This guide covers my favourite champion Vladimir. I have noticed that many people play Vladimir in kinda wrong way since they build more tanky. In my opinion it's bad strategy for Vlad. His extremely low cooldowns in late game and high AOE damage is made to be your team fight winning combo. Not only because of his unique ult Hemoplague, but also because of the fact that Vladimir can literally erase whole enemy team in few seconds if positioned right.
He is the weakest champion in starting phase, but the strongest one in late game. Try to be open minded and forget that you start with Doran's Shield and defensive runes. There are other adepts for this role. You need to accept the fact that Vladimir is high dmg & naturally tanky spellcaster.
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Most champions don't receive such bonuses from runes like Vladimir does. His passive Crimson Pact gives you AP equal to 2.5% of his bonus health and bonus health equal to 140% of his AP. This bonus is increased even more also from modifiers by Rabadon's Deathcap,
, Wooglet's Witchcap and Cinderhulk. Anyway, and most Vlads forget that, there is another hidden, very strong bonus in Vladimir's skill Tides of Blood. Continue reading to find it out!
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: I don't know what Rito is doing, because these Marks are just best, especially in late game. So your choice here is very limited. You can replace it with scaling AP runes, but this bonus isn't nearly as good as magic penetration.
Greater Seal of Scaling Health: Scaling health works best for Vlad here. He is late game champion anyway. You will receive 215 bonus hit points on level 18 and thanks to your passive also another 5 AP. That's almost 2 additional scaling AP runes.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: Best choice on Vladimir is AP. Take all scaling AP. It gives you damage which you really need for your Tides of Blood and also more healing from Transfusion. Health scales only with Sanguine Pool and you don't want to use that ability offensively in most cases.
Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp: Triple Spell Vamp runes will save you in late game. If you take flat AP quints then you can be sure that 15 AP won't have any effect later. These runes are for mages who are ready to kill since level 1. Vlad doesn't belong among them. Vladimir utilizes Spell Vamp like crazy. It comes from his skill Tides of Blood. When fully charged (4 stacks) on maximum level it gives you +8% Spell Vamp per stack (max.+32% bonus to your SpellVamp = it's not additional 32% - you have to multiply your current Spell Vamp by 1,32). That's a hell of a bonus! Good Vlads always sit on max. stacked Tides of Blood. Why? Keep reading.
It's classic 21 / 9 / 0 tree. I'd like to notice that Vlad can use Feast as well. You need to lifesteal as much hit points as you can. Your Tides of Blood and minion waves are your friends. Since Tides of Blood costs health, you want to take that lifeforce back. Each kill gives you 3 hit points so when you need to heal your entire hp bar, you just need to find one minion wave and press E. That's it. Late in the game with all Spell Vamp items it can heal almost your entire health bar. It's always good to go for a kill when your enemy has big minion wave on his side. That would sounds crazy for other champions - not for Vlad. The more weak createrues on enemy side, the better for Vlad.
Also don't fotget to heal from jungle camps. You don't have to kill anything. Just use Transfusion when running around.
In defensive tree we go for maximum health bonus, since we gain more AP from that.
// Q - Main poke & healing ability in laning phase.
// You want to cast Q's cooldowns as much as possible. You don't use mana nor energy so use it for your advantage. Check your opponent whether he waits when you use your Q. If he does that, then you need keep your distance. Vlad is very vulnurable to champions with gap closers. Just don't sit on charged Q. You need to put all that damage out and make your opponent leave his lane. It will trigger attention of enemy jungler. Don't push your wave. You can just stand around and poke your enemy. You need to stand in your safe zone. Experienced players will go after Vlad from the beginning so make it hard for them and keep yourself near your tower. Your main aim in laning phase is to kill as much enemy minions as possible and poke your enemy champion. You will bloodsuck him later. Oh, yes, you will.
REMEMBER: Use Q as much as you can and don't push your wave. You can just stay and do nothing. Keep yourself in safe zone!
// W - Your only escape ability. Take care of it.
// Properly using your pool is one of few Vlad's functionalities which distinguish good and bad Vlad players. You can dodge Ashe's arrow, make yourself untargetable for enemy tower or speed yourself up a little bit for one second. Anyway there are some common mistakes made by Vlad players. Pool won't stop Ignite in progress! You can easily die even in pool.
For tower dive your enemy needs to have little health so you can take him down fast. Don't be afraid to do it right under tower. When in pool tower can't focus you. You need to take him down with one cast of Tides of Blood and Transfusion + few seconds Sanguine Pool + Ignite if you have it. Go right in front of your opponent under tower. Cast Ignite, Tides of Blood, Transfusion and then Sanguine Pool back. It's a matter of one second. When you secure a kill you will be most likely on low health and jungler might be already heading your way. It's time to leave and port back from under your tower.
REMEMBER: Sanguine Pool won't save you from enemy Ignite. Use Sanguine Pool only for escape. Learn how to tower dive.
Tides of Blood
// E - That's where Vlad shines.
// I have noticed that many people are fascinated by Vlad's Q. But your fascination should be on his E. His damage comes from this ability. One chapter back I have told you that I will explain usage of this ability more.
Main thing with this ability is that you need to have it charged on 4 stacks. Defensive Vlads mostly can't do that, because they just don't have such Spell Vamp. When you have E on forth level you can have up to +32% for your health regen and Spell Vamp. Health regen is useless in team fights (I am really not talking about Mundo's regen). You want to deal damage and heal back. Not to stay around for five more seconds which results only in two more Q's with no damage. Having this stacked on max. charges is literally needed. It has huge bonus damage. For every charge you gain +25% damage for this ability. Now you see why you need to have it stacked all the time? Without it you just waste Tides of Blood damage and stays only with Transfusion, which is poke ability. That basically means that you do nothing (excluding being a target).
Next you need to learn effective AOE range for this spell. Always try to cast Tides of Blood within group of enemy minions & champions. We always use Tides of Blood first followed by Transfusion. Those who do it Q and then E may lose health from E (health from Q is gained when it returns to Vlad which might be faster than you cast E).
REMEMBER: Always keep maximum stacks on your Tides of Blood. Learn effective AOE range.
// R - Bloody hell that hurts!
// Throw your ultimate on at least three targets including carries! Which is what most Vlads don't do. They just throw it on the first one they see. You are team fight opener and you need to time it wisely. Focus yourself on enemy ad carries. When you land your ultimate then go after adc. Cast E and Q and Zhonyas. Watch enemy damage dealers' movement and when out of Zhonyas go after them. Again cast E, Q and pool. When in pool you have two choices. You can go out of combat or follow another target so you can cast E and Q again. Most champions won't survive three Vlad's skill rotations. Especially with this build.
REMEMBER: Place your ultimate on as much targets as possible! Especially AD carries.
// Make them burn, not only bleed.
// Taking Ignite might be little tricky. This build works with damage, so we want this spell as well. It's a secret (psssh), but anything that causes Grievous Wounds is total disaster for Vladimir. It decreases healing by 50%. If you want to counter Vlad, than you need to have gap closing skills or Ignite and Morellonomicon. Also Katarina can use Death Lotus, Varus can use Hail of Arrows and Miss Fortune has Impure Shots.
In laning phase you want to make your opponent leave his lane as soon as possible. But don't use your auto-attack to push minions wave. Just for last hits. You can do this risky tactic. Have Ignite and use it right after your opponent use his first Health Potion. It will not only damage him, but more importantly it will reduce his healing by 50%. Vladimir doesn't have that much power in first several minutes to kill enemy champion, but you can make him leave and take advantage of that. This tactic is best played when your enemy has only one or two potions. It's a waste of Ignite if he starts with Crystalline Flask and Health Potion. If played right, you will get level 6 first and that is time to make enemy pay his blood price.
// Death is like a wind? Correct.
// Ghost can be used in both ways - offensively and defensively. This build has similar movement like with boots, but only if you have Luden's Echo and Lich Bane. I recommend buying Boots of Speed in laning phase and sell them later. Whole build works with the fact that Vladimir is designed to be strong in late game. Well, this build makes him super strong. But only if you are skillful enough to achieve that. Personally I like Flash more.
// Now you see me, now you...do as well.
// Flash is a spell that everyone uses. For a good purpose. Anyway we can use it more agressively. You can flash yourself into middle of enemy team after casting Hemoplague on them and start working on their carry. Carries fight is all about seconds. You need to kill enemy carry first. I don't see a reason why not to use Flash for the moment of surprise.
// Destruction approaches anywhere on the map.
// Teleport is all-round very strategic spell. Let your team know that you have this spell so they ward in good places where you can teleport. Especially to bottom lane where two kills await. It also helps you to keep track with your enemy because you can easily teleport to your tower right from rift. And you need to farm like crazy. It is possible to have over 500-600 minions harvested (including jungle monsters) in 40 minutes game. Vladimir one-shot whole minion wave only with Tides of Blood. The best ability is ability which needs to be casted only once.
// Pleasant green light saving our lives since 2009.
// I like this spell. It's perfect escape spell including heal. I wouldn't probably take it, but it can be used also as a support spell in team fights.
Personally I'd take Ignite and Flash or Teleport.
Items order always depend on situation what you need it that moment. Don't be afraid to buy basic items for MR, Armor or basic boots. You can sell them later, but it can helps a lot in the upcoming minutes.
|EDIT: After patch 5.15 (I think it was that one) WofA changed its passive from 20% Spell Vamp to 15% heal per single spell hit. This item becomes good when your opponent has a lot of MR, otherwise it's a nerf + it doesn't count as spell vamp so I am not sure whether Tides of Blood increases this 15 percentage or not. After that I am more open to replace this item with Void Staff, Abyssal Scepter or Rylai's Crystal Scepter.|
|This is a must have. We need damage. It also increases heal from your Q.|
|Another must have for Vladimir. This item helps your with skill rotations during team fight and gives your very needed armor.|
|Even after nerf it's still pretty decent item. Not that good as it used to be but you still can benefit a lot from it. We are also interested in that movement speed bonus since this build doesn't use boots.|
|In most cases you won't need it. But if they build strong MR you need to buy it. I don't know which item I'd change for it so I will leave this question open.|