Vladimir Build Guide by Nalddox
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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, Summoners! I came on here to look for a build guide for Vladimir in Twisted Treeline. Since I didn't happen to find one, I ran some experimentation and came up with what I believe is a solid playstyle for the Twisted Treeline. Vladimir is an excellent champion for a Twisted Treeline match, giving your team the ability to poke, harass, and turret dive successfully.
My goal in creating this is to assemble a concise, detailed guide on the playstyle for Vladimir in the Twisted Treeline. I leave the general strategy of the Twisted Treeline to other resources on the internet, and focus instead on the most necessary information for playing a successful Vladimir in the interest of brevity.
This is my first guide, so if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for the build, let me know in the comments.
Your Role in Twisted Treeline
In Twisted Treeline, Vladimir takes the role of an HP tank mage. Twisted Treeline is much more fast-paced than Summoner's Rift, which is an excellent fit to Vladimir's ability to scale well into mid-game. Vladimir is at his strongest between levels 8-13, even with few AP items. Use this to your advantage, and Twisted Treeline is easily conquered.
As Vladimir, you should always go top lane, and allow your off-tank and carry to farm in relative safety in bottom lane. This is advantageous due to Vladimir's ability to self-sustain, farm quickly and effectively, and dominate his lane. Played correctly, the enemy champion should be extremely underfarmed and unable to contribute highly to late-game teamfights.
This runeset is pretty standard for Vladimir as an AP caster. Since AP scales into HP as well, thanks to Vladimir's passive Crimson Pact, you can have a heavy AP advantage at level one without sacrificing your survivability.
Feel free to swap the AP/level glyphs for flat AP glyphs, it should bear almost no impact on your performance whatsoever.
These masteries are also standard for a tank mage. The 9-21-0 set up will increase your sustain in lane without sacrificing too much damage, as well as make you nigh-impossible to kill. Juggernaut is a must have, as the increase in health stacks into your tankiness and AP, and the decrease in disables will keep you active in the fight for much longer. Cooldown Reduction is also a heavy priority for sustain, as it allows you to cast Transfusion more frequently at early levels when the base cooldown is still very high.
This item build is designed for one thing: allowing you to soak up tons of damage. The heavy health start will give you incredible lane sustain and impressive harass with Transfusion and Tides of Blood.
However, remember that you're a tank first and a damage dealer second. This is why focusing on health items is more important than the late-game AP items, Will of the Ancients and Rabadon's Deathcap. These items are subcritical to your build, as you are your team's tank and should be focused more on absorbing burst than dealing it.
Using this item build, with a good farm advantage and a bit of snowball, it is easy for you to obtain 4000+ HP at level 15 and 400+ AP by the time the build is finished.
The only item I would suggest changing out is a very situation buy, dependent on the enemy being very cc (mainly stun) heavy. If you encounter this situation, swap Haunting Guise for a Moonflair Spellblade. This will soften the effects of cc enough to keep you alive and fighting in a teamfight situation, especially if you are the target of their focus.
Transfusion is your bread-and-butter skill for the laning phase, as it can be used as a harass tool and a farming tool, as well as your main source of sustain in the lane. There is no reason why this skill should not be maxed by level 9.
Tides of Blood is another farming tool and harass skill. Use it liberally and repair the health cost with a transfusion.
Sanguine Pool is a delaying and escaping mechanism. Use this skill to delay a gank and turn it into a countergank as you sap HP from your opponents while waiting for your allies to trek through the jungle to aid you. Alternatively, this skill can be used to kite an enemy and avoid damage and crowd control effects. When retreating, using Ghost and Sanguine Pool will make you impossible to catch.
Hemoplague is the best skirmish/teamfight ultimate in the game right now. It is a breeze to drop this on a whole team when they clump together, and the increased damage output can turn a losing battle into a victory very quickly.
When you first look at the summoner spells, Ghost and Flash, you may think to yourself, "Two escapes? Is that really necessary?" The answer, in short, is yes. Ghost and Flash, combined with Sanguine Pool, will make you nearly impossible to catch. This is excellent for the position in the top lane, as you may quickly find yourself in a 3v1 situation and need to bail in a most timely fashion.
However, remember that while these Summoner Spells can be used as escapes, they can also be used offensively as well. Flashing over walls to engage on a lone target or ghosting to catch up with an enemy can turn a near-miss into a guaranteed kill. A particularly effective strategy for fleeing targets is to pop Ghost, catch up with the enemy, and Sanguine Pool underneath of them. The slow will allow your allied Sion to catch up and Cryptic Gaze for a kill.
The most important thing to do with Vladimir is harass, harass, harass. Every time the enemy champion comes in for a creep, throw Tides of Blood and Transfusion onto him and laugh as he nabs one cs for a quarter of his health. He'll think twice before coming back in for another.
Going In For the Kill
So, you've harassed and harassed, and you think you're ready to go in for the kill. Following these steps will greatly increase your chances of success.
- Check the minimap. Do you know where all of your enemies are? Yes? Good. Proceed to step 2.
- Get full stacks on Tides of Blood. This means four casts. Check that you have it, as it will increase your damage output and sustain from Transfusion more potent. Once you have full stacks, get ready, because you're about to drop the hammer on some poor sucker.
- Follow this skill order: R>E>Q>W>E>Q. That's all your going to have time for, so if you can't cinch the kill with that order of skills, don't bother going in!
Team fighting with Vladimir is very similar to going in for a kill in top lane. Follow the same skill sequence, R>E>Q>W>E>Q. This casting order maximizes the damage output of your team and ensures the best amount of sustain for you, the HP tank. Remember that Vladimir is also an excellent poke champion-don't be afraid to hold off on a hard engage by running in with a quick E>Q combo, then backing off. If they take the bait, you've lured them into a better position and can quickly Hemoplague while the rest of your team engages, continuing with another E>Q after cooldowns refresh before using Sanguine Pool to bide time while you wait for a fresh batch of cooldowns.
Vladimir is an excellent addition to a Twisted Treeline team. Hemoplague combined with a high damage carry and off-tank produces astonishing results, and his lane phase can severely cripple the opposing top-lane champion. Have fun playing, and always remember, when played correctly, "The rivers will run red!"
I have used Vladimir heavily in Summoner's Rift, and was recently introduced to Twisted Treeline by a friend of mine. I invited my other friend (also entirely unfamiliar with Twisted Treeline), and we have since created a solid team composition to oppose our enemies.
Nocturne : AD carry. Combining Fear, insane damage potential, chasing ability, a spell shield, and a global ultimate into one champion is extremely strong in the Twisted Treeline.
Sion : AD Off-tank. Another huge damage dealer, Cryptic Gaze is our main cc in the Twisted Treeline, and his self-sustain is nearly unbelievable.
Vladimir : HP tank mage. Increased damage output and outrageous poke/harass combined with sustain effects. And obviously, the focus of this guide.
To put into perspective how insane the sustain is on Vladimir using this build set up, in a recent game of Twisted Treeline, I absorbed a total of 15000+ damage, and healed for 9000+. That means that only 6000 damage had to be restored via health regeneration items (a simple feat for Warmog's Armor).
If anyone would like to see a complete guide for our entire 3v3 team, upvote the guide and leave comments in its favor, and I will coordinate with my team to see what choices they make in champion composition.