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[Guide] Vayne – The Flexible Assassin

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Eledhan

Senior Member

06-03-2011

WARNING!!!

This guide is out-dated since the changes to Masteries in Season 2. I'm in the middle of my college finals right now, so I will not be able to update my guides until after Christmas. I plan on re-releasing my guides in a more streamlined form, and updating them for Season 2.

Contents:
-Patch Notes
-Changelog
-How To Use This Guide
-Introduction
-Flexible Vayne
-SWOT Analysis
-Vayne’s Positions
-Vayne’s Roles
-Vayne’s Responsibilities
-Pregame Options
-Items
-Build Explanations
-Playing the Flexible Assassin
-The Stiff Assassin (TL;DR)
-Assassin-in-training
-The Stretching Build
-Closing Comments

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Patch Notes

v1.0.0.122 - Guide up to date as of this patch.


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Changelog
6/22/11
Made changes to the item comparisons due to changes to Vayne. Also changed the comparisons to show total damage at the target armor values listed. Added Doran's Blade as a starting item. Added IE rush as itemization strategy.

6/16/11
Added a comparison of late-game damage items for guide users to consider. It can be found at the bottom of the 3rd post.

6/15/11
Added a comparison of mid-game damage items for guide users to consider. It can be found at the bottom of the 3rd post.

6/9/11
Guide Completed


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How To Use This Guide
This guide is MASSIVE, I'm not gonna lie! Don't let that scare you, though!

I've included this little section to help you figure where to start:

If you are new to League of Legends
I hope that you aren’t trying to learn the game with Vayne…However, if you are, I’ve got a decent way for you to start off at the end of the guide called Assassin-in-training. This little mini-guide is where you should probably start off...just skip down to the 4th post in this thread to see what I recommend. [COMING SOON]

In addition to the Assassin-in-training guide, you should read through some of the guides posted HERE (http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?p=754980#post755000) to help you learn some of the basics of the game itself that are not specific to a certain champion.

If you are new to Vayne
Skip this section and just keep on reading. I lay all the groundwork for each of the builds mentioned at the bottom, so you can understand the principle behind each concept.

If you just need a build that works
You should go ahead and scroll down to the 4th post in the thread, which contains a TL;DR version of the four build concepts I have built into this guide. You can find them under "The Stiff Assassin" topic heading in the fourth post.

If you are tweaking a build to fit your particular playstyle
Focus on the core items in the build concepts that seems to fit your playstyle, and then tweak the item list to fit your style.

In addition, you can always help contribute to the guide by testing and then commenting on The Stretching build when I have a build posted to it. The Stretching build is where I post what I'm currently testing on Vayne. If you have questions about a specific component of any builds, or want help figuring out how to design a Vayne build for your playstyle, just ask in the comments!


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Introduction
I absolutely LOVE ranged champions! My main for literally hundreds of games was Ashe (I even wrote an Ashe guide FOUND HERE (http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=384983)), and I have tried every single ranged champ that exists in the game. In my humble opinion, Ashe and Vayne are hands down the best two all around ranged champs in the game for what they bring to a team.

The thing about ranged champions is that they typically have very low survivability. This means summoners must focus on conservative playstyles that are intended for hit-and-run and kiting tactics in order to maintain damage output and survive at the same time. Vayne is PERFECT for this! The ability to dart in, deal damage, and then dart back out (even stealth back out) is simply amazing for this playstyle. I’ve been waiting for a champ to compete with Ashe as my top played ranged champion, and I’ve found it in Vayne!

This guide is going to focus on one thing and one thing only…Vayne’s build flexibility. I only deviate from this concept with the Stiff Assassin guide for new players due to the fact that they will be playing Vayne without full rune pages or masteries, which forces them into a bit more rigid build. All other builds are really just branching paths to try out.


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Flexible Vayne
The fact that Vayne deals true damage based on every three attacks means she can be built for attack speed to be effective. She can also be built around Tumble and Trinity Force procs. She can also be built around attack damage for massive auto attacks. All three concepts are viable, and therein lies her flexibility…Vayne builds should adjust throughout the game in order to address what she is facing.

Because of he flexibility, this guide will focus on these 3 damage concepts in order to focus the reader's energy when they are deciding what to build on Vayne in each game. Remember, keeping an open and (dare I say it?) flexible mind will help form you into an awesome Vayne player!


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SWOT Analysis
I would like to introduce you to a very popular business strategic planning tool known as a SWOT analysis. SWOT, say hello to everyone!

The objective with a SWOT analysis is to identify attributes of a company, and then develop strategies to address the company's Weaknesses and Threats while also enhancing its Strengths and Opportunities. The following SWOT analysis of Vayne will identify areas this guide will seek to address:

Strengths
-High Mobility
-Non-ultimate hard CC
-True damage based on max HP of target

Weaknesses
-Low survivability

Opportunities
-Excellent scaling with items

Threats
-Champs with strong crowd control

Each option presented in the following sections are only presented because they are what I consider the best components to enhance Strengths, mitigate Weaknesses, help to seize Opportunities, or attempt to avoid Threats. You will find that much of the Strength and Weakness decisions are related to your actual build, but the decisions for Opportunities and Threats are more related to tactics and strategy.


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Vayne’s Positions
This guide is designed to deliver the information you need in order to successfully handle any option for Vayne’s lane choice. Each of the viable starting lanes will be briefly discussed here. Vayne is flexible enough to handle any of the lane assignments, but is probably the most effective in a dual side lane with an ally who can CC enemies so she can trigger Silver Bolts more frequently.

Solo Middle – Vayne is an excellent solo middle. She can easily dodge most enemy mid champ harassment and can counter attack incredibly well when their abilities are on cooldown or if they push her tower.

Solo Side
Vayne makes a great solo for a side lane if your team has a jungler and another solo mid who might not perform well as a solo side. She works so well solo side because she has a great farming ability along with the ability to keep her opponents from jumping on her all the time. She can also severely punish enemy pushes with a properly coordinated jungler gank.

Dual Side
When laning with a partner, Vayne can either harass or farm. A focus on early, frequent damage from Silver Bolts is probably the way to go here, especially if you have a CC heavy laning partner. If your laning partner has trouble farming, Vayne should probably play the harass game to allow her partner to farm in safety.

Jungle
I have already tested this a bit, and she IS viable in the jungle. However, she isn't one of the better champions for jungling. I will include the jungling build in The Stretch build at the end of the guide so I can get feedback from others who might have tried it.


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Vayne’s Roles
In any team game or sport, there are more than just positions. For example, there can only be one pitcher in baseball, but there are different players who perform different roles at the pitching position. Baseball teams have starting pitchers and closing pitchers, who each have different styles even though they play the same position. In addition, one pitcher might focus on getting strikeouts while another focuses on getting ground outs and pop outs. These various kinds of pitchers are what I consider to be ROLES. The POSITION is pitcher.

In LoL, there are really only 4 basic positions (Solo Mid, Solo Side, Dual Side, & Jungle). Most champs can fill at least 2 of these positions, and some can fill up to 3. Vayne is flexible enough to be comfortable in any of the 4 positions, and still perform admirably.

However, this doesn't tell us what Vayne's roles are. Sure she is a great solo, but what kind of role will she play? The primary roles in League of Legends are:

Tank - Soaks up damage like a sponge and/or forces enemy team to focus them
Physical Damage- Deals damage primarily from auto attacks and physical abilities
Magical Damage- Deals damage primarily from magical abilities
Support - Buffs team mates and/or Debuffs opponents

Please note that most champions fill more than one role in order to encourage balance. However, some only fill one role, and they do it exceptionally well. A good example of the difference would be Shen and Caitlyn. Shen is really good at tanking, but he's also great at supporting his team. Caitlyn is so focused on pure physical damage that her team utility is trivial. Shen would be a champion who can fill multiple roles, while Caitlyn can only fill one.

Vayne naturally fits into 1 role: Damage. What is unique about her damage, though, is that she can deal damage in a variety of ways. Classifying her as pure physical is misleading since she can rack up quite a bit of damage with Silver Bolts. Therefore, I’m simply listing her role as Damage. Building Vayne in a manner that enhances a role other than DPS is not the goal of this guide. However, there may be some components of builds that seem to be better suited for a different role, such as tank. Please note that although Vayne's role is Damage, it doesn't do her any good if she is dead! Building a bit of defense never hurt anyone!


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Vayne’s Responsibilities
You may be thinking that a champion's Roles dictate their Responsibilities. That's not necessarily true. Just like a pitcher might have the role of starter or closer, yet may be geared to strike outs or ground/pop outs. The position is pitcher, the role is closer, and their responsibility is to either get a strike out or to get a ground/pop out.

The same is true in LoL. Just because a champion is filling the role of Tank does not mean that they only have a responsibility to soak up damage; they should also be looking for ways to support their allies or debuff enemies, among other things. Vayne is no different.

To more fully understand this concept, I've included a list of responsibilities that Vayne should be handling when in a game. Please note that although any one of these might occur at any given point in a game, all of them will be required at some point in the game. As a Vayne player, you need to be aware of what your responsibilities to your team are so you can perform your job correctly. I will not try to tell you which responsibilities are more important than the others because you need to adjust based on the circumstances in every game, and every part of every game.

Farming - If Vayne doesn't farm well, she can never build the items that she needs in order to deal sufficient damage later on in the game through her auto attacks/abilities. The thing about Vayne is that she specializes in obtaining gold from champions as well as minions, so don't pass up an easy kill in your lane just because you're trying to "farm more".

Harassing - Vayne should be using Tumble and Condemn to keep enemies at bay. This allows her to farm better, keep her tower safe, and help her team mate (if applicable) farm safely. Her harass is one of the safest in the game, and deals some of the highest damage as well! Harassing enemy champs with healing abilities can be a bit of a waste, though, so keep that in mind!

Chasing – Vayne is perhaps the best chaser in the game. Her passive grants her enhanced move speed when moving toward an enemy champ within sight range, AND tumble gets her closer to her intended target as well! And I haven't even mentioned her Ultimate increasing her passive! If your harassment causes an enemy to run away, make sure you CHASE THEM!!!

Dealing Damage – This is the ONLY reason for Vayne’s existence past the laning phase…if you don’t deal damage, you might as well just turn off the computer! You should be staying in fights until the very last possible second before trying to escape. This ensures that your team is successful in fights. Sometimes, you even need to fight until you die in order to get your team a win and allow them to push a tower. This is just part of playing Vayne!

I have had many games where I was playing Vayne, started dishing out damage after our team initiated, got focused immediately, kept fighting, got a kill or 2 and got some of the other champs low...I died, but the rest of my team was still alive and pushing the tower after acing the enemy. Don't be afraid to die for the good of your team (assuming they are actually fighting well and fighting with you).

Escaping – This is a fine art that takes some practice. However, once you get the hang of it, you should be able to get yourself out of some pretty sticky situations. The most common way to do this would be to use Tumble while your ultimate is active in order to stealth. While stealthed, simply flash or ghost away from the danger zone and make a clean getaway. This should be a last resort in a fight, as escaping means you can’t deal any damage…which is what you have to do in order to contribute to your team!


Continued in next post...


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Eledhan

Senior Member

06-03-2011

...continued from previous post.

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Pregame Options
This portion of the guide will discuss the viable options for Vayne in Summoner Spells, Runes and Masteries. The options listed are only those that make sense on Vayne to help with her SWOT strategy. You will not see things like magic pen marks, armor seals, ability power glyphs, or Smite in this guide. These options simply do not belong on Vayne since there are much better choices.


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Summoner Spells
With Vayne’s only weakness being survivability and the only threat to her is CC, there are really only 3 summoner spells that make sens on her. Running offensive spells on her (like Exhaust or Ignite) is kind of silly, since she has very little need of assistance getting kills late game, but REALLY needs help with staying alive!

Cleanse
This spell combined with Flash is simply mean...opponents will think they might grab you, and all of a sudden, you're not there...and THEN you purge any CC effects on yourself...It's just mean...

Seriously, though, this spell is great! If nothing else, it means building Banshee's Veil late game is not necessarily mandatory, which can free up another spot for Vayne to build more damage items.

Flash
Excellent escape spell at any point in the game. It works PERFECTLY with her brief stealth…allowing you to escape or reposition without your enemies knowing where you went.

Ghost
All around great spell for Vayne, mainly because it stacks with her ultimate & passive…granting her insanely high move speed if used correctly. Use it to chase enemy champs better than any other setup! Its uses are very broad and it works all game long.


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Runes
When it comes to runes, you really want to focus on the primary runes for each type. Some people will tell you that rune choices don't matter, but I say they do. The most effective rune options are as follows:

Armor Penetration, Attack Speed, Critical Chance, Health Regen, or Move Speed Quintessences
Armor Penetration, Attack Speed, or Critical Chance Marks
Attack Speed, Critical Chance, or Health Per Level Seals
Attack Speed, Critical Chance, or Flat Cooldown Reduction Glyphs

Whew!!! That's a lot of options! Use whatever options you have. I currently run all Attack Speed runes, and it works great! Early fights usually go my way because of Silver Bolts procs due to the Attack Speed, but you can use any combination you prefer from the above options.


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Masteries
I find that Vayne gains more from the offensive mastery tree than most other ranged carries. She doesn't need the mana regen from the utility tree, she has decent escape potential without the added summoner spell c/d in the utility tree, and she doesn't require much early survivability other than health regeneration. These concepts all point toward a 21 / 8 / 1 Mastery Page (http://leaguecraft.com/masteries/3001340030330103023000000000000100000000000)

This will be the default page for most of the builds in this guide because it has a little of everything she needs.

One possible alternative would be a 21 / 0 / 9 Mastery Page (http://leaguecraft.com/masteries/3001340030330100000000000000030140001000000) for a bit quicker ride to level 6 and less time spent dead, along with slightly longer lasting neutral monster buffs.


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Items
The items listed below are the ones that I feel are viable on Vayne. Each item has a brief label for what attribute it enhances. There is also a brief explanation of why the item is useful on Vayne.

Any item omitted is because I feel there is a better option available that provides a similar set of stats, or that the stats provided do not make much sense on Vayne. If you have a question about any of the items below or you want to know why a specific item is missing from the list, please post in the comments and I'll be happy to give you the reasoning behind the included or omitted item you are curious about.

All items are listed in order of their purchase price, then by the order of importance if the price is the same

[35] Health Potion
Early game Defense. Get these when the game starts, and only get more if you are forced back to base VERY early in the game and do not have enough money to get something else.

[250] Red Elixir
Damage and Defense. If you had to return to base early, and don't have enough gold to get your next item, you can get one of these and a ward or two to keep you going for a bit longer.

[250] Green Elixir
Damage. Only consider these if you have an IE. These suckers are simply amazing if you have IE. Grab them whenever you have an extra 250 gold for a massive damage increase due to increased critical strike chance.

[350] Boots of Speed
Utility. This is a great item to start with on Vayne if you have the right runes and masteries. The reason is that this item allows you to also start the game with 3 HP potions...that's an extra 600 health in the laning phase! Plus, the boots are best against enemy mages since it helps keep you away from their spells.

[415] Long Sword
Damage. Start with this item + HP potion if you are going to be rushing Brutalizer early. Otherwise, your best bet is to get a Doran's Shield or Boots + 3 HP potions.

[475]Doran's Shield
Defense.The regeneration on Doran's Shield allows you to play more of a harassment role and recover from any counter harass thrown your way much faster than you could without it.

[750] Avarice Blade
Damage. If you are going to build a Ghostblade, then you will need to build Avarice at some point. Hold onto it as long as you can before upgrading so you can get the most out of the gold/10 passive.

[920] Berserker's Greaves
Damage. The increase to attack speed makes these boots a very effective early game item for Vayne. However, they drop off in value later in the game when you most likely have all the attack speed you could ever want. Buy these if you want to get some early kills.

[1050] Recurve Bow
Damage. Ah, my favorite core Vayne item! I love this thing because it can be upgraded into 4 different viable items for Vayne based on how the game is going. It makes a great early item to combine with your choice of boots so you can pump out the Silver Bolts procs. If you're going the AS route, you can upgrade it into Wit's End, Sword of the Divine, or Madred's Bloodrazor. If you are going the AD or TriForce route, you probably want to upgrade it into Stark's Fervor for the lifesteal. Either way you go, you can get this item early on and not waste any gold on the early advantage.

[1200] Mercury's Treads
Defense. Reducing the amount of magic damage you receive and how long you are disabled can make the difference between a kill and a death. If you aren't going for an early game advantage with attack speed, and you don't intend to buy Cloak and Dagger later on, you should strongly consider getting Mercury's Treads. The one thing that shuts Vayne down more than anything is crowd control. Reducing the most deadly forms of crowd control really does make a difference!

[1337] The Brutalizer
Damage and Utility. Reducing the c/d on Vayne's abilities is great. Doing it while gaining damage is better. Getting c/d reduction, damage and armor penetration is freakin awesome! If you are running into opponents who have less than 75 armor, you should be using this item instead of a Last Whisper for your armor penetration needs. Upgrade into Ghostblade once you have some of your other damage items.

[1350] Executioner's Calling
Damage & Defense. If you have a Mundo on the other team, this item is a necessity. You will be able to safely prevent his healing during his ultimate while also completely destroying his HP. This item will also work well with anyone else who has focused on life steal or spell vamp, but it's probably not the most effective way to counter those concepts.

[1360]Sword of the Occult
Damage. I would only get this item if you are consistently performing as good as a +5 KDA spread per game. If you consistently perform well, buy it early so you can gain the stacks you need. SotO is still a great item if you are doing well, but it requires a bit of a gamble early in the game.

[1450] Cloak and Dagger
Damage and Defense. Reducing CC on Vayne is really important. If you aren't using Mercury's Treads, make sure you grab yourself a Cloak and Dagger. This item works wonders with IE, Trinity Force, or for triggering Silver Bolts.

[1970] Sword of the Divine
Damage. If you have to play against Jax, then you're going to need this item. NO EXCUSES!!! You absolutely MUST be able to hit him or he will screw you (and your team) over. The added attack speed and proc is very nice for your DPS as well. This item is a great choice even if you aren't facing Jax because of the massive attack speed it grants. If you bought a Recurve Bow early on, this makes a great upgrade!

[2000] Wit's End
Damage and Defense. This item is simply amazing. It doesn't grant quite the same Attack Speed increase as Sword of the Divine does, but it deals more average damage per attack while also making you much harder to kill when fighting casters. If you are up against some hard hitting casters, I HIGHLY recommend this item. Even if you're not, this item is truly wonderful!

[2175] Force of Nature
Defense and Utility. I would only get this item if you are building Warmog's, and only after you have completed Warmog's. FoN plus Warmog's will enhance your staying power by quite a bit, regenerating roughly 115 health every 5 seconds! The move speed on FoN is a great addition to Vayne's inventory because it increases the bonus move speed she receives from Night Hunter (and her ultimate), making her difficult to chase, and even more difficult to escape from!

[2290] Last Whisper
Damage. If you are focusing on a TriForce build, grabbing this item could be very beneficial with all the damage you'll be pumping out. Percent penetration is much more valuable against high armor ratings and high damage output, so keep that in mind when deciding whether to go with Last Whisper or flat armor pen.

[2355] Atma's Impaler
Damage and Defense. Grab this item if you decide to get Warmog's Armor for about an extra 60 attack damage for very low cost. You will also get some extra armor and critical chance for even more damage and survivability.

[2550] Stark's Fervor
Damage. This item is great for additional attack speed and armor reduction. It grants attack speed, lifesteal, and Hp5 to nearby allies, which is always a bonus. Grabbing the Recurve Bow early can really make you pump out the damage!

[2687] Youmuu's Ghostblade
Damage and Utility. Combine Brutalizer and Avarice for an even better item. The active on it can be used to chase, kite, or melt towers quickly. Just make sure you use the active on it any time there is a fight, or you are attacking their towers.

[2715] Banshee’s Veil
Defense. Prior to the 30 minute mark, you probably don't need to worry about getting this, and after that, you only need it if you are actually getting harassed by disables. Grab a Negatron Cloak early on if you are getting harassed by magic damage, and then you can decide if you need the bubble or not. If you do, upgrade into BV. Otherwise, there are better upgrade options for the cost.

[2845] Phantom Dancer
Damage and Utility. If you're going to build Trinity Force, you probably won't be needing Phantom Dancer, since you will be spending a bit more time tumbling than auto-attacking. However, if you don't build Trinity force, you should build this after you get an Infinity Edge.

[2865] The Black Cleaver
Damage. This item used to be on my black-list (pun intended), but after further review, it is viable in an AD / AS build. Combine with Stark's for maximum effect.

[3000] The Bloodthirster
Damage and Defense. Once you get one of these, you should be doing everything you can to stay alive so you don't lose the stacks. It's not a terrible idea to get two of these if the game is just dragging on; as long as you have plenty of attack speed. This will probably only happen if you don't need defensive items late game, which is exceptionally rare.

[3000] Warmog's Armor
Defense. Man, this thing is sweet on Vayne! It allows her to stay in the fight so much longer with that extra HP. It is a great item to build if you bought the Regrowth Pendant as a starting item. Getting Atma's Impaler afterward is a great way to enhance your damage!

[3250] Frozen Mallet
Damage and Defense. If you are not building Trinity Force, you can get this item to obtain a slow and some survivability for Vayne. This makes her much harder to kill since she now becomes an excellent kiting champion.

[3800] Madred's Bloodrazor
Damage. Wow...what an item! Madred's on Vayne is simply absurd. The attack speed, physical damage, and magical damage all combine to deal tons of varying types of damage to her targets that opponents will have a difficult time defending against it.

[3835] Infinity Edge
Damage. This item is an absurdly expensive item for a champion that truly does like to snowball with early game kills. This is not typically the best item to rush unless you are focusing on critical chance items and pre-game options. However, it does work wonders when it is in Vayne's inventory!

[4070] Trinity Force
Damage, Defense, & Utility. This item really is amazing on Vayne. The biggest reason you would want to get TriForce on her is that the proc extra damage is part of the calculation for the Tumble proc, effectively increasing Tumble even further. Mixing this with Ghostblade makes Vayne an unbelievably deadly force to be reckoned with due to the cooldown reduction and armor penetration on Ghostblade allowing for more frequent and deadly TriForce procs.

Continued in next post...


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Eledhan

Senior Member

06-03-2011

...continued from previous post.

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Skill Order
Based on your desires in the lane, I have a couple of different skill orders to recommend to you:

For Burst: Tumble, Silver Bolts, Condemn, Tumble, Tumble, Final Hour
Then: Final Hour > Tumble > Condemn > Silver Bolts

For Sustain: Silver Bolts, Tumble, Condemn, Silver Bolts, Silver Bolts, Final Hour
Then: Final Hour > Silver Bolts > Tumble > Condemn

The Burst concept is based on AA, Tumble, AA, Condemn combo, but Sustain is based on proccing Silver Bolts as often as possible. The Burst order is best for harassing in lane, while Sustain is better for pushing the lane.

Either method will work just fine if you're just going to passively farm in the lane, so if that's your style, try both, and pick the one that suits your end-game style the most. However, if you want to be aggressive, you can do so with two different methods...by pushing hard and hopefully getting a turret down, or you can just harass and hope for a kill when your opponent(s) get low enough.


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Building the Flexible Assassin
As I've mentioned before, I do not believe Vayne is the kind of champion that makes sense to design a specific build order because she can be effective with so many different items. Due to this, you are about to encounter a logical flow for purchasing items during games based on the runes and masteries you chose as well as your allies and opponent's champions and items.

This can be quite daunting if you're fairly new to the League, so skip down to the next post to see Assassin-in-training build, which is designed for players who either don't have high level runes and masteries. Or, you might be the kind of player that just wants a simple rune page, masteries, and item build...in which case, you can scroll down to the next post as well, and look at the Stiff Assassin build.

Before you get started, you should have a general idea of what each build type is useful for.

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Build Types

Attack Speed
Magical damage, attack speed items are core with this type of build. This would be used against high HP teams that would LOVE to buy Thornmail and watch you kill yourself with an AD or Triforce build. You will need Mercury's Treads for this build because you lose almost all of your damage output if you get CC'd.

Attack Damage
Attack damage items with critical chance, lifesteal, and attack speed mixed in. This build works great against a team of squishy champions because of the ridiculous damage you will be pumping out, and you don't care much about Thornmail since you won't have to attack for very long to kill your targets, and you also should have plenty of lifesteal to help you ignore any damage Thornmail might deal to you.

Trinity Force
This build focuses on rushing Triforce components in order to get an early game advantage. This is a bit more balanced approach than either AS or AD, since you will be focusing on dodging around as much as possible with Tumble, making you that much harder to hit. This build doesn't deal as much sustained damage as the other two, but the burst potential is much greater.

Hybrid
This build takes the best parts of the AD and TriForce builds combines them for a balanced progression along the damage curve. An emphasis on high damage in relation to the phase of the game is what is important here. This is also the most flexible build in this guide due to it taking the best parts of two separate build concepts.


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Rune Page
Selecting a rune page that works for you is going to be largely up to the build type you are focusing on. I've included a few basic options to help you get started on figuring out what kind of rune page you want.

Attack Speed
+38.1% Attack Speed - Works great with either AS or AD build types

Critical
20.2% Critical Chance - Works best with AD or TriForce builds

Penetration
24.9 Armor Penetration, 9.7 HP per level (175 @ 18), and 5.8% CDR - Works best with AD or TriForce builds

Regen
8.1 Hp5, 14.9 Armor Penetration, 9.7 HP per level (175 @ 18), and 5.8% CDR - Works best with AD or TriForce builds

Masteries
I prefer the 21 / 8 / 1 due to the regen granted by the Strength of Spirit, but choosing 21 / 0 / 9 shouldn't make a difference in your build or tactics.

Summoner Spells
I always use Ghost & Flash for maximum escape and chasing potential. Mixing in Cleanse isn't going to change much, other than making you are more powerful against crowd controllers, but less powerful in chasing or escaping. It really is just a personal preference between these spells.

Starting Items
This is largely dependent on the build type you intend to use, since you really want to complement your choice the best you can. I'm going to include some useful starting items for Vayne here.

Boots of Speed & 3 Health Potions
Use these starting items if you think you will be laning against a skill shot champion or caster because the move speed will keep you from taking too much damage from their harass. Upgrades into your choice of boots, so no gold is wasted.

Doran's Blade
This item is simply amazing on any ranged carry. I love stacking them as I rush IE, since you get the added benefits of the life steal and the HP, making you very difficult to deal with during the early-mid game since you pump out damage and yet are tough to kill. Be careful not to fall into the lifesteal trap, though...that could hurt your ability to control the lane because you push too hard and prevent your jungler from being able to gank properly. It all depends on your strategy, though...you might actually WANT to push the lane so you can hopefully get the tower down sooner.

Doran's Shield
Use this starting item if you think you will be laning against a ranged physical champion. The armor and Hp5 will prevent them from zoning you with harass, allowing you to stay in lane and farm. Doesn't upgrade into anything, so using this item typically means you want to be aggressive early in the game, or its stats are just wasted.

Long Sword & 1 Health Potion
These starting items work well if you think you will be facing melee opponents in the laning phase, sacrificing staying power for more harassing power. Upgrades into either Madred's Razors for an AS build or a Brutalizer for either AD or Triforce build. For the extremely aggressive, it can upgrade into Sword of the Occult as well.

Regrowth Pendant & 1 Health Potion
These starting items work well if you want to harass early on regardless of opponent. The health regenerated is simply astounding, and will allow you to take quite a beating without returning to base. this item can be upgraded later on into Warmog's Armor for added survivability once Vayne starts getting focused.


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Tenacity Decisions
Due to Vayne's vulnerability to CC, you need to have a Tenacity item in your inventory. Determining which Tenacity item is best is highly dependent on which build you're going with, and can greatly aid you in further itemization decisions as you play each match.

Mercury's Treads
I recommend using this item for either the Magical AS build or the TriForce build, since you will not be needing the benefits of the other boot upgrades. This item also grants you the best itemized CC reduction, which makes you even harder to kill.

Cloak and Dagger
I only recommend this item if you are focusing on an AD build centering on critical chance, attack speed, and life steal. This item grants you the Tenacity you're looking for while also enhancing your AS and crit chance.


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Laning Phase
This would include the time that you spend ganking and counter ganking, usually when the first row of towers is still active for at least one team. The concept here is that you are still trying to farm minions while you defend and push towers and setup ganks. During this phase, you should be focusing on optimizing your chosen build as much as you can.

Attack Speed
[4250] Mercury's treads, Wit's End, & Sword of the Divine
You'll want to make sure you have Mercury's Treads and a Recurve Bow as soon as you can. If you are running the AS rune page, you'll want to upgrade the Bow into Wit's End for maximum DPS while also granting you some additional defense against magical attacks. Start working on Sword of the Divine next for even more Silver Bolts and magical damage procs.

Max Early AD
[4682] Berserker's Greaves, The Brutalizer, Cloak and Dagger, & Pickaxe
Grabbing a decent AD item is very important. You also want to make sure you have Berserker's Greaves as well, since that is going to enhance your damage quite a bit. I recommend starting with The Brutalizer as your core, and then building Cloak and Dagger to protect you from CC while boosting your damage output. Grab a Pickaxe as soon as you can so you can start working on Infinity Edge.

Max Late AD
[4755] Berserker's Greaves, Infinity Edge
Ignoring Tenacity items in order to get IE might be risky, but it could also have HUGE payoffs due to the fact that you will deal more damage with your IE than with any other item for an AD or TriForce build. However, rushing an IE usually means you take big jumps in your effectiveness, so padding your build with Doran's Blades is an acceptable practice, and will keep you on par with your opponents while you farm up the gold for those big ticket items.

Trinity Force
[5270] Mercury's Treads & Trinity Force
You'll want to start off with either Phage or Sheen. To help you decide, consider this... Sheen will grant you more damage, but Phage grants you more survival. It really depends on which one you need. I would recommend trying for Sheen first. After that, make sure you have Mercury's Treads and then you can work on finishing off TriForce. With just TriForce and Treads, you should be quite safe to deal your damage, since CC won't hold you in place for long, and you'll be out-damaging non-CC champs.

Hybrid
[5047] Mercury's Treads, The Brutalizer, Phage, Zeal
Getting Brutalizer early means you deal plenty of damage. But let's say you don't want to go with the AD build, but you also don't want to RUSH TriForce. Just use the Hybrid build! This will allow you to get that early damage from auto attacks and Tumble with Brutalizer, but work you into building TriForce as soon as you can.


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Skirmishing Phase
Once you finish out your laning phase build, you will most likely be dealing plenty of damage to your opponents. However, since this is the part of the game where fights of 3-4 champs from each team occur, you will want some extra defense to survive any burst damage that comes your way. There are a few ways you can do this, but it varies with the build you're using.

Attack Speed
[3000] Warmog's Armor - anti burst
OR
[3250] Frozen Mallet - kiting and chasing
If you are going the Attack Speed route, you won't need more resistance since Merc Treads and Wit's End are taking care of that. So that means Banshee's Veil is really not a viable choice here. I recommend getting more Health to help you survive any burst damage that you might take while you are under the inevitable CC. Go ahead and grab yourself a Giant's Belt and then upgrade it into either Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet.

Attack Damage
[2715] Banshee's Veil - CC and magic resistance
Build a Negatron Cloak, and then work on Catalyst. This will make you more effective against enemy casters, and hopefully prevent you from getting hit with the first CC ability in each fight.

Trinity Force and Hybrid
[3000] Warmog's Armor - anti burst
Since you already have decent CC resistance with Mercury's Treads, you don't need to focus on Banshee's Veil. Getting a Warmog's here can make you virtually unstoppable.



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Mid-Game Damage Comparison
Comparison only useful for builds that use AD and/or TriForce

I got curious about what item would be best to go for around level 10 in terms of maximum damage based on the tactic used. I decided to do a bit of research, and this is what I've come up with. This comparison assumes the same runes, masteries, etc between options. It also assumes roughly the same cost for each item set, so Red Elixirs were used to make up any variances in cost. Bonus AD from ultimate rank 1 was used in Triggering, Full Combo, and Sustain calculations. Silver Bolts damage not included since it is not affected by these items.

Each item set is compared to the others for the following tactics:
Tumble Harass - Tumble harass only
Triggering Silver Bolts - landing 3 auto attacks with one of them being after Tumble
Full Combo - Triggering Silver Bolts with 3 auto attacks and landing the Condemn stun
Sustain - Full Combo followed by 3 Triggers until Condemn is available again.

All damage listed is @ 50 un-penetrated armor after runes & masteries.

Items
Sheen = [1675] Sheen & Long Sword
BF = [1650] BF Sword
Brutalizer = [1587] The Brutalizer & Red Elixir
Phage = [1565] Phage & Red Elixir

Harassing
Sheen = 154
Brutalizer = 139
BF Sword = 136
Phage = 118

Triggering
Brutalizer = 369
BF Sword = 356
Sheen = 327
Phage = 315

Full Combo
Brutalizer = 645
BF = 611
Phage = 559
Sheen = 559

Sustain
Brutalizer = 1751
BF = 1679
Sheen = 1540
Phage = 1504

Conclusion
Sheen is the best pick for Tumble harassment, but The Brutalizer is the best pick for every other tactic.


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Late Game Damage Comparisons
Comparison only useful for builds that use AD and/or TriForce

After doing the Mid-game comparisons, I wanted to see which item, when rushed, grants the most bang for your buck in terms of just damage and nothing else. I use all the same assumptions as the Mid-game Comparison, but use different items and a higher gold limit. I did not include Harass in this comparison, because it is not a viable tactic late game when playing Vayne, and the amounts were so similar it wasn't useful information.

All damage listed is @ 100 un-penetrated armor after runes and masteries.

Items
TF= [4070] Trinity Force
IE= [4080] Infinity Edge + Red Elixir
BT= [3975] Bloodthirster & Pickaxe
BC = [3840] The Black Cleaver & Pickaxe
YMG= [4077] Youmuu's Ghostblade, Pickaxe, & Long Sword
LW = [3940] Last Whisper & BF Sword

Notes:
Bloodthirster will include 3 numbers for 0 / 20 / 40 stacks, but will be ranked based on 0 stacks
Stacks from BC = 0 for Harass, 1 for Trigger, 1 for Combo, and Combo @ 1 stack plus 3 Triggers @ 3 stacks for Sustain
Critical Chance was used to average the damage for TF, IE, and YMG for all auto attacks. TriForce proc can not crit.

Triggering
IE = 579
LW = 506
YMG = 477
TF = 438
BC = 428
BT = 405 / 441 / 477

Full Combo
IE = 831
LW = 818
YMG = 743
BC = 695
TF = 659
BT = 654 / 700 / 746

Sustain
IE = 2569
LW = 2336
BC = 2227
YMG = 2175
TF = 1972
BT = 1868 / 2022 / 2176


Conclusions:
At 100 target armor remaining after runes/masteries, IE will deal the most damage on average if you don't land a full combo. It also deals the most sustained damage between combos.

If you do land a full combo, LW will deal about the same damage as IE due to the base damage from Condemn gaining a benefit from the armor pen.

As the target's armor rises above 100, LW becomes more and more viable, making the choice between IE and LW a toss up.

The best bet would probably be a combined usage of IE and YMG, because of the enhanced damage due to critical chance and armor penetration. You could follow this up with other flat penetration items, such as BC or Stark's to deal even more.

At this point, though, it seems as if IE > LW > YMG as the maximum damage dealers.


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Completed Builds
After the core damage items and one defensive item, you should be set to build according to each specific game's facts and circumstances, which I believe my explanation of the items should help you with. If you want some specific examples, though, scroll down to "The Stiff Assassin Build" to read full item builds if you prefer to have it all spelled out for you ahead of time.


Continued in next post...


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Eledhan

Senior Member

06-03-2011

Continued from previous post...

Quote:

Playing the Flexible Assassin
This section will cover the basic tactics you should be focusing on based on which build concept you are following. General tips are included at the end of this section, and aren't necessarily related to a specific build.

Attack Speed
Early game, you're going to be dealing damage primarily from Silver Bolts due to your attack speed, so focusing on attacking instead of Tumbling is best. Even level 1 fights can go your way due to your superior damage capabilities. While using an Attack Speed build, you really want to focus on using Tumble for positioning only. Using Tumble for the proc just means you wasted about one or two attacks later in the game, when you have nearly 2.5 attacks per second. The same principle is true for your ultimate...you want to use it to keep you in range of an escaping opponent, or to allow your Tumbles to stealth you, not for enhancing your damage. The only exception to this is VERY early game, like levels 6-10 or so...This is because the added damage will probably not be affected by enemy armor enough to really matter.

Attack Damage
When building Vayne for AD, you need to realize that her auto attacks are the most important, but for some burst damage, opening with Tumble and condemn, you can't go wrong! Unlike with the AS build, you don't want to spend all your time auto attacking and only Tumbling or using your Ultimate to position yourself. You want to use them as much as makes sense, because you are actually enhancing your damage when you do. Your attack speed isn't going to be quite high enough for Tumble to hinder your damage output, so feel free to do so as long as you won't move out of position to deal damage.

Trinity Force
Ah, the bursty build! This is when you want to literally Tumble every 2 seconds in the middle of a fight. This is because the enhanced damage it provides with the Tumble and TriForce procs is simply absurd! You should be a hard to hit, hard-hitting assassin. Other than spacing out your procs, you should spend the rest of your time auto attacking and Condemning the appropriate targets.

Hybrid
The tactics for combat in the hybrid build is literally just a hybrid of the AD and TriForce builds...I don't think there's anything else to say here...

Laning Tips
-If you need to push, time your Silver Bolts procs so you can get the last hit on minions
-Try to save Tumble for harassing enemy champs or for dodging
-If Tumbling to harass, make sure you click your target BEFORE you Tumble...otherwise you'll just attack a minion
-Save your ultimate for either committing to a chase to their tower or for escaping a gank with stealth from Tumble
-Keep an eye out for a chance to Condemn opponents into a structure, then follow through with Silver Bolts proc
-Help your allies in other lanes by ganking so you can farm up kill/assist gold

Ganking Tips
-CALL YOUR TARGET!!!
-Focus on the target until they are out of range, then switch to the target who is farthest from safety
-Try to open up with Condemn if the target is near a structure
-Condemn bursty champions instead of the target if the bursty champ is near a structure
-Try to wait until you have either red buff or Phage before ganking so you can slow your target(s)

Team Combat Tips
-Stay out of range of CC before fights start
-Wait for fights to start before attacking
-Look for opponents to stun against a structure with Condemn
-If you can't land a stun, use Condemn to interrupt an opponent's ability
-Activate your ultimate to take advantage of stealth from Tumble
-When Vayne is stealthed, she does not auto-attack unless you command her to, or her stealth ends
-Fight until you are around 20% HP, then start looking for an escape
-Once you escape, look for a chance to perform an AA, Tumble, Condemn, AA combo on low HP champs


Quote:

The Stiff Assassin Build
This is where I basically put the TL;DR for the build concepts listed above. Included here are build orders and logical rune choices.

Attack Speed
Flash/Ghost
21/8/1
AS Rune page

Boots & 3 HP Potions
Recurve Bow
Mercury's Treads
Wit's End
Sword of the Divine
Frozen Mallet or Warmog's Armor
Madred's Blood Razor
Force of Nature

Attack Damage
Flash/Ghost
21/8/1
Apen Rune page

Boots & 3 HP Potions
The Brutalizer
Berzerker's Greaves
Pickaxe
Cloak & Dagger
Infinity Edge
Youmuu's Ghostblade
Banshee's Veil
Bloodthirster / BC

Trinity Force
Flash/Ghost
21/8/1
Regen Rune page

Regrowth Pendant & 1 HP Potion
Phage
Zeal
Mercury's Treads
Trinity Force
Warmog's Armor
Last Whisper
Atma's Impaler
Force of Nature

Hybrid
Flash/Ghost
21/8/1
Regen Rune page

Regrowth Pendant & 1 HP Potion
The Brutalizer
Mercury's Treads
Phage
Zeal
Warmog's Armor
Trinity Force
Youmuu's Ghostblade
Atma's Impaler
Black Cleaver


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Assassin-in-training
For those players who are either new to the League, I've designed this little mini-guide to help you out. This mini-guide will show you what you need to do if you are a new player working your way up to 30, while hopefully keeping you competitive. Enjoy!

COMING SOON!!!

Although I haven't decided on a build to use for this, I highly recommend all of the above item builds. Vayne doesn't really gain much of an advantage from runes or masteries, so using any masteries and runes you have will work just fine with any of the above builds.

Until I can update this section with more specific information, Exhaust, Heal, Ignite, and Teleport are great summoner spells to use until you get access to Cleanse and Flash.



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The Stretchy Build
This is the part of the guide where I post what I am currently testing out on Vayne and report back my findings as well as update with assisting posts from my fellow community members. Please feel free to try out the build and post your thoughts on it.

Jungling Build COMING SOON!!!

I have tried jungling once...it seems to work just fine, but I need more testing to see how it will do in a competitive environment. I started with Cloth Armor and 5 HP Potions and used a full AS rune page. Built Madred's Bloodrazor and Merc Treads first...seems to work pretty well.


Closing Comments
It has been an absolute pleasure to work on this guide. I hope that it has been helpful if you are new to playing Vayne. As with all my guides, I keep up with this one on an almost daily basis, so any questions you might have will usually be answered within 24 hours.

Because Vayne is still a fairly new champion, I am open to any comments my readers and fellow summoners might have regarding any part of my guide, so please post anything that you think could improve this guide. If at all possible, I will credit you with any significant changes that come up in our conversations.

Happy summoning!!!

Eledhan



If you enjoyed this guide, you might like my other guides, which are linked below:

Ashe - The Team Queen Ashe (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=384983)
Udyr - Suddenly...a WILD UDYR appeared! Udyr (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=967802)


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Eledhan

Senior Member

06-09-2011

Guide ready for viewing and comments.

Please give it a try and let me know what you think!


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Warrrrax

Senior Member

06-09-2011

Wow, very nice. I would recommend:

1) TriForce has a 2 or 3 second cooldown and it doesnt work per skill anymore, but as a global cooldown. Thus champs like Nidalee who would deal massive damage with Sheen/Lichbane/Triforce got nerfed.
Unless you space out your Ult, Tumble, E then you will likely only proc a single triforce.


2) Some tips on how to control her better. I hated playing her. Id shoot a baddie, reposition her path slightly and tumble...and she would shoot a freaking MINION.
So I had to try to learn to always rightclick baddie BEFORE tumbling to ensure the 2nd attack goes off. Irritating since apparently I autocorrect a lot.

Similarly, when she has her Ult up, her Tumble wont shoot at all! Understandable but you have to learn how to use 2 different control mechanisms which is a pain.


I gave up on her pretty quickly.


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Eledhan

Senior Member

06-09-2011

Quote:
Warrrrax:
Wow, very nice. I would recommend:

1) TriForce has a 2 or 3 second cooldown and it doesnt work per skill anymore, but as a global cooldown. Thus champs like Nidalee who would deal massive damage with Sheen/Lichbane/Triforce got nerfed.
Unless you space out your Ult, Tumble, E then you will likely only proc a single triforce.


2) Some tips on how to control her better. I hated playing her. Id shoot a baddie, reposition her path slightly and tumble...and she would shoot a freaking MINION.
So I had to try to learn to always rightclick baddie BEFORE tumbling to ensure the 2nd attack goes off. Irritating since apparently I autocorrect a lot.

Similarly, when she has her Ult up, her Tumble wont shoot at all! Understandable but you have to learn how to use 2 different control mechanisms which is a pain.


I gave up on her pretty quickly.


Thanks for the response!

1) Unless you have some information I don't, my understanding is that TriForce DOES proc after EVERY ability use. Sheen and Lich Bane are the items that have a 2 second cooldown, not TriForce. If you have information that contradicts this, please let me know because that could drastically change some things!

2) Great advice...I'll have to add that to the general tips section. Thanks! As for her not shooting after tumble while ult is active, it's because she's stealthed...you have to manually command a stealthed champion to attack or use an ability, they will not do this automatically like normal...

I discovered this concept when learning Akali as the first champ I played...it's annoying, I'll admit, but it's saved my life quite a bit.


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Rrbhaunoch

Recruiter

06-09-2011

Quote:
Eledhan:
Thanks for the response!

1) Unless you have some information I don't, my understanding is that TriForce DOES proc after EVERY ability use. Sheen and Lich Bane are the items that have a 2 second cooldown, not TriForce. If you have information that contradicts this, please let me know because that could drastically change some things!

2) Great advice...I'll have to add that to the general tips section. Thanks! As for her not shooting after tumble while ult is active, it's because she's stealthed...you have to manually command a stealthed champion to attack or use an ability, they will not do this automatically like normal...

I discovered this concept when learning Akali as the first champ I played...it's annoying, I'll admit, but it's saved my life quite a bit.


response to 1) sheen/triforce procs on every ability use, but the proc has a 2 second cooldown. If you space your abilities out 2 seconds, you can get a proc for each ability. Since tumble has a 2 second cooldown at level 5, you can pretty much assume that Vayne will be able to use it nearly every time it is available...but if you are chain-casting your abilities it won't proc on each one (when I combo Q and E it will only hit with the Q, but when you have Q maxed out your next Q should also get the proc).

I just bought Vayne last night and played a few games with her...I am going to try out your tri force build for sure. I am dying to find a ranged AD champion that I can learn to play well


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Kikhan

Senior Member

06-09-2011

In general I agree with this guide completely.

I would add in condemn interupts channeled spells even if it doesnt stun them against terrain ie. nunu ult, malz ult, ww ult, kat ult; you get the picture. This is very important if your team lacks hard cc or interupts. Saving condemn for those spells has won me several games.

Also add in for duo laning buying some wards to put in the bushes to sight for you can earn a number of kills. Due to having this sight your opponents may think your partner is face checking the bush only to be surprised that they are suddenly pinned by you from the side. If you don't have wards you might need to communicate to your lane mate to stay in the bush to sight for your pins. Many games I have felt like raging at my lanemate if they had only stayed in the bush for a little longer we would have the advantage. Lane mates need not be scared having Vayne a distance away from them in lane since Vayne can close the distanct and stun that opponent approaching them in the bush.

My only real complaint is that I think this guide is a little long and repeats itself a few times.

Also the sheen rush build is designed for heavy harrass and not direct banging it out fights early in the game. I did not feel that was entirely communicated. Where as the attack speed and or damage builds are designed to basically stand there and bang it out by out dpsing your opponent.. Of course you would be using your skills as well but, not like hit and running with tumble sheen harrass.


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Eledhan

Senior Member

06-09-2011

Quote:
Rrbhaunoch:
response to 1) sheen/triforce procs on every ability use, but the proc has a 2 second cooldown. If you space your abilities out 2 seconds, you can get a proc for each ability. Since tumble has a 2 second cooldown at level 5, you can pretty much assume that Vayne will be able to use it nearly every time it is available...but if you are chain-casting your abilities it won't proc on each one (when I combo Q and E it will only hit with the Q, but when you have Q maxed out your next Q should also get the proc).


Again, I'd like to know why it is that Lich Bane and Sheen both have the 2 second cooldown spelled out in their descriptions, but Trinity Force does not...and yet you guys are trying to tell me that TriForce has the cooldown...

Will you please inform me as to where you're getting your information? If it's from personal experience, I'll accept that, but I will try to replicate it myself.

Quote:
I just bought Vayne last night and played a few games with her...I am going to try out your tri force build for sure. I am dying to find a ranged AD champion that I can learn to play well


She's tons of fun! If you want to find a ranged champ to play well, you should try out Ashe. My Ashe guide, "The Team Queen", is a great place to start!