Vladimir Build Guide by kadun
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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.
Introduction: (Last updated 21-04-2012, that's the 21th of April 2012)
Hello everybody, and welcome to my first ever mobafire guide - I've worked hard to make this guide helpful, yet compact so please leave a rating, and your thoughts on my work - Hope you enjoy! ;)
Before you move on, I would like to ask you guys a favor, please please please... Don’t just downvote my guide, give me critics, or any source of reason why you downvote at least. There's nothing worse than getting random dislikes, when you can’t do anything about it.
- Thanks! ^^
Oh, and if you play on West, just add me.. My ingame name is Expl0ziv3 - See you ingame! ^^
Oh, and before you start reading on - I would like to say this thing, which you should always remember:
Don’t just play 100% like I say in this guide, adapt to Vladimir, find YOUR playstyle, and what you think is best for him! ;)
Also, many thanks to you guys who have supported me here in the beggining, you're the reason i'm on Popular on the front page, and the 3. best Vladimir guide on MobaFire which is huge for me! Many thanks to all you guys!
After my guide got over 20 votes, my guide have been "troll" voted down, all the way to 78%, no reason just the downvote, of course after the "Need comment to downvote" is down, so i've decided to not go any further with this guide, after these trollvotes, i just dont feel like putting my time into stuff, people apparently need to troll, and therefore waste my time, thanks to all who upvoted and were nice, but until i get the same feeling for making guides again, i wont update this guide.
A Vladimir Spotlight
Green = Positive that this will be done in a near future.
Orange = Not sure when it will be done, but it will come at some point!
Red = May not come at all, but i hope i'll be able to make it.
Pros / Cons
+ High HP + Dmg output!
+ Amazing escape possibilities
+ Brilliant initiator
+ When mastered, simply unkillable
+ Good farmer
+ Amazing spellvamp lategame, go from 10% to 50% in 2 sec.
- Hard earlygame
- Farm dependent
- Hard to master
- Short ability range
- Known as OP.
- Riot always nerf him
MasteriesALERT: The illustration above is bugging, i don't know why, and i don't know how to fix it, so just ignore it!
Most Vladimir guides I see are using 21/0/9, which has a pretty obvious explaining behind it. Now you're probably thinking, why I took 9/0/21 then - Well, the reason behind that is, that my playstyle fits better with the utility tree, than the damage tree.
- Taking masteries like Swiftness , Transmutation , Intelligence and Mastermind , just fits me more.
Summoner's Wrath: If you took the same summoner spells like me, you'll have Ghost and Ignite - Both these spells are included in this mastery, so it's very useful, not vital, but it's a very good pick over 1 AP
Arcane Knowledge: 10% Magic Penetration isn't something you just let go. It's one of, if not the most useful mastery to Vladimir of all the masteries there is. Magic penetration means that your spell bypass magic resist, and the less magic resist des' more dmg you'll do - And who don’t like more damage?
Swiftness: Reason behind taking Swiftness, is because I like it as a combination with Ghost. Getting 2% faster doesn't sound like a lot, but it's a difference, and i like it. It can be the reason that you escape ex. Brand Pillar, or that you can catch up with that Ezreal who just Flashed over the wall.
Transmutation: Transmutation is pretty self explanatory. Vladimir is using spells to spell vamp, therefore he DOESN'T get more spell vamp from taking Vampirism . And as we all know, more spell vamp on Vlad is just nice, then you can live longer!
Intelligence: Cooldown reduction... Why not? - Cooldown reduction means more DPS, it means lower cooldown on your Transfusion, which leads to more dmg. It's free cooldown reduction - TAKE IT!
Mastermind: I once were in a blind pick game, playing vs. another Vladimir, this Vladimir wasn't bad at all, actually he was on the Nr. 1 team of 3v3 on Nordic at that point, anyway - Him and I fought closely all lanephase, but what made me win and kill him was Mastermind. He thought that if he used Ignite at the same time as me, he would know when I had it back - But because he used 21/0/9, my Ignite got up before him, I attacked, and won the fight simply because I had Ignite before him.
Greater Quintessence of Potency: Reason behind taken these Quintessence’s are because I’ll be focusing more at lategame with the other runes. I took Armor pr. Lv Seals, and AP pr. lv Glyphs, which means my early game is really weak. To make up for that I take these +5 AP runes, to boost my damage and health early game!
Greater Quintessence of Transmutation: These runes i've chosen to make "IF YOU LIKE THEM"... I've chosen to name them this, because i feel it's a question about what you like. I personally like the extra 15 AP, but some may like the extra spellvamp overall. As always - Take what YOU want!
Greater Mark of Insight: It took magic penetration, because I just prefer these over the other options I got available... I mean the small amount of AP I could get in lv 1. just doesn't compare to the damage the Spell Penetration will make available!
Greater Glyph of Force: Taken these will improve your lategame, but will make your early game a bit harder, because you just don’t have that damage that the other AP carries will have at that point. Play defensively and it will pay off in lategame.
greater seal of DefenseGreater Seal of Defense: Well, I took those because that, I don’t really like going with health pr. level, maybe it gives you a bit of HP and AP, but in my opinion, the armor pr. lv is more handy (ex. will it make the AD carry hurt less on you) - But of course, that is 100% YOUR CHOICE.
Oh, and if you wonder why I didn't just take straight armor to make his bad early better, it's mainly because I don’t see why I should buff his bad early game, when I can make him unkillable in lategame instead ;)
greater seal of VitalityGreater Seal of Vitality: Most guides use these runes, i chose not to, because of the meta, the Meta right now is focusing the AD carries, so i've taken these runes, to give me armor lategame, my build only got 1 item that gives armor, which means that the AD carry will have a easy time shutting me down. These runes will help your early game, and help you turtle in to lategame, i just chose to go for a safer lategame, than a easier earlygame!
Ignite, the finisher spell, as I like to call it - I like this spell for vlad, because it's good to firstly, stop champions like Swain and other Lifestealing champs, like your evil twin Vladimir! But overall it's also nice to have a dot on people running away, because you actually only got burst.
Just awesome for pretty many situations - This is a personal choice, I just like Ghost over Flash to Vlad, my opinion - Take what YOU want! ;)
I use Cleanse instead of Ghost, if the team got A LOT of CC, and or i'm versus people with dots/need to stun you - Brand ex.
I said in the Ghost section, I like Ghost over Flash, mainly because I sometimes fail Flash, and i just prefer being able to get to a longer destination faster than it is by using Flash over a wall. The Flash VS Ghost discussion shouldn't we take up - Take what YOU prefer, not what I prefer!
Heal is an okay summoner spell for Vlad, I just like the others better, but if I took Heal, i would probably take it over Ignite, , and use it aggressively, using the trick of "I’m about to die, come and take me" and then BAM! Heal and they're dying!
- Tip: When you use your Tides of Blood E, it gives you a stack which increase healing done to yourself, and damage by your Tides of Blood E - Anyway, this stack ALSO works with Heal = 32% stronger heal!
Remaining Summoner Spells
These summoner spells are viable, but personally I just don’t like them. Teleport is good for holding your tower, ganking/getting somewhere quickly. Exhaust can be very good, but I just prefer being aggressive and mobile over having to "nerf" my opponent to win a fight. Clairvoyance is a support summoner spell in my honest opinion, but can be used if necessary/favored.
Skills and how to use them
Transfusion: This is your best friend, to say it simple-like... This is your main dmg. output, and it WILL save you hundreds of times - Don’t underestimate the HP it can give back in this guide, can't actually tell how good this is, you need to try it yourself to really understand how powerful this spell can be.
Using Transfusion correctly can be hard, because when do you use it to farm, and when do you use it to harass. Well certain opponents you'll simply need to harass to win the lane, if you don’t, they'll just faceroll over you - This is a good time where you harass and just farm with auto-attacks.
Transfusion + Tides of Blood can be very good farm tools, probably some of the easiest and most secure farming tools. Practice what you like and you'll soon figure out when to farm or harass!
Sanguine Pool: This is a life saver, it can and will save you millions of times, and it will make people call you OP lots of times. Arguably one of the most OP spells in the game - If used correctly it can dodge nearly every single spell in the game, but you need practice to understand when to use and when to wait.
There's only 1 law when we're talking about Sanguine Pool... Never use this to START a fight, the CD will make you die, more than it will be helpful in most cases.
- Check my section "Sanguine Pool" to know more about when to use and when not to!
Tides of Blood: I usually use this as a last hitting tool, but DONT overuse it, that will make you lose more health, than you can do, only last hit with it if 2 minions or more will die at the same time, and you aren't on low health. Of course also really good in teamfights, because it will dmg everyone around, and it will make you heal more and dmg more every time you use it in a certain amount of time.
Using Tides of Blood correctly is hard, anyway whenever you use this ability, it gives you a stack, this stack improves the healing done to yourself from your spells ( Transfusion) or your normal abilities since you bought Spell Vamp. Every stack you get gives you 8% which then totals at 4 stacks, which then gives 32% more healing! That's a lot, so always try to have this at 4 stacks IN FIGHTS! Don’t try to have 4 stacks when you just lane and farm, early game you want to use it as little as possible to farm, but of course feel free to use it to kill 2 minions who otherwise would have died to your minions!
Hemoplague: This skill, is under appreciated to say the least, and nearly nobody I’ve seen use it right - This IS NOT a last hitting ability on minions, it's a starting ability, it gives you 12% extra dmg from ALL SOURCES - Incredible ability if used correct! - Always start a fight with this ability, and in teamfights, try to hit as many as possible!
Little tip: When using your Hemoplague the 12% extra dmg ALSO applies on stuff like Ignite, so yes - That's free extra true damage from Ignite. Also a thing people forget, is that your ALLIES also do extra dmg. to opponents hit by Hemoplague (that's why you want to hit as many as possible), so remember to inform them of that!
Sanguine Pool: A spell, that many people really don’t like, and this is the spell, that make Vladimir a pain in the ...! Using this skill wrong can be vital when you're playing, so know when to pool, and when not to, is essential for your survival!
When to use Sanguine Pool:
+ When a certain spell would have damage you more than 20% of your health (Please take in mind, that ex. a stun might follow up with skills that WILL get your damaged more than 20%)
+ When you're at low hp, and ex. Ashe' ultimate is coming right towards you, and will kill you.
+ When you're caught out of position and need to get away ASAP (As soon as possible)!
+ To slow an enemy, who otherwise would have the opportunity to get away from your teammates and you, but be careful!
When NOT to use Sanguine Pool:
- To dodge auto-attacks (Unless that exact auto-attack have the possibility to kill you of course)
- To engage a fight, always use it as your panic button
- To farm minions. Transfusion or Tides of Blood is much better at this. ;-)
Sanguine Pool giving a Speed Boost:
Yes, it's true that Sanguine pool, do in fact give you a slight speed boost, this is confirmed by Riot (I send them an email asking them this), they answered with this:
- Riot Tamfail: "It seems that Vladimir may gain about 110 movement speed during Sanguine Pool for about one second, and this isn't noted in the tooltip. This bonus also doesn't increase with higher move speed (in fact, it decreased slightly with level 2 boots)."
So now that we know that, we can ask ourselves, when is it okay, to use this as a catching tool or as a get-away-faster tool?
- The answer to this, I can't give you, because it's so situational, so try it out, and see when you feel like you need to use it. Trying is the only way to learn a new champion!
Hextech revolver is your first "core" item, i take it to upgrade to Will of the Ancients later on, which I do because it gives AP and Spell vamp, which are 2 very vital stats for Vladimir’s survival.
When playing Vladimir, you'll want to try to stay alive as long as possible, but who dont want to do that, anyway because of Vlads awesome pool, and if you have bought it Zhonya's Hourglass, you can safely engage a fight without worrying to much about dieing. But ofcourse if you got an initiator like Shen, WW or other top characters, let them do it.
When you're in a teamfight, try to hit as many as possible with Hemoplague this is also mentioned in the Skills section, anyway doing this will do so your WHOLE team does 12% more dmg. to the opponents who got your ulti on them, this can be a very devastating factor, and may change the outcome of a fight!
A thing to do if you know a teamfight is about to break out, is getting your Tides of Blood stacked to 4 stacks, this is also mentioned in the Skills section, doing this will increase your healing and dmg. further more, making you a really scary AP carry!
Vladimir in lane is insanely situational. Vladimir got the kit to both take Top or Mid, i myself like Mid the most, because you'll be against other AP carryes, and most AP carryes you'll be able to kill - I have abit harder time killing people like Olaf or Lee Sin.
Anyway, Vladimir is really situational in a lane, in building and in playstyle!
When playing versus champions like Karthus or Cassiopeia you'll want to start boots and 3 health pots, reason behind this is because you'll want to be able to dodge those ground-attacks!
But if you're versus champions like Veigar, you can take Amplifying Tome and 1 health pot, reason behind this is he doesn't got that many spells you'll need to dodge. Therefore more dmg, and health will be more usefull because you'll also get more sustain and can harass him harder!
So if you're going all in, in a 1v1 fight, i usually use this skill order: Transfusion -> Hemoplague -> Tides of Blood -> Ignite -> Transfusion -> (if low) Sanguine Pool -> If not low Tides of Blood. Continue this rotation until your opponent die, or you have to run away!
Also, consider that every moment there could be a gank. Credits to JhoiJhoi, so many thanks to her for this awesome illustration. Check her guides out too, they're amazing.
Warding - And how to use them effectively
Warding is a underestimated thing, that a lot of people sadly believe is unnecessary. But please remember, that warding is essential, that will save you countless of times. Warding isn't only about vision, it's about preventing ganks, wasting their junglers time, accumulate ganks, set up Baron/Dragon kills and more!
Here are some of the Pros to warding:
+ If you're dominating midlane, you're opponent simply can't kill you, their only way is by ganking. Ganking may get you killed, losing that killstreak you had going, and give them free gold, but this could have been denied. Having wards would have changed the way you played, you would know that the jungler was there, and therefore you wouldn't die (unless you get corky).
+ Wards are not only there to be defensive, they can be used offensively too. Ex. you see that jungler of theirs, and immediately call for your own jungler, that way you will know where he is there, and he will sit there unknowingly of what's about to happend - Yes, that's right, the ganker gets ganked!
+ They have a jungler/roamer like Evelynn or Twitch, you can put a Vision Ward in the middle of your lane, and that surprise element of theirs are ruined. Actually wards like these can give kills, but they will think you can't see them, so play smart, and you might be able to shut them down, before they shut you down!
+ Also remember, that wards can be teleported too, this is an excellent way of making ganks quickly. Also, wards isn't the only things that can be teleported to - Take ex. Teemo's Noxious Trap, Jarvan's Demacian Standard or even Yorick's Ghouls! Abuse this, and it might give you a kill!
I personally put my wards like this when i'm mid:
Things to remember:
- If you're leaving lane with MORE than 75g, buy a Sight Ward and be more secure!
- Wards saves lifes, not only yours!
- Wards are essential, they give you the upper hand!
How to counter Vladimir
I've been asked by a ton of people, how you should counter Vladimir, and even tho that i really dont like giving this info out, here we go, welcome everyone to my "How to counter Vladimir" chapter, the chapter where i literally, give people the oppotunity to own me.
1. You'll need an ability that hinders his spell vamp:
Ignite: Ignite is an awesome summoner spell to counter Vladimir spell vamp, this is pretty much a need if you're going against him mid. It will also make his early game even worse for him.
Executioner's Calling: This item is really, really annoying to see on a AD carry for Vladimir, because unlike Ignite, this debuff last 8 sec (Ignite last 5), and the active only have a cooldown of 20 sec! Which is pretty awesome!
Impure Shots: This ability is the reason people send Miss Fortune against Vladimir, because she doesn't even need to buy items to counter him, she just got to be that annoying .....! who just keep shooting him until he die. Great counter, picking her against Vladimir top is a viable choice!
Explosive Shot: Just like Miss Fortune, Tristana got an ability which hinder Vladimirs spell vamp. Personally i hate Tristana more than Miss Fortune because when Tristana gets that range over time, her range is just so strong, it's so hard to even get near her, because Vladimirs abilities range isn't that long.
> Personal Favorite Counter <
2. You'll need Magic Resist:
Maybe you can stop his spell vamping, but that doesn't help if he can kill you before you get the chance to abuse it right?
Short list of viable magic resist items:
Mercury's Treads: Good overall choice, because it will give you Magic Resist, and it will shorten CC that the enemies might have!
Banshee's Veil: A item, that can really frustrating for your enemy. An item that can be used not only against Vladimir but also against other champions. Good choice, an item that can save you from a lot of potential damage!
Force of Nature: Awesome tank item, really irritating for a Vladimir player. Get this in a combination with Spirit Visage on a Warwick and you'll see Vladimir players **** bricks!
3. Counter Champion Picks:
Itemization and Summoner spells are your last resort. Try to counter Vladimir already in your picks and bans. Here is a list of champions i PERSONALLY hate being against:
Morgana: I hate being against Morgana mainly because of her E, the spell shield, which blocks all of my attacks. It's frustrating to see your damage just get absorbed in a shield! Also Morgana is a great team-combo choice, which makes this counter pick even scarier!
Galio: I dont think that many mid champions like Galio, he's a counter pick to many, just like Rammus is against AD's. I try to avoid this lane (Going top/mid), because with him just stacking magic resist, and hurting you more and more, it's insanely hard to get a kill.
Miss Fortune: As said earlier, i dont like Miss Fortune mainly because of her consistent damage, and her active from W. Not much more to be said here - Everything have been said earlier.
Kassadin: I personally hate Kassadin... A lot. He's whole kit make it insanely hard for you to survive, also dodging his comboes with Sanguine Pool is hard since he just pop right up in your face before you can react.
Cho'gath: Really good farmer, nice dmg from abilities and a stacking ultimate - A pain in the *** if your opponent let you farm and get your ultimate stacked up, otherwise he's only a decent counter.
Tristana: Not much more to be said about her, already said it earlier.
4. Tips and Tricks:
If you got all these counters in 1 game, the Vladimir wont feel home, at all - But just to finish the deal, here's my last tricks for you.
When you see Vladimir go for a minion, using his Q, immediatly go for him afterwards, because that's when he dont have an ability to heal him up again - Make him pay for that minion kill! Also, if a Vladimir start a fight out with Sanguine Pool make him suffer, when his Sanguine Pool is blown, he DOESN'T have an escape tool, which isn't a summoner spell or item!
Last but not least - Abuse his low range! One thing i really hate is being outranged, that is also why Tristana is my favorite counter to him, because she just outrange him so easily, making him a easy target.
Conclusion + Changelog
Vladimir isn't a champion for everyone, and unlike popular belief, he's not easy to master. Playing Vladimir takes a lot of practice, so please dont give up after first game if you're doing badly, try again, and learn from your mistakes!
Thanks for reading my guide, if you have anything you want to discust or want more details in, just comment about it, and i'll answer as soon as i can. Also i might add more to see this guide later on, but right now, i'll let you guys say what you think, and what you want added!
17-04-2012: Added "Future Updates" under Introduction, also checked for grammar mistakes.
21-04-2012: Added Randuin's Omen in the "Situational Items" chapter. Also worked on "Opponents and how to fight them" (Not yet released). Optional runes also put into the Rune chapter!