Build Guide by Morfene
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.
Greetings summoners! I figured after playing Vlad enough and reading enough guides I was comfortable enough to write my own to help out new Vlads and possibly even give a veteran Vlad a leg up. I assume that you know at least how League of Legends works to view this guide, as I may skip a bunch of the beginner information. This guide is going to go over my items/strategies/tips for a MID CARRY VLADIMIR.
This is my first guide so please be as informative as you can on criticism and leave feedback! I would really appreciate it.
For runes I go with Magic Pen marks to help out in the early game, straight up ability power (Or ap/level) for also an early game advantage, CDR runes for overall viability, and AP/Level Quints. The reason I did not do Health is because as Vlad, two of your big abilities cost a Percentage of your health, so while you still will have a LOT of health as a Vlad, you're not wantingit as much as you'd want pure AP.
I am not going to go into much depth here with summoner spells as I will go over them later in the guild. I am arrogant but these are the two summoner spells that work the best with Vladimir that I've found.
Ghost-This will be your life and death saving spell, and your best ganking tool.
Ignite-Stacks incredibly well with your ultimate and is an overall great skill.
Items/How to Play/Skills/Strategies
I'm going to throw this all into one main category and go over a typical game with Vladimir. This will include all items that you will need to please readthis part or you're going to miss out on some important information.
At the beginning of the game I start out with an Amplifying tome and a health pot. These two items will help you get a small bit of AP that you desperately need early game. Level Transfusion and use it as OFTEN as possible. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get last hits early game, so using this skill is essential. When you are in the very early laning game you are very very susceptible to hard harassment from the other champion. It seems with me about 1/2 the summoners in this game know how squishy and weak Vlad is in the early game and will harass the hell out of you, the other half will eat your transfusions over and over and cry how OP you are. Well, you are OP so let them know it. If you're able to harass--DO IT. As you will be able to tell in my video I am successful harassing Kennen without him being able to hit me back often. Watch for minions if you're level 3 double think about chasing them all the way back to their tower for 1 transfusion, as you're likely taking deadly damage from minions that will hurt you later on in the early game. Play it smart and let them know if they get too close that they're GOING to get a transfusion put on them. If you're low move back a bit and focus on last hitting minions with transfusion while gaining health back. If by any chance you fall under 40% health before level 7, pop the health pot. Keep your health comfortable and for GODS SAKES DO NOT SPAM TIDES OF BLOOD!1 or 2 stacks of it to finish off minions and get harder hitting transfusions for a harassment on the other champion is fine, but getting yourself down to 1/4 health due to Tides spam is stupid and a good way to die.
Protip: Do NOT use Sanguine pool unless you are GOING to die from someone ganking you OR to slow an enemey that is going to die OR for escaping tower aggro. It is NOT a good skill to use until later game team fights. 20% of your health is massive and the way I have my skills set up you will NOT regen enough health to make it worth it until later on. I will give examples of when to use it but DO NOT use it to farm EVER until at least late game.
Mid Game (level 6+)
At this point I'm going to judge my enemies health in mid to figure out whether I want to get myself a kill or not. If you're able to properly harass the enemy champion their health should be nearing <50% by level 6-7. If it isn't quite there yet and you feel comfortable with the amount of health you have, start harassing them hard by stacking up 1-2 tides of blood (Don't have to hit them with it, get last hits on minions to stack it) and transfusioning them. This will hit them quite a bit harder than they're used to so it should take them by surprise. Once you've got them to about 40-50% you're ready to go in for the kill.
Protip: Before you go in for the level 6-7 tower dive/gank please note the following: Do they have a summoner spell i.e. Flash/Ghost that will allow them to escape? Am I at enough health to survive 15% for Hemoplauge and another 20% for Sanguine pool if I have to?
If you're confident that they're not going anywhere try to get out of range/sight and stack a tides or two if your health allows. (Even up to 3-4 if you're VERY comfortable) as it will hit like a truck when you go in. Pop your ghost and run in to Hemoplauge, as soon as your ultie has landed IGNITE THEM. (This will cause the ignite to do the extra 14% or so damage). Quickly hit tides of blood and Transfusion if they are close, if you feel like you haven't done enough damage keep following until the Turret starts hitting you and at this point you're going to want to Blood pool. If they are not dead yet you've done something wrong or they've been healed (Lol). Turn right around and get OUT of turret aggro. Do not let yourself die to the turret and get them, if they get away with 5 health, you'll be sure to get that extra 5 off next time, just do not DIE. Keep your wits and play it smart.
If you're able, go back to base (at at least 1100 gold) to get your boots. If you have some extra get an ELIXIR OF BRILLIANCE. This is my secret weapon. Tons of extra ability power and it is a cheap replacement for better items later on. If I'm able to farm successfully I will almost 100% of the game have an Elixir of Brilliance on my character.
If you're getting killed in mid I would suggest skipping the Mejai's and go for Rylai's as the extra health will help and there's no point in wasting the extra gold for no stacks. Everyone has "those games" so don't expect it to go much better if you're 0-5 by the time you can get Mejai's. Just play it safe and get an item that will give you more benefit.
If I've been able to kill mid 1-2 times easily and have them at least scared of how hard I'm hitting them I will begin to start looking for ganks. You should have a very comfortable level lead over anyone else on the map so take your pick. ANYONE that is overextended and at >50% health is an easy target (Even if you're having to do it alone [i.e. teammates are low on health/mana]). You should be easily able to Hemo/ToB/Infusion and if needed blood pool out.
Protip: Blood pool to slow enemies to save teammates or to let them catch up to your gank target, just make sure you can afford the 20% health and will live! ALWAYS ToB then transfusion if you're able before you pool (If your objective is to gank/slow), it will be up again by the time you're out of blood pool, thus giving you that much more damage.
Keep doing this while watching mid, and get yourself farmed up. If you're able to do this, you'll be hitting like a freight train and everyone will go running as soon as they see your portrait on the map. (This is what we like)
Late Game (Level 14-15+)
This is where the teamfight action really hits hard. By this time you're going to want to have a comfortable amount of stacks from your ganking etc (hopefully around 10+) and plenty of ability power to go around. Also by this time hopefully you've got your Rylai's so that your Transfusion and Tides will also be able to slow enemies. So for this I'm going to give some protips for Team fighting that I would like to see more Vlads do.
You are a semi initiator, which means, you want your ulti to get put on everyone when your team uses their most damaging abilities. Which means sometimes you'll want to be in first, and other times not. Use your good judgement, if my youtube video is up try to see how I initiate with Hemoplague. Most of the time if a teamfight starts I will already have 2-4 stacks of Tides of blood (just used shortly before I feel like there's going to be one). This is insane damage output once it's stacked to 4 and will HURT. So once you're committed run in and Hemoplague as many enemies as you can. (If you're able to just get 2 heroes with Hemoplague at least make it their highest damage dealers, do not use on tanks alone). Quickly hit Tides of blood and Transfusion their main damage if you can or the person lowest. (Also keep in mind to throw that ignite while Hemo is active to give that extra damage). At this point I'm going to blood pool and try to stay under as many as I can. You're going to be focused so as soon as you come up from the pool you probably will be around >30% health, so I would pop Zhonya's. This means that you're only 3 seconds or so from another blood pool so if you can ToB/Transfusion again by all means do it. If you make it to the 2nd blood pool (or if there are actually enemies alive) then you've done well. Pick off those last two or figure out why you died so fast.
Super Pro Tip: Amumu, Annie, Kennen, and Galio's Ult is going to rape you sideways if you're caught into it, almost killing you (if not killing you) before you can hardly do any damage at all (sometimes if there's more than 1 of them and I'm caught too far in the action, I'm lucky to get a Hemo off). Be very wary about these AoE ultimates and keep in mind if you are in pool before they go you WILL dodge them.
Random Tips and Closing
Vlad is very squishy, so even with his amount of health from his passive, he WILL be blown up easily.
Harass, harass, harass enemy champions (Especially if you're much higher level than them!) They will quickly learn to fear you and will think twice about taking that tower if you're near.
LAST HIT CREEPS EARLY! You will need those boots/Mejai's quickly so getting those last hits are essential.
USE YOUR ZHONYA'S! You wouldn't know how often this has kept me alive.
Gank as often as possible mid game! Don't foolishly run it, but make them fear pushing too far. Get those Stacks!
I am uploading a youtube video of me playing with Vladimir. I realize that the game drowns out my voice some parts when I'm fighting, but you should be able to get the gist of the guide by what I've written here. The other team (despite us being down 1) is very very bad. It's just a random Solo queue normal game I did last night (all level 30s) but most of them are just not good players. So I'm not pointing out how great I am, just demonstrating my play style.
Part III.Edit:Rest of the videos will be coming soon.