Caitlyn can be a frustrating marksman to play against in League of Legends.
She has a powerful early game due to her long range and can zone off opponents from creeps with her traps. If she gets going, she becomes unstoppable and can roam to other lanes easily as well. But if Caitlyn gets shut down early on, she might have issues reaching her item power spike, so this guide should help anyone looking to master the marksman avoid those bad situations.
As with all League champions, specific items are going to be more effective depending on the situation. But there are a number of items that are good to build on Caitlyn no matter the matchup.
Here’s the best build for Caitlyn in season 10.
Fleet Footwork: This keystone ensure that you get good trades early on without giving your opponent an opportunity to hit back. The high range of Caitlyn combined with the movement speed buff from Fleet Footwork will keep you mobile throughout the entire duration of the game. The heal effect is a nice bonus as well.
Presence of Mind: This row is flexible. But Caitlyn needs to spam abilities a lot, especially traps, to take control of objectives. To avoid running out of mana in crucial fights, this item will increase both your mana cap and restore some mana if you get a takedown.
Legend: Bloodline: This is a basic rune to grant you additional lifesteal. To avoid wasting 900 gold on a Vampiric Scepter and delay your core builds, take this rune and your lifesteal issues will be solved.
Cut Down: This rune helps you penetrate beefy frontlines even easier. Since you aren’t going to build any health items, this item will be able to be activated quite often against tank champions. If no tanks are present on the opposing team, then feel free to take Coup de Grace instead to deal more damage to those low-health enemies. Coup de Grace combined with your passive can deal devastating amounts of damage.
Nimbus Cloak: The extra movement speed is extremely efficient especially during the laning phase. From being barely picked to picked by most champions in the game, this rune ensures you get a small ghost effect when you use any summoner spell. It works great with Caitlyn, who only has a slight dash on her E. It allows you to escape those pesky ganks by blowing your heal without using Flash.
Gathering Storm: Gathering Storm is a straightforward scaling rune to increase your damage output the longer the game goes. If you want additional AD early on, you could go for Absolute Focus instead.
Bonuses: +10-percent attack speed, +9 adaptive force, +6 armor
Having some early lifesteal and attack damage is crucial for Caitlyn. Doran’s Blade also grants you 80 bonus health to make you a tad bit tankier early on. This item can be purchased multiple times if you’re having early game issues and need power as soon as possible.
During the farming phase, you are going to take damage from enemy champions. Health potions heal back 150 health over 15 seconds and will give you extra time before having to base.
Berserker’s are core boots for Caitlyn, rushable as a first item before you get any other items. It gives you movement speed to move faster in the laning phase and allows you to roam to other lanes easier if you dominate the opposing bottom lane. The attack speed is also very valuable since Stormrazor doesn’t have a lot of attack speed while Infinity Edge has none.
Stormrazor is the core item on Caitlyn, which synergizes well with Fleet Footwork. It grants you core stats of attack damage and critical chance, while also having some attack speed thrown in there as well. The effect is great to help you orb walk in teamfights and kite properly. While you want to rush this item in most games, if you’re significantly ahead of your lane opponent, you can rush Infinity Edge instead.
Infinity Edge is arguably the best item on Caitlyn, since it gives her a lot of attack damage, critical chance, and makes your critical hits do more damage. While the build path is expensive and might keep your inventory full for some time, the end result is worth it. You’ll be able to three-tap squishy champions and do a lot of damage to tanks as well.
Rapid Firecannon is a great offensive item and grants additional attack speed as well. These three items combined will give you the needed critical chance to ensure you deal tremendous amounts of damage. The added range effect is easy to activate as well since you’ll be moving around in teamfights a lot.
In some extreme cases where you need the additional range earlier on, you can purchase this as a second item instead of Stormrazor or Infinity Edge.
Phantom Dancer stands as the perfect defensive item for Caitlyn. It grants you attack speed, critical chance, movement speed, a shield, and a passive that gives you even more movement speed while auto-attacking. This item makes you very slippery and gives you a safety net if you make any misplays with the scaling shield effect. The item will also put you at a 100-percent critical chance, making every hit deadly for opponents.
Lord Dominik’s Regards
This item is core for the later stages of the game when enemies start stacking up armor. While having attack damage and the critical chance is important early on to two-hit enemies, armor penetration is much more valuable as the match goes by. This is the default armor penetration item which you should get in most of your matches. But if enemies have a lot of healing effects you can go for Mortal Reminder instead.
Boots of Swiftness
This is a great boot choice option if you’re facing a composition that relies on slow-movement effects. The lack of attack speed will be felt early on, but they can be life-saving. Don’t rush these boots if the enemy has only one or two movement slowing effects, however.
Quicksilver Sash is a must-have item against crowd control. Even if the enemy doesn’t have a lot of magic damage, it’s still worth to get this item for the cleanse. Sometimes the cleanse can be the difference between life and death and having extra attack damage, life steal, or critical chance won’t matter if you’re dead.
As a result, if you’re facing champions who focus on locking you down, such as Leona, Nautilus, or Malzahar, don’t be afraid to invest into this item.
Guardian Angel is an overall great item and grants you armor, attack damage, and the chance to save yourself in a teamfight. The second life can help you win games against teams who blow all their abilities and engage tools on you and then run out of steam. This item will deny all their efforts by bringing you back to life ready to fight.
If you want to be tankier and have more lifesteal and attack damage, then this is the perfect item for you. Bloodthirster is one of the best ADC items in the game, giving you a great shield to start the fight with.
Getting this item third is a good option if you need the shield to survive enemy assassination attempts. In rare cases where you’re facing a full team of assassins, you can go for it as a first item to ensure that you don’t die every time an assassin sees you, but you’ll lack attack speed or critical chance compared to other items.
One of the best ADC items in the game, Death’s Dance grants you defensive stats in magic resist and armor, alongside offensive stats in attack damage and cooldown reduction. But it’s loved by all ADC player for something else: the passive effect which reduces incoming damage and converts it into a damage-over-time effect.
Due to the lifesteal gained from the item, the damage-over-time effect is easily negated if you hit an enemy champion or a minion, making all ADCs deceptively tanky.
Randuin’s is a valuable item if you want to become tankier. It grants you health, armor, an attack speed-reduction debuff for enemies, and an AoE slow to allow you to kite even better. If you are the main target for enemy AD champions and need a bit more survival and possibility to kite, then this item is perfect for you.
While it doesn’t grant any offensive stats, by having it and being alive for a longer period, you’ll do overall more damage compared to if you opted for an offensive item and died within seconds.
Mortal Reminder is the armor penetration-alternative to Lord Dominik’s Regards. It is a requirement to get this item if the enemy has multiple Conqueror users or lifesteal in their items or kits to shut them down.