Vladimir Build Guide by TheCrookedMan
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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 ladies and gentlemen! It has been brought to my attention that you were interested in learning a few things about Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper! So for tonight, I shall serve the purpose of exposing all of my knowledge in the 3 years I've been playing League of Legends while trying to make the guide as interesting as possible! #lies Pft, not even June found this interesting! Nyaha!
Before we begin, you might be wondering who I am. If that is the case I will take a few moments of your time to explain who exactly is responsible for the making of this guide and why.
Well, obviously enough I'm known here as The Crooked Man. However I've also been known as Return of the Burials in mobafire. I decided to create a new account here for lots of reasons. Concerning the game however, I'm Mr. Gluttony, a silver division player [possibly going for gold soon.] with a lot of experience. I'm mainly sitting in the EuNe server, but I'm also known as Mephistopheles03 in EuW and LaGentleman in NA.
I didn't really get involved in ranked games until a few months ago. So, with all the knowledge I have gathered I shall introduce you to my guide! Vladimir La Funeral!
In my defense, i will post below a few scores from games i played just recently with Vladimir [all ranked] to guarantee that this guide is actually valid, and worth a read. I-it is valid! e.e"
Also, before we begin, I'd like to thank everyone who has inspired me to create this guide, and a special thanks to[/color] Jhoijhoi and her amazing guide that has helped me decorate and properly construct mine. And also leave these amazing messages for my entertainment. "Wha-what?! Who said that was your job!? How come *I* don't get any special thanks?! Augh! I see how it is! It's *over*!"
Make sure to check it out!
Making a guide
Now you might be wondering...
Why Vladimir? Isn't he nerfed and useless?
No, ladies and gentlemen! I assure you that with a proper read of this guide you'll realize how amazing this champion is to play, dominate, and make the community demand more nerfs on him!It would be highly appreciated if you skipped the last part "Pft, have some confidence!"
Another thing I'd like to note about this guide is that it will be very detailed, as we'll explore all of the possible combinations that can and/or have been used on Vladimir, despite my approval or not. Just because I prefer a specific build does not mean that other items can't work well on Vladimir, so I'll be pointing out advantages and disadvantages of all possible items that you could use with on Vladimir. Yes! What I'm saying is the ultimate decision will be yours. I want to focus this guide more on Vladimir's gameplay than Vladimir's item-choice, since there are many other guides here on Mobafire that have already covered that subject a lot more effectively than I probably will. I'm hoping that this guide will inspire and motivate an exploration for people that are truly interested in this champion and not just to tell them what to do. So, with that being said, if you are not keen on such guides, you might as well turn around and walk away.
Pros and Cons
to defeeaaatt the huns!!
I told you earlier that Vladimir is still a very strong champion and definately not one to be underestimated, despite the nerfs that have been bestowed upon him. Lets take a look at why he's an excelent choice in either solo top or mid.
must.make.coll-A great asset in Teamfights.morespacespacespacespa-Very tricky early game
must.make.collumn.-High sustainabilitymorespacespacespaces-A Vlad without Sanguine Pool is a dead Vlad.
must.make.collumnnnnn-Gets tanky.morespacespacespacespacespacespa -Is item dependant
must.make.column.-Amazing farming skills.morespacespacespacespa-Not alot of crowd control
must.make.collumGREED.-No mana!morespacespacespacespacespacespace-Countered easily.
must.make.collumn.-Easy turret dives lvl 6+morespacespacespacespacesp-Usually focused.
must.make.NO-Long and complicated combosmorespacespacespace-Long and complicated combos.
must.make.ROW!.-Simply superb taste in fashionmorespacespacespacespac-Is a sociopath
Many people say that Vladimir is an easy champion to play, but I can assure you that that is hardly the case. Vladimir seems easy because of his Sanguine Pool since it almost makes him invincible at times, but using that ability correctly can actually be very tricky. The cooldown is also very long so a wrong use of sanguine pool can easily mean death. And dying in the early levels can really destroy your game in serious matches. I will get deeper into this matter later on however.
Runes - Which and Why?
Just in case you didn't notice what chapter it is.RUNES
Alright, next up is runes. Before I talk specifically about the runes that suit Vladimir, let me talk about how one should generally pick their runes [A guide has to consider all possible player levels no?] Just bear with me for a sec.
Marks are offensive, so you should aim for attack damage, armor and magic penetration, critical damage and chance
Seals are defensive! So you should focus them on health, armor and health regeneration. Why not magic resistance? It would seem that glyphs give better magic resistance than seals, so if you're interested in magic resistance you should get it through glyphs.
Glyphs represent utility and ability power. That being the case it would be more benefitial to get magic resistance [for the reason mentioned above], cool down reduction, ability power, energy, mana and mana regeneration
Quintessences are jacks of all trades. They give everything that marks, seals and glyphs can offer but at a larger amount [and a higher price of course]. Quintessences can also give a few bonus stats like movement speed, -time spent dead, bonus experience and gold, life steal and spell vamp.
The runes at the "recommended runes" section represent the runes I currently use, however there are still alot of runes that work well on Vladimir and that I have or am currently testing with success
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. Magic Penetration is essential for all AP Casters, but generally speaking, marks give more magic penetration than they give ability power so magic penetration would be your best choice. Not noticeable at first, the damage of your Transfusion will greatly increase once you get ahold of Sorcerer's Shoes [In case you don't go for the cdr that Ionian Boots of Lucidity offer you.]Make sure to finish those boots early <o>__<o> "Why do I get the feeling that we're referring to me here?"
Greater Seal of Health or Greater Seal of Armor. Whether you pick armor or health is fine. Armor is better for Solo Top Vladimir and health is good enough for both top and mid. Armor gives you...well, armor, so that you can out-trade your solo top opponent easier [Assuming that he is an ad champion, which is usually the case.] Health on the other hand synergizes well with your passive Crimson Pact and, while you originally gain extra health in the beginning of the match, you also earn a small amount of ability power, and ability power is always nice right? right <o>__<o>
Greater Glyph of Ability Power or Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power or Greater Glyph of Magic Resist or Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction Phew~
As you may have noticed, there is a variety of possible runes for Vladimir when it comes to glyphs, since he's an ap champion. Lets take a few seconds to analyze what advantages each rune can offer.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power or Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power or Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction or Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction or Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp or [finally] Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed I DID say they were jacks of all trades didn't i?
Just like glyphs, there are even more possible rune choices when it comes to quintessences. Some of them have already been explained above so i won't bother doing it a second time, lets look at the new choices however.
Masteries - Which and Why?
From my experience, there are two ways to set your mastery pages. You'll either have to focus on defense or utility. Below you'll see each option and a detailed explanation as to why one should consider whether it is reasonable or not.
Currently my most favourite, the utility tree has become quite beneficial for Vladimir in season 3. Lets take a few seconds to understand why!
Now the question stands...
Which one is better? Defensive Tree or Utility Tree? The answer is pretty simple...none! They're both amazing for Vladimir but Defense doesn't surpass Utility or vice versa. It depends on your play style. However, if you haven't decided on a certain play style and you're still confused about which tree you should take, then you should always look at the enemy team. If their team has alot of cc and damage dealers like Master Yi and Rammus then you might want to consider grabbing the defense tree and playing it safe. You could also pick the defense tree when you're countered! Otherwise, when the enemy team seems pretty balanced and okay you might want to take the utility and take advantage by dealing damage.
Spells - Which and Why?
Spoiler: Click to view
Spoiler: Click to view
Spoiler: Click to view
I'd be willing to talk about other summoner spells but I feel like these three are the only ones that truly fit Vladimir. I suppose one could pick Teleport instead of Flash or Ignite in order to gank lanes by teleporting on wards, maybe? It's a viable choice when your support is good enough, but I'd suggest two of the three spells mentioned above otherwise. Ghost and Flash together are fine too, but from personal experience, Ghost and Ignite have helped me most. My enemies would know. <o>__<o>
The Part Where We Talk About Vladimir's Skills
Hello! This is the part where we talk about Vladimir's skills! Bad pun, I know; but I have to learn...*one* step at a time.
Every 40 points of health gives Vladimir 1 ability power and every 1 ability power gives Vladimir 1.4 health. These bonuses do not stack with each other.
A great passive that gives ability+health items a whole new meaning. I've tried building both HP-Vladimir and AP-Vladimir for the sake of experimentation, and I can safely assure you that building pure health on Vladimir does not benefit him more than building straight ability power or vice-versa. With the proper items this passive can make Vladimir become a fearful AP-Offtank, which in most cases, should be your goal!
Low quality, will replace when i get the chance.
Dat pose though *snicker* Right?!
Vladimir drains the life-force of his target, dealing 90/125/160/195/230 [+60% ability power] magic damage and healing himself for 15/25//35/45/55 [+30% of ability power].
Depending on your skill sequence, this will be your main offense! This is trully a terrific ability that defines Vladimir in the early game. Transfusion can sting really bad and it also heals you up, and the fact that it has no cost and you generally have no mana makes it even sweeter! You can spam transfusion as much as you like, be it for last hitting minions or harassing champions. The only thing you should watch out for is the fact that it has a somewhat long cooldown before you max it. Make it rain <o>__<o> "Who wants spaghetti and raw pizza tonight?" <O>_____<O>
- Make sure to last-hit minions with your transfusion when you can't harass your opponent. You'll heal up and you'll also secure the minion since the damage from your physical attacks is way too weak.
- Make sure to harass your opponent with transfusion when you know he can't approach you. Dropping him to at least half of his hp before you get your ultimate should be your early-game goal.
- When ingited with low hp, don't panic. Use transfusion on the nearest minion or champion to heal up.
- Always spam transfusion while you're being chased. [Unless stopping for a second could cost you your life] Not only do you damage your opponent and heal yourself, you can also turn the tables during the chase.
Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood for 1.5 seconds, making him untargetable, gaining 40% movement speed and slowing enemies above him for .25 seconds. The slow duration is refreshed if the enemies stay within the area of the pool. The movement speed decays rapidly over the duration.
Vladimir deals 20/33.75/47.5/61.25/75 [3.75% of bonus health] magic damage every half second to them and heals himself for 12.5% of the damage done.
Sanguine Pool? More like Trolling Pool. It either trolls you or your opponent. This is where a true Vladimir shines or fails however. A well timed sanguine pool can get you out of all situations, destroy the enemy team in a teamfight, escape from unavoidable abilties and generaly flip the tables against the enemy. A not-so-properly used sanguine pool will either hurt you [since it costs you the 20% of your current life] or kill you.
That would be because sanguine pool has 26 seconds cooldown if not maxed second, and if your opponent has even the slightest of experience against a Vladimir, he'll know that during those 26 seconds you're most vulnerable, that's why you should use Sanguine Pool when it's absolutely necessary!
But instead of words, let me demonstrate. I'm going to place two spoilers here, one spoiler will contain the proper use of Sanguine Pool, and the other one will contain the exact opposite.
Despite it's amazing escape capabilities, sanguine pool can also affect tremendously the outcome of a teamfight, especially when it's maxed second. After using your Hemoplague ]your sanguine pool can actually cause quite a decent amount of damage, and it also makes you untargetable!what's not to love about it?!
- If you want to play safe, you might want to consider maxing sanguine pool right after transfusion Just do it <o>__<o>
- If sanguine pool isn't maxed second, don't use it for farming! Not having your sanguine pool ready can be a huge disadvantage. roughly translated as, don't be an idiot
- You should make sure you've used everything else before using sanguine pool in a teamfight. If you use transfusion and tides of blood, by the time you come back from pool-state their cooldowns will have been refreshed!
- Sanguine pool can really hurt you when you're at full health. Make sure that the damage you're trying to avoid is lower than the health cost of sanguine pool
From the skills i consider hard to dodge, Sanguine Pool can dodge :
Tides Of Blood
Vladimir unleashes a torrent of blood dealing 60/85/110/135/160 [+45% of ability power] magic damage to nearby enemies.
Each cast gives him an Empowered stack [max. 4], inceasing his healing and regeneration by 4/5/6/7/8% each. Additionaly, his next Tides of Blood deals 25% more damage and costs 25% more health per stack up to maximum of 60/80/100/120/140 health and 120/180/240/300/360 [+45% of ability power] damage.
Personaly, i never trully found tides of blood so amazing. It's undeniably true that it can cause ALOT of damage when maxed second, but i've always considered sanguine pool a much more important ability than tides of blood. don't hurt me
Tides of blood is one of the reasons why Vladimir is considered an amazing A.O.E. champion. Tides of blood can hit everyone [no exceptions, unless under specific circumstances] and the little pointy swords he launches towards the targets follow them however much they try to run.
Despite a damage dealer, tides of blood are the reason why Vladimir is also an amazing farmer! A combination of tides of blood and sanguine pool can exterminate dozens of minion waves COMBINED [provided that they're within reach of course.]
But other than that this ability is pretty self explanationary, i'll be moving on "tiny tips" in order to point out a few things about this ability.
- Tides of blood hits everything around you [except for wards of course] That means that you can hit stealthed opponents as well provided that they're close! Low hp- Shaco? Not a problem.
- Tides of blood can actually hit opponents while they're inside a bush if you're close enough. As tempting as it is, only use it during your early lane phase when your opponent is not deadly yet and tries the "bush playstyle" [Hiding in the bush only to come out and hit you when you wander too close] [trying that against a whole team will get you killed, experience has taught me that, unless you're going for a teamfight.] #tiny tips
- Don't try to always keep the stacks at 4. It will only end up hurting you with it's increased health cost, or get you by surprise when a teamfight breaks out and it's still on cooldown. Let it flow naturaly as you're inside the teamfight.
Vladimir infects the target area with a virulent plague. Affected enemies take 12% increased damage for 5 seconds.
After 5 seconds, infected enemies take 150/250/350 [+70% of ability power] magic damage
Ladies and gentlemen, we're going to be talking about an ability, which, if used correctly, can either offer you the cleanest and fastest teamfights of all time, or completely turn the tables around. <o>__<o>
The damage it deals is not really reliable at first, but once it's maxed [and you've also gained a decent amount of ability power], hemoplague can actually turn out to be a total destroyer. Thanks to it causing others to receive 12% increased damage, your enemies become much squishier than their looks and the damage afterwards can be horrifying. When casting hemoplague on all of the members of the enemy team, you're basicaly setting a timer for them to either escape or finish the teamfight before the "bomb" goes off.
In the next video, i'll show you a proper use of Hemoplague and the outcome of using it correctly. It started as a mistake on my part, but ended up giving my team the advantage, even though i died in the end.
- When casting Hemoplague, you mainly want it to be used in a teamfight. It's most effective that way.
- While in a teamfight, you should aim getting all 5 of your opponents, along with as many minions as possible [assuming the teamfight takes place in a lane] with your Hemoplague, even if you end up in the middle of the fight for doing so, your sanguine pool will help you stay alive and when they're finaly damaged from Hemoplague you'll receive alot of healing from your spell vamp.
- Always check your opponent's summoner spells when using Hemoplague to finish them off. If they have an available heal or barrier you've pretty much wasted your ultimate since it doesn't deal alot of damage.
Now that we've talked about Vladimir's skills individualy, lets take a look at how those abilities can be combined! [Remember the "long and complicated combos"?]
Before i begin the analysis lets view the small summary of the ideal and longest combo one can do with vladimir
Yup! That's pretty much how you should do it. Always start with transfusion. If you have you tides of blood maxed second, begin with tides of blood. The health cost will be healed when you use transfusion.
Now why ignite right after hemoplague and not, say, ignite after returning from pool state?
Ignite's damage is too important since it's true. If ignite is followed by hemoplague, which gives 12% increased damage from every source, ignite's damage will multiply! That's why you want to cast ignite right after you cast Hemoplague and just a few seconds before you cast sanguine pool. Ignite accompanied with hemoplague and sanguine pool can actually cause a heavy amount of damage! [If you want to add another damage-per-second effect in your combo, try buying Liandry's Torment [Sanguine pool slows your opponents, and liandry's torment deals increased damage to slowed opponents]. That way while you're in pool state, you'll have ignite, sanguine pool, and liadnry's torment cause increased damage to your targets of choice.
Here's a demonstration of how your combo should pretty much be
- To gain advantage in levels, make sure to try making your opponent return to his base at least once. That requires alot of aggresive gameplay though so make sure you have a way of knowing when it's safe to be aggresive [wards, no jungler, not countered, ghost and sanguine pool ready e.t.c. e.t.c.]
- When you have Vladimir as your opponent, and he starts poking you with Transfusion while you're in your turret. He WANTS a turret dive, so be careful. He will try to turret dive you, and he'll most likely succeed, so make sure to go back or have some sort of item or skill/spell to defend yourself [most preferably a cc before he uses sanguine pool]
I decided this should be an individual chapter because teamfights are essential for Vladimir and having proper teamfights means completing your champion's role and securing gold for your teammates and yourself. Remember! You're a team-player! Don't try to kill-steal while in a teamfight; you'll most likely earn a few kills from your Hemoplague anyway so there's no need to be greedy. "Greedy." <o><o>
Besides, being a team-player makes you classy as hell!
But seriously now, there are two ways to take part in a teamfight as Vladimir. You'll either be the initiator of the teamfight [provided that you have no other player that can initiate] or you can play the classic AP-Carry role and dominate while staying back [Which is actually recommended if you don't get any defensive items]
As an initiator, you're pretty much the team's tanky ap caster. Initiating combat is Vladimir's best tactic if you follow the combo mentioned above. I personally activate Ghost as well before starting my combo so that I can reach them fast enough to activate Tides of Blood and Hemoplague on all 5 opponents. It is vital that you have an item that can keep you alive right after your Sanguine Pool, which you'll be using in the start of the teamfight in order to...well, initiate the fight without taking damage. [A Zhonya's Hourglass usually does the trick.]
Typical AP-Caster style.
Basically, what you want to do when you're playing like that is that you want to let someone else start the teamfight and follow right behind them. The difference here is that you don't really need a tanky item. This way, you can get yourself something to help burst down their team [Be it a Rabadon's Deathcap or a Void Staff
Items - Which and Why
Since Vladimir is very item dependant, this chapter was simply bound to happen. There are, however, a lot of choices for Vladimir, and depending on your tastes and playstyle, you'll be free to choose one of the items I will soon list below.
|Boots of Speed + 3[/color] Health Potions is a great starting choice for Vladimir. That way we have speed, which is perfect for early game harass and gank escaping. The pots also help sustain you until you reach level 6 [if all goes well] You basicaly want to start this way when you know that you're going to be fine, meaning, you're not countered and/or you can easily escape the jungler's ganks Nunu ] I find myself starting with boots quite often. that way i can rush Sorcerer's Shoes for the bonus magic penetration Or, we could, you know, buy shoes for the turrets and golems and just not discriminate on shoe sizes! Augh!||Rejuvenation Bead, 5 Health Potions and a Sight Ward. This is mainly recommended when going top, and you're countered by someone [e.g. Renekton] The beads should help your health regenerate faster and the potions should be able to keep you alive until you either hit level 6 or when your jungler ganks and either he, or you, pick up the kill. In other words, this item set is recommended when you want to be "safe". You either get it when you're afraid of your top opponent, or their jungler. It gives amazing sustain however, and playing safe is always a good call. You could also start with that item in order to rush Spirit of the Spectral Wraith||Amplifying Tome plus a Health Potion. This is a risky starting item. Despite the bonus in ability power and health [passive] you have no speed and only one pot to sustain you. In other words, you want this item set when you counter your opponent, or when you're entirely confident that you can outplay the enemy that way. I don't find myself buying an Amplifying Tome often, but there are two reasons to buy it: one being your opponent doesn't have any sort of projectiles or AOE abilities, thus making the use of speed unessecary, or when you want to rush either Will of the Ancients or Spirit of the Spectral Wraith.|
Spoiler: Click to view
Spoiler: Click to view
Now that we're done with the absolutely necessary items, lets begin a one-by-one item explanation.
Offensive Items<o>__<o> "My enemies tell me it's quite...pleasant."
|Speaking of tanky opponents, is there a[/color] Hecarim who's just destroying your team? A Riven who's just refusing to die? Well, these times will soon be over when you pick Deathfire Grasp! It's basicaly a second Hemoplague applied on a specific target, ALSO dealing 15% of the target's maximum health [in magic damage]. The only problem is that activating this item might get in the way of executing your combo. If you can still execute your combo with Deathfire Grasp included in it then it's definately not a bad choice. Despite all that, there's a heavy amount of ability power and a little bit of cooldown reduction, yay. "'Yay.'? No enthusiasm at all? Even after just going on a sales pitch about Deathfire grasp!? For shame." *Sanke pose*|
|A must have if you're planning to deal a lot of damage. It's technically an Infinity Edge for AP-casters. Amazing bonus in Ability Power which ends up giving you a sweet bonus in health as well!|
Defensive Items<o>__<o> "There is something really suspicious over here!"
|A great starting item after your spell vamp. If you're mid and you have an AP-champion that counters you, or generally a champion that can burst you down. [ Fizz Veigar respectively.] Along with the Ability Power and Magic Resist, it also reduces the Magic Resistance of nearby opponents by 20. It doesn't sound like much, but if you mix this up with Sorcerer's Shoes and Void Staff it's actually a big deal. "*chews gum obnoxiously* Yah. Like, a big deal. 'Kay?"|
|Did I mention Fizz earlier? Looking for a way to counter him? Is there a LeBlanc in the enemy team whose combo looks like a one-shot kill? Not anymore! Banshee's Veil was always a valid option for Vladimir even when it gave mana. The Spell-Block, health and Magic Resistance it offers is...just...OUTRAGEOUS!
Spoiler: Click to view
|Another amazing item when it comes to defending yourself from ap-casters. It is also a great choice when you're countered by an ad-champion. Why? Because as i mentioned before, the healing done by your transfusion is significantly increased! If you're laning against a Yorick, he WILL harass you, and there's nothing you can do about it. Or is there? You can get your spell vamp and spirit visage and withstand his harass while waiting for your jungler to gank [Because honestly, you wouldn't stand a chance against a decent Yorick player as Vladimir] Other than that, a good amount of health, magic resist and cooldown reduction.|
They can seriously save your life.
I won't be adding match-ups yet since it will take a lot of time to sort out, rate, and explain every single champion that goes solo top or mid, but I will be doing it in the near future.
End of the guide
Well! This is it! You've [somehow] reached the end of this guide! I've put a lot of effort in it so I hope it was as helpful as I hoped it would be! Make sure to upvote or downvote with a comment why! As an open-minded person [which you have probably assumed by now] i'm willing to listen to any ideas! [as long as there is a reasoning behind it of course.]
Now then! Go make those offtanks squishy!