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Vladimir Build Guide by Sacull_Kinslayer

A Blood Resource for Vladimir. For beginners & up.

A Blood Resource for Vladimir. For beginners & up.

Updated on November 29, 2011
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sacull_Kinslayer Build Guide By Sacull_Kinslayer 62 17 134,452 Views 112 Comments
62 17 134,452 Views 112 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Sacull_Kinslayer Vladimir Build Guide By Sacull_Kinslayer Updated on November 29, 2011
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"So, what do you do?"

"I'm a vampire."

"Hmm. That's something I've never heard before. You mean this literally, I take it?"

"Absolutely. I was waiting for you in that alleyway: watching you watching me. And then you began to speak."

I am NOT a tank. Your complete guide to Vladimir. For Summoner's level 1 and up. Designed for beginners and up. Rated T for Teen as per the ESRB due to in depth descriptions directly leading to graphic ownage. Game skill may change with online play.

NOTICE: None of this guide is set in stone. This is what works for me and has worked for others. I read almost every Vlad guide out there (and almost every one since) when I was having problems getting away from the tank builds and learning an AP build. This is what I found to fix my problems. Through the reading of the other guides, reading their comment sections and feedback I came up with this guide... which in essence is a combination of my experience, my trials with Vlad, what I saw, and much of what have I read put to paper slightly twisted to my evil design. Enjoy.

You can also enjoy my advanced Vladimir Build seen here.

(Remember, constructive criticism is always welcome. If you do not like something please allow me the opportunity to know what that is so that I may fix the problem or explain why it is as it is. If you feel it deserves a -1 please give me the courtesy of a comment as to why. If it is for a lot of text well... I cannot help that much. I type fast and talk a lot and once I get going it is hard for me to stop...)

Vlad's Will Be Done. Always.
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents


I. Prologue: AB+

II. Introductions and a Shout out.
a) Other Relevant Guides I Recommend Reading

III. Why an AP Build?

1) Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Health.
a) Option 2: Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
2) Seals: Greater Seal of Vitality
3) Marks: Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
4) Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
OPTIONAL: Cooldown Reduction Glyphs Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction vs Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
[Beginner's Note]

V. Beginner's Guide to the Mastery Tree.

VI. Mastery Tree
a) 10 Offense / 19 Defense / 1 Utility Safe Vlad Build (for beginners and beyond)
b) 9 Offense / 21 Defense / 0 Utility Base Vlad Build
c) Defense Tree vs Utility Tree


Starting Items: Amplifying Tome and Health Potion.

Q Spam FTW! (For the Win)

1. Ionian Boots of Lucidity
2. Hextech Revolver --> Will of the Ancients
3. Haunting Guise --> Abyssal Mask
4. Rylai's Crystal Scepter
5. Rabadon's Deathcap
6. Zhonya's Hourglass

Vlad's Will Be Done

1. Sorcerer's Shoes
2. Hextech Revolver --> Will of the Ancients
2a. Mejai's Soulstealer
3. Rylai's Crystal Scepter
4. Rabadon's Deathcap
5. Abyssal Mask or Void Staff
6. Zhonya's Hourglass


6th Item Choices broken down mathematically (reconstructing)


a) Crimson Pact (Passive)
b) Q Transfusion
c) W Sanguine Pool
d) E Tides of Blood
e) R Hemoplague
[Play Style Note]
Game Tip
Game Tip #2
Game Tip #3
[Game Changing Note]

X. The Middle Lane
a) Levels 1-5
b) Levels 6-9
c) Levels 10-18
d) Your Opponents...
[Universal Tip]

XI. Jungling, Outside Lanes, and Team Fights
a) Jungling
b) Outside Lanes
c) Team Fights

XII. Conclusion

XIII. Hot Fixes, Errata and Updates
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AP = Ability Power
AD = Attack Damage
MR = Magic Resistance
ArPen = Armor Penetration
MPen = Magic Penetration
CC = Crowd Control
CDR = Cooldown Reduction
HP = Health
HP/5 = Health Regeneration per 5 seconds
IP = Influence Points
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I. So you want me to tell you the story of my life?

AB+ The Universal Recipient. That is the tag line for Vladimir. And I agree with it. For a different reason though. The thing I like about Vlad is that he TRULY is the most universal champion out there. There is NO one cookie cutter "pro" build for Vlad. His runes are universal runes. Multiple mastery trees work and multiple item choices work and of those multiple versions, multiple combinations work and are very effective. It all depends on what the user prefers... not what they are forced into. This Guide is designed to help beginners and pros to get better. And it is more a guide than build. And through this guide I hope an understanding shall be gained. And through that understanding a destructive path carved. And in the wake of that destructive power shall be left a Forest of the Impaled... bodies staked and drained of their life fluids... an eerie reminder that Vlad just passed through.

It should be noted that this is designed to be a build/guide to help you get to 30 and succeed in doing so. Before I started using Vlad I had no "go to" champ. I used various other champs and had some success with them. Ok not a whole lot to be honest. I was sitting at 10 or 11 games under 50% in the win-loss department before I bought Vladimir. I bought him like 2 days before his Transfusion nerf so I never really got to know the Godliness I hear people talk about prenerf for him. But through a lot of time spent studying him and taking mental notes and learning other champions abilities, strengths, and weaknesses I got to well over 20 games above the 50% mark. That percentage has dropped some due to I am learning some new champs now. Nonetheless this guide is my gift to you. My mental notes on what works for me.

"I assume I need no introduction."
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Introduction and Shout Outs

II. So it was, when I'd given up the search for vampires, that a vampire found me...

First off let me give a shout out and a lot of credit to SmartxAxBSH (and his build Vlad AP Nuke Build) which laid the foundation for the build in which I use. I took his build and tweaked it to suit my needs. His build is definitely a great build and one I have been most happy in finding and using. I used to run a more tank like build for Vlad, and while successful, it left me yearning for more. Then I found his build, used it, loved it, tweaked it towards my play style, and have been cruising ever since. This build is designed to help fix the problems that some have with other AP builds, mainly at the lower levels. They are some of the same problems I had on occasion facing certain champions. Since then... not so much. Feel free to comment and I will try to answer what I can. Also feel free to leave suggestions as I do plan on updating this guide fairly regularly with new content and thoughts. Also if this guide doesn't work for you or doesn't fit your needs I highly suggest taking a look at these following guides. All of them are very informative and I personally have either used them or a variant of each one or learned much from them. They are excellent reading.

Other Guides or Builds I recommend reading:

Vlad AP Nuke Build by SmartxAxBSH
Vladimir Universal Recipient by DEWO.
The Crimson Caster by Vicarious Vision.
The Last Crimson Reaper by Ghosthawk.
Advanced Vladimir Guide by Daethbane.
Vladimir Ranked Playstyle by Expected. (The only other Utility Build I would even look at. It is very similar build wise to what I have started running.)

And remember... +1 if you like, -1 if you feel it deserves it... but if you think it needs a -1 please, please post and comment why so that I may defend or fix the problem(s).

Thank you for your time and any and all comments.
Sacull Kinslayer
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Useful Information and Links

I have found these guides, discussions, links to be extremely useful to all players. Not just for using Vladimir. And since this guide is focused more on newer players I think much of this can help.

Making a Guide by jhoijhoi (This is everything you need to know about making a guide. Amazing.)
Lux: The Queen of Rainbow Lazers by Elementz
Rune Tips What Secondary and Primary Means and More by Searz.
New Player FAQ by Mowen.
Playing LoL on a Budget.
DPS Graphs by Searz
FAQ and Mechanic Questions.
Magic Penetration Wiki Page.
Theory Crafting Compendium by Lvx
5 Champs You Should Know How to Play (aka Who To Buy Next) by Jebus McAzn

and because it is just too good not to link...
A quick Guide to most of the Champions
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Why an AP Build?

III. Merciful death. How you love your precious guilt... or "Why an AP build?"

The purpose of this build is to focus on Vlad's ability to nuke and through that to survive. Most Vlad builds used to focus on Warmog's Armor and health. This is a pure AP build that focuses on AP and the 1.8 HP ever 1 AP gives you (post nerf). Now there is nothing wrong with a tank build with 4-5k HPs... I used to run it myself. But with 600-700+ AP Vlad can have up to and over 4k HPs and nuke and heal for so much more than a pure tank build. Tank build is great for learning the class and has great survivability. But in team fights and in many other situations an AP build truly outshines a tank build. The only problem that an AP build really runs into is lack of gear options really. Most of the really good items have mana or mana regen. We need neither. But in another way it makes it easier for us to choose gear. We only need 2, maybe 3 things. Ability Power, Hit points, and Ability Cooldown reduction. At level 18, with 20 stacks from Mejai's Soulstealer, an Elixir of Fortitude, and an Elixir of Brilliance you will have over 5k HP and over 800 AP. And that is without the Baron's buff. Without Mejai's Soulstealer you can still achieve 4-4.9K HP and 550-700 AP.

REMEMBER! Vlad is a MAGE with increased survivabilty... not a tank with huge resists or armor. Use him for what he is and you shall be rewarded.
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With vlad's runes I looked at it like this. The target level(s) for Vlad to start taking off with his ganking and nuking is levels 6-9. So the runes I picked are with that in mind. All the runes will be the best for those levels and beyond. Also the runes used here are also very universal and are usable for many other champs... nothing really special to buy so this also will help out a beginner who is getting started. Vlad is the perfect champ for universally useful runes. Here is a link to an amazing Rune Guide by Searz that is so informative. It really is helpful and I highly recommend reading it.

Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Health. Fairly straight forward here. I went with the straight health Quints. This is to help in the beginning which in my opinion is the most important time for Vlad. He has to survive early on. And he is great at doing if done right. But he is vulnerable as well as his Q has a long cooldown early. If done right these can help you survive and harass your opponent early until you are ready to gank. And as far as the argument of HP/lvl quints vs flat HP well... the per level HP quints don't equal the flat ones until level 12. Too late in my opinion. A big boost to health is much more favorable for levels 1-11 than 12-18.

(Option 2)
Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Ability Power are also highly useful here. 14.85 AP and 26 Hp is what they effectively are for Vlad. Either option is very good. I have used both and have been effective with both. The flat health quints are universally good and are great for beginners and those learning Vlad. The flat AP quints have slightly less survivability but are more offensive... especially early on.

(Also remember for Quints the flat ones are almost ALWAYS better whereas for the others the per level ones usually are better. If you are unsure about what runes are good take a moment and read this fantastic Rune Guide by Searz. I wish it had been available when I started playing.)

Seals: Greater Seal of Vitality. There are 2 schools of thought here. Straight Health and HP/lvl. I look at it like this. Seal of Vitality gives almost 4x the health but the most important thing is at level 5 it is better than Seal of Fortitude. Vlad does not really come to his own until lvl 6-9. Perfect timing for the seals of vitality.

Marks: Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. Magic Penetration. Fairly simple here. I hit you harder. Will of the Ancients heals me for more. Self explanatory.

Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power. I went with the AP/level here. I know some say they prefer the flat AP and that is fine. But the AP/level glyphs become better than the flat ones at level 6... which is also when Vlad begins to truly shine. By level 9... you should be a nuking machine.

Cooldown Reduction Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction and Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction. Now some people like these in place of the Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power. Recently someone and I got into a conversation about why I don't and so here are my reasons I prefer ap/lvl over cd reduction runes.


1) Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction x9 is 5.85% cooldown reduction. At level 9 (when Transfusion is at its quickest cooldown of 3 secs) this reduces your Q to a recast time of 2.8245 from its usual 3 secs. Now assuming you have at least 9 points in the offense tree (what Vlad wouldn't) then your Q already is at a 2.91 recast timer. Add in the cd reduction runes and that only lowers your timer down to 2.739 for Q. That is just 0.171 seconds faster. Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction x9 gives you 8.1% reduction at lvl 18. That means your Q has a recast timer of 2.67429 secs. At level 18. However the Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction does not match Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction until level 13 and afterward. That is just too long to wait. Vlad's prime levels are 6-11. So of the CD Reduction runes I would prefer the flat ones anyway. But Vlad's Q (and E for that matter) are so fast anyways that I feel that the AP/lvl Glyphs help so much more. The extra AP means more damage, bigger heals, and extra HP. If I need Cooldown reduction that bad I will just get the Blue Buff (assuming no one else needs it or is bothering getting it) and drink an elixir. Those 2 things are more than enough if it is needed. But I rarely "need" CDR. Q can be spammed very fast as it is.

2) Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction is an expensive rune. This guide is focused more on helping beginners and the cost of these runes are twice that of the AP/lvl glyphs. For beginners (and in general) I don't think they are the best option for Vlad. Definitely not if Vlad is the only hero you are using them on. AP/lvl is by far in my opinion the best option for Vlad. However if you already have CDR runes or have other heroes you want to use them with then try them out and decide for yourself. I plan on getting a set soon as I have a different hero build that will require them. Nothing wrong with them. I just think they are better suited for other heroes.

HOWEVER. If you are using the Ionian Boots of Lucidity then I highly recommend using CDR runes. They stack nicely.

A BEGINNER'S NOTE. DO NOT waste your IP on runes before level 20. Before tier 3 they are not worth it and Vlad honestly does not require runes before level 20. At level 20 you should be able to fill every available slot for this AP build. And ALWAYS do the math and save up the amount of IP required for your next rune purchase BEFORE you level so that once you level you don't have to wait. Tier 2 runes are never worth the price. However if you need runes but don't have a ton of extra IP to spend then look into the special holiday runes. They are called 2.5 runes and are very close to tier 3 runes but are much cheaper.

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Beginner's Map to the Mastery Trees.

"They had forgotten the first lesson, that we are to be powerful, beautiful, and without regret."


While highly unlikely I will assume that someone starts out with a new account and buys Vlad at level 1. This is where I would put the points in those circumstances. Your first 9-10 levels I would put points into the offense tree up to Archaic Knowledge (and Burning Embers should you prefer that route). Once you get to Summoner level 13 you should return your points and put them into the Defense mastery tree for your first level of Veteran's Scars . If you want to wait until a couple levels later to have more points into Veteran's Scars then that is your choice. I personally put my points into Defense once I hit level 13. Levels 13-16 put your points into Veteran's Scars . After that continue to put points into Ardor for Summoner levels 17-20. Once you reach 20 you should have your IP saved up enough to fill your rune book. But that is discussed above in the previous section. At Summoner level 21 start putting points into Offense. If you feel you need Haste then put it in whenever you feel you must. I used it at levels 11,12, and 30. Once you are at level 30 enjoy. You should have the experience to hold your own against the obviously improved competition of all level 30 summoners. After you get some time under your belt at 30 and feel comfortable with Vlad I would suggest looking at the 9/21/0 base Vlad build discussed below. I really like it.


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Safe Beginner's Vlad Build (and beyond)
0 Offense / 18 Defense / 11Utility
0 Offense / 11 Defense / 19 Utility

There are 2 survivability based mastery setups I use with Vlad since the new matery trees have come out. 0/19/11and 0/11/19. The Defense Mastery tree offers so much for Vlad still. Armor, Magic Resist, A LOT of HP... both per level and starting out. For those 5 points spent on health you will end up with 1 less AP than you would if you put the 4 points into offense for 4 AP. You also get even more lane sustain with the 3 health per 5. And sustain is SO important early game. You get 8% CDR if you go 19 Defense. That is a little less than you would get with an 11/0/19 build but not by much. You get speed. A lot of it. 2% from the Offense Tree. And 3% if you are above 70% health thanks to the Defense Tree. That is a lot of speed. And with the metagame being what it is there are many champs who rely on skill shots. And the best way to avoid them is with speed or to be untargetable. And Vlad can have both. Oh and you get 3% Spell Vamp. This... just blows my mind. I think the spell vamp and the life steal are both mistakes by RioT but hey... it makes it interesting. You also get extra gold per kill/assist. That adds up SO fast.
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Ignite: works great with Hemo and is very useful early game as well. Another great use for Ignite is right after your mid opponent has drank a health potion. It nerfs the potion AND does damage to them. Great way to tick off your opponent.
Ghost survivability and and a great escape skill along with pool. Also great for tower dives and catching escaping champions.
Flash: self explanatory. Great for jumping barriers and surprising your enemies.

Take your pick. I use the first two. If i ever get a solid premade team I "might" would take Clairvoyance. Other than that most of the other spells don't make a whole lot of sense for Vlad.
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Starting Items.

Starting Items: Amplifying Tome and Health Potion. For an AP build there is no better option than the Amplifying Tome. 20 AP and 36 HP. Hard to go wrong with that. And it builds into several of your items. The Health Potion is recommended but not necessarily a have to have item. I prefer to have one because sometimes around level 3 I need one. And it helps in case you make an early mistake an take more damage than you should have. But you shouldn't need more than 1. Period. And it sells back for a small loss of gold should you not use it. Also I have seen people talk about needing to or having to get Doran's Shield as the beginning item for Vlad. While the item is universally considered the best starting item in the game it is utterly useless for a Vlad AP build. And a waste of gold. If you play right NOTHING can kill you in the early game except yourself. Any time you get low health just back off, be patient, and heal yourself back up with Q.
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Core Items

Core Items

For an AP Vlad there are currently only 2 Core have to have items in my opinion. Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and Rabadon's Deathcap. I personally add Will of the Ancients to this list but that is me personally. They are the items that make an AP Vlad build work so well. Boots are ultimately user's choice whether you want Speed, Cool Down Reduction, or Magic Penetration. But all the other items are ultimately up to the user and the needs of the game you are in. The following items are the items that work for me and are the ones you will find me using (and in the order I use them) probably over 90% of the time. If they are stacking magic resist early I will get Abyssal Scepter and/or Void Staff as 4 and/or 5 or 5 and/or 6. If I face Veiger I will definitely get Abyssal Mask and might get Force of Nature and/or Lichbane. I have at times gotten Abyssal Mask as early as my 3rd item. Much of the decisions of what items needed are decided in the game. And you should evolve your build as your game unfolds.

For beginning and young Vlad players I would never suggest not getting Rylai's Crystal Scepter. However it is a viable option to skip it. Especially if you are comfortable with that concept and if you team has a good amount of CC already. I personally have started skipping it for some time now. I generally rush Hextech Revovler and Rabadon's Deathcap after boots. I have found that my dps output is so much better if I skip Rylais. Rylai's is a great Vlad item. And I know I have called it core. And for new players I truly suggest it. But once you feel comfortable with Vlad don't feel obligated that you must get it.
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Vlad's Will Be Done. Always. (Recommended Core Build)

This is the build that got me a long ways with Vlad. It has had some minor changes along the way but it is a very strong build that got me probably 65-75% win for games where I played him. I was usually always 7-3 or 8-2 in my last 10 when I constantly played Vlad.

Vlad's Will Be Done

1. Sorcerer's Shoes
2. Hextech Revolver --> Will of the Ancients (later in game)
2a. Mejai's Soulstealer
3. Rylai's Crystal Scepter
4. Rabadon's Deathcap
5. Abyssal Mask or Void Staff
6. Zhonya's Hourglass (rarely gets this far)

1st Major Item: Sorcerer's Shoes. The Magic Penetration is very nice and the speed difference you would lose from Boots of Swiftness isn't too terribly noticeable. But if these are not for you then definitely Boots of Swiftness (very few heroes can keep up with you which increases survivability and also makes the gank from the bushes easier as you swarm in faster), Ionian Boots of Lucidity, or Mercury's Treads for those rare occasions if you are going up against a team with a lot of disables, stuns, etc just to be safe. Or safer. Just as a note I myself used the Boots of Swiftness for a long time and enjoyed them. Either choice is good here. And I always get boots first. If you don't get Sorcerer's Shoes but don't want to lose out on flat +Magic Pen then I would look into getting the Haunting Guise or Abyssal Mask early in the game.

2nd Major Item: Will of the Ancients

Alternative 2nd Major Item: Mejai's Soulstealer. Now I know some are going to not like this choice but it does come with a catch. IF you know your team early on is not going to be able to gank or just isn't quite up to skill level then I would wait on this till after Rylai's Crystal Scepter or just skip it all together. But if you can get this up and running early it can give you a major advantage early and especially later on. Especially late. I have had 20 stacks by level 14 plenty of times. By then it is pretty much game over. And while this item gives no immediate help it only takes 5 stacks to equal out the money you spend on it. And 5 stacks is easy to get and keep up with Vlad. If just starting to play ranked I would skip this item in games completely until you feel comfortable with the ranked competition. Also in 3v3 competition I wouldn't bother with this as the game is usually over before you get to 20 stacks. Use it if you are confident you can get the 20 stacks in 3v3. Otherwise skip this item and go straight to Rylai's Crystal Scepter. In my Vlad's Will build this item has been replaced by Will of the Ancients for it's added spell vamp. Mejai's is still very viable and if you are going to get it then you should get it as early as possible so it can build.

3rd Major Item: Rylai's Crystal Scepter. The bread and butter of Vlad ganks. Health + AP + slow. Enough said.

Note: As of 11-21-10 I am running several different tests and therefore skipping Mejai's Soulstealer completely in all my games. This is so I can speed up my money and test the other things I want to test. The things I am currently testing are the improved 1) Will of the Ancients, 2) Abyssal Mask possibly in place of Void Staff, 3) an overall more cost effective build and 4) the overall affect on my games of not having Mejai's at all and just rushing Rylai's Crystal Scepter. I am not saying I want to give up on Mejai's... not at all. I LOVE Mejai's for what it is... the cheapest boost to AP in the game and Vlad is the best champ for it. But I am wondering if overall Vlad is better without it. And I have come to the conclusion that Vlad is viable and does not need it to win. Especially against better competition.

Late Game Items

4th Major Item: Rabadon's Deathcap. Lots of AP here. And big bonus AP from the passive.

5th Major Item: Void Staff or Abyssal Mask. Both items big AP and Magic Pen/magic resist reduction make them both good items here. Both items are viable here depending on the game situation which should dictate which item you get. You can replace Haunting Guise with either of these ( Void Staff only if they are above 80 Magic resist). I often end up with Abyssal stacked with Haunting Guise. They huge Magic Pen is nice.

Final Item: Zhonya's Hourglass. If the game gets this late and you don't have any other specific needs (MR, MPen, HP, etc) then this is the item for you. HUGE AP and nice Armor. Plus that nice active. But I have yet to have a game go long enough to get this item since the new changes and my new Vlad build.

Other 6th Item Choice: Here is where your needs for the specific game comes into play. Abyssal Mask is a good choice if you need magic resist and extra magic penetration. Vlad also is one of the few mages that can get close enough for the aura to be useful. It was my usual 6th item. Goes great with Hemo+Pool bombs. Hextech Revolver is nice here if I think I want to build for the Hextech Gunblade... but that doesn't happen often. Depends on the game situation. A Warmog's Armor can be good here should you need the extra health/regen and extra pool damage. Force of Nature and Lich Bane are 2 items I have also used depending on situation. Another Rylai's Crystal Scepter can be very useful as well. Just depends on the circumstances. Haunting Guise can be useful here as a buy now and sell later when you have the money for the item you really want in that last slot. See below for the mathematical breakdown of the possible 6th items.
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QQ Spam FTW! (My Personal reVamped Build)

This is my current build I use with Vlad when playing with people I know. Regi uses one very similar. If I am playing alone then I consider swapping back to defense masteries for the better survivability. (I credit Regi for getting me to try the Utility Tree again with my spam build. Not that he cares I bet...) EDIT: With the QQers nerf of Vlad's Q I have changed an option in my build. The build as it stands your Q will be at 2.8 sec recast. You can basically cap your CDR by just adding one item in place of the last items. That item being the new and improved Spirit Visage. A dedicated guide to this build can be seen here.

QQ Spam FTW! (For the Win)

Summoner Spells:
Flash: For extra survivability and escaping ability.
Ghost: For more survivability and escaping ability. And to catch runners.

2x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
1x Greater Quintessence of Health
9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9x Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
9x Greater Seal of Vitality
9x Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power

Mastery Tree
9 / 0 / 21 (improved Flash)

1. Ionian Boots of Lucidity
2. Hextech Revolver --> Will of the Ancients (upgrade later)
3. Rabadon's Deathcap
4. Void Staff
4b. Spirit Visage This item can be bought here or before the Void Staff depending on when you need/want it. It will reduce your Q recast to right at 2.4 secs.

the last 2 items are interchangeable to suit whatever defensive need you may have
5. Abyssal Mask (you can also get Quicksilver Sash here for a defensive item)
6. Zhonya's Hourglass (rarely gets this far)

Starting Items: Boots + 3x Health Potions. This gives you some amazing starting speed with the 2x Move Speed Quints and gives you some HP pots if you make any mistakes.

1st Item, Boots: Ionian Boots of Lucidity. I have fell in love with these. As a quick reference with blue CDR runes and these boots your Q has a recast of 2.2 secs. With the blue buff 1.8 secs. Rawr!

2nd Major Item: Hextech Revolver --> Will of the Ancients. Props to Ghosthawk for letting me know about them fixing this item. Spell Vamp with Vlad is almost wrong. This item adds a ton of extra healing to Vlad. Sanguine Pool, Tides of Blood, (and Hemoplague as well I think) will heal you thanks to this item. And the heal is very very nice. This item gives as much AP as Rylai's Crystal Scepter but is a cheap build and compliments Vlad so well early (especially with max stacks of Tides of Blood) and increases his survivability by a lot. I wish I could give credit for this tip to the guy who mentioned putting this item second but I forgot his name. If you read this... thanks!

(FYI here. As Vlad in the middle I would never go buy before 1900g+ if you are buying Hextech Revolver or Mejai's Soulstealer, 1800g+ if you buy Boots of Swiftness, 1850g if you are buying Ionian Boots of Lucidity, unless absolutely necessary. If you are going straight for Rylai's Crystal Scepter then you can go at 2000g to buy your Blasting Wand if you want to. You have the edge of not needing mana so take advantage of it. And the longer you are there the longer you keep your opponent from buying. Unless they are dying a lot. And that means you don't need the items at that moment anyways. I have stayed in the middle until lvl 12+ and over 3k+ gold many times with them unable to push me out.)

3rd Major Item: Rabadon's Deathcap. Huge Ap. Nice bonus AP from the passive. This is when you damage really takes off and the opposing team usually really doesnt have a lot of MR yet.

4th Major Item:: Void Staff / Haunting Guise This item is to replace the 20 Magic Pen lost from your Sorc Boots. If you get the Guise you can sell it later on and buy Abyssal Mask in its place. It is cheap and helps speed Vlad along in the dps department because the 20 Magic Pen is huge early on. I only suggest using the Haunting Guise with the Ionian Boots of Lucidity. But Void Staff is a better choice here usually.

Late Game Items

5th Major Item: Abyssal Mask (or Quicksilver Sash. If you need Magic Resist these are the items I suggest.

6th Major Item: Zhonya's Hourglass: Great active. Great Ap. And a nice added defensive measure with the +50 Armor. If the game gets this late and you don't have any other specific needs (MR, MPen, HP, etc) then this is the item for you. HUGE AP and nice Armor. Plus that nice active. But I have yet to have a game go long enough to get this item since the new changes and my new Vlad build.

I have fell in love with this build. It puts Transfusion at 2.23 sec recast and with blue buff 1.8 secs. And it is cheap to build early. You can port back as soon as 1900g to buy boots and revolver. And you get the Void Staff to replace the lost Magic Pen.

Also with this build I have been testing out 9/0/21. It actually works nicely. Though you are much squishier you move much faster.

The runes I run with this build are as follows:

2x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
1x Greater Quintessence of Health
9x Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
9x Greater Seal of Vitality (working on getting AP/lvl here)
9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

I have come to enjoy this rune set up nicely. Especially the move speed quints.

Alternative Item: Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Generally the bread and butter of Vlad ganks. Health + AP + slow. Enough said. This item I HIGHLY suggest for any newer Vlads. But once you feel comfortable with Vlad you can skip it because it takes so long to build and delays your other important items ( Rabadon's Deathcap namely).
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2 new builds thanks to Morello's Evil Tome.

Morello's Evil Tome. But it gives mana/5 someone might say. So. It also gives 75 AP (largest AP boost for a CDR item) and 15% CDR making it also one of the best CDR items. And it ONLY costs 2350g! SO, without further adieu, here they are. My 2 new builds. And I have tested both out and they both work well. And in some ways... better with the Morello's Evil Tome. Update: They increased the CDR to 20%. Really? Really? That makes these all the more sweeter.

Tome of QQ Spam

This is an alternative build to my base QQ Spam FTW . It trades out Ionian Boots and Haunting guise for Sorc Shoes and Morello's Evil Tome.

1: Sorcerer's Shoes
2: Hextech Revolver -->> Will of the Ancients
3: Morello's Evil Tome
4: Rylai's Crystal Scepter
5: Rabadon's Deathcap
6: Abyssal Mask

This build is basically a 55 AP boost from its previous incarnation (before you trade out Haunting Guise for Abyssal Scepter).

HOLY CDR Batman!

This is a better version of Blue Buff Not Required that is focused on getting nearly 40% CDR without the blue buff.

1: Ionian Boots of Lucidity
2: Hextech Revolver -->> Will of the Ancients
3: Morello's Evil Tome
4: Haunting Guise ---> Abyssal Mask
5: Rylai's Crystal Scepter
6: Rabadon's Deathcap

With just those 2 CDR items, blue CDR runes, and the 3% CDR from the Offensive tree (9/21/0 Masteries) you will have 38.85% cool down reduction. It is also a nice AP boost from the previous version. 75AP more to be exact. UPDATED: With the increase to Morello's Evil Tome's CDR (15% to now 20%) you can now trade 6 of the blue CDR runes (which leaves 3 CDR runes for a total of 1.95%) for an amazing total of 39.95% CDR!! With those 6 empty blue spots you can put some AP/lvl runes so you hit even harder ever 1.8 secs.
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Alternative Builds: (Viable, Fun and Situational Builds)

Not too long ago a friend asked me to repost my old builds for a reference and/or to show other options that have worked for me. And while I have been slow at doing it here it is. Pretty much ALL the builds I have ever used on a consistent basis. Also many of these builds benefit from leveling ToB before sanguine Pool should you feel comfortable going that route. It will increase the DPS nicely.

Tertiary Build #1 (I HATE VEIGAR! build)

Veigar is one of the few AP mages Vlad has to worry about. This build has given me a lot of success versus good Veigars. Bad veigars are not that hard to deal with, Just get the Abyssal Mask early on.

1) Ionian Boots of Lucidity
2) Hextech Revolver --->> Will of the Ancients (do this anytime you have an extra 900g)
3) Spirit Visage
4) Abyssal Mask
5) Rabadon's Deathcap
6) Force of Nature or Warmog's Armor. I prefer FoN here but Warmog's can have a place here. If you use Warmog's here then you should try to run around with 2-3 stacks of Tides of Blood.

STRENGTHS: This build gives you a TON of MR to survive his Ult and very good AP amounts. The key is getting both Spirit Visage and Abyssal Mask early for their combined ~100 MR. After that Rabadon's Deathcap allows you to still be able to do good nuke damage. You can get Force of Nature before Rabadon's if you feel it is necessary. Especially if they are a strong AP team (which usually happens with a veigar). However if you get Warmog's in place of FoN it will give you Bonus AP from the HP (54 AP once maxxed) and very nice regeneration so you can keep 3-4 stacks of ToB up. Either option is nice.

WEAKNESSES: No Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Which sucks but it is a necessary evil. If IF IF You think you can survive and it is needed for the UNIQUE Passive you can get RCS as your 6th item instead of FoN or Warmogs. I personally just get FoN.

Tertiary Build #2 My original "I am not a tank" Build - updated for Zhonya's Ring Split -

Originally with 9/0/21 Masteries I converted sometime in this period to 9/21/0 and never looked back. (Though I occasionally retest Utility to see if it works better with certain builds).

1) Boots of Swiftness
2) Mejai's Soulstealer
3) Rylai's Crystal Scepter
4) Rabadon's Deathcap
5) Haunting Guise, Abyssal Mask, or Void Staff. Situational.
6) Zhonya's Hourglass

STRENGTHS: Speed. Harder than usual to gank. gives you options with your 5th item. Need MR get AS. They are stacking a ton of MR themselves get Void Staff. If you don't have enough for either but want an item get HG and sell it back later. Or you can get both Haunting Guise and Abyssal Scepter as your 5th and 6th items.

WEAKNESSES: Low Magic Pen until late. Slow Building. Relies on Mejai's early.

Tertiary Build #3 Base Build pre Vlad's Will - updated for Zhonya's Ring Split -

1) Sorcerer's Shoes
2) Mejai's Soulstealer
3) Rylai's Crystal Scepter
4) Rabadon's Deathcap
5) Abyssal Mask
6) Zhonya's Hourglass

STRENGTHS: What not to say about this base build. MPen, ton of AP, your spells slow, MR, and a great defensive Active.

WEAKNESS: No CDR, builds slow, relies on Mejai's early.


Tertiary Build # 4a SPELL VAMP! aka You can't kill me! - updated for Zhonya's Ring Split -

1) Sorcerer's Shoes
2) Mejai's Soulstealer
3) Hextech Revolver -->> Will of the Ancients
4) Hextech Revolver -->> Hextech Gunblade (if you really want to upgrade it)
5) Rabadon's Deathcap
6) Abyssal Mask / Zhonya's Hourglass / Rylai's Crystal Scepter / Morello's Evil Tome Your choice here.

Tetiary Build # 4b SPELL VAMP! aka You can't kill me! (post Ionian Boots)- updated for Zhonya's Ring Split -

1) Ionian Boots of Lucidity
2) Hextech Revolver -->> Will of the Ancients
3) Abyssal Mask or Void Staff
4) Hextech Revolver -->> Hextech Gunblade
5) Rabadon's Deathcap
6) Zhonya's Hourglass / Rylai's Crystal Scepter / Morello's Evil Tome Your choice here.

Build explained: You buy a Hextech Revolver, upgrade to Will of the Ancients, then a Rabadon's Deathcap and whatever else you need.

STRENGTHS: Holy Spell Vamp Batman. And I originally used this BEFORE they upgraded the spell vamp items used here.

WEAKNESSES: Possibly no Rylai's or very late. Depended on Mejai's. The second version didn't depend on Mejai's but still possibly no RCS. But you could replace your Magic Pen item or Rabadon's for it.

Tertiary Build # 5a Crimson Tides of Blood (pre Ionian Boots) - updated for Zhonya's Ring Split -

(For this build it is recommended to level Tides of Blood before Sanguine Pool for maximum DPS)

1) Sorcerer's Shoes
2) Hextech Revolver -->> Will of the Ancients
3) Rylai's Crystal Scepter
4) Warmog's Armor
5) Rabadon's Deathcap
6) Abyssal Mask, Void Staff, or Zhonya's Hourglass

Tertiary Build # 5b Crimson Tides of Blood (post Ionian Boots) - updated for Zhonya's Ring Split -

1) Ionian Boots of Lucidity
2) Hextech Revolver -->> Will of the Ancients
3) Haunting Guise (upgrade to Abyssal Mask later)
4) Warmog's Armor
5) Rylai's Crystal Scepter
6) Rabadon's Deathcap

STRENGTHS: Constant 3-4 stacks of Tides of Blood. Huge regen. A LOT of AoE damage with those big stacked ToBs. Lots of HP as well.

WEAKNESSES: Just 1 really. People don't like Warmogs and default to thinking it is a tank item. For anyone but Vlad it is.

BUILD FURTHER EXPLAINED: See section below "WARMOG'S ARMOR: Mythbusting."

Tertiary Build #6 Blue Buff Not Required! (a CDR Build)

(I tried this with Utility Masteries 9/0/21 build. Equates to 38.85% cool down reduction. Using 9/21/0 it is 32.85% cool down reduction. Of course this assumes using blue CDR runes.)

1) Ionian Boots of Lucidity
2) Hextech Revolver -->> Will of the Ancients
3) Haunting Guise -->> replace with Abyssal Mask later
4) Spirit Visage
5) Rylai's Crystal Scepter
6) Rabadon's Deathcap


WEAKNESSES: One of the lowest amount of AP in an AP build. May need to get Rabadon's before Rylai's to make up for the low early AP.

Theory Build #1: TANK BUILD (if, and I do mean IF, and only IF, I was ever to try a tanky build for Vlad this is what it would look like.)

1) Ionian Boots of Lucidity
2) Hextech Revolver -->> Will of the Ancients
3) Abyssal Mask
4) Warmog's Armor
5) Rylai's Crystal Scepter
6) Zhonya's Hourglass

STRENGTHS: Good HP and Good AP. Good Armor and good Magic Resist. Can run 3-4 stacks of ToB. You can get different items in different order if you need certain things earlier.

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6th Item Math. Or Math on All Vlad Items.

6th Item Math:
All the following math will be made assuming that the item is your 6th item and AFTER you have purchased Rabadon's Deathcap. I will have the base Vlad value (Base Item + Crimson Pact's 25Hp = +1AP and 1AP = +1.8HP) and then the Rabadon's Deathcap's passive value will be in parenthesis and in yellow (xx) beside it. Also note that Crimson Pact's bonus AP and HP DOES NOT activate Crimson Pact. Also know that ONLY an item's bonus health counts towards Sanguine Pool's bonus damage. AP does not directly improve Sanguine Pool (However the bonus HP that AP gives you from Crimson Pact does - highlighted in orange). So in essence very few items in an AP based build significantly help Sanguine Pool and those items are the ones that have HP already on it. (More on that below in the section WARMOG'S ARMOR: Mythbusting)

A: Abyssal Mask: 70 AP (91 AP), 126 HP (163.8 HP), 57 Magic Resist, -20% Enemy's Magic Resist Aura. Great against other casters. Great against Magic Resist. Stacks with other Magic Pen. Just a great item. For you and your team.

B: Will of the Ancients: 80 AP (104 AP), 144 HP (187.2), 25% spell vamp (your allies too). Extra Spell Vamp is always nice. And 30 AP for your team. Just a great item. For you and your team.

C: Hextech Revolver: 40 AP (52 AP), 72 HP (93.6 HP), 20% spell vamp. Not bad at all. Great to get and then build into something else.

D: Hextech Gunblade: 60 AD, 75 AP (97.5 AP), 135 HP (175.5 HP), 20 Life Steal, 25 Spell Vamp. Very nice indeed. Especially taking down turrets. Nice ACTIVE ability too.

E: Haunting Guise: 25 AP 200 HP Base. 30 AP (39 AP), 245 HP (258.5 HP), +20 Magic Pen. A very nice Vlad item. Cheap, effective, adds flat Magic Pen, buffs Sanguine Pool (added Bonus Damage is 32.4 [36.5472]) and activates both ends of Crimson Pact. A very viable item. Highly recommended should you use Ionian Boots of Lucidity.

F: Lich Bane: 80 AP (104 AP), 144 HP (187.2 HP), 30 Magic Resist, 7 Move Speed, and a nice passive. Really good for for taking down turrets. A good all around item. Very useful late game.

G: Spirit Visage: 30 Magic Resist, 250 HP, 10 AP (13 AP), 37.5 bonus damage to Sanguine Pool +10% CDR +15% healing and regeneration. A decent item. The 3rd best item for CDR available with Vlad (behind Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Morello's Evil Tome). I personally only use it in very specific situations. Mostly just against Veigar. But it is a viable item early. The 15% Healing and Regeneration unique passive works with both Transfusion and Tides of Blood stacks. But with its nerfs recently it is hardly worth it even against Veigar.

the Zhonya's Ring split...

H: Rabadon's Deathcap: 155 AP (201.5 AP), 279 HP (362.7 HP), UNIQUE Passive: +30% AP. Wow. Need I say more? Doubling this up isn't even a bad idea.

I: Zhonya's Hourglass: 100 AP (130 AP), 180 HP (234 HP), +50 Armor Unique Active: invulnerability for 2 secs. nice AP boost. Armor is a nice defense bonus. The Active is still amazing. But for some reason I rarely get this piece. Maybe it is the price and as a 6th item it just takes a long time to get it. Or maybe there are better options for a 6th item depending on how the game dictates. But regardless I see this item rarely nowadays.

H: Warmog's Armor: SEE BELOW CHAPTER

I: Force of Nature: 40 HP/5, 76 Magic Resist, 8 Move Speed, 0.35% health Regen per sec. Very nice if you need big resist, speed, and big HP/5 and regen passive. Allows you to run with 3-4 stacks of Tides of Blood. But does not take full advantage of being Vlad and his Crimson Pact. However it is VERy useful against high AP teams... and more specifically Veigar.

J: Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Base Item = 80 AP (104 AP) and 500 HP. Now add everything up with Crimson Pact and Rabadon's Deathcap and it becomes = 92.5 AP (120.25 AP) and 644 HP (687.2 HP) even without its passive working. Hard to argue with that... And that is taking in account that the bonus AP and HP gained from Crimson Pact does not stack with itself. This item is the tied for 2nd largest AP boost for a possible 6th item. It is 55 AP (82.5 AP) less than Rabadon's Deathcap and 365 HP (324.5 HP) more. Now look at it versus Zhonya's Hourglass. Rylai's and Zhonya's offer the EXACT same AP boost (thanks to Rylai's Bonus HP and Crimson Pact) UPDATE: due to the nerf to Crimson Pacts HP to AP ratio Rylais is 8 AP behind. That bonus to health also increases your [[Sanguine Pool Damage by 96.6 (103.08) Bonus Damage making it very viable as well. The health given from this item is over 2/3 that given from Warmog's Armor at its beginning and is almost half once Warmog's maxes. As far as AP Rylai's Crystal Scepter beats Warmogs by a ton. As far as gold goes Warmog's Armor is 3000g and Rylai's Crystal Scepter is 3105. Warmog's is hands down the best item to help pool damage and to give you HP and HP/5... while Rylai's is the second best item for pool damage and also adds a lot more AP. Makes for an interesting debate.

Bottom Line on your 6th item is it should take care of whatever needs you have as the game you are CURRENTLY in dictates. Also your gold income should factor into that as well. Do you have time to build up 3000g or more for your last item? Or would you be better served buying a cheaper item and then selling/upgrading later on when you have the gold for it. Often enough you will be better served buying a good but cheaper item that helps you currently. Even if it something you normally wouldn't buy. knowing what items that might be will also save you time and get you back into the fight faster instead of having to search all over for one.
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WARMOG'S ARMOR: Mythbusting

Warmog's Armor

This is the most controversial item when it comes to Vlad. First off let me say that I DO NOT think Warmog's is an item that Vlad HAS TO HAVE. Not at all. The only HAVE TO HAVE items for Vlad are Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Rabadon's Deathcap ( Will of the Ancients could also make this list considering). RSC and RD are 2 items pretty much every Vlad player agrees on. However I AM going to tell you why it is a very viable Vlad item if the situation calls for it.

It has BIG HP. 920 base. 1370 Max. It has BIG HP/5. 30 HP/5. 45 HP/5 when max. That alone does not make it a good Vlad item. What makes this item a good Vlad item is 2 things. 1) Crimson Pact. 2) Tides of Blood. If you factor in those 2 things then Warmog's takes on a whole new light. With the passive Crimson Pact Warmogs gives 23 AP at time of purchase. 34.25 once maxed. Which we all know takes Vlad about 5 mins to max. Not great but also not too shabby. Now how does Tides of Blood factor in? As we all know ToB cost health to cast. We also all know it gives 8% bonus to healing effects as well as doing damage, stacking 4 times. But the damage is just ok damage. Nothing to write home about. But with Warmog's you can run around with 4 STACKS of ToB up AT ALL TIMES. That is +32%!! health regen AND +32% bonus to your healing from Transfusion and +32% to spell vamp from Will of the Ancients. NOT TO MENTION that each stack does 25% more damage 180 + 25% = 225 +25% = 281.25 + 25% = 351.56 + 25% = 439.45. That is BEFORE you do the same math for you AP at the time. Oh you say, but I don't level out ToB until I get to 18. OK... let's look at rank 1 ToB with the same math. 60 + 25% = 75 + 25% = 93.75 + 25% = 117.18 + 25% = 146.4843. Before adding in AP. It more than doubles the damage output of a very quick AoE spell. At 4 stacks it will do similar damage as Transfusion. In an area of effect. And heal you if you have Will of the Ancients.

OH! And I forgot. Sanguine Pool. What does that have to do with anything? Well you see something MANY people don't realize is that AP does not directly have an affect on Sanguine Pool. ONLY the bonus health FROM ITEMS and the bonus health granted from AP items thanks to Crimson Pact increases the damage output on Sanguine Pool. So in essence Warmogs BY FAR adds the most damage to Sanguine Pool. Let me clarify by giving an example. The LARGEST Ap boost available for Vlad is the VERY nice Rabadon's Deathcap. 155 AP and +30% for its passive. A whopping 201.5 AP for Vlad! That adds 362.7 BONUS HEALTH to Vlad. 15% of 362.7 is 54.4 and is added to Sanguine Pool as bonus damage. However at purchase Warmogs adds 139.5 bonus damage to our pool and at max it adds 205.5 BONUS DAMAGE to our Sanguine Pool.

(I can hear it now... "What do you mean Warmogs is better than Rabadons for Vlad?!?!?!" Let me put that to rest right now. NO NO NO. I would NEVER replace RD with WA for Vlad. N-E-V-E-R. It was JUST an example. Highest AP vs Highest HP. I only advocate Warmogs as a situational, but very viable, item for Vlad. One to be gotten AFTER your core items. It will NEVER replace RD or RCS for Vlad with me. NEVER! Hope that clarifies a few things.)

So allow me to REWRITE the description of Warmog's Armor to the way IT SHOULD look when Vlad buys one.

Warmog's Armor
+920 Health +30 Health Regen per 5 sec Passive: Permanently gain 4.5 Health and .15 Health Regen per 5 sec per minion kill. Champion kills and assists grant 45 Health and 1.5 Health Regen per 5 sec. Bonuses cap at +450 Health and 15 health per 5.
VLAD BONUSES: Adds 23 AP (up to a bonus of 34.25 AP at max). Adds 139.5 Bonus Damage to Sanguine Pool damage (up to a bonus of 205.5). Allows for constant stacks of Tides of Blood which increases Health Regen and Healing by up to 32%. These stacks also increases Tides of Bloods damage (significantly).

Again I am not saying it is something that must be bought... but I see too many other people sowing disinformation about Warmog's and I hope I have clarified a few things with the math.

(Unfortunately with the Crimson Pact nerf (40 HP adds 1 AP) that makes Warmogs not quite as good as it once was for Vlad. It is still viable but it lost 20 AP due to the change. Rylai's Crystal Scepter lost 8 AP itself. The above section has been changed to reflect that nerf.)
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SKILLS (and tips for those skills)

"The dark gift is different for each of us. But one thing is true for us all, we grow stronger as we go along."

Crimson Pact (Passive): The ability that makes Vlad be... Vladimir. This ability makes Vlad so unique. His tags so both Mage and Tank. He doesn't use mana. Blood is his fuel. And he sure isn't a tank. He is neither mage nor tank. He is unique. He is a caster with increased survivability. He is a blood born pathogen. (FYI as of 2-16 the HP to AP ratio is now 40 HP to gain 1 AP.)

Q Transfusion: This is Vlad's bread and butter. Nice damage. Nice AP ratio. And it heals you. Max this by lvl 9. There is no exception to this rule. (TIP: If you watch closely the HEAL portion of this spell is NOT instantaneous, it travels back to you from your target. I have killed Vlads before because they thought the heal would get back to them before my nuke would kill them.)

W Sanguine Pool: Does decent area damage. Slows those above you. Can be used both offensively and defensively. You can use this to avoid ganks, all skill shots, and certain ults, and certain other skill. This is what it is recommended you use it for. But to do so it costs you 20% of your health. So choose these moments wisely. map awareness helps a lot here. If you know you can survive an encounter sometimes it is better to take the damage and save your pool. But always... ALWAYS play defensively when pool is down. But that doesn't mean hide at the turret (though occasionally it does as well). Nor does that mean to play timidly (although early game it may). It means be safe. If your team needs you help them. Don't be one of those Vlads that every hates that as soon as the fight begins they pool and run back to base. We have ALL seen it. If you stay you may die... but your team has a much better chance with you there and not at the base (of course if you have just a sliver of health it is usually better that you are back at the base). Much depends on the situation as it happens. Again... that doesn't mean you are a Caped Crusader. That means know your limits and know your capabilities. AND KNOW WHERE YOUR TEAM IS and where theirs is. Map awareness is huge. Most people max this skill 2nd after Transfusion. I suggest all newer Vlad players to do this. If you are comfortable with only 1 point in it then I would test out maxxing Tides of Blood 2nd and Sanguine Pool 3rd. I recommend it once you feel comfortable with it.

E Tides of Blood: (aka ToB) I LOVE THIS SKILL. It is SO underrated. And so missused so often. A nice Area of Effect nuke that stacks its own damage! Optimally at low levels you want just 1 point in this. Also early game (when Q is slow) if you are full health this becomes a free nuke for you. You can hit ToB and follow it up with a Q and you will heal the damage back. Also if you cast Q first and immediately follow that up with a ToB the heal from transfusion will get to you AFTER you cast ToB. Neat eh? Use accordingly. I see so many Vlads early game make the mistake of spamming ToB... or mistiming the heal from Q in conjunction with ToB that they end up doing more harm to themselves than good. However if you are able to master ToB use and know when to run 3-4 stacks of it it will do very similar damage (as an AoE) that Transfusion does. This skill is very underrated. And if you feel comfortable with only 1 level of Sanguine Pool I highly recommend leveling this up before it on those players who feel they don't mind just 1 point in Sanguine Pool.

R Hemoplague (ULTIMATE): (aka Hemo) While this is by no means the best ultimate out there it is still a fabulous ultimate. This ultimate is also one of the best team ultimates. It makes EVERYONE do more damage to whomever has the missfortune (see what I did there) of having it on them. Miss Fortune, Gangplank, Amumu, Galio, Morgana, Garen (Spin2Win), Renekton, Cho'Gath, Rammus, Swain and anyone else who has an AoE damage ability becomes SO much better with a well placed Hemo. It can quickly turn the tide of a battle. Even AFTER the nerf to the AoE Metagame. Also Hemo has a very long range. So if someone is hiding under their turret they are not safe... especially with low health.

Tides of Blood tips:
1) Stealthers. You can use ToB to find out if there are stealthers ( Teemo, LeBlanc, Shaco, Twitch) near you trying to gank you. Also it is fun to cast ToB near bushes or right after someone stealths. It will tell you the direction they are at and it will hit them. I have killed plenty by casting it right after they stealth.
2) Wards, boxes, & shrooms. You can use ToB to find where wards are or to find Jack In The Boxes and Noxious Traps wherever they may be hidden so that you may avoid them. Or to bust them as the case may be. I try to often check bushes for possible shrooms and boxes. Or hidden enemies.

Pool tip: Turret escape. As long as there is another target pool will drop turret aggro from you. No longer valid. As of 2-16-11 they fixed that BUG.
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Tides of Blood: Elaborated and Discussed. (aka How to get Extra DPS)

Tides of Blood

Probably my favorite skill for Vladimir. Why? Because it is an underestimated AoE nuke that when stacked does as much as or more than Transfusion. AND it increases your healing abilities. There are 2 ways of increasing your DPS through ToB effectively.


Leveling Tides of Blood before Sanguine Pool
If, IF you are ultimately confident in 1 point of Sanguine Pool and you know how to use it well then you should level ToB before Sanguine pool. The damage output increase is VERY nice and increases your DPS significantly... especially if you have Ionian Boots of Lucidity and are spamming ToB every 2 secs. The damage that level 5 ToB does early game is VERY noticeable. You may be surprised.


Running with 2-4 stacks of Tides of Blood up at all times. With certain items that make this easier (FoN, Warmogs, WotA) you can run around with your ToB running max damage with max stacks doing excellent damage (while increasing your health regen and life steal). This is even MORE important if you don't feel comfortable leaving Sanguine Pool at level 1. So instead you choose to leave ToB at level 1 and level up SP for safety measures. Understandable. You have to do what you are comfortable with. But you still want to increase your DPS. ToB can do that. If you run with 4 stacks of ToB up you can do similar DPS with it as someone who has only 1 level in it and don't keep it stacked.

Personally... I think anyone who doesn't keep ToB stacked is losing out a lot. So at level 1 or maxxing it before Sanguine Pool you should always try to keep 2-4 stacks of ToB up. It does wonders for your DPS. And if you don't keep multiple stacks up you are losing out so much on your DPS.
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The Middle Lane

"Evil is a point of view. God kills indiscriminately and so shall we. For no creatures under God are as we are, none so like him as ourselves."

X. The Middle Lane
a) Levels 1-5
b) Levels 6-9
c) Levels 10-18
d) Your Opponents...
[Universal Tip]

At level 1 I have 695 HP and 26 AP after I purchase an Amplifying Tome. Most games I start out with more HP than tanks do. And my nukes still hit very hard. More room for error thanks to the health. I have played around with running flat AP quints and I have come to personally prefer it. Definitely viable. It is 627 HP and 40 AP. Users choice though. Be careful during these early levels. Try to get a good feel for your opponent here. You should be able to judge early whether or not you can push them or if you will have to wait. Also most likely you will not get First Blood. It can happen but don't expect it. Vlad's cooldowns are far too long early on in the game. The only way you will get it during these levels is a good gank or your opponent screws up (or is a bad player).

Vlad's time to shine. Everything comes together for him during these levels. Q is on a much shorter cooldown and your damage starts taking off. Also your health is increasing very nicely. This is where you should be able to push your mid opponent out of the middle and start ganking. At level 9 Vlad is probably the strongest champ out there.

LEVELS 10-18
Not much to say here except gank when you can, push when you can, tank when you have to, and NEVER stop farming. You can wipe creep waves out in 1-2 spells, you can kill the ghosts in a matter of seconds. Keep your level advantage, press your advantage, and keep your money supply flowing. And always keep your health as high as possible. You can solo dragon at 12 easily and safely. Probably as low as level 10 as well (though I never have tried). Always let your team know when you do so they can support you or keep the other team busy. If everyone gets to level 18 then you lose that huge and very important level advantage. If you have a competent team it should not get that far.

Our opposition... The tricks I have learned that work for me. My gift to you.

Anivia: Anivia is a major problem for Vlad early if you are not careful. If you are not paying attention well or not moving around enough she can stun you with Flash Frost. Even if you avoid it her Frostbite does disgusting damage even early. And it does more damage if you are slowed which her ult does as well. Best thing to do is play VERY defensively until you can get a good gank on her. Because even if you can kill her by yourself it isnt until around lvl 9 or so you can kill her in egg form. So dont bother trying. Just last hit creeps and tower hump against her. Keep your health as high as possible at ALL TIMES. You may even want to get Boots and multiple Health Potions if you are going to be facing her. She IS one of the hardest mid opponents for Vlad.

Annie: Always have her targeted so you will know when she is empowered. When you see she is back off until she uses it. If you get caught with a Summon: Tibbers summoned stun from Empowered she has the burst to kill you or to at least do some major damage to you.

Ashe: Try to stay behind your creep lines and use them to absorb Volley. She can harass you decently before lvl 4-5 because of her superior auto attack range. Once you hit lvl 6 the tide begins to turn. By lvl 9 I can usually deny her and wear her completely down. Always be aware of her Ult and a possible gank from it.

Cassiopeia: Twin Fang is a very nice DPS spell for her. And if you are poisoned she can spam it on you. Be very careful not to get poisoned from Noxious Blast or Miasma. And always be wary of her ult as it can turn you to ston or slow you even if you manage to run from it. ALWAYS be wary of it when there is a Cass on the opposing team. It is a game breaker in the right hands.

* Corki*: This hero can be a major pain for Vlad. He is one of the ones that can deny Vlad. Avoid Gatling Gun at all costs. It will shred you much like Pantheon's Heartseeker Strike. Missile Barrage is what makes him dangerous to Vlad. This in combination of Valkerie used offensively to push Vlad. Try to turret hump and make use of your creeps to avoid the Missile Barrage. Along with Anivia Corki is one of the worst match ups for Vlad. Thankfully few people can take advantage of Corki.

Dr. Mundo: Avoid his cleaver and ignite his Ult to stop his health regen. Move side to side a lot.

Ezreal: Ez is another one who can harass decently early because of his superior range. Move around a lot side to side and try to hide behind creep lines to absorb his skill shots. Always be wary of his Ult as well.

* Fiddlesticks*: Crowstorm is the ability everyone talks about with Fiddle but that isn't what makes him so dangerous to Vlad. Reap, Bountiful Harvest and to a lesser extent Terrify are what make him dangerous to Vlad. Silence on Vlad is probably his biggest weakness and Fiddle's silence reapplies every time it hits you on a bounce. NOT TO MENTION it does good damage. DO NOT try and swap blows with Fiddle before level 11. You WILL NOT WIN. Even after 11 it is questionable. Try to arrange ganks for Fiddle. He is one of the easiest heros to gank.

Gangplank: A good Gangplank will play the deny game against you. Be ready for it. Raise Morale allows him to kill HIS OWN creeps from the inhibitor on denying you XP. A smart GP will wait at the inhibitor and just kill creeps all the way up to mid. Parrrley hits like a truck and has a long range and he will try to deny you with it as well. Get a gank on him if you can. If you can't (and you don't a have a jungler or the opposing team doesn't) kill the nearby jungle creeps when you can to help offset the DENY. But the most dangerous thig to Vlad is Grog Soaked Blade and its 50% healing reduction. This hurts a lot if you get in a bad way and low on health.

Heimerdinger: Turrets. Turrets. Oh and a few more turrets. Let the creeps absorb the turret damage and just nuke the turrets down. This will run him out of mana fast.

Karthus: Lay Waste. Try to avoid these bombs by moving randomly all over the place. Don't have a pattern either in your movements or you may find a bomb under your feat. And keep a watch out for Wall of Pain. It usually means Karthus has something up his sleeve. Remember if you touch any part of it you will be slowed and recieve the full effect of it. That means the pillars as well. Requiem is his ult. And is an amazing spell. It makes many mediocre players on good teams look good. If you need to avoid it wait 3 secs and pool. Or if you listen to the sound you can tell when it is about to go off.

Kassadin: Watch for his Null Sphere. Have him targetted so you can see when he can use Force Pulse and remember that it slows as well. Riftwalk is his nice ult. If he is Riftwalking to you that usually means he has ill intentions towards you and you should probably retreat. Pool if you have to here. ESPECIALLY important to pool if he rifts to you if he has both Null Sphere and Force Pulse available.

Katarina: Stand away from your creeps to try and avoid Bouncing Blades. Save your pool for Shunpo and Death Lotus.

Kog'Maw: Avoid Void Ooze because it slows and his auto attacks have sick range and damage so if he slows you you can be in a world of hurt. Watch for the red lines to tell you where his Living Artillery is going to drop. IF YOU HAVE TO, use pool to avoid it. Oh and remember... even if you kill him he isn't quite dead yet.

Lux: She is amazing at crowd control but very aquishy if you get on her. Avoid Light Binding and Lucent Singularity if at all possible. Use your creeps to absorb Light Binding and stand off to the side or fairly far behind of them to make Lux choose to try and hit you or the creeps with Lucent Singularity. Finales Funkeln is easy to avoid unless you get hit with Light Binding first. Avoid it by pooling if you have to. Otherwise just avoid it.

Malphite: I hate his Q Seismic Shard. Very very annoying. Slows and does nice damage early game. Out grind a Mal and try to stay out of range of his abilities if there are any MIA's. He is a great initiator with multiple types of CC if you are not watching.

Malzahar: Call of the Void is easy to avoid if you pay attention. Actually all of his non ult abilites are easy to avoid. So why is he dangerous? Malefic Visions and Nether Grasp. He will outfarm you and constantly push and harass you because of MV. IF (big if) you are good on health and feel comfortable doing it I have purposely taken MV instead of letting it kill my creeps. You can slow him down doing this BUT it is at a cost. After level 6 this becomes dangerous becasue of his ult... which stuns AND does big damage. After Mal is level 6 try to keep your health as high as possible. After level 9 if he ults you but you are full health you can take the damage and usually just push him right afterward.

Miss Fortune: TRY TRY TRY to stand off to the side away from your creeps when facing her. Or try to keep 2 rows of creeps between you and her. And even then it doesn't always help. Double Up annoyingly has no rhyme nor reason behind its bounce. I have seen it jump over 2 creeps to hit me before. It is annoying but on average if you keep yoruself to the side and/or off to the side you will minimize the times it will hit you. And if you end up frustrating her enough becasue she can't hit you she may just target you with Double Up, which reduces its effectiveness and damage. Tides of Blood is great to kill her Strut passive should you have a gank coming or planning on pushing her. Be careful of Bullet Time though. Remember it is in a channelled CONE area of effect so if you are near her it is much easier to get out of its damage area. Not to mention being on top of her really messes up her play style and effectiveness.

Morgana: Dark Binding is her bread and butter. Avoid it. Pool to avoid it if you have to. ALWAYS be moving against a Morgana. Makes it harder for her to hit you with it. Recognize Black Shield. Use Tides of Blood to burst that bubble then hit her with your Q or Hemo (if you are planning on pushing her). Be wary of Soul Shackles. It will stun you if you can't get away from her. Then you most likely are dead. If you know you wont make it away from her in time pool right before it stuns you. That may save you from a Dark Binding Combo.

Nidalee: Move around a lot to avoid Javelin Toss / Takedown. And remember in her cougar form she can do some good damage and moves faster than you do. But it is human form where she can heal and toss her javelin. And is her weaker form. Oh and if you are full health and can handle it intentionally break her traps. It helps the team 9and your creeps) to do this if you can.

Pantheon: Probably and arguably the most powerful early game hero there is. Spear Shot does huge damage early (and late) and has a nice range. Heartseeker Strike shreds everything in a cone in front of him. DO NOT GO TOE TO TOE WITH PAN EARLY GAME. All you will do is feed him. Just survive until lvl 9 last hitting when you can with auto attack and Q. A good Pan will also Grand Skyfall in front of a fleeing enemy or into the middle of a fight. Or onto the turret where you think you are safe at with 100 Hp. Oh and I didn't even mention his stun. Pan is be far one of the scariest early game heroes. And a good one is devestating.

Rammus: Be wary of his taunt. A good Rammus is a game changer if he knows how to use that taunt.

Shen: Same as Rammus. Be careful of his taunt (granted Shen's taunt is easier to avoid).

Sion: Cryptic Gaze is his stun. And it really hurts if he is stacking AP. Try to avoid it with pool if you have to. Death's Caress is his shield that blows up. Try to out damage his shield if he is using it to farm.

Sivir: My other hero I enjoy playing. I once made a Miss Fortune complain about Ricochet. I guess she forgot about her Double Up. I thought it funny and ironic. Similar principle as when facing Miss Fortune. Try to stand off to the side. Avoid Boomerang Blade. It does nasty damage. Especially if you get hit with both ends of it. Even when you may think you are safe it can rach most turrets from nearby grass or hidden areas. Spell Shield. Learn to recognize this. While you will still heal if you cast your Q onto it it GIVES Sivir mana if it blocks a spell. I often times used Spell Shield as a free mana regen on people that would recklessly cast their spells on it. If you need to push her pop the Spell Shield with a Tides of Blood and then blow her up.

Swain: He is annoying but not too difficult. His bird casts Decrepify. SANGUINE POOL WILL NOT STOP THE DAMAGE OF THIS SPELL. Retreat immediately if you get hit with it. It slows you. Also retreat if you get hit with Torment early on. It is his nice Damage over Time spell. Nevermove is easy to avoid if you are paying attention. If you aren't... well... you will learn fast or Swain will kill you if he can hit you with Nevermove often enough.

Teemo: That little annoying furball. His damage over time poison is annoying early. Try to keep your health as full as possible against him. Once you reach level 6-9 you can lean on him usually getting a kill during these levels because he cant go toe to toe with your Transfusion. Also if you face a smart Teemo (they usually have a Trinity Force and/or a Phantom Dancer for extra speed) DO NOT CHASE THEM unless the kill is for sure. They will just drive you through a traffic jam of mushrooms and cause you to kill yourself or get ganked. It isnt worth chasing him in most cases.

Tristana: This little pocket sized package has a good range on her auto attacks so she can harass well. Watch out for her Rocket Jumping towards you. It usually means bad things. What is worse is when you Rocket Jumps OVER you and uses her ult to knock you back into her team. Explosive Shot and its 50% healing reduction is the bane of Vlad early. Watch for when you have that debuff on you and retreat.

Twisted Fate: Not a hard opponent. Watch for the yellow card (stun) from Pick A Card. If he has the yellow card just back up until he uses it on something else. Watch out for Destiny. A good TF will port somewhere you can't see and blast you out of no where. Or they will turret dive with it before you can ever respond.

Urgot: He can harass Vlad well in the middle. Otherwise not that big of a problem. Move around a lot and avoid your creeps to make him decide to hit them or you with Noxian Corrosive Charge. If you get hit with it continue to move in random directions (but heading to safety) to minimize getting hit with a locked Acid Hunter too often. And be wary of his ult when pushing his turret.

Veigar: Oh how I hate facing this little annoying creature. He can be the perfect counter to anAP vlad if you are not careful. DO NOT LET HIM FARM more than you can help with Baleful Strike. I have seen teams just completely ignore him and let him farm away. THIS IS FAIL! He will destroy you if you let him farm. One thing I do early game is test him to see what he is going to do. I will push him, early. If he ignores my pushing and just continues to farm I know I have a smart veigar on my hands and I have to plan accordingly. However if he starts to waste his mana by attacking me back then I already know I got him. I don't even have to really gear differently against a bad Veigar. A good one howerver... I have a special build for them. More on that at the end. Always be wary of the Dark Matter and Event Horizon combo. FYI even if you pool into Event Horizon it will stun you in the pool. But what REALLY makes little mister V so dangerous to a Vlad? His ult... the perfect counter to an AP hero. Primordial Burst. This little ability is the reason I will use a completely different build for vlad. If I use my normal AP build Veigar will pretty much 1 shot me. I can't have that now can I. I will start out normal and use my normal boots ( Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Sorcerer's Shoes) and normal first item, Hextech Revolver (later upgraded to Will of the Ancients. After that is where it changes completely. Spirit Visage, Abyssal Mask, Force of Nature, and Rabadon's Deathcap. SV, AS, and FoN all add nice amounts of Magic Resist as well as HP, AP, speed, and HP/5 to help me survive Primordial Burst while RD allows my DPS to still be good for the end game (should it go that far). But this is only if I am facing a good Veigar. A mediocre one I will just get Abyssal Mask (in place of Haunting Guise) before Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

Zilean: Easily one of the most powerful early game champs. Time Bomb + Rewind has given plenty of players and champs headaches early game. Vlad is no different here. Just with a different strategy. You need to turret hump against a good Zil. You may even have to swap lanes against him. He can deny you like no other early game. Sometimes you jsut have to bite the bullet and do what is good for the team. But if you do stay what I have found to work is play as defensive as possible and turret hump. IF you get a bomb on you wait till it is about to go off and pool. Ok that makes sense. But what I do next has baffled people until they realize there is a method to the madness. I will pool when it is about to go off and move right into my creep wave. WHAT?!?!? That is crazy! Right? No. Your goal is to turret hump. So I KILL my own creeps with his bomb to ENSURE that his creeps are near my tower. You see bomb still does its damage in the area... but in pool I take none. Recognize Time Warp as well. usually when he casts it on himself that means he has bad intentions. Chronoshift works like a far superior Guardian Angel. Late game Zil will come back with full health with it. That is why I usually don't target him to kill him... just to make him retreat or to blow his ult on himself then change to a more threatening target. He isn't hard to kill late. He is just hard to keep down.

UNIVERSAL TIP: It is NEVER a sure thing.
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Jungling, Outside Lanes, and Team Fights (Under Construction)

"Locked together in hatred, but I can't hate you."

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The QQer's Patch Notes and how they specifically affect us. Updated 6-22-11

"Oh Louis, Louis. Still whining Louis. Have you heard enough? I've had to listen to that for centuries."

Patch v100.111


* Crimson Pact Bonus ability power gained reduced to 1 ability power per 40 bonus health from 25 health
* Sanguine Pool no longer grants a speed bonus on use
* Fixed a bug where Turrets would sometimes idle while Vladimir was pooled
* Fixed a bug where Sanguine Pool would occasionally not properly draw aggro upon exiting his pool

Wow. I was really worried about this nerf. I thought they would destroy Sanguine Pool and Crimson Pact. They didn't. I do like how they called 2 of the fixes "bugs" whereas it was explained that was the intended effect for Sanguine Pool. Does make them look better I guess. The Crimson Pact nerf only really hurts tank vlads. AP vlads won't see much a of a decline in their AP due to this. However people will have to be smarter with their turret dives using Vlad.

However there is a 3rd nerf to Vlad in this patch.

CDR nerf.
# Ionian Boots of Lucidity cost increased to 700 from 550 (1050 total)
# Randuin's Omen cooldown reduction decreased to 5% from 8%
# Spirit Visage cooldown reduction decreased to 10% from 12%
# Soul Shroud cooldown aura reduced to 10% from 15%

These nerfs will make some people reconsider a few of these items. However if one uses Ionian Boots of Lucidity I don't think the 150g increase is a deterrent.

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that you will start seeing Vlad's using the new item to replace Spirit Visage. Heck I think the new item might find a permanent home in many AP Vlad builds. I know I intend on trying it out.

# New Item: Morello's Evil Tome

* Builds out of Fiendish Codex and Blasting Wand (Total Cost of 2350)
* +75 ability power
* +12 mana regeneration per 5
* UNIQUE passive: 15% cooldown reduction (has since been increased to 20%)


# Hextech Revolver spell vamp increased to 20% from 15%
# Hextech Gunblade Spellvamp increased to 25% from 20%
# Will of the Ancients spellvamp increased to 25% from 20%

LOL Sweet!


#New Item: Moonflair Spellblade
#+50 Ability Power
#+25 Tenacity

Interesting item if you feel you have to have Tenacity.


# Vladimir:
# Transfusion heal reduced to 15/25/35/45/55 from 17.5/28.75/40/51.25/62.5

# Hextech Revolver's Spell Vamp component is now Unique

While these changes are just the latest in a long line QQer's nerfs on Vlad they really are not that bad. You can STILL stack Spell vamp with Will of the Ancients and Hextech Revolver and the heal nerf is only 7.5 pts at rank 5. Not life shattering. Though I do wish they would throw vlad a bone (or some blood) sometimes.

Patch 1.00.120 6-22-11


# Transfusion
* Cooldown adjusted to 12/10/8/6/4 from 12/10/8/6/3
* Damage adjusted to 90/125/160/195/230 from 70/115/160/205/250


# Quicksilver Sash cooldown decreased to 90 from 105
# Hextech Revolver spell vamp reduced to 15% from 20%


* Lifesteal and spell vamp are no longer reduced if the damage done is shielded
* Healing reductions now reduce lifesteal and spell vamp
* Spirit Visage now increases your lifesteal and spell vamp

Again I wish they would throw Vlad a bone. But overall this isn't as bad as it could have been. Though all the nerfs are starting to add up thanks to the higher ELO players who finally figured out how to build Vlad. Sigh. Not much really changes except getting as near to 40% CDR as possible is more important. Not that hard. I think my mission now will be to see how many tears I can nom nom on since Vlad has been nerfed. Again.
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Final Thoughts.

"I go on, night ever night. I feed on those who cross my path. But all my passion went with her golden hair. I'm a spirit of preternatural flesh. Detached. Unchangeable. Empty."

I hope you enjoy the read. Also final shout outs to Anne Rice for writing the greatest Vampire series of all time. Also quotes used from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and from Star Wars. Also referenced here is Vladimir Tepes aka Vlad Dracul aka Vlad The Impaler. The original vampire.

"Goodnight sweet prince, may flights of devils wing you to your rest."

And Lestat killed Edward. The End.

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(also known as "too long didn't read" or "too long to read")

This is a section I made just for these following comments which I find... funny but they don't make much sense. But since they took the time to create an account just for me and to be obvious then I will obviously give them what they would prefer.

I don't like the guide... to long and doesnt really convince me

First off sorry for the wall of text. I read and write a lot so once i get going it is hard for me to stop. My only fear is people will see it all and just not bother to read it.

Thanks for the comment. I am still tweaking it a little here and there. Updated the masteries to a better version of what i was running. Still updating the Middle Lane as I find new ways to deliver pain.

Yeah man it looks like you take lot of time to do this but its way too much man Im ending games 25-4-13, 26-3-12 I just came and see if I could learn something new but your guide is way too big. Most of it is for beginners and ''fun''stuff and builds that doesn't help me at all.

Step 1: Go 9/21/0 Masteries and Build AP Items

Step 2: ????????????

Step 3: Profit!

That should simplify and clarify things for Vlad builds (and save time for anyone who may be searching desperately for reasons to downvote). Because it is the guides that separate them. Vlad builds are simple and few are even remotely unique. But a guide that helps and gives good information... that is something worth reading. Maybe it will even help those who troll. That is what it is here for. To help offer information. Nothing more.

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide