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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sacull_Kinslayer

Vayne: Tumbling in the Deep.

Sacull_Kinslayer Last updated on May 28, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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"There are worse things out tonight than vampires."

"Like what?"

"Like me."

Vayne. A ranged AD pro. A type of character I have never been that good at but I really enjoy her play style, look, and the Blade/Van Helsing feel behind her. And the sunglasses rule.

Abbreviations Used (and some extras for future purposes)

AA = Auto-attack
CC = Crowd Control
AP = Ability Power
AD = Attack Damage
AS = Attack Speed
MS = Movement Speed
MR = Magic Resistance
ArPen = Armor Penetration
MPen = Magic Penetration
DPS = Damage per second
CDR = Cooldown Reduction
OOM = Out of Mana
MP = Mana
HP = Health
MP/5 = Mana Regeneration per 5 seconds
HP/5 = Health Regeneration per 5 seconds

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Strengths and Weaknesses

"You better wake up. The world you live in is just a sugar-coated topping! There is another world beneath it - the real world. And if you wanna survive it, you better learn to pull the trigger!"

Vayne has strong strengths and some blatant weaknesses. If you can manage these you can manage her and do well.


Strong burst potential.
Consistent TRUEdamage.
Excellent chance for First blood.
Stealth (limited)
Stun (has to be done right to work).


Low HP
EXTREMELY susceptible to burst casters.
EXTREMELY susceptible to anyone with a stun and decent damage.
Has to have Flash (IMO).
Stun has to be done right to work.
Low Mana (but it is manageable).

Vayne is EXTREMELY strong early game. She can bounce in, auto attack and be back out of range before your enemy can attack you back. She uses the bushes well as well. But in the same token she is very very squishy early game (and the whole game really) so you have to be careful or you will end up as First Blood instead of you getting it.

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Summoner Spells

"And there is nothing you can do about it, Daywalker!"

"Is that so?"

Flash: The is an amazing escape mechanism. With your speed it can really save your hide. Or you can Flash into position for a perfect Condemn.

Ghost: Another great escape mechanism. And it can be used to catch runners.

These are my preferred spells that i use. But there are other ones that may be useful.

Exhaust: Good spell. You can get Cripple from the offensive mastery tree to make it even better.
Ignite: if you are going to First Blood especially.

Heal: might MIGHT be worth it but ONLY as an early game assist to survivability. But this spell becomes one of the weakest as the game progresses.

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Seals: I use 5x Greater Seal of Replenishment for early game pressure. Any more than that is overkill. The other 4 is player preference. I use 4x Greater Seal of Vitality ones but 4x Greater Seal of Health would probably be better (I don't own any yet unfortunately). Flat armor is also good here for defensive survivability.

Glyph: 9x Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction. These are good for any hero. Also good here would be flat Magic Resist for some defensive survivability.

Marks: Greater Mark of Desolation are the only thing to get here. You might... MIGHT take Greater Mark of Attack Damage to help you get first blood more often. That is about it. But I wouldn't suggest it.

Quints: I use 2x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed and a Greater Quintessence of Desolation. A complete set of either would be good here as well. Greater Quintessence of Health are also useful due to Vayne's very low HP early game.

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"Pearl: It's a fragment! A piece of the prophecy!"

"What prophecy?"

"Oh, I'm not really sure. There's so many out..."

21 / 0 / 9. This is pretty standard. The only other build I would maybe look at is 15 / 0 / 15. Regardless on either build I suggest you get Good Hands over Perseverance. Your health and mana regen will be so low that Perseverance really doesn't benefit Vayne that much. However with your extremely squishy self Good Hands make a good choice. If you go 15 / 0 / 15 you can take 3 points in Meditation and exchange the 5x Greater Seal of Replenishment for some other seals. And you would even be faster.

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"We have a good arrangement. He makes the weapons. I use them."

Starting Items: Depending on what we are facing I run 1 of 2 set ups. 1) Doran's Blade. Simple and straight forward. If I don't feel too threatened by their team's early game but they are mostly all beefy heroes I will go the safe Doran's Blade route. 2) Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. This is when I think I will be matched up against someone where I will have to be dodging lots of skill shots and/or maneuvering a lot. Or if I think I can get first blood I will go this route as well. The speed is such an advantage for Vayne early game.

Purchase 1 Item 1: Sheen. This is pretty universal. Everyone pretty much agrees on this. The proc is so nice on Vayne. Tumble + Sheen is a very nice burst. However most people (after they get boots) rush Trinity Force. I tried that many times and do not like that route. During the time I am building the TriForce I feel like my damage is lacking so much. And it feels like my damage output doesn't catch up until after my first big AD item. So I wait and upgrade it later on in the match after I have my first big AD item. Doing this seems to work better for me and my play style.

Purchase 2 Item 2: Boots of Swiftness. Speed is so useful on her. I used Berserker's Greaves for many matches and while useful I just feel like the speed is better for her. It helps her catch enemies and escape bad situations. Boots of Swiftness also make up for the waiting to build the TriForce until later in the game. And since she is not a standard aruto attacker that much extra attack speed is not as useful as the speed gained. Especially since Vayne gets her target attack speed without the Berserker Boots (1.33 attacks per second... explained later on.)

Purchase 3: Vampiric Scepter. This is a personal preference but I really like getting this item fairly early before I build my next set of items. It helps with laning and has obvious benefits. And it builds to The Bloodthirster later on.

Purchase 4: B. F. Sword. Big AD. And builds towards both your core damage items. And it pays homage to the B.F.G. 9000!

Item 3: The Black Cleaver. This is the perfect item for Vayne. AD plus Attack Speed and an amazing UNIQUE passive that helps you tear through your enemy's armor. Just an awesome item for her. Helps her do TRUEdamage to most non tank heroes.

For Items 3 and 4 The Black Cleaver and The Bloodthirster are interchangeable. Just swap the order. Both are good here depending on the game situation. Most games the BC is my preferred choice though. And while it would be quicker to just buy the Bloodthirster first (since I already get the Vampiric Scepter) but in most games I still prefer the Black Cleaver first.

Item 1 Upgrade: Trinity Force. I have seen a lot of people build this right after boots. I tried that. For several games. And in every game I felt my output was lacking until AFTER I had purchased my AD items after the TriForce. So I decided to wait till after at least 1 AD item to build TriForce. And I like it so much more. And my effectiveness was so much more consistent all through the match instead of being strong at the beginning and end but lackluster in the middle game. Build the Phage portion first and then finish it with Zeal plus the recipe cost.

Item 4: The Bloodthirster. Big AD. Big life steal. Such a nice item for her. You can get this item as your third item in place of The Black Cleaver should the opposing team have mostly squishies and not much armor.

Item 5: Banshee's Veil. The only real defensive item Vayne (usually) requires. If you are doing well you can skip this until item 6. Or entirely. But I really think you should have an item or 2 with magic resist because that is your biggest weakness with Vayne. Burst casters who have a stun or snare. You can get this item earlier in the match as well if it is needed.

Item 6: Infinity Edge. If it gets to this point and you have no other pressing need this item will pretty much put you over the edge. Big AD. Big crit chance. Big crit damage. As your last item this or Madred's Bloodrazor both are very nice. Assuming you have no other specific need.

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Item Combos and Alternative Item Choices

"You may wake up one day and find yourself extinct."


Mercury's Treads: These have their obvious use and are viable for Vayne if the situation dictates. I don't prefer them on her but I do not discount their viability.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity: These are an interesting idea. Without them Tumble's CD is 1.8 already (with flat CDR blues and Offensive Mastery). With them it reduces the timer down to 1.5 secs. But I suppose the better reason to use these boots is the for the CDR for Condemn and Final Hour. Personally I don't use them but I am sure there are those who like them and make good use of them. I won't discount them either.

Berserker's Greaves: Adds attack speed. Not bad but not good either. Vayne (with proper use of Tumble) won't need a lot of extra attack speed. It is good but definitely not the best option for her in my opinion.


Anti-Mage Combo: Hexdrinker + Wit's End. The combination of these items on Vayne can make magic damage users cry. You could go as far as tossing in the Banshee's Veil if you are up against a lot of AP users. I have an item build for this set up below.

Survivability Combo: Warmog's Armor + Atma's Impaler. I have seen warmog's mentioned as a defensive item for Vayne and while I do not suggest it I will say this about it. If IF IF IF you feel you need Warmogs (and I do see some uses for it) then you REALLY must team it up with Atma's (and probably Banshee Veil as well). The synergy these 2 (or 3) items make together would help your survivability and not hurt your damage output too badly. But the real downside to this combo is you will have a long lull in your damage and productivity while building Warmogs. Similar to the lull while building TriForce but with even less damage output.

Alternative Items:

Madred's Bloodrazor: Attack Speed + Attack Damage + Armor + % Magic Damage per hit. This is a big expensive item. But you get what you pay for. It excellent damage item for those who attack fast enough to take advantage of its bonus damage.

Hexdrinker: AD + Magic Resist and a defensive shield. If you need some more magic resist this is a decent item for you to get.

Wit's End: Attack Speed + Magic Resist + Bonus Magic Damage. And a passive Magic Resist stacking buff. A very interesting item. If you are being plagued by magic users this item could help you.

Aegis of the Legion: This is a decent defense item that also adds to your AD. I don't suggest it over the Banshee's Veil but if you need both some armor and magic resist then this might be the item for you.

Frozen Mallet: Useful if you don't finish up the Trinity Force. But that does not make sense.

Cloak and Dagger: IF you are up against a team with good CC and you think you need tenacity then this is the item for you. You could get Mercury's Treads but I don't suggest it because I think the speed Boots of Swiftness gives you is so important for Vayne. So that leaves Cloak and Dagger. Attack Speed and Crit Chance. Both are nice stats for Vayne. Both add synergy to her skills. But this is an item that is for specific situations. Not a core item at all with Vayne.

Manamune: No. This item is a waste on Vayne. She does not need that much mana nor will she build enough to make this item worthwhile.

The Brutalizer: If you need/want CDR then this is probably the best item for you. Cheap and builds into something better.

Youmuu's Ghostblade: The best CDR available for a melee hero. Adds AD, crit, and armor penetration. Hard to argue with this item if someone wants to build to it. (NOTE: The Sword of the Occult has the same available CDR once it is at 20 stacks but that is not easy to get to or keep with Vayne. Too easy to be focused.)

Tiamat: No. While it would be fun but no. There are much better options for Vayne.

Sword of the Divine: Highest attack speed bonus in game. Plus extra magic damage every 4th attack. Not a bad item but if I am just looking for attack speed and extra magic damage output I think I would rather have Madred's Bloodrazor. And the huge attack speed bonus from SoTD is kind of lost on Vayne because she doesn't just sit there and auto attack. More on that below.

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Attack Speed, Auto Attacks, and Vayne

A little explanation on attack speed and the optimal number you want to get with Vayne while not sacrificing any damage.

Tumbling resets her auto attack which allows Vayne to attack faster than her listed attack speed. Optimally with Vayne you would want to at least auto attack about 2 times every 1.5 every seconds, or 1.33 attacks per second. That way you will get 2 auto attacks in between tumble uses. Or in other words you will Tumble and auto attack coming out of the roll. Then auto attack twice before your Tumble cooldown is up. Which also means you just got 3x Silver Bolts proc as well. Rinse and repeat. That is optimal. But only if you don't lose too much AD doing that. 2 auto attacks and then a tumble. 2 auto attacks and then tumble. Always as it comes off cool down.

tl;dr 1.33 attacks per second is an optimal number where you don't lose any attack damage but can get 2 auto attacks in between Tumble cooldowns.

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Alternative Build(s)

"My turn."

Magic is evil. If you are facing a mage heavy (or magic heavy) team this build can help your survivability while not significantly hurting your damage and burst.

Item 1: Boots. I still prefer Boots of Swiftness here though Mercury Threads can also be useful here.
Item 2: Sheen
Item 3: The Bloodthirster. I get this (in this situation) instead of The Black Cleaver because if you are facing a mage heavy team then you won't need the armor penetration as much.
Item 4: Banshee's Veil. Bubble!
Item 5: Hexdrinker. This gives you a second bubble against magic.
Item 6: Wit's End. Attack Speed + Magic Resist and a stacking Magic Resist buff.
Item 2 (upgrade): Trinity Force.

This is a very specific build that will help you face and survive against multiple burst casters. However nothing will save you if you get stunlocked by multiple mages and focused down. This build will help you in all situations but that one. The only thing that may save you in the that most worst of situations is a good tank and/or Soraka/ Janna/ Sona.

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"OK, Vampire Anatomy 101, crosses and running water don't do d!ck so forget what you've seen in the movies. You use a stake, silver or sunlight."

Night Hunter (Passive): Adds 40 Move Speed when going towards an enemy. A very nice passive. Take advantage of it.

Q Tumble: Such a nice ability. It adds to your damage. It helps you catch someone just out of range. It provides space if you need it. You can use it to escape someone chasing you. Possibly the coolest use of it is you can use it to dodge ANY and ALL skill shots. Just get out of the way. It is not perfect here so you can still get hit if you don't aim the tumble right.

W Silver Bolts (passive)): Neat ability. I level this second behind Q. This ability is nice with all the extra TRUEdamage it gives. Hit a person once and then tag them again and Tumble + auto attack to activate the 3rd silver dart plus tumble's bonus damage.

E Condemn: This is a very useful skill but it is such a mana hog. Be careful to not over use this because it will run you out of mana fast. This is not an ability to be spammed with her. But man it can provide such an advantage if you can aim it right and stun someone. Use Tumble to get in position to knock them into some terrain.

R Final Hour (ultimate): This is an interesting ult. To be honest at first I did not like Vayne's ultimate. But I didn't realize the many uses and the power of this ult at first. First it adds damage. And it adds to your passive x4 (+160 movement!!!) which can make you a speed demon. It adds stealth to Tumble. That right there has MANY many uses. It makes you able to gank like a boss. Go through some bushes, ult, tumble through, get in position, SURPRISE! The stealth can also save your skin. Low health, running, etc, just ult and tumble your way to them losing track of you. The more I use this ult the more I like it.

"Silver hollowpoint filled with garlic. You aim for the head or the heart. Anything else, is your ***..."

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Tips on Skill Usage and Combos

"You see the valets over there? They're vampires. So's the doorman... and the ***** on the corner."

"How can you tell?"

"By the way they move. The way they smell."

1) Ganking. Use Final Hour + Tumble to stealth and get in position for a perfect Condemn. Knock your target into a wall to stun them or into your team to ensure the kill. A lot of move speed helps here since your stealth only lasts a very short time.

2) Tumble skill + (DEX) = 20. Use Tumble to get out of the way of ALL skill shots and to avoid attacks of opportunity. Lux's Light Binding and Finales Funkeln, Morgana's Dark Binding, Swain's Nevermove, Ezreal's Trueshot Barrage etc, etc. Just to name a few. You can also use it to escape as it provides a nice amount of distance when you are running away from someone. This skill is especially powerful early game. You can use it to zone someone out so well. Usually I can tumble in, auto attack, and fall back before they ever get a chance to retaliate. And usually I can do that even if they are tower humping. I am usually back out of range before the turret can shoot me. Part of the reason I really love a lot of move speed on her.

3) TRUEdamage synergy. Silver Bolts already provides it. But with your Armor Penetration runes + The Black Cleaver's procs your base attacks most likely will also be doing TRUEdamage. That is always a plus. And this damage is pumped up with the Sheen unique passive proc (and Trinity Force's once you upgrade). This synergy also provides more healing with Vampiric Scepter.

4) Stunlock. Much like Tristana and Poppy before her, Vayne has the ability to provide an excellent stunlock to shutdown a target completely. All you need is one of your teammates to initiate with a stun (Veigar, Annie, Sion, Taric etc), and once it is about to expire you hit them with a Condemn into the nearest terrain. This usually spells death for most heroes.

5) Tumbling through the bubbles. Banshee's Veil's bubble DOES NOT stop Tumble's bonus damage NOR Silver Bolts from stacking on your target. It will however stop Condemn's knockback from working. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because your main damage sources are unaffected by the shield. But a curse as well because if you need to hit someone with Condemn you have no way of popping their bubble. So you will have to wait for the BV to get burst otherwise. But one of the most fun stunts I have pulled with this is a Singed was chasing our Veiger. Veiger cast his Event Horizon and Singed's BV ate the stun. Singed smartly just hung out in the middle waiting for it to fade. So I walked up and Condemned Singed into Event Horizon's wall. And our team proceeded to destroy him.

6) Pardon my interruption. A less discussed topic for Condemn is it is a GREAT interrupt. You don't even have to stun to interrupt someone. Nunu's Absolute Zero, Galio's ult, Malzahar's ult, Katarina's Death Lotus etc etc. Anything channeled you can interrupt.

7) Auto attack + Tumble. Remember that tumble resets your auto attack so if you tumble right after you auto attack you will attack again immediately after you finished your roll. Take advantage of this fact. If you are fighting you should be tumbling pretty much every time it is up after level 9. This improves your farming so much and it devastates your enemies. Pretty much once you are level 9 and have Sheen you can 1 shot most creeps with a Tumble.

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and Vayne killed Edward. The End.

"I promise you, you'll be dead by dawn."

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this little guide on how I play Vayne. Thanks for inspiration goes to the following:

Anne Rice: For being an amazing author and bringing the darkness to the light. And for writing the best Vampire series of all time.
Vlad Tepes, son of Dracul: Vlad the Impaler. The original. Dracula translated means "Son of Dracul" and Tepes means "The Impaler." He would dip his bread into goblets filled with the blood of his impaled enemies. Bram Stoker's inspiration.
TRUEBlood: What an amazingly well done vampire series. Great writing and great actors. And it stays true to the core vampire mythology.
Blade: the greatest of Vampire hunters.
Van Helsing: the original Vampire hunter.
Stephanie Meyer: for attempting to ruin a perfect mythology and making it the laughing stock of the supernatural world. But hey it gives me something to make fun of.