Vayne has been one of the most dominant champions in the League of Legends meta for more than a month now. She boasts a 52.78% win rate in Korea, with equally sizable pick and ban rates of 27.93% and 47.27% at the time of this writing. She is no slouch in the top lane either, rocking a similar 52.04% win rate, albeit paired with a far more modest 3.25% play rate.
The ascendancy of Vayne is all the more impressive considering her previous characterization as a mechanically-intensive champion with a weak laning phase. For a long time, she was relegated to only minimal solo-queue play. Now, Vayne is a 1v5 champion in both solo-queue and pro play alike.
First buffed in Patch 9.1, Vayne’s Tumble (Q) cooldown was reduced by 50% under her ultimate, Final Hour. This greatly enhanced her dueling, safety, and damage potential in the mid-to-late game phases.
Vayne’s viability in multiple roles, even without the protection of a support, is a testament to the champion’s flexibility and strength, and what makes her such a fantastic solo-queue champion.
Let’s take a look at why she is so strong and go over some tips on how to play her.
Vayne has probably the strongest 2 item spike in the entire game. While other crit-reliant marksmen come online at around 3 items, Vayne only requires Blade of the Ruined King (BotRK) and Guinsoo’s Rageblade, two items with almost perfect synergy to Vayne’s kit.
On the one hand, BotRK’s active offers chase potential and survivability in duels. On the other, Guinsoo’s double-hit amplifies both BoTRK’s passive and Vayne’s W ability, Silver Bolts. This makes her an incredibly potent tank-killer without any armor penetration.
As the cherry on top of the cake, the build paths of BotRK and Guinsoo’s are excellent as well. Both offer flexibility with cheap individual components and a lot of utility in the Bilgewater Cutlass.
Take Berserker’s Greaves, Phantom Dancer and Infinity Edge to round out your core items. Cap off the build with your choice of survivability in Guardian Angel or Quicksilver Sash. If you’re slippery enough to not need either, go for some extra lifesteal with a Bloodthirster.
Vayne’s greatest weakness, her laning phase, is completely mitigated by the runes currently available to her. Despite nerfs, Overheal remains a strong rune, especially considering most player will grab Vampiric Scepter into Cutlass first. While Fleet Footwork is certainly an option, most players opt for Press the Attack for its sheer damage and synergy with Silver Bolts.
In the secondary tree, Inspiration is probably your best bet. Magical Footwear is a good rune no matter what, and Biscuits offer unparalleled sustain and survivability in the laning phase.
Threaten objectives like Baron when you are ahead. With the doubling effect of Guinsoo’s, the max health damage of BotRK, and the true damage of Silver Bolts, you will take neutral objectives incredibly quickly. While your Q is a great tool for repositioning and dodging skill shots, you can also use it as a pseudo-auto-attack reset. This is especially effective when taking objectives. By tumbling into the wall repeatedly, you can maximize your damage output to take those objectives even faster.
Some thought these buffs were a ploy to sell more copies for the Prestige Edition of the Firecracker Vayne skin. That skin has not been available for some time but Vayne continues to elude nerfs patch after patch. If the new Vayne is here to stay, you’ll be better off adding her to your champion pool. Those nerfs people have been waiting for may not come for a while.
Thank you for reading, and good luck on the rift! For more League of the Legends tips, be sure to check out our guide to the three main support items.