Vayne Build Guide by Kamirusan
Hello and welcome to my very first guide to a League of Legends’ champion!
Here you will learn all you need to know about Vayne, her skills, her potential, how to build her and how to use all this to get the best results! But before that, let me tell you something less official about her.
I am not a veteran player of LoL, although I have played my share of games. And very early in the game, when Vayne was in a free champions rotation, I fell in love with her. Of course, it was not easy playing her, because she requires some skill in using all her strengths right. I know you will face the same problems, and this is why I decided to make this guide.
Oh, and I would like to credit here jhoijhoi, whose Vayne guide was an inspiration and it allowed me to learn how to play this champion. Also, her guidelines in “Making A Guide” were extremely helpful. I just hope she isn’t mad at me for creating this. ;)
And since she allowed the users to use her own line dividers, if you see something like this:it's definitely a property of jhoijhoi. :)
What kind of champion is Vayne?
Certainly, Vayne is most efficient as an AD carry, best played together with a good support on a lane. Her damage output can be massive and she can outrank most enemy champions in 1v1 battles, and she is a huge asset in teamfights.
Just like Graves, Caitlyn, Tristana or Ashe, she deals reliable damage and when played properly, she can turn the tides of every battle. Sometimes, when in need, she can also play the role of the mid character, or on top even (although highly improbable), however as an AD carry she is just marvelous.
Vayne is fast, agile and deadly. She is able to chase opponents down, strike them right where it hurts and finish them off before they even realize she was there. If you wish the fellow players cheered for you and admired your incredibly high kill-to-death ratio, this, my dear friend, is the champion for you.
Pros and cons
The new masteries gave me some headaches when I tried to figure out the best combination for an effective AD carry. After some hours of playing and discussing the ideas with fellow players I think I have reached my final decision.
In the offense tree I decided to spend 21 points in all masteries which will increase our damage output - whether attack speed, flat AD or general damage increase. As a carry our main goal is to farm (early game) and make TONS OF DAMAGE (mid to late game).
Now for the hard part. We will most probably be laning against another AD carry - therefore we could surely use some additional armor from the defence tree. The problem is that we need to spend some points to be able to get that. This is why we need to invest four points - one in Summoner's Resolve (will need that for an incerased bonus from heal or barrier) and three points in Perseverance - I figured that health regeneration would be more useful than the health per level from Durability . When in the lane phase we could regain some lost HP while playing safe - while few HP will make little or no difference to us as a carry anyway.
But that leaves us with two additional points to spend - here's where the trouble start. We could always invest those two into magic resistance, but early game will rarely require of us to fight against AP based champion. Instead, I highly recommend spending those two points in the utility tree in additional movement speed. Thanks to that our carry will have an easier job to shorten the distance between Vayne and her potential victim.
Should you have any constructive criticism or comments, I encourage you to comment on it!
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
The choice of runes is pretty standard for a carry. Armor penetration, armor, magic resistance per level and flat AD.
9x Greater Mark of Armor Penetration The more armor penetration you have, the less you care about enemy armor. Thanks to this you will ignore part of the defense of the enemy carry (and others, of course, too).
9x Greater Seal of Armor At first I opposed strongly to this, thinking “why armor, when I could go for flat AD and be even stronger?”. But then I realized that even though I would be powerful in the early game, it is way easier for me to get killed. And since Vayne is already squishy, I can sacrifice some slots to be more resistant towards enemy AD carry.
9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist Again, at first I wanted to go for AD runes, but then I came across some nukers ( Veigar, Lux) who could totally take me down with only two skills. Guess what? Not this time, bro!
3x Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - finally, some bonus Attack Damage for our Night Huntress. 7 points and our masteries should give us around 70AD, which is a very neat starting amount.
I have recently started playing with 9x Mark of Attack Damage instead of armor penetration. This gives us an early boost in our damage output when our opponents' armor isn't too high yet. The loss of armor penetration may be reduced later thanks to e.g. Last Whisper.
You can also change magic resistance per level runes for ones granting attack speed or (again) flat AD - but I personally believe magic resistance is a relatively better deal (in IP cost) than any other option.
You have to bear in mind that the selection of your Summoner Spells largely depends on your and your opponent's lane setup (and often your personal preferences). Please, allow me to explain.
At first I try to look at who is my support. If it is a champion without healing ability, like Blitzcrank or Leona, I take Heal as a must. It may be essential in a fight to gain some additional health, because more often than not it is a difference of a shot or two between who dies first.
Secondly, look at your support's Summoner Spells. If he or she has already taken Heal, there is little point for you to take it as well, as the second Heal in a row has a reduced effect. Also, if you are a fan of Exhaust and your support took it, there is no point in having it, too, so take Ignite or Heal as well.
Thirdly, look at your opposing team's support. If it is a really potent healer, like Soraka, you may have a problem finishing off the opponent (AD carry preferably), since a well placed healing spell will disable your damage greatly. It is a great idea to take Ignite then, because it reduces healing effects on a target by half, making the opponent's healer less powerful.
Furthermore, if the opposing team has a heavy Crowd Control abilities (lots of stuns, slows or snares), it may be a good idea to consider taking Cleanse. It will instantly free you of any CC the opponents throw at you.
In addition, consider the type of damage your opponents will deal - if there are champions that specialize in dealing huge amounts of damage in a matter of a second, Barrier may be an excellent choice.
Lastly, think about your own mobility. Would you rather chase like crazy or run away in a straight line, leaving enemy behind or quickly shorten a gap (or make it greater) and be able to jump over walls? In the former case take Ghost, in the latter Flash is your best shot.
My preferred Summoner Spells
Flash - perfect for quickly closing gaps between you and the enemy or making the gap bigger when you are escaping. And you can also jump over walls, which is pretty amazing and have saved my butt more than a thousand times.
Heal - this one can often save your life (or your teammate’s) and prevent the enemy from earning the extra gold for killing you. Advised for players new to Vayne and especially during the ranked matches.
Other viable options:
Barrier - This new spell, which has been introduced in the S3 to Summoner's Rift, is yet an another option for a summoner spell. In contrast to Heal it's effect only works on you. For a short period of time it grants the champion a shield (much like Lux's Prismatic Barrier) that protects you from incoming damage. It is an excellent option against damage-bursting champions and nukers.
Ghost - I refer to Vayne as the Master Chaser, and there’s a reason for it. Not only does her passive and ultimate allow her to chase down and finish other champions, but if used with Ghost, there is only so little chance that somebody will escape you. And in team-fights it can allow you to relocate yourself or roam around, making it way harder for enemies to target you with skill-shots. Not to mention that in need of quick evacuation, it will often save your butt since your passive works only when running toward enemy champions. For me it’s an amazing alternative for Flash.
Exhaust - A great alternative for Ignite. Exhaust slows your opponent down and lowers his/hers resistances, which makes them so much easier to kill. And unlike Ignite, it can also be used to slow down a chasing enemy.
Teleport - not my favorite one, simply allows you to transport your champion to other area on the map. Good if you don’t like leaving your lane without your precious help or handy while ganking.
Ignite - Ever found yourself in a situation where enemy champion is running away and hiding behind his/her turret, and you don’t have enough health points to risk a tower dive? Well, now it may happen less often, since Ignite does damage over time which totally ignores any resists or armor. What is more, during its effect, healing spells efficiency is reduced, which greatly comes in handy when facing a lane with Sona or Soraka.
Cleanse - It is really annoying when you try to join a teamfight and you cannot deal enough damage, because this Leona has stunned you and then Morgana caught you in her snare, effectively reducing your usability. With this summoner spell you will be released from any CC and any debuffs or disables will be greatly limitedfor a short period of time.
Night Hunter (passive) Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you approach an enemy champion or chase him, you can count on the additional speed to help you so. Bear in mind that this doesn’t apply when running in an opposite direction!
Tumble Vayne’s main (and IMHO best) move. She rolls in a direction of your mouse cursor (remember that in order not to roll over in the wrong direction!) and deals additional damage. Great tool to either harras your enemies or last hit minions. And with this sweet low cooldown (2 seconds at level 5 of the skill) it will wreck your opponents!
Silver Bolts (passive) This is the passive skill of Vayne which will enable you to deal enormous damage even against most beefy champions, causing even tanks to fear you.
Condemn This skill is extremely useful in many situations – it pushes your enemy back, which may allow you to escape, push the enemy champion towards your teammates or ensure your kill by stunning it. Just remember that it has a relatively long cooldown so you can’t just spam it like you will do with Tumble.
Final Hour This is what makes Vayne the real chaser/executioner – her Attack Damage is increased and her movement speed bonus from her passive is tripled (which makes Vayne even 90 points faster!). There aren’t many champions who will escape you when you use your ultimate. In addition, using Tumble after Final Hour will make Vayne go into stealth mode for a second. Although it isn’t much, it is enough for her to ambush an enemy or, when fleeing, to change direction and get out of your opponents sight.
However, remember that this is often determined by the game itself. I max Tumble first, because it never misses (unless you miss-click) and Silver Bolts, because together it allows me to shread through enemy HP in an instant. Just remember to keep shooting, because you NEED to hit three times in a row for it to take effect! Bear in mind that this, however, can be redefined by the game itself. If your enemy makes lots of mistakes and positiones himself near a wall often, max Condemn before Silver Bolts. This also applies when you keep getting ganked a lot or struggle against lots of crowd control to keep the enemy at bay.
Having played this champion a lot more, I decided that maxing Silver Bolts before Condemn may be a pretty damn good choice. Three hits in a row grant you enormous damage output (especially against champions with more health) and often you will find that it is way easier to simply hit an enemy champion thrice than pin them towards the wall.
What is more, this increases your potential damage even more with a simple combo - try to get in range of the enemy and hit them with your auto attack, then Tumble and hit them again (two silver rings should already be visible) and then use Condemn which also applies the effect from your passive. If everything went right, enemy is propably running away, scared for his life, because you just ripped through his health in an instant. And, if you're lucky enough, you managed to pin the enemy to the wall, giving you even more damage output! Isn't that great?
There are many ways in which you can build a powerful Vayne. Many of them are presented by jhoijhoi in her guide. I will focus on the build which I use most often and I find it very adequate.
EDIT: With some of the recent patches the Blade of the Ruined King has undergone some serious reworks. Therefore my build over here should definitely be changed in order to benefit from it the most. Now it looks like this:
Blade of the Ruined King
Let me elaborate a little about those picks:
Berserker's Greaves - This is the item which is present on any AD carry on the Fields of Justice. Attack speed is needed on every champion of this role, and especially on Vayne.
Infinity Edge - The first (in my opinion) choice as for the damage itself. Build it as soon as possible after your boots. Preferably start with B. F. Sword, but Pickaxe is good enough if you do not have enough gold.
Blade of the Ruined King - You absolutely have to buy this item after the Infinity Edge. Lots of attack speed, small amount of AD, and Life Steal; not to forget about healing/damaging passive with movement speed theft. This is ideal for our Vayne, especially perfectly comboing with Infinity and...
Phantom Dancer - Now we're talking serious! ~ 200 AD and nearly 1,7 attack speed turns our champion into a machine that should be feared. Now Vayne is fast. Vayne is deadly. Vayne is the death itself.
Guardian Angel – It is time to think of our survivability. And the Guardian Angel is the perfect item for this - lots of armor, some magic resistance and Zilean's ultimate in an item.
The Bloodthirster - If you have the time and money to buy the last item, consider this. Now you will have lots of AD AND huge amount of Life Steal. Who wouldn't want that?
This section is dedicated to several items that will not be usually included in your build. This does not mean that those items are useless, quite the contrary. The thing is that an aware player is able to modify his gameplay and build-up to match the circumstances on the battlefield.
Doran's Blade - It may happen that you will have trouble in your lane. Be it the opposing AD carry that is more experienced than you are, annoying support that is successfully zoning you, a jungler that babysits your lane, or simply a worse day you are having. This item might come in handy then. It improves your sustain with additional 80HP and 5HP back with each shot and slightly improves your Attack Damage. Note, however, that there rarely is any point in stacking more than two of those.
Last Whisper - Believe it or not, but the players on the opposing team might be smart. They might notice your damage is ridiculously high and start stacking armor. You are going to need armor penetration in order to remain a danger to them. Last Whisper should give you a hand during battles with heavily armored opponents.
Mercurial Scimitar - Just like every item that is built from B. F. Sword, this item grants a decent amount of AD. But it's not the damage that makes it worth your while. It also builds from Quicksilver Sash, which - besides granting you magic resistance - can free you from any Crowd Control abilities the opponents may throw at you.
A carry is only of use when it is alive. Remember it. Of course, you can count on the fact that you will overpower the opponent and make him flee. But what if he doesn't? You need an item, that will help you survive.
Guardian Angel - It is my oppinion that this is currently the best defensive item for an AD carry. It gives you a respectable amount of armor, nice magic resistance and it does not allow you to die at the first try every five minutes. It's exactly like Zilean's ultimate Chrono Shift.
Banshee's Veil - You will want this item each time there is a heavy nuker in the opposing team, like Veigar or LeBlanc. Besides magic resistance, which naturally reduces incoming magic damage, it comes in set with a shield that nullifies one unfriendly spell coming your way.
Frozen Mallet - I believe the most controversial item on this list. It is usually build on melee off-tanks, but who said our AD carry cannot be a tad bit tankier? 700HP and a small amount of 30AD seems like a good idea. It is not so flashy as Guardian Angel or Banshee's Veil, but it is an item that should not be overlooked. Oh, and it's passive - Icy - makes the opponents you hit with a basic attack 30% slower for 1,5 second. Tempting, isn't it?
The order of purchase
Well, the Boots of Speed together with potions is by far the best start up set for an AD carry. It gives you some decent sustain, manouverability to dodge skillshots and chase/run away. After your first recall build up your boots into Berserker's Greaves and then you need to stop and look at your money. If you can afford it, buy the B. F. Sword first, if not, then go for Pickaxe. Having your Infinity Edge finished, buy the Blade of the Ruined King next. You get some AD and lifesteal (not to mention the pretty damn good active) and lots of attack speed!
Then you add Phantom Dancer to your collection (having an amazing attack speed by now) and 55% of Critical Hit. Then it is time to think about defence, therefore Guardian Angel might be a good choice. Finish your build with good ol' The Bloodthirster.
Oh, and if you die a bit too often, think about sacrificing some damage output into survivability - it's better to hit a bit softer, but live longer to outlast the enemy. Investing in an early Guardian Angel may be a good move.
Why not The Black Cleaver?
I have not included it in my main build. Decent amount of AD, armor penetration and some cooldowns... Seems good to me. Then again, it's most useful if the enemy champions start stacking armor. Besides, since all those reworks have been made, it is no longer a good idea to buy this on AD carry anymore (except for Miss Fortune).
Where is Runaan's Hurricane?
Well, for some time I have kept insisting on buying Runaan's Hurricane on my favorite AD carry. However, the longer I played, the more I found this item not so good, after all. First of all, it lacks the movement speed bonus. Even though it is not so huge on Phantom Dancer, it can certainly make a difference since you rely on your mobility to stay alive when playing Vayne. The second drawback of propounding Runaan's over Dancer is the lack of additional Critical Strike. The combination of Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer makes more or less every second auto attack over twice as powerful. So, all in all, these are the qualities that seem to me more appealing and, therefore, I deleted Runaan's Hurricane from my final build.
One more thing - Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer give you 55% chance of applying a critical strike. This, obviously, means higher damage output - you will, as Phreak states it, deal literally TONS OF DAMAGE. So if need be, start with those two items if you feel comfortable with it. I do not advise it, but it is a valid option.
The key to success when playing Vayne is the proper use of her abilities. I’ve seen many Vayne players who failed because of little knowledge what to do with her - I was one of them, too, when I started playing her! One general advice - do not ever start a team-fight. It’s the tank who’s supposed to initiate it, not you. You will not be of much use while waiting for your respawn.
I will divide this section into two parts - offensive situations and defensive ones.
Tumble (oh, this sweet skill has so many uses!):
- In the early game, when it is not so easy to last hit minions, you can Tumble and get this bonus gold.
- When in the lane phase, just stay behind your minions, act casually and then BOOM! Tumble towards an enemy champion and hit him hard! Believe me, if done right, he/she will be so scared of your damage that you will be safely farming and getting kills (that is, until the jungler comes to gank you).
- When chasing opponents, Tumble towards them to shorten the distance.
- In team-fights, if you happen to be in the middle of the battle, Tumble as much as you can - nobody can target you while rolling over!
- With your ultimate on, you can Tumble to get behind the enemy, Tumble to get out of their sight, Tumble out of the brush with a nasty surprise that a bolt in the back is.
- And my personal favorite - wait in brush for the unsuspecting enemy, let him come close, then Tumble to get into position to Condemn the bastards to the wall and deal additional damage.
- When harrasing an enemy, try to hit him once with your auto-attack, then Tumble to hit him again, and reapply a third hit to activate our favorite bonus: a percentage of the target's maximum health as additional true damage. This is especially useful against champions with many health points, like Dr. Mundo, Mordekaiser, Singed, etc.
- During a fight - KEEP FIRING! Every third strike deals additional damage! Just remember to shoot the same target, because the bonus will not apply when switching targets before the third hit.
- Later in game, attacking minions will be so much easier, because at most the third hit should be lethal for a poor little guy.
- This is also useful when doing Dragon , Baron Nashor , Ancient Golem , etc.
- Use this skill well while fighting in the jungle - there are so many walls you can pin your opponents to!
- Remember - a hit with Condemn that does not pin your enemy deals only half of the possible damage.
- Condemn is an amazing way to stop your enemy and stun him, so that you can finish him off with almost no effort.
- You can also use Condemn to stop some champions’ ultimates - e.g. Katarina’s Death Lotus, Nunu’s Absolute Zero, etc.
- Volibear or Singed want to flip you over towards their tower? Push them away and show them that they can’t touch you.
- You have already softened your opponent, but fear you don’t have enough firepower to kill him off? Draw your heavy crossbow and show them that this is their final hour!
- When attacking an enemy tower under pressure, and you just want to destroy it so badly as fast as possible, use Final Hour and enjoy the mayhem.
- You are hidden in brush to ambush an enemy champion, but he seems just a little to far? Pop your ultimate, Tumble and shorten the distance during the one second of stealth.
- When chasing an opponent, but can’t get close enough for the killing blow, use the Final Hour and catch up to him.
- Don’t be afraid to use your ultimate move in team-fights - every bolt and every AD point counts!
- Also, during the 8-12 seconds of your awesome ulti keep on tumbling - constantly disappearing out of your enemies sight will annoy them so much and make targeting you almost impossible.
- Most often use of Tumble is simply to roll away from attacking opponent.
- Don’t forget to combine it with Condemn - pushing away (or even stunning) enemies and then rolling away makes the gap between you even greater.
- Another good tactics is to get into the brush, then wait for the enemy to come, then Tumble out of the brush and Condemn your opponents in them. Or, if you are sure it will work, roll over so that you can pin them to the wall and then run.
- When in trouble, remember to FIRST pop your ultimate and then Tumble - this will give you a second of invisibility. You can’t imagine how frustrating it is to do the other way around - if you won’t shoot your bolt, it will take additional six seconds before you can tumble again.
- Just so that you know - you cannot Tumble through walls. You can, however, roll out of Jarvan IV’s ultimate Cataclysm.
- There isn’t much use of that in escaping. Well, you can always try to discourage the opponent by hitting him hard enough for him/her to feel it, but I wouldn’t count on it.
- You are low on health and this Master Yi is on to you? Use your heavy crossbow and push him away, then Tumble to make the distance between you even greater.
- Try to push away an enemy champion - if his/her range isn’t great, the distance of 600 units will be enough for him/her not being able to hit you.
- You can also try pinning them to a wall - this will stun them for 1.5 seconds, which may be enough for you to run.
- As said before, Condemn + Tumble is a good way to run away.
- Stealth, stealth, stealth. So what it only lasts one second? It may be just about enough for you to make it.
- You could try running towards a champion with low HP and then kill him/her, using the additional movement speed, although you may end up dead.
Remember that a carry is only good when it's alive. Don't you ever start a teamfight - you will perhaps manage to hurt one enemy badly, but that will be all you do. Wait for the tank to initiate (preferably Leona or Malphite with their amazing crowd control abilities). And even then, it's not yet your showtime. Let the others engage - you and the AP carry are probably the most squishy parts of your team. When the tank, jungler and support are in the teamfight, now you can show where you really shine. Try to take out AD and AP carries immediately. And I mean it. No carries = no damage. But don't take it too literally - do not engage them if you are not safe enough. It is sure that their team will also try to focus their damage and CC on you. So what to do? Attack the ones closest - even tanks will fall under the mighty True Damage of your Silver Bolts faster than they expect. Then, if it is safe enough, engage the carries.
Especially try to punish those who are bold enough to pass your teammates in order to get to you. Signal your team, disable them (preferably by pinning them to a wall) and unleash hell.
The only two instances when you can act bolder than usual is (1) when the enemy team is retreating and they focus on running, not fighting back; (2) one of the opponent champions is so low on health that you can get close enough with Final Hour+ Tumble combo, kill it with two or three shots and Flash back to safety.
Remember to use your ultimate or summoner spells when needed. Flash to get a kill or into safety. Heal yourself and teammates when you get slaughtered. Tumble a lot during your ultiamate so that their carries cannot focus you. Condemn anyone who can be pinned toward a wall or who tries to chase you down when you escape. Keep focusing one target to proc the Silver Bolts.
One last thing - if you face a decission when you can kill an enemy and die or run back to safety and let him escape - DO NOT GO FOR A KILL. Unless he/she is the last dangerous enemy on the battlefield. Without you your team loses more than one third of its firepower. Several hundred gold for you is not worth sacrificing your teammates and giving the enemy a thousand.
Vayne as a champion of League of Legends has a lot of potential. Unfortunately, she is hard to master, so your first battles may happen to be the lost ones. But don’t give up - once you learn to play this champion, you will be able to carry the game and almost single-handedly turn the tides of the battle. And, what is the most important, you will have a lot of fun playing her! The good part is, not many players chose her, so most of the time you will be able to pick her and play. Just remember - League of Legends is just a game. Enjoy it, but do not fall apart if you won’t succeed at the beginning.
I guess this is it, the end of my very first guide. If you liked it, I would really appreciate comments and likes, however if you found something that is wrong, or you have some constructive criticism, it is also very welcome. Till we meet at the battlefield, Summoner!
True Damage, True Carry ~ S3 Vayne Guide
The Night Hunter
Vayne - The Master Chaser/Executioner