Build Guide by Galfureye
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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.
Hello and welcome to my Vladimir guide. I have been playing Vladimir for some time now and I'm pretty experienced. I normally only get around 1 or 2 deaths and 15+ kills with full Mejai's Soulstealer. However I occasionally will have bad games because I'm not perfect but I brush it off and continue. In this guide I will show 3 ways to build Vladimir, AP, Spell Vamp, and Tank. So...
Basics of Vladimir
Harder to kill than most casters due to passive
Lots of AoE
Can escape almost anything with Sanguine Pool
No mana pool to worry about
Amazing in team fights
Long CDs early on
Abilities can eat up your health pretty quick sometimes
No mana means you can't get great AP items like archangels
People will call you OP
Very Prone to Silence (Watch out for Fiddle, Kass, Garen, and Cho'Gath)
(Innate): Every 25 points of bonus health gives Vladimir 1 ability power and every 1 point of ability power gives Vladimir 1.8 bonus health (does not stack with itself).
This passive is what makes Vladimir stand out from all the other casters, he gets more health the more AP you have and vice verse. This will make Vladimir harder to kill when you build just AP and will give you significant AP while building tank. However, just health isn't enough to make you impossible to kill, so don't charge into a 1v5. Remember, your still a caster deep down.
(Active): Vladimir drains the lifeforce of his target, dealing magic damage and healing himself for 25% (+0.25 per ability power) of that amount.
* No cost
* Range: 600
Cooldown: 12 / 10 / 8 / 6 / 3 seconds
Magic Damage: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.6 per ability power)
This is the bread and butter skill of Vladimir, at full rank the cool down is insanely short and you can non stop heal for no cost. It also has quite good AP scaling and can really pound your opponents. It is great for harassment early game and great for recovering from harassment. Another unique thing about this spell that not many people point out is that is has no travel time, unlike Veigar's Baleful Strike it hits the target imminently when you cast it, thus being great for last hitting.
(Active): Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood for 2 seconds, becoming untargetable and slowing enemies above him by 50% for 1.5 seconds, and deals magic damage over the duration plus heals himself for 12.5% of that amount. Sanguine Pool also gives Vladimir a slight speed boost for 0.5 seconds.
* Cost: 20% current health
* Area of Effect:
Cooldown: 26 / 23 / 20 / 17 / 14 seconds
Magic Damage: 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+15% of bonus Health)
Speed Boost: About 35%
Ohhh this spell, you can never forget this baby, it is by far the best escape mechanism in the game and can save you from almost anything. 2 seconds may not seem like much at first but it will put you home free more than you can imagine. Also the AoE damage and slow is great for chasing and getting mass minion kills late game, however I beg you not to use this for any reason but escaping early game. I get so angry when I see Vlads overuse this spell early on as a farming tool, it will eat away at your health and you will bang yourself on the head when you die because it was on cool down. One last quick tip about this baby is that you can completely dodge that mean old Karthus's ult if you in the pool when it hits :).
(Active): Vladimir unleashes a torrent of blood dealing magic damage to nearby enemies.
Each cast gives him an Empowered stack (max 4), increasing his healing and regeneration by 8% per stack for 10 seconds. Additionally, his next tides of Blood deals 25% more damage and costs 50% more health per stack.
* Cooldown: 4.5 seconds
* Area of Effect: 620
Cost: 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 Health
Magic Damage: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+0.45 per ability power)
This is one of those meh spells that isn't really crucial to have or not, however once you get it full rank end game the AoE it puts out can be insane on minions and a killer in team fights. But it's not really worth using too much early game so I keep it at one rank. Too much use will eat away at your health and the damage isn't really the best.
(Active): Vladimir infects the target area with a virulent plague which increases the damage nearby enemies take from all sources by 14% for 5 seconds. After these 5 seconds, infected enemies take magic damage.
* Cost: 15% current health
* Range: 700
* Area of Effect:
Magic Damage: 150 / 250 / 350 (+0.7 per ability power)
Cooldown: 150 / 135 / 120 seconds
This spell is plain amazing and can be game changing winning you constant team fights. It has pretty nice scaling and can make your opponents much weaker with the 14% increased damage. And because of this debuff it is important you use this spell first in your combo, not as a finisher like ignite, which is what I see a lot of Vlads do. Also, in end game it is crucial for you not to waste this ult on a silly 1v1 situation when your sure to win anyway, WAIT FOR A TEAM FIGHT it's power will be essentially multiplied by five, so use it wisely.
Ability Power Build
This is the standard build that I normally use and most people playing Vladimir use. This will give you loads of AP if you keep your stacks up (shouldn't be hard because you are pretty hard to kill with your W). You will be a heavy nuke and very valuable to your team. Let's get to the making of this build including pregame and in-game.
For Masteries I choose a standard 9-0-21 caster build. This will give you increased AP, CDR, magic penetration and many other great utility buffs. Also, because Vladimir does not have mana there is no need to touch the increased mana or mana regen mastery slots.
I take magic penetration marks as most casters should for increased early game damage.
I take health per level seals because they will significantly increase your health as the game goes on and even give you some extra AP as well.
I take AP per level glyphs to increase your AP in end game, its like a free amplifying tome.
I take flat health quints to make you much less squishy early game and increase your AP as well.
It is crucial to Vladimir that you level your skills in the correct order, transfusion is always first priority followed by sanguine pool and tides of blood, while of course leveling your ultimate every time it's up. It is very important you get Transfusion ranked up ASAP because the cool down decrease you get from ranking it up is just priceless and the damage+heal increase can really help you stay in your lane longer and harass. The reason it is important to level up your sanguine pool second is because the cool down decrease is also massive and it will save your life. I level up tides of blood once at level 4 and never again until level 14, this spell isn't really needed as much as the others.
These boots are standard to all casters because it will greatly increase your damage with the magic penetration and it goes along great with your runes. However if the team is very CC heavy you can always get Mercury Treads.
This item is key to Vladimir and it will get your AP very high if you keep up stacks, it also shouldn't be hard to keep your stacks up because you got sanguine pool to save your life. Just don't be too greedy!
This is the main item all Vlads should always have and it seems like it was made just for him. It gives you both health and AP which both will scale off your passive giving you even more health and AP. Also the slow you get from your spells is something to love for sure.
This is another amazing AP item for Vlad that will increase your AP by an insane amount plus giving you that 2 second invulnerably that when paired with your sanguine pool it makes you nearly impossible to kill in team fights.
Because you don't have mana, items like archangels staff are useless to you so it's great to grab this AP item that gives an amazing magic resist reducing aura AND extra magic resist for you.
The game will most likely not last this long but when you get this awesome item your opponents will be sorry try tried to stack magic resist, with your magic penetration runes, sorcerer shoes, abyssal scepter AND this you will turn 300 magic resist into more like 110 tehe :).
Playing as AP Vladimir
When you spawn, buy an amplifying tome + a health potion and head mid. Stay at your tower until minions spawn and then last hit them with transfusion and your auto attacks while occasionally harassing your opponent with transfusion. Try to stay pretty defensive and just last hit in the earlier levels because your transfusion won't have a short enough cool down to be very effective. When you get sanguine pool at level 2 try not to use it much unless your about to die because it will just destroy your health and its damage is very weak. When you get to level 3 you can harass your opponent a little more because your transfusion will have good damage and a better cool down. When harassing, wait until all the minions are occupied and pop in and out trying to not let your opponent hit you back. At level 4 Tides of Blood is a great minion farmer/last hitter but avoid getting it more than 2 stacks because the health it starts to cost is just too much. Once you get level six put a point in your ult and start to really try and harass them however don't make any big moves yet. Once you hit 7 you can go for your first kill. There health should be about half, so pop ghost hit your ult, tides of blood transfusion, then pool, tides of blood and a last transfusion + ignite to seal the deal. If you don't get the kill then wait until you hit level 9, because now you can start tower diving. Your transfusion's cool down is short enough that you can use it at least 3 times while killing them. When tower diving you have to kind of catch them off guard. Push the minions with tides of blood and get to their turret. Start attacking it, their normal instinct would be "omg this noob thinks he can just kill my turret" so they will attack you, ult, tides of blood and transfusion them, make sure the turret hits you at-least 1 or 2 times THEN pool this is crucial because if you pool right away the turret will get stacked up on you and you will probably die. Transfusion one more time + ignite and run forward into the brush to the right of the turret. Recall now and you should have at-least 2000 gold. Buy sorcerer's shoes and a mejai's soul-stealer. If you have atleast 435 gold extra, buy the amp tome for your Rylai's and the Blasting Wand If you have more. However if you have under 435 or you bough a wand and have extra then buy either elixer of fortitude or brilliance. Elixers increase your AP and health by a great amount and you should always buy them when you can.
Mid game is where Vladimir really shines, especially if you got fed early game, you can basically solo any one in the game and even go 1v2 depending on your enemies items/level. Also because of your pool and healing you can trick someone into trying to kill you when your low and end up killing them. Also try to start a lot of team fights in mid game because you're sure to Ace them with your ult tides of blood and sanguine pool. Finish your Rylais and start on your Zhonya's Ring, once you get this item you're practically un-kill-able and you shouldn't have a problem keeping your stacks up. Also you need to have at least 10 stacks of mejai's to still be as effective late game because Vlad starts to tone down a bit in late game as you will be out shined by great late game DPSers like Xin and Tryn.
When it gets to late game you should be working on your Abyssal Scepter and then you can either get a Void Staff if they're building magic resist or a Lich Bane to help you push towers. Pushing towers is very easy with Vlad+ Lich Bane because you can keep hitting E for the procs. The game should be close to over by now and let's hope you have a good score. I'm almost always the carry for my team because I get fed early on in middle lane and I'm a killing machine. Team Fights should always be in your favor with Vlad and you might even get a penta kill.
I'm going to stop my guide here for now and finish up the explanation for the other 2 builds later. I will keep updating so keep an eye out. I'll finish ASAP.