Hi! I'm ifound1dollar, a Diamond Vayne main in North America. When I first played Vayne in early season 5, I quickly took a liking to her and decided to main her. Vayne has a very versatile kit, especially for a marksman: mobility, hard CC, Invisibility, and True Damage! That's a dangerous combo on any champion, let alone a marksman, which is what makes Vayne such a fun and unique Champion.
This is my in-depth Vayne guide; I hope some of the concepts here can be translated to other champions as well!
+Mobile/slippery +Invisibility +Innate True Damage +Hard CC +Exceptional duelist
Vayne's kit enables her to be one of the strongest late-game marksmen; she's auto-attack based with an Attack Damage steroid, mobile, has self-peel thanks to Condemn, and her %max HealthTrue Damage ensures that she's always relevant even when behind. Tumble allows her to keep herself safe and re-position, which is critical for a marksman with a short effective range. Invisibility while Final Hour is active complements this by denying enemies vision. Condemn, Vayne's hard CC ability, is very reliable and partly why she's such an exceptional duelist. Her mobility and Invisibility, when paired with hard CC, gives her a lot of outplay potential.
-Weak early game -Easily countered -Weak to hard CC -Low effective range -Difficult to master
Vayne has a weak early game; she's item reliant and quite weak before getting at least two. She's also easily countered in lane by champions like Caitlyn with superior range. Hard CC is another of her weaknesses; Vayne's short range puts her at risk of being locked down by abilities like Rakan's ult. Lastly, her low effective range is her greatest weakness. While her 550 attack range is average for many champions, she lacks any long-range abilities that other marksman like Miss Fortune have. This is why she's so difficult to master; the player must know when to engage and how to position or else get blown up instantly.
This is the standard ability sequence for Vayne. Tumble should always be taken level 1 for the mobility, auto attack reset, and damage steroid. Level 2, Silver Bolts should be taken; however, Condemn can be taken if necessary (to disengage or stun, for example). At level 3, all three basic abilities should be available.
Silver Bolts should always be maxed first, as it's Vayne's highest-damage ability; the base and %max Health damage increase significantly per level. Tumble should always be maxed second since it's her most reliable ability; the cooldown decreases and the AD ratio increases per rank. Condemn should always be maxed last; it's her least used ability and maxing Tumble earlier is always better. A point in Final Hour should be taken whenever possible, at levels 6, 11, and 16.
Passive: Night Hunter
Cost: None Cooldown: None Range: 2000
Vayne ruthlessly hunts evil-doers. She gains 30 Movement Speed while moving toward a visible enemy champion.
This ability may not seem to do much, but the movement speed turns out to be quite useful in fights.
Vayne tumbles, maneuvering to carefully place her next shot. She rolls towards the cursor and her next attack deals bonus damage equal to 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80% of her total Attack Damage. This bonus damage is not increased if the attack Critically Strikes.
Tumble is Vayne's re-position ability, auto attack reset, and damage steroid. It plays a critical role in her kit, as it's her source of mobility and Invisibility. The player should use this ability quite often, potentially to kite/dodge skillshots or just to increase damage. Thresh hook coming your way? Tumble to the side. Xin Zhao jump on you? Tumble backward, away from him.
Tip: Tumble resets Vayne's auto attack timer (there is a hidden 'timer' between each auto attack, Tumble resets it). Early in the game, Tumble can be used immediately following an attack to get two auto attacks off much faster than normal. One simply needs to attack, Tumble, and then attack again.
W: Silver Bolts
Cost: None Cooldown: None Range: Self
Vayne tips her bolts with a rare metal, toxic to evil things. The third consecutive attack against the same target will deal 4 / 6.5 / 9 / 11.5 / 14% of the target's maximum Health as bonus True Damage (Max damage vs. monsters is capped at 200).
Silver Bolts is probably one of the strongest abilities in the game. It's built to shred any Health-stacking champion, but it's quite useful against squishy champions alike thanks to its minimum damage. This ability should almost always be maxed first for that reason. Even when considerably behind, a few procs of Silver Bolts on almost any champion should be enough to eliminate them from a fight, one way or another.
Vayne draws a heavy crossbow from her back, and fires a huge bolt at her target, dealing 50 / 85 / 120 / 155 / 190 (+0.5 per bonus Attack Damage) Physical Damage and knocking them back (475 units).
If they collide with terrain, they're impaled, dealing 75 / 127.5 / 160 / 232.5 / 285 (+0.5 per bonus Attack Damage) (150% of Condemn's initial damage) bonus damage and are stunned for 1.5 seconds.
Condemn is Vayne's CC ability; it's a knockback that can potentially stun the target. It's also her only targeted ability. While the ability itself doesn't deal much damage (especially at lower ranks), its utility as relaible self-peel is what's important. Additionally, it applies a stack of Silver Bolts, allowing the player to proc Silver Bolts while only auto attacking twice. This can be done efficiently by: attack -> Tumble -> attack -> Condemn. This combo can be risky, though, as it may accidentally knock the enemy to safety.
Tip: It's possible to wall-stun an enemy with Condemn even if they are not between Vayne and a wall. The ability can be used simultaneously with Flash to change the angle of the projectile and pull off a wall-stun that's near impossible for the enemy to dodge. The player must first cast Condemn, then just as the projectile begins to travel, Flash to put the enemy between Vayne and the wall. It causes the projectile to instantaneously change directions and cause the enemy to impact the wall. The interaction happens so fast that it's almost impossible to react to.
For 8 / 10 / 12 seconds, Vayne gains 35 / 50 / 65 bonus Attack Damage, triples Night Hunter's bonus Movement Speed, reduces Tumble's cooldown by 30 / 40 / 50%, and grants 1 second Invisibility when casting Tumble.
While active, whenever a champion damaged by Vayne dies within 3 seconds, Final Hour's duration is extended by 4 seconds, up to a maximum of the original duration.
Final Hour is a giant steroid; while active, it increases Vayne's Attack Damage, reduces Tumble's cooldown and grants Invisibility after using it, and increases Movement Speed. Even early game when Vayne is still weak, hitting level 6 is a huge powerspike thanks to these. The bonus Attack Damage alone is enough to flip a 2v2 or 1v1, but when paired with Tumble's reduced cooldown and Invisibility, she can easily outplay her opponents by denying vision and dodging skillshots. The bonus Movement Speed is also quite useful, as it allows her to chase down any fleeing enemies.
Most of the time, Attack Speed and Adaptive Force should be taken on Vayne. However, really any of the defense options are viable. Armor and Magic Resist are often preferable because one is usually better than the other in lane, but Health is equally viable.
PRIMARY TREE: PRECISION
Press the Attack
Press the Attack synergizes best with Vayne compared to the other keystones in the Precision tree. It's bonus damage after 3 attacks complements Silver Bolts quite well, and the increased damage to the target afterword is always useful. However, Fleet Footwork can sometimes be a viable option when facing heavy poke-oriented laners like Caitlyn. Lethal Tempo can also be a viable option if the player prefers increased Attack Speed over the bonus damage from Press the Attack. Lastly, Conqueror is best used by melee bruisers and doesn't work very well on ranged champions.
Triumph is a great secondary rune to have; it heals and grants a small amount of gold upon slaying an enemy champion. It's a safe and consistent option since the healing can mean the difference between dying and surviving during a fight. However, Overheal can be a good alternative when paired with a healing support like Soraka. Vayne is not Mana-reliant, so Presence of Mind is not a good option.
Coup de Grace is a very consistent rune that will be useful every game; enemy champions will inevitably be below 40% Health at multiple points in the game. Alternatively, Cut Down is a great option when facing tank-heavy compositions. Last Stand, however, is a poor option because a marksman should not rely on being low Health to deal more damage.
Coup de Grace
SECONDARY TREE: INSPIRATION
Magical Footwear is a great option on any champion that isn't running Predator. It's essentially getting 300 gold and 10 Movement Speed for free; the only catch is that it's delayed. Perfect Timing may also be a good option, but only in certain situations where one-time stasis will be more useful than free boots. Finally, Hextech Flashtraption is typically inferior for damage dealers since it's designed for play-making champions.
Biscuit Delivery is a great choice for any weak laner like Vayne who gets poked down. Since biscuits heal so much in a short amount of time, they can also come in clutch during an early fight. While Future's Market can help to hit powerspikes earlier, the lending fee will unfortunately add up as the game progresses; in Vayne's case, lane sustain is simply better. Minion Dematerializer is objectively inferior and should not be taken.
The most effective Mythic item for Vayne is almost always going to be Immortal Shieldbow, regardless of whether the enemy team has a lot of burst damage. Vayne's short effective range requires her to stay close to her enemies, meaning she'll often take more damage than other marksmen with longer range. With Immortal Shieldbow's Lifeline shield, this risk can be partially mitigated and she can deal more damage. However, Vayne is one of the few marksmen who can build any of the three marksman-oriented Mythic items, though Kraken Slayer and Galeforce are usually inferior to Immortal Shieldbow. Vayne is already quite mobile, so Galeforce's dash can be somewhat redundant. Similarly, Kraken Slayer's passive is redundant. Vayne already excels at destroying tanks with Silver Bolts and will never benefit as much from more True Damage than she will from a large shield that may save her life.
Guinsoo's Rageblade is a must-buy item for Vayne thanks to it's interaction with Silver Bolts. Even when the enemy team lacks Health-stacking champions, the Guinsoo's Rageblade and Silver Bolts synergy is simply too strong to pass up. True Damage cannot be itemized against, so this item's passive alone instantly increases Vayne's damage output by 33%. With the Attack Speed, Critical Strike Chance and bonus on-hit damage from the second passive, this item becomes the single most efficient item for Vayne. It synergizes even further with items like Blade of the Ruined King and Wit's End, which can be built later.
Vayne can choose to build from a wide variety of items after completing her core. These items should always be situational, based on various factors like the enemy team's composition. For instance, if the enemy team has heavy healing from champions like Soraka or Dr. Mundo, building Mortal Reminder will be incredibly beneficial. Or, if the enemy team has heavy CC from champions like Amumu or Veigar, Mercurial Scimitar might be a much better choice.
Fortunately, unlike many other marksmen, Vayne's kit allows her to build full-tank items without sacrificing much damage. When facing heavy-Attack Damage comps with champions like Yone and Graves, a Randuin's Omen is a very good choice to help survive. It's important to remember that surviving is a priority; a dead marksman is a useless marksman.
Vayne's fifth and final item should be chosen with the same considerations as her forth. The choice should be based on factors like both the allied and enemy team's compositions, as well as others like that game's dominant dragon. If the enemy team is heavy-Magic Damage, a Spirit Visage or Force of Nature could be quite effective. Is the enemy team full of assassins? Guardian Angel could be a great choice. However, Guardian Angel might not be a good choice if the enemy team can easily kill a target as they revive (think: Caitlyn placing a trap under the reviving enemy champion). In that case, a different Armor item with defensive stats rather than offensive might be better; Vayne can instead build Randuin's Omen or even Thornmail if she needs healing reduction but can't safely build more damage.
Attack-based marksmen like Vayne should almost always build Berserker's Greaves. They're incredibly cost efficient at 35% Attack Speed and 45 bonus Movement Speed for only 1100g (800g with Magical Footwear). However, there are some situations where defensive boots are a better option. For instance, Plated Steelcaps can be a great option when facing full-AD teams with champions like Yasuo and Lucian. Mercury's Treads may also occasionally be a good choice when facing heavy-Magic Damage teams with a lot of CC. That being said, Berserker's Greaves are usually the best option.
TL;DR: Vayne's early game is very weak, but she makes up for it with her late game. You'll be stuck farming most of the time, but look for opportunities to outplay the enemy botlane. Level priority in lane is incredibly important, so try to hit level 2, 3, and 6 before the enemy does. Always try to be a part of contesting objectives.
Vayne is a champion designed to have a weak early game but excel late game. This is because two of her 4 abilities have no actual base damage, and instead grant a stats steroid. Tumble is a prime example of this. It causes her next basic attack to deal bonus damage equal to a PERCENT of her total Attack Damage, so early game it will only deal a percentage of <100 AD, while late game it will deal a percentage of 300+ AD.
Because of Vayne's weak early game, she's often forced to play very passively/defensively in lane or risk dying and snowballing the enemy lane. However, there are a few ways she can actually excel in the botlane.
Let's imagine a scenario where you're facing a Sivir in lane. You're both full health, level 6, and are even in gold/items (supports don't exist). She's low on Mana and just used her Boomerang Blade, so you now have two options: you can make the safe choice (continue to play passive and farm) or the aggressive choice (capitalize on her having low Mana and no Q). In this scenario, a skilled Vayne should quickly engage on the enemy Sivir who doesn't have enough Mana to ult and attempt to kill her or blow one or two of her Summoner Spells. If Sivir had her Q up and enough Mana for her full rotation, Vayne could have easily lost the 1v1 in this scenario, but the player was able to capitalize on Sivir's misplay.
A winning lane for Vayne is a rare occasion, though. The majority of the time, she'll be facing champions who are much stronger in lane, like Caitlyn or Miss Fortune. When playing a losing lane, your goal should be to farm up as much as you can, as safely as you can. You're probably going to be poked down by the enemy support and/or ADC, so you'll likely be stuck sitting near your tower for much of the early game.
Tip: Make sure to have vision in your tri-brush when farming under tower, because if you're low Health, the enemy jungle or midlaner can roam down and dive you. If you see an enemy coming to dive you, ping your team to come help, but if they can't, leave the tower.
Vayne gets a large powerspike when she hits level 6, thanks to Final Hour's Invisibility and bonus Attack Damage. While this opens up a lot of opportunities for her in 2v2s, it's important to remember that the enemy botlane also gets a large powerspike at level 6, sometimes even moreso than Vayne.
Tip: A single level difference can mean the difference between winning or losing a 2v2, especially in the early levels, so keep an eye out for when each botlane is going to hit level 2. When the first three melee minions in the second wave of minions die, you'll hit level 2, so it's a good idea to try to kill them before the enemy botlane. If you do, engage or zone the enemies away from the wave; you'll either get a kill and/or blow enemy Summoner Spells, or deny exp and gold. The same goes with levels 3 and 6.
Dragon is a very important objective that should never be underestimated, especially early in the game. If your team is contesting dragon, you need to be there; don't put your team at a disadvantage by allowing them to fight with one less teammate. If you have a wave of 10 minions crashing into your tower, you should still be walking to dragon pit to help out your team, even if you miss gold/exp as a result.
TL;DR:Mid-game is when teamfighting begins, so it's important that you play with your team and stay alive. It's also when baron nashor comes into play; it's the strongest objective in the game, and should always be played around mid/late-game. Remember to farm.
Mid-game is when Vayne begins to scale up, though she's still somewhat weak. Teamfights are starting to occur, so this is when your mechanical skill finally starts to actually matter. The most important thing to remember is your job as an marksman: attack what's in front of you, and stay alive.
Each team will have a front-line and a back-line; the front line will typically consist of Tanks and Bruisers/Divers, while the back-line will typically consist of Mages, Supports, and Marksmen. It's your job as a marksman to attack the enemy front-line and kill them as fast as possible, while your front-line dives their back-line and does the same. Remember: if you die, your team may lose the fight, allowing the enemy to take objectives uncontested. Staying alive needs to be a priority.
Mid-game is also when baron nashor comes into play. Don't underestimate the power of baron buff; it empowers minions and buffs champions' offensive stats, granting priority for whichever team that secures the buff. This is difficult to defend against as Vayne, since she already lacks wave clear. If the enemy team secures baron buff, your best bet is to try and stall out the baron buff and continue farming as much as possible.
On the flip side, if your team kills baron nashor, your job is to push lanes and seige with your empowered minions. The enemy team won't be able to wave clear easily, so it shouldn't take long to destroy objectives. However, while pushing, it's important to ward and watch for enemy flanks. If they get a successful flank on your team, they can ace you and completely halt your seige.
Tip: baron buff is most effective when used in multiple lanes simultaneously. Because the buffed minions are so much harder to kill, having them in more than one lane makes it near impossible for the enemy team to effectively wave clear. So, one or both of your solo laners should try to split push while the rest of you push as a group in another lane. Be careful, though, as this gives the enemy team the opportunity to engage 5v3 or 5v4 and kill you. This is why it's important to ward your flanks.
TL;DR:Late-game, it's crucial that you stay alive to deal damage, as a single mistake can lose you the game. Stay in the back-line at all times, and remember to watch closely for a good opportunity in teamfights. Objectives are incredibly important, and can win/lose you the game in a heartbeat.
Vayne finally begins to shine late game. At this point, both teams have probably pushed up to each other's inhibitors, and elder dragon has likely spawned. This is the point in the game where decision making is the most important aspect, because a single mistake can lose you an inhibitor or elder dragon, or even the game. Similar to mid game, it's your job as a marksman to survive and kill the front-line, but now, staying alive is even more important.
While the enemy Diver will have a much harder time killing you outright in teamfights, the enemy carries your biggest threat. They'll try to follow up on the Diver's engage and eliminate you from the fight. This makes it a little more complicated to survive, because you're going to have to rely on defensive items and your front-line to stay alive. This also makes it incredibly important for you to be in the back-line to prevent being jumped on by the entire enemy team.
Objectives are usually the deciding factor late-game. You need to pay close attention to baron nashor and elder dragon at this stage in the game, because losing one can easily lose you the game. They both greatly increase your chances to win a teamfight with baron nashor's increased stats and elder dragon's DOT/execute, so your team should be forcing fights if you get either of them.
Setting up for an objective late-game is a team effort; you can't safely walk up alone. You need to wait for your team in order to get vision and clear enemy wards, then just sit back and wait for the action to begin. When a fight finally breaks out, it's important to wait for the enemies to blow their important abilities and Summoner Spells on your front-line before safely engaging and DPSing. As a hypercarry in the late-game, you're probably the best form of DPS to kill the enemy front-line, so staying alive is critical.
Tip: When an ally Control Ward is placed in the baron or dragon pit while taking the objective, don't destroy any non-control wards it's revealing and disabling. By attacking the wards, you grant the enemy team vision of you, your team, and the objective's Health bar. The wards will already be disabled, so there's not actually any reason to destroy them anyway.