Vladimir Build Guide by KelvGoh
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.
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.
If you're anything like me,the only reason you played this creepy-looking champion is either
1)Because he's free-to-play; Or
2)You got a 7-day rental of him and a skin!How cool is that for someone who doesn't spend money on gaming!Well my first experience with Vladimir was the latter of that.Playing a life-leeching vampire didn't appeal to me as much as other high-burst champions that everyone in the team look up to;because they contribute to the team most..right?Wrong.I realised that after reading all his skills(Yes,ALL) carefully when playing Vladimir for the first time.After getting a double kill while solo top(No ganks) I fell in love with him.His long range spell vamp was a great last hitting,harassing tool and I (Only being limited by c/d) constantly used it to bully other champions out of experience range(This is what I always aim to do).I play other spell vamp champs too,but Vlads Q just got Fiddlesticks Drain skill(You can get interrupted by hard cc - nobody wants to let enemies heal) beat all the way.
One of my favourite songs of all time from my favourite band.Don't click it if you don't want to :) I had to decide between BFMV and Papa Roach another 2 of my favourite bands but MCR just can't be beat \m/ Read on!
If you are looking for a champion who is tanky,snowballs quickly,bursty,is versatile(able to escape from ganks easily),and can contribute more to your team,look no further.I play other spell vamp champs too,but Vlads Q just got Fiddlesticks Drain skill(You can get interrupted by hard cc - nobody wants to let enemies heal) beat all the way.His passive can make him a tanky mage,or a magey tank;whichever way you prefer.You have a life-restoring lasthitting tool,a slowing skill that makes you untargetable,and an Ultimate that OBLITERATES opponents 14% quicker in teamfights.Whats not to love?
Pros & Cons(of Vladimir)
-Great farmer -Overpowered
-Great harass -Higher learning curve
-Great ganking -Too great a farmer and harasser
-Both tanky and painful -Laning with champs that counter you is
suicide if you're not skilled with him
In early game,I use my Q to heal me so often I don't usually need the health potions,I just buy them to be safe against bullies when I solo top.I use it to last hit,I use it to harass.This is the skill you'd want to max out quickly.Q turns into a damage dealer mid-late game,and I am usually making opponents keep their distance from me pre-teamfights.
Vlad's W,Sanguine Pool is his signature move.This is a big 'PissOff' to opponents when you use it to drain their minions(And them).Much like how I use Akali's shroud,I use it when I feel that the opponents are getting too close.The pool usually makes them backoff,but if they don't spam Q and E when you come out of the pool.It will teach enemies not to get too close and make farming a breeze.Be careful though;you are especially vulnerable when your W is down.When it ends quick harass your opponent then keep your distance.Use it to escape from ganks,use it to slow enemies to let teammates catchup/flee,use it to farm entire creep waves for no cost.I use it when I draw tower aggro - It allows me to close distances quickly and safely.Oh,and I use it in teamfights too,right after popping my R.
Vlad's E,is one that you'd want to put points into the most rarely.You'd use it to increase your spell vamp stacks,use it to hit those minions who won't die from your weak W,or to last hit fleeing opponents.
Vlad's R is the skill that allows you to be of greater help to your team than ever.You'd want to hit as many enemy champions as possible so that they go down quicker.It also acts like Zileans time bomb(Albeit less painful).That opponent that trolls everytime he gets lucky and escapes?Boom.
I take mostly ability power runes as they activate Vlad's passive - I don't have to play with 4 bars of health early game.It makes my harass and last hits stronger too.If enemies do stack magic resist against me it'd be late game,and Vlad is such an excellent farmer you can be the ward buyer even while persuing your full build.Get a Void Staff(Situational) and end your magic resist worries.
Pros / Cons
This says,'Weigh the pros and cons of this build in different situations.'
Heck,there's no build that suits all situations.And how many different situations are possible,I dare not say.I mean,come on;you gotta build yourself watching what opponents you're up against.They're stacking magic resist against you?Get a Void staff.Having trouble with a DPS champion?Get health items(Warmog).Or if you want,you can choose to get more AP stuff to get more health.Whatever floats your boat.
You'd want to take heed of any exceptionally large wave of enemy minions at all times of the game.I'd say Vladimir is one of the best champions to make use of sweet,sweet waves of minions.Press your W and get some 300 gold.Too big for you to cover entire with one W?Press your Q.Too many stubborns that won't die having a drop of life left?Press E.I am not the best at last-hitting with right clicks hence Vlad was a perfect champion for me.I'd say that he's one of the best farmers in game,even for people like me.
Keep farming.When you get bored or feel that enemy champions are coming too close,poke them with your Q.Want this large wave of gathered minions but pesky enemies standing right behind them?W in,move closer and closer to the enemy champions so they take some damage as well,then quickly retreat when the spells duration is ending.Vlad is especially vulnerable when Sanguine Pool is on cooldown,so you'd want to back off when it ends.
Since you have a solo lane,you'd want to go ganking often.What is the best way to gank with Vladimir?I have not had the permanent luxurious ownership of him so I do not know.There is always another mountain that is taller,another person that is stronger.But my way generally works for me(Maybe 8 out of 10 opponents that get ganked die) and I'm gonna share it with you.First,the basics.
You wait in bush and wait for your teammate to put on a good show of backing off.When you decide he is far enough(Middle of river to be safe),lead the attack and popping your Ulti,go in with Sanguine Pool.Flash in if you have to.Keeping pace with your fleeing opponent will keep him nice and slow for your teammate to attack.When the effect ends hit him with E for some extra damage,then Q off him.If your teammate is a Displacement Champion(My own term for calling champions with skills that move enemy champions),chances are he'd get the kill because you've used your Q)
If the opponent isn't damaged enough beforehand,chances are he'd reach the safety of his tower.Well safety against most champions anyway.Not Vladimir.Wait around till your C/D on Sanguine Pool ends,then take the lead again.You'd want to time yourself right,as you heading nearer to the enemy the outline of the tower should change to a sickly yellow(This signifies aggro,works the same for enemy champions and minions),and JUST BEFORE the blue or purple beam hits you,you press W.And stay around the enemy tower.Tower aggro will be pulled towards you but will not cause any damage.Meanwhile your teammate should be attacking the enemy like mad,if not report them LOL jk.This works for teamfights underneath the enemy tower as well.When your Sanguine Pool endsyou'd want to Q and E him continously until hes dead.Or if you feel that it is too big of a risk you can always back off and wait for the cooldown to be gone again.
[REPEAT UNTIL SATISFACTORY RESULTS ACHIEVED]
For summoner spells I take Heal and Flash.
I cannot even begin to say how underrated Heal is.It has the potential to give you First Blood,to lure enemies to a trap,to save your greedy dying teammate from that last tower aggro.I always take Heal because nobody ever bothers to check what summoner skill you take.
I take Flash because Vlad is generally bad at movement speed compared to other ganking champs like Rammus or Alistar.Rammus rolls in with a fresh Powerball,and you're gonna find that your Sanguine Pool's duration cannot outlast his,although it is the longest skill that makes a champion untargetable [Citation needed].This is when that extra bit of stretch can totally make a difference.Need to dive over a wall to escape?Sure.Need to close that bit of distance between a fleeing enemy team and yours?Flash in and Sanguine Pool. Easy cleanup.
I always try to open with boots as a starting item if I can(When I'm not playing a mana hungry champ or jungling).That speed boost can make a difference between a death or kill.You can be strong enough to take that enemy down but when he starts running using that speed advantage you're gonna lose a potential kill.I take along 3 health potions because of several reasons:
1)Because you dont need mana.
2)Because when you're in lane you can quickly earn that gold back
3)Because you're gonna meet hard counters against Vladimir in lane occasionally,who will deny you your fair share of healing from the creeps.
4)Because its stupid to buy a ward early game.
Your first return trip should be enough to net you Sorcerer's Shoes,if not you are an extremely poor farmer and should be playing support instead(My full Alistar build includes Boots of Swiftness and Frozen Heart only but thats not the point LOL).Since you are an extremely good farmer and have practised the method for ganking I've said many times(You should:D) you will be a carry-tank for your team,far ahead in gold and levels then anyone else in the game.This is more commonly referred to as being 'Fed'.You know how they always tell you to target carries first and tanks last in a teamfight?Go figure this one out.
I feel that this is a MUST get for all AP based champions.The passive slow from each spell cast is just what every cc-lacking champion needs.The 500 health bonus = more AP.The AP from Rylais = more health.Why not?Do the math.
Why Will of the Ancients?
This is actually my personal preference because I feel that the AP and spell vamp aura for your teammates can actually turn a fight in your favour.However,if you want to be a selfish bastard(heh)and get Hextech Gunblade instead,be my guest.
Why Nashor's Tooth?
There are times when you'd want to push down a turret when everyone else is dead and only you and your support is left.Those are the times you'd be glad you got this item.
Why Rabbadon's Deathcap?
The last item of every game is almost always SITUATIONAL.That means you get whatever you think you need most.You think you need more survivability?Sure go ahead and get another Rylai although their passives don't stack.Or a Zhonya's Hourglass.But if you feel that you don't need the extra help keeping you alive,why not a Rabbadon's Deathcap?Best AP item in game with sweetest passive.Oh and it really adds to your health with the additional AP too.
Phreak plays a good Vladimir,the champion spotlight helped me a lot when I was first starting off,I've put it here so he can help you too!
So its late game when everyone is sticking and skirmishes erupt everywhere.Where do you place yourself as Vladimir?Often I am the one who leads the attacks because I am a tank,but also because I want to land my ultimate on as many enemy champions as possible(at the start of teamfights where they are most close to each other).After landing my R,I W in and drain the hell out of all of them.When I do revert,I press E and during those few seconds I assess the situation.Carries first.Fleeing Ashe?Got her.Tryndamere with Ult and chasing dying teammate?Rylais passive slow.Late game you should be dealing 500++ damage with each Q you unleash,every few seconds you are gonna be draining someones life and converting it to your own.Vlad's rarely get focused,but if you do just keep spamming your Q to keep you alive(and to damage the enemy)while your DPS picks them off.The tanks ain't going nowhere with the carries dead so take your time and decide what your next move is gonna be wisely.
You should be the main damage dealer of the team,you should try to aim for 100k total damage output for normal games and 250k for really good games(e.g the enemy team is full of champions that you counter).
All champions have another that is a natural counter to them,and Vladimir despite being awesome is no exception.
One of the champions you'd want to be careful laning against is Fiddlesticks.Watch out for his silence-fear-drain combo.Take heed of the yellow outline when he moves towards you - you don't wanna get caught by the drain because it is one of the skills that remain active even when you activate Sanguine Pool.
Another champion that is a hard counter to you is LeBlanc.Her early game burst is extremely dangerous to you - her Illusionary Chains also remain active even when you are in Sanguine Pool.If you happen to be in pool form when her skill takes effect,you will be unable to move.And if your Sanguine Pool ends while the snare is active you are gonna take a ton of damage.I have mentioned Vladimir's weakness before and that is when the effects of Sanguine Pool end.You will have no escape alternatives except Flash,and you do not want to burn flash unnecessarily.
Anivia counters you.Hard.Your pool-minions-and-harass-champion technique will not work her.Infact it will be suicidal if you're laning against an Anivia who knows what she is doing.Just when you start to retreat she puts a wall behind you and Flash Frost to seal your chance of escape.Followed up by Frostbite and/or Glacial Storm,this is fatal.Avoid laning with her if possible.
Kassadin is another hard counter against Vladimir.His NullSphere skills range tops yours in both range(650 to your 600) and damage(his 80+70% of AP at level 1 to your 90+60% of AP at level one.).Avoid laning with him if possible.
Vladimir.I know this sounds weird but trust me I have laned against another Vladimir in lane,and it all came down to who had more experience using Vladimir.The item build is practically the same till late game,and I only won that game because I had my R to snowball with and he didn't.I could poke better,I could heal better,I understoof Vladimir better and I beat him.If you are laning against another Vladimir who is totally bullying your *** into submission,get teammates to gank him.And by ganking I don't mean asking your jungler/roamer to come and gank.I meant calling 3~4 members of your team to come shut him down early game.He is extremely hard to gank with his W;2 Sanguine Pools will not affect each other either.So the best thing that can happen is you have a good Alistar/Blitzcrank to pull him back when he tries to run,or else it's essentially GG for you.Vladimir against Vladimir always come down to runes and experience difference.Whoever pops R first,spam skills quicker is gonna dominate the other.
Who you can bully
As Vladimir,you can bully most DPS champions out of experience range with constant harass.Unless he is Tryndamere with his OP heal,they will be forced to go back early.I'm sure you'd want to know who Vladimir is a counter to after reading the previous section;He's a good counter to almost every champion in game.He is an especially hard counter to champions who HAVE to be good at landing skill shots(e.g Blitzcrank with his Rocket Grab and especially Ahri with her need to land skillshots.Dodge her Charm and her Rasengan(Haha is it not?)and you will negate half her burst damage.Her FoxFire damage can be easily healed back,just make sure you pay attention to pressing that W when her charm is heading your way.I will upload a video on how I play Vladimir the next time he is free to play :D
More about this build
This build is awesome and all(:P),but there is a requirement that comes with it.You MUST be in a solo lane,you NEED good farm,or this build will work less effectively.That's why Vlad's rarely get chosen although they're really awesome tanky carries.But when you see a jungling Warwick or Shaco in your team just remember,there is not much to lose.