Vayne Build Guide by Orgodemir2
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.
Not Updated For Current Season
Reordered the item sequence (switched Last Whisper and Trinity Force).
Added an Alternate (situational) Items section.
Deleted the Roaming Section and instead combined it with the Farming section to form the section: Farming and Roaming.
Added Pros/Cons Section.
Changed 6 Marks to AS Runes and 9 Glyphs to HP Runes (for Early Game help)
Just figured out how to use icons :D
Sorry that there isn't much writing right now. This is my first guide and I will be updating the written portion in time but for now I thought I'd share my item/mastery/rune build.
Vayne can be hard unless you know how to harass very well in the beginning and stay out of trouble when low level (she is very squishy and seems to be extremely item dependent). The lifesteal from the first item should give a HUGE boost because it'll help you stay in mid (or lane) much longer without relying on Health Potions. Plus you'll be a threat if people only poke you for little at a time (you'll just lifesteal it back from creeps).
FARMING IS THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE UP UNTIL LATE GAME (and still can be for The Bloodthirster stacks). You can become more aggressive once you have your ult at lvl 6 but be sure only to jump in for the kill if you know you have it AND you know you won't get ganked (also having a B. F. Sword makes this so much easier); Vayne can't run away very well so she is an all or nothing commitment champion.
I've color coded different key words for an easy read. You'll notice anything in Red is either extremely important OR represents Vayne's Q ability, Tumble. Orange represents items. Yellow represents Vayne's passive innate ability Night Hunter. Green represents Vayne's E ability, Condemn. Blue represents Vayne's W Passive ability, Silver Bolts. Purple represents Vayne's Ultimate R ability, Final Hour. And Pink represents Summoner Spells (in this case, Exhaust and Flash).
I'll add to this guide as I find time to do so. Also, please leave comments or questions and I'll do my best to incorporate it into this guide.
Pros / Cons
- Great Harasser
- Great Roamer
- Great Ganker
- Great Farmer
- High Damage output/Burst
- Intimidating (especially when fed)
- Low Cooldown Times (no CDR necessary)
- Squishy Early Game (stacked The Bloodthirster helps against this)
- Will always be focused (must play smart to avoid this) [will add section later]
- Item Dependent (hence the importance of farming)
- Bad against early game poisons or DOT effects
Night Hunter is Vayne's passive innate ability which gives a bonus 40 to movement speed for Vayne, but only if you are running towards an enemy. There's a little tidbit that is extremely important to exploit: As long as you have even the slightest movement towards an enemy, it increase. You can run almost sideways and still get the bonus. Remember, you have to be able to see them for any of this to work.
Pressing Q will cause Vayne to roll a short distance in the direction of your cursor. Tumble cannot go through walls except for Jarvan's wall he creates from Cataclysm; you can still Tumble through that. After the animation for the roll finishes, Vayne's next attack deals extra bonus physical damage. Cooldown doesn't start until the bonus damage is either applied or the duration ends.
Silver Bolts is a non-toggling passive ability that fills up your W slot. Once the first level is put into it (Upon Level 2 for this guide), it automatically is set to on and you can't turn it off (not that you would want to). Each consecutive attack on the SAME target adds a silver ring around the target. Upon striking the third hit, the rings disappear and that attack does extra bonus TRUE damage and the next attack will restart the cycle. Make sure you prioritize your attacks; striking a creep twice and then a Champion on the third strike doesn't give you the bonus damage, it restarts the ring accumulation instead. I usually like to make sure I hit with that third strike on champions or at least leave two rings to intimidate the player (without tower diving unless I KNOW I can kill him/her).
Condemn is an interesting spell that fills up your E slot. Upon casting and selecting a target, Vayne pulls out her Giant Crossbow on her back and fires it at the target. The target is then knocked back and takes initial damage. If along the knockback, the target is hit into ANY PHYSICAL STATIC OBJECT (such as walls, inhibitors, even broken towers) then the target is impaled and considered stunned for a short time (long enough to get two good shots off usually before the target is unstunned) as well as dealing more damage. Condemn does add a ring for Silver Bolts but doesn't get bonuses from Tumble.
Your R slot is filled with the magnificent ultimate ability, Final Hour. Final Hour adds to Vayne's attack damage and quadruples the movement speed bonus given by Vayne's passive innate ability, Night Hunter. This also causes your Tumble to put you into stealth, but only for a short time.
The two main Summoner Spells I like to use for Vayne are:
Exhaust is great because it is almost like it seals the deal on a chase, especially with Vayne on the team, because it reduces the target's speed SIGNIFICANTLY. On top of reducing the target's speed, it also reduces the target's attack damage output due to auto-attack AND abilities or items. With the mastery filled for Exhaust, it also reduces the target's magic resist and armor by a flat rate of 10. Plus the Exhaust lasts a little longer. This is great for any carry champion but with Vayne it is amazing early game (with mastery) because it will indirectly increase your damage output to that target because of the lowered magic resistance and armor and you can get more shots off because the target is slower. Late game, it still helps but because it doesn't scale up, generally it isn't as effective. But it is still effective at slowing the target so that you can kill it or run from it.
Flash is another great spell that has quite a bit of synergy with most characters: it can be used to close in on an attack or increase distance from a threatening enemy. Because it is instantaneous, it works really well with Vayne's Ultimate, Final Hour. Pop the ult and Flash simultaneously towards an enemy possibly getting a shot off to add your first ring from Silver Bolts to the target. Then Tumble to keep them guessing and confused as to where you are for one of two (possibly more) reasons: to close in on the target or to position yourself secretly to impale your target with Condemn. In either case, you WILL get two more shots off, therefore completing the Silver Bolts third attack. If the enemy is a fast one or has a Flash of their own, hopefully you are still close enough to pop that Exhaust or Tumble towards the target and finish him/her. Otherwise do it the hard way and quadruple speed and Tumble your way to the target whenever you can (or back off because it could be a bait for a team fight).
Ignite is a great summoner spell for Vayne as well. If you want to be more aggressive, take this over Exhaust ( Flash is still needed for a possible escape as well as a quick attack close-in). This is really good early game for finishing off Champions you've harassed enough and also for stopping health regen/healing Champions such as Tryndamere (specifically his ultimate Undying Rage), Sona, Taric, Soraka, etc.
Ghost is a decent spell but not so much for Vayne. It'd really only be used to either run away or chase an enemy down. And you don't really need more chase (Your Vayne, duh). So Flash is a much better choice since it is much more versatile for Vayne.
Cleanse is actually a decent spell for Vayne but unfortunately it is very situational. Cleanse would only be used when in a team fight and they are focusing you with crowd control effects (stuns, slows, etc.). This is extremely useful in those situations but due to the way blind pick works, you won't know if you absolutely need it. You might be better off just saving the summoner spell slot for something else and buying a Quicksilver Sash instead (ONLY IF YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED IT). If you know what you're up against before the battle starts (draft mode for example) then this is a great possibility.
[MORE COMING SOON]
So I went with the route pretty much every Vayne guide will tell you: Max out Tumble first. Tumble is her most used skill (for good reason). It's especially good because it actually resets your auto-attack. This means that you can attack, Tumble attack and it'll be faster than just simply doing two auto-attacks. Unfortunately, since Tumble's cooldown doesn't start until the effect is used or ends, it can last longer than wanted if running away. There is no way to deactivate your Tumble bonus other than attacking or waiting for it to end.
From there, you can really go either way: Silver Bolts or Condemn. I like to go for Silver Bolts first (despite what others may say) because I don't generally use Condemn for anything but escape until mid to late game when I really start trying to impale people. Late game I will use it to single out targets during team fights. But I max out Silver Bolts before Condemn because the extra true damage is tremendously helpful in almost all offensive situations. Especially when you do auto-attack 1, auto-attack 2, Tumble attack 3 (with Sheen). That'll take any enemy's health down to half-health at least. With damage items like a high stacked The Bloodthirster or Madred's Bloodrazor (or anything else you will most likely get for this champion), you can easily finish off the enemy.
Condemn is good when you impale an enemy into a wall. If you don't land it, it's kind of a bummer. But it is decent at keeping an enemy away. If one guy is chasing you and you know you can't take him down, you can Condemn him away and then Tumble to increase your distance with him. If, let's say, that enemy chasing you happens to be faster than you, you can Exhaust, Condemn, Tumble or Flash away if you REALLY have to.
Vayne has a lot of synergy within her skill set but Final Hour puts the finishing touches on it all. Tumble grants temporary short-duration stealth and you do a ton more damage. Plus, Final Hour has a relatively short cooldown time of just less than a minute (this will probably be increased to nerf Vayne but for now it's awesome)! The great thing about Final Hour is that it is pretty versatile.
It can be used for its obvious purpose, to kill your foe with increased attack damage plus 4x the movement bonus from Vayne's passive. Plus if you Tumble while Final Hour is active, you can get in a good position since you will be in stealth to be able to land Condemn to impale your target and then immediately attack them while they're stunned. By the time they are out of the stun, your Tumble should've finished its cooldown and your Final Hour should still be up to keep up with them and keep up the high damage (don't be afraid to Flash to a good spot too; just make sure you know what you're doing).
It can also be used to run away. Activate Final Hour, Tumble one direction, go into a bush while in stealth (remember, it is a very short duration), and run. Like mentioned above, careful when you Tumble because there is no way to deactivate your bonus to allow cooldown unless you attack or wait. Condemn doesn't count as an attack for this situation so you will still have the Tumble bonus (has to be an auto-attack).
A third way to use Vayne's ultimate is for more of a psychological gameplay strategy. You can use it as a scare tactic. Sometimes, there are moments when an ultimate changes everything (usually the case in most situations) If a player has their ultimate, generally they are stronger, harder to kill, and/or do more damage, therefore making themselves a huge threat (and a huge target for Vayne :D ). However, if you use Vayne's Final Hour, everyone can see it and should know what it does. Knowing that Vayne defines the term "Chasing", they will generally run immediately (unless you're alone in a team fight, so be careful not to isolate yourself from your group too much). So you can always activate your ult in lane or mid when it is a 1 v 1 or 1 v 2 and it will scare at least one of them away (don't be afraid to harass a little bit to show that you're a threat). You can always use the extra damage on creeps or jungle creeps. Plus if they can see you and then you Tumble after activating Final Hour, they will automatically assume you are going for a kill and will immediately run and/or disperse to get away or counter your move. All the while, you could've just Tumbled into a bush for safety, whether or not you had low health.
There are many ways her abilities can be used in synergy with each other (and don't forget your summoner spells). Final Hour can be used for the three above mentioned tactics as well as a mixture of the three (or possibly a fourth; comment and let me know and I'll put it in and credit you for it).
Refer to the Skill Sequence Chart above for the exact skill sequence I like to choose (and have described).
I like to start with Vampiric Scepter, an item that gives 12% lifesteal and costs 450. A lot of people will disagree with me but I do pretty well with it. In fact, they will say Doran's Blade Doran's Blade Doran's Blade Noob. But give it a try and make sure to follow the FARMING section as it really explains its purpose and how to use it. Another reason I go Vampiric Scepter first is because it is one step closer to getting The Bloodthirster. Skipping that step can be crucial to getting ahead of your opponent(s).
There's one problem to this. If you face against an enemy Champion that does some kind of damage over time (like Swain or Teemo), you will have a very hard time gauging whether or not you should stay in mid or lane. Against these kinds of Champions I advise one of two things: Buy Doran's Blade instead of Vampiric Scepter (just buy this when going for The Bloodthirster) -OR- Be extremely cautious and lower the amount of harass you do unless you know you won't get attacked back. If you already bought Vampiric Scepter but aren't confident in your cautiousness, then just don't push mid or lane; only last hit and let them push to your tower (obviously don't let them attack it though).
B. F. Sword gives an AMAZING boost to damage. Unfortunately, it costs 1650! So it makes it very hard to get. And more so unfortunate, Infinity Edge and The Bloodthirster each requires it. This item is tricky and expensive to get early game, so why would I put it second to get on the item sequence? Well ideally you will get it second because you will have farmed well enough in the beginning. If you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO GO BACK or you die :( then you most likely won't have enough for it, in which case you should skip that step all together. If you make a comeback when you do get back to lane or mid (preferably mid) then maybe you can reconsider and go for B. F. Sword again. Otherwise, just finish completing Boots of Mobility and Sheen first.
Boots of Mobility is a staple for Vayne's Roaming tactic for mid game. Having this early makes her a huge threat, even if she doesn't have great damage early on. When attacking, it gives a quite common Enhanced Movement 2. But when not attacking for a minimum of 5 seconds, the Enhanced Movement is 5 instead! That means Vayne has a good escape item (with or without flash). Also, when you're chasing, this helps Vayne catch up to her enemies fast. Great item and worth the 1000 total gold.
If you really think this doesn't help much, then you should get Mercury Treads. Mercury Treads are great too because they give some magic resistance and Enhanced Movement 2. However, Mercury Treads also gives +35 Tenacity. That Tenacity is extremely helpful because it helps protect you from crowd control (Stuns and Snares are your worst enemies) so that you still have a good chance of getting away if you are being targeted by the enemy team (which is very likely). But I personally love flying across the map with Boots of Mobility so really it's just a matter of preference.
Ahhh the lovely Sheen. This bad boy doesn't seem like it would help much for Vayne since it gives ability power, but that isn't what matters about Sheen; the other two abilities are the important ones. First, it gives a decent boost of +250 Mana which Vayne desperately needs early game to be able to harass well enough. Sheen's passive is what makes Vayne shine early. When you use an ability, it increases your base damage by 80% on your next basic attack. That's a pretty damn big burst early game, especially after you Tumble and shoot. Plus, this builds into Trinity Force which will be attained later after you get The Bloodthirster.
This is your best friend, The Bloodthirster, and it loves you too! :D That's why it gives you +60 bonus to your attack damage and +15% Lifesteal! And to spread more love, every time you get a kill (any unit), it adds a stack to The Bloodthirster with a max of 40 stacks (which are completely lost upon death so don't die :D ). Each stack gives a bonus of +1 attack damage and +0.25% Lifesteal. At full stacks, that's +40 attack damage and +10% more lifesteal!!! AMAZING! So when you are picking off enemy champions, you will gain back tons of life, allowing you to continue roaming (read the Farming and Roaming Section for more information on this) and you will get stronger by adding more stacks! Remember, stacks only add if you are last hitting and go away upon death.
Last Whisper is a crucial turning point for Vayne. Depending on the enemy team, you may not be able to kill kill kill quad-penta kill much until you get this. Last Whisper gives Vayne +40 damage AND +40% Armor Penetration! Now your attacks will go through tanks easily. By this time, you will become so much of a threat, you will have to be cautious where you are. If you aren't comfortable or confident with your roaming/backdooring skills, I suggest always sticking with someone else. Boots of Mobility should help you in those situations though so you can get away from any ganks or ambushes.
Ahh, the ever so expensive Trinity Force. For a total of 4070 gold, you can get +30% attack speed, +30 attack damage, +30 ability power, +15% Critical strike chance, +250 HP, +250 Mana, and +12% movement speed. It also has two great Unique Passive abilities: 25% chance on hit to slow target by 35% for 2.5 seconds, and; on casting an ability, your base attack damage is increased by 150% on your next basic attack....... Holy **** that's a lot. But unfortunately for Vayne, AP means nothing to her. But she utilizes everything else VERY WELL. More Attack Speed and Attack Damage is always good. The movement speed bonus is also very helpful for both chasing and retreating. The critical strike chance bonus will really help when you go for Infinity Edge next (as well as just in general). More health makes you less squishy and more mana makes ability availability last longer during team fights. But the Unique Passives are what make Trinity Force shine for Vayne (just like Sheen). 1 in every 4 shots (theoretically) will slow the target by quite a bit, making the chase end quicker (which will help you prevent being ambushed). It also has the Sheen ability which you've seen already work so well with Vayne, except instead of just 80%, its 150% of your base damage added!!! Great item for DPS Vayne.
Unfortunately in most games, you will never reach this item if you perform well with Vayne or you have a minimally decent team. However, sometimes you will get this, and it is at that point the game will be over, in your favor. Infinity Edge gives a huge +80 bonus to attack damage, adds a +25% bonus to critical strike chance, and has an awesome passive that states that the damage increase due to a critical strike is now 250% instead of the original 200%. Your damage will be through the roof. You can get rid of any threatening squishies in a snap, then chase down the tanks AND kill at least one of the tanks before they reach safety. Wonderful item.
Phantom Dancer is a great utility-like weapon that basically helps every other item in this build. It gives a +15% bonus to movement speed making you much faster, it will help you a lot with higher damage output with a +30% bonus to critical strike chance (which also increases Infinity Edge's awesomeness), and it will help you get more attacks off to increase the likelihood of all these scenarios by giving a whopping +55% bonus to attack speed! It really just helps all of your other items shine :D
Alternate (situational) Items
Banshee's Veil should only be gotten if the enemy has a crazy fed or just damn right good magic damager. Banshee's Veil gives 375 HP and Mana each, 50 magic resist, and blocks a negative spell every 45 seconds. Damn good item for any Champion. Vayne however never wants it as a core item; it is situational (if you aren't doing so well or the enemy has a strong magic damager). If you must get it for those reasons then make sure to get the Negatron Cloak first. If you end up becoming item capped, you can just have the Banshee's Veil replace it (you shouldn't have a Phantom Dancer by the time you decide you need Banshee's Veil).
If you notice that by the time you start going for a Last Whisper, no one other than the tank is getting armor (on the enemy of course), then Last Whisper won't be as effective. Last Whisper gives a percentage of armor pen, not a base number. Therefore, the more armor an enemy has, the more effective Last Whisper is. The Black Cleaver is a great substitute (probably the only one worth getting) for Last Whisper in these cases. I would just figure that out as soon as you finish The Bloodthirster.
Quicksilver Sash is basically a Cleanse. It gives 56 magic resist... and that's it. When you use its active, it removes all debuffs on Vayne. This is only good if they have a ****-TON-O-CC! Never get this unless you have the money and are willing to sell it back when you need to fill up your items. When you're item capped, this should never stay as a part of the six.
Thornmail is actually a really great item in most cases. Besides just giving you a whopping 100 armor, it also returns 30% of damage dealt to you by basic attack back at the attacker as magic damage. When people see a Vayne, they think DPS AD. So the tanks will stack armor and the DPS carries will stack AD and Armor Pen. Little did they know they'd be taking that back. However, Thornmail is a waste under one or both of the following conditions: the enemy is all magic damage, and/or are very spell heavy (meaning not much basic attacks).
Farming and Roaming
As said before, FARMING IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE! Farming means last hitting creeps for the money. The more money you get, the better items you can have.
Since you have Vampiric Scepter, it should really help you stay in mid or lane (mid is preferred) so you can keep gaining levels and farm more. If you get down to half or even 1/3 health when under level 6, you can still stay in mid so long as you just stay away from the enemy champion and attack creeps whenever you can. Every time you deal damage, you will gain health. Therefore more attacks + more damage = more early game survivability. Even if this is the case and you have to attack just to gain health, always make sure you last hit creeps. That way you will heal and get money. YAY!
Ideally, you will stay in mid without going back (or dying) until you are level 6 and even then you may want to stay a little while longer. Silver Bolts and Final Hour are really great when you have a lot of lifesteal. Whenever that extra true damage boost kicks in, you will see a lot of health recover (in comparison to just a normal attack). Tumble and then hitting the third Silver Bolts ring heals even more at once. If you activate your Final Hour and Tumble and hit the third Silver Bolts ring... you get it. Now imagine that last case mentioned against an enemy. You can actually take a couple decent hits and still be really good so long as you are attacking to lifesteal. Plus lets say you activated Final Hour but half way in you decide it isn't such a good idea to attack the enemy champion anymore. You can still use it to attack the creeps (last-hitting as well) since it adds to your attack damage.
By now, you should have a The Bloodthirster (or have both components) and everything before it on my item sequence. If you're even just one step under this, then you should consider farming more (and by consider, I mean you better). A good way to farm in this game is to do a semi-roaming technique. If the enemy has taken down a couple of your turrets and/or the laning phase is over (hence mid-game) then you should go from lane to lane (also mid or sometimes jungle) and just kill creeps. I advise going to a large group of enemy creeps where ever your teammates ARE NOT AT. I say this because: you will get more last hits and more money (and The Bloodthirster stacks), you can take out the creeps fast with your high damage, and it gives better situations for your other four teammates. They can push the lanes you are not defending and then you can jump in to help once you've cleared the blob of creeps. Boots of Mobility make this happen so amazingly, hence why it is so important to have at this time. If, let's say, three or four of your teammates are pushing a single lane (mid perhaps) then you can just keep switching from lane to lane and clear creeps.
IMPORTANT: IF YOU NOTICE YOUR TEAMMATES ARE ALL GATHERED IN A STAREDOWN READY FOR A TEAMFIGHT, IMMEDIATELY GO TO GANK AND HELP MAKE IT EVEN OR GAIN NUMBERS ADVANTAGE. If you are almost done killing a squad of enemy creeps (two or three max left) and a new squad isn't there yet, then kill the remaining creeps before you go. That way the enemy won't know if you've abandoned that lane to gank or if you are attempting to back door them. Sometimes, if you think your team is well protected without you, you should actually stay and help your creeps push a little as if to back door. This will possibly make one or two of the enemy champions try to kill you and leave mid. In that situation, you've helped your team more because you've lessened the enemy's numbers. Of course, don't sacrifice your self by over extending unless you have a GUARANTEED ESCAPE. Push a tower or lane and then get the hell outta there. Hopefully a couple of them took the bait and abandoned the others to protect that lane you were in or even chase you. Then either you can go help the rest of your team OR your team can come in your direction and then you join in and push that lane. You might catch the two abandoners off-guard and be able to pick them off one by one. Because Vayne is so fast, she can easily out run enemies (so long as you don't attack) and then easily jump back in to gank.
[MORE COMING SOON]