Caitlyn - The DPS monster
Hello! Just a little foreground: I've been playing LoL pretty much every single day consistently for the past 2 months (obsessive: yes.) and out of all the champions I have played, I have not enjoyed using anybody more than Caitlyn: The Sheriff of Piltover. She has been the most devastating DPS character I've ever seen, taking down anybody from a fully armored Mundo to a Teemo in less than 6 shots. I feel that Caitlyn is a MUST-HAVE character on any team in need of a DPS carry.
*This is a very long guide, and is very in depth, and it will take you nearly a half hour to read through all of it. Comment and criticize if you feel it needs some tweaking :). If you are like me and want to find a specific section quickly, here’s a table of contents in which you can simply press Ctrl+F and search.
4. Skill Build…………………………………………………………………………….CT04
5. Item Build…………………………………………………………………………….CT05
6. Gameplay (beginning to level 5)……………………………………………………..CT06
7. Gameplay (level 5 to level 11)………………………………………………………..CT07
8. Gameplay (level 11 to end game)…………………………………………………….CT08
9. (Misc.) Yordle Snap Traps and other tricks…………………………………………..CT09
10. (Misc.) Escaping……………………………………………………………………...CT10
1. Runes [CT01]
For Reds, I most definitely get Armor Penetration. I cannot stress how important these are not just in the beginning of the battle but all the way through about the middle of your battle. These are so helpful in racking up kills it's absolutely ridiculous.
For Yellows, I pick flat mana OR armor. Yellows don't really help too much with Caitlyn, and although I'm level 27, I lack the funds to really get anything else. However, flat mana helps you tremendously with lane dominance and pushing from levels 1-7 or 8, at which point your mana should be high enough that you can consistently push without running out of mana, since you will already be relying on your basic attack more than anything else. Armor helps if you are having trouble with dying, as Caitlyn is quite a squishy character and is pretty vulnerable to that stuff.
For Blues, I generally run magic resist or flat mana. The mana helps you as I explained above, and the magic resist is helpful because like I said, you are squishy. And mages/AP abusers such as LeBlanc, Kassadin, and Katarina tend to get me pretty badly, and a little magic resist can help in the early levels.
Finally, Quintessences. These should either contribute into straight attack damage (though I don't really recommend it), attack speed, or critical chance. The reason being is that Quints have a significantly higher effect than the other runes, and stuff like crit chance and attack speed are really helpful throughout the entire game, and every little bit counts. I honestly wouldn't go for anything else.
One note: In my opinion, I don't personally think that changing runes does too much to help you in game, other than crit chance and maybe mana/health. Later in the game, your page honestly doesn't matter too much. However, it is also good to note that these WILL give you the upper hand if you can play smart and you build her rune page correctly. As I mentioned above, I lack some serious IP, and my rune page is pretty mixed up with a bunch of tier 1-3 runes that sometimes don't make any sense for her to have, yet I'm still able to play her without much problem. With that, I'd like to move on to masteries!!
2. Masteries [CT02]
So for masteries (and btw I’m only level 27, so although I don't have ALL of my mastery slots, I've got most... close enough jeez :P) I go standard DPS with 21-0-9, focusing as much as I can on critical chance, attack speed, armor penetration, and of course, damage. As for the utility side, I put points in health/mana regen, experience, and gold (as a filler). The utility side mainly focuses on sustainability in pushing and carrying, where the offense side focuses on quick and secure kills.
3. Spells [CT03]
Summoner Spells; what to get:
-Flash – I know a lot of people would argue that flash might not be the best choice for Caitlyn, but honestly, I think it’s really useful, despite the fact that she has her .90 Caliber Net. It’s just all around useful for chasing, ganking, and more importantly, escaping.
-Cleanse – This goes right in hand with Flash for the ever important reason of escaping. Sometimes your tank gets creamed and there’s just not a whole lot you can do about the Mordekaiser and Nunu headed your way. Cleanse will help you jump out of that nasty slow (or stun) and flash to safety.
- Teleport – Super helpful for farming on the run and also defending a turret. It’s honestly not the GREATEST Summoner spell IMO, but it gets the job done, and it helps when you’re in a good spot for pushing/defending/ganking.
What NOT to get:
-Heal – Although this is a helpful spell, and can save lives in many situations, you are not really a support character. And quite honestly, if you’ve gotten to the point where you need to heal, you’ve either been rushed or you’re playing toe to toe with Tryndamere, in which both cases you are probably going to die after your heal anyway.
-Clarity – This will only be a useful spell until you get to the point where you rely more heavily on your basic attack than your Peacemaker. And your cooldowns are just too darn long that if you honestly need to use Clarity, you have been spamming WAY too much.
-Clairvoyance – Some people might wonder, why not? I can pop up a sight and then take the running fool down with my Ace in the Hole!!! Here’s why not: Ace in the Hole’s range isn’t nearly enough for you to pop a Clairvoyance somewhere in the middle of the map and although knowing your map is great, you will not be able to catch up to your target in time to get them in range for you to shoot them. And in most cases, someone bulkier with half a brain will be able to take the shot, leaving them with low health, but they will most definitely get away, basically wasting your ult.
-Exhaust/Ignite – I put these two together because they usually go quite hand in hand with each other, especially when I play Master Yi or someone who just needs an extra push. You on the other hand, do not need that extra push. If you are within range to exhaust or ignite the target, you should make sure that you have your entire team around you and you are all 5v1’ing the **** out of them. And quite honestly, why would you even need exhaust/ignite if you are all gang banging the poor Teemo?
4. Skill Build [CT04]
Skill Order: This is how I level up my skills as Caitlyn, and I strongly recommend this. I’ll describe it in the “gameplay” section.
1. Piltover Peacemaker
2. .90 Caliber Net
3. Yordle Snap Trap
4. Piltover Peacemaker
5. Piltover Peacemaker
6. Ace in the Hole
7. Piltover Peacemaker
8. Piltover Peacemaker
9. .90 Caliber Net
10. .90 Caliber Net
11. Ace in the Hole
12. .90 Caliber Net
13. .90 Caliber Net
14. Yordle Snap Trap
15. Yordle Snap Trap
16. Ace in the Hole
17. Yordle Snap Trap
18. Yordle Snap Trap
This build really focuses on getting your peacemaker leveled as quickly as possible, maximizing your early game damage output and giving you as much of an upper hand as possible. The net is an amazing escape tool in a tight situation, and the snap trap is really useful, but in my opinion it’s more valuable to reduce the cooldown of the net than to reduce the cooldown of your trap, since the trap has the same stun duration throughout all of your levels, and you will be using the net more often and will need the cooldown in order to get away all throughout the game. A more in-depth description will be provided in the “gameplay” section.
5. Item Build [CT05]
From here on out I’ll be discussing both the item build and the gameplay hand in hand as the minutes tick by. But for my final build, it looks a little something like this, but will not be obtained in this order:
1. Berserker’s Greaves
2. Phantom Dancers
3. Phantom Dancers
4. Infinity’s Edge
5. Bloodthirster/Frozen Mallet (explained)
6. Last Whisper
6. Gameplay (Start to level 5) [CT06]
Okay, this is the fun part: the gameplay. Right off the bat, you should get Doran’s blade. This will sustain you with its lifesteal and give you a little damage. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, you aren’t able to grab a potion after the recent update (I don’t keep track of versions, I just know that it got more expensive), so you will be stuck with that for now. Also, level your Peacemaker. Trust me. Now, some people insist on being mid with Caitlyn, but she is most definitely a lane pusher, and it is quite clearly defined in her passive. The middle doesn’t give you any good places to sit in a bush and shoot at your enemy without them spam pinging your head shouting at their laners to come over to you and smack you in the face until you die. Caitlyn’s true place is in the lane, where she can rely on her passive to do insane amounts of damage with only half the wait. To begin, take a lane and sit around until minions come. If you’re super-fast, jump in the first bush, but stay on the very edge CLOSEST to your turret. This way if some stupid guy decides he’s gonna try the second bush, you can pop a few bullets in his brain and get out of there safely without taking any damage. Once the minions spawn, it’s time for you to do what you were born to do: harass.
Caitlyn has one of the largest ranges for her standard attack than any other champion, boasting 650 range, out ranging Annie at 625 and Kennen at 575. On top of this, her peacemaker has range that is absolutely unmatched. Therefore, it is your sole duty in life to harass the other team until they call the police on you and file for rape and assault. In which case you will continue to rape and assault the police too. Here’s what to do:
Camp out in the brush. The bushes are your friend, and you will rack up minion kills and champion kills so quickly. It is really crazy. Trust me. No matter what champion faces you; you WILL have lane dominance, even if you are solo laning against two champions. If they begin to auto attack your minions, don’t be afraid to shoot them a couple of times. They will run away invariably, since your range and damage output is just too much. And remember this: EVERY SHOT COUNTS. If you decide, “oh, I’m just going to get one shot on them if I go up to them and harass them. Otherwise they’ll rush me and I’ll die… what’s the point?” Here’s why: your range and your damage are incredibly potent, and the shots DO add up, even if they have a health regen/potion. Caitlyn is just a crazy harasser, and if you have to step outside the bushes to take a shot or two on them, by all means DO IT (unless stepping out means you stand next to them… just try to keep your distance). When you feel that it’s necessary, give them a shot of your Piltover Peacemaker. This has crazy damage and you will destroy them with this nasty attack. Try not to spam this too much, as you should also be conserving your mana, but at the same time, use it when necessary. It is VERY powerful, and does damage PLUS 1.3 damage for every attack power you have. In the early game, this is your most useful and powerful tool, use it often, but balance it so you don’t drain your mana as well. Push all the way to the turret and harass from there. You honestly shouldn’t be really shooting at the turret until about level 3, since you don’t have any escape tools until then if you are to get ganked.
As of hitting level 2, I prefer to level up the .90 Caliber Net, since it’s a simple escape tool, and people won’t really be chasing you down at this time. However, level 2 doesn’t last very long anyway, so if you decide you are going to level up the snap trap first, go right ahead, as you will get your net soon enough. It’s mostly situational; if you see mid is thinking about coming down, you might invest in the snap trap so you can lay one in the river bush. However, if your lane is trying to harass you, you can grab the net so you can escape with ease. At this point, you should be constantly killing minions from the bushes, have the other lane champs down to ˝ to Ľ health (or dead), and you should be pushing their tower by level 3-5, which should be anywhere from ľ health to ˝ health, depending on how aggressively you’re playing. But in any case, as Caitlyn, unless there is another Caitlyn in your lane playing against you (I play normal games a lot, as I’m not level 30 yet), you should have lane dominance, and most probably a first blood, however it’s not necessary if you don’t have one. Once you hit level 3, put a snap trap at the edge of THE OTHER TEAM’S grass, closest to their turret. This helps immensely with escaping, should they get cocky enough to run at you head first. This will allow you to sit in the bush for a few seconds and shoot them enough times to drive them back, especially if you hit them with a net too. Eventually, you are going to want to place one trap there and either in the river bush OR in the middle of your lane bush near your tower. (I say the MIDDLE of your bush and not the front or the back because if you are being chased, people generally click towards the middle, and will chase you into the bush somewhere in the middle. If you can lure them to run over your trap, it’s all the better. The front end near their bush is generally untouched when they chase you, and the back end towards your tower isn’t good placement, as you won’t be in the bush to get your passive on the sitting duck. If you put it in the edge near your tower, they WILL be close to your tower, so you can hit them without much trouble, but most people don’t extend that far unless you have under 50 health left. The middle of the bush is more practical. Head back to base after you kill the turret or you gain about 1200-1500 gold. Don’t go back until then.
One quick note: if you are having trouble in your lane and the other team is pushing you because they are hardy tanks and pretty much ignore your early damage, placing a trap in the edge of the bush by your turret IS very practical, as it allows you to see where they are in the bush and it will keep them from sitting right next to you, waiting for you to over extend by just a little bit and meeting your demise.
7. Gameplay (Level 5-11) [CT07]
Heading back to base, you should pick up the Berserker’s Greaves and start working your way to a Phantom Dancer. If you stayed in for a long time, you might be able to grab a Zeal as well on your first trip back to base. If not, don’t worry, just grab a dagger or two to increase your attack speed, and work your way to a Zeal after that, and eventually a Phantom Dancer. Note: Do not purchase ingredients for any other item. Getting the Phantom Dancer is crucial for you to hold lane dominance and overall to help your team push their outer turrets. At this point, you will be anywhere from level 5 to level 7, depending on how the game played out. Head back to finish the tower (or the other champions, whichever comes first) and head back to base once you have the gold for a Phantom Dancer. If you destroyed the turret before heading back for the first time, make sure your lane isn’t being pushed by the other team, and go help someone else in their lane. You should be at the point where even if the middle or other lane is being pushed, you should be able to help out your team defend and even push by harassing the same way you did when you were level 1 in your own lane. After taking out all the turrets, or at some point hopefully meeting at least a stalemate, go back to finish your Phantoms if you haven’t already. After you grab them, do not go back to your base unless you are seriously low on health. It’s time for the big guns.
Once either the inner turrets have been destroyed (hopefully the other team’s) you will be around level 10 or 11, or somewhere near there. You shouldn’t have died, otherwise you aren’t really playing Caitlyn right, or the other team is super coordinated and is constantly ganking the hell out of your team. At this point in the game, you will go completely rogue, unless you guys are being mega pushed by the other team. If you are playing with a random (not pre-made) team, they might get mad at you for going rogue on them, but it’s really for the better. The point of this is to farm like crazy. You will farm for over 2,000 gold or more, so prepare for a few levels of just shooting and shooting. This is because you are now working towards your Infinity Edge, and you won’t buy the Pickaxe or the Cloak of Agility without grabbing the B.F. Sword first. As soon as you have the money, head back to base. If you choose to stay out and farm some more, just make sure you are not over extending yourself, ESPECIALLY if they are all un-accounted for. I’m not trying to mother you, as you probably already know all this, but just play it safe and grab as many minion kills as possible. You will be doing this from levels 11-14 or 15. Caitlyn is useless in team fights until she has the Infinity Edge, to be honest. If you participate in team fights, you will generally be feeding, seeing as you are a really fragile DPS and you will be incapacitated the second they see you. Grab the Sword, the Pickaxe, and then the Cloak. Finally, get the Infinity Edge. It’s kill stealing time.
8. Gameplay (level 11 to end game) [CT08]
At this point, you will have a very high critical hit ratio, high attack speed, and you will be hitting your crits at around 300-500 damage a shot. You will be relying almost completely on your basic attack over your peacemaker at this point, though you can still use it for a little extra damage. For reference, you will have around 1500-2000 health (I can’t remember off the top of my head) by this time, and so you will be able to kill yourself within 4-8 shots depending on your luck. You are a powerful bullet machine. Now you may participate in team fights, and you guys should be pushing the inner towers by this point. Remember though; NEVER, EVER push a tower by yourself. You are WAY too fragile to risk getting ganked by the other team because you are taking their tower, and it is very important that you stay alive. You are a very strong pusher, but your place is in the center of your team, preferably behind a wall or someone taking damage. You just don’t have the escape tools to get away from a 3 or 4 man team headed your way, even with your net and flash. Once you work up the money, head back to base for your second Phantom Dancer. Trust me, it’s epic. You should at this point have Doran’s Blade, two Phantom Dancers, and your Infinity edge. You should also be level 15-17, and nearing your last few items.
If and when you reach this point in the game, you are going to rely really heavily on the items you have and quick, smart gameplay. People start nuking like crazy, and you can die within 1 second if you make the wrong move. Your damage will start to go ballistic, but beware. If the other team is building heavy armor, you are going to need your last two items in order to take them down: the Blood Thirster and the Last Whisper, for obvious reasons. The ridiculous attack damage and the armor penetration are the only ways you are going to break through a Mordekaiser with Rinduin’s Omen. Start with the Blood Thirster and obtain the B.F. Sword. Then, sell your Doran’s Blade for the Vampiric Scepter. Build the Sword and then grab the Last Whisper ASAP. Once obtaining these items, you should kill minions. A lot of minions. If you didn’t already know (and I didn’t until very recently), the Blood Thirster’s passive ability doesn’t just stack with champion kills like the Mejai’s or Occult blade; it stacks on minion kills too. The extra attack damage and lifesteal are TREMENDOUSLY helpful in team fights, and you will be lasting much longer and you should be able to defend from the other team, should they push in your base. Even if they kill all of your teammates, you can take on 3 people at once (unless they all have crazy CC and are really smart about how they play). If you guys are pushing, you can start shooting at whoever comes your way, starting with the DPS’ers and finishing with the tanks. With your full item build, you should be able to kill Teemo in just 3 hits, with your attack speed reaching about 2.2. Finally, grab the opponent’s Nexus and don’t forget to say GG!
9. Yordle Snap Traps [CT09]
Yordle Snap Trap Placement (You can skip this is you want to). If you’re wondering where you should place your traps, there are a few places you should put them that can really help with trapping and escaping or killing.
-First of all, if you are in your lane and are pushing, put it in the edge of your opponent’s grass closest to their tower and stand on it. This is a good place to harass the other team, and if they come at you, simply walk back a few steps and lure them to stand on your trap. If you are afraid of getting ganked, put it in the bush by the river in the edge closest to the bottom. Otherwise, put one either in the same bush near their tower or put one in the middle of your bush, as explained in the last paragraph.
-If they are pushing you, place one on the edge of your grass nearest to your tower, but only if you see them jump in the grass. The reason why is because the traps give you a short window of time where you can see where they are in the grass, but it only lasts for a split second. Knowing where they are, and knowing they are not right next to you and your tower are very useful when determining if you should push your lane or if you should stay back.
-If you are pushing a tower, place one where the enemy can pop out. I usually put it to the left and to the right of the tower in the center of the pathways. In her champion spotlight by Phreak, he puts two in the little corridor instead of one, but I personally think that it is hard enough to dodge one that has been well placed, and it’s not totally necessary to have two, especially when they can come from the other side of the tower as well.
-If you are defending your tower and they are pushing, place one where a melee champion would stand to hit the tower, and place one where a ranged champion would stand. This will trap either one, allowing your team to gang up and hit the dude with the eyes floating above their head.
-If you are being chased, there’s a neat little trick I recently found that aids in escaping. When running, place a trap in front of you in a narrow enough place (such as the little patch of grass near the wraith camp) and shoot your net at the same exact time. It takes a little getting used to, but her net overrides the time it takes for her to place the trap, so you won’t stop to place the trap and instead you will be flying right over it as it is being placed. There are multiple videos demonstrating these little tricks you can do with Caitlyn to escape*.
10. Escaping [CT10]
*If you are trying to escape and are carrying cleanse and flash, you can use your net to go over small cliffs in the map located in the middle and by Baron/Dragon. Use your flash to pop over walls that you can’t go over with your net. Cleanse is just to escape if they have a stun or something to slow/stop you.
Bump, cause I think this deserves to be looked at/criticised by people since it looks like time was put into it. ~>~
wow that is really great generally my build is doranblade, mbr, sword of the divine, then i got for either a infinityedge/phantomdancer depending on the match later i get warmongers to get rid of the squishy ness and then finally either more attack speed or more ad
i still dont get why you're getting attack speed and crit over AD, your skills synergize with AD.
I'm quite sure the passive isn't worth investing in attack speed and crit
Looks like you spent a lot of time on this guide so +1 for you my friend.
This can be very helpful to all the Caitlyn players.
I'm not sure you can call her a monster though, but I know you are sort of new to the game, and havent been able to try out all the champions yet. According to Ranked games, and highly competitive tournaments Caitlyn has no place on the team. There are other champions who can do the same job that she does as an AD carry, and do it better.
I am, however, a HUGE fan of champions that get no love such as Caitlyn, and I appreciate people that put work into these types of champions. You can do very well with champions like Caitlyn, Cassiopeia, Kayle, etc.. if you take the time to learn how to play them right. They can do awsome in Normal games, but take much more practice to earn respect in Ranked games.
The biggest problem with Caitlyn is she has no real utility. She does alot of damage, yes, and has high DPS, but if you compare her to someone like Ashe, it's really no comparison. Early game Caitlyn is extremely game, lategame Caitlyn is pretty terrible since other carries do it better. Carries like sivir or ashe have DPS along with utility skills (ie: frost arrow, crystal arrow, hawk shot, sivir's aoe ult, etc). These are skills that synergize with the team. Other than Caitlyn's mine which isn't that great, she has no real utility.
love caitlyn so i like that she gets love from others too stomp games so hard with her i once went 3 bloodthirsters for the lawls and ended up with 75% lifesteal and carried a 1-21 teemo
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