Vladimir Build Guide by guineaman56
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.
Threats to Vladimir with this build
|Malphite||Malphite is a counterpick to AD champions. NOTICE HOW YOU'RE NOT ONE? You sustain better than him, as he has none, and you teamfight just as well. Your late game outweighs his, however don't expect too many kills on him once he's full build.|
|Nasus||Nasus. Tank. Hypercarry. Monster. See how those words can describe you as well? Well, they do. Nasus can split push, and that's really all he can do, as if he tries to teamfight against you, instead of 4 down, it'll be 5. In lane, he struggles against you unless he gets constant ganks.|
|Teemo||Teemo is a joke. Teamfights? He can't beat you. Trading? He can't beat you. All ins? He can't beat you. CC? You have more, shockingly. Crush him like a bug.|
Vladimir, THE UNSTOPPABLE!
|Vladimir is a champion who can be described by many things. Tanky, DPS, hypercarry, mage. He possesses great AoE power, and is overall a very strong champion, if played right. He has his limits when it comes to certain matchups, but even with the hardest matchups he can outscale them very hard if you play it correctly.|
About the Author
Hello! I am Bane the Waffle, a Gold 5 scrub. I play a lot of Vladimir, and he was a good part of how I got to Gold in the first place.In this guide, I hope to help you realize how cool of a champion Vlad is.
Vladimir is a very versatile champion. He has many different ways of building, as opposed to say, who is literally "DFG OR DIE". If his team needs him to be durable, he can do durable. If his team needs him to be face-melter extraordinaire, he can do face-melter extraordinaire. Vlad can adjust however he needs to, and that's a good thing to have in a champion. However, whether he's durable or face-melt, Vlad's late game literally allows him to hypercarry the hardest of games. Vlad is generally one of the strongest late game champions around, as he's able to bring a lot of damage to the table.
Pros and Cons
|+ Strong teamfighting
+ Good sustain (Post 9)
+ Tankier of the mages
+ A monster when fed
+ Strong teamfighter
+ Good escapability
+ Fairly good bounce back
+ Great AoE DPS
|Vlad is a great champion, so long as he just farms up and stays safe for the larger part of the early game. Basically, know where he's good. 1v1's, aren't where he's good. By bounce back, I mean unless you get absolutely DESTROYED in lane phase, you can generally come back and be a good help to the team through your AoE damage.|
|+ Short range
+ Low Sustain (Pre 9)
+ Very fragile early game
+ Has a lot of awful matchups top and mid
+ Item/farm dependent
|Vlad has some issues, most of which revolve around his early game. He can't sustain, he's not very pokey, he's not very durable. Some of the matchups you'll face will literally make you hate playing him, but if you learn how to "beat" them through passivity, you'll be fine.|
Crimson Pact: This ability allows Vlad to gain AP off of HP, and HP off of AP.
- Any item that gives both HP and AP, like Rylai's or Liandry's makes this ability very effective.
- Rabadon's Deathcap also increases your HP by 1.05%.
- This is why Vlad is considered one of the tankiest mages in the game, if not THE tankiest.
- This is best coupled with some resistances, making your effective HP even better.
Transfusion: This is what makes Vlad, Vlad. A damaging ability that heals Vlad for a base amount plus a bit of his AP.
- This is a very spammable ability late game, getting to less than 3 seconds with enough CDR.
- It's best to last hit with either or else your autoattacks, to save this ability for harassment/counter harassment.
- This ability is the reason why Vlad's level 9 is insanely strong, and only gets stronger from there.
- The normal heal from this ability, coupled with Spell vamp AND a Spirit Visage allow Vlad to heal for insane amounts from 1 spell, upwards of 600 or more.
Sanguine Pool: This ability makes Vlad untargetable and allows him to slow enemies above him.
- Sanguine Pool is a great escape, especially now that summoner spells can be used in it.
- At the same time, Sanguine Pool can also be used as an engage with to help your teammates catch up.
- If you know noone's going to gank you and your opponent has backed, Sanguine Pool can heal you for quite a bit if used on a group of minions.
- Beware of damage over time spells, as they will continue to hurt you in your pool!
Tides of Blood: This is an AoE, which, every time it's used, boosts healing effects and deals more and more damage.
- Be careful of spamming this early game, as it costs a great deal of HP early on.
- This ability is best stacked before you use or as it will increase the healing you gain from them.
- Try to keep this stacked before you enter late game teamfights, as with full stacks, you'll be dealing nearly 500 damage in an AoE around you every 2 seconds.
- Tides of Blood boosts ALL regen effects, so feel free to use it while you pop a health potion.
Hemoplague: THIS is what makes Vlad a literal monster in teamfights. 12% damage amplification to affected enemies for 5 seconds, in an AoE.
- This ability amplifies ITS' own damage!
- Hemoplague is best used on as many enemies as possible, as it generally guarantees a won teamfight.
- This ability is why Vlad works so well with tanky AoE initiators, like or .
- When coupled with , the result is horrifyingly strong, as you'll kill most squishies within 2 spell casts of this.
- Combined with a DFG, Vlad can have 32% damage amplification on a single target.
Sustaining In Lane
Vlad is known for his incredible sustain, however, this doesn't really become incredible until later on, at around level 9. This is the point where Transfusion hits its' infamous 3 second cooldown, if not less. Vlad gains INSANE harassment potential after that, literally being able to non stop pressure his enemy by rotating through his Q and E. With full stacks of his E, Vlad's Q heals him for a massive amount, allowing him to be that pain in the butt that never really leaves. This also allows him to collect massive amounts of CS, seeing as how he never leaves, which we'll talk about next.
How to Become a Farmlord-I mean Bloodlord
Vlad's allows him to hit EVERYTHING around him in an AoE. This includes minions. Vlad is able to clear waves very well mid to late game with his E, and can farm VERY well because of that. And then, when you have double the CS of everyone else on your team seeing as you can 1 shot a wave of creeps, you're able to buy things faster, and become an even bigger monster. Examples of this, you ask?
As you can see from that, I was a great deal of our team's damage and gold income, thanks to both being fed and then mainly the farm that I had, virtually double the rest of my team's farm. The idea is to have the highest gold income (which is the point of any carry, but especially hard carries) so that you can dominate the enemy team. Whether you do that by farming or by kills, it doesn't matter, but farming, FOR VLAD ESPECIALLY is the easier and safer way. Generally speaking, Vlad shouldn't be going for kills early, as he couldn't duel his way out of a paper bag.
Vladimir is rather item dependent. But what items is he dependent ON? Let's start with the basics.
Oh baby. AP. Yeah no, 80 AP isn't why this item is delicious for our blood lord. The 20% spell vamp and 10% CDR is. Imagine, your spells that already heal you, HEAL YOU EVEN MORE. Your improve spell vamp by a percentage, making this item even more effective than it already was. Generally, I like to get this item first.
These boots allow Vlad to have some good mobility and magic pen all in one. If you're wondering why I don't go for , I get my CDR from other areas. Generally speaking, I go for the Distortion enchantment so that my summoner spells are always up, that way I can engage much easier.
If you were wondering where my CDR was coming from, this was it. 10% CDR, when coupled with runes, masteries and , is very strong. It also gives you some good HP and regen, which, thanks to your passive gives you a bit of AP. But the BIG reason this item is so great, is because of the passive. Boosted healing effects. On a champion, where everything besides ONE ability is a healing effect, and when combined with WoTA, EVERYTHING becomes a healing effect, this item is great. I like to get it third after my WoTA and boots.
So, we're done with the core stuff. Now onto THE FUN STUFF!
Oh lord I love this item. Armor, AP, and a bit of HP from your passive! However, that's not the best part about it. This goes INCREDIBLY well with , being able to go from being untargetable to invulnerable BACK to untargetable! This also can be used to survive a fight where you know will kill the enemy, and when you would die if you could otherwise be hit. It's great for baiting out certain ultimates as well, like and , if your pool is on cooldown, anyway.
My personal favorite MR item outside of Visage, for Vlad. Given Vlad's short range, the aura of this item is almost always applied, allowing him to both have increased damage through the MR reduction and the AP. In addition to this, patch 4.20 gave this item a slight buff, increasing the MR the item itself gives, which is great for Vlad.
With all the aggro drop abilities Vlad has from and , why not have one more? GA has great resistances that help make Vlad very difficult to kill in the first place, coupled with his ability to be untouchable through both pool and hourglass. The other thing that makes this item beautiful, is the fact that when is stacked while Guardian Angel pops, you revive with even more HP than you would normally, and Spirit Visage only makes that amount even larger.
GLORIOUS CC! This item right here is MADE for Vlad. A lot of HP, which in turn gives you AP, and a lot of AP, which in turn gives you HP. But that's not all! Your spells now apply SLOWS! YOU CAN ACTUALLY STOP SOMEONE! CRAZY, RIGHT?! Rylai's is a wonderful item if you find yourself in desperate need to kite or chase, but with the summoner setup I use, I don't find it necessary. HOWEVER, I'm just some dude typing letters on a screen, so if you want it, go for it.
Oh lord. Tons of AP. Which means tons of HP. Percent increased AP. Which means percent increased HP. Generally speaking, unless a very large portion of my team is tanky and we need more damage, I don't buy this item, as Vlad needs resistances to stay in a teamfight for a good amount of time, which he needs to deal out DPS. But again, everything is situational.
Who ever you need to LITERALLY erase, this'll help you out. Combine this with Hemoplague for 32% damage amplification. WTF. In addition to this, this item gives good CDR and good AP, and in turn, HP. All in all, this is very situational, as it isn't that great in terms of damage output compared to .
This is a great item to burn through HP with, and thanks to your passive, you gain good HP and AP from it, even more so than usual. This isn't an item I get often as usually Vlad doesn't have a huge problem until someone hits over 4k HP.
Do you hate MR? Does the enemy team love it? PUNISH THEM FOR IT.
Masteries and Runes
In tier 1, Sorcery and Butcher helps Vlad to spam his spells and CS better, as his autoattacks suck.
In tier 2, Expose Weakness allows your Hemoplague to give damage amplification to your team even after it's proc'd, along with all your other spells, and Mental Force gives you good scaling AP.
In tier 3, Arcane Mastery gives you good flat AP for the beginning of the game, and 2 points into Executioner helps you to deal more damage when finishing off an enemy.
In tier 4, % boosted AP works wonders with both your passive and just your overall damage.
In tier 1, the HP regen helps you to sustain, and reduced AA damage helps you early game vs. many top laners. The % increased resistances comes into play late game, when you're extremely tanky in part thanks to it.
In tier 2, Unyielding helps to again reduce damage you take from champions, and Veteran's Scars gives you some nice beginning of the game HP.
In tier 3, Oppression helps as generally speaking Vlad's team will have at least a bit of CC, allowing him to stay healthy from the reduction in damage. In addition to this, Juggernaut works very well with Vlad's passive, allowing him to gain a bit more AP because of it, in addition to giving good HP.
In tier 1, I pick up the move speed, as it helps me kite around my opponents and get into teamfights easier.
Now runes step up to the plate.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: These give you a nice boost of AP and HP thanks to your passive, yet fall off a bit late game.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: These quints allow you to kite quite a bit easier, and enter fights quite a bit easier, good generally all game.
Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp: These quints are a great choice for survivability, and help a bit during lane phase, and a lot in late game teamfights, allowing you to sustain very well with them.
Greater Seal of Scaling Health: These are my personal choice for seals, as they work well with Vlad's passive.
Greater Seal of Armor: If you're against an AD lane you're not sure about, these will help you survive your early game troubles.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power: Whether they're scaling or flat, these work well for an increase in AP, and therefore HP.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: I prefer a mix of scaling and flat, that way I get to about 35% CDR with my full build, and still have survivability early game, as the flat CDR allows me to spam my Q more.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: These work well if against a hard AP lane as flat, say , and give you good resistances late game as scaling ones.
For summoner spells, I like taking
. These provide good mobility so that you can stay safe. However, there are some other common setups I see other Vlads run and I should probably talk about those.
Nothing says "Happy birthday, have a Hemoplague!" more than Flash. It is also a great way of telling to piss off. And even then, you can pool-flash to slow your enemies in a teamfight, allowing your allies to catch up to you.
Phases of the Game
Vlad's early game is god-awful. Your cooldowns are long, your trading sucks, and overall, you're just useless. Stay safe, and just farm up.
Around here is where Vlad hits his infamous level 9. Guess what's at full rank! That's right, your ...wait, I mean your ! Your true strength is just now attained, and yet your enemies have no idea of what approaches.
Vladimir hits late game like a boxer hitting a speed bag. Now is when teamfights occur. Now is when being able to heal up quickly is your ally, and where long cooldowns are your enemy. THIS is where Vladimir becomes Vlad. If you've stayed on top of your farm and not dying, you're going to be a gigantic threat, if not the biggest one.
Teamfights, wut do?
Vlad's teamfighting isn't too complex. Wait for your enemies to bunch up, and then launch a onto them. Vlad doesn't particularly focus anyone in a teamfight, per se, but rather focuses EVERYONE at once. Combine and , and you've got over 1000 damage ON EVERYONE, with only one cast of Tides of Blood calculated in. Feel free to slow everyone with your to help your teammates catch up, and basically, the teamfight should be a success. Honestly, the quicker Vlad's team decides to teamfight, the better he'll be and they'll get more use out of him.
Vlad goes well with anyone with a lot of AoE CC, as he lacks his own CC, and can improve AoE damage with Hemoplague. So, let's go down the list, shall we?
Amumu and you are a match made in heaven. He's made of AoE and hard engage. He needs blue buff, you don't at all. He has the CC and magic damage to compliment yours, resulting in DISASTROUS amounts of melt for the enemy team.
Sejuani brings to the table lots of slows, a knockup and a stun. She works well seeing as her ultimate can work like a long range stun, allowing you to Hemoplague multiple people at once, and then she can pop her slow, dealing even more damage.
Ziggs has AMAZING AoE potential, to the point where everything he has is AoE. While he doesn't help a ton in the CC aspect, AoE damage is his specialty.
Wukong possesses the ability to engage with his ultimate dealing MASSIVE DPS, only further increased by your . In addition to this, you can slow enemies caught in his ultimate, making it very hard for enemies to get away from the damage.
Graves is an AD carry with lots of AoE burst, capable of dealing a lot of damage to a lot of targets at once. Combo his AoE with yours, and you have a terrifying amount of doom.
Orianna has great AoE damage, AoE support and overall a good synergy with Vlad. Possessing the ability to put the ball atop you as you engage with your head, she does just as well in teamfights as you.
Vlad is a hypercarry capable of pulling off amazing things and dealing insane damage in teamfights. His early game may be bad, but his late game power more than makes up for it. If you're prepared for this, he is a wonderful carry for both team play and solo-queue. Adios summoners!