How To Play Caitlyn In League Of Legends
Last Updated: March 24, 2022
Caitlyn is one of the characters to be given the animated treatment in Netflix’s smash hit, Arcane. She’s been one of League’s more popular marksmen and her appearance in the show renewed a lot of players’ interest in her. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get you started playing the Sheriff of Piltover.
Caitlyn is a very beginner friendly champion with a low skill floor but a high skill cap; leaving plenty of room for new players to jump in but with just enough complicated mechanics to keep things interesting for veteran players. She is a strong lane bully thanks to the range advantage she has over other ADCs.When playing as Caitlyn, you can focus more on poking your enemies, farming up minions, and learning where to place your traps. Since she is a scaling champion, you don’t have to worry too much about falling behind in the early game. Just make sure to last hit minions so that you can get enough gold to buy your core items. Once you do, you can easily take over the game and impose your will on the enemy team.
Caitlyn’s kit is focused mostly on keeping enemies from getting too close to her while maintaining a very safe distance for her to hit them with her abilities.
Passive – Headshot
Caitlyn Headshots targets she has trapped or netted. Additionally, she gains a free headshot every 6 basic attacks; attacks while in brush count as 2.
- Deal bonus damage to non-champions
- Have double range against trapped or netted targets
Caitlyn’s Headshot is a core part of your trading pattern against your lane opponent. Since you’ll have Headshot ready every 6 basic attacks, try to use it to hit your lane opponent for more poke or use it to last hit the Siege minions.
Q – Piltover Peacemaker
Revs the rifle for 1 second to fire a narrow piercing shot dealing physical damage. After hitting any target, it opens into a wider shot that deals 33% less damage. Always deals full damage to trap revealed targets.
This is Caitlyn’s primary source of wave clear. Piltover Peacemaker has a pretty wide area of effect so you can use this to effectively clear minion waves and help you farm. It has a long range as well so you can use it to poke down your enemies. For maximum damage output, try to use this to combo with your E and W abilities.
W – Yordle Snap Trap
Sets traps that an enemy Champion can spring, immobilizing them for 2 seconds and revealing them for a short duration. Several traps may be active at once. Trapped enemies take increased damage from Headshot.
These traps are great for securing choke points and brushes that would otherwise be used by enemies to gank or ambush Caitlyn. Try placing these traps in areas of a brush where players are most likely to enter or pass through.
E – 90 Caliber Net
Fires a net, knocking Caitlyn backwards. The net deals magic damage and slows the first enemy hit by 50% for 1 second.
This is a pretty unique mobility spell as instead of propelling Caitlyn forwards, 90 Caliber Net propels her backwards. It’s great for fleeing from enemies and potentially outplaying them when they try to dive you under your tower.
R – Ace in the Hole
Takes a second to line up the perfect shot on an enemy Champion at long range. The shot deals physical damage, but other enemy Champions can intercept it.
This ability essentially works as an execute for Caitlyn. Ace in the Hole lets her target a champion and fires off a bullet that deals massive damage. The bullet/projectile’s trajectory can be seen by everyone so it is possible for other champions to block this shot. Try to save it when you have a clear shot on a low health target.
Runes and Item Builds
For your items, you build Caitlyn like a typical ADC. There isn’t much variety when it comes to items especially when playing as a marksman. Just try your best to squeeze in as much crit, damage, and attack speed as possible in your build path.
Caitlyn’s starting items are like any old ADC’s; start with a Doran’s Blade and a Health Potion for sustain and damage to get you through the laning phase. Cull is also a good option but that would only work if you’re in a mismatch where you feel like the enemy Bot Lane has a distinct advantage over you. You can also opt to buy a Cull when you fall behind early on so that you could just focus on farming to get your items. Remember that it is okay to not hunt for kills early on and it is okay to fall behind a bit. What matters is that you get enough gold to buy your items and let Caitlyn scale into the late game.
There are three good options when deciding what Mythic item to buy on Caitlyn. The best and safest choice is Galeforce. This item not only gives you a mobility tool which you can use to chase or escape, it also unlocks better combos through animation canceling wherein you can proc several Headshots from your passive in a short amount of time. The next best option is Kraken Slayer. Go for this item if there are a lot of tanks or tanky bruisers on the enemy team. It can easily shred through their resistances and their health abrs making it easier for you to deal damage. The last item is a bit unconventional. Duskblade of Draktharr is a very powerful item commonly used by assassins. It offers great burst damage and lethality but nothing more outside of it. You can choose to build this on Caitlyn if you were to go on a full-on lethality build but we would suggest sticking with the other two scaling items better.
After purchasing your desired Mythic, go with finishing your boots first. In this case, you’ll be going with Berserker’s Greaves all the time for the attack speed. Next, go with Rapidfire Cannon for the attack speed and bonus damage. Then go with Inifinity Edge which is a standard item for all ADCs thanks to its crit and overall damage. Lord Dominik’s Regards is your fifth item because at this point in the game, the enemy tanks have built enough resistance against you. Having this item lets you deal more damage to them. Lastly, round out your build with a Guardian Angel for even more damage and some survivability.
Other Viable Items
There are plenty of other viable items on Caitlyn so you’ll have no shortage of options when it comes to items. Mortal Reminder is a good alternative for Lord Dominik’s Regards if the enemy team has a lot of heals. Phantom Dancer is a good attack speed/crit item that gives you a bit of added survivability as well. Stormrazor is a good substitute for Rapidfire Cannon for those times where you could use more wave clear and a bit more damage. The Collector is great for securing kills and finally, Mercurial Scimitar is a good item for when the enemy team has a lot of debuffs or crowd control. We urge you to explore these items and try to see which ones work best for you.
For your runes, go with the Precision tree and take Fleet Footwork as your keystone. This will help you farm better and give you a bit of sustain in the early game. Next, take Presence of Mind for the mana regeneration, Legend: Bloodline for the lifesteal, and Coup De Grace for more damage against low health champions. For your secondaries, take Absolute Focus and Gathering Storm from the Sorcery tree. These runes will increase your overall damage for the duration of the game. For your rune shards, take Attack Speed, Adaptive Force, and Armor.
- If your hands are fast and precise enough, you can actually place a Yordle Snap Trap almost directly on top of an enemy champion as they approach you or if they are hit with crowd control from you or your teammates. This can yield a huge burst of damage from you if you time it carefully along with your other abilities.
- Caitlyn is countered by extremely mobile marksmen that can get close to her while being able to dodge her abilities. Champions like Vayne, Zeri, Lucian, and Kai’Sa are some of her biggest counters.
- For your summoner spells, always take the standard Flash and Heal. However, if the enemy team has a lot of crowd control, then swap out Heal for Cleanse.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Caitlyn in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!