Vladimir Build Guide

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Lefty's Guide to a decent, game-winning Vladimir

written by Lofty Lefty

Vladimir Build

Starting items

Core Build

Late Game / Luxury Items

Situational Items

  • OR
  • OR
  • OR

Skill Order

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • Crimson Pact
  • Transfusion
  • Sanguine Pool
  • Tides of Blood
  • Hemoplague

Runes for Vladimir

Masteries for Vladimir

Table of Contents

  • Introduction and Story

                Hello, my dear readers! This is Lofty Lefty; I’m back with another cool Champion Guide. So this one is about Vladimir. Vladimir is certainly one of my favourite champions, if not my very favourite. There’s a whole story behind my playing Vladimir.


                Back in my low levels [1 through 8] when I only played Ryze, I was gathering 6300 IP to buy my first real epic champion. My real champion. The one I’d master and rock as!

                My first idea was to buy Vladimir. He looked like an awesome champion, totally another level if compared with Ryze. Hard thing is, back in that time I thought more expensive champions were necessarily more powerful...

                When I had amassed around 5800 IP, Vladimir got free to play. So I though I’d just try him out before making such a big investment. Vladimir’s damage disappointed me as I failed so poorly at playing him, and I decided I’d have to settle for buying another champion. I was completely devastated in disappointment.

                That was when my cousin Henry suggested that I bought Malzahar. I had complained Vladimir had no easy damage; Henry then assured me Malzahar would be easier to play!         I bought Malzahar at level 8 and mastered him quickly, so even my first guide was about him (I’ll probably remake it to a level of perfection). However, I hadn’t yet given up on Vladimir; I was just thinking of a way to get him to work.

                A long time later, after I was a level 30 veteran already, one night I was falling asleep (our best ideas come at times like those) when I pictured a *perfect* Vladimir build. I thought I’d test it some time; I had around 5000 IP on the way to buying Nocturne, but our dear spectre just had to wait. Those IP were destined to purchase Vladimir once and for all!

                I tried it... it just so happened not to fail me once as in five straight games I went 6/0, 8/1 [we all hate you, Ignite], 7/0, 2/0 [quick enemy surrender]... and 15/0. Vladimir was my new main. And until today, I rank him among my top 3 champions.

  • PASSIVE: Crimson Pact


    Description: Every 40 points of bonus health gives Vladimir 1 ability power and every 1 point of ability power gives Vladimir 1.4 bonus health (does not stack with itself).


    -Remark: This, readers, is what makes Vladimir so OP.


    -The down side: There’s no down side.

  • Q: Transfusion

    Description: Vladimir drains life from his target.


    My description: You nuke the foe incessantly and keep yourself steadily in lane.


    -Remark: This is the spell you should max out for maximum enemy annoyance.


    -The down side: You might need to get kind of close to use it; some champions who outrange you may give you a slightly difficult time.

  • W: Sanguine Pool

    Description: Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood becoming untargetable for 2 seconds. Additionally, enemies on the pool are slowed and Vladimir siphons life from them.


    My description: Vladimir’s Troll Face/Yao Ming moment.


    -Remark: This pool is quite difficult to use correctly by beginners. Don’t get disappointed if you fail a little at first; if you’re starting try and save your pool for escapes only. Later on you can practice using it for some cool stunts!


    -The down side: Its enormous cooldown makes it necessarily a crucially calculated maneuver.

  • E: Tides of Blood

    Description: Vladimir unleashes a torrent of blood, damaging surrounding enemies. Additionally, multiple Tides of Blood in a short period of time cause them to cost additional health and deal additional damage, and increases his healing and regeneration by 8%.


    My description: Excellent farming tool, with unexpected damage on foes at 4 stacks. This truly ‘turns the tides’ of a lane.


    -Remark: This is to be ranked up at second priority (level 2, level 8 and so on).


    -The down side: You lose health when using this, you end up needing to use Transfusion only to fuel yourself back up early in the game.

  • R: Hemoplague

    Description: Vladimir infects an area with a virulent plague. Affected enemies take increased damage for the duration. Hemoplague deals additional magic damage after a few seconds to infected enemies.


    My description: You throw an AoE blast that slightly weakens your foes so they take more damage. After 5 seconds it explodes and you may get some hefty kills.


    -Remark: You should use your ultimate in team fights. Captain Obvious once told me that. You may however use it to get some kill-secures as people try to flash out of fights, or when they dive for you thinking they can already count another kill in their bags.


    -The down side: Murphy’s Law #3058: Your teammates never attack foes affected by Hemoplague unless they are about to die and would be killed by its explosion alone.

  • Pros and Cons


    -You are an extremely powerful AP Caster while still maintaining excellent survivability

    -You are quite “team-independent” later in the game, since you are tanky and deal good damage
    -You have a game-winning level of participation in team fights


    -You need to be very skilled to farm minions early in the game. You might get outlaned by a Caitlyn or the like

    -You only begin to shine at a point in the game (unless your foe is a complete idiot)

    -Your damage is not over 9000 as Malzahar’s

    -Your resistance is not over 9000 as Volibear’s

  • Summoner Spells

    I take Ignite and Flash.

    Ignite because, unlike Malzahar, Vladimir could truly use more damage.

    Flash, there’s not much to mention of its need.

  • Runes and Masteries: Why?

    I believe my rune and mastery set is perfect for Vladimir and Vladimir is perfect for them. Vladimir’s passive can create a snowball effect on Runes and Masteries, thus giving him an amazing advantage – much more than what runes and masteries are expected to give most champions.

  • Lefty's Item Building Order

    This is what reading any of my guides is about. This is where I, Lefty, define not only item order, but according gameplay style to your build.




    You start off with a Ruby Crystal and probably go mid. You may, however go wherever you want.

    Take a second or two to just look at the beauty of your Health bar and your Ability Power. Awesome, isn't it? Now let's use it. Once minions spawn, head up to the enemy champion and hit him with a Transfusion. Then, last hit minions to farm [All summoners, be well warned of Vladimir's increased difficulty to farm in early levels] and gain lane control with your Transfusion. Just promise me you won't get yourself into trouble before level 4, OK? You still don't have your Sanguine Pool, and wasting a Flash feels real bad and you probably won't be able to get any sleep if you do so.

    Keep an eye on your gold. As soon as it hit 350, recall and get your [item=Heart of Gold]. Now you are gaining gold faster than your foe, and you have bonus Ability Power from your Health item.

    At this point you'll probably have to get Boots of Speed just to keep up with your foe. No problem, get it, and don't be afraid to max it out into Sorcerer's Shoes as soon as you need to. Anyway, as early as possible I'd advise you to get a [item=Kage's Lucky Pick] for more Ability Power and even more Health. With [item=Heart of Gold] and [item=Kage's Lucky Pick] you may look like an idiot building Support stuff on Vladimir, but you are actually gaining gold WAY faster than anyone else, stacking with your farm, and these items synergize with your passive, making them worth the early investment.




    Now you can start building your Rylai's Crystal Scepter ASAP. I'd recommend getting your Giant's Belt first, and later the other parts. After your Rylai's Crystal Scepter is done, you may go two ways. If you are owning everyone, get a Rabadon's Deathcap and become unstoppable. If you are getting pressured and turn out to be weaker than your foe, get a Warmog's Armor as quickly as possible. Any way you go, be sure to have both items in the end.




    At this point, you are out of item slots. How did I know? I'm psychic.


    Well, now you're going to sell your gold items to get cool items instead. I'd passively go for an Abyssal Scepter for the Ability Power, Magic Resistance and indirect Magic Penetration aura, and Sunfire Cape for the Health, Armor, and above all to catch fire, look cool, and deal damage just by being close to others (this can work wonders with Sanguine Pool). I do however consider the hypothesis of acquiring other items due to awkward situations. The usual load. A well-placed Thornmail should get those squishy AD Carries crying at your 5000 Health. A nice [item=Force of Nature] stacks Health Regen with your Warmog's Armor, and additionally grants you a hefty chunk of Magic Resistance. You may also get a second Warmog's Armor so your Health bar can look scary. How about a Void Staff to frustrate that enemy Galio? Or maybe...   that Quicksilver Sash to counter that fed enemy Zahar.




    DESPERATE META FOLLOWER: Oh my God!!! Where is your Will of the Ancients????? Stupid Vladimir!!!

    ME: I get it only if I really desperately need it [as in, laning vs Kassadin or LeBlanc]. WotA doesn't give almost any Ability Power...   just for some lame Spell Vamp which probably won't save you when you are in trouble. WotA is an AMAZING item...  for a Support. Get it on Taric. Now please. I am the vampire here, not you. Stop trying to suck my blood, just because you want the aura effect on WotA and you are too greedy to get it yourself.

  • Farming

    Early in the game, sharpen your eyes and make sure to tune them to your physical damage. You'll need to skillfully last-hit all minions manually. After level 2, use Tides of Blood to farm some more. You'll only be able to farm more consistently with Vladimir after level 8 (ranking up your Tides of Blood.

  • Vladimir's Big Trick

    This is what makes playing Vladimir so awesome.


    Keep harassing your foe with Transfusion, don't be afraid to lose health and almost die, and do NOT pop your Sanguine Pool. There will be a moment when their confident AD Carry will dive for you. Keep running towards your turret and keep an eye on him (be careful of champions like Darius or Blitzcrank). When he takes the first turret hit and proceeds towards you, you know he really meant it when he said he'd dive for you. That's the signal - Throw your Hemoplague, use Transfusion, Tides of Blood if necessary, Ignite and quickly pop Sanguine Pool before he can hit you. It may seem like a lot. That's because it IS a lot. However, with practice, you'll get to do it pretty fast. I do it in about 2 seconds, overall. He should be well in the yellow, under your turret and ignited by now. Slow him with your Sanguine Pool, then Flash over the wall if really necessary. You have slain an enemy!

  • Working in the Team

    Vladimir's first excellent contribution to the team is his AoE ultimate, Hemoplague. I just warn you of its high potential of being KS'ed since it takes 5 seconds to explode, and no one seems to notice an enemy champion was afflicted by it before flashing in, diving and stealing your kill. However, throwing it into bundles of 5 foes (like those classic team fights that unfold in the jungle) may really get you some fair kills and help your team decimate the enemies.

  • Conclusion

    This is my in-depth guide to Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper. Any constructive comments on it would be great! Don't flame me for not usually getting a WotA. WotA is a Support item as aforementioned. It takes some practice to get a grip on this, but once you do, I assure you you will have a lot of fun.

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Submitted by Lofty Lefty

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