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.
Basically I am going to just tell you why I choose the these masteries, runes, items and this particular skilling order. I will also briefly describe how to play Vladimir and how to use each of his skills.
Ok so I will start with masteries, basically I went with a 9/0/21 as you can see. The reason I didn't go full offense is that I don't really feel that casters truly benefit from deep offensive. Most of the lower tier masteries are designed for melee champions specifically auto attackers like Leathality, Brute Force, Sunder and so on. So I only went deep enough to obtain the 3% reduced cooldown and the 15% Magic Resist penetration, after that I spent the remaining 21 points into utility aimming to avoid mana based masteries. Quiet self explanitory more cooldown reduction, increased move speed, more experience all beneficial to you. Now I have used a 9/21/0 build before I find it greatly increases your survivability early game but during the late game you lose the little things like the cooldown reduction and other benefits from utility.
Once again quit obvious choices, more magic resist penetration is awsome as all of your skills benefit form it. I took hp per level as I don't really like dodge on champions which dont plan on stacking it. The hp quintessences are there because 97.2 hp is great for early game, it has made the difference between life and death when soloing mid against some of the more annoying champions like twitch. Cooldown reduction for glpyhs is awsome your main ability Transfusion which we max early game has a cooldown or 3 seconds with masteries, runes and the spirit viasgae we can get it down close to 2 seconds which makes a huge difference when it is your main single target damage skill and it gives you a nice little heal.
I am just going to go over each item in the order of which I bought it explaining why and if it is a recipe which parts to buy first.
Amplifying Tome: Pretty simply extra ability power is good it means more damage from Transfusion and more life steal from it as well. Iv tried starting with a regrowth pendant, it is good if you will be up against a champion that can hastle well because it means you don't need to spam Q to heal up you can just sit behind your minnions while you regenerate. But in this build it is preferable to take the Amplifying Tome as you should be the one doing the hastling also the tome can be used later on to build Mejais where as the pendant will just be sold.
Boots of Speed: Obviously to move faster, you can turn these into Sorcerer's Shoes before Spirit Visage if you want it is entirely up to you.
Spirit Visage: The cooldown reduction is main reason we get this the Magic Resist is a little advantage as is the increased health regeneration and 20hp5.
Sorcerer's Shoes: Magic resist penetration greatly increased you damage output as all four of our abilities deal magic damage two of which are close to spammable (Transufusion and Tides of Blood).
Mejai's Soulstealer: Now this is one part of the build which you must make a decision on based on how your team is doing. If you think you can keep atleast six or so stacks of Mejai's up then this item is well worth it, if not just go straight to your Rylai's. This item is completely worthless if you are getting owned it is only cost efficient if you can keep the stacks up.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: One word describes this item.... Epic, to Vladimir this item is a gift from God. Health, Ability Power and a slow when you deal spell damage, with a 2.2 second cooldown on Transfusion you can keep the slow from Rylai's up 100% of the time. This is a must have for Vladimir, end of story.
Zhonya's Ring: Pretty simply if you have been doing good when you get this item your ability power will go up by almost 200. Great item 120 ability power + 25% of your current ability power. Every caster should have this item no excuses. Also the 2 second invulnerability is great, if you are doing your job you will be targeted so in team fights when the enemy team either rushes you or whatever pop Zhonya's and hopefully your team will come and save your ***.
Abyssal Scepter: I usually take this however if the enemy team begins stacking magic resist take a Void Staff instead it will help you alot more then this. If they are not then this item is far better as it can reduce their magic resist below 0 increasing your damage instead of reducing it. Usually the game is over before I can get this item.
Well that is the end of the items list onto skills
Crimson Pact: I don't know if I would call this the best passive in the game however it is what makes Vladimir so good with this you will be looking at around 3.8k hp at lvl 18 with the full build (That includes 20 stacks of Mejai's although that never happens). The health to ability power ratio high enough to make building a tank Vladimir to great especially since he **** damage mitigation compared to other tanks and no disable like Amumu's ultimate.
Transfusion: This in combination with Tides of Blood is your bread and butter. Basically all you do is spam this in rotation with a Tides of Blood to deal high single target damage. Always keep transfusion on cooldown in fights and use it to push lanes and farm minnions, pretty simple to use doesn't require me to go into much more detail.
Sanguine Pool: Possibly one of the best escape mechanics in the game try to use ghost before you activate this as you cannot use it once activated. Unless chasing, tower diving or running do not use this spell you should never ever use this to initiate as you have no other means of escaping if need be. You can use this spell to dodge projectiles that have been thrown at you although you won't take damage if for example Sion used his stun and you used sanguine pool you will still be stunned. Late game you can use this in combination with tides of blood to decimate waves of creeps in a few seconds. Don't forget this spell costs 20% of your CURRENT hp this is why we avoid using to initiate, loss of hp loss of escape mechanic.
Tides of Blood: Great AoE spell not much else to say the more you cast it the more it costs early game this can be a problem late game not so much as casting this then Transfusion will compensate for the loss of hp. If you ever suspect a person to be in a bush walk close enough that it is covered in this spells range and cast it, if there is some one in there they will be hit and you will see the projectile fly towards them.
Hemoplague: In team fights this makes a huge difference it increases all of your allys damage against infected targets by 18% and then once it ends deals 400 + 75% of your ability power as damage. In the few other guides I have read they all say to save this for multiple targets, in my oppinion if it gets you a kill use it. Its cooldown is only about 90 seconds after reduction so it should be back up for when you need it in team fights. If you know a team fight is coming try and save it.
Ignite: Good for your first kill in combination with hemoplague once you reach level six to let deceive your opponent into thinking they can escape when really they will more then likely die. Also a good skill if you come up against any heals like Soraka or Nidalee.
Ghost: Just another escape mechanic great synchronization with Sanguine Pool to escape quickly, do I really need to say any more?
Fun champion to play, always call solo or mid lane don't initiate with this build. There are heaps of other things I could tell you but right now I cbf and you'll learn as you play Vladimir. Ill try and update this guide as much as possible when items change or his skills are altered but apart from that have fun and good luck.
All feed back is welcome and if you have any questions you can add me in game my name is quwackers, this is my first guide so just point out anything I have missed and I will be happy to fix it. At a later date or if I could ever I will add a Tips and Tricks section.