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League of Legends: How To Play Vayne

Updated on May 20, 2014

Before We Jump In!

Apart from Kha'Zix jungle, Vayne is my most played champion in Ranked SoloQ, with around 100 games this Season. I had around 120 last Season as well and understand the champion to a good degree.

Vayne has become a less played champion in the competitive scene, only players like DoubleLift, Piglet and CandyPanda have shown love for the champion. In the current meta, I believe Vayne is an incredibly powerful pick, who can 1v1 Twitch and other high-burst ADs.

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Lore

Shauna Vayne was not always a powerful Night Hunter, at a young age her Father talked about the safety of Demacia and how she will always be guarded and protected. One night, a twisted witch surpassed the guards and tortured Vayne's family, leaving only her alive.

As she escaped, a burning hatred began to flow through Vayne, one that could not be stopped. She decided to become a Night Hunter, purging those who had fallen to darkness. Joining the League of Legends, she was astonished to find all the champions fallen to darkness and would purge with silver.

Abilities

Vayne's kit is very straightforward in terms of build path and damage. In the early stages of the game her mechanical ability allows for great trades and late game she has one of the highest burst potential of any assassin, offering new ways to play Vayne, including split-push and pick-comps.

Passive (Night Hunter)

Vayne's passive gives her increased movement speed on enemies within a 2000 range. This passive is perfect for Vayne because it is increases the chase potential and allows Vayne to stalk enemy champions in bushes and stick close to them when engaging.

Q (Tumble)

Vayne tumbles where the cursor is pointing and her next auto-attack will deal bonus physical damage to the target. Tumble resets Vayne's auto-attack timer, allowing it to be used as a second strike to keep pace with a target and deal a third blow with Silver Bolts (W).

This is Vayne's primary escape tool in early levels, Condemn (E) can be used to knock back enemies, but this has quite a long cooldown and takes up a lot of Vayne's early mana, making Q more viable against one or two enemies.

W (Silver Bolts)

Once unlocked, Silver Bolts will tag an enemy target with a silver ring after each auto-attack. On the third auto-attack, the ring will break and deal true damage plus a percentage of the enemies maximum health.

Silver Bolts is the way Vayne outrades the opponent, in early levels it is critical when trading it hit the enemy three times, in order to deal the true damage and chunk the HP down. The ideal way to do this would be auto-attack, tumble to reset and auto-attack again.

E (Condemn)

Condemn is Vayne's only form of CC, knocking back an enemy. If the target hits into a wall, it will deal more damage and stun the target for 1.5 seconds. Condemn applies Silver Bolts and can be used as a way to apply the third strike, if Vayne wants to keep space between the target.

Condemn is an excellent tool for winning 1v1 fights, hitting the target into a wall will give Vayne a huge advantage of 1.5 seconds, where she can auto-attack the target without any movement, this is the reason for Vayne's incredible assassination potential.

R (Final Hour)

Vayne gains more attack damage, triple movement speed on the Night Hunter passive when Final Hour is activated. Tumble is also buffed and allows Vayne to stay invisible for one second, offering potential to stealth out of fights and move around the team-fight.

Final Hour is incredible in 1v1 and team-fights, when used correctly Vayne can move around the team-fight without taking significant amounts of damage and it allows Vayne to catch up to fleeing targets or peel away from pursuers.

Position/Role

Vayne has multiple roles in a game, but her position is AD Carry. The AD Carry role resides in the bottom lane, alongside the Support. Vayne is a hyper-aggressive champion who relies on an easy early game, transitioned into a kill-fest where she can thrive.

In the early game, Vayne should spend time farming and making sure to passively keep the lane even, there is no need for Vayne to try an all-in before level six and the likelihood of Vayne actually killing an AD or Support before level 6 is low, although with good timing on Condemn (E) it can be possible.

After level 6, Vayne has plenty of kill potential and pressure on the map. Her movement with Final Hour (R) and additional attack damage allows easy 2v2 in bottom lane and incredible control when fighting at Dragon or in a mid-game teamfight.

Positioning is key with Vayne, orb walking in early game is key. Orb walking means moving while waiting for the auto-attack to reset, something the player should learn before taking Vayne or any AD into ranked. In teamfights, it's all about making sure to deal damage while not getting in the face of bruisers, who will one shot Vayne.

Once the advantage is on Vayne's team, try to lead in and capture a single target. By using Condemn it can single out a target and force them to flash or die. This is an easy way to swing a teamfight and one of Vayne's key mechanics that players should learn.

Late game, Vayne should make sure to position correctly and let other players peel for her, mitigating most of the damage from bruisers while dealing tons of damage to the enemy team bruisers. Vayne also has the potential to split push and beat almost every champion 1v1, especially when setting up ambushes in bushes.

Good Matchups

Lucian

Lucian is decent in the early, mid and late game, but isn't the master of any. Vayne might feel a little suppressed in the early game from Lucian, however avoiding the Q and W from Lucian destroys most of his poke and allows Vayne to win most trades.

In the late game, Lucian stands no chance against Vayne. Vayne should be able to use her mobility to catch up to Lucian and Condemn (E) into the wall, followed up by a massive amount of pain.

Jinx

Jinx and Vayne offer the same sort of late-game destruction, but Jinx is more reliant on skill-shots like her W, E and R being effective in a teamfight, whereas with Vayne it's all about positioning and making sure Jinx is punished for missing skill-shots.

In the early game, Jinx's Q can make farming quite hard, but just remember to trade back with Jinx and force her to waste mana on her Q,W and E. Vayne will win trades against Jinx almost all the time and in the late-game Vayne can completely shut Jinx down, since she has no escape.

Sivir

Sivir is the opposite of a late-game carry, she becomes more about the utility of her R and her Q and W are impressive tools for wave-clear, alongside her E making her hard to grab onto. Vayne has the advantage in a 1v1 at all stages of the game and in team-fights Vayne can shutdown an overaggressive Sivir hard.

Make sure to always dodge the Q from Sivir and focus on pushing her to use spells like E and R ineffectively, as this will drop her mana pool significantly and push Vayne ahead. In the late game, make sure her utility is not as powerful as your immense amount of damage.

Miss Fortune

Miss Fortune is in a bad place right now, it is hard to recommend her against any AD and Vayne can punish Miss Fortune's lack of true escape and her rather weak late game. In the early game, make sure to stick on the sides of minions to avoid taking MF's Q rebound.

In the late game, make sure to doge MF's R and focus on clearing her off the map before she has time to channel a good ultimate. Vayne is much more active in a team-fight, while MF tends to stick in one spot for the ultimate.

Bad Matchups

Caitlyn

Caitlyn is one of the toughest champions to face in lane. She outranges Vayne and can deal more damage in a quick amount of time, using her E to make sure Vayne cannot deal the same amount to her back.

The big thing to remember when laning against Caitlyn is if the lane goes even, Vayne wins. Caitlyn lacks the late game Vayne can offer and the lack of true CC from Caitlyn makes it hard for her to win trades against Vayne in the late game.

Draven

Draven is a harder matchup in a different way. The thing to remember about Draven is the incredible snowball, once the champion has two or three kills, he can become a monster in lane and destroy Vayne.

It doesn't help that Vayne and Draven are both late-game carriers, needing only a few advantages to set each other apart. In the late game, remember to keep away from Draven's E, dodge his ultimate and use Condemn (E) smart.

In the early game, look to outrade Draven by hitting three marks of Silver Bolts before he can pick up his second axe to throw. The advantage of a support can be huge in this lane, as the matchup is extremely even until one gets an advantage through kills or CS lead.

Corki

Technically, Corki should not win a late game fight with Vayne, but often times Corki can deal great amounts of damage with the Sheen proc and the amount of poke he can deliver can chunk Vayne down before she retaliates.

In the early game, make sure Corki doesn't land his Q or his ultimate, which refreshes every few seconds. As long as Vayne has the same amount of HP when engaging, she should win the fight, although Corki has a great escape.

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Support Synergy

Every support is viable, but in order to understand lane match-ups better lets go through a couple of popular support choices when picking Vayne. This can boost chances of winning the lane or going even if you are duoing with a support player.

Leona offers a great level two and Vayne can capitalise on this by going Q and W, allowing her to hit all three silver bolts along with Leona's early high damage. At level-6, Leona provides a stun which can be followed up with Vayne's immense burst at level-6.

Thresh is a mechanical champ that fits well with Vayne's playstyle, Thresh's Q allows Vayne two free hits on the captured enemy, and E and R both offer slows to allow Vayne to catch up and position herself for the fight, excellent support all round, if the player can understand limits.

Morgana has almost everything Vayne could want, an ideal bind that keeps the player in place for Vayne to Condemn (E) and an ultimate which zones out players and allows Vayne to pick them off, alongside a shield against any stuns, grabs or magic damage.

Karma is a little weird, she has a lane-bully playstyle whereas Vayne builds up as the game goes on. The stun is good but takes time to activate, meaning Vayne has to position herself well without the guaranteed stun. Karma's main advantage is speed boosts, something Vayne can use to her advantage in teamfights.

Annie has the potential to be a devastating support, the level-6 is one of the strongest in the game with her ultimate, but she lacks any hard CC apart from the stun and she doesn't offer Vayne the same protection or tankiness the four above do, making it a questionable pick.

Sona is the most viable healer support at the moment, Soraka is more of a mid/top lane pick and Taric is not viable, in my opinion. Sona offers heal, speed up and unexpected damage, but she is very squishy and needs to be learned, especially when playing her alongside Vayne, who cannot offer a lot in the way of CC.

Braum comes pre-nerf, which is bound to happen given the fact his win-rate is through the roof. The stun passive is perfect for Vayne, as it clocks after four successful hits, if Vayne hits the target three times, she deals silver bolts true damage on top of stun damage, almost enough to kill the enemy right there.

Alistar offers hard CC and a good heal, but it is questionable if Vayne works well with him. There is a nice combo where Alistar knocks the AD into the turret and Vayne uses her Condemn (E) to stun the target, killing them almost instantly, but other than that there are more viable picks.

Build

Build path will differ as to how you play the game, Vayne can be a monster late game and I like to expose weak targets by shredding them in three shots, but for some people the safe game is what they enjoy.

Starting item can either be Blade of the Ruined King or The Bloodthirster. In a losing matchup, The Bloodthirster is ideal, it provides enough damage to hit minions under tower easily, can deal more damage than BotRK in trades, but offers less attack speed and no passive.

For anyone who wants to get the kill on level 6, BotRK is the way to go, it offer an active that allows Vayne to move quicker around the fight and more attack speed, everything Vayne needs to win the trade, but in back and forth, The Bloodthirster is better.

After the first item (and boots) by the other item mentioned. Now it's time to stack attack speed, Phantom Dancer is better in the early simply because of better base stats, plus you don't really need the Statikk Shiv until split-pushing begins.

Then, either buy the other attack speed item or Last Whisper. Last Whisper is only recommendable if they are stacking armor, which makes it hard for Vayne to kill quickly. Remember once fully built to upgrade your trinket (yellow or blue) and always by red elixirs in mid and late game.

Masteries

21/9/0 is common on all AD carries, some people go Dangerous Game instead of Frenzy, but I prefer the attack speed to the 5 percent health and mana. If you want to play super-aggressive, Double Edged Sword, Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving, along with Dangerous Game and four-points in Sorcery might be good, although I wouldn't recommend.

Putting nine points in utility is also not recommended, even though the +1.5% Fleet of Foot, extra health regen and lifesteal from 9 utility would be nice, you want to survive laning phase and it is best to have the 9 points in defense for extra armor against basic attacks.

Runes

I took the runes from Fnatic Rekkles but added two Attack Damage Quints instead of one, simply because I like the extra AD at the start instead of the extra attack speed.

The attack speed Glyphs might be a bit weird for people used to running nine magic resist, but since they were buffed they offer a lot of attack speed and it is worth not running any MR and just building Banshee's Veil late game, starting out with Spectres Cowl after the second item.

Disclaimers

I am writing this on Patch 4.7, when Heal is pretty OP, Braum has just been released and Attack Speed is loved. When you read this, things might have changed, but I will be sure to update if any big changes happen to Vayne's build path, masteries or any new champions to be aware of.

If anyone is looking for better understanding of Vayne, check out some of these links:

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