Build Guide by AdamasHaima

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author AdamasHaima

Extensive Vladimir Guide

AdamasHaima Last updated on April 23, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 10

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 20

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So I've seen some interesting Vladimir builds out there, so I thought I'd put mine up. Firstly, I'd like to address one fairly common issue. Vlad as a tank. It just doesn't...well, shouldn't... happen (imo). Taking items to increase armor and MR with vlad is a waste in the sense that his passive is designed to push him to the Nuke/Bruiser role. Not that of a tank. Also, having upwards of 5k health does not a tank make. The low armor and MR do little late game to increase his survivability. Survivability with Vladimir comes elsewhere, namely from his passive. Though, there is a good way of increasing his survivability. More later on survivability. For now, keep in mind that this is an AP/Nuke build and enjoy!

Constructive criticism as well as questioning is always welcome :)

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This is a very standard Rune set up for Vladimir. Magic Pen marks, cause he is a caster; flat AP glyphs for the boosted early game damage and health*, health per level seals for late game AP bonus (though small) and mid game survivability; Flat AP quints again for the early game*.

Some people should be going, "hey, why not AP/lvl quints and glyphs?" If you are one who did that, good for you. AP/lvl is a VERY potent runeset with Vlad, however, early game kills should feed you enough to make up for the difference. Though, in the long run, you will be better off with AP/lvl, though it will cost early game damage and survivability.

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The offensive tree i put ten in. Most people do 9 to get to the Magic Pen and then 21 in another tree. However, I personally don't think that the 15% reduction in Summoner spells from utility is that big of a deal. However, the point in ignite i think is. This is again for early game, but that point give you ten bonus ap when ignite is on cool down. I have right around 50AP at level 1 this way

The contraversial part of Vlad Masteries is whether to go with the Defensive tree or the Utility Tree. I have used Utility tree, for the extra EXP, cooldown reduction and move speed. However, Defensive tree is a viable option as well. It adds survivability (duh) and the bonus health gives slightly more AP in the beginning (2.4AP i believe). Also it provides a 4% AP bonus at lvl 18. This is the main reason to go for the defensive tree with vlad, with almost 900AP, that would be 36 bonus AP and 65(ish) health. the health isn't a lot late game, but any AP healps give that extra bit of damage.

Really whether you go with Defensive of Utility tree is a personal preference, however, the damage reduction on the utility tree is well worth giving up the bonus ignite AP for.

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Items are pretty straitforward, lots and lots of AP. I listed the order I would purchase in if I shopped as soon as I had enough money for each individual piece. I don't reccommend doing that by any means. Peices of items can be reversed (particularly with the needlessly large rods, cause they are expensive) but overall i recommend leaving the order pretty much alone. UNLESS the enemy tema gets madreds bloodrazors or has huge AD/CC. Then I would switch Crystal Septer and Hourglass to get the armor sooner(for AD/CC) and build Force of Nature (for Madreds/CC/AP Nuker) instead of Void Staff (of course Banshee's Veil is a great option instead of FoN since health shouldn't be a problem). Doing slightly less damage and living is better than doing no damage because you are dead. However, giving up too much AP in favor of defense reduces survivability.

For those who don't know armor and magic resistance damage reduction are calculated by the following formula (if you don't care just know that the more armor/MR you get, the less each armor/MR point does. Google: the Principle of Diminishing Returns):

where X is the value of Armor/MR

X=0 : Reduction = 0%
X=50 : Reduction = 33%
X=100 : Reduction = 50%
X=150 : Reduction = 60%
X=200 : Reduction = 66%
X=250 : Reduction = 71%
X=300 : Reduction = 75%

You'll notice that in increasing intervals of 50, the return is as follows:
33%; 17%; 10%; 6%; 5%; 4%

If you have over 150 armor or magic resis, you really are wasting your time to get more.

If you find that you are getting large killing sprees concider buying Leviathin and Meija's Soulstealer early on. These both give you Health and AP, plus (at 20 stacks for both) a 15% damage reduction and a 15% cooldown reduction. Very handy, but only if you can stay alive. Furthermore Deathcap + Soulstealer (20 stacks) is better than Deathcap+Deathcap. That being said the difference is extreamly small, so unless you can get and keep 20 stacks don't do it. If you get Leviathin and Soulstealer and are dying a lot, sell them back for items that help consistantly (non-stacking items)

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Skill Sequence

I hope there weren't too many adverse reations to my having Tides of Blood be the lvl 1 spell. Yes, i did that on purpose. Here's why. Transfusion is an epic ability. however, at low levels its damage per second is low because of its cooldown (upwards of 10 seconds) tides of blood does not have that issue. It has a low cool down at low levels, it targets multiple enemies. The downside is that it costs health to cast. To that i say PSH. once the first wave of minions is killed, you'll be level two, no biggie. However, during that time you can do a great deal more damage with Tides than with Transfusion, plus it last hits more minions, plus you don't have to worry about as many unfriendly spells being sent your way. Also, when Hextech Revolver is purchased the health cost es virtually eraced, and with Will of the Ancients, it actually heals you.

One point in Pool at lvl 4 for escaping ganks/losing aggro from turret and emergency healing. However, this is last maxed* because it scales faster with health than with AP, and This build is focused on damage rather than health.

*of course if you find yourself being killed alot, max pool earlier to reduce the cooldown, though don't neglect Transfusion to do so.

NOTE: waiting to see who you are laning against is advisable. if they are melee, go with Tides first, for ranged opponents, you will take more damage than it's worth to get them in range of Tides, so take Transfusion first in that case. However ALWAYS have a point in pool at lvl 4. Vlad moves slowly and getting caught in an early gank is not a fun situation it gives the other team early money, experience and you lose experience and money. lvl 4 is generally the earliest junglers gank, though it does happen earlier occasionally. Always wait to use pool till danger strikes.

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Casting Sequence

Always, always, always always cast Tides of Blood before Transfusion. Stacks in Tides increase the healing done by transfusion. This doesn't apply if you are near death, then Transfuse and run your little tush out of harms way at the first sign of it coming.

Use Sanguine Pool in emergencies. Always at low(ish) health. NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER lead with it. it takes 20% of your health to cast. at any level that can be crippling. starting with 600 health that would be 120 damage TO YOU. not a good plan, plus you lose your escape. Again, cast Tides of Blood first for the healing benefit of the stacks.

Team Fights:
Basics: Use Ult on GROUPS of enemy champs. Use ult in beginning or end of battle. Don't use ult till most of YOUR team has arrived.

Early Ult:
Increased damage for entire teams abilities. reduces enemy health quickly.

Late Ult:
Finishes off fleeing enemies though damage bonus goes essentially unused.

Why not Mid-fight?
Lowering their health to 25% with that last tick of your ult will usually cause enemies to flee before they lose the last bit of health. so i reccommend not going this rout without a heavy cc team, or a team with high move speed (Yi or rammus for example)

Casting Order
(early ult),tides, tides, tides, tides, transfusion... continue spamming both.
tides, tides, tides, tides, transfusion...continue spamming...enemy team low hp (late ult) span as they run, laugh as they die.

Sanguine Pool in team fights.
Again this is your escape mechanism that does a lot of damage to you. use sparingly. use to escape OR us to slow down and subsequently kill fleeing champs. obviously this would depend on how the team fight went.

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Summoner Spells

I have Ignite and Ghost listed. Ignite for the last little bit of health/bonus AP and Ghost for chasing/fleeing. (Ghosting and then sanguine pool is very effective as it makes you Ghoasly fast and untargetable.)

However, Exhaust is a viable replacement for ignite.

I don't recommend Flash. IF the enemy is faster and you are in the open, the will catch you, flash or no flash. you can't change directions mid flash. essentially, flash takes way more skill, and i prefer going without in favor of ghost.

As for what not to do:
Heal: Vlad has a built in heal for heavens sake
Fortify: Vlad is NOT a take nor should his auto attack be used so often that the extra 9 damage to minions matters.
Clarity: Vlad usues no mana. 'Nuff Said.
Smite: Vlad is not a jungler, so not a good plan.
Teleport: Just isn't that useful IMO
Clarvoience: again, i don't see why except to check for barroning and such
Rally: increases attack damage, not something particularly helpful with Vlad.
Revive: with 25% spell vamp and built in heal with transfusion, you'd better not need this.

that leaves us with: exhaust; ghost; cleanse; ignite and flash. Of course, a slight redistribution of mastery points would accompany using spells other than i have listed.