This is what everyone cried about when Vladimir was released.We start off with more health and/or more AP than most casters,and if we get the right runes we start off with a lot more health and/or AP than any other caster.
It also allows us to never worry about HP,since with our core items we have health to rival the tank.(This does not make Vlad a tank,and anyone building Warmog's Armor on him should be drained of their blood and used as fertilizer)
Vladimir's main damage skill.It's just like every other carry's Q except it's better than all of them combined.It deals damage,it has good range,it heals,it has a low cooldown at max rank,it's godlike at last hitting and kill stealing and it's what makes the enemies in the lane want to Alt F4 once we hit level 9.
Best escape mechanism in the game.Disregard Riftwalk,Leblanc's double flash and Deceive.If you master this skill you can escape 90% of the time.
Aside the usual spells we dodge with it,good timing allows us dodge even Warwick's Infinite Duress and let him slash the air above us,or we can dodge while Pantheon uses Aegis of Zeonia and let him waste his Heartseeker Strike.
Good damage and damage-increase.This is what gives us the advantage,either in team fights or while laning.We can also use the decent range and AoE size to infect fleeing enemies with low hp.It also increases true damage,so couple this with a Ignite and a Transfusion,and that 400 HP Ashe that was feeling safe because she has Flash will only be good for organ donation (we also perform the surgery in our spare time).
Important highlights are :
- Sorcery -> [mastery=Archaic Knowledge] to add a little murder to our killing spree.
- Intelligence -> [mastery=Presence of the Master] to add even more cooldown reduction to all our basic and Summoner spells.
If you want to change something else,do it,but all points have been put to maximize Vladimir's potential as an AP carry.
Unlike tanks who have to buy runes for all the defensive stats in game,carries only have to worry about two things : staying alive and maximizing damage.Regarding the first subject we benefit of Sanguine Pool and Crimson Pact making us the most durable caster in the game,so we need not worry about staying alive.That leaves us with buying runes to increase our damage,and the best stats for that are ability power and magic penetration,leaving us with these runes :
Now,we like these to help Vlad's rather weak early game in terms of damage,but they probably could be changed with either Greater Seal of Fortitude or Greater Seal of Vitality if you like to be more bulky since we get ability power from them through our passive,but we prefer more killing power instead of more health.
Same deal as with seals,you can change these with Greater Glyph of Focus or Greater Glyph of Celerity but early game it won't help us much,and we'd rather have our Transfusions hit harder instead of being able to get them off 0.2 seconds earlier.
Why?Because it's damage gets increased by Hemoplague and it's a good spell to just get that extra damage on squishy and tanky targets alike.It also counters Mundo,one of our greatest nuisances.
Why?Because we can not usually burst down targets before they run.Hence why we need to run faster than them."Why not exhaust then?" Check below.
Meh.Teleport is just about as good on everyone for the same purposes,which are surprise ganking,or lane defending/pushing.Surprise ganking should be left for the stealthers (because this is solo queue,and as such you shouldn't expect wards in bushes),and lane pushing for the pushers.
Also we prefer to walk to our lane since we have a awesome walking animation. Revive
No.Leave this to Pantheon and Twisted Fate. Cleanse
No.Good use of Sanguine Pool will make this spell obsolete.We can get it if we like the overkill. Exhaust
No.Why Ghost and not this?For starters,this can be cleansed.Second,Ghost can be used as a escape mechanism while this can not.Last but not least,Ghost can be used to get to our lane faster if we want to use it like that,while Exhaust can not.In ranked we can get it if the other team has Master Yi,Tryndamere,Miss Fortune,Tristana and Olaf,but this is solo queue.
No.Leave it to Rammus,Shen and Blitzcrank.
No.We don't go that deep in Offense to get [mastery=Improved Rally] and even if we did,the beacon gets focused so easily that it makes this spell useless. Smite
No.We don't degrade ourselves to jungling. Flash
Meh.This could be used defensively as a escape mechanism,but it cannot be used offensively as often as Ghost because we don't have the burst to kill peasants before they get out of our range.
Also flashing is for Twilightish Edwardimirs that buy Sunfire Capes.We real Hemomancers use Ghost to hunt our prey. Heal We get Transfusion which at level 5 heals us for the same amount every 3 seconds instead of 270. Clairvoyance Nah,better on supports or things like Ezreal and Blitzcrank.
"Wat,lvling sanguine pool frst?!1one!!eleven1!" You're not in Twilight anymore Edward,let us explain.
Leveling up Transfusion first is the logical choice,it has no cost and the CD decreases with each level.
Now,Sanguine Pool's cost stays the same at each rank,while the damage increases and the CD decreases.
At levels 9-13 we start ganking,and while we gank no one is going to stand near us so we can spam Tides of Blood.Now sanguine pool gives us a speed boost and slows people on top us,so it's only right to try and maximize its damage.What's better than dealing damage and slowing while we ourselves are untargetable?
Also Tides of Blood pushes the lane,which is bad during the laning phase.
We wanted to leave this last because this is what everyone wants to see first,but then we thought people could just use page down so we're putting it here.
The key to itemizing Vladimir is to understand our passive.We get health when we buy ability power,and we get ability power when we buy health.Now,for carrying with Vlad we need to focus on the second part : getting health through ability power.Getting durability through destruction.For that there are a few items that form the core of our build (except boots) :
Rabadon's Deathcap The idea is to build this as fast as possible,because it gives us 155 ability power,which converts into 279 health through Crimson Pact.
[item=Rylai's Scepter] This has everything we need:Ability Power,Heath and a slow on all our spells.Should be the next item after the Deathcap and boots. Zhonya's Hourglass A big boost to our AP that comes with some armor and a very useful active when combined with Sanguine Pool
The reason we get Mejai's Soulstealer so late is because we don't need stacks very early to be good late game (like Katarina or Kassadin do).We use the soul stacks to complement our core build if we need more AP.
Pros / Cons
Terrible terrible damage
We will get many worshipers after we carry them to victory
We walk in a cool way
The default skin's hair
Laning and Us
Always go mid.No discussion.Since we are Vladimir everyone will let us go mid since we're a nightmare there.We also do good soloing top,but mid is preferable.
When laning,we are superior to the other mid because we are Vladimir,and that gives us the advantage.Most people will just give up when they see us at the loading screen (Effect increased by purchasing a skin,thing which you should do to get rid of the original hair).We had one loser telling us he just gave up at the loading screen when he knew he'd be going mid against us.
Our laning style is about weathering down opponents while we heal with Transfusion.
Many players will often trade blows with us when we approach to use Transfusion,not realizing they get all of our damage while we heal half of theirs.After doing this 4-5 times they'll be shocked to see their health at 30-40% while we're at 80-90%.When this happens,we use Transfusion one more time,back off behind our creep wave to be above suspicion so they stay in the lane,then when Transfusion is almost up,pop Ghost,use Hemoplague, Ignite, Sanguine Pool and another Transfusion if needed and voila,they're dead.*
Here is a video demonstrating this:
We've been harassing and zoning out Sivir,and when it's time we tower dive to murder her.
* If they are excessively stupid and get low very early,we can kill them before we learn Hemoplague with just Transfusion,Sanguine Pool,Ignite and auto-attacks,like this:
Notice how we time our attack so that Transfusion's CD ends right when we emerge from Sanguine Pool.
I'll cover positioning against some of the usual people we will encounter mid.
Observe how we position ourselves against Miss Whatshername.We stand to the right and a little far away from the minions so the distance between us and the creep wave is longer than the distance between the melee and ranged creeps.This way Double Up's bounce does not hit us.
The above also applies to Mordekaiser.Try to auto-attack Mordekaiser and zone him out of our lane.He will then try to go in and use Siphon of Destruction on our minions to charge his shield.When this happens,try and use Transfusion on him before he uses his Siphon.That way he will lose the health we took from him,the health his ability costs and will have a semi-full shield that we will
take down anyway.
Against champions with skillshots we generally want to sit behind our melee creeps so we are also safe and in range to harass (Nidalee,Ezreal).
Against Karthus we generally want to stay away from our minions and be always on the move,never stay in the same spot for more than a second unless we're out of his range.Karthus is squishy,so go and attack him.Even if he is not aggressive we want to harass him so he won't farm.Avoid moving straight when engaging him.
Against Morgana we want to stay behind our minions,so we won't get hit by Dark Binding but also in such a way so we won't get hit by Tormented Soil.Best spot is behind the caster minions.
Anivia is easy to play against if you manage to dodge her Flash Frost without using sanguine pool so you can use it to dodge Frostbite after you've been slowed with Glacial Storm.Some Anivias like to use Frostbite first,then as it flies use Glacial Storm.Better for us,use sanguine pool to dodge Frostbite and you get to escape Glacial Storm also.
Now,our most troublesome opponents are:
Mal'Zahar,because all four of his skills counter us.
In this video Ryze facechecks a bush,and we profit of the distraction to kill that Cho'gath because he was getting too big.After we kill him Nidalee and Fiddlesticks follow and try to kill us,but fail miserably.
Observe how we dodge Nidalee's Pounce by being on the move all the time.At the end Taric comes and heal us,trying to look useful.
Even if the Failure is at 50% health and at his tower,he will still die to Ignite, Transfusion and part of Sanguine Pool which we use to avoid the tower.Notice that we didn't use Hemoplague even if it came off cooldown in time,as it would have been overkill.This helped us later:
Even if we got stunned while under fire from two towers we can still get away after we kill him.
Here it's obvious why Ghost is better than Exhaust.If we used exhaust,Malphie would have used Seismic Shard and out run us.But with Ghost we run faster than him even if he stole some of our movement speed.
Working in the team
Because this is solo queue,it's very probable that the 4 other people in your team's total combined IQ is under the sea level,so it's our job to lead them and tell them what to do:
Tell them to buy wards,to NOT focus the enemy tank in team fights and to buy MR/Armor depending on who they fed in the laning phase.
Tell your - jungler(if we have one) : to do dragon,and to gank.
- tank : to buy tank items,and specify that tank items have either health,magic resist or armor.
- supports : If Zilean,to NOT use Chrono Shift on himself in team fights.If Sona,to roll her face more.If Soraka,to not use [spell=Infuse] on us,and if we got Taric to remember to shut off his Radiance after it's not needed anymore.
In the laning phase,threaten your team to stay away from your lane unless you call them.There are some imbeciles that,when going from bot to top or vice versa,like to stop by mid to farm your minions.Do not let them do this!Only people that want to gank or kill the tower should come to your lane.
In teamfights there's a few things we have to remember:
Don't initiate with Sanguine Pool,don't initiate at all.Wait for the tank to initiate,then use Hemoplague on as many people as we can,then use Tides of Blood and Transfusion on the highest threat.Then,once we're not focused,if we want we can use Sanguine Pool for more damage.If they do happen to focus us,try to last until we have 5 seconds on Sanguine Pool,then use Zhonya's Hourglass's Active followed immediately by Sanguine Pool.This gives us enough time to run or for our team to kill our attackers.
And that's how it's done.
Remember to always use Transfusion,keep an eye on your Tides of Blood stacks and to be a fiend in your lane (Which should be mid).Spread terror and let fear rot your enemies from the inside.