Caitlyn Guide for League of Legends

A few tips for those looking to pick up one of the most played AD Carries of the late Season 3 LCS.
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For those who have been watching the League of Legends Championship Series or the World Championship finals, Caitlyn has featured prominently in champ select.  Her long range, immobilizing traps, extra escape, and kill-securing ult have all been used to excellent effect by the professional gamers who have brought her to bear internationally.

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Given my own success with her, I’ve put together a few tips for anyone who might be looking to pick her up as a champion after seeing her used or who are just looking for someone else’s ideas to try and up their game.

Use Your Traps

Caitlyn’s most damaging ability is her Piltover Peacemaker, but her most dangerous ability during the laning phase is almost certainly her Yordle Snap-Trap.  Remember these do not just immobilize a foe and do a little bit of damage, they also reveal them.  Placing traps at the entrances of bushes, where there is no time to see them before setting them off, or in the river bushes where jungle ganks will come from can go a long way to making the lane safer for your team.

That bush just got so much safer.  For me.

The one exception to this is against an enemy Sivir.  Sivir’s spell shield can entirely nullify these traps when used well, and keep her full on mana.  It might be a good time to fight after she absorbs a trap, however, since she will not have the shield available for your ult if you are quick.

Use Your Range

Another big reason Caitlyn is so popular is her range.  She has the highest base auto-attack range in the game (Tristana can shoot farther at higher levels, but not during laning) and both her Q and ult are among the farthest-ranged abilities of their kind in the game.  She can farm minions from farther away than anyone, letting her remain a safer distance from potentially aggressive supports.

The other side of her range is offensive.  Caitlyn is very well-equipped to harass the enemy laners consistently throughout the laning phase, usually with little or no retribution possible.  Caitlyn’s strength is not in extended engagement, but in her ability to whittle down her opponents until they can no longer afford to fight her.  Skilled use of her range can force many opponents to be entirely unable to farm minions, shutting the lane down entirely.

Q Where They’re Going, Not Where They Are

Piltover Peacemaker actually hurts quite a bit, and as far as skillshots go it can be difficult to predict the actual direction before it fires.  While piercing minions lowers its damage, the ability to pierce them at all makes it extremely flexible as a tool for harassing or for finishing off a fleeing enemy.

But you have got to be smart with it.

Dodged the wrong way there, Morgana bot.

The ability has a brief channel period before it fires, and while the shot is quick, it does have a travel time.  Getting used to this timing is half of the skill with Caitlyn’s Q.  The other half is learning to be unpredictable with the aiming.  Watch your opponent when you try to hit them with it.  Most opponents will dodge in a predictable manner if you study them a bit.  If you anticipate their dodge, you can often have them dodge right into the shot.

Save the Ult for the Clutch Shot

Caitlyn’s ult does high damage at an incredible distance, so it might be tempting to use it during an extended siege or poke fight.  Do not do this.  Adding a little bit of damage to the poke-war will generally make relatively little difference to it, but being able to pick off a nearly dead and fleeing opponent who would otherwise escape is the real purpose of this powerful ability.

Look how happy she is if you use that ult right.

Count Your Shots

Finally, pay attention to Caitlyn’s passive.  It is not difficult to keep a mental tally of how many shots you have fired or how many you have left until you have a Headshot ready.  Timing your harassment so you hit the enemy with Headshot drastically increases the effect, not just in the increased damage but by confusing their ability to judge how dangerous you are if they try to fight.  Keeping the enemy uncertain about winning an exchange of blows while you harass them down steadily can only work favorably.

Hopefully these bits of insight will prove helpful to everyone looking to add Caitlyn to their roster.  I’ll see you on the Fields of Justice!

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Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.