Vayne, the Night Hunter is the newest hero to join the League of Legends champion roster, she is a ranged DPS assassin/carry.
Vayne is a physical range DPS with a kit that has abilities that are not that unique, yet round out and fit her well. Vayne’s passive is Night Hunter which allows her to chase enemies down by giving her bonus movement speed. This ability is similar to Warwick’s Blood Scent ability except instead of working when the enemy is below a certain amount of health, it is always up as long as you can see the enemy you are chasing. So overall this ability is pretty nice because it allows you to chase those runners down, but it’s not overpowered enough to override someone who has ghost or movement speed abilities like a Teemo. This ability kind of foreshadows Vayne into an aggressive playstyle, which is true because Vayne is an aggressive champion by far compared to other champions. However, unlike others you have a double-edged sword because Vayne is squishy as a ranged DPS and becomes slow when running away. So overall Vayne can’t really be played passively otherwise it sort of hurts you in the end.
Vayne’s first ability is Tumble, which has the range of Nidalee’s pounce ability or Renekton’s Slice and Dice. Overall a small range but it allows you to move or as the ability states Tumble in that direction. The animation here is great, perfect for those “Star Fox” fans from the good old days. You end up doing a tumble or a “Barrel Roll!” This ability is Vayne’s core skill, it allows you to dodge skill shots and move away from danger just like any other flash like ability. However, unlike the other abilities other champions have that allow champions to pass through walls, Tumble does not. This is a bit of a disappointment at first because I think realistically Tumble should be able to work in certain areas of the map such as Tumbling off a cliff or ramp-way. Something simple, it is understandable that they don’t want you tumbling through walls. Let alone the amount of knowledge that it takes to know the areas that Nidalee and Renekton can jump through on the map to apply to Vayne’s Tumble. Overall the ability is fun to use as it is on a short cooldown and it adds a bit of versatile damage, burst, and harassment at the early stages of the game. Which is where this champion shines the most similar to the champion, Caitlyn.
Vayne’s second ability is Silver Bolts, now this skill is nice coupled with her other abilities mainly because it deals true damage to the target on the third attack including abilities. True damage helps Vayne stand out among other carries just for the simple fact that she can hurt tanks and tanky DPS which is still the craze in this game for a metagame. This ability and champion helps alleviate that and the damage is relatively minimal compared to other champions that have true damage abilities. This true damage ability is based on their maximum health and is relatively low at the beginning. The ability starts off at 4% of the opponents maximum health and then scales up to 8% at max rank. So overall it’s not to overpowered but the ratio needs to go down to make it seem a bit more balanced. This is only because this ability is based on auto attacks as compared to others that have similar abilities but have on cooldowns. Olaf only can do up to 300 true damage but hurts himself in the process, while Irelia has a small amount of true damage dealt but has a cooldown due to the true damage being an on activate ability. This I believe would balance Vayne a bit more but at the same time would lower her effectiveness against the tanky DPS metagame out there currently. Overall this ability is nice and is good for an auto attack type champion such as Vayne, but at the same time is a bit hard to balance as this will deviate her roll and utility in the current metagame. Another reason is that this ability makes her stand out from the other carry like champions because this ability is unique as it is the first true damage ability on a range carry type champion.
Vayne’s third ability is Condemn, which is an ability that is similar to Poppy’s Heroic Charge, except can be used as a distance. The damage dealt is physical damage which makes sense as Vayne is a physical damage type champion. The skill knocks the opponent back and if they collide with a wall they become stunned for 1.5seconds. This ability is great for Vayne who for the most part is squishy but also has no real escape utilities and mobility when running away. The ability can be used for knocking opponents away making the gap they have to close greater. Offensively this skill is a pretty decent skill cap which is great for the utility this ability brings as it takes finesse and positioning to stun the target against a wall. The ability is great when used offensively as it stuns the opponent allowing you to get deal out extra damage to the opponent while they are stunned as well as give you some utility during teamfights. This applies to both being used as a knock away or a stun to save someone during teamfights as well as be useful aside from doing damage.
Vayne’s ultimate is Final Hour, which isn’t that great of a unique ultimate as it provides Vayne with increased attack damage, bonus movement speed on top of her passive, and a stealth for 1.5seconds when she uses Tumble. The ultimate is borderline overpowered for the amount of utility and survivability it can give Vayne. The stealth is enough to be considered Vayne’s escape and survival ability but only a long cooldown as I personally have gotten out of some bad situations using her ultimate and Tumble combination. The attack damage bonus as well is phenomenal as it gives a pretty significant amount of attack damage. The amount of attack damage is almost on par with Master Yi’s Wuju Style ability in my opinion as even with a small amount of damage items the damage output Vayne can deal when the ultimate is activated can be somewhat staggering.
Overall, however Vayne seems to be a champion that some can consider overpowered and others balanced. In my opinion Vayne is a champion that is borderline on both regards. The ratios on Vayne can be considered well received but at the same time the abilities of her kit can make her seem and appear overpowered when coupled with certain items. But, like all attack damage ranged carry champions this will vary based off the game played as a fed champion can be considered easily overpowered when they can take out your less fed team. However, Vayne seems to be balanced in some regards as she provides and shows the signs of a carry by the damage output she is capable of dealing, which is on par with other ranged carry champions given similar items. As far as dealing with tanky DPS champions however, Vayne excels at this and can be considered overpowered as her one ability provides true damage which is not mitigated by defensive items. This makes her an excellent counter to tanky DPS where other carry champions fall behind. Vayne, however despite being a strong and aggressive champion does have some points to her that counter this strength. Vayne’s attack range is fairly short but above other ranged champions in some regards which makes her easy to be harassed with her aggressive playstyle by those that have a longer range. Vayne can also be easily kited by certain champions that have slows and snares. Compared to other champions as well Vayne doesn’t really have any escape mechanics and therefore lacks survival in some regards on top of her small health pool. This overall balances her exquisite damage for lack of survivability and mobility.
If Riot Games were to nerf to balance this champion I personally would not disagree with it, but the areas of balance would have to be fine tuned properly or Vayne would lose her roll and unique purpose in the current metagame. Vayne’s true damage ability could use some fine tuning so as to make tanky DPS champions and tanks in general not feel so helpless. The other ability I could see needing some fine tuning would be her ultimate by giving less attack damage. Vayne’s Condemn could use a small ratio change or base number change as the initial damage coupled with damage from collision with terrain could be seen as a bit too high. This holds true especially when Vayne gets attack damage items that really help her damage output.