Foreword- my english is poor, and this is one of my first guide. please dont be too critical of me. this is just for information.
Vlad is not like your normal AP caster, What he lacks in burst he makes up for in team fight potential and utility. Vlad is more of a wear and tear champ then a single target assassin. the only constraint he has is that his CD's restrict his in-fight time. that's why he needs AT LEAST 30% CDR. it is a must.. between high Magic penetration and TONS of AP, he will deliver more damage over the course of a fight with high CDR then other AP items could provide,
Pros / Cons
-Massive sustain (especially after hextech pistola)
-no mana cost(nearly infinite sustain)
-ulti provides 12% increased damage at first rank
-Troll pool can EAT incoming projectiles and negate the damage
- Squishy early game
- farm dependent
- can be easily ganked while Sanguine pool is on CD
- slow as christmas before boots
the runes are pretty basic except for the Quints. you might say that AP quints help with early game pressure and give him more health with his passive...but no...just no. first of all hes slow as hell and needs to be near enemy's to do damage, secondly in the middle of a fight people will pull away from him and you need to stick on the bruisers and AD carry so you need the movement speed for late and mid game.
Vlad is more of an Offtank late game with around 3300 health with this build. the more health, Armor, and MR he has the more survivability he will have in the fray of battle. you can build him 9/21 but it will make him very squishy early and mid game. and the 9/0/21 is no longer an option with the new masteries in season 4.
The items i chose for this build were to maximize damage output over an extended period. With no mana cost the only thing stoping vlad are his cooldowns. With around 650 AP full build he will have 3300 health and a little armor to fend off bruisers and ADC's. MOST IMPORTANTLY zhonyas hourglass is the staple and possibly the MOST IMPORTANT ITEM in this build. Zhonyas will allow you the time after your abilities are used to keep pressure off yourself and to reuse the combo.(ill explain the combo in later sections). Also the crystal sceptre of slow-*** works to make you a mobile tar pit to the enemy team. with your Tides of Blood and troll pool you will cripple their mobility for a few seconds.
Flash and Ignite. this is the best standard for mid lane. for top ill use Ghost for the escape potential. all other Spells are wasted on vlad, with the exception of your personall preference or needs.
In a team fight your sole purpose will be to deliver as much damage to any and every thing around you for as long as your alive.
When entering the teamfight you will need to WAIT for the most opportune time to use your ulti, that moment is when 2 or more enemy team members have commited themselves to the fight. if not you may waste your ulti as they back off until your debuff wears off. along will the crystal sceptre of slowness and zhonyas you will perform a combo that will look like this:
( R>Ignite>E>Q>W -Zhonyas if taking damage- Q>E>W>Q)- (note, You will START with Ignite on any champ that has high lifesteal or spell vamp sustain I.E. aatrox, akali,ADC's) this is the full in-fight combo that will give you and your team the most damage possible.
Early Ignite- doing this right after you ulti will provide 2 debuffs to a single target reducing the amount of healing they receive and increasing the damage dealt to them. it seems a little unorthodox but believe. you are not a carry your purpose is to help your team kill the enemy.
Remember that with each of your abilities providing a slow make sure you use your Q to peel for the ADC if possible. And given that your spell-vamp is more effective on targets with less MR it makes the enemy ADC a prime target for Q's given that it will heal you the most and allow the bruisers and tank to close the gap easier with your slow.
Your Tides of Blood Stacks up to 4 times. Each stack apmlifies its damage and increases healing to you. It is very important you don't fight with out at-least half stacks, doing so will stunt your damage output once your in the middle of the enemy.
When you use Sanguine pool(AKA troll puddle) it heals you for every enemy that is standing in it (thanks to the hextech revolver) so if there is a HUGE minion wave near some enemies make sure you slide under them for the most healing potential.
When it comes to using your ULTI the best way to choose HOW to place it is based on who is most dangerous followed by who is the tankiest. with your R ability providing increased damage over its duration you need to prioritize the largest threat to the team whether it be a TANK or a LIFE STEAL assassin/Bruiser/ADC.
Something to Keep in mind is that Sanguine Pool will absorb inflight projectiles, like caitlyn ulti's and if time correctly can negate fizz ulti damage. it will not save you from damage over time spells like poison or ignite, infact using this ability may actually put you closer to death unless using it to heal in a minion wave.
On one last note. the most important part of playing vlad is KNOWING what your enemy can and cannot do to you and vice versa. watch out for Morellonomicon and other healing debuffs this will move you to the back line to protect the ADC. You CANNOT tank damage with a healing debuff you will be burned down to quickly, in this scenario you will stay near your adc to provide peel and damage or to move up into the fray when the focus is on the tank.
Also watch for MR if you need to get an early Void Staff because you are winning your lane then do it. life steal is all that keeps you alive in fights. if the enemy has tons of MR you arent getting very much spell vamp from your abilities plan and simple.
Lastly watch out for Miss Fortune. She has a natural healing Debuff in her kit. if she makes a habit of focusing you. inform your team or have some one else face tank her to begin with.
That about sums it up. This build is the best i have used on vlad since the 3.14 Patch, but his playstyle is the same none the less.
If anyone has any suggestions feel free to comment and let me know what you think