Vayne, the Night Hunter, is one of the flashiest AD carries in League of Legends. With a 51.59% win rate and a 28.03% pick rate, she has an incredibly versatile kit that turns every kill into a spectacular outplay. Let’s see how you can use Vayne to make a difference in Solo Queue!
See also: our beginners' guide to LoL Betting and our ultimate LoL Worlds Betting Guide.
Passive: Night Hunter
Vayne gains 30 bonus movement speed whenever she moves towards nearby visible enemy champions. When Vayne uses Final Hour [R], the movement speed bonus is tripled.
How to use: Vayne’s passive is perfect for chasing down foes and dodging enemy skill shots. If the enemy laner is running low on health, you can run him down with your passive to get an easy kill. Of course, Night Hunter does nothing for you when you’re the one on the defensive, so you’ll often have to wait until the mid game to make use of it.
Vayne rolls towards the mouse cursor’s location, and her next auto attack within 7 seconds deals bonus physical damage. Tumble can critically strike, but the bonus damage isn’t affected. Tumble acts as an auto attack reset. When Vayne casts Q during her ultimate, she becomes invisible for 1 second.
How to Use: Tumble is your main trading tool, and its uses are limited only by your imagination. Most of the time, you want to cast it to dodge enemy skill shots or close in on your target. Since your Q is an auto attack reset, try to time it to get a quick AA > Q > AA combo and proc your Silver Bolts [W].
Tumble becomes even more powerful with Final Hour [R]. The invisibility makes it easy to dodge spells, cancel enemy auto attacks and even set up ambushes. If you’re fighting a strong champion, you don’t want to auto attack instantly since that makes you wide open to any incoming damage. Instead, use your invisibility to reposition and pounce on them from an unexpected angle.
W: Silver Bolts
Vayne’s auto attacks and Condemn [E] apply stacks of Silver Bolts for 3.5 seconds. Attacking a different enemy removes all stacks from the previous target. The third Silver Bolt stack deals bonus true damage based on target’s maximum health. The damage is capped at 200 against monsters.
How to use: Silver Bolts turn Vayne into one of the greatest tank busters in the game. You always want to stick to your target long enough to proc your W and win the trade. Be wary about proccing Silver Bolts with Condemn, though, as the combo costs quite a bit of mana and makes it harder to chase your target once you knock them back.
Vayne fires a bolt at the target enemy, dealing physical damage, knocking them back, and applying a Silver Bolts stack. If her target is knocked into a wall, it gets stunned for 1.5 seconds.
How to use: Condemn is one of the most polarizing abilities in the game. If you manage to land a stun, you’ll crush most opponents, but if you use your E recklessly, you can very well throw the game. Most of the time you want to precede Condemn with Tumble [Q] to quickly reposition and pin your opponent to a wall. Chances are your enemies will be aware of this, though, so it’s fine to hold on to your E until someone makes a positioning mistake.
Another cool way of using Condemn is to cancel its animation with Flash—this way, you’ll fire Condemn from the spot you flashed to, making for an instantaneous stun. On a side note, we wouldn’t advise casting Condemn as your finishing move. Its damage isn’t great, and the fact that it’s applied after the knockback gives your enemies plenty of time to use their defensive abilities. Hell, even if Condemn procs Silver Bolts, it will be impossible to secure a kill if your target somehow survives.
R: Final Hour
For 8-12 seconds (depends on ability rank), Vayne receives bonus attack damage and bonus effects on Tumble [Q] and Night Hunter. If her ultimate is active and an enemy champion dies within 3 seconds of being damage by Vayne, Final Hour’s duration is extended by 4 seconds. This bonus can’t exceed Final Hour’s original duration.
How to use: Final Hour is your go button. Whenever you need to go in for a kill or defend against a powerful enemy, your ultimate is the perfect tool for the job. We’ve already covered the effects it brings to Tumble and Night Hunter, but we have to highlight the bonus AD. Even at rank 1, Final Hour gives you 3/4 of a B.F. Sword for free, and it only gets better with more levels.
R > Q > W > E
Tumble [Q] is your go-to trading tool, so max it first every game. Silver Bolts [W] are great for tearing through mid game teamfights, and it’s best to invest points into it next. Leave Condemn [E] for last. The ability doesn’t scale well, and it’s perfectly usable at rank 1. And remember to level up Final Hour [R] whenever you can.
Vayne Runes and Summoner Spells
Vayne excels with Precision and Domination runes. In the first case, you want to start with the Press the Attack keystone since it’s the most powerful AD carry option available. Get Triumph next. Not only is it overtuned right now, but it synergizes well with Vayne’s dive-oriented playstyle. Then, you have to decide between Legend: Alacrity and Legend: Bloodline, as the former has amazing scaling, but the latter makes it easier to survive a tough laning phase. Round out your build with Coup de Grace to have more damage against wounded opponents.
As for the Domination tree, take Taste of Blood and Zombie Ward to improve your laning phase. Sudden Impact is another viable option to boost your offensive capabilities. Keep in mind that you can pick the Resolve tree if you’re facing one of your hard counters. In that case, take Second Wind and Iron Skin to mitigate incoming damage.
As a marksman, Vayne always wants to run Flash and Heal for her summoner spells. The former grants extra mobility, which is great for boosting your playmaking potential, and the latter makes it easier to survive in those do-or-die scenarios.
1.) Infinity Edge > Berserker’s Greaves > Statikk Shyv > Rapid Firecannon > Mercurial Scimitar > Bloodthirster
Vayne works best with the standard AD carry build. Start with Infinity Edge—the item will boost the damage from Tumble [Q] while throwing in some critical strike chance on top of that. Remember, though, that it’s often better to sit on a B.F. Sword and get Berserker’s Greaves/Statikk Shyv—Vayne scales much better with attack speed than attack damage.
Get Rapid Firecannon to make your first auto attack hit for more and from a longer range. Since most teams will try to lock you down, buy Mercurial Scimitar to have a way of dealing with crowd control. Round out your build with Bloodthirster—its shield and life steal will be invaluable in teamfights.
Vayne has a lot of situational items to consider. Berserker’s Greaves are great, but since you’re a short-ranged marksman, sometimes you need to get Ninja Tabi to combat assassins and bruisers. For the same reason, Phantom Dancer can be a much better fit than Rapid Firecannon (or even Statikk Shyv).
If you’re playing against several squishy champions, consider buying Duskblade of Draktharr. The invisibility from your R > Q combo will let you make full use of Duskblade’s passive and delete enemy carries with 2-3 auto attacks. For more defensive options, look into getting Maw of Malmortius against fed mages or Guardian Angel against strong AD champions. Frozen Mallet is another viable item if you’re facing immobile tanks or bruisers.
Then there’s Blade of the Ruined King. This is a staple Vayne purchase that can be taken in place of Infinity Edge for a stronger powerpsike. If you choose this route, follow it up with Statikk Shyv/Infinity Edge and transition into your regular build afterward. Alternatively, you can grab BotRK in place of Bloodthirster or Mercurial Scimitar if you’re playing against several tanks.
Finally, a word on Last Whisper items. Both Lord Dominik’s Regards and Mortal Reminder are regarded as staple AD carry purchases, but Vayne doesn’t need them as much as other marksmen. This is mainly because Silver Bolts [W] already do quite a bit of damage to tanks, so it’s better to build items that counter everyone else. Still, don’t be shy to grab Mortal Reminder if you’re facing Soraka or Maokai.
When to pick Vayne?
Vayne is a late game AD carry that needs time to get rolling. In most cases, you want to pick her with a standard composition of 1-2 frontliners, a mid lane mage, and a defensive support. For the enemy team, you don’t want to play against champions with powerful point-and-click CC like Annie or Ryze. Also, it’s important to examine lane matchups.
Vayne Matchups and Counters
Vayne loses most lanes, provided she doesn’t pull off an outplay. Still, some champions struggle against you due to the nature of their kits. For example, Ezreal will have a hard time landing his skill shots if you Tumble [Q] well enough, and Sivir doesn’t have enough damage to abuse your sluggish laning phase.
Of course, things get more difficult against aggressive picks like Caitlyn, Draven, or Kalista. Even hypercarries like Kog’Maw, Tristana, and Twitch will have an inherent advantage over you due to their superior range.
Laning Phase and Early Game
Vayne’s early game is all about farming and waiting for your opponents to outplay themselves. In most cases, you want to start with Doran’s Shield, but it’s okay to go with Doran’s Blade if you have a shielding/healing support. The enemy duo will likely try to push you in, so aim to get as many CS as possible while avoiding their poke.
At this point, you should be using Tumble [Q] to dodge skill shots, but don’t hesitate to go for a quick AA > Q > AA combo if the enemy marksman oversteps his limits. Once you hit level 2, you have a choice to make. Silver Bolts [W] is better for raw damage and prolonged trades, but Condemn [E] has amazing synergy with initiating supports. If you trust your support to make a play, go with E. Otherwise, W is a much safer option.
Level 3 is the turning point. Since you’ve unlocked all your basic abilities, you have plenty of tools to work with. All that’s left is waiting for your opponents to commit mistakes. Most bot lanes will try to pressure Vayne, which means they’re likely to overstep their limits. Once that happens, it’s up to you to identify the opportunity and turn up the aggression. Even something like the E > Flash combo is worth it because the enemy marksman will have a hard time getting away from you if you land your stun.
Alternatively, you can wait for your support to make his move. This isn’t a great strategy with champions like Janna, Soraka, or even Lulu, but it’s a reasonable approach when you’re laning with Leona or Thresh. Your kill pressure skyrockets when you unlock your ultimate because Final Hour [R] allows you to dodge most spells and close in on your enemies. Try to be unpredictable—your foes will try to guess where you’re going and aim their skill shots accordingly, but if they miss, the fight is as good as won.
Still, don’t force fights too much. You’re a late game hypercarry, which means it’s perfectly fine for you to sit back and farm. Hell, it’s even okay to lose your turret as long as you can keep up with the enemy marksman.
The mid game is when Vayne starts to shine. The damage from 1-2 critical strike items is absolutely insane, and you can easily chunk out most squishies with the R > Q > AA combo. What this means is that you should always be looking for teamfights and skirmishes. Your goal is to position yourself away from enemy damage dealers while kiting out and shredding tanks with Silver Bolts [W].
Unless you have a numbers advantage, do not Tumble [Q] in. Rolling right into the fight is one of the most common ways Vayne players die, and you really don’t want to go down that route. In fact, hold only use your Tumble when you have to dodge a skill shot or kite a bruiser. Once enemy tanks are dead, you can flip the switch and go on the offensive.
But what separates Vayne from other AD carries is her playmaking potential. Final Hour [R] grants her massive mobility and insane attack damage, which means you’ll beat most marksmen in 1v1s, provided you didn’t lose the laning phase too hard. This makes Vayne one of the few self-sufficient AD carries in the game.
In fact, one of the most common tactics on Vayne is splitpushing. Once you get Statikk Shyv, you can quickly push in minion waves and tear through turrets, and if the enemy marksman tries to stop you, you can solo kill him. Most importantly, even if your opponents send a solo laner to take you out, you can still outplay them with Final Hour.
Naturally, there’s no need to be stuck in the side lane if your team is strong enough to take a 5v5, but this is a reasonable strategy to split up your enemies if you find yourself on the back foot. Also, Vayne excels at setting up ambushes. When in doubt, sit in a brush and wait for someone foolish enough to facecheck. Just make sure the brush isn’t warded because it’s very easy to turn tables on you.
Late Game Tips
In the late game, Vayne becomes a monster that routinely tops damage charts. Your teamfighting/splitpushing approach remains the same, but now you can delete a squishie with a few auto attacks. Of course, this means you can be bursted down just as fast, so keep track of enemy cooldowns. You never want to go in only to get one-shot by Annie’s Tibbers.
Your low range makes you susceptible to enemy carries, so use Final Hour’s [R] invisibility as often as possible. Even so, this is the time to turn up your aggression because if you manage to pick off a squishie or Condemn [E] someone, the game is as good as won.
Another thing to note about Vayne is that she’s great at taking down objectives. The extra damage from Silver Bolts [W] makes you burn through Baron and Elder Dragon, so use this to your advantage when making split-second decisions. And remember, when you’re on Vayne, there’s always room for outplays.
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Vayne is the ultimate playmaker. She takes a team-reliant position and turns it into one of the most impactful roles in the game. The only downside is that you have to get through a weak laning phase and deal with being a short-ranged AD carry in teamfights. But if you can manage that, you’ll find it easier than ever to snowball your Solo Queue games!