Vladimir Build Guide by A Lannister

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author A Lannister

Vlad still Bladass (even after 'nerfs')

A Lannister Last updated on July 2, 2011
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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This guide will attempt to help you learn how to play the basics of Vladimir and then some advanced strategy. You've probably already seen some good and bad Vlads after applying this guide you'll be taking more donations than the Salvation Army.

If you like/hate this guide please rate and comment on it so it can be improved!

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Blad vs Bladass

Good Vlads
- Can dive for a kill at a tower and escape
- Deal lots of damage and take little in return
- Barely ever need to return to base

Bad Vlads
- Use their Sanguine Pool at bad times
- Push their lane way too hard and don't gank

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This is the section that you can differ on and not worry about as much, most of the time. Yes, having all the below runes will help you out but if you play poorly then no amount of runes will help you, ever.

Spell penetration - spells hit harder, scales with the upwards of 600 AP you can get to in a game
Flat Armor - just to make you a little more tanky, also in the lane you'll take damage from minions when you harass this will mitigation a small amount of that
Scaling AP - AP is good for Vlad because you triple dip with this rune, as you level you gain AP, HP and since your Q hits harder you even kinda gain some health regen.
Run speed - I love runspeed and I especially love runspeed with Vladimir because you will use it the whole game, it is especially noticeable when harassing with your Q or chasing down enemies that flee before you =)

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This is definitely the most used skill as Vlad, get to know its range and get used to 'smart casting' with it because the fraction of a second you spend clicking to use a skill is a fraction that it is not cooling down, since Transfusion is spammed so much you'll see good returns on smart casting.
(smart casting - if you hold the shift key as you press an ability or summoner spell the game will attempt to cast it at whatever you are currently mousing over)
This heals you! If you can't hit the enemy with it in the laning phase then use it to last hit minions. and regain health. Note that at low levels it has a significantly longer cooldown and you should expect to take harassment after you use it so move back in the lane.

Sanguine Pool(W)
When you pool one of the great effects is that any spell or attack that is "in the air" towards you will not hit you. So use this to avoid spells from , , , , , , , , , are you noticing how its pretty much everyone? This is why pool is a great spell IF you pay a lot of attention. Imagine having jump at you with his shield, you pool before he hits you and his HSS combo does nothing as you sit below him draining his health. Heck you can even go on the offensive from this point knowing that 2/3rds of his skills are cooling down, effectively pushing him from the lane or killing him INSTEAD of getting pushed or killed yourself. AWESOME!

IMPORTANT - One big thing about this spell is that everyone knows you have it. If you use it foolishly you will be punished! As of writing this guide I literally just played a game where we scored an ace(killed all 5 enemies) but my team was too hurt for a push so I went to do the ghost camp. I E'd, Q'd the big ghost and then FOOLISHLY Pooled'd to take them all down. As soon as I came out of the pool Twitch was on me! Thankfully Katarina repaid my death but I still died and lost stacks on my Soulstealer. So don't use the pool unless you need to use it for safety OR you are 100% positive that there are no enemies nearby because you can see them somewhere else.

The only way you're going to get good avoiding spells is to practice practice practice.

Also note that any Damage over Time (DOT) spells will continue to hurt you while you are in the pool. So that will keep burning and you can still die in the pool. Also if you use pool at 100% hp it will cost you more actual health than it would if you waited till you were at 50%. Also in lots of 1v1 and 1v2 situations you can do more damage and heal more if you hold your pool longer. Do not just pool because you have all your other spells cooling down.

Also you will reset any tower aggro you have when you pool so if you're diving a tower this is a great way to take some of the heat off you.

Tides of Blood(E)
This spell is rather cool because I feel it is quite unique to the game. It costs more health the more you use it but helps you heal more. I use this spell in combination with to really push lanes fast. Also this spell does affect so remember to pop this when you have stacks up so that you can get an extra boost to your pot.

Do not underestimate how much damage this ability can do to your enemy and yourself and with the spell vamp that we are building it helps temper the cost. We level it last though because a lot of the damage will come in from AP and we want to have a shorter CD on pool anyways.

Your ult is great and should be cast on anyone you're trying to kill in the next few seconds. Note that if you use this too early you may only hit 1-2 ppl which is somewhat of a waste but if you wait too long the rest of your team will have most likely already blew all their spells and won't benefit from the extra damage. Bladasses always know about how much damage this spell will do so they can dive a tower or not.

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Core Build

Start with
x3 the health potions will help you sustain some early harassment so that your enemy is either forced to die, B or pop several potions to stay in lane
(if you force your enemy out of lane and have 1200g - 1300g you should B and buy a revolver and a +sight ward, if you have less then farm harder
sight ward (your harass should start to be very strong by the point, don't be surprised if the other team attempts a gank hence the wards, also boots of swiftness are key because you want to be hit and running with your Q, you rarely want to be in the thick of things and if you are you're going to be in a pool moving through the fight to a better position)
(obviously don't build this if you are doing poorly, but if you've scored a kill or two and your teammates haven't been feeding then start taking Mejai's donations =D)

Typically I next build
(This should help bigtime by slowing people with your Q so that you can hit them with E)

Now one of the BEST things about Vladimir is that every time you build an AP item you are also building an HP item. This allows you to stack your AP to the sky if the game is going ok. If you're really winning typically after you build;

That's the best case scenario. As we all know it is very easy to build almost any champion when your team has already destroyed the opposing team, what's difficult is when you're not winning or are behind. SO let's talk about item builds for games that are not looking awesome.

Defensive Items
and pretty much anything that has HP and armor/magic resistance on it too. When you're getting focused a lot or are not snowballing over the other team too well then you should build some defensive items. Rushing after can really help you to have some more HP while the slow can allow you to nab some more kills.

is an awesome item! IF you can play smart and not die a whole ton and you can net lots of kills or assists. If you're failing with it consistently then don't buy one. Try a lichbane on for size, it can be lots of fun too.

vs vs
I personally go with over all the other boots because the nature of Vlad's damage. You want to be running in and out of fights, hitting people with your spells then leaving while they are cooling (instead of ing) then coming back in. If you're faster than almost everyone else on the field then it's easier to do this.

- Good too because of the increased damage from magic pene

- Good too for the reduced cooldown -> more damage, I'd rather take this over

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Footnote - Run speed

Footnote - Run speed is probably one of the most important things in this game, and its rarely ever talked about. What run speed does is help you makeup for poor positioning. Why do you think the first or second item EVERY guide recommends is movement speed related? Also lots of the scary people in teamfights will be buying additional run speed items like so that guys like can get up in your face and do lots of damage, stun and kill you. Also run speed allows you to get to team fights faster, and if you catch anyone in the woods 1v1 they have to blow to escape you or be punished massively. If you don't think run speed is important then play a game without boots, then play a game at 417 movespeed.

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Ganking a lane
So you're about to gank some enemy champions in lane, the first thing you should do is get a couple stacks of up on the way to the lane. Next + (hit both if you can) + ++
now typically by this point the enemy will be running scared. Do NOT them unless you know for sure that they don't have a teammates coming to turn the fight around. Remember that etc. all exist. Also if you don't have pool available you are vulnerable to global ults like that you could overwise avoid with pool.

Team Fights
First off, you should NEVER EVER initiate a fight with or I will personally disown you. If you can snipe at people with then do it but avoid initiating or being initiated upon. Now if you get Sion or Taric's stun thrown at you then please before it hits you and BACK AWAY from the other team. You want to wait for someone else to start the fight so that you don't get focused early and die, also you want to be able to hit lots of people with your which will be easy once a fight has broken out.

Follow the (hit as many as you can)+ ++ combo but try to stay outside the main action. If you sense that you are dominating the enemy then help finish them off with ++ by the time you get out of the pool + anyone still standing.

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Controlling where the minions are in your lane
Last Hitting - this is something that is very prevalent in games like HoN but is rarely talked about in LoL. Last hitting is when the only attack on minions you make are ones where you get the killing blow. This pushes the lane as little as possible while still netting you gold. You want to do this when your enemy is doing little to no damage to your minions. The closer the minion fight is to your turret the better! This makes it hard to gank you and if you end up wanting to dive at your enemy in lane they are farther away from their tower and safety. Typically you do not want your tower to be hitting any minions because this will push the lane very hard. The perfect spot would be very close to just outside turret range.

To put it simply - Only hurt minions that are about to die from other minions.

Whether side or mid you're going to want to harass as much as possible without pushing your lane too hard. Your goal should be to get as many minion kills as possible while punishing your opponent every time they show their face within range of your Q. Keep the minions somewhere between the middle of the lane and just outside your turrets range.

Controlling where the minion fight is even more important in this setup. Depending on who you're laning against you can have a very easy time or a very hard time.

The last time I was 1v2 it was against Akali and Tryndamere which would normally be a very hard lane but I controlled the minion fight so that it was just outside my turrets range for a long time. They both stayed in the bush nearby (to avoid my Q which I tried to punish them with anytime they came out to last hit) and I was able to free farm away with last hits. Eventually they tried to jump me and Tryndamere died to E,Q,Ignite,E,turret hit,W and then I chased Akali down with Ghost for a double kill. I then proceeded to gank mid and I was so fat that the game snowballed into a surrender. None of this would have happened had I not controlled the minions in my lane. Had Tryndamere and Akali only last hit and kept me away from being able to gain xp and gold from the lane I would have been sorely underleveled and we may have lost.

Typically I try to avoid the 2v2 simply because I always want to try and snowball over the other team ASAP but if you're not comfortable with that yet then try 2v2. One of the worst things about 2v2 is your lane mate. You can't really control when they are going to try and go for a kill so often they will jump in after you harass thinking that you're going for a kill. Explain to them beforehand that you're going to harass a lot and not to rambo in unless you or they ping. This will prevent a lot of disasters. If you and your teammate work well together you could possibly keep both of them away from the xp and gold from the minions.

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1v1 Matchups

1v1 Matchups - Note this section is HUGE but I will attempt to go through all the possible matchups you can see in a 1v1 lane but obviously I won't be able to cover everything. If there is a champion that you have extreme difficulty against please comment on the guide and I will attempt to help, although reading a guide about that particular champion is always a good place to start.

I'd also like to mention that lots of champions run on mana and as such will run out of steam before you will. So if you're being outlaned by someone try to keep them spending mana as much as possible while staying alive because eventually they'll run dry and you will have the upper hand.
Akali - Honestly this is not that hard of a matchup if you wait a bit to start trying to toe to toe her. When she uses to escape feel free to it then and then (assuming you know where all the enemies are). If she was low when she went into the shroud she'll probably be coming out as a corpse. Also your will fly towards her even if she is stealthed so you can still pump damage out at her.
Anivia - This matchup will really show how good you are with your because it can help you avoid both and although you should be able to manually dodge . Anytime your is on cooldown you need to be extra careful not to be in range or in flash range of Anivia (if they have flash) because this icebird can hurt you a lot if they get their combo off.

When you do get them to be careful when they comes out of the egg. Typically they will try to you and run away so be prepared to or dodge.
Annie - Is scary when she has her full combo ready. Whenever she has her stun (swirly white thing around her waist indicates that it's ready) or is 1 spell away from her stun you should play more defensively. She will either cast it at a minion or will attempt to dive at you. If she dives at you it is possible to dodge the stun by ing a or if she at you then you should because is coming! Then just run away a little bit so that you can get your pool off CD, or you can punish her with more harassment as the situation warrants.
Ashe - Fairly easy champion, just avoid her when she hasn't attacked any minions for awhile to force her to crit a minion and always keep your minions between you and her to absorb her . Once she hits level 6 you should be watching out for her and you can even bait her into using it by being slightly more out of position than usual. Of course always let your team know when she hits 6 and ping any lane that she fires her arrow towards.
Caitlyn - Has a lot of ways to harass but has to push the lane to hit you if you're playing it right. Every 7 shots her hands will glow and she will do extra damage on her next attack, this is when you should play very far back so she is forced to use it on minions. Also her is very easy to dodge since it has a cast animation to it, just keep moving and stay behind your minions. If she casts it you should be able to get out of the way and now she just helped to move the minion fight closer to your tower, yay! Her are kind of annoying just keep an eye on them. If she drops one in the bushes let your jungler know so that he doesn't step on it when coming to gank. Also her can be dodged with .
Cassiopeia - honestly haven't faced enough Cassiopeias worth a damn to write a section on her. Just keep moving to avoid her poisons, especially when moving in to harass as its very easy to + you.
Corki -
Dr. Mundo - Dr.Mundo is one of my favorite heroes for 3v3 and I will probably write a guide for him eventually but you should rarely see him in a 1v1 lane. You should keep the harassment up heavy for him and always keep a minion between you and him to eat a and if you keep it up you should be able to kill/force him from lane before he hits level 6. Now when he does hit level 6 he will probably pop his ult as soon as he levels. Throwing on him at this time is not a bad idea. He'll either be forced to B or you will kill him if you keep harassing him.
Ezreal - Another skillshot champion, keep a minion between you for and eventually you should force him from lane. Watch out for his because it will go through the minion wave but if you keep trading him hit for hit you should eventually win out. Watchout for his built in flash with but if you're hugging minions it should go to one of them first anyways.
Fiddlesticks -
Gangplank - Holy moly this guy can hurt pretty badly hurts pretty bad now but you should be able to (icon=transfusion) him every time he hits you with it. Granted at endgame his (icon=parrrley) will hit much harder. He will be fast from his but you should be able to keep up with boots, runes and mastery.
Heimerdinger -
Jarvan IV - is a really strong hero that most people fail at currently. He can drop a behind you and then for a considerable amount of damage. If you see that flag come down definitely try to get out of the way asap and if he's already zooming your way from then you should and then once you get out of melee range.
Jax - This guy loves to then which causes at least 90 damage. So when you see/hear Jax activate start to run away (this is a moment when you'll really notice the Movement Speed Quints) and he'll be forced to use it on a minion. Jax's has a visual and audible component to it so be very careful, because you do not want to be jumped on and stunned. Lots of the time he'll have lifesteal so throw on him to slow his life gain. Note that the active part of will help him take significantly less damage from you. Jax can be very scary when fed so keep him from farming, also he can easily jungle so don't be caught off guard by him.
Karthus -
Kassadin -
Katarina - A good Kat is going to be a problem, she is also a manaless champion and her can hurt your lifestealing if you can't avoid it. Try to avoid getting lower than 50% hp versus Kat before level 6 and after level 6 definitely stay within tower range. She will try to combo you with ++++ which will do an TON of damage so definitely as soon as you see +
Kennen -
Kog'Maw -
LeBlanc -
Lux -
Malphite -
Malzahar - This guy has lots of spells to cast and thankfully he loves to push the lane with them. is a wall like spell that will cause damage and silence you if it hits you. If he is casting it at you head on then it will be easy to dodge by simply stepping backwards or forwards. creates a circle of pain that you can easily avoid but can be deadly with his full combo. - this damage of time spell can hop from minion to minion and to you if you're standing too close to a minion who dies with it.

Watch out for his full combo of ++++ = OUCH! This combo is especially dangerous because he can cast and it will instantly suppress you. Malzahar is one of the few heroes that I never really dive too much because this combo is so dangerous. Get some help if you want to kill him or wait till he is too low on mana to combo you.

If you have a lot of trouble with him building a can remove his , and ! Also if you do survive his combo you should then either run away or push the attack. DO NOT because you're just spending health you don't need to and he'll probably have two DOTs on you already.
Miss Fortune - Can be reasonably difficult to lane against. gives her a movement speed edge over you and her can hit rather hard. Stand off to the side so that you can't take increased damage from also her can hurt your lifesteal. Always save your for otherwise you're in for a world of hurt. If you catch her in a bad spot she may try to to push you back so behind her and kill!
Mordekaiser - This guy is kinda a bad joke, he has to push the lane or get in range of your in order to charge his shield. hits in a cone shape emanating from Mordekaiser so if you stand to the side of the minion wave he will only be able to hit you or hit the wave, either one is ok because both work towards your favor. Make sure to bash him with before he gets his shield up and eventually he'll be underfarmed and ready to donate a kill to you. Note that at level 6 he will get his ult and will probably try to kill you asap. This ult continues to do damage during and will most likely be accompanied with an so you may not want to at all in order to not lose the hp you would spend casting , just spam and away.
Morgana - Yay another champion that loves to push the lane! Her can be blocked by minions or dodged so keep on your toes. should help you keep the minion wave close to your tower. will block some of your damage so be careful when diving her.
Nidalee - can hit A LOT harder than your if its able to hit you from long range. The base damage for a normal is just barely below your but if hit from max range it will hit 230% harder than yours! So long story short, always keep a minion between you and Nidalee. She can heal with so your harassment will be less effective, especially because you're always going to want to be in a good spot to avoid her skill shot. Also anytime she leaves the you need to call let your team know that she is MIA because she is very fast!

A good way to kill her is harass with Q, then run away without letting her hit any of her tiger moves on you. When/If she tries to pounce at you again turn around and blow your load in her face. Since she just pounced she wont be able to escape at least another Q+E if you ghost after her.
Pantheon - His ++ combo can be devastating so what you want to do is as he is in the air with so that you will not be stunned. Also if you're lucky he will still use and you can drift behind him and begin a heavy harass as punishment =D

Just like Twisted Fate, Pantheon can surprise you with his ult so if you suddenly see a Large Red Ring appear around/near you that Pantheon is on his way! If you're directly in the middle you will probably not be able to get away without being slowed. Now if you right before he lands you will not be slowed and you can escape! Now you could also get as far towards 'safety' as you can and then you can be sure that Pantheon will almost immediately so you can follow the above anti-combo.
Rammus - Yea yea I know you'll never see Rammus in a 1v1 lane but he can be one of the most deadly junglers because of his + combo, so counter this by not pushing your lane too hard and if he comes at you with use BEFORE he hits you and then run away through minions so that he can't chase you.
Renekton - This crocodile is rather angry and will be angrier still after laning against you. Now every Renekton will want to their way to you and then + and then to score a kill on you. Now if you position yourself in such a way that he can't reach you with a single and there are no friendly minions between you and him (or even somewhat nearby) then you should be safe to harass. If he does get too close feel free to away.
Ryze - now that he's been redone Ryze is a very interesting champion. He can spam his as fast as you can so be careful when trading blows with him. Thankfully yours heals you and his doesn't without his ult active. Just wear him down and eventually he'll either B or try to bomb you with his ult active during which time you should and laugh as he burns from + you should be able to handle him in a fair fight.
Shaco - I think Shaco is exceptionally weak against Vlad, he really doesn't have the ability to farm minions at all against your but if he stacks in a bush you could possibly get rocked if you get baited into following him. When he uses use to tell which one is the real Shaco (he'll be the one that takes less damage) and then NUKE HIM! Also if Shaco has any jungle buffs they will circle him not his clone.
Sion - There are two types of Sion, AP burst Sion and AD/AS melee Sion and how you lane against him varies slightly depending on how he is building.

Melee AD/AS - You'll know he's going AD/AS a couple ways, 1) He'll probably get at level 2 2) He'll probably build a melee oriented item first
I honestly am not as scared of this build because it is very easy to kite. He has to typically you from its max range or pop out of a bush in order to close the gap to hit you. All you have to do is keep a healthy distance, harass and anytime he casts his stun at you before it hits you. His is nothing to be feared and a single should rip right through it.

AP - This guy is slightly more scary because he will also use the Hit and Run tactics that we use. His goal is to and then pop his all over your face. So it is even more important to pay attention to his stun and when he has his shield up in the middle of the minions you might not want to try and pop it. Sometimes it may take a + and you have to get too close for comfort for that.

All and all if you can dodge a wrench you should be able to dodge his stun and win the lane.
Sivir - I've never personally had problems with Sivir but there are some things you can easily do to make her life a lot harder. First off dodge !!! this is very important, do not get double tapped by this puppy. Also watchout when she is using because she can pump out a lot of damage to you without drawing any minion aggro. One great way to really hurt Sivir's farm and harassment is to force her to use by harassing her a ton with once you hit level 3. Now eventually she will start to expect you to cast every time you get near so you can surprise her by ing a minion instead because you will not be healed when she blocks a spell. This will cost her mana and eventually you'll win the war of attrition. One of the best things about Sivir is that she loves to push the lane, infact thats her job, so it should be easier than normal to get the minion fight somewhere near your tower. If she's suddenly not pushing be wary of a gank.
Swain -
Teemo - Your > enough said. He'll try to harass you with and you'll trade that for a and eventually he'll leave you alone. Your will also show where his s are but it will not kill them.
Tristana - is rather weak early game so you should harass her a lot and not let her farm up too much. Once she gets strong she can hop on you and hurt a lot. Try to push her out of lane early so that you can get an edge on XP.
Tryndamere - He can be rather scary sometimes but you should be able to hurt him badly or kill him very quickly. Most Trynda will try to kill you at level 1-2 and you need to take advantage of that. It's very important that you read how works because it is the foundation of Tryndamere before level 6. He gets stacks for every crit and kill he scores and each stack is +dmg +crit dmg and can be burned for hp. If Trynda is allowed to farm up 4+ stacks he is going to be a menace in your face, if you're able to keep him harassed so that he barely has any stacks he is going to be as weak as a little puppy. Now most Trynda will go for this combo very early +/ and if executed with full health and several stacks of it should kill you. Your goal is to not let him get stacks so when he to you he has 0 or 2 stacks. Now you want this to happen when you have lots of minions nearby so don't be near him when there are only 2-3 minions per team left in the lane. This is because you want the help of the minions to kill him. As soon as he to you you should stand your ground and try to kill him with everything you got even , hold off on as long as possible and use it to chase him a bit BUT do not come out of the pool within melee range. As you come up a should finish him off and then you should dominate the lane till level 6.

Level 6 - the spell everyone cries about but we won't care too much. You can sometimes surprise him once by lining up the pop from and + but after that he'll be smart and ult early. Now his ult actually gives him less time to kill you then the 5 seconds it says. Lets say you for 2 seconds and he is going to spend 1 second moving to an escape location (somewhere he can over a wall) then he's really only going to hit you at 100% crit two or three times, which isn't bad especially if you can kite at all with . What most Trynda will do is then to heal once they are over the wall, this is why you should start to follow them when you can tell they are running and cast + just as they are ing away. He'll heal for half as much, take the hit from tides after he heals and then burn to death from ignite. Score!
Twisted Fate - Dodge his and when you see a big yellow card over his head that means he has a stun ready for you so back off so that he's forced to use it on a minion, then punish him with harassment. is another decent source of damage that is a lot harder to avoid but if you're trading hits for you will eventually win out. Watchout for icon=Destiny] as he can join any 1v1 fight or can suddenly be ontop of you with a yellowcard.
Urgot- this guy can hurt like hell! he really wants to hit you with so he can freely you 2-4 times. Imagine if you could spam on somebody at level 2 every 2 seconds.... that's what going to happen if you get hit by so you want to stay moving, don't let him hit you and if he does and run away, the 20% you pay will be well worth it.

His ult can be super dangerous when combined with a tower or a jungler, don't be stupid and aggro a tower when he's nearby because you'll probably tank a few hits, be slowed afterwards and generally get really messed up. Also his ult is probably one of the best single spells for setting you up for a jungle gank as it holds you still, moves you and then slows you. Add in a for a bad time.
Vayne - her can hurt rather badly especially at lower levels when your is on a much longer CD and won't heal you up as much. I recommend hanging back in the lane far enough that she can't instantly roll and hit you because once she has she can do a ton of damage with a +auto attack+ and you will not be able to respond because you will be out of range. Also don't stand near walls/towers in such a way that she can stun you with you into it.
Veigar - this little midget can be a major pain with his ++ combo of death. If he's good you'll be instantly stunned and bombed but if he misses his stun and you endup in the middle of the ring do NOT try to run through the ring, this will result in you being bombed. The more you stay moving the more likely it will be that he will miss his stun. If he casts his into the middle of the ring you can to avoid the damage. Also his ult deals more damage the more AP you have so try to keep this guy as harassed and farmed down as you can possibly can, also make sure the minion fight is closer to your tower so that you can put Veigar in a good position to be ganked.
Vladimir - This guy's a joke.... but for real you should try and out Vlad him as much as possible. One thing you'll have going for you after this guide is that you'll wait to pool longer than him, hopefully giving you a slight hp edge. If he jumps you with dont be afraid to just pool and run away with since once it goes away you should have a significant upper hand in any fight you have in the next minute or so. Lots of Vlads will go crazy after casting and may dive deep into your turret range which will be their downfall when you turn and them with a turret beating on them =)
Xin Zhao - Can hurt a lot, his typical combo is ++ which will do an amazing amount of damage while disabling you. So be very careful with your positioning because you do not want him to hit level 2 and charge you while you are still level 1 and do not have . It's rather easy to dodge his combo with your but his spells will have a shorter cooldown due to 's active effect so be very careful around this guy. Note that it is far better to pay the max cost of than to give him the opportunity to knock you into the air, have a jungler hop out of the bush, exhaust and kill you.
Zilean - His is a ***** and you should hang back at lower levels till after he casts it to harass. Note he can 'double bomb' by casting ++ which will cause the first bomb to instantly explode and if cast on a low hp minion near you it will instantly hit you for 2 s worth of damage which is quite a bit. If you before the bomb goes off you will not be hurt by it. If he casts on himself I'll typically burn through it. Note that at low levels it will only heal for around 500-600 but at in the late game it can heal for over 3000 if he has a lot of AP. He'll die really fast though to a ++ combo at levels 6-10.