Vladimir Build Guide by gleebglarbu
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.
Potential Late Game Build
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.
About the Author: Hello, I'm Gleebglarbu, a challenger player on the NA server and have peaked at rank 4 on the ladder, but am currently sitting around rank 13 as of 6/17/13. Vladimir is one of my most played heroes in season 3 and I have a 59.8% win rate with him in soloqueue over 127 games.
Although Vladimir is not incredibly overpowered at the moment, he is still a very strong pick and is fun to play. His laning is very safe and he transitions well into late game. His kit is very easy to pick up as well. Learning Vladimir will give you a safe champion to play in the mid or top lane that can deal massive AoE damage and survive in the middle of the fight for a long time with his sustain, Zhonya's Hourglass, and Sanguine Pool.
Pros / Cons
- Does not rely on mana or energy
- Can easily escape ganks
- Fast wave clear with higher ranks of Tides of Blood
- Multiple ways to drop aggro in team fights (Zhonyas + Pool)
- High sustain
- Hard to gank for
- Weak in early skirmishes vs bruisers
- One of the lowest base attack damages in the game which can make early game CS difficult
- Low kill potential in most 1v1 match ups unless they suicide into you
|...|| Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
9 x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
All four of your abilities do magic damage and 9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration will only help you to increase your damage. The only other option that really makes sense here is greater mark of hybrid penetration, but your AD is very low and so is your AS so in my opinion it is not worth while.
9 x Greater Seal of Armor
These runes are very effective at mitigating physical damage. Even if you are vs an AP laner like Kennen, he will still do damage with autoattacks so armor will help. These runes also make freezing the lane easier because creep damage is physical, along with enabling you to tank more turret shots because they are also physical.
9 x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Vladimir is a very short ranged hero and needs to get in the middle of a fight to do his job, magic resist will help you do this. Many popular junglers at the moment also do primarily magic damage, such as Nautilus, Sejuani, Elise, Evelynn, and Zac. Getting MR runes will make you better equipped to survive their ganks.
3 x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Movement speed quints on Vladimir are really powerful both in and out of lane. Having higher MS than your enemy means you can run up to him to cast Transfusion and he won't be able to just run backwards once you start moving forward. Increased MS also helps you evade ganks and position yourself in teamfights to do maximum damage.
9/0/21 was my preferred page for Vladimir before the mastery changes, but the utility tree is more focused on actual utility and gold generation now, making offense a better choice. You grab all the options that will increase your magic damage and throw one point into Butcher to help you get CS early with your low base AD. For the defense tree, health regen is better than % resistances because you mainly will be getting AP and HP on Vladimir as opposed to stacking resists very heavily. Reduced damage from champions helps in the early lane phase and is especially potent against spells that tick over and over such as Flamespitter.
Both of these starts work well on Vladimir, but there are different situations where you would do one over the over. Doran's Shield is a better starting choice when you know you'll be taking a lot of damage in a lane that you can not avoid by kiting or when the enemy jungler and top laner can easily dive you. This start is good against champions like Riven because boots will not give you enough mobility to escape her. You instead need damage mitigation and health to survive her all ins. Boots of Speed, on the other hand, are a better choice against champions like Shyvana, Singed, and Nasus. You can basically avoid all of their damage in the lane phase as long as you kite them around with the superior movement speed you have from your quintessences and boots.
These are the core items you should shoot for in the mid game. Sorcerer's Shoes provides you with spell pen which is really strong in the early to mid game when the enemy has low MR. Once you are at full build you can sell this item for Ionian Boots of Lucidity though. The stasis from Zhonya's Hourglass is invaluable and allows you to buy time until you can cast Sanguine Pool a second time in team fights. Once you pick up Will of the Ancients you can really start to push your opponent out of lane and get ahead. Riot said they would be introducing a personal spellvamp item after changing the spectral wraith, but there's not one in the game currently, so just get WotA for spell vamp.
*While item builds are situational and you should not stick to a predetermined set of items each game, these 6 items on Vladimir work very well with his kit and make you a strong force in the late game. That's not to say you should get these exact items every game, they just provide Vladimir with the stats he needs in most circumstances.
With this build and mastery set up you will have 5% CDR from Sorcery , 10% from Will of the Ancients, and 15% from Ionian Boots of Lucidity, giving you a total of 30% CDR, going up to the cap of 40% once you buy Elixir of Brilliance for 10% more CDR. Because you have no mana or energy and 2 of your abilities don't have a health cost, CDR is extremely important to get to maximize your ability to deal damage and survive in fights. This build also covers all defenses, giving you a good mix of armor, magic resist, and health to stay alive in fights along with your two methods of dropping aggro, Zhonya's Hourglass and Sanguine Pool
|...||This item provides you with an invaluable AS slow, along with a high amount of both HP and armor. If you are vs an entirely AD team composition, such as Jayce, Jarvan IV, Vayne, Leona, and Zed, Randuin's Omen in combination with Zhonya's Hourglass will allow you to greatly reduce their damage output by cutting their attack speed while stile providing you some damage with the HP to AP conversion on Crimson Pact.|
|...||This is another viable source for MR if somebody already has an Abyssal Scepter on your team or if your team already has tons of damage, think Karthus mid, Vayne ad, and Evelynn jungle. In a situation like this it would be best for you to forgo an Abyssal Scepter and get Spirit Visage, allowing you to soak damage better in fights and increase your sustain in lane. If you get this, do not buy Ionian Boots of Lucidity, you will go way over the CDR cap.|
|...||Having two ways to drop aggro is already very strong, why not three? Although this item is very expensive, if you are snowballing hard you can get it in place of either Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Abyssal Scepter. This will allow you to dive with your team more easily but the item is very costly.|
|...||This is the best item to get if you are only concerned about raw damage output. Vladimir typically has to be in the middle of fights though, so this item is often not worth picking up. However, if you have a really tanky team such as a Malphite top and Sejuani jungle, feel free to itemize for more damage.|
Hemoplague's base damage increases by 100 per rank and when you can be potentially hitting this spell on four to five enemies it makes it worthwhile to upgrade it as soon as possible.
Transfusion should be maxed next because the base damage increases and the cool down decreases. Once this spell is maxed out you can sustain indefinitely in lane and easily push out your enemy laner unless they have massive sustain as well.
Tides of Blood should be maxed 3rd because it allows you to clear waves quickly in the mid game and greatly improves your AoE in team fights.
Sanguine Pool Should be maxed last because it is a one point wonder, although the cool-down drops with rank the duration of the pool does not increase, only the damage it does.
I take Ghost and Flash on Vladimir every game because the utility the provide for him is too strong. These summoners allow you to kite your enemies around in teamfights, make escaping ganks easy, and allow you to get in position for good Hemoplague usage. The only disadvantage is you are a bit weaker in the early laning phase and can die to an all in if you try to fight them back.
As Vladimir you want to constantly be poking at your enemy with auto attacks and Transfusion, making them pay for every CS they attempt to get. Avoid all in engagements until they are in a weakened position, whether they blew their summoners, are out of mana, or are low on health. Once you get Hextech Revolver, try to keep your Tides of Blood fully stacked, allowing you to do massive damage to the enemy with your E Q combo.
It's better to e first and then Q because E has a shorter range and costs health, so the Q cast afterwards will heal you back up. Don't try to fight 2v2 skirmishes early, you are pretty weak in them and provide no hard CC, you also will not have ignite for the fight. It's best for your jungler to leave you on an island so you can farm up and zone out the enemy top laner 1v1, potentially forcing their jungler to come top which will relieve pressure around the map.
In teamfights you want to make sure you keep your Tides of Blood is fully stacked before the fight breaks out and then land Hemoplague on as many targets as possible. After that you want to stay on their carries, using your Transfusion and Tides of Blood until you get low. Then, drop aggro with Sanguine Pool and continue to fight, using Zhonya's Hourglass when you get low again. When played properly, you will deal massive damage to their whole team and force them to turn their attention to you before dropping aggro and disorienting their whole team.
Top Lane Match Ups
These will be rated from 1 - 10 with 1 being very easy and 10 being very hard. A difficulty of 5 would mean the match up is even. I won't discuss every match up in this section, though.
2 : This match is up is very easy for Vladimir as long as you have good enough reflexes to Sanguine Pool any incoming Shadow Dash attempts from Shen. Just whittle him down with Transfusion and autoattacks, the only point Shen can win the match up is if he all ins you at lvl 1 or 2 with Shadow Dash and ignite. Constantly shove him to tower so you can take his tower when he uses Stand United to try to make plays around the map.
6 : This match up has little room for error, but if you make sure to constantly pressure Irelia you can win the match up. DO NOT stand near your low health minions, if you do she will Bladesurge to them and then proceed to destroy you in a fight, forcing you to pool and then using her Bladesurge again when it ends. Constantly harass her with autoattacks and don't let her get into melee range of you without blowing her Bladesurge cd and you will be fine.
7 : This match up is very difficult for Vladimir but if you survive the lane you outscale him in teamfights, assuming you don't snowball him. Be careful when he dashes forward to stun you with his W active. If you pool as he does this, he will often click a creep that was nearby and stun it, allowing you to get a free Q and E on him when you come out of pool. Be careful about all in fighting Renekton, with Hexdrinker, Dominus, and Cull the Meek he can bait you in when he seems vulnerable and then kill you, snowballing the lane out of control.
8 : Kennen's poke is too much for you to sustain in the early game and if he runs hybrid pen reds like most Kennen's do he can also harass you with his longer auto attack range. Just try to farm up with your AA and Q and make it to late game. This is not a favorable match up and I would not pick Vladimir into it.
5: Jayce does a lot of damage but most of it can be dodged by quick reactions and proper use of Sanguine Pool. When he jumps in with To The Skies!, use Sanguine Pool before he lands. This will mitigate the damage entirely, allowing you to harass him with Transfusion and an autoattack when you come up from your pool. Just poke him down, few Jayce's will build sustain now outside of 1 to 2 Doran's Blade.
8 : After watching OGN finals and the All Stars event, Ryze top has become immensely more popular, especially in the higher brackets. Vladimir has a really tough time in this match up, you will never win a trade when you two are on even footing and he can zone you off of the creep wave with his Overload. This match up snowballs very hard for both of you since you both have strong harass with Transfusion and Overload respectively. If you can get a kill on him with your jungler early you can shut him down, otherwise just try to farm and not die. You can pool when he uses Rune Prison on you but you will not be able to move anywhere for the duration of the root.
2 : Really easy lane, just start with boots and potions and you will be set. You can poke him out of lane with your Transfusion and auto attack. Never let him recharge his passive shield by constantly hitting him. If he ever tries use Unstoppable Force offensively, try to Sanguine Pool or Flash to dodge it, if he lands the skill you may die because he is probably setting up a gank for his jungler.
I hope you enjoyed my guide for Vladimir! This is one of my favorite heroes and his kit scales very well into the late game, allowing you to bully your laner and also be a menace in teamfights. Following the advice presented here should make you a much better Vladimir player and help you to perform well in lane and in teamfights. If you want to see me play Vladimir, you can follow my stream at www.twitch.tv/gleebglarb1