Vladimir General Guide by Abnegates
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.
Vlad vs. Mid
Vs. AP (Easy/neutral)
Vs. AP (Hard/Nightmare)
Final Build vs. AP
Final Build Vs. AD
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
|Zed||This is one of the easiest matchups you will ever experience in League, even as a mediocre Vlad. Your kit does well to counter his entire kit and your W COMPLETELY negates his ult! Continuously harass him from level 1 with Q and autos and make sure to drop minion agro if needed. Do not let him get any CS from melees without taking harass. Post 6 Zed can never all in you, as soon as he ults you pop your pool during the animation (when he laughs and you see the X), and his ult will go on cooldown with you taking no damage. The only way for Zed to kill you is if he all-ins you with ignite and a bilgewater/bork active, but even then he will never have ult to do so making this a VERY easy matchup.|
|Akali||Akali's early game is amongst some of the weakest in the mid lane, and thus you should take complete advantage and bully her as soon as the lane starts and onwards. She does pathetic damage early on, and should NEVER be able to get her Q proc off on you. Constantly auto and Q harass her every time she gets into range, your job is to deny Akali as much experience and gold as much as possible. Futhermore, Akali cannot receive ganks due to her lack of cc, damage, and gap-close pre-6 meaning that if you do get ganked it's mainly on the enemy jungler to do all the work which is a waste of time for them considering that is the only thing you'll need pool for in this matchup. Post 6 she'll have access to her ult, and may try to all-in you or burst you down. If you've done a good job of denying her you should still be at a significant advantage damage wise, so if she ever goes in on you just EQ and kite her backwards until your CD's are back up. Always remember to click on her to see how many charges she has active, once she hits level 6 she will only have one active at the beginning so if she goes in she's going to take a lot of free harass trying to retreat. Her shroud doesn't grant her free stats anymore so if she's low or you know you can kill her, your ult radius is about the same as her shroud and you can use E on her to see where she's standing at thanks to it being an AOE targeted ability. Consider upgrading your trinket to a pink ward as this will screw her even harder and deny her any hope of escapes throughout laning or teamfights.|
A Crimson Welcome
Hello all, my name is Abnegates and I'm currently Diamond V on the NA server. I'm writing this guide to instill upon you all some knowledge about my favorite champion, Vladimir
. Throughout this guide I would've hoped to instill all of the readers with more in-depth knowledge on how to encounter success as Vladimir, against various different matchups and situations.
The rivers will run red...
Pros / Cons
|+ Great Sustain
+ Clutch Untargetability
+ AOE Damage Amplification
+ Manaless/Negligible Health Costs
+ High Damage AP Off-tank
+ Great Waveclear
+ Godly Lategame
+ Amazing AOE Damage
|Contrary to popular belief, Vlad most definitely has his weaknesses as well as strengths. He doesn't have mobility, but rather an amazing move that renders him untargetable for a nice 2 seconds, in addition to slowing enemies standing on the pool, and giving Vladimir a brief MS boost. His sustain is only matched by only a handful of champions, and has an amazingly unique AOE ultimate that increases damage taken (and is the only one like it!) that doubles up as a timed burst. His passive allows him to become a pseudo tank by building only AP, giving him tons of health come mid/late game.|
Tier I. - Here you'll want 4 points in Sorcery and 1 point in Butcher . Having the additional 5% CDR from masteries is very important for Vladimir because combined with the 10% from runes (15%) plus Ionian Boots of Lucidity (30%), and finally with Will of the Ancients (40%) you will have achieved a perfect CDR cap. This also allows you to sub out Ionians for Mercury's Treads and grab Spirit Visage to still be virtually capped on CDR.
Tier II. - Fairly obvious choice, grab 3 points in Mental Force for some tasty scaling AP.
Tier III. - Take the point in Arcane Mastery for a nice chunk of free AP, and finally grab 3 points in Executioner . This means you'll always be doing increased damage to anyone under 50% by 5% which may not seem that big, but it can mean the difference between a kill or an "oh damn he survived with 4 health again".
Tier IV. - Grab three points in Archmage , this is a necessity for not only Vladimir, but basically every standard AP midlaner. Also grab a point in Dangerous Game , having this will allow you to make some clutch survivals especially considering the nature of Vladimir's kit.
Tier V. - Take 3 points in Devastating Strikes , the extra magic pen along with your flat MR pen reds will allow you to shred through a decent chunk of enemy MR. If they don't have any magic resist you'll be doing close to true damage and will hurt a lot early. Also pickup Arcane Blade as it allows Vladimir to last hit easier. It's not very noticeable early on, but Vlad's last-hitting is kind of hard and it helps you a bit more.
Tier VI. - To wrap up the offense tree grab Havoc . There's no explanation needed here, who doesn't want free straight up damage kappa?
Tier I. - Fairly straightforward, grab two points in Block as this will help mitigate a small amount of auto attack harass. It may not seem like much, but to put it into perspective, if you get auto attacked ten times, you've successfully mitigated 20 damage which can mean life or death. Also grab Recovery for a small amount of health regen.
Tier II. - Take Unyielding for a tad bit more damage mitigation, and Veteran Scars for some much needed flat health.
Tier III. - Finally grab Juggernaut for a nice bonus of 3% MAXIMUM health. This goes very nicely with Vlad's passive and will give you a nice extra chunk of health early.
Runes - Supplement the Reaper
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: Standard quints for most AP midlaners, these greatly bolster Vladimir's early game especially considering you aren't a viable candidate for Doran's Ring, and Amplifying Tome isn't a viable start. You may opt to sub these out for Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, however those are better suited for toplane where it's more dangerous and a bit more MS can mean the difference between you getting hooked by Darius or not.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: These are paramount or pretty much every AP midlaner, it offers some nice flat magic penetration that helps ignore enemy magic resist and thus lets you do more damage. These, in comination with Sorcerer's Shoes, will almost allow you to completely ignore an enemy's base magic resist if they aren't running any, however they aren't the most optimal buy on Vladimir as you want that whopping 15% CDR from Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: These glyphs allow Vladimir to hit the CDR cap with your standard core Will of the Ancients, and Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Although they are scaling rather than flat, this is perfectly fine because you wouldn't be able to get 10% with Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction anyway.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Health: Most optimal seals for Vladimir in the mid lane. Considering that they're aren't many meta AD mids ( Yasuo, Talon, Zed, Varus, Jayce), compared to the huge mass of AP midlaners, you won't be needing armor seals. You also gain free AP thanks to your Crimson Pact, and although the health to AP ratio doesn't scale as hard as the AP to health, it's still very ideal.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: More scaling power to ensure Vladimir scales even harder into the mid-lategame. These also go well with your passive, which in turn will grant you even more additional health as you level. You may opt to sub these out for Greater Glyph of Magic Resist if you wish.
Summoner Spells You Want
Flash is hands down the most important summoner spell in the whole game, almost to the point where you question on whether it's either overpowered, or the other spells are underpowered considering you NEED it 90% of the time. Always take this on Vladimir, you can easily make great Flash plays and surprise full combo people with -->-->.
An alternative to Teleport or Ghost, a good summoner spell if you're in a matchup where you feel like you can easily snowball early, or want to force a level 2 cheese early by ++ . Also a good choice if they have multiple healing effects or rely heavily on healing ( Dr. Mundo, Swain, Soraka), and as well as teams that build a lot of lifesteal.
An amazing summoner spell in general, having the ability to arrive at a location within 3 seconds and be able to turn a gank around, gank, or even bait the enemy into a forced retreat is amazing. It's also becoming meta for many midlaners with weaker laning phases to grab Teleport due to the fact that it allows them for much faster backs, and a way to keep up in farm/xp if they get forced out of lane. I personally take this more often nowadays over Ignite because of the sheer map presence it grants you. It's also an extremely worthy spell that retains it's effectiveness deep into the lategame.
Ghost is yet another viable alternative to Ignite or Teleport, and a lot of very high elo Vladimir mid players take it occasionally. While Ghost doesn't grant as much kill potential like Ignite, or map presence with Teleport, Ghost is amazing for skirmishes and drawn out teamfights where it grants Vladimir big movement speed for a huge duration. This allows him to chase, kite, and step into an engage or dis-engage zone at will. It also adds extra safety from ganks, and can be used during Sanguine Pool. The long duration means you can potentially make multiple plays in one instance and is flexible especially in combination with Flash, will make you very slippery.
Ability Sequence Order
I. You'll want to always max Transfusion first as it is your bread and butter ability, main harass tool, and the damage/healing increase, as well as the cooldown getting reduced per level making this the most optimal skill to max first.
II. Secondly max out Tides of Blood because it is the second most important ability in your kit, granting you increased damage up to four stacks on your Tides of Blood, increasing your healing AND regeneration by a stacking amount, and is also an AOE non-targeted ability making facechecking a bit safer as well as revealing champions in stealth or out of vision such as Teemo, Akali, Shaco, Rengar, Kha'Zix, and Twitch.
III. Furthermore, max out your Sanguine Pool last as it's mainly used for the utility/survivability and is no where near worth maxing before Transfusion or Tides of Blood.
IV. Finally, put a point into your Hemoplague whenever the chance arises at level 6, 11, and 16. Your ultimate can be a HUGE gamechanger and is an amazing teamfighting ult as it increases damage taken by from all sources by whomever is afflicted, and has a delayed burst at the end of the duration.
What You Should Know About Your Abilities
Crimson Pact: This is Vladimir's unique passive, and the only one like it in League of Legends. Crimson Pact rewards you with health for building ability power, and ability power for building health. This means that come mid-lategame with a full AP build you'll have close to almost 4k health all while doing massive amounts of damage, effectively making you a pseudo tank. Unfortunately the health to AP ratio doesn't scale as hard as the AP to health ratio, meaning build tons of health won't grant you loads of AP, and they don't stack with eachother because...well I mean you'd have broken amounts of HP/AP LOL.
Transfusion (Q): Vladimir's signature ability and what he's most known for, Transfusion is a targeted manaless/no health cost ability that instantly does damage and then heals you for an amount that increases with ability power (and later heals you off the damage with Hextech Revolver). The fact that this is completely cost free is important as that means you'll want to use it everytime it's off cooldown, preferably on your enemy laner. Early game it doesn't heal for very much, but it scales very nicely and is also great to ensure you don't miss last hits as well. NOTE: While the damage from Transfusion is instant, the base heal is not due to the fact that the stream of life has to travel back to Vladimir. This can cause you to die in situations where the Transfusion was mid-flight, and you not receiving the (non-spellvamp) heal. This ability does not count as a projectile and thus cannot be blocked by Wind Wall, applies the full effect of spellvamp, and applies the full effect of Rylai's Crystal Scepter being single-target. Spell shields ( Banshee's Veil, Spell Shield) will block the damage of this ability but NOT the healing.
Tides of Blood (E) : This is Vladimir's second most important ability aside from his ultimate. Tides of Blood is a non-targeted AOE ability, meaning if you're in range of something and use this, it will always hit that target unless they're untargetable/invulnerable, even in stealth/out of vision. The fact that you can see where the tides travel makes this ability act as a counter to stealth champions or champions that are out of vision/other side of a wall. It has an amazing stacking mechanic that increases your healing and regeneration up to four times, as well as the damage and cost of Tides of Blood. Because of this you ALWAYS want to combo using Tides of Blood+ Transfusion(EQ), rather than Transfusion+ Tides of Blood(QE). This is because you want the healing from your Transfusion to be buffed by your Tides of Blood, as well as replenishing health lost from the cost of Tides of Blood. Furthermore Tides of Blood has a .25 second cast time just like Transfusion, and the stacking bonus is multiplicative, thus meaning at 4 stacks you will receive ~36% additional healing rather than 32%, and with Spirit Visage a disgusting ~63% increase to healing effects! Tides of Blood counts as a projectile and therefore can be blocked by Wind Wall and Unbreakable. Tides of Blood may also be cast freely without any valid targets allowing you to "pre-stack" before you get into lane.
Sanguine Pool (W) : The infamous "troll-pool", this magnificent ability will save you countless times from things that would otherwise kill other champions. An amazing two second untargetability that gives you a hidden burst of movement speed upon cast, as well as slowing AND doing damage. What's not to like? Thanks to the mechanics of untargetability, this sole ability completely and absolutely makes Zed's Death Mark irrelevant. By using your Sanguine Pool during the initial animation of his ultimate (where he laughs and you see the X), the game cannot register you as a valid target that exists for Death Mark, and will cause it to go on a FULL COOLDOWN. Of course this means that Vladimir hard-counters Zed (see champion matchups above). It can also be used to immediately drop turret agro AND negate a tower shot you would've otherwise taken, making Vlad an extremely effective tower diver. NOTE: Using Sanguine Pool DOES NOT break tethers ( Drain, Ethereal Chains), nor does it prevent the damage from DoT's ( Ignite, Malefic Visions). If you're already afflicted by one of these and pool, you're only (literally) killing yourself, especially considering that it costs 20% of your HP.
Hemoplague (R) : Alas, Vladimir's amazing ultimate Hemoplague. This is a disgusting ability with a completely unique effect of AOE damage amplification. There aren't any other abilities like this except Torment, and Vengeful Maelstrom, however the former is a single target ability and the latter is an AOE damage mitigator. Hemoplague has an instant cast time, HOWEVER, there is a .5 second self-silence upon use that prevents you from instantly EQ'ing right after you ult. Hemoplague increases damage from virtually every source in the game except true damage. It is also very important to note that you will always want to cast this before you EQ simply due to the fact that you want the damage increase on those abilities. Hemoplague also has more range than your basic abilities thanks to the radius of the ult, meaning if someone is low enough and barely out of your E/Q range you can nip them with the edge of the radius of your ult.
Gameplay Pt.1 - Warding
Now that we've covered a decent amount about the essentials and basics of Vladimir, it's time to move on to more important topics; Gameplay and Warding. This first section coming up will be dedicated to warding, and will have pictures on warding locations and explanations for each. It is also very important to note that because you may only carry three Stealth Ward's at once, and one Vision Ward, it's obviously impossible to have complete coverage of both sides without your teams help. Also, some gankers with unique ganking paths and/or semi-global ganking paths like Nocturne, Pantheon, Zac, Twisted Fate, Vi, and Shaco can still bypass your wards, so it's up to you to not over-extend.
Gameplay Pt.2 - Early Game (Farming)
Last hitting - one of the most if not THE most important aspect in League of Legends, knowing how to last hit effectively makes a world of difference and really shows how well you can micro. In order to stay relevant throughout the game, you need items. In order to buy items, you need gold. In order to get gold, you need to score the last hit on a creep or monster. See the point? Being able to farm well not only means you reach your powerspikes earlier, but just having around 15 cs is pretty much equal to a kill. This really shines a light on how to play League of Legends in general, because kills aren't everything, and this isn't Call of Duty nor is it Team Deathmatch.
So What Is "Last Hitting"?
Last hitting is the idea of scoring the last hit onto a creep or monster to achieve the killing blow. By doing so you're rewarded with the gold for that creep or monster. Melee minions are worth 20 gold, caster minions are worth 15 gold, and cannon minions are worth a nice 40 gold. At the minimum you should have 60 CS by 10 minutes, ideally you want more, but due to the nature of the game and human error you will not CS perfectly every game.
How Do I Last Hit Properly?
Every champion in League has a different feel for last hitting. Some champions are easier thanks to auto-attack modifiers or abilities ( Nasus, Zed, Orianna), whereas some champions have piss poor auto animations or have a hard time in general ( Zilean, Blitzcrank). Vladimir's farming isn't the easiest due to the fact that his auto animation is delayed and honestly awkward to get used to, meaning throughout the learning process you'll inevitably miss a lot of CS if you only auto-attack. Additionally his base AD is low, and in combination with an awkward travel speed you have to time your autos well to achieve the last hit.
(Here I use my Transfusion to quickly grab a CS while simultaneously last-hitting another one with Tides of Blood as well as utilizing the damage from it to setup another melee creep to be last hit after one tower shot. This is known as multi last hitting.)
There are a few things you must account for when going for a last hit;
- How much AD does your character have?
- How fast is your auto animation?
- How much health does the minion have left?
- How much damage is the minion currently taking from your minions?
Farming Under Turret
Last hitting under towers is actually fairly simple, as the picture above states, if a minion is at 90% HP or above, a melee minion needs two tower shots to be brought into last hit range, a caster minion requires one turret shot, and finally the cannon minion will vary depending on how much damage it is currently taking, or already has.
It is also important to note that even after the minions have taken their respective tower shots, if your AD is low enough you still may not have enough damage to kill it, in this case you'll want to try and finish it with Transfusion or Tides of Blood.