How to play and build Caitlyn support, T1 Keria’s newest off-meta pick

Keria caitlyn supportJianhua Chen/Riot Games

Keria’s been cooking up some off-meta support picks in his solo queue games, leading up to him playing Caitlyn support in an official LCK game and winning. Here’s what you need to know to try it for yourself.

There’s no shortage of innovators in the support role, especially within the LCK. Players like Son ‘Lehends’ Si-woo, Cho ‘BeryL’ Geon-hee, and Ryu ‘Keria’ Min-seok have a long history of trying out off-meta picks in solo queue and on-stage.

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The current bot lane meta has been called out for being stale, with a few lanes emerging as the best picks: Zeri/Yuumi and Heimerdinger/Ashe. Pros around the world have been trying every strategy they can think of to shut down first-pick worthy bot lane combos. BeryL’s already developed Jhin support, a proven pick to counter Heimerdinger. But things didn’t stop there.

In an effort to completely shut Zeri out of the game, Keria picked Caitlyn support in an official LCK match and won with it. While it’s a niche pick with a certain use in mind, Caitlyn is a perfectly playable support pick that you can try for yourself once you know how to play and build her.

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Why should you pick Caitlyn support?

Caitlyn is a massive lane bully as an ADC, and this translates well into playing her as a support. Between her high auto attack range, long-range poke with her Q, and the CC from both her traps and her E, she has a lot more utility than most ADC champions.

She’s a lot like Ashe in that way. Caitlyn may not have massive slows, vision control, and a global stun, but she makes up for those shortcomings with some massive burst damage and lockdown. While she has a lot of pressure on her own, Caitlyn support is best paired with an ADC that can lock down a target and give her enough time to place a trap under them.

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This is why Keria paired Caitlyn with Varus. If he lands an ultimate on someone, it’ll root them in place for more than long enough to get a trap under them. There aren’t many champions that can survive an all-in from this lane combo. Not to mention their pressure in lane.

Zeri/Yuumi is notoriously weak to early game pressure, making the strong poke and pressure early on from a champion like Caitlyn worth having on your side. Even if she isn’t building like a normal ADC and doesn’t have the same damage as she would if she was taking the farm, she’s an undeniably power force in lane.

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Caitlyn support build and runes

You’d think that, with how much poke and burst damage Caitlyn has, that Keria would go with something like First Strike or Dark Harvest to pair with his full damage/lethality build. Instead, Keria consistently opts for Hail of Blades to give himself some extra attack speed and more consistent damage output rather than relying on one big burst.

Taste of Blood provides some bonus healing while poking in-lane, Zombie Ward is easily stacked once you’ve got Umbral Glaive built, and Treasure Hunter tends to be Keria’s go-to considering that the main goal with this pick is winning lane and snowballing the game.

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Magical Footwear and Biscuit Delivery are standard fare Inspiration runes, with Footwear granting some much-needed gold efficiency considering how much more difficult it is to come across income in support. Biscuits are nice for the mana sustain, but can be replaced with something like Future’s Market if you don’t see yourself having mana issues.

You’re almost never going to hit full-build with support Caitlyn. So, rather than giving a full build recommendation, here are the item choices that are core to her build. First up, going Spectral Sickle as your support item is the best play 100% of the time. You’ll want to rush straight into Umbral Glaive for vision control as well.

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Beyond that, the mythic choice is between Duskblade and Eclipse. Eclipse is a bit more versatile and provides some survivability, while Duskblade is good for snowballing if you get a lead in the lane phase. Collector is a bit of a meme item, but a fun third choice. It’s got base pen, fairly high base AD, and a passive that’ll secure kills for you and help get more gold in your pockets. If the game goes long enough to get more items, Lethality options like Youmuu’s Ghostblade and Edge of Night are great choices.

It’s not yet clear if Caitlyn support will be something anyone other than Keria is willing to try in pro play, but it’s got potential to be the next hard-carry solo queue pick.

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