Piltover Peacemaker[/title] [number]Caitlyn revs up her rifle for 1 second to unleash a penetrating shot which deals 20 / 65 / 110 / 155 / 200 (+130% Attack Damage) physical damage (deals 10% less damage to subsequent targets, with a maximum loss of 50%).[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Amazing early game damage. From levels 1 to 6 this'll knock off a shocking amount of HP if you score an unobstructed hit. Even after firing it through an entire wave it's enough to damage to put some fear into your opponent. This ability is also fantastic for farming, leaving minions dead or with enough HP to tank a minion but not your auto attacks. [title][img=skills/caitlyn/w.png] W: Yordle Snap Trap[/title] [number]Caitlyn sets a trap to reveal sneaky yordles. When sprung, the trap immobilizes the champion and deals magic damage over 1.5 seconds.[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Much more useful after the 3rd trap was added. Bushes can be trapped to prevent ganks, enemies can be pinned to their tower, your tower can be bunkered down to prevent dives or you can just scatter them in a lane to ensure a snatch followed by a Q. Trust me, after a while the enemy forget the traps are even there. The best use for these babies however is to double up CC. As soon as an enemy gets hit by a stun then lay a trap at his feet, slightly in the direction of his escape route. This pretty much ensures a kill on any squishy. I level these up before the Net so that I can throw one down before, during and after a team fight. The net will only ever get one use in a team fight, no matter the level. It also lets me bunker down a turret in a hurry if I find 4 people suddenly in my lane.. A lot of people like to take this skill first. It's a matter of preference and I will sometimes pick it up first in ranked games for early bush control at bottom lane. Unless I'm in a dual lane then I always prefer Q first. The level 1 damage is very high and in all honesty I use it to steal first blood in the event of a jungle fight... Sure it's selfish but who better to get the first kill than the AD carry? Plus it means I can begin denying champs like Veigar at level 1 before he gets his stun. [title][img=skills/caitlyn/e.png] E: 90 Caliber Net[/title] [number]Caitlyn fires a heavy net to slow her target, the recoil knocks Caitlyn back.[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This is an escape first (fire at chasing enemy/blink through trees to get away), a chase second (fire behind you for an extra couple of shots) and a slow third (shoot at enemy to slow him down for a gank). This third option isn't recommended... If you do use it it's for the last enemy in a team fight so that team mates can catch him while you line up your ult. [title][img=skills/caitlyn/r.png] R: Ace in the Hole[/title] [number]Caitlyn takes time to line up the perfect shot, dealing 250 / 475 / 700 physical damage to a single target at a huge range. Enemy champions can intercept the bullet for their ally.[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] My favourite ult in the game. The recent buff has given it a quicker cast time and faster particle making it much harder for enemy tanks to block. I'll quite happily fire this through a team of 4 to hit their low HP squishy at the back and more often that not I'll be successful. The squishy tries to line up with the tank while the tank tries to line up with the squishy. More often than not they'll overshoot giving me the kill and starting a morale shattering argument in their team chat. This ult will do just over 2 bars to an enemy at level 6. Be careful not to scare off your opponent too soon. They know what Cait can do so it's important not to batter them down till late level 5. Obviously if you can get a kill then go for it, otherwise save it for your ult. Don't waste it! Vlad blood pool, Sivir/Nocture spell shield, Banshees Veil, damage shields etc will block this ult so wait until their abilities are on cooldown. At the same time don't be afraid to shoot it. If you can kill a guy with it then take the shot. Doesn't matter if they're hiding behind 4 tanks, I find that more often than not the particle will sneak through and score a kill as well as embarrassing the enemy tanks and enraging their squishies.

[highlight]RUNES[/highlight] I've tried all sorts of runes on Cait from Attack speed to crit chance, armour to move speed. I've decided that Armour Pen marks with flat damage Quints are best for both your auto attacks and for Piltover + Ace, especially in the early game. For seals you pretty much need mana regen. As for Glyphs there's a choice between more mana regen or alternatively Magic Resist. Having seen MR glyphs on a lot of the top guides for glass cannon champs I decided to try them out myself on Caitlyn. I think they're great, especially mid lane in the first few levels, your opponents abilities barely touch you. A lot of Mid lane AP champs are naturally designed to kill off a squishy with a certain sequence of combos. These MR glyphs really throw a spanner in the works of the enemy champs mechanics and I've lost count of the number of times I've been shocked that I survived a gank. For ranked play however, I've been advised to take up MR per level glyphs rather than flat MR. This works much better while playing bottom lane as more often than not you're against another AD and a support. As such the early MR isn't required and the pay off late game for the MR per level is much more useful. So if you plan on taking mid in normal games then take flat MR. If you're playing bot in ranked then go for MR per level. [highlight]MASTERIES[/highlight] Fairly standard Physical DPS Masteries of 21-0-9. Personally I like to sacrifice the 3 slots in cooldown for the 3 in Critical Damage. At the end of every game I like to check my highest crit on the graph and so far it's never been below 1500. The extra 10% from this mastery can add up to a sizeable amount late game. I take the Utility Mastery for neutral monster buffs as Caitlyn's range makes Red Buff a lethal addition to her game. I can't really think of any alternative masteries that I'd want to use..

[highlight]MIDLANE[/highlight] To start this strategy guide I need to warn you. Of all the physical DPS champs Cait probably has the worst AD scaling. To account for this you need to get your farm on. Caitlyn is a fantastic farmer but these last hits are absolutely essential to her game. If you're not beating your lane opponent in creep score then something's wrong. Fix it. Other than this, early game is a fantastic time for Cait. This is pretty much all due to her range and the damage of Piltover Peace Maker. I'll try to keep their HP low to dissuade them from counter attacks but unless I see an opening for a kill then I won't push them past 3 bars before level 6. I don't want to scare them off before I get my ult. Just before 6 I'll lay a couple of traps down under their tower then back off to let them push off their tower. I'll save up for my Passive Headshot and then as soon as I hit 6 it's balls to the wall aggression with a Q, my Passive shot, Activate ghost, fire net backwards to jump towards them for another shot or two then line up my ult as soon as they hit 2 bars. You have Slaaain an Enemy. After the kill or forcing them out of the lane I'll push my minions to the tower then recall for Berzerker Greaves, a second Dorans blade, a couple of pots and a coupla wards. (Just zerker greaves, pots and wards if I didn't get the kill) With the 2 wards in place in either bush I'll start pushing my lane hard while focusing on last hits. It's important to maintain Cait's early game momentum to keep your lane bullied for as long as possible. Some opponents can be tough to harass in which case I'll play passively from my tower (still focusing last hits) and encourage my team to come in for the gank. If I'm able to bully my opponent from the lane then I'll start checking outer lanes for a cheeky ult. ANy enemies on around 4 bars or less while pushed up will get me to ghost down for an ult while my lane jumps them. If I'm doing well at this stage I'll return home for a B.F. Sword and a vampiric scepter/Straight up BloodThirster. At this point I'll start looking for Red Buff provided my Jungler doesn't need it more. A little more farm and you should have a Blood Thirster. [highlight]DUAL LANE[/highlight] Caitlyn is a fantastic mid but if you get pushed to a side lane by a Karthus for example or a raging noob that wants to go mid for his first game as TF then you'll have to make do. [highlight]Note[/highlight]: If your laning partner has good level 1 damage/CC (eg. Garen, sion, taric, singed etc) it often helps to [highlight]take Yordle Trap first [/highlight]then race to your lane and get a trap down at the edge of the bush... then you play the waiting game... As soon as an enemy steps in hit him with everything you got for first blood. At worst he'll have to return home or waste a potion.. This is when the bush factor (reaches her passive headshot twice as fast) of Cait's passive comes into play. Before you can do this you need bush dominance. To get this, lay traps at both ends of the dominant side bush (the bush closest the where the minion action is). Generally harass your opponents to force them to the inside of the lane then take position in the bush. From here concentrate on last hits and tell your laning partner to do the same so that your wave doesn't push. Every time your passive is ready fire it at the enemy squishy with the occasional Piltover thrown in for good measure (Careful not to hit minions). Also place a trap in the river bush if they have a jungler, this'll reveal him before he ganks almost all the time and allows you a safe escape. He may not be fooled twice though so one of you should invest in a ward on their first trip back. Use bush dominance to XP and Gold deny your lane. Your kills come when your opponents try to fight back. If you're getting pushed in then play defensively and use your traps to bunker down. Proceed to shout at your jungler for a gank. [highlight]RANKED[/highlight] Standard Ranked set up, the Tank should solo top, your AP carry go mid, the Jungler and the AD Carry(you) dual bottom with the support(Preferably Soraka, Taric, Alistar or Janna). In this lane bush control is very important and very easy. All your traps should go in the side bushes. Always put the traps at the ends of the bush, two in the bush closest to you and one in the furthest (depending on whether you're bushed up or pushed back). These provide fantastic offence AND defence by merely leading gankers through the bush. Remember the location of your traps and be ready to fire off a Q when you see an enemy approaching. Remember to always double up CC when possible by placing a trap just behind a stunned enemy. This can pretty much double the damage output and more often than not reward a kill. As AD carry you should take all the minion farm while your support just chills in the bush to heal and harass. For ultimate protection place a ward at dragon and one in the triangle bush just below dragon as this allows plenty of time to see ganks incoming and can often give you enough time to arrange a counter gank. Your support should take care of the wards but don't be scared to help them out. The first rule of League is that [highlight]wards win games[/highlight] so make sure you stock up with any excess gold when you shop.

As team fights begin to brew mid it's important to stay on the outskirts of your team. Cait is very squishy and a No.1 target if she's doing well. Drop traps and Fire in Qs while the enemy blows their hard CC on your tanks then start firing at their squishies. If you have Red Buff then you're gonna kill something. The moment you see any enemy low enough to kill with your ult then just go ahead and fire it off (so long as you're in a safe place). If it's blocked then 2 enemies are too weak to fight and your team can rush them. If it's not then you have a kill. Even at this stage it can be difficult for Cait to toe-to-toe most champs alone and without red buff so be cautious. If you have red buff and an ally then just run in and start right clicking fools. People have a natural reaction to turn and flee when they start getting slowed and that's a terrible idea vs. Cait. If they make a dash for you then fire off your net in their face then carry on clicking unless you're deep in their territory, in which case just leg it. You should have a Phantom Dancer by now so out running champs should be easy. Use this speed and range to poke at enemies before a team fight. It can often lure out an enemy that you can net and have your team mates pounce on. If you take damage then fire off a few shots at minions, or even non-threatening enemy champs to get some HP back from your BloodThirster.

This is your most crucial period. If you've reached your max build then it's possible to win any game so long as your team mates are mildly sensible. However it requires you to stay alive. With only a Banshees Veil for protection you need to stay behind your team and basically just aim for the nearest enemy. I know I should tell you to aim for their DPS n all that but your priority #1 here is to basically not get stunned. For this reason you need to stay clear of their hard CC even if that means chilling at the back while nuking down their tank (obviously be careful of Thornmail). Once their CC has gone off then you can squeeze in amongst your team mates and start focusing their squishies. At this stage Piltover Peacemaker is only useful for farming and the occasional poke. Don't use it in combat as your standard autoattack can put out much more DPS while also healing you. At this stage of the game the 1 second channel time could also be your undoing. Make sure you get Red Buff at this stage of the game. I can't think of any champs who'd have a better use for it than Caitlyn during the last couple of team fights. Her range and Phantom Dancer means no one will escape her. Do your best to nab their red buff after sticking a trap in the Wraith Bush for protection.

As a team fight begins to brew you want to start laying traps. Lay them at your tower if you're on the defensive or as far up the lane as you dare if your team plans on initiating. Keep poking at anyone who gets close enough with your Q or just auto attacks. If an enemy steps in range there's generally no reason not to fire off a pot shot. These pot shots can add up and sometimes allow your team an opening to initiate. When your team initiates you want to be one of the last ones in. As physical DPS you tend to be target #1 so by hanging back you force the enemy to either blunder through your team to get at you or to blow their CC on your tanks/supports. As soon as you see an Ally use their hard CC then lay down a trap just behind the enemy to double up the snare. Fire off a Q through the middle if it's Early/Mid game then get stuck in with your auto attacks. Do your best to focus their squishy but it's more important for you to stay alive. This guide promotes Berzerker Greaves over Merc Treads so you don't want to take any stuns! The moment an enemy takes an aggressive step towards you then fire your net at him and back off a little. If he keeps chasing then keep running while laying a trap just ahead of you, unless of course you're more fed than him, in which case chow down. If he backs off then follow him back in. If you're on dangerously low HP then hang back a bit. You can find minions or grab wraiths to life steal back some health, otherwise stay just in range for your ult or so that you can provide traps and nets to help your allies escape. In summary: Keep your distance! Just shoot the closest target until they've used their stuns/fears etc. Once they've done that dive their DPS and kite with your net.

Cait is tough to play in Dominion but still totally viable. At one point my match history showed only Gold and Silver ranks with a majority victories. Her greatest asset is the 4v4 fight at top, right at the start. I have yet to lose that fight as Caitlyn. Sure she's squishy but she has a huge damage output very early and the general team comp of Dominion means you'll always have bruisers to hide behind while you dish this damage out. Spam your traps on the turret and have Exhaust and Net at the ready then prepare to kite. I start lvl 1 boots, Prospector's Blade, 2 health pots and a 1 point in each skill. Then build Zerker Greaves, Sanguine Blade, Phantom Dancer, Lightbringer (if they have eve/shaco/akali), Infinity Edge/Last Whisper/More Lifesteal depending on what's needed. I take Ghost Exhaust and tend to prefer defending top (the key location, I just can't trust scrubs to take care of it). As soon as the barrier goes down I blink out with the net for the try heard head start then Ghost straight for the speed boost and up to top with 2 other guys (one stops to cap mid then comes top). I do my thing and can pretty much guarantee being at least 2/0/1 by this point and have top capped. I let my bruisers B to recover while I pot up and grab the Health cookie at the top of the map. I trap up the tower and start pushing minions. When my bruisers get back I'll try and nab a couple more kills before going back for boots and a vampiric scepter (or BF sword if I can afford it). Then I just hover around top, moving down to Ult mid if they have a backdoorer. When you have 3 bases then CHILL OUT. DO NOT ATTACK. Don't get greedy, it just gets you killed and loses you bases. Defend your towers, let them come to you. While they harras you get someone to Backdoor their mid to keep them busy. When you kill them on your tower THEN you go in for the 4/5 cap. Delay them as long as possible at the 4th tower but don't die unless your other towers + team mates are secure. Use your ult to interrupt caps to close the distance. Keep at a safe distance while using your Q every time they try to channel. Poke at them and place a trap at your feet in case they come at you. Cait is great for dominion basically just for her huge range that allows long distance poking on attackers or defenders. She's definitely not a try hard pick (if you're looking to win then check out some Akali/Rammus/Jax/Panth guides) but she's fun to play and dominion is amazing kiting practice for Summoner's Rift. Have fun!

I've been exploring other champs over the past few weeks but I like to return to my roots every now and then. Here are a few ranked games and a couple of rofl stomp normals I whipped up recently. My current ranked stats stand at 82% win ratio with Caitlyn. [imgext=http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/9836/caitpwn.png]

Comments coming soon!
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