Vayne Build Guide by
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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.
I've had some success with Vayne by building her not as a carry, but as a tank. Often in games when I do well this way, I'm asked about my build, so I thought I'd pin a guide about it. Basically, this playstyle relies heavily on Vayne's Silver Bolts for the majority of her damage output, and instead builds defenses to make Vayne durable to go with her damage output.
For runes, I run Attack Speed marks, Armor seals, Magic Resist glyphs, and Movement Speed quintessences.
Attack Speed is the primary stat for a Vayne build like this. Everything is extremely reliant on attack speed, without it she isn't a threat and gives the enemies no reason to focus her. Attack Speed increases both Silver Bolts damage and Madred's Bloodrazor damage, the primary sources of damage on a tanky Vayne.
Flat armor runes provide Vayne a dearly needed early game defense boost. Vayne is squishy early game, even if building her as a tank. With Armor runes, she can stand her ground in top lane against the likes of Garen and Wukong. As a ranged champion, she has the upper hand already, and by taking away their ability to dive her she will dominate melee bruisers in top lane easily.
I personally run flat magic resist glyphs, but magic resist per level can be a better choice depending on the opposing team. If the opposing team has mid game mages, flat magic resist is the more attractive option because Vayne will have built plenty of magic resist late for them to taper off. Against late game mages, magic resist per level is the superior option because she will need the extra magic resist to deal with them.
I ran Attack Speed quintessences for a while, but changed them to Movement Speed. With the nerfs to Vayne's movement speed and the lack of Phantom Dancer on this build, the runes make up for enough of the movement speed deficit for her to do her new job, and with the items she builds she will have enough attack speed anyway.
For masteries, I went with 9/21/0. In the Offense tree, I went for the Attack Speed buff because it proves very useful when trying to do percentile damage per auto attack. In defense, I took Summoner's Resolve and as many defensive bonuses as I could with one major exception.
Vayne's movement speed nerfs hit this build harder than they did the standard carry builds. Because my build does not use Phantom Dancer, Vayne suffers from movement speed deficiency. For this purpose, I took Initiator instead of Evasion.
I start out with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. The boots allow Vayne to harass with her auto attack and not take champion damage back. I upgrade them to Berserker's Greaves as quickly as possible, and then build Madred's Razors. Razors help Vayne farm, as well as providing a small armor boots for her dealings with top lane bruisers.
When Vayne builds Warmog's Armor and Frozen Heart, this is where she starts actually being able to survive close combat. Now she can initiate by Tumbling in and using Condemn on an enemy to stun them for your team. At this point, you can survive longer combat. Your primary Condemn target should be the enemy mage, so your team can remove them from the equation as soon as possible.
Once you upgrade Madred's Razors to Madred's Bloodrazor, now Vayne starts dealing heavy damage independent of enemy health stacking. This will train enemy players to try to focus you, which makes your job as a tank later on much easier. Your score at this point will probably not be as good as a traditional Vayne build, but this is normal and will quickly be overcome.
Wit's End and Force of Nature fulfill roles in this build traditionally associated with Phantom Dancer. Force of Nature gives movement speed, and Wit's End gives attack speed. Both come with Magic Resist, which forms the last of the defenses Vayne will need to do her new job as a tank.
For summoner spells, I take Heal and Cleanse, though Flash is an option to use over Heal. Heal provides early game security and can often give Vayne kills early on that help her survive the mid game. Cleanse is great for this build. Vayne is normally a target quickly CCed, and so Cleanse will negate one CC and reduce durations on more. By wasting their CC, you have given your team the ability to fight unhindered.
Flash, as an option over Heal, allows Vayne to initiate or escape better. In conjunction with Condemn it becomes powerful, allowing Vayne to Flash across the enemy and Condemn them back into your team or a wall. Players comfortable in the mid game with this build should take Flash, while those not so comfortable that would prefer to be fed early should take Heal. Flash is the better option late game and Heal is superior early.
Vayne is a superior laner to the majority of top lane champions. With her range she can harass by auto attacking champions three times for the Silver Bolts proc. Because she has no AoE skills, she needs to push the lane harder than she normally would. It won't push the lane past the river, because Vayne cannot push effectively. She can use her Silver Bolts to better farm at the very beginning of the laning phase, using her Madred's Razors procs close to the end of laning.
Make sure to not get too caught up in harassing the enemy champion that you forget to actually farm. This is easy to do, especially in top lane against a Garen. Try to not tower dive unless your jungler is ganking your lane. Farming should be top priority, not champion kills, unless the enemy champion leaves himself open to die.