Vladimir Build Guide by Ghosthawk
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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.
Greetings, "The Last Crimson Reaper" is my basic guide for
Vladimir. With this build you will start out a bit more tanky early on, which really helps you during his weaker levels. Now, once
Vladimir reaches level 6, he is given the ability to really change the outcome of any game, and I do my best to take advantage of this by adjusting the items/runes accordingly.
Now I understand that most builds call for Mejai's Soulstealer, however I have chosen to not include this in my build, for I believe in "ranked" matches it will hinder you greatly, by drawing a lot of unwanted attention. Please trust that towards the end of the game you will become absolutely deadly with my build having well over 4k Health, and around 700AP!
Don't just take my word for it, see my actual success in my latest ranked match where I scored 17/7/23! I have also been very successful with this build adding in the new items that were recently added. Below is a screenshot of a game that I scored 22/8/16! Now thats a high scoring game! =) Because this build is soo tanky, yet deadly one can actually score a Flawless Victory! Below is a screenshot where I scored 18/0/7 with this particular build!! Please Enjoy!
The recent patch has improved Will of the Ancients by decreasing its overall cost and increasing the amount of Life Drain by 5%. See Release Notes v1.05 for more details.
When combining Will of the Ancients & Spirit Visage you immediately receive an additional 24% Life Drain per Transfusion. This does not include the amount of Life Drain that Transfusion normally returns. This should no longer go over looked, for each Transfusion will return roughly 400-600 health per cast! In the past it was understandable, however with the recent patches it now works correctly. Please do not underestimate the power of these two items combined.
Below is a list of items that I have tried and put through the test and have deemed useful on Vladimir. Feel free to mix and match with these items, every game will present different needs and different items will be needed to be successful. Good Luck & Have Fun!
The item sequence is completely negotiable based on each game played. Some games I actually just rush Rabadon's Deathcap for its amazingness; skipping Spirit Visage completely and delaying the Rylai's Crystal Scepter. While other games I have to literally go down the line and or pick up Spirit Visage early on for magic resistance. It really depends on how well your "team" is doing as a whole.
Now Vladimir has a million different ways he can be played, however, my choice of play-style may seem a bit unorthodox or odd to some, while others might really enjoy it. Below is a basic instruction manual on how to play Vladimir, the way I do.
Generally I would recommend going to the "Middle" lane, thus giving you the opportunity to farm, possibly score a fist blood, and out level your opponents, which is the most important part.
Allow me to explain why, if you can hit level 6 before anyone else does you will be able to utilize Vladimir's ultimate, Hemoplague. So basically the trick here is to hit level 6, use your Ghost summoner spell and rush to either the top lane, or bottom lane. You will want to pick the lane that has the most potential for success, ie, your opponents are over extended, or low on health.
Now you should be at least 1 level above your opponents, and the lane you have chosen to go to, should be set up for a gank. You should have pinged on the opponent that you want to strike first, giving your team the heads up to be ready. Here is a step by step play.
1. Hide in the a nearby forest waiting for the right moment.
2. Rush in behind your opponents cutting off their primary exit.
3. Initiate combat by using Transfusion on the enemy that you want to kill first.
4. Next begin spamming Tides of Blood each time the cooldown has reset, thus increasing stacks, and adding more damage to the mix.
5. Cast your ultimate Hemoplague on your opponents, specifically on the lowest health target.
6. Cast Transfusion and Tides of Blood again increasing more damage done.
7. Use Ignite on the lowest health enemy who has been inflicted with Hemoplague.
8. Cast Sanguine Pool to either slow your opponents from escaping, or swooping past their tower, or leaving before you take counter-damage.
9. Recast Transfusion on the last enemy standing, if no one is left, cast it on the nearest creep to regain some health before leaving.
You should have been able to score at least one kill by yourself, if your team was helping you should be able to get a double kill without any causalities. You will want to return to Mid and prepare to do this again the next time your ultimate is up.
Team fights are a lot of fun with Vladimir, he has the ability to really change the outcome in most games and i'll give you a breakdown on how and why.
First, we need to acknowledge how team oriented his abilities are, starting with his ultimate, Hemoplague. Enemies inflicted by Hemoplague will take up to 18% more damage from ALL SOURCES.
Second, his ability to nuke his opponents quickly and often, while keeping his own health full, via Transfusion. This is great for baiting your opponents or trying to cause one of them to get dangerously low thus giving your team the initial advantage.
Third, his ability to snare entire teams giving your team the ability to land all of their primary attacks, stuns, and snares on your opponents using Sanguine Pool.
Fourth, if all of that wasn't enough, Vladimir has the ability to continuously do area effect damage to all of your opponents using Tides of Blood, which will constantly weaken your opponents helping your team score that ACE!
Cleanse provides additional forms of escape, along with removals of stun, ignite, and other negative effects. Adding cleanse to Vladimir is amazing.
Flash 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.
[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.
This ability is freaking awesome! It's also the reason that influences me to getting 21 points in defense, and only 9 in offense. Once you get a few ability power items and start pushing that 500-600AP mark your health will in turn be peaking over 4,000!! You become very deadly, and nearly impossible to kill if played right! =)
[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 one can actually target 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.
+50 Ability Power
UNIQUE Aura: Gives nearby allied Champions +30 Ability Power and 20% Spell Vamp.
(Gold Cost: 2100)
I have recently added Will of the Ancients after testing the usefulness of the Spell Vamp. After reading one of the recent patch notes I discovered that they fixed how much was actually returned, increasing it, etc, thus making this item viable on Vladimir. When broken down it returns half the amount that Transfusion normally does which in turn ends up being quite a bit. Plus it works with all of your other spells!
Please note the following patch changes:
(Patch: Release Notes v1.01)
* Fixed a bug where Transfusion was not restoring enough health from Spell Vamp (not how much the spell heals normally)
(Patch: Release Notes v1.05)
* Hextech Revolver spell vamp increased to 15% from 10%
* Will of the Ancients combination cost reduced to 465 gold from 765 gold
* Will of the Ancients spell vamp increased to 20% from 15%
Enhanced Movement 2
UNIQUE: 20 Magic Penetration
(Gold Cost: 1100)
The Ionian Boots of Lucidity are normally the best choice for Vladimir due to the cooldown reduction. However, a good alternative would be to build build Sorcerer's Shoes along with taking Greater Marks of Insight for the Spell Penetration. The choice is really up to you.
+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 two 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! =>
155 Ability Power
UNIQUE: Increases AP by 30%.
(Gold Cost: 3300)
The Rabadon's Deathcap is absolutely amazing on any caster, especially Vladimir. It provides an insane amount of ability power. If you find yourself truly leading the game feel free to stack these, you can actually peek over 1k ability power with Vladimir. You will become truly devastating!
+30 Magic Resistance
UNIQUE: Cooldowns are reduced by 12% and increases healing and regeneration on yourself by 20%
(Gold Cost: 1250)
The Spirit Vissage is such a great item early on for it adds health, magic resistance, and improves your regeneration and healing spells Transfusion etc. Oh and it lowers your cooldowns which is huge a plus! =D This is where I would normally swap out for Warmog's Armor if I feel i'll make good use out of it. The choice is really up to you! =)
+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.
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! =)
HOW TO COUNTER VLADIMIR
I have been asked how to defeat Vladimir, even to the point calling him/me imbalanced or unfair, so I am going to show you how to counter him. I really don't want to disclose this information, for Vladimir is my main. However, knowing what your weaknesses are will help you deal with them.
1st, You need abilities and/or items that hinder his ability to heal / regen. Here is a short list for you to pick from.
2nd, You should build up some magic resistance, here is a short list of recommended magic resistance items...
3rd, Try teaming up with some allies who can shut down Vladimir, and of course here is an example of who can do that best...
b) --> +
e) --> Sigil of Silence +
g) --> +
4th, Play-Style, when playing against Vladimir you will want to time his attacks/abilities and take advantage of them.
As soon as you see him use Transfusion on a creep, quickly counter-attack him with what ever you have weakening him over all. Then quickly move away out of his range to prevent him from using it on you to regain his health. Then repeat this process.
Next, when ever you see a Vladimir use Sanguine Pool that is your opportunity to kill him. As soon as the pool ends begin your onslaught dishing out everything you have, trust me he has no escape now, and has no way to survive. A Vladimir who uses his pool too early is a dead one.
Well that should help, if you have any further questions feel free to leave a comment.