Complete Vayne guide – Tips & Tricks to play and counter

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Published on: 24/01/2018

Is Vayne meta? Is Vayne good?

Vayne has always been one of the most popular ADCs, both in low and high elo. This is because Vayne is extremely interactive with a great deal of outplay potential. While she is a ‘late game’ champion, her scaling is very strong and is one of the, if not the best carry champion in the game.
While the meta constantly changes with every patch, Vayne always remains a strong pick. That said, she is by no means an easy champion to pick up. To master the champion, you must have very fast reactions and great micromechanics, as getting caught by crowd control may spell instant death in a split second for late game team fights.

Vayne Esports guide for new meta

Vayne Skills /Abilities

Passive: Night Hunter

While moving towards or chasing an enemy champion that is visible (within 2000 distance), she will be granted a fairly decent boost in movement speed. The base increase is 30 movement speed when the passive is triggered normally, however, this boost triples to 90 while her ult (Final Hour) is active.
With the help of her passive, Vayne has great chasing potential as she is essentially given tier one boots whenever fighting and cleaning up. Along with ‘Final Hour’ in team fights, Vayne is extremely mobile, allowing her to dodge a whole range of skill shots and keep herself away from danger. While it may seem dangerous, dodging towards the side of an enemy champion is viable for Vayne due to the movement speed boost given later.

Q: Tumble

Cost: 30 Mana
Cooldown: 6 / 5 / 4 / 3 / 2
Pretty straight forward ability, however, execution is the key to unlocking Vayne’s full potential. When Q is casted, Vayne will tumble a short distance towards your cursor’s direction. Moreover, once she completes her tumble, additional physical damage will be given towards the next auto attack (within 7 seconds). The ability has extremely low cost and can be spammed throughout laning phase as additional harass. Once maxed, the 2 second cool down (base) grants her even more mobility and kiting potential in team fights.
Tumble is Vayne’s prime kiting ability used to both dodge skill shots and chase enemies to clean up fights. However, tumble will only go on cooldown once she uses her auto attack buff which prevents the ability’s abuse while running away.
Note: While Vayne can still crit her auto attacks once Tumble is casted, the additional AD damage from the Q is not multiplied.

W: Silver Bolts (passive)

Every auto will apply a silver bolt stack lasting for 3.5 seconds. Once 3 stacks trigger on any enemy minion, jungle monster or champion, additional true damage based on the target’s maximum health will be dealt. While the amount of damage is determined from the target’s health, there are minimum true damage values to re-enforce her damage on squishier champs earlier in the game.
Silver bolts allows Vayne to absolutely shred tanks in the late game, this is because her ability perfectly counters both high health and armor. Since the amount of damage escalates based on maximum health, tanks get hit the hardest. On top of this, Silver Bolts deals true damage, meaning the damage isn’t only high, but it is damage that goes completely through a target’s armor.
(True damage ignores all resistances excluding Kayle ult, Tryndamere ult and Kindred ult.

E: Condemn

Cost: 90 Mana
Cooldown: 20 / 18 / 16 / 14 / 12
When E is casted, Vayne will fire a bolt with a short travel time towards a target. This ability can hit jungle monsters, enemy minions and enemy champions, pushing them back. If they are knocked back against any terrain (including Anivia wall, Trundle pillar etc), they will be dealt bonus damage and stunned for a base 1.5 seconds.
If used in conjunction with Tumble, Vayne will allow herself to reposition and have a greater chance of knocking back the opponent into the wall once she uses Condemn. Avoid using Condemn as harass as it is a safeguard against ganks and assassins. However, if you have the river warded or have vision of the jungler, you can use E to trigger the last stack of Silver Bolts for additional harass (Combo: Auto, Q + Auto, E)
Note, using Condemn on a target will apply a single Silver bolt stack.

R: Final Hour

Cost: 80 Mana
Cooldown: 100 / 85 / 70
Vayne’s key ability that makes her one of the strongest scaling champions in the game. The use of the ability differentiates between an average and absolute monster Vayne player.
Triggering the ultimate, Final Hour, grants her bonus damage on every auto attack, which in its self, is already strong, but that’s not all. The best part of using her ult allows Vayne to turn invisible for one second when Q is casted. Note, Q has an extremely short cooldown allowing Vayne to stay invisible for a long duration of fights. With final hour, great Vayne players are able to kite their opponents with a mixture of aggressive and safe Q movements pro-longing their damage in large fights. As you all know, when an ADC survives for fairly long and is able to avoid initial burst damage and crowd control, they will pump out insane amounts of damage.

Soulstrealer Vayne special skin guide tips&tricks

How to play Vayne like a pro?

Stall the game out: As mentioned at the start, Vayne is a late game champion, so let’s start with that. Being a late game champion means she is required to ‘scale’, the longer the game persists, the stronger Vayne is.
This is because a full build Vayne has crazy amounts of damage, when teammates are full build, it takes longer for them to die, meaning she gets more ‘peel’ to prevent her getting targeted / burst unexpectedly. The main reason she’s ‘late-game’ is because her Q cooldown is extremely short, making her very hard to kill while pumping out damage when coupled with Final Hour.
Kite back: It is very hard for the enemy to kill you if you simply tumble back safely into your support / other tanks. If an assassin jumps on you, just R+Q away instantly, the assassin should get killed while you are invisible.
In the rare case he doesn’t die, Condemn him away from you, flash back or to the side if you believe he/she poses a threat. Teams with a Vayne usually won’t have much more damage, you will be the main damage source. As long you live in the initial attempts to burst you, it’s unlikely you get grey screened if micromechanics are done properly.

Wait for engage: Engaging on Vayne may seem tempting, especially after watching a whole bunch of gosu’s Vayne montages, but IT’S A TRAP! You should rarely ever engage as Vayne since it would usually require you to tumble forward as her auto attack range is fairly short. Tumbling aggressively at the start makes you very vulnerable, without your Q, Vayne has fairly poor mobility to escape.
Once you are in, it’s very hard to retreat since tumbling is out of the question, and the only way to gain your movement boost is walking towards the danger. This usually tends into Vayne players getting baited, especially if you lack vision in the jungle thinking it’s a free pick.

TIP: Please, for everyone who plays lock screen throughout the game, don’t…. Vayne is much too mobile, misclicking is a huge problem in team fights, as failing one auto can be like missing 700-1000 damage, which can turn a whole fight. If it’s too hard to frequently reposition your cam, just keep the cam unlocked and get that damage in.

Vayne guide tips and tricks Esports

Vayne build s8

Build paths can vary depending on the enemy’s composition, however, there are a few key items which are essential on every build.

First Back: Zeal components, or if you can afford it B.F Sword – Attack speed is key on Vayne, so you’ll want to rush it. However, if you have enough for B.F sword, its better as it’ll give you much larger harass and superior lane dominance. Don’t buy longswords since they won’t be upgraded into a proper item anytime soon.

Second Back: If you are ahead, get a control ward to keep you safe. Your first item should be phantom dancer no matter what anyone says. It not only gives attack speed and crit, it also allows Vayne to be much more mobile with its movement speed increase effects. (Zeal builds into Phantom Dancer, aka, PD).

Early to Mid Game: By this point, you’ll have wanted to finish a complete Phantom Dancer along with 2/3 of the Infinity Edge components. As you’d have guessed, Infinity Edge is the second item you must rush. IE gives both crit and damage, the passive effect boosting crit damage also works very well with the previous crit chance from PD.

Mid Game: After finishing PD and IE, you have a few options. If you are ahead and using a great deal of AP damage, get a Wit’s end as it improves survivability with the +40 magic resistance.
If you don’t get a wit’s end, building towards static shiv would be best. This is because getting more crit chance builds on the value / effectiveness of the Infinity Edge passive.
Note, avoid building both Wit’s end and Static as that’ll give Vayne too much attack speed, wasting the stat. (While it doesn’t go over 2.5, Vayne’s don’t need absurdly high attack speed as they move around a lot and cannot chain autos constantly).
Once you get one of the two items, get a Stop Watch / Guardian’s Angel to prevent getting bursted in fights, losing a mid-game fight may cost you the game as the enemy team desperately tries to prevent your scaling into the late-game.

Late Game: Blood Thirster (BT) is a must in the late game, the passive shield further improves survivability in team fights, a key for every Vayne. The life steal allows you to take on prolonged fights, BT will be the only life steal item required.
Besides that, other items should be built to counter the enemy team, for example, a team full of tank, you should get armor pen or a Blade of the Ruined, while against a team full of assassins like Rengar and Talon, you should get deadmans.

How to counter Vayne?

Pick champion with heavy crowd control: CC is Vayne’s biggest enemy as she is extremely squishy like most adc. While evading, Vayne is by no means a mobile champion, especially against lane ganks earlier in the game.

Focus her no matter what: While a Vayne may be behind, because of her Silver Bolts, she will pump out insane amounts of damage even if she isn’t fully itemised. Don’t ignore her, if she manages to get a few kills in the team fights, she will easily snowball out of control especially with her innate scaling.

Aim for a short game, play aggressively: Vayne isn’t too strong in the early game, so if you’re laning against her, play aggressively to force her into missing exp and gold. Don’t stall the game out, against a Vayne, you must take initiative and force fights constantly, as a stalled game against her will usually go poorly.

arclight vayne splash guide tips&tricks

Vayne runes s8

Main: Precision

1. Press the attack (high prolonged damage) or Fleet footwork (Better harass in lane, easier to dodge skill shots)
2. Triumph – A must have, this will save you so many times at all stages of the game
3. Legend: Alacrity – Additional attack speed is welcome since you’ll only have two attack speed items
4. Cut Down (Allow you to shred tanks even faster)

Sub: Domination

1.  Sudden Impact – Almost any champion that can trigger this should take it, Vayne is no exception
2. Eyeball collection – Gives higher damage and much better snowball potential

Common questions

Does control ward reveal Vayne?

Unfortunately not, control wards do not reveal Vayne. This is because Tumbling while her ult is active makes her ‘invisible’, not camouflaged.

What makes Vayne so good?

High damage with the ability to shred tanks. Also able to deal high damage even when behind.

Does Vayne top work?

Vayne top generally does well against melee tank champions without much movement. If you don’t know how to play Vayne, I suggest you avoid trying Vayne top, as she’s best with a support to give her peel.

Vayne counters

  • Twisted Fate
  • Sejuani
  • Draven
  • Rengar
  • Pantheon
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Photo Credits: Riot Games

Author
Kieran L. - "Kieran" | League of Legends Writer

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