Lethality Caitlyn is a build for mainly one thing – one-shotting enemy champions. Here, the point isn’t to auto-attack but to snipe opponents with Q, E, and R. Lethality Caitlyn is one of the most fun builds you can play in League of Legends season 13 and I’ll show you how!

In this post, I’ll go over all the runes, items, and tips you’ll need for playing lethality Caitlyn and actually carry games in LoL. So even if you’ve never tried this playstyle before, you’ll know exactly what to do once you decide to play it.

So without further ado, here’s how to play lethality Caitlyn in season 13 of League of Legends!

Lethality Caitlyn – Runes (Explained)

Lethality Caitlyn Build - Runes
  • Dark Harvest
  • Cheap Shot
  • Eyeball Collection
  • Ultimate Hunter
  • Transcendence
  • Sorcery

DARK HARVEST is a key to playing lethality Caitlyn. It’s a scaling keystone that works on stacks that you gain throughout the game. Basically, when you damage an enemy champion below 50% HP, you get their soul. And the more stacks of souls you have, the more damage you’re going to deal on low-HP targets.

In other words, Dark Harvest allows you to one-shot enemies with only Caitlyn’s R. And since Cait’s Ace in the Hole is a point-click ability, you’re almost guaranteed to get a kill if your target is below 50% HP.

CHEAP SHOT synergizes with Caitlyn’s W and increases her damage. When you trap an enemy champion, Cheap Shot will allow you to deal bonus true damage to your target based on level. But the great thing here is that this rune has only 4 seconds cooldown and it’s almost always active.

EYEBALL COLLECTION is an interesting rune that helps you out in the early game. It grants you bonus AD every time you assist or kill a champion. When it’s fully stacked, Eyeball Collection gives you a total of 18 AD.

ULTIMATE HUNTER is the second most important rune in playing lethality Caitlyn. Since you aren’t focusing on auto-attacking and kiting, Cait’s ultimate is your biggest source of damage. And Ultimate Hunter is super useful because it turns Ace in the Hole into a 20-30 seconds ability. 

In other words, you can spam Caitlyn’s ultimate almost all the time!

TRANSCENDENCE is another helpful rune that fits really well into the whole lethality Caitlyn playstyle. First of all, it grants a total of 10 ability haste by level 8. And after level 11, it resets the 20% of your abilities’ remaining cooldown upon kill/assist. 

This simply means that in a team fight, your basic abilities will reset much faster and you’ll get to use them more.

SCORCH is a fantastic rune for the early game. It burns your target for bonus magic damage when you strike them with an ability. It’s great for poking in the laning phase with Caitlyn’s Q and it only has 10 seconds cooldown.

Read Also: Full Lethality Jinx Build Guide

Optional Runes

The rune page you see above is the recommended one for 99% of the games. However, if you really struggle to make lethality Caitlyn work, you might consider some of these options.

  • Bone Plating – great against assassins, especially early on.
  • Biscuit Delivery – grants you more health and mana regeneration in the lane.
  • Time Warp Tonic – synergizes with Biscuit Delivery and helps you stay alive in the lane.
  • Presence of Mind – restores mana upon champion takedown.

Read Also: Lethality Miss Fortune Build Guide

Lethality Caitlyn – Items (Build Explained)

Lethality Caitlyn Build - Items
  • Duskblade of Draktharr
  • Manamune / Muramana
  • Axiom Arc
  • The Collector
  • Serylda’s Grudge
  • Ionian Boots of Lucidity

DUSKBLADE OF DRAKTHARR is the mythic item you want in 99% of the games. It grants 60 attack damage, 18 lethality, and 20 ability haste. Additionally, it increases your overall ability haste by 5 for each legendary item you get.

But besides the obvious benefits, Duskblade has an amazing passive. First of all, it deals bonus damage to the first enemy hit and slows them down. And second, it puts you in true invisibility when you score a kill/assist, making it very hard for enemies to target you. This is really useful for squishy champions like Caitlyn.

MANAMUNE/MURAMANA is your obvious upgrade to Tear of the Goddess. Remember that you should always purchase Tear early on, preferably on your first Recall. Manamune increases your total AD as you increase your mana. And since you’ll be using Caitlyn’s abilities a lot, the item is perfect!

AXIOM ARC is the center of Caitlyn’s lethality build. Don’t get me wrong, you can still play lethality Cait without it and do fine. However, Axiom Arc’s passive helps you reset your ultimate and practically use it 2-3 times in the same team fight. Not to mention that the item grants all the stats you need – AD, lethality, and ability haste.

As I explained above, the biggest source of your damage is R. And with Axiom Arc, you’ll get to use your sniper much more frequently. So, always build it!

THE COLLECTOR should often be your fourth big item when you play lethality Caitlyn. It gives you more damage, more lethality, a bit of critical strike, and an execute mechanic. It helps you secure more kills for your ultimate, which is definitely what you want.

SERYLDA’S GRUDGE is the best offensive item in the late game for lethality Caitlyn. It massively boosts your damage because it grants 30% armor penetration as well as lethality, and damage. Additionally, it slows enemies for 1 second when you hit them with an ability, so it’s helpful to your teammates too.

IONIAN BOOTS OF LUCIDITY are the best boots upgrades overall. For only 950 gold, you get 20 ability haste in the early game. This will significantly reduce the cooldown of your abilities, so you’ll fire them much more.

Read Also: Lethality Lee Sin Build Guide LoL

Optional Items

Depending on the situation at hand, there are a few items that can really help lethality Caitlyn. Remember, you can always build any of these items after your core build of Duskblade of Draktharr, Manamune, and Axiom Arc.

  • Edge of Night – places a magic shield on you that blocks the first magic spell.
  • Serpent’s Fang – helps you deal with shields and shielding champions.
  • Guardian Angel – gives you armor and resurrects you when you get slain.
  • Lord Dominik’s Regard – increases your armor penetration even more.

Read Also: AP Caitlyn One-Shot Build Guide

How to Play Lethality Caitlyn in LoL?

Lethality Caitlyn is an Art Form

If you’ve never played Caitlyn with this lethality build, here are some guidelines to help you begin.

First of all, you have two roles in which you can play lethality Caitlyn – bot and mid. The playstyle works well in both of them, although mid might be a better place for lethality Caitlyn because of the level advantages.

And second, lethality Caitlyn goes with Ignite or Exhaust instead of Heal. Since your abilities will deal a lot of damage, you’ll be poking your opponents a lot. And when you’re playing LoL aggressively, Exhaust and Ignite are great Summoner’s Spells to secure more kills.

During the laning phase, you should be really aggressive with lethality Caitlyn. Try to exploit her range and her burst combo (E+Q+AA) to either slay your enemy or drive them out of the lane. But be careful against all-in champions such as Leona or assassins like Zed.

Your game should always start with Long Sword and Refillable Potion. On your first back to base, you can purchase Tear of the Goddess and start stacking up your mana. After that, the build path is only Long Swords and more lethality.

Since lethality Caitlyn is all about dealing damage with abilities, especially R, you should often gank the other lanes. Try to get in range and fire Cait’s ult at any target close to 50% HP. And if you don’t get a kill yourself, you’ll definitely help your teammates to do so.

In the mid and late game team fights, you can really one-shot enemies with lethality Caitlyn. Aim your Qs carefully and try to set up traps correctly before any objective. This will give you the highest chance of winning the team fight.

Other than that, it’s all shoot-n-slay with this lethality Caitlyn build!

Read Also: Lethality Ashe Build Guide


I’d definitely say that playing lethality Caitlyn is vastly different than playing her with the regular ADC build. The champions and the mechanics are the same, but you need to think about your gameplay differently. Moreover, think of yourself as a mage instead of a marksman.

All in all, playing lethality Caitlyn in season 13 League of Legends is tons of fun and I recommend you to try it! It’s as much fun as playing lethality Varus, so you can’t go wrong here.

You can also check my AP Varus one-shot build! It’s super fun!

Read Also: The Best Lethality Champions in League of Legends

Last Update: May 3, 2024