Vladimir Build Guide by MrKnesh
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Not Updated For Current Season
I am using this space as a sketchpad for build ideas, strategies, and techniques in regards to play style with Vladimir. If you have any suggestions to changes or ideas as to how to do things differently/better, send me a message or leave a comment on this build.
Vladimir was for a while considered one of the most OP champs in the game. I had maintained a position that Vlad was easily countered, and not OP because of the few nerfs he had received in the patches of early 2011. He is now an extremely squishy character, with very little, short range, harass and almost no lane survivability until level 9. This has forced me to build Vlad in a much more hybrid manner. Opting for items that give both AP and armor/mag resist, or resists and health, along with the usual AP mage items.
Here is a break down of how play was changed after the nerfs:
Sanguine pool no longer grants additional movement speed. I don't remember how much move speed it granted before but it was enough to make turret diving at low levels relatively easy. What is extraordinarily frustrating about this nerf is that before Vlad comes out of the sanguine pool he slows down to almost stopping and then pops out of the blood pool, before continuing on in whatever direction he had been heading prior. This slow-down to a stop was almost imperceptible with the speed increase while in the blood pool, but is now an outright disadvantage when you are attempting to escape a gank, or move yourself out of other forms of danger. You must be conscious of this fact because you are also unable to target enemy champions during the sanguine pool exiting animation, but you are targetable yourself. If you wish to use sanguine pool to escape you have less than a second of usable slows with sanguine pool before you must use the remainder of your time to escape.
Crimson Pact is Vlad's passive and now grants one AP for every 40 bonus health, where before it would grant one AP for every 25 bonus health. This is health given by items and not his total health. This means that it is not as profitable to use heatlh stacking items on Vlad. This nerf isn't as horrendous to my build as the sanguine pool changes, but it does limit the tank build that a lot of summoners use with Vlad.
The skill sequence that you use for early laning is usually Q,E and then run back.
If you get ganked, Q,E,W, and pool your way towards your turret. It helps to travel through minions while in the pool, as this helps you dodge any skill shots that may be coming your way, and impedes the movement of your enemy.
Team fights are where Vlad takes a little patience and timing. If the other team has gathered all in one spot, say in a bush that you can see into. Then start off with your R, then lead in to the Q,E then blood pool the carry, or whomever has the most movement or CC on the enemy team. Quickly followed by Q and E again.
The one-two punch of the Q>E combo is very powerful late game, you will be dealing around 400-600 damage with Tranfusion and around 250-350 damage with Tides of Blood. Your goal in a team fight is to slow down the enemy carry, deal a ton of damage and eat the squishies.
The items that I have listed are the items I would purchase in a mostly ideal 5v5 round.
To start the game off I get the amplifying tomefor the initial AP boost and a health potto keep myself in lane for a little while longer.
Your first port back.
Your first port should come when you have around 1200-2000 gold. Purchase the Ionian Boots of Lucidityand another two amplifying tomes.The idea is that your first main item will be the Hextech Revolverand eventually build it into the Will of the Ancients.
With the end of the laning phase, Vlad needs to have the Rabadons Deathcap. There are two items that you need to decide which of the two you build first. The first being Zhonya's Hourglass to counter any AD carries that may be giving you trouble, or the Abyssal Scepter,if it is the AP champs that are your teams biggest worry. Your goal is to develop some survivability to go along with the health Vlad receives from his passive.
The last item is purely situational. If your team is having trouble pushing towers pick up the Lich Bane,if your team is lacking CC and having trouble securing kills grab the Rylai's Crystal ScepterIf you are having trouble with and AD carry grab the Sunfire Capeor Thornmail.If it's an AP that is carrying the team consider picking up a Force of Natureor if your team is having a hard time winning team fights and the other team seems to always come out just a little bit ahead grab the Gaurdian Angel
With this build you are both very tanky and have a ton of damage output, making you one of the biggest problems for the other team. At the end of this build you should have somewhere around 3k health and 600-700 AP along with around 170 armor and magic resist.