Vladimir Build Guide

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The Ultimate Guide to a Balanced Vladimir

written by Ribi

Vladimir Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    I see so many bad Vladimir's teaming with and against me it makes me cry. So getting ready for the next champion rotation, I am writing this guide so we can get good people trying Vladimir, not Failmir's. NO WARMOGS!.

  • Update Log

    07 August 2010 - Made Guide.
    09 August 2010 - Added Quicksilver Sash effect to Skill info
    15 August 2010 - Experimented with builds

    Will update on Good hero combo's and enemy champion combo's soon.

  • Abilities

    Crimson Pact
    Vladimir's passive.

    Every 25 points of bonus health gives Vladimir 1 ability power and every 1 point of ability power gives Vladimir 2 bonus health (does not stack with itself).

    Since we will be balancing HP and ability power respectively, this will help us to achieve a nice health pool and nice AP so we can cast our spells.

    Your main skill. This skill's cooldoown starts off really high, but by the time it hits level 5, it reaches spammability level. This skill end-game can deal high amounts of damage. It also has a life steal element to it but when compared to your health pool, its not much of a dent (With this guide, you'll have around 5k health and will heal 300-400 every 2 seconds). I prefer to think of it as health regen rather than lifesteal. 700hp per 5? yes please.

    Sanguine Pool
    The infamous skill which every player likes to say "OMG, OP HERO" whenever he uses it. I still think its as good as Pantheons passive but nvm. This skill allows you to not be targetted for 2 seconds and deals damage to everyone above him. Great for avoiding ganks, hilarious for avoiding ulti's. Ghost then W will get you out of any fight or gank situation, but it can also be used to chase down heros. Near-dead hero hugging tower? run in, q, Hit W, run under him, Q, run out and you should just survive. That is, if you survive everyone yelling "OP" at an obviously underpowered hero.

    Ezreal/Pantheon/Ashe/Karthus dropping their ulti on you? hit W. Ulti averted. I have had many a karthus ragequit on me with this skill as he sees his ulti drop and no-one dying.

    and finally, the main reason Vladimir is NOT a tank. As soon as Vladimir uses this, the aggro on vlad turns off and the rest of the party starts taking damage instead. Vladimir AVOIDS damage with this skill, which is bad with a tank as you want ALL the damage on you, not avoiding all the damage.

    Tides of Blood
    Vladimirs least useful skill. It is a short AoE Nuke that deals around 100-200 damage with a 4 sec cooldown at level 5. Good for farming and getting that tiny bit more dps out in Teamfights. other than that, not much use. People say its better when stacked but it drains so much hp when stacked its useless. Imagine Mundo throwing 4 cleavers at once every 4 seconds, it will drop his health quicker than a champion would and the increased regen is negligable.

    Best ulti in-game. Use to initiate teamfights to increase party damage for a few seconds and then deal damage at the end. This ulti alone makes teamfights a 6v5 due to the extra damageoutput it provides. Its also useful early game for FB/early kills. More details on this tactic below.

    Interesting Note : If someone uses the Quicksilver Sash to cancel your ulti's debuff, it will only cancel the % damage and then immediately deals the damage. So, although it cancels the party damage increase, it will still do the damage at the end. Nice to know.

  • Masteries + Runes


    I go with this 10/19/1 summoner build as it increases his damage with his spells but gives him more survivability (which in turn gives him more HP+AP).

    And for runes I pretty much always go with:

    9x Greater Mark of Insight
    9x Greater Seal of Vitality
    9x Greater Glyph of Force
    3x Greater Quintessence of Force

    These runes give us more AP/HP to build off of and is usualyl good for most caster builds so you dont have to buy different runes for each caster. Even though Vlad has alot of HP, he is still squishy and can be taken down very quickly.

  • Skilling Order

    Ok, on the assumption you are laning mid this is how we skill for mid:

    However, if laning with a partner, you should:

    I will detail how to lane in sections below

  • Items

    Ok, items, this is what seperates good Vlad's from bad Vlad's.

    First item you grab is a Ruby Crystal

    Assuming you're mid, and aren't failing by 12-17 minutes, you should have enough money for Rod of Ages depending on how much last hitting/killing you are doing. Once you have grabbed the Rod of Ages, you need to decide whether to buy Boots of Swiftness or Ninja Tabi, figure out how to decide on section below. These are your key 2 items. From here on out, just spam [item=Rylai's Scepter]

  • Item Builds

    Short Games:

    Rod of Ages
    Ninja Tabi/ Boots of Swiftness
    [Item=Rylai's Scepter]

    Medium Length Games

    Rod of Ages
    Ninja Tabi/ Boots of Swiftness
    [Item=Rylai's Scepter]
    [Item=Rylai's Scepter]

    Long Games:

    Rod of Ages
    Ninja Tabi/ Boots of Swiftness
    [Item=Rylai's Scepter]
    [Item=Rylai's Scepter]
    Guardian Angel

  • Boots, what to get?

    When I buy boots, It comes down to pretty much one thing. How many melee DPS are on their team? if there is 3 or more melee on their team, I grab Ninja Tabi. If not, I grab Boots of Swiftness to allow you to get around quicker, and make better use of your W to get in and out of battles. I only ever get Sorcerer's Shoes when they are stacking Magic Resist, or Galio's around.

  • A look into Vladimir's Passive

    Ok, so reading my item build, you may be looking at Rod of Ages and Rylai's spam thinking WTF? Waste of money, "vlad don't use mana omg nub, RoA nub" paraphrasing some of the people I have played against. Well here is why:

    Rod of Ages

    As we can see, Rod of Ages provides us with base stats of +380 Health and +50 AP. After cooking time of 15 minutes, it offers us an overall +650 health and +80 AP. Now lets add Vlad's Passive ability.

    Rod of Ages + Crimson Pact(160 HP and 26 AP) = 810 HP/106 AP from a single item. Which is why Rod of Ages is more effective and cheaper than Warmog's.

    Now, next item

    [Item_text=Rylai's Scepter]

    Now, the reason why spam Rylai's Scepter is not only because of its stacking passive (although all Vlad's skills are classed as multi-target for some reason), it allows us to max out our HP and AP simultaneously, it also beats pure AP and pure HP builds as well. Hybrid is the way to go with Vlad.

    So, Rylai's offers us +500 Health +80 Ability each, now lets add Vladimir's passive to that.

    [Item=Rylai's Scepter] + Crimson Pact(160 HP + 20 AP) = 660 HP/100 AP per Scepter.

    and thats why we stack Rylai's, because it offers itself up to be Vladimir's best item (unless you can afford 2 Rod of Ages before the 20 min mark)

  • Items we DO NOT go for with Vlad

    This section will detail the various traps Vladimirs think they should take which, by not only me, but for alot of people, I do not understand why.

    Warmog's Armor
    A fully charged Warmog's Armour gives you 1220 HP. Health regeneration is not useful outside of the laning phase or base siege's as battles will be over so quickly the health regen won't make a difference. With your passive, 1220 HP turns into 49 AP. Remember, capping Warmog's Armour you need 125 creep kills. Which is alot of kills to get once you buy it, which a normal Vladimir will not always get, average overall minion kills for vladimir is around 140.

    1220 HP and 49 AP for that price? noty.

    Mejai's Soulstealer

    Why? no, seriously why? Snowballing items on Vladimir I find is always a bad idea, he is a new hero, so most people target him first as they don't know what he is capable of, and the players who do know what he is capable of also take him down. He also does not beenfit as much from AP as most hero's do, he is a support caster technically, and not an offensive one. Compared to other item's we will be taking, this is just not worth it.


    Good. In Theory, but has the same shortfall as Mejai's, you need alot of stacks to benefit and there are better items out there instead of Leviathan.

    Haunting Guise
    See above item. Only get if on budget or getting owned. If getting owned, change playstyle.

  • Build Example

    Short games:


    Medium-Length Games:


    Long Games:


    These numbers will be a bit off as the character builder does not take into account Vlads passive.

  • Unique Skills

    Sanguine Pool
    Great for avoiding Peoples Ultimate's, can piss off the enemy severely. The only spell's I have had problems with is Event Horizon and Tormented Soil. These are few of the skills that can rape you, there are more but I will detail at a later time.

    Best teamfight Ulti ever. seriously. also used for kills early-lane.

  • Farming

    You can only really farm once you get Tides of Blood, but when you do, just E>Q>W and waves are dead, but your health will slowly drop if you keep using W, so only use W for the larger waves. I personally prefer the E and then Q spam method for most waves.

  • Pros / Cons

    High Health
    High Damage over time
    W skill gives you a Zhonya effect every 10 seconds
    Ulti is Invaluable for teamfights and 1v1's
    Epic Chaser

    Little Burst Damage
    Skills eat you alive at High HP
    Drops quickly when Targetted
    benefits little from buffs

  • Early Game

    FOr early game, start off in mid lane, and use your q to poke damage to opposing champion. if the champion is pushing you to your tower, just use your Q to kill half-health minions. Just wait till level 6 is where you can start getting your power out to kill the enemy champion. Once you hit level 6, use Ghost to rush towards him, pop down ulti, then Ignite, then Q, then W, then Q, and that should kill them. You can even risk a tower dive at this point if you jsut rush in Q then use the remainder of Ghost to get out.

  • Mid to late Game

    You've hit level 9, so, you should start switching lanes to gank and take down turrets. you should have started on your first rylai's by now. You should be aiming for the squishies and carries instead of the tanks, unless the tank is your only real target, then by all means, poke them to death with your Q. just coordinate with team to take down hero's and towers. You do not need buffs so it might be a good time to help one of your teammates get one. From now on its just a case of buying new Rylai's as necessary and take down their base. Remember, you're Ulti is awesome, use it.

  • Tips n tricks using your ulti

    Your ultimate is quite useful in a multitude of situations, and here is just a few:

    1. Opening Team fights, duh! You will do massive damage,thanks to the 20% increased damage, and then nuke them all down again, at thi point, its either fight to the death or they run away.

    2. Laning Phase - If someone is nearly dead but just out of your reach, drop your ulti, they will run away and die, every time. Great for a tower dive, hitting Q, they run and drop ulti - dead. Only try this in the Laning Phase though, as you will need this for a team fight, if a team fight starts and you haven't got this? you're about as useful as heimerdinger without turrets.

    3. Killing Stealth Characters on low HP - If you just ganked twitch/Evelynn and they just stealthed, drop your ulti on this rough area, 7/10 you will get the kill, Shaco can be taken this way but it could be alot harder if he juked you with his jump.

    4. Marking Shaco - If you use this skill before shaco uses his ulti, only he will have the Ulti's cloud effect, showing you he is the real shaco and not the fake.

    5. Ulti-Combos - Karthus + Vlad = Rape, Ezreal + Vlad = Rape, Morgana + Vlad = Rape, Pantheon + Vlad = rape, and don't get me started on Nunu and hia 1:1 AP ratio. There is just so many combinations for Vlad, he can lane with anyone and everyone.

  • Scores you will be looking at:

    2-1 KDR pretty much

    At 20:00 in I was at 10-0-4, from there on in, the enemy eventually beat us because I was the closest thing to tank, and contrary to description, vladimir is not a tank.

Do you have your own
Build Guide?

Submitted by Ribi

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