Vladimir Build Guide by mastro95
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
This is my first guide on MOBAFire!
This guide will be an in-depth guide of my favorite champion, Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper.
According to Phreak, Vladimir is a "tank-caster hybrid". That is exactly how we will be building and playing Vlad!
Let's have a brief overview of Vladimir.
His passive: Crimson Pact
Provides bonus health from ability power and bonus ability power from health.
First ability, Q: Transfusion: Deals damage and heals Vladimir.
Second ability, W: Sanguine Pool: Allows Vladimir to sink into the ground, becoming untargetable for two seconds.
Third ability, E: Tides of Blood: An instant-cast AoE, useful for farming and dealing lots of damage late game.
Ultimate, R: Heomoplague: Increases damage done to enemies and after a few seconds deals a little bit extra damage.
Sanguine Pool allows for escaping ganks/catching up to people VERY easily
Can be hard to master
Volatile at low levels
Useless when on cooldown
No mana! (Yes, I realize I put that twice, I'll explain later)
Explanation of Runes
Obvious reasons. At low levels, it tears through the small number of MR that other players will start with. At higher levels, it gives your spells an extra kick.
Everyone else will be taking MP! Counter some of it with some magic resist!
Why take AP Quints over spell vamp?
I like to focus on early game strength with Vladimir so that I can snowball early and dominate late game. Let's do some math.
All champions start off with 30 Magic Resist. Through runes/masteries they are left with a mere 13 Magic Resist, blocking 12% of incoming damage, as opposed to 23%
Through runes and masteries, we will start off with 21 AP (15 from Quints, 6 from masteries). Let's take a look at the damage that we will do at level 1:
90 (flat damage) + (0.6x21) = 102.6 x (1-.11) = 91.3 damage.
Now for the amount healed...
15 + (0.25x21) = 20.25
Now, here are the same numbers run, except with Spell Vamp Quints:
90 + (0.6x6) = 93.6 x (1-.11) = 83.3 damage.
15 + (0.25x6) = 16.5 + (83.3x.06) = 21.50
While the amount healed is 1.25 HP less without using Spell Vamp Quints, your DPS will be greater (you do 48 extra damage per minute with the AP Quints) Not to mention, you also will gain 21 extra health from Vlad's passive.
More In-Depth Skills
The Intro gives you a brief overview of skills. Here is a more detailed list of Vladimir's skills.
Passive: Crimson Pact: Every 40 points of bonus health grants Vladimir 1 ability power and every 1 point of ability power grants Vladimir 1.4 bonus health. These bonuses do not stack with themselves.
This is what makes Vladimir a beefy mage. It is also why I like to get a Warmog's, that when stacked fully grants Vlad about 50 extra ability power and can get him near 5k health.
Transfusion: Vladimir drains the lifeforce of his target, dealing magic damage and healing himself.
Cooldown: 10 / 8.5 / 7 / 5.5 / 4 seconds
Magic Damage: 90 / 125 / 160 / 195 / 230 (+0.6 per ability power)
Health Regained: 15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 (+0.25 per ability power)
This move is awesome for early game sustain and harassment as well as late game damage.
Sanguine Pool: Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood becoming untargetable for 2 seconds and slowing enemies above him by 40% for 1 second. Additionally, he deals magic damage every half second to them and heals himself for 12.5% of the damage done.
Cooldown: 26 / 23 / 20 / 17 / 14 seconds
Magic Damage Per Half-Second: 20 / 33.75 / 47.5 / 61.25 / 75 (+3.75% of bonus health)
Maximum Magic Damage: 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+15% of bonus health)
Be careful how you use this move. It is what makes Vladimir awesome, but if you use it wrong you will be AWFUL with Vlad. And I will be embarrassed to play Vlad because of that. Just kidding. But really. Never EVER use this move to initiate. Ever. If you are going into a team fight, it is best to save this move for when your Transfusion and Tides of Blood are on cooldown and you are looking to slow someone who is trying to escape. Or, you can use it to escape yourself if you are losing the team fight. When midding, the only time you should use this move is if you are attempting to kill someone with the Uber Combo (see below) or escaping a gank.
Tides of Blood: Vladimir unleashes a torrent of blood dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies. Each cast of Tides of Blood gives him an Empowered stack, which increases his healing and regeneration and causing his next Tides of Blood to deal 25% more base damage but cost 25% more health. This lasts for 10 seconds, and stacks up to four times.
Cost: 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 health
Additional Healing and Regeneration %: 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
Magic Damage: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+0.45 per ability power)
Maximum Cost: 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 / 140 health
Maximum Magic Damage: 120 / 180 / 240 / 300 / 360 (+0.45 per ability power)
Try to refrain from using this at level 2. It is difficult to keep up with the health cost with transfusion, not to mention the stacking health cost. Past about level 3, try to use it last hit minions, but that's it. Once you get your Hextech Revolver, use it as often as you can. You should be able to steal back most of the damage you do as long as you hit most of the minions in a wave. During early game do NOT try to get max stacks by just spamming E recklessly, especially without a minion wave. While at 4 stacks you will do significantly more damage than no stacks; it is not worth the health cost until you can steal it back with a Will of the Ancients. Save that for late game when you can spare the health.
Ultimate: Hemoplague: Vladimir infects all enemies in the target area with a virulent plague which increases the damage they take from all sources by 12% for 5 seconds. After these 5 seconds, infected enemies take magic damage.
Cooldown: 150 / 135 / 120 seconds
Magic Damage: 150 / 250 / 350 (+0.7 per ability power)
As with his Q, this move costs NOTHING. But that doesn't mean you should use it whenever you can! It's got a pretty long cooldown, but it is very helpful if you know how to use it correctly. Your first kill in mid should be the only time you use it on one enemy. After that try to get at LEAST two enemies in your Hemoplague. In a team fight, shoot for 4 or 5. The 12% damage increase may seem negligible, but it really adds up over 5 seconds. Not to mention, there is a nice little "pop" of damage at the end which can clean up some kills in a team fight (even after you die :)
In the introduction, I mentioned that Vlad having no mana is a good and a bad thing. It is a good thing because obviously you don't ever need to worry about mana potions, runes, masteries, or chilling and waiting for your mana to regenerate. Therefore, Vladimir is very powerful early game because his skills are always available, given that they are not on cooldown (and that you have enough health, but if you don't have enough health to be casting spells you should be b'ing anyway). So use this to your advantage! You will have an early game advantage not only from the healing from Transfusion, but also from you not having to worry about mana.
However, late game Vlad's lack of mana can actually hurt him. While other AP champions are busy getting their Archangel's Staff's, Vladimir has no use for this item, therefore getting this would be a waste of time. This means that Vlad's AP will never be higher than your regular AP carry (Veigar, Ahri, Brand), but he will be a hell of a lot more beefy. Quite the fair trade.
Starting Items: Boots and Potions. Why?
I prefer taking boots and three health potions over one potion and an Amplifying Tome for several reasons. First off, the three health potions give you a much greater sustain than just one potion (about an extra 315 health from the two extra potions if Tides of Blood is active). But more importantly are the boots. Normally, everyone else in your mid lane will get a Doron's item. While this does leave them more strong than you are, you are faster than them. A big deal? Yes. Boots are vital for allowing you to harass, even if it comes at the cost of not doing as much damage as your opponent. What you are more focused on is being able to poke at your opponent until you can unleash the Uber Combo. Also very useful for evading your opponent if you are playing against Ahri, Karthus, Ashe, Brand, or basically anyone with a skillshot.
Rush your Hextech Revolver. Like, the second you hit 1200 gold, if you can B, do it. A good time to get it is around 8 minutes. An awesome time to get it is around 6 minutes. Now, you can spam your Tides of Blood and not have to worry too much about the health cost. You basically just won your mid lane once you get your Hextech Revolver, as long as it is quick. Build your Revolver into a Will of the Ancients.
Upgrade your Boots of Speed to Sorc Shoes. Extra Magic Pen. Yum. At this point, with your runes/masteries/items, depending on your opponent you could actually be doing extra damage because you will have more magic penetration than they do magic resist. :D
Deathcap. Essential mage item. Try try TRY to get your Needlessy Large Rod first. While it is expensive, it is a lot better to get that component first and then your Blasting Wand.
Warmog's. You can build this in no particular order, just don't get the Regrowth Pendant until last. You should be doing this already, but try to get max stacks on your Warmog's as quickly as possible.
Ryali's. Awesome item for Vlad. His passive gets him some extra health and AP off the already generous health given. The passive slow is great for catching up to opponents/escaping.
I prefer to grab a Zhona's here for the extra AP and armor. And the active is very useful for Vladimir. Try to use it if you need to burn some time in the middle of a team fight while waiting for your cooldown's to come off.
Grab a Void Staff if they are stacking a lot of Magic Resist, or even Force of Nature if they are dealing too much damage. Do not get a Hextech Gunblade; the extra Spell Vamp is nice but you do not benefit from anything else. Don't get a Lich Bane either; there is too much wasted stats (extra mana, increased mana regen).
A lot of people would recommend Spirit Visage, and while it is a viable option, I plain don't like it. But if you want to build it, it's your call. If you are going to build it, grab it after your Warmog's.
How to Mid Vladimir/ The Uber Combo
Early Game: (1-5)
Spend your first point in Q, Transfusion. Transfusion will be your main way of harassing your opponent in mid. For a more in-depth guide of how to deal with champs that I frequently find myself against in mid, keep scrolling! If you're looking for a more basic guide, stay here.
Always last hit minions. That is your priority. Keep yourself at a distance from your opponent and keep last hitting minions. Vladimir is an excellent farmer once you get your Hextech Revolver, so try to rush that as quickly as possible. DO NOT USE YOUR E TO FARM BEFORE YOU HAVE A HEXTECH REVOLVER. It costs too much health. Also, never use your W to farm either. It costs 20% of your current health, and not only will you probably not drain all of that back, but also you always want that off cooldown in case you get ganked.
Always stay out of range of your mid opponent, until you are ready to harass them with your Q. You should try to use Transfusion on your opponent whenever you can, but if you have low health, use it on some minions before-hand so if they counter attack you will not be putting yourself in danger of dying. When you are ready, run in and tag them with Transfusion and immediately run back out of range. At level 1, a caught Vladimir that just used his Q is basically a free kill. Don't be that guy. Also, try not to be forced to use your ghost. It will be very important in a few minutes.
Continue this process. You should be able to trade + do more damage than your opponent at this point due to your healing and magic penetration. This is also why I like to take magic resist runes instead of more ability power. Nearly everyone else you play against mid that uses AP will have magic penetration runes. Having magic resist runes and masteries will negate all of those runes that they have, giving you the upper hand. If you can't trade damage with your midding opponent, still attack them with your Q. But, every once in a while, use Transfusion on some minions to get your health back up so that you can continue to damage your opponent.
Mid Game (6-11)
Level 6. You can now kill your mid opponent from about half health and down. If your mid opponent has half health or less, let them push a bit so that they are more than halfway past the mid-point in mid lane. While you're letting them do this, constantly use Transfusion on enemy minions to buff up your health. Once they get to the half-way point, and if they have less than half health, they are begging to be killed. Vladimir is not played very often and due to his recent nerf, people underestimate him. It is time to use that underestimation for your advantage.
Enter, the Uber Combo:
Ghost to your opponent, followed up by Heomoplague, then Ignite, then Tides of Blood,then Transfusion, then Sanguine Pool, (you should be chasing your opponent in between of all of these casts, and getting past him, i.e. in between his turret and him once you pool), auto-attack for extra damage, Tides of Blood, and Transfusion. If done correctly, you should be able to do all of your damage while the 12% damage increase is active on Hemoplauge. If the damage that you did didn't kill him, then your Hemoplague should. If that doesn't, then they may have had too much health.
Your keystrokes should be as follows: d r f e q w (right click) e q
Why Ghost and Ignite?
Say you really want to push a tower. It has just a few hits left in mid and you just killed your mid opponent and fortunately you did not have to use Sanguine Pool to do so. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, jungle Xin Zhao Audacious Charge's towards you! Luckily, you didn't burn your Pool, so you can just "pop" his Audacious Charge before he reaches you, but then what if he ghosts and catches up to you and hits you into the air and kills you while you are airborn? You used your Sanguine Pool, but unfortunately that wasn't enough. Here's what you could have done with some other spells:
You could have flashed away as soon as you saw him, followed by a pool. Okay, it could work, depending on far away from your tower you are. If you are attacking the other tower though, flash wouldn't be much help.
Imagine the same situation. You have little health, you are far away from your own turret, and their jungler comes and ganks you (we'll use Xin Zhao). You see him and before he is able to reach you with Audicious Charge, you Ghost and then Pool. Now he looks like a FOOL. Even with just Boots of Speed, "Ghost Pooling" will get you more than halfway back to your tower AND he is slowed in the process AND you have a movement speed buff at the end of your Pool.