Build Guide by Pozsich
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This is a basic outline of my build for Vladimir! I leave a lot of this up to your own imagination - as in build other things if you want but this is all I normally need in a game- and this is by no means always what you should build him like, as situations vary. However I often find that this build suffices to let me be an extremely valuable asset to my team - note - not a carry build. Hybrid(: Which is what is best for Vladimir IMO. First guide so please no hating. Also, there are different ways to play him, as there is to any character, so please try my build in at least 3 games before you decide if this is a good build or not.
For runes I choose magic penetration marks, basically because all of Vladimir's abilities can be well countered by magic resistance, so magic penetration i feel is a must. Next, I take AP seals to help early game, that extra little bit of AP will help you deal damage and stay in lane via your healing ability transfusion quite a bit early on. Next, to complement his Q ability, I choose flat CDR glyphs. These help you to spam Q early on, scaling runes are a possible, but since transfusion has a fairly low CD by mid game, I choose flat runes for the far superior early boost. Finally I take AP quintessences so that I can pack a good punch early game.
Although Vladimir should be very tanky by late game, and at least fairly tanky by mid game, he is squishy early game. To counter this i go 9/21/0 with most of my masteries set to defense to offset his low early game survivability. As with the runes, my 9 points in offense are to get CDR, AP, and magic pen, also increasing the potency of my summoner spell exhaust.
Because of Vladimir's passive where his AP increases as his bonus health increases, and his health increases as his AP increases, I like hybrid items along with tank/mage oriented items. To start, get an AP tome so that your drains life return is increased, this is vital early game. Once you have enough, go back and get Hextech Revolver. As with the early AP tome this item is aimed at increasing the amount of health return you get from Transfusion, increasing it to around one hundred as soon as you buy it. This is a very big AND VERY IMPORTANT increase from the 40-ish it was healing before. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you get this extra health steal early as possible because without it Vlad is... well... wimpy. Constant recalling doesn't win. Next you get CDR, health, and AP. Any other items are purely situational and up to you. On a team with good magic resist, Void Staff is a MUST.
Prioritize your Q, Transfusion. This skill is what makes Vlad an excellent laner and most of my build is based on making this skill as strong and as spammable as it can be. It does amazing damage all game on squishies, and with magic pen items it is good against tanks with high magic resist as well. Next let's talk about his R, Hemoplague. While I have seen Vlads using this in 1V1s I prefer not to, and only use it in 1v1s if the situation is desperate. I try to use this ability in team fights, getting as many enemies as I can inside of it, to maximize the damage increase. This can work wonders, going as far to turning a losing battle to a solid win. It is also good for ganks, and as I said before is usable in 1v1s though I personally prefer to save it. His W and E are also very useful, let's talk about W first. Sanguine Pool is mainly used for 3 things in my book. First and most simple to do, is if there is a sizable group of minions you can use your E to weaken them and then use your W to kill them, hopefully gaining a large lump of gold. Second, when a weakened enemy who has overextended you can use Sanguine Pool to slow them, allowing you to deal damage and hopefully allowing your allies to attack as well. This can result in an almost guaranteed kill for your team if used correctly. Third, if you find yourself in a bad situation (ganked) you can use this to get away. You can also use it to similarly avoid stuns and slows, even ults like Ashe's Arrow, and Ezreals ult, and Sona's ult. Finally his E ability, Tides of Blood. Since it attacks all enemies in a radius around you, it is very good for killing minions, and as mentioned before, can also be used in conjunction with Sanguine Pool for a lot of minion kills, though late game either one by itself should kill all of them. Spamming this skill as much as you can in teamfights is important, it'll deal good damage to multiple enemies and will increase how much Transfusion and Sanguine Pool heal your quite a bit.
For Vladimir I take Flash and Exhaust. But I feel for Vladimir there is a good deal of flexibility here. Personally I take flash and exhaust because I feel they are both simply excellent spells, both allowing either chasing or running, and both potentially saving your life.
Over all I think Vladamir is an excellent, hard to kill, and fairly punishing mage. I hope what you have read here will help you to use him well, thanks for reading and tell me what you think!