Vladimir Build Guide by Ethereal Ezio
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Top Lane Front Line Vladimir
+13 Attack Damage or +22 Ability Power, adaptive
First Three Completed Items
Threats to Vladimir with this build
|Illaoi||Bully and avoid her E, overall easy matchup. Make her ult pointless by using W away from it.|
|Malphite||Don't let his passive come up, and poke down. Be careful of ganks with his ults, but otherwise get some cs and kills.|
Top Vladimir Build
I have been playing since Season 3 and found that Vladimir was my main from Season 4 on. I play a lot of different positions and champs frequently but can never let go of Vlad as one of my true mains. As Season 8 has started the runes aren't the perfect fit for Vladimir, but there are some good options.
Farming and Auto-attacking
The difference between a good and amazing Vlad player is how you cs and how much you get. This is even more obvious since the Season 6 mid-season rework, with E now actually damaging you in a significant way. Get good at basic attacking minions for CS. It is a pain with Vlad, but the rework did add some AD to your basic attack to make it easier (unless you had it memorized before XD) The new changes to Doran's Sheild will help if you get that first buy. Your E will eventually one shot back line minions if you are pushing, and make sure you position yourself with your E to hit all minions. Vlad's E is now like Ashe's W, and doesn't hit everything in the range. You should always aim to have the most cs in the game as Vlad, through laning phase, available jungle camps, pushing out lanes, and defending.
Unsealed Spellbook to me seems like the best option, due to the summoner cooldown reduction and the fact that the other runes aren't quite suited for Vladimir. Perfect Timing is nice for early game and is a nice way to safe 600G, but hextech flash is a cool option since you can use it during your w duration. Footwear is another nice way to safe money although you can't go boots start this way, switch to Buyer's Market in that case. Cosmic Insight and Transcendence are crucial for cooldown, and must be taken. After that Gathering Storm is my final rune, but Scorch, Nullifying Orb, and Ultimate Hat are also good in certain situations.
I have always been a fan of Doran's sheild and pot start, and now with its recent buffs it is a good start again. Another option is boots, if you are worried about early ganks. For trinket always start Warding Totem, gotta spot those incoming ganks.
I typically back when the other laner leaves or I reach around 1300 gold. There is no reason to back first with your sustain unless you know you'll die. If you are ahead and feeling good your first item should be Protobelt, so build a Hextech Revolver. Otherwise start building Spectre's Cowl for Spirit Visage if your vs. AP and if you're vs. AD grab a Seeker's Armguard to build into Zhoyna's. If you want to build SV or PB and want early cooldown, or only have 800 gold, Kindlegem isn't bad either. Honestly I have found that either Protobelt or Visage first item works versus AP champs, so go with your gut and gauge whether you are winning lane or not. In addition try to get Boots of speed if you haven't.
Spirit Visage is a must unless they have absolutely no AP damage. Zhoyna's is a great way to get extra damage and wait for cooldowns, and heal of your ultimate so unless they have no AD it should be picked up as well.
Protobelt adds some movement utility and gives Vlad an extra pop when bursting champs initially, along with health, AP, and CD. Right now I like Merc Treads for that Tenacity, and even with Ninja Tabi being nerfed it is stilla great buy against comps with more AD. I like Swifty Boots for that extra movement speed, but I rarely ever need it or buy it anymore, I would rather have Mercs. I used to always go Sorcerer's, but it just isn't necessary for Vlad to do damage.
For my fourth item I usually go Void Staff since they have accumulated enough MR at this point. The MP is very useful and you should be durable enough already. For the final item I have been between Ryali's and Liandry's, but I have found that Rylai's is only really good if you are really ahead early and falls off quick since your E is already a slow, so I have been picking up Liandry's. Liandry's is another great AP/Health item that also gives 15MP.
End game for trinkets I still prefer to keep the basic wards, since it it nice to have some stealthy wards with Mid and ADC typically getting blue trinket. In addition it helps set up teleports. Get Oracle Lens for specific champs like Vayne, Teemo, Akali, etc. For consumable you can either go Sorcery or Iron. Sorcery is nice for extra AP and turret damage, but the mana regeneration is wasted. Iron is great giving Vlad health, size increase, and tenacity which is stellar. In addition it increases ally movement speed, so I typically chose Iron. But again, game dependent.
Banshee's new change seems great for Vlad, but you usually don't need anymore MR after Spirit Visage, and now that SV's passive gives #0% increased healing it is definitely a better option. Same could be argued for Abyssal Mask, so these two items are good pickups if you have a Heavy AP enemy team and they could replace Zhoyna's or Liandry's. Rylai's is good early as a first item when majorly ahead or mid game to catch up to mobile ADCs so it is situational. Deathcap is an alternative for your last item as well, or instead of Void Staff if they don't have much MR. For heavy enemy AD teams I have found that Randuin's Omen is a good buy, assuming they have Crit Chance. If not you can go Deadman's for some extra move-speed if you don't AA during fights. Thornmail's update is beneficial for Vlad due to the added health, and in addition adds grievous wounds. Would get this for a second armor item if they have lifesteal.
In every game I always max Q first, as its a great last hit tool, it provides sustain, and what's the point of being a vampire if you don't take the enemies blood! Be careful last hitting minions with non-empowered Q's, as it is not as easy as before the mid-season change. I then max E, since your W is usually a way to escape or slow and is not reliant on its damage.
When switching out teleport, you have a couple good options. Cleanse is a nice go to since CC is the worst vs. Vlad and this will let you survive long enough to heal. If you are having trouble escaping or catching Ghost is another good option. Ignite for aggro players or to counter healing comps is good as well. Please just don't take Heal, like ever.
Note of Caution
With the new Morrel changes, and a cheap exe calling you must be wary of grievous wounds, which significantly hurts Vlad in any fight. Against Thornmail it isn't worth auto attacking n between as well. To try to avoid wounds on your ult, try comboing your R Q E then using w or Zhoyna's before the ult healing takes affect to try to run out the grievous wounds, but this doesn't work in all cases so be wary.