Vladimir Build Guide

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Vladimir - An In-Depth Guide To The Beefy AP Nuker

written by TBundy

Vladimir Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hey!
    This is my first champion guide and it will focus on my main champ, Vladimir. I have around 250-300 games with him and by an estimate I have a 2-1 win ratio with this build. Vladimir is (at least at my ELO) a fairly rare champion but when I see another Vladimir he's usually running Hextech Revolver and buying items which makes Vladimir kinda squishy. This build focuses on getting alot of damage output while being able to live throughout the teamfights.
    IF you pick Vladimir, you should make sure that you get either solo mid or a solo lane (preferably top lane), since you need to farm alot for this build. That's why everything in this guide assumes that I lane solo, where it doesn't it will be stated clearly.

    This is the first edition of the guide, I have a few more tweeks coming in, a more in-depth item discussion and maybe a playstyle section. Suggestions are more than welcome!

  • Summary

    Masteries + Runes
    9-21-0
    Red - 9 x Greater Mark of Insight
    Yellow - 3 or 4 x Greater Seal of Fortitude and 5 or 6 x Greater Seal of Vitality
    Blue - 9 x Greater Glyph of Force
    Quint - 2 x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness and 1 x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
    Start Items
    Regrowth Pendant and 1 Health Potion

    Core Items
    Warmog's Armor Sorcerer's Shoes Rylai's Crystal Scepter

    Summoner Spells
    Ghost and Ignite

    Spell Prio
    R-Q-E-W

  • Abilities

    Crimson Pact
    A truly awesome passive ability. This is what can make a well-fed Vladimir escalate to become unkillable. Every item has a hidden stat for you which gives you bonuses, example the fully stacked Warmog's gives you around 35 ap.


    Transfusion
    One of the best last-hitting tools of the game since it is INSTANT damage. Works very well as a harassment tool as well, but should be used with caution on early levels. A good enemy player will know that it has a fairly long CD on low levels and that you can't really hurt'em that much when it's on CD


    Sanguine Pool
    An awesome but tricky spell due to the diversity of it's uses, sadly I see way to many players use the spell in the wrong ways. Basically, what you want from the spell can be divided into three sections with the best use first. The main effect of the spell is to dodge enemy damage which you can predict (e.g. dodging towers, Karthus' Requiem and Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole), secondly the spell can be used to get as much damage out as quick as possible while taking as little as possible, (q-e-w-q-e) refrishing your cooldowns while you are pooled. A third use which imo is okay is to use it as a slow, to get that gank that's slipping between your fingers or to get your teammates into range.

    Note Don't use it to initiate fights. You are at your weakest when you emerge from the pool.


    Tides of Blood
    A very good farming and pushing tool which allows you to erase minion waves very fast. A pretty straight-up AOE-nuke which costs more the more you stack it. Don't overuse it in the lane at an early phase but balance your use to make sure that you ain't giving your opponent to much of your HP freely.


    Hemoplague
    Hemoplague doesn't do as much damage as it used to do but the increased damage during it's channel is truly awesome for a team that knows how to focus champions. Is much like Sanguine Pool a spell that's misused in a few cases. I've seen Vlad's holding on the spell until people are low, sure it's a good way to get a pentakill, but if they're already on low hp you're kinda wasting the increased damage on it aren't you?


  • Pros / Cons

    + Nice damage output
    + Good escaping abilities
    + Great Pusher
    + Great Laner

    - Needs alot of farm
    - High Skillcap

    I realize that there surely are more Cons than what I've written but atm I can't think of any so please feel free to point them out, as well as other things you think that I may be wrong about.

  • Masteries + Runes

    There are in my opinion 2 obvious choices regarding which masteries you choose when playing Vladimir, my main choice being 9-21-0 for the extra bulkiness in favor of the extra regen, cdr and movement speed of 9-0-21. It's really a matter of preference in my opinion.

    I feel that the choice of runes with Vladimir is fairly simple, in my opinion the real choice only comes when you choose which quintessences to use.
    With the red runes there's really only one choice, Greater Mark of Insight

    On the yellow ones I always go for a mixture between Greater Seal of Fortitude and Greater Seal of Vitality since it give you both HP and AP thanks to your passive ability. You could choose Greater Seal of Resilience or Greater Seal of Evasion, between the two i think that the dodge runes are better (assuming you've picked [mastery=Nimbleness]

    Regarding Glyphs I choose Greater Glyph of Force but the CDR from Greater Glyph of Celerity also is a viable choice.

    On quintessences i think it's a matter of personal preference and the options I think are the most viable are: Greater Quintessence of Swiftness, Greater Quintessence of Fortitude, Greater Quintessence of Insight, Greater Quintessence of Potencyand Greater Quintessence of Focus but I prefer movement speed or health since I play a more bulky Vladimir and I usually have 2 Greater Quintessence of Swiftness and 1 Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

  • Summoner Abilities

    Normally I would say that each player should have one offensive spell and one defensive spell while playing a damage dealing champion and Vladimir is no exception. Basically I always use Ghost and Ignite for a few reasons which I will explain under each spell's own section

    Good Choices
    Ghost - The perfect spell for Vladimir, it's awesome together with Sanguine Pool since the latter renders you untargettable you will put almost the same distance between you and your oppent as Flash does. Can be used both for chasing and fleeing in various ways with Vladimir.

    Ignite - Also a very good spell on Vladimir to push that extra health away from an enemy or to stop the healing so that your Hemoplague will get the last of them.


    Optional Choices
    Flash - Flash is never a wrong choice. But for Vladimir, Ghost does everything Flash does and a bit more as well.

    Exhaust - A good spell if you feel that your team has too few Exhaust or none and I think that wether going exhaust or ignite is a matter of preference and playstyle.

    Teleport - It's always nice to have a teleport in the team for those emergencies, ward-ganks or if you feel that you will have trouble staying in your lane.

    Clairvoyance - A must-have in every team, although you want your support-champ to have this.

    Cleanse - Facing a team where there are that many cc champs that you feel cleanse is needed get it, remember that you will most likely not be focused first since you're beefy and you can pool out of most dangerous situations.

    [spell=Fortify] - If the enemy team is going for a pusher-team, then you can pick it, otherwise, leave it for someone else.

    Heal - A tricky spell that more often than not surprises your opponent and the element of surprise can work in your advantage.

    Retarded Choices
    Clarity - Vlad has no mana, gtfo if you pick this.

    [spell=Rally] - Really not viable

    Revive - NO

    Smite - You are not jungling

  • Skilling Order

    Whatever you do, max out Transfusion first, it's your bread and butter. Your main output of damage and an awesome regeneration spell.
    After that you want to focus on Tides of Blood before skilling Sanguine Pool. Most of the guides out there are recommending that you pick Sanguine Pool over Tides of Blood because of the reduced cooldown and the increased damage on the pool but the damage output from your Tides of Blood in a teamfight is way higher than that of Sanguine Pool

  • Items

    Starting items:
    There are two ways of starting off, either
    1. Regrowth Pendant and 1 Health Potion
    or
    2. Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion

    Alternative 1 is my standard way of starting a game, giving good regeneration and sustainability to stay in the lane while Transfusion still does nice damage without the extra boost that an early AP item would provide.
    Alternative 2 is an occasional build while facing champions with spells that needs to be dodged alot, such as Karthus or Cassiopeia.

    My first focus on what to buy next is Warmog's Armor and then Sorcerer's Shoes since you want the stacks on Warmog's to start adding asap.

    After finishing my boots what I buy next is highly depending on how the game is going and how my farm is going. (The build I go with IS expensive and you need to last-hit minions alot and get your gold rolling in fast.) My two options are basically Rabadon's Deathcap and Rylai's Crystal Scepter where I mainly choose Rabadon if the team needs a bit of extra damage and Rylai's if the team is loosing and I'm being focused.
    These 4 items is basically a core that I buy in every game, if the game goes on and on and just won't end you will obviously need too adapt your buys too make the most efficient Vladimir against the enemy team and there area few ways you can focus your last slots, one thing is clear though, buying resistance is necessary as Vladimir since you will try too be up in there *** to pull out as much damage as possible from your [skill=Tides of Blood] and when you use [skill=Sanguine Pool] you want the damage (which is alot when you have Warmog's) to hit as many enemies as possible.

    The focus of the last two slots should be either Armor, Magic Res or Spell Penetration since those are the items that you are most likely to need at this stage of the game.

    Regarding Magic Res items there are 3 main choices.
    1. Abyssal Scepter - Awesome item which gives you both AP and magic res, but note that the passive is UNIQUE. If someone else needs this more in your team, get alternative 2.
    2. Spirit Visage - A bit less magic resist but has more health on it which gives you some AP (around 5). The passive ability is awesome for Vlad, increasing the health you gain from [skill=Transfusion] as well as how often you can use it.
    3. Quicksilver Sash - A very nice item if you're facing a heavy cc team.

    For armor items there are one awesome choice and two good choices.
    1. Zhonya's Hourglass - An awesome choice for vlad, a good chunk of AP and a good chunk of armor but don't forget to use the ability!
    2. Randuin's Omen - A nice item to have on Vladimir, health and armor are both very good stats at this point in the game and the activate is worth it's weight in gold in a teamfight.
    3. Sunfire Cape - Just as Randuin it has both armor and health which can put you over the edge from hard-to-kill to unkillable, but I think the other two are better choices.

    If the enemy team is stacking magic resist, buy a Void Staff, and for the last slot I like buying a Guardian Angel to get both armor and magic res in one item.

    Of course every game is as different to the other as two players and you need to adapt your build according to the game but at least I've given you my ideas on what to get in which scenario.

    A typical end-game build with Vladimir would be:
    Warmog's Armor Sorcerer's Shoes Rylai's Crystal Scepter Rabadon's Deathcap Abyssal Scepter Zhonya's Hourglass

  • Working in the team

    In the teamfight you should be in the middle with this build, tearing it up and focusing their squishies down and dishing out as much damage as possible. But ofc, you're role is not to initiate the fight, that will surely get you killed. Vladimir is tricky in the teamfight regarding when to pool, and you want it to dodge damage or to refresh cooldowns. Remember you are at your weakest when you emerge from your pool. A good enemy team will wait until you've pooled and focus you after you've emerged to nuke you when you can dodge their damage.



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Submitted by TBundy

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