Vladimir Build Guide by voidflame
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Hey everyone! This is my first guide on a NON tank so I hope you like it!
This guide will be covering how to play Vladimir who is an AP caster off tank. The most interesting part about Vladimir is his passive, Crimson Pact. This is what enables him to be an AP off tank. This guide will be devoted to building AP on Vladimir allowing him to deal more damage than a tank build Vladimir, but he will be squishier. I like to play Vladimir on mid lane.
Pros / Cons
Sanguine Pool can make him invincible letting him turret dive or escape like a boss.
He has good sustainability with his Transfusion.
Hemoplague can hit the entire enemy team and possibly kill them.
Vladimir is really beefy with plenty of HP, while still dealing hardcore damage.
Vladimir can harass pretty well in my opinion.
Vladimir is pretty easy to learn the basics of and is still a good champ.
Weak early game because Transfusion has a terrible cooldown at lvl 1. Also, in early game you don't have enough items for Crimson Pact, so you're pretty squishy early game
Hemoplague can be an unreliable finishing move because it is a delayed ult that explodes after a set amount of time; during this time, the opponents may have healed. That's why Ignite is necessary.
Still not a full tank due to a lack of good cc and a lack of armor and magic resist.
GOOD SUMMONER SPELLS
Ghost is just great on Vladimir. While most characters would take Flash over Ghost any day, Vladimir does not. This is simply because if you use Ghost before Sanguine Pool, you have increased movement speed in your pool form. As a result, you can get away faster while being invincible.
I used Ignite with Hemoplague to prevent the opponents from healing and to do extra damage. You can also use this to kill people who are barely alive.
Decent Summoner Spells
Flash: Not as good as Ghost in my opinion, but you can take both Flash and Ghost to escape anything and everything.
Teleport: Good spell for just about anyone. Enough said.
Heal: This is used early game when Vladimir's Transfusion has a terrible cooldown so his lane sustainability isn't too good.
Exhaust: Nice slow, but I pretty much never take this because Sanguine Pool can slow as well (but it can't slow attack speed like Exhaust.
Cleanse: Use this to escape better and rid yourself of crowd control effects.
Bad Summoner Spells
Fortify: Your tank should be the one to grab this.
Clairvoyance: Your support will probably grab this.
Smite: Your jungler will grab this. Do not use this skill on Vladimir as Vladimir is a terrible jungler. (Yes I've tried on a custom game once. NEVER AGAIN).
Rally: Your- oh wait no one grabs this.
Revive: STOP DYING YOU NOOB. L2P
Clarity: This is just great on Vladimir cause he's just so mana hungry. *sarcasm* Yeah, Vladimir has NO mana. His skills have no cost or they cost health.
I take the Greater Mark of Magic Penetration because they give some real nice magic pen.
greater seal of vitality are my favorite runes on Vladimir because they give some health that gradually becomes better toward late game. But honestly, the seals aren't that important on Vladimir in my opinion, just because the seals don't give much hp anyways. So if you have Greater Seal of Armor from another character, you can use those too. I just prefer the hp.
Vladimir has come cool down problems so I grab cooldown reduction runes. This build doesn't really have any CDR items except for the Spirit Visage, so I love these runes. Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power are viable as well, but I just prefer the CDR over AP allowing me more lane sustain and more spamming of my skills.
These are my favorite quints on just about everyone I play. Greater Quintessence of Health gives you some good hp early on allowing you to be less squishy during early game. It makes it harder for your enemies to harass you and zone you out. This will also build some AP with Crimson Pact, but it's only about two AP. You can alternatively use Greater Quintessence of Ability Power for AP so you can nuke harder, but you won't have as much HP and will probably be more prone to getting harassed or killed.
I take 9 in offense for extra AP and magic penetration. I take 21 in utility to reduce CD, increase my movement speed, and make Ghost more awesome with
9/21/0 works as well for more tankiness. Thanks to Nobody Qwerty for the suggestion!
Crimson Pact is probably my favorite passive in the entire game. It lets Vladimir simultaneously nuke hard while having tons of HP. You can either build HP items or AP items for this passive, but I prefer AP items for more damage.
Transfusion = awesome. Gives good lane sustainability, but it's not really spammable till it hits lvl 4 because of a super long CD. As a result, I reserve this spell mainly for harassing champs rather than farming until about lvl 4. I max this skill ASAP.
This skill makes you invincible letting you tower dive or escape opponents. It also has a slow so that if you're chasing someone with low hp your pool might kill them or give your teammates time to help. Note that when you use this skill it remove turret aggro so as/after you dive, if there's something else nearby the turret may attack it. Unfortunately, your teammates may take this aggro and die. If you use Ghost before Sanguine Pool, you have boosted speed in invincible form. I max this last because leveling it does not increase the amount of time you are in pool form.
Compared to your other spells, this is pretty spammable. But spamming it might kill you as it deducts more hp with each stack so be careful and watch your hp when using this. This hits in an AoE effect so can hit multiple champs and can be used for minion farming.
Hemoplague is great because it's AoE and can hit the entire enemy team. Like I've said because it's delayed it can be unreliable but you deal extra damage while they're afflicted so you can still kill them. I like this spell for characters like Tryndamere because if he uses Undying Rage and then you Hemoplague, he'll probably die even with his heal. Your Hemoplague explodes after 5 seconds, which is conveniently the amount of time Undying Rage lasts, so if you use your ult after Tryndamere uses his, he should die. I like to use Ignite with Hemoplague to ensure kills on enemy champs. Another neat trick is using Sanguine Pool on a bunch of people afflicted with Hemoplague. Your pool will deal more damage and if it's a teamfight you'll get multiple enemies with your pool while not taking damage yourself.
The core build for this guide should be:
Here's the item sequence and explanations:
I start with Amplifying Tome and one Health Potion for some early game Ap and more sustainability. You can also try Boots of Speed plus 3 health potions but I like Amplifying Tome so I can build hextech revolver faster. I usually build a second Amplifying Tome when I recall for the 1st time.
After my 2nd Amplifying Tome I grab this for movement speed. HOWEVER, you can also build a Hextech Revolver first and then the shoes. They both work fine. If I find myself needing to escape better I'll grab these, but if I want more sustainability I grab the Hextech Revolver before this.
Good item with spell vamp. If I'm lucky, I can buy this item the first time I recall . If you are given this opportunity, buy it on your first recall even if it means you don't get the Boots of Speed first.
My favorite boots on Vladimir. These give nice Magic Pen.
This item is great because it gives AP AND health. It also gives a nice slow effect. When I build Rylai's Crystal Scepter, I go for the Giant's Belt first for more HP, then the blasting wand, and finally the [[amplifying tome.
Rabadon's gives a ton of AP and this is when your nuke becomes super powerful. I like to grab the Needlessly Large Rod first for the recipe just because it gives more AP than the Blasting Wand.
These build from your Hextech Revolver for a rather cheap price. It's a good support item too and is very cost efficient.
Gives you some CDR and increases your awesome healing skills. It also gives HP and magic resist, letting you be tankier.
This gives nice AP and armor. A handy way to use its active is if you're being chased and your Sanguine Pool is on cooldown. If you're lucky, during the time you become invulnerable, Sanguine Pool goes back up again, so you can make a second escape attempt. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THE ACTIVE However, chances are your game won't even last long enough for you to get this item. Not to mention, it is one of the most expensive items in this build.
These are situational items. They aren't usually built, but if the need arises you can replace one of the core items with one of these. In some cases, it's not situational; people just like some items. For example, I wouldn't really say Mejai's Soulstealer is dependent on situaion, it's more of a preference.
You can take these instead of Sorcerer's Shoes for more CDR, but with Spirit Visage and Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction, you really shouldn't need this.
Nice snowball item but I don't like this just because it's unreliable since I can't guarantee always grabbing tons of kills of kills without dying. If you can't do this, then it's just not cost efficient.
I was originally considering this for the core build, but I decided Zhonya's Hourglass was far better due to its better AP and possible help with escaping. That being said, Void Staff is my favorite situational item. If the opponents stack magic resist against you, you can grab this.
Gives magic resist and nice debuff to lower magic resist. Unfortunately, your opponents can see this debuff so you might have a harder time ganking people. Thanks to NobodyQWERTY for pointing this out.Basically, in my opinion Void Staff> Abyssal Scepter.
It gives CDR and AP, but it gives mp regen so part of the money you spend on this is wasted.
Ironic considering this is what people use to KILL Vladimir. Still works good on you with AP, CDR, and nuking active. Again, it gives some MP regen making some of the money wasted. If you buy this,actually REMEMBER to use its active.
This is good for the extra HP and Hp regen it gives. I don't put this in core, since I'm mainly going for AP in this build, not tank. But again, this item does help and Tides of Blood farms very well. Thank you to Petgel for suggesting this!
Overall, Vladimir is a great champ and is in the top 20 or so champs. He's fun to play and has a really unique playstyle, making him a very interesting champ. If you don't have him, I highly recommend trying him during his free week to see if you like him. He does cost 6300 IP however, so be sure you try him before buying him.