Vladimir Build Guide by nadapadawan1
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Welcome to my Vladimir guide. This Vlad guide is centered around a top lane version of Vlad, however, most techniques expressed in this guide can apply for mid Vlad as well. I have been playing Vlad for quite some time, and with recent development of Vlad players across the League, I decided to write up a guide for Vlad. I am glad you are taking the time to read the guide, and I wish you luck on the battlefield.
I generally run Magic Penetration Marks, Flat Armor Seals, Flat AP Glyphs, and Flat AP Quintessences. The marks are aimed towards being able to penetrate early on MR and late game MR. This will give you maximum effectiveness as Vlad. The flat armor seals are meant to give Vlad decent durability in the current AD top meta game. The flat AP glyphs are meant to give Vlad great early game with the ability to farm minions with abilities and regain more health with Transfusion. The AP quints are geared toward the same focus as the flat AP glyphs.
I take 21/9/0 masteries on Vlad, taking general AP masteries in Offense and Armor and magic resist and health. These masteries are meant to give Vlad more durability for early game, with decently better durability late game. The extra health will give a bit of extra AP thanks to Vlad's passive.
The items I generally take are specially designed for top lane and great late game. To start I generally get Boots of Speed and 3 health pots, but from time to time I may trade 2 Health Pots for a sight ward, for annoying junglers like Nunu, Lee Sin, and Volibear, to keep myself from getting ganked early game. On my first back I generally like to get Hextech Revolver, 2 wards, and a couple Health Pots. The key to Vlad is to farm well. This can get annoying as Vlad's base attack damage at level 1 is around 50. By the time I take the turret in top, I plan to, at least, get a giant's belt, however, if the lane drags out, by the time I start roaming, I plan to have Rylais before I leave. Generally I get Rylai's around 20:00. Continue with the build and you will do fine. The build is centered towards a great nuke that gives you health with your Q, a great AOE damage output with your W, and another great AOE with your E.
Some beginning players to Vlad take Flash Ghost for the extra maneuverability, as Vlad's health can be deceptive, as he essentially melts in the enemies hands. Personally, I suggest Ghost Ignite, as ignite will increase the amount of spots where you can ult and kill the enemy bu taking them with your ult, transfusing, and then igniting. The ghost will really help you get out of jams and it will help you catch up to running enemies. Ghost combined with Sanguine Pool make Vlad extremely hard to catch.
Pros / Cons
Great AOE and ability in Team Fights
Great Damage early and late game
Easy to escape ganks if a bit of map awareness is used
Can die quite easy in lane
Requires poking abilities to stay in lane
If the enemy champ is aggressive and won't farm, you will most likely lose the lane
A simple successful gank can change your entire lane, even cause you to lose tower.
Farming with Vlad can be annoying, as his attack animation is quite slow and hard to last hit with, and you have extremely low attack damage, making it even harder to last hit. The best way to farm as Vlad would be to use Tides of Blood a lot to get CS, and any that you can't get with Tides of Blood, use transfusion to pick up the minion kill.
Laning can be difficult as it is kind of hard to last hit without your abilities, and you are very susceptible to level 2 ganks. With Champs such as Lee Sin on their Team, you can die easily to a Lee Sin gank at level 2. You have to use your Q to harass enemy champions, keeping them from farming, and keeping them from pushing. You have to be very careful though, if they get aggressive, run before they do too much damage.
When you go into a team fight, the best way to do maximum damage as Vlad is to ult at the beginning of the fight, Q their AD or AP carry, use Tides of Blood, and Sanguine Pool and wait for your cool-downs to reset, then use the combo again, and kill their AP and AD carries as soon as possible, as Vlad can nuke many AP and AD carries, as long as they are squishy.
Vlad is a decently strong early game champion and an amazing late game champion, and can scale harder than most tops. Vlad can turn the "Tide" (get it? Tides of Blood?) of battle and win fights for his team. He also fills an AP role, keeping from a triple AD team, which is great, especially for ranked. Thank you for reading this guide, and I wish you luck on the Fields of Justice.