Vladimir Build Guide by Dawgg
Not Updated For Current Season
Offensive Blood Lord
Not Updated For Current Season
* Big changes in store for Season 4. New masteries, runes, items, and more!
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.
This guide will always be updating, as I'll be adding to this guide periodically, as I continue to summon Vladimir to the Fields of Justice. 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!
Thanks to the Mobafire community for helping get this guide to the top #1 spot for a while and becoming the momentary master of the crimson reapers! I promise to continue updating and bringing you the best quality guide I can. THANK YOU ALL!
Thanks to Man of the West, for the #1 Vlad spot on his reddit list of best champion guides!You can find it here!
**Updated to patch: V4.2 Season 4**
**Published: March, 2012**
Pros / Cons
+Able to play Top or Mid lane effectively
+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 fair amount of champions
-Little crowd control
**NEW MASTERIES SUBJECT TO CHANGE AS META FOR S4 DEVELOPS**
A brand new 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.
Another new 4/26/0 build for tankyness. This is an equally amazing mastery path for Vlad, strongly consider it if you want a lot more survivability.
A 0/9/21 utility build. In my opinion the utility tree isn't as strong for Vlad as the other two, though the extra move speed and spell vamp are nice.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
:Magic Pen: This is hands down the best mark for AP casters. Get it.
:Flat Armor: Solid defense that will keep you alive in the early stages of the game, allowing you to become the late-game monster you were born to be. A very popular, and good choice.
:Flat Magic Resist: Same as above but with glyphs
: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.
:HP per Lv: 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 starting at level 6. You may prefer the Flat AP glyphs to these, both are great choices.
: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 ability power.
:Move Speed: Extra speed is always good especially early game. From chasing down kills to making escapes, if MS is what you're into then look no further.
: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.
:F: Escape and positioning, plain and simple.
The utility provided by these spells is great, and can help save your life, or end that of the enemy. If Ignite or Flash, aren't for you, then strongly consider these.
: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 usually 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 laner in the early phases of the game.
I can't stress enough how the items you build should should ALWAYS be situational to the match you're in at the moment. This is a standard build that provides Cooldown Reduction, Spell Vamp, Ability Power, Magic Resistance, and Armor as well as Penetration and Utility. Adjust as needed.
: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 and CDR: With this items revamp alongside the old Spirit of the Spectral Wraith, it has become once again to only go to item for Spell Vamp.
:Magic Resist and HP and Utility: A great early game item, that combines well with your Hextech Revolver, and also syncs well with your kit. Take it early on if you feel like you're being out poked or out sustained.
: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.
: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 and Magic Pen: A solid AP item that provides some excellent percent magic penetration. It does everything you need it too.
:Trinket: Currently the best trinket for laning in my opinion. Upgrade it to a vision ward for more objective control.
**Additional Item Notes**
You almost always want to start off with your standard Boots of Speed, unless you feel like you're going to need extra defense, usually because you're going against an AD. Then starting off with Doran's Shield is a decent choice.
A combination of Sorcery , Ionian Boots of Lucidity, Will of the Ancients, and Spirit Visage will give you exactly 40% CDR.
:Move Speed and Magic Pen: While the CDR from the Ionian Boots of Lucidity is more preferable to your over all DPS early game, the extra magic pen from these can be just as useful.
: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 you need more MR.
:HP and HP Regen: This item provides massive amounts of health, but still not enough to make much more of a difference in your AP than an Amplifying Tome 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".
: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/HP and Magic Pen: An all around solid item for Vladimir, it gives you a lot of things you'll like.
:AP and CDR: A huge AP item with decent CDR and an ability that works similar to your Hemoplague.
:Armor and Magic Resist: There is nothing wrong with this solid standby. All the Armor and Magic Resist you want, with an awesome passive.
/ :Wards: Wards will save your life. Buy them, place them, be happy. If you're unfamiliar with where best to ward there are many guides on this subject that are easily available, also with the new bush changes in S4 warding is easier than ever so don't fret.
/ :Enchants: These are your two go to boot enchants. If you're ahead go with alacrity, and if you find yourself defending go for the homeguard.
/ :Elixirs: An EoB's CDR will be wasted if you run the standard build but with Sorcerer's Shoes you will cap off at 35%, either way though you'll get some sweet sweet AP. An EoF can give you a bit more HP that'll get a small benefit from your passive, but the AD is mostly negligible.
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.
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 + FARM!
Lastly I'd like to talk about attitude. Just as important as your skill with any champion is your ability to be a team player. You will make mistakes, so will everyone else. Understanding this, and being forgiving of the mistakes of others will make you a better player. Morale is an essential part of any good team, the ability to work together despite the odds, and maintain solid communication will win you games.
Be wary of his passive Blood Well, his sustain can be overwhelming at times.
Avoid her Charm skill shot like the plague.
Use your E when she goes into her Twilight Shroud, avoid her burst.
Tanky indeed, but your sustain should out damage him in the long run.
Watch out for his Bandage Toss, and don't underestimate his tankyness.
A well placed Crystallize can change a team fight drastically.
Her range and stun can be brutal. Try to out farm her and poke when safe.
Squishy ADC, get in on her and don't let her kite you.
Your W should protect you from most Rocket Grabs.
High damage and burst with a stun. Build MR and Spell Vamp.
W under her Ace in the Hole, otherwise another squishy ADC albeit with insane range.
Try to avoid being poisoned, MR and Spell Vamp are your friends.
His tankyness combined with his CC can be problematic. Farm.
Kiting will be him m.o., and his escapes are harsh.
His Noxian Guillotine his the only problem here.
Learn to juke out her Crescent Strike, and when she tries to go all-in.
His sustain is solid, avoid his Infected Cleaver and you should be fine.
It's the League of overly hyped ADC! Smart play will win you the day here.
Her Cocoon/ Rappel is your main problem here. Farm and poke.
Buy Vision Wards and you'll be good.
His kiting and bursting ability is great, build MR and Boots-2.
His Drain can out sustain you if you're not careful. Farm and poke when safe.
Her Blade Waltz is the only problem here.
Great poke, burst, and escape. FARM, and Q him when you feel safe.
Build Magic Penetration and you should be fine.
Your sustain should do the job here, but don't let him be too aggressive.
Poke and Farm. His tankyness and damage are his biggest assets.
Dodge his skill shots and keep him off of his farm as much as possible with your Q.
Buckshot is brutal, and he is tankier than most ADCs. Play carefully.
He's fast and tanky, watch out for his constant ganks.
With crazy reworks on the way he could be a problem but for now just destroy his turrets to win.
Farm and Q her from a safe distance every time it's up.
Her CC is great, if you can get in on her though you'll eat her alive.
A great tank with great ganks, a well timed W can ruin a Cataclysm though.
He is more adept at fighting auto-attack champs than Vlad. Try to counter build him.
A skill intensive match-up. Farm and keep your health up.
Probably the best ADC on the block atm. Try to catch her in a team fight.
Farm, sustain, harass, win.
Avoid his Lay Waste and W under his Requiem.
Like any assassin you need to avoid his burst, wait for him to fail an all-in before you try to burn him down.
Build MR and damage, then harass and farm.
Her CC and kiting are her main assets, bait out her Intervention before you go for the kill.
Farm, try to keep your health up, and poke when it's safe.
Buy Vision Wards and go for team fights.
Be wary of his range and his skill shots, try to counter build him as best as you can.
Farm and trade after her abilities are on cooldown.
Dodge his Sonic Wave and don't underestimate his tankyness.
A great support, but catch her out alone and it should be her life.
Lots of CC and damage. Sustain and Farm.
Average ADC avoid his abilities and get in on him with your sustain.
Unless she builds damage she won't be a problem, and even then just build MR.
Build MR avoid her CC/skill shots and drain her down.
Hard as rock, but as long as you build Penetration and MR yourself, you should be fine.
Stay out of range of his Malefic Visions and wait for him to all-in before you go for the throat.
He's tanky but not too spanky, counter build and you'll win.
Rush Zhonya's Hourglass and harass/farm.
AOE ADC can be tricky, but build/play against her like you would any other ADC.
His Iron Man passive will turn this into the farming game, so farm.
Avoid her Dark Binding and stay off of her Tormented Soil and you'll do fine.
Another great Support, but she shouldn't be able to 1v1 you.
A farmed up Nasus can be brutal, build Armor and MR, and try to stay out of his auto-attack range.
CC for days, avoid his Dredge Line and you should be able to out damage him with your sustain.
Watch out for her Javelin Toss and don't try to chase her.
Buy wards and don't let him kite you.
The only chance he'll have is if you fight him with your minions around.
After the rework it's up in the air, counter build and play it as safe as you can.
Build MR and farm. Poke when safe.
Build Armor/MR and try to keep your farm up. Harass when Aegis Protection is down.
Farm, and be wary of her burst.
An underpowered ADC but an ADC nonetheless. Standard procedure here.
Build Penetration and harass, W under his Powerball when necessary.
If you build Armor you should win this fight, but don't underestimate this monster.
Buy wards and avoid getting caught out alone, try to take him down in team fights.
Watch out for her combo attacks, and avoid getting too close to her.
High damage output means build MR, try to Q him whenever safe, and FARM.
A tanky mage with solid damage. Build MR and Spell Vamp, farm and Q when safe.
She'll do AP damage with %bonus based on your max HP. Build MR and harass outside of her range.
Buy Wards and don't fall for his Hallucinate.
A little MR and Spell Vamp go a long way. Out farm and keep up your harass.
A beast when farmed up. Team fights should be her undoing.
Build MR, farm, harass, farm, harass... just don't chase.
Watch out for Cryptic Gaze, farm and harass outside of his melee range.
A quick and tricky ADC, don't let her kite you.
Avoid Impale and you'll be fine.
Top notch Support, with decent damage and Crescendo she could be a fight, but you should win here.
Heals for days, she's a goner if caught out alone though.
His sustain can bully you if you're not careful. Build MR and FARM.
Get good at juking her Dark Spheres and keep your farm up.
Assassin means burst means build Armor.
Build Penetration and AP and be wary of his Dazzle.
Buy wards and farm, don't chase him and only harass when it's SAFE.
Watch for his Death Sentence, and W out of his The Box.
An ADC with AP damage and range that gets better with level, build DEF and try your hardest to get in on her if you're dead set on a kill.
Farm and harass as normal try to counter build him.
Rush a Zhonya's Hourglass and avoid his melee attacks while farming. Bait out his Undying Rage before going for the kill.
Dodging his Wild Cards is paramount, as is his gold card. Build MR and farm/harass when safe.
ADC with stealth, DOTs, and crazy range. Buy vision wards and Armor.
Udyr is a full package but can be brought down with smart play. Counter build and stay ahead in CS.
Marksman/Tank... Counter build and farm as best as you can.
Hybrid Marksman with CC... Try to get in when it's safe or catch him in a team fight.
A Hyper Carry through and through, if fed she'll kite you for days.
You can't W under his Event Horizon, and his Primordial Burst is a mage masher, build tanky and your farm/harass should be fine.
A bruiser with burst, build Armor and Farm.
As long as you can juke out his Death Ray you'll be fine.
Lots of HP and HP regen, always mix in an Ignite when you burst him for the kill.
Build Armor/MR bait out his Infinite Duress, and don't let him get successive auto-attacks.
Don't fall for his Decoy, and farm/harass outside of his melee range.
Dodging his skills shots while farming is gonna be the whole game here. Kill him when he's out of mana or on cooldowns.
Build tanky and try to keep him kited. Don't get in his range.
The new bruiser on the block, don't let him near you and try to bait out his dash when it's safest for you, then harass away with Q and get your farm.
His farm and push is gonna be heavy, get your farm in under turret and harass when safe.
Recent nerfs have hit him hard, build Penetration and a little MR to out farm/harass and win.
Rush Zhonya's Hourglass, and keep wary of his burst. Keep your farm up.
Dodge his skill shots and farm from a distance, harass when safe only.
Build MR and burn him down early and quick to cripple him.
Farm farm and farm. Watch out for her plants and Rise of the Thorns.
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!