Vladimir Build Guide
Vladimir, and how to play him competetively!written by Clythez
Table of Contents
|Pros / Cons||4|
|Masteries + Runes||7|
|Tips n' Tricks||10|
This shall be my guide to vladimir, who is currently my second favorite character in LoL and my former main, you ask why i write this guide? I answer you because i am sick and tired of seeing shit vlads, when i finally do get to see them, so this will be my try to help all vladimir's become better.
If you wonder what i think my background for writing this guide is i can only answer that i have tried every aspect of vladimir, played him in solo queue and premade, and at all ELO ranges from the low to the high.
Last off, this is my first published guide so i would appreciate some feedback, flaming can be done other places.
I hope you will enjoy my guide, and remember to rate either way! :)
This guide focuses on playing Vladimir on SR, so none of the content below is tested for TT.
PS: This guide is for an advanced user and should not be picked up by a newcomer to the game.
PPS: Large parts of this guide assumes that you have solo lane for most of or the entire laning phase.
Crimson Pact 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).
We love this passive, this gives us a massive hp bonus lategame and adds the survival that my item build does not include. Not alot of other stuff to say about the passive, fairly straight forward
Transfusion Vladimir drains the lifeforce of his target, dealing 70-250 (+0.6 per ability power) magic damage and healing himself for 25% (+0.6 per ability power) of that amount.
The bread and butter of the laning Vladimir. This skill is what makes him banned in 50% of all games. It starts out on an anoyingly long cooldown which means we reserve it for last hits, but at the same time make sure to use it as close to every cooldown as possible. But it ends up with a nice 3 sec cooldown, which means 1,8 sec if you have CDR cap, making it one of the strongest selfhealing spells in the game. Oh, and who doesn't love a free spell!
Sanguine Pool Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood for 2 seconds, becoming untargetable and slowing enemies above him by 50%.
Vladmir deals 80-300 (+.15 per bonus health (15% of bonus Health)) magic damage over the duration and heals himself for 12.5% of that amount.
This is my second favourite skill on Vladimir, right after his ultimate, and i will describe in detail later, for now it suffice to say that this coupled with ToB and Hemoplague is your damage output in teamfights. Not to forget a get out of jail free card, if used right. NB: DON'T EVER EVER USE THIS TO INITIATE!
Tides of Blood Vladimir unleashes a torrent of blood dealing 60-180 (+0.45 per ability power) magic damage to nearby enemies.
Each cast gives him an Empowered stack (max 4), increasing his healing and regeneration by 8% each. Additionally, his next Tides of Blood deals 25% more damage and costs 50% more Health per stack.
Ah, the most tricky spell of Vladimir, and also the most rewarding one, comes at a fairly high hp cost and fairly small base damage, which is why we save this skill for last most of the time, it really needs some AP to shine, but when you get some AP this ability will work wonders:
a) Because with high AP comes high HP, and this spell costs health and not % health.
b) It makes your Transfusion regen ridiculously much hp in a teamfight
c) The AP scaling is quite descent for a spell that can hit anything and everything within its radius (including stealthed units!)
The tricky part of this spell is to know when to have your stacks up, and when to use it as a farming tool, more on that later[/i]
Hemoplague Vladimir infects the target area with a virulent plague. Affected enemies take 10-18% increased damage for 5 seconds.
After 5 seconds, infected enemies take 200-400 (+0.75 per ability power) magic damage.
And at last, behold the bread and butter of teamfighting Vladimir, this skill is what makes Vladimir one of the best choices in organized teams. This skill is so important that missing the optimal timing on this will lose you a teambattle 7/10 times, or more. This ultimate is also the reason why i recommend that you don't ever chose Vladimir unless you have atleast 1 additional AoE ultimate on your team.
Making your enemies take 18% ekstra damage is ALOT, even the 10% that it starts out with it insane and i will tell you why: how often have you seen somebody slip through your hands with 7 hp? 6 hp? or even 3 hp just laughing as he goes? Now that is all just luck, but the guy that gets away with 3% hp on a good flash, or a teammate saving him and starts flaming you for beeing noob, that is just anoying beyond all borders, now this guy takes 10% ekstra daamage, making it virtually impossible to escape with low hp in combat, after combat is another thing!
Updated Laning Phase with Twisted Fate, Twitch and Karthus.
Updated Tips n' Tricks with one additional Trick.
Changed Haunting Guise position in Items
Patch 126.96.36.199 out and we like the buffs to Vladimir, as follows:
Transfusion will now heal Vladimir even if the target is spell immune
Hemoplague will no longer damage enemies if it is dispelled
Now the second doesn't really bother us as it was a bug that it still did damage, and it was extremely rare anyone dispelled it anyway. However the transfusion buff makes us very happy cause now it will be so much easier to lane against Morgana, it really doesnt matter much in the end game as one transfusion more or less mostly wont make the difference (and one transfusion should remove that shield!)
Pros / Cons
* One of the strongest mages in the game
* Invalueable in an AoE team
* Extremely good farmer
* Quite tough to kill which temps people to not focus you
* Can escape almost any gank
* Ridiculous laning power, can stay as long as he pleases against most setups
* Can carry when fed
* Not a vampire
* Extremely hard to master
* Mejais plays a large part of my playstyle with Vlad, if you die alot, this wont help you
* Quite costly to engage in a large teamfight, you loose 15% + 20% of your current hp when you engage
* Most of the time requires a coordinated team to land a proper ultimate
There are two possibilities, first is the way i go 90% of my games, which is based around teamfights and max damage in these. Both builds focuses Vladimir's Q early as it is just ridiculously awesome as a harrasing tool in laning phase + it makes you stay alive, which we like!
Reasoning behind ranking Sanguine Pool over Tides of Blood is quite simple, what makes most damage, a dead Vladimir, or a Vladimir that is alive? Sanguine pool is basically why you can stay alive in team clashes, and the really awesome part in ranking it is that health cost stays the same (static 20% of current hp) where as CD goes down and damage is buffed - something often missed on it is the regen part, making it "free" to use if a minion wave is big enough, and almost free is teamfights where your ultimate will already have dropped your health dramatically.
This one prioritizes Tides of Blood, you have to be very careful with this skill build, it will require alot of monitoring of hp as the ToB will drop your hp rapidly when it is at max stacks, only use this skill order when you are up against someone you know are bad, or when you play premade with a ridiculous ganking team.
Getting Sanguine Pool at lvl 2 is just common sense as it will save you from 9/10 early game ganks, and if not you have your flash!
We like these, and always have 1/2 of them
No, no, no and NO
Usually i run a combination of Ignite + Flash/ Ghost depending on opposing team, rare case scenarios call for a Ghost+ Flash and this can be used by beginners for added survival.
The special case spells are stuff like if enemy team has yi/trynda/olaf and nobody else can afford to give up a slot for exhaust, clairvoyance can be justified in premades if you know how to use it, and teleport is just an overall great spell that really shines lategame, but again best with premade (wards people WARDS!) and vladimir should be where the action is anyway.
Masteries + Runes
I've got 3 pages for overall classes. One for mages, one for tanks, and one for physical carries. The page i use for mages also fits in nicely with what vladimir so usually i go with it.
Greater Mark of Insight x9
Greater Seal of Vitality x9
Greater Glyph of Force x9
Greater Quintessence of Swiftness x3
The magic penetration marks should just be standard in any mage page, no arguing here. The seals compliment his passive + adds a little survivability which is always nice, seals are generally used for something defensive, and dodge is just worthless imo especially on Vladimir. Force glyphs is because we need AP, and even though we will get plenty from items there isnt really other appealing options, MR is an option, but i get that through items.
Masteries follow a fairly standard 9/0/21 for non mana users as follows:
This particular build assumes ghost/ignite as summoner spells, of course change around as needed.
Alas, we have reached the section where most Vladimir's fail, the item selection. Know that everytime i see a Vladimir buy a Warmog's Armor i die a little inside.
So without further ado:
There are three different core builds, which one you need shall be judged immediately upon arrival ingame.
Core build 1 - Death and Destruction: (Total 8900g)
Core build 2 - Hard laning and Destruction (Total 10150g)
Core build 3 - The Defensive and Potent Build (Total 9795g)
So that is my three core builds in a sec i will go more into details, but first. I am sure you have noticed that the builds range from 8900-10150g and you think that is ALOT for a core build, truth be told it is. But also it is not even remotely unreachable. As vladimir pre level 7 you should be getting atleast 4 minions per wave, and after level 7 (if you aren't killing the enemy champion) you should be getting all 6/7 minions in the wave. This pretty fast accumulates to alot of gold, and as you also saw i got a snowball item in all my builds, which makes it easy to get on a roll if you are just allowed 1-2 kills.
First let's take a look at a standard laning situation, as most of the builds have the same start. As Vladimir you pretty much decide when you want to leave your lane unless you get a harass champion like heimerdinger or katarina, in which case you kill them. But other than that, i usually start out with Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potion this gives you the edge to get in range for transfusion already from start + gives you some health pots in case you mess up and just need a bit of healing and not a full return trip. Now in build 1 and 2 we head back when we need to and not a minute before, depending on your gold you want to get Mejai's Soulstealer then Sorcerer's Shoes you shouldn't have any more gold that that, if you do then you got an easy game and go with core build 1.
If you are forced to leave lane early stop for a second and consider why. Bad playing from you? Solution is to shape up. Extremely well playing enemy on mid? Solution is to be a bit less agressive till lvl 9 and just hang back. Hard counter in from of Kassadin or Veigar? Solution is to get 2x Null-Magic Mantle first trip back, one for a pair of Mercury's Treads second for a Spirit Visage - also whenever you are forced to leave lane early grab 1-3 health pots (will make enemy less inclined to harass the shit out of you) and if the enemy team has a jungler 1-2 wards for your brush/brushes.
Now, core build 1 is the build you use anytime you know you are gonna own their mid and the rest of his team isn't 4 tryndameres that you just can't kill. For example you can safely go build 1 if you face ashe on mid as she is no real threat to you (personally i don't think i have ever lost on mid to an ashe).
Core build 2 incoporates a swift Spirit Visage as a first item, either because you face an anoying mid so you need the +healing, or because you see that the other team has some potentially nasty mages. When using this build you should also evaluate whether you need to get the third core build which is very defensive.
Core build 3 i use whenever i face kassadin or veigar mid, and sometimes even vs anivia, this build focusses on getting 2x Null-Magic Mantle first trip back, second one you finish your Mercury's Treads and Spirit Visage and vs these enemies you will have plenty of trips back, now the next item you are gonna get is Abyssal Scepter and by this time they will be extremely frustrated at you while dealing almost no damage to you :)
Furthermore there are optional items for when the game continues into the extreme ands you have completed your corebuild, no mattter which corebuild you play i advice you to start buying Fortitude/Brilliance elixir as soon the corebuild is complete as it will give a huge bonus both to HP and to AP.
However if you need some additional items these are my prefered choices:
An allround superb item, especially as it gives you alot of survivability, and adds some heavy AP + MP should almost always get this if you complete your corebuild.
A fairly descent choice, however note that you get it for the MR/AP/MS and not for the bonus on next autoattack as you can't count on this due to Vladimirs extremely slow attack animation and speed.
If the game indeed does drag out forever this can be considered as an option even though stacking zhonya's have never applied to my personal taste the AP on it IS delicious.
Will of the Ancients
If your team has another 2 ability power users besides you you should consider this, but preferably get someone else to get it!
And the last AP item you can get is the void staff, now we already have some descent MP, so only get this if atleast two on the enemy team has above 120 MR, in which case this starts to get really awesome.
As for defensive choices go, there are only a couple of really good ones, and these should only be bought in extreme cases.
A super choice, 100 armor is alot of survivability + it is really cheap. The passive is added damage which we never refuse.
Another great item, this one adds a bit of AP/HP/Armor but also comes with a great aoe slow, a worthy investment if you got money lying around and need a defensive item.
[item=Force of Nature]
Alot of MR + some hp regen and MS, we love this item, but as my build already includes considerable MR only get this if the enemy has 3-4 AP users.
An option, however i prefer not to use it on vladimir, you shouldnt really be needing it and the armor / MR is simply not enough for the asking price.
Lastly for the items NOT to get we have:
No No NO, don't ever get this item, under any circumstances, it gives nothing but HP which we will get from our AP items anyway, it is extrmely expensive, and is not worth it at any rate. If you even consider buying this dont play vlad, end of story!
Believe it or not, i have actually seen vlad players use this, would you please not? Want CDR? Go get golem or something, do not get this item.
Not a bad item per se, actually not at all, but it delays your core build and we do not want that, so skip this item and get to the more important pieces. I personally never use this item and vlad, and do not like it, but it does have its uses, if the entire opposing team has only 1 magic resist item it is not a bad idea, and will help more than void staff.
Laning phase is quite simple, you last hit and you farm like a beast, as soon as you hit lvl 7 you can start harrasing the fuck out of your lane opponent almost regardless of who this is, sometime soon he will have to back away and recall and give you the advantage of the lane, or he will die trying to fight you. I will list some of the most common champions below and what to do against them, however always remember CLAIM A SOLO LANE! Sidelane is bad bad bad for vladimir.
Ashe is a simple one, avoid getting harrased as much as possible (easier said than done obviously) and just last hit early. Generally if she is in range for auto-attack + volley pool is cheaper than her damage would be. When you hit lvl 6 start harrassing mildly, and care for the arrow - if you have top reflexes you can dodge it with pool instead of using flash - at lvl 7 you should be able to kill her unless she has ghost/flash in which case she will have to blow both to get away!
Remember when engaging solo on mid to care for jungler and that the optimal rotation is Ulti > Transfusion > Pool > Ignite > Transfusion - Unless you have 4 stacks of ToB prepared in which case it might pay off to also pop in one of those.
Not much to do about the birdy, pre level 6 you have to be carefull to dodge all her FF's, after level 6 make sure you are out of range for storm + frostbite combo, and refer to core build 3, after your dual mantle you should be able to take her on, provided you can dodge her flash frost.
Here is one that is even weaker than you are pre level 6, make sure to autoattack him everytime he is in range and you dont stand among his minions, it is not alot, but it all adds up, his silence is anoying, but you should be trying to use a minimum of spells anyway so as not to charge his force pulse. Again you will have to reger to core build 3 and unless he is terribad you wont be able to take him solo untill at the very least dual mantle.
Pretty straightforward, no actual changes from ashe, volley = mystic shot and arrow = trueshot barrage, if you can dodge those you will beat him.
Kennen is a toughie, most important is to stand behind your caster minions at all times, if he comes in LR you pull back and dodge the shuriken that will come as soon as he is past your minions, and then go back. I would advice against trying to take Kennen 1 on 1, and if he has ignite you can't do it and will have to call in a gank.
Piece of cake, dodge his LW and dont expect to win zone control, pull back and farm up against your tower, at level 7 you can defeat him, NEVER STAND STILL AND AUTOATTACK! when you fight karthus, always dance around him - also if you didnt start with boots, jump back for them asap they will help alot - Dodge his ulti with your pool, which also means always have it ready.
All about dodging those spears, make sure you have ignite if you know you are gonna face her, also odds are you cant beat her 1on1, so let her push and get low, and when she towerdives you, rip her apart.
Fairly easy, she has low damage early - important if she does manage to hit you with a spell, make sure to pull out of autoattack range for the next 6 seconds! - Dodging her laser with ulti should be kids play.
Pray you dont face her, and if you do, play ultra defensive and call for gank as soon as you hit level 7. 1 on 1 you don't have great chances against her.
Again easy most of the time, he will spend a good deal of the time trying to last hit for additional AP, so just make sure everytime he goes in to get one of these last hits you repay with 2-3 autoattacks and a transfusion.
Don't she will rip you apart like a little doll! Ask for a lane change. If you cant get it, you have to go with it and hug the tower and farm as possible, you have bad chances against her. ,
Lean back and enjoy waiting for level 7, at which point you quite simply start being the most offensive bastard ever seen on the Fields Of Justice, a non fed Tristana = good feed for your team!
He is so bad on mid this should never happen, but if it does just faceroll him, and don't hug him
He is easy enough to handle both as AP and as AD, trick is to dodge his wild cards much as possible, and pull back whenever he wants to use stacked deck on you. If you kill him on mid, care for the destiny as soon as he is alive.
Do i really need to explain? Dodge LW, this is where boots as start item comes in extremely handy. Avoid his ultimate by using sanguine pool, completely negating it.
Probably the easiest one to mid against, he shouldn't ever be a problem unless he has ignite, just play semi defensive till lvl 6 then kill him with your full combo, should work most of the time - bonus tip: IF he is causing trouble (or has lizard buff) grab a vision ward when you are back and plant it right in the middle!
Tips n' Tricks
Just some basic tips:
1) Whenever you are chasing, (and it is safe) use your pool, it will push you a little forward + slow the opponent if you touch him even if he is out of range for normal spells.
2) Don't ever land Transfusion --> Ultimate, instead do it the other way around firstly because you will benefit from the +damage, secondly because you will heal a bit after having just spend 15% of your hp.
3) Hemoplague gives assist even if only the debuff is applied use this to grab an assist if you are not in range for anything else - and you know no big teamclash is coming up.
4) If you run flash against somebody without it on mid, you can often land your ultimate while not seeming agressive because of the quite considerable range and then flash in immediately after
5) Tides of Blood can hit invis targets, including wards, so whenever you pass someplace where there might one just pop ToB to check.
6) When towerdiving, you can reset your threat from the tower by using sanguine pool, however your damage from sanguine pool adds new threat. You can also dodge a towershot midair by using pool.
And something not Vladimir related:
7) BUY WARDS! Always get 1-2 whenever you are back. It will help your team immensely and as vladimir you will almost always be able to afford it.
This concludes my guide to Vladimir, i hope you enjoyed it, and i apologize for the seemlingly Walls of Text, however there is so much to be said about Vladimir so they need to be there :)
Lastly good luck on further endeavours, and i hope you will pick up and try Vladimir, because he is simply awesome :)
PS: Leave a comment and rate, appreciated ;)
Submitted by Clythez
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