Vladimir Build Guide by Vigilia
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
To begin with i'd like to point out that i usually play top lane with Vlad, both in ranked and in normals, this guide also includes some quotes from Dyrus from TSM.
Pros / Cons
Incredible teamfight presence
Weak early game
Squishy early game
Weak against dots
Farming with Vlad takes some training, his AA's are very weak so they must be timed quite well,can be used for last hitting but it's a waste since you should poke your opponent everytime you can with AA's and Transfusion, Tides of blood is a good farming spell, however remember that each time you press E you will push the lane further so be careful when farming with it.
Vlad's farming capabilities in late game is ridicoulous, you can make a lane snowball in about 3 seconds.
Skills & Skill Sequence
This is Vlad's passive, Vlad's passive gives him 1 AP for every 40 points of bonus health he has, it also gives him 2 health points for each 1 AP he has, the effects do not stack with itself however, thanks to this passive Vlad can go into the defensive mastery tree or the offensive mastery tree and still be very effective
Vlad's Q spell is his main skill, it gives him ridicoulous sustain and combined with AA's and E it's one helluva harass, the damage it deals scale 60% and the healing you recieve scale 100% on your AP.
Sanguine Pool is what differs the mediocre Vlad players with the good ones, try to avoid using it at full hp, it's great when avoiding certain skills like Caitlyn's or Ashe's
it is a good initiate to a gank or teamfight as well, aside from that it can be used to last hit (NEVER! EVER! Last hit with it unless there is absolutely 0 pressure on the lane)
Farm tool #1 on Vlad, it strikes everything within 620 range and scale 45% on AP, each stack you recieve from it increases its cost and damage by 25% (Max 4 stacks) it also increases your healing recieved and hp regeneration, try to have 4 stacks everytime you enter a fight to maximize your damage, however do not keep spamming the skill if you are just waiting for the chance to strike the enemy, just so you don't become an easy kill or even suicide by blood loss, if you're low on hp just forget about this skill and keep spamming Q
This is what makes Vlad so strong, It increases the damage the enemies recieve by 12% for 5 seconds, after 5 seconds it detonates dealing some damage which scale 70% on your AP, try to hit as many as possible with this and the teamfight is as good as won, try focusing it on the carries and then pool under to avoid the tankier targets interception and just Q/E them down
If you are going for a lvl 1 fight wait with picking your skill, if the enemy team is clumped up when the fight begins start W and pool under them for maximum dmg, otherwise go Q, also go Q if you are not going in for a fight. Q is your main skill after the ultimate, so your prio should be R>Q>W/E, at lvl 2 should you pick W or E? well it all depends on the situation, if you are up against someone with incredible early game and cc or if they have a jungler capable of early gank pick W, also pick W if you are overextending to their tower, otherwise pick E, now then, in lvl 3 pick the last skill, you want to have them all as early as possible, i usually pick W in lvl 3 and 8 to decrease its cooldown while maxing E before W to maximize the damage output.
When you have maxed
Vlad is at his second strongest point after Teamfights due to the incredible sustain he has built up by Q + WOTA.
I go 9/21/0 as a defensive Vlad over 21/9/0 or 21/0/9, Why? well if you go with the masteries i suggested you gain extra health meaning you only lose about 4 AP in the beginning, while you also recieve ALOT! of CDR, in my opinion i find that alot better than the 4 AP i lose, but you can of course go offensive Vlad for better early game burst damage, i would point you towards the 21/9/0 tree if so, you will still get some of the hp from the defensive tree and be able to take a bit more of a beating which is quite important as a solo laner.
To explain a bit more of my rune suggestions:
Flat AP, Increasing early game performance and since AP also gives you health this is a great choice
Since hp also gives Vladimir AP hp runes are better than armour on Vlad, it's up to you if you prefer flat or per level, i personally prefer flat to increase early game survivabilty, if you are facing an AP however i strongly recommend the Potency seals due to them giving early game HP and some AP
If you are facing an AP then go with Warding glyphs, per level works as well but i prefer flat, why not hp instead of MR? well there are some spells that deals damage based on your hp, like Mordekaiser's ultimate,
it's damage gets reduced with MR, which is why i think it is better than hp in this situation, if you are not facing an AP, Force or Potency Glyphs are optimal
If you for some reason feel uncomfortable with your amount of AP go for Force or Potency Marks for more AP, however i would give you the advice of going Insight here as Magic Pen is quite the useful stat.
"Ghost": Ghost is one of the three major escape tool spells, i favour it because you can activate ghost and then pool to get away faster and negate all incoming damage, if you are lucky you can even waste a few of the enemies flashes due to them underestimating this combo.
"Flash": Also a great escape tool, you can jump over walls for a fast initiate or a baron/dragon steal, i prefer ghost however since the enemies can just flash after and wait until you emerge from pool and kill you, with ghost you can run away from them while pooled due to pool slow, even if they flash to get you.
"Ignite": I cannot begin to describe how useful this is, it has turned around many matches for me, if you get counterpicked for example and you are under in kills and they decide to towerdive you, you can pool>ulti>ignite>Q>E, you will most likely die however this almost assures you a kill aswell, while it can also be used against champs with good regen or heal also being a great finisher due to the ulti being weak early game.
"Teleport": Vlad doesn't have any way to quickly return to lane, Teleport makes up for this
"Cleanse": If the enemy team is CC heavy this might be a good choice, i would recommend a "QSS" however
"Exhaust": Good against AD's with good burst or others reliant on AS
"Heal": If you are facing a hard lane or feel like a heal bait might be in place then this is the way to go
"Revive": If your team is being incredibly pushed this is good to quickly return to fights, otherwise useless
"Promote": Are you planning on roaming? Promote will make you miss less last hits even if you do
"Smite": It's not gonna help alot with last hits
"Surge": You are definitely not AS based
"Clairvoyance": While it's a good spell and all it is the supports job to pick this spell, not your job
"Clarity": OH GOD WHY???
Always start with eitherx3
if going up against a heavy AD.
Your first aim should always be the
and then you have your early game items, now it's time for boots.
If the enemy is CC heavy, go for this
I almost always go with these, magic pen is a good stat as it increases your damage and healing with Q
If they are extremely AD heavy these are viable but i wouldn't recommend it
These are good against extremely stubborn bruisers like Lee Sin, more CDR = faster heals.
If you get anything but Sorc shoes, be sure to get a
Now this is where it gets tricky.
On Vlad there are a lot of viable options in builds however you are mainly an AP carry so if you are doing good in the game or neutrally go for a
if you have negative scores go for
right of the bat, follow up with a
for some slow and HP, the other one of the rabadons and zhonya's should follow no matter what path you chose.
Next up is optional items, i usually go with an
it increases your MR decreases theirs and increases your damage, these 5 items are in my opinion the 5 best items on Vlad, so then what other options are viable?
If you don't have sorc shoes these are a must have!
Hp reg and MR + MS, good item if you need a defensive item
Ever since the patch they remade this it's been a fair item for Vlad, just make sure you use it's active ability otherwise i would refrain from this
Now some of you might think "WTF? what is this guy smoking" well Dorans is a great item for it's price and it's good in laning phase against bursty champs like Wukong, Riven or Lee Sin
Enemy bruisers and AD carry can be shut off by one item? if so and no one has it, this is the item.
Vlad dies, rises, heals up, pentakill.
MR, hp, CDR and increase on your spell vamp.
Cleanse and MR.
I would absolutely refrain from this! but if you are playing tank vlad i guess it's a good item
I have fought against it in a ranked match, it is a pain in the behind reall;y, i do not know how to build it but it's annoying to fight against, a lot stronger early game but weaker late game.
Versus Ahri you should have a contest of skills, she can be very harsh to lane against due to some cc and heavy burst damage + mobility, but as long as you dodge her skill shots and keep harassing you should win.
Poke her as much as possible before lvl 6, when she stealths you can poke her with pool and im pretty sure E also works, and ulti to finish her off of course, just keep an eye on where she runs from there and her level, when she gets ulti you might need ganks to win this lane.
Your chance of fighting Alistar in top lane is close to 0% but if you would, you would have a hard time killing him due to his heal, but his harass combo costs lots of mana and does not deal a lot of damage so you can heal it up while it's on cooldown, you should win this lane even if you can't kill him easily.
He's pretty good at chasing, but punish him when he wants to last hit and keep him from farm best you can and it's won, be careful for ganks though.
Anivia hurts like hell, get out of her ulti instantly and dodge her stun, if you do you can probably take her down, a tip is to wait until she's low on mana.
Try to bait out her Tibbers stun and Pool at the exact moment she puts it down if you can do that this should be a breeze.
As fast as you got WOTA you're going to steamroll her.
Watch out for his hook, if you get grabbed instantly pool to avoid knockup>silence combo, his spells deal no damage at all in comparison to yours.
Just initiate by dodging his pillar and pooling under Sear and you'll win, be careful though, if you are badly positioned and he throws his ulti you're dead due to it bouncing.
If you can get close enough to harass you'll win after revolver.
This is a really hard lane, she has long range and dots, Vlad's main weaknesses are dots and others with great sustain.
Punish him when he goes to last hit and watch out for rupture, he will kill you pre WOTA, then just be careful and keep kiting him.
I have only ever seen top lane corki once, he's a fearsome opponent against Vlad, if he baits your pool with his gapcloser he can just shred your armor and steamroll you, try to bait his "Valkyrie" and then gank him for easy kills.
This'll be a hard lane, try to keep out of his apprehend range and poke as much as possible, also keep the minions close to your side of the lane, you will need ganks, watch out for his passive dot
You can't kill Mundo 1v1 after ulti, and he's stronger early game, you'll have to rely on ganks or this'll become a hassle.
Play offensive, poke as much as you can and punish him when he is gonna catch his blades (considering the particle effects he's easy to predict) and don't let him get a combo with his burst damage
She is a lot better since remake but it's still a faceroll lane
Be sure to pick Flash against Ez due to his double flash, he has an annoying poke and is strong late game but you can outsustain, also try to pool his ulti to minimize damage.
His "Drain" is not interupted by pool but he has much CC and one of the best ulties in game, be careful on this lane, his Q>E>W combo is devastating.
This could be a hard lane, You counter her ulti with your pool so it's all up to what is best, her damage or your sustain, most cases you should be able to take her.
A Vlad counter, Healing reduction, gapcloser x2 and an insane towerdive capability due to "Playful/Trickster", lane is as good as lost and you can barely gank him, just don't pick Vlad against Fizz.
He's the standard AP counter, try to kill him as much as possible before he gains a lot of MR, afterwards it'll be impossible.
His ulti isn't anything to worry about, and since you only have pool slow his "remove scurvy" has no cc too remove and therefor only heals him for plenty of mana, you should win because he only have two useful spells against you, but if he's lucky with his Q's he'll crit you down in 2-3 Q's.
Play super defensive! you can't kill garen early game, it's dangerous to even gank him but if you believe you can do it then go ahead. he has speed boost, silence and high dmg AoE early game, also shield and finisher ulti, i would strongly recommend another champ against Garen.
Just poke him down best you can, he'll deal a bit more damage than you, but you can heal more than him.
His E>Q>W is pretty harsh but you should be able to get him after revolver.
You can't escape and he has much cc and speed, you may be able to kill him if he barely have any sustain items otherwise your best bet is to have a teammate help you or be under a turret.
If he plays offensive just destroy atleast 1 turret before engaging and watch out for his stun, If he plays defensive, just outfarm him.
After the nerf Irelia hasn't been quite the same, you'll take her probably, be careful and watch for her stun, after her stuns gone you'll squash her.
Much CC so might be hard to kill but she won't stand a chance against you, just keep her from last hits.
Watch out for Jarvans knockup and you should be alright after getting WOTA.
Jax is interesting to fight against as Vlad there are lots of different endings all up to what spells he picks.
Q: He can jump to you, so what? just out sustain it and give him some Q's + Autos
W: He'll ravage you.... when he gets to you =D.
E: Stun... so what? he can't get to you.
Q+E: He can finally utilize his E spell, but as fast as the stun is over you'll kill him.
Q+W: You are dead.
W+E: He still can't reach you so kill him as much as possible before next level.
You are dead.
Jayce will win against Vladimir unless he cannot figure out when to go to hammer stance and smash your skull in.
Faceroll lane, some heals and slows, doesn't matter lol you are that much stronger.
Avoid his bombs, don't stand in defile, pool his ulti, if he combines wall and bombs try running unorthodox and he won't be able to hit you. easy lane.
Another natural AP counter. try pooling his Silence to minimize his damage and you might be ok. (i've never actually fought against Kassadin myself).
Heal reduce but you should be able to take her anyways as long as you pool her ulti.
Pool her slow, and when she burst you with AoE AA's just punish her right back, keep her heal in mind and her ulti.
One helluva ulti, pool it if you can. also pool his lightning rush not to get marks of the storm, try side to side dodging his shurikens and he'll have to wait until his AA*s gives him lightning mark, that'll give you major advantage and probably what you need to win.
Almost no damage early game so he should be easy, watch for his passive and % dmg however.
Naturally your dead in laning phase, in teamfights you will most likely not be the first one focused so just head for her immediately and kill her ASAP.
Annoying as hell, here Dorans are needed, he has a minismite with his Q working on champs too. and his W gives him great sustain, when he tries to get in front of you pool ASAP, he's looking for the time to ulti you,
CC!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO MUCH CC!!!!!!!, pool her ulti if possible and 1v1 she shouldn't pose a threat, but ganks are insanely dangerous.
Lulu is very strong and got a slow not far from Nasus class, and quite the early game dmg, be careful pre revolver.
Pool her ult!!! it can decide the tide of the fight. be sure to get "Merc" here.
Lol... he builds armor so he won't stand a chance, if he goes MR instead he won't do any damage and will still not stand a chance.
Dot, Silence and Suppress, you are as good as screwed.
Knockup, Bombs, Snare, you should be able to outsustain him though, and try to pool out of his ulti to negate it's damage.
Faceroll, he can't do anything against else than run away.
If you engage you can take her after WOTA but watch for her ulti.
One of the best Vlad counters, he has a shield negating your damage, can just run after you and wait with his E and your reappearence, % dmg ulti forcing you to build MR and insane dmg, he is weak before his revolver just like you, however you are a bit stronger, kill him as much as possible with a jungler able to early gank before that happens.
One of the most deadly AP Champs, incredible teamfight presence but you can pool her ulti, her black shield is a problem so try to bait it and then engage.
Harmfree early game, so you should be able to kill him early on.
The king of CC, you will need ganks to kill him but he will probably not be able to kill you either.
AD Nidalee is a harsh matchup, be careful and react swiftly on her jump in cat form, AP Nidalee you can steamroll.
This'll be hard before you get some AP up considering he has Lifesteal, Spellshield and Fear.
Watch out for the Empire tactic (Ulti in a bush) otherwise this should be a breeze.
You counter him due to your passive, so take him on while you can, dodge his axe and pool true dmg and just poke him like hell
She underestimated alright, but that doesn't make her stronger than you.
Get some early ganks to keep him from farming and killing you as much as possible when you have revolver it'll be pretty much tied between you and with WOTA you'll kill him.
She's hard to play against with most champs but you should be able to take her.
Ok..... since he's counter AD and you can outheal his damage.
Best single target stun so watch out for that, otherwise not much harm.
Might wanna buy one or two Dorans here to survive her burst and be able to heal it back.
My main champ right after Vlad, stay behind minions best you can, keep out of his fire, pool his ulti and just take his life!
Since the patch he has started dealing LOADS! of damage, however he is less tanky, so it's all a damage race, naturally he deals more damage than you but you should be tankier, if he builds like old times full mana he should be no problems, if he goes hybrid AP/Mana you will most likely lose, try to just farm up as you should outdo him Mid game.
Ulti is dangerous, otherwise faceroll.
Stay out of bushes and you'll be fine.
Shen is so OP right now so all you can do is watch while you get killed over and over again, pick something else for gods sake, or preferably ban him.
Fast like hell, good ulti and burnout AoE is stronger than one would think, be careful in this lane and try to get ganks by a jungler with cc.
Swap champ or lane, Singed counters you so bad, you can't kill him while he can easily kill you.
Stay away from him during his ulti and pool his stun, he should be harmless afterwards.
Spellshield is all she's got.
Skarner can heal and slow but not quite enough to kill you, watch out for his ulti at lvl 6 however, don't be close to his tower.
AD Sona is ridicoulously painful, wait until WOTA and you'll get her, but if she gets fast enough she can poke you and run out before you can poke her back, resulting in her win.
Do i even need to say anything?
#1 counter against Vlad, same amount of sustain, dot, and will be the winner of the trades, nothing you can do here,
has a silence which is quite devastating due to you not being able to dodge his combo, however when he starts the combo you can pool in time to avoid his ulti and then ghost and kite him around, a dorans shield will help a great deal.
Taric has a great burst for a support intended character and a good stun, in laning phase you will faceroll through the lane but in team fights you might want to keep an eye on his stun.
Teemo has awesome map coverage with his shrooms so be careful around bushes, also his poison counters your sustain pretty well so it's all up to who deals more damage.
She has heal reduce so she might be an annoying pest but as Vlad you should be able to deal with her as the AA range she has low lvl is very low, just punish her when she goes to last hit your casters.
You can pool through his slow so that'll be no problem, Trundle heals for each minion who dies close to him so a tip would be to fight him where there are less minions around, you should be able to take him down due to your kiting capabilities.
Try to keep his rage down, when hes at high rage he can crit you down, his tower dive with ulti isn't any worries due to your pool.
TF is a fairly weak champion, he does lots of damage with wild cards, if they can be dodged you've won.
Since remake Twitch is an even lane, his poison apply is so very fast, you should try to time your pool with expunge so it deals no damage, if you can't then dodge his ult with the pool, and use all your burst, try opening with ulti to burst harder
Play passively, keep a watch for when he swaps stances, poke him best you can in tiger, turtle and phoenix form while you should farm and be ready to run when he goes into bear form.
Good early game and great harass range, but after WOTA you should be able to kill him.
Vayne is a hyper carry, negate her best you can early game, you'll own her until her build is almost finished.
Veigar gets stronger the longer the game progresses, aim for WOTA and then get some kills on him.
Viktor is another champion i rarely meet, just watch for his LAZOR and cloud and you'll probably be ok.
You have the same pros and cons, it's all a skill contest,
Stay on a distance and poke him down so his passive is popped, early ganks is appreciated, after WOTA you should be able to kill him, just watch for his bite.
A good counter against Vlad, he has the same amount of sustain, got speed increase for chase and a good ulti, just stay on a distance and poke him, try not to overextend.
Insane dmg with his Q>E combo, his ulti deals more damage than you think at first sight, be careful against him, a dorans or two will help here.
Gotta dodge 'em all... so to speak, just keep running around and poking him and this should be an easy lane.
Gapcloser, good sustain and damage, AS builder and silence, Exhaust is needed here and a dorans will do well, keep farming as you outdo him late game.
Probably the solo top with best sustain, try picking another champ or swapping lanes as yorick is a pain in the behind, that being said however, he don't like facing you either.
Ziggs got good harassment and quite the escape tool, be careful of his ulti as well, you will probably take him 1v1 after you've gotten a revolver.
Zileans ulti is incredible, his double bomb hurt like fk even if he is support and he got an insane slow/MS increase, be sure to kill him before he gains his ulti or get feeded elsewhere.
Vlad is a strong solo top champion with insane sustain, but he's countered easily by heal reduction, similar sustain and dots.
At a side note Kennen + Vlad is a great combo, double WOTA is incredible, the sustain it gives is ridicoulous, their ulties also compliment one another, they are a lethal combo, so if you are playing Vlad, try to get a Kennen into your team, Morgana is also a good champ, however she doesn't build WOTA so there are better picks with Vlad, Mordekaiser + Vlad is one of my personal favourites, both build WOTA and Mordekaiser is a hyper carry who can turn the game around in midgame, so if you are doing really bad you can still win or even get feeded.
Thanks for reading this guide, vote and comment your thoughts about it, constructive critic is warmly welcomed.
25/7/2012 - Changed Twitch, Xin Zhao and Evelynn, Added Jayce, not played vs Zyra yet otherwise updated to Zyra patch
18/6/2012 - Added Draven and Darius, updated to Draven patch
23/5/2012 - Fixed some minor issues with the item section
14/5/2012 - Fixed a bug where pictures would make the text disappear
5/5/2012 - Fixed an issue where pictures of Ahri, Talon and Taric failed to display
4/5/2012 - Updated to the spectator mode patch
28/4/2012 - Added Hecarim and some pictures
28/4/2012 - Changed some typos and such
28/4/2012 - Fixed an issue with picture of Vlad not displaying
Vlad ap offtank/mid
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Nukedimir the Crimson killer in mid!!! (S3)