Vladimir Build Guide by Gerdz
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Hi welcome to my guide on Vladimir. Vlad is a pretty basic champion to understand and really as long as you're stacking AP you should do alright but I wanted to give my specific spin on him.
I think a lot of people underestimate post nerf Vlad. While he isn't crazy op anymore I still find him to be a solid champion.
9X Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Sorry but if you're using anything other than these you're doing it wrong.
9X greater seal of vitality: Gain some additional HP while gaining AP because of Vlad's passive.
9X Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power: Basically doing the same things as the HP/level but more AP than HP. Personally I prefer the HP's because they are primary runes and I feel your getting the maximum benefit stat-wise but if you really want more AP these would work too.
9X Greater Seal of Evasion: If you wanted to improve your dodge stat from the measly 2% your masteries are giving you (assuming you use the masteries I suggest). While they are decent, I wouldn't suggest these.
9X Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: The first few Items I get don't really offer much help in the damage department. I use these so I have some other source of AP to help my damage while I farm up for a Rabadon's.
9X Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: Works just as well as the AP/level in my opinion. Excellent choice, help's with that really long "Q" cooldown early game.
9X Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: Not quite as effective as the flat CDR early game but really helps maximize your spammability late game.
3X Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Using the masteries I do I miss out on the 3% increased movement speed from the utility tree. Movement speed is extremely helpful on a caster and so I use these runes to compensate plus a little extra.
3X Greater Quintessence of Health: Extra HP with bonus AP from your passive, quite helpful.
3X Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: Basically the inverse of ^
I think this is where there is the most controversy concerning Vlad. The debate between 9/0/21 and 9/21/0. Both are very helpful and I can definitely see the benefits in 9/0/21 but I choose 9/21/0 because i think it's more effective and I'd like to explain my reasoning.
If you use the 9/0/21 mastery set-up I feel there is a lot of wasted points. You will more than likely be forced to put 3 points in "Perseverence" where the mana regen does nothing for you and the HP regen I find to be really unnecessary and unnoticeable considering how quickly you can regen your own HP with your abilities. You will likely put 2 into "Utility Mastery" Which I don't think is of much use. Based on your other items you should already have fairly decent CDR and you have no mana so more often than not there is a more deserving player on the team to give blue buff. In fact I find not having to give your AP carry your blue buff is a big benefit Vlad brings to the team. So really the only monster buff it really helps with is Baron. If you use the 9/21/0 mastery set-up I think the only mastery that isn't really helping that much is "Evasion" but it is still helpful to some degree.
Ultimately I think it just comes down to player preference and personally I like the added survivability of the 9/21/0 route more.
Since Vlad should always have a solo lane Boots of Speed +3 Health potions is the ideal starting choice.
Hextech Revolver/Will of the Ancients is absolutely essential and the most important item on Vlad. The spell Vamp combined with the healing from your abilities gives you insane self preservation.
Spirit Visage improves your healing even more plus it's CDR and HP bonus are just perfect for Vlad.
I choose CDR boots over Sorcerer's Shoes because I think cooldowns are just too important on Vlad. A high level of cooldown reduction combined with the fact you have no mana allows you to spam as much as possible, maximizing your damage output.
Rabadon's is obviously a must have for any AP carry. MOAR AP = MOAR POWER.
Void staff's magic penetration compensates for the lost magic pen from not getting Sorcerer's Shoes. The percentage reduction is much more helpful later in the game making sure your still doing respectable damage against MR stacking opponents.
Zhonya's Hourglass is a great final choice, the big AP bonus is awesome and the defense is nice too. Plus the active can be extremely helpful, you can pop it right before or after you pool for even more invulnerability time.
Rylai's or Force of Nature would also work as last items instead of Zhonya's. Force of Nature could be really helpful if the enemy team has a lot of magic damage and the movement speed is always nice. Rylai's HP and slow are very effective on Vlad as well.
Malzahar is a strong counter against Vlad. Not only his silence but also his ult's suppression keep you from pooling and healing. I strongly suggest picking up a Quicksilver Sash to cancel his ultimate.
Vladimir is underpowered until level 9 so early game just farm the creeps as best you can and play defensively while you level up your "Q". If you get kills that's a bonus but be very careful because early game aggressive play on Vlad can easily get you killed. Once you have your Hextech Revolver you can be more aggressive but it really isn't until level 9 when your "Q" is maxed that you can start playing extremely offensive minded.
Try not to use your "E" very much until you have Hextech Revolver. If you use your "E" too often early you just end up weakening yourself.
Never start a fight with your pool save it until your getting bursted down and your HP is low. This way you can regen some HP, do some more damage and perhaps get some more spells off when you come out. Pool is kind of a big get out of jail free card but you have to use it at the right times. Also be sure not to use pool to farm creeps. You may need it to escape an attack and you don't want it to be on cooldown.
As soon as a team fight breaks out it is important to use your ultimate as early and on as many targets as possible. So that all of your teams DPS can be increased. A good Vlad ult can often be the difference maker in a team fight.