Top Health Build
First Three Completed Items
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Threats to Vladimir with this build
|Heimerdinger||Kill turrets with Q and E. Don't let him farm, then dominate.|
|Illaoi||Bully and avoid her E, overall easy matchup. Make her ult pointless by using W away from it.|
|Malphite||Don't let his passive come up, and poke down. Be careful of ganks with his ults, but otherwise get some cs and kills.|
S6 Health Vladimir Build
I have been a Vladimir main since Season 4 and was worried that all the season 6 changes would nerf him. After 6.8 the right build Vladimir had more impact and was strong carry building full tank. With 6.13 changing his Q AP ratio and his passive reverting to the pre-midseason change, its time to build him with some more AP again. The health scaling on E is still insane, but building pure health as the guide previously did is no longer the best in my opinion. Within 8 games of playing Vlad since Level 6 + 7 masteries were introduced I was Level 7, and I am currently Gold as a Top/Supp Main. Make sure to look at the notes and I hope this guide helps! Thanks!
Farming and Auto-attacking
The difference between a good and amazing Vlad player is how you cs and how much you get. This is even more obvious since the mid-season rework, with E now actually damaging you in a significant way. Get good at basic attacking minions for CS. It is a pain with Vlad, but the rework did add some AD to your basic attack to make it easier (unless you had it memorized before XD) Your E will eventually one shot back line minions if you are pushing, and make sure you position yourself with your E to hit all minions. Vlad's E is now like Ashe's W, and doesn't hit everything in the range. You should always aim to have the most cs in the game as Vlad, through laning phase, available jungle camps, pushing out lanes, and defending.
One more interesting element is not Auto-attacking in certain situations, involving Deadman's Plate. I don't buy this item most games right now, but it can come on handy versus AD heavy teams. Sometimes it is better to keep your speed up then to use it, but I still do in team fights out of habit and traditionalism. Try out both ways.
After recently switching to building Zhoyna's again, I want to make sure I don't cap out cooldown so I have 6 scaling cooldown gylphs and 3 AP ones. I prefer scaling health for seals, and the quints and marks are pretty typical.
I highly suggest this mastery page as opposed to Deathfire touch or Thunderlord's for a few reasons. Grasp of the Undying is a very nice way of further increasing your sustain early. In addition Swiftness is very useful, increasing tenacity and slow resist. Moving quickly and not being cced is very important for Vlad so this is pivotal. I don't like Thunderlord's because in laning phase and most fights I typically don't burst anyone down, and have to have a more extended fight. Deathfire is okay but for the reasons listed earlier I just prefer Grasp.
I have always been a fan of Doran's sheild and pot start, but with recent changes I rarely start that way anymore. Before 6.13 I usually tried to take Ruby Crystal for some health and E damage. My second option was boots and pots, which was also a very good start since you could run away from ganks and catch up to hit champs with E. Now that 6.13 hit I would try taking Ruby Crystal vs. AP for Visage or Rylai's first item and boots vs. AD champs. For trinket always start Warding Totem, gotta spot those incoming ganks.
I typically back when the other laner leaves or I reach around 1300 gold. There is no reason to back first with your sustain unless you know you'll die. Start building the health parts of Spirit Visage if your vs. AP and if you're vs. AD grab a Giant's Belt to build into Rylai's. Honestly I have found that either Rylai's or Visage first item works versus AP champs, so go with your gut and gauge whether you are winning lane or not. depending on your lane. In addition try to get boots of speed if you haven't.
Spirit Visage is a must unless they have absolutely no AP damage. I've transitioned back and forth between Zhoyna's to Deadman's for armor, but with 6.13 I'll gladly go back to mostly using Zhoyna's. Since E scales with health, I tried SF, Zhoyna's and DM to see which item works best. I found the movement speed with DM really helped catch up and secure kills, but the extra AP and active on Zhoyna's makes it my go to. My first three full items typically are Visage, Rylais, and Zhoyna's. The peeling with Rylai's flows very well with Vlad on top of the fact it is a decent Health/AP item. I like Swifty Boots for that extra movement speed, but Lucidity also works well. Just make sure not to cap out cooldown.
For my final two items I have been picking up Liandry's and Warmog's. Liandry's is another great AP/Health item that also gives M 15MP. Warmog's is great with the healing out of combat, the fact it gives so much health, and on top of this it now has cooldown that Vlad always needs. Pick your favorite, and as always its a game specific. I have been mostly picking up Liandry's first.
End game for trinkets I still prefer to keep the basic wards, since it it nice to have some stealthy wards with Mid and ADC typically getting blue trinket. In addition it helps set up teleports. Get Oracle Lens for specific champs like Vayne, Teemo, Akali, etc. For consumable you can either go Sorcery or Iron. Sorcery is nice for extra AP and turret damage, but the mana regeneration is wasted. Iron is great giving Vlad health, size increase, and tenacity which is stellar. In addition it increases ally movement speed, so I typically chose Iron. But again, game dependent.
I don't get Protobelt typically, because I don't like the base stats. The active in theory is golden for Vlad, but I found its impact very minimal compared to the other Health/AP items. If you have enough movement speed and position correctly you don't really miss the active, even more so now that you can't cast spells during it. Deadman's isn't as good as it was before 6.13, but is still good in the right game. SF Cape, Banshee's, and Randuin's are all game specific pick ups to swap with other tank items or to just go with a pure tank build. Abyssal Scepter is also an option, but I don't typically get it since Visage gives me enough MR and I always build Visage vs. AP, as should you. If Protobelt gets a buff, I will reevaluate.
In every game I always max Q first, as its a great last hit tool, it provides sustain, and what's the point of being a vampire if you don't take the enemies blood! Be careful last hitting minions with non-empowered Q's, as it is not as easy as before the mid-season change. I then max E, since your W is usually a way to escape or slow and is not reliant on its damage. I usually take 2 points in Q, going QEQ before getting W level 4, but with certain junglers and oppressive champs that have ignite it's safer to grab W level 3, or if you are confident in your basic attack csing and aren't pushed in go QWQE.