Build Guide by Ghosthawk
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Greetings, "The Clot Thickens" is a scaling type build combining Mejai's Soulstealer, Leviathan, Greater Seal of Vitality, and Greater Glyph of Force. With these items and runes you will become absolutely deadly with each kill and level. Vladimir is one of the few champions who really benefit from both the Mejai's Soulstealer and the Leviathan. The combination of the two can prove deadly for your enemies, because 1 stack of both together grants you 48 HP and 9.28 AP. If you get 20 stacks it grants 960 bonus HP and 185.6 bonus AP in total.
You will want to keep 21 points in defense and only 9 in offense to prevent yourself from dying. These items only work well if you manage to keep as many stacks as possible. I have performed all the math via calculator in order to provide the stats below.
What I really love about this particular build is how inexpensive each item is. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to follow the item build. You will have around 30% cooldown reduction with the items, and masteries. However, I highly recommend farming the Golem when ever he is available, for Vladimir greatly benefits from his cooldown reduction buff... Try your best to be at 40% cooldown reduction at all times. This will make things much easier, and will give you a lot more control.
If for some reason your team isn't doing well or you aren't a fan of snowball items, I have provided a few optional items you can swap out for. See below for more details. Good luck, and have fun! =]
Health: 4800 (With Elixirs)
Ability Power: 802 (With Elixir, Zhonya's Ring, 20 Stacks & Ardor)
Magic Penetration: 68%
Base Cooldown Reduction: 30% (With Elixir)
Bonus Damage Reduction: 20% (With Masteries & Items)
Ignite provides the necessary tool to prevent healing and regeneration when trying to focus down a carry. It also provides that last bit of damage you need to score a First Blood! There's nothing more frustrating than an enemy getting away with less than 100 hit points...
Ghost provides great mobility, and great tools for escaping and or chasing down enemies. It also provides the ability to catch up to team mates as they might be entering into combat. The most important benefit as it stacks with Sanguine Pool, which is absolutely awesome!
[CRIMSON PACT](Innate): Every 25 points of bonus health gives Vladimir 1 ability power and every 1 point of ability power gives Vladimir 2 bonus health.
When combining all of the items, runes, and masteries, this ability; Crimson Pact, is how you will end up with 4200HP & 800AP. Vladimir is truly amazing how he can convert health into ability power and vise verse.
[TRANSFUSION](Active): Vladimir drains the lifeforce of his target, dealing magic damage and healing himself for 25% (+0.25 per ability power) of that amount.
Cooldown: 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 / 3 seconds
Magic Damage: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.6 per ability power)
This ability is Vladimir's bread and butter. It's imperative that you try your best to reduce your cooldowns as much as possible by getting the Golem buff early on, or purchasing the Elixir of Brilliance before large battles. As I mentioned above, even though you will be a bit more tankier than a typical Vladimir build, adding Spirit Visage to this build makes this spell even more effective thus giving you the ability to really outlive your opponents.
[TIDES OF BLOOD](Active): Vladimir unleashes a torrent of blood dealing magic damage to nearby enemies.
Each cast gives him an Empowered stack (max 4), increasing his healing and regeneration by 8% each for 10 seconds. Additionally, his next tides of Blood deals 25% more damage and costs 50% more health per stack.
Cooldown: 4.5 seconds
Area of Effect: 620
Cost: 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 Health
Magic Damage: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+0.45 per ability power)
This ability is very important to spam and use often. It increases your healing and regeneration, and also does a fair amount of damage to all targets in close range. This is your primary ability for farming and can really come in handy. When combined with Spirit Visage your Transfusion will be healing you for insane amounts of health!
[SANGUINE POOL](Active): Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood for 2 seconds, becoming untargetable and slowing enemies above him by 50%, and deals magic damage over the duration plus heals himself for 12.5% of that amount.
Cost: 20% current health
Area of Effect:
Cooldown: 26 / 23 / 20 / 17 / 14 seconds
Magic Damage: 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+15% of bonus Health)
In my honest opinion, Sanguine Pool is by far the best ability in the game right now. I will even admit that it's imbalanced and probably should be nerfed, at least the way I use it. Generally like I have mentioned, I like to save it for last, however it has many uses, such as "dodging" negative spells/effects. That's right, when pooling no spell can hit / effect you. It's absolutely ridiculous.
Now, other than it's defensive capabilities, it also provides an amazing offensive ability, by slowing your opponents and dishing out a ton of damage in the process. Oh yeah and all the while it's healing you...
Now because it is your main escape, please don't blow it trying to score an easy kill. If your patient the combination of Hemoplague, Transfusion, and Ignite will earn you plenty of kills! =)
[HEMOPLAGUE](Active): Vladimir infects the target area with a virulent plague which increases the damage nearby enemies take for 5 seconds. After these 5 seconds, infected enemies take magic damage.
Cooldown: 120 seconds
Cost: 15% current health
Area of Effect:
Extra Damage Taken: 10 / 14 / 18%
Magic Damage: 200 / 300 / 400 (+0.75 per ability power)
This ability is what makes Vladimir absolutely deadly! Generally at level 6 I will rush to either top or bottom depending on which lane is being pushed by our opponents. Upon arriving I usually dart in, use my other abilities saving Sanguine Pool for last, tossing Ignite on one of them, and as soon as they begin to turn to run/escape I then cast Hemoplague. Like I mentioned earlier, if they are in fact running then I will use Sanguine Pool to prevent their escape, otherwise I save it incase mid is coming down to counter-gank etc.
+20 Ability Power
+160 Additional Ability Power
Total: 180 (Possible) Ability Power
UNIQUE: Your champion gains 8 ability power per stack, receiving 2 stacks for a kill or 1 stack for an assist. This effect can stack 20 times; you lose a third of your stacks if you die. At 20 stacks, your champion's cooldowns are reduced by 15%.
(Gold Cost: 1235)
Mejai's Soulstealer is truly one of the best items for Vladimir, it provides a scaling amount of Ability Power, and once you reach 20 stacks the cool down reduction is a great tool. This item will roughly increase your Ability Power by 180 points. Quite awesome if you ask me!
The Haunting Guise is a good replacement for the Mejai's Soulstealer if your not a huge fan of snowball like items. It provides a small amount of health, ability power, and magic penetration at a great price.
+640 Additional Health
Total: 820 (Possible) Health
UNIQUE: Your champion gains 32 health per stack, receiving 2 stacks for a kill and 1 stack for an assist. This effect can stack 20 times; you lose a third of your stacks if you die. At 20 stacks, your champion takes 15% less damage from all sources.
(Gold Cost: 1275)
The Leviathan is the other snowball item you get in this build. What is great is the amount of health this item provides at the incredibly low price. Combined with Sanguine Pool & Zhonya's Ring, you will be come very difficult to kill once you reach 20 stacks. The additional 15% damage reduction is awesome!
Spirit Visage is a good replacement for the Leviathan, for it adds health, magic resistance, and improves your regeneration and healing spells etc. Oh and it lowers your cooldowns which is always a plus! =D
+20 Magic Penetration
UNIQUE: Enhanced Movement 2
(Gold Cost: 1100)
Now the build calls for Sorcerer's Shoes, however I highly recommend Mercury Treads due to its ability to unlock you out of taunts, snares, and stuns. It also provides additional magic resistance which really helps against spell casters. However, if you feel you can get away with just the Sorcerer's Shoes feel free. They provide more magic penetration which really comes in handy.
+80 Ability Power
PASSIVE: Your spell damage slows the target's movement speed by 35% for 1.5 seconds (15% for multi-target spells).
(Gold Cost: 3105)
After those three items I usually rush Rylai's Crystal Scepter. This is a great item for most casters, but Vladimir will get even more from it due to his passive: the scepter will grant 710 HP and 102 AP instead of 550 HP and 80 AP. Not to mention causing his spells to slow his enemies by 30% isn't too shabby either! =>
+120 Ability Power
UNIQUE: Increases AP by 25%.
UNIQUE: Places your champion into Stasis for 2 seconds, rendering you invulnerable and untargetable but unable to take any actions. 90 sec cooldown.
(Gold Cost: 3460)
The Zhonya's Ring is absolutely amazing on any caster, especially Vladimir. It provides an insane amount of Ability Power, and provides the ability to go invulnerable. This feature is amazing, after swooping in, popping your ultimate and nuking everyone, use this items ability, go invulnerable, wait for your ultimate to nuke everyone, then use Sanguine Pool to escape.
+70 Ability Power
UNIQUE: +40% Magic Penetration
(Gold Cost: 2295)
The Void Staff is how I like to finish this build up, it provides the necessary magic penetration to really cut through your enemies defenses during the endgame. If you noticed, this build is rather inexpensive so you shouldn't have a hard time getting to this level. This item is in fact a must, at level 18 most of your opponents will have stacked a ton of magic resistance, this will be the only way to continue dropping them. If your opponents have a heavy magic damage based team you may want to swap this out for an Abyssal Scepter for the magic resistance, plus it still provides some magic penetration.
I highly recommend playing with some sort of tank with a good stun, aoe stun/slow, or taunt ability. Without having those types of abilities you will be focused down quickly due to your ability to dish out a lot of damage. The following below are examples of who you should try to group up! Ps. Amumu is by far the best teammate a Vladimir can have! =)