Build Guide by speedolphins
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Welcome to my Vladimir guide! Hopefully, you will become a better Vlad after reading this.
I think Vlad is a great champion. One highlight is that you don't need to worry about mana or hp, since Transfusion is free and awesome.
As for his skills, his Transfusion and Tides of Blood are amazing, with decent damage and very low cooldowns. He is also a great escapist with his Sanguine Pool, and really boosts teamfights with his Hemoplague. Finally, his Crimson Pact is what makes me really like him. AP for more health and health for more AP? Yes, please.
After trying out my build, please feel free to rate and comment fairly.
With summoner spells...
Gets you some early game kills. This with your Hemoplague is devastating. Also reduces the healing of people by 50%, so it is worth it late game too. Swain is really annoying.
Great for chasing, running, positioning, everything. An overall great spell, even after the nerf.
I've seen some very good Clairvoyance users. If you are one of them, go ahead.
If you need to defend a tower or backdoor quickly, by all means do so.
If you absolutely need to make an epic escape through the wall.
Not really the best skill on Vlad, since they should be slowed enough by your Sanguine Pool.
Get some Transfusions in there. Also, after using Heal, you only receive 50% healing for a really long time. This might even be bad for you.
Sanguine Pool should get you out of sticky situations. If this doesn't save you, then you probably would have died with Cleanse anyway.
Long cooldown, short duration, not the best skill for use on a mage carry.
You're not a physical champion. You shouldn't need this.
Jungle Vlad isn't the best Vlad at all.
Vlad doesn't use mana. He's hardcore.
With masteries, I go 9/0/21, taking Archaic Knowledge in the offensive masteries and taking as little mana/mana regeneration in the utility masteries, grabbing Improved Ghost. Some people like going 9/21/0, which you can take if you would like to, but I don't believe it's necessary. The cooldown reduction, improved EXP gain, and a better Ghost in the Utility tree, among others, are better than the reduced damage, health, and dodge in the Defense tree. However, this is my opinion and if you prefer going 9/21/0, by all means, go ahead.
As for runes...
I go with 9 Greater Marks of Insight because they are better than AP Marks. Plus, Vlad needs some mPen to get some more damage. And more damage is always nice.
Now, I focus on AP. More AP is better for your Crimson Pact and Rabadon's Deathcap. Also, I get AP per level instead of flat AP since Vlad is a very strong mid and should always go mid. Going mid means you'll level faster, and leveling faster makes your AP per level runes very happy.
Greater Seal of Vitality
Alright, I go with HP/level seals because you get 176.96 HP and 4.374 AP after Crimson Pact.
Alternatively, you can get Seal of Scaling Ability Power. That will get you 29.16 HP and 16.2 AP.
I really like the Force.
Bad pun aside, I'd like to compare this to flat HP quints. At level 18, 3 AP per level quints will give you 23 AP and 41 HP after calculating Crimson Pact. Also at level 18, 3 flat HP quints will give you 1.95 AP and 78 HP after calculating Crimson Pact.
I believe that the AP per level quints are better, but that's just my opinion. If you want to sacrifice almost all that AP for more survivability, that's fine. After all, you can't deal damage if you're dead. Unless you're Karthus.
-Speaking of Karthus, you can dodge his Requiem with Sanguine Pool, among other skills. This includes the explosion at the end of Vlad's, too.
-No need to worry about mana, and not too much worry about health.
-Looks pretty freaking sweet.
-Has some decent damage output, and is quite tanky.
-Costs 6300 IP, or 975 RP.
-Pretty slow champion.
-A little difficult to master.
Here are my thoughts on Vlad's skills:
Vlad sucks some blood and gains some HP.
Your main skill. It has absolutely no cost, and the cooldown is very low when it's level 5. Because of this, I max it out as quickly as possible. Use this to harass once you are at least level 5, or Transfusion is level 3. Otherwise, you can use it to grab some extra last hits. Your autoattack has a short delay after you right click on a minion, and the blood projectile moves a bit slowly. Transfusion is an instant hit, and does a bit more damage, too, making those last hits easier to land. Once Transfusion is maxed, spam it as much as possible.
Vlad turns into a pool of blood and can't be targeted.
This is both your killing tool and your escape mechanism. I prioritize this third, after your ultimate and Transfusion, because it lowers the cooldown, which is essential for a healthy and fed Vlad.
To kill, use your Transfusion and Tides of Blood. While they are on cooldown, Sanguine Pool under your target, and hopefully in the way of their escape route. They will be slowed and unable to fight back. When you come back out, your Transfusion and Tides of Blood should be ready to use again, and they should be dead. Before the fight, you can use your Hemoplague or Ignite if you think you'll need it.
I would also like to mention that Sanguine Pool gives you a slight movespeed bonus, even though it doesn't say it in the description. If you are chasing someone and they are just out of range of either Transfusion or Tides of Blood, use the pool to get a little closer and smack them with a Transfusion.
As an escape mechanism, you can just hit it to become untargetable and get that small speed bonus. Any slows and stuff that are currently on you have time to wear off while you're in the pool, too. Tip: If the situation is urgent, make sure you Ghost BEFORE you Sanguine Pool so that you can't get stunned or anything after you put up Ghost. You'll also be incredibly fast. On other characters, you could use Ghost and get stunned right away, wasting a summoner spell.
Be careful with this. It costs a very large 20% of your current HP, so if you use it at full health, it could hurt. This is better used for when you have low HP. Another note: don't use this recklessly. Many times I've had this skill save me with little HP to spare. So don't randomly farm minions with this, unless they are mobbing a turret.
Tides of Blood
Sends out tides of blood and hits enemies around you.
This is a great skill. Hits everything around you for a small HP cost, which is great for farming. Last hit with this, Transfusion, and your autoattack. I only put one point in this at level 4 because maxing out Sanguine Pool is much more important. I am not saying that this spell is useless! I max it near the end of the game because that's when teamfights will start coming up. Also, it shreds too much of your health early game.
I see many Vlads neglect the second part of the skill. Each time you use Tides of Blood, the next cast will cost more HP but will dish out more damage. Also gives you more healing. This is great.
Protip: Tides of Blood can be used even when enemies aren't around. So as you walk towards a teamfight, spam this so that once you get there, it will be much stronger. Make sure to Transfusion stuff so that you're not too low on health. Also, Tides of Blood will even hit invisible units, including wards. You can also scout out for mushrooms that the annoying Teemo you're laning against has been putting all over the place.
Puts a plague on an area of effect, making affected people take increased damage and some damage at the end of the 5 seconds.
Makes teamfights a lot easier. Make sure that your teammates know what your Hemoplague does, or you could lose a lot of them. What you should do is try to ult their whole team, Ignite the carry/healer and kill kill kill. Spam your Transfusion and Tides of Blood, using Sanguine Pool when getting focused or to escape.
I start out with an Amplifying Tome because the extra 20 AP will also give you a whopping 36 HP thanks to Crimson Pact. I also buy a Health Potion for a stronger laning phase, as you don't want to recall because you get harassed. Vlad generally dominates the laning phase since he has a form of getting back his HP. More info on laning will be explained later. The Amplifying Tome is an investment towards your Haunting Guise.
The mPen from this, your Haunting Guise, and Void Staff will pretty much obliterate their defenses against you. Tanks tend to build Armor/mPen slightly towards whatever the enemy carry is. Since Vlad is a great carry, they'll try to counter you, and you should counter their counter with some mPen.
You may replace these for some Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi if their team has a lot of magic damage/crowd control, or if they have a lot of DPS champions. One of the keys to winning is being able to adapt, so don't follow the core build EXACTLY. That's what core means; it's a general build, but change it up based on the circumstances.
I like this item because it gives both HP and AP, which synergizes well with Crimson Pact. You will get 245 health and 30 Ability Power instead of 200 and 25. It's pretty sweet, since it also gives you more mPen. Also, you've already bought the Amplifying Tome so this will be easy to get early on.
If you or your teammates are doing well, you can snowball with a Mejai's Soulstealer. Getting all 20 stacks on Vlad should be easy, since you'll be hard to kill because of Crimson Pact, Ghost, and Sanguine Pool. Alternatively, you can grab a Kage's Lucky Pick if you're falling behind in kills or last hits. All of these items build from an Amplifying Tome.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
This is when you'll be getting a lot of kills. You gain AP and HP, which is always a fun time for Vlad, and a slow for your skills. I think that this is a mandatory item, since it gives you 644 HP instead of 500 HP, 92.5 AP instead of 80 AP, and some nice CC. Vlad barely has any CC.
If you feel that you need some more survivability, get the Giant's Belt first. On the other hand, if you're destroying the other team, you can get the Blasting Wand and Amplifying Tome first, so you can destroy them even faster. After buying your Rylai's, killing champions will be a breeze. You'll add to this with a Rabadon's Deathcap.
However, if you are doing well early game and would like an early damage boost, you may switch around the times you purchase Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Rabadon's Deathcap. Just be warned that you may have a hard time killing people because they won't be slowed by your skills, other than Sanguine Pool. Then again, if you kill them so quickly they won't need to run. =P
Pure AP. It's really sweet. You'll feel a huge spike in damage once you get this bad boy. Also gives a healthy amount of HP. After you pick this item up, you should be unstoppable. While building this, try to get the Needlessly Large Rod first, of course. If you can't, though, buying the Blasting Wand is also fine, but not as great.
Right after your Rabadon's Deathcap, this will hurt the enemy team badly. Now, your autoattack will be like another skill, which is always great. Also, at this point in the game, you should start pushing. And what item would help you more than a marvelous Lich Bane? Plus, your hands will glow orange! How cool is that?
Other things that this item will give you is AP, Magic Resist, movespeed (YAY), and mana, but it's totally worth it.
When building this item, try to get the Blasting Wand first, Null-Magic Mantle second, and preferably the rest of the Lich Bane after. The Sheen isn't too valuable to you, because your attack damage is abysmal, while you don't really attack during teamfights anyways. The key with Lich Bane is farming (autoattack after using Transfusion and Tides of Blood) and pushing. At this point in the game, pushing is essential, which is why I get the Lich Bane.
Late game, either the enemy team is bulking up on Magic Resist or they're idiots. Hack their magic resist in half with a 40% mPen Void Staff combined with Archaic Knowledge.
Get the Blasting Wand first, build the rest of it after.
Since some tanks tend to build their defenses more against whoever goes mid or solo lane because they're the carry, the enemy tanks might build extra magic resistance just for you. Therefore, a percentage magic penetration would be a better choice. However, if the enemy tanks do not seem to be building a lot of magic resistance, you can build an Abyssal Scepter, which not only gives you a nice amount of magic resistance yourself, but also provides an aura magic penetration that will also help any other casters on your team. The Abyssal Scepter is superior when they have a low amount of magic resistance, say, around 50. Taking your Sorcerer's Shoes and Haunting Guise into account, this means that they will have 10 magic resistance against you, and 40% of 10 is only 4 reduced magic resistance. But if you have an Abyssal Scepter in this situation, they would have 50 - 20 - 20 - 20 = -10, rounding up to 0 because magic penetration cannot convey a negative magic resistance.
In conclusion, if they have over about 90 magic resistance, get a Void Staff. If they have less than 90 magic resistance, get an Abyssal Scepter.
You can get some defensive items if you feel that you're powerful enough and need to start bulking up.
Force of Nature
Good against a magic heavy team. Also, more movespeed to go with your Lich Bane.
Nice against a DPS heavy team. The active is also good for chasing/running.
A nice balance between armor and magic resistance. The passive is also good if you seem to be targeted a lot in teamfights.
Although it gives mana, it is a nice item to have because of the shield and overall magic resistance it gives you. You can pretty much take on anyone in a 1v1 or even a 1v3, except for nuke casters like Veigar, LeBlanc, or another Vladimir. They can just destroy all of your health without giving you time to Sanguine Pool away or Transfusion your health back up. This should block their first skill and provide enough magic resistance for you to fight back or get away.
Buying these are important after you have finished your build. They are indeed useful for keeping an edge on whoever finished their builds but are neglecting these elixirs. Keep in mind that even though your slots are filled, buying the elixir will instantly use it, in case you didn't know.
Elixir of Fortitude
Also boosts your AP and HP. The attack damage doesn't really help, but it's nice anyways. Get this after your Elixir of Brilliance because the AP and CDR is better than HP and attack damage.
Elixir of Brilliance
Prioritize this as the first elixir you should get. Boosts both your AP and HP, plus some cooldown reduction. A very nice item, especially because of the cooldown reduction. Faster Transfusions and Tides of Bloods going to your enemy after this.
Prioritize this depending on how many stealths there are on the enemy team, whether the stealth(s) are fed or not, or if the enemy seems to be putting wards all over the place. An overall good item, and is worth it since you won't be dying very much.
I don't really grab an Elixir of Agility because crit chance and attack speed don't affect Vladimir too much.
Here are some simple guidelines on how a Vladimir should play...
- Start off by buying your Amplifying Tome and a Health Potion.
- Head off to either mid or a side solo lane, if someone is jungling. As I said earlier, Vlad is an excellent solo laner. Rushing to level 9 is essential for maxing Transfusion, at which point even 3 people will have a hard time killing you (unless they have a lot of hard crowd control).
- Stand by the turret before minions spawn. Going out to see who you're laning against isn't the best idea because you could get ganked. Plus, you'll see them in about a minute anyways.
- While laning, try not to get harassed and last hit with either your autoattack or your Transfusion. Because it's free, use it whenever possible.
- Don't harass the enemy champion until level 5 or greater, because before that your Transfusion won't do enough damage. Also, they'll get cocky if they find that they have been at full health for a long time, perfect for you to kill them. Vladimir should be a very passive laner.
- You can use your Tides of Blood to farm minions, also. Watch your health, and don't go all the way into the middle of a minion wave just to hit them all, if you're not sure you're totally safe. Just go up a little bit, maybe hitting all three of the melee minions.
- Once you hit level 9, you can go in for the kill. Smack the enemy once or twice with Transfusion until he/she's around 2/3 health. Then, Ghost if you need to, Hemoplague them, Ignite, Transfusion and Tides of Blood, Sanguine Pool under them to slow and catch up if they run. Then Transfusion until they're dead, taking a turret hit if you need to.
- Recall if you want, and buy your boots and maybe a Ruby Crystal or the whole Haunting Guise, and either push or head off to gank.
- If you need to gank, ping or say it in chat so that your laning partners know what you're doing, even if it's obvious. Sometimes it's not obvious for them. With your boots, this should be easy. If you have your ult, try to get both of the enemies and hit the one with lower HP with Transfusion, Tides of Blood them both, and pool under whichever has lower HP and finish with a Transfusion. If you get lucky, you might be able to kill both of them.
- If they both already had low health, you can start by Transfusioning the one with higher HP so that they're both low, and you might get a double kill!
- Help push after this, because the object of the game is to destroy the turrets and eventually the nexus. Hopefully you will get to destroy the turret. Help the other lanes after this, and you'll start carrying your team to victory.
- You should have your Rabadon's Deathcap or at least be building part of it by late game, when teamfights start popping up.
- As Vlad, you are amazing in teamfights, with your Sanguine Pool, Tides of Blood, and especially Hemoplague. You should win every teamfight there is.
- Although you do have a lot of health, you shouldn't be initiating. You can be blown down pretty easily, as this build doesn't have a lot of Armor or Magic Resistance.
- Your job as an AP carry is to kill the enemy AD carry, as what it says in this guide, by Jebus McAzn. I really suggest you click the link and read it, because it provides VERY helpful facts on the roles in a team. So, you should pick out whoever that AD carry is and nuke them down. Go in, do your stuff and Sanguine Pool out of there.
- Generally, you'll be killing everyone, however.
- Win teamfights, push towers when you get Lich Bane, and destroy the nexus. Have fun playing Vladimir!
-Farm up a minion wave clogging up a tower with a quick E -> W.
-Use your Sanguine Pool to juke some skills.
-Also does not stop Fiddle's Drain. /sadface
-Spam Transfusion Transfusion Transfusion Transfusion Transfusion
-Keep your Tides of Blood stacks up.
-Beware of Banshee's Veils. They can totally block your Hemoplague, stopping the increased damage taken AND the end explosion.
Here are questions that are either asked frequently or are questions that I believe are good ones for a build on Vladimir. These questions are taken from other guides on Mobafire, so they aren't just in my guide.
Why do you get so much mPen?
I grab the Haunting Guise, Sorcerer's Shoes, and a Void Staff in my build. Yes, this is a lot of mPen. As I stated earlier, tanks will tend to build slightly more against whoever is the enemy carry, or at least who is doing well. As Vlad, you will be doing well, and should counter all the magic resistance that the enemies will have. Magic penetration is better than AP when it comes to tanks stacking magic resistance. But wait-don't you heal more with Transfusion if you get more AP? This may be true, but if you can kill the enemy fast enough, you won't need to heal as much. Also, that ratio on the healing is pretty low.
Why don't you get some Spell Vamp?
First of all, I don't think that Vladimir needs Spell Vamp at all. He already has natural spell vamp in his Transfusion and Sanguine Pool. Also, as it says in the Notes section of the League of Legends wiki, only 1/3 of the Spell Vamp you have is calculated for AoE (Area of Effect) or multi-target spells, which is almost all of your spells. So, if you got a Hextech Revolver, you would only get about 6.66% spell vamp instead of the 20%.
Why don't you get Ionian Boots of Lucidity?
Vlad's cooldowns are short enough! Less than 3 seconds on Transfusion and less than 4.5 on Tides of Blood due to masteries is quite enough in my opinion. I really don't think that reducing the cooldowns on either Sanguine Pool or Hemoplague are worth it either, because you won't need to use either as often as Transfusion or Tides of Blood. I just think that the mPen is better for nuking.
Why don't you get Spirit Visage?
The major thing about Spirit Visage is the 15% increased healing it gives. You can already surpass that by hitting Tides of Blood twice. I just don't believe that spending money on this item and using up 1 of your 6 item slots is worth it. You only get healing from your Transfusion and Sanguine Pool, and it's already enough. I think that Vlads should focus on getting AP or mPen to increase damage, not spell vamp or a Spirit Visage to increase healing.
How do I use that Health Potion with ToB?
Well you either just click on it to consume or press the number on your keyboard that corresponds with the potion...Oh! You mean with Tides of Blood's improved healing effect? Assuming that you only have 1 point in Tides of Blood because you'll only have a health potion early game, you shouldn't use Tides of Blood at all, when using a potion! The cost of Tides of Blood compared to the tiny amount of increased health regeneration it gives you isn't worth it. If you don't believe me, here are some scenarios. Math time, everyone!
Notes: An Empowered stack of Tides of Blood lasts approximately 10 seconds. I will only be calculating for a rank 1 Tides of Blood since you will probably not be using potions late game, where you start putting more points into it.
You use ToB once and immediately use the HP potion. Nothing after.
Cost: 30 Health.
HP gained from first 10 secs: 100 + (100 * 0.08) = 108
HP gained from remaining 10 secs, no empowered stacks: 100
Net HP gained: 178 instead of 200.
You get to 4 stacaks of ToB as quickly as possible immediately after using the health potion.
Cost: 30 + 15 + 15 + 15 = 75 Health.
HP gained from first 4.5 secs: 45 + (45 * 0.08) = 48.6
HP gained from second 4.5 secs: 45 + (45 * 0.16) = 52.2
HP gained from third 4.5 secs: 45 + (45 * 0.24) = 55.8
HP gained from last 6.5 secs: 65 + (65 * 0.32) = 65.8
Net HP gained: 147.4 instead of 200.
Pretty much any scenario will result in a situation where using Tides of Blood wasn't worth it. However, Transfusion is a different story. Mid game, you can keep your ToB stacks up while Transfusioning things around you and will actually heal you.
Who are some people that aren't good to lane against as Vladimir?
I'm optimistic, so I don't treat these as champions that are "hard" to lane against, but champions that will take you longer to kill. =D
Blitzcrank - His ult silences, but his grab and knock-up are also VERY scary. However, you will almost never lane against one, since you'll be mid.
Cho'Gath - His Feral Scream is also a silencer, and his knock-up is also a baddie. Like Blitzcrank, you won't see this guy mid very often.
Fiddlesticks - Fiddle is a very bad champion to lane against. He can silence you with his Dark Wind, do his annoying Terrify and Drain, which you can't Sanguine Pool out of. Unfortunately, you will be able to see this guy at mid lane. Just hang in there and own him later on.
Garen - His Decisive Strike silences you, and also gives him a movespeed bonus so that it's easier for him to cast it.
LeBlanc - She has easy silences and a powerful nuke combo that can shred all of your health in a matter of seconds. Sanguine Pool when her purple mimicked Sigil of Silence is flying towards you.
Kassadin - Silences, flashes, and everything. Not that much of a threat if you can keep your distance, but once he hits level 6 that will be hard.
Malzahar - Oh Malzahar. Pretty much a counter to Vladimir. His Call of the Void sliences you and deals major damage. His Null Zone deals percent damage based on maximum health, which you will have a lot of. Most Malzahars pair Malefic Visions with Ignite, which reduces healing. Finally, his Nether Grasp does a TON of damage while suppressing you, which means you won't be able to Sanguine Pool out of his death trap.
Soraka - Although she has a silence, she isn't really a threat if she's laning alone at mid. However, she is a formidable support and you won't be enjoying her presence late game.
Ashe - Her autoattack and Volley have long ranges and slow you, while both deal decent damage. Try to stay behind your minions while laning against her.
Caitlyn - Again, her autoattack and Piltover Peacemaker have long ranges and deal decent damage. Stay behind your minions for her, too, while avoiding Headshot and Piltover Peacemaker.
Ezreal - Will spam all his skill shots, Mystic Shot and Essence Flux at you and escape your clutches with Arcane Shift. Kind of annoying.
Tristana - Her Draw a Bead increases her range over levels and her Explosive Shot deals damage over time while reducing healing.
Veigar - Well, his Event Horizon has a ridiculous range if he just aims the far part of the circumference at you. Then, he can Dark Matter and Primordial Burst you down to nothing. Anti mages like Veigar, Kassadin, and Malzahar are bad for Vlad.
-Added Changelog section.
-Added Gameplay section.
-Cleaned up some text and added headings to the items and skills.
-Added Abyssal Scepter as an alternative for the Void Staff.
-Expanded Masteries section.
-Cleaned up more text and headings.
-Added Guardian Angel and Banshee's Veil as alternative items.
-Expanded Protips section.
-Made the guide more serious.
-Added section for using health potion.
-Added highlights in orange.
-Added a list of people that are bad to lane against, as suggested by a friend.
-Added an alternative way to buy Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Rabadon's Deathcap, as suggested by a commenter on this build.
-Added another reason not to get Heal.
-Added a picture of my recent games.
-Cleaned up some text.
-Went into a little more detail about when to buy what recipe items.
-Added a section for elixirs.
-Cleaned up even more text.
-Removed the orange highlights and only had them in headings and such. I felt that they were too distracting for the build.
-Made the whole guide colored!
-Also removed my recent games, as they are no longer recent.
Thank you for reading my Vladimir guide. Please do rate and comment fairly, after you have tried this build. Praises and constructive criticism is welcome and encouraged.