Vladimir Build Guide by IridiumDevil
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Pros / Cons
- Great farming skill.
- High health.
- High burst damage.
- Escape tactic.
- Great ultimate.
- Really fun to play.
- Godlike sustainability.
- No mana to worry about.
- Limited combo variation.
- Nearly set item requirments.
- Very item dependant.
- Low mobility.
- Has to watch his health carefully.
- Often considered a "noob" champion.
- Difficult to jungle with.
Lets start with my rune choices. I think they're fairly obvious choices, but I'm going to go over them none the less, for those looking at me like I'm crazy right now. Don't lie, I've seen how some of you people play him.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration:
This item is the most obvious choice for any champion building for ability power damage. Increasing your ability to penetrate your opponents arcane resistance is a must if you're going to burn them away to ashes. Remember, you can't fireball some one with a counter spell, so taking these early game gives you a counter-counter spell.[/red]
- Greater Seal of Armor:
Okay, I admit this one is a little unorthodox for a Vladimir build, but hear me out. If you're play Vladimir with this set up, you start with a bit more movement speed to dodge magic and most ranged attacks with (not that I can understand a reason for Vlad to hold still with enemies near by to begin with, but whatever) which means your only real threat early game is that pesky AD carry or jungle who is trying so very hard to ruine your life with their speed and damage. Pre-9, your Transfusion has a fairly long cool down, even with the starting 10% from your masteries, so stealing their life isn't as easy. These runes will help you survive that unfortunate gank when you've gotten cocky and over extended, or when Ezreal decides to F*ck the rules and jump a wall to melt you. They will also help late game, by adding a small amount of bonus armor.[/yellow]
- Greater Glyph of Ability Power:
I can hear all you trolls out there now "Waaah why take those runes? That small ap is worthless bwarghurglmurglebwarg." Hush you, I'll explain. You aren't starting out as anything exceptional as Vlad (with the exception of being one Campy S.O.B.) which means you need all the help you can get. Mixed with your starting Masteries and your first Tome, you will start with 35 Ability Power, which means you also start with bonus health and a significant buff up to the damage and healing effects from Transfusion. Not to mention your Tides Of Blood.
- Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp:
If you for even a moment doubt the effectivness of these, you are missinformed. Gravely. This may not look like much, only 6% of the magic damage you deal is given to you as health. So what? So this. Look above at the items, I'll go over these in more detail later, and at the masteries. After your first full item, and with masteries, you're sitting at 29% spell vamp. Wow. What makes things more interesting is that as of putting this guide up, there appears to be a glitch, or perhaps a hidden bonus, which raises your Spell Vamp passivly if you have a passive bonus with an in game item. Right now, I sit at about 34% with that full item build, which makes me a very dangerous Vlad to come across. What's more, with these runes, if an ally (Fizz, Karthus, Sona, Soraka or any other support/aura champion) has another Will of the Ancients, these runes will have you at an even higher advantage. But most importantly, they take off the painful edge of using Tides of Blood at every point in the game (or help a huge amount) and make Transfusion an early game god-send.
Now, you might be wondering why I chose the masteries I did. Sure, you can go pure offence and crush your foes, but once that combo is out, you're out of tricks for a long time, and the damage you gain from those is minute enough that it hardly matters. With 9/0/21, you gain CDR, Magic Pen, some slight ability power and Cooldowns for flash (Which if you are hesitant towards, you are a silly, silly person) and Bonus Exp. Remember that last one, it is the most important part of the build. Your Tides Of Blood has a nasty sting, as i mentioned earlier, but it grows stronger with each use until it's power doubles after four uses (temporarily, of course). This is Vlad's most devistating trick, and I'll go over that more, Later....
For now, I would like to talk about other possible choices. You can also go 0/9/21 to increase your Health, Armor and Magic Resistance more, or focus more on Defence with 9/21/0. I wouldn't reccomend this, but it's more useful than 21/0/9, 21/9/0 or 30/0/0 as I see so many fail-vlads using. Just remember your passive and that you ARE NOT A TANK. I know your health is high and your defences decent, but for the love of god man, you're a mage. Your life is high because you gamble with it on your most powerful abilities. This is why I chose 9/0/21, to offset some of that nasty sting from Vlad being Vlad.
Farming A.K.A. Later....
Vlad is a natural farm-o-matic 2000, for one natural and very potent reason. His Tides of Blood. I'll go into a more in-depth look on it in his abilities section, but know this: The more you use it the more you can farm. Go to any lane that is being pushed, any minion camp, any lane and stand in the middle of it. Keep your stacks on Tides of Blood high and you can rip those minions to shreds. So long as you have Spell Vamp, you can do it for free. Nay, you can get paid, both in gold and health, to do it. You will farm like a mad man. Often times, this is more important for Vlad then kills are, since you can easily get 250-500 Cs if you're paying attention. Remember up there ^ in the masteries when I mentioned your bonus exp? 5% doesn't seem like much right away, but when you're soloing a lane that's pushing every 30 seconds and getting every minion kill simply because you can, it adds up. Fast. You can use this to push your level and gold beyond normal standards and rush your power before your foes have crawled from their primordial ooze. Properly Farming with Vlad is one of three key factors that separate a good Vlad, from a terribad Vlad. Be sure to use it very early on to start farming ASAP, but watch your health. You will need to heal often early game with your abilities, as your early spell vamp doesn't take the edge of completely until at least your revolver.
So, I would now like to go over my items, and explain my thoughts behind each. I'll also show you viable replacements if they are needed and give a short description of what to avoid at all costs.
This is the primary item of this build. It stacks with ONE OTHER WotA on your team to provide UP TO 40% Spell Vamp if TWO DIFFERENT CHAMPIONS POSSES them and are in close proximity to one another. It also stacks with your own passive spell vamp from runes and masteries, and grants near by allied champions 20% spell vamp and 30 ability power. (Note: This item gives you a total of 80 Ap when you are alive.) Your allies will love you for this item, and you will love yourself for getting it. However, do not rush it right away. Focus on getting the Revolver component first, then upgrade to second teir boots. You need the mobility and CDR early game more then you do that 8% extra Spell Vamp. Be sure to finish this item DIRECTLY AFTER YOUR BOOTS to maximize it's effectivness.
These boots are terrific on Vladimir. For starters, they stack with your 10% cool down reduction from your runes for a total of 25% very early game. If you're farming properly with your Tides of Blood, this item will come sooner then you think. These boots are essential. I know what you're thinking; "Why not just go for Sorcerer's Shoes you nub-cake? Hur dur!" Hush troll, I'll tell you why. 20 Magic Penetration seems like a great idea at first, especialy early game, but it has a major draw back. Early-mid game they drop off in usefullness almost completly. If an enemy is stacking Magic Resistance, they have enough that your puny 29 points +10% from masteries, Runes and Items will be almost entirely useless. If you're lucky, your spells will hit an extra 2-4% harder. But so what? With the Ionian Boots of Lucidity, you can cast Approx. 27 times per minute (Both your spells, for a total of around 54). With Sorc. shoes, you'll be lucky to launch around 20 times. Dealing a small amount of extra damage per hit just isn't worth the trade off to get rid of multiple spells per minute. In addition, you will have far more sustain and escape with Ionian Boots of Lucidity as you can keep Tides of Blood up for longer and with greater ease, Transfusion more often and with less worry, use Sanguine Pool with a shorter Cool Down and cast your Hemoplauge around once per minute, leaving team fights highly irrelivent at later game stages. So while I can see some people wanting to grab the Sorcerer's Shoes, they just aren't as useful for Vlad.
I know what you;re thinking, this item isn't all that great. It gives some health and magic resistance, sure, but that's it, right? Wrong! Dead wrong! On Vlad with Spell Vamp (or just vlad in general) this item is terrifying. For starters, the 250 health it grants him also gives him 6.25 Ap (Not a whole lot, I know, but it's there.) It also grants him 30 Magic Resistance, which considering his stays at 30 the entire game unless altered by items means doubling your magic resistance very easily. It gives you early game tankyness as well. However, the most important feature of this item comes as your build grows. It grants an astonishing 15% increase to healing and regeneration effects on yourself. Lets take a moment to do some math. Lets say your Tides of Blood deals 110 (+85) magic damage per target hit. If you have four stacks that becomes 220 (+170) magic damage. It will cost 140 health to use at this point, but thanks to your set up, you have 34% Spell Vamp. Tides of Blood increases your health regeneration effects on yourself by a substantial ammount on it's own by this point in the game (32% at four stacks) which stacks also with Spirit Visage for a total maximum of 47% increased healing. Now, that 390 magic damage from your Tides of Blood just hit a minion wave of 9 dealing 3510 magic damage in total to those poor minions. For only 140 health mind you. Now, factor in your 34% spell vamp (thanks to that small hidden factor, remember that) that's 1193.4 health returned on it's own. But wait, we're not done yet, now are we? That total becomes over 1700 thanks to the 47% increased healing, which means that minion wave just returned roughly 1/4 of your health and generously donated roughly 200 or so gold to you. But we're not done there. Same situation, full stacks of tides of blood, only this is a team fight. You throw down your Hemoplague, making foes take 12% extra damage, then you toss out a quick TOB to deal a ton of damage and recover a bunch of health. Next, you're bored, so you Transfusion one of them, that Tranfusion heals you twice for a much greater ammount now, remember that. Or, perhaps you're tower dived, low health. You drop into your Sanguine Pool, lose a small amount of health (because youre already low), slow them under tower fire and draing 12.5% of the damage you're dealing and gain it as health, then incrase that by 15-47%. You pop out with more health, Transfusion them and watch them melt for their foolishness. I hope you realize how important this item is now. But wait, it gets better. It also raises your CDR to 35%, putting you only 5% off of your maximum ammount. Bam. Spam tastic. This item is the main reason your want your boots of Lucidity, so you can actually reach that 2.6 and 2.9 second cool downs for Transfusion and Tides Of Blood respectivly. This is how you can attack magically 54 times per minute. Enjoy.
This item is Vlad's own personal Cruelty Staff(tm). With this, any time you deal spell damage to your targets, you slow them, letting your team, or yourself, pick up a very easy kill. Because of his passive, this staff actually gives you 612 health and 92.5 ability power. This is the death bringer for you. If you avoid this item on Vlad, I'm sorry, but you are a very silly person.
This item is the only real replacable item in the build. If your foes are building tons of Magic Resistance to counter you and stop your trolltastic sustain, buy this to shut them up.
This item can be very useful. A free sorcerers shoes aura helps you melt people 2-4% better (if you're lucky), but that's not the main goal. If your foes are trying to nuke you with magic damage, you can effectivly ignore it with this. As an additional plus, it gives you a small boost to health as well, thanks to your passive.
Master Yi got you down? Darius chopping you to bits? Lee Sin ruining your day? No problem. Grab this handy little item and shut them up. With 50 armor, 100 ability power and a nice bonus of 140 health thanks to your passive, you effectivly ignore a large chunk of their damage. If the going gets tough, you can activate it to become untargetable for a short duration, then Sanguine Pool away, slowing them for 40%+30% (From your crystal scepter) and then flash further away. Then just let your boots and +2% movement speed carry you to safety.
If you utalize Ability Power, and you do not get this item, you are a trolly, trolly man/woman. This item grants you a whopping 140 Ability Power and a +30% bonus to total ability power. That means that your 80 from your WotA, 15 from Runes/Masteries, 92.5 from crystal scepter, 6.25 from spirit visage, 70 from Void Staff/Abyssal Scepter (Or 100 from Zhonyas) becomes around 525 Ability power. Which translates into a total of around 735 bonus health and a ton of healing over the course of the game due to your massive bonus from Tides Of Blood, Spirit Visage, Spell Vamp and AP ratios on your abilities. Enjoy.
As for items to avoid:
-Anything with just flat health and no direct bonus to your power (use your own discression here.)
-Anything that grants Mana. You don't use it.
-Anything that directly grants Health Regeneration. It's a waste of a slot really, since you steal health back.
-Anything that grants Mana Regeneration. Seriously, you don't use. Stop trying.
The simple fact of the matter is this: Vlad is slow. He can't really get around, and going from place to place is a pain in your ***. That's why I chose my spells.
Flash: This is your most useful tool. With the mastery set up, it has a reletivly short cool down and can be used to gank hard, escape quickly, Juke, Jump over walls, Dodge CC or a massive burst of damage in an area, or simply to piss off your foes when they have a targeted Ultimate ability.
Teleport: Wards my friends. Wards, Minions, towers, anything allied to yourself. Teleport to it. Gank hard, save a lane, farm like a mad man. It doesn't matter how you use it, just use it. This is your best friend as vlad early game for saving your lane, and late game for joining up team fights or jumping to a ward for a massive gank.
Of course other summoner spells are viable I suppose.
Ignite: This spell works great with your ultimate. Deals true damage over time, reduces healing, pisses people off, the works. Problem is, without that Attack mastery which gives you Ability Power and Attack Damage for using it, the pay off is slightly less rewarding. Besides, people shouldn't be escaping you often enough for it to be a problem anyway. Right? >.>
Heal: Don't be one of those "heal n00bs rofl u sux nub" people. Seriously, they're annoying. Fact of the matter is, heal is a d*mn good spell and has a thousand and one uses on any map. With Vlad, of course, thanks to his tides and blood and spirit visage heal becomes, essentially, a second life for vlad and a massive heal for friends around you. Remember, your allies heal for half the health you recover, so by stacking your tides you can heal for a huge amount. That being said, it can be limiting for you, so use it only if you think you can make use of it.
Exhaust: An awesome spell. Seriously. Think about how this build works. You slow them with transfusion thanks to your crystal scepter. Then you double slow them after blowing your full combo. (More slow from pool, remember that) then, after all is said and done, a quick exhaust and you're never outran. Other uses combine your defensive power with your health gambling to turn a tower dive into an easy kill for you.
I wouldn't really advise any of the other spells, just considering their limited use on Vlad, but I wouldn't exactly call them useless. With the exception of the obvious one. Stop trying to use mana you trolls.
Skill Sequence and Skill Explinations
I believe my skill sequence is very easy to follow, but just in case, I will be going over the choices I made here for those of you who are Vlad impared...
Crimson Pact: This is an easy skill to understand. You gain 1.4 health for each point of Ap and 1 Ap for every 40 points of health. These don't stack with eachother. Just putting that out there. Aside from Transfusion, this ability is what makes Vlad.
Transfusion: Vlad's most useful 1V1 spell. It deals damage instantly, then heals you for a flat amount, regardless of the damage the foe took. The fact that there is no travel time makes it perfect for last hitting minions. However, the downside is that it is a fairly close range spell so it is very easy for foes to simple ROFLstomp you if you're not paying attention. With spell vamp, this spell becomes a massive heal on every use, and as I stated before with your 35% CDR, that's every 2.6 seconds. The damage on this spell is of course nothing to scoff at either, but it is mostly used to harass your foes when it has a low cool down, slow them with your Rylai's Crystal Scepter or heal yourself when you eff up and end up almost dead.
Tides of Blood: I have mentioned this spell all through out my guide so far. There is a good reason for this. This is Vlad's most powerful spell by far. It consumes a small flat portion of your health on each use (not a percent) and grows in power on each use. As the power grows, naturally, so does the cost. However, it also increases the power of healing and regeneration effects on yourself for the duration by a % amount based on the level of the skill and the number of stacks of its effect you have on yourself. This spell is perfect for farming, slowing and dealing massive damage to groups of enemies, recovering your health with spell vamp and picking up kills. Vlad's spells are all close range, this one being no exception. Now like I mentioned, you're not a tank; But with this spell, if mixed with your ultimate, your damage output and health recovery grows like no other. In addition, if you cannot SEE a foe (Brush, Wall, Teemo/Akali/Twitch) it will still seek them out and stab them. This spell cannot be dodged as it is not a skill shot, it pops Banshee's Veil but has a low enough cool down to compensate for that pop, and makes you heal more. With Tides of Blood and spell vamp, you should have no issue with health. And don't forget, this increases things such as Health Potion, Force of Nature, Soraka and Warmog's Armor effects on you by the same ammount (Just as Spirit Visage does.)
Sanguine Pool: This is Vlad's chasing and escaping tool. I can hear you all right now going "Chasing? The hell you talking about you fool. You don't CHASE with Sanguine Pool." Hush you. You can with this build. Because this build gives you so much health and health regeneration, as well as massive slows, you ocan drop into pool while waiting for your spells to come off cool down to continue your combo, recover health and slow your foes for your allies. You can also dodge Lux and any other annoying abilities (So long as you have not been targeted by something like Drain BEFORE you pool). It can be used to help you run the heck away too. But most importantly, it helps you be a trolly S.O.B.. When that Tryndamere comes in swinging and you know he's gonna ult, and you flash just out of range of him, pop a couple of spells and get low on health, then drop into the pool, slowing him so it's harder for him to escape that turret, then toss your ult on him when he tries to rage away, congrats. You just ruined his day. This is spells use is the second of three factores that seporate a good vlad from a terribad vlad.
Hemoplague: Vlad's Ultimate ability and oh how ultimate it really is. His arrogant campy additude is understandable when you can do this. It starts by raising the damage your foes take by 12% from ALL SOURCES. Have your allies toss on an exhaust/ignite combo or two and you've got free kills. After a short duration, it also EXPLODES dealing heavy damage. If you have a crystal scepter, it will also make your foes rage as they become slow. Rage harder when they realize how much health you just healed from that. Here is the third factore that seporates the best from the worst vlads. Using this at the start of a team fight, followed up by spamming Tides of Blood and an AoE slow from Sanguine Pool (Not to mention the damage) means your team basically wins that fight. Your allies will target your foes with their most powerful combos, dealing 12% extra damage from each (it might sound small, but it adds up faster than Tides of Blood +5% exp gain does) which will rip your foes appart. Use it at the wrong time, however, and not only does the enemy team escape, but they ROFLstomp your face in for being out of position. User be warned.
Obviously you want to put points into your ultimate at every possable level. As for Transfusion and Tides of Blood, master Transfusion first for the sustain and Tides second for the damage. Your pool can follow last, as it is not a primary part of your game play. With 35% CDR, you're fine with at level 1 for a while.
I know this build isn't perfect, but in the right hands and with pratctise, you can become nigh unstoppable. As you can see, it's not meant to melt your opponents faces in the first chance you get, or even do chunky damage early game (although you will chunk them, just slower). It's meant to keep you alive, farmed and fed. Please don't just down vote it because you don't like it, comment and give me a chance to further explain/test/fix my mistakes/consider et cetera. Comments are loved, good or bad. Just don't be a flamer please :).
((P.S.: As an added note, [as I have been asked a number of times since I started doing my LoL poetry] no I don't mind if you add me in game. I'm not the worlds greatest player by far and I have my off days, but I don't mind being added. Just so long as you actually talk to me now and again :P.))