Build Guide by mojodarkale

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author mojodarkale

Guide to Traumatizing as Vayne

mojodarkale Last updated on June 5, 2011
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hey, I'm mojodarkale. This is my first guide for Mobafire, so let me know how to improve it!

I picked up Vayne sometime after the first week she was released and I have to say, Riot made her a **** fun hero. She's unique and, despite what all the crying noobs say, it takes a lot of skill to play her right, that's what makes it so satisfying to own face with her.

I'll update this guide as I feel like it, but I won't have the time until about two weeks from now, so if this helps you as is, great! If not, I'll work on it as I learn more about Vayne and the way she fits into teams.

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My primary rune choices for Vayne are: movement speed quints, armor pen marks, attack speed seals, and CDR glyphs.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
The reason I go for the move speed over anything else is basically rooted in Wc3; if your hero was faster than your opponent's hero, you'd generally win a lot more encounters with them than you would with other stat bonuses. In that game, both players would usually meet at the merchant right when boots would spawn and mash the buy button to gain that significant advantage. Having these is almost like having boots + your starting item at the beginning of the game.

Moving faster 1) allows you to get more hits on opponents who are running away from you 2) helps with running away from opponents who are chasing you 3) allows you to position more effectively for team fights. Of course, the benefits of higher movement speed are only very noticeable if you're a good player, otherwise they go to waste and it would be a better choice to pick something like armor pen or health quints.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Might switch to these for the most part; these make last hitting a lot easier early game, where it's crucial, and will make you HURT. Harassing opponents should be a bit easier with these than with Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Mark of Desolation
Armor pen marks are self-explanatory. Vayne is an AD carry, armor pen is one of her best stats.

Greater Seal of Attack Speed
Attack speed seals make up for the Vayne builds that don't naturally utilize a whole lot of attack speed other than Phantom Dancer. The Bloodthirster/Infinity Edge heavy builds need to make up for the lack of AS from items with runes, and it just so happened that attack speed is good even considering the heavy AS builds.

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
CDR is my glyph of choice for the most part on Vayne. Reducing the cooldown on Vayne's Condemn makes her an incredible kiter and damage dealer with more frequent Final Hour. If you buy a blue pot and have blue buff at end-game, the CD on her Condemn is around 7 seconds). People won't be able to touch you and, if they're near a wall, you can make them cry.

Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
Great for Vayne. This may be a better choice for raw damage output, but I think the utility from decreased CDR may make these equal and it's up to your playstyle to decide what you'd like better.

If you're building specifically to stop tanks / tanky DPS, the W % HP true damage really shines, which is why I switched both seals and glyphs to % attack speed if you're going for strictly tank-shredder Vayne. You need to proc that W as much as possible and the more you do, the faster tanks will fall. This has a reduced effect on squishies of course, because you'll be hitting like a feather compared to other Vayne builds or other AD carries and hardly taking away any of their HP relative to a full AD build.

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The masteries are fairly standard for an AD carry, but adjusted a bit for Vayne's exceptional squishiness. I pick up the first magic resist and armor masteries to make that sketchy early game a bit easier on you. You don't do any damage when you're dead, so having those tanky masteries helps a lot.

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My item choices are based on what I've found most effective on Vayne. Her core stat choices are represented in all of the builds but are switched around a bit to give you an edge over particular team comps.

These builds range from 'general' to 'team-composition-specific' counters and should make you a more well-rounded Vayne player.

Short intro to each build:

1) Neutral Vayne: (defined by Trinity Force)
My standard build when I started playing Vayne. I used this for a majority of my games initially learning how to play her. Imo, this build contains everything Vayne needs to be an effective assassin/squishy killer: insane mobility, attack damage, HP and life steal (for having to move into the fray to get to the squishies), and attack speed.

2) Squish-killer Vayne: (defined by Infinity Edge and high AD)
This is actually what I've switched to getting most games. This build crushes people, so unless one of the other builds is situationally better, I'd go for this one. This build is somewhat hard-countered by armor though, so be careful not to build this against a very tanky team.

3) Tank-shredder Vayne (defined by Madred's Bloodrazor and high AS)
Absolute tank-shredder build. Vayne is probably the only true tank-shredder in the game. If your opposing team has two extremely tanky champs or three or more tanky DPS, use this. I don't feel like you need the tanky masteries like my other two builds because your target will be in front of their team if they're any good, so you shouldn't have to run around behind anyone (usually taking damage in the process) to get to squishies. If you're careful enough, you won't need much survivability as tank-shredder Vayne.

4) Pentakill Vayne (hybrid of build 2-3 Vayne): (defined by a combination of the above, very challenging to build this under normal circumstances)
This is the build that got me my first pentakill. It was a completely epic, hour long game; most games, you'll never get all these items, but if you manage to, it's COMPLETELY over unless your team gets aced.

Get a Philosopher's Stone for lane sustain. I love this item and I get it all the time on AP carries, but never considered it on Vayne. The amount of HP and Mana regen you get, + the gp/10 allows you to stay in lane forever to last hit, in addition to giving you extra gold. This will also help you pay for your incredibly expensive items. This build contains Infinity Edge (definitive squishy-killer item) AND Madred's Bloodrazor (primary tank-killer item), so you'll be doing a ton of damage to everybody on the other team if you manage to get both of these.

All the builds are subject to change, depending on your play style and the requirements of your current game. If I didn't list anymore items on a build, it means I don't think you'll get all of them or I'm leaving it up to you to decide what kind of survival or other situational items you need for end-game.

Core Items: (build-dependent; each build above will have 2-3 core items):

This is becoming one of my favorite items in the game. This gives any AD carry tons of AD (up to 100 AD from a single item, so it's cost-effective; think of it like a less-risky version of Mejai's Soulstealer or Sword of the Occult). It also provides much-needed survivability through life-steal to help keep you alive as you roll people with all that damage.

Has a spot in almost every AD carry's arsenal. It's probably best on Vayne, however, because of her Silver Bolts. The more you attack, the more you proc that 4/5/6/7/8% true damage. Also, while Vayne's movement speed toward enemy champions may be quick and scary, she's as slow as a snail under any other circumstance; Phantom Dancer makes up for what Vayne lacks AND enhances what she excels at.

Not much to say about this one. The proc from Sheen early game is devastating and every stat on the item is something Vayne needs, besides the ability power. With extra mana early game, you're free to spam Tumble all you want and it'll hit a lot harder.

These last two items define Vayne as either primarily a tank-oriented assassin or a squishy-oriented one. If you get both, the world ends xD.

This is amazing for taking down tanks. It gives you armor, a ton of attack speed, and a 4% magic damage PER ATTACK bonus. Wicked. While MR diminishes its effect, it's essentially Vayne's Silver Bolts in an item that works every attack, so if for some reason the opposing tank hasn't built MR (looking at you Rammus), they're dead in seconds. If they have built MR, it's still pretty devastating.

This makes Vayne hit like a truck. It's somewhat countered by armor though, as I pointed out in some other part of this guide, but if you're lucky enough to get at someone with very low armor (most supports/carries), they'll just fall over.

Remember that both Madred's Bloodrazor and Infinity Edge aren't amazing without associated stats (AD/AS for Madred's and Crit/AD/AS for infinity edge, so I usually get these after the other core items in most games).

Situational items: try this out for yourself--go through all the items that could be potentially used by your champion and see when they could be used, situationally. One thing I noticed that distinguishes great players on streams and just 'good' players is their ability to notice when they could use a somewhat unorthodox item to get an advantage over their opposing team. This has a lesser effect I think as you head up the ELO ladder, but in lower ELO and especially normal games, situational items can be used to hard-counter poor enemy team comp and allow you to completely destroy. Great examples of situational items for an AD carry:

Sword of the Divine: if the opposing team is really dodge-tanky or has a Jax, get this item at some point. Remember, this gives you 30 armor pen when you use it (and it's on a very low cooldown) so if you're ever focusing Jax, pop this cooldown right away and watch him cry. Armor pen is also useful for pushing towers; if at any point in the game you're alone, pop that cooldown to destroy towers.

Wit's End: if the opposing team has a huge amount of AP damage, this gives you one of Vayne's primary stats, attack speed, + 30 MR and a stacking MR bonus.

Hexdrinker: hex drinker can save you in crucial fights against some hardcore nukers like Annie or Malzahar. Buy this item if you're laning against someone who can nuke you hard. Most of the time, the only thing going for characters who CAN nuke is their nuke, so if you prevent that from happening, they just became a whole lot of useless.

Atma's Impaler: this is a great item for countering a DPS heavy team. This gives you a significant amount of attack damage and crit, while giving you the armor needed to help survive through a heavy AD team.

Cloak and Dagger: great for CC heavy teams. If you're not buying Merc treads, initially, buy this to make up for the lack of tenacity. Late game, you can sell both this and your Berserker's Greaves and buy Merc treads to make space and keep the CC reduction. By that point in the game, you'll already have plenty of attack speed and won't need the Berserker Greaves' bonus. Use your judgement though; if you're not getting CC'd a lot, don't even bother with this item.

Sword of the Occult: simply put, the Mejai's of AD heroes. If you know you're going to get fed and not die, buy it.

Quicksilver Sash: very underrated item. If the enemy team has a Malzahar (who's a good player, of course), get this item. It can be very good against CC heavy teams as well; just use your judgement for this one.

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Skill Sequence

This is self-explanatory--her Tumble is amazing and should be leveled first. Her Condemn is primarily (and especially after its damage nerf) used for utility--shooting people away from you or stealthing up behind someone (use Q and possibly ghost to get there quickly) and shooting overextenders into your turret; you can do all sorts of crazy stuff with it, but the key to it is the knockback and its situational stun, not the damage. The remaining skill is Silver Bolts, which you'll level second after Tumble for most Vayne builds.

If you're going for an absolute tank-killer build and not massive attack damage/crit, you'll want to go for probably one core AD item, like The Bloodthirster, the rest attack speed (in the form of Madred's Bloodrazor, Wit's End, Phantom Dancer, or even Sword of the Divine if their tanks have a lot of dodge, or they have a Jax on their team). Remember, this should only be used if their team comp is two very strong tanks or three or more tanky characters.

If you're going squishy-killer Vayne, you'll be picking up more AD items and less attack speed (build is primarily The Bloodthirster and Infinity Edge as core items, with Phantom Dancer to make up for Vayne's naturally low movement speed when she's not moving toward other champions, and to get AS up to a reasonable level.

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Summoner Spells

I don't usually play anything but Ghost and Flash on AD carries (like Ashe, MF etc.)--the combo is just ridiculously good, but on Vayne (with the mastery for it), Exhaust may actually be better. It's up to what your opponents choose, if you feel like you need more escapes to do well against a team, go ahead and stay with Ghost and Flash.

Both Ghost and Flash spell can be used offensively and, more importantly, defensively. As you've probably heard a thousand times, Vayne is SQUISHY! You need to be able to get away. If you're not in danger though, these are great offensive spells for chasing and securing kills.

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How to Play Vayne (laning/team fighting)

This section's not done yet :/

Vayne is ridiculously squishy and what a lot of baddies don't know is that her Achilles' Heel is counter-aggression from her laning opponents--she's awful at exchanging hits. Most players see her Tumble at them and go "OMGWTFSOMUCHDMGLAKJLWKEJF" trying to run away from her--bad idea; of course you're going to take a ton of damage if you run, that's what the Vayne player wants you to do.

For regular harassing, what you should be doing with Tumble is get far enough back that when you move toward your opponent, you're just barely in attack range, so you don't get abused for it. In general, you should be playing passively as Vayne, but punishing your laning opponent(s) for their mistakes is definitely something you should strive for. Last hitting is very important (as it is to all carries)--her builds are all extremely expensive, so imo, the most effective way to play her is to just farm as much as possible until opportunities to strike show up.

Obviously, if you severely outskill your laning opponent, you'll want to try to kill them for the first blood or the extra 300 gold because Vayne snowballs hard, but remember, a single hero kill is worth only ~12 minions in last hits (and indirectly however many minions down your laning opponent ends up from being gone). Even so, last hitting should always be your priority over aggression. Remember, if you die stupidly in lane and your laning opponent doesn't, they just gained potentially 200 gold on you from last hits and you lost that amount of gold not being able to last hit. Now they have 400-500 more gold to spend on that crucial boot upgrade, wards, or potions--you don't EVER want this to happen if you can help it. This is the same logic behind why turret diving isn't worth it 90% of the time.

When you hit level six, it's ult-spamming ganktime—look for gank opportunities in pushed lanes and if nothing’s up, just pop your ult to severely damage or kill your laning opponent (with this build it should have a bit shorter cooldown than usual, so you’ll want to use it as much as you can).

I also can't stress the importance of Sight Wards enough. This item is a must for any decent Vayne player (any decent player, really). If your team is too bad to buy them to protect their carry, just buy them yourself. It's better for you to spend 75g, ~4 last hits, to protect yourself from dying to a gank than to die and not have had any warning. If you die once, you'll lose far more than 75g; you'll have given your opponent ~300 gold; AND your tower might take some damage while you're gone. The upsides to buying wards are much larger than the downside of spending 75g. Stop thinking that because you're the carry, you can't or shouldn't buy them; if your team is too uncooperative or stupid to, you've got to do the job.

Team fighting: Soon :)

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Character-specific Strategies

Annie is difficult for Vayne primarily because of Vayne's low range and high vulnerability to stun. Annie has the power to zone you hard and if she's good, she will. I recommend playing extremely passively against her, only moving forward to get last-hits. You'll most likely not be able to fight her with equal footing; you need a gank from your jungler, a rune/mastery/skill advantage, or an item advantage to even attempt being aggressive. As soon as you possibly can, get a Hexdrinker, starting with Null-Magic Mantle; this item is relatively cheap and will probably save your life. The build I'd go for is:

Doran's Blade--> Boots of Speed--> Null-Magic Mantle--> Hexdrinker--> Berserker's Greaves--> Cloak and Dagger--> The Bloodthirster

After that, sell items according to how the game goes from there. You'll probably want to sell Doran's Blade for Phantom Dancer and Hexdrinker later game for something like Banshee's Veil. Just sell/replace items with whatever you need.

(This section will be expanded on as I play against characters I have a lot of trouble against)

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Overall, I hope you enjoy this guide as I update it. I'll probably doing so frequently until I feel like I'm satisfied with it. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, let me know!

Happy day-ruining :)


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Obligatory Full Wins Page with Crazy Stats

'Cause that means I'm good right? HAH!

Don't take these scores too seriously, because it's only normals, but I'm pretty confident you can get similar results if you use this guide and still do very well in ranked.

Remember though, this was with very few runes (right at level 20) and often times against level 30 opponents, so I think it's still relevant to show =p.