Vladimir Build Guide by Dawgg
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Welcome Summoners, to the Hemomancers Grimoire. A work attempting to discern true mastery over Hemomancy, the ancient art of the Crimson Reapers. Despite what others may think or say, the art is not so easily understood nor wielded, let alone mastered. Here we will take a look at what makes the Blood Lord tick, and go over some of the ins and outs of what makes Vladimir, one of the best champions in the League.
**Updated to patch: V18.104.22.168 (Draven)**
This guide is a work in progress. I will be updating, and adding to this guide periodically, as I continue to summon Vladimir to the Fields of Justice. Please keep this in mind when making comments and voting. A down vote on a guide, just because it's still being worked on is counterproductive, and could hinder others trying to learn a new champion, or brush up on on old standby. I strongly encourage all voters to leave comments and suggestions as to the things, that either you did, or didn't like. I will try to respond to everyone's questions and comments, and will gladly return the favor if you have a guide that you would like rated. Also this guide is not a math class, so I won't waste your time crunching numbers all over the place. And remember, the whole reason we play this game and others, is for fun. Enjoy!
Pros / Cons
+Good at farming/last hitting
+Able to escape from dangerous situations
+Large amount of health for a mage
+A great asset to all team fights
+Solid damage output
+Very powerful late game
-Often focused in team fights
-Slow beginning game
-Out ranged by a few mid laners
-Little crowd control
A very standard 21/9/0 build for most AP casters. Vladimir benefits heavily from all the extra AP and HP due to his passive ability from Crimson Pact. The two points in Summoner's Wrath and Summoner's Resolve can be easily reallocated within the standard build, if you choose to go with a different summoner spell set-up.
A build of 9/0/21 is also viable if you like more utility, though you will find that you do significantly less damage and have less health.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
:Magic Pen: This is hands down the best mark for AP casters. Get it.
:AP per Lv: While most go for health, Vladimir can make very good use of this seal with his Crimson Pact ability.
:AP per Lv: An excellent source of AP. The per level runes except quints, all become better at level 6. Although Vladimir's early game is his weakest, you should easily be able to reach level 6 as long as you know how to zone/harass while maintaining a safe distance.
:Flat AP: Another excellent source of AP. Per level quints don't get better until around level 12, so it is much more advisable to go with the flat AP here, as they are much more effective for a larger portion of the game.
Greater Seal of Vitality :HP per Lv: You may want more HP out of your seals. A very popular, and good choice.
:Spell Vamp: An interesting option for your quints is to go for spell vamp, although it may be less effective without heavily investing in your utility masteries.
:Passive: This ability is what defines the Crimson Reaper. Understanding of this mechanic will be a constant boon and is essential to playing Vladimir. Also note, that the returns from AP into HP are greater than those of HP to AP, and as such, is why AP items/runes/ect., are more important.
:Q: The most Important tool you have as a crimson reaper, it is your lifeline. As such maxing it out by level 9 is a must. Learn to successfully zone/harass with this and you'll be on the right track.
:W: The only crowd control-esque move you have, but it is often better served as your main escape mechanism. Get the hang of using this move at the right time to slow/damage or escape your foes, but don't be too trigger happy with it at early levels as it has a long cooldown. Combined with Hemoplague at later levels, it can help to devastate the enemy team.
:E: This powers your Transfusion and destroys minion waves. As long as you have a good amount of health, don't be afraid to keep up the stacks on this even if there are no enemy units, just BE CAREFUL.
:R: This move is the reason Vladimir makes an amazing teammate. If properly coordinated with your team, you can wipe out the entire enemy team in one swoop, sometimes even if they have Exalted with Baron Nashor . This is easier said than done however, and as I said, requires optimal team work. This can also net you the extra damage needed to kill your opposing mid-laner in the early phases of the game.
:D: Extra damage, plain and simple. Not being a super nuker like some other AP casters, Vladimir really benefits from this spell. Combine this with Hemoplague and Transfusion, and you should have a nice kill on your hands. Having Ignite will mean we want to put a point into the Summoner's Wrath mastery.
:F: Extra healing, plain and simple. Vladimir makes better use of Heal than most other champions, because of his Tides of Blood ability. Having Heal combined with Transfusion, can allow Vladimir to not have to buy as many potions early on. This spell synergizes very well with many aspects of Vladimir's kit. Having Heal will mean we want to put a point in the Summoner's Resolve mastery.
The utility provided by these spells is great, and can help save your life, or end that of the enemy. If Ignite or Heal, aren't for you, then strongly consider these.
:Move Speed and CDR: Vladimir is fairly slow, and has a long cooldown on his Transfusion, and Sanguine Pool . This counters both of those weaknesses in one great item.
:AP and Spell Vamp: The raw AP and Spell Vamp that this item provides is indispensable. If another teammate builds this item as well, then it's your lucky day.
:AP: Ability power galore! There is a reason why AP champions loves this item, simply put there is no better choice for pure AP. Vladimir's most important item.
:AP/HP and Slow: This item also pretty much screams Vladimir. The bonus AP and HP that you get off of it from your Crimson Pact is very nice, as is the slow, which meshes well with your whole kit.
:AP and Magic Pen: A solid AP item that provides some excellent percent magic penetration. It does everything you need it too.
:AP and Armor and Utility: A lot of AP, some decent armor, and an awesome ability to protect yourself from harm. It can really mess up the enemy team during team fights, when they try to focus on the caster, only to have their time wasted.
**Additional Item Notes**
* You almost always want to start off with your standard Boots of Speed, unless you feel very confidently that you will be able to effectively dodge your opposing mid-laner's skill shots, and that you can out pace them in general. If such is the case, then starting off with an Amplifying Tome is a good choice.
* Unless another champion on your team is building Will of the Ancients as a core early item, you might want to consider finishing it after your Rabadon's Deathcap.
:HP Restore: Out of the gate you have a few choices when it comes to buying Health Potions. You can buy 3 in addition to your Boots of Speed(4 if you wait just a few seconds after minions spawn to leave the base), or you can buy just 1 in addition to an Amplifying Tome. More risky players that want to rush their core build, might forgo Health Potions altogether, relying solely on Transfusion to sustain you throughout the early game.
:AP and CDR: Once you've finished all of your items, should you find yourself back at your base, you could do a lot worse than to buy an Elixir of Brilliance. It will be consumed on the spot, but 4 mins of 40 AP and 10% cooldown reduction is no joke. Pick one up every time you get the chance after your build is done.
:Move Speed and Magic Pen: While the CDR from the Ionian Boots of Lucidity is more preferable to your over all DPS, the extra magic pen from these can also be useful. Take these if your mid lane opposition has a lot of magic resistance.
:AP and Magic Resist and Magic Pen: This item is more defensive than the Void Staff, and still very good. The flat magic pen also scales better with Sorcerer's Shoes, than the Void Staff does. Take this if either you need more MR or had to go with the Shoes.
:Magic Resist and Utility: If you find yourself getting hit with a ton of crowd control, then consider this. It's basically like getting a mini Cleanse.
:Magic Resist and HP and Utility: A decent early game item, that is cheap to build. It syncs well with your kit, but will lose it's luster late game. Take it early on if you feel like you're being out poked or out sustained, but sell it later to free up the slot for more important items.
:HP and HP Regen: This item provides massive amounts of health, but still not enough to make a difference in your AP more than a Blasting Wand would do. The regeneration benefits of the item are also very enticing, but generally not what you want out of your items unless you need some serious "tankyness".
Game Play Tips
If ever you needed to understand the importance of zoning, it is now. Success with Vladimir relies 100% on your ability to harass your opponent with Transfusion, and your other abilities while keeping yourself out of as much danger as possible, preferably using well timed Sanguine Pool's . Over time, you will naturally become more familiar with other champions "zones", and thus become better able to harass safely. This is something that can only come with time and experience through lots and lots of games. Many champions may seem "OP" or impossible to defeat at first, and may completely decimate you the first few times you lane against them. But given that you are able to learn from experience, and evolve your tactics, you will find those same match ups becoming more balanced, or even having turned to your favor. This is where you get to the point where you realize that there are actually very few if any "bad" match ups, but that like all champions, your success will rely solely on YOUR SKILL with said champion, stemming from your familiarity with all of the many aspects of League of Legends. Some match ups will be more skill intensive than others, but I shy away from throwing the word "bad" around. If you can pick up a champion and dominate with them, then great for you. But more often than not, you will find that nothing beats hard earned experience. Want your Vlad to get better? Keep playing with him, and LEARN YOUR ZONES!
I will be updating this section periodically with more notes on my personal "play style", and other general tips, as I gather more information.
Hopefully now you have a better idea, of how you would like to play/build Vladimir. He is my personal favorite champion, and one that I truly believe has tons of potential, even despite his many recent "nerfs". As I said before, please leave any questions, or comments you may have, explaining the things you did or did not like (I accept the fact that neither myself, or anyone else is perfect). Please be respectful, and thank you for reading my guide. May we all one day meet on the Fields of Justice!
**/**/2012 ~ Started working on the guide
03/14/2012 ~ Guide Published
03/15/2012 ~ Made minor changes, removed "Lore" chapter
03/16/2012 ~ Adjusted skill sequence to allow for earlier progression of Sanguine Pool
03/20/2012 ~ Current with Lulu patch
03/22/2012 ~ Cleaned some sections up, and added more code. Champ match-up section incoming.
03/23/2012 ~ Adjusted skill sequence to allow for even more early progression of Sanguine Pool
04/26/2012 ~ Current with Hecarim patch
05/09/2012 ~ Current with Varus patch
05/26/2012 ~ Current with Darius patch
05/29/2012 ~ Adjusted skill sequence to allow for even more early progression of Sanguine Pool
06/07/2012 ~ Current with Draven patch
Vlad ap offtank/mid
VLADIMIR TOP: STILL GOOD
Vladimir, Mid Carry (RANKED BUILD: POST NERF) IN DEPTH+
Nukedimir the Crimson killer in mid!!! (S3)