Vayne Build Guide by norberg1
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Playing carry is about statistics. You have to secure kills to shift the balance in your favor and slowly gain an advantage. At any time the balance may swing one way or the other depending on what's going on in the game. This build attempts to be the most balanced in that it will not make you into a hyper carry, and will not win you the game in the first 20 minutes, but it will put you in a position to snowball at an even pace regardless of matchup. My hope is that it's the most viable for the widest _variety_ of matchups. Read more to find out why.
So basically Vayne is all about technical play. Positive exchanges and short engages and withdraws. Your goal is to net positive. If your opposing champ sticks around then you pin them for the kill. Otherwise you dominate lane and farm happily.
1. "Triple hit".
When: Support is out of position and you gain position enough to do a physical attack.
What: Attack + Q towards + Attack + Attack (Landing W), Back off
Goal: You may take some hits but your W damage makes up for it as long as their opposing support doesn't get to pin you. Against a good opposing champ you won't have much chance to do this.
When: Support is enough out of position, or opposing carry moves up to last hit.
What: Q towards + Attack, Back off
Goal: Get out without taking a hit.
3) "Defensive Peg"
When: Opposing carry moves up on you.
What: Q away + Attack, Back off
3) "Defensive Peg + Push Away"
This is Defensive Peg when you're overextended. Q away + E. Hopefully you push them away enough to be able to get away.
A word on pinning. Stupid champs will put themselves in position to get pinned by your E but good ones will rarely do so. Make sure your support wards the closer bot bush so you can pin against this wall. Don't overestimate your ability to burst champions down. Vayne is not about burst and this will result in your death, yes, even if you have your R up.
It's fun to look for opportunities to use E. This can be a good bonus source of combos - if you pin you can easily get off a triple hit. But pinning early on as Vayne if you don't have a support that can deal damage is disappointingly _NOT_ effective. Always maneuver your position so you have a angle against the wall to pin, but don't go crazy with it. Smart opposing champs just won't give you much opportunity to use it.
Your R is a nice damage boost, that's true. But honestly, it won't turn the tide of battle in dumb 1v1s or if you decide you wanna play Vayne hyper carry and ignore position. It's advantages are, in order of importance:
- Using with Q to avoid death
- Pushing a tower
- That extra damage boost
Gauge whether or not you can steamroll your opponent yet. If you have used your combos to get them to half health and they don't have heals or enough abilities to take you out of the fight long enough to finish you then pop R and let it rip. Even better if you can start by pinning them with E.
A note on team fights. Late game the enemy team will almost ALWAYS focus you. So you counter this in several ways:
- NEVER initiate
- Remain back and unless absolutely necessary to focus 1 particular champ, always target only the champ closest to you (ignore your idiot team) unless that is the tank + you know you aren't fed enough to take out the tank yet. Vayne is a tank killer. If you build armor pen + use her W well you can take out the strongest takes (provided they build armor over HP). You can help control nasty enemy champs using your E in teamfights though.
- Get the Frozen Mallet for the HPs. This will help you survive when you get stunned.
- Your R is a godsend. Basically when you get focused (which will happen immediately) let yourself take about 1 second or 2 seconds of hits, unless you know you're going to get stunned and killed, and once the enemy team thinks they've got you immediately pop R + Q. They will waste at least 2 seconds searching for you and clicking while your team hammers on them. Use the stealth time to again get good position to be able to sit back of your team and hammer away. This move alone will win you countless team fights and is really (surprisingly) the most powerful thing Vayne has to offer overall, if you can pull it off.
Basically here you want the attack runes to give you a leg up early on (I'd like to take pen, but you really need that early boost which helps your attack and your Q). The movement quints + speed boots give you that extra advantage over the opposing bot that you need as Vayne to secure kills early on. The rest is just armor so Cait doesn't _RUIN_ you and some MRES so you don't get smoked by AP burst champions. A ranged ADC who takes the yellow armor runes is going to beat 1 who doesn't, it's as simple as that. And later on you'll thank me for those blues when Leblanc bursts you to 10% instead of death.
Notes on skill sequence. Normally I'd want to start W for highest damage output, but you know what? This just ain't practical in lane. Any smart opposing bot champ is not going to stick around and wait for you to fire 3 shots. And the way Vayne works is peg 'n run. You can't stand up to a shot-for-shot with Varus or Cait or Teemo, so don't even try. You do your damage and you get out. SO we get Q first cause that lets us, in the case that the opposing champ is smart, dash in for a quick high damage hit and then back out. More on this later.
Full out attack basically. Some notes here - it's important to take the life steal as this build doesn't build life steal (personally I think it's a waste of time, but you need a tiny little bit to counteract harass - if you still find yourself going back too much then you're doing something wrong. Although in certain matchups it's impossible to avoid a lot of harass, in which case you need your team to help). This 3% + 2 Doran's is all you get. Also, a word about crit. Crit is stupid but necessary on Vayne. Vayne is not about crit - Vayne is about her W and being able to take down heavily armored opponents. So why not go Madred's, you ask? Well, despite that all of Vayne's skills clearly point her in this direction for a build, Madred's just doesn't give you the damage output you can get with crit. Just let it go, man. That's how it is.
In this build farming is of GREAT IMPORTANCE. You must maintain even farm all game. Once you get your second PD this will be easy but up until that point it's very important to last hit well. Don't push your lane. Watch for the minions that are getting hit (especially by the ranged minions) to see where your next shot lies. Meanwhile keep an eye on your position. Dance back and forth and always be lining up the shot at a Q + hit on the opposing champ without being counter pegged by support. Key to dominance early on is a combination of move speed + enough Q damage + good positioning while last hitting. When played right, Vayne really is a terror on bot lane.
Pros / Cons
Most people think Vayne is a hyper carry. She can be, I guess. But she really is a very technical champion. She isn't good at powerhousing down opposing champs until later on in the game if she snowballs enough. Her strength is in whittling down the opponent with her combos and then pinning them down for the kill. This is not a "fast" process and a good opposing champion will know this and will not stick around with half health, making it very important to farm, as anyone who knows how to play against Vayne WILL NOT let you get kills. Vayne is also very squishy late game, which this build attempts to address. Don't waste your time building lifesteal. This will only help you in the most lame 1v1 matchups where the opposing champ has no stuns or silences and your sustain will not be helped all that much. Hell, once you have 2 PDs you can get half way across the map in the time it takes you to kill 1 jungle camp. I will discuss team strats in a different section.
Why the weird item build you ask? Well, the idea is to get 2 PDs for the move speed, but since you can't do this straight up this build attempts to make it more practical for you. The bare minimum lifesteal is in there, along with enough physical attack and armor pen to remain a force to be reckoned with, and then until you can even out later on with the IE finally. The mallet makes it easier for you to kite your targets and gives you that little extra HP that you need to survive team fights.
Why 2 PDS??
"norberg you're a noob man 2 PDs is a stupid build. You need IE" I hear this 1 all the time. Well, IE is great for winning fights, but guess what? If you don't have any way to slow them down to finish then you're screwed! 2 PDs will give you comparable damage with your W and will also allow you to finish any fight you start. It will also give you a great edge in running away and more consistent crit damage output. Damage spikes are nice but Vayne relies on consistent damage output to be able to do what she does. High crit chance, attack speed, and her W does this better than bumping up the crit modifier.