Vladimir Build Guide

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I'll Let You Keep Me Alive

written by UsMereme

Vladimir Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hello dear readers, this is a guide to Vladimir, at least to how I play him. A friend of mine asked me to build this guide after another made a guide about his main, so here it is! XD
    I explain a lot, so if you don't have time to read it all, best to scan the text for the things you need.
    Also I play Vlad bot and top, never solo mid. Somehow my allies never seem to actually know when an enemy is missing till I'm dead, so I usually play bot or top. But I think the AP Vlad build I give could be nice for mid.

    StingSting
    For those who play Vlad differently: You are allowed to make your own guide, you know. And if you do have your own, keep yourself busy with the comments you get on that one instead of bothering me with how you play him ^_^. Everyone has their own playstyle after all.

  • Abilities

    Crimson Pact
    This passive makes Vlad a good harasser in the beginning, but also a powerful magic carry further into the game. The more AP Vlad builds, the more HP he gains and survivability. The more Health Vlad builds, the more damage he gains to protect himself with. I find it easier to focus on one part of his passive than both, since it also pulls through in his skills.


    Transfusion
    Since Vladimir doesn't use mana, it is only logical to take a skill first to replenish his health. Even other player's health regen doesn't work as well as Vlad's Transfusion. This is a good harassment skill in the beginning, but also since it has no cost and range, a good way to farm minions or bring an end to the last seconds of an enemy champion's life.


    Sanguine Pool
    Being untargetable this is a skill to evade both ranged and close-combat skills. Since it costs 20% of your current health it is not a skill you should be willing to use when you are full health. When none of your allies have slowing skills this could be the way to finish an enemy champion but beware of sneaky enemies that are waiting for you to lower that hp you've build up.
    I take Sanguine Pool third and max it last.


    Tides of Blood
    Tides of Blood is a great farming skill since it damages all nearby enemies. However I watch my debuff bar to make sure that it doesn't cost too much of my health. I walk back and forth and wait for Tides of Blood to get out of my buff bar before I cast it again. In the beginning Vlad after all isn't that much of an hp tank just yet.
    I take Tides of Blood second and max it second with Tank Vlad, but last with AP Vlad. Tank Vlad has a lot of defense and the improved health regen from Tides of Blood is worth the cast. Since Tank Vlad is to protect your team's carry or support, the stacking damage is great to scare them off the squishy's. AP Vlad does get a lot of health from his passive so you could always max Tides of Blood second with AP Vlad as well, but I found him to be more effective with the extra damage from Vlad's passive in combination with the +15% bonus health damage of Sanguine Pool.


    Hemoplague
    I always save Vlad's ult for teamfights, when your team gets into a teamfight, bring Vlad to them. It doesn't matter when you use Hemoplague in a teamfight, you can throw it on them in the beginning to scare them off if your team is lowhealth. Or by accident if you end up last in the teamfight use it to kill the enemy and save your teammates. Best way to protect your allies it to kill the enemy, but beware it won't cause your own death, retreat on time.
    Naturally, I take Hemoplage on level 6 and level it up when I can.


  • Masteries + Runes

    Masteries

    Standard: 9/0/0
    [For those not level 30 yet - rest described below]
    With masteries, even a low-level account can save up in the offense tree to get the 10% Magic Penetration (Arcane Knowledge) that is a total must for Vladimir, AP or Tank Vlad.

    AP Vlad: 9/0/21



    For AP Vlad I would get the most out of the cooldown reduction (Mastermind), so you can spend more money on in-game items that have a lot of ability power.

    Tank Vlad: 9/21/0



    For Tank Vlad I would recommend for those who've already reached lv 30 a build that focuses of course on the defense tree rather than the utility tree.
    This give you Magic Penetration in the offense tree (Arcane Knowledge), HP in the defense tree (Veteran's Scars - Juggernaut), plus the cooldown per lvl from the defense tree (Enlightment).


    Runes

    For both Vlad builds I take the same runes, since you could be forced to take CC items against a good opponent while playing AP Vlad and you don't really have that much damage without them as Tank Vlad.

    I take:
    - Greater Seal of Fortitude x9,
    - Greater Mark of Insight x9,
    - Greater Glyph of Focus x9, and
    - Greater Quintessence of Potency x3.

    These runes give you:
    -even more magic penetration to prod them early and later game,
    -some more begin hp since Vlad works with hp and no mana,
    -cooldown to get your Q skill up and running quicker, and
    -flat ability power for that early harassing or in case of Tank Vlad, to give him that little oompfh that he needs to be kickass even though he builds no AP except with his passive.

  • Items

    No matter how you build Vlad, he can be terribly annoying begin game so I begin both builds with Boots of Speed and 3 hp pots to keep in the lane even with extremely agressive opponents that push your minions back to the turret and the turret takes all your creepkills *insert evil eye at turret*.

    Tank Vlad
    Then you take a look at the enemies you've got. If it's a well-balanced AP/AD team, you keep an eye out on: 1. Their starter item. 2. The enemies in your lane.
    If you've got physical/magical enemies it's only logical to get armor/magic resistance first.
    (Sidenote: Reason I tell you to look at their starter item is how to locate the defensive players, a.k.a. the other tanks. They attack less and only if they think they can win. Most tanks are opposite attack power of the party's carrys, but that's not necessarily true. So if the enemy team is well-balanced but they have an AD-tank for example, it's only logical to built up more magic resist than armor. It doesn't matter if their tank gets the kills, as long as the carrys don't.)

    Once I've got the money I take Ionian Boots of Lucidity to give Vlad some more cooldown reduction to harass enemies even more with Transfusion.
    Facing AP enemies I take Spirit Visage for a little magic resistance early game and % health regen, with the cooldown as bonus to take down squishy enemies quickly, leaving a solo lane.
    Facing AD enemies I take Warden's Mail for armor and +20 health regen per 5, with the Unique Passive as a bonus against AD DPS enemies.

    After this I build mainly on how the game is progressing, so the order in which I buy items is scrambled each time. So the items I take for Tank Vlad are:
    - Ionian Boots of Lucidity
    - I build Warden's Mail into Randuin's Omen and place it into my first item slot so I can activate the Active of the item with the number 1 on my keyboard to save my or my ally's ass.
    - Spirit Visage
    - [item=Force of Nature] for more health regen, magic resistance and some speed when you start to notice your enemies outrunning you, chasing you.
    - Thornmail for those AD (and especially DPS) champions in the enemy team, which literally beat themselves to death while trying to kill me. All I have to do is use Transfusion when it comes off cooldown and suck the life out of them, till they decide it's not working and they run.
    - Sunfire Cape for more health and armor, and the annoying fact that when I come close or they that they burn themselves on me for 35 magic damage per second.

    When more AP than AD enemies that are bothering you, you can leave Thornmail and take Wit's End but do notice the description on the magic resistance part. It only works if you attack, so keep attacking them and suck them dry to finish them off.

    AP Vlad

    After getting the boots and hp pots, AP Vlad focuses a lot on Magic Penetration. You can do this 2 ways. I take Magic Penetration runes as well as Magic Penetration in Masteries, which gives you this option. You can either stack MP or you can use %MP.
    Stacking MP you do by taking Sorcerer's Shoes when first going back. +20 MP. Then you take Haunting Guise for another 20 MP and some AP + Health. Abyssal Scepter comes next with its unique aura to reduce nearby enemy champions Magic Resistance by 20. So this practically gives you 60 MP with 3 items only.
    %MP is a little more expensive in the beginning, but you go back and forth some times and end up with Void Staff which gives you 40% MP, along with the 10% in the masteries, you pierce 50% of the target's magic resistance.

    When to take Stacking MP and when % you might wonder. This depends on the enemies in front of you. The others are across the map and will matter later in-game. Do your attacks do nearly nothing to the enemy's health bar, take Stacking MP. Does the target heal it back real quickly, which makes your harassment seem futile, take % for later harassment, but do keep harassing in the beginning. Vlad's strength lays in keeping the enemy's gold gain low by keeping him way from the minions.
    So you have 2 AP builds and again like the Tank Vlad build it all depends on how it is going. So first I'd recommend following the above, but then the rest of the items you can shuffle to your own like.

    Magic Penetration Stacking build is:
    - Sorcerer's Shoes
    - Haunting Guise
    - Abyssal Scepter
    - [item=Malady] to reduce the enemy's magic resistance further and gives you the ability to drive enemies off.
    - Rylai's Crystal Scepter to slow the enemies down that are crawling away from you
    - Spirit Visage or [item=Force of Nature] for that HP regen to not force you to go back after each encounter with an enemy.

    Magic Penetration % build is:
    - Boots of Swiftness for that extra movement speed till you get Rylai's.
    - Void Staff
    - Rylai's Crystal Scepter
    - Will of the Ancients to regain health even faster while attacking or multiply Sanguine Pools health return.
    - Rabadon's Deathcap to give you even more AP to pierce the enemy with, of course.
    - Leviathan or Warmog's Armor depending on your money gain.

    Yes the complete versions of these builds requires you to win. Which is why I first explain the main piece of the three builds and then give you the items to shuffle around depending on the match. Not finishing the builds is highly possible, but then so is having too much money when a game stretches on and on.

  • Skilling Order

    Tank Vlad




    AP Vlad



  • Summoner Abilities

    With Vladimir, no matter the build I take Flash for a quick escape, since Sanguine Pool doesn't last that long that it can get you away from Master Yi's Ulti when you don't have Thornmail.
    Tank Vlad gets Exhaust for either getting the enemy when its about to get away or to help get away your teammate.
    AP Vlad gets Ignite to finish off that enemy that is about to get away.

    I'll continue to haunt you, even when I'm not around ~ AP Vlad
    Just trolling, but you get the idea.

  • Closing Words

    Well that was it, I hope you do get my endless explanations. I do play other champions as well, so I might consider writing guides for them as well. Ah well, maybe in the future.



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