Vladimir Build Guide by Xunn
Not Updated For Current Season
Seems mandatory this... (READ NOTES)
if someone in your team goes for Abyssal Scepter
Third viable build
OLD BUILD pre WoA's changes MODIFIED [ 35% CDr ]
Not Updated For Current Season
Hi all, I'm Xunn from Italy.
I play for fun, so I like to do fast game modes like Dominion and Aram, so don't expect a guide to lead you to competitive play or something like that.
My main picks are mages/AP champs, and I go crazy for CD reduction (CDr) so you will find it in my guides. In modes like Dominion and ARAM where there are continuos skirmishes and there is high mana regen I think that CDr is a must for almost every champion, because it means more damage or more heals (if you are a support), with the opportunity to use more often your supreme skill.
When reading a guide, always keep in mind that not only every champion has a spectrum of different builds available, but they also depend upon the game type and the player's style. So, what is good in a normal game can be bad in a dominion game, and my build can suit nicely my gamestyle but suck for your own.
The Idea and the Style
Q e E Transfusion Tides of Blood
I play Vladimir like a skirmisher, keepin my presence in and out of the fights, spamming my Q and E to keep maxed my regeneration and life absorption during the minion waves to be ready for the teamfight with the highest stacks on E.
Remember that before hitting the 20% CDr your Q will not be available everytime you'll need it, so, untill you'll have your Spirit Visage, pay attemption in the fights not to spam uselessly your E (like, for example, out of range).
W Sanguine Pool
NEVER touch your W unless you are with partners and going for a sure kill or to slow someone escaping with low health while others kill him. Your W should be used only as an escape ability, to avoid get caught in CCs (stuns/disables/suppress/fear/slow), in high aoe damages ( Fiddlesticks' supreme/ Fiora's supreme/ Fizz's supreme/ Malphite's supreme and so on) and to avoid Karthus supreme (be sure to take the right timing in this :P ).
Wait for enemies to be packed as much as you can, then release your R. The use of R is at his best if you are able to release it at the beginning of the teamfight, when your partners have their abilities still out of Cd. In this way the bonus damage is maxed. ;)
The "survivor playstyle"
If you are the last man standing of your team and there are still enemies alive (this will happen more often than you may think), W out of the situation and use your Q to lifesteal them or the nearest minion wave while standing out of their range. Initially Vladimir alone is almost unable to do a kill 1v1 but you can slow you opponents' push by killing/draining their minions, so you gain time untill your partners' respawn and for that time you will be at least half healed and ready to fight again.
Remember that your cast range is short, your attack range is short and your E requires you to stop for a moment when cast, so it's not a good idea to be too brave and chase people when you have low life...
Pros / Cons
-Team Helper (auras and your R)
-Good farming capability on minion waves
-Cheap items (no one costs more than 2900g) *only for the honey badgers [keep reading]*
-Cheap items (only one item costs more than 3000g)
-Funnier than every other build I've tried
-Other builds can give you more flat AP
-More flat AP means also more HP for you. This means this build is a bit less tanky.
-The damage you do is skill dependant, and I mean YOUR skill. You must survive to deal damage. (You don't say?!)
I use these runes to grant me some more damage but without ignoring the benefits of resistences for a short ranged champion like Vlad. Accordingly with the gamestyle I've suggested, you must be protected as much as you can to be able to spam your abilities as long as possible.
x3 Quintessence of Ability Power
x9 Seal of Armor
x9 Mark of Magic Penetration
x9 Glyph of Magic Resist
After the patch, masteries are changed and I have to rewrite this section. Actually I am trying the masteries above, even if the first tier of Utility's tree contains an inviting Fleet of Foot that improves Vlad's mobility.
Anyway Enchanted Armor improves the benefits of the Magic Resist provided by Spirit Visage and Abyssal Scepter, so you get 105 MR from them instead of 100 MR.
Recovery improves your Health regen, that is always a good thing considering that you spend your almost your whole game half wounded. :P
Veteran Scars and Juggernaut provide you more HP, that your passive Crimson Pact will transform in AP to be used against your enemies. :D
Block is a forced choice as you can easily understand.
Here below I share with you a build that I am going to experiment. I can't say if it works or if it's just an useless, damageless build. So, stick with the build above. The idea is to pump up the HP regen ratio with Perseverance because you are almost never at full life due to life costs of your spells, and is nice to have something heal you the more you are wounded considering that your E hurts you more everytime you use it... Assuming that you have a 2000HP health pool and you have half life, the 1000 lacking hp will provide you a 30hp regen/5 secs. Considering that Spirit Visage gives 20hp regen, it sounds pretty interesting... Renouncing to Havoc diminishes your damage and a little the general heal provided via spellvamp but not the heal of your Q, because it is related only to your AP and not to the damage you deal.
WARNING: EXPERIMENTAL 2 - MY EYES ARE BLEEDING (for the joy of Vladimir...)
This is my experimental build to reach 10%CDr via masteries, so you can go Will of the Ancients and Spirit Visage without being an honey badger and wasting stats...
Mi eyes are bleeding because I don't like this build at all, even if I haven't yet tried it.
Your damage is increased against target under 35% instead of 50%, and this is already a bad thing imho.
The secondary thing I don't like, is that the new tree for support champs is really useless for an Aram Vladimir. Phasewalker is useless, since there's no Recall in ARAM. I've took it just because it can be useful in Dominion and there was nothing decent in the same tier: Scout works on Trinkets, and there aren't Trinkets neither in Dominion or Aram; Meditation gives Mana Regen and Vladimir hasn't got Mana. -.-
The second tier offers Summoner's Insight that provides a bonus I never liked so much but, well, let's take it. Alternatives are Strength of Spirit 's HP regen... That would be great if Vladi had Mana, again. -.-'' Alchemist can help you in the early phases (and so, Culinary Master in the third tier), so...why not?!
Other than Culinary Master, the third tier finally offers something worth the effort of taking this tree: Vampirism . 3% spellvamp will not change your life, it gives you 3HP for every 100 damage you deal, but is always in improvement so let's take it! I never liked Runic Affinity honestly, and in any case it can be useful in Dominion, but has no sense in ARAM, so I prefer to go for 3 points in Greed that leads to 1 in Scavenger . In the early phases your damage will be lower than with the other builds, so minion farming will be more difficult... Help yourself a bit getting your moneys! And, anyway, the following tier (4) offers pure uselessness! (Am I wrong or the old masteries had the CDr Talent in this tier?).
Oh god! At the FIFTH tier finally we got what we were come here for! Intelligence , that offers you 5% CDr with only 3 points where Sorcery need 4, and it also provides you 10% CDr on activated items, like Zhonya's Hourglass... <3 Take this ASAP and go on the offensive Tree to try making something useful with your last 11 points!
This is the result I think will fit better for Vladimir... Try it and make me know...
As showed above, your skill priority is
R > Q > E > W
And I obviously recommend to start the games with 1 point in each of your abilities. ;)
Flash Barrier Ghost
In ARAM the best suite is
In Dominion I like
-Ghost // Barrier
Flash is always the best choice for every champion imho. It's too nice to escape a gank or to take a kill by flashing out or into a fight. Take it, trust me.
Barrier was a spell I was ignoring before starting play ARAM. There, Ghost is almost useless. In a game mode with rare heals, a shield of 400+ damage is really good for alot of uses. You can absord a damn Karthus' supreme, or mitigate some damage over time...and much more.
Ghost is useful in Dominion to fast cap/protect towers and for chasing/escaping. With Vladimir, Ghost allows you to W and slow down everyone letting your team killing them one by one. Try it and judge the results.
Talkin about the ITEMS and the honey badger's way...
When the game starts, grab basic boots, Kindlegem and 5 health potion, then head to the fight. An initial 10(+5)%CDr+200HP is enough to keep you alive in most of the situations. I've reached lvl 10 in many games without die just with that item on me (and boots, ofc xD).
Use potions only when there are no minions to drain near you and you are under 25% of your health pool.
The ideal is to return in base (or die, in ARAM) when you can afford to buy your Spirit Visage + Ionian Boots of Lucidity. This gives you 35% CDr (40% CDr considering the 5% CDr provided by your masteries), that is your first target. Your damage is still laughable in 1v1 but you can chainspam your skills farming minion waves and distributing nice amounts of damage during the next teamfights. Visage provides you also 400 Hp, magic resist, an improved health absorption from Q, and a nice improvement of 20hp regen. This item clearly shouts "VLAD! HEY, VLAD, BUY ME!". Grab it first if you don't have enough money for both it and boots. 15% CDr and more movement speed are good, but the Visage is too good to be delayed, most of all considering that in the early phases the distances you are going to move are short.
Ascending to immortality...
When you got Visage and Ionian, the must have WAS Will of the Ancients.
It provides you Spellvamp + AP + the aura helping everyone of your team with AP and Spellvamp too. <-- Well... No more. -___-'' Now it gives 10%CDr that's going to be wasted, and NO LONGER GIVES THE SPELLVAMP AURA.
So, basically you have 3 roads to walk and the choice is up to you:
1. You can buy Hextech Gunblade (an item I never liked too much, honestly) for 1400g more than WoA. The good part of this item is that gives you a painful active skill and also 10% lifesteal, that is ridiculous 'cause of your low AA damage but... why not?
2. You can go Will of the Ancients forgetting about Ionian Boots of Lucidity and grabbing Sorcerer's Shoes.
3. You can go the honey badger's way and buy Will of the Ancients because you don't give a s**t! You are going to waste 10% CDr and the mana regen, but the remaining bonuses of this item are the same of the old WoA, so Vlad will work great with it... Saving 1400g that are half the cost of Liandry's Torment. <3 Obviusly a guide is intended to make you play at best, so I can't give you the advice of being an honey badger...
This is an example of an honey badger specimen the day the patch came live:
Well, whatever choice you made, congratulations! Now you are pretty immortal unless you use your W offensively or unless you try stupid things alone versus the world.
Defining your build
The next items and their order is up to you. If the game is going well, maybe you want to annihilate your opponents going directly for a Void Staff. If the game requires more tactics, my suggestion is to go for a Liandry's Torment.
Lyandry's damage is doubled on impaired champions. This means that when you use your W offensively, people that walk on you will suffer double the damage from it. <3
To complete your build, you may want a Rylai's Crystal Scepter to help your team slowing AOE your enemies while dealing double the Liandry's damage with EVERY spell you cast... Or maybe you prefer an Abyssal Scepter to get more magic resist and improve your team's magic damage decreasing the enemies' resistences.
If you are making this a question of AP, then go just for Rylai's Crystal Scepter. It gives you 80AP and 500 HP, that your masteries will transform in 515 HP and your passive will translate in a bit of OTHER AP (around 12...).
Remember to be always elastic with your mind: if you need to modify this build to better suit your ongoing match, do it! This means building defensive items and so on.
I hope this guide can be useful for someone out there. Even one is enough to pay me back for the time spent to write it.
As you can see, I didn't want to write too much. My first guide, the one about Ezreal AP CDr (now it's outdated, don't bother to search for it :D ), was too long imho. I just wanted to be more sinthetic this time.
Maybe I will add some game screenshot in the next days.
Thanks for reading untill here.
Take care and have fun, it's a game! ;)