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Vayne Build Guide by MRN.Heartbeat

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League of Legends Build Guide Author MRN.Heartbeat

Vayne, the Night Hunter

MRN.Heartbeat Last updated on September 9, 2013
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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SPACE Hi guys. My name is Heartbeat, and I'm a former professional League of Legends player from ex-Team MRN. Currently I have three accounts in Diamond 1, and I play every role at a very high level. I have played mid, AD, and support to a professional level.

A lot of people by now have realized that Vayne has been one of the most popular AD carries both in competitive play and solo queue. This is because she carries games extremely hard, due to her raw damage output in combination of her constant repositioning ability. She's my second favorite AD carry after Tristana, so let's talk about how to play Vayne!

Follow me on twitter! @HeartbeatLoL

My Stream

(Mondays~Fridays at 12~6 PM PST)

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Let's talk about what Vayne excels at, and what Vayne is weak at.


  • One of the best duelist in the game.
  • One of the hardest AD carries in the game.
  • Constant repositioning with tumble
  • Has a hard CC ability (knockback/stun) with condemn
  • Deals TRUE DAMAGE!
  • Final Hour gives free bonus AD / stealth on tumble

  • Weak against close range casters (such as Ryze)
  • Has a tricky laning phase
  • Extremely hard to play perfectly

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... Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal

There are no other options for Marks other than flat AD marks. These will help you do more damage on your auto attacks, as more damage on your tumble and your condemn abilities. Not only that, it'll also help you last hit easier! :^)

As an AD carry that's most likely going bottom lane against another AD carry, you'll definitely need some armor to duel/trade against the enemy bot lane. Without these, you'll be taking massive damage whenever you try to trade, and you will end up getting bullied out of lane. Take armor seals!

Personally, I like running a mix of mana regen and magic resist glyphs. The main reasoning for this is in order for you to go down 9 points into defensive tree, you won't be getting any mana regen from the utility tree. This means you'll be constantly running out of mana - hence the mana regen glyphs. You're sacrificing a few magic resist for +6 armor and 30 hp, which is definitely a good trade ESPECIALLY for laning phase. (this is often debated, so if you prefer going all mr and taking utility, go ahead!)

1x AD quint, 2x Life steal Quints. This is mainly because I want to get +11 AD from runes in combination with marks, so that you can last hit under tower without your support's help. And lifesteal quints are just extremely strong because it will help you sustain yourself in lane for as long as you need to, and it also scales extremely well with the AD items you will be buying. For a duelist champion like Vayne, having a lot of lifesteal is extremely strong!

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As an AD carry, your primary goal is to deal as much damage as possible. Hence, you will be taking 21 points into offensive tree to have the highest DPS potential! I personally like the 2 points into butcher + destruction is a lot more useful than the 3 points in havoc. Butcher will help you last hit under tower much easier, and destruction will let you take down towers more quickly. Vayne is a great split pusher due to her forte in dueling 1v1's (against another who comes to stop her from split pushing) so destruction is sweet for split pushing.

And of course, there are 2 options - to go 9 points into defensive tree - which i prefer - or putting 5 points into the defensive tree and 4 points into utility tree, forgoing the extra armor and health for mana regen. I've personally had more success running 9 points into the defensive tree, and anyone going 9 points defense tree shouldn't lose to a utility tree opponent, because you will have more armor and health. Logical right?

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Alright. Let's talk about how to itemize correctly on Vayne. There are quite a few item paths available, and I'll try to cover as much as I can here.

Start items

- This is the strongest starting item on most AD carries. Why? This item gives you health and AD, which are pretty straight forward stats that gives the most stats for the starting gold. And let's not forget the +5 health on each auto attacks - along with lifesteal quints, these will let you sustain yourself in lane for extended amount of time!

Early game Items

- Try to at LEAST be able to buy this item on your first back. This item will give you enough sustain for you to last as long as possible for you to stay in lane until you farm your next big item.

- This is extremely stat efficient, that gives you a lot of movespeed as well as a good boost of attackspeed. It's an overall good item to buy on vayne because movespeed gives you more room to outplay your opponents, such as kiting away from a gank, or to kite forward to look for a trade.

Mid game item paths - BT or BORK?

- By far the most popular build to go on vayne right now. This is because this item gives.. well, everything! Vayne scales extremely well with attackspeed because she deals true damage every 3 auto attacks. Not only that - but this item also gives a pinch of AD, and a passive that deals current HP % damage on every attack - which makes this an excellent mid game item. But that's not all.. you also get the active, that makes you a GOD at dueling 1v1 situations, which means your target should not be able to run away from you with the active. And of course, you can use it as an escape tool as well. This item gives you a LOT of options!

- People forget how good bloodthirster was on vayne. This item gives a whopping 100 AD (at full stacks), as well as 18% lifesteal - which makes it the absolute best item for dueling and sustaining. You will also need to change your skill order to maxing Q first because AD scaling on your tumble is really good. I go BT first occasionally when I feel like I don't need the active from bork.

/ - This is honestly personal preference. Statikk shiv will provide you with extra wave clearing capabilities, where as phantom dancer will give you a higher single target DPS. It's also worth mentioning that Statikk Shiv is slightly cheaper, and sometimes if I only have money for a Shiv then I'll just get the Shiv so I can finish off the rest of my items a little bit faster.

- This item is definitely a core core core item. Along with your true damage you will be ripping through every thing, including tanks. You'll want this ideally as your 3rd item and around 25~30 minutes, because this is when tanks will have way too much armor, and the only damage you'll be dealing will be from your silver bolts.

Late game item goals

- This will round out your build. This item gives you AD and crit, Not only that, but your crits will deal additional damage. Along with the PD/Shiv that you already have, this item will give you a HUGE boost in damage output. I don't like rushing this item however, because Vayne needs to get the PD/Shiv ASAP to proc your silver bolts faster - and going infinity edge + vamp scepter is a LOT more expensive than just going for a BT or a Bork.

- Against a heavy CC enemy team, you definitely want a QSS/mercurial scimitar to help you free yourself from all the cc. Of course, this should be an automatic buy against supress champions, as well as champions that you can QSS out of (ex. Fizz ult, morg ult, vlad ult, zed ult). It's also the only defensive item that also gives you a ton of AD when you upgrade it to a scimitar.

- If you're going against a lot of unavoidable damage/cc such as Karthus ult / Nautilus ult , or against heavy catch/poke such as Blitzcrank/Thresh then I recommend going Banshee's. This item is pretty neat with the spell shield, and you should be nearly impossible to catch.

- This is a rare buy, but if I feel like all I need to do is kite the enemy team for the victory, then I do go this path. A great example is a Singed - with a mallet, Singed should never be able to get to me.

- I take this against an extremely heavy AD assassin/bruiser enemy team - for example, if I'm against pantheon/zed/irelia on the same team and they're all obviously going to zerg you, then take this! It's extremely strong against them, the active is pretty nice to have as a self peel.

/ - I like going for a second shiv/PD from time to time. If you're confident that you can kite through the enemy team without a defensive item, this is really nice to have. With the additional movespeed, you should be a lot more tricky to catch, but at the same time you will be extremely squishy - which means you will have to have perfect positioning. I don't recommend going for a double pd/shiv if you're just learning vayne!

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

There are two ways to skill up Vayne - maxing Q first, or W first. Let's talk about the pros/cons of both options.

Going tumble first will lower its cooldown to 2 seconds at max rank. If you're rushing a bloodthirster which gives you a lot of pure AD, you're obviously going to max tumble first because tumble has really good AD scaling.

Going silver bolts first, will deal additional damage for the 3rd proc of silver bolts - which mean more base damage, as well as a higher true % health damge. The reason why this is so popular nowadays, is because when an AD carry trades with the other AD carry, they usually trade for about 2~3 auto attacks, then back off. Which means you're going to be looking to trade a silver bolt proc every trade. Maxing W first will give you a higher damage trade compared to a tumble first build. So heading into mid game, maxing W will definitely deal more damage overall, as long as you continue proc'ing silver bolts on the same target.

Condemn is always maxed last because it's mainly used as a stunning/knockback utility - and even at max rank the cooldown is still 12 seconds, which is still a really really long cooldown.

The build I posted above, is a personal favorite skill order, of putting two points into tumble then maxing silver bolts right away. The reasoning behind this is to lower the cooldown of tumble, so that it's 5 seconds instead of 6 which means you will have more opportunities to trade with auto + q + auto for the silver bolt proc. It's not much difference from just straight up maxing w second, so take it as you will! the 2 points into tumble is just a personal thing for me that I've had success with.

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Night Hunter (Passive)

An extremely undervalued passive, which gives you movespeed whenever you're moving towards a visible champion. This makes it extremely easy to chase down opponents! Remember that when you have your Final Hour active, this passive is TRIPLED, meaning you can virtually chase down anyone that you're looking to kill. Although this passive is strong offensively, it does not help you when you're running away.


An auto attack reset that also makes you tumble to the direction of your cursor. At max rank, you will be able to tumble every 2 seconds! This is the bread and butter skill of Vayne, which basically makes her extremely flashy with constant repositioning - which gives her the biggest kiting potential out of all the AD carries.

Silver Bolts

Every third auto attack that you hit on the same target consecutively (meaning if you change targets, silver bolts also resets), the target will take a base damage + a % max health true damage. This makes her good ALL-GAME long, and makes her incredibly deadly. This is also the thing that makes her one of the best carries in the game!


This ability will knockback a single target, and if it knocks them back against a wall then they get stunned. This is both used as a CC, and as a self peeling ability. This is also what makes her strong against bruisers, because when you're 1v1ing a bruiser and he jumps on you then you can condemn against the wall for a free stun, and if you're well farmed you should easily be able to 1v1 them. If you're incredibly skilled with fast reactions, you can also cancel some skill animations such as Alistar's Headbutt or Shen's taunt by casting this immediately after they start their spells! It's worth mentioning that condemn also applies silver bolts!

Final Hour

Gives her a flat bonus AD, grants her a short stealth everytime she tumbles, and gives her TRIPLE the movespeed bonus from passive. This ultimate is one of my favorite ultimates, not only do you gain massive AD for free, but you become nearly impossible to escape from. In teamfights, this makes you really really hard to catch without an oracle or a pink ward due to the repositioning from tumble AND the invisibility. Make sure you pop this as early as possible the moment you realize you're committed to fighting. Otherwise, you can also use it as an escape to use final hour + tumble to get away with the invisibility.

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Support Synergy

I'm gonna talk about how Vayne synergizes with a few popular support champions today. I might not include the unconventional ones or those that are rarely played.

- This is a hit or miss, especially in solo queue. If Blitzcrank can land a pull during laning phase, you can most likely condemn the target against the wall for a pretty high kill potential. The big downside is that Blitzcrank can't sustain you, and if the Blitz doesn't know how to relieve pressure in a 2v2 lane, you're going to get poked out of lane. If you're low hp then Blitzcrank landing a pull will get you killed! So play cautiously.

- Janna can provide one of the best peeling ability for you the whole game. The only bad thing is she doesn't provide healing for you in lane so you have to be extra careful with trading. Try to work with her shield so that you can trade and make use of the bonus AD you get while the shield is still up.

- Sona is probably the most faceroll support to play with. She can poke, she can heal, and she has an incredibly strong ultimate. Try your best to poke in and out with Sona's Q, and after dueling and trading she can always sustain your hp while you're waiting for another chance to trade.

- Zyra deals the most damage out of all the supports. She can provide you with an easy laning phase if you guys trade correctly, and she also offers greating peeling for you going into the later phases of the game. The only fault is the no sustain once again.. so trade wisely!

- Thresh has everything. Even after all the nerfs, he can get you out of trouble with lantern, trade extremely well with hook and flay, and the box can be used as an excellent peeling tool. Always nice to have thresh!

- This all comes down to nami being able to land bubbles. She does offer lane sustain as well as a great dueling ability (3 auto attack enhancements, which means 3 auto attacks to trigger silver bolts! :D) Her ultimate is extremely strong as well going into mid/late game. An all-around good support to have, but once she misses her bubble she's a bit on the weak side.

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Early Game

Vayne is notorious for having a bad early game, but in my opinion she's completely fine.

... The misconception here is that she SEEMS weak because most AD carries use auto attack and a spell to trade then back off. Vayne's auto + tumble is definitely weaker than say, a Graves auto + buckshot. The tricky thing for trading in lane is to try your best to trade for 3 + auto attacks. This way when you're maxing W, you will definitely come out ahead as long as you can proc silver bolts. If you have high mana, it's not a bad idea to auto + tumble + condemn for a free silver bolt proc. Just remember condemn costs a lot of mana and has a high cooldown so think twice before trading that way.

Another good way to keep on top of your lane, is if you have a support that's not passive (example: alistar/thresh/blitz and not like a janna) then if you see the enemy support out of position, you can use your condemn to knock them against the sidewall and set up a CC from your support, leading for a possible kill. Constantly look for plays so that your opponent bot lane won't be able to think they can just take advantage of you. You have to show them that you're good!

At level 6, you can probably win against most AD carries, as long as you can make the most use of your final hour. If your support has a CC ability and they land it, you can pop your ult right away and look for a kill. Even if you don't get a kill, don't worry you probably came out on top and your ultimate has a relatively low cooldown.

..And, there are times when you don't do so well. Sometimes you mess up and tumble forward instead of backwards, or you get ganked because your support didn't ward for you. Playing Vayne from behind is extremely difficult going up to level 6, because if you die or is forced to go back, that means you're gonna be losing out on the farm. Optimally, you should be farming as much as possible, but sometimes it might not be that way. If that's the case, you have to have patience.

You have to respect your opponent laner if they have more items than you (ex: if you come back with a vamp scepter, but your enemy ad came back with a BF sword) and you have to just try your best to pull the creep wave near your tower and last hit under tower. If you're able to last hit under tower calmly, you should be completely fine. If anything, it's completely fine if you get your outer turret destroyed early, if this is the case, freeze the wave IMMEDIATELY (which means you last hit at the very last moment) so that the enemy bot lane HAS to overextend to continue farming from bot lane. If you're able to do this, you should be completely set with catching up! ...

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Mid Game

sight ward ... if you're going into mid game smoothly, your dueling potential is extremely high. Vayne is strong at teamfights, but she's not the best at grouping and sieging at towers since she has no abilities to help her siege. So try your best to split a lane, and if your support can't ward the sides for you to split push safely, buy a ward yourself. YES. Buy a ward. ward the tribush if you're on purple side, and the blue brush if you're on blue side and just split away, and back off if it's more than 2 people. The great thing about split pushing is that not only does it apply pressure to the enemy team, but you'll be getting free farm to get those items that you'll be needing.

Always try your best to NOT DIE. If you die, you can't farm and if you can't farm, then you won't carry the game. If you're split pushing and your team isn't losing - then always watch the map for when you think they're about to teamfight. It's almost always better to be there with your team if your team isn't behind. If your team is behind, you guys are probably going to lose so it's a better idea to just split push to continue to give yourself gold. As long as you're able to respond and come into teamfights quick enough, you should be coming out even in teamfights, and your teammates won't yell at you for split pushing blindly and never grouping.

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Late Game + Fights

... Late game, you will be a BEAST. you should have 5 - 6 items and remember - with great power comes great responsibility... if you get caught for any reason, you will probably lose the game for your team. Do your absolute best to not get caught in bad positioning, and stay around your team unless your team wants you to continue to split push. You will be priority target for the enemy team, expect more than 2~3 people if not the whole enemy team to jump on you to try to take you out.

Positioning in late game is one of the most important factors for playing an AD carry. Having a good positioning means you're in a good place to continue dealing damage. That's your goal - to do damage. If you have bad positioning, then you're in danger and you're not going to be able to do damage and that's bad because you won't be able to output your full damage potential. This takes practice - a LOT of practice. Learn how to be at a place when a teamfight or a skirmish happens so that you're able to constantly auto attack and deal damage. Vayne is extremely strong at repositioning with tumble, so she has it better off to be able to peel for yourself while still continuiously bouncing around with tumble to deal damage.

Teamfighting is definitely the thing that I can't express in words because there are endless possibilities and situations that happen when a teamfight breaks out. Use your condemn wisely because you can't use it again for a very long time. As for using your ult, I definitely recommend popping it as soon as possible to apply as much damage and pressure as possible at the break of the fight. Your mechanics will shine here, and if you're able to kite everything perfectly you should be able to carry your team to victory. Practice makes perfect!

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I hope you guys enjoyed my vayne guide! if you have any questions or comments feel free to do so in the comments section! I'll do my best to get back to all the quesitions. :^)

remember to follow me on twitter @HeartbeatLoL
and my twitch stream

thanks! :^)