Getting thrashed by the enemy team while playing an ADC has become common to the point where it’s not even talked about anymore. You farm the entire game to get to your power spike, and then an enemy Talon comes breezing in to send you back to base – not once, but numerous times.
Now picture this; what if you were the one sending enemies to the base instead. Now imagine killing anyone and everyone (unless they’re tanks). It might seem like a far-fetched dream, but that’s what Lethality Caitlyn excels at. The mid-lane is her primary residence, so no one is safe from her Peacemaker.
Lethality Caitlyn generally builds Eclipse as her mythic for combo burst along with the Collector for easy gold. After that, you can just spec into the generic Lethality items like Edge of Night and vice versa to strengthen the build.
Needless to say, this is only the generic structure of the build. Therefore, you’d have plenty of opportunities to make it as broken as possible with the help of some nifty tricks.
Also read: Full AP Varus Build
How Does Lethality Caitlyn Work?
To put it simply, Lethality Caitlyn possesses all her damage in her Q and R. While the traps and headshots are still as strong as ever, you will mostly be using them to facilitate your Q or Ult. The generic idea is to place your W in such a way that you can full-combo whenever an enemy walks on it.
Having said that, the general premise of Lethality Caitlyn is to reduce the need for auto-attacking as much against squishy targets. Therefore, the build is only viable in games where there are little to no tanks.
Since there is no designated limit on the said metric, you can limit test until you find a balance that works in accordance with your playstyle. Plus, Lethality Caitlyn is supposed to be this mid-game juggernaut that can 100 to zero a Janna with the power of her Ultimate alone.
Since her playstyle is more suited for assassination than the regular tank-melting, you’d have to be creative to make full use of her in the late game. Plus, she can be countered rather easily, so the build is only really viable in a game where the draft is even at the very least.
Q – Piltover Peacemaker
Caitlyn’s Q essentially allows her to fire a piercing shot in a pre-specified direction. The animation timing is rather slow, so it’s generally easy to dodge. However, you need to hit your target before anything else. Otherwise, it’ll only be 50% effective.
The AD ratios on this ability can go more than twice, thereby making it strong from the early to mid-game. However, it takes a bit too much mana, so you won’t be able to spam it as much as you’d generally hope to.
Luckily, pairing this with headshot damage is enough to shave away more than half of the HP bar of your opponents. You just need to keep track of the 0.625-second long cast time as you will be pseudo-immovable during the said period.
If a Caitlyn-trapped enemy takes a hit from her Q, they’ll always receive full damage. Pair all of this with armor negation, and it becomes an extremely powerful weapon that can not only be used for waveclear but can also be a decent source of damage in team fights.
W – Yordle Snap Trap
As the name suggests, this is essentially just a spring trap that can be placed within a pre-specified range around Caitlyn. Whenever an enemy walks into the trap, they become rooted for the first 1.5 seconds along with benign repealed for 3 seconds.
They will also be taking additional damage from different sources – which will then decrease their overall armor against the Piltover Peacemaker to a minuscule amount. In layman’s terms, your headshots will deal a considerable amount of bonus damage if an enemy gets stuck in the trap.
You can only place a set amount of traps, and since they can be seen by the enemy, it’s generally recommended that you put them outside the vision radius of yourself and your enemies. The maximum amount of traps Caitlyn can hold is 5, with the minimum being 3.
Consequently, you can also use the 90 Caliber Net (E) after Q headshotting the enemy stuck in the Yordle snap trap. This is a charge-based ability, so you won’ be able to deploy as many as you want. Therefore, it’s better to make the ones that are installed, count.
Also read: Full AD Bard Build
Building Lethality Caitlyn
With the general structure of her most basic combo defined, it’s time to take a look at her build path in order to identify what works best for her. Since you’ll be mainly reliant on Lethality as only the Mythic, along with the second item matter. The remaining can be customized according to your needs in the situation at hand.
With that being said, let’s take a look at how this build essentially works:
This is a Mythic that essentially allows you to deal bonus damage for dealing multi-hit attacks. SInce you’re essentially borderline useless after hitting the combo, the shield granted from it can serve as a good form of defense that can help you relocate.
Consequently, Lethality-based builds generally don’t come with lifesteal. However, the Eclipse is the only anomaly to this. The added lifesteal ensures you’re healthy throughout the laning phase without needing to go fountain just from getting poked.
This item is your main way of making gold. It not only introduces Crit to your build but also ensures you’re getting the kills needed to become the late-game carry. And since you’re supposed to be taking resources anyways, your team won’t have any issues handing kills to you as well.
Each kill will be granting a small bonus due to The Collector. Pair that with the below 5% health execution, and it becomes the go-to for most Lethality-based builds. Plus, you also need to spec for Lucidity Boots here.
Your highest damage ability is your ultimate. Therefore, having the ability to fire it off repeatedly can be a major source of boost in Caitlyn’s power. Besides, the ability is pseudo-global. Therefore, you will find yourself being a part of team fights more so than often – even if you don’t want it to be that way.
You don’t really have a lot of movement speed due to the Boots of Lucidity. Therefore, this item can act as a good load balancer as its active provides a burst of movement speed. Additionally, you can always use it as an escape tool to either run away or reposition yourself.
Edge Of Night
Safety is a far-fetched dream for most AD carries. You can play as perfectly as you want, but there will always be a Rengar ready to one-shot you. The best course of action in such scenarios is to go for Edge of Night due to its ability negation shield.
However, you could also throw all caution to the wind and boost your attack speed with Rapidfire Cannon or your damage with the Infinity Edge.
Also read: Best Lethality Junglers
Teamfighting With Lethality Caitlyn
It goes without saying, but your main damage is through your Q. All the traps you place will provide zone control for your team, whereas your ultimate will prevent enemies from escaping. You’d also be reliant on auto-attacking just like a usual AD carry.
You can always add First Strike as your main rune in order to print gold. Consequently, you’re not really reliant on your attack speed, so invest in cooldown reduction instead. Similarly, you can spec into hybrid builds depending on the current state of the game.
If an assassin engages on you, make sure to E him into a lethal combo, so he/she never dares to pull that again. Ultimately, you’re not pro at the game, so just play it casually and learn as you go. She follows a similar playstyle to the general Caitlyn – aside from the mentioned points.
All in all, your skill at playing Lethality Caitlyn would be similar to your skill at regular Caitlyn. There’s little to no difference in the playstyle. Rather, it’s more about the build path that identifies whether you’re going the Lethality or the hybrid crit route.
Luckily, both directions tend to yield good results against their intended matchups. For example, going Lethality Cait against a full tank Nasus will be nothing more than self-induced torture, whereas going crit against a fed Vayne would be a similarly miserable experience. So, as the saying goes – always improvise, adapt and overcome!