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Vladimir Build Guide by TheCrookedMan

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author TheCrookedMan

Vladimir La Funeral [Updated]

TheCrookedMan Last updated on September 4, 2013
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Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
14
Ability Key W
3
13
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
3/
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 21


Guide Top

Introduction

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.

About the author

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.


Guide Top

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.

AllwillhailPlaudedelaFuneralProsWhoneedsSpacewhenyouhaveVALUUUUUUE!?Cons
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
mustmakecollumnnBABOOM.-PUNS!spacespacespacespacespacespacespacespa-Puns.

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.


Guide Top

Runes - Which and Why?

Youreallylikehighlightingdon'tyou
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.

Spoiler: Click to view


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.

Spoiler: Click to view


Guide Top

Masteries - Which and Why?

Regarding Masteries
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.

Utility Tree

Masteries
4/1
4/5
1/1
3/5
1/1
3/5
2/1
1/1
3/5
4/1
3/
1/

Currently my most favourite, the utility tree has become quite beneficial for Vladimir in season 3. Lets take a few seconds to understand why!
Spoiler: Click to view


Defensive Tree
Masteries
4/1
4/5
1/1
4/1
3/1
3/5
2/1
1/1
1/5
3/1
3/1
1/
In season 3, the defensive tree has gotten alot more reliable than in season 2! There are many choices to make! You could either spend your points on health to synergise with Vladimir's passive [which is what i chose to do.] Or you could pick all these armor and magic resist masteries to be more tanky! Now, lets check the pros of this tree!
Spoiler: Click to view


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.


Guide Top

Spells - Which and Why?

Choices :

Spoiler: Click to view
Spoiler: Click to view
And then you can listen to your disgruntled enemies complain that you escaped...in a *flash*! Bahaha!
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>


Guide Top

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.

Spoiler: Click to view
These are the skills we'll be talking about.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Crimson Pact
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!
Spoiler: Click to view

Low quality, will replace when i get the chance.
Dat pose though *snicker* Right?!

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Transfusion
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>

Tiny Tips
I lied
  • 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.

Spoiler: Click to view


Spoiler: Click to view

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Sanguine Pool
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.
But why?
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.

Proper Use
Spoiler: Click to view


Bad Use
Spoiler: Click to view


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?!
Time forrrrrr....
Tiny Tips
  • 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.
Tiny Tips
  • 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.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
Hemoplague
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.

Spoiler: Click to view

Tiny Tips
  • 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
hehe
>>> >>>

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
Spoiler: Click to view

General Tiny Tips
Oh you thought this was over?
  • 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]


Guide Top

Teamfights

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]

Initiator

Spoiler: Click to view


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.
Spoiler: Click to view


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


Guide Top

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.

Starting items!

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.

___________________________________________________________________________________________
Speed

Spoiler: Click to view
Spell Vamp

Spoiler: Click to view
But what if my team is desperately lacking some team "Spirit"? #completelyvalidquestions
_________________________________________________________________________________________

Now that we're done with the absolutely necessary items, lets begin a one-by-one item explanation.

Offensive Items
This is actually a great choice. As I mentioned earlier, the damage that Liandry's Torment deals with its passive ability is doubled by the slow affected with Sanguine Pool and almost trippled under the effect of Hemoplague. Despite that, it has magic penetration and ability power. It's a good choice against tanky opponents; what's not to love?
<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*
<o>__<o>
An item I rarely get. Personally, I never truly liked these kinds of items but I can see why one would build it. Tons of Ability Power and a sweet amount of cooldown reduction when fully stacked. You should consider buying this only if you see that you're doing well however. If you get it and die often, you'll eventually come to the painful conclusion that you wasted your gold on nothing. "Cue the sounds of broken hearts in 3...2..."
<o>__<o>
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!
<o>__<o>
You should really consider getting this during your late-game. Everyone will have probably gotten some magic resist by then and the magic penetration this item gives is simply fantastic. Combined with Sorcerer's Shoes, you'll be able to ignore a good amount of their magic resist. If you're doing well, or when you're the team's carry, the Void Staff is actually a very good finishing item.
<o>__<o> "I am so onto you."
One of my personal favourites. Normally, I'd put this in the "defensive" items, but the many uses of this item allow it to be offensive as well. Due to the fact that you can slow enemies with that item, you basically become an unstoppable hunter and initiator. Your Sanguine Pool and Tides of Blood will keep everyone in place and the remaining opponents will be eternally slowed down by your "making it rain" transfusions. This is one of the items that actually define Vladimir. It gives both Ability Power which transforms into health and health which transforms into Ability Power, making an amazing combination of survivability and deadliness.
<o>__<o>
Defensive Items
Another must-have if you're planning to be an initiator, or when you're just being focused and find yourself dying often. Despite giving Ability Power and armor, this item is some sort of a "second Sanguine Pool". Sure, you might not be able to move, but you're guaranteed to survive another few seconds after your combo and Sanguine Pool is over, and the rest of your team is cleaning up whatever remains of the enemy team there are left.
<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?"
<o>__<o>
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
<o>__<o>
You probably want this item when the enemy team is AD-heavy. It doesn't offer you much Ability Power, but it's actually a very decent choice especially when you're initiating combat. It slows down your opponents' attack and movement speed each time they hit you and by activating it, you can do the exact same thing on champions that are running away. It's basically a way to "keep your opponents in place" even when you're out of pool-state [not to mention the significant amount of armor and health]
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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.
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It's actually not a bad choice. A lot of health and a good amount of armor which makes you tanky. It also works well with your sanguine pool and AOE capabilities thanks to the small amount of AOE true damage given from this item. [Don't forget that the damage is increased through Hemoplague]
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]Hm. Not a bad choice, but not an amazing one either. It's pretty much an enormous pile of health. It surely transforms into a somewhat decent amount of ability power and makes you much more tanky, but it's too simple. It's not really a bad choice but you should be aiming for items that give multiple bonuses. "Right, guys?!"
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Also, never forget to buy these little guys whenever you have a chance.
sight ward
They can seriously save your life.


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Match-ups

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.


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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!