Ultimate Caitlyn guide: Best League of Legends build, runes, tips & tricks
Looking to master League of Legends’ Caitlyn? We’ve got the ultimate guide to the Sheriff of Piltover right here, including her best build, runes, and some tips and tricks to get your eye in.
In the wake of Riot Games’ League of Legends-inspired Netflix show Arcane, Piltover sheriff turned rebel with a cause Caitlyn has etched herself into the hearts of LoL fans old and new.
Based in the bot lane alongside a trusty support, Caitlyn’s design is all about scoring critical hits from afar using her deadly hextech rifle. Perfect for players looking to one-shot the competition and look good doing it, the ADC enforcer is certainly a popular pick.
Has Arcane inspired you to try Caitlyn out in-game? Or are you as enchanted by her charm as Vi? Here’s everything you need to know to play Caitlyn in League of Legends. From her best builds to runes, skins and lore – we’ve got it all right here.
- Who is Caitlyn?
- Abilities & gameplay
- Best build
- Best runes
- Caitlyn skins
Piltover’s local sheriff and Enforcer extraordinaire, Caitlyn, is the rebellious daughter of House Kiramman. A sharpshooter dedicated to ensuring the safety of the City of Progress, her quick wit and high-level intellect make her a force to be reckoned with.
Paired up with Vi, her hotheaded companion, the duo’s passion to rid Runeterra of all things impure makes them tireless in their pursuit of justice.
As much as Caitlyn can one-shot enemies, she’s best suited to players that prefer to pop heads from the safety of the backline. She’s incredibly squishy, but what she lacks in health she makes up for with lethality.
Ensnaring unsuspecting enemies in her Yordle Snap Traps, you’ll want to make sure you follow it up with one of her empowered Headshots (courtesy of her passive). If your target is left with a blinking health bar, be sure to pop that Ace in the Hole Ultimate to bring them down – after all, she’s authorized to use lethal force.
If you do find yourself in the middle of a brawl, though, Caitlyn’s 90 Caliber Net is the perfect get out of jail free card (pun entirely intended). Both slowing champions and pushing Caitlyn backwards, it can be combined with a supportive speed boost to make sure she gets out unblemished.
Plus, as you get better at Caitlyn, you can use some of these mechanics to bring out her “machine gun” — that is using auto-attack resets to make her bolt-action sniper act more like an automatic rifle. There’s even some nifty duplication bugs to really maximize your Headshot damage output.
In the later stages of the game, be sure to hide behind your tanky allies and snipe away until your heart’s content. Once your allies have whittled down the enemy team’s HP, they’re only one Ace in the Hole away from getting sent back to the fountain.
- Passive: Headshot — Every few basic attacks, or against a target she has trapped or netted, Caitlyn will fire a headshot dealing bonus damage that scales with her critical strike chance. On trapped or netted targets, Caitlyn’s Headshot attack range is doubled.
- Q: Piltover Peacemaker — Caitlyn revs up her rifle for 1 second to unleash a penetrating shot that deals physical damage (deals less damage to subsequent targets.)
- W: Yordle Snap Trap — Caitlyn sets a trap to find sneaky yordles. When sprung, the trap reveals and immobilizes the enemy champion for 1.5 seconds, granting Caitlyn an empowered Headshot.
- E: 90 Caliber Net — Caitlyn fires a heavy net to slow her target. The recoil knocks Caitlyn back.
- R: Ace in the Hole — Caitlyn takes time to line up the perfect shot, dealing massive damage to a single target at a huge range. Enemy champions can intercept the bullet for their ally.
As with most ADCs that rely on the Precision rune tree, you’ll be looking to build Galeforce as your Mythic Item. Massively increasing your attack damage, speed and critical strike chance, it’s an essential part of Caitlyn’s kit as it synergizes with her Ace in the Hole ultimate and Headshot passive. The extra mobility and execute damage is also nice too.
From here, pick up The Collector to add some more attack damage, lethality and, most importantly, critical strike chance. This, alongside Galeforce, will give you 40% critical damage. Follow it up with the Infinity Edge to accrue 60% crit, which will in turn activate the item’s Perfection passive. This grants you an extra 35% crit, bringing you up to 95%.
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The Rapid Firecannon is the next addition to your arsenal, as it speeds Caitlyn up and gives you extra range every few autos — something Caitlyn can really abuse. You can round out your build with a Guardian Angel here if you’re in a pretty good state.
If you’re struggling to pin down those pesky meat shields on the enemy side, however, we advise swapping out the GA for Lord Dominik’s Regards to secure some added armor penetration. It also will likely provide Cait with the Giant Slayer passive, meaning she’ll do up to 15% bonus damage against those tanky champions.
- Mythic: Galeforce / Kraken Slayer (if you don’t need extra mobility)
- Boots: Berserker’s Greavers / Plated Steelcaps (if against heavy AD)
- Doran’s Blade (Starter item, sell later)
- The Collector
- Infinity Edge
- Rapid Firecannon
- Guardian Angel (best all-round survivability item)
- Lord Dominik’s Regards (when facing tanky enemies)
- Bloodthirster (if you need lifesteal)
- Axiom Arc (great for reducing your ultimate cooldown in the mid-game)
In order to send Runeterra’s criminal masterminds back behind bars, you’ll need to be running the right runes. Caitlyn’s very much draws from the Precision tree. Fleet Footwork takes center stage, empowering her auto attacks even further and giving her some crucial sustain (as she doesn’t often build much life steal).
Similarly, Presence of Mind will keep your mana bar in check, with Legend: Bloodline also contributing to her heath via lifesteal.
Cut Down also works perfectly against tankier enemies due to their max health being so much greater than Cait’s, but Coup De Gras is also a good shout due to the increased damage buff when attacking those under 40% HP. If you’re against a heavy tank composition choose Cut Down, then Coup De Gras against more squishy adversaries.
However, if you don’t need the Fleet Footwork lifesteal, you can swap out the keystone for the reworked Lethal Tempo, which gives her even more attack range.
- Fleet Footwork
- Presence of Mind
- Legend: Bloodline
- Cut Down
- Absolute Focus
- Gathering Storm
- Resistance Caitlyn – 520 RP
- Sheriff Caitlyn (Legacy) – 520 RP
- Arctic Warfare Caitlyn – 750 RP
- Headhunter Caitlyn – 975 RP
- Officer Caitlyn – 975 RP
- Safari Caitlyn (Legacy) – 975 RP
- Arcade Caitlyn – 1350 RP
- Lunar Wraith Caitlyn (Legacy) – 1350 RP
- Pool Party Caitlyn – 1350 RP
- Battle Academia Caitlyn – 1820 RP
- Pulsefire Caitlyn – 1820 RP
- Arcane Caitlyn – Limited time skin
So that’s our guide to playing Caitlyn in League of Legends. Now that you know the best builds and runes, be sure to check out some of our other champion guides:
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