Vladimir Build Guide by VoidRaizer
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.
Hello there. This is my first build guide so please be kind. I have been using MOBAFIRE builds for quite some time and have been playing this game for long enough to feel competent to build an effective guide to help other players learn how to play Vladimir. Also, please pardon my plentiful use of colors and other attention grabbers, for I am experimenting as much as typing this guide.
Vladimir is the champion I always "fall back" on when I don't know who to play or if I just want to have fun because I know that I know how to play him and how to do well with him. And through this guide I hope to help others by sharing my knowledge.
Pros / Cons
Untargetable for 1.5 seconds on demand
Great damage output (very often underestimated which makes it much easier to snag kills)
Fantastic ult for team fights
Slow early game
Relatively weak until you get the Will of the Ancients
Pretty long CD's until you level up and Ionian Boots of Lucidity are bought
Greater Mark of Insight
This rune is important for several reasons. First off, you don't buy Sorcerer's Shoes which means that you don't get that extra 20 magic pen so you need some sort of magic pen somewhere. Not to mention there aren't really any good marks for AP carries besides insight.
Greater Seal of Vitality Greater Seal of Vitality
This rune is vital (forgive the pun). As Vladimir, all you do is raise AP and health. Your passive raises the other when you raise one and therefore this rune gives you health and AP. You could go flat health with the Greater Seal of Health but I much prefer scaling Greater Seal of Vitality over flat rate any day.
Greater Glyph of Celerity
Seeing as how you don't have to worry about mana or energy, and because you survive by using your opponent's health as your own, the only thing you have to worry about is your cooldowns. This helps nullify your worries. This is much more important than say, Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power or Greater Glyph of Ability Power because the little AP you get from that will not help you anywhere near as much as 15% cooldown reduction from your runes alone.
Greater Quintessence of Celerity
This is the same reason as the glyphs. Sure you could start out with 15 extra AP but in the end, what you will want is the extra cooldown reduction.
The masteries are as such because Vladimir is an AP Caster DPS. Nothing in this guide is binding so clearly you can build masteries your own way if you'd prefer. The only other way I can think of making the masteries, would be to work it so you get the extra spellvamp from the utilities.
Vladimir, as we all know, is a Caster DPS champion type and is very effective at what he does. His skills cost no mana and no energy, only health; and therefore is very effective and efficient at harassing and farming with his skills.
Crimson Pact (Passive)
Oh what a wonderful passive. This passive is so perfect for Vladimir that words cannot describe it's awesomeness, but alas, I am here to try.
This passive basically says that if you get health items, in return the passive gives you AP as well. And if you decide to get some AP items, this passive will give you health alongside that as a bonus. This is why Vladimir is a fighter. Because of this passive, Vladimir ends up having a ton of health and AP, so he can dish out damage with the best of 'em while at the same time being able to survive like none other.
If you were like me, then when you started League of Legends you were impressed because they seemed to have every major archetype of hero ever to exist. And you had heard from your friends that Vladimir was a vampire. Well this skill is why he is such. You want to up this skill every single time you can because this skill is what makes Vladimir worth anything.
This skill is an easy point-and-click spell that takes effect the instant you click on someone. Very useful for damage and it gives you back health. The best part, of course, is the fact that it GIVES YOU BACK HEALTH! even if you don't have any spellvamp! Wonderful skill indeed.
This is NOT an offensive skill (most of the time). I repeat: do NOT use this skill to engage a teamfight or engage any fight whatsoever. This skill is amazing when used correctly.
As soon as you activate this ability, you sink into a pool of red sticky stuff that makes you untargetable for 1.5 seconds. That's a whole 1.5 seconds of near-invulnerability. HOWEVER, if you were targeted PRIOR to activating this spell (for example by Fiddlesticks' Drain) you WILL still take damage and may die while in your pool. This also counts for any other channeled ability like Morgana's Soul Shackles, Swain's Decrepify, and many others.
BUT one nice tip to keep in mind is: that pesky Karthus ultimate called Requiem CAN be completely avoided if you are in your pool form when the ult goes off. But be careful not to pool as soon as you see that spire of red gas above your head, for you will resurface before the ult goes off and then you'll feel like a fool when Karthus' face pops up with a sword next to it and then your face.
What you want to do with this skill, is try to wait until the last moment to use it. For instance, if you are midding against a Morgana and she runs past the minions heading directly for you, and you know she's going to use her Dark Binding; try not to preemptively activate Sanguine Pool because she'll just laugh at you and nail you with Dark Binding as soon as you resurface. How to optimally use this skill is to wait until you see her actually fire that evil purple ball and then use Sanguine Pool. Then you get to be the one laughing as the ball goes hurtling over top of you with no effect. What's more is that now she'll have to be the one on the run because until that skill recharges, her combo won't do much to you and you can take her down with little effort.
Basically what I be says'in is that the key to this ability is timing. Similar to Fizz's Playful Trickster, if you blow this skill too early, the cooldown is going to kill you. But if timed right, it could easily win you the fight as you avoid their heavy hitting abilities.
You want to always get a point in this by level 4 so that you can survive ganks and be a good player.
Tides of Blood
This skill is a little interesting. Basically, when you activate this skill, all enemies in a certain range have a little blob of blood come flying at them and then they take damage. The range is roughly equivalent to your auto attack range, so if you can attack them, your Tides of Blood will hit them as well. This attack drains your health early game (before you have any spellvamp) but works wonders late game. So up it later and don't worry too much about it really early on.
This skill is an absolutely fantastic and hilarious ultimate. Nothing is funnier than watching someone run away from a fight, after you hit them with this but before the damage has gone off, saying "haha" or "noob Vlad" and then this goes off and they keel over.
The way it works, is that you hit someone with Hemoplague and then for the next 5 seconds, they take 14% extra damage from all sources. The best part is that after those 5 seconds are up, they then take another large chunk of damage.
Optimally used, this ultimate would hit all 5 players on the enemy team right at the start of a teamfight.
You want to up this skill as often as possible.
Leveling Up Skill Sequence
When you start the game you are level 1. You have no skills. This is O.K.
Start with Transfusion
At levels 1,3,5,7, and 9 you will up Transfusion because that is the fastest way to max it out.
At level 2 I like to get Sanguine Pool for survivability. For whatever reason Shaco is the flavor of the month, meaning that he's in an unusually large amount of games recently. Funny thing about jungle Shaco's... they like to gank at level 2. Well isn't that convenient, we just got our untargetability skill thus allowing us to laugh at that clown when he ends up wasting his precious time.
At level 4 I like to get Tides of Blood so that way I now have every skill in my arsenal unlocked, save for my ultimate.
At level 6 go for Hemoplague
Now here's the question. Which do you up first, Sanguine Pool or Tides of Blood?
And tune in next week for the answer. . .
And the answer is: Sorta-kinda both at not exactly the same time with a hint of simultaneity. Great answer right..?
So here's what I like to do: I prefer to get Sanguine Pool up to rank 3 before ranking up Tides of Blood beyond rank 1. The reason is that each time you rank up Sanguine Pool, you literally take 3 seconds off of the cooldown. That's a lot. As opposed to if you rank up Tides of Blood first, you lose a lot of that survivability and you just increase the cost of it which isn't really worth it early on because you will end up killing yourself.
After you get Sanguine Pool up to rank 3, that's when you start to up Tides of Blood because by now you have some decent item or two and you can handle it.
So if you like the pretty pictures of the skills, I'll list it out here so it looks cool
2 Sanguine Pool
4 Tides of Blood
8 Sanguine Pool
9 Transfusion should now be rank 5
10 Sanguine Pool
12 Tides of Blood
13 Tides of Blood
14 Sanguine Pool
15 Tides of Blood
16 Hemoplague should now be rank 3
17 Tides of Blood should now be rank 5
18 Sanguine Pool should now be rank 5
This is the items section!
A common sign of poorly skilled Vladimirs is to start with a Regrowth Pendant. Do not do this.
Start every game with an Amplifying Tome and a Health Potion.
If you solo top, then start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions.
The very first item you want is a Will of the Ancients. You want this even more than any boots because by the time you should be farmed enough to buy this, you should only be level 7 or so. Therefore there's no big rush for boots and those happen to be the next items in your build.
After you have , your second buy is Ionian Boots of Lucidiy. The added 15% CDR (cool down reduction) is so much more valuable on Vladimir that it's not even a question.
For your third item... I've experimented with several items. At first I would try to rush Rabadon's Deathcap for some quick damage. This was not a good idea. Turns out that is a very expensive item that doesn't offer much. What you really want is . This item grants you a good chunk of AP which, because of your passive, gives health. It also gives you a lot of health which in turn gives you more AP. On top of all of that, it gives you a great slow. This item reveals the true brilliance behind what Vladimir is really like.
If you notice, your skills, Transfusion and Tides of Blood recharge at roughly the same time. Basically they each get down to roughly 2.5 second cooldown. Because you have 2 spells that cooldown at that rate, that means you can cast one every 1.25 seconds. If you also notice that Rylai's Crystal Scepter applies a slow for 1.5 seconds. This means you can literally "perma-slow" an enemy champ if you feel like it. So this item is what makes you ridiculously powerful. Once you get Rylai's Crystal Scepter, you can take on even the most powerful champions, such as Tryndamere and beat him without getting a scratch.
Your fourth item is then to be the Rabadon's Deathcap because now you have a boatload of health and AP. Now it's time to just break Vladimir.
The fifth item you want to buy is a Warmog's Armor because once you get this item, you gain the following benefits:
1. You have 4-5k health
2. No one can take you down 1v1 unless you get cocky
3. You can engage team fights and remain in the fight the whole time by stealing massive amounts of health and pooling when you need
4. You stand a very good chance of being able to kill any other champ 1v1 and their thought process will be like:
I'm going to attack Vlad.
Oh noes.. I hit him for 200 on my first shot but he got the whole thing back from one spell..
Omg I have to run because he has too much health and I'm a squishy carry.
OMGWTFFMLROFLCOPTERCAW I can't run because he can slow me indefinitely.
I'm going to uninstall this game because Vlad is too OP
Your final item is entirely up to you. I prefer to grab a Zhonya's Hourglass because it has a great passive ability and the extra AP and armor give you a bunch more survivability.
kage's lucky pick
Spirit Visage: Here's when to get this. If you are fighting a heavy AP champion and they are winning. This item is great for the health, magic resist and CDR. All of that plus the fact that it makes your spellvamp 15% more effective.
Fantastic item for Vladimir. BUT this item is only good early-mid game. Therefore if you are forced to grab this item, make sure you get it directly after your Ionian Boots of Lucidity; not before, and not after.
Guardian Angel This item is nice if you get focused every fight because you're so OP. This way even after they kill you, they have to do it again.
Kage's lucky pick Only for the most dire situations when you are completely prevented from farming at all. Otherwise not worth it.
Mejai's Soulstealer and Leviathan Pretty much only get this if you're a raving maniac who likes to not only win but crush their enemies into dust and then some. Also a massive gamble so more often than not, it's not worth it.
Void Staff Not a bad idea because you do lack that little bit of magic penetration but I recommend only getting this item if the enemy team is actually stacking magic resist. Otherwise there are much better items to be had.
Attacking Skill Sequence
When you go on the offensive with this great champion, there's really one great way to do it. And it starts with Transfusion.
Here's your skill combo in all its glory.
When engaging a teamfight:
-> -> -> -> with when you need it
When going one on one:
-> -> and so on again with when you need it. However, it's best not to waste unless you really hate your opponent. Your ult is so much more valuable when used in a team fight.
How To Beat...
When you grab Vladimir in the selection screen, hopefully you're thinking: I'm going to take mid and win us the game. Because you will do best if you do take mid.
Now, it depends on who you're fighting in mid on how to beat them. Here I will do one of those ever-so-useful guides on how to beat most champions you might find in mid. Note that this may not be accurate forever since I might forget about certain champs as the updates are continued in the future.
But first, some General Notes on Midding
-First, take a look at your opponent's stats. If they have like bonus 18 AD but their items are something like Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions then you know how to win. What this means is that their runes are heavily flat AD runes. Meaning that they have decided to make themselves a glass cannon by skipping by survivability. What you want to do is play extra cautiously because it means they can hit hard if you let them, but on the other hand, you can beat them if you just harass well and then go for the kill at the right moment.
-And second, if they start with 48+ AP and have a Doran's Ring then same as the previous note.
Ahri's are assassins, they excel at killing people. This is bad for Vlad.
Ahri early; Vlad late
How to win is to play cautious and keep minions between you but do not stand too close behind minions. Constantly strafe from side to side to prevent easy skillshots. You win by not feeding. If they chose Ahri because they wanted to kill people, they might get anxious and tired of nothing happening and try to dive you. Point is, if you are patient then you will win because you don't need 10 kills to be good.
Great until level 6. After that, play cautiously.
Vlad early; Akali late
Akali's are tricky. You can poke easily without much retribution up until level 6. Once this point is reached though, have your finger ready with that pool because all of a sudden her threat level went from something to laugh at, to.. don't take your eyes off her ever.
Super squishy with a free revive.
Vlad early; Vlad late
Anivia has a decent spike if she can get off her skillshot and time the 2nd proc correctly. So strafe from side to side to prevent easy skillshots and poke with Transfusion most of the time you'll do about 1/4 of her health bar with each Transfusion. WARNING: be careful not to blow your ult on Anivia if she still has her egg timer up because it is hard enough to kill someone once, but killing them twice and getting away free is near impossible when you can't spam your skills yet.
I hate children...
Too close to call early; whichever got fed more late
Vlad early; Vlad late
Rejoice if you are lucky enough to fight an Ashe in mid. Ashe's are very squishy and don't deal damage until they get a Phantom Dancer and Infinity Edge. And since that isn't going to happen anywhere before level 10... Prepare for total lane domination!
So.. Much.. Fire..
Vlad early; Vlad late
This is a close one because of his stun. If you can avoid Brand's Sear then you should have no problem poking him down. It is well worth using Sanguine Pool to avoid Sear because then Pillar of Flame becomes so much harder to land and won't continue to damage you if he misses due to Brand's passive, Blaze.
Beware. Massive range.
Caitlyn early; Vlad late
Keep a fair distance between you and Caitlyn early. Normally Caitlyns seem to like to bring a bunch of extra early AD. So she's going to hurt early, especially if she gets a Headshot off on you. But once you get even just a Hextech Revolver you'll be able to take her.
Even early; Vlad late
As with a lot of champions, you'll see that once you use Transfusion, they press on you pretty hard for the next couple of seconds. If you can avoid her Noxious Blast, then she'll only be able to land one twin fangs because the cooldown will be full length. Because of this you can then take her on definitely by level 7 because her combo is over unless she wants to ultimate you. And in this case, you win another little victory because now you have another advantage over her. And once you get the Will of the Ancients, it's not even a fight anymore because if she hits you at all, roughly 3 Transfusions will put you back at full.
Vlad early; Vlad late
Surprisingly enough, when you fight an AD carry one on one, you can win. You do so for Ezreal by keeping minions between you at all times and strafing side to side to prevent easy skillshots. If he runs up to try to punch you, punch him right back. As long as your minions are in front of you, he can't hit you with Mystic Shot unless he goes way off to the side or past your minions; both of which are easy to beat. Ezreals are squishy by nature so you should have no problem taking him out, as long as he's not really fed.
Fiddlesticks early; Even late
Fiddlesticks is ridiculous. Do not try to take him one on one, especially if he has blue buff. BLUE BUFF is why Fiddlesticks is in the game. Late game it is possible to take Fiddlesticks one on one but only if he doesn't have blue buff. Drain is the most ridiculous skill ever and WILL continue to damage you through your Sanguine Pool if he targeted you before you activated your [[sanguine pool].
close to even
If you are forced into this fight, you don't go for kills. You win by not feeding LeBlanc.
Summoner spells are easy
You may also take
Not too bad, not the best but not bad
If you're a first timer it's understandable
Great if you're solo topping, not so otherwise
Best on support, you're a carry
You're not jungling
If you bring this, you better be trolling and you better not reference my guide
Not necessary because you already have Sanguine Pool and Flash which are both great escape mechanisms
-and all others