Build Guide by Rys Aberdeen
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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.
Whats A Vladimir
I play my vlad with boots of swiftness almost always as I will explain later, hence the belief that vlad is fast.
You are a sleek and powerful man. With the body of an african runner and the mind of a crazed russian vampire, you make sure to chase your enemies back to their summoner platform - Turrets aint got **** on you. With the magical DPS and movespeed of Master Yi, all retreat under the heavy fire of your Q. As their health is drained from full to half they stop and realize that you are a "squishy" and turn to fight. Whats this? Your health drops to half as Veigar hits you with his Ulti and proceeds to follow up with a Q and E? Oh me, oh my was all that olympic training for nothing? But wait, All of a sudden vladimir shoots blood out of his chest and drops into pool on the floor just as that dark matter comes from the sky, followed by a Karthus Ultimate. OMGWTFAHHHH. Veigar cries as you come back out of your pool, burst him down with half health, then run to safety, all while laughing at his pathetic movement and oh so futile burst damage. Everyone on the enemy team yells OP vlad and you smile. You have learned to play Vlad.
- Note: I AM ONLY ONE GUY WHO WANTS TO SHARE HIS IDEAS, THESE OPTIONS MAY NOT APPEAL TO EVERYONE BUT THE METHODS OF PLAYING VLADIMIR POSTED BELOW ARE WHAT WORK BEST FOR ME. I HAVE MADE SOME CHANGES TO MAKE PPL HAPPY BUT PLZ DONT VOTE DOWN BECAUSE YOU DISLIKE MY AGGRESIVE PLAY STYLE.
- Also if you have a Vlad guide yourself I'd appreciate a comment from you especially and ill be sure to check your guide out too :)
- Thank you, asn00pnugget
What You Should Know About Vladimir
- No mana
- Insane late game cooldowns
- Broken passive (AP-->Health ratio amazing)
- Best escape mech in the game (sanguine pool)
- Lots of AoE damage makes it easy to carry late game
- No Skillshots
- Great Initiator with Ulti + Pool
- NO MANA
- Early game cooldowns/laning
- Not really a burst champion, more of a damage over time (low cooldown spam abilities)
- Rather short range/no skillshots
- Cannot really protect teammates (Pool is your only CC)
- Veeery weak when underleveled (champs like poppy or tryn don't seem to lose from this)
Not many complaints here, all round favorite character of mine. You are AMAZING mid game, but remember not to get carried away ganking but stay in lane until your partners are having difficulty in theirs. As long as you level up quickly there's not much the enemy can do.
Runes... Runes, Runes, Runes. Personal choice really. Everybody thinks they have the most amazing setup and will probably debate even their move speed quints with you.
- Magic Pen Marks (Reds): These offer a decent amount of magic penetration, something that is useful to any caster; pretty standard rune set if there is a better alternative please notify me as I do not know it
- Health Seals (Yellows): These may be switched with any defensive runes you may prefer. Health per level is an option. I have not yet tried cooldown yellows however I have seen these in other guides as a viable option. If you use defensive masteries however, these will synergize nicely with your added armour/MR. Getting added MR, armour or dodge is somewhat risky because it counts on the enemy team focusing on that stat. Health works against everything.
- Greater Seal of Vigor Health Regen/5 seals (Yellows): Flat health regen per 5 will really help in the early laning phase to make sure you have the advantage you need. Lifesteal on your Q should be enough but if your having difficulty these are always and option.
- Ability Power Glyphs (Blues): I go for ability power blues blues because I play other characters who benefit from it. I dont think vlad really gains anything from this however so I recommend cooldown blues. Very important for all your abilities because without mana you should be spamming till your blood runs dry. Remember with these runes, the per level ones are an option as well. They scale extremely well late game.
- Cooldown Reduction Glyphs (Blues): This is your classic Vladimir blue rune. Helps you spam abilities, nuff said. Seriously though, it is perhaps your most needed stat other than magic pen and not many items offer this without also offering some sort of mana stat.
- Ability Power Quintessences: I recommend ability power quints because I do not think vladimir needs any additional health early game with seals. Though ability power is not overly important, the ratio of ability power on quintessences is quite high and it stacks well with your cooldown blues. I think magic pen quints would work to the same effect and especially pay off late game.
- Flat Health Quintessences: If you really need it or already have them, go ahead.
The classic vladimir guide would tell you to get cool-down blues, health quints, -insert favorite yellow here-, and magic pen reds. I personally prefer Ability Power Quints and Health Seals. How aggressively you play, your skill and your role in the game should all be factors in your rune choice. In all honesty as long as you have some on, your probably going to be ok. These really only affect gameplay in the early laning phase.
Once again personal choice.
If you go Utility:
Reduced cooldowns: Awesome
Improved Ignite: Ability Power - Awesome
Extra Exp : Very important to controlling your solo lane
Extra Movespeed: An aspect of vlad that is actually quite important which I will explain later
If you go Defensive:
Greater health regen - Great staying power in lane
Lots of damage reduction - Better damage soak in teamfight before pooling out
Increased AP - Though minimal, still nice
Nimbleness - Speed = Good (I justify speed under items)
EDIT: Ok so two people now have mentioned that going for utility masteries on Vlad isnt a very good idea because other than CDR he does not benefit. Playing vlad as an AP carry, I did not really consider the defensive masteries as viable. However because he lacks mana and is quite a sturdy mage, defensive masteries will grant greater bonuses to survivability. Although the reduced CDR may negatively impact aggressive players however a defensive mastery tree grants more applicable stats or bonuses than the Utility tree.
Definitely not the best vlad guide out there, boots of swiftness and the haunting guise gave it away. Utility tree is just lawls. You don't get anything out of it really. The CDR from 4 in offense and blue + elixir = 38CDR.
One word: NO.
Defensive masteries on vlad is not ever needed. With spirits visage and the everloved spell vamp anicent tome you will never need to be "defensive" cause attacking will keep you healthy. If you play him with defensive masteries i'd say you are doing something wrong or just going plain overkill on the surival part. And also: if you have ever reached lvl 18 on vlad with utility masteries you will see that CD is not an issue.
Oh well, this is a case where whatever suits your play style is fine, hopefully by reading my advice you will have a better idea of which you prefer.
ITEM BUILDS DOWN HERE: 3 Play Styles
Finally, the meat and potatoes of this build. This is what I wish people had told me when I first started. I used builds off of this site which encourage rushing Rylai's and Rabadon's. These are very standard and not fun to play. I have chosen a few sample builds which work well and descriptions of all the items down below.
Personal Favourite Build Right Now
A More Defensive Cooldown Route + Situational Defensive Item
+ Situational Defensive Item
- To start take Amplifying tome. It is better than Dorans Shield. Vladimir's Q spell should provide enough spell vamp (lifesteal) to stay in lane, even after killing your opponent. This will also build into your haunting guise to ensure you have decent magic penetration as well as AP and health. This is awesome because it allows you (if you want to) to skip sorcerers shoes and go straight to boots of swiftness. Move speed is FABULOUS.
- There is an alternative to taking the tome when starting. Spirit visage is a viable alternative to haunting guise giving health regen and cooldowns instead of AP, health and magic pen. If you go ruby crystal to start you will have a massive health however with a weak Q and no potions, it can disappear quickly. Consider taking Hp Regen masteries and runes when going this route.
- If you want to stack rabadons this is your item. Best early game survivability item however doesn't build into anything. If you take this item you can go straight to sorc shoes then start building your rabadons. Of course you could start with boots and 3 pots to make this go even faster however when going mid, I strongly advise against that route. Movespeed is good however the bonus from Dorans armour and health is quite a boost to your early game survivability, including early teamfights. I used to take this item till I started liking move speed and went for the early tome.
- After your initial item, time to get boots. I know I am inviting trolling by endorsing these shoes on a caster however Vlad is my favorite character because he lacks the common failures of a caster. He is not very squishy, has a lot of built in spell vamp, no mana, and the best escape mech in the game (sanguine pool) which I believe should lead to playing more aggressively, which I do. Playing more aggressively becomes MUCH easier when you can out chase, and outrun your opponents. By taking these shoes you are not losing very much magic penetration because you are getting haunting guise. Most other casters cannot get haunting guise for their penetration because they must focus on obtaining mana and do not benefit very greatly from the health (usually mages have little resist of any kind taking utility masteries). You will be able to kite VERY effectively by simply running away and hitting with your Q, maybe even scoring some free kills. They also help escape team fights at low health but most importantly When you gank you will never want to take these boot off. Also without these boots YOU LACK THE FINISHING POWER TO GET A KILL, IF THE ENEMY MOVES OUT OF RANGE THERE GOES YOUR KILL/harass.
If you disagree with everything I said above... -_- Jk, in all honesty this is a very effective choice. If you focus cool downs on vlad you can almost double your DPS by making your Q refresh 40% faster. This is definitely best with sprit visage for the massive boost in cooldowns because with vlad theres a balance between magic pen and CDR. Most items that offer these stats come with mana making them not very cost effective. Sorc shoes and spirit visage work as do Lucidity boots and haunting guise however they do not take the larger build into account.
Magic Penetration. If you skip the massive cooldown route, or haunting guise these boots are a must.
- This is Infinity Edge to Tryn, Youmumu's Ghostblade to Master Yi, Friday to Rebecca Black... but for Vlad. This is what is missing from all conventional Vlad guides. AP and 25% Spell vamp? OMGWTFHAX. After buying this, you should be able to heal almost half your health from using E on a wave of minions as well as take people by surprise with your Q. If they focus you in a team fight, as long as there is enough enemies grouped up, pop out your sanguine pool and watch and laugh as your health skyrockets and the enemy is slowly killed whilst barely able to move. Another fun trick is to use your ulti at the start of a teamfight and roughly halfway through you will gain a SIGNIFICANT bonus to your health (as long as you hit enough people). Kiting and getting people underestimating your health should be your priority because as long as you over level them, there is almost nothing they can do.Remember tho, when buying spell vamp DONT GET STUNNED (or CCed of any kind), if your playing a sion or fiddle, consider buying a quicksilver sash as your fourth item.
After this you may want to focus a little bit on survivability, as long as you have enough AP health should not be an issue because the ratio of AP--> Health on his passive is amazing (Not so much the other way around). Abyssal Scepter provides AP = Health as well as some MR which is nice against AP characters. Rylai's early can also provide a boost against melee characters, simple because of the massive health bonus, though hopefully the melees shouldn't be getting too close to you with your boots on. If a Yi or Tryn is giving you a lot of problems, thorn-mail is always the solution.
Note: It has been brought to my attention that spirit visage is a very useful item to buy around the mid game mark. Even MORE healing/cooldowns is a great idea for this build.
This basically says it all. QQQQQQ till you bleed, then W or E depending on how defensively/aggressively you are playing, always leveling up Ulti first (should go without saying). The only tough decision to make here is whether to max E or W first. I actually find both are very useful however W (sanguine pool) has its uses at only lvl 1 while E (tides of blood) barely does anything till maxed out, hence the skill sequence I posted at the top of the guide. It is also very viable to distribute points equally within them.
Summoner Spells / First Blood
Every guide will tell you Ghost, Ignite for two reasons.
One, you can NEVER die in the early laning phase. Its literally GG after that and Im not joking. Against a skilled opponent you will be destroyed by harassment; last hitting is sooo important. Getting the haunting guise and boots of speed on your first trip back should be the goal here. Keep in mind that though Vlad has amazing staying power in a lane, he is one of the weakest characters in the game and fighting two on one, three on one, or even one v one requires you to be over-leveled in case you want to accomplish anything, hence the importance of taking mid. You need to be over-leveled so do not die in the early laning phase. These spells will help you by:
Two, always getting first blood. You need it. Sit down and let daddy teach you how its done.
- When you first see you enemy in the solo lane, hit them with ignite, Q and an auto attack. This will increase your ability power because of your mastery as well as show them whos boss
- Keep auto attacking them if there is no minion to last hit and Q if they come into range. Do not charge too far into the minions because early game your Q cooldown is too high and there is no way for you to regain health if you take minion aggro. You are not malphite and do not play like one.
- Be patient; if your enemy goes back to heal this is just as good as getting a kill. You will over-level them when they return and you can whittle them down by QQQQQQQ.
- Hopefully if you have gotten them to 60% health around level 6, try to get them to around 40- 35% from anywhere within lvl 6-9. If you get them to this health around these levels, its go time
- Pop up ghost, ulti them, ignite them, Q them, then pool into the tower range and hopefully pull off a Q or E before you get out of the tower aggro.
- Congratz, first blood, you made daddy proud.
Early Game Lvl 1-8
This is your weakest stage in the game. Harassment and low health should not be an issue. If you are having trouble, sit back and last hit with your Q, otherwise feel free to auto attack for last hits. Personally , I do not like laning passively and this is the most frustrating phase of the game for me. What I like to do is as soon as I enter a lane I blow all my summoner spells on an attack (Ignite especially for the extra ability power.) If you have taken them off guard and initiated your attack from the bush, hopefully they will not auto attack you and you should escape unscathed, otherwise Q back to full health :) Usually if the enemy is careless, everyone I throw a Q or auto attack at them, though only when there are no minions to last hit. I aim for roughly 4/6 minions each wave as the money should eventually be enough for your haunting guise on the first trip back. With low a cooldown on your Q at level 9 and magic pen you can begin your mid game decimation. I do not advise thinking of your mid game at lvl 6. Your ulti does barely any damage at this point and merely increases your burst damage/finishes runners. At lvl 9 you receive a massive cooldown reduction on your Q which greatly adds to your lane/teamfight presence.
Mid Game Lvl 9-16
YAYYYY, happyfuntimejoy for vladimir. Gank lanes any time an enemy pushes past half. Make sure to push lanes with your teammates because if the enemy tries to keep you off the turret this is where you shine. Anybody who takes a step forward should immediately be hit with a Q. You should be hitting for quite a lot of damage provided you overleveled the enemy and didn't gank too often at early levels. Once you have lowered a number of enemies wait for them to group up before throwing down your ulti. From here on proceed to charge in with tides of blood and sanguine pool. Take an assessment of the situation. If they are scattered and unorganized, try to ignite any runners who are escaping and Q anybody close to you. By staying in range of them with your movement speed (because of the boots I recommended), this should be a doozy. Once you are fed repeat ad nauseum. When ganking other lanes make sure to come in from behind and open with a Q then E. Repeat this until they get close to the turret at which point go into your sanguine pool, slow them by the turret, then finish them with Q and E.
Late Game Lvl 17-18
Vladimir sort of drops off here but your role is just as important. Help your team by using your ultimate in the midst of a team fight and Q your way through the enemies health. You have decent initiating potention because of your pool and AoE spells.
A Summary for Lazy People: All The Things I Wish I Knew When Starting
- Speed = Important for ganks and aggressive play (play aggressively to gain kills and carry)
- Stay in lane ALWAYS, this will ensure your success always. With an advantage of two levels you will take away 1/3 of most squishes health, enough to gank/destroy in lane. Even after getting first blood though it may be tempting to go back stay in lane, a half health lvl 6 vlad > lvl 5 full health anyone else (cept maybe tryn).
- Your pool is the finishing move in all fights, it takes 20% health so the lower health you are the more effective it is, also REMEMBER THAT YOUR Q WILL COOLDOWN DURING THE DURATION OF THE POOL. This has gotten me so many kills it is ridiculous.
- Make sure to get spell vamp. Waaay more important than health if you want to juke people.
- In teamfights or critical one v ones, use your ulti at the start. This tells the goods from bads. I often see vlads using it in the middle of a teamfight to secure a kill. This is not effective. Though it is fun to surprise your enemy with a final burst, let that be your pool, Q combo. By using your ulti at the start of any fight you will increase all damage done to them by everyone, which will be a lot.
- Buy a lot of Elixer's early-mid game - roughly 1000 gold stat bonus for 250
- You may not be able to push towers (leave to DPS carry) but you CAN push minions better than sivir - tides of blood followed by pool late game should clear any wave in a second, use Q on super minions.
And Whole Guide Super Condensed
- to farm early levels last hit with auto attack and Q
- to farm late levels tides of blood followed by pool
- to kill enemy Q them to low health, ulti, ignite, pool, tides of blood, Q = win
- to win a team fight ulti...then Q
- combo with Q and E always to do extra damage
- to finish a kill wait till VERY low health, then pool and Q
- elixirs are your friend early game
- always get first blood
- only die in a team fight
- don't be too aggressive early game
- when you hit lvl 9 or have a 1-2 level advantage on the other solo, go for ganks
- Max Q First Always
Thanks for Reading, Till Next Time Stay Classy Fellow Vladimirs
That about sums it up, look forward to updating in the future. OP Vlad is OP.
Please leave a comment saying whether you liked the guide, what you'd like to read about or what Im missing from my guide. If you have time click the rate up button, I'd appreciate it very much :P Its nice to know if Ive actually helped people and it really motivates me to write more.
Thanks to all my mates who keep me company on many lonely nights (jk, theyre great :P)
ap00pnugget, my bro. Check out his WW guide 3v3 Lanewick, its a cool WW guide, I know it works :)
Pink Munn the sickest (literally) guy ever and for discussing so much LoL at school :p, if this guy ever makes a ryze guide be sure to check it out
Ifib, wrecksauce pantheon + wrecksauce vlad = wrecksauce + sad noobs
Chris1221 The scardest tank with the best KDA's ive ever seen.
Pikachuisbaws. THANKS FOR RUINING MY LIFE, WHYYOUSHOWMETHISGAME.