Build Guide by H4unt3r
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
This is my first guide, however I make builds quite often for other players. I have been playing for about six months, and I played Vlad almost every day since he came out. I am not the world's best Vlad, but I haven't met one better than I, so far. If you have comments about anything please say so (:
In addition, I do not in any way recommend any guide that gives Rylai's crystal. Here is why.
(let me know if this is against the rules in anyway) My League name is the same as my MOBAfire (H4unt3r) HAUNTER not HUNTER. Add me if you would like to play, I am almost level 30 (29) or if you have questions or an idea on an alternative build.
It does not give enough HP, or AP to either Tank, or be a Mage. Flat HP alone does NOT make a Tank. A true tank will have a self sustaining method of getting its HP back, or simply stacking Armor and Magic Resistance so one does not lose HP. Rylai's Crystal does almost NOTHING unless you get multiple of them and start stacking. I am not saying guides with the Crystal are useless, because that is incorrect. You can do very well getting it, but getting these items truly maximizes how Vladimir is supposed to be played out. You do not have to have to just be either Mage/Tank. This guide can allow you to stay alive the longest, do near the most (or the most depending on team composition) damage while tanking better then a Stacked Cho'Gath (tested). This guide is a bit jumbled in order, but if you read all of it you should be able to get a good look on not only what to get but how to maneuver Vlad.
Tank or Mage?
Vlad is first and for most a Mage. His passive ability can undoubtedly make him an off tank, but has no tanking abilities besides the stacks on Tides of Blood. I am in no way saying that you will not out live the other tanks (if you have other tanks) on your team. Vladimir is best used by starting the game as a Mage, and building up his Ability power items. Once he has a certain amount of damage and additional spell vamp he start to farm kills. I have had matches where I get 4K/8D and turn it around into 25/12 from the curvature that Vlad can produce. I have played against many teams with a pure Tank Vlad. He starts off very well, and ends up having his life drained out immensely as the damage done and healing done by an AP Spell Vamp Vlad is greater than the HP Regen and top HP of a Tank Vlad (test it out on a practice match with an equally fed Vladimir if you like).
Vladimir can have some trouble in the beginning of a match, so by using these Runes you can balance out his faults while still giving him a boost to his abilities.
Marks-Extra damage for his spells, fairly simple.
Seals-Health Per Level, although small its also ability power per level.
Glyphs-Great starting AP, I found to be much more helpful than the extremely low AP/lvl. Also gives a fair amount of starting HP which is key in Vlad.
Quintessence-Starting HP of 96. Amazing in combo with Vet. Scars.
You might ask yourself, why is this guide choosing defensive masteries over the utility tree? Damage reduction plain and simple, leading up to the ever so amazing Veteran Scars and Ardors.
Offensive- Points are fairly obvious, Archmage's Savvy to get more Spell Damage and Health, Sorcery that leads up to Archaic Knowledge for extra Magic Penetration. Burning Embers isn't exactly the best for anyone else, but getting 10 AP and 20 HP is a nice touch, making it worth while.
Defensive- Most Vlad guides will have you go Utility as your main mastery for cool down. While this is handy it isn't as effective as the Defensive tree. It may sound silly, but getting Veteran's Scar and Ardor is worth every point spent before it. Magic Resistance and Armor points are obvious, seeing as you won't be building up them in your items, but its always helpful. Defensive Mastery and Evasion are admittedly rather useless to this build... however, getting a bonus 60 HP (on top of the runes 96 some odd HP) plus Ardors 2% plus 2% extra Ability power is overwhelming for an early game.
Utility- 1 point in Spatial Accuracy to help out Teleport.
Hemoplague>Blood Sanguine>Transfusion>Tides of Blood
Vladimir is an ability based Champion. Any guide that suggests Tides of Blood as a priority is useless, and should be dropped ASAP. If the guide says start with Transfusion, it may be a worthwhile guide but Blood Sanguine is the most important skill, and here is why. Blood Sanguine is a AoE slow that steals life and makes you non target-able. Whats the catch? Its cool down starts at over 20 seconds. With each point of Blood Sanguine, you get about a 3 second CoolDown reduction compared to Transfusion's 1/1.4 CD or Tides of Blood's CD reduction of 0. If you get Transfusion as your starting skill you can heal without the HP cost, but your efficiency at level one to push creeps back, or to help your lane partner is futile. Most will say Transfusion is better for getting your health back, but if properly placed between a full group of creeps Blood Sanguine can absorb all the HP lost and more, especially once you grab a Hextech Revolver. Once Blood Sanguine and Transfusion are both at level 5 it will allow you to start jungling without any health loss. In my honest opinion Tides of Blood is helpful, at the end of the game, and to get the last hit on kills or to slowly damage your laning enemy, but in no way is your main force of damage. Also, Blood Sanguine does good damage without stacking AP while Transfusion is a bit lacking until late game.
Transfusion- I suggest using this to slowly wear down a opponents HP, as it has no cost with a large range and gives you back your HP. It ends up doing extreme amounts of damage once Zhoyna's Ring is bought. If you like grabbing the kill steal, use this while Champions run away from you, or use it while they stand near their turret. If you do it right you wont get hit by the turret but still can damage them. Its very useful if you take middle.
Blood Sanguine- This skill can and will save your life, and change the tides of war with correct usage. If you want to push a lane, use it do demolish the creeps. If you want to help in a group fight use it drain everyones health, or use it as one of the enemy champs runs away to get a group gank on. If your low on HP its best used to drain the HP back to sustain yourself, or clean out a wave of minions forming up at a turret. The 20% HP is a drain (haha) but in combo with spell vamp items, it is very beneficial. One last key component, since it removes all aggro this includes turrets. Use it to drain the HP of a Champion standing near the turret, or to get one more last kill as the enemy runs to their base (no aggro from turret=no worries (: )
Tides of Blood-I don't recommend getting more than one point in this ability unless you have the HP to sustain it. The HP cost goes up, and since it has no HP return, its fairly useless to deal damage off the bat. However, since it increases healing done, before you use Transfusion or Blood Sanguine (near creeps) use ToB to increase the effect of the other two. Tides of Blood also helps when finishing off a large wave of creeps. In combo with Blood Sanguine you can get mass amounts of gold from creep waves.
Hemoplague- If your in a lane with a partner, only use it when your enemies are near death, 50% or less health. Use it when your partners ult is up, and use it first in a battle before everyone starts nuking, as it does NO damage off the bat, and will not scare off the enemy. I suggest using Transfusion and spamming Tides of Blood, using Blood Sanguine as they run away, dealing some damage and trapping them as the damage on Hemo ticks. If you take middle use this if your low on HP, it will make the mid run back and even port, giving you time to port so you don't waste your Teleport spell.
Crimson Pact- Take advantage of this for getting that extra boost in HP so your not a squishy mage, then when the switch over to tank comes it will help out indefinitely. Just about everything in this guide warps around this passive. Hextech Revolver in the begining gives double support with 80 HP and 40 AP and 15% spell vamp (all for just around 1375!). Each champion kill with Warmogs and Zhonyas on top of Ardors is 36 HP= 1.305 ability power. Although not much, when Warmogs is Capped at 1670 HP=66.8 Ability power plus Zhonyas ring and Ardors 29% increase of 66.8=19.37. What I'm mostly emphasizing is the importance of getting Zhonyas ring first, as the 25% boost is something you cannot pass up, especially when just from a Warmogs you get 86.17200 ability power.
Ignite- This should be fairly obvious if you have read the guide up until now. The additional 10AP/20HP from Burning Embers is a must.
Teleport- I've read a few guides that say "Do not get Teleport!!!! It is a waste!" in no way do I agree. If your on the top lane and the bottom lane is being pushed back by 2 half health champions, you Teleport behind them and get a double kill and push over their turret. Vladimir has low running speed, so instantly moving across the map is a must for ganks.
Ghost- This actually isn't a BAD choice. Using Blood Sanguine and Ghost can make you catch up to group of enemies who attempt to run away. Besides that, I only recommend getting Ghost to tower dive with Blood Sanguine.
First I must say that all item builds will change depending on the enemy team, as strategy is key. You will notice Mejal's Soul Stealer is NOT in this guide, and I will not put it in any guide. Soulstealer is dependent on assists and kills, which could be a total waste if you mess up and die constantly (which happens to us all from time to time). If you feel that you are confident on surviving and getting assists or kills, definitely grab a Soulstealer as it will carry you to a victory. I only recommend getting a Thorn-mail if 1. Your being squashed 2. 4/5 enemies are melee based.
Doran's Ring- Why get Doran's Ring over Doran's Shield? Simple. Doran's Ring gives 120 HP (almost 5 AP) and 10 AP (20 HP). So in the end it gives 140 HP and 14/15 AP, instead of just 140 HP and horrible HP/5. I actually keep the ring until I buy the very last item.
Hex Tech Revolver- This is a MUST. Vladimir is a spell vamp character, but his abilities don't have enough (or any in the case of Tides of Blood). This item of course works with his passive, gives him much needed damage and gives the survivability boost needed. I have grabbed 3 Hex Tech Revolvers in one match and it works wonders. Your HP will zoom up with Blood Sanguine, your HP loss is nullified with Tides of Blood and Transfusions HP% steal is low without heavy AP. Grabbing Hextech Revolver before or after Spell Pen boots is up to the player, as I can't be in every match to say when (:
Sorcerer's Boots-Obvious choice, as you will notice the damage increase of your spells. 5 speed boots will work if you feel you have to be the only carry on your team (and if used properly will sustain the 5 speed while in Blood Sanguine).
Warmogs/Zhonya's Ring- Getting either a Blasting Wand or Giant's Belt then the other (your choice of order is dependent on your K/D ratio (Belt before Wand if your deaths are higher)) is more beneficial than finishing Warmogs or Zhoyna's Ring. Getting the Needlessly Large Rod is a huge boost in your abilities.
Zhonya's RingGiving your AP a 25% boost (on top of Ardors 4%) is better than Warmogs simply because it gives the additional HP from Vlad's passive. If your K/D/A score is negative, this item will turn that around. Your HP should jump about 300-500 with around 90 or so ability power increase from the passive. The active ability can be used like a second sanguine. Use the Rings active first in group fights if your the usual target. You will begin to be nuked, with no damage being dealt to you.
Warmogs- Normally this would be a earlier item, as it takes some time to build up the HP/HP per 5 on it. However, by the time the previous items have been purchased you will be able to farm waves of minions extremely effectively. Many a time have I used Teleport to save a dying turret from a creep build up, getting 15 plus minions and plenty of gold.
Hextech Revolver#2-This will help you survive in group fights by a lot. Using Blood Sanguine and Tides of Blood in a fight versus 3 or more Champions will keep your health a float as you duke it out with your foes.
Will of the Ancients- Assuming you have everything up until now, this is the cherry on the cake.
Force of Nature- .35% of 4.5k HP is 15/second. Which is 78.75 HP/5 on top of your HP/5 (should be around 140 before this item) plus its natural 40 HP/5 is... well over 200 HP. Even though its not ability power, or HP, it IS amazing. If you get this far in a match, grab it. Notice the difference it will make in your gameplay.
Warmogs#2- I've tried getting a few different items in the last slot. Void Staff doesn't stack up as well as I thought, Lich Bane is only good if your fighting against a heavy Caster/Range team.
Spirit Visage- A increased 20% of your healing and regeneration (which includes his natural spell vamp and from Hextech/Will of the Ancients) is ONLY good once you have enough for 20% to make a effect.
You can push the Creep Line forward if you use W+E abilities. Start farming minion kills and lane up with a partner who is a nuke to get First Blood and early kills. Try to always harass with Transfusion especially against melee as it has a very long range. Vladimir is rather weak in the start of a game from having horrible cool downs, so try to stay away from the fight while everything is on CD.
This is where Edward starts to shine, his abilities can be spammed, his Spell Vamp item and shoes are bought, ultimate is on CD. If someone is at 75% HP, and isn't a tank you should be able to demolish them by using Hemoplague>Tides of Blood>Blood Sanguine> Transfusion>Tides of Blood. At level 12 (and or when you get your first Warmogs) make sure to always drop by the Jungle monsters. Sanguine Blood+Tides of Blood can take out any group of jungle monsters, and using Tides of Blood and Transfusion together will wither down the Buff Monsters HP (especially golem buff for increased reduction).
This should be self explanatory. Use your Ultimate ONLY in group fights, or if your team isn't in fear of group ganks. Use Teleport to sneak behind enemies who might take out your turret like mentioned before, and don't forget to play more support with Vladimir as he can hit multiple targets with all but one ability. If you aren't doing good by this time in the game... this guide wont help much (:
This guide IS a work in progress and WILL be updated daily