League of Legends: Bringing the Vayne!
Patch v18.104.22.168, Tenacity, Vayne
By Jason Harper (Hhean), OnRPG Journalist
Greetings fellow summoners! This is the patch v22.214.171.124 article for League of Legends, the most tenacious of games. This patch includes the addition of the Tenacity stat, and Vayne, The Night Hunter.
Vayne is the result of splicing Batman and Bayonetta into one deadly killing machine. She’s a very strong skirmisher and ranged damage dealer, focusing on one target at a time. Anyone familiar with other ranged carries (Ashe, Tristana, Corki, Miss Fortune and so on) will find her a familiar champion to play.
The key to Vayne is her Tumble [Q], which is both an incredible defensive ability, and dramatically increases her damage output. Skillshots might as well not exist once you get familiar with timing it. Its low cooldown and mana cost means she can just roll her way around any fight that comes her way. The only downsides to the ability are that the cooldown only starts for the next Tumble once you have fired a single autoattack, so you have to keep this in mind when using it to flee, and that unlike many other dashes, it won’t go through walls.
Her standard harassment game during laning is sitting just outside an enemy’s reach, behind minions or in a bush, waiting for the enemy to blow an ability when they’re out of range, then Tumbling forwards to give them a shot to the face before retreating again. If the enemy gets too cocky, either shoot while rolling back to safety, or take the all or nothing bull charge offensive!
When you want something to die, and die very fast, her standard combo is Final Hour [R], attack, Tumble, attack, Condemn [E] (This will trigger Silver Bolts [W]), Tumble, attack, and so on. Really, if they aren’t dead by the initial combo though, you’re likely doing something wrong, or are grievously struggling for gold and experience. Her damage output on single targets is completely loco, able to easily down champions a number of levels above her due to her sheer wrecking ball potential.
Condemn can be used to buy you time when kiting an enemy around, but be careful with this trick, since firing it off too early may mean you don’t get a stun later on, which would buy more time to run for it than a simple knock back. On the offensive, it is really only something to use if you think you can pin someone to a wall with it, netting you a stun (and likely a kill) or knocking them back into your waiting friends. The latter is risky business though, because Vayne is the squishiest character I’ve played in a good long while, and will die if an enemy so much as breathes on her. A single 1.5 second stun is more than enough time for her to lose all her health, since all of her survivability comes from abusing Tumble.
One important thing about Vayne – Her farming potential is terrible. She’s great at last hitting in the lane, using her Tumble to reset her attack animations to net last hits in short order, but once the waves get larger later on she’s worthless. She has no way of hitting multiple targets at all, so once laning is done with, just concentrate on murdering people for your gold. Yeah, last hit from time to time the odd minion, but if you’re not chasing enemies to murder, and are farming in a lane by yourself, you’re not using her properly.
You may have noticed that I haven’t talked about her passive, her ultimate (Final Hour) or her Silver Bolts. This is because they are fairly self explanatory. Her passive lets you chase people down easier, her ultimate is a steroid that lets her damage go up while also enhancing her kiting and juking capabilities, and silver bolts helps you murder people after every third hit. They’re not really the primary parts of her game plan, but they certainly help.
At level 1, pick up Tumble. Grab Condemn at 2. You’re now ready to get all the kills. All of them. Level 4 is Silver Bolts. My skill order is Final Hour > Tumble > Condemn > Silver Bolts. I do change this though if I see the enemy team is very tank heavy, and will swap the order of Condemn and Bolts.
Start out with a Doran’s Blade. I’ve honestly been trying to find something I can pick up at the start that builds into something useful on her, so I can use some potions, but I keep turning up blank. The only item down that route I can come up with is a sapphire crystal, but its next to useless on her until it can be built into something later, as she barely consumes any mana at all.
After that, I’ve been hearing all sorts of interesting gimmick builds for her, but really, she’s fine if you just build her like any other ranged carry. Infinity Edge, Banshee’s Veil, Berzerker’s Greaves, Last Whisper are the stock standard loadout for any character of this sort, and it works very well on her. Sheen/Trinity Force are excellent items on her though, especially due to the combination of Sheen’s damage and Phage’s slow that increases her kiting abilities nicely. Madred’s is nice against tank heavy teams, or if you don’t have a strong jungler to help with downing Baron, due to the item’s synergy with Silver Bolts. I personally would recommend the new Cloak and Dagger on her against crowd control teams. It’s cheaper than a Brutalizer, and acts like some damage dealing Mercury Treads. Very nice if you’re getting caught out by crowd control a fair bit.
For her Masteries I ran the standard 21/0/9 I tend to use on most ranged characters, though 9/0/21 is also effective for greater mobility. Grab the experience masteries if you’re solo laning with her, but otherwise they’re a waste in a duo.
For her runes I’ve been rolling out with Armour Penetration Marks and Quintessences, Armour Seals, and Magic Resist Glyphs. If I had any other attack speed runes except the Glyphs I use of jungling I might have tested out Phreak’s build, but putting attack speed in your Seals just seems a bit obscure to me, and a waste of IP for use only on one character. Her Seals and Glyphs are really up for choice though, and I could just have easily used some cooldown reduction for more tumbling, or gone for the standard ranged carry loadout of putting mana regeneration per level runes in Seals. She’s quite forgiving, and I’ve not really had problems with any loadout I’ve tried on her.
Vayne is exceptional at what she does – Skirmishing and damaging one person. She’s great fun to play simply because her positioning game is so interesting, and were a new player to pick her up, they could only learn good habits from the character. The problem with her though is her limited scope. Her ganking potential is good, but she won’t simply burst someone down instantly like a few other champions, so her role as an assassin isn’t great. Using her as a Carry also has severe drawbacks, because every good carry in the game has some form of area of effect abilities for team fights and general farming. Not having anything to hit multiple targets is a massive drawback on this sort of character, and while she’s great fun and not bad at all, she’s simply outclassed by her peers.
This patch has proven me to be full of changes long overdue! Oh look, a nerf to Catalyst the Protector. To be fair though, I was actually expecting something more severe than it simply taking a while to build up the mana and health from the item. This really only nerfs the baiting game that could be pulled by the catalyst to save you from incoming ganks before turning it around on people. So, not bad. The interesting part is that Rod of Ages gained this too, but Banshee’s Veil didn’t. A nice little knock from Riot there.
The greatest addition in this patch though has to be the new Tenacity stat, and its associated items. I’m sure I can’t have been alone in saying that the monopoly held by Mercury Treads as the only crowd control reducing item in the game limited builds severely, and placed much too much emphasis on a single item. Now we have much more options when dealing with a crowd control team, allowing carries to pack the Cloak and Dagger, mages to hold the Moonflair Spellblade, and support to pocket the Eleisa’s Miracle. My only criticism of the addition is that there is no new category for Tenacity under defense, so finding these things through their other derived stats can be a real pain.
Now all we need is greater variety in how we choose our spell shield items (Provided they didn’t stack, of course. That’d be silly). I’d really like to see Banshee’s Veil given the Zhonya’s Ring treatment and broken into different items to allow for more diversity.