Vladimir Build Guide by HippieGrowth
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Ap carry mid
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.
Vladimir, the Crimson Reaper, is often referred to as a tanky ap nuke, and he is. In this guide I will show you WHY Vladimir is as powerful as he is, and I will give you tips and tricks to how to play him better. This is of course not the "right" way to play him, nor is it the "wrong" way. I prefer to look at this as the Highway Vladimir guide.
TL;DR: Hi, guide to Vladimir.
Pros / Cons
Self reliant, only has to go back for items
Arguably the strongest APcarry Lategame
very farm reliant
has a hard early game
TL;DR: Vladimir very good.
As Vladimir I do not level up anything before level 2, because then if I get ganked early, I have the possebility to level up my W, allowing me to escape.
At level 2 I get 1 point in Transfusion (Q), and 1 point in Sanguine Pool (W).
Then I get another point in Transfusion, followed up with 1 point in Tides of Blood (E) at level 4.
For here on i get Hemoplague (R) as often as I can, but I max out Transfusion (Q) first. This is so I can farm better and substain my health in lane, giving me an advantage as I do not need to buy wards or health potions in early game, and also keeps my hp up when your jungler ganks mid, giving you the possebility to dive or atleast make your enemy unaware of your jungler. Then I max Tides of Blood (E) after for the maximum damage output as early as possible.
My mastery page is 9/0/21, focusing on utility tools and cooldown. A mastery page with 21/0/9 will also work, but then you give up 6% cdr, 3% movement speed increase (5% not in combat), 5% experience gain and the 3+ bonus gold each basic attack.
I choose the 0/9/21 so I get those perks, and combined with my runes and item purchases, this is the ideal build. Reach lvl 18 faster, send out more spells and move across the map like a Yi.
TL;DR: 9/0/21 or 21/9/0
My runes are:
9x Marks of Scaling Ability Power, I choose these instead of magic pen because I get 6% magic pen from masteries and another 35flat magic pen from items, and I want to give my Vladimir as much ability power as possible for lategame, increasing his damage and his health drastically.
9x Seals of Scaling Armor, The reason I get this is again to buff my lategame with 24 bonus armor, making Vladimir even more resistant to those pesky ad carries. Seals of Scaling Health is also viable.
9x Glyphs of Scaling Ability Power, Again, just as the marks, I want to buff Vladimirs lategame with as much ability power as possible so that when lategame comes, Your Vladimir will be superior to the other team.
3x Quintessences of Movement Speed, well this gives our Vladimir 4.5% ekstra movement speed, and combined with the 3% movement speed from Nimble in your mastery tree, it comes up to a 7,5% movement speed wich is nearly the movement speed you would get from a trinity force. If you get boots tier 2 with aclarity, your movement speed will be a whopping 424 in combat!
TL;DR: Check top
This is the most important thing to do as Vladimir. When you enter your lane, imagine that there is no other opposing champion in your lane. They might try and harass you, but just dont give a f*** about them. Focus on farming, and because you are self-reliant, you can stay in your lane as long as you want, or until your jungler ganks. Whenever the opposing enemy champion recalls, push your lane as hard as you can, recall and get your items. Return to your lane asap and keep on farming. When you reach the 20-25 minute mark, you should have about 180-250 cs, and you should be well into your mid-game build. Because of your superior farm and items giving you more ap and hp, and because of your lifesteal which is insanely good, you can start to harass your enemy, and when they have about 60% hp, go in with a R,Q,E,W,Ignite,Q,E and it's OVERKILL. Then pretend like nothing happened, and farm up, recall and get ur items, and ur back in lane. As you are dominent now, you can start roaming, and prepare for late game.
TL;DR: Farm alot then kill other team.
The fact that Vladimir is a very heavy hp character (because of his amazing passive) makes him an exellent initiator. With the movement speed gained from this guide, you will be suprisingly fast, and be able to get in there and deal tons of damage (even without a triforce) go pool, cus that's what Vlad does, and deal MORE TONS OF DAMAGE! The enemy team will focus you because you initiate, leaving the rest of your team untouched. You might die, but then your team will have aced them aswell. If Vladimir is played correctly, he can stay in a focused fight for at least 10+ seconds, giving your team the opportunity to destroy the other team.
TL;DR: Initiate in team fights
Abyssal or Hourglass?
When in a laning fase or if you are playing against a team with more than 3+ ap heavy nukes, then i recommend that you get the Abyssal, but my personal favorite is the hourglass because of it's active effect, which basically allows you to stay in a fight beyond expected, and winning the fight. This item is very situnational and you NEED to remember to use it if you go for it. If you do have hourglass then you could initiate a fight like this:
By doing this you apply the 12% damage increase from your ultimate, then putting in about 600 dmg from your Q, and the same to ALL surrounding enemies with your E, then another 600 dmg more or less with your W, rince and repeat, go hourglass with low hp, put Q and E whenever you can, then pool again and survive.
By doing this well, you will be able to send out 7000+ dmg to one single enemy, and 4500 to surrounding enemies, more or less, througout the fight that is. AND by doing this perfectly, you will also survive, even if the other team is focusing you.
So my personal favorite is Hourglass
TL;DR: Hourglass is best
This is where Vladimir exels. With the nuclear power he brings to his team, a well places ulti could be the end of the fight. As Vladimir you should try and hide in one of the bushes with your team at a stand-by, pop your ultimate and rain havoc upon the enemy team. As you ingage, your team will follow, and you will pool all over the place, and send out as many Q and as many E as you can. Because of Vladimirs hp you will be able to substain enormous amounts of damage, and stay in the team fight until it is over, and if your farming has gone well, so will this teamfight.
Note that if you want to play as an Initiator Vladimir, you should first learn when to initiate, where to initiate and whether it is clever to initiate (it usually is if you have your whole team with you). You should also read up upon every character and learn the basic builds and pros/cons about them.
TL;DR: Intitite and win game. GG
When to go when
As an AP carry mid, you would like to deal as much damage, as fast as possible. But if you would rather snowball through your lane (especially top), I recommend the alternative build for excellent survivability and massive lane pushing. Although this build makes your mid game quite weak unless you rush deathcap after warmogs. I do recommend you try out both builds and use the one you feel is best.