Situational (See Notes)
Season 7 has begun, and with it, many changes have been made to the game. The purpose of this guide is to show you the most effective way to play Vayne in the current meta.
Vayne is medium-ranged Marksman who is one of the best duellist in the game. Notorious for her incredible late-game potential, this hyper-carry deals some of the highest DPS in the game thanks to her Silver Bolts. I have played hundreds of games of Vayne in both Solo Queue as well as competitive team environments. She is my favourite champion and is more difficult than your average Marksman, allowing a high skill cap and room to out-play your opponents.
Pros / Cons
- Late game hyper-carry
- Autonomous (because of her mobility, you are less reliant on a potentially incompetent support)
- Strong snowball potential
- Highly Mobile
- High Skill cap
- Easy to reposition in team fights with stealth and Tumble
- High duelling (1v1) potential allowing exceptional split-pushing
- True Damage (Tank shredder, prevents Vayne from falling off if she gets behind)
- Weak Laning phase
- Relatively short range (550)
- Hard to master
Night Hunter is Vayne's passive ability. It allows her to chase down targets in situations other Marksmen wouldn't be able to.
Tumble(Q) is what makes Vayne the mobile, skill-shot dodging machine that she is. It is great not only for kiting but also has great synergy with her passive, Night Hunter, making escaping from Vayne very hard indeed.
It is effective to max Tumble first because the bonus AD synergises well with your B. F. Sword to allow you to trade very effectively. Maxing Tumble first also increases the rate in which you can kill towers.
Silver Bolts(W) are what makes Vayne the late-game terror which she is. The true damage (damage which does a fixed amount no matter what resistances the enemy has) shreds anybody, no matter how tanky they are. It will activate automatically every three stacks. Stacks are acquired by either auto-attacking or attacking with Tumble or Condemn.
I recommend maxing Silver Bolts second. If, however, you feel that increased % damage will be particularly effective (such against a particularly tanky Alistar, maxing Silver Bolts first is definitely viable.
Condemn(E) is Vayne's crowd-control (CC) ability. It pushes an enemy away from and applies a stack of Silver Bolts. If used correctly (by knocking the enemy back into terrain) it also stuns the enemy for 1.5 seconds. When used against an opponent with a shorter attack range it can also be used simply as a way to create distance between you and your opponent (without worrying about needing to stun them).
Using Condemn properly is important. If used incorrectly it can save your enemies by pushing them away to safety.
Final Hour(R) is Vayne's ultimate ability. Final Hour significantly improve DPS, allows Vayne to temporarily go invisible and increases the movement speed bonus from her passive. In team fights, it's important not to use your ultimate prematurely. A good Vayne player will assess the situation to see whether they can simply use it to provide higher DPS, or whether they'll need it to duel an enemy. Early on in the game Final Hour doesn't have a particularly long duration, so in events such as a team fight to contest the dragon it is important that you learn when the right time to activate your ultimate is. Attack speed items work very well with Final Hour as the more you auto-attack while it is active, the more amount of times you get to apply the bonus Attack Damage provided.
Using Tumble while Final Hour is active provides Vayne with stealth for up to 1 second (remember that if you attack before the second is up, it will cancel your stealth prematurely). Her stealth is very much a part of what makes Vayne such a great duellist, which is why learning how to use it properly is a skill any good Vayne player needs to master.
Runes & Masteries
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed are the go-to Quintessence on pretty much every ADC right now. They synergise especially well with Vayne as it helps to proc her Silver Bolts. Greater Quintessence of Life Steal used to be popular for ADCs, however since they were nerfed and Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed were buffed, people generally don't take lifesteal any-more (especially now that Doran's Blade provides lifesteal).
Taking 9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage allows Vayne to last hit more easily, trade more in her favour, and be generally stronger, particularly early in the game.
Taking 9 Greater Seal of Armor is very strong on any Marksman. Flat armor will increase your survivability, especially early game.
Taking 9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist provides you with helpful magic resistance very early on. This will reduce your damage taken from not only enemy supports, but also from other ADCs who deal magic damage such as Ezreal and Kog'Maw.
Fury is taken because attack speed is a great stat for Vayne.
Fresh Blood is taken because it helps you trade more in your favour, as well as adding additional damage when your catch an enemy off-guard with your stealth, and attempt to duel them. Feast can be effective to take against particularly oppressive lanes (such as Caitlyn and Nami.
Vampirism is taken because lifesteal is a great stat for Vayne, and the sustain will assist you in getting through your early laning phase.
Battle Trance is taken because it is a reliable source of increased DPS and is a stable option. Double Edged Sword makes you more vulnerable. Bounty Hunter relies on you getting kills for it to be effective, and in a particularly stale game, this could become a wasted mastery point.
Battering Blows is taken become armour pen is a helpful stat for Vayne, and Piercing Thoughts is useless as Vayne deals no magic damage.
Warlord's Bloodlust is taken because it is an effective way of providing sustain, particularly because you generally won't be building lifesteal until either your third or fourth item. Fervor of Battle is also viable, and is particularly good in situations where sustain is not an option (such as when you have a Soraka support).
Savagery is taken because it assist in last hitting, as well as clearing jungle camps.
Secret Stash is taken because the improved Health Potion provides much needed sustain for Vayne's laning phase.
Merciless is taken because the increased damage can make a significant difference in duels and skirmishes, and is a much more valued stat than the increased mana regen provided by Meditation .
Dangerous Game is taken as it is an extremely helpful mastery, and WILL save you on many occasions.
Heal is the go-to summoner spell to compliment Flash. The 30% movement speed bonus it provides is very helpful in both escaping and pursuing, and the fact that it lets you heal a team-mate makes it a very strong option. Heal is an overall better option than Barrier, which has seen some popularity in earlier metas in most situations.
Barrier is another viable summoner spell on any ADC. It is easy to use and very effective. The shield provided will help you survive strong bursts or simply help you stay alive longer in a fight. Barrier is also great for baiting, and can be used in situations such as setting up ganks. At level 1 it will shield 115, and at level 18 it will shield 455.
Exhaust can be a viable summoner spell against particularly bursty champions (such as a Zed or a Syndra). However, usually if Exhaust is wanted on the team the support will take it.
Cleanse is a very situational summoner spell, but has potential to be viable. I would only recommend taking Cleanse in the current meta if the enemy bot-lane is very CC focused. However, having Cleanse will almost always significantly reduce your all-in potential in the early game. This makes it harder to capitalise on things such as reaching level 2 before your lane opponents.
Flash should be taken 100% of the time on any ADC as it is currently an irreplaceable summoner spell. The mobility it offers for both offensive and defensive situations makes it an essential part of your kit.
The first item of your core is Statikk Shiv. Statikk Shiv is a great item on Vayne because it offers attack speed to proc her Silver Bolts more often, crit chance to improve DPS, and movement speed to assist in kiting. It also has a passive which is particularly good on Vayne because it makes up for something which she lacks: wave-clear.
Infinity Edge is an effective item to compliment Statikk Shiv because with the two combined you will have 50% crit chance. The tradeoff for a lifesteal item like The Bloodthirster is worth it because of how significantly Infinity Edge will increase your DPS.
Phantom Dancer is the third item of Vayne's core. Similar to Statikk Shiv, it offers attack speed, crit, and movement speed (all stats which are highly valued on Vayne). Phantom Dancer is an item which is renowned high for single target DPS, and assisting in strong dueling potential. This item is perfect for Vayne's playstyle, which is why Phantom Dancer should be used in any completed build.
After your core items Infinity Edge, Statikk Shiv, Phantom Dancer and Berserker's Greaves are complete, you will be doing very satisfactory amounts of DPS. It is at this time that you must think about survivability. Survivability generally comes in the form of a defensive item.
ADCs generally limit themselves to one defensive item. The optimal defensive item to build will vary from game-to-game. The following is a list of the main ones taken by ADCs and the certain situation each of them are best for:
Banshee's Veil is a safe pick in a lot of situations and provides HP as well as magic resistance. It provides immunity from long distance initiations such as an Unstoppable Force or a Solar Flare. It is also a good choice if you find yourself against a siege/poke comp as it will be able to block strong poke and protect you from being picked off by abilities such as Rocket Grab or Death Sentence. Finally, it's great at negating burst from champions like LeBlanc.
This is my defensive item of choice because: Not only does it give you the benefits I listed just above, but it also makes the momentum of your team-fight or duel so much better. If you pick up a Guardian Angel and get bursted down, chances are, a good team will position to burst you down as soon as you are resurrected. A Banshee's Veil on the other hand, will stop you from going down in the first place. This is why Banshee's Veil is so commonly seen in professional matches, whereas in the current meta Guardian Angel is built far less commonly.
Mercurial Scimitar is great against hard CC comps such as Amumu, Leona or Lissandra. In the current meta it is a very strong alternative to Banshee's Veil. Being able to instantly cleanse hard CC means you have more presence in team fights, and more chance of surviving. However, like the summoner spell Cleanse, it does take skill to put this to good use so make sure you are comfortable with using this item. Keep in mind that knock-ups can't be cleansed, so if their main CC is something like a Malphite, I wouldn't recommend this item.
Guardian Angel is a great item against a team which has one set of burst. An example of a good champion to build Guardian Angel against is a Syndra, who will attempt to full-to-nothing you. Guardian Angel is a strong item as it gives you a second chance, however, if you position poorly you will be killed again as soon as you're revived.
Frozen Mallet is also a viable defensive item and is great for increasing your kiting potential. This item is optimal to build if you aren't receiving the red buffs, or your team is lacking peel for you.
Maw of Malmortius is another very strong, very viable item to build on Vayne. It brings a mixture of both of offensive and defensive as it provides bonus AD, but also a shield against magic damage. I would recommend building a Maw of Malmortius in situations where you feel you need some protection from magic damage, but are willing to sacrifice some survivability in order to deal higher DPS.
The Bloodthirster is also a viable defensive item if you are snowballing or are in a position where lifesteal will benefit you more than defensive stats would, such as being against a tank with Thornmail.
Doran's Blade and a Health Potion should be your starting items every time as they combine to provide a strong start in lane. The Warding Totem is currently the best trinket for ADCs during the early laning phase.
I recommend buying 2 Health Potion for most of laning phase. It's my go-to amount to purchase. It allows you to play aggressively and be trading a lot, without being obsessive with how much you're spending on potions.
Cull is a good item to pick up if you can't afford B. F. Sword on your first recall. Cull is also very good for stale lanes, where you know you're going to be farming a lot without much pressure. I wouldn't recommend buying cull after around the 8 minute mark, as it is very much an early-game item.
Farsight Alteration should be bought as soon as possible after level 9, as it is the preferred trinket on ADCs. This is because you can gain vision of an area without putting yourself in danger of being killed.
Blade of the Ruined King is a very viable item on Vayne. It synergises well with her Silver Bolts to make for particularly strong % DPS. In previous metas this item has been part of Vayne's core. Build this item against particularly tanky teams with a lot of HP.
Lord Dominik's Regards is a very strong item to build against teams that have been stacking a lot of armor. Vayne is able to get away with not building an armour penetration item more than other ADCs being she deals % true damage. However, there are definitely scenarios where it is beneficial to substitute an item out in order to build Lord Dominik's Regards.
Mortal Reminder is also a very strong item, particularly in certain scenarios. As said above, Vayne is able to get away without building an armour penetration item a lot of the time, but there are certainly times where building Mortal Reminder is extremely beneficial. These scenarios are ones in which the enemy team has a lot of healing capabilities (such as a Soraka support and a Maokai top lane). This is because Mortal Reminder applies grievous wounds.
Rapid Firecannon is a viable substitution to either Phantom Dancer or Statikk Shiv. The bonus range from the passive can be particuarly helpful against champions which fight from a long distance, such as Xerath or even a Caitlyn.
Vayne's early laning phase is particularly weak. This is undoubtedly her weakest stage of the game. During early laning phase avoid trading too often as unless you can either pull off a good Condemn which stuns the enemy or manage to get off a quick proc of your Silver Bolts you're unlikely to win the trade. Try to survive early laning phase by farming and waiting for your jungler to gank your lane.
Trade with the enemy team only when you have more minions than they do. It is an amateur mistake to ignore the damage from minions in early trades, as they make a huge difference.
After you are build a B. F. Sword and have a few points in your Tumble ability, you are able to trade fairly well. Look to play more aggressively while keeping in mind that you don't need to get ahead in laning phase because you scale so well, and that it is in your best interest not to take risks which can put you behind. Going even in terms of farm/xp against any adc in the game is completely fine. As I said, Vayne's laning phase is her weakest part of the game and she will only continue to get stronger over time.
After completing your B. F. Sword, Statikk Shiv and Berserker's Greaves you will find that you easily duel the enemy ADC is played correctly. From this point onwards you can look to abuse your abilities as a strong duelist to build a lead over the enemy. Look to move around the map and assist your team in taking objectives while also always being on the lookout for an enemy who misjudges your capabilities to hunt them down. With Final Hour activated Vayne can easily chase down her prey, and when you see a situation like the enemy ADC over-extending for CS or an enemy support warding by themselves, this is your time to strike.
As the game progresses and you finish your core items, you will enter the holy-land of being able to carry games as an ADC. By implementing good positioning in teamfights and not getting caught out, you should be able to carry games based purely off the ridiculous damage you will be dealing to the enemy team. This doesnt mean you should act like a hero and try to 1 v 5 the enemy team. Maintain a consistent and safe play-style of dealing consistent DPS in teamfights while keeping an eye on the enemy carries. When you see them make a mistake such as going too far forward for a kill, this is when you pop your Final Hour and Tumble around the teamfight, dealing copious amounts of damage to the enemy team whilst being extremely hard to kill because of your stealth and constant movement.
So, because this is so important, I'll say it again: You do not want to be at the front of a teamfight when it initially breaks out (don't be that Vayne that uses Tumble in and gets blown up). You want to sit up the back patiently auto attacking the enemy frontline until you see the perfect time to strike. At this point you use your Final Hour and Tumble to stealth and move towards the backline as you aim to kill the enemy carries.
Teamfighting on Vayne is a unique and fulfilling experience. You should think of your movements as "pushing" and "pulling". Pushing is when you move forward in order to attack enemy champions in an offensive position. When the enemy sees you pushing they use abilities on you such as skillshots and and exhaust. This is when you pull back with your stealth. This is the technique that is being implemented when you see good Vayne players weaving in and out through the teamfight dealing incredible damage but also somehow staying alive. This is because they are attacking (pushing) when they see that abilities are on cooldown and know they are safe, and are stealthing and moving back (pulling) when they are at risk of being CCd or are currently exhausted. This is a technique that requires a great deal of practice, but is what separates the good Vayne players from the great ones.
Your Condemn adds another stack of your Silver Bolts. This means that you can auto-attack, use Tumble and then your Condemn to pull off a fast combo which deals good damage as well as pushing your enemy away, reducing their chance to trade damage back. However, using this method a lot during laning phase will chew through your mana very quickly.
Tumble is an auto-attack reset. If used against a wall there is no cast time at all and therefore is an instant auto-attack reset. This is helpful in clearing jungle camps and increasing DPS against Baron and Dragon.
When using Tumble, try to tumble diagonally when duelling and in team fights. Only tumble directly forward if you're sure there's no way the opponent can turn around and kill you. In team fights, tumbling diagonally as opposed to directly forward will help you maintain a safe position.
Vayne's stealth provided by combing her Final Hour and Tumble is an EXTREMELY useful tool. While learning Vayne it took me a long time to truly appreciate how helpful it is. After your stealth activates do not feel the need to auto-attack straight away again. Instead, use this time to position yourself well. The stealth also allows you move unpredictably, helping you to dodge skill-shots and position yourself to pull off a stunning Condemn.
The bonus damage from Tumble can be applied to towers and inhibitors. So when you're taking these objectives make sure you're using Tumble on cooldown.
When trading auto-attacks with the enemy make sure to auto-attack, and then Tumble. Try not to use Tumble as your first attack as you're missing out on the auto-attack reset.
Condemn can stun enemies off player-made terrain such as Cataclysm and Crystallize.
Keep an eye on your own minions and auto-attack the enemy Marksman whenever they go in to last-hit one. This will force them to either miss a CS or take free poke.
Responsibilities of the Marksman/ADC Role
Understanding your job as a ADC is important. Your job is to deal consistent DPS to the enemy team and your priorities should be as follows:
1) Keeping yourself safe.
2) Attacking carries and high priority targets, so long as it doesn't compromise your positioning.
A trap for new ADC players is to get too greedy and kill-hungry. Avoid getting out of position to chase down an enemy unless you have a significant advantage. In saying that, however, Vayne's kit is better than other Marksmen for assassinating high priority targets and her stealth allows her to repositioning
Kite: To move away from an enemy while auto attacking wherever possible. Instead of just running away from an enemy you are also dealing damage to them.
Trade: When you and your opponent both use your abilities on each other as a form of harassment. Not looking to fully invest (all-in), but rather, use your cooldowns to deal some damage.
Snowball: Think of it as a snowball rolling down a mountain (it gets bigger as it keeps rolling). In League of Legends it means you use your lead to build a continuously bigger lead.
DPS: Damage-Per-Second. The term used to describe damage dealt over a period of time.
Duel: A 1 v 1 with an enemy.
Skirmish: A fight with a group of people, but not the entire team (2 v 2, 3 v 3).
Teamfight: 5 v 5 fight.
Proc: Activates. If Silver Bolts "procs" it means it activates.
Meta: The term used to describe the current way a game is being played at a competitive level. In LoL this refers to champions, items, and strategies.
Core: The foundation items of your champion. Also, most games don't go on for long enough for you to reach full build, so these items are the ones you will be working on/completing most of the time.
CC: Crowd Control (stun, snare, knockup, etc...)
who has a particularly weak early-game, but when played correctly becomes an incredible late-game threat. Her high DPS and high mobility combine to make her one of the most potent late-game ADCs.
If you have a question about Vayne or any other ADC, hit me up:
@OCEDooly on Twitter
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