Vladimir Build Guide by ReturnOfTheBurials
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
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.
This Guide is under construction
Due to my long absence from this site i haven't updated the guide in a while now and with all the changes in the game it is neccesary that i do.
Introduction - A Bitter Welcome
Greetings ladies and gentlemen. This is a guide concerning Vladimir The Crimson Reaper. Your host in no other than I, Return Of The Burials and i'd be more than happy to share with you a few of my experiences while playing this champion. Before i start this build i would like to give credit to some people who either inspired me or helped me with the creation of this guide. First comes jhoijhoi whose "Making a guide" guide helped me learn a few tricks on how to present you my guide. Check her guide out by clicking below
Making a Guide
The second person i would like to give credit to is Ghosthawk from who i borrowed some of the items that suit Vladimir perfectly. Check his Vladimir guide by clicking below as well
Vladimir,The Last Crimson Reaper
The only thing i request from you dear readers, is to give this guide a thorough read and explain why you like or don't like this guide. That way i'll be able to correct and make a better guide out of this one. Unfortunately i only have one video to present you : No Nerf Can Stop Vlad! so you may find it hard to read a bit later. Therefore i would like to apologise in advance and present to you my one and only Vladimir video. My youtube name [as you will soon notice] is Gluttonia and my League Of Legends [EU Nordic and East] Summoner name is Mr Gluttony. Before we begin i'd like to explain why Vladimir is a very important and Awesome Champion.
1)He has amazing survivability thanks to his Sanguine Pool
2)He makes a perfect companion in a teamfight. Especially with his ultimate abbillity Hemoplague
3)He can be the team's tank, if the team doesn't have one.
4)He can be a very good initiator, starting with hemoplague and walking away with Sanguine Pool if need be.
Well then, shall we take a few more steps inside this guide?
Runes - Which And Why?
Lets start with runes! Even though runes are useful regardless of what they do it is simply essential to have the right runes for each champion. The real question in this chapter is "Why not just create a full Ability Power rune page?" Worry not! for i shall enlighten you with the power of knowledge.
Starting with the 9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. You might not notice the difference in damage in the start of the match but after buying Sorcerer's Shoes you'll realise that the damage caused by Transfusion [since it will be your main abbility] will be dramatically increased in relation to your Transfusion before buying Sorcerer's shoes. That makes for great lane harrassment which will eventualy lead to easy farming and of course, a kill.
Moving on to the 9 Greater Seal of Health. So this is where we wonder why i suggest health instead of ability power. First things first, with health, Vladimir will be able to have bigger sustain in the lane which is very important for reasons that i will be explaining further below and the second reason being his passive. So that would mean that he would benefit in both sustain and damage with these runes.
Next come the 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power. Well, obviously enough Vladimir is an Ability Power Caster and that is why we should buy some Abbility Power runes for him. But the question is "Why Ability Power per level and not instant ability Power?" that's because Vladimir needs to stay in the lane as much as he can to gain more levels than the enemy. In the early game maximizing Transfusion fast is more important than buying items since Transfusion's cooldowns dramatically decrease once it reaches level 5. Therefore you'll need a small sort of "buff" by each level you take to keep you in lane.
Last but not least, 3 Greater Quintessence of Ability Power. As you can see, these runes give Vladimir instant ability power, that serves to the sole purpose of causing 100 damage with Transfusion from level 1. That way you can be a little more aggresive and scare enemies away when you're feeling too pressured
Items - On the hunt for the right build
*Sigh*, Items..that's going to be a very long chapter for you dear readers, so i would be grateful if you hanged in there. So in order to find the right build for Vladimir, one must realise that, there is no real "right build" for him. Everything is situational except for Will of the Ancients and Rylai's Scepter, which should be your first two items. So our real subject in this chapter is "Item building after WotA and Rylai's".
Boots of Speed and 4 Health Potion. So you would probably ask me, "Why pick Boots of speed instead of an Amplifying Tome or a Regrowth Pendant?" It's undenyably true, that those two items are very useful and they're also a very good starting item in case you don't agree with boots of speed. However, boots of speed are ideal for me [personally] because of two reasons
1)I can run faster, gaining a small advantage over my opponent.
2)I can afford 4 health potions, to keep me in the lane.
With the boots of speed, i can either defend myself, by avoiding contact with my opponent, and also harass him when i have the upper hand. You shouldn't be worried about your abbility power simply because the runes will have given you a 100 damage Transfusion from level 1. [/color]
Sorcerer's Shoes. Sorcerer's shoes are a very good beginning item as well. They boost your Tansfusion by alot [combined with the magic penetration runes]. You'll be able to become more aggresive by that time and you could even turret dive occasionaly by combining your ulti with Sanguine Pool [we'll discuss that in another chapter]. Besides that you'll also be able to run faster than before obviously.
Will of the Ancients. Ideal, simply ideal!. Obviously enough. Most of Vladimir's abbilities give him a small quantity of health back. That small quantity can turn into a large quantity simply by buying this item. Except for the bonus abbility power you get, you also receive a reasonably good enough ammount of spell vamp [Spell vamp is when you receive health for the damage your abilities deal]. Therefore, combining spell vamp with Transfusion and Sanguine Pool would not only let you survive easier, but also deal alot more damage and keep your teammates on the go [since the spell vamp you gain is also given to your nearby teammates thanks to the aura of Will Of The Ancients]. This item is a powerful tool for Vladimir simply because of the spell vamp
Rylai's Crystal Scepter. An awesome item for Vladimir. Gives him tons of abbility power and health. These two combined make him powerful enough to proceed in the mid and late game. This item is Vladimir's main power in the mid game and is essential to him. It goes without saying of course, that Rabadon's Deathcap is also a great item for Vladimir. Rylai's Crystal Scepter however, grants him both survivability and deadliness which allows him to become more and more aggresive during the match. It should also be noted that Rylai's cast slow on the opponents you hit with your abilities. That could mean that you could both run from and chase enemies while spamming your abilities.
NOW LETS TAKE A LOOK AT THE ITEMS THAT COME AFTER THOSE TWO. Of course they are all very situational. So firstly, i will begin with the aggresive items. But the question remains : When should i buy aggresive and when should i buy defensive items? That's actually quite simple : When you see that you're focused in a teamfight or that you're dying too easily or when you're generaly having a bad game try purchasing some of this items.
Zhonya's Hourglass is another awesome item for Vladimir. It makes him really tanky with it's bonus armor and abbility power but it can also be a life saver. Lets say that i'm ganked or focused by three people. I use my Sanguine Pool to escape but i don't seem to be making any distance. Once my Sanguine Pool is down, i am forced to run [assuming that i can't take them on]. I'm about to die and my Sanguine Pool will be enabled again in 2 seconds. Unfortunately i'm certain that i won't be able to last 2 seconds to cast Sanguine Pool again. So...what do i do? i activate Zhonya's Hourglass. It will basically stun you for 2 seconds. However in these 2 seconds you'll be invincible. Nothing will be able to damage you. Think of it as Shaco's ultimate abbility Hallucinate. 2 seconds pass and i activate my Sanguine Pool a second time. I reach my turret or my teammates and become safe once again.
Spirit Visage. It seems very weak doesn't it? however, it can make a sweet combination of health and abbility power, grant Vladimir magic resistance to make him more tanky. Except from that though, It gives you cooldown reduction and also health regeneration, which makes a good combination with your third abbility Tides of Blood Last but not least, It increases the health you gain from your abilities.
Banshee's Veil So lets say that the opposing team has a champion with alot of damage. So lets say... LeBlanc. Well lets say you're being focused by this merciless killer, what do you do? you know that if you stay and fight you will be silenced and slaughtered like a lamb-- Or will you? did you consider buying this beautiful item called Banshee's Veil?! well you should! because it blocks one of the enemy's abilities and basicaly just cancels Leblanc's whole combo. Oh? you want more? well, it's true that it might give you some mana as well and you don't really need it since you don't use it but i'd say it's still more than good enough for Vladimir. You gain alot of health which also counts as bonus ability power and you also gain magic resistance and Banshee's beautiful passive.
Sunfire Cape Okay i don't really see this item on Vladimirs often but i've got to say from my experience, it's legit. It works guys. It gives a nice ammount of armor and health which of course means you gain ability power also. The unique passive of this item deals true damage to enemies over time. Are you thinking what i'm thinking? yes ladies and gentlemen, it can stack with your Sanguine Pool and ultimate ability.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Even though your Transfusion's damage will not be as deadly as it would be with Sorcerer's shoes it gives a reasonable ammount of cooldown reduction. You may have less damage, but you'll be able to cast Transfusion faster than before.
Warmog's Armor Is a defensive item for Vladimir. It gives him lots of Abbility Power as well but the bonus health gained by this item is simply incredible.
That is all concerning the items. Any suggestions are welcome of course.
Rabadon's Deathcap. This item boosts your health and abbility power to almost the maximum! After you've bought it you can become very aggresive in a duel and can also take on many players at once, providing that you're well fed.
Void Staff. This is the final blow to players who may have stacked up magic resistance against you, or another Abbility Power caster. It gives you a good enough ammount of abbility power and also magic penetration.
Crimson Pact. One of the best passives in game. Thanks to Vladimir's passive he can end up rather tanky in late game and also very deadly. It converts some of his bonus health into bonus abillity power and some of his bonus abillity power into health. Therefore Vladimir can also be the team's tank if it doesn't have any. If you want to end up more tanky than deadly you should buy Zhonya's Hourglass and Warmog's Armor instead of Spirit Visage and Void Staff.
Vladimir's 1st Ability
Transfusion Transfusion is Vladimir's main weapon. It deals a reasonable amount of damage to the selected target [which makes it impossible to evade] and also returns a specific amount of health back to your champion. Transfusion is a great tool of destruction...but also a great tool of protection. Lets say i'm dueling with Brand in mid, i somehow manage to defeat him but before he dies he is able to cast Ignite on me. Looking at my low health it is impossible for me to survive through the ignite. Instead of panicking however i run towards the minion lane and cast Transfusion on one of the minions. Thanks to the health i absorb i manage to survive with 20 hp [true story]
Vladimir's 2nd Ability
Sanguine Pool Now Sanguine Pool is one of the main reasons why Vladimir is one of the best characters in League Of Legends [in my opinion of course] It's one of the best escape mechanisms along with Shaco's first ability Deceive. Upon activating you become untargetable for 2 seconds. Be careful though, in these two seconds Vladimir will be untargetable by you as well, you won't be able to give him a Health Potion while in Sanguine Pool for example. Nevertheless this ability can dodge global and non-evadable ultimates. As you may have seen in the video i've already managed to dodge Ashe's ultimate Enchanted Crystal Arrow. Some other ultimates that you can surely evade are.
Karthus's ultimate Requiem
Ezreal's ultimate Trueshot Barrage
Lux's ultimate Finales Funkeln
Leona's ultimate Solar Flare
[Even though this is an evadable ability it's still hard to evade]
Sejuani's ultimate Glacial Prison
[Same as Leona's]
Shyvana's ultimate Dragon's Descent
[when she's trying to push you]
Swain's 2nd ability Nevermove
[This one isn't an ultimate but it's still worth mentioning]
And Sion's first ability Cryptic Gaze
Now, if you want to play Defensively. You might want to consider maxing Sanguine Pool right after Transfusion. Sanguine Pool has a very long cooldown in the start of the game. So basicaly a Vladimir without Sanguine Pool is a dead Vladimir. But by decreasing your Sanguine Pool's cooldowns you lower the odds of dying. That is the main reason why i max Sanguine Pool second
Vladimir's 3rd Ability
Tides of Blood. Thanks to this ability Vladimir is also a very good farmer. It deals damage to every nearby enemy unit and also grants Vladimir health regeneration. This ability stacks four times, which means that you can deal more damage and have greater health regeneration by spamming it. He can take out 3 minion waves [gathered together of course] with Sanguine Pool and Tides Of Blood. Istead of farming however, i'd like to use Tides Of Blood as a scouting technique [in the early levels]. If you activate your Tides Of Blood and notice that a small red sword is tossed towards a random location it means that a stealth player [ Shaco, Evelynn, Twitch and so on]. Another nice way to use Tides Of Blood is to check whether there's someone inside a brush before going in. It's the same as stealth players but instead of going at a random direction, the red sword will probably fly towards the brush. If more swords are tossed towards the brush then that means there are more than 1 player inside. Of course in the late game Tides of Blood is an epic burst damage towards all your opponents in team fights mostly. If you want to play aggresively then you should max Tides Of Blood instead of Sanguine Pool [even though i wouldn't really advise that]
Vladimir's Ultimate Ability
Hemoplague. This is one of my favourite ultimates. Opponents afflicted with Vladimir's ultimate will receive bonus damage from everything. Be it turrets, creeps, other champions and even your own auto-attacks and abilities. After a small amount of seconds the mark left on the opponents explodes and deals 150 [at it's weakest] magic damage on them. A very nice combination should be this. I have two enemies who decide to gank me. I get them to get closer to each-other and cast Hemoplague on them. Before activating Sanguine Pool i cast Ignite on the weakest champion and dive below them with Sanguine Pool. What will this do? both of my opponents will lose health rapidly due to the bonus damage of Sanguine Pool and the weakest of the two will be left with very low health considering the bonus damage of Ignite. I cast Transfusion on the weakest dealing the finishing blow and go against the remaining champion who should have half of his health by now using Tides Of Blood and Transfusion whenever they cool down. Hemoplague is a perfect ultimate for team battles. The more opponents you get into Hemoplague the more of them will most likely die easily, considering that your whole team has a huge boost in damage along with you.
Summoner Spells - Which Should I Pick?
So in this chapter i'll explain which summoner spells fit Vladimir and why. There are two pairs that i recommend.
Ghost should not be underestimated. when casting Sanguine Pool Vladimir gains a small boost of speed. Even though it's not visible when using Sanguine Pool alone, it's more than visible when you combine it with ghost! Be careful however, once you've casted Sanguine Pool you won't be able to activate ghost 'till the duration of Sanguine Pool is over [since it makes Vladimir untargetable, even from your own spells] When people are chasing you don't panic and do it in this order
Ghost-->Sanguine Pool-->Tides Of Blood-->Transfusion
Tides of Blood and Transfusion aren't really necessary but they can shake off some of the enemies that are hunting you.
Ignite on the other hand, is a very useful spell for your ultimate abbility : Hemoplague. Ignite will deal bonus damage to the targets that suffer from Hemoplague and will become easier targets to focus on while on a teamfight.
But since many people don't agree with ghost. Another pair i suggest is this
Pros / Cons - Summary
So basically according to the information i've given you Vladimir is based on these facts
*Burst Damage in late game
*Sweet Spell Vamp champion
*A good Tank
|SPACESPACEPSACESPACE||*Very Squishy in early game
*Weak when focused on
*Not as effective in bot or top lane
Suggested Teammates / Worst Enemies
A good Teamate for Vladimir is an AOE [Area Of Effect] caster to damage all enemies while Vladimir activated his Hemoplague
Such teammates are
Galio, Rammus, Fiddlesticks, Kennen e.t.c. e.t.c.
On the other hand. There are many enemies that Vladimir should fear. It's Basically champions who ruin your health regeneration and stun you.
Such opponents are
Brand, Annie, Malzahar e.t.c. e.t.c.
Extra - The Chase
Vladimir is a very good tide-turner when he's being chased. When you're being chased by a single enemy don't panic, keep running and spamming transfusion when it's cooldown is over. If the enemy keeps chasing you you'll probably end up with more health than him. And this is the part where you change roles in the tag game! on the other hand, if you know that you won't be able to last long enough in the chase then...ghost+sanguine pool and adios muchachos! I wouldn't advise doing the same when being chased by multiple opponents but that doesn't mean that it is NOT possible. Unless you're fed, refrain from doing that.
Extra - Vladimir vs Tryndamere
I have noticed that many of you [including myself] share a deep hatred for Tryndamere's ultimate. Therefore i decided to explain a nice way of breaking through his ultimate abbility's defense. Once the fight starts, don't use Ignite, Sanguine Pool and Hemoplague on him. Just spam Transfusion and Tides Of Blood on him. Transfusion health absorbtion and the fact that you'll be tanky enough to take on Tryndamere will make you last until he activates his ultimate. Once he has. Let him auto-attack you 2-3 times and then cast Ignite and Hemoplague on him. At that point you'll be about to die, so you'll have to cast Sanguine Pool a few seconds before Tryndamere's ultimate is deactivated [Tryndamere's ulti lasts for 6 seconds]. It's a very difficult trick since it requires a perfect timing [you can also run around while waiting your abbilities to cool down instead of staying in one place] but if you can master it it will be a very important fact for you and your team. If it's too hard for you then you should buy Zhonya's Hourglass since it also gives armor and places you into a stasis
End Of The Guide
Well i think i've said enough. If you have any questions or advice that is worth mentioning in this guide please do share it with me and i'll see to it. Thank you all for reading and i hope you have some fun times in League Of Legends without necessarily flaming and blaming your team. Vlad's out!