Build Guide by GaloGod
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 build isn't finished and i am working on it when i have time. If there is anything you would like me to add/post feel free to comment and let me know.
New skills section added
New runes and alternative runes page added
Pros/cons section added
Items to buy/not to buy
Hey guys, this is my first build so i hope you enjoy it. If any thumbs down please specify why so i can work to improve the guide. Now i don't claim this to be the ultimate guide to playing vladimir as any guide isn't, it is just, from my perspective, a fairly effective way to play vladimir. First of this is a guide wich will help you build an AP Vlad, not tank as i beleive htis to be the only effective way to play him in higher elo games. i have noticed most guides don't talk about the skill combination to achieve a successful firstblood/kill/gank/teamplay. Thus i will be trying to expand on these which will hopefully allow you to dominate early to mid game.
This build is more suited to a 1v1 or 1v2 format, while also being able to finish off low hp enemies via tower dive or by just nuking them on the spot.
i Believe vlad is an early-mid game champ and his effectiveness decreases with late game. When i say this i mean his ability to 1v1 and 1v2 decreases and i find that my assists go up late game, i might be 8/0/1 to start but then it becomes 10/2/7 and so on until i basically have equal amounts of assists/kills. while this might be the case with an effective team your early game dominance paths the way for late game success.
I would also like to give major mention Ghosthawk and his guide; Vladimir, the last crimson reaper for a great deal of inspiration, including an almost identical item setup. i find that these items work for me and have not yet found any alternatives.
Pro's and Con's
Great farming abilities
Great harassing abilities
'Tank' catser (Not so squishy)
Great ganking ability
Excellent in team battles
Vulnerable to ganks early on
Solo effectiveness late game decreases
This nice little passive gives Vlad some extra tankiness when going the ap route as directed in this guide.
This is your bread and butter as many declare, a very short cooldown nuke(with CDR) never stops at making me smile at the amount of damage this does on suishy targets. Also your main harassment tool early-mid game.
This skill is OP, so use it to your advantage. First, you can not be targeted while in sangine for 2 seconds, which therefore stops global ulti's such as karth's Requiem dead in there tracks. Also provides a slow for enemies under it, great for tower defense. And best of all will leave your enemies saying OP after leaving with a fraction of health.
Decent ability, gets stronger with each stack (max 4) although it costs more each time. This in turn will force you to be hp wise with the ability and take care when spamming in a team fight or even soloing. However this build with its spell vamp slightly buffers the cost.
THIS ladies and gents will make you win almost every 1v1 and 1v2 battles and is a great asset in team fights. The increased damage output it provides for your abilities is great while also dealing a set damage adfter 5 seconds to those who have been hit by it. Good range and combined with ignite and a sangine pool you can 2v1 easy with this.
i follow a standard 9/0/21 mastery, mainly for the spell pen, exp, movement speed and for me the most important... CDR, a massive 15% for ALL abilities, this includes summoner spells. Some like to go for the 9/21/0, saying it provides a better start as you are more 'tanky'. i have tried this and personally i prefer the utility as it provides a greater start which will then carry you into your late game success... provided the enemy haven't surrendered all ready.
The items i used are based on Ghosthawks guide, which i find to be very effective early through to late game. I have tried many starting items but i find, for solo at least that boots are the way to go, granted they may not provided AP or added hp they do offer an advantage in speed. This is good for two reasons; 1, your boots + transfusion allows you to get in, and get out without to much problem, unless the enemy has boots also, this also makes it hard for the enemy to hit you as you can easily run out of range form there atts. 2, it provides you with a greater ganking/firstblood opportunity either in your lane or somnolent else's, the boots really give you a boost without the initiation of blue pilling then going to gank.
The septer is pretty self explanatory, hp, ap, and slows when using spells stacks great with pretty much every spell you have. The spell vamp and the extra 20% from healing affects combine well when farming and indeed ganking, staying at a comfortable health constantly.
Your Q, like many say is your bread and butter and indeed it is, with the CDR your have it should be close to maxed if not already at lvl 5. Even before then it is somewhat spamable, you just have to time them more carefully but at lvl 9 when u max it it becomes your 1.8 second cool down nuke.
sangine pool is a great skill, very versatile in it's uses( more on that later) so this is prioritized 3rd, behind hemoplague and trans. It's long *** cool down at the start doesn't bother us as we will hardly be using it, only for defense or the initial kill(more on that later) and as the game progresses and you become more Dependant on it it becomes only a mere 6-8 second cool down, nothing for the amazing skill that it is.
tides of blood is our last priority, usually getting a lvl 4 point for last hitting minions when my transfusion is on cool down. Later it becomes a great farming tool although in team battles you do be weary as the increased hp cost can leave you lower than you expected.
For me, Ghost + Ignite is the best combo out there for vlad. You could try using a flash instead of ghost but its all preference, whichever you are best at. As the for the ignite it couples well with my ulti leaving your opponents disarrayed at how they died at full hp while you laugh at there disarray.
Now this is really the main part of my guide, what i mentioned earlier is i don't see to many guides go in depth about the go about of killing someone, merely stating the items.
To start you preferably want to solo as you get many bonus's including lvl advantage, exp, gold, and greater mobility and use of your boots. You want to be last hitting minions with your Q while staying behind your creeps, remember to only last hit and not auto att as this pushes your enemy's creep back giving him the advantage. once reaching lvl 3 you have rank 2 trans and a sangine, this is to safeguard you agaist something unexpected. Also your trans will be strong enough to hurt your opponent constantly applied, with your boots move in q, then back. stay behind your creeps until cool down is of then do it again, if he is playing super defensive or you have low hp then trans a minion. The more harassment you do the easier the kill will be. Now at lvl 4 or 5 you can kill your opponent giving you have decen thp and your opponent is pretty low, even without your ulti u are unstoppable. What you do is when he has your creep wave pushed back you ghost run at him trans->ignite->tides->sangine.. too slow->trans again if u have to, this at low lvl will probably kill him. if he fights you and you might die just sangine early on him and finish the kill.
Now if you reach lvl 6 you pretty much follow the same routine, that is, harrase with trans, wait till he's pushed then ghost->trans->hemo-ignite->tides->sangine->dead. very very effective and ges them of gaurd with the burst and the best part is they cant get you cos of your sangine <3 thats is basically the combo we use to gank low-medium hp targets. Make sure you comunicate with your team as you want them to engage them then you coem in combo then they die. at highter ranks of trans the cool down will make it super spamable, not even needing ignite so you can just trans->hemo->tran->tides->trans->sanagine->trans, with your ap you r NUKING HIM with your Q, this does loads of damage, this combination in most cases is over kill, but i do it cos i can... QQQQQQQQQ
Now say you make a few mistakes or your lane partner is too much to handle and your getting harassed big time, just Q minions when you can and stay behind yours, better to stay alive then to farm. When near your tower and your on low hp your enemy might tower dive or try and get a couple shots in. If he comes close enough that the tower targets him, you pounce given that your not completly out of hp, you trans->ignite->then sangine whiel the tower is targetting him, this is important, make sure he is clos enough that that tower is on him. This means, he's dying and he can't do anything to you cos your in sangine, this should be enough to wipe any low lvl tower diver. remember TIME YOUR SANGINGE!
Farming late game is so easy, when the mob is close enoguh together and you are in no danger, ie, going to get ganked, you sangine on the creeps, then do one tides to finish them of. THATS IT! whole wave and no hp gone as your sangine restores hp due to the number of creeps being hit.
TEAM PLAY SECTION BEING ADDED SOON
Although this is mainly a 1v1 1v2 build imo i do feel he is a very strong support in teams.. strat comign soon.
You may prefer these for quick ganks and overall greater mobility, up to your play style really.
Greater when your facing a heaver CC team and you find yourself being targeted often, i would usually buy the Ionian Boots of Lucidity early game then when it starts becoming more team oriented trade them.
i see a lot of vlads buying these straight out, even when the enemy team has no real magic resistance stacked up. I find this pointless as i would rather get some AP. Plus you have your MP from your runes which is usually bought for early game. However if you find that they are stacking heavy on MR early then feel free to buy them, although there are better options.
This is probably a better option then the shoe's as it provides you with hp, AP and the 20% MP that you want for an overall cheap price. Only buy, again if the enemy team is stacking hight on MR early on and find that your spells aren't doign as much damage.
Not a bad item to get if the other team is a heavy dps team or you find that the dps carries are doign a lot of damage. Gives your a LOT of armor, 25% cooldown reduction and reduces the att speed of the enemies team by 20%... not bad. But a very late game item.
thornnmail Again if the tema is heavy on dps or there dps carries are fed, stacks well with your already high magic damage plus gives you a nice 100 bonus armor.
This is great for when your versing a very high AP team, also gives you a nice speed boost.
Not a bad choice if your versing a heavy dps team, good armor and cool down reductions plus the 90 second slow ins't bad either.
gaurdian Great item, provides armor, MR and a revive should things go wrong. Not a bad late game item if you are on the verge of dying most times, gives you that extra guarantee.
This is a great item when facing AP and a heavy CC team, or even if you are just constantly targeted with CC. This item also works great against Morde as this removes his Children of the Grave spell of you, shuts him down hard.
This is good item, gives you some armor which gives you survivability plus a 100 AP this is not to be missed! And to top it of its Unique active makes you invulnerable for 2 seconds, not bad if you are targeted by all 5 members, use it and most likely they will change focus unless the wish to get dominated by your teammates waiting for the 2 seconds to pass.
With the exception of the boots, which you can swap for one another, never get more than 2 of these items in other words never sacrifice your build for tankish items. KNOW YOUR ROLE! You are not a tank you are there to deal damage do not hinder this, these items are there to help you if you a struggling or getting focused a lot.
Item's Not to Get
Ahh yes the infamous warmog's, the great debate over, whether it is feasible on Vladimir. Well here is why i don't think it is. If you are versing a higher elo team getting this early with make your ganking and early dominance suffer as you will not have the damage output to achieve kills. The 60 AP or so bonus you get when wormog's is FULL is nothing in comparison with the AP you could have gotten plus the slow form your septer and other items, in other words, you are a useless hunk of **** with 1300 more hp than everyone else! Here's why you don't get it late game. With my build you will have minimum 400 AP without any elixers which by the way you always buy when you hit 18. So the 400 AP and the bonus hp you get form items you have around 3-4k hp... this is more than enough hp, now why would you get more when you could get armor or magic resistance? your hp plus the armor will make you almost impossible to kill in team fights unless the enemy team wants to wipe because they tried to take you down first. when you have that much hp always get armor or MR instead of more hp, more hp doesn't stop you taking more damage.
Terrible item on Vlad, first you don't have mana and the amount of HP and AP it gives you for the price isn't worth it.
Not a bad item but not worth it for Vlad. I thought about it, the 20 MR reduction of enemies plus your 8+ MP from your runes and considering most people don't stack MR till late game well thats lamost 100% magic damage dealt. Problem? Price. The price is simply to much to achieve whilst sticking to your build, there are better items for early game ones which provide more hp, AP and slows and that extra AP from other items will compensate the 20 MR reduction loss.
This imo isn't feasible on Vlad in higher elo as you will most likely be targeted more because of your stacks, and if you die you lose your advantage you had with the stacks reducing you to a lower AP then one would have with base AP items. Fine for normal games versing nubs who always cry when versing a tryndamere about how "i was attacking him but he took no damage." or my favorite, when enemies versing ramus say " i was running away BUT FOR SOME REASON i was attacking you." LOL but yes don't get this item in more 'advanced' games.